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Cornell University Library 
F 547L55 P35 

History of Livingston County. Illinois 


3 1924 028 805 568 

Cornell University 

The original of this book is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 






A History of the County — its Cities, Towns, &e. ; a Directory of its 
Tax-Payers; War Record of its Volunteers in the late Re- 
bellion; Portraits of Early Settlers and Prominent Men; 
General and Local Statistics; Map of Livingston 
County; History of Illinois, Illustrated; 
History of the Northwest, Illustrated; 
Constitution of the United States, 
Miscellaneous Matters, 
&c, &e. 







TN presenting our History of Livingston County, we deem a few prefatory words 
necessary. We have spared neither pains nor expense to fulfill our engagement with 
our patrons and make the work as complete as possible. We have actdd up >n the 
principle that justice to those who have subscribed, be they few or many, requires that 
the work should be as well done as if it was patronized by every citizen in the county. 
We do not claim that our work is entirely free from errors ; such a result could not be 
attained by the utmost care and foresight of ordinary mortals. The General History of 
the County was compiled by 0. P. Pearre, Esq., of Pontiac ; and the Township His- 
tories by our historians, W. H. Perrin, H. H. Hill and A. A. Graham. Some of the 
Township Histories are indeed longer than others, as the townships are older, containing 
larger cities and towns, and have been the scenes of mure important and interesting 
events. While fully recognizing this important difference, the historians have sought to 
write up each township with equal fidelity to the facts and information within their 
reach. We take this occasion to present our thanks to all our numerous subscribers 
for their patronage and encouragement in the publication of the work. In this confident 
belief, we submit it to the enlightened judgment of those for whose benefit it has been 
prepared, believing that it will be received as a most valuable and complete work. 


116 *nd 120 Monroe Mre«t. | , ' ■ 1 


* Pack. 

History Northwest Territory 19 

Geographical , , 19 

Early Exploration 20 

Discovery of the Ohio, 33 

English Explorations and Settle- 
ments 35 

American Settlements. 60 

Division of the Northwest Terri- 
tory 66 

Tecumseh and the war of 1812 70 

Black Hawk and the Black Hawk 
War 74 



Other Indian Troubles 79 

Present Condition of the Northwest 87 

Illinois 99 

Indiana 101 

Iowa 102 

Michigan 103 

Wisconsin 104 

Minnesota 106 

Nebraska 107 

History of Illinois 109 

Coal .126 

Compact of 1787 117 


History of Chicago 132 

Early Discoveries 109 

Early Settlements 115 

Education 129 

First French Occupation 112 

Genius of La Salle 113 

Material Resources 124 

Massacre of Fort Dearborn 141 

Physical Features 121 

Progress of Development 123 

Religion and Morals 128 

War Record of Hlinois 130 


Source of the Mississippi 21 

Mouth of the Mississippi 21 

Wild Prairie 23 

La Salle Landing on the Shore of 

Green Bay 23 

Buffalo Hunt 27 

Trapping 29 

Hunting 32 

Iroquois Chief. 34 

Pontiac, the Ottawa Chieftain 43 

Indians Attacking Frontiersmen... 56 

A Prairie Storm 59 

A Pioneer Dwelling 61 

Breaking Prairie 63 


Tecumseh, the Shawnee Chieftain... 69 

Indians Attacking a Stockade 72 

Black Hawk, the Sac Chieftain 75 

Big Eagle 80 

Captain Jack, the Modoc Chieftain.. 83 

Kinzie House. 85 

Village Residence 86 

A Representative Pioneer 87 

Lincoln Monument, Springfield, 111. 88 

A Pioneer School House 89 

Farm View in the Winter 90 

High Bridge and Lake Bluff. 94 

Great Iron Bridge of Chicago, Rock 
Island & Pacific .Railroad, Cross- 


ing the River at Davenport, Iowa 96 

A Western Dwelling 100 

Hunting Prairie Wolves at an 

Early Day 108 

Starved Rock, on the Illinois River, 

La Salle County, 111 110 

An Early Settlement 116 

Chicago in 1833 ,....133 

Old Fort Dearbron in 1830 136 

Present site of Lake Street Bridge, 

Chicago, in 1833 136 

Pioneers' First Winter. 142 

View of the City of Chicago 144 

Shabbona 149 


General History of Livingston Co..223 

Avoca Township 375, 

Amity " 404 

Belle Prairie « 351 

Broughton " 458 

Chatsworth " 388 

Charlotte ' 450 

Dwight " 47». 

Esmen " 540 

Eppard's Point" 512 

Forrest " 519 


Fayette Township 562 

Germantown " " 570 

Indian Grove " 327 

Long Point " : :-&O0 

Newtown " 531 

Nebraska " 468 

Nevada " 428 

OrteJl " 358 

Owego " 422 

Pontiac . " 291 

Pleasant Ridge Township 

Pike " 

Rook 8 Creek " 

Round Grove " 

Reading '' 

Saunemin '* 


Sunbury " 

Union •' 





Burton, Allen A 275 

Bullard, J. T 347 

Burleigh, W. C 456 

Culver, Joseph F 221 

Cavanaugh, J. A 545. 

Cleary, M 437 

Fosdick, Samuel T 329 


Hoyt, S. A 293 

Holdriilge, R. L 473 

Jenkins, W. H 383 

Krack, I. J 365 

Murdock, D. L 257 

Moon, Albert 509 


Nelson, James 401 

Nelson, Ann .419 

Pearre.O.F 239 

Strawn, C. 527 

Tuttle, Zopher 311 

Wyllie, John 491 



Page. | Page. I 
591 I Cavalry 619 | Artillery , 






Avoca Township 731 

Amity " 698 

Belle Prairie Township 790 

Broughton " 817 

Chatsworth " 751 

Charlotte " 800 

Dwight " 667 

Esmon " 726 

Eppard's Point " 796 

Forrest " 763 


Fayette Township 804 

German town Township 816 

Indian Grove " 737 

Long Point " 720 

Newtown " 705 

Nebraska " 808 

Nevada " 695 

Odell " 665 

Owego " 819 

Pontiac " 623 

Pike Township 
Pleasant Bidge 
Book's Creek 
Bound Grove 






, .715 













Avoca Township 876 

Amity " 849 

Belle Prairie TownBhip 861 

Broughton " 855 

Chatsworth " 839 

Charlotte " 880 

Dwight " 836 

Bsmen " 882 

Eppard's Point " 860 

Forrest " 843 

Fayette " 883 

Germantown " 883 

Indian Grove " 832 


Long Point Township .f..867 

Newtown " 847 

Nebraska " 869 

Nevada " 876 

Odell " 842 

Owego " 881 

Pontiac ' 828 

Pike " 866 

Pleasant Bidge " 874 

Book's Creek " 878 

Bound Grove " 862 

Beading " 845 


Saunemin Township 856 

Sullivan " 868 

Sunbury " 864 

Union " 8oa 

Waldo " 871 

Chatsworth Village .838 

Cornell " 851 

Dwight " 834 

Fairbury " 829 

Forrest " 845 

Odell " 841 

Pontiac City 826 



Adoption of Children 160 

Bills of Exchange and Promissory 

Notes 151 

County Courts 155 

Conveyances.... 164 

Ch'urch 'Organizations 189 

Descent.; 151 

Deeds and Mortgages 157 

Drainage 163 

Damages from Trespass 169 

Definition of Commercial Terms 173 

Exemptions from Forced Sale 156 

EstravB 157 

Fences 168 

Forms : 

Articles of Agreement 175 

Bills of Purchase 174 

Bills of Sale 176 

Bonds 176 


Chattel Mortgages 177 

Codicil 189 

Lease of Farm and Build- 
ings 179 

Lease of House 180 

Landlord's Agreement 180 

NoteB 174 

Notice Tenant to Quit 181 

Orders 174 

Quit Claim Deed 185 

Beceipt 174 

Beal Estate Mortgaged to Secure 

Payment of Money 181 

Eelease 186 

Tenant's Agreement 180 

Tenant's Notice to Quit 181 

Warranty Deed 182 

Will 187 


Game 158 

Interest 151 

Jurisdiction of Courts 154 

Limitation of Action 165 

Landlord and Tenant 169 

Liens 172 

Married Women 155 

Millers 159 

Marks and Brands 159 

Paupers 164 

Beads and Bridges .161 

Surveyors and Surveys 160 

Suggestions to Persons Purchasing 

Books by Subscription 190 

Taxes 154 

Wills and Estates 162 

Weights and Measures 158 

Wolf Scalps .164 


Map of Livingston County .Front 

Constitution of the U. S 192 

Electors of President and Vice Pres- 
ident 206 

Practical Bules for Every Day Use.207 
U. 8. Government Land Measure. ..210 
Agricultural Productions of Illi- 
nois by Counties, 1870 210 

Surveyors' Measure 211 

How to Keep Accounts 211 

Interest Table 212 

Miscellaneous Tables 212 



Names of the States of the Union 

and their Signification 213 

Population of the United States 214 

Population of Fifty Principal Cities 

of the United States 214 

Population and Area of the United 

States 215. 

Population of the Principal Coun- 
tries in the World .215 

Population of Illinois 216-217 

State Laws Relating to IntereBt 218 

State Laws Belating to Limitations 
of Actions 219 

Productions of Agriculture of Illi- 
nois 220 

Population of Livingston Co 622 

Business Directory 885 

Assessors' Beport 898 

Old Settlers' Association 583 

Drainage 821 

Illinois National Guards 589 

Fairbury Zouave Cadets 590 

Livingston County Court House 588 

Geological Features 679 

Agricultural Association 673 

Errata .'. 896 



The Northwest Territory. 


When the Northwestern Territory was ceded to the United States 
by Virginia in 1784, it embraced only the territory lying between the 
Ohio and the Mississippi Rivers* and north to the northern limits of the 
United States. It coincided with the area now embraced in the States 
of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and that portion of 
Minnesota lying on the east side of the Mississippi. River. The United 
States itself at that period extended no farther west than the Mississippi 
River ; but by the purchase of Louisiana in 1803, the western boundary 
of the United States was extended to the Rocky Mountains and the 
Northern Pacific Ocean. The new territory thus added to the National 
domain, and subsequently opened to settlement, has been called' the 
" New Northwest," in contradistinction from the old " Northwestern 

In comparison with the old Northwest this is a territory of vast 
magnitude. It includes an area of 1,887,850 square miles ; being greater 
in extent than the united areas of all the Middle and Southern States, 
including Texas. Out of this magnificent territory have been erected 
eleven sovereign States and eight Territories, with an aggregate popula- 
tion, at the present time, of 13,000,000 inhabitants, or nearly one third of 
the entire population of the United States. 

Its lakes are fresh-water seas, and the larger rivers of the continent 
flow for a thousand miles through its rich alluvial valleys and far- 
stretching prairies, more acres of which are arable and productive of the 
highest percentage of the cereals than of any other area of like extent 
on the globe. 

For the last twenty years the increase of population in the North- 
west has been about as three to one in any other portion of the United 




In the year 1541, DeSoto first saw the Great West in the New 
World. He, however, penetrated no farther north than the 35th parallel 
of latitude. The expedition resulted in his death and that of more than 
half his army, the remainder of whom found their way to Cuba, thence 
to Spain, in a famished and demoralized condition. DeSoto founded no 
settlements, produced no results, and left no traces, unless it were that 
he awakened the hostility of the red man against the white man, and 
disheartened such as might desire to follow up the career of discovery 
for better purposes. The French nation were eager and ready to seize 
upon any news from this extensive domain, and were the first to profit by 
DeSoto's defeat. Yet it was more than a century before any adventurer 
took advantage of these discoveries. 

In 1616, four years before the pilgrims " moored their bark on the 
wild New England shore,'' Le Caron, a French Franciscan, had pene- 
trated through the Iroquois and Wyandots (Hurons) to the streams which 
run into Lake Huron ; and in 1634, two Jesuit missionaries founded the 
first mission among the lake tribes. It was just one hundred years from 
the discovery of the Mississippi by DeSoto (1541) until the Canadian 
envoys met the savage nations of the Northwest at the Falls of St. Mary, 
below the outlet of Lake* 1 Superior.- This visit led to no permanent 
result ; yet it was not until 1659 that any of the adventurous fur traders 
attempted to spend a Winter in the frozen wilds about the great lakes, 
nor was it until 1660 that a station was established upon their borders by 
Mesnard, who perished in the woods a few months after. In 1665, Claude 
Allouez built the earliest lasting habitation of the white man among the 
Indians of the Northwest. In 1668, Claude Dablon and James Marquette 
founded the mission of Sault Ste. Marie at the Falls of St. Mary, and two 
years afterward, Nicholas Perrot, as agent for M. Talon, Governor Gen- 
eral of Canada, explored Lake Illinois (Michigan) as far south as the 
present City of Chicago, and invited the Indian nations to meet him at a 
grand council at Sault Ste. Marie the following Spring, where they were 
taken under the protection of the king, and formal possession was taken 
of the Northwest. This same year Marquette established a mission at 
Point St. Ignatius* where was founded the old town of Michillimackinac. 

During M. Talon's explorations and Marquette's residence at St. 
Ignatius, they learned of a great river away to the west, and fancied 
—as all others did then— that upon its fertile banks whole tribes of God's 
children resided, to whom the sound of the Gospel had never come. 
Filled with a wish to go and preach to them, and in compliance with a 



















request of M. Talon, who earnestly desired to extend the domain of his 
king, and to ascertain whether the river flowed into the Gulf of Mexico 
or the Pacific Ocean, Marquette with Joliet, as commander of the expe- 
dition, prepared for the undertaking. 

On the 13th of May, 1673, the explorers, accompanied by five assist- 
ant French Canadians, set out from Mackinaw on their daring voyage of 
discovery. The Indians, who gathered to witness their departure, were 
astonished at the boldness of the undertaking, and endeavored to dissuade 
them from their purpose by representing the tribes on the Mississippi as 
exceedingly savage and cruel, and the river itself as full of all sorts of 
frightful monsters ready to swallow them and their canoes together. But, 
nothing daunted by these terrific descriptions, Marquette told them he 
was willing not only to encounter all the perils of the unknown region 
they were about to explore, but to lay down his life in a cause in which 
the salvation of souls was involved ; and having prayed together they 
separated. Coasting along the northern shore of Lake Michigan, the 
adventurers entered Green Bay, and passed thence up the Fox Elver and 
Lake Winnebago to a village of the Miamis and Kickapoos. Here Mar- 
quette was delighted to find a beautiful cross planted in the middle of the 
town ornamented with white skins, red girdles and bows and arrows, 
which these good people had offered to the Great Manitou, or God, to 
thank him for the pity he had bestowed on them during the Winter in 
giving them an abundant " chase." This was the farthest outpost to 
which Dablon and Allouez had extended their missionary labors the 
year previous. Here Marquette drank mineral waters and was instructed 
in the secret of a root which cures the bite of the venomous rattlesnake. 
He assembled the chiefs and old men of the village, and, pointing to 
Joliet, said : " My friend is an envoy of France, to discover new coun- 
tries, and I am an ambassador from God to enlighten them with the truths 
of the Gospel." Two Miami guides were here furnished to conduct 
them to the Wisconsin River, and they set out from the Indian village on 
the 10th of June, amidst a great crowd of natives who had assembled to 
witness their departure into a region where no white man had ever yet 
ventured. The guides, having conducted them across the portage, 
returned. The explorers launched their canoes upon the Wisconsin, 
which they descended to the Mississippi and proceeded down its unknown 
waters. What emotions must have swelled their breasts as they struck 
out into the broadening current and became conscious that they were 
now upon the bosom of tha Father of Waters. The mystery was about 
to be lifted from the long-sought river. The scenery in that locality is 
beautiful, and on that delightful seventeenth of June must have been 
clad in all its primeval loveliness as it had been adorned bv the hand of 



Nature. Drifting rapidly, it is said that the bold bluffs on either hand 
" reminded them of the castled shores of their own beautiful rivers of 
France." By-and-by, as they drifted along, great herds of buffalo appeared 
pn the banks. On going to the heads of the valley they could see a 
country of the greatest beauty and fertility, apparently destitute of inhab- 
itants yet presenting the appearance of extensive manors, under the fas- 
tidious cultivation of lordly proprietors. 


On June 25, they went ashore and found some fresh traces of men upon 
the sand, and a path which led to the prairie. The men remained in the 
boat, and Marquette and Joliet followed the path till they discovered a 
village on the banks of a river, and two other villages on a hill, within a 
half league of the first, inhabited by Indians. They were received most 
hospitably by these natives, who had never before seen a white person. 
After remaining a few days they re-embarked and descended the river to 
about latitude 33°, where they found a village of the Arkansas, and being 
satisfied that the river flowed into the Gulf of Mexico, turned their course 


up the river, and ascending the stream to the mouth of the Illinois, 
rowed up that stream to its source, and procured guides from that point 
to the lakes. " Nowhere on this journey," says Marquette, il did we see 
such grounds, meadows, woods, stags, buffaloes, deer, wildcats, bustards, 
swans, ducks, parroquets, and even beavers, as on the Illinois River." 
The party, without loss or injury, reached Green Bay in September, and 
reported their discovery— one of the most important of the age, but of 
which no record was preserved save Marquette's, Joliet losing his by 
the upsetting of his canoe on his way to Quebec. Afterward Marquette 
returned to the Illinois Indians by their request, and ministered to them 
until 1675. On the 18th of May, in that year, as he was passing the 
mouth of a stream — going with his boatmen up Lake Michigan — he asked 
to land at its mouth and celebrate Mass. Leaving his men with the canoe, 
he retired a short distance and began his devotions. As much time 
passed and he did not return, his men went in search of him, and found 
him upon his knees, dead. He had peacefully passed away while at 
prayer. He was buried at this spot. Charlevoix, who visited the place 
fifty year's after, found the waters had retreated from the grave, leaving 
the beloved missionary to repose in peace. The river has since been 
called Marquette. 

While Marquette and his companions were pursuing their labors in 
the West, two. men, differing widely from him and each other, were pre- 
paring to follow in his footsteps and perfect the discoveries so well begun 
by him. These were Robert de La Salle and Louis Hennepin. 

After La Salle's return from the discovery of the Ohio River (see 
the narrative elsewhere), he established himself again among the French 
trading posts in Canada. Here he mused long upon the pet project of 
those ages — a short way to China and the East, and was busily planning an 
expedition up the great lakes, and so across the continent to the Pacific, 
when Marquette returned from the Mississippi. At once the vigorous mind 
of LaSalle received from his and his companions' stories the idea that by fol- 
lowing the Great River northward, or by turning up some of the numerous 
western tributaries, the object could easily be gained. He applied to 
Frontenac, Governor General of Canada, and laid before him the plan, 
dim but gigantic. Frontenac entered warmly into his plans, and saw that 
LaSalle's idea to connect the great lakes by a chain of forts with the Guli 
of Mexico would bind the country so wonderfully together, give un- 
measured power to France, and glory to himself, under whose adminis- 
tration he earnestly hoped all would be realized. 

LaSalle now repaired to France, laid his plans before the King, who 
warmly approved of them, and made him a Chevalier. He also receiv'jt! 
from all the noblemen the warmest wishes for his success. The Chev 



alier returned to Canada, and busily entered upon his work. He at 
once rebuilt Fort Frontenac and constructed the first ship to sail on 
these fresh-water seas. On the 7th of August, 1679, having been joined 
by Hennepin, he began his voyage in the Griffin up Lake Erie. He 
passed over this lake, through the straits beyond, up Lake St. Clair and 
into Huron. In this lake they encountered heavy storms. They were 
some time at Michillimackinac, where LaSalle founded a fort, and passed 
on to Green Bay, the " Baie des Puans " of the French, where he found 
a large quantity of furs collected for him. He loaded the Griffin with 
these, and placing her under the care of a pilot and fourteen sailors, 


started her on her return voyage. The vessel was never afterward heard 
of. He remained about these parts until early in the Winter, when, hear- 
ing nothing from the Griffin, he collected all the men— thirty working 
men and three monks— and started again upon his great undertaking. 

By a short portage they passed to the Illinois or Kankakee, called by 
the Indians, "Theakeke," wolf, because of the tribes of Indians called 
by that name, commonly known as the Mahingans, dwelling there. The 
French pronounced it Kiakiki, which became corrupted to Kankakee. 
"Falling down the said river by easy journeys, the better to observe the 
' country," about the last of December they reached a village of the Illi- 
nois Indians, containing some five hundred cabins, but at that moment 


no inhabitants. The Seur de LaSalle being in want of some breadstuff's, 
took advantage of the absence of the Indians to help himself to a suffi- 
ciency of maize, large quantities of which he found concealed in holes 
under the wigwams. This village was situated near the present village 
of Utica in LaSalle County, Illinois. The corn being securely stored, 
the voyagers again betook themselves to the stream, and toward evening, 
on the 4th day of January, 1680, they came into a lake which must have 
been the lake of Peoria. This was called by the Indians Pim-i-te-wi, that 
is, a place where there are many fat beasts. Here the natives were met 
with in large numbers, but they were gentle and kind, and having spent 
some time with them, LaSalle determined to erect another fort in that 
place, for he had heard rumors that some of the adjoining tribes were 
trying to disturb the good feeling which existed, and some of his men 
were disposed to complain, owing to the hardships and perils of the travel. 
He called this fort " Crevecoeur" (broken-heart), a name expressive of the 
very natural sorrow and anxiety which the pretty certain loss of his ship, 
Griffin, and his consequent impoverishment, the danger of hostility on the 
part of the Indians, and of mutiny among his own men, might well cause 
him. His fears were not entirely groundless. At one time poison was 
placed in his food, but fortunately was discovered. 

While building this fort, the Winter wore away, the prairies began to 
look green, and LaSalle, despairing of any reinforcements, concluded to 
return to Canada, raise new means and new men, and embark anew in 
the enterprise. For this purpose he made Hennepin the leader of a party 
to explore the head waters of the Mississippi, and he set out on his jour- 
ney. This journey was accomplished with the aid of a few persons, and 
was successfully made, though over an almost u iknown route, and in a 
bad season of the year. He safely reached Cana -ia, and set out again for 
the object of his search. 

Hennepin and his party left Fort Crevecceur on the last of February, 
1680. When LaSalle reached this place on his return expedition, he 
found the fort entirely deserted, and he was obliged to return again to 
Canada. He embarked the third time, and succeeded. Seven days after 
leaving the fort, Hennepin reached the Mississippi, and paddling up the 
icy stream as best he could, reached no higher than the Wisconsin River 
by the 11th of April. Here he and his followers were taken prisoners by a 
band of Northern Indians, who treated them with great kindness. Hen- 
nepin's comrades were Anthony Auguel and Michael Ako. On this voy- 
age they found several beautiful lakes, and " saw some charming prairies." 
Their captors were the Isaute or Sauteurs, Chippewas, a tribe of the Sioux 
nation, who took them up the river until about the first of May, when 
they reached some falls, which Hennepin christened Falls of St. Anthony 



in honor of his patron saint. Here they took the land, and traveling 
nearly two hundred miles to the northwest, brought them to their villages. 
Here they were kept about three months, were treated kindly by, their 
captors, and at the end of that time, were met by a band of Frenchmen, 


headed by one Seur de Luth, who, in pursuit of trade and game had pene- 
trated thus far by the route of Lake . Superior ; and with these fellow- 
ottrymen Hennepin and his companions were allowed to return to he 
borders of civilized life in November, 1680, just after LaSalle had 
returned to the wilderness on his second trip. Hennepin soon after wen:. 
to France, where he published an account of his adventures. 


The Mississippi was first discovered by De Soto in April, 1541, in his 
vain endeavor to find gold and precious gems. In the following Spring, 
De Soto, weary with hope long deferred, and worn out with his wander- 
ings, he fell a victim to disease, and on the 21st of May died. His followers, 
reduced by fatigue and disease to less than three hundred men, wandered 
about the country nearly a year, in the vain endeavor to rescue them- 
selves by land, and finally constructed seven small vessels, called brigan- 
tines, in which they embarked, and descending the river, supposing it 
would lead them to the sea, in July they came to the sea (Gulf of 
Mexico), and by September reached the Island of Cuba. 

They were the first to see the great outlet of the Mississippi ; but, 
being so weary and discouraged, made no attempt to claim the country, 
and hardly had an intelligent idea of what they had passed through. 

To La Salle, the intrepid explorer, belongs the honor of giving the 
first account of the mouths of the river. His great desire was to possess 
this entire country for his king, and in January, 1682, he and his band of 
explorers left the shores of Lake Michigan on their third attempt, crossed 
the portage, passed down the Illinois River, and on the 6th of February, 
reached the banks of the Mississippi. 

On the 13th they commenced their downward course, which they 
pursued with but one interruption, until upon the 6th of March they dis- 
covered the three great passages by which the river discharges its waters 
into the gulf. La Salle thus narrates the event : 

" We landed on the bank of the most western channel, about three 
leagues (nine miles) from its mouth. On the seventh, M. de LaSalle 
went to reconnoiter the shores of the neighboring sea, and M. de Tonti 
meanwhile examined the great middle channel. They found the main 
outlets beautiful, large and deep. On the 8th we reascended the river, a 
little above its confluence with the sea, to find a dry place beyond the 
re*ch of inundations. The elevation of the North Pole was here about 
twenty-seven degrees. Here we prepared a v column and a cross, and to 
the column were affixed the arms of France with this inscription : 

Louis Le Grand, Roi De France et de Navarre, regne ; Le neuvieme Avril, 1682. 

The whole party, under arms, chanted the Te Deum, and then, after 
a salute and cries of " Vive le Roi" the column was erected by M. de 
La Salle, who, standing near it, proclaimed in a loud voice the authority of 
the King of France. LaSalle returned and laid the foundations of the Mis- 
sissippi settlements in Illinois, thence he proceeded to France, where 
another expedition Avas fitted out, of which he was commander,' and in two 
succeeding voyages failed to find the outlet of the river by sailing along 
the shore of the gulf. On his third voyage he was killed, through the 



treachery of his followers, and the object df his expeditions was not 
accomplished until 1699, when D'Iberville, under the authority of the 
crown, discovered, on the second of March, by way of the sea, the mouth 
of the " Hidden River." This majestic stream was called by the natives 
" Malbouchia," and by the Spaniards, " la Palissade," from the great 


****** - 


iimBmk i i 




number of trees about its mouth. After traversing the several outlets, 
and satisfying himself as to its certainty, he erected a fort near its western 
outlet, and returned to France. 

An avenue of trade was now opened out which was fully improved. 
In 1718, New Orleans was laid out and settled' by some European colo- 
nists. In 1762, the colony was made over to Spain, to be regained by 
France under the consulate of Napoleon. In 1803, it was purchased by 



the United States for the sum of fifteen million dollars, and the territory 
of Louisiana and commerce of the Mississippi River came under the 
charge of the United States. Although LaSalle's labors ended in defeat, 
and death, he had not worked and suffered in vain. He had thrown 
open to France and the world an immense and most valuable country ; 
had established several ports, and laid the foundations of more than one 
settlement there. " Peoria, Kaskaskia and Cahokia, are to this day monu- 
ments of LaSalle's labors ; for, though he had founded neither of them 
(unless Peoria, which was built nearly upon the site of Fort Crevecceur,) 
it was by those whom he led into the West that these places were 
peopled and civilized. He was, if not the discoverer, the first settler of 
the Mississippi Valley, and as such deserves to be known and honored." 

The French early improved the opening made for them. Before the 
year 1698, the Rev. Father Grravier began a mission among the Illinois, 
and founded Kaskaskia. For some time this was merely a missionary 
station, where none but natives resided, it being one of three such vil- 
lages, the other two being Cahokia and Peoria. What is known of 
these missions is learned from a letter written by Father Gabriel Marest, 
dated " Aux Oascaskias, autrement dit de l'lmmaculate Conception de 
la Sainte Vierge, le 9 Novembre, 1712." Soon after the founding of 
Kaskaskia, the missionary, Pinet, gathered a flock at Cahokia, while 
Peoria arose near the ruins of Fort Crevecceur. This must have been 
about the year 1700. The post at Vincennes on the Oubache river, 
(pronounced WS-ba, meaning summer cloud moving swiftly') was estab- 
lished in 1702, according to the best authorities.* It is altogether prob- 
able that on LaSalle's last trip he established the stations at Kaskaskia 
and Cahokia. In July, 1701, the foundations of Fort Ponchartrain 
were laid by De la Motte Cadillac on the Detroit River. These sta- 
tions, with those established further north, were the earliest attempts to 
occupy the Northwest Territory. At the same time efforts were being 
made to occupy the Southwest, which finally culminated in the settle- 
ment and founding of the City of New Orleans by a colony from England 
in 1718. This was mainly accomplished through the efforts of the 
famous Mississippi Company, established by the notorious John Law, 
who so quickly arose into prominence in France, and who with his 
scheme so quickly and so ignominiously passed away. 

From the time of the founding of these stations for fifty years the 
French nation were engrossed with the settlement of the lower Missis- 
sippi, and the war with the Chicasaws, who had, in revenge for repeated 

* There is considerable dispute about this date, some asserting it was founded as late as 1742. When 
the new court house at Vincennes was erected, all authorities on the subject were carefully examined, and 
a'/02 fixed upon as the correct date. It was accordingly engraved on the corner-stone of the court house. 


injuries, cut off the entire colony at Natchez. Although the company 
did little for Louisiana, as the entire West was then called, yet it opened 
the trade through the Mississippi River, and started the raising of grains 
indigenous to that climate. Until the year 1750, but little is known of 
the settlements in the Northwest, as it was not until this time that the 
attention of the English was called to the occupation of this portion of the 
New World, which they then supposed they owned. Vivier, a missionary 
among the Illinois, writing from " Aux Illinois," six leagues from Fort 
Chartres, June 8, 1750, says: "We have here whites, negroes and 
Indians, to gay nothing of cross-breeds. .There are five French villages, 
and three villages of the natives, within a space of twenty-one leagues 
situated between the Mississippi and another river called the Karkadaid 
(Kaskaskias). In the five French villages are, perhaps, eleven hundred 
whites, three hundred blacks and some sixty red slaves or savages. The 
three Illinois towns do not contain more than eight hundred souls all 
told. Most of the French till the soil; they raise wheat, cattle, pigs and 
horses, and live like princes. Three times as much is produced as can 
be consumed ; and great quantities of grain and flour are sent to New 
Orleans." This city was now the seaport town of the Northwest, and 
save in the extreme northern part, where only furs and copper ore were 
found, almost all the products of the country found their way to France 
by the mouth of the Father of Waters. In another letter, dated Novem- 
ber 7, 1750, this same priest says: "For fifteen leagues above the 
mouth of the Mississippi one sees no dwellings, the ground being too low 
to be habitable. Thence to New Orleans, the lands are only partially 
occupied. New Orleans contains black, white and red, not more, I 
think, than twelve hundred persons. To this point come all lumber, 
bricks, salt-beef, tallow, tar, skins and bear's grease ; and above all, pork 
and flour from the Illinois. These things create some commerce, as forty 
vessels and more have come hither this year. Above New Orleans, 
plantations are again met with ; the most considerable is a colony of 
Germans, some ten leagues up the river. At Point Coupee, thirty-five 
leagues above the German settlement, is a fort. Along here, within five 
or six leagues, are not less than sixty habitations. Fifty leagues farther 
up is the Natchez post, where we have a garrison, who are kept prisoners 
through fear of the Chickasaws. Here and at Point Coupee, they raise 
excellent tobacco. Another hundred leagues brings us to the Arkansas, 
where we have also a fort and a garrison for the benefit of the river 
traders. * * * From the Arkansas to the Illinois, nearly five hundred 
leagues, there is not a settlement. There should be, however, a fort at 
the Oubache (Ohio), the only path by which the English can reach the 
Mississippi. In the Illinois country are numberless mines, but no one to 



work them as they deserve." Father Marest, writing from the post at 
Vincennes in 181 2, makes the same observation. Vivier also says : " Some 
individuals dig lead hear the surface and supply the Indians and Canada. 
Two Spaniards now here, who claim to be adepts, say that our mines are 
like those of Mexico, and that if we would dig deeper, we should find 
silver under the lead ; and at any rate the lead is excellent. There is also 
in this country, beyond doubt, copper ore, as from time to time large 
pieces are found in the streams." 


S/C/<CK& C 


At the close of the year 1750, the French occupied, in addition to the 
lower Mississippi posts and those in Illinois, one at Du Quesne, one at 
the Mauinee in the country of the Miamis, and one at Sandusky in what 
may be termed the Ohio Valley. In the northern part of the Northwest 
they had stations at St. Joseph's on the St. Joseph's of Lake Michigan, 
at Fort Ponchartiain (Detroit), at Michillimackanac or Massillimacanac, 
Fox River of Green Bay, and at Sault Ste. Marie. The fondest dreams of 
LaSalle were now fully realized. The French alone were possessors of 
this vast realm, basing their claim on discovery and settlement. Another 
nation, however, was now turning its attention to this extensive country, 


and hearing of its wealth, began to lay plans for occupying it and for 
securing the great profits arising therefrom. 

The French, however, had another claim to this country, namely, the 


This " Beautiful " river was discovered by Robert Cavalier de La- 
Salle in 1669, four years before the discovery of the Mississippi by Joliet 
and Marquette. 

While LaSalle was at his trading post on the St. Lawrence, he found 
leisure to study nine Indian dialects, the chief of which was the Iroquois. 
He not only desired to facilitate his intercourse in trade, but he longed 
to travel and explore the unknown regions of the West. An incident 
soon occurred which decided him to fit out an exploring expedition. 

While conversing with some Senecas, he learned of a river called the 
Ohio, which rose in their country and flowed to the sea, but at such a. 
distance that it required eight months to reach its mouth. In this state- 
ment the Mississippi and its tributaries were considered as one stream. 
LaSalle believing, as most of the French at that period did, that the great 
rivers flowing west emptied into the Sea of California, was anxious to 
embark in the enterprise of discovering a route across the continent to 
the commerce of China and Japan. 

He repaired at once to Quebec to obtain the approval of the Gov- 
ernor. His eloquent appeal prevailed. The Governor and the Intendant, 
Talon, issued letters patent authorizing the enterprise, but made no pro- 
vision to defray the expenses. At this juncture the seminary of St. Sul- 
pice decided to send out missionaries in connection with the expedition, 
and LaSalle offering to sell his improvements at LaChine to raise money, 
the offer was accepted by the Superior, and two thousand eight hundred 
dollars were raised, with which LaSalle purchased four canoes and th© 
necessary supplied for the outfit. 

On the 6th of July, 1669, the party, numbering twenty-four persons, 
embarked in seven canoes on the St. Lawrence ; two additional canoes 
carried the Indian guides. In three days they were gliding over the 
bosom of Lake Ontario. Their guides conducted them directly to the 
Seneca' village on the bank of the Genesee, in the vicinity of the present 
City of Rochester, New York. Here they expected to procure guides to 
conduct them to the Ohio, but in this they were disappointed. 

The Indians seemed unfriendly to the enterprise. LaSalle suspected 
that the Jesuits had prejudiced their minds against his plans. After 
waiting a month in the hope of gaining their object, they met an Indian 



from the Iroquois colony at the head of Lake Ontario, who assured them 
that they could there find guides, and offered to conduct them thence. 

On their way they passed the mouth of the Niagara River, when they 
heard for the first time the distant thunder of the cataract. Arriving 


among the Iroquois, they met with a friendly reception, and learned 
from a Shawanee prisoner that they could reach the Ohio in six weeks. 
Delighted with the unexpected good fortune, they made ready to resume 
their journey ; but just as they were about to start they heard of the 
arrival of two Frenchmen in a neighboring village. One of them proved 
to be Louis Joliet, afterwards famous as an explorer in the West. He 


had been sent by the Canadian Government to explore the copper mines 
on Lake Superior, but had failed, and was on his way back to Quebec. 
He gave the missionaries a map of the country he had explored in the 
lake region, together with an account of the condition of the Indians in 
that quarter. This induced the priests to determine on leaving the 
expedition and going to Lake Superior. LaSalle warned them that the 
Jesuits were probably occupying that field, and that they would meet 
with a cold reception. Nevertheless they persisted in their purpose, and 
after worship on the lake shore, parted from LaSalle. On arriving at 
Lake Superior, they found, as LaSalle had predicted, the Jesuit Fathers, 
Marquette and Dablon, occupying the field. 

These zealous disciples of Loyola informed them that they wanted 
no assistance from St. Sulpice, nor from those who made him their patron 
saint ; and thus repulsed, they returned to Montreal the following June 
without having made a single discovery or converted a single Indian. 

After parting with the priests, LaSalle went to the chief Iroquois 
village at Onondaga, where he obtained guides, and passing thence to a 
tributary of the Ohio south of Lake Erie, he descended the latter as far 
as the falls at Louisville. Thus was the Ohio discovered by LaSalle, the 
persevering and successful French explorer of the West, in 1669. 

The account of the latter part of his journey is found in an anony- 
mous paper, which purports to have been taken from the lips of LaSalle 
himself during a subsequent visit to Paris. In a letter written to Count 
Frontenac in 1667, shortly after the discovery, he himself says that he 
discovered the Ohio and descended it to the falls. This was regarded as 
an indisputable fact by the French authorities, who claimed the Ohio 
Valley upon another ground. When Washington was sent by the colony 
of Virginia in 1753, to demand of Gordeur de St. Pierre why the French 
had built a fort on the Monongahela, the haughty commandant at Quebec 
replied : " We claim the country on the Ohio by virtue of the discoveries 
of LaSalle, and will not give it up to the English. Our orders are to 
make prisoners of every Englishman found trading in the Ohio Valley." 


When the new year of 1750 broke in upon the Father of Waters 
and the Great Northwest, all was still wild save at the French posts 
already described. In 1749, when the English first began to think seri- 
ously about sending men into the West, the greater portion of the States 
of Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota were yet 
under the dominion of the red men. The English knew, however, pretty 


conclusively of the nature of the wealth of these wilds. As early as 
1710, Governor Spotswood, of Virginia, had commenced movements to 
secure the country west of the Alleghenies to the English crown. In 
Pennsylvania, Governor Keith and James Logan, secretary of the prov- 
ince, from 1719 to 1731, represented to the powers of England the neces- 
sity of securing the Western lands. Nothing was done, however, by that 
power save to take some diplomatic steps to secure the claims of Britain 
to this unexplored wilderness. 

England had from the outset claimed from the Atlantic to the Pacific, 
on the ground that the discovery of the seacoast and its possession was a 
discovery and possession of the country, and, as is well known, her grants 
to the colonies extended " from sea to sea." This was not all her claim. 
She had purchased from the Indian tribes large tracts' of land. This lat- 
ter was also a strong argument. As early as 1684, Lord H oward, Gov- 
ernor of Virginia, held a treaty with the six nations. These were the 
great Northern Confederacy, and comprised at first the Mohawks, Onei- 
das, Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senecas. Afterward the Tuscaroras were 
taken into the confederacy, and it became known as the Six Nations. 
They came under the protection of the mother country, and again in 
1701, they repeated the agreement, and in September, 1726, a formal deed 
was drawn up and signed by the chiefs. The validity of this claim has 
often been disputed, but never successfully. In 1744, a purchase was 
made at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, of certain lands within the " Colony of 
Virginia," for which the Indians received .£200 in gold and a like sum in 
goods, with a promise that, as settlements increased, more should be paid. 
The Commissioners from Virginia wereXJolonel Thomas Lee and Colonel 
William Beverly. As settlements extended, the promise of more pay was 
called to mind, and Mr. Conrad Weiseipvas sent across the mountains with 
presents to appease the savages. Col. '{Lee, and some Virginians accompa- 
nied him with the intention of sounding the Indians upon their feelings 
regarding , the English. They were not satisfied with their treatment, 
and plainly told the Commissioners why- The English did not desire the 
cultivation of the country, but the monopoly of the Indian trade. In 
1748, the Ohio Company was formed, and petitioned the king for a grant 
of land beyond the Alleghenies. This was granted, and the government 
of Virginia was ordered to grant to them a half million acres, two hun- 
dred thousand of which were to be located at once. Upon the 12th of 
June, 1749, 800,000 acres from the line of Canada north and west was 
made to the Loyal Company, and on the 29th of October, 1751, 100,000 
acres were given to the Greenbriar Company. All this time the French 
were not idle. They saw that, should the British gain a foothold in the 
West, especially upon the Ohio, they might not only prevent the French 


settling upon it, but in time would come to the lower posts and so gain 
possession of the whole country. Upon the 10th of May* 1774, Vaud- 
reuil, Governor of Canada and the French possessions, well knowing the 
consequences that must arise from allowing the English to build trading 
posts in the Northwest, seized some of their frontier posts, and to further 
secure the claim of the French to the West, he, in 1749, sent Louis Cel- 
eron with a party of soldiers to plant along the Ohio River, in the mounds 
and at the mouths of its principal tributaries, plates of lead, on which 
were inscribed the claims of France. These were heard of in 1752, and 
within the memory of residents now living along the " Oyo," as the 
beautiful river was called by the French. One of these plates was found 
with the inscription partly defaced. It bears date August 16, 1749, and 
a copy of the inscription with particular account of the discovery of the 
plate, was sent by DeWitt Clinton to the American Antiquarian Society, 
among whose journals it may now be found.* These measures did not, 
however, deter the English from going on with their explorations, and 
though neither party resorted to arms, yet the conflict was gathering, and 
it was only a question of time when the storm would burst upon the 
frontier settlements. In 1750, Christopher Gist was sent by the Ohio 
Company to examine its lands. He went to a village of the Twigtwees, 
on the Miami, about one hundred and fifty miles above its mouth. He 
afterward spoke of it as very populous." From there he went down 
the Ohio River nearly to the falls at the present City of Louisville, 
and in November he commenced a survey of the Company's lands. Dur- 
ing the Winter, General Andrew Lewis performed a similar work for the 
Greenbriar Company. Meanwhile the French were busy in preparing 
their forts for defense, and in opening roads, and also sent a small party 
of soldiers to keep the Ohio clear. This party, having heard of the Eng- 
lish post on the Miami River, early in 1652, assisted by the Ottawas and 
Chippewas, attacked it, and, after a severe battle, in which fourteen of 
the natives were killed and others wounded, captured the garrison. 
(They were probably garrisoned in a block house). The traders were 
carried away to Canada, and one account says several were burned. This 
fort or post was called by the English PickawiUany. A memorial of the 
king's ministers refers to it as " Pickawillanes, in the center of the terri- 
tory between the Ohio and the Wabash. The name is probably some ' 
variation of Pickaway or Picqua in 1773, written by Rev. David Jones 

* The following is a translation of the inscription on the plate: "In the year 1749. reign of Louis XV., 
Kin B of France we Celeron, commandant of a detachment by Monsieur the Marquis of Gallisonlere, com- 
mander-in-chief of New France, to establish tranquility in certain Indian villages of these cantons, have 
buried this plate at the confluence of the Toradakoin, this twenty-ninth of July, near the river Ohio, otherwise 
Beautiful Kiver as a monument of renewal of possession which we have taken of the said river, and all its 
tributaries- inasmuch as the preceding Kings of France have enjoyed it, and maintained it by their arms and 
treaties! especially by those of Kyswick, Utrecht, and Aix La Ohapelle." 


This was the first blood shed between the French and English, and 
occurred near the present City of Piqua, Ohio, or at least at a point about 
forty-seven miles north of Dayton. Each nation became now more inter- 
ested in the progress of events in the Northwest. The English deter- 
mined to purchase from the Indians a title to the lands they wished to 
occupy, and Messrs. Fry (afterward Commander-in-chief over Washing- 
ton at the commencement of the French War of 1775-1763), Lomax and 
Patton were sent in the Spring of 1752 to hold a conference with the 
natives at Logstown to learn what they objected to in the treaty of Lan- 
caster already noticed, and to settle all difficulties. On the 9th of June, 
these Commissioners met the red men at Logstown, a little village on the 
north bank of the Ohio, about seventeen miles below the site of Pitts- 
burgh. Here had been a trading point for many years, but it was aban- 
doned by the Indians in 1750. At first the Indians declined to recognize 
the treaty of Lancaster, but, the Commissioners taking aside Montour, 
the interpreter, who was a son of the famous Catharine Montour, and a 
chief among the six nations, induced him to use his influence in their 
favor. This he did, and upon the 13th of June they all united in signing 
a deed, confirming the Lancaster treaty in its full extent, consenting to a 
settlement of the southeast of the Ohio, and guaranteeing that it should 
not be disturbed by them. These were the means used .to obtain the first 
treaty with the Indians in the Ohio Valley. 

Meanwhile the powers beyond the sea were trying to out-manoeuvre 
each other, and were professing to be at peace. The English generally 
outwitted the Indians, and failed in many instances to. fulfill their con- 
tracts. They thereby gained the ill-will of the red men, and further 
increased the feeling by failing to provide them with arms and ammuni- 
tion. Said an old chief, at Easton, in 1758 : " The Indians on the Ohio 
left you because of your own fault. When we heard the French were 
coming, we asked you for help and arms, but we did not get them. The 
French came, they treated us kindly, and gained our affections. The 
Governor of Virginia settled on our lands for his own benefit, and, when 
we wanted help, forsook us." 

At the beginning of 1653, the English thought they had secured by 
title the lands in the West, but the French had quietly gathered cannon 
f and military stores to be in readiness for the expected blow. The Eng- 
lish made other attempts to ratify these existing treaties, but not until 
the Summer could the Indians be gathered together to discuss the plans 
of the French. They had sent messages to the French, warning them 
away ; but they replied that they intended to complete the chain of forts 
already begun, and would not abandon the field. 

Soon after this, no satisfaction being obtained from the Ohio regard- 


ing the positions and purposes of the French, Governor Dinwiddie of 
Virginia determined to send to them another messenger and learn from 
them, if possible, their intentions. For this purpose he selected a young 
man, a surveyor, who, at the early age of nineteen, had received the rank 
of major, and who was thoroughly posted regarding frontier life. This 
personage was no other than the illustrious George Washington, who then 
held considerable interest in Western lands. He was at this time just 
twenty-two years of ■age. Taking Gist as his guide, the two, accompanied 
by four servitors, set out on their perilous march.' They left Will's 
Creek on the 10th of November, 1753, and on the 22d reached the Monon- 
gahela, about ten miles above the fork. From there they went to 
Logstown, where Washington had a long conference with the chiefs of 
the Six Nations. From them he learned the condition of the French, and 
also heard of their determination not to come down the river till the fol- 
lowing Spring. The Indians were non-committal, as they were afraid to 
turn either way, and, as far as they could, desired to remain neutral. 
Washington, finding nothing could be done with them, went on^ to 
Venango, an old Indian town at the mouth of French Creek. Here the 
French had a fort, called Fort Machault. Through the rum and flattery 
of the French, he nearly lost all his Indian followers. Finding nothing 
of importance here, he pursued his way amid great privations, and on the 
11th of December reached the fort at the head of French Creek. Here 
he delivered Governor Dinwiddie's letter, received his answer, took his 
observations, and on the 16th set out upon his return journey with no one 
but Gist, his guide, and a few Indians who still remained true to him, 
notwithstanding the endeavors of the French to retain them. Their 
homeward journey was one of great peril and suffering from the cold, yet 
they reached home in safety on the 6th of January, 1754. 

From the letter of St. Pierre, commander of the French fort, sent by 
Washington to Governor Dinwiddie, it was learned that the French would 
not give up without a struggle. Active preparations were at once made 
in all the English colonies for the coming conflict, while the French 
finished the fort at Venango and strengthened their lines of fortifications, 
and gathered their forces to be in readiness. 

The Old Dominion was all alive. Virginia was the center of great 
activities ; volunteers were called for, and from all the neighboring 
colonies men rallied to the conflict, and everywhere along the Potomac 
men were enlisting under the Governor's proclamation — which promised 
two hundred thousand acres on the Ohio. Along this river they were 
gathering as far as Will's Creek, and far beyond this point, whither Trent 
had come for assistance for his little band of fortyone men, who were 


working away in hunger and want, to fortify that point at the fork of 
the Ohio, to which both parties were looking with deep interest. 

" The first birds of Spring filled the air with their song ; the swift 
river rolled by the Allegheny hillsides, swollen by the melting snows of 
Spring and the April showers. The leaves were appearing ; a few Indian 
scouts were seen, but no enemy seemed near at hand ; and all was so quiet, 
that Frazier, an old Indian scout and trader, who had been left by Trent 
in command, ventured to his home at the mouth of Turtle Creek, ten 
miles up the Montfngahela. But, though all was so quiet in that wilder- 
ness, keen eyes had seen the low intrenchment rising at the fork, and 
swift feet had borne the news of it up the river ; and upon the morning 
of the 17th of April, Ensign Ward, who then had charge of it, saw 
upon the Allegheny a sight that made his heart sink — sixty batteaux and 
three hundred canoes filled with men, and laden deep with cannon and 
stores. * * * That evening he supped with his captor, Contrecceur, 
and the next day he was bowed off by the Frenchman, and with his men 
and tools, marched up the Monongahela." 

The French and Indian war had begun. The treaty of Aix la 
Chapelle, in 1748, had left the 'boundaries between the French and 
English possessions unsettled, and the events already narrated show the 
French were determined to hold the country watered by the Mississippi 
and its tributaries ; while the English laid claims to the country by virtue 
of the discoveries of the Cabots, and claimed all the country from New- 
foundland to Florida, extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The 
first decisive blow had now been struck, and the first attempt of the 
English, through the Ohio Company, to occupy these lands, had resulted 
disastrously to them. The French and Indians immediately completed 
the fortifications begun at the Fork, which they had so easily captured, 
and when completed gave to the fort the name of DuQuesne. Washing- 
ton was at Will's Creek when the news of the capture of the fort arrived. 
He at once departed to recapture it. On his way he entrenched him- 
self at a place called the " Meadows," where he erected a fort called 
by him Fort Necessity. From there he surprised and captured a force of 
French and Indians marching against him, but was soon after attacked 
in his fort by a much superior force, and was obliged to yield on the 
morning of July 4th. He was allowed to return to Virginia. 

The English Government immediately planned four campaigns ; one 
against Fort DuQuesne ; one against Nova Scotia ; one against Fort 
Niagara, and one against Crown Point. These occurred during 1755--6, 
and were not successful in driving the French from their possessions. 
The expedition against Fort DuQuesne was led by the famous General 
Braddock, who, refusing to listen to the advice of Washington and those 


acquainted with Indian warfare, suffered such an inglorious defeat. This 
occurred on the morning of July 9th, and is generally known as the battle 
of Monongahela, or " Braddock's Defeat." The war continued with 
various vicissitudes through the years 1756-7 ; when, at the commence- 
ment of 1758, in accordance with the plans of William Pitt, then Secre- 
tary of State, afterwards Lord Chatham, active preparations were made to 
carry on the war. Three expeditions were planned for this year : one, 
under General Amherst, against Louisburg ; another, under AJbercrombie, 
against Fort Ticonderoga ; and a third, under General Forbes, against 
Fort DuQuesne. On the 26th of July, Louisburg surrendered after a 
desperate resistance of more than forty days, and the eastern part of the 
Canadian possessions fell into the hands of the British. Abercrombie 
captured Fort Frontenac, and when the expedition against Fort DuQuesne, 
of which Washington had the active command, arrived there, it was 
found in flames and deserted. The English at once took possession, 
rebuilt the fort, and in honor of their illustrious statesman, changed the 
name to Fort Pitt. 

The great object of the campaign of 1759, was the reduction of 
Canada. General Wolfe was to lay siege to Quebec ; Amherst was to 
reduce Ticonderoga and Crown Point, and General Prideaux was to 
capture Niagara. This latter place was taken in July, but the gallant 
Prideaux lost his life in the attempt. Amherst captured Ticonderoga 
and Crown Point without a blow ; and Wolfe, after making the memor- 
able ascent to the Plains of Abraham, on September 13th, defeated 
Montcalm, and on the 18th, the city capitulated. In this engagement 
Montcolm and Wolfe both lost their lives. De Levi, Montcalm's successor, 
marched to Sillery, three miles above the city, with the purpose of 
defeating the English, and there, on the 28th of the following April, was 
fought one of the bloodiest battles of the French and Indian War. It 
resulted in the defeat of the French, and the fall of the City of Montreal. 
The Governor signed a capitulation by which the whole of Canada was 
surrendered to the English. This practically concluded the war, but it 
was not until 1763 that the treaties of peace between France and England 
were signed. This was done on the 10th of February of that year, and 
under its provisions all the country east of the Mississippi and north of 
the Iberville River, in Louisiana, were ceded to England. At the same 
time Spain ceded Florida to Great Britain. 

On the 13th of September, 1760, Major Robert Rogers was sent 
from Montreal to take charge of Detroit, the only remaining French post 
in the territory. He arrived there on the 19th of November, and sum- 
moned the place to surrender. At first the commander of the post, 
Beletre : refused, but on the 29th, hearing of the continued defeat of the 


French arms, surrendered. Rogers remained there until December 23d 
under the personal protection of the celebrated chief, Pontiac, to whom, 
no doubt, he owed his safety. Pontiac had come here to inquire the 
purposes of the English in taking possession of the country. He was 
assured that they came simply to trade with the natives, and did not 
desire their country. This answer conciliated the savages, and did much 
to insure the safety of Rogers and his party during their stay, and while 
on their journey home. 

Rogers set out for Fort Pitt on December 23, and was just one 
month on the way. His route was from Detroit to Maumee, thence 
across the present State of Ohio directly to the fort. This was the com- 
mon trail of the Indians in their journeys from Sandusky to the fork of 
the Ohio. It went from Fort Sandusky, where Sandusky City now is, 
crossed the Huron river, then called Bald Eagle Creek, to " Mohickon 
John's Town" on Mohickon Creek, the northern branch of White 
Woman's River, and thence crossed to Beaver's Town, a Delaware town 
on what is now Sandy Creek. At Beaver's Town were probably one 
hundred and fifty warriors, and not less than three thousand acres of 
cleared land. From there the track went up Sandy Creek to and across 
Big Beaver, and up the Ohio to Logstown, thence on to the fork. 

The Northwest Territory was now entirely under the English rule. 
New settlements began to be .rapidly made, and the promise of a large 
trade was speedily manifested. Had the British carried out their promises 
with the natives none of those savage butcheries would have been perpe- 
trated, and the country would have been spared their recital. 

The renowned chief, Pontiac, was one of the leading spirits in these 
atrocities. We will now pause in our narrative, and notice the leading 
events in his life. The earliest authentic information regarding this 
noted Indian chief is learned from an account of an Indian trader named 
Alexander Henry, who, in the Spring of 1761, penetrated his domains as 
far as Missillimacnac. Pontiac was then a great friend of the French, 
but a bitter foe of the English, whom he considered as encroaching on his 
hunting grounds. Henry was obliged to disguise himself as a Canadian 
to insure safety, but was discovered by Pontiac, who bitterly reproached 
him and the English for their attempted subjugation of the West. He 
declared that no treaty had been made with them ; no presents sent 
them, and that he would resent any possession of the West by that nation. 
He was at the time about fifty years of age, tall and dignified, and was 
civil and military ruler of the Ottawas, Ojibwas and Pottawatamies. 

The Indians, from Lake Michigan to the borders of North Carolina, 
were united in this feeling, and at the time of the treaty of Paris, ratified 
February 10, 1763, a general conspiracy was formed to fall suddenly 





upon the frontier British posts, and with one blow strike every man dead. 
Pontiac was the marked leader in all this, and was the commander 
of the Chippewas, ^Ottawas, Wyandots, Miamis, Shawanese, Dela wares 
and Mingoes, who had, for the time, laid aside their local quarrels to unite 
in this enterprise. 

The blow came, as near as can now be ascertained, on May 7, 1763. 
Nine British posts fell, and the Indians drank, " scooped up in the hollow 
of joined hands," the blood of many a Briton. 

Pontiac's immediate field of action was the garrison at Detroit. ,i 
Here, however, the plans were frustrated by an Indian woman disclosing 
the plot the evening previous to his arrival. Everything was carried out, 
however, according to Pontiac's plans until the moment of action, when 
Major Gladwyn, the commander of the post, stepping to one of the Indian 
chiefs, suddenly drew aside his blanket and disclosed the concealed 
musket. Pontiac, though a brave man, turned pale and trembled. He 
saw his plan was known, and that the garrison were prepared. He 
endeavored to exculpate himself from any such intentions ; but the guilt I 
was evident, and he and his . followers were dismissed with a severe 
reprimand, and warned never to again enter the walls of the post. 

Pontiac at once laid siege to the fort, and until the treaty of peace 
between the British and the Western Indians, concluded in August, 1764, 
continued to harass and besiege the fortress. He organized a regular 
commissariat department, 'issued bills of credit written out on bark, 
which, to his credit, it may be stated, were punctually redeemed. At 
the conclusion of the treaty, in which it seems he took no part, he went 'i 
further south, living many years among the Illinois. 

He had given up all hope of saving his country and race. After a 
time he endeavored to unite the Illinois tribe and those about St. Louis 
in a war with the whites. His efforts were fruitless, and only ended in a 
quarrel between himself and some Kaskaskia Indians, one of whom soon 
afterwards killed him. His death was, however, avenged by the northern 
Indians, who nearly exterminated the Illinois in the wars which followed. 

Had it not been for the treachery of a few of his followers, his plan - 
for the extermination of the whites, a masterly one, would undoubtedly 
have been carried out. 

It was in the Spring of the year following Rogers' visit that Alex- 
ander Henry went to Missillimaenac, and everywhere found the strongest 
feelings against the English, who had not carried out their promises, and 
were doing nothing to conciliate the natives. Here he met the chief,' 
Pontiac, who, after conveying to him in a speech the idea that their 
French father would awake soon and utterly destroy his enemies, said : j 
«' Englishman, although you have conquered the French, you have not 


yet conquered us ! We are not your slaves ! These lakes, these woods, 
these mountains, were left us by our ancestors. They are our inheritance, 
and we will part with them to none. Your nation supposes that we, like 
the white people, can not live without bread and pork and beef. But you 
ought to know that He, the Great Spirit and Master of Life, has provided 
food for us upon these broad lakes and in these mountains." 

He then spoke of the fact that no treaty had been made with them, 
no presents sent them, and that he and his people were yet for war. 
Such were the feelings of the Northwestern Indians immediately after 
the English took possession of their country. These feelings were no 
doubt encouraged by the Canadians and French, who hoped that yet the 
French arms might prevail. The treaty of Paris, however, gave to the 
English the right to this vast domain, and active preparations were going 
on to occupy it and enjoy its trade and emoluments. 

In 1762, France, by a secret treaty, ceded Louisiana to Spain, to pre- 
vent it falling into the hands of the English, who were becoming masters 
of the entire West. The next year the treaty of Paris, signed at Fon- 
tainbleau, gave to the English the domain of the country in question. 
Twenty years after, by the treaty of peace between the United States 
and England, that part of Canada lying south and west of the Great 
Lakes, comprehending a large territory which is the subject of these 
sketches, was acknowledged to be a portion of the United States ; and 
twenty years still later, in 1803, Louisiana was ceded by Spain back to 
France, and by France sold to the United States. 

In the half century, from the building of the Fort of Crevecoeur by 
LaSalle, in 1680, up to the erection of Fort Chartres, many French set- 
tlements had been made in that quarter. These have already been 
noticed, being those at St. Vincent (Vincennes), Kohokia or Cahokia, 
Kaskaskia and Prairie du Rocher, on the American Bottom, a large tract 
of rich alluvial soil in Illinois, on the Mississippi, opposite the site of St. 


By the treaty of Paris, the regions east of the Mississippi, including 
all these and other towns of the Northwest, were given over to England; 
but they do not appear to have been taken possession of until 1765, when 
Captain Stirling, in the name of the Majesty of England, established him- 
self at Fort Chartres bearing with him the proclamation of General Gage, 
dated December 30, 1764, which promised religious freedom to all Cath- 
olics who worshiped here, and a right to leave the country with their 
effects if they wished, or to remain with the privileges of Englishmen. 
■ It was shortly after the occupancy of the West by the British that the 
war with Pontiac opened. It is already noticed in the sketch of that 
chieftain. By it many a Briton lost his life, and many a frontier settle- 


ment in its infancy ceased to exist. This was not ended until the year 
1764, when, failing to capture Detroit, Niagara and Fort Pitt, his confed- 
eracy became disheartened, and, receiving no aid from the French, Pon- 
tiac abandoned the enterprise and departed to the Illinois, among whom 
he afterward lost his life. 

As soon as these difficulties were definitely settled, settlers began 
rapidly to survey the country and prepare for occupation. During the 
year 1770, a number of persons from Virginia and other British provinces 
explored and marked out nearly all the valuable lands on the Mononga- 
hela and along the banks of the Ohio as far as the Little Kanawha. This 
was followed by another exploring expedition, in which George Washing- 
ton was a party. The latter, accompanied by Dr. Craik, Capt. Crawford 
and others, on the 20th of October, 1770, descended the Ohio from Pitts- 
burgh to the mouth of the Kanawha ; ascended that stream about fourteen 
miles, marked out several large tracts of land, shot several buffalo, which 
were then abundant in the Ohio Valley, and returned to the fort. 

Pittsburgh was at this time a trading post, about which was clus- 
tered a village of some twenty houses, inhabited by Indian traders. This 
same year,. Capt. Pittman visited Kaskaskia and its neighboring villages. 
He found there about sixty-five resident families, and at Cahokia only 
forty-five dwellings. At Fort Chartres was another small settlement, and 
at Detroit the garrison were quite prosperous and strong. For a year 
or two settlers continued to locate near some of these posts, generally 
Fort Pitt or Detroit, owing to the fears of the Indians, who still main- 
tained some feelings of hatred to the English. The trade from the posts 
was quite good, and from those in Illinois large quantities of pork and 
flour found their way to the New Orleans market. At this time the 
policy of the British Government was strongly opposed to the extension 
of the colonies west. In 1763, the King of England forbade, by royal 
proclamation, his colonial subjects from making a settlement beyond the 
sources of the rivers which fall into the Atlantic Ocean. At the instance 
of the Board of Trade, measures were taken to prevent the settlement 
without the limits prescribed, and to retain the commerce within easy 
reach of Great Britain. 

The commander-in-chief of the king's forces wrote in 1769 : " In the 
course of a few years necessity will compel the colonists, should they 
extend their settlements west, to provide manufactures of some kind for 
themselves, and when all connection upheld by commerce with the mother 
country ceases, an independency in their government will soon follow." 

In accordance with this policy, Gov. Gage issued a proclamation 
in 1772, commanding the inhabitants of Vincennes to abandon their set- 
tlements and join some of the Eastern English colonies. To this they 


strenuously objected, giving good reasons therefor, and were allowed to 
remain. The strong opposition to this policy of Great Britain led to its 
change', and to such a course as to gain the attachment of the French 
population. In December, 1773, influential citizens of Quebec petitioned 
the king for an extension of the boundary lines of that province, which 
was granted, and Parliament passed an act on June 2, 1774, extend- 
ing the boundary so as to include the territory lying within the present 
States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Michigan. 

In consequence of the liberal policy pursued by the British Govern- 
ment toward the French settlers in the West, they were disposed to favor 
that nation in the war which soon followed with the colonies ; but the 
early alliance between France and America soon brought them to the side 
of the war for independence. 

In 1774, Gov. Dunmore, of Virginia, began to encourage emigration 
to the Western lands. He appointed magistrates at Fort Pitt under the 
pretense that the fort was under the government of that commonwealth. 
One of these justices, John Connelly, who possessed a tract of land in the 
Ohio Valley, gathered a force of men and garrisoned the fort, calling it 
Fort Dunmore. This and other parties were formed to select sites for 
settlements, and often came in conflict with the Indians, who yet claimed 
portions of the valley, and several battles followed. These ended in the 
famous battle of Kanawha in July, where the Indians were defeated and 
driven across the Ohio. 

During the years 1775 and 1776, by the operations of land companies 
and the perseverance of individuals, several settlements were firmly estab- 
lished between the Alleghanies and the Ohio River, and western land 
speculators were busy in Illinois and on the Wabash. At a council held 
in Kaskaskia on July 5, 1773, an association of English traders, calling 
themselves the "Illinois Land Company," obtained from ten chiefs of the 
Kaskaskia, Cahokia and Peoria tribes two large tracts of land lying on 
the east side of the Mississippi River south of the Illinois. In 1775, a mer- 
chant from the Illinois Country, named Viviat, came to Post Vincennes 
as the agent of the association called the "Wabash Land Company." On 
the 8th of October he obtained from eleven Piankeshaw chiefs, a deed for 
37,497,600 acres of land. This deed was signed by the grantors, attested 
by a number of the inhabitants of Vincennes, and afterward recorded in 
the office of a notary public at Kaskaskia. This and other land com- 
panies had extensive schemes for the colonization of the West ; but all 
were frustrated by the breaking out of the Revolution. On the 20th of 
April, 1780, the two companies named consolidated under the name of the 
" United Illinois and Wabash Land Company." They afterward made 


strenuous efforts to have these grants sanctioned by Congress, but all 
signally failed. 

When the War of the Revolution commenced, Kentucky was an unor- 
ganized country, though there were several settlements within her borders. 

In Hutchins' Topography of Virginia, it is stated that, at that time 
" Kaskaskia contained 80 houses, and nearly 1,000 white and black in- 
habitants — the whites being a little the more numerous. Cahokia con- 
tains 50 houses and 300 white inhabitants, and 80 negroes. There were 
east of the Mississippi River, about the year 1771 " — when these observa- H 
tions were made — " 300 white men capable of bearing arms, and 230 

From 1775 until the expedition of Clark, nothing is recorded and 
nothing known of these settlements, save what is contained in a report 
made by a committee to Congress in June, 1778. From it the following 
extract is made : 

"Near the mouth of the River Kaskaskia, there is a village which 
appears to have contained nearly eighty families from the beginning of 
the late revolution. There are twelve families in a small village at la 
Prairie du Rochers, and near fifty families at the Kahokia Village. There 
are also four or five families at Fort Chartres and St. Philips, which is five 
miles further up the river." 

St. Louis had been settled in February, 1764, and at this time con- 
tained, including its neighboring towns, over six hundred whites and one 
hundred and fifty negroes. It must be remembered that all the country 
west of the Mississippi was now under French rule, and remained so until ' 
ceded again to Spain, its original owner, who afterwards sold it and the 
country including New Orleans to the United States. At Detroit there 
were, according to Capt. Carver, who was in the Northwest from 1766 to 
1768, more than one hundred houses, and the river was settled for more 
than twenty miles, although poorly cultivated — the people being engaged 
in the Indian trade. This old town has a history, which we will hera 

It is the oldest town in the Northwest, having been founded by : 
Antoine de Lamotte Cadillac, in 1701. It was laid out in the form of an 
oblong square, of two acres in length, and an acre and a half in width. ■'..\- 
As described by A. D. Frazer, who first visited it and became a permanent ' 
resident of the place, in 1778, it comprised within its limits that space ,. 
between Mr. Palmer's store (Conant Block) and Capt. Perkins' house 
(near the Arsenal building), and extended back as far as the public barnisf f 
and was bordered in front by the Detroit River. It was surrounded by " 
oak and cedar pickets, about fifteen feet long, set in the ground, and had 
four gates — east, west, north and south. Over the first three of these 


gates were block houses provided with four guns apiece, each a six- 
pounder. Two six-gun batteries were planted fronting the river and in a 
parallel direction with the block houses. There were four streets running 
east and west, the main street being twenty feet wide and the rest fifteen 
feet, while the four streets crossing these at right angles were from ten 
to fifteen feet in width. 

At the date spoken of by Mr. Frazer, there was no fort within the 
enclosure, but a citadel on the ground corresponding to the present 
northwest corner of Jefferson Avenue and Wayne Street. The citadel was 
inclosed by pickets, and within it were erected barracks of wood, two 
stories high, sufficient to contain ten officers, and also barracks sufficient 
to contain four hundred men, and a provision store built of brick. The 
citadel also contained a hospital and guard-house. The old town of 
Detroit, in 1778, contained about sixty houses, most of them one story, 
with a few a story and a half in height. They were all of logs, some 
hewn and some round. There was one building of splendid appearance, 
called the " King's Palace," two stories high, which stood near the east 
gate. It was built for Governor Hamilton, the first governor commissioned 
by the British. There were two guard-houses, one near the west gate and 
the other near the Government House. Each of the guards consisted of 
twenty-four men and a subaltern, who mounted regularly every morning 
between nine and ten o'clock, Each furnished four sentinels, who were 
relieved every two hours. There was also an officer of the day, who per- 
formed strict duty. Each of the gates was shut regularly at sunset ; 
even wicket gates were shut at nine o'clock, and all the keys were 
delivered into the hands of the commanding officer. They were opened 
in the morning at sunrise. No Indian or squaw was permitted to enter 
town with any weapon, such as a tomahawk or a knife. It was a stand- 
ing order that the Indians should deliver their arms and instruments of 
every kind before they were permitted to pass the sentinel, and they were 
restored to them on their return. No more than twenty-five Indians were 
allowed to enter the town at any one time, and they were admitted only 
at the east and west gates. At sundown the drums beat, and all the 
Indians were required to leave town instantly. There was a council house 
near the water side for the purpose of holding council with the Indians. 
The population of the town was about sixty families, in all about two 
hundred males and one hundred females. This town was destroyed by 
fire, all except one dwelling, in 1805. After which the present " new " 
town was laid out. 

On the breaking out of the Revolution, the British held every post of 
importance in the West. Kentucky was formed as a component part of 
Virginia, and the sturdy pioneers of the West, alive to their interests, 


and recognizing the great benefits of obtaining the control of the trade in 
this part of the New "World, held steadily to their purposes, and those 
within the commonwealth of Kentucky proceeded to exercise their 
civil privileges, by electing John Todd and Richard Gallaway, 
burgesses to represent them in the Assembly of the parent state. 
Early in September of that year (1777) the first court was held 
in Harrodsburg, and Col. Bowman, afterwards major, who had arrived 
in August, was made the commander of a militia organization which 
had been commenced the March previous. Thus the tree of loyalty 
was growing. The chief spirit in this far-out colony, who had represented 
her the year previous east of the mountains, was now meditating a move 
unequaled in its boldness. He had been watching the movements of the 
British throughout the Northwest, and understood their whole plan. Ht 
saw it was through their possession of the posts at Detroit, Vincennes, 
Kaskaskia, and other places, which would give them constant and easy 
access to the various Indian tribes in the Northwest, that the British 
intended to penetrate the country from the north and south, and annihi- 
late the frontier fortresses. This moving, energetic man was Colonel, 
afterwards General, George Rogers Clark. He knew the Indians were not 
unanimously in accord with the English, and he was convinced that, could 
the British be defeated and expelled from the Northwest, the natives 
might be easily awed into neutrality ; and by spies sent for the purpose, 
he satisfied himself that the enterprise against the Illinois settlements 
might easily succeed. Having convinced himself of the certainty of the 
project, he repaired to the Capital of Virginia, which place he reached on 
November 5th. While he was on his way, fortunately, on October 17th, 
Burgoyne had been defeated, and the spirits of the colonists greatly 
encouraged thereby. Patrick Henry was Governor of Virginia, and at 
once entered heartily into Clark's plans. The same plan had before been 
agitated in the Colonial Assemblies, but there was no one until Clark 
came who was sufficiently acquainted with the condition of affairs at the 
scene of action to be able to guide them. 

Clark, having satisfied the Virginia leaders of the feasibility of his 
plan, received, on the 2d of January, two sets of instructions — one secret, 
the other open — the latter authorized him to proceed to enlist seven 
companies to go to Kentucky, subject to his orders, and to serve three 
months from their arrival in the West. The secret order authorized him 
to arm these troops, to procure his powder and lead of General Hand 
at Pittsburgh, and to proceed at once to subjugate the country. 

With these instructions Clark repaired to Pittsburgh, choosing rather 
to raise his men west of the mountains, as he well knew all were needed 
in the colonies in the conflict there. He sent Col. W. B. Smith to Hoi- 


ston for the same purpose, but neither succeeded in raising the required 
number of men. The settlers in these parts were afraid to leave their 
own firesides exposed to a vigilant foe, and but few could be induced to 
join the proposed expedition. With three companies and several private 
volunteers, Clark at length commenced his descent of the Ohio, which he 
navigated as far as the Falls, where he took possession of and fortified 
Corn Island, a small island between the present Cities of Louisville, 
Kentucky, and New Albany, Indiana. Remains of this fortification may 
yet be found. At this place he appointed Col. Bowman to meet him 
with such recruits as had reached Kentucky by the southern route, and 
as many as could be spared from the station. Here he announced to 
the men their real destination. Having completed his arrangements, 
and chosen his party, he left a small garrison upon the island, and on the 
24th of June, during a total eclipse of the sun, which to them augured 
no good, and which fixes beyond dispute the date of starting, he with 
his chosen band, fell down the river. His plan was to go by water as 
far as Fort Massac or Massacre, and thence march direct to Kaskaskia. 
Here he intended to surprise the garrison, and after its capture go to 
Cahokia, then to Vincennes, and lastly to Detroit. Should he fail, he 
intended to march directly to the Mississippi River and cross it into the 
Spanish country. ■ Before his start he received two good items of infor- 
mation : one that the alliance had been formed between France and the 
United States ; and the other that the Indians throughout the Illinois 
country and the inhabitants, at the various frontier posts, had been led to 
believe by the British that the " Long Knives" or Virginians, were the 
most fierce, bloodthirsty and cruel savages that ever scalped a foe. With 
this impression on their minds, Clark saw that proper management would 
cause them to submit at once from fear, if surprised, and then from grati- 
tude would become friendly if treated with unexpected leniency. 

The march to Kaskaskia was accomplished through a hot July sun, 
and the town reached on the evening of July 4. He captured the fort 
near the village, and soon after the village itself by surprise, and without 
the loss of a single man or by killing any of the enemy. After sufficiently 
working upon the fears of the natives, Clark told them they were at per- 
fect liberty to worship as they pleased, and to take whichever side of the 
great conflict they would, also he would protect them from any bajbarity 
from British or Indian foe. This had the desired effect, and the inhab- 
itants, so unexpectedly and so gratefully surprised by the unlooked 
for turn of affairs, at once swore allegiance to the American arms, and 
when Clark desired to go to Cahokia on the 6th of July, they accom- 
panied him, and through their influence the inhabitants of the place 
surrendered, and gladly placed themselves under his protection. Thus 


the two important posts in Illinois passed from the hands of the English 
into the possession of Virginia. 

In the person of the priest at Kaskaskia, M. Gibault, Clark found a 
powerful ally and generous friend. Clark saw that, to retain possession 
of the Northwest and treat successfully with the Indians within its boun- 
daries, he must establish a government for the colonies he had taken. 
St. Vincent, the next important post to Detroit, remained yet to be taken 
before the Mississippi Valley was conquered. M. Gibault told him that 
he would alone, by persuasion, lead Vincennes to throw off its connection 
with England. Clark gladly accepted his offer, and on the 14th of July, 
in company with a fellow-townsman, M. Gibault started on his mission of 
peace, and on the 1st of August returned with the cheerful intelligence 
that the post on the " Oubache " had taken the oath of allegiance to 
the Old Dominion. During this interval, Clark established his courts, 
placed garrisons at Kaskaskia and Cahokia, successfully re-enlisted his 
men* sent word to have a fort, which proved the germ of Louisville, 
erected at the Falls of the Ohio, and dispatched Mr. Rocheblave, who 
had been commander at Kaskaskia, as a prisoner of war to Richmond. 
In October the County of Illinois was established by the Legislature 
of Virginia, John Todd appointed Lieutenant Colonel and Civil Governor, 
and in November General Clark and his men received the thanks of 
the Old Dominion through their Legislature. 

In a speech a few days afterward, Clark made known fully to the 
natives his plans, and at its close all came forward and swore alle- 
giance to the Long-Knives. While he was doing this Governor Hamilton, 
having made his various arrangements, had left Detroit and moved down 
the Wabash to Vincennes intending to operate from that point in reducing 
the Illinois posts, and then proceed on down to Kentucky and drive the 
rebels from the West. Gen. Clark had, on the return of M. Gibault, 
dispatched Captain Helm, of Fauquier County, Virginia, with an attend- 
ant named Henry, across the Illinois prairies to command the fort. 
Hamilton knew nothing of the capitulation of the post, and was greatly- 
surprised on his arrival to be confronted by Capt. Helm, who, standing at 
the entrance of the fort by a loaded cannon ready to fire upon his assail- 
ants, demanded upon what terms Hamilton demanded possession of tha 
fort. Being granted the rights of a prisoner of war, he surrendered to 
the British General, who could scarcely believe his eyes when he saw the 
forc"e in the garrison. 

Hamilton, not realizing the character of the men with whom he was 
contending, gave up his intended campaign for the Winter, sent his four 
hundred Indian warriors to prevent troops from coming down the Ohio, 


and to annoy the Americans in all ways, and sat quietly down to pass the 
Winter. Information of all these proceedings having reached Clark, he 
saw that immediate and decisive action was necessary, and that unless 
he captured Hamilton, Hamilton would capture him. Clark received the 
news on the 29th of January, 1779, and on February 4th, having suffi- 
ciently garrisoned Kaskaskia and Cahokia, he sent down the Mississippi 
a " battoe," as Major Bowman writes it, in order to ascend the Ohio and 
Wabash, and operate with the land forces gathering for the fray. 

On the next day, Clark, with his little force of one hundred and 
twenty men, set out for the post, and after incredible hard marching 
through much mud, the ground being thawed by the incessant spring 
rains, on the 22d reached the fort, and being joined by his " battoe,',' at 
once commenced the attack on the post. The aim of the American back- 
woodsman was unerring, and on the 24th the garrison surrendered to the 
intrepid boldness of Clark. The French were treated with great kind- 
ness, and gladly renewed their allegiance to Virginia. Hamilton was 
sent as a prisoner to Virginia, where he was kept in close confinement. 
During his command of the British frontier posts, he had offered prizes 
to the Indians for all the scalps of A mer i cans they would bring to him, 
and had earned in consequence thereof the title " Hair-buyer General," 
by which he was ever afterward known. 

Detroit was now without doubt within easy reach of the enterprising 
Virginian, could he but raise the necessary force. Governor Henry being 
apprised of this, promised him the needed reinforcement, and Clark con- 
cluded to wait until he could capture and sufficiently garrison the posts. 
Had Clark failed in this bold undertaking, and Hamilton succeeded in 
uniting the western Indians for the next Spring's campaign, the West 
would indeed have been swept from the Mississippi to the Allegheny 
Mountains, and the great blow struck, which had been contemplated from 
the commencement, by the British. 

" But for this small army of dripping, but fearless Virginians, the 
union of all the tribes from Georgia to Maine against the colonies might 
have been effected, and the whole current of our history changed." 

At this time some fears were entertained by the Colonial Govern- 
ments that the Indians in the North and Northwest were inclining to the 
British, and under the instructions of Washington, now Commander-in- 
Chief of the Colonial army, and so bravely fighting for American inde- 
pendence, armed forces were sent against the Six Nations, and upon the 
Ohio frontier, Col. Bowman, acting under the same general's orders, 
marched against Indians within the present limits of that State. These 
expeditions were in the main successful, and the Indians were compelled 
to sue for peace. 


During this same year (1779) the famous " Land Laws" of Virginia 
were passed. The passage of these laws was of more consequence to the 
pioneers of Kentucky and the Northwest than the gaining of a few Indian 
conflicts. These laws confirmed in main all grants made, and guaranteed 
to all actual settlers their rights and privileges. After providing for the 
settlers, the laws provided for selling the balance of the public lands at 
forty cents per acre. To carry the Land Laws into effect, the Legislature 
sent four Virginians westward to attend to the various claims, over many 
of which great confusion prevailed concerning, their validity. These 
gentlemen opened their court on October 13, 1779, at St. Asaphs, and 
continued until April 26, 1780, when they adjourned, having decided 
three thousand claims. They were succeeded by the surveyor, who 
came in the person of Mr. George May, and assumed his duties on the 
10th day of the month whose name he bore. With the opening of the 
next year (1780) the troubles concerning the navigation of the Missis- 
sippi commenced. The Spanish Government exacted such measures in 
relation to its trade as to cause the overtures made to the United States 
to be rejected. The American Government considered they had a right 
to navigate its channel. To enforce their claims, a fort was erected below 
the mouth of the Ohio on the Kentucky side of the river. The settle- 
ments in Kentucky were being rapidly filled by emigrants. It was dur- 
ing this year that the first seminary of learning was established in the 
West in this young and enterprising Commonwealth. 

The settlers here did not look upon the building of this fort in a 
friendly manner, as it aroused the hostility of the Indians. Spain had 
been friendly to the Colonies during their struggle for independence, 
and though for a while this friendship appeared in danger from the 
refusal of the free navigation of the river, yet it was finally settled to the 
satisfaction of both nations. 

The Winter of 1779-80 was one of the most unusually severe ones 
ever experienced in the West. The Indians always referred to it as the 
"Great Cold." Numbers of wild animals perished, and not a few 
pioneers lost their lives. The following Summer a party of Canadians 
and Indians attacked St. Louis, and attempted to take possession of it 
in consequence of the friendly disposition of Spain to the revolting 
colonies. They met with such a determined resistance on the part of the 
inhabitants, even the women taking part in the battle, that they were 
compelled to abandon the contest. They also made an attack on the 
settlements in Kentucky, but, becoming alarmed in some unaccountable 
manner, they fled the country in great haste. 

About this time arose the question in the Colonial Congress con- 
cerning the western lands claimed by Virginia, New York, Massachusetts; 


and Connecticut. The agitation concerning this subject finally led New 
York, on the 19th of February, 1780, to pass a law giving to the dele- 
gates of that State in Congress the power to cede her western lands for 
the benefit of the United States. This law was laid before Congress 
during the next month, but no steps were taken concerning it until Sep- 
tember 6th, when a resolution passed that body calling upon the States 
claiming western lands to release their claims in favor of the whole body. 
This basis formed the union, and was the first after all of those legislative 
measures which resulted in the creation of the States of Ohio, Indiana, 
Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. In December of the same 
year, the plan of conquering Detroit again arose. The conquest might 
have easily been effected by Clark had the necessary aid been furnished 
him. Nothing decisive was done, yet the heads of the Government knew 
that the safety of the Northwest from British invasion lay in ]the capture 
and retention of that important post, the only unconquered one in the 

Before the close of the year, Kentucky was divided into the Coun- 
ties of Lincoln, Fayette and Jefferson, and the act establishing the Town 
of Louisville was passed. This same year is also noted in the annals of 
American history as the year in which occurred Arnold's treason to the 
United States. 

Virginia, in accordance with the resolution of Congress, on the 2d 
day of January, 1781, agreed to yield her western lands to the United 
States upon certain conditions, which Congress would not accede to, and 
the Act of Cession, on the part of the Old Dominion, failed, nor was 
anything farther done until 1783. During all that time the Colonies 
were bugily engaged in the struggle with the mother country, and in 
consequence thereof but little heed was given to the western settlements. 
Upon the 16th of April, 1781, the first birth north of the Ohio River of 
American parentage occurred, being that of Mary Heckewelder, daughter 
of the widely known Moravian missionary, whose band of Christian 
Indians suffered in after years a horrible massacre by the hands of the 
frontier settlers, who had been exasperated by the murder of several of 
their neighbors, and in their rage committed, without regard to humanity, 
a deed which forever afterwards cast a shade of shame upon their lives. 
For this and kindred outrages on the part of the whites, the Indians 
committed many deeds of cruelty which darken the years of 1771 and 
1772 in the history of the Northwest. 

During the year 1782 a number of battles among the Indians and 
frontiersmen occurred, and between the Moravian Indians and the Wyan- 
dots. In these, horrible acts of cruelty were practised on the captives, 
manv of such dark deeds transpiring under the leadership of the notorious 


frontier outlaw, Simon Girty, whose name, as well as those of his brothers, 
was a terror to women and children. These occurred chiefly in the Ohio 
valleys. Cotemporary with them were several engagements in Kentucky, 
in which the famous Daniel Boone engaged, and who, often by his skill 
and knowledge of Indian warfare, saved the outposts from cruel destruc- 


tion. By the close of the year victory had perched upon the American 
banner, and on the 30th of November, provisional articles of peace had 
been arranged between the Commissioners of England and her uncon- 
querable colonies. Cornwallis had been defeated on the 19th of October 
preceding, and the liberty of America was assured. On the 19th of 
April following, the anniversary of the battle of Lexington, peace was 


proclaimed to the army of the United States, and on the 3d of the next 
September, the definite treaty which ended our revolutionary struggle 
■was concluded. By the terms of that treaty, the boundaries of the West 
were as follows : On the north the line was to extend along the center of 
the Great Lakes ; from the western point of Lake Superior to Long Lake ; 
thence to the Lake of the Woods ; thence to the head of the Mississippi 
River ; down its center to the 31st parallel of latitude, then on that line 
east to the head of the Appalachicola River ; down its center to its junc- 
tion with the Flint ; thence straight to the head of St. Mary's River, and 
thence down along its center to the Atlantic Ocean. 

Following the cessation of hostilities with England, several posts 
were still occupied by the British in the North and West. Among these 
was Detroit, still in the hands of the enemy. Numerous engagements 
with the Indians throughout Ohio and Indiana occurred, upon whose 
lands adventurous whites would settle ere the title had been acquired by 
the proper treaty. 

To remedy this latter evil, Congress appointed commissioners to 
treat with the natives and purchase their lands, and prohibited the set- 
tlement of the territory until this could be done. Before the close of the 
year another attempt was made to capture Detroit, which was, however, 
not pushed, and Virginia, no longer feeling the interest in the Northwest 
she had formerly done, withdrew her troops, having on the 20th of 
December preceding authorized the whole of her possessions to be deeded 
to the United States. This was done on the 1st of March following, and 
the Northwest Territory passed from the control of the Old Dominion. 
To Gen. Clark and his soldiers, however, she gave a tract of one hundred 
and fifty thousand acres of land, to be situated any where north of the 
Ohio wherever they chose to locate them. They selected the region 
opposite the falls of the Ohio, where is now the dilapidated village of 
■ Clarksville, about midway between the Cities of New Albany and Jeffer- 
sonville, Indiana. 

While the frontier remained thus, and Gen. Haldimand at Detroit 
refused to evacuate alleging that he had no orders from his King to do 
so, settlers were rapidly gathering about the inland forts. In the Spring 
of 1784, Pittsburgh was regularly laid out, and from the journal of Arthur 
Lee, who passed through the town soon after on his way to the Indian 
council at Fort Mcintosh, we suppose it was not very prepossessing in 
appearance. He says : 

" Pittsburgh is inhabited almost entirely by Scots and Irish, who 
live in paltry log houses, and are as dirty as if in the north of Ireland or 
even Scotland. There is a great deal of trade carried on, the goods being 
bought at the vast expense of forty-five shillings per pound from Phila- 


delphia and Baltimore. They take in the shops flour, wheat, skins and 
money. There are in the town four attorneys, two doctors, and not a 

( priest of any persuasion, nor church nor chapel." 

Kentucky at this time contained thirty thousand inhabitants, and 
was beginning to discuss measures for a separation from Virginia. A 
land office was opened at Louisville, and measures were adopted to take 
defensive precaution against the Indians who were yet, in some instances, 
incited to deeds of violence by the British. Before the close of this year, 
1784, the military claimants of land began to occupy them, although no 
entries were recorded until 1787. 

The Indian title to the Northwest was not yet extinguished. They 
held large tracts of lands, and in order to prevent bloodshed Congress 
adopted means for treaties with the original owners and provided for the 
surveys of the lands gained thereby, as well as for those north of the 
Ohio, now in its possession. On January 31, 1786, a treaty was made 
with the Wabash Indians. The treaty of Fort Stanwix had been made 
in 1784. That at Fort Mcintosh in 1785, and through these much land 
was gained. The Wabash Indians, however, afterward refused to comply 
with the provisions of the treaty made with them, and in order to compel 
their adherence to its provisions, force was used. During the year 1786, 
the free navigation of the Mississippi came Up in Congress, and caused 
various discussions, which resulted in no definite action, only serving to 
excite speculation in regard to the western lands. Congress had promised 
bounties of land to the soldiers of the Revolution, but owing to the 
unsettled condition of affairs along the Mississippi respecting its naviga- 
tion, and the trade of the Northwest, that body had, in 1783, declared 
its inability to fulfill these promises until a treaty could be concluded 
between the two Governments. Before the close of the year 1786, how- 
ever, it was able, through the treaties with the Indians, to allow some 
grants and the settlement thereon, and on the 14th of September Con- 
necticut ceded to the General Government the tract of land known as 
the " Connecticut Reserve," and before the close of the following year a 
large tract of land north of the Ohio was sold to a company, who at once 
took measures to settle it. By the provisions of this grant, the company 
were to pay the United States one dollar per acre, subject to a deduction 
of one-third for bad lands and other contingencies. They received 

, 750,000 acres, bounded on the south by the Ohio, on the east by the 
seventh range of townships, on the west by the sixteenth range, and on 
the north by a line so drawn as to make the grant complete without 
the reservations. In addition to this, Congress afterward granted 100,000 
acres to actual settlers, and 214,285 acres as army bounties under the 
resolutions of 1789 and 1790. 



While Dr. Cutler, one of the agents of the company, was pressing 
its claims before Congress, that body was bringing into form an ordinance 
for the political and social organization of this Territory. When the 
cession was made by Virginia, in 1784, a plan was offered, but rejected. 
A motion had been made to strike from the proposed plan the prohibition 
of slavery, which prevailed. The plan was then discussed and altered, 
and finally passed unanimously, with the exception of South Carolina. 
By this proposition, the Territory was to have been divided into states 


by parallels and meridian lines. This, it was thought, would make ten 
states, which were to have been named as follows — beginning at the 
northwest corner and going southwardly : Sylvania, Michigania, Cher- 
sonesus, Assenisipia, Metropotamia, Illenoia, Saratoga, Washington, Poly- 
potamia and Pelisipia. 

There was a more serious objection to this plan than its category of 
names,— the boundaries. The root of the difficulty was in the resolu- 
tion of Congress passed in October, 1780, which fixed the boundaries 
of the ceded lands to be from one hundred to one hundred and fifty miles 



square. These resolutions being presented to the Legislatures of Vir- 
ginia and Massachusetts, they desired a change, and in July, 1786, the- 
subject was taken up in Congress, and changed to favor a division into 
not more than five states, and not less than three. This was approved by 
the State Legislature of Virginia. The subject of the Government was 
again taken up by Congress in 1786, and discussed throughout that year 
and until July, 1787, when the famous "Compact of 1787" was passed, 
and the foundation of the government of the Northwest laid. This com- 
pact is fully discussed and explained in the history of Illinois in this book, 
and to it the reader is referred. 

The passage of this act and the grant to the New England Company 
was soon followed by an application to the Government by John Cleves 
Symmes, of New Jersey, for a grant of the land between the Miamis. 
This gentleman had visited these lands soon after the treaty of 1786, and, 
being greatly pleased with them, offered similar terms to those given to the 
New England Company. The petition was referred to the Treasury 
Board with power to act, and a contract was concluded the following 
year. During, the Autumn the directors of the New England Company 
were preparing to occupy their grant the following Spring, and upon the 
23d of November made arrangements for a party of forty-seven men, 
under the superintendency of Gen. Rufus Putnam, to set forward. Six 
boat-builders were to leave'at once, and on the first of January the sur- 
veyors and their assistants, twenty-six in number, were to meet at Hart- 
ford and proceed on their journey westward ; the remainder to follow as 
soon as possible. Congress, in the meantime, upon the 3d of October, 
had ordered seven hundred troops for defense of the western settlers, and 
to prevent unauthorized intrusions ; and two days later appointed Arthur 
St. Clair Governor of the Territory of the Northwest. 


The civil organization of the Northwest Territory was now com- 
plete, and notwithstanding the uncertainty of Indian affairs, settlers from 
the East began to come into the country rapidly. The New England 
Company sent their men during the Winter of 1787-8 pressing on over 
the Alleghenies by the old Indian path which had been opened into 
Braddock's road, and which has since been made a national turnpike 
from Cumberland westward. Through the weary winter days they toiled 
on, and by April were all gathered on the Yohiogany, where boats had 
been built, and at once started for the Muskingum. Here they arrived 
on the 7th of that month, and unless the Moravian missionaries be regarded 
as the pioneers of Ohio, this little band can justly claim that honor. 



Gen. St. Clair, the appointed Governor of the Northwest, not having 
yet arrived, a set of laws were passed, written out, and published by 
being nailed to a tree in the embryo town, and Jonathan Meigs appointed 
to administer them. 

Washington in writing of this, the first American settlement in the 
Northwest, said : " No colony in America was ever settled under 
such favorable auspices as that which has just commenced at Muskingum. 
Information, property and strength will be its characteristics. I know 
many of its settlers personally, and there never were men better calcu- 
lated to promote the welfare of such a community." 


On the 2d of July a meeting of the directors and agents was held 
on the banks of the Muskingum, " fon the purpose of naming the new- 
born city and its squares." As yet the settlement was known as the 
"Muskingum," but that was now changed to the name Marietta, in honor 
of Marie Antoinette. The square upon which the block -houses stood 
was called "Campus Martius;" square number 19, " Oapitolium ;" square 
number 61, "Cecilia;" and the great road through the covert way, " Sacra 
Via.'''' Two days after, an oration was delivered by James M. Varnum, 
who with S. H. Parsons and John Armstrong had been appointed to the 
judicial bench of the territory on the 16th of October, 1787. On July 9, 
Gov. St. Clair arrived, and the colony began to assume form. The act 
of 1787 provided two district grades of government for the Northwest, 


under the first of which the whole power was invested in the hands of a 
governor and three district judges. This was immediately formed upon 
the Governor's arrival, and the first laws of the colony passed on the 25th 
of July. These provided for the organization of the militia, and on the 
next day appeared the Governor's proclamation, erecting all that country 
that had been ceded by the Indians east of the Scioto River into the 
County of Washington. From that time forward, notwithstanding the 
doubts yet existing as to the Indians, all Marietta prospered, and on the 
2d of September the first court of the territory was held with imposing 

The emigration westward at this time was very great. The com- 
mander at Fort Harmer, at the mouth of the Muskingum, reported four 
thousand five hundred persons as having passed that post between Feb- 
ruary and June, 1788 — many of whom would have purchased of the 
"Associates," as the New England Company was called, had they been 
ready to receive them. 

On the 26th of November, 1787, Symmes issued a pamphlet stating 
the terms of his contract and the plan of sale he intended to adopt. In 
January, 1788, Matthias Denman, of New Jersey, took an active interest 
in Symmes' purchase, and located among other tracts the sections upon 
which Cincinnati has been built; Retaining one-third of this locality, he 
sold the other two-thirds to Robert Patterson and John Filson, and the 
three, about August, commenced to lay out a town on the spot, which 
was designated as being opposite Licking River, to the mouth of which 
they proposed to have a road cut from Lexington. The naming of the 
town is thus narrated in the "Western Annals " : — " Mr. Filson, who had 
been a schoolmaster, was appointed to name the town, and, in respect to 
its situation, and as if with a prophetic perception of the mixed race that 
were to inhabit it in after days, he named it Losantiville, which, being 
interpreted, means : ville, the town ; anti, against or opposite to ; os, the 
mouth ; L. of Licking." 

Meanwhile, in July, Symmes got thirty persons and eight four-horse 
teams under way for the West. These reached Limestone (now Mays- 
ville) in September, where were several persons from Redstone. Here 
Mr. Symmes tried to found a settlement, but the great freshet of 1789 
caused the " Point," as it was and is yet called, to be fifteen feet under 
water, and the settlement to be abandoned. The little band of settlers 
removed to the mouth of the Miami. Before Symmes and his colony left 
the " Point," two settlements had been made on his purchase. The first 
was by Mr. Stiltes, the original projector of the whole plan, who, with a 
colony of Redstone people, had located at the mouth of the Miami, 
whither Symmes went with his Maysville colony. Here a clearing had 


been made by the Indians owing to the great fertility of the soil. Mr. 
Stiltes with his colony came to this place on the 18th of November, 1788, 
with twenty-six persons, and, building a block-house, prepared to remain 
through the Winter. They named the settlement Columbia. Here they 
were kindly treated by the Indians, but suffered greatly from the flood 
of 1789. 

On the 4th of March, 1789, the Constitution of the United States 
went into operation, and on April 30, George Washington was inaug- 
urated President of the American people, and during the next Summer, 
an Indian war was commenced by the tribes north of the Ohio. The 
President at first used pacific means ; but these failing, he sent General 
Harmer against the hostile tribes. He destroyed several villages, but 


was defeated in two battles, near the present City of Fort Wayne, 
Indiana. From this time till the close of 1795, the principal events were 
the wars with the various Indian tribes. In 1796, General St. Clair 
was appointed in command, and marched against the Indians ; but while 
he was encamped on a stream, the St. Mary, a branch of the Maumee, 
he was attacked and defeated with the loss of six hundred men. 

General Wayne was now sent against the savages. In August, 1794, 
he met them near the rapids of the Maumee, and gained a complete 
victory. This success, followed by vigorous measures, compelled the 
Indians to sue for peace, and on the 30th of July, the following year, the 
treaty of Greenville was signed by the principal chiefs, by which a large 
tract of country was ceded to the United States. 

Before proceeding in our narrative, we will pause to notice Fort 
Washington, erected in the early part of this war on the site of Cincinnati. 
Nearly all of the great cities of the Northwest, and indeed of the 


whole country, have had their nuclei in those rude pioneer structures, 
known as forts or stockades. Thus Forts Dearborn, Washington, Pon- 
chartrain, mark the original sites of the now proud Cities of Chicago, 
Cincinnati and Detroit. So of most of the flourishing cities east and west 
of the Mississippi. Fort Washington, erected by Doughty in 1790, was a 
rude but highly interesting structure. It was composed of a number of 
strongly-built hewed log cabins. Those designed for soldiers' barracks 
were a story and a half high, while those composing the officers quarters 
were more imposing and more conveniently arranged and furnished. 
The whole were so placed as to form a hollow square, enclosing about an 
acre of ground, with a block house at each of the four -angles. 

The logs for the construction of this fort were cut from the ground 
upon which it was erected. It stood between Third and Fourth Streets 
of the present city (Cincinnati) extending east of Eastern Row, now 
Broadway, which was then a narrow alley, and the eastern boundary of 
of the town as it was originally laid out. On the bank of the river, 
immediately in front of the fort, was an appendage of the fort, called the 
Artificer's Yard. It contained about two acres of ground, enclosed by 
small contiguous buildings, occupied by workshops and quarters of 
laborers. Within this enclosure there was a large two-story frame house, 
familiarly called the " Yellow House," built for the accommodation of 
the Quartermaster General. For many years this was the best finished 
and most commodious edifice in the Queen City. Fort Washington was 
for some time the headquarters of both the civil and military governments 
of the Northwestern Territory. 

Following the consummation of the treaty various gigantic land spec- 
ulations were entered into by different persons, who hoped to obtain 
from the Indians in Michigan and northern Indiana, large tracts of lands. 
These were generally discovered in time to prevent the outrageous 
schemes from being carried out, and from involving the settlers in war. 
On October 27, 1795, the treaty between the United States and Spain 
was signed, whereby the free navigation of the Mississippi was secured. 

No sooner had the treaty of 1795 been ratified than settlements began 
to pour rapidly into the West. The great event of the year 1796 was the 
occupation of that part of the Northwest including Michigan, which was 
this year, under the provisions of the treaty, evacuated by the British 
forces. The United States, owing to certain conditions, did not feel 
justified in addressing the authorities in Canada in relation to Detroit 
and other frontier posts. When at last the British authorities were 
called to give them up, they at once complied, and General Wayne, who 
had done so much to preserve the frontier settlements, and who, before 
the year's close, sickened and died near Erie, transferred his head- 


quarters to the neighborhood of the lakes, where a county named after 
him was formed, which included the northwest of Ohio, all of Michigan, 
and the northeast of Indiana. During this same year settlements were 
formed at the present City of Chillicothe, along the Miami from Middle- 
town to Piqua, while in the more distant West, settlers and speculators 
began to appear in great numbers. In September, the City of Cleveland 
was laid out, and during the Summer and Autumn, Samuel Jackson and 
Jonathan Sharpless erected the first manufactory of paper — the " Red- 
stone Paper Mill" — in the West. St. Louis contained some seventy 
houses, and Detroit over three hundred, and along the river, contiguous 
to it, were more than three thousand inhabitants, mostly French Canadians, 
Indians and half-breeds, scarcely any Americans venturing yet into that 
part of the Northwest. 

