Skip to main content

Full text of "History of La Salle County, Illinois. Its topography, geology, botany, natural history, history of the Mound builders, Indian tribes, French explorations, and a sketch of the pioneer settlers of each town to 1840, with an appendix, giving the present status of the county, its population, resources, manufactures and institutions"

See other formats


50 ■-— 

'Ajvaau-. A(iVJiaii-i^ 




Topography 9 

Economic Geology 25 

Mound Builders 34 

French Explorations and Set- 
tlements - - 49 

Indian History 57 

Illinois 58 

Pottawatomies 63 

Sacs and Foxes (54 

Winnebagoes 6C, 

K ickapoos 68 

Legend of Starved Rock, . 70 

Early Explorations ... 73 

Kennedy in Search of a 

Copper Mine 73 

American Fur Company. . 74 

Hodgson's Narrative 76 

First Settlement of Coumy.. 80 

Winnebago War 80 

Gurdon Hubbai'd's Narra- 
tive - 8'2 

Organization of La Salic 

Count}^..- 85 

Black Hawk War, 1831... . 88 

Black Hawk War, 1832 8'J 

Forces organized under 

Gen'l Wliiteside.. 90 

Stillnian's Defeat 91 

Forces discharged at Ot- 
tawa - 91 

Col. Fry raises a Regiment 

from the discharged Men 92 
New recruits rendezvous 

at Fort Wilburn 92 

Battle of Bad Axe 93 

Black Hawk taken Prisoner 93 
Gen'l Scott and the Regu- 
lars 94 

Massacre at Indian Creek _ . 94 

Statement of J. W. Hall . 95 
Statement of the Misses 

Hall 98 

Killing of Schermerhorn 

and Hazleton 106 

Killing of Payne and 

Baresford 108 

Situation at the Close of the 

War 109 

Shabona _ 110 

Hickley's Statement 115 

Indian Character and Cus- 
toms 116 

Personal Narratives 119 

Narrative by the Author. . 121 

Mrs. Walbridge's Statem'nt 125 

Mrs. Parr's Statement 127 

Thos. Parr's Statement.. . 128 
01 lims and First Improve- 
ments 129 

Morality of Claims 132 

Squatter Sovereignty 133 

Building a Log Cabin 134 

One Post Bedstead- _ 135 

Breaking Prairie _ 136 

Lost on the Prairie 140 

Mirage 142 

Crossing a Prairie in the 

Night 143 

Prairie Fires 145 

Protection fnjm Fire 146 

How to Combat a Fire 147 

Amusements 151 

Sickness . 155 

Hard Winter of 1838 160 

Nativity of First Settlers... 161 
Diversity of Customs, Pro- 
vincialisms, etc 165 

Prairie Grasses.. _ 171 

Hard Times _ 173 

Embarrassment of the State. 181 

Depreciated Currency 183 

Illinois and Michigan Canal. 187 

Bandits of the Prairie 192 

Irish Rebellion 199 




Criminal Record 200 

La Salle and Dixon Railroad 203 
Recovering from Hard Times 205 
Frink and Walker Line of 

Stages 206 

Mexican War 207 

Division of the Couutj^ 207 

New Cons'itution and Two 

Mill Tax 208 

First Court House and JaiL 209 
Present Court House . - 209 

Illinois Central and Other 

Railroads 210 

Amount Paid to the State -. 210 
County Officers : 

County Commissioners . . . 215 

Other County Officers 216 

County Court 217 

Circuit Court 218 

Stale Senators. 221 

Representatives 221 

Biographical Sketch of Settlers of each Town. 

Adams 414 

Allen 475 

Brookfield 445 

Bruce..- i341 

Dayton 266 

Deer Park 320 

Dimmick 4(i6 

Eagle 441 

Earl _ 429 

Eden... 347 

Fall River 390 

Farm Ridge :^81 

Freedom 394 

Grand Rapidj< 451 

Groveland 468 

Hope 480 

La Salle 372 

Manilas 310 

Mendota 478 

Meriden 481 

Miller 458 

Mission. . 414 

Northville 421 

Ophir 410 

Osage 474 

Ottawa 223 

Ottawa (Addenda) 484 

Otter Creek 461 

Peru 360 

Richland 472 

Rutland 273 

Serena 435 

South Ottawa 255 

Troy Grove 403 

Utica^ - 354 

Vermillion 287 

Wallace 483 

Waltham 463 


Botany 486 

Geology 503 

Fauna 514 

List of School Commission- 
ers and Superintendents. 532 

Ciiurches 533 

Assessments and Taxes 536 

Lodges 510 

Miscellaneous Associations. . 541 

Manufactures 542 

Shipment of Produce 544 

Population 545 

Sale of Lots in Ottawa 545 

Arrival of Boats in 1849 545 

Grangers 546 

Cities and Villages . 547 

< )t I awa Academy of Sciences. 548 

Conclusion - 550 


View of Starved Rock Map of Deer Park 321 

Fortification at Marseilles. 275 Survey of Fori on Bluff south 

Old Fort oi)po.Hite mouth of of Starved Rock 339 

I ndian ( ^reek 285 








A Mil of the Fioiieer Settlers of eacl Town to 1840, 




C II I C A G O : 
Rand, McNally &, Co., Pkintebs, 77 and 79 Madison Street. 


Entered according to Act of Coiigrcsis, in the year 1877, by 

In the Oflicc of the Librarian (>£ Congress at Washington. 



The volume here given to the public is the out- 
growth of a long cherished feeling of the citizens of 
La Salle County, often publicly expressed, that 
the memories of the pioneer settlers should be pre- 
served. That the circumstances which surrounded 
those who reclaimed the wildness of uncultivated 
nature, who converted an unproductive waste into 
fruitful fields, and the rude tlieatre of savage life 
to the lit abode of Christian civilization, and the seat 
of thousands of happy homes, should be truthfully 
portrayed and handed down for the contemplation 
of posterity. 

To do this, after a la])se of half a century from the 
time the rude and simple red men retired from the 
scene, and the incoming race commenced the hercu- 
lean task they have so well performed, is beset with 
difficulties that one inexperienced can not appreciate. 

iv Preface. 

The early pioneers have mostly passed away. 
Twenty years ago many could have told the tale of 
theu' toils, whose lips are now forever sealed, and tra- 
dition alone hands down to us the story of their 

Human memory is treacherous, and forty revolv- 
ing 3^ears dim and clothe with uncertainty the his- 
tory told by the third generation. A few of the old 
pioneers remain, and to them the author has ap- 
pealed for the facts, and to them he has submitted 
the statements herein contained for correction ; and 
while he can not flatter himself that no errors have 
crept in, but is of the opinion it would be impossi- 
ble to exclude them ; yet that the work is substan- 
tially correct he verily believes, having spared no 
effort to make it so. The work was undertaken at 
the solicitation of the Old Settlers' Association, and 
rather as a labor of love than with the idea of pecu- 
niary profit. 

Articles upon Geology by W. W. Calkins, and 
upon the Botany of the County by R. Williams, 
are inserted. As these gentlemen have made these 
subjects a favorite study for years, and are old resi- 
dents of the count}', it was deemed appropriate 
Unit tlicy should apjx^ai' in their favorite roles. 

The scciiiiiig repetition of facts in the two geolog- 
ical ailiclcs tlic scientilic and economic— are no 

Preface. v 

more than was required to sliow the value of the 
material found in the several strata. 

The pioneer history of the towns has been arranged 
chronologically rather than alpliabetically. The 
incongruity of introducing the history of the town 
of Allen, one of the last towns settled, in ad- 
vance of all the old settled towns, will be apparent 
to all ; and the inconvenience of finding a town by 
the index will be much less than that of reading 
history backwards. 

The same course has been pursued in relation to 
the insertion of the names of the settlers of a town. 
The aim has been to enter the names in order, 
according to piiority of settlement. The modern 
system of selling panegyrics, which pervades not 
only the periodical press, but nearly all the literature 
of the day, has been wholly ignored. When a more 
lengthy biography has been given, or a narrative of 
personal experience more full than elsewhere, it has 
been to throw light on the usages and experiences 
of the times, and the one given is designed as a 
trutliful representation of all. While that fulsome 
flattery that is bought and sold like cabbages in the 
market has been avoided, words that would wound 
the sensibilities of the living, or those of the friends 
of the dead, have been as carefully shunned. The 
sini])]e leading facts of a person s life, with oflicial 

vi Preface. 

position, is all tliat has been attempted, while none 
are so linmble as to escape notice ; and if its read- 
ing shall beguile the lonely hours of the depar ting- 
pioneer, by recalling those scenes over which he 
loves to linger, or shall excite the emulation of 
succeeding generations to practice the frugal virtues 
of those we commemorate, the author will feel that 
his labor has not been in vain. 



La Salle Couzs'ty embraces thirty-two townships, 
or about 1,152 square miles, and occupies geographi- 
cally a central and commanding position. It is 
nearly central to the northern half of the State, and 
at the head of navigation on the Illinois river. The 
Illinois & Michigan Canal passes through its centre, 
terminating near its western boundary, connecting 
at that point with the navigation of the river, and 
through that with all the navigable rivers of this 
great western valley, while by the canal it has water 
transportation to the great chain of lakes, and 
through them to the eastern seaboard. Its position 
is the key to the most natural connection between 
the western rivers and the inland seas of the conti- 
nent. Its surface is more elevated and rolling than 
most of the prairie region south of it, and in addi- 
tion there is a considerable descent from all parts of 
the county towards the Illinois river, which passes 
through the centre and drains nearly its entire 
surface. The diffei'ence of elevation between the 
top of the bluff' at La Salle and Mendota is 239 feet, 
and at the count}' line north of Mendota, 371 feet. 
Tonica is 143 feet liigher than La Salle, and there is 
an increasing though undulating elevation, going 

2 9 "^ 

10 History of La. Salle County. 

south, to a point seven miles north of Bloomington, 
which point is 367 feet above the Central R, R. station 
at La Salle, and that station is eighty feet above 
low water in the river, consequently the tributaries 
of the Illinois have a rapid descent to this river, 
and the Illinois is a quite rapid stream in this 
county, thus making an efficient and healthy drain- 
age for nearly all its surface. 

The scenery is on a grander scale than most of the 
prairie region ; there are more magnificent streams, 
higher and more picturesque bluffs, more timber, 
and better distributed. The prairie is dryer and 
more rolling than most of that south of it, richer 
and more productive than that north of it ; it oc- 
cupies an intermediate position, and boasts of the 
possession of the best qualities of both extremes of 
the prairie region north and soutli. 

The Illinois river seems an agricultural as well as 
a topographical and geological axis. While the soil 
south of the river is as black, deep and rich as Sanga- 
mon County, and equally acorn region, that north of 
the river has a browner soil, is better for wheat and 
perhaps not quite as good for corn, and the surface 
generally more rolling. These distinctions are not 
radical, and a careless observer would not notice 
tlieiii. but they exist and are increased radically, 
going north of tlie county, owing to difference of 
geological formation. 

The most prominent feature of the topography of 
the county is the Illinois river, which intersects 
the county near the centre, running nearly due 
west ; but after leaving the county, its course is 

TojDography. 11 

southwest to its mouth. The Illinois is a sluggish 
stream, having but about twenty-eight feet fall in a 
distance of nearly 200 miles, being less than the 
distance allowed in canal navigation, but in La Salle 
County tliere are two rapids, one at Marseilles, and 
one near Starved Rock, each capable of furnishing 
an immense water power. The river is deep enough 
for good sized boats except at the rapids. There was 
considerable steamboat traffic between Ottawa and St. 
Louis before the canal was built, but since its com- 
pletion, terminating at La Salle, the boats seldom 
ascend higher than that place. 

The valley of the Illinois is from one to near two 
miles wide. From where it enters the county to 
within tliree miles of La Salle, it is above high water. 
Some of it has good soil, but most of it rests on the 
St. Peters sandstone, and near Utica on the calcif- 
erous lime rock, and the soil is thin, but after it 
strikes the carboniferous formation, above La Salle, 
the soil is alluvium, and very rich, but subject to 
inundation. The bluffs are from 100 to 140 feet high. 

The scenery along this valley is surpassingly 
beautiful. The broad river is dotted with islands 
shaded by majestic elms, the growth of centuries, 
the whole walled in b}* the sandstone bluffs on eithin- 
side, presenting mostly a mural front, frequently 
worn by the elements into fantastic shapes, or cut 
by deep and romantic canyons, the tops clothed 
with a carpet of grass and fringed with scattering 
timber, among which many lofty pines are con- 
spicuous. It might well have attractions, as it ever 
has had. for both savacre and civilized man. 

12 History of La Salle County. 

Starved Rock, a point of the bluff separated by 
tlie denuding force of water, is situated one mile 
above Utica, on the south side of the river, which 
washes its base. It is 135 feet high, and contains an 
area of about half an acre on the top, shaded by 
evergreens. It is of especial interest from the 
Indian legends connected with it, and as the site of 
Fort St. Louis of the French. 

Buffalo Rock, hardly as high as Starved Rock, is 
on the north side of the river, four miles below 
Ottawa. It is about two miles long, forty to sixty 
rods wide, its southern base washed by the river^ 
while a wide cut, through which part of the river 
once flowed, separates it from the bluff on the 
north ; through tliis cut the canal and the Chicago, 
Rock Island & Pacific Railroad find a convenient 
passage. This rock was once an island in the 
Illinois, as there is no doubt that the Illinois was, 
sometime in the past, much wider than now;, and 
extended from bluff' to bluff", through the extent of 
the valley ; tlie water marks along the sand-rock 
bluffs, and the washed gravel on the high bot- 
toms, all point unmistakably to that conclusion. 

Tliero was a time wlien the lakes stood at a mucli 
higher level than now, and doubtless em])tied their 
waters through tlie valley of the Illinois to the Gulf 
of Mexico. AVhen the Niagara broke tlirough the 
heights :it Lewiston and formed the Falls of Niag- 
ara, the level of the lakes was gradually sunk until 
the waters sowglit the ocean by the rirer and Gulf 
of St. Lawrence. Since then the Illinois has only 
drained the country around the south end of Lake 

Topography. 13 

Michigan, and is reduced to a mere rivulet com- 
pared with its former magniticent dimensions. The 
valley of the Illinois was then more like a continu- 
ous lake than a river. The broad and deep valley, 
filled with accumulated waters of the upper lakes, 
must have formed the most majestic river of the 
West. At Beardstown the river bottom is twelve 
miles wide, and whoever has viewed the curiously- 
formed detached portions of the bluff, six miles 
soutli of Beardstown, could have come to no other 
conclusion than that the waves on that twelve miles 
expanse of water, driven for ages b}' the fierce west- 
ern prairie winds, could alone have formed those 
cones and pyramids from the solid bluff now stand- 
ing mementos of the doings of a b^^-gone age. This 
vallej^ has evidently been the favorite resort of all 
tTie peoples that have ever occupied the country — the 
mounds left by the mound builders w^ere numerous 
along all the prominent parts of the bluffs and high 
bottoms. The Illinois Indians made this their central 
point, and here was their principal town, and thej^ 
fought for years, with the northern tribes, for its pos- 
session. The French explorers made it one of their 
principal military, missionary and trading posts. 
Its histoiy, if it could all be written, would be of 
intense interest. 

'J'he principal southern tributary" of the Illinois is 
the Big A'ermillion — the Aramoni of the French. It 
cuts the south ])art of the county from southeast to 
northwest, emptying into the Illinois on the opposite 
side and one mile above La Salle. It is a rapid 
stream, with high bluffs and narrow l^ottoms : the 

14 History of La Salle County. 

scenery along its banks for several miles from its 
mouth is very grand and imposing. The strata 
which compose its bluffs are rich in fossils, and the 
geologist and lover of nature will be well paid for a 
trip along its rugged banks. The famous grotto of 
Deer Park is on the right bank, a mile or two from 
its mouth. It is in the St. Peters sandstone which 
first shows itself on the Vermillion — it is a cut in the 
bluff, on a level with the river at low water, wind- 
ing somewhat like the letter S, and extending some 
hundred rods or more. The sides are perpendicu- 
lar, and at the extreme end about ninety feet high. 
At that point the sides project or shelve over about 
seventy feet on each side. In wet weather there is 
a pretty waterfall, and at all times a clear pool of 
water and a fine spring. The opening at top is about 
one hundred feet, and is fringed with pines and otheV 
trees. It is a great curiosity and a very popular 
place of resort. The Vermillion is bordered with 
timber on either side, and in the upper part of its 
course has some bottoms, of very heavy timber. Bai- 
ley' s. Otter and Eagle creeks, and many smaller 
streams, are tributaries of the Vermillion. 

Cov^ell creek, named from the first settler on its 
banks, is the other considei-able southern branch of 
the Illinois in tlic county. It rises in T. 32, R. 4, 
and I'uns wcstwardly into the Illinois, two and one- 
half miles below Ottawa. 

The principal northern tributar}'^ of the Illinois, 
and next to that river in size, is the Fox. Its waters 
are clear, and the (extremes of high and low water 
are less than most other streams in the county ; it is 

Topography. 15 

one of the best, if not the best, mill stream in the 
State, and there is more improved water power on 
the Fox, from Wisconsin to its mouth, than on any 
other stream in the State, and, with the exception of 
Rock river, probably more than all others. It enters 
the county on its eastern side, between the towns of 
Northville and Mission, and runs sontheastwardly 
to the Illinois at Ottawa. Its banks for a few miles 
from its mouth are bordered by belts of timber, while 
higher up, the prairie in many places comes to the 
bank of the stream. It runs through a line rolling 
and rich prairie. Big and Little Indian, Somanauk, 
Mission and Buck creeks are the principal branches. 

The Little Vermillion, a northern branch of the 
Illinois. I'ises in the northwest part of the count}', 
runs south to the Illinois on the east side of the city 
of La Salle. Troy Grove, a large tract of excellent 
timber, is on the head of the stream. The Toma- 
hawk is the principal branch. 

The Percomsoggin. said to be Indian for little axe, 
rises in the town of Waltham,and runs southwest into 
the Illinois, half a mile above the Little Vermillion. 

The bluffs of the northern tributaries of the Illinois 
(except when they approach that stream) are not 
as high as the southern, they run over a different 
geological formation, and the overlying drift is not 
as deep, and the bed rock, mostly Trenton and St. 
Peters, is not as readily denuded as that of tlie 
coal measures that prevail south of the river. 

We have glanced at the streams, the valleys, the 
bluffs, the elevations and general outline of the 
county, but the great bulk of its territory, the 

16 History of La Salle County. 

prairie that lies between and fills in the picture from 
stream to stream, remains to be noticed. It forms 
all the elevated portions of the count3^ The 
streams of course are on the lowest ground, and the 
larger streams, when running over the coal meas- 
ures, are sunk, 100 feet or more, into the regular 
strata after leaving the drift, and on the St. Peters 
sandstone nearly as much sunk hj the erosion of 
the water, and all showing that the amount of water 
that did that excavating was much greater than 
runs now. Whether that occurred when the ocean 
waters first receded from the surface, and following 
all the depressions, scooped out and formed channels 
for all the future streams ; or wliether from the exist- 
tence of a moist climate and heavy rainfall, the same 
object was gradually accomplished, may never 
be known, l)ut it is probable it was a combination 
of ))oth. At all events the cause was ample for the 
effect, and the streams are all placed in deep beds, 
with far more than ample room for the discharge 
of their waters in any contingency. 

The prairie extends back from the borders of 
these valleys, and gradually rises to the ridges or 
higliest ground between the streams — in western 
])arlaiice called divides, because they separate the 
water running to difi'erent streams. Tlie timber 
being coiiiined to the borders of the streams, is con- 
sequently on the lowest gi-ound, and a person 
standing on one of these divides, can look over the 
timber to tln^ ])i-airie foi-ming the divide on the 
opposite sid(.'. 

'JMiese ridges or divides when seen fi-oiii a distance 

Topography. 17 

are easily located, but when a closer inspection is 
attempted they flee like an ignis faticus; though 
some are so abrupt as to be well defined, they are 
mostly so near level as to be hard to locate. 

Emigrants coming from a timbered region, or what 
in its primitive state was such, from hilly New 
England or the mountains of Pennsylvania or New 
York, could have had no conception of the prairie 
region. In all those localities the land was covered 
with timber, except where tlie hand of man had 
removed it. They regarded that condition as the 
natural and normal state of any country. Add to 
this the uneven, rocky and broken surface of the 
land of their nativity, and the first view of the 
piairie State must have made a deep impression. 
In fact, the prairie is one of the wonders of the 
world. The steppes of Asia and the pampas 
of South America are wonderful in extent, but 
for richness of soil, beauty of landscape, and all 
that is valuable to civilized occupants, neither 
they, nor any other locality on the globe, make 
any approaches to successful competition with 
the prairie region of the North American con- 
tinent. The deltas of the Nile, of the Mississippi, 
and of other great rivers, possess a soil as rich and 
as level, but they are of limited extent, and the sun 
in its daily circuit does not shine on a country of 
the same extent, so rich, so grand and beautiful as 
the prairie before the hand of man had marred and 
defaced it. 

That region with us is now transformed to a popu- 
lous and cultivated country, and the future will 

] 8 History of La Salle County. 

never witness in its native wildness and beanty the 
fairest scenery that uncultivated nature ever pre- 
sented to the view of man. 

A timbered region, covered by the dark, primeval 
forest, is grand and impressive ; its dark and sombre 
shades, and deep and tangled recesses, are well cal- 
culated to foster a superstitious dread, and to 
people its unexplored depths with the witches and 
goblins of the past, or with the whispering ghosts 
of which Ossian sings so mournfully. But no such 
goblins haunted the prairie. An imaginative organi- 
zation might have fancied the fairies sporting in the 
evening shadows, as approaching night shut in the 
landscape, or departing from their midnight revels 
among the curling mist as they vanislied before the 
glories of a prairie sunrise. The early occupants 
of the prairie will remember noticing circles on the 
prairie from fifteen to twenty or more feet across, 
distinguishable only by a ranker and heavier growth 
of grass, but very distinctly marked. What caused 
them was not known, though some ascribed them 
to lightning strokes. Similar phenomena exist in 
the natural meadow and grass land in England, 
and are there called fairy-rings or fairy-circles, vul- 
garly su]jposed to be caused by the fairies in their 
dances. If Sir Walter Scott had written in the 
midst of the prairie region instead of among the 
glens and wilds of the Scottish Highlands, where 
witchcraft and demonology have ever found their 
favorite fastnesses, his genius would not have been 
so deeply tinged with the supernatural, and war- 

Topography. 1 9 

locks and witches would not have danced so freely 
over his pages. 

The quiet and sylvan beauty which clothes the 
vast, the limitless expanse, impressed and fashioned 
the imagination to cooler, more genial and happier 
thoughts — the grand and the peaceful occupied the 
mind, and left no room for those horrible creations 
of the fancy which destroyed the judgment and bru- 
talized the occupants of the dark forests of central 
Europe, and even found a foothold in the dense and 
tangled wild woods of rugged N'ew England. A 
feeling of chastened personal dignity as the 
occupant of such a heritage, and of reverence for 
the power that fashioned it, forcibh' impressed the 
mind, as, standing upon the vast, illimital)le plain 
which spread in all directions, wave succeeding 
wave, and undulation following undulation, far 
away, till the earth and sky met and shut in the 
power of vision. It seemed as if a boundless ocean, 
set in motion by a powerful storm and then quieted, 
the bosom of the water smoothly heaving, all in 
motion, forming the most graceful curves and 
swells, had been instantly chilled, hardened to solid 
land — such was the prairie. 

Standing on a swell of the prairie on a clear day 
in early summer, the luxuriant grass waving in the 
wind, the shadows of the summer clouds fitfulh^ 
chasing each other on beyond the power of vision, 
the observer could fancy the ocean restored and the 
long swells again in motion ; or, taking a stand in 
one of the numerous points of timber which ex- 
tended either way from the large streams, an open 

20 History of La Salle County. 

grove, clear of underbrush and covered witli a green 
sward, and tlie view taking in the alternation of 
timber and prairie, a scene was presented that for 
extent, beauty and grandeur art can never expect to 
imitate, and having once been destroyed can never 
be restored. 

Whence came the prairie ? What peculiar condi- 
tions caused this region to grow grass alone, while 
all others grow timber ? 

The question seems partialh^ answered by the 
relative location of the timber and prairie. The 
timber grows onthe alluvial bottoms where partially 
protected from the prairie fires, or on the thin soil of 
the bluff's, wliile the rich and deep prairie soil and 
the alluvial, where exj)Osed to the fires, grow grass 
and no timber. When the ocean receded from the 
rich and deep soil wliicli had been deposited in its 
apparent quiet waters, as it was partially a swamp, 
the sedges and coarse grasses would soon grow witli 
a luxuriance proportioned to the temperature, mois- 
tuie and richness of the soil. Trees do not readily 
grow in such a soil, and if they did, it would require 
a large number of years to enable them to withstand 
even a moderate fire ; but grass gi-ows in a single 
season, and, when diy, furnishes sufficient fuel to 
effectually l)uin u]) oi- destroy any young timber 
s])i'Outs ofoue ()]• two years' gi-owtli that might exist. 
Thus \v<' might expect no trees, but an annual growth 
of grass on the richest soil, and where exposed to 
the annual iii'es ; while a poor soil growing too little 
grass foi' fuel to sustain an annual fire, and localities 
slieltered oi' jjiotected in any way from the fires, 

Topography . 21 

would grow iip to timber — and such was found to 
be the fact. Narrow strips of land between streams 
or branches of streams were generally timber land. 
The soil on the top of the bluffs and near the streams 
was, and is, invariably thin, and not as well adapted to 
grass as the prairie — this soil is nearly all timber, and 
has the additional advantage of protection in one 
direction by the stream. The smooth and level sur- 
face would facilitate the progress of the annual fires, 
while a rough, rocky and uneven surface would 
check them. The great extent of the region over 
which these conditions existed would aid the spread 
of the fire when started, and some part of so extended 
a region would be likely to take fire, while if divided 
into small and isolated tracts like the present fields, 
fires would be seldom known. Lightning alone 
w^ould be a sufficient cause for the annual firing of 
so lai'ge a tract, and this, at an early day, was 
doubtless the agent that effected it. 

It was the opinion of the early settlers, that at 
that time, the prairie was encroaching upon the tim- 
ber ; in fact, the bluff timber was all old, and a ma- 
jority of the trees injured by the fire, and there was 
no young growth; an ox gad or a hoop pole could 
not be found except in some sheltered nook of the 
bluff, or on the sheltered alluvial bottoms, but as 
soon as the barrens, as they were terme(jl, were pro- 
tected from fire, the}^ rapidly grew u]) with a thrifty 
crop of well-set timber, showing that the fire had 
been the only impediment to that result. 

The prairie, although protected from fire, did not 
rapidly grow to timber, for the reason there were 

22 History of La Salle County. 

no roots or germs to start from, as there was in the 
barrens, but the principal reason was, that no tree 
will grow readily in the unbroken prairie sod, as 
most of the settlers found by dear experience — but 
the timber did spread to the prairie, lirst a few hazel 
bushes, these would hold the leaves at the roots, 
thus mulching and killing the turf, then a few c^rab 
apples, then oak and hickory. 

There was probably a time when, from the recur- 
rence of wet seasons, a general moist climate, or 
other cause, the timber had encroached upon the 
prairie, else there would have been no timber — but 
the whole history since the waters retired, had evi- 
dently been a contest for supremacy between the two. 

At the date of the white settlements the timber 
had retired to the banks of the streams, to the thin- 
nest soil and to the low bottoms, and in most cases 
was still retiring. As proof of this, it was noticed 
that in many instances the extreme points, the out- 
posts or picket lines of timber had retired and left 
roots and stumps burnt to or under the surface, yet 
in reach of the x)low, mementos of its former status. 

Most of the bluff timber was stationary or decay- 
ing, very little making a thrifty growth, -and as the 
young sprouts were annually killed, it was impos- 
si)>le for the timber to liold its own. Tlie writer has 
a vivid recollection of the lirst lire he witnessed, 
wliich was a \Qvy severe one, passing through the 
timber. Hundreds of trees were on fire to their ex- 
treme tops, ])r(;sentiiig in a dark night a most mag- 
nificent but terrific view, jiiucli less enjo3^able from 
the fact tliat so much timber was being destroyed. 

Topography. 23 

Those trees burnt for several days, and a frequent 
crash and thud told that the monarchs of the forest, 
the growth of centuries, were yielding to their con- 
quering foe, — a most conclusive answer to the ques- 
tion, why is it that timber does not grow on the 
prairies \ Oaks and hickories are the most hardy 
and least injured by fire, consequently were the only 
varieties on the bluffs, and if these were receding be- 
fore the common enemy, it could not be expected 
that the more tender varieties could exist at all. 

On the sheltered bottoms were found all the va- 
rieties of timber common to the climate, that is, 
where the timber had obtained the ascendenc}^, so 
as to prevent the growth of grass sufficient to sustain 
the fire. 

Black and white walnut, linden, elms, sycamore, 
ash, maples, etc., were found in abundance, but 
were not found on the bluffs, as they would be killed 
by a fire that would leave the oaks and hickor}^ un- 

Points of timber occupying a bend or angle of a 
stream, well out on the verge of the timber point, 
and on the prairie soil, often consisted of walnut and 
other varieties of bottom timber, proving that such 
a soil was well adapted to the growth of different 
varieties of timber — a truth also proved by the suc- 
cessful cultivation of artificial groves and belts. 

After the lapse of more than forty years, the old 
timber has nearly all been removed, and the fires 
checked and finally effectually stopped b}^ the im- 
provements of the settlers ; that which was then tim- 
ber lands, or barrens, has grown a thrifty crop of 

24 History of La Salle County. 

yoang timber, not only of oak and hickory, but 
where the soil is deep and rich, a sprinkling of wal- 
nut, linden, and other varieties of what was termed 
bottom timber, being then confined to such localities. 
The rapidity with which timber spontaneously starts 
wlierever the germs exist, and its rapid and thrifty 
growth, show that our soil is inherently a timber 
soil, and that in the not very distant future, our State 
will be better supplied with good timber than those 
States originalh^ covered with a heav}^ growth. 

It is a well-known fact that Western New York, 
Ohio, and other heavily-wooded regions, when once 
cleared seldom produce a valuable new growth, and 
the reckless waste made by the occupants of those 
States will be repaid by succeeding generations in 
high prices and a scarcity of the article. 

The low price and abundance of pine lumber and 
the facilities for transportation have reduced the 
price of timber-land in Illinois, so that it will hardly 
bring the prices it did thirty years ago, and many 
are cutting off the second growth and putting the 
land under cultivation — all tending to a reckless 
exhaustion of the timber supply. There can be no 
question but that the immense demand over all the 
prairie region for lumber, and the readiness with 
whicli that want is supplied, must, within the life 
of anotlier generation, <\xhaust the supjDly, and the 
warnings of thoughtful and sagacious men, to guard 
against the danger, ought to be heeded. The supply 
once exhausted (!an not be restored for generations — 
the one to two hundred y(^ai-s required to produce 
a perfected growth of full-size timber is quite an 

Economic Geology. 25 

item in the count of time, and a long period to wait 
for the production of a crop — and it will be wise to 
husband our resources and save while we can, hav- 
ing at least a thought for the future. The timber 
growing in Illinois will all be wanted, and at a price 
that will pay for its culture. The railroads built, 
and to be built, which have to renew their ties every 
eight or ten years, will consume all the timber the 
State can produce, and when the lumber region fails, 
as fail it must, there will be a still greater amount 
needed for building and fencing purposes. 


The geology of a country is the first element of 
its form, character and resources. The face of the 
country, the scenerj^, the depth of the river beds, 
form of the river banks or bluffs, the soil, and its 
mineral resources, are all determined by its geology, 
and, as a consequence, its natural and exotic produc- 
tions, its timber, plants, fruits and grains, are to a 
great extent governed or influenced by it, modified, 
however, b}^ its climate. 

Central and Northern Illinois, in common with 
most of the Mississippi Valley, I'ests upon a hori- 
zontal and nearly level bed rock. 

All sedimentary rocks are formed in horizontal 
beds, and onl}^ assume other positions when up- 
heaved or displaced b}^ some great convulsion of 
nature, as shown in volcanic and mountainous re- 
gions. This Western valley appears to have suf- 
fered but little displacement, and its underlying 

26 History of La Salle County. 

rock and all its regular strata, form one grand mag- 
nificent floor, from the Alleglianies to the Rocky 
Mountains, and necessarily a level champaign coun- 
try — the grandest theatre for human effort ever 
vouchsafed to man. 

The bed rock or regular rock deposit in La Salle 
County is covered with the drift deposit from a tri- 
lling depth at the edge of the bluffs to a maximum 
depth of 150 feet at the divides or highest points of 
the prairies between the streams. 

From this point with a rolling or undulating sur- 
face, the descent is gradual to the streams forming 
the water sheds or natural drainage of the country. 
This descent is owing to the different depths of the 
drift deposit, and not to the uneven surface of the 
rock strata below — but the gradual rise in long- 
ascents of the country going north, and frequently 
in other directions, is due to the gradual swells or 
ascent of the underlying rocks. From the beds of 
the streams and bottom lands, this strata, has mostly 
been denuded or washed away, but leaving boulders 
and other evidence that it once covered the entire 

The drift is composed of clay, sand, gravel, and 
boulders or granite rock, and in it is found at all 
depths, pebbles, all worn smooth by attrition — bits 
of coal, and in numerous instances at different 
depths, pieces of wood, mostly black walnut, cedar, 
or other durable timber — showing that this is a 
com])ara,tively i-cccnt deposit. Geologists agree that 
it was brought from th(! north by glaciers — rivers or 
oceans of ice, of which the glaciers of the Alps, or 

Economic Geology. 27 

the far more magnificent ones of Greenland, are but 
miniature specimens. From causes existing at the 
time, wliether from a generally colder climate, or 
from peculiar currents of the atmosphere not now 
existing, which carried the vapor from the warmer 
regions of the earth to the north, where it formed an 
ocean of ice several thousands of feet in thickness, 
which by its weight cruslied and forced its lower 
portions forward, grinding to powder and leveling 
the surface of the eartli with a power beyond con- 
ception, it spread over most of the north part of the 
continent, marking the hills and mountains of the 
East with strice or grooves in the solid rock. Its 
action is well described by the adage — "The mills 
of the Gods grind slow, but very fine." Its deposit 
here formed from what would have been a dead level 
and wet surface, a rolling and dry one, and laid the 
foundation of the richest soil that exists over so large 
a surface. Without the foundation of the drift, 
that soil could never have existed. 

Over the south part, and more tlian half of the 
county, the drift rests upon the carboniferous or 
coal formation, being the northern termination of 
the great coal field of the State. Its northern limit 
is a little north of the Illinois river, but most of it 
north of the valley of the Illinois and east of Ottawa, 
with few exceptions, lies upon the St. Peters sand- 
stone, approaches the outcrop, and is of little im- 
portance. The amount of coal embraced in the 
county is almost unlimited in amount, generally of 
excellent quality, and its value, present and pros- 
pective, can hardl}^ be overestimated. 

28 History of La Salle County. 

There are three veins in the west part of the 
county, mined principally at La Salle and vicinity, 
aggregating a thickness of about thirteen feet. They 
underlie the Illinois valley and the bluffs on either 
side; toward the east rising rapidly over the axis 
of the St. Peters sandstone. The two upper ones 
crop out and disappear, while the lower one overlies 
the St. Peters to Ottawa and Marseilles, and up 
the Vermillion to S. 24, T. 32, R. 2. Here this vein 
terminates its outcrop, being in the bottom of the 
Yermillion. Another vein has been found by bor- 
ing, at this point, forty- seven feet below the first, 
which extends to Streator and bej^ond, over a large 
extent of territory. It is reported at from three to 
four feet thick, and of best quality. It lies about 
one hundred feet below the vein now being worked 
at Streator, and has been there explored only by 
boring. The State geological report claims that tliis 
is the La Salle lower vein, which is evidently a mis- 
take. The vein worked at Vermillionville and 
Lowell, acknowledged to be that vein, is forty-iive 
feet below the brown sand-rock, (a conspicuous strata 
on the Vermillion), and the vein which crops out 
in the river on Section 21, is the same distance below 
that rock with the same strata intervening as at 
Lowell, while the vein shows itself in nearly all the 
ravines between the two pla(;es, gradually declining 
from several feet above tlie river to its bottom on 
Section 24; whih3 the vein in controversy is forty- 
seven feet below that, with entirely ditrcrent strata 
intervening Ix'tween the two. Two shafts have been 
sunk on S. 31, T. 82, II. 8, and this vein is for the 

Economic Geology. 29 

lirst time being worked. It proves a valuable vein. 
It is three and a half feet or over in thickness, and 
. of excellent quality. For blacksmithing, generating 
steam, and all purposes so far as used, it is superior 
to any other coal found in the county. 

The next vein found in ascending the Vermillion 
is on Section 10, called the Kirkpatrick or Cook 
bed. Its extent is not full}^ known. It lies above 
the river, and is worked by drifting from the river 
bottom. A shaft sunk by David Strawn on the 
S. W. J of S. 2, found nine feet of coal eighty feet 
below the surface. It is a fair coal, but not as good 
as the same vein higlier up the river, which is ex- 
tensively worked at Streator, This vein has an 
average thickness of about live feet, and extends 
over a large area. It is mined on a large scale for 
shipment b}'' the several railroads centering at 
Streator ; aggregating over a tliousand tons per 
day, and constantly increasing. This coal field, and 
the one at La Salle, are among the most extensive 
and valuable in the State. 

The immense supply of motive power, both coal 
and water, with the commanding geographical 
position of the county, and facilities for cheap 
transportation, indicate that it must at sometime 
become a great manufacturing district. It is true, 
its agricultural resources are second to none, and if 
purely agricultural can compete with any of her sister 
counties of like character ; but it would be the 
most reckless folh" to neglect and spurn those 
facilities for a diversified industry which nature 
has lavished so profusely upon us. No purely 

30 History of La Salle County. 

agricultural region can ever be ricli. Agriculture 
flourishes best, and its profits are doubled, when 
along side a manufacturing industr}'. In fact, all 
the pursuits of an enlightened civilization flourish 
best in the vicinit}' of each other ; all are mutually 
dependent, and languish isolated and alone ; and 
that community is the most wealthy, refined and 
intelligent that cultivates all the arts and indus- 
tries — that so far as climate, location and resources 
will permit, is of itself a miniature world, its citizens 
living independent, and by their own industry sup- 
plying most of their Avants. 

If this generation does not utilize the natural ad- 
vantages of our position, some other will, and will 
laugh at the folly of this. Our advantages are too 
prominent to always escape tlie notice of discerning 
business men, and the field is too ample to remain 
long unappropriated. 

There are few localities in the State where nature 
has bestowed with a more lavish hand such riches 
of mineral wealth as lie beneath the soil of La Salle 

Being the northern border of the coal field, and ad- 
joining a rich agricultural region to the north 
entirely destitute of that article, it has superior 
advantages of location for supplying that mai-ket. 
In addition, tlu; iron and other ores at the north will 
be brought liere for smelting. 

It takes about tliree tons of coal to reduce two 
tons of ore, being one-third cheaper to bring tlie ore 
to tlie coal than to carr}^ the coal to the ore. Tlie 
coal fields of Illinois lying between the ores of Jjake 

Economic Geology. 31 

Superior and the Iron Mountain region of Missouri, 
malves it a prominent locality for the iron manufac- 
ture, and the light from her furnaces may at some 
time in the future, to some extent, rival the light of 
the prairie fires of her early settlement. 

An anticlinal axis composed of the St. Peters 
sandstone — a part of tlie Silurian series, which prop- 
erly belongs far below the carboniferous, crosses 
the county nearly from southwest to northeast. It 
is first seen on the Vermillion above Deer Park. It 
forms the bluffs of the Illinois river from Little 
Rock to Ottawa, and above, and is seen on the Fox 
extending into Kendall County, and the same strata 
underlies the drift over more than one-third of the 
county. Its full thickness is about 150 feet ; in some 
i:)laces much thicker. It rises quite abruptly, form- 
ing the axis, displacing the carboniferous and 
taking its place. This axis is the northern bound- 
ary of the coal measures east of Ottawa, and the 
eastern boundar}^ of the La Salle basin, about three 
miles east of La Salle, with the exception of the 
bottom vein, which overlies the St. Peters at 
Buffalo Rock, Ottawa, and above. 

The upheaval of the St. Peters sandstone fur- 
nishes the best material for glass manufacture, and 
will be the source of an extensive and profitable in- 
dustry. The material is of the best quality ; the 
amount inexhaustible, easy of access, and the fuel 
cheap and close at hand — a combination of advan- 
tages that can scarcely be matched elsewhere. Tiie 
use of glass increases, as wealth, taste and luxnr}'- 

32 History of La Salle County. 

increase, and this pursuit may well anticipate a 
large growth in the not distant future. 

It was ver}^ fortunate for this locality that nature, 
n necessity or pastime, elevated and left for our 
use the riches of the Silurian strata, which would 
otherwise have remained far below our reach. In 
addition to the great value, for manufacturing 
purposes, of the St. Peters sandstone, composed of 
nearh' pure quartz, it gave us the picturesque views 
of Little Rock, Split Rock, Clark's Falls, Starved 
Rock and Deer Park, all in this strata, and which 
owe their peculiar structure to this formation. 

Beneath the St. Peters lies the calciferous ; barely 
brought within reach on the low bottoms between 
rtica and La Salle. 

The calciferous has a special interest as being the 
only outcrop of this strata in the State, and is here 
limited to seven or eight square miles, and contains 
beds from which excellent hj^draulic lime is made — 
an article of great economic value, and supplying a 
constantly-increasing demand. Over 100,000 barrels 
have been manufactured in a year. How and when 
was this axis formed, bringing within reach mineral 
wealth of an untold amount '. Was it elevated be- 
fore or after the dei)Osit of the coal measures '. The 
lower vein of coal rests conformably on the St. 
Peters. If tliat bed was horizontal elsewhere, as 
well as on the St. Peters, and at the same level, it 
might reasonal)ly be inferred that the coal was de- 
])Osited aftf'i- the upheaval. ]kit such is not tlie 
fact. When the veins of the La Salle basin ap- 
pi'oach the west side of the axis the}' rise at a very 

Economic Geology. 33 

abrupt angle. Was coal ever deposited in tliat 
position '. It is generally supposed that the material 
of which the coal was formed was probably de- 
posited in water, and consecxuently at a water level, 
and the fact that coal occupies basins, usually thick- 
est in the central part, corroborates that opinion. 
There are other indications that give some clue to 
the time of the formation of the axis. At the cut- 
ting of the Illinois blutf, on the road from Ottawa 
to Yermillionville, just after crossing Covell creek, 
the bottom portion of the brown sand-rock is tilted 
to an angle of about thirty degrees, the side to- 
ward the axis being elevated, while the top portion 
of the sand-rock lies in a horizontal position, over- 
lying and resting on the disturbed portion. This 
seems conclusive that the axis was formed, or at 
least this disturbance occurred, during the deposit 
of this sand-rock, which is in the upper series of 
the carboniferous. In this localit}' the carbonif- 
erous rests on the Trenton limestone, and the 
Trenton overlaps, at an ascending angle, the 
southern slope of the anticlinal axis, composed of 
the St. Peters, which appears in the bank of the 
creek under the Trenton, but soon rises to the sur- 
face of the banks, and the Trenton disappears. 

If this theory be true, the La Salle coal was 
deposited before the formation of the axis, while 
the Kirkpatrick or Cook bed was deposited after, as 
that lies above the brown sand-rock. 

The Trenton limestone is largelj' used for build- 
ing purposes, and some parts of the strata make a 
good, white lime. It is quarried at Homer, Lowell. 

34 History of La Salle County. 

Covell creek, and other points, and extensively used 
for bridges, aqueducts, culverts, cellars, wells, etc. 

The brown sand-rock is used quite extensively for 
cellars and wells, and the solid portion answers a 
very good pur]30se. 

A few feet at the bottom of the St. Peters is 
sufficiently cohesive for building purposes. 

The county is rich in clays. A very good fire clay 
in immense quantities underlies the coal ; is of great 
value for the manufacture of Avare, tile, fire brick, 
lining for stoves and furnaces, and tlie various uses 
to which such a clay is adapted, and will doubtless 
eventually be of great economic importance. The 
drift clay of tlie subsoil over most of the county is 
an excellent material for common brick. All of 
these clays have no real limit, but can supply any 
demand for a decade of geologic time. 


After a knowledge of the topography and geology 
of a country, we may well proceed to investigate its 
history, to know the uses it has subserved through 
the long ages of the past. 

It is a very natural subject of inquiry for any 
people, to know who preceded them in the land they 
occupy, and who were the first possessors of the soil — 
not only who the}' were, but what they were, and under 
wliat cii-cumstances they possessed it. The ])eople 
of this countiy, the European emigrants and their 
descendants, have been accustomed to regard them- 
selves as the first, Avitli the exce])tion of the wild, 

Mound Builders. 35 

savage tribes ; and for two hundred years after its dis- 
covery and settlement by the Europeans this theory 
remained unquestioned. But soon after the white 
settlements extended over the Alleghanies, the dis- 
covery of mounds, or earth works of a variety of 
forms, of whicli the Indians knew nothing, arrested 
the attention of tlie curious, and as settlements ex- 
tended over this Western valley these discoveries 
w^ere multiplied almost indefinitely. These tumuli or 
mounds are mostly mausoleums or receptacles for 
the dead, and usually contain one or more skeletons, 
with potterj', copper utensils, beads, and other trin- 
kets. Numerous mounds for other than burial pur- 
poses exist in the form of animals, men, etc., some 
apparently for fortifications, and many the object 
of which can not be determined. 

These relics of a bygone age are spread from the 
Alleghanies far west of the Mississippi, and from the 
Gulf of Mexico to the north shore of Lake Superior, 
and unmistakably indicate tlie existence, at some 
time in the ]iast, of a numerous and partially civil- 
ized people. 

This race, popularly called the mound builders, 
comprised an immense population, and were doubt- 
less an agricultural people, as the}^ could not have 
subsisted in such numbers by any other means. 
The remains of their gardens of considerable extent 
still exist in Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois. The 
Lake SuY)erior copper mines were doubtless worked 
by them, as they possessed copper utensils, such as 
knives, awls, needles, etc. ; and deep excavations 
existed in the mines when first visited b}' the whites, 

36 History of La Salle County. 

requiring an amount of labor tliat the Indians never 
performed. This potterj" was of fine quality, much 
of it highly ornamented, and verj^ durable, being 
still in a perfect state of preservation. Their imple- 
ments remain as the only mementoes of their business, 
tastes, and skill in the arts ; nearlj^ all were designed 
for use in the quiet pursuits of peace, while those 
left by tlie Indian race are mostly weapons of a 
warlike people. 

The existence of such a people is now universally 
admitted b}" the best informed, and is as certain as 
anj^ fact transmitted by written histor}". Written 
histor}^ may falsify, but the mounds madeb}' human 
labor, the utensils and the human bones, are proofs 
that can not be questioned. Who they were, from 
whence they came, and where they went, are ques- 
tions that open a wide field for speculation. Tlieir 
works are here — works involving an amount of labor 
that could onl}" have been done b}' united thousands. 
A mound in West Virginia and one in Ohio, are each 
seventy-five feet vertical heigl)t,with a base of several 
hundred feet in extent. Human skeletons repose at 
the base and centre of these tumuli, but so decayed 
that they crumble to their mother earth when ex])Osed 
to the atmosphere. A few skulls and parts have 
been ])reserved, showing a long, narrow head with a 
retreating forehead, entirely unlike the Indian head, 
and more like the ancient Egyptian. 

The mounds are supj^osed to contain the remains 
of their great men — the size of the mound probably 
indicating the extent of that gi'catness — whih? the 
common ])(^o])l(», receiving onl}' common buiial, tlieir 

Mound Builders. 37 

remains have long since been dispersed by the 

From the state of decay of these skeletons, com- 
pared with others in like situations in Europe, whose 
age is known, it is supposed they all have an age of 
at least 2,000 years, and that the last of the race left 
the countr}' as early as 200 j^ears B. C. Their works 
remaining are their only history. The}" exist at 
Ottawa, La Salle, Peru, and other points along 
the Illinois and Fox, and always on a commanding 
and sightly location, in fancy giving the spirits of 
the dead a view of the scenery they doubtless loved 
so well when living. These mounds often contained 
Indian remains, as the Indians used them for burial 
places ; but such remains were near the surface, and 
the Indians knew nothing of the origin or history of 
the mounds. 

A glance at the history of the pre-historic races of 
America, elsewhere, may throw some light on the 
origin and final history of the mound builders. 
Although the history of the ancient peopling of the 
American continent has been handed down only by 
tradition and corroborated by the works of the 
ancient inhabitants, yet it has a history of deep and 
absorbing interest, and if written as fully as tliat of 
the Eastern continent has been, it would doubtless 
startle us by the magnitude and power of the nations 
which rose and fell unchronicled, unhonored, and 

The Ass^'rian, Persian, Egyptian and Macedonian 
empires might tind their counterpart along the Ama- 
zon and Mississippi, at the feet and along the ele- 

38 History of La Salle County. 

vated plateaus of the Andes, and in Central America 
and Mexico. The ruins of ancient cities, of roads, 
aqueducts, mounds, and other relics of their handi- 
work, tell of a high civilization, of a wealthy, ingen- 
ious and powerful people. 

The empire ruled by the Incas of Peru, when 
conquered by the Spaniards, had, in man}^ respects, 
a liigher civilization and a more stable civil govern- 
ment than has since been achieved by their conquer- 
ors. But the people conquered by Pizarro were 
inferior to their ^predecessors, as is shown by the 
stupendous works left as a monument of their power, 
industry and culture. A public road, built on a 
solid foundation of masonry, paved with hewn 
stone, laid in cement, and guarded by walls on either 
side, was built from Quito to Chili, along the Sierras, 
over plains, mountains, and rivers, with a branch 
from Cuzcotothe sea, and thence north to the equa- 
tor. It passed over deep ravines filled with the 
firmest masonr3^ dug for leagues through solid rock, 
and extended a distance greater than the length of the 
Pacific Railroad, and more dijfl&cult of construction. 
The gi'eat traveler, Humboldt, says of this : " Onr 
eyes rested continiuilly on superb remains of a paved 
road of the Incas ; the roadway, paved with well- 
cut dark porphyritic stone, was twenty feet wide, 
and rested on deep foundations. This road was 
marvellous. None of the lloman roads I have 
seen in Ital}^ South of France, or Sjiain, appeared 
to me mori' im])osiiig tlian this work of the ancient 

Aqueducts lor conducting watei- to tlicii- cities, 

Mound Builders. 39 

and i'or irrigation — 150 miles long, and one said 
to be 400 — made of liewn stone nicely fitted to- 
gether, and laid in cement, all of the most perfect 
and durable character, many of which are now in 
use, were left b,y that people, monuments of their 
genius, skill and industry. 

The Peruvians manufactured both cotton and 
woolen fabrics of superior quality, cotton being in- 
digenous to tiieir country, and wool obtained from 
the llama. Their skill in dyeing was hardly excelled 
by the Tyrians themselves. Gold, silver, and copper 
vases, and statuary in immense quantities, showed 
their skill in working these metals, and the people 
that preceded those ruled by the Incas, or those at 
an earlier period, are said to have had large furnaces 
for smelting iron on the shores of Lake Titicaca, 
and their sculpture of the hardest stone could hardly 
have been accomplished without it, and the name 
for iron in their ancient language is conclusive proof 
that they had knowledge of that metal. 

The Spanish buccaneers and pirates who con- 
quered these people, in their thirst for gold, and zeal 
for a fanatical conception of religion, crushed out a 
civilization they could never rival nor replace. 

Mexico and Central America furnish equal pi'oofs 
of an ancient civilization. The ruins of ancient cities 
and structures of great extent and massive grandeur, 
discovered and described by Catherwood, Stevens, 
Squiers, and others, and which are doubtless but a 
tithe of the like which lie buried beneath the trop- 
ical forests and wild chaparral of that moist and 
heated climate, point, unmistakably, to the exist- 

40 History of La Salle Countf/. 

ence of a people highly skilled in architecture, of 
great industry, and superior taste ; and while equal- 
ing the Peruvians in the construction of massive 
masonry, they were far superior in gesthetic skill ; 
and the elaborate ornamentation shows the posses- 
sion of great wealth, which alone could enable 
any people to devote so much time to the orna- 

The stones composing those ruins are nicely hewn, 
highl}^ ornamented with elaborate carving, laid in 
mortar of lime and sand, and frequentl}^ finished 
with stucco, of as fine quality and workmanship 
as modern art can furnish. 

Letters and hieroglyphic characters frequently oc- 
cur, and this people and the Peruvians both are said 
to have had a written language and books of history, 
which the Spaniards very carefully destroyed, (these 
books were ratlier hieroglyphical tlian alphabetical). 
The little which remains of these records gives but 
a slight clue to their history, but with the tradi- 
tions of the people open a faint ray of light through 
the dark vista of the past. They had considerable 
knowledge of astronomy, and divided the year into 
eighteen months of twenty days each ; tliey then 
added live days at the end of tlie year, and one more 
every fourth or bissextile year, thus chronicling tlie 
time as accurately as the Europeans. 

The Aztecs, who were in possession of the country 
at the time of the invasion by the Spaniards under 
Cortes, were higlily civilized, as ('om])ai-ed with the 
savage tri))es by whom they were surrounded, but 
they were not the builders of those splendid struc- 

Mound Builders. 41 

tures wliose ruins lie so profusely scattered over 
their country. 

Tradition relates that at an early date a savage 
people occupied the country, called Chi-Chimicks, 
who lived b}' hunting and fishing, and had no 
knowledge of the arts, and are supposed to have 
been the first occupants of the soil. They were dis- 
placed by the Colhuans, a civilized people, said to 
have come from the East in sliips. They are de- 
scribed as the first people who established the arts 
of civilization and built cities. They taught the 
Chi-Chimicks to cook their food and to cultivate the 
earth, but their history is shrouded in the uncer- 
tainty of a vague and dark tradition. These were 
conquered by the Toltecs, another civilized peopl*^, 
who are said to have come by successive emigrations, 
from the Northeast, both by land and by sea. They 
joined with the wild Chi-Chimicks of the mountains, 
and took the Colhuan capital, Vibalba. It isjDroba- 
ble that the conquerors and the conquered mingled 
together and became a homogeneous pc^ople, and 
the united intelligence and skill in the arts of the 
two produced that perfected civilization wliich has 
astonished the world, even with the ruins of 
their once splendid cities. Uxmal and Palenqua 
will, through all the future, testify to the liigh at- 
tainments of the race that reared them. The Toltecs 
occupied and improved the cities of the Colhuans. 
The date of their emigrations, probably the com- 
mencement, as a populous people spread over a 
continent are not displaced in a da}'- or century, is 
about 1,000 3^ears before the Christian era, and thev 


42 History of La Salle County. 

were overrun by the Aztecs about two centuries be- 
fore the Spanish conquest, or about A. D. 1320, so 
that the Toltecs must have held the country over 
2,000 years. It was during that time tliat the cities 
of Central America were built, and the Toltecs were 
doubtless the builders. 

They are said to have come from a country called 
Hua Hua Hapalan, and that they were an old people, 
the word Hua Hua meaning old, Hapalan being the 
original name. The direction from which they 
came, and their coming, by successive emigi-ations, 
by both land and sea, would seem to point signifi- 
cantly to the land of the mound builders, and to 
indicate tiiat tlie mound builders were the Toltecs 
of Mexico. 

It is not improbable that a branch of the Colhuan 
emigration may have settled in the valley of the 
Mississippi, at the same time that the other branch 
occupied Mexico, and were the progenitors of the 
mound builders ; or the mound builders may have 
been colonies of the same race, after they had be- 
come populous in their Mexican home, and when 
the mother country began to wane, their extended 
colonies very naturally sought the milder climate, 
and more highly improved country, at the centre of 
American civilization. 

And as Rome left more ruins of her temples and 
cities than Gaul or Britain, so Central America and 
Mexico contain more than the valley of the Ohio 
or Illinois. 

And as a southern and hot climate is never as 
favorable for the production of men, as the temper- 

Mound Builders. 43 

ate zone ; and as in the world' sliistoiy, the people of 
a sonthern climate have ever yielded, in a contest, to 
the children of the North, so the Colhuans of Mexico 
fell an easy prey to the hardy mound builders from 
this great Western valle}^, but being of the same race, 
the}^ soon became one people. 

A brief sketch of the opinions of European writers 
as to the origin of the ancient American civilization, 
may here claim a place. 

At one time a favorite theory, now exploded, was 
that the lost ten tribes of Israel came to America, 
and were the progenitors of all the peoples here 

Another v/as the Malay, as the Malays are known 
to have peopled most of the islands of the Pacific, 
and their language forms the basis of nearly all the 
dialects of Polynesia ; even the Sandwich Islanders 
speak a dialect of that language. That they must 
have reached the American continent is quite proba- 
ble, but there is no proof that they ever settled here, 
nor any trace of their language among all the tribes 
of the continent. 

There is more plausibility in the Phoenician the- 
ory, for the ancient history of the Phoenicians, 
Egy2)tians and Greeks speak of a land be3"ond the 
pillars of Hercules as a wonderful land and occu- 
pied by a wonderful people. Vessels were said to 
have been driven by stress of weather till they 
reached the shores of this far-off land. Connected 
with this theory, is the supposed fable of the lost 
Atlantis ; a continent was said to have occupied, at 
an early date, a large portion of the Atlantic Ocean, 

44 History of La Salle County. 

that it embraced the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean 
Sea, the region of the West Indies, and extended far 
toward the Coast of Africa, embracing the Cape de 
Yerde and Canary Islands ; that those islands and 
the West Indies were the highest portion of the con- 
tinent, while all the lower portion was submerged 
by some great convulsion ; that the Atlantis was 
occupied by a numerous and highly civilized people ; 
a portion of these escaping from the great cataclysm 
reached the continent, and built the great cities 
whose ruins have created such surprise and wonder. 
The story of the lost Atlantis will probably never 
be verified. That the Phoenicians, who were a com- 
mercial and adventurous people, may have reached 
the Western continent is quite probable, and yet 
there are no customs, arts, or languages, existing 
here, which can be traced to that people, which would 
have been the case if they had settled in any con- 
siderable numbers. These theories are all based upon 
the supposition that the American continent could 
onl}' be inhabited by savages, unless a civilization 
was imported from the Eastern continent. There can 
be no valid reason given why the Western continent 
may not have originated a civilization as readily as 
the Elastern, and as it is geologically older than the 
Eastern, it may have had precedence in the improve- 
ment of man. It liad a civilization, and this West- 
ern valley shared in its benefits. It would hardly 
be reasonable to suppose that Mexico should be occu- 
pied for two or three thousand years by an intelli- 
gent and active people, and they never visit or know 
of the immense territory northeast of them, when 

Mound, Build ers. 45 

there was no natural barrier to i)revent exploration 
or emigration ; and the works left, telling that sucli 
a people existed, are continuous from Palenqua to 
Lake Superior, and so uniform in structure as to 
leave no doubt they were built by the same people. 
The large tumuli have a uniform shape and con- 
struction, the only difference being that those in 
the mother country are more elaborate and per- 
fect The broad and less elevated of these works 
were evidently foundations for more perfect struc- 
tures. The massive ruins of Central America are all 
built on elevated plateaus or flat tumuli ; and there 
the superstructures were built of stone, and con- 
sequently remain ; while further north, in a heavy 
timbered region, they were probably of timber, 
liable to be destroyed by fire or the surer anni- 
hilating influence of over twenty centuries of time. 
That this theory, that the mound builders were the 
Toltecs of Mexico, is but a theory, is true, but so 
plausible, and so well corroborated by all the cir- 
cumstances surrounding it, that it will be received 
and believed until one better proved shall claim 

There are convincing indications that there was a 
close relationship and connection between the an- 
cient civilizations through the length of the Ameri- 
can continent. The mound builders of the Missis- 
sippi Valle}^, the Toltecs, or Colhuans, of Mexico 
and Central America, and the ancient civilized races 
of Peru, were doubtless the same, or a closely re- 
lated people. The authoi- received from Dr. L. N. 
Dimmick, formerlv of Ottawa now of Santa Bar- 

46 History of La Salle County. 

bara, California, a photograph of a specimen of an- 
cient pottery, dug from a mound on the south bluff 
of the Illinois, just east of Ottawa in this county, 
of a curious formation, and showing much skill in its 
construction. It is a kind of quadruplicated jug — 
four small jug-like vessels, all connected with each 
other at the base, and from each of which, as from 
the corner of a square, rises a tube, uniting in one at 
the top, like the spout of a jug, all forming one ves- 
sel. It is composed of the same material as all the 
pottery found in these mounds, and from its appear- 
ance was not burned like modern pottery. It differs 
from the modern article by being slightly elastic, 
and one ingredient in its composition is supposed to 
be pulverized clam shells. This potter}^ seems to 
be indestructible, as 2,000 years of time has left it 
apparently as perfect as when first made. 

Numerous specimens of ancient pottery from the 
mounds of Peru and South America are of the same 
form and material as the one above described. Such 
could hardly be the case, unless the art of making 
them was derived from the same source. 

This specimen was found in a sepulchral mound, 
and its peculiar form might have some significance 
in connection with the religion or superstitions of 
that peoi)le. They are supposed to have been sun 
worshipers, but their distinctive views will proba- 
bly never be full}^ known, yet much in that direc- 
tion will yet be developed, as we doubtless have the 
relics of theii- works scattered over thousands of 
miles in extent, from wlii('h to glean the mementos 
that tell what, and who they were. The last few 

Mound Builders. 47 

years have developed important facts in relation to 
this ancient people, and we can hardl}' estimate what 
lies in the future. Pre-eminent among those who 
have devoted 3^ears to the investigation of these 
relics of the past, is Frederick S. Perkins, of Wis- 
consin, who, by indefatigable effort, has collected 
600 stone rollers, pestles, awls, pikes, etc. ; 8,000 
spear, lance, and arrow-heads ; and of copper, 
sixty-eight spears or dirk heads, nine with shanks, 
fifteen with flat shanks ; ten knives, fifteen chisels, 
five augers, two gads, one drill, etc. ; altogether 9,000 
articles, of the pre-historic age. His collection of 
copper implements probably exceeds any, if not all 
others. They were mostly turned up by the plow, 
and some imbedded several feet in the clay. 

Through the extent o£ this great Western valley 
the soil will for ages continue to yield up rich relics 
of a great and numerous people, whose day is sep- 
arated from ours by more than twenty centuries. 

There is no proof that the mound builders culti- 
vated the prairies to any extent ; their works 
are mostly on the bluffs bordering the large streams, 
and near or on the large and fertile bottoms, which 
they doubtless cultivated. Maize was their princi- 
pal production, and those bottoms were the natural 
habitat of that cereal, and as they apparently had 
no beasts of burden, it was easier to cultiv^ate by 
hand than the tough sod of the prairie, if the prai- 
rie then existed, and there is no doubt it did. 

A small area of rich land, well cultivated, will 
produce Indian corn sufficient to feed a large popu- 
lation. One-fourth of a bushel per week was said to 

48 History of La Salle County. 

have been the ration allowed slaves on the Southern 
plantations, about thirteen bushels per annum ; 100 
acres, at til'ty bushels per acre, would sustain 384 
people one year — a very much larger number tlian 
the same amount will sustain when converted into 
beef or pork. 

Their garden beds, so common and so well pre- 
served, were on the second or high bottom, or on 
timber land or barrens, most!}", and from their form, 
were evidently cultivated by hand. Thus having 
no beasts of burden, and ])robably feeding none for 
food, and if, being wiser than tlieir successors, they 
converted none into whisky or modern corn-juice, 
they could easily sustain a population that the pres- 
ent occupants of the valley have not, and for a cen- 
tury to come, can not, equal. 

We read of the ancient peoples of the Eastern con- 
tinent, of their countless number, of their wars, con- 
quests, and revolutions, of race succeeding race, 
with awe and wonder. We look with little less 
than revei'ence on rusted coins from Athens or 
Rome, a piece of stone from tlu^ ruins of Babylon, 
Tadmor, Balbec, or Palmyra, while we pass almost 
unnoticed these works of a people, j)robably as 
numerous, as ancient, and as intelligcMit as were 
the hordes that followed Sesostris, Sardanapalus, or 

It is to be ho])ed that some of these mementos of 
a nuiiH'rous and ancient ])('0])le may be cai-efully 
and sacredly preserved, and that (he reverence for 
the anli(iiiiti('S of the Orient may b(MM|ualed by a 
cor)'es})()iiding resjx'ct for those of the Occident, 

French Erploratioiis and D is coder ie-s. 49 


The Spaniards first discovered the Mississippi. 
De Soto, a Spanish adventurer, was the discoverer 
and the first to cross its turbulent and rapid current, 
and died upon tlie margin of the Lower Mississippi 
in 1542. His discoveries were not utilized, and were 
nearly forgotten. About a century elapsed before 
a French explorer reached a northern tributary of 
that stream. 

Jacques Cartier, a French navigator, in 1534, dis- 
covered the St. Lawrence, and took possession of the 
country for the French king. Champlain soon fol- 
lowed, and extended the Frencli title, and coloniza- 
tion commenced. 

The settlements were both religious and military ; 
the RecoUets and Jesuits, religious orders of the 
Catholic Church, represented the religious element, 
and with a zeal and self-sacrifice worthy any cause, 
those hardy and devoted missionaries penetrated an 
unbroken wilderness thousands of miles in extent, 
cut loose from all the comforts of civilization, and 
braved every fatigue, and danger, and deatli itself, to 
carry the news of the cross to the rude tribes of the 
western wilds. Like their Protestant brethren they 
wished the salvation of souls, but preferred that it 
should come througli the efforts of their own order 
— and Jealousies and rivalries existed from the first 
between the Jesuits and Franciscans, but they both 
labored zealously, and were I'apriciously aided or 
opposed by the civil and military head of the French 

50 History of La Salle County. 

They had labored diligently and with some success 
for several years among the Canadian tribes, when 
the great Iroquois war destroyed or scattered their 
converts; but still undiscouraged, tliey turned further 
west for souls to save. They followed the great 
lakes and established two principal missions, one at 
Saint Maria duSautat the outlet of Lake Superior, 
and the other at La Pointe, called Point De Esprit, 
near the west end of the same lake. Thither came 
the Illinois, Pottawatomies, Foxes, Sioux and other 
western tribes, yearly, to trade with the French. 
A young Jesuit, Jacques Marquette, who came to 
the upper lakes in 1668, heard from the Illinois 
Indians at their visits at La Pointe, of the great river 
of the West, and after the tribes residing near La 
Pointe had been dispersed by an attack of the Sioux, 
the Iroquois of the West, he removed his mission to 
Mackinaw, and from there in 1773, in compan}^ with 
Louis Joliet, appointed by the French Governor for 
that purpose, started to explore the great river of 
which they had heard so much. On the ]7tli of 
June tliey rea(;lied the Mississippi where Prairie du 
Chien now is ; they floated down that river, stopping 
occasionally to confer with the Indians, till they 
reached tlie tnoutli of the Arkansas, and then re- 
turned by th(^ way of the Illinois river to Canada. 
The party of Mai-quette and Joliet were the first 
discoverers of La Salle County, and the first white 
men that ever passed through it. This was in 
September, 1773, tradition says on the IGth of that 

The first settlement within tjie county was made 

FrencJi Explorations and Discoveries. 51 

by Robert Cavalier, known as Louis De La Salle. 
La Salle was born at Rouen, France, in 1643, -was 
educated for a Jesuit priest but abandoned that call- 
ing for the more arduous life of a military explorer. 
Many of the French emigrants at that time were 
persons of distinction. The Abbe Fenelon, a mis- 
sionary at Quinte, on Lake Ontario, was a brother of 
the celebrated Fenelon, Bishop of Cambray ; Dollin 
DeCasson had been a Generyl of Cavahy under the 
great Turene ; and La Salle was not behind his asso- 
ciates in talents or prestige. It seems that some of 
the best talent of France had been attracted to this 
wide tield of enterprise, the American Arcadia, as it 
was then called. 

In 1669, La Salle projected the exploration of the 
great river of the West and was persuaded to unite 
with an expedition sent out by the Jesuits, and La 
Salle, whose feelings toward the Jesuits seem not to 
have been cordial, by a ruse separated from them 
when on Lake Erie. The Jesuits wintered on the 
w^est end of Lake Erie, in the spi-ing went noith and 
explored the upper lakes, and returning to Montreal, 
made the first map of the country. 

La Salle went south, discovering the Ohio, and fol- 
lowed it to the falls, where Louisville now^ is. 

Count Frontenac, the able governor of Canada, 
aided La Salle in building a fort, where Kingston 
now stands, at the outlet of Lake Ontario, which 
La Salle named Fort Frontenac, and made a treaty 
witli the much dreaded Iroquois, preparatory to 
further explorations. 

La Salle at this time doubtless entertained an am- 

52 History of La Salle County. 

bition of no ordinary standard. To control the wealth 
of the far trade ; to establish a chain of posts by the 
lakes and Mississippi to the Gulf, and another by the 
way of the Ohio; to circnniscribe the English colonies 
on the Atlantic, and hold in check the Spaniards on 
the south, while a central French empire should rise 
in the great Yalley of the West, vieing with the most 
noted of ancient or modern times, was a dream 
worthy the genius of a Caesar or Napoleon, and 
must have fired the yoathful mind of La Salle with 
a frenzy for ambitious achievement. In 1674 La 
Salle went to France, strongly endorsed and recom- 
mended to the King by Count Frontenac, He was 
well received, granted a patent of nobility, and 
grant of Fort Frontenac and territory around it — re- 
turning, he spent two years in rebuilding and 
strengthening the fort, making it a proper base for 
future operations, a fulcrum for bolder or broader 

In 1 677 he again sailed for France, and in spite of 
strong opposition, accomplished his object, being em- 
powered to continue his discoveries, to build forts, 
and to occupy, on the same terms he did Fort Fron- 
tenac. With thirty followers he returned to Canada 
in 1778. One of his party was Henri de Tonti, an 
Italian officer who had lost a hand in the Sicilian 
wars. Tonti jiroved an able, trustworthy, and most 
valuable assistant to La Salle. Arrived at Frontenac 
he soon orgniiized his expedition ; with a small ves- 
sel his company reached Niagara the last of No- 
vember, })ut the vessel was wrecki^l, and most of the 
stores lost. A fort was built at Niagara, and the 

French Explorations and Discoveries. oS 

winter spent in biiildino-tlie vessel, called tlie Griffin, 
at a point above the Niagara rapids, siii)posed to be 
Cayuga Creek. 

In the summer of 1679 La Salle and his party in the 
Griffin, a vessel of fort}' tons, set sail on the virgin 
waters of Lake Erie, the first vessel that ever 
floated on its bosom. They followed the chain of 
lakes to Green Bay, where a y)arty that had preceded 
him had collected a load of furs, with which the 
Griffin was loaded and sent back to appease his 
creditors. They coasted around the south end of 
Lake Michigan to the St. Joseph, ascended that 
river to South Bend, cariied their canoes to the Kan- 
kakee, floated down that stream and the Illinois 
to what is now La Salle County, December, 1679, 
explored the site of the great town of the Illinois, 
near the present town of Utica, on the first day of 
January, 1680; established friendly relations with the 
natives ; passed on to where Peoria now is, and built 
a fort called Fort Creveceur. Left Father Hennepin 
to explore the Illinois to its mouth, and to ascend 
the Mississip])!. Left Tonti in command of Fort 
Creveceur, now Peoria, and returned to Fort Fron- 

On his way up the Illinois he surveyed the cliff 
called Starved Rock, and sent orders back to Tonti 
to fortif}'' it, but being deserted by his men and 
having but two companions, he was unable to exe- 
cute the order, and was compelled to accept the 
hospitality of the Illinois Indians at their great 
town called by the French La Yanta : was there at 
the attack by the Iroquois, when the Illinois were 

54 History of La Salle County. 

defeated and the town devastated. Tonti retnrned 
to Green Bay, and there met Hennepin retnrning 
from the Upper Mississippi. On La Salle's arrival 
at jS^iagara he was satisfied the Griffin was lost, and 
also heard of the loss of a transport with supplies 
from France. Still nndismajed, he gathered his 
resources, and on December 21, 1681, started from 
Fort Miami, at the mouth of the St. Joseph, and by 
the way of Chicago river, the Desplaines and Illi- 
nois, he descended the Mississippi to its mouth and 
took formal possession, for the King of France, 
of the country watered by the Mississippi and its 
branches, of the extent of which they then had no 
adequate conception. 

La Salle resolved to make a permanent settlement 
on the head waters of the Illinois ; to gather the 
different tribes about him, making it the centre of 
the fur trade ; and tlien, with aid from France, to 
build a fort at the mouth of the Mississippi, placing 
the interior of the continent under his control. The 
resolve was wortliy the genius of La Salle. With 
his party he returned up the Mississi])pi, being de- 
tained at the Cliicasaw bluffs by sickness, and on 
his recovery continued his journey. 

On his return from tliis journe}^, in December, 
1682, La Salle and Tonti commenced an intrench- 
ment and jmlisade fort, named Fort St. Louis, on 
the cliff" now called Starved Rock, and it was soon 
after occupied by a French garrison, with Tonti 
in command. 

La Salle estimated the Indians in the vicinity of 
tliis foi't at about 4,000 wariiors, or 20,000 souls; 

French Explorations and Discoveries. 55 

but tliis was probably only at certain seasons of the 
year, as this nomadic people go and come as the 
fish, game and wild frnits may serve. 

La Salle designed this fort as the nucleus of a 
permanent settlement, and it was continuously" occu- 
pied by the French till after the year 1700, and 
occasionally till 1720. 

The outline of another fort or outwork is plainly 
seen on the bluff", about half a mile south of Fort 
St. Louis, and near the edge of the prairie. 

This settlement was the first made in the Missis- 
sippi Valley, and La Salle County has the honor of 
being selected as the most important and command- 
ing point in the great West. 

In the meantime, Count Frontenac had been re- 
called, and La Barre represented the French king 
at Quebec. La Barre was an enemy of La Salle. lie 
took possession of Fort Frontenac, and sent an 
officer, Chevalier De Baugis, to take possession of 
Fort St. Louis ; but Tonti and Baugis wisely agreed 
that while one represented the interests of La Salle, 
the otlier should see to the rights of the Government 
at Quebec, and they together jointly commanded 
the colony. 

In the following March, 16S4, they were attacked 
by 600 Iroquois, who besieged the fort for several 
days, but were beaten off with severe loss. 

La Salle sailed for France late in the fall of 1683. 
The brilliant scheme of La Salle found favor at the 
French court. La Forest, La Salle's lieutenant, 
ejected from Frontenac by La Barre, was sent back 
to take possession, in La Salle's name, of that post, 
and also of Fort St. Louis. 

5G History of La Salle County. 

La Salle asked for two vessels with which to make 
his settlement at the mouth of the Mississippi, and 
four were given him — one vessel carried thirty-six 
guns, another six. But the expedition w^as an ill- 
starred one. In an evil hour, Beaugeu, a naval cap- 
tain, was appointed to command the expedition. 

He quarreled with La Salle. One vessel was taken 
by the Spaniards, one was wrecked — the}^ passed the 
mouth of the Mississippi and landed too far west. 
Beaugeu, after landing La Salle and a part of his 
stores, left him to his fate, and sailed for France. 
After erecting a fort, exploring the country, and 
having frequent contests with the Indians, La Salle, 
with a small part}^ started for Canada, through a 
wilderness of 3,000 miles in extent. After days of 
weary marching, his party reached the vicinity of 
Arkansas Post, where the untiring explorer, the 
heroic leader, the man of indomitable coui'age, nerve, 
and pluck, was basely murdered by his men ; they 
shot him through the head, dragged him among the 
bushes, strijiped him of his clothing, and left him 
unburied, a pre}' to buzzards and wolves. Thus fell 
Robert Cavalier De La Salle. Saj^s Tonti — "One 
of the greatest men of his age," and Tonti knew 
him well. 

His plans were magnificent, his ambition un- 
bounded, and his physical powers, zeal, and energy 
equal to either. But he was imperious, stern, un- 
yielding and tyrannical, and to these traits of char- 
acter he owed most of his misfortunes ; and he was 
unfortunate in nearl}^ all his und(n'takings — he could 
inspire respect and fear, but not affection, except 


Indian History. 57 

from those capable of appreciating tlie grandeur and 
lofty bearing of his character. 

He demanded every sacrifice from his men, but 
himself led the way in every labor and every dan- 
ger. The West — the Continent — owes him a debt 
of gratitude. Our county has no ignoble title, and 
it may well honor the hero whose name it bears. 
The Indians and Spaniards soon destroyed the infant 
colony on the gulf, and thus ends the wild and tragic 
tale of the explorers of the Mississippi. Where 
La Salle had ])lowed, others have sown the seed, 
and the dreams of La Salle were realized in the 
establishment for France of a vast, but transient 


The origin of the Indian tribes of North America 
is a matter mostly of conjecture. Their arrival here 
is generally supposed to be comparatively of modern 
date, and the Indians have traditions corroborating 
such an opinion. The Iroquois nation is supposed 
to have preceded the Algonquins, and occupied the 
country from Lake Huron south through Ohio, New 
York, Pennsylvania, to North Carolina. The Al- 
gonquins came in at, a later date and occupied all 
New England and Canada, to the country of the 
Esquimaux on the north, and embraced the Otta- 
was or Algonquins proper, Chip])ewas, Menimonees, 
Pottawatomies, Miamis, Sacs, Foxes, Kickapoos, 
Illinois, and the Powhattan tribes in Virginia, nearly 
surrounding the older Iroquois. 

58 History of La Salle County. 

The traditions of botli these great families of the 
red man say they came from the west and north- 
west, and the Dakotas were called the men of the 
salt water, and the generally received opinion that 
they came from Asia, may or may not be true. All 
the large number of tribes of the Algonquin race 
were manifestly from a common origin, shown by a 
general resemblance of complexion, features and 

The occupancy of the country by the Indians is 
supposed to have been several centuries after its 
abandonment by the mound builders. 


The mini or Illinois confederation of Indians, from 
whom the name of our State and river is derived, 
which name means real or superior men, consisted 
of five tribes — Peorias, Moingwenas, Kaskaskias, 
Tamaroas, and Cahokias. 

Marquette says he found Peorias and Moingwenas 
in three towns west of the Mississippi near the Des 
Moines, and Peorias and Kaskaskias on the Upper 
Illinois. The Tamaroas were on tlie Mississij^pi and 
a tribe called the Michigamis, who seem to have 
been really Quapaws, also belonged to the confed- 
eracy. The Illinois occupied most of what is now 
the State of Illinois, were numerous and brave, ex- 
pert bowmen, but not canoemen. 

They moved off to the plains beyond the Missis- 
sippi for a short summer hunt, and for a winter hunt 
of four or tiv<3 months ; then gathered in towns of 
arbor-like cabins covered with water-proof mats, 

Indian History. 59 

with generally four fires to a cabin, and two families 
to a fire. Allouis, Membre, and other missionaries, 
found the chief Illinois towns on the bottom below 
Utica, containing from 300 to 400 cabins and 8,0(X) 
l^eople. At an early day the Illinois drove the Qua- 
paws, a Dakota tribe which they styled Arkansas, 
from the Ohio to the southern Mississippi. About 
1040 they nearly exterminated the Winnebagoes. 
They were badl}- defeated by the Iroquois in 1679, 
shortly after La Salle reached there, and in the war 
lost 300 to 400 killed and 900 prisoners. But they 
recovered partially, and aided the French against the 
Iroquois in the expeditions of De La Barre and 
Denonville. They were converted by the French mis- 
sionaries, and are said to have been much improved. 

In 1700, Chicago, their great chief, visited France 
and was highly esteemed. His son, of the same 
name, retained the great influence of his father till 
his death in 17i54:. In 1700 the Kaskaskias removed 
from the Upper Illinois to the place that now bears 
their name. The Illinois were continually at war 
with the Foxes from 1712, and suffered severel}'. It 
is said they furnished forces in aid of the French 
commander Yilliers against the frontier settlements 
of Virginia, and captured a small fort in 1756. 

They took no part in Pontiac's war, but when that 
chieftain was killed in one of the towns near where 
St. Louis now is, the Foxes resumed the war and 
were Joined by the neighboring tribes who made a 
common cause against the fading Illinois. It was 
in this war that a defeated partj^ of the Illinois were 
driven on to the site of Fort St. Louis and starved 

60 History of La Salle County. 

to submission, thus naming the cliff. The Illinois 
had for 3'ears been holding the Illinois river as a line 
of defense against the northern Indians, and had a 
chain of posts or fortifications for defending that line; 
one at Marseilles, opposite the rapids, one at the 
month of the Kankakee, and one above Joliet ; the 
remains of that at Marseilles can still be seen. The 
extermination of the war party at Starved Rock is 
supposed to have been the last stand made by the 
Illinois on that line of defense. They abandoned 
their former homes to their northern foes and re- 
treated south. 

They joined the Miamis in the war with the United 
States, and wdth their allies suffered a defeat by 
the forces under General Wayne in August, 1794. 
General Wayne, on the part of the United States, 
concluded a treaty with the Illinois, Aug. 3rd, 1795, 
giving- them an annuity of $500 annually, and Con- 
gress had previously, by Act of March 3rd, 1791, 
secured 350 acres of land to the Kaskaskias, with the 
privilege of selecting 1,280 more. 

General Harrison, in 1803, negotiated a treaty at 
Vincennes, in which their decline is recited and an 
annuity of $1,000 given, and an agreement to build 
a church and maintain a priest. The Peorias were 
not a party to this treaty, but joined in that at Ed- 
wardsville in 1818, Sept. 25thj by Avhich the Illinois 
ceded all their land in the State for $2,000 in goods 
and tw^elve years annuity of $300 per year. In 
1832 they ceded tlieii- reservation and removed 
fintlier west, receiving a large tract and cash to erect 
buildings and purchase agricultural implements. 

Indian History. 61 

In 1854 they were so reduced in numbers that they 
were confederated with the Weas and Pinkeshaws. 
They were located within the limits of the present 
State of Kansas, where they remained till 1867, wlieu 
they were again removed and placed southwest of the 
Quapaws, on a reservation of 72,000 acres. They had 
dwindled in 1872 to fort}' souls. The combined 
tribes of Weas, Pinkeshaws, Peorias and Kaskaskias 
numbered 160. 

Such is the brief record of the once brave and power- 
ful nation of tlie Illini, and such the sad fate of the 
red man when confronted with a civilized people. 
Two hundred years ago they made the present 
county of La Salle their favorite home, and probabl}'- 
the seat of the central power of that confederacy, 
a great and numerous people. Here were the scenes 
of their joys and sorrows, for the savage breast 
throbs with as strong emotion as that of his pale- 
faced brother ; here he liunted tlie buffalo and deer, 
and took his favorite lisli from the rapids of the 
stream. The feathei'ed game spread over the prairies 
and covered the streams. Marquette says, "No- 
where else in all my wanderings have I seen such 
herds of buffalo and deer, such Hocks of turkeys, 
ducks, geese, and grouse, beaver and other game, as 
along the Illinois/' It must have been the paradise 
of the hunter, the Eden of savage life ; a good reason 
why the waning power of the Illini so long waged 
a cruel and relentless war for its possession. 

For here were the graves of his kindred and the 
scenes of his fondest recollections. Here he returned 
from the excitement of the chase to feast with his 

62 History of La Salle County. 

tribe on tlie dainties his location furnished so abun- 
dantly. Here he held his war dance before he went 
out to meet the foe, and here he returned with the 
scalps of his victims dangling at his belt, the proud 
but cruel trophies of his prowess. Here the Indian 
boys and girls gamboled through their youthful 
years, and listened to the thrilling legends of war 
and the chase as told by the braves of the tribe. 

Here, as the setting sun cast its rays along the 
placid bosom of the Illinois, and the soft southern 
breeze rippled its surface, the swarthy young war- 
rior, beneath the shade of the majestic elms, whis- 
pered soft words in the ear of the dark-ej^ed maiden 
— for love, as well with the savage as civilized, is 
the romance of life — the oft-told tale, over which 
none are so old but they delight to linger. 

Tlie dail}^ excitement of the chase, roaming free 
over the broad expanse, ever alive to the beauties 
and wonders which surround him — in these is a fund 
of enjoyment keenly relished b}^ the savage. In 
fact, civilized man is ever enamored of it, and the 
most intelligent and refined embrace ever}^ opportu- 
nity to escape from the restraints and artificial con- 
ventionalities of civilized life, and disport among 
the wild scenes of uncultivated nature. The young 
savage, bi-onght within tli(^ influence of civilization, 
placed in tlic halls ol' learning, ev(>r ja^arns for 
the freoxlom of his native haunts. 

The Sacs, Foxes, Kickapoos and Pottawatomies 
were the principal tribes that benefited by the 
decadence of the Illinois. Whetlier the}'^ were 
actuated simply by a desire for possessing the 

Indian History. 63 

much-coveted home of tlie Illinois, or some other 
2^assioii impelled them to combine against their nn- 
fortunate neighbors, is unknown. Some say the 
Illinois had become a drunken rabble, and excited 
the contempt of the surrounding tribes ; others say 
their arrogance and domineering conduct when at 
the height of their power, kept in remembrance by 
the desire for revenge, which with an Indian never 
dies, caused the combination of those neighboi-s for 
their destruction as soon as the weakening power of 
the Illinois made their opportunity. 


At the beginning of the seventeenth centur}^, the 
Pottawatomies occupied the southern peninsula of 
Michigan, and were hunters and fishers, and culti- 
vated a little maize. The Iroquois drove them 
west, when they settled about Green Bay, and 
gradual!}^ spread over Northern Illinois and Indi- 
ana and Southwestern Michigan ; a mission on the 
St. Joseph being a central point. Like most of 
the Algonquins, they took part with the French 
against the English and the colonies, and were 
hostile to the Americans during the Revolution and 
subsequentl}' ; but after Wayne's defeat of the 
Northwestern Indians, joined in the treaty of Green- 
ville in 1795. 

There were the Wabash and Huron bands, and a 
scattered population called the Pottawatomies of 
the Prairies, who were a mixture of many Algon- 
quin tribes. From 1803 to 1809, the various bands 
sold to the Government, land claimed by them, and 

64 History of La Salle County. 

received money and annuities. Under the influence 
of Tecujuseli, tliey joined the English in 1812, and 
massacred the garrison at Chicago. New treaties 
were made in 1815 and later, by which most of their 
lands were conveyed to the Government. In 1835-37, 
they were removed on to reservations on the Mis- 
souri. The St, Joseph, Wabash and Huron bands 
had made some progress in civilization, and were 
Catholics; while the Pottawatomies of the Prairies 
were still roving and pagan. In 1874, the prairie 
band still in charge of the Government numbered 
467, on a reservation of 17,000 acres, in Jackson 
County, Kansas, nnder the control of the Society of 
Friends, who had established schools and reported 
some progress. 

Shabona was a peace-chief of the Pottawatomies, 
and with his tribe was friendly to our people after 
the defeat of the British and Indians at the battle 
of the Thames, in 1814. 


The Sacs, or Sauks, and Foxes — two allied tribes, 
were also driven by the Iroquois from east of De- 
troit, flrst to Saginaw and then to the vicinity of 
Green Bay ; at flrst friendly to the French, they 
ultimately became hostile, and witli theMaskoutens 
and Kickapoos attackf^d Detroit in 1712. The 
Frencli, aided l)}^ the Menomonees and Chippewas, 
finally, in 1740, drove them on to the Wisconsin 
river. They took no part in Pontiac's war, but be- 
friended the whites. In 1706 they took up their 
abode where Prairie du Cliien now is, and on the 

lad'ian History. 65 

Mississippi below. In tlie American Revolution they 
took sides with the British, and English intiuence 
prevailed after the end of the war. By the treaty 
of November 3, 1804, for s2,00(), and an annuity of 
one thousand, they ceded to the United States on 
the Mississippi and Wisconsin rivers, and on the Illi- 
nois and its branch, the Fox, large tracts of land. 
At this time they were chiefly w^est of the Missis- 
sippi, 140 leagues above St. Louis, and numbered 
1,200. In the war of 1812, three hundred warriors 
joined the British at Maiden, and took part in the 
attack on Sandusky. Keokuk, one of their chiefs, 
with a part of the tribe, remained friendly, then and 
afterward. In 1815 they made a treaty of peace, 
but one band of Sauks long continued to be called 
the British band. They ceded lands in 1824, and 
again in 1830. Black Hawk's opposition to the 
latter cession, which he claimed was a fraud, inau- 
gurated the war in 1831-32 — so well remembered 
by the old settlers here. At its close, they made a 
treaty with Gov. Reynolds and Gen. Scott, at Fort 
Armstrong, ceding land for an annuity of s20,000 
for twenty years. Black Hawk and some of his 
warriors were carried by the Government to Wash- 
ington and to the principal cities of the East, to im- 
press them with a proper idea of the number and 
power of the whites. The Sauks settled on the Des 
Moines, and afterwards on the Osage. In 1872 the 
Sairks and Foxes had ceded their lands in Kansas, 
and numbering 473, were on a reservation of 48,300 
acres, between the north fork of the Canadian, and 
the red fork of the Arkansas. The friendlv Sacs 

66 History of La Salle County. 

and Foxes are reduced to eiglity-eight, occupj'ing 
a reservation in Kansas and Nebraska, while 
another band purchased land at Tama, Iowa, and 
are said to be prosperous. 


The Winnebago tribe of Indians belong to the 
Dakota famil}^. The}^ stjde themselves Hochun- 
gara, are styled by the Sioux Hotanki, or Sturgeon, 
and by the Algonquins Wennibegouk, meaning men 
from the fetid or salt water. They apparently 
formed the van of the eastward Dakota emigration, 
and were the most eastern tribe of that race. They 
were once formidable, and a terror to the Algonquin 

In the early part of the iTtli century a general 
alliance of tribes attacked the Winnebagos ; 500 
warriors perished. The Illinois, wishing to relieve 
them, were ill-treated, and in retaliation, nearly 
exterminated them. They were friendly and iaith- 
ful to the French. They adhered to Tecum seh, and 
aided the British in the Revolution, and were a 
party in the attack on Prairie du Chien, in 1814. 
In 1820 they had fourteen villages on Rock river, 
and five on Winnebago lake. In 1829 they ceded 
land from the Wisconsin to Rock river, for $30,000 
in goods and a tliirty-year annuity of $18,000. In 
Septeml)er, 1832, they ceded all their land south of 
the Wisconsin and Fox rivers foi" a reservation of 
253,000 acres on tlic Mississippi, and !t>1<>J><K) for 
twenty-seven yenis. TIk^ I'eservation was unlit, and 
muf'h siiireiiiiu' and many deaths occurred. Tliey 

Indian History. 67 

were removed to Crow river, and from there to Blue 
Earth, Minnesota. They were hardly settled when 
the Sioux war broke out, in 1859, and Minnesota 
demanded their removal. They were disarmed in 
]863 and removed to Crow creek, Dakota, on the 
Missouri. This place afibrded no means of subsist- 
ence, and was surrounded by wild and hostile In- 
dians. Famine, disease, and the hostile tribes rap- 
idly reduced them to less than two -thirds their num- 
ber when removed. The survivors reached the 
Omaha reservation and appealed for shelter. In 
May, 1866, they were removed to Winnebago, Ne- 
braska, and all improvements begun again. 

Whoever carefully reads the liistor}' of these 
Indians, after they ceded their lands to the United 
States, can but admit that their treatment was sim- 
ply barbarous. Removed from rich lands and good 
hunting-grounds, where they lived in plenty, to 
bleak, cold, barren, inhospitable wastes allotted 
them for reservations, their fate was continual suf- 
fering, disease, and death, and if they found a place 
where living was possible, the cupidity, avarice, or 
fears of the whites at once demanded their removal. 

In 1869 they were assigned to the care of the 
Friends. In 1874 they numbered in Nebraska 
1,445, with farms, cottages, and stock, dressed like 
whites, and had three schools. 

About 1,000 left in Juneau, Adams, and Wood 
counties, Wisconsin, were self-supporting. They 
have been removed to Nebraska, on a reservation, 
but most of them left on an-iving there. 

Besides the earl}' Catholic Mission, later attempts 

History of La Salle County. 

have been made for their conversion by the Catho- 
lics and Presbyterians, but with very indifferent 


The Kickapoo tribe of the great Algonquin family 
were first found by the French missionaries, towards 
the close of the seventeenth centurj^, on the Wis- 
consin. They were friendly to the French, and 
allies of the Miami s, yet they killed Father Gabriel 
de la Rebonrdi, one of La Salle's men. They made 
a prisoner of Father Guignas, and held him in cap- 
tivity for months. In the first part of the eighteenth 
century, their principal location was on Rock river, 
Illinois. When the English came in possession of 
the country, after the peace of 1763, they found a 
village of Kickapoos, of about 200, on the Wabash. 
This town was taken by the United States forces in 
1791, and Gen. Wilkinson burned another of their 
towns in Illinois. In 1812, a Kickapoo town on 
the Illinois was sur})rised, and many killed. 
Treaties of peace were concluded at Fort Harrison 
in 1816, and at Edwardsville in 1SJ9, by which a 
large proportion of their land was ceded to the 
United States. Part of their lands they claimed by 
descent from their ancestors, having been in posses- 
sion for sixty years, and a part b}^ conquest from 
the Illinois nation. 

The Kickapoos were one of the pi'in('i))nl nortlu'rn 
tribes that combined against the Illinois, and waged 
a relentless war for more than half a century. From 
about 1690 to about J 780, with slight intermissions. 

Indian History: G9 

it was continuous. After a short suspension, it was 
renewed with great vigor upon tlie death of Pontiac, 
whicli occurred in 1779, and resulted in the defeated 
Illinois retiring from their line of defense along the 
Illinois river to the south part of the State. 

This Kickapoo history helps to fix some other 
points in the history of the Illinois. 

The Kickapoos w^ere on the Wisconsin in 1690 ; 
on the Rock river in 1720 ; and were allies of 
the Miamis, whose location was in Indiana and 
Ohio. In 1763, they were found on the Wabash, on 
the east line of Illinois. This section they claimed 
the right to cede in tlie treaty of 1819, having in- 
herited it and been in possession over sixt}^ _years. 

In the war which followed the death of Pontiac, 
and in which occurred the events told in the legend 
of Starved Rock, they drove the Illinois south, 
and took possession of the countrj^ south and east of 
the Illinois river, and this country they held by right 
of conquest from the Illinois, as they claimed when 
they ceded it. So their occupancy of this region 
must have commenced about 1780, or soon after, 
and that must be the date of the Illinois retiring 
from this region. 

At the time of the first settlement by the whites, 
the Kickapoos were living on the Sangamon and 
Mackinaw rivers. They had a village at Kickapoo 
Creek, and at Elkhart Grove, and at many other 
points between the Illinois and Wabash. They 
were V)itter enemies of the United States, and were 
foremost in the battles with Harmar, St. Clair, and 
Wayne, and they led in the bloody charge at 

70 History of La Salle County. 

Tippecanoe. Their last attack of the Illinois was 
near Kaskaskia, after the Illinois had retired to the 
south 2:)art of the State. The Illinois children were 
picking straAvberries when the Kickapoos attacked 
them, killed numbers, and took the others captive. 

About tAventy-five miles from Kaskaskia is the 
scene of a great battle between the Kickapoos and 
Pottawatomies on one side, and the Kaskaskias and 
allies on the other, in which there was a terrible 
slaughter of the Kaskaskias and allies. This 
occurred about 1T85 or 1790. 

After being reduced to submission, annuities were 
paid them, and they went on to a reservation on 
the Osage. In 1822, about 2,000 had removed, and 
about 400 remained in Illinois. Missionaries of 
different denominations labored without effect for 
their conversion. Some few settled down to agri- 
culture, but the most rambled off' to hunt and 
plunder. A part of them emigrated to Mexico, 
from whence they made raids over the border. In 
1873, 300 or 400 of them returned, and went on a 
reservation west of the Arkansas river. Those on 
the reservation now number 274. There are forty- 
six children in tlie school ; they have live stock 
valued at $18,000, and produce valued at $12,000 
annually ; tliey dress like tlie whites, and liave 
ceased to be warriors. 


Tlie legend of Staivi^d Hock has by some been 
pronounced a liction, while others have chiimed that 
that event was the destruction of the last remnant of 

Indian History. 71 

the great nation of the Illinois ; both of these state- 
ments are untenable. It was a war party of the 
Illinois Indians, that after a defeat by the combined 
northern tribes, took refuge on the cliff, the Fort 
St. Louis of the French, now called Starved Rock, 
and after a protracted siege were starved into sub- 
mission ; the rock was closely surrounded on all 
sides, and efforts to procure food or water were 
prevented by the determined besiegers. Tradition 
says, that starvation did its work ; that a few sur- 
vivors, in desperation, taking advantage of a dark 
and stormy night, left their fastness, and en- 
countered the foe ; but being few in number and in a 
weakened condition, they were no match for their 
well fed, and numerous enemies, and were soon 
dispatched ; but it is said that in the darkness and 
confusion, a few individuals escaped. 

Such traditional histor}- is very liable to be 
mingled with fiction, so that all the truth on this 
subject will probably never be known ; but of the 
substantial truth of that legend, as stated above, 
there can be no doubt. Gurdon S. Hubbard, who 
resided for years among the Indians, says there was 
no traditional event more certain, and more fully 
believed by the Indians than this. 

The bones of the victims lay scattered about the 
cliff in profusion, after the settlement b}' the whites, 
and are still found mingled plentifully with the soil. 
It is true, there had been warfare around that cliff 
befo]-e. The Iroquois attacked Tonti and were 
badly beaten, but they did not fall on the cliff, nor 
did the French leave their dead unburied. 

72 History of La Salle County. 

After that defeat, tlie Illinois abandoned their de- 
fenses on the line of the Il]inois"river. That line of de- 
fense was an excellent one, as against Indians. The 
Indian always goes to war, if he goes at all, with an 
open place of retreat. Mrs. Simon Crosiar told the 
writer that she remained with her family, at her 
cabin at Shipj)ingport, during most of the Black 
Hawk war, without fear, as she knew the Indian 
well enough to know that he would never put such 
a river as the Illinois between him and his place of 
retreat, and her opinion seemed well founded, as the 
Sauks did not cross that river during the war. The 
date of the siege of Starved Rock is not definitely 
settled ; it was doubtless the last stand made by the 
retiring Illinois on that line of defense. The Foxes 
and other northern tribes had been making war on 
the weakening Illinois for nearh^ a century, and 
after the death of Pontiac, killed in a drunken brawl 
at one of the Illinois villages, for which the Illinois 
were not in fault, the war, renewed and intensified 
by that event, resulted in the expulsion of the 
Illinois from their ancient home on their favorite 
river. Pontiac was killed in 1779, and the siege of 
Starved Rock occurred immediately after, probably 
not later than 1780. The absurd statement, that the 
last remnant of the Illinois nation was starved and 
extinguish«-'d at that time, is sufficiently refuted by 
the record of treaties, made with them by the 
Government for forty years afterward, their removal 
west in 1820, and their existence yet, though only 
a miserable remnant of that once great nation, like 
the fiickering light of a lamp with the oil exhausted 
that must soon be forever extingiiished. 

Early Explorations. 73 


After the F'rench abandoned their posts here, 
which was about 1Y20, they still occupied posts 
north at Mackinaw and Green Bay, but their piin- 
cipal settlement was at Detroit, commenced in 1701, 
and they visited this locality occasionally for the 
purpose of trading. But the country was virtually 
left to the natives after the treaty of Paris, in 1768, 
by which the country was ceded to England. The 
British flag was hoisted over old Fort Chartres, in 
what is now Monroe Count}^, Illinois, the seat of the 
Michigami tribe of Illinois Indians, in 1765. Inl7T9 
it was taken from the English, by Col. Clark, for 
the United States, and became a part of Virginia. 
In 1784 Virginia ceded all the Northwest Territory to 
the United States, and in 1787 Congress adopted the 
ordinance for the government of that territory, con- 
secrating it to freedom. 

The first account of a visit to this county by an 
American citizen may be found in Imlay's America. 
It is a Journal by Patrick Kennedy, of an expedition, 
with several French courieurs debois., from Kaskas- 
kia to the head of the Illinois river, in search of a 
copper mine. 

They left Kaskaskia July 23d, 1773, one hundred 
years after Marquette passed up the same river. 
He gives a flattering description of the countr^^ ; says 
the land is exceedingly rich, the timber tall and 
heavy (bottom timber probably), and the deer and 
buft'alo x>lenty. They passed the mouth of the San- 
gamon ri\'er on the 4th of August, and reached 


74 History of La Salle County. 

Peoria Lake on the 7tli ; found the French stock- 
ade fort burned, but some of the houses stand- 
ing ; passed the Yermillion on the 9th — found the 
water too shallow for his boat at the rapids, and 
went by land from there ; passed the Fox on the 
10th of August ; went some forty-five miles further, 
and returned without finding the copper mine. They 
fell in with a party of French, who brought them in 
their canoes to where they had left their boat. On 
the way down the}^ met^a Frenchman hj the name 
of Jennette, who aided them in their search for the 
mine, but the party returned to Kaskaskia not hav- 
ing been within several hundred miles of the copper 
mines so famed in both ancient and modern times. 
Their meeting with Frenclimen shows that the French 
still hunted and traded here, and were virtually yet 
in possession of the country. Fort Dearborn, at 
Chicago, was built and occupied in 1804. 

A topographical survey of the Northwest was 
made by Maj. Stephen H. Long, United States Topo- 
graphical Engineer, in 1817. Fort Clark, at Peoria, 
was then just being occupied b}^ United States troops, 
and Fort Dearborn, at Chicago, liad been rebuilt 
the year pi-evious, having been unoccupied since its 
destruction and massacre of its garrison in 1812. 
Maj. Long, in his report, refers to the national im- 
portance of our canal, and of the comparative facility 
of opening a canal almost made b}" nature. 


About the year 1816 the American Fur Company 
establislied ])0sts for trading with the Indians ; one 

Early Explorations. 7o 

at the mouth of Bureau creek, on the south side of 
tlie river ; one tliree miles below Peoria, on the west 
side, and one below; six to ten in the interior, 
between the Illinois and Wabash ; and three or four 
on Rock river. 

Gurdon S. Hubbard, of Chicago, has kindly fur- 
nished the facts in relation to these posts. Mr. 
Hubbard came from Vermont in the employ. of the 
company, in 1818, when only sixteen years of age. 
After being here one 3'ear, he was made supervising 
agent of the compan}^, going from post to post, dis- 
tributing supplies and taking away the furs bought 
of the Indians. These posts were continued till the 
influx of the whites, and change of location of the 
Indians, destroyed the business. That occurred 
from 1826 to 1833. 

Mr. Hubbard says there were posts in what is now 
La Salle County, that were fitted out from Chicago 
by John Baptiste, Beaubien, John Kinzie, and John 
Crofts. Mr. Hubbard found no white people but 
his agents between the Illinois and the Wabash. 
These posts remained in the heart of the Indian 
countr}', entirely unprotected, with perfect safety. 
The Indians no doubt regarded them as great acqui- 

The agents of the American Fui- Company were 
spread across the continent, and fortunes were rap- 
idly made. John Jacob Astor took all the stock of 
the American Fur Company, and its large profits 
went mainly to swell his colossal fortune. 

76 History of La Salle County. 


Mr. Eli Hodgson, of Farm Ridge, has furnislied 
the facts for the following narrative of a trip through 
this region by his father, Joel Hodgson, in 1821, two 
years before the firet wliite settler came in. Joel 
Hodgson was not an early settler here, but he settled 
in 1828 in Tazewell County, with a large famil}^ 
Four of his sons and his widow removed to Farm 
Ridge, in this county, in 1853. Two of them, Aaron 
and Eli Hodgson, large farmers and stock breeders, 
are now residents here, and the narrative is worthy 
a place in our pioneer historj^ 

In the autumn of 1821 a number of families of 
Clinton County, Ohio, proposed to emigrate to a 
western location, in sufficient numbers to support a 
school, church, etc., and deputed Joel Hodgson and 
another person to explore the then wild and unoc- 
cupied Northwest, and select a location for tlie 
colony. His colleague having been taken sick, Mr. 
Hodgson resolutely started alone, on horseback. 
He equipped himself with a good horse, saddle and 
bridle, a packing wajiello well filled with dried 
beef, crackers, and hard-tack ; his other equij)ments > 
were the best map he could then get of the western 
territories, a ])0('ket compass, fiint and steel and 
punk-wood, with which to kindle a fire, as matches 
were not then known. He carried no weapon, often 
remarking that an honest face was the best weapon 
among civilized oi" savage men. 

After safely crossing tlip State of Indiana, tlien a 
wilderness, he entered Illinois where Danville now 

Early Explorations. 11 

is, where lie found a small settlement and some 
friends. Here he made a short stay, and then took 
a northwest course, to strike the Illinois river, his 
map and compass his only guide. 

