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Tazewell County Reporter
Bronze tablet embedded on the band stand in Commercial Square
park, Washington, in memory of William Holland, Washington's first
settler in 1825. Designed and made by the Brass Foundry Company of
Peoria. It was through the activities of Miss Emma J. Scott that the
city and township of Washington appropriated money to ipay the ex-
pense of installing the tablet.
UNIVERSITY or ^\ LlNOiS
METHODIST CHURCH WASHINGTON. ILLINOIS
1828 CIRCUIT RIDERS 1837
JtSSE B.WALKEII- PETER CARTWRICHT- WILLIAM S. CRISSEY- NATHAN W.J CURTISS
STEPHEN R. BECCS-S. L. ROBINSON - JAMES LATTA - WILLIAM SEE
i\DOC HALL - J. McHENRY - JOEL ARRINCTON - L. S. WALKER - A. E. PHELPS
18J7 RICHARD BIRD IdSI H. RITCHIE 1875-76 W. E. STEVENS
18)7 CHARLES ATKINSON 1852 W C. CUMMINC '«'*''? S' )*• 2*SIL''^^u
lft3« R. H. MOFFETT 1852 H. M. P. BROWN 1877-78 C. W. MEREDITH
181» JOHN H.WILSON 1853 A.WOLISCROFT 1878-81 U.Z.GILMER
1839 ZADOC HALL 1854 R. N. MORSE 1881-83 J. J. WALTERS
IB 10 J.C.PINCKARD 1855 A.M.EARLY 1883-65 WM. McPHEETERS
Irttl R.H. MOFFETT 1856 SUPPLIED 1885-88 RICHARD (REWES
ENOCH G. FLACONER 1857 J.C. RVBOLT
1H.12 R. H. .'10FFETT
ial2 J. B. HOUTS
18-11 GEORGE WHITMAN
la-U ZADOC HALL
IBIS S, HALL
1S15 C. BABCOCK
1(147 STEPHEN R. BECCS
1M8 R. H. BRENT
1849 A.R. SHINN
1819 i. RIACH
IHoO T. F. ROYAL
!n50 KM. CADDIS
IH'il W. r, c UMMING
1858 ZADOC HALL
1860-62 B. APPLEBEE
1862-64 J. BORLAND
1864 W. P. CRAVEi
1865 A. P. HALL
1866 J. G. EVANS
1867-68 E. D. HALL
1868-70 R. C. PEARCE
1870-71 C. C. KNOWLTON
1873-75 G. W HAVEIiMALF
1875-76 W. E. STEVENS
1876-77 C.W. MARTIN
1877-78 C. W. MEREDITH
1881-83 J. J. WALTERS
1883-65 WM. McPHEETERS
1885-88 RICHARD (REWES
1888-89 L. D. KING
1889-93 O.T. DWINELL
1893-97 W. B. SNOOP
1897-99 R. W. AMES
1899-00 D. C. MURRAY
1900-02 JOHN WILKINSON
1902-03 WM. WOOLLEY
1903-06 W. R. WATSON
1906-10 J. W. PRUEN
1910-12 J. E. MERCER
1912-15 J. L. MILLER
1915-21 J. D. CALHOUN
1921-23 R.W. AMES
1923 S. L. MYERS
Bronze tablet hung on the walls of the new Methodist church in
Washington giving a list of circuit riders and pastors of the church
for one hundred years. Designed and made by the Brass Foundry
•Company of iPeoria. Miss Emma J. Scott raised the funds by public
subscription for the tablet.
Rev. John J. Ryan, historian of the Methodist Conference, pays
Miss Scott the following tribute: "The tablet is a beautiful piece of
work and you are to be commended for your part in it. There are only
a few who have sentiment and the historic instinct combined in one
person, and to such we are indebted for the valuaJble phases of history.
A good deal of history consists of guesses, but one who reveals the
real character of action renders the substantial service. If the Wash-
ington church should ever be destroyed by fire the tablet should be
saved ftrst, for it has cost iplenty of research and careful
Story of the Settlement of Washington,
One of the Oldest Towns.
The "History of Washington, 111., and Its Early Set-
tlers", as compiled and read by one of the city's early promi-
nent citizens, John W. Doug-herty, attorney at law, at the
Centennial celebration held in Washington, July 4, 1876.
Responding to the request and recommendation of the
Congress of the United States, made on the 6th day oi Sep-
tember, A. D. 1780, the state of Virginia did, on the 2nd day
of Januaiy, A. D. 1781, yield to the Congress of the United
States, for the benefit of the said states, all right, title and
claim which the latter had to the territory northwest of the
Ohio I'iver, and on the 1st of March, A. D. 1784, by deed of
cession, conveyed the property of Virginia in said territory
to the United States — being a little more than ninety-two
years tgo. On the 13th of July, A. D. 1787, the Congress of
the United States passed an Act for the government of the
ceded territory, known as the Ordinance of 1778; by which
ordinance it was provided, among other things, that said ter-
ritory should in the future be erected into not less than three
noi more tlian five free and independent states, with all the
rights, powers and immunities of the original states; in con-
formity to wliich provision the Congress of the United States
divided the territory thus ceded into the five states of Ohio,
Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.
On the 3rd day of February, A. D. 1809, the Congress
of the United States enacted a territorial government for the
territory of Illinois, and provided for the first meeting of the
territorial legislature at Kaskaskia, and subsequently, on the
18th day of April, A. D. 1818, passed an enabling Act, which
provided for the election, by the qualified voters of said ter-
ritory, of thirty-three representatives to form a convention
to determine whether it be, or be not, expedient to form a
constitution and state government for the people within the
said territory ; which convention, on the 26th day of August,
A. D, 1818, framed the first constitution of the state of Illi-
nois, which constitution was adopted and remained in force
until the 1st day of April, A. D. 1848; the people having in
convention, on the 31st day of August, A. D. 1847, framed
a new constitution, which was ratified at an election held on
the 6th day of March, A. D. 1848. This continued in force
until the 8th day of August, A. D.1870, when it was super-
ceded by our present constitution.
4 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
The county of Tazewell was organized A. D. 1827, prior
to which time it was a part of Peoria county, and was not
one of the original twenty-two counties that furnished dele-
gates to the convention that framed the' state constitution of
1818. Among the earliest settlements of the state was a
French settlement at or near the present site of Wesley City,
which was also one of the earliest permament settlements in
The first settlement in the town of Washington,_ or its
vicinity, of which we have any account, was made in the
spring of 1825, by William Holland, Sr., who came here from
Peoria — then Fort Cark. He was formerly from North Caro-
lina, and was employed by the United States government as
a blacksmith for the Indians, who then inhabited this part
of Illinois, and for several years after settling here he con-
tinued to work for the Indians. Prior to his removal here,
he had built a log house near the present site of A. G. Dan-
forth's residence. It was the only house and his the only
family in or near Washington until 1826. At the time of his
location here, Holland's nearest neighbor was Thomas Cam-
lin who lived on Farm Creek, some three miles east of Peoria.
Camlin was a pleasant gentleman and a good neighbor, al-
ways ready to entertain his guests with spicy stories and
thrilling incidents of his personal adventures with the In-
dians, whom he used to shoot at a distance of one-half to
three-quarters of a mile, and Holland whiled away many a
pleasant evening in his society.
William Holland, Sr., was born in the county of Lincoln,
North Carolina, in 1780. In the year 1815 he removed to
Illinois Territory and settled at Edwards ville, in Madison
county, where he remained three years; then removed xMe-
nard county, where he remained two years, and from thence
to Peoria in 1820. During his long and eventful life he was
married three times, and was the father of twenty-one chil-
dren — fourteen by his first wife and seven by his second
wife. He had eighty-two grandchildren, most of whom are
still living, and fifty great grandchildren. He died at his late
residence in this town on the 27th day of November, A. D.
1871, at the advanced age of ninety-one years. Up to within
a few years of his death he was vigorous in body and in full
possession of his mental faculties. His son, Lawson Holland,
was born in North Carolina, and came here with his parents.
In the spring of 1826 Holland commnced improving a
farm in the northwest quarter of section No. 24, town 26,
range 3 west of the third principal meridian, just east of the
original town of Washington, and embracing a part of Hoi-
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 5
land, Dorsey, Walthan and Robinson's addition to the town.
In 1826 William Thompson came from Ohio and settled
on the farm now occupied by John Johnson, and made some
improvement on it.
The same year William Weeks came from Indiana and
located on the farm now occupied by Peter Portman, and
built a house on it.
The same year John Redman, also of Indiana, settled on
the old Portman place, near Squire Baker's farm.
These four families were the only white inhabitants un-
til 1827, when Ira Crosby of New York came and located on
the place now occupied by James R. Crane, wehre he made
some improvements. He left two sons, Uriah, now of Mor-
ton township, and Nelson.
The same year George Burrow of Tennessee located on
the Peter P. Scott farm, and commenced to improve it, and
William Birkett of Lancaster, England, came and located on
and improved the farm south of town, where lie now resides.
He is one of the few remaining old settlers.
James Holland, a brother of William Holland, Sr., also
from North Carolina, located here, remained for three of four
years, and then removed to Macoupin county.
The little community now numbered eight families.
In 1828 James Harvey came from Ohio and located on
what is known as the Benjamin Kindig farm, one and a-half
miles northwest, of town. He made some improvements on
the land and remainect there until 1834, when he removed
to Deer Creek and improved a farm there, and afterwards
removed to Groveland, where he died in 1859. He left a
large family, of whom only Wesley B. remains here.
In 1829 Peter P. Scott came from Ohio and bought out
the claim of George Burrow, and setted and remained there
until his death in June, 1869. He left a large family, few,
if any, of whom remain in the county. Scott was the only
addition to the little community in that year.
"" Some time in 1880 William Heath came from Ohio and
located in Wrenn's grove, near the present site of Wade T.
Wrenn's residence. He left a family of daughters, of w^hom
Mrs. Adam M. Switzer only resides here.
The same year Henson Thomas, a son-in-law of Heath's,
came from Ohio and located on the farm now occupied by
Mrs. George W. Woodcock, formerly Thomas' wife. He left
two sons, William and Simon H., who still reside in Wash-
The same year James McClure, from Indiana, came and
located, and made improvements upon the farm now occu-
6 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
pied by Orin Castle. He remained in the neighbcrhood until
his death. His son, Hamilton, and perhaps others of his
family, still reside in this vicinity.
There were now thirteen families besides those stopping
temporarily. There were several other settlements in the
county at this time, the nearest being in Deer Creek at'id
Morton townships. Settlements were made in Deer Creek
as early as 1828.
The winter of 1830 and 1831 is memorable on account
of its great snow storm. The snow fell to the depth of three
feet, and was drifted and banked up in many places to the
height of six or eight feet. Most of the wild game perished,
either by being smothered under the snow, or by being cut
off from their base of supplies ; and many of the inhabitants,
scattered over this sparsely settled country, suffered in con-
sequence of this loss of game, upon w'hich they confidently
relied for the animal element of their food — many of them
not having made other provision for this part of their sus-
tenance. But energetic, determined men cannot be foiled,
even by great difficulties. They overcame the obstruction by
the use of snowshoes, which carried them safely over the top
of the drifts to the homes of their more fortunate neighbors
who had a small supply, which they glady divided with the
unfortunates. This exercise of benevolence and sympathy
prevented any great or protracted suffering,
Reuben Bandy came from Kentucky in 1831. and bought
out the claim of Ira Crosby, and settled there. One of the
early marriages in Washington was celebrated at his home
in October, 1833, between Lawson Holland and Elizabeth
Bandy, both still living. The knot matrimonial was tied by
the Rev, Nathan Curtiss, and must have been exceedingly
well done, seeing it has held fast for almost forty-three years,
while many recently tied matrimonial knots have slipped in
a few months, from which we infer they were not well tied.
There may have been other causes, but if so they are too
deep for our comprehension. Be that, as it may, seven more
years will entitle Lawson and Elizabeth to a golden wedding,
wlien and where Lawson will be prepared to entertain his
guests with a much fuller history of the early times of
Washington that we can give, and also to accept such golden
tokens of appreciation as his numerous friends may feel dis-
posed to contribute.
In 1831 Abraham Van Meter came from Kentucky, and
located on the farm now occupied by Adam M. Switzer. He
remained here until his death, in 1868,_ He left a large fam-
ily, some of whom still live in this vicinity.
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 7
During this year the Rev, Nathan Curtiss, a Methodist
minister, located on the farm now occupied by W. T. Higgins,
biult a house, and made other improvements. He hved here
for several years. Three of his daughters, Mrs. Peter Filer,
Mrs. Charles Kern and Mrs. Wheaton, still live in this vicinity.
In the fall of 1831 Col. Benjamin Mitchell came from
Louden county, Virginia, and built a house on the farm now
occupied by Wade T. Wrenn, near the south ine of Wrenn's
grove. He was an active, energetic citizen. He was elected
to the legislature in 1834, where he served with distinction,
and was elected to the state senate in 1836. He died in 1840.
He was succeeded in the senate by Major R. N. Cullom.
The next year added quite a number of immigrants,
among who was John Durham from Baltimore, Maryland.
He occupied the dwelling in which William Witte now^ resides,
and was, for a long time, proprietor of the firs t saw mill
operated here. He now lives in Peoria.
About this time Phihp Varble and Elias Slaughter from
Hardin county, Kentucky, and Jonathan and Thomas Reed
from Indiana, and Walter and Thomas Birkett from Lanca-
shire, England, located here and improved farms south of
John Johnson also came in this year. He came here from
Schuyler county, in this state, to which place he had emi-
grated from Ohio while Illinois was yet a territory. He is
one of the oldest settlers of Illinois now living here. He
located upon the farm on which he now' resides.
The Rev. Richard B. McCorkle, from North Carolina, was
one of the immigrants of this year. He located on the
Huguet farm, nortliwst of town.
The country now began to fill up rapidly by immigration
from the older states and other parts of this state, but the
addition of their names would unnecessarily prolong this
As abeady stated, William Holland, Sr., built the first
house and improved the first farm in the vicinity of Wash-
The second house in the town was build by William
Weeks, on the farm now occupied by Peter Portman. It was
built in the southeast corner of the orchard.
The third house was built by Charles S, Dorsey, who
emigrated here from Kentucky in 1831, on the site of the
Corwin place, south of Peoria street. It was occupied by
Dorsey as a dwelling and store. In it was exhibited the first
stock of goods offered for sale in Washington, consisting of
8 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
dry goods, groceries, boots and shoes, etc., etc. The goods
were purchased by Dorsey in St. Louis.
The above were all log houses.
The fourth house was also built by Dorsey, on the pres-
ent site of Dr. Allen s block. It was a one story frame house,
the first frame house ever erected in Washington. It was
covered and sided with clap-boards, and occupied 16 by 36
or 40 feet of ground. It was doubtless a marvel of architec-
ture in its time, and was used as a dwelhng, tavern and bar.
The fifth building erected was built by Jehu Linley, and
used by him as a store room, he having purchased the stock
of goods brought to town by Dorsey. That building still
stands and is now used by Thomas Handsaker as the office
of the Washington Herald. The carpenter work was done by
Robert Smith, one of Washington's first carpenters.
The sixth building was a log house, built by Mr. Straight,
near the present site of Kingsbury & Snyder's grocery store.
The seventh building was a one and a-half story log
house, built by Samuel Hawkins, on the north end of H. L.
Price's lot, used as a dwelling.
The eighth building was a two story frame, built by
Dorsey, on the present site of Anthony & Denhart's bank.
It was used by August Whipple as a dry goods store. This
was the second store opened in Washington.
Dorsey was one of the active business men connected
with Washington's early history. We fi.id his name figuring
in all its earlier enterprises, and connected with one of its
All of the above mentioned buildings were erected prior
In 1834 William Holland, Sr., laid out the original town
of Washington— being a part of that part of town lying east
of Main street.
The first building erected in the original town plat was
put up by Joseph Kelso, Sr., in April, 1834, shortly after his
arrival here from Indiana. It was built upon the lot now
occupied bv Mrs. Catherine McGinnis. Kelso and a Mr.
Wagoner had purchased three lots of Holland for one dollar
and fifty cents each, upon a year's credit. That part of the
town was heavily timbered, and much valuable timber grew
in the street in front of those lots, which, by agreement, the
person building the first house would be entitled to use, so
Kelso and Wagoner settle^ the question of who should build
first, by lot. Fortune, as usual, favored Uncle Joe, and he
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 9
Kelso not only built the first house in the original town,
but also opened one of the first farms wholly in the prairie,
the other settlers having clung to the timber. No doubt they
regarded him as a radical innovator, if not a hero. Present
experience, however, approves his judgment.
The same season. Styles and Titus Hungerford built the
house now occupied by Elias Benford, known as the Sherman
This brings our narrative down to 1835, where we will
leave this branch of it for the present.
We have already shown that William Holland, Sr., was
the first settler, the first to build a house and improve a farm,
and we find him also the first mechanic. As such he carried
on a blacksmith shop from liis first induction into the coun-
try for several years. He did a general blacksmith business,
and also repaired guns not only for the white inhabitants,
but also for the Indians, who were then numerous in this
part of the state. His was the only shop in town prior to
1835, when Brazilla Allee built the large two-story frame
building on Main street, in which his widow, Mrs. Sarah
Allee, resides. Allee used part of the building for a black-
smith shop, and William Spencer used a part of it as a wagon
shop. This was the first shop in town in which wagons were
manufactured. Prior to this time, the few wagons used here
were imported. In those early days wagons were a luxury
not enjoyed by every one, and the owner of a wagon was
considered particularly fortunate. Traveling was done on
foot or on horseback, and hauling principally on sleds. Some,
however, of the more ingenious citizens, constructed a home-
m.ade substitute for a wagon by sawing wheels out of a log
of v/ood and adjusting them to a rude gearing made with an
ordinary chopping ax.
Shortly after his arrival here Peter P. Scott opened a
blacksmith shop near his residence, which he carried on for
The manufacture of tinware was first commenced here
in 1848, by Charles S. N. Anthony. Before that time tin-
ware, stoves and stove pipe were brought hei'e and sold by
The first grist mill was built by William Holland, Sr.,
in 1827. It was on the Holland homestead, west of his
dwelling. It was run by horse-power, and was called a band
mill. It was the only one in the neighborhood — its nearest
competitor being located at Elkhart Grove, 60 miles distant.
It consisted of one run of burrs; they were procured in Peo-
ria for $60, and oui- informant thinks they were manufac-
10 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
tured there. These band mills were an institution in "those
days." They were a cheap, simple contrivance in fact, but
stil quite expensive when we consider the small amount of
money possessed by those pioneers. The mill consisted of
one large wheel, the hub or nave of which was a log of wood
eight or ten feet long, hewed eight square, set in a perpen-
dicular position, and supported with numerous arms or
spokes. The lower end was secured by a pivot, on which it
turned, to another timber fastened in the ground, the upper
end being secured in like manner to a timber above. The
arms or spokes were each supplied with several movable pins
and constituted an adjustabe rim upon which the band,
made of untanned cow hides cut into strips one and a-half
to two inches wide and rolled into a rope, was stretched. The
band was attached directly to the trundle-head by being
wound three times around it — this latter precaution was
taken to prevent loss of power by the slipping of the band.
The numerous pins in the arms were used to take up the
slack caused by the stretching quality of the band. The
horse or horses used were attached to levers framed into the
hub. They worked under the arms, which were several feet
from the ground. The wheel, when ready for use, resembled
an enormous clothes reel about forty feet in diameter. The
bolting was done by hand. The flour produced by this pro-
cess was a cross betwen the Extra-Quadruple X flour of to-
day and ordinary graham flour, and no doubt was healthy
and nutritious. The owner of the mill did not supply the
power — the person using it had to furnish the horses. Many
persons came fifty miles to this mill, and sometimes had to
wait two weeks for their grinding.
The first flour, however, made in Washington was made
by Lawson Holland, Esq., in 1826 or 1827. It was produced
by breaking the wheat with a pestle in a mortar and sifting
through a hand sieve. The mortar was made by excavating
or hollowing out one end of a log of wood, resembling a
butcher's block, the other end of which rested firmly on the
ground. The pestle was a heavy piece of round timber, the
lower end of which was shaped to fit the excavation in the
mortar, the upper end being fastened to a spring-pole, which
aided in raising the weight of the pestle. Near the lower end
of this pestle were four cross pins or handles for the use of
the operators. This pestle seems to have been designed on
the principle of a perpendicular battering ram. The idea
was, perhaps, borrowed from the ancients. The hand seive
spoken of was not the ordinary wire seive of these times.
It was peculiar to those early days. It M^as made by draw-
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON. ILL. 11
ing a fawn skin tightly across a wooden hoop Uke a drum
head, and perforating the skin with a hot iron rod the size
desired. Through these holes in the skin the finer particles
of the broken grain escaped during the shaking process.
What remained in the seive was returned to the mortar and
repounded, and then sifted again until all the flour was sepa-
rated from the bran. By this tedious process Lawson pro-
duced the flour mentioned.
The band mill spoken of was the only kind of mill in this
part of the country until 1836 or 1837, when William Kern
built a flouring mill near the site of Jacquin's brewery. As
a financial venture this first mill proved a failure.
The next flouring mill was built by A. H. Danforth & Co.
in 1845. It was the first brick building erected in Washing-
ton. The bricks used in its structure were made by Danforth,
near the site of the mill. The building still stands and is
operated by Wells and John Asa Andrews. This mill, unlike
its immediate predecessor, seems to have been a financial
Although this was the first brick building in the town,
bricks had been manufactured here by Hamilton Riddle as
early as 1837, They were used for building chimneys, cel-
The first school taught in Washington was a subscription
school. It was taught by George H. Shaw, now of Shaw's
Grove, who was traveling through the country prospecting
and stopped for the night with William Holland, Sr., where,
owing to the severity of the weather — it being winter — he
remained till spring. Holland soon discovered Shaw's fitness
to teach, and engaged him to teach, and gave him, as com-
pensation, his board, washing, and horse feed. Rather slen-
der compensation, as it made no provision for clothing. Af-
ter engaging the teacher, the next thing was a school house,
which wasjiuilt by Holland and his few neighbors in a day
or two. It was a log house, such as was called in those days
a single cabin, 16x18 feet. They seated it with split logs, the
writing desks being constructed of similar material, and
lighted it by sawing out part of one log at each end and
pasting greased paper over the aperture or opening. This
greased paper, while not highly transparent, admitted some
light, and kept the wind out. This school was taught in the
winter of 1827 ^nd 1828. The house was afterwards used
by Lawson Holland as a dwelling. Holland subsequently em-
ployed Shaw as surveyor whe nhe laid out the original town.
The second school in this vicinity was taught by Eli Red-
man, a brother of John Redman, before mentioned. The
12 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
house in which it was taught was built by Wilham Weeks, as
a residence, on the Portman farm. Like its predecessor, it
was a subscription school, and was only kept during the win-
ter of 1828 and 1829. It numbered among its pupils W. B.
Harvey, Esq., Lawson Holland, Mrs. H. Riddle and Matthew
In 1830, John Berry taught a school in a log house on
the farm now occupied by Squire Baker, near the burying
ground on Baker's farm. This was the first house built and
used for a school house longer than one term. It was suc-
ceeded by the district school house, built in 1837 or 1838, on
the site of the west school house in Washington, and was the
only school house in the neighborhood up to that time.
The first religious society here was organized by Jesse
Walker, a Methodist preacher, in 1828 or 1829. Their first
meeting was held at William Holland's, whose family and the
family of James Harvey constituted most of the society at
that time. Holland and Harvey were the ony male members.
Their meetings were held in Holland's house for the first few
years, then at other private houses until the public school
house was built, in which they held their meetings until 1840
or 1841, when they built the old church near the corner of
Main and Jefferson streets, now used by Sickler & Zaneis as
a carpenter shop. This society now owns the most valuable
church building in town, but those first members have all
In 1832 the Christian church was organized here by the
Rev. Richard B. McCorkle, in the school house on the Squire
Baker farni. Of its first members we find the names of Rev.
R. B. McCorkle and wife, James McClure and wife and John
Johnson and wife. It was the second church organization in
Washington. Up to this* time the Methodist had enjoyed full
control in religious matters. From this time forward the
two seem to have kept even pace, and are still among our
most numerous and influential religious societies, showing, as
we think, that in spiritual matters as well as temporal, much
is gained by a good start. This denomination erected the old
brick church now used by the German Lutherans, and is still
the only brick church building in the town. Of these first
members only John Johnson and wife remain.
The Presbyterian church of Washington was organized
on the 16th day of November, 1834, by Rev. Flavel Bascum
and Leonard Foster, a committee of the Presbytery of Sanga-
mon, appointed for the purpose, at the request of sundry in-
dividuals residing at Holland's Grove. The meeting for the
organization was held at Dorsey's store. Among the articles
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 13
kept for sale by Dorsey were various kinds of liquors, which,
during the organization of the church, were concealed from
view by suspending a tablecloth from the upper shelf in front
of the bottles. The following named persons united in the
organization: Henry Kice, Mary Kice, John J. Tool, Eliza-
beth Tool, Horace Blair, Rebecca L. Blair, EHzabeth Ried,
Charlotte Berrghet, David Gibson and Mary Gibson, of whom
David Gibson and Horace Blair were elected ruling elders.
From this germ has grown the present Presbyterian church
of Washington. The seats of all these members of the first
organization are now vacant.
There were some Baptists here as early as 1831, but
their church was not formally organized until 1835. Prior
to that time they attended church at Tremont, where they
had a church organization, and a Baptist minister named
Babcock preached here occasionally. Mr. Abraham Van
Meter and wife and their son, William C., now extensively
and popularly known throughout this country, Matthew and
Martha Crane, and Mr. Sherman and wife were of its first
members. The minister officiatmg at its organization was the
Rev. Thomas Brown, and of these first members the name of
Mrs. Martha Crane only appears on its church roll.
These four were the only churches organized here up to
1838, and are, therefore, the only ones that come within the
purview of our narrative. In addition to these four, we now
have two Lutheran, one German Methodist or Evangelical
Protestant, and one Catholic church.
The first marriage in the neighborhood was Mr. James
Hendricks and Miss Sallie Redm.an, a daughter of John Red-
man. It was solemnized sometime in 1829 or 1830, but
whether by a minister of the Gospel or a justice of the peace
we are not informed.
The first funeral was that of a child of Henson Thomas.
It was buried in the graveyard on the Squire Baker farm.
The funeral services were performed by Rev. Zaddock Hail,
now residing in Woodford county, and well known to this
The first adult buried here was a Mr. Pembrock, a
stranger who had stopped on account of illness at the resi-
dence of William Heath, where he died. He was buried in
the burying ground above mentioned.
The first physician that located here was Dr. R. T. Good-
win. He came from Vermont in 1832, where he had studied
medicine with Dr. G. P. Wood. He was a successful physi-
cian, and also a good business man. He and Dr. G. P. Wood
were for several years partners in business, and were the
14 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
proprietors of Goodwin & Wood's addition to Washington.
Goodwin is still living and practicing his profession at Dun-
dee, Kendall county, Illinois.
Previous to Goodwin's location here each man was his
own doctor, and the principle medicine used was white wal-
nut bark. It was peeled upward if desired as an emetic, and
downward if its cathartic effect was required. Boneset, also,
was used as a remedy for "fever and ager".
In 1833 James Pfuggins came from North Carolina. He
had learned wagon-making in the same shop in which Hol-
land worked at blacksmithing. He Hved here for many years
and practiced medicine. In 1860 he removed to Peoria, and
died til ere in 1870. He and Holland both lived to be old m.en
without any break in their early friendship.
Dr. G. P. W^ood removed here from Vermont in 1835, and
formed a business partnership with Dr. Goodwin. They prac-
ticed their profession with marked success, but the history
and services of Dr. Wood are too well and favorably known
here to require more than the mention of his name. He died
here in 1871. He left a large family, all living in this vicinity.
Dr. R. W. Burton came from Kentucky and settled here in
1838. He practiced his profession, and also kept a stock of
drugs and medicines. His was the first regular drug store
opened in Washington. He was a spirited citizen, and took
an active part in all of the enterprises undertaken by the citi-
zens. He died here in 1859, leaving a large family, many of
whom still reside here.
The first lawyer to gain a foothold in this new commun-
ity was Thornton Walker, from Virginia. At what precise
time he came, or how long he remained, our informant does
not know ; nor have we any farther reliable information in re-
gard to him. We therefore deem it fail- to presume he was
a fair representative of the profession, and that in his fre-
quent tussels with justice he dealt it many staggering blows,
from which it will probably never recover. Of course, like
lawyers in all ages of the world, he sympathized with villiany
and defended wrong from choice, but could be hired to do
right for a money consideration. Upon what community he
inflicted his baneful practices after leaving this one, we can
not say. So rejoiced were the people to be rid of him that
they kept no reckoning of his future course. Peace be to his
In 1829 William Holland and William Thompson were
elected to the oflice of justice of the peace for this precinct.
They were among the first elected in this county. Their ter-
ritorial jurisdiction were co-extensive with the boundaries of
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 15
the county, which then embraced a broad expanse of terri-
tory east of the IlUnois river and extended northward to
Chicago and southward to Jacksonville.
The first constable elected was Jonathan Hodge of Stout's
The first member of the board of county commissioners
from this place was James Harvey. He was succeeded by
Benjamin Mitchell, to whom we shall have occasion to refer
hereafter. Prior to this time, however, and while this was
part of Peoria county, William Holland was a member of the
board of county commissioners.
The first land sales for this district were held in Spring-
field in 1830 or 1831. Prior to that date no title could be ac-
quired to any land in the district. The settlers, however,
recognized the justice of securing to each of their number
the benefit of his labor, and gave effect to this idea by ap-
pointing one of their number, Col. Benjamin Mitchell, agent
or registrar of claims. By this arrangement, and the paying
of twenty-five cents to the registrar, each applicant secured
the registration of his claim, and the right to buy the land
he had improved w^hen it came into market. This gave the
lands a commercial value in the hands of the holder, and also
enabled the person making the cUiim to sell and transfer it,
if he so desired. These claims soon became an important item
in the limited commerce of these early times — the other items
of which were grain, beef and pork. The principle purchasers
were immigrants, most of whom had little if any money, but
labor and good promises passed current at par, the latter be-
ing secured by the honor of the promissor. They were usual-
ly religiously observed. Indeed, men usually make much of
their honor when it is their only stock in trade. Still, we are
inclined to think that the p^) rata of iionesty was really
greater in those days than now, and for the following reasons:
These men were not speculators or fortune huntei's, but earn-
est men, seeking homes in the virgin soil of the Great West,
and, actuated by this generous impulse, honesty was the
The trade in those da>s consisted chiefly in the direct ex-
change of commodities. There being but little money the
community had no use for middle-men, of whom so much
compaint is now made. They found no place among these
eary settlers, and perhaps the surest way to rid the country
of them would be to abandon money and commerce, and roll
the tide of human progress back half a century, adopt the
primitive habits of the early settlers, and thus elfectually
16 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
We know but little of the social habits of the people in
those days, except what may be inferred from the facts and
circumstances above stated. Their appreciation of education
is shown in their efforts to establish schools, temporary at
first, but finally permanent. Their religious zeal is shown by
their successful efforts in establishing churches, and their
Christian liberality by the number and variety of them. Nor
are we informed in regard to the amusements indulged in by
the young folks; but, being young folks, we have no doubt
they found many ways of robbing Old Time of loneHness. It
would be unfair to suppose them, especially the ladies, desti-
tute of fashionable aspirations, but the means for gaudy dis-
play were very much circumscribed in those days. The male
attire consisted chiefly of buckskin, or home-spun cloth, — we
might add home-woven, the loom being far more common in
or near their rude huts than the piano or organ They were
not, however, destitute of musical taste, and many of their
vocal performances would compare favorably with our pres-
ent choirs. We may safely say they sang with the spirit.
Most of the ladies, also, wore home-spun, which they manu-
factured from wool, flax, cotton and the bark or lint of the
nettle, colored with such ingredients as nature provided, with-
out the aid of art ; a few adopted buckskin. How many yards
of the latter article were required for a fashionable dress in
those times, or in what particular style they were cut and
trimmed, we are not informed, and must leave the ladies to
draw their own conclusions. These dresses certainly were
durable, and shielded the wearer in outdoor exercises incident
to the planting, attending and gathering of the crops — in
which pursuits the ladies in all new countries assist. Another
of the prevailing fashions was that of carrying firearms, made
necessary by the presence ig the neighborhood of roving
bands of Indians, most of whom were ostensibly friendly, but
like Indians in all times, treacherous and unreliable. These
tribes were principally Pottawattamies. There w^ere, also, in
the north part of the state, several tribes of hostile Indians,
ready at any time to make a murderous, thieving raid upon
the white settlers, and an Indian war at any time was an ac-
cepted probability, and these old settlers today have a vivid
i-ecoflection of the Black Hawk and other Indian wars. And,
while target practice was much induged in as an amusement,
it was also necessary for a proper self-defense, the settlers
finding it necessary, at times, to carry their guns with them
when they went to hoe their corn. In some instances their
guns were stacked around them, and then moved the guns to
a certain position and again proceeded with their work.
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 17
These were only a few of the hardships incident to pioneer
life, which was largely made up of privations, inconveniences
and dangers. They had few labor-saving machines, and no
reliable market. Each communication by letter with their
distant friends and relatives was rendered difficult for the
want of proper mail facilities, and sometimes for the want of
money to pay the postage on the letters sent to them — the
postage then being twenty-five cents for one single letter,
many of which remained in the office for weeks on account of
the inability of the persons to whom they were addressed to
pay the demanded postage. But time has changed all these
things, and in the short pace of fifty years we have grown
from a handful of hardy pioneers to be a populous, thriving,
energetic community, with all the improvements and ad-
vantages of an old settled country, and a town unsurpassed
for business, considering the capital invested, by any in the
country, while our surplus products are enough to supply
some of the petty kingdoms of the old world.
Early History Biographical Sketch of
David Kindig Written by Himself
Benjamin Kindig, born 1783, married Hester Witmer,
born 1785. (Parents of David Kindig born in Lancaster
county, Pa.), married in 1807, moved to Va. in 1811.
My mother died in Va, in 1824. My father married again
in Va. to Abigail Patterson. In 1833 moved to Illinois. My
step-mother died in 1835. My father again married, Betsy
Page, of Metamoi-a, 111. My father died in 1856 and my
second step-mother died in 1871.
My own mother had four daughters and three sons: Ben-
jamin, Esther, Mary, Matta, David, Leah and Henry, David
and Leah yet living. My step-mother had three daughters
and two sons: Betsy, Anna, Samuel, Susan and Emanuel.
Samuel, Susan and Emanuel yet survive.
Benjamin Kindig had eight brothers: Emanuel, Joseph,
Isaac, Martin, Samuel, John, Abraham, Henry, and two sis-
ters: Mary, Leah. All deceased.
David Kindig, born in Augusta country, Va., Sept. 12,
1816. Home, Washington, Tazewell county. 111. The follow-
ing are the sisters and brothers living: Leah Grove in Wash-
ington, (state), Samuel Kindig in Mo., Susan Kindig in Neb,,
Emanuel Kindig in Iowa.
18 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
A little remarkable, each one in a different state.
(David Kindig was married twice; his first wife was a
McCord and his second a Conn. The following were the chil-
dren, all by his first wife: Virginia, who became the wife of
John Wilson of Washington; Liza Zane, who married a Mc-
Murtrey and lived in Missouri; Zura, who lives in Kansas City
and never married ; Laura, who married Gila Mapes and lived
in Kansas City, son of a former Christian minister who lived
in Washington; Marion, who married a Nesmith, sister of
Chas. L. Nesmith, and lives in Kansas. Miss Zura and Marion
are the surviving children).
David Kindig, with his parents, also Andrew Cress,
moved to 111. with one four-horse wagon, one three-horse
wagon, one one-horse carry-all. (But it failed to carry all).
We started for Holland's Grove, Tazewell county. 111.
TraveHng west, we passed through the Warm and White
Sulphur Springs, crossed the Alleghany Mountains to the
Ohio river 255 miles. Crossing the Big Sandy river at its
mouth over into Kentucky, passing through Lexington,
Frankford, and on to Louisville, on the Ohio river. Crossed
the river into New Albany, Indiana, thence to Vincennes, on
the Wabash, thence to Vandalia, 111., thence to Springfield, 111.,
then a small village, it being the last one we saw until we
saw Peoria. We inquired for the Fort Clark road and as we
came on we inquired for Holland's Grove.
We landed on the farm where Christian Engle now fives,
(near the Union cemetery) , on the 22d of Oct. 1833, distance
of 800 miles, being on the road seven weeks, or 49 days, camp-
ing one tent and wagons.
When we came here we found William Holland and John
Linley. Linley had a twin cabin, lived in one, had store and
postolfice in the other. Dorsey Van Meter on the Switzer
place. North where Peter Portman now lives ; Heath and Cur-
tis in the grove, the Higgins and Wrenn places. The Banta's,
Peter P. Scott, John Johnson, McCorkle, Henson Thomas,
Mitchel. Dr. Goodwin and Wood, (Dr. Wood's father), James
Harvey, (Squire Harvey's father).
