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128 and 130 Lake Street 


THE authors propose to offer no apology for the 
appearance of this work. They are, however, con- 
scious of many of its imperfections, to which it 

> would be unwise in them to draw the attention of 


: the public. 

. The original manuscript was prepared more than 
a year ago, and placed in the hands of a printer, 
X whose establishment, with all his effects, including 
said manuscript, was carried down stream at the 
/** time of the high water last spring. To this cir- 
<* cumstance may be attributed the delay in its pub- 
i lication, as well as some slight errors of omission 
^and commission, which anybody is at liberty to 
liml ill the work. If the reader chances to discover 
anything of the kind, we here take the liberty to 
^ inform him beforehand, that " we knew it." And 
Y thinks he can write a*bettcr history of 

fVniYrHr wr /^on rmlir cnv tr liim in flio 


DU''J^GB County, we can only say to liim, in the 


language of the good deacon who made an un- 
successful attempt to preach in the absence of the 
regular pastor, " if you really think you can do it 
better, why, try it, that's all." 

We hereby tender our acknowledgments to the 
following named persons, for much valuable in- 
formation for the work : Capt. JOSEPH NAPER, Miss 





THE present chapter is designed to embody the 
leading incidents connected with the early settlement 
of Du PAGE County, and embraces a period of nearly 
three years. It may be for the benefit of some to 
state, that this narrative does not disclose a succession 
of "disastrous chances," nor is it fraught with " mov- 
ing accidents by ilood and field," and he who peruses 
these pages, thinking to derive gratification from 
such sources, will undoubtedly be disappointed. The 
pioneers of our county are fast passing from us, and 
soon there will none remain to tell the story of their 

That such facts and incidents, relating to their 
settlement here, as are considered worthy of record, 
may be preserved, is the object of this sketch ; and 
if these convey no lessons of historic value, it is 
believed that they will not be devoid of interest to 
those familiar with the locality of the scenes de- 
scribed. The bulk of information herein detailed, has 
been gathered from authentic sources, from living 
witnesses ; and if errors or omissions have occurred, 


the writer can only assert, in extenuation, the honesty 
of his^ intentions, and crave a liberal indulgence 
toward his deficiencies. 

The first permanent settlement within the limits of 
DC PAGE, was made in the fall of 1830, and during 
the spring of the year following. Stephen J. Scott 
removed from Maryland to this State, with his family, 
in the year 1825, and " made a claim " near the 
present site of Gros Point. While on a hunting tour, 
in the month of August, 1830, in company with his 
son Willard, he discovered the Du PAGE river, near 
Plainfield. Impressed with the beauty and apparent 
fertility of the surrounding country, he resolved to 
explore the river, and ascended it as far as the con- 
fluence of its east and west branches, now called 
" The Forks." Here he became enamored of the 
gorgeous adornings with which the hand of nature 
had embellished the scene around him. In these he 
beheld infallible tokens of the " promised land," and 
it required but little time for him to ponder and 
determine the question of making that beautiful 
region his future home. 

A comfortable log house was subsequently built 
upon the farm now owned by Mrs. Sheldon, and the 
family of Mr. Scott came on to possess the " new 
claim," in the fall of 1830. Other families soon 
settled in the vicinity. Although Mr. Scott is en- 
titled to the distinction of having been the pioneer of 
the " settlement," which soon extended for several 
miles along the river into WILL and DC PAGE, yet 
there are others who lay well established claims to 
the pioneership of this county. About the middle 


of March, 1831, Baley Hobson came and settled, with 
his family, near the present site of the family resi- 
dence, being the first actual settler on the soil of Du 
PAGE County. The family of Mr. Paine located near 
Mr. Hobson, in April following. In July the family 
of Capt. Joseph Naper came from Ohio, accompanied 
by the family of his brother, John N^aper. Capt. Naper 
had visited the county in February, 1831. He built 
a cabin near the site of his flouring mill, in which he 
lived until a more commodious dwelling could be 
provided for his family. He also built a trading 
hoiise that season, and carried on quite an extensive 
trade with the settlers and Indians. The latter were 
quite numerous here at that time, but he always 
sustained the most friendly relations with them. The 
settlement received constant additions to its numbers, 
and at the end of spring, 1832, it contained one hun- 
dred and eighty souls. Among the families were 
those of H. T. Wilson, Lyman Butterfield, Ira Car- 
penter, John Murray, R. M. Sweet, Alanson Sweet, 
Harry Boardman, Israel Blodgett, Robert Strong, 
Pierce Hawley, Walter Stowel, C. Foster, J. Man- 
ning, and II. Babbitt. 

The locality was then known as " Naper's Settle 
ment." The winter of 1832 was one of unusual 
severity, which, together with a scarcity of provisions, 
rendered the prospects of the settlers rather gloomy. 
John Kaper, John Murray, and R. M. Sweet were sent 
to the "Wabash" for provisions, from which place 
supplies were at length obtained, and the dreary sea- 
son, "on his frozen wings," passed away without much 
suffering among the settlers. The new spring awoke 
and clothed the earth in all the beauty and freshness of 


a young creation, quickening into life countless germs, 
in bud, and flower, and tree ; filling the air with the mel- 
ody of motion, the murmur of released waters, and the 
song of birds, and spotting the verdure of the wide- 
spreading prairies with fire and gold in the tint of 
flowers. How true to the sentiment of all who 
witnessed the opening of that long looked for spring, 
must be the words of the poet : 

" These are the gardens of the Desert these 
The unshorn fields, boundless and beautiful, 
And fresh as the young earth ere man had sinned. 
The Prairies ! I behold them for the first, 
And my heart swells, while the dilated sight 
Takes in the encircling vastness." 

Never was a " good time come " hailed with more 
gladness than was the spring of 1832, by the infant 
colony. A prospect of reward for past hardships was 
before them. All was busy preparation for the ap- 
proaching seed time. The labor of breaking and 
fencing went briskly forward, and in due time the 
new fledged grain came peering from t)ie mellow 
ground. But- long before the growing fields stood 
ready for the sickle of the glad harvester, the little 
band were obliged to relinquish their cherished 
anticipations, and flee from their new homes for the 
safety of their lives. 

The news of the breaking out of the Black Hawk 
war caused great excitement in the settlement, and the 
alarm was heightened by the arrival of Shata, an ex- 
press from the Pottawattomies, who were friendly to the 
whites, with the intelligence that a party of Sac Indians 
were committing depredations among the settlers on 
Fox river, some ten miles distant, and that the houses of 


Cunningham and Hollenbeck bad been burned to the 
ground, and their property entirely destroyed. Aware 
of their inability to carry on a successful warfare with 
the Indians, as the colony was in an almost defenseless 
state, and being liable to an attack from them at any 
moment, the settlers decided to send their families, 
with all possible haste, to Chicago, where old Fort 
Dearborn offered its protection to any fearing the 
incursions of the savages. The settlement was now 
the scene of universal disorder and alarm. Bustle 
and confusion were the order of the hour. Men were 
hurrying to and fro in eager pursuit of their wives 
and children, while weeping wives and crying children 
were hurrying with equal rapidity and greater anxiety 
in pursuit of their husbands and fathers. Order was 
at length, in some degree, restored, and while the 
women were engaged in packing such articles of 
clothing and provision as they would require for the 
journey, the men were actively fitting out teams to 
convey them away. 

Early in the afternoon of the 18th of May, the train 
started for Chicago. But the family of Christopher 
Paine, who lived near the place of S. & D. Babbitt, 
consisting of his wife and six children, were, in the 
general confusion incident to their hasty departure, 
left behind. The family were sent in advance of the 
train, with directions to wait at a short distance from 
the settlement for its arrival. Concealing themselves 
in a thicket by the roadside, near the farm now owned 
by Capt. John Sargent, and not hearing the company 
as it passed, they were obliged to remain in their place 
of concealment during the night, which must have been 

10 H I S T O R Y OF 

one of fearful anxiety to the mother, as the imagina- 
tive dangers of her situation magnified, while watching 
over her houseless and defenseless children. They 
returned in safety to the settlement next morning, but 
much exhausted by fatigue and hunger. 

The following incidents relating to the alarm and 
sudden flight of Mr. Hobson's family, have been 
kindly furnished by one of its members. Mr. Hobson, 
with Mr. Paine and son, had just seated themselves at 
their noonday meal, relating, in the meantime, the 
intelligence they had received while at work in the 
field; that a band of Indians were advancing, and 
were then only thirty miles distant, when they were 
suddenly interrupted by the appearance of Paine's 
eldest son, who rushed into the house, bareheaded and 
breathless, informing them that Specie and Ament 
had just arrived from the An. Sable grove, having run 
their horses down, and performed a part of the journey 
on foot, to bring the alarming intelligence that a body 
of Indians had that morning passed through Hollen- 
beck's grove, killing several settlers, and burning 
everything in their path. Upon this intelligence, 
immediate preparations for safety were considered 
expedient. Hobson and Paine arose from the table, 
leaving the dinner untasted. Mr. Paine, accompanied 
by his sons, started in great haste for their home, while 
Mr. Hobson prepared to ride up to the Xaper settle- 
ment, to see what the inhabitants there had concluded 
to do, but his wife and children, clinging to him, 
begged him not to leave them ; whereupon he saddled 
the horses, and after seeing the wife and children all 
mounted, except the eldest son, who was to accompany 


them 011 foot, they started together. They directed 
their course through the east end of the grove, and 
coming upon a rise of ground, beheld a man on 
horseback, about a mile distant. It immediately 
occurred to Mr. Hobson that this was an Indian 
spy, but it proved to be one of a small party of 
scouts, sent out from the settlement. He, however, 
directed his wife and children to hasten out of sight. 
They rode into the grove and dismounted. Mr. H. 
came up soon after, threw the saddles into a thicket, 
turned the horses into a neighboring field, and made 
all possible haste to secrete his family ; directing them 
to use every precaution to evade pursuit, and not to 
tangle nor bruise the grass and -weeds as they went 
along. Having done this, his attention was next 
directed to his dog, a faithful and valuable animal. 
" You have been," said he, " my companion and pro- 
tector for years ; you have never been unfaithful to a 
trust, nor given me cause to question your fidelity 
always 'the first to welcome, foremost to defend.' 
But now you may betray us, and, saddening as the 
thought may be, I must be reconciled to the necessity 
of putting you to death." So, taking the unsuspecting 
victim, he went to a cabin near by, which had been 
but recently occupied by the family of Mr. Seth 
Wescott, his object being to procure an ax with which 
to do the deed at which his very soul shuddered. It 
was supposed that the family of Mr. Wescott had 
received the alarm, and fled. What then was his 
surprise to meet him at the threshold of his door, 
with gun in hand, just starting out on a hunting 
expedition. At Mr. Hobson's solicitation, the dog 


was shot ; but lie died not, as many pass from life, 
without a tear to consecrate the event, or a heart to 
embalm the memory of the departed soul his loss 
was sincerely lamented. Mr. Wescott made imme- 
diate preparation to join the settlers, and Mr. liobson, 
fearing that the report of the gun might have alarmed 
his family, hastened to meet them. Accompanied by 
his wife he then returned to the house to make prepa- 
rations, in case it should become necessary for them 
to desert their home. The box had been removed 
from the wagon, but with his wife's assistance he was 
enabled to replace it, and, after completing their 
arrangements, they again set forth, Mrs. Hobson with 
some food to seek her children in the grove, while her 
husband went to the settlement to see what prepara- 
tions were being made there. On his arrival he found 
that the families, with a part of the men, had gone to 
Chicago. He informed those that remained of the 
condition of his family, and of his anxiety that they 
should set Out that night, in hopes of overtaking the 
advance party. Capt. I^aper, Lieut. King, and Specie 
volunteered to return with him to the place where he 
had concealed his family. They were all mounted ex- 
cept King, who was on foot. Having found the family 
in their hiding place, it was a matter that required 
considerable mathematical skill to determine how they 
were to be conveyed. It was at length decided that 
the two eldest children should be placed on the horse 
of Mr. Hobson ; that Capt. Naper should take two 
more on the horse with him ; and that Mrs> Hobson, 
assisted by King, should go on foot, carrying the 
youngest child, then two years old. They pressed on 


toward the north end of the grove, where Mr. Hobson 
had agreed to meet them with his team. Emerging 
from the grove they had yet half a mile to go, and 
Mrs. Hobson being fatigued by the journey, one of 
the children was taken from Capt. Naper's horse and 
placed on the horse with the two others, while Mrs. 
Hobson mounted behind Capt. Naper. They started 
again, one horse carrying Capt. Naper, with his huge 
Kentucky rifle, together with Mrs. Hobson, one child, 
and sundry and divers trappings. It is supposed that 
the gallant captain never presented a more formidable 
appearance than he did while riding along on that 
memorable occasion, with his burnished steel glisten- 
ing in the moonbeams, although he has, since that 
day, been the hero of at least three decisive battles. 

They arrived in safety at the place appointed to 
meet Mr. Hobson, who soon came up with his oxen 
and wagon, bringing with him such things from the 
house as he could hastily pick up in the dark. The 
announcement of "all aboard" soon followed. Mr. 
Hobson gave up his horse to Mr. King, who returned 
with Capt. Naper to the settlement, while the vehicle 
containing the family moved on its slow and weary 
way. The night was cold, and rendered still more 
uncomfortable by a heavy fall of rain; but wet and 
cold are of minor consideration, when compared with 
the horrors of an excited imagination, which trans- 
forms every tree and shrub into a merciless Indian 
foe, with tomahawk and scalping knife in hand, 
ready to commit their deeds of cruelty and slaughter. 
Passing a night of the most intense fear and anxiety, 
they arrived at Brush Hill at sunrise. Crossing the 

-1 , 

II I 8 T O K Y O K 

O'Plain, they found a habitation, the only one on the 
whole route. They journeyed on, and soon reached 
the "Big Prairie," the distance across which is about 
ten miles. Crossing this prairie was the most tedious 
part of the way. The wheels, during a greater part 
of the distance, were half imbedded in the marshy 
soil, rendering it almost impossible for the team to 
move on, even with an empty wagon. The children 
became sickened from exposure and thirst. Being 
unprovided with a drinking vessel, Mrs. Hobson fre- 
quently took the shoe from her foot and dipped the 
muddy water from the pools by the roadside, which 
they drank with much apparent satisfaction. They 
plodded on at a slow pace, and reached their desti- 
nation at a little before sunset, much exhausted by 
hunger and fatigue, neither Mr. nor Mrs. Hobson 
having tasted food for more than thirty-six hours. 
They were safely quartered in Fort Dearborn, and 
here we leave them, and return to the settlement. 

Some fifteen or twenty men remained behind, when 
the settlement was abandoned by the families, in order 
to protect, if possible, their dwellings and other prop- 
erty, from the depredations of the Indians, should they 
come to destroy them. They quartered themselves in 
the log house of Capt. jSTaper, and kept vigilant guard 
during the night. On the following morning the set- 
tlement was visited by Lawton, an Indian trader, liv- 
ing -on the O'Plain, in company with three Indians 
and a half-breed, named Burrasaw. They brought no 
news, but came to gather further particulars in rela- 
tion to the threatened invasion of the Sacs. As the 
settlers had heard nothing: of their movements since 


TTNTY. 15 

the departure of Shata's express, it was resolved that 
a party, joined by Lawton and the three Indians, 
should go to the camp of the Pottawattomies, near 
the Big Woods, some ten miles distant, for informa- 
tion. Two men, named Brown and Murphy, had 
been placed on patrol that morning, and were out on 
the prairie, a little west of the settlement. The party 
setting out for the Big Woods determined to test their 
courage, and for that purpose, sent the three Indians 
in advance of the main party. As soon as the Indians 
came in sight of the patrol, they gave. a most terrific 
war whoop, and darted on after them with the fleet- 
ness of so many arrows. The patrol, seized with sud- 
den consternation, sprang to their horses and fled in 
the wildest dismay first toward the north, but being 
intercepted by some of the company, whom they took 
to be savages, they wheeled and took an opposite direc- 
tion. In this course they were again intercepted by the 
three Indians. Concluding they must be surrounded, 
they came to a halt, laid down their arms, and were 
about to sue for mercy, when they chanced to discover 
in the features of their vengeful pursuers a striking 
likeness to those they had left at the settlement. The 
fact soon dawned upon them that they had been suc- 
cessfully hoaxed, and their duties "on guard" termi- 
nated with that adventure. 

The company advanced toward the Big Woods. 
As they drew near the timber, an Indian was ob- 
served mounted on a horse, who, on seeing them, 
turned and fled. The three Indians made instant 
pursuit; overtaking him before he had gone far, they 
made themselves known as friends, and detained him 

16 II I S T O R Y O F 

until the company came Tip. Lawton understood the 
dialects of several Indian tribes, and in a conversation 
with him ascertained that he belonged to the Potta- 
wattomies, who were encamped only three miles 
distant. The Indian said the whole of his tribe were 
drunk, and it would be dangerous for the company 
to visit them. However, after brief consultation, they 
decided to proceed to the encampment, and the 
captured Indian led the way. Although the appear- 
ance of the company in the camp caused some little 
excitement among that portion of the tribe who were 
sufficiently sober to entertain an emotion of any kind, 
yet they were received with no apparent indications 
of hostility. On examination, the testimony of the 
Indian was fully substantiated. Indians were found 
in a state of beastly intoxication in every part of the 
camp ; while others were enjoying the pastime in the 
most picturesque, amusing and fantastic series of per- 
formances that can be imagined. Dancing, singing, 
whooping and screeching, delightfully mingled, form- 
ed the grand offering which there went up at the 
shrine of bad whisky and worse tobacco. One 
fellow, who seemed to be of a decidedly pugnacious 
turn, was lying on the ground, face downwards, with 
his hands secured behind him, Samson like, with 
green withes. Frantic with rage, he seemed to utter 
the most vehement and fearful denunciations against 
all who came near him. Upon inquiry, it was ascer- 
tained that the fellow had violated an important law 
in their code respecting these orgies, which law for- 
bids " a brother knocking a brother down," and he 
was suffering the penalty affixed. 


The company were summoned into the presence of 
the chiefs, who gave them a friendly and courteous 
reception. A council was called, and Lawton and 
Burrasaw were admitted to the ring. The consulta- 
tion lasted for two or three hours, and the " outsiders" 
were becoming rather impatient. An old Indian 
woman, known to Capt. Naper, while passing near 
him, uttered in his ear the word " Puc-a-ehe," which, 
being both literally and liberally interpreted, signi- 
fies " Be off." And the Captain began to think it 
time to heed the advice. 

Inquiry was made in relation to the deliberations 
of the council, and Lawton responded, that " there 
were three hundred Sac Indians in the Black Berry 
timber, some four miles distant ; and," said he, " you 
will see them if you wait here an hour. These Indians 
will not fight them, but will 'stop them by talk,' if 
they can, from burning your settlement." The Cap- 
tain signified no inclination to hold an interview with 
three .hundred Sac Indians, but suggested the propri- 
ety of retreating to the settlement as soon as possible, 
and sending the most valuable property there to 
Chicago. This plan received the acquiescence of all 
the company, and after making arrangements with 
Lawtori to send an express to notify them of any 
immediate danger from the Sacs, the settlers returned. 
The packing of their goods was immediately com- 
menced. All the articles which were inconvenient 
to convey, were lowered into a well partly dug, and 
all was soon ready for loading the wagons. The 
horses had been harnessed, and were then feeding at 
a stable some ten or fifteen rods from the house. 

18 HIS T O K Y OF 

Capt. !N"aper was in the liouse tying the corners of a 
quilt, which contained the remnant of clothing left 
behind by his family, when a man rushed wildly into 
the room, shouting at the top of his voice, " the Indians 
are upon us !" The whole company took instant 
alarm, and with the exception of Captain and John 
Naper, beat a precipitate retreat to a thicket of hazel 
bushes, which, in those days, nourished in prolific 
exuberance on the soil now known as Jefferson 
avenue. The two Papers were somewhat unlike the 
redoutable Mr. Sparrowgrass, who was prone to pull 
trigger and make inquiries afterward. They "decided 
that inquiry should take the precedence, and if it 
came to that, why, they could run some. 

As the horses were near, they removed the harness 
and put on the saddles, that they might be in readi- 
ness in case of emergency. They had scarcely accom- 
plished this, when Alanson Sweet came galloping up 
on his fierce charger, exhorting them to instant flight, 
if they valued their lives. " There are at least five hun- 
dred Indians upon us," said he, " and they are not more 
than fifteen rods off." Alanson rode away, but the Pa- 
pers resolved to investigate. They walked in the direc- 
tion from which Sweet said the Indians were approach- 
ing, and soon came upon a rise of ground which had 
concealed the Indians from view, when lo ! the dusky 
visage of their friend Lawton appeared before them. 
He was at the head of about fifty brawny Pottawatto- 
mies, and had come to warn the settlers of immediate 
danger. Messengers were sent out to gather in the 
fugitives, that all might listen to Lawton's story. He 
said that at least sixteen of the Sacs, and how many 


more he did not know, had crossed Fox river ; that 
the Pottawattomies could not stop them. They were 
determined to attack the settlements, and their "talk" 
could not prevent them. The settlers, upon this, aban- 
doned all idea of saving their property, but determined 
to make every effort to save the wife and children of 
Paine, who were still in the settlement. The horses 
Avere attached to a light covered wagon, in which the 
family was placed, and the whole company set out that 
night for Chicago. John JNaper insisted upon going 
on foot, and divested himself of everything in the 
shape of attire, except his shirt and pantaloons. He 
was earnestly entreated to ride, but upon his assuring 
the party that "he could outrun any Sac Indian in 
the nation," further importunity was deemed useless. 
They reached the O'Plain, and encamped for the night 
without taking their horses fr,om the wagon, that they 
might be ready to move on at a moment's warning. 
They had hastened on, through fear of being cut off" 
on the northern trail, by the Indians, and being much 
worn with fatigue, all hands slept pretty soundly till 
next morning. The journey was then resumed, and 
the party arrived at Chicago before noon, on the 20th 
day of May. A company of twenty-five men was 
raised during the day, to return to the settlement. It 
consisted chiefly of settlers, accompanied by Captain 
Brown and Colonel Hamilton. They started on Satur- 
day, May 21st, and passed the night at Lawton's. 
Next day they went on to the settlement, where they 
found everything undisturbed. Leaving the settle- 
ment under the guardianship of several friendly 
Indians, the company proceeded to Plainfield, where 


they found the settlers safely quartered in a fort, which 
they had just completed. They then started for II ol- 
derman's grove, to ascertain the condition of the 
settlers there. Meeting Cunningham and Hollen- 
beck on the way, they were informed that it would 
be of no use to go further, as their property had been 
destroyed. Notwithstanding, they proceeded to Hol- 
derman's grove. From this place they sent an express 
to Ottawa, to notify the settlers of the safety of their 
property, and also sent a messenger to Chicago, to 
apprise their friends of their own safety. The party 
remained at Holderinan's house during the night. 
Early next morning the express returned from Otta- 
wa, bringing the intelligence of the massacre at Indian 
creek. The party immediately went to Ottawa, and 
thence proceeded to the scene of the bloody tragedy. 
What they there witnessed was too appalling to be 
described. Not less than fifteen bodies, of men, wo- 
men, and children, were lying there, cut and mangled 
in the most shocking manner. It was ascertained that 
they were of the families of Messrs. Hall, Davis and 
Pettigrew, and that two daughters of the Hall family, 
Silvia and Rachel, the one about seventeen and the 
other about fifteen years old, were carried off as pris- 
oners. The party of Indians immediately retreated 
into the Winnebago country, up Rock river, carrying 
the scalps of the slain and their prisoners with them. 
" Indian wars are the wars of a past age. They have 
always been characterized by the same ferocity and 
cruelty. To describe this massacre is only to repeat 
what has been written a hundred times ; but a brief 
account of it may not be deemed inappropriate in this 


place. The Indians were about seventy in number. 
They approached the house in which the three fami- 
lies were assembled in the day time. They entered it 
suddenly, with but little notice. Some of the inmates 
were immediately shot down with rifles, others were 
pierced through with spears or despatched with the 
tomahawk. The Indians afterward related, with an 
infernal glee, how the women had squeaked like geese 
when they were run through the body with spears, or 
felt the sharp tomahawk entering their heads. All 
the yictims were carefully scalped, their bodies shock- 
ingly mutilated ; the little children were chopped to 
pieces with axes, and the bodies of the women were 
suspended by the feet from the walls of the houses. 
The young women prisoners were hurried, by forced 
marches, beyond the reach of pursuit. After a long 
and fatiguing journey with their Indian conductors, 
through a wilderness country, with but little to eat, 
and being subject to a variety of fortune, they were 
at last purchased by the chiefs of the Winnebagoes, 
employed by Mr. Gratiot for the purpose, with two 
thousand dollars, in horses, wampum, and trinkets, 
and were returned in safety to their friends." 

The company assisted in burying the dead, and 
returned with sad hearts to Ottawa. There they found 
Col. Stillman's command, consisting of about two hun- 
dred men, under Col. Johnson. The settlers, or Capt. 
Brown's company, as it was called, encamped on the 
north side of the river, near where the city of Ottawa 
now stands. Capt. Brown's company being so small, he 
requested Col. Johnson to send an escort with his party 
to Chicago, as it was expected that they would be at- 


tacked by Indians on their return. Col. Johnson refused 
to send men for that purpose, but paraded his company 
and called for volunteers. Maj. Bailey and twelve 
privates volunteered to go. But the company being 
still very Small, Col. Johnson agreed to send a detach- 
ment up the river and meet Maj. Brown's company 
at Green's mill. Upon this assurance, the settlers left 
Ottawa and followed the river up as far as Green's, 
but no tidings came to them of Col. Johnson's detach- 
ment. Returning to Holclernian's grove, they found 
everything laid waste. The settlement there was a 
scene of complete devastation and ruin. They pro- 
ceede4 to Plainfield, and found the garrison in a state 
of great alarm, occasioned by the news of the mas- 
sacre at Indian creek. The women, who appeared 
the more courageous, provided the company with a 
good supper, and they remained there until next day. 
In the morning the settlement was abandoned, and all 
started for Chicago, except a preacher by the name of 
Paine. He refused to accompany them, as he had, 
from some cause, conceived the notion that the settlers 
at Chicago had all been murdered. He started in the 
direction of Holdennan's grove, but was found mur- 
dered some days afterward, with one scalp torn from 
his head and another from his face. Paine was wont 
to wear a very heavy beard, which accounts for the 
scalp being taken from his face. There is a tradition 
of this brutal affair, which informs us that the Indians 
cut off Paine's head and carried it with them, suppos- 
ing, from the appearance given to the face by its long 
beard, that they had killed one of the gods of the 


The settlers all reached Chicago the same day on 
which they left Plainfield. 

The Scott families, which should have been noticed 
in another place, did not abandon their claims at the 
Forks, until some time after the inhabitants fled from 
the settlement. A son of Robinson, an Indian chief 
of the Pottawattomie tribe, was living with them, and 
they knew that, in case of actual danger from the Sacs, 
the boy would be taken away. When he was removed, 
they concluded there would be no safety in remaining 
longer, and thereupon followed in the trail of their 
affrighted neighbors, to Fort Dearborn. 

Not long after, a scouting party of twenty-five 
horsemen started for the settlement; their object 
being to ascertain whether any of the enemy had 
been there, and to look after the property of the set- 
tlers. This expedition was placed under the command 
of Col. B. Beaubien. They left Chicago in the mom- 
ing, and at noon reached the O'Plain- river, where 
they found Robert Kinzie, with fifty Indians under his 

An arrangement was made, by which it was agreed 
that the Indians, under Captain Kinzie, should pro- 
ceed by the direct trail to the settlement, and the 
mounted company should proceed to the same place 
by way of Capt. Boardmaii's, to look after the property 

It was expected that the latter party would arrive 
at the settlement some time before the former. Beau- 
bien's company urged their horses on as fast as possi- 
ble, and in a few hours arrived at Ellsworth's grove. 
The skirt of timber, which then extended over nearly 


the whole area of the present village of Naperville, 
concealed the settlement from their view, but to their 
surprise, and we might add, to the dismay of some, 
smoke was seen rising from the place where Paper's 
house was situated. A halt was called, and by some 
of the company, most willingly obeyed. A hasty con- 
sultation followed, and John Naper, -who was ever 
ready to " don armor and .break a lance" in the cause 
of his friends, volunteered to ride around the point of 
timber, and ascertain whether the settlement was in 
the posse'ssion of friend or foe. In case he should 
meet with friends, he was to discharge his rifle, to 
notify his waiting and anxious comrades of that fact. 
But if foes were encountered, he was to return imme- 
diately to the company. His progress was watched 
with no small degree of interest, until he passed be- 
hind the point of timber, out of sight. Soon the 
reports of two guns were heard, and l^aper did not 
make his appearance. In all probability he was shot, 
and the alarm among the company increased. There 
was no means of telling how numerous the enemy 
might be, nor how soon the sharp report of the rifle 
might be their own death-knell. 

Two of the company, one of whom was mounted 
on a pack mule, and the other on a diminutive pack 
pony, belonging to the American Fur Company, 
manifested considerable uneasiness, as they had found 
by actual experience that neither of their animals was 
very remarkable for speed, and knew that in case of 
flight they must inevitably fall in the rear, and become 
an easy prey to their pursuers. They considered dis- 
cretion as the better part of valor, and " self-preserva 


tion the first law of nature,'" and, suiting their action 
to the consideration, hobbled off toward the East 
Branch timber. They had not gone far when they 
were discovered by Col. Beaubien, who rode on after 
them, loudly vociferating, " Halt ! halt !" They did 
not heed the command, but concentrated all their 
efforts to get out of his way. Beaubien put spurs to 
his horse and soon ran them down. Coming up to 
them he drew a pistol, and, presenting it, uttered the 
effective condition and conclusion, " You run ? By 
gar! you run, me shoot you!" The argument was 
irresistable, and the fugitives were captured and 
brought back. R. !N". Murray, who was with the 
company, being well mounted, started to go and ascer- 
tain what had become of Naper ; but he had gone only 
a short distance when John made his appearance and 
gave the signal that friends were in the camp ; which 
signal was greeted with a shout as joyous as any that 
ever broke the silence of that grove. On entering the 
settlement it was ascertained that the Indians under 
Capt. Kinzie had accomplished the journey before 
them, and had fired the two guns as a salute to the 
gallant ISTaper, as he rode fearlessly into the camp. 
The company had been out all day, and were very 
hungry, but nothing could be found at the settle- 
ment in the way of provisions. Among the cattle 
feeding on the prairie was a fine, fat steer, belonging 
to R. M. Sweet, and it was decided that it should be 
slaughtered for their evening's repast. The cattle 
were all very wild, and ran off in fright whenever 
they were approached, so that the only method of 
securing the young steer was by shooting it. The 


Indians being anxious to undertake this part of the 
project, about.fifty of them were provided with rifles, 
and they sallied forth toward the place where the 
herd was feeding, capering and cutting all kinds of 
antics as they went along. As they approached the 
herd their victim was singled out, and two or three 
shots were fired without taking effect. The affrighted 
animal ran bellowing over the field, closely pressed by 
his assailants, who kept up a continual fire upon him, 
until the whole round had been discharged. 

Of the fifty shots directed toward the animal, none . 
proved mortal. A rifle ball, however, more fatally 
lodged, sent a tremor through his frame, and caused 
him to slacken his pace. The chase continued for 
some time, when the animal, in attempting to cross a 
slough, became mired and was easily taken. " Wai- 
seemed a civil game," compared to the uproar that 
followed the fall of this hero. And as they bore him 
upon their shoulders triumphantly into the camp, one 
would have supposed, from the infernal yelling and 
screeching of those Indians, which 

" Embowel'd with outrageous noise the air," 

that Milton's deep-throated engines were again let 
loose with a certainty. They all shared the triumph, 
and each celebrated the capture of the 'steer as his 
own special achievement. Nothing could exceed the 
vainglorious vaporing of these rude sons of the forest, 
as they strutted about and exulted in the heroism of 
the adventure. The animal was properly dressed, and 
portions of the meat were prepared for supper, of which 
all partook with a good degree of relish. 


After supper the log store was broken open and 
found to contain, among other things, a good supply 
of the two staple articles of pioneer merchandise, viz. : 
rum and tobacco. These were dealt out profusely to 
the "Indians as a reward for 'their valorous conduct in 
the evening chase. The company remained at the 
settlement during the night. Li the evening, to vary 
the monotony a little, they prevailed upon the Indians 
to get up a war dance. This performance, when dra- 
matically considered, is strictly tragic, but it must be 
admitted that the "bill" for that evening had a fair 
sprinkling of the comic. Scalping scenes and toma- 
hawk scenes were presented in the most approved 
Indian fashion, to the infinite amusement of a small 
but " highly respectable audience." At a late hour 
the whole company retired, each individual selecting 
his "site" without respect to the complexion of his 

In the morning the company under Beaubien arose 
with an impatient desire to meet the enemy. They 
had slept off the fatigue of the previous day, and their 
desire for conflict returned with redoubled force with 
the restoration of their bodily energies. They resolved 
upon committing havoc among the Sacs, and fearing 
that they might, in some unguarded moment, slay 
some of their friends, the Pottawattomies, by mistake, 
they went again to the old log store and procured a 
piece of cotton sheeting, which they tore into small 
strips and tied around the head and waist of each 
friendly Indian. Thus decorated, they left the party 
of Capt. Ivinzie, and started for the Big Woods. The 
prairies were scoured, but not an Indian, nor trace <>f 
an Indian. \vas to be found. 


The company returned to the settlement sadly 
dejected at the ill success of their Quixotic adven- 
ture, and started for Chicago on the following morn- 
ing. Nothing transpired on the way worthy of notice, 
except that the company rode as far as Brush Hill 
constantly expecting to suffer the inconvenience of 
being shot, through the carelessness of one of its 
members, a young man then fresh from New York 
City, but now an individual of some distinction in 
Chicago City. He accidentally discharged his piece 
three times before reaching Brush Hill. The guns 
were strapped to the saddles in a horizontal position, 
and the chances were that the young man's random 
shots would take effect, if he was allowed the range 
of the whole company much longer. Arriving at 
Brush Hill and attempting to dismount, bang ! went 
his gun again. This aroused the ire of Col. Beaubien. 
He could endure it no longer, and commanded the 
youth to surrender up his arms. This the young man 
stoutly refused to do, whereupon Col. Beaubien made 
a violent descent upon him, threw him down, and 
after a short struggle succeeded 114 wresting the gun 
from his grasp, after which there was no more "firing 
on parade" that day. 