He put up, usually, where night found him. 
Striking a lire with his flint, steel, and punk, 
wrapped in his blanket, and with the broad earth 
for a bed, he slept soundly. He stated that his 
horse became ver}^ cowardly, so that he would 
scarcely crop the grass, which w^as his only suste- 
nance ; he would keep close by his master, follow- 
ing him wherever he went, and sleeping at night hj 
his side, and would not leave him at any time. 
With no roads but an occasional Indian trail, 
til rough high grass and bushes, over the broad, 
limitless prairie, or along the timber belts, occasion- 
ally meriting a party of Indians, with whom he con- 
versed only by signs, it is not surprising that horse 
or rider should be lonely, suspicious, and fearful. 
The Indians were friendl}', offering to pilot him 
wherever he washed to go, but were importunate for 
tobacco and whisky — in vain, liowever, for he carried 

He reached the Illinois, he supposed, just below 
the mouth of the Kankakee, and followed down on 
the south side, till he reached the mouth of Fox 
river, and recognized it on his map — the flrst time 
he had been certain of his locality since he left Dan- 

He explored each of the southern branches of the 
Illinois for several miles from their mouths, going 
up one side, and down the other. He thus worked 

78 History of La Salle Cotmty. 

his way to Dillon's Grrove, in Tazewell Connty ; 
there, as he expected, he met a few settlers, old 
neighbors of his, from Ohio, the first white men he 
had seen since leaving Danville. He then returned 
by the way of Springfield and Vandalia to Danville, 
where he made a claim on Government land, which 
he afterward;^ purchased. He returned to Ohio and 
reported that he found no suitable location for the 
proposed colony. Some might think it rather sin- 
gular that a man of his resolution, and sound judg- 
ment, should pass through the best part of the State 
of Illinois — the best portion of the West, and as 
good a country as the sun shines on, and then make 
such report ; but those who saw it as he saw it, can 
properly appreciate his decision, and the fact that 
he made such a decision, is significant of tlie im- 
measurable difference betwen then and now. Sur- 
rounded by the solitude, wliich even his horse felt 
so keenly, he was not in a mood to take in the full 
value of a prairie farm, and the prairie region was 
not then understood ; there was supposed to be an 
almost fatal deficiency of timber, and the coal fields 
were hid in the bowels of the earth. The prairie 
was supposed to be so cold and bleak in winter as 
to be uninhabitable, and that not more tlian a tenth 
of the country could ever be utilized. The railroads 
which now connect us with either ocean, and the 
telegraph that annihilates distance, and converses 
with all the world, were neither of them invented. 
The slower mail and post coach had not then 
crossed the 2)rairie region, and the pufling steamer 
had never reac^hed the Upper Illinois. There was no 


Early Explorations. 79 

civilization here. Tlie deer, the wolf, and the In- 
dian, held a divided empire, and to the solitary- 
traveler it seemed that generations must pass before 
this immense solitude could be made vocal with the 
converse and business of a civilized people. Even 
of those who came ten years later, many were of 
that opinion, and for several years later still, never 
expected to live to see the large prairies occupied. 
Our explorer eventually changed his opinion, for in 
1828 he purchased a farm in Tazewell County, and 
removed there three years later, having, in the au- 
tumn of 1828, taken a trip through the country, 
similar to that in 1821, when some few settlements 
and more experience softened the aspect of the then 
changing wilderness, and convinced him of the fea- 
sibility of settling the prairie region. He remained 
on his purchase, near Pekin, till his death, in the 
autumn of 1836, leaving a widow and nine children. 
The eldest son, Isaac, settled at Long Point, Liv- 
ingston County, in 18-34, twelve miles from the near- 
est neighbor, and in 1848 moved to South Ottawa, 
where he died in 1851. In 1853, four more of the 
brothers — Eli, Aaron, Abner, and Isaiah, settled 
in Farm Ridge, and soon after, their mother, the 
widow of Joel Hodgson, removed there, where she 
died in 1875. Eli and Aaron only survive, each 
with large families. 

80 History of La Salle County. 


The first permanent settlement made in the county, 
was at Ottawa and vicinity. Its geographical loca- 
tion,its topographical and geological features marked 
that as a central and important point, even to the 
most suj)erficial observer. Dr. Davidson was the 
first white man, after the French, who settled In the 
county ; he came in the summer of 1823 ; Jesse 
Walker came in the fall of 1824, for the purpose of 
establishing a mission among the Pottawatomie 
Indians ; Enos Pembroke, Thomas R. Covell, Lewis 
Bailey, George and Joseph Brown, Col. Saj'^ers, and 
Edward Weed, came in 1825 ; David Walker, James 
Walker, and Simon Crosiar, came in 1826 ; George E. 
Walker in 1827. Nearly all of these located on the 
bluff, in what is now South Ottawa. These, and 
perhaps two or three others, constituted the pioneer 
force, the infant colony, tliat occupied La Salle 
County in 1827, wlien the Winnebago war broke 
out and struck terror to all the frontier settlements. 
The scene of the outbreak was some distance away, 
but the intervening territory was a desert waste, or 
occupied by Indians, on whom no reliance could be 
placed. Immediatel}^ on hearing of the outbreak 
the little colony constructed a fort, and made the 
best possil)l(' preparation for defense. 

The fort was a small palisade, back from the bluff 
in South Oftawa, far (Plough fi-om the timber to pre- 
vent the enemy attacking under its cover, and com- 
manding a supply of water. The marks of the fort 

First Settlement — Winiiehago War. 81 

can still be seen on the farm of Colonel Hitt, soutli- 
westerl}^ from his residence. 

In the war of 1312, the Northwestern Indians 
mostly took part with the British, hut joined in the 
treat}^ of peace, and remained friendly and peaceable 
up to the summer of 1827. That summer the Win- 
nebago tribe became turbulent, and without any 
apparent cause (except those petty frauds and 
wrongs constantly perpetrated by unprincipled fron 
tiers men) seemed disposed to take the war path. 

Capt. Allen Lindsley, with two keel boats, while 
trading on the Upper Mississippi, discovered evident 
signs of hostile intent in the demeanor of the Winne- 
bagoes, armed his men, and prepared for the worst. 
While descending the river, at a point a few miles 
above Prairie du Chien and oy^posite the village of 
thattribe, he wasfired upon, and his boats surrounded 
by the Indian canoes in an attempt to board. He 
effectively returned the lire, beat off their boarders, 
and passed on down the river ; he had two men 
killed, and some other slight casualties, while the 
Indians were handled rather roughly. 

Such an outbreak at that time, of course, sent a 
thrill of terror through all the infant settlements. 
There were then, perhaps, 2,000 settlers in the 
mining region, and along the Mississippi, and a few 
scattering pioneers along the Illinois river, then the 
extreme northern limit of the frontier settlements. 

The country was full of Indians, of different 
tribes, apparently friendly, but the proverbial 
treachery of whose character was well understood. 
The confederation of the tribes for the destruction 

82 History of La Salle County. 

of the whites, under Tecumseh and Pontiac, was 
well remembered, and such an act of hostility might 
be imagined as but the prelude to a general war. 

The following statement, by Gurdon S. Hubbard, 
extracted from the seventh volume of the Wisconsin 
Historical Collections, casts much light on the rela- 
tions of the Pottawatomie Indians, as well as giving 
a lucid account of the Winnebago war in 1827, 

Mr. Hubbard says: "It is a mistake that the 
young warriors of tlie Pottawatomies designed at- 
tem^Dting to capture Fort Dearborn in 1832. No 
such design was ever contemplated ; had there been 
I should have certainly known it. The Pottawato- 
mies were then friendly. Their chief, Shaubanee, was 
very industrious, riding day and night, giving infor- 
mation to frontier settlers and protecting them, when 
in his power, sending nine of his young men to Gen- 
Atkinson, who remained in the arm}^, as aids to our 
troops. I was in Gen. Atkinson's campaign from 
the time he left the Illinois river, serving sixty days, 
and personally conversant with every movement. 

"The statement referred to might apply to the 
Winnebago war of 1S27, but not to the troubles of 
1832. Then such an expedition was contemplated 
by Big Foot's band, whose village was at Geneva 
Lake, then known as Big Foot's Lake. Big Foot 
circulated secretly the war wampum to the Potta- 
watomies while here receiving their annuities, but it 
was not accepted by their (;hiefs and braves. It was 
kept so secret tliat not a white man knew about it. 

"The iirst intelligence we had hereof the massacre 
on the Upper Mississippi, in 1827, was brought by 

First Settlement — Winnebago War. 83 

Gen. Cass, who at the time was at Green. Bay for the 
purpose of holding a treaty. 

''Tlie moment the General received the news of the 
hostile proceedings of the Winnebagoes he started 
in a light birch-bark canoe, descended the Wisconsin 
and Mississippi to Jefferson Barracks, where he pre- 
vailed on the commanding officer to take the respon- 
sibility of chart<n'ing a steamer and sending troops 
up the Mississippi. The expedition left the morn- 
ing after Gen. Cass arrived there, he accompanying 
the party as far as the mouth of the Illinois river, 
which he ascended, and came here to Chicago in his 
light canoe. I was taking breakfast at Mr. John 
Kinzie' s when we hea rd the Canadian boat song. Mr. 
Kinzie remarked that the leader's voice was 'like 
Forsyth's,' secretary to Gen. Cass. We all rushed 
to the piazza ; the canoe, propelled by thirteen voy- 
ageurs, was coming rapidly down the river in full 
view — a beautiful sight. 

" We hastened to the V)ank, receiving Gen. Cass and 
Forsyth, the latter a nephew of Mr. Kinzie. 

"While eating their breakfast they gave us full 
particulars of what had transpired. Gen. Cass re- 
mained probably two hours, and left, coasting Lake 
Michigan. Big Foot's band had lingered here sev- 
eral days after the other Indians had left. During 
this time the fort, then evacuated, was struck by 
lightning. The barracks on the east side, the store- 
house at the south gate, and part of the guard-house 
at the south gate, burned down. It wa^at the time 
blowing and raining furiously. 

"I was sleeping with Robert Kinzie. United States 

84 History of La Salle County. 

Postmaster, in his father's house. We put on our 
clothes, ran to the river, and found our canoe filled 
with water; we could make no headway with it. 
We then swam the river and aided in extinguishing 
the fire. 

' ' We received no aid from the Indians of Big Foot' s 
band. We thought it strange at the time, and they 
decamped in the morning. Tlie news by Gen. Cass 
made us suspect Big Foot. That same da}^ we sent 
Shaubanee and Billy Caldwell to Big Foot's village 
as spies, to ascertain what the Indians' intentions 

"Caldwell secreted himself in the woods, sending 
Shaubanee into the camp. He was immediately 
seized, but by his presence of mind and shrewdness 
got liberated. He was escorted by Big Foot's In- 
dians for half a day, Shaubanee giving a signal as 
they passed near where Caldwell was, so that he 
and Caldwell did not return together, Caldwell 
reaching here about two hours later. Sliaubanee 
reported that he was questioned as to tlie quantity 
of guns and ammunition the traders had here, which 
led him to think an attack was contemplated. Big 
Foot admitted he had Joined the AVinnebagoes to 
drive the whites from the country, urging Shaubanee 
to act with him, who replied that he would go home, 
call a council of his braves and send an answi^r. 
Tl)(>re wei-e here at Clii('ago only about thii-ty whites 
able to bear arms. 

'•A counuil was called, which resulted in a resolu- 
tion to send two or three to the Wabash for aid. 
Three volunteers were called for this purpose, but 

Organization of La Salle Count ij. 85 

no one seemed willing to go. I volunteered to go 
alone, Mrs. Helm, who was here at the massacre of 
1812, objecting, on tlie ground that I was the only 
one Avho had sufficient influence to command the 
voyageurs, in case of attack, but it was finally de- 
cided that I should go. 

" I started about four o'clock p. m., and reached 
Danville the next afternoon, one hundred and twenty 
miles. Runners were immediatelj^ despatched 
through the settlements, and the second day one 
hundred mounted volunteers reyjorted, and we left 
for Cliicago, reaching there the seventh day after 
my leaving the fort. These volunteers remained, T 
think, about twenty-five days, when we received the 
news that the troops from Jefferson Barracks had 
reached the Upper Mississippi. The Winnebagoes, 
surprised at their arrival, got together and con- 
cluded a peace with the commanding officer."' 


At the time settlements commenced in La Salle 
County, the territory was a part of Peoria County. 
Previous to the organization of Peoiia County the 
territory was a part of Sangamon County. Thus, 
each new count}^ formed on the northei-n frontier 
of the settled portion of the State, embraced nil the 
territory north of it to the State line, as the settle- 
ment of the State commenced at the south, and pro- 
gressed north. 

The first election in what is now La Salle County 
was held at the house of John Green, in August, 


86 History of La Salle County. \ 

1830, It was for Fox River Precinct of Peoria 

In the winter of 1830-31 the legislature organized 
the county of La Salle, and an election was held the 
following spring, at Ottawa, for county officers. The 
boundaries of the county included Ranges 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 
and 6. from the south line of Tov\'nship 29, now the 
south line of the town of Groveland, to the north line 
of the State, being thirty-six miles wide, and over one 
hundred miles long — about the size of some of the 
smaller States. 

At the first election held at Ottawa. March 7th, 

1831, George E. Walker was chosen Sheriff; John 
Green, Abraham Trumbo, and James B. Campbell, 
County Commissioners ; and David Walker, County 

The count}'' was divided into three precincts. 
Ranges 1 and 2 constituted Vermillion Precinct ; 
Ranges 3 and 4 Ottawa Precinct ; and Ranges o and 
6 Eastern Precinct. Each precinct ran north to the 
State line. 

A court was held the following summer on the 
south side of the river, as that was then the town. 
Judge Young presided. The grand jury held a ses- 
sion, a petit jury were summoned, but no present- 
ments were made, nor trials had. It is said the 
court was held under a large tree, on the bottoms 
south of the river. The grand jury met in a room 
of David Walker's liouse, and the petit jury, not 
being impanneled, were not confined to any locality. 

Judge Young complimented the county upon its 
moral character, in having no indictments presented. 

Organization of La Salle County. 87 

It seems that the first indictments ever presented 
by the grand jury in La Salle County, were for sell- 
ing whisky without a license, and if the past may 
be regarded as the ti'uthful index of the future, and 
hiiman nature remains as now, the last indictments 
wliich precede the final consummation of all earthly 
things, may be for the same offense. 

After the fright from the Winnebago outbreak 
had subsided, emigrants came in quite freely. 

The first settlements were made along the edge 
of the best timber. Tlie impression was, that only 
the timber belts could ever be inhabited ; the 
prairies were thought to be too cold in winter, and 
uninhabitable for want of timber. Thus the main 
attraction was the best groves, and farms with 
timber and prairie adjoining were first selected, and 
none other as long as such could be found. After 
Ottawa, the first settlements were at Bailey's Grove, 
(now Tonica) in 1825 to 1828 ; at Dayton and Kut- 
land by Green' s party, in 1829, and others in 1830-31. 
At that time the only white man between there and 
Galena was John Dixon, the first and then the o\\\j 
settler where Dixon now is. There was only one 
white man between there and Peoria, on the river, 
that was Mr. Hartsell, an Indian trader, at Henne- 
pin. John Hays settled at Peru ; Lapsley, at La 
Salle ; Myers, Letts, and Ricliey, on the bluff south 
of Peru — all in 1830. James Galloway had settled 
opposite Marseilles in 1825. Troy Grove received 
its first settler in 1830, but only three families till 
1833 ; Indian Creek, in 1830 ; and the first on the 
Vermillion, was in 1831. Martin Reynolds came to 

88 History of La Salle County. 

Deer Park in 1829, and Elsa Armstrong in 3831. 
Charles Brown and the Ho^abooms came in 1830, 
These, with a few others, were the whole popula- 
tion of La Salle County in 1831-32, when the Black 
Hawk war broke over the defenseless colony. The 
settlements in the county were located at Ottawa 
and vicinit}^, nearly all south of the rirer, extend- 
ing to Covell creek, and to Brown's Point below. 
At Dayton and Rutland, on both sides of the Fox, 
and on the Illinois at or near the Grand Rapids, 
there might have been fifty persons; four or five 
families on Indian creek ; four or five at La Salle 
and Peru and the bluff" opposite ; a like number 
at Bailey's Grove, and two or three each on the 
Upper Vermillion, and in what is now the town of 
Deer Park — a feeble and scattered people, on the 
extreme borders of civilization, but illy prepared to 
meet the shock of savage warfare. 

The outbreak in the spring of 1831, when Black 
Hawk crossed the Mississippi, near Rock Island, 
and drove the settlers from their claims, alarmed 
the whole frontier. The timid left the country, and 
immigration ceased. The difficulty was temporarily 
settled, but there was a feverish anxiety among the 
people; and when, in the spring of 1S32, the Sauks, 
under Black Hawk, took the war-path in earnest, 
many precipitately left, decreasing the means of 
defense, and weakening the already feeble colony. 

The winter of 1830-31 was a very severe one ; the 
snow was of unusual d(i])th, and traveling across 
the country almost impossible. The water of the 
Illinois river, at the time of the spring ffoods, was 

Black Hawk War. 89 

from two to three feet higher than it has been 


Black Hawk, the chief of wliat was called the 
British band of tlie Sauks, who made war on the 
settlements in 1831, and again in 1882, although 
an ardent friend of the Britisli, and a bitter enemy 
of tlie United States, was, from all accounts an 
amiable savage. He was now an old man ; he had 
been a warrior from his youth, and it is said he had 
never been defeated. He had served with the 
British, and was a friend of Tecumseh, in common 
with nearly all the prominent chiefs at that day. He 
is said to have been a kind husband and father, 
honest, and truthful, affectionate and sympathetic. 

It was his custom to spend one day each year by 
the grave of a favorite daugliter, who was buried on 
the banks of the Mississippi near Oquawka. 

The trouble with Black Hawk originated as far 
back as 1804. A treaty was made b}- his tribe, 
selling most of their lands east of the Mississippi. 
This treaty, and several subsequent ones in 1815. 
181G and 1830, Black Hawk said, were frauds ; that 
in 1804 some of their tribe were arrested and tried in 
St. Louis for murder, and some of the chiefs went 
down to assist them on the trial : that they got 
drunk and did not know what they did, but when 
they came home said they had sold some land, and 
were decked out with Indian finery, which was all 
they received for the land. 

90 History of La Salle County. 

In 1831, Black Hawk and most of liis tribe resided 
west of the Mississippi. Some settlers had bought 
of the Government, the land in the vicinity of what 
had been their principal town on the east side, just 
below Rock Island. Black Hawk ordered them 
away, and upon their not going, destroyed their im- 
provements, and threatened to make war. General 
Gaines, with a few companies of United States sol- 
diers, was sent to the scene of trouble, and seven hun- 
dred mounted volunteers from Illinois were called 
out. Black Hawk retreated across the Mississippi, 
and finally sued for peace, which was concluded by 
his ceding the disputed land. Yet, in the spring of 
1832 he again crossed the Mississippi, notwithstand- 
ing his agreement, and made vindictive war on the 
frontier settlements. His bitter feelings toward the 
United States, and the wasting of his tribe, encroach- 
ment of the whites, and prospect of extinction, 
exasperated the old man's feelings and he made war, 
doubtless in desperation. 

Governor Reynolds called out about 2,200 volun- 
teers, who were equipped, and ordered to the scene 
of the outbreak, under the command of General 
Whiteside, of the State militia. 

They went b}' the way of Oquawka on the Miss- 
issippi, to Rock river, and rendezvoused at Dixon. 
The army here found two battalions of mounted 
volunteers from the counties of McLean, Tazewell, 
Peoria and Fulton, commanded by majors Stillman 
and Bailey. These forces asked for some dangerous 
service in wliich they might distinguish themselves. 
Tiiey were ordered up the river to feel the enemy, 

Blacli Hawk War. 91 

and learn his location and strength. Stillman's 
command left on the 12th of May. AVhen they came 
to Old Man's Creek, since called Stillman's Run, 
they discovered a few Indians on horseback, and the 
men, Avithout orders or commander, at once pursued, 
overtook and killed three Indians, but soon en- 
countered Black Hawk with some seven hundred 
warriors and of course changed front, and tried the 
speed of their chargers in the opposite direction. 
When they reached camp, the whole battalion 
caught the panic and made at once for Dixon where 
the army was encam])ed. Stillman lost eleven men. 
and was deemed fortunate in losing so few. 

The whole force was now anxious to be discharged. 
It seems their time of service had about expired, and 
real fighting proving anything but holiday sport, 
they refused to serve longer. They were marched 
first to Stillman's battle ground, and then by the 
way of Paw Paw Grove, and Indian Creek to 
Ottawa, where they were discharged by Governor 
Reynolds on the 27th and 28th of May. " 

Stillman's defeat and the discharge of the forces 
])laced the frontier settlements at the mercy of the 
foe. The Indians scattered in small parties to the 
nearest settlements, and nearly all the lives of the 
settlers that were taken during the war, were taken 
soon after, and all the casualties followed, as the 
result of that defeat. Fifteen at Indian Creek ; 
Paine, the Dunkard preacher, killed north of Mar- 
seilles ; Schermerhorn and Hazleton, east of Fox 
river ; young Baresford on Indian creek ; one on 
Bureau creek, and one at BuH'alo Grove, were the 

92 History of La Salle County. 

victims. It seems tliat La Salle Coiinty suffered 
far more than all others. 

After the discharge of the forces at Ottawa, Col. 
Fry made a s^Deech to the discharged men, telling 
them it was a shame for them to go home and leave 
these defenseless families to certain death, and call- 
ing for volunteers to serve till other forces could be 
raised and placed in the field. To this appeal a 
portion promptly responded. 

Out of the discharged men, a regiment of volun- 
ters was raised. Jacob Yvj was elected Colonel : 
James D. Henry, Lieut. -Colonel, and John Thomas, 
Major. Whiteside, late commanding general, en- 
listed as a private. The several companies of this 
regiment were so disposed as to best guard the 

On the 15th of June, the new levies had been mus- 
tered in, and were formed in three brigades, the 
whole force amounting to 3,200 men. There were 
fears that the Winnebagoes and Pottawatomies would 
join the Sauks, and a lai-ge force was called out, 
as well to overawe them, as to cope with "the enem}^ 
already in the ileld. The Indians at this time had 
possession of nearl^y the whole country from Chicago 
to Galena, and from the Illinois river to Wisconsin ; 
they lurked in nearly every grove, but the settlers 
had taken refuge in places of safet}^, and no more 
casualties occurred. 

TIh^ army was comiuanded by General Atkinson 
of the regular army. On the 22d of June, the forces 
were organized on the Illinois river at Fort AVilburn, 
near where Peru now is. Tliej' lirst marched to 

Blacl;: Hawk War. 93 

The movenient of these troops north relieved the 
appreliension of the settlers, who soon returned to 
their farms ; the Indians were pursued steadily, 
and after ]'e])eated skirmishes were utterly defeated 
at the battle of Bad Axe, on the Mississippi, in Wis- 
consin, August, 1832. Black Hawk was taken pris- 
oner with the prophet, by tlie f liendly Winnebagoes, 
probably by treachery . 

They were taken to St. Louis, where a treaty was 
made, such as the Government saw fit to dictate ; 
from there they were taken to Washington City, 
where they had an interview with President Jackson, 
and Black Hawk said to the President: "I am a 
man, you ai'e another. We did not expect to con- 
quei- the white people ; I took up the hatchet to re- 
venge injuHes which could no longer be borne ; had 
I borne them longer, ni}^ people would have said, 
' Black Hawk is a squaw, he is too old to be a chief. 
He is no Sac' This caused me to raise the war- 

He was sent to Fortress Monroe where he became 
much attached to Colonel Eustace, the commander. 
On parting. Black Hawk said, "The memory of 
your friendship will remain until the Great Spirit 
says it is time for Black Hawk to sing his death- 
song. " After visiting the principal cities, in June, 
1833, he was returned to his ti'ibe, west of the great 
river. He lived till the 3rd of October, 1840, when 
he died at the age of 80 years, and was buried on 
the banks of tlie river where he had spent most of 
liis life. 

General Scott had been ordered from the East to 

94 History of La Salle County. 

take command in tliis war. In eighteen days he 
transported a regular force from Fortress Monroe to 
Chicago ; on their way up the lakes they were 
dreadfulh" afflicted with Asiatic cholera, then a new 
and strange disease. It broke out among the troops 
when at Detroit. Of two hundred landed fortj^ 
miles from Detroit, only nine survived. The main 
body came on. under General Scott, to Chicago. 
The disease again broke out Avhen at Mackinaw, 
and continued after their arrival at Chicago, and 
within tliirty days, ninety more were carried to 
their graves. The cholera detained Scott and his 
troops at Chicago about a month, and he reached 
the Mississippi at Rock Island, in August, 18H2, but 
after the decisive battle at Bad Axe, consequently 
took no part in the fight. 

The defeat of Stillman, on Rock river, enabled 
Black Hawk, who had hitherto held his warriors 
together, to resist an expected attack from the forces 
under Whiteside, being now relieved from immedi- 
ate appreiiension, to send detached parties to attack 
the frontier settlements. As soon as Shabona was 
informed of the situation, he hastened to inform the 
settlers at the points exj)Osed, that they were liable 
to be surprised at any time ; it was on the loth or 
16th of May that Shabona visited the Indian Creek 

Mr. Hall started with his family for Ottawa, but 
was persuaded b}^ Davis to stop with him, so that 
Hall, Davis, and Petigrew, with their families and 
some liired hands, were all stopping with Davis. 
Davis was a Kf^ntnckian, a large and powerful man. 

Black Hawk War. 95 

and said to be of decided courage. He left his place 
and went to Ottau^a for safety in the spring of 1831, 
and is said to have been taunted by some people as 
wanting in courage ; and as the settlements were not 
disturbed in 1831, he said lie would risk the Indians 
rather than again be taunted witli cowardice by the 
Ottawa people. 

The}" were attacked by seventy or eighty Indians 
on the afternoon of the 20th of May, 1832. Fifteen 
were killed, and two girls, Sylvia Hall, aged seven- 
teen, and Rachel Hall, aged fifteen, were taken pris- 
oners ; the others escaped to Ottawa. The details 
will best be told by those who witnessed them. The 
following statement, made by John W. Hall, and 
also one made by Sylvia Horn, and Rachel Miinson, 
the two prisoners taken by the Indians, are inserted 
as the most reliable : 


Nemaha. County, Nebraska, Sept., 18G7. 

I, John W. Hall, being requested by uij^ sisters, Sylvia Horu and 
Rachel Munson, to state what I recollect of the massacre of my 
father's famil}' and others, and captivitj'- of my two sisters, in May, 
1832, most gladly comply with their request. The lapse of thirty- 
five years has made my memory rather dim, but there are some 
things, which I will relate, which I remember most distinctly, and 
shall as long as I have a being. 

It was in 1832, and, as near as I can recollect, about the loth or 
16th day of Maj', that old Shaboua, chief of the Potowatomies, 
notified my father and others that the Sac and Fox Indians would 
probably make a raid on the settlement where we lived, and mur- 
der us, and destroy our property, and advised him to leave that part 
of the country for a place of safetj'. But Indian rumors were so 
common, and some of our neighbors did not sufficiently credit this 
old Indian, and we were advised to collect as many together as 

96 History of La Salle County. 

possible, and stand our ground and defend ourselves against the 

So, after hiding all our heavy property, and loading the re- 
mainder and the famil}' on to the wagon, we started for Ottawa, 
meeting Mr. Davis, who had been at Ottawa the day before, and 
had learned that a company had gone out in a northerly direction 
to learn of the Indian movements, and would report on their re- 
turn in case of danger. My father was prevailed on by Davis to 
abandon his retreat, and stop at Davis' house, where Mr. Petigrew 
and family, Mr. Howard and son, John H. Henderson and two 
hired men of Davis', Robert Norris and Henry George, were all 

On (he 20lh day of May, myself and dear father were at work 
under a shed adjoining a blacksmith shop, on the west side next to 
the dwelling house. ]Mr. Davis and Norris were at work in ihe shop, 
Heurj' George and William Davis, Jr., were at work on a mill-dam, 
a little south of the shop. It, being a ver}' warm day, in the after- 
noon some one brought a bucket of water from the spring to the 
shop, and we all went into the shop to rest a few minutes and 
quench our thirst. At this time John H. Henderson, Edward and 
Greenbury Hall, Howard and son, and two of Davis' sons, were in 
the field on the south si<le of the creek in full view, and about half 
a mile from the house, planting corn ; and while we were resting in 
the shop we heard a scream at the liouse. I said: " There are the 
Indians now I " and jumped out of the door, it being on the opposite 
side from the house, and the others followed as fast as they could, 
and, as we turned the corner of the shop, discovered the door- 
yard full of Indians. I next saw the Indians jerk Mr. Petigrew's 
child, four or five years old, taking it by the feet and dashing its 
liead against a stump. I saw Mr. Petigrew, and heard two guns 
seemingly in the house, and then the tomahawk soon ended the 
cries of those in the house, and immediately they fired about 
twenty shots at our party of five, but neither of us was hurt that I 
know of. 

Their next motion was to pour some powder down their guns, and 
drop a bullet out of their mouths and raise their guns and fire. 
This time I heard a short sentence of prayer to mj' right, and a little 
behind. On turning that way, I .saw my dear fatlicr on the ground, 
shot in the left breast, and dying, and, on looking around, I saw 
the last of the company were gone or were going. The Indians 

Black Hawk War. 97 

had jumped the fence and were making towards me. Mr. Davis 
was running in a northeast direction toward the timber ; he looked 
back, and said, " Take care; " he had his gun in his hand. 

I at this time discovered quite a number of the Indians on horse- 
back, in the edge of the woods, as though tliey were guarding the 
house to prevent any escape. Then it flashed into my mind that I 
would try to save myself. I thinli there were sixty to eighty In- 
dians. I immediately turned toward the creek, whicli was fifteen 
or twenty steps from where I stood. Tlie Indians were at this time 
within a few paces of me, with their guns in hand, under full 
charge. I jumped down the banlv of the creek, about twelve feet 
high, which considerably' stunned me. At this moment the third 
volley was fired, the balls passing over my head, killing Norris and 
George, who were ahead of me, and who had crossed the creek to 
the opposite shore. One fell in the water, the other on the opposite 
bank. I then passed as swiftly as possible down the stream, on 
the side next the Indians, the bank hiding me from their view. I 
passed down about two miles, when I crossed and started for Ot- 
tawa, through the prairie, and overtook Mr. Henderson, who 
started ahead of me, and we went together till we got within four 
miles of Ottawa, where we fell in with Mr. Howard and son, three 
sons of Mr. Davis, and my two brothers, all of whom were in the 
field referred to, except one of !Mr. Davis' sons, wlio was with us 
in the shop when the alarm was given, and who immediately left 
when he heard the cry of Indians. We all went to Otfciwa together 
and gave the alarm. 

During the night we raised a company, and with them started in 
the morning for the dreadful scene of slaughter. On the way we 
met some of Stillman's defeated troops, they having camped within 
four miles uf where the Indians passed the night, after they had 
killed my dear friends. They refused to go back with us, and help 
bury the dead, but passed on to Ottawa. We went on to the place 
where the massncre took place, and oh I what a sight pre.sented 

There were some with their liearts cut out, and others cut and 
lacerated in too shocking a manner to mention, or behold without 
shuddering. We buried them all in great haste, in one grave, 
without coffins or anything of the kind, there to remain till Ga- 
briel's trump shall call to life the sleeping dead. 

We then returned to Ottawa, and organized a company out of a 

98 History of La Salle County. 

few citizens and Stillman's defeated troop?, into which compan}^ I 
enlisted, and the next day were on the line of march, in pursuit of 
the savages, and if possible, to get possession of my two eldest 
sisters, who were missing, and who, we were satisfied, had been 
carried away by the Indians, from signs found on their trail. We 
went as far as Rock river, when our provisions failed, and we re- 
turned to Ottawa for, and laid in, provisions for a second trip. I 
found that Gen. Atkinson had made propositions to the Winnebago 
Indians, through the agent, Mr. Gratiot, to purchase my sisters, as 
we were fearful if we approached the Indians, they would kill 
them, to prevent their capture. We then started the second time, 
and proceeded to Rock river, where we fell in with a company of 
volunteers, under Gen. Dodge, when we learned that the friendly 
Indians had succeeded in obtaining my sisters, and that they were 
at White Oak Springs. 1 went with a company of regulars to Ga- 
lena, and obtaining a furlough, went to White Oak Springs, where 
I found mj^ sisters, and returned with them to Galena. 

(Signed) J. W. Hall. 

The remainder of the narrative of J. W. Hall is 
omitted, as it is substantially embraced in that of 
the Misses Hull, which follows. 

Statement made by the former Misses Hall, now 
Mrs. Horrk and Mrs. Munson, in presence of, and b}^ 
request of, their husbands, of the massacre of their 
family and others, on the 20th of May, 1832, on In- 
dian creek, in La Salle Countj^^, and of their captivity 
and rescue from the Indians : 


In the afternoon of the 20th of May, 1832, we were ahirmed by 
Indians rushing suddenly into the room where we were staying.' 
The house was situated on the north bank of Indian creek. Here 
lived our father, William Hall, aged 45; our mother, aged 45; and 
six children — John W., aged 2;5; Edward H., aged 21; Grcenbury, 
aged 10; Sylvia, aged J7; Hachel, aged 15; and Elizabeth, aged 8. 
The house lielonged to William Davis, whose family consisted of 
nine in all ; Mr. Petigrcw, wife and two children. These fami- 

Black HaicJt War. 99 

lies were staying together for the better protection of each other 
from the Indians. John H. Henderson, Henry George, and Robert 
Norris, were also stopping at the same house. 

Henderson, Alexander, and Wm. Davis, Jr., Edward and Green- 
bury Hall, and Allen Howard, were in the field, about 100 rods 
south of the house. Wm. Hall, "Wm. Davis, John W. Hall, and 
Norris and George, were in a blacksmith shop, sixtj^ or eighty 
steps from the house, down the creek, near the bank, and near the 
north end of a mill-dam, which was being built. Petigrew, who 
was in the house, with a child in his arms, when the Indians came 
to the door, sprang to shut the door, but failed to do it. He was 
shot, and fell in the house. Mrs. Petigrew had her arms around 
Rachel when she was shot, the powder flying in Rachel's face. We 
were trying to hide, but could find no place to get to. We were on the 
bed, when the Indians caught us, took us out into the yard, and tak- 
ing us by the arms, hurried us away as fast as possible, and while go- 
ing we saw an Indian take Petigrew's child by the feet and dash its 
head against a stump ; and Davis' little boy was shot by an Indian, 
two other Indians holding the boy by each hand. AVe passed on to 
the creek, about eighty steps, when they dragged Rachel into the 
creek and half way across, when they came back ; then thej'' got us 
together and hurried us up the creek, on the north side, being the 
same side the house was on, to where the Indians had left their 
horses, about one and a half miles from the house. Here we found 
the Indians had father's horses, and some belonging to the neigh- 
bors, tied up with their ponies. We were mounted each on a pony, 
with an Indian saddle, and placed near the centre of the proces- 
sion, each of our ponies being led, and receiving occasionnlly a 
lash of the whip from some one behind. We supposed there were 
about forty warriors, there being no squaws, in this party. 

We traveled till late in the night, when the party halted about 
two hours, the Indians danced a little, holding their ponies by the 
bridle. We rested on some blankets and were permitted to sit 
together ; then we were remounted and traveled in the .same 
order until one or two o'clock next da}', when they halted again 
near some bushes not far from a grove of timber on onr right. 
Before we stopped, Rachel made signs that she was tired, and 
thej- took her off and let her walk, and while walking she was 
forced to wade a stream about three feet deep. Here we rested 
about two hours while the ponies picked a little grass, and some 

100 History of La Salle County. 

beans were scalded by the Indians and some acorns masted. The 
Indians ate heartily, and we tried, but could not, as we expected to 
fare as our friends liad, or worse. After resting we were packed up 
as usual, smd traveled awhile, when some of the Indians left us 
for some time; when the}' returned we were hurried on at a rapid 
rate for some live miles, while the Indians that were following had 
their spears drawn and we supposed the i)arty when absent had seen 
some whites, and that if we were overtaken they would destroy us. 
After about an hour they slackened their speed, and rode on as usual 
till near sundown, when the whole party halted for the night, and 
having built a fire they required us to burn some tobacco and corn 
meal which was placed in our hands, which we did, not knowing 
why we did so, except to obej^ them. We supposed it was to show 
that the}' had been successful in their undertaking. 

They then prepared supper, consisting of dried meat sliced, coflee 
boiled in a copper kettle, corn pounded and made into a kind of 
soup. They gave us some in wooden bowls with wooden ladles; we 
took some but did not relish it. After supper they held a dance, 
and after that we were conducted to a tent or wigwam, and as<iaaw 
placed on each side of us, where we remained during the night, 
sleeping what we could, which was very little. The Indians 
kept stirring all night. In the morning, breakfast the same as 
supper ; that over, they cleared off a piece of ground about 
ninety feel in circumference and placed a pole about twentj'- 
five feet high in the centre and fifteen or twenty spears set up around 
the pole; on the top of the spears were placed the scalps of our mur- 
dered friends ; father's, mother's and Mrs. Petigrew's Avere recog- 
nized by us. There were also two or three hearts placed on separate 
spears. The scjuaws, under the direction of the warriors, as we sup- 
posed from their jabbering, painted one side of our faces black and 
the other red, and seated us on our blankets near the pole, just leav- 
ing room enough for the Indians to pass between us and the pole ; 
then the warriors commenced to dance around us, with their spears 
in their hands, and occasionally sticking them in the ground; and 
now we expected at every round tliesi)ears would be thrust through 
us, and our troubles be brought to an end. But no hostile demon- 
stration wa.s made toward us, and after they had continued their 
dance about half an hour oc more, two old squaws led us away to 
one of the wigwams and washed the paint ofl' our faces as well 
as they could. Tiien the whole camp struck tents, and started 
north, while tlie whole earth seemed to be alivo with Indians. 


Black Ha irk War. lol 

This being the third day of our suffering, wc were very much 
exhausted, and still we must obey our savage masters, and now 
while traveling we were separated from each other during 1 raveling 
hours, under charge of two squaws to each of us, being permitted 
to stay together when not on the march, under the direction of 
our four squaws. 

We now traveled slowly over rough barren prairies until near 
sundown, when we camped again, being left with our four squaws 
with whom we were always in company, day or night, tliey sleeping 
on each side of us during the night. 

The warriors held another dance, but nor around us Here we 
had all the maple sugar we desired, and the Indians made as good 
accommodations for us as they could. 

About this time our dresses were changed. The one furnished 
Rachel was red aud white calico, ruffled around the bottom. 
Sylvia's was blue. They tried to g( t us to throw away our shoes, 
and put on moccasins, which we would not do. They also threw 
away Rachel's comb, and she went and got it again, and kept it. 
"Wo then traveled and camped about as usual till the seventh day, 
when the Indians came and took Sylvia on to the side of a hill 
about forty rods away, where they seemed to have been holding a 
council. One of the Indians said that Sylvia must go with an old 
Indian, who we afterward^ learned was the chief of the Winne- 
bagoes, and was called White Crow, and was blind in one eye ; and 
that Rachel must remain with the Indians she had been with. 
Sylvia said she could not go unless Rachel went too. White 
Crow then got up and made a long and loud speech, aud seemed 
very much in earnest. After he had concluded, an Indian, who 
called himself Whirling Thunder, went and brought Rachel to 
where Sylvia was, and the chiefs shook hands together, and horses 
were brought, and switches cut to whip them with, and we were 
both mounted, when one of the Sauk Indians stepped up to Rachel 
and with a large knife cut a lock of hair off of her head over 
the right ear, and another from off the back of her head, and told 
White Crow he woidd have her back in three or four days. Another 
one cut a lock of hair from the front part of Sylvia's head. Then 
we started, and rode at a rapid rate until the next morning near 
daylight, when we haltedat the encampment of the Wiunebagoes. A 
bed was prepared on a low scalVold with blankets and furs, aud we 
lay down till after daylight. After breakfast the whole encamp- 

102 History of La Salle County. 

ment packed up, and placed us with themselves in canoes, and we 
traveled all day until near)}' sundown by water, and camped on the 
bank of the stream, the name of which we never knew, neither 
can we tell whether we traveled up or down. 

On the morninu of the ninth day we had breakfast ver^^ early, 
after which White Crow went round to each wigwam as far as we 
could see, and stood at the op-ning, holding a gourd with pebbles 
in it, shaking it and occasionally talking as if lecturing ; then went 
off and was gone all day. He came back at night, and for the first 
time spoke to us in Eaglish, and asked if father or mother were 
alive, and whether we had any brothers or sisters. We told him 
we thought not, for we supposed they were all killed. When he 
heard this he looked very sorry, and shook his head, and then in- 
formed us that he was going to take us home in the morning. 

Next morning, being the tenth daj'. White Crow went through 
the same performance as on the morning of the previous day. Then 
twenty-six of the Winnebagos went with us into the canoes, and 
crossed over the stream, swimming their horses by the side of the 
canoes. On the other shore all were mounted on the ponies, and 
traveled all day through w'et land, sloughs, and brush. At night 
we came to where there were two or three families encamped. 
They expressed great joy at seeing us. Here we encamped for the 
night — White Crow and Whirling Thunder with us. We had 
pickled pork, potatoes, coflfee, and bread fur us and the two chiefs, 
which we relished better than anything we had had since our captiv- 
ity. We la}' down on the bed prepared for us, and White Crow came 
and sat down by our bed and commenced smoking, and continued 
there smoking his pipe most of the time till morning, never going to 
sleep, as we believe. Next morning had breakfast same as supper ; 
the Indian families bade us good bye, and the same company of 
twenty-six Indians, as the day before, started with us, and we 
traveled over land that seemed to be higher than that traveled the 
day before. About ten a. m., we came to some old tracks of a wagon, 
and here for the first time we began to have some hopes that the 
Indians were going to convey us home, as they said they would do ; 
and as we passed on we began to see more and more signs of civiliza- 
tion. About three o'clock we stopped and had some dinner — 
broiled venison and l)oiled ducks' eggs, and if they had not been 
boiled so soon the young ducks would have made their appearance. 
But the Indians would never starve if they could get young ducks 
boiled in the shell. 

Black Hawk War. 103 

We then traveled on till near the fort, at the Blue Mounds. 
White Crow then took Rachel's white handkerchief, or that had 
once been white, and raised it for a flag, on a pole, rode on about 
half a mile, and halted, and the Indians formed a ring around us, 
and White Crow went on and met the agent for the Winnebagoes, 
Mr. Henry Gratiot, with a company of volunteers, and returned to 
where we were. AVhite Crow then delivered us over to the care of 
the agent, and we went with him and the soldiers to the fort. To 
our great joy, we found two of our uncles, Edward Hall, and 
Reason Hall, in the company. We remained here one day and two 
nights, and were supplied with a change of clothing. It was now 
about the first of June. We started, in company with the same 
twenty-six Indians, and a company of soldiers, with the Indian 
agent, Mr. Gratiot, for Gratiot's Grove, where we remained over 
night. Next morning, AVhite Crow made a speech, in which he 
referred to the incidents of our rescue ; he also proi)osed to give 
each of us a Sauk Squaw, for a servant, during life, which we 
declined, telling him we did not desire to wrong the squaws. Here 
we parted with the Indians, who bid final adieu, and with the 
troops, we went on to White Oak Springs ; here we remained three 
or four days, and here our dear brother, J. W. Hall, whom we 
supposed murdered, met us. We remained here two or three 
weeks, and the merchants and others, who seemed to take a great 
interest in us, furnished the materials for some clothing, which we 
made up, preparatory to passing decently through the country, and 
we regret not being able to recollect the names of those kind 
friends, as a testimony of their kindness in our distressed con- 
dition. May the blessings of Heaven rest upon them all. From 
this place we went with Brother John W., and Uncle Edward Hall, 
to Galena ; here we stayed some days, at the house of Mr. Bells, 
with whom we had some acquaintance. While here, we received 
rations from the army. We also found kind friends in abundance, 
and donations in clothing, and other things, and needed nothing to 
make us comfortable as possible under such circumstances. All 
those friends have our thanks. We went by boat from Galena to 
St. Louis, where we stopped with Gov. Clark, and received every 
attention and kindness from him and his family. Here we re- 
ceived many presents, and through the influence of Gov. Clark, 
four hundred and seventy dollars were raised for our benefit, to be 
laid out in land, and intrusted to the care of Rev. R. Horn, of Cass 

101 Hist or I I of La Salle County. 

County, Illinois, which was done at our request. We also received 
smaller amounts to pay our expenses up the river, homeward. We 
cau only express our thanks to these kind friends for their gene- 
rosity. In company with hrother John W., and uncle Edward 
Hall, who had been WMth us since we left, the Blue Mounds, we took 
a boat up the Illinois river, to Beardstown, and out five miles east, 
to our uncle, Robert Scott, where we remained about two months, 
when brother John W. Hall took us to Brown County, where we 
remained till March, 1833, when Rachel was married to William 
Munson, and settled near the scene of her parents' tragic fate, in 
La Salle County; and in Maj^ 1833, Sylvia was married to William 
S. HDrn, and removed to Cass County, Illinois. 

This statement is made at the home of Sylvia, in Nebraska, 
where Rachel and her husband are visiting, and committed to 
writing by Mr. Horn, Sylvia's husband, the seventh day of Sep- 
tember, 1867. 

(Signed) Sylvia Horn. 

Rachel Munson. 

It will be observed by the reader, that Mrs. Horn 
and Mrs. Manson, in their narrative, give a simple 
statement of the facts almost entirely without com- 
ment, or a recital of their own emotions during the 
terrible ordeal through which they passed. Perhaps 
they were wise in doing so. No language could 
convey any adequate idea of what their mental suf- 
fering must have been in witnessing the more than 
tragic death of their family and friends — and of the 
fearful uncertainty that for days hung over their 
own destiny, held as they were helplessly in the 
power of those whose hands were still red with the 
blood of their kindred. They might well suppose 
that the sympat iiizliig reader could better know what 
their sufferings must have been than they could 
describe them. 

It is but Justice to say, that they were very kindly 

Black Hawk War. 105 

treated, and made as comfortable as their savage 
captors had the means of doing, but tlieir sufferings 
from the terrible scenes they had witnessed, the 
sight of the still green scalps of their beloved parents, 
and their fearful forebodings of the unknown future, 
could be but slightly compensated by any such 

The foregoing statement of John W. Hall and his 
captive sisters, gives the manner of the death of 
but seven of the number that were slain. It is 
probably all that is really known, as John W. was 
really the last that left the scene ; he and a son of 
Davis were the only ones that escaped from where 
the men were at work. 

None escajoed alive from the house but the captive 
girls. Davis' son who escaped, left at the first alarm, 
and doubtless knew nothing of what followed. 
Many statements regarding it have been made, some 
with apparent probability. One is, that Davis was 
last seen with a naked gun barrel in his hand, in a 
hand-to-hand conflict with the Indians, and dealing- 
heavy blows right and left among the large number 
surrounding him; of this, no one then present has tes- 
tified ; but he was last seen with liis gun in his hand 
running toward the timber, and the fact that liis gun 
barrel was found divested of the stock and badly 
bent, leaves little doubt that it met with some se- 
vere usage in the struggle. It may be the Indians 
destroyed it, not being able to carry it awa}^ It is 
said he killed three Indians, which may or may not 
be true ; there were no signs of an}' dead Indians 
found, but as they were not pursued, they would of 


106 History of La Salle County. 

course, as is their custom, take away all tlieir killed 
and wounded, if there were any. Davis was a pow- 
erful man, and something of a pugilist, and doubt- 
less would fight desperately if he had a chance, but 
against so large a number of enemies his chances 
single-handed were small, and the probability is, he 
did not attempt it. 

The Government and all parties showed a com- 
mendable sympathy and prompt effort to rescue 
the cajDtives. The Government paid about $2,000, 
mostly in ponies, for their ransom. 


For some days after the massacre at Indian creek 
the settlers stayed close in the forts at Ottawa and 
Fort Wilburn at Peru. But as no Indians were 
seen, they cautiously ventured to take more libert}'^ ; 
and as the scouts sent out discovered no signs of the 
enemy, tliey grew more bold, with the result nar- 
rated below. The settlers, who had hurriedl}^ left 
their homes when the alarm was first given, were 
anxious to recover some stock and other property 
left, provided it had escaped the notice of the In- 

For this purpose an expedition was organized at 
Ottawa, accompanied b}^ a company of soldiers, to 
visit Holderman's Grove and points along Fox 
river. The soldiers, and others who were on the 
south side of the river, went by the way of Brown's 
Ford, and up the east side of the Fox, while a Mr. 
Schermerhorn and Ids son-in-law, Hazleton, wlio 

Black Hawk War. 1()7 

were on the north side of the Illinois, went by the 
way of Dayton, and, crossing the Fox at that point, 
expected to meet the expedition on the road east of 
Dayton, but made the point about a mile behind 
them. They followed on, and in passing round the 
field near where Wm.Dunnavan now lives, discovered 
a part}^ of Indians, and turned and fled toward 
Ottawa. A soldier, who had fallen behind his com- 
rades, met them at the south side of the field, and 
also fled, pursued by about a dozen Indians. The 
Indians did not fire on them, probably from fear of 
alarming the soldiers, but threw their spears, one 
passing just under and another just over his horse's 
neck, barely missing the soldier, who escaped to 
Ottawa and gave the alarm. Schermerhorn and 
Hazleton were both killed and scalped, and their 
horses taken. From the place where the soldier left 
them, the track of the wagon circled to the right to- 
ward the timber (where David Grove now lives), the 
tracks of the Indians' ponies being south of the 
wagon track. The wagon was found against a tree 
on the edge of the ravine, nearly north of Mi-. 
Grove's house. The tree is still standing. Scher- 
merhorn' s body was lying by the fore- wheels of the 
wagon, and Hazleton' s twenty-five or thirty rods 
below, on the north bank of the ravine ; he appears 
to have fled after Schermerhorn was killed, and 
been overtaken or shot where found. A small scalp 
was taken from the head of Hazleton, but Schermer- 
horn, being nearly bald, was flayed to the neck. 

The same day, Capt. James McFadden, who was 
commander of a company of home guards organized 

108 History of La Salle County. 

in Ottawa, James Baresford, and Ezekiel and Daniel 
Warren, were on the south side of the Indian creek 
timber, picking strawberries. They had been thus 
engaged for some time, when the Warrens remarked 
that tlie}^ were too near tlie bushes tliat skirted the 
timber, as Indians might be concealed there, and 
mounted their horses and rode off. 

The others remained a short time, and had just 
mounted their horses when they were fired on by 
about a dozen Indians, doubtless the same that 
killed Schermerhorn and Hazleton. Baresford was 
killed and McFadden shot through the ancle, the 
same ball passing through the body of his horse, but 
the faithful animal carried him beyond the reach 
of the Indian rifles, and then fell. The Warrens 
came to his assistance, and one of them dismounted 
and gave the wounded man his horse, with the 
agreement that if the Indians pursued, and were 
likely to overtake the one on foot, Warren should 
have the horse and McFadden should jdeld his 
scalp to the foe. There have always been men in 
the world wlio, if placed in the position of McFad- 
den, and the Indians had pursued, would have hes- 
itated as to fulfilling that agreement. But the In- 
dians did not pursue, and the three escaped. Other 
versions of McFadden' s escape are given, but all 
agree in the main facts of tlie unfortunate aft'air. 

Adam Paine, a Duiikard preacher, who had 
labored occasionally among the Indians, left Chicago 
to go to Ottawa, and beloAv. He was advised that 
he run a desperate risk, as the country was in the 
possession of hostile Indians, who would likely take 

Black Hawk War. 109 

his scalp. But lie tliought the Indians would re- 
spect him, on account of his acquaintance and 
labors among them. He wore a very long and full 
beard, then a great curiosity. All that is known of 
his journey is, that his head was found, stuck upon 
a pole, by tlie roadside, and liis body was found and 
buried, by a company of Indiana militia, on the 
prairie between Holderman's Grove and Marseilles. 
These were the only casualties from the Indians, 
after the massacre at Indian Creek. 


The close of the Black Hawk war, in the summer 
of 1832, found the settlers in embarrassed circum- 
stances. In the north part of the county the crops 
had been destroyed by the Indians, and all the farms 
had necessarily been neglected, while the owners 
were in the army, or seeking shelter in the fort. 
Still, some raised tolerable crops, and there was no 
suffering. In 1833, as it was understood that the 
Indian troubles were fully settled, emigrants came 
in quite rapidly. The demand for provisions of all 
kinds, and for everything raised by the settlers, was 
fully equal to the supply, and for some articles, in 
excess, the deficienc}^ being supplied by the boats 
in the river trade. Prices were high, as they always 
are where the demand exceeds the supply, and were 
everywhere becoming inflated, as the speculative 
times of 1835-6-7 were approached. 

The farmers of Illinois have never seen more pros 
perous times than the settlers enjoyed from the close 
of the Black Hawk war to 1837 — ^that is, those who 

110 History of La Salle County. 

had farms under improvement, and produce to sell, 
while those who were making improvements had to 
buy at such price as the older settlers saw fit to ask. 
Wheat was about two dollars per bushel ; corn and 
oats, one dollar to one dollar and a half ; though the 
prices varied in different neighborhoods, as the pro- 
portion of old or new comers preponderated. 

All new comers were consumers, and not pro- 
ducers, for the first year or two, unless they bought 
an improved farm, and that reduced their depend- 
ence upon the funds they brought with them, to one 
year's living expenses. But a poor man could 
always find employment, and if he arrived here 
without money he could get provisions for his family 
and pay in labor, as labor was the great need of the 
countr}^ He could buy anything the country con- 
tained with labor. Building houses, stables, pens, 
and yards, making rails, fencing, and breaking- 
prairie, called for stout and willing hands. A 
good worker was a great acquisition, but a drone 
had no place among the hardy pioneers. 

There are many subjects connected with the occu- 
pancy and settlement of a new country not con- 
tained in the narrative of passing events. The next 
few pages will be occupied with miscellaneous 
articles of personal narrative ; biography of the 
Indian chief, Shabona, the friend of the whites ; and 
usages and customs of tlie pioneers. 


Most of the eai'ly settlers remember the large and 
manly foim of Sliabona, the old Indian chief, who 

Black Hawk War. Ill 

spent the last few years of his life in this vicinity, 
and often visited Ottawa and other parts of the 
county. He was a chief of the Pottawatomie In- 
dians, who lived in the vicinity, and was well known 
to the early settlers. His kindness and friendship 
for the whites, and the timely warning he gave them 
to escape from the murderous fury of Black Hawk 
and his tribe, has endeared his memory to the early 
pioneers and their descendants. And it is but fitting 
that the history that perpetuates the memory of the 
whites of that da}^, should carry with it some brief 
recollection of their Indian friend. 

Shabona was physically a noble specimen of his 
race — over six feet in height, and large in ]3ropor- 
tion ; erect, and commanding in his bearing, he at 
once inspired respect. 

He had been a distinguished warrior, but evidently 
was disj)Osed to the more quiet pursuits of peace. 
He was honest, truthful, and trustworthy, and ex- 
hibited most of the virtues, and few of the vices of 
the red man, when brought in contact with civiliza- 
tion. He was of the Ottawa tribe, and was born on 
the banks of the Ottawa river, in Canada, about 

The Ottawas were the leading tribe of the great 
Algonquin family, which embraces the Winne- 
bagoes, Chippewas, Pottawatomies, etc., who liad a 
common origin and similar language. 

When quite a young man, Shabona emigrated 
with a jiortion of his tribe to Michigan ; was a 
friend and companion of the great Tecumseh, and 
was his aid, and was fighting by his side when that 

112 History of La Salle County. 

great warrior was killed at the battle of the Thames, 
in 1813. Shabona said, when Tecumseh fell he 
looked about and saw the British all running, the 
Indians all running, and then he ran too. From 
that time he forsook the alliance of the British, 
and became the friend of the United States. 

All of the Algonquin tribes were under French 
influence, and took sides with them in all their 
wars with Great Britain and her colonies, and 
when the French possessions, by the treaty of ] 763, 
passed into the hands of Great Britain, they mostly 
took sides with Great Britain against the United 
States, and their defeat at the battle of the 
Thames partially, at least, separated the North- 
western Indians from British influence. 

Shabona became peace-chief of the Pottawato- 
mies, from which tribe he is said to have procured 
his wife. He opposed Black Hawk's proposed 
war on the whites, and prevented the Pottawato- 
mies from joining the Sauks ; and when he found 
the war inevitable he lost no time in warning the 
settlers of La Salle and adjoining counties of their 
danger, and thus saved many valuable lives. The 
settlers at Indian Creek were warned by Shabona 
in ample time to have reached a place of safety, 
but Ids advice was unheeded, and they paid the 
penalty witli tlieir lives. 

He eftectiiall}^ aided the whites in that contest, 
and in consideration of iiis services the Government 
reserved a tract of land for liis use at Shabona' s 
Grove, in what is now De Kalb County, and gave 
him a pension of $200. 

Black Hawk War . 113 

In 1887, when the last of his tribe removed on to 
a reservation west of the Mississippi, Shabona went 
with them, but was not satisfied, and returned with 
his family — children and grandchildren, thirty per- 
sons in all — on to his reservation. At the solicita- 
tion of his tribe, he again went West ; but his 
residence there was an unquiet one. His favorite 
son was killed in a difficulty with some of the 
Sauks. who had a reservation iti the vicinity. The 
difficulty is said to have grown out of the aid Sha- 
bona rendered the whites in the Black Hawk war, 
which was remembered by the Sauks, in true Indian 

With his family he returned to Illinois in 1855, 
and remained till his death, in 1859, aged eighty- 
four years. 

During Shabona' s absence some speculators rep- 
resented to the Government that he had aban- 
doned his reservation, and it was sold. He felt 
hurt at this injustice, and said: "Shabona has 
nothing now." George E. "Walker, an old friend of 
his, and his companion in the Black Hawk war, 
said to him : ' ' Shabona, while I have a bed and a 
crust you shall share them with me ; " and Shabona 
always made Walker's house his home, when in 
Ottawa. The citizens of Ottawa raised b}' subscrip- 
tion an amount sufficient to purchase twenty acres 
of land near Seneca, in Grundy County, and erected 
comfortable buildings on the same, where Shabona 
and his family lived till his death, in 1859. His 
wife, who was enormously fleshy, weighing about 
400 pounds, was drowned in Mazon creek, Xov. 

114 History of La Salle County. 

30tli, 1864, aged eiglity-six years. Slie was born 
where Chicago uow is, about 1778. 

The persistent friendship of the old Indian for 
the whites, under injustice from the Government, 
shows strongly the firmness of the Indian character ; 
while their hates are bitter, vindictive, and crueU 
their love and gratitude are equally lasting. 

The story of Shabona is a severe commentary on 
the barbarism of civilized man, who would sweep 
the red man from existence, and who say there are 
no friendly Indians but dead ones. That vindictive 
cruelt}^ which characterizes the savage under real or 
fancied provocation, still actuates, with increased 
intensity, those pretended sharers of our boasted 
Christian civilization who would strike with re- 
morseless effect a fallen race, and extinguish at a 
blow the sad and melancholy remnant of a once 
powerful people, brought to the verge of extinc- 
tion by the diseases, vices and wrongs of a pre- 
tended Christian people. 

AVilliam Hickling, one of the early settlers of 
Ottawa, now of Chicago, has shown the writer a 
certificate of character given to Shabona in 1816, by 
Billy Caldwell, a half-breed chief of the Pottawato- 
mies. Shabona had carried it many years carefully 
enclosed in a piece of buckskin, which exhibited 
unmistakable signs of long use. About a year before 
his death he gave it to his friend, Mr. Hickling, that 
it might be ))reserved. A verbatim copy is here 
inserted. Billy Caldwell was liberally educated by 
the Jesuits at Detroit. Mr. Hickling thinks the 
autograph attached to the certifi(;ate in his posses- 
sion, the only on*; of Caldwell's in existence. 

Black Haick War. 115 


This is to certify, that the bearer of this — name Chamblee — 
was a faithful companion to me during the late war with the United 

Tlie bearer joining the Late celebrated "Warrior, Tecumseh, of 
the Shawnee nation, in the year 1807, on the Wabash river, and 
remained with the above Warrior from the commencement of the 
hostilities with U. S. untill our defeat at Moravian town, on the 
Thames, 5th October, 1813. 

I also have been witness to his intrepidity and courageous war- 
rior on many occasions & showed a great deal of humanity to those 
unfortunates of Mars who fell into his hands. 

Amherstsburg, 1st August, 1816. B. Caldwell, 

Captain I. D. 

The name Chamblee is the French way of writing 
Shabona's name — nearly every writer spells it dif- 
ferently, bnt each means the same person. 

Amherstsburg is Fort Maiden, at the mouth of 
the Detroit river. 

Captain I. D. means Captain Indian Department. 

Caldwell held his commission from the British 
Government, and it is said he was the son of a 
British officer. 

The following statement is by Wm. Hickling, an 
old resident of Ottawa : 

hicklixg' s statement. 

I have heard the late Geo. E. Walker, of Ottawa, 111. , and also 
the old Ottawa chief, Shaboua, say that at the time the troubles 
commenced, in 1832, between Black Hawk's band of Sauks and 
Foxes and the United States, a number of the young Pottawato- 
mie braves were desirous of taking the war-path and joining 
Black Hawk in his foray on the frontier settlements of Illinois ; and 
that they were onlj^ prevented from doing so by the active exertions 
and great influence of Billy Caldwell, Robinson, and Shabona, 
then the principal chiefs of the united Pottawatomies and Oltawas. 

116 History of La Salle County. 

A small number of the young braves did actuall}' join Black Hawk. 
These were supposed to haVe been related by blood and marriage 
with theSauks. Two of them, young men, brothers, were accused 
of having been engaged with the band of Sauks in their murderous 
foray upon the settlements of the Fox and Rock River valleys ; and 
at the close of the war, Mr. Walker, before mentioned, who was 
then sheriff of La Salle County, went alone to Black Hawk's camp 
in Iowa, and arrested the two young braves on a charge of mur- 
der, and brought them to Ottawa for trial. Not having any court- 
house building at that time in La Salle County, the court was held 
in the open air, under the shady branches of a large tree, at that time 
standing on the south bank of the Illinois river at Ottawa. The 
Court appointed the late Gen. James Turney to defend the Indians. 
For the want of sufficient evidence thej"^ were acquitted, and thus 
was the first sheriff" of La Salle County saved from the disagreeable 
duty of an execution. It is said that upon their release from cus- 
tody, the Indians started quickly on a bee line for their homes, and 
in a few moments were lost to the sight of those who were watching 
their exit. 

The small body of Pottawatomie Indians who were raised in 
1832, to operate against Black Hawk, included Robinson and Sha- 
bona as chiefs, and were commanded b}' Geo. E. Walker, with the 
title of Captain. I do not believe that the force ever acted as an 
independent command. Their employment was to carry expresses 
and act as scouts, and at different times they were under the order 
of Generals Atkinson, Henry, Scott, and probablj' other com- 


Accounts of Indian warfare, trade and treaties do 
not give an inside view of Indian character. Mr. 
David Grove, who lived here many years in daily 
interconrse with them, related to the writer many 
incidents of that experience, elucidating the every- 
day life of a people now no more. He says tliey 
were fond of athletic sports, and of contests with the 

Indian Character and, Customs. 117 

wliites in jumping, running, hopping, wrestling, 
etc. In wrestling they never tripped, and com- 
plained of unfairness Avhen the wliites did so. In 
all such contests they proved inferior to the whites 
in both strength and agility. This might indicate 
less vitality, and one cause of their rapid decadence. 
They were very fond of a trial of skill in shooting 
at a mark, and very proud of being the victors. 
They would resort to a variet}'' of devices to accom- 
plish that object ; when their opponent was taking 
aim the}' would commence the most savage and un- 
earthl}^ yells for the purpose of unsteadjdng his 
nerves — an object they frequently accomplished. 

There was no trick they would hesitate to perpe- 
trate. If they could get then* competitor s rifle 
they would secretly strike the sight with their 
knives, moving it to one side, so as thereby to win 
the stake. 

They were not addicted to stealing, but would 
sometimes fall into temptation in that direction. 
Mr. Grove tended mill, and frequently sold flour to 
the squaws. His practice was to sell by the handful, 
and after delivering the number agreed for, the 
squaws would invariably grab one handful more, 
for which he would sometimes box their ears ; they 
would be very angry and curse him roundly in the 
Indian jargon, when he would give them another 
handful to appease their wrath ; they would at once 
call him good, good, and become the best of friends. 
They were fond of gleaning in the wheat fields, and 
like Boaz of old, the owners would drop a little now 
and then for the gleaners. They frequently bought 

118 History of La Salle County. 

a few bundles, but always came back dissatisfied, 
saj'ing, "big straw little wheat." They were seldom 
satisfied M'itli a trade, but would come back wanting 
something more. There is no proof that this was 
innate, but doubtless resulted from their being gen- 
erall}" overreached in the bargains the}^ made with 
the whites. 

They were usually fast friends, and never forgot 
a kindness. They were on the best of terms with the 
settlers ; would sometimes come into the settler's 
houses in tlie night and lie down b}^ the fire, where 
the}^ would be found in the morning. 

Esquire Allen, of Freedom, states, that the first 
winter he was on Indian creek, he was engaged in 
cutting and hewing timber for building purposes. 
The Indians would be around nearly every day, 
watching the process with apparently the deepest 
interest. They would speculate on the direction the 
tree would fall, while being cut, and when it fell 
would seem to enjoy it hugely ; they would then 
go to the stump and appear to admire the nice 
smooth cutting of the white man's axe, so different 
from their rude instruments ; they would imitate 
with the hands the motion made with the axe, and 
the throwing of the chips by its action, which their 
Instruments never did. They seemed to appreciate a 
fact, which from habit we fail to notice, that the Yan- 
kee axe is one of the most efficient instruments ever 
invented by man. In the hands of experts it has 
cleared a coiitint^nt and ])r(^pared it for civili/ed oc- 
cupancy, ;iiid tli;it with a speed and facility that no 
other agency could effect. The rapid and nice work 

Personal Narratives. 119 

of tills tool could but attract the attention of these 
simple savages. 

Mr. Allen states that they left their tools at night 
where they stopped work, and although the Indians 
were almost constantly thei'e, their tools were never 
molested. If a kind, conciliating and just course 
had in all cases been pursued in our intercourse with 
this people, may we not suppose their ultimate des- 
tiny would have been different % 

Yet these friendly Pottawatomies, though held in 
check by Shabona and other chiefs, doubtless did a 
few of them join the Sacs in their war on the settle- 
ments, though this was said to have been confined 
to a few bucks who had intermarried with the Sauks. 
Their passion for war and blood is almost uncontrol- 
able, and their vindictive hate of an enemy leads 
them to a course of extermination. 

When Shabona accompanied the army under 
General Atkinson, and an attack was expected soon 
to be made on the Sauks, Sliabona asked permission 
to spare a certain squaw, a friend of his. The General 
told him to spare all the women and children, but 
Shabona dissented, saying, "They breed like lice, 
leave them, their children will kill our children." 
That was Indian philosophy, and morality too. 


The writers of histor}- seldom give more than the 
rise and fall of nations, biographies of great men, 
kings and princes, and but little or nothing of the 
common people — a matter of far more importance, 

120 History of La Salle County. 

and more interesting. To know the intelligence, 
opinions, tastes, amusements, method and means of 
living, routine of every daj^ life, the hopes and fears, 
which swaj'ed and controlled a people, would be far 
more interesting than the life of a prince, sociall}" 
far removed from, and having no feelings in common 
with the masses. 

So, in recording the history of the pioneer settle- 
ments, we can not give a proper idea of the toils, 
privations, hopes, fears, anticipations, and misgiv- 
ings, simpl}^ by recording tlie founding and growth 
of towns, cities and counties, progress of agriculture 
and commerce, but we must accompany the emi- 
grant along his weary way, witness his jjarting with 
friends, difficulties of travel through unfrequented 
ways after reaching the frontier, bej^ond the pale of 
society, his exposures and his patient industry, the 
impression made uj^on his imagination by the 
scenery, so new and startling, the wild animals so 
rare, and tlie notes of strange birds which alone 
break the midday silence of his lonel}' home. 

To endeavor to convey to the reader a correct idea 
of the sensation produced in the mind of the new 
comer as he first became acquainted with the strange 
land he had come to occupy, several short narratives 
of the journey and first experience here, are inserted, 
not because they contain awy startling facts of hair- 
breadth escapes from lire and Hood, or Indian 
barbaritj^, but to give a correct idea of the settler as 
he first occupied the unique and peculiar prairie 
region, as tin? circumstances that produced these 
have ceased to exist, and they can be known only by 
the recital of those who speak from experience. 

Personal Narraticest. 121 


May 1, 1835, in comiiany with three olhcip, BeebeClarli, James B. 
BearcUley, and N. W. Merwin, I left the western border of Connec- 
ticut, to explore the West ; this pari of Illinois being our destina- 
tion. Took a steamer from Poughkeepsie to Albany, and a rail- 
road from Albany to Schenectady, the only railroad between 
Connecticut and the Mississippi, and being the first ever seen by us 
was a great curiositj". We first took seats in a small car a little 
larger than a stage coach ; were drawn by horse power about two 
miles to the fool of an inclined plane, then up the plane by a 
stationary engine, and from there drawn by a locomotive to 
Schenectadj- — in all, a distance of twelve miles. The rail was a flat 
iron bar laid on timbers, and the timbers on ties. How wond( rf iilly 
that twelve miles of primitive railroad has grown and spread over 
all this Western world ; the journey which then consumed three 
weeks, can now be accomplished in less than two days. 

From Schenectady came by canal boat to Buffalo, and by steamer 
from Buffalo to Detroit ; at Detroit we made a company of eight, 
and hired a farm wagon to take us to the moulh of the St. Joseph 
river, by what was called the territorial road. Though a slow con- 
vevance it gave an excellent ojiportunity to see the country. 
Detroit and its surroundings had the aspect of an old country, 
but we soon entered a heavy timbered region, about twenty-five 
miles in extent, when alternate timber and openings with most 
beautiful scener\', extetdcd nearly across the territory. This scenery 
with the occurrence of two or three small prairies, all of it inter- 
mediate between timber and prairie, prepared us for viewing the 
broad prairie further west. A most beiutiful feature of Michigan 
scenery was the frequent occurrence of small lakes from a quarter of 
a mile to two or three miles across ; with water as pure as crystal, 
with a hard sand or gravelly beach bordered by the clear lawns and 
scattering timber of those splendid barrens, they made u scene 
where the water n3'mphs and fairies might nightlj' dance together. 

The last day of ihe trip, which consumed a week, we found our- 
selves at dark without supper in the dense forest of the St. Joseph, 
with a track for a road barely passable b}'- daylight ; when rain set 
in, and the wolves commi need howling. The older members of the 
company thought our situation somewhat unpleasant. We moved 

cautiously on, and finallv discovered a small log cabin occupied by 

122 History of La Salle County. 

au Irishman and his wife, the oulj' house for twelve or fifteen miles 
east of the St. Joseph river. The}' had no forage, or provision for 
man or beast. The horses were tied fasting to a tree, eight of us 
drank two quarts of niillc just from the cow, for our supper, lay on 
the punclieon floor with our carpet bags for pillows, and slept 
soundly till morning, when we discharged our team, and our host 
who also kept the ferry, took us over to the little settlement at the 
mouth of the river, where he procured some provisions for himself. 

After waiting two days for a little schooner to load with lumber, 
with fiftj'^ to sixty others we took passage on her deck, as her little 
cabin was more than full with the dozen lady passengers. 
After shivering through the night, without rest, a pleasant May 
sun made the temperature quite comfortable, but eating accommo- 
dations, after an ineflectual attempt to set a table in the cabin, 
consisted of a supply of hard or sea biscuit, a pot for boiling 
mackerel, and a pan for frying bacon, with one coffee pot. It was 
nearly night before all were served, and the boldest and most un- 
scrupulous fared the best, but hunger finally forced the modest 
and timid to a desperate effort to appease their appetites, and thej- 
might be seen with a hard biscuit in one hand, and a half, boiled 
mackerel held by the tail in the other, like a pig with an ear of 
corn, seeking a quiet portion of the deck to take their breakfasts, 
at three o'clock in the afternoon. 

About sunset our little craft anchored oft' Chicago, as no vessel 
could then pass over the bar into Chicago river. The passengers 
reached the pier by means of a small boat, and the cargo was taken 
over the bar in a flat boat or lighter. 

Chicago was then a respectable village, and Fort Dearborn, a 
United States palisade fort, stood near where Michigan and Wabash 
avenues intersect Lake street, and was garrisoned by United States 
troops. The margin of Chicago liver was marshy and covered with 
tall slough grass. Toreach the river for water the people drove small 
piles in the mud ; on these, planks were placed on which they walked 
beyond the grass, and the water wlien obtained was clear and pure 
as compared with that wliicii runs in the same channel to-day. 

The sensation in Chicago, then, was the presence of several 
hundred Pottawatomie Indians receiving their annuities, and pre- 
paring to rem've onto a reservation west of the Mississippi. 

To us tliese people were a sulyect of deep interest. They were 
quartered on the west bide near the confluence of the North and 

Personal Narratives. 128 

South branches, and ■when wc visited them, the day alter our arrival, 
there were more than one hundred helplessly drunk, lying about in 
all positions, and nearl}- nude ; while the others, with a discretion 
uncommon among civilized men, kept entirely sober for the time, 
but it was said would have their turn to get gloriously drunk, 
some other day. 

The physical development of the native Indian is probably as 
perfect as can be found elsewhere. The well developed, athletic, 
and lithe form of the young braves, would be an excellent model for 
an ancient sculptor, while the hideous countenances of some of the 
old men were repulsive in the extreme. One old Indian had a large 
and powerful frame, and an eye and countenance that impressed 
one with terror at first sight. He had been terribly mutilated in 
contest with either man or beast, his ears were nearly gone, only 
dangling shreds remaining, his nose was reduced to a mere stump 
nearly level with his face, two fingers were gone, and his face, 
shoulders, arms and hands nearly covered with scars ; his life must 
have been a terribl}- eventful one. Some of the old squaws were 
nearly a match for the disfigured Indian, wMle some of the girls 
were quite comely, and a few might be called handsome — not only 
regular features, melting black eyes, long flowing jet black hair, but 
a natural grace, and ease of motion that would be difficult to find 
in civilized life. 

These Indians were about to yield up the home of their people ; 
the scenes of their youth, their much loved hunting grounds and 
the graves of their kindred, and all they held dear, were to be 
abandoned to the gra«ping power of advancing civilization. They 
were yielding to their destiny, the power of the white man, and the 
inevitable supremacy of a superior race. They were the retiring 
actors from the grand stage, and we the incoming ones with a new 
play and a new cast of characters. 

They were going where others of their race had preceded them, 
whose history, written by the finger of fate, presaged their own 
unhappy lot — a constant decline and final extinction; w^hile the 
incoming race were to n ar an empire in the Western valley to be 
peopled by untold millions, and consecrated to liberty, to religion, 
to intelligence, and to the realization of a civilization, wealth, and 
power such as the world has never seen. Actors in this new drama, 
while we could but heave a sigh for the gloom that hung around 
the destiny of the retiring troupe, we could not fail to be exhilarated 

124 History of La Salle County. 

by the brighter prospects ■which shone so propitiously on the future 
of the incoming race ; in fact, all the old settlers seem to have been 
impressed with the ultimate high destiny of the land of their 

But to resume our narrative. After an ineffectual effort for two 
days to obtain a seat in the stage that ran from Chicago to Ottawa, 
we left Chicago on foot, about one o'clock p. m. of a very warm 
afternoon. Tliere had been heavy showers ior several days, and 
the low prairie around Chicago was more like a lake than dry land. 

For seven miles l)efore reaching Berry's Point the water was from 
three to fifteen inches deep, through which we worked our weiry 
way. When within about two miles of dry land, one of our com- 
panions gave out, and two of us, one on each side, placed our arm 
around and under his opposite arm, while he placed his on our 
shoulders, and thus we bore him through. "With this introduction 
to Illinois, I presume, if at the time we threw ourselves on the first 
dry land we reached, we had been placed back in old Connecticut, 
we should have stajed there. 

The next day we walked about forty miles to Plainfield. It gave 
us our first view of a rolling, Illinois prairie. We had pictured in 
imagination the far famed prairie, but in common with others fron» 
the East, we had no adequate conception of its character. 

"We strained our eyes to take in its extent, till the effort became 
painful. We descanted again and fig lin upon its beauty, and rich- 
ness, and wondered why such a country had remained so long in the 
hands of the savage. It was a wonderful country. All was new. 
Strange sounds greeted our ears. The piping note of the prairie 
squirrel as he dropped from his erect position, and sought the pro- 
tection of his hole close by our path ; the shrill notes of the plover, 
scattered in countless numbers, fitfully starting and running over 
the prairie ; the constant roaring of tlie prairie cock ; the mad 
scream of the crooked-bill curlew, as we appoached its nest ; the 
distant whoop of the crane ; the pump sounding note of the bittern; 
the lilhe and grac( ful forms of the deer, in companies of three to 
five, lightly bounding over the swells of the prairie ; tlie rude 
cabins of the settlers, with their ruder cribs, stables and yards — all 
were new and strange : it seemed a new creation that we had 

A virgin soil, clean and rich, inviling the plow ; boundless 
meadows waiiiiig for the sci^ihe, the summer paradise of the Hocks 

Personal Narratives. 125 

and herds that were to occupj' them ; a teeming richness of soil 
whose golden harvests should one day glut the makets of the 
world — all this, so new and impressive, crowding in quick succes- 
sion upon the senses, could hut excite the imagination to the live- 
liest hope, the most ardent anticipation. The day's experience was 
but a miniature picture of the hopes and the sufferings of pioneer 

Several hours immersion of the feet the previous daj\ in the 
warm water of the Chicago swamps, had fittingly prepared them 
for the wholesale blistering this day'.:* travel iu the hot sun had pro- 
duced. Yet want of dinner, which we failed to get, and pain of 
our blistered feet, were all forgotten in the new experiences and 
strange sights of the land we had entered. 

It was but natural, that designing to become res'dents, we should 
look forward, and anticipate the future succes*', the destiny of the 
land of promise — the material wealth, population, social, civil, 
religious and educational institutions which should here arise, and 
bless succeeding generations, as the}^ should follow each other 
down the stream of time ; and however ardent our dreaming may 
have been, it could hardly have exceeded the realization. 

The succeeding day brought us to Ottawa. We crossed from 
East to South Ottawa, hardly knon^ing there was a North Ottawa, 
drank at the mineral spring which after a lapse of over forty years 
has become so famous, and passed on to Ycrmillionville, our origi- 
nal point of destination. 


We came to La S ille County in November, I80I. On our journey 
we traveled five days without seeing a house of an)' kind. At last 
we reached the hospitable cabin of Christopher Long, on Covell 
Creek, •where we staid six weeks, when we moved on to the north 
bank of the Illinois river, about five miles east of Ottawa. I re- 
member we moved fr^m Covell Creek on Christmas eve, through a 
wild region, and 1 shall never forget the bright moonlight night 
when we arrived at our cabin. It was a wild, dreary looking place, 
though I did not say anything of my feelings lest I should discour- 
age my husl)and. 

Our house was about twelve feet wide and sixteen feet long, one 

126 History of La Salle County. 

story, of logs. The weather got so cold that we could build oiir 
chimnej' but little higher than where the mantel piece ought to 
be, and when the wind came from the south we had to open the 
door to let the smoke out. 

The bottom land around us was covered with very tall grass, and 
ours the only house on the bottom between Ottawa and Jwliet, and 
but two or three in Ottawa. David Shaver lived about one mile 
north of us, and Wm. Parr lived one and a quarter miles northeast. 

We got through the winter verj' well, as the weather was quite 
mild. In the earl}' spr'ng, while I was at Mr. Long's, who had 
settled half a mile above us, and my husband was alnne, two Indi- 
ans called and took dinner with him. They told him that the Cho- 
Mokeman would come soon and kill all the pale faces. So we took 
the alarm, packed up our things and went to Posey County, in 
Indiana. Tliis was in the spring of 1832, and we thus escaped the 
dangers of the Indian war. 

We returned to our cabin in the spring of 1833, which we found 
as we left it. After putting in our crops Mr. Keves started for the 
East, and I stayed alone about two months. About a week after 
he left I was taken with the ague, and had it every other day. The 
days I had the chills, Mrs. Parr would come and help me. Mr. 
Keyes went to Connecticut and Vermont. He wished me to go to 
some of the neighbor's, but I thought I would stay and take care of 
what we had. 

The winter of 1833-4 was very cold, so the mill at Dayton was 
frozen up, and we pounded corn for our bread. We moved on the 
place in 1831 and 1833, and I have lived here ever since — and I have 
seen the wild region which looked so forbidding on that Christmas 
eve, in 1831, transformed into one of the most thriving and busi- 
ness-like places in the West. 

There is a peculiar and indescribable influence exerted over the 
mind by the plain, unadorned candor and simplicity of the early 
pioneers. When they professed a friendship for you it meant 
something ; it came from the bottom of the heart. Style and 
fashion had no place on the frontier. 

This narrative of Mrs. Wal bridge is somewhat 
abridged, but enoiigli is given in her own language 
to convey a true picture of the feelings that actu- 

Personal Narratixes. 127 

ated the early pioneer. A woman that would stay 
alone for two months in that wild region, with the 
country full of Indians and wild animals, and sick 
with the ague too, is made of no common stuff, and 
the spectacle of Mrs. Parr, leaving her own famil3^ 
and cares, and going a mile and a quarter every 
other day to wait at the bedside of her lonely sick 
neighbor, is an example of self-sacrifice and kind- 
ness seldom found, except in a new country. 


We arrived in the county of La Salle on the 16th day of 
October, 1831, from Licking County, Ohio, and settled on the left 
bank of the Fox, about niue miles from Ottawa, on the place 
where the Harneys now live. We left Ohio in May previous — my 
mother's family, in company with Aaron Daniels, Edw^ard 
Sanders, Benjamin Fleming, and Joseph Klieber, and their families. 

There was but little talk about Indians during the winter, but 
in May there began to be rumors that the Indians were coming 
soon. About the middle of April, Shabona, the Pottawatomie 
chief, came to our bouse, and told us the Indians would soon give 
us trouble. Soon after, we heard they had burned Hollenbeck's 
house. Mr. Fleming came to our house just as we were getting 
breakfast, and told ns we must all put out for Ottawa, without a 
moment's delaj'. In great haste we got ready and started, wiihout 
our breakfast, leaving the table standing. We stayed in Ottawa 
about a week, wlien my mother, myself, and several others, went 
up to Da3'ton, because there were only two houses in Ottawa, 
owned by David Walker and Joseph Cloud, and there was a small 
foit at Dayton, built by John Green around his house, which was 
supposed to make it safe, at night at least. About five days after, 
while we were all aslei p, about eleven o'clock at night, a French- 
man brought woi-d that Hiill's, Davis' and Petigrew's families were 
all killed, up on the creek. In a great panic, we got ready — or 
set off without getting ready — to go down the river, myself with seven- 
teen othe-s, in a large dug-out, or perogue, as it was called. We 

128 History of La Salle County. 

were piloted down by Mr. Stadden and Aaron Daniels. The boat 
was so loaded that it dipped water several times ; however, we all 
landed safe. The balance of the Dayton folks walked down on the 
bank of the river to Ottawa, where we stayed some four weeks, 
when my mother and myself went to Sangamon, on the Sangamon 
river, six mih s north of Springfield, where we stayed till the war 
was over. Mj' mother, Anna Pilzer, was a widow, and it was not 
deemed safe for her to remain, for provisions were scarce and 
supplies very uncertain. I was sixteen at the time, but the 
recollection of those scenes is as vivid as if they occurred but 


1 came to Illinois in 1834, arriving about the 20th day of April. 
Then Illinois was a wild country. I went to Chicago to the land 
sales in 1835, when Chicago was a ver}'^ small town. Great num- 
bers of the settlers came in every day to eater their lands. You 
could see tiiem coming with their prairie schooners, drawn by 
about three yoke of oxen, through the high grass, from knee-high 
to the top of a tall man's head, with a cloud of mosquitoes follow- 
ing, about the size of an ordinary swarm of bees. Chicago then 
resembled about as good a swamp as I ever saw. From Berry's 
Point to Chicago, ten miles, we waded through w'ater all the way 
about knee deep. The buildings in Chicago were a kind of cabin 
stuck in the mud. 

We got our land and came home. Pretty wild times — chasing 
l)rairie wolves, scaring droves of deer, flocks of sand-hill cranes, 
geese and ducks There were a good many Indians in the country 
then, and we were but little better, in appearance, ourselves. 
There were no proud folks in the country then, although the girls 
were as pretty as ever I saw. I settled on the right bank of the 
Fox river, eight or nine miles from Ottawa, where I have lived 
ever since. We had the wiiale countrj' to pasture, and to cut hay 
in, and although we could raise good crops, we could get no money 
to give for building railroads, and hardly enough to pay the 
ISIethndist preacher for hearing him, although we always managed 
to pay him for marrying us. I had George Diinnavan and John 
Iloxie for neighbors ; the rest of the coimtrj' north and west was 
an unbroken wilderness. The settlers had a good many slow 
notions : three or fuur yoke of oxen to turn the prairie ; and going 

('Lalins^ and First Improremenls. 129 

to mill or market we would hitch our oxen to the big wagon, and 
be gone two or three days, or a week, as the case required — rather 
a slow coach, but a never failing one, unless an o'x strayed. The 
news was carried by ox telegraph. There was not so much style, 
nor so many big steals, as now. Those unfortunate individuals 
who worshiped fine horses, were kept in a perpetual state of 
excitement by a gang of bandits all over the Western countr}', who 
lived mostlj' by stealing horses. 

We used to go to Chicago to do our marketing, and sell our 
wheat. With an ox team and wagon, I would put on a good load 
of wheat, and start for Chicago. By the time' I readied Indian 
creek, two or three more teams would join, and as we proceeded 
others would fall in, till when we reached Chicago a hundred teams 
would bo in the train. 

We took along the old tin coffee pot, and some ground coflFee 
tied up in a rag, and a few cookint;; utensils. We would camp, 
light a fire, cook our grub, collect around the fire, tell a few stoi'ies, 
crack a few jokes, crawl under our wagons, and, if the mosquitoes 
would let us, go to sleep and dream of our wives and children at 

We would get forty to fifty cents per bushel for vvhe^t, and three 
cents a dozen for egos, and if we got sixty cents for wheat we 
thought we were doing a land office business. Our teams found 
plenty of excellent pasture on the prairie wherever we stopped. 
Crossing the sloughs was an item of excitement, and if one got 
stuck, we joined teams and pulled him out. Crowding Frink 
& Walker's stage coaches was a favorite pastime, and they soon 
learned to give the hubs of a six-os wagon a wide berth. 


Future generations will inquire, not only how this 
country appeared before the hand of civilized man 
had marred its virgin beauty, but how the tirst com- 
ers managed to live, to protect themselves from the 
elements, and to procure the means of subsistence ; 
how they met the varied re(iuirements of civilization 

130 History of La Salle County. 

to which they had been accustomed, and with what 
resignation they dispensed with such as could not 
be had. 

If correctly told, it would be a tale of intense inter- 
est ; but it would require a master-hand to draw a 
picture that would show the scene in all of its de- 
tails — personal experience alone could fully unfold 
the tale. When a new comer arrived, he first se- 
lected a location where he could make his future 
home ; and the question naturally arises, of whom 
did he get permission to occupy it? The answer 
might be given in tlie language usuall}^ used when 
deiining political, or civil rights — every one was free 
to do as he pleased, so he did not interfere with his 
neighbor, AVhen the Government had extinguished 
the Indian title, the land was subject to settlement, 
either before, or after, survey. The settler had 
no j^aper title, but simply the riglit of possession, 
wliich he got by moving on to and occupying it ; 
this gave him the right to hold it against all others, 
till some one came with a better title, which better 
title could only be got b}' purchasing the fee of the 
Government, when surveyed and brought into mar- 
ket. The right of possession thus obtained consti- 
tuted wliat was called a claim. These were re- 
gai'ded as valid titles b}' the settlers, and were often 
sold, in some instances, for large amounts. Pre- 
emption laws wcn^. passed at different times, by Con- 
gress, giving to claimants who had made certain 
specified improvements, the exclusive right to pur- 
chase the premises, at the minimum price of $1.25 
per acre ; provided, they would prove their pre- 


Claims, and First Im2)rovements. 131 

emption, and pay for the same, before they were 
offered for sale by the Government. The conditions 
required were possession, or cultivation, and raising 
a crop, the amount of the crop not being specified. 
A rail fence, of four lengths, was often seen on the 
prairie, the ground enclosed, spaded over and sown 
with wheat. 

When two settlers, by mistake, got a pre-emption 
on the same quarter-section, they were entitled to a 
claim on eighty acres more, to be selected by them- 
selves ; they received a certificate of such claim, it 
being called a float, and was frequently laid on im- 
provements, doing great injustice. 

But there was always an understanding among 
the settlers that each claimant should be protected 
in his claim if he had no pre-emption, provided he 
would attend the sale when advertised, by proclama- 
tion of the President, and bid the minimum price, 
and pa}^ for it. The settlers usually attended the 
sale in a body, and although any person had a legal 
right to bid on any claim not pre-empted, and it had 
to be sold to the highest bidder, it was not consid- 
ered a very safe thing to bid on a settler's claim, and 
it was seldom done. When attempted, the bidding 
speculator usually got roughly handled, and found 
discretion the better part of valor. Eastern specu- 
lators often complained of this, claiming that they 
were deprived of the legal right to compete in the 
open market, for the purchase of these lands ; but 
the settlers replied that the}^ had left the comforts 
and luxuries of their Eastern homes, braved the 
dangers and privations of a new country, and here 

132 History of La Salle County. 

made tlieir homes, cultivating and reclaiming tliese 
wild lands, and prej^aring the way for advancing 
civilization, and that they had a sacred right to 
the imj^rovements, and the right to purchase the 
fee of the land, as the land and improvements must 
go together — and they were right. 

Tlie fault lay in the Government ever selling the 
land in any way except by pre-emption, and to 
actual settlers. The Government got nothing by 
offering it at public sale, as the average price ob- 
tained, during a long term of years, was only $1.27 
per acre, only two cents over the minimum price 
which would have been paid by actual settlers, not 
enough to pay tlie additional cost — and the purchase 
hy sj)eculators enhanced the price, and retarded the 
settlement of the country, forcing the settler to live 
isolated, without society, schools, and churches; 
and it made the honest emigrant pay from $300 
to $1,000 more for each eighty acres than the Gov- 
ernment price, and this went to the man who did 
nothing for the country, but sat in his Eastern 
home and pocketed tlie amount. 

The claim question had a morality of its own, and 
while at a distance, and from a certain standpoint, 
it had the appearance of mob law, and was so stig- 
matized, here where it could be properly understood 
and appreciated, it was sustained by the purest and 
best of men ; not only so, but an actual settler was 
never known to oppose it. If ever an equitable 
and just right existed, it was that of the claimant 
pioneer to th(^ land he occupied. 

The nomenclature was ])eculiar, and expressive ; 

Claims, and First Improvements. 133 

when a man made a claim, he was said to squat, 
and was called a squatter, and from that came the 
phrase Squatter Sovereignty. When the claimant 
left his claim, the first occupant could have it. If 
he left it temporarily to visit his friends, or on busi- 
ness, and another embraced the opportunity to 
possess it, he was said to jump the claim. Each set- 
tlement usually had an association where such dis- 
putes were settled ; and the State enacted laws mak- 
ing claims transferable, notes given for claims valid, 
for protecting the claimant from the encroachment 
of others, and ousting jumpers. A claim jumper 
often found his way a hard road to travel. 

This nomenclature was often expressively^ applied 
to other matters. If a young man paid marked at- 
tention to a young lady, he was said to have made 
a claim ; if it was understood they were engaged, 
he was said to have a pre-emption, and if another 
cut him out, he was said to have Jumped his claim. 

When the settler had selected his location, or made 
his claim, his first attention was directed to pro- 
curing a shelter for himself and family. If in the 
vicinity of others already provided, he was readily 
welcomed to share their scanty accommodations, 
two, and frequently three families, together occupy- 
ing a cabin with One room, perhaps twelve by four- 
teen, more or less. But if far removed from neigh- 
bors, he had to occupy his covered wagon in which 
he came, sleeping in, or under it, and cooking and 
eating in the open air, or some other rude contriv- 
ance, frequently a tent made of blankets, till a 
shelter could be provided. Tliis was usually a log 

134 History of La Salle County. 

cabin, for the raising of which, help was needed. 
When help was not available, his cabin must be 
built of such logs or poles as, with the aid of his 
family, could be handled. In raising a log cabin 
considerable skill is required. What were termed 
corner hands — one at each corner, or where hands 
were scarce, one for two corners — should have some 
experience. The bottom log must be saddled or cut 
to a sloping edge, or angle, to receive the cross log, 
which must be notched to fit the saddle — a failure, 
requiring the log to be removed to be refitted, was 
sure to bring some pleasant raillery on the culprit. 
If well done, a door or window can be cut, and the 
parts of the logs will remain firm in their place, but 
if not a perfect fit, when a space is cut for the door, 
the accumulated weight from above will bring the 
logs to a fit at the corner, and throw the ends at the 
cutting wide from their place. When the walls 
were completed, or about ten feet high, the gables 
were carried uj) by laying on logs, each shortened in 
succession, to give the proper slope for the roof, and 
held by straight logs, or large poles, placed about 
three feet from, and parallel with, the plate, rising 
upward to receive the shingles, resting on and 
holding the short logs at the gables, and termi- 
nating with a ridge pole at the centre of the build- 
ing and top of the roof. On these were placed long- 
shingles or cla])boards, four feet long, laid double, 
so the to]) course broke joints with the first, on 
which was laid another log, or pole, held by a pin 
at each end ; this pole held the shingles in place 
without nailing, and each succeeding course was 


Claims, and First Improvements. 135 

laid and fastened in tlie same way. The floor was 
made of split logs, hewn on the split side, and spot- 
ted on to the sleepers on the ronnd side, so as to 
make a tolerable floor ; these were called puncheons. 

The chimnej* Avas built outside the building at 
one end, and a hole cut through the logs for a fire- 
place. It was made of timber, lined with stone 
or clay, for four or five feet, and then with a crib 
of sticks plastered inside with clay mortar. The 
spaces between the logs were filled with pieces of 
split timber, called chinking, and plastered inside 
and out with chiy mortar, making a warm and 
quite comfortable house ; but snow and rain, when 
falling with a high wind, would get inside through 
the clapboard roof— and where leisure and means 
justified, a roof of boards and short shingles was 

A one-post bedstead was made as follows : bore a 
hole in a log four feet from the corner of the room, 
and insert a rail six feet long ; then bore a hole in 
the log on the other side of the room six feet from 
the same corner, and insert a piece of a rail four 
feet long ; then insert the opposite ends of these 
rails where the}" meet, in a post, which completes 
the frame ; then lay slats crosswise from the side 
on to the log opposite, or on to a rail pinned on 
the log at the proper height, and the one-post bed- 
stead is complete, on which the weary pioneer slept 
as sweetly as on the most costly one. 

These rough buildings were quite comfortable, 
and as most of the old settlers will testify, wit- 
nessed much of real enjoyment. Some of our 

136 History of La Salle County. 

greatest men were born and raised in such a 

A shelter provided, the next thing was to pre- 
pare to raise whereon to subsist. 

The prairie region oft'ered advantages for an occu- 
pant far superior to a timbered country ; in the 
latter an immense amount of labor had to be done 
to remove the timber, and for years after, the stumps 
prevented free cultivation ; while on the prairie 
the sod only had to be turned, and the crop put in. 
•At an early day the sod was turned by an ox 
team of six to ten j^oke, with a plow that cut a fur- 
row from two to three feet wide. The plow 
beam, which was from eight to twelve feet long, was 
framed into an axle, on each end of which was a 
wheel sawed from an oak log ; this held the plow 
upright. It was a lieav}^, unwieldly-looking appar- 
atus, but it did good work ; and the broad black 
furrow, as it rolled from the plow, was a sight 
worth seeing. 

The nice adjustment and tiling of the coulter 
and broad share required a practiced hand, as a 
slight deviation in the tip of the share, or even 
filing the coulter, would throw the plow on a twist, 
and require a strong man to liold it in place, but if 
nicely done, the plow would run a long distance 
without support. 

This was the primitive plow, but Yankee ingenu- 
ity soon found that a smaller plow and less team 
did cheapei- and better work. 

It was found that the best tinu; to break the sod 
was when the grass was rapidl}^ growing, as it 

Claims, and First ImproMmenis. 137 

would then decay qiiickh', and tlie soil soon be 
mellow and kind ; but if broken too earl}^ or too 
late in the season, it wonld require two or three 
years to become as mellow as it would be in three 
months when broken at the right time. Yery 
shallow ploughing required less team, and would 
mellow much sooner than deep breaking. 

The first crop was mostly corn, planted by cutting 
a gash with an axe into the inverted sod, dropping 
the corn and closing it by another blow along side 
the first. Or it was dropped in every third furroAv 
and the furrow turned on ; if the corn was so placed 
as to find the space between the furrows, it would 
find daylight ; if not, it was doubtful. Corn so 
planted would, as cultivation was impossible, pro- 
duce a partial crop, sometimes a full one. Prairie 
sod turned in June would be in condition to sow 
witli wheat in September, or to put in with corn or 
oats the spring following. Vines of all kinds grew 
well on the fresh turned sod, melons especially, 
though the wolves usually took their full share of 
these. After the first crop, the soil was kind, and 
produced any crop suited to the climate. But when 
his crops were growing, the settler was not relieved 
from toil. His chickens must have shelter, closed 
at night to protect them from the owls and wolves ; 
his pigs required equal protection ; and although his 
cows and oxen roamed on the wide j)rairie in a pro- 
fusion of the richest pasture, still a yard must be 
made for his cows at night, and his calves by day. 
The cows were turned in with the calves for a short 
time at night, and then the calves turned on the 


138 History of La Salle County. 

prairies to feed during the night ; in the morning the 
calves were turned in and the cows turned out for 
their day's pasture ; this was necessary to induce the 
cows to come up at night, for if the calves were 
weaned the cows would fail to come. And the stock 
all needed some protection from the fierce wintry blast, 
though sometimes they got but little. Add to this, 
the fencing of the farm, the out-buildings, hunting 
the oxen and cows on the limitless prairies through 
the heavy dews of late evening and earl}^ morning, 
going long distances to market and to mill, aiding a 
new comer to build his cabin, lighting the prairie 
fires which swept over the country yearly, and 
with his family encountering that pest of a new 
country, the fever and ague, and other malarious 
diseases, and the toil and endurance of a settler in 
a new country may be partially, but not fully 

A visitor from the Eastern States has often taunted 
the toiling pioneers with such remarks as these : 
"Why do you stack out yowx hay and grain?" 
" Why don't j^ou have barns, comfortable houses, 
stables for your cattle, and other conveniences as 
we have?" He should have been answered, "You 
are enjoying the fruits of the labor of generations 
of 3^our ancestors, while we have to create all we 
have. We have made necessarily rude and cheap 
shelters for ourselves and animals, have fenced 
our farms, dug our wells, have to make our roads, 
bridge our streams, build our school- houses, 
churches, court-houses and jails, and when one im- 
provement is complete, another want stares us in 

Claivis^ and First Imj^rovements. 139 

the face/' All this taxed the energies of the new 
settler to the extent of human endurance, and many 
fell by the way, unable to meet the demands upon 
their energies. 

The only wonder is that so much has been accom- 
plished ; that so many comforts, conveniences and 
luxuries have crowned the elforts of our people ; 
that we have reached a point for which a century of 
effort might well have been allowed. Political and 
financial theorists have tauntingly told the farmers 
of Illinois that the}" know nothing of finance, except 
what wiser heads have told them ; that they have 
made nothing by farming, and would be poor except 
for the advance in price of their farms. 

These Solons should be told that it is the toil of 
those farmers that has made their farms increase in 
price ; their toil has clothed them with valuable im- 
provements, planted orchards and fruit gardens, 
made roads and bridges, converted a wilderness into 
a land of beauty, and made it the happy abode of 
intelligent men. All this had to be done to make 
these farms advance in price, and those who have 
done this, and raised and educated their families, 
have done well ; and if the advance in the price of 
their farms has given them a com2:)etence, it is what 
they anticipated, and nothing but the most perse- 
vering industry and frugality would have accom- 
plished it. 

In addition to the labor and multitude of cares that 
beset the new comer, he had it all to accomplish un- 
der disadvantages, and to encounter dangers that of 
themselves were sufficient to discourage men not of 

140 History of La Salle Count ij. 

stern resolve. Traveling unworked roads, and cross- 
ing streams witliout bridges, was often a perilous 
adventure. Man}" were the liair-breadtli escapes 
Avhich most of the early settlers can recall, and 
whicli, in later years, were never referred to without 
a thrill of emotion. Up to the time of building the 
first bridge over the Vermillion, the writer had a 
record of twenty-five persons drowned in that treach- 
erous stream, within a distance of ten miles each 
way from that locality — all drowned in attempting 
to ford the stream. It was a common remark, that 
Avhen a man left home in the moi-ning, it was very 
uncertain whether his wife's next dress would be a 
black one, or of some other color. 

Crossing the wide prairie at night, with not even 
the wind or stars for guides, was a very uncertain 
adventure, and often the wayfarer traveled till ex- 
hausted, and encamped till the morning light should 
guide liim on his way. In warm weather, although 
an unpleasant exposure, this was not a dangerous 
one ; and although the sensation of being lost is more 
irksome, and the lonely silence in the middle of a 
prairie, broken only b}'' the howl of the wolves, is 
more unpleasant than one inexperienced would 
imagine, and the gnawing of a stoinnch innocent of 
suppei', adds much to the discomfort, it all passes 
with the night, and a brighter view and hapjiier 
feelings dawn with tlie breaking inorn. l^ut cross- 
ing the trackless prairie when covered with a dreary 
expanse of snow, with the fierce, unbroken wintry 
blasts sweeping oveiits glistening surface, penetrat- 
ing to the veiy iriniroAV, was sometimes a fearful and 

Claims, and First Improvements. 141 

dangerous experience. No condition could inspire 
11 more perfect idea of lonely desolation, of entire 
discomfort, of helplessness, and of dismal forebod- 
ings, than to lind one's self lost on the snow-covered 
prairie, witli no object in sight in any direction but 
the cold, undulating snow wreaths, and a dark 
and tempestuous winter night fast closing around 
his chilled and exliausted frame. His sagacious 
horse, by spasmodic eftbrts and continuous neigh- 
ing, shows that, with his master, he appreciates the 
danger, and shares his fearful anticipations. With 
wliat longing the lost one reflects on the cozy flreside 
of his warm cabin, surrounded by his loved ones, 
which he fears he may never see ; and when the 
dark shadow of night has closed around and shut 
in the landscape, and chance alone can bring relief, 
a joyous neigh and powerful spring from his noble 
horse, calls his eye in the direction he has taken, he 
sees over the bleak expanse a faint light in the dis- 
tance, toward which his horse is bounding with ac- 
celerated speed, equally with his master cheered 
and exhilarated by the beacon light, which the hand 
of affection has placed at the window, to lead the 
lost one to his home. Nearly everj^ early settler 
can remember such an experience, while some never 
reached the home they sought, but, chilled to a 
painless slumber, they found the sleep that knows 
no wakinsi:. 

142 History of La Salle Coimty. 


Mirage, or looming, in peculiar states of the at- 
mosphere, is or was very common on the prairie, as 
is usual in any country with a flat, or nearly level 
surface. A grove or improvement, which is ordinarily 
hid by an intervening ridge of high land, will occa- 
sionally be apparently elevated, so it can be seen as 
fully and perfectly as if the observer were standing 
on the highest point of the intervening ridge. The 
writer was traveling in a partially cloudy day, from 
Peru to Palestine Grove, in Lee County, and when 
on the level prairie, two or three miles south of the 
ridge which constitutes the divide separating the 
waters of Bureau creek from those that flow to the 
Illinois, he suddenly beheld the country lying north 
of the divide, rise into sight, with every feature as- 
distinctly marked, as if seen from a position directl}^ 
over it. Perkins, Knox, and Palestine groves, with 
Bureau creek, and the scattering timber that skirts 
its banks, and the farm houses, were all distinctly 
recognized, as they had many times been seen from 
diffei'ent points of the ridge, soutli and east of the Bu- 
reau. The view is a fine one, and could not be mis- 
taken. Gradually, in ten or fifteen minutes, the 
vision faded from sight, and when, half nn hour later, 
the same view was seen iVom the dividing ridge, with- 
out a change in a])pear:iii('(% it was evident it must 
have been elevated several hundred feet to have met 
the view. Mirage is more common in a still, slightly 
hazy atmosphere, and no doubt has bewildered and 
led many a traveler astrny. Jeflei'son, in his Notes 

Mirage, and Traveling at NigTd. 143 

on Virginia, speaks of tlie same appearance as fre- 
quently occurring in tlie mountainous districts of 
that State. 

Crossing the uncultivated jirairie in a cloudy night, 
or in a snowy or foggy day, was very liable to have 
an uncertain come out. In a clear night, the stars 
were a very reliable guide, and like the Eastern magi 
on the plains of Syria, the settlers came to have 
a close acquaintance with the constellations. A 
steady wind was a very reliable guide ; the traveler 
would get his bearing, then notice how the wind 
struck his nose, right or left ear, etc., and then keep 
that same sensation, regardless of any other guide, 
and he would generall}' come out right. But if 
the wind changed, of course he went with it. 
Without these guides, it was a mere accident if a 
person succeeded in a still atmosphere, in a cloudy 
night, or snow}^ or foggy day, in crossing a prairie 
of any extent. There is al\va3'S a tendency to go in 
a circle ; the world moves in a circle : planets and 
suns, comets and meteors, all move in circles. 
Blindfold a person, place him in a large hall, let 
him be a novice, uncautioned. and in a majority of 
cases he will go several times around the hall before 
he hits the side. The writer, with an ox team, in a 
dark evening started to go about three-fourths of a 
mile to strike a point of timber, but failing to do so. 
kept traveling till late in the evening, when acci- 
dentally the timber was found, and followed to the 
desired point ; the next morning developed the fact 
that the ox team had tiaveled three times around 
about a quarter-section, following very nearly the 

144 History of La Salle County. 

same track eacli time. A j^onug man left Farm 
Ridge on foot, for Utica, about ten o'clock in the 
evening ; a light snow several inches in depth, had 
just fallen, and there was no track. He traveled 
till he supposed he saw the Illinois timber, and in 
beating about trying to see through the darkness, he 
tramped a broad place in the snow ; he traveled 
rapivdly all night, most of the time, as he thought, 
in sight of the timber, and when morning dawned 
found himself at the place where he had tramped 
the snow in the centre of a four-mile prairie. 