The election of representatives for the territory had taken place, 
and on the 4th of February, 1799, they convened at Losantiville — now 
known as Cincinnati, having been named so by Gov. St. Clair, and 
considered the capital of the Territory — to nominate persons from whom 
the members of the Legislature were to be chosen in accordance with 
a previous ordinance. This nomination being made, the Assembly 
adjourned until the 16th of the following September. From those named 
the President selected as members of the council, Henry Vandenburg, 
of Vincennes, Robert Oliver, of Marietta, James Findlay and Jacob 
Burnett, of Cincinnati, and David Vance, of Vanceville. On the 16th 
of September the Territorial Legislature met, and on the 24th the two 
houses were duly organized, Henry Vandenburg being elected President 
of the Council. 

The message of Gov. St. Clair was addressed to the Legislature 
September 20th, and on October 13th that body elected as a delegate to 
Congress Gen. Wm. Henry Harrison, who received eleven of the votes 
cast, being a majority of one over his opponent, Arthur St. Clair, son of 
Gen. St. Clair. 

The whole number of acts passed at this session, and approved by 
the Governor, were thirty-seven — eleven others were passed, but received 
his veto. The most important of those passed related to the militia, to 
the administration, and to taxation. On the 19th of December this pro- 
tracted session of the first Legislature in the West was closed, and on the 
30th of December the President nominated Charles Willing Bryd to the 
office of Secretary of the Territory vice Wm. Henry Harrison, elected to 
Congress. The Senate oonfirmed his nomination the next day. 



The increased emigration to the Northwest, the extent of the domain, 
and the inconvenient modes of travel, made it very difficult to conduct 
the ordinary operations of government, and rendered the efficient action 
of courts almost impossible. To remedy this, it was deemed advisable to 
divide the territory for civil purposes. Congress, in 1800, appointed a 
committee to examine the question and report some means for its solution. 
This committee, on the 3d of JMarch, reported that : 

" In the three western countries there has been but one court having 
cognizance of crimes, in five years, and the immunity which offenders 
experience attracts, as to an asylum, the most vile and abandoned crim- 
inals, and at the same time deters useful citizens from making settlements 
in such society. The extreme necessity of judiciary attention and assist- 
ance is experienced in civil as well as in criminal eases. * * * * To 
minister a remedy to these and other evils, it occurs to this committee 
that it is expedient that a division of said territory into two distinct and 
separate governments should be made ; and that such division be made 
by a line beginning at the mouth of the Great Miami River, running 
directly north until it intersects the boundary between the United States 
and Canada." 

The report was accepted by Congress, and, in accordance with its 
suggestions, that body passed an Act extinguishing the Northwest Terri- 
tory, which Act was approved May 7. Among its provisions were these : 

" That from and after July 4 next, all that part of the Territory of 
the United States northwest of the Ohio River, which lies to the westward 
of a line beginning at a point on the Ohio, opposite to the mouth of the 
Kentucky River, and running thence to Fort Recovery, and thence north 
until it shall intersect the territorial line between the United States and 
Canada, shall, for the purpose of temporary government, constitute a 
separate territory, and be called the Indiana Territory." 

After providing for the exercise of the civil and criminal powers of 
the territories, and other provisions, the Act further provides : 

" That until it shall otherwise be ordered by the Legislatures of the 
said Territories, respectively, Chillicothe on the Scioto River shall be the 
seat of government of the Territory of the United States northwest of the 
Ohio River ; and that St. Vincennes on the Wabash River shall be the 
seat of government for the Indiana Territory." 

Gen. Wm. Henry Harrison was appointed Governor of the Indiana 
Territory, and entered upon his duties about a year later. Connecticut 
also about this time released her claims to the reserve, and in March a law 


was passed accepting this cession. Settlements had been made upon 
thirty-five of the townships in the reserve, mills had been built, and seven 
hundred miles of road cut in various directions. On the 3d of November 
the General Assembly met at Chillicothe. Near the close of the year, 
the first missionary of the Connecticut Reserve came, who found no 
township containing more than eleven families. It was upon the first of 
October that the secret treaty had been made between Napoleon and the 
King of Spain, whereby the latter agreed to cede to Srance the province 
of Louisiana. 

In January, 1802, the Assembly of the Northwestern Territory char- 
tered the college at Athens. From the earliest dawn of the western 
colonies, education was promptly provided for, and as early as 1787, 
newspapers were issued from Pittsburgh and Kentucky, and largely read 
throughout the frontier settlements. Before the close of this year, the 
Congress of the United States granted to the citizens of the Northwestern 
territory the formation of a State government. One of the provisions of 
the "compact of 1787" provided that whenever the number of inhabit- 
ants within prescribed limits exceeded 45,000, they should be entitled to 
a separate government. The prescribed limits of Ohio contained, from a 
census taken to ascertain the legality of the act, more than that number, 
and on the 30th of April, 1802, Congress passed the act defining its limits, 
and on the 29th of November the Constitution of the new State of Ohio, 
so named from the beautiful river forming its southern boundary, came 
into existence. The exact limits of Lake Michigan were not then known, 
but the territory now included within the State of Michigan was wholly 
within the territory of Indiana. 

Gen. Harrison, while residing at Vincennes, made several treaties 
with the Indians, thereby gaining large tracts of lands. The next year is 
' memorable in the history of the West for the purchase of Louisiana from 
France by the United States for #15,000,000. , Thus by a peaceful mode, 
the domain of the United States was extended over a large tract of 
country west of the Mississippi, and was for a time under the jurisdiction 
of the Northwest government, and, as has been mentioned in the early 
part of this narrative, was called the '^New Northwest." The limits 
of this history will not allow a description of its territory. The same year 
large grants of land were obtained from the Indians, and the House of 
Representatives of the new State of Ohio signed a bill respecting the 
College Township in the district of Cincinnati. 

Before the close of the year, Gen. Harrison obtained additional 
grants of lands from the various Indian nations in Indiana and the present 
limits of Illinois, and on the 18th of August, 1804, completed a treaty at 
St. Louis, whereby over 51,000,000 acres of lands were obtained from the 


aborigines. Measures were also taken to learn the condition of affairs in 
and about Detroit. 

C. Jouett, the Indian agent in Michigan, still a part of Indiana Terri- 
tory, reported as follows upon the condition of matters at that post : 

" The Town of Detroit. — The charter, which is for fifteen miles 
square, was granted in the time of Louis XIV. of France, and is now, 
from the best information I have been able to get, at Quebec. Of those 
two hundred and tjventy-five acres, only four are occupied by the town 
and Fort Lenault. The remainder is a common, except twenty-four 
acres, which were added twenty years ago to a farm belonging to Wm. 
Macomb. * * * A stockade incloses the town, fort and citadel. The 
pickets, as well as the public houses, are in a state of gradual decay. The 
streets are narrow, straight and regular, and intersect each other at right 
angles. The houses are, for the most part, low and inelegant." 

During this year, Congress granted a township of land for the sup- 
port of a college, and began to offer inducements for settlers in these 
wilds, and the country now comprising the State of Michigan began to 
fill rapidly with settlers along its southern borders. This same year, also, 
a law was passed organizing the Southwest Territory, dividing it into two 
portions, the Territory of New Orleans, which city was made the seat of 
government, and the District of Louisiana, which was annexed to the 
domain of Gen. Harrison. 

On the 11th of January, 1805, the Territory of Michigan was formed, 
Wm. Hull was appointed governor, with headquarters at Detroit, the 
change to take effect on June 30. On the 11th of that month, a fire 
occurred at Detroit, which destroyed almost every building in the place. 
When the officers of the new territory reached the post, they found it in 
ruins, and the inhabitants scattered throughout the country. Rebuild- 
ing, however, soon commenced, and ere long the town contained more 
houses than before the fire, and many of them much better built. 

While this was being done, Indiana had passed to the second grade 
of government, and through her General Assembly had obtained large 
tracts of land from the Indian tribes. To all this the celebrated Indian, 
Tecumthe or Tecumseh, vigorously protested, and it was the main cause 
of his attempts to unite the various Indian tribes in a conflict with the 
settlers. To obtain a full account of these attempts, the workings of the 
British, and the signal failure, culminating in the death of Tecumseh at 
the battle of the Thames, and the close of the war of 1812 in the Northwest, 
we will step aside in our story, and relate the principal events of his life, 
and his connection with this conflict. 







This famous Indian chief was born about the year 1768, not far from 
the site of the present City of Piqua, Ohio. His father, Puckeshinwa, 
was a member of the Kisopok tribe of the Swanoese nation, and his 
mother, Methontaske, was a member of the Turtle tribe of the same 
people. They removed from Florida about the middle of the last century 
to the birthplace of Tecumseh. In 1774, his. father, who had risen to be 
chief, was slain at the battle of Point Pleasant, and not long after Tecum- 
seh, by his bravery, became the leader of his tribe. In 1795 he was 
declared chief, and then lived at Deer Creek, near the site of the 
present City of Urbana. He remained here about one year, when he 
returned to Piqua, and in 1798, he went to White River, Indiana. In 
1805, he and his brother, Laulewasikan (Open Door), who had announced 
himself as a prophet, went to a tract of land on the Wabash River, given 
them by the Pottawatomies and Kickapoos. From this date the chief 
comes into prominence. He was now about thirty-seven years of age, 
was five feet and ten inches in height, was stoutly built, and possessed of 
enormous powers of endurance. His countenance was naturally pleas- 
ing, and he was, in general, devoid of those savage attributes possessed 
by most Indians. It is stated he could read and write, and had a confi- 
dential secretary and adviser, named Billy Caldwell, a half-breed, who 
afterward became chief of the Pottawatomies. He occupied the first 
house built on the site of Chicago. At this time, Tecumseh entered 
upon the great work of his life. He had long objected to the grants of 
land made by the Indians to the whites, and determined to unite all the 
Indian tribes into a league, in order that no treaties or grants of land 
could be made save by the consent of this confederation. 

He traveled constantly, going from north to south ; from the south 
to the north, everywhere urging the Indians to this step. He was a 
matchless orator, and his burning words had their effect. 

Gen. Harrison, then Governor of Indiana, by watching the move- 
ments of the Indians, became convinced that a grand conspiracy was 
forming, and made preparations, to defend the settlements. Tecumseh's 
plan was similar to Pontiac's, elsewhere described, and to the cunning 
artifice of that chieftain was added his own sagacity. 

During the year 1809, Tecumseh and the prophet were actively pre- 
paring for the work. In that year, Gen. Harrison entered into a treaty 
with the Delawares, Kickapoos, Pottawatomies, Miamis, Eel River Indians 
and Weas, in which these tribes ceded to the whites certain lands upon 
the Wabash, to all of which Tecumseh entered a bitter protest, averring 


as one principal reason that he did not want the Indians to give up any 
lands north and west of the Ohio River. 

Tecumseh, in August, 1810, visited the General at Vincennes and 
held a council relating to the grievances of the Indians. Becoming unduly 
angry at this conference he was dismissed from the village, and soon after 
departed to incite the southern Indian tribes to the conflict. 

Gen. Harrison determined to move upon the chiefs headquarters at 
Tippecanoe, and for this purpose went about- sixty-five miles up the 
Wabash, where he built Fort Harrison. From this place he went to the 
prophet's town, where he informed the Indians he had no hostile inten- 
tions, provided they were true to the existing treaties. He encamped 
near the village early in October, and on the morning of November 7, he 
was attacked by a large force of the Indians, and the famous battle of 
Tippecanoe occurred. The Indians were routed and their town broken 
up. Tecumseh returning not long after, was greatly exasperated at his 
brother, the prophet, even threatening to kill him for rashly precipitating 
the war, and foiling his (Tecumseh's) plans. 

Tecumseh sent word to Gen. Harrison that he was now returned 
from the South, and was ready to visit the President as had at one time 
previously been proposed. Gen. Harrison informed him he could not go 
as a chief, which method Tecumseh desired, and the visit was never 

In June of the following year, he visited the Indian agent at 
Fort Wayne. Here he disavowed any intention to make a war against 
the United States, and reproached Gen. Harrison for marching against his 
people. The agent replied to this ; Tecumseh listened with a cold indif- 
ference, and after making a few general remarks, with a haughty air drew 
his blanket about him, left the council house, and departed for Fort Mai- 
den, in Upper Canada, where he joined the British standard. 

He remained under this Government, doing effective work for the 
Crown while engaged in the war of 1812 which now opened. He was, 
however, always humane in his treatment of the prisoners, never allow- 
ing his warriors to ruthlessly mutilate the- bodies of those slain, or wan- 
tonly murder the captive. ' 

In the Summer of 1813, Perry's victory on Lake Erie occurred, and 
shortly after active preparations were made to capture Maiden. On the 
27th of September, the American army, under Gen. Harrison, set sail for 
the shores of Canada, and in a few hours stood around the ruins of Mai- 
den, from which the British army, under Proctor, had retreated to Sand- 
wich, intending to make its way to the heart of Canada by the Valley of 
the Thames. On the 29th Gen. Harrison was at Sandwich, and Gen. 
, McArthur took possession of Detroit and the territory of Michigan. 



On the 2d of October, the Americans began their pursuit of Proctor, 
whom they overtook on the 5th, and the battle of the Thames followed. 
Early in the engagement, Tecumseh who was at the head of the column 
of Indians was slain, and they, no longer hearing'the voice of their chief- 
tain, fled. The victory was decisive, and practically closed the war in 
the Northwest. 


Just who killed the great chief has been a matter of much dispute ; 
but the weight of opinion awards the act to Col. Richard M. Johnson, 
who fired at him with a pistol, the shot proving fatal. 

In 1805 occurred Burr's Insurrection. He took possession of a 
beautiful island in the Ohio, after the killing of Hamilton, and is charged 
by many with attempting to set up an independent government. His 
plans were frustrated by the general government, his property confiscated 
and he was compelled to flee the country for safety. 


In January, 1807, Governor Hull, of Michigan Territory, made a 
treaty with the Indians, whereby all that peninsula was ceded to the 
United States. Before the close of the year, a stockade was built about 
Detroit. It was also during this year that Indiana and Illinois endeavored 
to obtain the repeal of that section of the compact of 1787, whereby 
slavery was excluded from the Northwest Territory. These attempts, 
however, all signally failed. 

In 1809 it was deemed advisable to divide the Indiana Territory. 
This was done, and the Territory of Illinois was formed from the western 
part, the seat of government being fixed at Kaskaskia. The next year, 
the intentions of Tecumseh manifested themselves in open hostilities, and 
then began the events already narrated. 

"While this war was in progress, emigration to the West went on with 
surprising rapidity. In 1811, under Mr. Roosevelt of New York, the 
first steamboat trip was made on the Ohio, much to the astonishment of 
the natives, many of whom fled in terror at the appearance of the 
" monster." It arrived at Louisville on the 10th day of October. At the 
close of the first week of January, 1812, it arrived at Natchez, after being 
nearly overwhelmed in the great earthquake which occurred while on its 
downward trip. 

The battle of the Thames was fought on October 6, 1813. It 
effectually closed hostilities in the Northwest, although peace was not 
fully restored until July 22, 1814, when a treaty was formed at Green- 
ville, under the direction of General Harrison, between the United States 
and the Indian tribes, in which it was stipulated that the Indians should 
cease hostilities against the Americans if the war were continued. Such, 
happily, was not the case, and on the 24th of December the treaty 
of Ghent was signed by the representatives of England and the United 
States. This treaty was followed the next year by treaties with various 
Indian tribes throughout the West and Northwest, and quiet was again 
restoredin this part of the new world. 

On the 1.8th of March, 1816, Pittsburgh was incorporated as a city. 
It then had a population of 8,000 people, and was already noted for its 
manufacturing interests. On April 19, Indiana Territory was allowed 
to form a state government. At that time there were thirteen counties 
organized, containing about sixty-three thousand inhabitants. The first 
election of state officers was held in August, when Jonathan Jennings 
was chosen Governor. The officers were sworn in on November 7, and 
on December 11, the State was formally admitted into the Union. For 
some time the seat of government was at Corydon, but a more central 
location being desirable, the present capital, Indianapolis (City of Indiana), 
was laid out January 1, 1825. 


On the 28th of December the Bank of Illinois, at Shawneetown, was 
chartered, with a capital of $300,000. At this period all banks were 
under the control of the States, and were allowed to establish branches 
at different convenient points. 

Until this time Chillicothe and Cincinnati had in turn enjoyed the 
privileges of being the capital of Ohio. But the rapid settlement of the 
northern and eastern portions of the State demanded, as in Indiana, a 
more central location, and before the close of the year, the site of Col- 
umbus was selected and surveyed as the future capital of the State. 
Banking had begun in Ohio as early as 1808, when the first bank was 
chartered at Marietta, but here as elsewhere it did not bring to the state 
the hoped-for assistance. It and other banks were subsequently unable 
to redeem their currency, and were obliged to suspend. 

In 1818, Illinois was made a state, and all the territory north of her 
northern limits was erected into a separate territory and joined to Mich- 
igan for judicial purposes. By the following year, navigation of the lakes 
was increasing with great rapidity and affording an immense source of 
revenue to the dwellers in the Northwest, but it was not until 1826 that 
the trade was extended to Lake Michigan, or that steamships began to 
navigate the bosom of that inland sea. 

Until the year 1832, the commencement of the Black Hawk War, 
but few hostilities were experienced with the Indians. Roads were 
opened, canals were dug, cities were built, common schools were estab- 
lished, universities were founded, many of which, especially the Michigan 
University, have achieved a world wide-reputation. The people were 
becoming wealthy. The domains of the United States had been extended, 
and had the sons of the forest been treated with honesty and justice, the 
record of many years would have been that of peace and continuous pros- 


This conflict, though confined to Illinois, is an important epoch in 
the Northwestern history, being the last war with the Indians in this part 
of the United States. 

Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiah, or Black Hawk, was born in the principal 
Sac village, about three miles from the junction of Rock River with the 
Mississippi, in the year 1767. His father's name was Py-e-sa or Pahaes ; 
his grandfather's, Na-na-ma-kee, or the Thunderer. Black Hawk early 
distinguished himself as a warrior, and at the age of fifteen was permitted 
to paint and was ranked among the braves. About the year 1783, he 
went on an expedition against the enemies of his nation, the Osages, one 





of whom he killed and scalped, and for this deed of Indian bravery he was 
permitted to join in the scalp dance. Three or four years after he, at the 
head of two hundred braves, went on another expedition against the 
Osages, to avenge the murder of some women and children belonging to 
his own tribe. Meeting an equal number of Osage warriors, a fierce 
battle ensued, in which the latter tribe lost one-half their number. The 
Sacs lost only about nineteen warriors. He next attacked the Cherokees 
for a similar cause. In a severe battle with them, near the present City 
of St. Louis, his father was slain, and Black Hawk, taking possession of 
the " Medicine Bag," at once announced himself chief of the Sac nation. 
He had now conquered the Cherokees, and about the year 1800, at the 
head of five hundred Sacs and Foxes, and a hundred Iowas, he waged 
war against the Osage nation and subdued it. For two years he battled 
successfully with other Indian tribes, all of whom he conquered. 

Black Hawk does not at any time seem to have been friendly to 
the Americans. When on a visit to St. Louis to see his '* Spanish 
Father," he declined to see any of the Americans, alleging, as a reason, 
he did not want two fathers. 

The treaty at St. Louis was consummated in 1804. The next year the 
United States Government erected a fort near the head of the Des Moines 
Rapids, called Fort Edwards. This seemed to enrage Black Hawk, who 
at once determined to capture Fort Madison, standing on the west side of 
the Mississippi above the mouth of the Des Moines River. The fort was 
garrisoned by about fifty men. Here he was defeated. The difficulties 
with the British Government arose about this time, and the War of .1812 
followed. That government, extending aid to the Western Indians, by 
giving them arms and ammunition, induced them to remain hostile to the 
Americans. In August, 1812, Black Hawk, at the head of about five 
hundred braves, started to join the British forces at Detroit, passing on 
his way the site of Chicago, where the famous Fort Dearborn Massacre 
had a few days before occurred. Of his connection with the British 
Government but little is known. In 1813 he with his little band descended 
the Mississippi, and attacking some United States troops at Fort Howard 
was defeated. 

In the early part of 1815, the Indian tribes west of the Mississippi 
were notified that peace had been declared between the United States 
and England, and nearly all hostilities had ceased. Black Hawk did not 
sign any treaty, however, until May of the following year. He then recog- 
nized the validity of the treaty at St. Louis in 1804. From the time of 
signing this treaty in 1816, until the breaking out of the war in 1832, he 
and his band passed their time in the common pursuits of Indian life. 

Ten years before the commencement" of this war, the Sac and Fox 


Indians were urged to join the Iowas on the west bank of the Father of 
Waters. All were agreed, save the band known as the British Band, of 
which Black Hawk was leader. He strenuously objected to the removal, 
and was induced to comply only after being threatened with the power of 
the Government. This and various actions on the part of the white set- 
tlers provoked Black Hawk and his band to attempt the capture of his 
native village now occupied by the whites. The war followed. He and 
his actions were undoubtedly misunderstood, and had his wishes been 
acquiesced in at the beginning of the struggle, much bloodshed would 
have been prevented. 

Black Hawk was chief now of the Sac and Fox nations, and a noted 
warrior. He and his tribe inhabited a village on Rock River, nearly three 
miles above its confluence with the Mississippi, where the tribe had lived 
many generations. When that portion of Illinois was reserved to them, 
they remained in peaceable possession of their reservation, spending their 
time in the enjoyment of Indian life. The fine situation of their village 
and the quality of their lands incited the more lawless white settlers, who 
from time to time began to encroach upon the red men's domain. From 
one pretext to another, and from one step to another, the crafty white 
men gained a foothold, until through whisky and artifice they obtained 
deeds from many of the Indians for their possessions. The Indians were 
finally induced to cross over the Father of Waters and locate among the 
Iowas. Black Hawk was strenuously opposed to all this, but as the 
authorities of Illinois and the United States thought this the best move, he 
was forced to comply. Moreover other tribes joined the whites and urged 
the removal. Black Hawk would not agree to the terms of the treaty 
made with his nation for their lands, and as soon as the military, called to 
enforce his removal, had retired, he returned to the Illinois side of the 
river. A large force was at once raised and marched against him. On 
the evening of May 14, 1832, the first engagement occurred between a 
band from this army and Black Hawk's band, in which the former were 

This attack and its result aroused the whites. A large force of men 
was raised, and Gen. Scott hastened from the seaboard, by way of the 
lakes, with United States troops and artillery to aid in the subjugation of 
the Indians. On the 24th of June, Black Hawk, with 200 warriors, was 
repulsed by Major Demont between Rock River and Galena. The Ameri- 
can army continued to move up Rock River toward the main body of 
the Indians, and on the 21st of July came upon Black Hawk and his band, 
and defeated them near the Blue Mounds. 

Before this action, Gen. Henry, in command, sent word to the main 
army by whom he was immediately rejoined, and the whole crossed the 


Wisconsin in pursuit of Black Hawk and his band who were fleeing to the 
Mississippi. They were overtaken on the 2d of August, and in the battle 
which followed the power of the Indian chief was completely broken. He 
fled, but was seized by the Winnebagoes and delivered to the whites. 

On the 21st of September, 1832, Gen. Scott and Gov. Reynolds con- 
cluded a treaty with the Winnebagoes, Sacs and Foxes by which they 
ceded to the United States a vast tract of country, and agreed to remain 
peaceable with the whites. For the faithful performance of the provi- 
sions of this treaty on the part of the Indians, it was stipulated that 
'Black Hawk, his two sons, the prophet Wabokieshiek, and six other chiefs 
of the hostile bands should be retained as hostages during the pleasure 
of the President. They were confined at Fort Barracks and put in irons. 

The next Spring, by order of the Secretary of War, they were taken 
to Washington. From there they were removed to Fortress Monroe, 
"there to remain until the conduct of their nation was such as to justify 
their being set at liberty." They were retained here until the 4th of 
June, when the authorities directed them to be .taken tp the principal 
cities so that they might see the folly of contending against the white 
people. Everywhere they were observed by thousands, the name of the 
old chief being extensively known. By the middle of August they 
reached Fort Armstrong on Rock Island, where Black Hawk was soon 
after released, to go to his countrymen. As he passed the site of his birth- 
place, now the home of the white man, he was deeply moved. His village 
where he was born, where he had so happily lived, and where he had 
hoped to die, was now another's dwelling place, and he was a wanderer. 

On the next day after his release, he went at once to his tribe and 
his lodge, His wife was yet living, and with her he passed the remainder 
of his days. To his credit it may be said that Black Hawk always re- 
mained true to his wife, and served her with a devotion uncommon among 
the Indians, living with her upward of forty years. 

Black Hawk now passed his time hunting and fishing. A deep mel- 
ancholy had settled over him from which he could not be freed. At all 
times when he visited the whites he was received with marked atten- 
tion. He was an honored guest at the old settlers' reunion in Lee County, 
Illinois, at some of their meetings, and received many tokens of esteem. 
In September, 1838, while on his way to Rock Island to receive his 
annuity from the Government, he contracted a severe cold which resulted 
in a fatal attack of bilious fever which terminated his life on October 3. 
His faithful wife, who was devotedly attached to him, mourned deeply 
during his sickness. After his death he was dressed in the uniform pre- 
sented to him by the President while in Washington. He was buried hi 
a grave six feet in depth, situated upon a beautiful eminence. " The 


body was placed in the middle of the grave, in a sitting posture, upon a 
seat constructed for the purpose. On his left side, the cane, given him 
by Henry Clay, was placed upright, with his right hand resting upon it. 
Many of the old warrior's trophies were pfaced in the grave, and some 
Indian garments, together with his favorite weapons." 

No sooner was the Black Hawk war concluded than settlers began 
rapidly to pour into the northern parts of Illinois, and into Wisconsin, 
now free from Indian depredations. Chicago, from a trading post, had 
grown to a commercial center, and was rapidly coming into prominence,. 
In 1835, the formation of a State Government in Michigan was discussed, 
but did not take active form until two years later, when the State became 
a part of the Federal Union. 

The main attraction to that portion of the Northwest lying west of 
Lake Michigan, now included in the State of Wisconsin, was its alluvial 
wealth. Copper ore was found about Lake Superior. For some time this 
region was attached to Michigan for judiciary purposes, but in 183fi was 
made a territory, then including Minnesota and Iowa. The latter State 
was detached two years later. In 1848, Wisconsin was admitted as a 
State, Madison being made the capital. We have now traced the various 
divisions of the Northwest Territory (save a little in Minnesota) from 
the time it was a unit comprising this vast territory, until circumstances 
compelled its present division. 


Before leaving this part of the narrative, we will narrate briefly the 
Indian troubles in Minnesota and elsewhere by the Sioux Indians. 

In August, 1862, the Sioux Indians living on the western borders of 
Minnesota fell upon the unsuspecting settlers, and in a few hours mas- 
sacred ten or twelve hundred persons. A distressful panic was the 
immediate result, fully thirty thousand persons fleeing from their homes 
to districts supposed to be better protected. The military authorities 
at once took active measures to punish the savages, and a large number 
were killed and captured. About a year after, Little Crow, the chief, 
was killed by a Mr. Lampson near Scattered Lake. Of those captured, 
thirty were hung at Mankato, and the remainder, through fears of mob 
violence, were removed to Camp McClellan, on the outskirts of the City 
of Davenport. It was here that Big Eagle came into prominence and 
secured his release by the following order : 





"Special Order, No. 430. "War Department, 

" Adjutant General's Office, Washington, Dec. 3, 1864. 

" Big Eagle, an Indian now in confinement at Davenport, Iowa, 
will, upon the receipt of this order, be immediately released from confine- 
ment and set at liberty. 

" By order of the President of. the United States. 
" Official : " E. D. Townsend, Ass't Adft Qen. 

" Capt. James Vanderventer, GorrCy Sub. Vols. 

" Through Com'g Gen'l, Washington, D. C." 

Another Indian who figures more prominently than Big Eagle, and 
who was more cowardly in his nature, with his band of Modoc Indians, 
is noted in the annals of the New Northwest: we refer to Captain Jack. 
This distinguished Indian, noted for his cowardly murder of Gen. Canby, 
was a chief of a Modoc tribe of Indians inhabiting the border lands 
between California and Oregon. - This region of country comprises what 
is known as the " Lava Beds," a tract of land described: as utterly impene- 
trable, save by those savages who had made it their home. 

The Modocs ate known as an exceedingly fierce and treacherous 
race. They had, according to their*own traditions, resided here for many 
generations, and at one time were exceedingly numerous and powerful. 
A famine carried off nearly half their numbers, and disease, indolence 
and the vices of the white man have reduced them to a poor, weak and 
insignificant tribe. 

Soon, after the settlement of California and Oregon, complaints began 
to be heard of massacres of emigrant trains passing through the Modoc 
country. In 1847, an emigrant train, comprising eighteen souls, was en- 
tirely destroyed at a place since known as "Bloody Point." These occur- 
rences caused the United States Government to appoint a peace commission , 
who, after repeated attempts, in 1864, made a treaty with the Modocs, 
Snakes and Klamaths, in which it was agreed on their part to remove to 
a reservation set apart for them in the southern part of Oregon. 

With the exception of Captain Jack and a band of his followers, who 
remained at Clear Lake, about six milgs from Klamath, all the Indians 
complied. The Modocs who went to the reservation were under chief 
Schonchin. Captain Jack remained at the lake without disturbance 
until 1869, when he was also induced to remove to the reservation. The 
Modocs and the Klamaths soon became involved in a quarrel, and Captain 
Jack and his band returned to the Lava Beds. 

' Several attempts were made by the Indian Commissioners to induce 
them to return to the reservation, and finally becoming involved in a 


difficulty with the commissioner and his military escort, a fight ensued, 
in which the chief and his band were routed. They were greatly enraged, 
and on their retreat, before the day closed, killed eleven inoffensive whites. 

The nation was aroused and immediate action demanded. A com- 
mission was at once appointed by the Government to see what could be 
done. It comprised the following persons : Gen. E. R. S. Canby, Rev. 
Dr. E. Thomas, a leading Methodist divine of California; Mr. A. B. 
Meacham, Judge Rosborough, of California, and a Mr. Dyer, of Oregon. 
After several interviews, in which the savages were always aggressive, 
often appearing with scalps in their belts, Bogus Charley came to the 
commission on the evening of April 10, 1873, and informed them that 
Capt. Jack and his band would have a " talk " to-morrow at a place near 
Clear Lake, about three miles distant. Here the Commissioners, accom- 
panied by Charley, Riddle, the interpreter, and Boston Charley repaired. 
After the usual greeting the council proceedings commenced. On behalf 
of the Indians there were present : Capt. Jack, Black Jim, Schnac Nasty 
Jim, Ellen's Man, and Hooker Jim. They had no guns, but carried pis- 
tols. After short speeches by Mr. Meacham, Gen. Canby and Dr. Thomas, 
Chief Schonchin arose to speak. He had scarcely proceeded when, 
as if by a preconcerted arrangement, Capt. Jack drew his pistol and shot 
Gen. Canby dead. In less than a minute a dozen shots were fired by the 
savages, and the massacre completed. Mr. Meacham was shot by Schon- 
chin, and Dr. Thomas by Boston Charley. Mr. Dyer barely escaped, being 
fired at twice. Riddle, the interpreter, and his squaw escaped. .The 
troops rushed to the spot where they found Gen. Canby and Dr. Thomas 
dead, and Mr. Meacham badly wounded. The savages had escaped to 
their impenetrable fastnesses and could not be pursued. 

The whole country was aroused by this brutal massacre ; but it was 
not until the following May that the murderers were brought to justice: 
At that time Boston Charley gave himself up, and offered to guide the 
troops to Capt. Jack's stronghold. This led to the capture of his entire 
gang, a number of whom were murdered by Oregon volunteers while on 
their way to trial. The remaining Indians were held as prisoners until 
July when their trial occurred, ^vhich led to the conviction of Capt. 
Jack, Schonchin, Boston Charley, Hooker Jim, Broncho, alias One-Eyed 
Jim, and Slotuck, who were sentenced to be hanged. These sentences 
were approved by the President, save in the case of Slotuck and Broncho 
whose sentences were commuted to imprisonment for life. The others 
were executed at Fort Klamath, October 3, 1873. 

These closed the Indian troubles for a time in the Northwest, and for 
several years the borders of civilization remained in peace. They were 
again involved in a conflict with the savages about the country of the 





Black Hills, in which war the gallant Gen. Custer lost his life. Just 
now the borders of Oregon and California are again in fear of hostilities ; 
but as the Government has learned how to deal with the Indians, they 
will be of short duration. The red man is fast passing away before the 
march of the white man, and a few more generations will read of the 
Indians as one of the nations of the past. 

The Northwest abounds in memorable places. "We have generally 
noticed them in the narrative, but our space forbids their description in 
detail, save of the most important places. Detroit, Cincinnati, Vincennes, 
Kaskaskia and their kindred towns have all been described. But ere Ave 
leave the narrative we will present our readers with an account of the 
Kinzie house, the old landmark of Chicago, and the discovery of the 
source of the Mississippi River, each of which may well find a place in 
the annals of the Northwest. 

Mr. John Kinzie, of the Kinzie house, represented in the illustra- 
tion, established a trading house at Fort Dearborn in 1804. The stockade 
had been erected the year previous, and named Fort Dearborn in honor 
of the Secretary of War. It had a block house at each of the two angles, 
on the southern side a sallyport, a covered way on the north side, that led 
down to the river, fpr the double purpose of providing means of escape, 
and of procuring water in the event of a siege. 

Fort Dearborn stood on the south bank of the Chicago River, about 
half a mile from its mouth. When Major Whistler built it, his soldiers 
hauled all the timber, for he had no oxen, and so economically, did he 
work that the fort cost the Government only fifty dollars. For a while 
the garrison could get no grain, and Whistler and his men subsisted on 
acorns. Now Chicago is the greatest grain center in the world. 

Mr. Kinzie bought the hut of the first settler, Jean Baptiste Point au 
Sable, on the site of which he erected his mansion. Within an inclosure 
in front he planted some Lombardy poplars, seen in the engraving, and in 
the rear he soon had a fine garden and growing orchard. 

In 1812 the Kinzie house and its surroundings became the theater 
of stirring events. The garrison of Fort Dearborn consisted of fifty-four 
men, under the charge of Capt. Nathan Heald, assisted by Lieutenant 
Lenai T. Helm (son-in-law to Mrs. Kinzie), and Ensign Ronan. The 
surgeon was Dr. Voorhees. The only residents at the post at that time 
were the wives of Capt. Heald and Lieutenant Helm and a few of the 
soldiers, Mr. Kinzie and his family, and a few Canadian voyagers with their 
wives and children. The soldiers and Mr. Kinzie were on the most 
friendly terms with the Pottawatomies and the Winnebagoes, the prin- 
cipal tribes around them, but they could not win them from their attach- 
ment to the British. 



After the battle of Tippecanoe it was observed that some of the lead- 
ing chiefs became sullen, for some of their people had perished in that 
conflict with American troops. 

One evening in April, 1812, Mr. Kinzie sat playing his violin and his 
. children were dancing to the music, when Mrs. Kinzie came rushing into 
the house pale with terror, and exclaiming, " The Indians ! the Indians ! " 
" What ? Where ? " eagerly inquired Mr. Kinzie. " Up at Lee's, killing 
and scalping," answered the frightened mother, who, when the alarm was 
given, was attending Mrs. Burns, a newly-made mother, living not far off. 


Mr. Kinzie and his family crossed the river in boats, and took refuge in 
the fort, to which place Mrs. Burns and her infant, not a day old, were 
conveyed in safety to the shelter of the guns of Fort Dearborn, and the 
rest of the white inhabitants fled. The Indians were a scalping party of 
Winnebagoes, who hovered around the fort some days, when they dis- 
appeared, and for several weeks the inhabitants were not disturbed by 

Chicago was then so deep in the wilderness, that the news of the 
declaration of war against Great Britain, made on the 19th of June, 1812, 
did not reach the commander of the garrison at Fort Dearborn till the 7th 
of August. Now the fast mail train will carry a man from New York to 
Chicago in twenty-seven hours, and such a declaration might be sent, 
every word, by the telegraph in less than the same number of minutes. 

i^lii? [! 




Preceding chapters have brought us to the close of the Black Hawk 
war, and we now turn to the contemplation of the growth and prosperity 
of the Northwest under the smile of peace and the blessings of our civili- 
zation. The pioneers of this region date events back to the deep snow 




of 1831, no one arriving here since' that date taking first honors. The 
inciting cause of the immigration which overflowed the prairies early in 
the '30s was the reports of the marvelous beauty and fertility of the 
region distributed through the East by those who had participated in the 
Black Hawk campaign with Gen. Scott. Chicago and Milwaukee then 
had a few hundred inhabitants, and Gurdon S. Hubbard's trail from the 
former city to Kaskaskia led almost through a wilderness. Vegetables 
and clothing were largely distributed through the regions adjoining the 



lakes by steamers from the Ohio towns. There are men now living in 
Illinois who came to the state when barely an acre was in cultivation, 
and a man now prominent in the business circles of Chicago looked over 
the swampy, cheerless site of that metropolis in 1818 and went south- 
ward into civilization. Emigrants from Pennsylvania in 1830 left behind 

them but one small railway in the coal regions* thirty miles in length, 
and made their way to the Northwest mostly with ox teams, finding in 
Northern Illinois petty settlements scores of miles apart, although the 
southern portion of the state was fairly dotted with farms. The 
water courses of the lakes and rivers furnished transportation to the 
second great army of immigrants, and about 1850 railroads were 
pushed to that extent that the crisis of 1837 was precipitated upon us, 



from the effects of which the "Western country had not fully recovered 
at the outbreak of the war. Hostilities found the colonists of the prairies 
fully alive to the demands of the occasion, and the honor of recruiting 










the vast armies of the Union fell largely to Oov. Yates, of Illinois, anrt 
Gov. Morton, of Indiana. To recount the share of the glories of the 
campaign won by DTir Western troops is a needless task, except to 
mention the fact that Illinois gave to the nation the President who save'i 



it, and sent out at the head of one of its regiments tne general who led 
its armies to the final victory at Appomattox. The struggle, on the 


whole, had a marked effect Tor the better on the new Northwest, gi ring 
it an impetus which twenty years of peace would not have produced. 
In a large degree this prosperity was an inflated one, and with the rest 
of the Union we have since been compelled to atone therefor by four 

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Missing Page 


years of depression of values, of scarcity of employment, and loss of 
fortune. To a less degree, however, than the manufacturing or mining 
regions has the West suffered during the prolonged panic now so near its 
end. Agriculture, still the leading feature in our industries, has been 
quite prosperous through all these dark years, and the farmers have 
cleared away many incumbrances resting over them from the period of 
fictitious values. The population has steadily increased, the arts and 
sciences are gaining a stronger foothold, the trade area of the region is 
becoming daily more extended, and we have been largely exempt from 
the financial calamities which have nearly wrecked communities on the 
seaboard dependent wholly on foreign commerce or domestic manufacture. 

At the present period there are no great schemes broached for the 
Northwest, no propositions for government subsidies or national works 
of improvement, but the capital of the world is attracted hither for the 
purchase of our products or the expansion of our capacity for serving the 
nation at large. Anew era is dawning as to transportation, and we bid 
fair to deal almost exclusively with the increasing and expanding lines 
of steel rail running through every few miles of territory on the prairies. 
The lake marine will no doubt continue to be useful in the warmer- 
season, and to serve as a regulator of freight rates; but experienced 
navigators forecast the decay of the system in moving to the seaboard 
the enormous crops of the West. Within the past five years it has 
become quite common to see direct shipments to Europe and the West 
Indies going through from the second-class towns along the Mississippi 
and Missouri. 

As to popular education, the standard has of late risen very greatly, 
and our schools would be creditable to any section of the Union. 

More and more as the events of the war pass into obscurity will the 
fate of the Northwest be linked with that of the Southwest, and the 
next Congressional apportionment will give the valley of the Mississippi 
absolute . control of the legislation of the nation, and do much toward 
securing the removal of the Federal capitol to some more central location. 

Our public men continue to wield the full share of influence pertain- 
ing to their rank in the national autonomy, and seem not to forget that 
for the past sixteen years they and their constituents have dictated the 
principles which should govern the country. 

In a work like this, destined to lie on the shelves of the library for 
generations, and not doomed to daily destruction like a newspaper, one 
can not indulge in the same glowing predictions, the sanguine statements 
of actualities that fill the columns of ephemeral publications. Time may 
bring grief to the pet projects of a writer, and explode castles erected on 
a pedestal of facts. Yet there are unmistakable indications before us of 



The frontage of Lake Bluff Grounds on Lake Michigan , Trith one hundred and seventy feet of gradual ascent. 



the same radical change in our great Northwest which characterizes its 
history for the past thirty years. Our domain has a sort of natural 
geographical border, save where it melts away to the southward in the 
cattle raising districts of the southwest. 

Our prime interest will for some years doubtless be the growth of 
the food of the world, in which branch it has already outstripped all 
competitors, and our great rival in this duty will naturally be the fertile 
plains of Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado, to say nothing of the new 
empire so rapidly growing up in Texas. Over these regions there is a 
continued progress in agriculture and in railway building, and we must 
look to our laurels. Intelligent observers of events are fully aware of 
the strides made in the way of shipments of fresh meats to Europe, 
many of these ocean cargoes being actually slaughtered in the West and 
transported on ice to the wharves of the seaboard cities. That this new 
enterprise will continue there is no reason to doubt. There are in 
Chicago several factories for the canning of prepared meats for European 
consumption, and the orders for this class of goods are already immense. 
English capital is becoming daily more and more dissatisfied with railway 
loans and investments, and is gradually seeking mammoth outlays in 
lands and live stock. The stock yards in Chicago, Indianapolis and East 
St. Louis are yearly increasing their facilities, and their plant steadily 
grows more valuable. Importation's of blooded animals from the pro- 
gressive countries of Europe are destined to greatly improve the quality 
of our beef and mutton. Nowhere is there to be seen a more enticing 
display in this line than at our state and county fairs, and the interest 
in the matter is on the increase. 

To attempt to give statistics of our grain production for 1877 would 
be useless, so far have we surpassed ourselves in the quantity and 
quality of our product. We are too liable to forget that we are giving 
the world its first article of necessity — its food supply. An opportunity 
to learn this fact so it never can be forgotten was afforded at Chicago at 
the outbreak of the great panic of 1873, when Canadian purchasers, 
fearing the prostration of business might bring about an anarchical condition 
of affairs, went to that city with coin in bulk and foreign drafts to secure 
their supplies in their own currency at first hands. It may be justly 
claimed by the agricultural community that their combined efforts gave 
the nation its first impetus toward a restoration of its crippled industries, 
and their labor brought the gold premium to a lower depth than the 
government was able to reach by its most intense efforts of legislation 
and compulsion. The hundreds of millions about to be disbursed for 
farm products have already, by the anticipation common to all commercial 



nations, set the wheels in motion, and will relieve us from the perils so 
long shadowing our efforts to return to a healthy tone. 

Manufacturing has attained in the chief cities a foothold which bids 
fair to render the Northwest independent of the outside world. l Nearly 
















our whole region has a distribution of coal measures which will in time 
support the manufactures necessary to our comfort and prosperity. As 
to transportation, the chief factor in the production of all articles excep* 
food, no section is so magnificently endowed, and our facilities are yearly 
increasing beyond those of any other region. 


The period from a central point of the war to the outbreak of the 
panic was marked by a tremendous growth in our railway lines, but the 
depression of the times caused almost a total suspension of operations. 
Now that prosperity is returning to our stricken country we witness its 
anticipation by the railroad interest in a series of projects, extensions, 
and leases which bid fair to largely increase our transportation facilities. 
The process of foreclosure and sale of incumbered lines is another matter 
to be considered. In the case of the Illinois -Central road, which formerly 
transferred to other lines at Cairo the vast burden of freight destined for 
the Gulf region, we now see the incorporation of the tracks connecting 
through to New Orleans, every mile co-operating in turning toward the 
northwestern metropolis the weight of the inter-state commerce of a 
thousand miles or more of fertile plantations. Three competing routes 
to Texas have established in Chicago their general freight and passenger 
agencies. Four or five lines compete for all Pacific freights to a point as 
as far as the interior of Nebraska. Half a dozen or more splendid bridge 
structures have been thrown across the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers by 
the railways. The Chicago and Northwestern line has become an aggre- 
gation of over two thousand miles of rail, and the Chicago, Milwaukee 
and St. Paul is its close rival in extent and importance. The three lines 
running to Cairo via Vincennes form a through route for all traffic with 
the states to the southward. The chief projects pow under discussion 
are the Chicago and Atlantic, which is to unite with lines now built to 
Charleston, and the Chicago and Canada Southern, which line will con- 
nect with all the various branches of that Canadian enterprise. Our 
latest new road is the Chicago and Lake Huron, formed of three lines, 
and entering the city from Valparaiso on the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne 
and Chicago track. The trunk lines being mainly in operation, the 
progress made in the way of shortening tracks, making air-line branches, 
and running extensions does not show to the advantage it deserves, as 
this process is constantly adding new facilities to the established order 
of things. The panic reduced the price of steel to a point where the 
railways could hardly afford to use iron rails, and all our northwestern 
lines report large relays of Bessemer track. The immense crops now 
being moved have given a great rise to the value of railway stocks, and 
their transportation must result in heavy pecuniary advantages. 

Few are aware of the importance of the wholesale and jobbing trade 
of Chicago. One leading firm has since the panic sold $24,000,000 of 
dry goods in one year, and they now expect most confidently to • add 
seventy per cent, to the figures of their' last year's business. In boots 
and shoes and in clothing, twenty or more great firms from the east have 
placed here their distributing agents or their factories ; and in groceries 



Chicago supplies the entire Northwest at rates presenting advantages 
over New York. 

Chicago has stepped in between New York and the rural banks as a 
financial center, and scarcely a banking institution in the grain or cattle 
regions but keeps -its reserve funds in the vaults of our commercial insti- 
tutions. Accumulating here throughout the spring and summer months, 
they are summoned home at pleasure to move the products of the 
prairies. This process greatly strengthens the northwest in its financial 
operations, leaving home capital to supplement local operations on 
behalf of home interests. 

It is impossible to forecast the destiny of this grand and growing 
section of the Union. Figures and predictions made at this date might 
seem ten years hence so ludicrously small as to excite only derision. 


Length, 380 miles, mean width about 156 miles. Area, 55,410 square 
miles, or 35,462,400 acres. Illinois, as regards its surface, constitutes a 
table-land at a varying elevation ranging between 350 and 800 feet above 
the sea level ; composed of exterisive and highly fertile prairies and plains. 
Much of the south division of the State, especially the river-bottoms, are 
thickly wooded. The prairies, too, have oasis-like, clumps of trees 
scattered here and there at intervals. The chief rivers irrigating the 
State are the Mississippi — dividing it from Iowa and Missouri — the Ohio 
(forming its south barrier), the Illinois, Wabash, Kaskaskia, and San- 
gamon, with their numerous affluents. The total extent of navigable 
streams is calculated at 4,000 miles. Small lakes are scattered over vari- 
ous parts of the State. Illinois is extremely prolific in minerals, chiefly 
coal, iron, copper, and zinc ores, sulphur and limestone. The coal-field 
alone is estimated to absorb a full third of the entire coal-deposit of North 
America. Climate tolerably equable and healthy ; the mean temperature 
standing at about 51° Fahrenheit As an agricultural region, Illinois takes 
a competitive rank with neighboring States, the cereals, fruits, and root- 
crops yielding plentiful returns ; in fact, as a grain-growing State, Illinois 
may be deemed, in proportion to her size, to possess a greater area of 
lands suitable for its production than any other State in the Union. Stock- 
raising is also largely carried on, while her manufacturing interests in 
regard of woolen fabrics, etc., are on a very extensive and yearly expand- 
ing scale. The lines of railroad in the State are among the most exten- 
sive of the Union. Inland water-carriage is facilitated by a canal 
connecting the Illinois River with Lake Michigan, and thence with the 
St. Lawrence and Atlantic. Illinois is divided into 102 counties ; the 
chief towns being Chicago, Springfield (capital), Alton, Quincy, Peoria, 
Galena, Bloomington, Rock Island, Vandalia, etc. By the new Consti- 
tution, established in 1870, the State Legislature consists of 51 Senators, 
elected for four years, and 153 Representatives, for two years ; which 
numbers were to be decennially increased thereafter to the number of 
six per every additional half-million of inhabitants. Religious and 
educational institutions are largely diffused throughout, and are in a very 
flourishing condition. Illinois has a State Lunatic and a Deaf and Dumb 
Asylum at Jacksonville ; a State Penitentiary at Joliet ; and a Home for 




Soldiers' Orphans at Normal. On November 30, 1870, the public debt of 
the State was returned at $4,870,937, with a balance of $1,81)8,833 
unprovided for. At the same period the value of assessed and equalized 
property presented the following totals: assessed, $840,031,703 ; equal- 
ized $480,664,058. The name of Illinois, through nearly the whole of 
the eighteenth century, embraced most of the known regions north and 
west of Ohio. French colonists established themselves in 1673, at 
Cahokia and Kaskaskia, and the territory of which these settlements 
formed the nucleus was, in 1763, ceded to Great Britain in conjunction 
with Canada, ■ and ultimately resigned to the United States in 1787. 
Illinois entered the Union as a State, December 3, 1818 ; and now sends 
19 Representatives to Congress. Population, 2,539,891, in 1870. 




The profile of Indiana forms a nearly exact parallelogram, occupy- 
ing one of the most fertile portions of the great Mississippi Valley. The 
greater extent of the surface embraced within its limits consists of gentle 
undulations rising into hilly tracts toward the Ohio bottom. The chief 
rivers of the State are the Ohio and Wabash, with their numerous 
affluents. The soil is highly productive of the cereals and grasses — most 
particularly so in the valleys of the Ohio, Wabash, Whitewater, and 
White Rivers. The northeast and central portions are well timbered 
with virgin forests, and the west section is notably rich in coal, constitut- 
ing an offshoot of the great Illinois carboniferous field. Iron, "copper, 
marble, slate, gypsum, and various clays are also abundant. From an 
agricultural point of view, the staple products are maize and wheat, with 
the other cereals in lesser yields ; and besides these, flax, hemp, sorghum, 
hops, etc., are extensively raised. Indiana is divided into 92 counties, 
and. counts among her principal cities and towns, those of Indianapolis 
(the capital), Fort Wayne, Evansville, Terre Haute, Madison, Jefferson- 
ville, Columbus, Vincennes, South Bend, etc. The public institutions of 
the State are many and various, and on a scale of magnitude and 
efficiency commensurate with her important political and industrial status. 
Upward of two thousand miles of railroads permeate the State in all 
directions, and greatly conduce to the development of her expanding 
manufacturing interests. Statistics for the fiscal year terminating 
October 31, 1870, exhibited a total of receipts, $3,896,541 as against dis- 
bursements, $3,532,406, leaving a balance, §364,135 in favor of the State 
Treasury. The entire public debt, January 5, 1871, $3,971,000. This 
State was first settled by Canadian voyageurs in 1702, who erected a fort 
at Vincennes ; in 1763 it passed into the hands of the English, and was 
by the latter ceded to. the United States in 1783. From 1788 till 1791, 
an Indian warefare prevailed. In 1800, all the region west and north 6f 
Ohio (then formed into a distinct territory) became merged in Indiana. 
In 1809, the present limits of the State were defined, Michigan and 
Illinois having previously been withdrawn. In 1811, Indiana was the 
theater of the Indian War of Tecumseh, ending with the decisive battle 
of Tippecanoe. In 1816 (December 11), Indiana became enrolled among 
the States of the American Union. In 1834, the State passed through a* 
monetary crisis owing to its having become mixed up with railroad, 
canal, and other speculations on a gigantic scale, which ended, for the 
time being, in a general collapse of public credit, and consequent bank- 
ruptcy. Since that time, however, the greater number of the public 


works which had brought about that imbroglio — especially the great 
Wabash and Erie Canal — have been completed, to the great benefit of 
the State, whose subsequent progress has year by year been marked by 
rapid strides in the paths of wealth, commerce, and general social and 
political prosperity. The constitution now in force was adopted in 1851. 
Population, 1,680*637. 


In shape, Iowa presents an almost perfect parallelogram; has a 
length, north to south, of about 300 miles, by a pretty even width of 208 
miles, and embraces an area of 55,045 square miles, or 35,228,800 acres. 
The surface of the State is generally undulating, rising toward the 
middle into an elevated plateau which forms the " divide " of the 
Missouri and Mississippi basins. Rolling prairies, especially in the south 
section, constitute a regnant feature, and the river bottoms, belted with 
woodlands, present a soil of the richest alluvion. Iowa is well watered ; 
the principal rivers being the Mississippi and Missouri, which form 
respectively its east and west limits, and the Cedar, Iowa, and Des 
Moines, affluents of the first named. Mineralogically, Iowa is important 
as occupying a section of the great Northwest coal field, to the extent of 
an area estimated at 25,000 square miles. Lead, copper, zinc, and iron, 
are also mined in considerable quantities. The soil is well adapted to 
the production of wheat, maize, and the other cereals ; fruits, vegetables, 
and esculent roots ; maize, wheat, and oats forming the chief staples. 
Wine, tobacco, hops, and wax, are other noticeable items of the agricul- 
tural yield. Cattle-raising, too, is a branch of rural industry largely 
engaged in. The climate is healthy, although liable to extremes of heat 
and cold. The annual gross product of the various manufactures carried 
on in this State approximate, in round numbers, a sum of 120,000,000. 
Iowa has an immense railroad system, besides over 500 miles of water- 
communication by means of its navigable rivers. The State is politically 
divided into 99 counties, with the following centers of population : Des 
Moines (capital), Iowa City (former capital), Dubuque, Davenport, Bur- 
liDgton, Council Bluffs, Keokuk, Muscatine, and Cedar Rapids. The 
State institutions of Iowa — religious, scholastic, and philanthropic — are 
on a par, as regards number and perfection of organization and operation, 
with those of her Northwest sister States, and education is especially 
well cared for, and largely diffused. Iowa formed a portion of the 
American territorial acquisitions from France, by the so-called Louisiana 
purchase in 1 803, and was politically identified with Louisiana till 1812, 


when it merged into the Missouri Territory; in 1834 it came under the 
Michigan organization, and, in 1836, under that of Wisconsin. Finally, 
after being constituted an independent Territory, it became a State of 
the Union, December 28, 1846. Population in 1860, 674,913 ; in 1870, 
1,191,792, and in 1875, 1,353,118. 


United area, 56,243 square miles, or 35,995,520 acres. Extent of the 
Upper and smaller Peninsula — length, 316 miles; breadth, fluctuating 
between 36 and 120 miles. The south division is 416 miles long, by from 
50 to 300 miles wide. Aggregate lake-shore line, 1,400 miles. The 
Upper, or North, Peninsula consists chiefly of an elevated plateau, 
expanding into the Porcupine mountain-system, attaining a maximum 
height of some 2,000 feet. Its shores along Lake Superior are eminently 
bold and picturesque," and its area is rich in minerals, its product of 
copper constituting an important source of industry. Both divisions are 
heavily wooded, and the South one, in addition, boasts of a deep, rich, 
loamy soil, throwing up excellent crops of cereals and other agricultural 
produce. The climate is generally mild and humid, though the Winter 
colds are severe. The chief staples of farm husbandry include the cereals, 
grasses, maple sugar, sorghum, tobacco, fruits, and dairy-stuffs. In 1870, 
the acres of land in farms were : improved, 5,096,939 ; unimproved 
woodland, 4,080,146 ; other unimproved land, 842,057. The cash value 
of land was $398,240,578 ; of farming implements and machinery, 
f 13,7.11,979. In 1869, there were shipped from the Lake Superior ports, 
874,582 tons of iron ore, and 45,762 of smelted pig, along with 14,188 
tons of copper (ore and ingot). Coal is another article largely mined. 
Inland communication is provided for by an admirably organized railroad 
system, and by the St. Mary's Ship Canal, connecting Lakes Huron and 
Superior. Michigan is politically divided into 78 counties ; its chief 
urban centers are Detroit, Lansing (capital), Ann Arbor, Marquette, 
Bay City, Niles, Ypsilanti, Grand Haven, etc. The Governor of the 
State is elected biennially. On November 30, 1870, the aggregate bonded 
debt of Michigan amounted to 12,385,028, and the assessed valuation of 
land to $266,929,278, representing an estimated cash value of $800,000,000. 
Education is largely diffused and most excellently conducted and pro- 
vided for. The State University at Ann Arbor, the colleges of Detroit 
and Kalamazoo, the Albion Female College, the State Normal School at 
Ypsilanti, and the State Agricultural College at Lansing, are chief among 
the academic institutions. Michigan (a term of Chippeway origin, and 


signifying " Great Lake), was discovered and first settled by French 
Canadians, who, in 1670, founded Detroit, the pioneer of a series of trad- 
ing-posts on the Indian frontier. During the " Conspiracy of Pontiac," 
following the French loss of Canada, Michigan became the scene of a 
sanguinary struggle between the whites and aborigines. In 1796, it 
became annexed to the United States, which incorporated this region 
with the Northwest Territory, and then with Indiana Territory, till 1803, 
when it became territorially independent. Michigan was the theater of 
warlike operations during the war of 1812 with Great Britain, and in 
1819 was authorized to be represented by one delegate in Congress ; in 
1837 she was admitted into the Union as a State, and in 1869 ratified the 
15th Amendment to the Federal Constitution. Population, 1,184,059. 


It has a mean length of 260 miles, and a maximum breadth of 215. 
Land area, 53,924 square miles, or 34,511,360 acres. Wisconsin lies at a 
considerable altitude above sea-level, and consists for the most part of an 
upland plateau, the surface of which is undulating and very generally 
diversified. Numerous local eminences called mounds are interspersed 
over the State, and the Lake Michigan coast-line is in many parts char- 
acterized by lofty escarped cliffs, even as on the west side the banks of 
the Mississippi form a series of high and picturesque bluffs. A group of 
islands known as The Apostles lie off the extreme north point of the 
State in Lake Superior, and the great estuary of Green Bay, running far 
inland, gives formation to a long, narrow peninsula between its waters 
and those of Lake Michigan. The river-system of Wisconsin has three 
outlets — those of Lake Superior, Green Bay, and the Mississippi, which 
latter stream forms the entire southwest frontier, widening at one point 
into the large watery expanse called Lake Pepin. Lake Superior receives 
the St. Louis, Burnt Wood, and Montreal Rivers ; Green Bay, the 
Menomonee, Peshtigo, Oconto, and Fox ; while into the Mississippi 
empty the St. Croix, Chippewa, Black, Wisconsin, and Rock Rivers. 
The chief interior lakes are those of Winnebago, Horicon, and Court 
Oreilles, and smaller sheets of water stud a great part of the surface. 
The climate is healthful, with cold Winters and brief but very warm 
Summers. Mean annual rainfall 31 inches. The geological system 
represented by the State, embraces those rocks included between the 
primary and the Devonian series, the former containing extensive 
deposits of copper and iron ore. Besides these minerals, lead and zinc 
are found in great quantities, together with kaolin, plumbago, gypsum, 


and various clays. Mining, consequently, forms a prominent industry, 
and one of yearly increasing dimensions. The soil of Wisconsin is of 
varying quality, but fertile on the whole, and in the north parts of the 
State heavily timbered. The agricultural yield comprises the cereals, 
together with flax, hemp, tobacco, pulse, sorgum, and all kinds of vege- 
tables, and of the hardier fruits. In 1870, the State had a total number 
of 102,904 farms, occupying 11,715,321 acres, of which 5,899,343 con- 
sisted of improved land, and 3,437,442 were timbered. Cash value of 
farms, $300,414,064 ; of farm implements and machinery, $14,239,364. 
Total estimated value of all farm products, including betterments and 
additions to stock, $78,027,032 ; of orchard and dairy stuffs, $1,045,933 ; 
of lumber, $1,327,618 ; of home manufactures, $338,423 ; of all live-stock, 
$45,310,882. Number of manufacturing establishments, 7,136, employ- 
ing 39,055 hands, and turning out productions valued at $85,624,966. 
The political divisions of the State form 61 counties, and the chief places 
of wealth, trade, and population, are Madison (the capital), Milwaukee, 
Fond du Lac, Oshkosh, Prairie du Chien, Janesville, Portage City, 
Racine, Kenosha, and La Crosse. In 1870, the total assessed valuation 
reached $333,209,838, as against a true valuation of both real and personal 
estate aggregating $602,207,329. Treasury receipts during 1870, $886,- 
696 ; disbursements, $906,329. Value of church property, $4,749,983. 
Education is amply provided for. Independently of the State University 
at Madison, and those of Galesville and of Lawrence at Appleton, and 
the colleges of Beloit, RaciDe, and Milton, there are Normal Schools at 
Platteville and Whitewater. The State is divided into 4,802 common 
school districts, maintained at a cost, in 1870, of $2,094,160. The chari- 
table institutions of Wisconsin include a Deaf and Dumb Asylum, an 
Institute for the Education of the Blind, and a Soldiers' Orphans' School. 
In January, 1870, the railroad system ramified throughout the State 
totalized 2,779 miles of track, including several lines far advanced toward 
completion. Immigration is successfully encouraged by the State author- 
ities, the larger number of yearly new-comers being of Scandinavian and 
German origin. The territory now occupied within the limits of the 
State of Wisconsin was explored by French missionaries and traders in 
1639, and it remained under French jurisdiction until 1703, when it 
became annexed to the British North American possessions. In 1796,' it 
reverted to the United States, the government of which latter admitted 
it within the limits of the Northwest Territory, and in 1809, attached it 
to that of Illinois, and to Michigan in 1818. Wisconsin became independ- 
ently territorially organized in 1836, and became a State of the Union, 
March 3, 1847. Population in 1870, 1,064,985, of which 2,113 were of 
the colored race, and 11,521 Indians, 1,206 of the latter being out of 
tribal relations. 



Its length, north to south, embraces an extent of' 380 miles ; its 
breadth one of 250 miles at a maximum. Area, 84,000 square miles, or 
54,760,000 acres. The surface of Minnesota, generally speaking, con- 
sists of a succession of gently undulating plains and prairies, drained by 
an admirable water-system, and with here and there heavily- timbered 
bottoms and belts of virgin forest. The soil, corresponding with such a 
superfices, is exceptionally rich, consisting for the most part of a dark, 
calcareous sandy drift intermixed with loam. A distinguishing physical 
feature of this State is its riverine ramifications, expanding in nearly 
every part of it into almost innumerable lakes — the whole presenting an 
aggregate of water-power having hardly a rival in the Union. Besides 
the Mississippi — which here has its rise, and drains a basin of 800 miles 
of country — the principal streams are the Minnesota (334 miles long), 
the Red River of the North, the St. Croix, St. Louis, and many others of 
lesser importance ; the chief lakes are those called Red, Cass, Leech, 
Mille Lacs, Vermillion, and Winibigosh. Quite a concatenation of sheets 
of water fringe the frontier line where Minnesota joins British America, 
culminating in the Lake of the Woods. It has been estimated, that of 
an area of 1,200,000 acres of surface between the St. Croix and Mis- 
sissippi Rivers, not less' than 73,000 acres are of lacustrine formation. In 
point of minerals, the resources of Minnesota have as yet been very 
imperfectly developed ; iron, copper, coal, lead — all these are knpwn to 
exist in considerable deposits ; together with salt, limestone, and potter's 
clay. The agricultural outlook of the State is in a high degree satis- 
factory ; wheat constitutes the leading cereal in cultivation, with Indian 
corn and oats in next order. Fruits and vegetables are grown in great 
plenty and of excellent quality. The lumber resources of Minnesota are 
important ; the pine forests in the north region alone occupying an area 
of some 21,000 square miles, which in 1870 produced a return of scaled 
logs amounting to 313,116,416 feet. The natural industrial advantages 
possessed by Minnesota are largely improved upon by a railroad system. 
The political divisions of this State number 78 counties ; of which the 
chief cities and towns are : St. Paul (the capital), Stillwater, Red Wing, 
St. Anthony, Fort Snelling, Minneapolis, and Mankato. Minnesota has 
already assumed an attitude of high importance as a manufacturing State ; 
this is mainly due to the wonderful command of water-power she pos- 
sesses, as before spoken of. Besides her . timber-trade, the milling of 
flour, the distillation of whisky, and the tanning of leather, are prominent 
interests, which, in 1869, gave returns to the amount of $14,831,043. 


Education is notably provided for on a broad and catholic scale, the 
entire amount expended scholastically during the year 1870 being $857,- 
816 ; while on November 30 of the preceding year the permanent school 
fund stood at $2,476,222. Besides a University and Agricultural College, 
Normal and Reform Schools nourish, and with these may be mentioned 
such various philanthropic and religious institutions as befit the needs of 
an intelligent and prosperous community. The finances of the State for 
the fiscal year terminating December 1, 1870, exhibited a balance on the 
right side to the amount of $136,164, being a gain of $44,000 over the 
previous year's figures. The earliest, exploration of Minnesota by the 
whites was made in 1680 by a French Franciscan, Father Hennepin, who 
gave the name of St. Antony to the Great Falls on the Upper Missisippi. 
In 1763, the Treaty of Versailles ceded this region to England. 
Twenty years later, Minnesota formed part of the Northwest Territory 
transferred to the United States, and became herself territorialized inde- 
pendently in 1849. Indian cessions in 1851 enlarged her boundaries, and, 
May 11, 1857, Minnesota became a unit of the great American federation 
of States. Population, 439,706. 


Maximum length, 412 miles; extreme breadth, 208 miles. Area., 
75,905 square miles, or 48,636,800 acres. The surface of this State is 
almost entirely undulating prairie, and forms part of the west slope of 
the great central basin of the North American Continent. In its west 
division, near the base of the Rocky Mountains, is a sandy belt of 
country, irregularly defined. In this part, too, are the " dunes," resem- 
bling a wavy sea. of sandy billows, as well as the Mauvaises Terres, a tract 
of singular formation, produced by eccentric disintegrations and denuda- 
tions of the land. The chief rivers are the Missouri, constituting its en- 
tire east line of demarcation ; the Nebraska or Platte, the Niobrara, the 
Republican Fork of the Kansas, the Elkhorn, and the Loup Fork of the 
Platte. The soil is very various, but consisting chiefly of rich, bottomy 
loam, admirably adapted to the raising of heavy crops of cereals. All 
the vegetables and fruits of the temperate zone are produced in great 
size and plenty. For grazing purposes Nebraska is a State exceptionally 
well fitted, a region of not less than 23,000,000 acres being adaptable to 
this branch of husbandry. It is believed that the, as yet, comparatively 
infertile tracts of land found in various parts of the State are susceptible 
of productivity by means of a properly conducted system of irrigation. 
Few minerals of moment have so far been found within the limits of 



Nebraska, if we may except important saline deposits at the head of Salt 
Creek in its southeast section. The State is divided into 57 counties, 
independent of the Pawnee and Winnebago Indians, and of unorganized 
territory in the northwest part. The principal towns are Omaha, Lincoln 
(State capital), Nebraska City, Columbus, Grand Island, etc. In 1870, 
the total assessed value of property amounted to $53,000,000, being an 
increase of $11,000,000 over the previous year's returns. The total 
amount received from the school-fund during, the year 1869-70 was 
$77,999. Education is making great onward strides, the State University 
and an Agricultural College being far advanced toward completion. In 
the matter of railroad communication, Nebraska bids fair to soon place 
herself on a par with her neighbors to the east. Besides being inter- 
sected by the Union Pacific line, with its off-shoot, the Fremont and Blair, 
other tracks are in course of rapid construction. Organized by Con- 
gressional Act into a Territory, May 30, 1854, Nebraska entered the 
Union as a full State, March 1, 1867. Population, 122,993. 


Early History of Illinois. 

The name of this beautiful Prairie State is derived from Illini, a. 
Delaware word signifying Superior Men. It has a French termination,, 
and is a symbol of how the two races — the French and the Indians — 
were intermixed during the early history of the country. 

The appellation was no doubt well applied to the primitive inhabit- 
ants of the soil whose prowess in savage warfare long withstood the 
combined attacks of the fierce Iroquois on the one side, and the no less 
savage and relentless Sacs and Foxes- on the other. The Illinois were 
once a powerful confederacy, occupying the most beautiful and fertile 
-region in the great Valley of the Mississippi, which their enemies coveted 
and struggled long and hard to wrest from them. By the fortunes of 
war they were diminished in numbers, and finally destroyed. " Starved 
Rock," on the Illinois River, according to tradition, commemorates their 
last tragedy, where, it is said, the entire tribe starved rather than sur- 


The first European discoveries in Illinois date back over two hun- 
dred years. They are a part of that movement which, from the begin- 
ning to the middle of the seventeenth century, brought the French 
Canadian missionaries and fur traders into the Valley of the Mississippi, 
and which, at a later period, established the civil and ecclesiastical 
authority of France from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the Gulf of Mexico, 
and from the foot-hills of the Alleghanies to the Rocky Mountains. 

The great river of the West had been discovered by DeSoto, the 
Spanish conqueror of Florida, three quarters of a century before the 
French founded Quebec in 1608, but the Spanish left the country a wil- 
derness, without further exploration or settlement within its borders, in 
which condition it remained until the Mississippi was discovered by the 
agents of the French Canadian government, Jolietand Marquette, in 1673. 
These renowned explorers were not the first white visitors to Illinois. 
In 1671 — two years in advance of them — came Nicholas Perrot to Chicago. 
He had been sent by Talon as an agent of the Canadian government to 





call a great peace convention of "Western Indians at Green Bay, prepara- 
tory to the movement for the discovery of the Mississippi. It was 
deemed a good stroke of policy to secure, as far as possible, the friend- 
ship and co-operation of the Indians, far and near, before venturing upon 
an enterprise which their hostility might render disastrous, and which 
their friendship and assistance would do so much to make successful ; 
and to this end Perrot was sent to call together in council the tribes 
throughout the Northwest, and to promise them the commerce and pro- 
tection of the French government. He accordingly arrived at Green 
Bay in 1671, and procuring an escdrt of Pottawattamies, proceeded in a 
bark canoe upon a visit to the Miamis, at Chicago. Perrot was there- 
fore the first European to set foot upon the soil of Illinois. 

Still there were others before Marquette. In 1672, the Jesuit mis- 
sionaries, Fathers Claude Allouez and Claude Dablon, bore the standard 
of the Cross from their mission at Green Bay through western Wisconsin 
and northern Illinois, visiting the Foxes on Fox River, and the Masquo- 
tines and Kickapoos at the mouth of the Milwaukee. These missionaries 
penetrated on the route afterwards followed by Marquette as far as the 
Kickapoo village at the head of Lake "Winnebago, where Marquette, in 
his journey, secured guides across the portage to the "Wisconsin. 

The oft-repeated story of Marquette and Joliet is well known. 
They were the agents employed by the Canadian government to discover 
the Mississippi. Marquette was a native of France, born in 1637, a 
Jesuit priest by education, and a man of simple faith and of great zeal and 
devotion in extending the Roman Catholic religion among the Indians. 
Arriving in Canada in 1666, he was sent as a missionary to the far 
Northwest, and, in 1668, founded a mission at Sault Ste. Marie. The 
following year he moved to La Pointe, in Lake Superior, where he 
instructed a branch of the Hurons till 1670, when he removed south, and 
founded the mission at St. Ignace, on the Straits of Mackinaw. Here 
he remained, devoting a portion of his time to the study of the Illinois 
language under a native teacher who had accompanied him to the mission 
from La Pointe, till he was joined by Joliet in the Spring of 1673. By 
the way of Green Bay and the Fox and "Wisconsin Rivers, they entered 
the Mississippi, which they explored to the mouth of the Arkansas, and 
returned by the way of the Illinois and Chicago Rivers to Lake Michigan. 
On his way up the. Illinois, Marquette visited the great village of 
the Kaskaskias, near what is now Utica, in the county of LaSalle. The 
following year he returned and established among them the mission of 
the Immaculate Virgin Mary, which was the first Jesuit mission founded 
in Illinois and in the Mississippi Valley. The intervening winter he 
had spent in a hut which his companions erected on the Chicago River, a 
few leagues from its mouth. The founding of this mission was the last 


act of Marquette's life. He died in Michigan, on his way back to Green 
Bay, May 18, 1675. 


The first French occupation of the territory now embraced in Illi- 
nois was effected by LaSalle in 1680, seven years after the time of Mar- 
quette and Joliet. LaSalle, having constructed a vessel, the " Griffia," 
above the falls of Niagara, which he sailed to Green Bay, and having 
passed thence in canoes to the mouth of the St. Joseph River, by which 
and the Kankakee he reached the Illinois, in January, 1680, erected Fort 
Crevecceur, at the lower end of Peoria Lake, where the city of Peoria is. 
now situated. The place where this ancient fort stood may still be seen 
just below the outlet of Peoria Lake. It was destined, however, to a 
temporary existence. From this point, LaSalle determined to descend 
the Mississippi to its mouth, but did not accomplish this purpose till two 
years later — in 1682. Returning to Fort Frontenac for the purpose of 
getting materials with which to rig his vessel, he left the fort in charge of 
Touti, his lieutenant, who during his absence was driven off by the Iro- 
quois Indians. These savages had made a raid upon the settlement of 
the Illinois, and had left nothing in their track but ruin and desolation. 
Mr. Davidson, in his History of Illinois, gives the following graphic 
account of the picture that met the eyes of LaSalle and his companions 
on their return : 

" At the great town of the Illinois they were appalled at the scene 
which opened to their view. No hunter appeared to break its death-like 
silence with a salutatory whoop oi welcome. The plain on which the 
town had stood was now strewn with charred fragments of lodges, which 
had so recently swarmed with savage life and hilarity. To render more 
hideous the picture of desolation, large numbers of skulls had been 
placed on the upper extremities of lodge-poles which had escaped the 
devouring flames. In the midst of these horrors was the rude fort of 
the spoilers, rendered frightful by the same ghastly relics. A near 
approach showed that the graves had been robbed of their bodies, and 
swarms of buzzards were discovered glutting their loathsome stomachs 
on the reeking corruption. To complete the work of destruction, the 
growing corn of the village had been cut down and burned, while the 
pits containing the products of previous years, had been rifled and their 
contents scattered with wanton waste. It was evident the suspected 
blow of the Iroquois had fallen with relentless fury." 

Tonti had escaped LaSalle knew not whither. Passing down the 
lake in search of him and his men, LaSalle discovered that the fort had 
been destroyed, but the vessel which he had partly ' constructed was still 


on the stocks, and but slightly injured. After further fruitless search, 
failing to find Tonti, he fastened to a tree a painting representing himself 
and party sitting in a canoe and bearing a pipe of peace, and to the paint- 
ing attached a letter addressed to Tonti. 

Tonti had escaped, and, after untold privations, taken shelter among 
the Pottawattamies near Green Bay. These were friendly to the French. 
One of their old chiefs used to say, " There were but three great cap- 
tains in the world, himself, Tonti and LaSalle." 


We must now return to LaSalle, whose exploits stand out in such 
bold relief. He was born in Rouen, France, in 1643. His father jwas 
wealthy, but he renounced his patrimony on entering a college of the 
Jesuits, from which he separated and came to Canada a poor man in 1666. 
The priests of St. Sulpice, among whom he had a brother, were then the 
proprietors of Montreal, the nucleus of which was a seminary or con- 
vent founded by that order. The Superior granted to LaSalle a large 
tract of land at LaChine, where he established himself in the fur trade. 
He was a man of daring genius, and outstripped all his competitors in 
exploits of travel and commerce with the Indians. In 1669, he visited 
the headquarters of the great Iroquois Confederacy, at Onondaga, in the 
heart of New York, and, obtaining guides, explored the Ohio River to 
the falls at Louisville. 

In order to understand the genius of LaSalle, it must be remembered 
that for many years prior to his time the missionaries and traders were 
obliged to make their way to- the Northwest by the Ottawa River (of 
Canada) on account of the fierce hostility of the Iroquois along the lower 
lakes and Niagara River, which entirely closed this latter route to the 
Upper Lakes. They carried on their commerce chiefly by canoes, pad- 
dling them through the Ottawa to Lake Nipissing, carrying fhem across 
the portage to French River, and descending that to Lake Huron. This 
being the route by which they reached the Northwest, accounts for the 
fact that all the earliest Jesuit missions were established in the neighbor- 
hood of the Upper Lakes. LaSalle conceived the grand idea of opening 
the route by Niagara River and the Lower Lakes to Canadian commerce 
by sail vessels, connecting it with the navigation of the Mississippi, and 
thus opening a magnificent water communication from the Gulf of St. 
Lawrence to the Gulf of Mexico. This truly grand and comprehensive 
purpose seems to have animated him in all his wonderful achievements 
and the matchless difficulties and hardships he surmounted. As the first 
step in the accomplishment of this object he established himself on Lake 
Ontario, and built and garrisoned Fort Frontenac, the site of the present 


city of Kingston, Canada. Here be obtained a grant of land from the 
Frencb crown and'a body of troops by which he beat back the invading 
Iroquois and cleared the passage to Niagara Falls. Having by this mas- 
terly stroke made it safe to attempt a hitherto untried expedition, his 
next step, as we have seen, was to advance to the Falls with all his 
outfit for building a ship with which to sail the lakes. He was success- 
ful in this undertaking, though his ultimate purpose was defeated by a 
strange combination of untoward circumstances. The Jesuits evidently 
hated LaSalle and plotted against him, because he had abandoned them 
and co-operated wjth a rival order. The fur traders were also jealous of 
his superior success in opening new channels of commerce. At LaOhine 
he had taken the trade of Lake Ontario, which but for his presence there 
would have gone to Quebec. While they were plodding with their bars 
canoes through the Ottawa he was constructing sailing vessels to com- 
mand the trade of the lakes and the Mississippi. These great plans 
excited the jealousy and envy of the small traders, introduced treason and 
revolt into the ranks of his own companions, and finally led to the foul 
assassination by which his great achievements were prematurely ended. 

In 1682, LaSalle, having completed his vessel at Peoria, descended 
the Mississippi to its confluence with the Gulf of Mexico. Erecting a 
standard on which he inscribed the arms of France, he took formal pos- 
session of the whole valley of the mighty river, in the name of Louis 
XIV., then reigning, in honor of whom he named the country LOUISIANA. 

LaSalle then went to France, was appointed Governor, and returned 
with a fleet and immigrants, for the purpose of planting a colony in Illi- 
nois. They arrived in due time in the Gulf of Mexico, but failing to 
find the mouth of the Mississippi, up which LaSalle intended to sail, his 
supply ship, with the immigrants, was driven ashore and wrecked on 
Matagorda Bay. With the fragments of the vessel he constructed a 
stockade and rude huts on the shore for the protection of the immigrants, 
calling the post Fort St. Louis. He then made a trip into New Mexico, 
in search of silver mines, but, meeting with disappointment, returned to 
find his little colony reduced to forty souls. He then resolved to travel 
on foot to Illinois, and, starting with his companions, had reached the 
valley of the Colorado, near the mouth of Trinity river, when he was 
shot by one of his men. This occurred on the 19th of March, 1687. 

Dr. J. W. Foster remarks of him : " Thus fell, not far from the banks 
of the Trinity, Robert Cavalier de la Salle, one of the grandest charac- 
ters that ever figured in American history — a man capable of originating 
the vastest schemes, and endowed with a will and a judgment capable of 
carrying them to successful results. Had ample facilities been placed by 
the King of France at his disposal, the result of the colonization of this 
continent might have been far different from what we now behold." 



A temporary settlement was made at Fort St. Louis, or the old Kas- 
kaskia village, on the Illinois River, in what is now LaSalle County, in 
1682. In 1690, this was removed, with the mission connected with it, to 
Kaskaskia, on the river of that name, emptying into the lower Mississippi 
in St. Clair County. Cahokia was settled about the same time, or at 
least, both of these settlements began in the year 1690, though it is now 
pretty well settled that Cahokia is the alder place, and ranks as the oldest 
permanent settlement in Illinois, as well as in the Mississippi Valley. 
The reason for the removal of the old Kaskaskia settlement and mission, 
was probably because the dangerous and difficult route by Lake Michigan 
and the Chicago portage had been almost abandoned, and travelers and 
traders passed down and up the Mississippi by the Fox and Wisconsin 
River route. They removed to the vicinity of the Mississippi in order 
to be in the line of travel from Canada to Louisiana, that is, the lower 
part of it, for it was all Louisiana then south of the lakes. 

During the period of French rule in Louisiana, the population prob- 
ably never exceeded ten thousand, including whites and blacks. Within 
that portion of it now included in Indiana, trading posts were established 
at the principal Miami villages which stood on the head waters of the 
Maumee, the Wea villages situated at Ouiatenon, on the Wabash, and 
the Piankeshaw villages at Post Vincennes ; all of which were probably 
visited by French traders and missionaries before the close of the seven? 
teenth century. 

In the vast territory claimed by the French, many settlements of 
considerable importance had sprung up. Biloxi, on Mobile Bay, had 
been founded by D'Iberville, in 1699 ; Antoine de Lamotte Cadillac had 
founded Detroit in 1701 ; and New Orleans had been founded by Bien- 
ville, under the auspices of the Mississippi Company, in 1718. In Illi- 
nois also, considerable settlements had been made, so that in 1730 they 
embraced one hundred and forty French families, about six hundred " con- 
verted Indians," and many traders and voyageurs. In that portion of the 
country, on the east side of the Mississippi, there were five distinct set- 
tlements, with their respective villages, viz. : Cahokia, near the mouth 
of Cahokia Creek and about five miles below the present city of St. 
Louis; St. Philip, about forty-five miles below Cahokia, and four miles 
above Fort Chartres ; Fort Chartres, twelve miles above Kaskaskia ; 
Kaskaskia, situated on the Kaskaskia River, five miles above its conflu- 
ence with the Mississippi ; and. Prairie du Rocher, near Fort Chartres. 
To these must be added St. Genevieve and St. Louis, on the west side 
of the Mississippi. These, with the exception of St. Louis, are among 





the oldest French towns in the Mississippi Valley. Kaskaskia, in its best 
days, was a town of some two or three thousand inhabitants. After it 
passed from the crown of France its population for many years did not 
exceed fifteen hundred. Under British rule, in 1773, the population had 
decreased to four hundred and fifty. As early as 1721, the Jesuits had 
established a college and a monastery in Kaskaskia. 

Fort Chartres was first built under the direction of the Mississippi 
Company, in 1718, by M. de Boisbraint, a military officer, under command 
of Bienville. It stood on the east bank of the Mississippi, about eighteen 
miles below Kaskaskia, and was for some time the headquarters of the 
military commandants of the district of Illinois. 

In the Centennial Oration of Dr. Fowler, delivered at Philadelphia, 
by appointment of Gov. Beveridge, we find some interesting facts with 
regard to the State of Illinois, which we appropriate in this history: 

In 1682 Illinois became a possession of the French crown, a depend- 
ency of Canada, and a part of Louisiana. In 1765 the English flag was 
run up on old Fort Chartres, and Illinois was _ counted among the treas- 
ures of Great Britain. • 

In 1779 it was taken from the English by Col. George Rogers Clark. 
This man was resolute in nature, wise in council, prudent in policy, bold 
in action, and heroic in danger. Few men who have figured in the his- 
tory of America are more deserving than this colonel. Nothing short of 
first-class ability could have rescued Vincens and all Illinois from the 
English. And it is not possible to over-estimate the influence of this 
achievement upon the republic. In 1779 Illinois became a part of Vir- 
ginia. It was soon known as Illinois County. In 1784 Virginia ceded 
all this territory to the general government, to be cut into States, to be 
republican in form, with " the same right of sovereignty, freedom, and 
independence as the other States." 

In 1787 it was the object of the wisest and ablest legislation found 
in any merely human records. No man can study the secret history of 

THE " COMPACT OF 1787," 

and not feel that Providence was guiding with sleepless eye these unborn 
States. The ordinance that on July 13, 1767, finally became the incor- 
porating act, has a most marvelous history. Jefferson had vainly tried 
to secure a system of government for the northwestern territory. He 
was an emancipationist of that day, and favored the exclusion of slavery 
from the territory Virginia had ceded to the general government; but 
the South voted him down as often as it came up. In 1787, as late as 
July 10, an organizing act without the anti-slavery clause was pending. 
This concession to the South was expected to carry it. Congress was in 


session in New York City. On July 5, Rev. Dr. Manasseh Cutler, of 
Massachusetts, came into New York to lobby on the northwestern terri- 
tory. Everything seemed to fall into his hands. Events were ripe. 

The state of the public credit, the growing of Southern prejudice, 
the basis of his mission, his personal character, all combined to complete 
one of those sudden and marvelous revolutions of public sentiment that 
once in five or ten centuries are seen to sweep over a country like the 
breath of the Almighty. Cutler was a graduate of Yale — received his 
A.M. from Harvard, and his D.D. from Yale. He had studied and taken 
degrees in the three learned professions, medicine, law, and divinity. He 
had thus America's best indorsement. He had published a scientific 
examination of the plants of New England. His name stood second only 
to that of Franklin as a scientist in America. He was a courtly gentle- 
man of the old style, a man of commanding presence, and of inviting 
face. The Southern members said they had never seen such a gentleman 
in the North. He came representing a company that desired to purchase 
a tract of land now included in Ohio, for the purpose of planting a colony. 
It was a speculation. Government money was worth eighteen cents on 
the dollar. This Massachusetts company had collected enough to pur- 
chase 1,500,000 acres of land. Other speculators in New York made 
Dr. Cutler their agent (lobbyist). On the 12th he represented a demand 
for 5,500,000 acres. This would reduce the national debt. Jefferson 
and Virginia were regarded as authority concerning the land Virginia 
had just ceded. Jefferson's policy wanted to provide for the public credit, 
and this was a good opportunity to do something. 

Massachusetts then owned the territory of Maine, which she was 
crowding on the market. She was opposed to opening the northwestern 
region. This fired the zeal of Virginia. The South caught the inspira- 
tion, and all exalted Dr. Cutler. The English minister invited him to 
dine with some of the Southern gentlemen. He was the center of interest. 

The entire South rallied round him. Massachusetts could not vote 
against him, because many of the constituents of her members were 
interested personally in the western speculation. Thus Cutler, making 
friends with the South, and, doubtless, using all the arts of the lobby, 
was enabled to command the situation. True to deeper convictions, he 
dictated one of the most compact and finished documents of wise states- 
manship that has ever adorned any human law book. He borrowed from 
Jefferson the term "Articles of Compact," which, preceding the federal 
constitution, rose into the most sacred character. He then followed very 
closely the constitution of Massachusetts, adopted three years before. 
•Its most marked points were : 

1. The exclusion of slavery from the territory forever. 

2. Provision for public schools, giving one township for a seminary, 



and every section numbered 16 in each township ; that is, one-thirty-sixth 
of all the land, for public schools. 

3. A provision prohibiting the adoption of any constitution or the 
enactment of any law that should nullify pre-existing contracts. 

Be it forever remembered that this compact declared that " Religion, 
morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government and the 
happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall always 
be encouraged." 

Dr. Cutler planted himself on this platform and would not yield. 
Giving his unqualified declaration that it was that or nothing — that unless 
they could make the land desirable they did not want it — he took his 
horse and buggy, and started for the constitutional convention in Phila- 
delphia. On July 13, 1787, the bill was put upon its passage, and was 
unanimously adopted, every Southern member voting for it, and only one 
man, Mr. Yates, of New York, voting against it. But as the States voted 
as States, Yates lost his vote, and the compact was put beyond repeal. 

Thus the great States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wis- 
consin — a vast empire, the heart of the great valley — were consecrated 
to freedom, intelligence, and honesty. Thus the great heart of the nation 
was prepared for a year and a day and an hour. In the light of these eighty- 
nine years I affirm that this act was the salvation of the republic and the. 
destruction of slavery. Soon the South saw their great blunder, and 
tried to repeal the compact. In 1803 Congress referred it to a committee 
of which John Randolph was chairman. He reported that this ordinance 
was a compact, and opposed repeal. Thus it stood a rock, in the way 
of the on-rushing sea of slavery. 

With all this timely aid it was, after all, a most desperate and pro- 
tracted struggle to keep the soil of Illinois sacred to freedom. It was 
the natural battle-field for the irrepressible conflict. In the southern end 
of the State slavery preceded the compact. It existed among the old 
French settlers, and was hard to eradicate. The southern part of the 
State was settled from the slave States, and this population brought their 
laws, customs, and institutions with them. A stream of population from 
the North poured into the northern part of the State. These sections 
misunderstood and hated each other perfectly. The Southerners regarded 
the Yankees as a skinning, tricky, penurious race of peddlers, filling the 
country with tinware* brass clocks, and wooden nutmegs. The North- 
erner thought of the Southerner as a lean, lank, lazy creature, burrowing 
in a hut, and rioting in whisky, dirt and ignorance. These causes, aided 
in making the struggle long and bitter. So strong was the sympathy 
with slavery that, in spite of the ordinance of 1787, and in spite of the 
deed of cession, it was determined to allow the old French settlers to 
retain their slaves. Planters from the slave States might bring their 


slaves, if they would give them a chance to choose freedom or years 
of service and bondage for their children till they should become 
thirty years of age. If they chose freedom they must' leave the State 
in sixty days or be sold as fugitives. Servants were whipped for offenses 
for which white men are fined. Each lash paid forty cents of the fine. A 
negro ten miles from home without a pass was whipped. These famous 
laws were imported from the slave States just as they imported laws for 
the inspection of flax and wool when there was neither in the State. 

These Black Laws are now wiped out. A vigorous effort was made 
to protect slavery in the State Constitution of 1817. It barely failed. 
It was renewed in 1825, when a convention was asked to make a new 
constitution. After a hard fight the convention was defeated. But 
slaves did not disappear from the census of the State until 1850. There 
were mobs and murders in the interest of slavery. Lovejoy was added 
to the list of martyrs — a sort of first-fruits of that long life of immortal 
heroes who saw freedom as the one supreme desire of their souls, and 
were so enamored of her that they preferred to die rather than survive her. 

The population of 12,282 that occupied the territory in A.D. 1800, 
increased to 45,000 in A.D. 1818, when the State Constitution was 
adopted, and Illinois took her place in the Union, with a star on the flag 
and two votes in the Senate. 

Shadrach Bond was the first Governor, and in his first message he 
recommended the construction of the Illinois and Michigan Canal. 

The simple economy in those days is seen in the fact that the entire 
bill for stationery for the first Legislature was only f 13.50. Yet this 
simple body actually enacted a very superior code. 

There was no money in the territory before the war of 1812. Deer 
skins and coon skins were the circulating medium. In 1821, the Legis- 
lature ordained a State Bank on the credit of the State. It issued notes 
in the likeness of bank bills. These notes were made a legal tender for 
every thing, and the bank was ordered to loan to the people $100 on per- 
sonal security, and more on mortgages. They actually passed a resolu- 
tion requesting the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States to 
receive these notes for land. The old French Lieutenant Governor, Col. 
Menard, put the resolution as follows: " Gentlemen of the Senate : It is 
moved and seconded dat de notes of dis bank be made land-office money. 
All in favor of dat motion say aye ; all against it say no. It is decided 
in de affirmative. Now, gentlemen, I bet you one hundred dollar he 
never be land-office money ! " Hard sense, like hard money, is always 
above par. 

This old Frenchman presents a fine figure up against the dark back- 
ground of most of his nation. They made no progress. They clung to 
their earliest and simplest implements. They never wore hats or cap? 



They pulled their blankets over their heads in the winter like the Indians, 
with whom they freely intermingled. 

Demagogism had an early development. One John Grammar (only 
in name), elected to the Territorial and State Legislatures of 1816 and 
1836, invented the policy of opposing every new thing, saying, " If it 
succeeds, no one will ask who voted against it. If it proves a failure, he 
could quote its record." In sharp contrast with Grammar was the char- 
acter of D. P. Cook, after whom the county containing Chicago was 
named. Such was his transparent integrity and remarkable ability that 
his will was almost the law of the State. In Congress, a young man, 
and from a poor State, he was made Chairman of the Ways and Means 
Committee. He was pre-eminent for standing by his committee, regard- 
less of consequences. It was his integrity that elected John Quincy 
Adams to the Presidency. There were four candidates in 1824, Jackson, 
Clay, Crawford, and John Quincy Adams. There being no choice by the 
people, the election was thrown into the House. It was so balanced that 
it turned on his vote, and that he cast for Adams, electing him ; then 
went home to face the wrath of the Jackson party in Illinois. It cost 
him all but character and greatness. It is a suggestive comment on the 
times, that there was no legal interest till 1830. It often reached 150 
per cent., usually 50 per cent. Then it was reduced to 12, and now to 
10 per cent. 


In area the State has 55,410 square miles of territory. It is about 
150 miles wide and 400 miles long, stretching in latitude from Maine to 
North Carolina. It embraces wide variety of climate. It is tempered 
on the north by the great inland, saltless, tideless sea, which keeps the 
thermometer from either extreme. Being a table land, from 600 to 1,600 
feet above the level of the sea, one is prepared to find on the health 
maps, prepared by the general government, an almost clean and perfect 
record. In freedom from fever and malarial diseases and consumptions, 
the three deadly enemies of the American Saxon, Illinois, as a State, 
stands without a superior. She furnishes one of the essential conditions 
of a great people — sound bodies. I suspect that this fact lies back of 
that old Delaware word, Illini, superior men. 

The great battles of history that have been determinative of dynas- 
ties and destinies have been strategical battles, chiefly the question of 
position. Thermopylae has been the war-cry of freemen for twenty-four 
centuries. It only tells how much there may. be in position. All this 
advantage belongs to Illinois. It is in the heart of the greatest valley in 
the world, the vast region between the mountains — a valley that could 


feed mankind for one thousand years. It is well on toward the center of 
the continent. It is in the great temperate belt, in which have been 
found nearly all the aggressive civilizations of history. It has sixty-five 
miles of frontage on the head of the lake. With the Mississippi forming 
the western and southern boundary, with the Ohio running along the 
southeastern line, with the Illinois River and Canal dividing the State 
diagonally from the lake to the Lower Mississippi, and with the Rock and 
Wabash Rivers furnishing altogether 2,000 miles of water-front, con- 
necting with, and running through, in all about 12,000 miles of navi- 
gable water. 

But this is not all. These waters are made most available by the 
fact that the lake and the State lie on the ridge running into the great 
valley from the east. Within cannon-shot of the lake the water runs 
away from the lake to the Gulf. The lake now empties at both ends, 
one into the Atlantic and one into the Gulf of Mexico. The lake thus 
seems to hang over the land. This makes the dockage most serviceable ; 
there are no steep banks to damage it. Roth lake and river are made 
for use. 

The climate varies from Portland to Richmond ; it favors every pro- 
duct of the continent, including the tropics, with less than half a dozen 
exceptions. It produces every great nutriment of the world except ban- 
anas and rice. It is hardly too much to say that it is the most productive 
spot known to civilization. With the soil full of bread and the earth full 
of minsrals ; with an upper surface of food and an under layer of fuel ; 
with perfect natural drainage, and abundant springs and streams and 
navigable rivers ; half way between the forests of the North and the fruits 
of the South ; within a day's ride of the great deposits of iron, coal, cop- 
per, lead, and zinc ; containing and controlling the great grain, cattle, 
pork, and lumber markets of the world, it is not strange-that Illinois has 
the advantage of position. 

This advantage has been supplemented by the character of the popu- 
lation. In the early days when Illinois was first admitted to the Union, 
her population were chiefly from Kentucky and Virginia. But, in the 
conflict of ideas concerning slavery, a strong tide of emigration came in 
from the East, and soon changed this composition. In 1870 her non- 
native population were from colder soils. New York furnished 133,290 ; 
Ohio gave 162,623; Pennsylvania sent on 98,352; the entire South gave 
us only 206,734. In all her cities, and in all her German and Scandina- 
vian and other foreign colonies, Illinois has only about one-fifth of her 
people of foreign birth. 



One of the greatest elements in the early development of Illinois is 
the Illinois and Michigan Canal, connecting the Illinois and Mississippi 
Rivers with the lakes. It was of the utmost importance to the State. 
It was recommended by Gov. Bond, the first governor, in his first message. 
In 1821, the Legislature appropriated $10,000 for surveying the route. 
Two bright young engineers surveyed it, and estimated the cost at 
$600,000 or $700,000. It finally cost $8,000,000. In 1825, a law was 
passed to incorporate the Canal Company, but no stock was sold. In 
1826, upon the solicitation of Cook, Congress gave 800,000 acres of land 
on the line of the work. In 1828, another law — commissioners appointed, 
and work commenced with new survey and new estimates. In 1834-35, 
George Farquhar made an able report on the whole matter. This was, 
doubtless, the ablest report ever made to a western legislature, and it 
became the model for subsequent reports and action. From this the 
work went on till it was finished in 1848. It cost the State a large 
amount of money ; but it gave to the industries of the State an impetus 
that pushed it up into the first rank of greatness. It was not built as a 
speculation any more than a doctor is employed on a speculation. But 
it has paid into the Treasary of the State an average annual net sum of 
over $111,000. 

Pending the construction of the canal, the land and town-lot fever 
broke out in the State, in 1834-35. It took on the malignant type in 
Chicago, lifting the town up into a city. The disease spread over the 
entire State and adjoining States. It was epidemic. It cut up men's 
farms without regard to locality, aiid out up the purses of the purchasers 
without regard to consequences. It is estimated that building lots enough 
were sold in Indiana alone to accommodate every citizen then in the 
United States. 

Towns and cities were exported to ifche Eastern market by the ship- 
load. There was no lack of buyers. Every up-ship came freighted with 
speculators and their money. 

This distemper seized upon the Legislature in 1836-37, and left not 
one to tell the tale. They enacted a system of internal improvement 
without a parallel in the grandeur of its conception. They ordered the 
construction of 1,300 miles of railroad, crossing the State in all direc- 
tions. This was surpassed by the river and canal improvements. 
There were a few counties not touched by either railroad or river or 
canal, and those were to be comforted and compensated by the free dis- 
tribution of $200,000 among them. To inflate this balloon beyond cre- 
dence it was ordered that work should be commenced on both ejids of 


each of these railroads and rivers, and at each river-crossing, all at the 
same time. The appropriations for these vast improvements were over 
112,000,000, and commissioners were appointed to borrow the money on 
the credit of the State. Remember that all this was in the early days of 
railroading, when railroads were luxuries ; that the State had whole 
counties with scarcely a cabin ; and that the population of the State was 
less than 400,000, and you can form some idea of the vigor with which 
these brave men undertook the work of making a great State. In the 
light of history I am compelled to say that this was only a premature 
throb of the power that actually slumbered in the soil of the State. It 
was Hercules in the cradle. 

At this juncture the State Bank loaned its funds largely to Godfrey 
Gilman & Co., and to other leading houses, for the purpose of drawing 
trade from St. Louis to Alton. Soon they failed, and took down the 
bank with them. 

In 1840, all hope seemed gone. A population of 480,000 were loaded 
with a debt of $14,000,000. It had only six small cities, really only 
towns, namely: Chicago, Alton, Springfield, Quincy, Galena, Nauvoo. 
This debt was to be cared for when there was not a dollar in the treas- 
ury, and when the State had borrowed itself out of all credit, and when 
there was not good money enough in the hands of all the people to pay 
the interest of the debt for a single year. Yet, in the presence of all 
these difficulties, the young State steadily refused to repudiate. Gov. 
Ford took hold of the problem and solved it, bringing the State through 
in triumph. 

Having touched lightly upon some of the more distinctive points in 
the history of the development of Illinois, let us next briefly consider the 


It is a garden four hundred miles long and one hundred and fifty 
miles wide. Its soil is chiefly a black sandy loam, from six inches to 
sixty feet thick. On the American bottoms it has been cultivated for 
one hundred and fifty years without renewal. About the old French 
towns it has yielded corn for a century and a half without rest or help. 
It produces nearly everything green in the temperate and tropical zones. 
She leads all other States in the number of acres actually under plow. 
Her products from 25,000,000 of acres are incalculable. Her mineral 
wealth is scarcely second to her agricultural power. She has coal, iron, 
lead, copper, zinc, many varieties of building stone, fire clay, cuma clay, 
common brick clay, sand of all kinds, gravel, mineral paint — every thing 
needed for a high civilization. Left to herself, she has the elements of 
all greatness. The single item of coal is too vast for an appreciative 


handling in figures. We can handle it in general terms like algebraical . 
signs, but long before we get up into the millions and billions the human 
mind drops down from comprehension to mere symbolic apprehension. 