A short time after, Capt. Naper, Capt. II. Boardman, 
and some ten or twelve others, went out from Chicago 
to the settlement to examine the crops. Nothing had 
been disturbed, and the crops were found in good 
condition. From the settlement they went to Ottawa, 
to obtain from Gen. Atkinson, who was stationed there 
with about fifty men, assistance to build a fort at the 
Naper settlement. Gen. Atkinson dispatched the 
company under Capt. Paine sit Joliet, to aid them in 


the enterprise. They proceeded to the Naper settle- 
ment and erected a fort near the honse of Lewis 
Ellsworth, and in honor of the captain of the company 
dispatched to aid them, called it Fort Paine. The fort 
was built of pickets, with two block houses, and so 
constructed that it could be defended from an attack 
on either side. An incident occurred just before the 
completion of this fort, which threw a gloom over the 
minds of the settlers, and excited fears which had been 
entirely allayed by the prospect of a speedy protection. 
Two men, named Brown and Buckley, were sent to 
Sweet's grove to procure a load of shingles. They 
had gone as far -as the grove, north of the Beaubien 
place, when Buckley got out of the wagon to open a 
passage in the fence. Brown drove through into the 
field, and the team continued to move on, while 
Buckley walked leisurely along behind. Suddenly 
the sharp report of a rifle was heard from an adjoining 
thicket, and Buckley saw his comrade fall dead from 
the wagon. Terrified and bewildered he fled toward 
the settlement. He reached the fort with scarcely 
strength to communicate the melancholy tidings to 
his sorrowing companions. About twenty men left 
the fort and 'proceeded to the scene of the disaster. 
The hdrses had been stripped of their harness and 
taken away, and the body of Brown was found near 
the wagon, pierced with three balls. It was -brought 
to the fort and buried. The trail of the Indians was 
followed, but they had fled beyond the reach of 

As much alarm now prevailed throughout the 
company, it was decided that Oapt. Naper and 

30 HIS T O It Y OF 

Alanson Sweet, should start that night for Chicago 
to procure more men. They started on horseback, 
but Sweet's horse giving out, he was obliged to 
journey on foot. An incident occurred during this 
trip, which strikingly exhibits the force of a capri- 
cious imagination, and the liability to deception when 
that faculty is unduly excited. They were approach- 
ing Flag creek, when Sweet affirmed that he saw two 
Indians, one on foot and the other on horseback, and 
proposed to let Capt. Naper go on with his horse 
while he concealed himself in the grass. The Cap- 
tain's attention was directed to the objects, and they 
bore the same appearance to him. He requested 
Sweet to mount behind him, that they might both 
move toward them. He did so, and they rode on. 
As they passed along, the path deviated to the right, 
and the objects began to separate. This confirmed 
them in their impression, and Sweet declared that 
they were Indians, for he could see them move. 
After going several rods they turned and rode back 
the same path, and then the objects began to approach 
each other, and when they had arrived at the place 
where Sweet mounted, the Indians had resumed 
their first position. This little experiment convinced 
them of their delusion, and they rode .bravely on. 
The objects were found to be two trees of different 
heights,, a mile distant, and half a mile apart. They 
reached Chicago early next morning, and asked assist- 
ance from Gen. Williams, who was there with three 
hundred troops from Michigan, but he refused to fur- 
nish it, "as he did not deem it safe to send men into 
the country at that time. At length Maj. Wilson 


ijiformed Capt. Naper, that if Gen. Williams would 
consent, lie would take some of his men and return 
with him to the settlement. Whereupon, a council 
of officers was held, but it was deemed unsafe for any 
to go, even as volunteers. Capt. Naper then left 
Chicago and returned much disheartened to the 

There being no better alternative, the settlers re- 
solved to remain where they were, and acting wisely 
upon this resolution, placed themselves in the best 
possible position for defense. Scouting parties we,re 
frequently sent out to range the surrounding country, 
but no skirmishes were had with the Indians. The 
nearest approach to an encounter with the enemy 
took place on the Fourth of July. Fired with the 
patriotic spirit which animated the sires of Seventy- 
Six, a small party shouldered their muskets, and set 
forth to scour the surrounding country in pursuit of 
adventure. After a fatiguing day's march the party 
arrived at the Au Sable grove, without having an 
opportunity for the slightest display of their pent-up 
valor. Here they encamped for the night. After 
supper they drew around the camp fire, and John 
Naper became the oracle of the evening. His 
anecdotes and tales of adventurous deeds and noble 
daring, kept the whole party wide awake and in good 
cheer far into the night, when the " meeting " broke 
up, and deep sleep soon assumed the sovereignty of 
the camp. In the morning breakfast was prepared, 
and after enjoying the repast preparations were being 
made to depart. Willard Scott, who from early 
associations had become skilled in backwoods craft, 

32 H I S T O K Y O F 

and 'regarded every track with the knowing eye of an 
Indian, was a member of the company. As they 
were about to leave the place, he discovered what 
appeared to him to be a fresh Indian trail, and upon 
further examination decided, that two Indians accom- 
panied by a boy had recently passed near the encamp- 
ment. This intelligence aroused the depressed spirits 
of the whole party, and all were eager for pursuit. 
The trail was followed with some difficulty to the 
river bank, opposite the village encampment of the 
Pottawattomies. Here from certain indications on 
the stones and sand, Mr. Scott knew the Indians had 
crossed the stream. A council of war was now held, 
and the plan adopted of crossing and riding rapidly 
up the opposite bank, and if the Indians were then in 
view they could be easily surprised and taken. The 
word for starting was given, and a general stampede 
ensued. John Naper was the first to reach the 
opposite bank and announce that the Indians were in 
sight. They were standing upon the roof of a 
wigwam, evidently watching for the direction of their 
pursuers. As soon as John made his appearance they 
leaped quickly to the ground, made oif toward the 
river and were soon out of sight. The party hastened 
to the spot and followed their trail to the river. They 
had evidently crossed to the opposite bank, and the 
party recrdssed in pursuit, but no further trace of 
their progress could be found. After making diligent 
search, and having abandoned all hope of again find- 
ing the trail, the company sat down and partook of 
some refreshments from their knapsacks, and soon 
after made their way back to the settlement, some- 


what chagrined at being compelled to surrender to 
the artifice of their wily fugitives. The Indians 
eluded them by crossing to a small island in the 
stream, upon which was a cluster of trees. Having 
climbed one of the tallest trees and concealed them- 
selves among its branches, they sat and viewed the 
maneuvers of their vanquished pursuers with the 
greatest glee. They afterward related the whole 
affair to Robinson, a chief of the Pottawattomies, and 
arrogated to themselves a vast amount of credit for 
having so successfully eluded the sharp eye of "White 
Eagle," an appellation which they applied to Mr. 
Scott. This title originated from the following cir- 
cumstance : Mr. David McKee, an acquaintance of 
Mr. Scott, had, in his deal with the Indians, received 
a buck-skin coat from one 'of them as a pledge for 
certain goods sold to him. A time at which the coat 
was to be redeemed was fixed by the parties, but 
when it arrived the Indian did not make his appear- 
ance, and the coat therefore became the property of 
Mr. McKee. It was subsequently sold to Mr. Scott. 

Several months after, Mr. McKee, having occassion 
to visit an Indian settlement near Racine, for the 
purpose of trading with them, Mr. Scott accompanied 
him. Among the Indians in the settlement, they 
found the one from whom McKee had received the 
coat.' Seeing the article in Mr. Scott's possession, he 
instantly demanded that it should be given up. He 
wa told that he could have it by paying the sum for 
which it was left in pledge, but this lie refused to do, 
at the same time persisting in his demand for an 

unconditional surrender of the garment. Upon iv- 


ceiving a peremptory refusal, he threatened to take it 
by force. This considerably aroused the ire of Mr. 
Scott, and he told him, that if he wanted the coat, he 
might try the expediency of taking it from him. Upon 
this, the Indian left them, threatening him with great 
vengeance, and promising to return immediately with 
a sufficient force to take the coat from his back. 

He soon returned, accompanied "by some fifty or 
sixty of his companions, all fully armed, and painted 
in the most barbarous manner. Their appearance was 
enough to terrify any one who was unaccustomed to 
the stratagems to which Indians resort to carry their 
ends. As they approached, Scott and McKee gathered 
up their arms, and stood in a defensive attitude, con- 
fronting the whole party. The Indian who claimed 
the coat advanced and demanded it, threatening their 
destruction if again refused. Mr. Scott boldly informed 
him that the coat was on his back, and if he wanted it 
he must take it off. In the mean time, a young Indian 
chief, who was acquainted with the circumstances of the 
case, came and took a position with them, saying that 
he would stand by them in any emergency. The 
Indians then set up a most unearthly howling, and 
continued for some time to dance around them, flour- 
ishing their tomahawks, and trying to intimidate them 
with the most awful threats and frightful grimaces. 
At last, finding their efforts to obtain the coat unavail- 
ing, they withdrew, leaving Scott and McKee in full 
possession of the field. From that day afterward 
they always addressed Mr. Scott as " "White Eagle," a 
title which belonged to none but the bravest. Although 
the stand taken by the young Indian chief in their favor 


may have saved them their lives, yet it is not supposed 
that the Indians designed to do anything more than to 
frighten them into a surrender of the coat. 

Mr. Scott, from a long intercourse with them, had 
become pretty well inured to their trickery, and was 
not easily deceived by appearances. He had lived 
among them and hunted with them, until he came to 
look upon many of their "signs and tokens" with 
considerable credulity. Among other practices, com- 
mon among these Indians, was that of leaving pipes 
filled with tobacco in certain places on their hunting 
grounds, whenever they had bad luck, that the Great 
Spirit might come and smoke, by which they supposed 
his favor was secured, and that they would consequently 
have more favorable fortune. This device was employed 
by Mr. Scott, on one, occasion, with marked success. A 
company started from the settlement for an afternoon's 
foray in the East Branch timber. It was a luckless 
expedition, and night came on, finding them entirely 
destitute of game. Between sundown and dark the 
hunters assembled to set out together for the settle- 
ment. Mr. Scott now produced his pipe, filled it with 
tobacco, applied a match to it, and placed it very mys- 
teriously in the crotch of a tree. The party started, 
Mr. Scott riding some distance in the rear of the main 
body. He had not gone far w r hen a beautiful, fat deer 
sprang from a thicket and crossed the path just before 
him. He leveled his rifle, and sent a ball whizzing 
through its heart. Before his gun was fairly loaded, 
another appeared, which met the same fate. The 
report of his rifle brought back the main party, who, 
upon witnessing the feat he had performed, were no 

36 II I S T .O K Y O F 

longer inclined to ridicule the idea of feeding the 
" Great Spirit " with tobacco. 

About this time Messrs. Hobson, Goodwin, .Board- 
man, and Strong, were returning from Chicago with 
two ox teams. Hobson and Goodwin were riding in 
one wagon, and Boardman and Strong in the other. 
It was a warm summer's day, and Strong laid down in 
the wagon and fell asleep. Discovering that his com- 
panion was taking a nap, and ever on the qui vive for 
a little fan, Boardman called to Hobson to come and 
tire his gun near Strong's head, and see what the effect 
would be. Hobson brought his gun and discharged it 
as directed, when Strong, suddenly awakened by the 
report, and supposing himself beset with Indians, made 
a desperate attempt to go down through the bottom 
boards of the wagon box. The joke was now on 
Strong, and after the "laugh" had subsided, they 
drove on. By and by Strong concluded to try Hob- 
son's courage. A plan was secretly devised between 
him and Goodwin, by which Strong was to secrete 
himself in a thicket some distance ahead, and when 
Hobson came along, get up some demonstrations that 
would lead him to think that there were Indians there. 
As Hobson's team approached the place, the war whoop 
was sounded, and one or two shots fired. Goodwin 
"manifested extreme terror, and seizing both guns, ran 
off, leaving Mr. Hobson alone, with nothing to defend 
himself but an ox whip. But he was not to be intimi- 
dated, and, without altering his course, rode past the 
thicket, standing erect in his wagon, with a fixed and 
searching look upon the place from which the " mani- 
festations" proceeded. 


Strong abandoned the idea of attempting again to 
frighten Hobson, and Goodwin was coolly informed, 
that if he ever meddled with Hobson's rifle again, he 
would stand the chance of getting his own brains 
blowed out. 

Of the condition of the families at Fort Dearborn 
nothing has yet been said. We have been informed 
by some who went there, that it seemed as though they 
were to be shut up to starve, if not to be slaughtered 
by the Indians, having, in their hasty flight, taken but 
a scant supply of provisions, and there being little or 
nothing to be had in Chicago. For a time the garri- 
son was supplied with beef by Claybourne, who was 
employed to butcher for the Pottawattomies by govern- 
ment, but the meat was so poor that necessity alone 
could have compelled them to use it. Among the 
families in the fort was that of a Mr. Harris, who lived 
at Hollenbeck's grove. At the time of the alarm, the 
father of Mrs. Harris, a very aged man, was too feeble 
to make his escape unassisted. He begged them to 
leave him and make their escape, if possible, saying 
that if the Indians killed him, they would only rob 
him of a few years. He was left alone, and four days 
elapsed before they were enabled to return, prepared 
to remove him. The Indians had visited the house in 
the mean time, but did not attempt to molest him, nor 
anything about the premises. "When the regular troops 
came on from Michigan, the settlers were ordered to 
quit the fort, and every hovel that would afford a shel- 
ter was immediately crowded with occupants. At this 
time there were several women and children in the 
tort whose husbands and fathers were at the .Naper 

38 11 I S T O R Y O F 

settlement, building the fort there. These would have 
been turned out of doors, had it not been for the en- 
treaty and expostulation of the volunteer company. 
By an exceedingly liberal provision, Mrs. Hawley and 
six children, Mrs. Blodgett and four children, and Mrs. 
Hobson and five children, were allowed to occupy an 
upper room in the establishment, about ten feet square. 
Any one can calculate the space occupied by each for 
a bed. Here they remained for ten days, before they 
could make their situation known to their husbands. 
The Indians did not appear near the fort at any time 
during their stay, although the garrison was one day 
thrown into great excitement by a false alarm. This 
afforded an opportunity to test the courage of the 
inmates, who, with one. exception, proved undaunted. 
It is said that a gentleman who made bravery his boast, 
was missing for six or eight hours after the alarm, 
when he was found snugly ensconced under a feather- 
bed, but in a state of great trepidation. 

In July the command of Gen. Scott passed on to 
Dixon, and the main army soon followed. With the 
government troops between them and their foe, the 
settlers had no further cause to fear. The families 
were brought back from Fort Dearborn, and placed in 
and near the fort those of Mr. Scott, Capt. Boardman, 
Mr. Hobson, and John Naper, occupying a log house 
near by. Here they remained without molestation 
until after the battle of Bad Axe, which put an end to 
the Black Hawk war. This took place in September. 
All apprehension of danger was now at an end. The 
settlers resumed their claims, and, in uninterrupted 
peace and prosperity, many of them have lived to 
enjoy the abundant fruits of their valiant pioneership. 




AFTER the close of the Black Hawk war, the tide 
of immigration again turned to Illinois, and this county 
received its proportion of new settlers. 

The first settlers selected, of course, the best loca- 
"tions, which were adjacent to the timber. The upland, 
or dry prairie, was usually selected in preference to 
the low and wet, and especially preferred wherever 
good facilities for obtaining water were offered. 

The houses of the first settlers were usually built 
near the timber. Scarcely any were to be found upon 
the prairie prior to 183T. All the timber land was 
"'claimed"' before 1835, but some of the prairie land 
in our county, which, at that day, was considered almost 
worthless, on account of its being inconvenient to tim- 
ber, was never claimed by the squatters. Many diffi- 
culties arose among the settlers in relation to the 
boundaries and priority of the claims of parties. 

Troubles of this kind are incident to the early set- 
tlement of any country, where the settlement precedes 
the survey of the land by government. The difficulties 
here, as elsewhere, created bitter feelings of animosity 
between neighbors, and, in too many instances, these 
feelings have not been allayed even to the present day ; 
and we often hear disparaging remarks made by one 


respecting another, which, when traced to their origin, 
are found to emanate from the old " claim feuds." Nor 
- were these quarrels confined to words alone. Many 
bloody combats occurred between belligerent parties ; 
the one being usually the first claimant, the other, one 
who had "jumped the claim." Although blood was 
freely spilled during these contests, yet, with the ex- ' 
ception of but one instance, which will be referred to 
hereafter, no lives were sacrificed. Sometimes the 
party in the wrong was driven from the field by the 
rightful claimant, assisted by his neighbors ; for in 
those days the laws of Judge Lynch were often exe- 
cuted in a summary manner. An understanding, or 
implied agreement, existed among the settlers, that 
those who obtained portions of the claims of others by 
preemption, or by purchase at the land sale, should 
deed to such claimant the part belonging to him. This 
was called an agreement to "deed and redeed." Most 
of the land was claimed by those who intended to pur- 
chase it, and make a permanent home for themselves 
and their families. Some of it, however, was claimed 
by what were then called " land sharks." This class 
of men merely claimed the land for the purpose of 
selling it to subsequent settlers, and were not usually 
protected in their claims by those who were always 
ready to assist a lona fide settler. The claims often 
sold for prices which would, even now, be considered 
exorbitant for the land. A few of the land sharks 
made money by their swindling operations, but most 
of them can boast of but little wealth at the present 
time, as they were of that class who spend their money 
as readily as they obtain it, and engage in speculations 


more wild and more dishonorable than stealing land, 
even, from actual settlers. 

A company was formed somewhere in this county, 
between 1832 and 1835, which was called for what 
reason we know not "The Land Pirate Company." 
This company made, or caused to be made, a claim in 
the Big Woods, embracing three or four sections of the 
best timbered land. Their claim was inclosed with a 
rail fence, some two or three rails high, and a log cabin 
was erected upon it. This much they accomplished 
without being molested. But unfortunately for the 
brilliant prospects of the company, who, no doubt, ex- 
pected to realize a splendid fortune from the sale of 
their claim, the rails of their inclosure disappeared in 
a most mysterious manner; the boundaries soon be- 
came extremely indefinite ; every feature of its iden- 
tity was lost ; and at this day it is divided into more 
pieces than there are states in the union, furnishing fuel 
and timber to a large community in its vicinity. Th"e 
land south of the old Indian boundary line came into 
markej in 1835. Nearly all of it was bought by spec- 
ulators, some bidding for it as high as ten and fifteen 
dollars per acre. In this way the settlers, in many 
cases, were dispossessed of their claims, including all 
their improvements, which had cost them years of 
labor. Unable to compete with the speculators, it was 
impossible for them to retain their lands. In view of 
the hardships of such cases, and for the purpose of 
settling lines, and making an express agreement with 
each other to carry out the implied agreement before 
alluded to, the settlers at the Big "Wood formed a soci- 
ety, in 1836, called "The Claim Protecting Society." 

42 HIS T O K Y OF 

It had for its object, beside the protection of the set- 
tlers against speculators, the settlement of all disputes 
as to boundaries. It was provided that settlers whose 
boundaries were fixed beyond all dispute, should meas- 
ure and plat their claims, and file the same with the 
secretary. The other members were then bound to 
protect and defend them. The" following preamble and 
resolutions are taken from the records of the Big 
Woods Claim Society, which was the first society of 
the kind formed in this county : 


Cook county, Illinois, Feb. 6, 1836.J 

BE IT REMEMBERED, That we, the undersigned, inhabitants of the 
east side of the Big Woods and its vicinity, have settled on lands be- 
longing to the United States, and who have severally made their 
respective claims, including timber and prairie : Now, for the peace 
and tranquility of our said settlement, we do severally and individually 
bind each to the other, in the penal sum of one- thousand dollars, to 
protect and assist each other in their respective claims, and to assist 
each other in keeping off all intruders that may intrude on each other's 
claims, in any way whatever. And we further agree to deed and re- 
deed to each other, at government price, whenever our said claims shall 
come into market ; that is to say, in case our respective claims shall not 
agree or correspond with the general government survey. The true 
intent and meaning of these presents is, that we severally and individu- 
ally shall have our lands according to our said claims that we now have 
claimed, whether our claims shall correspond with the actual survey 
or not. In case any difficulty should hereafter arise respecting any of 
our said claims, in any way whatever, we do severally and individually 
agree to let all disputes and difficulties be submitted to the following 
named persons, as a committee, who shall, or a majority of them, and 
their successors in office, settle all kinds of disputes or difficulties that 
may arise respecting claims whatever. The following persons were duly 
appointed as said committee: 





N. B. AH claims, as respecting their size, both in timber and prarie, 
shall be submitted to the said committee, for them to say whether any of 
our said claims are unreasonable in size or not In case of any intrusion 
that may hereafter arise with any of our said claims, we do severally and 
individually agree to pay our equal quota of expenses that may arise in 
defense of our claims, according to the size and nature of our claims. 

The above meeting was held' at the house of A. Culver, on the east 
side of the Big Woods. JOHN WARNE, Secretary. 

The following is a list of the members of this society : 

John Warne, Elihu Wright, George C. Howes, 

A. E. Carpenter, 
James Dyer, 
John Mosier, 
Joseph Fish, 
J. M. Warren, 
John Maxwell, 
Cornelius Jones, 
John Ogden, 
Phineas Graves, 
Wm. Hall, 
David Crane, 
James Brown, 
Frederick Stolp, 
Nelson Murray, 
Taylor S. Warne, 
Jesse B. Ketchum, 
Barton Eddy, 
David McKee, 
J. S. P. Lord, 
Joseph Wilson, 
Warren Smith, 
Henry M. Waite, 
Lyman King, 
Luther Chandler, 
Gilbert S. Rouse, 
S. II. Arnold, 
Joseph Stolp, 
Reuben Austin, 
Charles Arnold, 
Lcvi Leach. 

Nazah Beardsley, 
S. Hurlbut, 
Darias J. Lamphear, 
Walter Germain, 
-John B. Eddy, 
John Gregg, 
Samuel Mosier, 
Orrin W. Graves, 
B. Tubbs, Jr., 
Joseph Thayer, 
Thomson Paxton, 
L. Ward, 
Charles Brown, 
Charles Bidders, 
James Hymes, 
Nathan Williams, 
Wm. J. Strong, 
Robert Hopkins, 
Jesse Graves, 
John Stolp, 
Allen Williams, . 
A. Culver, 
Thomas N. Paxton, 
Dennis Clark, 
Amander P. Thomas, 
Alfred Churchill, 
R. S. Ostrander, 
A. W. Beardsley, 
George Laird, 

Samuel Paxton, 
William Williams, 
George Monroe, 
Harvey Higbee, 
N. H. Thomas, 
Enos Coleman, 
Linus L. Coleuian, 
Eli Northum, 
Zerah Jones, 
Reuben Jones, 
George S. Blackmail, 
Blackman & Winslow, 
William E. Bent, 
J. B. & E. Smith, 
Ira Woodman, 
Alden S. Clifford, 
Wm. Hill, 
John Fox, 
Nathan Williams, 
Alanson Arnold, 
Eleazer Blackman, 
Aurin Ralpli, 
John Sidders, 
Russel Whipple, 
Sheffield Mills, 
Jonas Lamphear, 
Wm. R. Currier, 
Manus Griswold, 
Isaac Barnes, 

44 H I S T O K Y O F 

We insert below the record of some of the transac- 
tions of this body, and also several decisions relating 
to disputed claims : 

At a meeting this 6th day of August, A. D. 1836, at the house of 
Thomson Paxton, on the east side of the Big Woods, Cook county : 

It was motioned and seconded that this be our first annual meeting, 
and our next annual meeting be held on the 6th of August next, at 1 
o'clock, P. M., and to have a regular meeting every six months, or semi- 
annual meeting. It was motioned and seconded that the following 
named persons be a new committee, and they were duly elected, as 

It was motioned and seconded that this society be called the BIG 
WOODS CLAIM PROTECTING SOCIETY. It was motioned and seconded 
that, at our semi-annual or annual meetings, in all cases a majority 
present shall have full power to do business; and further, that this 
instrument shall not be altered, in any case, except at the annual or 
semi-annual meetings. 

It was further motioned and seconded, that we bind our heirs and 
assigns. It was motioned and seconded that the secretary purchase a 
book to register our respective claims ; and further, it was motioned 
and seconded that every person shall present or give a description of his 
or her claim, within ninety days from this date, to the secretary, to have 
our respective claims recorded in a book for that purpose. Any claimant 
not complying as above, such claim by us shall be considered null and 
void. It was motioned and seconded that in all cases where any suit or 
suits are investigated by the committee, the defaulter or trespasser shall 
pay all costs. It was motioned and seconded that the penal sum of this, 
our said constitution, shall be increased from one to ten thousand 

Motioned and seconded that this meeting adjourn to the first Satur- 
day in February next, at 10 o'clock, A. M., to the house of Thomson 

At a meeting held this 4th day of February, 1837, at the house of 
Thomson Paxton, on the east side of the Big Woods, Cook county, 
Illinois : 

Voted, That the time be extended for entering claims, until the next 
annual meeting ; that the descriptions handed in since the time expired 


should be received also, for recording. Voted, That no one settler shall 
be protected by this society on a claim to exceed six hundred and forty 

Voted, That the secretary drop a line to those individuals that have 
recorded more land than this society will protect them in. 

Voted, That no member of our society shall commence a suit at the 
expense of the society, without the approbation of the committee. 

Voted, That a written notice from one of the committee shall be 
given to the defendant, or to his wife, previous to any suit pending 
before them. 

Voted, That our whole proceedings, from the commencement, shall 
be published in the three Chicago newspapers, and likewise in the Mil- 
waukee Advocate ; that a committee of three be appointed to draft or 
prepare our proceedings for publication. The following named persons 
were elected said committee : RUSSELL WHIPPLE, ELI NORTHAM, WARREN 
SMITH, including the secretary. * 

Voted, That the secretary shall record all decisions made by the 
committee respecting claims. 

Voted, That this meeting adjourn to the 6th day of August next, to 
meet at the house of Thomson Paxton. 


We, the subscribers, have taken into consideration the right of claim 
in dispute between J. Warren and J. Maxwell, and award that the 1 60 
acres shall be equally divided between said claimants. 

L. WARD, 1 

F. STOLP, f Committee,. 


Cook county, Illinois,) 
5th March, 1836. f 

It was the decision of the committee that Mr. Warren has shown a 
right to the east eighty, by an agreement, and that Mr. Warren, there- 
fore, has nothing more to leave out with regard to the above named lot. 


T/^UXT noT-r-n ' > Committee. 


Jan. 17, 1837. 


The committee agreed that the disputed quarter section within the 
furrow between Williams and Himes, should be equally divided between 
said Williams and Himes, the division line to run with the road. Wil* 
Hams shall take the north half and Himes the south. 

Entered Feb. 4, 1837. 

We, the committee of the " BIG WOODS CLAIM PROTECTING SOCIETY-," 
give judgment on the case wherein James Dyer is plaintiff and David 
McKee defendant; on a lot of prairie east of David McKee's field. That 
the said David McKee pay the said James Dyer one hundred dollars, and 
have all the improvements made by the said Dyer ; otherwise, if the 
said David McKee refuse to pay the above mentioned sum to the said 
Dyer, he shall have the said lot of land as his lawful claim, to dispose of 
as his. 

A society was formed for similar objects in 1839, 
called the "Du Page County Society for Mutual Pro- 
tection." At the risk of tiring our readers, we give 
some extracts from its records : 

At a meeting of the settlers, of Du PAGE County, held at Naperville, 
on the 28th of October, A. D. 1839, Russel Whipple was called to the 
chair, and James C. Hatch appointed secretary. Whereupon the fol- 
lowing report was read to the meeting: At a meeting of the settlers of 
Du PAGE County, held at Naperville, on the 29th of September last, to 
take measures for securing their rights and interests to and in their 
respective claims, a committee of ten was appointed to draft rules and 
regulations to present for the consideration of this meeting, in compli- 
ance with which, said committee respectfully beg leave to present the 
following : 

Situated as we are upon government lands, which have, by the indus- 
try of the settlers, already become highly valuable, and inasmuch as our 
claims lie in such a variety of shapes, and are of such different dimen- 
sions, that they cannot in any manner correspond with the government 
survey, it appears necessary, in order to prevent the most fearful conse- 
quences, that the lines of our respective claims should be established 
previous to the government survey, and we ourselves bound by the 
strong arm of the law, to reconvcy, as hereinafter mentioned, to our 
neighbors, whenever these lands are sold by the order of the general 
government, so as to keep our claims as they are now established ; and 
to accomplish this end, we recommend the following regulations: 


first. We do hereby form ourselves into a society, to be called the 
governed by such prudent rules and by-laws as the society may hereafter 
adopt, not inconsistent with the laws of the country ; and that we will 
make use of all honorable means to protect each other in our respective 
claims, as may hereafter be agreed upon and recorded ; and that we will 
not countenance any unjust claim, set up by speculators or others ; and 
we declare that the primary object of this society is, to protect the 
inhabitants in their claims and boundaries, so that each shall deed, and 
redeed to the other as hereinafter mentioned, when the government 
survey does not agree with the present lines, or lines which may here- 
after be agreed upon. 

Second. That there be a committee of five appointed at this meeting, 
three of whom may form a board of arbitration, to decide, from legal 
testimony, all disputes respecting the lines or boundaries of any claim 
to which they may be called together, with the costs of the arbitration, 
and the party or parties who shall pay the same : Provided, It does not 
appear that such dispute has previously been decided, by an arbitration 
held by the agreement of the parties, which shall be a bar against fur- 
ther proceedings of said committee, except as to matter of costs. 

Third. That each of the said committee shall be entitled to one dollar 
per day, for each day officially engaged. 

Fourth. That, in all cases where the parties cannot establish their 
lines, either by reference to their neighbors or otherwise, either party 
may, at any time, by giving to the other ten days' notice of his or her 
intention, call out at least three of the board of arbitration, to decide 
the same, and their decision shall be final. 

fifth. That there be one clerk appointed at this meeting, who shall 
keep a fair record of all transactions of this association, and also of all 
descriptions of claims presented to him for record : Provided, That there 
is attached thereto a certificate from all who have adjoining claims, cer- 
tifiying to the correctness of such description, or a certificate signed by 
a majority of any arbitration, met to establish any line or lines of said 
claim ; and that the said clerk shall be entitled to twenty-five cents for 
recording each claim and certificate. 

Sixth. That it shall be the duty of every settler to present to the clerk 
a definite description of his or her claim, either from actual survey or 
otherwise, and also to set his or her hand and seal to a certain indenture, 
drafted by Giles Spring, Esq., of Chicago, for this society. 


Seventh. That there be a committee of three in each precinct, ap- 
pointed at this meeting, for the purpose of carrying into effect the sixth 

Eighth. That the settlers on the school lands ought to obtain their 
lands at government price. 

Ninth. That we will firmly and manfully protect all who conform to 
the above regulations previous to the first day of January, 1840. 

Which report and regulations were unanimously adopted, and ordered 
to be embodied in a constitution. 

Thereafter, on motion, a committee of six was appointed by the chair, 
to nominate a board of arbitration and clerk, viz/: Lewis Ellsworth, 
Elihu Thayer, Luther Hatch, Cornelius Jones, Job A. Smith, and David 
S. Dunning ; who, having retired, returned and reported LTMAN MEACH- 
AM, ERASTCS GARY, and STEPHEN J. SCOTT, board of arbitration, and P. 
BALLINGALL, clerk ; which nominations were approved of. 

Whereupon, it was moved and adopted, that the following persons be 
the precinct committees, viz. : 

NAPERVILLE PRECINCT. Stephen J. Scott, Henry Goodrich, Nathan 
Allen, Jr. 

WEBSTER PRECINCT. John W. Walker, James C. Hatch, Pierce 

DEERFIELD PRECINCT. Luther Morton, Perus Barney, Moses Stacy. 

WASHINGTON PRECINCT. Lyman Meacham, Smith D. Pierce, Capt. 
E. Kinny. 

ORANGE PRECINCT. Job A. Smith, Wm. Kimball, Luther F. San- 

Du PAGE PRECINCT. Warren Smith, Lorin G. Hulbert, Alvah 

BIG WOODS PRECINCT. John Warne, Levi Leach, William J. 

Resolved, That this meeting adjourn till the first Monday in January, 


JAS. C. HATCH, Secretary. 

At a meeting of the "Du Page County Society for Mutual Protection," 
held at Naperville, the sixth day of January, A. D. 1840, in pursuance 
of adjournment, Russell Whipple took the chair, when, on motion of 
Mr. Geo. Martin, it was 


Resolved, That the time for recording the claims of the members of this 
society, in order to secure the benefits of the ninth resolution of the 
meeting held on the 28th of October last, be extended till the first day 
of march next. 

On motion of Mr. James C. Hatch, 

Resolved, That the claims belonging to members of the society which 
lie on the line of, or in another county, shall be entitled to record and 
protection, on the member complying with the fifth regulation. 

On motion of Mr. Lyman Meacham, 

Resolved, That when a claim belonging to a member of this associa- 
tion shall border on that of a non-resident, or that of a person out of 
the state, or on land not occupied, the same shall be recorded if a certi- 
ficate from the adjoining claimants be attached thereto, certifying to 
such non-residence, absence, or non-occupancy, and that there is no dis- 
pute concerning the same. 

On motion of Mr. William J. Strong, 

Resolved, That any member of this society who, in an arbitration, 
fails to establish his claim before the board of arbitration, shall pay the 
costs thereof within six days from the decision being pronounced, and 
failing to make such payment, he shall cease to be a member of this 

Resolved, That this meeting adjourn until the first Monday in March 
next. P. BALLINGALL, Clerk. 

At a meeting of the society, held at Naperville, on the 6th day of 
January, A. D. 1840, in pursuance of adjournment, Stephen J. Scott was 
appointed chairman. 

Resolved, That James Johnson and Isaac B. Berry be allowed another 
trial in their arbitration with Harry T. Wilson, on condition that said 
Johnson and Berry pay one counsel fee, and the whole costs of the arbi- 

Resolved, That the board of arbitrators shall have power to fill all 
vacancies occasioned by death, removal, or otherwise, between this 
time and the first Monday in May next. 

Resolved, That the resolution offered by William J. Strong, and passed 
at last meeting, be and is hereby repealed. 

Rcxli'ed t That the line between Fphraim Collar and Timothy E. 

Parsons is hereby declared to be the road leading from to , 

laid by Butterfield, Church and Arnold, as the same has been recorded. 

Resolved, That this meeting adjourn till the first Monday in May next. 

P. BAI,I,INOALI,, Clerk. 


At a meeting of the Du Page County Society for Mutual Protection, 
held at Naperville, on Monday, the 4th day of May, A. D. 1840, pursuant 
to adjournment, John Stevens was appointed chairman, and James F. 
Wight clerk, pro 1cm., when, on motion of Mr. P. Downer, 

Resolved, That the time for settling and recording claims of the mem- 
bers of this society be extended to the first Monday in June next. 

Resolved, That this meeting adjourn until the first Monday in June 
next, then to meet in Naperville. 

J. F. WIGHT, Clefk, pro tern. 

At a meeting of the Du Page County Society for Mutual Protection, 
held at Naperville, on Monday, the 1st day (being the first Monday) in 
June, 1840, pursuant to adjournment, Captain John Stevens was 
appointed chairman. Patrick Ballingall, Esq., having resigned the 
office of clerk of this society, on motion of Mr. Hunt, 

Resolved, That James F. Wight be and is hereby appointed clerk of 
this society, in the place of P. Ballingall, Esq., resigned. 