My father purchased of James Harvey the farm which
A. J. Cress and loeger now occupy. 160 acres deeded land,
160 acres timlier claim three miles west of that, also 80 acres
where the cabin stood. Compensation, 900 dollars. Other
settlers were John Bromfield, (they being the only family we
knew here). Peter Chne, now Andrew Gongloff farm. Zea-
dock Hall, also William Hester, in what was then called Rag-
ged Grove, now John Weeks.
Looking back 56 years we find but three of those old
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 19
settlers living, namely: Mr. Z. Hall, now of Kansas, and Mrs.
John Johnson of Iowa Also Mrs. Adam Switzer of Washing-
When we came here we got a cabin on the Huguet place,
stayed three weeks; then William Berry came from south
part of the state and occupied it. We built a shanty by roll-
ing two lo|?^s together, ten feet distance, covering with clap-
boards. Besides this shanty we had a tent and wagon. We
moved in, living in those three weeks, until we built a log
house, now standing in A. J. Cress's yard. We hauled lum-
ber from Camlen's water mill on Farm creek east of Peoria.
John Lowman's father made the shingles. Later we laid the
upper floor with hnn plank procured from J. J. Banta's saw
mill, run by hand, being the only saw mill in this part of the
country in those days. Our next lumber was made at a
st#m saw mill that Dunham built on Farm creek just south
oflJie R. R. bridge west of Washington. The first mill I went
to, and all the mill here, was in the grove where John Weeks
now lives. Hester had a corn cracker. The mill was a novel-
ty. It stood in a scoket, a shaft twelve feet long with a truck
wheel run on the ground by means of a shaft, turning the
stone, and, when the horses went around the mill, the hopper
and all went around on its own axis.
Our nearest flour mill was at Pleasant Grove ; that, too,
was a horse mill — eight horse power. Father bought some
timothy hay and sheaf oats in stack near the mill. A. Cress
and myself would go f ^r hay, take a grist and giind at night,
return with our hay next day. We got along very well so
long as the ground was frozen, but we left our load until the
ground thawed out. What then? We went for the balance
of the oats. On one occasion Cress sent me ahead to find a
good place to cross a slough. As I was not posted on sloughs,
I said here is a dry place — where there had been no travel.
He started on a run, but when he came to the opposite bank
he was thei'e, hub deep. We unloaded our oats, and four
horses could scarcely pull out the empty wagon. That was
our first introduction to a slough. We always knew what a
slough was after that.
Well, about the first of Feb. 1834, we commenced mak-
ing maple sugar, and continued for six weeks. On one occa-
sion my neighbor, John Bromfield, and myself was left to at-
tend the camp one night. One kettle would boil over in spite
of all we could do. He said to me, get a bacon rind and he
would stop it running over. (All right 1 said). He greased
the kettle near the top, then he sent me for some assafoedita.
He said he was sick, and wanted to make a pill. By the time I
20 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
came back he said we will have to stir this sugar off; it was
burning-. We commenced dipping it out. Ycu better believe
it stuck to every vessel, black as tar. Kettle was red hot.
We dashed a bucket of cold water in, then we heard a racket.
That was my first sugar making.
Well, we had plows that would shove the ground around
— wooden mould boards. Father would stalk his and some
of his neighbors' plows. At one time father and I were
plowing — he said we would try an experiment. At noon lie
cleaned off his plow; said he would bring a bacon rind and
grease it. We went about six feet and it stuck; he cleaned
and greased again, started — stuck again. Said I, a little more
On the 20th of June, 1834, Andrew Cress married my
sister, Mary, and commenced housekeeping on the farm where
his son, Calvin Cress, now lives. He and wife lived and died
on the same farm they first settled on.
Well, we lived a frontier life for 20 years, raised tiax
and wool to make out clothing. The land was not in market
then. Came into market in the fall of 1838. Then the rub.
We had no money and money was hard to get. No sale for
stock. The best horse would not bring $30; best cow not $5
in cash. I had raised some wheat and oats. I took wheat to
the river mill, then took the flour and peddled it out in Peoria.
I sold some oats there and received a little money I borrowed
some from John Linley, paying 60 per cent interest. (Some
paid 100 per cent). I bought eighty acres where I now live
and a piece of timber. My home is the only piece of land
that has not changed hands to my knoweldge.
The neighbors all went together to Springfield with their
teams, taking feed and provision; was at Springfield three
days. We employed Stephen A. Douglas to call off our lands
as they were put up for sale. In some cases speculators would
bid against settlers. We all plotted together to prevent it.
Mr. Henry Kice (father of John Kice, in Washington) was a
large man, weighing 330 lbs. He was standing in the crowd
with a large club or cane. He remarked if any man bid on
his claim they would feel the weight of that stick. I heard
a number remark, you see that large man with that stick. I
would not like for him to give me a lick with it. But we all
got our land in peace — those that had the money. In sell-
ing land they would commence in section one ne section, in
town 26, range 3, w of the third principal meridian, offer the
e Vz neqr sec 1, etc., etc. How much I hear for it, bid $1,25 —
who will give more? If no bid, would be sold. Pass on to
the next w y^, same qr., and so on until the section was sold.
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 21
Then to the next, etc. We all v/ere happy when we got our
lands, came home rejoicing and have been happy ever since.
In 1845 the brick mill at Washington was built. In 1846
I assisted in hauling the pine lumber from Chicago to com-
plete the inside work. Asa Danforth & Co. hired teams to
go to Chicago for lumber. Load with wheat and reload with
lumber. The round trip would cost fifteen dollars. Board
yourself and team. A trip would occupy from 10 to 12 days.
I hauled a load of my own wheat there and sold it for 621^
cents per bushel. I loaded back with lumber at $1.00 per hun-
dred feet. Could buy best clear lumber for $10 per thousand.
The first Christian church built in Washington was a
brick, built in 1851, now occupied by the German Lutherans.
William Holland laid out the town of Washington in 1834.
On Nov. 28, 1869, the second Christian church was dedi-
cated. This house burned Feb. 17, 1870, by defective flue.
Another and third building was erected which was dedicated
Aug. 28, 1870, and Oct. 29, 1876, was also burned; this time
by lightning. But the congregation, not disheartened, erected
another, and on eluly 29, 1877, it was dedicated. Whole ex-
pense on the several houses was near $32,000.00.
I will state here that in the fall of 1834 there were several
accidents happened. One was a stranger, came to 111. He got
work at Jonathan Reed's, living on the Brown farm now
owned by Witmer Kern. He went to the timber to haul rails
out onto the prairie, and in coming down a short hill, by
some means the team became frightened and ran away.
When found he was lying in the road dead, the wagon having
passed over him. The team w^as found not far ofi:' tangled
up, there being four horses. The stranger was buried in the
grave yard on Squire Baker's farm. The other accident was
a daughter of Mr. Heath, (sister of Mrs. Adam Switzer) then
living in the grove now^ occupied by Mr. Wrenn. It happened
thus: There was a long school house built near the grave
yard on the land now owned by Squire Baker. This girl, with
others, was seated at the desk facing a window east. The
Banta family lived some thi'ee hundred yards due east from
school house. Cornelius Banta had been having typhoid
fever and ague. One day he took the gun and went out to
kill a squirrel. He found one sitting on a tree 200 yards from
the school house. He shot direct north, the school house be-
ing west of him. When he shot the ball struck a limb or
something and glanced, going direct through the window and
striking this girl in The head. Old Drs. Wood and Goodwin
were called. They i-emoved the ball (as supposed) from under
the scalp, believing the trouble was all over, but not so; the
22 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
patient grew worse. They summoned a doctor from Pekin in
company with the doctors here, returned, made another ex-
amination, and found that part of the ball had passed through
the skull. Found it between the skull and Hning of the brain.
After removing the remainder of ball and piece of bone, the
patient got well. Some thought the ball was spHt passing
through the glass; others when it struck the skull bone. I
should judge the latter. This young lady afterwards became
the wife of George Gipson of El Paso. Sorry to say this ac-
cident broke up the school. The teacher, (being a stranger),
left for parts unknown.
When we came to this state in 1833 there were no In-
dians here, but there were many signs of where they had
had their wigwams; also many ladders sitting up against
trees where they had cut holes in trees to catch coons and
get honey. Their ladders were made thus:
They would cut a sapling and leave the natural limbs
about one and one-half feet long for handholds, resting one
end on the ground and the other against the tree. In speak-
ing of Indians, when we came to Illinois I never saw any
heie, nor was I in the Black Hawk war, but I saw the old
Indian chief. Black Hawk, in Richmond, Va., when they were
on their way to Washington, D. C. That was in the summer
of 1833. He was tall with a sharp, keen eye; had rings in
his ears and one in his nose, and had a blanket around his
shouldeis, and was a fair representation of his picture. There
was plenty of small game here of all kinds, but nothing
larger than a deer. I have killed some of all kinds except a
wild goose; I never could get one although I have shot at
them flying, standing, far and near, with ball and shot, and
in every instance I would make the feathers fly. I remember
of my brother-in-law, J. Grove, and I going into the timber
deer-hunting and we did not go very far until we got sight
of one. It came up the hollow and when within one hundred
and fifty years Grove shot and missed it. It ran direct to-
ward us and Grove said, "Dave, shoot!" Snap. "Dave,
shoot!" Snap. By this time it was within fifteen yards of
me, "Dave, shoot!" Bang. It ran 125 yds. and fell. Grove got
to it and caught it by the horns to hold it down ; when I got
there I jumped on it. No sooner on than off. It just sent
me kiting; naturally stripped my overcoat and powder horn
off of me. That was my first introduction, but we got it all
the same; weighed 125 pounds. I had an old flint-lock rifle
that came from Blue Ridge, Va., was at least fifty years old,
but had killed more deer and bear than it was years old. I
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 23
must relate a trip that J. B. McCorkle and myself made to
Washington, Washington county, Towa, in 1839, eighteen
miles from the Indian Territory. We went horse-back. We
stopped with his uncle, John Berry, twelve miles west of the
Mississippi river. Berry, wishing to entertain his company,
concluded he must have some fresh meat, so he went out
among his stock hogs saying he was fond of lean meat. Af-
ter dressing it, said he, "this is the first hog-hide I ever
salted down." Well, if you believe me, you could hold it up
to the sun and read a newspaper through it, providing there
had been a hole.
When we came to Washington, Iowa, we met a friend
from Illinois. He invited us home with him, saying if you
can fare as we do you are welcome. I answered I could put
up with what any one else could. When we came to the
house, it reminded me of a story about the traveler traveling
He came to a Hoosier's nest,
Or, in other words a buckide cabin;
Just large enough to hold queen madron.
He took the stranger's horse aside.
And to a sturdy sapling tied.
And in stripping the saddle off
He fed him in a sugar-trough.
The stranger stooped to enter in
The entrance closing with a pin.
It being his heart's desire
To seat himself by a log heap fire.
There he saw a half-dozen Hoosierons
With mush and milk, tea cup and spoons,
^ White heads, bare feet, and dirty faces,
All desired to keep their places.
One side was lined with linen garments,
On the othe:- side hung skins of var-nents;
Over head pumpkins were strung
Where venison ham in plenty hung.
Two rifles were placed above the door,
Two big dogs stretching on the floor.
And so forth and so on.
This cabin was not laden with venison, but like all new-
commers just commencing a good big fire and the old lady
spinning rolls on a little wheel. The family consisted of two
• old people, two young ladies, two young men, two children,
my friend and 1. There was only one bed in the house. I
did not know how we could all sleep. Only one room and
that so small, had to move the table out doors after each
24 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
meal. For supper we had no coffee, but instead we had po-
tato soup in tin cups with spoons in each. My friend sipped
his, found no coffee and pushed it back. I was all right for
I was fond of potato soup. Presently the old gentleman
came in with gun, prairie chicken and a wallet of corn meal ;
had been to a hand mill. That evening passed off by the
old man telling hunting stories. He said one time he shot
a squirrel in the head; it fell from the tree, jumped up and
lan up the tree (quack quack) ; he shot again when lo! and
behold he had shot its brains out the first shot. I told him
I did not dispute his word, but that was a big story to tell.
At another time he killed an oppossum, stripped the hide off
and threw it away. It jumped up and ran off. I again told
him that I did not dispute his word, but that was a big story
to tell. Finally it came bed time. They had a knack of stow-
ing them away; first, two children in the foot of the bed,
then two old folks occupied the rest of that bed. What next ?
The girls made a pallet on the floor for my friend and I.
There was about four feet of my friend run out at the foot.
I, being short, was all right. I got between him and the
fire. The girls drew out a trundle bed and occupied that.
The young men went up a ladder, near the comb; two poles
were laid across one end of the cabin with clapboards laid
on; had a bunk there. Next morning we had horse-mint tea
for breakfast. My friend let his tea stand; we then struck
for home. He said he would rather pay $2.50 for lodging
than to have that for nothing.
In the spring of 1842 Mr. John Brady and myself made
a trip to Augusta county, Va., on horse-back. We were on
the road three weeks, and it cost us only $15, and we did not
steal either, but we sponged off our friends. We imagined
we could not travel unless we carried a weapon of defense,
so I traded a load of corn for a brace of pistols about six
inches long, (you may know they were dangerous). We car-
ried them loaded until we reached Indianapolis, Indiana, with-
out any occasion to use them. We concluded to shoot them
off, fearing they might I'ust. We made a mark on a large
gum tree from five to six feet through, went five paces back,
fired two shots, missed the gum. Brady said we might as
well throw them away; if we could not hit as large a mark
we could not hit a man. We never reloaded them. I re-
mained in Virginia until fall, returning with brother, Benja-
min, when he moved to Illinois in 1842.
I was married January 13, 1844, to Elizabeth McCord.
Five children, Virginia, Eliza Jane, Missouri, Laura and
Marian. In April, 1856, my wafe died, leaving me with five
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 25
small children. In the year 1857 I was again married to Miss
Ellen Conn of Fayette county, Penn. Before I was first mar-
ried I broke prairie four summers with four yoke of oxen
to one plow, improving my farm and breaking for others.
Those days we would steal our timber for rails from Uncle
Sam; every one would steal in Illinois. I have even known
preachers to steal, and after we had our land bought we
would chop off of congress land and save our own.
I built a log house, 14x16, of split logs. We had one
room on the ground and one-half room above. I daubed it
with black mud. When the winds would blow and rains
descend, the mud would come out on the floor dab, dab.
Sometimes we would have a lot to carry out and daub again.
We lived in that house six years, and in 1851 1 built the
house I now live in. That was the season the cholera was
so fatal. There were over forty deaths in Worth township
that season. In 1853 I bought 80 acres of prairie land which
cost $3.00 per acre. That was cheaper than the $1.25 land.
Late in 1860 I bought 160 acres for $12.50 per acre. I paid
that easier than the $3.00 land. Then in 1866 I bought 80
acres for $26.00 per acre, being still cheaper. Broke and
sowed in spring wheat 50 acres; raised 730 bushels, which
sold in 1867 at $3.12 </2 per bushel, just paying for the
land. In the fall of 1866 I went to Kansas and bought 800
acres, paying $500. Late, I traded for 640 acres in Green-
wood county, Kan., costing me 35 cents per acre; also four
acres in the city of Fort Scott, Kan., for $550. Later, I
bought a farm one and one-half miles from Fort Scott for
$4,000, just as rich land as where I live, and as level. Now
I have 160 acres in Hayes county. Neb. Have all the land I
want, and more than my children can keep the weeds down.
I will relate another incident. A. Cress, Jacob Grove and
myself went to the rope ferry, four miles north of Peoria,
fishing. Willy Parker was attending the ferry, so Grove and
Cress attended the ferry while Parker gigged fish for us.
We got a fine lot of fish, among them being a white perch.
When we took them out of the skiff, John Lowman happened
there. He'^remarked that we had a sheep head among the
lot. Said I: Are they better than buffalo? He said not so
good. When we came to divide the fish I proposed each man
pick his fish. Said I: Cress, you are the oldest man; you
take your choice. Well, he lit on that sheep head like a
duck on a June bug. He took his fish home and said: Now,
wife, I want you to cook that white fish when we are all
alone. She did so. He took one bite. Chew, chew; wife,
why did you not cook that good fish ? Said she : Is that
26 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
not good? He said no; the more I chew it the bigger it gets.
Ever after that he knew what a sheep head was. At one
time Jacob Wilson gigged us fifty fish, weighing twelve lbs.
a piece, for $1.25. He was the best fish spearer on the
In the fall of 1855-6 A, Cress, Dr. Wenger and myself
made a trip to Iowa with a two-horse wagon and a one-horse
buggy, to buy land. We went as far as Ringold county which
was very thinly settled. We were on the frontier. One
night we camped in the timber within one-half mile of the
Indian village. The majority of them had gone further west
on their fall hunt, but had left a few of their people to look
after their village and traps. We did not know how many
were left, or should they molest us or not. After we were
in camp two hours, we heard a noise as if something walk-
ing. Limbs would snap, and our dog made considerable fuss.
Cress said : Boys, Indians. Said he, boys you think we can
stand them a fight if attacked? Dr. Wenger said: I think
we had better beg. Cress said each one must take a weapon.
We slept in the wagon. Cress took his pop-gun and butcher
knife, Dr. Wenger the axe, and I the shot gun. Cress told
it when we came home that Kindig and Wenger just slept
and snored, and he had to keep awake to stand guard. Wen-
ger said we were not as afraid to die (as you.) We were
out of provision, so next morning we drove to the village all
vacated by Indians, but they left a more numerous popula-
tion in the shape of fleas. We stopped at the door of a hut.
The fleas commenced crawling up our boots. Was so frosty
and cold they could not jump, and we could easily outrun
I must tell you how they built their wigwams. Placed
ploes in the ground, as making a prairie stable, and put poles
through the center. The sides are six feet high. They cov-
ered the sides with bark from elm trees; also the roof by
placing the rough side of the bark to the sun. They cut
holes in the Wrk, tying it to the poles. Cut the bark five or
six feet high, some two, four and six feet wide. Cover like
shingles, lap over each other. I saw where they had just
one bark for the door, six feet high and five feet wide, all
in one piece. They would put a pole (on the inside) all along
one side of their wigwams, about six feet wide, lay sticks
and brush across, then they would lie crosswise. One house
was 15x20 feet, with a hole in the top and a fire in the cen-
ter. They never put their feet to the fire, but sit down on
them like a goose. Make a small fire that they may get
close to it. When they leave they sweep all trash away from
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 27
the village and burn the grass several rods away to prevent
the prairie fire from burning up their town. We found some
com in their truck patch. The way they enclose their lots
is by cutting poles, tying them to trees and posts with bark.
They cultivate the timber land, as it is much easier to dig
with the hoe. The women have all that kind of work to do.
When they leave to go on a hunting expedition they hide
their cooking utensils where a white man can not find them.
Some say they hide them in the mud in the bottom of the
creek. We found where they had buried their com. We
also found some vacant land. We entered fourteen eighties.
The land office was a Clarinden, Iowa.
I will relate a little incident happening on our return
home. As we were coming down a hill, Wenger and Cress
were in the buggy. There was a crab-apple bush under the
horse, and he was about to run. Cress said, "hold him," and
1 will jump out and catch him. He had the gun when he
jumped. He said his foot caught and he fell with his head
under the buggy. Wenger got the horse stopped just in
time to stop the wheel square on Cress' head. "Hello," the
buggy wheel is on my head. If he had not drove off he
would be there yet.
Another incident happened Cress, We were washing
sheep. My brother, Henry, was on his way to mill. Cress
said, "Henry, help us. I do not like to go into the water,
as I have sore eyes. I will give you my clothes." So he
agreed. We had the sheep penned between the creek and
the fence. Cress would catch the sheep and throw them in
the creek. We had dammed the water about four feet, so
the sheep had the bank wet and slippery. We were replacing
the rails on the fence. Cress was carrying a large rail up
the bank when his hind foot slipped back and he went back-
wards, "souse," into the creek with rail across his breast,
holding his head under the water, where it was more "green"
than clear. We heard a terrible splashing, looked and saw
him kicking for life, but he lived to get home. Then his
wife went for him for going into the water. Those days
were pleasant days.
In the year 1852 there was a man by the name of Rhodes
living on the farm owned of late by William Gale, north of
where Simon Thomas lives. He was sick with a fever. On
one Tuesday night he got up, stole out and ran off. They
hunted three days for him and found him one-half mile south
of Germantown, 111. A boy was hunting cows and found him.
He was alive, but had on no clothing and the sun had bhs-
28 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
tered his hide. This was on Friday about an hour after sun-
set. And, remarkable to state, he got well.
I will relate a trip made by Jacob Grove and myself, in
the fall of '39 or '40, to Chicago with two ox teams, seven
yoke of oxen. Our loads consisted of wheat, apples, onions,
etc. We deppled among the Irish along the railroad at Peru
and the canal. Some of their houses were a novelty, some
covered with long slough grass and others with troughs —
trees cut and split, then dug out similar to sheep troughs.
Two troughs were laid with the bark down and one laid over
(where the troughs met) with the bark up. Very few have
seen such. They made a good roof. At one time an Irish
lady wanted a nice fat "foul" for a sick "mon." Grove got
a nice fat hen. "Now and I won't hove 'him.' I want a big
'won.' " Then he got the oldest crower he had. She said,
"that is a big fat 'won' for a sick 'men.' " In paying she
kept back part of the money. I tell you they are hard hands
to deal with. I had a large wagon, one we moved in from Vir-
ginia, called prairie steamboat. One Irishman went behind
and spoke through his hands, saying: "Ha-hoo steamboat!
Where you bound for? Captain, are you the mate? What
will ye charge a single 'mon,' his wife and 'sax' children pas-
sage to Chicago, and give him twice a day of the 'swate
crature' that nourishes the 'sowl' of an Irishman?"
They would agree to take three or four bushels of meal
to get it cheaper. Then when you would deliver it they
would only take one bushel.
Well, we got twenty miles north of Ottawa. We always
unyoked the cattle at night and let them graze until morn-
ing. One morning we were minus ten head. We hunted
three days. "Nix coom arouse." Well, we went on to Chi-
cago with two yoke of oxen and two wagons. Grove said we
would go or die trying. Grove took the ague and had it
every day until we reached home, that being three weeks. I
had both teams to drive. We took two wagons as we could
not load all on one. We would hitch one wagon behind the
other and sometimes have one yoke to each wagon. First day
we reached ten miles. When we got to Joliet it rained. We
only drove one mile that day. When we got to hills we would
have to pull one wagon up, then the other, and one ox was
balky. But when we had to depend on him he never flinched.
When we got within twelve miles of Chicago we met Jona-
than Reed, who lived then on Asa Brown's farm now owned
by Witmer Kern, Washington and Morely. They were haul-
ing lumber from Chicago to Ottawa. They had two four-
horse teams. Reed took a part of our load and we left one
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINC/l ON". ILL. 29
wagon. We then glided into Chicago. We grazed our cattle
at the north and south forks of the Chicago river, now the
heart of the city. When we left the city we loaded seven
barrels of salt at $4.50 per barrel, worth $7 here, and two
sacks of coffee. By the time we arrived at our other
wagon, twelve miles from the city, one ox gave out. Reed
took one barrel of salt on his load of lumber ; said they would
meet us at Holderman's grove to camp, but they failed to get
there that night on account of being sloughed. We all
camped at Ottawa. They returned to Chicago. Grove had
an old jackscrew to grease wagons and to help out of sloughs.
Reed wanted to borrow it, but Grove told him that it was a
borrowed one and he could not loan it. So that night Reed
stole it. We could not find it next morning. Morely said:
"Look in R-e-e-d's w-a-g-o-n ; look in R-e-e-d's w-a-g-o-n."
But Grove said: "I can not look in a man's wagon who has
befriended us." Then we separated. They went to Chicago
and we towards home. We had to ford the Illinois river two
miles south of Ottawa. When we got to the river Grove was
so sick that he laid down on the grass. I thought he would
die. There w^as a very steep bank to go down into the river,
the water being four feet deep. We had one team to each
wagon, so we lashed one wagon to the axle of the other with
a log chain. Grove said when you get down in the river whip
up your oxen to give room for mine, so we went down in a
rush, but when they checked the other team came down in
a rush also. They tried to run past, but the chain hook
caught on the hind wheel (being high wheels) and carried
the oxen up so high they w^ere hanging by their necks, with
tongues out and nearly choking. I jumped out in the water
and ran back. Grove crawled out on the tongue with the ax
to cut the keys. Just then one of the oxen, being unruly,
drew his head through the bow that let the other end dovm.
We straightened out, drove him under, yoked him in the
river and then went on rejoicing and glad we were alive.
We returned home after being gone twenty-one days. In
a reasonable time we returned on a hunt for our cattle. We
went up the Illinois river, Fox river, all over the prairie, to
LaSalle and Peru. At one time we met a darkey. He says,
"Massa, if you get on a hos' and peruse de bottoms all ober
guess you'll fine 'em." The same night we returned home
one ox was at home in father's stock yard. We then con-
cluded the others were not stolen.
In a short time Benjamin Ayers, an old settler, was on
a hunt of some cattle he lost driving to Chicago. He found
and brought all of our cattle home. We lost more than we
30 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
made that trip, but were glad to get our oxen. We intended
hauling goods from Chicago to Lacon at $4.00 per hundred.
There was where we intended making our money. Those
were happy days. I sold my wheat at 45 cents per bushel.
Later, I took a load of wheat and got 621/2 cents per bushel.
I returned with a load of lumber to build the inside of the
brick mill at Washington, now owned by the Andrews Bros.
There was not much change in the program until the canal
was finished, then corn raised to 20 cents per bushel at Spring
Bay. We then thought we were making money like dirt.
Could then sell a three-year-old steer for $10, but we have
got nearly back to those days in prices. Oh, yes ; Reed made
a few more trips with the jackscrew, when Grove went after
it. He said "he found it." Two Irishmen were greasing their
wagon. He told them that was "his" jack. They would not
give it up, so he knocked one down with a stone and the
other run, and "he" got it, but afterwards gave it to Grove.
I will now tell you a fish story. In 1854 a company of
us went to Spring Bay fishing with a seine, or rather to as-
sist Seers, a Peoria fisherman. The seine was seven hundred
and thirty yards long. We made a draw, caught 1,300 buffalo
weighing from ten to fifteen pounds each. Next day we made
another draw, and lo! we caught 2,200; that filled his live
boat and we had all the fish we wanted. A. Cress said to
the boy: "Bub," what do you feed your fish when you get
to Peoria? (M-o-l-a-s-s-e-s). Cress had no more to say.
The first prairie D. Kindig had broke on his homestead
cost him $3.00 per acre. That seems high breaking the soil,
when land only cost him $1.25 per acre. His homestead to-
day, 1890, would sell for about $100.00 per acre.
In the spring of 1867 my wife and I made a visit to her
birthplace in Fayette county, Pa. Spent some time with
friends, thence took passage in a steamboat on the Monon-
gehela river, ninety miles, to Pittsburg, Pa. Our fare, board
and lodging to Pittsburg only cost $5.00 for both of us.
Thence to Lancaster county. Pa., arriving at Lancaster coun-
ty on the 2nd of July. Harvest ripe for the sickle, (as I
thought) , but they let it stand two weeks before cutting, un-
til the heads hung down, and the grains would snap in your
teeth, for the reason they hauled it in the bam the same day
they cut it, and it had to be ripe. One day, as we were pass-
ing through the country where they were harvesting, I saw
a boy, with a horse and sulky rake, in the standing wheat,
raking. Said I to my uncle : "What is that boy doing in the
wheat?" "Said he was just raking the lodged grain up so the
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 31
reaper could catch it. That was a new idea to me. Thought
I would try it when I got home. So I did try it in oats, but
would not work. At one time I went into the field where
they were reaping wheat. The old gentleman was driving,
cutting, gee around; when he got to the end I noticed he got
off the reaper, took the horses by the bridles and squared
them around, then went back on the reaper; also at the next
corner, and so one until he came around where we were. I
remarked to him, you take it tedious to get off and turn your
horses. Oh, yes, but if I had my other horse, he would turn.
I told him "that" was a good horse. All you lacked was
double lines. He had been driving with one line and (what
they call) a jockey stick tied to the off horse. He said he
was all right with his other horse. I said I could go to the
timber, get some hickory bark and make a pair of checks in
a few minutes, then you could yank them around. Well, he
remarked, we do not have check lines. The boy said, "Father,
go with these men to the house, we will cut the grain."
At another time I was at one of my uncles. He had 50
acres of land, five head of horses and two wagons. His four-
horse wagon weighed 2,200 empty, harness weighed 200
pounds apiece. I said: "Uncle, you have no use for so many
horses, such harness and wagons. Now, if you had one of our
Yankee wagons and harness you would hitch on the small
wagon nine times out of ten, and the tenth time you would
hitch on the small wagon.
Land was selling then at $300, $400 and $600 per acre. I
saw one farm sell at $600 per acre, but the farms are not so
large as in Illinois, although their buildings are three times
as large. All stone and brick houses and bams; all bank
barns. I could put four bams like mine in one of theirs and
then not be full. My uncle said he was offered $300 per acre
for his farm. I advised him to sell and come west. I told
him I could buy him 160 acres prairie and 20 acres timber
for $10,000 and then have $5,000 left. He said he could
make more money there on 50 acres than I could in Illinois
on 160 acres. I said, Uncle, how much do you sell your
wheat for? $3.25 per bushel. How much for com? $1.00
per bushel. This was in 1867. I told him I sold my wheat
at $3,121/9 cents per bushel, com at 90 cents and your market
is not much better. He could not see it, of course. Said this
would make two nice farms, 25 acres each. The country is
one vast village. The most beautiful country I ever saw, but
they are, or was then, 50 years behind the times. ^
When we left there we were enroute to Washington, D.
32 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON. ILL.
C. We were there during the time Surrat had his trial. I
saw him. He was a young man about 25 years of age,
medium size, rather pale looking. I heard one witness give
his testimony. The lawyer asked him if he could give as
correct a statement as he had two years past. He said he
could, but failed to do so, as the lawyer had his former evi-
dence in writing.
We visited the patent office, postoffice ; also at the White
House, but not in. Went to the senate chamber. Congress
was in session. On going to the capitol we met a man. I in-
quired if we were on the right street; he said, yes, just fol-
low me. We kept close to him when the man opened the
door to let him in, (I was right at his heels, but he shut the
door — would not let me in) said pass on. (How did he know
but what I was a member of the senate) ? We only knew
two congressmen, namely, Logan and Butler. We heard
We left there and went to the navy yard. Were on two
torpedo boats, also on the Monitor; saw the hole that the
Merrimac shot through the side of the boat, just above the
water, passing through four-inch iron and sixteen-inch tim-
ber. The turret was sixteen feet in diameter with two large
cannons inside. The turret was lined with six one-inch iron
plating, riveted together to protect the guns. There were
great furrows plowed out of the iron, the size of your arm.
I undertook to count the spots that had been struck with can-
non balls. I counted 400, got tired and quit. I saw them
making anchors. It took six men to handle one. There were
many cannons in the yard, captured in the army.
We departed from there to Augusta county, Va., my
birthplace. There they were one hundred years behind the
times. They used the wooden scoop-shovel yet. Well do I
remember when I was a boy, I had all the milling to do on
horseback. Father run a one-horse distillery. Every morn-
ing I had to take a sack of corn to mill and return then a
sack of rye and return before breakfast. Sometimes I would
take wheat. The mill was one mile distant; had the South
river to ford across. Many were the sacks that fell off in
the river. If they had all been lying on the road at one time
I think I could have walked on them to the mill. Many times
I wished the mill was forty miles away, then they would have
taken the wagon. But those days are past. While on my
visit there in '67 one of my cousins hitched up four horses
to go to mill. I asked how much of a grist have you ? Said
ten bushels. They had no two-horse wagons and when they
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 33
went to church they all went horseback. If there were eight
girls and four boys in one family, each had a saddle. On one
occasion the^^ were threshing wheat and the machine left the
wheat in the chaff. They had wooden scoops to shovel the
wheat in the fan. Said I, "Have you no iron scoops?" "Yes,
that man has one." "Well, send and get it." "He don't like
to loan it." I answered, "If a man refused to loan a shovel
with us we would 'drum' him out of the country." He did
not send for the shovel.
Thei'e has be^vn a change since the war. When I was a
boy we had to haul our wheat and whiskey to Scottsville, 45
tniles, or to Richmond, 110 miles. We crossed the Blue Ridge
Mountains — 3 miles across, now % of ^ ^^^ through, seven
years being spent in tunneling. We would sell whiskey for
3 cents per gallon. We also drove hogs to Richmond.
Very frequently they would drive hogs from Kentucky,
Tennessee and Ohio to Richmond, Va. The climate in Vir-
ginia is mild, winters are something like oui winter in Illi-
nois in 1890. There we could go into the mountains, gather-
ing whortleberries, plenty of chestnuts, persimmons, wild
grapes and fruits of all kinds in abundance. Deer, foxes,
opossums, fish and eels. The lond is not so good there as in
Pennsylvania or Illinois.
In the year 1876 myself and wife attended the Centennial
at Philadelphia. We were there five days; from 75,000 to
100,000 people there each day, yet not much crowded only
in places. During the whole time I was on the grounds and
in the city, I never saw a fuss nor any man arrested ; no pick-
pockets, no trouble of any kind; the utmost harmony and
good feeling among friends and strangers prevailed.
On our return home we stopped to view the Niagara Fails,
that wonderful cataract. I will only relate a little concern-
ing it as seen by the writer. The extension of the falls is
about three-quarters of a mile around; on the American side
the water is ten feet deep as it pours over the rock, while on
the Horse Shoe side it is over 100 feet deep. Fifteen hun-
derd million cubic feet of water passes over the falls every
hour, covering a surface three-fourths of a mile in width.
This immense column of water pours through this passage,
which is the narrowest portion of the river, at a rate of 25
miles per hour, and having a depth of 400 feet.
The suspension wagon bridge, just below the foils, is
300 feet across the river. Seventy-five feet above the water
pours over the dam a distance of 15 feet from the bank, leav-
ing a passway for footmen between the rock and the sheet
34 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
of water. That is a beautiful scene. You pay tifty cents to
cross that bridge, while one mile below you can cross the
railroad bridge for five cents. After leaving the falls we
passed tlirough Canada, Michigan and on to Chicago, thence
nome to Washington.
A very melancholy affair occurred in Spring Bay town-
ship in the winter of 1836-7. It is the time then known and
yet talked of among old setlers as the cold snap. A man by
the name of Butler and his daughter, a young lady, it being-
rumored she was engaged to be married, froze to death in
the woods near their own home. The circumstance was thus:
Butler and daughter had gone after some cows which had
either strayed away or to get some they had purchased.
When they left home in the forenoon it was warm, though
there w^as some snow on the ground. It had rained some in
the forenoon, and the snow became very wet and slushy. In
the afternoon, seemingly in the twinkling of an eye, it turned
as cold as Greenland, as many old settlers can testify. He
and his daughter were enroute for home with their cattle,
but abandoned them as the intense cold overtook them, and
endeavored to reach home. The most plausable theory
seems to be, the girl froze first. Her father seemed to have
stayed with her until she was entirely dead. He had cov-
ered her face with his handkerchief. It is said that her
clothes and lower limbs were covered very thickly with ice
which had congealed from the slush that had splashed up
from the soft snow ,until they had become so heavy she
could not carry them, and no doubt this was the cause of
her freezing before reaching home. When her father found
she was dead it seems he had started to reach home, and
succeeded in getting within a few hundred yards when he,
too, succumbed. It seemed he had crawled some distance
after he got down on the ground, past walking. Many think
the vast amount of ice frozen to the girl caused her to give
up first. If he had hurried home instead of staying witii
her, as it semed he did, and returned with assistance, both
might have been saved. It is not easy to say just what one
would do placed under similar circumstances. It was several
days before the corpses were found, and then in the condi-
tion described, doubled up and frozen stiff. All that could
be done w^as to put them in large boxes, and remain there
until the weather would permit to bury them decently and
right. Doubtless there are some who may remember the
circumstance when they read this notice. I think the mer-
cury fell forty degrees in thirty minutes. John McCune and
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 35
I went in the timber a few rods from father's house, and in
three minutes after the wind changed to the northwest it
froze our overcoats stiff.
Here I will relate a snipe story which occurred in the
year 1853. Two friends from Virginia came to Illinois pros-
pecting and visiting friends and relatives. Before returning,
A. Cress and myself proposed having some sport catching
snipes. They were at A. Cress' house. I was there also. In
the evening Cress proposed to me that we go snipping to-
night. Said I: "Boys, would you like to go and catch some
snipes?" They said: "Oh, yes. How do you catch them?"
Cress said, we take a sack and hold it in the slough (or
ditch) and the balance of the company goes up the slough
and drives them down into the sack. I then said I would go
home and do my chores and come back, then we will all go.