When I tell you that nearly four-fifths of the entire State is under- 
laid with a deposit of coal more than forty feet thick on the average (now 
estimated, by recent surveys, at seventy feet thick), you can get some 
idea of its amount, as you do of the amount of the national debt. There 
it is ! 41,000 square miles — one vast mine into which you could put 
any of the States ; in which you could bury scores of European and 
ancient empires, and have room enough all round to work without know- 
ing that they had been sepulchered there. 

Put this vast coal-bed down by the other great coal deposits of the 
world, and its importance becomes manifest. Great Britain has 12,000 
square miles of coal; Spain, 3,000; France, 1,719; Belgium, 578; Illinois 
about twice as many square miles as all combined. Virginia has 20,000 
square miles ; Pennsylvania, 16,000 ; Ohio, 12,000. Illinois has 41,000 
square miles. One-seventh of all the known coal on this continent is in 

Could we sell the coal in this single State for one-seventh of one cent 
a ton it would pay the national debt. Converted into power, even with 
the wastage in our common engines, it would do more work than could 
be done by the entire race, beginning at Adam's wedding and working 
ten hours a day through all the centuries till the present time, and right 
on into the future at the same rate for the next 600,000 years. 

Great Britain uses enough mechanical power to-day to give to each 
man, woman, and child in the kingdom the help and service of nineteen 
untiring servants. No wonder she has leisure and luxuries. No wonder 
the home of the common artisan has in it more luxuries than could be 
found in the palace of good old King Arthur. Think, if you can conceive 
of it, of the vast army of servants that slumber in the soil of Illinois, 
impatiently awaiting the call of Genius to come forth to minister to our 

At the present rate of consumption England's coal supply will be 
exhausted in 250 years. When this is gone she must transfer her dominion 
either to the Indies, or to British America, which I would not resist ; or 
to some other people, which I would regret as a loss to civilization. 


At the same rate of consumption (which far exceeds our own) the 
deposit of coal in Illinois will last 120,000 years. And her kingdom shall 
be an everlasting kingdom. 

Let us turn now from this reserve power to the annual products of 


the State. We shall not be humiliated in this field. Here we strike the 
secret of our national credit. Nature provides a market in the constant 
appetite of the race. Men must eat, and if we can furnish the provisions 
we can command the treasure. All that a man hath will he give for his. 

According to the last census Illinois produced 30,000,000 of bushels 
of wlieat. That is more wheat than was raised by any other State in the 
Union. She raised In 1875, 130,000,000 of bushels of corn — twice as 
much as any other State, and one-sixth of all the corn raised in the United 
States. She harvested 2,747,000 tons of hay, nearly one-tenth of all the 
hay in the Republic. It is not generally appreciated, but it is true, that 
the hay crop of the country is worth more than the cotton crop. The 
hay of Illinois equals the cotton of Louisiana. Go to Charleston, S. C, 
and see them peddling handfuls of hay or grass, almost as a curiosity, 
as we regard Chinese gods or the cryolite of Greenland; drink your 
coffee and condensed milk ; and walk back from the coast for many a 
league through the sand and burs till you get up into the better atmos- 
phere of the mountains, without seeing a waving meadow or a grazing 
herd ; then you will begin to appreciate the meadows of the Prairie State, 
where the grass often grows sixteen feet high. 

The value of her farm implements is $211,000,000, and the value of 
her live stock is only second to the great State of New York. in 1875 
she had 25,000,000 hogs, and packed 2,113,845, about one-half of all that 
were packed in the United States. This is no insignificant item. Pork 
is a growing demand of the old world. Since the laborers of Europe 
have gotten a taste of our bacon, and we have learned how to pack it dry 
in boxes, like dry goods, the world has become the market. 

The hog is on the march into the future. His nose is ordained to 
uncover the secrets of dominion, and his feet shall be guided by the star 
of empire. 

Illinois marketed $57,000,000 worth of slaughtered animals — more 
than any other State, and a seventh of all the States. 

Be patient with me, and pardon my pride, and I will give 'you a list 
of some of the things in which Illinois excels all other States. 

Depth and richness of soil ; per cent, of good ground ; acres of 
improved land ; large farms — some farms contain from 40,000 to 60,000 
acres of cultivated land, 40,000 acres of corn on a single farm ; number of 
farmers ; amount of wheat, corn, oats and honey produced ; value of ani- 
mals for slaughter ; number of hogs ; amount of pork ; number of horses 
— three times as many as Kentucky, the horse State. 

Illinois excels all other States in miles of railroads and in miles of 
postal service, and in money orders sold per annum, and in the amount of 
lumber sold in her markets. 


Illinois is only second in many important matters. This sample list 
comprises a few of the more important : Permanent school fund (good 
for a young state.) ; total income for educational purposes ; number of pub- 
lishers of books, maps, papers, etc.; value of farm products and imple- 
ments, and of live stock ; in tons of coal mined. 

The shipping of Illinois is only second to New York. Out of one 
port during the business hours of the season of navigation she sends forth 
a vessel every ten minutes. This does not include canal boats, which go 
one every five minutes. No wonder she is only second in number of 
bankers and brokers or in physicians and surgeons. 

She is third in colleges, teachers and schools; cattle, lead, hay, 
flax, sorghum and beeswax. 

She is fourth in population, jn children enrolled in public schools, in 
law schools, in butter, potatoes and carriages. 

She is fifth in value of real and personal property, in theological 
seminaries and colleges exclusively for women, in milk sold, and in boots 
and shoes manufactured, and in book-binding. 

She is only seventh in the production of wood, while she is the 
twelfth in area. Surely that is well done for the Prairie State. She now 
has much more wood and growing timber than she had thirty years ago. 

A few leading industries will justify emphasis. She manufactures 
$205,000,000 worth of goods, which places her well up toward New York 
and Pennsylvania. The number of her manufacturing establishments 
increased from 1860 to 1870, 300 per cent.; capital employed increased 350 
per cent., and the amount of product increased 100 per cent. She issued 
5,500,000 copies of commercial and financial newspapers — only second to 
New York. She has 6,759 miles of railroad, thus leading all other States, 
worth $636,458,000, using 3,245 engines, and 67,712 cars, making a train 
long enough to cover one-tenth of the entire roads of the State. Her 
stations are only five miles apart. She carried last year 15,795,000 passen- 
gers, an average of 36'£ miles, or equal to taking her entire population twice 
across the State. More than two-thirds of her land is within five miles of 
a railroad, and less than two per cent, is more than fifteen miles away. 

The State has a large financial interest in the Illinois Central railroad. 
The road was incorporated in 1850, and the State gave each alternate sec- 
tion for six miles on each side, and doubled the price of the remaining 
land, so keeping herself good. The road received 2,595,000 acres of land, 
and pays to the State one-seventh of the gross receipts. The State 
receives this year $350,000, and has received in all about $7,000,000. It 
is practically the people's road, and it has a most able and gentlemanly 
management. Add to this the annual receipts from the canal, $111,000, 
and a large per cent, of the State tax is provided for. 



of the State keep step with her productions and growth. She was born 
of the missionary spirit. It was a minister who secured for her the ordi- 
nance of 1787, by which she has been saved from slavery, ignorance, and 
dishonesty. Rev. Mr. Wiley, pastor of a Scotch congregation in Randolph 
County, petitioned the Constitutional Convention of 1818 to recognize 
Jesus Christ as king, and the Scriptures as the only necessary guide and 
book of law. The convention did not act in the case, and the old Cove- 
nanters refused to accept citizenship. They never voted until 1824, when, 
the slavery question was submitted to the people ; then they all voted 
against it and cast the determining votes. Conscience has predominated 
whenever a great moral question has been submitted to the people. 

But little mob violence has ever been felt in the State. In 1817 
regulators disposed of a band of horse-thieves that infested the territory. 
The Mormon indignities finally awoke the same spirit. Alton was also 
the scene of a pro-slavery mob, in which Lovejoy was added to the list of 
martyrs. The moral sense of the people makes the law supreme, and gives 
to the State unruffled peace. 

With $22,300,000 in church property, and 4,298 church organizations, 
the State has that divine police, the sleepless patrol of moral ideas, that 
alone is able to secure perfect safety. Conscience takes the knife from 
the assassin's hand and the bludgeon from the grasp of the highwayman. 
We sleep in safety, not because we are behind bolts and bars — these only 
fence against the innocent ; not because a lone officer drowses on a distant 
corner of a street ; not because a sheriff may call his posse from a remote 
part of the county ; but because conscience guards the very portals of the 
air and stirs in the deepest recesses of the public mind. This spirit issues 
within the State 9,500,000 copies of religious papers annually, and receives 
still more from without. Thus the crime of the State is only one-fourth 
that of New York and one-half that of Pennsylvania. 

Illinois never had but one duel between her own citizens. In Belle- 
ville, in 1820, Alphonso Stewart and William Bennett arranged to vindi- 
cate injured honor. The seconds agreed to make it a sham, and make 
them shoot blanks. Stewart was in the secret. Bennett mistrusted some- 
thing, and, unobserved, slipped a bullet into his gun and killed Stewart. 
He then fled the State. After two years he was caught, tried, convicted, 
and, in spite of friends and political aid, was hung. This fixed the code 
of honor on a Christian basis, and terminated its use in Illinois. 

The early preachers were ignorant men, who were accounted eloquent 
according to the strength of their voices. But they set the style for all 
public speakers. Lawyers and political speakers followed this rule. Gov. 


Ford says: " Nevertheless, these first preachers were of incalculable 
benefit to the country. They inculcated justice and morality. To them 
are we indebted for the first Christian character of the Protestant portioD 
of the people." 

In education Illinois surpasses her material resources. The ordinance 
of 1787 consecrated one thirty-sixth of her soil to common schools, and 
the law of 1818, the first law that went upon her statutes, gave three per 
cent, of all the rest to 


The old compact secures this interest forever, and by its yoking 
morality and intelligence it precludes the legal interference with the Bible 
in the public schools. With such a start it is natural that we should have 
11,050 schools, and that our illiteracy should be less than New York or 
Pennsylvania, and only about one-half of Massachusetts. We are not to 
blame for not having more than one-half as many idiots as the great 
States. These public schools soon made colleges inevitable. The first 
college, still flourishing, was started in Lebanon in 1828, by the M. E. 
church, and named after Bishop McKendree. Illinois College, at Jackson- 
ville, supported by the Presbyterians, followed in 1830. In 1832 the Bap- 
tists built Shurtleff College, at Alton. Then the Presbyterians built Knox 
College, at Galesburg, in 1838, and the Episcopalians built Jubilee College, 
at Peoria, in 1847. After these early years colleges have rained down. 
A settler could hardly encamp on the prairie but a college would spring 
up by his wagon. The State now has one very well endowed and equipped 
university, namely, the Northwestern University, at Evanston, with six 
colleges, ninety instructors, over 1,000 students, and $1,500,000 endow- 

Rev. J. M. Peck was the first educated Protestant minister m tne 
State. He settled at Rock Spring, in St. Clair County, 1820, and left his 
impress on the State. Before 1837 only party papers were published, but 
Mr. Peck published a Gazetteer of Illinois. Soon after John Russell, of 
Bluffdale, published essays and tales showing genius. Judge James Hall 
published The Illinois Monthly Magazine with great ability, and an annual 
called The Western Souvenir, which gave him an enviable fame all over the 
United States. From these beginnings Illinois has gone on till she has 
more volumes in public libaaries even than Massachusetts, and of the 
44,500,000 volumes in all the public libraries of the United States, she 
has one-thirteenth. In newspapers she stands fourth. Her increase is 
marvelous. In 1850 she issued 5,000,000 copies ; in 1860, 27,590,000 ; in 
1870, 113,140,000. In 1860 she had eighteen colleges and seminaries ; in 
1870 she had eighty. That is a grand advance for the war decade. 

This brings us to a record unsurpassed in the history of any age, 



I hardly know where to begin, or how to advance, or what to say. I 
can at best give you only a broken synopsis of her deeds, and you must 
put them in the order of glory for yourself. Her sons have always been 
foremost on fields of danger. In 1832-33, at the call of Gov. Reynolds, 
her sons drove Blackhawk over the Mississippi. 

When the Mexican war came, in May, 1846, 8,370 men offered them- 
selves when only 3,720 could be accepted. The fields of Buena Vista and 
Vera Cruz, and the storming of Cerro Gordo, will carry the glory of Illinois 
soldiers along after the infamy of the cause they served has been forgotten. 
But it was reserved till our day for her sons to find a field and cause and 
foemen that could fitly illustrate their spirit and heroism. Illinois put 
into her own regiments for the United States government 256,000 men, 
and into the army through other States enough to swell the number to 
290,000. This far exceeds all the soldiers of the federal government in 
all the war of the revolution. Her total years of service were over 600,000. 
She enrolled men from eighteen to forty-five years of age when the law 
of Congress in 1864 — the test time — only asked for those from twenty to 
forty-five. Her enrollment was otherwise excessive. Her people wanted 
to go, and did not take the pains to correct the enrollment. Thus the 
basis of fixing the quota was too great, and then the quota itself, at least 
in the trying time, was far above any other State. 

Thus the demand on some counties, as Monroe, for example, took every 
able-bodied man in the county, and then did not have enough to fill the 
quota. Moreover, Illinois sent 20,844 men for ninety or one hundred days, 
for whom no credit was asked. When Mr. Lincoln's attention was called 
to the inequality of the quota compared with other States, he replied, 
" The country needs the sacrifice. We must put the whip on the free 
horse." In spite of all these disadvantages Illinois gave to the country 
73,000 years of service above all calls. With one-thirteenth of the popu- 
lation of the loyal States, she sent regularly one-tenth of all the soldiers, 
and in the peril of the closing calls, when patriots were few and weary, 
she then sent one-eighth of all that were called for by her loved and hon- 
ored son in the white house. Her mothers and daughters went into the 
fields to raise the grain and keep the children together, while the fathers 
and older sons went to the harvest fields of the world. I knew a father 
and four sons who agreed that one of them must stay at home ; and they 
pulled straws from a stack to see who might go. The father was left. 
The next day he came into the camp, saying : " Mother says she can get 
the crops in, and I am going, too." I know large Methodist churches 
from which every male member went to the army. Do you want to know 


what these heroes from Illinois did in the field ? Ask any soldier with a 
good record of his own, Who is thus able to judge, and he will tell you 
that the Illinois men went in to win. It is common history that the greater 
victories were won in the West. "When everything else looked dark Illi- 
nois was gaining victories all down the river, and dividing the confederacy. 
Sherman took with him on his great march forty- five regiments of Illinois 
infantry, three companies of artillery, and one company of cavalry. He 
could not avoid 


If he had been killed, I doubt not the men would have gone right on. 
Lincoln answered all rumors of Sherman's defeat with, " It is impossible ; 
there is a mighty sight of fight in 100,000 Western men." Illinois soldiers 
brought home 300 battle-flags. The first United States flag that floated 
over Richmond was an Illinois flag. She sent messengers and nurses to 
e\rery field and hospital, to care for her sick and wounded sons. She said, 
'■ These suffering ones are my sons, and I will care for them." 

When individuals had given all, then cities and towns came forward 
with their credit to the extent of many millions, to aid these men and 
their families. 

Illinois gave the country the great general of the war — Ulysses S. 
Grant — since honored with two terms of the Presidency of the United 

One other name from Illinois comes up in all minds, embalmed in all 
hearts, that must have the supreme place in this story of our glory and 
of our nation's honor ; that name is Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois. 

The analysis of Mr. Lincoln's character is difficult on account of its 

In this age we look with admiration at his uncompromising honesty. 
And well we may, for this saved us. Thousands throughout the length 
and breadth of our country who knew him only as " Honest Old Abe," 
voted for him on that account ; and wisely did they choose, for no other 
man could have carried us through the fearful night of the war. When 
his plans were too vast for our comprehension, and his faith in the cause 
too sublime for our participation ; when it was all night about us, and all 
dread before us, and all sad and desolate behind us ; when not one ray 
shone upon our cause ; when traitors were haughty and exultant at the 
South, and fierce and blasphemous at the North ; when the loyal men here 
seemed almost in the minority ; when the stoutest heart quailed, the bravest 
cheek paled ; when generals were defeating each other for place, and 
contractors were leeching out the very heart's blood of the prostrate 
republic : when every thing else had failed us, we looked at this calm, 
patient man standing like a rock in the storm, and said : " Mr. Lincoln 


is honest, and we can trust him still." Holding to this single point with 
the energy of faith and despair we held together, and, under God, he 
brought us through to victory. 

His practical wisdom made him the wonder of all lands. With such 
certainty did Mr. Lincoln follow causes to their ultimate effects, that his, 
foresight of contingencies seemed almost prophetic. 

He is radiant with all the great virtues, and his memory shall shed a 
glory upon this age that shall fill the eyes of men as they look into his- 
tory. Other men have excelled him in some point, but, taken at all 
points, all in all, he stands head and shoulders above every other man of 
6,000 years. An administrator, he saved the nation in the perils of 
unparalleled civil war. A statesman, he justified his measures by their 
success. A philanthropist, he gave liberty to one race and salvation to 
another. A moralist, he bowed from the summit of human power to the 
foot of the Cross, and became a Christian. A mediator, he exercised mercy 
under the most absolute abeyance to law. A leader, he was no partisan. 
A commander, he was untainted with blood. A ruler in desperate times, 
he was unsullied with crime. A man, he has left no word of passion, no 
thought of malice, no trick of craft, no act of jealousy, no purpose of 
selfish ambition. Thus perfected, without a model, and without a peer, 
he was dropped into these troubled years to adorn and embellish all that 
is good and all that is great in our humanity, and to present to all coming 
time the representative of the divine idea of free government. 

It is not too much to say that away down in the future, when the 
republic has fallen from its niche in the wall of time ; when the great 
war itself shall have faded out in the distance like a mist on the horizon ; 
when the Anglo-Saxon language shall be spoken only by the tongue of 
the stranger ; then the generations looking this way shall see the great 
president as the supreme figure in this vortex of history 


It is impossible in our brief space to give more than a meager sketch 
of such a city as Chicago, which is in itself the greatest marvel of the 
Prairie State. This mysterious, majestic, mighty city, born first of water, 
and next of fire ; sown in weakness, and raised in power ; planted among 
the willows of the marsh, and crowned with the glory of the mountains ; 
sleeping on the bosom of the prairie, and rocked on the bosom of the sea , 
the youngest city of the world, and still the eye of the prairie, as Damas- 
cus, the oldest city of the world, is the eye of the desert. With a com- 
merce far exceeding that of Corinth on her isthmus, in the highway to 
the East ; with the defenses of a continent piled around her by the thou- 
sand miles, making her far safer than Rome on the banks of the Tiber ; 






with schools eclipsing Alexandria and Athens ; with liberties more con- 
spicuous than those of the old republics ; with a heroism equal to the first 
Carthage, and with a sanctity scarcely second to that of Jerusalem — set 
your thoughts on all this, lifted into the eyes of all men by the miracle of 
its growth, illuminated by the flame of its fall, and transfigured by the 
divinity of its resurrection, and you will feel, as I do, the utter impossi- 
bility of compassing this subject as it deserves. Some impression of her 
importance is received from the shock her burning gave to the civilized 

When the doubt of her calamity was removed, and the horrid fact 
was accepted, there went a shudder over all cities, and a quiver over all 
lands. There was scarcely a town in the civilized world that did not 
shake on the brink of this opening chasm. The flames of our homes red- 
dened all skies. The city was set upon a hill, and could not be hid. All 
eyes were turned upon it. To have struggled and suffered amid the 
scenes of its fall is as distinguishing as to have fought at Thermopylae, or 
Salamis, or Hastings, or Waterloo, or Bunker Hill. 

Its calamity amazed the world, because it was felt to be the common 
property of mankind. 

The early history of the city is full of interest, just as the early his- 
tory of such a man as Washington or Lincoln becomes public property, 
and is cherished by every patriot. 

Starting with 560 acres in 1833, it embraced and occupied 23,000 
acres in 1869, and, having now a population of more than 500,000, it com- 
mands general attention. 

The first settler — Jean Baptiste Pointe au Sable, a mulatto from the 
West Indies — came and began trade with the Indians in 1796. John 
Kinzie became his successor in 1804, in which year Fort Dearborn was 

A mere trading-post was kept here from that time till about the time 
of the Blackhawk war, in 1832. It was not the city. It was merely a 
cock crowing at midnight. The morning was not yet. In 1833 the set- 
tlement about the fort was incorporated as a town. The voters were 
divided on the propriety of such corporation, twelve voting for it and one 
against it. Four years later it was incorporated as a city, and embraced 
560 acres. 

The produce handled in this city is an indication of its power. Grain 
and flour were imported from the East till as late as 1837. The first 
exportation by way of experiment was in 1839. Exports exceeded imports 
first in 1842. The Board of Trade was organized in 1848, but it was so 
weak that it needed nursing till 1855. Grain was purchased by the 
wagon-load in the street. 

I remember sitting with my father on a load of wheat, in the long 


line of wagons along Lake street, while the buyers came and untied the 
bags, and examined the grain, and made their bids. That manner of 
business had to cease with the day of small things. Now our elevators 
will hold 15,000,000 bushels of grain. The cash value of the produce 
handled in a year is 1215,000,000, and the produce weighs 7,000,000 
tons or 700,000 car loads. This handles thirteen and a half ton each 
minute, all the year round. One tenth of all the wheat in the United 
States is handled in Chicago. Even as long ago as 1853 the receipts of 
grain in Chicago exceeded those of the goodly city of St. Louis, and in 
1854 the exports of grain from Chicago exceeded those of New York and 
doubled those of St. Petersburg, Archangel, or Odessa, the largest grain 
markets in Europe. 

The manufacturing interests of the city are not contemptible. In 
1873 manufactories employed 45,000 operatives ; in 1876, 60,000. The 
manufactured product in 1875 was worth $177,000,000. 

No estimate of the size and power of Chicago would be adequate 
that did not put large emphasis on the railroads. Before they came 
thundering along our streets canals were the hope of our country. But 
who ever thinks now of traveling by canal packets ? In June, 1852, 
there were only forty miles of railroad connected with the city. The 
old Galena division of the Northwestern ran out to Elgin. But now, 
who can count the trains and measure the roads that seek a terminus or 
connection in this city ? The lake stretches away to the north, gathering 
in to this center all the harvests that might otherwise pass to the north 
of us. If you will take a map and look at the adjustment of railroads, 
you will see, first, that Chicago is the great railroad center of the world, 
as New York is the commercial city of this continent ; and, second, that 
the railroad lines form the iron spokes of a great wheel whose hub is 
this city. The lake furnishes the only break in the spokes, and this 
seems simply to have pushed a few spokes together on each shore. See 
the eighteen trunk lines, exclusive of eastern connections. 

Pass round the circle, and view their numbers and extent. There 
is the great Northwestern, with- all its branches, one branch creeping 
along the lake shore, and so reaching to the north, into the Lake Superior 
regions, away to the right, and on to the Northern Pacific on the left, 
swinging around Green Bay for iron and copper and silver, twelve months 
in the year, and reaching out for the wealth of the great agricultural 
belt and isothermal line traversed by the Northern Pacific. Another 
branch, not so far north, feeling for the heart of the Badger State. 
Another pushing lower down the Mississippi— all these make many con- 
nections, and tapping all the vast wheat regions of Minnesota, Wisconsin, 
Iowa, and all the regions this side of sunset. There is- that elegant road, 
the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, running out a goodly number of 






branches, and reaping the great fields this side of the Missouri River. 
I can only mention the Chicago, Alton & St. Louis, our Illinois Central, 
described elsewhere, and the Chicago & Rock Island. Further around 
we come to the lines connecting us with all the eastern cities. The 
Chicago, Indianapolis & St. Louis, the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne & 
Chicago, the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern, and the Michigan Cen- 
tral and Great Western, give us many highways to the seaboard. Thus we 
reach the Mississippi at five points, from St. Paul to Cairo and the Gulf 
itself by two routes. We also reach Cincinnati and Baltimore, and Pitts- 
burgh and Philadelphia, and New York. North and south run the water 
courses of the lakes and the rivers, broken just enough at this point to 
make a pass. Through this, from east to west, run the long lines that 
stretch from ocean to ocean. 

This is the neck of the" glass, and the golden sands of commerce 
must pass into our hands. Altogether we have more than 10,000 miles 
of railroad, directly tributary to this city, seeking to unload their wealth 
in our coffers. All these roads have come themselves by the infallible 
instinct of capital. Not a dollar was ever given by the city to secure 
one of them, and only a small per cent, of stock taken originally by her 
citizens, and that taken simply as an investment. Coming in the natural 
order of events, they will not be easily diverted. 

There is still another showing to all this. The connection between 
New York and San Francisco is by the middle route. This passes inevit- 
ably through Chicago. St. Louis wants the Southern Pacific or Kansas 
Pacific, and pushes it out through Denver, and so on up to Cheyenne. 
But before the road is fairly under way, the Chicago roads shove out to 
Kansas City, making even the Kansas Pacific a feeder, and actually leav- 
ing St. Louis out in the cold. It is not too much to expect that Dakota, 
Montana, and Washington Territory will find their great market in Chi- 

But these are not all. Perhaps I had better notice here the. ten or 
fifteen new roads that have just entered, or are just entering, our city. 
Their names are all that is necessary to give. Chicago & St. Paul, look- 
ing up the Red River country to the British possessions ; the Chicago, 
Atlantic & Pacific ; the Chicago, Decatur & State Line; the Baltimore & 
Ohio; the Chicago, Danville & Vincennes; the Chicago & LaSalle Rail- 
road ; the Chicago, Pittsburgh & Cincinnati ; the Chicago and Canada 
Southern; the Chicago and Illinois River Railroad. These, with their 
connections, and with the new connections of the old roads, already in 
process of erection, give to Chicago not less than 10,000 miles of new 
tributaries from the richest land on the continent. Thus there will be 
added to the reserve power, to the capital within reachj>f .this city, not 
less than $1,000,000,000. 


Add to all this transporting power the ships that sail one every nine 
minutes of the business hours of the season of navigation ; add, also, the 
canal boats that leave one every five minutes during the same time — and 
you will see something of the business of the city. 


has been leaping along to keep pace with the growth of the country 
around us. In 1852, our commerce reached the hopeful sum of 
120,000,000. In 1870 it reached .$400,000,000. In 1871 it was pushed 
up above $450,000,000. And in 1875 it touched nearly double that. 

One-half of our imported goods come directly to Chicago. Grain 
enough is exported directly from our docks to the old world to employ a 
semi-weekly line of steamers of 3,00fr tons capacity. This branch is 
not likely to be greatly developed. Even after the great Welland Canal 
is completed we shall have only fourteen feet of water. The great ocean 
vessels will continue to control the trade. 

The banking capital of Chicago is $24,431,000. Total exchange in 
1875, $659,000,000. Her wholesale business in 1875 was $294,000,000. 
The rate of taxes is less than in any other great city. 

The schools of Chicago are unsurpassed in America. Out of a popu- 
lation of 300,000 there were only 186 persons between the ages of six 
and twenty-one unable to read. This is the best known record. 

In 1831 the mail system was condensed into a half-breed, who went 
on foot to Niles, Mich., once in two weeks, and brought back what papers 
and news he could find. As late as 1846 there was often only one mail 
a week. A post-office was established in Chicago in 1833, and the post- 
master nailed up old boot-legs on one side of his shop to serve as boxes 
for the nabobs and literary men. 

It is an interesting fact in the growth of the young city that in the 
active life of the business men of that day the mail matter has grown to 
a daily average of over 6,500 pounds. It speaks equally well for the 
intelligence of the people and the commercial importance of the place, 
that the mail matter distributed to the territory immediately tributary to 
Chicago is seven times greater than that distributed to the territory 
immediately tributary to St. Louis. 

The improvements that have characterized the city are as startling 
as the city itself. In 1831, Mark Beaubien established a ferry over the 
river, and put himself under bonds to carry all the citizens free for the 
privilege of charging strangers. Now there are twenty-four large bridges 
and two tunnels. 

In 1833- the government expended $30,00Q on the harbor. Then 
commenced that series of manoeuvers with the river that has made it one 


of the world's curiosities. It used to wind around in the lower end of 
the town, and make its way rippling over the sand into the lake at the 
foot of Madison street. They took it up and put it down where it now 
is. It was a narrow stream, so narrow that even moderately small crafts, 
had to go up through the willows and cat's tails to the point near Lake 
street bridge, and back-up one of the branches to get room enough in 
which to turn around. 

In 1844 the quagmires in the streets were first pontooned by plank 
roads, which acted in wet weather as. public squirfc-guns. Keeping you 
out of the mud, they compromised by squirting the mud over you. The 
wooden-block pavements came to Chicago in 1857. In 1840 water was 
delivered by peddlers in carts or by hand. Then a twenty-five horse- 
power engine pushed it through hollow or bored logs along the streets 
till 1854, when it was introduced into the houses by new works. The 
first fire-engine was used in 1835, and the first steam fire-engine in 1859. 
Gas was utilized for lighting the city in 1850. The Young Men's Chris- 
tian Association was organized in 1858, and horse railroads carried them 
to their work in 1859. The museum was opened in 1863. The alarm 
telegraph adopted in 1864. The opera-house built in 1865. The city 
grew from 560 acres in 1833 to 23,000 in 1869. In 1834, the taxes 
amounted to $48.90, and the trustees of the town borrowed #60 more for 
opening and improving streets. In 1835, the legislature authorized a loan 
of $2,000, and the treasurer and street commissioners resigned rather than 
plunge the town into such a gulf. 

Now the city embraces 36 square miles of territory, and has 30 miles 
of water front, besides the outside harbor of refuge, of 400 acres, inclosed 
by a crjb sea-wall. One-third of the city has been raised up an average 
of eight feet, giving good pitch to the 263 miles of sewerage. The water 
of the city is above all competition. It is received through two tunnels 
extending to a crib in the lake two miles from shore. The closest analy- 
sis fails to detect any impurities, and, received 35 feet below the surface, 
it is always clear and cold. The first tunnel is five feet two inches in 
diameter and two miles long, and can deliver 50,000,000 of gallons per 
day. The second tunnel is seven feet in diameter and six miles long, 
running four miles under the city, and can deliver 100,000,000 of gal- 
lons per day. This water is distributed through 410 miles of water- 

The three grand engineering exploits of the city are : First, lifting 
the city up on jack-screws, whole squares at a time, without interrupting 
the business, thus giving us good drainage ; second, running the tunnels 
under the lake, giving us the best water in the world ; and third, the 
turning the current of the river in its own channel, delivering us from the 
old abominations, and making decency possible. They redound about 


equally to the credit of the engineering, to the energy of the people, and 
to the health of the city. 

That which really constitutes the city, its indescribable spirit, its soul, 
the way it lights up in every feature in the hour of action, has not been 
touched. In meeting strangers, one is often surprised how some homely 
women marry so well. Their forms are bad, their gait uneven and awk- 
ward, their complexion is dull, their features are misshapen and mismatch- 
ed, and when we see them there is no beauty that we should desire them. 
But when once they are aroused on some subject, they put on new pro- 
portions. They light up into great power. The real person comes out 
from its unseemly ambush, and captures us at will. They have power, 
They have ability to cause things to come to pass. We no longer wonder 
why they are in such high demand. So it is with our city. 

There is no grand scenery except the two seas, one of water, the 
other or prairie. Nevertheless, there is a spirit about it, a push, a breadth, 
a power, that soon makes it a place never to be forsaken. One soon 
ceases to believe in impossibilities. Balaams are the only prophets that are 
disappointed. The bottom that has been on the point of falling out has 
been there so long that it has grown fast. It can not fall out. It has all 
the capital of the world itching to get inside the corporation. 

The two great laws that govern the growth and size of cities are, 
first, the amount of territory for which they are the distributing and 
receiving points ; second, the number of medium or moderate dealers that 
do this distributing. Monopolists build up themselves, not the cities. 
They neither eat, wear, nor live in proportion to their business. Both 
these laws help Chicago. 

The tide of trade is eastward — not up or down the map, but across 
the map. The lake runs up a wingdam for 500 miles to gather in the 
business. Commerce can not ferry up there for seven months in the year, 
and the facilities for seven months can do the work for twelve. Then the 
great region west of us is nearly all good, productive land. Dropping 
south into the trail of St. Louis, you fall into vast deserts and rocky dis- 
tricts, useful in holding the world together. St. Louis and Cincinnati, 
instead of rivaling and hurting Chicago, are her greatest sureties of 
dominion. They are far enough away to give sea-room,— farther off than 
Paris is from London, — and yet they are near enough to prevent the 
springing up of any other great city between them. 

St. Louis will be helped by the opening of the -Mississippi, but also 
hurt. That will put New Orleans on her feet, and with a railroad running 
over into Texas and so West, she will tap the streams that now crawl up 
the Texas and Missouri road. The current is East, not North, and a sea- 
port at New Orleans can not permanently help St. Louis. 

Chisago is in the field almost alone, to handle the wealth of one- 


fourth of the territory of this great republic. This strip of seacoast 
divides its margins between Portland, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, 
Baltimore and Savannah, or some other great port to be created for the 
South in the next decade. But Chicago has a dozen empires casting their 
treasures into her lap. On a bed of coal that can run all the machinery 
of the world for 500 centuries ; in a garden that can feed the race by the 
thousand years ; at the head of the lakes that give her a temperature as a 
summer resort equaled by no great city in the land ; with a climate th,at 
insures the health of her citizens ; surrounded by all the great deposits 
of natural wealth in mines aud forests and herds, Chicago is the wonder 
of to-day, and will be the city of the future. 


During the war of 1812, Fort Dearborn became the theater of stirring 
events. The garrison consisted of fifty-four men under command of 
Captain Nathan Heald, assisted by Lieutenant Helm (son-in-law of Mrs. 
Kinzie) and Ensign Ronan. Dr. Voorhees was surgeon. The only resi- 
dents at the post at that time were the wives of Captain Heald and Lieu- 
tenant Helm, and a few of the soldiers, Mr. Kinzie and his family, and 
a few Canadian voyageurs, with their wives and children. The soldiers 
and Mr. Kinzie were on most friendly terms with the Pottawattamies 
and Winnebagos, the principal tribes around them, but they could not 
win them from their attachment to the British. 

One evening in April, 1812, Mr. Kinzie sat playing on his violin and 
his children were dancing to the music, when Mrs. Kinzie came rushing 
into the house, pale with terror, and exclaiming: "The Indians! the 
Indians!" ""What? Where?" eagerly, inquired Mr. Kinzie. "Up 
at Lee's, killing and scalping," answered the frightened mother, who, 
when the alarm was given, was attending Mrs. Barnes (just confined) 
living not far off. Mr. Kinzie and his family crossed the river and took 
refuge in the fort, to which place Mrs. Barnes and her infant not a day 
old were safely conveyed. The rest of the inhabitants took shelter in the 
fort. This alarm was caused by a scalping party of Winnebagos, who 
hovered about the fort several days, when they disappeared, and for several 
weeks the inhabitants were undisturbed. 

On the 7th of August, 1812, General Hull, at Detroit, sent orders to 
Captain Heald to evacuate Fort Dearborn, and to distribute all the United 
States property to the Indians in the neighborhood — a most insane order. 
The Pottawattamie chief, who brought the dispatch, had more wisdom 
than the commanding general. He advised Captain Heald not to make 
the distribution. Said he : " Leave the fort and stores as they are, and 
let the Indians make distribution for themselves; and while they are 
engaged in the business, the white people may escape to Fort Wayne." 







Captain Heald held a council with the Indians on the afternoon of 
the 12th, in which his officers refused to join, for they had been informed 
that treachery was designed — that the Indians intended to murder the 
white people in the council, and then destroy those in the fort. Captain 
Heald, however, took the precaution to open a port-hole displaying a 
cannon pointing directly upon the council, and by that means saved 
his life. 

Mr. Kinzie, who knew the Indians well, begged Captain Heald not 
to confide in their promises, nor distribute the arms and munitions among 
them, for it would only put power into their hands to destroy the whites. 
Acting upon this advice, Heald resolved to withhold the munitions of 
war ; and on the night of the 13th, after the distribution of the other 
property had been made, the powder, ball and liquors were thrown into 
the river, the muskets broken up and destroyed. 

Black Partridge, a friendly chief, came to Captain Heald, and said : 
" Linden birds have been singing in my ears to-day : be careful on the 
march you are going to take." On that dark night vigilant Indians had 
crept near the fort and discovered the destruction of their promised booty 
going on within. The next morning the powder was seen floating on the 
surface of the river. The savages were exasperated and made loud com- 
plaints and threats. 

On the following day when preparations were making to leave the 
fort, and all the inmates were deeply impressed with a sense of impend- 
ing danger, 'Capt. Wells, an uncle of Mrs. Heald, was discovered upon 
the Indian trail among the sand-hills on the borders of the lake, not far 
distant, with a band of mounted Miamis, of whose tribe he was chief, 
having been adopted by the famous Miami warrior, Little Turtle. When 
news of Hull's surrender reached Fort Wayne, he had started with this 
force to assist Heald in defending Port Dearborn. He was too late: 
Every means for its defense had been destroyed the night before, and 
arrangements were made for leaving the fort on the morning of the 15th. 

It was a warm bright morning in the middle of August. Indications 
were positive that the savages intended to murder the white people ; and 
when they moved out of the southern gate of the fort, the march was 
like a funeral procession. The band, feeling the solemnity of the occa- 
sion, struck up the Dead March in Saul. 

Capt. Wells, who had blackened his face with gun-powder in token 
of his fate, took the lead with his band of Miamis, followed by Capt. 
/ Heald, with his wife by his side on horseback. Mr. Kinzie hoped by hid 
personal influence to avert the impending blow, and therefore accompanied 
them, leaving his family in a boat in charge of a friendly Indian, to be 
taken to his trading station at the site of Niles, Michigan, in the event oi 
his death. 




The procession moved slowly along the lake shore till they reached 
the sand-hills between the prairie and the beach, when the Pottawattamie 
escort, under the leadership of Blackbird, filed to the right, placing those 
hills between them and the white people. Wells, with his Miamis, had 
kept in the advance. They suddenly came rushing back, Wells exclaim- 
ing, " They are about to attack us ; form instantly." These words were 
quickly followed by a storm of bullets, which came whistling over the 
little hills which the treacherous savages had made the covert for their 
murderous attack. The white troops charged upon the Indians, drove 
them back to the prairie, and then the battle was waged between fifty- 
four soldiers, twelve civilians and three or four women (the cowardly 
Miamis having fled at the outset) against five hundred Indian warriors. 
The white people, hopeless, resolved to sell their lives as dearly as possible. 
Ensign Ronan wielded his weapon vigorously, even after falling upon his 
knees weak from the loss of blood. Capt. Wells, who was by the side of 
his niece, Mrs. Heald, when the conflict began, behaved with the greatest 
coolness and courage. He said to her, " We have not the slightest chance 
for life. We must part to meet no more in this world. God bless you." 
And then he dashed forward. Seeing a young warrior, painted like a 
demon, climb into a wagon in which were twelve children, and tomahawk 
them all, he cried out, unmindful of his personal danger, " If that is your 
game, butchering women and children, I will kill too." He spurred his 
horse towards the Indian camp, where they had left their squaws and 
papooses, hotly pursued by swift-footed young warriors, who sent bullets 
whistling after him. One of these killed his horse and wounded him 
severely in the leg. With a yell the young braves rushed to make him 
their prisoner and reserve him for torture. He resolved not to be made 
a captive, and by the use of the most provoking epithets tried to induce 
them to kill him instantly. He called a fiery young chief a squaw, when 
the enraged warrior killed Wells instantly with his tomahawk, jumped 
upon his body, cut out his heart, and ate a portion of the warm morsel 
with savage delight ! 

In this fearful combat women bore a conspicuous part. Mrs. Heald 
was an excellent equestrian and an expert in theuse of the rifle. She 
fought the savages bravely, receiving several severe wounds. Though 
faint from the loss of blood, she managed to keep her saddle. A savage 
raised his tomahawk to kill her, when she looked him full in the face, 
and with a sweet smile and in a gentle voice said, in his oWn language, 
" Surely you will not kill a squaw ! " The arm of the savage fell, and 
the life of the heroic woman was saved. 

Mrs. Helm, the step-daughter of Mr. Kinzie, had an encounter with 
a stout Indian, who attempted to tomahawk her. Springing to one side, 
she received the glancing blow on her shoulder, and at the same instant 


seized the savage round the neck with her arms and endeavored to get 
hold of his scalping knife, which hung in a sheath at his breast. While 
she was thus struggling she was dragged from her antagonist by anothei 
powerful Indian, who bore her, in spite of her struggles, to the margin 
of the lake and plunged her in. To her astonishment she was held by 
him so that she would not drown, and she soon perceived that she was 
in the hands of the friendly Black Partridge, who had saved her life. 

The wife of Sergeant Holt, a large and powerful woman, behaved as 
bravely as an Amazon. She rode a fine, high-spirited horse, which the 
Indians coveted, and several of them attacked her with the butts of their 
guns, for the purpose of dismounting her ; but she used the sword which 
she had snatched from her disabled husband so skillfully that she foiled 
them ; and, suddenly wheeling her horse, she dashed over the prairie, 
followed by the savages shouting, " The brave woman ! the brave woman ! 
Don't hurt her ! " They finally overtook her, and while she was fighting 
them in front, a powerful savage came up behind her, seized her by the 
neck and dragged her to the ground. Horse and woman were made 
captives. Mrs. Holt was a long time a. captive among the Indians, but 
was afterwards ransomed. 

In this sharp conflict two-thirds of the white people were slain and 
wounded, and all their horses, baggage and provision were lost. Only 
twenty-eight straggling men now remained to fight five hundred Indians 
rendered furious by the sight of blood. They succeeded in breaking 
through the ranks of the murderers and gaining a slight eminence on the 
prairie near the Oak Woods. The Indians did not pursue, but gathered 
on their flanks, while the chiefs held a consultation on the sand-hills, and 
showed signs of willingness to parley. It would have been madness on 
the part of the whites to renew the fight ; and so Capt. Heald went for- 
ward and met Blackbird on the open prairie, where terms of surrender 
were soon agreed upon. It was arranged that the white people should 
give up their arms to Blackbird, and that the survivors should become 
prisoners of war, to be exchanged for ransoms as soon as practicable. 
With this understanding captives and captors started for the Indian 
camp near the fort, to which Mrs. Helm had been taken bleeding and 
suffering by Black Partridge, and had met her step-father and learned 
that her husband was safe. 

A new scene of horror was now opened at the Indian camp. The 
wounded, not being included in the terms of surrender, as it was inter- 
preted by the Indians, and the British general, Proctor, having offered a 
liberal bounty for American scalps, delivered at Maiden, nearly all the 
wounded men were killed and scalped, and the price of the trophies was 
afterwards paid by the British government. 

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[This was engraved from a daguerreotype, taken when Shabbona was 83 years old.] 

This celebrated Indian chief, whose portrait appears in this work, deserves 
more than a passing notice. Although Shabbona was not so conspicuous as 
Tecumseh or Black Hawk, yet in point of merit he was superior to either 
of them. 

Shabbona was born at an Indian village on the Kankakee River, now in 
Will County, about the year 1775. While young he was made'chief of the 
band, and went to Shabbona Grove, now DeKalb County, where they were 
found in the early settlement of the county. 

In the war of 1812, Shabbona, with his warriors, joined Tecumseh, was 


aid to that great chief, and stood by his side when he fell at the battle of 
the Thames. At the time of the Winnebago war, in 1827, he visited almost 
every village among the Pottawatomies, and by his persuasive arguments 
prevented them from taking part in the war. By request of the citizens 
of Chicago, Shabbona, accompanied by Billy Caldwell (Sauganash), visited 
Big Foot's village at Geneva Lake, in order to pacify the warriors, as fears 
were entertained that they were about to raise the tomahawk against the 
whites. Here Shabbona was taken prisoner by Big Foot, and his life 
threatened, but on the following day was set at liberty. From that time 
the Indians (through reproach) styled him " the white man's friend," 
and many times his life was endangered. 

Before the Black Hawk war, Shabbona met in council at two differ- 
ent times, and by his influence prevented his people from taking part with 
the Sacs and Foxes. After the death of Black Partridge and Senachwine, 
no chief among the Pottawatomies exerted so much influence as Shabbona. 
Black Hawk, aware of this influence, visited him at two different times, in 
order to enlist him in his cause, but was unsuccessful. While Black Hawk 
was a prisoner at Jefferson Barracks, he said, had it not been for Shabbona 
the whole Pottawatomie nation would have joined his standard, and he 
could have continued the war for years. 

To Shabbona many of the early settlers of Illinois owe the pres- 
ervation of their lives, for it is a well-known fact, had he not notified the 
people of their danger, a large portion of them would have fallen victims 
to the tomahawk of savages. By saving the lives of whites he endangered 
his own, for the Sacs and Foxes threatened to kill him, and made two 
attempts to execute their threats. They killed Pypeogee, his son, and 
Pyps, his nephew, and hunted him down as though he was a wild beast. 

Shabbona had a reservation of two sections of land at his Grove, but 
by leaving it and going west for a short time, the Government declared 
the reservation forfeited, and sold it the same as other vacant land. On 
Shabbona' s return, and finding his possessions gone, he was very sad and 
broken down in spirit, and left the Grove for ever. The citizens of Ottawa 
raised money and bought him a tract of land on the Illinois River, above 
Seneca, in Grundy County, on which they built a house, and supplied 
him with means to live on. He lived here until his death, which occurred 
on the 17th of July, 1859, in the eighty-fourth year of his age, and was 
buried with great pomp in the cemetery at Morris. His squaw, Pokanoka, 
was drowned in Mazen Creek, Grundy County, on the 30th of November, 
1864, and was buried by his side. 

In 1861 subscriptions were taken up in many of the river towns, to 
erect a monument over the remains of Shabbona, but the war breaking 
out, the enterprise was abandoned. Only a plain marble slab marks the 
resting-place of this friend of the white man, 

Abstract of Illinois State Laws. 


No promissory note, check, draft, bill of exchange, order, or note, nego- 
tiable instrument payable at sight, or on demand, or on presentment, shall 
be entitled to days of grace. All other bills of exchange,, drafts or notes are 
entitled to three days of grace. All the above mentioned paper falling 
due on Sunday, New Tears' Day, the Fourth of July, Christmas, or any 
day appointed or recommended by the President of the United States or 
the Governor of the State as a day of fast or thanksgiving, shall be deemed 
as due on the day previous, and should two or more of these days come 
together, then such instrument shall be treated as due on the day previous 
to the first of said days. No defense can be made against a negotiable 
instrument (assigned before due) ■ in the hands of the assignee without 
notice, except fraud was used in obtaining the same. To hold an indorser, 
due diligence must be used by suit, in collecting of the maker, unless suit 
would have been unavailing. Notes payable to person named or to order, 
in order to absolutely transfer title, must be indorsed by the payee. Notes 
payable to bearer may be transferred by delivery, and when so payable 
every indorser thereon is held as a guarantor of payment unless otherwise 

In computing interest or discount on negotiable instruments, a month 
shall be considered a calendar month or twelfth of a year, and for less 
than a month, a day shall be figured a thirtieth part of a month. Notes 
only bear interest when so expressed, but after due they draw the legal 
interest, even if not stated, 


The legal rate of interest is six per cent. Parties may agree in writ- 
ing on a rate not exceeding ten per cent. If a rate of interest greater 
than ten per cent, is contracted for, it works a forfeiture of the whole of 
said interest, and only the principal can be recovered. 


When no will is made, the property of a deceased person is distrib- 
uted as follows : 


First. To his or her children and their descendants in equal parts ; 
the descendants of the deceased child or grandchild taking the share of 
their deceased parents in equal parts among them. 

Second. Where there is no child, nor descendant of such child, and 
no widow or surviving husband, then to the parents, brothers and sisters 
of the deceased, and their descendants, in equal parts, the surviving 
parent, if either be dead, taking a double portion ; and if there is no 
parent living, then to the brothers and sisters of the intestate and their 

Third. When there is a widow or surviving husband, and no child or 
children, or descendants of the same, then one-half of the real estate and 
the whole of the personal estate shall descend to such widow or surviving 
husband, absolutely, and the other half of the real estate shall descend as 
in other cases where there is no child or children or descendants of the 

Fourth. When there is a widow or surviving husband and also a child 
or children, or descendants of the latter, then one third of all the personal 
estate to the widow or surviving husband absolutely. 

Fifth. If there is no child, parent, brother or sister, or descendants of 
either of them, and no widow or surviving husband, then in equal parts 
to the next of kin to the intestate in equal degree. Collaterals shall not 
be represented except with the descendants of brothers and sisters of the 
intestate, and there shall be no distinction between kindred of the whole 
and the half blood. 

Sixth. If any intestate leaves a widow or surviving husband and no 
kindred, then to such widow or surviving husband ; and if there is no such 
widow or surviving husband, it shall escheat to and vest in the county 
where the same, or the greater portion thereof, is situated. 


No exact form of words are necessary in order to make a will good at 
law. Every male person of the age of twenty-one years, and every female 
of the age of eighteen years, of sound mind and memory, can make a valid 
will ; it must be in writing, signed by the testator or by some one in his 
or her presence and by his or her direction, and attested by two or more 
credible witnesses. Care should be taken that the witnesses are not inter- 
ested in the will. Persons knowing themselves to have been named in the 
will or appointed executor, must within thirty days of the death of 
deceased cause the will to be proved and recorded in the proper county, 
or present it, and refuse to accept; on failure to do so are liable to forfeit 
the sum of twenty dollars per month. Inventory to be made by executor 
or administrator within three months from date of letters testamentary or 


of administration. Executors' and administrators' compensation not to 
exceed six per cent, on amount of personal estate, and three per cent, 
on money realized from real estate, with such additional allowance as 
shall be reasonable for extra services. Appraisers' compensation $2 pel 

Notice requiring all claims to be presented against the estate shall hi 
given by the executor or administrator within six months of being quali- 
fied. Any person having a claim and not presenting it at the time fixed 
by said notice is required to have summons issued notifying the executor 
or administrator of his having filed his claim in court ; in such cases the 
costs have to be paid by the claimant. Claims should be filed within two 
years from the time administration is granted on an estate, as after that 
time they are forever barred, unless other estate is found that was not in- 
ventoried. Married women, infants, persons insane, imprisoned or without 
the United States, in the employment of the United States, or of this 
State, have two years after their disabilities are removed to file claims. 

Claims are classified and paid out of the estate in the following manner : 

First. Funeral expenses. 

Second. The widow's award, if there is a widow ; or children if there 
are children, and no widow. 

Third. Expenses attending the last illness, not including physician's 

Fourth. Debts due the common school or township fund. 

Fifth. All expenses of proving the will and taking out letters testa- 
mentary or administration, and settlement of the estate, and the physi- 
cian's bill in the last illness of deceased. 

Sixth. Where the deceased has received money in trust for any pur- 
pose, his executor or administrator shall pay out of his estate the amount 
received and not accounted for. 

Seventh. All other debts and demands of whatsoever kind, without 
regard to quality or dignity, which shall be exhibited to the court within 
two years from the granting of letters. 

Award to Widow and Children, exclusive of debts and legacies or be- 
quests, except funeral expenses : 

First. The family pictures and wearing apparel, jewels and ornaments 
of herself and minor children. 

Second. School boohs and the family library of the value of $100, 

Third. One sewing machine. 

Fourth. Necessary beds, bedsteads and bedding for herself and family. 

Fifth. The stoves and pipe used in the family, with the necessary 
coohing utensils, or in case they have none, $50 in money. 

Sixth. Household and kitchen furniture to the value of $100. 

Seventh. One milch cow and calf for every four members of her family. 


Eighth. Two sheep for each member of her family, and the fleeces 
taken from the same, and one horse, saddle and bridle. 

Ninth. Provisions for herself and family for one year. 

Tenth. Food for the stock above specified for six months. 

Eleventh. Fuel for herself and family for three months. 

Twelfth. One hundred dollars worth of other property suited to her 
condition in life, to be selected by the widow. 

The widow if she elects may have in lieu of the said award, the same 
personal property or money in place thereof as is or may be exempt from 
execution or attachment against the head of a family. 


The owners of real and personal property, on the first day of May in 
each year, are liable for the taxes thereon. 

Assessments should be completed before the fourth Monday in June, 
at which time the town board of review meets to examine assessments, 
hear objections, and make such changes as ought to be made. The county 
board have also power to correct or change assessments. 

The tax books are placed in the hands of the town collector on or 
before the tenth day of December, who retains them until the tenth day 
of March following, when he is required to return them to the county 
treasurer, who then collects all delinquent taxes. 

No costs accrue on real estate taxes till advertised, which takes place 
the first day of April, when three weeks' notice is required before judg- 
ment. Cost of advertising, twenty cents each tract of land, and ten cents 
each lot. 

Judgment is usually obtained at May term of County Court. Costs 
six cents each tract of land, and five cents each lot. Sale takes place in 
June. Costs in addition to those before mentioned, twenty-eight cents 
each tract of land, and twenty-seven cents each town lot. 

Real estate sold for taxes may be redeemed any time before the, expi- 
ration of two years from the date of sale, by payment to the County Clerk 
of the amount for which it was sold and twenty-five per cent, thereon if 
redeemed within six months, fifty per cent, if between six and twelve 
months, if between twelve and eighteen months seventy-five per cent., 
and if between eighteen months and two years one hundred per cent., 
and in addition, all subsequent taxes paid by the purchaser, with ten per 
cent, interest thereon, also one dollar each tract if notice is given by the 
purchaser of the sale, and a fee of twenty-five cents to the clerk for his 


Justices have jurisdiction in all civil cases on contracts for the recovery 
of moneys for damages for injury to real property, or taking, detaining, or 


injuring personal property ; for rent; for all cases to recover damages done 
real or personal property by railroad companies, in actions of replevin, and 
in actions for damages for fraud in the sale, purchase, or exchange of per- 
sonal property, when the amount claimed as due is not over $ 200. They 
have also jurisdiction in all cases for violation of the ordinances of cities, 
towns or villages. A justice of the peace may orally order an officer or a 
private person to arrest any one committing or attempting to commit a 
criminal offense. He also upon complaint can issue his warrant for the 
arrest of any person accused of having committed a crime, and have him 
brought before him for examination. 


Have jurisdiction in all matters of probate (except in counties having a 
population of one hundred thousand or over), settlement of estates of 
deceased persons, appointment ,of guardians and conservators, and settle- 
ment of their accounts ; all matters relating to apprentices ; proceedings 
for the collection of taxes and assessments, and in proceedings of executors, 
administrators, guardians and conservators for the sale of real estate. In 
law cases they have concurrent jurisdiction with Circuit Courts in all 
cases where justices of the peace now have, or hereafter may have, 
jurisdiction when the amount claimed shall not exceed $ 1,000, and in all 
criminal offenses where the punishment is not imprisonment in the peni- 
tentiary, or death, and in all cases of appeals from justices of the peace 
and police magistrates ; excepting when the county judge is sitting as a 
justice of the peace. Circuit Courts have unlimited jurisdiction. 


Accounts five years. Notes and written contracts ten years. Judg- 
ments twenty years. Partial payments or new promise in writing, within 
or after said period, will revive the debt. Absence from the State deducted, 
and when the cause of action is barred by the law of another State, it has 
the same effect here. Slander and libel, one year. Personal injuries, two 
years. To recover land or make entry thereon, tioenty years. Action to 
foreclose mortgage or trust deed, or make a sale, within ten years. 

All persons in possession of land, and paying taxes for seven consecu- 
tive years, with color of title, and all persons paying taxes for seven con- 
secutive years, with color of title, on vacant land, shall be held to be the 
legal owners to the extent of their paper title. 


May sue and be sued. Husband and wife not liable for each other's debts, 
either before or after marriage, but both are liable for expenses and edu- 
cation of the family. 


She may contract the same as if unmarried, except that in a partner- 
ship business she can not, without consent of her husband, unless he has 
abandoned or deserted her, or is idiotic or insane, or confined in peniten- 
tiary ; she is entitled and can recover her own earnings, but neither hus- 
band nor wife is entitled to compensation for any services rendered for the 
other. At the death of the husband, in addition to widow's award, a 
married woman has a dower interest (one-third) in all real estate owned 
by her husband after their marriage, and which has not been released by 
her, and the husband has the same interest in the real estate of the wife 
at her death. 


Rome worth $1,000, and the following Personal Property : Lot of ground 
and buildings thereon, occupied as a residence by the debtor, being a house- 
holder and having a family, to the value of $1,000. Exemption continues 
after the death of the householder for the benefit of widow and family, some 
one of them occupying the homestead until youngest child shall become 
twenty-one years of age, and until death of widow. There is no exemption 
from sale for taxes, assessments, debt or liability incurred for the purchase 
or improvement of said homestead. No release or waiver of exemption is 
valid, unless in writing, and subscribed by such householder and wife (if 
he have one), and acknowledged as conveyances of real estate are required 
to be acknowledged. The following articles of personal property owned 
by the debtor, are exempt from execution, writ of attachment, and distress 
for rent : The necessary wearing apparel, Bibles, school books and family 
pictures of every person ; and, 2d, one hundred dollars worth of other 
property to be selected by the debtor, and, in addition, when the debtor 
is the head of a family and resides with the same, three hundred dollars 
worth of other property to be selected by the debtor ; provided that such 
selection and exemption shall not be made by the debtor or allowed to 
him or her from any money, salary or wages due him or her from any 
person or persons or corporations whatever. 

When the head of a family shall die, desert or not reside with the 
same, the family shall be entitled to and receive all the benefit and priv- 
ileges which are by this act conferred upon the head of a family residing 
with the same. No personal property is exempt from execution when 
judgment is obtained for the wages of laborers or servants. Wages of a 
laborer who is the head of a family can not be garnisheed, except the sum 
due him be in excess of $25. 



To be valid there must be a valid consideration. Special care should 
be taken to have them signed, sealed, delivered, and properly acknowl- 
edged, with the proper seal attached. Witnesses are not required. The 
acknowledgement must be made in this state, before Master in Chancery, 
Notary Public, United States Commissioner, Circuit or County Clerk, Justice 
ef Peace, or any Court of Record having a seal, or any Judge, Justice, or 
Clerk of any such Court. When taken before a Notary Public, or United 
States Commissioner, the same shall be attested by his official seal, when 
taken before a Court or the Clerk thereof, the same shall be attested by 
the seal of such Court, and when taken before a Justice of the Peace resid- 
ing out of the county where the real estate to be conveyed lies, there shall 
be added a certificate of the County Clerk under his seal of office, that he 
was a Justice of the Peace in the county at the time of taking the same. 
A deed is good without such certificate attached, but can not be used in 
evidence unless such a certificate is produced or other competent evidence 
introduced. Acknowledgements made out of the state must either be 
executed according to the laws of this state, or there should be attached 
a certificate that it is in conformity with the laws of the state or country 
where executed. Where this is not done the same may be proved by any 
other legal way. Acknowledgments where the Homestead rights are to 
be waived must state as follows : " Including the release and waiver of 
the right of homestead." 

Notaries Public can take acknowledgements any where in the state. 

Sheriffs, if authorized by the mortgagor of real or personal property 
in his mortgage, may sell the property mortgaged. 

In the case of the death of grantor or holder of the equity of redemp- 
tion of real estate mortgaged, or conveyed by deed of trust where equity 
of redemption is waived, and it contains power of sale, must be foreclosed 
in the same manner as a common mortgage in court. 


Morses, mules, asses, neat cattle, swine, sheep, or goats found straying 
at any time during the year, in counties where such animals are not allowed 
to run at large, or between the last day of October and the 15th day of 
April in other counties, the owner thereof being unknown, may be taken up 
as estrays. 

No person not a householder in the county where estray is found can 
lawfully take up an estray, and then only upon or about his farm or place 
of residence. Ustrays should not be used before advertised, except animals 
giving milk, which may be milked for their benefit. 


Notices must be posted up within five (5) days in three (3) of the 
most public places in the town or precinct in which estray was found, giv- 
ing the residence of the taker up, and a particular description of the 
estray, its age, color, and marks natural and artificial, and stating before 
what justice of the peace in such town or precinct, and at what time, not 
less than ten (10) nor more than fifteen (15) days from the time of post- 
ing such notices, he will apply to have the estray appraised. 

A copy of such notice should be filed by the taker up with the town 
clerk, whose duty it is to enter the same at large, in a book kept by him 
for that purpose. 

If the owner of estray shall not have appeared and proved ownership, 
and taken the same away, first paying the taker up his reasonable charges 
for taking up, keeping, and advertising the same, the taker up shall appear 
before the justice of the peace mentioned in above mentioned notice, and 
make an affidavit as required by law. 

As the affidavit has to be made before the justice, and all other steps as 
to appraisement, etc., are before him, who is familiar therewith, they are 
therefore omitted here. 

Any person taking up an estray at any other place than about or 
upon his farm or residence, or without complying with the law, shall forfeit 
and pay a fine of ten dollars with costs. 

Ordinary diligence is required in taking care of estrays, but in case 
they die or get away the taker is not liable for the same. 


It is unlawful for any person to kill, or attempt to kill or destroy, in 
any manner, any prairie hen or chicken or woodcock between the 15th day 
of January and the 1st day of September ; or any deer, fawn, wild-turkey, 
partridge or pheasant between the 1st day of February and the 1st day 
of October ; or any quail between the 1st day of February and 1st day of 
November ; or any wild goose, duck, snipe, brant or other water fowl 
between the 1st day of May and 15th day of August in each year. 
Penalty : Fine not less than $5 nor more than $25, for each bird or 
animal, and costs of suit, and stand committed to county jail until fine is 
paid, but not exceeding ten days. It is unlawful to hunt with gun, dog 
or net within the inclosed grounds or lands of another without permission. 
Penalty: Fine not less than $3 nor more than $100, to be paid into 
school fund. 


Whenever any of the following articles shall be contracted for, or 
sold or delivered, and no special contract or agreement shall be made to 
the contrary, the weight per bushel shall be as follows, to-wit : 



Stone Coal, - 80 

Unslacked Lime, - 80 

Corn in the ear, - - 70 

Wheat, - - 60 

Irish Potatoes, - - - 60 

White Beans, 60 

Clover Seed, - - - - 60 

Onions, - - 57 

Shelled Corn, - 56 

Rye, - 56 

Flax Seed, - 56 

Sweet Potatoes, - 55 

Turnips, - - 55 

Fine Salt, - 55 


Buckwheat, - - 52 

Coarse Salt, 50 

Barley, - ... 48 

Corn Meal, - - - 48 ■ 

Castor Beans, - - - 46 

Timothy Seed, - - 45 

Hemp Seed, 44 

Malt, - - - 38 

Dried Peaches, - - - 33 

Oats, 32 

Dried Apples, - - - 24 

Bran, - - 20 

Blue Grass Seed, - 14 

Hair (plastering), - 8 

Penalty for giving less than the above standard is double the amount 
of property wrongfully not given, and ten dollars addition thereto. 


The owner or occupant of every public grist mill in this state shall 
grind all grain brought to his mill in its turn. The toll for both steam 
and water mills, is, for grinding and bolting wheat, rye, or other grain, one 
eighth part; for grinding Indian com, oats, harley and buckwheat not 
required to be bolted, one seventh part; for grinding malt, and chopping all 
kinds of grain, one eighth part. It is the duty of every miller when his 
mill is in repair, to aid and assist in loading and unloading all grain brought 
to him to be ground, and he is also required to keep an accurate half 
bushel measure, and an accurate set of toll dishes or scales for weighing 
the grain. The penalty for neglect or refusal to comply with the law is 
$5, to the use of any person to sue for the same, to be recovered before 
any justice of the peace of the county where penalty is incurred. Millers 
are accountable for the safe keeping of all grain left in his mill for the 
purpose of being ground, with bags or casks containing same (except it 
results from unavoidable accidents), provided that such bags or casks are 
distinctly marked with the initial letters of the owner's name. 


Owners of cattle, horses, hogs, sheep or goats may have one ear mark 
and one brand, but which shall be different from his neighbor's, and may 
be recorded by the county clerk of the county in which such property is 
kept. The fee for such record is fifteen cents. The record of such shall 
be open to examination free of charge. In cases of disputes as to marks 
or brands, such record is prima facie evidence. Owners of cattle, horses, 
hogs, sheep or goats that may have been branded by the former owner, 


may be re-branded in presence of one or more of his neighbors, who shall 
certify to the facts of the marking or branding being done, when done, 
and in what brand or mark they were re-branded or re-marked, which 
certificate may also be recorded as before stated. 


Children may be adopted by any resident of this state, by filing a 
petition in the Circuit or County Court of the county in which he resides, 
asking leave to do so, and if desired may ask that the name of the child 
be changed. Such petition, if made by a person having a husband or 
wife, will not be granted, unless the husband or wife joins therein, as the 
adoption must be by them jointly. 

The petition shall state name, sex, and age of the child, and the new 
name, if it is desired to change the name. Also the name and residence 
of the parents of the child, if known, and of the guardian, if any, and 
whether the parents or guardians consent to the adoption. 

The court must find, before granting decree, that the parents of the 
child, or the survivors of them, have deserted his or her family or such 
child for one year next preceding the application, or if neither are living, 
the guardian ; if no guardian, the next of kin in this state capable of giving 
consent, has had notice of the presentation of the petition and consents 
to such adoption. If the child is of the age of fourteen years or upwards, 
the adoption can not be made without its consent. 


There is in every county elected a surveyor known as county sur- 
veyor, who has power to appoint deputies, for whose official acts he is 
responsible. It is the duty of the county surveyor, either by himself or 
his deputy, to make all surveys that he may be called upon to make within 
his county as soon as may be after application is made. The necessary 
chainmen and other assistance must be employed by the person requiring 
the same to be done, and to be by him paid, unless otherwise agreed ; but 
the chainmen must be disinterested persons and approved by the surveyor 
and sworn by him to measure justly and impartially. 

The County Board in each county is required by law to provide a copy 
of the United States field notes and plats of their surveys of the lands 
in the county to be kept in the recorder's office subject to examination 
by the public, and the county surveyor is required to make his surveys 
in conformity to said notes, plats and the laws of the United States gov- 
erning such matters. The surveyor is also required to keep a record 
of all surveys made by him, which shall be subject to inspection by any 
one interested, and shall be delivered up to his successor in office. A. 


certified copy of the said surveyor's record shall be prima facie evidence 
of its contents. 

The fees of county surveyors are six dollars per day. The county 
surveyor is also ex officio inspector of mines, and as such, assisted by some 
practical miner selected by him, shall once each year inspect all the 
mines in the county, for which they shall each receive such compensa- 
tion as may be fixed by the County Board, not exceeding $5 a day, to 
be paid out of the county treasury. 


Where practicable from the nature of the ground, persons traveling 
in any kind of vehicle, must turn to the right of the center of the road, so 
as to permit each carriage to pass without interfering with each other. 
The penalty for a violation of this provision is $5 for every offense, to 
be recovered by the party injured ; but to recover, there must have 
occurred some injury to person or property resulting from the violation. 
The owners of any carriage traveling upon any road in this State for the 
conveyance of passengers who shall employ or continue in his employment 
as driver any person who is addicted to drunkenness, or the excessive use of 
spiritous liquors, after he has had notice of the same, shall forfeit, at the 
rate of $5 per day, and if any driver while actually engaged in driving 
any such carriage, shall be guilty of intoxication to such a degree as to 
endanger the safety of passengers, it shall be the duty of the owner, on 
receiving written notice of the fact, signed by one of the passengers, and 
certified by him on oath, forthwith to discharge such driver. If such owner 
shall have such driver in his employ within three months after such notice, 
he is liable for $ 5 per day for the time he shall keep said driver in his 
employment after receiving such notice. 

Persons driving any carriage on any public highway are prohibited 
from running their horses upon any occasion under a penalty of a fine not 
exceeding $ 10, or imprisonment not exceeding sixty days, at the discre- 
tion of the court. Horses attached to any carriage used to convey passen- 
gers for hire must be properly hitched or the lines placed in the hands of 
some other person before the driver leaves them for any purpose. For 
violation of this provision each driver shall forfeit twenty dollars, to be 
recovered by action, to be commenced within six months. It is under- 
stood by the term carriage herein to mean any carriage or vehicle used 
for the transportation of passengers or goods or either of them. 

The commissioners of highways in the different towns have the care 
arid superintendence of highways and bridges therein. They have all 
the powers necessary to lay out, vacate, regulate and repair all roads* 
build and repair bridges. In addition to the above, it is their duty to 
<jTect and keep in repair at the forks or crossing-place of the most 


important roads post and guide boards with plain inscriptions, giving 
directions and distances to the most noted places to which such road may- 
lead ; also to make provisions to prevent thistles, burdock, and cockle 
burrs, mustard, yellow dock, Indian mallow and jimson weed from 
seeding, and to extirpate the same as far as practicable, and to prevent 
all rank growth of vegetation on the public highways so far as the same 
may obstruct public travel, and it is in their discretion to erect watering 
places for public use for watering teams at such points as may be deemed 

The Commissioners, on or before the 1st day of May of each year, 
shall make out and deliver to their treasurer a list of all able-bodied men 
in their town, excepting paupers, idiots, lunatics, and such others as are 
exempt by law, and assess against each the sum of two dollars as a poll 
tax for highway purposes. Within thirty days after such list is delivered 
they shall cause a written or printed notice to be given to each person so 
assessed, notifying him of the time when and place where such tax must 
be paid, or its equivalent in labor performed ; they may contract with 
persons owing such poll tax to perform a certain amount of labor on any 
road or bridge in payment of the same, and if such tax is not paid nor 
labor performed by the first Monday of July of such year, or within ten 
days after notice is given after that time, they shall bring suit therefor 
against such person before a justice of the peace, who shall hear and 
determine the case according to law for the offense complained of, and 
shall forchwith issue an execution, directed to any constable of the county 
where the delinquent shall reside, who shall forthwith collect the moneys 
therein mentioned. 

The Commissioners of Highways of each town shall annually ascer- 
tain, as near as practicable, how much money must be raised by tax on real 
and personal property for the making and repairing of roads, only, to any 
amount they may deem necessary, not exceeding forty cents on each one 
hundred dollars' worth, as valued on the assessment roll of the previous 
year. The tax so levied on property lying within an incorporated village, 
town or city, shall be paid over to the corporate authorities of such town, 
village or city. Commissioners shall receive $1.5.0 for each day neces- 
sarily employed in the discharge of their duty. 

Overseers. At the first meeting the Commissioners shall choose one 
of their number to act General Overseer of Highways in their township, 
whose duty it shall be to take charge of and safely keep all tools, imple- 
ments and machinery belonging to said town, and shall, by the -direction 
of the Board, have general supervision of all roads and bridges in their 


As all township and county officers are familiar 'with their duties, it 
is only intended to give the points of the law that the public should be 
familiar with. The manner of laying out, altering or vacating roads, etc., 
will not be here stated, as it would require more space than is contem- 
plated in a work of this kind. It is sufficient to state that, the first step 
is by petition, addressed to the Commissioners, setting out what is prayed 
for, giving the names of the owners of lands if known, if not known so 
state, over which the road is to pass, giving the general course, its place 
of beginning, and where it terminates. It requires not less than twelve 
freeholders residing within three miles of the road who shall sign the 
petition. Public roads must not be less than fifty feet wide, nor more 
than sixty feet wide. Roads not exceeding two miles in length, if peti- 
tioned for, may be laid out, not less than forty feet. Private roads 
for private and public use, may be laid out of the width of three rods, on 
petition of the person directly interested ; the damage occasioned thereby 
shall be paid by the premises benefited thereby, and before the road is 
opened. If not opened in two years, the order shall be considered 
rescinded. Commissioners in their discretion may permit persons who 
live on or have private roads, to work out their road tax thereon. Public 
roads must be opened in five days from date of filing order of location, 
or be deemed vacated. 


Whenever one or more owners or occupants of land desire to construct 
i drain, or ditch across the land of others for agricultural, sanitary or 
mining purposes, the proceedings are as follows : 

File a petition in the Circuit or County Court of the county in which 
the proposed ditch or drain is to be constructed, setting forth the neces- 
sity for the same, with a description of its proposed starting point, route 
and terminus, and if it shall be necessary for the drainage of the land or 
coal mines or for sanitary purposes, that a drain, ditch, levee or similar 
work be constructed, a description of the same. It shall also set forth 
the names of all persons owning the land over which such drain or ditch 
shall be constructed, or if unknown stating that fact. 

No private property shall be taken or damaged for the purpose of 
constructing a ditch, drain or levee, without compensation, if claimed by 
the owner, the same to be ascertained by a jury ; but if the construction 
of such ditch, drain or levee shall be a benefit to the owner, the same 
shall be a set off against such compensation. 

If the proceedings seek to affect the property of a minor, lunatic or 
married woman, the guardian, conservator or husband of the same shall 
be made party defendant. The petition maybe amended and parties 
made defendants at any time when it is necessary to a fair trial. 


When the petition is presented to the judge, he shall note there ja. 
when he will hear the same, and order the issuance of summonses aad 
the publication of notice to each non-resident or unknown defendant. 

The petition may be heard by such judge in vacation as well as in 
term time. Upon the trial, the jury shall ascertain the just compensation 
to each owner of the property sought to be damaged by the construction 
of such ditch, drain or levee, and truly report the same. 

As it is only contemplated in a work of this kind to give an abstract 
of the laws, and as the parties who have in charge the execution of the 
further proceedings are likely to be familiar with the requirements of the 
statute, the necessary details are not here inserted. 


The County Board of any county in this State may hereafter alluw 
such bounty on wolf scalps as the board may deem reasonable. 

Any person claiming a bounty shall produce the scalp or scalps with 
the ears thereon, within sixty days after the wolf or wolves shall have 
been caught, to the Clerk of the County Board, who shall administer to 
said person the following oath or affirmation, to-wit: "You do solemnly 
swear (or affirm, as the case may be), that the scalp or scalps here pro- 
duced by you was taken from a wolf or wolves killed and first captured 
by yourself within the limits of this county, and within the sixty days 
last past." 


When the reversion expectant on a lease of any tenements or here- 
ditaments of any tenure shall be surrendered or merged, the estate which 
shall for the time being confer as against the tenant under the same lease 
the next vested right to the same tenements or hereditaments, shall, to 
the extent and for the purpose of preserving such incidents to and obli- 
gations on the same reversion, as but for the surrender or merger thereof, 
would have subsisted, be deemed the reversion expectant on the same 


Every poor person who shall be unable to earn a livelihood in conse- 
quence of any bodily infirmity, idiocy, lunacy or unavoidable cause, shall 
be supported by the father, grand-father, mother, grand-mother, children, 
grand-children, brothers or sisters of such poor person, if they or either 
of them be of sufficient ability ; but if any of such dependent class shall 
have become so from intemperance or other bad conduct, they shall not be 
entitled to support from any relation except parent or child. 

Missing Page 

Missing Page 


The children shall first be called on to support their parents, if they 
are able ; but if not, the parents of such poor person shall then be called 
on, if of sufficient ability ; and if there be no parents or children able, 
then the brothers and sisters of such dependent person shall be called 
upon ; and if there be no brothers or sisters of sufficient ability, the 
grand-children of such person shall next be called on; and if they are 
not able, then the grand-parents. Married females, while their husbands 
five, shall not be liable to contribute for the support of their poor relations 
except out of their separate property. It is the duty of the state's 
(county) attorney, to make complaint to the County Court of his county 
against all the relatives of such paupers in this state iiable to his support 
and prosecute the same. In case the state's attorney neglects, or refuses, to 
complain in such cases, then it is the duty of the overseer of the poor to 
do so. The person called upon to contribute shall have at least ten days' 
notice of such application by summons. The court has the power to 
determine the kind of support, depending upon the circumstances of the 
parties, and may also order two or more of the different degrees to main- 
tain such poor person, and prescribe the proportion of each, according to 
their ability. The court may specify the time for which the relative shall 
contribute — in fact has control over the entire subject matter, with power 
to enforce its orders. Every county (except those in which the poor are 
supported by the towns, and in such cases the towns are liable) is required 
to relieve and support all poor and indigent persons lawfully resident 
therein. Residence means the actual residence of the party, or the place 
where he was employed ; or in case he was in no employment, then it 
shall be the place where he made his home. When any person becomes 
chargeable as a pauper in any county or town who did not reside at the 
commencement of six months immediately preceding his becoming so, 
but did at that time reside in some other county or town in this state, 
then the county or town, as the case may be, becomes liable for the expense 
of taking care of such person until removed, and it is the duty of the 
overseer to notify the proper authorities of the fact. If any person shall 
bring and leave any pauper in any county in this state where such pauper 
had no Legal residence, knowing him to be such, he is liable to a fine of 
$100. In counties under township organization, the supervisors in each 
town are ex-officio overseers of the poor. The overseers of the poor act 
under the directions of the County Board in taking care of the poor and 
granting of temporary relief; also, providing for non-resident persons not 
paupers who may be taken sick and not able to pay their way, and in case 
of death cause such person to be decently buried. 

The residence of the inmates of poorhouses and other charitable 
institutions for voting purposes is their former place of abode. 



In counties under township organization, the town assessor and com- 
missioner of highways are the fence-viewers in their respective towns. 
In other counties the County Board appoints three in each precinct annu- 
ally. A lawful fence is four and one-half feet high, in good repair, con- 
sisting of rails, timber, boards, stone, hedges, or whatever the fence- 
viewers of the town or precinct where the same shall lie, shall consider 
equivalent thereto, but in counties under township organization the annual 
town meeting may establish any other kind of fence as such, or the County 
Board in other counties may do the same. Division fences shall be made 
and maintained in just proportion by the adjoining owners, except when 
the owner shall choose to let his land lie open, but after a division fence is 
built by agreement or otherwise, neither party can remove his part of such 
fence so long as he may crop or use such land for farm purposes, or without 
giving the other party one year's notice in writing of his intention to remove 
his portion. When any person shall enclose his land upon the enclosure 
of another, he shall refund the owner of the adjoining lands a just pro- 
portion of the value at that time of such fence. The value of fence and 
the just proportion to be paid or built and maintained by each is to be 
ascertained by two fence-viewers in the town or precinct. Such fence- 
viewers have power to settle all disputes between different owners as to 
fences built or to be built, as well as to repairs to be made. Each party 
chooses one of the viewers, but if the other party neglects, after eight 
days' notice in writing, to make his choice, then the other party may 
select both. It is sufficient to notify the tenant or party in possession, 
when the owner is not a resident of the town or precinct. The two 
fence-viewers chosen, after viewing the premises, shall hear the state- 
ments of the parties , in case they can't agree, they shall select another 
■ fence-viewer to act with them, and the decision of any two of them is 
final. The decision must be reduced to writing, and should plainly set 
out description of fence and all matters settled by them, and must be 
filed in the office of the town clerk in counties under township organiza- 
tion, and in other counties with the county clerk. 

Where any person is liable to contribute to the erection or the 
repairing of a division fence, neglects or refuses so to do, the party 
injured, after giving sixty days notice in writing when a fence is to be 
erected, or ten days when it is only repairs, may proceed to have the 
work done at the expense of the party whose duty it is to do it, to be 
recovered from him with costs of suit, and the party so neglecting shall 
also be liable to the party injured for all damages accruing from such 
neglect or refusal, to be determined by any two fence-viewers selected 
as before provided, the appraisement to be reduced to writing and signed. 


Where a person shall conclude to remove his part of a division fence, 
and let his land lie open, and having given the year's notice required, the 
adjoining owner may cause the value of said fence to be ascertained by 
fence-viewers as before provided, and on payment or tender of the 
amount of such valuation to the owner, it shall prevent the removal. A 
party removing a division fence without notice is liable for the damages 
accruing thereby. 

Where a fence has been built on the land of another through mis- 
take, the owner may enter upon such premises and remove his fence and 
material within dix months after the division line has been ascertained. 
Where the material to build such a fence has been taken from the land 
on which it was built, then before it can be removed, the person claiming 
must first pay for such material to the owner of the land from which it 
was taken, nor shall aucli a fence be removed at a time when the removal 
will throw open or expose the crops of the other party ; a reasonable 
time must be given beyond the .six months to remove crops. 

The compensation of fence-viewers is one dollar and fifty cents a 
day each, to be paid in the first instance by the party calling them, but 
in the end all expenses, including amount charged by the fence-viewers, 
must be paid equally by the parties, except in cases where a party neglects 
or refuses to make or maintain a just proportion of a division fence, when 
the party in default shall pay them. 


Where stock of any kind breaks into any person's enclosure, the 
fence being good and sufficient, the owner is liable for the damage done ; 
but where the damage is done by stock running at large, contrary to law, 
the owner is liable where there is not such a fence. Where stock is 
found trespassing on the enclosure of another as aforesaid, the owner 01 
occupier of the premises may take possession of such stock and keep the 
same until damages, with reasonable charges for keeping and feeding and 
all costs of suit, are paid. Any person taking or rescuing such stock so 
held without his consent, shall be liable to a fine of not less than three 
nor more than five dollars for each animal rescued, to be recovered by 
suit before a justice of the peace for the use of the school fund. Within 
twenty-four hours after taking such animal into his possession, the per- 
son taking it up must give notice of the fact to the owner, if known, or 
if unknown, notices must be posted in some public place near the premises. 


The owner of lands, or his legal representatives, can sue for and 
recover rent therefor, in any of the following cases : 

First. When rent is due and in arrears on a lease for life or lives. 


Second. When lands are held and occupied by any person without 
any special agreement for rent. 

Third. When possession is obtained under an agreement, written 
or verbal, for the purchase of the premises and before deed given, the 
right to possession is terminated by forfeiture on con-compliance with the 
agreement, and possession is wrongfully refused or neglected to be given 
upon demand made in writing by the party entitled thereto. Provided 
that all payments made by the vendee or his representatives or assigns, 
may be set off against the rent. 

Fourth. When land has been sold upon a judgment or a decree of 
court, when the party to such judgment or decree, or person holding under 
him, wrongfully refuses, or neglects, to surrender possession of the same, 
after demand in writing by the person entitled to the possession. 

Fifth. When the lands have been sold upon a mortgage Or trust 
deed, and the mortgagor or grantor or person holding under him, wrong- 
fully refuses or neglects to surrender possession of the same, after demand 
in writing by the person entitled to the possession. 

If any tenant, or any person who shall come into possession from or 
under or by collusion with such tenant, shall willfully hold over any lands, 
etc., after the expiration the term of their lease, and after demand made 
in writing for the possession thereof, is liable to pay double rent. A 
tenancy from year to year requires sixty days notice in writing, to termi- 
nate the same at the end of the year ; such notice can be given at any 
time within four months preceding the last sixty days of the year. 

A tenancy by the month, or less than a year, where the tenant holds 
over without any special agreement, the landlord may terminate the 
tenancy, by thirty days notice in writing. 

When rent is due, the landlord may serve a notice upon the tenant, 
stating that unless the rent is paid within not less than five days, his lease 
will be terminated ; if the rent is not paid, the landlord may consider the 
lease ended. When default is made in any of the terms of a lease, it 
shall not be necessary to give more than ten days notice to quit or of the 
termination of such tenancy ; and the same may be terminated on giving 
such notice to quit, at any time after such default in any of the terms of 
such lease ; which notice may be substantially in the following form, viz: 

To , You are hereby notified that, in consequence of your default 

in'Qhere insert the character of the default), of the premises now occupied 
by you, being etc. (here describe the premises), I have elected to deter- 
mine your lease, and you are hereby notified to quit and deliver up pos- 
session of the same to me within ten days of this date (dated, etc.) 

The above to be signed by the lessor or his agent, and no other notice 
or demand of possession or termination of such tenancy is necessary. 

Demand may be made, or notice served, by delivering a written or 


printed, or partly either, copy thereof to the tenant, or leaving the same 
"with some person above the age of twelve years residing on or in posses- 
sion of the premises ; and in case no one is in the actual possession of the 
said premises, then by posting the same on the premises. When the 
tenancy is for a certain time, and the term expires by the terms of the 
lease, the tenant is then bound to surrender possession, and no notice 
to quit or demand of possession is necessary. 

Distress for rent. — In all cases of distress for rent, the landlord, by 
himself, his agent or attorney, may seize for rent any personal property of 
his tenant that may be found in the county where the tenant resides ; the 
property of any other person, even if found on the premises, is not 

An inventory of the property levied upon, with a statement of the 
amount of rent claimed, should be at once filed with some justice of the 
peace, if not over $200 ; and if above that sum, with the clerk of a court 
of record of competent jurisdiction. Property may be released, by the 
party executing a satisfactory bond for double the amount. 

The landlord may distrain for rent, any time within six months after 
the expiration of the term of the lease, or when terminated. 

In all cases where the premises rented shall be sub-let, or the lease 
assigned, the landlord shall have the same right to enforce lien against 
such lessee or assignee, that he has against the tenant to whom the pre- 
mises were rented. 

"When a tenant abandons or removes from the premises or any part 
thereof, the landlord, or his agent or attorney, may seize upon any grain 
or other crops grown or growing upon the premises, or part thereof so 
abandoned, whether the rent is due or not. If such grain, or other crops, 
or any part thereof, is not fully grown or matured, the landlord, or his 
agent or attorney, shall cause the same to be properly cultivated, harvested 
or gathered, and may sell the same, and from the proceeds pay all his 
labor, expenses and rent. The tenant may, before the sale of such pro- 
perty, redeem the same by tendering the rent and reasonable compensation 
for work done, or he may replevy the same. 

Exemption. — The same articles of personal property which are bylaw 
exempt from execution, except the crops as above stated, is also exempt 
from distress for rent. 

If any tenant is about to or shall permit or attempt to sell and 
remove from the premises, without the consent of his landlord, such 
portion of the crops raised thereon as will endanger the lien of the land- 
lord upon such crops, for the rent, it shall be lawful for the landlord to 
distress before rent is due. 



Any person who shall by contract, express or implied, or partly both, 
with the owner of any lot or tract of land, furnish labor or material, or 
services as an architect or superintendent, in building, altering, repairing 
or ornamenting any house or other building or appurtenance thereto on 
such lot, or upon any street or alley, and connected with such improve- 
ments, shall have a lien upon the whole of such lot or tract of land, and 
upon such house or building and appurtenances, for the amount due to 
him for such labor, material or services. ' If the contract is expressed, and 
the time for the completion of the work is beyond three years from the com- 
mencement thereof ; or, if the time of payment is beyond one year from 
the time stipulated for the completion of the work, then no lien exists. 
If the contract is implied, then no lien exists, unless the work be done or 
material is furnished within one year from the commencement of the work 
or delivery of the materials. As between different creditors having liens, 
no preference is given to the one whose contract was first made ; but each 
shares pro-rata. Incumbrances existing on the lot or tract of the land at 
the time the contract is made, do not operate on the improvements, and 
are only preferred to the extent of the value of the land at the time of 
making the contract. The above, lien can not be enforced unless suit is 
commenced within six months after the last payment for labor or materials 
shall have become due and payable. Sub-contractors, mechanics, workmen 
and other persons furnishing any material, or performing any labor for a 
contractor as before specified, have a lien to the extent of the amount due 
the contractor at the time the following notice is served upon the owner 
of the land who made the contract : 

To , You are hereby notified, that I have been employed by- 

(here state whether to labor or furnish material, and substantially the 
nature of the demand) upon your, (here state in general terms description 
and situation of building), and that I shall hold the (building, or as the 
case may be), and your interest in the ground, liable for the amount that 

may (is or may become) due me on account thereof. Signature, 


If there is a contract in writing between contractor and sub-contractor, 
a copy of it should be served with above notice, and said notice must be 
served within forty days from the completion of such sub-contract, if there 
is one ; if not, then from the time payment should have been made to the 
person performing the labor or furnishing the material. If the owner is 
not a resident of the county, or can not be found therein, then the above 
notice must be filed with the clerk of the Circuit Court, with his fee, fifty 
cents, and a copy of said notice must be published in a newspaper pub- 
lished in the county, for four successive weeks. 


When the owner or agent is notified as above, he can retain any 
money due the contractor sufficient to pay such claim ; if more than one 
claim, and not enough to pay all, they are to be paid pro rata. 

The owner has the right to demand in writing, a statement of the 
contractor, of what he owes for labor, etc., from time to time as the work 
progresses, and on his failure to comply, forfeits to the owner $ 50 for 
every offense. 

The liens referred to cover any and all estates, whether in fee for 
life, for years, or any other interest which the owner may have. 

To enforce the lien of sub-contractors, suit must be commenced within 
three months from the time of the performance of the sub-contract, or 
during the work or furnishing materials. 

Hotel, inn and boarding-house keepers, have a lien upon the baggage 
and other valuables of their guests or boarders, brought into such hotel, 
inn or boarding-house, by their guests or boarders, for the proper charges 
due from such guests or boarders for their accommodation, board and 
lodgings, and such extras as are furnished at their request. 

Stable-keepers and other persons have a lien upon the horses, car- 
riages and harness kept by them, for the proper charges due for the keep- 
ing thereof and expenses bestowed thereon at the request of the owner 
or the person having the possession of the same. 

Agisters (persons who take care of cattle belonging to others), and 
persons keeping, yarding, feeding or pasturing domestic animals, shall 
have a lien upon the animals agistered, kept, yarded or fed, for the proper 
charges due for such service. 

All persons who may furnish any railroad corporation in this state 
with fuel, ties, material, supplies or any other article or thing necessary 
for the construction, maintenance, operation or repair of its road by con- 
tract, or may perform work or labor on the same, is entitled to be paid as 
part of the current expenses of the road, and have a lien upon all its pro- 
perty. Sub-contractors or laborers have also a lien. The conditions and 
limitations both as to contractors and sub-contractors, are about the same 
as herein stated as to general liens. 


$ means dollars, being a contraction of U. S., which was formerly 

placed before any denomination of money, and meant, as it means now, 
United States Currency. 

£ means pounds, English money. 

@ stands for at or to. ft for pound, and bbl. for barrel; f* for per or 
by the. Thus, Butter sells at 20@30c f ft, and Flour at $8@12 f bbl. 

% for per cent and # for number. 

May 1. — Wheat sells at $1.20@1.25, "seller June." Seller June 


means that the person who sells the wheat has the privilege of delivering 
it at any time during the month of June. 

Selling short, is contracting to deliver a certain amount of grain or 
stock, at a fixed price, within a certain length of time, when the seller 
has not the stock on hand. It is for the interest of the person selling 
"short," to depress the market as much as possible, in order that he may 
buy and fill his contract at a profit. Hence the " shorts " are termed 

Buying long, is to contract to purchase a certain amount of grain or 
shares of stock at a fixed price, deliverable within a stipulated time, 
expecting to make a profit by the rise of prices. The " lpngs " are 
termed "bulls," as it is for their interest to " operate " so as to "toss" 
the prices upward as much as possible. 


Form of note is legal, worded in the simplest way, so that the 
amount and time of payment are mentioned. 

$100. Chicago, 111., Sept. 15, 1876. 

Sixty days from date I promise to pay to E. F. Brown, 
or order, One Hundred dollars, for value received. 

L. D. Lowry. 
A note to be payable in any thing else than money needs only the 
facts substituted for money in the above form. 


Orders should be worded simply, thus : 

Mr. F. H. Coats: Chicago, Sept. 15, 1876. 

Please pay to H. Birdsall, Twenty-fiv.e dollars, and charge to 

F. D. Silva. 


Receipts should always state when received and what for, thus : 

$100. Chicago, Sept. 15, 1876. 

Received of J. W. Davis, One Hundred dollars, for services 
rendered in grading his lot in Fort Madison, on account. 

Thomas Brady. 
If receipt is in full it should be so stated. 


W. N. Mason, Salem, Illinois, Sept. 15, 1876. 

Bought of A. A. Graham. 
4 Bushels of Seed Wheat, at $1.50 - $6.00 

2 Seamless Sacks " .30 .60 

Received payment, $6.60 

A. A. Graham. 



An agreement is where one party promises to another to do a certain 
thing in a certain time for a stipulated sum. Good business men always 
reduce an agreement to writing, which nearly always saves misunder- 
standings and trouble. No particular form is necessary, but the facts must 
be clearly and explicitly stated, and there must, to make it valid, be a 
reasonable consideration. 


This Agreement, made the Second day of October, 1876, between 
Jottn Jones, of Aurora, County of Kane, State of Illinois, of the first part, 
and Thomas Whiteside, of the same place, of the second part — 

Witnesseth, that the said John Jones, in consideration of the agree- 
ment of the party of the second part, hereinafter contained, contracts and 
agrees to and with the said Thomas Whiteside, that he will deliver, in 
good and marketable condition, at the Village of Batavia, 111., during the 
month of November, of this year, One Hundred Tons of Prairie Hay, in 
the following lots, and at the following specified times ; namely, twenty- 
five tons by the seventh of November, twenty-five tons additional by the 
fourteenth of the month, twenty-five tons more by the twenty-first, and 
the entire one hundred tons to be all delivered by the thirtieth of 

And the said Thomas Whiteside, in consideration of the prompt 
fulfillment of this contract, on the part of the party of the first part, 
contracts to and agrees with the said John Jones, to pay for said hay five 
dollars per ton, for each ton as soon as delivered. 

In case of failure of agreement by either of the parties hereto, it is 
hereby stipulated and agreed that the party so failing shall pay to the 
other, One Hundred Dollars, as fixed and settled damages. 

In witness whereof, we have hereunto set our hands the day and 
year first above written. John Jones, 

Thomas Whiteside. 


This Agreement, made the first day of May, one thousand eight 
hundred and seventy-six, between Reuben Stone, of Chicago, County 
of Cook, State of Illinois, party of the first part, and George Barclay, of 
Englewood, County of Cook, State of Illinois, party of the second part — 

WITNESSETH, that said George Barclay agrees faithfully and dili- 
gently to work as clerk and salesman for the said Reuben Stone, for 
and during the space of one year from the date hereof, should both 
live such length of time, without absenting himself from his occupation ; 


during which time he, the said Barclay, in the store of said Stone, of 
Chicago, will carefully and honestly attend, doing and performing all 
duties as clerk and salesman aforesaid, in accordance and in all respects 
as directed and desired by the said Stone. 

In consideration of which services, so to be rendered. by the said 
Barclay, the said Stone agrees to pay to said Barclay the annual sum of 
one thousand dollars, payable in twelve equal monthly payments, each 
upon the last day of each month ; provided that all dues for days of 
absence from business by said Barclay, shall be deducted from the sum 
otherwise by the agreement due and payable by the said Stone to the said 

Witness our hands. Reuben Stone. 

George Barclay. 


A bill of sale is a written agreement to another party, for a consider- 
ation to convey his right and interest in the personal property. The 
purchaser must take actual possession of the property. Juries have 
power to determine upon the fairness or unfairness of a bill of sale. 


Know all Men by this instrument, that I, Louis Clay, of Princeton, 
Illinois, of the first part, for and in consideration of Five Hundred 
and Ten dollars, to me paid by John Floyd, of the same place, of the 
second part, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, have sold, and 
by this instrument do convey unto the said Floyd, party of the second 
part, his executors, administrators, and assigns, my undivided half of 
ten acres of corn, now growing on the farm of Thomas Tyrrell, in the 
town above mentioned ; one pair of horses, sixteen sheep, and five cows, 
belonging to me, and in my possession at the farm aforesaid ; to have and 
to hold the same unto the party of the second part, his executors and 
assigns, forever. And I do, for myself and legal representatives, agree 
with the said party of the second part, and his legal representatives, to 
warrant and defend the sale of the afore-mentioned property and chattels 
unto the said party of the second part, and his legal representatives, 
against all and every person whatsoever. 

In witness whereof, I have hereunto affixed my hand, this tenth day 
of October, one thousand eight hundred and seventy-six. 

Louis Clay. 

A bond is a written admission on the part of the maker in which he 
pledges a certain sum to another, at a certain time. 



Know all Men by this instrument, that I, George Edgerton, of 
Watseka, Iroquois County, State of Illinois, am firmly bound unto Peter 
Kirchoff, of the place aforesaid, in the sum of five hundred dollars, to be 
paid to the said Peter Kirchoff, or his legal representatives ; to which 
payment, to be made, I bind myself, or my legal representatives, by this 

Sealed with my seal, and dated this second day of November, one 
thousand eight hundred and sixty-four. 

The condition of this bond is such that if I, George Edgerton, my 
heirs, administrators, or executors, shall promptly pay the sum of two 
hundred and fifty dollars in three equal annual payments from the date 
hereof, with annual interest, then the above obligation to be of no effect ; 
otherwise to be in full force and valid. 
Sealed and delivered in 

presence of Geokge Edgerton. [l.s.J 

William Turner. 


A chattel mortgage is a mortgage on personal property for payment 
of a certain sum of money, to hold the property against debts of other 
creditors. The mortgage must describe the property, and must be 
acknowledged before a justice of the peace in the township or precinct 
where the mortgagee resides, and entered upon his docket, and must be 
recorded in the recorder's office of the county. 


This Indenture, made and entered into this first day of January, 
in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy-five, 
between Theodore Lottinville, of the town of Geneseo in the County 
of Henry, and State of Illinois, party of the first part, and Paul Hen&haw, 
of the same town, county, and State, party of the second part. 

Witnesseth, that the said party of the first part, for and in consider- 
ation of the sum of one thousand dollars, in hand paid, the receipt whereof 
is hereby acknowledged, does hereby grant, sell, convey, and confirm unto 
the said party of the second part, his heirs and assigns forever, all and 
singular the following described goods and chattels, to wit : 

Two three-year old roan-colored horses, one Burdett organ, No. 987, 
one Brussels carpet, 15x20 feet in size, one marble-top center table, one 
Home Comfort cooking stove, No. 8, one black walnut bureau with mirror 
attached, one set of parlor chairs (six in number), upholstered in green 
rep, with lounge corresponding with same in style and color of upholstery, 
now in possession of said Lottinville, at No. 4 Prairie Ave., Geneseo, 111. ; 


Together with all and singular, the appurtenances thereunto Belong- 
ing, or in any wise appertaining ; to have and to hold the above described 
goods and chattels, unto the said party of the second part, his heirs and 
assigns, forever. 

Provided, always, and these presents are upon this express condition, 
that if the said Theodore Lottinville, his heirs, executors, administrators, 
or assigns, shall, on or before the first day of January, A.D., one thousand 
eight hundred and seventy-six, pay, or cause to be paid, to the said Paul 
Ranslow, or his lawful attorney or attorneys, heirs, executors, adminis- 
trators, or assigns, the sum of One Thousand dollars, together with the 
interest that may accrue thereon, at the rate of ten per cent, per annum, 
from the first day of January, A.D. one thousand eight hundred and 
seventy-five, until paid, according to the tenor of one promissory note 
bearing even date herewith for the payment of said sum of money, that 
then and from thenceforth, these presents, and everything herein con- 
tained, shall cease, and be null and void, anything herein contained to the 
contrary notwithstanding. 

Provided, also, that the said Theodore Lottinville may retain the 
possession of and have the use of said goods and chattels until the day 
of payment aforesaid ; and also, at his own expense, shall keep said goods 
and chattels; and also at the expiration of said time of payment, if said 
sum of money, together with the interest as aforesaid, shall not be paid, 
shall deliver up said goods and chattels, in good condition, to said Paul 
Ranslow, or his heirs, executors, administrators, or assigns. 

And provided, also, that if default in payment as aforesaid, by said 
party of the first part, shall be made, or if said party of the second part 
shall at any time before said promissory note becomes due, feel himself 
unsafe or insecure, that then the said party of the second part, or his 
attorney, agent, assigns, or heirs, executors, or administrators, shall have 
the right to take possession of said goods and chattels, wherever they 
may or can be found, and sell the same at public or private sale, to the 
.highest bidder for cash in hand, after giving ten days/ notice of the time 
and place of said sale, together with a description of the goods and chat- 
tels to be sold, by at least four advertisements, posted up in public places 
in the vicinity where said sale is to take place, and proceed to make the: 
sum of money and interest promised as aforesaid , together with all reason- 
able costs, charges, and expenses in so doing ; and if there shall be any 
overplus, shall pay the same without delay to the said party of the first 
part, or his legal representatives. 

In testimony whereof, the said party of the first part has hereunto 
set his hand and affixed his seal, the day and year first above written. 
Signed, sealed and delivered in 

presence of Theodore Lottinville. [l.s.J 

Samuel J. Tilden. 