A gentleman, fresh from New England, who was 
viewing the country on the Vermillion, proposed 
to take a bee line for Ottawa across the prairie on 
foot. He was advised to take the road, as being 
easier traveling and decidedly safer ; that without 
any track he might get benighted on the prairie, for 
although the day was clear he would for part of the 
distance be out of sight of timber, and he might 
mistake his course and be lost. He indignantl}'' 
replied : " Do yow think I am a fool, that I can not 
cross a six- mile prairie in broad daylight i if it were 
three times that I could do it;" and about noon 
started on foot, after ascertaining the direction. 
About twelve o'clock that night he got to tlie settle- 
ment on the Vermillion, five miles further from 
Ottawa than wlien lie started, nearl}'^ famished and 
exhausted. After a good night's rest, and supi)ly- 
ing the inner man, next morning he took the 
traveled road I'oi- Ottawa. 

Pra.irU' Fires. 14.1 


Tlie yearly burning of tlie lieavy annual growth 
of grass on the prairie, which had occurred from 
time immemorial, either from natural causes or from 
being set by human hands, was continued after the 
white settlers came in, and was a source of much 
annoyance, apprehension, and frequently of severe 
loss. From the time the grass would burn, which 
was soon after the first frost, usually about the 
first of October, till the surrounding prairie was all 
burnt over, or if not all burnt, till the green grass 
in the spring had grown sufficiently to prevent the 
rapid progress of the fire, the early settlers were 
continually on the w^atch, and as they usually ex- 
pressed the idea, •• • slept with one eye open. ' ' When 
the ground was covered with snow, or during rainy 
weather, the apprehension was quieted, and both 
eyes could be safely closed. 

A statute law forbid setting the prairie on fire, 
and one doing so was subject to a penalty, and 
liable in an action of trespass for the damage ac- 
cruing. But convictions were seldom effected, as 
the proof was difficult, rhough the fire was often 

Fires set on the leeward side of an improvement, 
while very dangerous to the improvements to the 
leeward, were not so to the windward, as fire j)ro- 
gressing against the wind is easily extinguished. 

Imagine the feelings of tin.' man who, alone in a 
strange land, has made a ''omfortable home for his 
family ; has raised and £tc;ed his corn, wheat and 

146 History of La Salle County. 

oats, and fodder for stock, and lias his premises 
surrounded by a sea of standing grass, dry as 
tinder, stretching away for miles in every direction, 
over which the wild prairie wind howls a dismal 
requiem, and knowing that a spark or match ap- 
plied in all that distance will send a sea of fire 
wherever the wind may waft it ; and conscious of 
the fact that there are men who would embrace the 
first opportunity to send the fire from outside their 
own fields, regardless as to whom it might consume, 
only so it protected their own. 

Various means were resorted to for protection ; a 
common one was to plow with a prairie plow several 
furrows around a strip, several rods wide, outside 
the improvements, and then burn out the strip ; or 
wait till the prairie was on fire and then set fire 
outside, reserving the strip for a late burn, that 
is, till the following summer, and in July burn both 
old grass and new. The grass would start imme- 
diately, and the cattle would feed it close in prefer- 
ence to the older grass, so that the fire would not 
pass over it the following autumn. This process 
repeated would soon, or in a few years, run out the 
prairie grass, and in time it would become stocked 
with blue grass which will never burn to any extent. 
But all this took time and labor, and the crowd of 
business on the hands of a new settler, of which a 
novice has no conception, would prevent him doing 
wliat would now seem a small matter ; and all such 
effort was often futih', a ]i;*airie fire driven by a high 
wind would often leaj) :;11 such barriers and seem 
to put human effort atdifiance. A prairie fire when 


Prairie Fires. 347 

first started goes straight forward with a velocity 
proportioned to the force of the wind, widening 
as it goes, but the centre keeping ahead — it spreads 
sideways, but burning laterally, it burns compar- 
atively slow% and if the wind is moderate and 
steady, is not difficult to manage, but if the wind 
veers a point or two, first one way and then the 
other. It sends tlie side fire beyond control. The 
head fire in (\.vj grass and a high wind is fearful, 
and pretty sure to have its own way unless there is 
some defensible point from wliich to meet it. A 
contest with such a fire requires an engineering skill 
and tact which can be learned only by experience, 
and a neighborhood of settlers called out hy such an 
exigency at once put themselves under the direction 
of the oldest and most experienced of the number, 
and go to work wMth the alacrity and energy of men 
defending their homes and property from destruc- 

The usual way of meeting an advancing fire is 
to begin the defense where the head of the fii'e will 
strike, which is known by the smoke and ashes 
brought by the wind long in advance of the fire. 
A road, cattle path or furrow is of great value at 
such a place ; if there is none such, a strip of the 
grass can be wet, if water can be procured, w^hich 
is generally scarce at the time of the annual fires. 
On the outside, or side next the coming fire, of such 
road or path, the grass is set on fire, and it burns 
slowly against the wind till it meets the coming con- 
flagration, wiiich stops of course for want of fuel, 
provided there has been sufficient time to burn a 

148 History of La Salle County. 

strip that will not be leaped by the head lire as it 
comes in. This is called back-hring ; great care is 
necessary to prevent the fire getting over the furrow, 
path, or whatever is nsed as a base of operations. 
If it gets over and once under way, there is no rem- 
edy but to fall back to a more defensible position, if 
such an one exists. 

If the head of the tire is successfully checked, 
then the forces are divided, half going to the right, 
and half to the left, and the back-firing continued, 
to meet the side fires as they come up ; this must 
be continued till the fire is checked along the entu'e 
front of the premises endangered, and the sides 

Various implements were used to put out a side 
or back fire, or even the head of a fire in a moderate 
wind. A fence board, about four tosix feet long, 
with one end shaved down for a handle, is very 
effective, if struck fiat upon the narrow strip of fire. 
A bundle of hazel-brush does very well, and a spade 
or shovel is often used. The women often lent their 
aid, in cases of danger ; their weapon was usually' 
the kitchen mop, wliicli, wlien thoroughly wet, was 
very efficient, especially in extinguishing a fence on 
fire. When the fire overcame all op])osition, and 
seemed bound to swee]) over the settlement, a fear 
of personal loss would paralyze, for the moment, 
every faciilt}'-, and as soon as that fact seemed immi- 
nent, united effort ceased, and each one hastened to 
defend his own as best he could. It is due to his- 
torical truth to say that the actual losses were much 
less than might have Ix-'en expected, though fre- 


Prairie Fires. 149 

qnently quite severe. The physical efforts made in 
extinguishing a dangerous fire, and in protecting 
one's home from the devouring element, were very 
often severe, and even dangerous, and the author 
has known of more than one instance where it re- 
sulted fatally. 

The premises about the residences and yards being- 
tramped by tlie family and domestic animals, after 
a year or two, became tolerably safe from lire, but 
the fences, corn and stubble tields were frequently 
burnt over. When the prairie was all fenced and 
under cultivation, so that prairie fires were among 
the things of the past, the denizens of the j)rairie 
were lia])pily released from the constant fear and 
apprehension which for years had rested like a 
nightmare on their quiet and happiness, disturbing 
their sleep by night, and causing anxiety b}' day, 
especially when called from liome, knowing that on 
their return they might look on a blackened scene 
of desolation, instead of the pleasant home they left. 
And when returning after a day's absence, the sight 
of a fire in the direction of home, although it might 
prove to be several miles beyond, would try the 
mettle of the team, by x)utting them to a speed pro- 
portioned to the anxiety of the driver. And here it 
may be well to throw a little cold water over the 
thrilling and fearful stories, got up to adorn a tale, 
of hair-breadth escapes of travelers and settlers from 
prairie fires ; such stories are not told by the old 
settlers, who know whereof they speak. It is true, 
a family might encamp in the middle of a dense 
growth of dr}' grass, and let a fire sweep over their 

150 History of La Salle Coinity. 

camp, to their serious injury. But with ordinar}" 
intelligence and caution, a traveler on the prairie 
need have no fear of a fatal catastrophe, or even of 
an}^ serious danger. If the head of a fire is approach- 
ing, it is usuall}^ an eas}^ matter to get to one side 
of it, and when it has passed, pass over the side fire 
on to the burnt prairie, which can easily be done, by 
getting on to a spot of dry, rolling prairie, where the 
grass is seldom more than eight to twelve inches 
high. Or, if the head fire is too wide, and its speed 
too great to allow getting around it, then at once 
set a fire to leeward, and when it has burnt a short 
distance, put out the fire on the windward side of 
the place of setting, and pass on to the burnt prairie 
and follow the fire till far enough from the dry grass 
to be out of danger. There are places on low, moist 
prairie bottoms, or sloughs, where the grass and 
weeds were much heavier than on dryer land, and 
their burning was terrific and dangerous ; but these 
places could be avoided, as an apx^roaching fire 
could be seen a long distance, giving time to prepare 
for its coming. 

The early settlers will ever have a vivid recollec- 
tion of tlie grand illuminations nightly exhibited in 
dry weather, from early fall to late spring, by num- 
berless prairie fires. The whole horizon would be 
lighted up around its entire circuit. A heavy fire, 
six or seven miles away, would afford sufficient light 
on a dark night to enable one to read fine print. 
When a fire had passed through the prairie, leaving 
the long lines of side fires, like two armies facing 
each other, at night, the sight was grand ; and if 



Amusements. ]ol 

one's premises were securely protected, he could 
enjoy such a fire exhibition hugelj', free of cost ; 
but if his propertj^ was exposed, his enjoyment of 
the scene was like a very nervous person's apprecia- 
tion of the grand and majestic roll of thunder — the 
sublimity of the scene lost in the apprehension of 


Of amusements, distinctively, the earl}^ settlers 
could hardly be said to have any. A sparse popu- 
lation, widely separated, without roads or bridges, 
could not be expected to meet in any considerable 
numbers for an evening's entertainment. Traveling 
concerts, troupes, lecturers, or showmen, would 
have found poor success among the scattered, poor 
and hard-working pioneers. To a social, compan- 
ionable temperament this seclusion from society, 
its pleasures and amusements, was a deprivation 
most keenly felt. But there were many sources of 
amusement and gratification, which were made the 
most of, and utilized economically. In the first 
place, there was a release from restraint — a sense of 
wild freedom peculiar to the frontier — that was ex- 
hilarating and enjoyable. In losing the pleasure of 
society we get clear of many irksome jars and annoy- 
ances inseparable from a dense population. The 
Indian in his native wilds ; the Arab on his barb, 
coursing over the sands of the desert ; and the 
pioneer on the broad, unoccupied prairie, breathe a 

162 History of La Salle County. 

fuller inspiration : have a l:)rigliter vision ; drink in 
vrith a keener relish the beauties of nature ; feast 
on the creations of a more vivid imagination, and 
have a conciousness of a noble existence, closer in 
contact with the Author of all that exists, than one 
of the jostled crowd that breathes the smoke and 
offensive odors of the poj)ulous city or town. Then 
the few pleasures possessed were highly enjoyed. 
Too oft repeated, any enjoyment loses its zest. 
A visit to a brother settler, after weeks or months of 
absence, was highly enjoj^ed. Experiences were re- 
lated, family history given, news from distant friends 
and other settlers recounted, crop prospects and mar- 
kets, new comers, and future prospects of tlie settle- 
ment were all discussed and listened to with an inter- 
est unequaled by that of men on the stock exchange 
in New York or London. These visits were regularly 
made at an early da3^ and are recurred to now, as 
an oasis in a desert of solitude. The same cordial, 
friendly feeling does not exist to-day, and probably 
never will again. 

The abundance of game made hunting and fish- 
ing a very delightful recreation, and the successes in 
those pastimes then, if truthfully recounted now, 
would be regarded as an old man's hunting storj^, 
to be believed or not, at pleasure. 

Log-cabin raisings, elections, political meetings, 
(for the W«-stern custom of stump speaking came 
with the pioneers) were all enjoyable occasions, as 
they l)rought together tlie widely-scattered neigh- 
bors. But the cam}) meeting was looked for- 
ward to as, par excellence, a social, enjoyable time, 

Amusemerds. 153 

and one of much interest. Those indefatigable 
pioneers, the itinerant Methodist preachers, circu- 
lating on the frontiers, were a valuable boon, 
socially as well as religiously, as their quarterly 
and camp meetings brought the people together as 
no other occasion did. 

Court week at the county seat was with some a 
season of relaxation, — a custom prevailing in some 
sections, and transferred by the emigrants from 
those localities to this. The custom was not gene- 
rally adopted, and gradually faded out. 

A custom that has largely prevailed both West 
and South, and still adhered to in many localities, is 
to make Saturday afternoon a holiday, to meet in 
some village at some public corner, grocery or 
tavern, and have a jolly time. Horse-racing, 
athletic sports, as wrestling, jumping, quoits, etc., 
beguiled the time, and sometimes after freely pay- 
ing the drinks, a free fight or two, which made 
Monday a public day, with trials for assault. 

This practice has never prevailed to any extent in 
La Salle County. The few that favored such a 
course have yielded to a healthy public sentiment 
which has ever leaned to temperance and public 
order. Divested of its objectionable features the 
relaxation and proper amusement would be val- 

Wolf hunts have been made exciting sport. By 

previous concerted agreement, the settlements on 

the circumference of a large prairie would move in 

line toward a flag in the centre, driving the wolves 

and other game before them, closing the line so as 

164 History of La Salle County. 

to make a complete circle as they approached the 
centre-pole, where the game was shot or killed by 
dogs. Tin horns, cow bells, and all instruments that 
could be used to make a noise, were carried by the 
company to arouse the game. It was exciting sport, 
but generally the discipline and leading were bad, 
an open space was left for the wolves to escape, and 
the result was more noise and sport, than game. 

It will be observed that all the amusements or 
recreations were masculine and for men alone, except 
visiting and camp meetings, in which the women par- 
ticipated. And it was a common remark that Illi- 
nois furnished an easy berth for men and oxen but a 
hard one for women and horses ; and it was true in 
its reference to women ; there were more homesick 
women than men, and if any class of the early set- 
tlers was deserving more sympathy than another 
it was the matrons, the wives of the pioneers, whose 
domestic cares confined them at home with the duties 
and responsibilities of maternity, where nurses and 
help could not be procured, with no amusements 
and little social intercourse. 

Custom permitted them to carry their babies to 
church and other public places, or they could not 
haveleft home at all. Such confinement, unrelieved 
by seasons of relaxation, wears upon the faculties 
and brings premature old age. Amusement and 
relaxation for both young and old, are as essential 
to health and longevit}^ as proper food and clothing, 
and, when separated from intemperance and rowdy- 
ism, should be encouraged by the best classes of 
society. Want of them shortened the lives of many 
of the pioneers. 

Sickjiess. 155 


Health is the greatest blessing vouchsafed to man, 
and sickness the greatest evil, and this too when 
among kind friends and all the comforts of an old 
country, and a dense po2:)ulation. But to the settler 
in a new country, with few neighbors, and whose 
home and surroundings will barely serve in a time 
of health, sickness comes clad in a darker garb, 
and a more disheartening aspect — and anew country 
is ever cursed with a double amount of sickness. 
There are but few localities in the United States where 
malarious disease was not developed by clearing off 
the timber or breaking the prairie sod. Bilious fevers 
and agues were the most common form, and however 
exempt any locality may be from these diseases 
after a few years of culture, the pioneer almost 
always had to face them. Aside from the suffering 
and discomfort, which are notliglit, the loss to one's 
business, want of care to stock and crops, was 
heav3\ At a place where no help could be hired, and 
where the few and distant neighbors who were willing 
to aid a brother emigrant were most likely in the 
same circumstances at the same time, the unfortunate 
invalid had to sweat it out alone, or sometimes with 
his whole family as his unhappy companions ; and 
he liad a stout heart and steady nerve who did not 
quail under the affliction, and resolve to return to 
the home he left in such robust iiealth, when return- 
ing strength enabled him to do it ; but with return- 
ing health and the opening of another spring his 
views became radical!}' changed. The world, bare 

156 History of La Salle County. 

and gloomy seen through bilious ej^es, with a 
throbbing head and aching back, now assumes the 
brighter hues of the land of promise. The suffer- 
ings of the past are forgotten, and the plow is 
again cheerily followed. It was well understood 
that the first attack of ague was the worst ; and 
after the iirst seasoning, as it was called, there was 
not so much to fear ; it was found too, that there were 
but few deaths compared with the amount of sick- 
ness, and it was a common remark by the sick, 
homesick, and discouraged invalid that that was the 
worst feature in tlie case, that deatli would be a 

Seasons have occurred when whole neighborhoods 
were prostrated at once, and nurses and help were out 
of the question ; at such times one or two individuals 
more fortunate than the others, would daily visit 
each house, administer medicine, place water by the 
side of each bed, carry a pail of gruel, leave a little 
for each patient, and then return to watch by their 
own suffering families. It is true such were extreme 
cases, but it is equally true that they did occur and 
were repeated. 

Such sickness was confined to the last of summer 
and fall. There was but little sickness in winter 
except a few lingering fall cases that had become 
chronic ; there Avere but few new cases after severe 
frosts, and the spring and early summer were per- 
fectly healthy. It was a common remark that wlien 
the bloom of the resin weed and other yellow flowers 
appeared it was time to look for the ague. The first 
spring Howers on the praii-ie were mostly pink and 

SicA'ness. 157 

white, then followed purple and blue, and about the 
middle of August yellow predominated, and that 
was about the season for ague to commence. 

While the immense amount of vegetation which 
covered the prairie was rapidly growing, it doubtless 
purified the air, and made that season healthful, 
but when that mass of vegetation ceased growing it 
reversed the process ; it imbibed oxygen, and exhaled 
nitrogen, and the atmosphere became impure, and a 
cause of disease. Added to this was the decay of the 
prairie sod ; this was usually turned in June, and 
each settler commenced his improvement near the 
house. Walk across such a breaking in a warm 
evening in August or September, and the effluvia 
from the decaying sod was found to be quite offen- 
sive, and must have sent sickness and suffering to 
the little cabin alongside. 

High water in spring, flooding the bottoms and 
filling the lagoons and low places along the streams, 
and then drying off with the hot sun of July and 
August, was a fruitful cause of disease, and in such 
localities it was often quite sickly, while the high 
prairie was comparatively exempt. 

At this day, people can hardly appreciate the 
trying scenes through which the pioneers have 
passed. Most of them made their improvements 
with their own hands, and when prostrated by 
disease those hands ceased their busy toil, and the 
work of the half-opened farm was at a stand-still. 
The family if not themselves shaking with chills, 
might milk the cows if they could get them from 
their wide range on the prairie, and might feed the 

158 History of La Salle County. 

pigs and chickens ; but the cows often played 
truant, and were useless until another spring. The 
doctor, the mill and the store, were distant. 
They had kind friends that would gladly sympa- 
thize with their sufferings, care for their business, 
and bathe their fevered brows, but they w^ere 
far away. Hundreds of weary miles intervened 
between them and their kindred, and alone they la}^ 
listening to the liowling of the wolves, and reflect- 
ing on the wasting crops and their hapless situa- 
tion. But a kind neighbor with a healthful, cheer- 
ful countenance, would look in, attend to the most 
pressing necessities, tell them his tale of deeper 
suffering and how he surmounted it all, and was 
now prosperous, and they would soon experience 
the same, and for a time their pains were for- 
gotten. One who has never been in that situation 
can not begin to appreciate the cheering influence of 
a sympathizing human countenance, after days of 
lonely despond(^ncy and heai't-sick forebodings for 
the future. It is then that one can realize the value 
of human sympathy and the kindness of his brother 
man. In some way that can hardly be explained, 
the sick soon rallied from their disease, and 
recuperated not only their bodies but their business, 
and learned to laugh at the gloomy forebodings ; 
and in after years they would recount tlie despei-ate 
determinations they tiic^n formed, and their recital 
would be a source of much merriment. Oik? old 
lady, weak and ])etulant from a long siege of ague, 
looking out on the prairie after a heavy rain, 
exclaimed, "This is the most God-forsaken country 

Slc/niess. 159 

under the sun; it is fit only for Indians, prairie 
wolves and rattlesnakes, and tliey liave about got 
possession ; I wish it was sunk ! " and then, check- 
ing herself, said, "but that ain't much of a wish, 
for it wouldn't have to go down over fifteen inches 
to be all under water." 

Tlie fall of 1835 was quite sickly, but 1838 was 
much more so, and probably there was more sick- 
ness and more deaths in proportion to population, 
in 1838, than in any year since the settlement of the 
country. At Rockwell, La Salle, Peru, and all the 
river towns nearly all were sick, and many died, 
and fears were expressed that it would always be 
unhealthy along the Illinois river ; a prediction that 
has not been verified. An excessive spring flood 
that covered the bottoms till the middle of summer, 
and then dried off with extreme hot weatlier in 
August, sufficiently accounts for that exceptional 
season. Exaggerated and fearful stories were sent 
over the country, that season, in relation to the sick- 
ness. A correspondent of an Eastern paper stated 
that he saw in a cemetery at La Salle, 300 graves 
that had never been rained on, and that in a new 
country where settlement was but just commenced. 
That might liave been true, but the cemetery 
belonged to the Catholics, and was the only one 
this side of Chicago, and tlioasands of men were 
then at work on the canal, and they nearly- all 
came to La Salle for burial ; and this was in the 
late fall when there had been no rain for nearly six 
months. When the land around a residence had 
become thoroughly cultivated, the inmates ceased 

160 History of La Salle County. 

to have the aojue, the tilled soil readily absorbed the 
rainfall, and no doubt the deleterious gases of the 
atmosphere ; but whatever the cause, the annual 
sickness so annoying for many years gradualh' 
disappeared as the country became improved. 
Malarious disease has nearly ceased, and the county 
is one of the most healthful locations in this or any 
other country. 

Although sickness is the greatest evil, yet there 
were many deprivations and annoyances that put 
the endurance of the most patient and uncomplain- 
ing to a severe test, and yet the evil was many times 
more imaginary than real, from the fact that a 
luxury once enjoyed, in imagination becomes a 
necessity ; our real wants are few and easily sup- 
plied, while luxurious habits engender tastes and 
wants the world can hardl}^ supply. 

The winter of 1838 was very cold, and having 
been preceded by a very dry summer, and conse- 
quently low water, the supply of water for milling 
purposes soon became exhausted, and as there was 
no commercial communication with the outside 
world but by the river, and that frozen nearl)'^ 
solid, the supply of Hour and meal soon became 
exhausted, and some substitute had to be found. 
Boiled wheat, liulled corn, hominy, and what was 
called pound cake, made of corn pounded in a 
mortar, were all used. A common practice was to 
grind corn in a coffee mill, first popping or burning 
the corn over the iire, so as to make it brittle and 
more easily ground. The meal thus produced was 
quite palatable, and was made into hoe or johnny 

Nativity of the First i^eitlers. 161 

cake, or used in some other primitive style which 
necessity had taught ; mau}^ had submitted to such 
privations when first liere, and were better prepared 
to surmount the difRcult3\ Nearh^ all the people 
then here had to obtain their bread in tliat way 
through most of that winter, and doubtless have a 
lively recollection of turning the coffee mill morn- 
ing and evening, preparatory to satisfying an excel- 
lent appetite ; and although the over nice and 
fastidious complained, the profane used some hard 
words, and many got homesick, it is probable none 
got the gout from high living that winter. 


It will not be devoid of interest to briefly notice 
the localities from which the first settlers of the 
■different towns came ; the communities here formed 
will ever look with a filial feeling toward the birth- 
place of their fathers, and those locations will ever 
feel a commendable pride in the prosperity of these 
offshoots from the parent stock. 

The settlements at Ottawa embraced a mixed 
class ; the first were from the south part of this 
State, Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia, while later, New 
York and New England were largely represented. 
A large number from Clinton County, New Y^ork, 
settled in South Ottawa, and almost every portion 
of the country had repi-esentatives there. 

Dayton, and Rutland, and a portion of Manlius. 
were settled almost exclusively from Licking 

162 History of La Salle County. 

County, Ohio. They were a temperate, moral 
people, physically strong and vigorous, and raised 
large families, and the mortality among them has 
been remarkably small. Licking County may well 
be proud of her colony, who, with their descend- 
ants, will doubtless long cherish the memory of 
the land of their fathers. 

Serena has a large representation from near 
Plattsburg, New York ; while Vermont, Massachu- 
setts, Connecticut, and other Eastern States, are 
well represented, and later, a considerable French 
colony came in. 

Earl, and vicinity, received her first settlers mostly 
from Boston, while others from the banks of the St. 
Lawrence, Vermont, and other Eastern localities, 
mated well with those from the hub. 

The first settlers of Northville, and Adams, were 
mostly from New York, while Vermont, Ohio, 
Norway, Germany, Ireland, and even Russia, were 

The pioneers of Freedom were largely from New 
York, but were a mixture from different localities, 
both South and East. 

Bruce, and Eagle, on the Vermillion, were largely 
settled from Fayette County, Pennsylvania, with a 
few from Ohio, and Virginia. 

Vermillion, and Deei- Park, were settled by per- 
sons from New York, Pennsylvania, and Ninv Eng- 
land, with a few from Ohio, Indiana, and Virginia. 

The fi?-st in Farm Ridge, were from Fayette 
County, J*ennsylvania, but most of the early set- 
tlers were from Connecticut. 

NaUmiy of the First Settlers. 163 

The commercial towns usually had a mixed popu- 
lation, from the cities and commercial points, East 
and West, while each agricultural neighborhood was 
mostly from one locality. The emigrants from Nor- 
way, who are located in the northeast part of the 
county, in the towns of Miller and Mission, mostly, 
but are quitn numerous ' in Adams, Northville, 
Serena, and other towns, embrace a large population, 
and for several years retained their language and 
usages, and formed a community by themselves; 
but our common school system, compelling the use 
of the English language, is a leveler of caste and 
race, and all rapidly become homogeneous. 

The first emigration from Norway to the United 
States was in 1825. Cling Pearson, of Hestham- 
mer, in Norway, came over in 1822, and on his re- 
turn gave a glowing picture of America, and finding 
the people of Stavinger, a small town of his neigh- 
borhood, dissatisfied with their minister, appointed 
by the Grovernment, and desirous of changing their 
location, he persuaded them to emigrate. They 
purchased a small vessel, a two-masted fishing sloop, 
for $1,800, and fifty- two emigrants set sail in their 
little craft for the Western continent. They sailed 
through the North Sea, and English Channel, to Ma- 
deira, where they got short of provisions, picked up 
a pipe of wine, which they enjoyed hugely, and there 
laid in a stock of provisions. They left Norway 
July 4th, reached Fanchal August ISth, and New 
York the last day of October, 1825, fifty-three in 
number — an increase of one. 

In New York thev sold the vessel for $400, and 

164 History of Lo. Salle County. 

the company divided, twenty-eight going with Cling 
Pearson, who got a free passage for them to Orleans 
County, New York, where they purchased land, and 
formed a settlement, the first Norwegian settlement 
in America. But Cling Pearson was a restless spirit ; 
he again rambled west, and explored Illinois, and 
fixed on a location in La Salle County. Cling stated 
that when exploring the country afterward occupied 
by his countrymen, becoming wear}^, he lay down 
under a tree, slept, and dreamed, and in his dream 
he saw the wild prairie changed to a cultivated re- 
gion, teeming with all kinds of grain and fruits, 
most beautiful to behold ; that splendid houses and 
barns stood all over the land, occupied by a rich, 
prosperous and happy people. He awoke refreshed, 
and, nerved anew by his dream, went back to his 
•countrymen in New York, and persuaded them to 
emigrate to Illinois. Cling' s dream may have been 
dreamed awake, but it has been fully realized. The 
early da3^s of the Norwegian settlement were days 
of poverty and toil, and they rej^eatedly suffered 
terribly by Asiatic cholera ; but they have sur- 
mounted their trials, and are now, as seen in Cling' s 
dream, a wealthy, prosperous, and happy people. 
Cling Pearson afterward went to Texas, and died 

The first Norwegian colony from New York came 
to La Salle County in 1834, being a part of the fifty- 
three who came over from Norway in 1825. Since 
that, others have followed from Norway, and the first 
fitty-tlire(; emigrants liave w(^lcomed man}^ of their 
old neiglibors to the land of tlieir adoption. It 

Diversity of Customs, Provincialisms, etc. 1 65 

seems, that like the Pilgrim Fathers, religious lib- 
erty was the prospective boon that led them to the 
Western continent. Many of them still adhere to 
the Lutheran, the national church of Norway, but 
many are Methodists, and the Mormons have a 
church among them. 

Many of the Irish laborers employed on the canal 
while in progress, remained in the county. Num- 
bers of these, and others who came from the favorable 
representation of their friends here, have settled on 
farms and become wealthy. The Germans came later, 
and though but few of them were reckoned among 
the early settlers, they are now quite numerous. 


In looking up the localities from which the first 
settlers of our county came, it is interesting to 
notice how many are represented. Nearly all the 
States of the Union, and from some of the States 
nearly every county ; and among the more recent 
emigrants, nearly every nation of Europe — each 
furnish their quota. Thus a great diversity of habits, 
manners, customs, methods of cultivation, utensils 
used, religion, amusements, social relations, habits 
of thought and language, are brought in contact, con- 
trasted and compared. It might well be expected 
that each one should be persistently attached to 
that to which he was traditionally accustomed, and 
prone to sneer at the (to him) unusual practice of 

166 History of La Salle County. 

his neighbor. Under such 'circumstances human 
nature might be expected to be clannish, exclusive, 
and hostile, and unfriendly feelings be engendered ; 
but such was not the case to any extent. The sparse 
population, removed from the comforts and conveni- 
ences to which the}^ had been accustomed, were im- 
pressed with a feeling of mutual dependence ; and 
a neighboi- was trul}^ a friend and neighbor, 
whether he came from the Green Mountains of Ver- 
mont, the low country of Virginia or Carolina, or 
the dark and blood}^ ground of Kentucky ; and the 
great diversity of origin, instead of being an evil, 
has thus far, and will in the future, be a most de- 
€ided benefit. 

A more successful result achieved b}^ my neigh- 
bor's method will not be lost on me. Traditional 
systems, though fondly cherished, must ever yield 
to a practical demonstration of greater success from 
other systems, although new to us ; and the 
methods of procedure found most successful will 
in the end be adopted by all. Having so large a 
variety of customs to select fi-om, embracing the 
usages of all the States of the Union and all the 
nations of Europe, the result must be the adoption 
of the excellences of each, the rejection of the less 
successful, and the formation of the most perfect 
system known to man. 

In matters of field culture, of gardening, of rural 
(economy, and rural tiiste, social customs and amuse- 
ments, this is equally true. The log cabin, situated 
in the centre of a two-acre lot, where tlie children, 
-c;attle, hogs, horses, sheep, and ])oultry, mingle 

Diversiiy of Oiistoms, Provincialisms, etc. 167 

promiscuously, and where the mud at the opening 
of spring is of a very uncertain depth up to the 
door-step, will be improved when contrasted with 
a snug though rude cabin enclosed b}' a rude fence, 
where the children can gambol on the clean lawn ; 
where a rose unfolds its petals in the June sun, a 
vine is trained over the south window, and where 
a few well-trained shade trees break the force of the 
winter's wind and cool the heated rays of the noon- 
day summer sun. 

A choice fruit, a cluster of berries or grapes, 
given a neighbor, is followed by the inciuiry. Where 
can I get a tree or vine? How do you cultivate 
them ? Can 3'ou sjoare some cuttings or sprouts? 

The denizen of a cabin on the edge of the prairie, 
around which the stock roamed at pleasure, without 
a shrub, fruit tree, or bush of any kind, as he passed 
a dwelling where some home- sick matron had decked 
her little yard with a plat of annual flowers, and 
grown some favorite rose, the root of which she 
placed in the box of goods as they left their old 
home a thousand miles away, would exclaim : 
"These stuck-up Yankees spend their time very 
foolishly ; how much money will the}^ get for all 
that ? " But the daughter of that famil3% w^ith the 
intuition of female taste, will soon look with 
pleasure at this little effort at adornment, and will 
inquire : "Can I get a slip of that rose, and some 
seeds of those asters and balsams ? '' And they are 
given with the generosity of pioneer life, intensified 
by contact with the whole-souled hospitality and 
kindness of the Southern character ; and thus the 

168 History of La Balle County . 

customs and tastes become homogeneous, and all 
improve b}^ contact with each other. 

In the rural districts of every country the language 
is liable to become corrupted by provincialisms, 
and words and phrases common in one district are 
not known in another. 

As our educational system becomes perfected, and 
intercourse between different sections more free, 
this will cease. These provincialisms were quite 
common among our early settlers, each class or 
locality furnishing something toward the general 
stock. While the Yankee "guessed," the Sucker 
"reckoned." One called it a "homely " face ; the 
other, an ' ' ugly ' ' one. In answer to the universal 
question, one said he was " quite well ;" the other, 
that he had " nothing to complain of," or that he 
was quite pert^ the last word pronounced with a 
long e. 

The early settlers at the West made their own 
common clothing, and any purchased was called 
bough ten, or "store clothes;" a young man was 
supposed to be on special business when he had on 
his store clothes. An extra meal got up for com- 
pany was called "chicken lixings," while an ordi- 
nary meal was " common doings." 

The Yankee finished cidtivating his corn, while 
the Western man "laid it by." 

Household goods, traveling baggage, or other per- 
sonal effects, were called "truck," and "plunder." 

"Tote the horse to water," and "hang him up 
to hay," was a common order to the boy who cared 
for that animal. 

Diversity of Customs, Promncialisms^ etc. 169 

When sitting at table, the host wishing to be both 
hospitable and polite, would say, "Make a long 
arm, stranger," that is, help yourself to anything 
you can reach. 

A common salutation when meeting a friend in a 
crowd was, "I wish I had struck you before," that 
is, met you. 

In answer to the? usual inquiry as to health, a 
neighbor answered, "We have nothing to complain 
of, except that brother William has got a rock in 
his eye, and is suffering severely." This, to a 
Yankee fresh from IS^ew England, where anything 
less than about half a ton weight is never called a 
rock, gave a rather ludicrous impression of the size 
of brother William's eye. 

An old Kentuckian telling of a wedding in his 
neighborhood, of the parties to which he had not a 
very exalted opinion, expressed that opinion in his 
very forcible vernacular, thus: "He is an ornar}^ 
cuss, and she is rather slack-twisted." 

A Southern matron was inquired of, how far it 
was out to the public road, she replied, ''It is a 
rifle shot and a horn-blow," that is, the distance a 
rifle will carry a ball, added to the distance a com- 
mon dinner-horn can be heard. 

The writer was traveling on horseback about the 
last of February and called on a wealthy Virginian 
to get entertainment for the night. The double log 
house was situated near tlie middle of an enclosure 
of one to two acres. Wintei- was breaking, and the 
enclosure was occupied by a large stock of cattle, 
horses, hogs, sheep, poultry, etc., and they had 


170 History of La Salle County. 

tramped the surface to the consistency of mortar to 
the depth of from eight to twelve inches. The old 
gentleman was standing in the door, and the follow- 
ing conversation took place : 

Said I, " Can I get to stay all night ?" a common 
way of putting the question then. 

He said, "I reckon.'' I prepared to dismount, 
when lie shouted, ''Hold on, stranger, the gal will 
open the bars, and save your getting in the mud." 
I had some curiosity to see how the girl was to get 
through the sea of mud between the house and 
the bars ; but she proved equal to the emergency ; 
she quickly doffed her foot gear, and holding her 
dress well up came promptlj^ through the mud 
with her bare feet. I rode to the door, gave the 
horse to the girl who cared for him, and found 
inside, hospitable and comfortable accommoda- 
tions, notwithstanding the forbidding appearance 
outside ; sleeping in the same room with the host, his 
wife, and several grown-up daughters — a practice 
born of necessity, and not considered indelicate at 
that time. 

A young man of very reputable appearance, and 
riding a fine horse, stojiped in the early spring 
with the writer, over night ; the front yard con- 
tained some flower beds just planted, and some 
young shubbery just bursting the buds. Before 
breakfast I found the stranger's horse in the front 
yard, and remov(>d him, but had hardly returned 
to the house when the horse was again among the 
flower beds, and I had just removed him the second 
time, w\nm the owner came in in a huh', saying some 

Prairie Grasses. 171 

one was interfering with his horse ; he had turned 
him in the yard to crop the fresh grass, (which was 
more forward in the sheltered yard than elsewhere, ) 
and he would be much pleased to have him left 
alone, I explained that we did not allow horses 
in the front yard, when he apologized, and said he 
was entirely unconscious of committing any impro- 
priety — that where he lived, the door yard was the 
place where they kept their horses. 


The wild grass of the prairies, in its primitive state, 
made excellent pasture and hay. With the range 
the early settlers had, their cattle would put on 
more flesh, and in less time, than on any other pas- 
ture, either wild or tame. Having their choice from 
the boundless sea of verdure by which they were 
surrounded, they, of course, selected the best and 
most nutritious varieties. The sedge, which grew 
only along the sloughs, was the first to start in the 
spring, and was then eaten with avidity, but was 
entirely neglected when the grasses proper made 
their appearance. The bent or "blue joint," which 
grew mostly along the sides of the sloughs, or, as 
the settlers expressed it, "between the dry and wet 
land," was preferred to all other varieties, particu- 
larly when mixed with the wild pea vine, as it often 
was. These together made hay of superior quality, 
which stock of all kinds preferred to any other, 
without exception ; and its yield was immense ; 

172 History of La Salle County. 

but as tills was selected for hay, and the stock fed 
constantl}' on it, it was rapidly exterminated, so 
that in a feAv 3^ ears that portion of the ground where 
it grew became almost bare of vegetation, after which, 
the upland grass, or that growing on the dry prairie^ 
was selected for both hay and pasture, that is, 
within the range of the stock ; but by going back 
on the unoccupied prairie, as was frequently done, 
for some miles, as the settlements thickened, the 
bent and pea vine were found in rich abundance. 
And the older and more experienced oxen, and 
other members of the herd, learned to seek these' 
rich pastures, so far out that daj-s were sometimes 
spent in recovering them. 

The upland grass, which for many years formed 
the staple feed for stock, was a very good article, 
but immensely inferior to the choice virgin pastures 
which greeted the herds of the lirst comers. 

On all the prairie pastures neat cattle were re- 
markably thrifty, and free from disease, and in 
some respects horses were peculiarly so. It was a 
singular fact, that a horse reared on the prairie 
never had the heaves, and horses from other locali- 
ties, badlj' afflicted with that complaint, on being 
turned on the prairie pasture, oi- fed with prairie 
hay for a few weeks, were invariably fully cured. 
It was attributed to the medicinal qualities of the 
resin weed, of wiiich there were numerous varieties, 
and of which horses were very fond. Some ascribed 
it to the climate ; but tliis idea is refuted, by the 
fact that sin<'e horses are fed on timothy hay, the 
heaves arc (\\\\W coinmon. Horses feeding on the 

Hard Times. 173 

prairie never slobbered ; but tliis difficulty is now 
known to be caused by clover seed. As soon as the 
white clover heads turn brown, the slobbering com- 
mences. Seed of the red clover has the same effect. 
Horses fed upon prairie hay, and even on the pas- 
ture, were peculiarly subject to a disease, often fatal 
in a short time, called colic, which is much less fre- 
quent since the introduction of the tame grasses. 
Early mowing and close feeding rapidly extermi- 
nated the wild grass of the prairie, which, like tlie 
buffalo and the Indian, seemed destined to fade out 
before the steady advance of civilization. The set- 
tlers did everything in their power to effect this, by 
late bums and close grazing, thereby removing the 
fuel that sustained the annual tires, so much dreaded. 
If a tract of prairie had been enclosed, so as to entirely 
exclude all kinds of stock, and the grass cut for hay 
as late as the middle of August, each year, it could 
have been preserved indeiinitely, and would have 
been a curiosity to future generations — as the pro- 
fusion of native flowers, so much admired by all 
wlio ever saw them, would have been preserved with 
the grasses. 


Tlie financial crash of 1837 came at a very inop- 
portune moment, and much to the discomfort of our 
people. One of those periodical seasons of expan- 
sion, followed by corresponding contraction, a 
period of financial heat, followed by a financial ague 
of equal severity, which has been the bane of our 

174 History of La Salle County. 

prosperity, and whicli no financial skill or states- 
manship lias been able to foresee or prevent, was 
then in full blast. 

When the Government offered the lands in the 
centre of the county for sale, in 1835, the settlers 
took but a small proportion, and the balance was 
taken by speculators, and at once held at from five 
to ten dollars per acre, and in some central localities 
at many times that. Although prices were high» 
anticipated prices were still higher ; every one ex- 
pected a fortune, or supposed themselves already 
rich. Corner lots, claims, pre-emptions, and floats, 
were in everybody' s month. A lodger at any of the 
rickety hotels at that day, would have to sleep in a 
room containing four or five beds, and from the bar- 
gains and contracts made by the lodgers before going 
to sleep, might well imagine himself on 'Change, or in 
Wall street, in New York, and his companions all 
millionaires. The writer called at a log cabin toward 
evening of a rainy day, wliere some half dozen far- 
mers were assembled, who had evidently engaged 
in high speculation during the day. One of the 
number, addressing himself to me, said, as he slapped 
his liand very complacently on his thigh, "I have 
made ten thousand dollars to-day, and I will make 
twice that to-morrow;" and I learned from further 
(conversation with his companions, tliat Jie had been 
the least successful one in tlie company. Towns 
and villages were laid out at almost every cross- 
road, and some where there had never been any 
road. I s(^t out some small ai)ple trees on my farm, 
the only oik's to b(^ procured, :ind stuck a stake by 

Hard Times. 175 

each ; a stranger coming past, inquired the name of 
the town I had laid out. 

These lots were put upon the market, and sold at 
auction, or exchanged for other lots or lands. Many 
were sent East, and sold at good prices, the pur- 
chaser in many instances never inquiring after his 
purchase, as the bursting of the bubble soon in- 
formed him hoAv badly he was sold. An auctioneer 
in Chicago, was crying a lot in a town somewhere 
on the banks of the Illinois river, and said it was a 
water lot ; a bystander re2:)lied, "'you are right, for I 
was over it in a canoe, and I could not reach it with 
a ten foot pole ; " but the lot sold for a round j)rice. 
Up to 1837 the country had never produced enough 
for home consumption, and prices were governed b}' 
a market, where tlie demand exceeded the sujjply. 
also enhanced by the wild speculation of tlie day ; 
but the harvest of 1837 exceeded the demand, and 
produce was worth only its value to send to an East- 
ern or Southern market. 

At the same time the crash of 1837 came, and 
soon after emigration almost entirely ceased. Work 
on the canal, which had then been in progress about 
two years, was nearly suspended, only being con- 
tinued in a sickly condition, mostly by issuing scrij), 
which soon depreciated to eighteen to twent}' cents 
on the dollar, and in 1839 work was entirely sus- 
pended. AVlieat went down from two dollars to iifty 
cents, and no cash at that ; pork, fi-oni twenty-live 
dollars per barrel to one dollar per hundred ; corn, 
to ten cents, Avith store pay at one hundred per cent, 
profit. Hides, tallow, deer skins, and furs, were 

176 History of La Salle County. 

the only articles that would bring cash. The utter 
breaking down of all business relations, the disap- 
pearance of a circulating medium, and impossibilit}' 
of selling produce for cash, necessitated an economy 
which few elsewhere have practiced, and which those 
accustomed to the lavish practices and expenditures 
of the present day, will scarcely believe. 

There was no danger of starving ; there was 
plenty of breadstuff, beef, pork, venison, prairie 
chickens, and an}'^ vegetables they chose to i-aise. 
Of fruit there was none, except wild plums, goose- 
berries and crab apples, which would now be con- 
sidt^red a poor substitute. Groceries could be 
procured by barter ; but it took a load of grain to 
buy a little, and these were used very sparingly. 
Some boys now spend more for cigars in a day, 
than our best farmers would then handle in a 
month ; and letters from Eastern friends would lie 
for days in the post office, for the reason that money 
could not be procured to pay the postage, then 
twenty -five cents on each letter. 

Of clothing but little was purchased. It was a 
common and trite saying, that we came to Illinois 
to wear out our old clothes, which was done most 
♦effectually. 2V cheap garment then worn was 
made of a coai'se material called hard times^ com- 
l)OS('d of cotton and the coarsest wool, made like a 
frock, gathei-ed at the neok, hanging loose to the 
hips, held by a belt at the waist, with loose sleeves. 
It was warm and comfortable, and, made at home, 
cost about $l.oO. It was worn at all times— at 
churcii, to town, or to (Chicago. 

Hard Times. \11 

Hauling produce to Chicago became a conimou 
practice, to raise a little money to pay postage and 
taxes. The only expense paid on a trip to Chicago 
was the ferriage over the Illinois river, and that 
was saved by those living north of it. The team 
lived on the prairie grass and a little grain carried 
from home, and the driver carried his provisions, 
and slept in or under his wagon. They carried a 
•coffee-pot, encamped near some cieek, made a lire, 
and lived independent. They would manage to 
encamp on the prairie near Chicago, go in in the 
morning and out before evening, never paying any 
tavern bills in Chicago. Wheat thus hauled sold 
as low as thirty -live cents per bushel, and it would 
take five days to a load. With wheat given and 
going thus cheap, a man would not earn day 
wages. Of course no one expected to make money ; 
to live was the only question, and hop'^ for the 
future the only ambition. 

Such improvements as could be made without 
money and by labor only, were prosecuted by the 
settlers in the time they could eke out from the toil 
that dire necessity imposed ; and many a farm was 
fenced, yards and stables made, and prairie broken, 
during these 3'ears of depression, relying upon a 
change to come, when the produce of the farms thus 
improved should pay for their toil, and those who 
thus improved found those years, in the end, as 
profitable as an}^ in their pioneer history. 

It has been said that a peo])lt^ living thus de- 
prived of the luxuries of civilization are liable to 
-degenerate into barbarism. If the church and the 

178 History of La Salle County. 

school liouse are to be included in these luxuries, 
the remark may be true ; but the education and in- 
telligence which the pioneer settlers brought with 
them, and which employed their first and best 
efforts here to transmit to their children, has in its 
results sufficiently refuted that opinion. 

It has long been a mooted question whether it is 
possible to possess the intelligence, refinement, and 
polish of good society, divested of the luxury that 
enervates, and the slavish deference to the demands 
of fashion, which impoverishes and corrupts. There 
would seem to be no necessary connection between 
the dissemination of knowledge, and improvement 
of the esthetic nature of man, and the gormandizing 
of the glutton and drunkard, the painted face of 
the savage, the turkey quills in his hair, the bauble 
lianging to his ears or nose, or the equally absurd 
folly of dragging a trailing skirt through the filthy 
street, hampering and defiling the feet and ankles, 
and wickedly wasting means needed for other and 
better objects. 

Tlie apparent hallucination whicli knids otherwise 
sensible people, in violation of every principle of 
decency or common sense, to pander to a senseless 
custom, and destroy health and usefulness, simply 
to obey the foolish behests of fashion, is one of the 
dark(^st blots on human character. Those who were 
actors in tliese scenes when stern necessity forced 
fashion and all its follies into the background, have 
learncxl a lesson the world would do well to heed — 
they were none tlie less happy or intelligent ; in 
fact, all the kindlier feelings of luiman nature came 

Hard Times. 17& 

to tlie front — there was more sympathy for the suf- 
fering, more regard for the feelings of otliers. There 
was more genuine benevolence and hospitality than 
ever existed in a community where the wealthy 
aspire to aristocratic distinction, and fashion draws 
the cruel line between those who can, and those who 
can not, follow her senseless behests. Many of those 
whose experience tells them the contrast between 
now and then, never tire of declaiming against the 
degeneracy of the times, and of extoling the good 
days, past, they fear, never to return. 

Wealth is a blessing, when properly used. The 
culture of art and a refined taste can not go on without 
wealth ; it is not the proper use of it that is com- 
plained of, it is its abuse. There has never been 
but a moiety of earned wealth properly used ; expen- 
sive folly and dissipation have consumed nearly all. 
This will doubtless be so till the world is purer and 
wiser than now. But if a few can see its folly, and 
will oppose the overwhelming tide that sweeps on 
its resistless course, it may be a beginning, that, like 
all other reforms, contemned and desx^ii^ed at first, 
will, in the end, by slow and persistent effort, form 
a resistless barrier to the evil they essayed to stop. 

When we look upon the early pioneers, separated 
from the home of their youth, enduring the usual 
hardships and privations of a new country, the in- 
evitable sickness following in its train, complicated 
by the financial embarrassments which compelled a 
relinquishment of the fashionable luxuries to which 
they had been accustomed, we can but admire the 
patient endurance and the versatility of character 

180 History of La Salle County. 

which enabled them to adapt themselves to such 
altered circumstances, and to build up a State which 
has no superior, in the face of obstacles that would 
seem insurmountable. The question arises, would 
this have been accomplished if luxurious habits had 
wasted the avails of the settler' s toil instead of con- 
verting ills labor into lasting improvements, as was 
done ? 

Determined perseverance will surmount almost 
any obstacle, but without economy it will avail but 
little in building up a country. "Many an estate 
is spent in the getting." The same perseverance, 
industry and economy which was practiced by the 
early settlers, and which built iip the country with 
a rapidity unknown to other times, if practiced 
under more favorable circumstances would result in 
proportionably greater benefits. Better health, 
longer life, silre independen<'(\ social happiness, 
affluence to the individual and to the State, with 
all the blessings that cluster around life, would be 
the result. 

These blessings are now nearly all sacrificed to 
the Moloch of appetite, pride and fashion. 

A (;ommuiiity obeying hygienic laws ; temperate 
in all things ; practicing patient industry and rigid 
economy ; taking common sense, comfort and health 
for a guide in di-ess and equi]iage; cultivating the 
mind and all the elements of esthetic taste ; would 
as a cpmm unity be a prodigy such as the world 
never saw, but wliidi. in the good time coming, may 
bo hoped for. 

Mmbarrassment of the ^tate. 181 


A State seldom proves to be wiser than its people. 
As a stream never rises higher than its source, so a 
State in its sovereign capacity is but the exponent 
of the will and opinions of those who make its 

The wild spirit of speculation which pervaded the 
citizens of IJlinois in 1835, 1836 and 1837, was 
equally developed in the counsels of the State. 

In 1830 the Internal Improvement Act was passed, 
incorporating the Central Railroad and a network 
of railroads covering most of the State : counties not 
sharing in the improvements, or not being on the 
line of any railroad, were bribed into acquiescence in 
the scheme by grants of money directl3^ The Illi- 
nois and Michigan Canal was at the same time being 
constructed under State autlioiity. To meet all 
this expenditure of untold millions, the State de- 
pended upon loans entirely. 

Cities, counties and towns followed in the wake 
of the State, and loaned money to build court 
houses, jails, etc., to an amount that seems per- 
perfectly astounding. It now appears as if all 
the world was insane at that time, but no one knew 
it then. The construction of the canal and the Central 
Railroad, employing hundreds of laborers within 
the count}', caused the disbursement of a large 
amount of money. Prices were high, and s]iecula- 
tion wild. 

After spending about twenty millions of dollars, 
the coHapse came. Not a single work was com- 

182 History of La Salle County. 

pleted ; not one yielded a dollar to the coffers of 
the State. There was no mone}^ in the treasury, 
and very little taxes were collected ; there was no 
cnrrencj^ ; farm produce could not be sold for 
money, and consequently the people could not pay 
taxes or debts, and stay laws were passed. The 
fountain was dried up at its source, and all business 
entirel}' at a stand-still. The State paid no interest 
on her indebtedness. Auditors' warrants were 
issued for current expenses, but were worth onh^ a 
small per centage of -their face. Repudiation was 
•openly advocated and practically^ adopted. The 
State was a byword, and all right-thinking men 
blushed at her dishonor. Emigrants avoided her 
borders as t\\Qj would a pestilence, and many of 
those who had the means left the State. 

Tlie combination of causes which reduced the 
settlers to the necessity of living, upon their own 
resources, and nearh' shut them from the outside 
world, restricted them to the original settlements 
near or in the timber, and to the old system of farm- 
ing, building, and fencing. It was soon seen that 
the supply of timber was entirely inadequate to 
meet the demands of the growing settlements, and 
that it would be entirely impracticable to occupy 
all the prairie. The idea of importing lumber fiom 
the pineries of Michigan was not entertained for 
several reasons. It (;ould not be transported, there 
was no money to buy it, and in the absence of a 
market tliere was little manufactured. 

The desirable^ timber here was all taken up and 
held at high prices, with a prospect tliat still higher 

Embarrassment of the Slate. 188 

prices would be reached. Every possible device 
was adopted to economize in the nse of timber, and 
the varieties of fence invented would fill a curiosit}' 
shop of no small dimensions. A curious individ- 
ual counted the different varieties of fence seen in 
passing through the countr3\ The}' amounted to 
nearly fifty, most of them failing in efficiency as 
the consumption of timber decreased. 

The want of timber, the low price of all kinds of 
produce, the bankruptc-y of the State driving all 
emigration around it, utterly prevented the exten- 
sion of the settlements, or any demand for real 

The township school lands were unavailable, or 
sacrificed at a small percentage of the amount 
afterwards realized on those retained, consequentl}" 
the residents had to support their schools from their 
private purse, or do without them. On every hand 
the prospect was discouraging. The high anticipa- 
tions indulged in when speculation was at fever heat 
aggravated and increased the despondency. Among 
the causes that intensified this state of things, was 
the want of a currency. After the failure of the 
two State banks in 1842, there was no reliable circu- 
lating medium. While the few articles of export 
that would bring cash, such as furs, peltries, tal- 
low, and the pork and wheat hauled b}- wagon to 
Chicago, or shipped to St. Louis, were sold at a 
price that would appear ridiculous now, payment 
was invariably made in a depreciated currency. 
The Eastern purchaser coming to Chicago with par 
funds to invest in Western produce, found a money- 

184 History of La Salle County. 

changer there ready to give him two to five per cent, 
preminni for his Eastern currency, wliile tlie depre- 
ciated stuff was Just as current among the poor 
Suckers : in fact, they never saw an^y other. One 
Smitli. a Scotchman, liad a bank of issue nominally 
in Milwaukee, called the Wisconsin Fire and Marine 
Insurance Company. He had an office in Chicago 
where he gave his bills for Eastern funds, paying a 
premium of one to two per cent., and for a time 
this was the only money in circulation. If the 
holder wanted to remit East, (and all the currency 
received had to go East through the merchants, 
mone}' loaners, or some one else), the money had to 
go to Chicago, and Smith would give Eastern funds 
for it at two to three per cent, discount on his own 
paper, thus making from one to two per cent, on 
nearly all the money that passed Chicago. There 
^^'ere times when the exchange on Eastern or par 
funds was as high as five to ten per cent. It is but 
justice to the Scotchman Smith, to saj^, that while 
he did a wholesale shaxing business, he redeemed 
all his issues and closed \\\) his bank honorably, and 
went back to Scotland with a large fortune, made 
in his little shaving office in Chicago ; while the 
other "Wild Cat " and " Ked Dog," as it was called, 
from Missouri, Indiana and Michigan, after circulat- 
ing for months at a heavy discount, failed entirely — 
and many of the old settlers have bundles, of it 
storied away in some corner of an old chest, but 
badly faded, as its makers did not even furnish 
decent pa])er and ink in its numufacture. 

The exjMM-iencc of the Illinois settlements, fronji 

Embarrassment of the Slate. 185 

1838-39 to 1845-48, is but a repetition of the history 
of every community that overtrades andlives beyond 
its income. Wild and reckless speculation never 
creates wealth, but wastes it, and a period of waste- 
ful extravagance must be followed by the practice 
of rigid economy, patient industry and self-denial, 
or descent to groveling poverty. Full recovery, 
like physical recuperation after a debauch, necessi- 
tates the inevitable penance which alone can restore 
the wasted energies. 

Although the settler had from the first advent 
here, from necessity, practiced the most patient and 
persistent labor, and lived plainly and economically 
as all settlers in a new country must, yet the world 
was on a wild crusade of speculation and financial 
extravagance, and all had to suffer in common. 
Still the settlers and the country individually 
weathered the storm, and there were few cases of 
bankruptcy among the pioneer farmers, while most 
others j^ielded to the financial tornado. 

The production of permanent or lasting improve- 
ments, or acquisition of currency or credits, which 
can be exchanged for or converted into such im- 
provements or other valuable possessions held and 
retained for future use, is the acquisition of wealth. 
But the accxuisition of useless luxuries, or of wealth 
to be converted into such luxuries, is not wealth 
acquired. A whole community may work indus- 
triously, the sound of the loom and spindle may be 
vocal through the land, and an immense amount 
of nominal wealth be produced ; but if those pro- 
ductions are all useless or iniurious luxuries that do 

13 ^ 

186 History of La Salle County. 

not add to the sum of liuman happiness, or are 
expended for such when they have been earned 
and used, the community is no richer than before, 
but a portion of time and labor which mi^^ht have 
produced something permanently useful has been 

It always takes the greater portion of the earnings 
of 3i\\j people to support them, or give them a living, 
and only as those earnings are in excess of that 
expense or support, are that people acquiring wealth, 
and all of those earnings expended for articles not 
necessary for comfort are literally wasted. 

This principle applied to the circumstances of our 
early settlers from 1886 to 1844, will prove conclu- 
sively that they were really accumulating wealth, 
faster than at any succeeding time. Tiiey were 
placed in circumstances where as they had really no 
income to be converted into money and expended for 
luxuries which their pride and vanity would induce 
them to indulge in, they were forced to forego that 
indulgence, and as thej^ were reall}^ none the less 
happy, they sufifered no loss in consequence. But 
their time and energies were applied in making per- 
manent improvements, breaiving the prairie, fencing, 
building bridges and roads, rearing orchards, fruit 
trees and shrubs, and by all this making the farms 
more valuable ; and as these could not be expended, 
it was all wealth acquired and stored up for future 
use ; here is the true secret of the unparalleled growth 
of our State. If the labor of the settlers had all 
been directed to hunting dcei-, and trapping muskrat, 
and all the pelts sold for silks and laces and other 

Illinois and Michigan Canal. 187 

finery, and tliat worn out, tlie State would have been 
no riclier to-day than when the Indian followed that 
same business, and expended his earnings for 
whisky, beads, and other baubles. The hard- 
working, economical German will pay for an eighty- 
acre farm in a few 3- ears, when other men will only 
pay expenses; althougli the German produces no 
more than the other, yet he saves it, while the other 
spends it. iVs with individuals, so with nations — if 
the income of either exceed the expenses all counted, 
then w^ealth is being accumulated ; but if the outgo 
is more than the income, then no amount of fine 
spun theories, casuistry or sophistry can prevent 
poverty being the result. 


The Lake system of the southeastern slope of the 
North American continent is so commanding a fea- 
ture in the topograpliy of the country, and so inti- 
mately connected with the river systems, and artifi- 
cial or canal navigation, that it needs to be well 
understood, to properly comprehend and appreciate 
the latter. 

This immense chain of lakes or inland seas, 
with basins a thousand feet in depth, filled with 
water, pure and sparkling as crystal, rests like a 
circlet of diamonds on the brow of the continent. 

All the world elsewhere go down to the sea, but 
we go up., as if nature, proud of her handiwork, 
had placed it on the highest elevation for the admi- 

188 History of La Salle County. 

ration of the world, and tliat tlieir sweet and pellu- 
cid waters, percolating through all the hidden crev- 
ices of geologic secrecy, might be ever ready to 
slake the thirst of a continent. Lake Superior is 
630 feet above the sea level. Lake Michigan is 578 
feet above the sea, and about 100 feet above the 
canal basin at La Salle. Thus the lakes hang as it 
were in a setting above us, and with the excep- 
tion of the slight elevation enclosing Lake Michi- 
gan, our State lies lower than that lake, with its 
water shed inclining away from it. The geological 
rock strata ascend and crop out going north, and 
consequently the lake waters rest upon the edge of 
all the strata, penetrate the porous portion, and 
become the source of our artesian fountains. 

From their commanding position, the lakes send 
their waters by different routes to the sea. Once 
they found their principal outlet by the valley of 
the Illinois, and a stream of gigantic dimensions 
then passed through what is now our county \ 
but at a time long past, (how long we can only judge 
by appearances), the lakes were depressed, and the 
low and marshy plains around the south end of 
Lake Michigan Avere left bare, and the waters 
sought the sea by leaping the falls of Niagara, 
threading the passes among the islands and rapids 
of the St. Lawrence, and were greeted by the boreal 
V)lasts and icebergs from Greenland and Labrador, 
instead of the soft and spice-laden breezes of the 

The idea of a canal or water communication from 
the lakes to tlie Mississippi by the way of the Illi- 

Illinois and Michigan Canal. 189 

nois river, presented itself to the first explorers of 
the countr}' ; in fact, the former existence of sucli a 
connection was evident. 

Col. Long, after making a topograpliical survey 
of the countr}'- in 1817, says, "Tlie project of con- 
structing such a canal where nature has nearly 
formed it, must necessarily force its consideration 
upon the Government," and such seems to have 
been the result. 

In 1814, President Madison called the attention 
of Congress to the imjjortance of this national 
work, the ''Illinois and Michigan Canal."' It was 
recommended by Gov. Bond, the first governor, 
in his first message to the first Illinois Legislature, in 
1819. In 1821, the Legislature appropriated 810,000 
for surveying the route. Its cost was estimated at 
s600,000 to 8700,000 ; it finally cost 88,000,000. In 
1825, a law was passed incorporating the Canal Com- 
pany, but no stock was taken. In 1826, Congress 
donated 300,000 acres of land, or ever}^ alternate 
section within five miles of the canal, to aid in its 

In 1828, a law was enacted providing for con- 
structing the canal under State authorit}^ commis- 
sioners appointed, and a new survey and new esti- 
mates made. 

But work was not commenced till 1886 ; ground 
was first broken, with great ceremony, at Chicago on 
the fourth of July of that j^ear. Work immedi- 
ately commenced in earnest, and several thousand 
laborers were employed ; loans were obtained from 
foreign capitalists, and State bonds issued therefor. 

190 History of La Salle County. 

The work was successfully prosecuted for two or 
three j^ears, when the monej^ loaned becoming ex- 
hausted, and the financial crash of 1837 intervening, 
dried up all sources from which mone^^ might be 
expected to come. The State was unable to borrow, 
and consequently unable to pay her contractors. 
Several issues of scrip were made, and the work 
temporarily sustained, but the scrip rapidly depre- 
ciated, some as low as fifteen or twenty cents on the 
dollar, and would have been worthless, but that it 
was received in payment for canal land sold by the 
State ; the work was finally entirely suspended. 
The scrip was redeemed and the contractors paid, 
but it was several years after, and many failed, or 
sold their scrip or claims for a trifie, while those 
who bought, or held, did well. The suspension of 
work on the canal intensified the hard times and 
general poverty and embarrassment of the settlers, 
it stopped emigration, and many left the country. 

In 1845-6, the State made an arrangement with 
the persons of whom money had been borrowed for 
canal purposes (who had received no interest on the 
loans for some years, as the State was utterly unable 
to pay it,) by which the bondholders were to take 
possession of the canal and canal lands, to advance 
the money, about $1,0()<>,(K)(), and finish the canal ; 
sell the canal lands not below the appraised value, 
and receive the; tolls of the canal ; and when they had 
received their full pay, the canal was to become the 
pro])erty of the State. Under this arrangement 
woik was resumed, and the canal was completed 
in 1848. 

Illinois and Michigan Canal. 191 

The canal lands paid a large proportion of the cost 
of construction, and with the tolls liquidated the 
last of the debt in 1873, and the canal was turned 
over to the State. It now pays the State about 
$110,000 net, yearly. The original design was to feed 
the canal from the lake, by cutting through the 
surrounding ridge, which securely holds the waters 
of the lake, but the embarrassment of the State, and 
difficulty of obtaining means, compelled the adoption 
of what was called the shallow-cut plan, which saved 
six or eight feet, in depth, of rock excavation for ten 
or twelve miles. The Calumet river was dammed for 
a feeder, and immense pumping works were set in 
motion at Bridgeport, on the Chicago river, which 
together supplied water for the canal. 

In 1869, Chicago, under an arrangement with the 
State, for the purpose of draining and cleansing the 
Chicago river which had become a cess-pool of tilth, 
excavated that level of the canal to the depth 
required for the lake to flow through it, so that it is 
now constructed on the original deep-cut plan, and 
the lake flows through the canal and Illinois to the 
Mississippi and the Gulf. It has reversed the cur- 
rent of Chicngo river, and instead of its flowing into 
the lake, the lake flows up through the river into the 
canal. The amount expended by the cit}^ was about 
$2,000,000, which was refunded by the State, after 
the great flre in Chicago, although not due by the 
terms of the agreement. The damming of the Calu- 
met for a feeder, flooded a large tract of swamp land 
in Indiana, and was a serious ground of complaint. 
After the completion of the deep cut, the Calumet 

192 History of La Salle County. 

dam was removed, to the great satisfaction of the 
people of Indiana. 


About the year 1837, the settlements in Northern 
Illinois became infested with a band of desperadoes 
familiarly known as the " Bandits of the Prairies." 
Their favorite pursuit was horse stealing. The scat- 
tered population being confined mostly to the edge of 
the timber, while the broad prairie was unoccupied, 
gave them an opportunity to travel with their ill- 
gotten steeds unmolested to Missouri, Kentucky, 
and Iowa, which they did ver}^ successfully, seldom 
being caught. Their success in the horse line soon 
emboldened tliem to try otlier branches, and burgla- 
ry, robbery and murder were not unfrequent. If a 
settler had mone}^ in his house, it would in some 
wa.y become known to the gang, and they would 
frequently get it. In one instance a settler had seven 
hundred dollars in a trunk under his bed, the robber 
entered the house and took out the trunk, while the 
man and his wife Avere awake and conversing ; the 
robber aftei'ward told the conversation as pi'oof that 
he heard it. It was done during a violent thunder 
storm, and when tlie tliunder roHed heavily they 
would draw the trunk, and when it ceased, hold on 
till another tliunder crash, and thus they got their 
prey without being noticed. Tlu^y became a terror 
to the settlers, es])ecially to the female portion. It 
is a part of the religion of a new country never to 

Bandits^ etc. 193 

refuse shelter to a benighted traveler, and at the time 
named it was impossible to discriminate between the 
worthy stranger and the bandit of the prairie. And 
the stranger taken in, instead of proving an angel, 
has often broken the slumber of his host by appear- 
ing at his bedside with a pistol, demanding his 
valuables. The civil authority seemed entirely in- 
efficient ; in many instances they were suspected of 
complicity witli the gang. If arrested, they would 
break jail, or by some technical quibble escape the 
meshes of the law. They became very bold in some 
localities, stealing cattle, or anything they could lay 
their hands on. It seemed to pervade all branches of 
business. The grand jury of La Salle County 
found several bills against a butcher in Ottawa for 
stealing cattle, and it was conclusively proved that 
the citizens of Ottawa had, although unconsciously, 
lived for months on stolen beef. The jury were very 
cautious, in presenting the bills, to have a warrant 
issued before, b}^ any possibility, the butcher could 
suspect their action ; but he knew it as soon as they 
did, and left for parts unknown. 

The muider of Mr. Davenport, at mid-day. on 
the Fourth of July, alarmed the whole country. 
One of the gang, by the name of Birch, a shrewd 
man, but an accomplished scoundrel, was arrested 
for being concerned in the murder, and was identi- 
fied as the man who, a short time before, in the 
guise of a Methodist preacher, stayed over night 
with Jeremiah Strawn, a wealthy farmer of Putnam 
County ; attended praj^ers with Brother Strawn, and 
a night or two after, went through his house, taking 

194 History of La Salle County. 

all his valuables, while an accomplice held a pistol 
to Strawu's head, to keep him quiet. Birch was 
brought to Ottawa as a witness, but not used. He 
shrewdly pretended to be willing to expose the gang, 
and his trial was put oft' for several months, to get 
his testimony. He subsequently broke jail, stole the 
Jailer's horse, rode him about a hundred miles, and 
left him ruined. He wrote back to the sheriff, apolo- 
gizing for his rudeness in not taking formal leave, 
after so much kindness shown him while an inmate 
of his family ; said he only borrowed the horse, 
but believed he had ruined him, and hoped he 
would be excused for both offenses, as his business 
was very urgent. 

That was the last ever heard of Birch. Exasper- 
ated beyond measure, smarting under the loss of 
property, and living in continual fear, the people 
came to tlie conclusion that self-preservation was 
the first law in nature ; that they had a right to pro- 
tection from the law, but if that could not be had, 
then it must come in some other way. 

Vigilant societies were formed, for arresting crimi- 
nals and bringing them to punishment, and deep 
mutterings were heard, indicating a feeling that was 
destined to reform the state of society. One of these 
societies was formed in the north part of the State, 
and a man by tlie name of Campbell was chosen 
captain, Cam])bell was a Canadian, a man of great 
energy and decision of character. The gang were 
alarmed, and resolved to dispose of him. One Sun- 
day afternoon, two men by the name of Driscoll, 
called at Cam])beirs front gate, and inquired of 

Bandits, etc. 195 

CampbelFs daughter for her father ; Campbell came 
to the gate, when, without saying a word, they shot 
him through the heart, and coolly rode off'. The 
next day the people assembled en masse, took three 
of the Driscolls, tried them by a jury of their own. 
found two of them guilty, gave them an hour to say 
tlieir prayers, and shot them, as t.\\ej did Campbell. 
They then resolved to serve ever}^ thief tliey caught 
in the sameAvaj'. Tlie effect was most salutary. It 
struck terror to the gang, and many of them sought a 
more g(^nial clime; showing that prompt and sure 
punishment w^ill ever cause the law to be respected, 
and hold desperadoes in fear. Prompt conviction 
and punishment of every off'ense is the remedy. 
Delay is little better than entire omission. 

Northern Illinois has had no occasion for mob-law 
since, and it is to be hoped it never will again. 
These summary measures, joined with the incom- 
ing emigrants spreading over the prairies and filling 
up the countr}^, preventing the facilities for escape, 
made the freebooters' occupation a more dangerous 
one. An incubus was lifted from the minds of the 
people, and their nightly dreams ceased to be dis- 
turbed by the expected visit of the robber. The 
▼igilant societies were continued a long time, and 
did much in effecting a change and preventing a 
return of the evil. The frontier settlements have 
ever been the favorite haunt of the outlaw, and it 
has ever been one of the most serious evils the 
pioneer had to encouiitei" ; for this pioneer region 
offered unusual facilities for their enormities, as the 
whole country could be traversed either by night or 

196 History of La Salle County. 

day without regard to roads, and it was almost as 
difficult to follow tlie trail of a thief, as the flight 
of a bird. A horse thief would travel across the 
prairie all night at a speed that would place him far 
awa}^ in the morning, then lie in some thicket, miles 
from the settlements, all day, and nothing but the 
stars or wind could tell you where to And him. 

An impression prevailed at one time, that a large 
proportion of the settlers, who were strangers to 
each other, were connected with the gang, and the 
utter impossibility of tracking the thieves increased 
that suspicion. The bandits tried to create such a 

When Birch was at Ottawa, under surveillance, 
he stated that there were about 400 in La Salle 
County in league with the bandits, but refused to 
give any name, though he said he might some time 
do so. 

This suspicion and want of confidence at that 
time was a serious trouble, and well calculated to 
disorganize and disband society. But it soon be- 
came apparent that Birch's story was concocted in 
his own interest, and subsequent developments 
measurably removed the suspicions, and in the 
end proved them substantially false. 

Among a population derived from all sections 
of the woi'ld, suspicion that there might be some 
Judases among the numl)er was not unnatural or 
unreasonable. When we consider tlie restraining 
influences of society upon individual conduct, and 
the scattered and isolated situation of the first set- 
tlers, it is surprising that so few showed the cloven 

Bandits, etc. 197 

It was said that when a company of emigrants 
crossing the plains to Oregon or California, were 
fairly on the plains, and removed from the restrain- 
ing influence of society, individuals that hitlierta 
had borne a reputation for honesty, fair dealing and 
gentlemanly deportment, often proved the very 
reverse, and those who still bore themselves honora- 
bly and fairly could be trusted ever after. The ex- 
perience was a trying ordeal, and sifted the human 
character most thoroughly ; and the same experi- 
ences have transpired on the frontiei". In a commu- 
nity with a dense population, where each individual 
is subject to the gaze and remark of numerous 
people, the character is artificial — is made to order, 
and adapted to the market; but place him on a point 
of prairie five miles from neighbors and twenty miles 
from town, and when he throws off his broadcloth 
and fancy neck-tie, he also drops the artificial man, 
and appears in his true character. If he is made of 
gold he will shine the brighter, but if of baser metal, 
which tile criticism of liis fellows has heretofore 
caused him to keep burnished, it will here corrode 
and rust, and defile and corrupt him and all his 
intercourse with his family and neighbors. Most 
of the pioneers can remember the rougli, uncouth 
and overbearing manner of some individuals who 
gave vent to their true character, when they felt 
relieved from the social influence of the old commu- 
nity they had left. Such individuals were usually 
cowards, and, like all cowards, were cruel when con- 
querors, and abjectly submissive when beaten. It 
was amusing and instructive to see the gradual- 

198 History of La Salle County . 

transformations sucli characters underwent as soci- 
ety with its restraining influence formed around 
them and forced them to put on the artificial cover- 
ing that much improved, but could never conceal, 
the real one. It would have been ver}^ singular if 
such persons, without principle, and weak, morally 
and mentally, had not fallen in with the desperadoes 
that preyed upon the public in the infancy of the 
forming society, and that such was the case, to some 
extent, was known to be true, but when incoming- 
population drove out this gang, it reformed their 
sympathizers ; and as a whole, no community East 
or West, since the population has occupied the whole 
county, has been freer from crime and purer in 
morals than La Salle County. 

The settlers were not adventurers on the frontier 
seeking for something to turn up, but came to find 
homes for themselves and families, to found such 
institutions as they would wish to leave in the pos- 
session of their children. Educated and intelligent, 
they impressed ui)on their children their own appre- 
ciation of education and 'correct principles ; and 
their experience with adverse elements had the 
effect to confirm them in tlieir former convictions. 
A close study of the antecedents, character and 
Jiistory of tlie early settlers has convinced the 
wi-it(M- that tliere never was a new settlement formed 
of better material, a more moral, intelligent, ener- 
getic, and enterprising people. 

Irish Rebellion. 199 


The large number of laborers on the canal, all 
transient persons, iienerally without families, more 
numerous at one time than the citizens of the county, 
was to some a source of uneasiness; and when, in 
the summer of 18h8, the rivaliy between the two 
classes, the Corkonians and the Fardowns, culmi- 
nated in open war, it created very serious alarm. 
It seems the Corkonians, finding themselves the 
most numerous on the line, resolved to drive tlie Far- 
downs from the work ; commencing at the upper part 
of the line, near Chicago, the members of the clan 
fell in as they progressed westward, and w^oe to the 
poor Fardown who fell in their way ; the}^ took 
the ferry boat by force at Ottawa, crossed the Fox, 
and w^ent on to La Salle, promising to clean out Ot- 
tawa when they came back. At the lo\ver end of 
the line, they found their opponents in considerable 
numbers, who held them in check, wiien they fell 
back to Camp Rock, w^here they cruelly maltreated 
contractor Dnrgan's hands, and then returned up the 
line. Sheriff Alson Woodruff had called out the 
force of tlie county, sending in all directions for the 
scattered settlers to come in with their arms. He 
mustered about eighty men, and placed them in 
charge of Maj. D. F. Hitt, and M. E. Ilollister, as 
military commanders. They met the rioters below 
Buffalo Rock, but fell back to near Ottawa ; the 
Sheriff read the riot act, and ordered them to dis- 
perse, and on their refusal fired a volle}'^ into them 
with good aim, when they quickly fled, part toward 

200 History of La Salle County. 

Buffalo Rock, pursued by the footmen, and part 
toward the Nortli Bluff, pursued by the citizens on 
horse back. Some swam the river, and were fired 
on when in the water. The reports as to the effect 
of the fire were very contradictory, some claiming 
fourteen or fifteen killed, and a large number 
wounded, some denying the killing of any ; but 
the general impression was that several were killed, 
and many wounded ; about sixty were arrested, 
held aAvhile, and admitted to bail on their own re- 
cognizance, as the county had neither the means nor 
accommodations to hold them. The rebellion was 
effectually quelled, and was not repeated. The 
Fardowns, smarting under their wrongs, felt dis- 
posed to take revenge on their conquered foes, but 
were informed that they must submit to the law, 
and did so. 


Notwithstanding the panic created by the events 
above related, and the apprehensions of the timid, 
no further trouble of a serious character occurred 
during the building of the canal. The record of 
crime committed in the county is not a large one, 
when we take into consideration the amount of 
public works constructed and the large number of 
transient po])ulation emplo3^ed. 

A few of the most noted offenses are related. 

Two residents of Earlvillc, Philips and Morse, quar- 
reled about a claim on Government land, at that time 

Criminal Record. 2<)1 

a very common cause of contention. Morse was shot 
by Philips ; no one witnessed the transaction ; both 
had threatened and were quarreling at the time, and 
the particulars of the affair will probably never be 
known; neither were regarded as bad men. Philips 
was convicted of manslaughter, but escaped punish- 
ment by a repeal of the law fixing the penalty for the 
offense. He is still living in the town of Earl and 
regarded as a quiet, inoffensive citizen. 

While hauling timber at Troy Grove, Quigby and 
Edgecomb quarreled, Quigby struck Edgecomb over 
the head with a large club with fatal effect. He 
was tried and convicted of murder, but the verdict 
was set aside on the ground that the provocation 
was great, Edgecomb having seized Quigby b}' the 
beard, he having a very long and heavy one. 
Quigby is still living in the west part of the county. 

The house of a Mr. Swift living near Troy Gfrove, 
was entered in the night by two men, and while 
one held the pistol at the heads of Swift and his 
wife, the other collected the valuables, including a 
considerable sum of money. 

At the trial, at Ottawa, of a man for lobbing a 
peddler, in the same neighborhood, which was 
pretty fully proved, as the man was found in the 
possession of the peddler's goods, two men from 
Lee County, Dewej' and Bliss, appeared and swore, 
that at the time the peddler was robbed, the accused 
was playing cards with them at a place forty miles 
distant. Mr. Swift and his wife being present, 
identified these witnesses as the men that robbed 
their house. Dewev and Bliss were arrested, con- 


202 History of La Salle County. 

victed and sent to the penitentiary. Subsequently, 
when the notorious Birch was at Ottawa under 
arrest, he stated that he and another leading member 
of the gang by the name of Fox, robbed Swift ; that 
Dewey had a stiff hip, and Bliss a crooked knee ; 
that when they committed the robbery they affected 
these infirmities to avoid detection, and these were 
the peculiarities by which the Swifts recognized 
Dewey and Bliss when they testified against them 
at their trial. The prosecuting attorney conferred 
with the Governor, and while they considered 
Dewey and Bliss innocent of the crime for which 
they were convicted, they were proved to be mem- 
bers of the gang, and they decided to let them take 
the ])unishment on general principles. 

An Englishman by the name of Liley, was mur- 
dered and his body found near the Danville road, 
Just in the edge of Livingston County. The clothing 
was all removed, and the face mutilated to prevent 
identification. The day before Liley' s disappear- 
ance, he had been in Ottawa and purchased a scythe 
and snath, and left on foot for his home in Livingston 
County. About a week after, a man by the name 
of George Gates was arrested for passing counterfeit 
mone}^, and lodged in jail in Ottawa. He was iden- 
tified as liaving_ been seen traveling with Lile}^ just 
at evening on the day of his disappearance, and 
carrying Liley' s scythe; the wounds upon Liley 
were two cuts across the fa(!e and a triangular cut 
across the top of the head cutting through the skull. 

A scythe was found near the body, bent so as to 
fit the triangular cut in the head. 

La Salle ct Dixon Railroad. 203 

Gates' clothes were bloody, as proved b}^ his 
washerwoman, and he paid out some Prussian 
thalers, such as Liley had received at the bank in 
Ottawa ; and Gates was seen wearing a coat of Liley' s. 
At the June term of the court in Ottawa, 1853, Gates 
was convicted, and hung in August, following — the 
only execution that ever took place in the county. 

In December, 1853, about four hundred men were 
employed on the line of the Central Railroad, south 
of the river, at La Salle. A misunderstanding 
existed between the contractor, Albert Story, and 
these men. Their wages had been reduced from 
$1.25 to one dollar per day. After considerable 
altercation, Story went to the stable to get his horse, 
to escape, when they rushed upon him with picks 
and stones, and instantly killed him. Twelve were 
indicted as leaders ; four of them took a change of 
venue to Kendall county, and were convicted of 
murder. A new trial was granted, which resulted 
in a second conviction. Governor Matteson com- 
muted their punishment to imprisonment for life, 
and linally granted a full pardon. The La Salle 
people were dissatisfied with the executive clemency, 
and when Matteson was on a visit to La Salle he was 
burnt in effigy. 


On the 27th of February, 1841, the Legislature 
chartered the La Salle & Dixon Railroad Comi)any, 
giving them the grading and work done on the old 

204 Hhtory of La Salle Coiiiiiii. 

Illinois Central road on their line, and abandoned 
when the financial crash came. During the 3'ear 
operations commenced, and a bank of issue, pre- 
tending to be authorized by the chartei-, was estab- 
lished. This, for the time, infused new life into the 
business of that locality, but the new state of things 
was hardly inaugurated, when the whole concern, 
including the bank, exploded. The prime actor in 
this enterprise was A. H. Bangs, a man of smooth 
and fair exterior, but who proved to be a mere ad- 
venturer, without character, capital, or credit. Xot 
a hundred dollars in money or reliable paper had 
been used in the whole transaction of establishing 
and running a bank, and partially constructing forty 
miles of railroad. All the money used was the 
ivorthless issues of the bank. The laborers, and the 
farmers who supplied them with provisions, were 
never paid. The former tried to get satisfaction by 
wreaking their vengeance on the person of Bangs. 
He was dragged through the muddy streets, but was 
finally rescued by the citizens, placed in a skiff*, and 
sent down the river. 

The hopes of the community thus blighted opened 
an old sore, and seemed worse than the first expei-l- 
ence. An over-anxiety lor a resumption of busi- 
ness, and desire to welcome an outlay of mone}-, 
made Bangs' opportunity, and if he had had one or 
two thousand dollars in good money, he might have- 
completed and run his forty miles of railroad. 

Recovery from Hard Times. 205 


From about 1S41 to 1842, there was a perceptible 
improvement in the financial condition of the coun- 
try, slight, it is true, but enough to be the harbinger 
•of hope. Tlie people had commenced working their 
way out of their depression b}^ almost imperceptible 
progress, and by the most j)atiHiit and persevering 
toil. To earn, and not to spend, was their motto, 
from necessity, if not from clioice. Such a soil, a 
deposit of untold wealth, worked by willing and 
determined hands, could but achieve success. The 
weight of debt that pressed upon the State and peo- 
ple seemed too heavy to be lifted by the toil of a 
•century ; but no buraen could discourage, and no 
task appeared be3^ond their capacity, even under the 
most adverse circumstances. 

Smarting under the stigma of virtual repudiation 
and the opprobrium of passing stay laws, to put 
their creditors at defiance ; chai'ged with public rob- 
bery and private dishonest}^, they pursued the only 
■course that could surmount their accumulated mis- 
fortune, and restore the good opinion of the world. 
It is true, a few, and some of the leading politicians 
advocated repudiation, claiming that the debt never 
could be paid, but that sentiment was quickly 
crushed by an emphatic expression of public opin- 
ion in the contrarj'^ direction. 

The people bore the taunts heaped upon them 
with the more equanimity, as they were conscious 
of not being really in fault. The terrible revulsion 
that swept older communities into bankruptcy struck 

206 History of La Salle County. 

them when struggling with the toils, privations, and 
inevitable poverty of a new settlement. By the side 
of older communities and States, they were like 
infants by the side of giants. Yet they were equal 
to the emergency, and proved to the world their 
honesty, their indomitable energy and determination, 
and the wonderful resources of their adopted State. 
Sobered, and made wiser by the severe ordeal they 
had passed through, thej^ were the better prepared 
to improve and utilize all the advantages offered by 
returning prosperity. 

On the 21st of February, 1843, the Legislature 
passed an act to provide for the completion of the Illi- 
nois and Michigan Canal, and payment of the canal 
debt. The act was a wise and judicious one, inasmuch 
as it honestly placed the canal and canal lands in the 
hands of the bondholders, to be held as security for 
the paymc^nt of their debt, and at the same time 
guarded the interest of the State. The bondholders 
were to finish the canal, and out of the income and 
sale of the lands, to pay themselves. The proposi- 
tion was accepted by the bondholders, and under 
their direction, work which had been suspended for 
several years, was resumed, and tliis great state and 
national work completed in 1848. This arrangement 
relieved the State of six and a half millions of in- 
debtedness, and was the first step upward on the 
road to solvency. 

There was one item of l)usiness, that, during the 
years of stagnation, infused a litth^ life into certain 
portions of the county; this was the line of travel be- 
tween St. Louis and Chicago whicli })assed through 

Recovery from Hard Times. 207 

the county. A steamer from St. Louis arrived at 
Peru daily, connecting with Frink & Walkers line 
of stages, that ran to Chicago, and during the sum- 
mer season the route became an important thorough- 
fare, from four to eight four-horse coaches leaving 
Peru daily. The building of the Chicago, St. Louis 
& Alton Railroad, making a direct, railroad commu- 
nication between Chicago and St. Louis, effectually 
closed this thoroughfare, and Frink & Walker's 
stages sought other fields of enterprise. 

In the Mexican war tlie county responded with 
her proportion of troops called for. Champlin R. 
Potter raised a part of a company of volunteers, 
and, when organized, T. Lyle Dickey was com- 
missioned Captain, and E. S. Ilolbrook, Lieu- 
tenant. Potter presented Captain Dickey with his 
sword, which he accepted with a promise not to dis- 
honor it. W. H. L. Wallace served in this company 
as orderly sergeant, and distinguished himself at 
Buena Vista, laying the foundation of his future 
military reputation. The La Salle County company 
did good service during the war. 

A strenuous effort was made by Peru, and vicinity, 
to effect a division of the county. It commenced at 
an early day, and continued for several years. Peru 
had from the first aspired to be a county seat, which 
Ottawa, and the east part of the count}^, had as 
persistently opposed. Ottawa consented to a cur- 
.tailment of the territory of the county on the east 
and north, but held with a firm grip to the western 
jewel, Peru and La Salle. The matter created much 
bad feeling, and nearly all elections were more or 

'208 Ui^torij of La Salle County. 

less affected by it. The completion of tlie canal and 
railroads, facilitating communication with the county 
seat, for the time quieted the agitation. 

During these years the State paid no interest on 
her internal improvement bonds ; the bondholders 
were impatient and clamored for some recognition 
of their claims. The county was also in debt for its 
court liouse, and had paid no interest on her bonds 
for years. 

The provision made for the canal indebtedness, 
and the partial revival of business, created a desire 
of all thinking men for some provision being made 
to redeem the State and county from the taint of 

In 1848, the Constitutional Convention, with the 
design of making it permanent, and preventing 
rej^eal, inserted an article in the constitution pro- 
viding for levying a tax of two mills on the dollar, 
which was irrevocably pledged to the payment of 
the interest and principal of the outstanding State 
bonds. The people ratified this by a decided ma- 
jorit}'. Although the amount raised by this tax was 
entirely inadequate to meet the amount due, yet it 
showed a disposition to do what could be done, and 
was hailed with great satisfaction b}^ the creditors 
of the State. It was known that the avails of the 
tax would be constantly and ra])idly increasing, and 
would, in time, liquidate the debt. It gave great 
confidence. It lifted the dark shadow of dishonor 
from the reputation of the State and people. This 
im])ortant constitutional provision was the turning 
2)oint in the histoiy and progress of the State. The 

Hecovery from Hard Times. 209 

amount realized was soon sufficient to pay the 
interest, and to create a sinkin^^ fund for paj^ment 
of the bonds at maturity* Tlie provision was con- 
tinued in force till a new constitution was made, and 
till a large amount accumulated in the treasury over 
and above that needed to pay the bonds. The State 
is now practicallj^ out of debt. The county soon 
followed the example set by the State, and the first 
Board of Supervisors, at the first session in 1851, had 
the satisfaction of providing for the pa3^ment of the 
last outstanding court house bond. 

The first court house and jail was built in 1834. 
The amount paid, as allowed by the commissioners, 
was 8402.20 for the court house, and $235.54 for 
the jail. The present court house was built in 1841, 
and accepted as complnte in 1842. The contract 
was taken b}^ William F. Flagg for $25,000, but he 
failed to build it for that, and a suit was commenced 
by the county, but was compromised, and the court 
house and the apology for a jail in the basement, 
cost $40,000, and county bonds were issued for the 

The State and county nobly redeemed themselves 
by paying their debts as soon as they had the means ; 
there w^as never any considerable number of her 
people in favor of repudiation ; but they failed to 
pay, simply because thej^ could not. Their honest 
intentions were shown by securing the canal debt, 
and the enactment of the provision for the two-mill 

In the winter of 1851-2, the Legislatui-e chartered 
a company to build the Illinois Central Railroad. 

210 History of La Salle County. 

giving them the donation of lands granted by the 
United States to aid in its construction. The com- 
pany, by the terms of the Contract, in consideration 
of tlie privileges granted and the donation of land, 
are to pay the State seven per cent, of the gross 
earnings of the road perpetually. That now 
amounts to about ^420,000 annually. Work was 
commenced in 1852, and most of the portion in La 
Salle County was in operation in the fall of 1853. 
The Chicago, Burlington (fr Quincy and the Chicago 
& Rock Island roads were built about the same 
time. These roads, with the canal, have revolu- 
tionized the business of the county, and, with the 
telegraph, brought us into communication with all 
the world. The seclusion and distant removal from 
the homes of our youth, so irksome to the pioneer, 
is now practically abolished. We can communi- 
cate with distant friends in a few minutes, and 
transport ourselves there in a day or two of time. 

The cheap transportation of lumber has enabled 
the settler to build and fence away from the timber, 
and independent of the groves and timber belts so 
eagerly sought for in the early settlements. The 
prairie towns on the outskirts of the county have 
rapidly settled, and experience has proved that 
there is no valid objection to the settlement of the 
largest prairies when lumber can be obtained for 
building and fencing, and coal for fuel ; and, with 
orchards and groves, a residenc(i there is about as 
pleasant as along the timber, and more healthful 
than in the timber. The soil is found to be as good, 
and, with groves of timber, wliicli are easily raised^ 

Beconery from Hard Times. 211 

the difference in value, as compared with farms 
near the timber, is merely nominal. Timber land 
rapidly declined in price. The saw-mills, which 
had made the lumber heretofore used, were aban- 
doned, with one or two exceptions only, in the 
county. That versatility of the American character, 
which so readily adapts itself to altered circum- 
stances, was conspicuous here. But the same trait 
of character will at some future day be put to 
the test. When the lumber supply fails, as fail it 
will, they will be compelled to provide a substitute 
for the deficiency. 

Another important change occurred about the 
same time, commencing a little before, — a change 
more important and more lasting in its effect, — 
that is, the introduction of improved agricultural 
implements and machines. It has more than 
doubled the capacity of the people for the produc- 
tion of farm crops, and lifted the burden of slavish 
toil from the shoulders of the laboring millions. It 
will make the farmer's occupation one of the fine 
arts, and engineering skill and scientific knowledge 
the qualification required in a farm hand, rather 
than the rude muscular strength required by the 
old system. 

The implements used when tlie settlements were 
being made, forty years ago, would be regarded as 
ridiculous caricatures now. The plow then used 
was entirely inefficient. For years after the settle- 
ments commenced in La Salle County, there had 
never been a plow made or used in the State that 
would clear itself, or do good work. The old bull- 

212 History of La Salle County. 

tongue, a wooden mold-board, with a flat strip of 
iron for a share, was about as good as any. Some 
brouglit with them the New England cast-iron plow 
— a good one there, but useless here. Any plow 
then in use would load with the fine unctuous soil 
to the depth of six or eight inches, when it would 
only drag upon the surface, barely making a mark. 
A paddle was carried in the hand, and the earth 
removed every few rods. But the work was poorly 
done at best; a good harrow or drag would do 
better work than any plow tlK^n in use. 

The first plow that was made to scour was the 
diamond, as it was called, from the shape of the 
mold-board or share. It was a single piece of iron 
made dishing, liighly polished and brought nearly 
square to the iront, and the pressure would make it 
olear itself. The farmer who lirst saw this done felt 
much as Morse did when he first sent a message by 
telegraph. Successive improvements have l>een 
made, till the polished cast-steel plow of to-day is a 
beautiful, as well as a perfect working instrument. 

The hai'vester, the mower, the thresher, the loader, 
the pitcher and binder, and numerous other im])le- 
ments, have all come into use within the last thirty 
years. Our clean prairie soil offers facilities for their 
use that can not be found elsewhere. 

Those who in their youth used the flail, the sickle, 
the cradle, and the scythe, and who had their wives 
or daughters drop the corn while they covered it 
with the hoc, will soon have passed away, and the 
y)racticed skill which once used those implements 
will be among the lost arts. 

Tlie tide of prosperity that followed the provision 

Recovery from Hard Times. 213^ 

for the State and county indebtedness, and tlie build- 
ing of the principal railroads, ]-a])idly settled up the 
unoccupied ])rairies in the county, and largely added 
to the improvements of the older settlers. The 
county assumed the appearance of an old settled 
region. Comfortable houses and barns sprung up 
with a rapidity probably unequaled by any other 
localit^^ Orchards and cultivated groves trans- 
formed the once naked prairie to an abode of com- 
fort and beauty. 

The frugal habits of the early settlers gave place 
to habits of luxury, and verified the adage, that 
mankind usually live up to their income. 

In 1857, another financial crisis occurred, but the 
altered circumstances of the ^^eople enabled them 
to meet it with comparative imj^unity. It checked 
their rapid accumulation of wealth, but there was 
no suffering except with the commercial classes. 

In the war of the rebellion, the county furnished 
nearly six thousand men for the arnny, and paid out 
over $600,000 for military purposes. The nulitary 
history of the county during the war would fill a 
volume, and justice to the soldiers and to the county 
calls for such a history. It will doubtless be writ- 
ten. Such a work, not full and exhaustive of the 
subject, would be unjust to some, and of little value. 

The revulsion of 1857, with the loss of our currency 
and low prices consequent upon the breaking out 
of the war, was soon followed by inflation and ex- 
cessively high prices. Those who held their grain 
from 1861 and 1862 to 1864 and 1865, made fortunes 
out of it. This inflation — with the certainty that an 
effect ever follows the cause that produces it — was 

214 History of La Salle County. 

followed by the contraction and failures of 1873, 
from which long depression we are apparently just 

The county soon paid the |600,000 of war debt, 
and, at the annual meeting of the Board of Super- 
visors in September, 1877, was reported by the 
Treasurer as entirely free from debt, without an 
outstanding order, and with $28,000 in the treasury. 

Several lines of railroad have been built within 
the last ten years, all centering in Streator : the road 
from Streator to AYinona, now extended to Lacon ; 
the Paducah, running southeast from Streator ; the 
Chicago, Pekin & Southwestern ; and the Fox River 
road, now leased and operated by the Chicago, 
Burlington & Quincy Company. The latter tra- 
verses nearly the extent of the county, and is doing 
a large and profitable business, principally in the 
shipment of coal. 

The following table of elevations on the Fox 
River Railroad has been furnished by Mr. Wilson, 
who was chief engineer during its construction : 


Taking low water on tlie Illinois river as 00, - - - 00 

Highest point between Ottawa and Covell creek is - - - 155 

Grand Ridge station, 208 

Streator at shaft side-track, 181 

Vermillion river, - - - 106 

Going north from Illinois river : 

Ottawa station, - 35 

Illinois and Michigan Canal, surface of water, . . . 40 

Dayton, 93 

Indian creek, surface of water, 54 

Highest point in Serena, 195 

Fox river at Sheridan, surface of water, .... 82 

Sheridan station, - - 144 

County Commissioners. 2W 


Of La Salle County — From 1831 to 1840, when a County Judge 
and two Associates transacted the Cou)ity business for one year, 
to 1850, v)7ien the first Board of Supervisors were elected. 

1831. John Green, James B. Camjjbell, Abram Trumbo. 
Dec., 1832. Martin Reynolds, vice Jas. B. Campbell. 

1832. Daniel Kellogg, Simon Crosiar, Martin Reynolds. 

1834. Isaac Dimmick, Geo. Havenhill, Robert P. Wood- 


1835. Benjamin Thurston, vice R. P. Woodworth. 

1836. David Reader, Thomas Burnham, Wm. Barbour. 
1838. Isaac Dimmick, Ralph Woodrufl', Wm. Barbour. 

March, 1889. Henry Green, vice Wm. Barbour, resigned. 

Aug., 1839. Hiram P. Woodworth, vice Ralph WoodrufT. 

" 1840. Alson Woodruff, vice Henry Green. 

" 1841. Patrick Hanley, vice Isaac Dimmick. 

1842. Harvey Leonard, vice Hiram P. Woodworth. 

1843. Samuel Mackey, vice Alson Woodrutl". 
" 1844. Robert Rowe, vice P. Hanley. 

" 1845. Chas. H. Gilman, vice Harvey Leonard. 

" 1846. Chas. C. Elliott, vice Samuel Mackey. 

" 1847. John Kennedy, vice Robert Rowe. 
1848. Chas. H. Gilman, vice C. H. Gilman. 

" 1849. Henry G. Cotton, County Judge ; Chas. H. Gilman 
and Patrick M. Kildufl, Associates. 

Count}' divided into Townships by Champliu R. Potter, Levi 
Kelsey and Israel G. Cooper. 

Report filed February 28th, 1850. 

First Board of Supervisors met May 27th, 1850, in special 


History of La Salle County. 


Assessor and Treasurer. 

County Clerk. 

Shei iff. 


Wm. Richey. 

David Walker. 

Geo. E. Walker. 






Anthony Pitzer. 

( 1 



(June 3d). 

Joseph Cloud. 

W. Stadden (Oct. 


James M. Sawtell, 




Henry Madden, 
(resigned July 26). 


Alson Woodruff. 


Lorenzo Leland (July 23). " 



Conrad Debaugli. 






Wm. Reddick. 


Jabez Fitch. 













^laurice Murphy (May 2). " 
(vice Cloud, deceased). 


1 1 

Wm. R. McClay (Aug.) " 



Maurice Murphy (Aug.) " 












Henry Hurlburt. 


Rees Morgan. 









S. W. Raymond. 





Eaton Goodell. 


J. B. Ford. 



1 os;-> 



Richard Thorn. 




Francis Warner. 


Samuel R. Lewis. 






E. L. Waterman. 



Philo Lindley. 





Francis Warner. 


Geo. S. Stebbins. 






E. L. Waterman. 



S. W. Raymond. 





Wm. R. Milligan. 

County Court. 



OFFICERS— Continued. 

Assessor and Treasurer 

County Clerk. 



Wm. E. Beck. 

S. W. Raymond. 

Wm. R. Milligan. 




Wm. Cullen. 



A. B. ]Mooie. 




H. A. McCaleb. 


Thos. Bowen. 






Walter Good. 


John Shepherd. 

Hilon Mead. 





Daniel Blake. 






S. W. Raymond. 


A. C. Mclntyre. 



H. A. McCaleb. 



~ " 










Rufus C. Stevens. 



Probate Judge. Recorder. Assessor. 

1831. Jos. Cloud (July). David Walker. 

1835. " Anthony Pitzer. 


1837. J. V. A. Hoes (Oct.) 

1839. " J. W. Armstrong. 


1841. " " John Palmer. 

1842. " " Ralph Woodruff. 

1843. Thomas Larkin. Henry Hurlburt. J. Fitch, {ex officio) 




History of La Salle County. 





Probate Judge. 

Henry G. Cotton, 

(Probate Justice and Co. 
Judge to Nov., 1856.) 

Sam'l W. Raymond. 

Pliilo Lindley, 

{County Clerk and ex officio Recorder.) 
John F. Nash, {ex officio). 

John C. Champliu, 

iJ'Oie 21. vice Cotton, dtc'd. 
Elected Aug., 1857.) 

P. K. Lelaud, (Aug.) A. B. Moore, {e.r officio). 

" Herman Silver, {(X officio). 

Chas. H. Gilmau. Chas. H. Hook, {ex officio). 

Chas. W. Denhard. 

Charles Miller. 


Terms of 

Circuit Judge. 


Clerk of 
Circuit Court. 


Richard Young. 

Jas. M. Strode. 

L. 0. Shrader 



Thomas Ford. 





Joseph Cloud. 

May, 1835. 

Sidney Brecse. 

James Grant. 


Sept. " 

Steph. T. Logan. 



May, 1836. 

Thomas Ford. 



Sept., " 

1 • 


May, 1837. 

John Pearson. 


' ' 

Sept, " 

Jesse B. Thomas. 

A. Huntingdon. 


Apr., 1838. 

John Pear.son. 

Scth B. Farwell. 


Sept., " 


A. Huntingdon. 


May, 1839. 

Tliomas Ford. 

N. H. Purple. 


Nov., 1840. 




Apr., 1841. 


Seth B. Farwell. 


Nov., " 



Lorenzo Lelai 

Apr., 1842. 


Jas.S. Holt. 


Nov., " 

Joiin D. Caton. 

Seth B. Farwell. 


Mar., 1843. 

J. M. Robinson. 

Benj. F. Fridley 


Nov., " 

John I). Caton. 



Mar., 1844. 




circuit Court. 


CIRCUIT COURT— Continued. 

Terms of 

Cirruif Turing jrruBVi^uvviiy Clerk Of 

LDCicujuage. Aiin.-noii Circuit Court. 


Pliilo Lindle)'. 

Isaac G. Wilson. " 

Edw. S. Leland. W. H. L.Wallace. 

Nov., 1844. .John D. Caton. Benj. F. Fridley. Lorenzo Leland. 

Mar., 1845. 

Nov., " " " 

Mar., 1846. 

Nov., " " B. C. Cook. 

Mar., 1847. 

Nov., " " " " 

Mar., 1848. " " 

Nov., " " " " 

Mar., 1849. T. Lyle Dickey. 

Nov., " 

Apr., 1850. 

Oct., " 

Apr., 1851. 

Nov., " 

Feb., 1852. 

June, " 

Nov., " 

Feb., 1853. 

May, " 

Nov., " 

May, 1854. 

Nov., " 

May, 1855. 

Nov., " 

May, 1856. 

Nov., " 

Feb., 1857. 

June, " 

Nov. " 

Feb., 1858. 

Nov., " 

Feb., 1859. 

Nov., " 

Feb., 1860. 

June, " 

M. E. Hollister. 

W. Bushnell. 

John F. Nash. 

O.C.Gray, { Substitute). 
W. Bushnell. 

220 History of La Salle County. 

CIRCUIT COURT— Continued. 

Terms of 

Circuit Judge . 


Clerk of 
Circuit Court. 

Nov., 1860. 

M. E. Hollister. 

W. Bushnell. 

John F. Nash. 

Feb., 1861. 


D. P. Jones. 

A. B. Moore. 

June, " 




Nov., " 




Feb., 1863. 




June, " 




Nov., " 




Feb., 1863. 




June, " 



1 1 

Nov., " 




Feb., 1864. 




June, " 




Nov. " 




Feb., 1865. 


Chas. Blanchard. 

Herman Silver. 

Nov., " 




Feb., 1866. 




Nov., " 




Feb., 1867. 

Edwin 8. Leland. 



Nov., " 




Feb., 1868. 




Nov., " 




Feb., 1869. 



Charles H. Hook. 

Feb., 1870. 




Nov., " 




Feb., 1871. 

( 1 



Feb., 1872. 




Nov., " 




Feb., 1873. 


Henry Mayo. 


Nov., " 




Feb., 1874. 




Nov., " 




Feb., 1875. 




Nov., " 




Feb., 1876 



Roswell Holmes. 

Nov., " 






Senators and Representatines. 221 


A List of the Names of the Members of the State Senate from 
La Sidle County^ or from the district in which said County was 
included, since 1831, the date of said County's incoiyoration. 

1835. James W. Stephenson. 

1836. James M. Strode. 

1839, 1840-1. William Stadden. 
1842-3,1844-5. Michael Ryan. 
1847-49-51. William Reddick. 
1853-55-57-59. B. C. Cook. 
1861-68-65-67. Washington Bushnell. 
1869, 1871-2. Jason W. Slrevell. 
1873-4. Elmer Baldwin. 
1 S75-77. Fawsett Plumb. 


List of Representatives to the State Legislature from La Salle Co. , 
from 1835 to 1877, both inclusive. 

1835. John Hamlin. 1853. C. R. Potter. 
1837. Henry Madden. C. L. Starbuck. 

1838-9. Joseph W. Churchill. 1855. David Strain. 
1810-1. Abram R. Dodge. Frederick S. Day. 

1812-3. James H. Woodworth. 1857. Elmer Baldwin. 

Elisha Bibbens. James N. Reading. 

W. H. W. Cushman. 1859. A. Campbell. 
1844-5. W. H. W. Cushman. R. S. Hicks. 

Ambrose O'Connor. 1861. Andrew J. Cropsey. 