The moon was shining brightly. As we were about to start
Cress said, "boys get a sack." One of them answered, "you
had better take two sacks. What will you do wlien you get
one full?" Cress replied: "Perhaps we would not get more
than one full." Finally we started, and as we passed through
the apple orchard I cut a sprout to make a loop in order to
hold the mouth of the sack open. There were ten or twelve
in the company. After we had gone one-half mile we stopped.
I took the sack and got down in the ditch to show them how
to hold the sack. One of them said he would hold the sack
if it took all the hair off. So he got down to work, but the
sack laid too flat and one observed the "snipes" could not run
in. Thomas Fauber remarked when they got started they
(the snipes) would raise it up. Cress told the boys to go
on the north and we would go on the south side of the slough,
then meet about one-quarter of a mile from where they were
holding the sack and drive them down the slough. One said
he would hold the sack and the other would sit on the bank
and watch them run in. The one on the bank said to the
other: "Stand back a little. They will see you." Next the
boys went home, but Cress and I went up the slough a
quarter of a mile. I said we must go back or our friends
will get lost. We followed down the slough. "Shew, shew,"
oen said, "be still, I hear one hollowing; they are coming."
When we got back to them lo! and behold! there they were
just as we had left them, holding the sack just the same. Of
course they smelt a snipe then.
At one time while breaking prairie I noticed a joint
snake on the land I was breaking. Thought I, Mr. Snake I'll
catch you when you undertake to pass over the broken
ground. Sure enough I came on to him. He could make no
36 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
headway unless he would strike a root or grass. Well, I
caught it, tied a string around its neck and staked it to the
ground until I was through with the land. Then I took my
snake in my arm, led my horse and drove and ox team. As
I was walking along the snake slipped out and down and the
horse stepped on it and killed it.
I will here describe the joint snake. They are about
eighten inches long, resembling a garter snake, only more
green and very solid. I have struck them one blov/ and it
would break in three pieces. The head and body would crawl
away. The body would not bieak — only the tail. They seem
to come apart without any blood. I have heard some say the
head would come back and gather up the pieces. I doubt the
truth of that, for I have found the body afterwards all healed
over as thick as the end of my finger. They are very harm-
less, making no attempt to bite a person.
In the early settlement of the country we would have
frequent wolf and deer hunts. We would arrange it thus:
We would notify the people, far and near, that on a certain
day we were to hunt; would hoist a pole and put a flag on
it; select some elevated place on the prairie for the pole. We
would go on horseback, armed with clubs and dogs (guns
were prohibited). In those days people mostly lived along
borders of the timber. They would form a circle and drive
direct to the pole, chasing the game ahead of us. They would
run north, meeting men and dogs, turn and run south, see
men and dogs coming, would run back and forth until they
would get tired. By the time the game were all chased up,
they were fatigued and easily captured. I was at a chase in
Tazewell county. The place of meeting was near Tremont.
Our company caught two deer. On our way down there
Thomas Cress rode up to one and knocked it down with an
axe handle. When we got to the ring we had chased up five
deer and one wolf. The deer all got away, but we captured
At another time we had a hunt in Woodford county. We
had enclosed seven deer and after we got them enclosed in
one-fourth mile, two of the parties broke ranks and were go-
ing to claim and take them. Two deer ran out where they
made an opening in the ranks and we lost all of them, but
had the sport just the same. The dogs chased them some
time after they were enclosed.
While chasing wolves, many a nian would get thrown
from his horse. Snow on the gi-ound and the sloughs were
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 37
not frozen. Riding in a gallop, "down" would go the horse,
but the rider would go on until he struck the ground. The
wolves were cute. They would run in swamps where you
could not reach them with a hoi'sc. If you would start a
prairie wolf near tlie timber, in every instance he would make
for the prairie. They were numerous then, but all gone now.
There are some grey timber wolves yet in the timber. Very
fortunately when on the prairie, if you would lun down a
wolf and have nothing to kill it with, we would take our stir-
rup off the saddle and kill it ; also snakes and badgers. I have
done that a number of times.
Just here 1 will relate a circumstance that occurred in
our immediate neighborhood in Woodford county in the
spring of 1857. An old man by the name of Coins was sick.
Old Dr. Wood of Washington was attending his case. He was
able to be up and around the house. He and his wife got
into a quarrel. She struck him over the head with a stick
of stove wood and opened the scalp to the skull. The doctor
was sent for and dressed the wound, continuing to make
visits for several days. Finally the old gentleman died and
was buried. The people were not satisfied. The coroner had
the body taken up and two doctors examined the head by re-
moving the scalp and sawing off the skull. They found the
skull cracked about five inches long and immediately under
the skull where it was l^roken the brains were mortified, I
was as a witness and one of the jury in the case. Of course
Mrs. Coins was arrested, and kept in jail at Metamora from
April until the August term of court. When her case was
called one lawyer said to another there was a little matter he
wanted attended to before he would try that case. During
the time they were getting ready the old lady got up and
walked out of the court room. No one said anything. She
got into a vehicle which was in readiness there for her and
the driver drove away in speed. In the space of one-half
hour her case was called, but the "prisoner" was gone. The
sheriff hustled around, sent out parties in pursuit and offered
$50 reward, but they could not, or did not find her. (Did not
try very hard). Of course, it was plain to be seen that it was
understood between the lawyers and sheriff to let her get
away. Her two sons agreed with the lawyers to give them
$200, providing they would clear their mother. Lawyers
Henry Crove of Peoria and Col. Robert Ingersoll were the
men employed to clear her. Afterwards the Coins refused to
pay the lawyers and the}' sued them. Their plea was they
had no trial and they did not clear her. We did not only
38 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
clear her, but we cleared her out of the country. They had
I will give here a little memoranda of the weather during
the following years I have kept an account of:
1877, coldest day. Nov. 28, 10 degrees above zero.
1878, coldest day, Dec. 22, 15 degrees below zero.
1879, coldest day, Jan. 3, 27 degrees below zero.
1880, coldest day, Dec. 29, 15 degrees below zero.
1S80, warmest dav, July 14, 89 degrees above zero.
1881, wai-mest day, Aug. 4, 102 degrees above zero.
1881, warmest day, Aug. 10, 106 degrees above zero.
1881, coldest day, Jan. 11, 12 degrees below zero.
1882, coldest day, Dec. 7, 12 degrees below zero.
1883, coldest day, Jan. 4, 6 degrees below zero.
1884, coldest day, Jan. 6, 24 degrees below zero.
1886, coldest day, Jan. 10, 12 degrees below zero.
1886, coldest day, Jan. 11, 15 degrees below zero.
1886, coldest day, Jan. 19, 10 degrees below zero.
1886, coldest day, Jan. 23, 18 degrees below zero.
1886, coldest day, P'eb. 2, 14 degrees below zero.
1886, coldest day, Feb. 8, 14 degrees belo^^■ zero.
1886, coldest day, Feb. 6, 20 degrees below zero.
1887, coldest dav, Jan. 2, 24 degrees below zero.
1888, coldest day, Jan. 10, 10 degrees below zero.
1888, coldest day, Jan. 7, to zero.
1888, coldest day, Jan. 15, 14 degrees below zero.
1888, coldest dav, Feb. 10, 22 degrees below zero.
1889 and '90, just to zero.
Anvone wishing to observe it, they will find two and not
to exceed three Satujdays in the year but what you can see
the sun some in the day, morning, noon or night I have
noted this for tlie last thirty years.
Before bringing my autograph to a close, I will finally
remark, not as boasting, that I never sued a man, never was
sued, never chew tobacco,, never was drunk, never smoked a
cigar, never carried or owned a watch, never took the Lord's
name in vain, to my knowledge, not withstanding all, I feel
that I am an un worth \- servant.
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 39
"7/1 the Early Days/' a Historical
Sketch Written by Miss Belle Harlan
INIiss Belle Harlan, who came of one of the prominent
early families of Illinois who were residents of Tazewell and
Woodford counties, wrote a little pamphlet entitled, "In the
Early Days", whicli is one of the very best "true to actual
conditions" of the early history of this locality. Miss Har-
lan spent her last years in Washington, 111., living- at the
home of her niece, Mrs. L, J, Danforth. She died on Nov. 30,
1917, at the ripe old age of 85 years.
■k ^ ;;< ;;< ^ :^
My father moved from Christian county, Kentucky, in
the fall of 1833. Coming here at that early day the country
was little better than a wilderness.
In recounting some of the privations and hardships in-
cident to fi'ontier life, the younger members of the family
have evinced so much interest, and been so anxious to hear
moi-e of those early days of trial and self-denial, that I de-
cided to commit some of them to writing that they might
be preserved for their perusal, after those who participated
have passed from earth and earthly scenes.
I write from memory alone, and cannot be exact in re-
gard to dates. Indeed, in many things I cannot give dates
at all. It will be a plain, simple story of the early settle-
ment of the country. I do not know as I should have un-
dertaken it, but that several have said to me when talking
of those early days, "You ought to write those things down;
there are so few living now who know anything about them".
Father (James Harlan) with his family, which con-
sisted of himself, my mothei' and seven chidren: Elijah,
Charles, Nancy, Caroline, Newton, Margaret and Isabelle or
Belle, the writer of these lines, spent the winter of 1833-31
in Sangamon county.. 111., with his brother (Uncle Silas Har-
lan). In March of '34 we moved to Tazewel county and
rented a log cabin on the Mackinaw river. In those days
thei-e were nothing but cabins to rent, so we moved into it
and proceeded to erect a home to live in, which was built on
his own land just in the edge of the timber. Said house con-
sisted of hewn logs, clapboard roof and puncheon floor.
This was before my recollection, but I have heard
mother and my older sister tell how they moved in without
window, doors or chimney. Cooked outdoors, put boards
across one corner of the house and piled the bacon on them —
40 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
a novel meat house. My earliest recollection of our old home
is a large room of hewn logs with north and south doors
and south windows. This was biult just in the edge of the
Wooden hinges, wooden latch, with a string hanging
outside to lift the latch. The whole door was a rough
wooden frame, with clapboards nailed on. A stick chimney
at one end of the room with a wide open fireplace, wide
enough to take in a backlog three feet long and two in
diameter with smaller sticks in proportion piled on in front
of the andiron.
No exaggeration, those fireplaces would take in enor-
mous quantities of wood. Their capacity seemed almost
limitless. Our houses were cold. We sit by a blazing fire,
with our face almost blistered, while our backs felt as if en-
cased in frost. This is a digression. An opening left in the
upper floor in the back end of the room to be reached by a
ladder. This upper room served as sleeping room for vari-
ous members of the family. The room beow contained two
beds, one on either side of the ladder. Father and mother
always occupied one and if a stranger came to spend the
night, w^hich was a frequent occurrence, the other bed served
as a "guest chamber". Mother always hung up curtains to
insure some privacy. Those who slept upstairs had to as-
cend the ladder if the President occupied the guest cham-
ber. I have often heard sister Carrie give one night's ex-
perience in connection with having company, and her sister
Nancy's trials in avoiding scaling the ladder. She always
had a hearty laugh whenever she referred to it. Major
Cullom, father of Senator Shelby M. Cullom, came to spend
the night; no unusual thing for a neighbor man to go
several miles to spend the night with a neighbor. Nancy
was bashful and sensitive, and declared she would not go up
the ladder to sleep. Accordingly they carried bedding to the
kitchen. We had a kitchen by this time, and they made
their bed and retired. The kitchen had a wide fireplace and
clapboard door. Said door did not fit very close and shut
from the outside. Wolves were so numerous every one had
to keep several hounds to protect their flocks. We had four.
'Twas the fall season and they had got in the kitchen to lie
by the fire. Whenever they heard a noise on the outside
they dashed pell-mell over my sisters, sprung the door out
at the bottom, passed out barking and howling as only
hounds can. Pretty soon they would want to return to their
comfortable quarters. They could not push the door in so
as to enter, but stood outside scratching and whining until
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 41
my sisters would have to let them in or bid adieu to sleep
for that night. This was repeated off and on all through the
night, Carrie said she told Nancy after that time she could
sleep with the hounds if she wished, but she, Carrie, would
scale the ladder. This all transpird before my recollection.
But this is digression number two. I will return to the
house. The roof was clapboards laid on small logs reaching
from gable to gable. The boards over-lapped each other. I
think they were about three feet long, and were held by
means of long poles or small logs laid on each lap, called
weight poles. The chimney was built on the outside, com-
posed of split sticks laid up and filled between with wet clay.
A pole was inserted some distance above the fireplace to
hang the pot-rack on. Woe betide the housewife if the pot-
rack took fire, which it frequently did, and burned in to,
letting pots and kettles with all their contents down into
the fire, upsetting the family dinner and drowning the fire —
not mentioning the temper of the cook. Oh those were the
days that tried men's — no, women's souls. Digression num-
ber three. I want to say something about how those clap-
boards were made, but I fear I cannot make it pain.
A log was selected with a straight grain, and sawed in
able length. The boards were split by means of an instru-
ment called a frow, which I shall not attempt to describe,
and a wooden bench so constructed it would hold the boards
while they were being shaved with a drawing knife. The
bench was called a shaving horse. Shingles were made in
the same way.
Puncheons were logs split, and the undersides at the
ends hewn off so they wold lie on a sill, making is possible
to walk across the floor without falling. The opening be-
tween the logs were chinked and daubed. That is, as large
a piece of wood as possible be fit in and the remainder of
the opening was filled with mud. In time, and not so long
a time either, rain and wind would loosen the filling and it
would all fall out, and had to be replaced, or the inm.ates
had to take the weather.
We sometimes got out of bed in a good-sized snowdrift.
Sometimes had to cover our heads to keep the snow from
our faces, W"e had veiy heavy snows in those early days,
and it laid on the ground a long time; much longer than it
does now, and more of it. I once went with father and
mother to spend the day at a neighbor's. The only window
the cabin could boast of was a clapboard hung on leather
hinges to let down over a large opening between two logs.
Being a cold day and the window at one side the fireplace,
42 EARLY HISTORY OP^ WASHINGTON, ILL.
of necessity, the board had to be let down, consequently all
the light that was admitted in the room came down the ca-
pacious chimney. As the chimney was not very high, but
broad, it let in more light than one w^ould suppose. I never
have seen greased paper used for window glasses as I have
often heard of, and read about, neither in dwellings nor
The cooking had to be done outdoors. Mother was fre-
quently sick, therefore the brunt of it fell on sister, Nancy,
who was young and coming from a slave state had never
had many responsibilities resting on her. I realize now how
trying a time she must have had. I have heard her and
Carrie laugh years afterward of how bashful Nancy was,
and coming from an older settled state was not used to the
primitive ways persons had to resort to here.
The young men who broke the prairie were tired when
evening came, and as soon as they ate their supper went to
bed. They slept in the lower room, and the family slept
above. The supper dishes were washed just outside the
door. Nancy would take a hght in to see to put them away,
and one niglit she missed the shelf and dropped the wliole
stack of plates on the floor. How they must have felt the
loss of those plates, for money and dishes were both hard
to obtain at that time.
Cooking outdoors was no pleasure job. Just please
bear in mind we had no stoves in those days. The bread had
to be baked in iron skillets with iron lids. Coals of fire un-
derneath and on top. As for boiling, that was accomplished
whenever a pot or kettle could be made to set over the fire
without upsetting and putting the fire out.
When it rained, and I have heard them say thunder
storms were quite frequent during the summer, they had to
turn an iron kettle over the fire to keep the rain from put-
ting the fire out. Matches were unknown at that time; at
least they were not obtainable where we were.
No doubt sorae who read this will think it was a hard
way to have a family live as they first moved in. It was
hard, coming from an older and improved section as they
had, but they could do no better. Spring was upon them
and they were compelled to raise a crop so as to have some-
thing to live on the ensuing year. Their own land had to be
broken so they could till it the next year.
Father rented land ten miles from home to raise his
first crop. No tillable land nearer. By tillable land I mean
prairie that had been broken. The first breaking of the soil
it raised nothing but sod corn. The farm he rented was
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 43
what is now known as the Chastine Major farm, a mile and
a-half southwest of Danvers, McLean county.
He and my two eldest brothers, Elijah and Charles, took
their provisions Monday morning and started for their work.
Mother cooked everything she could for them. The middle
of the week father came home for a fresh supply. There
was a cabin on the land, and the family who lived in it al-
lowed them to make their coffee at their fire. During the
time of their absence, mother was left at home alone with
five children, the eldest, sister Nancy, thirteen years of age.
The country was a wilderness. The prairie had to be broken.
Father secured the services of two young men named Crow
to come from Sangamon county, fourteen miles south of
Springfield, with their ox team and break up the ground.
Father was an inveterate smoker, and carried fire from
Kentucky to Illinois, a journey of over two weeks' duration,
by means of two pieces of thick bark, so as to have fire to
light his pipe. He watched his bark, and when tlie under
piece was near being burned through, he replaced it with a
fresh one. He never neglected his fire. When he went to
work on the farm he carried a fire and gathered bark and
fuel and kept it burning all day, usually against a stump or
log. The matter of keeping fire was a very important one.
I have known a neighbor to come a mile of a morning to get
fire to cook their breakfast. My brothers had a flint and
steel by means of which they could take a bunch of tow and
strike fire from the flint which would ignite as readily as
powder, without the danger. They seldom had to I'esort to
that, as they always tried to guard against losing the seed
of fire. However careless they may have been in other
things, in that they were always careful. 'Twas a common
jest if a neighbor came in and seemed in a hurry, to ask if
he had come for fire?
The privations and inconveniences endured by the fron-
tier settlers of this state would make some of our young-
women's and men's ears tingle, could they but hear them re-
No railroad or telegraph service in .the United States.
The mails were carried by stage or on horseback — in some
places on foot, save where they could be carried by water.
Letters that will reach their destination now in two days
would have taken two weeks or more then. Postage was an
item to be considered, as not every one felt able to keep up
an extensive correspondence. A letter cost 25 cents, instead
of 2 cents postage, and 25 cents was not always forth com-
ing. Postage was paid at the end of the route instead of
44 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
the start. I have known persons to come and borrow a
quarter to get a letter from the office.
The merchants had no way of getting their goods ex-
cept by boat. Should winter set in early, and the river freeze
before they got their goods, we had to do without many
things which were absolute necessities. Shoes were one of
the chief items. I remember having to stay out of school
two winters on account of not being able to get shoes, the
river having closed so early. Of course I had some kind of
shoes to wear at home, but nothing fit to walk two miles
through the snow, ice and mud.
Goods of all kinds were exceedingly high priced, and
money hard to get. Common calico sold for 20 and 25 to 50
cents per yard, and other goods were high in proportion.
Money being so scarce we had to resort to various expedients
to live and be comfortable without incurring debt, which was
a hopeless abyss to fall into those daj^s.
Father brought sheep from Kentucky when he moved
here. He took the wool from the sheep's back and converted
it into wearing apparel without the aid of machinery, save
getting it carded into rolls for spinning. We first washed
it, and when dry picked it. That means we tore it all open
and loose, picking out all trash and burs, ready for carding
it into rolls.
Many housekeepers prepared a dinner and invited their
neighbors for miles aiound to come and help them pick their
wool. This was a social treat and alas, too often, a day of
gossip with some. When carded into rolls we spun it into
thread, then colored and wove it into cloth, and cut and made
the garments at home. They were very warm and comfort-
abe, and when everyone dressed in homespun we thought
nothing of it. All were on an equality. I have worn my
homespun flannel dress to church and felt just as comfort-
able as I did years afterward dressed in silk. A neat calico
dress was something extra, and one of silk was a height in
grandeur but few could reach.
We also raised flax. Took it through the various pro-
cesses (which was tedious and laborious) from sowing the
seed to weaving the cloth, and made our table linen, towels,
sheets and men's wear.
This, no doubt, reads very strange, but the reader must
bear in mind we had very little money to spend.
Although the ground yielded abundantly, there was no
market for grain. Father and brothers raised five crops of
wheat before there was any market for it. They engaged to
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 45
sell it for 37 '/i cents pei- bushel in Washington. It had to
be threshed with a beater, a machine that threshed it and
left it in the chaff. It was then cleaned with a fanning mill,
and delivered. The men who bought it went into bankruptcy,
and they never received a cent for their wheat.
A few years later, in 1840 or '41, brother Elijah in com-
pany with Abel Hingman, who lived on what is now the Eri
Bogardus farm near Deer Creek, and Thaddeus Smith of
Buckeye hauled wheat to Chicago, where he bought our first
cook stove and various articles for the famiy. They each
took a man and four yoke of oxen with a large wagon, and
a two-horse team with a lumber wagon. They turned their
oxen out to graze at night.
An ox is rather a cunning animal. It will eat all night
and steal away to the brush early in the morning and lie
hidden all day. They had only been out a day or two before
their oxen hid, and they came back home hunting them.
Although they were belled the hunt lasted several days.
However, they finally found them in sight of their encamp-
ment, eary one moi'ning before they got to the brush. I
think the trip occupied almost three weeks.
The praries were a vast uninhabited plain. The first set-
tlers thought and said anyone would freeze to death who
ventured to build and live on those prairies. Father located
just in the edge of the forest, near ten miles from Washing-
ton, then known as Holland's Grove, so named for William
Holland, the first settler, whose house stood where Almon G.
Danforth's now stands. (Peoria was known at Fort Dear-
born), There was not a house or fence from our home to
Washington, and we just took a straight line across the wide
open expanse of country. The grass in places was as high
as a man's head, and all stock could live well from spring
until late fall. The settlers raised cattle, and drovers came
from the region of Chicago and bought the young stock. I
have known my father and brothers to sell young steers two
or three years old for $7 to $9 per head . In that way they
got money to buy what they could not do without. A milk
cow with a young calf sold for from $7 to $9, and a good
horse for $50. But $50 would buy 40 acres of the best land
there was anywhere on these praries, which now sells for
over $300 per acre.
As for fruit, we had none only what grew wild — black-
berries, raspberries, strawberries, gooseberries, wild crabap-
ples, wild plums and grapes — all pretty sour fruit. Sugar
sold high, but mother always put by some, so we were not
46 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON. ILL.
entirely destitute of fruit. We knew nothing of canning.
Our fruit was all either dried or preserved. Father kept
bees, and we had an abundance of honey. Wild flowers grew
in great profusion, so the bees could easily make honey.
William Holland of Washington had the first bearing
orchard in reach of us. Sometimes father would bring ap-
ples home with him when he went to Washington — and with
what joy we hailed them. A lump of gold of equal size
would not afford me half the pleasure now that an apple did
then. Father sent to Tennessee for trees and planted out
an orchard among the first of his improvements. How we
did watch those trees when they bloomed and bore the first
apples. I almost wonder we did not look the fruit off the
trees before 'twas ripe. However, w^e all lived to enjoy the
fruit from them in great abundance. I have often thought
it was the best fruit, take it all through, I have ever eaten.
Maybe 'tis a childish prejudice, lingering with me yet, but
I think not. But the old orchard had shared the fate of all
old orchards. I visited the old homestead a short time since
and only six of the old trees remain. Alas, the old home so
changed had I been set down there blindfolded I would not
have known I had ever seen the place.
The ground yielded rich crops. We were sure of a plenti-
ful harvest if the seed were put in the ground. No smut,
rust, chinch bug, or any of the modern plagues to disappoint
the tiller of the soil. Some one has said Illinois was the gar-
den spot of the United States, and Tazewell county the flower
bed. I have often thought it was not an exaggeration. The
prairies were one vast sea of luxuriant grass and flowers, and
did indeed present the appearance of flower gardens. Bitt,
alas, with the march of civilization, nature's fair face be-
comes sadly marred. The flowers have, the greater part, been
destroyed, and our forests are fast disappearing before the
woodman's axe. The wild animals, most of them, have be-
come extinct. Comparatively but few of any species remain.
Our birds of all kinds, songsters along with all others,
have served so long as a target for the cruel sportsman's
gun that a large proportion of the species have become en-
tirely extinct — not one bird now where there used to be
a hundred. 'Tis a sad commentary on man; progressiveness.
The prairies seemed boundless. Stock of all kinds ran
at large, feeding on the prairie grass. During the summer
the farmers would set fire to the grass and make what they
called a late burn. When the grass grew up in it the stock
would gather for miles to feed on the tender grass.
After the settlers began to spread out on the prairies
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 47
(the first settlements were all on the water courses) care
and watchfulness were required to keep the fire from spread-
ing and destroying- fences — and sometimes stock yards and
houses. Hunters from the little towns and villages would
sometimes slip in and start a fire for the purpose of hunting.
Game was plentiful. The whole community for miles would
have to turn out and fight fire — sometimes all night. They
would be scorched and blackened, and nearly exhausted when
they got through. Woe betide the man or men who started
che fire had they fallen into the hands of the settlers at such
times. 'Twas a mean thing to do, endangering property for
miles. The grass was so luxuriant it required hard work to
stop a fire when once started.
Deer were plenty. 'Twas no uncommon sight to see
eight and ten cantering over the prairies or through the
barrens. Henry Meek of Walnut Grove, near the present
town of Eureka, was one day at our house, and saw a deer
and fawn standing a short distance off in the barrens. He
drew up his gun and shot and killed tiie fawn, standing in
Brother Charles caught a fawn, brought it home and
raised it. What a pet it was. Whenever the table was laid
for a meal, watch close as we might, Billy would slip in and
get a slice of bread. He lifted it so carefully none of the
other slices were disturbed. Poor Billy, he failed to come
home one evening, and that night a neighbor's dogs got after
him and killed him. We mourned him sorely.
Wild turkeys, prairie chickens and quails were abundant.
Brother Newton trapped the last named two in such numbers
we grew tired of them. I have known mother to give some
to tlie neighbors.
Wolves, too, were numerous, and bold — so bold they
would come within a few yards of the house in the full glare
of day and catch a chicken. Sheep had to be penned at night
or some of them paid for the omission with their lives
Several years elapsed before we had either school or
church. I think it was not earlier than 1836 the first school
house was built in what is now called the Hardscrable bury-
ing ground. The school house was built first — the cemetery
started afterward. Mrs. Perry, an old lady, was the first
one buried there. It filled rapidly, however. The teacher al-
ways had the school pass out and attend a burial.
I may not be quite correct in regard to date. The house
was a rude structure, built of hewn logs, a stick chimney
without jams (I doubt if you who read this will know what
jams mean). Said chimney rested on an immense oak beam
48 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
stretching from one side of the house to the other. A dirt
hearth extended entirely across the room. Puncheons f ornied
the floor. The windows were a log sawed out on either side
of the room, almost the length of the room, filled with six by
eight glass, two panes deep. We did have glass, not greased
paper, as some tell about. The writing accommodations were
a broad shelf fastened to the wall the length of the windows,
made to slant slightly from the wall out.
Oui" seats were slabs with holes bored in each end and
wooden legs inserted. Sometimes, if the slab was thought
to be too long, a middle hole was bored and another pin in-
serted to strengthen it. If the middle peg happened to not
be sawed off" quite as short as the others 'tis easy to imagine
the occupants of the bench in perpetual motion. One end
would wriggle around to the middle of the room. The other
end would be almost in the fire. We were kept constantly
readjusting our seats. There were six or seven of those
benches. Their height was such (I think about a foot and
a half maybe two feet) that the smallest children's feet did
not reach the floor by several inches. I wonder we did not
every one have spinal disease, or become humpbacked. When
we wanted to write we gathered our skirts around us and
by a dexterous movement whirled our feet over the bench
and landed them beneath our writing desks. We had no
steel pens. The teacher made our pens from goose quills.
Sometimes we had shocking to write with.
I forgot to mention the capacity of that school house
fireplace. It was wonderful. I believe a half a wagon load
of wood could be, and was, piled in it many times. A huge
back-log six or eight feet in length, with any amount of
smaller wood in front, made a hot fire, yet notwithstanding
we shivered with cold sitting so near it our faces were in
danger of being blistered. And, reader, we walked two miles
through snow, and ice, and rain, and mud to school — some-
times taught by a teacher who did not have as good an edu-
cation as some of her pupils. Miss Nancy Parker, whose
father lived near where the Buckeye church now stands, was
the first incumbent. The last years of my attending school
there I went alone. 'Twas a lonely road, through timber,
thick with underbrush of a species of oak that does not shed
its leaves until spring. I was afraid to look either to tlie
right or left of me, for fear I might see a wolf or some other
horrible thing that could do me harm. Snakes abounded, and
some of them were very poisonous. Sister Margaret and I
were on our way to school one morning when we saw two
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 49
snakes. It was a point with us to kill every one we saw. I
stood to watch them that they did not get away, while she
went in search of a stick. Before she returned I glancd to
one side of the road in a little ravine exposed to the sun
('twas eaiy spring) and saw a pile of them. I can call it
nothing else, as I remember it now, for it was as large as a
bushel basket. You may think this is a pretty big snake
story, but it is a true one nevertheless. We did not kill any
snakes that morning, but hurried on to school. They were
of the garter snake species, but they are all snakes to me.
When I think of it now I almost wonder anyone would send
a child so far alone, but that was a part of our pioneer edu-
cation — to overcome difficuties and conquer obstacles. Our
motto was to go ahead.
The school house burned down one night, and as other
neighbors had moved in, who thought the school was too far
from them, it was rebuilt a half-mile nearer to us. However,
the new neighbors would not patronize the school, so brought
up a dissention in the neighborhood and started another
The first settlers hung together. They had passed
through too many trials and hardships to desert each other
then, so they tore the school house down, after having one
term taught in it, and rebuilt on the old site. We gained
what knowledge we could with such teachers and equipments
as we had.
There were no pubic funds. Schools were made up by
subscription, each patron subscribing so many pupils. Father
always subscribed two or three more than he could send in
order to raise the teacher's salary and to insure a school.
Sometimes he took in the children of others who lived too
far away to make the trip daliy, and boarded them in his
family so they could have the advantages of school.
The teachers "boarded round." That is, they spent — or
were to spend — a week with each patron of the school. Some
got more than a week of the teacher's society, while some
did not get their full week. It depended on whether the
teacher was favorably impressed with her or his surround-
ings when they went to a new place how long they stayed.
And yet they had to be fertile in giving excuses, so as not
to give ofl:'ense.
After the first school house was built a short time the
neighbors began to think about having preaching. In the
course of time two young Methodist circuit riders as they
were then called, sent an appointment to preach at the
school house during the week. Father aways wanted to en-
50 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
courage anything that was for the good of the community,
and moreover he had a high regard for rehgion and rehgious
services. He stopped the plows to attend the service. One
of the ministers read the parable of the rich man and Laza-
rus. The other got up when he was through and said the
brother had read an interesting portion of Scripture, but
really he had not known before it was between the lids of
the Bible. Fther was indignant at such ignorance traveling
over the country attempting to teach the way of life to
others. This is only a specimen of the church privileges the
first settler had for a number of years.
The church always found a friend in my parents. Their
house was a home for ministers, or teachers, or any one who
came to the neighborhood and was homeless. Indeed, their
hospitality knew no bounds. No beggar or applicant for
charity was ever turned from their door unaided. More than
one destitute orphan child was taken into their family, fed
and clothed and schooled, or cared for through a long lin-
gering fit of sickness — without compensation other than the
approval of conscience.
Indeed, I have thought since reaching a more mature
age that my parents were too hospitable. I think, sometimes,
they almost wronged their own family in caring for those
who had no claims upon them — only the common ties of hu-
manity. Their aid was sought far and near in sickness and
trouble, mother being sent for often times before the physi-
cian. I remember in connection with one famiy in particu-
lar, who lived on the Mackinaw river, with what dread we
children would see their old gray mare emerge from the for-
est coming to the house — fearing mother was sent for, which
was ofter the case. She always went and remained minis-
tering to their needs until she became so exhausted and sick
that she was compelled to return home. How anxiously we
watched for her coming, and as soon as she appeared we pro-
ceeded with all haste to prepare something palatable for her
to eat, knowing well that rough corn bread, fat bacon and
poor coffee, or maybe sage tea, had been her fare while there.
And, indeed, there were many other place where she was
called to go and she went to all, aiding in every way she
could. Then, when all was over, and the sufferer slept the
sleep of death, she furnished whatever was necessary to fit
them for the grave, for we had some neighbors who were
Vegetation was very rank, and consequently there was
a great deal of malaria, and much suffering from malignant
attacks of fever. Fever and ague were expected each fall
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 51
(especially by the dwellers along the water course) with as
much confidence as the seasons were expected to roll round
in due course. Physicians were a long way apart. Calomel
was thought to be the sovereign remedy for an attack of
either fever or ague, and the neighbors from all around came
to father for calomel. In my mind's eye I can see the phial,
as it hung against the wall, and see him portion it out on
the point of a penknife. He always gave careful directions,
and I do not remember of any bad results ever following his
prescriptions. Happily for the human system the calomel
age is past. Calomel, bleeding and blistering were resorted
to for every ailment. I have no doubt many a life was sac-
rificed on account of physicians not knowing better how to
treat the diseases of the country, A fever patient was not
allowed a drop of cold drink of any kind, but must slake his
thirst with wai'm teas. We would think it cruel now.
Tlie climate was very changeable, and more subject to
extreme changes than now. I will mention one incident to
show something of their severity. Nearly all the milling was
done on horseback, with one or sometimes two sacks of grain
across the horse's back. Rain had been falling for some time,
and father feared the Mackinaw river would be so swollen
it could not be crossed. He and brother Charles, accompan-
ied by Parry Stephens, a neighbor lad, took their grain on
their horses and crossed over to Ashburn's mill, traded their
gram for flour and started home. The river had risen so fast
the horses could get over only by swimming. Father told
the boys to hold fast to their horses, even if they had to let
the flour go. He wore an overcoat with a large cape, which
was d)"enched with rain. When about midway in the stream
the wind changed to the north, turned the cape straight up
at the side of his head and froze it stiff before they reached
the bank. Their mittens were frozen fast to the bridle reins.
They got safely to land with their flour, but had to stop at
Mr. Stephen's, a distance of one and one-half miles, to warm
and thaw out. Chickens froze fast to the ground. That was
always spoken of as the sudden change.
Farming utensils of all kinds were crude and primitive
— plows with wooden mold boards and harrows with wooden
teeth. Reapers and threshing machines were unknown.
Grain was cradled, each cradle being followed by a man to
rake and another one to bind. A good cradler could cut
about three acres per day. In very early times the grain was
threshed on a hard floor by horses tramping it out, and then
separated from the chaff with a fanning mill. Com planters
52 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHIXGTON, ILL.
had not been heard of. One person followed the plow and
dropped the corn, which was usually covered with hoes —
great heavy crude things, a load to hft. Many of the uten-
sils were made at home, such as rakes, pitchforks and har-
rows. The plows and every-day harness all were.
Every one traveled on horseback. Frequently two on
one horse, and occasionally three when a mother would take
a child behind her and one in her lap. If a family was large
— as ours was — some were elected to stay at home, as there
were not enough riding bridles and saddles for all to go at
one time. I well remember with what joy we children hailed
the purchase of a two-horse lumber wagon (we had a four-
horse wagon), and how grand we felt that we could all go
to church together.
Society was as crude and primitive as the utensils for
labor. My eldest brothers and sister Nancy were invited to
the house of Mr. Hughes, who lived on the Mackinaw river,
to be present at the marriage of his only daughter. The
house contained but one room, and that had to serve as
kitchen, dining and sitting room. The weather was warm,
and the neighbor women who were preparing the supper ad-
vised the intended bride and her friends to sit out in the
yard in the shade. The gentlemen guests and the groom
were already there, so the rest repaired to the yard. The
bride's father passed along and said to her, "Betsey, the
place for you is in the house". Just imagine, if you can, in
this age a bride sitting out in the yard with the gentlemen
guests and prospective bridegroom. (Not so far out of the
way now, however. Written in afterwards).
If our surroundings were crude, and savored strongly
of the backwoods, there was any amount of sociability and
friendship existing between neighbors, and we were neigh-
bors even when living eight and ten miles apart. "The latch-
string is always out" was a common expression — the expres-
sion of hospitable intent and readiness to welcome all who
came. It was no unusual occurrence for a sleigh load to
irive several miles to spend the evening with a neighbor.
No sooner did they arrive than we repaired to the kitchen
and proceeded to get supper. After partaking of a bountiful
supper, or the best tht hostess could provide, they would
start for home, but never earlier than midnight. It was a
troublesome custom, but we did not so regard it at the time,
really enjoying having our acquaintances come.
The stranger who n^oved in, to cast his lot wifh those
already here, was sure of a hearty welcome. All turned out
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 53
with teams and axes to help him get a home for his family
to shelter in; also giving them shelter in their own crowded
homes until the newcomers' cabin was completed.
I will say in conclusion that I have written only bare
facts. Have not exaggerated; indeed, I think I have kept a
little on the other side of the line, not wanting to overdraw
the picture or color it too highly.
My parents felt keenly the disadvantages they labored
under in raising their children, ana always endeavored to in-
still in our minds the principles of true manhood and woman-
hood. In justice to their memory I must add that their
teaching was not in vain. My brothers and sisters were
noble, honorable men and women. I will, right here, say my
mother was one of the noblest of women. She had few
equals and no superiors, so far as true worth and nobility of
soul is required to constitute a true woman — for such she
was, her children ever having cause to revere and bless her
memory. And a more honorable, upright man than my
father never lived. He was the soul of honor. "They rest
from thier labors, and their works follow them".