Resolved, That the time for settling and recording claims of the mem- 
bers of this society be extended until the first Monday in September 
next. On motion of Mr. James C. Hatch, 

Resolved, That the Clerk hereafter record no certificates of claims 
unless it is certified that they are the only claimants adjoining the 
claim or claims offered to be recorded, or for want of such certificate, 
that the applicant shall make oath that no other person except those 
named in such certificate adjoin him. 

Resolved, That the clerk notify all persons whose claims are recorded 
(without their having signed the settler's bond), that they sign the said 
bond, or they will not be protected by this society. 

Resolved, That this meeting adjourn to the first Monday hi September 
next, then to meet at the Preemption House, in Naperville, at one 
o'clock, P. M. 


At a meeting of the Du Page County Society for Mutual Protection, 
held at Naperville, on Wednesday, the 3d day of March, 1841, Hon. 
Russell Whipple was called to the chair, and Morris Sleight appointed 
Secretary. After the object of the meeting had been stated by Stephen 
J. Scott, the following persons were appointed a committee to draft 
resolutions expressive of the sense of this meeting, viz. : LUTHER 

On motion of N. Allen, jr., Esq., Aylmer Keith was appointed clerk 


of this society, to record claims and the certificates for the same, and to 
keep the settlers' book, in place of James F. Wight. 

Resolved, That the time for recording claims be extended to the. first 
Monday of September, 1841. 

The committee appointed to draft resolutions reported the following, 
which were adopted, with one or two dissenting votes: 

Whereas, It is generally believed that the public lands on -which we 
hold settlers' claims will be shortly offered for sale, and in order that 
each claimant may obtain and feel secure in the possession of his just 
claim, it is deemed necessary that there be a uniformity 01 action and 
feeling on the subject, and believing that the proving up of preemption 
claims will have a tendency to create excitement and confusion, if not 
to interfere with the rights of others : Therefore be it 

Resolved, 1. That we will not prove up our preemption claims, even 
when justly entitled to do so, except in cases where it may be deemed 
necessary to secure the claimant, but that we will not do so without the 
consent of a committee to be appointed by this union, or the several 
towns, to settle disputes. 

Resolved, 2. That any person who shall attempt to obtain a preemp- 
tion, and thereby seize upon any part of any other person's claim, shall 
be deemed a dishonest man, not entitled to the protection of this union, 
and shall not be allowed to purchase any other land in this county, if 
this union can prevent it. 

Resolved, 3. That when the inhabitants of any township shall guaran- 
tee to those on the school section, and entitled to a float, that they shall 
have their claim at ten shillings per acre ; then, in such case, if they 
shall obtain, or attempt to obtain a float, or lay one upon any other 
claimant's just claim, they shall be considered no better than a thief or 
a robber, and shall have no protection from this union. 

Resolved, 4. That it is the duty of this association to take measures to 
secure to claimants on the school section their claims at government 

Resolved, 5. That the protection of this union will not be extended 
to any person who shall either take or purchase a school section float, 
except the township refuse to guarantee, as in the third resolution. 
^Resolved, 6. That the several townships in this county call meetings 
and make such arrangements, and adopt such measures as may be 
thought necessary, with regard to their claims at the approaching land sale. 

Resolved, 7. That the proceedings of this meeting be forwarded by 
the secretary to the land office in Chicago, and nsk of the register and 


. receiver to act with regard to lands in this county on the spirit of the 
resolutions here passed. 

Resolved, 8. That the proceedings of this meeting be signed by the 
chairman and secretary, and published in the Chicago papers. 

Subordinate claim societies were organized in eacli 
of the precincts of the cotmty ; the settlers pretty 
generally joined them, and many difficulties were 
adjusted by this means among the squatters. The hard 
times which followed the crisis of 1836 and 1837? 
discouraged speculation somewhat, and but few were 
able to purchase the land which they had improved, 
and some were unable to do that. The pledges made 
by the members of the claim societies were uniformly 
carried out, and all honorable men gave no cause of 
complaint to their neighbors. In a few cases some 
leiss scrupulous refused to deed lands in their possession 
to the rightful owner, and in consequence quarrels and 
some suits at law were the result. -Some of these suits 
are still ". pending and undecided." 

"We subjoin a few instances, showing how summarily 
a certain class of claim difficulties were disposed of. 
Many more might be added, but let these suffice. 

Two neighbors owned adjoining claims, and at the 
time of the organization of the claim society their land 
was being surveyed by the government surveyor. 
One of the men happened to be a member of the 
society, and the other not. It so happened that the 
random line, run by the surveyor, cut off a portion of 
the claim of the first, and left it in such a manner that 
the other would be entitled to a preemption upon it. 
When he discovered this, he refused to deed the land 
to the one who claimed it. Persuasion was used in 


vain. He thought he had the advantage of his neigh- 
bor, and determined to keep it. In a few days, 
however, matters assumed a different light, and then 
the line was established so as to give back to the society 
man not only what he claimed, but also a large corner 
from his neighbor's tract, and now he was entitled to 
a preemption. The obstinate man was thus induced 
to join the society, and take upon himself the obliga- 
tion to " deed and re-deed." After being kept in 
suspense for a while, by way of punishment, his land 
was again restored to him. 

There were many of the settlers who did not join 
the claim societies, but among all l)ona-fide settlers 
there prevailed a determination to protect each other. 
The first trouble arising from " claim jumping," was 
in 1836, or thereabouts, respecting the claim of Mr. 
Frothingham, in the town of Milton. A family of 
squatters came on and took possession of a portion of 
his claim, without leave or license, and were determined 
to remain there in spite of entreaty or physical force. 
The settlement was apprised of this state of affairs, 
and a company of about fifty horsemen proceeded to 
the cabin of the incorrigible squatters, who, on seeing 
them coming, broke for tall timber, leaving but one 
occupant in the cabin, an old lady who had passed the 
running point. The sum of seventeen dollars was 
raised among the company to indemnify the family 
for sundry outlays which they had made upon the 
premises. This the old lady received upon condition 
that the family should quit the claim without delay. 
To expedite the execution of her part of the contract, 
the settlers fell to work and assisted in the removal of 


the furniture from the house, and in clearing the pre- 
mises of everything that belonged to the family. After 
this had been done, the house was torn down and the 
rubbish thrown into a heap near by, preparatory to 
kindling a bonfire, when the "meeting" was called to 
order and several stump speeches of a decidedly 
inflammatory character were made. "We are not in 
possession of the minutes of those speeches, but have 
been informed that the Hon. Nathan Allen figured 
quite conspicuously in this part of the exercises. His 
speech on that occasion is spoken of as being one of 
his most felicitous and pointed ".efforts." When the 
speech-making had subsided, fire was set to the heap 
of promiscuous ruins, and the hut of the interlopers 
was soon reduced to ruins. The conduct of the settlers 
in this case proved a warning to future intruders, and 
claim jumping was rarely heard of in that part of the 
county afterward. 

A man from Plumb Grove happened to be on his 
way to the Xaper settlement and passing near the 
place while the affair just described was faking place. 
Seeing the smoke ascend from the spot, and hearing 
the universal uproar among the settlers, he concluded 
at once that a party of Indians was there, killing and 
laying waste. Turning from the beaten track which 
led near the house, he made a circuit around the 
" marauders," and lashing his horses to their utmost 
speed, rode to the settlement, warning everybody, to 
flee for their lives. The cause of his fright was pretty 
generally understood, and therefore he did not succeed 
in getting up a very serious alarm. 

A few years after a contention arose respecting the 


Tullis cltiiin, which was situated in the same neighbor- 
hood. Under a preemption law passed about that 
time, a man by the name of Harmond undertook to 
preempt a portion of the claim of Mr. Tnllis, who had 
already obtained possession of it under a former 
preemption act. In order to comply with the provi- 
sions of the later act, Ilarmond built a pen of small 
poles near the center of his claim, staid in it only one 
night, and started immediately for Chicago to prove 
his preemption. On his return, he commenced making 
repairs upon an old block house which was already 
built upon his " quarter," and being asked why he was 
doing it, replied that he had preempted that claim, 
and was going to live there. This aroused the indig- 
nation of the neighboring squatters, who called a 
meeting to take into consideration the conduct of Mr. 
Harmond. He, being present, was advised to relin- 
quish his claim, but he positively refused to do it, and 
at the same time threw out some pretty savage threats 
against the settlers, in case they attempted to remove 
him by force. After a long consultation, it was con- 
cluded that the building on the premises should be 
torn down if he did not abandon it without delay. 
At this decision Harmond became greatly exasperated, 
and having his rifle with him, threatened to fire upon 
" the first man who should tear off a board." Where 
upon a fearless Qaker gentleman stepped forth and 
remarked to Mr. Harmond that if he designed to put 
that threat in execution he had better begin by shooting 
at Mm, as he considered himself a mark of sufficient 
magnitude for a claim jumper to shoot at, any how. 
The old Quaker was soon joined by Lyman Butterfield, 

56 n i 6 T o K y o v 

who addressed Mr. Harmond in pretty much the same 
strain, informing him that if he was not willing to waste 
his powder on one man, he would offer the additional 
inducement of placing his own body in lair range, so 
that he might at least kill "ttco birds with one stone." 
But Harmond could not be prevailed upon to shoot, 
and so the party proceeded to the disputed claim, 
tearing down the house, and removing every vestige 
of former occupancy. Before ten minutes had elapsed, 
after the decision of the council of settlers, this was 
done, and Mr. Harmond was sent on his way to other 
parts, not rejoicing, but uttering the most awful denun- 
ciations against such ungentlemanly treatment. 

In justice to a numerous class of our early settlers, 
we deem it appropriate to introduce here a brief notice 
of a society which was formed in 1834, and known as 
the " Hognatorial Council." We have ransacked all 
the dead languages we ever heard of, in order to obtain 
for our readers some clue to the origin of this preno- 
tnen, but have been signally defeated in the undertak- 
ing. Its origin is altogether too obscure for us, and we 
leave the task of tracing it to more able and willing 
hands. The object of the " council " seems to have 
been the settling of a peculiar class of claim difficulties, 
which were not taken cognizance of by the fonajfefc 
claim committee, and its operations were designed to 
burlesque the proceedings of that committee, as well 
as to ridicule courts in general. All disputes brought 
before the " Hognatorial " were settled in a summary 
and satisfactory manner. We can illustrate this remark 
with but one instance, which occurred in the south 
part of the county. A man by the name of Clarke, 


who was firmly grounded in Midshipman Easy's doc- 
trine of " what belongs to my neighbor belongs also 
to me," made a "claim" upon another man's land, 
lying somewhere on the Du Page river. Finding that 
peaceable and quiet possession was impossible, he 
applied to a gentleman who happened to be posted in 
" hognatorial " matters, for advice. He was of course 
advised to bring the matter before the " Hognatorial 
Council," as that was the only reliable tribunal having 
jurisdiction over such grievances. His case was pre- 
pared by Kathan Allen, a man of superior legal 
attainments, and upon a certain day the Hognatorial 
Council room was crowded to witness the proceedings 
in the case. Allen opened the case by giving to the 
jury a plain unvarnished statement of the facts, and 
closed it by a most pathetic appeal to their sense of 
justice, in behalf of his wronged and injured client. 
Several witnesses were called upon to testify, and the 
upshot of the testimony was that Mr. Clark had a 
claim commencing at a certain point on Du Page river, 
but in what direction his lines ran from that point it 
was impossible to ascertain. Several hours were 
occupied in examining witnesses, during which time 
Clark kept a boy running to and fro between the 
" council chamber" and his house, to inform his wife 
of the different phases which the case assumed as the 
trial progressed. At length the testimony was all in, 
the closing argument made, and the case submitted to 
the jury. There was but one point left for the jury 
to act upon, and that related particularly to the boun- 
dary of Clark's claim. They were out but a short 
time, and returned the following verdict : " We, the 



jurors in this case, decide that Mr. Clark is justly 
entitled to a piece of land lying on the Du Page river, 
and described as follows, to wit : commencing at a 
certain point on the east Lank of said river, and run- 
ning perpendicular to the horizon straight up" This 
was enough for Clark. He hastened to communicate 
the result to his waiting, anxious wife, and afterward 
proceeded to the tavern and got ingloriously drunk 
over the result of his victorious suit. 




THE County of Du PAGE, is situated in the northern 
part of the State of Illinois, and consists of a fraction 
over nine townships. It belonged originally to Cook 
county, until its separation and organization into a 
distinct county by act of Legislature, passed at the 
session of 1839. It is bounded on the north and east 
by Cook county, on the south by "Will and Cook, and 
on the west by Kane.' 

The early settlers were almost wholly of English 
extraction, but the population of the present day con- 
sists of a mixture of English and Germans. The 
following table will show when- the several towns 
were organized, when first settled and by whom, and 
also the number of inhabitants, according to the census 
of 1850 and 1855: 










H. Duncklee, 
S.L. & H. Meacham 
Wells & Grant,. 
Baley Hobson,. 
II. T. Wilson, . . 
Joseph Naper, . 
E. & J. I'. Gary, 
John Laughlin,. 
Elisha Fish, . 





Downer's Grove, 







CO 11 1 S T O tt V O F 

Tlie number of inhabitants to the square mile, omit- 
ting fractions, was in 1850, twenty-two, in 1855, twenty- 

The following items are taken from the census of 
1855. There are fifty-two manufactories, of all kinds, 
in the county, and the value of manufactured products, 
is 8161,095. The value of live stock is $876,185. 
There were 104,761 pounds of wool produced. There 
were seventy-two common schools taught in the 
county, being an increase of twenty over the preced- 
ing census. There were three academies ; number of 
pupils, 5,770. The population included one negro, and 
one Indian. 


Du PAGE County is generally level, and contains 
fair proportions of timber and prairie. The soil is well 
adapted to grazing, and produces abundant crops of 
all kinds of grain common to this latitude. The 
Du Page river, which has its rise in the northern part 
of the county, is skirted with forests of thrifty growing 
timber. In addition to the facilities thus afforded for 
timber and fuel, the inhabitants in the western part 
have recourse to the Big Woods, which lie partly in 
this county. The west branch of the Du Page, is a 
stream of considerable size, and affords numerous 
sites for the application of water power. Besides 
several saw mills, and other manufactories, there are 
flouring mills situated upon this stream, at "Warrenville, 
Naperville, and at Hobson's. 

There are no other streams of much importance in 
the county, yet it is well watered by the smaller 


streams and springs, which are everywhere to be 
found. The average deptli of wells is about twenty- 
five feet. 


The chief staples are corn, wheat, rye, oats, and 
potatoes ; but barley, buckwheat, peas and beans, are 
cultivated to some extent. Considerable attention is 
given to fruit raising. Orchards are generally young, 
and the adaptation of this climate to the culture of the 
apple, has not been fully tested. The prospect, how- 
ever, for a productive season, has never been so 
encouraging as at present. The productions of horti- 
culture, are chiefly of the most common and useful 
kinds. Rare and delicate plants are to be found in 
few gardens. The grape is cultivated to considerable 
extent, and produces abundantly. Locust trees 
abound. The horse chestnut, larch, mountain ash, 
and various other species of the ornamental class, are 
generally introduced. The forests furnish a good 
variety of shade trees. Of the sugar maple, elm, ash, 
butternut, and soft maple, large quantities are trans- 
planted to the farms and villages, every season. These 
will eventually take the place of the locust, which 
proves too susceptible to the- severity of our winters, 
many having died out during the past two years. 
Du PAGE is ranked as an agricultural county, but the 
attention of farmers has been directed to the raising 
of cattle, and it is thought by many, that the produc- 
tion of grain will gradually give place to the increase 
and improvement of stock. 

The " Du Page County Agricultural and Mechani- 
cal Society," was formed in 1854. Its design, is to 


promote a friendly intercourse among the citizens, as 
well as improvement and enterprise in the cultivation 
of the soil, raising of stock, and the manufacture of 
useful farming and household utensils. The annual 
fair of this society is held about the middle of Septem- 
ber. The place of meeting is now fixed at Wheaton, 
the society having secured at that place twenty acres of 
A'aluable land, fifteen acres of which were donated by 
J. C. and W.. L. Wheaton. The operations of this 
society, it is believed, are attended with many impor- 
tant results. It calls the attention of the farming 
community to the better management of their farms ; 
to the greater production and more beneficial employ- 
ment of manures ; to the introduction of choice breeds 
of live stock, of all kinds, and especially working 
cattle, horses, cows, and sheep. By its annual premi- 
ums it excites emulation, and promotes a spirit of 
enterprise and activity among the agriculturists. By 
the same means, it awakens kindred feelings among 
the women, and improves various and important 
articles of domestic manufacture. The fanners are 
generally the owners of the soil ; they form a body of 
yeomanry deeply interested in the improvement of 
their farms, and the industrious habits of citizens one 
of the grand supports of our free and happy govern- 
ment. Success then to this society, and may each 
succeeding year mark its nearer approach to the 
worthy object for which it was formed. 


The more judicious laws of recent times, have done 
much for the interest of our schools. These laws have 


been well observed by the people of Du PAGE County. 
"We now have about seventy school districts, which 
are provided with good school buildings and good 
schools. Much of our advancement in this respect, is 
due to the indefatigable labors of our late school com- 
missioner, Rev. Hope Brown. From Mr. Brown's 
annual report of 1855, we give some extracts showing 
the state of our schools at that time : 

" The whole number of school districts in the county is sixty-eight, 
sixty-four of which are provided with school houses. If we divide 
these houses into four classes, we may reckon twenty in the first class, 
and call them extra ; we may also reckon twenty in the second class, 
and call them r/ood ; we may reckon sixteen in the third class, and call 
them passable ; and that will leave eight for the fourth class, which 
may justly be called MISERABLK. Three now houses have been erected 
the last year, and preparations are being made for the erection of 
several more the present year. In relation to this subject, there is 
generally, throughout the county, a disposition to make progress in the 
right direction. No district is willing to have its school house reported 
year after year, as being miserably poor, and entirely unfit to be 
occupied for school purposes. Since I first began to visit our schools, 
five years ago, and to report the condition of the school houses in our 
county paper, thirty new ones have been erected, and several others 
have undergone important repairs ; and the prospect now is, that no 
district will be long without a house that they will be unwilling to have 
visited and reported just as it is. The whole number of pupils connected 
with our district schools the past winter, is not far from two thousand ; 
among this number, about twelve hundred have attended to arithmetic, 
five hundred have studied geography, two hundred and fifty English 
grammar, and about one hundred have attended to higher branches, 
such as algebra, natural philosophy, physiology, and the history of the 
United States. 

"The schools have generally been taught from six to eight months 
each, during the year. In a few districts there has been no school 
during'thc winter. The wages of teachers have been, for females, from 
eight to sixteen dollars per month and board ; for males, from sixteen 
to thirty per month and board. It is an omen of good, tbnt there is n 


disposition to give to teachers a better remuneration for their services, 
than they have received in years past. When good wages arc offered, 
then good qualifications may be rigidly insisted upon. Of all cheap 
things, cheap teachers are the first to be repudiated. When, by the 
special pleading of school directors, I am urged to give a certificate to 
a teacher, whom I have good reason to regard as unqualified to instruct 
in each of the branches required by lav/ to be taught in our district 
schools, I feel that I am asked to do that which will not be likely to 
promote the interests of education in any school. The district that 
cannot afford to have a good teacher, should not throw away their 
money by employing a poor teacher. In examining teachers, I 
may have been regarded as being unnecessarily strict, but I have at all 
times aimed to be governed by " law and evidence," and where I have 
refused a certificate, it has been because the applicant has not furnished 
evidence on examination, that he possessed the qualifications which the 
law requires. If, in respect to this important duty I have erred, it has 
been in being too lenient rather than in being too strict. If none but 
those who are well qualified, as the law requires, can be approbated, 
then none but such as regard themselves as well qualified, will be 
likely to apply for or consent to be employed in any school in our 
county. In visiting and examining our schools the past winter, I 
found them generally in a prosperous condition. To this general 
remark there may be three or four exceptions; and where these 
exceptions apply, if school directors had been faithful in the discharge 
of the duties devolving upon them as such, these schools would no 
doubt have been much better than what they were. As a whole, our 
district schools may be regarded as doing much, very much, for the 
advancement of the prosperity of our county. 

"In addition to our district schools, there are in the county three 
incorporated academies, 'The Naperville Academy,' 'The Illinois 
Institute ' and the ' Warrenville Seminary ;' the two former of which 
are in a prosperous condition, but the latter is suspended for the present. 
There are also six private schools in the county. In these schools and 
in the above named academies, there have been the past winter, about five 
hundred pupils ; so that in view of our academies and schools, public and 
private, we may regard this county as well furnished with the means of 
education, or at least in a fair way to be well furnished. Let the same 
progress in respect to schools be made in this county for five years to 
come, which has been made during the preceding five years, and but 
few counties, either west or east, will be better furnished with the 


means of education than will Du PAGE County. School directors, in 
many instances, have been sadly delinquent in relation to the duty of 
visiting schools under their immediate supervision. It is believed that 
there are those who sustain this responsible office, who have not visited 
the schools legally under their care, even once during the entire year. 
Such do not magnify their office, nor does their office magnify them. 
But a word to the wise may be sufficient." 

A brief notice of our incorporated institutions of 
learning will be found in the histories of the towns in 
which they are situated. 


This county is proverbial for its healthfulness, but 
diseases of the more acute form, as billions and typhus 
fevers, fever and ague, are not uncommon at some 
neasons of the year. The climate is mild and salu- 
brious. The heat of the summer is perhaps greater 
than it is in the same latitude of the eastern states, 
but our winters are far less severe. 


To write out the newspaper history of Du PAGE 
County, is but to record a succession of failures. The 
first newspaper was established at the county seat. 
Being situated on the principal route for transit be- 
tween the Rock river country and Chicago, Naperville 
had grown to be a considerable town, and in 1849 its 
citizens naturally thought that an organ, or newspaper, 
was necessary to give it position and honorable mention 
among its sister towns. Accordingly, with a liberality 
which was characteristic, its citizens offered to purchase 
a printing press and materials for any one who would 

60 11 1 S T O 14 Y O F 

undertake to publish a 'newspaper in iSTaperville. 
Unfortunately for them, their liberal offer was heard 
of by an adventurer named Charles J. Sellon, who 
hastened to Is aperville, and early in November, 18-49, 
struck a bargain with the citizens, and agreed to pub- 
lish a paper on the terms proposed. Sellon was 
wholly unknown to the people of Naperville, had no 
capital, and but little reputation, though he had but a 
short time previous been engaged in two or three 
unsuccessful and dishonorable newspaper speculations. 
However, the citizens were as good as their promise, 
and in tw r o or three days raised tlie amount necessary, 
some $500, with which a second-hand press, a large 
quantity of type, which had previously been used on 
the Chicago JOURNAL, job type, and other necessary 
materials, were purchased, and brought to Naperville, 
amid the rejoicings of the people. A room was pro- 
cured in the old Tarbox store for an office, and after 
considerable delay in arranging everything, and setting 
up the press and fixtures, the first number of the 
Du PAGE COUNTY RECORDER was issued, if we 
mistake not, on or about the 1st of December, 1849, 
" by C. J. Sellon, Editor and Proprietor." The paper, 
in its commencement, was a decided success. It started 
off with a circulation of about 500. The business 
men of Naperville advertised largely, and furnished 
job work liberally. In fact, the establishment of the 
RECORDER marked an era in the history of Du PAGE 
County ; for although the town did not in consequence 
grow in population, as some other towns had done, 
yet it infused new life, new ideas, new ambition and 
energy into the business men, and the whole cominu- 


nity. But the success of the paper was doomed to be 
of short duration. Sellon proved to be a bad manager, 
lazy and extravagant, and the most liberal patronage 
could not long keep him up ; besides, he had no sta- 
mina, was full of wild chimerical schemes, and 
continually trying something new, most unfitting 
qualities for a newspaper publisher. The RECORDER 
having been started by the joint eftorts of all parties, 
it was deemed proper that it should be neutral in 
politics. But Sellon's uneasy nature could not long 
rest under this state of affairs, and his means running 
low, he at last prevailed on one or two very susceptible 
politicians, who lived out of the county, to furnish him 
funds with which to change the RECORDER into a 
political paper. Accordingly, at the end of nine 
months, he discontinued the RECORDER, and issued 
in its stead, the DEMOCRATIC PLAINDEALER. About 
the same time also, he commenced the publication of. 
a small weekly sheet called the DAUGHTER OF TEM- 
PERANCE, as he professed to be a great advocate of the 
cause of temperance. The change in the character of 
the paper gave great dissatisfaction to the men of both 
parties in the town. The printing of the two papers 
became very expensive, while there was a manifest 
falling oft' in patronage, and some time in November, 
1850, Sellon started off on a tour for the ostensible 
purpose of obtaining subscribers for the DAUGHTER, 
but he never came back, leaving $500 or $600 due 
creditors, and an interesting family wholly destitute. 
The whole concern, of course, came to a " dead lock," 
TEMPERANCE abruptly and ingloriously terminated their 

68 II I S T O K Y O V 

existence, and were numbered among things that were, 
after a spasmodic existence of only three months. 

Previous to leaving, Sellon had privately formed 
a partnership with H. S. Humphrey, a journeyman 
printer in his office, to whom he owed a considerable 
amount, in which he had agreed to sell him half the 
office, Humphrey turning his account in part payment. 
This gave Humphrey a lien or claim upon the office, 
and Keith and Barnes agreeing to become responsible 
to those of Sellon's creditors who were original sub- 
scribers, and still owned stock in the concern, for the 
payment of their claims, the office was again placed 
on a business footing, and early in January, 1851, the 
Du PAGE COUNTY OBSERVER, was issued under the 
management of Barnes, Humphrey and Keith. But 
the miserable failure and equivocal conduct of Sellon 
threw a u wet blanket" on the newspaper business of 
Du PAGE County, from which it has never yet reco- 
vered, and the OBSERVER never proved a money 
making concern. 

Mr. Humphrey continued his connection with the 
paper until April 6th, 1852, when he disposed of his 
interest to Mr. Gershom Martin, who continued the 
paper two years more in connection with Barnes and 
Keith. In March, 1854, they transferred their interest 
to Mr. Martin, who continued, it alone until the first 
of the following September, when he suspended its 
publication, having at that time less than 275 subscri- 
bers. Thus the OBSERVER, after a precarious existence 
of three years and^eight months, expired. During 
the fall of 1854 Mr. Charles W. Keith, believing that 
a paper could be sustained in Du PAGE County, bought 


the office, procured a new and larger press, and in 
November, 1854, started the Du PAGE COUNTY JOUR- 
NAL, a large and handsome sheet, and a decided 
improvement on the former ones. The JOURNAL was 
continued successively by C. "W. Keith; Keith, Edson 
& Co. ; J. M. Edson, and E. M. Day, until the great 
and disastrous freshet of February, 1857, when the 
entire office, and the building it was in, was carried 
away .by the flood. 

Sometime in the summer of 1856, the citizens of 
Wheaton, a town which had grown up on the Galena 
railroad, believing the interests of their town demanded 
such an enterprise, procured a press, and commenced 
the publication at their place, of the Du PAGE COUNTY 
GAZETTE, J. A. J. Birdsall being the publisher. It 
was published about ten months, when it was discon- 
tinued. At present there is but one paper printed in 
the county. The NAPERVILLE NEWSLETTER is published 
at Naperville, by E. PI. Eyer. It is a very respectable 
sheet and bids fair to rival its predecessors in perma- 
nence and usefulness. 



The law organizing the county was approved Feb- 
ruary 9th, 1839. The boundaries of the county, as 
speciried in the first section of the act, embraced not 
only the present limits, but the north half of two 
townships of Will county. The same section contained 
a proviso, as follows : 

" That no part of the county above described, now forming a part of 
Will county, shall be included within the said county of Du Page, unless 
the inhabitants now residing in said part of Will county shall, by a vote 
to be given by them at the next August election, decide, by a majority 
of legal voters, that they prefer to have the said territory made a part 
of the said county of Du Page." 

A vote of the inhabitants of the two half townships 
was had at the election mentioned in the proviso 
quoted, and although great exertions were made to 
produce a different result, the proposition was rejected 
by one vote. 

By the fourth section of the act, Ralph Woodruff, 
of La Salle county, Seth Reed, of Kane county, and 
II. G. Loomis, of Cook county, were appointed com- 
missioners to locate the county seat, and were to meet 
at the Preemption House, in Naperville, on the first 
Monday of June, 1839, or within thirty days there- 

There was a proviso to the fourth section, as follows : 

" The said commissioners shall obtain for the county, from the claim- 
ant, a quantity of land, not less than three acres, nnd three thousand 


dollars, for the purpose of erecting county buildings ; which sum shall 
be secured to the county commissioner.*, and paid out, under their 
directions, for the purposes aforesaid." 

Naperville was selected as the county seat, and on 
the 17th day of June, 1839, a quit-claim deed was 
executed to the county commissioners, conveying all 
the title one claimant had (the undivided half) to the 
present public square. The county never had title to 
the other half as a claim. 

As there are many in our county who have erroneous 
ideas in regard to the title of the county to the public 
square, upon which the county buildings stand, we 
here insert so much of the records as are necessary to 
give a correct understanding of its situation. 

By reference to the proceedings of the county com- 
missioners, we find that on the 7th day of June, 1842, 
the following orders were entered on record by them, 
viz. : 

" It is ordered by the court that Bailey Hobson be and he is hereby 
appointed a commissioner for the county of Du Page, to apply for, and 
obtain from the government of the United States of America, in pursu- 
ance of the act of congress in such case made and provided, a preemp- 
tion to the following described quarter section of land, to wit : The 
south-west quarter of section 18, township 38 north, range ten east of 
the third principal meridian, the same being the quarter section upon 
which the seat of justice for the county of Do PAGE is located." 

" Wkereax, Bailey Hobson, by an order entered on the records of this 
court, has been appointed a commissioner to apply for and obtain from 
the government of the United States, a preemption to the south-west 
quarter section of section eighteen, township thirty-eight north, range 
ten east of the third principal meridian for the use of said county of Du 
PAGE, and there being several persons who have a just and equitable 
claim to a part of said quarter section, it is ordered by this court that 
the said Bailey Hobson, commissioner aforesaid, be, and he is hereby 

72 ii i STORY or 

authorized and empowered, for and in behalf of the said county of D0 
PAGE, to convey, by good and sufficient deed, to all those persons, sev- 
erally, who have a just and equitable claim to any part or portion of said 
quarter section, the several proportions which any such individuals may 
be justly entitled to, of said quarter section of land, upon condition that 
such individuals who have a just claim to any portion of said land shall 
pay to the said commissioner, for the use of said county, one dollar and 
twenty-five cents per acre for the several proportions they are entitled 
to, together with a further sum of money sufficient to cover and pay any 
and every expense which the count}' aforesaid, through their said commis- 
sioner, may have to incur in proving a preemption to said quarter sec- 
tion, and all their expenses attending the conveyance of said land from 
the county to said individuals." 

In compliance with the first order, a preemption was 
obtained under the Act of Congress of 1822, by Mr. 
Hobson, as commissioner for the county, to the S. W 
Sec. 18, T. 38 N.,R. 10 E., and he, as such commissioner, 
received a "duplicate" for the land, which is recorded 
in the recorder's office, in book one, page 541. 
Whether the " patent " for the land has been obtained 
from the land office or not, we do not know. 

In compliance with the second order of the county- 
commissioner, all the land entered by the commis- 
sioner, except the public square, was conveyed by 
him to C. B. Hosmer and Lewis Ellsworth, the former 
receiving a deed for that portion lying north of the 
" Galena road," and the latter for that lying south of 
the road. 

We might give a further history of the " claim," 
but as it is foreign to our intentions to state anything 
more than what is necessary to explain the situation 
of the county property, we forbear. 

About $5,000 was subscribed by the citizens of Xa- 
perville to erect a court house, which was built in 1839. 
The brick offices were subsequently erected. 


The county buildings, after a lapse of nearly twenty- 
years, remain in statu quo, nothing having been done to 
beautify the grounds, or to improve their convenience 
or comfort. In view of the possibility of their removal, 
the citizens of Naperville filed a bond in the clerk's 
office, in April, 1857, which obligates them to enlarge 
and improve the appearance of the court house during 
the present summer. The citizens of the county are 
looking for a faithful execution of that bond. There 
being no correct view of the county buildings now 
extant, we are obliged to forego the pleasure of pre- 
senting our readers with a representation of their 
massive proportions. Since the erection of the county 
buildings, the judicial courts have been held uniformly 
at JSTaperville. In the winter of 1857, the Legislature 
passed an act, authorizing an election to be held 011 the 
first Monday in May, which should decide the question 
of the removal of the county seat to the town of 
Wheaton. The election excited considerable agitation 
and feeling, but the attempt was unsuccessful. Local 
jealousies have grown out of it, but it is hoped that 
they will now cease, and the great object be to elevate 
each town and the whole county. The circuit court 
holds its sessions semi-annually, on the second Monday 
in April, and the third Monday in October. The 
present presiding judge of this court is Hon. J. O. 
Norton, of Joliet. The probate court holds its sessions 
on the first Monday in each month. The present 
judge of probate is Walter Elanchard, of Downer's 
Grove. The amount of litigation carried on in this 
county is very small in proportion to the population. 
The sessions of the circuit court seldom last more than 


two or three days. There has been but one execution 
in this county for capital offense. Patrick Doyle, a 
native of Ireland, was hung at ISfaperville, in 1854, 
for the murder of Patrick Tole. 