This Indenture, made this second day of June, 1875, between David 
Patton of the Town of Bisbee, State of Illinois, of the first part, and John 
Doyle of the same place, of the second part, 

Witnesseth, that the said David Patton, for and in consideration of 
the covenants hereinafter mentioned and reserved, on the part of the said 
John Doyle, his executors, administrators, and assigns, to be paid, kept, 
and performed, hath let, and by these presents . doth grant, demise, and 
let, unto the said John Doyle, his executors, administrators, and assigns, 
all that parcel of land situate in Bisbee aforesaid, bounded and described 
as follows, to wit : 

[Here describe the land.~\ 

Together with all the appurtenances appertaining thereto. To have 
and to hold the said premises, with appurtenances thereto belonging, unto 
the said Doyle, his executors, administrators, and assigns, for the term of 
five years, from the first day of October next following, at a yearly rent 
of Six Hundred dollars, to be paid in equal payments, semi-annually, as 
long as said buildings are in good tenantable condition. 

And the said Doyle, by these presents, covenants and agrees to pay 
all taxes and assessments, and keep in repair all hedges, ditches, rail, and 
other fences ; (the said David Patton, his heirs, assigns and administra- 
tors, to furnish all timber, brick, tile, and other materials necessary for 
such repairs.) 

Said Doyle further covenants and agrees to apply to said land, in a 
farmer-like manner, all manure and compost accumulating upon said 
farm, and cultivate all the arable land in a husbandlike manner, accord- 
ing to the usual custom among farmers in the neighborhood ; he also 
agrees to trim the hedges at a seasonable time, preventing injury from 
cattle to such hedges, and to all fruit and other trees on the said premises. 
That he will seed down with clover and timothy seed twenty acres yearly 
of arable land, ploughing the same number of acres each Spring of land 
now in grass, and hitherto unbroken. 

It is further agreed, that if the said Doyle shall fail to perform the 
whole or any one of the above mentioned covenants, then and in that 
case the said David Patton may declare this lease terminated, by giving 
thre'e. months' notice of the same, prior to the first of October of any 
year, and may distrain any part of the stock, goods, or chattels, or other 
property in possession of said Doyle, for sufficient to compensate for the 
non-performance of the above written covenants, the same to be • deter- 
mined, and amounts so to be paid to be determined, by three arbitrators, 
chosen as follows : Each of the parties to this instrument to choose one, 


and the two so chosen to select a third ; the decision of said arbitrators 
to be final. 

In witness whereof, we have hereto set our hands and seals. 
Signed, sealed, and delivered 

in presence of David Pattok. [l.s.] 

James Waldron. John Doyle. [l.s.] 


This Instrument, made the first day of October, 1875, witnesseth 
that Amos Griest of Yorkville, County of Kendall, State of Illinois, hath 
rented from Aaron Young of Logansport aforesaid, the dwelling and lot 
No. 13 Ohio Street, situated in said City of Yorkville, for five years 
from the above date, at the yearly rental of Three Hundred dollars, pay- 
able monthly, on the first day of each month, in advance, at the residence 
of said Aaron Young. 

At the expiration of said above mentioned term, the said Griest 
agrees to give the said Young peaceable possession of the said dwelling, 
in as good condition as when taken, ordinary wear and casualties excepted. 

In witness whereof, we place our hands and seals the day and year 

Signed, sealed and delivered Amos Griest. [l.s.] 

in presence of 


Notary Public. 


This certifies that I have let and rented, this first day of January, 
1876, unto Jacob Schmidt, my house and lot, No. 15 Erie Street, in the 
City of Chicago, State of Illinois, and its appurtenances ; he to have the 
free and uninterrupted occupation thereof for one year from this date, at 
the yearly rental of Two Hundred dollars, to be paid monthly in advance ; 
rent to cease if destroyed by fire, or otherwise made untenantable. 

Peter Funk. 

This certifies that I have hired and taken from Peter Funk, his 
house and lot, No. 15 Erie Street, in the City of Chicago, State of Illi- 
nois, with appurtenances thereto belonging, for one year, to commence 
this day, at a yearly rental of Two Hundred dollars, to be paid monthly 
in advance ; unless said house becomes untenantable from fire or other 
Causes, in which case rent ceases ; and I further agree to give and yield 
said premises one year from this first day of January 1876, in as good 
condition as now, ordinary wear and damage by the elements excepted. 

Given under my hand this day. Jacob Schmidt. 



To F. W. Arlen, 

Sir : Please observe that the term of one year, for which the house 
and land, situated at No. 6 Indiana Street, and now occupied by you, 
were rented to you, expired on the first day of October, 1875, and as I 
desire to repossess said premises, you are hereby requested and required 
to vacate the same. Respectfullv Yours, 

P. T. Barnum. 

Lincoln, Neb., October 4, 1875. 


Dear Sir: 

The premises I now occupy as your tenant, at No. 6 Indiana Street, 
I shall vacate on the first day of November, 1875. You will please take 
notice accordingly. 

Dated this tenth day of October, 1875. F. W. Arlen. 

To P. T. Barnum, Esq. 


This Indenture, made this sixteenth day of May, in the year of 
our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and seventy-two, between William 
Stocker, of Peoria, County of Peoria, and State of Illinois,* and 011a, his 
wife, party of the first part, and Edward Singer, party of the second part. 

Whereas, the said party of the first part is justly indebted to the said 
party of the second part, in the sum of Two Thousand dollars, secured 
to be paid by two certain promissory notes (bearing even date herewith) 
the one due and payable at the Second National Bank in Peoria, Illinois, 
with interest, on the sixteenth day of May, in the year one thousand eight 
hundred and seventy-three ; the other due and payable at the Second 
National Bank at Peoria, 111., with interest, on the sixteenth day of May, 
in the year one thousand eight hundred and seventy-four. 

Now, therefore, this indenture witnesseth, that the said party of the 
first part, for the better securing the payment of the money aforesaid, 
with interest thereon, according to the tenor and effect of the said two 
promissory notes above mentioned ; and, also in consideration of the fur- 
ther sum of one dollar to them in hand paid by the said party of the sec- 
ond part, at the delivery of these presents, the receipt whereof is hereby 
acknowledged, have granted, bargained, sold, and conveyed, and by these 
presents do grant, bargain, sell, and convey, unto the said party of the 
second part, his heirs and assigns, forever, all that certain parcel of land, 

situate, etc. 

[Describing the premises.] 
To have and to hold the same, together with all and singular the 
Tenements, Hereditaments, Privileges and Appurtenances thereunto 


belonging or in any wise appertaining: And also, all the estate, interest, 
and claim whatsoever, in law as well as in equity which the party of 
the first part have in and to the premises hereby conveyed unto the said 
party of the second part, his heirs and assigns, and to their only proper 
use, benefit and behoof. And the said William Stocker, and Olla, his 
wife, party of the first part, hereby expressly waive, relinquish, release, 
and convey unto the said party of the second part, his heirs, executors, 
administrators, and assigns, all right, title, claim, interest, and benefit 
whatever, in and to the above described premises, and each and every 
part thereof, which is given by or results from all laws of this state per- 
taining to the exemption of homesteads. 

Provided always, and these presents are upon this express condition, 
that if the said party of the first part, their heirs, executors, or adminis- 
trators, shall well and truly pay, or cause to be paid, to the said party of 
the second part, his heirs, executors, administrators, or assigns, the afore- 
said sums of money, with such interest thereon, at the time and in the 
manner specified in the above mentioned promissory notes, according to 
the true intent and meaning thereof, then in that case, these presents and 
every thing herein expressed, shall be absolutely null and void. 

In witness whereof, the said party of the first part hereunto set their 
hands and seals the day and year first above written. 
Signed, sealed and delivered in presence of 

Jambs Whitehead, William. Stocker. [l.s.J 

Fred. Samuels* Olla Stocker. [l.s.] 


This Indenture, made this sixth day of April, in the year of our 
Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy-two, between Henry Best 
of Lawrence, County of Lawrence, State of Illinois, and Belle, his wife, 
of the first part, and Charles Pearson of the same place, of the second part, 

Witnesseth, that the said party of the first part, for and in consideration 
of the sum of Six Thousand dollars in hand paid by the said party of the 
second part, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, have granted, 
bargained, and sold, and by these presents do grant, bargain, and sell, 
unto the said party of the second part, his heirs and assigns, all the fol- 
lowing described lot, piece, or parcel of land, situated in the City of Law- 
rence, in the County of Lawrence, and State of Illinois, to wit : 
\B.ere describe the property.] 

Together with all and singular the hereditaments and appurtenances 
thereunto belonging or in any wise appertaining, and the reversion and 
reversions, remainder and remainders, rents, issues, and profits thereof; 
and all the estate, rignt, title, interest, claim, and demand whatsoever, of 
the said party of the nrst part, either in law or equity, of, in, and to thtj 

Missing Page 

Missing Page 


above bargained premises, with the hereditaments and appurtenances. 
To have and to hold the said premises above bargained and described, 
with the appurtenances, unto the said party of the second part, his heirs 
and assigns, forever. And the said Henry Best, and Belle, his wife, par- 
ties of the first part, hereby expressly waive, release, and relinquish unto 
the said party of the second part, his heirs, executors, administrators, and 
assigns, all right, title, claim, interest, and benefit whatever, in and to the 
above described premises, and each and every part thereof, which is given 
by or results from all laws of this state pertaining to the exemption of 

And the said Henry Best, and Belle, his wife, party of the first 
part, for themselves and their heirs, executors, and administrators, do 
covenant, grant, bargain, and agree, to and with the said party of the 
second part, his heirs and assigns, that at the time of the ensealing and 
delivery of these presents they were well seized of the premises above 
conveyed, as of a good, sure, perfect, absolute, and indefeasible estate of 
inheritance in law, and in fee simple, and have good right, full power, 
and lawful authority to grant, bargain, sell, and convey the same, in 
manner and form aforesaid, and that the same are free and clear from all 
former and other grants, bargains, sales, liens, taxes, assessments, and 
encumbrances of what kind or nature soever ; and the above bargained 
premises in the quiet and peaceable possession of the said party of the 
second part, his heirs and assigns, against all and every person or persons 
lawfully claiming or to claim the whole or any part thereof, the said party 
of the first part shall and will warrant and forever defend. 

In testimony whereof, the said parties of the first part have hereunto 
set their hands and seals the day and year first above written. 
Signed, sealed and delivered 

in presence of Hbnky Best, [l.s.J 

Jeeey Linklater. Belle Best, [l.s.] 


This Indenture, made the eighth day of June, in the year of our 
Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy-four, between David Tour, 
of Piano, County of Kendall, State of Illinois, party of the first part, 
and Larry O'Brien, of the same place, party of the second part, 

Witnesseth, that the said party of the first part, for and in considera- 
tion of Nine Hundred dollars in hand paid by the said party of the sec- 
ond part, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, and the said party 
of the second part forever released and discharged therefrom, has remised, 
released, sold, conveyed, and quit-claimed, and by these presents does 
remise, release, sell, convey, and quit-claim, unto the said party of the 
second part, his heirs and assigns, forever, all the right, title, interest, 


claim, and demand, which the said party of the first part has in and to 
the following described lot, piece, or parcel of land, to wit : 

[.Here describe the land.] 
To have and to hold the same, together with all and singular the 
appurtenances and privileges thereunto belonging, or in any wise there- 
unto appertaining, and all the estate, right, title, interest, and claim 
whatever, of the said party of the first part, either in law or equity, to 
the only proper use, benefit, and behoof of the said party of the second 
part, his heirs and assigns forever. 

In witness whereof the said party of the first part hereunto set his 
hand and seal the day and year above written. 

Signed, sealed and delivered David Tour. [l.s.J 

in presence of 
Thomas Ashley. 

The above forms of Deeds and Mortgage are such as have heretofore 
been generally used, but the following are much shorter, and are made 
equally valid by the laws of this state. 


The grantor (here insert name or names and place of residence), for 
and in consideration of (here insert consideration) in hand paid, conveys 
and warrants to (here insert the grantee's name or names) the following 
described real estate (here insert description), situated in the County of 
in the State of Illinois. 

Dated this day of A. D. 18 . 


The grantor (here insert grantor's name or names and place of resi- 
dence), for the consideration of (here insert consideration) convey and 
quit-claim to (here insert grantee's name or names) all interest in the 
following described real estate (here insert description), situated in the 
County of in the State of Illinois. 

Dated this day of A. D. 18 . 


The mortgagor (here insert name or names) mortgages and warrants 
to (here insert name or names of mortgagee or mortgagees), to secure the 
payment of (here recite the nature and amount of indebtedness, showing 
when due and the rate of interest, and whether secured by note or other- 
wise), the following described real estate (here insert description thereof), 
situated in the County of in the State of Illinois. 

Dated this — — day of A. D. 18 . 


Know all Men by these presents, that I, Peter Ahlund, of Chicago, 
of the County of Cook, and State of Illinois, for and in consideration of 
One dollar, to me in hand paid, and for other good and valuable considera- 


tions, the receipt whereof is hereby confessed, do hereby grant, bargain, 
remise, convey, release, and quit-claim unto Joseph Carlin of Chicago, 
of the County of Cook, and State of Illinois, all the right, title, interest, 
claim, or demand whatsoever, I may have acquired in, through, or by a 
certain Indenture or Mortgage Deed, bearing date the second day of Jan- 
uary, A. D. 1871, and recorded in the Recorder's office of said county, 
in book A of Deeds, page 46, to the premises therein described, and which 
said Deed was made to secure one certain promissory note, bearing even 
date with said deed, for the sum of Three Hundred dollars. 

Witness my hand and seal, this second day of November, A. D. 1874. 

Peter Ahlund. [l.s.J 

State of Illinois, ) 

Cook County. \ ' I, George Saxton, a Notary Public in 

and for said county, in the state aforesaid, do hereby 

certify that Peter Ahlund, personally known to me 

as the same person whose name is subscribed to the 

foregoing Release, appeared before me this day in 

[ ^SBf 3, ] person, and acknowledged that he signed, sealed, and 

delivered the said instrument of writing as his free 

aad voluntary act, for the uses and purposes therein 

set forth. 

Giv^n under -my hand and seal, this second day of 

November, A. D. 1874. 

George Saxton, N. P. 


I, Charles Mansfield, of the Town of Salem, County of Jackson," 
State of Illinois, being aware of the uncertainty of life, and in failing 
health, but of sound mind and memory, do make and declare this to be 
my last will and testament, in manner following, to wit: 

First. I give, devise and bequeath unto my oldest son, Sidney H. 
Mansfield, the sum of Two Thousand Dollars, cf bank stock, now in the 
Third National Bank of Cincinnati, Ohio, and the farm owned by myself 
in the Town of Buskirk, consisting of one hundred and sixty acres, with 
all the houses, tenements, and improvements thereunto belonging ; to 
have and to hold unto my said son, his heirs and assign v , forever. 

Second. I give, devise and bequeath to each of my daughters, Anna 
Louise Mansfield and Ida Clara Mansfield, each Two Thousand dollars in 
bank stock, in the Third National Bank of Cincinnati, Ohio, and also each 
one quarter section of land, owned by myself, situated in the Town of 
Lake, Illinois, and recorded in my name in the Recorder's office in the 
county where such land is located. The north one hundred and sixty 
acres of said half section is devised to my eldest daughter, Anna Louise. 


Third. I give, devise and bequeath to my son, Frank Alfred Mans- 
field, Five shares of Railroad stock in the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, 
and my one hundred and sixty acres of land and saw mill thereon, situ- 
ated in Manistee, Michigan, with all the improvements and appurtenances 
thereunto belonging, which said real estate is recorded in my name in the 
county where situated. 

Fourth. I give to my wife, Victoria Elizabeth Mansfield, all my 
household furniture, goods, chattels, and personal property, about my 
home, not hitherto disposed of, including Eight Thousand dollars of bank 
stock in the Third National Bank of Cincinnati, Ohio, Fifteen shares in 
the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and the free and unrestricted use, pos- 
session, and benefit of the home farm, so long as she may live, in lieu of 
dower, to which she is entitled by law ; said farm being my present place 
of residence. 

Fifth. I bequeath to my invalid father, Elijah H. Mansfield, the 
income from rents of my store building at 145 Jackson Street, Chicago, 
Illinois, during the term of his natural life. Said building and land there- 
with to revert to my said sons and daughters in equal proportion, upon 
the demise of my said father. 

Sixth. It is also my will and desire that, at the death of my wife, 
Victoria Elizabeth Mansfield, or at any time when she may arrange to 
relinquish her life interest in the above mentioned homestead, the same 
may revert to my above named children, or to the lawful heirs of each. 

.And lastly. I nominate and appoint as executors of this my last will 
and testament, my wife, Victoria Elizabeth Mansfield, and my eldest son, 
Sidney H. Mansfield. 

I farther direct that my debts and necessary funeral expenses shad 
be paid from moneys now on deposit in the Savings Bank of Salem, the 
residue of such moneys to revert to my wife, Victoria Elizabeth Mansfield, 
for her use forever. 

In witness whereof, I, Charles Mansfield, to this my last will and 
testament, have hereunto set my hand and seal, this fourth day of April, 
eighteen hundred and seventy-two. 

Signed, sealed, and declared by Charles 
Mansfield, as and for his last will and 
testament, in the presence of us, who, 
at his request, and in his presence, and 
in the presence of each other, have sub- 
scribed our names hereunto as witnesses 

Peter A. Schenck, Sycamore, Ills. 

Frank E. Dent, Salem, Ills. 

Charles Mansfield. [l.s.J 

Charles Mansfield. [l.s.] 



Whereas I, Charles Mansfield, did, on the fourth day of April, one 
thousand eight hundred and seventy-two, make my last will and testa- 
ment,- I do now, by this writing, add this codicil to my said will, to be 
taken as a part thereof. 

Whereas, by the dispensation of Providence, my daughter, Anna 
Louise, has deceased November fifth, eighteen hundred and seventy-three, 
and whereas, a son has been born to me, which son is now christened 
Richard Albert Mansfield, I give and bequeath unto him my gold watch, 
and all right, interest, and title in lands and bank stock and chattels 
bequeathed to my deceased daughter, Anna Louise, in the body of this will. 

In witness whereof, I hereunto place my hand and seal, this tenth 
day of March, eighteen hundred and seventy -five. 

Signed, sealed, published, and declared to^ 

us by the testator, Charles Mansfield, as 

and for a codicil to be annexed to his 

last will and testament. And we, at 

his request, and in his presence, and in 

the presence of each other, have sub- [ 

scribed our names as witnesses thereto, 

at the date hereof. 
Frank E. Dent, Salem, His. 
John C. Shay, Salem, Ills. 


May be legally made by electing or appointing, according to the usages 
or customs of the body of which it is a part, at any meeting held for that 
purpose, two or more of its members as trustees, wardens or vestrymen, and 
may adopt a corporate name. The chairman or secretary of such meeting 
shall, as soon as possible, make and file in the office of the recorder of 
deeds of the county, an affidavit substantially in the following form : 
State of Illinois, 



I, , do solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be), 

that at a meeting of the members of the (here insert the name of the 
church, society or congregation as known before organization), held at 

(here insert place of meeting), in the County of , and State of 

Illinois, on the day of , A.D. 18 — , for that purpose, the fol- 
lowing persons were elected (or appointed) [here insert their names'] 
trustees, wardens, vestrymen, (or officers by whatever name they may 
choose to adopt, with powers similar to trustees) according to the rules 
and usages of such (church, society. or congregation), and said 


adopted as its corporate name (here insert name), and at said meeting 
this affiant acted as (chairman or secretary, as the case may be). 

Subscribed and sworn to before me, this day of , A.D. 

18—. Name of Affiant : 

which affidavit must be recorded by the recorder, and shall be, or a certi- 
fied copy made by the recorder, received as evidence of such an incorpo- 

No certificate of election after the first need be filed for record. 

The term of office of the trustees and the general government of the 
society can be determined by the rules or by-laws adopted. Failure to 
elect trustees at the time provided does not work a dissolution, but the 
old trustees hold over. A trustee _or trustees may be removed, in the 
same manner by the society as elections are held by a meeting called for 
that purpose. The property of the society vests in the corporation. The 
corporation may hold, or acquire by purchase or otherwise, land not 
exceeding ten acres, for the purpose of the society. The trustees have 
the care, custody and control of the property of the corporation, and can, 
when directed by the society, erect houses or improvements, and repair 
and alter the same, and may also when so directed by the society, 
mortgage, encumber, sell and convey any real or personal estate belonging 
to the corporation, and make all proper contracts in the name of such 
corporation. But they are prohibited by law from encumbering or inter- 
fering with any property so as to destroy the effect of any gift, grant, 
devise or bequest to the corporation ; but such gifts, grants, devises ol 
bequests, must in all cases be used so as to carry out the object intended 
by the persons making the same. Existing societies may organize in the 
manner herein set forth, and have all the advantages thereof. 


The business of publishing boohs by subscription having so often been 
brought into disrepute by agents making representations and declarations 
not authorized by the publisher ; in order to prevent that as much as possi- 
ble, and that there may be more general knowledge of the relation such 
agents bear to their principal, and the law governing such cases, the fol- 
lowing statement is made : 

A subscription is in the nature of a contract of mutual promises, by 
which the subscriber agrees to pay a certain sum for the work described ; 
the consideration is concurrent that the publisher shall publish the booh 
named, and deliver the same, for which the subscriber is to pay the price 
named. The nature and character of the worh is described in the prospectus 
and by the sample shown. These should be carefully examined before sub- 
scribing, as they are the basis and consideration of the promise to pay, 


and not the too often exaggerated statements of the agent, who is merely 
employed to solicit subscriptions, for which he is usually paid a commission 
for each subscriber, and has no authority to change or alter the conditions 
upon which the subscriptions are authorized to be made by the publisher. 
Should the agent assume to agree to make the subscription conditional or 
modify or change the agreement of the publisher, as set out by prospectus 
and sample, in order to bind the principal, the subscriber should see that 
such conditions or changes are stated over or in connection with his signa- 
ture, so that the publisher may have notice of the same. 

All persons making contracts in reference to matters of this kind, or 
any other business, should remember that the law as to written contracts is, 
that they can not be varied, altered or rescinded verbally, but if done at all, 
must be done in writing. • It is therefore important that all persons contem- 
plating subscribing should distinctly understand that all talk before or after 
the subscription is made, is not admissible as evidence, and is no part of the 

Persons employed to solicit subscriptions are known to the trade as 
canvassers. They are agents appointed to do a particular business in a 
prescribed mode, and have no authority to do it in any other way to the 
prejudice of their principal, nor can they bind their principal in any other 
matter. They cannot collect money, or agree that payment may be made 
in anything else but money. They can not extend the time of payment 
beyond the time of delivery, nor bind their principal for the payment of 
expenses incurred in their buisness. 

It would save a great deal of trouble, and often serious loss, if persons, 
before signing their names to any subscription book, or any written instru- 
ment, would examine carefully what it is ; if they can not read themselves, 
should call on some one disinterested who can. 



We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, 
establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common 
defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty 
to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution 
for the United States of America. 

Akticle I. 

Section 1. All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in 
a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and 
House of Representatives. 

Sec. 2. The House of Representatives shall be composed of mem- 
bers chosen every second year by the people of the several states, and the 
electors in each state shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of 
the most numerous branch of the State Legislature. 

No person shall be a representative who shall not have attained to the 
age of twenty-five years, and been seven years a citizen of the United 
States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that state in 
which he shall be chosen. 

Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the sev- 
eral states which may be included within this Union, according to theii 
respective numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole 
number of free persons, including those bound to service for a term of 
years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three-fifths of all other persons. 
The actual enumeration shall be made within three years after the first 
meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subse- 
quent term of ten years, in such manner as they shall by law direct. The 
number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty thousand, 
but each state shall have at least one Representative ; and until such 
enumeration shall be made the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled 
to choose three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode Island and Providence Plan- 
tations one, Connecticut five, New York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylva- 
nia eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, 
and Georgia three. 

When vacancies happen in the representation from any state, the 
Executive authority thereof shall issue writs of election to fill such 

The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other 
officers, and shall have the sole power of impeachment. 

Sec. 3. The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two 
Senators from each state, chosen by the Legislature thereof for six years ; 
and each Senator shall have one vote. 

Immediately after they shall be assembled in consequence of the first 
election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three classes. 
The seats of the Senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expira- 


tion of the second year, of the second class at the expiration of the fourth 
year, and of the third class at the expiration of the sixth year, so that 
one-third may be chosen every second year; and if vacancies happen by 
resignation or otherwise, during the recess of the Legislature of any state, 
the Executive thereof may make temporary appointments until the next 
meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such vacancies. 

No person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the age 
of thirty years and been nine years a citizen of the United States, and 
who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that state for which he 
shall be chosen. 

The Vice-President of the United States shall be President of the 
Senate, but shall have no vote unless they be equally divided. 

The Senate shall choose their other officers, and also a President pro 
tempore, in the absence of the Vice-President, or when he shall exercise 
the office of President of the United States. 

The Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments. When 
sitting for that purpose they shall be on oath or affirmation. When the 
President of the United States is tried the Chief Justice shall preside. 
And no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds 
of the members present. 

Judgment, in cases of impeachment, shall not extend further than to 
removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of 
honor, trust, or profit under the United States; but the party convicted 
shall nevertheless be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment, 
and punishment according to law. 

Sec. 4. The times, places and manner of holding elections for Sen- 
ators and Representatives shall be prescribed in each state by the Legis- 
lature thereof ; but the Congress may at any time by law make or alter 
such regulations, except as to the places of choosing Senators. 

The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such 
meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by 
law appoint a different day. 

Sec. 5. Each house shall be the judge of the election, returns, and 
qualifications of its own members, and a majority of each shall constitute 
a quorum to do business ; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to 
day, and may be authorized to compel the attendance of absent members 
in such manner and under such penalties as each house may provide. 

Each house may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its 
members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, 
expel a member. 

Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and from time to 
time publish the same, excepting such parts as may, in their judgment, 
require secrecy ; and the yeas and nays of the members of either house 
on any question shall, at the desire of one-fifth of those present, be entered 
on the journal. 

Neither house, during the session of Congress, shall, without the 
consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other 
place than that in which the two houses shall be sitting. 

Sec. 6. The Senators and Representatives shall receive a compen- 
sation for their services, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the 
treasury of the United States. They shall in all cases, except treason, 


felony, and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their 
attendance at the session of their respective houses, and in going to and 
returning from the same ; and for any speech or debate in either house 
they shall not be questioned in any other place. 

No Senator or Representative shall, during the time for which he was 
elected, be appointed to any civil office under the authority of the United 
States, which shall have been created, or the emoluments whereof shall 
have been increased during such time ; and no person holding any office 
under the United States, shall be a member of either house during his 
continuance in office. 

Sec. 7. All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of 
Representatives ; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments 
as on other bills. 

Every bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and 
the Senate, shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the President 
the United States ; if he approve he shall sign it ; but if not he shall 
return it, with his objections, to that house in which it shall have origi- 
nated, who shall enter the objections at large on their journal, and 
proceed to reconsider it. If, after such reconsideration two-thirds of that 
house shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the objec- 
tions, to the other house, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if 
approved by two-thirds of that house, it shall become a law. But in all 
such cases the votes of both houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, 
and the names of the persons voting for and against the bill shall be entered 
on the journal of each house respectively. If any bill shall not be returned 
by the President within ten days (Sundays excepted), after it shall have 
been presented to him, the same shall be a law, in like manner as if he 
had signed it, unless the Congress, by their adjournment, prevent its 
return, in which case it shall not be a law. 

Every order, resolution, or vote to which the concurrence of the 
Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a 
question of adjournment), shall be presented to the President of the 
United States, and before the same shall take effect shall be approved by 
him, or, being disapproved by him, shall be re-passed by two-thirds of 
the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the rules and lim- 
itations prescribed in the case of a bill. 

Sec. 8. The Congress shall have power — 

To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts, 
and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United 
states ; but all duties, imposts, and excises shall be uniform throughout 
the United States ; 

To borrow money on the credit of the United States ; 

To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several 
States, and with the Indian tribes ; 

To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on 
the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States ; 

To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and 
fix the standard of weights and measures ; 

To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and 
current coin of the United States; 

To establish post offices and post roads ; 


To promote the progress of sciences and useful arts, by securing, 
for limited times, to authors and inventors, the exclusive right to their 
respective writings and discoveries ; 

To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court ; 

To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high 
seas, and offenses against the law of nations ; 

To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules 
concerning captures on land and water ; 

To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that 
use shall be for a longer term than two years ; 

To provide and maintain a navy ; 

To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and 
naval forces ; 

To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the 
Union, suppress insurrections, and repel invasions ; 

To provide for organizing, arming and disciplining the militia, and 
for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the 
United States, reserving to the states respectively the appointment of the 
officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the disci- 
pline prescribed by Congress ; 

To exercise legislation in all cases whatsoever over such district (not 
exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the 
acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United 
States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the 
consent of the Legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for 
the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dock yards, and other needful 
buildings ; and 

To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying 
into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this 
Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any depart- 
ment or officer thereof. 

Sec. 9. The migration or importation of such persons as any of the 
states now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited 
by the Congress prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight, 
but a tax or duty may be imposed on such importation, not exceeding ten 
dollars for each person. 

The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, 
unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may 
require it. 

No bill of attainder or ex post facto law shall be passed. 

No capitation or other direct tax shall be laid, unless in proportion 
to the census or enumeration hereinbefore directed to be taken. 

No tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any state. 

No preference shall be given- by any regulation of commerce or rev- 
enue to the ports of one state over those of another; nor shall vessels 
bound to or from one state be obliged to enter, clear, or pay duties in 

No money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in consequence of 
appropriations made by law ; and a regular statement and account of 
the receipts and expeditures of all public money shall be published from 
time to time. 


No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States : and no 
person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the 
consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title 
of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state. 

Sec. 10. No state shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confeder- 
ation ; grant letters of marque and reprisal ; coin money ; emit bills of 
credit ; make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of 
debts ; pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the 
obligation of contracts, or grant any title of nobility. 

No state shall, without the consent of the Congress, lay any imposts 
or duties on imports or exports, except what may be absolutely necessary 
for executing its inspection laws, and the net produce of all duties and 
imposts laid by any state on imports or exports, shall be for the use of the 
Treasury of the United States ; and all such laws shall be subject to the 
revision and control of the Congress. 

No state shall, without the consent of Congress, lay any duty on 
tonnage, keep troops or ships of war in time of peace, enter into any 
agreement or compact with another state, or with a foreign power, or 
engage in war, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will 
not admit of delay. 

Article II. 

Section 1. The Executive power shall be vested in a President of 
the United States of America. He shall hold his office during the term 
of four years, and, together with the Vice-President chosen for the same 
term, be elected as follows : 

Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof 
may direct, a number of Electors, equal to the whole number of Senators 
and Representatives to which the state may be entitled in the Congress; 
but no Senator or Representative, or person holding an office of trust or 
profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector. 

[ * The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by 
ballot for two persons, of whom one at least shall not be an inhabitant of 
the same state with themselves. And they shall make a list of all the 
persons voted for, and of the number of votes for each ; which list they 
shall sign and certify, and transmit, sealed, to the seat of the government 
of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The Pres- 
ident of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Rep- 
resentatives, open all the certificates, and the votes shall then be counted. 
The person having the greatest number of votes shall be the President, 
if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed ; 
and if there be more than one who have such majority, and have an equal 
number of votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately 
choose by ballot one of them for President ; and if no person have a ma- 
jority, then from the five highest on the list the said House shall in like 
manner choose the President. But in choosing the President, the vote 
shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one 
vote ; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members 
from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be 
necessary to a choice. In every case, after the choice of the President, 

* This clause between .brackets has been superseded and annulled by the Twelfth amendment. 


the person having the greatest number of votes of the Electors shall be 
the Vice-President. But if there should remain two or more who have 
equal votes, the Senate shall choose from them by ballot the Vice-Presi- 

The Congress may determine the time of choosing the Electors, and 
the day on which they shall give their votes ; which day shall be the same 
throughout the United States. 

No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United 
States at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible 
to the office of President ; neither shall any person be eligible to that 
office who shall not have attained the age of thirty-five years, and been 
fourteen years a resident within the United States. 

In case of the removal of the President from office, or of his death, 
resignation, or inability to discharge the powers and duties of the said 
office, the same shall devolve on the Vice-Pr.esident, and the Congress 
may by law provide for the case of removal, death, resignation, or inabil- 
ity, both of the President and Vice-President, declaring what officer shall 
then act as President, and such officer shall act accordingly, until the dis- 
ability be removed, or a President shall be elected. 

The President shall, at stated times, receive for his services a com- 
pensation which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the 
period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive 
within that period any other emolument from the United States or any of 

Before he enters on the execution of his office, he shall take the fol- 
lowing oath or affirmation : 

" I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the 
office of President of the United States, and will, to the best of my ability, 
preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States." 

Sec. 2. The President shall be commander in chief of the army and 
navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when 
called into the actual service of the United States; he may require the 
opinion, in writing, of the principal officer in each of the executive 
departments, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective 
offices, and he shall have power to grant reprieves and pardon for offenses 
against the United States, except in cases of impeachment. 

He shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the 
Senate, to make treaties, provided two-thirds of the Senators present con- 
cur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice of the Senate, 
shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of 
the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States whose 
appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be 
established by law ; but the Congress may by law vest the appointment 
of such inferior officers as they think proper in the President alone, in 
the courts of law, or in the heads of departments. 

The President shall have power to fill up all vacancies that may 
happen during the recess of the Senate, by granting commissions which 
shall expire at the end of their next session. 

Sec. 3. He shall from time to time give to the Congress information 
of the state of the Union, and recommend to their consideration such mea- 
sures as he shall judge necessary and expedient ; he may on extraordinary 


occasions convene both houses, or either of them, and in case of disagree- 
ment between them, with respect to the time of adjournment, he may 
adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper ; he shall receive 
ambassadors and other public ministers ; he shall take care that the laws be 
faithfully executed, and shall commission all the officers of the United 

Sec. 4. The President, Vice-President, and all civil officers of the 
United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and con- 
viction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. 

Article III. 

Section I. The judicial power of the United States shall be vested 
in one Supreme Court, and such inferior courts as the Congress may from 
time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the Supreme and 
inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behavior, and shall, at 
stated times, receive for their services a compensation, which shall not be 
diminished during their continuance in office. 

Sec. 2. The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and 
equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and 
treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority ; to all cases 
affecting ambassadors, other public ministers, and consuls ; to all cases of 
admiralty and maritime jurisdiction ; to controversies to which the United 
States shall be a party ; to controversies between two or more states ; 
between a state and citizens of another state ; between citizens of differ- 
ent states ; between citizens of the same state claiming lands under grants 
of different states, and between a state or the citizens thereof, and foreign 
states, citizens, or subjects. 

In all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers, and consuls, 
and those in which a state shall be a party, the Supreme Court shall have 
original jurisdiction. 

In all the other cases before mentioned, the Supreme Court shall 
have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions 
and under such regulations as the Congress shall make. 

The trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall be by 
jury ; and such trial shall be held in the state where the said crimes shall 
have been committed ; but when not committed within any state, the 
trial shall be at such place or places as the Congress may by law have 

Sec. 3. Treason against the United States shall consist only in levy- 
ing war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid 
and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the tes- 
timony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open 

The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment of treasoa, 
but no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture, 
except during the life of the person attainted. 

Article IV. 

Section 1. Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the 
public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state. And 


the Congress may, by general laws, prescribe the manner in which such 
acts, records, and proceedings shall be proved, and the effect thereof. 

Sec. 2. The citizens of each state shall be entitled to all privileges 
and immunities of citizens in the several states. 

A person charged in any state with treason, felony, or other crime, 
who shall flee from justice and be found in another state, shall, on demand 
>of the executive authority of the state from which he fled, be delivered 
up, to be removed to the state having jurisdiction of the crime. 

No person held to service or labor in one state, under the laws thereof 
escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation 
therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered 
up on the claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due. 

Sec. 3. New states may be admitted by the Congress into this Union ; 
but no new state shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any 
other state ; nor any state be formed by the junction of two or more states, 
or parts of states, without the consent of the Legislatures of the states 
concerned, as well as of the Congress. 

The Congress shall have power to dispose of and make all needful 
rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging 
to the United States ; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed 
as to prejudice any claims of the United States or of any particular state. 

Sec. 4. The United States shall guarantee to every state in this 
Union a republican form of government, and shall protect each of them 
against invasion, and on application of the Legislature, or of the Execu- 
tive (when the Legislature can not be convened), against domestic vio- 

Article V. 

The Congress, whenever two-thirds of both houses shall deem it 
necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the ap- 
plication of the Legislatures of two-thirds of the several states, shall call 
a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be 
valid to all intents and purposes as part of this Constitution, when rati- 
fied by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by con- 
ventions in three-fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratifi- 
cation may be proposed by the Congress. Provided that no amendment 
which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and 
eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth 
section of the first article ; and that no state, without its consent, shall 
be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate. 

Article VI. 

All debts contracted and engagements entered into before the adop- 
tion of this Constitution shall be as valid against the United States under 
this Constitution as under the Confederation. 

This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be 
made in pursuance thereof, and all treaties made, or which shall be made, 
under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the 
land ; and the Judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in 
the Constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding. 

The Senators and Eepresentatives before mentioned, and the mem- 



bers of the several state Legislatures, and all executive and judicial offi- 
cers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound 
by oath or affirmation to support this Constitution ; but no religious test 
shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under 
the United States. 

Article VII. 

The ratification of the Conventions of nine states shall be sufficient 
for the establishment of this Constitution between the states so ratifying 
the same. 

Done in convention by the unanimous consent of the states present, the 
seventeenth day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand 
seven hundred and eighty-seven, and of the independence of the 
United States of America the twelfth. In witness whereof we have 
hereunto subscribed our names. 

President and Deputy from Virginia. 

New Hampshire. 
John Langdon, 
Nicholas Gilman. 

Nathaniel Gorham, 
Rufus King. 

Wm. Sam'l Johnson, 
Roger Sherman. 

New York. 
Alexander Hamilton. 

New Jersey. 
Wil. Livingston, 
Wm. Paterson, 
David Brearley, 
Jona. Dayton. 

B. Franklin, 
Robt. Morris, 
Thos. Fitzsimons, 
James Wilson, 
Thos. Mifflin, 
Geo. Clymer, 
Jared Ingersoll, 
Gouv. Morris. 

Geo. Read, 
John Dickinson, 
Jaco. Broom, 
Gunning Bedford, Jr., 
Richard Bassett. 

James M'Henry, 
Danl. Carroll, 
Dan. of St. Thos. Jenifer. 

John Blair, 
James Madison, Jr. 

North Carolina. 
Wm. Blount, 
Hu. Williamson, 
Rich'd Dobbs Spaight. 

South Carolina. 
j. rutledge, 
Charles Pinckney, 
Chas. Cotesworth Pincknes, 
Pierce Butler. 

William Few, 
Abr. Baldwin. 


Missing Page 

Missing Page 

and its amendments. 203 

Articles in Addition to and Amendatoey op the Constitution 
op the United States op America. 

Proposed by Congress and ratified by the Legislatures of the several states, 
pursuant to the fifth article of the original Constitution. 

Article I. 

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, 
or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of 
speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, 
and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. 

Article II. 

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free 
state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. 

Article III. 

No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without 
the consent of the owner, nor in time of war but in a manner to be pre- 
scribed by law. i 

Article IV. 

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, 
and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be vio- 
lated ; and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by 
oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched 
and the persons or things to be seized. 

Article V. 

No person shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise infamous 
crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in 
cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia when in actual 
service in time of war or public danger ; nor shall any person be subject 
for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb ; nor shall 
be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be 
deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor 
shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation. 

Article VI. 

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a 
speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district 
wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have 
been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and 
cause of the accusation ; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; 
to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor ; and to 
have the assistance of counsel for his defense. 

Article VII. 

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed 
twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact 


tried by a jury shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United 
States than according to the rules of the common law. 

Article VIII. 

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, 
nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. 

Article IX. 

The enumeration, in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be 
construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. 

Article X. 

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, 
nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, 
or to the people. 

Article XI. 

The judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to 
extend to any suit in law or equity commenced or prosecuted against one 
of the United States by citizens of another state, or by citizens or sub- 
jects of any foreign state. 

Article XII. 

The Electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot 
for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an 
inhabitant of the same state with themselves ; they shall name in their 
ballots the person to be voted for as president, and in distinct ballots the 
person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of 
all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice- 
President, and of the number of votes for each, which list they shall sign 
and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United 
States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the 
Senate shall, in presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, 
open all the certificates, and the votes shall then be counted. The person 
having the greatest number of votes for President shall be the President, 
if such rfumber be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed ; 
and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the 
highest number not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as 
President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by 
ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be 
taken by States, the representation from each state having one vote; a 
quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two- 
thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to 
a choice. And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a Presi- 
dent whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the 
fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as 
President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of 
the President. The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice- 
President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be the majority 
of the whole number of electors appointed, and if no person have a major- 


ity ; then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose 
the Vice-President ; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds 
of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number 
shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible 
to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the 
United States. 

Article XIII. 

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a 
punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, 
shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their juris- 

Sec. 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appro- 
priate legislation. 

Article XIV. 

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States and 
subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States, and 
of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law 
which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United 
States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, 
without due process of law, nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction 
the equal protection of the laws. 

Sec. 2. Representatives shall be appointed among the several states 
according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of per- 
sons in each state, excluding Indians not taxed ; but when the right to 
vote at any election for the choice of Electors for President and Vice- 
President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the execu- 
tive and judicial officers of a state, or the members of the Legislature 
thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such state, being 
twenty-one years of age and citizens of the United States, or in any way 
abridged except for participation in rebellion or other crimes, the basis of 
representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the num- 
ber of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens 
twenty-one years of age in such state. 

Sec. 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, 
or Elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or 
military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previ- 
ously taken an oath as a Member of Congress, or as an officer of the 
United States, or as a member of any state Legislature, or as an execu- 
tive or judicial officer of any state to support the Constitution of the 
United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the 
same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies. thereof. But Congress may 
by a vote of two-thirds of each house, remove such disability. 

Sec. 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States author- 
ized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and boun- 
ties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be ques- 
tioned. But neither the United States nor any state shall pay any debt 
or obligation incurred in the aid of insurrection or rebellion against the 
United States, or any loss or emancipation of any slave, but such debts, 
obligations, and claims shall be held illegal and void. 



Sec. 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate 
legislation, the provisions of this act. 

Article XV. 

Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall 
not be denied or abridged by the United States, or by any state, on 
account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. 

Sec. 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appro- 
priate legislation. 


November 7, 1876. 


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Tilden and 




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De Witt 
































St. Clair 


































Practical Rules for Every Day Use. 

How to find the gain or loss per cent, when the cost and selling price 
are given. 

Rule. — Find the difference between the cost and selling price, which 
will be the gain or loss. 

Annex two ciphers to the gain or loss, and divide it by the cost 
price ; the result will be the gain or loss per cent. 

How to change gold into currency. 

Rule. — Multiply the given sum of gold by the price of gold. 

How to change currency into gold. 

Divide the amount in currency by the price of gold. 

How to find each partner's share of the gain or loss in a copartnership 

Rule. — Divide the whole gain or loss by the entire stock, the quo- 
tient will be the gain or loss per cent. 

Multiply each partner's stock by this per cent., the result will be 
each one's share of the gain or loss. 

How to find gross and net weight and price of hogs. 

A short and simple method for finding the net weight, or price of hogs, 
when the gross weight or price is given, and vice versa. 

Note.— It is generally assumed that the gross weight of Hogs diminished by 1-5 or 20 per cent, 
of Itself gives the net weight, and the net weight increased by X or 35 per cent, of itself equals the 
gross weight. 

To find the net weight or gross price. 

Multiply the given number by .8 (tenths.) 

To find the gross weight or net price. 

Divide the given number by .8 (tenths.) 

How to find the capacity of a granary, bin, or wagon-bed. 

Rule. — Multiply (by short method) the number of cubic feet by 
6308, and point off ONE decimal place — the result will be the correct 
answer in bushels and tenths of a bushel. 

For only an' approximate answer, multiply the cubic feet by 8, and 
point off one decimal place. 

How to find the contents of a corn-crib. 

Rule. — Multiply the number of cubic feet by 54, short method, or 



by 4i ordinary method, and point off one decimal place — the result will 
be the answer in bushels. 

Note.— In estimating corn in the ear, the quality and the time it lias been cribbed must be taken 
into consideration, since corn will shrink considerably during the Winter and Spring. This rule generally holds 
good for corn measured at the time it is cribbed, provided it is sound and clean. 

How to find the contents of a cistern or tank. 

Rule. — Multiply the square of the mean diameter by the depth (all 
in feet) and this product by 5681 (short method), and point off one 
decimal place — the result will be the contents in barrels of 31£ gallons. 

How to find the contents of a barrel or cask. 

Rule. — Under the square of the mean diameter, write the length 
(all in inches) in reversed order, so that its units will fall under the 
TENS ; multiply by short method, and this product again by 430 ; point 
off one decimal place, and the result will be the answer in wine gallons. 

How to measure boards. 

Rule. — Multiply the length (in feet) by the width (in inches) and 
divide the product by 12 — the result will be the contents in square feet. 

How to measure scantlings, joists, planks, sills, etc. 

Rule. — Multiply the width, the thickness, and the length together 
(the width and thickness in inches, and the length in feet), and divide 
the product by 12 — the result will be square feet. 

How to find the number of acres in a body of land. 

Rule. — Multiply the length by the width (in rods), and divide the 
product by 160 (carrying the division to 2 decimal places if there is a 
remainder) ; the result will be the answer in acres and hundredths. 

When the opposite sides of a piece of land are of unequal length, 
add them together and take one-half for the mean length or width. 

How to find the number of square yards in a floor or wall. 

Rule. — Multiply. the length by the width or height (in feet), and 
divide the product by 9, the result will be square yards. 

How to find the number of bricks required in a building. 

Rule. — Multiply the number of cubic feet by 22£. 

The number of cubic feet is found by multiplying the length, height 
and thickness (in feet) together. 

Bricks are usually made 8 inches long, 4 inches wide, and two inches 
thick ; hence, it requires 27 bricks to make a cubic foot without mortar, 
but it is generally assumed that the mortar fills 1-6 of the space. 

How to find the number of shingles required in a roof. 

Rule. — Multiply the number of square feet in the roof by 8, if the 
shingles are exposed 4J inches, or by 7 1-5 if exposed 5 inches. 

To find the number of square feet, multiply the length of the roof by 
twice the length of the rafters. 


To find the length of the rafters, at one-foueth pitch, multiply the 
width of the building by .56 (hundredths) ; at one-third pitch, by .6 
(tenths) ; at two-fifths pitch, by .64 (hundredths) ; at one-half 
pitch, by .71 (hundredths). This gives the length of the rafters from 
the apex to the end of the wall, and whatever they are to project must be 
taken into consideration. 

Note.— By J£ or U pitch Is meant that the apex or comb ol the root is to be X or % the width of the 
building higher than the walls or base of the rafters. 

Sow to reckon the cost of hay. 

Rule. — Multiply the number of pounds by half the price per ton, 
and remove the decimal point three places to the left. 

How to measure grain. 

Rule. — Level the grain ; ascertain the space it occupies in cubic 
feet ; multiply the number of cubic feet by 8, and point off one place to 
the left. 

Note.— Exactness requires the addition to every three hundred bushels of one extra bushel. 

The foregoing rule may be used for finding the number of gallons, by 
multiplying the number of bushels by 8. 

If the corn in the box is in the ear, divide the answer by 2, to find 
the number of bushels of shelled corn, because it requires 2 bushels of eai 
corn to make 1 of shelled corn. 

Rapid rules for measuring land without instruments. 

In measuring land, the first thing to ascertain is the contents of any 
given plot in square } r ards ; then, given the number of yards, find out the 
number of rods and acres. 

The most ancient and simplest measure of distance is a step. Now, 
an ordinary-sized man can train himself to cover one yard at a stride, on 
the average, with sufficient accuracy for ordinary purposes. 

To make use of this means of measuring distances, it is essential to 
walk in a straight line ; to do this, fix the eye on two objects in a line 
straight ahead, one comparatively near, the other remote ; and, in walk- 
ing, keep these objects constantly in line. 

Farmers and others by adopting the following simple and ingenious con- 
trivance, may always carry with them the scale to construct a correct yard 

Take a foot rule, and commencing at the base of the little finger of 
the left hand, mark the quarters of the foot on the outer borders of the 
left arm, pricking in the marks with indelible ink. 

To find how many rods in length will make an acre, the width being given. 
Rule. — Divide 160 by the width, and the quotient will be the answer. 


How to find the number of acres in any plot of land, the number of rods 
being given. 

Rule. — Divide the number of rods by 8, multiply the quotient by 5, 
and remove the decimal point two places to the left. 

The diameter being given, to find the circumference. 

Rule. — Multiply the diameter by 3 1-7. 

How to find the diameter, when the circumference is given. 

Rule. — Divide the circumference by 3 1-7. 

To find how many solid feet a round stick of timber of the same thick- 
ness throughout will contain when squared. 

Rule. — Square half the diameter in inches, multiply by 2, multiply 
by the length in feet, and divide the product by 144. 

General rule for measuring timber, to find the solid contents in feet. 

Rule. — Multiply the depth in inches by the breadth in inches, and 
then multiply by the length in feet, and divide by 144. 

To find the number of feet of timber in trees with the bark on. 

Rule. — Multiply the square of one-fifth of the circumference in 
inches, by twice the length, in feet, and divide by 144. Deduct 1-10 to 
1-15 according to the thickness of the bark. 

Howard's new rule for computing interest. 

Rule. — The reciprocal of the rate is the time for which the interest 
on any sum of money will be shown by simply removing the decimal 
point two places to the left ; for ten times that time, remove the point 
one place to the left ; for 1-10 of the same time, remove the point three 
places to the left. 

Increase or diminish the results to suit the time given. 

Note.— The reciprocal of the rate is found by inverting: the rate ; thus 3 per cent, per month, in- 
verted, becomes % of a month, or 10 days. 

When the rate is expressed by one figure, always write it thus : 3-1, 
three ones. 

Rule for converting English into American currency. 

Multiply the pounds, with the shillings and pence stated in decimals, 
by 400 plus the premium in fourths, and divide the product by 90. 


A township — 36 sections each a mile square. 
A section— 640 acres. 

A quarter section, half a mile square — 160 acres. 
An eighth section, half a mile long, north and south, and a quarter 
of a mile wide — 80 acres. 

A sixteenth section, a quarter of a mile square — 40 acres. 


The sections are all numbered 1 to 36, commencing at the north-east 

The sections are divided into quarters, which are named by the 
cardinal points. The quarters are divided in the same way. The de- 
scription of a forty acre lot would read : The south half of the* west half of 
the south-west quarter of section 1 in township 24, north of range 7 west, 
or as the case might be ; and sometimes will fall short and sometimes 
overrun the number of acres it is supposed to contain. 

The nautical mile is 795 4-5 feet longer than the common mile. 


7 92-100 inches... make 1 link. 

25 links " l ro( j. 

4 rods « i c hain. 

80 chains " 1 mile. 

Note. — A chain is 100 links, equal to 4 rods or 66 feet. 

Shoemakers formerly used a subdivision of the inch called a barley- 
corn ; three of which made an inch. 

Horses are measured directly over the fore feet, and the standard of 
measure is four inches — called a hand. 

In Biblical and other old measurements, the term span is sometimes 
used, which is a length of nine inches. 

The sacred cubit of the Jews was 24.024 inches in length. 

The common cubit of the Jews was 21.704 inches in length. 

A pace is equal to a yard or 36 inches. 

A fathom is equal to 6 feet. 

A league is three miles, but its length is variable, for it is strictly 
speaking a nautical term, and should be three geographical miles, equal 
to 3.45 statute miles, but when used on land, three statute miles are said 
to be a league. 

In cloth measure an aune is equal to 1J yards, or 45 inches. 

An Amsterdam ell is equal to 26.796 inches. 

A Trieste ell is equal to 25.284 inches. 

A Brabant ell is equal to 27.116 inches. 


Every farmer and mechanic, whether he does much or little business, 
should keep a record of his transactions in a clear and systematic man- 
ner. For the 'benefit of those who have not had the opportunitj'- of ac- 
quiring a primary knowledge of the principles of book-keeping, we here 
present a simple form of keeping accounts which is easily comprehended, 
and well adapted to record the business transactions of farmers, mechanics 
and laborers. 

































To 7 bushels Wheat at $1.25 

By shoeing span of Horses 

To 14 bushels Oats at $ .45 

To 5 lbs. Butter at .25 

By new Harrow _ 

By sharpening 2 Plows _ 

By new Double-Tree.. 

To Cow and Calf ...] ""* 

To half ton of Hay 

By Cash " \ " 

By repairing Corn-Planter 

To one Sow with Pigs 

By Cash, to balance account 




















March 21 

" 21 

" 23 

May 1 


June 19 


July 10 

" 29 

Aug. 12 


Sept. 1 

By 3 days' labor at $1.25 

To 2 Shoats at 3.00 

To 18 bushels Corn at .45 

By 1 month's Labor _ 

To Cash ........." 

By 8 days' Mowing at $1 50 

To 50 lbs. Flour.. 

To 27 lbs. Meat at $ .10 

By 9 days' Harvesting at 2.00 

By 6 days' Labor a t 1.50 

To Cash 

To Cash to balance account 

















A Simple Rule for accurately Computing Interest at Any Given Pee Cent wip j„ v 

Length of Time. *■ u1 ' AaY 

Multiply the principal (amount of money at interest) by the time reduced to days; then divide this vrodurt 
by the Quotient obtained by dividing 360 (the number of days in the interest year) by tlieX cm* of Intefeat 
and the quotient thus obtained will be the required interest. ' p OI '"terest. 



Require the interest of 8468.50 for one month and eighteen days at 6 per cent An 
interest month is 30 days ; one month and eighteen days equal 48 days. $462 50 niultl- 
Ei 1 „ eclb J- 48 R lves $222.0000; 360 divided by 6 (the percent, of interest) gives 60 and 
$222.0000 divided by 60 will give you the exact interest, which is $3.70. ft the rate of - 

interest in the above example were 12 per cent., we would divide the $222.0000 bv SO niann > l'oinnn 
(because 360 divided by 12 gives 30); If 4 per cent., we would divide by 90 "if 8 Der 6)360 \ ^SOOO 


cent., by 45: and in like manner for any otber per cent. 


12 units, or things, 1 Dozen. I 196 pounds, 1 Barrel of Flour. I 24 sheets of naper 1 Quire 
12 dozen, 1 Gross. 200 pounds, 1 Barrel of Pork. 20 quires paper 1 beam 

20 things, 1 Score. 56 pounds, 1 Firkin of Butter. 4 ft? wide, % ft 




t. high, and 8 ft. long, 1 Cord Wood. 



Virginia. — The oldest of the States, was so called in honor of Queen 
Elizabeth, the "Virgin Queen," in whose reign Sir Walter Raleigh made 
his first attempt to colonize that region. 

Florida. — Ponce de Leon landed on the coast of Florida on Easter 
Sunday, and called the country in commemoration of the day, which was 
the Pasqua Florida of the Spaniards, or " Feast of Flowers." 

Louisiana was called after Louis the Fourteenth, who at one time 
owned that section of the country. 

Alabama was so named by the Indians, and signifies " Here we Rest." 

Mississippi is likewise an Indian name, meaning " Long River." 

Arkansas, from Kansas, the Indian word for " smoky water." Its 
prefix was really are, the French word for " bow." 

The Carolinas were originally one tract, and were called "Carolana," 
after Charles the Ninth of France. 

G-eorgia owes its name to George the Second of England, who first 
established a colony there in 1732. 

Tennessee is the Indian name for the " River of the Bend," i. e., the 
Mississippi which forms its western boundary. 

Kentucky is the Indian name for " at the head of the river." 

Ohio means " beautiful ; " Iowa, " drowsy ones ; " Minnesota, " cloudy 
water," and Wisconsin, "wild-rushing channel." 

Illinois is derived from the Indian word illini, men, and the French 
suffix ois, together signifying " tribe of men." 

Michigan was called by the name given the lake, fish-weir, which was 
so styled from its fancied resemblance to a fish trap. 

Missouri is from the Indian word " muddy," which more properly 
applies to the river that flows through it. 

Oregon owes its Indian name also to its principal river. 

Cortes named California. 

Massachusetts is the Indian for " The country around the great hills." 

Connecticut, from the Indian Quon-ch-ta-Cut, signifying "Long 


Maryland, after Henrietta Maria, Queen of Charles the First, of 


New York was named by the Duke of York. 

Pennsylvania means " Penn's woods," and was so called after William 
Penn, its orignal owner. 



Delaware after Lord De La Ware. 

New Jersey, so called in honor of Sir George Carteret, who was 
Governor of the Island of Jersey, in the British Channel. 

Maine was called after the province of Maine in France, in compli- 
ment of Queen Henrietta of England, who owned that province. 

Vermont, from the French word Vert Mont, signifying Green 

New Hampshire, from Hampshire county in England. It was 
formerly called Laconia. 

__ The little State of Rhode Island owes its name to the Island of 
Rhodes in the Mediterranean, which domain it is said to greatly 

Texas is the American word for the Mexican name by which all that 
section of the country was called before it was ceded to the United States. 


States and Territories. 
















Massachusetts.. . . 







New Hampshire. . 

New Jersey 

New York 

North Carolina . . 




Rhode Island 

.South Carolina. . . 





West Virginia. . . . 

Total States.. 


. Colorada 


District of Columbia... 



New Mexico 




Total Territories.. 

Total United States 38,555,983 








New York, N. Y 

Philadelphia, Pa 

Brooklyn, N. Y 

St. Louis, Mo 

Chicago, 111 

Baltimore, Md 

Boston, Mass 

Cincinnati, Ohio 

New Orleans, La 

San Francisco, Cal 

Buffalo, N. Y 

Washington, D. C 

Newark, N. J 

Louisville, Ky 

Cleveland, Ohio 

Pittsburg, Pa 

Jersey City, N. J ,. 

Detroit, Mich i. 

Milwaukee, Wis r.. 

Albany, N. Y 

Providence, E. I 

Rochester, N. Y 

Allegheny, Pa 

Richmond, Va 

New Haven, Conn 

Charleston, S. C 

Indianapolis, Ind 

Troy, nTy 

Syracuse, N. Y 

Worcester, Mass 

Lowell, Mass 

Memphis, Tenn 

Cambridge, Mass 

Hartford, Conn 

Scranton, Pa , 

Reading, Pa 

Paterson, N. J 

Kansas City, Mo 

Mobile, Ala 

Toledo, Ohio 

Portland, Me 

Columbus, Ohio 

Wilmington, Del 

Dayton, Ohio 

Lawrence. Mass 

Utica, N. Y 

Charlestown, Mass 

Savannah, Ga 

Lynn. Mass 

Fall River, Mass 
























































States and 

Area in 
























New Hampshire. 

New Jersey 

New York 

North Carolina. . 











































B. K. 






































1 Last Census of Michigan taken in 1874. 

States and 



Rhode Island 

South Carolina... 





West Virginia 

"Wisconsin ,, 

Total States. . 





Dist. of Columbia. 



New Mexico 




Total Territories. 

Area in 

















E. R. 
1875. 1872. 













Aggregate of TJ. S.. 2,915,203 38,555,983 •• 60,852 

* Included in the Railroad Mileage of Maryland. 


Population and Area. 



Date of 


Area in 

to Square 



British Empire 


United States with Alaska. . . 


Austria and Hungary 


Great Britain and Ireland. . . 

German Empire 






Sweden and Norway 






New Grenada 





Argentine Republic 










San Salvador.., 





San Domingo., 

Costa Rica 






















000. 0U0 






































































St. Petersburg... 









Rio Janeiro 

Constantinople .. 













Buenos Ayres — 











Sal Salvador 

Port au Prince.. 




San Domingo 

San Jose 
































43 400 

















By Counties. 



Alexander. . 















De Kalb... 
De Witt... 


Du Page 



Effingham. . 

Fayette ■_ 




Gallatin ... 



Hamilton . . 



Henderson _ 







Jo Daviess. 



Kankakee. . 
Kendall ... 



La Salle 



Livingston . 


1870. 1860. 1850. 1840. 1830. 1830 














1 1 234 

1 1248 































1 205 1 

























41 14 


































69 r 






















Ogle. ...... 










Rock Island . 







St. Clair 










Whitesides . . 


Winnebago . . 



1870. 1860. 1850. 1840. 1830. 1820 







1 1437 





















































1 1079 








1 1666 









1711951I 851470 









1 1 728 
































Relating to Eates of Interest and Penalties fob Usury. 

States and Territories. 









District of Columbia . 

















Montana < 



New Hampshire 

New Jersey 

New Mexico 

New York 

North Carolina 

Ohio '. 

Ontario, Canada 



Quebec, Canada 

Rhode Island 

South Carolina 






Washington Territory 

.West Virginia 




Rate al- 

Rate of 

lowed by 

Penalties for Usury. 



per cent 

per cent. 




Forfeiture of entire interest. 


Any rate. 



Forfeiture of principal and interest. 


Any rate. 


Any rate. 



Forfeiture of excess of interest. 



Forfeiture of entire interest. 



Forfeiture of principal. 



Forfeiture of entire interest. 


Any rate. 



Forfeiture of entire interest. 



Fine and imprisonment. 



Forfeiture of entire interest. 



Forfeiture of excess of interest. 



Forfeiture of entire interest. 



Forfeiture of ex. of in. above 12 per cent. 



Forfeiture of entire interest. 



Forfeiture of entire interest. 


Any rate. 



Forfeiture of excess of interest. 


Any rate. 



Forfeiture of ex. of in. above 7 per cent. 



No Usury Law in this State. 



Forfeiture of excess of interest. 



Forfeiture of entire interest. 


Any rate. 



Forfeiture of entire interest. 


Any rate. 



Forfeiture of thrice the excess and costs. 



Forfeiture of entire interest. 


Any rate. 



Forfeiture of contract. 



Forfeiture of entire interest. 



Forfeiture of excess above 6 per cent. 


Any rate. 




Any rate. 


Any rate. 


Any rate. 


Any rate. 



Forfeiture of excess of interest. 



Forfeiture of excess of interest. 


Any rate. 



Forfeiture of excess of interest. 



Forfeiture of entire interest. 


Any rate. 



Forfeiture of excess of interest. 



Forfeiture of entire interest. 


Any rate. 

* Except in cases defined by statutes of the State. 




Relating to Limitations of Actions : Showing Limit of Time in which 
Action may be Brought on the following : 

States and Territories. 








District ot Columbia .. 




















New Hampshire 

New Jersey 

New Mexico 

New York 

North Carolina 


Ontario (U. Canada)... 



Quebec (L. Canada)... 

Rhode Island 

South Carolina 




Vermont -.- 


Washington Territory. 

West Virginia , 



Sealed and 























• 3 













































































































































































20 ' 
























IO , 










































































Henderson. . 


Iroquois. . .. 


Jasper . . 
Jefferson ..... 
Jersey . .. 
JoDaviess. . . 
Johnson. . .. 







Lawrence . . . 

















Montgomery. . 











Randolph . 


Rock Island. . . 







St. Clair 






















) 64,874 


























112,5. „ 








Other un- 












































































2 025 















19 995.198 









































450. 79i 

























' 186,290 



947 616 






















































































































11 540 






















'" 7.'i's6 























































































































1,149 878 



















» wfe 



/n «, 





A PERIOD of time which would be considered remote in the records of the 
-*—*- civilization of Central Illinois, would be regarded as recent in the annals of 
the Eastern or Southern States ; and in the history of a county which, less than 
fifty years ago, was inhabited only by the aborigines, it will not be expected that 
an undue flavor of antiquity will pervade the pages ; still, the pages of few 
histories, either ancient or modern, furnish more instructive lessons than are to 
be found in the record of the pluck, perseverance and success of the early set- 
tlers of this county. 

The facts pertaining to the early settlement of the county have been gleaned 
from the few old pioneers who still survive ; and the writer desires especially to 
acknowledge his indebtedness to Hon. Woodford G. McDowell, who came to the 
Territory and settled in what is now Livingston County, forty-six years ago, 
for much valuable information, without which it would have been impossible to 
record some of the most interesting facts and incidents in the history of the 

Of the colony which settled in Avoca Township, in the year 1832, Judge 
McDowell, his brother.* John and James, and a sister, Mrs. Joel Tucker, 
still survive and are living in this county. It is fortunate for the historian that 
the colony reckoned the McDowell brothers among its numbers ; for they were 
not only fully competent to do so, but did take a deep interest in preserving 
the more interesting details of the progress and development of the county. 

The work of writing this history has been begun none too soon ; as, by far, 
the greater number of the early settlers have passed away ; and age and decrep- 
itude are clouding the memories of some who remain ; and, had the work been 
deferred for a few years, a considerable portion of the history would have been 

This work is not written for the purpose of recording panegyrics on any 
man or set of men ; and, if an individual receives prominent mention, it is 
because his history is interwoven with the history of the county, in such a 
manner as to render it necessary. 

So far as writing up the official and political portion of the work is con- 
cerned, care has been taken to follow the official records, so far as there were 
records to follow ; but, beyond that, the writer has been forced to hunt his facts 
wherever he could find them throughout the county. 



Livingston County contains 1,035 square miles of territory, extending vest 
from the north part of Grand Prairie, and having most of the characteristics of 
that district ; and it was among the last counties of the State to attract immi- 

For many years after the first settlers located, our broad prairies failed to 
induce general settlement, as immigrants seemed to prefer the more rolling lands 
of the northern and western counties, or the timbered regions farther south. 
It was not until the building of the Illinois Central Railroad, which passed 
through many miles of similar country, and brought its peculiar characteristics 
into favorable notice, and the construction of the Chicago & Mississippi Road, 
which passed directly through the county, that immigrants- generally began to 
discover the value of the lands of this hitherto neglected region. 

Much of the land donated by the Government to the State, and, by the 
State transferred to the Central Railroad Company, lay in this county, and was 
put upon the market. This land rapidly found purchasers and occupants ; and 
the building of these roads, together with the construction of the Toledo, Peoria 
Warsaw Road, made it possible for producers to market their grain, and 
greatly enhanced the value of the land ; and the real settlement of the county 
dates from this era. 

The history of the county naturally divides itself into three epochs : First, 
the occupation by the Indians, from the discovery of the prairie country by the 
French, to the first white settlement, in the Fall of 1829. Second, from the first 
settlement of the whites to the building of the railroads, in 1854. Third, from 
that period to the present time. But, before the subject is treated in this 
order, a short statement of the derivation of our population will be given, and, 
also, the topography and geology of the county will receive attention. 

The earlier settlers came, principally, from Indiana and Ohio, with only a 
few from the States further east and south, while a large portion of those 
who, during the third epoch, reduced the virgin soil to cultivation, were 
immigrants from foreign lands, or from the older and more populous counties of 
this State. These last mentioned were attracted hither by cheaper lands and by a 
wider range of pasturage. Nearly all of these were men of small pecuniary means, 
but possessed of courage, industry and thrift, and found themselves benefited 
by their change of locality. The older counties of La Salle, Bureau, Peoria, 
Knox, Fulton, Tazewell and Woodford have sent us not a few of their young 
and active men. Many of our .most esteemed and worthy citizens are natives 
of Ireland, Germany, Norway and Demark. England has contributed her 
share, and many freedmen are settled in the county. 

But it is not to immigration alone, active and constant as it has been, that our 
great and rapid increase of population is to be attributed. There are no statistics to 
show the number of births in the county previous to the present year, and 
speculation must be left to others than the historian. Fortunately, however 


the law which requires the registration of births and deaths has been in force 
long enough to give a few figures. Registration commenced in December, 1877, 
but it was not until late in January, 1878, that the full statistics could be ob- 

In four months, 318 births have been recorded, and it is believed that many 
others have occurred which, for various reasons, have not been reported. But 
this would make the number of births in this county (which contains a popula- 
tion of 40,000) about one thousand per year, or'two and one half per cent, per 
annum. The number of deaths registered during the same period is seventy- 
six, showing that the natural increase does not vary much from two per cent, 
during the year. The number of marriage licenses issued during this period 
is 140. 


The county is bounded on the north by La Salle and Grundy Counties ; on 
the east by Kankakee and Ford ; on the south by Ford and McLean ; on the 
west by McLean, Woodford and La Salle Counties. It embraces Ranges from 
3 to 8, east of the Third Principal Meridian ; and Townships from 25 to 30, 
north of the base line of the State, being thirty-six miles from east to west, and 
twenty-four from north to south, with an addition of eighteen by nine and three- 
fourths miles, lying south of the eastern half of the county. It contains twenty- 
seven full Congressional Townships, namely: Reading, Newtown, Sunbury, 
Nevada, D wight, Round Grove, Long Point, Amity, Esmen, Odell, Union, 
Broughton, Nebraska, Rook's Creek, Pontiac, Owego, Saunemin, Sullivan, 
Waldo, Pike, Eppard's Point, Avoca, Pleasant Ridge, Charlotte, Indian Grove, 
Forrest and Chatsworth ; and three fractional townships, to wit, Belle Prairie, 
Fayette and Germantown. 

In size, it is the fourth largest county in the State, being exceeded only by 
La Salle, McLean and Iroquois. It is principally prairie land ; but timber is 
found along the Vermilion River and its branches, and also in some fine groves 
of native timber, in various parts of the county. Round Grove, near the north- 
eastern corner, originally contained 80 acres ; Oli ver's Grove a bo ut 800 a cres, 
situated near the southeastern corner; Indian Grove, near the southwestern 
corner, about 800 acres; and Babcock's Grove embraces 100 acres, standing on 
hi<»h ground near the center of the county ; Packwood's Grove, near this point, 
contains 20 acres ; and Five Mile Grove, near the head of the north branch of 
the Vermilion, closes the list. Each of these, with the exception of Round 
Grove, which is on a branch of the Mazon, stands at the head of a small stream 
which, on leaving the timber, flows through the open prairie and empties into 
the Vermilion. 

The timber land does not exceed six per cent, of the area. The different 
varieties of oak, elm, maple and walnut predominate, while ash, cottonwood, white- 
wood and some other varieties are not uncommon, and a few cedars are found on 
the banks of the Vermilion. 


The Vermilion River has its rise in the extreme southeastern portion of the 
county, and has the following tributaries: South Branch, Indian Creek, Turtle 
Creek, Wolf Creek, Rook's Creek, Mud Creek, Long Point and Scattering 
Point Creeks, most of which have their rise in the county. All of these streams 
are living water, fed by springs, affording ample water for stock, and splendid 
drainage for all parts of the county. 

The Vermilion and the larger branches are well stocked with fish, of which 
the pickerel, bass and cat-fish are the predominant varieties. The Vermilion 
affords water-power for a few mills, the best point being at Pontiac, where 
Thomas Williams' fine grist-mill and saw-mill are located. 

This river has thus been noticed by a local writer : 

Vermilion is no classic stream, 

She is not named in song or story ; 
No mighty deed or poet's dream 

Have placed her on the page of glory ; 
And yet her banks are just as fair 
As those of classic rivers are. 
The Rubicon with all its fame, 

When sifted down is but a sham ; 
Vermilion is a longer name, 

And quite as wide above the dam, 
And as for Csesar riding through it- 
Why, any half-baked fool could do it. 
Some men go out to see the Nile, 

Because they think ' tis great and manly ; 
And one stayed out there such a while, 

He had to be looked up by Stanley. 
It really did him no more good 
Than paddling up Vermilion would. 
Burns sang the praise of Bonnie Doon, 

Because a song he must deliver ; 
Had he lived here he would as soon 

Have sung thy praise, Vermilion River. 
Buck's springs would then as famous be 
As the castle of Montgomery. 
Flow on, Vermilion, gently flow, • 

And turn the wheels of Williams' mill ; 
1 Still on thy way rejoicing go — 

A river is a river still. 
And all the rivers known to fame 
Are made of water just the same. 

The soil is principally the deep, black alluvial, common in this State. The 
surface is gently undulating, with broader stretches of level land than are 
found in the northern and western counties. The lands lying south, southwest 
and northwest of the center of the county are, for the most part, level, while 
north, east and southeast of the center, the land is more rolling, yet not so 
uneven as to receive any ill effects from washing, while under the plow. 


The chief advantage which land of this character has over a more rolling 
and broken surface is that, for many years to come, there can be no perceptible 
loss in its fertility, from washing while under cultivation. 


The geological formations are not unlike those common to the Grand Prairie 
district, with the important difference that, in this county, coal and stone are 
found in abundance. 

For some years after the first settlement, and during the second epoch, the 
people lived in ignorance of the vast coal fields of the county. All residents 
then lived in or upon the skirts of the timber, and no fuel was needed, other 
than the forest supplied. It is true that the outcroppings of coal along the 
banks of the river, in the northwestern part of the county, were discovered and 
commented upon ; but the pioneer had no means of utilizing it, and considered 
it of no value. 

About the year 1860, Henry L. Marsh, who owned a large tract of land near 
Fairbury, had his attention called to the fact that the rapidly increasing popu- 
lation must necessarily require a more abundant supply and a cheaper fuel. 
There was not timber enough in the county to supply it for ten years, at the 
rate it was being consumed ; and, from his knowledge of coal formation, Marsh 
believed that it could here be obtained, by going to a sufficient depth. 

At that day, coal mining, by deep, perpendicular shafts, was unknown in this 
bituminous district. La Salle, Peoria and Morris were sending out the few 
tons they were called upon to supply, and Coalville supplied a meager local 

The Wilmington coal fields were not yet discovered, and Streator, which 
now, from its various shafts, sends up its thousands of tons per day, was 
unknown to the worthy man whose name it bears ; and for a decade after 
Marsh's pioneer labors, the place was known only by the name of " Hard- 
scrabble." To a man of less force, will-power and energy than Marsh, the idea 
of mining coal on the open prairie of Livingston County would have remained an 
idea, or it might have grown into a desire ; but he was made of the right material to 
push a gigantic enterprise to completion. He at once set about an investigation of 
the facts in the case, and, under his investigation, the possibilities steadily grew 
into a reality. The story of his struggles with adverse fortune, his heavy losses, his 
trials and failures, and his final success, would make an interesting and instruct- 
ive chapter of history. Water, at various depths, so flooded his work and 
damaged it in various ways, that his friends and backers deemed the scheme 
impracticable ; but he was not discouraged, and, in the last extremity, he com- 
pleted an invention of his own, by which the difficulty was overcome. At a 
depth of 180 feet, he struck a paying vein of excellent coal. The success 
attending Marsh's efforts incited others to like enterprises, and, in 1865, a shaft 
was sunk at Pontiac, another shaft at Fairbury in 1868, one near Streator in 


1872, one at Cornell in 1875, and one at Cayuga in 1878. Cayuga, which is 
distant five miles from the river, is, thus far, the farthest point from the Ver- 
milion at which a paying vein of coal has been reached in the county. The 
efforts to find coal at Odell and Dwight have thus far proved failures. The 
mining at Coalville is carried on by horizontal entries, and is not so expensive 
to the operators. The capital invested in coal mining in Livingston will not 
fall short of a quarter of a million dollars, and, thus far, the enterprise has 
proved far more profitable to purchasers than to the proprietors of the mines. 
Ledges of limestone, suitable for building purposes, are found along the banks 
of the Vermilion ; and at Pontiac and in the vicinity, inexhaustible quar- 
ries of calcareo-silicious stone are found. In sinking *the coal shafts at Fair- 
bury, a fine dark sandstone of peculiar color and quality was discovered. This 
stone is easily dressed, and is a superior stone for building purposes. 


When the white settlers first began to locate in the territory out of which 
Livingston County was formed, they found it in the possession of the Kickapoo 
and Pottawatomie Indians. 

These tribes claimed the country by right of conquest, and their eventful 
history demands a far more extended notice than can be given to it in these 
pages. The final and. decisive battle between the Kickapoos and the Pottawato- 
mies on the one hand, and the Miamis on the other, finds no parallel in history, 
except it be the, battle of " Chevy Chase " between the followers of Douglas 
and Percy. This " duel of the tribes," as it is called, "will again be referred to. 

The " Illini " were the first inhabitants of which history gives any authentic 

This name means " Superior men " and did not apply to a tribe, but to a 
confederation of tribes, composed of the Peorias, Moinquienas, Kas-kas-kias, 
Tamaroas and Cahokias. In 1872, this powerful confederation had dwindled 
to forty souls, and these were living on a reservation southwest of the land 
assigned by the Government to the Quapaws. 

Chicago was their great chief in the days of their glory. In 1700, this 
chief went to France, and was treated with distinguished honors. His son, of 
the same name, was also a powerful chief to the time of his death, in 1754. 

Against this confederation, the Kickapoos, Pottawatomies and Miamis com- 
bined for a war of extermination. After a long and bloody struggle, the Illini 
made their last stand at Starved Rock, in La Salle County, in the year 1774. 
The Illini suffered a disastrous defeat, and left their enemies in undisputed 
possession of the territory. But when the victorious tribes came to divide the 
domain among themselves, fresh difficulty arose, and they again resorted to 

In this struggle, the Kickapoos and Pottawatomies combined their forces, 
and made common cause against the Miamis. The war which followed was 


not of long duration ; but it was exceedingly bloody and fatal to the participants. 
In the year 1774, less than twelve months from the time that they had con- 
quered the Illini, it was agreed that the Miamis should select three hundred 
warriors, and- the Kickapoos and Pottawatomies a like number, and that these 
six hundred men should meet in combat and decide the quarrel. The 
opposing forces met on the banks of Sugar Creek and fought from the rising to 
the setting of the sun, and at the close of the day there remained only twelve 
men who were not killed or mortally wounded ; and of these, five were Miamis 
and seven Kickapoos and Pottawatomies. 

The ballad of "Chevy Chase." with which every student of history is 
familiar, and which records the only parallel of this conflict to be found in 
history, tells us that 

" The fight did la9t from break of day 

Till setting of the sun ; 
For when they rung the evening bell, 

The battle scarce was done. 

" And the Lord Maxwell, in likewise, 
Did with Earl Douglas die ; 
Of twenty hundred Scottish' spears, 
Scarce fifty-five did fly. 

" Of fifteen hundred Englishmen, 
Went home but fifty-three ; 
The rest were slain at Chevy Chase, 
Under the greenwood tree." 

But this people had no written language, and many of their deeds of noble 
daring will perish with them ; but it would require but little imagination to 
quote further from the records of Chevy Chase, and apply it to this conflict : 

" Next day, did many widows come, 
Their husbands to bewail ; 
They washed their wounds in briny tears, 
But all could not, prevail. 

" Their bodies, bathed in purple blood, 
They bore with them away ; 
They kissed them, dead, a thousand times 
Ere they were clad in clay." 

In this battle, the Kickapoos and Pottawatomies were declared the victors, 
and the Miamis retired to the east side of the Wabash River, leaving them in 
possession of the territory. 

The victorious tribes then divided the land between them, and the Indian 
trail passing near Oliver's Grove marked the dividing line. East and southeast 
■of this line belonged to the Kickapoos, and the remainder to the Pottawatomies. 

Hon. Perry A. Armstrong, a gentleman of culture and natural talent, who 
resides .at Morris, in Grundy County, has made the study of the history of these 
Indian tribes a specialty for the past twenty-five years ; and it is to him that the 
writer is indebted for valuable dates in this connection. 


Armstrong says, in speaking of the Indian trail referred to : " It was very 
distinct when I last saw it, in 1845 ; and when I first saw it, in 1831, it was, 
on an average, eight inches deep by fifteen inches wide." This trail was the 
dividing line between the two tribes up to the year 1835, when the Government 
moved them west of the Mississippi. 

When the boundary line wag established, the Pottawatomies retired to the- 
vicinity of Fox River, while the Kickapoos established their headquarters on 
Salt Creek, near where the town of LeRoy now stands ; and the vicinity was 
known to the first settlers by the name of Old Town Timber. The Pottawato- 
mies- would come up as far as Rook's Creek, on their hunting excursions, and! 
they frequently camped on the Vermilion Riverain the vicinity of the present 
residence of Emsley Pope, in Newtown ; but the boundary line was respected, 
and the two tribes remained on friendly terms. 

In the Spring of 1828, the Kickapoos removed their headquarters within 
the present bounds of Livingston County. They erected a council house and 
built a village on the east side of Indian Grove, and the tribe at that time num- 
bered about 700 souls. They possessed all the ordinary characteristics of the 
typical American Indian — the copper complexion, black, straight hair, well-pro>- 
portioned limbs and keen, black eyes. 

The women were far more attractive in personal appearance than the gener- 
ality of squaws, notwithstanding the fact that upon them devolved all the drudg- 
ery of domestic life ; and, while they remained at Indian Grove, the women 
cultivated the land, after a rude fashion, and raised corn, beans and potatoes, 
while the men devoted themselves to hunting and fishing, but the squaws were 
expected to dress all game after it was brought home. 

In the Spring of 1830, they removed to Oliver's Grove, then known as 
Kickapoo Grove, where they erected a large and permanent council house, 
ninety-seven wigwams and several small encampments. 

It was here that an exact census of them was taken, and they numbered — 
men, women and children — 630 souls. 

In the year of 1832, a pioneer Methodist preacher by the name of William 
Walker, who resided at Ottawa, 111., visited them and established a Mission. 
Father Walker was at the time an old man, and the journey was a long one for 
him to make ; but, under his ministrations, several of the tribe were converted 
to Christianity, among the number being a young man whom Walker ordained, 
and who held regular service every Sabbath when Walker could not attend. 
They soon came to have great respect for the Sabbath, and, at whatever dis- 
tance from home they might be hunting during the week, they always returned 1 
to camp on Saturday night, so as to be in attendance at church on Sunday 

Their prayer books consisted of walnut boards, on which were carved char- 
acters representing the ideas intended to be impressed upon the mind. At the- 
top of the board was a picture of a wigwam. 


These boards were quite uniform in size and appearance, and were held very- 
sacred, and were protected with the utmost care ; no Indian thought of retiring 
for the night without first consulting his board. 

Each Sabbath they had a public dinner, of which the whole community 
partook. In the center of the ground in which <their religious meetings were 
held, a fire was kindled, and over this the camp kettles were hung in a line. 
The men were grouped on one side of this line and the women on the other;, 
at one end gathered the children, and at the other end stood the preacher. 
Two men stood near the children to see that perfect order was preserved; and! 
no congregation, even in the days of the Puritan fathers, was more decorous 
than were these newly Christianized Kickapoos. While the minister preached, 
the dinner cooked ; and when the religious services were over, the 1 kettles were 
removed from the fire, and the dinner was served out into wooden bowls and. 
trenchers, with ladles and spoons of the same material. The dinner generally 
consisted of venison, coon, opossum, turtle, fish, or any other animal food they 
could obtain, together with corn, beans and potatoes, all boiled together. 

Hon. Woodford G. McDowell, on whom we have largely drawn for infor- 
mation, says that a dinner of this kind "generally left a quantity of soup r 
which was highly flavored and quite nutritious." It is natural to suppose that 
such would be the case. 

The Kickapoos remained at this point until September, 1832, when they 
were removed by the Government to their lands west of the city of St. Louis.. 

Shabbona, the friend of the whites, with whom many of the earliest settlers- 
were acquainted, was neither a Kickapoo nor a Pottawatomie, but an Ottawa 
Indian. After the death of Pontiac, after whom the county seat of Livings- 
ton County is named, the Ottawa tribe became merged into the Pottawatomies ; 
but many individual members of the tribe clung to the old name, and cherished 
with pride the history of their descent from this superior stock. Of this num- 
ber was Shabbona, who was very sensitive on the question of his origin. If he 
was called a Pottawatomie, says Armstrong, he would immediately and invari- 
ably reply: " Me Ottawa Indian ; me no Pottawatomie." 

The history of the great chief Pontiac is interwoven with the history of the 
nation ; yet it has remained for Hon. Perry A. Armstrong, of Morris, to give- 
to the world a reliable account of his last days. 

The last event recorded in his career, in the commonly received history, is- 
his attack on Capt. Dalzell, who, at the head of three hundred men, was march- 
ing to the relief of Detroit, about the last of July, 1763. Says the national 
historian : " Subsequent to this period, we have no reliable history of the Great 
Sachem of the Ottawas." Armstrong says : " He was a great brave, who had 
enemies and rivals, who finally caused him to be assassinated. He was invited 
to a war dance on a dark night, solely for this purpose. He was warned to stay 
away, or if he attended to take with him a strong force of braves ; but aspir- 
ing to be the leader of all, he knew that if he showed fear on this occasion- 


lie would be forever disgraced ; he started alone, and was waylaid and mur- 
dered before lie reached his destination." This event occurred is 1772, near 
where East St. Louis stands. 


V. M. Darnall and Frederick Rook were the first white men to locate in 
the territory now embraced in Livingston County. Darnall erected his cabin in 
the southern part of the timber known as Indian Grove, in the Fall of 1829, 
soon after the Kickapoo Indians had exchanged this locality for Oliver's Grove. 

At or about the time that Darnall made his settlement at Indian Grove, 
Frederick Rook located five miles west of Pontiac, on the creek which still 
bears his name ; and, soon after, Isaac Jordan selected his location. Rook 
removed to Missouri at an early day, and the exact date of his settlement here 
<cannot be obtained. These three men, with their families, were the only white 
persons, in this locality, who saw the " great snow " which fell in the Winter of 
1830-31. This fall of snow was phenomenal, and its like, probably, had never 
occurred before, and certainly has not since within the limits of the State. In 
a dead calm, it fell to the depth of four feet. This was followed by a drizzling 
rain, which soon turned to sleet. Then the weather became intensely cold, and 
the whole face of the country was covered with a sheet of ice, overlying a 
field of snow that was four feet deep on the level. • 

This storm was very destructive to game of all kinds, and it was several 
years before it again became abundant. Deer, by the hundred, starved to 
death, and birds, such as grouse and quail, perished in great numbers. Squire 
L. Payne, of Eppard's Point, who at that time resided near Danville, informs 
the writer that deer, showing no signs of fear, would stand and eat the branches 
from a fallen tree while the woodman was chopping and splitting the body of 
the same. He further says that, after the snow had continued for some time, 
the deer were not molested, as they were so emaciated as to be unfit for food, 
and were only occasionally killed for their skins. 

At this period, the Kickapoo Indians had a village at Oliver's Grove, and 
they, as well as the few white settlers, suffered severely from the intense cold 
and scarcity of food. During the continuance of the snow, they used their 
large council house as a common kitchen for all. Their camp kettles were kept 
constantly boiling, and into them were thrown such animal food as they could 
procure. A starved deer was a welcome addition to their larder, and, when 
other supplies failed, a pony was sacrificed, and horse soup dished out. 

Frederick Rook and Isaac Jordan found their stock of provisions failing, 
and they conceived the idea of manufacturing snow-shoes from boards and going 
to Mackinaw for supplies, for it was impossible for them to travel with a horse. 
'They accomplished the journey on their snow-shoes, and when they reached 
that, to them, Egyptian storehouse, they were so fortunate as to receive, each, a 
bushel and a half of corn. They placed this on hand-sleds and drew it home, 


arriving there on the evening of the fourth day. This corn they pounded into 
meal, and, by careful husbanding, made it last them till further supplies could 
he obtained. 

When the snow began to fall, Major Darnall was over on the Mackinaw, his 
wife and four small children being at home in Indian Grove, with a scanty sup- 
ply of provisions. He waited during the night for the storm to abate ; but, at 
the early dawn, he mounted his horse, which was an excellent one, and taking 
the half of a deer before him, without guide or compass, he started across, the 
trackless snow-field for his distant home. It was a perilous undertaking and, 
at times, it seemed useless to try to proceed, as the horse would sink to his saddle- 
girths in the snow ; but horse and rider persevered, and, just as the sun was 
setting, he espied the smoke curling from the chimney of his little cabin, which 
was half buried in the snow. Imagination can paint the blissful meeting of 
husband and wife on this occasion ; and there have been few happier family 
meetings than the one gathered around Major Darnall's hearthstone on that 
memorable evening. 

Major Darnall still resides in the vicinity of Fairbury, possessed of a com- 
petence, honored and respected ; and it is worth something to hear him recount 
the history of the early days of Livingston County. 

During the year 1830, Andrew McMillan and Garret M. Blue located on 
Rook's Creek, and their descendants are numerous. Blue's name and those of 
his sons frequently appear in the political annals of the county. 

Jacob Moon came to Moon's Point in the same year, and his progeny are 
among the most wealthy and respected in the county. 

On the 5th day of May, 1832, "William McDowell, from Sciota County, 
Ohio, with his five sons, John, Hiram, Woodford G., Joseph and James, and his 
two daughters, Betty and Hannah, settled in what is now Avoca Township, on 
the Little Vermilion. Their nearest white neighbor on the south was one Philip 
Cook ; but they could call around on Frederick Rook, Isaac Jordan or William 
Popejoy, almost any time, by going a distance of from five to fifteen miles. 

The elder McDowell displayed excellent judgment in selecting this location, 
for after forty-five years' continual farming, the soil is still rich and productive. 

The McDowells at once proceeded to erect their cabin. The principal tool 
used in its construction was an axe. They brought with them a few panes of 
glass for a window, and, in this particular, they had the advantage of their 
neighbors. The boards which furnished the material for the door and window 
casing of this primitive dwelling, were purchased of the Kickapoo Indians, and 
were brought from Oliver's Grove with an ox team. The Indians had hewn 
them out for some purpose ,of their own, but were induced to part with them 
for a small supply of ammunition. 

The Black Hawk war was then in active operation, and this settlement was 
within a short march of the headquarters of this terrible chief. This same year, 
Wm. Popejoy, John Hanneman and Franklin Oliver located, and soon took an act- 


lve part in the affairs of the settlement. Black Hawk maintained his position, and 
the situation of the settlers became alarming, as it was not known what attitude the 
Kickapoo Indians (numbering 630) at Oliver's Grove, would assume ; and, on 
the 20th of May, they were waited upon by a deputation of whites for the pur- 
pose of ascertaining their intentions. 

At this meeting, the venerable Franklin Oliver presided. On their return 
from the council, the members of the deputation stopped at the McDowell cabin 
and took dinner, and they advised the settlers either to abandon their homes or 
proceed to erect fortifications. The latter scheme was impracticable, for the 
reason that there were but two rifles in the whole settlement, and very little 
ammunition. On the 27th of May, all the white men in the settlement held a 
council, and it was then and there decided that the best thing that could be 
done, under the circumstances, was to retire to the white settlements in Indiana ; 
and, on the evening of the 28th, the entire white population camped in and 
around the McDowell cabin, preparatory to a march the next morning. 

This company consisted of the McDowell family, and William Popejoy, 
Abner Johnson, Uriah Blue, Isaac Jordan and John Hanneman, and their fam- 
ilies — thirty-one souls in all. In speaking of this party, Hon. Woodford G. 
McDowell, who was one of the number, says : "I feel sure, if the entire outfit 
had been required to raise twenty-five dollai's among them, or be scalped by the 
Indians, they would have been compelled to throw up the sponge — they could 
not have raised the money." 

On the morning of the 29th of May, the whole company of seven families, 
in six wagons, took up the line of march and left the embryo county in posses- 
sion of the Indians. Darnall must have retreated some time previous, as his 
name is not mentioned in this exodus ; and as far as Oliver is concerned, he 
came and went among the Indians at his own pleasure, and without fear of 
molestation. He thoroughly understood their character, and was accounted a 
favorite, among them; and, in fact, an Indian chief was called sifter his name. 

During the march to Indiana, several interesting incidents transpired. 
The more timid were in hourly anticipation of an attack from Black Hawk, and 
could scarcely be persuaded to regulate their pace with the ox teams which drew 
the women and children. On the second day of their march, the wife of Isaac 
Jordan presented him with an infant daughter ; and James McDowell, then a 
young man of 17 years, together with another youth, walked to a grove of 
timber four miles distant to procure wood enough to build a camp fire. On 
their return, they found the camp in great commotion. A couple of Indians 
had been seen on a ridge overlooking the camp, and then to disappear in the 
tall grass. Women and children were crying, and even some of the men were 
badly frightened, and counseled an immediate flight, as they supposed the 
Indians they had seen were scouts sent out by Black Hawk. Others were less 
excited, and proceeded to light the camp fire and prepare their supper, the elder 
McDowell remarking, as he held his frying-pan over the fire, that "he did not 


propose to be scalped on an empty stomach." It was soon ascertained, how- 
•ever, that the Indians were two friendly Kickapoos, who had come to bid their 
-white friends farewell ; but the incident proved the different material of which 
the company was composed, and had not a little to do with the estimate in 
which they subsequently held each other's character. 

The next day, the mother and child were left at the house of Philip Cook, 
before mentioned, as this was considered sufficiently remote from the seat of war 
to be safe ; and the remainder of the party pushed on to Indiana. A. B. Phil- 
lips and James Spence, with their families, had taken refuge within a fortifica- 
tion on the Mackinaw. But, in the Fall of the same year, nearly all of the 
persons mentioned in the exodus returned to their claims. 

We have seen how n'ear the daughter of Isaac Jordan came to being born in 
-the limits of the county, but the first white child actually born within the bor- 
ders of Livingston, was a son of A. B. Phillips. He grew to manhood, and 
when the hour of his country's peril came, he was one of the first to answer her 
-eall, and he gave his life to maintain her honor. Thus the county literally gave 
her "first born for a sacrifice." All honor to such men ! 

" On fame's eternal camping ground 
Their silent tents are spread, 
And glory guards, with solemn round, 
The bivouac of the dead." 

The second birth in the county was J. W. Darnall, now 47 years old, and a 
worthy and respected citizen. "When the settlers returned from Indiana, with 
them came Nathan Popejoy, and located a few miles east of Pontiac. At this 
period, Judge McDowell informs us that there were but two young ladies 
within a distance of fifty miles up and down the Vermilion, but this condition of 
things did not long exist, for the year 1833 saw a considerable influx of new 
families. In this year, Dr. John Davis settled near the present residence of 
Philip Rollins* He was the first physician in the county, and had the medical 
practice, without a rival, for some time. About the same time came DanieL 
Roekwood and the Weeds, Henry, E. F. and James, also John Recob, John 
Johnson, the Murry family, Squire Hayes, John Chew, Daniel Barackman, 
John Downey, Joseph Reynolds and his brothers. The Government had just 
removed the last Kickapoo west of the Mississippi, and Franklin Oliver, this 
year, permanently located at Kickapoo Grove, which, since that date, has borne 
his name. The Indian trouble was now forever settled, so far as this county was 
concerned, the hardest trials were past and a brighter day was dawning ; but 
the old settler never grows weary of talking about this period, and of recount- 
ing his trials and exploits. Among the number whose recollection is perfectly 
unimpaired, is John Johnson, of Rook's Creek. He was born in Ontario 
County, New York, and came to Shawneetown, in this State, as early as 1821. 
There were only some fifty white persons in the county when Johnson settled 
here, and he knew them all. He calculates that he and his sons have killed 


over a thousand deer within the limits of the county. In the Fall hunt of 1834 r 
they killed seventy-five and took the skins and hams to Ottawa,- and received 
for them the sum of sixty dollars — a large amount of money in those days. 
Franklin Oliver, although in his ninety-second year, still retains his faculties in' 
a wonderful degree, and is a walking encyclopaedia of facts pertaining to the 
early settlement ; also Emsley Pope (whose history will receive further mention), 
together with James and Woodford G. McDowell and Major Darnall are still 
with us, their minds and memories unimpaired. Frederick Rook, the old 
pioneer, after whom Rook's Creek Township is named, is described by James- 
McDowell, as a well-made, fat-faced, easy natured and accommodating German? 
and not at all such a character as has been described in later days. He had a 
wife and family, and, at the date of his departure, his eldest daughter, Mary, 
was seventeen years old. He frequently deplored the lack of facilities for giv- 
ing his children an education, and it is stated that this was the cause of his 
removing from the county at an early day. He was a capital shot, a generous 
provider for his family, and altogether a worthy man ; and the aspersions cast 
upon his character are without any foundation in fact, and may be considered as 

The nearest post office at this time was at Bloomington ; but, as James- 
McDowell says, they did not take a daily paper or write many love letters in 
those days ; they managed to live with a post office even at that distance. 
They took their grain fifty miles, with an ox team, to a mill owned and run by 
John Green, on the other side of Ottawa ; and, after hauling it that distance, 
they frequently had to wait a day or two for their turn, and it never happened 
that a man went to mill, called round by the post office and returned home on 
the same day. 

Among some of the earliest settlers were Truman Rutherford, John Foster, 
James Holman, William K. Brown, Judge Breckenridge, Amos Edwards and 
Andrew McDowell, of Long Point ; Walter Cornell, Andrew Sprague, Joel B. 
Anderson, H. Steers, Isaac Burgit, John Darnall, John Travis, J. W. Reynolds, 
Charles Jones, Philip Rollins, John Marks, James Demoss, Benjamin Hie- 
ronymous and the Garner brothers. 

It was several years before the pioneers erected a church edifice, but they 
were not heathens. For miles around, the community would, on a Sunday, 
assemble at the house of John Terhune, who possessed a book of sermons, and 
who would read to them on these occasions. Terhune was a man of education, 
who quietly came among these pioneers, and, after remaining a few years, 
departed as he came. His destination was not known, and the date of his 
departure is not fixed ; and, as he was of a retiring and unobtrusive disposition, 
but few facts concerning him can be obtained. 

In 1834, William Royle, a Methodist preacher, established a mission in this 
locality ; but, as his circuit embraced such distant points as Waupansee, Ottawa 
and Mazon, he could only hold service here on a week day ; yet men would 


leave their work and come ten and even fifteen miles to attend religious service. 

In the Fall of the year, the whole community — men, women and children — r 
would yoke up their ox teams and go over to Mackinaw to attend camp meeting. 
This was considered the event of the year, and was eagerly anticipated by the 
young people, who had not many opportunities of enjoying each other's society 
and forming new acquaintances. Joseph C. Morrison, of Avoca Township, and 
now one of the wealthiest and most respected citizens of the county, was, at 
this period, one of the rising young men of the community. He says that the 
enjoyment of these trips could only be appreciated by a community placed in 
like circumstances. 

Yet these pioneers were not without their amusements and recreations ; but 
they generally contrived to combine business with pleasure-. James McDowell 
came twelve miles, with his father, to assist in raising the first cabin that was 
erected in Pontiac ; and he remembers it as a day given to pleasure. 

Another popular amusement was to assemble the community for the " grand 
circular hunt." Having selected the territory, which embraced as large a tract 
as the number of hunters could command, they placed themselves in a circle, on 
the outside, and drove the game toward a common center. The game thus encir- 
cled consisted mainly of wolves and deer, which were always captured or killed 
in great numbers. The hunt, and especially the closing up of the circle, was 
exciting in the extreme, and no small amount of skill was displayed in the man- 
ner of disposing of the animals as they attempted to break through the lines of 
their persecutors. 

The State paid a bounty for wolf scalps in those days, and this was a source' 
of revenue to the settlers. 

On one occasion, while Nicholas Heffner was both Sheriff and Tax Collect- 
or for the county, and Washington Boyer was School Commissioner, Heff- 
ner was taken sick, and requested James McDowell to go to Springfield for 
him and make a settlement with the State, and the School Commissioner 
learning that he was about to make the trip, called on him and requested that he 
should bring back with him, from Springfield, the amount due the county from 
the State school fund. 

McDowell mounted his horse and, taking a huge bag of legal tender, in the 
shape of wolf scalps, before him, set out on his journey, and, arrived at the State 
Capital, he not only paid the entire amount due the State in wolf scalps, but 
exchanged a sufficient number of the remainder with the State Treasurer, to 
cover the amount coming to the county from the school fund. Notwithstanding 
this remarkable instance of the profit derived from rearing wolves, their propa- 
gation is now entirely neglected in this county, and a wolf found occasionally is- 
viewed as an object of curiosity. 

James McDowell still flourishes in his pristine vigor, though upward of 60 
years old. He owns over 2,100 acres of choice farming land in the vicinity 
where he first located, and i? enjoying the competence he has so justly earned. 


It is a matter of wonder to many now living in the county, how the pioneers 
managed to live and rear large families where there was no money in the country, 
: and no market for produce. In the first place, they did not go in debt, for they 
could not do so ; then game was abundant, and if it would not bring a price, it 
•filled a very important place in the household economy. They raised their own 
coffee, which was prepared from parched corn ; they made their own sugar, and 
as for store tea, that was dispensed with. Then, again, a dealer from some of the 
earlier settled portions of the State, would occasionally ride through this region 
On horseback, and purchase a few steers at a very low price, but a little money 
went a great way with the fathers. Deer skins and the skins and furs of 
^smaller animals always brought cash when they could be got to market, and 
.occasionally a pioneer would collect these and push through to some distant 
point and, disposing of them,- return with their value in money. 