March 21st, 1901. BELLE HARLAN.
S. H. Thomas, Born in Washington,
Tells of Early History in This Vicinity
Simon H. Thomas was born on a farm near Washing-
ton and has lived in this vicinity all his life. His father,
Henson Thomas, w'as one of the very earliest settlers in
Washington, coming here in 1830 with a brother, Simon,
from near Zanesville, Ohio. The two brothers returned to
Ohio soon after they came here, but Henson soon returned
alone. His first wife was a Heath, a sister of the wife of
Adam Switzer. A Heath monument is the oldest one in our
old cemetery. From Henson's first marriage two children
were born. Both died and are buried in the Union church
cemetery, northwest of Washington. Henson's first wife
died and he married later as his second wife a Miss Stevens,
who came here from Ohio to visit a sister. This was about
1837. From this union three sons and one daughter were
bom, William, Elizabeth, Richard and Simon. Those surviv-
ing are Elizabeth Kraeger who is 86 years of age and lives
in Ohio, and Simon of this city.
54 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
Henson Thomas in 1837 entered 160 acres of govern-
ment land near the Union cemetery. Simon was raised on
the farm and hved there until he was 25 years of age, when
he was married. For five years he lived in Washington in
the house now owned by Charles Norris, which was located
where the George Hagenstoz residence now stands in the
west part of town. When a boy Simon went to school in the
winter time and worked on the farm in the summer. Mr.
Thomas got his first schooling in a log school house which
stood near the corner road south of the Union church. Be-
sides Mr. Thomas those now hving who attended that school
are his sister, Mrs. F. Rickman, and Mrs. Maggie Trimmer
Baker of Peoria. He says they did a good deal of hunting in
those days. There were plenty of deer, wild turkeys, prairie
chicken and quail. He has seen an old rail fence strinig with
prairie chickens for nearly half a mile. The farm boys did
not get a chance to come to town very often. He remembers
when the boys used to play marbles on the corner where the
Denhart bank now stands. Later on they had a ten-pin al-
ley on the lot.
He remembers when Lincoln and Douglas spoke at Meta-
mora and attended the Lincoln meeting. There was a big
crowd present and a good deal of excitement.
Simon's mother made the trip back to Ohio five times
in a covered wagon. In early days that was the extent of
their rapid transit vehicles. He remembers when Andrew
Cress had the first single buggy in this vicinity and it caused
a good deal of comment John Johnson, one of the early
farmers who lived on the present Stephen Muller place, had
a family carriage quite early and it was a great luxury.
Johnson raised a good sized family, but they all left here
years ago. One daughter, Mary Holland, lives in California
and a son, George, did live in Kansas.
Mr. Thomas remembers the early days in Washington
when there were no brick stores around the square. Dr.
Burton ran the postoffice in a frame store building on the
north side of the square, and Tom Birkett ran a big wagon
shop on the old Zinser drug store corner. The first brick
store building erected now standing is the building occupied
by W. E. Petri. Sanford Gorin ran a dry goods store in the
building. He was the grandfather of Harry and the Misses
Among some of the old times Mr. Thomas remembers
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 55
grain, Tliey raised considerable spring wheat, mostly the
Italian kind. They raised some corn. They hauled their
grain to Spring Bay and Peoria, and sometimes to Wesley
City. Corn sold as high as 25 cents a bushel in early days.
Amony some of the old timers Mr. Thomas remembers
The Portman and Jacquin families came here about
1848. Portman purchased the McCorkle farm which was af-
terwards known as the Portman farm. These families used
to attend the Catholic church at Black Partridge. These old
settlers raised large families which were well known in this
Nicholas Huguet came here about the same time as the
Portmans and v/as a fine old man. He bought the Fauber
farm noi-thwest of Washington from Andrew^ Cress. Raised
a large family well known in this vicinity.
Dave Stock came overland from Ohio and first went to
Lacon, later coming here. Lived on a farm north of to\\Ti.
Was a good citizen.
Knew Henry Kice, grandfather of Charles Kice. Think
he came from Vermont about 1848. Lived north of town.
One of our well liked early settlers.
John Burkey was one of my early friends. He was a
brother-in-law of John Taylor of Peoria. Burkey moved to
Nebraska a good many years ago. His father used to make
cider vinegar on lot where Ed McManus' place stands.
The Slagle family lived on the bluff west of Washington.
He used to say he settled in the timber there because the
prairie land east of Washington was full of sloughs and the
green head flies were so bad the stock could not stand it.
Mr. Hartman, who settled northwest of Washington, was
an early settler, but he died in the early cholera epidemic.
He left four sons and one daughter and Mrs. Hartman
brought up a fine family, among them being Rev. Hartman
who died a few years ago.
Rev. Zedick Hall was an early methodist minister. He
lived on a farm five miles north of town, now owned bv Jos.
56 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
On the ''Western Trair in
1851, by Rev. J. W. Ferner
Three families, the Jacob Zinser, Lewis Tobias and
George Ferner famihes, moved together in "prairie schoon-
ers" from Circleville, Ohio, to Washington, Ilhnois. This
took place in 1851, before there were anj^ railroads to speak
of. It was a pioneer venture to better conditions. Chiefly
the move was made to get away from a thickly timbered
country to the prairies, where farms could be started and
made to yield at much less expense of time, labor and cash
than in a country where trees and stumps stubbornly dis-
puted every inch of progress.
There was no "race suicide" in any of these three fam-
ilies. There were twelve children in the Zinser family, four
in the Tobias family and six in the Ferner family. A few of
these, however, did not report early enough for this "West-
ern Trail", and were later born in Washington, while one or
two of the older Zinser boys were left at school in Ohio.
There were no doubt many memorable events on this
westward journey of three weeks, but I being only four years
of age was not old enough to appreciate them. Some of these
events made a deep im.pression upon me; the fording of
streams for example, where the water flooded the wagon
boxes — the houses we lived in. These "schooners" were not
Another event was wl.'en the first prairie chicken was
shot, and the entire caravan stopped to inspect the new bird.
One boy, Israel Zinser, six years of age, lost his dog, a
small black dog named "Penny". It seems as if today that
call of "Penny! Penny"! sad and plaintive note must still be
ringing in the woods of Indiana. That was one "bad Penny"
which never came back.
At Marshall, 111., we all stopped over Sunday with rela-
tives. Harry Tobias and family lived there then, but moved
to Washington later. At Marshall, while the older people at-
tended church, we youngsters were left home chaperoned by
one of the older girls of the resident families. She took us
to a spring house and divided a fresh current pie between
us. The memory of that spring house and the taste of that
pie have haunted me all these 75 years.
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 57
The children of these three famihes have proved them-
selves worthy citizens. Of the ten sons seven did service in
the U. S. army in the Civil war. There were eleven girls and,
if they then had been honored with citizenship, as girls now
are, they no doubt would have put the men in the shade in
I was 4 years of age when my parents brought me to
Washington, 111. My father's family for the first year in
"Black Hawk ', which, for all I know, was then the leading
suburb of Washington. It was located just west of town on
the west banks of Farm Creek. Farm Creek witnessed my
first fishing experience when I was 4 years old. My brother,
George, 5 years my senior, looked after me and "bossed the
job". We fished with hooks of our own manufacture. I dare
not tell how many fish we caught; that is dangerous ground.
It was in 1851 when my people moved into this "Black
Hawk"suburb, and one of my early recollections was a train
of "gold seekers", with ox teams, headed for Cahfornia.
When I was 15 years old 1 was passing down the streets
of Washington and saw a group of men standing about Dr.
Wood's office. Upon inquiry I learned that a foot was being
amputated. The foot belonged to a Mr. Applegate. Mr. Ap-
plegate was one of the 1851 "gold seekers" carivan, who on
that "Go west, young man", expedition had his ankle
sprained and now the foot was taken off to prevent blood-
This "Black Hawk" suburb had but few buildings. One
of these buildings was the old saw mill, just west of Farm
Creek and opposite the old brick flouring mill, which I believe
still stands. One night in midwinter every resident of Black
Hawk was aroused by the alarm of fire, and the old saw mill
burned down. For us children that was a sensation which
deserved a place on the first page in our dailies.
One of the leading characters in "Black Hawk" was a
Mr. Walker. He impressed us children by his profanity. The
old mill fire was nothing aloneside of his blasphemous utter-
ances. He operated a ditching machine with from 3 to 5
yoke of oxen. He used to say that swearing did the oxen
more good than grass or hay.
These are some of the recollections of a four-year-old
who is now four score. These things all happened in one
year, in 1851, in the flourishing "Black Hawk" suburb of
58 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
The Cyclone Experience
The most exciting time we ever had on the farm was
the cyclone which struck us in 1860. Father had bought his
first farm, 3 miles cast of Washington. This farm had no
improvements, except that some sod was bi'oken. In the
early days in Ohio father maintained his family by his voca-
tion as a carpenter; this fitted him for constructing the
buildings on the farm. Father built his own house and barn,
with all the improvements which are necessary with such
buildings. The house had just been completed and we moved
into it the first of year. The sills for the house were made
of heavy oak, which father prepared with the ax and broad-
ax. The garden fence was built of strong oak posts and
oak palings which he split out himself. Everything w^as well
On the 1st of June, 1860, while father was in Washing-
ton doing some Saturday shopping, my brother George and
I were plowing corn one-half mile north on the Wm. Holland
place. About 4 o'clock we saw a storm gathering in the
west, so we unhitched and rode our horses home. When we
came into the house we learned that mother was away call-
ing on one of the neighbors, and looking out of the window
we saw her coming about 80 rods away. I immediately took
an umbrella and rushed to meet her for the rain had begun.
We had harvested ten acresof rye several days before this;
we cut it with the Green's reaper, a large and very heavy ma-
chine, a machine people will not now look at except out of
curiosity. This machine was still standing in the field of rye
shocks. Mother and I had just reached the house when a
funnel-shaped cloud in the direction of Washington attracted
our attention, but we had time but for one or two surveys of
the cloud when we saw our rye-field litterally in the air and
the storm was moving toward our house with mad violence.
My mother, one sister and I started for the cellar door and
my brother and two other sisters for the front door, but be-
fore any .of us could reach the doors the house went.
The heavy oak foundation was moved five feet off its
base. The gable ends of the house were torn to pieces and
some of these fragments, as well as some house furnishings,
were carried miles away. Tlie two sides of the house were
thrown together in the shape of a roof. My mother was
caught under the lower edge of one of these sidewalls. I
was then 13 years of age and brother was 5 years my senior.
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 59
He, my oldest sister Sarah and I raised the side of that
house and released mother. How we did it no one will ever
know, except that in such emergencies extra strength is
given. "As thy day is so shall thy strength be". Mother
never entirely recovered from the injuries she received
in her shoulder. But what seemed a miracle happened in our
garden, where we had four colonies of bees under a very
temporary shelter. The strong new oak posts of the garden
fence on both sides of the bees were snapped off, but the
bees and their frail shelter were not disturbed. The old
Green's reaper in the rye field was lifted up and carried
some distance and then set carefully down as if to take it
along was too much of an incumbrance. Our district school
library, consisting of two cases of books, was in our house;
these were scattered to the "four winds". An old leather-
covered family Bible was found a quarter of a mile away
with the cover mutilated, but the inside of the book was left
"It's an ill wind that blows no one any good". We had
learned all our lives to prize our good neighbors, but never
before had we seen the whole region of country, including
the town of Washington, pour itself out in kindness and
helpfulness as w^e did on the following Sunday, when
thousands of people came to see the wreck. Our family
never forgot the vision of this community-heart of kindness.
Mrs. Geo. W. Bayler Tells of Old
Times in Washington and Vicinity
Mrs. Isadore Trimble Bayler is one of Washington's
oldest native-born residents, and her life has been spent in
this locality. Her grandfather, Thomas Trimble, emigrated
teachers. When she was 15 years of age she taught a school
from Cincinnati, 0., in 1834. He came by boat down the
Ohio river to St. Louis and then up the Illinois river to
Pekin. At Pekin he was met by Mr. Varble, who brought
him up to Washington and he settled on a farm two miles
north and a half mile west of Washington (now the George
Bowen farm). He paid $1.25 an acre for the land to the
government. Mr. Trimble with other settlers had to walk
to Springfield to pay entrance money for their land. It was
sold to the highest bidder. It occasioned a good deal of ex-
citement for the settlers from the vicinity of Washington as
they were afraid some one would bid up on the land. How-
ever, our early settlers on that occasion got their lands for
60 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
the $1.25 per acre, and started home happy.
It was a weary trip walking to Springfield and back.
The Indians were bad and they had to hide and dodge around
a good deal to miss them. On the trip home the weather
turned cold, and Mr. Trimble froze his feet and in walking
in that condition he was in a bad way when he reached
home. They pulled off his boots and when they were turned
up the blood ran out of them.
Reece Trimble, father of Mrs. Bayler, was born in 1827
in Ohio, and came to Washington when 7 years of age.
There were eight brothers and sisters in his family. One
brother went to California in the forty-nine gold rush. He
came back in 1854 and married a Bloomington girl and then
returned to California.
James Trimble, another brother, ran a wagon shop, and
made wagons where the Danforth bank now stands.
A man named Hittle ran one of the first stores in
Washington, and Dr. Burton was one of the early postmas-
ters. He was a father to the whole community and a kind-
hearted man. In those days they sent a letter with the post-
age to be collected. It cost 25 cents to get a letter from
Ohio, and they had to wait in the postoffice at times until
the receiver could get the money to pay for them.
Mrs. Bayler's father and mother lived in a house on lots
upon which is located the J. P. Wrenn residence. The frame
house they lived in is now built over into the Jacob Rich
Reece Trimble and family moved out on his father's
farm northwest of Washington m 1854. His father died two
years later. He now lies buried with his wife and two of the
children in the Union church cemetery northwest of Wash-
Mrs. Bayler was born June 24, 1850. In 1854 they had a
frost on July 3 which froze down the corn four or five inches
high and did a lot of damage. Mrs. Bayler remembers their
talking about the event in after years.
They used to hold M. E. camp meetings at Spring Bay.
Mrs. Bayler remembers one of the prominent early circuit-
riding preachers, Rev. Peter P. Cartwright. When a little
girl with her chum Vida Eldridge they attended one of his
meetings and the preacher took them both on his knees.
There used to be a flour mill in an early day over north-
west of Washington on Ten Mile creek, known as the Hor-
shaw mill. They used to drive over there to take their grist
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 61
When the T., P. & W. raih^oad was completed through
Washington in 1856 or '57, Mrs. Bayler was among the many
to go down to the station and see the first trains go through.
May 13, 1858, they had a terrible storm. Her mother
had given birth to twins (Emma, now Mrs. Casper Reynolds,
and William) ten days before and her father had a hard time
to keep the wind from blowing in the door and letting in the
hail and rain. After the storm her father went out and
found that Mr. Kice and wife (grandparents of Chas. Kice)
had been blown over while driving along the road in their
wagon. They were unconscious and one was thrown under
the wagon box. Mr. Bayler took them home, kept them over
night and they revived all right.
They used to tell big snake stories in the early days and
they had good reasons as there were lots of rattlers, bull,
black and other snakes. She remembers seeing a big black
snake down by Cooper that was long enough to stretch
across the road.
Her grandfather Trimble used to haul wheat to Chicago
along in the fifties. It took three weeks and they would
cook up food to last him most of the trip.
Prairie chickens were plentiful in those days, and were
easily trapped. Deer were also plentiful, and Mrs. Bayler
would often see them come down by the dozen to drink at
The morals of the young people in Washington were
pretty good in those days. The boys had quite a time see-
ing the old yeai- out by going around to the houses and shoot-
ing off their guns. The housewives baked up a lot of dough-
nuts and cakes to treat them when they called.
Mrs. Bayler remembers the Civil war times in Washing-
ton. Her father used to walk to town in the evening to get
the news. When he heard of the death of Col. Dan Miles and
President Lincoln he came home and actually cried. Gilbert
Jenoway and John Holsinger, two boys who lived at the home
of Mrs. Bayler's parents, went to war and both were killed
and buried on Island No. 10.
Mrs. Bayler remembers the Lincoln-Douglas campaign.
Thos. Fish with fife, 01 Hungerford with snare drum and Mr.
Trimble with bass drum furnished the music for the occa-
sions in Washington. When Lincoln spoke at Metamora
Hattie Fish, daughter of Thos. Fish, got up a hay rack load
of little girls, all dolled up, and took them to Metamora. This
was about 1859. I w^ent in the load and I remembered see-
ing Lincoln and hurrahing. We did not know he was to be-
62 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILIft
come such a great man or we would have tried to remember
more of the details.
Mrs. Bayler still remembers the following little verse
they all were shouting:
Lincoln was a gentleman,
Douglas was a fool;
Lincoln rides a white horse,
Douglas rides a mule.
Lincoln also spoke in Washington in a wigwam tent,
back of where the Community Building stands. I remember
they had torch light parades. They put a candle on a stick
and tied paper around it. I was in the parade and the paper
caught fire on my candle stick and caused some excitement.
When Mrs. Bayler was young the folks had no place to
go, so they all went to church and that was their social
event. About the most exciting game they had in those
times was to pitch horse shoes.
The war came on and Mrs. Bayler had to help her father
on the farm. She drove the horses while her father and
mother did the work. Mrs. Bayler was one of the early
under her aunt at Sparland. She also taught school one year
in the country. She went to school in Washington and her
teacher was Herman Snow, wlio married a Danforth, and
was afterwards congressman from Kankakee.
In the fall of '67 Mrs. Bayler taught school in Washing-
ton in a school house on the southwest corner of where the
school park is now located. Miss Mary Italin went to school
to Mrs. Bayler and Miss Itahn has now bee n a teacher in
Washington's primary school for 52 years. Mrs. Bayler
taught school in the old Washington brick seminary which
was located on the lots back of the Geo. M. Stimson residence.
She taught there for seven years, until she married Geo. W.
Bayler in November, 1837.
Mrs. Bayler also taught a select school in summer for
several years for $1.00 per month per pupil. Mrs. Mostoller,
Will Aubrey, James and Frank Wrenn were among her pu-
Mrs. Bayler after her marriage lived in the attractive
home on the bayler stock farm, which adjoins the city on
the northwest. She was noted for her hospitality and they
used to come from near and far to visit the Baylers. Of late
years Mrs. Mrs. Bayler has had a severe sick spell and is not
able to get out very much. She still retains her keen intellect
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 63
and can vividly recount the scenes of long ago. She has
rooms in the Tobias building and runs a little notion store to
help while her time away, and her old friends are glad to call.
The above incidents were secured in a recent talk with
Some History of the Zinser
Family, Who Were Old Settlers
Mrs. Lizzie Zinser Brown of Harlan, la., and Rev. J. W.
Ferner of Washington, D. C, are the only remaining mem-
bers of the Zinser, Tobias, Ferner caravan of early settlers
who emigrated from Ohio to Washington in 1851. Mrs.
Brown in some recent letters to Miss Emma Scott tells of
some of the early history of her family and of the country.
The following are extracts:
"There were four families of us in company when we
moved from Ohio, coming by team and in covered wagons.
Father, Jacob Zinser's, family was the largest. There were
11 children, but only 9, 5 girls and 4 boys, came with the
family. The oldest brother, John, came previous to father
and got work at his trade as a wagon maker. Father came
to Illinois to get a better chance to farm, as his boys were
old enough to help with the woi'k. Brother S. L. attended
college at Delaware, Ohio, and when the war broke out he
enlisted and raised a company and was made lieutenant. He
was in the army 3 years, was wounded at Chattanooga and
was discharged. He went into the drug business. He mar-
ried Sarah Grad}^
Brothers Sam and George were the first to hear the
call and enlist in the Civil war. They went through four
years, were in many battles, and were honorably discharged
at the close without a wound. Brother Israel enlisted when
they called for recruits. He was not in battle, but was in
camp when the war closed.
Brother William looked after the farming while the
other boys were helping Uncle Sam. They all went into busi-
ness after the war, Sam and George in the hardware busi-
ness for some time, and Israel in the drug business. William
was a farmer all his life. He lived in northern Iowa until
he died and his family still live there.
Ben, the youngest of the family, was bom in Washing-
ton. He was a banker as long as he lived and died in 1925.
64 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
The girls in the family from oldest down were Mary,
Catherine, Susan, Lizzie and Rebecca. They were all mar-
ried but Rebecca. Catherine died in 1862 and was the first
break in the family.
I think it took our family a month to make the trip
from Ohio to Illinois. It was rough traveling over corduroy
bridges. The country was swampy in places and the roads
were made of logs, which did not make a smooth roadbed.
I remember when I was young a string of saloons they
had in Washington across the north side of the square. I
do not know who patronized them as I was afraid to pass
by them, I was so afraid of a drunken man. I can recall
when I was a child and sick with a diseased knee, which left
me a cripple for life, the folks raised me up to the door to
see the first train go through Washington on the T., P. & W.
railroad. It was in 1857.
I am past my 80th birthday. I have not had my usual
health this summer. Recently I have been laid up with a
spell of rheumatism.
John W. Wilson is one of W^ashington's oldest native
born citizen. Mr. Wilson is still active and in very good
health, and he has an especially keen and vivid mind. He
had an extended farming experience in Woodford and Taze-
well counties and is well qualified to tell of early conditions.
The following are some facts gathered from an interview
WiUiam Wilson, father of J. W. Wilson, was one of the
very early settlers in Central Illinois. He came here in
1829 from Ohio. His widowed sister, Jane, accompanied him.
(Jane afterwards was the second wife of William Holland,
the first settler in Washington, and was the mother of six
of Mr. Holland's family of twenty-one children. One of her
children, Mrs. John Weeks, is still living in Washington, the
only surviving child of Washington's first settler).
Mr. Wilson and sister, Jane, came to Illinois overland
in a one-horse wagon. They started with a cow owned by
Jane. They traveled four days with the cow tied behind the
wagon and the animal caused so much trouble to lead that
being mightily provoked one day Mr. Wilson asked his sis-
ter Jane what she would take for the cow. She set the price
at $10, and although the brother was not very flush he
pulled out his purse and paid her $10, and not waiting to un-
tie the cow he took out his knife, slashed the rope and turned
the cow loose. In a week of two the cow wandered back to
its original home in Ohio. And in six months or a year some
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 65
of the folks who had picked up the cow sent Mr. Wilson $10,
the amount he had paid his sister.
Wm. Wilson and his sister came alone on their journey
with their one-horse wagon as far as the Wabash river.
There they fell in with the Heaths and Henson Thomas, who
were also on their way to Illinois and were early settlers
who located in Washington. The early Wilson had a tough
experience in making the long trip with his single horse and
wagon through the timber and across streams and swampy
Upon his arrival in Washington Mr. Wilson purchased a
claim of 164 acres of land just west of Washington, now
owned by George Muller. There was a log cabin on the
place. Mr. Wilson hved there until his death in 1857. When
lie came here he thought the prairie land east of Washington
never w-ould be settled, so he went into the timber and
grubbed out trees. He was only able to clear about 50 acres
of the land while he ow^ned it.
Wiliam Wilson married Sarah McClure. The McClures
lived on the farm where Willhardt used to live, northwest of
Washington. He was the father of six children, one dying
in infancy. Of the five children Mary Jane married H. K.
Swisher, Nancy married George Bon Durant, Maria married
W. T. Smith, Sarah Ann unmarried and John W. married
Virginia Ann Kindig, who died in January, 1912. Three
children were born to Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Wilson. One died
in infancy, one son died at the age of 21, soon after gradu-
ating from high school. The daughter, Gertrude, lives with
her father and keeps house for him.
John W. Wilson lived with his folks until he was 18
years of age. He then hired out to work on a farm during
the summer at $12 a month. That winter he went to school
in the old seminary, taught by Joe Wood. The next year
he farmed for Henry Kindig at $14 a month. The next iwo
years he farmed for himself and boarded at Emanuel Kin-
dig's two miles northwest of Washington. He raised mostly
corn, one year some wheat. He sold his com that year in
the ear for 80 cents,. 80 pounds to the bushel. He received
a good price on account of the war.
In the spring of 1866 he married and moved on a farm
in the east part of Woodford county, 5 miles southeast of
Minonk. He farmed there for fifteen years. A good deal of
the prairie land around there was wet and had sloughs upon
it. They had no tiling then. He raised com and oats, most-
ly com. They hauled their corn to market at IVIinonk. That
66 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
was considered a great corn country. SoT.e days they would
have to wait all day and over to the next aay to get unloaded.
The streets would be full of wagons. The poUce would have
to help keep order and get the wagons lined up. They had
no dumps in those days and the corn was all scooped off the
load. The elevator would furnish one extra man to help the
farmer scoop off his load.
They hauled some of their corn in an early day to Chi-
cago, not very big loads, and received as low as 614 cents a
bushel. That was about the only way to get money some-
Most of the country was raw prairie land. When Mr.
Wilson started farming in 1866 about one-fourth was in cul-
tivation. Raw land then sold for $10 an acre and cultivated
land for $25 to $40 per acre.
Wild game was plentiful. There were lots of prairie
chickens, geese and ducks. Mr. Wilson could shoot a good
deal of game from his front yard.
Mr. Wilson moved onto several different farms in Wood-
ford and Tazewell counties up until 1893, when he gave up
farming and moved to Washington. FaiTning was not very
profitable in those days. The highest price paid for corn
w^as 45 cents a bushel, after the war.
When he was a boy he remembers one time of carrying
18 dozen eggs to town for his brother-in-law to the Tobias &
Hittle store in Washington and receiving 3 cents a dozen for
In the old days they used to have some pretty cold
winters. When Mr. Wilson was a boy, living at home, in the
winter of 1854-55 they had a butchering at their place and
the neighbors were all in to help. It was so cold a spell at
that time that the snow had not thawed in the wagon tracks
for seven weeks.
The roads were pretty bad in the early days. In Febru-
ary, 1866, he went to Peoria to get his wedding suit. The
mud was so deep he went on horseback and had to get off
the horse three times to let him wallow out of the mud.
There was timber all along the Peoria road in the sixties,
some of the trees being three feet through.
In 1859 Stephen A. Douglas held a big political meeting
in Locust Grove near Metamora (now the McGuire farm).
Over 100 wagons went up from Washington. Tlie towns
around vied with each other in sending the biggest delega-
tion. Mr. Wlison remembers that Jaser Sickler's father was
a drummer for the occasion. He marched about twenty-five
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 67
feet back of Doulgas in the parade. He had a deep voice
and he created a big sensation by shouting, "Hurrah for
Douglas", every few steps along the way.
In those days the political parties would try and see
which one could raise the highest flag pole. There was a
good deal of drinking at tTie political meetings and thei'^ was
quite a littte fighting.
One of the early events in Washington which occurred
when Mr. Wilson was a boy was the wrecking of the store
and saloon kept by a man named Pearl on the top of the
hill in the west part of Washington (afterwards the Wells
Andrews homestead). It seems that Pearl sold some whis-
key to David Kelso, one of the early settlers. Kelso went
to Peoria and died after drinking the whiskey and it was sup-
posed to have been poisoned. It created a sensation and a
crowd was formed and went out and completely wrecked the
Pearl place. Several of Kelso's brothers were in the crowd.
One of the boys had driven into town with a team of oxen,
and when he heard they were going out to Pearl's he jumped
off his wagon on the square and let the oxen run loose and
joined the crowd. Pearl sat by while they wrecked his place,
but he afterwards had quite a number of the wrecking paiiy
arrested. Abraham Lincoln was hired to defend the arrested
parties and secured their acquittal in a trial which was held
Pearl's first wife was a sister of Dr. Wood. She sepa-
rated from him and lived across the road from his place. Af-
ter they wreclx'ed his place Pearl went to Peoria where he led
a dissolute life and finally died in the poor house.
Mr. Wilson has a number of relics of the early days and
is sorry he did not preserve more of them, especially the early
crude farming implements used by his father. He has three
or four chairs made in 1839 by Asa Danforth and his brother
when they ran a furniture store and factory here in an early
day. The chairs are still solid and are good for many more
years of service. He also has an old side-saddle used by his
mother, made in an early day.
He thinks the oldest brick building in Washington is the
Petri store building which was operated in an early day by
Mr. Gorin. The Roehm shoe store is the oldest frame build-
ing. The room above the store was known as temperance
hall and Mv. Wilson remembers when his church, the Chris-
tian, held services in the room.
68 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
Mr. Wilson's father used to haul goods from Wesley
City for the stores in Washington. It took three days to
make the round trip, some 25 miles, and he was paid $1.50
for a trip.
When his father landed in Washington in 1829 there
were only four or five families living here.
Old Time Account Book
Mr. Wilson has a valuable old relic which consists of an
old account book of his father, WilHam Wilson. The date of
the accounts were from 1838 to 1845. The penmanship of
the elder Mr. Wilson was very good and although the paper
is faded with age the writing still stands out plainly.
This account book shows most vividly and accurately the
prices that were paid for produce and work in those early
days. It also shows the names of some of our very early
In those early days evidently not much cash changed
hands. Mr. Wilson's accounts showed that he kept a debtor
and credit account with most of the people with whom he
did business. The accounts would run for a year or more
and they would have a settlement and carry the balance over
in the next account.
The following are just a few of the many entries in the
Oct. 16, 1839. Adam Switzer, Cr. for the making of a
coat and pocket stuff, $8.25.
Jan. 11, 1840. A. Switzer, Cr. for making a coat and
vest, $2.00, and for trimmings, 4334c.
May 31, 1841. J. Wheeler, half cord of wood, 75 cents.
June 31, 1841. J. Wheeler, Dr., to 4 doz. eggs, 25c.
July 12, 1841. J. Wheeler, Dr., to 9 lbs. lard at 6i^c,
Dec. 8, 1838. Mr. Goold, Dr., to % cord of wood,
July 13, 1841. J. Wheeler, Cr. for one day's work, $1.00.
Oct. 11, 1844. Dr. Wood, Dr. to 40 lbs. pickled pork,
Oct. 15, 1845. Dr. Wood, Dr. to 23 lbs. pork at 21/2C
per lb., 57c.
April 27, 1849. Mr. Our, Dr. to 12 bushels com at 25c
per bushel, $3.00.
March 26, 1841. Snell and Tiney, Dr. to hauling one
load to Wesley City, $2.00.
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL, 69
Dec. 27, 1841. Samuel Hampton, Dr. to 73 lbs. of pork,
Dec. 2, 1844. Mr. Waggoner, Cr. for one day's work,
Nov. 22, 1838. Mr. Pearl, Dr. to 1 day's work with two
horses and wagon, $2.00.
Feb. 6, 1839. Mr. Pearl, Dr. to 25 lbs. flour, $1.00.
Dec. 6, 1841. David Gibson, Dr. to one load of wood,
Dec. 5, 1840. Squire Baker, Cr. for one day's work done
by George Thomas, $1.00.
Feb. 8, 1839. Doct. Goodwin, Dr. to one cord wood,
June 1, 1841. Richard Wab, Dr. to 15 lbs. of wool at
371/2C per lb., which is to be paid in work at 50c per day by
Shiderick when called on.
Oct. 1841. Jacob Kern, Dr. to 94 ft. of lynn lumber at
2c per foot.
Oct. 19, 1839. Lawson Holland, Dr. to timber to make
8200 feet of lumber at 87V2C per hundred, $28.00.
June 15, 1840. Lawson Holland, Cr. for a wheat fan re-
ceived of Parsons, $28.00.
Oct. 4, 1843. J. Belle, Dr. to 118 lbs. of beef at 2c,
Nov. 16, 1843. J. Belle, Cr. for two days' work done by
the boys, 50c.
Jan. 25, 1839. Wm. Kern, Dr. to 180 feet of frame tim-
ber at 2 cents per foot, Dr. to hauling 2 loads at 50c per load.
March 10, 1838. Wm. Kern, Cr. for one side saddle,
Feb. 11. Wm. Kern, Cr. for the grinding of 10 bushels
and a half of spring wheat, $1.68.
April 13, 1839. Wm. Kern, Cr. for a hat got Jacob
Kern's shop, $5.00.
July 8, 1839. Wm. Kern, Cr. for the carding of 20 lbs.
and thre-fourths of rolls at 7c per lb., $1.46.
May 10, 1842. Sephas Wood, Cr. for 2 days' work done
by John Baracas' boys, $1.25.
Oct. 4, 1843. David Gibson, Cr. for half a day at butch-
ering beef, 50c.
Nov. 9, 1845. David Gibson, Cr. for one day at husking,
June 15, 1844. Sephas Wood, Dr. to I14 lbs. of butter,
70 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON. ILL.
Nov. 4, 1845. George Higgins, Cr. for one day's work,
April 12, 1839. J. Phillips, Dr. to 2 walnut trees, $7.00.
Aug. 6, 1839. J. Phillips, Dr. to 24 lbs. pork at 7c
per lb., $1.68.
Jan. 8, 1840. J. Phillips, Dr. to a stack of hay, $6.00 to
be cash, $4.00 to be work.
June 29, 1840. Due me from J. PhilUps on settlement
to be paid in trade, $25.46.
Oct. 25, 1841. Mr. Rue, Dr. to one steer weighing 403
lbs., $10,071/2; to one cow weighing 525 lbs., $12,121/2.
June 3, 1840. Mr. Allee, Cr. for sharpening plow, 25c.
Jan. 23, 1840. Mr. Allee, Cr. for setting 4 pair of shoes,
Oct. 12, 1841. Thomas Fish, Cr. by one pair of shoes,
$1.75. Cr. for pair of boots, $4.50.
Nov. 10, 1842. Mr. Willard, Dr. to one hide, 63 lbs. at
Dec. 16, 1839. S. P. Gorin, Dr. to 14 yards flannel at
75c, $10.50. Cr. for goods of Rodes Van Meter, $10.50.
Oct. 28, 1841. Wm. Holland, Cr. for 2 bushels of ap-
ples and 9 bushels of bran.
Feb. 17, 1842. Wm. Holland, Cr. for 2 days work, $1.50.
Jan. 18, 1841. Asa Danforth, Cr. for sharpening a cross
cut saw, 50c.
Mch. 23, 1841. Mr. Danforth, to lumber marked on re-
ceipt of $52.50, to be paid in furniture.
Jan. 22, 1841. Mr. Danforth, Dr. to 2 loads of hickory
timber delivered at the shop, $3.00.
Mav 5, 1843. Wm. C. Spencer, Dr. to 2 bushels of oats,
Oct. 7, 1844. Robert Celso (Kelso), Cr. for one day's
Julv 5, 1845. R. Celso, Dr. to 2 trees in the pasture,
March, 1846. A. Switzer, Cr. for on cloth vest, $3.50.
Jan. 27, 1844. Dr. Wood, Dr to eight bushels of oats at
March 22, 1842. Mr. Runnels, Cr. for sharpening a plow,
May 26, 1842. Mr. Runnels, Cr. for sharpening plow,
mending log chain, making bell clapper, sharpening mattock,
amounting to 621/2C.
Dec. 18, 1846. L. Reynolds, Dr. to 3 loads of wood, 75c.
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 71
Dec. 10, 1844. J. S. Bell, Dr. to 183 lbs. beef at li/oo.
per lb., $2.45.
Oct. 20, 1845. J. S. Bell, Cr. with 1 day's work donp
by Thomas, 37i/2C.
Nov. 19, 1841. S. P. Gorin, Dr. to half cord of wood de-
livered at the female school house, 75c.
A number of entries given below were made which would
seem to indicate that Mr. Wilson had taken some of uie
early private bank money or script on account:
Five dollars on the Bank of Illinois, marked letter A
No. 1710, payable at their branch bank at Pekin to the or-
der of C. C. Wilcox, cashier thereof, Shawneetown, 1st of
May, 1840, got of J. Johnson.
Ten dollars the State Bank of Illinois, marked letter A
No. 43240, payable at their branch bank in Danville to the
order of i\Ir. ]\Iobley, cashier, Springfield, June the 1st, 1837,
got of James IMcClure.
Five dollars on the State Bank of Illinois, marked letter
G No. 8613, payable at Springfield to anyone or bearer, dat^
Sept. 1, 1835, got of Crasly.
Mrs. Esther Ann Weeks
Mrs. Esther Ann Weeks was born in Washington on
March 16, 1842, a daughter of William Holland, the first
settler and founder of Washington. J\Ir. Holland was the
father of twenty-one children and Mrs. Weeks is the only
known living child. It is quite appropriate that in compiling
the early history of this locahty that we should nave an in-
terview with j\Jrs. Weeks. The following interesting facts
were gathered by Miss Emma Scott in a recent talk with
William Holland was born in Lincoln county. North Caro-
hna, Oct. 14, 1786. He was married on May 24, 1811, to
Levycy Bess. In 1815 they moved to Illinois territory and
settled at Edwardsville, IVIadison county, where they re-
mained three years. They then removed to Menard county
where they lived two years, and from there to Fort Clark
(Peoria) in 1820.