The following account of this murder is taken from 
the Du PAGE OBSERVER, of October 26, 1853 : 

" On Monday of last week a most revolting murder 
was committed on the line of the Chicago, St. Charles 
and Mississippi Air Line Railroad, in this county. 
The particulars, so far as we have been able to learn 
them, are about as follows : Two brothers, Irishmen, 
named Tole, who had been employed upon the road, 
had received their pay in the morning, amounting to 
sixty dollars, and had quit work. They were indulging 
in a little ' spree,' and one of them became very drunk. 
An Irishman named Doyle, by some means was know- 
ing to the fact of their having the money in their 
possession, and it is supposed determined upon robbing 
them. He found an opportunity to make the attempt 
the same afternoon. It seems all three were traveling 
along together on the St. Charles and Chicago wagon 
road, and when near the residence of Mr. Clisby, one 
of the brothers Tole became so stupid from the effects 
of liquor as to be unable to proceed further ; in other 
words, he was dead drunk, and fell down in the fence 
corner. The sober brother stopped to move him, and 
assist him to proceed, and while thus engaged over 
him, Doyle, it would seem, conceived the fitting 
moment to have arrived, proceeded to the fence, 
gathered a fence stake, and returning to the two 
brothers, struck the sober one over the head, and con- 
tinued to beat him until he was senseless, literally 


knocking out his brains. He then rifled the pockets 
of the drunken one, and went on a short distance, to a 
house, where he got something to eat. The pocket 
book which contained the money was found a few rods 
distant from the murdered man, in the direction of the 
house where the murderer stopped. He then went 
down to Warren station, but -not meeting the cars, 
proceeded to the Junction, where he took the Aurora 
train for Chicago. He was immediately pursued to 
the city, information and a description of his person 
given to the officers, and on Thursday afternoon, 
deputy sheriff S. E. Bradley arrested him as he was 
walking in Randolph street. Sheriff Smith was tele- 
graphed of his arrest, and started early on Friday 
morning and brought him to this place about noon of 
the same day: The grand jury had not yet adjourned, 
and an indictment was found against him. In the 
afternoon he was brought into court, it being still in 
session, and presented with a copy of the indictment. 
Having no counsel, the court assigned to him as counsel, 
E. N. Murray, Esq., assisted by ~N. Allen, Esq. After 
consultation with the State's attorney, it was agreed to 
allow the prisoner to plead to the indictment at the 
next term of the circuit court, upon which he was 
committed to jail to await his trial at that time. 
Coroner Hagemann held an inquest over the body of 
the murdered man, and the verdict of the jury was 
that he came to his death by being willfully murdered 
at the hands of Patrick Doyle. The name of the 
deceased was Patrick Tole, and he is about 25 years 
of age. The prisoner is a thin, spare man, about 23 
or 24 years of age. There does not appear to have 


been any feud or quarrel existing between the brothers 
and Doyle, whatever, nor do they appear to have been 
in any sort of an affray at the time the crime was 
committed, which makes the case look still more 

The following is a list of those who have served the 
county in the legislature of the state : 




1844 JULIUS M. WARREN, 1854 E. 0. HILLS, 

1846 Capt. E. KINNE, 1856 TRUMAN W. SMITH. 

The following are the names of attorneys who have 
been connected with the Du PAGE County bar : Na- 
than Allen, P. Ballingall, C. B. Hosrner, O. B.. Bush, 
James F. Wight, Allen Mclntosh, A. K. Dodge, II. 
Loring, E. 1ST. Murray, H. H. Cody, H. F. Vallette, 
W. Blanchard, S. F. Daniels, J. C. Waldron, L. E. 
De Wolf, M. S. Hobson, W. O. Watts. 

We close this part of our history by giving the 
names of the officers of the county from its organiza- 
tion to the present time. 


The first election for county officers was held at the 
Preemption House, in Naperville, on the first Monday 
in May, 1839. S. M. Skinner, Stephen J. Scott, and 


L. G. Butler were, by law, appointed judges of elec- 
tion. The officers elected at this time served until the 
general election, Aug. 5th, same year. As the names 
of supervisors are inserted in the lists of town officers 
appended to the histories of the several towns, they do 
not appear in this list. 


May, 1839 Daniel M. Green Du PAGE 

Aug. 1839 Daniel M. Green " 

Aug. 1842 Harry B. Fowler " 

Aug. 1 844 Robert N. Murray Naperville 

Aug. 1846 George Roush . " 

Nov. 1850 C. R. Parmalee Lisle 

Nov. 1852 T. W. Smith Winfield. 

Nov. 1854 A. C. Graves v . . " 

Nov. 1856 Janjes J. Hunt Naperville 


May, 1839 S. M. Skinner 

Aug. 1843 A. S. Jones 

Aug. 1847 J. J. Riddler 

In 1849 the clerk of the circuit court was made 
ex-officio recorder, the county court and the office of 
probate justice were succeeded by the county court, 
composed of a county judge and two county justices 
of the peace. The office of county commissioner's 
clerk was succeeded by county clerk, the county 
judge and the two county justices sitting together for 
the transaction of county business, .and the county 
judge, with the clerk, constituting a court for the 
transaction of probate business. Under this provision, 
Kathan Allen was elected county judge in 1849, and 
Charles Gary and Peter Korthmp were elected county 


justices. In 1850 the township organization law was 
adopted, and the first board of supervisors elected. 
The following persons have held the office of clerk of 
the circuit court : 


1839 P. Baffingall Naperville 

1843 E. B. Bill " 


1849 John J. Riddler " 

' 1852 Peter Xorthrop Addison 

1856 John Glos Wayne 




July 14, 1839 Clark A. Lewis* Warrenville 

Aug. 5, 1839 Allen Mclntosh Naperville 

Aug. 1843 Allen Mclntosh " 

Aug. 1847 H. H. Cody Bloomingdale 


Aug. 1849 H. H. Cody Bloomingdale 

1853 M. C. Dudley Bloomingdale 



May, 1839 J. W. Walker Downer's Grove 

Aug. 1839 Lewis Ellsworth Naperville 

Aug. 1843 Nathan Allen " 

Aug. 1847 J. J. Kimball " 

Aug. 1849 Nathan Allenf " 

Nov. 1852 Jeduthan Hatch Lisle 

Nov. 1853 Walter Blanchard. . . .Downer's Grove 

* Died same month, 1S39, and vacancy filled by appointment of P. Ballingall. 
t Resigned, 1852. 




May, 1839 M. Sleight Naperville 

Aug. 1839 Stephen J. Scott " 

Aug. 1843 R. K. Potter " 

Aug. 1845 J. J. Kimball " 

Aug. 1847 N. A. Thomas " 

Nov. 1849 H. F. Vallette Milton 

Nov. 1851 H. F. Vallette . .Naperville 

Nov. 1853 H. F. Vallette " 

Nov. 1855 W. J. Johnson. . " 



1841 Lewis Ellsworth Naperville 

1843 R. N. Murray " 

1844 Horace Brooks ^ . .Milton 

1847 W. L. Wheaton " 

1849 Hope Brown Naperville 

1851 " " 

1853 " " 

1855 " * " 


1856 Lorin Barnes Bloomingdale 


Elected, Elected, 

May, 1839 Josiah Strong, Aug. 1842 Warren Smith, 

" H. L. Cobb, Aug. 1843 T. Hubbard, 

T. P. Whipple, Aug. 1844 John Thompson, 

Aug. 1839 HartS. Cobb, Aug. 1845 T. Andrus, 

" John W. Walker, " John Thompson, 

" Hiram Fowler, Aug. 1846 Asa Knapp, 

Aug. 1840 N. Stevens, Aug. 1847 S. D. Pierce, 

Aug. 1841 J. A. Smith, Aug. 1848 David Crane. 

* Resigned, September, 1866. 

80 H I S T O R Y O F 



May, 1839 L. Meacham Bloomingdale 

Aug. 1839 J. B. Kimball Naperville 

Aug. 1847 Horace Brooks Milton 

Nov. 1849 " " 

Nov.1851 " " 

Nov. 1853 ". " 

Nov. 1855 " ...... " 



May, 1839 H. L. Peaslee Naperville 

Aug. 1839 " " 

Aug. 1840 E. G. Wight " 

Aug. 1842 N. Loring " 

Aug. 1844 J. Keefer " 

Aug. 1846 D. C. Gould " 

Aug. 1848 L. Avery Milton 

Nov. 1849 C. C. Barnes Naperville 

Nov. 1852 F. C. Hagemann Winfield 

Nov. 1854 W. B. Stewart Naperville 

Nov. 1856 Alfred Waterman. . . .Wheaton 


' 1 1 I i ' 

(Iff fop 



THE settlement of this town was commenced in 
1831, by Harry T. Wilson and Lyman Butterfield. 
Mr. Babcock and Thomas Brown settled in the town 
soon after. They were followed by Joseph Chadwick 
and his sons. 

In 1850 the present township organization law was 
adopted, and the first town meeting was held at the 
house of Jesse C. Wheaton, in that year. 

The town is situated nearly in the centre of the 
county, and is six miles square. The Galena and 
Chicago Union Railroad passes directly through it. 
The present population Js about two thousand. As 
an agricultural district, this town is unsurpassed, being 
adapted to all the various branches of farming. It 
presents a beautiful and varied landscape of prairie 
and woodland, hill and dale, running brooks and 
crystal founts. In its present and future prospects, 
this town affords a picture which some of New 
England's towns might well envy. 

There are two nourishing villages within the limits 
of this town, Wheaton and Dauby . Wheaton is a 
fine, growing village, beautifully situated on the G. 
and C. IT. Railroad, 25 miles west of Chicago, and 5 
miles east of the Junction of the C. B. & Q. Rail- 
road, the Dixon Air Line Railroad, and the St. Charles 
Branch road ; thus rendering access to the town direct 




and easy from all points. Jesse C. and "Warren L. 
Wheaton were the original proprietors of the village, 
which was laid -out by them in 1853. In the fall of 
1849 the railroad was completed to this point, and 
during the following year Messrs. J. G. Vallette, H. 
II. Fuller, and a Mr. Lynch erected the first buildings. 
Few improvements were made until it was surveyed 
and platted in 1853. There are now about 1,000 
inhabitants within the village limits, and upward of 
200 buildings have been erected. The railroad com- 
pany erected a commodious building in 1856, for their 
use as a depot for passengers and freight, in connection 
with which is an express office. The following list of 
the business establishments of the town will give some 
idea of its wants, growth and prosperity, when it is 
considered that scarcely four years ago there were not 
more than two or three dwellings to be found in the 
place. There are now : 1 hotel, 12 stores, 12 factories, 
including an extensive carriage manufactory, and a 
steam flouring mill, 2 lightning rod manufactories, 2 
lumber yards, 2 markets, 2 post offices, 1 school house, 
1 institute, 1 printing office, 1 nursery. The amount 
of capital employed by the principal business men, 
varies between three and five thousand dollars, and 
the annual sales range between ten and fifteen thousand 
dollars. At the carriage manufactory of Messrs. 
Chadwick, Brother & Co., some fifteen hands are 
employed and about fifty carriages of every description 
made annually. The steam flour mill was built in 
1856, by Messrs. Northrop & Watson. This mill has 
two run of stones, and produces flour of a superior 


The Baptist, "Wesleyan and Episcopal Methodist 
denominations each have their respective church 
organizations, connected with which are Sabbath 
schools, missionary societies, and various benevolent 
enterprises. The truly reformatory movements of the 
day find warm supporters here, so much so that it has 
been denominated a "reformatory town." The Meth- 
odist Episcopal and Wesleyan Methodist churches had 
their organizations in the town prior to the settlement 
of the village. The present membership of the "Wes- 
leyan church is about 75, and the Rev. Lucius C. 
Matlack, President of the Illinois Institute, is the 
pastor. There are about 60 members of the M. E. 
church, and Rev. B. Close is pastor. The Baptist 
church of Wlieaton was organized on the 12th of 
November, 1856, by a council from the neighboring 
churches, with the usual services of church recognition. 
There are now 17 members of this church. The 
present pastor is Rev. Mr. Garrison. 

A printing office was established here in 1856, from 
which was issued for several months the Du PAGE 
COUNTY GAZETTE, by J. A. J. Birdsall. This paper 
was discontinued in the spring of 1857, for want of 
sufficient patronage to sustain it. 

A military company was organized in this place in 
1856, called the " Wheaton Artillery." The officers 
of the company are John Short, Captain ; J. G. Val- 
lette, 1st Lieut. ; J. M. Yallette, 2d Lieut. Number 
of members, 40. 

The Illinois Institute is located in this place. It 
has a liberal charter, conferring powers equal to the 
best colleges, and embraces academical, collegiate and 


. - 

theological departments of instruction. The charter 
was granted by the Legislature, in 1855. Forty acres 
of valuable land and three thousand dollars cash 
donation, formed the basis of its establishment. The 
fund has been increased by additional gifts, so that the 
value of real estate owned by the trustees is now 
upward of $10,000. The sum of five hundred dollars 
was raised by subscription, in 1856, with which chem- 
ical, philosophical and astronomical apparatus was pro- 
cured for the institution. Add to these the amount 
of scholarships sold, which is 'nearly $20,000, and we 
have an aggregate of nearly $30,000. This amount 
is to be offset by a debt of $2,500. So great a success 
within a little more than three years of its existence, 
is an encouraging fact, and promises well for the 
future. It is the design of the trustees to secure to 
the institution a permanent endowment fund of 
$100,000, by the sale of scholarships. Its catalogue 
for the first year numbered 140 students, the second 
year 270, and its present prospects are more flattering 
than at any previous period. The following list com- 
prises the faculty of 1856 : 

Rev. Lucius C. MATLACK, President 

G. H. COLLIER, A.B., Prof. Mathematics and Natural Philosophy. 

0. F. LTJMRY, A.B., Prof. Greek and Latin. 

Miss M. A. NEWCOMB, A.B., Principal Female Department. 

Mrs. MINERVA HOES, M.D., Anatomy, Physiology, and Botany. 

SEBASTIAN PFRAXGLE, German and Music. 

L. A. JONES, Assistant Teacher. 

In connection with the Institute, a commodious 
boarding hall has been erected, at an expense of nearly 


There are two post offices in the town, one at 
Wheaton, and one at the village of Danby. Post 
master at Wheaton, 0. K. W. 'Howard. At Danby, 
David Kelly. 

There are seven school districts in the town. The 
original fund derived from the sale of school land was 
$800. It is now $1,238 82. The public schools are 
attended .by 790 scholars. Township treasurer, L. 
"W. Mills. Few towns in the county have done more 
than this, to advance the interests of public schools. 

Danby is an unusually pleasant and quiet village, 
beautifully located on the Galena Railroad, about 23 
miles west of Chicago. The railroad was completed to 
this place in the fall of 1849. During the same season 
the railroad company erected a station house, which 
was the first frame building put up in the place. 
In the spring of 1850, the first settlement was made 
by John O. Yallette. Milo F. Meacham, A. Hantz, 
"W. Wilson, Win. Waggoner, and Dr. L. Q. Newton, 
the original proprietor of the town, came in during 
the following year. 

The place has grown rapidly during the last two or 
three years, and bids fair to rival some of its sister 
towns of much greater pretensions. Its present popu- 
lation is between three and four hundred. It has 
1 hotel, 2 drug stores, 3 dry goods stores, 1 cabinet 
shop, 1 grist mill, 1 tin and hardware store, 1 black- 
smith shop, and 1 lumber yard. 

Physicians at Wheaton, O. Wakelee, F. C. Hage- 
mann, J. O. Vallette, Dr. Lowrie, and A. Waterman. 

Physicians at Dauby, L. Q. Newton, II. S. Potter, 
and Dr. Saxe. 


Attorneys at Wheatou, S. F. Daniels and L. E. 
DeWolf. Notaries Public, S. F. Daniels and J. G. 
Vallette, at Wheaton, and Horace Brooks, who is also 
county surveyor, at Danby. 

The following list comprises the names of the town 
officers of the town of Milton, since its organization : 


J850 Warren L. Wheaton, 1854 W. J. Johnson, 

1851 W.J. Johnson, 1855 " 

1852 " 1856 F. H. Mather, 
1853 " 1857 " 


1 850 Alfred Standish, 1854 Carlos Johnson, 

1851 J. F. Lester, 1855 Henry Benjamin, 

1852 J. 0. Vallette, 1856 G. P. Kimball,* 

1853 Carlos Johnson, 1857 L. W. Mills. 


1850 J. G. Vallette, 1854 Horace Brooks, 

1851 Horace Brooks, 1855 " 

1852 " 1856 D. Balsley, 

1853 " 1857 J. C. Wheaton. 


1850 Smith Brookins, 1854 0. Jewell, 

1851 D. L. Christian, 1855 C. K. W. Howard, 

1852 Andrew Snyder, 1856 Luther Chadwick, 

1853 Jesse C. Wheaton, 1857 C. K. W. Howard. 


1850 J. G. Vallette, 1854 Reub6n Hinzen, 

1851 D. L. Christian, 1855 D. Balsley, 

Smith Brookins, C. K. W. Howard, 

1852 Joseph Mason, 1856 David Balsley, 

1853 David Brookins, 1857 " 

*Resigned, and vacancy filled by L. W. Mills. 



1850 Erastus Gary, 1854 Orlando Wakelee, 

1851 David Capron, 1855 J. G. Vallette, 

1852 John Hacket, 1856 J. D. Ackerman, 

1853 Lester Webster, 1857 " 


1850 Erastus Gary, to present time. 

Daniel Fish, " 

1853 Daniel Fish. " 


1850 John Hacket, 1 854 Thomas Holmes, 

J. C. Wheaton, F. H. Mather, 

Daniel Tish, Johiel Wright, 

1851 J. C. Wheaton, 1855 Thomas Holmes, 

J. S. Dodge, N. M. Dodge, 

Frank Ott, Jehiel Wright, 

1852 Daniel Fish, 1856 Daniel Fish, 

Erastus Gary, Greenleaf Ring, 

Enos Jones, John Bachelder, 

1853 A. Snyder, 1857 W. N. Reese, 

Enos Jones, H. Hadley, 

J. G. Vallette, Joseph Granger. 



THE first inhabitant of this town was Capt. Joseph 
Naper, who came to this state from Ohio, in the 
winter of 1831. His family arrived in June, of the 
same year, and occupied a log house, near the present 
site of the grist mill. The following list includes the 
names of all we have been able to ascertain, who 
settled in the town previous to 1838 : John Naper, Ira 
Carpenter, John Stevens, John Murray, M. Hines, A. 
H. Howard, S. J. Scott, Willard Scott, L. Ellsworth, 

A. S. Jones, S. Sabin, Geo. Martin. L. C. Aldrich, 
H. L. Peaslee, R. Hyde, Geo. Stroubler, G. Bishop, 
J. H. Stevenson, W. Rose, R. Wright, E. G. Wight, 
J. F. Wight, S. M. Skinner, W. Weaver, J. Granger, 
N. Crampton, W. J. Strong, R. Whipple, IT. Stanley, 
T. Thatcher, A. T. Thatcher, J. Lamb, R. N. Murray, 
R. Hill, David Babbitt, H. C. Babbitt, J. S. Kimball, J. 

B. Kimball, L. Kimball, Harry Fowler, Hiram Fowler, 
R. K. Potter, J. J. Kimball, Adial S. Jones, Peter 
Dodd, Nathan Allen, Benjamin Smith. 

As the history of the first few years of the settlement 
of this town has already been given in the general 
view of the county, a repetition of it is deemed un- 
necessary in this place. The land in this town is 
generally level. The soil is productive, and equally 
favorable to grass and the cultivation of grain. The 
town abounds in limestone, and furnishes lime in 


considerable quantities for market in other towns. In 
the east part of the town, stone of an excellent quality 
for building purposes is found, -and large quantities are 
quarried for that purpose annually, upon land owned 
by Joseph Xaper and George Martin. Extensive sand 
beds have also been opened, which yield an abundance 
of sand of a superior quality. 

Although the town is well watered, yet there are no 
streams of much note, excepting the Du Page river, 
which runs through-it from north to south, on the east 
side. This stream affords several advantageous mill 
sites in its course through the town. 

Naperville is the oldest town in the county, and the 
first in point of property and population. It has up- 
ward of two thousand inhabitants, 2 hotels, 12 stores, 
6 churches, 1 bakery, 1 bank, 2 post offices, 1 grist mill, 
10 manufactories, 1 saw mill, 2 breweries, 1 tin and 
stove warehouse, 1 printing office, 2 quarries, 2 exten- 
sive lumber yards, 2 nurseries, and 1 incorporated 

The town pays $3,400 annually for the support of 
preaching, and about $1,500 for the support of common 
schools. There are 400 members of the different 
churches, and 350 .scholars in the Sabbath schools. 

The village of Naperville lies partly in the town of 
Lisle, being divided by the town line into two unequal 
parts, the greater lying in the town of Naperville. In 
our notice of the village, we include the territory lying 
within its limits in both towns. The first frame build- 
ing erected here was by A. II. Howard, in the fall of 
1833. It was erected a- few rods in front of the 
present dwelling of Mrs. Howard. Among the build- 
ings next put up of this description was the Preemption 


House, by Mr. George Laird, in 1835. This hotel was 
owned and under the management of Gen. E. B. Bill, 
for several years, during which time no hotel west of 
Chicago enjoyed a more extended and well-deserved 
patronage. The road passing through the village from 
east to west, was the great thoroughfare between 
Chicago and Galena, and the town presented the 
appearance of an unusually active and business-like 
place. At a very early date it is said the size of the 
town exceeded even that of Chicago ! the latter city 
having but one log house, while Naperville had two. 
The first mill constructed upon the river was a saw- 
mill, in 1835, which was torn down in 1840, to give 
place to the flouring mill which stands upon the same 
site. This mill has two run of stones, and enjoys 
unsurpassed advantages for water power. 

The original town plat was laid out in the year 1835, 
by Capt. Naper. The plat embraced about 80 acres. 
To the original plat, several additions have since been 
made. The usual form of the village lots in the 
original plat was four rods front by ten in depth, con- 
taining one-fourth acre. These were large, compared 
with some which have been laid out in more modern 
times. The precise reason for this diminution in size 
has never been ascertained with certainty. Several 
reasons have been assigned. One presumption is, 
that there was formerly more land to the acre than 
there now is. Another is, that the land is more valu- 
able than it used to be ; but this is controverted by the 
fact that the large lots are sold at the same, or lower 
prices, than the prices at which the smaller ones are 
held. Some think the true reason lies in persons, and 


not in property. No fault, however, can be found 
with the early proprietors of the town, either in 
regard to size of lots, or as to the terms on which 
they were sold. Many lots were given away, and 
others were sold at low prices, and upon such terms, 
as to time, that they have not been paid for even to 
this clay. Everything was done in this respect, that 
could add to the prosperity of the place. 

The mercantile business, aside from agriculture, is 
the chief business of the town. The principal stores 
employ capitals of between six and eight thousand 
dollars, and do a business ranging from thirty to fifty 
thousand dollars, annually. They sell large amounts 
of goods, not only to the inhabitants of this, but of 
surrounding towns. Integrity is a marked character- 
istic of the dealings of the merchants of Naperville. 
This, in connection with the uniformly low prices at 
which they sell their goods, has secured to them a 
liberal and extended patronage. 

There are two large nurseries near the village, from 
which trees and shrubs are sent to all parts of the 
northwest. We have been furnished some account of 
the business of these nurseries, which we give below : 

The Du Page Eclectic Nurseries were established in 
1853, by E. W. and E. M. Hunt. During the four 
years past these nurseries have propagated, in each 
year, from fifty to one hundred and fifty thousand 
fruit trees. Ornamental trees and shrubbery have 
been proportionally increased, and some thousands of 
foreign trees and shrubs have been added by importa- 
tion, as the business has justified. The Du Page 
County Nurseries, of Lewis Ellsworth & Co., were 

92 H I S T O K Y O F 

established in 1849. These nurseries cover at present 
some fifty acres of ground, embracing in the collection 
the most extensive stock and assortment of varieties of 
fruit and ornamental trees, shrubs and plants, to be 
found in the northwest. The yearly increase of trees 
and shrubs, by propagation and by importation, is truly 
astonishing. The proprietors have imported during 
the present season, from Europe, more than thirty 
thousand young evergreens and other plants. Attached 
to the establishment is a plant house, arranged for pro- 
pagating plants during the winter season. The estab- 
lishment gives employment to a large number of 
workmen, some ten families deriving their entire 
support from it. From fifteen to twenty men are 
employed, at an expense of over six thousand dollars 
per annum. During the present year the proprietors 
have commenced a nursery at Wheaton, where about 
eight acres .of land are occupied, making, in all, sixty 
acres, cultivated for their business. 

There are several other nurseries in the county, but 
the Du Page County ^Nurseries are, it is believed, the 
first in time and the first in importance. 

The plow and wagon shop of Messrs. Yaughan & 
Peck is located in this village. It was originally 
established by A. S. Jones, who is entitled to the credit 
of originating the steel plow now so much in use. 
The manufacture of plows at this shop commenced in 
1840. They possess many superior qualities, for which 
they have become extensively noted throughout the 
west. From its circular, we learn that "this estab- 
lishment is one of the oldest in the western states, 
having manufactured the steel scouring plow for 


eighteen or twenty years, and never been beaten at 
any state or county fair." The establishment is capable 
of making fifteen plows per day. .Two thousand five 
hundred were manufactured in 1856. The average 
price of these plows is $15 each. Wagons, buggies, 
and most kinds of agricultural implements are made 
here. Thirty-six men are employed. 

The Bank of Naperville was chartered and went 
into operation in 1854. Its nominal capital is $500,000. 
This bank is established upon a basis which renders it 
as secure as any similar institution in the state, and 
gives it the full confidence of the public. 

There are two breweries in the town, which consume 
annually fifteen thousand bushels of barley, and eleven 
thousand pounds of hops, at a cost of ten thousand dol- 
lars. From these, one hundred and eighty-six thousand 
gallons of beer are made, which, at the usual retail 
price, reaches the enormous sum of one hundred and 
forty-eight thousand, eight hundred dollars ! Al- 
though beer is to some extent an article of home con- 
sumption, it having in many instances superseded the 
use of that ancient beverage known by the name of 
water, yet it forms our chief article of export. The 
sale of this article in some of our neighboring towns 
is very large. 

A few words concerning the process of manufactur- 
ing beer may be of interest to some. The barley is 
first put into large cisterns or vats, which are capable 
of holding from one hundred to one hundred and fifty 
bushels. Water is then poured upon it, and in this 
condition it remains for about two days. It is then 
spread out about one foot in depth upon the floor of 


the drying kiln, which consists of an immense oven, 
so arranged that its temperature can be adjusted to the 
germinating point. Here the process of germinating, 
or malting, as it is termed, takes place. After this, it 
is passed through a cleaning machine, and then through 
a malt machine, by which last process it is ground or 
broken so that its virtue can be more easily extracted. 
The malt, as it is then termed, is gathered up and 
placed in vats holding from fifty to one hundred 
barrels each, when boiling water is poured upon it. 
After remaining several hours in this condition, during 
which time the mixture is constantly agitated by means 
of long wooden ladles, the liquid portion is drained 
off and boiled for some time in large boilers prepared 
for the purpose. This process is repeated three or 
four times, or until the strength of the barley is all 
extracted. Hops are then introduced, which give it 
body, and serve to preserve it during the warm season. 
The liquid is then placed in another large vat, called 
the cooler, and when its temperature is reduced to the 
proper point, is drawn off into the work tub, where 
yeast is introduced, and the finishing process of fer- 
mentation begins. By this process all extraneous 
matter is separated and thrown off, and the liquid 
comes out lager beer " of the first water," impatient to 
be swallowed. 

The Odd Fellows, Masons, and Good Templars have 
each a society and hall in this place. There was at 
one time a large society of the Sons and Daughters of 
Temperance here, but their charter was surrendered 
in 1854. 

The I. O. of O. F. was organized in 1850. The 


number of members has been about 60, and the present 
number is 48. The present officers of this institution 
are S. Boliman, K G. ; W. Naper, V. G. ; S. O. 
Yaughan, Secretary, and K. "Willard, Treasurer. 

The Masonic Lodge was established in 1848. The 
number of all the members to the present time is 120. 
There are now about 60 members. The officers are 
II. H. Cody, W. M. ; C. D. Haight, S. W. ; and C. 
W. Keith, J. W. 

Tlie lodge of the Good Templars was instituted in 
June, 1857. There are now 40 members. E. H. 
Eyer holds the office of W. C. T. 

It might be mentioned in this connection, that the 
" Know Nothings " had a lodge somewhere in this 
place about a year ago, but their precise locality has 
never been fully determined. A list of the members 
has been furnished us, but our space will not admit of 
its publication. The doings of the society were char- 
acteristically covert and sly, so that we are obliged to 
admit that we know nothing about their movements. 

The Naperville Artillery Company was organized 
in 1856. There are now some 50 members belonging 
to the company. The officers are J. J. Hunt, Capt. ; 
II. F. Yallette, 1st Lieut. ; K. Naper, 2d Lieut. : J. 
H. Ilobson, 3d Lieut., and E. Page, Ensign. 

There are two post offices in the town, one at Kaper- 
ville, and one at Big Woods. The post master at the 
Big "Woods is John Warne. The office at Naperville 
has an annual income of one thousand dollars ; R. 
Naper, post master. 

There are several valuable public and private libra- 
ries in the town. The circulating library of H. C. 


Daniels, M. D., contains 400 volumes of miscellaneous 
reading. There are two school libraries of about 500 
volumes, and four Sabbath school libraries, containing 
about 1,000 volumes. The law library of Messrs. 
Yallette & Cody contains 500 volumes, and is the 
largest collection of the kind in the county. 

The freshet of 1857 was a calamity to the town. 
This occurred in March. The river, swollen by the 
heavy rains and the melting snow, overflowed its banks 
and inundated all the business portion of the town. 
Soon after the stream commenced rising, the mill-dam 
gave way and let down upon the town an avalanche 
of water, bearing upon its swift current large sheets of 
ice, which demolished everything in their way. The 
rise of the water was so sudden that many of the 
inmates of the houses situated on the banks of the 
river, with great difficulty escaped. Several buildings, 
including three stores, were carried away. The loss 
is variously estimated, between fifteen and twenty 
thousand dollars, and was chiefly sustained by Messrs. 
M. Hines, J. T. Green, K. Wfflard, C. W. Keith and 
Joseph Naper. 

The village of Naperville was incorporated by act 
of Legislature in the winter of 1857. The first election 
of officers for the corporation was held in May follow- 
ing. The names of the Board elected at that time are 
as follows : President, Joseph Naper ; Trustees, II. EL 
Cody, Geo. Martin, M. Hines and X. Eggerman; 
Police Justice, II. F. Yallette ; Constable, A. C. 
Graves; Assessor, A. "W. Colt; Clerk, C. M. Castle. 

Our space will not admit of our entering into the 
details of the ecclesiastical history of this town. The 


first effort toward organizing a religious society was 
made by settlers in this and the adjoining town of 
Lisle, as early as 1833. A meeting was held in Lisle 
on the 13th of July, in that year, and a society organ- 
ized by Rev. Jeremiah Porter and Rev. X. C: Clark, 
missionaries for this county, and Rev. C. "W. Babbitt, 
of Tazewell county. This meeting was called at the 
request of Isaac Clark, Pomeroy Goodrich, Israel 
Blodget, Robert Strong, Leister Peet, Henry H. Good- 
rich, and Samuel Goodrich. The society commenced 
its labors with true Christian zeal, and its numbers 
rapidly increased. Among the first resolutions adopted 
by the society, we find the following : 

Resolved, That the minister, as soon as practicable, shall visit every 
family in the settlement, and that each member of the brethren, in turn, 
when called upon, shall accompany him, to ascertain the state of reli- 
gious feeling, and to awaken attention to the subject, and especially to 
explain the object and plan of Sabbath schools, and the distribution of 

Rev. X. C. Clark was the first pastor of the society. 
Meetings were held during the year at different places 
in the south part of the settlement, for three Sabbaths 
in succession, and the fourth in the school house at 
Xaperville. Punctuality in attendance upon the meet- 
ings of the society was strictly enjoined, and a com- 
mittee appointed to notice the absence of any, and call 
on him at the next meeting, for his reason. In 1834, 
the society raised one hundred dollars to help defray 
the expenses of their pastor. During the year of 
1835 Mr. Clark preached regularly upon the first and 
fifth Sabbaths of each month at his own house, on the 
second and fourth at Naperville, and on the third in 


the neighborhood of Mr. Luther Hatch. He continued 
as their pastor until July, 1836. "With a pledge of 
three hundred dollars, and the assistance of the Home 
Missionary Society, the society next secured the services 
of Rev. E. Strong, who remained with them until 
August, 1837. The Rev. J. G. Porter then became 
their pastor, and served the society faithfully and 
acceptably until July, 1840, when, at his own solicita- 
tion, he was dismissed. During the years of 1838 and 
1839 the society began to feel the need of a house of 
worship which should be their own. A vote was 
passed, at a meeting held in September, 1838, to build 
a meeting house, and at a subsequent meeting, in 
March, 1839, Naperville was selected as the place for 
its location. Deacon Clark, Pomeroy Goodrich, and 
Henry Goodrich, were appointed the first trustees. 
In October, 1840, Rev. O. Lyman became pastor. He 
was employed for six months, or until an opportunity 
oifered to procure a permanent minister. The Rev. 
J. H. Prentiss, of Fulton, received a unanimous call 
in November, and was installed as pastor on the 12th 
of July, 1842. Three hundred dollars were pledged 
for his support, payable half in money and half in pro- 
duce, by the society, and an additional sum of two 
hundred dollars was obtained from the Home Mission- 
ary Society. By his own request, his connection with 
the society was dissolved, Aug. 25, 1843. Arrange- 
ments were then made with Rev. E. "W. Champlain, 
to preach for the society on each alternate Sabbath 
during the remainder of the year, commencing on the 
first Sabbath in October. Mr. Champlain continued 
as the pastor until his death, February 8th, 1845. At 


a meeting of the society, April 18th, 1844, it was 
resolved " that we deem it expedient to take immediate 
measures to build a house of worship." At a subse- 
quent meeting, Deacon Isaac Clark, George Blackmail, 
Deacon Pomeroy Goodrich, J. Strong, and Eli North- 
am, were appointed a committee to select a site. That 
committee selected a site gratuitously ofteted by Capt. 
Morris Sleight. The choice was concurred in by the 
society, and the present editice was erected upon it in 

By the death of the Rev. Mr. Champlain the whole 
society was thrown into mourning. Although he had 
labored among them for only a brief period, yet he 
had become endeared to his people by the strongest 
ties of affectionate regard. tEe is the only minister of 
any denomination who has died in this place, or whose 
sepulcher is with us. After his death the people were 
destitute of a settled minister for several months, 
but the pulpit was regularly supplied by Rev. O. 
Lyman. A call was extended to Rev. Hope Brown, in 
August, 1845, which was accepted. It was provided 
that he should preach on alternate Sabbaths, and 
receive a compensation proportionate to the amount of 
service rendered. Mr. Brown was connected with the 
Home Missionary Society, and for several years after 
his settlement here, received contributions toward his 
support from that society. He was installed on the 
llth of November, 1845, and continued with this 
people until October, 1856, when he was dismissed, at 
his own request. 

Of Mr. Brown it may be said that few men are bet- 
ter calculated for the Christian ministry. He preached 


the truth every day by a consistent Christian example, 
as well as from the pulpit on the Sabbath. In Octo- 
ber, 1856, the present pastor, Rev. E. Barber, was 
invited to the desk. The congregation has considera- 
bly increased during the past year, and the society 
has made new accessions to its numbers. The church 
was never in*a more enterprising and prosperous state 
than at present. The Sabbath school connected with 
this church has sixty pupils. The whole number of 
members, since its organization, is 177 ; the number 
now belonging to the church is 62. 