The introduction of a few sheep by Maj. Darnall helped matters very much. 
The c.a r ding, spinning and weaving were done at home, and cost no money. 
'This industry was first introduced into the community by the good wives of 
"Maj. Darnall and A. B. Phillips, and was soon copied by other matrons. Taxes 
were very low ; and if a settler of this period received from all sources an 
income of $15 or $20 per annum, he bad sufficient to pay his cash expenses. 
The amount of money now paid for a new bonnet, or a Spring overcoat, would 
have sufficed to support a family at that time for six months. There were few 
schools for the children, and they were required to help carry on the farm work, 
and everything was made to count for what it was worth. 

But what was already a difficult financial problem was made doubly so by 
the general crash which the year 1837 brought to all business and monetary 

During the very year that saw our county legally organized, the State 
Legislature passed the bill for internal improvement at public expense ; and 
on the passage of this, suicidal law, near ten millions of dollars were appro- 
priated fox building a network of railroads all over the State, and work was 
actually commenced on them at various points. The scheme bankrupted the 
State, and, for nineteen years, Illinois paid neither principal nor interest on her 

Emigrants avoided a State thus incumbered ; and one chief source of ready 
money (that brought by new comers) was denied to us. But the pioneers of 
Livingston, in this extremity, showed pluck and energy worthy of record. 
There being no market for anything in the interior of the State, they, with their 
ox-teams, hauled their produce to Chicago, and even drove their hogs across the 
pathless prairie to that point. 

Joseph C. Morrison, who frequently made the trip with a drove of hogs, tells 
us that it was accomplished in the following manner : A number of farmers 
would collect their hogs and start on the journey, agreeing to feed the hogs at 
night by turns, each in succession returning to his home for a load of corn, 



from which the hogs were fed upon his again coming up with the drove ; and 
thus, hy relieving each other, they accomplished what would otherwise have been 
an impossible task. 

When the slaughter house was reached, the hogs were dressed for the offal, 
and the dressed hogs were put upon the market ; those weighing 200 and over 
generally selling at $1.50 per hundred, and those weighing less at $1.00 per 
hundred. A farmer made but one such trip during the year, and brought home 
with him the absolute necessaries of life. 

The first mill erected in the county was run by horse power. It was built 
by Garrett M. Blue, near his residence, in Rook's Creek Township. This was 
justly considered by the early settlers, as a most valuable acquisition to the 
institutions of the county. The bolting was done by tacking a yard of fine 
muslin on a frame, and through this was rubbed, by the hand, small portions 
of the crushed wheat. 

In 1838, the saw-mill at Pontiac was erected by C. H. Perry and James 
McKee, but a grist-mill was not attached for some years. 

John Foster, who resides with his son Robert, at Pontiac, is the oldest set- 
tler in that part of the county. He reached that point from Cayuga County, 
New York, in 1836. Two deserted cabins were then the only buildings on the 
site of the now flourishing city." The land was then considered too low and 
swampy to be habitable. Foster saw the town laid out, and took the contract 
for building the first Court House, the price agreed upon being $800. The 
building is still standing near the M. B. Church, and is owned by Jacob Strea- 
mer and leased to the city for various purposes. Foster also kept the first 
hotel, and, in the early days, he entertained the Judge, attorneys, juries and 
litigants to the satisfaction of all parties concerned. 

In order to maintain his reputation as a landlord, he would, when a term of 
the Circuit Court was approaching, go out into the country and borrow bed- 
steads, beds and bedding, and what crockery there was to loan. This manner 
of procedure worked very well for a time, but on one occasion, the portly Judge 
David Davis, who had perhaps retired to rest with a heavy case on his mind, 
occupied one of the borrowed bedsteads, and he quashed it. The Judge was 
rescued from the debris by friendly hands ; but the bedstead, as a bedstead, 
had lost its usefulness, and thereafter Foster found some difficulty in inducing 
his neighbors to loan furniture. 

Foster, on these occasions, entertained Douglas, Lincoln, and other distin- 
guished lawyers, for the attorneys followed the judge from county to county. 
Lincoln, during one term of court paid his hotel bill by attending to a suit, in 
which Foster, as Constable, was concerned in the replevin of some goods taken 
on execution. Lincoln gained the case, and Uncle John formed a high opinion of 
his new boarder. Foster's recollections of these early days are vivid and interesting. 

The amounts of revenue levied and collected during the first four years of 
the county's existence, commencing with the year 1,837, are as follows : First 


year, $113.71; second year, $109.80; third year, $180.56; and the fourth 
year, $166.26. 

When it is recorded that the levy in the county for the year 1877 is 
about $400,000, the figures in the former years are as astonishing as the fig- 
ures in the latter year are astounding. 

The first post office was that established in Pontiac, in 1837, and Cornelius 
W. Reynolds was the first Postmaster. 

Letter postage was then twenty-five cents, payable either on mailing the let- 
ter or at the ofiice where it was received. 

No inconsiderable number of letters came to the office unpaid, and such was 
the scarcity of money that some of them would remain in the office for weeks 
and even months, before they could be taken out and paid for. 

Martin A. Newman was the first Route Agent. He traveled on horseback 
from Ottawa to Bloomington, by way of Pontiac and Lexington, and made a 
trip in two weeks. 

The first Court House was erected in 1839-40, by Henry Weed, Lucius 
Young and Seth W. Young. It was accepted from them, and a bond of 
$3,000 surrendered, in which they had stipulated to erect the house at their 
own expense, provided the county seat was located on the land selected by 

The second Court House was erected under the county judgeship of Billings 
P. Babcock, and was as good a building as could be erected at that time for the 
money expended. Judge Babcock gave the same particular care to every item of 
its material and construction that he displays in his own financial affairs. 

The previous year, Judge Henry Jones erected, at Pontiac, the first brick 
building ever erected in the county. It is the one that has recently been remod- 
eled, and is now occupied as a residence by Joseph P. Turner. The brick of 
which it was composed were purchased at Bloomington and hauled to Pontiac ; 
and, in stipulating with the contractors, Judge Babcock required the brick to be 
of as good quality as the material used in the building of this house. This 
opened up a new industry, and the first bricks were made during the same 

The building was two stories high, having offices for the Circuit Clerk, 
County Clerk, Sheriff and Treasurer on the first floor, and the court room and 
jury room on the second floor. In 1871, a fire-proof vault, in an added wing, 
was completed. 

On the 4th day of July, 1874, this building was destroyed by fire, together 
with Union Block and the Phoenix Hotel. 

The present Court House was erected the following year, and was com- 
pleted in the month of December, and dedicated by the first Old Settlers' meet- 
ing. This structure is one of the finest in the State. J. C. Cochrane, of Chi- 
cago, was the architect, and the contract for building was awarded to Colvin,- 
Clark & Co., of Ottawa. 


To the Building Committee of the Board of Supervisors is due an honora- 
ble mention for the honest and satisfactory manner in which they discharged 
their duty, in this connection. The names of these gentlemen were James E. 
Morrow. Edson Wilder, Jacob Phillips, E. G. Greenwood, Wm. S. Sims and J. 
B. Parsons. The entire cost of the building and furniture was $75,000. 

The first jail was built at Pontiac in 1866. Previous to that time, the pris- 
oners of the county were kept at Joliet, Ottawa or Bloomington, where such 
conveniences of civilization existed. In that year, a good substantial stone jail 
was erected at a cost of $18,000. 

The first county election was at the residence of Andrew McMillan, a mile 
northwest from Budd's Mill, on the north bank* of the Vermilion. 

The first County Commissioners and the first Sheriff performed the duties 
of their offices without any authority from the State, and, as they are all dead, the 
manner in which they obtained any authority to act will, perhaps, remain a mystery 

The ancient archives of the county contain no certificate of election or other 
evidence that they held their offices by virtue of either election or appointment. 
The records of the Secretary of State, have also been ransacked to discover, if 
possible, a clue to the matter ; but nothing appears to indicate that either these 
or any other officers, previous to 1833, were legally qualified to act. In this 
year, Nicholas Hefner was duly elected and qualified to act as Sheriff. 

It is known, however, that the form of an election had been observed, and 
that Joseph Reynolds had been declared Sheriff, and the Board of Commission- 
ers had appointed him Collector of Taxes ; and as no one desired to hold office 
in those days, no investigating committee inquired into the irregularity. The 
first marriage license issued in the county was made out by H. W. Beard, Clerk 
of the County Commissioners' Court, and it was, no doubt, intended to authorize 
Mr. Williamson Spence and Miss Mary Darnall to solemnize a marriage ; but 
so far as the record goes, it only authorized the marriage of Williamson to Miss 
Mary Darnall ; so that, so far as the record has anything to do with the matter, 
the descendants of Spence are all Williamsons. It is not improbable that this 
clerk — H. W. Beard — was an old bachelor, and took delight in mutilating mar- 
riage licenses ; for the next license authorized Simeon Mad, instead of Simeon 
Madden, to marry Elizabeth Rutherford. 

Since that period, 6,000 marriages have been authorized by the various 
County Clerks. 

Samuel C. Ladd came to Pontiac from Connecticut in October, 1842. Only 
two houses remain in Pontiac, which had been erected previous to his coming. 
One of these, is the old Court House, and the other is the building now occupied 
by Samuel Mossholder as a dwelling. Seth W. Young was the first man to 
erect a house on the site of the city of Pontiac. He died at this place, as also 
did his brother, Lucius Young. They were interested with Henry Weed in 
securing the location of the county seat at this point, and after their death, C 
H. Perry, Henry Stephens, Samuel C. Ladd and some others became interested 


C. H. Perry brought the first stock of goods to the county, but before he 
was established in business, S. C. Ladd bought him out. About this time, Mr. 
Ladd entered into partnership with Willet Gray, and they purchased James 
McKee's interest in the mill. Their store stood on the banks of the river near 
where Robert Aerl's feed yard now is. Ladd soon after erected a frame business 
building on the_ present site of Gunsul's livery stable; and, for several years, 
he and Gray, were the only resident merchants of the county. These mer- 
chants secured the services of John A. Fellows as salesman, and he was so 
popular that it was said of him that "he drew all the trade of the Vermilion 
Valley, and would have drawn more if the valley had been longer." C. H. Perry 
was then the capitalist. He brought to the place the first piano, the first " store 
carpet " and the first looking glass. His residence was a log cabin, and it used 
to be told how a horse once walked in at the open door, and stood surveying 
himself in Perry's looking glass, while he fought flies with his natural protector. 
The piano remained the only musical instrument of its kind in the county until 
Perry removed to Iowa and took it with him, and it was many years before its 
place was filled. 

Samuel C. Ladd was, at once, an able and popular man. He has held the 
offices of Circuit Clerk, County Clerk, Recorder and Postmaster ; and, in later 
years, he was appointed Assessor of Internal Revenue and filled the office accept- 
ably, from 1863 to 1869. 

Emsley Pope, the pioneer of Newtown, was born in Rowan County, North 
Carolina, in the year 1797, and removed with his father to Champaign County, 
Ohio, in 1810. His father enlisted in the war of 1812, but was prevented from 
serving by sickness. Young Pope, then but 15 years of age, begged permission 
to go as his father's substitute, and, permission being given, he shouldered his 
musket and served during the war. 

When peace was restored, he resided with his father until 1836, when he 
was married and came to this State, and located upon the identical piece of 
ground upon which he has ever since resided. His house, a double log cabin, 
erected forty-three years ago, still serves him for a residence ; and, with the 
exception of repairs to the roof, it has remained without alteration from the 
date of its erection to the present time. The only tools used in its construction 
were an axe, a saw and an auger. The boards composing the roof are held in 
place by logs upon them, through which wooden pins are passed into the raft- 
ers. The flooring is also secured by wooden pins, as are also the door and win- 
dow frames. The flooring and ceiling were hewn out ; and the chimney was 
built of stone taken from the stream near by. 

Pope's Spring, from which hundreds of red men have slaked their thirst, 
furnishes the family with an abundant supply of excellent water. 

For a number of years after his arrival, his family, together with the families 
of Daniel Barrackman, Samuel Brumfield and Amos Lundy constituted the 
entire community. Their market was Chicago. 


In the Fall of the year, Pope, Brumfield, Barrackman and Lundy would 
form a company for mutual benefit and protection ; and each man, with his rifle 
and ox-team drawing a load of corn, would start for this distant market, making 
calculations to be absent from home for ten or twelve days. On the route, the 
company camped where night overtook them, and they never slept under a roof 
from the time of their departure to the time of their return. There was at 
that time not even an Indian trail leading from that point to Chicago, but these 
pioneers took their way over the unbroken prairie, guided by signs and indica- 
tions which never led them astray. Thirty bushels of corn was their average 
load; and for this, on their arrival at market^ they received 12J cents per 
bushel, and only on one or two occasions did they receive as high as 15 cents. 
They rarely made more than two such trips in a year ; and the $6, $8 or $10 
which they thus received was all the money they handled during the year, and 
most of this was spent in purchasing supplies in Chicago. 

Pope was intimately acquainted with old Shabbona, the Pattawatomie chief, 
and holds his memory in great respect, and says that no white man was more 
welcome at his cabin than this Indian. 

This kindly feeling was doubtless reciprocated on the part of the red man, 
for he frequently pitched his tent near Pope's cabin, on his hunting excursions 
along the banks of the Vermilion. 

Wild turkeys and deer abounded, and when Chief Shabbona was successful in 
the chase, the spoils were generously divided with his white friend ; and his 
coming was looked forward to with pleasant anticipations of a good time, and 
his departure was regretted. 

On one of these occasions, Shabbona and the twelve Indian hunters who 
accompanied him, killed fifty deer, within a circuit of three miles, taking Pope's 
cabin as a, center. This Chief must have been, in many respects, a remarkable 
man, as every pioneer who was acquainted with him bears witness to his char- 
acter for upright and honorable dealing. This speaks volumes for Shabbona, as 
the whites at this time were not disposed to regard the Indians with a favorable 
eye. Pope is still a hale and active old man, and will tell you, in speaking of 
the early period, that the pioneers enjoyed themselves fully as well as people do 
at the present day. His early friends and neighbors have long since passed 
away, while he remains, a link connecting the present with the past. He is 
cheerful, hopeful and perfectly contented with his lot. He is the father of four- 
teen children, many of whom are living and are honorable members of society. 
Pope is much respected in his neighborhood, and he will doubtless spend the 
remainder of his days in the county which he has seen transformed from a wil- 
derness to one of the finest agricultural districts in the State. 

Martin A. Newman, of Newtown, justly claims to be the pioneer merchant of 
the county. He was born in Vermilion County in 1818, and removed to Ottawa in 
1838. In the year 1847, he made a tour of discovery through Livingston County, 
and found that there was not a store of any kind within its borders. He returned 


to Ottawa and fitted up a peddling wagon, filling it with a great variety of 
merchandise, from a needle to a wash tub, and, with this traveling establishment, 
he visited every family in the county, once in every month of the year. In 
exchange for his goods, he took from his customers deer-skins, mink-skins, 
ginseng root, feathers and many other articles. He was a great favorite, and 
soon built up an extensive and lucrative business. When he was on his rounds, 
couriers would be sent out to ascertain when he would be at a particular point, 
so that the products of the country might be gathered, in readiness for 

In the Fall of 1847, he purchased of John and Theodore Popejoy the skins 
of fifty-four deer, which they had killed in Avoca Township. In July of the 
same year, Joseph C. Morrison,, who has before been mentioned, and who was 
the young man of the period and the leader of fashion, gave Newman an order 
to bring him, from Ottawa, a full suit of real linen clothes. It was strictly 
stipulated that the clothes should be delivered by the 3d, as there was to be a 
grand ball in Avoca on the 4th, and the dress suit was ordered for that occasion. 
Newman made the trip, executed the commission, and duly arrived in Pontiac 
on the 3d. Morrison was so well pleased with the fit and the price that he 
gave Newman an invitation to the ball ; and his attendance was most opportune, 
for the violinist hired for the occasion got tired, and Newman had to fill his 
place, which he did to the satisfaction of all parties. When Newman now .meets 
one of his old customers, it is pleasant to see the kindly look and hearty hand- 
shake that passes between them as the recollections of the past are called up. 

There is much that might be added concerning many others who helped to 
develop this great county, which is necessarily omitted. 

There was Nelson Bu6k, who loved his profession as he did his life ; and 
Jacob Streamer, who has long been a resident, and is well known throughout 
the county. He has collected all local statistics and incidents sufficient to 
fill a volume. 0. B. Wheeler commenced business by buying a steer for $5, 
taking it to Chicago, dressing it and selling the meat for $7.50. This started him 
in business, and he. is now one of the wealthy men of the county. 

The mention of Morgan L. Payne must not be omitted, as he was an old 
and well known resident. He was Captain of a company in the Black Hawk 
war, and performed distinguished service. He was a Texas Ranger when the 
war between Mexico and this Government was declared, and was in the first, 
battle under Gen. Taylor, on the Rio Grande. When -the time of his enlist- 
ment as a ranger expired, he returned to Greenboro, Indiana, and raised a 
company of militia ; and returning to Mexico, he served during the war. He 
was at the taking of Monterey, and the battle of the City of Mexico. He 
received an honorable discharge, and afterward filled many positions of public 
trust. When the war of the Rebellion was inaugurated, he raised a company 
of men in this county, was again elected and commissioned Captain, and served 
his country faithfully. This hero of three wars died at Pontiac, of cancer, in 


1878. He was a man of fiery and impetuous energy that overcame all obstacles 
with which he came in contact. He had many warm personal friends, who 
cherish his memory. 

Isaac Wilson, who is still living, is distinguished as one of the litigants in 
the first law suit in the Circuit Court. William Strawn, who resides at Odell 
was a personal friend of Old John Brown, whose "soul goes marching on." 
Strawn fought by his side in Kansas. He was one of the charter members of 
the "underground railroad" through Livingston County, over which many a 
negro traveled on his way to Canada. 

Pontiac has grown to be a beautiful city of near four thousand inhabitants. 

A few of her old stagers still remain, but, in the course of nature, they must 

soon pass away. Their view of the present situation is best expressed by the 

following : 


A good many strangers are coming here now, 

As I told Eli Davis to-day ; 
New forms and new faces will make us think how 

We old ones are passing away. 

The town is improving, and growing so fast 

Old landmarks are fading from view, 
And whichever way my glances I cast, 

My old eyes can see something new. 

The churches, six of them, with carpets and pews, 

With paid preachers to manage the works ! 
Elder Stubbles, in them days, preached the glad news 

'Till he gave the people the "jerks." 

And the Phoenix, all brick and three stories high, 

With basement — it cuts such a swell ; 
As I think of the days forever passed by, 

When Willet Gray kept a hotel. 

And the Post Office, too, is wonderful now, 

With drawers and lock boxes and that ; 
Why, I can remember distinctly just how 
Jerome carried the thing in his hat. 

And them Indian signs where they sell the cigars, 

Lord ! once we were thankful for pipes, 
When we heard not the rumble of railroad cars, 

And Ladd went hunting for snipes. 

And fancy saloons, with wine, rum and gin, 

And little back rooms all so snug ; 
Why, once we were glad to take our whisky in 

From the neck of a little brown jug. 

And croquet and billiards and such games as these 

Have banished the old games from sight ; 
Then, on boxes and kegs, we sat at our ease 

And played good old poker all night. 


A good many strangers are coming here now, 

As I told Eli Davis to-day ; 
New forms and new faces will make us think how 

We old ones are passing away. 

The fifth verse of the above requires the following explanation : Jerome 
Garner was the second Postmaster at Pontiac, and when he received his appoint- 
ment he purchased a bell-crowned stove-pipe hat, and in it he kept all mail 
matter which arrived at this point. He was extremely fond of fishing ; and 
when any one was desirous of mailing a letter or expecting to receive one, it 
was necessary to seek for Jerome up or down the Vermilion until he was found, 
when he would take off his hat, perform his official duties, and then return it to 
his head. 


In Troy, New York, the bell was bought ; 
"Out West," to Chicago, the bell was brought. 

In "Eighteen Sixty" the bell came down, 
For the Methodist Church in our little town. 

A Methodist bell, its voice rang out 
With a martial ring and a joyous shout, 

As high it hung in the belfry there, 
Calling the people to sermon and prayer. 

Till the church grew small for the growing throng, 
Who came at the call of its bold, "ding dong." 

Then the house was sold to " The Band and Gown," 
And the bell from the belfry was handed down, 

And -placed on high in the Court House steeple. 
Then sold to the county— a bell for the people. 

As of yore, it did its duty well, 

In its new position of " Court House bell." 

It called the lawyers to wordy fray — 
They came to spout, and remained to P r ey. 

It startled the ear of the Court House rats, 
As it summoned the Supervisor cats ; 

Saying, "Walk to your Council Chamber, please, 
And examine the state of the public cheese." 

It spoke when political hacks came by, 
To preach for truth some ancient lie. 

It rang for joy, when the first glad ray 
In the east proclaimed our Natal Day. 

It shrieked aloud when, the fire fiend came. 
And called the people to fight the flame. 

Solemn and slow was its measured toll, 
As it rang the knell of the parting soul. 

Slow and solemn its measured beat, 
When funeral pall and marching feet 


Went by with the dead, and the last farewell 
Was heard from the throat of the sobbing bell. 

But July the Fourth of "Seventy-Four," 
It rang at noon to ring no more. 

And the tones that came from the quivering bell 
Were the tones of its own funeral knell. 

For Union Block, our city's pride, 
Was bathed in a fiercely rolling tide 

Of lurid, hungry flames, that clasped 
The city's heart within its grasp ; 

And a fiend that lay in the doomed hotel, 

Glared hot and fierce on the Court House bell. 

With a tiger's Bpring and a tongue of flame, 

Across the chasm the fire fiend came. 

On the Court House roof, with fiery claws, 

He sprang as the springing lion draws 

His prey to the earth, then clasped the bell, 

To his fiery breast, till it, tottering, fell 

To the earth below, with burning beam, 

And blazing rafter, till a stream 

Of molten metal came out to tell 

The end of the Pontiac Court House bell. 


In the year 1875, when the new Court House was completed, it was deter- 
mined by the old settlers throughout the county that a grand re-union should be 
held and the new building properly dedicated. A preliminary meeting was 
called at the fair ground early in the Fall of the year, at which C. B. Ostrander 
presided, and John A. Fellows was appointed Secretary. 

The 30th of December was the day fixed upon for the re-union, and com- 
mittees of arrangements were appointed in every township in the county. On 
the day appointed, the old settlers turned out en masse. Tables, capable of 
seating fifteen hundred people, had been prepared by the citizens of Pontiac, 
and these were all filled. James McDowell was President of .the day, and 
John A. Fellows, Secretary. An address of welcome was delivered by Nathan- 
iel J. Pillsbury. Letters were read from Judge Treat, who held the first term of 
court in Pontiac, and from Hon. David Davis and Jesse W. Fell. 0. F. Pearre, 
who had been requested to furnish a poem for the occasion, read the following 

One hundred years ago to-day, 
The British troops in Boston lay ; 
Our sires then hardly thought that they 

Would found a Nation 
Whose ships would whiten many seas, 
Whose flag should float on every breeze, 
Whose armies could maintain with ease 

Her lofty station. 


And in that hundred years ago, 
The deer, the wolf, the buffalo, 
At will went roaming to and fro 

Where now our county 
Spreads out one vast and fertile plain 
Of golden corn and waving grain, 
Rejoicing 'neath a constant rain 

Of Heaven's bounty. 

Yea, men now sitting in this hall 
In mem'ry can the time recall 
When nature brooded over all ; 

When was unbroken 
The solitude that wrapped the land 
Where now our smiling cities stand, 
When silence reigned on every hand, 

And gave no token, 

Save by the hooting of the owl, 
The clangor of the water fowl, 
The red deer's signal or the howl 

Of gray wolf, weary 
In searching for his scanty food, 
Save where, perhaps, some cabin rude 
Seemed on the lonely scene to brood, 
And served to point the solitude 

So lone and dreary. 

Oliver, Cummings, these can tell, 
Wilson, McDowell and Darnell ; 
John Johnson knows the story well, 

The quaint old story : 
How Chief Shabbona and his band 
Kindled their camp fires on the strand 
Of fair Vermilion, when the land 
Stood robed by virgin Nature's hand 

In pristine glory. 

Peace to thy shade ; Shabbona, rest ; 
A warm, true heart beat in thy breast ; 
The white man's friend you stood confessed, 
Among the bravest, truest, best, 

Of those we mention. 
Thy name deserves a worthy place, 
Brave chieftain of a warlike race, 
Hist'ry accords thee little space ; 
I would more worthy pen could trace 
Thy fame, and, with befitting grace, 

Thy virtues mention. 

But, ah ! what mighty change has passed 
Since the brave Chief Shabbona last 
Upon the stage his vision cast. 

What grandeur looming 


Is this through which Vermilion flows 
From early morn to evening's close : 
Through towns and farms the trav'ler goes, 
Where fifty thousand souls repose ; 
The desert blossoms like the Rose 
Of Sharon blooming. 

Not Homer in his valiant crew 
Could mention more good men and true ; 
McMillen, Breckenridge and Blue, 
McDowell and Tuttle, Campbell, too, 

And other worthies not a few. 
Ye pioneers, it is to you 
The debt of gratitude is due ; 
Ye builded wiser than ye knew 

The broad foundation 
On which our superstructure stands ; 
Your strong right arms and willing hands, 
Your earnest effort still commands 

Our veneration ! 

And you, who yet upon the shore 
Of Time remain, strike hands once more, 
To-day recount your trials o' er, 
Repeat to us, from out your store, 
The legions and the early lore, 

The name of Rummery, he who found 
That famous railroad under ground ; 
Then pass the name of Corey round, 
Cornell and Sprague, their praises sound ; 
Ladd, Dehner, Fellows, Fyfe, profound 
On finance, Spafford, such names sound 

In greeting. 

We point to you, old friends, and say 
The heat and burden of the day 
You bore, and in an earnest way 

We meet you, 
Well pleased, indeed, to see you stand, 
On this glad day, a gallant band, 

Whose hands have wrought, whose brains have planned 
Such vast improvement in the land ; 
With beating heart and open hand, 

We greet you ! 

After these exercises, various old settlers made short addresses, and the day 
was spent in relating incidents and anecdotes of the early days, and a regular 
Old Settlers' Association was formed. 

The second meeting was held on the fair grounds in September, 1876. The 
third meeting was held at Fairbury, September 4, 1877, and was largely 
attended. The meeting was called to order by the President, James McDowell, 
and Dr. Fraley delivered an address of welcome. Hon. Woodford G. McDow- 


ell delivered a historical address, and letters from various distinguished persons, 
who visited the county in an early day, were read. 

The officers elected for the following year, were : President, Walter Cornell; 
Secretary, John A. Fellows ; Scribe, David Murdock ; Chaplain, Rev. James 
Parcells. The village of Cornell was chosen for its next point of meeting. 


The first religious organizations and buildings were, of course, as in all our 
new countries, by that glorious band of pious pioneer preachers, the Methodists. 
There is something so natural in their doctrines and so artless in their way of 
advancing them, that the history must be blind to one of the brightest lights 
which fails to give these plain privates their proper pla"ce in its pages. 

From here and there in the log school houses, where earnest worshipers 
alternately wept, sung and clapped their hands, have grown the full fruition of 
all those early hopes and prayers. 

The churches at present organized within the county are : Methodist (by 
Conference Report of 1877) — Fairbury, Fairbury Circuit (2), Forrest, Chats- 
worth, Avoca (2), Pontiac, Saunemin, Rook's Creek (2), Waldo and Nebraska 
(3), Reading (2), Cornell and Newtown (2), Odell, Nevada, Dwight ; total, 14 
charges, 21 churches, 2,561 members. Value of houses of worship, $83,900. 
Number of Sunday schools, 34 ; scholars, 3,243. 

Presbyterian — Pontiac, Cayuga, Dwight, Union, Fairbury, Reading, Chats- 
worth; total, 7. Membership, 560. Value of church edifices (estimated), 

Baptist — Pontiac (2), Dwight (2), Odell, Nebraska, Fairbury, Ocoya ; total, 
8. Membership estimated at about 450. 

There are six Christian churches, with an estimated membership of 400. 

There are four Congregational churches, with about 300 members. 

There are eight Roman Catholic churches in the county : Pontiac, Nebraska, 
Odell, Union (German), Dwight, Broughton, Fairbury, Chatsworth, and a 
station at Cornell, embracing, in the aggregate, 1,135 families, with probably 
not less than 3,500 communicants who have received confirmation. 

There are a few other scattering churches, or bare organizations, of which 
statistics cannot be found. 


There are Odd Fellows' Lodges at Cornell, Pontiac, Odell, Dwight, Fair- 
bury, Forrest and Chatsworth, eight in all, with a membership of 400, and 
three Encampments, with 100 members. 

There are Lodges of Master Masons at Pontiac, 84 members', Odell, 63; 
Dwight, 55 ; Fairbury, 101 ; Forrest, 40 ; Chatsworth, 37 ; Ancona, 28 ; Cor- 
nell, 14; Sullivan, 19. Total, 441. 

There are Chapters of Royal Arch Masons at Fairbury and at Odell ; and 
at Fairbury is a Commandery of the Knight Templars. 



Number of public schools sustained 250 

Number of persons between the ages of 6 and 21 13,612 

Number of male pupils enrolled 5,715 

Number of female pupils enrolled 5,346 

Number of male teachers 188 

Number of female teachers 289 

Number of graded schools 8 

Whole amount received by School Treasurers $152,619 54 

Estimated value of school property 204,875 00 

Principal of Township School Fund 207,732 31 

With the exception of Cook County, Livingston has the largest township 
school fund of any county in the State. 



The territory which is now Livingston County was, in the first division of 
the State, a portion of Cook County. After that, it became a portion of Ver- 
milion County, and hence the name of the river which flows through it, which 
had no other reason for its name, either in the color of its water or its surround- 
ings. Subsequently, in the organization of those counties, nearly all of it 
became portions of McLean and La Salle, though a portion remained attached 
to Vermilion until this organization. By act of the Legislature, approved 
and in force, February 27, 1837, Livingston was created a county with its 
present boundaries. Its name was suggested by Jesse W. Fell, and was due to 
the popular esteem in which Edward Livingston was held, in consequence of his 
being the reputed author of President Jackson's famous proclamation to the 
South Carolina nullifiers, in their first unseccessful attempt to disrupt the 

In the act of organization, James W. Piatt, of Macon County ; William B. 
Peck, of Will County, and Thompson S. Flint, of Tazewell County, were 
appointed Commissioners to locate the permanent seat of justice; and they were 
to take into consideration the convenience of the people, and the situations of 
the. settlements, with an eye to the future population. 

Edward Livingston was a native of New York, and one of the prominent 
Livingston family of that State. He removed to New Orleans on account of 
his health, and became a leading lawyer of that city. He was appointed, by 
President Jackson, Minister to England, and was recalled to take the position 
of Secretary of State, when Jackson re-organized his Cabinet, in consequence 
of his quarrel with Calhoun. He was popularly credited with being the author 
of the proclamation which "Old Hickory" sent out against the South Caroli- 
nians, when they adopted the ordinance of nullification. No more worthy 
name could have been selected for this great county than the one popularly iden- 
tified with Jackson's stern determination to maintain this Union under all 


At this date, there were no settlements to receive the commission kindly 
vouchsafed in the enabling act, except those along the river from Indian Grove 
to La Salle County ; and the entire population did not exceed 450. 

They were to meet at the house of Andrew McMillan, on the Vermilion 
River, about four miles northwest of where Pontiac now stands, on the first 
Monday in June, and proceed to examine and determine upon a place for the 
permanent seat of justice. The county seat was to be located on government 
land, or if upon private land, then the owners thereof should be required to 
donate twenty acres, or the sum of three thousand dollars, the proceeds of the 
land, or the money in lieu thereof, to be used in erecting county buildings. The 
Commissioners met and selected the ground, and accepted the offer of Henry 
Weed, Lucius and Seth M. Young, who, as proprietors of the land, proposed to 
give three thousand dollars, a block of land two hundred feet square on which 
to put the Court House, and an acre of land not more than thirty rods distant 
from the Court House block, on which a jail was to be built, and an estray pen, 
and agreed, further, to build a good and substantial wagon bridge across the Ver- 
milion River at that point. They gave their bond, signed by themselves as 
principals, and C. H. Perry, who was the first merchant in the county, James 
McKee, who was interested in the water privilege at Pontiac, and J. W. Fell, as 
sureties for the faithful performance of the contract. 

By the enabling act, an election was to be held at the house of Andrew 
McMillan, on the second Monday in May, for a Sheriff, Coroner, Recorder, 
County Surveyor and three County Commissioners, to serve until the next 
regular election in August, 1838. This election was held, and officers were 
duly elected to launch the new county on the stormy sea of political existence : 
Joseph Reynolds, Sheriff; Robert Breckenridge, Jonathan Moore and Daniel 
Rockwood, County Commissioners, who met May 18, and organized, appoint- 
ing Abram W. Beard, Clerk. That there was the usual amuount of log-rolling 
and managing to secure the location of the county seat is more than probable, 
as at the next session of the Legislature held after the location was made, an 
act was passed providing for an election in the new county to determine whether 
the county seat should be changed from its location. 

The County Commissioners for a time held their meetings at McMillan's. 
There were three voting precincts in the county ; the upper was called Indian 
Grove ; the middle one Center, and the one in the northwestern portion of the 
county Bayou. 

The Commissioners, at their first meeting, ordered that "All horses over 
three years old, and all horned cattle over three years old, all sheep over one 
year old. all wagons, carriages, clocks, watches, jacks, jennies, mules, etc., are 
considered as being taxable property, upon which there shall be a tax of f per 
cent." The Court also ordered that an election should be held in the several 
precincts for the election of Justices of the Peace and Constables, on the 24th 
of June, and appointed John Recob, Treasurer, who gave bond in $1,000. At 


the session of the Court July 11th, Cornelius W. Reynolds was granted a 
license to keep a store for a year on payment of $5. Sept. 4th, Court appoint- 
ed Matthias I. Ross, Clerk. Dec. 4th, James C. McMillan was appointed first 
School Commissioner. The Sheriff having failed to receive his commission, the 
Court appointed Joseph W. Reynolds, Collector, of Taxes. 

At the March term, 1838, the Court prepared the first list of grand and 
petit jurors, which embraced such well known names as Darnall, Spence, Moore, 
Isaac Wilson, Popejoy, Blue, McMillan, Edgington, Barrackman, Boyer, Nor- 
ton, Moon, Steere and Donah o, who, or their representatives, still remain with 
us. It is not known that these juries performed any duty, as, by the records 
of the Circuit Court, no term of Court was held until October, 1839, at which 
Court there was no Clerk arid no grand or petit jury, the Clerk, Henry Weed, 
having removed from the county. Joseph Reynolds, Sheriff, presented at this 
term his settlement with the Treasurer, and presented a receipt for §68.71. 

For the following year, the Court added to the taxable property " All town 
lots, hogs over one year old, stock in trade, farm and household utensils, money 
loaned, houses, mills and factories." 

The first general election held in the county was the State election, the 
first Monday in August, 1838. At that election there were cast for Governor: 
For Cyrus Edwards, 45 ; for Thomas Carlin, 59. For Member of Congress — 
S. A. Douglas, 62; J. T. Stewart, 46. For county officers, the votes were: 
For County Commissioner — Uriah Springer, 90 ; Albert Moon, 60 ; William 
Popejoy, 59 ; Robert Breckenridge, 41 ; Robert Smith, 29. For Sheriff — 
Nicholas Hefner, 65 ; Joseph Reynolds, 31. For Coronor — Simeon Mead, 
45; Ambrose Sprague, 17. For Clerk — James S. Munson, 58; Matthias 
Ross, 34. For Recorder — James S. Munson, 60 ; Truman Rutherford, 34. 
For Surveyor — Isaac Whitaker, 59 ; Franklin Oliver, 41. 

The county formed a legislative district with Kane, De Kalb, La Salle and 
Iroquois Counties. Joseph H. Churchill and Wm. Stadden were elected Rep- 
resentatives at that election. John T. Stewart was elected to Congress from 
this district, which embraced all the State north of- Springfield, the " Little 
Giant" being for the time defeated. In drawing for seats by the County Com- 
missioners, Uriah Springer, who was absent, drew the three years term, Albert 
Moon two years and Wm. Popejoy one year. This Court had more bills to pay 
than its predecessor. Among them was one to Henry Weed for " $4.12J for 
paper, sand and ink, used by him as Circuit Clerk up to this time." Just how 
much of it was for sand, the bill fails to mention ; but it should be remembered 
in honor of Livingston County, that it paid for the sand its first Circuit Clerk 
used. April 9, 1839, the Court appointed the first Assessors, one for each 
precinct— Robert Smith for Indian Grove Precinct, Andrew McMillan for 
Center, and John Dermey.for Bayou— and ordered that seventy cents on $100 
be levied and collected on certain property, among which is this singular item : 
" Slaves and servants of color." It is not generally known that the laws of 


this State at that time, or at any time, recognized property in human chat- 
tels, but such was the revenue law of 1839. Robert Smith was appointed 
School Commissioner. 

At the general election in August, 1839, Truman Rutherford was elected 
Probate Justice of the Peace, an office which had jurisdiction in all probate 
business ; Lemuel White, County Commissioner ; C. W. Reynolds, Recorder 
and County Court Clerk ; Jacob Moon, Treasurer ; Isaac Burgit, Coroner ; 
Franklin Oliver, Surveyor ; W. G. Hubbard and J. C. McMillan, Justices of 
the Peace. 

Eighty-one votes were given for and fifty -six votes against removing county 
seat. Seventy-eight votes' were given for removing to the location offered by 
Rockwood, Hubbard and Weed, at a point about four or five miles up the river 
from Pontiac, where fifty acres of land were offered ; the bond for the donation 
having been approved by the court. 

This vote was taken by virtue of an act passed March 1, 1839, directing a 
vote to be taken at the August election, for and against re-locating the county 
seat, by which it was provided that, if two-thirds of all the votes cast were for 
removal, and a majority were for removal to any place named, then the county 
seat should be removed. It lacked a few votes of the required two-thirds, 
though a majority favored Rockwood's. 

On the 3d day of December, 1839, the County Commissioners entered into 
a contract with the proprietor of the town for the erection of a Court House, to 
be 22x30 feet, two stories high ; to be built and completed within twelve months 
after " there is sufficient rise in the Vermilion River to allow the proprietors of 
the saw-mill to put said mill in operation." When completed, the Commission- 
ers were to cancel and deliver up the bond which had been given for the loca- 
tion of the county seat. 

At the genera] election held in August, 1840, the following vote was cast : 
For State Senator — John Moore, 62 ; David Davis, 38. For Representative, 
Welcom P. Brown, 62 : I. T. Gildersleeve, 61 ; Asahel Gridley, 38 ; Isaac 
Funk, 38; A. R. Dodge, 14; L. W. Leek, 32. For Sheriff— Garrett M. Blue, 
66 ; John Foster, 29. Davis M. Pendell was elected Coroner ; Andrew Mc- 
Millan and Nicholas Hefner, County Commissioners. There is no record of 
the vote at Presidential or Congressional election. 

John W. Reynolds was appointed School Commissioner, and qualified under 
a bond for $12,000. 

The Court extended the time for building the Court House to May 1, 1841; 
and John Foster received an order for $5.00, for use of his room for holding 
Circuit Court. 

Robert Smith and John Blue were appointed Assessors. 

In 1841, Daniel Barrackman was elected County Commissioner ; Samuel 
Boyer, School Commissioner ; S. S. Mead, Assessor ; W. G. McDowell was 
appointed Collector, and D. S. Ebersol was appointed Clerk of the Court. 





At a meeting of the County Court, July 23, 1842, the Court House was 
accepted and occupied. 

After the census of 1840, the State was re-apportioned for Congressional 
Representatives, giving seven Representatives instead of three, as heretofore. 

This county was in the Fourth District, which first elected John Wentworth 
to Congress. He remained our Representative as long as we remained in that 
District. Previous to this, John T. Stewart, of Springfield, had been our 

At the election held in 1843, the following vote was cast : For Congress- 
John Wentworth, 111 ; Giles Spring, 66. For County Commissioner — Charles 
Jones, 84 ; Augustus Fellows, 50. For County Clerk, D. S. Ebersol, 122 ; 
Wm. K. Brown, 28.. For School Commissioner — Samuel Boyer, 136. For 
Recorder — D. S. Ebersol, 121 ; S. C. Ladd, 16. For Probate Justice — Truman 
Rutherford, 82 ; Wm. K. Brown, 49. For Treasurer — Truman Rutherford, 92 ; 
Lyman Bergit, 45. For Surveyor — Amos Edwards, 67 ; Orin Phelps, 39 ; 
Franklin Oliver, 38. 

At a special election held in November, the following votes were cast : For 
Probate Justice — Andrew McMillan, 46 ; Augustus Fellows, 37 ; S. S. Mead, 
5. For County Treasurer and Assessor — McMillan, 46 ; Fellows, 37 ; Mead, 5. 

At the August Election in 1844, for Member of Congress, John Wentworth 
received 110 ; B. S. Morris, 61. For State Senator, S. G. Nesbitt received 
106 ; G. W. Powers, 66. For Representative, James Robinson received 106 ; 
E. B. Myers, 63. For County Commissioner, Andrew McDowell received 104 ; 
Walter Cornell, 65. For Sheriff, R. P. Breckenndge received 97 ; Thomas 
Sawyer, 71. For Coroner, John Blue, 113. 

At the Presidential election in November, James K. Polk received 109 ; 
Henry Clay, 66. Birney did not receive any votes in the county. 

On the 2d day of December, the following minute is entered of record : 
" This day comes Andrew McMillan, Treasurer of Livingston County, and 
makes settlement with the Court, and pays over to the Court $13.00 in county 
orders and 20 cents in specie, it being the whole amount of funds received by 
him." It is hardly necessary to add that McMillan did not default to the county 
during his term. 

In 1845, the same Treasurer reported and turned over without default, 20 
cents in silver. There is no record of what his commissions amounted to. 

At the March Term, 1845, Hugh Taylor was rented the jury room, for a 
store, and the court room for three months, on paying $3.00 per month. 

Andrew McMillan was appointed to take the census for that year. 

At the June Term of the County Court, D. S. Ebersol resigned the Clerk- 
ship, and S. C. Ladd was appointed Clerk. 

At the regular election in August, Murrell Breckenridge was elected County 
Commissioner; Augustus Fellows, School Commissioner; S. C. Ladd, Clerk; 
S. S. Mead, Coroner. And at a special election in December, S. C. Ladd was 
elected Recorder. ° 


And again, Hugh Taylor appears of record in the following : 

Ordered, That Hugh Taylor & Co. romove their goods, chattels, etc., out of the Court House 
by the 1st day of November next ; and if they should fail to do so, then they shall pay additional 

As they were already paying the sum of $3.00 a month, this seemed like a 
threat to ruin their business. 

At the regular election held in August, 1846, A. C. French, for Governor, 
received 124 votes ; T. M. Kilpatrick, 60. John Wentworth, for Congress, 
received 124 votes ; John Kerr, 58. James Robinson, for Representative, 
received 122 votes ; Bissell Chubbuck, 42. R. P. Breckenridge was elected 
Sheriff; Charles Jones, County Commissioner, and John Blue, Coroner. 

In 1847, Isaac Hodgson was elected Commissioner ; S. C. Ladd, Clerk. 

In September, the County Court contracted with Henry Jones, J. H. De- 
moss and Philip Rollings to build the bridge over the river at Pontiac, for $450. 

An election was held in March, 1848, to vote upon the new Constitution 
and the separate articles. The vote was, for the Constitution, 71 ; against it, 
25. For the separate article in relation to colored people, there were 89 
votes ; against it, 12. For the two-mill tax, which was intended to pay off the 
long past due State debt, 71 votes ; against it, 35. 

At the regular election in August, the vote for Governor was : For A. C. 
French, 135. For Congress, John Wentworth, 108 ; John Y. Scammon, 62. 
For Senator, Wm. Reddick, 131. Murrell Breckenridge was elected Sheriff; 
Henry Jones, County Commissioner, and John Blue, Coroner. 

At the judicial election in September under the new constitution, John D. 
Caton received eighty votes for Supreme Court Judge ; Lorenzo Leland, seventy- 
seven votes for Clerk of the Supreme Court; B. F. Fridgley, sixty -three votes 
for Judge of the Ninth Circuit ; T. Lyle Dickey, forty-seven for Judge ; Bur- 
ton C. Cook, eighty votes for State's Attorney, and S. C. Ladd, eighty votes 
for Circuit Clerk. 

At this election, Dickey was elected Judge, and was for some years our Cir- 
cuit Judge. 

At the Presidential election, Cass received 130 vote's ; Taylor, 82 votes ; 
and for the first time in our history as a county, the third party received a vote. 
Four votes were cast for the Van Buren electoral ticket, upon which were the 
names of such veteran Abolitionists as President Jonathan Blanchard. For the 
first time also, the vote indicates a healthy increase of population in the county. 
Up to this year, the vote had been very nearly uniform. 

In March, 1849, the bridge which had just been completed and accepted 
by the court was carried away by a freshet, and Rollings and Demoss were 
ordered to save what they could of it, and report what portion of it could be 

At the election May 20th, M. B. Patty and L. E. Rhoades were elected 
County Commissioners At the November election, J. C. McMillan received 


161 votes for County Judge; S. Miller, 2. S. 0. Ladd, 137 for Clerk; 
Jason Tuttle, 8. James Bradley, 114 for County Justice of the Peace; Philip 
Rollings, 95 for same : W. G. McDowell, 55. Franklin Oliver, 73 votes for 
Surveyor ; Amos Edwards, 53. Walter Cornell was elected School Commis- 
sioner, and J. D. Garner, Coroner. 55 votes were given for township organiza- 
tion out of a total of 164 votes cast ; not a majority. 

That all the offices were not vastly remunerative is evidenced by the following 
order at the October term of the Commissioners' Court : " Ordered, that Andrew 
McMillan be allowed ten dollars ($10) for services as County Treasurer for two 

The County Court under the new Constitution organized December 31. 
1849. J. C. McMillan, County Judge ; Philip Rollings and James Bradley, 
County Justices, and S. C. Ladd, Clerk. 

At this time first appeared the constitutional clause in the oath of office : " I 
do solemnly swear that I have not fought a duel, nor sent or accepted a chal- 
lenge to fight a duel, the probable issue of which might have been the death of 
either party, nor been a second to either party, nor in any way aided or assisted 
in such duel, nor been knowingly the bearer of such challenge since the adop- 
tion of the Constitution, nor will be engaged in such duel during my continuance 
in office." 

That our foremost citieens earned their bread in those days is drawn from the 
following recorded order : " Ordered, that John A. Fellows be allowed sixty- two 
and one-half cents for chopping wood for county." It does not appear whether 
his services, like McMillan's, were of two years' duration. 

Murrell Breckenridge was elected County Judge at a special election in Sep- 
tember, 1850. Henry Loveless was elected Sheriff, and Joseph Springer Coro- 
ner, in November. At the regular election in 1852, the vote for Secretary of 
State was for Alexander Starne, Democrat, 209 ; B. S. Morris, Whig, 161 ; 
, Erastus Wright, Anti-slavery, 11. 

For State's Attorney, D. P. Jenkins, 158 votes; M. E. Hollister, 85 ; W. 
H. L. Wallace, 22. For State Senator, Burton C. Cook, 207; William 
Paul, 10. 

For Representatives, C. I. Starlech, 207 votes ; C. R. Patton, 203 ; A. A. 
Fisher, 159 ; George M. Radcliffe, 156 ; William Strawn, 26. Strawn was on 
the" Anti-slavery or Abolition ticket. 

The four Anti-slavery votes of 1848 seem to have grown into eleven this year, 

Mr. Wallace, notwithstanding his small vote for State's Attorney in the 
county, was elected, and proved a very acceptable officer. He was a son-in-law 
of Judge Dickey, and went with him into the army, where he yielded up his 
life at'Shiloh. He is spoken of as a brilliant lawyer and a very popular man. 

No record of the Presidential and Congressional vote of that year is found ; 
but it must have been about the same as above — Democratic, 208 votes ; Whig, 
160 ; Abolition, 11. Total 379, indicating a population of about 2,000. 


In 1853, the number of voting precincts had been increased by addition of 
Reading, New Michigan, Mud Creek and Avoca Precincts. Any inhabitant of 
the county will recognize these localities, although the precincts are known to 
the law no longer. 

The vote at that election was: For County Judge — Billings P. Babcock, 243 
votes ; John Hoobler, 133. For Clerk, George W. Boyer, 221 ; 0. Chubbuck, 
118. For ^Associate Justice, D. Mcintosh, 4 ; J. P. Garner, 74 ; Eli Myer, 
278 ; John Darnall, 228. For Treasurer and Assessor, Walter Cornell, 
272 ; Philip Rollings, 94. County Surveyor — James Stout, 156 ; Charles 
Hustin, 73; Amos Edwards, 48 ; Nelson Buck, 58; E. B.Oliver, 21. For 
School Commissioner — Joseph A. Hews, 118 ; Eli Meyer, 103 ; H. H. Hin- 
man, 134. 

This list, together with those elected to the minor offices at this election, 
embraces many names new to the records of the county, but which are now 
familiar as household words. The Breckenridges, the McMillans and other 
old families seem to have given way all at once to such new blood and new 
material as B. P. Babcock, James Stout, Louderback, Hinman, Boyer, Chub- 
buck and Mcintosh, although Darnall seems to have have retained a place in 
official life. 

New life was coming into the county. The first dash of the tidal wave of 
immigration was reaching us. The Chicago & Mississippi and Illinois Central 
Railroads were being built. Of the men whose names appear above, whose 
lives are well remembered, are B. P. Babcock, who, after a faithful term as 
County Judge, where he displayed the same clear, cautious and honest care in 
public which has always marked his private affairs, is now one of the largest 
farmers in the county, owning two splendid sections of land, upon which is 
Babcock's Grove, of which Isaac Funk once said, that " next to Elkhart Grove, 
he thought nature had made this the handsomest spot in this whole glorious 
State." Geo. W. Boyer, as his records in the different offices of this county 
show, was a singularly neat and efficient Clerk. Orlando Chubbuck, after 
having served an apprenticeship as an honest farmer and faithful citizen, read 
law, and now practices the same in La Salle County. David Mcintosh, among 
many other, perhaps, as honorable things, has once faithfully served us in the 
Legislature. Jerome Garner was one of the first local attorneys at law. Eli Myer 
has passed away, leaving an honored name, which is kept alive by a large family 
of descendants. Walter Cornell still upholds the faith that has led him thus far, 
an honored, esteemed and beloved old man. Rollins is still with us, though he 
long since eschewed politics and office holding. Nelson Buck, after several 
terms of official service, and many years of active life, received an appointment 
to survey in Western Nebraska, and was, in 1869, massacred by the^Sioux. 
H. H. Hinman still faithfully serves his day and generation as a missionary, 
after having lived many years in Africa. He now represents the Anti-Secret- 
Society Association in its crusade against Masonry and kindred clans. He was 


one of the first to espouse Abolition sentiments in the county, and never let his 
light be hid under a bushel, or anything else. James Stout — no one living in 
the county from '55 to 70 but knows the intrepid, earnest, positive, lively, 
jagged and, perhaps, " sassy " Jim Stout. In early life, he had tried teaching 
school in Kentucky, but gave more attention to teaching the negroes the ety- 
mology of the word "freedom " than his employers approved of, and he left 
town between two days, without calling around to get his wages, and believes to 
this day that blood-hounds were on his track until he forded the Ohio River. 
With a not very passive nature, the little experience he had there set every drop 
of blood in him on fire, and he became the fiery champion of down-trodden 
Africa from that hour. He was possessed of a vast fund of indignation, and 
never failed to surround all his efforts with the glitter of attraction which that 
gave. At one time he helped " steal a nigger," as the phrase went, the story 
of which must have a place here. A fugitive slave had been taken and was 
before the court at Ottawa, to have his case legally determined. Stout, with some 
other Abolitionists, was in attendance. With most of them, it was probably 
their first experience, and no well developed plan was agreed upon how they 
might best help the slave. After as patient a hearing as could be given under 
the great excitement, the Court decided that the fugitive must be sent back to 
his master. While the opinion of the Court was being delivered, a breathless 
silence reigned in the court room. The Abolitionists, embracing many who 
hardly accepted that title, were undecided. The crisis had arrived, and. Stout, 
carried away with excitement, sprang upon a table and shouted, " I move we 
form ourselves into a committee of the whole, to carry this poor slave back to 
slavery and bondage ! " The entire room was at once in an uproar which passes 
all description. While attention was thus called to the mover of this resolution, 
the slave was spirited out of the window, put into a close carriage and, quicker 
than it can bs told, was on his way to Canada. The parties engaged in this 
rescue were arrested and tried for the crime, for it was a crime to help a fugitive 
away. Stout refused to employ any counsel, refused the aid of the Court; who 
offered to assign him a legal adviser, and persisted in defending his own case, 
and by his quick, sharp wit, he was cleared. All that could certainly be proved 
against him was his motion. His line of defense was that he had only proposed 
to carry the fugitive back to slavery and bondage, but the prosecution endeavored 
to show by the witness, Judge Caton of the State Court, before whom the 
former hearing had been had, that Stout, the defendant, did not mean what he 
said when he proposed to carry the slave back to bondage. The question was 
asked Judge Caton, " What is your opinion of the intent of the defendant in 
making that remark?" "I object! " shouted Stout. In the course of the 
discussion which followed, in regard to the right of an answer to the question, 
Stout sprang to his feet and demanded " a subpoena for God Almighty ! He is 
the only one who knows my intent." Defendants were not then competent 
witnesses. The Sheriff jocularly remarked that he would find it difficult to 


serve such a subpoena. Stout sharply retorted, " You can, for it is written, 
' He will be found of those who diligently seek Him.' '" This turned the tide, 
and he was acquitted, while the others were convicted and fined. Mr. Stout, 
after being several years editor and proprietor of the Pontiae Sentinel, was 
appointed, in 1869, Receiver of Public Moneys, at Boise City, Idaho, by President 
Grant, where he now resides. He was possessed of more fire for the fluid ounces 
of blood he contained, and more fight to the square inch, than any resident of 
Livingston County, unless history is at fault. 

At the election in 1854, which occurred in the midst of the political excite- 
ment in regard to Kansas, the county seems for the first time to have given 
majorities for the Whig and Anti-slavery, or, rather, Anti-Nebraska candidates. 
The vote for Congressman was : For Jesse 0. Norton, 319 ; J. N. Drake, 207. 
For Representatives — F. S. Day, 317 ; David Strawn, 331 ; J. L. McCormick, 
185 ; George W. Armstrong, 201. For Sheriff— W. B. Lyon, 187 ; M. Breck- 
enridge, 133 ; M. B. Patty, 69 ; Jerome P. Garner, 104. For Coroner — Laban 
Frakes, 178; Jacob Streamer, 171; Ira Loveless, 118. For Surveyor — T. F. Nor- 
ton, 267 ; I. R. Clark, 80; N. Buck, 115. Jesse O. Norton was a Whig, a resident 
of Joliet, and has been nearly all the time in public life since that election until 
his death about two years ago. Of the Representatives voted for that year, two 
are well known in the county. G. W. Armstrong has served more terms in the 
Legislature of this State, probably, than any man now living. David Strawn, 
though not a resident of the county, had a large landed interest in it, and was 
subsequently the builder of the Chicago & Paducah Railroad. In 1855, Walter 
Cornell was elected Treasurer and Assessor ; H. H. Hinman, School Commis- 
sioner; I. R. Clark, Surveyor ;• Thomas Croswell, Coroner. Dwight Precinct 
had been added. No records of the important election of 1856 are on file. At 
the election of 1857, two more precints had been added — Nebraska and Days, 
the latter embracing what is now Broughton and Round Grove. At this 
election, about 1,000 votes were cast. For County Judge the vote was : For 
Henry Jones, 510 ; O. Chubbuck, 436. For Associte Justice — John Darnall, 
469 ; J. P. Morgan, 497 ; Decatur Veatch, 453 ; Jacob Angle, 473. 
For Clerk— S. S. Saul, 525; S. L. Manker, 427. For School Commis- 
sioner — J. H. Hagerty, 480 ; J. W. Strevell, 465. For Surveyor — -Nelson Buck> 
493 ; James Stout, 444. For Treasurer — J. R. Woolverton, 488 ; James Gib- 
son, 447. For Township organization, 738 ; against, 40. This was the last 
election held under the old county organization. Township organization went 
into effect the next year. 

The election of 1858 will ever remain a memorable one. Douglas and 
Lincoln were before the people of the State as representatives of the two politi- 
cal ideas of the day. Douglas had separated from the President, and stood 
upon the platform of Popular Territorial Self-Government, called in derision, 
" Squatter Sovereignty," holding the doctrine that the people of each Territory 
had the inherent right to decide for themselves whether they would have 


slavery in the Territory or not ; Lincoln, the chosen representative of all the 
various shades of political and moral opponents of slavery, conservative himself, 
held strongly the view that slavery could not be interfered with in States 
where it already existed, could be prohibited in Territories by Congress, and 
in States it could only be abolished by State authority. 

These two leaders were candidates for the United States Senate, and made 
a very thorough canvass of the State. There was a third ticket in the field, 
which represented the ultra State Rights doctrine, that slavery -could not even 
be kept out of a Territory, either by State or Territorial authority, but as 
property, slavery would go wherever the Constitution went. This ticket, how- 
ever, seems to have got but two votes in the county, one at Pontiac and one in 
Dwight. If this was, as was said at the time, a Postmaster's ticket, it probably 
could not now receive those two Postmaster's votes. A rapid increase of 
population, together with the excitement consequent on the interesting contest 
increased the Vote to double that of the year before. The county gave about 
200 majority to the Republican ticket. There were then twenty-three town- 
ships in the county. The vote was : For State Treasurer — James Miller, 
1,001 ; "William B. Fondy, 789. For Superintendent of Instruction — Newton 
Bateman, 998 ; A. C. French, 790. For Congress— Owen Lovejoy, 986; G. 
W. Armstrong, 794. For Representatives — Alexander Campbell, 1,003 ; R: 
S. Hick, 1,000 ; S. C. Collins, 784 ; William Cogswell, 776. For Sheriff- 
William T. Russell, 987 ; Joshua C. Mills, 806. 

At the special election in 1859, W. G. McDowell was elected County 
Judge, and in November, the vote for Treasurer was : For Philip Cook, 739 ; J. 
S. Gumm, 620. For School CommissioHer : I. T. Whittemore, 728; A.E.- 
Harding, 616. For Surveyor : B. W. Gower, 498 ; T. F. Norton, 442 ; N. 
Buck, 417. 

The interest taken in the Presidential election of 1860 was sufficient to call 
out a very full vote. The entire vote polled was 2,563. Lincoln received 
1,475; Douglas, 1,088. The majority of Yates and Hoffman was about the 
same. For Congress, Owen Lovejoy received 1,451 ; R. N. Murray, 1,097. 
It is interesting to notice that in all these recorded votes, Lovejoy always lacks 
a few of the full party vote. He was such a pronounced Abolitionist that, 
probably, in nearly every county, there were some who called themselves Re- 
publicans who would not vote for him. Way down in the heart of many others 
who did vote for him, there was undoubtedly a rebellion against voting for so 
pronounced an Abolitionist. Still, he was one of the most brilliant men of his 
day. Those who had the opportunity to hear him on the canvass will remem- 
ber him to their dying day, as one of the very ablest and most interesting pub- 
lic speakers they ever heard. To those who used to hear him in the pulpit, 
before he became an official, the same clear elucidation of doctrine,; the same 
fearful, rugged, pointed portraiture of wrong and error, is well remembered. 
The vote for State Senator for that year was : For Washington Bushnell, 1,464 ; 


for John Hise, 1,074. For Representatives — A. J. Cropsey, 1,474 ; J. W. New- 
port, 1,475; H. H. Brower, 1,092 ; Daniel Evans, 1,097. For Circuit Clerk- 
James W. Remick, 1,345 ; Ben. W. Gray, 1,229. For Sheriff— E. R. Maples, 
1,547 ; James M. Perry, 1,023. For Coroner— Thos. Croswell, 1,475 ; T. B. 
Norton, 1,043. For State's Attorney— C. H. Wood, 927 ; G. H. Watson, 859 ; 
Joshua Whitmore, 829. For Constitutional Convention, 1,743 ; against, 120. 

The election of Col. Cropsey as Representative marked the first election of 
a citizen of the county to either house of the General Assembly. Heretofore, 
candidates had been selected from other counties in the district, this county not 
being deemed of sufficient importance to be entitled to representation. He soon 
left us, however, for he early went into the military service, and soon after 
removed to Nebraska, where he has been honored with more distinguished official 

At the June election in 1861, the unanimous vote of the county was given 
to Hon. C. R. Starr for Circuit Judge, who remained upon our bench until he 
resigned in 1866. 

At the November election, in this year, there were three tickets in the field. 
A Union ticket was formed, which was composed of an equal number of Dem- 
ocrats and Republicans. Disaffection was caused in both parties, However, and 
party or independent tickets were named. For Delegates to the Constitutional 
Convention of that year, Perry A. Armstrong received 1,153 votes, and Alex- 
ander Campbell 1,115. On county officers the vote was: For County Judge 
—Jonathan Duff, 918 ; N. S. Grandy, 191 ; W. J. McDowell, 245. For Clerk 
— R. B. Harrington, 822 ; J. F. Culver, 511. For Treasurer — Samuel Max- 
well, 818 ; J. R. Woolverton, 312 •„ T. W. Brydia, 224. For Surveyor- 
Nelson Buck, 925 ; T. F. Norton, 403. For School Commissioner— J. W. 
Smith, 1,096 ; C. M. Lee, 217. 

The. Union ticket was elected, but it did not stop the war. 

Robert B. Harrington and Samuel Maxwell, who this year came into 
official notice, were influential men, and both very popular and efficient officers. 
Mr. Maxwell removed to Missouri soon after his two years' term closed. Mr. 
Harrington served two full terms as Clerk, and after a short but eventful resi- 
dence in Mississippi, struck Nebraska, and at Beatrice now serves the public 
acceptably as Receiver in the Land Office. 

In June, the new proposed Constitution was submitted, and received 852 votes 
to 1,466 against. This Constitution was not adopted by the vote of the State. 

At the November election, the vote for State Treasurer was — Wm. O. Butler, 
1,099 ; Alex. Starne, 938. For Sheriff— Job E. Dye received 1,-036 votes, and 
S. H. Putnam, 902. For Coroner— Thomas Croswell, 1,056 ; S. B. Norton, 
971. For Congress (at large)— E. C. Ingersoll, 1,096; J. C. Allen, 954. For 
Congress, Eighth District— Leonard Swett, 1,110 ; John T. Stewart, 938. For 
Member of Legislature— J. O. Dent, 950 ; T. C. Gibson, 950 ; M. B. Patty, 
976 ; A. A. Fisher, 1,085 ; Franklin Corwin, 1,098 ; Albert Parker, 1,097. 


This county composed, with La Salle, a district, and the three former were 
elected by 150 majority. Of these latter, Mr. Corwin was after this repeatedly 
elected, was twice elected Speaker of the House, and afterward represented his 
district (the seventh) in Congress. 

In 1863, M E. Collins was elected Treasurer, Nelson Buck Surveyor, and 
,0. F. Pearre School Commissioner. 

The Presidential vote in 1864 was : For Abraham Lincoln, 1,746 ; George 
B. McClellan, 1,100. Seven towns — Nebraska, Reading, Rook's Creek, Belle 
Prairie, Sullivan, Owego and Nevada — gave Democratic majorities, the latter two 
by only one majority each. R. J. Oglesby for Governor, William Bross for 
Lieutenant Governor, Sharon Tyndale for Secretary of State, 0. H. Miner for 
Auditor, James H. Beveridge for Treasurer, Newton Bateman for Superin- 
tendent, S. W. Moulton for Congress (at large), S. M. Cullom for Congress, 
Washington Bushnell for Senator, and Franklin Corwin, John Miller and 
Jason W. Strevell for Representatives, each received 650 majority. Wm. T. 
Ament was elected State's Attorney, B. W. Capron Coroner, and Amos Hart 
Sheriff by the same average vote. This was Mr. Cullom's first election to 
Congress, although he had already served the Springfield District in the Legis- 
lature, was Speaker of the House, and had been a candidate for Congress at a 
preceding election. He continued to be our Representative in Congress until 
1871. He subsequently served two -terms in the Legislature, and was then 
elected Governor. 

The elettion in 1865 was an exceedingly exciting one, arousing animosities 
which were not allayed in years. The large Republican majorities given at the 
last election discouraged the Democracy, while the recent return of so large a 
body of Union soldiers who had been for years promised by those who served 
in the grand army of stay-at-homes, that when "this cruel war was over" they 
should certainly be remembered in the distribution of offices, that the Democ- 
racy were easily led to unite with the soldiers in the support of a distinctly 
soldiers' ticket. True, nearly all the candidates on both tickets were soldiers, 
but the one was known as Republican and the other as the Soldiers' ticket. 

The vote was: For Judge — J. F. Culver, 1,034 ; James Stout, 575. For 
Clerk— R. B. Harrington, 969 ; George W. Rice, 840. For Treasurer— Hugh 
Thompson, 1,077 ; B. F. Hotchkiss, 729; for Superintendent of Schools— H. H. 
Hill, 910 ; Hugh Pound, 895. For Surveyor— A. E. Huetson, 1,013 ; Nelson 
Buck, 772. Of these gentlemen, B. F. Hotchkiss was for many years Chair- 
man of the Board of Supervisors, and was elected Surveyor, a position he 
resigned, and took up his home in Nebraska. In his new home, the citizens 
will find him a valuable and worthy man, true to convictions, and one whom to 
know is to love and respect. Mr. Huetson, after serving repeated terms as Sur- 
veyor, left us for Dako'ta Territory, where he can but make himself a useful 
and honored citizen. H. H. Hill was a successful school teacher when elected 
Superintendent, and served two terms in that capacity. Under his administra- 


tion of this responsible position, the schools of the county rapidly increased in 
efficiency, and still feel the effect of his laborious, methodical and conscientious 
work. Soon after retiring from office, he took up his residence in Chicago, 
where he is engaged in business. 

At the election in 1866, over 3,300 votes were cast, and the average major- 
ity for Republican candidates was 1,100. Franklin Corwin, Elmer Baldwin 
and Capt. Wm. Strawn were elected from this district to the Legislature, over 
Douglas Hapeman, James Clark and Capt. M. L. Payne. The vote for county 
officers was : For Sheriff — James H. Gaff, 2,188 ; James Kirby, 1,115. For 
Coroner — Thomas Croswell, 2,231 ; Eben Norton, 1,117. 

Capt. M. L. Payne, whose candidacy appeared at this election, was a well- 
knuwn citizen of the county for many years. He served as Captain of a com- 
pany raised at Danville, in the Black Hawk war; as Captain in the Mexican 
war, and subsequently as a Captain in the war against rebellion. He was a 
man of great energy and indomitable courage. He died of cancer, in May, 
1878, and was buried with military honors, in the cemetery at Pontiac. 

Hon. Elmer Baldwin, after his service in the Legislature, served one term 
in the State Senate, and is the author of the very complete and valuable His- 
tory of La Salle County, recently published. 

At the judicial election in June, Charles H. Wood received 897 votes for 
Judge of the Twentieth Circuit, and Geo. B. Joiner, 221. W. M. Taylor, 
1,181 votes for Clerk of the Supreme Court; S. G. McFadden, 43. 

In November, the vote was : For County Treasurer — Wm. B. Ifyfe, 1,398 ; 
J. I. Dunlop,738 ; John Dehner, 597. For Surveyor— A. C. Huetson, 1,525 ; 
E. B. Neville, 615 ; N. Buck, 555. Keeping up stock — For, 1,249 ; against, 
977. This vote was under the provisions of a law, by which the county was 
to determine whether it would permit cattle to run at large or not. The 
adoption of the law rendered the expensive system of fencing unnecessary. 
No single act did as much to aid in the development of the county ; yet 
it caused violent opposition and litigation, quarrels, and at least one death. Its 
application to this county was due to Capt. Strawn, and it nearly defeated his 
renomination to the Legislature the next year. 

In 1868, 5,595 votes were cast, the average Republican majority being 
about 1,320. Four towns only gave Democratic majorities : Reading, 2 ; Sun- 
bury, 1 ; Belle Prairie, 6 ; Nevada, 33. 

The vote for President was: For U. S. Grant, 3,448; for Horatio Sey- 
mour, 2,132. For Congress— S. M. Cullum, 3,447 ; B. S. Edwards, 2,134. 
For Senator— J. W. Strevell, 3,403 ; Julius Avery, 2,146. For Representa- 
tives— Wm. Strawn, 3,385 ; F. Corwin, 3,446 ; Samuel Wiley, 3,425 ; Moses 
Osman, 2,149; E. B. Wood, 2,147; B. M. Armstrong, 2,132. For State's 
Attorney — Mason B. Loomis was elected. For Circuit Clerk — J. E. Morrow, 
3,476 ; W. W. Sears, 2,117. For Sheriff— Geo. H. Wentz, 3,422 ; W. H. 
Cleland, 2,144. 


This was the first time in our history that a citizen of this county was elected 
to the State Senate. 

To the Constitutional Convention in 1869, the following were elected from 
this district (La Salle and Livingston) : N. J. Pillsbury, Joseph Hart, Geo. S. 
Eldredge, over Jonathan Duff, J! D. Caton and G. W. Armstrong. 

The vote for county officers was : For Judge — L. E. Payson, 1,896 ; A. E. 
Harding, 1,126; Hiram Parsons, 108*. For Clerk— Byron Phelps, 1,806 ; 
R. B. Hanna, 1,224 ; Eben Norton, 124*. For Treasurer— Aaron Weider, 
1,844 ; J. Mcllduff, 1,226 ; R. G. Morton, 103*. For Surveyor— A. 0. 
Huetson, 1,921 ; Charles Smith, 1,127 ; M. McCabe, 105*. For School Com- 
missioner— H. H. Hill, 1,659 ; Dr. M. Woolley, 1,182 ; A. D. Jones, 21. 

The following townships voted for or against township subscription to the 
Fairbury, Pontiac & Northwestern R. R. Co.: 


Amity 90 9 

Eppard's Point 67 25 

Newtown 76 49 

Pontiac 374 6 

Esmen 75 

Indian Grove 273 211 

Avoca 65 63 

Owego 90 

This voting in aid of the railroad was under the law of 1869, which gave 
to all counties, townships, cities and towns, which voted such aid, all the State 
tax which should be raised, for ten years after such voting, upon the increase of 
assessment over the assessment of the year 1868 ; to be used by such counties, 
etc., as a fund for paying the interest and meeting the principal of such bonds 
at maturity — commonly known as the "grab law." The law was deemed 
vicious in its spirit and effect ; and, after several years of operation, in which 
millions of indebtedness was voted throughout the State, the Supreme Court 
declared it unconstitutional — or rather, that the act had been repealed by the 
Constitution of 1870. 

By virtue of this vote, bonds were issued by all townships thus voting, 
except Esmen, which ignored the vote entirely, on the ground that the seventy - 
five votes cast were not a majority of all the voters of the town. This view was 
held by Dr. Woolley, who, as Supervisor of the Township, would not consent to 
the issuing of the bonds on that vote. 

The bonds thus issued, aggregating f 220, 000, were given to the company, 
which built the road, now the Chicago & Paducah. 

July 2, 1870, an election was held for and against the new Constitution, 
and the articles submitted separately, all of which received very nearly the 
unanimous vote of the county, the article on Minority Representation having 
473 votes against it. 

* Votes cast for Temperance ticket. 


At this election, Hon. John M. Scott received 1,304 votes for Judge of the 
Third Judicial District, and was at that time elected Supreme Judge, E. S. 
Terry receiving 704 votes for the same. 

At the November election, the vote cast was only 3,100. The Republican 
ticket was elected, except Sheriff, by an average majority of about 150. 

Under the new Constitution, the county was a legislative district alone for 
that single election, and was entitled to two Representatives. The vote was : 
For Representatives — John Stillwell, 1,607;- J. G. Strong, 1,607; Rufus W. 
Babcock, 1,527 ; J. I. Dunlop, 1,446. 

For an additional Senator, the vote was : For Wm. Reddick, 1,720 ; For 
E. Follett Bull, 1,891. For Sheriff— J. W. Hoover, 1,613 ; S. L. Glover, 
1,500. For Coroner— J. J. Wright, 1,676 ; Samuel Stewart, 1,444. 

In 1871, Aaron Weider was re-elected Treasurer, and A. C. Huetson Sur- 
veyor, without serious opposition. 

In October, 1870, Hon. M. B. Loomis, State Attorney, having removed to 
Chicago, where he was subsequently elected County Judge, Gov. Palmer 
appointed Chris. C. Strawn, of Pontiac, in his place. Mr. Strawn, though a 
young lawyer, just commencing practice, proved a very efficient and successful 

At the Presidential election, 1872, 5,355 votes were polled. U. S. Grant 
received 3,110; Horace Greeley, 1,888; O'Connor, 201. For Governor — 
R. J. Oglesby, 3,153 ; Gustavus Koerner, 2,062. 

The Liberal defection from the Republican party was noticeable mostly in 
those townships where a strong German element existed, but its influence was 
somewhat felt throughout the county. 

A new apportionment had been made for Congressional Representative, 
and the county was placed with Kankakee, Iroquois, Ford, Marshall and Wood- 
ford, making the Eighth District. 

An earnest contest occurred in the Republican Convention for nomination 
for Congressman, the District being so strongly Republican that it was believed 
a nomination carried the certainty of election. After repeated ballots, Green- 
bury L. Fort, of Marshall, was nominated ; and, being elected, has continued to 
represent the county in Congress from that time. The vote for Congressional 
Representative was : For G. L. Fort, 3,158 ; for G. O. Barnes, 2,111. 

At this election, we were for the first time in a new Senatorial and Repre- 
sentative District, with Ford County comprising the Eighteenth District. 
Under a scheme known as "Minority Representation," a State Senator and 
three Representatives were elected, but only two of which Representatives 
could be on the same ticket ; that is, the voter may vote three votes for the 
same candidate, or two for one and one for another ; or one and one-half vote 
for each of two ; or one vote each for three candidates. 

The vote for Senator was : For J. G. Strong, 3,093 ; for Wm. Colon, 2,162. 
For Representatives — Lucien Bullard, 4,313 ; John Pollock, 4,152J ; John P. 


Middlecoff, 2,501; John F. Blackburn, 3,001 J; Robert Thompson, 2,186^. 
The three former were elected. For State's Attorney, James H. Funk received 
3,116 ; H. H. Brower, 2,151. For Circuit Clerk— J. A. Fellows, 3,244 ; S. S. 
Brucker, 2,058 ; For Sheriff— B. E. Robinson, 2,883 ; J. W. Hoover, 2,472. 

Late in this year, a movement took form which, within a year, politically 
revolutionized the county. No history would be complete which did not take 
note of the causes which led to one of the most remarkable political movements 
in the history of the county. 

The year had been a bountiful one in the production of the staple crop of 
the county,, corn. During several preceding years, the crop had been meager, 
and prices had ruled high. With this year's extraordinary yield, the prices fell 
to the lowest known since the general settlement of the county. With the 
farmers of this county, corn is the chief article of sale. With interest to pay 
upon their indebtedness, which was large, payments, taxes, store bills, hired 
help to meet in addition to the actual family necessities, with freights as high 
as at any time, a feeling of uneasiness became general, and complaint grew 
against the oppression of capital as aggregated in the enormous railroad corpora- 
tions of the State. 

It was believed that in justice the railroads ought to reduce their rates, and 
at least divide the losses which the farmers, their chief patrons, were meeting in 
selling their chief crop at ruinous prices. It did not reduce the general dis- 
satisfaction at all to be told that if it were not for the railroads they could not 
, sell their superabundant crop at any price ; nor did it meet the case to be 
advised that they ought to hold their crop till they could realize ; for with per- 
haps a majority sales were necessary. About this time, the Legislature had 
passed a law requiring all railroads and warehouses to reduce their rates. The 
law was openly defied, and suits were at onqe commenced on the part of the 
people of the State to compel a compliance with the law. The idea that these 
monster corporations were above all law, while the natural citizen must comply 
or go to jail, was not a pleasant one to contemplate. It took two bushels of 
corn to pay the freight on one to tide-water. 

With foreclosures staring many citizens in the face, and inability to pay 
their just debts, with the largest crop they ever raised in their possession, their 
minds were naturally led toward united political action. While in other counties 
the matter was hardly thought of, in this the entire community was aroused to 
seek any relief they could find. A few citizens of the township of Pike met 
together and called a County Convention to demand a redress of grievances. 

The convention met and warmed up in its denunciation of monopolies, and 
the "Farmers' Movement" was fairly launched in this county. Granges of 
the Patrons of Husbandry were started in every neighborhood, and men and 
women pledged each other to defend, unto death, the interests of the farmers 
against monopolies. 


The unfortunate result of the Greeley movement had already convinced 
many that the Democratic party was practieally dead, by suicide ; and many 
who did not particularly sympathize with the farmers were anxious to find some 
healthy political organization with which to connect themselves. The move- 
ment was the outgrowth of political injustice and business oppression. The 
farmers had but too many reasons for feeling that their interests were deemed 
as naught, by the combined and controlling aggregation of capital, and, whether 
blind or not, saw no other way but by political organization to save themselves. 

Thus was the Anti-Monopoly party formed in this county, which for years, 
under one name or another, exercised a controlling influence on the political 
affairs of the county, and gradually grew into the Greenback party. 

In the judicial- election of 1873, Nathaniel J. Pillsbury received the unani- 
mous vote of the county for Circuit Judge, and was elected, being the first 
citizen of this county to receive that honor. He still remains upon the bench, 
and is showing such excellent judicial qualifications that his continuance is 
apparently alone dependent on his own choice. 

At the November election of this year, the two tickets in the field were 
Republican and Anti-Monopoly. The latter swept the county by a majority of 
nearly 1,400 votes. The vote was : For County Judge — R. R. Wallace, 2,725; 
L. E. Payson, 1,322. For Clerk— G. W. Langford, 2,254 ; W. H. Jenkins, 1,811. 
For Treasurer— J. H. Stitt, 2,526; A. G. Goodspeed, 1,560. For Superintend- 
ent of Schools— M. Tombaugh, 2,728 ; J. W. Smith, 1,295. Republican 
majorities were given only in the townships of Eppard's Point, Pontiac, Indian 
Grove, Avoca, Odell and Forrest. Several towns did not cast a vote for that' 
ticket, so complete and sweeping was the revolution. The Democratic party 
was for the time being extinct, their vote being generally given to the new party. 

In 1874, the vote was : For Sheriff— B. E. Robinson, 2,326 ; A. W. Sny- 
der, 1,926. For Coronor— E. G.' Johnson, 2,185 ; S. Stewart, 2,052. 

In 1875, the vote was : For Treasurer — J. H. Stitt, 1,943 ; Martin Dolde, 
1,909. For Surveyor— B. F. Hotchkiss, 1,987 ; M. B. Logier, 1,867. 

The vote polled in 1873 was 6,858, of which R. B. Hayes received 3,551; 
S. J. Tilden, 2,134; Peter Cooper, 1,170 ; and the Anti-Masonic ticket, 3. 
For Governor— Shelby M. Cullom, 3,509 ; Lewis Steward, 3,327. For Con- 
gress— G. L. Fort, 3,538 ; George W. Parker, 3,310. For State Senator— 
S. T., Fosdick, 3,485; C. C. Strawn, 3,338. For Representative— E. C. 
Allen, 6,7781; Geo. B. Gray, 5,546J; John H. Collier, 4,920; John Rich- 
ardson, 3,133|. For State's Attorney— D. L. Murdock, 3,539-; George W 
Patton, 3,297. For Circuit Clerk— Wm. H. Jenkins, 3,679 ; W. S. Sims, 
3,157. For Sheriff— B. E. Robinson, 3,479 ; John Thompson, 3,316. The' 
vote for Jenkins is the largest ever cast singly for any man in this county, and 
the vote for Allen the largest ever cast for one man. 

At an election held August 2, 1877, for an additional Circuit Judge, 
Franklin Blades received nearly the unanimous vote. 


In 1877, the vote for county officers was : For Judge — R. R. Wallace, 
2,677 ; A. P. Wright, 2,208 , J. Duff, 466. For Clerk— Alvin Wait, 2,515 ; 
G. W. Langford, 2,475; J. Mcllduff, 382. For Treasurer— I. J. Krack, 
2,349; J. fl. Stitt, 2,334; J. T. Bullard, 650. For Superintendent of 
Schools— M. Tombaugh, 2,866 ; 0. F. Avery, 2,240. 

This closes the political and official annals of the county. The reader will 
find them complete in the record of all facts of interest, except that the abstract 
of votes for the years 1837, 1841, 1851, 1856 and 1871 are not on file in the 
office of the County Clerk. They are supposed to have been lost at the time of 
the fire, and there is no known way of restoring them, unless the county orders 
them restored from the files of the Secretary of State. 


The first term of the Livingston County Circuit Court was held October 
21, 1839, by Judge S. H. Treat, now of the United States Court. At 
the time the county was organized, it was placed in the First Circuit, but 
the Judge sitting in that circuit did not get time to come here, no law 
had been passed fixing the time for holding Circuit Court in this county, 
and the Clerk had moved away out of the State. By the act of 1839, we were 
placed in the Eighth Circuit, and October fixed for the time of holding Court. 
Judge Treat wrote up the record, and in the minutes his own attendance is 
mentioned, and that of David B. Campbell, State's Attorney ; Nicholas Hefner, 
Sheriff; David Davis and Geo. B. Markley, attorneys. An order was entered 
removing the Clerk, Henry Weed, by reason of his absence from the State for 
more than a year, and appointing D. B. Campbell Clerk pro tern. No grand 
or petit jurors were summoned to this term. Twenty-nine cases were on the 
docket, and parties litigant seem to have been taken by surprise, for against 
eighteen ,y£ the cases the minute is entered, " Neither party appearing, this case 
is continued." Nicholas Hefner filed his bond as Sheriff, and it was approved. 
C. W. Reynolds filed his appointment as Clerk, and Judge Treat certified that 
Hefner had attended Court one day. 

At the May term, 1840, W. G. Hubbard was appointed Foreman of the 
Grand Jury, and, being charged by the Court, retired — Judge Treat says in a 
letter — to some convenient saw-logs by the mill near by. 

The grand jury returned five indictments, the first of which was for selling 
whisky contrary to the statutes made and provided. It is not, perhaps, singu- 
lar that the first indictment ever returned to our Court was for that, and it will 
not be hard to anticipate that the last one may possibly be for the same 

This term, Hefner was certified to for two days' attendance. 

At the October term, 1840, Garret M. Blue appears as Sheriff. At the 
April term, 1843, D. S. Ebersol was appointed Clerk, and Augustus Fellows 
Master in Chancery. At the September term, 1844, R. P. Breckenridge 
appeared as Sheriff, and John Blue as Coroner. At the t September term, 1846, 


Andrew McMillan appeared as Circuit Clerk. At the June term, 1847, John 
D. Caton presided as Judge. At the June term, 1848, S. C. Ladd appeared 
as Clerk. At the December term, 1848, T. Lyle Dickey presided, and Murrill 
Breckenridge was Sheriff. At the November term, 1850, Hugh Henderson, of 
the Eleventh Circuit, held court in exchange with Judge Dickey, and B. 0. 
Cook appears as State's Attorney. September, 1851, Henry Loveless was 
Sheriff. September, 1852, David Davis was Judge, and J. 0. Glover State's 
Attorney. May, 1853, E. S. Leland was Judge ; Geo. W. Boyer, Clerk ; Jere- 
miah Mathis, Sheriff ; W. H. L. Wallace, State's Attorney. In September, 
1853, B. C. Cook was appointed State's Attorney pro tern. In 1855, W. B. 
Lyon appeared as Sheriff. This brings the record down through the earlier 

The first deed recorded was one by Benj. Darnall and wife to Garret M. 
Blue, consideration $100, bearing date October 15, 1836, for the west half of 
the southwest quarter of Section 14, Town 28, Range 4 ; the said land being in 
McLean County. 


The way our fathers performed their farming operations is so little known 
to the present generation, who depend so much on improved farm machinery 
and require their horses to do all the work which men, women and children 
formerly did, that a description of the olden way cannot prove uninteresting. 

Banish reapers, mowers, corn planters, sulky plows, wire-tooth horse rakes, 
double-shoveled plows, horse hay forks, threshing machines, grape-vine cradles, 
and a conception can be formed of the primitive farming facilities. Corn was 
" got in " in this way : After the land had been plowed, it was harrowed and 
"marked out" both ways, one way with a small, eight-inch mold-board plow, 
and the other by a marker made of 4x4 scantling, having on it four blocks or 
pegs, which would mark three rows at a time (if one happened to have so con- 
venient an article, otherwise the land was marked out both ways with the corn 
plow). This marker had attached to it a pair of shafts, and a bowed sapling 
for a handle. If the horse was "handy" and tractable, the marking could be 
done without the aid of a rider ; but horses were so seldom driven single that 
the boys, who had most of this kind of work to do, could not manage them well 
enough to perform the work without a rider, so a " low-priced boy " was usually 
put astride the horse, who rode as long as the sheepskin, which reduced the 
terrors of bareback riding, and his unwilling seat could be induced to continue 
an unhappy partnership, when he was exchanged for a new recruit. Ah, the 
horrors of this ad sternum service! Boys who think riding horse is "just 
fun " should try the experiment of a week's experience during marking-out and 
corn plowing time, and endeavor to ascertain just how much fun can be 
extracted from it. 

After marking, all the children were taken out of school for a week to 
" drop" corn. The ancient farmer who was so unfortunate as to*have no grist 

Jt, 4JiuM, 





of children was in a bad row of stumps. This may account for the tendency 
to large families so common in past years. They had work for the children to 
■do iD those days, and Nature is kindly disposed to supply the wants of 

Corn dropping was done from little tin pails or baskets held in the hand, or 
buttoned into the clothing in front, or fastened by a belt around the waist. The 
covering was done with a hoe having an eye into which the handle was put. This 
was a tedious job compared with our present plan, but "tending " the growing 
crop was no less so. " Plowing out" was all done with one horse, using the 
small mold-board, or a single-shovel plow, when again the small boy was fre- 
quently made to earn his bread by the sweat of his — body. 

" Changing work " was a common device. While one farmer was getting his 
land plowed, another would employ his force of small help in getting in a crop, 
And then return the work. 

The harvesting and securing of the small grain crops were even more 

The hay was all cut with a scythe and raked into windrows with a hand 
rake ; the grain cut with the old straight handled cradle, and raked into bundles 
with a hand rake. Threshing wheat was done with a flail, and other grains 
were trod out by keeping a troop of unshod horses circulating over it, each floor- 
ing requiring about an hour. Where grain raising was largely followed, " harvest 
hands" were scarce, and they often demanded and received two or three times 
as much for that as for any other kind of farm work. To swing a cradle all 
•day was thought to be as laborious work and calling for as good pay as anything 
to be done, and he who could " rake and bind " and follow a cradle, keeping up 
his swath, need not tramp for a living during harvest time at least. 

It is not easy to see how, with corn at from six to ten cents per bushel, oats 
little more, wheat from thirty to sixty cents, and other crops in proportion, the 
farmer succeeded in getting enough from the proceeds of his crop to pay for the 
labor he was obliged to hire. It is not difficult to understand why the best land 
that " ever lay out-doors " remained for so long without purchasers. 

Of course the farmers in those days did not ride in carriages, nor pay heavy 
taxes, nor buy luxuries, nor pay hotel bills when they traveled, nor dress them- 
selves and families in "store clothes," but some of them lived comfortably. 
How did they do it ? 


This has been and still remains pre-eminently a farming county, very little 
manufacturing ever having been done here. The citizens send abroad for their 
■clothes, their plows and farm machinery, for their boots, shoes, cheese, many of 
their wagons, and even in a measure for hams and bacon. Since the farm lands 
have come into general cultivation, it has been pre-eminently a corn raising 
•county. It is believed that more corn is now raised and shipped from this than 


from any county in the country. In the earlier years, Winter wheat wasp 
largely and profitably grown ; cases occurred where the farmer paid for his- 
farm and implements from his single crop of wheat. It soon became an uncer- 
tain crop, and was gradually abandoned. The growing of Spring wheat did 
not long continue after it had been destroyed a few years by the chinch bug,, 
and flour and wheat have become one of the principal imports into the county. 
Oats remain a standard crop, and give a fair yield. In the northwestern part 
of the county, timothy is largely raised for seed, it being in great demand in the 
Eastern States by reason of its freedom from the foul seeds which are found in 
that raised in older States. In the southeast, flax is a favorite crop, and its- 
growth is extending. Rye is raised by many farmers, by reason of the cer- 
tainty of its yield and because its sowing and harvest occur at a time when* 
other work is not pressing, and that it is the best crop to seed with, now that 
' wheat has been abandoned, and oats are apt to grow so rank as to smother the- 
young grass plants. 

Corn, however, is the only real staple article of farm production. The- 
county is in the very center of the corn growing belt ; the land is better 
adapted to its production, the land is not liable to wash, and may be kept 
annually under plow without deterioration. The perfection of farm machinery has 
reduced the cost of production of this crop to the minimum. The rapidity with 
which it makes returns, the security with which it can be stored a year or more, 
the importance of the hog crop, and the cheapness with which it can be 
marketed in that shape, are all inducements to raising corn. Besides these, are 
reasons found in the needs of the citizens. The population is largely made up> 
of men with small means, who purchased small farms, but had not sufficient 
capital to fence and stock them for varied agriculture. Under the stimulus- 
of the no-fence law, adopted in 1867, these open prairies were plowed and 
planted in corn, without a rod of fence on them, for there was no necessity for 
fencing their farms and dividing into fields. Among the newer settled townships, 
there are those which have more than four-fifths of all their land annually in 
corn ; pastures are rare, and herds of cattle are not seen. Time will change 
this, however, in a measure ; but the great staple will remain the principal 
article of production. 

In the year 1877, the production of corn, by the report of the State Board 
of Agriculture, is put down at 10,930,000 bushels. It is believed that no* 
other county in the world raised so much. 

Fruits are receiving much attention. Apples, everywhere the staple, are 
becoming an important product. It will be a long time, however, before they 
will be found in great abundance on all farms. The borer and the blight make 
havoc with the young trees ; latterly, the severe Winters have ruined many, old 
and young, besides which, the system of farming practiced is a great hindrance 
to growing orchards. With few or no cross fences on the farms, the cattle roam 
at will among the trees during the Winter and early Spring. 


The blight has left but few pear trees growing in the county. Peaches are 
an uncertain crop. 

Grapes produce abundantly and regularly ; indeed, no crop is so certain of 
producing a fair return. The Concord grape is as easily raised as corn, and 
more sure of a crop. 

Small fruits are fast popularizing, where only a few years ago they were 
only found in the garden or on the plantation of the horticulturist. 

The Snyder blackberry, by reason of its ability to stand our severest 
Winters, and not being injured by Spring frosts, is fast being planted ; all 
other varieties are too uncertain. 


At one period of the history of the county, sheep were largely raised ; and dur- 
ing the war, the high price of wool stimulated the spread of this branch of hus- 
bandry unduly. Particularly was this true of the fine-wooled varieties. With 
the close of rebellious hostilities, prices fell, and disease began to spread among 
the sheep. Losses were terrible, and sheep husbandry disappeared from the 
county. There are now only a few of the middle wooled sheep kept, and they 
seem to be comparatively remunerative. 

Late years have shown a decided improvement in horses. The importation 
of Clydesdale, Belgian and Norman horses into the county has awakened a lively 
interest in that line. The peculiar nature of corn farming calls more for 
strength and endurance than for speed and action. The farmer reasons that 
two horses are better than three to draw a plow, if they can draw it as well. 
The heavy work with corn raisers is plowing and hauling the corn to market, 
and both of these require heavy horses. 

The time was when the cattle which roamed over these prairies showed dis- 
tinctly the dun, black, brindle and yellow colors characteristic of the native 
cattle. Now the short horns have so changed the general appearance of the 
herds that these colors are seldom seen. The entire "constitution" of the 
horned cattle has been reformed — nobody breeds or cares to breed anything 
else. The hog crop now cuts so important a figure in the economy of the 
county, that much care has latterly been taken to secure the very best breeds for 
profit. The Chester White gradually gave way to the Poland China, and that 
in turn to the Berkshire, which is now the popular, not to say the fashionable, 


The importation of Norman horses directly from France is largely due to the 
active business management of John Virgin, Esq., of Fairbury. In 1870, 
Virgin, J. C. Morrison and Decatur Veatch formed a partnership for that busi- 
ness. Mr. Virgin was sent out, and brought home the first venture of that 
kind. That partnership was soon dissolved by the death of Mr. Veatch, but 
Virgin has continued the business of importation. 


Of kin to the subject is the organization of Agricultural Societies. The 
county society, now known as the Livingston County Agricultural Board, was 
formed in 1855 by a few citizens. It owns a fine fair ground on the bank of 
the river at Pontiac, which is beautifully shaded with native trees, and has a 
fine half-mile track on it. 

The Fairbury Union Agricultural Society was formed in 1875, as a stock 
company, and owns a fine ground at Fairbury. These two stimulate a gener- 
ous rivalry, and are the means of vast good to the cause in the county. 


The four railroads which pass through the county make no small item in the 
importance and wealth of the county. From their building dates the filling up 
of our county and the bringing its lands into market. Without them we were, 
and, in all human probability, would have, remained a waving prairie. 

The first road in date of construction, the Chicago & Mississippi, running 
from Joliet to Alton, was built in 1853 and '54. A few years later, it was sold 
out on the second mortgage, and bid off by Joel A. Matteson, for $6,500. He 
run it for a time, and then permitted it to be sold, and it was purchased by T. 
B. Blackstone and others, who formed the Chicago & Alton Company, and have 
made it a successful road. The company purchased a controlling interest in the 
stock of the Chicago & Joliet road, and now, practically, it is a continuous line. 
The stations on their main line are Dwight, Odell, Cayuga, Pontiac and 
Ocoya. In 1869, this road built the Western Division, running from Dwight 
through the northern part of the county to Streator, thence southwest to Wash- 
ington, in Tazewell County, with Nevada, Blackstone and Smithdale on it, and 
about the same time put down a second track from Odell north as far as 

This road now has sixty miles of track in the county. In the years 1858 
and '59, the Toledo, Peoria & Warsaw road was built through the county. It 
was then known as the Eastern Extension of the Peoria & Oquawka R. R. 
The road becoming embarrassed, the Peoria & Oquawka part of it passed into the 
possession of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy R. B., and all the company 
had was an extension to a road they did not own. The company was re-organ- 
ized as at present known, and pushed their road on, reaching the Mississippi at 
Burlington, Keokuk and Warsaw. They own eighteen miles of track in this 
county. Its stations are Fairbury, Forrest and Chatsworth. The road now 
known as the Chicago & Paducah has a local history, it being a Livingston 
County corporation. In 1865, Mr. Samuel L. Fleming, of Pontiac, a man who 
had spent a small fortune in railroading, drew, and got passed by the Legisla- 
ture, a charter for a railroad from Ottawa to Fairbury. The corporators 
named in the charter were S. C. Ladd, B. P. Babcock, Samuel L. Fleming, 
Nelson Buck, Jonathan Duff, Wm. Strawn, R. B. Harrington, S. C. Crane, 


John Dehner, Walter Cornell, M. E. Collins, -Ralph Plumb, Enoch Lundy, 
David Mcintosh, H. L. Marsh, W. G. McDowell, J. W. Strevell, I. B. Tyler 
and Wm. B. Lyon. 

In 1867, the charter was amended so that the road might run anywhere 
northerly and southerly of Pontiac — that point being retained. The name, 
however, in the charter was retained. Under the impetus given to railroad 
building by the "grab law" of 1869, the company was formed, M. E. Collins 
being elected President and S. S. Lawrence, Secretary. The townships of 
Indian Grove, Avoca, Eppard's Point, Owego, Pontiac, Amity and Newtown 
issued bonds, and with these in hand the Fairbury, Pontiac & Northwestern 
Company made a contract with Col. Ralph Plumb, of Streator, Col. W. H. W. 
Cushman, of Ottawa, and David Strawn, to build and equip the road, transfer- 
ring to them all the bonds and issuing the stock to them, so that when built it 
became theirs. In this contract was a stipulation that the parties of the second 
part would never transfer the road to the Chicago & Alton R. R. Co.; the intent 
being, of course, to keep this a competing road. They built the road from Streator 
through this county, pushing it sooth through Ford, Champaign, Piatt, Moul- 
trie, Shelby and Effingham Counties to Altamont. Its stations in this county 
are Newtown, Cornell, Rowe, Pontiac, McDowell, Lodemia, Fairbury, Murphy's 
and Strawn. It connects at Streator with the Ottawa branch of the Chicago, 
Burlington & Quincy. It has forty-one miles of track in the county. 

The Chicago, Pekin & Southwestern has about twelve miles of track 
through the county, having stations at Reading and Long Point. 

Several other railroad projects are in contemplation or progress, principal 
among which, that are likely to be built at no distant day, are the road from 
Dwight to Kankakee, and the Decatur & State Line road, to pass through the 
eastern tier of townships. 


In the early days, the newspaper was not thought to be, as now, a necessity 
of civilization. Men had other ways of spending their time than p*oring over 
column after column of Tribune, Inter-Ocean or Times; but with the railroad 
came the printing press, aiid we find flung to the prairie breeze, March 14, 
1855, from " Ladd's building, immediately north of the Court House, Pontiac, 
Illinois," the Livingston County News, published and edited by J. S. France — 
" independent in everything." It was a twenty- four column paper, well printed for 
the times, having only two columns of advertisements. Just how many subscri- 
bers it had is hard to state, but a reasonable guess could hardly place the number 
above two hundred. The first number, which is carefully preserved among a 
marvelous conglomeration of other county antiquities, newspapers, books, old 
demijohns, with their sere and yellow contents, with a chaos of unenumerated 
articles, by Uncle Jacob Streamer, of Pontiac, contains an editorial bewailing 
the lack of school houses and churches, and the blighting prevalence of intern- 


perance ; an account of a temperance meeting, at which W. T. Garner, Wm. 
B. Lyon, H. H. Norton, I. P. McDowell and Robert Aerl were appointed a 
committee to call on the liquor sellers, and remonstrate with them against con- 
tinuing their nefarious business ; upon failure to desist, they were to be prose- 
cuted according to law. A committee, consisting of Nelson Buck, Dr. Darius 
Johnson and J. H. McGregor, presented a stirring lot of resolutions, which were 
heartily adopted by the meeting. A list giving the discount at which bank bills 
were received also appears, with a long list of "closed banks," which was 
expected to need to be " revised and corrected weekly," like the market reports. 
A statement of the profit of wheat growing is made by Mr. John J. Taylor, in 
which he shows, in double entry, how his wheat crop of the preceding year had 
paid all the expense of buying, improving and working his farm, including pur- 
chase money, and the harvesting of his crop. An old citizen remarks that this 
ruined many a man, as, for several years after that, wheat raising proved unre- 

D. Johnson and J. M. Perry were the physicians; J. S. France, George 
Bishop and McGregor & Dart the attorneys, and J. Streamer, Ladd & Mc- 
Dowell, Buck & Gray, the merchants, having cards in this first paper. It ought 
to be added here that some time before this, Thomas Cotton had published a 
paper at New Michigan, which did not survive its second number. The issues 
of his paper which did see light were devoted to enforcing Mr. Cotton's wel' 
known reform principles. 

During the first year of its publication, France transferred the News to 
Philip Cook and M. A. Renoe ; Cook soon after selling to Jones. During the 
proprietorship of Cook & Renoe, which was during the dark and bloody days in 
which "Bleeding Kansas" furnished inspiration for most political discussion, 
the liberal sentiments of the proprietors did not permit them to hold their peace, 
even in an "independent" paper. In one of the papers, the editor complains 
that Capt. Payne had falsely accused them of running an " Abolition paper." 
The younger generation will probably never know^the height and the depth of 
infamy which attached to that term in the mind of the average Illinoian of a 
generation ago. Renoe & Jones sold the News to Albee, and the publication was 
soon after discontinued. 