Mr. Holland had a gunsmith shop in Peoria and also
raised corn on the Illinois river bottom on the Tazewell side
of the river. In cultivating his crop he crossed the stream
in a birch bark canoe.
After Mr. Holland settled in Washington he continued
to conduct his shop as gunsmith for the Indians at Fort
Clark. In doing so he rode his gray horse, "Turk", to the
72 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON. ILL.
river bank and let him loose to go home, and he swam the
river both going and coming, and ran home to Washington.
Turk was a great horse. The neighborhood children used
his back to support their teeter board. Mr. Holland used to
put Esther Ann and her little brother on his back and let
Turk trot off to the barn. The children fell off, but the
horse kept on his way and on reaching the barn looked back
to see their predicament, and if a horse could laugh he sure-
Wm. Holland's first cabin in Washingtn was at a spring,
still flowing, just south of the Dickinson canning factory, in
the northeast quarter of section 23, township 26, north
range 2 west of the 3d principal meridian in Tazewell county,
Illinois. He later built on the present site of the A. G. Dan-
forth residence, and continued to live there to the close of
his life Nov. 27, 1<S71.
In the spring of 1826 Mr. Holland started to improve
a farm in the northwest quarter of section 24, township 26,
range 3 west of the 3d P. M., just east of the original town
of Washington and embracing a part of the Holland, Dorsey,
Wathen and Robinson addition to the town.
Mr. Holland had three wives and was the father of
twenty-one children, fourteen by his first wife, Levycy Bess
Holland, and seven by his second wife, Mrs. Jane Wilson
Cowen Holland. Bv this third wife, Mrs. Meadows Holland,
there were no children. Mrs. Meadows was a sister of Ezra
Miles and Mrs. Borland.
Mr. Holland had a family of ten children when he set-
tled in Washington. He soon had a school conducted in his
own hom.e. He took a deep interest in helping his children
with their studies. One of the family pastimes was to have
a "spelling bee" with the father as the pronouncer.
The first religious meeting in Washington was held in
Mr. Holland's log cabin. It was conducted by Pvev. Jesse
Walker, a Methodist preacher. James Harvey, one of the
first settlers, was present and the two families.
Before his death Mr. Holland had all his children come
home and he preached them a sermon he had pre]»ared. This
sermon was delivered at his funeral by Rev. Howe of the
Christian church. It has been preserved and is in print. It
shows that Mr. Holland was a man of learning and was well
posted on the Bible. It also proves that he was a firm be-
liever in the Christian faith.
Miss Emma Scott furnishes the following information:
"Mr. Ruble, who lived northeast of Washington, told me that
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 73
V. hen he was a boy 14 years of age he came to town and did
not know that i\Ir. Holland had died until he saw the funeral
procession move from the Frank Tobias furniture store,
W'hich was located on the lot back of the old Danforth hotel.
They were carrying a casket through the middle of the
muddy street, followed by neighbors and friends, among
whom were j\Irs. Asa Danforth and her daughter Hattie, all
walking to the old cemetery.
Wilham Holland gave a 4th of July dinner in the year
1850 in a fine grove where the Henry Denhart home now
stands. He erected long tables and bought muslin for table
cloths. The citizens did not wish for him to bear all of the
expense, and they formed a procession in the square and
marched to the gi-ounds. As they passed his shop, w^hich
was south of the grove, they passed through a gate. Air.
Holland's little daughter, Esther Ann, about 10 years old,
held her little apron to catch the coins of a free will offering
from the dinner guests. ISIrs. Holland, son William and
Hamilton Riddle, a son-in-law, did all of the cooking for the
Tlie day after the Fourth, Esther Ann, who later be-
came Mrs. John Weeks, and Susan Burton (later Mrs. Almon
G. Danforth), climbed on the long tables and ran from one
end to the other. In her glee Susan pushed Esther off, and
she gathered her hands full of dust and put it down the
back of Susan's neck. Susan reciprocated by putting an
equal amount of dirt in Esther's hair, etc.
A Frenchman and a German came to the Holland shop
in an early day. The Frenchman asked, "Is the Smith's
The German said, "Get away, let me talk," and he said,
"Is the black smith's shop in der rouse?"
In 1829 a band of Indians camped one and one-half
miles west of Washington. The w^hite women were afraid
of them and Mr. Holland asked their chief to have them
move farther away. They complied with the request and
located near Foi't Clark on the Tazewell side of the river.
The Indians were harsh at times and would walk into the
homes. They one time broke open Mrs. Jane Holland's
trunk, but did not take any of the contents. They were af-
ter money. Mr. Holland was a quick tempered man and
spoke to them about their act. They said they would not
do harm to the "pale face."
74 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
The primary school property in Washington was a gift
by Mr. Holland and could never be used except for school
Mr. Holland's first wife was buried on the Benj. Tobias
homestead in 1833, as were later on two of the children.
William Holland Family History-
Father of Twenty-One Children
Holland Family Record
The following very interesting facts in regard to the
family of William Holland, the first settler and founder of
Washington, has been copied from the "family records" and
on information furnished by Mrs. Thomas Holland:
William Holland, born in Lincoln county. North Caro-
lina, Oct. 14, 1786; married May 24, 1811, to Levycy Bess,
by Isaac Holland; died Nov. 27, 1871, Washington, age 85
years, 1 month, 13 days.
Levycy Bess, born Lincoln county, N. C, Jan. 26, 1794;
died Jan. 27, 1833, Washington, age 39 years, 1 day.
Lawson Holland, born Lincoln county, N. C, Feb. 24,
1812; married Elizabeth Bandy, by Rev. W. J. Curtis, in
1833; children James, Reuben, Thomas, Lewis, Sarah,
George, Isaac and Charles.
Elizabeth Holland, born Lincoln county, N. C, May 20,
1813; further history unknown.
Metilda Holland, born Hopkins county, Kentucky, Nov.
30, 1814; further history unknown.
Senath Holland, born territory Illinois, Ocoaw river,
Nov. 3, 1815 ; further history unknown.
William H. Holland, born Madison county, 111., Oct. 6,
1818; married Elizabeth Holland, a cousin, of Sangamon
county, 111.; children Nellie, John, Leva, Oliver.
Nancy Carline Holland, born Sangamon county, 111.,
June 28, 1820; married Hamilton Riddle; children Hamilton,
Jane, Ellen, Lavycy and Lavina twins, Lynn ; Hiawatha, Kan.
Mary Holland, born Sangamon county. 111., Feb. 6, 1821 ;
married Lewis Beal; children Moses, Narcissy.
Matthew Holland, bom Sangamon county, 111., Aug. 6,
1822; married Ellen Pierce.
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 75
Levicy Holland, born Peoria county, 111., Nov. 16, 1924;
married Pascal Bandy.
Sarah Jane Holland, born March 6, 1826, Peoria county,
111.; married Dud Couzier; his second wife Elizabeth; chil-
dren Esther, Daniel, Edgar.
George Washington Holland, born Tazewell county. III.,
Feb. 18, 1828; never married; was a California gold seeker;
died in Washington.
Alviry Holland, born Tazewell county May 15, 1829;
died March 15, 1833, age 3 years, 10 months.
Narcissy Holland, born Tazewell county July 7, 1831;
married George Bandy; children Olivia, Martha, Mary, Al-
Katharine Holland, born Tazewell county Jan, 18, 1833;
9 days old at death of mother; further history unknown.
Second Wife and Children
Mrs. Jane Wilson Cowden, born Feb. 25, 1804, Fayette,
Penn. ; married to William Holland March 31, 1833, by Dan-
iel Meek; died Nov. 10, 1856, Washington. Came to Wash-
ington in 1829 with her brother, William Wilson, from Perry
Maria Holland, born Tazewell county Nov. 1, 1835; died
Jan. 1, 1836, ae 2 months.
Philura Holland, born Tazewell county May 12, 1837;
married Frank Wright of Missouri; no knowledge of family
except two sons killed by lightning.
Jane Susanna Holland, bom Tazewell county July 23,
1838; married Henry Cook; children Lucy, Lillie, Sadie,
James Harrison Holland, born Aug. 11, 1840, Washing-
ton; married Mary Johnson; children WiUiam, Anna, resi-
dence Los Angeles, Calif.
Esther Ann Holland, bora March 16, 1842, Washington :
married John Weeks; children Albert, Lyda (now Mrs. Ed
McManus) ; grandson Carlos.
John Allen Holland, born Oct.l 0, 1843, Washington;
further history unknown.
Isaac Holland, bora July 24, 1845, Washington ; married
Mary Lewis ; children May (now Mrs. Dr. Bell) ; grandchild
James Holland Bell.
76 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
Washington's Centennial Celebration
The city of Washington held a Centennial celebration
on August 11, 12 and 13, 1925. It was estimated 16,000
people attended the different events during the three days.
The first day's event was a pageant given in honor of
Miss Mary Italin, a teacher in the Washington primary
school for nearly fifty years, and who up to that time had
passed over 1500 pupils through her room. Following the
play in three episodes which did great honor to Miss Italin,
she was escorted to the Commercial square where a beauti-
ful terra cotta flower urn was presented to her as a memor-
ial, a gift of her students. After Hon. David McCluggage
had presented the memorial to her in a most flattering ad-
dress she was given personal letters and telegrams from
President Calvin Coolidge, Senator Wm. McKinley, Governor
Len Small, Congressman W. E. Hull and State Senator Ben
The rest of the celebration consisted of addresses by
Congressman Rathbone and State Senator Kessinger, plays
on two evenings by the Kiwanis club, band concerts, grand
barbecue, parade, ball game and other sport events.
Mayor Rinkenberger, ably assisted by various commit-
tees, planned and carried out most successfully the big
Memorial to William Holland
On Friday, Oct. 15, 1926, there was dedicated a bronze
memorial to William Holland, the first settler of Washing-
ton, 111. Miss Emma Scott, whose parents were among
Washington's first settlers, was responsible for the agitation
which resulted in the raising of the necessary funds to pur-
chase the memorial. The bronze tablet is imbedded in the
brick work on the west side of the band stand located in
Commercial square and is impressive in appearance. The
following is the wording on the tablet:
The following are the addresses in full of some of the
speakers at the dedicatory service:
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. . 77
Mayor Geo. Rinkenberger
I consider it a very great honor to have the opportunity
of presiding at this meeting and being Mayor of our city 100
years after its foundation was laid by the man in whose
memory we meet here this afternoon. This is an occasion
that few people are able to witness, and to have the honor
of presiding is only to remind me of my inability to do jus-
tice and my great desire will be able to do better because
the memories that are brought back to us not only who was
the founder of our city, but they shov/ us what men of those
times did for the future generations. I wonder if^the men of
today are sacrificing as much as the people 100 or a 1,000
years ago sacrificed so that you and I might be happy and
prosperous today, and I wonder if you and I are appreciat-
ing the things that these people did for us. Of the many
instances that we can recall we can start back 20 centuries
ago when Christ gave his life for us; then we go through
the many wars and through the suff'erings and hardships
that were endured by the men who discovered and first set-
tled in our great free country in the 14th century and down
to our own William Holland, who, 100 years ago, witliout
any of the luxuries and the privileges and happiness that
we have today, sacrificed his life and his fortune to make
this spot a happy home for you and I.
In looking over some of the records it seems to me that
this man was a cheerful giver, and got his pleasure out of
giving rather than out of the honor that was derived from
it. He gave to us our cemetery so that we might have a
resting place for those who passed beyond; he gave to us
both the primary and the grade school grounds and the
school play grounds, having in mind the welfare and the
development of the younger generation that would continue
the activities of our city after he had passed on. He also
gave to this city, as a gift, the Public Square where we are
now meeting in his honor. So he started here the develop-
ment of the laying out and the building of our beautiful lit-
tle city. H did it in honor of the "Father of Our Country"
and named it after Washington rather than after himself,
which he no doubt would have had an opportunity to do;
but in his modest way it seems that we can read in his his-
tory that his mind was only for you and I that live today,
and the things he did were not for his own glory. I am
wondering if a 100 years from now the same thing could be
said about any of us, and I am sure that this afternoon will
be well spent in placing in the City Park a suitable memorial
78 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
of our founder and I am sure that the speakers of this af-
ternoon will bring us some very interesting messages appro-
priate for the occasion.
As the Mayor of our city I feel it my duty and it is with
great honor that I accept it as a privilege to exercise the
authority invested in me as Mayor of the city to express to
Mrs. Esther Weeks and the descendants of William Holland
a sincere appreciation for the beautiful memories that we
have of your father and our "father".
It is certainly remarkable to be able to realize that 100
years after our city was founded we can celebrate in honor
of our founder and have with us his daughter who happens
to be Mrs. Esther Weeks, who passed the 84th year of her
life on March 16, last. She is the youngest of the 21 chil-
dren of William Holland, and if I might pause from serious-
ness for a moment I might add here that William Holland
not only started our city by the gifts of the cemetery, the
school grounds and the City Park and by the establishment
of a solid foundation for a prosperous city, but he also with-
in his own children gave us a mighty army of men and
women who were able to do more than their part in keeping
in operation the city he started for 100 years. We are not
all unmindful of the things that your ancestors have done;
the only reason that we are unable at this time to express
to you the proper appreciation that this city might have for
that foundation which was laid by William Holland in 1826
is because I do not have the words and the ability to express
it in a proper manner.
I therefore again, on behalf of the citizens of Washing-
ton and the community which I represent as Mayor, express
to you, Mrs. Weeks, and the other descendants of William
Holland, an assurance of our sincere appreciation of your
own efforts and those of your families who have left us be-
fore you in the great part which you have had in the build-
ing of this city and community, and the liberal spirit in
which you have made this a happy home for all of us, and
we are sure that you will be rewarded again for the splendid
spirit you have shown on earth when it becomes your op-
portunity to meet William Holland again inside the pearly
gates at the right hand of God.
Mayor George Rinkenberger.
Prof. B. J. Radford of Eureka
In the winter of 1860-61 I taught school out here at
what they call Central school house. Two of the pupils that
attended that school are with us today, Mrs. Cal Cress and
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 79
Mr. John Wilson. I boarded that winter in the family of
John Johnson, who lived in that neighborhood. One of his
youngest children by the name of JMary was thirteen years
old; she afterwards became the wife of Jimmie Holland, a
son of William Holland whom we celebrate today.
William Holland was born in North Carolina. It is the
native state of old "Hickory" Jackson. It was the state from
which Daniel Boone went forth and blazed the way of pion-
eers and of civilization throughout the wilderness country ly-
ing to the west and from what I saw of William Holland'
think that he had imbibed the spirit of his fellow citizens
and imbibed the pioneer spirit of Daniel Boone and the steel
determination of old "Hickory" Jackson. He was a man of
that fibre and character, as I remember him, and he came
with those rugged characteristics of the old north state that
made him the fine pioneer that he was. When he settled here
it was then called Holland's Grove, in 1825. He had been
living in this part of the state since 1820. In 1820 he came
to Fort Clark, afterwards called Peoria, and while he lived
over on the west side of the river at Fort Clark he built a
cabin on the east side and opened a little farm there, and
would cross back and forth to his work in a canoe that he
had constructed. Then, in 1825, he came here and built his
cabin on the place where now Mr. Danforth's fine residence
is, and it would not be necessary nor would it be profitable
for me to relate on the circumstances, the hardships, the la-
bor, the trials and the dangers through which that pioneer
family went, for you have heard some of that this afternoon
from the other speakers
No doubt all of you have read about those early days
and the hardships of those early times, but when William
Holland built his cabin here his nearest neighbors were ten
miles away, where East Peoria is now. How would you like
to go off and take your family, and put them in a log cabin
ten miles away from your nearest white neighbor, surround-
ed by Indians sometimes sober and peaceful, sometimes
drunken and dangerous? Nobody but a heroic man and no
family but a heroic family would undertake such an enter-
prise as that. Think of it a little while. Think what it
would mean in the way of labor; in the way of hardships;
what danger in the way of the lack of everything that we
rely upon today in the times of trouble. There was no one
to whom they could appeal; they had to care for themselves
in every way. Think about it ; but now honest thinking leads
us along to what it all meant, and what it is all about and
80 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON. ILL.
what for. Why did he come here? Why did other sturdy
men gather around him in hardships and deprivation and in
danger make their homes? They came to establish homes,
but not for themselves. They were looking to posterity;
they were looking to our welfare today: they were looking
to the opportunities that we have today of which they
denied themselves. If it had been simply for themselves, if
it had been only for their own gratification they would have
been better off to stay in their ow^n community ; so they came
to make homes for the future — for their children and their
children's children and for us today.
One of the noblest threads of humanity is to have a care
and to take pains and toil for posterity. You high livers,
you aristocrats who live for pleasure and luxury do not think
of posterity. When the French nobility that gathered like
butterflies around the Bourbons were spending the revenues
of the canton and the revenues that could be gathered from
conquests, while they were living high and reveling, some
wise man said to them, "Well, what is the outcome of this;
what is to come after this?" "Oh!" they sneeringly said,
"after us the devil's case ;" and there was a deluge of dread
and doubt that spread over France and over the boundaries
of Europe, a deluge that nearly w^recked civilization.
These men that settled Washington I knew personally.
I know what kind of fibre those men had. They came here
and denied themselves of 'comforts, they endured hardships,
they faced danger that their children and their children's
children and the children of those that should come after
them might have the opportunities and safeguards that we
have now, and as has been said very aptly this afternoon
they not only came to build the home, but the school and
the church and to gather about the home all of those effec-
tive and helpful influences that should make home what it
ought to be. Now I would like you to think pretty seriously
of the things that grow out of these conditions.
In the city where I was preaching once I was visiting
a family on the Avenue. On one side they called it the
"Bobs" side, it being inhabited by people of moderate means
who lived by labor and by mutual helpfulness in the family.
On the other side was the palaces of rich men; this was the
"Nabob" side. As we were sitting on the porch I said to my
friend, pointing to a house that cost $150,000, "That family
must enjoy life and have a good time with that sumptuous
home, luxury everywhere and plenty of money". "Well", he
said, "that man and his wife have not met for many years;
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 81
he has his abode in one of the hotels down town and they
never meet". "There is another fine house", I said; "they
certainly have a good happy life". And he told me about
the scandal that had broken up that house and in four houses
which I pointed out there was a skeleton in the closet of
What is it that binds the bonds of the household to-
gether ? What is it that binds neighbor to neighbor ? What
is it that makes the most congenial companions and neigh-
bors? We have our own ideas about these things. The old
Greeks called their carousals and picnicking a Cymbosian;
that means a drunken get-together — have a great revelry
and all get gloriously drunk. That was the great social am-
bition of men; it was the symbol of Greek high life. Some
of the Romans said, "We understand it better", and when
they had their drunken revelries they called it a Convivial,
a living together. Hurrah, drink and carouse and call it a
living together. We live together and there are a great
many people today who have the idea that social functions,
that high living, that picnics where delicacies are consumed
voraciously are the real ties of civilization, but not so. It
I served four years during the Civil war, and I notice
year after year when the old soldiers get together about
the campfire and in the gatherings that they do not brag
about the fun that they had, but they talk about the hard-
ships, the long marches, the tough battles they had. These
are the things that make men comrades, working together,
unselfishness and helpfulness where help is needed. These
are the things that make home ties and community ties.
These are the things that make neighborhoods. There are
lots of things that I would like to say, but one of the things
I am going to say is that what we need is a little honor.
I have said now that the family ties can be more firmly
knit and the good fellowship can be more firmly tightened
by a condition that requires mutual helpfulness that brings
them together in unselfishness and mutual self-denial.
There was one thing about the old households that we
do not have today. The family lived together in those days
of William Holland with great families of children, and they
would gather around the old fireplace and in the glare of
the cheerful fire the sentiment and the heart strings were
knit and they Hved happily. We don't do it now. We talk
about the old hearth stone; we don't have it now. When I
82 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
was a boy two rooms would do for a family of 12 and guests
could always be provided for, but now it takes a house of
10 or 12 rooms for two or three people, and they hardly see
each other day or night. That's a hard thing for family
life; that's a difficult position in family life. My experience
as a city pastor has been this, that it is a most difficult thing
for family ties to keep sweet and free where great wealth
permits those to live in separate rooms and be set off alone.
It is a terrible strain on family ties.
Well, those are the conditions as I remember them, as
I lived through them, as I can imagine them in the family
of William Holland and other pioneer families. These fam-
ilies that were real families had domestic ties that were su-
preme in the best happiness that the world can ever know.
You may think I am getting old and cranky, but if I can
make you think along these lines I will be satisfied whether
you like it or not.
Another danger that besets the home idea is that idea
that a home or a residence ought to be an expression of mag-
nificence and wealth. Well, what of it? Whose business is
it if it is? Well, it means this: In the accounts of the re-
cent great storm in Florida I read about a residence of a
multimillionaire that was partly wrecked and the papers
said it cost $9,000,000 to build that palatial residence, to
beautify the grounds and for the expensive life carried on
there. Think about it. If he has the money whose business
is it? The maintanence of that palace and the expensive
social life that goes with it would tax the revenue of Taze-
well county. Well, what of it? Look at Europe. What ig
at the bottom of the World war, national hostilities? Well,
yes, it came to that finally, but this is true that there has
been what wei^e called homes and what were originally
homes that have grown into palaces and grown into chateaus
and pleasure parks all over Europe, the maintainence of
which could not be afforded by the nations such as England,
France and Germany, and so they had to rob the backward
people of the world to sustain those palaces and residences,
and I tell you today there will be no peace in the world un-
til more people quit putting millions into domestic palaces
and spending the revenues of provinces for the high social
life that may make revolution and there may be National
Leagues and World Courts, but I tell you now, having
studied and taught history in college for thirty years, that
the foundation of the World war and all wars, the main-
spring of it all, has been to get revenues for sumptuous do-
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 83
mestic life in palaces and chateaus. I don't know whether
you believe it or not, but if I can get you to think along this
I will be satisfied. I remember very well when the Duke of
Marlborough could not find resources to keep all his palaces
and the high life of his ancestors, and all his resources had
been used and he came over to New York and got $5,000,000
and a wife thrown in. That would make Bleihem castle over
several times. That was soon gone and there was a family
quarrel and divorce. It was this upkeep of palaces and ex-
pensive high life during the reign of Charles V and those
other French kings, the robbing of peasants so they could
have Versailles that was the real cause of the French Revo-
lution. The peasants had to be robbed and when they could
not afford it the king robbed Europe and invaded it. It was
the lack of home life which had sent them drifting in that
There can be no peace nor cessation of robbing of the
outlying nations of the world for revenues until men come
to live soberly and home life is what it ought to be, comfort-
able and beautiful, yes, but I think you can recall that the
great peril of the world and to civilization is the grasping
of millions by individuals and nations that they may live
sumptuousfy every day, and so I see men trying to organize
so that these great discoveries of science and the great ad-
vance that we have made will be used soberly and in such a
way that every man can feel that he is not enjoying some-
thing that belongs to another.
Prof. B. J. Radford.
Address of E. Garber
It is an honor, indeed, to be asked to participate in this
program; but, since the occasion requires a study of events
dating back 100 years, I cannot yet understand why your
committee selected me.
I believe I am on the program for rem^arks — Then and
Now. Since I cannot tell you much about then, I will not
have to say much about now, so my remarks should be
It is fitting that we pay homage to the founder of our
city and community. It is also wise that we pause for a
moment in commemoration of our earlier history and re-
count some of the struggles and hardships necessary to
bring forth the social, religious, educational and political
environment which we have inherited.
I shall not attempt anything like a detailed history of
84 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
our township. There are in existence several httle volumes
which contain much of the early history of Washington;
they are "Picturesque Washington", "A History of Wash-
ington Township" by John W. Dougherty, "Life Experience
of Isabelle Harlan" and "The Story of David Kindig". These
should be published in one volume and made available to all
who are interested in our earlier history.
Almost in the center of the North American Continent,
five great rivers converge into one, and into these flow in-
numerable smaller streams and through these arteries flows
the life blood of nature. Here she planted her choicest gar-
den consisting of virgin oak forests, beautiful walnut and
maple groves, verdant prairies; all of it dotted with count-
less varieties of wild flowers and peopled with myriad winged
songsters, whistling quail, cackHng prairie chickens, chatter-
ing squirrel, and chipmunk, deer and antelope. These were
wont to congregate upon the banks of one of these little
laughing streams and pour out their devotion to her with
their melodies of praise. Then one morning when they were
so gathered in the year 1825, there arose a wreath of smoke
from a camp-fire in the edge of the forest — rising like in-
cense on an altar, marking the dawn of human civilization
in this part of the world. I have a faint suspicion they may
have watched it with some concern, especially if they knew
that the Indian had killed for meat only, while the white
man kills for sport. However that may be, this camp-fire
was built by the founder of our city and as he observed the
bountiful surroundings of his camp site decided to make this
paradise his home.
In good time with a longing for companionship (and
perhaps with the ambition of a realtor) he began to write
others about his wonderful grove. Had he been possessed
of modern advertising facilities, he might easily have created
a rush that would have rivaled all real estate booms. Even
then it was not so long until Holland's Grove became a sort
of a goal for the Easterner who treked his immigration van
across the boundless plains toward the setting sun.
In a little while enough settlers were established along
the little creek to give it the name Farm Creek, and the set-
tlement in Holland's Grove grew into the town of Washing-
ton. That these hardy pioneers suflFered hardships is evi-
dent by the fact that many came and returned to their na-
tive land or went elsewhere.
The prairie held many ponds where water became stag-
nant and produced malarial conditions. Cattle became in-
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 85
fected with snake root and other obnoxious weeds so that
their milk produced sickness.
The average historian wishes to prove that the world
is growing better or worse. If he belongs to the former
class he exaggerates the sins of his fathers; if he is of the
latter class he glosses over their sins and paints them all
as saints. The truth may be that we are very much alike,
both in our virtues and in our short-comings. As a matter
of fact we know that these old forefathers of ours lived the
lives of frontiersmen. They took their religion, their poli-
tics and their whiskey straight. They fought back the In-
dians and built a school house and a church. On election
day they fought it out at the polls, often with fists and clubs
as each party attempted to vote their side in. Neither were
they above buying a vote for their party or kidnapping a
vote from the opposition, but they did this for the same
reason that they fought the Indians, or fought the devil or
the wolf or the rattlesnake — from the standpoint of a firm
conviction that they were doing the right thing for poster-
ity. They believed that their party stood for the best in-
terests of the country and therefore should win, even if they
had to cheat and fight to make it win.
And out of that environment Illinois gave to the world
the "Great Emancipator" Lincoln, and also Grant and Logan
and Stephen A. Douglas and many others who played a
heroic part in the development of our country.
While I did not come to Washington until fifty years
after our founder came and never had the pleasure of his
acquaintance, my memory cherishes the friendships I have
had with many of the old-time sterling citizens of Washing-
ton whose characters were fashioned by this early environ-
ment; all of them possessed of that rare quality we refer to
as common sense, which is the main stay of our republic.
You couldn't stampede these ^Id fellows with false propa-
The old-time families were large, ranging off times
from ten to twenty children in one family. The founder of
our town was the father of twenty-one children, but if the
families were large Nature was also bountiful with her sup-
plies and they were thrifty in storing their foods, making
their clothing and shoes and securing their home comforts.
I wonder how many of you remember how a cellar or store
room on the farm looked about this time of the year fifty
years ago. On one side of the basement there were built a
series of shelves or bins. In the lower one of these there
86 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. .
was from 50 to 100 bushels of potatoes. In the next one
there were cabbage, turnips, sweet potatoes and other veg-
etables In the next one was a choice variety of apples.
Then there were some canned fruits, dried fruits, pickles,
sauerkraut, pumpkins, endive, one or two barrels of cider
and maybe some grape wine, walnuts, butter nuts, hazel
nuts, hickory nuts, dried pennyroyal leaves, jars of apple
butter and a little later there was added a barrel of salt
pork, ten or twenty smoked hams and shoulders, jars of
lard and sausage, maybe a quarter of beef to say nothing of
game. Then there was home-made hominy and mince meat,
cornmeal and buckwheat flour, sorghum molasses, maple
syrup and honey. Say, boy, did I say those were hard
Contrast this, if you will, with the struggle of the aver-
age fellow of today to keep his bank account ahead of his
checks, or to make his salary meet the demands of the in-
stallment collector as he munches a cold dinner from the
delicatessen while his wife is at the club.
Their sports consisted of horse racing, rooster fighting,
dog fights, horseshoe pitching and wrestling. Their social
events were husking bees, wool pickings, apple parings and
Styles? Sure they followed the styles just as religious-
ly as they do now, although the men saw less of their women
than we do today.
For educational purposes they had their spelling bees
and debating societies, and I believe that these had a tend-
ency to develop more individual thinkers than we have in
these times. In our modern system of hurry, hurry, hurry
men really haven't time to think, and this is a dangerous
condition, especially in a Republican form of government.
Republics cannot long endure under mob psychology, neither
can our republic long endure when more than fifty per cent
of the voters do not think enough of their sovereign right
of franchise to vote for their president. We must have the
individual thinker or we will have the mob which can be
led by any political trickster who has the ability to sway
it. You cannot stampede a crowd of people who think for
themselves. One thing is certain, while our forefathers
would go far to win an election, they firmly believed in the
idea that an office was a pubhc trust, and the instances were
rare indeed where any officer sold a public trust for private
gain, a thing that is becoming too common in our modern
method of machine politics.
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 87
With tlie fear and trust of God in their hearts our fore-
fathers were devout in their religious worship. Some of
the noblest characters in molding the destiny of American
citizenship were the early circuit riders who found a ready
welcome in any home of our pioneers as they traveled from
place to place to preach the Gospel.
I would not have you go back, neither would I speak of
their day as being a Paradise lost to us, for we have many
blessings and many privileges that were denied them; but,
if we take thought of their lives and what they did for us,
it should give us the spirit and the will to fulfill our obliga-
tions to our posterity as faithfully as they did for theirs.
And in the words of the great Lincoln I would say in
closing; ''Five score years ago and one this community
was brought into being by one, William Holland, and we have
met today to dedicate a tablet to his memory, but we can
not dedicate because the memory of him and his followers
and what they did for us here is already hallowed memory.
Let us, therefore, resolve anew to consecrate our_ Hves to
the task of preserving the great principles of Life they
builded for us, that we may go forward as they did in our
efforts for righteous government, constant in our duty to-
ward God and Humanity.
(To the Tune of Illinois)
Where old Farm Creek's gently flowing,
Where the maple trees are growing,
Come the trav'lers far and near
To pay homage to that seer.
Who foresaw thy beauty here,
Where the cardinal's sweet singing,
Where thy church bells gaily ringing,
Where each cooling shaded street
Offers happiness complete
In thy homes with comforts sweet,
Where the hollyhocks are blooming,
88 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL,
Where the folks are unassuming,
From Key West to Frozen Nome
We may wander, we may roam,
Still we love to call you home,
Recollections of Washington as
Written by Mrs. Hattie Tobias Foster
Mrs. Foster, a daughter of one of the pioneer families
of Washington, who lives near Calma, Calif., writes the fol-
lowing reminiscenses of early times in Washington:
Father and mother, James and Caroline Tobias, moved
from Circleville, Ohio, about 1841 and settled on what was
then known as Greenridge farm, with their two little boys,
Ezra about 8 years old and Cyrus two years younger. Ro-
zella was born on this farm in 1857. They suffered serious
loss of property by fire and moved to town, Washington,
where father went into business with R. D. Smith in a gen-
eral dry goods and grocery store, soon afterwards being
joined by William Hittell, mother's brother, and continued
in business till after the war, perhaps the latter part of
1865. In the fall of 1859 Sadie B. was born, and I was born
in 1862 in what my parents designated as the Roehm's place.
During the Civil war our store was a rendezvous for men
to hear the paper read about the news from the front, and
Ezra, about 14 years old, read aloud for the benefit of all.
He used to take httle Sadie, then about 3 years old, to the
store and stand her on the counter to sing the popular war
songs, for she very early possessed quite a marked talent in
voice and memory. Growing up in later years she was a
very popular vocalist throughout Illinois, having completed
her studies in the Boston Conservatory of Music. Washing-
ton people never forgot her and always accorded a heart}'
welcome. This is, of course, outside of the story of Wash-
ington. I have often heard mother tell of the stirring and
exciting times and scenes at the times of recruiting, and the
big dinners for the soldiers prepared by trie women of
Washington. Uncle Lewis Tobias, father's orother, had two
boys, George and Frank, enlisted, but although Ezra wished
to go with Major Jo Miles as drummer boy he was not old
enough. After the war father purchased the beautiful white
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 89
proud-stepping horse belonging to Major Miles during his
service, and we always called him Major Jo.
Father and mother attended the Evangelical church,
where his cousin, the Rev. Simon Tobias, was at one time
pastor. Bro. Ezra with George and Frank were playing
about the new school house when Ezra fell from the top
to the ground through the scaffolding, breaking his arm.
(This was before the war). My own earliest recollections
are of the campaign rallies when the Democratic and Re-
publican parties paraded with bands, returned soldiers,
funny clowns, etc. We used to sit on the roof of the store
and watch the parades. Uncle Lewis Tobias and Uncle Ben
Tobias ran for mayor on opposite tickets and Ben won on
the Democratic ticket over his brother Lewis. Father and
Lewis were strong temperance advocates and Lewis attended
a big meeting at Metamora (I think it was a presidential
campaign), was chased by a drunken mob and narrowly
escaped by driving into a livery stable and running through
the alley to his home. He was accompanied by his daugh-
ter, Bessie, afterwards Mrs. B. C. Millington. There are
other events of which I have too dim a recollection to un-
dertake to relate.
Some Interesting History of the Scott
Family, Who Were Early Settlers
(By Miss Emma Scott)
"There are deeds which should not pass away;
And names that must not wither, tho the earth
Forget her empire with a just decay.
The enslavers and enslaved, their death and birth."
My father, J. Randolph Scott, was born Dec. 8, 1812.
He was the fourth son of John and Martha-Patterson Scott
of Washington, Washington county, Pennsylvania. His an-
cestors came from Scotland and Ireland, the Scotts in 1670,
Agnews in 1717 and Pattersons in 1724 to Chester county,
Pa., and secured large tracts of land in the "Manor of Mark,"
from William Penn's sons, in what is now Lancaster county.
Pa., the richest agricultural county in the United States.
They were Scotch covenanters.
My mother, Asenath Hicks, was born April 8, 1820.
She was the second daughter of Asa and Anna Cox-Hicks of
Bamesville, Belmont county, Ohio. Her ancesters, the
90 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
Stubbs, Maddocks, Stantons, Bailys and Cox, came from
England and Wales in the early years of 1700, to Chester
county, Pa. Sir Robert Hicks came from England to
Plymouth, Mass., in 1621, in the ship, "Fortune," the first
ship to follow the Mayflower. Elizabeth Clement, a widow
with four children, came from. England to Jamestown, Va.,
in 1609. Mother's people were Orthodox Friends or Quakers.
They, too, figured conspicuously as leaders and builders in
the land of their adoption.
The Norsemen, the ancestors of the Anglo-Saxon people,
dwelt on the rugged coast of Norway, Their sons went to
distant lands, conquered and settled. Out of this social in-
heritance came three characteristics — self-reliance, aggres-
siveness and love of individual freedom. The Anglo-Saxon
inheritance has deeply influenced Christianity.
Father came of a long line of adventurers, those who
blazed the trail, each in his day, towards the world's pro-
gress. The Agnews were heroes in Hindu literature; then
Greek pioneers around the Aegean Sea, from which region
they traveled westward in a spirit of adventure, to become
feudal chiefs in Normandy; thence in 1066 with William the
Conqueror to Britain, where Andrew Agnew became holder
of the offlce of hereditary sheriff of Galloway in county Wig-
town, Scotland, Nov. 10, 1426, A. D. He also in this same
year married Lady Mary Kennedy, the gr.unddaughter of
Robert HI, a niece of James I of Scotland. The hereditary
sheriff was the most powerful individual in the land, save
the king. He was paid 4000 pounds per year by the British
government. Twelve of the Agnews were honored as hold-
ers of this office and they have owned Lochnaw Castle, Stran-
rear, Scotland, more than 500 years.
In 1650 Oliver Cromwell completely routed the Coven-
anters and abolished all heritable rule. Thus Galloway may
be fairly called the cradle of the Covenant as well as of the
Reformation. Later, when those in power sought to teach
Galloway descendants in Ulster "better manners" they emi-
grated to the American colonies, which became the cradle of
Presbyterianism in the Province of Pennsylvania.
Their contentions under British rule fitted the Agnews,
Scotts and Pattersons to fill colonial offices in Pennsylvania
and to take official rank in the Revolutionary war. Father's
grandfather, Lieutenant James Patterson, was with General
George Washington when he crossed the Delaware river and
captured 1000 Hessians and British at Trenton, N. J., Dec.