From the history of the past may we not learn the 
importance of faithfully sustaining the institutions and 
ordinances of the Gospel ? All our natural, social, 
and civil advantages, will avail us little without its 
influence. As a clmrch,and as a society, is it not our 
duty to lend a strong hand for its support, when 

" The pulpit, in the sober use 
Of its legitimate, peculiar powers, 
Must stand acknowledged, while the world shall last, 
The most important and effectual guard, 
Support, and ornament of virtue's cause." 

The worldly wisdom of that man is to be admired, 
who, though not a professing Christian, refused to pur- 
chase a farm in a town in a neighboring state, because 
they had no regular preaching there. " For," said he, 
though property is cheap there now, it will always be 
cheap ; it will diminish in value without the restrain- 
ing and elevating influences of the Gospel." 

Much credit is due to those early pioneers for the 
ready zeal which they have manifested in organizing 


and sustaining the churches in our midst. Many of them 
are still among us, but are not to tarry with us long; 
and when they shall depart, may the cause for which 
they have labored and sacrificed so much be committed 
to hands equally zealous and faithful to the sacred 
trust ; for it is a fact, well attested, that nothing will 
make a people so poor as to try to live without the 
preaching of the truth. 

The Baptist church in Naperville was organized 
through the instrumentality of the Rev. Morgan 
Edwards, in 1843. At the. time of its organization, 
there were nine members. Immediate steps were 
taken to erect a house of worship. A building was 
commenced on the foundation of the present Congre- 
gational church, but a difficulty arose between the 
owner of the lots (who had not yet conveyed them to 
the society) and one of its members. In consequence 
of this the owner refused to give title to the society, 
and forbade the removal of the partly constructed 
building, threatening personal violence to any one 
who should attempt it. A committee waited upon 
him and endeavored to obtain his promised deed of 
the lots, but it was refused. Finding all their over- 
tures in vain, a large number of the most prominent 
citizens of the place met by agreement, and unawed 
either by threats of violence or the terrors of the law, 
forcibly took down and removed the edifice to its 
present site, which was donated to the society by Lewis 
Ellsworth, Esq. In 1844, the building was so far 
advanced that it was occupied by the Congregational 
and Baptist societies, each on alternate Sabbaths. 
Rev. Riley B. Ashley became pastor of this church in 


January, 1844, and continued to supply the pulpit 
until January, 1846, during which time the church 
increased to thirty-six in numbers. From July, 1846, 
to July, 1848, Rev. Allen Gross was pastor, and the 
church increased to fifty-six. He was succeeded by 
the Rev. Silas Tucker, in October, 1848. Mr. Tucker 
continued as pastor until October, 1855, when the 
number of members was ninety-five. The Rev. Silas 
Kenny supplied the desk for eight months during 1856 
and 1857. The present pastor is Rev. E. P. Barker. 
In 1847 the church was enlarged and improved. Its 
present dimensions are 52 feet in length by 36 in width. 
At the time it was enlarged, a belfry and steeple were 
built upon it, from which sounded the first church bell 
in the county. During the past year mucli has been 
done by this society to beautify the church building 
and grounds. The Sabbath school connected with this 
church numbers about fifty scholars. The doctrines 
of modern spiritualism have been embraced by some 
of the leading members of this society. "Whether 
this has contributed to the growth or decay of true 
piety in the church, we are not to determine. 

The German Evangelical Association has a large 
society in this place. This society was formed in 1837, 
by a few members from "Warren county, Pa. J. C. 
Gros, M. Weis, Adam Knopff, George ^troubler, John 
Rahm, Martin Asher and Adam Schwigert were 
among the first members. Meetings were held in 
different parts of the town for several years, until the 
church was erected at Naperville, in 1842. The lot 
on which the present church stands, was given to the 
society by Capt. Kaper. Since 1840, the society has 



sustained regular preaching, and the church has in- 
creased rapidly in numbers. There are now upward 
of two hundred belonging to the society. Connected 
with this church there is a Sabbath school of nearly 
200 scholars. It has a library of 300 volumes. The 
present church building is much too small for the 
accommodation of the society, and the erection of a 
tine brick edifice is contemplated during the present 
year. 'No other church in the county has met with so 
great a degree of prosperity. "We give the names of 
the pastors, from its organization : 
















1852 - 







Jacob Boas, 

Martin Hawert, 

Christian Einsel, 

J. Lutz, 

Adam Strooh, C. Lintner, 

F. Wahl, G. A. Blank, 
C. Kopp, 

C. Lintner, 

G. A. Blank, 

C. Kopp, S. Dickower, 

C. Augenstin, G. Meszmer, 

C. Holl, H. Weilty, J. Raggerts, 

S. A. Tobias, C. A. Schnackn, 

B. Apley, M. Hawert, 

J. Riegal, G. Franzcn, 

" J. Trombaner, 
G. A. Blank, 
J. P. Kramer, 

J. Gibeis, 
W. Straczburger, 

" H. Hcnitzn. 

The Methodist society was formed in 1841, through 
the instrumentality of J. Granger, A. Keith, Mr. Un- 
derwood, E. Rich, and II. Daniels. A church was 

104 HISTOEY 0-F 

built in 1849. Tlie society lias been regularly supplied 
with pastors since 1841. The Sabbath school con- 
nected with this church has about 100 scholars, and 
its library contains 250 volumes. There are now 
between thirty and forty members belonging to the 


1841 Rev. Caleb Lamb, 1850 Rev. M.P.Hannah, 

1842 " John Xason, 1851 " John Beggs, 
1844 " O.Walker, 1852 " J. C. Stoughton, 
146 " Elisha Springer, 1853 " Mr. Vance, 
1848 " Nathan Jewett, 1854 " 0. Huse, 

1856 Rev. B. Close. 

The Catholics have a large society here. Their 
church was organized in 1846, and a house of worship 
erected during the same year. The society was formed 
under the labors of the Rev. Mr. Theroler, and the 
first members were Peter Shultz, Xavier Eggerman, 
D. Bapst, S. Butter and G. Ott. In 1852 the -church 
building was enlarged, for the accommodation of the 
rapidly increasing society, which now numbers 232. 
The names of the priests who have officiated since 
1848, are Rev. Mr. Yung, Rev. Mr. Foelker, who died 
here in 1850, Rev. Mr. Zucher, Rev. John Kramer, 
Rev. Mr. Etafer, who died here in 1855, and Rev. Mr. 
Keiser, who, having been suspended for misdemeanor, 
left the community very abruptly sometime in Au- 
gust, 1857. 

The physicians at Naperville are H. C. Daniels, J. 
Jassoy, "W. B. Stewart, R. K. Potter, Dr. Overholser 
and Dr. Ferris. 

The practicing attorneys are H. F. Yallette and H. 


H. Cody, of the firm of Valletta & Cody ; W. Blaii- 
chard and M. Hobson, of the firm of Blanchard & 
Hobson. J. F. Wight, for many years the only 
attorney in the place, has now retired from practice. 

Early attention was given by the settlers to the 
subject of education. A school house Avas the result 
of the first public enterprise. In the fall of 1831, a 
log house was erected on land now owned by Mr. 
Samuel Boliman, and a school taught there during the 
following winter by Mr. Leister Peet. The building 
was by no means remarkable for architectural beauty, 
but being fourteen feet square, it aiforded accommo- 
dations to the children of this sparsely settled district 
for two or three years. Boards were fastened to the 
sides of the room for desks, and slab benches were 
provided for seats. Mr. Peet was succeeded by Mrs. 
Hines and Mr. Hiram Standish, who in succession 
swayed the scepter of that first temple of incipient 
liberty, and taught the young idea how to shoot. 
Some of our most prominent citizens remember well 
the rude-a-mental lessons which they received in the 
old log shool house, and the introduction of Parley's 
Magazine, from which they were instructed in almost 
every department of science, although the time-hon- 
ored edifice has long since gone to decay. A new 
frame building for school purposes was erected near 
where the Congregational church now stands, in 1835. 
It was used as a church, town house, and 'two or three 
terms of the circuit court were held in it before the 
court house was built. This school house was sold by 
the district, and for several years previous to the 
passage of our present school law, the district was 


destitute of a school building, and the public schools 
of JSTaperville were of little benefit to the community. 
They were usually held for only a small portion of the 
year, at places the most inconvenient and uncomfort- 
able. But a new impulse has been given to public 
sentiment on the subject of education. There is now 
a fine stone building on the west side, belonging to 
that district, and a commodious brick building in 
process of erection on the east side, for the accommo- 
dation of the Lisle district. 

The Naperville Academy was incorporated in 1851. 
Mr. N. F. Atkins was the first preceptor, and performed 
the duties of principal for about one year. After his 
removal, the trustees appointed Mr. C. W. Richmond, 
then principal of the academy at Great Barrington, 
Mass., to fill the vacancy. In this academy, in 
addition to the common branches of an English edu- 
cation, instruction is afforded in the languages and 
natural sciences, including music, drawing and paint- 
ing. This institution has sent out many competent 
teachers for our public schools. Upward of 600 
different scholars have been members of the school 
during the past three years. The average attendance 
has been about 100. The following are the names of 
assistants in the school : Howard Kennedy, A. M. ; 
Geo. Hudson, J. H. Edson, Mrs. C. "W. Richmond, 
Mrs. H. L. Snyder, Miss M. B. Dewey, Miss C. E. 
Grossman, Prof. C. N. Y. Vasque and Eugene Burnell. 
The academy building is pleasantly situated in the 
west part of the village, is three stories high, and 
constructed of durable and handsome stone, found in 
the vicinity, at a cost of about nix thousand dollars. 


The institution is provided with chemical, philosophi- 
cal, geographical and historical charts, and has a 
library connected with it of about 600 volumes. Few 
seminaries offer better facilities to students who are 
pursuing either the English course or preparing for 
the higher course of collegiate studies. 

There are twelve school districts in the town, all of 
which are provided with good school houses, in which 
schools are taught from six to ten months during the 
year. The summer term is usually taught by females, 
and the winter by males. 

There is a private school taught in the family of 

Mr. Lewis Ellsworth, by Miss S. B. Skinner. The 

number of pupils is limited to about twelve. Young 

ladies are here instructed in the English and modern 

Janguages, and also in music, drawing and painting. 

Our educational facilities, as a town, can not well 
be surpassed. They are sufficiently ample, and none 
need grow up in ignorance for want of proper advan- 
tages to obtain an education ; yet there are many, 
even at this day, who refuse to avail themselves of the 
opportunities offered. This is especially the case in 
the village, but it is hoped that the new buildings which 
have been recently erected will draw into the schools 
a large class of the foreign population, who would 
otherwise go uneducated. Next in importance to the 
church, our schools should be nourished with peculiar 
care. The school fund of the town is now ,$1035 27. 
For building and repairing school houses, the amount 
raised by tax and expended in 1853, was $120 ; in 
1854, $209 ; in 1855, $294 ; in 1856, $2376 ; in 1857, 
$1326. The whole number of pupils in 1856 was 861. 


The school section was sold in 1842, at $1 25 per acre. 
The present trustees are H. Bristol,' F. Myer and H. 
Vaughn. Treasurer, Chas. Hunt. 

In what now constitutes the west part of this town, 
and prior to the organization, when known as Big 
Woods precinct, the offices of justice of the peace 
and constable were held by the following named per- 
sons : justices of the peace, W. J. Strong, Abel Keys, 
John Stolp, David Meeker, Charles Hunt, S. S. Pax- 
ton; constables, Allan "Williams, C. H. Vaughn, J. 
II. Paxton, A. F. Stolp, O. C. Stolp. 

List of town officers of the town of Naperville for 
the different years since the adoption of the township 
organization law : 


1850 Russel Whipple. 1854 David Hess. 

1851 " 1855 R. N. Murray. 

1 852 Joseph Naper. 1856 Charles Hunt. 

1853 Hiram Bristol. 1857 N. Crampton. 


1850 C. F. Tarbox. 1854 Charles Hunt. 

1851 Charles Hunt. 1855 " 

1852 " 1856 " 
1855 " 1857 


1850 Enos Coleman. 1854 A. T. Thatcher. 

1851 " 1865 A. W. Colt. 

1852 Hiram Bristol. 1856 David Brown. 

1853 Enos Coleman. 1857 George Bristol. 



1850 Willard Scott. 1854 Sidney Powers. 

1851 John Stolp. 1855 A. T. Thatcher. 

1852 Thaddeus Scott. 1856 R. N. Davis. 

1853 Sidney Powers. 1857* 


1850 John Warne. 1854 Hiram Branch. 

1851 H. C. Daniels. 1855 M. Dines. 

1852 S. L. Jackson. 1856 H. C. Daniels. 
1853 " 1857 " 


1 850 Samuel Rickcrt, 1 854 S. L. Jackson, 

H. C. Daniels, Jacob Saylor, 

Enos Coleman. U. D. Stanley. 

1851 Langdon Miller, 1855 S. M. Babbitt, 

W. J. Strong, H. Bristol, 

Samuel Rickert. D. B. Rogers. 

1852 W. J. Strong, 1856 C. H. P. Lyman, 

David Brown, Hiram Bristol, 

A. S.-Sabin. Jacob Saylor. 

1853 W. J. Strong, 1857 Hiram Bristol, 

A. T. Thatcher, Solomon Givler, 

David Brown. John Stolp. 


1850 Charles Hunt, 1 853 Harrison Loring. 

Willard T. Jones. 1854 " 

1851 H. Loring. f J. J. Riddler. 

1852 Charles Hunt, 1855 Charles Hunt4 

II. Loring. 1 856 Eli Rich. 

* Collector not elected, U being a tie vote, 
t Elected in place of Willard T. Jones, resigned. $ Vice Loring, resigned. 



1850 Sidney Powers, . 1852 S. M. Cole. 

D.C.Butler. 1853 " 

1851 Sidney Powers, 1854 George Stroubler, jr. 

S. M. Cole. 1855 David Salisbury. 

1856 Fred. S. Crane. 



THIS is the oldest town in the county, having been 
first settled by Bailey Hobson, in the fall of 1830. 
Among the early settlers were J. C. Hatch, Isaac 
Clark, Pomeroy Goodrich, John 'Thompson, John 
Sargent, Lewis Ellsworth, Thomas Jellies, Martin 
Asher, J., C., II., and L. Stanley, E. Bush, Mr. "Wil- 
lard, Henry Puifer, A. B. Chatiield, John Naper, and 
R. M. Sweet. The increase of population has been 
in about the same ratio as that of the other towns in 
the county. It contains now about 1500 inhabitants, 
of which there is a fair sprinkling of Germans. The 
town may be regarded as a very intelligent and 
moral, and relatively considered, religious population. 
Many of the first settlers came from New England, 
and brought with them the principles, practices, mor- 
als and opinions for which the people of that section 
have so long been widely and favorably known. 

This remark perhaps applies more truthfully to the 
inhabitants of that division of the town called " The 
East Branch" than to any other portion of it. The first 
settlers here, with scarcely an exception, were of the 
class referred to. They came possessed of a spirit of 
genuine Christian philanthropy, which prompted them 
to labor zealously for the good of their fellow men. 
They were impelled by no narrow, bigoted views of 
Christian brotherhood and duty, but recognized that 
great moral principle which first found- utterance 011 


Plymouth Rock, of "freedom to worship God." 
Among the pioneers of this class who are now living, 
Deacon Isaac Clark, and Deacon Pomeroy Goodrich, 
may be mentioned as having labored here for more 
than twenty years, with unfailing Christian ardor, for 
the upbuilding of the church of Christ. They were 
chiefly instrumental in effecting the first religious 
organization in the county, which was as early as 
1833. The society then formed rapidly increased, by 
members from this and the adjoining towns, and as 
the country became more thickly settled it was 
divided, and separate organizations formed. A notice 
of the original society will be found in the history of 
the town of Naperville. 

In consequence of its being peopled by the class 
referred to, correct moral principles have been infused 
into the East Branch community, and it would be diffi- 
cult to find a better state of society, or a more culti- 
vated, intelligent, moral, and industrious class of 
citizens, than reside in this section of the town of 

The inhabitants are chiefly devoted to agriculture. 
The fanners generally have large and highly cultivated 
farms, and are in independent circumstances. Land 
is held at from twenty-five to fifty dollars per acre, 
the price varying according to locality and nature of 
soil. Among the best farms upon the east branch are 
those of James C. Hatch, John Thompson, D. II. 
Naramore, Pomeroy Goodrich, Daniel M. Green, 
William 13. Green, A. S. Barnard, A. Morse, and 
Charles II. Goodrich. 

The pioneers of this town had many privations to 


undergo, but these Avere endured and at last conquered 
by manly courage and enterprise. 

A spirit of cordial sociability, friendly sympathy 
and intercourse prevailed among the early settlers, 
which, it is feared has lost something of its charms 
since the country has become more densely populated. 

"We have frequently heard it remarked by our pio- 
neer mothers, that the pleasantest period of their lives 
was when they lived in the old log house, of one 
apartment, which served as kitchen, parlor; pantry, 
bedroom, wood house and cellar. Sociability was 
then untrammeled by forms and ceremonies, and the 
question of " What shall we eat and wherewithal shall 
we be clothed," was thought to have a more spiritual 
application than in modern times. 

Mrs. Scott made a "party" at an early day, to 
which all her neighboring friends were invited. For 
supper she placed before her guests a prodigious loaf 
of corn bread, the material for which had been pre- 
pared by grinding the corn between, two stones. Al- 
though the repast was pronounced by all most delicious, 
yet it was entirely eclipsed by that of Mrs. Hobson, 
who had her "party" soon after, and entertained her 
guests, not with corn bread alone, but corn bread and 
molasses graced her festive board. 

The following details will serve to show something 
of the trials endured by our early settlers, and the 
heroic fortitude with which they braved discourage- 
ments : 

About the middle of May, 1830, Baley Hobson, 
weary of the toil of clearing the encumbering forests 
from the rugged banks of the Ohio river, and animated 


by the hope of finding a home in the wilderness of the 
northwest, more congenial to the spirit and genius of 
agriculture, set out from the sparsely settled county of 
Orange for the more sparsely settled section of north- 
ern Illinois. His resolutions were those of the pioneers 
of the west. Without arms amounting to more than 
a jack-knife, for defense, he. mounted his horse, and 
destitute of chart or compass, groped his way, as best 
he could, through the dense forests and deep ravines, 
and forded the bridgeless waters that lay in his course. 
Day after day was consumed in the solitary windings 
from hut to hut, through a region which then presented 
but slight indications, of that civilization which has 
since struck its roots deep into the bosom of those 
forests. Rain and sunshine alternately poured through 
the darkening foliage that overarched his pathway. 
Many miles were traveled where not a sound broke 
the silence of the dim woods, save the tread of his own 
steed as it bore him onward. The dismal surroundings 
of a forest path accompanied him until state lines were 
crossed, and the bright opening prairies were gained 
in the state of Illinois. Emerging from the heavy 
timber country of Indiana, into the prairie wilderness, 
was an agreeable respite from the dull monotony of 
the scenery through which he had passed. 

Here was a spot fit for a moment's pause, to view 
with far-strained vision those undulating plains, in 
contemplating which 

The heart swells, while the dilated sight 
Takes in the encircling vastness. 

Moving onward to the north with the hope of suc- 
cess brightening before him, he gained the south bank 


of the Illinois river, which he crossed in a ferry-boat 
at a place then called Ft. Clarke, near the present site 
of Peru. At this place he fell in -company with four 
strangers, who had been spending some time in ex- 
ploring the country further west, which they found, 
comparatively speaking, a blank wilderness, peopled 
only by savages. Discouraged at the idea of settling 
in a country so wild and so remote from civilized man, 
they had abandoned their journey and were returning, 
with not the most favorable impressions of the great 
west. They urged Mr. Hobson to abandon the idea 
also, not only as impracticable, but as a wild and 
hazardous undertaking. He however left them, and 
pushed onward, soon reaching "Weed's Grove, since 
known as Holderman's grove, where he found a set 
tlement consisting of five little huts, occupied by as 
many families. Here, for the first time in his journey, 
he made a halt, and explored the Du Page river as 
far as Walker's grove, near Plaiufield. He after- 
wards explored Fox river as far as Long grove, and 
finally made a claim six miles from Holderman's, and 
three miles from the main village of the Pottawattomie 
Indians, on Fox river. In order to secure his claim 
while moving his family out to it, he cut logs for the 
erection of what in later times has been termed the 
" squatter's hut." Having done this, he mounted his 
horse and turned homeward. To save distance, he 
took a new route, and struck out upon the unknown 
prairies, where the footprints of neither man nor beast 
were to be seen, without a solitary thing to guide him, 
save the instinctive allurements of his own fireside, 
which was more than four hundred miles distant. 


About noon of the same day he re-crossed the Illinois 
river, at the lower rapids, and pursued his way until 
night shut in upon him, when he pitched his camp, 
consisting of a horse blanket and overcoat, on the 
banks of a small stream that flowed along the border 
of a grove. During the night there was a heavy fall 
of rain, which put out his fire, and for the remainder 
of the night he was obliged to hold himself in a de- 
fensive attitude against the ravenous mosquitoes. 
The sun rose bright and clear next morning, and he 
pressed onward. Late in the afternoon he overtook a 
company of Kickapoo Indians, who were returning 
from a hunting excursion, and accompanied them to 
their village, where he was fortunate enough to find a 
white man, a trader, with whom he passed the night. 
Leaving the wigwam town early next morning, he 
laid his course over the trackless prairie, for the waters 
of the Saugainon, which were reached just as the sun 
went down. Here, for the first time in three day's 
travel, he struck the trail of his former course. A 
cabin stood on the bank of the stream, occupied by a 
family whose nearest neighbors were twelve miles 
distant. He passed the night with them, and after 
breakfast the next morning, re-crossed the river which 
he had left some five weeks previous. Retracing his 
former path over the wide prairies of Illinois and 
through the dense forests of Indiana, he reached his 
home about the first of July. On the first day of 
September, in the same year, he started with his 
family, accompanied by L. Stewart, for his new claim 
amid the wilds of the northwest. They had proceeded 
scarcely half a mile when the wagon was upset, and 


the entire "bag and baggage" strewn promiscuously 
upon the ground. This was by no means a welcome 
omen of the invisible future, and created unpleasant 
forebodings of what might lie before them in their 
perilous journey. Four hours detention was the result 
of. this first ill fortune. After the wagon was turned 
right side up, and their effects gathered together, they 
moved on again. They soon lost sight of things which 
had grown familiar by time, and the forest through 
which they passed opened upon them new scenes. 
The camp fire was kindled whenever night overtook 
them, and a small canvas tent was their only protection 
from the inclemency of the weather, and all that 
screened the starlight and moonbeams from their 

The evening of the third day found them at the 
Drift Wood fork of the "White river. This was now 
to be crossed. It was a difficult stream, without bridge 
or ferry, and having a bed of quicksand. As 'there 
was but one plan to choose, ("Ilobson's choice," of 
course), they resolved to hazard the experiment of 
fording. So, increasing the load of the already bur- 
dened team with their own weight, and giving the 
oxen a few smart blows with the braid of buckskin, 
they dashed into the stream, and with great effort 
reached the opposite bank. The men were obliged to 
re-cross the stream for the herd of cattle and horses 
that were left behind, and the journey was resumed, 
until the shadows of night compelled them to pitch 
their tents. Thus they journeyed, day after day, 
leaving no visible evidence of their passage, save here 
and there the ashes of their camp fires, fording all the 


streams that lay in their course, until they came to 
the Wabash, which they crossed in a ferry, two miles 
above Terre Haute. 

Coming upon the prairies, the land was marshy for 
a considerable distance, and their progress was slow 
and difficult ; but nothing of moment occurred until 
they arrived at the Black Swamp, which was about 
half a mile in width. Here they were obliged to take 
everything from the wagon and carry to the opposite 
side on foot. Mrs. Hobson rode across on horseback, 
with her babe, and the two little boys waded through 
the mire, at the imminent hazard of being entirely 
swallowed up. This passed, they journeyed on, en- 
countering similar obstacles, often getting mired, and 
often being obliged to unload a part of their goods in 
order to proceed. Leaving the Ft. Clarke road, and 
having no path to guide them, they now passed through 
an uninhabited region for the distance of one hundred 
miles, 'finding but one habitation during six days, and 
being able to obtain neither wood nor water to cook 
their meals more than twice during the whole time. 
Arriving at the Illinois river, they crossed that stream 
at the lower rapids, and after traveling a few miles 
further, fell in company with Mr. Clark, whose father 
resided at Walker's grove. Preparations were being 
made for a night encampment, but 'Clark insisted that 
they should go as far as Holderman's grove, where 
he intended to remain that night. Having with him 
three yoke of oxen, he attached two of them to Mr. 
Hobson's wagon, and thus assisted, they went on, 
arriving at Holderman's grove at about midnight, 
having been on the road twenty-one days. Here they 


remained three weeks, during which time Mr. Hobson 
sowed some fall wheat, cut some hay for his cattle, 
and began the erection of a cabin on his new claim. 

The family were mdved to the claim, and lived in a 
tent until the cabin was so far completed as to admit 
of their occupying it. Their provisions were likely to 
run short, and Mr. Hobson set out on horseback to pro- 
cure some. After spending two days in fruitless search 
of something to prevent starvation, he returned home. 
In a few days, he started again on a longer journey, 
crossing the Fox and Vermilion rivers, the latter of 
which he forded, where the water covered the back of 
his horse. Still onward he went, and after crossing 
the Illinois, and arriving at the Ox Bow prairie, he 
found he could purchase no flour, but pork was offered 
him, which he engaged, appointed the time when he 
would come for it, and returned. 

Not feeling entirely satisfied with his location, he 
resolved to examine the country still further, and 
accordingly set out in the direction of Fox river. 
Knowing that a solitary Frenchman was living in a 
grove near that stream, he thought to reach his hut, 
if possible, before night-fall ; but the darkness came 
on before he was able to find it, and tying his horse to 
a tree, he laid down upon the ground, and, with 
nothing to shield him from the cold of a November 
night, save his overcoat and horse blanket, slept till 
morning. On waking, he found, to his surprise, that 
he had encamped in full sight of the Frenchman's 
dwelling, but was separated from it by a swamp. It 
being very cold, he hastened to the cabin, but found 
the door closed and fastened. He however effected 


an entrance by descending the chimney, encountering 
in his descent some smoke, considerable soot, a blazing 
fire, and last, but not by any means least, a huge bull- 
dog, who bristled up savagely at the singular phenom- 
enon. He made peace with the dog, and sat down to 
warm himself by the fire. The proprietor of the cabin 
soon returned, and was not a little surprised, on open- 
ing the door, at finding a strange guest within. 
After breakfasting, Mr. Hobson made his way across 
the country to the Du PAGE river, examining the lands 
and localities as far as the site of his present family 
residence. This place satisfied him in every respect, 
and he at once determined to abandon the claim he 
had already made, and secure this as his future home. 
He made a few marks by which to identify it, and 
returned to his family, having been absent five days. 
In a few days, Hobson and Stewart both set out for 
the new claim, for the purpose of cutting timber and 
building a cabin upon it. This was in December. 
They arrived at the DTI PAGE, and found it frozen 
over. Unable to force their team into the crusted 
stream, tfrey waded through it themselves, breaking 
a path in the ice, which the oxen were made to 
follow. Having succeeded in crossing, they pitched 
their tent, built a fire, and made preparations for 
passing the night. During the night it commenced 
snowing, and continued throughout the next day. 
They attempted to work, but were unable to accom- 
plish anything in consequence of the severity of the 
weather, which continued to increase until they were 
obliged to abandon their undertaking. They drove 
down the river, a distance of three miles, to the dwell- 


ing of Mr. Scott, who had built a cabin and moved 
into it a few days before. Here they passed the 
night, and the following day and night. On the third 
day the wind ceased, the severity of the weather 
somewhat abated, though still very cold, and they 
started toward home. Their course lay across a prai- 
rie for thirty miles, on which there was no appear- 
ance of a road, but they accomplished the distance, 
reaching home before midnight, nearly exhausted by 
fatigue, hunger and cold. In the course of a few 
days the weather changed ; some rain fell which 
melted the snow, and by a succession of snow, rain 
and frost which followed, the earth was covered 
with a crust of ice, which made traveling almost 

It was now near Christmas, the time at which Mr. 
Ilobson had agreed to go for his pork. 

He therefore left his family and stock in care of Mr. 
Stewart, and set out for Ox Bow prairie with the 
intention of returning in about ten days. The weather 
was now extremely cold, and on the afternoon of the 
second day it commenced snowing. The storm came 
so fast and thick that the track was soon covered, and 
he had nothing to direct his course, while the atmos- 
phere was so filled with the falling flakes that he 
could see only a few feet before him. Toward night 
a horseman passed him, but said nothing, and was 
very soon out of sight, leaving no traces of his course, 
as the snow filled the horse's track almost as soon 
as made. Night closed in upon him, with no cessa- 
tion of the driving storm. Unable to see his way 
even a rod before him, the chance of reaching a 


habitation, or place of shelter seemed hopeless, and 
he was about to resign himself to his fate, when he 
discovered a light at a little distance which appeared 
to be coming toward him. On its nearer approach, 
to his inexpressible joy and gratitude, he discovered 
two or three men, who had come to his assistance, 
from the nearest settlement. They had been made 
acquainted with his situation by the horseman who 
passed him in the afternoon. They assisted him in 
reaching the settlement, where he stayed till next 
morning, when, the storm having considerably abated, 
he started on his way. 

He followed a small stream, though it was not his 
direct course, in order to be nearer the timber and 
nearer habitations. Before night came on, guided 
by the barking of dogs, he was enabled to reach a 
dwelling. Finding it unoccupied, he took temporary 
possession. A few embers were still burning on the 
hearth, and taking some rails from the fence he re- 
duced them to fuel and built a fire. He found feed 
for his oxen, and a supply of provisions for himself, 
of which he partook without much ceremony, and in 
peaceful and quiet possession passed the night. 

Pursuing his journey next morning, he shortly ar- 
rived at another dwelling, where he found the owner 
of the cabin in which he had stayed the night before, 
and told him of the liberty he had taken. Being 
assured that all he had done at the cabin was right, 
he pressed on and reached his destination on the 
evening of the fourth day. The pork was procured, 
and he started homeward on the following morning, 
his team consisting of two yoke of heavy cattle, and 


his load, of about one thousand pounds, including a 
prairie plow. 

The snow had fallen to such a depth that he found 
it impossible to proceed, and was obliged to employ 
a man with an additional team to assist him on. With 
the three yoke of oxen attached to the wagon they 
started, going before with wooden paddles to shovel 
the' snow from the path. About two hours before 
sunset, they found that in the course of the whole day, 
they had advanced just one mile ! There was little 
use in trying to go on, so they turned their team and 
took the back track for a" quarter of a mile to a dwell- 
ing. Here they remained for a few days, endeavoring 
to fit the wagon to runners, but in this they were un- 
successful. Mr. Hobson now resolved on trying to 
reach home 011 foot, and accordingly set out. He 
had to cross a twelve mile prairie before coming to 
a settlement. This he aimed to do in one day, but 
the sun had passed the meridian before he had made 
a third of the distance. Knowing it was vain to 
attempt to gain the settlement, he retraced his steps 
to the dwelling he had left kuthe morning, where 
he arrived, with life and strength nearly exhausted. 
Here he remained a few days, hardly knowing what 
course to pursue. Having already been absent many 
days longer than he had intended, he felt great anxiety 
for his family, whom he had left but scantily provided 
with provisions, and at length determined upon mak- 
ing another effort to reach home. Leaving his team 
and load, with orders, that if it became necessary, the 
meat should be cut up and salted, he set out in a 
new direction, pursuing his way through the groves 


towards the Illinois river, and finding shelter at night 
in the cabins which at long intervals were scattered 
through the forests. At length, he arrived at the 
Illinois, which he found frozen and covered with snpw. 
To facilitate progress he now traveled upon the ice 
for thirty miles, in imminent peril of his life. The 
ice, in many places, was so thin that it gave way be- 
neath his feet. At the end of this distance the river 
was open in consequence of its junction with a large 
spring, and he was now obliged to travel again 
through the deep and drifted snow. His progress 
was slow and fatiguing, but impelled by anxiety for 
the loved ones at home, he journeyed on with unflag- 
ing zeal, and at last reached home on the nineteenth 
day of his absence, to the almost overwhelming joy 
and surprise of his destitute family, from whom the 
last, lingering hope of ever beholding him again had 
faded out. Imagine his feelings as his little ones, half 
famished, came around him anxiously inquiring about 
his wagon, and about the provisions which they ex- 
pected he would bring to them. Until now he had 
borne up against a tide of adverse circumstances with 
a determined and even a cheerful spirit, but the situa- 
tion of his family, with no prospect of relief, was a 
matter not to be contemplated without the most dis- 
tressing apprehensions. ' Nearly a week passed, and 
the weather became so much moderated that the 
snow began to melt, and it was feared that a thaw- 
was about to commence, in which case their situation 
would be rendered still more hopeless. Corn was 
their only article of food, and upon this alone they 
had already subsisted for more than two months; 


this they prepared by hulling and boiling. Some- 
thing must be done, for starvation seemed looking 
them in the face. But one plan suggested itself to 
Mr. Hobson, and that was a hard one to execute. It 
was to leave his family, and accompanied by Stewart, 
make one more effort to get his provisions home be- 
fore the breaking up of the ice. His situation was 
indeed a trying one. It was with great reluctance 
that he resolved to leave his family alone and unpro- 
tected in the dead of winter, and in a region inhabited 
only by Indians, whose proximity produced no more 
agreeable impression than fear, to say the least. But 
Mrs. Hobson, brushing the tears from her face, and 
summoning all the courage and resolution she could 
command, entreated him to go, and leave her to do 
the best she could. After preparing fuel sufficient to 
last until their return they set out, taking with them a 
yoke of cattle which they drove in advance, for the 
purpose of breaking a road through the snow. Thir- 
teen head of cattle and three horses were left in Mrs. 
Hobson's care. On the second day after the departure 
of Messrs. Hobson and Stewart, it commenced snow- 
ing and continued without interruption for two days 
and nights, covering the earth upon a level, three feet 
deep. On the third day, just at sunrise, the wind be- 
gan to blow with fury from the west, and continued 
like a hurricane, without cessation, for three days, 
sweeping the snow from the ground and piling it in 
drifts twenty, thirty, and even forty feet high, while 
the atmosphere was so thick with the driving snow, as 
almost to turn daylight into darkness. On the first 
morning of the wind storm, Mrs. Hobson, taking a 


pail, went to a spring a few yards from the house for 
some water, but before reaching the house she was 
compelled to throw the water upon the ground and 
make all possible haste back. The children opened 
the door for her, which, being in the west side of the 
house, it required all their strength to close again. It 
was not opened again until after the storm had sub- 
sided. The snow, which was constantly driving into 
the house, supplied them with water ; but who shall 
describe the feelings of that mother, as alone with her 
little ones, the days dragged wearily along, while her 
mind was filled with the most fearful aprehensions. 
Husband or brother she should in all probability see 
no more. Her children might perish in her sight, 
while a like fate awaited herself? It was, indeed, a 
severe trial of endurance, and needed all the fortitude 
of her soul to sustain such agonizing reflections while 
the raging storm swept around her solitary dwelling. 
After the wind had ceased, Mrs. Hobson went out to 
look after the cattle and horses, but could discover 
nothing of them, and concluded they had been covered 
in the snow-drifts and perished. The day passed 
without any of them making .their appearance. The 
next morning they all came around from the east side 
of the grove, whither they had fled and remained 
during the storm. The fuel which had been prepared 
and put in the house was now exhausted, while that 
which had been left outside was embedded in a deep 
snow drift. The only alternative was to dig this wood 
out of the snow with a pick-ax, and Mrs. Hobson 
accordingly set about it, working and resting alter- 
nately, as her strength would permit. "Weak and 


faint from hunger, and with hands- frozen and blis- 
tered, she worked on day after day, unable to get out 
more wood than would barely serve from one day to 
another. A cow, that was accustomed to being fed at 
the door came into the house one day and seemed to 
reel, as if about to fall. Mrs. Hobson pushed her out- 
side of the door, when she immediately fell dead. 
Fearing that the wolves, which were very plenty and 
hungry, would come to the door to feed upon the 
carcass, she covered it deep in the snow. 