Cook & Gagan started the Pontiac Sentinel in July, 1858, as a Republican 
paper. They sold to M. E. Collins, he to Stout & Decker, they to W. F. Dens- 
low, he to Stout. Stout, in 1866, purchased a Taylor cylinder press, at an 
expense of about $1,500, and soon after the entire concern was consumed by 
fire, with but little insurance with which to start anew. The paper was going 
again within two weeks, and in 1869 he sold to Jones & Renoe, who werepub- 
lishing the Free Press, who consolidated the papers under the name of Sentinel 
a d Press. In July, 1873, H. C. Jones became sole proprietor, and changed 
the name again to the Sentinel, and in 1875, sold to F. L. Alles, who still owns 


and edits it. During all these changes it has remained Republican, and for 
twenty years — the life of the Republican party — it has battled for the success of 
that party. 

The Republican was started in 1865, by Thomas Harper, and was published 
by him for a year. E. B. Buck, now of Charleston, Coles County, started the 
Constitution in 1864, as the organ of the Democratic party, and published it 
-about six months, when the material fell to Maxwell and Duff, who disposed of it. 

Jones & Renoe commenced the publication of the Free Press, at Pontiac, 
In August, 1867. In 1869, it was consolidated with the Sentinel. 

The Livingston County Democrat was started by Milton & Organ, in 1868. 
Mr. Organ soon after became sole proprietor, and sold to Peter Johnson, who 
published it as a Temperance paper, for about six months, when he re-sold it to 
Mr. Organ, who, after about a year, suspended its publication. M. A. Renoe 
published the National Union for several months in 1866. 

Thomas Wing became possessed of a printing office and published the 
People's Advocate for a few months, in 1870. The material was afterward 
"bought by Prince Kellogg, who removed it to Odell, and commenced the publi- 
cation of the Odell Times in January, 1872, which, in the course of a year, he 
.sold to H. D. Wilson, who continued it for some months. 

J. H. Warner commenced the publication of the Independent at Odell in 
1869, and continued it several months, when it was discontinued. 

John H. Hewitt published the Pontiac Herald for a year, in 1871-72. Its 
circulation was not large, but its proprietor was happy with his " Hurld," as 
he called it. 

A. L. Bagby commenced the publication of the Pontiac Free Trader, May 
11, 1870, as a Democratic paper. In 1871, Bagby disappeared, and the pub- 
lication was suspended, until C. S. Postlewait revived it, issuing the first num- 
ber of Volume 2 in June, 1871, with R. W. Babcock as associate editor. C. 
A. McGregor and E. M. Johnson purchased it in October, 1871, for $150. 
Mr. Johnson has continued as co-proprietor and editor without intermission from 
that time. Jan. 1, 1874, M. A. Renoe purchased McGregor's interest, and, 
in 1877, sold to John Stuff. 

In 1873, the Free Trader became the organ of the Anti-Monopoly party, 
which grew into the Independent Greenback party of 1876, and still remains 
the vigorous and prosperous champion of the political doctrines of that party. 

J. H. Warner commenced the publication of the Herald at Odell, in 1877, 
and continues to publish it. 

John Harper, the great newspaper starter, commenced the publication of 
the Intelligencer at Fairbury, in 1863, which soon suspended; and Moses 
Osman published a paper for awhile. 

In 1866, H. S. Decker commenced the publication of the Journal at Fair- 
bury. He soon after sold to I. P. McDowell, and he to Otis Eastman, in 1867, 
who continued to publish it until 1873. 


In June, 1871, the Dimmicks commenced the publication of the Inde- 
pendent at Fairbury, and in 1876 0. B. Holmes commenced the Blade. These- 
papers were published until 1876, when' J. S. Scibird became proprietor, and 
combined the two, with the title of Independent-Blade, which he publishes yet. 

In June, 1868, Smith & Rutan began the publication of The Weekly Cou- 
rier at Dwight, which, after six months, was discontinued. 

May, 5, 1868, C. L. Palmer commenced the Star at Dwight, a two column 
paper somewhat larger than a good-sized shirt bosom, which he has continued, 
without change of proprietor, except the association of his brother with him for 
a year in 1871-2. It has grown to a six-column quarto, with a steady growth,, 
and has continued its issue until now. 

In 1878, C. M. Cyrus commenced the Dwight Commercial, which is still' 
published. C. L. Palmer commenced, in October, 1875, the publication of the- 
Western Postal Review, a monthly paper devoted to matters of interest to- 
Postmasters, with Homer A. Kenyon as editor, which is still published. 

In 1873, Dimmick Bros, commenced the publication of the Palladium at 
Chatsworth, which they sold to George Torrance, he to C. B. Holmes in 1874. 
The paper was afterward changed to Plaindealer, and is now published by R>. 
M. Spurgen. 

The press of the county has ever been marked by an intelligent and earnest 
desire to promote public morals and the general welfare of the county. There- 
has been an almost universal absence of personal animosity which so frequently 
mars the conduct of rival papers. A generous rivalry has not awakened per- 
sonal hostility, and the general fairness has seldom been broken. The men who. 
have formed the editorial fraternity have been usually worthy men, whose 
influence has been for good. This is particularly true of those who are at 
present conducting this powerful and wide-spreading department of intelligence. 
Who can estimate the amount of good they have and can yet accomplish ? The 
first telegraphic dispatch ever received in the county was on election night of 
1856, giving the news of the election of Buchanan. The Livingston County 
Hews the next morning contained full telegraphic news of the result of the- 
election from all over the country. It was to all a mystery how the news was 
obtained, for it was not supposed that the News was able to pay for all that 
telegraphic matter. A friend who had somewhere learned how to read the 
wires supplied ihe enterprising publishers with them, and that night they were- 
put in type as fast as received. 


In the earlier days of the county, very little of what was called Abolition 
sentiment existed. There was plenty, however, of latent anti-slavery sentiment, 
and it only needed a little friction to bring it out. In 1848, there were four- 
votes cast for Van Buren, and while many voted for him in some parts of the- 
country who were not, it is pretty sure that these four men were Abolitionists- 


It is not now possible to find out who they were, but Oapt. Strawn, pretty- 
good authority, says he believes the four pioneer anti-slavery voters were Otis 
Whaley, George and Xenophon Richards, and Moses Rumery. At any rate 
these men, together with Dr. H. H. ' Hinman, C. P. Paget, Capt. Wm 
Strawn, and perhaps James Stout, formed the nucleus, a few years after that 
date, of the first Abolition organization in the county. For some years, they 
had taken a decided stand against the extension of slavery, and were looked 
upon as dangerous men. 

Word was brought to some of them that some of the'ofiicers at Pontiac had 
captured a fugitive slave who was pushing through the country to Canada. 
The story ran that the fugitive was chained to a staple driven into the floor of 
the old Court House. The news created considerable excitement, and was the 
means of the organization, by Dr. Hinman, of an Abolition society. The slave- 
was returned to his master, but he did not suffer in vain, for if the Society 
thus formed did not liberate all the slaves in America, it certainly did its part 
toward it. Moses Rumery, who was closely identified with the movement, 
did not join the Society, as -it was both a church and a political organization, 
and he, being a Methodist, could'not well join it, but was with them in spirit. 

These men laid the track of the underground railroad through the county,, 
with Rumery as conductor, and Hinman, Strawn, Paget and Whaley as station 
agents, flagmen and stokers. No dividends were declared on the stock, but the 
officers worked with untiring zeal, and no more negroes were seen chained to- 
the Court House. 

About this time, an incident occurred which aroused the minds' of some citi- 
zens who had before this been much opposed to abolition. One Sunday morn- 
ing, about the year 1853, Judge Babcock, who had recently purchased the Grove 
farm, heard a terrible racket down the road, and, accompanied by a man who- 
was making it his home there, stepped to the road to see what was the matter, 
when a most singular, and to him a new sight, met his eyes. In a covered 
wagon were two as frightened negroes as ever drew breath in the prairie air of 
Illinois ; beside the wagon were two men on horseback, demanding in the most 
boisterous tones an unconditional surrender. Between them and the two chat- 
tels, walked a man, with a pistol in each hand, threatening the lives of the 
two pursuers if they came any closer, and alternately threatening the fugitives if 
they attempted to get out of the wagon, in response to the demands of their 
pursuers. They were two fugitives, accompanied by a colored barber from 
Bloomington, and pursued by two Pontiac citizens. As soon as the pursuers- 
saw Judge Babcock and his companion, they rushed up and demanded help, , 
which was politely refused, and then wanted to borrow their guns, which was 
also refused, and the Judge was, by the force of circumstances, forced to help 
these fleeing fugitives on their way to Col. Stewart at Wilmington, whereas for 
all his life, up to that moment, he had been an opponent of all the schemes of 
Abolitionists. The next time he went to Pontiac, he found it generally noised 


about that "a d d Abolitionist had just come from York State, and settled 

almost right in our midst." 

Hon. William Strawn, whose whole heart was in the move, who not only 
spoke for the cause here, but went to Kansas to fight, and afterward enlisted in 
the war against rebellion from sentiments of anti-slavery, writes: "My partic- 
ular acquaintance with Livingston County did not begin till 1850. Dr. H. H. 
Hinman's advent into the county was, I think, in 1852. A man who, with 
little physical strength, possessed the most magnificent moral courage and 
■downright integrity of- any man I ever knew, save perhaps, old John Brown, 
who added to an equal moral courage physical courage and bodily vigor of 
grand proportions. The Doctor, meek, heroic, energetic, persistent for the 
right, like his- Divine Master loving absolutely >all men, instant in season and 
■out of season in every good work, was a power for good in this county which 
few could rightly estimate. 

" The precise date at which James Stout came into the county, I can- 
not say, but to him and Dr. Hinman, this county owes more than to all others 
•combined for redemption from pro-slavery rule. Courageous to a fault, never 
thoroughly happy except when miserable — like the typical Englishman ; never 
sparing his dearest friend, if he thought he caught him in a mean trick, bellig- 
erently honest to his convictions, he secured both the enmity and sincere 
regard of a vast proportion of the inhabitants of the county. * * Though 
not then a resident of the county, I had the honor to be the anti-slavery candi- 
date for the Legislature. I remember making a speech in the old Court 
House, to perhaps an audience of fifteen persons. S. C. Ladd was of the num- 
ber, who thoroughly agreed with me in all propositions, except the voting part." 

In addition it must be said that Owen Lovejoy, who, as a candidate for 
■Congress, spoke here, did much to arouse the latent anti-slavery sentiment. He 
was probably the most eifective political speaker ever heard in this vicinity. 
Thoroughly at heart believing every word he spoke, clear, positive and convinc- 
ing, he never had his superior on the stump in this State. The remarkable 
unanimity with which the people of this county accept the ideas which were so 
unpopular a quarter of a century since, the slow growth of those ideas through the 
previous quarter, and until the passage of the "Nebraska bill," that Pandora's 
box of the propagandism, illustrates one of those wise sayings of an unlearned 
but very sensible negro, to a friend whose want of information he was lament- 
ing, "Ignorance is a mighty thing, sah ! and comes without study." 


The curious may want to know who named and why the townships came to 
be named as they are. There is almost always a reason for any name. An 
investigator once discovered, by close study, how there came to be so mary 
Smiths in the world. He said, after the Lord had thought of all conceivable 
Tiames to give the different families, He decided to call the remainder Smith. • 


The investigator has been among the townships. Reading was so named 
from the little village in its borders, which received its name from old Reading, 
in Pennsylvania. Newtown was but a slight change from New Michigan, a 
little hamlet in that township, named so in consequence of its being settled by- 
Michigan folks. Sunbury, from the post office of that name in the township, 
kept by Wm. K. Brown. Nevada, from the prominence just then given to the 
present Western State of that name, just then drawing attention. Dwight, 
from the village of Dwight, which was named by Col. R. P. Morgan, Jr., an 
■engineer on the Chicago & Mississippi Railroad, in honor of his friend, Henry 
Dwight, the builder of the road. Round Grove, from a small grove in its bor- 
ders. Long Point, from the stream and point of timber in it. Esmen was 
named by Judge Babcock. It is the first person plural of the Greek verb to be, 
and means "we are the chaps," or words to that effect. Odell was named by 
S. S. Morgan, after W. H. Odell, of Wilmington. Broughton, from and by 
Wm. Broughton, the first settler there. Nebraska, by Reuben Macey, from the 
then prominence of " Nebraska Bill," who proved to be a very important per- 
sonage in the affairs of this county. Rook's Creek, from the stream, named .in 
honor of Frederick Rook, the pioneer. Pontiac, by Jesse W. Fell, from Pontiac, 
Mich., where the first settlers had moved from. Saunemin is a mystery; the 
■only man living who ever knew how it derived its name, and what it means, 
has forgotten. Sullivan, an abbreviation for Sullivant, who, at the time it was 
named, owned half the town. Waldo, by Parker Jewett, who named it from 
his old home, Waldo, Maine. Bppard's Point, from the point of timber land 
in it. Indian Grove, from the grove in that township. Forrest was first named 
Forestville by the railroad men, who there encountered, in building, the only piece 
•of timber land for fifty miles on their road. Frost, the President of the com- 
pany, came along, one day, and said it should be changed to Forrest, the name 
of his New York partner, and railroad Presidents were a power in those days. 
Chatsworth, by the officers of the railroad company, from the country seat of 
the Duke of Devonshire. Germantown, by the German settlement in that 


No history of the county would be complete without at least brief mention 
•of the part taken by her patriotic citizens in the struggle to mintain the unity 
■a,nd the honor of the Government. 

By the census of 1840, the county had a population of 759, which had 
increased in 1860 to 12,000. Out of this number, scarce 1800 were subject to 
military duty ; yet Livingston County sent over 1,500 soldiers to the field. 
Fields of ripened grain were left to be harvested by women and children. 
Pastors of churches exhorted their parishioners to take up arms, and set them 
an example by placing their own names on the muster-roll ; clerks threw down 
the yard-stick to shoulder the musket, and, in several instances, even those hold- 


ing public offices resigned their positions and went forward with their constitu- 
ents to battle for the right. A number went singly and in twos and threes, 
and enlisted in various batteries and regiments, which cannot find separate men- 
tion ; but, in addition to these, Livingston sent the following companies to the- 

January, 1861, Company D, Twentieth Illinois Volunteers, 85 men ; of this- 
number, 30 re-enlisted as veterans. 

August, 1861, Company F, Thirty-third Illinois Volunteers, 40 men ; 14 
re-enlisted as veterans. 

August and September, 1861, Company C, Thirty-ninth Illinois Volunteers. 
88 men, of whom 30 re-enlisted as veterans. Six Livingston County men also- 
enlisted in the regimental band of this regiment ; and 8 men served in Com- 
pany D. 

In July, 1861, Company C, Forty-fourth Illinois Volunteers, 38 men ; 8 
re-enlisted as veterans ; also 5 men from this county mustered in Company B 
of this regiment. 

January, 1862, Company G, Fifty-third Illinois Volunteers, 42 men, of 
whom 10 re-enlisted as veterans. 

In August, 1862, when the One Hundred and Twenty-ninth Illinois Volun- 
teers was formed, the county furnished the following Companies : 

Company A, 100 men ; Company B, 62 men; Company C, 94 men; Com- 
pany E, 90 men ; Company Gr, 101 men ; Company K, 21 men ; officers and 
non-commissioned officers, 28. Total, 496. 

January, 1864, Company E, One Hundred and Thirty-fourth Illinois Vol- 
unteers, 13 men. April, 1864, Company F, One Hundred and Thirty-eighth 
Illinois Volunteers, 57 men. February, 1864, Company G, One Hundred and 
Fifty-fourth Illinois Volunteers, 6 men. February, 1864, Company G, One- 
Hundred and Fifty-fifth Illinois Volunteers, 9 men. August, 1864, Company 
A, Third Illinois Cavalry, 20 men. August, 1864, Company D, Third Illinois- 
Cavalry, 20 men ; August, 1864, Company K, Third Illinois Cavalry, 118 men ; 
and in various other companies, 14 men. 

The Twentieth Regiment contained many Livingston County men, among 
whom are such well remembered names as John A. Hoskins, John A. Fellows 
and Joshua Whitmore. Hoskins, who was a soldier in the Mexican war, was 
Captain of Company D, but was afterward promoted Major. 

Fellows and Whitmore entered the service as First and Second Lieutenants of 
Company D. This regiment first engaged the enemy under Jeff. Thompson, at 
Fredericktown, Oct. 20, 1861, and in the battle there fought, gave proof of the 
splendid material of which it was composed. On the 2d day of February, 1862, 
it marched into Fort Henry, and on the 11th, it was before Donelson, and did. 
excellent service in the famous three days' battle, which caused the surrender 
of that important post, together with 20,000 rebel troops. Livingston claims 
her full share in this important victory, which sent a thrill of joy to every loyal 


heart, and revived the fainting hope of the nation. It was here that Grant 
uttered his "Nothing but unconditional surrender," and the nation took it up 
as a battle cry, and it rang through the land, until the last foe laid down his 
arms. Four men of Company D were killed in this battle, and many were wounded. 
April 6th and 7th, this regiment fought at Shiloh, and remained in the service 
during the war. The troops were mustered out at Louisville, Ky., July 16, 

About one-half of Company F of the Thirty-third Illinois Volunteers were from 
this county, and enlisted from the northwestern townships. The regiment had 
an eventful, perilous and toilsome service. It marched through Missouri, 
Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas, and did good service at Vicksburg, Port Gib- 
son and Mobile. 

Company C, of the Thirty-ninth Illinois Volunteers was raised in this 
county, in August, 1861. It was enlisted from the central townships, and was 
■composed of the very best material. This celebrated regiment was better 
known by the name of the "Yates Phalanx," so named after the patriotic Gov- 
ernor of the State. It was not filled up in time to be accepted under the first 
■call for troops, but it kept up its organization and drill, and after the battle of 
Bull Run it found no difficulty in entering the service. The regiment was 
marched to the Potomac, and was engaged in the various battles, marches and 
counter-marches on that historic ground. It afterward joined Gen. Foster's 
command, at Newberne, N. C, and was marched from there to Hilton Head, 
S. C. It formed the advance of the brigade in command of Col. Mann, in the 
siege of Fort Wagner, and marched into one end of that stronghold while the 
enemy were marching out at the other. This regiment re-enlisted in March, 
1864, and again started for the front. In May, it was under Gen. Butler, at 
Drury's Bluffs, and participated in all the battles that followed, meeting with 
loss after loss, until the 13th of October, when it was reviewed and found to 
contain only two hundred men, and the highest officer left was Lieut. James 
Hannum, who was promoted to Captain, and who is still living, and resides 
near Cayuga, in Esmen Township. These gallant men were engaged in the 
storming of Fort Gregg, where they made a daring charge and planted the 
Union colors on the heights of the parapet, and placed their name forever on 
the pages of national history. For their heroic conduct they were presented 
with an eagle by Gen. Gibbon. They fought in every battle in which their 
command was engaged, and were present at the final surrender, and were 
mustered out Dec. 6, 1865, a mere handful of battle-scarred veterans. 

" The muffled drum's sad roll has beat 
The soldier's last tattoo ; 
No more on life's parade shall meet 
The brave and daring few." 

About half of Company C, Forty-fourth Illinois Volunteers, was raised in Read- 
ing Township, and served in the Missouri campaign, "mit Siegel." It was in 



the engagement at Corinth, and at Stone River nearly half of the regiment 

was lost ; it fought at Chattanooga, re-enlisted and again returned to the front 

in time to take part in the Atlanta campaign. It was in nearly all the battles- 

which resulted from the bold attempt of Hood to overrun Tennessee and 


In January, 1862, the old hero, Capt. Morgan L. Payne, recruited a com- 
pany of men at Pontiac, which entered the service as Company G, of the Fifty- 
third Illinois Volunteers. Payne had served his country through the Black 
Hawk war, was in many a hard fought field in the Mexican war, and on the 
breaking out of the rebellion he closed his business engagements as soon- as pos- 
sible, and again took the field. In March, this regiment was ordered to 
Savannah, Tenn., and arrived at Shiloh just in time to take an active part in 
that engagement ; it was engaged in the siege of Vicksburg, and in the battle 
of Jackson fully one-half of the regiment was lost. The regiment re-enlisted 
and again reached the front in time to participate in the battle of Atlanta, and 
marched on to Savannah, and was engaged in the campaign in North and 
South Carolina. From thence it marched to Washington, D. C, and took part 
in the grand review after the surrender of the enemy. 

The One Hundred and Twenty-ninth Illinois Volunteers was organized at 
Pontiac, and for some time camped on the old Fair Grounds, just south of the 
city. Five full companies were raised in this county, four in Scott, and one in 
Moline, Rock Island County. Half of its regimental ofBcers were from Livingston 
County, and when the regiment entered the service it was officered as follows r 
Colonel, George P. Smith, of Dwight ; Major, A. J. Cropsey, of Fairbury ; 
Adjutant, Philip D. Platenburg, of Pontiac; Sergeant Major, H. H. McDowell, 
of Fairbury ; Surgeon, Dr. Darius Johnson, of Pontiac ; Steward, J. A. Fel- 
lows, of Pontiac ; Chaplain, Rev. Thqmas Cotton, of Pontiac. The Pastor and 
every male member of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Pontiac, save two, en- 
listed in this regiment. This church contained many leading men who believed in 
muscular Christianity, and in "the Sword of the Lord and of Gideon; " and 
strange to say, after fighting innumerable battles, and undergoing all kinds of 
hardships, every member of this church returned alive. This regiment num- 
bered among its company officers such men as J. F. Culver, J. W. Smith, J. 
F. Blackburn, H. B. Reed, C. W. Baird, B. F. Fitch and John B. Perry, and 
made for itself a name that shall last as long as the history of the war shall be 
preserve 1. 

The One Hundred and Thirty-fourth and One Hundred and Thirty-eighth 
Regiments contained many men from this county ; they were 100-day men, 
and did service in Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee, under the command of 
Col. J. W. Goodwin, of Pontiac. 

The One Hundred and Fifty-fourth and One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Reg- 
iments were one year troops, and fought bushwhackers in Tennessee and 


Company K, of the Third Cavalry, was raised in the vicinity of Fairbury r 
and was officered by Aaron Weider, John Zimmerman and Byron Phelps.. 
This dashing company served during the entire war, and saw as much hard 
fighting as any 118 men in the service. Their regiment was better known as 
the Carr Regiment, and was officered as follows, by the Carr brothers : Eugene 
A. Carr, of the regular army, Colonel; Horace M., Chaplain, and Byron Carr, 

Livingston County also gave twenty men to Companies A and D, of the 
Seventeenth Cavalry, thirty-seven to Coggwell's Battery, and eight to Battery 
M, First Light Artillery. 

The county may well be proud of her war record. The great majority who' 
went from Livingston County were men of intelligence and thought, who were 
willing to lay down their lives for the preservation of a principle that was 
dearer to them than life itself; and to such men the word "failure" was 


The city and township of Pontiac, as is supposed by many, must have been,, 
in some way, associated directly with the noted Indian Chief whose name they 
bear. It has been asserted by some that the site of the present city was an 
ancient Indian burying place, and that the bones of Pontiac lie in its soil. 
By others, it has been said that, at one time, the old chief, when deserted by 
his followers, retired to this place and made it his temporary home ; and by still 
others, more ignorant of the life of this famous brave, it has been inferred that 
he actually resided in this vicinity at the time that the earliest settlements were 
made by the whites. 

It seems a pity to spoil these pretty little romances, and one could wish that 
they were not fiction ; but truth compels a different interpretation of the name 
of the city. 

Pontiac was, indeed, a great Indian Chief, and that the town was named in 
honor of him is equally true ; but that he ever even passed through this part of 
Illinois is not probable. That he was buried in the neighborhood is still more 
improbable ; and that he still resided here when the whites first settled is out of 
the question, as he had then been dead more than half a century. 

Pontiac, as has already been mentioned on page 42, was the chief of the 
Ottawas, and lived with his tribe, near Detroit, Mich., and, during the trouble 
between France and England, otherwise known in this country as the " French 
and Indian war," was a strong ally of the French, neither bribes nor threats 
being sufficient to induce him to espouse the English cause. Even after the 
French had treated with the English and had transferred all of Pontiac's pos- 
sessions to the English, he remained stubborn and spurned their proffers of 
friendship. On one occasion, after many of his followers and some whole 
tribes had given in their allegiance to the English, Pontiac answered a proposi- 


tion to take up arms against the French by saying, " When the French came 
.among us, they took us by the hand. They lived with us in peace. They 
made us brothers. When the English came, they brought hornets. They 
■destroyed our houses. They called us dogs. The French have been true to 
us. We will be true to them. The English are our enemies, and we can never 
be friends." 

However, one by one the followers of Pontiac were alienated, and joined the 
British cause, until he was left almost alone. Disappointed and disgusted, he 
abandoned his home and came to Illinois. But here he was not permitted to be 
at peace, for an Indian spy was commissioned by British authority to accompany 
him in all of his movements. He had partially assented to neutrality, but was 
still suspected of favoring the French. In 1772, some time after settling near 
Kaskaskia, he was invited to a party, given by members of a neighboring tribe ; 
and, though warned to go well protected and well prepared for trouble, he pre- 
ferred to go unaccompanied. On this occasion he made a violent speech against 
the English, when the spy, who sat near, sprang to his feet and buried his 
hatchet in Pontiac's brain. 

The town of Pontiac, like several others in the West, owes its name to this 
great chief; but the true version is, doubtless, that the original proprietors of 
the town, having lived for some years at Pontiac, Mich., fancied the name, and 
bestowed it on their new enterprise. 

At the date when the history of this township begins, the county of Livings- 
ton had not been organized ; indeed, the number of residents in the county was 
not sufficient to warrant a separate county government. 

In Avoca, Indian Grove, Book's Creek, Amity, Reading and Oliver's 
Grove a few hardy pioneers had built -cabins and cultivated little patches of 
ground, but 'the balance of what is now embraced within the limits of the 
•county was all a desolate waste, literally a " howling wilderness." The tall, 
rank grass, the few stunted oaks, the thick and briery underbrush and the 
marshy soil of the banks of the Vermilion at this point must have presented 
but few attractions as a location for a town, or, indeed, lor the opening of a 
farm, as, both up and down the river, settlements had been made before this 
point was Selected by any one. Perhaps the shallow water at this point in the 
river, known as the " Ford," had something to do with attracting to the place 
Henry Weed and the two Youngs; but if their settlement was made with a 
view of establishing a county, with this as the central point, their vision must 
have been prophetic, as but few points presented scantier natural advantages. 
Be that as it may, in 1837 the county was formed, and the Commissioners 'to 
locate the " Seat of Justice," in consideration of donations consisting of the 
Public Square and Jail lot, $3,000 to build a Court House, and the construc- 
tion of a bridge across the Vermilion at this point, located the county seat on 
the land which had been pre-empted by them. 




On the 26th of July, 1837, forty-one years prior to the present writing, 
in accordance with this arrangement, the town of Pontiac was surveyed and 
platted by Isaac Whicher, County Surveyor of Livingston County, for " Henry 
Weed, Lucius W. Young and Seth M. Young, from the southeast quarter of 
Section 22 and part of the northeast quarter of the same." 

The Court House Square, the Jail lot, six acres reserved for mill purposes, 
with all the streets as they now appear, were all designated. This, then, was 
the nucleus, the germ, the foundation of the first town in the county, and whose 
existence is co-eval with that of the county itself; and, though outranked in 
antiquity as a settlement, is the point from which, in a measure, has emanated 
and grown all of its institutions. Settlements have been made, roads and other 
public improvements have been established, and locations have been selected, 
with regard to their connection with the county seat. 

By the time of which we speak, about a half dozen families had settled in 
what are now the bounds of Pontiac Township. 

Henry Weed and the Youngs were ftom New York, and, as stated, settled 
at this place in 1833. Weed was brother-in-law to the Youngs, having married 
their sister. They built the first cabin in the township, in which all, including 
an unmarried sister of the Youngs, lived. A few years after their settlement, 
occurred in this family what proved to be the first marriage and the first death 
in the township. The wife of Weed died a year or two after coming to the 
place, and he soon after married the younger sister. Mrs. Weed was buried 
near their cabin, which stood adjacent to the spot on which C. J. Beattie 
erected his brick dwelling, a few years ago. Her coffin consisted of walnut 
slabs^ hewed with an ax to a proper thickness. Her remains, with those of 
a few others, still lie there, but no stone or other indication marks their 

resting place. 

The two Young boys died soon after the establishment of the town, in 1837. 
They were interred in a burying-place near Charles Knight's residence. These, 
with several others who were buried there, still lie in the place selected by 
themselves as a resting place for the dead. 

Weed continued to reside- here for some years. Though his county seat 
scheme turned out according to agreement, it did not seem to be as great a 
financial success as he had evidently hoped. Soon after its location, he made a 
sale of lots, and a few were disposed of to James Weed ; but they were afterward 
bought by Henry Stephens for $5.00 each. Even as late as 1850, the whole 
block on which now stands the McGregor House, the Filkins' houses and sev- 
eral more, sold for $20 ; and the block on which stands the American Hotel, 
Dr. Darius Johnson's residence and others sold for $10. 

In 1839, Weed entered the land on which stood his town, and, soon after, 
went away from the county to assist in the survey and construction of a rail- 
road. While engaged in this business, he was attacked with pneumonia and 
bleeding of the lungs, from which he died at Binghamton, N. Y., in 1842. 


Isaac Whicher, whose name has already been mentioned in connection with 
the laying out of the town, came to the place in 1834. He was employed 
by Weed, at $50 per month, to assist in surveying. He was the first County 
Surveyor, being elected to that office over C. W. Reynolds, by a vote of 47 to 
35, May 8th, 1837 ; and when Weed left to engage in his railroad enterprise, 
resigned his office to continue in his employ. 

Nathan Popejoy was from Ohio. He came to the township, and settled 
about two miles east of town, and opened the farm now occupied by Philip 
Rollings. The date of his coming is not quite certain, but was probably in 
1834. He did not buy the land on which he settled, but turned over his claim 
to other parties and removed to Avoca Township. 

Truman Rutherford and his son Erastus, with their families, emigrated from 
Vermont to this place in 1835. The elder Rutherford built a cabin near the 
place where Samuel C. Ladd's residence now stands. Erastus lived in a cabin 
which stood on the lot now occupied by the Baptist Church. 

Although it might admit of a very reasonable doubt whether a Methodist 
preacher could properly be called a settler, yet John Holman, who was of that 
faith and of the profession named, came to the township and resided for a time, 
about the years 1835 and 1836. Holman preached at dwelling houses and 
in the grove, as the season and the occasion seemed to indicate. Holman's 
daughter married Isaac Whicher, who was also a Methodist, as were all who 
made professions of religion. 

Truman Rutherford was, in the early times of the county, a man of more 
than ordinary character. At the first county election, held May 8, 1837, he 
was candidate for Recorder ; and though he received but twenty-one votes in 
the whole county, it was not considered an indication of his unpopularity, as- 
his opponent was elected by the small majority of forty-four. Mr. Rutherford 
was a man of strong religious principles, though somewhat liberal in his views. 
He was a Methodist, but about this time, Wm. Miller began to preach the "early 
coming of Christ," and Rutherford embraced the doctrine, and became so firm 
a believer that, in 1843, at the time set for the "appearing of the Lord," and 
the " end of the world," he bid his. neighbors all' good-bye, and arrayed himself 
preparatory to taking his flight in the air. He, however, continued to reside 
here until 1845, when he died. His wife died three years later. 

Of John Davis, who was the first physician in the county, but little else is 
known, except that he came to the township in about the year 1833, and lived a 
few miles east of town. 

No doubt Cornelius W. Reynolds was the first physician who was an actual 
resident of the village. He had settled in Amity Township, in 1836, but in 
1837. came to Pontiac, where he resided about four years. He was for a time 
Clerk of the County Commissioners' Court, and was the first Postmaster. A 
dozen years later, it is related that the post office at Pontiac was kept in a 
man's hat. In Postmaster Reynolds' time, it must have been a very small 


affair. Certain it is that postal facilities were very meager. For a number of 
years after his time, there was but one mail a week. 

John Foster, familiarly known as "Uncle Johny," is the oldest living resi- 
dent of Pontiac. He first came to the county in 1836, from New "York. He 
lived for a year in Rook's Creek Township, and then returned to his home in 
the East to bring out his family, making his second advent into the township in 
1838, this time settling on the farm adjoining the new fair grounds, and by some 
known as the N. T. Hill place. When Foster came the second time, he brought 
his father-in-law and family, which, with his own, numbered seventeen persons. 
Foster's father-in-law, at that time, was Jabez Shepard. This was a very 
sickly season for this country, and many people died of milk sickness and other 
malarious diseases. Among the number who died were Jabez Shepard and 
wife, and Foster's wife and two children. After residing in Pontiac a few 
years, Foster changed his abode to Avoca, where he remained about six years, 
when he again removed to Owego Township, to what is known as the Stinson 
farm, he in the meantime having married Widow Stinson. For the past dozen 
years he has resided in the city of Pontiac. "Uncle Johnny " is one of the 
few " old landmarks" yet remaining, and relates, with much precision, the events 
of the early days of the county. He takes special delight in relating how, 
during the time that he first resided in the village and kept a place of enter- 
tainment for transient people, he furnished accommodations for Judge Treat, 
Senator Douglas, President Lincoln, and many other celebrities. To some, 
whose acquaintance with Uncle John does not extend back many years, it may 
be interesting, if not surprising, that he organized and with his wife conducted 
the first Sunday School in the township. The school was held in the old 
Court House, and he was Superintendent by the authority of an appointment 
from the Presiding Elder of the Methodist Church. 

Garret M. Blue came to the township in 1836, from Rook's Creek, Town- 
ship, where he had previously located, and settled a few miles northwest of town. 
He was, at one time, Sheriff of the county. In his canvass for election he had 
for his opponent John Foster. The candidates were, doubtless, equally popular, 
as, on counting the ballots, it was found there was a tie. The usual method 
of casting lots was resorted to, and the "lot fell not upon John," but upon 
Garret. Blue resided here until 1849, when he died of cholera. 

The first stock of goods brought to this vicinity was hauled, by ox team, 
from Pekin, Illinois, and displayed for sale by C. H. Perry, who had come to 
the place from Jacksonville, in 1836. He had his store and dwelling in a little- 
log cabin, which stood on the bank of the river, at the north end of the bridge, 
on the spot now occupied by John Schneider's dwelling. He kept the store 
and the records of the court for M. I. Ross, for about two years, and then fol- 
lowed the fortunes of Henry Weed in his railroad enterprise, and never returned. 
While residing here, he was also interested in the mill site, and he and James 
McKee erected a saw-mill. 


James McKee was from Joliet. He came to this point about a year later 
than Perry, and, as mentioned, built the saw-mill. McKee had been one of the 
earliest settlers at Joliet, and at one time was proprietor of all of the West Town, 
which, before the completion of the Chicago & Alton Railroad, was the main 
town. McKee was also engaged in a mill project at Joliet, and erected, in 

1832, the first flouring-mill in that city. 

Joseph and Sylvester Perry were from Ohio. They came to this county in 

1833, and settled a few miles northwest of town. They pre-empted land and, 
in 1839, bought of the Government. The latter died about the last mentioned 
date, but " Uncle Jo." continued to reside here until his death, which occurred 
October 7, 1865. 

Dr. James S. Munson must have been one of the first inhabitants, for while 
M. I. Ross was Clerk of the Commissioners' Court, he was appointed to 
fill the place of Ross, who had been removed. Ross had been elected in 1837, 
and had served a year, when it was ascertained that he was not eligible to hold 
the office, as the law required that officer to reside at the county seat. On the 
5th of June, 1838, the court made an order that, "the above facts appearing, 
M. I. Ross be removed for this cause and for no other; " whereupon James 
Munson was duly appointed to fill the vacancy. 

Thus far we have noted the settlements of what may, with propriety, be 
termed the pioneers of the community, and, in most instances, have noted their 
nativity, advent and location with some precision. In addition to these are 
also remembered James Campbell, Thomas Campbell, Daniel Blue, Andrew S. 
McMillan, Leonard Franklin, David Demewitt, Wm. H. Wells and Joseph 
Hefner. Some of these are so indistinctly remembered that nothing more than 
the name can be recalled, while others lived such a short time in the township 
before removing to another, that it is thought best to mention them in connec- 
tion with their later residence. All, however, mentioned in the list had located 
prior to 1839. 

It will, doubtless, be entertaining to any having a real estate interest 
in the town of Pontiac, to follow, for a little distance, the chain of title 
of the lands which they now occupy, and which, as we have seen were 
primarily vested by right of pre-emption in Weed and the two Youngs. The 
three men were originally equally interested in the town site, and in some of 
the adjoining lands ; but, before a patent was obtained from the Government 
the Youngs both died. Weed then, in 1839, entered the land and the title of 
the whole tract was consequently in his name. Soon after this, Isaac Fellows 
a brother-in-law to the Youngs, came out from New York for the purpose of 
administering on their estate, and of securing to himself, as heir, their interest. 
Amicable settlement was made, by Weed transferring an undivided one-half 
interest in the tract to Isaac Fellows. Thus Fellows and Weed became joint 
proprietors of the town. Subsequently, Isaac Fellows conveyed to Augustus 
Fellows all of his interest, and some other parties, who laid some claim to the 


Young estate, quit-claimed to him. The title then vested in Henry Weed and 
Augustus Fellows. In 1842, Henry Weed died, leaving, as his heirs, Henry 
Weed, Jr., John P. Lewis and Henry Stephens — the last two by virtue of their 
marriage with Weed's daughters. In 1849, Augustus Fellows died, leaving 
the undivided half interest to his wife, who subsequently married Nelson Buck. 
A few years later, a suit was instituted for the purpose of dividing the property. 
Commissioners were appointed, and what was considered by them as an 
equitable portion was set off to the heirs of Weed — Lewis, Stevens and Weed 
— and the remainder to Mrs. Buck. This will explain how some of the oldest 
titles run from Weed, and some from Weed and Fellows, and why some of the 
more modern primary titles run from Stevens, Lewis and Weed, and others 
from Mrs. Buck. 

The Court House which the Youngs and Weed agreed to build for the county 
was erected in due time, being completed in 1841 and occupied, for the first 
time, July 23, 1842. Though but a modest affair in the extreme, being simply 
a small frame building 22 feet wide and 30 long and a story and a half in height, 
and though much inferior to the $3,000 Court House that had been promised, 
it gave great satisfaction. 

Previous to this time, Court had been held in a small log cabin, in which 
the Weeds had lived, in the east part of the town, and this was comparatively 
commodious and convenient. It had a court room above, which was 22x20 
feet, and a small jury room 10 feet square. Below were small offices, for the 
various county dignitaries ; and, on the whole, it answered the wants of the county. 
It was, too, a great local convenience. In it have been held political meet- 
ings, debating societies, churches, Sunday schools and public schools, indigna- 
tion meetings and ratification meetings, and assemblies of all sorts and sizes 
except large sizes. 

Another reason why the people of this vicinity rejoiced was that, as it was 
then believed, the county seat question was settled. Though Livingston County 
has been afflicted comparatively little with the removal malady, yet in the very 
infancy of the county, a severe attack was experienced. On the 30th of Au- 
gust, 1839, an election was held for the purpose of moving the " Seat of Jus- 
tice " several miles up the river. The arguments urged in its favor were numer- 
ous and forcible. Among the reasons given by the "movers" were that Pon- 
tiac was not the most central point ; that it was an unhealthy locality, being low 
and marshy ; and, finally, that the proprietor of the town was not fulfilling his con- 
tract in making the improvements proposed. On the other hand they proposed 
a better site, being high and dry, a central location, being the nearest the center 
of any on the river, and that the Court House should be erected forthwith. 
The result of the election was a large majority in favor of removal — 80 in favor 
and 56 against. 

The vote,' though insufficient to remove the county seat, was sufficient to 
infuse into the parties interested in real estate at Pontiac a disposition to hurry 


up the building of the Court House ; and it was soon ready for occupancy, as 
we have seen. 

Though the removal question was settled, though the Court House was built and 
though the destiny of the town seemed to be fixed, all failed to produce results equiv- 
alent to the expectations of its friends ; and its progress was marked only by its 
absence. It is true the country was receiving some accessions to its farming 
population, and that occasionally, on the retirement of a store keeper or a county 
officer, or, which was generally the case, of both — being united in the same indi- 
vidual — a new settler was noticed ; and at the end of the first decade after its 
foundation, which brings us to 1847, the town of Pontiac was but a little more 
than a name. Travelers frequently stopped at the store, and, in earnest, 
inquired " how far it was to Pontiac ; " and, on being informed that they were 
now within the precincts of thai classic metropolis, gazed with looks which indi- 
cated mingled feelings of wonder and disgust. It consisted, even at the day 
mentioned, of only a half-dozen cabins beside the Court House, and these so 
scattered and hid among the clumps of bushes that they were thereby rendered 
almost invisible. 

In 1842, Samuel C. Ladd came from Connecticut, and settled in the village. 
No accessions of any consequence had been made for two or three years, except 
such as remained but a short time, and are not entitled to mention as perma- 
nent inhabitants. Mr. Ladd proved indeed a valuable addition to the settlement, 
as he was a man of education, social culture and large business qualifications. Mr. 
Ladd resided here until the time of his death, which, at the time of this writing, 
has just occurred; and to tell the story of his life is to give the history of the 
town. He was, in one sense of the word, here at the beginning, and has con- 
tinued to reside at the place until the present year. He has held almost every 
position of trust, and has been more intimately connected with the growth and 
development of the place than almost any other man. He taught the first 
school in the neighborhood, in 1843, in the old Court House. He was the first 
real merchant ; he held numerous offices, among which were those of Postmaster, 
County Clerk, Circuit Clerk and Assessor of Internal Revenue, the duties of 
which offices he performed to the entire satisfaction of all. He was for many 
years engaged in agricultural pursuits, and was one of the originators of the Liv- 
ingston County Agricultural Society. He died at his residence, June 22, 1878. 

Willet Gray, who was associated with Mr. Ladd in his mercantile enterprises, 
came to Pontiac, in 1844, as clerk for John & William K. Brown, of Blooming- 
ton. He continued with the Browns for a couple of years, when they sold out 
and Ladd & Gray engaged in the business. They together, for a time, also 
owned and operated the saw-mill which had been built by McKee & Perry. In 
these branches of business they continued for several years, when they sold out 
to B. T. Phelps, of Ottawa. 

Phelps did not come to Pontiac to reside, but employed John Wolgamot to 
superintend the store, installing Allen Fellows as clerk. 


John A. Fellows had come to the county from New York, in October^ 1847, 
and lived in Avoca until 1849, when he came to Pontiac to work on the farm 
for Augustus Fellows, and when Ladd & Gray sold out, as has already been 
stated, Allen "laid down the shovel and the hoe" and took up the yard stick. 
He made a popular clerk, and in all branches of business, society, politics and 
war, his peculiar faculty, then developed, of making himself agreeable has 
marked his life as his distinguishing feature. He has held the office of Post- 
master of Pontiac, Circuit Clerk and many other minor positions, all of which 
have been filled in a most acceptable manner. 

John Wolgamot was from Ottawa, and came to the place as manager of 
Phelps' store. He has been Justice of the Peace, Township School Treasurer 
and Schoolmaster by terms. He was a good business man and, though of 
quiet habits, made many friends. 

Philip Rollings and family came from Highland County, Ohio, in 1846, 
and settled on the farm two miles east of Pontiac, on which they still reside. 

Chas. Jones, familiarly known as " Old Charley," who was the original 
owner of the land on which the town of Forrest is built, came to Pontiac and 
lived from 1843 till 1850. He now resides in Belle Prairie. 

In 1846, Augustus Fellows, having come into possession of half of the town 
•of Pontiac, and having removed to the place, erected the first hotel. Though 
accommodations for man and beast were obtainable, even in the more primitive 
times, yet this was the first attempt to make a specialty of serving the transient 
public, for a compensation. The hotel, which was afterward known as "Buck's 
Tavern," was ready for occupancy in 1848, and, though still incomplete, was 
hailed by citizens and travelers as an invaluable addition to the institutions of 
this part of the country. And, indeed, it proved so to be, as many a weary 
traveler who yet survives attests. The " tavern " was rented in the first year 
to Champlain, brother-in-law of Gen. Gridley, who occupied it, while Mr. and 
Mrs. Fellows went on a trip of business and pleasure to their former home in 
New York. On their return from the East, they took charge, and it was during 
the administration of this landlady that the tavern gained its greatest popu- 

And now this brings us to one of the most eventful periods in the history 
of the township. This year, 1849, was the "cholera season," and the ravages 
made in this section were terrible ; and, for the number of inhabitants in the 
settlement, the fatality was greater than in almost any locality in the county. 
Out of a total population of seventy-eight within the limits of the township, 
thirteen died. Among the number who perished by the awful scourge were 
Augustus Fellows and two children. In all, five died at the hotel. When Fellows 
was stricken down, Dr. Holland, who then resided in Rook's Creek, was called 
to attend him, was attacked with the disease and lived but a few days. Ann 
Oliver, sister of Franklin Oliver, mentioned in Chatsworth Township, was 
teaching school in Owego, and came in to nurse the Fellows family, and was 


soon numbered with the dead. Garret M. Blue, who lived northwest of town, 
dropped in to see the afflicted family, and while conversing with some of the 
attendants at the house, felt some of the symptoms of the disease. He hurried 
out and, mounting his horse, galloped rapidly home, where he arrived with only 
sufficient strength to crawl to bed, from which he never rose. In this house, 
five died — Blue, wife, son, daughter and grandchild. John Blue lived on the 
farm known in later years as the Miller farm, two miles east of Pontiac. In 
this family occurred three deaths out of the four members. Blue and wife and 
one child all perished. These were truly dark days, and no one but an actual 
observer can picture the gloom that settled on the little community, or describe 
he alarm and excitement that prevailed. At times, the number of persons 
afflicted was greater than the number of those who were well, and much greater 
than those who were willing or could be induced to wait upon them ; and the > 
disposition of the dead was a very serious question. Business of all kinds was 
stopped. Intercourse with the outer world was entirely cut off. as those having 
business at this point invariably avoided the route through this part of the 

This proved a real drawback to the prosperity of the township, as several 
of its most enterprising citizens had died, and the reputation of this locality 
for health had suffered greatly. However, an emigrant occasionally alighted 
upon the place. A relative or friend, writing back to the old home in the East 
or South, would induce some one to come out on a visit, see the country and 
perhaps work a year, and once here he would likely continue. 

In 1852, Jacob Streamer arrived at the place. Mr. Streamer had 
left his native State, Pennsylvania, in 1844, and had come to Illinois, 
stopping, for a time, at Magnolia. In 1850, he came to Livingston 
County, and clerked two years for Jerry Mathias, who was then running 
a store at Reading. He arrived at Pontiac May 8, 1852. Perhaps Pontiac 
has never had a better example of what perseverance and industry will accom- 
plish than that presented by Mr. Streamer. When he arrived at Pontiac, he 
found a poor opening for business. There were not a dozen families in the 
place, and, including the Court House, there were but six houses. The man- 
ners and style of the inhabitants were of a primitive character, and but poorly 
prepared to support a man in the business which Mr. Streamer proposed to 
carry on. With physical disabilities that would have discouraged almost any 
young man just setting out in life, and with but $15.00 in his possession, he yet 
went to work, and by constant and untiring energy has built up a large busi- 
ness, made himself a good home, and provided amply for his declining years. 
Not only so, but his house is crammed with books and other evidences of culture 
and refinement. His store, as well as his library, is packed with curiosities. 
He makes a specialty of such goods as improve with age. His old wines, 
brandies and cigars have become noted to such an extent that, to illustrate, the 
following story is current. Some years ago, he took into his store a young man 


to learn the business, and who was advised that the best way to gain such 
knowledge was simply to " keep his ears open." The young man soon learned 
that many of the articles were the more valuable as they increased in years, and 
soon became habituated to offering to his customers that argument in favor of 
the wares he desired to sell. One morning, a lady entered the store, desiring to 
purchase some butter of a good quality, and inquired of the young man if he 
had any of the desirable article on hand. With promptness, the bright and 
rising merchant replied : " Yes, ma'am, we have some that is very fine — none 
like it in town — an article that we have had on hand over fifteen years." The 
story does not go further to indicate that the lady was thereby convinced of the 
desirable qualities to such an extent that she was induced to purchase. 

After the death of Augustus Fellows, his widow married Nelson Buck, who 
came about this time, from McLean County, and who has since figured largely 
in the affairs of Livingston, and especially in the local politics and business of 
Pontiac. Mr. Buck was the President of the first Board of Trustees elected in 
the town. He was, for many terms, elected Surveyor of the county, in the 
the discharge of which duties he took the greatest pride. A few years ago, he 
received an appointment from the Government to proceed to the West and sur- 
vey some lands that were to be brought into market. Mr. Buck raised his force 
of assistants in Pontiac, and made his way to his field of labor. They had, 
however, but just begun operations, when, as is supposed, the whole party were 
massacred by the Indians. No positive trace of him or any of his men has 
ever been discovered, but indirect information has been obtained, which leaves 
little doubt that the above are the sad facts. 

The reputation gained by the town, during the year 1849, brought an influx 
of doctors, and, among others, Drs. John Hulse and C. B. Ostrander. The for- 
mer was from Kentucky, and practiced in Pontiac several years, and then 
removed to Oregon. 

Ostrander remained here but a short time, and changed his location to 
Avoca, where he still resides ; and, in the history of that township, he receives 
further attention. The Doctor was formerly very fond of playing practical jokes 
upon his friends : and in the largeness of his stories he had a reputation that was not 
excelled in the country. A story, illustrating both of these peculiarities of his 
character, is here related : 

After he had removed to his farm, in describing the good qualities and fine 
features of his plantation to some of his Chicago friends, he alluded to a won- 
derful fish pond that occupied a corner of it, from which " barrels and barrels" 
of fine fish had been taken by him, in an incredibly short space of time. His 
friends, not dreaming that it was simply a fish story, and desiring a little rural 
sport, concluded to pay the Doctor a visit, and try their luck with the hook and 
the net, and wrote the Doctor accordingly. 

A few weeks later, the party, duly equipped with fishing tackle of various 
kinds, drove up to the door. They were entertained over night, and the next 


morning, contrary, perhaps, to the Doctor's hopes, inquired for the fishing 
ground. Ostrander was equal to the occasion ; and, without betraying the least 
hesitation, conducted them to the back of the place, to an old well, which had 
been dug for supplying water to the cattle. When arrived within a short dis- 
tance of the well, with seeming surprise, he said to the fishers, " Well, gentle- 
men, this is the place where the pond has been, but," pointing to the well, " I 
think it must all have leaked out at that hole." 

The first resident lawyers were J. H. McGregor and J. H. Dart. It is not 
intimated that there was no litigation in this vicinity prior to their arrival, for 
the records of the court show that the contrary was the case. Counsel, how- 
ever, was obtained from Bloomington and Ottawa, and, in many cases, lawyers 
from Chicago practiced in this court. 

McGregor was doubtless the pioneer lawyer, Dart coming in a short time 
after, and going into partnership with him. 

About this time, or a little later, Lee & Cowan opened up, on the west side 
of the square, their general store. The store occupied a position near where 
the Livingston County Bank now stands. The former of these gentlemen, 
Charles M. Lee, was somewhat of a politician, and was, at one time, Judge of 
the county. 

A. B. Cowan was a very popular merchant. He died at this place a few 
years since. 

J. W. Remick came from Pennsylvania, and, after arriving in this part of 
the county, followed the trade of miller for several years. In 1856, he was 
■elected Sheriff of the county, in which capacity he served two years. After 
two years, during which time he was engaged in farming, he was elected to the 
office of Circuit Clerk, serving as such officer for eight years. 

The Garner family, consisting of Samuel and sons — William T., Jerome 
and James — arrived at this place about the year 1851. Jerome was a lawyer, 
and practiced here until 1861, when he removed from the county. 

Henry and Ira Loveless made their advent about this time. They were 
from Obio. The former came through the county first as a peddler, and being 
pleased with the location of a little town that was being started just east of 
Pontiac, located there and opened a store. But the town failed, and Loveless 
went into politics and was elected Sheriff. Ira had aspirations for office, also, 
and was one of the Justices of the Peace before the adoption of the Township 
Organization Act. Both are long since dead. 

Dr. J. M. Perry, from Ohio, came in 1852, and practiced medicine in Pon- 
tiac and vicinity twelve or fifteen years. He died six years ago. 

After the cholera season, for five years, nothing of importance or interest 
occurred worthy of record. A few changes in business took place, a new 
family arrived once in a while, and a new house or shanty made its appearance ; 
but, at the end of the period mentioned, but little change had been made in the 
general aspect of the village and its surroundings. But during the year 1854, 


an event occurred which proved to be of the utmost importance, not only to 
this community, but to all of Central and Eastern Illinois — an event which, 
had it happened in any other way, or had in the least varied from the original 
design, would have so affected the destiny of the town as to have made At 
almost useless to have written its history. Of course it will be guessed that 
reference is made to the completion of the Chicago & Alton Railroad, then 
known as the Chicago & Mississippi. For nearly twenty years had the county 
seat been located ; but with the lack of commercial advantages, the progress of 
this part of the State had been extremely slow. Not onlv in growth and pop- 
ulation had there been but little perceptible change, but the morals of the 
people in general were not what we find them in later years. True, there were 
well-meaning and honest people, but society was fashioned after the frontier 
style. Fights were common, drinking, horse-racing and gambling were usual 
pastimes^ and the Sabbath was almost wholly disregarded. Commerce is said 
to be the great civilizef and educator, and by many is deemed the Christianizer 
of communities as well as of nations. In this instance, it proved to be all of 
the above and more ; it brought the people here, and improved their condition 
more than the most enthusiastic could have imagined. With the railroad, came 
the people, and with the people came schools and churches, and to these came 
teachers and books and ministers and Sunday schools. With the railroad, came 
improved methods of farming, better plows, better means of harvesting grain, 
better prices for grain. With the railroad, came lumber, which enabled those 
who would settle on the prairie to protect their grain from the stock which 
roamed at large, and to protect their cattle and horses and themselves from the 
inclemencies of the weather. This made it possible to utilize all of that vast 
extent of country which, till then, was thought to be useless, except for . a 
boundless pasture field. As a consequence, we find that, within the period of 
two years from the time that the road became a fixed fact, ten times as much 
land was entered in Livingston County as had been during the fifteen years 

As an illustration of the state of society which existed here at that time, it 
is related that, at one of the stations on the road between this and Chicago, an 
individual who had evidently taken a drop too much got aboard the train and 
took his seat. By the time the conductor came around, he was somewhat over- 
come, and to the request of the conductor to satisfy the demands of the com- 
pany in regard to fare, replied in a very unsatisfactory and unintelligible man- 
ner. The conductor allowed him to remain until after having passed a few 
stations, hoping that he might, in a measure, regain his senses, and then again 
requested his ticket or its equivalent ; but the passenger was still oblivious, and 
answered only in words, the meaning of which was obscure. At last, the offi- 
cial becoming discouraged and somewhat irritated, asked him " where he was 
going to, anyway ?" To this question, the traveler answered, with more than 
ordinary lucidity, that he was " going to the City of Destruction." The con- 


ductor, after cogitating a moment, replied, " Well, my friend, that station is not 
on this road, but I will put you off at Pontiac, which is the nearest point, and 
I have no doubt you will find parties there who will do all in their power to 
assist you to your destination." As before intimated, a new era was dawning 
upon the community, and a new impetus seemed to be imparted to the whole 
country. New houses sprang up in Pontiac ; demands were made for a school 
house ; the old Court House was soon found inadequate for its purpose ; churches 
were in requisition, and everything had an encouraging appearance. 

The first train of cars passed through the place July 4, 1854. It was a 
grand holiday and fuller of importance than any had dreamed. A year later,, 
the population of the little village had increased to over three hundred ; and in 
eighteen months the town was organized. A newspaper was started, the first 
number appearing March 14, 1855, only eight months after the completion of 
the road. As further indicating the condition of affairs at the seat of justice, 
a few items gleaned from its pages are here given. The first item noticed is 
one which shows an improved sentiment in regard to the morals of the people. 
A meeting had been called at the Court House to take into consideration the 
means of suppressing the sale of intoxicating liquors. J. H. Dart was Chair- 
man and Samuel C. Ladd was appointed Secretary. After duly considering 
the matter, a resolution was adopted, to the effect that a committee be appointed 
to wait on the liquor dealers and request them to stop the business. The com- 
mittee consisted of Wm. T. Garner, Wm. B. Lyon, H. H. Norton, Robert 
Aerl and I. P. McDowell. The committee to draft the resolution was composed 
of George Bishop, Nelson Buck, J. H. McGregor and Darius Johnson. Indica- 
tive of the state of business at this time, cards are inserted in the paper showing 
that Ira Loveless was Justice of the Peace ; McGregor & Dart were in the law 
and real estate business, as also was George Bishop ; J. M. Perry and Darius 
Johnson were practicing medicine, the latter having lately come to the town ; 
Jacob Streamer had quit tailoring, and had been elected Justice of the Peace, 
and was selling drugs and groceries ; Buck & Gray were selling clothing, dry 
goods and groceries — Buck had but a few years before married the widow Fel- 
lows, had been keeping the tavern, and now desired to sell the same ; Buck & 
Gray were also buying grain ; Ladd was still in the mercantile business, but 
with another partner, I. P. McDowell ; B. J. Phelps had a general store, which 
was under the supervision of John Wolgamot ; H. G. Challis was here then, 
and was carrying on the blacksmithing business, and advertised it. John Kin- 
gore, "sir," then kept the hotel "sir." A few months later, Dr. Sheldon and 
Dr. Thomas Croswell had arrived. Attorney Simeon DeWitt had located here. 
A lumber yard was opened, by Ellis & Olmstead ; A. Stephens had opened 
another hotel; Z. H. Nettleton was finding some sale for jewelry, and clocks 
and watches were needing repairs. Alexander Scott found sufficient demand 
for harness, to induce him to set up in business here. And last but greatest, 
the Livingston County News, the paper from which this information has been 
gained, had three hundred subscribers. 


Certainly this is a good showing for so short a time. It shows that there 
was beginning to be a demand for almost all kinds of goods. It shows that 
there were people throughout the county to use the goods, and that there was 
money, or its equivalent, with which to purchase them. It. indicates, too, that 
a taste for reading and a desire for information were being developed. 

Perhaps but few items of news, in a little local paper, have had more to do 
with settling up the country, or have had more influence in bringing people to 
realize the value of the farming lands in this vicinity, than the following, which 
is an extract from a letter written by John J. Taylor, now banker, of Fairbury, 
then farmer, of Pontiac Township : 

I have broken my land, fenced it, built a house and stable, dug a well and paid for the land 
and all of the improvements, from the first crop, and have $144.00 overplus. 

This was said of what is still known as the Taylor farm. Mr. Taylor had 
broken his land and sowed it to wheat, and the yield had been enormous, aver- 
aging over thirty bushels to the acre ; and, as the land had been bought cheap, 
and the price of wheat that year was over $1.00 per bushel, the result was 
easily accomplished. This item was copied into the agricultural papers, and 
from them into many of the Eastern journals, and by them commented upon ; 
so that it was brought to the notice of many who were thereby induced to emi- 
grate to the county. 

Four years after the completion of the railroad, the village of Pontiac num- 
bered not less than 700 inhabitants, and the township 200 more. 

Another newspaper, the Sentinel, was established. The old Court House 
had, as a temple of justice, outlived its usefulness, and a new brick one had 
appeared. A school house, costing $2,000, had been built; and nearly all of 
the north side of the public square was built up. The west side of the square 
was almost solid. Two new church buildings, the Presbyterian and Methodist, 
furnished religious privileges for all who desired them, and many convenient 
and tasty residences had begun to appear. 

In 1857, the county voted to adopt what is known as the Township Organi- 
zation Act ; and accordingly, the first township election held in this township 
took place April 6, 1858. 

The election was held at the Court House, Dr. Darius Johnson being called 
to the chair. A motion was made and carried that Ira Loveless act as Moder- 
ator, and Nelson Buck was chosen Clerk. After being sworn by J. W. Remick, 
the polls were opened and 179 votes polled. 

The result of the first election was the choosing of Wm. T. Russell as Super- 
visor ; E. R. Maples, Clerk ; S. L. Manker, Assessor ; Jerome Garner, Over- 
seer of the Poor ; Wm. Manlove, James Nelson and A. D. Eylar, Commission- 
ers of Highways ; Jacob Streamer and Adams Morrow, Justices of the Peace ; 
E. H. Masters and Joseph H. Virgin, Constables. Samuel McCormick and 
James W. Remick were candidates for Collector, and, each receiving eighty-nine 
votes, a tie was declared. The candidates agreed to a new election, which was 



held on the 24th. The second election brought out a very full vote, Remick 
receiving 109 and McCormick 91. 

The first road authorized by the Commissioners was that known as the 
Avoca Road, and " extended from the south end of Locust street, in Pontiac, run- 
ning south, east and south, to a point at the township line, being the southeast 
corner of the Taylor farm." Five other roads were also authorized and sur- 
veyed during the year. 

The following shows the names of the principal officers elected at each sub- 
sequent township election, and, also, the number of votes cast at each : ' 




William T. Russell... 

Jonathan Duff. 

Henry Hill 

Henry Hill 

B. W. Gray 

John Dehner 

John Dehner 

John Dehner 

John Dehner 

W. B.Lyon 

J. Duff.... 

J. Duff. 

J. Duff 

R. W. Babcock 

R. W. Babcock 

J. E. Morrow 

J. E. Morrow... . 

J E. Morrow 

J. E. Morrow 

J. E. Morrow 

J. E. Morrow 


E. R. Maples 

R. W. Babcock.... 

A. W. Cowan 

J. R. Wolgamot... 

K. W. Cowan 

P. H. Bond.. 

F. H. Bond 

J. W. Smith 

Isaac Aerl 

S. S. Lawrence.... 

J. A. Fellows 

George Pittenger.. 
W. H. Jenkins..... 

J. T. Kay 

J. T. Kay 

A. W. Cowan 

A. W. Cowan 

A W. Cowan 

A. W. Cowan 

Z. Winters 

A. W. Cowan 


S. L. Manker.... 
William Gore.... 

J. F. Culver 

William Gore.... 
William Gore.... 

S. C. Ladd 

S. C. Ladd 

S. S. Lawrence., 

J. H. Gaff 

N. Buck 

William Gore.... 
William Gore.... 
William Perry... 
William Perry. . . 
William Perry... 
William Perry... 

J. H. Gaff. 

J. H. Gaff. 

J. H. Gaff. 

Wiliiam Perry.. 
William Perry.. 


James W. Remick.. 

C. N. Coe 

H. J. Babcock 

J. A. Fellows 

J. A. Fellows 

G. Wo'gamat 

J. R. Wolgamot.... 
Robert Kingore.... 

George Fowler 

H. Tuckerman 

Charles Watson.... 

L. Bancroft 

(!. A. Campbell 

L. G. Goodspeed.... 
L. G. Goodspeed.... 

J. H. Smith 

James H. Campbell... 

John Egan _ 

John Egan 


S. Mossholder 



In addition to the last named, completing the list of township officers elect, 
are the following : Township School Treasurer, D. M. Lyon ; Justices of the 
Peace, J. VV. Woodrow, M. I. Brower and Henry Hill ; Constables, John Gib- 
bons, Charles Watson, John Egan ; Road Commissioners, John Wallace, Arthur 
Marsh and N. W. Kellogg. 

It will be noticed that, while there has been no sudden increasings of the 
vote (which is a fair indication of the population), there has been gradual and 
decided growth in that respect. Whatever falling off there may have been at 
any time can be easily accounted for by temporary causes ; and the next elec- 
tion will show a corresponding addition. In 1862, the poll was 262. The next 
year, quite a number of the voting population were " off to the war," and the 
vote decreased to 237. The next year, the One Hundred and Twenty-ninth 
Regiment took nearly a hundred voters from Pontiac and vicinity, and a corres- 
ponding lack is noticed in the poll. In 1866 the war had ended, and the 
soldiers, whose lives were spared, had returned, and from that time forward the 
usual increase is noticed. 

Though Pontiac Township was considered, for some years, a little backward 
in the attention paid to the education of the youth, in later years, ample amends 



have been made, and Pontiac Township has expended more money in the last 
dozen years, for school purposes, than any other in the county. Not until 
1858 was there more than one school house. In 1856, but one school was 
supported, and that at an expense of but $100. There were in attendance but 
fifty-eight scholars, though there were one hundred and sixty-seven in the town- 
ship. The highest wages paid to the teacher that year was $20.00 per month. 
The following table will show at a glance, better than a page of sentences, 
the growth of the school system for this locality : 





Children Be- 
tween 6 and 21. 

Highewt wages 
paid teachers. 

Total paid to 












$ 20 00 
100 00 
100 00 
112 00 

$ 100 00 


3220 0O 


4208 00 


6710 00 

The most encouraging feature of the foregoing table is the evidence, not 
only of increase in per cent, of persons in school, but the present proportion, of 
those of school age, who receive the benefits offered by the public school system. 
While the attendance is not as general as that attained in States where a com- 
pulsory law is in force, it is still much greater than in most other States, and, as 
compared with other portions of Illinois, stands much higher in this regard than 
the average. 

In the late war, this township took no unimportant part. Several almost 
entire companies were raised here, and this is one of the few townships that 
raised their full quota without, being drafted. Notably, the M. B. Church of 
Pontiac sent, with the exception of two, all of its male members, including the 
Pastor, with the One Hundred and Twenty-ninth Regiment ; and a remarkable 
fact may be added that, though engaged in many and fierce battles, every one 
returned alive. 

Of those who thus took their lives in their hands, as it were, to fight their 
country's battles, seventy-two either died on the field in actual conflict, of 
wounds or of disease contracted while in the service. 

A full list of all these, together with all soldiers and officers who enlisted 
from this township, will be found on another page. 

The township of Pontiac is described in the survey as Congressional Town 
28 north, Range 5 east of the Third Principal Meridian. It is one township 
west of the center of the county, and twenty-nine miles from the farthest corner. 

The land is quite level, but not so much so as to render any part of it unfit 
for cultivation. Formerly, some portions were flat and marshy ; but, by good, 
drainage, have become tillable, and prove to be of the best quality for agricul- 
tural purposes. At present, there is scarcely an acre in the whole township,, 
except what is occupied by the bed of the Vermilion River, that is not well 
adapted to farming. 

The Vermilion River flows through the township, from the southeast to the 
northwest, dividing it into two nearly equal parts. Wolf Creek runs through 


the northern part, and empties into the Vermilion after leaving the township. 
These furnish an abundance of excellent stock water to the farms near which 
they pass, and Vermilion River affords good water-power for the jnill located at 
Pontiac. Fish, in some variety, abound. 

The timber at this point is mostly oak, walnut, maple and linn, and covers 
the larger part of Section 7 and small portions of 17, 25 and 36. Building 
stone, suitable for foundations, is found in the western part ; and on Sections 
25 and 36, gravel, of a good quality for building roads, is obtained. 

The Chicago & Alton Railroad, from the northeast to the southwest, and the 
Chicago & Paducah, from northwest to southeast, cross each other and the Ver- 
milion River at Pontiac. 


The village of Pontiac was incorporated under the general law of the State, 
February 12, 1856, by the election of a Board of Trustees, consisting of Nel- 
son Buck, J. W. Strevelle, S. C. Ladd, Z. H. Nettleton and H. Jones — the 
first named being chosen Chairman or President. 

Under this organization the town continued • for nine years. During the 
time much discussion arose, and much bitter feeling was engendered, in regard 
to the sale of intoxicating liquors. Indeed, the local politics of the town con- 
sisted almost wholly in this question ; and, upon this, the two parties were 
almost evenly divided. Sometimes the license party elected the ' Board, and 
sometimes the anti-license party succeeded. 

At last, in 1865, an attempt was made, by way of legislation, to set the 
question at rest by obtaining a special charter, which prohibited, not only the 
sale of liquors, but restrained the Trustees from granting any authority what- 
ever to saloon keepers to vend such article. The charter, however, was satis- 
factory to its friends only in so far as they were enabled to elect Trusetes who 
would enforce its provisions in accordance with their views of its merits ; and 
the temperance question was not fully settled. 

The other provisions of the charter were much the same as those in effect in 
other towns of like size ; but on account of this peculiarity, it was obnoxious to 
a portion of the inhabitants. Attempts were therefore made to obtain a new 
special charter, but without effect ; and the Princeton Charter, as it was denom- 
inated, continued in force until 1872. 

In 1870, the people of the State, at a general election, adopted a new Con- 
stitution, in which was a clause prohibiting " class legislation ; " and under this 
Constitution, the Legislature passed a general law in regard to the government 
of cities and towns, in the Winter of 1870-71. 

On the 11th of September, 1872, the city of Pontiac was organized under 
the new law, by the election of R. W. Babcock as first Mayor ; F. C. Brown, 
W. H. Clelland, Martin Dolde, L. E. Kent, William Perry and Charles Gross 
as Aldermen ; and A. W. Cowan as Clerk. 


nj c<^ 



An important measure, adopted that year, has had a marked effect upon the 
appearance of the city, rendering it, at the same time, more substantial and 
handsome than it otherwise would have been. An extensive fire, consuming a 
large portion of the business houses northwest of the public square, had just been 
■experienced ; and, to prevent, in a measure, the repetition of such a catastrophe, 
the Council passed the ordinance known as the " fire limits law," which prevented 
the erection of wooden buildings, not only in the "burnt district," but in any 
part of the business portion of the city. The consequence has been that the 
new buildings about the square are all of brick, making this part of town not 
only much more solid, but adding greatly to its fine appearance. 

The present officers of the city are : A. F. Fisher, Mayor ; M. A. Renoe 
(Acting Mayor), B. Humiston, E. Wilson, H. H. Norton, J. P. Turner and 
Samuel Hancock, Aldermen ; Z. Winters, Clerk ; W. S. Lacey, Treasurer. 

« Until 1874, the schools of Pontiac were under the control of a Board of 
Directors, consisting of three persons, and ranked in their government with 
the other district schools of the county ; but, at the date mentioned, the town 
having a population of over 2,000, and the friends of the schools realizing that 
some advantages would accrue from the adoption of the general law authorizing 
a Board of Education, organized under this act, electing as the first Board 
Jonathan Duff, J. W. Woodrow, E. W. Capron, S. 0. Pillsbury, Aaron Weider 
and Martin Dolde, the first named being President, and the second, Secretary. „ 
Under the new system, the schools have worked with great satisfaction. A better 
method of grading has been adopted. ' Teachers have been selected more with refer- 
ence to qualification for the particular positions to be filled. Better rules and 
regulations for their government have been adopted and enforced, than formerly. 

The school buildings, though yet scarcely adequate for their purpose, are 
the best in the county. The main building, near the center of the north side 
of the city, was erected in 1866, at a cost of $23,000. It is a fine building, three 
stpries in height, containing five principal and two class rooms, and is capable of 
of accommodating nearly four hundred pupils. A principal and six assistants are 
employed for this building. A primary school on the south sideof the river, 
and one on the west side of the Chicago & Alton Railroad, are also maintained. 

The present corps of teachers consists of R. B. Welch, Superintendent ; 
Belle Borin, E. O. McCulloch, Mary Sumner, Rose Rilea, A. W. Kellogg, 
Josie Schneider, H. M. Fursman and Rose Camp, Assistants. 

A few items taken from the Principal's report for 1876, though two years 
past, will not vary greatly from the report of the present year, which has not 
yet been submitted. 

Number of children between 6 and 21 1,209 

Total enrolled durin<r the year , 7(57 

Total enr died in High School..... 112 

Total enrolled in Grammar School 165 

Total enrolled in Intermediate School 175 

Total enrolled in Primary School 315 

Number of teachers employed '. 10 

Total paid out for support of schools $6,947 11 r 


But few towns of the size of Pontiac are better supplied with church privi- 
leges than this. At a very early day in the history of the place, church 
services were held, but not till a comparatively modern date was there a church 
organization, or even regular service. A Methodist class was organized in 
1850; and irregular services by Presbyterian clergymen were held in the old 
Court House, and in the Buck Hotel a little later; but no building was erected, or 
even an organization effected, until 1855. The first preaching by a Presbj'te- 
rian minister was in 1852, by Rev. Amasa Drake, of Chicago. The services 
were conducted in the hotel named, and were at irregular intervals. Rev. Mr. 
Day, of Morris, preached a few times in the old Court House, as did also Par- 
son High. The first regular preaching was by Rev. L. H. Loss, in 1855, when 
he organized the Presbyterian Church of Pontiac. The church was organized 
October, 1855. The original members were William J. Murphy, Sen., and wife, 
Abel C. Kidder and wife, and Mrs. Maria Buck ; the total number being but five. 
The Rev. I. T. Whittemore, was the first pastor chosen, in 1856. Under his ad- 
ministration, was the first church building in the town and (with one exception) 
in the county erected. This was built in 1856, at a cost of nearly $3,000. 
It was considered, in its early days, a very handsome and commodious edifice, 
and doubts were entertained whether the society needed so extensive a structure,, 
or would ever see the time when its capacity would be equalled by its congre- 
gation. Not only did it outlive its usefulness, but it saw during its existence 
the erection of five others, four of which are larger and much more expensive. 
In 1872, it was decided by the society to replace their old building, by one 
commensurate in size to their increased wants ; and their present neat and sub- 
stantial house of worship was erected. The old building was sold to Wallace 
Lord, and is used by him as an opera house, and though it is no longer a 
place of worship, it is still the Lord's house. The new building was con- 
structed at a cost of a little over $18,000, including grounds. Its size is forty- 
two feet in width, and, including the chancel, ninety in length ; and it is capable 
of seating about four hundred persons. The present membership of the 
church is 162. The Pastors in charge of the society since Whittemore have 
been Adam Johnson, Alonzo P. Johnson, J. McConnell, W. H. Gardner, R. 
Kesslar, and the present Pastor, Rev. Benjamin L. Swan. The Sunday school 
in connection with this church was organized in 1855, with forty scholars, and 
with Rev. W. J. Murphy as Superintendent. The next year, J. W. Strevelle 
was elected Superintendent, and held the office continuously until 1870. The 
present Superintendent is A. W. Kellogg. The school numbers at this time 
180 scholars. 

The M. E. Church was organized in 1861, but a class had been formed 
nearly ten years before, and, in 1858, they had built a house of worship. The 
old house, which has since been sold to the Catholic society, cost $2,600. The 
society, at its first organization, numbered sixty persons, and was under the 
pastorate of Rev. M. Spurlock. Under his preaching, and that of his success- 


ors, the, society grew rapidly in numbers, influence and wealth, until, in 1866, 
its demands were found to be largely in excess of the old building, and a new 
one, adequate to the wants and means of the congregation, was decided upon. 
This was the centennial year of Methodism in the United States ; and, though 
building materials were never before nor since so high, a building worthy of the 
church and the year was founded, and, in due time, completed. The structure 
was erected at an outlay of $22,000, is forty-three by seventy feet in size, and 
will accommodate a congregation of 480 persons. 

The society has increased steadily and rapidly, numbering at this time 
265 members. In 1872, a neat and comfortable parsonage was erected at a 
cost of $2,000, thus making, in value, the largest church property owned by 
any one society in the county. The Sunday school, in connection with this 
church, was organized at the time the first class was formed, and consisted of about 
forty scholars, with Mrs. Sarah Remick as Superintendent. The school has grown 
to number, at present, nearly three hundred. J. F. Culver, present Pastor of 
the Church, is Superintendent, and has occupied the position for eighteen years. 
As early as 1854, Rev. Washington Houston, a pioneer preacher of the 
Christian or Disciple Church, preached at this plaGe, and organized a society of 
this denomination about a year later. The primary organization consisted of 
John Powell, William Perry, Dr. J. M. Perry, WilsOn Hull, Robert Sample 
and their wives. Irregular services were held in the Court House and in the 
school house until 1865, when they united with the other denomination of 
Christians, sometimes called "New Lights," in the erection of a church edifice. 
The house was put up at a cost of about five thousand dollars, and occupied by 
both societies for a few years, when the latter abandoned their organization, and 
both societies, through financial difficulties, relinquished the building. The loss 
of the house proved to be a great discouragement to the society, and its organi- 
zation was in a measure discontinued. However, on January 1, 1874, through 
the efforts of a few of the members, the society was reorganized, and Elder 
Charles Rowe was chosen Pastor. He served in this capacity oneyear, and was 
then followed by Elder W. F. Richardson, who has since ministered to the 
Church. Although they own no church property, they meet in the building 
formerly occupied and owned by them. The society numbers about one 
hundred members. The Sunday school, under the Superintendency of John 
Bell, numbers about sixty. 

Catholic services were held here for the first time in July, 1857, by Rev 
Father Hurley, and occasionally thereafter Fathers Kennedy, Sherry, Cahill and 
Lonergan visited the town and preached at William Cleary's house. In 1866, 
■ the Catholic Church bought of the Methodists their house of worship for §2,000, 
and fitted it up for the use of themselves. The first mass celebrated in this 
house was by the Rev. Father O'Neill. Since this time, regular services have 
been held here by Revs. Quigley, Fanning, Hanley and the present priest, 
Rev. Father Finch. 


The Baptist denomination had held meetings here, with varying regularity, 
for a number of years before an organization was effected. Rev. Frederick 
Ketcham came and preached for them during the year 1861, and organized the 
society, and, in 1862, he moved to Pontiac and took charge of the public 
schools, and also of the church, as its Pastor. He continued to preach for the 
congregation until the year 1865 ; and during the last year of his ministry a 
house of worship was erected. The building is a neat frame, substantially con- 
structed and nicely furnished, and will accommodate about three hundred sit- 
tings. After its dedication, Rev. Geo. A. Simonson was called to the pastorate. 
He was followed in turns by Revs. William B. Watson,* C. E. Taylor and 
the present Pastor, J. W. Icenbarger. The Sunday school connected with the 
denomination is under the superintendence of Randolph Zeph. 

In addition to these, the colored people have two small places of worship. 
The colored Methodists occupy and own the building originally erected as an 
Academy of Music or Turner Hall. The colored Baptists worship in the old 
school house, which they have bought and fitted up for the purpose. 

A Universalist Society was organized here about twelve years ago. They 
purchased and fitted up the Academy of Music for $1,000, and held meetings 
there for a few years. They finally sold their house to the colored Methodists, 
and dispensed with church services, though the organization remains intact. 

A history of the press of Pontiac would not only be almost a complete his- 
tory of Pontiac, but a history of the county as well, as a paper was established 
here very soon after the town and county really began to grow. As a faithful 
record of passing events, in the succeeding issues of a newspaper, must con- 
tain everything of importance not only in the town, but in the vicinity, so 
files of such papers must be the most complete and reliable history obtainable. 
To these files we are greatly indebted for whatever worth these pages shall 
prove to be, as from them has been drawn, largely, the matter contained herein. 

The first newpaper was established here in 1855, by J. S. France, a lawyer, 
from Ottawa. The first number made its appearance March 14, 1855. The 
paper was independent in politics, and was to be devoted to the interests of. the 
community, regardless of sect or party. The publication, however, either 
lacked financial strength or editorial ability ; for, within a few months, the 
enterprise was so involved that it was found impossible to proceed, and the 
sureties of the concern were obliged to turn it over to other parties. This date 
marks the advent of one of the very few successful newspaper men that have 
carried on the business at this point. 

M. A. Renoe came to the place June 9, 1855 ; and he, with Philip Cook, 
took possession of the office. Reno had $100, which he invested, and Cook, 
having nothing, gave his note in an equal amount, and with this capital the 
Livingston County News was again on its feet. The firm continued the publi- 
cation of the paper for several years, when James G. Albe came into possession, 

* Mr. Watson's last ministry was with this Church. He died during his last year's service*. 


and continued its issue until the beginning of the war. The News, in the 
meantime, had become a Democratic paper, and during the war the popular 
feeling in this county being largely in favor of an aggressive prosecution of the 
struggle, and the News being quite conservative, it met but poor encourage- 
ment, and was abandoned. 

In 1858, the Sentinel was started, by Cook & Gagan. Philip Cook had 
retired from the News, and William Gagan having recently arrive'!, the two 
formed a partnership to start a Republican paper in opposition to the News. 
They continued the publication until 1860, when, Cook having been elected 
County Treasurer, they sold out to M. E. Collins. Collins was, two years later, 
also elected Treasurer, and the paper then passed into the hands of H. S. 
Decker and James Stout. Later, it was published by Stout & Denslow, and 
again by Stout alone. 

In 1867, Henry Jones and M. A. Renoe commenced the publication of the 
Free Press, in opposition to the Sentinel. They afterward bought out the 
Sentinel, and merged the two publications into one, calling it the Sentinel and 
Press. A short time after, the latter part of the name was dropped, and the 
old name Sentinel only was retained ; and by this name it has been known ever 
since. In 1875, F. L. Alle3, having bought out the establishment, took control 
as editor and proprietor. 

In the meantime, quite a number of cotemporary papers had been founded, 
but none were entirely successful until the Free Trader was established. The 
first number of this publication appeared May 11, 1870. A national political 
campaign was approaching, and it was desirable that the Democratic party 
should have an organ to advocate the claims of that party in this county ; 
hence the Free Trader, with A. L. Bagby as editor, was established. The 
enterprise, however, was but partially successful, until it came into the hands of 
McGregor & Johnson. They came into possession of the office October 28, 
1871. About this time, a great wave of feeling on the monopoly question 
began to sweep over the country ; and this county being in the midst of the 
flood, the time was auspicious, and the proprietors being possessed of both 
means and ability, the success of the enterprise was fully assured. After a 
short time, M. A. Renoe bought out McGregor, and the firm of Renoe <fc John- 
son published the Free Trader as an advocate of the Farmers' Movement. A 
little over a year ago, Renoe retired from the firm, and John Stuff became a 

Amontf the other papers established here since the failure of the News 
have been : 

The Constitution, started in July, 1864, by E. B. Buck. It was a Demo- 
cratic paper, to support McClellan and Pendleton. 

The Pontiac Republican, started in October, 1865, by T. B. Harper. 

The National Union was a Democratic campaign paper, published by J. 
W. Youman. It appeared in October, 1866. 


The Democrat was established at the request of the Democratic Central 
Committee, by Messrs. Milton & Organ. This was the Democratic organ until 
near the establishment of the Free Trader. 

The Weekly Monitor was started July 29, 1870, by T. B. Harper, to advo- 
cate a county temperance ticket. 

In the Spring of 1870, Thomas Wing issued a few numbers of the People's 
Advocate. This was to be a Prohibition paper, but it lasted but a few weeks. 

The first number of Ford's Livingston County Democrat has just made its 
appearance. It is published by the authority and in the interests of the Dem- 
ocratic party of this county. The editor and proprietor is J. B. Ford, formerly 
of the Democrat, of Marshall County. 

The subsequent movements of some of the persons connected with these 
enterprises will doubtless be interesting to many readers. 

Philip Cook was from New York, and came to Pontiac to work for the 
assignees of the News. After the expiration of his term of office as Treasurer, 
he removed to California, where he has resided until the present. He is now 
connected with the paper known as the Evening Call, at San Francisco. 

William Gagan was an acquaintance of Cook's in New York, and came to 
Pontiac to establish a Republican paper. After closing up his affairs at this 
place, he also removed to California, and published the Oakland Daily News. 
He continued its publication until a few years ago, when he died. 

Henry Jones is a son of Judge Jones, and was raised in this county. After 
his retirement from the Sentinel, he went to Dallas, Texas, where he is engaged 
in the business of publishing. 

James Stout, formerly from Ohio, came from Ottawa to Pontiac' in 1855. 
He engaged for a time in farming, and betimes practiced his profession — that of 
a lawyer. Mr. Stout was an Abolitionist of the most ultra character, and at a 
time when it was anything but popular to promulgate the doctrine. After his 
connection with the Sentinel ceased, he received from the Government the 
appointment of Receiver of Moneys of Idaho Territory, and removed thither 
with his family. 

Henry S. Decker was from Chicago, where he had acted as foreman of the 
Journal office. Decker was a man who sacrificed everything for his friends, 
and died in want. After his connection with the press of Livingston County 
had terminated, he returned to Chicago, just before the great fire, broken down 
in health, discouraged and poverty-stricken. He and his wife both died within 
a few days of each other, and were buried by charity. Decker was at once one 
of the hardest workers and the least appreciated of all who were connected for 
any length of time with the press of this city. 

Pontiac Lodge, No. 294, A., F. & A. M., was instituted in October, 1858- 
The charter was granted to William Manlove, J. R. Wolgamot, Samuel B. Nor- 
ton, Aaron Weider, S. C. Ladd, A. E. Harding, I. T. Whittemore and George 
P. Olmstead, of which Aaron Weider was appointed first Master; S. C. Ladd, 


Senior Warden; Wm. Manlove, Junior Warden ; and A. E. Harding, Sec. The 
successive Masters have been William Manlove, two years ; J. R. Wolgamot, 
three years ; E. R. Maples, three years ; II. H. Hill, six years : A. W. Cowan, 
three years ; J. E. Morrow, one year ; and E. E. Wallace, two years. A com- 
plete list of the present officers, is as follows : E. E. Wallace. W. M. ; P. M. 
■Schwartz, S. W. ; E. E. Kent, J. W.; A. W. Cowan, Sec; A. Brower, Treas.; 
A. Babcock, S. D.; F. L. Alles, J. D.; E. M. Johnson, S. S.; D. Kavanaugh, 
J. S.; Jno. E. Bell, Tyler ; J. F. Culver, Chaplain. The present membership 
of the Lodge is eighty-four. The regular meetings are held on the first and 
third Tuesdays of each month. 

A charter was granted by the Grand Master of the I. 0. 0. F., to establish 
a lodge of that order in Pontiac, to be known as Pontiac Lodge, No. 262, in 
1858. The charter was granted to R. W. Babcock, B. W. Gray, Jacob 
Streamer, John A. Fellows and F. H. Bond. Prior to 1870, the Lodge had 
■erected a neat and convenient hall for their use ; but in the year named, it, with 
a large number of other buildings, wag consumed by fire. Immediately after 
its destruction, steps were taken to replace it by the present handsome and com- 
modious building. The structure is thirty feet by eighty, and is three stories 
high. The first story is used for a store-room, the second for offices, and the 
third is the Lodge room, used by this and other secret societies. The present 
officers of the Lodge are E. L. Wilson, N. G.; Thomas Bowden, V. G.; J. W. 
Daman, Rec. Sec; Z. AVinters, Per. Sec; M. Dolde, Treas. 

In 1864, an Encampment of this order was established here, and denomi- 
nated Vermilion Encampment. The charter was granted to F. H. Bond, J. B. 
McCleary, Peter Johnson, A. Hinsey, W. W. Stinett, G. Wolgamot and others. 
The present principal officers are E. L. Wilson, C. P.; Richard Smith, S. W.; 
C. C. Gilbert, J. W. ; J. S. Lee, H. P. ; H. H. Lucas, Scribe ; M. Dolde, 

Company A., of Tenth I. N. G., was organized at Pontiac in June, 1877. 
The company, at present, consists of seventy three men, including officers. 

The officers' roster is as follows : B. E. Robinson, Captain ; R. J. Johnson, 
First Lieutenant; J. C. Keach, Second Lieutenant; James Fenton, Orderly. 
The company is nicely uniformed, and armed with breech-loading needle guns. 
The regimental headquarters are at Dwight, Col. J. B. Parsons, commanding. 
Numerous and destructive fires in the city demonstrated the fact that Pon- 
tiac had not only suffered severely from a lack of efficient means of controlling 
the element, but from this her citizens realized the necessity of more thorough 
organization. A fire engine of excellent quality and fine powers having been 
purchased by the city authorities, a company to operate it was formed shortly 
after. The organization took place in February, 1874. James E. Morrow was 
■chosen Chief Marshal ; J. II. Smith, Assistant ; John K. Clark, Foreman of 
the Engine, and R. D. Folks, Assistant ; James Bright, Foreman of Hose Com- 
pany ; Charles Bigelow, Foreman of Hook and Ladder Company, and F. D. 


Cannon, Assistant; C. R. Wheeler, Engineer, and D. Kavenaugh, Assistant 
The whole number of men in the service at the time was about sixty. By 
June of the year named, the most of the men and some of the officers had 
dropped out of the organization, and in reality the companies had been almost 

On the 4th of July of this year occurred the most destructive fire in the 
history of the city, and this, with the proposition from the Council to grant 
privileges and pay, which the old company had not enjoyed, had the effect of 
bringing about a new organization. On the 9th of the same month, the new- 
organization was effected, which, with immaterial change, has existed to the- 
present. J. E. Morrow was elected Chief Marshal ; J. II. Smith, Assistant ; 
John Clark, Foreman of Engine ; F. Armstrong, Assistant ; C. R. Wheeler, 
Engineer; D. Kavenaugh, Assistant. 

No single instrumentality has had more to do with the appearance of the 
city than that of fires ; and, while they have entailed hardships on the individual 
owners of the property destroyed, their effect has, in the end, been to add greatly 
to the beauty and safety of the city. 

The first fire of any considerable proportions was that which consumed the 
row of wooden buildings on the south side of Madison street, December 8, 1867. 
The fire originated in the office of the Pontiac Sentinel, and destroyed, beside- 
this, Croswell's drug store, Schneider's meat market and several other buildings- 
The loss occasioned by this fire was estimated at about $20,000. 

On the night of July 7, 1870, happened one of the most destructive confla- 
grations that have visited the city. The fire broke out in the store of Herbert &- 
Son, which stood north of the place now occupied by the Odd Fellows' Hall, 
extending to the hall, consuming it, the City Hotel, and continuing its course- 
to the corner of Mill and Madison streets, and thence west on Madison, more 
than half the length of the block. Twelve stores and other property, amount- 
ing in value to about $50,000, were swept away. 

Where now stands a fine row of brick buildings, known as Union Block, 
stood prior to November 2, 1871, a row of ungainly wooden structures. On the 
day mentioned, these were burned. The loss was estimated at $10,000. As 
soon as the debris was fairly cleared away, a movement was set on foot to replace 
them with a fine block of stores and a hotel, that shoull be a credit to the town. 
The buildings were soon up and occupied, and the proprietors and the citizens 
felt almost glad that the fire had taken the old row away — certainly all felt proud 
of the new. However, their congratulations were of but short duration, for on the 
4th day of July, 1874, they, too, with several other buildings, including the Court 
House, were totally consumed. It is supposed the fire originated from torpedoes, 
that were being thrown about promiscuously. This was doubtless the most disas- 
trous fire, taking into account the size of the town, that had occurred in the central 
part of the State. In the amount lost, the rapidity of the destruction, and the 
completeness of its devastation, it could hardly be equaled. The buildings 


were new and had been but recently filled with new goods, and the hotel, which 
had just received its finishing touches, and was occupied, was furnished in a 
most elegant manner. In less than three hours, this, the finest part of the city, 
was entirely annihilated. 

On the night of the 3d of July, 1875, a saloon and two other buildings oh 
the corner of Mill and Washington streets were consumed. All of these, 
including the Court House, have since been replaced with structures of such a 
character as makes one almost cease to regret that the fires took place. The 
Court House, especially, had become an "eyesore," not only to the citizens of 
Pontiae, but to everybody interested in the safe keeping of the county records ; 
and in further consideration of the beautiful Temple of Justice which now 
graces the spot, but little sorrow is manifested for the misfortune. 

The second Court House was built in 1856, at a cost of $30,000, and, 
at that time, was considered a very creditable affair, and such as would answer 
for many generations to come. Many thought it larger and more expensive 
than necessary. It served for a long time, not only for Court House, but for 
post office, and most of the lawyers found room within it for their headquarters. 
Its hall, until the last, was used by those denominations of Christians without 
houses of worship, as a place to hold church services ; and public meetings of 
various other kinds were accommodated here. In time, as the county grew in 
importance and population, it began to be realized that, at no distant day, it 
must be replaced by something more commodious and more in keeping with the 
wants and ability of the county. 

It is the opinion of all who have examined, and have had opportunities for 
comparing, that the present structure is, without exception, the best for the 
money in the State of Illinois. The work of rebuilding was entered upon 
immediately after the fire, and within a year it was ready for occupancy. 

The Committee on Building consisted of J. E. Morrow, C. G. Greenwood, 
Jacob Phillips and W. S. Sims. They employed J. C. Cochrane, of Chicago, 
as architect, and Colwell, Clark & Co., of Ottawa, as builders. The cost of the 
building was $63,406.00, and the architect's fees were $3,173.30, making a 
total cost of $66,639.30. 

Contrary to the usual custom, even where officials are honest, there has never 
been a hint that either committee or contractors "made anything" out of the 
job. On the contrary, it is supposed that the contractors lost heavily. Certain 
it is, that the splendid edifice which now adorns the Court Square is a credit to 
the committee, an honor to its builders, and a source of congratulation to the 
people of the county. 

Previous to 1866, the prisoners of the county had to be taken to other 
counties for safe keeping, as no jail had yet been provided. The jail lot 
provided for, by Weed and the Youngs, had been occupied only by a tem- 
porary building used by the town as a calaboose. Thirty years had elapsed 
before the county authorities found the necessity of occupying the lot. In the 


jear named, having realized the expensive method of caring for prisoners, and 
not being desirous longer of depending on other counties for such accommoda- 
tions, the Board of Supervisors erected upon the spot designed for the purpose 
a building eminently fitted for the purpose. It is a built of massive stone, 
thirty-five by fifty feet, and cost $32,000. It has been called a "model jail," 
and committees from various counties have been sent to examine it, with a view 
of making it a pattern for similar buildings. 

Perhaps the case which has produced the greatest excitement — and on 
account of recent developments excites additional interest — that ever came 
before the courts of Livingston County, was a trial for murder committed in the 
vicinity of Pontiac, in 1858. 

In October of that year, the body of a young woman named Mary Murphy 
was found near the railroad track, a short distance south of town. She had 
been missing about eighteen days, and certain suspicious circumstances occur- 
ring at the time led to the arrest of a colored man, who gave his name as Wiley 
J. Morris. He was brought to Pontiac and examined before Jacob Streamer, 
Justice of the Peace, and by him committed to jail to await trial. He was con- 
fined in the jail at Bloomington, where he lay until the Fall of 1860, when his 
trial came off. 

It was shown on the part of the prosecution that Morris had been seen walk- 
ing on the railroad track, about a mile behind the girl afterward found mur- 
dered ; that the rate at which he was walking, as compared with her pace, would 
cause him to overtake her at the point where the body was found ; and that he 
had just been in a murderous brawl in Bloomington, and was of desperate char- 
acter. The evidence was wholly circumstantial, but quite strong. He was ably 
defended by A. E. Harding, Esq., of this city, who, however, labored greatly 
under the disadvantage of a popular feeling, which then existed in the commu- 
nity, against the color of his client. 

The jury, after an absence of an unusually long time, failed to agree, and 
the prisoner was again remanded to jail to await a new trial. 

In the meantime, the counsel for defense made application for a change of 
venue, which being granted, the case was carried to Kankakee County. 

The second trial came off April, 1861. In this trial he was still more unsuc- 
cessful, and he was adjudged guilty of murder in the first degree, and con- 
demned to hang, in May of the year named. 

The doomed man protested his innocence to the last, declaring that he was 
foeing murdered on account of prejudice against his race ; and on the scaffold, 
his last words were, " You murder me ! You murder me ! You murder me!" 

Subsequent revelations show that probably Morris was an innocent man ; 
and, though otherwise a bad character, that he was not guilty of the murder of 
Mary Murphy. 

A short time since, Hawkeye Bill, a notorious desperado and murderer, 'on 
his dying bed made confession that, at the time of the murder of Mary Murphy, 


he was fully cognizant of all of the facts— that he was a confederate of Bill 
Bntt, Jo. Montana and Charles Logue. He says that these three men were on 
a horse stealing expedition, and were camping for a few days in the timber, 
near Pontiac, and that the three were the guilty parties. He gives dates and 
circumstances with so much precision as to leave but little doubt that they were 
the actual murderers. He further states that Britt and Montana have since 
been hung for other crimes, and that Logue has died in prison. 

The Reform School at Pontiac, though a State institution, is mentioned here 
for the reason that the city and township of Pontiac were interested largely in 
securing its location at this place. The Legislature had passed an act allowing 
certain towns, possessing specified natural and already acquired advantages, to 
compete for the establishment of the school in their midst. After due examina- 
tion by the commission appointed for that purpose, and hearing the proposi- 
tions from each locality, they settled on Pontiac ; and the building was com- 
pleted and ready for occupants in 1870. George W. Perkins, former Warden 
of the Illinois Penitentiary, was selected as Superintendent, and in his charge 
the school remained until 1872, when the present efficient Superintendent, J. 
D. Scouller, was appointed. Through his kindness we are able to give the fol- 
lowing items in relation to the institution : 

There is belonging to the institution, in land, 280 acres, which is worked 
by the inmates. A system of thorough drainage has been commenced, and 
$5,000 have been spent for the purpose, including 3,000 feet of sewer from the 
main building. 

The buildings alone are valued at $110,000. Over 6,000 shade and fruit 
trees have been planted. The inmates have a large play ground of several 
acres, including an excellent base ball ground. 

An additional building, called a Family Building, has recently been erected, 
where about thirty of the better class of boys will reside apart from the others. 
Great, good is expected from this classification by the managers. 

Five teachers are employed, also a farmer, engineer, baker, overseers of 
shops and others to the number of eighteen employes. 

The school was opened for the reception of boys, in June, 1871, and to this 
date there have been 756 admitted. There are at this time in the school 194. 

Between seventy and eighty are employed making shoes in the factory con- 
nected with the institution. Nearly 300 pairs are turned out daily. The con- 
tractors, Messrs. Tead & Son, pay eighteen cents per day (of six hours each) for 
the services of each boy employed. 

About sixty of the smaller boys are engaged in caning chairs for the Bloom- 
ington Furniture Manufacturing Company. This branch is not profitable, but 
keeps the boys busy, and teaches them habits of industry. 

The rest of the inmates are employed on the farm, in the laundry, bakery 
and garden, and at miscellaneous labor. 


All clothing worn in the institution is manufactured by the inmates. Besides 
these duties of six hours' labor each day, all attend school four hours. All of 
the common branches are taught, and several of the boys have taken Latin and 
Greek lessons. The course of instruction is very thorough, the school being 
well graded, and competent teachers employed. The library consists of 1,500 
volumes, and many of the boys spend all of their spare time in reading. Over 
twenty magazines and papers are taken for the inmates, and all are read eagerly. 

A large number of those committed, on entering the institution, can neither 
read nor write, but, when discharged, many of them are fair scholars, and have 
obtained and are holding responsible positions. 

Nine hours are allowed for .sleep, and the rest of the twenty-four is spent in 
play and at meals. 

The Board of Trustees, at present, consists of Obadiah Huse, Evanston, 
Illinois ; Solon Kendall, Geneseo ; and J. F. Culver (resident Trustee), Pontiac, 
Illinois ; Dr. J. D. Scouller, Superintendent. 

Visitors are welcome at the school from 1 to 3.30 P. M., on Monday, 
Wednesday and Friday, and on Sunday at chapel services, at 2 P. M. 

Pontiac has been honored above any other town in the county, by the number 
of persons selected from among her citizens for positions of honor, trust and profit. 

William T. Russell, who was the first Supervisor of the township, was also 
the first Sheriff after the " Act for Township Organization " had been adopted. 
For a number of years, after his term of office had expired, he was a-resident of 
the city. He is now engaged in farming. 

S. S. Saul was from Pennsylvania, and came to Pontiac to teach school in 
1854 or '55. He was elected to the office of County Clerk in 1857, and held 
the position until 1861. 

Through the instrumentality of Saul, J. F. Culver removed to this place in 
1859. Previous to his coming, he had been employed by the County Clerk to 
assist in the office. After the expiration of the term of office, Mr. Culver was 
elected Justice of the Peace, which office he resigned in 1862, to enlist in the 
One Hundred and Twenty-ninth Regiment. He was elected Captain of Co. A, 
and served through the war. On his return, he was elected to the office of 
County Judge. He still resides in Pontiac, and is engaged in banking and real 
estate business. Mr. Culver has probably done more work, physically, relig- 
iously and politically, for his age, than any other man in the county, having 
held almost every office of honor and trust in the gift of the people. 