26, 1776. He was put in charge of these captives and took
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 91
them to prison at Lancaster, Pa., his home town. His grand-
father, Hugh Scott, was a major in this war. He had moved
from Gettysburg, Pa., in 1763, to Washington, Pa., when his
son John was one year old.
Whoever serves his country well has no need of ancestors.
Men are equal — it is not birth, it is virtue that makes them
differ. Father's parents and a brother died in 1834. In the
spring of 1836, he, in company with his brother, James Pat-
terson, came to Illinois in quest of land. They visited Chi-
cago, then a village. They each bought land at Geneseo;
visited Peoria, also a small place; viewed the country over
and selected land; went to Sprigfield to attend the govern-
ment "land sale" and secured 560 acres of land — 80 acres
of timber, uncle 160 and father 320 prairie land in section 31,
township 26, range 3 W, at $1.25 per acre. Their land
patents were signed by President Martin Van Buren. They
returned to Pennsylvania and moved out in the spring of
IgBT via the Ohio and Illinois rivers to Pekin, 111. Uncle
Patterson and family set up housekeeping in Washington,
and father made his home in the family of Abraham Van
Meter, whose son William became widely known through his
activities in Five Point and Howard Missions in New York
City, N. Y., and as a Baptist missionary to Rome, Italy, in
1875, where he died in 1888.
The Scott brothers were well educated in the common
schools in Washington and Jefferson college of their home
town. J. Patterson was an evangelist, teacher and farmer;
father a hatter by trade, tanner, surveyor and farmer.
Uncle taught schools in Washington and Morton, having
among his pupils Prof. Josiah and Dr. E. F. Wood, and the
children of Thomas Roberts of Morton, by all of whom he
was much beloved as a teacher as well as a man. Father
broke the prairie with an ox team for himself and for many
of the early settlers. One Saturday he left his ox yokes,
or bows, with his plow in the field, as was his custom, and
Monday morning found that a mischevious young man had
undone them. There had been a rain and the sun had been
hot, thus they were quite out of commission and it was no
small task to get them in order.
They had the first improved prairie farms here, four
miles from timber. Anthony Field said, "Away out to Scott's
— they will freeze to death out there in winter." They did
suffer many great hardships, but this was better than clear-
ing off timber land to make a farm. They had learned that
lesson in Pennsylvania. They built a cabin on their 80 acres
92 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
of timber land and spent the winter of 1838 there getting
out material to improve their farms. Uncle ercted a house
and made rails for fencing. Father made stake and rider
or worm fences, also post and rail fence around his yards
and feed lots. A part of one of these posts is now in the
Lincoln court house museum at Metamora, 111.
Father built a rail pen on his farm and covered it with
slough grass as a shelter in the time of storm, and he also
made provision for his comfort if ,^ perchance, he were de-
tained there over night. Wolves were then numerous and
one night quite a pack of these marauders gathered at his
pen. They picked the bones that he had thrown out, but
were ravenously hungry and made several concerted at-
tem.pts to get into his crib., so for safety he climbed up into
the loft They kept up a great howl all night, but when
morning dawned they went their way. Fear was not in his
nature, but he confessed uneasiness for his personal safety
on that occasion.
Venomous snakes were very plentiful, too, and one day
while at work in his timber, he could not tell why he stop-
ped work and looked up, but just above him was hanging
a very large black snake, evidently ready to drop on him
and coil its powerful body around him.
On another occasion, during wheat harvest, the days
were very hot, too hot to work except early and late. As
there was a full moon he thought he would shock wheat in
the evening just near the house. He had not worked long
when a rattler said, "I am here," so father left the field.
Father's first farming in IlHnois was in partnership
with William Sample at Walnut Grove. Mrs. Sample was a
cousin of father's and they lived in the house now the
home of Mrs. John Watson and daughters on Jefferson
street. The Samples were from "Little Washington," Pa.,
too, as it was then called to distinguish it from the capital
of the nation. We now designate our pretty little city by
Washington, T. C, to differentiate it, too, from Washington,
He had been to Walnut Grove on horseback and on his
way home a terrific blizzard set in; the prairie soon became
trackless, and his horse did not wish to keep to his guiding
which he thought was because of it not wanting to face the
storm. The storm grew in intensity and they failed to find
their way. Utterly lost, he gave the horse the rein and im-
mediately it took up a more rapid pace, but in the direction
it had been inclined to want to go. After some time they
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 93
arrived at home. He said, "I believe that we traveled in a
circle only when we were lost." From that time forth he
trusted "Skipp" to act as pilot — his first horse in Illinois,
and her mate was Uncas, both faithful and true.
Grandfather, John Scott, established the stage coach
line from Brownsville to Washington and Pittsburgh and on
to Steubenville, Ohio, and owned a great many horses. His
"four not" motto was observed by father: "Up hill push
them not, down hill shove thera not, on the level spare them
not, and in the stable forget them not."
There were many swampy places and swails that drew
currents of air, which in cold weather came in such force
that they cut like a Damascus blade. Both the swamp and
the sweep of air were as bad as could be found just south
of the Josiah Moore corner, now Frank Birkett's farm.
Father built, for a granery, a room 16x20 feet, but
lived in it, about 20 rods east of where he moved it later to
the site of the home, because of the awful sweep of air
where he built it. He farmed his own land from 1839, which
was very productive. At first he plowed a furrow of the
virgin soil and in that he dropped potatoes, corn, watermelon
or pumpkin seed. The next furrow plowed covered up what
he had planted, and everything grew luxuriantly and pro-
duced bountifully. Ground squirrels, moles and crows were
their first agricultural pests.
In breaking up his land he plowed a strip southwest of
his house in June and soon there sprang up a grove of cotton-
woods. A few of those trees are still living (November,
1927), now about 90 years old. When he came from Penn-
sylvania he brought black locust seed from his father's
farm, which was known as "Locust Grove," and planted
them in his yard and in a grove to shelter his fruit orchard.
This orchard was one of the chocest in this locality, which
excelled in quality and variety of its fruits.
The hand of "Providence" had placed everythng here
for the needs of the pioneer — springs, timber, nuts, honey,
grapes, plums, blackberries, crabapples, mayapples, goose-
berries, wild cherries, herbs of every kind to cure their ail-
ments, deer, turkey, geese, ducks, quail, prairie chicken,
squirrel, etc., and pasture for their stock. The ambition
to gather and preserve these supplies in their season only
was necessary. Many of the pioneers were quite resource-
ful and successful, too, in their methods of laying up stores
for their sustenance, viz: They dried corn, apples, pumpkin,
beef and deer meat, kept plums under water, wild grapes
94 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON. ILL.
in molasses, had burrow-holes in which they kept apples,
potatoes and cabbage from the frost, which they could dig
into and help themselves when necessary. There were a
vast variety of nuts and the "bee trees" supplied an abund-
ance of honey. They gathered herbs for teas in illness, made
sassafras tea as a supposed blood purifier, slippery elm bark
to take medicines in; also cut the bark of some trees up as
an emetic and down as a cathartic. Doctors were few and
they had to prepare for emergencies. Were they not brave ?
Now a doctor is called when we feel we have pains, when
if we were to "think" it is but mind over matter, with little
mind it doesn't matter, does it?
All stock roamed the prairies at will, while grain and
hay stacks were for the most part at their mercy. As a
safeguard against prairie fires they would plow several
furrows around their properties, and even such precaution
often failed to fully protect.
In the fall of 1844 father was critically ill. Dr. G. P.
Wood was his attending physician. (Both he and his son,
Dr. E. F. Wood, were his doctors as long as he and they
lived). His wheat threshing was not done and the stock
on the prairie destroyed his stacks. The pioneer had his
losses and crosses, but kept his courage up and tried again
Pioneer hospitality was boundless; new-comers were
cordially received and assisted without stint. When a house
or a barn was to be raised everybody was there to lend a
helping hand, including the women to prepare the "eats."
These were their get-acquainted jollifications. When the
buildings were completed they were frequently dedicated by
a "husking bee,'" refreshments and not infrequently a
The campfires, the Dutch-ovens and the fireplaces were
well suited for preparing their sumptuous feasts from na-
ture's bounteous stores. When snow was on the ground and
the mornings were cold, father said he could gather all the
prairie chickns he wished in short order, using a stick to
stun them, and a bevy of quail would rush unsuspectingly
into coops, or traps, in quest of food. The hunter and trap-
per were richly rewarded for their efforts. There was never
any scarcity of eats if one had ambition enough to go after
The farm implements were crude; the wooden mould-
board plow to break the land, the cradle to cut the wheat
and a flail with which to thresh it. I can well remember
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 95
these implements in our barn when others of a more pro-
gressive type had supplanted them. Father did good mow-
ing with a scythe, and was equally able to swing a cradle.
One season there were five men cradling together. They
would cut a swath five cradles wide across the field, then
hang their cradles over their shoulders and bind the sheeves
back to the other end of the field, then cradle though again
and thus cut the whole field.
Father had an iron mortar and pestle with which he
crushed both corn and wheat for bread and porridge. Grist
mills were few and much time and energy spent, sometimes
being gone for a whole week, but boarded by the miller, for
those in waiting helped in the mill to get jobs ahead of
their's out so that their grists could be ground. They had
to take their grist to mill before they were out of supplies
at home, to be sure the family at home did not come to
They raised good crops, but there was neither a handy
nor a ready market for them ; money was too scarce. Father
sold good wheat frequently for 25 to 37 cents per bushel,
and good pork from $1,00 to $1.25 per hundred, and could
get only about one-half cash. He also hauled wheat to Chi-
cago, and with a week's trip and a low price he found tliat
the cost overran the profit. On one trip he brought back a
load of lumber on which he had several stoves for Hinkle and
Danforth. This trip was a very anxious as well as a labori-
ous one, for this firm had entrusted him with a bag of gold
to purchase the stoves, and to guard it both night and day
for several days was no pleasant task, for there were human
sharks even in those early times. There were many swamps
and stretches of bad roads enroute, causing his load to be
hard to manage, but with his grit nothing daunted.
Letters were written on large double sheets of paper
and folded so that the sheet furnished the space for the ad-
dress. This was closed with a wax seal. Letter postage in
those days was twenty-five cents, and paid by the recipient.
With cash so scarce, his sisters in Pennsylvania, when writ-
ing to him, would enclose that sum to be sure that he m.ight
be able to pay for their next letter.
"Mans inhumanity to man makes countless millions
The Mayflower carried the Pilgrim Fathers to religious
liberty in Anierica,and went on her next trip for a load of
slaves. This ship was in the slave trade for our fathers.
Is it to be wondered at that race and color prejudice still
96 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
exists in this country in spite of Christianity? It came
The question of slavery has always been a mixed one,
from the time the first slave was imported into our country
until, by the emancipation proclamation of Abraham Lin-
coln, all men were made free and equal in the eyes of the
law. A strong anti-slavery party had long existed in the
country. The framers of our constitution upon the organi-
zation of the government had to deal with the question of
slavery; the successive administrations from Washington to
Lincoln had to grapple with it. Various compromises were
adopted which it was thought would quiet its spiiit, but like
Banquo's ghost it would not down at the bidding of any man
or party. The death of Rev. Elijah P. Lovejoy at Alton, 111.,
in 1837, a martyr to the anti-slavery cause, gave an impetus
to the agitation of the question which never ceased until the
final act was consummated in 1863, v^hich broke in pieces
the shackles that bound four million slaves.
Growing out of the agitation of the slavery question
was the organization of the so-called "Under Ground Rail-
road". There may be few who have not heard of this fam-
ous "railroad", but there are not many who know of its sys-
tem of work. The secrecy of its workings justified it name.
Notwithstanding the system was an organized one, those en-
gaged in it had no signs or passwords by which they might
be known, save now and then preconcerted rap at a door
when a cargo of freight was to be delivered. Each relied
upon the honor of the other, and, as the work was an extra
hazardous one, few cowards ever engaged in it. A very
singular circumstance in connection with this road was the
fact that, although people well knew who were engaged in
it, and where the depots were located, freight could seldom
be found, search as carefully as they might. A consignment
would be forwarded over the line, notice of which would
reach the ears of slave-hunters and when ready to place their
hands on the fugitives, like the Irishman's flea — they
wouldn't be there.
Washington, Pa., father's home town, was on the Na-
tional Pike and on this thoroughfare he saw the "chain
gangs" of slaves (a dozen or more chained together and
hand-cuffed) and noted the inhuman treatment accorded
them. He, then a small boy, determined to do all he could
to alleviate the suft'erings of the colored race.
He came to Illinois in the most exciting days of the
Under Ground Railroad, and it was not long before he was
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 97
associated with that daring organization as one of its con-
ductors. He was ver^'' firm in his anti-slavery position, and
had an uncompromising antagonism against the institution
of slavery, and although it was an age when to ventilate
anti-slavey opinions was to invite social ostracism and even
jeopardize life and ]>roperty, he boldly denounced what he
believed to be a great national iniquity. Fleeing fugitives
found a friend in him, and he not seldom risked his own life
and was cited before magistrates. On one occasion, when
he and George Kern wei'e arrested and tried, they were
honored by having Abraham Lincoln, then a rising young
lawyer, to defend them. He lived to see slavery put away
and his convictions on this question justified by an almost
universal revolution of public sentiment.
In those exciting days of the Under Ground Railroad,
Elder Dickey, a Baptist minister, and Owen Love joy, strong
anti-slavery men, made an appointment to speak in Wash-
ington. On the date announced for their meeting the pro-
sjavery men, Rev. Reuben H. Moffatt, the M. E. minister,
and Mr. Chase, an M. D. and also an M. E. minister, linked
arms and led the mobocrats in taking forcible and armed
possession of the church to be occupied by these speakers,
determined at all hazard to prevent the meeting from being
held there. Elder Dickey was to deliver an address on "The
Bible View of Slavery". The pro-slavery people were not
willing that he should speak, saying that "if anyone could
expound the Bible with convincing argument it was Elder
Dickey". With violence and throwing rotten eggs they
aispersed the anti-slavery meeting.
Mrs. James Robison of Tremont said, "I never climbed
mto my wagon so quick in my life as when those mobo-
crats broke loose with their determination to break up the
meeting. Anthony Field, then a class-leader in the Wash-
mgton M. E. church, was pursued to the creek on South
Main street and given a veritable shower of the decomposed
product. He was turned from the church because of the
unchristian spirit of its leaders.
A prominent man of conservative views on the slavery
question advised the anti-slavery men not to hold the meet-
ing, as they were detemined to do, as the mob, he said, was
frenzied with hquor and he feared the consequences So they
concluded to go to the Pleasant Grove church at Groveland,
where they addressed one of the most enthusiastic anti-
slavery meetings ever held in this part of the state. Owen
98 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
Love joy was the orator of the day. The mob was deter-
mined to follow and break up that meeting also, but were
deterred by being told that as the anti-slavery men were on
their own ground they would fight, and doubtless blood
would be shed.
The following letter written by Uncle Patterson Scott
and addressed to his sisters, Mrs. Margaret Officer and Miss
Jane Scott, Washington, Pa., gives an insight of early times
and the slavery controversy in Washington, 111. The letter
was written on both sides of one large sheet and folded so
no envelope was required. It is yellow with age. The
figures "25" is marked where the stamp goes on a letter,
which no doubt meant tlie cost of sending:
Washington, Tazewell County, 111., Nov. 12, 1838.
Having, through the kind and gracious province of my
heavenly father, been spared until now, I take up my pen
to address a few lines to you both. In the first place I
would inform you that we are all well at present. William
and Mary arrived here in safety, in good health and spirits,
this day 2 weeks since. They are still living with us and
will almost certainly settle here. I have made a proposal
to sell Wm; some of my land, very low, which he ^vill prob-
ably accede to. He has not yet (owing to a variety of cir-
cumstances) had an opportunity of examining my prairie,
but with ray timber land he is well pleased. We expect to
remove to our timber shortly, and will continue there dur-
ing the winter, as we will be more convenient to our work.
We have all come to the determination to spend the winter
in making and hauling rails for fencing, and in getting out
timber for a dwelling, so that we may be prepared when
sprmg returns to improve our lands. Wm, has been to Iowa
territory and is well pleased with the country, but thinks
our advantages are superior to those that would be afforded
there — and upon the whole he appears to be better pleased
with this section of country than with that. We were truly
grieved to hear of the death of James, and I hope, dear sis-
ter Margaret, that you and brother Robert, although you
have been called to face the rod of affliction, in this rending
of the most tender ties — yet you recognize the hand of Him
who hath in His hand the issues of life and death, and I trust
that vou have experienced the consolation of His grace, and
are prepared to say in a spirit of humble resignation:
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 99
It is our Father's hand — that gave this heavy blow,
That took our loved one from our sight
And caused our tears to flow;
Yet still we would not fret, but to His mandate bow,
Trusting that we shall yet know w^hat we know not now.
Yes. my dear brother and sister, I believe that you
will know hereafter why your Father's hand was thus laid
upon you, and I trust that you will make a suitable . im-
provement of this afilictive dispensation, and that it will be
one among the number of those things that will work out
for you a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
Although I have been afflicted and tried in various ways,
principally on account of my anti-slavery principles, yet the
Lord has helped me thus far, and I trust that whatever
may become of me He will carry on this holy cause, in the
midst and despite of all the opposition that earth and hell
combined can rain against it, until the accursed system that
is frauglit with the groans, tears, wailings and degradation
of 214 millions of our fellow men shall forever cease from
our land, and that the negro shall stand forth "a. man acknowl-
edged" by our nation and our nation's laws, and clothed
with all the rights that belong to him as such; when he
shall be put in possession of himself, his wife, his children
and all those tilings that man holds dear liere on earth, and
sliall be permitted for himself to search the volume of
Eternal Truth, and find what God would have him know
and do, that he may become a free man in Christ Jesus, and
in that liberty rejoice, and worship God as to him seemeth
We formed a County Anti-Slavery Society about four
weeks since and now number nearly 100 members, some of
whom are the flower and sinew of this county. We have
also commenced observing the monthly concert of prayer
for the abolition of slavery throughout the United States —
and the world. Notice was given to the congregation assem-
bled for public worship in our public school house, on yes-
terday 3 weeks, that a meeting of the aforementioned kind
would be held on the last ]\Ionday in October (which was 3
weeKs since this day) in the school house, but the trustees
of the school, who are violently opposed to Abolitionists,
refused to let us have the use of the house, and one of them,
who was formerly a slave-holder and removed to this place
from Kentucky about a year ago since, a ad professes to be
a gentleman, together with some others in this place, grew
very much enraged aud threatened us very hard. They
100 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
swore that we should not hold such a meeting in the place
and that if we attempted it, scenes worse than that at Alton
(in which the Rev. E. H. Lovejoy was murdered) should be
enacted here. But we felt that even though we were very-
few in number, we were engaged in the cause of God and
Humanity and we were not in the least bit intimidated by
their threats. When we were refused the use of the school
house I told the brethren that my house was at their ser-
vice for the meeting and that here we would meet on the
evening of the day appointed for the meeting. Wm. and Mary
(Sample), Hugh Hughes and 2 other young men from Wash-
mgton (Mr. Jeffrey and Mr. Graham) arrived here and some
of the citizens who were not Abolitionists, but in favor of
the discussion, came in about the time the meeting com-
menced. This Kentuckian, with an axe hardle upon his
shoulder, together with some more of the devil's emmis-
saries from one of his principal outposts (a grocery), well-
primed with the elixir of hell (as an old Methodist here
calls it) came to the door and some of them began to peep
in at the windows. Upon seeing them I went out and re-
spectfully invited them to come in, but could not prevail
upon them to do so then. But in short time 4 of them came
m and stood with their backs against the door and remained
there for some time, but did not attempt to interrupt us.
I have since been informed that they came in to find out
wnat we were doing and then to go out and report to the
rest, and if anything like a lecture was delivered or any
resolutions passed, they were determined to destroy my
house, but notwithstanding considerable was read on the
subject of slavery and many remarks made by the pastor
of our church, also a young man (a member of the Baptist
church), who is a native of Kentucky and who was converted
by reading Channing on Slavery, and the Constitution of
Am. A. I. Soc, which I loaned him about 18 months since),
the mobocrats did not attack us, although they came pre-
pared with clubs and dirks, determined to do it.
While all this was in progress several of the citizens,
who are not Abolitionists, were collected in the back ground,
a few rods from the house, to see what was going on, and
if any attack had been made they were prepared to resist
it. You see from this that we were called upon to contend
with the power of darkness in attempting to promote the
cause. We felt so and we also felt that it was a solemn
crisis, and that we were called upon to meet it then. The
Lord preserved us, so to Him be all the praise. We expect
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 101
to form a society in this place 'ere long. Then we expect
we shall be mobbed. We may be disappointed in our expec-
tations, but we are determined not to give up our principle
but with our lives, and we shall make them known, also, if
we do meet with opposition. The Kentuckian, the leader of
this mob, is a physician and also a merchant of this place,
but he has gained to himself no honour by this.
Margaret and Randolph join me in love to you all, and
vou will remember us to grandfather and mother Workman
and all other enquiring friends. No more at present, but re-
main your affectionate brother, P. J. Scott.
May 5, 1921.
Miss Scott, Washington, 111.
Dear Friend: I have just this morning read the en-
closed letter the second time. It certainly is very interest-
mg. I have from childhood days admired the anti-slavery
pioneers, who, with fortitude and courage, stood firmly by
their principals — when it cost life itself.
The monument, marking the John Brown fort at Har-
per's Ferry, was one of my "shrines" in my young man-
hood. Of course, he led an insurrection, but in the provi-
dence of God, that seemed necessary to wake up the country.
We shall never know in this life how our noble heroes,
such as the writer of this letter, served and how much they
contributed to the overthrow of slavery.
1 thank you for the privilege of reading this bit of
"ancient history" relative to the very community in which
we now live. Yours respectfully,
(Rev.) J. D. Calhoun.
The early settlers of this county, although mainly from
the southern or slave states, entertained a deep-seated preju-
dice against the Negro, for which it is hard for us to ac-
count at the present day.
The depot masters and conductors on the "under ground
railroad" from Elm Grove to Crow Creek were Josiah
Matthews, Lawyer Briggs, Absalom Dillon, Johnson Som-
mers, William Woodrow, Anthony Field, Deacon and Willard
Gray, Uriah H. Crosby, Daniel Roberts and sons John M.,
Ambrose, Darius and Walter, Seth Billings and Elijah Lewis,
George, Channey and Charles Crandle; Orin M. Bartlett,
James Patterson and J. Randolph Scott, Parker, Mark and
Levi ]\Iorse; George Kern and sons John, George and An-
drew; Norman Dutton, the Work brothers and Wilham
102 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
Lewis. Nathaniel Smith and Moses Pettingill of Peoria
proved their faith by their works.
The main depot of the "under ground railroad" in Elm
Grove township was at Josiah Matthews' on section 24. Mr.
Matthews was an earnest anti-slavery man, and helped gain
freedom for many slaves. He prepared himself with a cov-
ered wagon especially to carry black freight from his sta-
tion on to the next.
One day there arrived a box of freight at Mr. Matthews'
and was hurriedly consigned to the cellar. On the freight
contained in this box there was a reward of $1500 offered,
and the pursuers were but half an hour behind. The wagon
in which the box containing the Negro was brought, was
immediately taken apart and hid under the barn. The
horses which had been driven very hard were rubbed off,
and thus all indications of a late arrival were covered up.
The pursuers came up in hot haste, and suspecting that Mr.
Matthews' house contained the fugitive, gave the place a
verv thorough search, but failed to look into the innocent-
looking box in the cellar. Thus, by such stratagem, the slave
hunters were foiled and the fugitive saved. Tlie house was
so closely watched, however, that Mr. Matthews had to keep
the Negro a week before it was safe to conduct him north.
Uriah H. Crosby, who came from New York to Morton
in 1832, was one of those men who in danger, wath a destiny
to fulfill, never faltered. It was at his home on section 9
in Morton township that there was an U. G. R. R. station.
A company of fugitives had just passed his station when
a young man hastily came up. He had invented a cotton-
gin, and was in haste to overtake the others of the party
as they had the model of his invention. He was separated
from them through fright. John M. Roberts found this
young man in the morning hid away in his hay stack, fed
him and sent his son Junius with him in haste to Mr. Cros-
by's. On his arrival. Conductor Crosby put him in his
wagon, covered him with a buffalo robe and drove through
Washington and delivered him to Georg Kern, who took him
in an open buggy to the next station at William Lewis'.
John M. Roberts of Morton was quite an artist and on
the walls of his living room he painted scenes. There was
a blind door at the side of the fire place and back of that
was a space in w4iich he secreted Negroes. A master came
searching for his slaves. Mr. Robert's mother, an elderly
lady, sat in a rocking chair in front of this door knitting.
He said, "I will not ask grandmother to get up". He went
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 103
away without finding his slaves, but later swore he could
smell his niggers, but could not find them.
John M. Roberts and Orin M. Bartlett took three Ne-
goes to (now) East Peoria. They were to have been taken
across the river in a skiff, but just before they reached the
river, Negro hunters overtook him. The fugitives rushed
into the swampy thicket and one only of them reached the
boat. Strange to relate when Mr. Roberts was in Chicago
attending the National Republican convention that nomin-
ated Abraham Lincoln for president of the United States, a
Negro spoke to him on tlie street and called him Mr. Rob-
erts, who said "J do not know you". He replied you will
when I relate a circumstance. His co-travelers had never
Excitement ran very high and the anti-slavery people
were closely watched. I have heard my father say, "I never
)3rought a colored person to my house, but I have fed many
of them and helped them on their way to freedom". At
one time there were five brought to him, three men and
two women; he had them lie down in the wagon bed and
then threw hay over them. He warned them before start-
ing, as he did all others whom, he assisted, that if he were
stopped, they must look out for themselves as he would
nave to take care of his team. He had not driven two miles
wnen two men on horesback came riing rapidly to meet him.
They separated, one passing on either side of his vehicle,
but rode right on. In a few minutes they turned about and
overtook him, again one riding on either side of his wagon
for some distance. Finally one of them, punctuating his
language with an oath, said: "This is not what we are look-
ing for", and turned and went their way. He knew the
riders — and it was just what they were looking for. His
cargo was delivered at George Kern's about dawn, when he
turned around in his feed lot and returned home via another
The anti-slavery people were constantly on the alert.
Father came into Washington one day and at the postoffice
saw a poster describing a runaway slave on which a reward
of one thousand dollars was offered. He went to the store
of John Gaunt, who took him aside and said: "Mr. Scott,
1 am with you on the anti-slavery question, but I dare not
let it be known: do not come this way tonight or you will
be killed, for this "master" threatens vengence on any one
assisting his slave; he owns several hundred and this is
the first one that ever ran away and he proposes to make
104 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
an example of him". Father saw the master, who looked
the desperate character his threats would indicate him to
be. Father went to Uncle Patterson's, but the Negro was
not there. He rode on to Anthony Field's ; he found that he
and his wife had gone to Morton and left a neighbor girl
with their children. He wrote a note and placed it under a
bowl on top of a cupboard, instructing the young miss to
tell Mr. Field of it on his return. After starting home he
rjecame uneasv and turned back to wait for them to come
home. When they came the advertised Negro was with
them. Father told him that his master was ahead of him,
the reward offered and why offered. With the Anglo-Saxon
m his nature calling for recognition, this powerful Negro
gave vent to his feeling and suited his actions to his words
Dy drawing a dirk and saying, "I will never be taken". Mr.
Field kept him for a week and piloted him safely north.
Parker Morse of Metamora said eight-tenths of all the
Negroes who came under my observation were of white
Canada, the northern termination of the "under ground
railroad, received these refugees from "freedom's (?) soil"
and administered to their wants. Queen Victoria having is-
sued a proclamation that every fugitive from the United
States slavery should be recognized and protected as British
subjects the moment his or her feet touched the soil of her
Billings Lewis of Morton rapped at the door at one
o'clock a. m. and said, "I have a Negro in a buggy at the
bars". Father said, "go back, we are watched; I will be with
you in a minute". He dressed, but carried his boots, fear-
ing his steps on the porch might be heard. Mr. Lewis re-
mained with his brother, who lived nearby. The watchers
were two neighbors. One of whom confessed, in after years,
that they heard the bars, but waited for some activity. He
also expressed shame that he had been guilty of such de-
Some colts belonging to Mr. Briggs, a lawyer of Tre-
mont, had wandered away on the open prairie, and he was
out hunting them. Meeting a man, living in the vicinity of
father's place, he made enquiry for his property, which had
not been seen. He then asked where Randolph Scott lived;
he was given direction, with the added information that
Scott stole niggers and no doubt had stolen his colts, too.
Mr. Briggs said, "I will go over and see". He came chuck-
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 105
ling to tell father of his reputation among the pro-slavery
neighbors. Mr, Briggs was one of father's staunchest
friends in the anti-slavery cause.
While conditions were really quite serious at times,
there was also a wave of mirth that would bubble over in
a joke on the pro-slavery people. A covered wagon load of
young people from Morton (Lewis, Ewings, Crandles and
Grays) had spent the evening at "Uncle Tom Castle's cabin"
and on their way home they called at Alfred Phillips', and
some one opened a window and enquired what was M^anted.
The questioner said, "We would like to learn the way to
Randolph Scott's". After they had aroused the curiosity
of this family they went on home. Mr. Phillips and his son
Hiram set out for Scott's, thinking the enquirer was some
one with a load of Negroes. They aroused Louis Beal from
his slumbers, and asked him to accompany them, but he de-
clined. As they crossed a stream, enruote, the ice failed to
Dear the son's weight and he fell in the water — returning
riome to reflect on his folly.
Father had a trap door in the floor, just inside of the
out door, which he opened at night. If his door was forced
open, the culprit would find himself in a pit and he would
nave a chance to overpower him. Although he had been
threatened with vengence, he was never molested. These
things occurred when he was a bachelor.
Sand Prairie Township Slaves Stolen
Mr. Shipman came here from Kentucky in 1826, but did
not live in this township a great while. He moved into Elm
Grove township where he spent the remainder of his Hfe.
He brought with him to this township a Negro man, his
wife and children. He treated them kindly, and they in
turn loved him. They all lived here in peace and freedom,
carving new homes in the wilderness and preparing for fu-
ture prosperity and pleasure. The quietude of the httle set-
tlement was disturbed one dark night by the appearance of
some slave hunters. There were some men from Kentucky
came up the river, left their boats at the mouth of the Mack-
inaw, quietly came over and carried off the Negro family.
They were all tied and hastily run to the river. It appears
that Mose, the name of the Negro man, was a singularly
constructed Negro, and it would almost seem, as an old set-
tler said, that "he was part aligator". He had a double row
of large sharp teeth. His hands were tied and with a rope
he was led along. He pulled l^ack considerable, and lagged
106 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
behind as much as he dare do, all the while chewing on the
rope by which he was led. Finally he succeeded in severing
it, when with all is might he ran back to the settlement
and informed the neighbors of the theft of his family. This
aroused the ire of those sturdy pioneers and, being equal to
any emergency, three of them saddled up their horses that
gloomy night and set out for St. Louis, Mo., anticipating
the destination of the thieves. These resolute men were
Johnson Sommers, William Woodrow and Absalom Dillon.
They pushed on towards that city and fortunately rode off
the ferry boat just as the Kentucky would-be slave traders
landed with the family of Mose. This was a singular co-
incidence, but true, and with determination that plainly
snowed he meant what he said Sommers jumped from his
norse, gathered up a stone and swore he would crush the
first one who attempted to leave the boat, and the men, who
could steal the liberty of their fellow men, were passive be-
fore the stalwart pioneers. One of the pioneers hurried up
to the city and procured the arrest of the men. We do not
know the penalty inflicted, but most likely it was nothing,
or, at least, light, for in those days it was regarded as^ a
legitimate business to traffic in human beings. The family
was secured, however, and carried back to this county where
most of them lived and died. All honor to the daring hu-
The following incident came to Peter Logan, whom I
nave seen and my parents knew well. He was owned by a
man in Arkansas, who gave him a chance to buy his own
freedom and also that of his sister Charlott and her daugh-
ter Nancy. When on their way north they were captured
in Missouri and taken back. Their master said, "They are
free and shall be privileged to go unmolested". They came
and located near Tremont, where he was for many years in
tne employ of the Dillons and was known for miles around
as Uncle Peter Logan. He could neither read nor write, but
he could sing. Once at our home he asked father to read
the Bible to him, which he did. He then sang "Jerusalem
My Happy Home" and "The Year of Jubilee Am a Comin' "
in plaintive tone that only the "bond-man" can express.
Charlott's services were in great demand at all home and
neighborhood feasts, for she was an excellent cook. Nancy
was bright in school, and would get on a stump and preach
a sermon to her white schoolmates. These colored people
were honorable and were highly respected citizens through-
out their long lives.
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 107
Sanford P. Gorin's brought "Black Jack" with them
when they moved here from Kentucky, where he hved dur-
ing his lifetime and was laid to rest in their family lot in
in the old cemetery in October, 1869, aged 52 years. When
the slaves were emancipated he refused to leave the Gorins.
He owned a team, farmed for himself and did some hauling.
He was sexton of the Christians when they held services in
their brick church. I first learned who he was when he drove
past "Greenridge" school house with a wagon load of women
and children (Gorins, Burtons, Wells, Eccles, Cranes, An-
drews and Danforths (who were going out to their Uncle
John and Aunt Ann McClintock's for a picnic in their grove
on a balmy day in June. The children of the whole town
found a friend in him, and he was respected by all who
Calvin Dunnington says my father worked for Sanford
P. Gorin when a small boy. Something went wrong with the
norses, Mr. Gorin came into the barn and took down a har-
ness tug and began beating father. Black Jack was there
and said: "Mars Gorin, you hit that boy one more lick and
you will have me to lick, too". Mr. Gorin began on father,
and Jack did his part and whipped Mr. Gorin. At Jack's
death John Dunnington bought his old gray horses.
"Principles have achieved more victories than horsemen
Mention has been made of the "Underground Railway"
m connection with the work of anti-slavery. The origin of
the railway name came about when the slave owners, in pur-
suit of slaves, found that they had mysterious^' disappeared.
So the baffled southern men asserted that an "Underground
Railway" must have been used to spirit the slaves away.
The Hicks Family
Mother's parents, with their ten children, came from
Barnesville, Ohio, to Tremont, Illinois, in the fall of 1837.
Grandfather, Asa Hicks, Sr., came to Illinois on horseback
during the summer and rented the Dillon farm one and one-
half miles west of Tremont, in Tazewell county, for a term
of five years, and paid one year's rent in advance. He re-
turned to Ohio via the Ohio and Illinois rivers.
A committee of tlie Tremont colony of 35 families from
New York City, throe Harris brothers, selected this site in
1834 and the colony came out in 1835. Tliey made some
good improvements — a school house, church and postoffice —
which made Tremont a center of influence and of good so-
ciety. The county court site was also located here in 1836.
108 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON. ILL.
Laban Hicks and Joseph Hicks, brothers Df my grandfather,
were here, too, as was their sister, Mrs. Rachel Parsons.
Laban built a hotel in this new town, Joseph was construc-
tion boss on the grading for the I. B. & W. railroad, and
their sister was assisting in the hotel, for they were board-
ing these workmen. Grandfather's shipped their household
goods and barrels of dried fruit to Pekin, the family coming
overland with a five-horse team, one a saddle-horse from
which the rider drove the team with one line. Israel, the
oldest son, had been driving, and being tired of riding he
got down to walk, when a dog from a home nearby ran out
and started the colts they had with them. They ran past
the team, frightening the horses into a run. Israel could
not catch the line and his father got out of the wagon to
try and check the team, but slipped from the wagon tongue
and was thrown under the wheels. He expired in a few
minutes. The whole country-side poured out its sympathy
and assisted this grief-stricken family to bury their dead
in the Friends cemetery near Bloomingdale, Parks county,
Indiana. They resumed their journey the following day and
ix young man acted as guide to the Wabash river, which they
crossed at Campbell's ferry. Then on via Danville, Bloom-
ington and Stout's Grove. They crossed the Mackinaw river
on a ferry boat, spent the night with relatives in Tremont
and went to the Dillon farm the next day. It took a cour-
ageous mother to battle with the trial of life and rear her
large family, tlie half of them under ten years of age. Is-
rael , in his 22d year, shouldered the bread-winning task.
Tliey were dutiful children and by constant labor and untir-
ing industrv in a few years the dark clouds of adversity were
scattered. They lived at Tremont five years and one year
at Pleasant Grove. There were many good people in that
locality who became their life-long friends, among them the
Harris, Lovejoy^, Nichols, Fishers, Buckleys, Morses, Robi-
sons, (Jreeleys Kelloggs, Matthews, Leonards, Dillons and
In 1843 they bought 160 acres in section 30, Washing-
ton township, and moved to the house on the site of Miss
Kate Unsicker's home on Walnut street while they improved
Pioneering brought one hardship after another, and re-
quired great determination to succeed, as well as lending
the helping hand.
They paid for this land with corn. The mother and her
younger brothers shelled this corn on a hand-sheller, sacked
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 10'9
it and Uncle Israel hauled it with a four-horse team to Wes-
ley City, getting but 10 cents per bushel. On one of these
trips he came very near perishing in a blinding blizzard.