Geo. W. Armstrong. John W. Newport. 

1847. A. O'Connor. 1863. Theodore C. Gibson. 

Jos. O. Glover. M. B. Patty. 

William Barbour. John O. Dent. 

1849. Geo. W. Gilson. 1865. Franklin Corwin. 

M. E. Lasher. John Miller. 

18.51. John Hise. Jason W. Strevell. 


History of La Salle County. 


1867. Frankliu Corwin. 1873. 

William Strawn. 

Elmer Baldwin. 
1869. William Strawn. 1875. 

Franklin Corwin. 

Samuel Wiley. 
1871. Geo. W. Armstrong. 1877. 

Benj. Edgecomb. 

Jas. Clark. 

H. M. Gallagher. 

Lewis Soule. 
Joseph Hart. 
Geo. W. Armstrong. 
Charles L. Hoffman. 
Geo. W. Armstrong. 
Elijah H. Spicer. 
L. B. Crooker. 
S. M. Heslet. 
Geo. W. Armstrong. 




Ottawa and South Ottawa are so connected in 
their earl}'' settlement, that it is impossible to intel- 
ligently separate their history ; in fact, the town 
and business were first established on the south 
bank of the river, and remained there till 1837-8. 
The stages which ran from Chicago to Peoria^ 
through Ottawa, crossed the river by the ferry which 
ran from the point above the Fox to the south side, 
and verj^ few of those who passed through or visited 
Ottawa before the summer of 1836, ever set foot on 
the present site of Ottawa, below the Fox. The 
commanding geographical position of Ottawa ; the 
surpassing beauty of its location, in one of the most 
picturesque and romantic valleys of the West, 
bounded on the north and south by the lofty wooded 
bluffs, which extend in gentle sloping undulations 
on either side of the broad open valley, both east 
and west, till the}" mingle Avith the horizon : while 
the clear and s])arkling waters of the Fox, from the 
cooler northern region of Wisconsin, breaking 
abruptly througli the north bluff, join the l)road 
and placid Illinois in the centre of what is now the 

224 History of La Salle County. 

cih', together forming a picture wliicli, viewed from 
either bluft", makes an impression on the beholder 
not easily effaced — rendered it natural that the emi- 
grant should be attracted to this locality first, and 
that many, as was the case, should stop here tem- 
poraril}', who eventually settled in other parts of 
the count}^ and other parts of the West. 

Ottawa was earl}^, and almost from its first incep- 
tion, designated as a county seat, and its growth 
and importance were somewhat dependent on the 
size of the county of which it was to be the centre. 
The territory embraced in the first organization of 
the county, which was equal in extent to some of 
the Eastern States, had to be divided and set off 
into counties, as the population extended and their 
wants required. To watch this process, and see that 
it was judiciously done, and to preserve intact a large 
and influential county, of which Ottawa was to be, 
in size, business, and wealth, the fit representative, 
was for years the self-imposed duty and labor of 
the principal citizens of the place. Many were the 
caucuses held and pilgrimages made to confer with 
other localities within the county limits, to arrange 
for the common interest, and to cut off just enough 
to leave a large county, but not enough to be again 
divided. These eft'orts were successful, and the 
result has been the largest, most populous, and 
wealtliy county in the State, except Cook, and that 
gains precedence only by having the city of Chicago 
within it. Ottawa has never had a mushroom 
growth, like some towns ; its progress has been 
slow but steady, and the business has not been 

Sketch of Settlers — Ottawa. 22$ 

overdone. Before the building of the railroads, as 
a grain market it probably was not surpassed in the 
State. It handled as high as four million bushels 
of grain in a year, while it now handles scarcely 
more than one-fourth of that. The building of tlie 
railroads, which commenced about 1850, has divided 
the grain business among the many little prairie 
stations which have sprung up along the lines of 
road. But while the handling of grain as a busi- 
ness has radically decreased, the growth of the city 
has not been stayed. Its future evidently does not 
•depend on the number £)f bushels of corn and oats that 
will pass through it, or on the retail trade, although 
iDoth will be important items. Its facilities for 
cheap shipment by canal, both for export of grain, 
and import,of lumber, salt, and other heavy articles, 
will give a decided advantage over railroad trans- 
portation. Its future lies in a higher sphere — man- 
ufacturing, the wholesale trade, and the finer and 
higher priced retail business. Those numerous 
tov/ns that have crippled the trade of Ottawa will 
be but customers for the business that Ottawa will 
finally pursue. 

Dr. Davidson, said to have been from Virginia, 
was doubtless the first American citizen, and the 
first white man, after the French occupants, that 
settled in the county ; he built a cabin, and occu- 
pied it in the early summer of 1823, on the south 
bank of the Illinois river, nearly opposite the west 
«end of Bufi'alo Rock, and traded with the Indians. 
He lived alone, and was found dead in his cabin in 
1826. No kind hand smoothed his pillow, or moist- 

220 History of La Salle County. 

ened his parched lips ; he died alone, leaving no 
kindred to mourn his departure. Such is the short 
but sad story of the first pioneer where so numerous 
and busy a population now live. Dr. Davidson was 
a well educated physician ; he left a large amount 
of manuscript which was not preserved. 

Jesse Walker, a Methodist preacher and mission- 
ary, came to Ottawa in the fall of 1825. He was 
born in Rockingham County, Virginia ; his educa- 
tion was ver}^ limited, having, it is said, attended 
school but twent}'' days in all. In company with 
Presiding Elder, afterward Bishop, McKendree, he 
emigrated to Soutliern Illinois, in 1806. As an itin- 
erant preacher, he labored on the frontier, going 
north as the population extended in that direction, 
till he reached Peoria, in 1824, and Ottawa the fol- 
lowing year. In the spring of 1826 he established 
a mission among the Pottawatomie Indians, at 
what is now called Mission Point, in the town oC 
Mission, the name of both being derived from tliis 
circumstance. He labored faithfully here, preach- 
ing to the Indians, and keeping a school for some 
twenty-five or thirty Indian children (but with very 
indifi'erent success, so far as christianizing and civil- 
izing the Indians was concerned), till the spring of 
1882, when he was a])pointed to the Chicago station, 
and abandoned the mission. The Pottawatomies of 
the i)rairies never embraced Christianity, nor became 
in any considerable degree civilized ; they remained 
])agan to the last, resisting eff(^ctually botli Catholic 
and Prot(^stant missionaries. Mr. Walker i-eniained 
two years in Chicago, when he retired to a small 


Sketch of Stiller s — Ollaioa. '227 

farm, twelve miles west of Chicniro, where he died, 
October 5th, 183o. He was buried near Plainfield. 
The Methodist Conference, held at Plainfield in Juh', 
ISoO, appointed a committee of their body, who re- 
moved his remains to the cemetery at Plainlield, and 
erected a stone to his memory. The Conference 
attended the removal in a body, and expressed their 
high appreciation of the valuable services of their 
long-departed brother. 

The itinerant Methodist preachers of that day, 
who devoted their lives to their mission, are deserv- 
ing of more than common fame. Traveling from 
settlement to settlement without roads or bridges, 
fording swollen streams, where no friendly hand could 
render assistance in case of need, for the night's en- 
tertainment sharing the already over-filled cabin of 
the settler, living upon the coarsest fare, often with- 
out food, cold and wet, paid only the small stipend 
the impoverished settler could spare, after meeting 
the imperious demands of his own family — these self- 
denying efforts mark a hero of no ordinary character. 
The names of Jesse Walker, Peter Cartwright, Beggs, 
St. Clair, and their co-laborers, will be remembered 
and revered by after ages. 

Thomas R. Covell came from Alton, in 1824. He 
settled on Covell creek, giving his name to that 
stream. He traded Avitli the Indians, and built a 
mill near where the creek emerges from the bluff 
on to the Hlinois bottom. He moved to Salt Creek, 
Cook County, about 188:^, and died there. The 
camp-ground of the 4th Cavalry was Covell" s corn- 
field. ^ 

228 History of La Salle County. 

George Brown came in 1824 ; was here three or 
four years, and moved to Galena. 

Joseph Brown came in 1824; was here four or five 
years, and then moved to Wisconsin. His son, 
Ford, said to have been raised by the Indians, came 
to Ottawa in 1858 ; he lived by hunting and trap- 
ping, and went West. 

Wilbur F. Walker, from Virginia, 1825, son of 
Dr. David Walker, brought up the first keel-boat 
on the Illinois river ; resided in Ottawa, till 1857 ; 
then removed to Union County, Illinois. He mar- 
ried Eliza Bradford, of St. Louis. 

Edmund Weed, from Virginia, 1825, married 
Keziah Walker, daughter of David Walker ; re- 
moved to Holderman's Grove in 1828, then to Cal- 
ifornia in 1849, and died there in 1857. His widow 
is still living. 

Dr. David Walker and wife, Phebe Finley, came 
from Rockingham County, Virginia, in 1826, a prac- 
ticing physician ; was the first County Clerk of La 
Salle County. Dr. Walker and his numerous 
family was a large element in the settlement and 
business of Ottawa during its early history. He 
died in 1835. Of his children, Keziah married Ed- 
mund Weed, and went to California. Huldah mar- 
ried Vitall Vermit, and lived at Vermit' s Point for 
iiiaiiy years. Elizabeth married Daniel Newton, a 
haidware mercliant, and Methodist preacher. Ade- 
line married Wm. Hickling. Jane N. married Jos. 

Geo. E. Walker, son of Dr. David Walker, from 
same place, came to Ottawa in 1827, and married Mar- 

SketcJi of Settlers — Ottaioa. 229 

garet Thomas from Si. Clair County ; slie died in 
1848. He traded with the Indians, and was a cap- 
tain of scents in the Black Hawk war ; was the first 
Sheriff of La Salle County, and for many years an 
active and successful merchant in Ottawa. He died 
in 1874, leaving two living children : Mary Ann, 
married Edw. Coleman, they are now in Maryland ; 
a son, Augustus Evans, lives in Chicago ; Margaret, 
wife of Charles Gossage, died in Chicago ; Samuel, 
a lawyer, died in Ottawa in 1869. 

David Walker, youngest son of Dr. David 
Walker, came with liis father in 1826, married 
Lucy Tozer, of Pennsylvania, and lives in Ottawa. 
They have one son, George L,, who is married and 
lives in St. Louis. Mr. Walker has been Mayor of 
the city of Ottawa, a member and President of the 
Board of Education, and Alderman, and has filled 
many other positions of trust. 

James Walker, from Virginia, in 1826, a relative 
of Dr. David Walker, settled on the north side of 
the Illinois near the mouth of the Fox, went to 
Plainfield, and died there. 

Horace Sprague, from Massachusetts, first came 
to Bailey's Grove and then to Ottawa in 182o ; kept 
the first school in South Ottawa ; married Miss 
Pembroke, and afterwards Miss Disney. Went to 
Indian Creek, then to Galena, and finally became a 
Mormon Elder, 

George Sprague, brother to Horace, from the same 
place, first came to Bailey's Grove, then to Ottawa 
and Indian Creek ; married Mary Warren, and went 
to Galena. 

230 History of La Salle County. 

Colonel Sayers, came from Alton in 1826 ; was 
here three or four years, and removed to Galena. 

Joseph Cloud came from Kentucky in the fall of 
1832; married Jane N., daughter of Dr. David 
Walker ; in 1834 was appointed County Clerk; held 
the offices of County and Circuit Clerk, Justice of 
the Peace, Postmaster, and Probate Judge. He died 
in 1841. An excellent and very popular clerk and 

William Hickling came from England to Ottawa 
in 1834 ; married Adeline, daughter of Dr. David 
"Walker ; for about twenty years was a partner of 
George E. Walker, under the firm name of Walker & 
Hickling, a popular house, which probably sold more 
goods to the old settlers than any other firm. Mrs. 
Hickling died in 1848 ; Mr. Hickling now lives in 
Chicago with his second wife. 

James B. Campbell came from West Tennessee to 
the south part of Illinois in the fall of 1829 ; was 
State Agent for sale of canal lands, and one of the 
first County Commissioners ; went to Galena in 

Col. Daniel F. Hitt, from Champaign County, 
Ohio, in 1830 ; came as one of the corps of engineers 
locating the Illinois and Michigan Canal ; lived with 
his brother-in-law, Martin Reynolds, of Deer Park. 
He served through the Black Hawk war ; a survej^or 
and engineer ; he Avas for several years County Sur- 
veyor of La Salle County; was Lieut. -Col. of the 
53rd Illinois Reg't Volunt(>ers in the war of the 
rebellion. He married Phoebe Smith, of Maryland, 
and has lived mostly in Ottawa ; has four children : 

Sketch of Settlers — Ottaioa. 231 

Andrew Jackson resides in Athens, Oliio; H. Hough- 
ton lives in Ottawa; Eleanor at home; Rector Cass in 
Chillicothe, Ohio — all single. 

Henry L. Brush, from Vergennes, Vermont, came 
to Ottawa in 1830, as surveyor in employ of the U. S. 
Government. Settled in Ottawa in 1833, removed 
to Galena in 1842, returned to Ottawa in 1846 ; still 
here. Married Caroline E. Gridley ; his children 
are : Charles H., a practicing attorney in Ottawa ; 
AVilliam E., died in the army ; Catherine E., Caro- 
line E., Edward P., at home ; Adele E., died recently, 
aged 16. 

Pyam Jacobs, from Fall River, Massacjhusetts, in 
1837, merchant and i:)artner with H. L. Brush, went 
to Galena in 1842. 

John V. A. Hoes, from Kinderhook, N. Y., in 
183G, a law^^er by profession, practiced at the bar 
for several years, but has devoted his time mostly 
to financial affairs and real estate ; he was Judge of 
Probate from October, 1837, to August, 1843. He 
married Fanny Reynolds, of McHenr}^ County. His 
cliildren are: Ella A., widow of M. B. Peak, of 
Green Bay, and Edward, now banking in Lake City, 

Dr. Aaron Bane, from Kinderhook, New York, 
came with J. V. A. Hoes in 1836, a practicing j)hysi- 
cian and a young man of much promise ; he was 
drowned by the swamping of the ferry boat crossing 
the Hlinois river in 1840, much regretted. 

Seth B. Farwell, from New York to Ohio, and 
from Ohio here, in 1835. A member of the legal 
profession, was prosecuting attorney ; went to Cali- 

232 History of La Salle County. 

fornia, and was there elected judge ; he died on his 
way from Kansas to California. 

Adam Y. Smith, from New York, 1835, was here 
three or four years, was law partner of S. B. Far- 
well ; went South, and died there. He acted for the 
State Bank as loan agent. The loans were generally 
a bad investment from the depreciation of values, 

W. T. S. Lavinia, from Pennsylvania, in 1836. 
Lawyer, preacher, plow inventor and manufacturer, 
and pawn broker ; died in Chicago about 1870. A 
man of talent, but of peculiar temperament ; when 
poor, an excellent preacher, but with money in his 
pocket better suited for a lawj^er or pawn broker. 

Loring Delano, a native of Vermont, and wife, 
Sarah Hardaway, from Utica, New York, in 1833, 
kept a hotel, and is well remembered as the host of 
the old "Fox River House," at that time the crack 
hotel of Ottawa ; he was very fond of hunting, and 
kept his larder well supplied with game. He died 
in 1849. His widow married Oranzo Leavens. His 
children are : Charles, now in Florida ; James, in 
California ; Edward, somewhere West. 

Lucien Bonaparte Delano, brother of Loring, 
from Utica, New York, 1836, a stone mason by 
trade, and an active Democratic politician ; witty, 
and quick at repartee, his burlesque stories and 
bon mots will be long remembered. He died in 
18Y0 ; his widow, Mary Ives, lives in Ottawa. He 
left four children : Lucien is in Ottawa ; Cornelia at 
home ; Benton is in Marseilles ; Elizabeth married 
George Porter. 

Dr. Allen H. Howland, and wife, Katharine Reed, 

SJcetch of Settlers — Ottawa. 233 

from Saratoga, New York, 1833, a prominent phy- 
sician in Ottawa for nearly a third of a century ; he 
died in 1866, his wife died in 1864, leaving two chil- 
dren : Henry, who married Miss Clark, and lives 
near Ottawa, and Elizabeth, who married Dr. Mor- 
rison, and lives in Michigan. 

Alson Woodruff, from Onondaga County, New 
York, 183i, was County Commissioner, and for sev- 
eral years, Sheriff of the county ; died in 1856. 
First wife, Maria Goodell ; second. Miss Burgett. 
Children : Maria ; Nathan ; Rathbun ; Elizabeth, in 
Ohio ; Minnie, in Springfield. 

Ralph Woodruff, brother of Alson, from Onon- 
daga County, New York, in 1834, was County 
Commissioner one term, an active Democratic poli- 
tician. His wife, Delia Gurley, is now in Chicago. 
He died in 1860 ; had two daughters, married, and 
living in Chicago. J 

Charles Hay ward, from Lebanon, Connecticut, to 
Cleveland, in 1818 ; from Ohio here, 1835 or 1836 ; 
was School Commissioner of the count}'. Died July 
20," 1849. His widow married Henry J. Reid. Mr. 
Hayward left two children : George, married Nettie 
Strickland ; Estella J., at home. 

Henry J. Reid, from Pennsylvania, 1834, car- 
penter by trade, married Charles Hayward' s widow, 
is living on the bluff, north of Ottawa. 

Nathaniel Perley, from Massachusetts, 1836, with 
Haskell, built a mill on Indian creek, and lived in 
Ottawa several years ; has now gone West. 

William Haskell, from Boston, Massachusetts, 
1836, a merchant ; died recently in Streator. 


234 History of La Salle County. 

Daniel Newton, from Ohio, 1835. Married Eliza- 
beth, daughter of Dr. David Walker, a hardware 
merchant, and a Methodist preacher. He moved to 

Oranzo Leavens, from Vermont, last from Canada, 
in 1836. Was deputy under Sheriff Woodruff, and 
magistrate for the last eighteen years, since April, 
1858. He married the widow of Loring Delano. One 

Downey Buchanan, from Dauphin County, Penn- 
sylvania, to St. Louis, 1827 ; came to South Ottawa, 
October, 1834 ; a tailor, by trade ; kept a^boarding- 
house and shop ; removed to North Ottawa, 1836. 
Mr. Buchanan was fond of hunting, and kept a pack of 
greyhounds. Many of the early settlers have shared 
the rare, exhilarating sport of coursing over the 
wild, unoccupied prairie, with Buchanan on his 
white horse, following his pack, led by his pet 
hound. Speed. A good mechanic, and a worthy 
man, he was as diligent in business as in chasing 
the wolf or deer. He died in 1850. His widow syir- 
vives him, and one son, Ralph, a well-known citizen 
of Ottawa. 

Isaac H. Fredenburg, born in Ulster County, New 
York, came from Owego, Tioga County, New York, 
to Ottawa, June 14th, 1834. Married in 1835, to 
Priscilla Piatt, of Plattsburg, New York. A tailor, 
by trade ; has followed that business in Ottawa till 
tlie last tliree years, during which time he has kept a 
hotel in Utica. His son Augustus lives in Syracuse, 
New York. Henry was killed when thirty-two 
years of age, by the blowing down of the sidewalk, 

SketcJi of Settlers — Ottawa. 235 

east of Fox river bridge, in Ottawa. Elizabeth is 
the widow of Napoleon Beaubian. Piatt died when 
twenty-one years of age. Mary married Charles 
Moss, and lives in Utica. Charles is in Kansas, and 
Ella at home. 

George W. Forsyth, from Burlington County, 
New Jersey, in 1834, was the first lawyer that set- 
tled in Ottawa ; went South. Lorenzo Leland was 
the second. Smith & Farwell next, and Edwin S. 
Leland next. 

Edwin S. Leland came from Massachusetts, in the 
fall of 1835. He was born in the State of Maine, and 
when quite young, his father, Judge Sherman Le- 
land, removed to Roxbury, Massachusetts. Edwin 
S. read law in his father's office, and was admitted 
to the bar in 1834. A year later he located in Otta- 
wa, and in 1839 removed to Oregon, Ogle County. 
In 1840 he was married to Margaret B. Miles, of 
Boston. He returned to Ottawa in 1843, and in 
1852 he was chosen Judge of the Ninth Judicial 
Circuit, composed of six counties, to fill the unex- 
pired term of Judge Dickey, who had resigned. In 
1866 he was appointed by the Governor to fill the 
unexpired term of Judge Hollister, and in 1867 was 
elected by the people to the same bench, for the full 
term of six years ; in 1873 he was re-elected for 
the Sixth Judicial Circuit, composed of the counties 
of Bureau and La Salle, which position he still 
holds. Judge Leland has been President of the 
Board of Education of Ottawa, and identified with 
the educational interests of the place, and has been 
Mayor of the city. He was one of the principal 

236 History of La Salle County. 

actors, if not the prime mover, in the formation of 
the Republican party. A mass meeting was lield 
at Ottawa on the 1st of August, 1854, a large and 
very distinguished one, which organized a new po- 
litical party, and christened it Republican. Judge 
Leland presided at that meeting, and drew up the 
platform of principles then adopted, as well as the 
original call for the meeting. The principles enun- 
ciated in that platform were soon affirmed through- 
out the Northern States. 

Judge Leland has three children. George M. 
married Frances C. Cross, is a lawyer; Sherman E., 
married Louise Poote ; and Georgiana J., married 
H. F. Gilbert, all in Ottawa. 

Roswell Goodell, from Connecticut, in 1834, set- 
tled near Buffalo Rock, and died there in 1837. 
His daughter, Emma, married Alson Woodruff. 
Eaton was Deputy Sheriff", under Woodruff, and 
Sheriff from 1851 to 1853. He married a daughter 
of Gov. Matteson, removed to Joliet, then to Spring- 
field, and is now in Chicago. Edward, Andrew, 
Adaline, Henry, and Maria, all died single. Althea 
married Col. Irwin. 

Dr. Harmon Hurlburt and wife, from Vergennes, 
Vermont, in 1834; was a physician of large practice, 
in Ottawa, for several years ; he died June 8th, 1845. 
His widow is living at Montpelier, Vermont. 

Henry Hurlburt, brother of Dr. Harmon, came 
from Vermont at the same time ; married Olive 
Ti(;liener ; was Sheriff of this county from >1846 tc 
1850 ; is now living in Joliet. 

Philip R. Bennett, from Fall River, Massachu- 

Sketch of Settlers — Ottawa. 237 

setts, here, in 1848 ; partner with Jacobs & Brush ; 
went to Ogle County, 1840, and died in 1873, 

Lorenzo Leland, from Grafton, Mass., to Peoria, 
November, 1834, and to Ottawa, July, 1835 ; a law- 
yer by profession. He served as Clerk of La Salle 
Circuit Court from 1842 to 1849, and as Clerk of the 
Northern Division of the Illinois Supreme Court 
from 1848 to 1867, an able and popular officer. Mr. 
Leland' 8 present wife is Flora Prescott, the widow 
Thompson when he married her. The children 
are Cyrus A., who married Nellie Thomson, and 
Lorenzo, Jr., who constitute a law firm in Eldorado, 
Kansas. Marcia is at home. 

Milton H. Swift, from New Preston, Connecticut, 
came to Ottawa in 1 838, By profession a lawyer, but 
has devoted his life mostly to financial pursuits; 
has for several years been President of the First Na- 
tional Bank of Ottawa ; has been Mayor of the city 
of Ottawa. He married Susan W. MJLles ; has had 
three children ; two accomplished daughters, Sarah 
and Helen, died at the opening of life ; one son, 
Edward, sui'vives. 

Dr. Peter Schermerhorn, from Schodac Landing, 
on the Hudson, New York, and wife, Sarah Ryder, 
from Sing Sing, New York, came to Illinois in 1832, 
located at Chanahan, Will County, in 1834, and 
brought his family in 1837. Was a practicing phy- 
sician and leading man in that thriving settlement ; 
he removed to Ottawa in 1841, where he practiced 
his profession successfully till his death in 1848. 
His widow survives him, living with their daughter 
Anna, the wife of Charles Hook. They have one 
son, Edward. 

238 History of La Salle County. 

Christopher Charaplin, a native of Connecticut, 
moved to Ashtabula County, Ohio, in 1820; came 
to Ottawa in 1835 ; moved his wife, Betsey Lee, 
and family, in 1836. He was a deacon of the 
Baptist Church, a radical abolitionist, and most 
worthy man. He died in 1862 ; his widow died 
in 1875. Their children were: John C, who 
married Miss Kennedy, practiced law in Ottawa, 
was County Judge, and was killed by the cars when 
crossing the track in 1873 ; Elizabeth, married 
Isaiah Strawn, and lives in Ottawa ; Caroline, mar- 
ried Howard Chester, second, Chester Morton, third, 
R. W. Griswold ; Sarah, married Thomas Bassnett ; 
Cordelia, married Joel W. Armstrong, of Deer 
Park ; Mary C, married Cyrus B. Lewis, of Mar- 
seilles; Bertha A., married William Glover ; Fanny, 
married Alvin Ford, of Chicago. 

Otis O. Wakefield, from Jefferson County, New 
York, September, 1839 ; first at Marseilles, then on 
S. E. i S. 20, town of Fall River, now living in 
Ottawa. First wife, Maria Cummings ; second, Jane 
Cone. One daughter, Adda. 

Henry Green and wife, from Cheshire County, 
New Hampshire, 1833 ; first to South Ottawa, then 
to East Ottawa in the spring of 1834. The first 
settler in East Ottawa, and built the first house on 
the east side of Fox river. He patented a mowing 
machine, the first in this locality. He was County 
Commissioner in 1839-40 ; died in June, 1860. His 
children are : Charles Henry, who married Jane 
Loyd, and settled on S. 3 in Farm Ridge ; William, 
now in Kansas ; Mary P. ; Martha E. and her 
mother are in Kansas. 

Sketch of Settlers — Ottawa. 239 

Benjamin Thompson and wife, Margaret Lindley, 
from Massachusetts, came in 1834 ; a merchant, and 
partner of W. H. W. Cushman ; he died in Massa- 
chusetts in 1846. His widow and two cliildren went 
to California ; she married tliere, and returned and 
died in Illinois. 

William H. W. Cushman, from Middleborough, 
Massachusetts, 1834 ; merchant, miller, banker, capi- 
talist, and manufacturer. Wielding a large capital, 
he has filled a prominent place in the business of 
Ottawa and the county at large. He was twice 
elected a member of the Legislature. He raised the 
Fifty-third Regiment, Illinois Volunteers, and was 
commissioned its Colonel. His first wife was 
Athalia A. Leonard ; she died in 1835. In 1837 he 
married Harriet Gridley, of Ottawa, daughter of 
Rev. Ralph Gridley ; she died in 1841. In 1843 he 
married Anna C. Rodney, daughter of Cffisar A. 
Rodney, of Delaware. His children are : Wm. H., 
who married Miss Douglass (they are now living in 
Colorado) ; George is in California ; and several 
younger children at home. 

Rev. Ralph W. Gridley, from Middleborough, 
Massachusetts, in 1834 ; died February 2d, 1840 ; 
his wife died January 19th, 1841. His children 
were : Harriet, married W. H. W. Cushman ; Samuel 
B., of Ottawa. 

Samuel B. Gridley, son of the Rev. Ralph Grid- 
ley, was a merchant for many years, a partner of 
W. H. W. Cushman, and for the last few years of 
his life superintendent of the Ottawa Gas Works ; 
he died in 1876. He married Miss Stone, daughter 

240 History of La Salle County. 

of Dr. Stone, from Vermont, and left one son, 
Kalph, now in Chicago. 

Madison E. Hollister, from Cayuga County, New 
York, came to Illinois in 1834, and settled perma- 
nently in Ottawa, with his wife, Delia A. Tichener, 
in 1 836. His youth was spent on a farm. He had a 
taste for military life, and held a Colonel's commis- 
sion in the New York Militia. But his life has been 
mostly devoted to the profession of law. He was 
Postmaster at Ottawa under Van Buren's adminis- 
tration, resigning after the election of Harrison. He 
was Justice of the Peace for two terms, and Presi- 
dential Elector in 1848, voting for Lewis Cass, but 
left the Democratic party in 1854, and has since 
acted with the Republican party. In 1855 he was 
elected Judge of the Ninth Judicial Circuit for a 
term of six years, was re-elected in 1861, and re- 
signed in 1866 to accept the office of Consul at 
Buenos Ayres. Was recalled in 1869, and returned 
to the practice of law in Ottawa, with Messrs. 
Glover and Cook. In 1871 accepted the appoint- 
ment of Associate Justice of the Territory of Idaho. 
A short time before the term expired, he received 
the appointment of Chief Justice of the Territory, 
whicli position he still holds. Judge Hollister has 
only one living child, Edward, who is unmarried, 
and lives witli his parents. 

Judge Hollister has furnished some reminiscences 
of the early times in Ottawa, from which one or two 
extracts are inserted, showing the state of society 
and public feeling at that time. "The Democracy 
of th(^ early time, and particularly during the con- 

Sketch of Settlers — Ottawa. 241 

stniction of the canal, were of a peculiar type, and 
during seasons of political strife, were apt to become 
somewhat fiery and fierce. It happened that while 
I held the office of Justice of the Peace, a con- 
vention of the party was held in the court house, 
and the struggle became intensely bitter between the 
friends of the several candidates, for at that time a 
Democratic nomination was equivalent to an election. 
Charles Hayward, a bold, uncompromising, but 
honest partisan, was the champion on one side, and 
Simon P. Sliope, a hot headed, passionate man, took 
sides against him. After exhausting their arguments 
they came to blows, I was an earnest sympathizer 
with Hayward, while others of the poorer, if not 
the baser sort, were equally zealous for Shope, and 
the partisans of each, as many as could, were 
mounted on a table and vociferously cheering on 
their champions. When it came to blows, however, 
I thought it time to magnify my office, and accord- 
ingly ordered the belligerents to keep the peace. 
No sooner had I done this, than I was dealt a blow 
on the back of the neck by some one behind me, 
when T found myself on the floor, some feet from the 
table, a conquered and meek official, and convinced 
that a Democratic (convention was not a proper field 
in which to exercise official authority. 

"When 1 was holding the office of Postmaster, 
it was considered as rank treason to the party, to 
harbor or countenance in any way, an abolitionist. 
As was well known in those days, my house was 
understood to be a minister's tavern. I always 
opened my doors to men of the cloth. It happened 

242 History of La Salle County. 

that the Rev. Mr. Cross, a noted abolition lecturer, 
put up at my house one night, which fact became 
known through the town, a crime not to be tolerated 
in a Democratic official. A meeting was called at 
the old Mansion House, and I was invited to attend; 
a series of questions had been prepared which I was 
required to answer, but the chairman. Ward B. 
Burnett, finding they very seriously interfered with 
the rights of hospitality, very adroitly managed to 
give them the go-by, and the meeting adjourned. 
The next morning I met Dodge, who had represented 
us in the Legislature, and who had taken an active 
part in the proceedings, when I quietly told him 
that had they attempted, as they had proposed, to 
eject Mr, Cross from my house by force, they would 
have had to settle a little preliminary matter with 
me before they reached my guest. He apologized, 
and the matter dropped." 

Of his personal habits, Judge Hollister says : 
"I have not used tobacco in any form, or indulged 
in strong drink for more than forty years, and was 
never addicted to the latter. In 1839, myself and 
wife became members of the Congregational Church 
and still retain our connection with it. I believe 
there are but three of the original members remain- 
ing, viz.. Deacon H. W. Gridley, myself and wife." 

Thomas Basnett, from England, came herein 1835 ; 
kept a drug store ; his first wife was Matilda Bu- 
chanan ; his second was Sarah Champlin. He now 
lives in Florida ; has one daughter, Elizabeth, now 
living in Michigan. Mary, sister of Thomas, mar- 
ried James Lafferty. 

Sketch of Settlers — Ottawa. 24S 

Benjamin Thurston, from Boston to Pottsville' 
Pennsylvania, and from there here, in 1834 ; settled 
near Buffalo Rock. He died about 1839. His widow, 
Sarah Robinson, married Martin Reynolds. They 
had four children. Mary married a Mr. Howard ; 
Susan married Bradford Eels ; William married 
Miss Young, now of Champaign, Illinois ; Priscilla 
married D. Snediker, of Yankton. 

Eri L. Waterman, from Oneida County, New 
York, came to Ottawa in 1836. He married Jane 
Burgett ; was Sheriff" of La Salle County from 1858 
to 1860, and from 1860 to 1862, and United States 
Assessor in 1862. He has ten children. Emily mar- 
ried Lathrop Perkins, of Ottawa ; Greorge is in the 
employ of the Chicago, Pekin & Southwestern Rail- 
road ; Fred, is in Streator ; Rebecca, James, Mary, 
Adda, and Ida (twin sisters), Effie and Fanny, are- 
at home. 

Isaac Burgett and wife, Lydia Fellows, from New 
York, settled near Buffalo Rock, in 1835 ; resided 
here a few years ; had three sons ; Mandeville went 
to Missouri ; Rodolphus and Orville went to Wis- 

Three sisters, Misses Burgett, nieces of Isaac, came 
about the same time. Rebecca married Lorenza 
Leland ; Betsey was Alson Woodruff' s second 
wife ; Jane married E. L. Waterman. 

Joel Strawn, from Perr}' County to Sandusky, 
Ohio, and to Illinois on an exploring tour in 1822, 
and settled on S. 18, T. 33, R. 3, in 1834. His first 
wife was Sarah Tannihill. Her children were : 
Isaiah, who married Jane Nice, and for his second 

244 History of La Salle County. 

wife, Elizabeth Champlin ; lie lives in Ottawa ; Jemi- 
ma is in Ohio ; she never came to Illinois ; James 
married Hopy Eels, and is in Missouri ; Sarah Ann 
married William E. Armstrong ; they are both de- 
ceased. Joel Strawn's second wife was LydiaChal- 
fant ; she has two sons ; Kobert married Elizabeth 
Ann Rhoades, in Ottawa ; Abner married Eliza 
Hardy, daughter of Nathan Hardy, from Vermont, 
in 1850. Abner lives on the old homestead — a large 
farmer, and breeder of improved stock. 

Nathan Eels, from Franklin County, Massachu- 
setts, came to Beardstown in 1822. Mr. Eels died 
soon after. The widow, Hopy Peterson, and family, 
came to La Salle County in 1834, and made a claim 
on the Illinois Bottom, below Buffalo Hock, and 
bought their land at the sale in 1835. Of their chil- 
dren, Nathan died single, in 1849 ; Hopy married 
James Strawn, and is living in Ottawa ; Bradford Y. 
married Susan Thurston, and died in 1847; Varanus 
married Elizabeth Dresser, and died in California, 
in 1874; Hubbard married Harriet Uhler; his second 
wife was Lucy Bennett; they are living in Colorado; 
Adoniram J. married Fanny Bridges; Jonathan died 
single ; Lydia married J. G. Stone, for many years 
a resident of Ottawa, now in Chicago ; Franklin 
married Jane Buckley, and was killed at the battle 
of Perry sville, Kentucky. 

John A. Shuler and wife, Eliza Sides, came from 
Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, in 1836 ; tailor by 
trade, carried on a large business in Ottawa for 
about thirty yeais ; now retired. His children are : 
John N., who married Mary Bener, lives in Ottawa ; 

Sketch of Settlers — Ottawa. 245 

Henry A., married Anna Mitchell, in Ottawa ; Mary 
E., married John A. Snelling, of Nebraska ; Rebecca 
J., married John N. Brady, in Chicago ; Josephine 
married John V. Snack, of Chicago. 

Abner S. Fisher, born in Vermont, came from 
Rochester, New York, to Ottawa in 1840, with his 
wife, Lovina Smith. Mr. Fisher has been a promi- 
nent citizen and politician, and has been a magis- 
trate for many consecutive years. He has five child- 
ren : George S., who married Martha Mann, was a 
banker in Ottawa, and Consul to Japan, now in 
Washington City; Janet, the wife of Gr. L. Thomson, 
of Ottawa ; Susan, married Perry H. Smith ; Charles, 
married S. Porter, of Michigan ; Helen is the wife of 
Dr. Hobart, of Ottawa. 

Chester B. Hall came from Canada in 1832, settled 
in Ottawa in 1834. He married Jemima Hess ; his 
second wife was Mary Foster ; he was a carpenter by 
trade ; he lived in Ottawa twenty-two years ; is now 
living in the town of Adams. 

Joseph 0. Glover, from Oswego, New York, in 
1836 ; held the office of Justice of the Peace and was 
admitted to the bar in 1840, and with B. C. Cook, 
under the firm name of Glover & Cook, constituted 
one of the leading law firms of the county for 
twenty-five years ; in 1869 he was appointed U. S. 
Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois and 
removed to Chicago, where he now resides. He 
married Janette Hart, and has three children : Julia, 
wife of George C. Campbell ; Henry S. and Otis R. 
at home. 

Buiton C. Cook, from Monroe County, New York, 

■246 History of La Salle County. 

arrived in Ottawa, July 21, 1835 ; was absent one 
year completing his education, and came back in 
1837 ; was admitted to the bar in 1840. There was 
a class of four admitted at that time : B. C. Cook, 
Joseph O. Glover, Joseph True who died soon 
after, and John M. Carothers, afterward a partner 
of T. L. Dickey and for many years Clerk of the 
Circuit Court of Kendall County ; he died about 

1860. Mr Cook was elected States' Attorney for 
the 9th Judicial Circuit in 1846 ; the circuit em- 
braced the counties of La Salle, Grundy, Kendall, 
Kane, De Kalb, Ogle, Bureau, Putnam, Stark, 
Peoria, and Marshall ; after two years' service he 
was again elected for four years ; in 1852, he 
was elected to the State Senate and re-elected in 
1856 ; he was a member of the peace conference in 

1861, and was elected to Congress in 1864-66-68 
and 1870, and resigned in 1871, since which time he 
has been Solicitor for the Chicago & North-Western 
Railway Company, and has resided in Chicago. 
Mr. Cook married Elizabeth Hart, daughter of Hon. 
0»is Hart, of Oswego, N. Y. ; he has one daughter, 
Nellie, who married C. H. Lawrence. 

Jerr}^ and Frank Church, brothers, came from 
New York about 1831 or '32; they made a claim 
near Ottawa, and after a brief absence finding it 
floated, they left in disgust. Jerry was an eccentric 
genius, and publislied an autobiography. 

Jeremiah Strawn came from Perry County, Oliio, 
in 1828, l)rought out his family in 1830, and settled 
in Putnam County. In 1858 removed to Ottawa, 
where he still resides. He served as Quartermaster 

Sketch of Settlers — Ottawa. 247 

in tlie Black Hawk war. On January 7tli, 1845, 
his house was robbed by the noted Birch and others, 
a part of the gang called the "Bandits of the 
Prairies." His wife, Hannah Beaucher, died 18 — . 
His children are : Eli (see below) ; David (see South 
Ottawa) ; Isaiah, at home ; Eliza, married Thomas 
Loyd, she died 1859 ; Matilda, married Walter 
Cowen, both are dead ; Phebe, married S. W. 
Cheever, now deceased ; Mary, died single ; Henry 
C, married Mary E. Powell, and lives in Ottawa; 
Zilpa,married Moses Osman, and is living in Ottawa ; 
Susan, married Thomas Dent, and resides in Chi- 

Eli Strawn, son of Jeremiah, came from Ohio with 
his father's family in 1830; he married Eleanor 
Broadus, of Putnam (now Marshall) County, a na- 
tive of Virginia. He located, July, 1838, on a farm 
on S. 5, three miles northwest of Ottawa. His wife 
died January, 1861. In March, 1864, Mr. Strawn 
married Mrs. Mary H, Dean, of La Salle, whose 
maiden name was Hartshorn. In 1869 he sold his 
farm and removed to Buckley, in Iroquois County, 
where he now resides. Mr. Strawn is npted for his 
integrity and active business habits. He held the 
office of Town Supervisor for five consecutive years. 
Mr. Strawn has seven children. His eldest son, 
Christopher C, completed his education at the 
Northwestern University and Albany Law School, 
was admitted to the bar, served as a volunteer in 
the war, and, after several trials, is successfully 
practicing his profession at Pontiac, Illinois. He 
married Clarie F. Bouvarier, of Chicago. Franklin 

248 History of La Salle County. 

resides in Massachusetts ; Martha married George 
D. Cook, and is now the wife of W. A. Barry, of 
Chicago; Nancy married Samuel H. Thompson, of 
Lacon ; Henry L. married Clara Ball, and lives at 
Buckley ; Douglass is at home. 

John Loyd and wife came from Ohio to Putnam 
County in 1831, and to Ottawa in 1856 ; they both 
died several years since. Their children are: 
Thomas, married Louisa Strawn, and lives in Kan- 
sas ; Mary Ann, married a Mr. Horham, and died in 
Colorado ; Sarah, is the widow of David Strawn ; 
Jane, is the wife of Charles H. Green, of Farm 
Ridge ; Abram, lives near Morris ; Marion, is in 
Michigan ; Washington, married Miss Eichelberger, 
and lives at Wenona, 

T. Lyle Dickey was born in Kentucky October 
11th, 1811, graduated at Miami University in 1831, 
taught school three years, came to Illinois in the 
fall of 1834 (first to Macomb County), read law with 
Cyrus Walker, was licensed to practice in 1835, 
located at Rushville in 1836, and in the fall of 1839 
came to Ottawa, and, till 1848, followed a circuit 
practice, going to each county in the circuit. In 
1846 he raised a company of infantry, which was 
part of Colonel Hardin's regiment in the Mexican 
war. After six months' service, he resigned on 
account of sickness. He was elected Circuit Judge 
in 1848, the circuit being composed of twelve coun- 
ties, which office he resigned in 1852. In 1854 he 
opened a law office in Chicago. Judge Dickey 
states that in the speculation previous to 1837, and 
in the revulsion then, he became bankrupt for sev- 

Sketch of Settlers — Ottaioa. 249 

eral thousand dollars, and remained so for twenty- 
one years ; that he opened the law office in Chicago 
to enable him to pay off his old debts, in which 
he succeeded, paying both principal and interest, 
some of it at twelve per cent, for the twenty -one 
years. In 1841 he inherited one-third of an estate 
of negro slaves worth $15,000, which he refused to 
use or sell, but gave the slaves their freedom. He 
opened an office in Ottawa in connection with Gen- 
eral Wallace and his son Cyrus E. Dickey, where he 
practiced till 1861, when he raised and commanded 
the Fourth Regiment of Cavalry. Was one year 
Chief of Cavalry on General Grant's staff. He was 
in the army two years : from 1861 to 1863. In 1867, 
with General Hurlbut and the Governor, he was a 
commissioner to urge upon Congress the building of 
the Illinois and Michigan Ship Canal., In 1806 was 
the Democratic candidate for Congressman at large, 
and ran against John A. Logan, the latter being 
elected. From 1868 to 1870 he was United States 
Assistant Adjutant General ; practiced law for 
three years ; then moved to Chicago, and was Cor- 
poration Counsel till elected Judge of the Supreme 
Court in December, 1875. 

Judge Dickey has been twice married. His first 
wife was Julia Evans ; his second Mrs. B. C. Hirst, 
of Maryland. He has four children living, all by 
his first wife : Martha, widow of Gen. W. H. L. 
"Wallace, is living in Ottawa ; John J. married 
Carrie Honey, of Wisconsin : he is telegraph sup- 
erintendent at Omaha : Charles H. married Anna 
Alexander, of the Sandwich Islands, daughter 


250 History of La Salle County. 

of an early missionary : lie is a merchant at 
Maui Island, Huiku, Sandwich Islands; Y. Belle 
married C. H. Wallace, brother of General Wal- 
lace : he is also a merchant in the island of Huiku. 
Judge Dickey's oldest son, Cyrus E., was killed at 
the battle of Cross Roads, Red river, at the time 
of Banks' defeat. He was Assistant Adjutant 
General, with the rank of Captain. 

George H. Norris, from Orange County, New 
York, arrived in Ottawa May 20th, 1835 ; first in 
South Ottawa, then to Ottawa in the fall of the 
same year. His wife was Lydia M. Hoxie ; his 
children are : Fanny E., wife of D wight R. Cameron, 
of Chicago ; George F., in Montana ; Hart A. and 
Frederick E., Spring Garden, Florida; Isabella M., 
with her parents in Chicago and Florida. He en- 
gaged first in surveying, and owned the ferr}- a 
short time. Was County Surveyor for about ten 
years ; Justice of the Peace ; admitted to the bar 
in 1839 ; established the Bank of Ottawa, in com- 
pany with George S. Fisher, and sold to Fisher ; 
while surveyor, laid out 10,000 lots in La Salle 
County ; dealt in real estate ; helped to build the 
starch factory, and lost heavily by it ; was attorney 
for the Rock Island Railroad, getting the right of 
way ; served one term as representative in the Leg- 
islature of Colorado ; and is now raising oranges at 
Sj)i'iiig Garden, Florida. 

Charles Campbell, from New York, about the 
year 1835. His children are : C. C. Campbell, of Ot- 
tawa ; Gf^orge C, tor some time a member of the 
law firm of Glover, Cook & Campbell, married 

Sketch of Settlers — Ottawa. 251 

Julia, daughter of J. O. Glover, and is now a prom- 
inent lawyer in Chicago ; Elizabeth, is the wile of 
Dr. H. B. Fellows, of Chicago. 

David Sanger, from Massachusetts to Ohio, to 
near Lockport, Illinois, in 1836, and to Ottawa in 
188ri. He was contractor lor building the canal 
acqueduct across the Fox river at Ottawa, under the 
firm of D. Sanger & Sons. He died in 1851 ; his 
widow died in ISoi. His children were : Lorenzo 
P. ; Dr. W. A. ; J. Y. ; Lucien P., who has resided 
at Ottawa and Joliet, is now in Utah ; and two 
daughters: Louisa; Harriet, married Dr. Henriks, 
of Indiana, both deceased. 

William H. L. Wallace, son of John Wallace, of 
Deer Park, moved with his father from Deer Park 
to Ogle County, in 1838, attended school at the 
Rock River Seminary, studied and practiced law in 
Ottawa, served through the Mexican war, was Prose- 
cuting Attorney from 1852 to 1856. In 1861, he 
raised the 11th regiment of infantry for three 
months, and also for three years. • He was made 
Brigadier General, and mortally wounded at the 
head of his command at the battle of Shiloh, 
and died two days after, on the 8th of April, 1862, 
with the rank of Major General. His widow, is 
Martha, oldest daughter of Judge T. L. Dicke3% ^^d 
lives on the north bluff at Ottawa. 

Lyman D. Cavarly, from New York, lived in 
Ottawa twenty years, and returned to Connecticut. 
His son William married Julianna, a daughter of 
Judge A. W. Cavarly. He died several years since. 
Mrs. Cavarlj' died in 1874. leaving one daughter. 

252 History of La Salle County. 

Fanny, now living with the widow of Judge 

Alfred W. Cavarly, a native of East Lyme, Con- 
necticut, came to Illinois in 1822, first settled in 
Edwardsville, and subsequently at Carrollton, G-reen 
County ; was a member of both branches of the 
Legislature several terms, and County Judge one 
term, also one of the Commissioners to revise the 
statutes in 1845 ; in 1853 he moved to Ottawa, and 
practiced law for several years. He died in 1876, 
aged 83. Only one lawyer in practice when he came 
to the State survives him. 

Judge Cavarly had two sons, Alfred and Henry, 
beside his daughter, Mrs. Wm. Cavarly. Alfred 
died young. 

His widow, Sarah Ann Whitcraft, of Annapolis, 
Maryland, is still living in Ottawa. 

Stephen Bushnell, and wife, Vincy Tuttle, from 
Saybrook, Connecticut, to Madison County, New 
York, and from there to Kendall County, Illinois, 
in 1837. They raised ten children. He died in 1869, 
aged 91. His wife died in 1854, aged 78. 

Washington Bushnell, son of the foregoing, came 
to Illinois with his father in 1837, graduated at the 
State and National Law School in Poughkeepsie, 
New York, and was admitted to the bar in New 
York in 1853, and came to Ottawa the same year. 
Practiced law two years, and was a member of the 
firm of Bushnell & Gray two years, and has since 
had a large law practice in addition to his official 

He was elected to the State Senate in 1860, and 

Sketch of Settlers — Ottawa. 253 

re-elected in 1864 ; was elected Attorney General of 
the State in 1868 for four years ; was City Attorney 
three years, and Prosecuting Attorney four years. 
Mr. Bushnell married Phebe M. Charles, and lias 
five children. Vincy, at liome ; TheronD. Brewster, 
at the military school in Chicago ; Julietta, Susan, 
and Sylvia, at home. 

Wm. True, froni Salisbury, Mass., and wife, 
Rebecca Mariner, from Cape Elizabeth, Maine, came 
to Ottawa in 1835 ; was a merchant, and for many 
years one of the pillars of the Methodist Church. He 
died April 6th, 1850. Mrs. True died March 11th, 
1864. Their children were : Joseph, who died in 
1840 ; Angeline, died young ; Wm. M., who married 
Mary Matteson, was banker and insurance officer, 
now dead. Geo. M., married Eliza Stevenson, and 
moved to the town of Waltham, in 1858 ; has been 
School Treasurer since 1868, and Supervisor five 
years, and is a successful farmer. 

G. L. Thompson, came to Peoria in 1837, and to 
Ottawa in 1840. He married Janet Fisher ; kept a 
drug store for several years. He has seven children : 
Edward; Abner F. ; Lovina, married Chas. Vane; 
Louise, Mary, Ella, and Matty, are at home. 

Wm. Osman, from Daupliin County, Pennsyl- 
vania ; his wife was Mary Hine, of Harrisburg, 
Pennsylvania ; has three children, Eaton Goodell, 
Mary E., Wm. H., all at home. He has been con- 
nected with the Ottawa Free Trader since 1840, and 
its principal editor and manager ; is now the oldest 
editor in the county. 

John S. Mitchel, born in Penn Yan, New York, 

254 History of La Salle County. 

came to Indiana in 1814, and to La Salle County in 
1832 ; he married Inger Nelson, in 1836. Keeps a 
livery stable. He has five children. Amanda, 
Warren N., Louisa, Arthur J., and Harly B. 

John Hise, from Pennsylvania, to Ottawa, in 1839. 
He married Lucy S. Cotton ; he was connected with 
the Free Trader as editor and publisher, and followed 
farming for several years, and is now living in 
Chicago, He was Supervisor and member of the 
Legislature from both La Salle and Cook Counties. 

John Dean Caton, from Monroe, Orange County, 
New York, came to Chicago in 1833, and to La Salle 
County in 1842. His wife was Laura Adelaide 
Sherrell, of Utica, New York. They have three 
children : Carrie, now Mrs. Norman Williams, of 
Chicago ; Arthur ; and Laura, 

Judge Caton was nearly the first lawyer in 
Chicago. He was Judge of the Circuit Court for the 
circuit embracing La Salle County, and subse- 
quently one of the Supreme Judges and Chief 
J ustice of the State. He has been largely connected 
witli the telegraph interests, and has accumulated a 
large fortune. 

Wm. E. Bell, from Virginia to Ohio, and from 
Ohio to Ottawa in 1836, worked for Lovell Kimball 
at Marseilles. Married Elmira Headly ; has three 
children : Armina,is now the wife of James Hossack ; 
Wm. S., at school ; Frank E., at home. Mr. Bell 
is the author of a standard work on Carpentry. 

Wm. E. Armstrong, son of Elsa Armstiong, came 
from Ohio with his mother in 1831. He married 
Sarah Ann Strawn, daughter of Joel Strawn. He 

Sketch of Sdtlers — South Of fa loa. 255 

was for some time captain of a steamboat running 
from the liead of navigation on the Illinois river to 
St. Louis. He and liis wife died several years since. 


The town of Sonth Ottawa embraces that part of 
T. 3.3, R. 3, which lies south of the Illinois liver, 
being about half the township. Except a narrow 
strip of bottom-land along the Illinois river, it is 
on the bluff, and the village which constitutes one 
ward of the city of Ottawa, looks down upon 
that part of the city which lies in the valley. 

The view is a very fine and commanding one. It 
was settled before North Ottawa, and the fort built 
for protection in the Black Hawk war, was just 
east of where the road going south cuts the 
bluff. The timber land which skirts the bluff of 
the Illinois river and along Covell creek, wliich 
runs northwesterly through the town, covers a 
large proportion of its surface. 

A peculiar feature, is the existence of a fountain 
of water which lies a few feet below the suiface 
between the Illinois river and Covell creek ; there is 
a bed of coarse gravel several feet in thickness, 
which contains a fountain of pure water. It sup- 
plies North Ottawa by pipes running under the 
river, and the fountain is inexhaustible. The town 
is favorably located, and will be as valuable as any 
portion of the county. 

Enos Pembroke, from New York, came to Alton 

256 History of La Snlle County. 

in 1818, and from tliere to Ottawa, May 1st, 1825, 
and settled on S. 15, T. 33, R. 3 ; he died in 1832, 
his widow surviving him. She kept a hotel at the 
foot of the bluff ; was a Methodist, and Stephen R. 
Begg saj^s, a leading sister in the church. She died 
in 1862. 

Their children were : David, married Mary 
Reynolds, lived in Fall River from 1844 to 1870. 
now lives in Macoupin County, has 11 children; 
Ursula, married Wm. Kessler, lived in South 
Ottawa ; Richard, died one year ago ; Enos, mar- 
ried Miss Chew ; Calvin, married Mary Gorbit, 
lived at Tiskilwa ; Jeremiah, married Rachel 
Sprague, second wdfe Rosa Densmore ; Mary Ann, 
married Horace Sprague, and died soon after. 

Josiah E. Shaw, from Whitestown, N. Y., came 
here in 1827. He married Rosanna Test ; he was a 
step-son of Enos Pembroke ; he died in 1875. His 
children are on(^ son and two daughters. 

Reuben Reed, from Monroe County, N. Y., in 
1822 ; stopped in Kentuck}^ two years, then removed 
to Cincinnati, Ohio, where his wife died, leaving six 
children. He married a Miss Hibbard, and soon 
after with the Hibbard family, fifteen persons in all, 
moved to Illinois in 1827, stayed in Chicago two 
months, then moved to Ottawa, and wintered in the 
cabin with Col. Sayers in South Ottawa. Leased 
the widow Pembroke's farm in 1828, and made a 
claim on S. 17, T. 33, R. 4, where Wm. Moore now 
lives. A Mr. Hibbard, brother of Mrs. Reed, came 
from St. Louis, who seemed to be the evil genius of 
tlie family. He caused the separation of Mr. Reed 

SketcJi of Settlers — South Ottaioa. 257 

and his wife, and broke up the family. His son 
Darius was bound out to James Galloway ; his son 
Ansel, to Moses Booth, and his daughter Enieline, 
then a mere child, to Lewis Bayley. Reuben Reed 
abandoned his claim and it was taken by a Mr. 
Town. Darius Reed, who served an apprenticesliip 
with Jas. Gralloway, when he arrived at man's estate 
made a farm on S. 31, T. 84, R. 5, on which he has 
resided for many years, a wealthy and respected 
citizen, now temporarily residing in Kansas. 

Henry Hibbard made a claim on S. 5, T. 33, R. 4, 
and sold to Disner, and he to McKernans in 1881, 
and they sold to Ebersol in 1834. 

Eleazar Hibbard, who married a daughter of 
Reuben Reed, made a claim on S. 32, T. 38, R. 4, 
where B. B. Reynolds now lives. He also separated 
IVom his wife, and the Hibbard family moved to 
Sand Prairie, near Hennepin. All the Hibbard 
men separated from their wives, and all the Hibbard 
women from their husbands, it is claimed from the 
intluence of the brother from St. Louis ; in the 
words of Darius Reed, ''they were always in com- 
motion and trouble, casting up mire and dirt, and 
never found rest but in the grave." All the Hib- 
bards but one died soon after they left the county. 

Charles Brown and wife, Abigail Hogaboom, came 
from Ulster County, New York, and arrived here 
November 30th, 1830 ; bought a claim of James Mc- 
Kernan, on S. 32, T. 33, R. 3, where he spent the 
remainder of his life, a good citizen and honest man ; 
he died in May, 1874 ; his wife died in November, 
1874. Their children were : William, who married 

258 History of La Salle County. 

Betsey Ells\Yorth, died in 1869, aged forty-nine, 
leaving six children : Lonisa, married_Calvin Eells, 
now deceased; Clarinda, married a Mr. Mills, is now a 
widow, in California; Russel, married Susan Hopple, 
and lives on S. 33, T. 33, R. 3 ; Ann, married P. C. 
Watts ; Jane, married Frank Libbey, and is now a 
widow, with three daughters and two sons; Edward, 
lives on the old homestead; Cordelia, married L3anan 
Cadwell, and lives in Vermillion County. 

John Hogaboom married Miss Hopkins, and came 
from Ulster County, New York, here, in the fall of 
1830 ; settled on S.33, T.33, R.3. After his wife died 
he married widow Brooks ; had fourteen children. 
Of those living, Adelia married Nathan T. Carr, lives 
in Brookfield, and has seven children ; Emily mar- 
ried Morgan Marion, in Iowa; Mary married Frank 
Ocean, and lives in Iowa ; George and Loring live 
on the old farm ; Edgar married Miss Wade, and 
lives in Ottawa; Charlotte married a Mr. Robins, and 
lives in Nebraska ; Frances married Henry Gilbert, 
and lives in Iroquois County. 

Ricliard Hogaboom, brother of the above, from the 
same place, in 1830, married Phebe Farnsworth, and 
settled on S. 32; removed to Green Bay, in 1837, and 
now lives in Nebraska. Has four children : Eliza, 
married D. C. Mills, and lives in Farm Ridge ; Cor- 
nelia, married Joseph D. Lewis ; Harriet, married a 
Mr. Robinson, both in Nebraska ; William, lives 
with his parents. 

Abel Hogaboom, brother of John and Ricliard, 
came from the same place, and settled on S. 6, T. 
32, R. 3. He married Charlotte Jones, and after her 

Sketch of Settlers — So uth Ottawa. 259 

death, he married the widow Horn, daughter of 
Jacob Griiber ; is now living in Nebraska, and has 
seven children, one son, Frank, living on the old 
homestead. Mary, married to Robert Crane, in 
South Ottawa ; Hannah, Eliza, Susan, and Luella at 
the old home ; Abbey and Lucy with their parents. 

Richard Hogaboom and wife, Hannah, parents of 
the foregoing brothers, came from Ulster County, 
New York, in 18B0. He died in 1845, aged 83 ; his 
widow died in 1857, aged 84. 

John McKernan, from Kentucky, settled on Covell 
Creek, in the fall of 1828 ; lived there one year, and 
then went to Brown's Point, and made a claim on 
S. 32, T. 33, R. 3 ; in 1831 sold the claim to Charles 
Brown, and bought a claim of Disney, on S. 5, T. 33, 
R. 4. In 1832, Mr. McKernan was drowned in the 
Illinois river. In 1834 the widow sold the claim to 
Joseph Ebersol, and with the family, removed to 
S. 22. T. 31, R. 4, at the head of Otter creek, where 
she died, in 1872. Two sons, Hugh and Patrick, died 

James Edgecomb came from New Providence, 
West Indies, in 1835, and settled on Covell creek, 
west of Ottawa, and died soon after. 

David Strawn, son of Jeremiah Strawn, came with 
his father's family from Perry County, Ohio, in 
1830 ; bought land on S. 35, in South Ottawa, at the 
sale in 1835. He married Sarah Loyd, of Oliio, and 
occupied his land soon after. He was a large farmer, 
and extensive raiser and denier in stock, and one of 
the owners and builders of the Paducah Railroad. 
He died in 1873, leaving seven children. Theodosia 

260 History of La Salle County. 

married J, W. Ebersol, and lives at Strawn, Living- 
ston County ; Susan married a Mr. Porter, and is 
now deceased ; Bertlia married Thomas Morgan : 
they live in Chicago; Walter married Florence Parr, 
and lives at Strawn ; Clara married Mahlon B. Lin- 
ton ; Ella, Harlan L., and Cora Belle, are at home. 

John Rockwood, and wife, Sally Green, a sister of 
Henry Green, of Ottawa, came from Cheshire County, 
New Hampshire, in fall of 183i, and settled on Sec- 
tion 26, where he made his home till his death, about 
1840. They had seven children : Loring Otis, lives 
with his mother, now ^6 years of age, on the old 
farm ; John, married Sarah Jane Lewis, and is living 
in Gibson ; William, married Maria Doolittle, and 
lives on Section 10, Farm Ridge, a large farmer ; 
Elisha, married Deborah Cox, and lives in Indiana ; 
Levi, died young; Mary, married J. R. Dunn. 

Judge James Glover, father of J. O. Glover, came 
from Oswego, N. Y., in 1833, and settled in South 
Ottawa ; he had held the position of County Judge 
in New York for a considerable time. He died 
about 1849. 

James Day, mother and sister, came from the city 
of New York in 1832; the sister died, the mother 
returned to New York, and James became insane, and 
left. Mr. Day laid out the original town of South 
Ottawa. Their family history is a sad one ; they were 
educated, refined and intelligent people ; Miss Day 
died of calomel salivation, the result of the murder- 
ous medical practice of that day. 

Henry Gorbt4t, from Clermont County, Ohio, in 
1837, with his wife, Sally Robinson, settled on S. 31, 

Sketch of Settlers — South Ottawa. 261 

T. 33, R. 3. His second wife was the widow Holland ; 
he had fifteen children : Mary, married Calvin 
Pembroke ; John, is in Texas ; Debby Ann, mar- 
ried David Clark ; Francis Asbury ; Mary Ann, 
married John Qnimby ; George, is dead ; Margaret, 
maiTied James Wilson ; Peter, is in Pontiac ; Sarah, 
married a Mr. Fisk ; Joseph, is in Pontiac ; Ange- 
line. married Edward S.mith ; Henry and Samuel are 
at Rooks Creek. 

William Thompson, from New York City in 1833 ; 
settled on S. 32, T. 33, R. 3 ; was here seven or eight 
years ; sold to William Richardson and went to St. 

Solon Knapp, from New York in 1835 ; died of 

Jabez Fitch, from Plattsburg, N. Y., in 1835 ; he 
was a merchant, and County Treasurer several years; 
he died in New York. 

Ebenezer Tracy, from New York in 1831 or '32 ; 
went back to New York. 

Thomas Tracy, brother of the above, from same 
place, had a wife and several children ; died in 
Michigan ; his family have all left the county. 

Silas Tracy, brother of Thomas, came here in 1831 
or '32; he settled on Covell creek, where he died 
many years since ; his widow married Jesse A. Clark 
and went to Madison, Wis. 

Dr. Roberts, from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in 
1832 ; died of cholera. 

Dr. Constant Abbot, from New York, in 1836 : a 
physician ; went to Cincinnati. 

Henry Matson, from Owego, New York, in 1834 ; 
went to Texas ; died in Central America. 

262 History of La Salle County. 

Silas Matson, and wife, Lydia Stanton, from 
Owego, New York, in 1839; settled in South Ot- 
tawa. Has four children : Charles Henry, now in 
Livingston County ; David, Jerome and Mary, at 

Calvin Eells, from Oneida County, New York, 
came to La Salle County in 1831, went West for a 
year or two, then returned to New York, and in 
1836 removed with his widowed mother to South 
Ottawa, and settled on Section 28. He married 
Louisa Brown, who died about 1850. He after- 
ward married S. A. Tucker. His first wife's 
<,'hildren are : Frederick, who married Ernestine 
Maines, lives in South Ottawa; Charles B., married 
Eliza Maines in Vermillion County ; Nathaniel is on 
the old farm, and Lucienin Kansas; Susan O. married 
George H. Maines, on the old farm ; Marcus is in 
Farm Ridge ; Isabella, married Samuel Poundstone, 
of Farm Ridge. The second wife has two sons: 
Douglass A. is in Odell ; Horace is with his mother, 
near the old place. 

Russell Kimball came at an early day from New 
York. He married Mercy Hogaboom, and settled on 
Section 28, sold to Calvin Eells, kept a hotel in 
South Ottawa, afterward moved to Sheboj^gan. 

Sheldon Bartholomew came from New York with 
Brown and Hogaboom, married Charlotte Hogaboom, 
and settled on Section 28 ; he sold to Thomas 
Hodgson ; died in Ogle County ; his widow came 
back to La Salle County, and died a few years after. 

Mr. Beers came from New York at same time with 
Bartholomew ; he married Prudence Hogaboom, and 

Sketch of Settlers — So^dh Ottaioa. 263 

died soon after ; his widow married Peter Minkler, 
who moved to Kane County ; they are now living at 
Rochelle, Ogle County. 

George B. Macy, from Connecticut, first to Peoria, 
and to Ottawa, 1836 ; he married Mary Jennings, 
who died in 1854. He died about 1864. They left 
five children: Charles, Eliza, Mary, Anna and Clara. 

Bartlett Dennison, and wife, Jane Lindley, came 
about 1834. He sold goods, and owned a saw mill 
on Indian creek ; went to California, and died there. 

Erastus Allen, from Plattsburg, New York, came 
in 1834 ; sold goods with Crook ; went to Galena. 

Robert Fowler, and wife, Polly Piatt, from Platts- 
burg, New York, kept a boarding house ; died here. 

Burnett Miller, from Clinton County, New York, 
Avent to Wisconsin. 

Daniel Farnsworth, from Clinton County, N. Y., 
iu 1832 ; he died in 1870. His widow was fatally 
burned by her clothes taking fire. Children : Albert, 
died in California ; William, married Miss Dix, he 
died in South Ottawa ; Robert was killed, his widow 
Is in Texas; Elizabeth, married S. Crook; Electa; 
Phebe, married Richard Hogaboom, and was fatall}^ 
burned by a like accident as that which befel her 

Samuel Tyler, the first wagon maker in Ottawa, 
came in 1833 ; moved to Wisconsin. 

Piatt Thorn and wife, Betsey Piatt, from Clinton 
County, New York, a glove maker by trade : went 
to Pontiac, returned, and died here. His widow 
and children went to California. 

Sylvauus Crook, from Clinton County, New York, 

264 History of La Salle Count]/. 

in 1832, a merchant and farmer ; he was a Justice of 
the Peace for several years, and died July 9, 1871 
He married Elizabetli Farnsworth, who survives him. 
Lucy married Albert Pool, now in Iowa ; Minnie 
and Charles are at home. 

John Parish, from Glas.f^ow, Kentucky, and 
brother, came in 1 832 ; one died, the other went to 
Rock River. 

Moses Booth, brother-in-law to Christopher Long, 
came here in 1827 or 1828, and lived with Long, on 
Covell creek. His wife died, and he married Miss 
Alvord. He went to Kendall County, lost a leg. 
and died soon after. 

Christopher Pavier came here about 1834, from 
Yorkshire, England. He had four children: George, 
died in Cincinnati ; Charles, married Miss Cunliff, 
lived for several years in South Ottawa, and died in 
East Ottawa ; two sisters live in Cincinnati. 

Mrs. Pavier was the widow Nancy Arnold, and 
had a son and a daughter by her first husband. Her 
son George Arnold married Sarah Russell. He ran 
the ferry at Ottawa for several years, and is well 
remembered by the people from the south side. He 
is now in Iowa, near Dubuque. Jane Arnold mar- 
ried Samuel W. Rogers ; after his death, she married 
a Mr. Kelley, and went West. 

Samuel W. Rogers, from Vermont, came to Ottawa 
in 1833 or 1834. He kept a grocery, and owned the 
ferry for several years. He died in South Ottawa. 

James Ball, from Owego, New York, in 1835 ; he 
married Cepha Ball, and lives on Section 25. Has 
one daughter. 

Sketch of Settlers — South Ottawa. 265 

Jesse A. Clark, from Fort Covington, New York, 
in 1832 ; kept tavern at the foot of the bluff, made 
the Clark claim, then went to Madison, Wisconsin, 
and died there. 

Justus M. Clark, son of Jesse A., took the farm 
occupied by his father in 1835. He married Martha 
Dunn ; he had kept school in Kentucky ; he was a 
Presbyterian minister, and died on his farm, Feb- 
ruary 13th, 1867, leaving children. One daughter 
married Walter Good, now of Marseilles ; one mar- 
ried Henry Howland ; Julius Clark is a lawyer, now 
in Kansas. 

John Bascom, from Connecticut, in 1831; his 
mother and sister came" in 1834. He kept a hotel 
at the foot of the bluff. Bascom and his mother 
died of cholera, the same night, in June, 1835. The 
sister married a Mr. Foster, of Earl, and died in 

Abraham S. Bergen, from Springfield, Illinois, in 
1833. He was a merchant here for eight or ten 
years ; he with his wife died in Galesburg. 

Benjamin J. Moore, from Clinton County, New 
York, in 1832 ; aland agent and speculator ; went to 
Wisconsin in 1838 ; he had three sons and one 

Dr. Smith, from Clinton County, New York, in 
1832, with Jesse X. Clark ; he opened one of the first 
stores in South Ottawa. He had one child, Lucy ; 
she went to Rock River, and died there. 

Rev. Mr. Hazard, from Clinton County, New York, 
in 1834 ; was a minister and missionary ; died when 
returning to Plattsburg. 


266 History of La Salle County. 


Dayton embraces that part of T. 34, R. 4, which lies 
west of the Fox river, about fourteen sections, and a 
strip one and a half sections wide, from the east side 
of T. 34, E,.3, being about twenty-three sections of the 
whole. It formerly included the whole of T. 34, R. 3, 
but the town of Wallace was taken from its western 
side, reducing it to its present size. Indian creek 
passes across the northeast corner of the town, and 
Crooked Leg creek and Buck creek across the north- 
ern part, furnishing considerable timber to that sec- 
tion. These creeks, with the rapid descent of the 
Fox river, give good drainage to the whole town. 

Dayton had the first flouring mill in the county, 
and the first woolen mill run by water, in the State. 
At one time, about 1834 and 1835, it was in advance 
of Ottawa; it had a flouring mill, doing a heavy busi- 
ness, a saw mill, wagon shop, tannery, and chair 
shop, and stores doing a large business. 

The dam across the Fox river is maintained by the 
State. It was built to turn water into the feeder for 
the canal, and the Messrs. Green, who were the own- 
ers of tlie land, liave what water they want, without 
any expense for dam or race. 

The Fox rivei' branch of the Chicago, Burlington 
& Quincy Kaihoad passes through Dayton. The 
flouring mill and woolen mill are both in use, and a 
paper mill lias recently gone into operation ; and 
there is wjiter power for many more. 

The towns of Dayton and Rutland were settled 
simultaneously, and their early settlement so con- 

Sketch of Settlers — Dayton. 207 

nected that it is difficult to fully separate their 
history. Tliey are separated by Fox river, and be- 
tween them lies the rapids of that stream, furnish- 
ing an excellent water power and from where the 
feeder for the Illinois and Michigan Canal is taken. 

The first settler here was William Clark, said to be 
a South Carolinian, but last from Fort Clark, now 
Peoria, in the spring of 1829. He built his cabin on 
the N. E. ^ S. 24 ; sold his claim, in September, 1829, 
to John Green, and went to Du Page County. 

John Green, who purchased Clark's claim and 
improvement, in company with William Green, 
Joseph Grove and William Lambert, left Newark, 
Ohio, on the 27th day of August, 1829, on a tour of 
exploration of the Northwest. They traveled on 
horseback by the way of Fort Wayne, Kalamazoo, 
Michigan, and along the south shore of Lake Mich- 
igan, to Cliicago. They found but few settlers, and 
frequently had to sleep on the ground with the sky 
for a covering. 

In September, they reached Walker's (now Hol- 
derman's) Grove, and the Fox river, where Milliugtou 
now is, following it down to the cabin of Clark. He 
showed them the rapids of the Fox, and told them 
it was the best mill privilege in America. As such 
a privilege was what Mr. Green was seeking, he 
purchased Clark's claim and determined to locate 
here. They found a corps of engineers surveying 
the canal feeder, and passed on to Ottawa, where they 
found one \3abin near where the Ottawa House now 
is, occupied b}^ James Walker, and one cabin on the 
south belonging to Dr. David Walker. They went 

268 History of La Salle County. 

on to Bailey's Point, where they found Lewis Bailey 
and William Seeley. They explored the country 
as far south as Vandalia, then the capital of the 
State, when he purchased eighty acres for his mill 
site, at Dayton, and returned to Ohio, arriving on 
the 15th of October, and immediately prepared to 
emigrate to Illinois. 


On the 2d of November, 1829, the following named persons left 
Newark, Licking County, Ohio, for what is now La Salle County 
Illinois : John Green, David Grove, Henry Brumback, and Reason 
Debolt, with their families, and the following named young men : 
Samuel Grove, Joseph Grove, Jacob Kite, Alexander JNIcKee, and 
Harvey Shaver. Their outfit was one four-yoke ox team, three 
two-horse wagons, and one carriage. Found the roads passable 
till we got into Indiana, where we lay by three days for bad 
weather. The streams were high, but we were bound for the West, 
and pressed forward. Found about forty teams weather-bound 
at Boxby's, on the Whitewater, where we were told it would be 
impossible to proceed unless we traveled on the top of wagons and 
teams already swamped. From there we cut our way through 
heavy timber for sixty miles, averaging about ten miles per day. 
One of the party, with a child in his arms, was thrown from the 
carriage, breaking three of his ribs, and the carriage wheel passed 
over the child without injuring it. The wounded man pursued the 
journey, never complaining ; so readily did those hardy pionecis 
adapt themselves to circumstances, and heroically face the in- 
evitable. The streams were so high we had to head them, or, as 
tlie saying is, go around them. 

We traveled five days by the compass, when we arrived at 
Parish's Grove, Iroquois County, Illinois. From there we followed 
an Indian trail to Hubbard's trading post, on the Iroquois river. 
Here we bought all the corn we could get— about eight bushels — 
and a perogue, or canoe. Loading it with about thirty hundred 
weight of our goods, we put Jacob Kite, Joseph Grove, and 
Samuel Grove, on for a crew, with dire ctions to work down the 
Iroquois to the Kankakee, and through that to the Illinois, where 

Sketch of Settlers — Dayton. 269 

tbej' were to meet the teams. This was necessary, as our teams 
were worn, feed scarce, and roads very bad, or. rather, none at all. 
On the trip, Joseph Grove became so chilled that he contracted a 
disease from which he never fully recovered. 

Our teams crossed a prairie which had no bottom — at least, we 
did not find any. The second day, found a stream too deep to 
cross ; felled trees from either side till they formed a temporaiy 
bridge, over which we conveyed our goods and people, which was 
barely accomplished when the accumulated waters swept our 
bridge away. The teams were made to swim, one horse barely 
escaping drowning. One of the women became nervous, and 
could not be induced to walk the bridge. John Green took her on 
his back, and made his way over on his hands and knees. The 
exact position in which the lady rode is not recorded. 

A heavy rain came on, and we encamped in a small grove, and 
were obliged to cut up some of our boxes to make a fire. That 
night we shall never forget ; most of us sat up all night. Mother 
laid dfiwn in the wagon, and tried to sleep, and was frozen fast 
so she could not rise in the morning. It took us over three days to 
reach the mouth of the Kankakee, a distance of thirty miles, while 
the perogue had to go seventy miles by water. The crew had about 
given up in despair of meeting us, when they fortunately heard a 
well-known voice calling to a favorite horse, by which they were 
directed to our camp. We ferried most of our goods over the 
Illinois on the perogue, when a friendly Indian showed us a ford 
where we took our teams over without difficulty. Our corn being 
exhausted, our teams had nothing to eat but browse, or dry prairie 
grass, and very little of that, as the prairie had nearly all been 
burned over. In the afternoon of the 5th of December, we came 
in sight of a grove of timber, and John Green, believing it to be 
Hawley's (now Holderman's) Grove, started on horseback to ascer- 
tain. His expectations were realized, and he found Messrs. Haw- 
ley and Baresford butchering a beef. He harnessed Baresford's 
horse, a large gray one, to a light wagon of Baresford's, and taking 
a quarter of the beef, and filling the wagon with corn, started for 
Nettle creek timber, where he supposed the party would stop. 

The company had ordered a halt and prepared to encamp, but 
with the expectation of going supperless to bed as their provisions 
were exhausted, when Mr. Green drove up, to the great joy of the 
whole party, both man and beast. From the time the corn gave 

270 History of La Salle County. 

out and the provisions were running short, one young man refused to 
eat, contending that as they were bound to starve, the provisions 
should be reserved for the women and children. 

The next day, being the 6th of December, 1829, about four o'clock 
p. M. we reached our destination — except the three young men in 
charge of the perogue, whom we expected would reach here before 
US; and when night came on we were all cast down with fearful 
forebodings, as we thought they must have met with some serious 
accident. But our anxiety was soon relieved. On the same day they 
had made the perogue fast at the grand rapids of the Illinois, now 
Marseilles, and crossing the prairie without any knowledge of the 
country, became benighted, but seeing the light from our cabin, 
joined us about eight o'clock, and we had a great time of rejoicing, 
the lost having been found. The self-sacrificing brother joined 
us in a hearty meal, and his appetite never failed him afterward. 

Our next object was to secure some provisions, as we had a large 
family and go- id appetites. We bought twenty four hogs of Markly, 
on the Desplaines; then went south to Tazewell county, bought 
thirty bushels wheat at four shillings, eighty bushels corn at two 
shillings, and took it to a horse mill where Washington now is; spent 
several days in putting the mill in order, having to dress the boulder 
mill stones, and furnish the motive power. Provisions were scarce 
before we had produced a crop; we frequently lived on beef, potatoes 
and pound cake, so called, being made of corn pounded in a mortar. 

We went to work improving in the spring, and by July 4th we 
had 240 acres fenced, and nearly all broken, and had built a saw 
mill, dam and race, and had a run of boulder mill stones in one 
corner of the saw mill grinding wheat, the first ground on Fox 
river. The stones were made from boulders or hard heads, found 
here, by Christopher Payne, brother of the Dunkard preacher who 
was killed by Indians on the prairie between Holderman's Grove and 
Marseilles, in 1832. 

Of the company of twenty- four tliat came out in 
the fall of 1829, two returned to Oliio ; of the twenty- 
two who remained, only seven died in forty-one 

John Green, and wife, Barbara Grove, came from 
Licking County, Ohio, in the fall of 1829. He 

Sketch of Settlers — Dayton. 271 

brought the irons for a saw and grist mill by team 
overland, and millwrights to put them wp. Mr. 
Green lived on the claim bought of Clark, in Rut- 
land, until 1832, when he removed to Dayton. He 
built a saw mill and put in a run of stone in 1830, 
and a flouring mill in 1832. He was County Com- 
missioner, and occupied a prominent i^lace in the 
business and early history of the county ; he died 
December 17th, 1874, aged 84 ; his widow is still 
living, 85 years of age. He had nine children : 
Eliza, married William L. Dunnavan, and lives in 
Rutland ; Nancy, married Albert Dunnavan, and 
lives in Rutland ; Jesse, married Isabella Trumbo ; 
he served three terms as Justice of the Peace, and 
was three years Town Supervisor ; in 1849 he led a 
company of forty-nine men to the then El Dorado, 
California. David, married Mary Stadden ; served 
as Town Supervisor several terms ; in company with 
his brother Jesse he has run the large woolen fac- 
tory at Dayton — the first one run by water in the 
State. It was built in 1840, and enlarged in 1864. 
Joseph, died in 1855 ; Catharine, married George M. 
Dunnavan, of Dayton ; Isaac, born in Illinois, mar- 
ried Rebecca J. Trumbo, and lives on the old farm ; 
Rachel, married George Gibson ; Rebecca, married 
Oliver W. Trumbo. 

Jacob Kite, from Licking County, Ohio, with 
Green's company, in the fall of 1829. He never 
married. A sort of Nimrod, he lived by hunting, 
and went West. 

William Stadden, and wit>, Elizabeth Hoadley, 
from Licking County, Ohio, in May, 1830, settled 

272 History of La Salle Count i/. 

on S. 33, T. 34, R. 4 ; sold to Jonathan Daniels, and 
moved to Dayton in 1831 ; built a flouring mill ; 
was twice elected Sheriff of La Salle County, and 
twice to the State Senate. He was a prominent and 
useful citizen, and died in 1848. Children : Jona- 
than, married Elizabeth Long, in Rutland ; Mar3^ 
married David Green ; William ; Elizabeth, married 
Horace B. George ; Richard, married Sallie Sevant. 

James McFadden, from Ohio, in the fall of 1831. 
Kept store in Dayton, where the woolen mill now 
is ; it was swept off by high water in the following 
spring. He was captain of a company of Home 
Guards, raised in the county during the Black 
Hawk war ; was shot through the ankle by Indians 
on Indian creek in 1832 ; he went to Galena. 

George M. Dannavan, from Licking County, Ohio, 
in 1830, with David Letts, who settled on Section 3 
in town of Eden. Mr. Dunnavan remained at Cedar 
Point, as it was then called, till 1835, when he 
settled on S. T, T. 34, R. 4, on Buck creek timber. 
He married Catharine Green, daughter of John 
Green. There are ten children : Silas L., is in Mon- 
tana ; Louisa Jane, married D. S. Green, and resides 
at Central City, Colorado ; Emma, married Andrew 
Brown, and lives in Ottawa ; Lucien G., is at Cen- 
tral City, Colorado; Frank W., Mary E., Charles, 
Belle, Cora, and Edward, are at home. 

Tliomas Parr, from Licking County, Ohio, in 
1834; lie married Sarah Ann Pitzer, and settled on 
S. 1, 'P. 34, R. 3. They have six children : Jesse N., 
mari'icd Anna Cain, and lives in Kansas ; Amanda 
E., niai-ried Noah Bnnik, and lives in Dayton; 

Sketch of Settlers — Rutland. 273 

Joseph B., married Sarah Knickerbocker in Man- 
lius ; Francis N., married Julia Curry, of Serena; 
Martha A., married Lyman Cole, of Iowa; "William 
H., married Mary Ruger, and lives in Dayton. 

Nathan Proctor bought the store and goods of 
David Letts, in the spring of 1836 ; he had a very 
interesting family, and was himself a genial, able 
and popular man, and did a prosperous business for 
about one year, and was noted for his honorable and 
upright business habits. On his way to St. Louis 
to purchase goods, he was detected in passing coun- 
terfeit money. He avoided arrest, but never re- 
turned. He was found to be a member of the 
notorious band that then infested the country from 
the Illinois to Wisconsin, called the Bandits of the 
Prairies, who were horse thieves, counterfeiters, 
robbers, burglars, and murderers. Dies, and plates 
for counterfeiting, were found in his store, and 
j^ears after, wlien the building was torn down, a 
copperplate engraving was found behind the plas- 
tering: If his former or subsequent history sliould 
be written, it is probable the name of Nathan Proc- 
tor would not appear. 


The town of Rutland embraces the east part of 
Townships 33 and 34, of Range 4, and is bounded 
on the south by the Illinois river, west and north 
by the Fox, and east by the east line of Range 4. 
Its location is an enviable one, having the Grand 

274 History of La Salle County. 

Rapids of the Illinois on the south, Marseilles in its 
southeast corner, Ottawa at its southwest. The 
Illinois and Michigan Canal, and Rock Island & 
Pacific R. R. pass through its southern border, 
while its western and northern line is washed by 
the Fox, with its rapids and heavy water power— 
a combination of natural resources that must 
insure a future of which we can form no con- 
ception. It is useless to speculate as to the time. 
This region of country is only just in its infancy, 
and the womb of time is pregnant with startling 
events to be developed in the distant future. AVhen 
the Lowells and Birminghams of the East shall be 
duplicated along the banks of the Illinois and the 
Fox, the towns of Rutland, Manlius, Fall River, 
Dayton and Ottawa, will constitute one grand me- 
tropolitan city of busy industry and commerce. 

It is true, the sanguine anticipations of the early 
settlers have not been realized in this direction ; but 
the development of such resources requires time and 
capital. The almost unlimited amount of power now 
running to waste, the cheap and inexhaustible 
amount of fuel close at hand, the exhaustless supply 
of rich ores, which the world elsewhere can not rival, 
ready to be floated over the bosom of the lakes, and 
through our ship canal, without transhipment, witfl 
the mountains of ores in Missouri, all in regions 
destitute of fuel, and which must seek the locality 
where that element exists — are facts that no sophistry 
ran belittle, or argument gainsay, but that stand in 
bold relief, as inexorable as fate. Add to this the 
capacity of tlie richest agricultural region in the 

Sketch of Settlers — Rutland. 277 

world, for the production of cheap and abundant 
food, and the picture needs no further embellish- 

But the farmers of Rutland have no cause to re- 
pine at their lot as tillers of the soil. Their soil has 
no superior among their sister towns. The town is 
well supplied with timber, and they have a market 
close at hand; and the old denizens who have spent 
fifty years in improving and embellishing their 
homes, would doubtless hesitate to exchange their 
fruit orchards, waving fields of grain, and sleek herds 
and fiocks, for the smoke of the furnace and the 
clack of the mill. 

Rutland was one of the earliest settled towns in 
the county. 

The first settler in Rutland was Wm. A. Clark, 
from South Carolina ; he settled on the N. E. ^ S. 22, 
T. 34, R. 4, in the spring of 1829 ; sold to John Green, 
and moved to near Naperville. 

David Grove, and wife, Anna Howser, from Lick- 
ing County, Ohio, in 1829 ; one of Green's party ; 
aided John Green for a year or more, and then settled 
on S. 22, T. 34, R. 4 ; now living, aged 73. Children 
of first wife : Samuel, who married Mary Parr, lives 
atUtica, and is now Supervisor of that town ; George, 
at liome ; John died. Mrs. Grove died in 1849. 
Second wife, Mary W. Robinson. Her children were: 
Katharine, at home ; Anna, married a Mr. Hoag, now 
dead ; Elizabeth, married David Connard, and lives 
in Miller ; Isabella, married Daniel Wickwire, and 
lives in Rutland ; Eliza, married W. H. Chapman, 
and lives at Freedom. 

278 History of La Salle County. 

Reason Debolt, and wife, Emma Grove, from Lick- 
ing County, Ohio, in 1829 ; one of Green's party ; 
settled on S. 11, T. 34, R. 4 ; in 1833 sold to Loring 
Delano, and moved to the N. E. ^ of S. 16, where he 
now lives. Mrs. Debolt died in 1843. Children : 
Elma, married a Mr. Hupp, and lives in Iroquois 
Count}' ; Barbara, married David Connard, and died 
in 1851; Lovina, is living in Ohio ; George, married 
Miss Sutton, and lives in Dayton; Jesse, died in the 
army ; Cyrus, married Elizabeth Dunnavan. 

Henry Brumback, and wife, Elizabeth Pitzer, from 
Licking Count}^, Ohio, in 1829 ; settled on the N. E. i 
S. 13. Children : Lizzie, born in 1830 — first birth 
in town, married Frank Bruner, now a widow ; and 

Samuel Grove, from Licking County, Ohio, was 
one of Green's party. He returned to Ohio, and 
oame back to La Salle County in 1856. 

Joseph Grove, from Licking County, Ohio, in 
1829 ; one of Green's Company. He married Elma 
Jackson, and settled on S. 22. He died in 1858. His 
widow died in 1872. Their children were : Seman- 
tha, who married a Mr. Wakefield ; John, is in 
Iroquois County ; Jeremiah, died in the army ; 
Jesse, is at home ; Lewis, married Melinda Pitzer, 
now of Miller ; Elma, married George Pitzer, of 
Iroquois County ; David, is at Dayton ; Mary, and 
Clara, are at home. 

William L. Dunnavan, fi'om Licking County, 
Ohio, in 1830, made a claim southwest of Peru ; 
sold to Ish, and settled on Section 22 in 1831. 
He was married in tiie fall of that year to Eliza, 

Sketch of Settlers — RLitland. 279 

daughter of Joliii Green, by David Shaver, Esq., 
being the tirst wedding in town. Has six children : 
Albert : Emma, married a Mr. Hite ; John ; Eliza- 
beth, married Cyrus Debolt ; Jesse, married Maggie 
Burk ; James, at home. 

Edward Keys, from Indiana, in 1830 ; settled on 
K. E. iS. 14, T. 33, R.4; he lirst stopped with Chris- 
topher Long, on Covell creek, while building his 
cabin ; moved on to his claim in December ; he died 
of cholera at the land sale in 1835. His widow mar- 
ried Alonzo Walbridge. (See Mrs. Walbridge's 
narrative.) He left three children: Elias H., mar- 
ried Dorothy Hanson ; Sarah, married William 
Johnson ; Emily, died single. 

Chi'istopher Long, and wife. Miss Booth, from 
Licking County. Ohio, in 1827, first located on the 
Drake farm in company with Moses Booth, his 
brother-in-law, on Covell creek, and in the fall of 
1831 settled on theN. W. I S. 13, T. 33, R. 4. He 
died in March, 1846, aged 51 ; his wife died in 1832 ; 
his second wife, Mary Alvord, died in Sept., 1846, 
aged 42. He had five children : Catharine, married 
Elias Trumbo, now living in Rutland ; Elizabetli, 
married Jonathan Stadden; Lewis, married Miss 
Barbour, of Miller; Jane, married a Mr. Murphy, 
of Ottawa ; and William. 

Matthias Trumbo, and wife, Rebecca Grrove, came 
from Licking County, Ohio, in the fall of 1830, 
and settled on S. E.'^i S. 28, T. 34, R. 4. He died 
October 1, 1875 ; his wife died May 1, 1873. He 
had eight children : John, died in 1841 ; Lavinia, 
married West Matlock ; Isabella, married Jesse 

280 History of La Salle County. 

Green, of Dayton ; Elias, married Catharine Long, 
the lirst child born in the county ; Eliza, married 
William Gibson, and lives on the old farm ; Barbara, 
married Joseph Jackson, of Millington ; Elizabeth, 
married Jacob Strawn, of Utica; Anna, married 
Lewis Robinson. 

David Shaver, and wife, Nancy Grove, came from 
Licking County, Ohio, in the fall of 1830 ; settled 
on S. 2, T. 38, R. 4 ; was Overseer of the Poor and 
Justice of the Peace several terms ; he died Jan. 2, 
1848. He had nine children : Cyrus, married Betsey 
Hackett, and settled on the S. E. ^ S. 4. Has four 
children : Harvey, married Sarah Johnson, now in 
Missouri; David R., married Margaret Kleiber, live 
on Section 3 ; Joseph, married Janet Neff, live 
in Rutland ; Harrison, died in 1833, the first natural 
death in the town ; Rebecca, married John Snelling, 
of Freedom ; Barbara, married Joseph Miller, of 
Ottawa; Nancy, married William S. Allen, in Gales- 
burg ; Catharine, married John K. Spencer. 

William Parr, and wife, Sally Trumbo, from Lick- 
ing County, Ohio, came in the fall of 1830 ; he settled 
on the S. E. i S. 3, T. 33, R. 4. He had five 
children : Henry R., married Elsa Armstrong, live in 
Serena ; Samuel, married Josephine Armstrong, in 
Rutland ; Isabella, married Orson Potter ; John, 
married Lucy Milliken ; Mary, married Samuel 
Grove, of Utica. 

Samuel Milliken, and wife, Rebecca Williams, 
from Licking County, Oliio, came to South Ottawa 
in 1830, and in the spring of 1832 settled on the 
S. E. i S. 5, T. 33, R. 4 ; sold to M. E. Hollister in 

SJceMi of Sdilers — Rutland. 281 

1830, and moved to N. E. i S. 10, where he resided 
till his death in 1864. He has seven children: 
May, married Levi Zeluff ; Margaret, married John 
Billman, of Kansas ; Comfort, married James Ste- 
venson, of Grand Rapids ; Amanda, married Edward 
Wightman, in Iowa ; Jerusha, married John Kelly, 
in Missouri ; Samuel, married Sarah Leek ; Lucy, 
married John Parr, of Rutland. 

Goodman Hargus, came from Norway, to New 
York in 1828 ; one that came over in the famous 
sloop ; he married in New York and settled in 
Rutland in 1834. He died in 1850, leaving five 

G. W. Howe, from New York in 18:34 ; settled on 
N. E. i S. 33, T. 34, R. 4 ; went to Rock Run, Will 
County, in 1840, and died there. 

Widow Barbary Grove, mother of Joseph, came in 
1833. She died at the age of 78. Her son, Elias, 
came with her and died single in 1845 ; her daughter 
Elizabeth, was the first wUe. of N. Madison Letts. 

Widow Anna Pitzer, a sister of John Green, came 
with a large family from Licking County, Ohio, in the 
fall of 1830, and settled on N. E. i S. 10, T. 34, R. 4. 
A woman of much business capacity and decision 
of character. During the Black Hawk war, few 
men exceeded her in efforts for the protection of 
the infant settlement. She was a leading member of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church. She died in 18 j4. 
Her children were : W^illiam, Avho married Sarah 
Kite, and settled on the old homestead ; Anthony, 
married Margaret Wagy, he died on the way to 
California in 1852 ; James, married Elizabeth Kite, 


282 History of La Salle County. 

live in Kansas ; Jesse, died in California ; Benja- 
min, died in the army ; Jacob, married Sarali Kite, 
live in Kansas ; Sarah Ann, married Thomas Parr, 
of Daj'ton ; Rachel, married Thomas Bayley, live 
in Kansas ; Elizabeth, married Henr}^ Brumback, of 
Rutland ; Margaret, is dead ; Catharine, married H. 
Ham an ; Alvah, is dead. 

Edward Sanders, from Licking County, Ohio, in 
1831, settled on N. E. i. S. 11 , T. 34, R. 4. He served 
live years in the United States army ; while stationed 
at Fort Dearborn, he went as a scout to the Illinois 
and Fox rivers in 1816, and what he saw of the country 
then, induced him to make it his home. He was a 
carpenter by trade ; his wife was Margaret Wamsley. 

Jacob Anderson, from Norway, to New York, 
1825; here, 1834; settled on S. W. i S. 13, T. 34, 
R. 4 ; went to California and died there, one of the 
first colony. 

Andrew Ball, from Norway, to New York, 1825, 
in the sloop ; here, 1834 ; settled on S. W. i S. 1, T. 
34, R. 4 ; died at Salt Lake. 

Vital Verniit, from Canada, 1834, settled on N. E. 
i S 12, T. 34, R. 4. He married Huldah Walker, 
daughter of Dr. David Walker, of Ottawa. Kept 
hotel for several years, at Vermit's or Vermit's 
Point; went to Indiana. They had four children. 

Jas. M. Philips, and wife, Ann Gillespie, from 
Pennsylvania, 1834, settled on S. E. J S. 10, T. 33, 
R. 4 ; moved to Indian Creek 1835. 

John C. Philips, from Pennsylvania, 1834, settled 
on S. W. i S. 10, T. 33, R. 4 ; moved to N.nvark 1S35 

Jolin AVeitsell, from Germany, on N. E. J S. 13, 
T. 34, R. 4. 

Sketch of Settlers — Rutland. 283 

Rev. John St. Clair, and wife, from Kentucky, on 
S. E. i-S. 10, T. 34, R. 4. 

AVm. Anderson, from Ohio, 1834, on S. E. i S. 3, 
T. 84, R. 4. 

John Harrington, from New York, 1884, on S. W. 
i S. 34, T. 34, R. 4 ; sold to J. F. Keyes, and moved 
to western part of the State. 

Solomon Channel, and wife, Betsey Wamsley, 
from Ohio in 1832, settled on N. W. i S. 12, T. 33, 
R. 4 ; sold to A. D. Butterfield, and returned to 
Ohio, came back to Illinois in 1840, and died 1875 ; 
his wife died before him . He has had seven children. 
Joseph, now in Iowa ; Mary, married a Mr. Bell in 
Adams ; Malvina ; Alva, is dead ; Sarah, John, and 
Jackson, are single. 

A. D. Butterfield, from Jefferson County, New 
York. He visited Cuba, New Orleans, and other 
places South, and came to Marseilles in April, 1835. 
Kept a hotel one year, then rented his hotel, and in 
1836 bought out Solomon Channel, on S. 36, T. 34, 
R. 4, where he still resides ; has held the 
office of Town Supervisor. Has had three wives ; 
his first was a Miss Edgar, second Lucy Otis, third 
Sally A. Rood. Has had nine children : David, 
married Julia Young, lives on the old farm ; P. A., 
married Sarah Drackby, is in Marseilles ; Julia C, 
married Wm. A. Seers, of Odell ; Orvill, at home ; 
Leavitt M., married Ella Parr, of Rutland ; Geo. F., 
married Mary Allen, and lives in Galesburg ; Chas. 
W.. Susan and "Walter, at home. 

Ephraim Shaver, born in Virginia, came from In- 
diana here, in 1839. His wife was Marj- E. Murphin, 

284 History of La Salle County. 

from Ohio. Their children are : Semantha, married 
Geo. Bennett, of Waltham ; Mary Lovina, married a 
Mr. Ross, her second husband Mr. Tiirple, they live 
in Chicago ; Margaret, married Henry Mandeville, of 
Kansas ; Belle, married Henry Bennett, of Deer 
Park; Dora, married Wm. Munson, Jr., of Adams; 
Geo. W., married widow Wade ; Dolcina, Emma, 
and Peter, are at home. 

Thomas Tuttle, from Indiana, in 1836, settled on 
S. 11, T. 33, R. 4 ; sold to Garver Gunderson in 1S39 

Timothy Corbit, from Pennsylvania, in 1837, 
settled adjoining J. D. Butterfield. 

Walter D. Rood, from Saratoga Connty, New 
York, in July, 1838, to Marseilles ; moved on to the 
Long farm. Went with Green's company in 1849 
to California, lived in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, 
and Montana, and returned to La Salle County in 
1870. Married Amelia Robinson, and settled on 
S. 16, T. 33, R. 5, in 1872. Has one child, Olive. 

John Gibson, from Ohio, came here in 1840. He 
was a Lieutenant in the war of 1812, from Pennsyl- 
vania ; he died in 1869 ; his wife died in 1860. Left 
six children : Mart ha, married C. McKinley ; Maria, 
married Jas. N. Frenary, of Rutland ; Capt. Wm. 
L., married Eliza Trumbo, of Rutland ; Geo. W., 
married Cynthia Robinson, of Rutland; John F., 
married Mary J. Anderson, of Rutland ; Capt. 
Theodore C, married Susan S. Sample, of Ottawa. 

Jonathan Daniels, and wife, Mary Channel, from 
Licking Connty, Ohio, in the fall of 1831, bought a 
claim ()[• Wm. Stadden, on S. 33, T. 34, R, 4. 
They had two children : Elizabeth, married Joseph 
Kleiber ; Judith, married Wm. Stadden. 

Sketch of Stiller s — Vermillion. 287 

Jost'pli Kleiber, and wife, Elizabeth Daniels, from 
Licking County, Ohio, in the fall of 1831, settled on 
S. 32, T. 34, R 4. He liad eight children : Melissa, 
married Henry Funk ; Jonathan, married Elizabetli 
Funk ; Mary, married Geo. Hays, and afterward 
Henry Curry ; Margaret, married David Shaver ; 
Aaron, married Rosanna McKernan, live in Allen ; 
William, married Mary Pierce ; Stephen and Etta, 
are on the old farm. 

Aaron Daniels, and wife, Maria Sanders, from 
Licking County, Ohio, in the fall of 1831, settled on 
S. 33 ; now in Kansas. 

Albert Dunnavan, from Licking County, Ohio, 
came witli Letts to Cedar Point in 1830 ; remained 
there one year, then came to Rutland and settled on 
S. 13 ; in 1831 married Nancy, daughter of John 
Green, and still lives on the old farm. Has eight 
children : Samuel, married Miss Munson ; David ; 
Isaac, is out West ; Joseph ; George, married Miss 
Rogers ; Katharine, married Frank Brandon ; Jane, 
married Aaron Howe ; and Anna. 


Tlie town of Vermillion embraces that part of 
T. 32, R. 2, lying southwest of the Vermillion river. 
It was among the earliest settlements in the county. 
It contains a fine tract of timber, called Bailey's 
Grove, through the centre of which runs Bailey's 
creek, while to the northeast it rests on the Vermil- 
lion river. Tiiis grove was doubtless the attraction 

288 History of La Salle County. 

that induced the settlement, for here, as elsewhere, 
the lirst settlements were all along the edge of the 
best timber. 

Lewis Baile}^ the first settler in the town of Ver- 
million, came from Ohio ; first to Indiana, and then 
to Illinois in 1825. He first came to Ottawa, but 
located on Section 19, at the head of Bailej^'s Grove, 
which was called Bailey's Point. His son Augustus 
is claimed to have been the first male white child 
born in the county, while a daughter of Christopher 
Long was the first. George Galloway, son of James 
Gallowa}^, of Fall River, has claimed the honor of 
being born before Bailey. The fact seems to be 
that Bailey's son was a few days the oldest, but he 
was born at Peoria, where his parents had gone in 
a canoe, in anticipation of the event, and soon after 
returned, having been absent from liome eighteen 

The location selected by Bailey was a romantic 
one, and he said it was a favorite resort of the In- 
dians, who ever evinced a keen appreciation of the 
beautiful. Mr. Bailey's neighbors at first were 
only Indians. He always expressed a high opinion 
of his swarthy friends, and persistently claimed that 
the}' were more honest, friendly and trustworthy 
than the whites. He was doubtless somewhat mis- 
anthropic. He with his family left the county in 
1844, and died in On^gon. 'He had two sons: Au- 
gustus and Timothy. 

William Se»^ley, a native of Seneca County, New 
York, came to Madison County, Illinois, in 1818, 
and brought his family in 1820. He came to Bailey's 

Sketch of Settlers — Vermillion. 289 

Orove, La Salle County, in the fall of 1828, and 
brought liis family in the spring of 1830 ; he settled 
on Section 19, just east of Bailey's ; he subse- 
quently laid out the town of Lowell, on the Vermil- 
lion, and in company with Charles Elliott built the 
stone mill now standing ; he held the office of Justice 
of the Peace several years ; was County Commis- 
sioner, and prominent among the early settlers ; he 
died March, 1857. His children were : John, who 
died single ; William, married Belle Tylee, they are 
in Kansas ; Randolph, married Clarissa Ellsworth, 
are in Nebraska ; Samuel, married Hattie Tylee, 
live in Lowell ; Anna, married a Mr. Knight, live in 
Chicago ; Mary, married Ebenezer Burgess, now de- 
ceased ; Eveline married Barnum Newton ; Sarah, 
married John Seelej^, now dead. 

Mr. Enos came from Sangamon County in 1829 ; 
settled on Section 18, and sold his claim to Mr. 
Pate, who came from the same county in 1830, and 
he sold to Jacob Moon in 1831. Enos and Pate 
were frontier men, and went West. 

Jacob Moon came from Dayton, Ohio, in 1831, 
and settled on the Enos claim, and in 1833 sold to 
Joel Alvord ; he moved on to a claim on the Ver- 
million, just over the line, in what is now Livingston 
County, called Moon's Point, where he died in 1853. 
The family are wealthy farmers and large stock 

John Slater, from Ohio, settled in Sangamon 
County in 1823, came to Bailey's Grove in 1829 ; he 
bought a claim of Tracy, a transient claimant, on 
S. 24, T. 32, R. 1 ; in 1833 sold his claim to Nathaniel 

290 History of La Salle County. 

Eddy, and made a claim on S, 19, T. 32, R. 2, 
where he lived and raised a large family. He died of 
cholera in 1848 ; liis first wife died in 1832 ; his sec- 
ond wife, Mary Warnock, is now living with Alfred. 
He left seven children : Henry, married Lydia Gal- 
loway, he died of cholera in 1848 ; Harriet, married 
Jacob Barr, they live at Lowell ; Sally, is single ; 
Olive, married Charles Clark, and lives in Missouri ; 
Jerusha, married J. W. Wells, she is now a widow, 
living in Streator ; B. F., married Louisa Dart, are 
now living at Farm Ridge, have six children ; Alfred, 
married Mary Jane Kirkpatrick, and lives at Metrop- 
olis, 111. 

John Bailey, and wife, Sally Benjamin, came from 
Windsor, Vermont, in 1831, to Putnam County, and 
in 1832 bought the claim of Warren's estate on S. 17, 
T. 32, R. 2, where he lived till his death in 1842. 
A good citizen, he always cheerfully bore his portion 
of the public burden of a new settlement. His widow 
died in 1 854. He left seven children : Sarah Ann, 
married Nelson Alvord, a Baptist preacher ; Mary, 
married William Laughlin, now a widow ; Rhoda, 
married Samuel Bullock ; Annis, married Bailey 
Barrass ; Maria, married Seth Eaton ; Emily, mar- 
ried Frank Wood, they live in Eden ; William, 
married Janet Potter, adopted daughter of John 
Rider, and lives on the old farm — is now Town 

Leslie Kent, and wife, Huldah Harman, fj-om 
Conway, Mass., in 1833 ; settled on S. 18, T. 32, R. 2. 
Mrs. Kent died in August, 1840: he died in Se])tem- 
ber, 1846, leaving two daughters : Huldah, married 

Sketch of Settlers — Vermillion. 291 

Edward R. Williams, they live in Deer Park ; 
Caroline Maliala, married Wells Alderman. 

Daniel "Warren, and wife, came from Maine in 1809, 
to Madison County, New York ; he came by wagon, 
with his family, the whole distance from New York 
to Illinois in 1830 ; settled on S. 17, T. 32, R. 2 -^ 
died there in 1832, aged 64 ; his claim was sold to 
John Bailey. He left eight children : Polly, married 
Asa Holdridge ; Nathan, settled in Serena ; Daniel, 
died in Serena ; Ezekiel, died at An Sable ; Samuel, 
died on Indian creek ; Eunice, married Alfred Kel- 
logg ; Betsey married George Sprague ; Olive, mar- 
ried Alva 0. Smith, and died in Serena. 