On the fourteenth day after his departure, Hobson 
returned with some provisions, leaving Stewart at 
Holdernian's grove with a part of the oxen that were 
unable to finish the trip. On his arrival, he found 
the wood which they had prepared, all consumed, and 
Mrs. Hobson tearing down a log stable and chopping 
it up for fuel. During that fourteen weary days, Mrs. 
Hobson had not seen a human being besides her child- 
ren. Though it was known at Holdernian's grove 
that they were alone, yet no one dared venture to see 
what had become of them. It was thought by all 
there that the family would inevitably perish. In the 
course of eight days Stewart arrived with the remain- 
der of the oxen. They presented a deplorable spec- 
tacle indeed, being worn with fatigue, their flesh sore 
and bleeding, and the hair all cut from their legs by 
wading through the hard crusted snow. The drifting 
of the snow had been altogether favorable to the return 
of Hobson and Stewart. Having arrived at their des- 
tination before the wind storm, they remained until 
they could make themselves some sledges. On the way 
home, they could travel sometimes the whole day witli- 


out the crust giving'way, and some days their teams 
would break through every little while, when they 
were obliged to dig them out again. 

At home again, it was now time for new arrange- 
ments to be made, as there had been nothing done as 
yet, upon the new claim. Stewart, accordingly, set 
out for the new location with the intention of working 
there, but soon after his arrival the snow went off with 
a heavy rain. After the flood, occasioned by the melt- 
ing snow and breaking up of the ice had nearly sub- 
sided, the Indians came a hundred or more into 
the grove near the house., and prepared for making 
sugar. Hobson now sent his family to Holderman's 
grove, where he had obtained permission for them to 
stay a few days, while he with his household goods 
started for the Du PAGE, and again aimed to take up 
his night's lodging at the Frenchman's cabin But 
the traveling was bad, and his progress slow. Late 
in the afternoon he got " stalled " in a slough. Tak- 
ing off his boots and stockings, in order to keep them 
dry, he waded through on foot, and with great effort 
succeeded in getting his team through, his clothes the 
while were wet and freezing. 

It being by this time quite dark, and fearing to pro- 
ceed further, lest he should again be " stalled," there 
was no other chance than to spend the night upon the 
open prairie. And having some bedding in the wagon, 
he made out to pass the night without freezing. In 
the morning he reached the Frenchman's cabin, where 
he breakfasted. The next night found him at the 
Spring Brook, just west of the Du PAGE river, but it 
wag so dark that he did not venture to cross it, and 


accordingly camped out again. Here the grass was 
long, and making his bed upon the ground, he passed 
the night very comfortably, and the next morning- 
reached his destination. Mr. Scott advised him to 
bring his family to his place, and let them remain 
until he could build his cabin. He accordingly did 
so, and in a few days their own cabin was ready for 
their reception. 

In April Mr. Hobson went again to Ox Bow Prairie 
for his wagon, taking with him two yoke of cattle, 
and bringing back some seed corn, and potatoes. His 
cattle were so poor and weak that he was often obliged 
to carry the corn and potatoes on his back, the team 
being hardly able to draw the empty wagon. The 
Spring and Summer were cold, wet and consequently 
unfavorable to crops. But little was raised during 
that year. 

Other settlers, whose names have been given, 
soon located in different parts of the town. The 
Kaper settlement extended into this town, and the 
pioneer reminiscences contains an account of the 
settlers here, up to the close of the Black Hawk 

This town .embraces an area of thirty-six square 
miles, and is bounded by Milton on the north, "by 
Will county on the south, by Downer's grove on the 
east, and by Naperville on the west. The surface 
consists chiefly of rolling prairie, interspersed with 
groves of fine growing timber. This town was for- 
merly called Du PAGE, a name derived from the 
river, both forks of which run through it, but there 
being a town in Will county of the same name, it was 


organized in 1850, under the name of Lisle, in honor 
of the late S. Lisle Smith, of Chicago. 

That part of the village of JNaperville which lies in 
this town includes the county buildings and four 
churches. The grist mill at Hobson's was among 
the first established in this part of the county. Brick 
making is carried on to a considerable extent, and the 
bricks -manufactured are of good quality. The clay 
requires coarse sand to be worked with it, to give it 
compactness. At the establishment of Mr. E. M. 
Carpenter 275,000 were made last year. The other 
manufactures are of minor importance, it being strictly 
an agricultural town, in which branch of industry it 
competes successfully with its neighbors. 

There are in this town nine school districts, in all of 
which schools are taught throughout the school year. 
Teachers of the best ability are usually employed, and 
rewarded by a fair compensation. The almost uni- 
versal .Custom of rotation in the employment of in- 
structors for our schools prevails in this town, the 
summer term being taught by females, and the win- 
ter term by males. The schools are attended by 
310 scholars. The fund derived from the sale of 
the school section was $800. It now amounts to 
$1,011.66. The amount paid to teachers last year 
was $820, and the amount expended for repairing 
and building was $1,830. 

Several stone quarries have been opened in this 
town, from which stone is obtained for lime burn- 
ing and for building purposes. The Naperville and 
Oswego plank road was laid through the central part 
of this town. The projectors of this road thought 


to facilitate the communication between Oswego, ISTap- 
erville and Chicago, and thereby retain the travel 
which would otherwise be drawn to the railroad 
which was being built at the same time. 

The road was completed from Chicago to ]S"aper- 
ville, but no farther. The project was a failure; 
the stock was worthless, for people would travel by 
railroad. The material of which the road was con- 
structed is now being torn up and converted to 
other uses. 

The following is a list of officers for the town o 
Lisle, who have been elected since its organization 
in 1850: 


1850 Amasa Morse. . 1854 H. H. Cody. 

1851 Jeduthen Hatch. 1855 J. 0. Hatch, 

1852 John Stanley. 1856 A. Morse. 

1853 Lewis Ellsworth. 1857 John Collins. 


1850 J. C. Hatch. 1854 H. F. Valletta. 

1851 George Roush. 1855 " 

1852 H. F. Vallette. 1856 R. W. Hunt. 

1853 S. M. Skinner. 1857 A. S. Barnard. 


1850 John Olney. 1854 F. A. Smith. 

1851 " 1855 John Thompson. 

1852 " 1856 J. A. Richards. 
1853 W. B. Stewart, 1857 John Rahm. 



1850 C. K. W. Howard. 1854 F. A. Smith. 

1851 F. A. Smith. 1855 B. F. Hosier. 

1852 " 1856 J. H. Hobson. 

1853 " 1857 C. M. Goodrich. 


1850 Joseph Blodgett, 1854 John Sargent, 

John Rahm, John Stanley, 

Ethan Griswold. T. Hilderbrand. 

1851 John Rahm, 1855 John Sargent, 

J. Blodgett, F. A. Smith, 

Henry Ingallg. Henry Ingalls. 

1 8 52 Solomon Mertz, 1 856 R. S. Palmer, 

E. Griswold, E. Page, 

Joseph Blodgett. D. C. Stanley. 

1853 A. S. Barnard, 1857 S. Mertz, 

R. M. Hunt, R. S. Palmer, 

R. Puffer. J. A. Ballou. 


1 850 F. A. Smith. 1 854 John Graves. 

1851 1855 B. F. Hosier. 

1852 John Graves. 1856 John H. Hobson. 

1853 " 1857 " 


1850 Jeduthen Hatch. 1854 A. B. Chatfield. 

1851 A. B. Chatfield. 1855 " 

1852 " 1856 C. H. Goodrich. 

1853 D. M. Green. 1857 Elijah Root. 


1850 A. B. Chatfield, 1854 A. B. Chatfield, 

George Roush. John J. Kimball. 



Silas Meacham, Lyman Meacham, and Harvey 
Meacham, were the first settlers of this town. They 
came here together, and clearing away the snow from 
a spot selected for the purpose, pitched their tents, on. 
the eleventh day of March, 1833. The Indians, who 
were numerous at that time, were their only neighbors 
during the first year. There were no settlers nearer 
than King's grove, on the east branch of the Du PAGE, 
none on the Chicago and Galena road, and none on 
Fox river above Green's mill. Their Indian neighbors 
were generally peaceable and quiet, but filled with all 
manner of superstitious and savage peculiarities. Soon 
after the settlement commenced, a dog was discovered 
in the grove hanging from a limb to which it was fast- 
ened, with a piece of tobacco tied to each foot. The 
settlers afterward learned from Lawton, an Indian 
trader, that the Indians had had some bad luck, and 
the dog was offered as a sacrifice. 

The grove was known among the Indians as Penne- 

ack grove, and received its name from a root found in 

it, resembling the potato. It grew in such abundance, 

that the Indians came for it, and carried it away to 

their camps, in sacks, on their ponies. 

The Indians were generally trusty, and on the whole 
proved themselves good neighbors. The settlers placed 
great confidence in them. They frequently came to 


the settlement to borrow, and were always prompt in 
returning, thereby offering an example which many 
"white folks" think it too much trouble to follow in 
all cases. Harvey Meacham once loaned his valuable 
rifle to one of them for several days, on the promise 
that he would return it at a certain time ; the Indian, 
faithful .to his word, brought it back on the appointed 

The wife of Lyman Meacham died in the fall of 

1833. Her coffin was made of boards taken from a 
wagon box which was . brought from the east. The 
next death in the settlement was that of a young me- 
chanic, who came into the town with Major Skinner, 
in 1834. He was buried in a coffin made of plank, 
split from a log in the grove. 

A small addition to the settlement was made in 

1834. Among the settlers of that year were H. Wood- 
worth, N. Stevens, D. Bangs, Elias Maynard, and 
Major Skinner. The Meacham brothers, during the 
lirst year, built a log house for each of their families, 
broke and planted forty acres of prairie, and fenced it 
in, to secure it from their stock which grazed upon the 
open fields. At the end of the year 1834, the settle- 
ment had increased to twelve or fifteen families. Many 
trials, incident to the settlers of a new country, were 
experienced by these first pioneers. "We are informed 
by one of them, that it was no uncommon thing for a 
man to take his plow share and mould board, weighing 
some sixty pounds, upon his back and trudge away 
to Chicago, a distance of twenty-four miles, to get it 

The precinct of Cook county, in which this settle- 


ment was included, extended over a large part, if not 
all of Cook county, west of the OTlain river. 

The first election in this precinct was held at Elk 
grove, eight miles north east of Bloomiugdale. Ly- 
man Meacham was elected justice of the peace. The 
first path master went as far south as Warrenville, ten 
miles distant, to warn out the settlers on the highway 
to perform their road labor. The claim difficulty to 
which allusion has been made, occurred in this town. 
It is thought that no correct history of the horrid trans- 
action has ever appeared. The statement of this affair, 
given in the life of George W. Green, the banker, who 
committed suicide in the Chicago jail, is very erroneous. 
The compilers have been at considerable pains to ob- 
tain a brief, and as they believe, an impartial account 
of the transaction, which is commonly known as 


In the year 1835, or thereabouts, Ebenezer Peck 
bought the undivided half of Dr. Meacham's claim. 
While they held it jointly, they leased it to Milton 
Kent. Before the lease expired, Dr. Meacham sold 
his half to Mr. Peck, and moved to the O'Plain river, 
previous to any difficulty with Kent. The trouble 
respecting the claim commenced soon after Mr. Peck 
became the sole owner. Mr. Kent's lease expired in 
the spring of 1837, and the claim was sold to George 
W. Green, of Chicago, who came on to occupy it, but 
Mr. Kent would not allow him to take possession ; 
whereupon, a suit at law was brought, which after sev- 
eral years' litigation, resulted in giving Green a title 
to the whole property. In the mean time, Mr. Kent 


had built a house and barn suited to the business of 
tavern keeping, near the east end of the claim, and 
upon a piece of land which he and his friends said, 
Dr. Meacham gave him for a tavern stand. Near the 
first of March 1840, Mr. Green and family, accompa- 
nied bj Daniel M. Green, the sheriff of Du PAGE 
County, came on to the ground and demanded the 
possession of the entire premises, tavern stand included. 
Mr. Kent was very unwilling to go, but notwithstand- 
ing his reluctance, he was forced to remove his house- 
hold effects from the house he had built, and quit the 
premises on which he had invested all he had. His 
furniture was removed to a shanty which had been 
hastily constructed of boards upon the claim, at a little 
distance from the house. The sheriff' notified him to 
leave the claim immediately, but at the old man's 
earnest request that he .might remain over the Sabbath, 
it being then Saturday night, it was provided that he 
could do so upon the condition that he would depart 
early on Monday. 

Old Mr. Kent was a man of iron will, and deter- 
mined still to have the property, and u stake everything 
on the effort, preferring even death itself, to being 
conquered. After preparing a quit claim deed, the 
following plan, as revealed by those concerned in it, 
was adopted. 

The old man, accompanied by his son, son-in-law, 
a friend, who afterwards married into the family, and 
a hired man, making five in all, were to go to the 
house of Mr. Green late on Sunday evening, decoy 
him to the door, seize him, carry him off and force him 
to sign the deed. When the time arrived they went 


to the house. Four of the number were on foot, and 
took their station at the side of the door, to seize 
Green when he came out, while the fourth, who was 
on horseback, rode up in front of the house and called 
loudly for Mr. Green ; but, instead of going to the 
door, Mr. Green answered him through the window of 
the room in which he was sleeping. The horseman 
told him that he wished to stop there over night, to 
which Mr. Green replied that the house was no longer 
a tavern ; that he could obtain lodging a little further 
on. He had scarcely said this when the outside door 
was broken in with a loud crash.* In an instant the 
four men who had been stationed at the door appeared 
in his room. He had prepared himself with arms for 
his defense, should he be molested, and seizing his 
rifle, fired in the direction of the assaulters. The ball 
passed through the collar of old Mr. Kent's coat, and 
escaped through the window frame. He then snapped 
his pistol, the muzzle being against the breast of one 
of his assailants, but the collar of his coat caught in 
the lock in some way, and it missed fire. 

The room was very dark, and, therefore, Green had 
the better chance to defend himself. In entering the 
room a table of dishes was overturned, and two of the 
number sprang upon the bed, seizing Mrs. Green, 
whom they mistook for her husband. Finding their 
mistake, they left her unharmed, and went to the assist- 
ance of their comrades. In the meantime, Green seized 
a large butcher knife, and commenced making desperate 
thrusts with it at all who came in his way. A son of 
Mr. Kent succeeded, at length, in grasping Green 
tightly around the body, in such a manner as to give 


him but little use of his arms ; but he soon regretted 
his rashness, for it was not long before he felt the 
sharp point of the knife entering his back, and making 
an awful wound. He cried murder, implored Green 
to spare his life, and his comrades -to come to his 

Old Mr. Kent advanced, and was about to lay hold 
of Green, when he (Green) drew the knife from the 
body of the young man, and struck the old man a 
mortal blow under the left arm, at which he raised 
his hands, gave a dying shriek, left the room unob- 
served, walked a few paces from the door, and fell to 
the ground dead. 

Young Kent was now released from Green's grasp, 
and, notwithstanding he had received, as he supposed, 
a mortal wound, he still determined to conquer, and 
the party rallied, with all their strength, to make one 
more effort to secure Green. A furious onslaught 
ensued, and Green was at last overpowered, although 
he fought desperately. He was knocked down, and 
beaten with merciless severity upon the head with a 
horse pistol, and afterward taken, in a senseless con- 
dition, from the floor and carried, without clothing, 
save his shirt, across the fields to the shanty. "When 
he had recovered his senses, he was there required to 
sign the paper, and the young man whom he had so 
severely wounded with the knife remarked that " he 
must do it d n quick, too, for he wanted to see it 
done before he died, and his boots were then over- 
flowing with blood." Expecting that his life would 
be taken in any event, Green signed the papers in 
presence of the daughters, and then importuned them 


to let him die at once, upon which he was taken back 
across the field, and left, in an almost helpless state, 
near his house, which he succeeded in reaching soon 

Mrs. Green, after witnessing the brutal treatment 
of her husband, and being left alone in the house, 
suffered the most intense alarm, supposing he would 
be killed, and that a similar fate awaited herself. She 
stood at the door crying murder, in a voice not above 
a whisper. The death of old Mr. Kent was not known 
to his son until after the papers were signed. 

Consternation filled the minds of the settlers at such 
a tragedy transpiring in their midst. A sight never 
to be forgotten was the lifeless body of that old man, 
as it lay there upon the ground, his hair white like 
the frost of winter gathering around his icy temples, 
and ruffled. by the passing breeze, as it moaned among 
the. branches of the grove. His countenance was 
fresh as though life yet lingered in his veins, but his 
limbs were stiff and cold in death. 

Green delivered himself up to the proper authority, 
and went before the grand jury of Du PAGE County, 
confessed the crime he had committed, and was dis- 
charged. Writs were issued for the arrest of Lorenzo 
Kent and others, concerned in the tragic affair, Kent 
was arrested, and while too ill, as was supposed, to be 
removed, fled out of the State. The family were scat- 
tered, and have never been united since in that hal- 
lowed relation. Their head being removed, and them- 
selves being left without a home, they have been 
compelled to wander from the scenes of their early 
attachment, at the mercy of an uncharitable world. 


Mr. Green remained in the place some three years, 
but was in constant fear of his life. He never left his 
house without being armed, and always slept with 
weapons within his reach. The opinion prevailed 
among the settlers that he was a dangerous person, 
and few tears were shed when he sold his claim and 
left the neighborhood. His subsequent career of 
crime, which terminated in self-destruction, is familiar 
to all. He removed to Chicago, where he "amassed 
considerable wealth in the banking business. In 1855 
he was convicted of the crime of murder, in poisoning 
his wife, and lodged in the Chicago jail. Soon after 
his conviction, and while confined in jail, he was found 
dead in his cell, having taken his own life rather than 
undergo the execution of his sentence. Thus, we 
have endeavored to present a brief and impartial state- 
ment of the Kent affair, about which so much, has 
been said and written. This, as we have already in- 
timated, was the only serious claim difficulty in this 
county ; but volumes might be filled with the most 
thrilling tales of conflict between settlers, respecting 
their claims, in other parts of the west. Were govern- 
ment to survey its lands before they are settled upon, 
a portion, at least, of the difficulties now incident to 
new settlements would be avoided. 

Bloomingdale is not excelled by any of its sister 
towns in healthfulness of climate, fertility of soil, 
beauty of scenery, variety of products, nor in attention 
to agriculture. Meacham's grove is in this town, and 
embraces about 1,200 acres of fine timber. The trail 
made by Gen. Scott's army, in passing from Fort 
Dearborn to the Mississippi, is about a mile and a half 


south of the grove. The trail was visible when the 
first settlers came, and has always been known as the 
army trail road. The source of the east branch of the 
Du Page river is from low land about half a mile 
south of the grove. The west branch rises in a slough, 
a few rods in width, situated near the north east corner 
of the town of Wayne. The town is well watered by 
springs and small streams, it having but one stream 
of any size. - A branch of Salt creek runs in an 
easterly direction through the town, uniting with the 
main branch at Duncklee's grove, in the town of 
Addison. This stream furnishes water power at some 
seasons, and a saw mill has been erected upon it. 

The village of Bloomingdale contains about thirty 
dwelling houses, one hotel, 5 factories, 2 stores, and 
three churches. The Baptist society was organized 
in March, 1841, through the instrumentality of Rev. 
Joel Wheeler and Rev. A. W. Button. There were 
at first seventeen members, among whom were Noah 
Stevens, Ephraim Kettle, Asa Dudley, F. R. Stevens, 
Orange Kent, J. D. Kinne, Philo Nobles, Silas Farr, 
and William Farr. 

For several years the society was without a settled 
minister, during which time preaching was sustained 
by Rev. Joel Wheeler, Rev. A. W. Button, Rev. Mr. 
Smith, Rev. Mr. Edwards, and Rev. Mr. Dickens. 
The first settled minister was Rev. P. Taylor, who 
became pastor of the church in 1848, and continued 
until 1855. He was succeeded by Rev. J. II. Worrell, 
the present pastor, in 1855. 

There have been 204 members of this church since 
its organization. Seventy-eight have been dismissed, 


and four only have died during their membership. 
The Society now numbers 126 resident members. 
There is a Sabbath school of 40 scholars connected 
with this church, having a library of 450 volumes. 
The present house of worship was built in 1848. 

The Congregational Church was organized in Au- 
gust, 1840, by Rev. D. Rockwell, assisted by Rev. F. 
Bascomb. "W". Dodge, A. Buck, Elijah Hough, A. 
Hills, E. Thayer, C. H. Meacham, and J. P. Yalding, 
were among the first members. Rev. D. Rockwell 
was ordained in 1840, and continued as pastor until 
1842. The following are the names of pastors since 
that time : 

1842 Rev. L.Parker. 1850 Rev. N. Shapley. 

1843 " H. Colton. 1851 " L.Parker. 

1844 " B.W.Reynolds. 1854 " D. Chapman. [tor. 
1846 " L.Parker. 1855 " H. Judd, present pas- 
There have been 203 members in all, of whom 

eleven have died during their membership. There 
are now 93 resident members. The Sabbath school 
has about 50 scholars, and a library of 300 volumes. 
The church of this Society was built in 1851, and 
dedicated June 13th, 1852. 

The Methodist Society of this town is in a prosper- 
ous condition, being at present supplied with preachers 
from the ISTaperville circuit. 

There are nine school districts in this town, eight of 
which have school houses. The school fund derived 
from sale of land was $1,028. It is now $1,425. 
There were 325 scholars in attendance during the past 
year. Trustees, Captain E. Kinne, H. Barnes, H. S. 
Hills. Treasurer, S. P. Sedgwick. 


The first town meeting in Bloomingdale was held 
at the school house, in the village, on Tuesday, the 
2d day of April, 1850. We give below the names of 
town officers since the adoption of the township 
organization law : 


1850 Erasmas 0. Hills. 1854 John G. Yearick, 

1851 Erasmas 0. Hills. 1855 Daniel F. Deibert. 

1852 H. B. Hills. 1856 Horace Bafnes. 

1853 Cyrus H. Meacham. 1857 Cyrus H. Meacham. 


1850 Myron C. Dudley. 1854 H. B. Hills. 

1851 Asa W. Spitzer. 1855 H. B. Hills. 

1852 M. C. Dudley. 1856 H. B. Hills. 

1853 M. C. Dudley. 1857 H. B. Hills. 


1850 C . H. Meacham, 1854 S. P. Sedgwick, 

H. Bronson Hills. James Vint. 

1851 Hiram Goodwin: 


1 850 Huet 0. Hills, 1 853 James Vint. 

L. E. Reed. 1854 S. 0. Pepper. 

1851 H. 0. Hills. 1855 S. 0. Pepper. 

1852 J. G. Yearick. 1856 Geo F. Deibert. 


1850 S. H. Dinsmore, 1852 Rowland Rathbun, 

J. H. Kelsey, James Vint, 

James Vint. H. Benjamin, 

1851 D. S. Meacham, 1853 J. Barnes, 

J k Hathorn, R. Rathbun, 

S. C. McDowcl. J. X. Nind. 





1854 L. E. Landon, 1856 Asa Clark, 

J. Barnes, 
J. N. Nind. 
1855 D. F. Deibert, 
Milton Smith, 
B. C. Pendleton. 

Berlin Godfrey, 
J. A. Kelsey. 
1857 J. V. McGraw, 
Alfred Rich, 
Pierce Driscol. 

1850 Jonathan Barnes. 1854 Asa Dudley. 

1851 H. H. Coe. 
1852 C. H. Meacham. 
1853 H. Benjamin. 

1855 D. S. McGraw. 

1856 Milton Smith. 
1857 W. K. Patrick. 


1850 L. E. Landon. 1854 Allen Hills. 

1851 Calvin Muzzy. 1855 Allen Hills. 

1852 H. Meacham. 1856 Levi H. Kinnc. 

1853 Allen Hills. 1857 Levi H. Kinne. 


1850 H. 0. Hills. 
1851 H. 0. Hills. 

1852 J. G. Yearick. 

1853 James Vint. 

1854 S. 0. Pepper. 

1855 S. 0. Pepper. 

1856 Asa Dudley. 

1857 Asa Dudley. 



THE settlement of this town began in 1834. - The 
first inhabitants were Ebenezer Duncklee and Heze- 
kiali Duncklee, from Hillsborongh, N. H., and Mason 
Smith, from Potsdam, N. Y. They left Potsdam on 
the 13th of August, 1833, and arrived at Chicago on 
the 3d of September, traveling by land across Michi- 
gan and Northern Indiana. Leaving Chicago on the 
8th of September, they followed the trail of Gen. 
Scott's army, which had preceded them, to the Des 
Plaines river, where they camped for the night, near 
a party of 300 Indians. On the following day, they 
proceeded along the trail as far as the south line of 
Addison. Here they found a grave, which was sup- 
posed to be that of a soldier in Gen. Scott's army. 
The grave was on the west bank of Salt creek. On the 
opposite bank, near what is now called Grey's grove, 
were the remains of the army encampment. Some of 
the tent posts were still standing. Upon examination, 
it \\ as found that the waters of the creek were not salt, 
as they had supposed. The stream received its name 
from this circumstance : A hoosier team, loaded 
with salt, became " stalled" while fording it, and the 
driver was obliged to lighten his load by rolling 
several barrels into the water. The party left the 
creek at 5 o'clock, and pursued the trail. Soon after 
dark they discovered a light, which seemed at no 
great distance. One of the company set out in ad- 
vance, hoping to reach it, but after making a circuit 
through the tall prairie grass, he came upon his com- 
rades near the place from which lie started and the 


party camped for the 'night among the prairie grass 
and flowers. Their slumbers were somewhat disturbed 
by the prairie wolves, which howled most hideously 
about them during a greater part of the night ; but 
wearied by their long marches, they rested full as 
well as could be expected under the circumstances. 
On the following day they reached Meacham's grove, 
where they found three settlers by the name of 
Meacham. Here they obtained some instruction in 
the arts of border life. They learned how to make 
their claims, how to construct cabins, and how to 
manufacture their beds. From this place they pro- 
ceeded to Elk grove, and thence along the west bank 
of Salt creek to Duncklee's grove, and camped for 
1he night on the spot where the house of H. D. Fisher 
now stands. 

On the 12th day of September tliey took a northern 
direction through the timber, and made their claims 
near the north end of the grove. The timber claims 
were made by marking trees, and the prairie claims 
by plowing a furrow entirely around each. Imme- 
diate preparations were made for the erection of a 
house. The ground was leveled with a hoe, and 
prairie grass, which was cut with an ax, was spread 
upon it for beds. A tent was made of cotton cloth, 
and here they lived for half a month, until their cabin 
could be completed. The sides of the new cabin 
were formed of logs, drawn together by the pony 
an important member of the company, of whom honor- 
able mention is hereafter made the floor was formed 
of split logs, and the roof of oak shingles. The family 
of E. Duncklee arrived in August, 1834. The 18th 
day of June, 1835, was the date of the birth of the 


first white child in the town. Three barrels of frozen 
apples were planted by Mr. Duncklee in the spring of 
1836, from which nearly all the region has been sup- 
plied with fruit trees. He sold from his own orchard, 
in 1855, upward of $600 worth of fruit. There is a 
cotton-wood tree standing in his yard which sprang 
from seed sown in 1837, and measures five feet two 
inches in circumference, at a height of fourteen inches 
from the ground. 

The following table gives the names of the early 
settlers, the date of settlement, and the state or coun- 
try from which they emigrated : 





N. H. 



E. Duncklee 





C Fisher . 





N; Y. 











B. Kaler 



N. Y. 

D. Gray 



F. Gray 


H. D. Fisher 





F. Smith 



T. Thomson 



Lewis Smith 


H. Rotermund 



F. Kragie 


F. Stainkle 





S. D. Pierce 

N. Y. 

C. W. Martin 



W. Boske 



B. F, Fillmore 



Edwin Pierce 


N. Y. 


This is strictly an agricultural town. The first at- 
tempt at farming, of which the writer has any account, 
was in the fall of 1834. Mason Smith and Hezekiah 
Duncklee cut and stacked a few tons of hay near Salt 
creek, to keep a small pony, which was their joint 
possession, and which had brought them all the way 
from Detroit. Their stack was completed after several 
days' hard labor, and they were advised to burn the 
grass for several rods around it, in order to protect it 
from the annual fires set by the Indians. Being un- 
acquainted with the business, they set the fire too 
near, and not only burned up the grass about it, but 
the whole stack was consumed, leaving the pony des- 
titute of a winter's allowance. Winter came on, and 
having no hay, they turned him into the grove, where 
he lived and prospered until the opening of spring. 
The land in this town came into market in 18-42, hav- 
ing been surveyed the previous year. "When the first 
settlers came into the town, the land being unsurveyed, 
each made what was termed a claim, by staking or 
surrounding with a furrow as much land as he thought 
he would be able to pay for, when it should come into 
market. The usual quantity claimed was 160 acres; 
some, however, claimed more, and some less than that 
amount. There were some conflicting claims ; but 
these difficulties were generally settled when the land 
was sold, by the one having the largest portion of the 
disputed claim buying the whole, and then re-deeding 
to each holder his proportion. In this way all obtain- 
ed their lands as claimed, without regard to govern- 
ment lines. There are tliree groves of thrifty growing 
timber in this town. Duncklee's grove lies on the 
east bank and alone: the Salt creek. It is about three 


miles in length, and half a mile in width. Grey's 
grove lies also on the east branch of Salt creek, and 
contains about 100 acres. Kaler's grove, though 
smaller, affords considerable fuel and timber. 

The balance of the lands of this town is chiefly 
flat prairie. The soil is from two to two and one-half 
feet in depth, with a subsoil of clay. It produces good 
spring wheat, oats, corn, potatoes, etc. Winter wheat 
generally kills out in the spring, by alternate freezing 
and thawing. The greater part of the hay is made 
from prairie grass, which grows luxuriantly on the 
creek bottoms, and on the low ground. Clover, timo- 
thy and herdsgrass do well, but require manure to 
neutralize the alkalies in the land. The lands produce 
an average of about twenty bushels of spring w r heat, 
forty bushels of oats, forty bushels of corn, and one 
hundred bushels of potatoes to the acre. 

The price of farms in this town varies according to 
their improvement. The minimum value is $25 per 
acre, and the maximum $50. 

The school section of this town sold for $800, which 
has been increased, by addition of interest from time 
to time, to $1,300. There are eight school districts in 
the town, six of which are provided with good school 
buildings. There are three German schools taught. 
Henry Bartling is the post master in the south part of 
the town, and S. D. Pierce at Sagone, in the north 
part. There are three churches, two establishments 
for the manufacture of brick, one grist mill, one car- 
riage shop, one cabinet shop, four stores, two boot and 
shoe shops, and two blacksmith shops in the town. 
The Lutherans have a large society, and worship in a 


house built for their own accommodation. The 
present pastor is Rev. E. A. Brauer. 

The German Methodist society of this town . is also 
large. It has a house of worship, and the pulpit is 
regularly supplied by a settled pastor. The present 
pastor of this church is Rev. U. Macklin. 

This town has been visited with several violent and 
destructive storms within a few years past, the effects 
of which were also experienced in other parts of the 
county, and through the kindness of Mr. M. L. Dunlap, 
Esq., we are enabled to place some account of them 
before oiir readers. The following communication was 
published uTthe Chicago Democrat, of June 13, 1847 : 


" This part of the country was yesterday visited with 
one of the severest storms of rain and hail that I have 
ever witnessed the country is completely inundated. 
The morning was cloudy, with wind from the south, 
occasionally shifting to the southwest ; during the 
forenoon, the clouds gave the appearance of good 
weather. At 7 A. M. the barometer stood at 29.50 
inches, and thermometer at 68. At 12 o'clock the 
latter had risen to 77o, and the former had fallen to 
28.40 inches. At this time a thunder shower was roll- 
ing up its black masses from the northwest, and at 1 
o'clock it burst upon us with full force, attended with 
large quantities of hail of icy firmness. The mass of 
hail stones would average three-eights of an inch in 
diameter, while many specimens picked up measured 
over one and a half inches in circumference. 

Several lighter showers followed, with wind from 


the southeast ; and at 4 o'clock a heavy shower pre- 
sented itself in the north, extending itself south and 
east, with wind from the east. In a few minutes the 
wind suddenly shifted to the north, when the rain 
commenced falling in torrents, completely shutting out 
the view. The rain partially abated, when the hail 
commenced pouring down at a fearful rate, the average 
size of the hail stones being half an inch in diameter, 
while many of them would measure over three inches 
in circumference, being an aggregation of hail stones 
cemented together perfect ragged lumps of ice. The 
barometer fell to 28.30 inches, and thermometer to 59; 
after the storm the latter rose to 6T C , and the former 
to 28.40 inches. There was but little wind during the 
falling of the hail. 

This morning the houses, gardens and fields were a 
dismal sight. Nearly all the glass is out of the win- 
dows on the north sides of the houses, the young fruit 
is stripped from the trees, buds and grafts of this year's 
growth are broken off, and the field crops are more 
than half destroyed. The damage to our farms in this 
part of the county will be severely felt." Here is 
another dated July 15th, 1854. 


" "We turn aside from our usual articles on culture, 
to record one of the most destructive hail storms 
within our knowledge. It occurred about 5 o'clock 
P. M., Thursday, the 13th instant. Commencing in 
the town of JBloomingdale, Du PAGE County, and 
passing through Addison in the same county, thence 
into Cook county through the north part of Leyden, 


the south part of Elk grove and Maine, thence through 
Xiles to the lake. Its track of greatest destruction 
was about a mile in width, though the hail fell in tor- 
rents, doing more or less damage for a mile on each 
side of this line. The entire crops of grain and po- 
tatoes are completely broken down and ruined ; the 
grass has fared little better, being badly injured and 
much of it not worth cutting. The corn is completely 
stripped of its leaves, and mostly broken off near the 
ground. Fruit and shade trees are nearly defoliated, 
badly bruised, and in many cases large stripes of bark 
knocked off. At the house of I. Knowles. in Addison, 
a pile of hail stones accumulated in an angle of the 
building three feet deep, and at 5 o'clock next day, 
hail stones were measured from this pile from three 
to five inches in circumference. The trees on this 
farm are mostly stripped of their bark. 