Israel Hicks married Susan M. Humphrey, a daughter
of Luke and Eliza Humphrey, Feb. 24, 1848.
One day grandmother and some of her children had
Deen blackberrying and stopped at William Wilson's, the
present home of Will Miller. Mrs. Wilson had died, leaving
tive children. Mary, the eldest, twelve (later Mrs. Swisher
of Eureka) was trying to make bread, her brother, John,
(now in his 85th year) not two years old, was quite sick
and their father away. She doctored the little fellow until
he was quite better, looked after the bread, did other help-
ful turns and gave them of the berries. A friend in need.
When Uncle Asa, Jr., was yet in his teens he went out
huntmg and shot a deer. With great pride he brought it
nome. He was a good marksman and an untiring hunter.
In later years he had many colonies of bees and sold honey
in ton quantities. He was an efficient supervisor of Little
IVIackinaw township for many years.
Robert Kimble of Peoria (his wife and son James ac-
companying him) made his third overland trip to California
in 1859 v^ith a drove of cattle. Uncle Elwood Hicks was a
member of his caravan. Uncle returned in December, 1862,
via Panama and New York City, N. Y. Elwood Hicks and
Eliza A. Shoemaker, daughter of Elmore and Nancy Shoe-
maker, were married March 5, 1863. Uncles Harrison and
Milton were grain and lumber merchants, respectively.
Grandmother, Anna Cox-Hicks, was a beautiful christian
character and much beloved for her many virtues. Her
life was a benediction. She died March 18, 1853, and rests
in Washington's old cemetery.
When the Danforth mill was erected in 1845 they
wanted good seamstresses to sew the "bolting cloth". Mrs.
James Marsh and mother did this task at 25 cents per day,
this being the customary price per day for sewing. The mill
was dedicated with a "home talent" play in which Dr. E. F.
Wood most graciously acted the lady.
Mother learned to make men's clothing after she came
to Tremont. The workmen on the I. B. & W. railroad were
m need of garments and there were no "ready-to-wear" to
buy. Her uncle got some garments cut from which she took
patterns and in this way earned much toward the support
of this fatherless family. After they moved to Washington
sne assisted Lot White, the tailor, who had her make all
110 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
button-holes and do much of the most particular finishing
on garments. It was a help financially, too, that she could
make all clothing for her brothers as well as for her mother
and sisters. Mother, too, had learned to spin well, both
cross- banded and twisted yarns, and to knit these threads
into comfortable garments.
She assisted Robert Kelso in preparing the threads and
m weaving coverlets, and she returned the compliment by
helping mother to make eight coverlets for her mother's
family. Such relics are now much in demand by antique
The all-day social gatherings of the pioneer ladies were
wool pickings, spinning contests and quilting bees. Their
"cards" made wool into rolls and bats; the spinning wheel,
with the "wheelfinger" deftly used, brought these into
threads to be woven into coverlets, blankets and cloth, for
at that time "home-spun" garments were extensively used.
Miss Harriett Kingsbury, later Mrs. Laughlin; the Kice
sisters, later Mrs. Bryan McCorkle and Mrs, John Kaufman,
and my mother Asenath Hicks, later Mrs. J. Randolph Scott,
could spin more hanks of yarn in a day than any of their
rivals. In winding the thread from the spindle onto the reel
for a certain number of threads the reel would click, thus
tieing a loop around this group of threads, and so on until
there were tied in groups 80 threads 54 inches long, making
a skein; 17 skeins made a hank and 18 hanks a spindle.
When I was quite a little girl mother tauglit me to make
rolls, to spin and to knit. She could also spin flax and showed
me how to use the "heckel" in preparing flax to be spun.
Father had lived in Illinois ten years, and had gone
through many trials and hardships. He had boarded, kept
bachelor's hall and at times had families in his house who
boarded him. Mother, too, had carried many cares after her
father's death, helping to provide for those dependent.
Father was a member of the Presbyterian church of
Washington, 111., having united with this organization in its
earliest infancy, and made great sacrifices to establish and
maintain it. Uncle Patterson was a member of the church
building committee and mortgaged his farm as surety. A
financial crisis came and father borrowed money at 12 V2 per
cent and lifted his brother's mortgage to hold the site on
which the church now stands. He was then a single man,
but his brother had a family and father could not forbear
making this self-sacrifice for them.
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. Ill
Father and mother were married November 25, 1847,
by Rev. George Elliott, pastor of the Presbyterian church.
(Rev. ElHott had earlier, that same evening, married Andrew
Gerbrick, whose daughter, Mrs. Frances Brubaker, resides in
Eureka, 111.) They lived happily together for nearly 47
years. He died April 16, 1894, and she October 28, 1901.
Mother was complained of having married out of unity
with Friends, and was disowned by their meeting. This is a
method no longer practiced by the Friends or Quakers.
Father had a four-room house with a porch 18x8 on his
farm and there they went to housekeeping December 9, 1847.
In the new home the same spirit of energy and faithfulness
pervaded her life; she was truly a helpmate. They began
with small financial means, but made a success and were al-
ways comfortable and good livers, ever sheltering and help-
ing those less fortunate. Mother lived on this farm 49 years,
which was in the Scott name 68 years.
When father enlarged his home, before his marriage,
Mathew Crane, the father of James R., Thomas, Joseph,
George, Charles, Wilham and Jane, (later Mrs. Benjamin
Miles, mother of the Miles brothers of Peoria) made the
built-in cupboards and clothes closets, and Thomas Whitten
built the stone wall for the cellar under the living room,
which was 16 feet square. Father procured these stones
and those used in the foundations of all his farm buildings
from a ravine on his timber land. There were two fireplaces,
with a mantle piece over each. In the living room there was
a grate, in which coal was the fuel used, it being hauled from
a coal bank near the Illinois river. The one in the kitchen
was deep, and large back-logs were rolled into it; the and-
irons held up the long fireplace wood. There was a crane in
this on which the bright copper tea-kettle and the cooking
vessels were hung in preparing the meals. Here they also
rendered lard, etc. They had a "Rotary" cook stove and did
not use this primative method of cooking. Mother, also, had
a Dutch oven which her mother's people had brought from
Georgia to Ohio in 1805 and from thence to Illinois in 1837.
(This was an iron vessel about 6 inches in depth and 12
inches in diameter, having short legs and an iron lid). It
was used to roast meats, bake bread, pies, cake, corn-pone,
etc., by placing it on a bed of hot coals and covering it with
the same. Father had one, too, in which he roasted meat
and potatoes for himself and for men who helped with farm
labor when he kept bachelor's-hall.
112 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
There were not even matches, and fires were lighted by
the sp^rk from a flint is:niting tinder in a tinder bcx. They
were careful to keep fires aHve and not, as it sometimes
happened, have to go to their neighbor's for hve coals.
Father had a half-dozen split-bottomed chairs and
mother two rocking chairs, of the same kind (made by the
Asa H. Danforth Furniture Co., and now owned by their
children). A walnut drop-leaves dining table, a walnut stand
with a drawer, a large mahogany chest of drawers and look-
ing glass, with frame of same wood, a nice clock on the
mantle, high-posted bedsteads corded with rope and with
canopy tops and valences, brass and glass candle sticks, a
perforated tin lantern, in all of which were used "home-
made" tallow candles. On the living room floor was an all-
wool rag carpet with a braided rag rug before the fireplace.
Good books and papers, viz: The Herold of Truth, Water-
cure Journal, The Messenger of Peace, Phrenological Journal,
New York Independent, Louisville Courier- Journal, Christian
Era (in the latter Uncle Tom's Cabin, by Harriett Beecher
Stowe, was run as a serial), a dasher churn, a wash board
and tub, clothes rung by hand. This is the picture of my
parents' home set up 80 years ago, in which a housewife did
all of her own work of every kind, even to browning the
family's supply of coffee and grinding it in a mill upon the
side wall near the cupboard in the kitchen.
James Smith, Sr., was the contractor with his son, James
Jr., as boss when our home was enlarged in 1862 by adding
five rooms, two halls and a portico. Of the carpenters and
workmen on that addition which included George Blackwell,
Levi Stumbugh, Mr. McFarlane the plasterer, George E. Lee
wno put in the stairway, Mr. Walters who did the graining
and varnishing, William Jones is the only man now hving, to
my Knowledge, who assisted there. The west half of our
bank-barn was built in 1850 an set on very large log piers.
The east half was built in 1875 when these piers and the
full foundation was made of stone. Mr. Pierce was the boss
on the west half and Peter Dorward on the east part.
Josiah Moore was a "waterwitch" and with forked
peach-tree limbs, one branch in each hand, he located a spot
for our stock well, by the limbs turning down in his hands
as if drawn by a magnet. It has proven to be a never-failing
Father had a stock well on the east 80 acres of the
farm where he put up a watering trough in the road for the
convenience of the public. This was the route most people
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 113
took in hauling their grain or going to Washington, which
was the "trading post" for the surrounding country, and it
was much appreciated by all in their long drives. James
i^ane carried the mail between Deer Creek and Washington
tor many years before the former town was served by the
Lake Erie railroad.
George Duncan was living with father when he was
married and continued to make his home there for some
years, when he married (a sister of Mrs. Joseph Kidd and
Mrs. William Monroe) and moved to Deer Creek township.
Robert Anderson also farmed with father and later
built a large square house three miles south from ours which
he sold to John Voorhees.
Rodger Jenkins did his first farming here on father's
farm, bought land nearby and made life a success.
Father was always among the first to buy the most ap-
proved farm and home conveniences. He owned the first
McCormick reaper in our neighborhood ; used four horses on
It, a man to drive and one to rake the grain from the plat-
lorm. With this he not only cut his own grain, but did
reaping for many of his neighbors. Among them was Mr.
Naffziger, Sr., the father of Valentine, Christian and Peter.
They v/ere then single men.
The next machine was a self-rake, then the Walter A.
Wood self-binder, now the "combine". The first ha\ rake
was an all-wooden one that revolved, making winrows; the
next a sulky rake with metal teeth, the driver being provided
with a seat on which to ride; then the loader.
l:*ather and Uncle Joe Kelso had the first portable hay
stackers, with a fork to be used either on the stacker or in
tne barn, operated by horse power with ropes and pulleys.
Driving a horse to elevate the hay to the stack or barn loft
was one way of getting outdoor fife and exercise that gave
The evolution of the plow has been as great a marvel
as that of almost any other piece of farm machinery. The
woden-tooth "A" harrow was offer used with a weight on
it. Breaking corn stalks on a frosty morning, using a long
neavy pole with a team at each end was an early way of
clearing a field, after which the stalks were raked into wind-
rows with a ponderous revolving wooden rake. They were
often burned in the evenings. Next came the stalk-cutter
and from that time on the stalks were not burned, but
114 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
Tliere were few carriages or buggies, and wagons were
seated by placing iron pieces over the top of the wagon-box
on both sides, near the front and the back of the box, and
a hickory strip laid in the fold of the irons to allow of son\e
spring for the seats placed on them.
In October of 1848 father, mother, Anna Hicks who was
mother's sister, William Sample, his wife and two sons Hugh
and Theodore v.^i\de an overland trip to Barnesville, Ohio, and
Washingtori, Pa., in a covered M^agon fitted up with springs.
Their travels were of six weeks' duration over miles and
miles of corduroy roads and bridges. There were many
stretches of swamps filled in so as to make travel possible.
This was their first visit east, after coming to Illinois eleven
years earlier. The Sample family had located, some years
prior to that date, on a farm known as "Sample's Corners"
near Mie Bucl:eye church. On their return in December thev
stopped Saturday night at Sam Stumbaugh's, north of Deer
Creek, 111., where Theodore, about two years old, was severe-
ly scalded by causing a cup of hot coffee to be spilled on him.
He bore this scar through life, as he did others that came
to him. At the age of sixteen years he enhsted in the l-ltli
111., cavalry as buglar, but threw his bugle away when cross-
ing the Ohio river. When asked why he did it he said, "I
took that method of getting into the army; now I am in
and that is all I want". He was a messenger and after sev-
eral almost miraculous escapes was captured and was in An-
dersonville prison, Ga., five months and twelve days. He
came from that "pen" a skeleton of his former self, was ex-
changed and honorably m.ustered out of the service of the
Civil war. He served the T. P. & W. railroad, beginning as
brakeman, and held all the positions — baggageman, freight
and passenger conductor, yardmaster and depotmaster at
Logansport, Ind., and retired as a pensioner several years be-
fore his death. The family moved from "Sample's Corners"
to their Washington home, the house now owned by Miss
Kate Wohlgemuth, when Hugh, Theodore and Sarah attend-
ed school in the seminary. While WilHam and Theodore
Sample were in the Civil war the family moved to El Paso.
Hugh w^as a very capable man and was assessor and sheriff
of Woodford county, and Sarah was an efficient teacher there
until her death in 1875, Hugh having died in 1871.
Father in hauling farm produce to Peoria, crossed over
the Illinois river on the ice, if was frozen over, as was cus-
tomary. In those days Peoria had no bridge over the Illi-
nois river, and crossing was by ferry at the foot of Walnut
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 115
Street, near where the McKinley bridge now stands. Peoria's
bridge was a "toll-gate" with James Tart as gatekeeper for
many years. Father's sister and her husband, Mr. and Mrs.
Robert Officer, came from Pennsylvania on a visit, and they
had to cross the river from Peoria in a skiff and land far
into what is now East Peoria. For years there was a long
levee from the river bridge some distance into East Peoria,
but that has disappeared by "made land" filling the swamp.
Father would let a lot of ear corn roll out of the cribs
onto the barn floor, bring in a number of loose horses, then
go into the loft above them and by using a long whip drive
tnem around and around. Thus they tramped the corn from
the cobs. This shelled corn was for stock feed.
When on our way from school we children stopped at
Jesse Cooper's to see the corn sheller that was being used
by Elias Wood — two horses traveling on an inclined moving
bridge, called a "treadmill".
Father had been the "Shepherd boy" on his father's
larm and knew the sheep business well. He was successful
m raising them and at one time he sold over a thousand
head, but kept fewer thereafter. It is truthfully said that
"where one sheep goes the rest will follow", be that
Wherever it may be. I have seen father try to stop the
hock from crossing the pasture bridge, when the leader
w^ould come with a bold defiant jump and leap past him —
then there was no hope of stopping the rest. They are most
interesting animals, especially the lambs at play. Sheep-
snearmg time was an interesting time, too. There were al-
ways a number of shearers, George Woodcock, Henry Bliss
and Thomas (Tom) Seaman being on the force for many
years. "As a sheep before her shearer is dumb" it was rare
tor one to offer resistance in the hands of the shearer.
Father folded the fleeces, one at a time, in the wool press.
He frequently sold this crop to Sol Bennett of Peoria, de-
livering it in great hay rack loads.
1 remember of mother attending a wool-picking at Mrs.
Elmore Shoemaker's, three miles west of our home. There
were many ladies at this party. They dined on their spa-
cious porch, having picked the wool on the lawn. Father
took me with him when he went to bring mother and the
ladies living near us home at the close of the day.
it was a full day's task to take a load of farm produce
to Peoria. On one occasion father took a load of wheat over
and did not return at the usual hour. His wagon had sus-
tained a broken wheel, and he had to transfer his load and
116 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
have the wheel repaired. We children were quite young, but
we knew that mother was anxious. She said, "Something
has detained father, but w^hen he comes he will be him.self".
We never had any occasion, throughout his long life, to have
the confidence mother instilled in us shaken in the least. He
had no more prominent characteristic than his strong con-
victions and his fearless expression of them. Among these
convictions were his temperance principles. These he im-
bibed in his youth and which continued steadfast in his
Much of this world's want and woe has come through
intemperance. Until 1907, when the local option law was
passed, Illinois was under a dram shop law which provided
for the licensing of dram shops.
The use of hquor was quite common in early days. Men
sometimes used it when in the field and not infrequently
they became incapacitated for work.
The common "grog shops" were numerous. There were,
ai one time, six saloons, a brewery and a calaboose in our
little town, with drunken brawls on many occasions; fam-
ilies abused and destitute of the necessities of life, except
wnen fed and clothed by people who did not indulge their
appetites in that which is not bread.
Hiram Bunn, a policeman, was equal to quelling almost
any such disturbance of the peace, for the drinkers all feared
his shillalah which they knew he would use with persuasive
force if his commands were not obeyed. He was called to a
nome where there was a daughter three days old; the father
had been up town and came home drunk. The children had
prepared dinner. He overturned the table, breaking -the
dishes, and picking up a chair ordered his wife to prepare
dinner for him. Two of the children succeeded in warding
off the blow intended for their mother, while the third one
ran for Mr. Bunn, who summarily put him in the "cooler".
This man had been opposed to intoxicating drink, but fell a
victim to it through the social glass.
There have been a number of very sad cases here
through this demon rum. Some men have tried hard to re-
form and have succeeded, but there were others whose com-
panions have held them and forced them to drink. Among
these were some of our brightest minds and our best busi-
ness men. There have always been some very active tem-
perance people here. The Good Templar lodge was a strong
organization. Lewis Tobias was one of the leading members
and entertained John B. Gough, Rev. Afflect (the Mark Twain
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON. ILL. 117
of England), Ross, Mason Long and others. He was threat-
ened with violence for his activities in the cause and the
trees in his orchard were girdled in retaliation by his op-
The "Crusaders" were a band of our purest and best
christian women, and their methods proved effectual. In
answer to their prayers has come the victory song, "Carry.
On Illinois", The Woman's Christian Temperance Union is
called of God for a specific purpose, and has been built around
total abstinence — the major in law observance and law en-
forcement. Nothing takes peace out of life more surely and
more quickly than the curse of drink. The greatest good of
llie greatest number demands its social control.
in 1883 Miss Florence Kingsbury, later Mrs. A. H.
Heiple, and I were delegated by oui* local W. C. T. U. to
circulate a petition, asking that the screens be removed from
ine saloon windows. We succeeded, and the city council
passed an ordinance granting this request.
Tlie saloons were closed in 1907 when we passed the
local option law.
Tlius, step by step, our efforts have banished every sa-
loon from our city, and it has improved in every way. Tliere
can be no argument on this subject when the finished pro-
ducts of the "imbiber" and the "abstainer" are compared.
We know that prohibition is the best method. We have stout
Hearts and great courage and will "Hold Fast and Go For-
in September, 1855, the people of Washington and vicin-
ity gaye a dinner, over the west side drug store, to the offi-
cials of the Toledo, Peoria and Warsaw railroad, and were in-
vited by them to take the first trip over the road to Cruger.
Flat cars used in building the track were converted into open-
air passenger cars by the simple means of building benches
cross-wise of the cars and a short distance apart. In that
way they carried a great many pasengers. Mother declined
to go, as did others, because it was said "they will not bring
you back", but father took me on his arm and with sister
Martha and brother Quincy were of that initial group of pas-
sengers who were greeted by the people of Cruger and those
of her country-side with loud acclaim, for a new day of pro-
gress had dawned in this vicinity in the opening of the rail-
The grade for the Petersburg and Tonica railroad was
completed through Washington, but the track was not laid
118 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
and the shareholders lost their investments. The right of
way here was later purchased by the Chicago and Alton rail-
Birth of the Republican Party
Prof. B. J. Radford, the beloved prominent old settler of
Eureka, recently wrote an interesting account of the birth
of the Republican party. I take pleasure in quoting the
same, as follows, in my historical sketch as it relates to my
father's activities at that time:
"The Republican party became seventy years old on the
29th of May, 1927. It was born in Major's Hall in Blooming-
ton, May 29, 1856. Leading men throughout the state,
aroused by Lincoln's two years' campaign against the plans
of Senator Douglas and his Southern backers to throw the
new territories of the United States open to slavery, gath-
ered in Bloomington that day to see what could be done to
avert the calamity. It was a large and representative body,
men from all parts of the state and of both parties — Whigs
and Democrats. After others had spoken, Lincoln was called
out for the climax, and he climaxed. It was half-past five
o'clock when he began speaking. Pretty soon everybody for-
got about time, or supper; reporters forgot their pencils, and
no one took a long breath till half-past seven when Lincoln
ended that famous "lost speech". But, in fact, it was lost.
It inspired the great gathering to inaugurate the movement
which crystalized into the Republican party, nominated Gen.
Frement for President and, four years later, elected Lincoln
to the Chief Magistracy.
"Other times and places have laid claims for the honor
of giving birth to the Repubhcan party. There were several
conventions that year of patriotic citizens which denounced
the old parties and called for a new alinement, but none of
them had the prestige to give momentum to a nation-wide
current of reform. Illinois was the only state in which the
public mind had been prepared for such a movement, and
Lincoln had done the preparing by setting forth during two
years the need, the principles and purpose of it, and how it
might be accompHshed ultimately. In New York, Horace
Greeley and Seward were not yet fully emancipated from the
Henry Clay policy of compromise; while in New England
Sumner and his fellow abolitionists thought only of the im-
mediate destruction of slavery, without any practical plans
as to how it could be done. Bloomington, 111., and May 29,
1856, were the the place and time of the birth of the Repub-
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 119
"By the way, the public hall in which that convention
was held was owned by Wm. T. Major, a brother of Ben Ma- ><
J or, who settled at Eureka in 1835, and became the leader
of the founders of Eureka college".
May 29, 1918, Centennial year celebration in Illinois,
there was dedicated a tablet of bronze upon the walls of
lamous Major's hall at Bloomington. The tablet had been
prepared by the Daughters of the American Revolution. The
dedication was attended by many prominent Republicans of
the nation, Frank 0. Lowden, who was then governor, headed
a delegation from Springfield.
Washington People at Notable Meeting
Father attended this convention at Wm. T. Major's Hall
in Bloomington, 111., and took five delegates with him, viz:
Thomas Fish, John H. Anthony, William A. Ross, John M.
Roberts and George Crandle. A call was issued for 226 dele-
gates, but so great was the interest that more than twice
tnat many were present.
Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A Douglas, in their de-
oates, aroused all the people and they went far to hear them.
Mother, brother Charlie and I were visiting with mother's
sister, Mrs. 0. B. Judson of Galesburg, 111., and father came
to attend their joint debate October 7, 1858, on the east side
of "Old Main" on Knox college campus. I well. remember the
day and the delegations with their flags and bands and the
speakers, too, but not their speeches. My aunt who was with
us later on writing me said, "Mr. Douglas spoke one hour and
when Mr. Lincoln arose to speak Douglas said, 'How long,
Lord' how long', to which Lincoln replied, 'The days and the
years of the wicked are short'." Lincoln was tall and lean,
Douglas was short and fat, thus each poked fun at the per-
sonal appearance of the other. Cowper said that "A man re-
nowned for repartee will seldom scruple to make free with
friendship's finest feelings".
Lincoln spoke one and a-half hours and Douglas followed
with a half hour which closed their three-hour debate. The
crowd was estimated at 15,000. A great day never to be for-
gotten by those who were privileged to be present. We came
nome the following day, and enroute the coach that we were
riding in ran off of the track and rolled over, but no one was
seriously hurt. We waited a long time and were brought on
our way to Peoria in a grain car, with improvised seats —
nail kegs with boards laid across them.
The first national Republican convention was held in
Chicago, May 16, 1860, when Abraham Lincoln was nomin-
120i EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
ated for the presidency. Father was there and on the stand
next to John M. Roberts of Morton, 111., who was a teller. It
was an intensely exciting experience, for they all realized
that the destiny of the repubhc was changed.
On one occasion during this exciting campaign Lincoln's
opponents asserted that they had completely flayed him.
He arose and pointed aptitudinally to their assured political
"Hark from the tomb, the mournful sound,
Mine ear attend the cry,
Ye living men come view the ground
Where you shall shortly lie".
Lincoln was vindicated in this assertion by being elected
to the presidency.
Tlie Washington Republican wigwam, on the lot east of
our Community building, was dedicated by Judge Sweat of
Chicago on the afternoon of June 23, 1860. The "Wide-
awakes", wearing black oil cloth capes and black caps of the
same material, with this word in white letters across the
front, carried torches and paraded in the evening, accompan-
ied by a fife and drum corps.
In September, 1860, delegations from Morton, Eureka
and Washington met at Charles Kinnear's corner, Cruger,
enroute to Metamora for a campaign rall^, and a vast throng
was present. There was an improvised large wagon decor-
ated with red, white and blue in which were small girls who
met at Cruger dressed in pink calico dresses, white aprons
bound with pink, a blue strip across their waists on which
was the name of a state in white letters. A large fla^: was
on the wagon and each of the girls carried a small one.
There were several troops of ladies, mounted, viz: Elm-
wood, Metamora and Eureka and Washington as one. They
also represented the states of the Union. The latter wore
blue velvet hats, pink shambry waists, white skirts, blue
sasnes and brown debeige riding skirts. They made quite an
impressive showing. The other troops were each dressed dif-
ferent, but were as attractively attired as were ours. A
prize was offered for the best and most graceful rider m
these troops and it was awarded to cousin Elizabeth Gertrude
Scott, who rode a beautiful, spirited, dapple-gray horse that
pranced and danced to the lively martial music. He and his
rider attracted much attention and she received many com-
pliments on her graceful riding and equestrianism.
Both Morton and Washington were represented by splen-
did drum corps. The former was composed of John M.
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 121
Roberts fifer, Luke Humphrey snare drum and George Cran-
dle the bass drum. In the latter's was Thomas Fish fifer,
Oliver Hungerford snare drum and Morris Reece Trimble
bass drum. Oliver Hungerford was later band major of the
47th 111. Infantry.
Stephan Douglas' Visit to Washington
The Metamora Herald a number of years ago contained
an extended write-up of tl';e Lincoln-Douglas debates.
Among other things, it had the following with reference to
Douglas' visit to Washington in 1858. They were unable to
discover an account of Lincoln's visit:
The visits of Lincoln and Douglas do not appear in the
history of the debates of 1858 between the two statesmen
by reason of the fact that Metamora was not on the scheduled
hst of speaking places advertised at the outset of the cam-
paign. The two candidates for United States senator were
on their way to Galesburg for one of their great debates and
were traveling by easy stages through the country, speaking
in all the counties traversed. As seen from the dates of the
speeches here, Lincoln was two days' travel behind Douglas.
Unfortunately no printed description of Lincoln's visit has
yet been found, but Douglas' trip from Peoria to Metamora
and his stops in Washington and Metamora are tersely re-
lated in the following dispatch taken from the Chicago Times
of October 6, 1858:
"Metamora, 111., Sept. 30, 1858.— The demonstration here
today was never equalled before, and can hardly be equalled
aq-ain. Senator Douglas, accompanied by a large number of
friends, left this morning by the eastern extension of the
Peoria and Oquawkya railroad and on arriving in Washing-
ton, a thriving town in Tazewell county, near the Woodford
county line, was met by an immense delegation and escorted
to the town square by Dr. R. B. M. Wilson, the Democratic
candidate for the legislature in Tazewell county."
The correspondent then gives a synopsis of the address
of Dr. Wilson, and relates the trip from Washington to Meta-
mora in the following:
"After a short reply from Senator Douglas the delega-
ton set out for Metamora, seven miles distant. On leaving
Washington there were 108 wagons in the procession, aver-
aging eight persons to the wagon and some 25 or 30 car-
riages and buggies, and this long line of vehicles received ac-
cessions at every cross road and farm house along the route.
When within three miles of Metamora we were received by
the Young Men's Democratic club of Woodford and delega-
122 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON. ILL.
tions from Minonk, Eureka, Spring Bay, Metamora and other
places. The Minonk delegation had eight four-horse teams
in their line, and turned out strong. The procession must
have been over four miles long, so great was the number of
w^agons, carriages, buggies and horsemen in it. Such a scene
I never witnessed before. The air was full of flags, banners,
music and the shouts of the multitude, while ever and anon
the thunder of cannon came in to swell the general jubilee. It
was indeed a glorious sight, far beyond my descriptive powers
to convey to you an idea of. About noon a heavy shower
liassed over the town, which served to lay the dust (a terri-
ble quantity of which had been kicked up) , but not to dampen
the ardor and enthusiasm of the people."
About October 19, 1860, the people of this community
gave a supper to the "Wide-awakes", in the wigwam, with
Mrs. Thomas Fish as chairman, after which there was a
great parade, people having come to town from every direc-
When Abraham Lincoln's call "to arms" came, many
from Washington and vicinity volunteered to sacrifice their
lives to preserve the Union. Our boys went, for the most
part, in the 47th, 86th and 132nd Illinois Infantry and the
14th Illinois Cavalry. We, among their relatives and friends,
went to the camp in Peoria to bid the boys of the 47th good-
bye. They were brave and composed,
Tliose were stirring times, and the loyal people here
could not have done more for the boys in the "war zone"
nor for their dependants at home than they did do.
There was a high flag pole set up in our public square
which was dedicated with appropriate ceremonies. The men
of our neighborhood went to father's timber and made_ a
flag pole, which was set on our land in the corner opposite
the South Mennonite church, that being a high point on a
much traveled highway. The women met at Uncle Patterson
Scott's and made a large flag wliich was flung to the breeze
by Joseph Culbertson, who then lived in our tenant house.
1 well recall the pall that fell over this community when
Captain Daniel Miles fell out of the ranks. His funeral
caused people to more fully realize the conflict that'was then
being waged. He stood for principle, and did his duty as he
saw It. He was fearless in his denunciation of those who
were not loyal to this government — some of whom sought
hiding in Canada and elsewhere until the smoke of battle
Cleared awav and then had the audacity to return to the pro-
tection of our "flag" that had been preserved, but not through
- EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 123
any of their efforts. The Knights of the Golden Circle were
quite active here, too, for a time, but they were silenced.
There were fifteen who went from our road, less than
four miles in length, viz: Stephen Decatur and William
Henry Humphrey, Russell, Newton, Albert and Rodney Shoe-
maker, Robej't Lewis, Jacob, Sebastian, Henry and George
Minch, Ebenezer Wood, William and Sanford Van Meter and
William Culbertson. They came off victorius in battle, and
all were honorably discharged from the service in the Civil
war except Stephen Decatur Humphrey, whose head was
severed from his body by a cannon ball at the battle of
Corinth, Miss., Oct. 3, 1862, while Charles Crane and Theo-
aore Amsbary were on either side of him. Phelix Monroe,
Captain William Bogardus, Captain B. F. Biser and David
Smith also were of those who made the supreme sacrifice on
their country's altar. When the soldiers came home they and
their friends were given a supper in the old seminary. Al-
though there were many sad hearts because their dear ones
had not been spared to return, it was nevertehless, in many
ways, a time for great rejoicing.
Sebastian Minch was the first one to "pass on". All are
now (Jan. 2, 1928,) gone and their wives, too, except Albert
Shoemaker and his wife, Lavina Riddle, who live at 800
Pacific avenue. Long Beach, Calif. He is 86 years of age,
without a gray hair and appears but 60; she is 82. They
and Jacob Minch and wife, Ann Eliza Birkett, lived in our
tenant house and farmed our land the first year they were
May a grateful nation every pay tribute to their valor
and our government long endure, which it will if we are
true to our flag.
No Red— Without the White and Blue
There's no other land hke my land,
Beneath the shining sun;
There's no other flag like my flag.
In all the world — not one;
One land, one tongue, and one people,
To one flag loyal, true —
No red shall wave o'er my fair land
Without the white and blue.
There's grandeur in my land's mountains,
Contentment in her vales ;
There's wealth in her broad prairies,
There's freedom in her gales.
In my land all men are equal.
124 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON. ILL.
Her flag proclaims it, too —
No red shall wave o'er my fair land
Without the white and blue.
There's majesty in Old Glory,
Hope in each stripe and star;
It heralds freedom, liberty,
To nations, near and far;
Unsullied and triumphant,
Glorified, she floats anew —
No red shall wave o'er my fair land
Without the white and blue.
— Ernest E. Cole.
The Methodists built their first church on the corner of
Main and Jefl'erson streets in 1839, during the pastorate of
Rev. Zadoc Hall. This site was exchanged for the corner of
Walnut and Elm streets on which their second edifice was
dedicated December 8, 1867, when Rev. E. D. Hall was the
minister and Rev, J. Borland the presiding elder. This was
then the most commodious church building in Washington,
The Presbyterian church is their second on the original
In the fall of 1876 the Christian church was struck by
lightning and entirely destroyed. They soon built their third
church, for the brick church, now the home of the Telephone
Co., was their first edifice.
The Baptists, too, were quite numerous in the early life
of Washington, but lack of strength caused them to disband
some years since.
The total eclipse of the sun in August, 1869, made ani-
mal life believe that night had come. The cattle and sheep
came to their pens and lay down, the chickens went to their
roosts and when it passed off they crowed as though morn-
ing had dawned.
During the Chicago fire, which was ignited October 9,
1871, the heat and smoke from it produced here, 150 miles,
distant, a glowing haze in the atmosphere of those balmy
Professor Kellogg was superintendent of schools in the
old seminary, and with his family resided on the corner of
Main and Holland streets, later known as the Rev. I. A. Cor-
nelison home. Sister Martha attended school there and she
later took me with her when Prof. James Brady and Miss
Isadore Trimble were conducting an oral examination for
teachers. The Misses Anna and Victoria Triplet (later Mrs.
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 125
Whitmer Kern and Mrs. Jacob Ray), Misses Mary R. and
Rebecca V. Scott (the latter later Mrs. John Guthrie) were
among the applicants for certificates.
The school gave a play in which Silas Eccles had the
leading part, and Monroe Webster was also in the cast. The
orchestra attracted me most. Miss Molhe Wood was the ac-
companist, George and Charles Bayler and Dr. E. F. and
Prof. Josiah Wood were violinists.
We were two miles from either Jefferson or Greenridge
schools, but belonged in the latter district. Our parents
were much interested in education, and have sent us to Jef-
ferson when their teacher was superior to ours. Prof. Cyrus
Parker, at Jefferson, was an excellent instructor. My first
teacher was Miss Josephine Sickler, daughter of Jaser Sick-
ler, Sr., and the first wife of liUther North, Miss Tyaura
Parker, daughter of Prof, Cyrus Parker and wife of Charles
Crane, came next. I was tutored by many, for we often had
a new teacher three times in a school year. Moses Yoker
stands out most prominent of those at Greenridge. He made
study attractive by setting a goal and an incentive to attain
it. He was a fine elocutionist and there were none better as
a, grammar teacher. There is but one person now residing
in Greenridge district who attended school there when I did;
that is Mrs. Julia White Callahan, and comparatively few of
our schoolmates are now living.
Boyhood Days at Greenridge School
I can see the doors and windows
In the school house far away,
Where in youth I played and frolicked
With my schoolmates — ever gay.
Moi'e than thirty years have fleeted
Since the time on Greenridge ground,
Where we played all games at noontime.
And at recess frolicked round.
But all scenes are quite familiar.
Desks and blackboards, hooks and all.
Where we sat and learned our lessons —
Hung our hats on each side wall.
Teachers with an eye for business
Called the roll and rang the bell,
But we boys were full of mischief —
Stories Oft times did tell.
Still we toiled — recited — figured
Many a problem with a will.
126 i!JARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
Hoping thus to be the master of
Each book and learn to spell.
In we came and took our places
In the desks all made of pine,
Where with penknife notches gathered —
Made they were in broad day time.
All the masters were good fellows;
Lady teachers very kind,
Excepting one who flailed the writer
To the tune of dancing time.
And to her Fm still revengeful;
Perhaps she's dead — I can not say.
But if she is — I can not help it —
Man was bom to go that way.
— Lincoln R. Scott.
We attended Jefferson school under Prof. Josiah Wood.
He was a real schoolmaster and a grammar king. His
methods were somewhat in advance of those of the old
Scothman's division of his subject into four parts, viz:
or-tho-gra-phy, et-i-me-lo-gy, swyn-tax and per-so-da. Re-
capitulation was a hobby of his. Often when we became
restless he would tune up his vioHn, and tell us what he would
play or ask us what we wished him to play. Tell us who
the composer was and of his compositions. He then expected
us to work. Nothing escaped his eyes or ears. We could
never see eyes in the back of his head, but he could tell just
what we were doing, even with his back toward us. There
was a cannon stove; he would riddle, then poke the fire, fill
the stove with coal, bang the door, throw the poker into the
coal-hod with a slam, then brush his clothes and hands in a'
way all his own, but this activity of his still lingers with me.
He was very approachable, and someone asked him why he
snrugged his shoulders and he rephed, "When I was a little
fellow I had to wear a coat much too large for me an it was
always slipping off, thus I acquired this habit of lifting it on
We also attended his private school in his school house
and in the west school house, now called the primary school
building, in the fall of 1876. The new brick school house was
opened December 1, 1876, with Prof. James A. Kelley as su-
perintendent. Miss Mary Italin began her teaching career
then, too. I entered the high school January 1, 1877, with
84 pupils in that room, and my brothers entered the grades.
Prior to this date I had been a student in the Morris-classic
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 127
Institute under Prof. Newton C. Dougherty, who later be-
came the superintendent of Peoria's school and the embez-
zler of her school funds.