John W. Smith came from Ohio, and engaged in teaching in this town in 
1859. In 1861, he was elected to the position of County Superintendent of 
Schools. In the discharge of the duties of the office, he was one of the most 
active and faithful servants the county has ever had. He too, resigned his 
office to take part in putting down the rebellion, and received a wound, from 
which a man with less pluck would have died. He, however, lives, and is 
engaged in the drug and book trade in this city. 


E. R. Maples is a synonym for " good fellow." He was one of the most 
genial, warm-hearted men that Pontiac ever knew. He held the office of Sheriff 
from 1860 to 1862. He died about a year ago ; his residence prior to his 
coming to Pontiac was Chicago. 

Job E. Dye was an early resident of the county, and made a good Sheriff. 
Since then he has been engaged in the grain business. 

Time and space will allow only the mere mention of others, of whom we 
can only stop to say, they have filled their places in a manner that has given 
the county no cause to regret their elevation to their several places of trust. 

J. W. Strevelle, member of Legislature, two terms ; L. E. Payson and 
Jonathan Duff, each County Judge, one term ; J. E. Morrow, John A. Fellows 
and William H. Jenkins, each Circuit Clerk, one term ; C. C. Strawn and 
William T. Ament, each State's Attorney, a term ; 0. F. Pearre one, and H. 
H. Hill, County Superintendent of Schools, two terms; James H. Gaff, Sheriff, 
one term ; M. E. Collins one, and William B. Fyfe, Treasurer, two terms. 

The first coal was raised at Pontiac January 12, 1866 ; the first lump taken 
from the shaft being now in the possession of Jacob Streamer, with that date 
attached. The shaft was sunk on contract for the Directors of the company, by 
Isaac Custer. This work, with the buildings, cost the company $10,000. The 
shaft was sunk to the depth of 253 feet, but a vein at 175 feet is the only one 
Worked tq advantage. The charter members of the company were : S. C. 
Crane, President ; J. Duff, John Dehuer and Thomas Wing, Directors. The 
enterprise has not, on the whole, been very successful. Over $100,000 has 
been spent, and owing to fires and other misfortunes, it has scarcely in its his- 
tory been on a paying basis. In February of 1871, the shaft and all of its 
interests were sold to Messrs. Franz, Campbell & Bullock, of Woodford County, 
for $45,000. It is now under control of W. H. Levers, who has operated it 
for several years past. Statistics in regard to its present workings are not 
obtainable, and are necessarily omitted. 

The Chicago & Paducah Railroad, at first called the Fairbury, Pontiac 
& Northwestern Railroad, was built through this part of the county in 1871. 
The city of Pontiac and township took a lively interest in procuring its location 
through this part of the county, and voted the company a donation of $50,000 
to effect the purpose. While some may doubt whether the interests of the city 
have been enhanced by the location of a second railroad at this point, it will 
hardly be disputed that the farming community has been greatly benefited. 
Much has been saved in the way of freights, as by means of this line, competi- 
tion has produced lower rates than otherwise would have prevailed. Small 
towns have sprung up along the line, and, while they have taken some trade 
from Pontiac, they have proved to be a great convenience to the sections in the 
midst of which they have been located. 

As an indication of the amount of business done in this city, no page 
could be written that would give the reader as good an idea as the follow- 


ing items, furnished by the agents of the two railroads at this place, for the- 
year 1877 : 


Received frbm freights forwarded $26,233.30 

Received from freights received 20,703.33 

Ticket sales 14,641.49 



Received from freights received $11,250.00 

H eceived f rom freights forwarded 6,100.00 

Ticket sales 4,250.00 


Total from both roads $83,178,12 

One of the results of the late war was to bring to the North a class of people 
previously but little seen north of the Ohio River, and, in Pontiac, almost a 
curiosity. Soon after the proclamation by the President which struck the 
bonds from several millions of these people, they made haste to profit by that 
act. The North had been almost drained of its laborers who had gone to 
accomplish indirectly this very result. Peculiarly so was this the situation in 
this vicinity in the yeaf 1864. Harvest was coming on. It was great, and 
" the laborers were feV." A few of the leading farmers in this vicinity sent a 
committee to Cairo, where a number of these emancipated people had gathered, 
and induced them to come to Pontiac. Quite a large number of families came, 
and were quartered for a year or two on the farms of their employers. Grad- 
ually they have concentrated in the city, until, with the additions made by sub- 
sequent immigration, nearly three hundred have found homes in Pontiac. 
Though their educational and moral progress has not been so rapid as was 
hoped by their friends, yet, taking their poverty and their former condition into- 
account, it must be admitted that their condition is quite satisfactory. Many 
of them have built and furnished little homes for themselves ; their children 
attend school ; and, as for piety, they certainly excel. 


The reader will not be troubled to wade through statistics, as to this item r 
as the only thing to record is its history, and that of an ancient nature. Still, 
it is history, and not fiction, that we write ; for, though the reader may never 
have heard of it, the town of Richmond did exist. Not only so, but it was the 
rival of Pontiac, and but for a very small circumstance would doubtless have 
been by to-day the most flourishing city in the county. Richmond was located 
two miles east of Pontiac. It was regularly laid out and platted, by Franklin 
Oliver, County Surveyor, for Henry Jones and Henry Loveless, June 23, 1851. 
Rumors" of a railroad through this section were afloat ; and that bein<r a nice 
location for a town, and that point in the river being a good one for a railroad 
crossing, it was not doubted by its friends that this would be the favored point. 


Stores and shops and a school house soon sprang into existence; lots were dis- 
posed of for good prices ; dwellings were built, and everything indicated a 
rising town. But alas for human hopes and desires ! The road lacked just 
two miles of passing through the historic village, and its bright anticipations 
burst like a bubble and vanished almost as quickly. Some of the buildings 
were moved to Pontiac, some did service afterward as stables and granaries, and 
the only nionument that now exists of the once sprightly little village is an 
open space just south of Philip Rollings' house. 


The magnificent body of timber called Indian Grove, from which this town- 
takes its name, and which extends from Belle Prairie into Avoca Township, is 
one of the earliest settled portions of Livingston County. Indeed, the very- 
first settlement made in the county was at the head of this grove, as noted in 
the history of Belle Prairie Township, and, a few months later, white men were 
found in that portion of the timber lying in Avoca ; while not until the Fall of 
1831 was there a settlement made in what is now Indian Grove Township. 

The first to locate in this immediate vicinity was Joseph Moore. He came 
from Overton County, Tenn., and arrived here in the Fall of 1831, as already 
stated above. His journey to the new country was not accomplished with all 
the ease and pleasure that would attend a similar one at the present day. When 
we reflect upon the improvements made in the mode of transit in the last forty 
or fifty years, we look back to the period of the early settlement of this section 
of the country with a kind of pity for what the pioneers had to undergo in 
making it what it now is. This man came through from Tennessee on horse- 
back, or rather his wife came on horseback and carried their only child, an 
infant, in her lap, while he trudged along on foot. He staked out a claim in 
the timber bordering Indian Creek, on which he permanently settled. He 
lived an honored and respected citizen of the neighborhood, and died in Octo- 
ber, 1851. 

A. B. Philips, commonly known as Barney Philips, settled here the next 
Spring. He, also, was from Tennessee, and an old neighbor of Moore's in the 
"land of cotton" before removing to the West. Mr. Philips is still living, a 
thrifty farmer, in the vicinity of where he settled forty-seven years ago. A 
son of his is mentioned in the general history as the first white child born in 
Livingston County. Judge McDowell relates the first meeting with his father's 
family, of Philips, which is referred to in the history of Avoca Township, as 
showing the quiet manner in which the people lived in those early days, and the 
interest a new comer in the neighborhood excited. Philips, who was hunting 
some hogs that had strayed away from his place, came unexpectedly on the 
McDowell Camp, and seemed speechless from wonder in finding white people 
so near, while, from his backwoods dress, the McDowells did not, at first, know 


whether he was a white man or Indian ; but soon learned, however, and a pleas- 
ant acquaintance was formed, which proved of mutual satisfaction. 

Rev. John Darnall, a brother of Martin Darnall, the first settler of Belle 
Prairie, came to Indian Grove soon after Barney Phillips, and in the same 
Spring. The first preacher in the new settlement, and a man of a good deal of 
native intelligence, he was a kind of leader in all religious, social and political 

Malachi Spence and his son, James Spence, and Richard Moore settled here 
a year or two after those already mentioned. The latter was from Overton 
County, Tenn., and the Spences and Darnalls from Kentucky. Mrs. Glenn 
Phillips, a widow lady, came from the same neighborhood in Tennessee, and 
about the same time that Richard Moore and the Spences came to the settle- 

This comprised the first batch of settlers in what is now Indian Grove 
Township ; and some of them are still living on their original homesteads, while 
those who have died or removed to other States have left honored representa- 
tives behind them. Rev. John Darnall sold out some years ago and removed 
to Oregon. Malachi Spence is dead, but a son lives at the old home. Mrs. 
Phillips is also dead. Richard Moore and Barney Phillips are still living in the 

In 1834, another delegation of Tennesseeans came out and settled in Indian 
Grove, viz.: Francis J. Moore, Jonathan, a brother; Lewis Moore, a cousin, 
and David Travis, who was quite an old man at the time. These came 
together, and were from the place before noted — Overton County, Tennessee. 
Several other families came with them, but settled in what is now Belle Prairie 
Township, where their history is given. Francis J. Moore first settled on the 
west side of the grove, but in a year or two " swapped " claims with a neigh- 
bor, and moved over on the east side, about five miles from the present village 
of Fairbury. He is still living, an active man for his time of life and the rough 
scenes through which he passed in the early days of the country. David Travis, 
not liking the outlook of frontier life, after a year or two, returned to Tennessee, 
where the remainder of his life was spent. Lewis Moore followed him in a few 
years ; Jonathan Moore died in 1841. 

This section of the country, at the period of which we write, was embraced 
in McLean County, and the land was not yet in market when these settlements 
were made. Mr. Moore says it was the custom to blaze out a claim and squat 
wherever one was suited, provided no one else had a previous claim ; then it 
was not always pleasant or healthy to intrude. For many years, all new comers 
settled in and around the timber, without the remotest idea that the prairies 
would ever amount to a "pinch of snuff" for anything but pasturage. And 
to talk with the old settlers now, who came to the country forty or fifty years 
ago, nothing in the way of its development seems to surprise them so much as 
the settling up of the prairie land ; that where, at the period of their first 


acquaintance with the country, grew the rank grass and weeds, and wild flowers, 
should now be the most productive and flourishing farms, is a point that puzzles 
them to the present day. 

A few years later, probably about 1835-6, a man named Donohoo, and two 
sons, Wilson Y. and Jefferson Donohoo, settled in this neighborhood. The 
old gentleman and Wilson Y. are dead, but Jefferson is still living on the old 
homestead. Rev. Robert Smith, a Cumberland Presbyterian preacher, settled 
in the township about the same time. He was originally from Kentucky, but 
came from Sangamon County to this place. This includes all the settlers in 
Indian Grove Township, until the virtue's of the prairies were discovered and 
the people began to settle away out from the timber, on the great plains. 

When the first white people settled here, they had to go some distance to 
mill — to Green's mill, on Fox River, near Ottawa, and on Crow Creek, below 
Peoria. To the latter mill Mr. Moore informed us that he made his first mill 
trip, and was gone a week. The distance was sixty miles, and was the best 
chance for grinding in their reach, until a mill was built on the Kankakee 
River, at Wilmington, which was about as far away as the one on Crow Creek. It 
was sometimes about as hard for the new comer to find grain as to get it ground 
after he had got it, for no one had been in the country long enough to have an 
■over-supply. There was no mill in this township until the erection of one in 
the village of Fairbury, except a little horse-mill built by one Smith, about the 
year 1840. 

For many years, Bloomington was the post office, and, at the time of the 
first settlements in this section, contained but one little store, which was kept 
in a small log house, and in it also was kept the post office. The postage on 
letters was twenty -five cents, a sum not always at the command of the fortunate 
one to get a letter ; and as a consequence, their mail would sometimes have to 
lie in the office a considerable length of time before the much-wished-for 
twenty-five cents could be procured. 

The first road through Indian Grove Township was the State Road leading 
from the east line of the State to Peoria, but has been obsolete for many years. 
In those early times, the settlers hauled wheat to Chicago, and congratulated 
themselves highly if they were so fortunate as to get fifty cents a bushel for it. 
Chicago proper was not. The city had not yet risen from the bogs and marshes 
of Lake Michigan, and the great grain market there was not what it is to-day. 
Several farmers would join in a company, and, with their wagons loaded with 
wheat, drive through to Chicago, camping out at night, as their load of wheat 
would hardly have justified the paying of a tavern bill. Times, since then, 
have changed. 

The first birth in this township was that of John R. Phillips, a son of Bar- 
ney Phillips, and occurred May 9, 1832. He is mentioned in another page as 
the first white child born in Livingston County, and received a touching tribute 
from the fact of having died in the army during the late war. The first wed- 


ding solemnized was that of John Darnall and Keziah Spence. They were' 
married by 'Squire John Thompson, of Mackinaw, in the early part of 1832. 
Esther Spence died in 1832, and was buried in the little graveyard situated on 
the line between Indian Grove and Belle Prairie Township, near where Martin 
Darnell originally settled. This was the first death in the Indian Grove settle- 
ment, and perhaps the first in the county. Her coffin was made of walnut slabs 
split out of the tree, hewed down and then dressed smooth. The first Justice of 
the Peace was Rev. John Darnall, who, in addition to being a preacher, was a 
Justice of the Peace, Postmaster, and a man of considerable importance in the 
neighborhood. He was the first Postmaster, and was commissioned some years 
after the post office had been established in Avoca Township. His appointment 
came about in this wise : As the country settled up, the people of the neigh- 
borhood concluded they must have a post office, and accordingly petitioned for 
one. The name of Robert Smith was mentioned in the petition fot Postmaster, 
but as he was the only Whig in the settlement, and Long John Wentworth, of 
Chicago, then a strong Democrat,* and Representative of this District in Con- 
gress (and this, it is said, was about the center of his district), thought it 
would not do to have a Whig Postmaster, and so, without leave or license, had 
John Darnall appointed instead of Smith. 

It is not positively known who the first doctor was to practice medicine in 
this township. Some are of opinion that Dr. John Davis, mentioned elsewhere 
as the first physician in the county, used to extend his professional visits to this 
section, while others think that Dr. Ostrander, an old physician of Avoca, who, 
in the early times, practiced all over the eastern part of the county, was the 
first regular physician. It is altogether probable that the latter supposition is 
correct, for at that period there were very few families living in Indian Grove 
timber but had had occasion for Dr. Ostrander's services. It is told of him that 
a patron objected, one day, to the amount of his bill, when the Doctor informed 
him, very confidentially, that if he knew the cost of the medicine he had used 
in his case, he would not be surprised at his bill being so large. Upon his 
patron's expressing some curiosity, the Doctor told him that the medicine he 
had used cost $2,700 an ounce ; that it required the services of ten men four 
months to gather one ounce, and that nine out of the ten lost their lives while 
at it. 

The sound of the Gospel was heard in Indian Grove Township almost as 
soon as the pioneer's axe. Rev. John Darnall was a Baptist preacher, and the 
first to proclaim the word of God in the new settlement. Rev. Robert Smith, a 
Cumberland Presbyterian, was the next preacher. He made an effort, soon 
after he came to the settlement, to establish a Sabbath school, but was opposed 
by Rev. Darnall, who took ground against it, denouncing the measure as a kind 
of speculation, and drew a ludicrous illustration from the story of the Good 
Samaritan ; though just where the analogy came in, no one was able to discern. 

*Some of his old Democratic friends here have lost faith in him since he has turned Republican, anddon't swear 
by him as they did twenty-five or thirty years ago. 


Mr. Darnall seems to have been quite a remarkable man, and possessed a very- 
independent way of his own. It is related of him that he was preaching one 
day to a large congregation, and had occasion to quote a passage from St Paul, 
after which he emphatically remarked : " But I do not agree with Mr. St. Paul." 
And upon another occasion, he made a lengthy quotation from the man of Tar- 
sus, when, in a spirit of the most unbounded liberality, he observed : " And I 
partially agree with St. Paul." The only churches in the township, outside of 
Fairbury, are the Union Church, in the southern part, and the Ormish Church, 
in the southeastern corner. Of the latter, wte have been unable to obtain any 
definite information. The Union Church was built in 1857, and is occupied 
principally by Baptists and Christians, who have their regular days, and both 
have established societies. As long as he lived in the country, Rev. John Dar- 
nall was the leading light of the Baptists, while the Rev. David Sharpless was 
long a leader, among the Christians. Rev. John Miller organized the first 
society of Christians about the year 1858, and soon after the completion of the 
church. Rev. Dr. Green preaches for the Christians at present, and Rev. Mr. 
Thompson, of Ottawa, for the Baptists. 

The first school in Indian Grove Township was taught by Chancy Sta.ndish, 
in 1835. He was from New York, and came to the settlement in the year 
above noted, when the people at once set to work to build a little log cabin for 
school purposes, and which was the first school house in the township. In this 
building Standish taught the first school, which was a general subscription 
school, and it was some time before there was any public money for educational 

From the school records in possession of Dr. C. C. Bartlett, Township 
Treasurer, which extend back only to the year 1857, we find that on the 1st 
day of April of that year, " A meeting of the Trustees — James Spence, 
Chancy Standish and James Moore, of Township 26 north, Range 6 east of the 
Third Principal Meridian, was held at the house of John Darnall, the School 
Treasurer." The meeting was taken up mostly in examining books, papers, 
schedules, etc. The school fund at that time consisted of .$721.20, in notes ; 
fund for town and interest, $67.70; fund on hand in notes, $170.00. There 
were five school districts in the township, and several schedules of teach- 
ers were examined and the Treasurer ordered to pay the amount demanded in 
them for teaching. 

The early records are rather poorly k<pt, and to get information from them 

is quite a difficult task. 

A good story, not out of place in this connection, is related of a young man 
in the township, who, wishing a school in some particular district, went over to 
Lexington, where the dignitary lived who had the position at his disposal, for 
the purpose of procuring the required authority. Not being as well up in his 
examination as the law required, the certificate was at first refused, but after 
much importunity from the young man it was at length written, "signed, sealed 


and delivered " to him under cover. Armed with this document, he returned 
to Indian Grove and presented it to the School Director or Trustee, who, on 
breaking the seal and taking out the certificate found it to read : ''This is to 

certify that Mr. is qualified to teach a common school in Indian 

Grove Township and no where else, and a common one at that." 

At the meeting of Trustees on the 3d day of April, 1865, Dr. C. C. Bart- 
lett was appointed Treasurer, an office he has ever since held. 

The following is the present Board of Trustees : J. F. Fraley, S. S. Rog- 
ers and Wm. B. Cain. 

From Treasurer Bartlett's last annual report we extract the following sta- 
tistical facts : 

Number of males in township under 21 years 825 

Number of females in township under 21 years 851 

Total 1676 

Number of males in township between 6 and 21 years 532 

Number of females in township between 6 and 21 years 655 

Total 1187 

Number of males attending school 453 

Number of females attending school 482 

Total 935 

Number of male teachers employed 7 

Number of female teachers employed 13 

Total 20 

Amount paid male teachers $2,142 08 

Amount paid female teachers 3,307 44 

Total 15,449 52 

Estimated value of school property $12,000 00 

Principal of school fund of township $7,198 39 

The township has nine school districts and ten good, comfortable school 
houses, all of which are frame buildings. None but first-class teachers are 
employed, and the schools of the entire town are in a most flourishing state. 

Indian Grove, as an election precinct, embraced that portion of the county 
lying east of the mouth of the Little Vermilion River ; or, more properly speak- 
ing, east of the old village of Avoca, in Avoca Township. In the days of 
Whigs and Democrats, it was largely Democratic, and very ultra in its polit- 
ical opinions. * 

The first newspaper ever taken in what is now Indian Grove Township was 
the Chicago Journal, then a Whig paper. It had been subscribed for bv John 
and Jesse Moore, who had done so without inquiring into the color of its politi- 
cal faith. When it came, and the Rev. Mr. Darnall found out that it was a 
Whig paper, he set his veto on it and would not let it be read in the neighbor- 
hood. It was when Avoca was the only post office in all the country round, 
and so great was the faith of the Moores in Mr. Darnall's opinions, that they 


refused to take the papers out of the office,and there they accumulated until the 
subscription expired. 

Political principles have undergone a great change since those early times. 
At least two-thirds of the vote is now Republican, and large Republican major- 
ities are rolled up on all occasions where party lines are drawn. There are, 
however, a few old true-blue Democrats who still stand by their old party and 
principles, and think that Long John Wentworth has backslidden beyond 
hope, since he has turned over to the Republican Party. 

The war record of the township is given in the history of the village of Fairbury. 

Indian Grove takes its name from the Indian settlement or camp once in the 
fine forest along Indian Creek, which receives its name from the same cause. Pre- 
vious to the Indians locating at Kickapoo Town, they had their wigwams or 
lodges in the timber, now in Indian Grove Township. They had left the place 
before the settlement of the county by the whites, or at least before there were 
settlements made in this immediate neighborhood. 

A large number of Indians were living at the Kickapoo town, not far 
distant ; but we have no account of their ever molesting their pale-face neigh- 
bors, though Black Hawk made every effort to stir them up to mischief, and 
some of the settlers, in another part of the grove, took fright during the excite- 
ments of the Black Hawk war, and fled to the frontier settlements ; but those 
who remained were left undisturbed. Soon after the close of this war, the Indi- 
ans were removed to reservations and hunting-grounds beyond the ,; Great 
Father of Waters," and our settlements here were no more disturbed by their 

This township has the benefit of two lines of railway, the Toledo, Peoria & 
Warsaw and the Chicago & Paducah Roads. The former is more fully noticed 
in the history of Fairbury. The Chicago & Paducah Railroad was completed 
through this town in 1872, since which time it has been in active operation. 
The people of this section seem to have awakened to the necessity of extended 
railroad facilities since the building of the T., P. & W., as it, we were informed, 
encountered much opposition from the very inception of the enterprise, until its 
success and energy won for it a degree of independence ; while the Chicago & 
Paducah received a hearty and substantial support, and a stock subscription 
from the township of $50,000. 

The benefit of these roads to this section of the county is almost incalcula- 
ble, and the amount of grain and stock shipped over them annually is immense. 

When the county adopted township organization, in 1857, in the process of 
naming, this town was called Worth ; but discovering that there was a Worth 
Township in the adjoining county of Woodford, it was found necessary to look 
up a new name for this. Francis J. Moore, a prominent citizen and one of the 
early settlers of the township, suggested Indian Grove, which was adopted. 

At the first meeting of the Board of Supervisors, we find the township rep- 
resented by John Crumpton. as Supervisor. 


The present township officers are as follows : H. Kingman, Supervisor ; 0. 
J. Dimmick, R. B. Hanna and 0. P. Ross, Justices of the Peace ; T. T. Bab- 
cock, Assessor ; N. Shepherd, Collector ; N. A. Souars, Town Clerk. 

Indian Grove Township is bounded on the west by McLean County ; on 
the north by Avoca Township ; on the east by Forrest, and on the south by 
Belle Prairie. It is about one-fourth timber to three-fourths prairie, and is 
drained by Indian Creek, which flows through it from the southwest to north- 
east, and empties into the Little Vermilion River, just beyond its borders. Corn 
is the main crop, and the immense quantities grown in the township would prob- 
ably equal the entire crops of the Nile-washed lands of Egypt. 


Fairbury was laid out in 1857, by Caleb L- Patton and Octave Ohenute. The 
former owned the land on which the village stands, and in return for the influence 
exercised by Chenute — who was one of the Civil Engineers of the Peoria & 
Oquawka* Railroad Company — with the stockholders of the road, in getting a 
station at this point, he received from Patton one-half of the town lots. He it 
was that planned the town and named it, and superintended the laying of it off. 
Isaac R. Clark, County Surveyor at the time, surveyed it, and made the plat on 
file in the Recorder's office, and from which we find that the village of Fair- 
bury originally embraced only the southeast quarter of Section 3, and a part of 
the northeast quarter of Section 10, in Township 26 north, Range 6 east, and 
is dated November 10, 1857. Since it was first surveyed and laid out, several 
additions have been made to it, as follows : By Patton, Cropsey and Chenute, 
August 9, 1859; by H.'L. Marsh, August 9, 1859, July 27 and December 
17, 1868 ; by C. L. Patton, February 4, 1864, and July 9, 1869 ; by — 
Atkeins, May 8, 9 and 10, 1865, January 25, 1865, and April 30, 1868 ; by 
Isaac P. McDowell, July 12, 1865, and May 14, 1867, and by G. W. Suber, 
May 14, 1870. A space of 200x870 feet was reserved by the railroad in the 
center of the original village for depot buildings. 

The first house in the village of Fairbury was built by John Coomer, who 
came here from Vermont, the old Green Mountain State, in 1857. The house 
stands on the corner, just across the street from the Fairbury Hotel, and is a 
good, comfortable residence at the present day. Coomer finished his house 
and moved into it on the last day of the year ; says he came very near not getting 
into it in 1857 any way. The first store house was built by A. L. Pogue, David 
Thomas and R. B. Amsbury, who opened a store in it in the early part of 1858, 
and for a number of years did an extensive business. At length Thomas sold 
out, and went to Missouri, but the remaining partners continued in the business 
some time longer, when they finally dissolved, Amsbury going to the gold regions. 
William Mitchell built a store about the same time of the one just mentioned, in 
which he opened a small stock of goods and groceries. ' The first brick store 

* The former title of the Toledo, Peoria & Warsaw Railroad, 


house was built by Franklin Elliott in 1864, and occupied as a store by his 
brother as soon as completed. The store house alluded to, as put up by Wm. 
Mitchell, is at present a part of the Fairbury House, and with many additions 
and changes, internally and externally, since the first part of the building was 
put up in 1857, it has become, as stated, the Fairbury House. With all the 
improvements and additions made to it, together with the original outlay, it has 
•cost about $6,000, and is now kept by S. S. Rogers, who owns the building, and 
has made a first-class hotel of it. The first tavern in the village was built by 
Geo. W. Morris in 1858, and kept by him for some time, when it changed hands 
and S. S. Rogers became the proprietor. It was finally moved away from its 
original location, and became the Central House, a name it still bears. The 
first post office was established in the early part of 1858, and H. H. McKee 
was the first Postmaster. The mail was then carried on horseback from Pontiac 
to Lexington, and a round trip made each week. After many changes in the 
administration of its affairs, the office has passed into the hands of John Virgin, 
who is the present Postmaster. The first blacksmith shop in Fairbury was kept 
by 0. S. Mason and Michael Gately, two young men, who commenced the 
business about 1858, when the village was rushing ahead at a breakneck speed. 

In 1859, a large flouring-mill was built in the village, where Coomer's lum- 
ber office now stands. It was built or commenced by parties for whom Judge 
McDowell endorsed, and upon their failure, he became the owner of the property, 
and completed the building. It was a frame edifice three stories high, thirty by 
fifty feet in size, with three run of buhrs, and cost upward of $8,000. The 
building was burned in 1872, and has never been rebuilt. Ben Walton built 
his first mill in Fairbury in 1866, at a cost of $25,000. It was a frame build- 
ing thirty by sixty feet, with three run of buhrs, and was burned in August, 
1868. He at once commenced to rebuild, and the result was his present mag- 
nificent mill, which is forty-eight by sixty feet in size, four and a half stories 
high, and cost $35,000. It has six run of buhrs, and a capacity for making 
175 barrels of flour per day. In connection with his mill is a grain elevator, 
with storage for 20,000 bushels, and cribbing room for 75,000 bushels. He 
handles annually over 300,000 bushels of grain, the most of which is sold on 
the track to buyers who ship principally to the East. When his mill was 
burned, in 1868, in twelve days after the fire he was buying grain in a tempo- 
rary building, and by the next February,* had bought and handled nearly 
500,000 bushels. 

Fairbury is a fine grain center, and it is generally conceded that it is one of 
the best grain markets in the county. There are at present two large steam 
elevators, besides the one mentioned with Walton's Mill, and several very fine 
ones have been burned in the numerous conflagrations that have at different 
times visited the ill-fated village. The best one ever built was by Hogue & 
Bartlett, and the first one- was built in the Fall and Winter of 1858, by Fitch 

*Hia mill was burned on the 12th of August. 


& Van Eman, who were the first men to buy grain in Fairbury. They bought 
and piled it up in sacks bv the railroad, until shipped. This one, as well as 
that built by Hogue & Bartlett, were burned. One of the steam elevators above 
mentioned, and known as the Union Elevator, was built by H. M. Gillette, and 
the other by Amsbury & Jones, all of whom have formerly been extensive grain 

As already stated, several additions were made to the village of Fairbury/ 
after the laying out of the original place. One of the largest of these wa& 
made by H. L. Marsh, who, it seems, has always been one of the wide-awake! 
citizens of the town. He built a large and elegant hotel and depot in the west 
end of the village, which, at the time of its building (1866) cost $17,000. But 
this, too, " went up " in one of the destructive fires before alluded to. Although 
Fairbury was laid out about the time the railroad was completed through this 
section, and it grew rapidly, as new railroad villages . generally do, yet it was- 
not until 1864 that it was organized under village laws and charter. At an 
election held on the 8th day of August, 1864, after due notice had been given,, 
we find, upon examination of the records, that John Coomer was chosen Presi- 
dent, and C. C. Bartlett, Clerk. At this election, there were " eighty votes given, 
in favor of incorporation and twenty-six votes against incorporation." Where- 
upon it was declared that the town of Fairbury was incorporated under act of 
the Legislature, by more than a two-thirds vote." The first Board of Trustees 
elected were H. L. Marsh, E. T. Joy, I. P. McDowell, J. H. Van Eman and 
Delos Wright. The Board organized by electing H. L. Marsh, President, and 
W. G-. McDowell, Clerk. John Coomer was elected Police Magistrate, but 
refused to qualify, and R. W. McKee was elected in his place. The village- 
Board at present is J. F. Fraley, H. Kingman, L. B. Dominy, George Kin- 
near and Jesse flanna. J. F. Fraley is President of the Board, and L. B. 
Dominy, Clerk. H. Kingman is Treasurer, Nathan Shepherd, Police Magis- 
trate, and John Al'lum, Town Marshal. 

The first school taught in the village of Fairbury was by Alonzo Straight,, 
in a little frame building on the south side of the T., P. & W. Railroad, but had 
originally been devoted to some other use. The first house built for school 
purposes was in 1860, and is situated on the north side of the railroad, and is 
still in use as a school house. It is a frame building, two stories high, and cost 
$2,500. The first teacher to occupy the new building was Smith Olney, who 
taught in it as soon as completed. The " South Side School House," as it is- 
called, was built in 1868. It is also a frame building, two stories, and cost 
$3,500. Fairbury is somewhat behind other towns and villages of its preten- 
tions, in the quality of its school buildings, which have quite a dingy, weather- 
beaten appearance. Though uncomely in exterior, they are substantial in struc- 
ture and comfortable inside, and the village, it is said, supports most excellent 
schools. The Principal and corps of Teachers for the school year just closed, 
are as follows : Prof. C. II. Rew, Principal of High School Department ; Mis* 


M. M. Daly, Assistant in High School Department ; Miss Ella B. Erwin, 
Teacher of Second Grammar Department ; Philip Hutchinson, Teacher of First 
Grammar Department ; Miss Delia Chesebrough, Teacher of Second Interme- 
diate ; Miss Cynthia E. Earnhart, Teacher of First Intermediate ; Miss Laura 
Colvin, Teacher of Second Primary ; Miss Anna E. McDowell, Teacher of 
South Primary ; Mrs. S. M. Hempstead, Teacher of North Primary ; Miss 
Mary Kilbury, Teacher of West Primary and Intermediate School. For the 
coming year, some few changes are made, but most of the old teachers remain. 
The following is the roster : Prof. C. H. Rew, Superintendent and Principal 
of High School Department; Miss Delia Chesebrough, Assistant in High 
School Department ; T. W. Gore, Teacher in First Grammar Department ; 
Miss Ella B. Erwin, Teacher in Second Grammar Department ; Miss .Cynthia 
E. Earnhart, Teacher in First Intermediate; Miss Mary Kilbury, Teacher in 
Second Intermediate ; Mrs. S. M. Hempstead, Teacher in First Primary, North 
Side ; Miss Anna E. McDowell, Teacher in First Primary, South Side ; Miss 
Flora Potter, Teacher in Second Primary, South Side ; Miss Ellen Vanover, 
Teacher in Second Primary, North Side. The attendance during the school 
year averages about 500 pupils for the two schools. Both of these schools are 
under the supervision of one Principal, Mr. Rew. They are graded, and have 
what is termed a High School Department, though not High Schools in the, 
strict acceptation of the term. 

The first churcli societies organized in Fairbury were the Methodist and 
Presbyterian. The Methodist Church was organized in July, 1858, under the 
ministerial labors of Rev. J. W. Stubbles, with the following members ; Francis 

J. Moore, Garrison Bowen, Rachel Bowen, Busey, Nancy Busey, Dr. L. 

Beech, Edith Beech, John Kring, Rachel Kring, Catherine Kring and John 
Potter. But few of these are members still, viz. : Francis J. Moore, Dr. L. 
Beech, John Kring, Catherine Kring, Rachel Kring and John Potter. The 
others are either dead or have moved away. The first church building was 
erected in the Fall of 1858, and was a frame, 32x55 feet, dedicated, in the latter 
part of the year, by Rev. J. W. Flowers, Presiding Elder. It was enlarged in 
1866, under the pastorate of Rev. J. E. Rutledge. In the Spring of 1874, 
Dr. L. Beech, a zealous member of the church and a man of broad and liberal 
benevolence, headed a subscription for a new church edifice, to cost from ten to 
twelve thousand dollars. Dr. Beech subscribed $2,000 ; others put down their 
names for liberal amounts, and thus several thousand dollars were raised. 
Nothing was done, however, until the Summer of 1876, when the Trustees deter- 
mined to put up a substantial brick, 45x75 feet, one full story and a basement. 
The basement was finished in the Fall of 1876, and was dedicated by Rev. R. 
G. Pierce, R. B. Williams, Pastor. It was intended, in the following Fall, to 
have the audience room on the second floor completed, but, on the 2d day of 
July, 1877, a fearful tornado passed over the village, and the church was laid 
in ruins. In the Fall of 1877, Rev. J. Wilkinson was appointed Pastor, and 


the society, though somewhat discouraged, had determined to rebuild. Largely 
through the generosity of Ben Walton, an elegant brick church was erected on 
the foundation of the old one, and was dedicated January 20, 1878, by Rev. W. 
H. H. Adams, D. D., of Bloomington. The present membership of the church is 
280. The first Methodist Sunday school was organized in the Spring of 1859, 
with Jacob Hunt as Superintendent. It is in a flourishing condition at present, 
arid an average of about 300 children attend. 

The Presbyterian society was organized July 25, 1858, with 10 original 
members. The first Pastor was Rev. Benjamin B. Drake. The church was 
built in 1862, and is a frame, 25x40 feet, costing $750. It was dedicated, 
when completed, by Rev. A. Eddy. The present Pastor is Rev. T. Hemp- 
stead, and his church numbers 88 members. A Sunday school was organized 
in 1863, with William Mitchell as Superintendent. With the periods of lan- 
guishing, usual to such organizations, it still exists, and is in quite a flourishing 
condition at this time. A few years after the organization of the Presbyterina 
Church, it divided into the Old and New Schools, and the latter branch built 
a church similar to that worshiped in by the other ; but, re-uniting again in a 
short time, the New School church was sold to the Ormish society, who still 
occupy it, having preaching regularly, a flourishing membership and a large 

The Baptist Church was erected in 1865, but the society was organized 
several years previous. It is a brick edifice, 38x50 feet, costing $3,000, and 
was dedicated by Rev. J. Cairns, at the time its Pastor. At present, it has a 
large membership, and Rev. C. D. Merritt is Pastor. Its Sunday school was 
organized in 1864, the year before the building of the church. William Car- 
penter is the Superintendent, and about 140 children attend on an average. 

The Roman Catholic congregation was organized about 1857, and was 
visited from that time, semi-annually, by Rev. B. Lonergan, of Wilmington, 
until 1867, when the mission was attached to Pontiac, a resident priest having 
been appointed there. This priest, whose name was O'Neill, was one of the 
oldest priests in America, the first Irish priest who ever came west of the Alle- 
ghanies, and was succeeded by Rev. Thomas Quigley, now of Henry, 111. The 
congregation, however, had not assumed any permanent organization until 
1868, when, under the leadership of Rev. John A. Fanning, the present Pas- 
tor, a fiame church was built, 33x60 feet, to which important additions have 
been made, at a total cost, up to the present time, of about $4,000. The 
original membership consisted, of some thirty families, and has since then 
increased to about one hundred and twenty-five families. The church edifice 
was dedicated on the 24th of June, to St. John the Baptist, by Rev. C. 
Gonaut, of Chebanse, assisted by the Pastor and other clergymen. The Sun- 
day school of this church was organized cotemporaneously with the congrega- 
tion. Its first Superintendent was Owen McKay, now of Cheyenne, Wyoming 


As early as 1862, movements were made here toward developing the coal 
fields, believed to exist sufficiently near the surface to be reached with light 
expense. In the Fall of this year, H. L. Marsh commenced to sink the 
west shaft, and at the distance of 216 feet, struck the first vein 
of coal, which varies from four and a half to five feet in thickness, and produces 
a very fair quality of coal. At a distance of 180 feet below this 
vein another was found, but not of sufficient thickness to warrant its being 
profitably worked. It is the best coal, however, in any of the neighboring 
shafts, but, to quote the slang of the day, it is "too thin" — valuable. 
To sink this shaft and equip it for work has cost altogether about $30,000 ; the 
works have a capacity for taking out at least five hundred tons daily, but the 
demand has never required it to run to the full extent of its ability. Some 
years ago, it passed into the hands of Eastern capitalists, who leased it to Knight 
& Gibb, of Fairbury, for two and a half years, which term, we believe, has 
expired, and the mine is at present idle, except in keeping the water pumped 
out. This was the first shaft sunk between Braidwood and Alton, where more 
than a hundred now perforate the ground. It for some time proved an expen- 
sive affair on account of so much water, and the third shaft was sunk before one 
could be secured against overflow. 

The east shaft was commenced in April, 1867, and struck a profitable vein 
of coal at a depth of one hundred and sixty feet. This shaft was originally 
begun by a stock company, consisting of Jones, Amsbury, Darnall, Gibb, 
Atkins and Archer. Amsbury and Jones were the principal business men, and 
Gibb the Superintendent. The sinking of the shaft at that time cost about 
■$15,000, but could be done for, perhaps, half the amount now. A few years 
after the opening of the shaft, Gibb leased it from the company, and has been 
operating it advantageously for the past four years. Mr. Gibb is a native of 
Scotland, and has been in this country since 1852. He thoroughly under- 
stands coal mining, and under his supervision this shaft yields on an average 
seventy-five tons daily, the year round. At present, they supply the railroad 
companies 1,000 tons per month, while the remainder is mostly disposed of to 
the local trade. The different formations passed through in reaching coal were 
yellow clay immediately after the soil, then quite a thickness of blue clay, after 
which a considerable stratum of soft stone — usually called soapstone — and then 
a vein of lime rock, followed by a shelly sandstone, with thin layers of sand 
between the layers of rock, when coal was struck. A peculiarity of the country 
here is the difference in the formations passed through in these shafts, which 
are not more than two miles apart. In the west end shaft, the clay is about the 
same as in the other, but much more water ; after passing through the clay, 
two strata of lime ledges were met with ; then a stratum of red fire-clay, and 
after it about eighty feet of shelly lime rock, followed by thirty feet of soap- 
stone, underlying which was the first vein of coal. In the new shaft, sunk the 
present season, about midway between the other two, a very soft, red rock was 


found in large quantities, and which is supposed to contain mineral properties 
that may be converted into something valuable. This vein, or bed of stone, 
was found at a depth of about eighty feet, and is seven feet in thickness. 
Speaking of it at the time, the Independent Blade said : 

The stone is strongly impregnated with mineral, mostly iron In color it is gray and dark 
brown. It also has an oily substance, that shows itself very plainly when immersed in water, 
the oil rising to the surface. Experiments have been made with this stone ground to powder 
and mixed with oil for painting purposes, and to all appearances it makes an excellent article. 
We have samples of this paint in this office, which may be seen. Further tests will be made,, 
and should it turn out as is now anticipated, there is a mine of wealth in it, and the manufac- 
ture of mineral paint may be commenced at once in this city. 

This shaft is owned by Knight, Gibb & Co. They bought six acres of Mr. 
Marsh, with the privilege of mining under seventy acres more, belonging to the 
same party. They reached coal — a vein four and a half feet thick — at a depth 
of 176 feet, and at an expenditure of about $10,000. This is the third shaft 
that has been successfully sunk in the environs of Fairbury, and, next to grain, 
coal mining is the most extensive line of business engaged in by its citizens. 
Aside from the amount furnished the railroads, the trade is of a local character, 
mostly, and very extensive of that kind. 

The first bank was established in Fairbury by Judge McDowell and Nathan 
E. Lyman, in 1864, and was known as the Fairbury Bank, ^n 1867, Jno. J. 
Taylor was admitted a partner, and it finally developed into the First National 
Bank, and was organized as such in 1874, with Isaac P. McDowell as President,, 
and Nathan E. Lyman (now of Rockford, 111.) as Cashier. I. P. McDowell is 
still President, and T. S. 0. McDowell is Cashier. Bartlett, Beech & Dominy 
commenced the banking business June 15, 1874, and still conduct it in all 
its branches. 

A woolen-mill was built here about the year 1867-68, by three brothers 
from New York, named Barnard. It was supposed at one time that sheep 
raising would prove a very profitable business in this section of the country, and 
a number of farmers embarked in it extensively. A man named Hiner, living 
a little west of Fairbury, had at one time over 1,300 head of sheep, but after 
considerable experimenting, it was found to be a failure. Owing to the wet 
nature of so much of the land, the disease called "foot rot " prevailed to an 
extent to render the raising of sheep not only expensive, but entirely profitless, 
and it was finally abandoned altogether. From this fact, the woolen-mill proved 
a failure, and the parties owning it took out the machinery and moved it to Los 
Angelos, Cal., where sheep are a spontaneous growth and are cultivated to 
an extent calculated to make a mill of its caliber profitable. The Chicago k 
Paducah Railroad Company purchased the old building, after the machinery had 
been removed, with the intention of converting it into a grain elevator, but the 
partial failure of crops for the past year or two has prevented, and it still stands 
an empty shell, a monument of misplaced investment. 

The Fairbury Union Agricultural Board was incorporated under legislative 
act in 1876. The certificate of organization is signed by Geo. H. Harlow, Secre- 


tary of State, under the great seal, and is dated January 19, 1876. It was organ- 
ized and officers duly elected March 25th, as follows : John Virgin, President ; 
John G. Steers, Vice President; C. C. Bartlett, Treasurer, and Smith Olney, 
Secretary. The first Board of Directors were Jacob B. Bally, Stephen Herr, 
Henry Kingman, John F. Myers, Henry Skinner and George W. Myers, whose 
terms expire in 1877 ; and Robert Elmore, J. F. Earnhart, Owen Finegan, D. L. 
Murdock, R. E. Norman, D. R. Potter and Benjamin Cumpston, whose terms 
expire in 1878. Their grounds consist of about twenty-one acres of land, pur- 
chased at an aggregate cost of $2,800, and are located just south of the village 
and are excellently adapted to the purpose for which they are used. They are 
well improved and enclosed with a substantial fence and have large and com- 
modious buildings. 

The first exhibition of the association was held in September, 1876, and con- 
tinued four days. The last election of officers resulted as follows : John Virgin, 
President; Joel Strawn, Vice President; C. C. Bartlett, Treasurer, and H. L. 
Bruce, Secretary. It is a Union Association of Livingston and McLean Coun- 
ties ; is in a flourishing condition and is patronized and supported by both 
counties in a liberal manner. 

The Masonic and Odd Fellows' societies are well represented in the village 
of Fairbury, by all the grades of those honorable bodies. Tarbolton Lodge, 
No. 351, Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons, was chartered October 3, 1860, 
and the document authorizing its existence as a body was signed by D. C. Cre- 
gier, Grand Master of Illinois at that time, and J. H. Miles, Grand Secretary. 
Charter members — Aaron Weider, L. H. Nash, R. Rumbold, J. B. Hulsey, 
0. P. Ross, S. C. Roberts, H. Remington and some others,, of whom 0. P. Ross 
and H. Remington alone are now members. Aaron Weider was the first 
Worshipful Master. At present, Smith Olney is Master ; T. W. Duffey, Sec- 
retary,, and 104 members are on the records. The Lodge Hall was burned 
March 29, 1875, and the loss in paraphernalia, furniture, etc., was about $2,000. 
The hall did not belong to them, but was rented for Lodge purposes, so that the 
loss of the building did not fall on them. The Lodge was originally organized 
in Remington's parlor, and continued to meet there until other rooms were pro- 

Fairbury Chapter, No. 99, Royal Arch Masons, was chartered October 5, 
1866, and their charter signed by J. A. DeLancey, Grand High Priest of the 
State, and J. H. Miles, Grand Secretary. The first High Priest was J. W. 
Peck,, and H. Remington was the first Secretary. At present, W. H. Allen is 
High Priest, and Smith Olney, Secretary, with a present membership of 83. 

Fairbury Council, No. 36, Royal and Select Masters, was chartered January 
11, 1868, and J. W. Peck was the first T.\ I.-. G.-. M.\, and M. Osman the 
first Recorder. By a joint act of the Grand Chapter and the Grand Council 
of Illinois, the degrees of the latter are now conferred in the Chapter, and the 
Council, as a body, is discontinued. 


St. Paul Coinmandery, No. 36, Knight Templars, was chartered Oct. 26 T 
1870. Sir D. C. Cregier was then Grand Commander of the State, and as 
such signed the charter authorizing its organization. The first Eminent Com- 
mander was Sir J. J. Wright, and Sir John Zimmerman, Recorder. There are 
at present 56 members upon the books, and Sir John Zimmerman is Com- 
mander, and Sir Demas Elliott, Recorder. 

Livingston Lodge, No. 290, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was 
organized under dispensation August 15, 1860, and chartered Oct. 12th of the 
same year. The charter members were J. F. Blackburn, John J. Young, W. 
H. Strevelle, John T. Bowen and John Zimmerman.. Of these, there are still 
living Blackburn and Zimmerman, but the latter only is still a member of the 
body. The present Noble Grand is J. F. Earnhart, and J. M. Thornton is Sec- 
retary, with 44 members. 

Fairbury Encampment, No. 71, 1. 0. 0. F., was chartered Oct. 8, 1867, and 
has a large membership. At present, Benj. P. Lightfoot is Chief Patriarch; 
T. W. Gore, Scribe. 

The history of the press extends back but a dozen years in this little city. 
In 1866, H. S. Decker commenced the publication of a paper called the 
Journal, in Fairbury, but soon sold out to I. P, McDowell, who, after a short 
time, sold it to a man named Eastman, and he continued to publish it until 
1873. In 1871, the Dimmicks commenced the publication of the Independent, 
and in 1876, C. B. Holmes commenced the Blade. These papers were pub- 
lished in the interests of the east and west ends of the village for a time, when 
J. S. Scibird, formerly of Bloomington, purchased the two, and consolidated 
them, upon the principle that "in union there is strength," and from the com- 
bination brought forth a kind of journalistic Siamese twins, known as the 
Independent-Blade. It is independent in politics, well and ably edited, and is 
one of the flourishing newspapers of the county. 

John Virgin, J. C. Morrison and Decatur Veach formed a company, some 
years ago, for the' purpose of importing Norman horses. In 1870, Virgin was 
sent out and brought the first lot across the Atlantic to this county. Their 
partnership was soon dissolved by the death of Veach, but Virgin still continues 
in the business, and has imported some very fine specimens of this popular breed. 

The most extensive manufacturing of any kind in the village is George W. 
Kring's. He commenced, in 1866, the manufacture of cultivators, a business 
he is still engaged in. Lately, he has added the manufacture of check-rowers, 
which he makes a specialty. 

The village of Fairbury makes no pretensions to wholesale business, or to 
extensive manufacturing, but is merely a retail place, and as such every line of 
business is well represented. Many large mercantile firms, whose bases no 
financial storms can shake, are doing a heavy but safe business. 

As noted in another place, this village and township have the advantage of 
two railroads. The Toledo, Peoria & Warsaw, formerly known as the Peoria 


& Oquawka Railroad, in the early period of its existence had a hard struggle for 
life. ^It was poor and moneyless, and, as is usually the case under such circum- 
stances, every one gave it a kick down the hill. No stock was taken in it in 
this immediate vicinity, except a little toward building a station. Owing to 
their straitened circumstances, and their inability to pay their obligations, 
the bitterest enmity arose between the road and the town, and attachments 
were made against everything in the way of property belonging to the road, 
liable to such process, and even freight bills were garnisheed before they could 
be collected. Every occasion was sought to annoy each other, and they did not 
always stop at annoyance, but did considerable injury. A train passed through 
the town one very dry, windy day at full speed, with fires and steam at a high 
stage, and emitting from its smoke-stack great blazing cinders, which caught in 
some combustible matter, communicated to the town, and a destructive confla- 
gration was the result. When the train arrived at Forrest, the next station, 
the engineer looked back and saw the dense smoke-, then remarked that he set 
the town of Fairbnry on fire as he came -through. The road, how- 
ever, lived and prospered, and grew out of its financial troubles, and is to-day 
one of the prosperous roads in the country. Its name was changed from 
Peoria & Oquawka to Toledo, Peoria & Warsaw Railway, and it is a great 
trunk line between East and West. It was finished through here in 1857, and 
there are few roads at the present time in the State of Illinois that are doing a 
heavier business. 

The Chicago & Paducah Road is a valuable addition to- this section of 
the county, as it unites it .by rail with the county seat, and also gives competi- 
tion in the shipment of freights, which are extremely heavy from this point — 
as much, perhaps, as from any other in Livingston County. As an illustra- 
tion of its importance, we give some statistical facts, kindly furnished by Mr. 
Winters, of the Toledo, Peoria & Warsaw, and Mr. Rogers, of the Chicago & 
Paducah, which are as follows for the year 1877 : 


Freight forwarded 600 car loads in bulk. 

Freight forwarded 60 oar loads stock. 

Freight forwarded 300 car .loads of coal. 

Total freight forwarded for the year about 960 car loads. 

Amount received on freight for year 1877, about $24,000 00 

Amount of ticket sales for year 1877 12,000 00 


Freight forwarded — total grain, stock and coal 617 car loads. 

Amount received on freight for 1877 $17,617 84 

Amount ticket sales for 1877 7,990 20 

Fairbury has been a most unfortunate town in the way of fires, and it would 
be rather difficult, perhaps, to find another place of its size that has been so- 
often and so disastrously visited by the "fire fiend." The first great fire occur- 
red in October, 1868, and is the one already alluded to as catching from a pass- 


ing locomotive, on the T., P. & W. R. R. It commenced in the Dresser 
Warehouse, located in East End, and communicated to a row of wooden Jbuild- 
ings on the north side of Locust street. Eighteen stores were burned, little of 
the contents saved, and the loss estimated at $75,000. Two other serious fires 
occurred in 1869, though neither was quite as destructive as the one just men- 
tioned. In the month of February, a fire broke out in a frame store building on 
the corner of Locust and Fourth streets, belonging to I. P. McDowell, and 
communicated to a row of wooden buildings adjoining on the west. Ten 
buildings were burned, some goods saved, and loss estimated at $20,000. 
Another fire occurred this year. It originated in a wagon shop, owned by 
N. S. McDonald, in the West End, and simultaneously in Elliott's jewelry 
store, in East End, as though by a preconcerted arrangement of incendiaries to 
burn and plunder the entire town. Seven buildings were totally destroyed, 
with a loss of about $12,500. 

In addition to the hostile feelings mentioned as existing between the vil- 
lage and the T., P. & W. Railway, for years, quite a kindred feeling existed 
between the east and west ends of the village, and mutterings, " deep and dire,'' 
were often indulged in between the sections, which bade fair, at times, to burst 
out like some of their own conflagrations. As this is an unpleasant part of 
our work, however, we will draw the veil over these human frailties, with a 
Bible admonition to the citizens, to " dwell together in unity." 

The village has provided itself with a pretty good and efficient fire depart- 
ment, and organized volunteer companies. In 1874, they purchased a couple 
of hand engines, at a cost of about $1,800, and the village government allowed 
them $100 for keeping their fire tackle in good working order, while the remain- 
der of their services is gratuitous. 

One of the most interesting and exciting little incidents that has ever 
occurred in this village, perhaps, was the first exercising of the rights of fran- 
chise by a member of the " Fifteenth Amendment." Richard Quarles, known 
nearly all over McLean and Livingston Counties as " Side Hill Dick," on 
account of one leg being several inches shorter than the other, was the first 
colored man to cast a ballot at an election in Fairbury. The occasion was the 
election of township officers, in the Spring of 1870, and called out nearly as 
many people, to witness the performance, as would a circus. But no one chal- 
lenged or contested his right to vote, and it passed off all in good humor. 

There are living in and around Fairbury about 100 negroes. They came 
mostly from Mr. Sullivant's, in Ford County, who imported them to work on 
his large farm ; but as times grew hard and dull, he would get rid of his col- 
ored help, and they would wander toward Fairbury, where they found homes. 
They have always conducted themselves in an orderly manner, with a disposi- 
tion to work and get along in the world. The Supervisor says he has given 
less charity to negroes, in proportion, than to whites ; and, taken all together, 
nothing can truthfully be said to their disadvantage. They have a church, of 

' 1 ^M 





the Methodist Episcopal denomination, with a regular Pastor, Rev. Aaron 
Ward, of Pontiac, and a local preacher, also, Rev. Washington Farrer. A 
Sunday school is in full operation at their church, under the superintendence 
of James Allen, which is well attended. Their children go to the common 
schools, and share all the advantages of education equally with white chil- 

The village has a very handsome little cemetery, which was surveyed by 
Isaac R. Clarke, August 30, 1855, and was originally one-fourth of northwest 
quarter of Section 2, and has had an addition made to it since it was laid out, 
of about six acres of ground. It is well improved and set in trees and shrub- 
bery, and much respect shown by the living to the dead. The first burial in 
this cemetery was a Mrs. Hughes, wife of David Hughes, and was interred 
soon after the grounds were laid out. 

Fairbury was originally called South Avoca, but was changed by Chenute, 
as noted in another place. It is situated at the crossing of the Toledo, Peoria 
& Warsaw and the Chicago & Paducah Railroads, twelve miles from Pontiac 
and 103 miles from Chicago. Though claiming a population variously estimated 
at from 2,500 to 3,000, it is still under village organization. The bar is repre- 
sented here by Hon. D. L. Murdock, State's Attorney, Judge W. G. McDowell, 
A. J. Clarke, R. T. Perry and J. D. Fraley, all of whom are menof ability. There 
are other able men in the place, but space forbids the mention of the names of 
all who have distinguished themselves, but will give only the following, who 
were identified with the army during the late war: Jo. H. Scibird, Major of 
the Seventieth Illinois Infantry ; John W. Morris, Captain of Company C, 
Sixty-eighth Illinois Infantry ; J. M. Wright, Lieutenant in Second Illinois 
Cavalry ; John Zimmerman, Lieutenant in Third Illinois Cavalry ; H. H. Staf- 
ford, First Lieutenant Company H, Seventy-second Indiana Infantry, living at 
present in Fairbury. 

The following went into the army from Fairbury, but are now residing in 
other places : Rev. A. J. Cropsey, a Methodist preacher, Major of the One 
Hundred and Twenty -ninth Illinois Infantry, and since the war has represented 
his district in the Lower House of the State Legislature. He at present lives in 
Lincoln, Nebraska. B. E. Robinson, First Lieutenant Company I, Ninety-fifth 
Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and served a full term in Anderson ville prison, with all 
its horrors. He has served three terms as Sheriff.of Livingston County, having 
been elected in 1872, 1874 and 1876, and is a candidate again for re-election. 
No man has ever held the office three terms in succession since township 
organization. Byron Phelps, a son of Orin Phelps, mentioned as one of the 
early settlers of Forrest Township, was a Lieutenant in the Third Illinois Cav- 
alry, and after the close of the war was elected County Clerk, an office he 
filled satisfactorily for four years, and at present lives in Decatur, 111. Aaron 
Weider was an officer in the Third Cavalry, and after the war was Treasurer 
of the county for four years. W. H. H. McDowell was Second Lieutenant in 


the One Hundred and Twenty-Ninth Illinois Infantry, and lives now in Pontiac. 
As to those who carried muskets, their names and regiments will be found in 
the general war record, on another page of this work. Henry H. Rogers, a son 
of S. S. Rogers, of Fairbury, was educated at the Naval Academy at Annapo- 
lis, Md. ; and when lie graduated last Summer (1877), was appointed a midship- 
man on board of the U. S. steamer Pensacola, and is at present stationed at 
Mare Island, near San Francisco. 

The medical fraternity of the village is as follows : Drs. S. M. & H. E. W. 
Barnes, J. F. Fraley, D. Brewer and James Pearson ; Dr. J. R. Rayburn, 

Fairbury Guards, Company C, Tenth Battalion of the Illinois State Guards, 
with regimental headquarters at Dwight, 111., was organized in October, 1877, 
with the following officers: J. L. Sacriste, Captain; J. M. Wright, First 
Lieutenant ; J. W. Morris, Second Lieutenant ; and J. S. DeWolf, Orderly 

Last but not least in the history of the village of Fairbury, we would men- 
tion in the most complimentary terms the Scibird Zouave Cadets, a company 
of small boys from 10 to 14 years old, and but recently organized into a 
military company. They have now forty members,, and are being drilled 
in genuine military style by J. H. Scibird, Major of the Seventieth Illinois In- 
fantry, during the late war. Their uniform consists of red pants, blue shirts, 
red caps with blue top, white stockings and shoes. They have toy guns made 
under the direction of Maj. Scibird, and are pine stocks with tin barrels. Maj. 
Scibird takes great pride in drilling the little fellows, and, in justice to them, 
we must say that they do honor to their drill-master. Their evolutions are per- 
formed with perfect military precision, and older soldiers might learn much from 
their maneuvers. The country need fear no danger from enemies at home, or 
from foes abroad, which produces such manly and soldierly little boys as the 
Zouave Cadets. The following are their officers: Joe H. Scibird, Captain;* 
Thomas Baker, First Lieutenant ; Willie Van Doom, Second Lieutenant ; 
Charley Rettenmayer, First Sergeant; Herman Gillett, Second Sergeant; 
Fred Baker, Third Sergeant ; Frank Duell ? Fourth Sergeant ; Fred Wright, 
Fifth Sergeant ; Grant McDowell, First Corporal ; George Decker, Second 
Corporal ; Clarence Murdock, Third Corporal ; Eddie Smith, Fourth Corporal ; 
Thomas Langabeer, Fifth Corporal ; Henry Sweet, Sixth Corporal ; Bruce 
Amsbury, Seventh Corporal ; Robby Mack, Eighth Corporal. 

And perhaps Napoleon, Wellington, Washington or Lee never wore their 
official greatness with more dignity than do these embryo generals. But we 
leave them with a word of encouragement, and a kind wish for their future 

" There's a page in their slory, too bright to be lost ! 
May souls so heroic win laurels and praises 
Eternal, beyond where the dark stream is crossed." 

The boys insisted on Maj. Scibird, who had organized and drilled them, being their Captain, and so unanimously 
elected him. 



Belle Prairie is known as Township 25 north, Range 6 east of the 3d Prin- 
cipal Meridian, and is fractional, containing only about half the amount of ter- 
ritory embraced in a regular Congressional Township. It lies in the extreme 
southern part of the county, bounded on the south and west by Ford and Mc- 
Lean Counties ; on the east by Fayette Township ; on the north by Indian 
Grove, and is all prairie land, except a small body, comprising but a section or 
so, adjoining the latter township. The land is rolling, or gently undulating, 
affording good drainage, and the soil is rich and very productive. It is entirely 
devoted to farming and stock-raising, and contains no cities or villages, nor even 
a post office or store. However, the people are not deprived of these accom- 
paniments of civilization. There are plenty of them within easy reach, and 
several situated on the territorial limits, are liberally patronized and supported 
by the citizens of Belle Prairie. 

This township is noted for being the scene of the first permanent settlement 
in Livingston County. In the Fall of 1830, a single emigrant wagon drew up 
at the head of the grove of timber, afterward named by the whites Indian 
Grove, and the owner of the wagon, or "prairie schooner," as the big "cov- 
ered wagons " of the emigrants were sometimes called, proceeded to pitch his 
tent on the banks of Indian Creek, which has its source in this vicinity. This 
early pioneer was Valentine Martin Darnall, recognized as the first actual set- 
tler of the county. He was born in Virginia, and, when a mere child, his 
parents removed to Kentucky, and settled in Boone County, one and a quarter 
miles from Boonesboro, the site of the first settlement made in the '■ Dark 
and Bloody Ground " by the " pale face," and where Daniel Boone, the pioneer, 
built a fort more than a century ago. His parents died there while he was yet 
quite young, and some'years after attaining his manhood, and having taken to 
himself a life partner, he came to Illinois, arriving in the settlement above 
Pleasant "Hill, on the Mackinaw River, in October, 1830. He had three 
brothers-in-law living at that place, and he left his wagon and family with them 
while he came over to Indian Grove on a prospecting tour. After deciding upon 
his location, he borrowed a wagon from a brother-in-law to avoid unloading, and 
again loading his own, and having procured some grain, went over on the San- 
gamon River, eight miles from Springfield, to mill,* as he could not live, he 
says, even in a wilderness, without something to eat. He was gone fourteen 
days, as the miller couldn't or wouldn't grind for him sooner, nor hire him the 
mill to grind it for himself. On the 26th of October, he got back to the settle- 
ment, and on the 27th came over to the spot destined to be his home for many 
years. The first thing after pitching his tent, and getting " a bite to eat," was 
to cut down a " board tree" and " chop off a cut " — he had no saw — which he 
cut eight feet long and quartered, in order that he might " rive " boards by fire- 

*The mill wae owned by a man named Archie. 


light. He informed us that he would cut house logs during the day and make 
boards at night, and that on the 1st day of November he raised his first cabin. 
His help came from the settlement at Mackinaw, a distance of ten or twelve 
miles, raised the house, covered it, and a portion of them went home the same 
day. There were no nails in this country then, and where they were needed 
wooden pins were used. This ancient relic, perhaps the first cabin built in 
Livingston County, has long ago crumbled into ruins, but a " smoke house " 
built the next Spring by Mr. Darnall is still standing and in a good state of 
preservation. It is built of red elm logs, and the original door, which is a 
model of architectural genius, is still to it and doing duty as such. It was made 
without a nail, and the frame is a small forked sapling, one prong being 
straight, the other standing out at an angle of about forty. five degrees, with a 
cross piece "let in " at the top of the straight one, and to these unique " bat- 
tens " heavy slabs are fastened with wooden pins. This style of door was quite 
fashionable in this section of the country forty odd years ago. 

The Winter of the deep snow was the first after his settlement here. The 
snow commenced falling in the latter part of December and continued until it 
was four feet deep on the level. He had gone to Mackinaw with a wagon and 
two horses, for his Winter's pork, which he had bought in that settlement. And 
there the great snow storm caught him. Finding it impossible to get back with 
his team, he left his wagon and one horse at the settlement, and, wrapping him- 
self up securely to keep from freezing, mounted the other horse, and, with half 
a hog before him to live on while the snow might last, started for home. His 
route lay across the open prairie, and without compass or any mark for a guide, 
save the direction the snow was drifted by the wind, he struggled against the 
storm. The wind was blowing and the air filled with snow, so that at times he 
could see but a few yards distant. With sad forebodings of what might be the 
fate of his wife and little children through the short wintry day that seemed to 
him very long, he toiled on through the snow, which, he informed us, on an 
average, came to his knees, as his noble beast waded through it. As the shades 
of evening began to gather around him, and when almost ready to give up as 
lost on the prairie, the sun, just before setting, burst from the clouds that had 
shrouded his face all day, and, as his last lingering rays reflected across the 
great fields of snow, they tinged with gold the tops of the trees which he knew 
surrounded his cabin. He says that his feelings just then may be imagined, 
but not easily described. But his own precarious situation had caused little 
of his uneasiness. He had been absent four days, and for the first time in his 
married life, had failed to reach home at the time he had promised his wife that 
he would return, and he knew not but that he would find them frozen to death. 
Anxious as he was, however, to learn their fate, yet knowing that if the snow 
remained on the ground all Winter, they could not (if his family was alive) get 
along without something to eat, he went out of his way, after discovering the 
grove of timber, to see four wild hogs that he had been trying some time to tame 


They were so hungry that they followed him as far as the creek without trouble. 
He found his family as comfortably situated as could be expected under the cir- 
cumstances. The snow, where the wind had whirled it around his cabin, was 
in places eight feet deep. When he left home, he had three young calves in a 
rail pen in the yard, and, after the snow came, his wife succeeded in getting 
them out of the pen, and into their cabin by the lire to prevent their freezing. 
She had dressed herself in a pair of her husband's trousers, to the better enable 
her to get through the snow, and had cleared it away from the calf and sheep 
pens. Mr. Darnall, the next day after his return home, went back and suc- 
ceeded in getting his wild hogs home, two of which found their way into his 
scanty larder during the Winter. Through the period that the snow remained, 
he cut timber enough to make 3,000 rails. He would cut down a tree, then 
tramp a road to it through the snow, so that his cattle and sheep could get to it 
and " browse " off the branches. It was thus, together with a very small allow- 
ance of dry corn, that he wintered nine head of cattle and fifteen sheep without 
losing a single one. There was a plum thicket near his cabin, where the snow 
had drifted up eight or ten feet deep, and after a crust had formed on it, the 
sheep would go up and browse off the. tops of the bushes. When the snow 
melted away, the tops of the plum trees were sticking full of wool plucked from 
the sheep during the Winter. Of four horses he had when he settled here, 
three of them died the first year with the milk sickness, and he was forced to use 
oxen for sometime afterward. It was two months, lacking three days, from the 
time he had left the settlement on the Mackinaw, before he saw a human being, 
except his own family, and his friends there were wholly ignorant and power- 
less to learn whether he had reached home or perished in the snow. When, at 
the expiration of the time mentioned (two months), his brother-in-law came over 
to learn the fate of him and his family, he was rejoiced to find them all well and 
enjoying life to the utmost. As already stated, this is pronounced the first 
permanent settlement in Livingston County, as well as the first in Belle Prairie 
Township. And we would mention, in this connection, that Mr. Darnall is still 
living, a hearty and vigorous old man, considering that he has borne the sun- 
shine and storms of eighty years. But his good wife, the companion of his 
early toils and privations, left him in September, 1872, for a home up beyond 
the blue skies, where the weary find rest. 

The next settlement was' made in this township by William Spence,* in 
1831. He was a son of Malachi Spence, one of the early settlers of Indian 
Grove Township. He came from Indiana to this settlement, but was originally 
from Kentucky, where all the Spences and Darnalls came from. 

In 1834, Jeremiah Travis, James Cooper and Hugh Steers made claims in 
the settlement, upon which they located. The two former were from Tennessee, 
and the latter from Kentucky. Travis was the first white man to strike a fire 
on the west side of Indian trrove timber, a fact of which he was always quite 

* Williamson Spence, though usually called William. 


proud. He died upon his original settlement, in 1844. James Cooper remained 
in the settlement, a good citizen, until 1865, when he died. Steers died in a 
few years after coming to the cotfntry. 

Spencer Kates, Benjamin Hieronymous and 'Decatur Veach are from Ken- 
tucky. Kates settled here in 1835-6, where he remained until about the year 
1864, when he sold out and removed to Oregon. Hieronymous came to the 
settlement in 1838, and made a claim, on which he still lives, a highly-respected 
citizen. He informed us that he had hauled grain to Chicago when they had to 
go around by Naperville ; that he had hauled peaches and other fruits there — 
had teamed it to that city, in fact, almost constantly for twenty-five years, 
before the day of railroads. Veach is among the early settlers of this township, 
and is said to have been the first Abolitionist in Livingston County. 

Charles Jones and his son, Thomas Jones, and Orin Phelps came from New 
Jersey and settled, first, in what comprises at the present day Forrest Town- 
ship, in the history of which further mention is made of them. Thomas Jones 
settled in Belle Prairie at an early day, having remained in Forrest but 'a few 
years. After farming successfully for a number of years, he rented out his 
farm, which is one of the finest in Belle Prairie, and removed to Fairbury, 
where he engaged extensively in the grain business, but has recently quit it, 
and is at present superintending his farm. 

The foregoing names comprise all the early settlers in this township of 
whom we have been able to obtain any definite information, and these settled in 
and around the small body of timber at the head of Indian Grove ; and it was 
a number of years before a settlement was made out on the prairie. Mr. Dar- 
nall says that, when he settled in the country, he entertained not the remotest 
idea of ever living to see a settlement made on the prairie. Benjamin Walton 
was the first tq venture out beyond the shelter of the timber. He was the first 
permanent settler on the prairie in this township, and was generally pronounced 
a lunatic for building a house away out on what was termed a " barren waste." 
He came from the old Quaker State,. though stoutly denies being a Pennsyl- 
vania Dutchman, and settled here in 1854, buying a claim from a man named 
De Board, who had made a little opening on the prairie, but soon got disgusted 
and left it. The whole broad prairies in this section were then unbroken save 
by the beaten paths of wild beasts, or the neighbors' stock which grazed upon 
them uninterruptedly. 

Mr. Walton was one of the first men in the country to advocate a stock law> 
and resolutions on the subject, offered by him at the county fair at Pontiac, 
went the rounds of the press and circulated extensively over the Western States. 
He argued the question on all occasions, and the debates of him and Rev. John 
Darnall, who lived in Indian Grove Township and took ground against the 
proposed measure, are quite voluminous, and, if printed, would make a rather in- 
teresting volume. Another enterprise of his was the* putting up of stone corners 
to each section of land in the township. He made the move, and, after encounter- 


ing considerable opposition, succeeded in carrying the point, and, to-day, every 
section of land in Belle Prairie Township has stones, weighing not less than 
two hundred pounds, at each corner. Walton is a zealous temperance man, 
and has published a pamphlet in the interests of the cause, in which his views 
are ably given. Some years ago, he removed to Fairbury, where he still lives, 
an enterprising business man. 

<■ R. B. Harrington came from New York, and is another of the early settlers 
on the prairie. While not fully ranking as an old settler, he was a man of 
much prominence, and deserves special mention. He was the , second Super- 
visor of the township, and through his popularity and good business qualities 
was elected County Clerk in 1861 on the Republican ticket. In 1865, hewas 
re-elected to the office, and served another four years. During his services as 
County Clerk, he is said to have been one of the most popular leaders of the 
party it has ever had in the county. He at present lives in Nebraska, where 
he holds some important office in the government. 

Other settlers soon located on the prairie lands, and at the present time it 
is the most valuable and productive in the county. 

As already stated, Belle Prairie had originally but a very small body of 
native timber. Since the commencement of settlements on the prairie, tree- 
planting has been extensively engaged in by the farmers, and with considerable 
success. Walnut is the favorite timber thus cultivated, and many fine groves 
are found throughout the township. The nuts are planted in rows, and 
though a rather slow growth, the walnut is hardy and well adapted to 
this climate. 

The first white child born in the settlement is supposed to have beep Will- 
iam Steers, a son of Hugh Steers, and was born in 1834. The first wedding was 
that of William Spence and Miss Mary Darnall, and the license authorizing the 
solemnization of their nuptials was the first issued from the Clerk's office of 
Livingston County after its formation. They were married by Rev. John 
Darnall, in 1837. Benjamin Hieronymous and a Miss Darnall, sister to the 
bride just mentioned, were married soon after, and were probably the second 
marriage in the township. Apropos of weddings ; when a son of Mr. Hierony- 
mous was married, some years ago, to a Miss Post, of Pontiac, a local poet 
thus rhapsodized the event : 

" Hieronymous stood by his Post — 

The brave young Dick Hieronymus ; 
Said he, my dear, I feel almost 
As if I was some blessed ghost. 
Said she, I feel- synonymous.'' 

Who was the first to enter the dark valley of the shadow of death in this town- 
ship we were unable learn. But few settlements were made until a very late 


day, and of the few early settlers, none now living can tell who was the first 
to pass away. 

The first Justice of the Peace in Belle Prairie Township was Spencer Kates, 
and was commissioned as such about the year 1840, while this town was yet a 
part of Indian Grove Precinct. Jeremiah Travis was the first blacksmith, and 
plied his vocation from his first settlement, so far as the few scattering settlers 
required his services. He was also a chair maker, and many of his make are 
still to be found in this and surrounding neighborhoods. Who the first practicing 
physician was is a question involved in some doubt, but was, perhaps," Dr. 
Ostrander, mentioned elsewhere as one of the first physicians in this part of the 
county, and who practiced his profession in early times, all through this entire 

The first church and the only one that has ever been built in this settlement 
is the Methodist Episcopal Church, in the southern part of the township. It is a 
good frame building, and was erected in 1865, at a cost of fl,500, and was 
dedicated, on its completion, by Rev. Mr. Rhodes, then Presiding Elder of the 
district. Rev. Mr. Sanders is the present Pastor ; his church is in a nourishing 
condition, and has a large membership. A good. Sunday school is in successful 
operation, with a large attendance every Sunday, and Rev. Mr. Sanders is the 
Superintendent. A comfortable parsonage is attached to the church, which is 
a very pleasant arrangement. A handsome and well-kept little cemetery has 
been laid off near the church, where many of its former worshipers sleep in 
peace. Mrs. Hanna was among the first buried in it, if not the first. Be that 
as it may, however, it is agreed that her monument was the first put up in the 
little graveyard. Although this church was not built until 1865, and the first 
settlement was made here thirty-five years before, it does not follow that the 
people were without religious instruction. The sound of the Gospel was 
heard here almost from the coming of white men ; and their cabins and 
the groves served as sanctuaries of worship, until the building of school 
houses. Rev. John Darnall, Rev. David Sharpless and Rev. John Miller, 
mentioned in other parts of this work, were among the early preachers of 
the time. 

In 1858, the first temple of learning was built in Belle Prairie Township. 
A few of the neighbors resolved to have a school house, and, upon consultation 
with carpenters and builders, found that it would cost more than they could 
well afford to pay. Finally, Ben. Walton took the contract and proceeded at 
once to put up the building. He hauled the material from Pontiac, took what 
pay he could get, and eventually succeeded in collecting a suflicient amount to 
bring down his own quota to a fair proportion with that of his neighbors. The 
town is well supplied with good, substantial school houses at convenient distances 
■ from each other, ancFwithin easy reach of all. The school records furnish no 

t to these pages. From the last report of the 


Treasurer, David Crum, to the County Superintendent of Schools, we take 
the following : 

No. of males in township under 21 years 180 

Norof females in township under 21 years 176 

« * 

Total ^ 356 

No. of males in township between 6 and 21 years 146 

No. of females in township between 6 and 21 years 134 

Total 280 

No. of males attending school . 112 

No. of females attending school j06 

Total 218 

No. of male teachers employed 4 

No. of female teachers employed 10 

Total .-. 14 

Amount paid male teachers $800 00 

Amount paid female teachers 1,360 00 

Total $2,160 00 

Estimated value of school property 4,000 00 

Amount of tax levy for support of schools 2,541 00 

Principal of township fund 5,772 00 

Politically, Belle Prairie was very strongly Democratic, in the days of 
Whigs and Locofocos, but, at the present time, it is more evenly contested on 
the political issues of the day ; though still giving small Democratic majorities,* 
when the party lines are closely drawn. While on this theme, a little episode 
which occurred at the village of Potosi, just over the border in McLean County, 
but with some of its suburban residences extending into Belle Prairie, may not 
be inappropriate. Just after the dose of the war, and while Hon. R. J. Oglesby 
was Governor of Illinois, the Democrats around Potosi, both in Livingston and 
McLean Counties, raised a pole at a political gathering in the village, and 
which some imprudent Democrat denominated a " secesh " pole. The Republi- 
cans swore that the pole should not stand, while the Democrats swore that it 
should, and in pure defiance had run up a string of butternuts on it. Excite- 
ment was at a white heat ; the war had just ended, and the " bloody chasm " 
still yawned between the parties. Serious apprehensions were entertained by 
the more conservative of both sides that the • affair would end in blood, when 
some " blessed peacemaker " proposed to telegraph the circumstances to Gov. 
Oglesby, a man whose loyalty none dared question, and abide his decision. 
It was agreed toby both parties; the despatch was sent, and quick on the 
lightning's wing flashed back Oglesby's answer: "Let the Republicans go 
home and behave themselves, and let the Democrats take down their pole and 
save their nuts." This despatch created a laugh, and put the crowd in a good 
humor; all shook hands across the chasm, and went home in peace and quiet. 
It is said that the obnoxious butternuts were sent to Oglesby as a memento of 


his timely and successful interference in their little broil, and that he has them care- 
fully laid away in his office ; that he frequently takes them out of their resting place, 
relates the story to his friends, and enjoys a hearty laugh at the recollection. 

Belle Prairie was set off from Indian Grove at the time of township organi- 
zation, and from that time until about the year 1871, embraced Fayette Town- 
ship within its limits. When the county was organized into townships, the 
first Supervisor of Belle Prairie was V. M. Darnall, its first settler. Its pres- 
ent officers are as follows : Supervisor, P. 0. Abbey ; D. S. Crum and Wm. 
Younger f Magistrates; Ira C. Pratt, Assessor; Richard Smith, Collector, and' 
J. R. Spence, Town Clerk. 

The name Belle Prairie was given to the township by R. B. Harrington, 
mentioned in another page, who seems to have been imbued with a keen sense 
of the glorious and beautiful. The country to which he gave the poetical name 
is fine and magnificent almost beyond description, and the name is as beautiful 
as the sweet wild flowers of its own. prairies. The name provoked quite a dis- 
cussion among those who wanted one more practical and suggestive of every 
day life, but the other was finally adopted. There is not a village, post office or 
store in the township, but the majority of the inhabitants receive their mail at 
Potosi, just over the line in McLean County. Indeed, a part of the village is 
in Belle Prairie, but the store and post office are across the line. 

The record of Belle Prairie was good during the late war. Notwith- 
standing it was usually termed a Copperhead stronghold, but one draft occurred 
during the war, and it was for but a half-dozen men. Through the energy and 
enterprise of Ben Walton, then one of the leading spirits of the town, substi- 
tutes were procured in three days for those drafted, and at lower figures than 
any neighboring town had to pay for the same kind of material. While the 
township claims no Major Generals, or very noted or distinguished officers of 
any rank, it does feel proud of its brave boys who went in at the beginning 
and fought it out on that line. 


Perhaps but few better illustrations of what resolution, energy and industry 
will accomplish can be found than that displayed by the rise and progress of the 
town of Odell. 

But a quarter of a century has passed since the first stroke was made which 
has proved to be the foundation of what is now, in intelligence, wealth and 
thrift, one of the foremost in the county. Twenty-five years, when looked at 
retrospectively, seems but a short period of time ; but the changes which it has 
brought, not only to this community but to the country in general, are remark- 
able. A quarter of a century has seen what was literally "a desert waste" 
changed into a series of well-cultivated farms and gardens. Where then roamed 
the wild deer by the hundred, and skulked the wolf, unscared, now graze the 
less romantic ox and the more practical pig and other domestic animals. 


"Where now stands the prosperous and beautiful little city, with its well-built 
and tasty residences, its lines of stores and shops, its churches and school 
houses, and tall trees, shading its well-kept streets, was then — simply nothing 
but the tall grass ; not even enough more to fill out a well-rounded sentence. 

The history -of Odell and the township dates back no further than to the 
completion of the Chicago, Alton & St. Louis Railroad. In fact, we may say 
the railroad is, in every sense of the word, the foundation of the town and its sur- 
roundings. Not only so, but that the whole country through which it passes 
owes its development to this enterprise is a fact acknowledged and accepted 
by every one acquainted with the circumstances. 

In 1854, with the exception of a few small and unthrifty villages, there was 
scarcely a human habitation between Joliet and Bloomington. Further west, 
the Illinois River had attracted many immigrants, and the smaller streams, with 
their belts of timber, had begun to show signs of settlement ; but on account 
of the scarcity of fuel and lumber, none dared or even seemed to think of locat- 
ing on the prairie. But when the road was completed, these, together with all 
kinds of conveniences common to the oldest settlements, appeared at once, and 
there was nothing that money or produce could buy but was immediately fur- 

When we reflect that all of these houses, all of the stone, brick and lumber 
of which they are composed, all of the fences, all of the orchards in their pri- 
mary state, all of the agricultural and mechanical implements, together with 
their equivalents in the shape of grain, cattle, hogs, butter, eggs and poultry, 
have been transferred by a single line of road, and remember that this is only 
a single point out of several hundreds, we begin to realize the extent and impor- 
tance of this grand scheme. 

In 1847, the Legislature of the State of Illinois passed an act authorizing 
the building of a railroad from Alton to Springfield, to be called the Alton k 
Sangamon Railroad; and, in 1851, the charter was so amended as to include a 
line to Bloomington, to which place it was completed the following year. 

Also, in 1851, the Legislature granted a charter for the building of what 
was known as the Chicago & Mississippi Railroad, extending from Chicago, 
by way of Joliet, to Bloomington, thus completing a through line from Chicago 
to St. Louis. The road was finished through this county in 1854, and the first 
train passed through on the 4th day of July. The road, in its early years, 
suffered many reverses and drawbacks ; but, under its later management, by 
steady and enduring perseverance and' a liberal course toward its patrons, thus 
gaining their hearty co-operation, the line has become the most important and 
wealthy in the State, being, placed alone by the Railroad Commissioners, in 
their apportionment, in Class A. 

As soon as it was definitely known that a town was to be located here, settle- 
ments began immediately to be made, not only with a view of being within the 
limits of the village, but, also, of opening farms. Indeed, the prospect of the 


road had been a sufficient incentive to speculation ; and the charter had no more 
than been obtained when crowds of speculators were attracted hither, and within 
the three years 1852-5, almost all of the land of this township was entered. 
Scarcely a whole section was taken with a view to improvement, but was 
entered and held for a rise in the market, which was sure to follow the comple- 
tion of the railroad. In this the speculators were not mistaken ; and the town- 
ship of Odell is to-day represented by but few persons who were the original 
purchasers of the land. 

As the immediate point of attraction for this vicinity was the station, so the 
first settlements were made, quite naturally, as close to' it as circumstances 
would allow. The land on which the town of Odell has subsequently been 
built was owned, primarily, by James C. Spencer and Henry A. Gardner. 
They purchased the land of the Government May 4, 1853, exactly a quarter of 
a century previous to this writing. Spencer owned the north half of the quar- 
ter section, and Gardner the south half. Of this, Spencer sold, September 3, 
1853, his land to William H. Odell, after whom the town of Odell was named, 
and who subsequently became one of the joint proprietors of the town. On the 
7th of June, 1855, Gardner and Odell exchanged deeds of their undivided half 
interests in their respective pieces of land, and thus became equal partners in 
the northwest quarter of Section 10, which embraced all of the original town of 
Odell. A short time after this, June 26, 1855, S. S. Morgan, who has, per- 
haps, had more to do with the early growth and development of the town and 
township than any other man, purchased the interest of Odell ; and by Morgan, 
and for him and Henry A. Gardner, the plat of the town was made. 

The town was surveyed and platted by Thomas F. Norton, Deputy County 
Surveyor. August 10, 1856, the proprietors having previously conveyed to the 
Chicago & Mississippi Railroad Company fifty feet on each side of the railroad 
track, extending through the whole quarter section. Thus was the town firmly 
fixed, and the attention of emigrants consequently turned to this quarter. 

For a year after the switch was located, the only inhabitants of the place 
were the few employes of the road who attended the station and the water tank 
and who were engaged in keeping the track in order. Of these, Daniel Smith, 
from New York, was the first agent ; and, as a post office was established about 
this time, he received the appointment of Postmaster. Mr. Morgan, though at 
the time a resident of Joliet, alternated between that point and this ; and when 
Smith was superseded by J. H. Link (formerly of Canada) as Station Agent, 
Morgan was appointed, by James Buchanan, as Postmaster. Though Morgan 
was principal, yet Link, acting as deputy, had charge of the mails ; and he also 
brought on a few goods and kept them for sale in the station house. 

In the meantime, David Williams, from the town of New Michigan, had 
come to the place and erected a little shanty and displayed a few basketfuls of 
groceries and notions. He was, however, a chronic grumbler and chronically 
sick, and stayed but a few months and returned to New Michigan. 


About the time of Williams' exit, S. W. Curtiss, of Kendall County, estab- 
lished a general store in the warehouse that been erected by the Railroad Com- 
pany. Curtiss did not make this his home, but employed S. P. Lundgren, of 
the same county, and known to the people of Odell as " Peter," to take charge. 
Link, having become disgusted with the store business, and also with the 
annoyance from the care of the mails, was anxious to turn these two branches 
of business over to other parties, and in this connection, the following incident 
is related : Lundgren says that when he stepped off the train, on his first arrival 
in the Winter of 1856-7, he was eyed sharply by Link (much after the manner 
of other lynx), who asked him if he was not the man who was to have the post 
ofiice. Lundgren replied that he was an entire stranger, and that he was cer- 
tain that no such arrangement had been made. He was then questioned as to 
what his business was at the place. Lundgren acknowledged that he had come 
to take charge of business for S. W. Curtiss, but had not yet had any instruc- 
tion as to the location of the store. Link then turned to the station house, and, 
taking the bag in which he had just received the mail, began crowding into its open 
mouth, indiscriminately, papers, books, letters and everything pertaining to the 
office, remarking the while that he knew this was the man, and, having com- 
pleted his packing, handed him the bag. Lundgren, however, protested that he 
was neither appointed nor qualified, and that he could not accept it; upon which, 
Link gently pushed him from the door, throwing the post office after him, and 
no amount of argument or persuasion could induce him to again permit it to be 
placed in his possession. Lundgren says that, in this instance, he verily felt 
that the " office was seeking the man " with a vengeance. After deliberating 
upon the matter a few minutes, and concluding that there could be nothing 
criminal in caring for that which was in a fair way of being lost or destroyed, 
Lundgren picked up the office and, with it on his shoulder, proceeded to hunt 
up his other mission, which, in due course of time, he found. A few days after 
installing himself as manager of the store — there being no Justice of the Peace 
or other officer qualified to administer an oath in the neighborhood — he pro- 
ceeded to Mud Creek, where resided one of, those worthies, and took the oath 
to support the Constitution of the United States, and, as Deputy Postmaster, 
to transact the business of the office according to the rules and edicts of the 
head of the department. \ 

At this time, there were, besides those already mentioned, but four families. 
Thomas Lyons was an employe of the railroad company, and pumped water for 
the tank. One night, while in the performance of his duty, he discovered a 
colored fugitive concealing himself in the building. The fellow had evidently 
mistaken the newly built railroad for a branch of the "underground," and this 
point as one of the "stations." Lyon reported the discovery to S. S. Morgan, 
who says that he found the poor fellow in a bad plight. He was ragged, and 
sore, and his feet were torn and lacerated, and were bound up with some old 
rags tied on with strips of hickory bark, and he looked as though he were more 


than half starved. Though Lyons was an Irishman, and he and Morgan were 
both Democrats and not supposed to hold stock in the underground enterprise, 
they could not but sympathize with the wretched man, and cared for him kindly, 
giving a pair of shoes and supplying him with food, which he ate so greedily 
that the Irishman, who stood beholding the rapid disappearance of the victuals, 
remarked that '• Be jabbers, he ates like a ravaged dog." 

The first dwelling was erected by S. S. Morgan, for the use of Lyon, who 
had previously been making his home in an unused box car. During the construc- 
tion of the house, however, Joseph French and family, with Hiram Vanderlip 
and family, arrived from Bennington, Vermont, and Lyons was obliged to con- 
tinue in his narrow habitation and allow the two newly arrived families to occupy 
his house while Morgan built others. 

- French and Vanderlip were both farmers, and at once set about opening 
farms in the vicinity. French still resides in the village, but Vanderlip sub- 
sequently removed to the country. 

Daniel Lyon, father of Thomas, already mentioned, came to the place a 
year or so after the son, and engaged in the sale of the article that both " cheers 
and inebriates." The old gentleman still resides at Odell, and, as supposed, 
had already reached his three score and ten when he came to the village, but as 
to how old he actually is, the chronicles are blank. 

' Joseph Baldwin and family were here almost as soon as the first, and opened 
a boarding house, and accommodated new comers until they could arrange for 
more desirable quarters. 

To Baldwin was born the first child in the community. This is remembered 
to have been in the year 1857. 

As soon as Curtiss was fairly established in business, he took into partner- 
ship Oscar Dewy, of Kane County. Dewy came to Odell to reside in the Fall 
of 1857. He was a man of intelligence, and had the confidence of the com- 
munity, and was one of the two first Justices of the Peace elected in' the town. 
The firm, however, of which he was a partner, continued in business but a short 
time, closing up in 1858. Soon after the closing up of Curtiss & Dewy's store, 
S. P. Lundgren opened up a general store in the building, which has ever since 
been known as " Peter's." Lundgren has been a careful business man, which, 
combined with industry and an accommodating manner, has made him a great 
favorite in the community. 

In the Fall of 1857, A. A. Streator came, with his family, from Mud Creek, 
and built the first hotel. Though a small affair, it was a very popular enter- 
prise, and proved a valuable addition to the little town. As soon as it was com- 
pleted, Mr. Lundgren, with others, went there to board, and Peter soon fell in 
love with the landlord's daughter, Sarah ; and, as the affection was mutual, it 
resulted in the first wedding in the township, which occurred November 14, 
1858. The knot was tied by the Rev. I. T. Whittemore, of Pontiac, a gentle- 
man who figured largely in religious matters, education and politics at that 


time. Mr. Whittemore was an active man in all three of these branches, in each 
of which he was quite successful. He was, at that time, County School Com- 
missioner, and proved himself an efficient officer. He was Pastor of the Pres- 
byterian Church at Pontiac ; preached at Odell at stated intervals, and organized 
the Congregational Church of this place. He preached the first sermon, the 
services being held in the depot building. 

J. McMeans, from New Michigan, was the "pioneer blacksmith." He 
built his shop where Angell's store now stands. The business, at that time, 
was not sufficient to give him constant employment, and he worked at odd jobs 
about the town, as he could get such as would not interfere with "regular" 
business. He soon became discouraged, and removed. Charles Finefield built 
a shop a short time after, and though he lacked a few months of being the 
pioneer in that line, he has lacked nothing in the success with which he has 
carried on the trade. 

In 1857, S. S. Morgan came here to reside. As before stated, he had laid 
out the town and erected several buildings, but, until this date, his residence 
had been at Joliet. Mr. Morgan was the first Supervisor, bought the first load 
of grain in 1855, and has been connected, directly or indirectly, with almost 
overy enterprise since the town started. 

By the Spring of 1858, the town had increased to nearly one hundred 
inhabitants, numbering eighteen or twenty families, among whom, not already 
mentioned, were W. M. Brown, Joseph L. Walton, Eli Pearson, Levi Dell, 
Samuel and Charles Packwood, J. E. Williams, Augustus H. Coleman, Thomas 
Hamlin, George Skinner, W. D. T. Hedenberg, Elisha Williams, C. N. Coe, 
James Chapman, Charles Dodwell, F. J. Church, J. H. Coe, Edwin Chapman, 
John Evans, Hanford Kerr. Quite a number of these have settled at Cayuga, 
which was then a place of quite as much prominence as Odell, and several 
on farms in different parts of the township. 

In 1858, the first election under what is known as the " Township Organ- 
ization Act " was held in the county. The election for township officers, for 
Odell Township, took place at the store of Curtis & Dewey. William M. 
Brown was elected Moderator, and S. S. Morgan chosen Clerk pro tern. 
■ There were twenty-three votes cast, and the following persons were elected to 
the respective offices: S. S. Morgan, Supervisor; A. A. Streator, Clerk; 
Joseph L. Walton, Assessor; Joseph French, Collector; Joseph French and 
E. W. Pearson, Constables ; John Harbison, Augustus H. Coleman and Will- 
iam M. Brown, Road Commissioners; Oscar Dewey and Samuel Packwood, Jus- 
tices of the Peace; W. D. F. Hedenberg, Overseer of the Poor. 

At this time, Union Township, which was then not sufficiently settled to 
entitle it to a separate organization, voted with Odell, and some of the fore- 
going will be recognized as inhabitants of that town. 

At this meeting, an appropriation of $600 was made, for the purpose of 
. building roads. Taking into account the number of inhabitants and the age 



of the town, this was a large amount to appropriate for that purpose, but it 
proved to be only the beginning of a very extensive scheme for making the 
highways of this township the best in the county. During the year, petitions 
were presented and granted, for the laying out of thirty-eight miles of new 
road; and, almost every year since, large appropriations have been made for 
their construction and improvement. In some instances, as much as $5,000 has 
been appropriated for that purpose. As a result of this wise course, Odell is 
the greatest grain market in the county ; and, with two or three exceptions, the 
greatest on the road. 

The following table shows the number of votes cast, and the names of the 
succeeding Supervisors and Clerks to the present time: 



























A. A. Streator. 
A. A. Streator. 
A. A. Streator. 

A. A. Streator. 
E. Williams. 
J. D. Curtiss. 
J. D. Curtiss. 
S. H. Penny. 
S. H. Penny. 
S. H. Penny. 
John Reeder. 
John Reeder. 

B. F. Pound. 
B. F. Pound. 
B. F. Pound. 
B. F. Pound. 
B. F. Pound. 

B. F. Pound. 

C. A. Vincent. 
C. A. Vincent. 
C. A. Vincent. 

S. S. Morgan. 




H F Hamlin 



B. F. Hotchkiss. 
B F Hotchkiss 



B F Hotchkiss 


B. F. Hotchkiss. 



B F Hotchkiss 


B. F. Hotchkiss. 
Stephen Wooley. 
Stephen Wooley. 
John McWilliams. 
L. G. Green. 
Michael Cleary. 
Michael Cleary. 
Michael Cleary. 
Michael Cleary. 
Michael Cleary. 









The names of the balance of the officers for 1878 are : A. G. Goodspeed, 
for this and the last eleven years, Assessor ; G. W. Abbaduska, Collector ; C. 
N. Coe and J. D. Pound, Justices of the Peace ; T. D. Thompson and E. 
Debraie, Constables ; Z. Supplee, School Treasurer : S. S. Morgan, J. N. Moore 
and C. W. Barber, Road Commissioners. 

It will doubtless be noticed that "rotation in office," "third term" and like 
phrases could not have entered largely into politics in this town, the main ques- 
tion being the fitness of the man for the position. B. F. Hotchkiss, whose 
name appears seven times as Supervisor, was a man eminently qualified for such 
a position, and so highly was he appreciated by the Board, that, while he con- 
tinued in office, he was honored as their presiding officer. A. G. Goodspeed 
has been Assessor so long, and knows so well what everybody is possessed of, 
that he can almost perform the duties without leaving his office. S. S. Morgan, 
who has had much to do with building the fine roads in this and adjoining 
townships, has held the office of Road Commissioner for nineteen years. 




The first grain was shipped from the station in 1855, by James Henry. 
This grain was not handled by any dealer, but was loaded from the wagons 
directly into the cars, and this continued to be the principal method of disposing 
of the products of the farm until 1861. when L. E. Kent, of Pontiac, built the 
elevator now occupied by C. A. Vincent. Prior to this, the only convenience 
for handling grain, beside the direct transfer from the wagon to the car, was a 
small board shanty that had been in use by various persons and for various 
purposes, and the Kent elevator was considered a fine addition to the business 
facilities of the place. A. Aerl, who had come from Pontiac two years before, 
was placed in charge of the elevator, and continued in the grain business for 
some years. J. B. Ourtiss also built, about the same time, the elevator occu- 
pied until recently by Z. Supplee. In 1866, J. & W. Hossack erected their 
fine elevator, which, for capacity and convenience for handling grain, has few 
superiors in the State. The cost of the building was $23,000; it is sixty feet 
in width and ninety in length, and has a capacity of 60,000 bushels. Messrs. J. 
& W. Hossack buy annually 700,000 bushels, and have handled, some years, 
over 1,000,000 bushels. 

The first school taught in the township was organized in the dwelling house 
of Joseph French, in 1857. The school was taught by Mrs. H. H. Robinson, 
and consisted of seven pupils. By the next year, 1858, there were two schools 
in the township, and the number of scholars in both was twenty-eight. 

That the reader may be able to realize the growth of the system in the 
township, a few statistics are presented : 

No. of Children 
under 21 years. 

No. of Scholars 
in attendance. 

No. of 








The following additional items will prove interesting, as indicating more 

fully the state of schools at the present time : 

Number of schools 9 

Number of scholars enrolled... 490 

Number of persons between 6 and 21 637 

Number of persons under 21 968 

Number of teachers in the township 15 

Whole amount paid for teachers' wages $4,191 00 

Amount raised for school purposes by special tax 4,840 00 

Principal of township fund 7,184 00 

From the aboye it will be seen that the schools have kept pace with the 
other enterprises. 


After the surveying and platting of the village, alluded to on another page, 
the lots were offered for sale, and many of the best were purchased for $20 to 


$30 each. The business lots, first sold, almost all went at the former price. 
At first, the east side of the square seemed to be the favorite place for business, 
and the first respectable sized store building erected was the one into which 
Curtiss & Dewey moved their goods after leaving the warehouse. 

This building still stands on the corner, just south of Hossack's office, and 
is occupied as a saloon. But gradually the west side of the square built up ; 
and as the newer buildings, owing to a demand for more commodious jstore rooms, 
were larger and better, the east side, to some extent, fell behind, its smaller 
buildings serving the purpose of shops and the smaller class of trade. . Espe- 
cially was this noticeable when, in 1867, Wm. Strawn erected the hotel, with a 
number of convenient store rooms. At the time of its erection, it was consid- 
ered, as it really was, the finest hotel in the county. The hotel drew about it, 
at once, a number of business men ; and, ever since, the west side has had the lead. 

We left the post office on the hands, or rather on the shoulders, of Peter 
Lundgren. S. S.' Morgan was, at that time, Postmaster; but, as soon as the 
duties of the office became such as to need careful attention, he, to©, turned it 
over to other parties. His successors have been as follows : John Williams, A. 
A. Streator, S. H. Putnam, H. G. Challis, S. H. Putnam and the present effi- 
cient incumbent, S. H. Hunt, who was appointed in 1869, and has held the 
office continuously ever since. 

As already intimated, Rev. I. T. Whittemore held the first church service 
in the town. After a few services had been held in the station, a carpenter shop 
was erected by Seymour & Nichols, who, by the way, were the first resident 
carpenters in the place ; and in their shop services were conducted for a while. 
The people all worshiped together, and sect and denomination were scarcely 
thought of, but all were glad of the privilege of hearing the Gospel preached, 
even in a carpenter shop. When, in 1858, the school house was built, they 
were more comfortably situated. Mr. Whittemore continued to minister to the 
people, and with such acceptance that, in 1862, the Congregational Society was 
organized. Among the original members were Mr. and Mrs. B. F. Hotch- 
kiss, Mary P. Camp, Mrs. A. R. Morgan, Mrs. Polly Robinson, Mrs. Sarah 
Lucas, Mrs. S. C. Putnam. 

In 1866, the society, having increased very considerably in number^ and 
wealth, and being desirous of possessing a house of worship which they might 
feel was their " religious home," erected their present neat and substantial 
church building. The house is thirty-eight feet in width and sixty in length, 
and cost the society $8,000. At the time of its erection, Rev. L. Leonard was 
Pastor of the congregation. He was a man of much energy and influence, and 
it was largely due to his zeal and management that the enterprise was begun. 

The society is in quite a healthy condition, and is increasing in numbers and 
influence. Rev. J. Allen is the present Pastor. 

The history of the Methodist Church of Odell is very similar, in many 
respects, to that of the Congregational just given. The two societies — or > 


rather the two peoples — worshiped together in the depot, in the carpenter shop, 
and in the school house. Both organized about the same time, and held ser- 
vices alternately in the school house, and both built their houses of worship the 
same year. The Rev. Thomas Cotton, a man whose influence in social and 
religious matters in Livingston County has, perhaps, been as great as 
that of any other man of like profession who ever resided in its limits, organ- 
ized the church in 1860. The prosperity of the society has been quite marked. 
Beginning with a very few, they have grown in numbers until at present the 
church consists of 130 members ; and, though laboring under the disadvantages 
of hard times, high material and expensive labor, erected, in 1866-67, their 
present tasty and commodious house of worship. It is fifty-six feet in length 
and thirty-six in width, and cost $6,0(M). The present Pastor is Rev. W. P. Graves. 