William Petigrew, from Kentucky, a single man,, 
boarded with Lewis Bailey ; made a claim ; sold 
to Enos, and went to Holderman's Grove; mar- 
ried a widow with two children, and then removed 
to Indian creek, where he and his family were all 
killed in the Indian massacre. 

Dea. John Leonard, from near Boston, Mass., in 
1831, came with the Northampton colony in com- 
pany with Mr, Jones ; they located at Bailey' s^ 
Grove. Jones died soon after, and Leonard eventu- 
ally married Jones' widow, and settled on S. 18, T, 
32, R. 2. He was deacon and an active member 
of the Congregational church ; a radical abolitionist, 
he had the reputation of keeping a station on the- 
Underground Railroad ; he removed to Galesburg, 
where he died in 1866 ; his wife, and two children^ 
Levi and Sarah, died there also. 

Levi Jones, from Massachusetts, in 1831, one of 
the Northampton colony, died the same year ; hia 

292 History of La Salle County. 

widow married Dea. Leonard, left four children : 
Daniel and Raymond ; Marj^, married Daniel Little ; 
Susan, is in Galesburg. 

Jacob Elliott, and wife, Mehitable Cook, from 
New HamjDsliire, in 1839, resided at Lowell. He 
died in 1841, leaving four children. His son Charles 
married Lucy Bach ; second Avife, Harriet Hunting- 
ton. He was a partner of William Seelej^ in the 
town of Lowell and water-power adjoining. They 
built the stone mill, and anticipated building up a 
manufacturing town that would not disgrace its 
namesake in Massachusetts. It was not a success 
proportioned to the enterprise of its founders, and 
the early death of its proprietors put a stop to its 
further progress. Charles Elliott was for several 
years a Justice of the Peace and County Commis- 
sioner: he died about 1855 or '56, and left one son 
by his first wife, Jacob, who married a daughter 
of Sargeant Cummings, and lives in Iowa ; Sarah, 
the daughter of his second wife, married Uriah 
Painter, and lives at Streator. 

Jacob Elliott's other children were : Cook, who 
married Jane Wiswall, and died soon after ; Mary, 
married Emery Stanford, now dead ; Sarah, mar- 
ried a Mr. Weber, both are dead. 

Emery Stanford, from Waterloo, N, Y., came in 
1887, a stone mason by trade ; he built the stone 
mill at Lowell for Seele}^ & Elliott, an enduring mon- 
ument to the skill and fidelity of its builders. He 
married Mary Elliott, and moved on to a farm on 
S. 27, T. 82, *R. 2, where he still resides. Has been 
Town Supervisor and lu^ld other positions of trust. 

STcetch of Settlers — Vermillion. 203 

He has three children : Sarah, married Justin Hall, 
of Chatsworth ; Russell, married Mary Hutchinson ; 
Frank, is in Livingston Co. Mr. Stanford has a 
daughter, Susan, by a former wife, who married 
Henry Loomis, now in Kansas. 

Leonard Bullock, from Rehoboth, Mass. , in 1887 ; 
he first engaged in teacliing and then extensively in 
farming in company with his brother, Joseph, near 
Tonica. He married Julia Eames, and died in fall 
of 1856, leaving three children : Henry, married 
Fanny Laughlin, and lives near Tonica ; Eliza and 
Lura reside with their mother on the old farm. 

Henry L. Fulton, millwright, and Emeline Castle, 
his wife, from Waterloo, New York, came to Lowell 
in 1887, and moved to Chicago in 1842, where he 
now lives. They had two children : Juliette, mar- 
ried Thomas C. Whitmarsh, live in Chicago ; and 
Franklin, married Amelia Schock, now practicing 
as physician in Geneseo, Illinois. 

Joseph Hamar, of Massachusetts, came to Illinois 
in 1835, in company with Dr. J. S. Bullock ; left 
Massachusetts in October, and came by the way of 
Albany, Erie canal and steamer to Cleveland, and 
by canal to Portsmouth, Ohio, and by steamer to 
St. Louis ; took passage for the Illinois river ; was 
detained by ice near Alton. Nov. 30th left the boat, 
and Mr. Hamar and Edw'd Knapp, also from Massa- 
chusetts, started on foot through a deep snow and 
over an uninhabited prairie for his destination in 
La Salle County. They reached Springfield D^c. 4, 
Tremont, on the 7th, and Bailey's Grovpon the 11th. 
Dr. Bullock arrived by boat Jan. 2, 1886. In Janu- 

294 History of La Salle County. 

ary, Mr. Hamar went to Dixon on foot to enter land, 
^nd was gone ten days. In the spring he was joined 
by his family and found quarters at the hospitable 
house of Lewis Bailey. He settled on S. 32, where 
he built a log cabin the following summer, the first 
in that locality that ventured to settle away from 
timber on the open prairie. Mr. and Mrs. Hamar, 
in common with their neighbors from New England, 
brought with them a high regard for the cliurch 
and school-house, which they learned among their 
native hills. Mr. Hamar died Aug., 1846, aged 51. 
Mrs. Hamar died May, 1876, aged 78, leaving seven 
-children : Elizabeth, now the widow of Samuel 
Wauchope, of Farm Ridge ; Mary Ann, widow of 
•George Kingsbury, living near Tonica ; Minerva 0., 
wife of Nathan L. Eaton, living three miles east of 
Tonica; Joseph E., living in Santa Barbara, Cal. ; 
Geo. E., is in Dodge County, Nebraska ; Therestal, 
died in 1846 ; Eugene lives in Tonica. 

Benjamin AVashburn, and wife, from Plymouth 
dounty. Massachusetts, in 1835 ; settled on S. 15. 
Had four sons : Benjamin, lives in Lowell ; Salmon 
B., is in Colorado ; Gustavus and Stillman are 

Henry Angell, from Rhode Island ; left there in 
the fall of 1835. While on tlie way was frozen in 
on the Erie Canal, and wintered in Utica, New 
York ; arrived here in the spring of 1836, and settled 
at Vermillionville, where his wife died. He married 
Miss Washburn, and settled on S. 35 ; he died about 
18.'50 ; liis widow died in 1874. His children by his 
first wife are : Abbey, who married John Fry, her 

Sketch of Settlers — Vermillion. 295 

second husband is John M. Trout, now in Kansas ; 
Heiiry, is in Nebraska ; Mary Jane ; Lydia, married 
Granville Clark. His children by his second wife 
are : Washburn and Albert, twin brothers — Albert is 
dead, Washburn married Miss Stillwell ; Everett, is 
married, and lives on the old place ; Ann, married 
George Enderton ; Hannah, married George Sharp, 

Mr. Wilkinson, from Rhode Island, came with 
Henry Angell, his brother-in-law, in 1836, and set- 
tled at Yermillionville ; soon after went to Iowa. 

Levi Woodward, and wife, from Massachusetts, 
came in 1837, and settled on S. 32, T. 32, R. 3, 
where he died in 1846. His widow married John 
Clark ; she became insane, and died in the Asylum 
at Jacksonville. Mr. Woodward left four children : 
Lewis, married Relel'e G. Dart, second wife Marga- 
ret Dart, is living in the town of Allen, has twelve 
living children, and is a large farmer ; Ona, is living 
in Denver ; Mary, married a Mr. Richardson, and 
they are living in Iowa ; Elizabeth, married a Mr. 
Conway, of Missouri. 

Lloyd C. Knapp, came from Massachusetts in 
company with the family of Joseph Hamar, and 
Joseph Bullock, in the spring of 1836 ; he settled on S. 
33, T. 32, R. 2, where he now lives. He married Sarah 
Kirkpatrick. Their children are : Alvan, who died 
soon after his return from the army, in the war of 
the rebellion ; Austin, lives in Kansas ; Sarah, wife 
of Nathan Hall, lives at East Lynn ; Dora, wife of 
Albert Hall, lives at Chatsworth ; George, is at 
Anna, 111. ; and two younger children, at home. 

Joel Alvord, Edward Alvord, Nelson Alvord, 

296 History of La Salle County. 

(sons of Joel), Jacob Barr, William Groom, and 
Madison Goslin, left Albany County, New York, in 
wagons, tlie IStli day of May, 1S33, for the West. 
In Cliicago, they met Judge Isaac Dimmick, then 
returning from a tour of exploration, who directed 
them to this locality. They arrived here July 18th. 
A journey by land for hundreds of miles at that 
day through a country, most of it unsettled, without 
roads or bridges, can hardly be appreciated now. 
They were compelled to adopt camp life ; stopping 
at night on the bank of some stream, where wood 
and water could be procured, and sleeping in tlieir 
wagons, or on the ground, and in some instances 
were compelled to build bridges to cross the streams. 
Madison Goslin died in the fall of 1833. 

Joel Alvord, and wife, in 1833, bought a claim of 
Jacob Moon, on S. 18, where he spent the remainder 
of his life a substantial farmer, and good citizen. 
He died, March, 1856, aged 76, leaving five children : 
Betsey, married Reuben Moffat ; Edward, married 
Elizabeth Cleveland ; Alison ; Nelson, a Baptist 
clergyman, married Sarah Baifey, and lives in 
Kansas ; Joel, married Lydia Hall, died of a wound. 

Jacob Barr married Harriet, daughter of John 
Slater, and is now living at Lowell ; has live 
children : Henry, married Harriet Alydo ; Sybil, 
married Eugene Miller ; Imogene, married Samuel 
Underhill, of Tonica ; Ellen, married Benton Crum- 
rin, now in California ; Arthur, is in California. 

The author is indebted to Mr, Barr for the history 
of the colony, of which he was one. 

Ezra Hawley, and wife, Rhoda M. Buck, came 

Sikeich of Settlers — Vermillion. 207 

from Bennington County, Vermont, to Sangamon 
County, and to Bailey's Grove, in June, 1835 ; set- 
tled on S. 20, where he is still living. His living 
children, are : Anson, at home ; Myron, who mar- 
ried Emeline Hall, in Vermillion ; Hiram, married 
Mary Goodwin, lives near the old place. 

Nathan Hawley, brother of Ezra, came from Ver- 
mont, July, 1836, and died the next October ; his 
widow, Chloe Ann Whiteside, lives near Peoria. 
* Anrilla Buck, sister of Mrs. Ezra Hawley, came 
in 1836 ; she married John Becker ; is now a widow, 
living in Rockford. 

Jacob Burgess, came from Burlington County, 
New Jersey, in December, 1837 ; settled on Section 
31. His wife was Olive Clark ; they are both dead. 
Ebenezer, married Mary Seeley, he died in 1841 ; 
Dorothy, married Jonathan Hutchinson, of Iowa ; 
Jacob, married Betsey Hall, and lives in Tonica ; 
Warren, married Emma Swift ; Stokes, married 
Emma Hiller; Sidney, married Miss Allen, on the old 
farm ; Mary, married Israel Hutchinson. 

Israel Hutchinison, from New Jersey, came in 
1837, and settled on S. 32, where he still resides ; 
he married Mary Burgess, and has had fifteen 

Jonathan Hutchinson, from New Jersey, came in 
1837 ; married Dorothy Burgess ; moved to Iowa. 

Bailey Barrass, from Saratoga, N. Y., in 1837 ; a 
carpenter and joiner by trade, an industrious and 
good mechanic ; he married Annis, daughter of John 
Bailey. He died in 1864, aged 51, leaving four 
children : John, died in the army ; Orvill, married 


298 History of La Salle County. 

Anna Fleming ; Onslow, married Margaret A. Mosier, 
of Tonica : Julia, at home. 

Josiah Seybold, from Southern Illinois, a native 
of the State, came in 1838. He built a flouring 
mill on the Vermillion, which was completed in 18B6 ; 
he sold the mill to the Messrs. Todd, and moved on 
a farm in the town of Eden. While descending the 
Mississippi in a flat boat, he died at Natchez, sus- 
pected of poison. He left three children : Thad- 
deus, married Lizzie Denton, lives in Washington, 
D. C. ; Jerome, is in Chicago ; Mary, is the wife of 
Willis Stewart, of Putnam County. Mrs. Seybold, 
Nancj^ Scanlan, from Virginia, now lives with Mrs. 

Chester Dryer, from Seneca County, N.Y., in Dec? 
1885, his family came in June, 1836. A sad fatality 
attended his family ; his second son, Calvin, died in 
1840; his oldest son, William, died in 1841, and his 
wife, Sarah Hobro, died in 1842. Of seven children 
by his first wife, one only survives, Keziah, wife 
of Sanford Harwood, living in Iowa. Mr. Dryer's 
second wife is Mary Little; they have one daughter. 
He brought in the first threshing machine — a four- 
horse power that delivered the grain on the ground 
from the cylinder to be cleaned by the hand mill 
— an imperfect implement, but far better than 
tramping out the grain on the ground with horses 
or <;att]e. 

Mr. Dryer has held the office of Justice of the 
Peace for several j'^ears. 

George Brown, from New Hampshiie, came in 
1880 ; was part owner, with William Seeley, of the 


SketcJi of Settlers — Vermillion . 299 

first sawmill built at Lowell; lie died at Seeley's 
about 1836. 

Moses Little, son of Ebenezer, came from New 
Hampshire in 1837 : settled on Section 33 ; removed, 
and died in Iowa, November, 1856. 

Fernal Little, from New Hampshire, came in 1837 ; 
went to the south part of the State. 

Deacon Button came from Ohio to Michigan, and 
from Michigan to S. 31, T. 32, R. 2, in 1835; in 
1844 he moved to Wisconsin, He had a large family ; 
Rosanna, mariied Peter Schoonover; another daugh- 
ter married a Mr. Curtis ; Ann, went to Wisconsin ; 
Aladelphia, died at home. His sons were : Hollis ; 
Ard, married the widow Faro ; Charles, is a Baptist 
preacher of note ; Asa ; and some younger children. 
They all went to Wisconsin. 

Mr.Curtis, son-in-law of Button, came from Miclii- 
gan with him, was constantly in litigation with his 
brother-in-law Schoonover till he left for Wisconsin 
with his wife's father, when Schoonover had to find 
another opponent. 

Peter Schoonover came from Ohio and from Mich- 
igan here in 1830, settling on Sections 32 and 33 ; 
married Rosanna Button, and was a large farmer and 
stock raiser. He had a passion for litigation which 
was apparently uncontrollable, and he seemed in a 
otate of suffering when denied the pleasure and ex- 
citement of a lawsuit. About 1857 he moved across 
the plains to Oregon, and when last heard from was 
preaching in California. He had but little education, 
but much practical shrewdness, and had learned by 
experience many quibbles and quirks of the law. 

300 History of La Salle County. 

Xothing afforded him more exquisite pleasure than 
to get the advantage of an opponent at law or to 
circumvent and outwit the simple men he emploj^ed 
to work his farm. The tale of his sharp transactions 
would fill a volume. • His practice was, to make a 
written contract with the men he hired, so worded 
that the contract was sure to be broken, when the 
laborer got no pay. 

A few are inserted as a* curiosity in their way. 

He sold a pair of steers for $65 worth 835, and 
took a note as follows : "One day after date, I 
promise to make for Peter Schoonover 32,000 oak 
shingles at $2. CO per M., Schoonover to furnish 
timber." The cattle were placed at double their 
value, and so was the work — but as the shingles 
could not be made in one day, the giver of the note 
was called on for the money at the advanced price. 

He arrested a German for burning some wheat 
stacks, as he claimed, by carelessness ; the frightened 
German who had not been near the stack, settled 
and gave a note for $100 ; this by advice, he refused 
to pay ; an arbitration followed, and Schoonover 
recovered $28. Anxious to pay it and be clear of 
the trouble, he traded a rille worth 825 and a heifer 
wortli 815 — all the property he had, with Schoon- 
over, and got an old rifle worth 50 cents and a credit 
on his note for 813. Now, says Schoonover, you 
can not read English, and will not comprehend an 
endorsement, you had better give me a new note for 
the 815 bahince and take up the old note. He did 
so, but found he had received the 8100 note that was 
killed by the arbitration — Schoonover retaining the 

Sketch of Settlers — Vermillion. 3< »l 

twenty-eight and the fifteen dollar notes and the 
rifle and heifer. 

He hired two Germans to split 6,000 rails for ^30, 
or $5 per M., and to take in pay a mare for the §30. 
The rails were to be good size, not less than four 
inches square at the little end. One evening, Schoon- 
over says, " Boys, let me learn you a little shrewd- 
ness — it will enable you to get rich ; let us alter the 
terms of our contract, you give me 860 for the mare 
and I will give you §10 per M. for making the rails, 
it will be all the same ; if you buy the mare for 
$30, you can never sell her for more, but give $60 
and she will sell for that." They did so. When the 
rails were made, they would not measure four inches 
square at the small end, as no lot of rails ever did, 
and they got nothing for the splitting, and paid §60 
caih for the mare worth §30, which he had induced 
them to take in advance, and they had traded away. 

As a specimen of his forensic ability, a sample is 
given. His father-in-law, Dea. Button, sued him for 
taking and butchering some of his hogs, and recov- 
ered. At the trial, Schoonover said: "This old 
man has followed me from Ohio to Michigan, and 
from Michigan to Illinois ; he has pursued me as 
Saul pursued David. And although I have had 
frequent opportunities I never cut off the tail of his 
coat. How it looks for this old man to endeavor to 
destroy the reputation of the legal protector of the 
only unspotted daughter the old man has got ; 
this venerable old man with one foot in the grave, 
and God knoAvs the other had ought to be." 

Benjamin Lundy, settled in the town of Vermil- 

302 History of La Salle County. 

lion in 1888. His reputation is so world-wide that 
among the old settlers he deserves more than a pass- 
ing notice. His ancestors were from England and 
Wales, and both his parents belonged to the Society 
of Friends. He was born at Hardwich, Sussex 
County, New Jersey, January 4, 1789. His educa- 
tional advantages were a few months only at a 
common school. He learned tlie trade of a saddler 
at Wheeling, Virginia, and as that place was then a 
great slave mart, he became strongly impressed with 
the enormity of slavery. He here formed the ac- 
quaintance of William Lewis, and sisters, one of 
whom he afterwards married, and set up his busi- 
ness of saddler, at St. Clairville, on the Ohio. Al- 
though successful in business, he soon left it for the 
more congenial employment of working for the free- 
dom of the slave. Lecturing, forming anti-slavery 
associations, and editing an abolition paper, was 
the commencement of a work to which he devoted 
his life. When he entered the field he promised 
never to leave it till he ceased to breathe or the 
object was accomplished ; he kept his word and died 
in the harness. Like Howard, the philanthropist, he 
made it a life-work, regardless of the sacrifices, pri- 
vations and personal dangers that beset his path. 
His was such a character as the world seldom pro- 
duces. It crosses the plodding, selfish track of 
common humanity like a luminous meteor passing 
athwart the sombre darkness of the midnight sky. 
Men ]iause while the evils and wrongs of societ}' are 
exposed ; and those who are ever prone to travel 
thoughtlessly and without inquiry, in the ruts their 

. Sketch of Settlers — Vermillion. 303 

fathers made, even though they may be stained with 
the blood of suffering innocence, have their dor- 
mant and sleeping consciences aroused. 

Lundy was the first anti-slavery apostle, whose 
whole life was an offering on the altar of human 
rights ; his efforts aroused and enlisted Tappan, 
Goodell, Garrison, and others, who became his co- 
workers, and who carried on the work after Lundy 
had gone to his rest. 

He started an anti-slavery pa2:)er at Mount Pleasant, 
Ohio, in 1821, called the " Genius of Universal 
Emancipation." This paper he published some- 
times as a weekly, but generally as a monthly, 
with slight interruption, till his death, a period of 
eighteen years. After issuing eight monthly num- 
bers he removed his paper to Tennessee where he 
continued till his removal to Baltimore in 1 824. The 
circulation of his paper was quite satisfactory, es- 
pecially so in most of the slave-holding States. His 
treatment of the subject, though firm and decided, 
was mild and conciliatory, yet it soon aroused the 
demon of slavery, and often exposed him to per- 
sonal danger. On one occasion in Tennessee, two 
ruffians entered his office, shut and locked the door, 
and demanded the recantation of an article pub- 
lished in the "Genius," but he coolly faced and 
held them at bay till help arrived. 

The circulation of his paper had become so general 
over the whole country, that he^ thought its publi- 
cation in one of the Atlantic cities would increase 
its efficiency ; he selected Baltimore as being central, 
and within the shadow of the dark pall of human 

804 History of La Salle County. 

slavery, and located there in 1824. In 1828, lie made 
a tour through New England, lecturing and forming 
his favorite anti-slavery societies, and increasing the 
circulation of his paper. On this trip he first made 
the acquaintance of Arthur Tappan, in New York ; 
of William Goodell, in Providence, and of William 
Lloyd Garrison, in Boston. Previous to this time, 
neither of those gentlemen had been- very active in 
the anti-slavery cause. 

In November, 1828, he again traveled over New 
England and New York, and delivered fort}''- three 
lectures while on the trip. The following winter lie 
was assaulted and nearly killed in the streets of 
Baltimore by Austin Woolfolk, a slave-trader, for 
commenting on his conduct. The judge, before whom 
Woolfolk was tried, told the jury that Lundy got 
no more than he deserved, and when the jury ren- 
dered a verdict of guilty, the judge fined him one 
dollar, and gave the offensive article to the grand 
jury, informing them that it was libelous, but the 
jury thouglit otherwise, and found no bill. The 
same winter Lundy went to Hayti in the interest of 
some manumitted slaves who were settled therein a 
state of freedom. While in Haj^ti his excellent and 
amiable wife and co-worker died, leaving him with 
a family of five children. Though keenly sensitive 
to his loss, his elforts in his life work were soon re- 
newed with his usual vigor. 

In the spring of 1829, he went again to Hayti on a 
similar mission. Tiiat sj^ring Wm. Llo^^d Garrison 
J()in<'d iiim at Baltimore in editing the "Genius." 
Garrison was more severe in his language than 

Sketch of Settlers — Vermillion. 305 

Lundy, and was soon ' imprisoned for libel, and 
compelled to leave Baltimore. Soon after, a similar 
experience awaited Lundy, and he was compelled 
to remove bis paper to Washington. 

In the years 1830 and 1831, he traveled most of 
the time, taking some of his type and his subscription 
list with him. Stopping each month at some village 
printing office he would get the loan of press and 
types, issue his monthlj^ edition, mail to his sub- 
scribers, and go on lecturing and forming societies; 
but Washington was nominally the place of pub- 

Lundy visited Texas and Mexico three diflPerent 
times, to procure grants of land on which he could 
locate emancipated slaves, and raise cotton and 
sugar by free labor. He found encouragement in 
Texas, but the fillibustering on that contested field 
about that time defeated the object. He obtained a 
grant of 138,000 acres in the Mexican State of 
Tamanlipas, on condition he should introduce 250 
families ; this scheme received much favor at home, 
but the arrangement was also defeated by the Texas 

In these enterprises, Lundy seemed to trust in 
Providence, but more in his own industry and in- 
domitable pluck. On his arrival at Metamoras, on 
his journey to Mexico, his funds gave out ; he at 
once rented a room, went to work at his trade of 
saddler, earning sometimes five dollars per day, and 
when his purse was replenished, he again went on 
his way ; he had frequently done this before. 

His paper was prominent in all public questions 

306 History of La Salle County. 

where slavery was involved. With the co-operation 
of John Q. Adams, he fought the enterprise of the 
Texan invaders, as he had before in 1823 and '24, 
taking a leading part in opposition to the attempt to 
introduce slavery into Illinois. It is singular, in the 
light of the subsequent history of the anti- slavery 
contest, that the movement inaugurated by Lundy 
should have made such headway in the slave States. 
His paper for August, 1825, states that he had more 
subscribers in North Carolina than in any other 
State. At an election in Baltimore, in 1826, Ray- 
mond, the anti-slavery candidate, received one- 
seventh of the votes cast ; this and other indications 
show that there was a healthy anti- slavery senti- 
ment at the South, but the aristocratic slaveholders 
then, as since, when aroused, crushed it out ,^nd 
silenced its voice. A very unfortunate occurrence 
took place on the 3d of August, 1831, in the insur- 
rection of about fifty slaves in Southampton Co., 
Va., under a fanatical preacher by the name of Nat 
Turner. They procured arms and commenced an 
indiscriminate massacre of all they met, without dis- 
tinction of sex or age, to the number in all of sixty- 
three, when tliey were dispersed. At the same time 
a plot for an insurrection of the slaves of several 
counties of North Carolina was discovered, and 
rumors of plots elsewliere were rife. 

The natural effect of all this was to prejudice the 
public mind against all anti slavery efforts, and to 
embitter the contest between the pro's and anti's. 

There is no probability that the anti-slavery 
movement had any influence in the Nat Turner in- 

Sketch of Settlers — Vermillion. 807" 

surrection ; Turner was a fanatic, and probably in- 
sane ; he claimed to have been commanded from 
heaven to do what lie did. 

In August, 1886, Lundy commenced in Philadel- 
phia the publication of a weekly paper devoted to 
emancipation, called the National Inquirer, and in 
1838 relinquished its publication, and was succeeded 
by John G. Whittier. The "Genius," as a monthly, 
was published during this time at Philadelphia, 
where it had been removed from Washington. 

A large hall, costing $80,000, built by abolitionists 
and others, was opened on the 14th of May, 1838, 
and several abolition meetings and discussions held 
therein. On the evening of the 17th, a mob assault- 
ed and burned the hall, with little opposition from 
the police; the firemen protected the adjoining 
building, but did nothing to save the hall. This 
was done in staid Quaker Philadelphia, and shows 
the bitter contest then being waged on the slavery 
question. Lundy' s books, papers, clothing and other 
personal effects were all burned in the building. 
He had for sometime contemplated moving his 
paper to the then opening Northwest. He left 
Philadelphia in July, and arrived in Illinois in Sep- 
tember. Disappointed in an attempt to start his 
paper at Hennepin, he accepted a proposition from 
the citizens of Lowell, La Salle Co., and moved there 
in the winter of 1838-9, built a house and printing 
office, and purchased a tract of land four miles dis- 
tant. Here his paper was publislied rather irregu- 
larly, for the want of funds, having at first no help- 
but his two sons, one of wliom attended to the farm,. 

^08 History of La Salle County. 

In August he was attacked with bilious fever, then 
prevalent in that locality, and died on the 22d of 
August, 1839, in the 51st year of his age. His re- 
mains were buried in the Friend's burying ground 
on Clear creek, in Putnam County, 111. 

The foregoing gives but a faint idea of the self- 
sacrifice, indomitable perseverance, and whole- 
souled philanthropy of Benjamin Lundy, for what- 
ever may be the views of any one on the slavery 
•question, it can not be denied that he deserves the 
name of a philanthropist in the broadest sense. He 
was not a fanatic ; his views were broad and catho- 
lic, as is shown by the toleration of his efforts at the 
South, where his paper was as well received as at 
the North. His efforts at colonization were broad 
and comprehensive, showing a cool head as well as 
a warm heart ; always conciliatory, but never yield- 
ing an iota of the rights of our comjnon humanity, 
his was just the organization to lay broad and deep 
the foundations of universal emancipation. With 
an open and pleasing countenance, genial, and win- 
ning manners, he made friends of all his associates, 
while his convictions of truth and right were as firm 
as the granite hills ; neither poverty, sickness, afflic- 
tion, toil and privation, mob violence, or the heel of 
the beastly Woolfolk, could swerve him from his 

His weapons were argument, reason, justice, and 
right, clothed in the garb of plain Quaker simplicity 
and sincerity; and when the contest became intensely 
embittered, and insane passion put reason and right 
.at defiance, it was, perhaps, well that he should 

Sketch of Settlers — Vermillion. 3' i^ 

quietly go to his rest beneath the peaceful sylvan 
beauties of the prairie, where coming generations 
will chant the praise of the Quaker philanthropist, 
whose quiet voice spoke terror to Tyranny's 
hosts, and inaugurated the work that finally broke 
the fetters of the slave. 

Mr. Lundy left live children, two sons and three 
daughters : Susan, married Wm. Wiseman, of Put- 
nam Count}^, now in Kansas ; Eliza, married Isaiah 
Griffith, live in Iowa. Mr, Lundy's sons are both 
dead. Charles, died in Oct., 1858; his widow, Mrs. E. 
M. Lundy, is living at Grranville, Putnam County. 
Benjamin, married, practiced medicine in Magnolia, 
and died there, leaving one son, William L.. the 
only male descendant, who is clerk in a drug store, 
in Henry ; his widow married C. C. Gappin, and 
lives in Lacon. Esther, the twin sister of Benjamin, 
died single. 

Zebina Eastman was assisting Mr. Lundy in the 
publication of his paper, at the time of Lundy's 
death, and immediately after commenced the publi- 
cation of the "Western Citizen," an anti-slavery 
paper, at Chicago, which was continued for several 
years, and was really a continuation of Lundy's 
work in the Northwest. 

David Perkins came from New York in 1837. 
He married Miss Barrass ; resided at Lowell several 
years, and removed to Chicago, where he is now 

Dr. Jethro Hatch, and wife, Ruth Cogswell, came 
from New Preston, Ct., in 1834 ; was a physician of 
good practice. Had two daughters : Mary Ann 

'310 History of La Salle County. 

and Elizabeth. Mrs. Hatch died about 1S45 ; the 
Doctor died about 1850. 


The town of Manlius embraces that portion of T. 
33, R.5, lying north of the Illinois river. ^ It formerly 
embraced the south half of T. 34, R.5, which now con- 
stitutes a j)art of the town of Miller. It has consider- 
able bottom land along the Illinois, much of it valu- 
able, considerable bluff and broken land, and about 
one-third of the town is covered with bluff timber. 
Probably half the town is prairie of excellent qual- 
ity. The Illinois & Michigan Canal and C, R. I. & 
P. R. R. pass through the bottom between the bluff 
and the river, bringing a choice of transportation 
facilities to the doors of all its people. The town 
of Marseilles is about equally divided between the 
towns of .Rutland and Manlius, and is destined to 
be an important place. The Grand Rapids of the 
Illinois furnish a water power equal to am^ de- 
mand that will be made upon it, and the earliest 
as well as all subsequent settlers have marked it as 
destined for a brilliant future. 

In some respects it has been unfortunate, thus far, 
suffering severely from fire in several instances ; but 
it has surmounted these and is now doing a success- 
ful manufacturing business, aggregating nearly half 
a million of dollars annually, which is nearly all 
labor. This is but a trifle of what the future will 
develop here. How soon it will realize that pros- 

Sketch of Settlers — Manlius. 311 

perity which its resources indicate, will depend upon 
national and local conditions which time alone will 

Wm. Richey was born in Pennsylvania, emigrated 
to Huron County, Ohio, where he heard the cannon- 
ading at the time of Perry's victory on Lake Erie. 
Lost his first wife and married Dolly Wilson, a 
Kentucky woman, near Indianapolis, in 18:^8. 
Moved to Wisconsin, and engaged in lead mining. 
In October. 1829, came to La Salle County, and made 
a claim on S, 17, T. 33, R. 4, where William Moore 
now lives. He was accompanied by his son William 
W., the only child of his first wife that came West. 
The son stayed on the claim while the father went 
to the Blue Mounds for the family. They came 
by the way of Dixon, in a "prairie schooner," with 
a span of horses, and an ox and cow yoked to- 
gether ; arrived on the claim in January, 1830. The 
only neighbor was James Galloway. In February, 
1830, Mrs. Galloway died. Mr. Richey and son cut 
down a black walnut tree the Indians had girdled, 
and split out some puncheon boards and made a 
coffin, in which Mrs. Galloway was buried. In the 
spring of 1830 Mr. Richey sold his claim to Abra- 
ham Trambo. They then made a claim near Gallo- 
way's, but sold to Galloway soon after and made a 
claim on the S. E. ^ S. 18, T. 33, R. 5, and in the 
winter of 1831 built a cabin in the ravine near the 
Dr. Ward place, the first cabin built in Marseilles, 
and where James Richey was born, the first birth in 
what is now Marseilles. William W. sowed a 
small patch of wheat where the sod had been killed 

312 History of La Salle County. 

by Indian cultivation ; he got some wheat, but, Avhat 
was more valuable, unwittingly got a pre-emption, 
and as he and his father were on the same quarter 
section, they were each entitled to a float on eighty 
acres elsewhere. They sold their floats to John Green, 
for which he entered their quarter section ; they 
thus secured their quarter section without money 
and without price. After the massacre at Indian 
Creek, in 1832, William W. went to Seneca to notify 
Abel Sprague, who had a claim there, and then 
moved the family to Ottawa. The father was a 
teamster for the army, and the son enlisted as a 
soldier. They were discharged on the banks of the 
Wisconsin river. In the fall they helped Ephraim 
Sprague, Charles Brown, and Richard Hogaboom 
build a dam and dig a race for a saw-mill at Mar- 
seilles. William Richey died about 1842 ; his wife 
died in 1839. William W married Widow Green, 
and Uvea in the town of Brookfield. 

Abner Stebbins came from New York in 1834 ; 
settled on S. 4, T. 33, R. 5. George W. Brumback 
says he was the best axe man he ever knew, the 
best worker and most honest man ; he went to 

Abdolonymus Stebbins, brother of Abner, and 
wife, Julia Webber, came from New York in 183.\ 
and settled on S. 8, T. 33, R. 5. Had ten children. 
Brumback says he was not so good a worker but a 
better talker than Abner ; that he was a staunch 
Whig, in favor of internal improvements, of devel- 
oping manufactures, arts and sciences, and delighted 
in talking on these subjects by the hour ; that there 

Sketch of Settlers — Manlius. 313 

have been bigger fools in the United States Senate 
than Abdolonymiis ; that the good seed sown by 
him is still bearing fruit ; but that his Democratic 
neighbors held him and his political heresies in utter 
contempt. His children were : Henry, married Mary 
Ann Pope, his second wife was Miss Bignal, is 
now in Iowa ; Louana, married Jacob Reser, of Pon- 
tiac ; Lorinda, married Volney Wood, both are de- 
ceased ; Mary, died single ; Louisa, married Gale 
Waterman, of Seneca ; Emery, married Laura Lam- 
my, of Iowa; Edgar, is in Missouri; Austin, mar- 
ried Miss Wiley, now in Florida. There are two 
younger sons. 

Lovell Kimball, from Watertown, Jefferson Co., 
New York, came in 1833. Brumbacksays there has 
never been a man of greater abilities in Marseilles, 
except Daniel Webster, and he stayed only one 
nigjit. Kimball was an active business man, ener- 
getic, venturesome and unscrupulous ; he built a 
saw-mill, and in 1840 was a member and agent of a 
company that erected the best flouring mill, probably 
then in the State ; it had eight run of stone, was 
forty feet high above the foundation, and every way 

When Kimball commenced his improvement he 
found Ephraim Sprague in possession of a part of 
the water privilege, owning and running a saw-mill. 
Kimball so made his dam as to flood out the privi- 
lege of Sprague, and as Sprague had no title but a 
claim on Government land, he found himself dis- 
possessed of his little property with no redress but 
Kimball's generosity, and as that did not serve, he 


314 History of La Salle County. 

left in despair, and as lie did so, he raised his hands 
and prayed that water might wash away, and fire 
burn all in Marseilles, as long as the memory of 
Kimball should last. This is related by the old 
settlers of Marseilles, and is called "Sprague's 
curse." Kimball's saw-mill and the flouring mill 
were burned on the night of the 18th of May, 1842 ; 
he rebuilt the saw-mill, but never recovered from the 
loss, as, by some quibble, the Insurance Company 
evaded payment, and the flouring mill was never 
rebuilt. The members of the Marseilles company 
that built the mill were : Gurdon S. Hubbard, of 
Chicago ; Robert P. Woodworth, James A. Wood- 
worth, Lovell Kimball, Augustus Butterfield, Wm. 
Whipple, and James Brown. Kimball died in 
1848 or 9 ; after Kimball's death, his widow married 
Orville Cone, of Morris ; she died in 1875. 

L. S. P. Moore, from Vermont, came in 1838 ; a 
wagon maker b}'' trade. He married Jemima Reser, 
and is still living in Marseilles. 

Vivaldi Morey, came from New York to Illinois, in 
1837, with his wife, Emily Brown, and settled on S. 
32, T. 31, R. 5 ; went to Kendall County for five 
years ; now living in Marseilles. His children are : 
Sarah, who married Melvin Prescott, of Marseilles ; 
Wm. A., married H. C. Belknap, his second wife was 
A. P. Skinner — he is a lawyer. Justice of the Peace 
and Town and City Clerk ; Frances, married H. G. 
Peister ; Emily A., married F. W. Simpson, and 
Nettie, married R. W. Kilbourn, all of Marseilles. 

Hanson Morey, came from New York in 1835, and 
settled on S. 8, T. 33, R. 5 ; left in about two years. 


Sketch of Settlers — Manlius. 815 

Nelson Morey, brother of the above, came about 
the same time and went to Texas. 

John Harrington, from England to New York in 
1836 ; bachelor ; grain dealer in Marseilles. 

Thos. Harrington, brother of above, was drowned 
at the time of the flood in 1838. The ice gorged 
on the island below Marseilles, and flooded nearl}' the 
whole town. 

Joseph Brumback, from Licking Co., Ohio, ar- 
rived here Aug. 3, 1832, built a cabin on S. 6, T. 33, 
R. 5, and lived in it nineteen years. His neighbors 
very appropriately called him the Patriarch Joseph, 
as he had nineteen children and eight step-children. 
His first wife was Mary Parr, who died, leaving four 
children ; George W., lives in Manlius, is Counts- 
Surveyor of La Salle County ; Elizabeth and Mary, 
are dead ; Samuel, lives at Odell. His second wife 
was Margaret Oatman ; she died in 1842 ; had one 
child, Margaret, now dead. His third wife was 
Comfort Young, who died in 1858 ; had eight child- 
ren: Newton W., Jervis J., both in Bates County, 
Mo. ; Ada Perkins, Grundy Count}^ ; Joseph Jeffer- 
son, Livingston County ; John Howey, Merritt M., 
and Oby David, all in Odell ; Nite E. died. His 
fourth wife was Margaret Hart ; had six children : 
Ella, Viola, Mirza, Ira E., Ezra H., and Oliver C, 
who are all at home. 

Christopher Massey, and wife, Sarah Bennett, 
from New England to Illinois in 1838. He died in 
1877 ; his widow is living. He left three children : 
Ann, married Jas. Mossman, her second husband 
was Mr. Jacobs ; Susan, married George Turner, of 
Indiana ; Charles, is in Grundy County. 

316 History of La Salle County. 

Jonathan Massey, brother of Christopher, came at 
the same time. His wife was Nancy Dow. He died 
in 1866, and his widow died in 1876. He left five 
children : Adeline, married Mr. Houghton, of Michi- 
gan ; Stillman E., married Miss McEwen, and lives 
in Morris ; Myra, married Mr. Pettis, of Morris ; 
Horace and Lizzie, are single. 

Israel Massey, brother of the foregoing, came at 
the same time, with his wife, Phebe Gardner. Has 
five children : Warren, married Caroline Barbour, 
and lives in Nebraska ; Mary A., married Mr. Young 
of the City of Washington ; Gordon, is in Chicago ; 
Sylvanus, is dead ; Frank, is in Nebraska. 

Dr. Robert P. Woodworth, from New York, 1837, 
one of the firm that built the Marseilles Mill, 
went to Ottawa, was postmaster and merchant ; 
moved to Peru ; was killed by an accidental gun- 
shot wound while hunting. 

Jas. H. Woodworth, brother of the above, from 
New York, 1837, also one of the Marseilles mill 
firm; after the burning of the mill moved to Chicago; 
was a member of Congress one term, and died at 

David Olmstead, and wife, Mary Linderman, 
from Tioga County, New York, 1833 ; settled on S. 
10, T. 33, R. 6; died 1846. They had eleven 
children : Dea. Hiram, settled on a farm in Free- 
dom, now in Ottawa, married the widow of Rev. 
Chas. Harding, had four children ; Allen, married 
Mercy Baker, live in Marseilles ; Lewis, married 
Lydia Ackley at Marseilles ; Edward A., in Grundy 
County ; Sally Ann, married Lewis Linderman in 

Sketch of Settlers — Manlius. 317 

Boone County; Anson, married Phebe M. Jameson ; 
Wesley, is a Methodist Episcopal preacher in Min- 
nesota ; Ann, Mary and William, with their mother, 
moved to Minnesota ; Curtis, is in McLean County. 

Ephraim Sprague came first to Ottawa, and to 
Marseilles in the spring of 1833 ; built a dam and 
saw-mill, completed in the fall of 1833. A dam built 
below him ruining his mill power, he moved to 
Grundy County. 

Abel Sprague made a claim near where Seneca 
now is, on the Crotty place, sold the claim to two 
young men by the name of Stocking, and they 
sold to one Carter, who afterwards abandoned 
it. In 1841, when work was resumed on the canal, 
Jeremiah Crotty occupied it. 

Dolphus Clai'k, and wife, Sally Loring, from 
Ontario County, N. Y., in the fall of 1836 settled on 
S. 5, T. 33, R. 5 ; first a farmer ; present residence 
in Marseilles. Children : Carlos, married Clarissa 
Dyke, live in Nebraska ; Adaline, married Samuel 
Parr, now a widow in Marseilles ; Mercy, married 
Sylvester Renfrew, live in Nebraska ; Sally Ann, 
married D. A. Nicholson in Marseilles ; Caroline, 
married H. W. Morey, died from the bite of a 
rattlesnake ; John, married Mary Jane Kerns, lives 
in Iroquois County ; Mary, married Ebenezer Bar- 
bour in Marseilles ; Richard, married Mary Parr in 
Nebraska ; Clara M., married F. E. Titus in Morris, 
Grundy County. 

Wm. R. Loring, from New York, came here in 
1838, married Jane Micca, and settled on S. 32, T. 34, 
R. 5 ; now in Benton County, Iowa. 


318 History of La Salle County. 

Jacob Reser, from New York, came here in 1838 ; 
died thirty years since, leaving five children, two 
now living: Jacob, Jr., married Louana Stebbins, 
and settled on S. 2, T. 33, R. 5, now in Livingston 
County ; Jemima, married L. S. P. Moore, and 
resides in Marseilles. 

Nathaniel Neece, and wife. Miss Lewis, came 
here in 1836 ; now in Iowa. 

James Dyke, and wife, Mary Sabin, from Connec- 
ticut, came here in 1837, settling on S. 5, T. 33, R. 
5 : was killed by the fall of a tree, February, 1844, 
leaving a widow and six children, all now dead but 
one, Eunice, who married Perry Baker, and lives in 

Seth Otis, father in-law to A. D. Butterfield, from 
AVatertown, N. Y., resided here a short time. Geo. 
W. Brumback, now County Surveyor of La Salle 
County, says that Otis' family were well educated 
and intelligent ; that Mr. Otis came to his father' s, 
and finding their stock of book knowledge was con- 
tained in one Bible, one Methodist hymn book, one 
Pike's arithmetic, an old work on chemistry and 
Cobb's speller, very genej'ously, and unsolicited, 
loaned them a portion of his libraiy, of which they 
made good use. The next season the neighbors put 
up a small log school house, and Otis' daughter 
Mary, now Mrs. Mancell Talcott, of Chicago, kept 
school for them. Brumback thinks tliat without 
Otis' books, and Mary's teacliing, some other person 
than Geo. W. Biiiiuback wouhl be County Surveyor 
of La Salle Count}^ to-day. Otis soon after moved 
to Chicago, and died there several years since. 

Sketch of Settlers — Manlms. 319 

John Loi-ing, and wife, Louisa Micca, from Bloom- 
field, Ontario County, New York, came here in 
1835, and settled on S. 31, T. 31, R. 5, where he 
still resides. They have five children : Eliza Jane, 
married Milton Peister, of Rutland ; Hulbert, mar- 
ried Mary Bosworth — his wife is deceased, and he 
lives with his Tather ; George, and Alzina, are at 

David Loring, brother of John, from the same 
place to Ohio ; came here in 1836. Married Eliza- 
beth Nichols, and settled on S. 5, T. 33, R. 5; 
removed to Nebraska. 

Richard Ives, from Tompkins County, New York, 
came here in 1835 ; resided here about eight years, 
then went to Will County, and thence to Grundy 

Horace Sabin came from Connecticut in 1836, and 
died in 1837. His widow and son are living in 

David Meacham died soon after his settlement, 
leaving three or four children ; one is in California, 
and one in Grundy County. 

Reuben Simmons, and wife, Susan Kinney, came 
from New York in 1834, and settled on S. 4, T. 33, 
R, 5. Moved to lowtfc in 1855. His children are : 
Joshua, Lois, Melinda, Eliza, Emily, and Fi'ank. 

Giles W. Jackson, came from New York in 1836. 
He married Hannah Jennings, and settled on S. 2u, 
T, 33, R 5. In 1854 he removed to Ottawa, and for 
several years was the senior member of the firm of 
Jackson & Lockwood, hardware merchants. He is 
now retired. Mr. Jackson was the first Supervisor 

320 History of La Salle County. 

of the town of Manilas, has been Agent of the 
county for the care of the poor and poor farm foi' 
several years, and Alderman of the city. His 
children are: Henry A., in Kansas; Elizabeth, is 
Mrs. Morgan, of St. Louis ; Harriet, married Chas. 
Catlin, of Ottawa. 

Samuel Bullock, from Boston, came here in 1834. 
He married Rhoda Bailey, daughter of John Bailey, 
of Vermillion. He left his family in 1850 and went 
to California, and did not return. Mrs. Bullock 
died in 1873. Of their children, Elisha married 
Brintha Hall, in Rutland ; Samuel and William are 
in Indiana; Martha married George Jacobs, in 


"Deer Park, called after the romantic grotto of 
that name, which lies within its borders, is com- 
posed of that part of T. 38, R. 2, lying south of the 
Illinois river, and that portion of T. 32, R. 2, lying 
north of the Vermillion. It occupies the point 
between the two rivers, and is nearly in the shape 
of a triangle. A considerablt* portion of its territorj^ 
is covered by the bottom and bluff timber along the 
streams, and much mineral wealth will be extracted 
from those bluffs ; coal, hre clay, and stone, for lime 
and for building purposes, exist in large quantities. 
The liigh ridge of prairie extending through Farm 
Ridge, extends through this town, but is broadei', 
giving the whole town a high rolling face, with ex- 





3,m. Mb ls-7. ''^^y>;^^'^^' 

'{^^ >OTK.-Tbej)art5aotteaare 
Cave^, ana the j>aTU markea 
Willi trees sbow the accuuiu- 
lationi of Talus in the Chasm. 



Scale J2,') fuet to au iucli. 

Ion SOU son 400 ; 

J;anJ..V<.Y,i7r;, ) f,...i' lyrV (.■'.k-Oy^. 

Sketch of Settlers — Deer Park. 3-23 

cellent drainage ; and a more beautiful section of 
land can hardly be found in the State. 

Martin Reynolds, and wife, Elizabeth Hitt, came 
from Champaign County, Ohio ; removed to Jack- 
sonville III, in 1827, and in 1829 located on S. 29, 
T. 33, R. 2, in present town of Deer Park ; the first 
settler in the town. For the purpose of securing 
educational advantages for his children, in 1838 he 
removed to Ogle County and assisted in establish- 
ing and sustaining the Mt. Morris Academy. He 
returned to his farm in Deer Park in 1844, where he 
resided until his death. His wife died in 1849, leav- 
ing six children, (Mr. Reynolds subsequently mar- 
ried the widow Thurston) : .loseph, married, and 
lived near the old homestead, where he died in 
1870 ; James C, married Caroline Clayton, and re- 
sides on S. 28, T. 33, R. 2, a large farmer and stock 
dealer, has been Supervisor of the town Severn 1 
terms, the first Anglo-Saxon born in Deer Park \. 
Robert, occupies the old homestead ; Margaret, 
married B. T. Phelps, and lives in Ottawa ; Caro- 
line, married Joseph Gum ; Elizabeth, married L. 
P. Sanger, formerly of Ottawa and Joliet, now in 

Joseph Reynolds, brother of the foregoing, from 
Champaign County, Ohio, came to Deer Park in 
the spring of 1880, where his three sons. Smith, 
Newton, and Milton, had located the previous fall, 
on what is now the Clayton farm ; they sold the 
claim to Yroman, and located at Troy G-rove, the 
first settlers in that locality. 

John Wallace came from Urbana, Ohio, with his 

324 History of La Salle County. 

family, and made a farm on the point of prairie just 
above the junction of the Vermillion and Illinoig 
and between the two rivers, in the summer of 1884. 
In 1838 he removed to Ogle County, in company 
with Martin Reynolds, to obtain a better opportu- 
nity for educating their children. He remained 
there until his death in 1854. leaving thirteen chil- 
dren : Eliza, married Caleb Hitt, brother to her step- 
mother, Wallace's second wife, and Mrs. Martin 
Reynolds ; Mary Berry, died single ; Josiah, was a 
merchant, and died in Chicago unmarried ; William 
H. L., was killed at the battle of Shiloh (see 
Ottawa) ; Sarah Ann, is the wife of Dr. R. Shackle- 
ford, of Ohio ; Thomas, died at La Salle on his 
way home from Wisconsin ; Margaret, died single ; 
Martin R. M., was Major and promoted to Lieut. 
Colonel and Colonel of 4tli Cavalry, and breveted 
Brigadier-General — was assessor of internal revenue 
for First District, Illinois, and in November, 1869, 
was elected Count}^ Judge in Chicago — his wife is 
Emma, daughter of George W. Gilson — he has a 
large family ; Barbara, married William T. Cooper, 
of Polo, Ogle County ; John Fletcher, died of yel- 
low fever, in Texas, in 1867 ; Elisha Berr}'', was the 
first of the family born in La Salle County, went 
South in 1856, and has not been heard from since 
1869; Matthew H. W., enlisted in the 4th cavalry 
and was drowned at Cairo ; Caleb Hitt, married Y. 
Belle, youngest daughter of Judge T. L. Dickey, 
and is living in the Sandwich Islands. 

Mrs. Elsa Strawn Armstrong, from Licking County, 
Oliio, leaving her husband in Ohio, settled on Sec- 

Sketch of Settlers — Deer Park. 325 

tions 35 and 36, T. 33, R. 2, in town of Deer 
Park, in 1831, with a family of seven children. A 
woman of great energy and business capacity. She 
died in 1871, aged 82 years. Her children were : 
John S., living in town of Mission; G-eorge W. in 
Brookfield ; William E. died in Ottawa; Joel W., 
(see below); Jeremiah died in California ; Perry lives 
in Morris, Grundy County, lawyer and member of 
the legislature ; and one son, who lives in California. 

Joel W. Armstrong came from Ohio with his moth- 
er' s family in 1831, married Cordelia Champlin, and 
settled on Sections 35 and 36, T. 33, R. 2 ; was a large 
farmer and stock dealer ; he was a teamster with 
the army in the Black Hawk war when a mere lad ; 
he held the office of County Recorder ; was several 
terms Justice of the Peace and Town Supervisor ; a 
good business man and prominent citizen. He died 
in 1871, leaving five children. Mulford, his oldest 
son, died before his father, just after graduating at 
the Chicago University with the first honors — much 
regretted ; was a young man of great promise. 
Nellie married E. C. Lewis, and lives on the old 
homestead ; Julia married Isaac Smead, and lives at 
Normal ; Cora, Walter and Hart are at home. 

Judge Isaac Dimmick, and wife, Clarissa Norton, 
from Wayne County, Pa., came West in the spring 
of 1833 ; he returned and brought out his family in 
the fall, and located at Vermillionville. He laid, out 
and was the owner of the town of Yermillionville, 
which promised well for a time, but like many other 
towns of that day, refused to grow faster than the 
surrounding country, and was forced, with them. 

326 History of La Salle County. 

■eventually to yield the palm to the railroad centres. 
Mr. Dimmick held the office of Judge in Pennsyl- 
vania, and was County Commissioner for several 
terms here. He removed to Ottaw^a, w^here he died, 
aged 91. His children vrere : Lawrence W., who 
came with his father in 1833, married Cynthia Jenks, 
was Deputy Surveyor, and settled on T. 32, R. 2, 
where he died in 1852 ; Esther, married Dea. 
Wood, she died in 1856; Dr. L. N., a physician, 
married and practiced at Freedom, then at Ottawa, 
where he kept a drug store, and is now living at 
Santa Barbara, California ; Philo C, married Sarah 
Yost, and for his second wife, Miss Stewart — occupied 
the old farm, then joined his brother in the drug 
store in Ottawa, now at Santa Barbara, California ; 
Ann, with her mother, lives in Ottawa ; Olive, is 
now the widow of James Van Doren, and lives in 

Dr. James T. Bullock, from Rehoboth, Mass. 
He left there for Illinois in 1835, by the way of 
Providence, New York, Albany, Cleveland, Ports- 
mouth, Ohio, and the Ohio, Mississippi and Illinois 
rivers, and reached La Salle County on January 
2d, 1836. He settled at Vermillionville, and at once 
commenced practice as a physician, which he fol- 
lowed successfully for forty years. His literary 
education was completed at Brown University, 
Rhode Island, and he took his medical course at 
Boston. He died October, 1875, highly respected as 
a man and physician. He married Nancy Barrows 
of Massachusetts, who survives him. His children 
are : Sarah, who married Rev. Mr. Dickinson, and 

Skelcli of Settlers — Deer Park. 327 

lives iD Massachusetts; Ella married Rob t. Galloway, 
who died in 1869, she is now the wife of Mr. Hay, 
and is living at Cheyenne, Wyoming Territory : 
Frank W. married Agnes Baird, is a physician, and 
succeeds to his father's practice; Lena lives with 
her mother. 

John Hollinger, from Champaign County, Ohio, in 
1833 ; settled on Section 4, T. 32, R. 2 ; died Jan. 
4th, 1836. His widow married Thomas J. Potter in 
1838, and died September 3d, 1840. The Hollinger 
children are: John D., who married, and lives at 
Granville, Putnam County ; Martin H., married, 
and lives in Page County, Iowa ; Maria H. is dead; 
Harry C, married, a physician at Salt Lake City ; 
Wm. S., married, living in De Witt County, Iowa ; 
Elizabeth, deceased ; Caroline S., wife of James 
Holman, of Deer Park ; Mary A. Barbary, married, 
and moved to Iowa, both herself and husband were 
killed by lightning. 

Jason Wiswall, from Susquehanna County, Pa., 
spring of 1833, by way of Ohio, Mississippi and 
Illinois rivers, and by Chicago home. In 1835, in 
company with Enos Thatcher, came through from 
Pennsylvania by wagon, with his wife, Sally 
Stanley, and family, and settled on S. 12, T. 32, R. 2. 
He died in 1875, aged 92, a quiet, honest, worthy 
man. His wife died 1852. His children were : Jason 
P. and William ; Emily, wife of Matthew R. Coon ; 
Jane, wife of Cook Elliott and afterwards of Harvey 

Jason P. Wiswall, son of above, and wife, Julia 
Dimniick, came from Susquehanna County, Pa., by 

328 History of La Salle County. 

way of Chicago, fall of 1833, made a farm on S. 10, 
and in 1835 sold claim to E. and R. B. Williams and 
located on Sees. 12 and 13, T. 82, R. 2, where he is 
now living; has been Justice of the Peace for several 
years, and Town Supervisor. His children are : 
Adaline, who married Jacob Cadwell, and lives in 
California ; Hannah, married Alfred Symonds, and 
lives in California ; Caroline, married M. McMillan, 
now in Iowa ; Harriet, married Alexander Cadwell, 
now in California ; Julia, married O. Paine, lives in 
La Salle County ; Jerusha, married James Garri- 
son, at Grand Ridge, HI. ; Edwin, at home. 

William Wiswall, brother of Jason P., and wife, 
Louisa Case, from same place, came by the rivers 
in the fall of 1834 ; settled on S. 12, T. 32, R, 2. 
His wife died in 1856. With his two sons, Bruce 
and Ferris, and daughter Sarah, moved to Colorado. 

Jedediah Beckwith, and wife, from Wayne Coun- 
ty, Pa., in 1833 came to Hennepin, Putnam County, 
and to Deer Park in 1834 ; made a farm on S. 13, 
T. 32, R. 2. ; died, 1838 ; leaving two children : 
Horace, married Miss Collins, and moved to Iowa ; 
Emily, is a seamstress, and lives at Wenona, this 

Bradish Cummings, and wife, Sophia Sergeant, 
from Ware, Massachusetts, in 1834, settled on S. 11, 
T. 32, R. 2. His wife died in April, 1835. He mar 
ried Betsey Hatch, from Connecticut, in 1836. Sold 
his farm to Nathan Applebee, and moved to Brook- 
lyn, Iowa. His children are : Sergeant, who mar- 
ried Mary Hays ; Henry, married Mary Peck ; 
William, married Susan Crusen ; and Charles — have 

Sketch of Settlers — Deer Park. 829 

all four settled in Iowa , Sophia, married Samuel J. 
Hayes, and lives in Farm Ridge ; Frances, manied 
Moreland Francis, and lives in Iowa ; AJmira and 
Maria, children of the second wife, went with their 
parents to Iowa. 

Camp Hatch, and wife. Miss Ambler, from New 
Preston, Ct., in the spring of 1831. settled on S. 9, 
T. 32, R. 2. He died in the fall of 1835. His Avidow 
married Jabez AVhiting. 

Jabez Whiting, from England, came to Vermil- 
lionville in 1836 ; married the widow of Camp Hatcli, 
and in 1869 or '70 moved to Iowa. Held the office 
of Justice of the Peace one term. Had two sons: 
Adolphus and John — all in Iowa. 

Matthew R. Coon, and wife, Emil}^ Wiswall, from 
Pennsylvania, in the fall of 1834, with William 
AViswall, came by the rivers, and settled on S. 12, 
T. 32, R. 2 ; moved to Iowa about 1845, and from 
there to California, where he died, leaving four 

Enos Thatcher, and wife, A. Case, came from 
Pennsylvania in wagons, with Jason Wiswall, in 
1835, and settled on S. 12, T 32. R. 2 ; served as 
Constable for several years ; a teacher and leader of 
sacred music. His wife died in 1838 ; his son Henry, 
and daughter Elizabeth, who married Godfrey Lin- 
coln, are both in Oregon. Mr. Thatcher married a 
second wife, who with their children, George and 
Celia, reside in Livingston County. Mr. Thatcher 
is now with his children in Oregon, 

Ephraim Dimmick, brother of Isaac Dimmick. 
and wife, Jerusha Dunham, from Wayne County, 


330 History of La Salle County. 

Pa., in the fall of 1833, and settled on S. 33, T. 32, 
R. 2 ; his wife died in 1848 ; he is still living with 
his son-in-law, J. P. Wiswall, at the liph age of 90. 
His children were one son and three daughters: 
Franklin, who married Harriet Hubbard, and set- 
tled on S. 26, T. 33, R. 2— was a joiner by trade, 
and a successful farmer — he died in 1866, leaving 
eight children ; Julia, married J. P. Wiswall ; 
Sophia, married Lewis Rugg, and resides in Pontiac ; 
Minerva, married James M. Leonard — died in 1875. 

Harvey Hatch (deaf and dumb), came from New 
Preston, Conn., a brother of Dr. Jethro Hatch and 
of Mrs. Bradish Cummings, settled on S. 10 ; mar- 
ried, and removed to Galesburg, where he is now 

Rev. Thomas Powell, a Baptist clergyman, and 
his wife, Elizabeth Day, came from Saratoga, N.Y., 
in June, 1836, and located on S. 14, T. 32, R. 2, but 
resided and preached at Vermillionville ; was pastor 
of the church at that place nine years ; he was the 
pioneer Baptist of this region, and formed a large 
number of churches in La Salle and adjoining 
counlies , he was a faith lul and earnest worker, and 
the denomination owes him a debt of gratitude for 
the work he has accomplished ; he is living in Ot- 
tawa in good health at a ripe old age. His cliildr;^n 
are : Euphemia, widow of Mr. Foote, living with her 
daughter in Ottawa ; Barbara Ann, married Mr. 
Jacoby, she is now'deceased ; William T., is now in 
Chicago ; Mary E., married H. C. Strawn, and lives 
in Ottawa : Sarah P., is deceased ; Benjamin R., is 
in Dubuque, Iowa ; John D., is in Chicago ; Truman 

Sketch of Settlers — Deer Park. 381 

S., is in College in Missouri ; Isaac W., is in Pella 

Livingston Jenks, and wife, came from Bradford 
County, Pa., in 1838; settled at Vermillionville ; 
served as Justice of the Peace for several years ; he 
died at Tonica in 1870 ; his widow died in 1872. His 
children are : Oliver, a physician in Marengo, 111., 
Chancellor, alawj^er in Chicago; Charles, is in Cali- 
fornia ; Morgan and John, are in Chicago ; Cynthia, 
is the widow of L. W. Dimraick ; Nancy, is mar- 
ried ; Sarah, married Mr. Shed ; Abbey, is in Cali- 
fornia ; Olive, married Dr. Jennings, and they are 
also in California. 

Charles Jenks, brother of Livingston, a bachelor ; 
lived with his brother. He died in Chicago in 1877. 

Ira L. Peck, came from Saratoga, N. Y., and 
settled in Yermillionville. In 1835, he married Miss 
Allen, and subsequently a second wife ; he is de- 
ceased ; his family are in Iowa. His children were : 
Mary, who married Henry Cummings ; Ira, is mar- 
ried ; Jane, Wayland, and Julia, are at home. 

David Clark, and his wife, Debby Ann Gorbet, 
came from Clermont County, Ohio, in 1836, and 
settled at Vermillion, where he worked at his trade 
for several years, then removed to Utica, and is now 
living in Waltham ; a good blacksmith, and an 
honest man. 

Andrew Kirkpatrick, and his wife, Ann Lefevre, 
came from Champaign County, Ohio, in the fall of 
1837, and settled on S. 8, T. 32, R. 2 ; is a potter by 
trade ; and for several years carried on the manu- 
facture of stone ware ; he died in the spring of 1866, 

332 History of La Salle County. 

and left five sons, and two daughters : John, married 
Rebecca Brant, 2d wife, Mary Mays, now in Texas ; 
Nathaniel, is in Southern Illinois ; Sarah Ann, mar- 
ried Lloyd C. Knapp, and died Jan. 6, 1857 ; Corn- 
well, and Wallace, manufacture stone ware, at 
Anna, Union County ; Andrew, married Anna 
Woodward, and died in 1853 ; Murray, married 
Diantha Baldwin, and lives in Lowell ; Mary Jane, 
married Alfred Slater, and lives at Metropolis, 111. 

James M. Leonard, came from Middleborough, 
Plymouth County, Mass., in the spring of 1884, and 
settled at Vermillionville, He married, second wife, 
Minerva Dimmick. In company with Seth Eaton, 
he erected a dam and saw-mill on the Vermillion, 
in April, 1835, and completed a flouring mill in 
1836 ; the company kept a store, and for several 
years did a heavy business in the flouring mill, but 
were unfortunate in losing their dam several times. 
Mr. Leonard died in 1852, leaving one son and two 
daughters by his first wife, and one son and one 
daughter by his last wife, who died in 1874, Man- 
ning Leonard, son of above, married Miss Sumner, 
and died at Tonica, in 1870 ; Eliza Ann, married 
Charles Todd, who died of cholera at La Salle in 
1852 ; Fanny, died in 1852. 

Seth Eaton, came from Middleborough, Plj^mouth 
County, Massachusetts, in September, 1834, and 
settled at Vermillionville ; was partner with James 
M. Leonard, in a store, saw, and flouring mill, and 
is now residing in the town of Vermillion ; his 
wife. Miss Allen, died, and he afterward married 
Maria Bailey. liis son, Frank, was killed in the 


Sketch of Settlers —Deer Park. 333 

battle at Fort Donaldson. The children of his last 
wife are : Clarence, Sarah, Belle, and Anna — all at 

John Beeson, and his wife, came from England to 
New York, and to Illinois in 1885, and settled on S. 
6, T. 32, R. 2. He was a radical abolitionist, and 
lectured upon anti-slaver}^ temperance, and other 
reforms ; removed to Oregon, and espoused the cause 
of the red man, and is now on a mission to the In- 
dian reservations, laboring to get justice done to the 
poor Indian; an honest, true, but over zealous friend 
of liumanitj', and will doubtless find wrongs enough 
to be righted, to occupy the remainder of his life. 
He had one son, Welburn, who is residing with his 
mother, in Oregon. 

William Wheatland, and his wife, came from 
England, to Urbana, Ohio, and from there here in 
1835, and settled on S. 3. T. 32, R. 2 ; he was a local 
Methodist preacher ; he filled a humble place as a 
preacher among the few early settlers, which without 
him, would have been vacant ; both he and his wife 
have long since gone the way of all the earth. He 
had one son, Isaac, of Farm Ridge. 

Edward R. Williams, came from New Milford, 
Connecticut, in the summer of 1835. He was edu- 
cated as a cadet, at West Point, and served as a 
lieutenant in the United States army, for five years, 
when he resigned, and came to Illinois. He settled 
on S. 34, T. 33, R. 2, where lie still resides. He 
married Huldah Kent, and has four children. 

Robert B. Williams, brother to Edward R., from 
the same place, and came at the same time, and 

334 History of La Salle County. 

settled on S. 10, T. 32, R. 2. He married Miss 
Allen ; after her death, he married Sarah Herring- 
ton, who lived but a short time ; his third wife was 
the widow Beach, from Connecticut, who also died 
in 1872. He has two children : Jehiel, who married 
Lucy White, and lives in Deer Park ; and Henri- 
etta, who married a Mr. Holeman, and lives with her 

William Clayton, and his wife, Elizabeth Punt- 
ney, came from near Wellsburg, Virginia, and 
settled on S. 28, T. 33, R. 2, in 1834. He bought 
the claim of Esdell, who bought of Vroman. Vro- 
man bought his claim of Reynolds, and sold to 
Esdell, who got badly frozen on the prairie, and 
died at Martin Reynolds'. His administrator, Jo- 
siah Seybold, sold the claim to William Clayton. 
Mr. Clayton has held the office of Justice of the 
Peace, and Town Supervisor, but has little taste for 
office, preferring the quiet of his farming operations, 
in which he has been very successful, accumulating 
a handsome property. His wife died in 1875. His 
children are: James, who married Sarah Clayton, 
and settled on S. 21 — removed to Colorado, and was 
murdered when out prospecting ; Caroline, married 
James C. Reynolds ; Sarah, married David Dick, 
who lives on S. 22 ; William married Miss Ostrander, 
and lives on S. 32 ; John, married Julia Suydam, 
and lives adjoining William — both are successful 
and prosperous farmers ; George, went to Colorado, 
and while taking a drove of cattle and horses from 
New Mexico to Colorado was murdered, probably by 
his Mexican assistants — his body was found unburied 

Sketch of Settlers — Deer Park. 385 

vvitli the fatal bullet-liole in his head ; Manning, 
served in the volunteer service in the war of the Re- 
bellion, and died soon after his return from the army; 
Ellen, is unmarried, and lives with her father. 

Alexander Eaton, from Middleborough, Mass., 
in April, 1836 ; married Dorcas Little, from Ply- 
mouth, N. H., and settled on S. 8, T. 32, E. 2 ; a 
farmer. His children are: Charles L., married 
Abby L. White, on the old farm ; Julius A., married 
Rosa White, and lives in Deer Park ; Nellie R., 
married Homer Palmer in Deer Park ; William, 
and Lucia T., are at home. 

John Wood came from Wayne County, Pa.. No- 
vember, 1833, and settled at Vermillionville : mar- 
ried Esther Dimmick, daughter of Judge Isaac 
Dimmick. He was the first Postmaster at Vermil- 
lionville ; for several years was Deacon of the Bap- 
tist church, and is now Justice of the Peace. His 
wife died in Decembei', 1856, after which he married 
the widow Emma J. Lockwood. His first wife left 
two children : Newton, who married Miss Esmond, 
of Livingston County, are living near Odell, in that 
county ; Sarah, married a Mr. Mitchell, and is now 
living in Indiana, 

George Bronson, from Connecticut, first came to 
Illinois in 1834, to where Streator now is. Visited 
Michigan, Ohio and California, and in 1853 married 
Priscilla A, German, from New York, and settled 
in Deer Park. 

Robert Brown, and wife, Anna White, from Eng- 
land, came in 1838, and settled at Vermillionville in 
1839, and both died the same year, leaving three 

386 History of La Salle County. 

cbildren: Mary B., married William Gray, and 
have resided in Deer Park ; Emma, married a Mr. 
Davis — her second husband was Mr. Haines ; Rob- 
ert, died of cholera. 

William (iray came from Rhode Island, in 1837 ; 
a carpenter by trade ; married Mary Brown, and 
settled and still lives on S. 2, T. 33, R. 2. They have 
two children : Arthur, who married Belle Bane ; 
his present wife is Candace Fuller — he lives in 
Streator ; Fanny, married James Chase, now at her 
father' s. 

Job G.Lincoln came from Middleborough, Mass., 
with William Gray, in 1837 ; a carpenter by trade. 
Married Elizabeth Thatcher, and settled on S. 2, T. 
32, R. 2 ; removed to Oregon. 

John Clark, and wife, Sarah Cook, from Grafton, 
N. H., came in 1839, and settled on S. 10, T. 32, R. 
2. Mrs. Clark died in 1845 ; he died in September, 
1872, leaving five children : Charles, married Olive 
Slater, and lives in Missouri ; Moody, died single ; 
John, married Rachel Merritt, and lives in Bureau 
County ; Lydia, married William Ellsworth, and 
lives on the old farm ; Sarah, married John Elliott, 
and lives in Vermillion. 

Ebenezer Little, and wife, Pliebe Palmer, from 
New Hampshire, in 1838, and settled on S. 9, T. 32, 
R. 2. He died in September, 1839 ; his widow died 
in February, 18^4. They left seven children: 
George, is married, and lives in Southern Illinois ; 
Charles, a gi-aduate of Hamilton College, came 
West, in 1840, and died soon after ; Moses, married 
Miss Cook, died in Iowa ; Fernal, lives in South- 

Sketch of Settlers — Deer Park. 337 

ern Illinois ; Mary, is the wife of C. Dryer, and 
lives at Lowell ; Dorcas D., married Alexander 
Eaton ; Sarah, married Henry Thatcher, and lives in 
Oregon ; Elizabeth B., is the wife of John More- 
head, of Yermillionville ; Alice, married E. Leaven- 
worth, and died in Southern Illinois. 

Luther Woodward, and wife, Sarah Knapp, from 
Taunton, Mass., came in 1836, and settled on S. 10, 
T. 32, R. 2 ; he built a dam and saw-mill on the 
Vermillion ; became involved in an unfortunate law- 
suit with the iirm of Seeley & Elliott in relation to 
the water privilege, which crippled and injured the 
usefulness of both firms. Woodward went to Cal- 
ifornia in 1850, and returned in 1853, and died in 
1857 ; his wife died in 1842. He held the office of 
Justice of the Peace for several terms. He left eight 
children : Sarah, married John Wilson, of Deer 
Park, is now dead ; Lucinda, married Alonzo 
Beardsley, of Sterling ; Anna, married Andrew 
Kirkpatrick, her second husband was Asa Hold- 
ridge, of Tonica ; Martin S., died young ; Oliver 
Cromwell, was killed in the battle of Hartsville ; 
Emma, married Frank McCall ; Jane, married and 
went to California ; Helen J., married J. Burgess. 

Sheldon Cadwell, from Middletown, Ct., and wife, 
Aphia Van Valkenburgh, from Green County, N.Y., 
settled at Vermillionville, in 1836 ; he was a tinner 
by trade ; he moved on to S. 29, T. 33, R. 2, in 
1839, and followed farming until his deatli, in 1853, 
aged 60. His widow died in 1876, aged 81, leaving 
six living children : Cushman, married Maria Green- 
field, and removed to Kansas ; Charlotte, married 

338 History of La Salle County. 

Dr. Thomas W. Hennesey, of La Salle, now living in 
Dimmick ; Alexander, married Harriet Wiswall, 
they are living in California ; Sheldon, is a Baptist 
clergyman, married Martha Adams, and lives in 
Deer Park ; Jacob, married Adeline Wiswall, they 
are in California ; Lyman, married Cordelia Brown, 
now in Iroquois County; George, married Mary Eliza- 
beth King, and occupies the old homestead. 

Michael O'Connor and wife, Sarah Lane, from 
Ireland to New York, from there to La Salle, and 
on to S. 36, T. 38, R. 2, in 1888. Four sons, John, 
Thomas, Michael and Martin, were born in Ireland ; 
Elizabeth, married ; Elias, May and Edward, at 
home. Mr. O'Connor is deceased. He gave each 
child eighty acres of land ; to William, who is in- 
sane, 1 60 ; to the widow and two youngest children, 
160. He died about 1866. 

Obadiah Brown, from Vermont in 1837 or '8. 
Settled on S. 26, T. 33, R. 2. Moved West about 

Peter Trout, and wife, Leah Brady, from Ohio in 
1840. Was here about five years ; went to Wiscon- 
sin, and died there. 

Jacob Roan, from Ohio in the fall of 1840. Mar- 
ried Phebe M. Trout, and is now living in Tonica. 

Hiram Trout, from Ohio in 1839. Now living at 

William Turner, from Kentucky in 1839. Settled 
on Section 35. He married Nancy Argubright. 
They both died of milk sickness near the same time, 
leaving nine cliikhvn : Fletcher, Arthur, Elizabeth, 
Jane, Melissa, Jartie.s, John, Martha, and George. 


%, >,,, '■• u\ ■ ^ 

Sketch of Settlers — Bruce. 341 

Alva Lee, from Pennsylvania. Settled near Low- 
ell, and ran the Lowell saw-mill. He went to Utica, 
and then down the river. 

Mr. Argubright, from Ohio. Settled in the west 
part of Beer Park about 1837 or '8. He died soon, 
leaving several children : Andrew, married Cath- 
arine Trout, and died in 1847 ; Jacob ; Nancy, mar- 
ried William Turner ; and James. 

Micah Pratt, from Massachusetts about 1838, 
Manufactured brick near Lowell, and then settled 
on Section 20, where he died in 1870. One daughter, 
married Abner Gray, now in Livingston County ; 
one son, Delbert, died in the army. 

Mr. Fay made a claim on Section 10, in 1833, and 
in 1834 sold to Camp Hatch. 

Mr. Ellis, from Canada, made a claim on Section 
11 in 1833, and sold to Norris. Norris made a 
small improvement, sold, and left. Ellis died soon 
after, and his widow became insane. 

Mr. McCoy came to Vermillionville in 1834, and 
then settled on S. 31, T. 32, R. 3. He sold his claim 
and went to Livingston County. 


The town of Bruce embraces that part of T. 31, 
R. 3, which lies northeast of the V^ermillion river. 
More than one-half of the town is timber land, bor- 
dering the Vermillion, and Otter, Wolf and Prairie 
creeks. Much of the timber was of superior quality, 
and the attraction which made this locality one of 

342 History of La Salle County. 

the early settlements. The prairie is level, and the 
whole town is underlaid by a rich deposit of coal. 
The settlement commenced in 1831. 

George Basore, a native of Virginia, made a farm 
in the forests of Alabama^ another in the heavy 
timber of Indiana, and from there moved to the 
prairie, and settled on S. 24, T. 31, R. 3, in 1831. 
Mr. Basore had a physical organization and powers 
of endurance that admirably fitted him for frontier 
life, and a genius and business capacity that did 
him good service when living isolated from society 
on the frontier. He was a successful farmer ; his 
famil}^ manufactured all their clothing from cotton 
and wool, when at the South, and of flax and wool 
at the North, all of their own raising ; he made his 
sugar and molasses from the maples on his farm, 
and with honey from his apiary, supplied all his 
wants in that direction ; he tanned the hides of his 
own raising, and from the leather thus produced, 
made his harness, boots and shoes ; he owned a 
blacksmith shop and tools, did his own blacksmith- 
ing, and much for his neighbors. He was more 
independent of the rest of the world than civilized 
man often is. This capacity for all kinds of busi- 
ness was, from necessity, to some extent, acquired 
by all the pioneers. Mr. Basore married, for his 
second wife, the widow of John Wood ; he died in 

Callowa}^ Basore, son of the foregoing, married 
Sotter's sister, and died of cholera, just after return- 
ing from the land sale, in 1835. His widow married 
William Rainey, and after his death, she married 
Isaac Painter. 

Sketch of Settlers — Bruce. 843 

William Morgan, from Fayette County, Pennsyl- 
vania, came in 1833, and made a claim on the north 
part of S. 4, T. 31, R. 3. In the spring of 1834, he 
sold his claim to Gajdord Hayes, and moved to the 
south part of the same Section. In the winter of 
1835-6, when returning from Green's Mill, at Bay- 
ton, he was benighted on the prairie, and the next 
day was found frozen, by his neighbors, within two 
or three miles of his home. 

John Morgan, son of above, settled in 1833, on S. 
11 ; went East in 1838, and returned in 1842, and 
finally removed to Iowa, where he died. 

Mary Morgan, daughter of William, married Wil- 
liam McCormick. A sister of above, married John 
McCorraick, and Ann, married Rush Mackey. 
Eliza, married Thomas Sturgess. 

Nathan Morgan, brother of William, from the 
same place, a bachelor, came in 1835 ; he died in 

Thomas Sturgess, from Fayette County, Pa., in 
1834 ; went to Wisconsin. 

John and David Softer, from Indiana, in 1834; 
John died soon, apd David returned to Indiana. 

William Rainey, from Kentuckj^, first came to 
Ohio, from there here in 1833, and settled on S. 25 ; 
married Sotter's sister, widow of C. Basore. He 
died many years since. 

Norton Mackey, from Fayette County, Pa., in 1833, 
settled on S. 13. In 1836, in com])any witli his 
brother, Samuel Mackej^ and John Morgan, laid out 
the town of Van Buren on his farm, which, like 
many others laid out about that time, exists on 

344 History of La Salle County. 

paper only, the blocks, lots and streets are all obliter- 
ated by the farmer's plow. 

In company with Samuel Mackey, he built a saw- 
mill on Otter creek. He is one of the few residing 
where he first made his claim, on Government land. 
He married Elizabeth McCormick ; has six children : 
Libbeus, married Elizabeth Law, is living near the old 
farm ; Charles, married Sarah Morgan, lives at 
Fairbury ; Norton, Jr., married Jane Barnhart ; 
Mary, married Thomas Simpkins ; Jane, married 
Samuel Barnhart ; Winfield, married Sarah Law. 

Rush Mackey, brother of Norton, came from 
Pennsylvania at the same time ; he married Ann 
Morgan, and has lived on the farm owned by Wni. 
Morgan, his father-in-law. He has five children : 
Burton ; William ; Howard ; Rush, Jr. ; Norval, 
married Christina Morse. 

Benjamin Mackey, brother of Rush, from Fayette 
County, Pa., came in 1833, and settled on Sec. 9. 
He married Mary Shepherd, and still lives where he 
first settled. He has eight children : Joseph, mar- 
ried Harriet Trout ; George, married Mary Morse ; 
James, Rebecca, Jane, Mariette, William, and Ella. 

William Donnell, born in Ireland, came to New 
York in 1835, and to La Salle County in 1837, and 
settled on Section 4 ; married Miss T. Mackey. 
Their children are : Agnes, Porter, Margaret, Alice, 
Mary, and Ross — all at home. 

Widow Agnes Mackey, mother of Norton, Sam- 
uel, Benjamin and Rush, came from Pennsylvania 
with her sons in 1833, and lived with them until her 
death, Dec. 15, 1800. 

SkeMi of SdtJers — Bruce. 345 

Norton Gum, from Rockingham County, Va., 
in 1834 ; died in the summer of 1835. 

Reuben Hackett, from Indiana, came in 1836, and 
settled on Section 9 ; sold to Samuel D. Wauchope, 
and removed to Ottawa and then West ; served one 
term as Justice of the Peace. 

Sam'l D. Wauchope, from Ireland, bought Esquire 
Hackett' s farm, in 1837 ; sold his farm, and located 
on Section 2 ; soon after, he married Elizabeth Ha- 
mar, of Vermillion ; died about 1860, leaving eight 
children : Sarah, married Winley Stasen, of Farm 
Ridge ; Samuel, married Mary Wilson ; William 
John, married Jane Wilson ; Thomas ; Joseph, 
married Olive McCormick ; Arabella, married Mr. 
Sexton ; Jane, married Ward King ; Andrew, mar- 
ried Martha Ward. 

William Reddick, and wife, Eliza Collins, from 
Fayette County, Pa., came in 1835, and settled on 
Section 11. He was elected Sheriff of the county in 
1838, and served as Sheriff eight years, since which, 
he has resided in Ottawa. A leading politician — 
he has been a member of both houses of the State 
legislature, a successful merchant and farmer. He 
is wealthy, but has no children to inherit his estate. 

Gaylord Hayes, and wife, came from Barkham- 
stead, Litchfield County, Ct., to Hennepin in 1833, 
and moved on to S. 4, T. 31, R. 3. in the spring of 
1834. He died in 1837 ; his widow died several years 
after. He left five children : Humphrey, married 
Miss Ellsworth and removed to California, now dead; 
Mary, married Sargeant Cummings, they live in 
Iowa: Samuel J., married Sophia Cummings, live 


346 History of La Salle County. 

in Farm Ridge ; Philip C, married Miss Johnson, 
of Ohio, they live in Morris ; he is now Congress- 
man elect from the Seventh Illinois District ; E. 
Timothy, lives in Marseilles; James H., of Cornell, 
Livingston County. 

William Bronson came from New Preston, Ct., in 
] 837 ; he settled on Section 25, where he still lives. 
He married Eliza Fulwilder, has been Justice of the 
Peace, and has had five children : William, married 
Miss Walworth, and lives in Streator ; Mary, died ; 
George, is teaching in Streator ; Frank and Ida, are 
at home. 

John Fulwilder came from Richland County, Ohio, 
in 1833, and made a farm on Section 25. He died in 
1867, leaving three children : Jackson, married Jane 
Benedict, of Livingston County ; Eliza, married 
William Bronson ; John, deceased. 

Geo. L. Densmore, and wife, Maria Bronson, came 
from Woodbury, Ct., in 1840, lived in Ottawa one 
year, and then went on to Section 25 ; he served one 
term as Justice of the Peace, and died in 1872. His 
widow occupies the old farm, with Marius, her only 

Isaac Painter came from Columbus, Ohio, in 1837; 
he married Nancy Springer ; his second wife was 
Wm. Rainey' s widow. He was a Justice of the Peace 
for several j'^ears, and died about 1870, leaving six 
children : Andrew, married Miss Quigley ; Sarah A. , 
married Adelbert Osborne ; Uriah, married Sarah 
Elliott; Jane, married ^VM] lis Baldwin ; Isaac, mar- 
ried T. L. Freer ; Josepli H. 

Sketch of Settlers — Eden. 347 


The town of Eden embraces Township 32, of 
Range 1. It joins the Illinois timber on the north, 
and Bailey's Grove on the east. It is drained by 
Bailey' s and Cedar creeks, which run to the Illinois 
and Vermillion rivers. The southwest 23art of the 
town is higli land, forming the divide separating the 
waters that run north to the Illinois and those that 
run to Sandy creek, and southwest to the same 
stream. It is a hne farming region, and its beauty 
and fertility suggested the name it so well bears. 

It was settled at an early day along the north and 
east sides, adjoining the timber, then considered 
indispensable. The Illinois Central Railroad passed 
through it, near its eastern boundary, in 1853, and 
the prairie portion of the town was soon converted 
into farms. Tonica station, on the Central Railroad, 
sprang up immediately after the road was built, and 
has had a steady and healthful growth, and does 
a large business. 

Nathaniel Richey, and his wife, Susanna Kirk- 
patrick, came from Muskingum County, Ohio, in 
1830 ; came through the wilderness, by wagon, and 
settled on Sees. 3 and 4, T. 32, R. 1. Mr. Richey 
sympathized with the slave, and had the reputation 
of kindly entertaining the sable sons of Africa when 
traveling toward the North star, and freedom. He 
was a Justice of the Peace for several years ; he 
raised a large family, and his descendants are nu- 
merous. His children are : Sophia, who married 
James Robinson, now deceased, leaving eleven chil- 

348 History of La Salle County. 

dren ; Mary, married Joseph Robinson, has six 
children, on the old place ; David, married Margaret 
E. Evans, they live in the town of Eden — he is a 
farmer, and prominent politician, has three chil- 
dren; Sarah, married John Hopkins, lives in 
Iowa, and has seven children ; Margaret, married 
George B. Holmes, lives in Kansas, has five chil- 
dren ; James, married Anna Hamilton, is a farmer in 
the town of Eden, and has three children ; Susanna, 
married J. F. Evans, lives in Iowa, and has three 
children ; John married Nancy Hall, lives in Iowa, 
and has seven children ; Esther Ann, died young ; 
Elizabeth, married A. P. Landers, lives in Mis- 
souri, has five children ; Natlianiel, married Bertha 
E. Wilson, and lives in Tonica, has one child. 

Dr. David Richey, brother of the above, came 
from the same place, at the same time ; was here 
tliree or four years, then removed to Putnam County, 
and resided for several years in Livingston County. 
He died August, 1877. 

David Letts, and wife, widow Dunnavan, from 
Licking County, Ohio, in 1830 ; made a farm on S. 
4, T. 32, R. 1 ; kept a store at Dayton, and at Ot- 
tawa. He was School Commissioner of the county ; 
removed to Louisa County, Iowa, and died there, 
in 1852. 

N. M. Letts, son of David, married Miss Grove ; 
bis second wife was Mrs. Holderman ; resided on 
the old farm, at Cedar Point, till 1854, when he sold 
to Franklin CorAvin, from Ohio, and moved to Iowa, 
and is living at Lettsville ; a large dealer in cattle. 

James R., and Noah H., also sons of David, moved 
to Iowa, the first in 1855, the last in 1801. 

Sketch of Settlers — Eden. 349 

Natlianiel Manville came from Pennsylvania in 
lS3o ; he laid out the town of Manville, which, like 
many of its cotemporaries, failed to be a town. He 
died in the south part of the State, leaving two 
daughters : Clarissa, married H. L. Owen ; Susan, 
married E. D. Lockwood, and lives on the old place. 

John Myers came from Tennessee, in 1840, He 
married a daughter of John Hays, of Peru, and 
settled on Cedar Creek timber ; he bought the mill 
that Simon Crosiar built, on Cedar creek, and run 
it some years ; an eccentric character, such as is 
often seen on the. frontier. Kind and generous at 
home, he was wild and loquacious when he visited 
the town, calling himself the stallion panther. He 
became restive when surrounded by civilization, said 
the Yankees had overrun the country, and he left 
for Missouri, and freedom, but came back, and died 
here, in 1846, or 1847. 

John Hendricks, from Virginia, to Indiana, and 
came here in 1831. His mother was a daughter of a 
respectable Virginia planter, who eloped with and 
married her father's coachman, one of his African 
chattels. Under the laws of Illinois then, he could 
neither vote nor testify against a wliite man ; yet he 
was an honest man and a good citizen. He bought 
the Peru ferry of Hays in 1840, and run it several 
years : he removed to West Missouri or Kansas, and 
died there. 

William Kelly, from England, came to Ohio, and 
from there here in 1835 ; he died in Iowa. 

Thomas Wakehara, from Ohio, came here in 1S35 ; 
son-in-law of Kelly ; died in Iowa. 

350 History of La Salle County. 

Resolved H. Potter was born in New Bedford, 
Mass., and settled in Green County, New York, in 
1828 ; removed to Onondaga and then to Tioga 
County, New York, and from there to Illinois in 
1834; settled on S. 12, T. 32, R. 1 ; deceased in 
1842, aged 60 years, leaving two sons, Champlin R. 
and Adam. Adam came to Illinois with his father, 
and returned to New York about one year after. 

Champlin R. Potter, son of Resolved H., with his 
wife, Mary Jane Richards, came from New York with 
his father in 1834, and resided on the same farm. 
He was a surveyor ; held the office of Justice of the 
Peace several years, and was a member of the Legis- 
lature one term ; he died Sept. 27, 1860, aged 56, 
leaving two daughters : Catharine, who married D, 
Darby of Wenona — died 1873 ; Helen, who married 
Fred Ambrose, and lives with her mother on the old 
farm ; a son, Adam, died about 1854. 

Joseph T. Bullock came from Rehoboth, Mass., 
in 1837, and settled on S. 30, T. 3ii, R. 1 ; he married 
Catharine Galloway, and with his brother, Leonard, 
engaged largely in farming and stock-raising ; since 
his brother's death he has continued the same on a 
large scale. He has two children : Ransom, mar- 
ried Ada Ellsworth, and lives near Tonica ; Susan, 
married Henry Foss, now in Colorado. 

Asa Holdridge, from New York in June, 1833, 
and settled on S. 25, T. 32, R. 1, near Bailey's 
Point ; he married Polly Warren ; was a successful 
farmer, and died in 1866, leaving five children: 
Lafayette, married Hannah Simmons, and lives in 
Livingston County ; W. H. H., married Mary Swift, 

Sketch of Settlers — Eden. 351 

live in Eden; Volney, married Lizzie Simmons, and 
lives in Ancona ; Clarinda, married D. Willey ; Ar- 
minda, married Capt. L. Howe, and lived near 

Nathaniel Eddy, from Virginia, in 1833, bought a 
claim of John Slater, west of Bailey's Point ; he kept 
a store. Eddy, Holdridge and Bailey built a saw- 
mill on Bailey's creek near its mouth ; Eddy moved 

William Groom, and wife, Miss Burhans, from 
Albany County, N.Y., came with Alvord's company 
in 1833 ; was a farmer, and Methodist preacher ; 
he died in 1852. His children were : Delia, married 
a Mr. Wells; Betsey, married John Harkins ; Alida, 
married Austin B. Carleton, of Vermillion ; Peter, 
married Miss Martin, now in Nebraska ; Abram 
married L. T, Naramoor; Joseph, married Eunice 
Harrington, in California ; William, married Miss 
Thomas, in Tonica. 

Ira S. Moshier, from Saratoga County, N. Y., came 
in 1834, and settled on S. 12, T. 30. R. 1 ; a farmer, 
Methodist preacher, and lawyer. He died in 1874, 
leaving nine children: Edgar W., at Sandwich; 
Henry C, married Elizabeth Baker, and lives at 
Oilman ; George, married Delana Schermerhorn, and 
lives at Gilman ; Charles W., married Celia Wilson, 
of Sandwich ; Maria A., married Tliomas Foster; M. 
Charlotte, married Hugh Miller ; Sheridan L. ; Mar- 
garet, married Onslow Barrass, of Tonica ; Clara J., 
married A. G. Gray. 

Amos A. Newton, and wife, L. P. Bunnell, from 
Lexington, Green County, N. Y., in the spring of 

352 History of La Salle County. 

]836, and settled on Section 26, where he lived until 
his death in 1844, aged 66 ; his widow still survives, 
at the age of 90 years. He had nine children : A, 
Judson, died in 1842, aged 23 ; Barnum, is in 
Guthrie County, Iowa ; Wallace, is also in Iowa ; 
Esther L., married Moody Little — her second hus- 
band is Andrew J. West, of Tonica ; Charlotte, 
married Henr}- Kingslej^ from Connecticut — she is 
deceased ; Harriet L., married Henry Kingsley — his 
second wife ; Eunice, married Joel B. Miller ; Abi, 
married Angus McMillan. 

Greo. M.Newton, son of Amos A., and from the same 
place, came to Bailey's Point in 1835. He moved his 
■wife, Fanny Loomis, and family in 1836 ; and settled 
on Section 25. Mr. Newton has been Postmaster, Jus- 
tice of the Peace and Supervisor. His wife died in 
1863. He is now living with his second wife, the 
widow Sarah Maffis. 

Joel B. Miller, came from Greene County, N. Y., 
in 1837. He married Eunice Newton ; he died in 
1862 ; his widow died in 1875. Has three children : 
Horace, lives at Minonk ; a daughter married a Mr. 
Swift ; another married George Beardsley. 

Angus McMillan, from Pennsylvania, came in 
1838. He married Abi Newton, and lived here live 
or six years, and then removed to Grundy County. 
His wife died, and he went to Iowa. 

James Little, and wife, Poll}- Cook, came from 
New Hampshire, in 1839, and bought the farm of 
Natlianinl Eddy on S. 24. He died in 1842, and left 
four children : Daniel, married Mar}'^ Jones, and 
removed to Geneseo ; Lucy, married Isaac Gage, of 

Sketch of Settlers — Eden. ^53 

Brooktield ; Moody, married Esther Newton, livnd 
at Tonica, and died in 1848 ; Joiin, married Frank 
Bassford, now in Southern Illinois. 

Harvey McFerson, from Brown Countj^ Ohio, 
came to Putnam County, in 1840, and to Eden on S. 
22, in 18.")6. His present wife is Martha King — have 
six children. 

Willis Moffat, and wife, Olive Simmon, from 
Greene County, New York, in 1835, and settled 
on the west side of Bailey's Grove, and is now 
living in Tonica. His first wife died and left two 
children : Walter S., married Elizabeth Defenbaugh ; 
Sarah E., married James B. Flulin, both are living 
in Livingston County. Mr. Moffit's second wife 
is Louisa Harwood, the widow Jenkins, when she 
married him ; she has one daughter, Mary L., at 

Rev. Reuben H. Moffat, brother of Willis, came 
from the same place in 1834 — a Methodist preacher. 
His wife was Catherine C. Yale. He died in 1S63, 
aged 66. His children are : Reuben, married Miss 
Defenbaugh — he died in the army ; Sarah, married 
the Rev. Mr. Young, a Methodist preacher. 

Sanford Harwood, from Saratoga County, New 
York, came in 1837 ; married Keziah Dryer, and 
moved to Iowa. 

Heman Harwood, brother of Sanford, from the 
same place ; married Melissa Ide, and settled on S. 
1. Died in 1857, in Deer Park. His widow married 
a Mr. Lathrop, and moved to Iowa. He had three 
children : Sarah, married, and is living in Iowa ; 
Charles was killed by the accidental discharge of a 
gun ; the younger daughter is with her mother. 

354 History of La Salle County. 


Utica embraces that part of T. 33, R. 2, which 
lies north of the Illinois river, being about half a 
township ; the river, which is the southern boun- 
dary, running about due west, near the centre line 
of the town. There is a wide strip of bottom land 
between the bluff and the river, most of it very 
valuable for agriculture, but more so for the rich 
mineral wealth it contains. The beds of hydraulic 
lime which here lie near the surface, and are easily 
accessible, are the only ones found in the State, and 
the source of a large and valuable business. 

This bottom land was the favorite resort of the 
Illinois Indians, who occupied it in great numbers, 
and both savage and civilized men have ever re- 
garded it as a point of attraction, for its beautiful 
scenery, its rich soil, and mineral wealth. Old Utica 
was a town on the river first occupied by Simon 
Crosiar, and when the business was all done by 
river boats, was a commercial point of some impor- 
tance, the boats arriving and departing with con- 
siderable regularity. It was regarded as the head 
of navigation, except at very high water when the 
boats ascended to Ottawa, But tlie building of the 
canal and the Rock Island Railroad, both along the 
foot of the bluff, on the opposite side of the valley, 
a mile distant, and tlie river boats all discharging at 
the basin at La Salle, dried up its sources of busi- 
ness, and it now stands like Goldsmith's deserted 
village. Instead of the ])anting of the river boat, 
its shrill note of arrival and departure, and the 

Sketch of Settlers — Utica. 355 

busy hum of the cheerful denizens of the embryo 
town on shore, 

"Along its glades a solitary guest, 
The hollow sounding bittern guards its nest ; 
Sunk are its bowers in shapeless ruin all, 
And the rank weeds o'ertop the crumbling wall." 

But New Utica, a mile north, has taken its jilace. 
With the railroad and canal for transportation ; its 
large manufacture of hydraulic lime, and sewer and 
drain tile, and export of St. Peter's sand for the 
manufacture of glass, with the large shipment of 
grain from Utica township, Waltham, and other 
towns on both sides of the river, the young town 
may well anticipate a successful future. But while 
it exults in its own prosperity it should remember 
the changes and mutations which attend towns and 
cities, as well as men, and heave a sigh for the dis- 
appointed anticipations which once clustered around 
its older rival. 

Should the contemplated ship canal become a 
reality — a not improbable occurrence — and the busi- 
ness return to the river, Old Utica might arise from 
its ashes, and drop a tear for the blasted hopes of 
the New. 

The town of Utica, with its wooded bluffs running 
nearly through its centre, with the Percomsoggin, 
crossing its western portion, with Clark's Run and 
other points of timber piercing the prairie, w^as so 
well supplied with timber that it commenced set- 
tling at an earl}' day. 

Simon Crosiar was born near Pittsburgh, Pa.; 
his wife, Sarah Owen, was from Clermont County, 

356 History of La Salle County. 

Ohio. He left Pennsylvania in 1815, and went to 
Ohio, and was married in 1817 ; removed to Illinois 
and settled at Cap au Gray, in 1819, and removed 
to Calhoun County, where he remained until 1824, 
then to Peoria, and to Ottawa in 1826, where he put 
up a log cabin on the ravine near where S. W. 
Cheever now lives ; resided there one year and then 
removed to the south side near the Bass rocks, where 
he remained about two years ; removed to Shipping- 
port in the fall of 1829 ; built a mill on Cedar 
creek, and removed there in 1831. He was Post- 
master, and carried the mail to and from Peoria 
once a month. Sold the mill to Mr. Myers ; built 
a saw-mill and carding machine on the Percomsog- 
gin ; started the saw-mill in the spring of 1833 and 
the carding machine in the fall after. Removed to Old 
Utica, on the north bank of the Illinois in 1834, kept 
a store and warehouse for storage and commission 
business, and for a time was Captain of a steamboat 
on the river. He died in November, 1846 ; his widow 
died in 1871. 

Both Mr. and Mrs. Crosiar were bold, hardy and 
resolute, and Avell calculated for frontier life. Mrs. 
Crosiar told the writer many incidents of her pio- 
neer life ; she said she was not afraid of tlie Indians 
even when alone, unless they were drunk, but they 
were like white men when intoxicated, unreasonable 
and dangerous. On one occasion, during her hus- 
band's absence, they came and wanted wliisky ; she 
had covered up the whisky barrel and told them she 
had no whisky ; they told her she had, and went to 
uncover the cask ; she then seized a hatchet and told 

Sketch of Settlers — Utica. B/)? 

tliem they should not have it if she had ; tliev told 
her she was a brave squaw, but raised their toma- 
hawks, and she was compelled to yield to numbers ; 
they got the whisky and had a big drunk, but did 
not molest her. 

Mr. Crosiar was an active participant in the Black 
Hawk war, and was one of the party that buried 
the victims of the Indian Creek massacre. 

In his numerous removals he followed the rivers, 
transferring his family and effects in a keel boat, 
and frequently served as a pilot on the river. The 
latch string of the Crosiar cabin was always out, 
and many an early emigrant gratefully remembers 
their kindness and hospitality. 

They had a large family of children, but they have 
all left except one. Amzi Croziar, the only child 
remaining here, married Miss Brown, and is an ex- 
tensive farmer and prominent citizen of Utica, 

Amzi Crosiar, brother to Simon, came from Pitts- 
burgh, and settled on Sec. 36, near Shippingport, 
in 1826 ; came to Utica in 1833, and settled at the 
foot of the bluff on the south side of the river. He 
w^as killed by a runaway team in 1848. 

James Clark, and wife, Charlotte Sargent, came 
from England, to Ohio, and from there here in 1833, 
and settled on S. 17. He was a contractor on the 
Illinois and Michigan Canal, and was the first to 
develop and manufacture hydraulic lime for the 
market from the Silurian strata of that neighbor- 
hood, conferring a great benefit upon the locality 
and the whole Northwest, and enriching himself. 
Mr. Clark has been Town Supervisor and member 

358 History of La Salle County. 

of the Legislature, and is now General Agent of tlie 
Consolidated Cement or Hydraulic Lime manufac- 
ture of the West. 

His children are : John, who married Julia, 
daughter of Truman Hard}^ ; is living in Utica and 
is partner with his father, doing a large busi- 
ness ; Charlotte, who married James B. Peckham, 
and lives in Utica, 

Mr. Hudson, from Virginia, lived at Old Utica, 
about two years, and went back to Virginia in 1838. 

Hiram Higby, from New Hartford, Ct., and wife. 
Prances M. Tamer, from Middlesex County, Ct., in 
1836. Mr. Higby was the first Supervisor of the 
town of Utica. He died in 1864. Mrs. Higby died 
in 1854. Their children were : Arthur, deceased ; 
William, deceased ; Frances, the widow of Charles 
Powers ; Thomas Frederick, served in the 53d Reg- 
iment Illinois Volunteers, and died soon after his 
return ; Helen M., married C. M. Buel ; H. W., is a 
druggist in Utica ; Julia, is deceased. 

William Simmons came from Kentucky to Ohio, 
and to Ottawa in 1834 ; bought land in Utica at the 
sale in 1835, and made a farm on which he resided 
till his death, leaving one son and one daughter. 

Edward Holland came from Clermont County, 
Ohio, in 1840 ; his wife was Eva Hess. He died in 
1846, leaving eleven children. His widow married 
Henry Gorbet, who had fifteen children. 

Zenas Dickinson, with his wife, Mabel Clark, 
came from Granby, Mass., in 1836, and settled on 
Section 10. Mis. Dickinson died in August, 1846. 
Mr. Dickinson died in November, 1857. 

Sketch of Settlers — Utica. 859 

Samuel Dickinson, son of Zenas, came from New 
York to Utica in 1835. He was a partner with Jas. 
Clark in a large contract on the Illinois & Michigan 
Canal, at Utica, and subsequently, for several years 
successively, captain of the steamboats Dial, La 
Salle, and Belle, running from the head of naviga- 
tion of the Illinois to St. Louis. He went to Cali- 
fornia in 1850, and died there in 1851. He never 

Zenas Clark Dickinson, also son of Zenas, came 
from Massachusetts with his father in 1836 ; settled 
on Section 10, where he still resides. His wife was 
Harriet Donaldson ; they have six children — all at 

Six sisters of Clark and Samuel came with the 
parents : Caroline, married Mr. Johnson, she is 
deceased; Cemantha, married Robert Shepherd, 
now a widow in Chicago ; Amelia, married Mr. 
Wood, she is now deceased ; Susan, married and 
lives in Chicago ; Olive, married Mr. Munger, in 
Montana ; Margaret, married Mr. Fairchild, now in 

Ira Hartshorn, and wife, Joanna Burnham, came 
from Lisbon, Ct., to Maclison County, N. Y., and 
f]om there here in 1836 ; moved his family in 1837, 
and settled on Section 6. He died in Se23tember, 
1859 ; his widow died in 1875. Joshua P., married 
Jane Simon, now in Iowa; Erasmus D., married 
Marietta Meserve; Alfred I., married Terrena Culver, 
now in La Salle ; Pliny, married Sarah Simon ton, 
second wife, Amelia Dean — lives in Waltham ; 
Calvert, married Anna Niles ; Mary, married Frank 

860 History of La Salle County. 

Dean — her second Imsband, Eli Strawn, now of 
Buckley ; Lucy, married Mosely Niles, of Buck- 
ley ; Lydia, married Robert V. Dunnary, of Liv- 
ingston County ; Charles B., died in the army, at 
Pittsburg Landing. 

Benjamin Hess, and wife, Barbara Ann Simeon, 
came to Illinois in 1833, and settled on the bluflf 
north of Utica village, Mrs. Hess died in 1848, 
aged 75 ; Mr. Hess died in August, 1850, aged 77. 
Jeremiah, married Laura Sevins, and lives on the 
old farm ; Benjamin, died in 1846 ; Susan, married 
Mr. Mulford, she is now deceased ; Abram, married 
Mary E. Wallrod, and lives at Utica ; Eva, married 
Edward Holland, and had eleven children — second 
husband, Henry Gorbet ; Elizabeth, married Mr. 
Wallace, and lives at Bureau Junction ; Jemima, 
married Chester Hall, then of Ottawa — she is now 


Peru embraces the west half of Township 33, 
Range 1, and lies on both sides of the Illinois river, 
while the east half of the township constitutes its 
sister town of La Salle. The city of Peru is on the 
north side of the river at the foot and on the bluff. 
Its commercial advantages are scarcely inferior to 
those of its rival — La Salle. The Chicago & Rock 
Island Railroad passes through it from east to west, 
and the river trade passes its levee and warehouses 
as it goes to and from the basin at La Salle. The 

Sketch of Settlers — Peru. 361 

long and bitter contest to secure tlie termination of 
the Canal was decided in favor of La Salle, not be- 
cause it offered superior advantages, but because it 
was located on canal land belonging to the State. 
The two cities are practically one, and will eventu- 
ally be included in one municipal government. 
The location is commanding and important, not 
only in reference to the County, but to the State 
and Nation. The rich and heavy deposit of coal, 
and facilities for transportation, will make it one of 
the largest manufacturing cities in the West. Its 
progress thus far in tliat direction is an earnest of 
the high position that awaits it in the future. 

John Hays, and wife, came from Tennessee in 
1830 ; built a cabin on the Illinois bottom, just 
above the present location of the Chicago, Rock 
Island & Pacific Railroad depot ; kept the Ferry 
across the Illinois river till 1840 ; sold to Hendricks ; 
went to Hennepin, and died there. Hays was from 
the class at the South that was crushed and kept in 
ignorance by the institution of slavery. He was a 
rough and fearless frontiersman. His children 
were : one daughter, married Mr. Davis, and with 
her husband, was killed at Indian Creek, in 1832 : 
Harrison, is in Bureau Count}^; James, and two other 

Lyman D. Brewster came from Nashville, Tenn. 
In 1832, he traveled on horseback from Nashville, 
through Ottawa and Chicago, to Salisbury, Ct. ; he 
returned and settled at Peru in 1834, and died at 
Hennepin in the fall of 1835. 