Uur get-together events during our school days were in
literary societies, singing schools, temperance meetings, Sun-
day school conventions, spelling schools and picnics.
The following are a few incidents that I have over-
looked in my historical sketch that may be of interest:
The mail was first carried on horseback and later by
four-horse stage coaches. In 1838 Funk and Trobridge
(headquarters in Chicago) took contracts on all the country
]-outes to carry mail between Chicago and Peoria, 150 miles.
The schedule called for a daily mail between these points.
The green flies and mosquitoes that were in the high
grasses of the sloughs and swams on the prairies in early
days made life for man and beast almost unbearable.
I can remember in early times when two bushels of
wheat was given in exchange for a day's work. Butter was
4 cents per pound, and all farm products were priced on this
Father on one of his early trips to Chicago, where he
hauled produce to market, brought back lumber, stoves and
salt which he sold at good prices, the latter bringing $5.00
In the pioneer times tlie custoni was for open fields, as
the farmers found it cheaper to herd their stock than fence
I remember Col. Dan Miles as a splendid bass singer.
He belonged to the Washington quartette, the other members
being Sam Biser, Chatty Smith Price and Laura Potter Crane.
Prof. B. J. Radford in the Eureka Journal : The Col. Dan
Miles Grand Army Post of Eureka was named in honor of a
man raised in the neighboring town of Washington, his fath-
er being one of the pioneer settlers in that village. When I
first knew Dan Miles he was clerking in Danforth's general
store, called by the settlers "the big store." It was a one-
story frame building with limestone-walled basement, and
stood on the corner near the northwest corner of the public
square, now occupied by a garage. Dan was a tall handsome
fellow and along in the fifties organized a crack military com-
pany, which was a peculiar pride of the town. Dan was a
fine drill-master and it seemed to me that his company com-
pared favorably in appearance and action with Bryner's
128 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON. ILL.
famous Blues. In 1861 Dan helped to organzie the 47th Illi-
nois Infantry of which he became Colonel, and was killed
while leading his regiment at the battle of Shiloh, April 7,
"Our fathers find their graves in our short memories,
and sadly tell us how we may be buried in those of our
He has not served who gathers gold,
Nor has he served whose life is told
In selfish battles he has won.
Or deeds of skill that he has done —
But he has served who now and then
has helped along his fellow men.
Strong men to stand beside the weak,
Kind men to hear what others speak,
True men to keep our country's laws,
And guard its honor and it cause;
Men who will bravely play life's game
Nor ask rewards of gold or fame.
Washington and vicinity has reached the age when the
"old settlers" are now mostly the children and grandchildren
of the original old settlers. Much of the history of those
early days has already been lost because it was never written
down and because those who knew it are dead.
The younger generation may not understand the prob-
lems and situations with which the early settlers had to deal,
but nevertheless it is under obligation to give the builders all
possible recogniton and consideration.
All about us are the landmarks of the yesterdays. And
it is good that it is this way, for we must never forget that
we have what we have because of the courageous lives and
sacrifices of thousands who have played their parts and re-
tired behind the curtains. We are in happiness, in success
and in hope because of the yesterdays.
"We are only remembered by what we have done."
When God made the star He did not say, "Earn praise."
He said, "Give light." It is to bring to "light" the deeds of
the pioneers and to show our appreciation of the background
which they made that we contribute this memento of the past.
The copy was furnished the newspaper and I did not
have an opportunity to read or revise the proofs, so I hope
some of the mistakes and grammatical errors will be excused.
Emma Julia Scott.
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 129
The James Smith Family Which
Came to Washington in Year 18S5
The following is an account of one of the early families
that settled in Washington and descendants of the family
have continued to live in the city and take a prominent part
in the welfare of the community:
James and Ann Cargill Smith came to New York from
Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1834, Later on they came around the
coast to the Mississippi river, then to Ft. Clark, now Peoria.
In 1835 the Hollands, who came to Ft. Clark to trade,
learning that Mr. Smith was a carpenter contractor, per-
suaded him to come to Washington, as they were in need of
that kind of a man.
Mr. Smith's first home was at the corner of High and
Jefferson streets, a one-room house. In 1837 he took his
family, which consisted of his wife, two sons and himself,
to a new home at the north end of Spruce street. Here they
carried on farming and carpentering as well. This was the
only home they had, Mrs. Smith living there .until her death
Mr. Smith built many homes, schools and churches and
later on, by the aid of his sons, he had the furniture busi-
ness, making all the furniture they sold. He also had a
large saw mill and employed many people. For some time
the firm acted as the undertaker for Washington.
Mr. Smith built all of the depots on the T., P. & W.
railroad from Bushnell to Effner.
To the Smith union there were born six sons, James,
John, William, David, Fred and George, and two daughters,
Ellen and Susan. Mrs. J. M. Murray (Ellen) of Riverside,
Calif., is the only one of the family now living.
Some Early History of Washing-
ton From the Official Records
"Picturesque Washington, Illinois," pubhshed in 1906 by
Paul R. Goddard and Theo. Roehm, contained the following
The only ofhcial records of the town of Washington ex-
130 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON. ILL.
tant today date back to 1839, When E. E. Heiple was elected
clerk of the city of Washington in 1878 he received a letter
from a relative of an early settler, Dr. Carr, who stated that
he had one of the books containing the early proceedings of
the town and would send it to him upon request. Mr. Heiple
wrote for the document and has since had it in his posses-
sion. While the book of proceedings only contained a few
years of the early history of the town it throws a light on
the first organization. The first date in the book is Monday,
August 20, 1838. Washington at that time had a town or-
ganization and was governed by a Town Board of four Trus-
tees. The first members of the board, as shown by this
record, consisted of E. A. Whipple, J. Kern, B. Allen and A.
H. Danforth. May 4, 1839, occurred an election at which
James Brown was elected president and Wm. G. Spencer,
George W. Danforth, Peter Shelly and Thomas Fish, trus-
tees. Thomas Fish was appointed clerk, Jacob Kern asses-
sor, A. H. Danforth collector, Haven Pierce treasurer and
E. A. Whipple street commissioner. At the first meeting of
this board the following resolution was passed: "Resolved,
That the corporation line be extended a half-mile each way
from the center of Commercial Square so as to contain one
mile square. All laws in relation to the corporation boundary
passed Mav 5, 1838, are hereby repealed." At a meeting
held Mav 11, 1840, it was ordered that a public well be dug
in the Public Square and that it be walled with rock and a
pump put in the same. May 7, 1840, R. M. Burton was ap-
pointed clerk of the town board. The last entry in this
book of proceedings was on September 4, 1841. It was or-
dered that a fine be imposed on Sample and others for dis-
charging fire arms in the Public Square. This record was
signed by Wilham Holland as president.
That closes the records of Washington until the town
was incorporated under a special act of the Legislature of the
State of Illinois, passed February 10, 1857. On March 25,
1857, the Board of Trustees met and organized. All mem-
bers were present and were qualified by David Kyes. The
first trustees were: John L. Marsh, R. B. M. Wilson, James
Smith, Dan L. Miles and Jacob Sonneman. John L. Marsh
was elected first president of the board, R. C. Dement clerk,
Thomas Cress constable, Asa H. Danforth treasurer and
Thomas Fish street commissioner.
James Smith ofi:ered the first resolution: "Resolved,
That any person riding or driving on any sidewalk inside of
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 131
the corporation of the town of Washington shall pay a fine
of $5.00, to be collected before any Justice of the Peace for
the use of the inhabitants of the said town."
The board of trustees elected in 1858 was Elias Wenger,
Ben Tobias, Dan L. Miles, Jazer Sickler and Jacob Sonneman;
W. P. Springate, clerk.
The board elected March 7, 1859, was Ben Tobias, John
A. Andrews, Jazer Sickler, S. Y. Weiser and T. 0. Brown.
T. 0. Brown was elected president, Wm. Springate clerk and
Asa H. Danforth treasurer. The first dram shop ordinance
was passed April 19, 1859, and the first licenses were granted
to George Jacquin, A. Vetterhiefer and Henry Bartlette, May
September 16, 1859, Ben Tobias and Jazer Sickler were
appointed a committee to receive propositions to build a jail.
They reported they could buy a lot for $175 and get a jail
built for $125. Report received. November 1, 1859, the lot
on Jefferson street was bought for $175 and a contract to
build the jail or calaboose was awarded to James Smith &
Sons for $136.
The city of Washington was organized and the first
election held April 16, 1878. Peter Fifer was elected first
mayor and E. E. Heiple clerk. The following are the mayors
who have since been elected: Second, Ben Tobias, 1879-80
third, L. S. North, 1881-82; fourth, J. G. Gorin, 1883-84
fifth, W. B. Harvev, 1885-86; sixth, W. B. Harvey, 1887-88
seventh. H. R. Danforth, 1889-90; eighth, G. W. Cress, 1891-
92; ninth, J. H. Anthony, 1893-94; tenth, Ben Tobias, 1895-
96; eleventh, Ben Frederick, 1897-98; twelveth, H. L. Price,
1899-1900; thirteenth, H. L. Price, 1901-02; fourteenth, D.
J. Chaffer, 1903-04; fifteenth, C. P. Cress, 1905-06.
(Sixteenth, Ed L. Meyers, 1907-08; seventeenth, R. F.
Tanton, 1909-10; eighteenth, I. W. Miller, 1911-12; nine-
teenth and twentieth, D. J. Chaffer, 1913-16; twenty-first
and twenty-second, E. H. Roberts, 1917-20; twenty-third, F.
S.Harvey, 1921-22; twenty-fourth, Chris Ebert, 1923-24;
twentv-fifth and twenty-sixth, Geo. H. Rinkenberger.)
The first council on April 18, 1878, was Peter Fifer,
mayor; E. E. Heiple, clerk; John Dougherty, attorney; T. C.
Sonneman, treasurer; aldermen, Henry Mahle, Henry Den-
hart, James Cameron, short term, one year; D. J. Chaffer,
Lawson Holland, E. Rapp, long term, two years.
A contract was made with G. C. Morgan to install the
water works December 22, 1887. W. B. Harvey was the
mayor of the city.
132 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
A contract was made with the Sun Electric Light Co.
and signed February 3, 1891. The incandescent hghts boiler
blew up and destroyed the plant February 4, 1895. The plant
was then moved near the depot and arc light installed.
The Eagle Electric Co. was installed in 1900 with arc Hghts.
Today Washington is the model little residence city. It
has all the modern conveniences which go to make a happy
and contented lot of people. It has a wealthy and progressive
class of citizens. As has been truthfully stated there are
more wealthy people residing here than in cities many times
larger. Not only is this true, but the people as a whole are
all in moderate circumstances.
The business square of Washington was paved with
brick in 1903 and one year later South Main street was paved
to the corporation line. A contract has now been let for the
paving of the street to the city limits on the north. It will
not be long until the streets are also paved to the city limits
east and west. Gravel roads connect at the city limits and
run in the four directions, the gravel road being nearly com-
pleted on the west all the way to Peoria.
Complete List of Graduates of the
Washington High School From 1876
The following is a list of the graduates of the Washing-
ton High School:
Class of 1876— Charlotte Wells, Belle Cameron, Clara
Crane, Mary Italin.
Class of 1880— Mary Cameron.
Class of 1881— Angle Benford, Lizzie Gorin, Mate Maffit.
Class of 1882— Carrie McDonald, Frank Neitz.
Class of 1883— Lizzie Rickman, Frances Crow, Lizzie
Van Meter, Anna Voorhees, Bertha Nafzinger, Mary Jane
Hill, Lou Cameron.
Class of 1884 — Ida Pierce, Carrie Voorhees, Mam.ie
Bratt, Ida Parsons, Kate Harms, Nellie Gorin, Carrie Gibson,
Class of 1885— Cassie Danforth, Leva A. Crane, Telva
B. Andrews, NelHe Crane, Hattie Zinser, Tina Van Meter,
Harry L. Zinser.
Class of 1886— John A. Andrews, Louisa Portman, Theo-
dore Roehm, Hattie Sheppard, Kate Miles, Robert Comelison,
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 133
Class of 1887 — Mary Hartwell, Hattie Frederick, Cora
Huddleston, Julia W. Smith, Clara Alphonso, Bertha Small.
Class of 1888 — Edith Dougherty, Asa H. Danforth, Josie
North, Eugene Fuesslej Louis Kelso.
Class of 1890 — Lillie Long, Edgar Bon Durant, Herman
Danforth, George Wehner, Plutella Chaffer, Laura Cress,
Orestes Ferner, Frank Rickman.
Class of 1891 — Martha Dougherty, Luella Cress, William
Class of 1892 — Jessie Enos, Violet Crane, Christie Wohl-
gemuth, Susie McDonell, Nina Magarity, Prudence Schmuck,
Fannie Watson, Laura Rickman, Harriet Heiple.
Class of 1893 — Paul W. Busse, Amy Shaffer, Maona
Cress, Pearl Long, Clara Neitz, Harry Graham, Viola Cress,
Lulu Hornish, Dora Weber, Clara Stormer, Hattie Rickman,
Mary Smith, Josephine Witte.
Class of 1894 — Avis Price, Mary Stormer, Fannie Price,
Jessie Waring, Josephine Chaffer, Anna Andrews, Mary Dan-
forth, Edith Welch, Rae Crane, Fred Kehr, Ralph Weirick,
Etta Habben, Frank Thomas, Emma Voorhees, Eloise Allen.
Class of 1895— Emma Miller, Samuel McCluggage, Ollie
Berney, Charlie Wehner, Susie Allen, Ida Birkett, William
A. Gott, Mary Bullock, Susie Wagner, Sadie Glabe, Bessie
Class of 1896— Etta Smith, Grace Corbin, Mary Hayes
Watson, Laura Dougherty, Dora Holland, Celia Bayler, May
Cassell, Lynn Kent, Marion Wilson.
Class of 1897— Caroline Price, Roy Smith, Maude Hugill,
Ethel Keene, Edna Hoover, Pearl Rapp, John McCluggage,
Roy Zinser, Blanche Stoll, Clara Schaeber, Elizabeth Weirick,
Harold Jones, Harry Mason, Ethel Cress.
Class of 1898 — Carrie Harms, Florence Bayler, Dean
Cassel, Louisa Miller, Effie Downing, Dave McCluggage, Jes-
sie Holland, Thomas E. Holland, Frank Stormer, Nellie E.
Watson, Frank Cramer, Anna Haas.
Class of 1899 — Eva Lonnecker, Bessie Rapp, Katherine
Witte, Anna M. Stahl, Mary Weiser, Clyde Smith, Edith
Yale, Marie Wrenn, Mabel Armstrong, Gertrude Heiple, Ada
Zinser, William Blumenshine.
Class of 1900 — Jennie Holland, Laura Devine, Bessie Bir-
kett, Callie Eddy, Clyde Strubhar, Gertrude Wilson, Mabel
Whitehill, Ella F. Harms, Clara Keil, Mary Rapp, Gertrude
Carlson, Mae Reynolds, Beatrice Cockbill, Viola Bamber.
134 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
Class of 1901— Maude Heiple, Hulda Minch, Harry Bir-
kett, Dolly Birkett, May Heiple, Roy Miller, Martha Birkett,
Bertha Kraus, Nellie Wilkinson.
Class of 1903 — Beulah Hornish, Elsie Wrenn, Maude An-
drews, Alice Pifer, Elna Stolt, Hattie Carlson, Eunice Zaneis,
Laura Kice, Regie Sencenbaugh, Gusta Blumenshine.
Class of 1904 — Hattie Holland, Theresa Jacquin, Elsie
Heyl, Ruby Rapp, George Danforth.
Class of 1905— Mabel Tobias, Robert F. Wrenn, Bessie
Tervene, Frank Heiple, Barbara Strubhar, Grace Alvord,
Class of 1906— Mildred Husser, Pauline Pfeiffer, Mabel
Jones, Ernest Rich.
Class of 1907 — Fred Sweitzer, Walter Goddard, Arthur
Specht, Stacy Merchant, William A. Pfeiifer, Blanche Lowry,
Frieda Streid, Sylvia Holland, Annie Smith, Frances Dough-
Class of 1908 — Edna Burkey, Alvin Brunnenmeyer, Ma-
bel Bontz, Horace Dougherty, Florence Ebert, Edward Heiple,
William Holtzman, Louise Miller.
Class of 1909 — Eleanor Pruen, Isadore Engel, Ethel
Cooper, Caroline Heiple, Harold Geason, Forrest Moyer,
Anna Frederick, Ida Bellows, Elsie Danforth, William Vau-
bel, Meinhardt Ryf , Chester Birkett.
Class of 1910 — Roy Risser, Lloyd Sampson, Emma
Vaubel, Hattie Stolt, Hayes Ferner, Elsie Pfeiffer, Harold
Heiple, Mary Holtzman, Arthur Vogelgesand, Esther Wolge-
muth, Bernard Volz, Josephine Sullivan, William Sullivan.
Class of 1911 — Harry Blumenshine, Ochel Haines, Wil-
liam Buck, Oliver Enselman, Donald Heiple, lona Heyl, Cul-
lom Long, Beulah Manshardt, Jack Waltmire, Sadie Vaubel,
Prudence Trowbridge, Steele Zinser, Milton Rich, Inez Samp-
son, Clayton Roehm, Ray Sencenbaugh, Irene Wehner, Max
Webster, Glenn Weeks, Martha Waltmire, Aldred Waltmire,
Fred Vogelgesang, Sarah Vaubel.
Class of 1912 — Imogene Goddard, Trella Valentine, Clara
Theilbar, Grace Hornish, Marguerite Bennett, Dorothy Holt-
greve, Isabelle Danforth, Grace Belsly, Matilda Schuck, Elva
White, Helen Hungerford, Hazel Wagner, Ella Best, Bessie
Lowry, Esther Strubhar, George Willhardt, Robert Stormer,
Glenwood Tanton, John Glabe, Paul Holtgreve, Clyde Petri,
Herbert Keil, Robert Zinser, Charles Strathman, Robert
Dougherty, Donald Hops.
Class of 1913 — Patience Pennewill, Clifford Stivers,
Lawrence Smith, George Moehl, Lester Spring, Ralph Swal-
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 135
low, Henry Wiese, Robert Sullivan, Ruth Sencenbaugh, Caro-
lyne Phillipi, Phillips Goddard, John Brunnenmeyer, Denver
Class of 1914 — Vera Manshardt, Vera Valentine, Bessie
Martini, Bessie Belsly, Opal Petri, Marguerite Geason, Flor-
ence Berney, Helen Miller, Eleanor Jenkins, George Zehr,
Wendell Trower, Clifford Manshardt, Frank Stivers, William
Engel, John Blumenshine.
Class of 1915 — William Scharp, Nellie Ropp, Josephine
Myers, Luella Brunnenmeyer, Josephine Pennewill, Ruth
Strubhar, Telva Roehm, Barbara Imhoff, Clarence Roehm,
Gertrude Holtgreve, Louise Ryf, Rufus Rich, Agnes Ensel-
man, Florence Danforth, Lester Ebert.
Class of 1916— Alice Birkett, Wayne Bennett, Verna
Belsly, Charles McVey, Frances Childress, Knoble Roe^im,
Mildred Garber, Ernest Pfeiffer, Bernice Weeks, Robert Mil-
ler, Helen Weeks, Harold Ebert, Helen Holtzman, Susan
Simpson, Paul Schmidt, Harold Sampson.
Class of 1917 — Augusta iMoehl, Katherine Jenkins, Na-
thaniel White, Bessie Morris, Katherine Schmidt, Bell Cock-
bill, Clee Roth, Ross Huguet, Maurice Thomas, Berl Bride,
Irma Minch, Frances Mahle, Lee Blumenshine, John Norris,
Bernice McClintock, Robert Schroen, Florence Thielbar.
Class of 1918— Josephine Belsly, Amy WilUams, Edward
Koenig, Iva Naffziger, Elizabeth Schuck, Thomas Waughop,
Silas Crocker, Harold Muller, Lloyd Risses, Raymond Ebert,
Kenneth Petri, Robert Ryf, Harold Jenkins, Gladys Horn-
beck, Mabel Risser, Lena Deatherage, Mary Burroughs, Eber-
hardt Schoon, Harold Blumenshine.
Class of 1919 — Margaret Belsly, Pearl Hagenstoz, Viola
Hoeflin, Orva Kera, Ruth Schaefer, Erma Stormer, Gladys
Weeks, Olga Winkler, Fay Chase, Harlan Danforth, Kem
Homish, Floyd Muller, Jesse Orth, Clifford Roehm, Lyle
Strubhar, Edward Sullivan, Samuel Zinser.
Class of 1920 — Chauncey Blumenshine, Miriam Roehm,
Nealie Hawbecker, Ethel Spring, Keith Wehner, Marie Fer-
ner, Grace Huddleston, Christian Sommer, Ralph Sullivan.
Class of 1921— Russell Decker, Evalyn Camp, Thelma
Ebert, Esther Hoefln, Mars Homish, Josephine Miller, James
Morris, Charlotte Norris, Raymond Pfeiffer, Ethel Shaffer,
Lois Thewlis, Homer Thomas, Harold White, Ruby Williams.
Class of 1922— Margaret Burgi, Maud Danforth, Helen
Garber, Dorothy Fichl:, Esther Glabe, Walter Guth, Charles
Heiple, Elenora Hexamer, Lucy Horabeck, Raymond Jones,
136 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
Anna Hulse, August Martini, Clifford Menz, Thurman Muller,
Paul Mahle, Susan Belsly, Edward Schabinger, Mae Scharp,
Beatrice Snell, Viola Sommer, Earl Summer, Lloyd Vercler,
Myrvan Weeks, Esther Willhardt, Eugene Wehner.
Class of 1923 — Alice Risser, Helen Mahle, Isadore Bay-
ler, Meredith Mosley, Mary Evelyn Hoeilin, Lyle Spring,
Clarence Blumenshine, Orva Wistehuff, Christian Blumen-
shine, Donald Muller, Clara Frederick, Harvey Summer, Alice
Esch, Ervin Wagner, Mary Stormer, Alvin Menz, Margaret
Ebert, Luella Guth.
Class of 1924— Helen Birkett, Anna Bridt, Gladys Bra-
die, Lorraine Decker, Elsie Ekena, George Femer, Gerdon
Gundy, Harold Heitzman, Ethel Kehl, Maurice Marshall, Car-
line Ortwein, Harper Roehm, Lura Springer, Marietta Storey,
Edna Snell, Mildred Wurmnest, Carolyne Zinser, Adrian
Brook, Clarence Brunnenmeyer, Arthur Berck, Marion Deck-
er, Mabel Esch, Florence Guth, WelHngton Heyl, Agnes
Hunkler, Ralph Muller, Susan Mahle, Ralph Rinkenberger,
Lillian Rich, Ira Summer, Ida Shaffer, Lois Tilton, Helen
Class of 1925— NeUie Belsly, Margaret Birkett, Alice
Chellberg, Carl Diebel, Ralph Esch, Viola Guth, Gertruc^e
Heiple, Pauline Hucckins, Glenwood Imhoff, Mary Jenkins,
Marcia McClung, Viola Newman, Margaret Orth, Doris Ropp,
George Storey, Orva Vogelgesang, Carl Wood, Glenn Wag-
ner, Frank Belsly, Esther Bradle, Carroll Imhoff, Miles Dun-
nington, Catherine Fish, Rhoda Hornish, Cecil Huguet, Vic-
toria Hoeflin, Gilbert Kyes, Louise Myer, Fred Nash, Ben-
jamin Pfefhnger, Eunice Schertz, Ralph Vercler, Ethel Wind,
Class of 1926— Clyde Nutty, Bernice Bradle, Ruth Hol-
land, Henry Kehl, Lucile Vaubel, Walter Muller, Josephine
Mahle, Eva Stock, Mildred Heyl, Angie Thomas, Milton
Wagner, Harold Boley, Catherine Stormer, Ernest Hurst,
Frances Decker, Homer Muller, Lois Brown, Verna Summer,
Nellie Hartman, Robert Roehm, Raymond Blumenshine,, Or-
ville Guth, Richard Payne, Cecilia Brown, Sybil Ficht, Mae
Muller, Beula Attig, Irvin Slonneger, Esther Kinsinger, Les-
ter Vohland, Floy Crabtree.
Class of 1927— Frances Birkett, Thelma Deatherage,
Kenneth Naffziger, Jessie Oberlander, Orvel Schroen, Mel-
vin Sommer, Stephen Smetana, Margaret Handschu, Sarah
Gerken, Frances Miller, Maona Nafziger, Clara Thomas,
Helen Tilton, Carl Vaubel, Homer Stormer, Margaret Stein,
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL. 137
Ii-vin Vogelgesang-, Donald Willhardt, Josephine Vohland,
Minerva Robbins, David Snell, Harry Williams, Orville Kamp,
Joseph Deatherage, Gertrude Decker, Fayette Draher, Helen
Ebert, Dorothy Imhoff.
Class of 1928 — Glen Slonneger, Orville Thomas, Stanley
Weppler, Frances Mahle, Willis Brown, Clara Davison, Glad-
den Esch, Louise Murray, Willis Sullivan, Walter Koppen-
hoefer, Edith Kinsinger, John Roehm, Wilson Kimmell, An-
drew Hoeflin, Henry Esser, Ernest Miller, George Funk,
Martha Stock, Irvin Nofsinger, Irvin Kopp, Vernon Nof-
singer, Eugene Zinser, Clarence Slonneger, Paul Sullivan,
Erma Blumenshine, Russell Leighton, Edward Diebel, Mil-
dred Garber, Alma Shaffer, Frieda Minch, Donald White,
Tilman Theobald, Elmo Muller.
Class of 1929 — John Blumenshine, Clarence Brown,
Blanche Dingledine, Gilbert Gross, Bessie Heiser, Catherine
Imhoff, Milton Kamp, Gertrude Ochenrider, Elda Spring,
Catherine Schabinger, Vera Vogelgesang, Virginia Busse,
Mildred Brown, Arta June Dixon, Lyle Hartman, Anna
Randschu, Alice Kimmell, Clyde Belsly, Clara Perrine,
Dorothy Small, Catherine Spring, Ruth Wehner, Robert
Bradle, Nellie Christ, Florence DuBois, Willis Hett, Dorothy
Holtzman, Robert Kern, Clare McClung, Dorothy Sullivan,
Clayton Summer, Elizabeth Storey.
Celebration of the 105th Anni-
versary of the Methodist Church
The Centennial of the establishment of the Methodist
church in Washington was celebrated on April 19, 20 and 21,
1928. The event was planned by Rev. S. L. Myers, pastor,
and the members of the congregation.
On Thursday evening, April 19, the pageant, "A Century
of Methodism," written by Mrs. Esther Myers, was presented
at the church. There were three scenes in the pageant, "The
Founding of the Methodist Society at Holland's Grove in
1828," "The Departure of Rev. and Mrs. Stephen Beggs in
1830," and "The Building of the First Methodist Church in
The cast of characters was as follows:
William Holland E. Garber
Mrs. William Holland Mrs. P. A. Birkett
Senath Holland - Roberta Burkey
138 EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
William Heath L. E. Wood
Mrs. William Heath - Mrs. W. E. Petri
James Harvey George Muller
Mrs. James Harvey Cora Hill
Lawson Holland Howard Hughes
Rev. Jesse Walker J. M. Cooper
Elizabeth Heath Lois Tilton
Harriett Heath Lois Birkett
Rev. Stephen Beggs Lucien Wise
Matilda Holland Elizabeth Wood
Rev. Zadok Hall Ralph Muller
Henson Thomas Kenneth Naffziger
. Mrs. Henson Thomas Iris Tilton
Abraham Van Meter Davd Snell
William Birkett Chester Birkett
William Thompson Wilson Kimmell
Thomas Trimble Gilbert Muller
William Holland, Jr James Small
Mary Holland Ruble Casper
Hannah Harvey Marion Birkett
Wesley Harvey .— - James Roehm
William Harvey William Roehm
Levicy Holland Audrey Seaton
The pageant was coached by Mrs. Pauline Hughes and
Mrs. Rita Marshall.
Friday evening, April 20, was Fellowship evening. At
6:30 a pot-luck supper, and at 7:30 a program of music and
speaking in the auditorium. Mrs. W. A. Pinckney, Rev. R.
W. Ames and Rev. W. B. Shoop recalled memories of former
Sunday, April 22, at 11 a. m., sermon by Dr. Guy Z.
Moore, and at 7:30 p. m. an address by Dr. John H. Ryan,
the conference historian.
Historical List of Many of Our
Old Settlers Compiled for Record
Those Whose Birth Antedate 1800, Thomas Birkett, Sr.
A. D. Henry Bogardus
James Allison of Eureka Rev. John Bowen
Rev. Wells Andrews, Sr. George Burrow-
Nicholas Baker William Birkett
Sam Beck Reuben Bandy
John Birkett. Sr. Walter Birkett
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
Dr. Robert Burton
Thomas Bullock of Eureka
Rev. Nathan W. J. Curtiss
Mathew Crane, Sr.
Peter P. Cartwright
Rev. Jason Corwin
Richard N. Cullom
George Cradle, Sr.
Mr. Davidson of Eureka
George Duncan, Sr.
Rev. John Evans
Rev. George Elliott
Samuel G. Franklin
William Farrow, Sr.
William Holland, Sr.
Joshua N. Harlan
Martin B. Hornish
Rev. Zadock Hall
Laban Kyes, Sr.
Joseph Kilso, Sr.
John L. Marsh
Joseph Buckingham Miles
Rev. Reuben H. Maffett
Benj. Majors of Eureka
Jacob E. Parsons
Haven "Dad' Pierce
George H. Shaw
Wm. G. Spencer
Abram Van Me.>;r
Thomas L. Wathan
E. A. Whipple
James F. Waughop
Dr. G. P. Wood
Those WTiose Births Were From
1800 To 1835
John H. Anthony
Dr. R. G. Allen
Rev. William Adams
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
Dr. J. Quincy Adams
Chas. N. Anthony, Sr.
Elijah M. Applegate
John M. Bush
George Bayler, Sr.
George Bon Durant
Mr. Baird, Eureka, 9 8 years
James S. Bell
Thomas Baird, Sr.
William B. Bogardus
Thomas Baird, Jr.
Rev. Romulus Barnes
Squire D. Baker
Dr. 3. W. D. Chase
Henry Cress, Sr.
Rev. I. A. Cornelison, D. D.
George Cashman, 1805
James R. Crane
A. A. Couch
Chauncv C. Crandle
George Crandle, Jr.
Shelby M. CuUom
Henry Danforth, Sr.
John W. Dougherty
Isaac P. Dayhoff
James H. Elworthy
H. Slem Eckhart
Rev. George Elliott
Roland Ellis, Sr.
Joseph Ellis, Sr
Phillip G. Ferree
George Ferner, Sr.
Rev. George W. Freese
Geo. L. Gibson
Sanford P. Gorin
Christian Garber, Sr.
Wm. C. George
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
Jack Gorin (colored)
Emanuel Garber, Sr.
Rev. Dr. Green
Henry Heiple, Sr.
Wesley B. Harvey
William Huxtable, Sr.
Berry Huddleston, 1835
Henry Hops, Sr.
Rev. Daniel R. Howe
Rev. Dr. S. W. Harkey
William Holland, Jr.
Thomas Holland, Sr.
Andrew Hoeflin, Sr.
J. Roger Jenkins
Daniel Jones, Sr.
Benjamin P Kelly
Francis A. Kellogg
Ji cob Kern
Adam Koker, Sr.
Charles L. Kyes
Rev. F. Sanford Martin
Rev. John Maris
Solomon Myers, Sr.
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
Geo. L. Myer
Rev. R. B. McCorkle
John Minch, Sr.
Valentine Naffziger, Sr.
Dr. Benjamin Nichols
Thomas Norvell, 1825
George P. Nicolai
Phillip Orth, Sr.
Peter Portman, Sr.
John Plum, Sr.
James Plum, Sr.
William A. Ross
Joseph Rich, Sr.
Andrew Roads, 1810
Prof. B. J. Radford
J. Randolph Scott
L. J. Smith
Jaser Sickler, Sr.
John Stock (father of George)
Mr. Sutton, S.-.
James Smith, Jr
James Slack, Sr.
Peter T. Strubhar, Sr.
James Patterson Scott
Peter P. Scott
James Smith, Sr
R. D. Smith
John Seitzei, Sr.
William Smith, Sr.
John Small, Sr.
Lorin Trowbridge, Sr.
Morris Reece Trimble
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON. ILL.
Frank L. Tobias
Tunas Ten Eyck
Rhodes Van Meter
William Van Camp
John Van Camp, Sr.
Nathan W. Van Meter
Real D. Van Meter
William Van Meter
Dr. Elias Wenger
Richard Waughop, Sr.
James J. Waughop
Dr. R. B. M. Wilson
Richard White, Sr.
Mr. Webster (father of A. M.)
John E. Waughop
Dr. Elias Wenger
James J. Waughop
Levi Walker •
Richard White, Sr.
Dr. E. F. Wood
Prof. Josiah P. Wood
Richard Waughop, Sr.
Samuel Y. Weiser
Prof. Moses Yoder
George C. Yale
William B. Yale
Solomon Zinser, Sr.
Mr. Zaneis (father of Nicholas)
Those Whose Births Were After
Frank Aubertine, Sr.
Wells Andrews, Jr.
Dr. A. Alphonso
J. C. Ashmon
John Asa Andrews
Charles Anthony, Jr.
Chas. L. Birkett
T. O. Brown
R. S. Burnham
R. B. Brandon
J. W. Blumenschein
P. A. Brubaker
George Bayler, Jr.
Adam Burke, Sr.
Milton Berry, Sr.
Thornton L. Benford
W,m. A. Birkett
J. C. Bowman
Wm. G. Bontz
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
B. F. Biser
Charles Bayler, Jr.
G. C. Bradford
James F. Brady
W. S. Bowen
Dr. Willia^m Crane
J. P. Oullen
G. G. Curtiss
Walter H. Crow
Dan J. Chaffer
Jesse B. Cooper
H. A. Criswold
George M. Cullen
George W. Cress
Henry R. Danforth
K. C. Dement
James M. Drummard
Wm. A. Davidson
Henry Danforth, Jr.
A. G. Danforth
M. S. Davidson
Oliver P. Eaton
John B. Ewing
Joseph Ellis, Sr.
John Wesley Ferner
Nicholas Fries, Sr.
Nicholas Fries, Jr.
George Ferner, Jr.
J. F. Panchaiers
Rev. Green - .
John G. Gorin
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
Dr. W. T. Griffith
Harvey W. Gove
F. A. Geason
Mr. Garrison (father of Job)
William Henry Humphrey
Wm. C. Harding
Chas. C. Holland
Conrad Italin, Miss Mary's father
Stephen Decatur Humphrey
Henry Heiple, Jr.
Eli E. Heiple
George Huxtable, Sr.
John Hopkins, Sr.
Joseph Hostettler, Sr.
Henry Harms, Sr.
Daniel Jones, jr.
Adam Koker, Jr.
John C. Kyes
Fred Kerr, Sr.
Rev. G. G. Know] (III
James S. Kelly
Perry Kyes, Si
Robert Kelso, Jr.
Charles L. Kyes
George W. Kingsbury
Jrof. James A. Kelley
J. W. Lisle
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
Mr. McGinn is
Patrick (Paddy) Malone
Wm. G. Huddleston
A. J. Minkler
I. W. Miller
Lewis H. Myers
E. T. Messinger
S. R. McBride
Dan M. Moore
John B. MuUer
Peter Naffziger, Sr.
John Norris, Sr.
Christian Naffziger, Sr.
Levi Parsons, Sr.
John W. Palmer
G. N. Portman
Mr. Powell, Sr.
M. T. Powell
William A. Patton
H. L. Price
Dr. Z. Patrick
Dr. Frank Rosenburg
Wm. F. Roehm
Edmand John Koich
Dr. Rosenburg, Sr.
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
Jesse A. Nolen
Valentine Naffziger, Jr.
Peter Sweitzer, Sr.
Elias Cornelius Scott
G. S. Soliday
H. W. Snow
John C. Smith
Mr. Simpsoa (father of George)
John Sweitzer, Jr.
Peter Sweitzer, Jr.
John W. Scott
H. W. Stewart
J. Sheppard, Sr.
Dennis Sheppard, Sr.
William Trimmer, Sr.
Geo. W. Tobias
Samuel H. Tobias
B. Frank Tobias
W. K. Tobias
John C. Tobias
Wm. L. Trimmer
John "Van Camp
Rev. E. von Freeden
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILL.
Sanford Van Meter
Di. E. F. Wood
Josiah P. Wood
David R. Van Meter
Wade T. Wrenn
Louis Wehner, Sr.
Dr. Wm. H. Weirick
Frank Waughop, Ji .
Fred Yeck, Sr.
Mr. Zaneis, Sr.
Samuel C. Zinser
Solomon L. Zinsei
George W. Zinser
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS-URBANA
EARLY HISTORY OF WASHINGTON, ILLINOIS AN
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