All the windows on the south .and west sides of the 
houses had the glass broken. Cattle ran bellowing 
through the fields horses broke from their fastenings 
and ran with whatever was fast to them. The ten 
minutes the hail was falling, were of fearful grandeur, 
alarm and rapid destruction. The dark mass of cloud 
streaked with the lurid lightning the roaring of the 
hail like the pouring out of a thousand torrents might 
well inspire terror and dismay. In a few short min- 
utes the hopes of the husbandman were gone ; the 
broad ears of beautiful waving grain fast ripening for 
the reaper, and which were destined to feed and clothe 
those he held most dear, were utterly ruined and pros- 
trated before him. Think you, gentle reader, that no 
tears coursed down the sun-burnt cheeks of those 


hardy sons of toil, to see their cherished hopes thus 
swept away, themselves, teams and farm implements 
turned out nearly idle for the remainder of the season ; 
and the hopes of their families resting on their daily 
labor, or the prospect of a mortgage to carry them 
forward to another harvest ? We know the heart of 
the farmer is large, and ever open to relieve the un- 
fortunate, and in this case we feel assured that those 
in the immediate vicinity will extend a helping hand 
in the way of grass, grain, and labor, not forgetting 
those garden vegetables so desirable to the health and 
comfort of a family. 

Yesterday we passed over a small portion of the 
unfortunate tract, and made some figures of the loss, 
but these embrace only a small portion, and do not 
include all within the distance passed over, as we pre- 
fer to omit the estimate rather than take them from 
hearsay. In this estimate we have taken, the probable 
amount of grain, etc., at its market price, after deduct- 
ing the cost of harvesting and marketing. It is prob- 
ably much below the ultimate loss in deranging farm 
operations, and the extra expense of procuring hay 
and grain for farm use : 

Wm. Richardson, $600 M. Millner, $500 

D. Lester, 600 Mr. Millner, 350 

C. Heimsoth, 200 J. & J. Baker, 450 

Mr. Bettings, 250 J. Knowls, 600 

J. H. Ehle, 400 T. D. Pierce, 500 

S. D. Pierce, 900 Messrs. Chesman, 400 

A. Ingals, 800 Messrs. Lock, 100 

A. Tupp, 100 L. Gary 300 

Mr. Ohlerking, 800 Mrs. Going, 500 

P. Turner, 600 B. F. Fillmore, 200 

D. S. Dunning, 400 C. W. Martin, 300 


C. Schwitzer, .............. 300 G. Landmair, .............. 300 

F. Teduka, ....... ......... 400 H. Hadkin, ................ 200 

Dr. E. Smith, .......... ____ 200 J. Fennemore, ............. 900 

Lewis Lester, .............. 100 T. B. Cochran, .......... ____ 600 

D. Clark, jr., .............. 500 

This list, imperfect as it is, shows a large loss for a 
small neighborhood in a rural district, and nearly all 
within the delivery of the Sagone post office, in the 
town of Addison. The south margin of the storm 
passed over Dunlap's nursery, in the town of Leyden, 
injuring the young grafts and knocking oif fruit from 
the specimen grounds, which is to be regretted, as many 
varieties were fruiting for the first time, by which their 
correctness of nomenclature would have been decided. 
Such large quantities of decaying vegetable matter, 
now sweltering in a summer sun, cannot have otherwise 
than a deleterious effect on the health of families 
residing on this track of desolation." 

Under the township organization law, the first town 
election took place in Addison, in April, 1850. The 

following list includes the names of town officers since 
that time : 


1850 S. D. Pierce. 1854 J. Wakeman. 

1851 P. Northrop. 1855 H. D. Fisher. 

1852 J. Pierce. 1856 " 
1853 E. Lester. 1857 " 


I860 P. Northrop. 1854 B. F. Fillmore. 

1851 B. F. Fillmore. 1855 " 

1852 " 1856 " 

1853 " 1 857 H. Bartling. 



1850 H. Rotermund. 1854 S. D. Pierce. 

1851 " 1855 N. Sadler. 

1852 L. Barnum. 1856 J. A. Kinne. 

1853 S. D. Pierce. 1857 S. D. Pierce. 


1850 W. Rotermund, 1854 S. D. Pierce. 

" S. D. Pierce. 1855 L. Rust, 

1851 ." " J. Pierce. 

1852 " 1856 " 

1853 " 1857 G. Schneider. 


1850 W. Rotermund. 1854 L. Rotermund. 

1851 " 1855 L. Rust. 

1852 T.E. Lester. 1856 " 

1853 L. Rotermund. 1857 T. Smith. 


1 850 S. D. Pierce, H. D. Fisher. 

Peter Northrup. 1854 " 

1851 " 1855 " 

1852 " 1856 " 
1853 S. D. Pierce, 1857 " 



THIS town was settled in 1832 by Erastus and Jude 
P. Gary. They came in just after the close of the 
Black Hawk war, and settled in the east part of the 
town. Among the settlers of 1834 were Messrs. M. 
Griswold, J. M. "Warren, J. S. P. Lord, A. Churchill, 
Alvah Fowler, Ira Herrick, and Ezra Galusha. The 
town is six miles square ; is well supplied with wood 
and timber ; is watered by the Du Page and several 
smaller streams ; has a productive soil and healthy 
climate ; and is now rapidly increasing in wealth and 

There are in the town three pleasant villages, three 
churches, one academy, one grist mill, two saw mills, 
twelve stores, ten factories, three post offices, two rail- 
road stations, and a population of about 1,600. 

Of the three villages Warrenville, Winfield and 
Turner Warrenville was first settled. The first 
house was built by Col. J. M. Warren in 1834. There 
are now in the village a Baptist church, an incorpo- 
rated academy, a grist mill, a saw mill, three black- 
smith shops, two dry goods stores, one drug store, a 
post office, two wagon shops, a hotel, and about 250 
inhabitants. The village is pleasantly situated on the 
west fork of the Du Page river, three miles from 
Winfield station, on the G. & C. U. railroad. 

The first efforts toward establishing a religious or- 
ganization in Winfield were commenced at this place 
by a few members of the Du Page Baptist church, as 


early as 1834. February 4th, 1836, preparatory mea- 
sures were taken to organize a society. At a meeting 
held at that time, after some discussion, the following 
preamble and resolutions were adopted : " Whereas, 
in the providence of God, we are located in this part 
of God's moral vineyard, and at a considerable dis- 
tance from our mother church, or any other church of 
the same faith and order : Resolved, That we organize 
ourselves into a regular Baptist church, to be located 
at Warren ville, and to be called the Second Du Page 
Baptist church : Resolved, That we send letters to 
sister churches, inviting them to send their pastors 
and deacons, for the purpose of giving us fellowship 
as a sister church." 

On the 23d of February the society met at "Warren- 
ville for the purpose of organizing, and the following 
churches were represented : First Baptist church of 
Chicago, by Elder J. T. Ilinton and Deacon Jonson ; 
First Church of Du Page, by Elder A. B. Hubbard 
and Judge Wilson. 

The council was duly organized by the appointment 
of Judge "Wilson moderator, and A. E. Carpenter 
scribe. The articles of faith, and practice and coven- 
ant, were then presented to the council, with the 
names of the members proposing to be recognized. 
Sixteen members were present, and it was resolved by 
the council : " That we recognize these members as a 
regular Baptist church." The services of recognition 
then took place. A sermon was preached by Elder 
J. T. Ilinton, and the right hand of fellowship was 
given and a prayer offered by Elder Hubbard. The 
following are the names of the members recognized : 


A. E. Carpenter, Sarali Carpenter, Manus Griswold, 
Sophia Griswold, Alfred Churchill, Susannah Chur- 
chill, J. S. P. Lord, Mary Lord, Nancy Warren, Phi- 
linda Warren, Joseph Fish. 

Several ministers took a deep interest at an early 
day in this branch of Zion. Among them was Elder 
Ashley, whose name is embalmed in the hearts of the 
pious in this part of the Lord's vineyard. He was 
with this church through several precious revivals, and 
was the means, in the hand of God, of bringing many 
from darkness to light. The first pastor of this society 
was Elder L. B. King. He has been succeeded by 
Elders A. B. Hubbard, Joel "Wheeler, A. J. Joslyn, 

A. Taylor, Joel Wheeler, S. F. Holt, Freeman, 

and H. Westcott, the present pastor, who recently 
came to this state from New Jersey. The society 
worshipped in a private house for some time in its 
early history, there being no school house in or about 
Warrenville, in which to hold its meetings. The first 
school house built here was occupied by the church 
until the old church building was purchased of Col. 
Warren and fitted up for the use of the society. A 
large and handsome church edifice is now in process 
of erection. The corner stone was laid J uly 22d, 1857. 
The ceremonies were conducted by Rev. Dr. Howard 
and Rev. Mr. Boyd, of Chicago ; Rev. Mr. Raymond 
and Rev. Mr. Estee, of Aurora ; Rev. J. H. Worrell, 
of Bloomingdale ; Rev. E. Barker, of Naperville ; and 
Rev. H. Westcott, pastor. The house is 35 feet by 
66, surmounted with a beautiful spire. The cost of 
building, including bell and fixtures, is estimated at 
between four and five thousand dollars. Connected 


with this church are a Sabbath school of fifty scholars, 
and two interesting bible classes. There are now 
belonging to this church fifty members. 

A Presbyterian church was organized in the west 
part of the town in 1836, by Rev. Mr. Clark, mission- 
ary, with seven members. Rev. Washington Wilcox 
commenced preaching at the Big Woods in 1836, and 
continued as their circuit preacher until 1839. In 
June, 1839, the Big Woods church was completed, 
having been built by the united efforts- of the Congre- 
gational, Baptist, and Methodist societies, who have 
occupied it alternately since that time. The Rev. Mr. 
Baxter officiates at this time as the Congregational 
pastor, and Rev. H. Westcott as the Baptist pastor. 
There are at present about eight Baptist members, and 
about the same number of Congregational members. 

From 1836 to 1844, the house of John Warne was 
occupied as a place of worship by the Episcopal Metho- 
dists living on the east side of the Big Woods. That 
branch of the society now worships in the Big Woods 

There is a small settlement at Gary's mill, near the 
centre of the town. The first settler here was Rev. 
Charles Gary, who came in 1837. The saw mill was 
erected in that year. A society of Methodists, seven 
in number, was formed here under the labors 'of Rev. 
W. Wilcox, in 1837, since which time the society has 
been supplied with preachers appointed to labor on 
the Naperville circuit. There are at present twenty 
resident members many of the members residing in 
other towns having withdrawn and formed new classes. 
The Sabbath school of this society was commenced in 


1838. It now numbers 46 scholars, and has a library 
of between two and three hundred volumes. The orig- 
inal members of this society were Angus Ross, 
Elizabeth Ross, Erastus Gary, J. P. Gary, Orinda 
Gary, Samuel Arnold, and Mrs. Arnold. 

There are 10 and 68-100 miles of railroad in this 
town, on which the villages of Winfield, or Fredericks- 
burg, and Turner are situated. The first building at 
"Winfield was erected by John Hodges, in 1849, and 
occupied for several years as the depot of the G. & C. 
U. Railroad. This station is the nearest point on the 
railroad to .Naperville, and hence its freight business 
is large. A greater amount of tonnage is sent from 
this place than from any other station in the county. 
The present station house was built in 1854. There 
are in the place three stores, an extensive lumber 
yard, owned by Mr. John Collins, several manufac- 
tories, and a brewery. 

The following account of the village of Turner has 
been furnished by Dr. J. McConnell, and rather than 
run the risk of marring it by any rude touches of our 
own pen, we insert it verbatim. 

" The village of Turner is situated in a healthy 
region, some thirty miles west of Cliicago. It is the 
centre of a rich and fertile plain, gently undulating, 
and beautifully interspersed with luxuriant groves and 
verdant prairie, with here and there the farmer's home 
rising up as monuments of industry and beacons of 
domestic peace. It is at the junction of four railroads, 
viz. : the Galena & Chicago Union Railroad, running 
from this point to Galena, 111., and Dubuque, Iowa ; 
the Chicago Iowa & Nebraska Railroad, running 


direct to Nebraska, and crossing the Mississippi at Ful- 
ton, 111., and Clinton, Iowa ; and the St. Charles Rail- 
road running to St. Charles. 

The first house within the limits of this village was 
built by Capt. Alonzo Harvey, who bought the claim 
covering the present village site, and during the time 
of his residence in said house, his daughter Lois was 
born, being the first white person born on said grounds. 
But the Captain soon tired of farming, and sold his 
claim. He is now a prominent citizen of Chicago, 
where his daughter Lois, of rare beauty, now at the 
age of sweet sixteen, mingles a welcome guest in the 
first circles of society. 

The government title to said claim was partly 
secured in the name of Wiiislow, and partly in the 
name of Stickney, after which the most of it fell into 
the hands of Hon J. B. Turner, the heirs of Mr. 
Winslow, and Dea. J. McConneU. But no thoughts of 
a village at this point were entertained by any of the 
inhabitants until the Galena & Chicago Union Rail- 
road Company commenced to run a branch of their 
road from this place to Fulton, which branch is now 
the Chicago, Iowa & Nebraska Railroad. In fact, no 
effort to build up a village was attempted till the spring 
of 1856, when Hon. J. B. Turner platted and recorded, 
according to the statutes of the state, some forty acres, 
to which C. "W. "VVinslow, Esq., added twenty acres. 
In the summer following, Deacon J. McConnell made 
an addition of seventy acres of the most desirable 
business and dwellings lots in said town. Since which 
time, there have been sold to actual settlers, about 
thirty lots, some of which have already been built upon, 


and upon others, buildings are now being constructed. 
Within the same time, from a farm adjoining said vil- 
lage (owned by G. "W. Eastman,) have been sold about 
fifteen acres, in lots, ranging from one to two acres, 
for residences, and though our village now numbers 
only about five hundred souls, it is a place of vast 
business energy and active life. 

We have recently had an extensive variety store 
established here, of which Williams & West are the 
proprietors. They sell their extensive stock at Chi- 
cago prices, and are about building an extensive store 
and storehouse on Depot street, extending across to 
the railroad track. W. S. Atchinson is also building 
a large store, for a wholesale and retail boot and shore 

With all our railroad facilities, this is a choice loca- 
tion to "head off large Chicago jobbing houses. Dr. 
Hall is also building a store for the drug business. J. 
McDonald has also a large store and storehouse, and 
deals extensively in dry goods, groceries, hardware 
and agricultural implements. He also pays cash for 
all the farmer has to sell, and to show the increase in 
liis business, I give the following statistics : In 1853, 
when he commenced buying grain, his receipts were 
only 1200 bushels ; in 1854, 3000 bushels ; and in 1855 
they reached over 30,000 bushels ; with a steady 
increase ever since, together with a trade in butter, 
lard, pork and wool, to compare. 

We have also a large and commodious hotel, of 
which Messrs. Alexander & Easterbrooks are the gen- 
tlemanly proprietors ; a country tavern kept by 
Michael Hahn ; a large boarding house of which W 


J. Mo wry is proprietor ; a splendid butcher's shop, 
owned by Win. Updike ; a livery stable, by Crum ; a 
blacksmith shop ; carriage shop ; two grocery and 
provision stores ; one tailor's shop ; a dress maker and 
milliner ; a harness shop ; a boot and shoe store ; and 
eight resident carpenters and joiners. 

The railroad companies make this their general wood 
depot. They also have machine shops ; a T rail re- 
pairing shop, with steam power, etc.. To carry on 
their branch of industry, for officers, agents, mechanics, 
and common laborers, it requires about a hundred men, 
and as about forty trains every twenty-four hours pass 
through this place, it requires four extensive wells 
to fill the tanks of the tenders. The shipments and 
transhipments upon the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy 
Railroad at this place, amount to about a thousand 
tons per month ; of the Galena & Chicago Union 
Railroad to about fifteen hundred tons per month, and 
the Chicago, Iowa & Nebraska Railroad rather less. 

As literary and professional men, we have Rev. R. 
A. "Watkms, Rev. S. "W. Champlain, J. McConnell, 
M. D., and Dr. Hall. 

The best public school house in Du PAGE County 
was built in this village the present summer. In the 
summer of 1856 was organized the "First Congrega- 
tional Church of Turner," and the following named 
officers elected : Deacons, Dr. J. McConnell and "W". 
R. Currier; Clerk, J. L. Hagadone. A few days 
after, a body corporate, with power to hold real 
estate, was formed under the title of "The Congre- 
gational Church and Society of Turner, Illinois," and 
the following board of trustees was elected, viz. : 


Deacon J. McConnell, Deacon "W. E. Currier and 
Milo Hawks, Esq. The Hon. J. B. Turner, in honor 
ef whom the village was named, being present, 
donated to the society a splendid lot for a meeting 
house, and immediate steps were taken to prepare 
the way for erecting a house of worship upon it. The 
Rev. S. "W. Champlain who is now preaching here, 
is the first minister employed by the society. There 
is an interesting Sabbath school in successful opera- 
tion here, of some fifty pupils, and an intelligent bible 
class numbering over twenty. The library contains 
about two hundred volumes." 

Winfield is a well cultivated farming town. The 
aggregate value of real estate in 1856, was $160,329, 
and of personal property $68,007. The town, is 
divided into eight school districts, all of which are 
provided with good school houses. The school sec- 
tion was sold in 1840, at ten shillings per acre, and 
the fund thus derived has- been increased to $1,282. 
The amount paid to teachers in 1857 was $1,126, 
and for building and repairing $1,785. The whole 
number of scholars in attendance during 1857, was 
three hundred and seventy-five. 

A company called -The Winfield Cavalry, was or- 
ganized here in 1855. It has now about forty mem- 
bers. G. N. Roundy, captain ; and F. G. Kimball, 
first lieutenant. 

The first town meeting was held at the house of 
Charles Gary, in April, 1850. The following are the 
names of town officers who have been elected since 
that time: 



1850 William C. Todd. 1854 Charles Gary. 

1851 William C. Todd. 1855 Gurdon Roundy, 

1 852 William C. Todd. 1 856 Truman W. Smith. 

1 853 Charles Gary. 1857 Charles Gary. 


1850 C. L. Shepherd. 1854 B. L. Harlow. 

1851 C. L. Shepherd. 1855 B. L. Harlow. 

1852 L. Reed Warren. 1856 B. L. Harlow. 

1853 B. L. Harlow. 1857 B. L. Harlow. 


1 850 Charles Gary. 1854 William C. Todd. 

1851 Charles Gary. 1855 James Brown. 

1852 A. E. Carpenter. 1856 T. W. Smith. 

1853 A. E. Carpenter. 1857 Charles Gary. 


1850 James Brown, 1854 M.M.Kemp, 

J. A. Smith, John Fairbank, 

Israel Mather. Luther Chandler. 

1 851 James Brown, 1855 Ira Woodman, 

J. A. Smith, Luther. Chandler, 

Isi ael Mather. W. G. Seargent. 

1852 James Brown, 1856 Walter Germain, 

J. A. Smith, E. Manville, 

Israel Mather. W. G. Seargent. 

1853 M. M. Kemp, 1857 Walter Germain, 

John Fairbank, Charles Bradley, 

G. N. Roundy. H. L. Brown. 


1850 A. C. Graves, 1852 A. C. Graves, 

Thomas M. Griswold. S. B. Kimball. 

1 85 1 A. C . Graves, 1 853 A. C. Graves, 

S. B. Kimball. S. B. Kimball. 




1854 A. C. Graves, 

S. B. Kimball. 

1855 S. B. Kimball, 

T. W. Smith. 

1 850 Harvey Higby. 

1851 A. C. Graves. 

1852 A. C. Graves. 

1853 S. B. Kimball. 

1850 Harvy Higby. 
1851 A. C. Graves. 

1852 Joseph Hudson. 

1853 Joseph Hudson. 

1856 S. B. Kimball, 

T. W. Smith. 

1857 Reuben Austin. 


1854 S. B. Kimball. 

1855 S. B. Kimball. 

1856 James Fairbank. 

1857 B. L. Barlow. 


1854 G. N. Roundy. 


1856 Daniel -Wilson. 

1857 James Fairbank. 


1853 Walter Germain. 

1854 Charles Gary, 

B. L. Harlow. 

1855 Charles Gary. 

B. L. Harlow. 

1856 Charles Gary. 

B. L Harlow. 

1857 Charles Gary. 

B. L. Harlow. 



THIS town is in the northwest part of the county. 
It was first settled in May, 1834. The first family 
here was that of John Laughlin. Several families set- 
tled in different parts of the town during 1834 and the 
following year. Among these were Capt. W. Ham- 
mond, R. Benjamin, Ezra Gilbert, J. Y. King, ~W. 
Farnsworth, Jaihes Davis, Mr. Guild, Joseph McMillen, 
Isaac Nash, Daniel Dunham, and Ira Albro. The 
first post-office in the town was at McMillen's Grove. 
Here, also, the first dwelling and the first school-house 
were erected. There were but few settlers in the town 
at the time when the first building was put up, and 
the owners of it anticipated some trouble in procuring 
help at the raising. They however, obviated all dif- 
ficulty on that score by sending for a barrel of whis- 
key, which, with the subordinate services of only three 
men, performed the work in an expeditious and satis- 
factory manner. 

No incidents occurred in the early settlement of 
this town but such as are common to the settlement of 
all new countries. But little more grain was raised 
during the first two years than enough to satisfy the 
demand at home. Prices were extremely low for all 
kinds of produce, and market was a great way off. 
The proceeds of a load of corn taken to Chicago were 
hardly sufficient to defray the expenses of the trip. 
One of the first settlers informs us, however, that he 


did realize three dollars and twelve and a half cents 
from the sale of one load of forty bushels, which he 
took to Chicago in 1836, after using twenty-five cents 
for necessary expenses. There were no difficulties re- 
specting claims in this town, and every claimant re- 
ceived his full quantity of land at the time of the land 

The surface of the town is generally uneven, con- 
sisting of rolling prairie. Wheat, oats, and corn are 
the chief agricultural staples. Probably no town in 
the county is better adapted to the culture of grain. 

Fruit is cultivated to a considerable extent in this 
town, especially the more hardy kinds. Apple trees 
grow well ; but the fruit is rendered an uncertain crop 
On account of the severity of our winters. Frequent 
attempts have been made to raise pears, peaches, 
plums and cherries, without much success. The red 
English cherry, being the most hardy, does better 
than any of its class. Mr. Luther Bartlett, of this 
town, has been more persevering in his efforts to in- 
troduce choice kinds of fruit than any other person in. 
this part of the county. Some four years since he 
procured, at great expense, from eastern nurseries and 
by importation from Europe, about five hundred dwarf 
pear trees, and set them out on his farm. The first 
two years the trees did well, and gave promise of com- 
ing fruitfulriess ; but during the summer of 1856, which 
followed an unusually hard winter, for this latitude, 
they began to exhibit signs of decay. The cold wea- 
ther of the past winter was also unfavorable, and gave 
an impetus to the work of destruction commenced by 
the former season, which has almost desolated the 


field. There are now scarcely a dozen trees living of 
the five hundred planted four years ago. We think 
the experiment of Mr. Bartlett fully determines that 
this region is not adapted to the raising of choice 
kinds of fruit. 

This town is not well supplied with wood and tim- 
ber from its own resources. The " Little Woods," just 
over the line in Kane County, are chiefly owned by 
the inhabitants of this town, and afford convenient 
supplies of both fuel and timber. Good water is 
abundant. The west branch of the Du Page runs 
through the east part of the town. Streams of less 
note and many living springs of pure water are found 
in all parts of the town. 

The attention of the farmers has been of late directed 
to the introduction of " blooded " stock. Wool is be- 
coming an important article among agriculturalists. 
Several large flocks of fine wool sheep are owned 
here, among which is that of Luther Bartlett, which 
has numbered over 1,000. The farms throughout the 
town present unmistakable evidence of thrift and in- 
dustry ; the dwellings display neatness and taste ; and 
the barns are constructed on a scale commensurate 
with the great and growing demands of the harvest 
fields. Mr. Daniel Dunham, of this town, erected a 
barn in 1856, the dimensions of which are fifty by one 
hundred feet. It has sufficient capacity for 100 head 
of cattle and 300 tons of hay. It cost about $4,000, 
and is probably the largest and best arranged barn in 
northern Illinois. Land .in this town is worth from 
$30 to $40 per acre. The farms range from two to 
five hundred acres. Among the best farms in the 


north part of the town are those of Messrs. L. Bartlett, 
W. Hammond, and L. Pierce ; and in the south, those 
of Messrs. D. Dunham and Ira Albro. 

There are seven school districts in the town, in all 
of which schools are sustained. The whole number of 
scholars who attended the different schools during the 
winter of 1857, was 218. The school section was 
mostly occupied by settlers before it came into market, 
and by an agreement among the pioneers of the town, 
that all who chanced to settle upon it should obtain 
their lands at government price, it was sold at ten 
shillings per acre. The school fund thus obtained has 
increased to about $1,300. 

The Congregational Church is the only organized 
religious body in this town. This society was formed 
in 1842, or thereabouts, and worshipped in the school 
house at the centre, until 1849, when it united with 
the school district in erecting a building suitable for a 
church and school-house. From some dissatisfaction 
arising from joint occupancy or ownership, the society 
soon after bought out the interest of the district, and 
became vested with the sole ownership. By the aid of 
the. Home Missionary Society, the pulpit has been 
regularly supplied by a settled minister. The Rev. 
Mr. Foot was the first pastor. After his dismissal, 
the Rev. Mr. Parker became pastor ; and he was suc- 
ceeded by the Rev. Mr. Sykes, the present pastor, who 
lias served the society acceptably for several years. 
The Sabbath school connected with this church has 
between forty and fifty scholars. Several other denom- 
inations hold meet.ings in different parts of the town. 

The first settlement at the Centre, alias , " Gimlet- 


v31e, M .oWj Orangevillc, was made in 1836, by Mr. 
Guild. Mr. A. Guild is the post-master at this place. 
It is a small settlement, containing one church, one 
store, and a few dwelling houses. There is a small 
settlement at the railroad station, consisting of two 
stores, one hotel, a post-office, station house, ( and 
several dwellings. The station is thirty-three miles 
west of Chicago. S. Dunham was the first settler at 
this place. 

There are no manufacturing establishments in the 
town, if we exclude the manufacture of brooms, which 
has been carried on pretty extensively at Wayne 
Centre. The present population is about 1,100. The 
town is peaceable and healthful, being cursed by 
neither lawyers nor doctors. 

We give below a list of town officers, who have 
been elected since the town of Wayne was organized : 

1850 Luther Fierce. 1854 Luther Bartlett. 

1851 " 1855 Luther Pierce. 

1852 " 1 856 Ira Albro. 

1853 Luther Bartlett. "1857 Charles Adam.s. 


I860 Ira Albro. 1854 S. W. Moffatt. 

1851 Charles Smith. 1855 " 

1852 " 1856 J. Q. Adams. 

1853. " 1857 " 


1 850 Charles Smith. 1 854 Ira Green. 

1851 II. Sherman. 1855 W. K. Guild. 

1852 Ira Green. 1850 Joel Wiant. 

1853 Samiu-1 Adams. 1857 Charles Adams. 



1850 S. W. Moffatt. 1854 J. Clisbcc. 

1851 Charles Adams. 1855 C. Adams. 

1852 " 1856 John Glos. 

1853 " 1857 Charles Smith. 


I860 Charles Adams, Myron 1854 A. D. Moffatt, Ira Green, 
Smith, Henry Sherman. D. Dunham. 

1851 Joel Wiant, S. W. Mof- 1855 S. Adams, G. Reed.H.V. 

fatt, L. Bartlett. Sayer. 

1852 D. Sterns, J. Clisbee, J. ^1856 H. V. Sayer, A. Fairbank, 

Wiant. . J. 0. Haviland. 

1853 J. Clisbee, D. L. Whe- 1857 W. H. Moffatt, W. K. 

lock, D. Dunham. Guild, S. Adams. 


1860 E. L. Guild, S. McNitt. 1854 Charles Smith, John Glos. 
1851 E. L. Guild, John Glos. 1855 " " 

1852 " " 1856 " " 

1863 L. F. Sanderson, John 1857 Samuel Adams, Charles 
Glos. Smith. 


1850 D.C. Nash. 1854 S. Adams. 

1851 a Ford. 1855 E. C. Guild. 

1852 " 1856 Geo. Rinehart. 

1853 " 1857 


1860 D. C. Nash. 1854 S. Adams. 

1851 H. Ford. 1855 Geo. Rinehart. 

1852 " 1856 M. J. Hammond. 

1853 Ira Green. 1857 Lvman Flower. 




THE following sketch, as far as quoted, has been 
kindly furnished us by the Hon. Walter Blanchard. 

" Tins town is in the southeast corner of Du PAGE 
County, and embraces nearly one and one third town- 
ships of land. It was first settled in 1832, by Pierce 
Downer (not by Wells and Grant, as stated in our 
table) who emigrated to Illinois from Jefferson county, 
!S r ew York. 

"He was at that time a man of unusual physical 
powers, energetic, and capable of great endurance. 
He is still living at the advanced age of seventy-five 
years, and although his bodily health is somewhat 
impaired, more by the weight of years than by disease, 
yet ' his mind retains the full vigor of youth. His 
habits are temperate, industrious and studious. In 
order to impart a correct understanding of the early 
settlement of this part of the county, it may be as well 
to state that Downer's grove, proper, is a body of tim- 
ber, containing about one section, and lies mostly on 
sections six and seven of township 38. N. of R. 11. E. 
It derived its name from the first settler who made 
his claim in and near it. Subsequently the whole 
township received the same name. Mr. Downer's 
settlement was followed the next year by his son 
Stephen, Mr. Wells and Mr. Cooley. The claim 
made by Mr. Downer was on the north side of the 
grove ; that of his son was on the east side ; and that 


of Messrs. Wells and Cooley was at the southeast 
extremity of the large prairie which stretches away 
some three miles toward the north, five miles toward 
the south, and three miles toward the west. An im- 
portant object of the first settlers was to secure a 
large amount of good timber, hence we find most of 
our pioneers made their claims on the borders of the 
groves and forests. 

" The country about the grove had not then been sur- 
veyed, and the settlers marked their claims in divers 
ways ; some by sticking stakes ; some by plowing a 
furrow around them ; while others, more greedy, 
were like Franklin's philosopher, anxious to grasp 
more than they could hold, and claimed all the eye 
could survey, at one long look, in each direction. 
From this, inordinate development of acquisitiveness, 
many quarrels originated respecting claims. With 
all the broad extent of unoccupied territory around 
them, it would seem impossible that men, in order to 
protect their rights, should have been obliged to make 
a display of squatter sovereignty ; but so it was. The 
first trouble about claims in this town was between 
Mr. Downer and Messrs-Cooley and Wells, and here 
is Mr. Downer's version of the matter. 

" ' I went to Chicago one day to buy some pro- 
visions, and on returning, thought I saw some one 
working near the northeast corner of the grove. I 
went home and deposited my cargo (a back load), 
and although very tired, went out to reconnoitre my 
premises. To my great surprise I found Wells and 
Cooley had commenced erecting a cabin on my claim. 
I went to a thicket close by and cut a hickory gad, 


but found I had no power to use it, for I was so mad 
that it took my strength all away. So I sat down 
and tried to cool off a little, but my excitement only 
cooled from a sort of violent passion to deep and 
downright indignation. To think that my claim 
should be invaded, and that too, by the only two 
white men besides myself then at the grove, made 
the vessel of my wrath to simmer like a pent sea 
over a burning volcano. I could sit still no longer. 
So I got up and advanced towards" them, and the 
nearer I approached the higher rose the temperature 
of my anger, which, by the time I got to them, was 
flush up to the boiling point. I said nothing, but 
pitched into them, shelalah in hand, and for about 
five minutes did pretty good execution. But becom- 
ing exhausted and being no longer able to keep them 
at bay, they grappled with me, threw me on the 
ground, and after holding me down a short time, they 
seemed to come to the conclusion that ' discretion was 
the better part of valor' and let me up, when they 
ran one way and I the other, no doubt leaving blood 
enough upon the field of action to induce a stray 
prairie wolf to stop and take a passing snuff as he 
went that way. But, sir, they did'nt come again to 
jump my claim.' 

" The Grove at an early day was one of the favorite 
camping grounds of an Indian chief of the Potawatto- 
mies, called Waubansie. Here he used to come with 
his warriors and remain for several days together, and 
always continued on the most friendly terms with the 

" The first impression of emigrants to this region was 


that it could never be generally settled on account of 
the scarcity of timber, and up to 1836, only eight or 
ten families had settled at the grove. In 1835, Mr. 
I. P. Blodgett one of the first settlers at the east 
branch in Lisle, sold out his claim there, and bought 
that of Jumper Wells in this town. 

"Mr. Blodgett was a blacksmith by trade, a most 
worthy man and really a great accession to the settle- 
ment, not only as a mechanic, but as a correct and 
upright man. He was formerly from Massachusetts, 
and possessed New England habits of -industry, morals 
and economy, which did much for the improvement 
of society in the new settlement. Here Mr. Blodgett 
built a shop, and, at that time, made the best plows 
to be found in the country. We would not be under- 
stood to mean by this remark that they were better 
than the modern productions of Messrs. Yaughan and 
Feck, but those who know the difficulties which were 
encountered before the scouring plows were intro- 
duced, can properly appreciate the good qualities of 
the plows made by Mr. Blodgett. It is true that the 
operation was something like plowing with a hemlock 
limb, yet they were the best plows we had, and so we 
used them. To one who has never held a plow that 
would not scour, all this may be uninteresting, but 
ask an old settler, What would be the severest test of 
human endurance ? and he will no doubt answer, 
'Being obliged to use a plow that will not clear 
itself.' If a man can do that guiltless of profanity 
he is unquestionably an upright person. 