William Paul, from Scotland, settled just below 

24 'J 

362 History of La Salle County. 

where Peru now is, in 1834; sold his claim to 
Kinney & Spanlding, and went to Hennepin, where 
he married the daughter of Dr. Pulsifer ; came back 
to Peru in 1843, and kept a store till 1867 or '69, 
then moved to Vineland, New Jersey, where he now 

Ulysses Spaulding came from Tennessee in 1834 ; 
engaged in selling goods with Kinne}^; died in 1836 ; 
was Justice of the Peace, and kept a grocery store. 
Left two sons and two daughters — one married Mr. 
Coffling, of Peru. Widow died in 1860. 

Henry S. Kinney, from Pennsylvania, came in 
1834, and bought a claim of William Paul, and in 
company with Ul3'^sses Spanlding, engaged in mer- 
chandising until 1886, and after Spanlding' s death, 
in partnership with Daniel J. Townsend until 1838 ; 
he then took a heavy contract on the canal basin, 
and a few months after quietly left, leaving his work- 
men unpaid and his affairs unsettled. He afterward 
figured conspicuously in the military affairs of Texas, 
and was an officer under Walker in the fillibustering 
expedition in Central America. A man of some 
ability and of great energy and activity, but was 
lacking in some more valuable qualities. 

Theron D. Brewster, came from Salisbury, Ct., in 
1835 ; he first engaged as clerk in the store of Kinney 
& Spanlding. Tn 1836 he laid out the Ninawa 
Addition to Peru, embracing all the business poition 
of the place. In 1843 he engaged in merchandising 
and selling town lots. In 1848, built a warehouse 
and engaged in the grain and shipping business, in 
company with H. S. Beebe ; in 18;")3 in banking, 

Sketch of Settlers — Peru. 363 

and in 1858 in manufacturing plows and other agri- 
cultural im})lements ; in this last he is still largely 

In all these pursuits, Mr. Brewster has been suc- 
cessful, and while he l)as accumulated wealth, has 
always been an enterprising, public-spirited citizen, 
and Peru owes much of its ])rosperity to his efforts. 
When Peru was nuide a city in 1851, he was its first 

Mr. Brewster has been twice married ; his first 
wife was Adeline Mann, who died in January, 1849, 
leaving two children : Sjdvia A., and Frank, both 
living at home. Mr. Brewster's second wife was 
Martha Jones, who has four children : Jesse, Mar- 
garet, Benjamin L., and Theron D., Jr. — all at 

Calvin and Peletiah Brewster, two j^oung men from 
Baltimore, came to Peru in 1835 ; Calvin died the 
same season ; Peletiah went South in 1837, and 
died in Texas. 

Isaac Abrams, and wife, Ellen Rittenhouse Evans, 
grand niece of David B. Rittenhouse, the astronomer, 
came from near Philadelphia in 1838. In company 
with his brother, Nath'l J., Avas engaged in selling 
goods for five years, and for the next five years fol- 
lowed the same business alone, and since has been 
agent for the sale of real estate. One of the sub- 
stantial business men of Peru, and closely identified 
with all its history and growth. His children are : 
William H., Land Commissioner of the Texas & 
Pacific Railroad — resides at Marshall, Texas — he 
married Anna Harris, daughter of Hon. William 

364 History of La Salle County. 

A. Harris, of Yirginia, M. C, and Minister to the 
Argentine Republic ; Louisa, at home ; Edwin 
Evans, a clerk, in Chicago. 

Nathaniel J. Abrams, brother of Isaac, and wife, 
Eliza A. Evans, came from the same place at the 
same time ; was five years with his brother, mer- 
chandising ; since which, he has folloAved farming 
on Sec. 7, T, 33, R. 1. His children are : Mary E., 
married Lavega G. Kinnie ; Charles H., George W., 
and Eugene, are at home. 

George W. H0II3" came from Salisbur}'-, Ct., in 
1837 ; his wife was Miss Church, daughter of Judge 
Church, of same place ; he was editor of the Ninawa 
Gazette, published by Ford & Holly, the first news- 
paper in Peru ; a genial man and good writer. In 
1839 he removed to Niagara Falls. Mr. Holly was 
educated at West Point, but left there on account of 
partial deafness. 

Churchill Coffing, and wife, Asenath Brewster, 
from Salisbury, Ct., came in 1839 ; a thoroughly 
educated and able lawyer, but lacked energy of 
character, and was not successful in business ; he 
died in Chicago in 1872, leaving one son, John, now 
living with his mother in Chicago ; one daughter, 
Catharine, married Mr. Colliday, now in Pliiladel- 

AVilliam Clnimasero, from New York, in 1838; a 
lawyer of good ability ; married Elizabetli l^rown ; 
and removed to Helena, Montana, about ten years 

Dea. A. 1). lirowii, lioiu NewYork, in 1838; settled 
on a farm back of town ; married Cornelia Leonard, 

Sketch of Settlers — Peru. 365 

who died in October, 1877. His children are : Eliz- 
abeth, married AVilliam Chumasero, now of Helena, 
Montana ; Henry W.. married Emilj' Gibbs, and lives 
in Chicago ; "William, married Lucy Rattan, on the 
old farm ; Harvey, married Lydia Tompkins ; 
Cliarles, died from disease contracted while in the 

John P. Tilden, from Marblehead. Essex County, 
Mass., came in the fall of 1837 ; a farmer, and set- 
tled on S. 8, T. 83, R. 1. His first wife was Mary 
Rogers, who died, and left three children : William 
P., lives in Peru ; Mary, married James Batcheler ; 
Eunice, married Geo. VanDycke. His second wife 
was Nancy S. Gordon — has one child. Flora. 

Mr. Jjeonard, from Rochester, N.Y., came in 1839. 
His children were : Harve}^, a bachelor, was a Jus- 
tice of the Peace for several years, went to La Salle, 
and died there ; Cornelia, married A. D. Brown, 
of Peru ; Greaty, married Mr. Robins, of Peru ; 
Mary Ann, died single, in Chicago ; Julia Ann, 
married Lucius Rumriil, of Peru ; Caroline, mar- 
ried Charles Noble. 

Henry S. Beebe, and wife, Lydia Wilcox, from 
Great Barrington, Massachusetts, in 1838. He kept 
a liver}', was a commission merchant with T. D. 
Brewster, ran a foundry under the firm of Fitz- 
simmons & Beebe ; he removed to Chicago about 
1861. His children are : George, deceased four 
years since ; Lucy, married a Mr. Weber, in Chicago ; 
Nelly, married ; Jennie, and Mary, at home ; 
James, is married, in Chicago. 

Elijah Merritt, from Putnam County, New York, 

366 History of La Salle County. 

in 1834, lived liere four or five years ; was killed by 
the fall of a tree near Tiskilwa, about 1855. 

Daniel Merritt, brother of the above, from Put- 
nam County, New York, in 1834 ; settled on S. 7, 
T. 33, R. 1. He died in 1870. Harriet Hopkins, 
his widow, and one daughter, Martha, live on the 
old place. 

Stephen Merritt, from Putnam County, New York, 
settled near Peru, in 1834, afterward removed to 
Henry County, and now lives in Bloomington, 111. 

Dr. Samuel G. Smith, from Berkshire County, 
Massachusetts, in 1840 ; his first wife was Mary 
Deland — second, Mary Ann Pomeroy ; has one 
child, Sybil E., at home ; has followed the business 
of a druggist ; is now Postmaster at Peru. 

John Hoffman, from Tioga Co., Pa., in 1838 ; mar- 
ried Mary Ann Mann ; kept a hotel, and did a ware- 
house and commission business in company with C. 
C. Charles, and afterward with John L. Coates ; has 
been Supervisor, and Chairman of the Board ; is 
now farming in Mendota. Has eight children : Asa, 
married Frances Raymond, of Ottawa ; Phebe 
Adeline, married O. Beardsley, she is now dead ; 
Maria L., married L. L. Stoddard, of Englewood ; 
John B., married Mary Thomas, and lives in Men- 
dota ; Julietta C, married Charles Wolf, of St. 
Louis; Maria R., Charles C, and Andrew J., at 

J. P. Judson, from New Yorl^, in 1830 ; was land 
agent ; left soon. 

S. Lisle Smitli, from PJiihidelphia, a talented law- 
yer ; here a sliort time, and went to Chicago. 

Sketch of Settlers — Peru. 367 

John Smith, brother of S. Lisle, kept a drug- 
store ; went back to Philadelphia. 

Fletclier Webster, son of the renowned Daniel 
Webster, from Marshfield, Massachusetts, in 1837 ; 
practiced law here three years ; was Assistant Sec- 
retary of State at Washington, for a short time ; 
was appointed to an office in the Boston Custom 
House, by President Harrison ; was killed in Vir- 
ginia, in the war of the Rebellion. 

Daniel Townsend, from New York, 1837 ; was a 
partner of Henry S. Kinney, in selling goods ; left 
in 1840 ; now at Niagara falls. 

Philip Hall, from New York, in 1838 ; here five 
years, clerk to Kinney & Townsend ; went to Aurora, 
and was Superintendent of Chicago, Burlington & 
Quincy Railroad ; since dead. 

James Mulford, from Chicago, here in 1836, with 
Kinney ; was partner with Daniel Townsend in com- 
mission business ; w^ent South in the Mexican war ; 
did a commission business in New Orleans. 

James Myers, from Pennsylvania, brother of Mrs. 
William Richardson, here several years ; went to 
Corpus Christi, Texas ; died on a sea voyage, and 
was buried in the Atlantic ocean. 

William and Charles Dresser, from Bradford 
County, Pennsylvania, in 1837; tailors by trade; 
went to California in 1849. 

Harvey Wood, from Canada, in 1837 ; died about 
1872. He had four children : William died here ; 
John went to Tennessee, is now in Illinois ; Marga- 
ret, married Frank Casort, of La Salle ; Grace, 
married D. W. Mattock. 

368 History of La Salle County. 

N. B. Bullock, from Cleveland, Ohio, carpenter 
by trade, came liere in 1837. He and his wife both 
died of cholera in 1852. 

Jesse Pngsley came from Eastern New York in 
the fall of 1838 ; married Miss Wood, and second 
wife Miss Wood, sisters of Harvey Wood ; still 
living in Peru on a farm. 

Ezra McKinzie came from New York in 1837 ; 
carpenter by trade ; married Miss Kerr, now living 
in Peru. Two daughters at home. 

J. P. Thompson came from Pennsylvania in fall 
of 1836 ; went South fifteen years since, and died in 
Pennsylvania two years ago. 

C. H. Charles, and wife, Juliet Mann, came from 
Tioga County, Pa., in 1837; was a merchant in part- 
nership with John Hoffman ; died in 1840. His 
daughter, Susan, married Wm. Gilman, of Mendota; 
Phebe, married Hon. Washington Bushnell, of Ot- 
tawa ; one son, C. C. Charles, married, and lives in 

Lucius Rumrill came from Utica, N. Y., in 1839 ; 
watch maker and jeweler; married Julia A. Leonard, 
sister of Harvey Leonard, Esq., of La Salle; moved 
to Chicago, and died there ; widow lives near Chi- 
cago. One daughter, Emilj', now widow of Cliarles 

Coi'nelius Cahil] came from Pennsylvania in the 
fall of 1838 ; a merchant, and Justice of the Peace ; 
now living in Corpus Christi, Texas. 

Cornelius Cokele}'^ came Itoiu Pennsylvania, with 
H. S. Kinnciy, in 1835 ; died in Peru, about 1850 ; 
widow lives in Peru. Had one son, John, and five 

Sketch of Settlers — Peru. 369 

dangliters : Mary, married Mr. Miller : Maggie, 
married Wm. O'Neil; Theresa, married; Nellie. 

Patrick M. Killdiiff came from Harper's Ferry, 
Ya., in 1838 ; married Christiana Mann, daughter of 
Asa Mann ; was Mayor of Peru, Magistrate, and 
County Commissioner ; died in Peru, June lltli, 

David Dana came from Vermont in 1836 ; black- 
smith by trade ; was a farmer in Bureau County, 
now in Chicago. 

Timothy Cokeby came from Pennsj^lvania in 1837; 
now on a farm. 

Daniel McGinn came from Ireland in 1840 ; 
tailor ; went to California in 1849. 

Zimri Lewis, and wife, Hannah Brown, came from 
Dryden, Tompkins County, N. Y., in 1835 ; kept a 
hotel in Peru for several years ; spent the last year 
of his life with his son-in-law, S. W. Raymond, in 
Ottawa, where he died in 1867. Had three children : 
Lorilla, married S. W. Raymond, now in Ottawa ; 
Zimri, Jr., in California ; William, died of cholera 
in 1849. 

Samuel W. Raymond came from Woodstock, 
Yt., in 1837 ; lived in Peru ten years, and kept the 
ferry part of the time. In 1847 he was elected 
County Recorder, and removed to Ottawa ; he has 
held the offices of Recorder, County Clerk, and 
County Treasurer for many years ; an excellent and 
popular officer. He married Lorilla Lewis, daughter 
of Zimri Lewis, of Peru. He has ten children : 
Frances, married Asa Hoffman ; Susan, married 
John A. Corton, of Iowa; MaryH., Charles, Erne- 

370 History of La Salle County. 

line, Floretta, Samuel, Jr., Corrin, and Walter, at 

Hiram P. Woodwortli came from Vermont in 
1837 ; was engineer on the Illinois Central Railroad, 
then a merchant. Died of cholera, at Hennepin, in 
1852. His widow lives in Chicago. 

Silas Woodworth, brother of Hiram, was assistant 
engineer ; went to Oregon, 

George B. Mai'tin, kept warehouse ; went to the 
An Sable. 

William H. Davis, clerk for Kinney ; went to the 
An Sable. 

Dr. Seeley came from New York in 1837; a physi- 
cian here till 1848 ; went to the Au Sable. Died 

George Low came from New York in 1838 ; shoe 
and harness maker, then merchant ; went to Iowa ; 
kept hotel ; then to New York ; died there, and was 
buried in Pern. 

M. Mott came from New York in 1838 ; kept the 
hotel at the Sulphur Springs, between Peru and Otta- 
wa ; died tliere. 

F. Le Bean came from St. Louis, lived here live 
or six year8, tlien went South. 

A. Hyatt, and wife, sister of Jesse Pugsley, 
came from New York in 1837 ; merchant with Mott, 
and Postmaster ; left in 1840, and is living East. 

Ward B. Burnett came from New York ; resided 
here from 1837 to 1841 ; was engineer on the canal 
when building ; now living in New York. 

O. C. Motley came from Hennepin in 1837 ; he 
built the Motley Hotel on the bottom, neai- the old 

Sketch of Settlers — Peru. 371 

ferry ; the hotel was carried away by an ice flood, 
and Motley left. 

Lewis Waldo, from New London County, Ct., and 
wife, Alice T. Baldwin, from Canterbury, Ct., in 
1834, settled on the bluff south of Peru, where they 
still reside. They have three children : Ella S., 
married Wm. H. Brj^an, of Peru ; Sarah H., and 
Herbert L., are at home. 

George W. Gilson, of Connecticut, graduated at 
the Norwich University in 1837, came to Peru in 
spring of 1838 ; was an engineer on the original 
Central Railroad, built under State authority, under 
T. B. Ransom, resident engineer ; he married Miss 
E. C. Greenfield, of Middletown, Ct., a sister of Mrs. 
Ransom ; he removed to Lost Grove, but returned 
to Peru, and was elected Mayor in 1855. He re- 
moved to Chicago, and became a member of the 
real estate firm of A. J. Galloway & Co. ; he died 
Sept. 29, 1856, leaving four children: George T., 
lives in Chicago — he married the daughter of Prof. 
D. J. Pinckney, of Ogle County ; the widow and 
Frances are living with Emma, the wife of Judge 
M. R. M. Wallace, in Chicago ; Ella, is the wife of 
Wm. J. Russell, of New York City. 

William Richardson, and wife, Mary Myers, came 
from Cataraugus County, N. Y., in 1837 ; kept 
hotel in Peru several years ; bought a farm of 
Thomson, in the Brown settlement. South Ottawa, 
and dealt largel)^ in cattle. He died Julj^ 13, 1854, 
of cholera, in Ottawa, aged 56. His widow is now 
the wife of Dr. Coles, of Ottawa. His children 
were : Wm. Capron, married A. Palmer, his second 

372 History of La Salle Coiiniy. 

wife was Anna Hossack — he died May 9, 1868 ; 
Henry, married Sarah Benedict, died soon after ; 
Susan, died single. 

William Rouse came from New Orleans, in 1837; 
grocer ; died in 1874. 

John Aaron came from New Orleans ; grocer ; 
died in 1875. 


La Salle embraces the E. \ of T. 38. R. 1, except 
a small point between the Illinois and Vermillion 
rivers which belongs to Deer Park. It is crossed 
from north to south by the Illinois Central Railroad? 
and from east to west by the Chicago, Rock Island 
& Pacific Railroad, and the Illinois and Michigan 
Canal terminates in an artificial basin within its 

In this basin the riv er steamboats from St. Louis 
meet the canal boats from Chicago, and the locality 
seems destined and fitted both by nature and art to 
be one of the most important commercial points in 
the West. The progress and development of the 
town and its business has not equaled the anticipa- 
tions of its early settlers, but its growth has been 
constant and healthful. 

A manufacturing industry can never llourish until 
agriculture is develo])ed, the population becomes 
dense, and capital has accumulated sufficient for its 
prosecution. The coal production, and the zinc and 
glass manufacture, have assumed large ])roportions, 

Sketch of Settlers — La Salle. B7B 

and with tlie produce and shipping interest, aggre- 
gates an amount of business that must be quite 
gratifying to the citizens of La Salle, and of which 
older places might be proud. The future of the 
locality can have but one result, that of a great 

Samuel Lapsley, from Pennsylvania to St. Louis, 
and from St. Louis to La Salle, in 1830 ; made a 
farm on the present site of La Salle, where the old 
Catholic church stood, extending as far north as 
Fifth street, and as far east as Joliet street. He 
built a saw- mill on the Little Vermillion ; his 
claim proved to be on canal land, belonging to the 
State, and he lost his improvements ; he died in 

Burton Ayres, and wife, Orilla Langworthy, from 
Ohio, came to La Salle in 1830, and settled on S. 14 ; 
a blacksmith and farmer. His shop was at the foot 
of the bluff, near the Little Vermillion ; he died in 
1870. He had six children : James, is married, and 
lives in Iroquois County ; Mja-on D. is also in 
Iroquois ; Elizabeth, is married, and lives in 
Iowa; Franklin, is in Kansas; Warren, is single, 
and lives in Princeton ; Charlotte, is married, and 
in Kansas. 

Mrs. Swanson, a widow, witli a family— and a 
sister of John Myers, from Ohio, settled near the 
mouth of the Little Vermillion, in 1831. She moved 
near the Hardy farm, and in 1840 removed to Peca- 
tonica, then came back to La Salle, and finally 
moved to California, where she died. She had two 
sons, John and Edward, and two daughters. 

374 History of La Salle County. 

Aaron Guiin, from Montague, Massachusetts, was 
one of a colony formed in 1830, in Northampton, 
Massachusetts. Agents sent out to find a location, 
fixed upon La Salle. The colony came out in 1831. 
Gunn, and seven other young men bought two pe- 
rogues, or canoes, at Mottville, Michigan, and 
floated down the St. Joseph to South Bend, then 
hauled their canoes across the portage to the Kan- 
kakee (the same route taken by La Salle 150 years 
before), they then floated down the Kankakee and 
Illinois to Hennepin, in nine days. The season was 
wet, and the colony, dissatisfied with the location, 
scattered over the countr}^, mostly going to Bureau 
County. Mr. Gunn went to where Lamoille now is, 
bought a claim of Mr. Hall, who was killed by In- 
dians, at Indian Creek, the following summer. 

The next summer he left on account of the war, 
and remained two years at Magnolia. In 1835, sold 
his claim and bought 400 acres north of and now 
adjoining the town of La Salle. In common with 
most of the settlers in 1836, he supposed his fortune 
made, being told that his 400 acres were worth 
$40,000, and that he need work no more, but 
not realizing that sum he went one year on the 
Ottawa mission as a Methodist exhorter, and in 1837 
was married to Nancy Winters, of Mt. Palatine, 
and went to fai-ming, finding his 400 acres worth 
wJiat its production of farm crops would indicate. 
He is still living on a part of tiie $40,000 lai-m, at 
a ripe old age, i)rol)ab]yaH comfortable as he wouki 
iiave been had he realized his anticipated fortune. 
His experience and disappointment in that respect, 

Sketch of Settlers — La Salle. 375 

might be written as a part of the liistory of many of 
the emigrants wlio came in 1836-7. His children 
are : Lydia C, who died at the age of 18 ; Nettie 
Z., married George A. Elliott, of La Salle; Moses 
W., Pastor Baptist Church, Normal, 111, ; Lucy G., 
married Herman B, Chapman, of La Salle ; Eliza- 
beth S., married Frank L. Ay res, of Kansas ; Aaron 
E., a farmer, of La Salle ; Bella E., at home. 

Dixwell Lathrop, from Norwich, Ct., came in 
1835.; was employed by a company in Norwich to 
select and purchase land. He arranged to enter 
land at Rockwell, adjoining La Salle, returned and 
brought out his family in 1886. 

As the agent of Charles and John Rockwell, of 
Norwich, he laid out the town of Rockwell, and in 
1838 was reinforced b}' a colony from Norwich and 
vicinity, called the Rockwell Colony. The town of 
Rockwell was at this time at the height of its pros- 
perity, and the arrival of the colon)'- was supposed to 
insure its ultimate success ; but the summer and fall 
of 1838 were seasons of unexampled sickness through- 
out the West ; malarious disease existed to an extent 
unknown before of since. It was particularly severe 
along the wide and low bottom lands of the Illinois. 
The Rockwell colonists were all sick, many died, 
the survivors scattered through the country, and 
the town never recovered. 

La Salle being selected as the termination of the 
canal made that the centre of business, and Rockwell 
will doubtless be a pleasant suburb of its successful 
neighbor. Notwitli standing the failure of the town, 
Mr. Lathrop retained the coniidence of the Rockwell 

376 History of La Salle County. 

Company ; is residing in La Salle ; lie has been a 
successful amateur farmer and bee culturist, and is 
highly respected. His first wife was from Norwich, 
Ct., his second wife was Miss Foster. He had one 
daughter, who died aged 17. 

Daniel Baird came from Westborough, Mass., 
in the spring of 1S36 ; kept a boarding-house at 
Rockwell ; his wife, Charlotte B. Field, and her 
sister, Adeline O. Field, came out in the fall of 
1836. Miss Field was married to Elmer Baldwin, 
of Farm Ridge, in 1838. Mr. Baird and family 
were all prostrated by the sickness of 1838, and his 
business broken up. In the spring of 1839 he 
moved on to a farm near Palestine Grove, in Lee 
County, where he resided till his death, in 1866. 
He had three children : Marianne, married Henry 
C. Chapman ; Seth, married Amanda Thompson, 
second wife, Martha Reese ; Carrie, married Newton 
Pumphrey. They all, with the widow, live on or 
near the old homestead. 

Hackaliali Merritt, and wife, Sarah Smith, came 
from Putnam County, N. Y., in the fall of 1836. 
He made a farm on S. 3, T. 33, R. 1 ; his wife died 
in 1847 ; liis second wife was Lydia Robinson, who 
is still living, aged 83. Mr. Merritt died in February, 
1877, aged 84. He left four children: Fuller, mar- 
ried Julia Ide, tliey live in La Salle ; Cordelia, 
married Philo Lindley, she lives in Ottawa, and is 
now a widow ; Martha, married Frank Hunt, she is 
now deceased ; Nathan, died in Arkansas. 

Norman McFarrand came from Whitehall, N. Y., 
to Baltimore, in 1830 ; he married Mary Ann For- 

Sketch of Settlers — La Salle. H77 

rest, of Ellicott's Mills, Md., and settled in La Salle 
Sept. 13, 1837. His wife is deceased, leaving seven 
children : John Forrest, Isaac Hubert, Wm. Henry, 
Mary Ann, Cyrene Sophia, Norman Nash, John 

John H. McFarrand, brother of Norman, came 
from Tioga County, N. Y., in 1887 ; he married 
Julia A. Clark ; he was engaged on several railroads 
before he came to La Salle ; he was a contractor on 
the Illinois & Michigan Canal, and on the Illinois 
Central Railroad : was Postmaster at La Salle for 
several years. He is now living in Chicago. 

Nahum Gould was born in Warwick, Franklin 
County, Mass. , in 1798 ; crippled by an accident 
and unable to labor, he attended an academy at 
New Salem, and taught school alternately, till he 
entered Amherst College and graduated in 1828. 
He studied theology with Dr. John Woodb ridge, of 
Hadley. He married Rebecca B. Leonard. Was 
ordained a minister of the Presbyterian Church, 
and appointed a missionary in the State of New 

May 5th, 1884, with his wife, three children and 
his sister, Semira (who afterward married Thomas 
Hartsell, of Hennepin), started for Illinois in a light 
wagon ; they generally found .accommodations for 
the night at the houses along the route, but were 
sometimes compelled to sleep in their wagon. He 
arrived at his wife's brothers, Dea. John Leonard, at 
Bailey's Grove, on June 12th. He was first settled 
at Union Grove, and preached occasionally at Hen- 
nepin and Yermillionville. 


378 History of La Salle County. 

He organized or assisted in organizing a Presby- 
terian Church at Hennepin, Dec. 29tli, 1834 ; one at 
Union Grove, Dec. 3rd, 1834 ; at Vermillionville 
or Lowell, August, 1834 ; one at Plainfield ; one at 
Rockwell, January, 1837. That year he built a 
house and settled at Rockwell. 

In 1838 his wife, Rebecca Blake Leonard, died, 
leaving four daughters. The sickness of 1838 swept 
away more than half of the church. He preached 
at Troy Grove, and organized a church there. In 
1838, being, in common with the majority of the pop- 
ulation, taken sick, he turned his horse on the prairie 
to care for himself, and was taken to his sister, Mrs. 
Hartsell at Hennepin, where his children were. Mr. 
Hartsell was also sick, and his only child died. 
Thos. Hartsell died at Waukegan about twelve years 
since, and his wife, Semira Gould, died at Hennepin, 
thirty years since, or in 1846. Mr. Hartsell' s only 
surviving child and son lives at Aurora. 

Mr. Gould returned to Rockwell late in the fall, 
and in the spring of 1839 married Sarah Dewey, 
daughter of Roswell Dewey. He left for his health 
and lived at Princeton one year, then settled at Troy 
Grove ; preached and taught the district school and 
kept a station on the Underground Railroad, and 
claimed that the passengers went safely through. 
While at Homer he was a sort of an itinerant on a 
missionaiy circuit to Indian Creek, where he organ- 
ized a (;hurch in 1843; one in Paw Paw in 1844; 
preached in Harding and Serena ; suffered many 
hardships and (mcounteied many dangers and nar- 
row escapes in fording streams and other new 
country experiences. 

Sketch of Settlers — La Salle. 379 

In 1846 he removed to Gouldtown, in the town of 
Freedom, where he resided four }'ears, then to 
Xorthville, and to Somonank in 1859. 

In November, 1850, his wife, Sarah Dewey, died, 
and in 1858 he married Lois Jane, widow of Rev. 
Francis Leonard, of Galesburg., His family lived 
wdth or near him till 1871, when one daughter went 
to Nebraska, one died, one w^ent to Iowa, and one to 

In October, 1871, he removed to Nebraska, and 
settled at Kearney Junction. He secured the organ- 
ization of a church at Kearney, aided efficiently in 
organizing tlie presbytery of Kearney and sjmod 
of Nebraska, and presided at the first meeting of 

He died at his home in 1872, aged 74, and his 
grave overlooks the city which had but one house 
when he went there. But few^ men have had more 
varied experiences — seen more of new countr}' life, 
or labored more zealously in their chosen field, or 
accomplished more for which his church should be 

Barney Martin, from Ireland, in 1888. 

William Riley, from Ireland, in 1838. 

Bartlett Thompson, in 1839. 

Dr. Thomas W. Hennesey, from Ireland, 1837, 
was a practicing physician in La Salle for twenty 
years, then moved on to a farm, in the town of 
Dimmick, where he now lives ; he married Charlotte 
Cadwell, daughter of Sheldon Cadwell, of Deer 

Daniel Burdick, and wife, Sallv Adams, from 

380 History of La Salle County. 

Norwich, Ct., in 1837, settled on a farm. He enlisted 
in the army, and died in 1864, soon after his return. 

John Higgins, from Detroit, to Chicago, in the 
spring of 1836, and to La Salle, November 1st, same 
year. Is now in the grocery trade, which he has 
followed since he came to La Salle. Married the 
widow O' Conner, daughter of William Burns — has 
a second wife. 

Mr. Yaughan, and wife, from Connecticut, 1838, 
one of the Rockwell colony. Both soon died. 

Giles Lindley, from Connecticut to St. Louis, 
from there here in IS-IO ; married Jane Knight, from 
Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, who is living in La Salle. 
Mr. Lindley died, leaving nine children. 

Philo Lindley, from Seymour, Connecticut, came 
in 1836 ; married Cordelia Merritt ; was seven years 
Clerk of the Circuit Court of La Salle County, and 
County Clerk one term ; was Quartermaster of the 
Fifty-third Regiment Blinois Volunteers, and was 
killed near Altoona, Mississippi, 1863 ; his widow 
resides in Ottawa, with three children — Philo, 
George, and Laura M. 

Myron D. Downs, from Connecticut, in 1837 ; he 
married Elizabeth Allen ; he sold goods in Rockwell 
and went to Chicago in 1838, or 1839, where he is 
now living, 

William Baldwin came in 1837 ; merchant in 
Rockwell ; went to Chicago in 1838 or 0. 

James O'Neal, from Ireland, in 1836 ; laborer. 

William Burns, and wife, Sarah Harris, from Ire- 
land to Pittsburg, Pa., in 1812, came to La Salle in 
1837; was the contiactoi' for building the canal 

Sketch of Settlers — Farm Ridge. 381 

aqueduct over the Little Vermillion, and the lower 
locks on the canal ; a good mechanic, and physically 
and mentally a superior man. He died in the Sis- 
ters' Hospital, in Chicago, in 1873, aged 101 j^ears. 
His children were : Eliza, who married David L. 
Gregg; John C, died in the State of Marjdand ; 
Sarah, married Mr. O' Conner, of La Salle, and, after 
his death, married John Higgins, of La Salle — she 
is now deceased ; Joseph, died at St. Louis ; two 
grandchildren only living. 

Daniel Cosgrove came from Leland in 1837 ; was 
Justice of the Peace for several years ; died in 
1872. His wife was Miss Garrity. His children 
were : Annie, Daniel, Terrance, Cronise, and Luke. 

John Cody, from Ireland, came to La Salle in 
June, 1837 ; he married Miss Turney ; he is still 
living ; his wife died in 1870. Has three children : 
James, married Mary Whalen, is now a grocer in 
La Salle ; Bridget, married James Duncan, the 
present Mayor of La Salle ; Ellen, is unmarried. 

James and William Crosiar, brothers of Simon 
Crosiar, from Pittsburg, Pa., settled on Section 36, 
near Shippingport, in 1831 ; they both left in 1833. 


Farm Ridge embraces all of Township 32, Range 
3, except Sections 31 and 32, which lie on the south- 
west side of the Vermillion, and are attached to and 
form part of the town of Vermillion. It is all 
prairie except the extreme southwestern portion. 

382 History of La Salle County. 

which borders the Yermillion. The most striking 
topographical featiire is a high ridge or swell ex- 
tending northwest and southeast, parallel with the 
general course of the river, from which the town 
derived its name. 

The ridge is from two and a half to four miles 
from the Yermillion, and forms the divide which 
separates the waters which flow into that river from 
those that run to Covell creek and the Illinois, 
The substratum of the ridge, to a considerable 
depth, and coming within six to eight feet of the 
surface, in the western part of the town, is com- 
posed of j^ure washed sand, from which issue 
several large, never-failing springs of water. The 
descent from the summit or divide to the Vermillion 
river is quite abrupt, while to the northeast it is 
more gradual. A similar ridge, though not as high, 
runs nearly east and west across the north part of 
the town, while the central part is more level, but, 
as a whole, has a most excellent and well-drained 

The first settlement here, as elsewhere, was con- 
fined to the vicinity of the timber, and consequently 
to the soutliwestern part of tlie town. 

William McCormick, Samuel Mackey, and Rees 
Morgan, came from Fayette County, Pa., and were 
the first settlers in the town of Farm Ridge. 

William McCormick settled on S. 18, in 1833, and 
in 1834 broke tlie first prairie broke in the town ; in 
183o, sold his claim, crops and improvements, and 
located on S. 3, town of Bruce, He married Mary 
Morgan, and has had eleven cliildren : Sanders, in 

Sketch of Settlers — Farm Ridge. 383 

Iroquois County ; Hampton, in Strawn ; Bruce, in 
Champaign ; William, in Strawn ; Ann Eliza, mar- 
ried Mr. Bodine, now in Iowa ; Mary, in Champaign 
County ; Rees, Worth, and Morgan, in Ford Co. 

Samuel Mackey settled on S. 33, in 1833 ; sold to 
Charles McCormick, and removed to S. 1, town of 
Bruce. In company with his brother, Norton 
Mackey, built a saw-mill on Otter Creek. In 1839, 
in company with Rees Morgan, built a saw-mill on 
the Vermillion, in the centre of a heavy timbered 
region, which did a large business for several years ; 
he died in 1854 ; he was the first Supervisor of the 
town of Bruce. His widow, Sarah Morgan, is living 
in Streator. He left children : Malvina, married 
Mat. Morrison ; Stephen, married Emma Holly ; 
Minerva, married William Cadwell ; George and 
Jabez, are single ; Agnes, married Metliuel Bronson. 

Rees Morgan, son of William Morgan, of Bruce, 
settled on S. 33. He married Rebecca, daughter of 
David Reader ; in 1838 sold to Marvin W. Dimock, 
and moved on to S. 8, T. 31, R. 3; after running 
the saw-mill on the Vermillion for several years, he 
served one term as County Treasurer, then removed 
to Dayton, and is now living at Strawn, Ford Co., 
Illinois. He has several children. 

Elmer Baldwin, Beebe Clark, James B. Beard sley, 
and Noble W. Merwin, came from New Milford, 
Connecticut, in the spring of 1835. Bought the 
claim, improvements and crops of William Mc- 
Cormick, and the claim of Alfred McCormick — pur- 
chased the land at public sale, at Galena, in June, 
and settled on Sees. 18 and 19, T. 32, R. 3. 

384 History of La Salle County. 

Noble W. Merwin sold his land to Solomon Brown 
and Kirjeth A. Hunt, in the spring of 1886, and 
moved to Ohio. 

James B. Beardsley brought out his wife, Laura 
M. Piatt, and settled on his purchase in the spring 
of 1836. His wife died in Jul}', 1837. The same 
year he married Prudence Barrass, from Saratoga 
Countj^ New York. In 185(» he sold his farm to 
Rev. Daniel Baldwin, from Connecticut, and re- 
moved to the town of Vermillion, where he now 
lives, an active member, and Deacon of the Baptist 
Church. His son, George, and daughter, Harriet, 
wife of Augustus Hall, live near him. Sidney P., 
the son of his first wife, died at the age of 19. 

Beebe Clark settled on his farm as soon as pur- 
chased. In 1837 he married Susan Bishop, of Con- 
necticut, and cultivated his farm till 1869. when he 
sold, and moved to Joliet, to live with his daughter 
Henrietta, an only child, the wife of the Rev. Chas. 
A. Gilbert ; he died Feb., 1870, and his widow died 
two years after. 

Elmer Baldwin brought his family, consisting of 
his wife, Adeline Benson, and an infant daughter, 
Mary, now the wife of Rinaldo Williams, in the 
spring of 1836 ; his wife died in January, 1837. He 
married Adeline O. Field, of Worcester County, 
Massachusetts, in May, 1838, and still resides on the 
land purchased of the United States in 1835, a far- 
mer and nurseryman. He held the office of Justice 
of the Peace fourteen consecutive years ; Supervi- 
sor of the town five years ; Postmaster twenty 
years ; School Treasurer of the town from its first 

Sketcli of Settlers — Farm Rich/e. 385 

settlement, tilllS7-i: twice a Representative in the 
Legislature, and once in the State Senate ; and a 
member and President of the Board of State Chari- 
ties five 3'ears. His son, Noble Orlando, married 
!Nfaggie Jackson, and lives adjoining tlie old farm. 
Susan Orvilla is at home. 

Harve}" Benson, and wife, Fannj^ Northrop, came 
from New Milford, Connecticut, in 1836 ; he settled 
on S, 29, where he died in l&il ; his widow occupied 
the same premises till her death, in 1871. Their 
only child, Adeline, was the first wife of Elmer 

Solomon Brown, from New Milford, Connecticut, 
in 1836 ; he settled on S. 18 ; he sold to Moses G. 
Hallock, in 1842, and moved to S. 13, T. 32, R. 2, 
where he died, in 1846 ; his widow, Arraida Waller, 
•died 1856, His daughter, Jane, married Marvin W. 
Dimock, now a widow, living with her brother, 
Henry. His son, Henrj^, is a minister of the Prot- 
estant Episcopal Church, and lives in the State of 
New York. 

Kirjeth A. Hunt, from New Milford, Ct., wife and 
five children, came from Connecticut in 1836 and 
settled on S. 19, on the premises bought of Noble 
W. Merwin ; remained one year, and returned to 
Connecticut. He sold his farm to Dr. Johnson 

Marvin W. Dimock, from Washington, Ct., came 
in 1838. He bought the farm of Rees Morgan, and 
married Jane, daughter of Solomon Brown. In 
1850 he sold to Hiram Jackson, from Pennsylvania, 
and removed to Ottawa. In 1865, while showing a 

386 History of La Salle County. 

friend the animals in the park of Judge Caton, he 
was killed by a vicious elk. 

The foregoing eight families constituted what was 
called the Yankee settlement. Five of these came in 
company from Connecticut hy the way of N5w 
York and Philadelphia, by railroad from Philadel- 
phia to Columbia on the Susquehanna, then by 
canal and slack water on the romantic Juniata to 
Holidaysburg, by the Portage Railroad over the 
crest of the mountains to Johnstown, thence by 
canal to Pittsburg and by steamer to St. Louis, 
and from there by a stern-wheel Illinois river boat 
to Utica, La Salle County — being five weeks on the 

Dea. Henry W. Gridley, and wife, Lucy^ Dickin- 
son, came from Deerfield, Mass., in June, 1835, and 
settled on S. 1, where he resided until 1848, when lie 
sold to Thomas Dunnaway and removed to Ottawa, 
where he now resides. His children are : Caroline 
E., married Henry L. Brush ; Chas. H., is deceased ; 
Laura W., married Dr. D. Hopkins ; Lucy S., at 

Wm. Moore, and wife, Miss Wauchope, came from 
Ireland in 1835, and settled on S. 35, where he raised a 
large family. He sold his farm to Mr. Bossermans 
about 1854, and moved to Fall River. The practice of 
persistent industr}^ and rigid economy has produced 
in the history of Mr. Moore what it always has done, 
the possession of abundant wealth. 

John McCoi-mick, brother of William, came from 
Fayette Co., Pa., settled on Sees. 33 and 34, in 1835. 
He married Miss Morgan, daughter of Wm. Mor- 

Sketch of Settlers — Farm Ridge. 387 

gan. He raised a family of seven children. In 1875 
he sold his farm, and is now in Missouri. His 
children are : Charlotte ; Ralph ; Charles, married 
Lizzie Hays ; Nelson ; Zachery, deceased ; Olive, 
married Joseph Wanchope ; Dow. 

Charles McCormick, and wife, from Fayette Co., 
Pa., parents of William, John and Alfred, came 
from Fayette Co., Pa., in 1836 ; bought the farm of 
Samuel Mackey on Section 33, where they died a 
few years after. 

Alfred McCormick, son of Charles, came from 
Pennsylvania in 1835 ; made a claim on Section 19 ; 
sold and located on Sec. 33, and lived there until 
1866, then sold to Mr. Hampson, and removed to 

James G. Patten, and wife, daughter of Charles 
McCormick, came from Fayette County, Pa., in 
the fall of 1 836, and settled on Section 33. In 1839 
he removed to Wisconsin. 

John Trout, from Brown County, Ohio, came in the 
fall of 1838, and settled on S. 6. In 1842 went to Ohio 
on a visit, and died there. He left six children : 
John M., married Abby Angell Fry, now living in 
Kansas ; William C, married Mary Morehead, live 
in Vermillion ; Susan, married John Morehead, now 
a widow ; Sarah M., married Hiram Cole, and lives in 
Kansas ; Harriet, married Salathiel Snell. in Deer 

Dea. John T. Ross, from Clermont County, Ohio, 
came in 1836, and settled on Sec. 6, and died in 
1837, aged about 80, leaving three children : Archi- 
bald Tweed, went to Missouri and died there ; Henry, 

388 History of La Salle County. 

also went to Missouri" ; the daughter married John 
Black, and went to Iowa. 

George Gleim, and wife, Katharine Weitzel, came 
from German}^ to Baltimore, in 1834, and settled on 
S. 36, T. 32, R. 3, in 1840. His wife died in 1858, 
leaving two children : Frederick, who occupies the 
homestead, and is a successful farmer ; Anna, is now 
living in Texas. Mr. Gleim married a second wife, 
by whom he had six children, all living in the town 
of Bruce. 

Isaac Wheatland, and wife, came from England 
to Ohio, and from Ohio here ; made a claim on 
Section 33, in 1836, where he lived till his death. 
His wife died about 1843, and he again married. 
About the year 1846 he was drowned while crossing 
the Illinois river at Ottawa. He left six children : 
Elizabeth, married William Wedgebury, now living 
in Iroquois County ; Mar}' Ann, who married and 
went to Livingston County ; one son died single ; 
William, married Miss Casey, lives in Farm Ridge; 
George and Ellen. 

Amos Clark, brother to Beebe, came from Con- 
necticut in 1837 ; purchased a farm on Sections 20 
and 29, and in 1839 sold to Myron B. Bennett, and 
returned to Connecticut. 

Myron B. Bennett came from Connecticut in 1839; 
in 1842 he married Mary Stuart ; he was an ener- 
getic and successful farmer ; lie died in 1856, leaving 
a widow and two children ; his widow died in 1858. 
His son, Jasper, married Maggie Ac^kley, of New 
Milford, Ct., and lives in Evanston, 111. ; Ella, at 
present, resides with them. 

Sketch of Settlers — Farm Ridge. 389 

Dr. Johnson Hatch, and wife, came from New 
Preston, Ct., in 1837, and bought tlie farm of Kirjeth 
A. Hunt. An old experienced physician, his ser- 
vices were in demand during the sickly seasons of 
1838 and '39, and the release from labor which he 
sought by coming West was hardly found ; he re- 
turned to Connecticut in 1841. 

John W. Calkins, and wife. Miss Page, came from 
Salisbury, Ct., in 1888, and settled on Sec. 19. Mrs. 
Calkins died in 1838. He married Miss Beardsley, 
of Connecticut, who died soon after. He then mar- 
ried Cynthia Bishop, of Connecticut. Mr. Calkins 
removed to Deer Park in 1842, and subsequently to 
Ottawa, where he died, leaving four children : 
James, who married, was engaged in the lumber 
trade in Ottawa, subsequently in Chicago, and is 
now manufacturing lumber at Manistee, Mich. ; 
Helen, married Edgar Baldwin, from Connecticut, 
and lives near Yermillionville ; Mar}^, married Henry 
M. Baldwin, from Connecticut, and settled in Deer 
Park — Mr. Baldwin died, and Mary is now the wife 
of Henry Page, in California ; William W., married 
Louise Hossack, and lives in Chicago. 

Charles H. Green, son of Henry Green, of Ottawa, 
came to Illinois with his father, and settled on Sec- 
tion 3 ; he married Jane Loyd, and has three 
daughters. Mr. Grreen cultivates a large farm and 
has a tine herd of short-horn stock. 

890 History of La Salle County. 


Fall River embraces that part of Township 33, 
Range 4, lying south of the Illinois river. It de- 
rives its name from the grand rapids of the Illinois, 
which lie along its northern boundar}-. LTntil 1863 
it formed a part of the town of Grand Rapids, which 
was also named from the same natural feature. It 
embraces considerable fertile bottom lands along the 
river. The south bluff of the river, extending along 
its entire northern boundary, is a marked object in 
its topography ; covered with timber, with points 
extending back into the prairie, and having the 
Covell Creek timber on the southwest ; all its peo- 
ple have easy access to that important article. The 
prairie is rolling, and as fertile as that of its sister 

The first settler in the limits of the present town 
was James Gallowa}^ ; he came from Pennsjdvania 
to Ohio, near Sandusky, and remained there three 
years ; he visited the Illinois river in the fall of 1824, 
and is said to have spent some months in hunting, 
tra])ping, and exploring the country ; moved his 
family to Chicago in 1825, and wintered there ; in 
182C he bought a claim on S. 24, T. 3, R. 4, which 
was first made by a man hy the name of Rawson, 
who sold to Ephraim Sprague, and Sprague sold to 
Galloway, where he made a home and spent his 
days. His first wife died in 1830 ; her children are : 
George, claimed to be the first white male child 
born in the county, now living near the old farm ; 
John, died in Missouri ; Susan, married Joel Ellis, 

Sketch of Settlers — Fall River. 391 

lives ill Cliicago ; Jane, married Mr, Halloway ; 
Mary, married Mr. Clyburne, and lives in Chicago. 
Mr. Galloway's second wife was Matilda Stipes; 
her children are : Archibald, married Mar}' Dicker- 
man, and lives near the old farm ; Marsliall, who is 
a conductor on the Chicago, Roclv Island & Pacific 
Railroad ; Samuel, lives in Michigan ; Sarah, mar- 
ried Mr. Pearson, and is living on the old farm ; 
James, is living in the vicinity. Mr. Galloway died 
in 1863, aged 73 3'ears. His widow died in IS 64. 

Abraliam Trumbo was born in Pendleton County, 
Va., and resided in Licking County, Ohio, eighteen 
years ; left there for Illinois in November, 1829, 
with the Greene Colony. That company crossed 
White river, in Indiana, in the morning, and Mr. 
Trumbo arrived on its banks the evening of the same 
day ; it had become swollen during the day so that 
he was detained four weeks before he could cross. 
He went to Sangamon County, where he wintered, 
and reached La Salle County in the spring of 1830 ; 
he first bought a claim of William Richey on S. 17, 
and afterwards purchased on Sees. 14 and 22. He 
was the first Supervisor of the town. He died Oct. 
7th, 1865, aged 73 years, and his wife, Esther Dj^er, 
died in April, 1865. His children were : Jane, who 
died in 1848 ; Ambrose, married Casbia Gentleman, is 
a wealth}" farmer on the old farm ; Margaret, married 
John S. Armstrong, is living in Mission ; Rebecca, 
married Samuel Parr, and lives in Rutland ; Jack- 
son, died of cholera in 1S4S, 

John Brown, from Missouri, came in 1829 ; settlefl 
at the ford of the Illinois river, two miles above 

392 History of La Salle County. 

Ottawa, which bears his name. He was drowned in 
sight of his house while crossing the Illinois in re- 
turning from the land sale in 1835. The family left 
in 1841. 

John Powers, from Bridgewater, Mass., came to 
Southern Illinois, and from there here in 1834, and 
settled on Section 26. He was the first Justice of 
the Peace in the town. He died in 1862 ; his widow, 
Nancy Ford, from Litchfield, Ct., still survives. He 
left six children : Charles R. Powers, lived near the 
old homestead, has removed West ; Aaron P., is in 
Grundy County ; John H. ; Mary, married; Lucy, 
married Andrew Greenless ; Lura, married Samuel 
Hammond. The family have all left the count}^ 

Reeder Galloway, brother of James, mahied 
Rachel Stipes ; died long ago, leaving one son^ 
John R., of Marseilles. 

Samuel R. Lewis is of Quaker parentage ; his 
parents, Jehu Lewis, and Rachel Mills, from Penn., 
settled in Putnam County, in 1833. Samuel R., with 
his wife, Ann Harley, removed to Section 21 in Fall 
River, in 1843. He held the office of County Treas- 
urer two successive terms ; has been Supervisor of 
the town several terms, and is now chairman of the 
County Board. His children are : William, who 
married Ellen Eichelberger, lives in Grand Rapids ; 
Edward C, educated for and admitted to the bar 
— he married Nellie Armstrong, and took charge of 
the large farm and stock business left by his wife's 
father, J. W. Armstrong ; Charles, has just grad- 
uated from Oberlin C'ollege, and is now in the law 
office of Lawrence, Campbell & Lawrence, of Chicago ; 

Sketch of Settlers — Fall River. 393 

S. Morris is in Cliicago University. Mrs. Lewis, 
niotlier of Samuel R., died in 1874 ; her son buried 
her beside her husband in the Quaker burying- 
ground at Clear Creek, Putnam County. 

William Gentleman, from Vermont, settled in the 
town on Section 18, in 1834, and is still on the old 
farm ; has buried two wives, and has four children : 
Eliza ; William, has recently graduated at Cornell 
University ; James ; and one younger daughter. 

Patrick Hanigan, from Ireland to Boston, and 
came here in 1836 ; died 1872 ; widow, and oldest 
daughter, live in South Ottawa. 

A. M. Ebersol, son of Joseph Ebersol, came with 
his father's family in 1834, He was married to Miss 
C. C. Whittlesey, by the Rev. Owen Lovejoy, the 
renowned abolitionist, in 1844, having made a jour- 
ney to Princeton to have the ceremony performed by 
that distinguished man. Mr, Ebersol has been an 
active citizen ; he has been Superintendent of a 
Sunday School twenty -three years ; Justice of the 
Peace ; Elder in the Presbyterian Church ; Town 
Clerk twelve years, and Secretary of the Old Set- 
tlers' Association. He has six children : Calistine 
and Elizabeth, are at home ; Lelia, married Lewis 
Hodgson, went AVest ; James, married Miss Tryon, 
and lives in Ford County ; E. Corinne, wife of Mr. 
Coleman, lives near home ; Alice, married Charles 
T. Ferrel. 


394 History of La Salle County. 


The town of Freedom embraces the surveyed 
Township 35 N., of R. 3 East, and is mostly prairie. 
Indian creek passes, in a southeast direction, across 
the northeast corner of the town. On the banks of 
the creek are about two and one-half sections of 
timber, which was originally of excellent quality, 
and was the attraction that induced the settlement. 
The settlement commenced in 1830, and was broken 
up by the Indians, in the Black Hawk war of 1832. 
After the war, the surviving settlers returned, and 
others came in, and, as a part of Indian Precinct, 
and later, as the town of Freedom, it has been a 
prominent and prosperous section of the county. 
The sad story of the massacre of three families of 
its pioneers, gives a melancholy interest to its his- 
tory, and to the locality where it occurred. Each 
succeeding generation, with bated breath, will listen 
to the recital, till the banks of Indian creek will 
become historic ground tlirough all tlie future. 

William Munson has recently erected a fine marble 
monument at the grave, where the fifteen victims 
were buried. It is in view of the public road, lead- 
ing from Freedom to Earl, on tlie northeast side of 
the creek, and as the white column meets the view, 
the traveler will instinctively heave a sigh of sym- 
pathy for the tragic fate of the first pioneers. The 
inscriptions are as follows : 

Wm. Hall, aged 4tT^. 

Mauv .J. R. Hall, 

aged 45. 

Elizahkth Hall, 
aged 8. 

Wm. Pktuiuew, 

Wife, and two 


Davis, Wife and 
five Children. 

Killed May 2()ih, 18;{3. 

Emehy Geougb. 

SketcJi of Settlers — Freedom. 395 

William Hall, born in Georgia, was married to 
Mary J. R.Wilburs, in Kentucky ; moved to Illinois ; 
from there to near Springfield, Illinois, in 1825; 
made a farm at Mackinaw, and then went to the 
lead mines, near Galena ; followed mining three 
years, then moved to Bureau Creek, and to near 
Lamoille, Bureau County. In the spring of 1832, 
sold his claim to Aaron Gunn, and moved to Indian 
Creek, where he, with his wife, and one child, were 
killed by Indians, May 20, 1832. His eldest daugh- 
ter. Temperance, married Peter Cartwright, nephew 
of Dr. Cartwright. For the others, see narrative of 
the massacre. 

Mr. Davis, from Keiitucky ; settled on Indian 
creek, S. W. \ S. 2, in 1830 — the first in that region. 
His wife was daughter of John Hays, the first settler 
at Peru — they, with five children, were killed at the 
massacre. Their three oldest sons escaped. 

William Petigrew, from Kentucky, wife and two 
children, were stopping with Davis at the time of 
the massacre, and all were killed, Mr. Petigrew 
came to Bailey's Grove at an early day, and was then 
single ; he is said to have married a widow, with 
two children, and these constituted his family when 
he went to Holderman's Grove, and from there to 
Indian Creek, in 1832, where he proposed to settle, 

John H. Henderson, and wife, Elizabeth Powell, 
came from Tennessee in 1830, he located on Section 
1 1 . He was in the field on the south side of Indian 
creek, planting corn, when the massacre took place 
by the Sauk Indians, i\Iay 20, 1832 ; he, with others, 
escaped to Ottawa. He was an active, enterprising 

396 History of La Salle County. 

citizen, and a leading abolitionist. He died June 17, 
1848, much regretted. His widow still survives, 
living with her children. Her children are : Mary, 
married A. P. Devereau, of Freedom ; George, in 
Iowa ; Prances, married Ricliard Scott, in Califor- 
nia ; Martha, married James Clark, of Sycamore ; 
Sarah, married George Martin ; Erastus T., married 
Miss Norton ; Annetta, married Charles Martin, of 

William Munson came from Indiana to Putnam 
County, and from there here in 1833 ; he purchased 
the farm, owned by William Hall at the time he was 
killed by the Indians, on Section 1. He manied 
Rachel Hall, who was taken away prisoner by the 
Sauk Indians, May 20, 1832. In 1837 he laid out 
the town of Munson, which has hardly realized the 
expectations of its founder. His wife died May 1, 
1870. Mr. Munson still occupies tlie farm where he 
has spent the most of his life. He has four 
daughters and three sons : Irena, married Dr. Geo. 
Vance ; Miranda, married Samuel Dunnavan, of 
Adams; Fidelia, married George Sliaver, of Rut- 
land ; Phebe, married John Reed, of Ottawa ; Wil- 
liam, married Delia Shaver ; Lewis and Elliott, at 

David B. Martin, with his wife and one son, 
came from Ohio in 1833, and purchased the claim 
owned by Davis, where the massacre took place. 
Mrs. Martin returned to Ohio, and died tliere. Mr. 
Martin married the widow of VVm. Seabry; moved 
to Wisconsin. Joined the Fourierites, then to Sanga- 
mon County, whei'<' lie died. 

8keic7t of Settlers — Freedom. 397 

John W. Lyman, and wife, Jerusha Newcomb, 
came from Charlotte, Vt., in 1833; he settled on 
Section 24. He has one child : John, married 
Emma Ford, second wife. Miss Williams. 

Jonathan Koot, and family, came from Ohio to 
the creek in the spring of 1834. He raised a family 
of eight children. His wife and two daughters died 
long since ; one son, Rasina, was killed in the late 
war ; the others are widely scattered ; one only, 
Oscar, remains here. Mr. Root died in 1840. 

William Barbour came from Evansville, Ind., in 
1834 ; he married Miss Hir^kley ; was an active 
democratic politician ; held the office of County 
Commissioner, and was a member of the Legislature. 
He died in 1876. 

Ethan Z. Allen, and wife, Lydia Marsh, came from 
Tinmouth, Rutland County, Vt., in 1834 ; he settled 
on Section 13. He held the office of Justice of the 
Peace for thirtj'-five j^ears, when he resigned in 1875. 
He has six children : Eliza Ann, married Edward C. 
Hall, she died in 1867 ; George, married Martha 
Larkin, in Iowa ; Milo, at home ; Minerva, married 
Richard Martin, of Freedom : Lucetta, married 
I^ewton Davis, in Harding. 

Samuel King, and wiie. came in 1836 ; nativity 
not known. Mrs. King died at John Henderson's 
soon after — the first natural death in town. 

Benjamin Seabring, and wife, came from Pennsyl- 
vania, in 1834, and settled on Section 3; moved to 
Wisconsin, and died there. 

Thomas Seabring, and wife, came from Penns^^l- 
vania, in 1834, and settled on Section 3 ; moved to 
California in 1852. 

398 History of La Salle County. 

William Seabring, and wife, came from Pennsyl- 
vania, in 1834, and settled on Section 3 ; died in 
Ottawa in 1850. His widow married David Martin. 

Volney Beckwitli, and wife, Mary A. Piper, came 
from Herkimer County, N. Y., in 1835; moved to 
Ottawa. He died in 1861, leaving three children 
Edwin B., married Lizzie Hanfelt, live in Seneca 
Daniel, married Josephine B. Ford, live at Ottawa 
Mary P. married John Hoag, at Marysville, Gal. 

Hiram Munson, came in March, 1833, and died in 
July, 1836, at the house of his brother, William 
Munson — the second natural death in the town. 

Alanson Munson came in the fall of 1836, 
and settled on Section 11. In 1840, removed to 
Bureau County, where he and his wife died soon 

Milton B. Ruperts, came in 1835, and settled on 
Section 1 ; he was the first Justice of the Peace in 
Indian Precinct. His wife died ; he married a Miss 
Terry, and moved to McDonough County. 

John Hubbard, and wife, from Homer, Cortland 
County, N. Y., settled on Sec. 14, in 1835. An 
industrious, worthy man ; an excellent teacher of 
sacred music. He lived several years with an 
adopted daughter who married the Hon. M. B. 
Castle, of Sandwich, but returned to his farm a few 
years before his di^ath in 1875. 

John H. Hosford, and wife, Margaret Myers, 
came from Orange County, Vermont, to Ohio, in 1833, 
and from Oliio here in 1837. His famil}' came in 
the spring of 1838, and settled on S. 23 ; removed 
to Ottawa in 1875. Has six cliildren : Fear R,, mar- 

Sketch of Settlers — Freedom. 399 

ried Robert Rowe, on the old farm ; Mary, married 
Hugh McCiure ; Arabella, married W. G. Brown ; 
Sarah P., married Frank Condon ; Josephine C, 
married George Lamb ; Charles, married Sarah S. 

Rev. Wesley Batcheller, a Methodist clergyman 
from Brimfield, Hampton County, Mass., was for 
several years a resident of Homer, Cortland Co., 
N. Y., and member of the Oneida Conference. 
With his wife, Martha Hall, and nine children, he 
came by wagon from New York to Illinois in 1836, 
and settled on Sec. 11. They encamped with such 
shelter as could be made while building a house. 
Mr. Batcheller is endowed with a powerful, health- 
ful physical organization and commanding voice, 
which has enabled him to perfoini an amount of 
labor in his chosen lield whicli few could endure. 
He commenced preaching in Indian Precinct in 1836, 
and labored in Washington Precinct two years ; in 
Ottawa in 1839 ; Hi(;kory Creek in 181:0 ; Princeton 
in 1842 ; Newark in 1843 ; and was Bible Agent for 
the county for two years. He is now on the super- 
annuated list, yet healthful and vigorous at the age 
of 77. Manly T. Batcheller, his se(;ond son, died 
in April, 1852 ; Angeline, died Nov. 4, 1854, and 
Mrs. Batcheller died Feb. 17, 1868. The children 
now living are : Noah S., who married Lucy Hitch- 
cock, now at home ; Charles, is inDacotah ; Martha, 
married William Haskell ; Elijali, married Elizabeth 
Lawry, now dead ; Maiy, married John Stockton, 
in Kansas ; Watson, married Elizabeth Baldwin, near 
home ; Joseph B., married Louisa Wright, in Call- 

400 History of La Salle County. 

fornia. Mr. Batclieller is now living with his sec- 
ond wife, Ruhama Sampson. 

Bemus Hall, Mrs. Batclieller' s father, arrived 
here a few days before his daughter's famil3^ and 
died soon after. 

John Miller, from Cumberland County, Pennsyl- 
vania, to Dayton, in 1837. Married Rosanna Brad- 
shaw ; made a farm in town of Freedom, where lie 
still resides ; has been town Supervisor, and served 
one term in the Legislature. Rebecca, married 
Martin Domini ; Alice, married Ira Weaver ; Jesse, 
Henry, and Dolly, at home. 

Reuben Miller, brother of John, from same place, 
to Dayton, in 1834 ; married a daughter of David 
Letts ; he is now a Mormon Elder in Salt Lake. 

Charles Miller, also brother to the above, came to 
Ottawa, in 1836 ; was Magistrate in Ottawa several 
years ; now lives in Chicago. 

Urial Miller, from Pennsylvania, 1837 ; married 
Rachel St. Clair ; settled in Freedom ; has three 

Benjamin Beem, and wife, Sarah Hoffman, from 
Licking County, Ohio : came to La Salle County 
in 1837, and settled on S. 12, on the right bank of 
Indian creek. Mr. Beem died, 1871, aged 87. Mrs. 
Beem died, July, 1877, aged 83. Their surviving 
children are : Mar}', who married Levi Tiu;ker, and 
live in Freedom; Elizabeth, married John Hoxie, of 
Serena ; Phebe, married Jacob Tucker, of Sheridan ; 
Sarah, married Elijali Knight, of Adams ; Rachel, 
married Charles Brown, and are on the old fai-m ; 
Daniel, and Jackson, are in California. 

Sketch of Settlers — Freedom. 401 

Stephen Sampson, from Wj'oming, Pennsylvania, 
died of cholera, in 1888, or 1839. 

James M. Parker, and Powell, relative of Hen- 
derson's wife, came from Tennessee, in 1838, but 
soon returned. 

Dr. Josiali Hall, and wife, Elizabeth Arnold ; 
blacksmith by trade ; came from New York, 1840 ; 
resided here ten years ; he died in Ottawa, 1874 ; his 
widow is now living in Ottawa. 

Hugh M. Gregg, from New York ; settled on S. 
3 : died, 1838. 

Ezra Gregg, son of Hugh ; studied law, and went 
to Ottawa. 

Philip Wagy, from Newark, Ohio ; father-in-law 
to Anthonj^ Pitzer. Died in Ottawa, very aged. 
Ann, married Joel Fitch. The other daughter mar- 
ried a Mr. Randall. 

Isaac Farwell, brotlier of S. B. Farwell, from New 
York to Ohio, and here 1835 ; moved to Winnebago 

James Skelton ; tailor, b}- trade ; went to Ford 

Enos Griggs, married Lovina Hall ; killed by 

Georoje Scoiield, from New York, in 1834 ; came 
through with an ox team ; stayed one year, and 
went back with the same team-; stayed in New 
York a year, then returned to the creek, as it was 
then termed ; found the land all claimed, and went 

Solomon Holden, from Plattsburg, N. Y., came to 
Buffalo ; a brickmaker bj' trade ; was sometime in 

402 History of La Salle County. 

tlie employ of the noted builder and contractor, and 
linally forger, Rathbun. He came to Illinois and 
settled in Munsontowii in 1836 ; liis wife was Sasan 
Allen, sister to Esquire Ethan Allen, of Freedom ; 
he removed to Ottawa in 1839, and died there, leaving 
four daughters : Sarah, married John Batcheller ; 
Cornelia, married William Wiley : Mary Elizabeth, 
married Stephen Jennings, of Ottawa ; Salome, 
married Henry King. 

June Baxter came from New York in 1835 ; moved 

Minter Baxter came from New York in 1835 ; 
died in 1840. 

Samuel L. Cody, from Vernon. N. Y., settled on 
Section 13 in 1835, and married Miss Baxter, second 
wife widow Kenyon, sister of his first. Children : 
Harriet, married George Frisbin Busnell ; Louisa, 
married Walter Colton ; Ford C. ; Joy, died in the 
army ; Frederick, at home. 

Alonzo Wilson, from Ohio, came in 1838 ; a stone 
mason. He was School Treasurer here ; went to 
Iowa, and there elected Judge. 

Hiram Ilai'ding, and wife, from Wyoming, Pa., 
came in 1838, and settled on Sec. 14. He and his 
wife are both dead. His children are : Mary, who 
married Mr. Rice, is now dead ; Cliarles, died single ; 
Ruth, married H. Worcester ; Park, died ; John, 
lives at Paw Paw ; Christine, married Mr. Goble, 
and was killed by the fall of the Dixon bridge. 

William Williams, from Wales, came to New 
York, Mien to Ivicking Couuty, Ohio, and here in 
1840. He mairied Rachel Davis. He was a ship 

Sketch of Settlers — Troy Grove. 403 

carpenter by trade ; settled on Section 8. Mrs. 
Williams died in 1870. Ellen, married John Ly- 
mer ; John, at home ; Evan, in Dacotah ; several 
children at home. 

Charles Wiley, and wife, Seraphena Greenleaf, 
came from Maine, and settled on Section 10. He 
died in 1875; his widow and three children are 
living : Samnel, married Mary Thompson, at Earl ; 
Henry, married Rosa Thompson ; Martha, married 
David Davis, of Freedom. 

Patrick Ferguson, came from Ireland, and settled 
on Section 9. He died in 1872. His children are : 
Charles A., who married Eliza Wiley, and his sec- 
ond wife, was Kate Conden ; Mary, married James 

Rev. Charles Harding, from Lucas County, Pa., 
came in 1840. He was a Baptist clergyman, and 
organized the church at Harding, and preached, 
alternately, there and at Paw Paw. He died in 
1843. His widow married Hiram Olmstead. He left 
one child, Almira, who married Ashbel Fuller. 


The town of Troy Grove embraces Township 35, 
Range 1, and dei-ives its name from the fine tract of 
timber called by that name, which lies mostly within 
its limits. The grove was named by Warren Root, 
one of the first settlers, from Troy, N. Y., the place 
from whence he came. The Little Vermillion passes 
across the town from north to south, near its eastern 

404 History of La Salle County. 

side, and through the centre of the grove, and 
furnishes a tolerable mill power. The grove em- 
braces about three sections of land in this town ; 
the remainder of the town is prairie of good 

The Trenton limestone crops out along the banks 
of the Little Vermillion, on Sections 25 and 35, 
furnishing a xqyj good building stone, which is ex- 
tensivel}' quarried and of great value to the sur- 
rounding country. The Trenton limestone, at this 
point, is remarkably rich in fossils, making it a 
point of much interest to the geologist and the 
curious admirer of nature. 

Hiram Thornton came from Virginia to Ohio, and 
to Troy Grove in 1831 ; was the first settler in this 
town ; he settled on S. 14, T. 35, R. 1. He died in 
1867. His wife was Robina Smith. 

Warren Root, from Otis, Mass., and wife, Rosanna 
Goddard, of Granby, Ct., came from Tro}^, N. Y., 
to Troy Grove in the spring of 1833. Mr. Root 
came in the fall of 1832 and made a location, and 
returned for his family. He located on Section 11. 
Selden, the eldest son, preceded the family a few- 
days, to y)repare for their reception, and died just 
before their arrival. Mr. Root died about 1848. 
Mrs. Root died in 1875, aged 95 years. 

Nathan Wixom, brother to Justin D., from Taze- 
well County, came here in 1833, and settled on Sec- 
tion 35 ; went to California in 1843. 

Reuben AVixom, from Erie County, N. Y., and 
wife, Clarissa At water, from New Haven, Ct., came 
to Sangamon County, 111., in 1827, to Tazewell 

Sketch of Settlers — Troy Grove. 405 

County in 1829, and to Troy Grove in 1836, and set- 
tled on Sec. 10. He was the father of the Wixom 
brothers who came with him, except the two eldest, 
Justin and Nathan, who preceded him. He died 
in 1847. His children were : Justin D. and Nathan, 
above named ; Chauncy, who came with his father, 
married Miss Hawks, settled on Section 10; Abram, 
married Miss Scott ; Henry W., married Miss Tich- 
nor, second wife Miss Eckert ; Urbin, married, and 
all the familj'- settled in the vicinity of Troy Grove. 

Justin Dewey came from Ohio in the fall of 1833, 
and settled on Section 13. He died in 1849, aged 70 

Thomas Welch, and wife, from Pennsylvania to 
Ohio, and from there here in 1834; settled on Section 
25. He died in 1862. He had a large family widely 
scattered, but noted for ability and prominence in 
their respective localities: Thomas, Jr., came with 
his father, he married Bethiah McLaughlin, and is 
now in Iowa ; John, has been Chief Justice of Ohio ; 
Belinda — then the widow Fairchild — came with the 
family, ivent to Rock River, then to Iowa, now in 
Oregon ; one daughter, married Wm. Winterton. 

Jesse F. Wixom, brother of Reuben, came from 
the same place, in 1835, and settled on Section 24. 
A local Methodist preacher ; soon removed to Min- 
nesota, and died there. 

George S. Ransberger, and wife, came from Iowa 
in 1835. and settled on Section 25. His son, David 
S., married Rebecca Evans, and settled on Section 36; 
Catharine, married John S. Sini])son. 

William Winterton, from Virginia to Ohio, and 

406 History of La Salle County. 

here in 1834 ; mairied a daughter of Thomas Wek-h ; 
he died 1855 ; liis wife died before him, leaving three 
children, who have all left this county. 

Welch, Ransberger, Simpson, Winterton, and 
Kelsey, all came from Sandy, now in Putnam Co., 
to Troy Grove, having stopped there temporarily. 

Zophar Holcomb, and wife, Lucy Goddard, from 
Maine, with Gillett, in 1833. Had five children : 
Harlan, married Miranda Brook ; Warren, died ; 
Flora, married Asahel Baldwin, her second hus- 
band was a Mr. Dutton, she is now in Iowa ; Sophia, 
married Mr. Axtel, they live in Kansas ; Harriet, 
is deceased. 

Riverius Goddard, and wife. Miss Buttles, from 
New York, in 1837 ; a blacksmith by trade ; moved 
to Michigan. The widow Arsenith Bellamy, (who 
came in 1837 and died in 1848), Mrs Root, Gillett, 
and Holcomb, were all sisters. 

John Taylor, and wife, Rebecca Hopkinson, from 
England, came in 1837 ; settled on S. 35 ; died 
1860 ; his wife died 1870. Two of the children are in 
Iowa. One in Ford County, Illinois. 

Charles Stevens, a brother of Mrs. Levi Kelsey, 
from Berlin, Connecticut, in 1837 ; bis wife was Ann 
Hopkinson, the widow Melville, when she married 
him; they moved to Oregon in 1852; are now at 

Roswell Dewey, from Great Barrington, Berk- 
shire County, Massachusetts; settled here in 1838; 
died in fall of the same year. Had children: 
Sarah, married tlie Rev. Niilium Gould; AVilliam 
R., married Paulina Pratt, now in Mendota. 

Sketch of Settlers — Troy Grove. 4()7 

Richard Malony, from Ireland, in 1835 ; married 
Miss Gardner ; settled on S. 33. 

Hartly Setcbel, from England, in 1837 ; he mar- 
ried Amanda Goddard, and settled on S. 2. 

John Ferguson came in 1838 ; had two sons : 
James, married Miss Brown, lives in Mendota ; 
John, is a bachelor, has been Supervisor of Troy 

Thomas Orr, from Scotland. 

David McLaughlin, and wife, Mary Winslow, came 
from New York to Troy Grove in 1834. Mrs. Mc- 
Laughlin died in 1867, and Mr. McLaughlin died in 
1869. Their children were : David, who married 
Fanny Davis ; Edward, married Phebe Masterman, 
live in Minnesota ; William, married Miss Edwards, 
and lives at home ; Augustus, married Amanda 
Stevenson, live in Dimniick ; Mary Jane, married 
O. J. Gibbs, both are dead ; Bethiah, married Thos. 
Welch, now living in Iowa : Sarah, married Samuel 
Wilson, of Rock Falls ; Charles, married Melissa 
Wixom, daughter of Justin D. Wixom. live in 

William Dunlap, from New York, came to Troy 
Grove in 1836, and remained here two or three years. 
He had three sons and two daughters : Nathaniel, 
Minzo, and M. L. The last was a prominent horti- 
culturist, and was for many years distinguished 
as the agricultural correspondent of the Chicago 
Tribune over the signature of " Rural." 

Jason Gurley came from East Hartford, Ct., to 
Ottawa in 1834, and to Troy Grove in 1835. His 
children were: Ja^ou, Jr., who came to Calumet 

408 History of La Salle County. 

in 1830, and to Troy Grove in 1835, and bought a 
claim of AVelcli : Julius, was killed at Ottawa by 
a fall from the bluff ; Joel, died in 1848 ; John 
A., of Cincinnati, was a noted Universalist preacher, 
and editor — was appointed Governor of Montana, 
but died before assuming the office ; Delia, mar- 
ried Ralph Woodruff, of Ottawa ; Sarah, married 
Joseph Hall. 

Wm. A. Hickok, from Grand Isle Co., Vt., to Union 
Grove, Putnam Co., in 1833 ; June 16, 1834, to Bai- 
ley's Point with Rev. N. Gould and Isaac Freden- 
burgh, then to Granville and Troy Grove in Nov., 
1836 ; was Deacon of the Presbyterian Church ; 
opened the iirst store kept at Homer ; a worthy 
man. He died May 5, 1852 ; his widow resides 
with her daughter at Homer, much respected, aged 
74. Had three sons : Lorenzo B., who is Supervisor 
of Troy Grove ; Hiram, married Martha Edwards, 
and holds the office of Justice of the Peace at Troy 
Grove ; James B., born and raised at Troy Grove 
became notorious on the western frontier and earned 
the sobriquet of "Wild Bill'' ; a man of superior 
physical form, over six feet tall, lithe and active, 
he was more than a match for the roughs he met on 
the debatable ground between civilized and savage 
life, and is said to have often killed his man ; at one 
time he is said to have killed four in sixty seconds — 
they were on his track seeking his life. He served 
with Jim Lane in the Kansas troubles. He was 
elected Constable while a minor in Kansas ; was 
for two years V . S. Marshall at Abilene, and was 
regarded as a very efficient and reliable officer. He 

Sketch of Settlers — Troy Grove. 409 

was killed at Dead wood, Dakota, Aug. 2, 1876. 
While playing cards his assailant came silently be- 
hind liim and shot liim through the head. His 
murderer was tried by a mob jnr}^ and acquitted, 
but subsequentl}' arrested under forms of law, con- 
victed and hung. 

William G. Shed, and wife, Lucy R. Noyes, from 
Massachusetts, came inlS35; died in 1851 or '52 ; 
his widow is now living. His children are : Harriet, 
who married James Hastings — she is dead ; Clinton, 
married Emily Reed, in Mendota. 

Joshua Brown, from Chester County, Pa., to Erie 
County. X. Y., came here in 1835, and settled on 
Section 1(». at the head of the grove. He died in 
1842. His widow kept a tavern, which all the old 
settlers will remember. She is now" living at Rocky 
Falls : had a large family, none of whom are re- 
maining here : Hannah, married Sylvester Warren : 
Lydia, married Martin South ; Thomas, is in Bureau 
County ; Sarah, is in California. 

Levi Kelsey, and wife, Emma Stevens, came from 
Hartford, Ct.. in 1S33, first stopped on Sand}^ creek, 
in the spring, and then went to Paw Paw Grove, 
where he built the first house in that locality. He 
settled in Troy Grove in the spring of 1834 ; his 
family came in September of the same year. For the 
first three or four years he sold clocks and notions, 
and traded with the Indians ; had a store on Sandy 
creek ; here he cultivated a farm and loaned money; 
was a Justice of the Peace and Notar}^ for twenty 
years ; one of the oldest in the County, and Com- 
missioner to divide the county under the Township 


410 History of La Salle County. 

Organization Act. In 1856 lie moved to Mendota, 
and soon after engaged in banking ; now retired. 
He lias two daughters : ^ydia A., married James 0. 
Cram, a Methodist preacher ; Myra, married Geo. 
M. Price, now a retired banker, and lives in Men- 

Charles B. Foster came from Massachusetts, in 
1835, married Nancy Wixom, and settled on Section 
34. Family of seven daughters. 

Rufus Shed, brother of William G., came from 
Massachusetts in 1836 ; married Martha Welch. 
Has one son, Zaccheus, at Fremont, Nebraska, and 
one daughter. 


The town of Ophir is identical with Township 35, 
Range 2, and is a prairie region, with the exception 
of about one section of timber on Sections 18 and 19, 
being a part of Tro}' Grove, which was originally 
as fine a tract of timber land as there was in the 
county. It lies mostly in the town of Troy Grove, 
and at an early day was surrounded by pioneer 

The first one here was Joseph Reynolds, and with 
Elias Carey and Hiram Thornton, were the only 
families at tliis point at the breaking out of the 
Black Hawk war. They all left, and Reynolds did 
not return. After the war, settlers came in quite 
rapidly and weie about equally divided between the 
towns of Ophir and Troy Grove, the grove of heavy 
timber being the centre of the settlements. 

Sketch of Settlers — Uphir. 411 

Joseph Reynolds, brother of Martin Reynolds, of 
Deer Park, came from Champaign County, Ohio, to 
Morgan County, 111., then to Tazewell County, and 
next to Deer Park, and to Troy Grove in the spring 
of 1830 ; was the first settler here. He settled on 
S. 19, T. 35, R. 2 ; left at the breaking out of the 
Indian war in the spring of 1832, and in the follow- 
ing fall sold his claim to Asahel Baldwin ; went to 
the Big Woods, and from there to Hickory Creek, 
now New Lenox, Will County, where he died, and 
where his three sons, Smith, Newton, and Milton, 
now reside, 

Elias Carey, and wife, Margaret Collins, from 
Ohio, on to the Wabash, in 1829. or 1830, and to 
Troy Grove, in 1831. Settled on S. 24, T. 3o, R. 1. 
He left during the Black Hawk war, but returned 
at its close, and made a farm in Ophir. He died in 
Mendota, in 1868. His children are : Nancy, now 
dead ; Sally, married William Thompson, now in 
Iowa ; Minerva, married W. Pollins, in Mendota ; 
Abijah, and John, went to Oregon ; Calvin, to Cali- 
fornia ; Washington, is now here ; Absalom, in 

Justin D. Wixom, from Erie County, New York, 
to Ohio, and, with his father s family, from Ohio to 
Sangamon County, Illinois, in 1827 ; from there to 
Tazewell County in 1829, and to Troy Grove in 1833, 
and settled on S. 18. He married Wealthy Ann 
Johnston. He died in I860, aged 58. 

Asahel Baldwin, from Colebrook, Connecticut, in 
the fall of 1832 ; bought the claim of Reynolds, on 
S. 19. Married Flora Holcomb, and in 1834 moved 

412 History of La Salle County. 

to Indian creek ; returned for a short time, and went 
to Iowa. 

John Johnston, and wife, Delila McCar ty, from 
Ohio, in the fall of 1832 ; he died in 1843. His 
children were : James ; Cynthia, married James 
Hall, of Marshall County ; Anrelia, married James 
N. Reader ; Wealthy Ann, married Justin D. 
Wixom ; George, married Mary Ann Beaver, set- 
tled on S. 25, T. 35, R. 1— he died 1876. 

Gideon Gillett, and wife, Ruth Goddard, from 
Granby, Connecticut, came in September, 1833. 
He died in 1806. His cliildren were : Emeline, 
died single ; Almon, died— his widow married Levi 
Carter ; Luna, married Pliny Dewey ; Ruth, mar- 
ried Simon Cooley ; Dennis T., married Mary 
Smith, in Iowa ; Daniel S., married Susan Worsley, 
in Iowa ; Samuel N., married J. Weisman ; Simeon 
B., married Eliza Baker. 

Leonard Towner, from New Jersey to Ohio, and 
from there to Ophir in 1833 ; he married Julia, 
daughter of Justin Dewe}'" ; settled on S. 18, T. 35, 
R. 2, Has fourteen children : Ezra, in Washington 
Territory ; Jane, married Joseph Billings, of Men- 
dota ; Nathaniel, mariied C. Ormsby, in Missouri ; 
Loi'enzo, is dead : Matilda, mairied Eakin Smith, is 
in Iowa ; Hiram is in Washington Territory; Letitia, 
married Mr. McKini; Justin D., mariied Miss Gor- 
don, second wife Miss Bugg, live in Vicksburg ; 
Daniel, married Flora Hoffman, live in Mendota ; 
John II., is in Kansas; James, married, lives in 
Mendota; KatliariiiL*, is in Iowa.; Mary, married 
Mr. Tobias, in El Paso ; Horace E., is in Texas. 

Sketch of Settlers — Ophir. 413 

Stephen R. Beojgs, and wife, Elizabeth Heath ; a 
Methodist preacher of note on the frontier. He 
came in 1834 ; laid off a town where Triumph now 
is, and named it La Fayette. It failed to make a 
town. Beggs moved to Plaintield, and to Chicago. 
He published ''The Early Histor}^ of the West and 
Northwest," a sort of autobiograph}^ of himself 
and brother preachers of the Methodist persuasion. 

Joseph Worslej^, born in England, came from 
Ohio here in 1834, married Margaret Weitzell, and 
settled on S. 30. He died 18Y0, aged 87. His chil- 
dren are : John, who married Matilda Morehouse : 
Frederick W., married Caroline Dewey ; William 
Y., married Lovina Cooper, lives on S. 10. T. 35. 
R. 1 — has been Justice of the Peace, and Town 
Supervisor ; Ann, married Charles Webster ; Mar- 
garet, married William D. McDonald; Joseph F., 
married Esther Crandall ; Henr}', married Miss 

Edward Y. Waldo, from Suffield, Connecticut, 
in 1834; settled on S. 18, T. 35, R. 2. His father 
was Chaplain to Congress when over ninety years of 
age ; died at the age of 101. He had three wives. 
Hannah Merritt, Phebe Rice, and Mary Johnson. 
Had two children : Anna, married a Mr. Terry, of 
Indiana : Charles, married Miss Geer, of Bureau 

Abner D. Westgate, from New York, 1836. His 
wife was Caroline Waterman. His children were : 
David, who married Miss Waterman, of Ophir : 
Thomas, is single ; Joseph, married Miss Fleming : 
George, is in Missouri ; Emily, in Ophir. 

414 History of La Salle County. 

Joseph B. Westgate, and wife, Emily Bradwin, 
from New York, in 1836. He died in 1848. His 
widow died 1874. They had three children : Joseph, 
James, and Marj^ They have all left the county. 

Gurdon Searls, from Connecticiit, in 1836. He 
married a sister of Dixwell Latlirop, of La Salle. 
His daughter, Ann, married Elisha Merritt. 

Robert Carr, and wife, from Connecticut, in 1887, 
settled on S. 29. Mrs. Carr died in 1875. Mr. Carr 
is still living, at the full age of 80 years. His son, 
Daniel, married Bridget Gardner, and lives on S. 
29. He, with Mrs. Scranton, are his only children. 

William H. McDonald, from Erie County, N. Y., 
came with Joshua Brown in 1885, and settled on 
S. 7, T. 35, R.. 2, where he still resides. He married 
Margaret Worsley. 

Simon Cooley, from New York, came in 1836 ; 
married Ruth Gillett. He was a carpenter by trade ; 
went to Iowa. 

Hiram Barnhart, and wife, Lucy Swarts, came 
here in 1837, and left in 1889 — removed to the 


The town of Mission embraces that portion of 
T. 35, R. 5, lying east of the Fox river, and that 
portion of T. 86, R 5, which lies south of the Fox, 
about thirty-two Sections. Tlie Fox forms its north- 
ern and western boundary, and Mission creek runs 
westwardly across tlie town near its centre. There 

Sketch of Settlers — Mission. 415 

was sOme lieavy timber on both the creek and the Fox. 
The face of the country is rolling, and the soil dry 
and fertile. 

The first white occupant of what is now the town 
of Mission, was Jesse Walker, who established a 
mission in 1826, by appointment and under the 
supervision of the Methodist Episcopal Church, at 
the head of Mission creek, on Section 15, for the 
conversion of the Pottawatomie Indians, and a 
school for the education of Indian cliildren. The 
Indians in considerable numbers were occupying an 
island in the Fox, near the mouth of Somonauk 
creek where they had cultivated corn and vegetables 
and made the vicinity their head-quarters. After 
the white settlers came in, the Indians relinquished 
the cultivation of the gi'ound, preferring to buy of 
the whites, paying with skins or with money received 
as annuities from the Goveinment. They were con- 
stitutionally lazy, and like some with whiter com- 
plexions, thought honest toil lowered their dignit}', 
and to carry out the resemblance still farther 
for fear their women would overstep their sphere, 
the squaws were made to perform all the labor for 
the community. 

The mission was barren of results, and w^as aban- 
doned early in 1882, and the buildings were burnt 
by the Sauks the following summer. 

Walker sold fort}^ acres of improvements to 
Washington Bulbona, a half-breed French and 
Indian, who also had a reservation of a Section when 
the Indians sold to the Government, which became 
Section 15 when surveyed. 

416 History of La Salle County. 


Mr. Schermerhorn, and his son-in-law, Hazelton, 
were the first settlers after the Mission, and made 
claims on S. 10, where John Armstrong now lives, in 
1831. Their tragic historj^ is given elsewhere. 

Peter Miller, a native of Ross County. Ohio, and 
wife, Harriet Holderman, from Maine, came to Ot- 
tawa in 1830 ; went to Pekin during the Black 
Hawk war, and to Holderman' s Grove in the spring 
of 1833 ; made a claim and settled where Sheridan 
now is in the fall of the same year, the first settler 
in the town of Mission, excepting those connected 
with .Tesse Walker's mission among the Indians, 
and S(!hermerhorn and Hazleton. He now lives in the 
town of Sheridan, the town having come to him. 
He has one son, Dj^son, who married Harriet Beards- 
ley, and has eight children. 

John Armstrong, then a minor, came from Licking 
County, Ohio, in company with his uncle, John 
Strawn, in the fall of 1829, and hired out by the 
month near Hennepin, stopping for some time with 
James Wallace in the Brown settlement, South 
Ottawa. He returned to Ohio in 1831; the same 
year his mother, Mrs. Elsa Armstrong, moved to 
Illinois witli her family. He again came to Illinois 
in 1833. He married Margaret Trumbo, daughter of 
Abraham Trumbo, and settled on Sec. 10, town of 
Mission, in June, 1834, where he still lives — a suc- 
cessful farmer and stock dealer. He was an ardent 
supporter of the Grange movement, and is now 
Treasurer of the State Grange. He has six children : 
Abram, married Charlotte Grant, and lives at Se- 
rena ; Elsa, married Henry Parr ; Joseph, married 


Sketch of Settlers — Mission. 417 

Mary Havenhill, in Mission ; Josepliine, married 
Samuel Parr ; Benjamin, a lawj^er, is in Kansas; 
Fanny, at home. 

Samuel D. Barbour, from Indiana, came in 18B4 ; 
settled on S. 17, where he still resides. He married 
Betsey Neff, and has ei^-ht children : Susanna, 
who married John Abel, of Mission ; Eleanor, is 
single ; Ebenezer, married Mary Clark, live in Mar- 
seilles ; Moses, married Augusta Freeland, of Mis- 
sion ; Eliphalet, married Emma Blake ; Samuel D., 
Jr., married Emma Corning ; Marion, married Mar- 
garet Mason ; Henry, at home. 

Beach Fellows, from Pennsylvania, settled on 
Section 6, town of Mission, May 1, 1835. On the 
farm seven years. In 1855 he was elected Count}' 
Treasurer. Has lived in Ottawa since. He married 
Martha Nelson, and has six children : Joseph, is 
in Missouri ; Jane, in Livingston County ; AVilliam. 
Maud, and Delia, at home. 

Ebenezer Neff, from New York, and wife, Marga- 
ret Douglass, from Pennsylvania to Indiana, from 
there to Holderman's Grove in 1835, and to Mission 
in 1837. He was a Justice of the Peace for several 
terms. He died in May, 1867. 

He had nineteen children, twelve of whom are liv- 
ing. Betsej', married Samuel Barbour, live in Mis- 
sion ; Daniel, married Maria Thomas, deceased : 
Olive, married Joseph East, they live in Indiana ; 
Almira, married William Bogwell, live in Iowa : Is- 
abel, married Joseph Mason, live in Mission ; Henr}- 
B., married Mary Freeland. live in Ottawa ; Wm. 
D., married Anna N. Peterson, live in Ottawa ; Ra- 

418 History of La Salle County. 

chel, married Newell Blodget, live in Iowa ; Sarah- 
belle, married Wellington Mason, live in Kendall 
County ; Janette, married Josiah Shaver, live in Rut- 
land ; George, married Thirza Whitney, live in Ot- 
tawa ; Margaret, married Sanford Whitney. 

Joseph Mason, from Indiana in 1835 ; married Is- 
abel Neff ; a blacksmith by trade ; settled on S. 28 
T. 35, R. 5 ; still living on a good farm. Has nine 
children : George is in Kendall County ; Daniel is in 
Serena ; W. W., married Lovina Peister, live in 
Miller ; Ellen, married Milton Reed, at Sheridan ; 
Sarah Ann, married James Knickerbocker ; Altliea, 
married Abel Misner ; Lewis, married Ellen -Hamon ; 
Pamelia and Joseph, at home. 

Robert Trimble, from Tazewell County, in 1834, 
sold his claim to Robert Rowe, and went to Mis- 

Robert Rowe, a native of Scotland, with his wife 
Mary McMath, came from Indiana here in 1835 ; has 
held the office of County Commissioner, and is a prac- 
tical surveyor and mathematician ; still resides on the 
farm he first occupied. His wife died in 1 56. He 
has eight children : James, married, and lives in Mis- 
sion ; Samuel, married Celeste Robinson, lives on the 
homestead ; Alfred, is in Colorado ; Mary Ann, mar- 
ried Cyrus Delameter ; Isabel, married John North ; 
Jane M., married Peter Cunningham ; Amelia, mar- 
ried Levi Spradling ; Emeline, married Delos Rob- 

Jesse Pearson, half brother to Wm. Barbour's 
wife, from Indiana ; removed, and died neai- Bloom- 
ington, 111. 

Sketch of Settlers — Mission. 419 

Thomas Dart, from Virginia to Indiana, came 
here in 1834 ; settled on S. 15, resided here a few- 
years, removed to Missouri, and died there. One 
daughter, Sarah, married Enoch Spradling ; another, 
Lina, liv^es at Shabona's Grove, widow of James 

Enoch Spradling, and wife, Sarah Dart, came from 
Indiana, in 1840. He has five children : Rachel, 
married Alva Pitzer ; James, married, lives near the 
old farm ; Elizabeth, at home ; Frances, married Mr. 
Snelling, in Mission ; Josephine, married Levi 

George A. South worth, and wife. Miss Bowen, 
came from New York, in 1836 ; settled on S. 11 ; 
died about ten years since. He had two children : 
Mary, married Mr. Southworth ; Marcus, a law^^er, 
in Aurora. 

Anthony Haman came in 1 83.5, and moved to De 
Kalb County. 

Conway Rhodes came in 1835, married Miss Ha- 
man, and moved to Iowa in 1836. 

Mr. Poplin came in 1835, married Miss Haman, 
and moved to De Kalb County. 

James Rood, and wife. Miss Babcock, a native of 
Massachusetts, iirst to Connecticut, then to New 
York, and came to Illinois in 1836. Died about 
1850 ; his widow died several years after. 

Launcelot Rood, son of the foregoing, was a mer- 
chant in Georgia ; came to Illinois in 1836 ; went to 
Iowa about 1850. 

Levi H. Rood, son of James Rood, from Litch- 
field County, Ct., went to Georgia; taught school 

420 History of La Salle County. 

there, and came to Illinois in 1838 ; was a Justice of 
the Peace several terms. He died in 1875. His first 
wife was L. A. Philips ; she had four children : 
Mary H. , married Dr. Pierce, of Minooka ; James 
P. and Joseph B., in Will County; Rufus B., in 
Sandwich. His second wife was Mary E. Wyman, 
of Massachusetts, who had six children: Levi W., 
married Josephine Spradling, and lives with his 
mother; Grace W.; Benjamin B.; Julia E.; Ellen, 
and Charles, are deceased. 

Henry Verbeck, from New York, married Jane 
Southworth. He died in 1867. Had three children : 
James, in Missouri ; Eddy, in Colorado ; Eva, mar- 
ried Frank Bowen ; Mabel, lives in Millington with 
her mother. 

Ever Waller came from Norway in 1835, and 
bought claim of Jesse Pearson. 

Jesse Pearson came from Indiana in 1835 ; sold to 
Waller, and went to Bloomington. 

J. Q. Eastwood came in 1836; died about 1847. 
His widow niariied Nathaniel Hibbard, from New 
Jersey ; died some two years since. 

Myers Foster came from Pennsylvania in 1834 ; 
returned in 1837 or '38. 

Charles Colton came from New Hampshire, and 
settled on Section 15 ; moved West. 

George Havenhill came from Nelson County, Ky., 
to Tazewell County in 1830 ; in 1832 raised a crop 
near Holderman's Grove, which was destroyed by the 
Indians; was County Commissioner in 1835; died 
about 1842. 

Marshall Havenhill, son of George, came with his 

Sketoli of Settlers — Northmlle. 421 

father, and settled on S. 12, T. 34, R. 5, in 1834 : 
married Jane Collins. 

Fielding Havenliill, sou of George, came witli his 
father, and settled on Section 12, in 1834 ; was mar- 
ried in Kentucky. 

Alexander Ro\A4e, and Avife, Ann Eliza Philips, 
came from Connecticut in 1835, and settled on Sec- 
tion 26, where lie still lives, aged 72 years. His wife 
died in 1857. His children are : Robert, married 
Fear R. Hosford, and lives in Freedom ; Ann, mar- 
ried Hamilton Rawlin ; John H., married Mar}^ 
Austin ; Jane M.. at home ; Isabel, married Free- 
born Rawlin ; Edward, married Jennie Angevine ; 
Henrietta, married Morris Law, lives in Sheridan ; 
Ebenezer M., was accidentally shot while hunting, 
12 years old. 

Steward Liston, and wife, came from New York 
in 1837. He died about 1850. He had three child- 
ren : Lemuel, married Lois Townsend ; Lucy, mar- 
ried Henry Newton ; Maria, married John Warren. 


Northville embraces the most of Township 36, 
R. 5. The Fox river forms its southern boundary, 
and running southwestwardly cuts off from that 
township about as mucli territory as it takes from 
the town south of it. 

The town lies between the main line and branch of 
the Chicago, Burlington k Quincy Railroad, and 
has several railroad stations and market towns near 

422 History of La Salle County. 

its borders, but none within its limits, consequently 
its market places, social institutions and churches 
are mostly in the adjoining towns, giving them the 
benefit of the wealth and population created in part 
by the business from Northville, The town occupies 
the northeast corner of the county. 

It is watered, in addition to the Fox river, by 
Somonauk creek, wiiich runs southerly a little west 
of the centre through the entire length of the town ; 
the timber along its banks relieved the monotony 
of the otherwise unbroken prairie and prompted the 
settlement which commenced in 1834, most of the 
early settlers coming in the next three or four years. 
Letsome, Dubois, and Armstrong, were frontier 
men who came in at an early day and settled near 
the Fox, where they made claims and sold to Messrs. 
Carr, Heath and Lewis. 

John T. Carr, from Onondaga County, New York, 
came in the fall of 1836, and settled on Section 36. 
He was thrown from a wagon in crossing Fox river, 
and broke his ne(;k. 

• Charles Carr, son of John T. , settle don Sec. 36 ; 
is now in Somonauk. 

Barney S. Carr, brother to Charles, married Susan 
AVilliams ; lives in Somonauk. 

R. D. Carr, brother to Charles, removed to Cali- 

Lindsey Carr, brother to the above, was a soldier 
in the Mexican war — Capt. Co. H., 10th Regiment 
Illinois Volunteers for three months ; also of the 
same for three years. He was killed on the picket 
line near New Madrid. 

Sketch of Settlers — Nortlimlle. 423 

Isaac Potter, from Onondaga County, New York, 
came in 1884 — said to have been the first settler in 
town. He settled on Sec. 4. Had two sons : Nelson, 
died : John, left the county. 

Darius Potter came here in 18B7, and left the 
count}^ in a few years. One daughter, Fanny, mar- 
ried M. H. West : another married Hugh Adams. 

Lyman Potter settled on Section 36 ; Lydia Ann, 
married Frank Bliss. 

Eli M. Kinne. from Onondaga County, N. Y., 
came in October, 183.5. and settled at the mouth of 
Somonauk creek : removed to Leland in ISoO ; has 
been a merchant in Leland since that time. His first 
wife was Maria Heath ; his second. Laura Fisk. He 
had two sons, W. C. and P. F. — both in Iowa. 

Lewis Supus came from Gferman}^ in 1835, and 
settled on Section 7. 

Henry Hull, from Stamford, Duchess Co., N. Y., 
came in 1838, and remained here two and a half 

Joseph Stockham came here in 1836 ; one of the 
first Justices of the Peace in Mission Precinct ; re- 
moved to Iowa. 

David Crawford from Ireland in 1833 : came here 
in 1838 with William Sly ; removed to Iowa in 

Abijah Haman. and wife. Bought claim of Du- 
bois in 1836, and sold to Bernard ; removed to New- 
ark, and died there. Had two sons : John, removed 
to Kendq^U County in 1845 i Clark. 

William Sly, born in Ireland, came from Huron 
County, Ohio, to De Kalb County, in 1833 ; here in 

424 History of La Salle County. 

the fall of 1834 ; settled on S. 28, T. 36, R. 5. He 
held the office of Justice of the Peace twenty-five 
years ; died in September, 18Y6. His children are : 
Joseph ; Frederick, in Somonauk ; Jackson, in 
Whiteside County ; Anne, married W. Griswold, 
live in Kane County ; Eliza, married Christian El- 
derding ; Joanna, married John Jones ; Alice, mar- 
ried Mr. Gray ; Jane, married George Shipman. 

Samuel Lewis, and wife, Delia Ward, (who died 
in 1865), came from Tompkins County, New York, 
in the fall of 1835. In 1844 went back for one year. 
Settled on S. 3. His children are : Edward W. ; 
Charles F., in Somonauk. 

Peter Newton, from Broome County, N. Y., came 
in 1836, and died in Newark. 

N. Newton, son of Peter, came with his father 
and settled on Sec. 4 ; removed to Mission in the fall 
of 1850. 

Levi Wright, from New York, came in 1839 : was 
Supervisor one term. 

Conrad Smith, from Germany, first to Ottawa, 
here 1835 ; settled on S. 4. 

Frederick Smith, from German}^ ; settled on S. 
5, in 1835. 

Horace Williams, and wife, from Onondaga Co., 
N. Y., came lierel836 ; settled on Sees. 20 and 21, T. 
36, R. 5 ; liad two children-: Douglass, married 
Elizabeth Gould ; settled on S. 19, T. 36, R. 5. 
Helen married Charles Merwin, lives at Somonauk. 

Dr. Heath came here 1834 ; resided here several 
years, then moved to Wisconsin. One daughter 
married Frederick Weatherspoon. Maria married 
Eli M. Kinne, now of Lt^land. 

Sketch of Settlers — North v ille. 425 

Orange Potter, from Xew York, 1835. 

Frederick Myers, from Gernmuy, 1838. 

Moses H. West, and wife, Fann}" Potter, fiom 
Berkshire County, Mass. ; came liere 1837 ; lived some 
time in New York and Michigan. Settled on S. 19, 
T. 36, R. 5; millwright by trade; Justice of the 
Peace twelve j^ears. Children : Charles, editor So- 
monauk Gazette ; Clara F., married A. D. Charles, 
live in Somonauk ; Cora M. and Alma J., at home. 

James Whitmore, with his wife, Rachel Hyat, sec- 
ond wife Polly Foster, from Cayuga County, N. Y., 
March, 1835. Settled here ; now lives in Sandoval. 
His children are, Albert, Catharine, William and 

Harve}' Whitmore, on Sees. 5 and 6, 1836 ; died 
years ago. 

Murray Whitmore, came in 1836. 

David Whitmore, from Cayuga County, N. Y., to 
Ohio 1836, and here 1839. His wife was Mary Ann 
Mitchell. Has two children, Harriet and John. 

Joseph AYhitmore, came in 1836 ; died 1851. 

Tracy Whitmore, from Cayuga County, N. Y.; 
came in 1836. Wife, Sarah Vanderhoof. He died 

Albert "Whitmore, from Cayuga County, N. Y., 
1836 ; died at 22 years of age in 1844. 

Jonathan Cooler, came in 1835. Had one daugh- 
ter, who married Ephraim Scott. 

John Potter, came in 1835 ; died 1836. 

James Roberts, came in 1835. 

William C. Whitmore, from Monroe County, N. Y., 
1836 ; first wife, Phebe Foster ; second, Mrs. 


426 History of La Salle County. 

Henry G. Murray, from Cayuga County, N. Y., 

Benjamin Daniels, from N. Y.; living- with James 

Harrison \¥. Sweetland and wife, Harriet Brain- 
ard, from Tompkins County, N. Y., 1836; bought a 
claim of Letsome and settled on Sees. 34 and 2Y ; has 
held the offices of Town Supervisor and Justice of 
the Peace for several terms. His children are : 
Charles, married Helen LaMar, lives near : Martha, 
married Emil Culver, lives in Indiana ; Reuben, 
died in the army ; Henry, married Miss Underwood, 
lives at Newark ; Horatio, Amanda and Hattie, at 

James Whitmore, with his wife, Ann Brigham, 
from Caj^uga County, N. Y., to Oliio in 1829, and 
from Ohio to Illinois in 1832 ; has two cliildren, 
Emily and Martha. 

Benjamin Whitmore, and wife, Susan Emerson, 
from the same place and at the same time Avitli 
James Wiiitniore, his brother. Has one child, Susan. 

Nathaniel Seaman, and wife, Mary Lane, from 
the city of New York, came to Illinois in 1836, and 
settled on S. 31. In 1861 he went South, as agent 
of the Sanitary Commission, and died near New 
Madrid. Of his children : Fanny, married Edward 
Lewis, of Kansas : Anna Mary, married C. H. 
Hall, of Chicago ; Henry, w^as killed at Lookout 
Mountain ; M. Adelaide, married Charles Grift'ord, 
of Somonauk ; Julia, Charles, and Lucien, atliome. 

Ja(;ol) Seanuin, and wife, .lane Kidney, from 
Duchess County, New York, settled here in 1837, 

Sketcli of Settlers — Northvllle. 427 

and died in 1864. Of his children: Henrietta, niar- 
I'ied Edward Keenan, of Leland ; Martha Ann, niai- 
ii'.'d John Keenan ; Byron, and Emma, are de- 
ceased ; Delihih, married George Selwin, of North- 
ville ; Walter, married Maria White — second wif« 
is Ella Stoughtonbury. 

Richard Seaman, and wife, Betsey Searls, from 
Duchess County, New York, in 1837. He died in 
1846, leaving live children : James, died in 1847 ; 
Sarah, married James Jackson, of Northville ; 
Ellen, married Thomas Blanchard, of Kansas: 
Caroline, married Wallace Hathron ; and Edgai', 
married Martha Bennet, of Northville, 

Thomas Gransden, from England to Ulster Co., 
New York, in 1834, and settled on S. 30, T. 36, E. 5, 
in 1837. He married Eliza Powell, and has two 
sons, Thomas, and Albert, and three daughters, 
Anna, Alice and Martha ; all at home, except Mar- 
tha, who married Edward Armstrong, of Northville 

W. L. F. Jones was born in Rutland County, Yt., 
and raised in Crawford County. Pa. ; with his wife, 
Betsy Minor, came to Milford. now Millington, Ken- 
dall County, in 1837 ; is now living on S. 13, T. 36, 
R. f), a blacksmith, and farmer ; he was the first 
Supervisor from the town of Northville. He has 
five cliildren : Benton, at home ; Misner, in Kansas ; 
Elma. married Ira Armstrong, and live in Somo- 
nauk : Charles, is a medical student, in Chicago ; 
Alfred W., is in Sandwich. 

Hugh Allen came to Northville in 1837 ; moved to 
Dayton 1845. 

Levi Wright, and wife, Esther Whitmore, came 


428 History of La Salle County. 

from New York in 1839. Has been Supervisor one 

Handy Suples, from Germany, with Conrad Smith; 
died soon after, leaving two sons, Hugh and Lewis. 
Lewis settled on S. 8. 

Thomas Lemar, and wife, Mary Hawes, to Ottawa 
1836, and to Northville 1840. Has three children : 
Otis K., Helen A., and Luther J. 

Henry Curtis, and wife, Mary E. McNett, from 
Connecticut, in 1836. 

John Whitmore, and wife, came from Ohio in 1834, 
and settled on Section 16 ; removed to Waukegan, 
and died in 1851. Children : Lorenzo, killed by 
lightning ; Alonzo, married Miss Skinner, died in 
Kansas ; John and Addison, went to California, and 
Lucien, to Sheridan ; the three are now in Leland. 

Samuel Graff came from Germany in 1834 ; tailor 
by trade ; settled on Section 8 ; moved to Section n ; 
died in 1874. 

John Sherman came from Russia in 1835, and 
settled on Section 4 ; now deceased. 

Henry Sherman came from Russia in 1835, and 
settled on Section 9 ; still living. 

Jeremiah Hough came from Oswego, N. Y., in 
1839. Died in 1845. Had five sons. 

William Powell came from Boston in 1838, and 
bought the claim of David Crawford. He married 
Elizabeth Warner; second wife, Miss McNett. 

Samuel Warner, from Boston to New Orleans, by 
boat to Peoria, and by land to Somonauk ; pur- 
chased a claim of Hugh Allen ; put in crops, went 
back to Boston, and brought out his father and 
family in August, 1S3S. 