In connection with the church is a very flourishing Sunday School, under 
the supervision of M. Tombaugh. 

The Catholics of this place, in 1875, completed a very large house of wor- 
ship. It is forty feet in width by eighty-six in length, and cost $5,300. The 
society consists of about 120 families. The parish is in charge of Rev. Ber- 
nard Boylan. 

The citizens of Odell justly pride themselves on their excellent schools. In 
the selection of teachers, they^have always been very successful ; and during 
the eight years ending with 1873, the Odell school, with one exception, pre- 
pared more teachers than any other school in the county. 

The Board of School Directors, as now constituted, are : S. S. Morgan, T. 
O. Bannister and James Funk. Teachers : W. W. Lockwood and Misses Craw- 
ford, Graves, Pound and Bell. 

The society of A., F. & A. M. was constituted as Odell Lodge, No. 401, 
Oct. 5th, 1864. The charter members were L. H. Cordry, E. G. Putnam, Z. 
Supplee, who were the first three principal officers. The charter was granted 
by Thomas J. Turner, Grand Master. The Lodge numbers at present sixty 
members. Odell Chapter was chartered by John M.. Pearson, High Priest, 
Oct. 7, 1870. The charter was granted to Z. Supplee, A. E. Gammon, John 
E. Williams, A. B. Dunlap, A. P. Wright, J. Martin, C. H. Ellenwood, R. 
G. Morton, J. Ford, Charles Finefield, E. Williams, A. G. Goodspeed, J. B. 
Garwood, H. H. Hill and R. B. Harrington. Elisha Williams was first High 
Priest; Z. Supplee, King, and J. E. Williams, Scribe. The present principal 
officers are: R. G. Morton, High Priest; D. A. Walden, King; Joel Kidder, 
Scribe ; J. F. Trowbridge, Secretary, and J. A. Hunter, Treasurer. 

Company B, Tenth Regiment Illinois National Guards, regimental head- 
quarters at Dwight, was organized June 25, 1876. J. F. Trowbridge is 
Captain ; E. M. Vaughn, First Lieutenant ; J. L, Trowbridge, Second 
Lieutenant ; Wm. T. Angell, Orderly. The company, as now constituted, 
contains, besides the officers, fifty-three enlisted men, fully equipped,' uniformed 
and armed with needle guns. 


Odell Lodge* No. 464, I. 0. 0. F., was chartered by Thomas B. Needles, 
Grand Master, Oct. 10, 1871, and instituted by N. J. Pillsbury, Deputy Grand 
Master. The charter members were J. A. Hunter, W. Dalley, E. P. Utley, 
Jerry Clay and I. H. Scovell. B. F. Pound was installed first N. G.; N. E. 
Wright, V. G.; A. P. Wright, Rec. Sec; J. A. Hunter, Treas. The present 
officers are : I. H. Scovell, N. G.; E. DeBriae, V. G.; J. M. Beck, Rec. Sec; 
T. 0. Bannister, Per. Sec; G. Z. T. Kenyon, Treas. 

Several attempts have been made to establish a newspaper at this point, but 
with indifferent success. Owing to various circumstances, previous to 1877, 
enterprises of this kind have failed. But, during the year named, J. H. Warner, 
realizing that the time had come when a paper was really needed, established 
the Odell Herald, which bids fair to become one of the popular publications of 
the county. Merchants and other business men are beginning to realize that, 
to succeed in business, they must let their patrons know what they are doing, 
and, consequently, must invest in printer's ink. 


Though but little given to sensations, the town of Odell has had enacted 
within its limits a little drama which, at the time, created the most intense 
excitement ; and to this time, by many of the citizens who had the most ample 
means of knowing the facts, it is confidently believed that some of the persons 
connected with the Charley Ross abduction, together with the child in question, 
were the persons who figure in the following story : During the Summer of 
1874, a woman, giving her name as Hannah Cole, arrived at Odell, bringing 
with her a child of five or six years of age, and whom she called Jimmy Hen- 
derson. She was a stranger to the people of Odell ; but subsequent events 
proved her to be a relative of George W. Murkins, who lived just south of town, 
and with whom she took up her residence for a time. A few weeks later, 
another stranger, calling himself Lewis Dungan, arrived from Philadelphia, 
bringing another little boy, who, as afterward remembered, very much resem- 
bled the descriptions given of the abducted Charley Ross. Dungan also went 
to Murkins' to reside. This, as will be remembered, was just after the 
abduction had occurred, and the $20,000 reward had been offered for the return 
of the missing child. Some of the children at Murkins' had heard the older 
ones of the family speak of $20,000 that Dungan was expecting to get from 
the East ; and this item, which soon became known to some of the neighbors, 
together with certain other suspicious movements, excited apprehensions which 
led to a quiet investigation of the matter. The inquiry, though conducted 
quietly, was evidently not unobserved by Dungan, for he seemed to take alarm, and 
procuring a close carriage, and tying the child up in a bag, and placing him 
under the seat, started at dark for Ottawa. Near Streator, they are known to 
have stopped and camped in the woods until near morning, when they again 
pursued their journey to Ottawa. Here Dungan is known to have stopped 


with a man by the name of Tarr, who, as has since been ascertained, was an 
. ex-convict of the Pennsylvania penitentiary, and a former confederate of the 
notorious Mosher who was shot in New York and who asserted that his accom- 
plice in that last burglary was one of the abductors of Charley Ross. • It is 
believed that Dungan transferred the child to Tarr, and that he took him to 
St. Louis, where he was lost sight of. It is known that, immediately on 
Dungan's arrival atTarr's, he (Tarr) left Ottawa, having expressed his baggage 
to Peoria, in care of Mrs. Ellen Webster, and from there the baggage was expressed 
to Bloomington, in care of Madame Webster, and thence to St. Louis, in care 
of Mrs. Webster. While the baggage was at the express office in St. Louis, a 
party appeared, desiring to open one of the trunks. Procuring therefrom a 
suit of child's clothing, the party stated that the trunks would be taken away in 
a few days ; but they were never removed, by the owners, from the office. 
Another circumstance which the detectives hoped would lead to a clue to the 
mysterious movements of the parties was a personal, which appeared in 
the St. Louis Republican, which read as follows : " To Christian Ross, 
Philadelphia — Charley will be given up for $5,000. Answer." Mr. 
Ross did answer, accepting the proposition ; but here again, either from 
the departure of the persons connected with the matter, or from appre- 
hension that they were being closely shadowed, the thread was broken ; 
and, Dungan (who, in the mean time, had been arrested and put in jail), having 
had his trial and being released, the detectives gave up the pursuit. Reverting 
to Dungan, after he returned from Ottawa he was arrested and, on a prelimi- 
nary examination, was held for bail, which being unable to give, he was placed 
in. jail to await trial. A few clays later, he was tried, but no positive evidence 
appearing, he was released. He subsequently sued S. H. Penny, Solomon 
Bishop, Henry Curtis, E. F. Bolter, Reese Jones, C. N. Coe, J. J. Halm, 
Carlos Putnam, A. S. Wisner and L. Putnam, for $50,000, for trespass and 
false imprisonment. The jury found the first three parties guilty of trespass 
and allowed the plaintiff damages in the sum of one cent ! 

Though not marvelous for a Western town, the growth and prosperity of 
Odell has been not only satisfactory, but much more rapid than ordinary. 
From a population of about one hundred in 1858, the town has grown in twenty 
years to a real little city, containing at least 1,000 inhabitants, thus showing 
an increase, in this respect, of nearly 100 per cent, every six years. 

From a few .loads of grain, which were bought on the track, we now find 
about 1,500,000 bushels forwarded during a single year. 

As indicating the amount of business done at this place during the year end- 
ing January 1, 1877, the following items have been kindly furnished by Mr. N. 
S. Hill, Agent of the C, A. & St. L. R. R., at this place: 

Amount received from freights forwarded $30,647.73 

Amount received from freights received 14,638.26 

Amount received from sales of tickets 4,863.80 

Total $50,149.79 


The first two items, it will be understood, represent a small per cent, of the 
value of goods brought to this place, and of produce sent to Chicago and other 

Odell has been honored by having had selected from among her citizens 
some of the most efficient and acceptable county officers that have ever served 
in such capacity. "William Strawn, who served the county as member of the 
State Legislature, not only filled the office, but made a record in the Legislature 
of which the county of Livingston has reason to feel proud. James H. Funk 
proved himself to be an efficient and capable State's Attorney. Mr. Funk, but 
a few years ago, was teaching a small country school as a means of supporting 
himself. He taught it well, and the same thoroughgoing principle which made 
him a good school teacher has given him a place among the first in his present 
profession. The present worthy and justly popular County Superintendent of 
Schools, M. Tombaugh, is also a citizen of this place. Under his skillful direc- 
tion, the schools of Livingston County have been brought nearer to perfection 
than ever in the history of the county they had been. B. F. Hotchkiss, whose 
name has already been mentioned, was elected to the office of County Surveyor, 
and performed but one act in connection with the office, in which his constituents 
feel disappointed, and that was his resignation. 

The village of Odell was organized under the General Act for villages and 
towns, on the 8th day of February, 1867, by the election of John McWilliams, 
John Hossack, S. S. Morgan, T. 0. Bannister and Jason Curtiss as Trustees. 
Their first meeting was held at the office of John Hossack, on the evening of 
election. The oath having been administered by Anson A. Streator, a Justice 
of the Peace, John McWilliams was elected President of the Board, and B. F. 
Washburn was appointed Clerk; S. H. Putnam, Treasurer; A. S. Putnam, 
Town Constable, and H. P. Graham, Deputy Constable. At a subsequent 
meeting, held February 20th, S. S. Morgan was appointed Street Commissioner, 
and at the meeting held January 25, 1868, A. P. Wright was appointed to fill 
the office of Clerk, which office, by occasion of the resignation of Washburn, 
was then vacant. The question of " license or no license " has always been 
the important issue in the local politics of Odell, and for the first two years a 
majority of the successful candidates for election to the Town Board were men 
who favored the granting of license, believing that the proper method was to 
control the liquor trade to some extent, and, in addition, obtain a revenue from 
those who desired to deal in the article. However, at the election held in 1869, 
an anti-license ticket was elected, and during the administration of this Board, 
no licenses were granted. Liquor, however, was sold, and several suits were 
brought against keepers of saloons who sold in violation of ttie ordinances. At 
times, the excitement in regard to these matters was high, and much bad feeling 
was engendered in consequence. 

In 1869, through the influence of William Strawn, who was then a member 
of the Legislature from this district, a special charter was obtained for the 


town, which put the question of "prohibition or license," for a time, at rest. 
One section of this charter provided that the Town Board should be "prohibited " 
from granting a license to "vend or sell beer, ale, whisky, gin, wine or other 
intoxicating beverages. ' ' Some of the subsequently-elected officials were accused 
of favoring a "mild administration " of the provision; but, on the whole, the 
law worked to the satisfaction of its friends. 

The Princeton Charter, as it was called, continued in force until 1872, 
when the town voted to organize under the general law of the State, which had, 
the preceding session of the General Assembly, been enacted. The first elec- 
tion under the general law took place April 15, 1873, at which S. S. Morgan 
was elected President ; P. W. Kenyon, G. B. Woodbury, Joel Kidder, Charles 
Nichols and T. 0. Bannister, Trustees; S. I. Ford, Clerk; and S. H. Penny, 
Police Magistrate. 

The present officers of the town are : P. W. Kenyon, Charles Nichols, F. 
F. Parrish, Charles Finefield, William Hossack and C. A. Vincent, Trustees ; 
Charles B. Axt, Clerk ; and M. E. Wright, Police Magistrate. 


The town of Cayuga is more than a year the senior of her sister town, Odell, 
having been surveyed and platted April 10, 1855. It was laid out by Thomas 
F. Norton, County Surveyor, from Section 31, for Corydon Weed, of McLean 
County. It will be noticed that, as a general thing, while towns established 
at a distance of ten or twelve miles apart have flourished, those lying between 
have been almost invariably less successful. Certainly no other reason can be 
given why Cayuga should not have developed equally with other towns along 
the road. There is no more pleasant situation for a prosperous village on the 
road.. Doubtless, its close proximity to an already established trading point is 
the sole reason. 

The first settlers in the vicinity of this station are given as nearly in the 
•order in which they came to the place as can now be remembered : 

Edwin and James Chapman came from Lisbon, in this State, in the Fall of 
1855. They were carpenters, and, previous to 1860, they either built or helped 
to build almost every house in the neighborhood. 

J. H. Coe, from New York, settled here in the Fall of 1855, and opened a 
farm on the south side of the town, and resided here and in the vicinity until 
1862, when he removed to Dwight. 

Samuel and -Charles Packwood, from New York, came in the Fall of the 
same year, and opened a farm north of the town. Samuel Packwood was one 
of the first two Justices of the Peace elected in the township. He has long 
since removed from the county. Charles still lives in the neighborhood, but 
has changed his location to the west side of the village. 

• F. J. Church came the next year. He was a farmer, but did not buy land, 
but rented, for a few years, until • he was appointed Postmaster and Station 


Agent, which positions he held for a number of years. C. N. Coe, brother of 
J. H., was the first Station Agent, being appointed in the year 1856. He also 
bought the first grain shipped from this place, during the same year. Grain 
was handled in a small warehouse which had been built by Weed, the original 
proprietor of the town. 

Eli Pearson, from Ohio, came in the Fall of 1855, and opened a farm just 
east of the village. He has since removed to the township of Esmen, where he 
still resides. Hanford Kerr and family, from the same State, came about the 
same date. 

Moses Pearson arrived a few months later, and opened a farm east of the 

In 1856, the Fish brothers, C. U. Udell and Dr. B. J. Bettleheim arrived. 
The last named was an eminent scholar and a learned and successful physician. 
He traveled extensively in China, Japan and other countries. In 1858, he 
gave a series of lectures at Pontiac on his Eastern travels, and on various relig- 
ious subjects, which were interesting and instructive in the extreme. 

In 1857, Wm. Skinner, Wm. J. Murphy and a few others settled in the 
neighborhood. Skinner opened the farm just north of the village, where he 
still resides. Murphy started a broom factory. Mr. Murphy was also a 
preacher, and subsequently removed to Pontiac, where he took charge, for a 
time, of the Presbyterian Church. While at Pontiac, he opened the nursery 
where A. W. Kellogg now resides. 

In 1858, Augustus Coleman, from Troy, Ohio, came in. Coleman was a 
graduate of West Point, and, on the breaking out of the rebellion, returned to 
Ohio, organized a regiment and took the field. He was afterward promoted to 
the office of Brigadier General, but was killed at the battle of Antietam. 

David J. Evans opened the first store in 1857, which he continued about a 
year, when he closed out and was succeeded in the business by John F. 

In 1862, D. Hunt built the first warehouse, now owned and operated by C. 
N. Coe. In 1868, L. E. Kent, of Pontiac, erected the one now operated by 
him. Though the village compares but poorly with many other towns of the 
county, the business done here is, by no means inconsiderable as will be seen 
by the following items, as given by the obliging agent of the Chicago, Alton & 
St. Louis Railroad, Edwin Chapman : 

Amount received on freight forwarded, 1877.. $23,209 00 

Amount received on freight received, 1877 1 644 74 

Amount received on tickets sold, 1877 527 62 

Total receipts $ 25,881 36 


Odell Township is situated north of the center of the county. It is exactly 
six miles square and embraces a full congressional town, and is described as 
Town 29 north, Range 6 east of the Third Principal Meridian. It is cut almost 


diagonally, from northeast to southwest, by the Chicago, Alton & St. Louis 
Railroad, which divides it into two nearly equal portions. With the exception 
of a branch of Deer Creek, which takes its rise and flows through the south- 
western portion of the township in the vicinity of Cayuga, the township is des- 
titute of running streams, and, with the exception of the little groves, here and 
there, planted by the owners of the land, is also destitute of timber. The soil 
is of a very rich and fertile character, and well adapted to the raising of corn, 
immense quantities of which are produced. 


This township is situated in the southern part of the county, or south of the 
center, and is bounded on the north by Owego, on the east by Pleasant Ridge, 
on the south by Indian Grove, and on the west by Eppard's Point Township. 
About three-fourths is prairie to one-fourth of timbered land, while the surface 
is gently undulating, and better adapted to agricultural pursuits than many 
other portions of th'e county. It is drained by the Vermilion River ; the con- 
fluence of the north and south branches is near the center of the township, and 
their margins and bottoms afford an abundance of excellent timber for all farm 
and building purposes. Avoca is known as Township 27 north, Range 6 east 
of the Third Principal Meridian. 

The first settlement was made in Avoca Township in 1830. In December 
of that year, Isaac Jourdan made a claim here, upon which he settled, but a 
few days before the commencement of the "deep snow." He came from Brown 
Connty, Illinois, but whether that was his native place or not we were unable to 
learn. His wife was the first white woman in this township. William 
Popejoy, John Hannaman and their families settled in this neighborhood on 
Christmas Day of the same year, and but a week or two after Jourdan. These 
latter were from Ohio, and became permanent citizens. This constituted the 
* settlements in this section up to 1832, when William McDowell came to the 
county and made a claim upon which he settled in May, which was the Spring 
of the Black Hawk war. He left his old home in Ohio in 1828, and stopped at 
La Fayette, Ind., on account of school facilities, as Illinois (or this portion of 
it) was then beyond the confines of civilization. He remained there four years, 
when he came to Livingston County and settled in what is now Avoca Town- 
ship, as noted above, in the Spring of the Black Hawk war. His family con- 
sisted of five sons — John, Woodford Gr., James, Hiram and Joseph B. 
McDowell, and one daughter, who married a Mr. Tucker. They, together 
with John McDowell, still live in Avoca ; Woodford G. and James live in 
Fairbury, Hiram is in Kansas, and Joseph is Register of the Land Office at 
Lincoln, Nebraska. 

Soon after the settlement of the McDowells, vague rumors began to circulate 
through the sparsely settled community in regard to the Black Hawk war, 
which was raging north of their settlement. But there was no mail nearer 


than Bloomington, no railroad or telegraph lines, and news facilities were 
restricted within the narrowest limits. In illustration of the disadvantages 
under which they lived regarding the reception of news, several weeks after the 
McDowells had settled in their new home, a man named Phillips, living but a 
mile or two distant, in what is now Indian Grove Township, was out hunting 
some hogs that had strayed away from him, when he came suddenly upon the 
McDowell encampment, and the astonishment he displayed in having neighbors 
of whose proximity he was ignorant was almost equal to that exhibited by Rob- 
inson Crusoe when he discovered the footprints on his lonely island. Rumors 
becoming more rife of the Indians and Indian outrages, Mr. McDowell and 
some of his neighbors went to the Kickapoo town, one Sunday, to church,* 
where there were several hundred Indians, and their suspicions were aroused at 
the absence of all warriors from the Indian camp. The Kickapoos informed 
them that the Sacs had threatened "to come and kill them if they did not join 
them in the war," and advised the whites, with whom they were on the most 
friendly terms, to return to the settlements further east. This so alarmed the 
little colony that, after considering the matter, they decided to return to the 
Wabash, and on the 29th of May, 1832, they commenced their retreat toward 
the rising sun. Though this retreat never became so famed in history as that 
of Bonaparte from MoscoWj yet an event occurred upon the route worthy of 
record in these pages. The first night after their departure, Mrs. Jourdan, who 
was in a delicate condition, was taken sick, and, notwithstanding their haste and 
fright, the party agreed to stop a day or two, on her account. But, the next 
morning, their alarm was much heightened by discovering a couple of Indians 
ride up and take a survey of their camp from a distant elevation. Believing 
that an attack would be made, and notwithstanding their arms consisted of but 
two old fowling pieces, they nobly resolved to stand by the Jourdans. Mrs. 
Jourdan, however, with a courage and resolution worthy of a Spartan mother, 
made up her mind to travel, and the cavalcade moved on. The McDowells, 
who had a large "old Pennsylvania wagon-bed," surrendered it to the ladies, 
and they converted it into a kind of hospital for Mrs. Jourdan, and all through 
the long day that heroic woman bore her suffering and pain without a murmur. 
The next morning, and the second after starting for the east, she was delivered 
of a daughter, which, here be it said, grew up and made a most estimable lady. 
Without further incident worthy of note, they arrived at the Indiana settlement 
in safety. 

In the Fall of 1832, after the storms of war had passed by, and the sun of 
Black Hawk had forever set on the plains of Illinois, the little colony returned to 
their claims on the Vermilion River, where they made permanent settlements. 
The mode of making a claim in those days was by "blazing" it out in the 
timber or staking it off on the prairie. The land was not surveyed until 1833, 
and every man squatted where it suited his inclination, providing no one else 
had preceded him. 

* A missionary had established a church in the Indian town. 


Of these few early pioneers, who came here before the Black Hawk war and 
who sought safety in flight, we would say, before passing to other and subse- 
quent scenes, that Jourdan remained in the settlement for several years, then 
sold out his claim and returned to the southern part of the State, from whence 
he came. Popejoy and Hanneman both died in the neighborhood, the latter 
soon after his return in the Fall of 1832, and was the first death in the new 
settlement. Mr. McDowell, the old patriarch of all the McDowells, 
died here in 1834. His widow remained on the homestead ; filled the place 
of both father and mother toward her children, and died in 1858 at an 
advanced age. 

Before the close of the year 1832, the little settlement was increased by the 
arrival of Charles Brooks, John Wright and his sister, Mary Ann Wright, who 
came from Indiana. Brooks was related to Popejoy and Hannaman, and came 
out perhaps through their influence. 

M. B. Miller, from Cazenovia, N Y., came in the Spring of 1833, and 
bought the claim of Charles Brooks, upon which he remained for a few years, 
when he sold out and removed to Ottawa. 

In the Fall of the same year, Piatt Thorn, from Western New York, 
settled in this section, but he, too, after a time, sold out and went to Ottawa. 
About the same time, Isaac Burgit came from New York to this settlement, 
and, like the other New Yorkers, finally sold out and likewise removed to 

A young man named Richard L. Ball, very worthy and highly respected, 
came out with Burgit. After remaining in the settlement some ten or twelve 
years, he returned to his home in New York, where he committed suicide, from 
what cause was never known. 

David Terhune and a man named Dean came from New York in 1834. 
Terhune bought a claim from Hanneman, upon which he settled, while Dean 
settled near by. 

Elijah Thompson came from Indiana, in 1833, and made a claim in this 
section. Perhaps no man who had settled here received so warm and hearty a 
welcome as did Thompson ; and all on account of his having in his family three 
very accomplished and buxom daughters, who were the first marriageable young 
ladies in the settlement, and of course great belles. One of them is noticed 
elbewhere, as the first marriage in Avoca Township. Thompson settled on 
what, after the lands were surveyed, turned out to be the school section., and, 
after the survey was made, sold out his improvements and removed " over on 
Kankakee," where, so far as we know, he still lives. 

Harrison Flesher came from the Mackinaw settlement, in 1834, and made a 
claim in this township. 

Thomas G. McDowell, a younger brother of Wm. McDowell, came to Illi- 
nois in 1848. He settled out on the prairie, about half a mile from the timber, 
and was the first actual settlement made outside of the timber. It was spoken 


of in considerable wonderment, and the people used to say that " Uncle 
Tommy McDowell had settled away out on the prairie," which was looked upon 
then as equivalent to being " out of creation." He states that when he came 
to Avoca there were but three settlements between the Wabash country and this 
place. The people did their milling at Green's mill, on the Fox River, and 
their " store trading " at Ottawa. His first trip to mill was to the one above 
mentioned, and he was four days in making it. He contracted to take twenty- 
five busheb of grain to mill and have it ground for a man in the neighborhood, 
for which he was to receive fifty bushels of corn, worth then the enormous sum 
of ten cents per bushel. 

Nathan Popejoy, James Blake and Col. George Johnson came from Ohio. 
Popejoy first settled in Pontiac Township, where he remained but a short time, 
when he removed to this section and made a permanent settlement. Blake 
settled here in the Spring of 1836, and in 1852 moved to Iowa. Col. John- 
son settled in Avoca in 1835, and died in 1859. He had served in the War 
of 1812, though not as a Colonel, which title was more honorary than 
otherwise. He took quite an interest in fighting his battles over again, 
and imitating " noble war " in drilling the militia, and thus obtained the 
military title. 

Isaac Wilson and James Demoss were from Indiana. Wilson settled in this 
section in 1837, where he resided until 1853, when he removed into Pleasant 
Ridge Township. He was one of the first lot of Justices of the Peace elected 
after the formation of the county, and has served as such ten years, altogether. 
He is still living in Pleasant Ridge. Demoss was originally from Ohio, but had 
lived for some years in Indiana before settling in Avoca Township. He came 
to the town in 1844, which date scarcely admits of his being termed an " old 
settler" in this neighborhood, where settlements extend back to 1830; but 
his numerous descendants, who number some of the very best families in this 
section, it seems meet that they should receive notice in these pages. The old 
gentleman himself is dead, but has left behind him a number of honorable sons, 
whose honesty and integrity are above reproach. 

James Glennin came from Ireland, in 1845, and, like the last mentioned, 
hardly ranks as an old settler. He was said to have been a man of sterling 
integrity, and his word, in all cases, was his bond. His family, too, were as 
conscientious as himself. 

The first white child born in what is now Avoca Township was Charles A. 
Brooks, a son of Charles Brooks, one of the early settlers of the place, and 
was born on the 1st day of July, 1833. ,But for the fright occasioned by the 
Black Hawk war, which drove the few pioneers from this section back to the 
Indiana settlements, Master Brooks would have been preceded some thirteen 
months by the little Miss Jourdan, who made her first appearance on the way 
back to civilization, as already noticed, and which event prevented her being 
born in the township. 


The first marriage was that of Harvey Rounsaville and Miss Ann Thomp- 
son, who were married in September, 1833. 

" Will you trust me, Anna dear? 

Walk beside me, without fear? 

May I carry, if I will, 

All youi burdens up the hill?" 

And she answered, with a laugh, 
" No, but you may carry half." 

They were married by William McDowell, a Justice of the Peace, who had 
been elected but a few weeks before, and this was his first official act in tying 
matrimonial knots. Judge McDowell informed us that his father was very much 
troubled about a form of ceremony to use on the momentous occasion, and did 
not know what to do about it. But his wife came to his rescue. She was an 
ardent Methodist, and, of course, possessed a Discipline, which she presented 
to her husband. From this book he committed to memory the entire marriage 
ceremony of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and used it to unite these two 
loving hearts. 

John Hannaman died in the Fall of 1832, just after the return of the set- 
tlers from Indiana, where they had gone to escape the perils of the Indian war. 
This is one of the first deaths in the county, as well as the first that occurred 
in this township. His coffin was made of lumber, split out of a walnut tree, 
and hewed as smooth as possible with an axe. Some say that a tree was cut 
down, a " cut " split open and the halves dug out like a trough, in which he was 
put as a coffin. There was no such thing then in this section of the country 

as sawed lumber. 

The first sermon preached in Avoca Township was at the house of 'Squire 
McDowell, and was preached by Rev. James Eckels in the Spring of 1833. 
The first religious society was organized at his house in the following Fall, by 
"Father Royle," as he was called, and one of the pioneer Methodist preachers 
of Illinois. It was a kind of mission, and was embraced in the old preacher's 
circuit, which extended from the Illinois River to the State line, and from 
Ottawa to the Mackinaw River. When the weather was favorable, he would 
make his round in four weeks* but in bad weather was delayed, sometimes, in 
reaching his appointments on time. McDowell's was the only preaching place 
in the settlement until the era of school houses. Judge McDowell informed us 
that, although his mother was blind for twenty years previous to her death, yet 
in all that time she never failed to have her house put in order for church. 
Indeed, from all accounts to be had, Mrs. McDowell seems to have been an 
extraordinary woman. Her husband died in 1834, and left her in an almost 
unbroken wilderness, with a family on her hands. But she never shrank from 
her trust, or sunk down in despondency. She kept her family together until 
all were settled' in life, and her work finished. The first church in the township 
owes its erection principally to her and her family. It was built in 1857, and 
as it was the first church in this part of the country, it was named by Mrs. 


McDowell the "Pioneer Methodist Church," a name it bears to this day. The 
edifice is 32x50 feet, sixteen feet to the ceiling, a good frame, and cost two 
thousand dollars. It has quite an interesting history. After it was framed 
and put up, and two sides "weather-boarded" in, "the winds blew and the 
floods came and beat upon that house, and it fell." Literally speaking, 
we presume it was not founded upon a rock, but upon the sand — or soil. 
Any way, it was blown down, and not one stone or stick was left upon 
another. They went to work, however, with renewed vigor. A subscription 
of several hundred dollars had been made, and after the disaster, Judge Mc- 
Dowell was appointed Superintendent of the work, and directed to push it for- 
ward to completion. He had but little of the money that had been subscribed, 
and but little of his own, as he informed us, yet it so happened that never was 
there a bill presented to him, for work or material for the church, but he had 
money enough on hand at the time to pay it. When the building was finished 
and dedicated, they owed not a dollar, except to him, and to him their indebt- 
edness was $1,400, on which they agreed to pay him interest until the debt 
was discharged. The financial crisis of '57 followed, and the 'amount, prin- 
cipal and interest, finally reached $1,900. The Trustees concluded they 
must have a deed for the property, and came to McDowell, who now lived in 
Fairbury, to know what sum he would take and give them a deed. He told 
them to go back and collect all the money they could, and then come and see 
him again. They did so, and finally returned and told him that $200 was 
all they could raise. He took the amount and gave them a deed to the church, 
leaving the amount of his subscription to the edifice, including interest, about 
$1,700. The first preacher in charge of the church after it was completed was 
Rev. James Watson. It was dedicated by Rev. Z. Hall, of Woodford County, 
another of the old pioneer Methodist preachers of Central Illinois. The pres- 
ent Pastor of the Church is Rev. Mr. Underhill, and, all things considered, it is 
in quite a flourishing condition. It being the oldest church in this part of the 
country, many others have been formed, which drew on its membership, and 
thus its numbers are not so large as when it was the only house of worship for 
miles around. This church is the final result of the little mission established 
at McDowell's in 1833, by Father Royle, as already noticed. 

The first post office was established in 1840, and was called Avoca. 
Nicholas Hefner was the first Postmaster. The petition for this post office was 
written by Abraham Beard, a schoolmaster of the neighborhood, and when sent 
on to headquarters, was found to be addressed to the " Speaker of the Senate 
and House of Representatives of the State of Illinois," instead of to the Post- 
master General of the United States. Education was not so thorough in those 
days as now, and many had signed the petition without reading it, while many 
others had signed it with a X who could no£ have read it if they would. The office 
was where the village of Avoca was afterward located, and was on the mail 
route between Danville and Ottawa. It continued in active operation until 


1864, when, there being others more conveniently situated, the office at Avoca 
was suspended. 

The first store in the town was kept by W. G. and James McDowell, and 
was opened in 1854. 

The first physician who practiced in this section was Dr. John Davis, of 
Pontiac, and noticed elsewhere as the first physician in the county. Dr. C. B. 
Ostrander was the first located physician, and still resides on his farm near 
Lodemia station. In early times, when his practice extended over a circuit of 
many miles, he never suifered any trivial excuse to keep him from the bedside 
of his patients. We were informed by a reliable party, who had the story from 
the Doctor's own lips, that he was going to see a patient one day, who had sent 
for him in a great hurry, and crossing Indian Creek, stopped a moment for his 
horse to take a few sips of water, when one end of the fore axle of his buggy 
dropped to the ground. Looking to see the cause, he found that one fore wheel 
was gone, and he had dri^ien so fast the axle hadn't time to drop down until he 
stopped. On going back to find the missing wheel, he met his dog, who always 
followed him, coming on, dragging the wheel in his mouth. He has a fine 
orchard and devotes a good deal of attention to the cultivation of fruits. It is 
said that he has shipped gooseberries to Chicago by the car load, and boasts of 
having raised as much as 800 bushels of cherries in a single season. 

Harrison Flesher was the first blacksmith in the town, and opened a shop 
on his claim late in the Winter of 1834. 

In 1854, Judge McDowell and his brothers built a steam saw-mill in Avoca 
Township, to which was attached one run of stones for grinding corn, but the 
main business of the mill was sawing. In 1869, he moved the mill to Nebraska, 
where it was chiefly instrumental in locating the county seat of Jefferson 
County, at the village of Bairbury, named by the Judge for the town in which 
he lives. He succeeded in getting a post office and blacksmith shop at the 
place, then moved his mill there, and after interesting the County Commissioners, 
they located the county seat at his village. This was the first and only mill 
ever in this town, except perhaps occasionally a portable saw-mill. In the 
early times, most of the people of this section did "their milling at Green's 
Mill, on Fox River, near Ottawa. This was the principal mill until one was 
built at Wilmington. Judge McDowell informed us that he once went on 
horseback to Blue's horse mill down on Rock Creek, and on his return the 
Vermilion was too high to cross, and he put his " turn of meal " on a raft and 
ferried it over, and swam his horse by the side of it. At another time, he and 
his brother-in-law, Hefner, went to Green's Mill; and both of their horses died 
with the milk sickness before they could get back home. 

The first public road through Avoca Township was the State road from 
Danville to Ottawa, and extending on to the Rock River country. The mail 
was carried along this route on horseback, and was Uncle Sam's first trip 
through here r except when his armed legions pursued the fugitive Black Hawk 


and his warriors. The road from Lafayette to Hennepin was also an early 
highway of travel through this country. The first ferry we have any account 
of in the neighborhood was at the crossing of these roads over the Vermilion 
River, and consisted of a raft of red elm logs, which, when seasoned, are 
extremely light. When the river was too high to ford, they would put the 
wagons and freight on the raft and take it across, while the horses were forced 
to swim themselves over. One day in the Winter or early Spring, a man came 
along in a wagon drawn by two horses and was very anxious to get over. The 
river had been frozen for some time and was just breaking up. The man con- 
cluded to try to cross on the ice, and taking out his horses led them on to a 
large cake of ice which broke in two after he had gotten them on it, leaving 
their fore feet on one piece and their hind feet on the other. With the greatest 
care he finally managed to get them on one piece and paddled them over in 
safety. He then recrossed and got hjs wagon on another ice cake and ferried 
it over without accident, hitched up his team and we*nt on his way. 

The McDowells and some of the neighbors had a canoe in partnership, 
which was used for neighborhood convenience. Finally, some of the stock- 
holders in this enterprise got at loggerheads, and to end the strife and hard 
feelings, Judge McDowell and his brotherr James went down one day and 
measured off their own part of the canoe, and sawed it in two, and carried their 
half away, and left the other half floating in the river, cabled to the bank. 

When the McDowells came to Avoca, they brought with them some young 
cattle belonging to a friend in Indiana, and which they proposed to "break to 
work " for him. After they had become well "broke," Woodford G. and John 
McDowell took them back to Indiana, and returned them to the owner; 
and as a kind of coincidence, Judge McDowell related to us an anecdote on the 
26th of June, precisely forty-six years after he and*his brother started with the 
young cattle for Indiana. There was not a house, at the time, for forty-five 
miles after leaving the settlement. For the purpose of riding, and as a protec- 
tion against the rays of a June sun, they had built them a sled, to which they 
had added a top, and with a good stock of provisions, they started for the 
classic land of Hoosier. The trail of emigrant wagons had made two tracks, 
.with a kind of unbroken middle. While moving on, one day, they discovered, 
settled on a wild crab-apple bush between these tracks, a swarm of bees. In 
passing each side of them, the oxen struck their legs against the mass, knock- 
ing them off, and when the young men discovered them, they were rising 
around their team in an angry cloud. They whipped up their cattle and ran 
out from amongst them without serious . results. Some distance beyond, they 
found a man plowing corn, to whom they related the occurrence. He went 
back and "hived" them, and on their return told them that their bees were 
"working " well. 

The first bridge in Avoca was built over the south branch of the Vermilion, 
in 1844. Isaac Burgit, Road Supervisor on the west side of the river, and Judge 


. --^^Pi^JKi sis 

i 'iV' 


£,z-^<yi^i i</ 


McDowell on the east side, called out the road labor and built the bridge. It 
was all hewed out of the neighboring forest, and was a substantial structure. 

The village of Avoca was laid out in 1854, by Judge W. G. McDowell, who 
owned the land on which it was located. It was surveyed by Amos Edwards, 
then County Surveyor. 

The first store in it was opened just before it was laid out as a village, by 
the McDowells, as noticed in the preceding pages, and for several years it 
was a flourishing business place. But on the laying out of Fairbury, the sun 
of Avoca began to decline. Many of the houses were removed to the latter 
place, and the Judge at last got it vacated and discontinued by a special act of 
the Legislature. 

Avoca Cemetery, across the creek from the village, was laid off by the 
elder McDowell. He and those of his family who have departed this life are 
buried there. Susan Philips was the first one to occupy the place, and was 
buried in it in August, 1833. 

Moore Cemetery is a private burying ground on the west side of the Grove. 
Jonathan Moore was the first buried in it, and was interred there in 1839. 

Nothing now remains to show where once stood a thriving village but the 
" Pioneer Methodist Church," which has already been noticed. 

McDowell village is on the Chicago &t Paducah Railroad, about six miles 
south of Pontiac, and has between fifty and one hundred inhabitants. It was 
laid out as a village in 1873, by Judge McDowell, who owns the land, and it is 
named for him. Chas. Hewitson surveyed it. The first house was put up by 
McDowell before the village was laid out, and was used as a dwelling. The first 
post oflice was kept by John Cottrell, and was established in 1872. Hugh T. 
Pound is the present Postmaster. The first store was built and occupied by 
Ben Walton, now of Fairbury. The village has two stores at present, one kept 
by R. B. Phillips and the other by Chas. Danforth ; two blacksmith and wagon 
shops, the one by Henshaw, and the other by Jacob Schide. Frank B. Bregga 
is an extensive grain dealer, but the village has no elevator or grain warehouse. 
One of the principal features of the place is the stone quarry, owned by 
McDowell, which yields a very good quality of lime rock, quite valuable for 
foundations, and which makes also an excellent 'quality of lime. A large kiln 
is in full operation at present, which turns out about 300 bushels at a burning. 

Lodemia Station is on the Chicago & Paducah Railroad, a short distance 
south of McDowell. It contains nothing but a post oflice and church. Has no 
depot, but is merely a shipping point, with switch and side track. The post 
oflice was established in August, 1877, with Dr. C. B. Ostrander as Postmaster. 
It is kept at the parsonage, and the minister, Mr. Underhill, attends to the 
duties. The church, which belongs to the Methodists, was built here in 1876, 
and is a very neat little frame edifice, which cost $2,800. The society was 
organized in 1858, in the school house, under the pastoral charge of Rev. John 
W. Stubbles, and the church, when completed in 1876, was dedicated by Rev. 


Robert G. Pearce, Presiding Elder of the District at the time. Their present 
preacher is Rev. Mr. TJnderhill, and the congregation is large and flourishing 
for a country church. 

Champlin is also a station, or rather a shipping point in this township, and is 
just south of Lodemia ; makes no pretensions beyond a side track for shipping 
grain and stock. 

The first school taught in Avoca Township was by Samuel Breese, com- 
mencing in the Fall of 1835 and continuing until the next Spring. Mrs. 
McDowell, the widow of William McDowell, Nathan Popejoy, who first settled 
in Pontiac Township, and James Blake, built the first school house. It was a 
little log cabin, 16x18 feet, having a big wood fire-place that would take in a 
stick ten feet long ; and in this cabin Breese taught the first school as noted 
above. James McDowell held the office of School Treasurer for twenty-seven 
years in succession. Lyman Burgit was the first Treasurer, but died soon after 
his appointment to the office, when McDowell was elected to succeed him, and 
held the position until his removal into Indian Grove Township. When he 
was first elected Treasurer, there was but one school district and it embraced 
the entire township, and the school fund consisted of what was termed the 
" College and Academy Fund," from which this township drew annually about 
$30. The first Board of Trustees were Isaac Burgit, W. G. McDowell and 
N. Hefner. When McDowell resigned the office of School Treasurer, the fund 
was about $4,500. At present, R. B. Foster is Treasurer; and from his last 
report to the County Superintendent of Schools we extract the following : 

Number of males in township under 21 200 

Number of females in township under 21 210 

Total 410 

Number of males in township between 6 and 21 153 

Number of females in township between 6 and 21 163 

Total 316 

Number of males attending school 86 

Number of females attending school 114 

Total 200 

Number of male teachers employed 8 

Number of female teachers employed 10 

Total 18 

Amount paid male teachers $1,061 30 

Amount paid female teachers 1,303 00 

Total $2,364 30 

Estimated value of school property $4,006 00 

Amount of tax levy for support of schools ; 2,053 87 

Principal of township fund 5,366 49 

There are eight school districts in the township containing good, substantial 
school houses, in which schools are taught for the usual number of months in 
each year. 


The county adopted township organization in 1857, when this town took the 
name of Avoca, from the village and post office which bore the same, and had 
been given by Nicholas Hefner, who was the first Postmaster. It is an Indian 
name, but what its signification is, we are unable to say. The first Supervisor 
was Wm. Fugate, and the first Town Clerk, Isaac R. Clark. Gideon Hutchin- 
son is at present Supervisor, and J. W. McDowell, Town Clerk. Formerly, 
this and Indian Grove Township composed one election precinct. At that time, 
it was largely Democratic and contained, it is said, but seven Whig votes. But 
in the revolution of political parties, things have changed in Avoca Township, 
as well as elsewhere, and it now goes as largely Republican as it did Democratic 
in the old times. In the " eternal fitness of things," it is the Whig sections 
that have generally turned out to be the strongest Republican, and not often 
that a Democratic stronghold has made a change of this kind. During the late 
war, its record was as good as that of any township in Livingston County, 
according to the number of its population, and it turned out many brave sol- 
diers to battle for the Union. So far as can be obtained, their names are given 
in the general war record of this work ; their deeds are engraved upon the 
hearts of their countrymen, and need no commendations here. 

Judge McDowell was Collector of Revenues in 1844, when Avoca and Indian 
Grove were all one district, and at that time, as we were informed, there was a 
premium on wolf scalps. A man who had killed a wolf could go before a Jus- 
tice of the Peace and make affidavit to that effect, when he would receive a 
State warrant or order for one dollar, which was good for State taxes, and on 
presenting this document to the County Auditor, would get an order, which 
was current for all county taxes. The Judge says he collected almost the en- 
tire revenue that year in county orders and wolf scalps, not getting money 
enough, to pay his own per centage on collecting it. 

The Chicago & Paducah Railroad was built through this township in 1872, 
and has been of paramount importance and benefit in uniting this part of the 
county with the seat of justice. The township of Avoca took $10,000 stock in 
the road, and has always shown the greatest interest in the enterprise aDd its 
success. There is but one regular station and depot in the town — McDowell — 
with two other shipping points, viz. : Lodemia and Champlin. These have 
switches and side tracks, but at present are not provided with depot buildings 
and telegraph offices. 

The only representative of the legal fraternity in Avoca Township was 
Judge McDowell, who lived in this town, where he practiced, as occasion required, 
until 1860, when he removed to the village of Fairbury. In 1859, he was 
elected County Judge, an office he filled with credit. He was Recording Stew 
ard of the Methodist Chufch at Avoca for twenty-five years in succession. 



Chatsworth is in the eastern tier of townships, and is known as Town 26 
north, Range 8 east of the Third Principal Meridian. It is fine rolling 
prairie, with the exception of Oliver's Grove in the southern part, a grove of, 
perhaps, as fine natural timber as Livingston County can furnish. Like all the 
prairie country, the people have devoted a great deal of attention to the plant- 
ing and cultivation of trees, until beautiful groves of timber are to be found on 
every section of land in the township. Originally, Chatsworth embraced For- 
rest and Germantown, and was known as Oliver's Grove Township. But many 
of the citizens disliking a compound name, petitioned the Board of Supervisors 
for a change, at their annual meeting, the second year of township organization. 
William H. Jones, who was the Supervisor at the time, gave it the name of 
Chatsworth, which it has ever since borne. The name is said to have been 
taken from an English story he had read, in which "Lord Chatsworth" figures 
as a principal character. 

The first settlement made in what is now Chatsworth Township was by 

Franklin C. Oliver, who, at the age of 92 years, still occupies his original 


"The ghostly shade of a man he seemed ; 
His teeth were white as milk ; 
And the long, white hair on his forehead gleamed 
Like skeins of tangled silk.' ' 

He came from the State of New Jersey in 1832, and settled here 
among the Indians, with whom he ever remained on the most friendly terms. 
When other white people in the surrounding settlements, becoming frightened 
at the warlike reports of the Black Hawk campaign, retreated toward the 
Wabash settlements, Oliver remained upon his claim, and "went in and out" 
among the red men without molestation. His father, he informed us, was a 
Quartermaster in the Revolutionary war, and many of the old soldier's official 
papers were in his possession until some years ago, when his house was burned 
and they met the fate of much of his household property. Many of these 
papers, he said, were rather quaint, and would present a marked contrast, 
doubtless, to the ponderous accounts and vouchers of a Quartermaster in our 
late war. Mr. Oliver and his family were the only white people in the township 
for many years. A number of settlements were made in, Indian Grove and 
other timbered localities, but not till away up in the "fifties" were other settle- 
ments made in Chatsworth. In 1855, Job H. and George S. Megquier settled in 
this township. They were from Maine, and the former now lives in the village 
of Chatsworth ; the latter died in 1871. s 

David Stewart came here from the State of New York in 1856. He 
bought land and settled in the town, where he remained for a number of years, 
when his wife died and he became dissatisfied, sold out and moved away. 


Komanzo Miller was a Vermonter, and settled here in 1855. He finally 
sold his land and removed to Iowa, where he still 'remained, at last accounts of 

John Snyder and Trueman Brockway were from New York, the Empire 
State of the Union. Snyder came in 1856 and made a settlement, upon which 
he died about 1863. Brockway had settled in El Paso in 1855, but came here 
in 1857. He was a single man when he came to Chatsworth, but after per- 
manently locating, went back to New York, married and brought his wife here 
to share his Western home. 

Addison Holmes came from Indiana in 1855. After remaining for several 
years, he sold out and removed to Champaign County, in this State, where he still 

John P. Hart was from the blue-grass of Kentucky, and came in 1856. 'A 
young man named James Greenwood came with him, and worked on his farm 
as long as he remained here. Hart owned a large tract of land, but finally 
sold it and removed to Arkansas. 

Peter Van Weir came from the "Faderland" on the banks of the Rhine. 
He settled here in 1858, but had lived for a while in Panola, Woodford County, 
before coming to this settlement. He finally removed into Charlotte Township. 

Wm. H. Jones came here from La Salle County in the Fall of 1857. His 
family still reside here, but he, at present, is doing business at Burr Oak 
Station, in Ford County. 

The first birth and death are supposed to have occurred in Mr. Oliver's 
family, as he was here so long before any other white people settled in the town. 
The first marriage particularly remembered was Samuel Patton and Miss 
Nellie Desmond in 1861, and they were married by the Baptist minister, sta- 
tioned, at that time, in Fairbury. The first birth among the more modern 
settlers, was a child born to Trueman Brockway. The first death also occurred 
in his family in 1861. A man — a stranger that no one knew — was struck by 
lightning soon after the death of Brockway's child. He came to the village of 
Chatsworth, looking for work, and had been down on the prairie, where his 
efforts had failed, had come back, and while walking near the railroad track, 
was killed by lightning, not far from where Felker's store now stands. The 
first blacksmith shop in the town was opened by Samuel Patton in 1859. 
It was then the only shop between Fairbury and Gilman. William H. 
Jones was the first Justice of the Peace in the town, and held the office when 
Forrest and Germantown were included in Chatsworth. Dr. D. W. Hunt was 
the first resident physician. He came here, and still resides in the village of 
Chatsworth, and practices his profession in the township. 

From the school records, we find the first meeting was held at the house of 
John R. Snyder, the 12th of April, 1858, when the town was still called 
Oliver's Grove. The following Board of Trustees were elected : Franklin 
Oliver, J. H. Megquier and Franklin Foot. On the 20th of the same month, 


the Trustees held a meeting and elected Wm. H. Jones, School Treasurer. In 
the Summer of this year, the first school was taught in the township, by Miss 
Jennie Adams. At present, there are seven school districts, with good, substan- 
tial frame houses in each district. The office of Treasurer was held by Joues 
until 1872, when J. T. Bullard was elected and still has the office. The follow- 
ing facts are taken from his last report to the Superintendent of Schools : 
Number of males in township under 21 years of ago, 491 ; females, 444 ; total, 
935 ; number of males attending school, 198 ; females, 208 ; total, 406 ; number 
of male teachers employed, 5 ; female teachers, 11, total teachers employed, 16 ; 
estimated value of school property, $15,600 ; estimated value of school appa- 
ratus, $225 ; principal of township fund, $8,133.01 ; tax levy for the support 
of schools, $3,365 ; highest monthly wages paid teacher, $110 ; lowest monthly 
wages paid teacher, $25; average monthly wages paid male teachers, $66.88.; 
average monthly wages paid female teachers, $37.50 ; whole amount paid teach- 
ers, $4,751.25. The present Board of Trustees are J. M. Roberts, President ; 
L. T. Stoutmeyer and S. T. Compton. The schools of Chatsworth Township 
are in a flourishing condition, and compare favorably with those of any other 
section of the county. 

The first township meeting was held at the house of Franklin Oliver on the 
6th of April, 1858, and officers elected for the year for the " Town of Oliver's 
Grove." The first election resulted as follows: James G. Meredith, Super- 
visor ; W. H. Jones and J. G. Harper, Justices of the Peace ; C. Hart and 
B. Harbert, Constables ; John Towner, Assessor ; J. B. Snyder, Collector, 
and Charles Cranford, Town Clerk. At the next election, April 1, 1859, 
William H. Jones was elected Supervisor ; Charles Cranford, Town Clerk and 
Assessor also, and R. R. Miller, Collector. At the meeting of April 3, 1860, 
Jones and Cranford were re-elected Supervisor and Town Clerk ; I. J. Krack, 
Assessor, and J. G. Meredith, Collector. The officers of the Township at pres- 
ent are as follows : G. W. Cline, Supervisor ; J. H. Megquier and Peter 
Shroyer, Justices of the Peace ; Charles Weinland, Assessor ; Charles Reiss, 
Collector, and Thomas Nash, Town Clerk. 

As already stated, Chatsworth, at the time of township organization, em- 
braced the town of Forrest and the fractional town of Germantown. At the 
meeting of the Board of Supervisors in 1861, Forrest, on petition, was set off, 
and became a separate and distinct township, and at the September meeting of 
Supervisors for 1867, Germantown petitioned for separation, and was set off at 
this meeting, since which time it has been a separate town. Since these divi- 
sions and separations, Chatsworth remains still a complete Congressional town- 
ship of thirty-six sections. 

When the settling up of the town began, about 1855, deer and prairie 
wolves were the almost undisputed possessors of the soil. In portions of 
Oliver's Grove, there are still deer to be occasionally seen, but they are becom- 
ing very scarce, and will soon all be gone, while the wolf, the natural foe of 
the settler, is almost if not wholly exterminated. 


The first preacher to proclaim the Word of God in this section was Old 
Father Walker, as hs was called, of Ottawa, who in 1832 established a mission 
among the Indians, whose lodges were then spread in Oliver's Grove. The 
following extract is from an address delivered before the Old Settlers' Society by 
Judge McDowell, of Fairbury, at the annual meeting in 1877 : " The early 
footprints of Methodism began in this part of the country in 1832. Old Father 
Walker, who established a mission at the Kickapoo town (now Oliver's Grove), 
where there was, at that time, a village of ninety-seven wigwams, one large 
council house, several small encampments, and 630 Indians in all, men, women 
and children. Father Walker came out occasionally and held meetings with 
them, appointed and ordained a missionary minister of their own tribe, who 
always held services on the Sabbath, when Father Walker was not there. 
Their prayer book was a walnut board, on which were characters carved with 
a knife, and at the top an engraving. They had a great respect for the Sab- 
bath, and no Indian thought of retiring at night without consulting his board." 
These ministrations of Father Walker were the first we have any account of 
in this section, and were probably the first in Livingston County. As there 
are no church buildings in the township, outside of the village of Chatsworth, 
this part of our history will be again alluded to in connection with the village. 

The old Indian trail that marked the dividing line between the Kickapoo 
and Pottawatomie tribes was plainly visible through this town, long after settle- 
ments were made and the pale-faces had become numerous. And there are still 
settlers living here who can point out the line along which the trail led. 

The Toledo, Peoria & Warsaw Railway was completed through the township, 
and trains commenced running regularly in 1857. This brought immigrants 
to the neighborhood, and was the means of the rapid settling up of this town 
and the surrounding country. The amount of grain and stock shipped from 
Chatsworth Township over this road is truly wonderful. The Kankakee & 
Southwestern Railroad, projected to run from Kankakee City, through Chats- 
worth Township, tapping the Gilman, Clinton & Springfield, at Gibson City, 
will probably be in process of construction in a short time, it is supposed that 
the Illinois Central is the "power behind the throne" in this new road, and 
will push it forward to completion, in order to open to them (the Illinois Central) 
a more direct route between Chicago and St. Louis. The new Company only 
ask the right of way through Second street, in the village of Chatsworth, which 
has been unanimously given. 

Politically, Chatsworth is pretty evenly divided on national questions, prob- 
ably Republican by a few votes. Its record during the late war was good for 
so thinly a populated section as this was at that time. N. C. Kenyon, the 
present Postmaster of Chatsworth village, was Colonel of the Eleventh Regiment 
of Illinois Volunteer Infantry, one of the brave regiments of Illinois, that it is 
said, did as much hard fighting during the war as any regiment from the State. 
Conrad Heppe, a resident at present of the village, has served nine years in the 


United States army, mostly in New Mexico. Many other brave fellows shoul- 
dered their muskets and went forth from this and from' Charlotte Township 
(which at the commencement of the war was a part of Chatsworth), to the 
front, where "war's red blast raged the fiercest." 


Chatsworth is situated on the Toledo, Peoria & Warsaw Railway, about forty 
miles from State line, and seventy miles from the city of Peoria. It was sur- 
veyed and laid out by Nelson Buck, County Surveyor, June 8, 1859, for Zeno- 
Secor and Cornelia Gilman of New York, who owned the land on which it is 
located. In 1853, the land was entered by Solomon Sturges, who, in 1857, 
conveyed it to Wm. H. Osborn, and Osborn and wife in turn conveyed it to 
Secor and Gilman. The original town occupied 160 acres of land, embracing 
the south half of the northwest quarter, and north half of the southwest quarter 
of Section 3. Since then several additions have been made to the original plat 
at different times. It has been organized as a village under the Incorporation 
act, and the first board of officers were Jacob Titus, E. A. Bangs, John S. 
McElhiny, W. W. Sears and Albert Tuttle. Jacob Titus was elected Presi- 
dent of the Board, and George E. Esty, Village Clerk. At present its offi- 
cial board is as follows : John Young, President ; W. F. Dennis, A. M. 
Roberts, C. Spiecher, Samuel Crumpton and C. Guenther; R. M. Spurgin, 
Clerk; W. H. Wakelin, Treasurer; J. M. Myers, Superintendent of Police, 
and T. S. Curran, Police Magistrate. 

The first building was put up in the village in 1859, by Chas. D. Brooks 
and Trueman Brockway, both of whom were from New York. It was a store 
and residence combined, a frame building one and a half stories high, with 
rooms over the store. They afterward went into partnership, and after Brock- 
way got married, he lived over the store. A post office was established in 1860, 
the first, not only in the village, but in the township. Chas. D. Brooks was 
the first Postmaster, an office he held several years, when Matthew H. Hall 
received it. He was succeeded by Col. N. C. Kenyon, who is at present Post- 
master. The first hotel was built by C. W. Drake, in 1859. It has been con- 
verted into a dwelling house, and is now used as such. The only hotel in the 
village is the Cottage House, kept by Wm. Cowling. The first blacksmith, as 
mentioned in the history of the township, was Samuel Patton, who is still in 
the business, on the same old stand. He came from Ohio in the Fall of 1859, 
and there was at that time but one house in the village (Brooks & Brockway's 
store), a little grain house and an old carpenter shop. There were two others 
in sight — the section house, and one two miles out on the prairie, owned by 
Franklin Foot. Mr. Patton is the inventor of a corn husker, which seems to 
be a good thing. It husks corn as fast as horses will walk, and can be sold at 
about $225. He has not commenced the manufacture of them, but designs 
doing so. 


The first school house was built in 1858, on two lots donated by Osborn for 
school purposes. This was the first school house in both Chatsworth Township 
and the village. The present elegant school edifice was built in 1870. Two 
years ago additions were built to it, at a total cost of buildings and additions of 
$11,000. It is a two-story frame building, with stone basement, and is finished 
off in fine style. The teachers and Principal of the school for the year just 
closed* were as follows : Prof. J. T. Dickinson, Principal ; Miss M. J. Speer, 
Grammar Department ; Miss Brown, Miss Aiken and Mrs. Tuckerman ; Mrs. 
Palmer, Primary Department. 

The Germania Sugar Company built their large factory here in 1865, for 
the purpose of manufacturing sugar from the beet. The capital stock of the 
company was $50,000, which was all owned in Springfield, except $1,000 held in 
Peoria. The enterprise was projected by a man named Jennet, a German, and, 
after the company was organize^ he had the management. It proved unsuc- 
cessful from the lack of water. One well bored on the premises, 1,200 feet 
deep, cost $6,000, and afforded an insufficiency of water to meet the require- 
ments of the business. It is believed that, with plenty of water, it would have 
proved a valuable business. The beets yielded about eight per cent, of their 
weight in sugar. The factory was in operation here for about five years, when 
the machinery was taken out and removed to Freeport, where it is devoted to 
the same purpose as here. The property fell into the hands of Jacob Bunn, of 
Springfield, who furnished the funds for its operation and removal to Freeport. 
Though the capital stock was originally $50,000, it cost while here, we are told, 
about $175,000. The "vacuum pan," as it was called, alone cost $6,000 in 
Germany, and was an extraordinarily fine piece^of machinery. But it was a 
losing speculation as long as it remained in this village. 

A coal shaft was sunk near the village of Chatsworth, in 1867, by Capt. 
Beard, who had some connection at one time with the east shaft at Fairbury. 
A stock company was formed among the citizens of Chatsworth, of $10,000, but 
the stock was never all paid up. Enough, however, was collected to pay Beard 
for sinking the shaft, which was about 218 feet deep. The works were finally 
abandoned, upon the report of Beard that there was no prospect of coal. It is 
thought by some that a good vein of coal was found, but for some reason the 
fact was concealed, or at least never officially reported. One of the men 
employed in the work said to some friends one day, that they passed through a 
vein of coal about five feet thick in sinking the Chatsworth shaft. Whether 
this is true or false, we are unable to say. 

The first grain elevator was built by Charles D. Brooks, in 1861, and was 
burned in 1866. He then built another, which he afterward moved to Piper City. 
Samuel Crumpton built one next, and then Havercorn & Mette built the one now 
occupied by A. B. Searing. Joseph Rumbold built one, which is now owned by 
Searing & Crumpton. The next was an old mill, moved up by the railroad, and 
changed into an elevator by Chas. Weinland, and is now owned by H. L. Turner. 

* Their Principal and teachers for the coming year are not yet chosen. 


The mill above referred to was- originally built by Wright, Williams & Crip- 
liver, and, after several changes, it was disposed of as already noted. Williams 
then erected his present steam mill, and commenced operating it in December, 
1877. It is a frame building, with two runs of buhrs, and is used mostly for 
grinding corn meal and stock feed. 

Another of Chatsworth's manufactures is the Star Wind Mill, which is put 
up by David E. Shaw, who is also the patentee of the Marvel Feed Mill, which 
is adapted to wind mills. Also, the wagon factory of L, C. Spiecher is quite an 
institution. He works seven hands, and make wagons and carriages principally. 

Chatsworth has two banks— C. A. Wilson & Co., successors to the Chats- 
worth Bank, and E. A. Bangs & Co. Both houses do a general banking and 
exchange business. 

The Chatsworth Plaindealer is a five-column quarto newspaper, published 
by R. M. Spurgin, and is one of the flourishing papers of the county. It was 
•established in November, 1873, by C. B. Holmes, and in August, 1876, passed 
into the hands of its present owner. It is an independent paper, and takes no 
particular side in politics. 

The first religious society organized in the village of Chatsworth was the 
Methodist Church, in 1859, by Rev. M. Dewey, with about forty members. The 
charge, at that time, included Forrest, Five Mile Grove, Pleasant Ridge, 
Oliver's Grove and Bethel, with Rev. J. W. Flowers as Presiding Elder of the 
District. The society held their meetings in the school house, two blocks north 
of the railroad depot, until the year 1874, when they erected a good church 
building at a cost of about $2,500, in which they have worshiped ever since, 
having now upon the church rolls about 100 members. Adjacent, is a comfort- 
able parsonage, worth about $500, and both it and the church are free of 
encumbrance. Rev. Samuel Wood is the present Pastor, and Rev. R. G. 
Pierce, Presiding Elder of the District. The church was dedicated by Rev. 
T. M. Eddy, D. D., of Chicago, on the 30th day of November, 1864. The 
Sunday school of this society was organized in March, 1862. W- H. Wakelin 
is the present Superintendent, and the average attendance is about 100 

The Presbyterian Church was built soon after the village was laid out, and 
the society first organized in the school house, under the pastoral care of Rev. 
Mr. Thomas, who preached here and at a school house in Ford County on 
alternate Sundays. He then lived at Champaign. The first regular minister 
in charge of the society was Rev. Oscar Park. The present Pastor is Rev. 
Geo. F. McAfee, formerly of Missouri, but a graduate of the Northwestern 
Theological Seminary, and has in his charge about eighty members. A very 
flourishing Sunday school belongs to this church. The Rev. Mr. McAfee is 
Superintendent, and about one hundred and thirty-five children attend. 

The Baptist Church was built in 1871, is a substantial frame building, 32x54 
feet, and cost about three thousand six hundred dollars. Rev. A. Kenyon is 


Pastor, with a membership of over one hundred, and an interesting Sunday- 
school, of which A. H. Hall is Superintendent. There are two German socie- 
ties, the Evangelical Association and the Lutherans ; but they have no church 
buildings, and we were unable to learn anything definite of their organizations. 

The Roman Catholic Church was built in 1864, and dedicated, on the 17th 
of March, to St. Patrick, by Rev. Thomas Roy, President of St. Victor's Col " 
lege. The building cost about four thousand dollars, is a handsome frame, and 
was built under the pastorate of Rev. John A. Fanning, of Fairbury. Owen 
Murtagh, Patrick Monahan and William Joyce were the Building Committee. 
It was made an independent mission on the 22d of July, 1867, when the Very 
Rev. Learner Moynihan, formerly of New Orleans, and late of Jersey City, 
N. J., succeeded the Rev. Father Fanning. A flourishing Sunday school is 
attached, and the attendance, both at it and the church, are good. 

Chatsworth Lodge, No. 539, A., F. & A. M., was chartered October 1, 
1867, Jerome B. Gorin, Grand Master of Illinois, signing the charter, and H. 
G. Reynolds, Grand Secretary. The charter members were George R. Wells, 
E. L. Nelson, W. H. Jones, D. E. Shaw, E. A. Simmons, A. E. Anway, James 
Davis, J. H. Dalton, Charles L. Wells, Ira W. Trask, J. S. McElhiny and D. 
W. Hunt. D. R. Wells was first Master ; D. R. Shaw, Senior Warden, and 
E. A. Simmons, Junior Warden. The present Master is N. C. Kenyon, and 
W. H. Wakelin, Secretary, with forty members. 

Chatsworth Lodge, No. 339, I. 0. 0. F., chartered October 9, 1866, J. K. 
Scroggs, Grand Master, and Samuel Willard, Grand Secretary. Charter mem- 
bers — Arthur Orr, N. A. Wheeler, Peter Shroyer, T. L. Matthews, H. J. 
Roberts and G. W. Blackwell. Arthur Orr was first Noble Grand, and N. A. 
Wheeler, Secretary. C. Guenther is at present Noble Grand, and Arthur Orr, 
Secretary, with thirty-seven members. 

Livingston Encampment, No. 123, I. 0. 0. F., was chartered May 31, 
1871 ; D. W. Jacoby, Grand Patriarch, and N. C. Nason, Grand Scribe ; J. 
B. Renne, first Chief Patriarch; Peter Shroyer, Scribe. L. C. Spiecher is at 
present Chief Patriarch, and P. J. Garhart, Scribe, with about twenty members 
on the roll. 

Chatsworth has a well organized fire department, with a good volunteer 
company. Their engine is the old "Prairie Queen," formerly used in Bloom- 
ington, and this village bought it for $1,300, which, with hose and other equip- 
ments, runs the cost of the department up to about two thousand dollars. The 
company has been a valuable acquisition, and has saved to the town more than 
twenty thousand dollars' worth of property since its organization. 

The bar is represented in ' Chatsworth by Hon. Samuel T. Fosdick and 
George Torrence, Esq. The former was elected to the State Senate in the Fall 
of 1876, on the Republican ticket, receiving 5,056 votes over C. C. Strawn, of 
Pontiac, Democrat, who received 4,313 votes. The Senatorial District is com- 
posed of Livingston and Ford Counties. 


The medical fraternity here are Drs. Charles True, D. W. Hunt, Wm. 0. 
Byington and Bostock.. 

John Walter, a merchant of the village, has a very ancient relic, and one 
to be highly prized. It is an old Bible, printed in 1536. The following is the 
inscription on the fly-leaf: 

||rinteb in liiricjj 

<%ist0ffdl Jfr0sc|oner 

anb finish on 16 kg of Partji 


It is printed in the Swiss dialect of the German language, bound in heavy 
wood backs, covered with leather, with heavy iron clasps and corners. Mr. 
Walter claims that it is the oldest Bible, but one, in the United States ; and, for 
a book that is 340 years old, it is in a state of excellent preservation. It is 
profusely illustrated throughout the Old and New Testaments with colored 
engravings of Bible scenes and incidents. 

The village of Chatsworth has one of the most beautiful little parks in this 
section of the country. It embraces just one square, or block, in the village, 
and is Very handsomely shaded with young maples, of which there are over 500 
in the enclosure, making it a fine place to pass an hour or two of a warm evening, 
and a lovely promenade for the boys and girls, who 

Find in their wooing much moonshine yearning, 

Such as young folks always have when they are learning 

to be sweet on each other, and yearn for moonlight, solitude and the " mourn- 
ful cooing of the turtle dove." 

Chatsworth Cemetery was laid out January 4, 1864, and an addition made 
to it March 2, 1865. It is a pretty little burying ground, and the good order 
in which it is kept shows a high regard of the living for the dead. The first 
party buried within its silent shades was an old German laborer who lived, at 
the time, with Patrick Monahan, of Charlotte Township, and was buried on the 
spot, before the cemetery was laid out, as noticed in the history of the latter 



At the time of the formation of Livingston County, Saunemin, Sullivan, 
Pleasant Ridge and Charlotte Townships were comprised in one election precinct, 
and it so stood until the second year after township organization, when Pleasant 
Ridge and Charlotte were struck off, as noted in another place. When all four 
of these towns were embraced in one, it was called Saunemin, after the old 
sachem of the Kickapoo Indians, and was given to the precinct by Oliver, of 
the present township of Chatsworth, who settled there when Indians were 
plenty in the country, and knew the old chief well. The present township of 
Saunemin is about seven-eighths prairie to one-eighth of timber. The prairie 
lies in gentle swells,- just sufficiently rolling to drain well, but not enough so to 
wash, or to be termed knolly. The native timber is embraced in Five-Mile 
Grove, lying along the borders of Five-Mile Creek, and is a body of very fine 
timber but in the midst of a prairie country, like that by which it is surrounded, 
it is too small in quantity to be of any material benefit, or very profitable for 
building purposes. 

The first settlement was made in Saunemin Township in 1845, on Five-Mile 
Creek, in the northern part of Five-Mile Grove. The honor of making this 
first settlement is given to David Cripliver and his two sons, Joseph and S. P. 
Cripliver. Joseph, who had settled in Wolf's Grove several years prior, came 
to this section and made the claim, and then the family came on, as stated above, 
in 1845. They came from Indiana, and on their arrival in Five-Mile Grove, 
went into and occupied the old "Survey hut," until they could erect a cabin of 
their own. Joseph Cripliver says when he first settled in Wolf's Grove in 
1841, there were but eighty-two voters in the entire county. Criplivers sold 
their original claim to John Ridinger, then took up the claim where they still 
live. The elder Cripliver is dead, but his wife is still living, and makes her 
home with her sons. 

John Ridinger was the next settler after the Criplivers, and, as already 
stated, bought their original claim. He was also from Indiana, and settled here 
in the latter part of 1850, and is still on the place where he first located. The 
following settlers were also from Indiana, viz. : Thomas and Robert Spafford 
and Samuel Scott. The Spaffords were originally from England, but had lived 
some years in Indiana before settling in this township in 1858. They had made 
their first settlement in Avoca Township, where they rem*ined two years, when 
they came to their present settlements. Scott became dissatisfied soon after his 
settlement, sold out and removed to Missouri. Being discontented there also, 
he returned to this township within three months from the time he left it, and 
died in 1874. 

Samuel L. Marsh is a genuine New England Yankee, and came from Wor- 
cester County, Mass., in 1856. He settled first in La Salle County, where he 
remained two years, when he removed to Saunemin, and settled where he now 


lives. He is an enterprising and thrifty farmer ; has a good farm, and is well 
prepared for a "rainy day," whenever it may come. When he settled here, he 
found quite a number already in the township, among which were the Cripliv- 
ers, Ridingers, Scott, and the Spaffords, who have already been noticed in the 
early settlements. There were living here at the time, also, the following families, 
viz : T. W. Bridia, Jason Tuttle, Thomas, Oliver and John Smith — three 
brothers — Joshua Chesebrough, Thos. Cleland, Rev. Felix Thornton, Wm. 
Young, Robert Miller, John S. Thomas, James Funk and a young man named 
Walter Good. Of these, T. W. Bridia came from the Green Mountains of 
Vermont originally, but settled first in Green County, in this State, in 1837, 
where he remained for twenty years before coming to this neighborhood. 
He made a claim here, upon which he still lives. His wife, however, who 
shared with him his early toils, has been dead several years. Jason Tuttle 
came from New York about 1854. He settled in Michigan, where he remained 
some years, when he removed to this township, where he still lives. Thomas, 
Oliver and John Smith, and Joshua Chesebrough were from Ohio, and settled 
here — the Smiths about 1854-5, and Chesebrough a year or two later. 
Thomas Cleland settled here about the same time. He was a blacksmith, the 
first in the township, and is now living in Pontiac. Rev. Felix Thornton, who 
is noticed as one of the early settlers of Sullivan, and as the first minister in 
that town, settled here in 1858, and some years later sold out and removed to 
Iowa. William Young came from New York in 1855, and bought the place 
where Mariner now lives. He is dead, and his widow is married to Manner. 
James Funk settled in the neighborhood in 1852-3, and came from McLean 
County to this town. He opened the place where 'Squire Bridia now lives, 
and, becoming dissatisfied, sold out and removed to Missouri, but after a time 
came back to this settlement, and died in 1867. His widow lives in the south- 
ern part of the township, near the iron bridge over the Vermilion River, 
between this and Indian Grove. Robt. Miller came from Marshall County, 
near Lacon, to this settlement in 1856. John S. Thomas was an Englishman, 

" Had roamed through many lands." 

He came from Plainfield, in this State, and settled in this township about 1855. 
As stated, he was from England, and seems to have been a kind of roving 
character, as it is said that he had been all over the world. But he per- 
manently settled herl), and died in 1873, but his widow still lives on the old 
homestead. Walter Good, a single man, is among the early settlers of this 
town, but of him little is known beyond the fact that he enlisted in the 
army during the late war, lost a hand in battle, and never returned to this 
neighborhood. These names comprise the settlements made up to a period so 
modern that all who have come since cannot very well be placed under the 
head of early settlers. 


The sound of the Gospel is almost coeval with the first settlements of Sau- 
nemin Township. The Rev. Felix Thornton was the first regular preacher, 
although there had been sermons preached and religious services held before he 
settled in the neighborhood. The first permanent church society was formed 
by the Methodists, in the school house, near where the Bethel Church now 
stands. Through the influence and untiring energies of Rev. John Wilkerson, 
Pastor, at that time, of the congregation, funds enough were raised to build a 
church, and the work was commenced. Rev. Mr. Wilkerson, however, was 
transferred to another field of labor before the building was finished. When 
completed, it was dedicated by some eminent divine from Chicago, whose name 
our informant had forgotton. It is an elegant frame, and was finished and 
opened for worship in 1872. It is known as the Bethel Methodist Episcopal 
Church, and numbers eighty members. A Sabbath school, under the superintend- 
ence of Mr. C. C. Boys, has been established by the church, and is, at the 
present writing, in a very flourishing condition and well attended. 

A society of the Christian Church was formed in 1871, in the same school 
house in which the Methodist Church was organized. They have no church 
building, and still hold their meetings in the school house. Rev. W. P. Carith- 
ers organized the church, and is still its Pastor, with a membership of eighty-six. 
A large and flourishing Sunday school is maintained, with William Watts as 

The United Brethren formed a church in this township in 1867, under the 
pastorate of Rev. Mr. .Elliott. Rev. Mr. Robinson, was the first United Breth- 
ren preacher in the neighborhood. The Rev. Mr. Mitchell is the present preacher, 
and the school house is used as their sanctuary. 

There has also been a society of the Presbyterians recently organized in this 
school house.* Formerly, there was a Congregational Church in the township, 
but it dwindled down to a handful and then died out, and this Presbyterian 
Church has been organized on its ruins. Rev. D. A. Wallace is the present 
Pastor. A Union Sunday school of this and the United Brethren is carried on 
at the school house, where the churches hold their religious meetings. 

The first school house was built of logs, about the year 1854, and Miss Julia 
Hamlin is supposed to have taught the first school in it, which was the first in 
the township. The first school house built by public funds was in 1863, and 
Mrs. Bridia, nee Lilly, taught the first school in it. She commenced Her school 
in the little log school house, before this was finished, but, on its completion, 
moved into the new edifice, where she finished out the session . The first School 
Treasurer in the township was Thomas N. Smith. The first school record we 
were able to find dates back to April 7, 1862. On this date, the Trustees held 
a meeting. The Board, at the time, was composed of Jason Tuttle, John Cotrell 
and S. P. Cripliver. There seems to have been but little business transacted, 
save the apportionment of the funds on hand, which amounted to $556.72, 

*Bethel Methodist Church is the only church building in the town. 


among the three school districts then in the town. Two new districts were 
created at this meeting, as previous to this date the entire town was one school 
district. Samuel L. Marsh was elected School Treasurer at the regular meet- 
ing, April 11, ] 864, an office he still holds. At the annual meeting, April, 
1867, we find there were five districts, and there was the additional sum on 
hand of $222.03, which was apportioned among the five districts as follows, 
viz.: District No. 1, $102.13; District No. 2, $64.60; District No. 3, 
$21.71 ; District No. 4, $20.02 ; District No. 5, $13.52. From Mr. Marsh's 
last annual report we take the following : 

Number of males in township under 21 years 240 

Number of females in township under 21 years 244 

Total 484 

Number of males between 6 and 21 in township 169 

Number of females between 6 and 21 in township 156 

Total 325 

Number of males attending school 166 

Number of females attending school 122 

Total 288 

Number of male teachers employed 6 

Number of female teachers employed 14 

Total 20 

Estimated value of school property $4,000 00 

School fund of township 8,071 25 

Tax leyy for support of schools 1,529 84 

Highest monthly wages paid teachers 45* 00 

Lowest monthly wages paid teachers 28 00 

Whole amount paid teachers 2,088 33 

There are at present nine School Districts in the town, in eight of which 
there are good, comfortable frame school houses, and the coming Winter there 
is a house to be put up in District No. 9, which has recently been created. The 
Board of Trustees at present is composed of the following gentlemen : William 
C. Burley, Wm. T. Bridia and James M. Rhodes. 

Joseph Cripliver was the first party living in Saunemin to perpetrate the act 
of matrimony. He married in Grundy County in 1851. The first marriage 
ceremony solemnized in this township was Miss Scott (now Mrs. Mariner) and 
William Young, but the exact date of it we were unable to learn. Catherine 
Ellen, daughter of Joseph Cripliver, was the first birth in the township, and 
occurred in January, 1852. The first death was probably the wife of John 
Martin, in March, 1855. A couple of twin children of John Ridinger died in 
March, 1855, also, and some are of the opinion that they died before Mrs. Mar- 
tin, while others believe to the contrary. 

A sad occurrence which took place in this township will come in appropri- 
ately in this connection. In the Summer of 1858, a woman was drowned in 
Five-Mile Creek, about one mile from the present residence of S. L. Marsh. 

<5sW> / a? > ^ c teJj L tc^ h ,f A 

e <^zz^ 



She was traveling through the country alone, and had called at the house of 
Mr. Thomas the evening before she was drowned, but had not, it seems, given a 
very definite or satisfactory account of herself, and had left late in the evening. 
The next day she was found in Five-Mile Creek, "cold in death." Who she 
was, whence she came, or whither going, none ever knew beyond mere supposi- 
tion, which was, that she belonged to a company of emigrants who had passed 
that way some time before ; had become dissatisfied and homesick, and was try- 
ing to get back to the old home of her childhood, when fate overtook her, and 
her destiny was brought to an abrupt close. The people generously and kindly 
took the remains and decently interred them in their little grave yard in Five 
Mile Grove. There they still repose, and her friends, if she had any, are igno- 
rant of her fate to the present day. 

Saunemin Post Office, the first in the township, was established in 1869, and 
A. W. Parks was the first Postmaster. He held the office for two years, when 
George D. Paddock became Postmaster, an office he still holds. The first store 
was opened by Paddock in the Fall of 1871, and is still in successful operation. 
It is located in the little village of Bethel, or, more properly speaking, Saunemin. 
The Methodist Church, which is located here, is called Bethel, and hence the 
name is often applied to the village, while the name of the post office is Saune- 
min. Another store was opened here in 1874, by J. H. Richter, which still 
exists, but the stock has run down, it is supposed for the purpose of quitting 
business. In addition to the two stores mentioned, and the church, there is a 
good, comfortable school house, a shoe shop kept by Homer Tiffany, a black- 
smith shop by A. W. Young, and some half a dozen residences. These items 
comprise the hamlet or village of Saunemin. 

T. W. Bridia was the first Justice of the Peace in this township, and the 
first Supervisor after Sullivan was separated and set off. Thomas Cleland was 
the first blacksmith, and for a number of years the only one in the township. 
The first bridge in the town was a rude wooden affair, built over Five Mile 
Creek. In the Fall of 1876, an elegant iron bridge was put up over Five Mile 
Creek, where the principal road crosses leading to Pontiac. 

Mr. Cripliver informed us that, when he settled in Five Mile Grove, there 
was not a family living nearer than five miles. They used to go down in 
Indian Grove, visiting, and thought that but a short trip. The small body of 
timber in Five Mile Grove did not present many attractions to those in hunt of 
homes, and the value of the prairies was yet undiscovered. 

When Saunemin included Sullivan, Pleasant Ridge and Charlotte in its 
territorial limits, and after the county had adopted township organization, Isaac 
Wilson, now of Pleasant Ridge, was the Supervisor. After they had been 
divided up, and Saunemin became a township of itself, T. W. Bridia was the 
first Supervisor and Joshua Chesebrough the first Town Clerk. At present, 
the township officers are as follows: Thomas Spafford, Supervisor; Thomas 
Spafford and Geo. D. Paddock, Justices of the Peace ; 0. II. P. Noel, As- 


sessor; George Dally, Collector; C. F. H. Carithers, Town Clerk. George 
Langford, of this township, was elected Clerk of Livingston County, and held 
the office for the term preceding Mr. Wait, the present incumbent, discharging 
the duties with entire satisfaction to himself and the county. 

The little cemetery in Five Mile Grove was laid out in the early settlement 
of the township. The first of the grounds was one acre donated by John 
Ridinger, and afterward the town bought one acre more, and then had the 
cemetery incorporated. As stated in another place, Mrs. Martin and Ridinger's 
twin children were among the first burials in it. 

In the days of Whigs and Democrats, Saunemin Township was Democratic, 
but since 1860 it has been largely Republican. When the Grange movement 
was in the noontide of its glory, it controlled the elections in this town, irre- 
spective of political parties ; but of late it has fallen back on, not first, but 
second principles — otherwise, is Republican again. 

In the late war, it did its duty nobly in furnishing soldiers for the Union 
army. Many who went to the front never returned. On the Southern plains, 
where their valor won for them a soldier's death, they sleep, no more to. answer 
to roll-call until the great reveille shall sound in the last day. The town had 
but one draft during the war, and for only six men. The lucky ones were William 
Young, George Gray, Peter Munson and three brothers — Thomas, Oliver and 
John C. Smith. All other calls were filled as soon as made, either by volun- 
teers or substitutes. 

Albigence Marsh, the father of Samuel L. Marsh, lives with his son, as also 
the latter's father-in-law, Mr. Lee. The elder Marsh is 87 years old, and quite 
a sprightly old man. He was in the war of 1812, and went out in the regiment 
of Col. Jonathan Lyon, but did not remain long in the service before being dis- 
charged and sent home. Mr. Lee, Mrs. Marsh's father, is 81 years old, and as 
vigorous as many men at 50. We were shown a very handsome "what-not" 
made by him for his daughter since he entered the "80s," and which would 
grace the most -elegant parlor. He is a fine mechanic, or has been in his day, 
and many a pretty piece df furniture in Mr. Marsh's dwelling bears witness tc- 
his mechanical genius. 


1833-1878. But little more than forty years ! Only half of a good life- 
time. A very short period when past. And when our vision, in its backward 
glance, is confined to our own narrow lives, how little has been done ! Yet 
when we look around us, and. compare the present with the past, allowing our 
imagination to run carefully over the intervening period, we are amazed at 
what has been accomplished. Forty years ago, where stands the proud city of 
Chicago, with its half million inhabitants, its tunnels, its water works, its custom 
house and its magnificent system of railroads, was a small dilapidated, wooden 
town, located in a marsh. More than this, forty years has seen this same town 
rise and fall and rise again. 


Forty years ago, there was not a railroad in the State, now there are thou- 
sands of miles. In forty years, all of this country has been netted over with 
telegraph wires, so that friends and business men and officials converse as readily 
between New York and San Francisco, and between New Orleans and Chicago, 
as did neighbors across the hedge that separated their lots forty years ago. 
Forty years have witnessed two bloody wars in which this country has been 
involved. Mexico has given up her most valuable possession to the United 
States, and 3,000,000 of slaves have been set at liberty. Within forty years, 
10,000,000 of the oppressed of other countries have found a home in this free 
land, many of whom have become citizens of this State, this county, this 

During the period named, wonderful changes have come to the West in 
particular. At the former date, the county of Livingston had not yet been 
organized. Not a town, not a school house, not a church building in all the 
territory now embraced within its limits, had been built. In all of the thirty 
townships were not half as many inhabitants, and less than one-tenth the wealth 
now contained in Amity alone. Indeed, had these remarks been confined to 
the last thirty years, they would have been almost as appropriate ; as the events 
mentioned have almost all transpired within that time. 

Forty-five years ago, no white man had ever called what is now embraced 
in Amity Township his home. In the year 1833, Thomas N. Reynolds, Sam- 
uel K. Reynolds and B. Breckinridge found their way to this then desolate 
place, and, selecting spots on which to build, erected for themselves and families 
little cabins, in which they lived for some years. 

The farm on which the Reynoldses built is the same now known as the J. P. 
Houston farm. His wife was the first white person buried in the township. She 
lived but a few years after coming to the country. The coffin used to inclose her 
remains was such as served the purpose of many a worthy pioneer. It was con- 
structed by splitting open a walnut log and scooping out sufficient from each 
portion to admit the body. These two troughs were then placed together in 
their original position, and, in this rude casket, Mrs. Reynolds, the pioneer 
woman of this township, awaits the call to proceed to a better country, where 
frontier hardships are not known. 

Of a large number of the name who eventually made this their home, only 
Samuel K. Reynolds still remains. All others have either removed or died. 

Breckinridge made some improvements and built a cabin on the James 
McKee farm. He remained here about ten years, until he found he was being 
"crowded," and then pushed on further west into the newer country "beyond 
the Mississippi." These three, with nearly all who sought this part of the 
county for a number of years, were from the State of Ohio ; and this was, in 
reality, as it was named, the "Buckeye" neighborhood. 

The next year, 1834, Thomas Prindle came out from Ohio and located in 
the southeastern part. Prindle was a blacksmith, as well as a farmer. He 


erected a shop and plied his anvil for the accommodation of himself and his few- 
neighbors while he stayed. But the light of his forge and the light of his life 
went out together in 1845, and for thirty-three years his anvil has been silent. 

In the latter part of 1834 and the early part of 1835, a large number of 
families followed the ones already mentioned from the Buckeye region, at least 
six of which came to this township. They were John W., Joseph, Stephen and 
Cornelius W. Reynolds — brothers and cousins of the two who came in 1833 — 
William Springer and Thomas Campbell. 

John W. Reynolds was one of the first Justices of the Peace of Bayou Pre- 
cinct, and performed the ceremony of marrying the first couple in the township. 
The happy parties on the occasion were Isaac Painter and Nancy Springer. 
The nuptials were celebrated in 1840 — perhaps a year earlier. The first mill 
built in the county was constructed by John W. Reynolds, soon after his arrival. 
It was as primitive an affair as any of the institutions of its time, being nothing 
more than a corn cracker, the motive power of which was furnished by a horse. 
Though a very rude concern, it was a very convenient one for this neighbor- 
hood, and was well patronized. But its proprietor "ground the last grist," and 
" took his last toll" thirty-five years ago. 

Joseph Reynolds was a young, unmarried man, and lived with his brothers 
Thomas and Samuel K. He was the first Sheriff of Livingston County, being 
elected May 8, 1837, at a county election held at the house of Andrew 
McMillan. His opponent was Simeon S. Mead. He was probably a popular 
man, as he received, out of the eighty-five votes cast, more than eight-ninths. 

At this same election, another brother, Cornelius W. Reynolds, was a can- 
didate for a county office, that of Surveyor ; but no doubt the people thought 
one county office in a family was enough, for he was beaten by Isaac Whicher, 
who received a small majority. C. W. was a physician, and, after election, 
went to Pontiac and practiced medicine a little, acted as Deputy Sheriff for his 
brother, was Postmaster of Pontiac, and was afterward elected Clerk of the 
/ Court. He finally removed to Ottawa, at which place he is still engaged in the 
practice of his profession. 

Stephen Reynolds resided in the township until his death, which occurred 
about seventeen years since. 

William Springer was the forerunner of a large family, who came to the 
county two years afterward. He lived only a year or two after his relatives 
came out. 

Thomas Campbell settled on Section 5, arriving at the place on the 5th of 
July of the year named. He continued his residence here until November, 
1865, which is the date of his death. His son, Thomas M., still occupies the 
old homestead. 

In 1836, H. M. D. Morris, Thomas Armon, William Reynolds and Samuel 
Boyer made their advent into the neighborhood. The first three were from 
Indiana, and the last from Pennsylvania. 


Morris settled on Section 17, on Short Point. He was the first preacher in 
the township. He was not an itinerant, but a local Methodist exhorter, who 
farmed all week and preached on Sunday at the cabins in the neighborhood or 
in the grove — " God's first temple " — as the weather or the occasion seemed to 
indicate. Mr. Morris died here in 1843. His son, Chester Morris, still occu- 
pies the old place. 

William Reynolds was not a relative of the others of that name, who had 
settled here previously, but was a brother-in-law of Morris and Armon, they 
having married sisters of his. He was himself a bachelor, and remained here 
but a few years, when he removed to Oregon, where he lived until about fifteen 
years ago, when he returned on a visit, staying here a short time, and then 
locating' permanently in Iowa. 

Samuel Boyer's name was one of the most familiar in the early days. He 
was a man of means, education and piety, and, withal, very industrious and 
economical. He brought with him, from his native State, all of the wagons and 
farming implements needed in the cultivation of his land, bringing them all the 
way by boat down the Ohio, up the Mississippi, and thence up the Illinois to 
Hennepin. He was particularly interested in all religious services, and his house 
was always open to the public for meetings of this kind, and his home was the 
home of the missionary or others of " the cloth." He was one of the first School 
Commissioners, though the duties of the office then did not necessarily require 
either a man of leisure or great ability, there being but three very small schools 
in the county, and the course of instruction being of the most primary char- 
acter. His son, Isaiah Boyer, resides in the village of Cornell. 

The y«ar 1837 brought several new families to this locality, among which 
were two of the most worthy and solid that have ever made this their home. 
Thomas Louderback and Uriah Springer were both from Ohio, and came to the 
township within a few days of each other. They both had large families, and, 
inasmuch as they were all of the most estimable character, their coming was a 
valuable accession, not only to the neighborhood, but to the whole county. 
From that day to this, the word of a Louderback passes for currency wherever it 
is heard. The Louderbacks had lived a few years in Vermilion County, before 
coming to Amity Township. The sons, Liberty, Mills and Levi, are still here, 
and Thomas, Jr., is in Iowa, having left this place eight years ago. The 
elder Thomas Louderback died in 1854, his wife having preceded him twelve 
years. The old homestead on Scattering Point is still in the possession of, and 
occupied by the family. Uriah Springer and sons, Levi and Joseph, and son- 
in-law, D. M. Prindle, arrived about ten days after the Louderbacks, and settled 
on South Point. 

Springer had been a man of some political standing in his native State, and 
had held the office of Magistrate for twenty years. When he came to the 
county, he was somewhat advanced in years, but, notwithstanding, was elected 
to the office of Associate Justice of the county, in the. discharge of which duties 


he gave good satisfaction. He, with Thomas Barton and A. J. Gilmore, erected 
the first real flour mill in the county, in 1838. The latter two were from Mc- 
Lean County, and came to this place for the purpose named. The mill, how- 
ever, was but partially successful, as the builders were not practical architects 
and millers. The mill was located on the site of what is now known as the 
Dodwell Mill. 

D. M. Prindle was cousin of Thomas, who had preceded him three years, 
and who had induced him to emigrate. He was a great singer, and led that part 
of the service in all the religious meetings. There were no organs or church 
choirs in his time, and he pitched the tune and sang the hymn as he was moved 
by the spirit, "lining out the verse" to enable all of the worshipers to join in 
the exercise. Prindle's voice was hushed, however, more than twenty years 
ago, and he now sings a new song in the great temple above. The years 1838 
and 1839 brought two men to this township, of whose advent the town and the 
county are thankful. 

Walter Cornell came from Maine, and has been notorious as a leader in every 
movement calculated to benefit the community. He has held several county offices, 
among which are named those of Treasurer, School Commissioner and County 
Assessor, and has filled many positions of minor importance in the township. 
He was the first and, until last Spring, the only Postmaster of Cornell, having 
filled the position since the establishment of the same. 

Amos Edwards, formerly from New York, but directly from Ohio, was a 
school teacher in those States, and had "wielded the ferule and the birch " for 
a dozen years before coming here. He was the first resident teacher in this 
part of the county, though to him does not belong the honor of pioneer educa- 
tor in Amity Township, as he did not engage in the profession at once after his 
location ; otherwise he would have received the credit, for up to this time no 
steps had been taken to open a school. The first school taught in this part of 
the county was opened in a small cabin, that had been built and occupied as a 
dwelling by E. Breckenridge. The school was kept by Martha Rutherford, and 
the enterprise bid fair to be a great success, but " Uncle Johnny " Foster, of 
Pontiac, had found out the worth of the young lady ; and to the regret and 
somewhat to the disgust of the community, he paid her frequent visits, and 
finally persuaded her to desert the school and turn her attention to conjugal 
matters. To be plain about it, Foster's wife having died, and he being sadly in 
need of some one to look after his domestic affairs, married her. The school 
consisted of only a dozen children, their tuition being paid for by subscription 
at the rate of $1.50 per term. " Uncle Johnny " says, if they don't like the 
part he took in this matter, they needn't grumble, as some of them still owe for 
their tuition. 

The same year, 1840, the first school house was erected. This was not only 
the first in the township, but, as indicated by the United States census taken 
that year, was one of only three in the whole county. Doubtless a description 


of it will be interesting to very many of our readers. Interested parties, to 
the number of e t ight or ten, came together, by appointment, bringing with them 
their axes, saws and whatever implements they possessed, and built it on the 
mutual assistance plan. Small trees were felled and cut to the length of eighteen 
feet. Notches were cut in each end, to admit of others designed to rest thereon. 
Then the logs were built up in the manner of constructing a rail pen. When 
the building had been raised to a sufficient height, openings were cut out for a 
door, fire place and windows. The cracks between the logs Were "chinked" — 
that is, partially filled with small pieces of wood wedged in — and then daubed 
with mud. The roof was of "clap-boards," very large shingles split from the 
bodies of straight-grained trees ; and these were held in their places by the 
weight of poles laid thereon. In the building of King Solomon's Temple, it is 
found worthy of record that it was constructed " without the sound of axe, hammer 
or other tool of iron." In our temple of learning, it is worthy of note that 
not a nail or any other piece of iron entered into its composition. The door 
was made of slabs split from the trees, after the manner of the shingles, 
and the boards were pinned together with wooden pins. The door was hung 
on wooden hinges, and fastened with a wooden latch, which only the ingenuity 
of the backwoodsman can invent. The latch was raised by means of a leather 
thong, attached to it, and hung through a small auger hole, a few inches above. 
This was a very common method of fastening the doors of the ancient cabins, 
and originated the saying that the "latch strjng is out." The floor was made 
of "puncheons " or logs split in two parts, each of which, with its flat surface 
turned upward, rested on the ground. The desks were broad boards, resting on 
strong pins, driven into the wall. The seats were constructed of slabs, into 
the ends of which were inserted wooden pins, serving as legs or supports. These 
benches were placed in front of the desks ; and, while the children studied from 
their books, they made the sharp edge of the desk the support for their backs. 
When writing time came, the little fellows elevated their heels to a horizontal 
line with their eyes, and, by a movement which can be more easily imagined 
than described, and which must be learned by experience to be accomplished 
gracefully, performed a half revolution of the body, bringing the face toward 
the desk. When writing was over, a reverse process brought them to the origi- 
nal posture. The chimney and fireplace were composed of small sticks, built 
up after the manner of the house, and plastered with mud, the fireplace being 
very ample, to admit of large logs used for fuel. The windows, however, were 
the parts which displayed peculiar ingenuity. Glass was too expensive, and 
had the further objection of allowing the glaring rays of the sun to enter the room, 
and also of permitting the children to look out, thereby diverting their attention 
from their studies. So, instead of using the trasparent medium, a translucent 
one was invented. Strong white paper was thoroughly soaked in oil or lard, 
and this process rendered it permeable to light, sufficient for the purpose, and 
also dispensed with extra blinds. The house was located on Section 16, near 


the northwest corner, and thus, being near the center, was not only designed 
for the use of the whole community, but was amply commodious, accommodating 
pupils from what is now known as Rook's Creek Township. The first term 
taught in this academy, seminary or institution was by Elizabeth Miller, 
afterward wife of William Eaton. This was also a subscription school, of three 
months, and tuition was $1.50 per term. The branches taught were reading, 
spelling, a little arithmetic and writing. In the last named branch the teacher 
was required, not only to understand the art itself, but also an art which may 
now almost be counted as one of the "lost arts" — that of making a pen out of 
a goose-quill ; and there are many who yet survive that declare that no pen 
has ever been invented which writes like the quill pen, as made with the school- 
master's pen-knife. The " Scattering Point Institute " served its purpose well, 
and in it was received much sound instruction ; and many still remember the 
days spent within its walls, and the precepts of Betsey Miller and her successors, 
as the most pleasant period in their lives. However, by 1849, " Scattering 
Point Institute " had outlived its day, its size and location being no longer ade- 
quate to the increased population and the location of the newer settlers. So, 
with many regrets, it was abandoned, and two new institutions, built much on 
the same plan, and with like specifications and details, though somewhat larger, 
were erected in portions of the township convenient for the patrons. The course 
of instruction, salary, etc., were about the same as in their predecessor. 
Teachers received $1.50 to $2.00 per week, and "boarded 'round." 

The year 1840 brought to the neighborhood two reliable and solid men — Philip 
Nigh and Charles Earp. They were both from Ohio, and still reside in the township. 

Philip Dean was a contractor on the Illinois & Michigan Canal, which was 
being constructed at this time, and entered some land and resided for a few 
years in the township. He brought with him a few goods, and kept them for 
sale. After his removal, he went to Chicago, of which city he has been Mayor. 

Moses and Hiram Allen removed to this part of the county, from Ohio, in 
1837, the year the county was organized. The former was a man of more than 
ordinary character. He held several offices of trust and honor, among which was 
that of Supervisor of the town. He and his brother have both been dead some years. 

The Mormon troubles at Nauvoo, 1840-45, were the means of bringing to 
this township a good family. James Bradley, who had professed the faith and 
taken up his residence in the Mormon territory, at the breaking up of the set- 
tlement, instead of following the fortunes of Brigham Young, came with his 
family to this vicinity. Joseph Smith, it will be remembered, never professed 
polygamy ; on the contrary, his lineal descendant, Joseph Smith, Jr., utterly 
opposed that peculiar institution and became the acknowledged head of all the 
dissenting MoVmons throughout the States, establishing his headquarters at 
Piano, 111., where he still resides. To this branch Mr. Bradley and those who 
settled in Broughton Township afterward held allegiance. 

Some of the implements of agriculture, used in the early times, were as 
primitive as the methods of education. At first, it was not supposed that the 


vast prairies to the east and west would ever be utilized. The little bar-share 
plow, with the wooden mold-board, in common use in the Eastern States, was 
not to be thought of to-turn over the prairie sod, matted thick with grass roots 
as hard almost as hickory withes. But soon the inventive genius of the Yankee 
supplied an article, though somewhat rude and unwieldy, with which most of these 
plains have been brought to cultivation. The original " sod plow " is seen no 
more, as it has long since outlived its usefulness. It consisted of a large share, 
cutting a furrow of two feet in width, with iron bars for a mold-board. The 
beam of the machine was fifteen feet in length. No handles were needed, 
though sometimes they were attached, but were used only for the purpose of 
starting or throwing it out of the ground. To this immense machine were 
hitched five to eight yokes of oxen. 

The breaking was usually done late in the Spring, and with the turning 
over of the sod was deposited seed, which produced an inferior crop of corn the 
first year, which grew and ripened without further attention. From this crop 
has come the brand of a favorite drink in the Western country. 

Hay was cut with scythes, and gathered with hand rakes. Wheat was cut 
with cradles, and threshed by causing horses to tread upon it. 

These ancient landmarks have all passed away, and but few who wielded 
tbem still remain to tell us the story of these and the many other peculiar 
institutions of the olden time. Here and there is seen a whitening head. Here 
and there we behold a tottering frame. Ere long, they too will have passed from 
earth, and their places will be filled by the more modern style of humanity. 

This township was perhaps the most generally settled by the date last 
mentioned, 1843, of any in the county. In the ten years, it had numb'ered 
within its limits not less than 200 persons, embraced in a fifth as many families,, 
nearly all of whom had become permanent settlers. Unlike many other neigh- 
borhoods, whoever came usually stayed. The society was better than that found 
in most frontier places, and the interest manifested in educational enterprises, 
as we have seen, was praiseworthy. 

The -preaching of the Gospel led to one of the earliest church organiza- 
tions in the county. As early as 1840, H. G. Gorbet, a Methodist preacher, 
known in the time of which we write as the " Prairie Breaker," organized a 
society of this denomination (not Prairie Breakers, but Methodists) at the 
Scattering Point Institute. He seems, however, not to have cultivated the soil 
to any degree of success, as the organization went down in a few years. Perhaps 
his first crop, like the first crop of sod-corn, was not of sufiicient yield to war- 
rant in harvesting, or to encourage subsequent planting. So, in 1843, the 
United Brethren occupied the land. They organized a society under the 
leadership of Isaac Messer, of McLean County, which flourished for six years, 
when it, too, for want of cultivation or other cause, disbanded. In 1849, 
another branch of the Methodist Church — the Protestant