" Of the second class of settlers who came in between 
1836 and 1839, may be named, Asa Carpenter, Dexter 


Stanley, Levi C. Aldrich, Garry Smith, Samuel Cur- 
tis, J. K. Adams, David Page, Henry Carpenter, 
Walter Blancliard, J. "W. Walker and Horace Aldrich. 
The county at this time was being settled very fast by 
new comers, and the interests of the settlers began to 
clash. The claims extended around the entire grove. 
'No questions arose respecting prairie claims, for it was 
the timber that all were after. Mr. Horace Aldrich 
had come in from Jefferson comity, New York, and 
Mr. Downer had selected a claim of timber and prairie 
for him. It was not long before he discovered that 
Asa Carpenter was intruding (we dare not say tres- 
passing) upon his timber claim. Mr. Carpenter was 
cutting timber for fencing, and swore he would persist 
in doing so, for he had as good a right there as any 
other man. The neighbors advised with him, but it 
was of no use. They remonstrated, but the effect was 
the same. They finally threatened, but this only made 
the old man swear like the army in Flanders. The 
neighbors then held a consultation among themselves, 
and decided to apply squatter sovereignty to the old 
man's case. Accordingly they met at a stated time, 
and went to the place where they found him busily 
engaged getting out rails. They requested him to 
leave the claim, but the old man swore positively that 
he would do no such thing. One of the settlers pro- 
ceeded to cut a long hickory gad, and the powerful 
hand that had wielded the same persuasive argument 
on a former occasion, was again called into requisition. 
After about a dozen blows had been industriously 
applied to his back and legs, Carpenter proposed a 
brief cessation of hostilities, that he might argue the 

180 II I S T O K Y OF 

question with them. - The request was complied with, 
but the conversation soon waxed warm, and the hick- 
ory was again applied with redoubled vigor. This 
was too much for poor human nature to bear, and 
Carpenter, putting every power of pedestrianism which 
he had, in operation, left the crowd without even thank- 
ing them for this first practical lesson in squatter sov- 

" This effectually settled the claim difficulty, al- 
though some legal proceedings grew out of the affair. 

" These were the only instances where personal vio- 
lence was employed to settle claim feuds. Claim pro- 
tecting societies were formed similar to those already 
noticed in another part of this book ; agreements were 
entered into to deed and re-deed, and when the lands 
were surveyed and came into market, each settler 
received all he had justly claimed. 

" The first school in this town was started in 1839, 
and taught by Norman G. Hurd. It was kept in the 
back part of a log house, owned by Mr. Samuel Curtis. 
This was a private enterprise, and by shifting from one 
old building to another, the school was kept going from 
five to six months during the year, for some four years. 

" In 1844 a school-house -was built, and is yet occu- 
pied by the district. For a full description of this 
building we refer the reader to a report of Rev. Hope 
Brown, while commissioner, by which its reputation 
suffered some, but since the Reverend gentleman has 
left the county, the old house stands fair. 

" What has been said relates more particularly to the 
settlement of Downer's grove proper, than to the town- 
ship of that name, for the reason that all, excepting 


live or six sections of the township, was upon the old 
Indian survey, and not subject to the difficulties which 
attended the settlement of the unsurveyed portion of it. 

" It may be said, and truthfully, that, in a moral and 
physical point of view, the inhabitants of this town- 
ship stand on high vantage ground ; and yet they claim 
to be no better, and no smarter than their neighbors. 
In concluding our chapter on this town, we propose to 
sketch some of the incidents and practices, more com- 
mon at an early day than now. 

" Until within a few years, this part of the county 
was infested with wolves, which were a source of great 
annoyance to the whole community. The fanners, 
however, were the principal sufterers by their depre- 
dations; for sometimes whole flocks were destroyed 
and scattered by them in a single nigftt. To rid the 
country of these mischievous animals, it was the cus- 
tom for all who were able to " bear arms," to rally 
once every year for a wolf hunt, which was usually a 
scene of much amusement, and oftentimes of the 
most intense excitement. These expeditions were con- 
ducted in various ways. The general hunt, which was 
perhaps the most common, was conducted upon the 
following plan : 

" Notice of the time of starting, the extent of coun- 
try to be traveled over, and of the place of meeting, 
which was usually at the common centre of the circle 
of territory to be traversed, was first given to all the 
participants in the hunt. At an early hour on the 
morning of the day appointed, the hunters assembled 
and chose a captain for each company, whose duty it was 
to station members of the company at short intervals 

182 JI I 8 T O R Y OF 

upon the circumference of the circle alluded to, and 
then the game was completely surrounded. At a given 
time the line of hunters began their march, and when 
they had approached near enough to the centre to close 
in and form a solid line, they halted and remained sta- 
tionary, while the captains advanced with their sharp 
shooters to ascertain whether any game had been sur- 
rounded. If an unlucky wolf or deer had been drawn 
into the snare, upon making his appearance before the 
lines, he was sure to be riddled by rifle balls. We 
have been informed by one who frequently participated 
in hunts of this kind, that he had known of sixty 
wolves and as many deer being killed in one day. This 
mode of hunting the deer seemed altogether too cruel 
and cowardly in the eyes of some, but no scruples 
were entertained in thus exterminating the mischiev- 
ous, thieving wolves. To' see the harmless deer penned 
up with no chance of escaping, darting about bewil- 
dered, with eyes almost starting from their sockets, and 
then to see them slaughtered in the manner described, 
appeared cruel in the extreme. The mode of hunting 
wolves adopted by the settlers at Downer's grove, was 
different from that described, and obviated the appear- 
ance of cruelty in slaying the deer. 

" The wolf hunt was a source of amusement in this 
town for years, and whenever a wolf dared to show 
his head above the prairie grass, the boys were in- 
stantly in pursuit of him. The pursuers usually went 
on horseback, carrying in the hand a short club, and 
the captain of the company was the one who had the 
swiftest horse. The plan of action was to spread out 
in every direction and scour the prairie until the game 


was started, when by a peculiar yell, tlie whole com- 
pany was called together and the chase commenced. 
Every horse was now put to his utmost speed, and 
with his rider, would go flying over the prairie like 
the wind. It is utterly impossible to describe the wild 
excitement that attended the wolf chase. Generally 
a race of from three to five miles would bring Mr. 
Wolf down ; then, the day's sport would be ended, 
and the party would return hdme in a sort of triumphal 
procession, bearing the fallen hero. Such reckless, 
headlong riding was attended with much hazard, and 
although no serious accident ever happened to the 
riders, yet it is surmised that the horses might have 
suffered from ring-bones and spavins induced by undue 

" At one of the last of these hunts a circumstance 
occurred which may be classed with the serio-comic, as 
it at first assumed a serious phase, and then, as circum- 
stances changed, became thoroughly ludicrous. On a 
cold, blustering morning in January, 1846, the hoys 
(men) started out for a hunt. Wolves were becoming 
scarce, and the party wandered off some five or six 
miles, to the north of what was then known as the 
Duzenberry claim. The new settlers had commenced 
fencing their lands, and at several places before coming 
to this claim the party had been obliged to dismount 
and remove the obstruction, but here they found a 
ditch fence, which terminated at a great distance on 
the open prairie, and was built upon the supposition 
that the cattle could not, or would not go around it, 
consequently there was no fence on the back side. 

" The snow had drifted very deep on the side of this 


fence opposite to the party, and although their horses 
had been trained to jumping, yet an attempt to leap 
it would only land both horse and rider floundering 
in a deep snow bank. 

" "While holding a consultation to decide upon some 
method of surmounting the barrier, a wolf started 
from a thicket and crossed the path only a few rods 
from them. Every man instantly wheeled into line, 
and as quick as thought darted on after the affrighted 
animal. In the language of one of the company, 'the 
wolf was a large, gaunt old chap, and promised -to 
give us a long pull and a strong pull.' Gard had 
a fine smart little pony, that would run like the wind, 
and he led the company. The chase led us far out 
into the prairie, and before long we found ourselves 
running inside of the fences on the Duzenberry claim, 
in a southerly direction, and would soon have to clear 
one of the ditch fences. There were fifteen horsemen 
spread out in a line, every man plying the whip and 
spur, and every horse at the top of his speed. We 
came to the fence, which the wolf cleared about two 
rods in advance of Gard, and as he came up, his horse 
seeming to partake of the general excitement, made a 
bold leap, clearing the ditch fence in fine style ; 
but unfortunately landing in a snow bank, the horse 
stumbled and fell, plunging entirely out of sight at 
the same time throwing Gard over his head and bury- 
ing him beneath the snow. To the party in the rear 
it appeared as though the earth had swallowed up 
both horse and rider, as the fence and snow partially 
concealed the scene from their view. Not a rider at- 
tempted to check the headlong speed of his horse until 


he had cleared the fence. Some of the foremost horses 
made a second leap, which carried them completely 
over the prostrate horse of the first rider. The first 
thought was for Gard. The general exclamation was, 
' lie is dead !' and an awful gloom sat upon the 
countenance of all. While thus solemnly ruminating 
upon his almost inevitable fate, the party were not a 
little astounded at beholding him rise, Phoenix like, 
from his bed of snow, among the floundering horses. 
Among the company was Alden Stanley, a noble, fine 
fellow, (alas ! he has gone to his long home,) who was 
standing by, very much excited. He wore a buffalo 
coat, made* like a frock, cut off at the knees. Soon 
after Gard came out of the snow, his horse, for the first 
time, suddenly made his appearance, and seemed very 
much irightened. The first thing that attracted his 
attention was Stanley's buffalo coat, and wheeling, he 
kicked at it like a flash of lightning, carrying away 
one entire skirt. At this juncture the wolf was dis- 
covered about a mile distant, standing upon an eleva- 
tion and looking back over his shoulder. . Taking it 
all in all, this was one of the most laughable farces I 
ever witnessed, passing, as it did, from one extreme of 
feeling to another, and so suddenly too, that none 
knew whether to laugh or cry until we were just 
ready to remount and resume the chase, when it was 
first discovered by Stanley that he had lost one ol his 
coat skirts. The attention of the company was drawn 
to the fact by Stanley's remarking that some of his 
comrades had dressed their sheep skin ; and this 
brought down the house with a loud roar. After 
mounting their horses, the company started again, 


jehu-like, in pursuit of the wolf; and within five 
minutes from the time of the new start Jtfr. Wolf had 
surrendered unconditionally to superior force. I think 
the wolves even, were superstitious about the Downer's 
Grove boys, and made it a practice to give up at once 
when they were on their track. Many of the boys are 
still living, and reside at or near the grove. Of these 
may be mentioned Hon. W. Blanchard, D. C. Stanley, 
John Stanley, L. Stanley, Emerson Stanley, Charles 
Curtis, E. E. Downer. Ah, when we come to call 
the roll, there are more missing than we thought for. 
And now where are they ? "Well, the Adamses are in 
California, the Curtises are at Wheaton, Henry Blod- 
gett is an attorney at Waukegan, Israel Elodgett is in 
California, Daniel has gone to his last resting place, 
Asel is in railroad business, and and in fact, there 
are not as many left as I thought there were ; but there 
are yet enough to get up a good game of ball now and 

There are four societies of Protestants and one of 
Catholics in the town. The Methodist Episcopal so- 
ciety was the first to establish preaching at the Grove, 
which was as early as 1839. Father Ged, as he was 
called an itinerant preacher of that denomination 
used to come across the prairies on foot from Barber's 
Corners, with undeviating regularity, to preach to the 
people here. The adverse changes of the weather 
made no difference with him ; and wherever he had 
an appointment he was sure to meet it, in spite of heat 
or cold, wind or rain. Nothing but a sincere desire 
to do good could have induced him to undergo, volun- 
tarily, the hardships to which his itinerancy subjected 


him. He succeeded in forming a small society at the 
Grove, where preaching has been regularly sustained ; 
and the infant church has grown to be quite numerous. 
This society has a good meeting house, which was 
built in 1852. We give some statistics relating to this 
church. The society was regularly organized in June, 
1851, by Rev. Mr. Grundy, with the following named 
members : J. P. Cotes, Mary 0. Cotes, Nancy E. 
Cotes, Norman G. Hurd, 'Antoinette Hnrd, Eliza 
Bakeinan, Anne Page, Lester Hunt, and Dorcas 


Rev. Stephen R. Beggs, served one year. 
Rev. S. Stover, served two years. 
Rev. H. S. Trumbull, served two years. 
Rev. S. Washburn, present pastor. 

Hie whole number of members on record is thirty- 
six. The number of Sabbath school scholars is eighty- 
five; and the number of volumes in the library is 
three hundred. 

The Methodists have another society and church in 
that division of the south part of this township called 
Cass. The first effort towards organizing the church 
at Cass, was made by the Rev. Elihu Springer, in 

The following are the names of the subsequent pas- 
tors, as near as ascertained : 

Rev. Mr. Blackwell, Rev. Mr. Jenks, 

1 Wilder, 
" Martin, 
John Xason, 
0. A. Walker, 
Nathan Jewett, 
J. M. Hiuman, 

S Stover, 
L. R. Ellis, 
J. R. Wood, 
George Reack, 
W. A. Chambers, 
John Grundy, 

188 II I S T O K Y O F 

Rev. M. Hanna, Rev. H. S. Trumbull, 

" S. Stover, " S. Washburn, present pastor. 

" -Mr. Wilcox, " J W. Agard, Presiding Elder. 

The original members of this church were Hart L. 
Cobb, Betsey Cobb, George Jackson, Louisa Hill, and 
John Covely. There are now twenty members of the 
society, forty members of the Sabbath school, and 
three hundred volumes in the library. 

A society of Congregationalists was organized in 
this town in March, 1837, by the Rev. N. C. Clark. 
The first members were G. E. Parmalee, John A. 
Richards, Dexter Stanley, Henry Puffer, Nancy Stan- 
ley, Susan S. Parmalee, Lucia Puffer, Elizabeth M. 
Puffer, and Hannah P. Puffer. The pastors in regu- 
lar succession, have been : 

Rev, Orange Lyman, Rev. Alanson Alvord, 

" Romulus Barnes, " Francis Leonard. 

Rev. George Langdon. 

The number of members, and other information re- 
specting this church, we have been unable to obtain. 

The Baptist Church was organized under the labors 
of the Rev. Mr. Holt, in 1853, with about thirty mem- 
bers. Among the most active members in forming 
this society were Edward Goodenough, Albin Lull, and 
Norman Gilbert. The same year it was organized, 
the society erected a church edifice, which was an 
honor to those who projected and carried out the en- 
terprise. No further particulars respecting this church 
have been obtained. 

The Catholics have a church and society at Cass, 
called the church of St. Patrick. A house of worship 
was erected in February, 1846, and the society at that 



time numbered thirty-four. The following table will 
show who have been its pastors, and also the number 
of members at different periods since its organization : 

1846 Rev. John Ingoldsby, 

Pastor. No. of members, 34 

1848 Dennis Ryan, 

1851 ' Michael O'Donnell, " " " 

1853 James Fitzgerald, " " " 

1854 James McGowan, " " " 

Feb. 1856 John McGloflen, " " " 

Nov. 1856 Michael Harley, " " " 

1857 Nicholas Mulvey, present pastor. 

The population of Downer's Grove at this time is 
about 1,200. The people are chiefly engaged in agri- 
cultural pursuits, and. hence the town contains no vil- 
lages of much importance. Near the north east part 
of the town there is quite a smart little "huddle," 
generally known as Brush Hill ; but at present we 
believe it is dignified by the title of Fullersburg. The 
first settlement at Fullersburg was made by Orente 
Grant, in 1836. 

There is another settlement at Lower C ass, in the 
south part of the town, on the Chicago and Joliet road. 
The first settlers here were Albin Lull, Dr. Bronson, 
Hart L. Cobb, Thomas Andrus, and II. Martin. Of 
this settlement it may be said that its inhabitants are 
an industrious, enterprising, "good set of folks," a 
high compliment to pay to any community. 

The original fund derived from the sale of the school 
lands was $800. It has been increased by interest, 
and is now $1,063 72. 

The amount paid to teachers in 1856 was $1,048 98. 
The number of school districts in the town is nine. 
The highest rate of compensation paid to teachers is 


$25 per month. The average number who attend 
school is about 500 ; and the average number of 
months in the year, in which schools are taught, is 
eight. The average monthly compensation of female 
teachers has been about fourteen dollars. 

Names of town officers for the town of Downer's 
Grove since its organization, in 1850 : 

1850 L. K. Hatch, 1854 G. W. Alderman. 

1851 Walter Blanchard, 1855 Walter Blanchard. 

1852 " 1856 S. F. Daniels. 

1853 " 1857 S.DeGolyer. 


1850 A. Havens. 1854 A* Havens. 

1861 " 1855 C. H. Carpenter. 

1852 " 1856 G. S. Rogers. 

1853 " 1857 W. H. Dixon. 


1850 0. B. Herrick. 1854 Lyman Clifford. 

1851 George Barber. 1855 " 

1852 " 1856 " 

1853 " 1857 A. H. Blodgett. 


1 850 Peter Warden. 1 854 M. Walton. 

1851 G. Paige. 1855 E. H. Gleason. 

1852 H. L. Cobb. 1856 '" 

1853 E. H. Gleason. 1857 George Wheeler. 


1 850 -- Albin Lull. ] 854 Daniel Roberts. 

1851 " 1855 " 

1852 .1. Blodgett. 1856 John Oldfield. 

1853 " 1857 " 



1850 Silas Culver, W. Lutiens, 1854 J. Craigmile, H. Lyon, B. 

L. M. Lull. Fuller. 

1851 John Marvin, A. H.Blod- 1855 J. Craigmile, M. Duello, 

gett, G. Gilbert. M Sucher. 

1852 E. Thatcher, K. Martin, 1856 A. G. Cobb, H. Lyman, 

H. Andrews. M. Sucher. 

1853 A. Lull, E. Thatcher, G. 1857 W. H. Clark, J. Oldfield, 

Paige. G. Prescott. 

I860 John Mareell, Benjamin 1857 M. B. Tirtlot, S. J. Ack 

Fuller. ley. 

1851 S. F. Daniels. 


1850 Peter Warden, Joseph 1854 S. W. Franklin, Luther 

Boyd. Couch. 

1851 Milton Barr, Peter Bra- 1855 E Gleason. 

man. 1856 T. 0. Roberts 

1853 S. W. Franklin. 



are unable to give as complete a history of this 
town as we could desire, although we have tried faith- 
fully to obtain the necessary information to do so. 
"We cannot but believe that there are many incidents 
connected with its early settlement that would, to say 
the least, be of interest to the inhabitants of the town- 
ship, if not to the general reader, notwithstanding 
the contrary opinion, which prevails among the early 

York was first settled in the spring of 183-1, by 
Elisha Fish. His claim was on the south east quarter 
of section thirty-five, where his widow still lives. The 
next who came in was Henry Reader, who settled in 

1835, on the south west quarter of section thirty-five. 
Luther Morton settled soon after on section seven ; 
Benjamin Fuller on section twenty-five; Nicholas 
Torode, sen., on section twenty-seven ; and in April, 

1836, John Talmadge removed to this town from 
Brush Hill, where he had lived since 1834, and set- 
tled on the south east quarter of section twenty-three. 
In May, 1836, there were several families added to 
the settlement. Among these were the families of 
Jesse Atwater, Edward Eldridge, and David Tal- 
madge. In July of the same year, the settlement was 
increased by the families of Jacob W. Fuller and 
David Thurston. In 1837, Sheldon Peek, W. Chur- 
chill, Zerais Cobb, John Glos and John Bohlander 


came in and settled on what is now called the St. 
Charles road. John Thrasher came in about the same 
time, and settled on section thirty. The first settlers 
of this town were preeminently fitted to endure the 
trials incident to frontier life. They were " made of 
the right sort of stuff," and advanced boldly with the 
standard of civilization, regardless of danger, and 
knowing no dread of hardships. Many of them had 
been brought up on the borders of civilization, and 
were thoroughly inured to all the privations of pioneer 
life. Perhaps no town in this county can justly claim 
to itself a more hardy, daring class of pioneers.' John 
Talmadge, whose name has already been mentioned 
among the early settlers of this town, was for several 
years a soldier in the U. S. army. In that capacity 
he was in the service of his country during the war 
of 1812, and in several battles fought valiantly under 
our national banner. Although his head is now 
" silvered o'er with age," yet that quenchless spirit of 
patriotism which fired his youth still glows within his 
breast and flashes from his fading eye. 

This township contains thirty-six square miles of 
land, and has a soil, cultivation, vales, fields, land- 
scapes and scenery, which would not suffer in com- 
parison with many sections of country more widely 
and favorably known. It affords an agreeable variety 
of surface and soil, well adapted to the wants of the 
husbandman, and, with proper cultivation, yields him 
most bountiful harvests for the support of the multi- 
tudes dependent upon his industry. 

The principal stream is Salt creek, which runs 
through the town from north to south. 


Most of the first settlers were originally from the 
State of New York, and when the inhabitants were 
called upon to give a name to their precinct, that of 
York was selected with but few dissenting voices. 

The manufactures of this town are unimportant. A 
steam flouring mill is now in operation at Brush Hill, 
owned by F. Gray. This mill has two run of stones, 
and is the only manufactory of much importance in 
the town. The Galena railroad runs through the 
town, and upon it two young and thriving villages 
have sprung up, like Minerva from the brain of Jove, 
full armed and ready for effective service. These are 
at Cottage Hill and at Babcock's Grove. 

" The village of Cottage Hill is pleasantly situated 
on the line of the Galena and Chicago Union Railroad, 
sixteen miles west from Chicago. The first settler 
here was J. L. Hovey, who came from Painesville, 
Ohio. He built a small house in 1843, which he kept 
as a hotel, it being favorably known by the farmers of 
the Fox and Rock river counties," who then teamed 
their own produce to Chicago, as the ' Hill Cottage.' 
The ' Hill ' proper lies half a mile from the railroad, 
and commands as fine a prospect of prairie, cultivated 
farms, groves, cottages, and railroad trains, as one 
could desire to behold. This place -being but 15 1-2 
miles from the centre of business in Chicago ; having 
good water, pure air, and railroad trains hourly pass- 
ing all of winch stop here must soon become 
known to those who would find for themselves and 
families, at a convenient distance from the city, a re- 
treat from the noise and dust of its hot and crowded 


The railroad was completed to this place in 1849, 
since which time the village has been chiefly built 
up. It now contains one hotel, five stores, several 
manufacturing establishments, a railroad passenger 
house, some thirty or forty dwellings, and about 200 
inhabitants. A fine edifice is now in process of erec- 
tion, to be used as a church and school house. There 
is no other church building in the town, although 
there are several organized religious societies, which 
hold their meetings in the school houses in different 
parts of the town. 

Babcock's Grove is a pleasant village, of some 200 
inhabitants, situated about five miles west of Cottage 
Hill, on the Galena road. It is an active, business- 
like place, and promises to become a town of consider- 
able importance. It has a good hotel, several stores, 
and a number of fine residences. 

The present population of the town of York is not 
far from 1500. The Germans have settled pretty 
thickly in some parts of the town, and among them 
may be found some of the best farmers in the county. 
They are frugal, industrious, and honest, as a class, 
and manage their farms with superior agricultural 

There are three post offices in the town. George 
Fuller is post master at York Centre, Jerry Bates at 
Cottage Hill, and J. B. Hull at Babcock's Grove. 

York has the largest school fund of any town in DTI 
PAGE county. The school section was sold at five dol- 
lars per acre, creating an original fund of $3,200. It 
is now near $3,500. The highest rate of compensation 
paid to teachers is $25 per month ; the lowest is $10 



per month. The amount paid for teachers' wages 
amounts to about $800 annually. There are eight 
public schools taught in the township, which are at- 
tended by 400 scholars. The average number of 
months in the year in which schools are taught is 
eight, and the average number of scholars in each 
school is forty. 

We would here remark that the sources from which 
we have obtained the statistics relating to this town 
have not been the most reliable, and if we find errors 
have occurred, it will not be to us a matter of very 
great surprise. 

The following is a list of officers for the town of 
York since its organization in 1850. 

1850 Edward Eldridge, 1853 Hiram Whittemore, ap- 
Gerry Bates, appointed to pointed to fill vacancy. 

fill vacancy. 1854 Asa Knapp. 

1851 Gerry Bates. 1855 Robert Reed. 

1852 Gerry Bates. 1856 Robert Reed. 

1 858 Webster Burbanks. 1857 Frederick Gray. 



Allen M. Wright, 1853- 

Charles Mather, appointed 1854- 

to fill vacancy. 1855 - 

1851 Peter R. Torode. 1856 - 

1852 Peter R. Torode. 1857 - 


1850 George Fuller. 1853 

1851 John Talmadge. 1854 - 

1852 Webster Burbanks, 1855 

P. R. Torode, appointed to 1856 
fill vacancy. 1857- 

Adam Glos. 
Adam Glos. 
Adam Glos. 
Adam Glos. 
Adam Glos. 

James A. E. Barras. 

Orrin Newell. 

George Fuller. 

George Fuller. 

George Fuller. 



1850 Adam Gloa. 1854 Ansel Bates. 

1851 Adam Gloa. 1855 Lewis Eldridge. 

1852 Benjamin Plummer. 1856 Lewis Eldridge. 

1853 David Fuller. 1857 Lewis Eldridge. 


1850 Robert Reed. 1854 Layton Collar. 

1851 Burgess Austin. 1855 John Thrasher. 

1852 Burgess Austin. 1856 John Thrasher. 

1853 Asa Knapp. 1857 John Thrasher. 


1850 James L. Snow, 1854 Lewis Wood, 

John Thrasher, John B. Bohlander, 

Reuben Mink. E. A. Hall, 

1851 Asa Knapp, George Fuller, appointed 

John Thrasher. to fill vacancy. 

Frederick Gray. 1855 Lewis Wood, 

1852 Lewis Wood. John P. Bohlander, 

Samuel Loy. Warren Kittell. 

Frederick Gray. 1856 Milo Porter, 

1853 George Fuller, John Norbury, 

Hiram Whittemore, Warren Kittell. 

Frederick Gray, 1857 William Boyer, 

G. H. Atwater, appointed John Norbury, 

to fill vacancy. Warren Kittell. 


1850 David Thurston. 1855 Thomas Filer, elected to 

Orson D. Richards. fill vacancy. 

1852 Cyrenus Litchfield, elected 1856 John Thrasher, elected to 

to fill vacancy. fill vacancy. . 

1854 Cyrenus Litchfield. 1857 Milo Porter, elected to fill 

Moses Gray. vacancv. 



1850 David Fuller. 1855 John Norbury, 

C. W. Richardson. John G. Kleiuschrot. 

1853 D. Mono, elected to fill 1856 Lewis Eldridge, elected to 

vacancy. till vacancy. 

1854 John Norbury, elected to 

fill vacancy. 


Dtr PAGE County was first settled by the whites in 
1830. It was surveyed in 18 ; was separated from 
Cook county, of which it previously formed a part, and 
became" a distinct organization by act of legislature, 
approved February 9th, 1839. By the census of 1850, 
its population was 12,807 ; and assuming a uniform 
ratio of increase drawn from the census of preceding 
years, it is now nearly 15,000. It has 3,000 dwellings ; 
2,850 families ; 10 villages ; 7 different religious denom- 
inations ; 22 churches ; 3,150 communicants ; 2,250 
children and youth who attend Sabbath school. The 
following is a list of the post offices in the county : 


Naperville Robert Naper, 

Big Woods, (Naperville) John Warne, 

Addison Henry Bartling, 

Sagone S. D. Pierce, 

York Center George Fuller, 

Cottage Hill (York) Gerry Bates. 

Babcock's Grove (York). J. B. Hull, 

Bonaparte H. Dodge, 

Downer's Grove 

Warrenville ( Winfield) Col. J. If. Warren, 

Winfield, Andrew Van Deusen, 

Turner, " 




Wheaton (Milton) C. K. W. Howard, 

Danby, " David Kelly, 

Wayne S. Dunham, 

Wayne Center Albert Guild, 

Lisle John .Thompson, 

Brush Hill B. Fuller, 

Cass (Downer's Grove) G. W. Alderman, 

Bloomingdale Hiram Cody, 

There are eighteen miles of railroad in this county, 
upon which seven enterprising villages are situated. 
We give a statement of freight handled at the several 
stations, in pounds, and also the amount of cash re- 
ceipts for freight. 




Cottage Hill 

4,275 680 

3 605 23 

Babcock's Grove 

2,107 700 

1 404 63 

2 234 660 

2 728 92 


7,544 220 

5,880 26 



3,036 25 

5,480 820 

7,164 47 

1 900 760 

1 633 81 

The statement in another part of the book, that. 
"Winfield forwards the greatest amount of freight is 
incorrect, as it appears by the last report of the 
G. & C. U. Railroad Company, that less tonnage 
goes from that station, than from Cottage Hill or 

With the above brief summary our history is ended. 
Enough has been said to give, as we believe, a pretty 
correct view of the past and present condition of Du 
PAGE County. If by this compilation anything is 
rescued from oblivion that will be of consequence 


to our future historian, the authors are satisfied ; and 
if the work is received with satisfaction among those 
early settlers, within whose early recollection all the 
incidents herein detailed have transpired, they will 
feel doubly rewarded for their labors. 

While writing these concluding remarks, news has 
reached us of the death of Eli Northam, at the ad- 
vanced age of eighty-seven years. He was an early 
settler in the south part of this county, and among 
the foremost in establishing and sustaining our first 
Christian church. It is fitting to insert here the fol- 
lowing brief tribute to his memory which is taken 
from The Chicago Democratic Press : 

"Deacon NOETHAM was one of the few men who 
merited, in all respects, the tribute paid by Luke to 
Barnabas, 'He was a good man.'' Twenty years ago 
when a student in Williamstown, Mass., we well re- 
member that he always impressed us with the highest 
reverence for his character, as a most worthy represen- 
tative of the honest, dignified, noble Puritans. For 
many years he had been fully prepared to leave ,all 
things here below, and go to dwell at the right hand 
of his Savior. 

" ' His youth was innocent; his riper age 

Marked with some act of goodness every day ; 

And watched by eyes that loved him, calm, and sage 
Faded his last declining years away ; 

Cheerful he gave his being up, and went 

To share the holy rest, that waits a life well spent.'" 

In conclusion we acknowledge our appreciation of 
the uniform kindness and assistance which we have 
received in gathering the material for this work. 


Page 8, second line from bottom, for " were " read was. 
Page 10, twelfth and thirteenth lines from top, for " were " read was. 
Page 18, for "redoutable" read redoubtable. 
Page 69, in the table, for "Wells and Grant" read Pierce Downer. 
Page 71, thirteenth line from top, for "are" read is. 
Other errors of a similar character occur, but as they will not be likely 
to mislead the reader, it is deemed unnecessary to point them out. 




First settlement in Du Page County, 6 

Naper Settlement, - 7 

First settlers, - 7 

Black Hawk war, - - 8 

Fort Dearborn, - 9 

Flight of families to Fort Dearborn, - 9 

Paine family, - - 9 

Hobson family, .'.' - - 10 

The Patrol "hoaxed," 15 

Visit to Potawattomies, *-.. - 16 

The alarmed camp, - .*, 18 

Flight of settlers, - 18 

Captain Brown's scouting party, - - , 19 

Massacre at Indian Creek, ' - . ' - - 20 

The Murder of Paine the Preacher, 22 

Scott families, - 23 

Expedition under Col. Beaubien, - 23 

Fort Paine, - - 29 

Murder of young Buckley by the Indians, - - 29 
Captain Naper and Alanson Sweet are deceived by appearances, 30 

The scouting party, - . 31 

" White Eagle," - 33 

The Great Spirit and Tobacco, 35 

llobson and Strong, - - 36 

Condition of families at Fort Dearborn, - - 37 

A Gentleman missing, - - 38 

Gen. Scott's army, - - .38 


Land Pirate Company, - 41 

Big Woods claim protecting society, - - 42 

Society for mutual protection, - 46 

The Frothingham claim difficulty, - - - 53 

204: INDEX. 


The Tullis claim difficulty, - 65 

The Hognatorial Council, - : * - 67 


Face of the county, etc., - - 60 

Products of cultivation, - - - - 61 

Du Page County Agricultural Society, - - 61 

Education, schools and academies, 62 

Health, - 65 

The County Press, - 65 

Organization of the County, - - - - 70 

Courts. - - - .74 

Murder of Patrick Tole, - 75 

Members of State Legislature, 76 

List of county officers, - - - - -76 


Illinois Institute, - - - - - 83 

Danby, . 85 

Town officers of Milton, - 86 


History of first efforts towards establishing a church, - - 97 

Schools, - 105 

Naperville Academy, - - - - - 106 

Town officers,. - 110 

HISTOKY OF LISLE, \ t - 113 

Character of people, - 114 

How they fared in early times, - - - 115 

Story of Mr. Hobson's family, - - 116 

List of town officers, - - - - - 133 


The Kent tragedy, -137 

Churches of Bloomingdale, - - - - 143 

List of town officers, - 145 


List of town officers of Addison, .... 150 


"Warrenville, - - . 158 
Deacon McConnell's account of Turner, ... 162" 

Winfield Station, , . - -162 

Town officers of Winfield, "- - 167 


INDEX. 205 


List of town officers of Wayne, - - 173 


First claim difficulty, ... 175 

Trouble about Aldrich's claim, - 179 

First School, - 180 

Wolf hunting, - - 181 

Description of a wolf hunt, - 182 
History of churches, ...... 186 

List of town officers, - - ' - - 190 


Cottage Hill, ' - - . . , 194 

Babcock's Grove, - - - - 195 

List of town officers, 196 

SUMMARY, - . 198 

A D V E K T I S E M E N T S . 








W. P. KEITH & CO., 





2, ILL. 


Keeps constantly on hand, at his yards at WINFIELD STATION, 
and at NAPERVILLE, the largest and best assortment of Lumber to 
be found West of Chicago, which he sells at prices that leave competi- 
tion entirely out of the question. 

Having in his employ a large number of experienced workmen, he is 
prepared to do all kinds of Building reasonably, expeditiously and 



















We are agents for, and keep constantly on hand, Naper's celebrated 
premium FLOUR warranted the best in market. 
All kinds of Produce taken in exchange for Goods. 

C. M. CASTLE, ) 











Office, One Door West of Court House, 






a pj 

& ?la 


ra&roMiR?t B@MI OTAiRm 9 

Pure Wines and Liquors for Medicinal Purposes. 







Drafts for Sale on England, France and Germany. 


Collections Made and Proceeds Remitted Promptly, 


Correspondents In Chicago, - - H. H. TUCKER & CO. 

" In New York, - - MERCHANTS' EX. BANK. 







OP ILLINOIS, and the 


Of Hartford, Connecticut. 


A D V E It T I S E M E N T S . 


E. H. EYER, 


Terms, $1-50 in advance; $2.00 if not paid within six months. 

Of every description neatly and expeditiously executed, on short notice 
and at reasonable terms, for cash. 


J. S. YUNDT, Proprietor. 

Having fitted up this commodious bou?e for the accommodation of 
the public, the proprietor will spare no pains to satisfy all who favor 
him with a call. 


General Dealers in 




The proprietors have just purchased in the New York market one of 
the most extensive stocks of goods, for the Fall Trade, ever brought 
into Du Page County. 








Boarding and Day Scholars received, and charged only for time of 

Rooms are now fitted up in the building expressly for the accommo- 
dation of Young Lady Boarders, who will be under the supervision of 
competent Female Teachers. 


and continues until December 24th. 



and continue eleven weeks. 
For prices of Board and Tuition, apply to 


Napewille, Illinois.