Sketch of Settlers — Earl. 429 

George AVarner. and wife, Mary Salisbuiy, came 
from Boston in August, 1838, and bought a claim 
of Foster. He died in I845i, aged 60 ; his widow 
died in 1871, aged 88. He had six sons and one 
daugliter : Samuel, married Mar}^ Ann Powell, 
had two sons, Alfred and George, now in Ford 
County ; John ; Alfred, married Almira Richard- 
son, of Maine, moved to Michigan, and has eight 
children, all in Michigan : Thomas, lived single, and 
died in California ; Elizabeth, married Wm. Powell ; 
Francis, married Julia P. Back, and has four child- 
ren — he was Sheriff of La Salle County for two 
terms, from 1859 to 1861, and from 1863 to 1865— he 
is now Superintendent of Pinkerton's detectives, 
and lives in Chicago. 

Daniel McNett, and wife, Mary Boomer, came 
from Xew York in 1838. He died in 1876. He had 
fifteen children : Charles, married Lydia Baker, in 
Iowa ; Sophronia, married William Powell ; Mar3\ 
died : Michael, married Florence Jackson, of 
Whiteside Count}' ; Martha, married George Ed- 
wards, of Mendota ; Luciua, married Asher Gib- 
son, of Missouri ; Eliza, married Albert Powell ; 
William, married Lovina Havenhill ; Polly, Eleanor, 
John, Henry, Clara, Sherman, and Abbe}", are 


The town of Earl embraces the Congressional 
Township 36 North, of Range 3. It is the centre 
town on the north line of the county. Indian creek 

430 History of La Salle County. 

enters the town near the middle on the north, runs 
southwest to Section 19, and then southeast, having 
a tine growth of timber along most of its course. 
It was settled quite sparsely along its banks com- 
mencing in 1834, until, in 1853, the Chicago, Burling- 
ton & Quincj Railroad was built through the town, 
after which the intlux of population was rapid. 

Charles H. Sutphen was the pioneer settler in the 
town of Earl, in company with John R. Dow. 
They came from Boston, made claims and located 
at the head of tlie grove in April, 1834. They found 
two families just arrived from Indiana, J. Ross, 
and a Mr. Johnson, who located on the south side 
of the grove and made some improvement that sum- 
mer. They sold their claim to McClasky & Philips, 
and left in 1835. 

Mr. Sutphen brought his family in the month of 
October, and built a double log house on the site of the 
village. The land came in market in 1839, when Mr. 
Sutphen pui'chased one thousand acres where Earl- 
ville now stands, and has occupied it as a stock farm 
for about twenty years. 

He was one of the iirst Justices for Indian 
Precinct, and held the office continuously for fifteen 
years, being tlie oldest Justice in tlie county when 
he resigned. 

He had a family of six sons and three daughters ; 
Charles T. Suti)hen was tlie Iirst white male born in 
the township, he and George are in California ; 
Albert, is in Aurora ; Ford, in Missouri ; Gilbert 
and Weller, in Iowa; Sarah, married S. Cook, 
now deceased ; Carrie T., was the first wliite child 

Sketch of Settlers — £Ja7'l. 431 

born in the town — manied William H. Graham, of 
St. Louis ; Mary, married O. C. Gray, of Ottawa, 
and her second husband was Dr. Canfieid, of Ottawa 
— she is now deceased. 

Mrs. Sutpheii, Elizabetli H. Dow, died in 18T(J ; 
Mr. Sutphen removed to Joliet in 1871, and married 
the widow of H. D. Higginbotham. 

John R. Dow returned to Boston in the fall of 
1834, and his two brothers occupied his claim. He 
is now living in New York. 

D. A. Ballard came from Boston, in the fall of 
1834 ; his wife was a sister of Mrs. Sutphen ; he 
returned to Boston in 1842. Two sons remain — one 
died at Earl two 3'ears since ; the other is at Aurora. 

Albert Dow came from Boston in 1835. He mar- 
ried Miss Frances Johnson, of Boston, and settled 
on the claim left by John R. Dow ; his wife died 
soon, and he mairied Martha Miles, and had one 
son and two daughters ; he is now living in Chicago. 
He resided in Ottawa several years. 

Warren Dow, from Boston, came in 1834. He 
married Miss Alice B. Champney, of Boston ; has 
one son and three daughters ; he now lives in Wis- 
consin, He resided in Ottawa several years, and in 

Amos Foster, fiom Massachusetts, came in 1834 ; 
married in Ottawa ; removed to Wisconsin. 

Corrin Doane, from Boston, came in 1834 ; mar- 
ried Harriet Johnson — his second wife was Hannah 
Stilson, sister to S. T. Stilson. He died in May, 
1836. He had two sons : Hazen, married and lives 
in Earl ; Samuel J., died in the army. 

432 History of La Salle County. 

JohiiT. Cook, brother-in-law to Sutphen, came in 
1834 ; went to Galena, then to Chicago in the lum- 
ber trade ; his wife died in Chicago of cholera. 

John Thornton, and wife, Hannah Benedict, from 

St. Lawrence County, N. Y., in 1835 ; he died in 

1865. He had three daughters : Lurania, married 

Samuel O. Carter ; Roby, married Wm. Imil ; Sarah, 

married O. J. Wilson. 

Samuel O. Carter, from St. Lawrence County, N.Y.. 
in 1835 ; stopped near Chicago three months in De- 
cember ; settled on S. 17. Wife, Lurania Thornton ; 
has three sons : Adolphus married widow Doane ; 
Heman H. married Malvina Philips ; Joel at home. 

Alonzo Carter, from St. Lawrence County, N. Y., 
in 1836 ; now a Methodist preacher in Ohio, 

Levi Carter, from same place in 1836 ; married 
widow Jewett ; now in Sandoval, Marion County, 

Ferdinand Carter, from the same place in 1836 ; he 
died 1854. His widow, Deborah Breese, died 1867. 

Benjamin Carter, from same place in 1836 ; went 
to Green County 1860 ; now there, 

Sj'lvester Carter came in 1836 ; he died of cholera 
in 1849 : first wife. Miss Christy ; second, Mary 
Breese, widow ; third, Lucy Pine. Of his children, 
James Carter is in Livingston County ; Joseph is 
teaching in Noimal ; Lucien in Livingston County. 

Urial Carter, married Eliza Rogeison ; now in Ar- 
kansas ; has seven or eight children ; left lierein 1855. 

Joel Carter, fatiier of the foregoing seven sons, 
came from the bank of the St. lawrence river in 
St. Lawrence County, N, Y., in 1836 ; died in 1853, 
aged 75. 

Sketch of Settlers — Earl. 488 

John Currier came from A'ermont to Cincinnati, 
and here in 1838; wife, Eliza Wallace ; ten children. 

Frank Ransted, from Vermont to Cincinnati and 
from there here in 1836 : his wife died 18o5 : he has 
several children. 

Alexander Brown, from Cheshire, Mass., July 
1838 : a bachelor ; died 1867. 

Andrew Brown came in 1838. 

Allen Brown, and wife. Miss Best, in 1838 : lias one 
son and three daughters. 

The above three brothers came irom Berkshire 
County, Mass. 

O. J. Wilson, from St. Lawrence County, N. Y., 
1835 ; left there Nov. 16th. when 17 years of age. 
and came b}^ steamer to Hamilton Bay, then on foot 
to near Chicago in company with Uri Carter ; stoi)ped 
with Samuel and Levi Carter a few days, then went 
to Indiana and spent the winter, and in December, 
1886. reached Big Indian creek in LaSalle Count}': 
bought a claim on S. 21. which came in market in 

Mr. Wilson's history is a striking example of the 
result of industry and economy'. From the poor 
boy trudging on foot through the wear}^ distance to 
reach the West, he has become the possessor of 
wealth, being a large land owner, farmer and banker. 
He married Sarah Thornton : his children are, 
Thomas, who married Mary Wood, lives near; Wil- 
liam, who married Nettie Doane, lives in Earlville, 
a banker ; Edwin, in California ; Abram, married 
Frances Pope, lives in Earlville ; Richard. Caroline. 
John T., Charlotte Ann, and Osman John, are at 

434 History of La Salle County. 

Major D. Wallace, from Orange County, Vt., in 
1887 ; the only physician here for ten years ; left two 
sons, Charles married the widow Scott at Earl, owns 
the Wallace House ; George married Miss White. 

James Wood, from New York in 1840; he died 
1853 ; settled on S. 6 ; four children : Peter; David; 
Lovina married James Wallace ; Elisha. 

David Smith, from South Adams, Mass., 1840 ; 
died 1864. 

Daniel Smith, son of foregoing, came in 1838 ; mar- 
ried Harriet Burt. 

Miles Rouse, came from Xew York, in 1 834 ; died 
in 1860 ; widow still living here ; Ellen, married Mr. 
Lynn ; Eliza, married ; Martha, married Allen Mc- 

George Rogerson came from Brockville, Canada, 
in 1838 ; George is in Ford County ; Eliza, married 
L'rial Carter, in Arkansas. Mr. R. died in 1840. 

Edward Cook came in 1835 ; died in California, 20 
years ago ; left a widow and son. All have left. 

Russel Bliss, came from North Adams to Ohio, 
and from there here, in 183Y. 

James M. Philips, came from Pennsylvania, in 
1836 ; he had a difficulty regarding a disputed claim 
with his neighbor. Moss, and unfortunately killed 
him ; he was tried for murder and convicted of man- 
slaughter, but was dischaiged, from a defect in the 
law. It is due to Mr. Philips to state, that his 
neighbors all agree that he has led a blameless life 
since ; has a large family of children who are much 
respected. He sent five sons to the war. 

Mr. Moss, who was killed by Philips, was from 

Sketch of Settlers — Serena. 435 

Vermont ; he was making a farm preparatory to 
moving his family, Avlien lie met his fate. 

Abram Foster, and wife, Millie White, came from 
Bradford County, Pennsylvania, in 1836 ; settled 
one mile north of Earlville, on the creek ; he died 
many years since, leaving seven children : Betsey, 
married Conrad Smith, of Northville ; Millie, married 
Frederick Smith, of Northville ; Elisha, is deceased ; 
Alfred, went to California ; William, died here, his 
widow is still living ; Willard, went West ; Abram 
settled on the creek, now in Colorado. 

Amzi Foster, grandson of Abram, came from 
Bradford Co., Pennsylvania, in 1837; he married 
Mary J. App ; has three children. He has resided 
in Ottawa for many years. 

Samuel T. Stilson, born in Connecticut, came from 
Chatauqua County, N. Y., 1839 ; has been a farmer, 
merchant, giain dealer, and banker; successful, and 
now retired. His tirst wife was Ellen Wood, who 
died in 18o2 : his second wife was Sarah Lukins. 
Has had five children ; two are living. 


The town of Serena embraces Township 35, 
Range 4, and about three additional sections of 
T, 35, R. 5, which lie on the west side of Fox river. 
Indian creek runs nearly across the township and is 
intersected by its principal branch, the Little Indian, 
on Section 16. There was much good timber along 
those streams, and consequently settlements com- 

436 History of La Salle County. 

menced at an earl}^ date. The plentiful supply of 
timber, with rolling, rich prairie, made it a desira- 
ble location. There were several saw-mills on the 
creek at an earlj^ day, and two or three flouring 
mills have been added since. 

Settlements commenced in 1831, and settlers came 
in rapidly after the close of the Indian troubles, in 
1838. Robert Baresford was the hrst, in 1831, and 
the Warrens, Alva O. Smith, Daniel Blake and others 
in 1833. 

The Fox River Railroad runs through the east 
part of the town, with a depot nearly central, which 
brings a market to the doors of the people who set- 
tled in an inland town. 

Robert Baresford, a native of Deny, Ireland, came 
to America, and witli his wife, Mary Desert, and 
family, came first to Peoria, and, with Jesse Walker, 
to Ottawa in 1825 ; assisted Walker in establishing 
his mission at Mission Point, and in 1829 settled at 
Holderman's Grove. He removed to Indian Creek 
in 1831 ; lie built a saw-mill on the creek, and 
resided in that locality till his death in 1851. Mrs. 
Baresford died in 1843. He left three children : 
John, married, and is now living at Fremont, Ne- 
braska ; Mary Ann, married William Cullen, of 
Ottawa — Mr. Cullen has been Slieriff, and for man}' 
years editor of the Ottawa Republican ; Lovina, 
married Mr. Wykolf ; James, was killed by Indians 
while scouting in 1832. 

Daniel Warren, Jr., came from Madison Countj^, 
N. Y., in 1830, and settled on Indian creek in 1832. 
His wife was Lucy Skeels, from Putnam County. 

Sketch of Settlers — Serena. 437 

He died in April, 1867. His widow married Peter 
Dick, and lives on Section 17. He left six children : 
Elizabeth, married Anthony Hoar, in Missouri ; 
Ardilla, married Henry Hoar, deceased : Luther, 
married Catharine Cristler, at Streator; Huron, is in 
Nebraska; E-uden, married Charlotte Wright, of 
Serena; Louis S., married Eliza McClure, of Serena. 

Nathan Warren came from Madison County, 
N. Y., in 1830, and settled on Section 8 ; is now liv- 
ing on Section 5. His hrst wife was Lydia Baxter ; 
second wife, Maria Lester. He has seven children : 
William, is in Serena; Fanny, married Mr. AVariner, 
of Paw Paw ; Lucien, is in Amboy. Second wife's 
children are : Mary, married George Bristol, near 
Amboy, now deceased ; Emma ; Florence. 

Ezekiel Warren married Susan Sargent and settled 
on Section 17. He and Daniel Warren built a saw- 
mill on Section 8, and moved to Morris, and died 
there in 1847. 

Samuel Warren, from Madison County, N. Y., 
came on the creek with his brothers ; died single. 

The four Warren brothers were children of Daniel 
Warren, and came with their father from Madison 
County, N. Y., in 1830. by wagon to Bailey's Point, 
now Vermillion. The father died near Ottawa in 
1832. His widow married the father of Horace and 
George Sprague ; she died in 1836. 

John Hupp, from Licking County, Oliio, came 
through by wagon, and settled on Section 23 ; went 
to California in 1850. His children are : Sedgwick, 
living in Serena ; Wilson, was drowned in Colum- 
bia river ; Havilah, resides in Serena ; Jane, married 

438 History of La Sialle County. 

James Moore ; Cemantlia. married Ira Barley, of 
Grundy Count}^ ; Stephen, in Iowa ; George, at 
Nortliville ; Riley, in Serena ; Louisa, married 
Joseph McKim. 

Kinne Newcomb came from Plattsbur^", N. Y., in 
1833 ; married Jerusha Lyman. He died in 18-10, 

Hiram Brown, and wife, Olive Niles, came from 
Shaftsbury, Yt., in 1883 ; now in Kane County. 

AlvaO. Smith, from North Haven, Ct., in 1833; 
arrived in Ottawa in 1834. He married Olive War- 
ren and settled on Section 18, T. 35, R. 4, in Dec, 
1835. In company with James Day, bought the 
saw-mill of Ezekiel Warren. Mr Smith died in 
1870, leaving eight children : James, married Mar- 
garet Barker ; Levi C. ; Lois L., married William 
M. Curyea, of Ottawa ; Mary, married Isaac Pool, 
of Serena ; Sarah E., married William T. Jones, of 
Serena ; Alva O. ; Olive, married Geo. W. Cur3^ea, 
of Dayton ; Sidney, at home ; Eunice O. 

John Hoxie, from Williamstown, Berkshire Co., 
Mass., came in 1836, and settled on Sec. 25, where he 
still resides. He married Elizabeth Beem. His 
children are: Henrietta, Fremont, Lincoln, and 
Fanny. Henry was killed at the battle of Mission 

Daniel Blake, born in Maine, removed to Ohio, 
and from there here in 1833 ; lived a short time under 
the iiospitable loof of Robert Baresford, and settled 
on Section 34 ; removed to Ottawa in 1868 ; served 
as Sheriff from 1871 to 1873. His children are : 
Joshua M., in Livingston County ; James A., on the 
old fartu : George, a lawytM", in Ottawa ; Mary 

Sketch of Settlers — Serena. 430 

J., married Havilah Hupp, in Serena ; Hattie M., is 
the wife of Irvin Niles, of Livingston County, and 
Susie A., is at home. 

Ezra Dominy was born at East Hampton, L. I., 
1876 — with liis wife, Rlioda Smitlj, and family, eame 
from Plattsburg, Xew Yorlv, in 183;"), with a wagon, 
by the Lake sliore, to Illinois, being six weeks on 
the road ; settled on S. 28. The Dominy family, 
descendants of Ezra, with their wives and husbands, 
held a reunion in September. 1873 ; there were 100 
present, including children, grand children, and 
great grand children. His children are : Rebecca, 
who married Robert Greenless, of Daj^ton ; Na- 
thaniel, married Philinda Finch, in Grand Ridge ; 
John, in Iowa ; Belinda, married Martin Lewis, now 
dead ; Sally, died single : Lorenzo, in Serena ; Ezra 
A., married Ann Eliza Pool, in Serena ; Gilbert, 
married Mary E. Pool : Betsey, married Jacob 
Peterson, in Serena ; Anna, married Matthias Pool, in 
Serena. Mr. Dominy is living with the last named, 
at the ripe age of 91. Mrs. Dominy died in 1873, 
aged 87. 

Amos St. Clair, from Kentucky to Jacksonville, 
in 1830, and here 1835 : he settled on S. 32 ; he died 
1839, aged 49— his widow, Elizabeth Watkins, died 
in 1868. 

Watson St. Clair, son of Amos, came at the same 
time and settled on Section 32, is now on Section 36. 
His wife was Laura J. Beckwith. His children are : 
Martha E., and Laura E., both at home. 

William St. Clair, also son of Amos, came at the 
same time and is livino; on the old farm on Sec. 32, 

440 History of La Salle County. 

His wife was Susan Miller, His children are : 
Eugene and Lucre tia, at home. 

St. Clair sisters, daughters of Amos, were : Mary 
Ann, who married H. P. Harvey, of Freedom; Rachel, 
married Urial Miller, of Freedom ; Eliza Jane, mar- 
ried Samuel B. Flint, of California ; Sarah E., 
married L. Clifford, of Serena. 

John St. Clair, also son of Amos, came from tlie 
same place and settled on Section 32 in 1834. 

Rev. John St. Clair, brother of Amos, came from 
Kentuck}^ in 1834 ; a Methodist preacher and Pre- 
siding Elder ; he was prominent in his denomina- 
tion, an able, enterprising and useful man. He died 
in Evanston in 1861. Settled in Rutland. 

William Beardsley, from Williamstown, Mass., 
came in 1837, and settled on Sec. 27 ; Julia, died 
in the fall of 1838 ; Lyman, insane ; Harriet, married 
Dyson Miller. 

Henry Beardsley, half-brotlier of William, from 
Williamstown, Mass., came in the fall of 1837. His 
children are : Lovina Blake, now in Adams ; one 
son, William, in Mendota ; Chester, married Miss 

Nathaniel Perley, and wife, Eliza Stevens, from 
Massachusetts to Ottawa, and from there to the 
(;reek in 1839. Mrs. Perley met her death by her 
clothes taking fire. Mr. Perley has gone West. 

William Haskell, and wife, Martha Batcheller, first 
came to Ottawa in 1837, and to the creek in 1839. 
Perley & Haskell built Curyea's mill and distillery 
in 1839. He died recently in Streator. 

John R. Hobbs, came from New York, in 1835 ; 

Sketch of Settlers — Eagle. 441 

settled on S. 26. Daruria, died ; Alfred, married, 
and lives in Serena. 

Phineas Perl ey, came from Massachusetts, in 1833 ; 
married Wm. Beardsly's widow : one daughter, 
Almira. He died about 1857. 

Joseph T. Roy, bachelor ; run a mill on the creek. 
Died in 1871. 

Aaron Gfrinnell, bachelor, came from New York, 
in 1837, in the poor house, familiarly called "Old 

Martin Lewis, came from Plattsburg, N, Y., in 
1834 ; settled on S. 28, and died in 1837. 


Eagle embraces that portion of T, 31, R. 3, that 
lies south of the Vermillion river, and the east one- 
third of T. 31, R. 2. That portion lying along the 
Vermillion was settled at an early day. 

John Coleman, came from Richland Co., Ohio, in 
the fall of 1831 ; he settled on S. 22, lived there till 
1847, and went to Missouri for two years, and then 
returned to the old farm ; he is now living in Strea- 
tor. His wives were : 1st, Anna Cramer ; 2d, Rox- 
ena Cowgill ; 3d, Hester Kelley ; 4th, Lutitia Grif- 
fith. All dead. Of his children : Julia Ann, mar- 
ried Mr. Ploger, of Ottawa ; Hester Ann, married 
Josiah Roberts, of Streator ; James, William, Lilla, 
are single. 

Henry Cramer, came from Richland Co., Ohio, in 
1831 ; he died in 1832. His daughters married John 


442 History of La Salle County. 

Coleman, James McKernan, Geo. McKee, and Dan- 
iel Barrackman. 

John Holderman, and wife, Hannah Young, 
came from Richland Co., Ohio, in the spring of 
1831 ; the first settler in the town ; he settled on S. 
27. He died about 1842. He had five children : 
Jacob, married Rachel Gannet, of Streator ; Allen, is 
now living in Streator ; Sarah, married Elislia Nar- 
amoor ; Martha, married Barney O' Neill ; Eliza, 
married George Tillsbury. 

John Wood came from Richland Co., Ohio, in 
June, 1833 ; settled on S. 22 ; he died in 1840. His 
widow married George Basore. His son Peter, only 

Dan'l Barrackman, came from Licking Co., Ohio, 
in 1831 ; his wife was Rachel Cramer. He had 
three sons : Charles and Daniel are on the old farm ; 
Benjamin, went to Iowa. 

David Reader, and wife, Sarah Whitaker, from 
Hamilton County, Ohio, to Tazewell County, 1829, 
and settled on S. 16, T. 31, R. 3, in the spring of 
1835 ; a good farmer, and useful citizen. He held 
the office of County Commissioner ; he died April, 
1853, leaving five children : James Newton, married 
in Tazewell County, settled near his father in 1836, 
moved to Troy Grove in 1837, is now living in Liv- 
ingston Count}^ ; Mitchell, married Malvina Gum, 
is in Kansas ; Joseph, married Miss Johnson, in 
Livingston County ; Rebecca, married Rees Morgan ; 
Jacob, married Elizabeth Jane Lord, and lives 
adjoining the old homestead. 

Jacob Goff, and wife, from Pennsylvania to Taze- 

Sketch of Settlers — Eagle. 443 

well County, in fall of 1835, and soon after settled 
on S. 17. Mr. Goft' died in 1840. His children, 
Alif, Samuel, Janet, and William, all moved to 
Kansas about 1856. 

Thomas, John, Elza, and James Downey, four 
brothers from Painesville, Ohio, in 1834 ; settled on 
Sees. 15 and 16 ; Thomas served as Justice of the 
Peace ; he died about 1850. John and Elza re- 
moved to Magnolia, Putnam County ; James left, 
after a short residence here. 

George Tillsbury, from Pennsylvania in 1839 ; 
married Eliza Holderman ; taught school a few 
months, and left the county and his famil}', soon 

Daniel McCain, from Michigan, married Sarah 
Shay ; died 1840 ; the widow married W'illiam 
Perygo ; after his death she went to Michigan. 
Stephen Shay died in Michigan. 

Charles Clifford, from Ireland to Michigan, in 
1834, and settled on S. 13, T. 31, R. 2, in 1837 ; now 
living in Ottawa. Has children. 

Samuel Galloway, and wife, Catharine McClure, 
of Scotch descent, from near Londonderry, in the 
north of Ireland ; emigrated to America, and set- 
tled in Lexington, Green County, New York, about 
1806 — his wife died in 1815 ; his second wife was 
Lydia Moore, who died 1833. He removed to 
La Salle County, Illinois, June, 1837, with all his 
children; he first located near where Tonica now is, 
and in 1840 moved on to S. 6, T. 31, R. 3 — known 
as the Galloway farm, and the location of the Gal- 
loway postoffice. He died July 24, 1840. His 

444 History of La Salle County. 

children by his first wife were : Catharine, who mar- 
ried Joseph T. Bullock, and lives near Tonica ; 
Samuel C, died single, August 24, 1840 ; Francis, 
married Elizabeth J. A. Galloway, and settled on 
S. 1, T. 31, R. 2— he died July 24, 1869 ; Mary, 
married John Briley, and lived on S. 1, T. 31, R. 
2. She died Dec. 25, 1876. The cliildren of the 
second wife are: Elijah M., who married Elizabeth 
Halcott, daughter of Colonel Thomas Halcott, from 
Green County, New York. Elijah was Postmaster 
and Justice of the Peace for several years ; he now 
lives near Monroe City, Missouri ; Lydia M., mar- 
ried Henry Slater ; her second husband was W. 
Holly, who died in California. She is now living 
with her third husband, Jefferson Smith, in Mich. 

Jacob Dice, from New York, about 1837 ; settled 
on S. 6; he sold to Hoffman. He married the widow 
Hays, and soon returned to New York*. 

Stephen Faro, and wife, Sally Dakin, from Scho- 
harie County, N. Y., came in 1837 or 8 ; a cooper 
and farmer ; he settled on S. 5, and died about 1841. 
His widow married Ard Button, 

Isaac Thorp, and wife, Lydia Dakin, came from 
New York, with Faro ; tlie two married sisters ; set- 
tled in 1838 on S. 7, near the Vermillion timber. 
They both, with three children, died of milk sick- 
ness ; one child survived, and was sent to its friends 
at the East. 

Campbell settled on S. 31 in 1835 ; he sold to 
Myers, and left. 

Hiram Divine, and wife, Betsey Torrey, came from 
Green County, Pa., in 1839; settled in the town of 

Sketch of Settlers — Brookfield. 445 

Eagle, on Section 12 ; was a farmer and nursery- 
man ; he died in 1871; his wife died in 1847. Emma, 
lives in Champaign Count}^ ; Lnther, is in Iowa ; 
Charlotte, is Mrs. E. B. Barling, of Streator ; Mary, 
is insane ; Alvin, Celia and Elma, are the remaining 
children. Second wife's children, Clemens and 

Chester Naramoor, from Goshen, Vt., and wife, 
Louisa Dickinson, from Goshen, Ct., came from Xew 
York to Michigan in 1882 and to J^aSalle County in 
1839, stopping at Bailey's Grove, where Mrs. Nara- 
moor died ; Mr. Naramoor died in 1847. They had 
one son and foui- daughters, three of the daughters 
died. Louisa T. married Abram Groom ; Elisha 
married Sarah B. ITolderman and settled on S. 15, 
T. 31, R. 3, where he still resides. 

Jacob Moon, and wife, Leah Reese, came from 
Ohio, first to Bailey's Point, and in 1833 settled at 
Moon's Point, on the edge of Livingston County, 
where he spent the remainder of his life. Of his 
children, Albert married Elizabeth Boyle of Ox Bow 
Prairie ; Jane married Solomon Brock ; Thomas 
married Mary Barrackman ; Rees married Miss 
Baker ; Ellen married James Barrackman. both 
are dead. 


Brookfield embraces T. 32, R. 5. and that part of 
T. 83, R. 5, which lies south of the Illinois river. 
The first township is nearly all prairie, while the 

'446 History of La Salle County. 

fraction is all timber or bottom land. The first set- 
tlement commenced in 1833 and was confined to the 
skirts of the timber adjoining the prairie, or to the 
bottom along the Illinois, while the settlements have 
gradually extended south over the prairie region 
during the forty 3^ears that have intervened. 

It is all now occupied by a thrifty and prosper- 
ous people, although an old pioneer will recognize 
in the southern part the prairie grass and wild flow- 
ers of the early day, reminders of the olden time, 
and that the civilized occupancy is comparatively 

Geo. W. Armstrong, the first settler in Brookfield, 
came from Licking County, Ohio, with his mother, 
Mrs. Elsa Strawn Armstrong, in 1831 ; he made a 
claim on S. 28, T. 33, R. 3 ; but John Hogaboom 
jumped it and finally bought it for $28. Armstrong 
made a claim on S. 1, T. 32, R. 5, and moved on it 
in the fall of 1833 ; was encamped there when the 
stars fell, Nov. 13th, of that year ; made a farm 
and has resided there since, except when a con- 
tractor on the Illinois & Michigan Canal. Mr. Arm- 
strong has been prominent as a politician ; has been 
Town Supervisor, and Cliairman of the Board 
several years, and has served five terms and still is 
a member of the Legislature. He married Anna 
Green, of Jacksonville, 111., and has nine children: 
Jolm G., married Nellie McCann, lives in Ottawa ; 
William, is in Colorado ; Julius C, married Hattie 
Goodrich, and is a Congregational minister in Cook 
County ; Eliz:i M., married William Crotty, now of 
Kansas ; Josepli, at home ; Maishall, is in Chicago 

Sketch of Settlers — BrooTcJield. 447 

University ; Susan, niairied Robert Langblin, and 
lives on the line of Grundy County ; James E., at 
Champaign at school ; Charles G., at home. 

Jolin Drain fame from Licking County, Ohio, in 
1833. He died at Abraham Trumbo's in ISSf). 

Dr. Frederick Graham, from Westchester County, 
N. Y., first to Ottawa, and then settled on Section 
8, in 1836 ; a practicing physician for many years. 
He and his wife are both dead. 

Levi Jennings, and wife, from Fairfield County, 
Ct., to Oneida County, N. Y., and from there to 
Illinois, with a large family, in 1834 ; he made a 
farm on the Illinois bottom, on Sec. 19, just east 
of James Galloway. His wife died. He spent the 
last few years of his life with his son-in-law, G. W. 
Jackson, in Ottawa. 

Levi Jennings, Jr., a native of Connecticut, when 
17 years old, went to Beaver County, Pa., and while 
there his father moved to Illinois. He married 
Emily Allis, and moved to Illinois in 1835, and 
first settled near his father, then on S. 8, T. 32, R. 5. 
He died in 1852, aged 60, His widow survives, 
aged 69. His children are : Matthew, married Clara 
Ferguson, lives in Brookfield ; Mary, married Rich- 
ard Gage, of the same place ; Henry, the first child 
born in Brookfield, lives in Allen ; Frederick, -mar- 
ried Lucy Bishop, lives in Allen ; Lucy Ann, is 
in Marseilles ; Catharine Louisa, married Reuben 
Smallen, of Allen ; Julia, married John J. Ford, of 
Brookfield ; Emil}' Jane, married Geo. S. Beacli, a 
Congregational minister, in Ohio. 

David Jennings, brother of Levi, Jr., died single. 

448 History of La Salle County. 

Stephen Jennings, brother of Levi, Jr., married 
Mary Elizabeth Holden, and lives in Ottawa. 

Ebenezer Jennings, youngest son and half brother 
of the foregoing, died in California. 

Daughters of Levi Jennings, by his first wife : 
Hannah, married G. W. Jackson, of Ottawa; Marj^ 
married George Macy, of Ottawa ; another daughter 
married a Mr. Goodell ; and one married Eldridge 
G. Clark. 

Daughters of Levi Jennings, by his second wife : 
Julia, married Daniel Ward ; Aphelia, married 
Gershom Burr ; another daughter married a Mr. 

Eldridge Gerry Clark came with the Jennings 
family from N. Y. ; died here soon after. 

William H. Goddard came from Boston in 1836 ; 
disgusted with farming after four years' trial, went 
to Louisville, Ky., and pursued his profession of a 
dentist. His wife was a sister of the somewhat noted 
writer, James Ross Brown. 

Richard Edgecomb, from New Providence, West 
Indies, came in 1835 ; moved to Ottawa. 

Rev. George Marsh was born in Norfolk County, 
Massachusetts ; when five years old removed to Sut- 
ton, Worcester County ; when twenty years of age, 
removed to State of New York ; lived there until 
thirty-eight years of age — the last ten years in the 
city. Came to Illinois with his wife in 1835, bought 
a part of Section 4, and subsequently settled on Sec- 
tion 10, where he now lives, at the age of 81. He 
officiated as a Presbyt(:'iian clergyman for a third of 
a century, and although his field of labor was a 

Sketch of Settlers — Brookfield. 449 

humble one in the sparsely settled outskirts of the 
county, he led a pure life, and his influence will be 
felt long after he shall have passed away. He has 
a family of three children ; the oldest, George G-., is 
a Government clerk at Washington ; John James, 
and Mar)^ E. A,, are at home. 

George S. Maxon came from New York in 1837, 
and settled on Sec. :2, T. 82, R. 5 ; a substantial 
farmer and worthy man. Sibel, his wife, died in 
1861, aged 63 years, and lie died in 1867, aged 73. 
The histor}^ of his family is peculiar and sad. His 
son, George S., Jr., died at the age of 39 ; his wife 
died before him, and two of his children are de- 
ceased and two are living ; Paul, another son, died 
at the age of 26, he was injured while raising a 
building, and died a year or two after from the 
effect of the injury ; Lewis, another son, while 
chopping in the timber cut his foot with an axe and 
died in a few hours from loss of blood. His daugh- 
ter, Julia, married a Methodist preacher, was di- 
vorced, came home and died. Another daughter, 
Roxy, married an Englishman, who started for 
England and was never heard from after. David, 
the only remaining child, lives adjoining the old 

Asa Lewis, from Troy, N. Y., came in 1837, re- 
mained four or five years, and went to Wisconsin. 
His son, Cyrus B.. married Mary C, daughter of 
Christopher Champlin, and lives at Marseilles. 

Isaac Gage, from New Hampshire, came in 1837, 
and settled on Section 8. He married Lucy Little, 
daughter of James Little, of Eden. Mr. Gage is a 

450 History of La Salle County. 

wealthy farmer. He has four children : Louisa, 
married S. T. Osgood, and lives at Marseilles ; 
Harriet E., Ida A., and Benjamin Frank, are at 

Gershom Burr, from Fall River, Mass., and wife, 
Mary E. Norris, from Bristol, R. I., came in 1836. 
Married Ophelia Jennings — his second wife — and 
settled on Section 20, afterwards called Burr' s Grove. 
He removed to Ottawa, in 1844, and engaged in mer- 
chandising until his death. His children are : Sel- 
lick, married Miss Newton, and lives in Ohio ; Ger- 
shom, lives in Ottawa, unmarried ; Mary, is in 
Rhode Island ; Ophelia, married Dr. Farley ; Charles, 
married, and lives in Michigan. 

Reese Ridgeway, from Licking County, Ky., in 
1834, and settled on S. 4, T. 33, R. 5. 

Stephen G. Hicks settled on S. 30, T. 33, R. 5, 
opposite Marseilles. 

A Mr. Stevens bought the place of David Jen- 
nings, sold to Levi in 1834, and was supposed to 
have been killed in Chicago in 1835, for his money. 

Peter Consols and John Wilcox settled on S. 30, 
T. 33, R. 5, in 1834. 

Guy Dudley settled on Section 25, in 1833. 

Capt. Tylee settled here in 1838 ; is now living in 
Vermillion. One daughter married William Seeley, 
and another married Samuel Seeley. 

Oliver II. Sigler settled in the town about 1840 — 
has several children. 

Silas Austin came in 1836, 

Sketch of Settlers — Grand Rapids. 461 


Grand Rapids and Fall River, till 1863, were one 
town, named Grand Rapids, from the Grand Rap- 
ids of the Illinois, which washed its northern bor- 
der. It now embraces the Township 32 N., R. 4. 
There is a grove of timber along the creek on Sees. 6 
and 7, called Ebersol's Grove ; the remainder of the 
town is prairie. Covell creek rises near the south- 
east corner, and, running northwest, passes out on 
S. 6. The high land or divides on the east and west 
sides of the town are quite elevated, and have con- 
siderable descent to the creek and its branches, in 
the centre of the town, giving good drainage, a di- 
versified surface, and a more than ordinarily pictur- 
esque view to a prairie landscape. 

The early settlements were nearly all on the only 
grove in the town, on Sees. 6 and 7. 

Henry Hibbard came from Cincinnati, Ohio, in 
1827, and made a claim on S. 5, in 1829, on what has 
been called the Ebersol farm. John McKernan 
bought the claim of Disney, in 1831, who must 
have purchased of Hibbard. McKernan settled 
there in 1831, and sold to Ebersol in 1834. 

Joseph Ebersol, with Elizabeth Shuey, his wife, 
and family, came from Harrisburg, Pa., and in 
Atigust,1834, purchased of Mrs. McKernan, her claim 
on S. 5, and made that his home, till he died in 1873. 
His wife died in 1S70. He was a blacksmith by 
trade, though a farmer most of his life ; he brought 
his anvil and other tools to Illinois. Improvement 
was made on his farm in 1828 ; orchard set in 1830. 

462 History of La Salle County. 

He left seven children : A. M., (see Fall River); Dan- 
iel, (see Ottawa) ; Albert, in Grand Rapids ; Catha- 
rine, married Michael Budd ; Louisa, married Geo. 
H. Rugg, now of Ottawa ; Helen, married Edward 
Reed, of Grand Rai^ids ; Samnel was thrown from 
a horse, and killed, when 33 years old. 

Eleazar Hibbard, came from Cincinnati, married 
a sister of Darius Reed, and settled on S. 6. He 
separated from his wife, and either abandoned or 
sold his claim and went to Putnam County. 

Benjamin B. Reynolds, and wife, Elma Scofield. 
fromMiftiin County, Penn., in 183.5 ; settled on S. 6. 
His father. Judge David Reynolds, came with him 
and assisted in opening his farm, and then returned 
to Pennsylvania. He still occupies his old farm on 
Sees, o and 6, part being the claim of Hibbard. His 
children are, Mary A., David, Pascalena, Eleanora, 
John P., Sarah E., James C, Benjamin B., Jr., and 

Luke Rugg, with his wife, Salome Patch, and fam- 
ily, from Lancaster, Worcester County, Mass., set- 
tled on S. 23, in 1839. He was one of the Worcester 
colony, started by Geo. W. Lee, John D. Thurston, 
Pyam Jacobs, and others. Mr. Rugg, at the time of 
settlement, was four miles from timber and three 
miles from neighbors, and after a residence of ten 
years neither timber nor neighbors had approached 
any nearer, except a grove of locust about his place, 
known over the county as Rugg's Grove. 

Sick of seclusion from society and despairing of 
the settlement of that region, Mr. *Rugg moved to 
Ottawa in 1849, where he died. His children are : 

Sketch of Settlers — Grand Rapids. 453 

Lewis, who came with his father's family in 1839 ; 
married Sophia Dimmick ; lived a few j^ears in Ot- 
tawa, and is now in Pontiac, George H., lived with 
his father, till he moved to Ottawa, in 1849. He in- 
vented and manufactured Rugg's Harvester, for sev- 
eral years a popular and successful machine. He is 
now manufacturing furniture in Ottawa. Cliarles 
went to Iowa. 

John Anderson, a native of Ireland, came from 
Clinton County, N. Y., here in 1887; settled, with 
a family, on S. 6. In 1849 he mysteriously disap- 
peared, and was never heard from afterward. 

The prairie region of Grand Rapids, after 1850, 
rapidly settled, and the region so long occupied by 
Mr. Rugg, and him alone, was, soon after he left it, 
teeming with an active and well-to-do population. 
It is related that the settlement of that town com- 
menced at the north end and progressed south. The 
town was soon made a school district, and a school- 
house built in the northwest corner. Soon after, that 
district was limited to four sections, named No. 1. 
and the remainder made district No. 2, and a good 
house built ; that district was then limited to four 
sections in the northeast corner, and the balance of 
the town made district No. 3, which at once voted a 
tax to build a scliool-house. This process was con- 
tinued till the last four sections in the southeast 
corner of the town, having helped build all the 
school-houses in the other eight districts, had 
to build their own without outside help. The 
houses were all very fine ones. They were built by 
a tax on the real estate in the district, and by a vote 

454 History of La Salle County. 

of the people who lived in all those instances mostl}^ 
in the four sections, which in the end composed the 
district, and as the remainder of the territory taxed 
was nearly all owned by speculators, with no one 
residing on it, the voters were very generous in vot- 
ing a tax, or as some called it, "salting the specu 
lators. ' " 

One of those speculators who owned three sec- 
tions in the last district, complained of being legally 
fleeced. He said, " I have paid a liberal tax to build 
nine different school-houses, better ones than are 
usuallj^ seen in older sections of the country, and now 
three men settled on the one section I do not own, 
vote a tax of ten or twelve hundred dollars, three- 
fourths of which I have to pay. These Western 
men are ardent supporters of education." This 
last statement of the building of school-houses maj^ 
have been an exaggeration in this instance, but simi- 
lar cases did occur, and forcibly show the nature 
of the contest waged between the settlers and those 
called land speculators. And where the settlers 
made the laws and executed them, they frequently 
had the advantage. 


Adams embraces T. 36, R. 5. It lies on the north 
line of the county, and is drained by Little Indian 
creek, which runs southwardly near the centre 
of the town, and furnished a fair supply of timber 
for the early settlers. The Chicago, Burlington & 

Sketch of Settlers — Adams. 455 

Quincy Railroad passes northeastwardly across the 
north side of the town, and Leland Station is a 
thriving village. The first settlement was in 1836, 
but the settlements were few, and scattered, till the 
advent of the railroad, after which the town rapidly 
tilled up. 

Mordecai Disney, and son-in-law, Sprague, set- 
tled on S. 27, in 1836, on the east side of Little 
Indian creek, and were the first in the town ; they 
claimed all the country, and sold claims to all that 
came ; they left in a year or two, probably to re- 
peat the same speculation elsewhere. 

Nathan Townsend, from Sullivan County, New 
York, in 1836 ; came through by wagon, stopj)ed at 
Ottawa for the winter, and settled on S. 27, in the 
spring of 1837. He died in 1857. His children are : 
Charles, now living near Streator ; John, and Alva, 
are in Kansas ; Mary Ann, married John Nichols, 
she died 1841 ; Olive, married Charlton Hall, she 
died 1853 — (Elder Batcheller married them, and at- 
tended both the funerals) ; Margaret, married Ed- 
win Beardsley ; Deborah, married Reuben Bronson ; 
Phebe, married James Stoutenbury ; Gfeorge, and 
James, are at Kankakee ; Perry, was murdered at 
Pike's Peak. 

Aaron Beardsley, with his family, came from 
Massachusetts to La Salle County, in 1835, and first 
lived in the town of Serena, and moved into Adams 
in 1836, buying a claim of Disney, on S. 23 — some 
say it was in 1838. 

Henry G. Beardsley came in 1838; married La- 
vinia Blake ; lives on S. 22 ; has seven children. 

4.56 History of La Salle County. 

William Sar^^eant came from Indiana in 1838 ; 
settled on S. 27 ; died in Indiana. Had three sons : 
James, Newton, and Jackson. 

Reuben Bronson came from Green County, New 
York, in 1838; lived a few months at Holderman's 
Grove ; settled in Adams in the fall ; married 
Deborah Townsend ; bought the claim of Thove 
Kettleson on S. 22 ; has served as Justice of the 
Peace four years. Thej^ have five children : Ru- 
hana, married Theron J. Baresford, and lives in 
Amboy ; Albert, lives near Amboy ; Jay, is at 
school ; Alice, and Arthur, at home. 

Joshua Richardson, from Indiana in 1837 ; settled 
on S. 35 ; sold to Wilcox, and went back to Indiana. 

Riverius Wilcox came in 1837, bought claim of 
Joshua Richardson ; died years ago. 

Allen Wilcox, son of Riverius Wilcox, came the 
same year ; now at Amboy. 

Nathaniel S. Pierce, and wife, Mary E. Simmons, 
from Middleborough, Massachusetts, in 1838 ; set- 
tled on S. 28, in 1840 ; he raised a large family, and 
became wealthy ; lie died in 1876, aged 74. His 
children are : Deborah S., Mary E., Robert Richey, 
Samuel N., Nathaniel, Lucy S., Hannah V., Susan, 
Levi, Ebenezer. 

Andrew Anderson, Ole T. Oleson, Hal var Nelson, 
and some others, emigrated from Norway in the 
spring of 1830, and came to La Salle County in the 
summer of the same year, and settled in the town 
of Adams in the spring of 1837, on Sees, 21 and 22. 
Mr. Anderson is quite wealthy. Ole T. Oleson died 
long since ; his widow lived until January, 1877, 

Sketch of Settlers — Adams. 4r)7 

when she died — over 90 years of ag(^ Their son, 
Nels Oleson, lives on the old place. Halvar Nelson 
settled on Section 15, in 1837, and died soon after. 
John Kallum located there about the same time, 
and died soon after. His sons, Jacob and Mark, 
lived on the old place until recently ; they removed 

Thove Tillotson, from Norway, settled on Sec. 22 
in 1837, and sold to Reuben Bronson in 1839, 

Paul Iverson, from Norway, came in 1837, and 
located on Section 14, where his two sons, Tliomas 
and Nels, lived until recently. 

Halvar K. Halvarson and family, came from Nor- 
way in 1838, lived in Rutland first, and removed to 
Adams in 1840. 

Hans O. Hanson and family, came from Norway 
in 1839 and settled on Section 15 in 1840 ; the father 
and mother are both dead. The oldest son, Ole H., 
lives on the old place ; another son, Alexander, 
lives near, on Section 20 ; the oldest daughter. Ber- 
tha, married Thomas Mosey, and lives in Freedom ; 
Lovina, married P. H. Peterson ; Helen, is married 
and lives in Iowa. 

In 1837, a number of Norwegians came from 
Stavinger, (the place from which the first colonists 
came to America), and settled mostly in Mission. 
One family, that of Osman Thomason, settled in 
Adams in 1839 ; he died in ls70, aged 92. 

Ansel Dewey, and wife, Philancy xA.lvord, from 
Lenox, Mass., settled near Troy Grove, and removed 
to the town of Adams in 1849, where he still resides. 
He has eight children: Mar}' E., married Samuel 


458 History of La Salle County. 

Dewey, Milton E., married Rebecca J. Brown; 
Maria L. , and Frances C. , are at home ; Clianncey B. , 
married Miss Blodget in Vermilion County ; Wm. 
A., at home ; Henrietta, married Charles S. Brown 
in Vermillion County ; Charles O., in Ottawa. 


The town of Miller embraces Township 34, Range 
5 ; it is nearly all prairie, and is settled mostly by 
emigrants from Norway. The settlements commenced 
in 1834. It has no railroad, but the town is populous 
and wealthy. 

Cling Pierson, a native of Norway, came to the 
United States in 1822 ; in 1824 he returned to his 
native place and gave a glowing account of the 
AVestern world, and through his representations and 
efforts, the first Norwegian colony emigrated and 
settled in Orleans County, New York, in 1825. In 
1834, Pierson again led a portion of his countrymen 
from New York to La Salle County, who settled 
in what is now the towns of Miller and Mission. 
Cling seems to have been a restless, roving spirit, and 
mijrht under favorable circumstances liave achieved 
fame as an explorer. He led the way in the settle- 
ment of his countrymen on American soil, and 
thousands of the natives of Norway and their de- 
scendants now occupying happy and luxurious 
homes in this Western valley, owe their present 
status in part, at least, to the lead and efforts of 
Cling Pierson. 

Sketch of Settlers — Miller. 459 

It seems he could not rest while there were other 
lands to explore ; he removed to Texas, and died 

Oliver Canuteson, one of the first company from 
Norway to New York, in 1825. Came to Illinois 
in 1834 — died in 1850. He left two sons and one 
daughter. One son died in the army in 1863. 

Mils Thompson came from Norway to New York 
in 1825 ; came here in 1834 — died about 185G. 

Yerk Hoveland came from Norway to New York 
in 1825, and to Illinois in 1834; died at Ottawa in 

Oliver Knuteson came from Norway to New York 
in 1825, and to Illinois in 1834 ; died in 1848, leaving 
four cliildren. 

Christian Oleson, from Norway, in 1825, and came 
to Illinois in 1834 ; died in 1858, leaving three chil- 

Torson Oleson, from Norway, in 1825. and came 
to Illinois in 1834 ; went to Wisconsin. 

Ova Rostal, and wife, Miss Jacobs, from Norway 
in 1825, and came to Illinois in 1835 ; now in Iowa. 

Daniel Rostal, brother to Ova, and wife, came 
at the same time ; died in 1860. 

John Rostal, brother of above, came at the same 
time from Norway and New York ; here now ; mar- 
ried Miss Pierson, and settled on Section 3 ; has five 

The first colony of Norwegians, who came in 
1834, settled mostly in what is now the northwest 
part of Miller, and the southwest part of Mission, 
and was for a long time known as the Norwegian 

460 History of La Salle County. 

George Johnson, one of the first from Norway, 
came here in 1834; died in 1846 ; had four children. 

Tortal H. Erickson, from Norway to Ottawa in 
1837, to Rutland in 1840, then to California and 
Australia, and back to Miller in 1866 ; married 
Helen Pierson ; has eight children. 

N els Nelson, from Norway to New York in 1825, 
and came to Illinois in 1836 ; has seven children. 

Austin Baker came in 1839 ; died in Minnesota. 

Canute Williamson came from Norway to Illinois 
in 1838 ; living here now. 

Nels Frewlin came from Norway to Illinois in 
1839 ; now here. 

Ole Oleson, one of the fifty-two that embarked in 
the little sloop, in 1825, came to Illinois in 1834. 

All who came from Norway in 1825, were passen- 
gers in the famous sloop. 

Canute Olson came from Norway to Illinois in 
1836 ; died in 1846. 

Lars Brenson came from Norway to Illinois in 

Nels Nelson, the older, from Norway in 1825, in 
the sloop, came to Illinois in 1835, purchased a farm, 
and moved his family in 1846. 

Andrew Anderson, from Norway to New York in 
1836, and came to Illinois in 1838, with his wife, 
Olena Nelson ; he died of cholera in 1849. His 
widow died in 1875. The children were two sons 
and two daughters. 

Ener Anderson came with his father ; he married 
Margaret Cxunnison, and settled on S. 16, T. 34, R. 5 ; 
has had eleven cliildren ; eight are still living. 

Sketch of Settlers — Otter Creek. 461 

Andrew, Jr., also came with his fatlier ; has several 
children now living in Ottawa ; Susan, married John 
Hill ; Elizabeth, married Henry Doggett. 

Lars Nelson came from Norway to Illinois in 1838 ; 
died in 1847. 

Henry Sibley came from Norway in 1838 ; went to 
Salt Lake. 

Lars B. Olson came from New York in ISSY. 

Michael Olson came from Norway to Illinois in 
1839; died in 1877. 

David W. Conard settled on Section 30. His first 
wife was Miss Debolt ; second wife. Miss Urove. 


Otter Creek township, embracing T. 31, R. 4, orig- 
inally a part of the town of Bruce, was detached 
and made a town in 1871, and named from the creek 
of that name which runs from east to west across 
the town near its centre, and with its principal 
branch. Wolf creek, furnishes a small area of good 

The few early settlements in the town were, like 
all others at that day, confined to this belt of timber, 
the remainder of the town being all prairie — which 
settled much less rapidly, but is now full of people. 

Solomon Brock, born in Kentucky, and came 
from near Dayton, Ohio, in 1S3(), to Bailey's Point, 
and to S. 21 in 1833. He married Jane Moon, 
daughter of Jacob Moon, and raised a family where 
he first settled. He died in 1800. His children were : 

462 History of La Salle County. 

Henry, who is married ; Evans B., married Sarah 
Birtwell, and occupies the old farm ; Rees B., mar- 
ried Mary Cooper, he was killed at the battle of 
Hartsville ; Philander B., married Ellen Spencer, he 
is now insane; Calvin B., married Sarah Hart, and 
moved to Iowa ; Ellen, married Christian Wagoner ; 
Mary, married Jerry Hopple ; Orilla Jane, married 
Wm, H. Gochanour ; Lill}- married Daniel Barrack- 
man, she is dead ; Anna, married J. C. Campbell. 

Hiram Brock, twin brother of Solomon, came 
from Ohio in 1835. Went to Iowa. 

James McKernan, son of John McKernan, of South 
Ottawa, with his mother, settled on S. 22, at the head 
of the creek timber in 1834, where he still resides ; 
his motlier died there in 1872. Mr. McKernan has 
held the office of Justice of the Peace for several 
years, and was Captain of Volunteers in the late 
war. He married Miss Cramer, and has eight child- 
ren: Rosanna married Aaron Kleiber in Allen; George 
married Miss Little, now in Iowa ; Samuel married, 
and resides near his father ; Candace married Henry 
Ackerman in Iowa ; Solanda married M. Lockwood, 
and lives near the old i)la('e ; Ann Eliza nuirried 
Matthias Cavanaugh. Two younger children at 

Hugh and Patrick McKernan, brothers of James, 
died single. 

Benjamin Craig, from Ohio, settled on S.16, in 1887. 
Sold to Pickens. 

Martin Dukes, fiom Kentucky, in 1885, settled 
near McKernan, and after two or three years moved 
to Iowa. 

Sketch of Settlers — Waltham. 403 

Henry Pickens, from Middlebury, Mass., came to 
Otter Creek in 1839 with liis wife, Mercy Pierce. 
Mr. Pickens died in 1844. His widow is still living 
with her son James, aged 89 years. 

James Pickens and wife, Eliza Chase, from Mas- 
sachusetts, in 1888, came in a wagon the whole dis- 
tance with his family and aged grandmother, Mrs. ' 
Abia Hathaway, who died a few years after, aged 
98. He settled on the creek, and in 1848 moved to 
Ottawa, where he now resides. His son Henry re- 
sides in South Ottawa, and is the Supervisor of 
that town. 

Robert Wade, from Lancashire, England, in 1830, 
came to Taunton, Mass., and here, in 1840 ; he mar- 
ried a Miss Wilson from England. He has two 
daughters : Rebecca, married Henry Simmons ; 
Elizabeth, married and lives on the old place. 

James Spencer, from Lancashire. England, came 
with Mr. Wade in 1830, and reached Illinois in 1840. 
He married Mary Bulsbury, an English lady from 
Michigan. He has held the ofTice of Justice of the 
Peace for many years. His son James was killed in 
the army. Ellen married Philander Brock ; is now 
living with her father. One younger daughter. 


Township 34, Range 2, and the town of Waltham 
are in territory and boundaries identical. With 
the exception of a small grove on tlie Percomsoggin 
in the southwest part of the town, it is all prairie. 

464 History of La Salle County. 

Thomas Burnliam settled in the extreme southwest 
corner in 1834. Some others came in that locality in 
1836, but the first on Waltham Ridge was Jones and 
others, in 1838, and it peopled slowly till after 1850, 
when it filled up rapidly in common with all th»^ 
prairie towns. The principal part of the town is 
high, rolling and desirable land, and is mostly cov- 
ered with first class improvements. The town has no 
railroad, but it has a good and convenient market 
at Utica and La Salle, sending its products to 
market by cheap canal transportation. There is a 
French settlement of considerable numbers in the 
northeast part of the town, and a number of Scotch 
in the northwest. Several of the early settlers on 
Waltham Ridge were from Waltham, Mass., hence 
the name. 

Thomas Burnham, and wife, Climena Clark, of 
Granby, Mass., came from Lisbon, Ct., and settled 
on the Illinois bottom, opposite Rockwell, in Julj^ 
1833. The family were all sick. David Letts moved 
them to Cedar Point, where they made a claim. In 
September, 1834, he sold to Lewis Waldoand moved 
on to S. 30, T. 34, R. 2, now the town of Waltham. 
He filled the offices of Justice of the Peace and 
County Commissioner for several years. He died in 
May, 1845. He and his wife and aged father were 
buried on the farm, but have been removed to Oak- 
wood Cemetery, La Salle, and a sister has placed a 
stone to their memory. Mr. Burnham was the first 
settler ; erected the first dwelling, broke the first 
prairie, and raised the first crop in the town of Wal- 
tham. He left two sons : John, the first male child, 

Sketch of Settlers — Waltliam. 465 

born in Waltham, married Sarah Lathrop, and lives 
at Buckley, 111. Thomas was killed at the battle of 
Peach Tree creek. 

Hannah Burnham, sister of Thomas, now the old- 
est settler in the town, lives with Alfred I. Harts- 
liorn, aged 70. She came with her brother, in 1833. 

Stephen A. Jones, from Waltliam, Mass., in 1837; 
settled on S. 8, T. 34, R. 2 ; is still living where he 
first settled. He married Catharine Brewster, of 
Pawlet, Vt., in 1852 ; has two sons and one daugh- 
ter, Willie, Fanny and Charles, all at home. 

Zaccheus Farrell came with Jones from Waltham, 
Massachusetts; settled on S. 4, in 1838. He went 
East to be married in 1840, and was accidentally 

Greorge Nye, from Plainfield, Connecticut, one of 
the Rockwell colony; settled on S. 4, in 184(» ; died 
1865. His widow now lives in Homer. One son in 
Iowa, and one daughter, the wife of William Dana, 
is in Waltham. 

John Hill, and wife, from Plainfield, Connecticut, 
in 1840, now at Troy Grove. 

Joseph Fullerton, from Waltham, Massachusetts, 
in the spring of 1838. Settled on S. 5, T. 34, R. 2 ; 
a bachelor ; he died at Troy Grrove in 1839. 

Barzillai Bishop came from Connecticut ; his wife 
was Elizabeth Allen, from Lisbon, Connecticut : 
settled on S. 29 in 1836 ; died soon after. 

Isaac H. Lamb came in 1888, and settled on S. 32. 

Joseph Meserve, and wife, Betsey Wood, from 
Maine to New York, and from New York here in 
184(1. His children are : Henry, who married 

4^6 History of La Salle County. 

Amelia Harkness, lives at Buckley, 111. ; Willis, in 
Nebraska ; Manning, married Elizabeth Coll, now 
of Nebraska ; Marietta, married Mr. Hartshorn. 


The town of Dimmick embraces Township 34, 
Range 1. The Little Vermillion passes from north to 
south through it, east of the centre, and the Toma- 
hawk, its principal branch, comes from the northeast 
and joins it on Section 34. There is considerable 
light bluff timber along these streams, but little bot- 
tom of heavy timber growth like that of Troy Grove. 
The early settlements were correspondingly slow. 
Along the Tomahawk the St. Peters sandstone comes 
to the surface of the creek bottom, and the Trenton 
limestone shows slightl}^ in the western part. The 
Illinois Central Railroad runs north near the centre 
of the town, and like all railroad towns, Dimmick 
has become populous and wealthy. 

The first settler in the town was Daniel Dimmick, 
who came from Mansfield, Ct., in 1824, to Washing- 
ton, Richland County, Ohio, and from Ohio to Peoria 
in 1 828, to near Princeton, in Bureau County, in the 
spring of 1829, and in 1830 to near Lamoille, and 
went to Hennepin during the Indian war. In 1833 
he settled on Sec. 20, in the i)resent town of Dim- 
mick. Ml'. Dimmick had much new country experi- 
ence. He carried the chain to lay off the town of 
Zanesville, in Ohio, in a wind-fall, and he lived many 
years in iiis final home, almost secluded from neigh- 

Sketch of Settlers — Dimmick. 467 

bors and society. He held tlie office of Justice of 
the Peace. He died at the home of his son, Elijah, 
in 1861. Mr. Dimmick had six sons and two 
daughters. Elijah is the only one remaining here ; 
he married Mary E. Philips, second wife, Caroline 
Foot, and has seven children. He saj^s that in the 
spring of 1833, while in Hennepin, his father sent 
him to Dixon to inquire of Mr. John Dixon if it 
was safe to come back, and Mr. Dixon assured him 
that it was, and they then went on their claim in the 
town of Dimmick. 

Jarvis Swift came from Cayuga County, N. Y., in 
1838 ; married Jerusha Kellogg. 

Elijah, married Lydia Tibballs, now in California. 

Richard H., married Melissa A. Tibballs. came 
in 1835, was a prominent capitalist, and loaned 
money till 1840, then went to Chicago, engaged 
heavily in banking, and failed in September, 1857; is 
now in Colorado, in reduced circumstances. 

Henry Swift married Mary Simpson, and died in 

Lyman Swift is in Chicago. 

Albert is in Michigan. 

Mary married Mr. Anderson, is in Kansas. 

Garret Fitzgerald was an earl}^ settler in the west 
part of the town. 

Israel Kingman came in 1835, and settled on Sec- 
tion 1. He lost three sons in the army in the war 
of the rebellion. 

468 History of La Salle County. 


Township 29, Range 2, constitutes the town of 
Groveland. It is the southernmost town in the 
county, and the last settled. With the town of 
Osage, it lies between the counties of Marshall and 
Livingston, and when those counties were organized 
from territory taken partly from La Salle, both of 
them refused to take the territory included in those 
towns. So La Salle from necessity had to keep it. 
With the present population and wealth they con- 
stitute no insignificant portion of the county. The 
west side of the town is the most elevated. Prairie 
creek rises near New Rutland and runs to and 
along the north line. Long Point creek rises near 
Minonk, and crosses the town from southwest to 
northeast, while the southeast portion is drained by 
Diamond creek. All these run northeastwardly 
to the Vermillion, and make effectual drainage. In 
1855 the town was an unbroken prairie, without an 
inhabitant. The first house in the town was moved 
on to the present site of New Rutland, and made a 
section-house on the Illinois Central Railroad. It 
was made a liquor saloon, and destroyed by a mob 
in 1865. The railroad was built through the town 
before it was settled, and doubtless was the agency 
that developed its resources. AbnerSliinn built the 
first house and Oscar Jacobson occupied it in Marcli, 
1855, being the first resident in the town. He left 
in 18G2. The second resident was Elias Frink, and 
wife, Emily Whitman, from Onondaga County, N. 
Y. ; lie settled on S. 22. His only child, W. E., mar- 

Sketch of Settlers — Groveland. 46JJ 

ried Orvilla Kenyon, and lias seven children. He 
was a good soldier, and is Police Magistrate in the 
village of Dana. The third was Lewis W. Martin, 
from Indiana ; he made an improvement on Sec. 10 ; 
sold to xllva Winans and went to Nebraska. Geo. 
W. Gray located and lives on S. 11 in 1855, and raised 
a large family. The fifth settler was William Mar- 
tin ; he pre-empted the northeast quarter Section 
25th. An Englishman by birth, he enlisted in the 33d 
Regiment, and died on his way home from the army; 
a bachelor, he left no relatives but a sister, Mrs. 
Anna Swift of Bloomington. Nelson Cooper, from 
Maryland, a carpenter by trade, settled on S. 17. 
He enlisted in the 104th Regiment. His wife was 
Sarah M. Jacobson, daughter of John Jacobson. 
He is the present Supervisor of the town. John 
Jacobson, from Germany to Ohio, was a magistrate 
there ; was Supervisor here for several years, and 
moved to Nebraska in 1869. 

An emigration association was formed in January, 
1855, of about two hundred members, residing in 
the vicinity of Rutland, Vermont. Each member 
paid ten dollars, and was to have a lot in an embryo 
city to be located somewhere in the far West. Dr. 
Allen and W. B. Burns were the locating commit- 
tee. The present site of New Rutland was selected, 
being the northwest 40 acres on S. 18, and southwest 
40 on S. 7. The railroad gave the members a prefer- 
ence in the selection of their lands at 20 per cent, 
discount. W. B. Burns came on the ground in 
August, 1855 ; built a house and occupied it in 1856 : 
he was the master spirit of the enterprise and in- 

470 History of La Salle County. 

sured its success ; bad health induced him to re- 
move to California, where he died in 1875. Willard 
Proctor and Rufus Weston were the first to select 
lands under the arrangement with the railroad. 
John Wadleigh came to the town in the fall of 1855: 
settled in the village in 1856; was Capt. Co. I, 104th 
Regiment, and had the care of the regiment for 
awhile ; now Postmaster at New Rutland. Daniel 
Wadleigh came about the same time as his brother 

Daniel Arnold came in the spring of 1856. Has 
been Justice of the Peace and Supervisor, and held 
other town offices. 

S. L. Bangs came in 1856 ; he was agent for Mark 
Bangs, a younger brother, in building five dwellings, 
and purchasing about $100,000 worth of railroad 
lands, and breaking 800 acres of prairie. The spec- 
ulation failed of success in the revulsion of 1857. 

John T, Gove came in 1856 ; was called the village 
blacksmith ; was afterwards a merchant. His son, 
E. Gove, was a successful teacher ; a Lieutenant in 
the Thirty-third Regiment, and breveted a Major. 

Charles Lamb, Andrew Moft'att and Reuben Tay- 
lor came in the spring of 1856. 

John Grove and son, J. M. Grove, came and set- 
tled on the west half of Section 15, in the spring of 
1856. John Giove was the oldest man in the town. 
J. M. taught school from his eighteenth year ; 
studied law, and was admitted to the bar in Ohio. 
He held th(} ofiices of Assessor and Justice of the 
Peace and Supervisor. 

John H. Martin, born in Wayne County, Illinois. 

Sketch of Settlers — Grooeland. 471 

was raised in Marshall County, having lived there 
since 1829 ; removed on to Section 2;") in March, 

Alexander Clegg, from West Virginia, settled on 
Sec. 25. His daughter, Florence, was the first child 
born in the town. 

Marshall Smiley, on Sec. 36 ; Thomas Reeder and 
Joseph H. Brown settled near the south line of the 
town ; A. Mullen andR. Ballinger settled on S. 6 — 
all in the spring of 1830. 

The first religious meetings were held in the 
hotel stable ; and afterwards in the hotel. Esquire 
Barney O'Neal on the Vermillion, twenty miles 
away, was the nearest Justice of the Peace ; 
there was no law, yet all was orderly. At the 
Presidential election in 1856, the political excite- 
ment reached the infant settlement, and all went 
twenty miles to the house of Alif Goff^ near the 
Vermilion, to vote — all but one voting for Fremont. 
Groveland was made a town in the fall of 1856. 
First election was held in April, 1857; W. B. Burns, 
Supei-visor ; John Wadleigh, Clerk ; and J. M. Grove, 

Groveland has two villages and railroad stations 
within its limits : New Rutland on tlie Illinois Central 
Railroad, and Dana on the Chicago, Pekin & South- 
western — both of which roads pass through the town. 
New Rutland has five churches, a graded school, ten 
stores, a grain elevator, mill, and 800 population. 
Dana, in the southeastern j^art of the town, has two 
grain elevators, one church, six stores, a mill, and 
250 population. Like all settlers in a prairie town. 

472 History of La Salle County. 

the people know tlie importance of timber-planting, 
and belts and groves of timber are scattered over its 
surface on nearly every farm. 


The town of Richland embraces the west two- 
thirds of T. 31, of R. 2. It constituted a part of 
Eagle Township till 1867. It is an elevated prairie 
district, with no considerable stream, and no timber 
land within its limits. When the county was divid- 
ed into townships, under the Township Organiza- 
tion Act, the Commissioners decided to make the 
navigable rivers, or such as were so declared by law, 
township lines, and consequently all towns cut by 
the Illinois, Fox, and Vermillion rivers, were divid- 
ed by the stream. 

The town of Eagle embraced T. 31, R. 2, and half 
of the town east of it, and south of the river. This 
•policy was adopted for the reason that there were 
no bridges, and the streams were impassable at high 
water. Where the streams have been bridged, the 
tendency has been to so alter the town lines as to 
have the boundaries correspond with the surveyed 
township. This is a great convenience in electing 
school officers, and doing the business relating to 
schools — and that size is doubtless the most con- 
venient. If Bruce had claimed the part of her town- 
8hip south of the river, and Eagle or Richland taken 
the balance, or the whole of T. 31, R. 2, it would 
have been a better arrangement. Bruce would have 

Sketch of Settlers — Ricliland. 473 

been forced to build a bridge over tlie Vermillion, 
which onght to have been done long since. Rich- 
land, being a prairie town, remained unoccupied 
till the building of the canal and railroad made its 
settlement practicable. In 1849 William Linder set- 
tled on S. 3. Peter Eschback, in 1851, settled on 
the same section. Conrad Eschback, in the same 
year, settled on S. 10, all from Germany, and com- 
menced what is now the prosperous German settle, 
ment in the northeast part of the town. 

E. A. Chase, from New England in 1838, settled 
first in Deer Park, and subsequently in Richland, 
on S. Y. He is now in Florida. 

Reuben Hall, from Ohio in 1851, or 1852, settled 
on S. 7. 

Asa Dunham, about 1848, settled on S. 8, and J. 
L. Dunham, in 1854, on S. 7 — both from Ohio. 

Robert E. McGrew, and sons, from Ohio in 1854, 
settled on S. 8. 

Cutting, and Dana B. Clark, from Maine, in 1854, 
settled on S. 18. 

Elwood Grist, about 1850, settled on S. 29 ; he 
died in 1855. 

Israel Jones, from Maine ; W. Keller, from Ohio ; 
Isaac Yale, from Pennsylvania ; William Copeland, 
Andrew Foss, and Alfred Lathrop, from Maine. 
The foregoing were those who first occupied and 
improved farms and participated in the experiences 
incident to the opening of anew country. Richland 
is now a well settled and populous town, the Ger- 
man element largely predominating. 


474 History of La Salle County. 


The town of Osage includes the Congressional 
Township 30 North, of Range 2 East, the south line 
of Groveland or Township 29 being at first the south 
line of La Salle County, along all its southern 

Osage is a prairie region exclusively. Surrounded 
by prairie and distant from the county seat, it was 
unoccupied until after the older portions of the 
county had become comparatively an old country, 
and yet the earlj^ settlers have a lively recollection 
of the loneliness and privations of a new region. 
The hrst entry of Government land was in November, 
1829. The N. W. i Sec. 17 was entered by John 
O. Dent ; at the same time he entered for R. E. Dent, 
now of California, the N. W. J of same Section. 

In 18.50, Daniel Grimes entered the N. W. J of 
Sec. 6, and John and Amos Scott entered the N. 
^ of Sec. 4. The pioneer practice of making claims 
on Government land had about become obsolete, 
and a legal title was considered the only valuable 

The first settlers were — Daniel Grimes who settled 
in 1850 ; R. E. Dent, April, 1851 ; John 0. Dent, 
1851 ; James M. CoUen, May, 1853 ; James Honer, 

The town was named from the Osage hedge plant. 
William II. Mann grew ninety acres of plants, and 
Dent & Verner grew forty acres of plants the year 
the town was organized. 

The town was organized in 1857 — John O. Dent, 

Sketch of Settlers — Allen. 475 

Supervisor ; James B. Work, T. Clark, G. M. Good- 
ale, A. Leclore and Jolin York, Commissioners ; 
John Elliot and John N.York, Justices of the Peace ; 
R. E. Dent, Collector ; Pleasant York, Assessor. 

The town is well fenced with Osage hedge, and 
numerous thrift}^ groves of timber exist. It is 
doubtless true that a prairie region will, in the fu- 
ture, be better supplied with timber than one with a 
heavy primitive growth, and a town entirely desti- 
tute will feel the necessity and make more provision 
for the future supply than one partially or fully 

Such seems to be the case in La Salle County. 
John O. Dent has taken the lead in this direction, 
having forty acres of timber planted on his premises, 
and groves of maple, black walnut, ash, etc., are 
conspicuous objects on most of the farms in the 
town. In this respect it is said to be in advance of 
any other town in the count}^ and the bleak and 
naked face of the native prairie is thus transformed 
into a beautiful variegated landscape, now a thing 
of beauty and comfort. 


The town of Allen is composed of the Congres- 
sional Township 31 North, of R. 5 East, and is the 
southeastern town in the county. It is entirely 
prairie, having no natural growth of timber within 
its limits or near its border. The soil is good, and 
the surface mostly rolling. From its location at a 

476 History of La Salle County. 

distance from timber and at the extreme limit of 
the county, it remained unoccupied until twenty 
years after the organization of the county, and 
twenty-five years after settlements commenced with- 
in the county limits. 

The first permanent resident in the town was 
Robert Miller, from New England — a Quaker. He 
settled on Section 12, in the fall of 1850 ; after a 
few years residence he removed to Iowa. 

The next was Michael Kepner from Perry County, 
Pa., in the spring of 1851 ; he made a claim on S. 
16, where he remained five or six years, and removed 
to Minnesota. 

James Mclntyre made a claim on S. 16, in 1851, 
but resided in Peru one year, then occupied his 
claim two years, and in 1853 moved on S. 14, where 
he now resides. 

Two brothers, John and Inglehart Wormley came 
from Pennsylvania in 1852, and settled on Sees. 21 
and 22, where John still resides. Inglehart was the 
first Supervisor of the town. In 1862 or 63, he re- 
moved to Southern Illinois. 

Adam Fry, from Ohio, came to Du Page County 
in 1835, and in the fall of 1852 settled on Section 6, 
where he died in Sept., 1874; his widow still occupies 
the same place. 

Elias C. Lane, from Ohio to Putnam County in 
1845, then to Hickory Point in 1853, and to Sec. 8 in 
1855, where he still resides, at the age of about 90 
years, with his son, W. H. Lane. 

William Flint bought land on Section 9 in 1851, 
and occupied it in 1853 ; he spent ten years in im- 

Sketch of Settlers — Allen. 477 

proving and developing the town, and then removed 
to Tonica. 

M. C. Lane, son of Elias C, from Brown Coanty, 
Ohio, entered land on Section 9 in 1851, and occu- 
pied it in 1856. 

John Cochran, from Adams County, Ohio, entered 
land on Section 3 in 1851, and has occupied it since 

John Higgins, a native of Prince Edward' s Island, 
and from Putnam County here ; made an improve- 
ment on Section 8 in 1855, and has occupied it with 
his family since 1856. 

John L. Summers, from Adams County, Ohio, 
bought land on Section 10 in 1851:, moved on and 
improved it in 1855 ; returned to Ohio in December, 
1856, and came back to his first love in Jan., 1876. 

David GrifSth came from Washington County, Pa., 
in 1857, and settled on Section 25 — then three to four 
miles from neighbors ; he died Aug. 14, 1877. 

Mrs. Sarah Hamilton, from Ohio to Putnam 
County in 1846, and here in 1856. 

Allen Stevens, from Canada to Du Page County, 
and thence here in 1857; is now living on the south- 
east quarter of Section 5. 

Since 1857 the town of Allen has rapidly filled up 
with an enterprising population, so that there is no 
vacant land in the town, and the improvements of 
most of her citizens are not behind those of her 
sister towns. The dwellings, barns, and other im- 
provements of Nathaniel and James Mclntyre, M. 
C. Lane, Thomas Sullivan, Henry Smith, and some 
others, are scarcely excelled in the older States. 

478 History of La Salle County. 

The extension of the Chicago, Pekin & South- 
western Railroad was built through the town of 
Allen in 1875, giving a direct communication with 
Chicago. The station was located near the centre of 
Section 16, which, fortunately for the town, had not 
been sold previous to the location of the road. The 
town of E-ansom was laid out by the School Trustees, 
and lots sold to the amount of $5,000 at the first sale. 
If judiciously managed, the town will realize a very 
efficient fund for the support of her schools through 
all the future. 

Thus this town, in the centre of a prairie region, 
far from timber, distant from market, and long 
neglected, is destined to be a successful rival of the 
older settled portions of the county. 


T. 36, R. 1, constitutes the town of Mendota. It 
lies in the extreme northwest corner of the county ; 
has no natural growth of timber, and was entirely 
ignored by the early settlers. The settlements 
around the head of Troy Grove timber had 
extended just over the line into T. 36, in 1840. 
O' Brian came in 1840, Taylor, in 1841 ; Ward, in 
1842; Meath, in 1845. Charles Foster settled 
on S. W. i S. 34, in 1848. Bela and William 
Bowen, from New York in 1849. 

But the building of the Illinois Central and Chi- 
cago, Burlington & Quincy Railroads inaugurated 
the germs of the city of Mendota — and soon filled 

Sketch of Settlers — Mendota. 479 

the town with a busy population. It was known as 
early as the spring of 1858 where the junction of the 
two roads would be, and D. D. Giles erected a store, 
and others followed in quick succession. T. B. 
Blackstone, resident engineer on the railroad, laid off 
the original town of Mendota. The place was fa- 
miliarly called the Junction, but as the railroad 
stations located on new territory that were nameless 
were given Indian names, this name was changed to 
Mendota, which is the Indian name for junction — 
meaning meeting, or coming together. O. N. Adams 
suggested the name, perhaps from his being the 
owner of the Mendota Furnace, near Galena. The 
Central road was completed to this place in the sum- 
mer of 1853, and the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy 
in November following. The latter road was built 
in sections ; first, the Military Tract and Galesburg, 
Galesburg to Mendota, and then the Aurora Exten- 
sion, connecting with the Northwestern at Turner 

The increase of population and building up of the 
town was very rapid, so that in 1855, less than two 
years from the completion of the railroad. Town 
Trustees were chosen and a municipal government 
organized. The village limits were the lines of S. 33. 
There have been several additions since. March 4, 
1867, a city government was organized, and oitj 
officers chosen on the 9th of April following. The 
growth of Mendota has been constant and rapid, and 
it is destined to be a city of no mean proportions. 
The enterprise and intelligence of the people is 
shown by their admirable schools and institutions of 

480 History of La Salle County. 

learning, cliurclies, manufactures and trade shown 


The town of Hope is Township 31, Range 1. It is 
the southwestern town in the body of the county — 
is all prairie, and was entirely neglected by the early 
settlers. Its northern portion forms part of the 
divide which separates the waters which ilow north- 
erly to the Vermillion and Illinois and those that 
flow west and southwest to the Illinois. 

The head of Bailey's creek drains the northeast- 
ern portion of its surface, which runs to the Ver- 
million, but the larger portion is drained by the 
north branch of Sandy creek and its affluents, 
called Little Sandy, which runs west and southwest 
and empties into the Illinois near Henry, 

Samuel D. McCaleb, from Rockbridge County, 
Virginia, and his wife, Catharine Wood, from Ma- 
son County, Kentucky, settled on Ox Bow Prairie, 
Putnam County, in August, 1832, where Samuel D. 
died in September, 1839, His widow moved to S. |- 
S. 9, town of Hope, with her family of five boys and 
one girl, in April, 1850. She is now living in 
Lostant. Her children are: Albert G,, in Lostant ; 
Gilbert B,, Lostant; Herbert C, Wenona ; Ethel- 
red A., Missouri ; and Hubert A,, in Ottawa ; the 
sister is now dead, 

Hubert A, McCaleb held the following positions 
in the army : Sergeant Company I, Eleventh 111. 

Sketch of Settlers — Meriden. 481 

Infantry, Second Lieutenant and First Lieutenant 
same company, Lieutenant Colonel Sixth U. S. C. 
Artillery, Colonel same regiment. Sheriff LaSalle 
County from 1866 to 1868, and County Clerk from 
1873 to 1877. 

John M. Richey, from Muskingum County, Ohio, 
came to Putnam County in 1837. He entered S, 24 
in Hope, in 1849, on which he resided till his death 
in 1875. The village of Lostant was laid out on Mr. 
Richey' s farm in 1861. He married Clara C. Col- 
lister, and left three living children : Mary C, Can- 
dace M., and John C. 

Horace Graves, and William H. Graves, came to 
Putnam County in 1829 and 1830, and were early 
settlers in Hope. 

John Morrison, a native of Scotland, came to 
Hope in 1850 ; has been Supervisor eight terms. 

The Rev. A. Osgood, and family, were early set- 
tlers, and aided efficiently in building up the town. 

William Lancaster settled at an early day on the 
Magnolia road, that runs through the town ; he 
served as Town Supervisor. 

Thomas Patterson, from Kentucky, owned a farm, 
and built a house, called the Prospect House, at an 
early day, about the first in the town. 


Township 36, Range 2, constitutes the town of 
Meriden. It is bounded on the north by the north 
line of the county, and is a prairie region, sur- 

482 History of La Salle County. 

rounded by prairie on all sides except a small grove 
on Sees. 5 and 6, called Four-Mile Grove. Afew fam- 
ilies pitched their tents around the little oasis in the 
middle of the wide prairie, in the year 1836, and 
these were all the early settlers. 

John Haiglit settled on Webster' s farm near Peru, 
first, and came to Meriden in 1836. 

David Peck, from Albany County, N.Y., settled 
on Sec. 6, in 1836 ; sold to Cunningham. 

Lyman Alger, from the same place, in 1836 ; sold 
to Mclntyre. 

O. W. Bryant came from Maine to Peru, in 1837, 
and to Meriden in 1842. 

Benjamin Furman came from Tioga County, Pa. ; 
settled on S. 6, in 1838. 

Greorge "Wilkinson, from the same place, settled on 
the same Section at the same time. 

Benjamin Birdsall came from New York, in 1839. 

E. R. Wicks settled on S. 18, in 1848. 

David Holden settled on the same Section in 1849. 

Ira Bailey came in 1848. 

John Rose, from Scotland, James Cunningham, 
Hiram Cristler, John Weisner, Thomas Eager and a 
few others constituted the pioneer force that com- 
menced the task of transforming the wild prairie 
town into productive farms and the quiet pleasant 
abode of a numerous, wealthy and prosperous 
people — a task that with the aid of succeeding 
emigrants has been most successfully accomplished. 

Sketch of Settlers — Wallace. 483 


Wallace embraces the west part of Township 34, 
Range 3, being fonr and one-half miles in width 
from east to west. Until a few years since it was a 
part of Dayton, and being nearly all prairie it 
remained unoccupied excepting a few settlers on its 
southern border until tlie impetus given by the 
completion of the canal and railroads sent the pop- 
ulation over all the prairie. Its proximity to 
Ottawa and Dayton made its settlement a mild 
experience compared with the more secluded 

Thomas Robinson came in 1838 ; Mr. Cavanaugh 
and E. W. Curtis, in 1847 or 48 ; A. P. Hosford, Seth 
Sage, R. O. Black and a few others, were the earliest 

484 History of La Salle County. 


John Manley, from Clinton County, N. Y., settled 
in Ottawa in 1837 ; has kept a hardware store either 
alone or with a partner, for nearly forty years, 
probably the oldest house in town. A daughter, 
who had just completed her education, was drowned 
in the Hudson river. A younger daughter is the 
wife of Richard C. Jordan, cashier of the City Na- 
tional Bank of Ottawa. Carrie is at home. 

Peter Russel, from Ireland, came to Ottawa in 

1838 ; a cabinet-maker ; his has been the leading 

house in that branch in Ottawa for many years. His 

■ son is now a partner in the firm of P. Russell & Son. 

William Palmer came from New York in 1836 ; a 
^ wagon maker b}^ trade ; he has followed the busi- 
ness since he came till 1875 ; he has left the county. 

John Palmer, brother to William, came at the 
same time ; settled on a farm ; afterwards moved to 
Ottawa ; was County Assessor, and the first that 
assessed the land sold by the Government, being five 
years after the sale ; he died in Ottawa, John and 
George Armour from Ayreshire, Scotland, came to 
Ottawa in 1834. After a few years residence in Ot- 
tawa, George went to Chicago, where he still resides. 
John was a prominent warehouse owner and grain 
dealer till his death, several years since ; he never 
married. James and Archie, brothers of the above, 
came later. James died in La Salle ; Archie is still 
living in Ottawa. 

Martin Murra}', from Ireland, came about 1838 or 
9 ; he was familiarly known as Janitor of the court- 

Addenda — Ottawa. 485 

house for many years. His son John is well known 
in Ottawa. 

Dick Daily came from Cork County, Ireland, to 
La Salle County in 1839 ; married Sarah Ann Mc- 
Cormick ; has served as Constable many years. 

Jacob C. Van Doren, from Montgomery County, 
N. Y., came in 1838 ; settled on S. 28, T. 32, R. 3 ; 
about 1855 he removed to Ottawa, where he and his 
wife died some years after. His eldest son, C. M., 
came before the family ; he also removed to Ottawa 
and is now in Washington Territory. James married 
Olive Dimmick, and died in Ottawa about 1874. The 
only daughter is the wife of Jesse Dickey in Ottawa; 
Lansing and Lucas have left the county. 

Albert H. Ebersol came from Dauphin County, Pa., 
to Grand Rapids, with his father, Joseph Ebersol ; 
married Miss Celia Pearre ; has one son, Joseph P. ; 
he is now the oldest settler in Gfrand Rapids. 



In a botanical point of view, the surface of the county may be 
conveniently divided into four habitats or districts, each having a 
flora peculiar, in part, to itself : 1, the prairie or treeless district, 
the soil a deep black loam ; 2, the belts of wooded upland, border- 
ing the river valleys, having for the most part a clay soil ; 3, the 
alluvial bottoms and islands of the Illinois and Vermillion rivers ; 
4, that part of the Illinois River Valley characterized by the up- 
heaval of the Silurian formation, and lying principally between 
the cities of Ottawa and La Salle. A glance at this varied surface, 
ranging in the quality of its soil from a deep alluvium to a barren 
sand, will prepai-e the botanist to look for a rich flora, and he will 
not be disappointed. 

Of one hundred and thirty-two orders found native in the 
Northern United Slates, one hundred and eleven are represented 
in Illinois by one thousand and flfty-two different species ; number 
of Gramineae or true grasses, one hundred and fifty-two ; of forest 
trees there are over seventy species, including thirteen species of 
oak ; there are one hundred and sixty-six species of Compositai or 
compound flowers, including twenty-three species of Aster, twenty 
of Solidago or golden rod, and fourteen of the Heliauthus or sun- 

The following list embraces but few species that have not been 
personally identified by the writer of this article, during a residence 
of twenty years in the county. Much labor has been bestowed to 
make it as complete and accurate as possible. Correspondence in 
regard to omissions or doubtful jjoints in nomenclature is invited. 

The time is not distant when many of the species here enum- 


Catalogue of Floioerimj Plants. 487 

erated will not be found in the county. The fringed gentian, for 
example, is becoming every year less common in our pastures. 

The herbariums prepared by W. W. Calkins, of Chicago, and W. 
W. Jolinfon, of Marseilles, have afforded much valuable assistance 
in the preparation of this list. 

Ranunculace/E — Crowfoots. 
Clematis Virgiuiana, Virgin's Bower. 

" Viorna. 
Anemone nemorosa. Wind Flower. 

" Pensylvanica. 

" thalictroides. 

" cylindrica. 
Hepatica triloba. Liverwort. 

" acutiloba. 
Thalictrum dioicum. Meadow Rue. 

Ranunculus reptans, Buttercups. 

" acris. 

" Purshii. 

" aquatilis. 

" abortivus. 

" fascicularis. 

" Pennsylvanicus. 

" multifidus. 

Caltha palustris, Marsh Marigold. 

Isopyrum biternatum, False Rue Anemone. 

Aquilegia Canadensis, Columbine. 

Cimicifuga racemosa, Black Snakeroot. 

Actsea spicata. Red Baneberry. 

" alba. 

Anonace^ — Anonads. 
Asimina triloba, Papaw. 

Menispebmace^e — Menispermads. 
Menispermum Canadense, Moon-seed. 

Berberidace^ — Berberids. 
Berberis Vulgaris (Europe), Berberry. 

Caulophyllum thalictroides. Cohosh. 

Podophyllum peltatum. Wild Mandrake. 

Is YMTH^EACExE — Water Lilies. 
Nymphaia odorata. Water Lily. 

Nuphar advena. Yellow Pond Lily. 

PAPAVERACEiE — Poppy-worts. 
Sanguinaria Canadensis, Blood-root. 

Chelidonium majus (Europe), Celandine. 


History of La Salle County. 

FuMARiACE^ — Fumeworts. 

Dicentra cucullaria, 
Corydalis aurea, 
" glauca. 
Adlumia cirrhosa (Canada), 

Dutchman's Breeches. 
Golden Corydalis. 

Mountain Fringe. 


Dentaria laciniata, 
Cardamine hirsuta, 
Arabis Canadensis, 

" Ifevigata. 

Sesymbrium officinale, 

Sinapis nigra (Europe), 

" arvensis " 

" alba " 

Draba verna, 

" Caroliniana. 
Armoracia rusticana (Europe), 
Camelina sativa •' 

Capsella Bursa-pastoris, 
Lepidium Virgiuicum, 
Raphanus sativus (Europe), 

Bitter Cress. 
Sickle Pod. 

Hedge Mustard. 
Black Mustard. 
Field Mustard. 
White Mustard. 
Whitlow Grass. 

Horse Radish. 
False Flax. 
Shepherd's Purse. 
Tongue Grass. 

Capparidace^ — Capparids. 
Polanisia graveolens. 

ViOLACE.,E — Violets. 
Viola cucullata. 
" sagittata. 
*' lanceolata. 
" delphinifolia. 
" pedata. 
" tricolor (Europe), Pansy. 

Hypericace/E — St. John's worts. 
Hypericum perfoliatum (Europe). 
" Canadense. 

CaryophylIjACE^ — Pinkworts. 

Saponaria officinalis (Europe), 
Silene stellata, 

" nivea, 
Agrostemma Githago, 
Cerastium vulgatum, 

" nutans. 

" oblongifolium. 
Stellaria media, 

" longifolia. 
Arenaria lateriflora, 
Mollugo verticillata. 

Bouncing Bet. 
Stellate Campion. 

Corn Cockle. 

Star Chickweed. 

Carpet Weed. 

Catalogue of Flowering Plants. 489 

PouTULACAC.K — Purslanes. 

Claytonia Virgiiiica, l>pnug Beaut}'. 
Tiilinum teretifolium. 

Portulaca oleracea, Purslane. 

" granditlora (S. America), Portulaca. 

Malvace.k — Mallows. 
Althaea rosea (Europe), HoUj'hock. 

Malva sylvestris (Europe), High Mallow. 

" crispa. 

" rotundifolia. 

" triangulata. 
Abutilon Avicennae, Indian Mallow. 

Hibiscus Moscheutos, Marsh Hibiscus. 

LiNACE.E — Flaxworts. 
Linum ustatissimum (introduced), Flax. 

" rigidum. 
" Virginianum. 

TiLiACE.'E — Basswoods. 
Tilia Americana. 

Gekaniace.e — Gerania. 
Geranium maculatum, Spotted Geranium. 

" Robertianum, Herb Robert. 

" Carolinianum. 

OxALiDACE.E — Sorrcls. 
Oxalis Acetosella, Wood Sorrel. 

" violacea. 
" strieta. 

Balsaminace.e — Jewel Weeds. 
Impatiens pallida. Touch-me-not. 

" fulva. 

RuTACE.E — Rueworts. 
Xanthoxylum Americanum, Prickly Ash. 

Ptelea trifoliata, Shrub Trefoil. 

Anacaridace.e — Sumachs. 
Rhus Toxicodendron, Poison Oak. 

" radicans. 

AcERACE.E — Maples. 

Acer dasycarpum, White Maple. 

" rubrum, Swamp Maple. 

" saccharinum, Sugar ^Maple. 

" Pseudo- Plat anus, Sycamore. 

Negundo aceroides, Box Elder. 


History of La Salle County. 

Sapindace-E — Indian Soap worts. 

Ji^sculus glabra, 
Cardiospermum Haliacabum, 
Staphylea trifolia, 

Celastrace^e - 
Celastrus scandens, 
Euonymus atrppurpureus, 


Ceanotlius Americanus, 


Vitis aestivalis, 

" vulpina (introduced), 
Ampelopsis quinquefolia, 


Polygala Senega, 

" sanguinea. 
" verticillata. 

Ohio Buckeye. 
Balloon Vine. 
Bladder Nut. 

— Staff Trees. 

Staff Tree. 
Burning Bush. 

Jersey Tea. 

— Vines. 

Summer Grapg. 
Fox Grape. 
Virginia Creeper. 

— Milkworts. 

Seneca Snake-root. 

Leguminos-e ■ 
Desmanthus brachylobus. 
Gleditschia triacanthus. 
Cassia Chama'crlsta, 

" Marilaodica, 
Cercis Canadensis, 
Baptisia leucophisa, 

" leucantha. 
Lathyrus palustris. 

" venosus. 
Vicia Americana, 
" Caroliniana. 
" sativa. 
Desmodium acuminatum, 

" Dellenii. 

" cuspidatum. 

" rigidum. 

" Canadense, 

Lupinus perennis, 
Gymnocladus Canadensis, 
Trifolium procumbeus, 

" repens, 

" pratense, 

" stoloiiifcrum, 
Melilotus alba (Europe), 
Psoralea lloribuuda. 
Auiorpha fruticosa, 
' canescens. 

• Leguminous Plants. 

Honey Locust. 
Sensitive Pea. 
American Senna. 
Eed Bud. 
Wild Indigo. 


Bush Trefoil. 

Cotifee Tree. 
Yellow Clover. 
White Clover. 
Red Clover. 
Buffalo Clover. 
Sweet-scented Clover. 

Lead Plant. 
" Shoestring." 

Catalogue of Flowering Plants. 


Dalea alopecuroides. 
Petalostemon caudidum, 

" violaceum. 

Astragalus Canadensis, 

" Plattensis. 
Pliaca astragalina. 
Tephrosia Virginiana, 
Robinia Pseudacacia, 
Apios tuberosa. 
Phaseolus perennis, 


Cerasus serotina, 
" Virgioiaua, 
" Penns}dvanica, 
" vulgaris (Europe), 
Prunus Americana, 
Amelanchier Canadensis, 
CrattX'gus cocci nea. 

Pyrus coronaria, 
Rosa setigera, 
" blanda. 
'• lucida, 
" Carolina, 

" rubiginosa (introduced), 
Agrimonia Eupaloria, 
'■ parvitlora. 

Geum vernum, 

" Virginianum. 
Rubus villosus, 
" Canadensis, 
" occidentalis, 
Fragaria Virginiana, 
Potentilla Norvegica, 
" Canadensis, 
" fruticosa. 
" arguta. 

Spiraea lobata, 

" salicifolia, 
Gillenia stipulacea, 

Thimble Weed. 
Milk Vetch. 

Goat's Rue. 

Wild Bean Vine. 

Black Cherry. 
Choke Cherry, 
Red Cherry. 
Morel lo Cherry. 
Red Plum. 
Shad Flower. 


Wild Crab Apple. 

Wild Rose. 

Shining Rose. 



High Blackberry. 
Black Raspberr3\ 
Five Finger. 

Queen of the Prairie. 
Meadow Sweet. 
Bowman's Root. 

Lythrace-E — Loosestrifes. 
Lythrum alatum, Loosestrife. 

On.\grace.e — Onagrads. 

Evening Primrose. 

ffinothera biennis, 

" fruticosa. 

Gaura biennis. 
" filipes. 
Ludwigia palustris, 
Circa* Lutetiana, 

Bastard Loosestrife. 
Enchanter's Nightshade, 

492 History of La Salle County. 

Cactace.e — Indian Figs. 
Opuatia vulgaris, Pricldy Pear. 


Sedum Telephium, Orpine. 

" teruatum. 
Penthorum sedoides, Virginia Stone-crop. 


Sicyos angulatus, Single Seed Cucumber. 

Grossulace^e — Currants. 

Ribes rotundifolium, Swamp Gooseberry. 

« " floridum, Wild Black Currant. 

Saxifragace^e — Saxifrages. 

Saxifraga Pennsylvanica. 

" oppositifolia. 
Hencliera Americana, Alum Root. 

" Richardsonii. 

Mitella diphylla, Mitrewort. 

Hydrangea arborescens. Wild Hj'draugea. 

Chrysosplenium Americanum, AVater Carpet. 

Hamamelis Virginiana, Witch Hazel. 

Umbellifer.^: — Umbelworts. 
Sanicula Marilandica, Sanicle. 

Eryngium yucciefolium, Rattlesnake Master. 

Pastiuaca sativa. Parsnip. 

Tliaspium aureum, Golden Alexander. 

Zizia integerrima, " " 

Cicuta maculata, Water Hemlock. 

Cryptot;x!nia Canadensis, Honewort. 

Siura latifolium, Water Parsnip. 

Erigenia bulbosa. Pepper and Salt. 

AuALiACE.E — Araliads. 

Aralia nudicaulis. Wild Sarsaparilla. 

" racemosa, Spikenard. 

Panax Irifolium, Dwarf Ginseng. 


Cornus paniculata. Dogwood. 

" sericea. 
" florida. 


Triosetum perfoliatum, Feverwort. 

Lonicera (lava, Wild Honeysuckle. 

" parviflora. 

Catalogue of Flowering Plants. 


Lonicera semperviiens (introduced). 

SiiDibucus Canadensis, Elder. 

" pubens. 

Viburnum Opulus (introduced), High Cranberrj'. 

" prunifolium, Black Haw. 

" roseum (introduced), Snow Ball. 

Galium Aparine, 

' ' trifidum. 

" triflorum. 

" asprellum. 
Diodia Virginiana. 
Cephalanthus occidentalis, 
Houstonia co^rulea, 

RuBiACE.E — ]Madderworts. 

Button Bush. 

Valeriana ciliata. 
Valeriauella umbilicata, 


Lamb's Lettuce. 

Composite - 

- Asterworts. 

Vernonia fasciculata, 

Iron Weed. 

Liatris cylindracea. 

" squarrosa, 

Blazing Star. 

" spicata. 

" pycnoslachj-a. 

Eupatorium purpureum. 

'' perfolidtum, 
scroti num. 


" ageratoides, 

White Snake Root 

" altissimum. 

Achillea Millefolium, 


Aster corymbosus, 


'' cordifolius. 

" sagittifolius. 

" patens. 

" Novse Anglise. 

" sericeus. 

" tenuifolius. 

" undulatus. 

" lievis. 

" mutabilis. 

Deplopappus linariifolius. 

Erigerou Canadense, 

Flea Bane. 

" Philadelphicum. 

'• strigosum. 

" beliidifolium, 

Robin's Plantain. 

" heteropliyllum. 

" annuum. 

White Weed. 

Solidago tenuifolia, 


" ' latifolia, 



History of La Salle County. 

Solidago lanceolata. 
" Missouriensis. 
" Canadensis. 
" altissima. 
" rigida. 
Inula Helenium, (introduced), 
Polj'mnia Canadensis, 
Silphium laciuiatum, 

" terebinthinaceum, 
" integrifolium. 
" perfoliatum, 
Parthenium integrifolum. 
Ambrosia artemisial'olia, 

Xanthium Slrumarium, 
Heliopsis ]a?vis. 
Echinacea purpurea, 

" angustifolia. 

Rudbeckia hirta, 

" subtomentosa. 
Lepachys pinnata. 
Heliauthus, annuus (S. America), 
" rigid us. 

" tomeutosus. 

" angustifolius. 

" tuberosus. 

" mollis. 

" occidcntalis. 

Coreopsis tinctoria (introduced), 
*' discoidea. 
" tripteris. 
" triciiosperma. 
Bidens bipinnata. 
" froudosa. 
" conuata. 
" chrysanthemoides. 
Senecio aureus, 

" vulgaris, 
Hymenopappus scabiosteus, 
Cacalia atriplicifolia. 

" tuberosa. 
Helenium autuinnalc, 
Artemisia biennis, 
" vulguri?. 
Maruta cotula, 

Tanacetum vulgare (introduced), 
Gnaphalium uliginosuni, 
" decurrens. 

" polycephalum. 

Antennaria plantaginifolia, 
" margariticea. 

Leaf Cup. 
Polar Plant. 
Prairie Burdock. 






Purple Cone-flower. 










Catalogue of Flowering Plants. 495 

Erechtites hieracifolius, Fire-weed. 

Cirsiura lanceolatum, Common Thistle. 

" arvense, Canada Thistle. 

" altissimum. 
Lappa major, Burdock. 

Cichorium intj'bus (Europe), Succory. 

Krigia Virginica, Dwarf Dandelirm. 

Cynthia Virginica. 
Hieracium Canadense, Hawkweed. 

" Gronovii. 

" longipilum. 

Nabalus albus, Drop Flower. 

" racemosus. 

" crepidineus. 

" asper. 
Taraxacum Dens-Leonis (Europe), Dandelion. 
Lactuca elongata, Trumpet Milkweed. 

Sonchus oleraceus (introduced), Sow Thistle. 

LoBELiACEvE — Lobcliads. 
Lobelia cardinalis, Cardinal Flower. 

" inflata, Indian Tobacco. 

" sylphilitica, Blue Cardinal Flower. 

" spicata. 

CAMrANUL.\CE^ — BcUworts. 
Campanula rotundifolia, Hare Bell. 

" aparinoides. 

" Americana, Bell-flower. 

Specularia perfoliata. 


Gaylussacia resinosa, Huckleberry. 

Monotropa uniflora, Indian Pipe. 

AQiJiFOLiACEiE — Hollyworts. 
Prinos verticillatus, Black Alder. 

OROBANcnACE^ — Broomrapes. 
Aphyllon uniflora. 

Primtlace-e — Primworts. 

Androsace occidentalis, 

Dodecatheon ]\Iedia, American Cowslip. 

Lysimachia stricta, Loose-strife. 

" thyrsifolia. 

" longifolia. 

" ciliata. 

Centunculus minimus, False Pimpernel. 

Plantagixace.e — Ribworts. 

Plantago major (Europe), Plantain. 

" lanceolata. 

496 History of La Salle County. 


" aristata. 


Urticularia vulgaris, Bladderwort. 

" minor. 

BiGNONACExE — Trumpet Flowers. 
Tecoma radicans. 


Verbascum tliapsus (Europe), Mullein. 

Linaria vulgaris " Toad Flax. 

Scropbularia nodosa, Figwort. 

Chelone glabra, Turtle Head. 

Pentstemon gracilis. Beard Tongue. 

" digitalis. 

Collinsia verna. Innocence. 

Mimulus ringens, Monkey Flower. 

•" alaius. 
Conobea multifida. 
Veronica Virginica, Speedwell. 

" scutellata. 
Dasysloma flava. Yellow Foxglove. 

Gerardia purpurea, Gerardia. 

" tenuifolia. 

" setacea. 
Castilleja coccinea. Painted Cap. 

Pedicularis Canadensis, Lousewort. 

" lanceolata. 

Melampyrum partense, Cow^ Wbeat. 

AcANTHACE.E — Acauthads. 

Dipteracanthus strepens. 

Vkrbenace.e — Vervains. 

Verbena angustifolia. 

" hastata. Common Vervain. 

" urtictefolia. 

" stricta. 

" bractiosa. 
Lippia nodillora. Fog Fruit. 

Pbryma leptostacliya, Lop-seed. 

LajiiatvE — Labiate Plants. 

Teucrium Canadense, Germander. 

Isauthus coeruleus, False Pennyroyal. 

Mentha Canadensis, Horsemint. 

" viridis (Europe). 

Lycoj^us Europacns, Water Hoarhouud. 

Hedeoma piilcgioides, American Pennyroyal. 

Pycnanlbeinum linifoiium. Wild Basil. 

Catalogue of Floicering Plants. 


Pycnanthemum pilosum. 
MonaixUi fistulosa, 
" i)uuctata, 
Lophantlius scrophularifolius, 

" nepetoides. 

Xepeta cataria (Europe), 
Brunella vulgaris, 
Scutellaria versicolor, 

" cau' scens. 

" parvula. 

" galericulata. 

" lateriflora. 

Physostegia Virginiaua, 
Synauclra graudiflora. 
Galeopsis Tetrahit, 
Stachys hyssopifolia, 

'■ palustris. 
Leonurus Cardiaca (Europe), 
Marrubiuui vulgare " 


Ouosmodium Carolinianum. 
Lithospermum canescens, 

" liirtum. 

Merteusia Virgiuica, 
Myosotis stricta, 

" cajspitosa. 
Lycnpsis arvensis (Europe), 
Echinospermum Lappula, 
Cyuoglossuui officinalis (Europe). 

" Virginicum. 

Hydrophyllum append iculatum, 

" Virginicum. 

" maqrophyllum. 

Ellisia Nyctelfea. 


Phlox acuminata, 

" gl uberrima. 

" divaricata. 

" pilosa. 

" bifida. 
Pdlemouium reptaus, 


Convolvulus arvensis, 
Pharbit s purpurea, 

Ipomcea panduratus, 
" lacunosa, 

Wild Bergamot 

Hedge Hyssop. 

Blue Curls. 

Lion's Heart. 

Hemp Nettle. 
Hedge Nettle. 



Smooth Lungwort. 

Wild Bugloss. 
Hounds Tongue. 

— Hydrophj'lls. 


Greek Valerian. 
— Bindweeds. 
Morning Glorj'. 

Wild Potatoe. 
False Bindweed. 

498 History of La Salle County. 

Calj'stegia spith-iuiajus. 

" Sepium, Rutland Beauty. 

Cascuta glomerata, Dodder. 

" tenuiflora. 

SoLANACE^ — Nightshades. 

Solanum Dulcamara, Bittersweet. 

" nigrum (Europe), Black Nightshade. 

Physalis viseosa, Ground Cherr}-. 

Atropa Belladonna (Europe), Deadly Nightshade. 

Hyoscj^amus niger, Henbane. 

Datura stramonium (Cent. America), Thorn Apple. 

Gentianace.e — Geutianworts. 
Gentiana quinquetlora. 

" criuita. Blue Fringed Gentian. 

" Saponaria. 
" detonsa. 

" Andrewsii, Closed Blue Gentian, 

Erythrsea Centaurium. 

Apocynace^e — Dog-banes. 
Apocynum androssmifolium. 
" canuabinum. 

Asclepiapace.e — Asck'piads. 

Asclepias cornuti, Milkweed. 

" phytolaccoides, Poke Silkweed. 

Asclepias purpurascens. 

" incaruata. 

" tuberosa, Butterfly Weed. 

" verticillata. 
Acerates viridiflora. 

Oleace/E — Olives. 
Fraxinus Americana, White Ash. 

" quadrangulata, Blue Ash. 

" sambucifolia, Black Asb. 

AsiSTOLOCniACE.'E — Birthworts. 
Asarum Cauadense, Wild Ginger. 

Nyctkiinace.e — Marvel worts. 
Oxybaphus nyctagincus. Wild Four-o'clock. 

Poi,y(;ona('E.t; — Sorrclworts. 
Rheum Rhaponticum, (Siberia.) Rhubarb. 

Rumex crispus, Yellow Dock. 

" altissimus. 

" Acetosella. 

" verticillatus, Water Dock. 

" obtusifolius. 

Catalogue of Flowering Planla. 4y'.> 

Polygonum aviculare, Birds Knot Grass. 

" Pennsylvanitum, Knot Grass. 

" convolvulus, " " 

" orientale (Europe), Prince's Feather. 

" Hydiopiper, Water Pepper. 

" auipliibium. 

" Persicaria. 


Phytolacca decandra, Poke. 

CnENoroDiACE.E — Goose-foots. 
Chenopodium hybridum. 

" album, Pigweed. 

" anthelminticum, Wormseed. 

Amakantace.i: — Amaranths. 
Amaranthus hypocondriacus (Mexico). 
" retroflexus (introduced). 

" albus' " 


Sassafras officinale. 


Comandra umbellata, Bastard Toad Flax. 

Dirca palustris, Leather-wood. 


Euphorbia Cyparissias (Europe), Cypress Spurge. 

" corollata, Flowering Spurge. 

" prostrata. 

" commutata. 

" rotundifolia. 

" hypericifolia. 

" mercurialina. 

" maculata. 
Acalypha Virginica, Three-seeded Mercury. 

Ricinus communis (East Indies), Castor Oil Plant. 

Ulmace.k — Elmworts. 
Ulmus Americana, White Elm. 

" fulva, Slippery Elm. 

Aktocarpace.e — Artocarps. 

Morus rubra, Red Mulberrv. 

" alba (China), White Mulberry. 

Madura aurantiaoa (Arkansas), Osage Orange. 

500 History of La Salle County. 

Urticace^ — Nettleworts. 

Urtica dioica, Stinging Nettle. 

" procera. 

Humulus lupulus, Common Hop. 

Cannabis sativa (India), Hemp. 

Pilea pumila, Richweed. 

Plantanace^ — Sycamores. 

Platanus occidentalis, Buttonwood. 
JuGLANDACE^ — Walnut. 

.Juglans cinerea, Butternut. 

" nigra, Black Walnut. 

Carya glabra, Pignut. 

" alba, Shagbark. 

Capuliper^ — Mastworts. 

Quercus imbricaria. Laurel Oak. 

" ilicifolia, Scrub Oak. 

" rubra, Red Oak. ■ 

" palustris, Pin Oak. 

" alba, White Oak. 

'' macrocarpa. Burr Oak. 

" castanea, Chestnut Oak. 

Corylus Americana, Hazel Nut. 

Ostrya Virgiuica, Hop Hornbeam. 

Carpinus Americana, Hornbeam. 

Betulace^e — Birchworts. 

Alnus serrulata, Alder. 

Salicace^ — Willows. 

Salix tristis, Sage Willow. 
" eriocephala. 

' vitellina, Yellow Willow. 

" Babylonica (Europe), Weeping Willow. 
" longifolia. 

" sericea. Gray Willow, 

Populus tremuloides, American Aspen. 
■' grandidentata. 

" candicans (introduced), Balm of Gilead. 

" dihitata, Lombardy Poplar. 

" alba, Silverlcat Poplar. 

Conipera/E — Conifer. 

Pinus Strobus, White Pine. 

Al)ies alba, White Spruce. 

" excelaa (Europe), Norwaj* Spruce. 

Thuja occidentalis, Arbor VitiC. 

Juniperus Virginiana, Red Cedar. 

Catalogue of Flowering Plants. ool 

AiiACECE — Aroicls. 
Arisaema triphyllum, Jack-in-the pulpit. 

" Dracontium. 
Calhi palustiis. 
Symplocarpus foetidus, Skunk Cabbage. 

Lemnac'E.i: — Duckmeals. 
Lemua minor. 

TiiYPHACE^ — Typhads. 
Typha latifolia, Cat-tail. 

NiADACE^ — Naiads. 
Potamogeton natans. Pond-Weed. 

" hybridus. 

Alismace^ — Water Plantains. 
Alisma plantago. 

Saggittaria variabilis, Arrow Head. 

Scheuclizeriu palustris- 

Hydrocharidace^ — Frogbits. 
Anacharis Canadensis. 

Orchidace.e — Orchids. 
Cypripedium pubescens, Ladies Slipper. 

" parvitlorum, Yellow Slipper. 

" spectabilc, Moccasin Flower. 

" candidum, White Ladies Slipper. 

Orchis spectabilis. 
Spiranthes gracilis, Ladies' Tresses. 

Amakyllidace^ — Amaryllids. 
Hypoxis erecta, Star-grass. 

Iris versicolor, Blue Flag. 

Sisyrinchium mucronatum. Blue eyed Grass. 


Smilax rotundifolia, Green Brier. 

" quadrangularis. 

TRiLLiACEiE — Trilliads. 

Trillium recurvatum, Wake-robin. 

" grandiflorum, White Trillium. 

LiLiACE.E — Lilyworts. 

Erj'thronium Americanum. 

" albidum, White Erythronium. 

Lilium Canadense, Yellow Lily. 

" Philadelphicum, Tiger Lily. 

Scilla esculenia. Quamash. 

502 History of La Salle County. 

Allium tricoccum, Garlic. 

" cernerum. 
" striatum. 
Polygouatum multiflorum, True Solomon's Seal. 

Smilacina racemosa, Clustered Solomon's Seal. 

Majanthemum bifolium, , Two-leavgd Solomon's Seal. 

tJvularia per foliata, Mealy Bellwort. 

" grand iflora. 

MELANTHACE.E — MelautllS. 

Zigadenus glaucus, Zigadene. 

Melanthium Virginicum. 


Tradescantia Virgin ica. 

Xyris Caroliniana, Yellow-eyed Grass. 


Pontederia Cordata, Pickerel Weed. 



Of the ten great systems at present recognized by geologists, five 
are wanting in this State. These are : The Cretuceons, Jurassic, 
Triassic, Huronian, Laurentian. Of the other five, we have in this 
county, the Quaternary or Post-Tertiary, the Carboniferous, and 
the Lower Silurian Formations. It thus appears that we have in 
the county no Tertiary or Devonian deposits. These are developed 
further west and south. 

We will consider each of our three great divisions seriatim. 


This embraces the soils, sands, gravels, clays, and other deposits 
forming the surface of the county, and varying in depth from a few 
feet to perhaps one hundred feet in certain localities on the 
prairies. This Formation nowhere attains a thickness of one hun- 
dred and fifty feet,, as estimated by Freeman. 

The '■'Boulders" form a peculiar feature of this system, and 
have given to it the name of the " Boulder''^ or "Drift" epoch, 
referring to the manner of its deposition. These boulders are 
familiar to all and found throughout the entire county, though 
more numerous in some localiiies than others. Col. D. F. Hitt, of 
South Ottawa, has an elegant collection of them on exhibition, 
showing the useful, scientific and ornamental purposes to which 
they may be put. I have at different times secured from the 
Colonel's "fence'''' more than twenty varieties of the primitive 
rocks containing minerals of mica, feldspar, garuets, copper, etc. 
Large deposits of boulders occur in the Illinois Valley, lying in 
some places directh* upon the St. Peters Sandstone, and so numer- 
ous and closely packed as to exclude everything else. A good 
example may be found in West Ottawa, near D. S. Ebersol's resi- 


504 History of La Salle County. 

dence, which shows their deposition to be conformable to the 
course of the valley and the direction assumed by the agencies 
that brought them from their original to their present location. 
Lake Superior is the nearest point from which these granite rocks 
could have been derived ; and the formation there which outcroi^s 
at the surface, is here buried manj' hundred feet below and beyond 
our reach. Ice and icebergs moving through the flood of waters 
coming from the the North, brought to us our boulder deposits. 
The scratchings andgroovings found on many of them are sufficient 
evidence without examining localities where the formations in 
place during the Drift epoch, as on the west shores of Lake Michi- 
gan, show the same erosions, only to a greater extent. The area 
occupied by boulders shows that the great lakes once covered an 
immense country, and gives us some idea of the Ice period when 
these boulders were distributed. During the geological changes 
that followed, the lakes were contracted, but the Illinois river was 
for a time an immense stream, serving as an outlet for vast bodies 
of water that afterwards were diverted elsewhere. We can safely 
assume that the Illinois river once flowed from bluff to blutt', con- 
fined in its course so far north as Joliet, probably becoming at that 
point undistinguishable from the vast lakes above. The fossil re- 
mains found in the Drift are of course accidental and derived from 
other formations. Some of these are as follows : a Lithostrotion, 
species undetermined, found near Caton's spring in South Ottawa. 
This is an interesting coral and belongs to the Carboniferous For- 
mation. Of Urmtacea, several Trilobites have been found by Mr. 
U. Ellsworth, in Clnrk's Run at Vermillionville. The species is 
common to the Trenton Group, which is nearly denuded and 
approaches the surface where the Drift lies immediately upon it at 
this point. Fossilized wood is frequently found in digging wells. 
In the more recent deposits remains of the Mastodon have been 
found ; also species of land and fresh water shells identical with 
those now living in the county. The banks of our rivers will afford 
examples. Of valuable minerals — copper, lead and iron, occur in 
the drift, sometimes in ([uite huge masses, but all these came here 
with the boulders and by the same agencies. 


This is represented by the Coal measures and of variable thick- 
ness. The great axis of upheaval crossing the Illinois Valley at 

Geological Formations^ etc. o()5 

Split Rock, running thence in the direction of Deer Park, Big Bend, 
and Lowell, has a direction nearly parallel with the Big Vermil- 
lion river, and the Coal measures on either side present distinctly 
marked features caused by the commotions of the period when 
they occurred. The thickness of the C )al measures west of the 
axis at La Salle, approximates six hundred feet, from the most 
reliable figures I can obtain. In this locality they rest upon the 
Silurian rocks. Their beds of coal are known as the upper, mid- 
dle and lower, and some claim that there is a fourth bed. East 
of the great axis the Coal measures thin out, only one bed of coal 
appearing in a large area of the district. But there are two veins 
in Deer Park back of the Fishburn place, only one, however, of 
sufficient thickness to work, which is done mainly by stripping, 
thousrh the main one was once worked by driving a shaft into the 
hillside. This was done bj^ m}' father some years ago. On a recent 
examination by Col. Hitt and myself on the O'Connor place, we 
carefully traced the deposits from the edge of the timber down the 
ravines leading to the Illinois bottoms where these deposits rest upon 
the St. Peters, and found very interesting outcrops. "We could 
have loaded a wagon in a short time with fossil Lepidodendrons 
which were then lying exposed in the ravines. These Coal plants 
were most numerous at the head of the ravines and near the 

Freeman remarks (3 Ills. Repts.), that with one exception, only 
one bed of coal appears east of the anticlinal axis, which he says 
is the "lower La Salle bed." Such, however, is not the case, as 
recent developments show. Xeither do I believe that all the beds 
referred to are equivalents of the La Salle lower bed. On page 267, 
(3 Ills. Repts.) Freeman says: "Fossils are rare in this county, 
associated with this coal, so far as my observations extend."' He 
refers to the "lower bed." And the fact of there being immense 
quantities of fossil coal plants as well as other fossils, found east of 
the axis as stated above, would warrant the conclusion that neither 
the beds of the Ottawa and Deer Park districts, or those east of the 
Big Vermillion, are in reality the third or "lower La Salle bed." 
For additional evidence, I may say that I have myself taken out at 
different times a full wagon load of fossils from the so-called 
" lower beds," east of the Vermillion, in the vicinity of Lowell and 
above, so far as Kirkpatrick's Mines. These latter are undoubtedly 
upper beds, and the same is true of those at Clark's Run, which ac- 

506 History of La Salle County. 

cording to Freeman are " lower beds." Much confusion lias been 
caused by the diversity of ideas about our coal strata, and the un- 
satisfactory conclusions of the State Report. We can determine 
certainly that where the coal rests upon St. Peters, as at Ottawa, 
it is a lower bed and the lowest in the Stale. 

The immense coal mining operations now carried on all over the 
district will aflbrd excellent opportunities for studying our coal 
strata, which should be improved. The Cannel coals on the Vermil- 
lion also deserve attention. Only the Coal Measures Group of the 
Carboniferous System is developed in the county. 

The Subcarboniferous does not appear at all, hence the absence 
of crinoidal forms in the abundance represented elsewhere. The 
Group is however prolific in numerous organic remains, both animal 
and vegetable. A list of these appears elsewhere. The coal beds, 
shales, clays, sandstones and limestones, of this Group, show good 
outcrops, and I know of no section where better opportunities are 
afforded for investigation. The Blutls of the Big and Little Ver- 
million are good localities for obtaining fossil shells, while the coal 
mines swarm with various types of past vegetable life. 

From the city of Streator to the mouth of the Big Vermillion, all 
on the line of the great axis, there will be found a greater represen- 
tation of fossil species than elsewhere, owing to the upheaval. In 
the banks and bed of the Vermillion occur many fine sejHaria or 
turtle-stones. These assume various fantastic forms, and sometimes 
contain shells. Mr. Hurd, of Lowell, exhibited one to me before 
the war, in which was a perfect Nautilus. They arc, of course, 
referable to the Carboniferous era. A good story is told of a cer- 
tain reverend gentleman, (who was also a lover of science,) and his 
studies of turtle- stonex. Having resolved to investigate, he exhumed 
a large one after much labor and expense, from the bluff at Lowell. 
This was carefully transferred to his home in Tonica and scientifi- 
cally set up in the front yard. The gentleman labelled it Cetacea 
or W/tule-fossU. It was a big one, though not of the species he sup- 
posed. I traveled on foot six miles to see the wonderful whale, and 
still had my doubts. 


The divisions proper are "Upper" and "Lower." Only the 
latter outcrops in La Salle County. The Groups or Subdivisions 
exposed are : the Trenton, the Calciferous, and the St. Fetera. 

Geological Formations, etc. 0O7 

The first contains numerous fossils of great interest, and is well ex- 
posed in various parts of the county. The Homer beds are Trenton 
and regarded by Freeman as local, being left after the denudation 
of the drift movement. 1 do not, however, concur in this view, but 
regard the deposit as extensive, extending south, east, and north- 
west, though only slightly exposed on the Little Vermillion at 
other points. The Trenton also appears near the railroad tunnel 
below Utica, and withfn the city limits of Ottawa, where it is 
quarried for building purposes. The McPherson and Reddick 
Quarries, west of town, are Trenton, as shown by the fossils ; and 
resting upon St. Peters at this point in more than usually heavy 
masses, it seems to fill a depression or gap left in the underlying 
rock. It appears on the Fox river at difierent points, but generally 
thin bedded, silicious in character, and the fossils hard to obtain 
perfect. South of the Illinois good outcrops are seen on Covel 
creek resting on St. Peters sandstone. These finally disappear 
beneath the Coal measures in the bluffs. The thickness is from 
twenty to forty feet. Some verj' fine fossils have been obtained 

On the Big Vermillion the Trenton appears at Deer Park abrupt- 
ly upheaved against the St. Peters, affording a fine opportunity to 
study the two groups. Thickness, ninety feet. Above Deer Park 
ther^ are exposures at several points : at Big Bend, Clark's Ford, 
Lowell, and Eaton's Mill. At the latter points the development is 
unusually large. The thickness here is one hundred and seventy 
feet, according to the boring at the petroleum well. It forms the 
bed of the river, and contains many fossils. Above the dam at 
Eaton's, when the river is low, there is shown a regular coral reef 
of the Silurian era. Pieces of this coral are circulated locally as 
petrified honeii-comb. The Calciferous Group of the Potsdam 
period is developed at Utica, and known as the cement rock. It is 
the only outcrop in the State, and covers an area of a few square 
miles north of the Illinois river, but on the south side disappears 
beneath the St. Peters. So far as I know no fossils have been 
found in this rock. 

Tlie St. Peters Sandstone Group is familiar to all. It outcrops 
at Ottawa, Buffalo Rock, Split Rock, Deer Park, Starved Rock, etc., 
covers one-third of the county, and is of great thickness — from 
161 feet at Ottawa to 600 on the Vermillion, as determined bv 

508 History of La Salle County. 

borings. North of the Illinois river it thins out towards the west, 
near Utica, where its junction with tlie Calciferous may be seen. 
I have now given a slietch of all the geological formations de- 
veloped in La Salle County, without enlarging upon the peculiar 
features of any, which would be desirable if space permitted. I 
can not, however, leave the subject without referring to one or two 
points of particular interest. Near the railroad tunnel in the Illi- 
nois Valley, and west of Utica, may be seen within a short distance, 
outcrops of four different formations : the Coal Measures, Trenton 
Group, St. Peters, and the Calciferous. Here will also be noticed 
immense detached masses of rock scattered around in the valley. 
This is opposite Little Rock, and all on the line of upheaval. The 
evidence presented shows that along the great axis powerful 
convulsions occurred at some former period, resulting in the juxta- 
position of the formations mentioned above. Portions of the 
Carboniferous and Trenton east of the axis were swept away. The 
strata on the west suffered a sinking process, and a strong dip to the 
southwest, in some places fifty degrees. At the same time a cor- 
responding dip occurred east of the axis. The coal shafts at Little 
Rock also show a displacement of the strata there. To a person 
familiar with geology the question will arise, as he looks over the 
ground and the facts presented, whether or not, there once existed 
here an immense wall of rock, extending from Little Rock to Split 
Rock, on the opposite side, and forming a cataract far excelling 
Niagara in size and grandeur. I have no doubt of it myself, though 
positive proof is wanting. 


These have been referred to in a general way. A list of species 
will now be given. As is known to some, I have made a study of 
these for twenty years ; and prior to the great " Chicago Fire" of 
1871, had collected representatives of all the species known. I 
lost in that "Fire" more than two thousand species, among them 
the La Salic County collection, but fortunately had preserved a list 
of those from this county, which is now embodied in this paper. 
The greatest care has been taken to verify species and localities, 
and though the specimens were destroyed, every one is even now, 
after the lapse of six years, as familiar to me as though they were 
still in my hands. I only regret tliat figures and descriptions can 
not, for obvious reasons, be given in this book. For these the lover 

Geological ForTiiations^ etc. 509 

and student of geology must refer to the State Reports and the 
various other scientific public:itions of the time — a labor requiring 
a vast amount of patience and research, but one that ■will not intimi- 
date the zealous explorer after knowledge. 


Brachiopoda. MoUusca. 

Martinia (Spirifer,) plano-convexa, Shum. Abundant at La Salle 
and elsewhere. 

Ih-ebratula bovidcns, Morton. Abundant, same localities as the 

AtJiyris subtilita, Hall. Has a wide distribution in the Coal 

Chonetes mUlepunctata, 31. and W. In ihe upper Coal Measures 
at La Salle. 

Vhonetes mesoloba, Hall. Very plentiful everywhere in the Coal 

Chonetes Flemingii, Hall. Found at La Salle in same location. 

Chonetes granulifera, Hall. Same as the preceding. 

Discina nitida, Fhil. Found at La Salle. 

Diseina subtrigoruilis, McVhesney. Same locality as preceding. 

Biscina capulifornii>>, Mc Chesney. Found at La Salle. 

Productus JSebraicenais, Owen. Abundant at La Salle in the upper 
limestones. Also found on the Vermillion — equals P. liogersii, N. 
and P. 

Productus symmetricus, McCh. Abundant at La Salle. 

Productus punctatus, Martin. Very tine and large. Loc. At 
La Salle and on the Vermillion. 

Productus injiatus, McCh. Extremely abundant at La Salle and 
other localities. Resembles P. semiretieulatus, of Sub Curb. 

Productus loTigispinuSy S'by. From the La Salle limestones. 
Also found hy me on the Vermillion. Equals the P. Wabashensis, 
N. and P. 

Productus costaius, S'by. Abundant at La Salle iu the upper 

Productus La Sallensis, Worthen. A variet}' of the preceding 

510 History of La Salle County, 

Productus Wilberanus, McCh. From La Salle. Is larger than 
P. Xebrascensis, which it resembles. 

Orthis La Sdlenns, McCh. {Hemipronites.) Found at La Salle 
and west of the Big Vermillion. 

Orthif crassxs, Meek and W. {Hemipronites.) Found at La Salle, 
(equals II. crenistria. Eur.) 

Orthis carbonana, Swallow. Abundant iu the upper Coal Meas- 
ures, at La Salle and elsewhere. 

Retzia punctulifera, iShum. Same as last. 

Spirifer Kentuckensis, Shum. Same locality as last. 

Spirifer cdmeratus, Morton. Abundant ever3'where in the upper 
Coal Measures. 

Rliynchonella Osagensis, Swallow. Found on the Vermillion near 
Big Bend. 

Rliynchonella Wortheni, Hall. Found at La Salle. 

Mee/cella striato-costata, W.nvd St. J. Same as last. 

Lingula niytiloides, S'by. From the Big Vermillion Coal Meas- 

Lamellibranchiata. Solenomya soleniformis, Cox. Found near 
Ivirkpatrick's and at La Salle. 

Solenomya radiata, M. and W. Same as last. 

Aviculopeden Coxamis, Hall (?). Two miles below Ivirkpatrick's, 
in black shales. 

AHculopecten neglectus, Oein. From shales on the Big Ver- 

Anculopecten interlineutua, M. and W. Upper Coal Measures at 
La Salle, very fine. 

Xncula venfricosa, Hill. Lower Clay shales at La Salle and 

Nucnla parva, McCh. Lower Coal shales, Big Vermillion. 

CardiomoriiJi'i Missouriensi.'^, Shum. Coal shales at La Salle. 

My(din(i Swallovi, McCIi. Coal Measure shales at La Salle. 

Mya'ina recurrirostrix, M. and W. Same as last. 

hdmoiidiif peroblonya, M. and W. La Salle Upper Coal Measures. 

Lima rttifer, Shum. Lower Coal Measures. 

Naticopsin Shumardi, McC. Found in the blue limestones of the 
Coal Measures alon.^ the Little Vermillion at La Salle. 
Naticopaia .lltonenais, McC. Same as last. 

Geological Formations^ ttc. 511 

Xdticopm nodosa, var. Hollidayi, M. and W. Coal Measures at 
La Salle. 

Naticopsis subotatus, W&rthen, M. S. La Salle Coal Measures- 

EuompJialua subguadratus, M. and W. Upper Coal Measures. 

Euompludus pernodosus, M. and W. Lower Coal Measures. 

Euomphalus subrugosus, M. and W. Shales of the lower Coal 
Measures on the Vermillion. 

Bellerophon carhonaria, Cox. Same as last. 

Bellerophon Blaneyanits, McU. Same* as last. 

Pleurotomaria Oraydllensis, McC. La Salle and elsewhere in 
Coal shales. 

Pleurotomaria Shumardi. An elegant species from Wild Cat 

MurcJiiaonia arc?dmidea, McC. Limestones at La Salle and on 
the Big Vermillion. Found by A. C. Baldwin. 

Goniatites Hath aic ay anus, McC. La Salle. 
Nautilus La Salletisis, M. and W. Same. 

Ortlioceras Vermi'lionensis, Calkins, M. S. From the Coal strata 

Leaia tricarinata, M. xnd W. Lower Coal Measures, Big Ver- 


Cladodus mortifer, N. and W. From the Coal shales at La Salle. 

Petalodus destructor, N. and W. Limestones at La Salle. 

Pttrodus occidentalis, N. and W. Coal shales. 

Agassizodus variabilis, N. and VT. Tpper Coal Measures at La 

Agassizodus scitulus, W. and St. J. Lower Coal Measures Ver- 
million and La Salle. 

Lophodus variabilis, N. and W. La Salle. 

Peltodus unguiformis, N. and W. La Salle. 

Cymatodus oblongns, N. and W. La Salle. 


The species from this county have been studied but little. From 
Streator I have identitled the fallowing : Pecopteris villosa, Brong. 
Pecopieris unifa, Xeuropttris hirsutn, Lesq. 

512 History of La Salle County. 

From Little Vermillion river, Pecopteris BucMandi, Brong. has 
been found. 

Sigillaria Massiliensis, (Si), nov.) In the Marseilles and Deer 
Park sandstones. 

SigUlaria coriugata, [N. S.) Found at Marseilles. 

Stigmarias. Several species, undt. 

Lepidodendron rugosum, Brong. From the Little Vermillion.* 
There are still a large number of unidentihed and uudescribed 
forms from Deer Park and Streator. 


Lopltophyllum proliferum, McV. Very abundant on the Big 
Vermillion, La Salle, etc., in the limestones. 

Scaphiocrlnus hemispliericus, Shum. La Salle. 

The Badiata do not appear to be numerous in species. A. C. 
Baldwin found near Wild Cat Point a species which I recognized 
as Chaetetes lycoperdon, Lay. Its position and occurrence here still 
puzzles me. The strata there and at Bailey's Falls need further 
study. While the majority of the fossils are Carboniferous, there 
are forms which appear to belong to the Cincinnati Oroup, L. Silu- 
rian. All along the Big Vermillion, at Clark's Ford, etc., will be 
found numerous Eacriidte stems (Crinoidea,) occurring separately 
and in large masses, which in places are deposited in regular strata, 
as near Clark's Ford, high up in the Carboniferous. These are 
called by the local geologists petrified buttons, and other curious but 
expressive names. None have been found sufficiently perfect to 
identify. Thej' are ver}' beautiful and very abundant. 


Loicer Silurian Formation. 

Articulnta. Cruntacea. 

Calymene Blumenbachii. Brimg. {Trilohite.) Supposed to equal 
C nenaria, Con. Locality, Clark's Hun. Also on the Vermillion 
and at Ottawa. This suggests the close proximity of the Cincin- 
nati Group — or its destruction in the general denudation. 


Trochonema umbilicala. Hall. At Di-'cr Park. 

Itaphistnma lenticulnris. Con. Big Bend. 

Cyrtolites trentonensis, (Jon. Loc. Tiie Big ^'crmillion. 

Geological Formations^ etc. 513 

I have identified from the Trenton at Homf r the following species: 
Lituites undatus, Con. Gonioceras aneeps, Hall. Very line. Ormo- 
ceras Backii, Stokes. Ortlioceras fussifoime, llall. Endoceras annu- 
latum, Hall. Endoceras protiforme, Hall. Several varieties. 
Vyrtoceras dardanus, Hall. Vanuxemia {?) Ctenodonta {?) Lep- 
taena sericea, Hall. Stropliomena alternata, Con. Asap7ius{?) Pen- 
tamerus (?) Very fine. 

From the Trenton of the Big Vermillion and Covel creek we have : 
Orthoceras anellum, Con. Orthoceras Junceum, Hall. OrtJioceras 
veriebrale, Hall. Vyrtoceras macrosiomum, Hall. Cyrtoceras con- 
sir ictostriatum, Hall. Maclurea{?). Orthoceras Titan , Hall. This 
is our largest species. A.\\ CepJialopoda. Other species are : Conu- 
laria ire/itonensis, Miller. Found near Lowell by A. C. Baldwin. 
Very rare, btreptelasma corniculum, Hall. Leptaena sericea, Hall. 
Abundant. Orthis — lihynchonella — Strophomena. Last three species 
not positively identified. The Facoides are represented by several 
species. The observer will see at Lowell — Buthotrephis succulens, 
Hall, and ButhotrepMs gracilis, Hall. 

Of Corals we have two species of Halynites not named, and 
Favistella stdlata. Hall, at Batons — before referred to as Honey- 
comb Coral, which all will recognize. A few good specimens of 
the screio-coral, Archimides revema, Worlhen, were found near Wild 
Cat Point by A. C. Baldwin, and are the only ones that I have seen 
from this county. 

This completes the list of identified species coming under my 
notice. There are many others still undiscovered, which future 
research will reveal. 



The Fauna of this locality, from the open and exposed character 
of the country, did not embrace those animals which delight in the 
seclusion of the dense forest — the bear, the panther, was not 
known ; or, if known, only as transient visitors. But those 
adapted to the country appear, from the testimony of the French 
explorers and other sources, to have existed in immense numbers. 
It was a country prolific of animal life — but limited in species. 

Seventj'-five j'ears ago, the buffalo, in immense herds, swarmed 
over the broad plains of Illinois, and fattened on the rich prairie 
pasture. Their bones were scattered profusely over the prairie 
when the settlements first commenced. 

There was said to be a tradition that they were nearlj' extermin- 
ated by a hard winter with an immense depth of snow. But it is 
well known that the buffalo retreats south on the approach of win- 
ter, and the situation of the bones would not indicate anj' whole- 
sale slaughter from any cause. Each skeleton was by itself, and 
they were apparently of different ages, as indicated by the different 
stages of decay, and no great number existed in the same decaying 
stage. And the natural mortality from old age or accident among 
such immense herds would account for all the bones then existing. 
They mu-t have existed liere in immense numbers, as the pasture 
would have sustained millions. The countrj' now inhabited by the. 
buffalo is comparatively barren, and yet they are found in herds 
that can not be numbered or computed, but like their Indian com- 
panions, on this theatre of what was doubtless the scene of their 
iiighest development, they are fast fading out before the cruel luit 
resistless advance of civilized man. Like the Indian, they have 
gone toward the setting sun, and the place that now knows them 
will soon know them no more. 


Fauna of La Salle County — Beasts. .^15 

And the deer have followed the buflfalo. The first settlers, and 
even those who came in twenty-five years agv), will testify to the 
immense number of deer that tempted the skill of the hunter. 
They could be started from almost every thicket or point of timber. 
They could daily be seen in droves of four or five to twenty-five, 
and even 35 to 40 have been seen together. They were somelimfs a 
serious nuisance — they would eat the limbs of j'oung fruit trees to 
the great disgust of the owner, who was impatiently waiting for the 
growth of the first apple. And they were nearly as destructive as 
so many hogs in the ripened corn. A farmer would frequently have 
three or four acres of unpicked corn caught in the first deep snow, 
and when the snow melted, four to six weeks afier, would find it 
all harvested by the deer. They were a pretty feature in the land- 
scape — excessively timid — their lithe and sleek forms ever alert and 
apprehensive of danger, were ccntinually in moiion; when feeding 
they would hastily take a bite or two, then throw up their heads 
and look suspiciously in all directions, and if startled by any in- 
truder, would hoist their white flngs and leap over the ground with 
a fleetness and grace unmatched by any other animal. Their flesh 
was choice eating, and their skios weie valuable ; many of the early 
settlers could dress them nicely, and make them into mittens, 
gloves, and frequently into coats, hunting frocks, pants, and moc- 
casins. The}' were easily killed, and their flesh was a common 
article of diet. Experienced hunters often made it a profitable 
business killing them for the market. They gradually'- diminished 
before the advancing settlements, and had nearly all left the 
country in 1860. The last one killed in the county known to the 
author was killed on the Vermillion, in 1866, since which time 
none have been seen. The young fawns were easil}' domesticated 
if caught wlen quite young and carric d in the arms for half a mile, 
the}' would then follow readily and remain if properly fed and pro- 
tected. They were quite interesting pets, but soon became destruc- 
tive to young trees and shrubbery, antl nn ordinary fence was never 
in the way of a deer. These characteristics were usually fatal to 
the young pets, and by the time they were half grown their flesh 
was consigned to the cook and their skins to the glover. The 
buffalo and the deer and other game are being preserved in both 
public and private collections, and will not entirely be lost to the 
world, but the deer coulined will never rival in beauty and agility 
his wild congener in his native haunts, any mure than the caged 

516 History of La Salle County. 

lion equals his ancestor when free on the borders of the desert, be- 
neath an African sun. 

The hunter and his game have j'ielded to their destinj', while the 
farmer, and the flocks and herds that go and come at his call and feed 
at his hand, occupy their heritage. The flocks and herds that first 
replaced the bufl'alo and deer have, in turn, given place to those of 
more perfect form, and they, too, must yield to a better and more 
perfect race, when that better one claims the right. The survival 
of the fittest is a haw as imperative when applied to animals, as 
when applied to nations and individuals. 

Of beasts of prey, the number was very limited. 

Felixes. — The Canada lynx was occasionally met. It lives 
on rabbits and birds, sometimes on young pigs and poultry, but 
otherwise is harmless ; it is a stupid animal, easilj' shot or caught in 
traps. The wild cat, or bay lynx, was more plenty but not numer- 
ous ; were destructive in the hen roost. Both of the loregoing have 

Can'is Lupus. — The large gray wolf was only occasionally seen. 
They sought more seclusion and a better hiding place than this 
region afi"orded. But the prairie wolf here found their natural 
habitat, and existed by thousands. They are a bold, impudent, and 
mischievous animal, living on rabbits, birds, lambs, pigs, poultry, 
green corn, watermelons, berries, and almost every thing that 
comes in their way. They burrow in the ground, usually on some 
high ridge of the prairie, to rear their young, having from six to ten 
at a litter. They would come around the cabins of the earlj' set- 
tlers at night and pick up the crumbs and bones thrown out during 
the day. They were cunning and not easily killed or caught in 
traps ; at least, it required experience and skill to trap them suc- 
cessfully. Hunting them on horseback, with dogs and grayhounds 
to lead, was exhilarating sport. Well mounted, preceded by the 
dogs, and they by the wolf, bounding at full speed over the swells 
of the prairie, was very exciting to the participant, or to the 
observer, and if the wolf did not reach the covert of a thicket or 
timber, was pretty sure to yield up his skin. A single horseman, 
well out from timber, could ride over and eveniuall}- tire out and 
kill a wolf, if his steed did not tire first ; one or two good dogs 
would shorten the process and much relieve the horse. The wolves 
would frequently make a bed on a bog, or ant hillock, by crawling 
under the grass, which, when killed by frost, was nearly the color 

Fauna of La Salle County — Beasts. 517 

of the wolf, and excavating so as to bring his body about even with 
the surface with a perfect fit, his head on the side of the hillock in 
a good position for observation, and then wait for bis prey. The 
writer passed withi^three feet of one in that position, when per- 
ceiving a pair of eyes among the grass, returned to about the same 
distance, and for a minute or two looked steadily at the eyes, which 
returned the gaze without winking, and then giving a loud scream 
and jumping toward the eyes, developed a very large wolf, which 
leaped nearly ten feet at the first bound. One caught in a heavy 
trap, on being appi"oached made desperate efforts to get free, then, 
with the hair on his back erect, he barked fiercely like a dog, but 
perceiving his enemy not frightened, instantly fell as if shot, and 
lay as dead while being dragged some distance by the ti-ap. A 
severe blow on the head, designed to kill him, made him very 
lively. They were very noisy, especially at night, barking, yelping 
and howling, frequently a combination of all three — four or five 
would make as much noise as twenty might be supposed capable of 
doing. Their concerts were often repeated during the night and 
frequently in the daytime, and were the lullaby that put our 
children to sleep — at least" their concerts were usually in progress 
when they went to sleep. 

Two good dogs could master a prairie wolf, but one alone would 
seldom attempt it, unless an extra one for size and spunk. Gener- 
ally when the nightly concert commenced, the old dog, which would 
bark violentl}' at other times, would seek his kennel or get under 
the bed. 

The prairie wolves are not yet exterminated. For a number of 
years they were not seen or heard, having retreated to the large un- 
settled jjrairies, but they were probably as much surprised as the 
early settlers to find those, then solitudes, filled with an enterpris- 
ing, dense population, and now disturbed in their favorite haunts, 
thej' have scattered over the State, not very numerous, but enough 
to prove a decided nuisance. They are one of the retiring races, 
and being without one redeeming trait of character, their final exit 
will be hailed with satisfaction. 

The opossum, the only American marsopial, are found in quite 
limited numbers. It is said they were not here before the settle- 
ment and for some years after. Their temporary advent was not 
to them a success, and being easily caught they will soon disappear. 

The raccoon is an inhabitant of the woods, living in hollow trees 

518 History of La Salle County. 

in heavy timber -, they visit the settlements in pursuit of green corn 
and chickens. Our open country is not their favorite home, yet 
they are found in limited numbers in the vicinitj'^ of the streams 
and timber belts. 

The ground hog, or woodchuck, though occasionally seen, are so 
few as to be hardlj' an item in the fauna of the county. 

The skunk was seldom seen at an early day, but have rapidly in- 
cre scd in the last few years. Though sometimes destructive to 
j'^oung poultry, thej^ are doubtless, on the whole, a benefit, living 
almost entirely on beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, and other insects 
and larvae. Their good acts far overbalance their evil ones, yet 
thej-^ could not be recommended for pets. 

The badger was barely known to be a resident here. A few were 
caught at an early day, but are not known here now. 

The gray rabbits are very numerous both on timber and prairie. 
They increased rapidly after the settlement of the county. They 
are sometimes very destructive to nurseries, young fruit trees and 
shrubbery, gnawing the bark and girdling the trees. Immense num- 
bers arc killed without seeming to diminish their numbers, as they 
breed like rabbits. 

Of the true, or tree, squirrel we have but one variety, as the 
squirrel is distinctivelj' an inhabitant of the woods. The fox squir- 
rel is of a red or fox color, and one of the largest of the squirrel 
familj\ Much larger tb an the black or gra}' squirrel of the Middle 
States. They have gradually increased with the settlements, there 
having been but few found here at first. 

The chipmunk, or ground squirrel, was not found here for several 
years after the settlements commenced ; they are now quite com- 
mon. When they first appeared, their peculiar chirrup was at once 
recognized by emigrants from the Eastern States, and they were 
greeted as old acquaintances. The chipmunk is regarded as inter- 
mediate between the tree squirrel and the spermipholes, laying up 
his winter store like the first and burrowing in the ground like the 
latter. He has not yet acquired the bad reputation of his eastern 
congener, of digging up the newly planted corn. 

The flying squirrel differs from all the squirrel family in its 
appendage for sailing from one tree to another, although no^ 
jMoperly Hying. It also dilTers in being nocturnal in its habits, and 
consequently is not often seen even when quite numerous. 

Of the spermipholes, or prairie squirrel, we have, or did have. 

Fauna of La Salle County — Beasts. 519 

two varieties — the striped and gray. The gray variety is more 
than twice the size of the striped ; their habits are the same. The 
gray were never as numerous as the striped, and have now nearly 
or quite disappeared. The striped variety are yet quite numerous, 
but when the countrj' was new they were much more so, and a 
great enemy to the farmer's corn at the planting season. In North- 
ern Illinois and Wisconsin they are erroneously calh d gophers. 
The spermipholes all hibernate, or sleep through the winter with- 
out food. They select some bank or sand ridge that will not be 
Hooded, and at the bottom of their hole excavate a space that will 
hold from a third to half a peck, which they fill with leaves and 
dry grass. The hole is closed from the inside, and obedient to the 
instincts that guide him, the little fellow crawls to the centre of the 
nest, rolls himself into a ball, and sleeps till spring, unconscious of 
the cold snow wreaths piled above him. 

The gopher, like the mole, lives beneath the surface. Is about 
the size of a large rat, of a dark color, with fine fur like the mole. 
Their burrows, or run-ways, are ten to twelve inches below the 
surface, and extend indefinitely. While excavating their burrows, 
at intervals of a few feet they come to the surface and deposit the 
earth taken from the excavation ; these piles of earth contain half 
a bust el or more. For this work, nature has provided them with a 
pouch, or pocket, on each side of the neck, which they fill and 
then come to the surface, and by a contraction of the muscles 
empty the pockets with a force that ejects the earth to a distance of 
six to twelve inches. The gopher lives mostly on roots, and is 
very destructive to young trees and vines, and especially so to 
osage hedge. It is claimed they are not found north of the Illinois 
river, but they are very plenty south of it. To kill them, put a 
grain of strychnine in a small potato and drop in the run-way. 

Otter were found along all the principal streams, and frequently 
caught. They are very seldom seen now. The American otter 
weighs about twenty-five pounds, and its fur is valuable. It has a 
singular habit of sliding down a wet clay bank into the water, 
apparently for sport. It will climb the bank, slide down, and 
repeat the process for a great length of time with as much appar- 
ent pleasure as the boy courses with his sled. A trap set under the 
water at the proper point is very apt to spoil the sport, and is a 
common way of taking them. 

520 ' History of La Salle County. 

Beaver were numerous at the time of the French explorations, 
but disappeared before the American settlement. 

Mushrat weie, and still are, numerous, frequently building their 
winter homes in the ponds on the middle of the largest prairies. 

Mink are quite plenty over all the country. Their fur is more 
valuable than any other animal we have of their size, and of course 
they draw the principal efforts of the trapper. But they are very 
prolific, and are likely to hold their, own. They are about the 
worst enemy that preys on the poultrj' yard. 

The small brown weasel, though not numerous, are yet a great 
pest among the poultry. The cruel, bloodthirsty little rascal has 
no fear, and very little discretion, but more pluck than can be 
found elsewhere enclosed in so small a skin ; his reckless daring 
often leads him to his death. 

The Norway rat soon followed the emigrants, and in a few years 
became immensely numerous. All animals increase in proportion 
to immunity from molestation by enemies and easy access to their 
natural food ; the profusion of the cereal grains all exposed made 
this the paradise of rats. Yards filled with corn cribs, standing for 
three or four years, became infested with numbers innumerable. 
They go and come, sometimes swarming like the locusts of Egypt, 
and then leaving for several years. The black rat, so common 
seventy years ago, disappeared immediately after the introduction 
of the Norway species, which is a larger and much more powerful 
and sagacious animal. The country has gained nothing by the ex- 
change. Some succeeding race may exterminate the Norway, but 
that may result, as before, only in a change of evils. The good 
things of the world were not made for man alone. Imperious 
man says : 

" ' See all things for my use.' 

" ' Sec man for mine,' replies the pampered goose."— Pope. 

The common mouse was a native of the prairie, and no sooner 
was a house completed and occupied than the mice asserted their 
right to a place therein, and tliey held it, as no buildings then 
erected would exclude them. Now tliey are no more annoying 
here than eKsewhere. 

The long-tailed, or jumping mice, are found in the timber occa- 
sionally, but tliey are not numerous. 

The .sliort-tailed, or meadow mice, are very numerous, and have 
increased with the settlements; they are often very destructive to 

Fauna of La f^alle County — Birds. 521 

orchards and shrubbery. Any tree or shrub left in the fall, with 
grass or other mulching about the root, is liable to be girdled by 
these rodents. This is prevented by removing everything down to 
the naked earth from the tree, and tramping heavy snows solid 
about it. 

Bat. — There are two groups of this singular little animal, the fru- 
givorous, or fruit-eating, and insectivorous, or insect-eating. We 
liave onh^ two or three closely allied varieties of the insect-eating 
kind; they fly in the dark in pursuit of prey, which they take like 
the swallow and other insectivorous birds. The bat differs in its 
organs of sight from all other nocturnal animals. The owl and the 
<at have large eyes, with a pupil that dilates to the size of the 
eye; while the bat has extremely small eyes and evidently of little 
use, as it avoids all ob.structions when on the wing equal)}- well 
when its eyes have been destroyed — hence the adage, '' blind as a 
bat." Cuvier discovered that the extreme delicate sensibility of 
the large wings answers the purpose of sight; the reaction of the 
air upon these sensitive surfaces enables them to judge of the dis- 
tance as well as size of all surrounding objects, and there is no 
doubt the minutest ray of light affects them as really as it does the 
retina of the best formed eye. Does not this explain how somnam- 
bulistic clairvoyants see to read from the top of the head y 


The prairie region could not boast of as full a list of the feath- 
ered tribes as a timbered country. In fact, the more common sing- 
ing birds were at first almost entirely wanting, and one of the 
causes of discontent and homesickness was the absence of the 
well-remembered bird music, which made the groves and orchards 
of the older States vocal with song. This was more marked awav 
from the timber, but even along the edge of the timber, where the 
irst settlements were made, it needed groves, orchards, and gar- 
dens, and especially the fruits they bore, to make an acceptable 
home for the birds of song. The constant roar of the prairie cock, 
the distant whoop of the crane, the bittern's solitary note, and the 
3'elping of the i)rairie wolf, was to a homesick ear a poor exchange 
for the cheerful song of the robin, the thrush, the cat bird, and the 
oriole of the orchards, and the vireos and warblers of the groves. 

Singing Biuus, Family Ti-rdid-K.— The robin was not gener- 
ally seen here for several years after settlements commenced. At 

522 History of La Salle County. 

length a solitary pair might be seen in the timber, but the orchard 
and garden, their favorite home, did not exist, but when they did, 
the robin quickly occupied them in plentiful numbers. The robin 
is so close a companion of civilized man, and so nearly connected 
with the rural population and all the recollections of childhood, 
that, during its absence for the first few years of pioneer life, it 
was sadly missed, and its advent greeted with sincere satisfaction. 
It is a sweet singer, and confides in man, building its nest in 
the favorite apple or cherry tree. It is true, the robin is fond 
of cherries and small fruits, but it is better to plant an extra tree or 
two for their use than to dispense with their pleasant company. 

The cat bird, like the robin, came in gradual)}- as the countrj- 
improved. It is a sweet singer as well as inveterate scold, a fami- 
liar inhabitant of our thickets, groves, and hedgerows, frequently 
rearing its young in the garden or hedge, and becomes quite fami- 
liar ; if kindly treated, will come to the steps and even into the 
house for the crumbs daily thrown for its use. 

The brown thrush — thrushcr — sandy mocking bird, is a delightful 
singer. It came a little earlier than the I'obin, but at first only a 
few in number ; they are now numerous. Jt is a pretty pel, and 
sings finely in confinement. In the Eastern States it was said 
when the thrush appeared in the spring it was time to plant corn. 

Famii.y Saxicolid.t^;. — The bluebird is usually the first arrival of 
our migratory birds at the close of winter, and the sound of hi^ 
pleasant note is hailed as the harbinger of spring. The note of the 
bluebird, though not musical, but in a half ])lainlive, half cheerful 
tone, heard on the first warm days of February or March, is to 
most ears peculiarly grateful. 

Family Parid/E. — Titmice, or chicadees, are a hardy bird, en- 
during the rigors of the severest winters, and, as a consequence, 
none of them are migratory. They are musical after their fashion, 
chirping a ([uaint ditty, which, heard on a cold winter's day when 
all sounds of animal life are hushed, is pleasant to hear. They 
arc active, restless, and heedless of man's i)resence, and live on 
insects, seeds, and almost anything that comes to hand. We have 
several species. 

NiiTnATCii. — The nuthatches arc among the most nimble and 
active creepers, running up or down the tree with equal facility — 
they hang in every conceivable position, head down as often as any 
otlier way, lliis distinguislus them from other creepers. 

Fauna of La Salle County — Birds. 523 

Family Troglodytid.k. — The wrens are a numerous family, of 
which the liouse wren may be taken as a type. It is an impudent 
little creature, very pugnacious ami apt to show bad temper, are 
particularly spiteful toward swallows and martins, sometimes 
taking possession of their nests. They sing cheerily, and when 
disturbed while singing, scold vociferously. There are two or 
tliree species only with us; they are not numerous, but increasing. 

The Family SYLViACOLiD.iE, or Warblers, are a family of 
small birds embracing an immense number of species. They 
mostly inhabit the thick woods, nestling among the dense foliage, 
living on insects, and cheering the solitude with their cheerful 
musical notes, being mostly good singers. In a heavy timbered 
region they are found in immense numbers, but we have but a few 
species, of which the summer yellow bird is one. 

Family Tan.\grid^. — Of the tanxgers we have a s'ngle species, 
the scarlet tanagcr, a brilliant fiery red, except the wings and tail, 
which are black; a very showy bird, becoming quite common. 

Family Hirundinid-e. — Of swallows we have the barn swallow, 
building in barns or other out-buildings. 

The clitf or eave swallow, unknown here till within the last 
twelve or fifteen years, naturally congregate in large numbers and 
build their ball-shaped nests on high overhanging: cliffs, but 
recently have taken to building under the eaves of barns, nearly 
covering the sides of the building. The}' are flycatchers, and are 
said to use up the mosquitoes in the locality where they stop. 

Bank swallow, sand marten, like the foregoing, are gregarious, 
and collect in the breeding season in large numbers, and make 
holes for their nests in some back or river bluff. 

The blue marten — marten — usually build in boxes prepared for 
them by those who enjoy their social, cheerful ways. 

The swallows are all migratory, and leave soon after the close Of 
the building season. Their sudden departure and return, and their 
habit of flying close to the surface of the water for insects, has 
given rise to a fiction that they winter in a torpid state at the bot- 
torh of lakes and streams. 

Of the waxwings, we have the Carolina waxwing, cedarbird, 
eherrybird. Thej' are not residents here, but visit us occasionally. 
They are very destructive to cherries; a flock of them will clean a 
cherry-tree of its fruit in a few minutes, without saying by your leave. 

The Greenlets, or Vireos, are like the warblers in their 

5:24 History of La Salle County. 

habits. Our open prairies tempt but few of them to stop with us. 
The vireo appeals to the ear rather than to the eye, having a plain 
dress that harmonizes with the verdure, and being seldom seen, as 
their home is among the densest foliage of the forest. There they 
warble their lays unseen, while the foliage itself seems stirred to 
music. Standing on a still summer day in the solitude of the forest, 
that heart must be callous to emotion that does not, while listening 
to the wild notes of the little songster, echo thoughts he can never 
expect to clothe in words. 

Of the shrikes we have the great northern shrike, or butcher 
bird — a bold and quarrelsome bird. They are carnivorous, feeding 
on insects and such small birds and animals as they can overcome. 
They have a curious habit of impaling their pi'ey on thorns, or 
sharp twigs, and leaving it there — for what object has never been 

The Family Frincullid.e embraces the sparrows, and allied 
birds, finches, buntings, linnets, etc. They are very numerous, 
both in species and individuals, in fact, the two families friugillidtc 
and sylviacolidie, or warblers, compose about one-fourth of all our 
species of birds. The sparrows, finches, etc., live mostly on seeds, 
and consequently are not so strictly migratory like the purely 
insectivorous birds, which go south with the first cold to secure 
their food. 

We have several varieties of the sparrow. The chirping sparrow, 
or chipping bird of New England, is either not here, or varies from 
its eastern type, which it is said to do, and still more further west. 
The song sparrow, field sparrow, and other varieties, are plenty, 
some of them fine singers. The snowbird, the lark, bunting, or 
white-winged blackbird, the indigo-bird, Ciirdinal or red-bird, not 
native here but kept in confinement for its song ; tovvhee, or che- 
wink, a well known inhabitant of woodlands and thickets ; may 
be seen solitary scratching among the leaves, occasionally emitting a 
single note or cry, are all well known here, and are of the same family. 

The F.wiri/V Ictehid/E, or American Starlings, embraces bobo- 
link of the North, or rice-bird of the South, yellow headed black- 
bird, grackle, or crow blackbird, field, or meadow lark — this bird 
is a pretty singer, partiitlly gregarious, and not migratory. The 
above were here when the settlements commenced. The orchard 
oriole, of an orange color, with black wings and tail, and the Balti- 
more oriole, golden rol)!n, firebird, or hangucst — of a fiery red 

Fauna of La Salle County — Birds. ago 

color, black wings and tail ; both of them are fine singers, and 
hang their nests (which are a round sack with an opening at the 
top,) to the end of a pendant bough. Tliey only come among us 
after the country has become well settled. 

Family Corvid^ embraces the crows, jays, etc. The ravens 
were about as numerous as the crows before the settlement by the 

The raven is only distinguished from the crow by its much 
larger size and its croaking note. A homesick woman said every 
thing here was change ; even the crows were so hoarse they could 
onl}' croak. 

The crows have increased with the settlements. They have a 
better reputation here than their eastern congeners, where they 
pull the young corn ; here they are not accused of that as yet. 
They live mostly on insects, and do much more good than harm. 
They take an egg occasionally, but are far less criminal in that 
respect than the ravens, which were experts at liunting eggs. 

The Bue.t.w. — Every one knows the jay, with its blue dress 
and harsh, discordant note. He is a lively, cheerful fellow, and 
though he sometimes eats the earl}' apple, (who would not?) and it 
is said he has a bad habit of disturbing the young of other birds, 
yet he ma}' be slandered, and all have their failings; he could not 
well be spared from the fall and winter landscape, and he may well 
be tolerated about the cattle yards on a winter morning, where he 
I)icks up occasionally a stray kernel of corn. 

Family Tyranidas— Fly-catcher— Kingbird— Bee Martin.— A 
pugnacious, quarrelsome bird and noted tyrant among his fellows, 
and, like all quarrelsome individuals, has few friends ; he is accused 
of eating bees, but, like all bad characters, is very likely to be ac- 
cused unjustly. He is a habitual fli'-catcher, and probably destroys 
a thousand noxious insects to one bee, but ou the theological 
dogma, that a good act performed by a sinner is yet a sin, so I 
suppose the poor kingbird will not be allowed credit for any good 
act, liowever useful. 

Pewee, Pewit, Phoebe. — A small bird, oi brown color : its song 
resembles the word " phebe " (|Uickly and sharply spoken, hence its 
common name, phoebe-bird. It builds under bridges, eaves of out- 
buildings or house-porch ; it appearswhen spring has fairly opened. 

Family Cai'ri.mulgid.e, Goatsuckers. — The whippoorwill is 
the most noted of the familv : the ni^ht sons of this bird is 

526 History of La Salle County. 

known to all, and is a great addition to ihe songs of the summer 
night, and a cheerful sound floating through the dampness, when 
only the sad moan of the owl is heard. 

Night Hawk. — This bird belongs to the same family as the whip- 
poorwill, but not to the same genus ; while that bird is nocturnal, 
the night hawk flies by day, or more generally toward evening, 
flying in companies, foraging for insects. In the breeding season 
it performs curious evolutions, falling through the air with a loud, 
booming cry. 

Family Cypselid^, Swifts, Chimney Swallows. — These birds 
closely resemble the swallow in form and habits, but are really 
widely different. They are noted for the great development of the 
salivary glands, which secrete large quantities of a kind of mucus, 
with which they glue the sticks together which compose their 
nests. They build in chimneys. 

Family Trociiilid^, Hummingbirds. — There are said to be five 
hundred species of this beautiful creature, all AmericaH. Most 
numerous in the tropics. The ruby-throated hummingbird is the 
most common in this latitude, disseminated from the Atlantic to 
the Rocky Mountains. Its tiny form; beautiful colors rivaling the 
rainbow ; its activity and celerity of motion, standing balanced on 
its pinions while it sips the nectar from nature's fountain, changing 
its position in any direction with the quickness of thought — 
altogether it seems a being of a more perfect organization than 
pertains to earth, as if allied to the fabled sy]i)hs of the higher 
air, and too delicate for the rough storms that beat on us here. 

Family Alcidinid/e, Kingfisher. — The belted kingfisher is 
found plentiful along our streams. They are adroit fishers, diving 
beneath the water to seize their prey. They burrow in the banks 
of streams, where they tear their young. 

Family Cuculid/E, Cuckoo. — Tiie yellow-hilled cuckoo is the 
only one with us. It is seldom seen except when on the wing from 
one covert to anotlier, being a shy and solitary bird, yet frequent- 
ing orchards and thickets in the vicinity of dwellings, where its 
note, sounding like "cow, cow," may be heard. It builds its own 
nest and rears its own young, while most of the cuckoos deposit 
their eggs in tiic nests of other birds, which unwittingly become 
foster mothers in place of tiie unnatural jjarent, and the young 
cuckoo, as soon as able, ejects the rightful lledglings from the nest, 
taking sole possession; hence the saying, "as ungrateful u.s acuckoo." 

Fauna of La Salle County — Birds. 527 

Family Prid^e, Woodpeckeks.— Wehave the red-headed wood- 
pecker, whose gay color and loud harsh screams are well known. 
The golden-winged woodpecker, highholder, flicker, or yellow 
hammer, is also common. There are several other varieties found 
in the timber, and they are all useful, living on the larve of beetles, 
which they extract from trees, being provided with an apparatus 
for that purpose. The tongue of the woodpecker is sharp and hard 
as horn, with numerous barbs projecting backward on the sides, 
and he has the power of extending his tongue several inches be- 
yond his bill, this he thrusts into the hole made by the larva, or 
borer, as he is frequently called, pierces, and the barbs hold him 
securely while the bird draws out and swallows the precious mor- 
sel. How curious and wonderful is this arrangement, and how well 
adapted to its purpose ; design is stamped on all that exists. 

There is a variety called sphyrapicus, or sap-sucker, whose tongue 
is not sharp or extensile, but is broad and covered with fine sharp 
and hard papilla ; with this, after removing the outer bark with 
his bill, he rasps off the cambium, or new and soft wood and inner 
bark, on which he subsists. They make a horizontal row of round 
holes sometimes entirely around the tree, repeating the process sev- 
eral times, so as to remove all the inner bark, and girdle the tree. 
They prey mostly upon evergreens, doing great injur3^ 

Family oxniGiOiE, Owls. — The owls are mostly nocturnal, and 
all carnivorous. Their solemn appearance, coupled with their 
strange and lugubrious notes, has caused traditional superstition 
to class these dismal night birds as illomened. The little screech 
owl, one of the smallest of the family, is quite common. Its shrill 
scream in the stillness of the night, until familiarized, is really 
startling. The long-eared owl is of medium size, and is the only 
variety that breeds here except the above. The great gray owl and 
the snowy or white owl, the largest of the owls, are natives of the 
boreal regions, hut travel south during the winter and aie fre- 
quently seen at that season. 

Family Falconiu^, Hawks. — The hawks hold the same relation 
to the feathered tribes that the beasts of prey do to the mammals. 
In round numbers, there are 1,000 species and 200 genera in all 
parts of the world. Of this large number, we have but three or four. 

The red-tailed buzzard, or hen hawk, is quite common and well 

The sharp-shinned hawk is of medium size, of great courage, and 

528 History of La Salle County. 

very active. "Will pick up a chicken ia presence of the mistress of 
the poultry yard, and do it so adroitly as scarcely to be noticed. 

The rusty crowned falcon, sparrow hawk, is one of the smallest, 
and preys upon small birds. This, with the cooper, or chicken, 
hawk, includes about all that are now common in this locality. 

A medium sized, reddish colored liawk, called prairie hawk, were 
very numerous at an earlj' day. They were constantly on the wing, 
hovering near the ground, and living on mice and insects mostly. 
They have now entirely disappeared. 

OsPREY, Fisii Hawk. — Are quite common along our principal 
streams, subsisting exclusively on fish. 

Bald Eagle. — This emblem of the Republic lives mostly on fish, 
and is a piratical parasite of the o^prey. It will sit for hours watch- 
ing the osprey, and when that bird rises from the water with its 
prey, the eagle at once pounces upon it, compels it to drop its hard- 
earned priz", which the eagle siezes and carries to its eyrie, where 
it feasts on its illgotten treasure. 

The traditional nobility of the eagle, like that of the red man, 
fades out on close acquaintance, and a more fitting emblem might 
take its place as tli<! insignia of the great Re])ublic. 

Mankind makes indiscriminate warfare on the hawk family, for 
the reason that they sometimes take a chicken, but they destroy 
immense numbers of insects, mice, moles, rabbits, and reptiles, and 
with few exceptions are our benefactors. 

. Family Catiiahtid.k, Vultures. — The well-known turkey buz- 
zard is the only specimen of this family. It is a filthy, gluttonous 
bird, yet entirely harmless, and useful as a scavenger. 

Family Colu.mhid.k, Pigeons. — The wild pigeon are only vis- 
itors here, their breeding places are in the dense tbrest. They 
come and go as food serves; like all wild birds and mammals, thej' 
congregate where food is plentiful and most to their taste. 

The turtle-dove, or mourning-dove, are numerous, and remain 
with us through the year. Their plaintive note in a minor ke)^ 
though not musical, is not unpleasant, and would be seriously 
mi.ssed from the usual sounds of the summer day. 

The numerous varieties of the tame pigeon claimed to have 
descended from some of the wild varieties, by their divergence from 
the i)arent stock, furnish the strongest ])roof of tlie Darwinian 
theory of development. 

Family MKi,KA<iUii),K, T( hki.vs. — The wild turkey was found 

Fauna of La Salle County — Birds. 529 

here by the first settlers, and still holds its own, or is probably in- 
creasing, owing to the better protection furnished by tlie increase of 

Family Tetuaonmd.e, Gkoise. — The pinnated grouse, or prairie 
hen, was once very numerous, congregating in tlocks in the fall to 
the number of two or three thousand, and when the flock rose on 
the wing the noise resembled distant thunder. They were shot and 
taken in traps in any amount wanted. The attempt to protect 
these birds by game laws has resulted in their rapid extinclion; 
hunting is prohibited till the chicks are nearly grown, consequently 
the birds are tame, and with trained dogs, when a covey is started, 
the last bird is killed, the slaughter is literally murderous. 

The ruffed grouse, or partridge of New England, are not com- 
mon here, a stray one is occasionally seen, and the peculiar drum- 
ming sound for which this bird is noted, is heard from the thick 
timber but seldom. 

QcAiL — Partridge of Virginia, Bob White. — These prettj- and 
useful birds have largely decreased since the settlement of the 
country. The practice of every boy that can carry a gun for mere 
sport shooting the little innocents should be discountenanced. The 
amount of food obtained is a small equivalent for a life taken, and 
is it not barbarous to live on the life blood of innocent beings ': Is 
man a beast of prey? he is — but should he bey 

Family Charadrid.e, Ploveu. — A numerous family, containing 
nearly a hundred species. The prairie was formerly the favorite 
haunt of a number of species, but they now give us but a passing call 
as they go and return from the breeding grounds farther north. 

Family ScoLArociD.K — Snii'e, Woodcock, etc. — American 
woodcock, a favorite bird for sportsmen, plenty in some localities. 
Long-billed curlew, once numerous on the prairie, called prairie 
snipe, now gone to a newer and wilder region. The sandpiper, 
godarts, tattlers, are sometimes seen; these last are all shore birds 
and waders. 

Family' Ardeid^, Herons. — The blue heron is common. The 
white heron is quite numerous at certain .seasons, and a conspicu- 
ous object; standing midway in the stream, perfectly motionless, 
he watches for his prey. 

Bittern, Indian Hen, Stake Driver, Plmi'Kk. — Once numer- 
ous, are still found about the ponds of water on the prairie. 

Blue Bittern. — This bird has been injured by a vulgar name ; 
its long legs and neck are not ungraceful. 

530 History of La Salle County. 

Family Gruid.e, Ckanes. — The brown, or sand hill crane has a 
body as large as a wild turkej^, while their very long legs, neck and 
bill give them a majestic and commanding appearance. Their 
extreme height is four to five feet. Thej' feed mostly on grains 
and insects, frequenting the high and dry prairie, but building their 
nests on tlie margin of ponds or streams. The young in color and 
appearance resemble a young goslin. They are a social, playful 
bird, collecting in groups on the prairie, where they were fre- 
quently seen dancing cotillions. Some ten or a dozen would form 
a circle, lock their heads together, circle right and left, let go and 
each turn by a succession of hops and again lock their heads and 
repeat, occasionally stopping to utter their loud and shrill screams 
or whoop, which could be heard a long distance. Whether this 
indulgence is approved by the more staid and older cranes, or are 
the wild orgies of the young mad-caps, is not known ; or whether 
they learned from unfeathered bipeds, or the unfeathered learned 
of the cranes, has not been fullj^ settled. They were once numer- 
ous here, and a conspicuous object on the prairie, and their shrill 
whoop one of the frequent and conspicuous sounds that greeted the 
early pioneer. But they seldom stop here now ; their scream is 
heard high in air, in spring and fall, as they go and return to and 
from their breeding places in the far North, away from civilization. 

Family, Kails, Coots, etc. — These are a small class of 
birds that frequent swamps and marshes, and from the absence 
here of their favorite haunts, they are but seldom seen. 

Family Anatiu^:, Geesi!:, Ducks, etc. — The Canada, or wild 
goose, brant and ducks, once to some extent reared their broods 
and summered here, but with the exception of a few species of 
ducks, they all pass by for their summer haunts in a newer region, 
but they are plentiful in spring and fall, as a supply of food tempts 
them to tarry. 

Gulls, pelicans, loons, swans, and other water fowl, are seen, 
some of them frequently in large flocks, along the Illinois river 
and other large streams, as occasional visitors, but none of them 
make this locality their home. 


The reptiles common to this latitude are not plenty, not- 
withstanding the wide circulation of the Illinois snake stories. 
Turtles. — The soft turtle is common about the large streams. 

Fauna of La i:iaUe County — Reptiles. 531 

The snapping turtle and speckled turtle nie about all iu that line. 
A few small lizards are seen, but verj- i-are. 

SxAKES. — Were once numerous but are fast disappearing. The 
yellow-banded rattlesnake, "Crotalus durissus," are occasionally 
met with, but have so far diminished as to cease to be a terror to 
the timid. 

The prairie rattlesnake, Massasauger/'Crotalophous tergeminus," 
once so numerous, are only occasionally found. These two are the 
only venomous reptiles we have. The copper head is said to be 
found faither south, but it is not found here. 

Of harmless snakes, we have the water snake, the blowing viper, 
or sissing adder, the bull snake, a very large and beautiful reptile, 
black snake, striped snake, and green j^nake. These are not only 
harmless, but useful. They destroy immense numbers of field mice 
and other vermin. One gcod sized bull snake is worth more than 
a dozen cats to destroy rats and mice, and yet nearly everj' one 
kills a snake, and in doing so the farmer kills his best friends. 
The immense increase of the field mice, "Arvicola riparia," so 
destructive to young trees, is mostlj' due to this senseless war on 
the snakes. The dread of a snake is not natural, but acquired and 
traditional. There is room enough in the world for these harmless 
reptiles and us too, and by relentlessly destroying them we break 
the harmony of nature's balance and do irretrievable injury. The 
dangerous poisonous reptiles should be destroyed, but the harm- 
less ones have a right to protection, and our best interest demands 
that a senseless superstition should no longer mar the wisdom of 
natures laws. 

Batk.\chia. — The warted toad is quite common. The tree frog 
may be heard from his perch whenever the increasing moisture in 
the atmosphere calls forth his thankful song. 

The bull frog is not common, and his deep bass is missed from 
the summer evening concerts of animated life. 

The green frog is found where the moisture and other surround- 
ings suit his taste, but less abundant than iu the Eastern States. 

The peeping frog is found where water exists for any length of 
time, and it is singular how soon a pond formed on dry ground 
will develop this noisy little batrachian. Its familiar note in 
early spring shows that the icy chains of winter have broken and 
released him from his cozy bed at the bottom of the marsh, where 
in unconscious silence he has slept the winter away. 


School Commissioneks and County Superintendents of 
La Salle County. 

Charles Ilaywaid, 1831 to 1833 ; David Letts, 1833 to 1835 ; 
William Sladden, 1835 to 1841; W. H. W. Cushman, 1841 to 1843 ; 
Lorenzo Leland, 1843 to 1849; Lucien B. Delano, 1849 to 1851; 
Wells Wait, 1851 to 1853 ; D. P. Jones, 1853 to 1857 ; Wells Wait, 
1857 to 1863; J. M. Day, 1863 to 1869; Geo. S. Wedgwood, 1869 to 
1872 ; R. Williams, 1872 to 1877. 

Number males in County under 21 years 17,236 

Number females in County under 21 years.. — 17,615 

Total number persons under 21 years 34,851 

Number males between G and 21 years.. .- 11,391 

Number females between 6 and 21 years 11,^77 

Total number between 6 aad 21 j'^ears 23,168 

Number of male pupils enrolled 7,983 

Number of female pupils enrolled.. 8,349 

Total number of pupils enrolled 16,332 

Number school districts 298 

Number districts having school 5 months or more 291 

Number districts having school less than 5 months. 7 

Total number Public Schools sustained 347 

Total number of months schools sustained. 2,843.63 

Average number months schools sustained 7.5& 

Grand total number days attendance 15,865.04 

Number Graded Schools 19 

Number months taught in Graded Schools 834 

Number Ungrade t Schools 282 

Number months taught in Ungraded Schools 1,291.90 

Number Public High Schools 5 

Number Male Teachers 216 

Number Female Teachers 394 

Total number Teachers fllO 

Numiter months taught by Male'Tcachers 1,019.55 

Number months taught by Female Teachers 2,021 7& 

Total number months taught 3,041.35 

Number Private Schools 16 

Number male pnpils in Private Schools 639 

Nninbcr I'crniile i)n|iils in I*rivat(^ Schools 558 

Total nuinl)er pupiU in Private Schools 1,197 


Gliurclies. 533 

Number teachers in Private Schools — 27 

Highest monthly salarj* paid to any Male Teacher $200.00 

Highest monthly salary paid to any Female Teacher 70.00 

Lowest monthlj' salary paid to anj' Male Teacher 20.00 

Lowest monthly salary paid to any Female Teacher IH.OO 

Number of applicants examined for Teaching 521 

Number of males rejected 21 

Number of females rejected 61 

Number Districts having Libraries 39 

Number Vols, bought during year for District Libraries. 296 

Total number Vols, in District Libraries 1,461 

Number acres School Lands sold during year. 48 

Number acres School Lands remaining unsold i593 

Numbc r School Houses built during year o 

Number Stone School Houses . 1 

Number Brick School Houses 21 

Number Frame School Houses 280 

Total number in County. 302 

Estimated vnlue of School Property $272,835.00 

Amount of Receipts during year../ 260,121.72 

Amount paid Teachers 135,634.84 

Total E.\penditures for the year 212.274.13 


Xo of Cost of 

Organized, vomher^ Church 

Adams- Member.. E^ifl^^ 

Lutheran... 1847 200 

Norwegian M. E 1853 20 

Methodist Episcopal 1860 71 |4,500 

Baptist 1847 40 4,00o 

Catholic 1862 


Allen Chapel, M. E. 1871 40 2,500 

Protestant German 1870 15 3,000 

Brookfield — 

Presbyterian, of Ottawa 1833 

Transferred to Brooktield 1840 30 1,500 

Bruce — 

Streator Catholic Mission 800 

Presbyterian, as the Gallowaj' Church. 1858 

Transferred to Streator 1870 119 

Cumberland Presbyterian 

Protestant Episcopal 1878 44 2,500 

Methodist Episcopal-. 300 7,500 

Baptist 1873 74 4,500 

United Brethren 1873 

German Evangelical 

534 History of La Salle County. 

T^ . Cost of 

.. -o , Organized. M^^^«;^^ Church 

Deer Park— Edifice. 

Baptist. ---- - 1848 43 $2,000 

Methodist 1,200 

Eagle — 

Catholic- -- 500 2.000 

Methodist Episcopal 1842 ... 3,500 

Congregational .-- 1867 

Presbyterian - 1852 60 

Universalist - -- 1867 60 15,000 



Tonica Congregational -- 1857 140 3.500 

Baptist, organized at Vermillionville . 1836 

Removed to Tonica 1856 76 2,500 

Methodist Episcopal- 1855 70 3,000 

German Evangelical 1870 100 

Cedarport M. E -- 1848 .... 1.800 

Fall River- 
Hickory Point M. E ---- 50 3,000 

Farm Ridge — 

Protestant Episcopal, St. Andrew's--- 1851 35 1,300 

Lutheran 1859 42 2,000 

Methodist, built by the Lutherans.:.- ^854 1,500 

Presbyterian, at Grand Ridge 1856 103 1,850 

Freedom — 

Methodist Episcopal.-- - 1835 50 4,000 

German Methodist 50 3,000 

Baptist 1842 out of use. 

Presbyterian, at Gouldtown 1846 1,200 

Grand Rajnds — 

Catholic Church -- 300 4,000 

German Protestant Methodist - - 50 3,000 

YaieM. E. 80 2,800 

Cumberland Presbyterian - 1855 110 2,500 

Groveland — 

Congregational (Rutland) 1854 35 2,800 

( Mi-thodisl Episcopal . 1864 40 3,000 

New Rutland -Advontists 1865 40 3,000 

(Christian 1866 70 3,800 

lIoi)e — 

rCatholic 1875 100 3,800 

T ...n. J Bapiist --. 1868 40 

Lostant V .^,j^^^^.^^ -^ggt, 4^ 

[Catholic -. 1868 140 

La Salle — 

Catholic— St. Patrick's Cathedral.... 1838 4,000 75,000 

Protestant Evangelical 1863 200 1,200 

('ongrcgational. 1852 80 

Methodist Episcopal - 200 13,000 

Churches. 535 

No. of 

Cost of 

Manlius- «^^-^-^- Member. C^^^ 

Congregatioual 1860 212 $4,000 

Baptist 1866 112 2,500 

Protestant Episcopal 1867 2,000 

Universalist 1859 40 

Methodist Episcopal bO 

Mendota — 

Methodist Episcopal - 1853 200 7,000 

Baptist 1854 286 18,000 

Catholic 1854 550 8,000 

Presbyterian 1855 169 4,800 

Congregational 1855 45 3,000 

German Catholic 1856 110 9,000 

German Lutheran 1858 38 6,000 

Evangelical Association --. 1867 85 3,000 

United Brethren 1875 52 2.O0O 

Lutheran, at Norway 1840C'ng400 4,000 

Mormon 1844 40 (500 

Mission Lutheran 1840C'ng600 7,000 

Protestant Methodist 1845/ .-. i -nn 

Church builtl855, removed to Sheridan 1870 f "*" ^''''"" 

Universalist.. 1877 12 1,200 

Methodist Episcopal being organized. 

Northville — 

Methodist Episcopal at Asbury 1,200 

Ottawa — 

A Mission in 1838, Catholic, St. Colum- t jg , . „ q^q ^ qqq 

A church costinsr $45,000 was burned. 

The First Congregational 1839 i 

The Plymouth Cliurch 1858- 274 35,000 

The two united... 1870 ) 

Baptist 1841 269 10,000 

Protestant Episcopal 1838 110 14,000 

Presbyterian... 1869 100 22,000 

Methodist Episcopal... - 1830 210 15,000 

German Evangelical Association 1865 60 2,400 

St Francis, German Catholic 1858 750 

German Lutheran 1855 35 families 

Otter Creek — 

Hopewell Chapel, United Brethren... 1866 13 1.300 

Peru — 

Catholic and German Catholic 1840 2,000 15,000 

Methodist Episcopal 1845 40 3,300 

Presbyterian, organized at Rockwell 1837 then 5 .... 
Removed to Peru 1839, made Congre- 
gational (Parsonage, $3,200) 1853 70 10,000 

536 History of La Salle County. 

organized, ^^o.^ of^ 

Seneca — nainct 

Catholic, St. Patrick's .- 1868 1,000 $15,000 

Methodist Episcopal 1868 86 

Baptist... 1866 25 

Serena — 

Seventh Day Adventists 1874 60 1,200 

French Protestants.... 1873 50 1,000 

Union Church 1877 .... 4,000 

United Brethren 20 

South Ottawa- 
Presbyterian.... 1849 .... 1,800 

Troy Grove — 

German Catholic... .... 500 12,000 

Lutheran 30 1,500 

Presbyterian 20 3,500 

Bethel 3.000 

I'tica — 

Catholic.-...-.. 1852 3,000 10,000 

Baptist 1876 75 

Yermillion — 

Congregational 1837 2,000 

Prot'nt Methodist occupy the Church. 

Waltham — 

Presbyterian 1849 .... 8,000 

Baptist (near Ulica) 1,200 


The following statement of the assessment of real and personal 
estate of La Salle county for 1876, and of the taxes for all purposes 
assessed for that year, is the annual statement made by H. A. Mc- 
Caleb, County Clerk, and is correct, but in one particular gives a 
very erroneous impression of the value of the property of the 
county. The law re((uires the assessors to assess all property at 
its cash value, but the tendency has ever been to yearly run the 
price down, till for the year here given it is scarcel}'^ 50 per cent, of 
the real value. The assessed price of land for 1877 is, for im- 
proved land, .$26.25 per acre; for unimproved, $18.73; average, 
$24.79; while the actual value is twice that. Horses average $46.33, 
mules $46.69, cattle $15.82, sheep $2.09, hogs $3.14, pianos $95.55. 
parlor organs $42.50. A glance at this list will make it apjiarent 
that the aggregate of the assessed valuation should be doubled at 
least to show tlic true amount. 

Assessment and Taxes. 


•o . I » IN -re* 1.-; 
— -o C = S2C! i 

■^ IC i- X cc 

t-; o e; — C-. T'" ^ X i- -^ c. -^ -■ — 

CO I- ■-; ".I I- -s T (- -T — — Ti o 

'i — ■;= £ -^j i-, v' — 'i — S r: o c; r: X I w 

o ^ o 
_ re r: K o 

TO— VO = 

i ■= ;£ X 

- 1- o OT in < 

^ X X I - X !_;; — -T ■; •?» — — y;* r: »(: ;^ 1- « cci- -T « in -r :2 ^ ?i " " == ~ 

I lO o — o 
<!< T t- :c 

I t- o: TO C-. 
•o X -i — 

I S =B ^' ^ 

— ^0;TOt^OTOOOO:^w!52*»r. '^T*-^CTOTOC; 
c-K .-• ^ X o-T ii t- " i •^» " ?*?> X ?» -;■» X 2 — £ < 

ih ;c t- o o X TO X i- 3 iH X ?< — TO TO X — t^ i--^ L^ — ; 

:^ — y'^r-CCg-t^OOt; 

:o:srrc:TOOTO-w — — -rQ^ox^ooTOinwcct-oooc^o-^*— XTO'^*XJ: — xo 
x>xr::^'^c^-f'7*xi^:^004ni-ir:c;'r»(r*;ct-XTOt- — — c»TOTO»-TO(-oX"(-oc: 
1 I- ic c. c/ 1- ic TO o_^^r:^TO t- *-'; *' "^^^^^^^"^ ^'^,'^ ^"v^^ '^^'" ^ »^ '?* "^ OS w5 o 
30 sfoT —'•?»■ in — to'j- wr' in ^Tto'-^'jc t-''— 'x'to 00 »f x a i^ct'to to od o'— '—' c< ^ — 'rJ'— 

~l-Ot-XXO-'l-TOOS: — TOI-C-. XaCTOS-. C-. OCT. O'NinTO'NXin-J'TO-^XO'rCT 

o m i- ' — t- X -r r- TO 

<X TO t- ■ O T? TO i- TO (T' 

o<r<_o iTO^r^-rCi'— 

— - ci-^ , •^' :o — '— 'in i- 

. t- — •?*?* ;c ;o TO 

• c: o in X o o ■ •-■ 

■ ~ r; r- -^^o in • c_ 

I in o' un T»' -r* •-' , t-^ 
- -I cc -^ a:i ' 

lO — Tl' 

m CT X :s XI "-• , in 

• C-30 -co ■TO^'Ti^r^X 

* c^"^ ' »n_ • ci TO c^. r; ?> TO 

It'i-^ ,'t- ' I- —'•?*'.;?:' to" 

( «C 0> . -.C r-. C". r- O 

^t-o .oooomto 1 1-1 o; in cc X ;£ .^ . .oc« .o .<?*'^'0^- — to 

c* :dn ■ s^ TO in — c* ^ • -r* ic i- o *— TO 1,0; ■ •t-.n it- 'oox^ct-sio 

TO XI- 'X — TOt-__TO_ I x_^inr-x ;cin_ i't-_^ ■ '05« it-^ nn — toxi-o: 

t-^o-^" I w'in':if — i— ^x < jn^^ X o r£TO .3c I i^yto Itt I jOiy^^o; si'^Tto" 

I — ^ 
j x'o" 

•' ~ ' » — m 1 "" 

^Di?* O; 3: c: TO 
j.^ , 3: rH O t-i -J 

o o 

000 .OOOCOd^O n-t — inTOOO 

— I x_o t-^x -aiin 

I in'in oco'ffl t^ 

• 00 lO ■e»«»ooim — 
'Erfi 't" 'Xooot-oooo 

' 3^0O_ it-^ 'in 1-1 TO^TO TO 05 

l^oT J -J ', -^ o> 3i n --c n 

I TO iQD , ^ *-t w fW ^ 

• l- , lO , ^^ ^- 

-3 « I 



C J^ Q) S'' 

^ ^. n cj *^ 


: a x 2 a 

• ; '5 > 

— So 




History of La Salle Coiniiy. 

I QO-^iO--0 0'Xi»fiOOC 

S^CC*-«'-'0DC0'-^0;Ci5C^0;G0O:COOO'?*t00»i0T-tC*CC l«C 

1 t*'*oaocf TOt^GcTco"'-^'--*'^ t^i^^c-cTodco-^Ti; o z6 ^ tS -^t- coco to fio 


^ ;o -^ »-* i-t 

O O (7< T-i (?* :C lO 1-1 (J* TT 

O^t- 00-^t-O*-"CC00 

a. (N t- o c- Tj" (T< 

O f O »-< t-^ -rj* c« 

- - - « TJ* 

^ T-Hl-linW 


»-H:^t-TriOOi(N'y(i-'Ot-^t^cccoxGO 'CO ^lactlC^cooco:^cO'^*^-coo»'^>y^'^o■^ 

r-ciDGOTCir:iwoot-cOf-i'^oc*iO-'3*l— ';c iC^coooc^tN — TrT7C'!£>i'-+o-TX-tco 

3^ TT_o ^ c: ;o o o :d o ^ o ;c i^___o G3_ • i- "^^"^ "^ "-^-^^ '^'"1.'^ ^'^''^ "^^"^ ^ '^^^ -^ t> go 

^— ^i-Tt-T rHC^'c* Oir^r^ r-TT-t i-T | 1 -^ r-Ti-T y^COf^O^ of i-T^jT 

• cO''-<coOTi<-^»r3^-ooo:C'«-it-oco icc;o»-«i-t 


co'^'?*co 'coo«GOi-<ococo»co"^in*r3a»'^ 'c:c»oco 

^i-CO'i-<rH T-H-iM 1-1 CO iM„ 



oo'7*rococccocO'-'~x>icr?QO'7<ir5XC5QOt-;ci-«cocoof-t-»0 3i:ooc;0'?#'-'io 
55 TT -tJ o o »-< o t-cst_c- "l^Tj^cO'T* :c 00 ;c_;o_c* "^'~' ^ ^;.^ co "^^o co^tt go o co o r- c< 

•?< (?r,-H CO (N CO iO TT '-•"(N CO CO T^ '^' — r Tf irTi-Tcf CO CO «'»-*" Co' »--»->' O <N r-Tcf'-^rH (N cj' 

-?« CO 



t- rf3 t-OD 

^00 r-^-^^^" 





CDiO t-Tt* 

O :0 ;C (N Tt" CO C» 

40 o 00 "^ in Xi CO 

(N f- 3i t- t- 'rt' CO 

c: CO O 1'^ O irt CO 

1-' O (N CO r-t eve c< 

O O 00 CO «D 
■rj< C 00 coco 

CN »-* 1-t C* «-< »-• 

©*WiniftoooooicoQOcoc^ieooi-tir#coco-x!<j<a: x>oo5(?<i''--t-ot-xjt-i-^oo(?toio 

' ^ ?0 I- XI t- 

ko o 00 o t- 1-H -r 00 :o no iTi ??• ■^ T*« o« »-* r- CO 00 f 

COC;'^^t-t-'<?*'-'t- li^X C0C0i7*C0C0Tr0*t*rHC0'?*O G^C* CC <N CO 00 00 <?*.•-* CO 00 t- *^ (N 

:'a:cncoi-tr:c. '-*'^coQOt-^Go<or:coi.-'-^*.'»ooi-cr3-^coc;; 

ClX>t0C0X:OCQC0C0Ot--t0C0;0-,0<N»-Ht-OC0C*»»-'O>rtOr- — »Qff*'-»'C0cCtCiOa:0000 


c*--oc>ooO'r»eoi-OTj*o(Ni'-coc: ot-ooiOco'-»*ni-ixcot'-W{NiOocci-Tj<ocoaicc 

ff: oo n -r c: (- -^ lO oc i.'^ -o o CO CO c5 I- CO <M irt 1- C5 *-< or 00 CO TT c- 'O '-r- o -r j: o *c a: ^ in 
cocox) t-oi'^^-f'—aiooi"-co<o I- i.- i-icorrTj* t*- -^ coo iT. ©♦locr. ococorr I- oci»-<o 

S a o S2T! 0ii 


,2-S J 



Hecapitulaiion of Taxes. 





Town District 
Taxes. School. 


Railroad Taxes 

i 3,6t7.12 



$ 2,865.77 



$ 872.51 * 7 filfi .nfi 

Back Taxes 


6 777.59 

General Taxes 








Road and 


Road and 



$ 616.60 



$ 2,097.59 



$ 723.46 



$ 3,311.83 
9,716 72 

Back Taxes 

97,970 58 






High School. 

Interest Bond. 


Railroad Taxes 

$ 211.34 

94 42 


$ 989.79 

$ 22,952.57 
29,902 58 

General Taxes 



$2,644 91 


$302,100 43 

540 History of La Salle County. 



Organ- No. of 

Ottawa ized. Memb'rs. 

Ottawa Commandery, No. 10 1851 66 

Shabona Chapter, No. 37... 1876 95 

Occidental Lodge, A. F. & A. M., No. 40 132 

Humboldt Lodge, A. F. & A. M., No. 555 35 

Peru — 

St. John's Lodge, No. 13 1843 78 

Peru Chapter, R. A. M 1860 63 

St. John's Commandery 1867 30 

Marseilles — 

Marseilles Lodge, No. 417... 52 


Tonica Lodge, No. 364.. 1861 37 

Streator — 

Blue Lodge, No. 607 1868 119 

Chapter R. A.M., No. 168 __.. 1875 40 

Sheridan — 

Sheridan Lodge, No. 35 1875 26 

Troy Grove — 
Lost ANT — 

Lostant Lodge, No. 597 35 

La Salle — 

Acacia Lodge, No. 67 1849 80 

Utica — 

Cement Lodge, No. 304 47 

Cement Chapter, R. A. M., No. 58 1860 39 

Leland — 

Leland Lodge, No. 558 1867 18 

Seneca — 

Seneca Lodge, No. 532. 1867 46 

Eari,vili-e — 

Meridian Lodge, No. 183 1854 60 


Rutland Lodge, No. 477 31 

Rutland Chapter, R. A M., No. 112 1867 77 

New Rutland Council, No. 52 1871 34 

Mk.ndota — 

Mendota Lodge, No. 176 112 

Mendola Chapter, No. 79 69 

Mendota Council, No. 32 46 

Bethany Commandery, No. 28 38 

I. o. o. V. 
Ottawa — 

Ottawa Lodge, No. 41 1856 109 

Library, 900 vols. 

Lodges and Societies. 541 

Organ- >i o. of 
ized. Memb'rs 

Ottawa Encampment, No. 33 1856 45 

Lessing Lodge, No. 326 58 

ItHand Encampment, No. Ill 33 

ToDti Lodge, No. 399 62 

Peuu — 

Florence Lodge, No. 1, Daughters of Rebecca.. 60 

Mokena Lodge, No. 34 86 

Peru Encampment, No. 164 33 

Rebecca Lodge, No. 89 46 

Makseilles — 

Junietta, No. 201 1850 50 

Marseilles Encampment, No. 150 18 

Toxica — 

Tonica, No. 298 1861 53 

Streatok — 

Edina Lodge, No. 391 1869 98 

Streator Lodge, No. 602 1876 40 

Betho ven Lodge 


Sheridan Lodge. 1874 30 

Troy Grove — 

Shiloh Lodge 1858 35 


La Salle — 

La Salle Lodge, No. 101 43 

Arndt Lodge, No. 525. 40 

Utica — 

Utica Lodge, No. 403 1869 40 

Grand Ridge — 

Victor Lodge, No. 578... 

Leland — 

Leland Lodge, No. 352 30 

Seneca — 

Manlius Lodge, No. 491 36 

Star of Hope Encampment, No. 149 1873 lO 

Earlville — 

Shabona Lodge, No. 294... 1861 e.') 

Rutland — 

New Rutland Lodge, No. 607 16 

Men DOT A — 

Mendota Lodge, No. 293 68 

AUemania Lodge, No. 411 55 

miscellaneous societies. 
Ottawa — 

St. Elmo Lodge, K. of P., No. 7 1875 40 

Humboldt Lodge, L B. B, No. 180 • 40 

542 History of La Salle County. 

Organ- No. of 

Peru — ized. Memb'rs. 

German Benevolent Society 168 

Peru Turnverein 74 

St. Marj-^'s Total Abstinence Society .- 30 

St. Patrick Benevolent Society 28 

La Salle — 

Father Matthew T. A. S 400 

Boys St. Patrick Cadets 300 

Brothers' Parochial School 200 

Academy by the same 200 

School by the Sisters of Charity 200 

Hibernian Benevolent Society - 120 

K. O. P... 41 

A. O. U.W.-- 25 

Streator — 

N. Streator Lodge, No. 429, I. O. G. T., 1876 29 

Centennial Temple, No. 1, U. O. A. T 1876 80 

RoseofEden 1877 40 

Father Matthew T. A. S 80 

Centennial Lodge, No. 14, A. O. of W -.. 38 

N. Streator Lodge, A. O. of U.W 

Eagle — 

Father Matthew T. A. S 50 

Utica — 

Father Matthew T. A. S... 45 

Starved Rock Lodge, L O. of G. T 1877 39 

Mendota — 

A. O. IT. W 1877 24 

Mendota Benevolent Society 80 

Mendota Turners 50 

Independent Order G. T., No. 416 56 

Star Temple, No. 2, U. O. A. T 51 

Red Ribbon Club 1877 300 

Mendota Cassino.. 40 

Mendota Library Association, 1,600 vols., en- 
dowed by Wm. Graves 182 



Tlie Phoenix Glass Co. manufacture 38,000 50 feet 
boxes of window glass annually, averaging $3 

pel- box '. 1114,000 

Matheison & Ilciglcr Zinc Works manufaclure 8,000,000 

lbs. spelter annually 500,000 

The ore is brought from Wisconsin and ]\Iissouri. 
Men employed, 300. The coal is obtained frou) a 

Manufactures. 543 

shaft on the premises. They consume 100 tons per 

day. The}- have a rolling-mill for manufacturing 

sheet ziuc of cajjacity equal to tiie manufacture. 
The La Salle Zinc Co. manufacture 3,600,000 lbs. spelter 

per annum $225,000 

They consume 50 tons coal ])er day, 

Robert Lanyan & Co.'s Zinc Works make 6,000 lbs. of 

spelter daily, or 1,800.000 lbs. annually, worth about. 110,000 

and consume 25 tons of coal per day. 
The manufacture of cigars, sash, doors, blinds, and 

beer, will amount to many thousands. 
Marseilles — 

Pitts & Co. manufacture threshing machines 250,000 

Adam's, agricu'tural implements 100,000 

Young & Co., paper 30,000 

Mendota — 

Western Cottage Organ Co. turns out 500,000 

Donahue & Madden, wagons, foundry, etc 25,000 

Hastings & Co., wagons and carriages .. 7,500 

Henner3''s Brewery 50,000 

Mendota Linseed Oil Works, capacity 75,000 bu. of seed. 
Ottawa — 

Glass works manufacture, in value 150,000 

per annum. Thej' consume 8,0Q0 tons of coal, 250 

tons soda ash, 15,000 tons of sand, 3 tons of arsenic, 

employ 150 hands. 4,000 bbls. of lime, and 300,000 

feet ot lumber for boxes. 
Ottawa Starch Factory consume from 100,000 to 

250,000 bu. of corn per annum, and turn out 1,000 

lbs. starch daily when running. 
King & Hamilton manufacture corn cultivators and 

corn shellers to the amount of 200,000 

Geo. W. Rugg, manufacturer of furniture 30,000 

Mayerhofer, plows and cultivators 40,000 

The manufacture of cutlery, sash, doors, and blinds, 

pumps, etc., will amount to 75,000 

Peru — 

The Illinois Zinc Co. manufacture 4,000.000 lbs. of 

spelter annually, and consume 60 tons of coal daily 250,000 
The tirm of Brewster, Huse ct Co. manufacture plows, 

cultivators, etc. , to the amount of 200,000 

The business of the Peru Foundry, Brenner & Snow, 

amountsto 40,000 

The manufacture of beer amounts to over 100 barrels 

Utica — 

The production of hydraulic lime is 75,000 bbls., worth. 110,000 

Sew( rase pipe, 130,000 feet, worth 38, COO 

Drain tile, 250,000 feet, worth 22,000 

M4 History of La Salle County . 

Amount of Corn, Oats, and Live Stock, the Production of 
La Salle County, Shipped per Annum. 

S^^v^^ Bushels of Bushels 

Stock. *^'""°- "'^ O'^^^- 

LaSalle .'. 329,3:55 85,800 

Utica, by Jas. Clark & Son 210,000 22,000 

" by Gilbert 270,000 35,000 

Cars of Stock 42 

Peru, Day's Warehouse 250,000 50,000 

" Young's Warehouse 200,000 50,000 

" Stockdale's Warehouse 250,000 50,000 

Ottawa, average shipment 1,300,000 35,000 

Ottawa Corn Starch Co. consume 100,000 

Seneca... 225 000,000 200,000 

Ransom 40 130,000 20,000 

Marseilles, Scott & Harrington ... 300,000 100,000 

Ward.. 00,000 30,000 

Mendota 257 300,000 75,000 

Tonica.-.. 345 70,000 35,000 

Lostant 245 93,000 52,000 

Winona, i supposed to be the \ ^^^ 93 ^^q 50 000 

proportion from LaSalle \ .^^-.v/wv , 

NewKullandi supposed to be I g.,,- . gg poO 40,000 

the proportion from LaSalle. \ u.7,wvv , 

Sheridan 580 77,000 15,000 

Serena. 30 100,000 20,000 

Wedron 15 15,000 2,000 

Grand Ridge 107 200,000 30,000 

Streator 84 250,0C0 40,000 

Leland 179 90,000 50,000 

Earl 200 151,000 40,000 

Meriden 120 1 'JO, 000 44,000 

Mendota y27 300,000 10,000 

Sandwich (one-half) 50,000 24,000 

Somonauk " _.. 03,000 15,000 

Garfield, Munstfr, Dayton 50 100,000 25,000 

Totals 3,211 6,305,335 1,335,300 

Grass Seed grown in County, 100,000 bush(!ls. 

Amount of Coal raised at LaSalle and Peru.. 300,000 tons annually. 

" " shii)ped from Streator 300,000 " 


Arrival of Boats at Ottaioa. 


Ice Trade of Peru a^h La 8alle. 

Ice Cut— McCormick 25,000 tons. 

" Huse & Loomis 25,000 " 

Other houses -.. 25,000 " 

Vicksburg Co 15,000 " 

AtLaSalle 35,000 " 

Total at Peru and La Salle 125,000 tons. 


1820. 1830. 





State 55,162 157,445 





County of LaSalle, 







Block 4, 

Lot 7 

% 29 

Block 10, 

Lot 16, 


Block 11, 

S. i Lot 8 


Block 5, 

Lot 3, 


Block 12, 

Lot 6 


Block 17, 

Lot 3, 


Block 12, 

Lot 2 


Block 11, 

S. \ Lot 2, 


Block 13, 

Lots 4, 5, 6 


Block 12, 

Lot 8, 


Lot 2, Block 11, embraces the N. 3.£ of the E. side of the Square. 
Lot 8, Block 2, embraces the S. % of t^e W. side of the Square. 
The price for Lot 8 was :j;12 cash and $15 County orders. 


To show the amount of river trade in the olden time the follow 
ing arrival of river boats at Ottawa is inserted : 


1831, October 10. The Traveler , 

1832, April 4. The Caroline .. . 

1833, January 14. Exchange 

" July 3. Exchange 

" July 13. Exchange - 


History of La Salle County. 


1849. March 13, Tamerlane. Roff. 

" " 14. Lnpere --- - -. Hall. 

" " 15. Alvarado - - - Moore. 

" 10. Revolution Hill. 

'• " 17. Prairie Bird - Johnston. 

" 18. Lightfoot... --- Brooks. 

" " 19. Uucle Tobey McMahan. 

" " 20. Avalanche - Moss. 

" " 22. Timolion Ryder. 

" " 23. Revolution --- - Hill. 

" 24. Prairie Bird -- Pratt. 

" 25. " " - " 

" " 25. Alvarado Moore. 

" 26. Acadia -- Russell. 

" " 27. Lightfoot - Brooks. 

" " 29. Ocean Wave Deviny. 

" " 29. Eureka... Laycant. 

" 30. Timolion Ryder. 

" 30. Prairie Bird Hill. 

" April 1. Alvarado Moore. 

2. Avalanche Moss. 

" " 5. Ocean Wave Deviny. 

5. Dan'l Slillman DeWitt. 

" " 7. Eureka -- Sargeant. 

" " 9. Timolion Ryder. 

10. Avalanche Moss. 

" 11. Prairie State Baldwin. 

" " 11. Ocean Wave... - Deviny. 

" " 13. Revolution Hill. 

" " 15. Eureka Laycant. 

18. Timolion - Ryder. 


No. of 
GRANGE. Memb'rs 

Dayton 27 

Deer Park 26 

Diamond Creek, Dana 20 

Eagle. 14 

Freedom 46 

Grand Rapids. 18 

Groveland 35 

Mission 23 

Nortliville 30 

No. of 


Peru 20 

Pomona (Rutland) - 22 

Rutland 46 

Serena.. 20 

Sheridan 23 

Tonica 60 

Utica 14 

Union (Prairie Center) ..- 55 

Wallace.. 36 

Cities and Villages. ri47 


There are five cities in La Salle county, five incorporated villages, 
and ten other considerable towns and railroad stations. 

Ottawa was platted by State authority and recorded at 
Peoria, then the county seat, December 5, I80O. In 1839 it became 
a village, with limited municipal power, and made a city by special 
act of the Legislature in 1858. Wm. Hickling was the first mayor. 
In 1876 Ottawa polled 1,590 votes, and must contain nearly 10,000 
people. The population of Ottawa at the last census was about 

La Salle became an important place, in addition to its natural 
location and resources, by the decision of the trustees of the Illinois 
and Michigan Canal, placing the termination of the canal, or its 
junction with the Illinois river, within its limits, in 1836. In 1837 
the town was laid out, and incorporated a city in 1852. In 1876 
La Salle polled 1,124 votes; this would indicate from 6,000 to 7,000 

Peru was first surveyed and platted by the school commission- 
ers in 1834. The Ninawa addition was jilatted and recorded by T. 
D. Brewster in 1836, embracing most of the business part of the 
town. Peru was incorporated a city in March, 1851. T. D. Brews- 
ter was the first mayor. Vote polled in 1876, 862, and the popula- 
tion must be about 5,000. 

Mendota was made an incorporated town in 1851, with J. H. 
Adams as president of the Board of Trustees. It was made a city 
in March, 1867. Boyd Lowe was the first mayor. Vote in 1876, 
973; indicating over 5,000 population. 

Earlville was made an important commercial point immediately 
after the completion of the railroad in 1853, a corporation, with 
municipal power, in 1863, and a citj^ in 1877. J. J. Pool is mayor. 
Leland was surveyed and the town plat recorded in 1853, and 
called Whitefield, and the station named Waverly, but Leland 
eventually became the only name. It was incorporated a village in 

Lostant was laid out in 1861, and incorporated a village in 1867. 
New Rutland was surveyed and the plat recorded in 1855. 
Seneca was for a time called Crotty, from Jeremiah Crott}- who 
laid out the town. It was incorporated as a village in 1848. 

548 History of La Salle County. 

Streator was laid out in 1867, and incorporated a village in 1874. 
It polls about 1,000 votes, and must have 6,000 people. 

Sheridan was laid out in 1871, just after the completion of Fox 
River Railroad. 

Utica was laid out in 1853, and has had several additions, and 
was made a village in 1867. 

Tonica was laid out by A. .J. West in 1853, and incorporated a 
village several years since. 

Garfield, Munster, Dana, Dayton, Wedron, Serena, and Grand 
Ridge, are all railroad towns doing considerable business, and 
promise well for the future. 


In February, 18G6, W. W. Calkins and Drs. Paul and Gibbs met 
in Dr. Paul's office, and consulted as to the propriety of organizing 
a geological society. Dr. L. N. Dimmick and J. W. Calkins came to 
their aid, and by a united eflbrt secured the following named per- 
sons as members : 

W. W. Calkins, Dr. John Paul, Dr. A. E. Gibbs, Dr. L. N. Dim- 
mick, Ja=. W. Calkins, Col. D. F. Hitt, D. S. Ebersol, Dr. C. Hard, 
Dr. R. M. McArthur, L. E. Gibbs. David Walker, W. Bushnell, Rev. 
C. H. Force, W. H. Cushman, John B. Rice, F. F. Brewer, Thomas 
Orton, Col. Ralph Plumb, M. Kirkpatrick, Geo. Campbell, Geo. S. 
Stebbins and J. D. Caton. In March, 1866, they perfected an organi- 
zation by electing David Walker, President; L. E. Gibbs, Vice-Presi- 
dent ; Dr. C. Hard, Second Vice-President ; W. W. Calkins, Sec- 
retary. In 1867, Dr. John Paul was elected President; Col. D. F. 
Hitt, Vice-President. In 1869, W. W. Calkins was made President. 

Lectures have been given by J. D. Caton on tlie American Deer, 
and Origin of the Prairies ; the Fresh Water Shell of La Salle, by 
W.W. Calkins; Prof. John W.Cook, of England; Prof. W. Gun- 
ning, of Cambridge ; Judge Gilman, and others. In 1872, the 
Society suflercd a severe loss in tlie death of Dr. John Pau', a most 
energetic and valuable worker for the Academy. I). S. Ebersol was 
elected President in 1873, and still occupies that position. 

Ottaioa Academy of Natural Sciences. 549 

The Academy has a large and valuable collection of specimens in 
the several departments of natural science, mostly donations from 
its members and others. Exchanges and donations are solicited. The 
museum is open to the public, and most valuable results will spring 
from this effort of the energetic and able men who have it in charge. 
A taste for natural science has been fos*tered by this institution, and 
the subject has received more attention in La Salle County, and 
there are more private cabinets probably than in any other section 
of the country. 

550 History of La Salle County. 


The present status of La Salle County, its popu- 
lation, wealth, manufacturing industry, productions, 
educational institutions, church organizations, be- 
nevolent and other associations, presents a future, 
of which much older communities might well be 
proud. Only about fifty years have passed since it 
was first occupied by American citizens — and twenty 
years of that was consumed in the first hard expo- 
sure of pioneer life, under the old regimen, where 
the modern railroad and telegraph were unknown ; 
or in battling with financial embarrassments, which, 
for intensity, have no parallel in our country' s his- 
tory. Those who remember then — and now — and 
can from memory contrast the comfort, intelligence, 
educational facilities, churches, protection of law, 
recreations, and social enjoyments of to-day, with 
the seclusion, hardship, sickness, dangers from the 
climate and frontier bandits, and the discomforts of 
j)Overty then, can but be amazed at the success of 
their own efforts. Taking both town and country, 
the change has been more radical and complete 
than in any country, not a prairie region. 

Within that time, the Indian, yielding to his des- 
tiny, has followed the buffalo, which left years 
before. The deer have followed the Indian, Even 
the birds have changed. The wild bittern, the cur- 
lew, plover and grouse, which made the prairie 
vocal with their harsh notes, have nearly all left ; 
and the singing birds, which frequent an older 
settled country, have taken their place, and cheer 
us with the sweet soniirs we loved so well in the 

Conclusion. 651 

days of our youth, far away among the hills of the 
East, and South. The prairie grass, and wild yet 
beautiful flowers, have been succeeded by cultivated 
farms, waving fields of grain and grass ; orchards, 
yearly laden with luscious fruit, liave sprung up on 
every farm, rivaling or excelling those the emigrant 
left in the land of his birth. Belts and groves of 
timber, break and temper the prairie wind, and give 
variety and beauty to the landscape. Herds and 
flocks fatten where the Indian pursued his game, and 
the scream of the eagle, the whoop of the crane, 
and croak of the raven, have ceased, and the crow- 
ing and gabble of the poultry yard have taken theu- 
place. The bloom of the yellow wild flowers of 
August, are no longer dreaded as the harbinger of 
the annual return of prostrating and painful ague, 
and other sickness. The sallow and bilious cheeks 
of the early settlers are now represented by fresher, 
blooming countenances, and rosy health. Com- 
fortable, and even luxurious dwellings, scattered 
over all the prairie, replace the humble cabin that 
nestled in the edge of the groves. Capacious barns, 
filled with the rich products of an exhaustless soil, 
stand for the log stable, rail crib, and stack yard, 
that held the hard-earned wealth of the pioneer. 
The traveler meets at a corner of every section, a 
neat and commodious school-house, where all the 
youth can drink at the fountain of knowledge 
without money or price ; and over the entire county 
he can scarcely get beyond the view of the church 
spire, where forty years ago he might have lost him- 
self on the trackless prairie, with no building or 

552 History of La Salle County. 

landmark to guide him on his way. Where the toil of 
the early settlers barely supplied food for the incom- 
ing immigrants, or the ox wagon wended its slow 
and weary way over the lonely prairie, to a market 
a hundred miles away, with the surplus products 
of the county, the long railroad trains follow each 
other in rapid succession, freighted with the annual 
product of the labor of seventy thousand people ! 
more than doubled by the improved farm imple- 
ments, which our clean soil and level surface has 
called into existence. Millions of bushels of grain, 
and thousands of fattened swine and cattle, yearly 
seek the Eastern or Southern markets, where, forty 
years since, the East and the South sent food to our 
peoj)le. The contrast is startling, and most grati- 
fying to those who have lived to see it, and they can 
only wish that those of the pioneers who have 
passed away, and like the great leader of Israel 
were not permitted to see the full fruition of their 
hopes, might have been spared to rejoice in the rich 
result of their toil. 

If in less than half a century, under all the dis- 
advantages that have attended the opening of a 
new countr}^, all of these results have been pro- 
duced, what may be anticipated in the future? 
What will La Salle County be, fifty or a hundred 
years hence, or in the more distant future ? How 
many intelligent, virtuous and ])atrioti(' people 
will live for a high and noble destiny within her 
borders t Those who have made the county what it 
is, will soon have passed away ; they leave a rich 
inheritance to those who will follow, and it remains 
for posterity to solve the probh^n of the future. 



Los Angeles 
This book is DUE on the last date stamped below. 

lft?D ib-urtL 

JAN'2 01982 

^iri iB-uRi 

IHAR 2 1 i^'^n 


AUG 3 3990 




3 1158 00705 5527 


AA 001 161 934 3 


• AilF