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Full text of "... History of De Witt county, Illinois. With illustrations descriptive of the scenery, and biographical sketches of some of the prominent men and pioneers"

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977.301 
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1717995 



REVrJCLDS I------ 

GENEALGoY C:-;''i 



3 1833 00864 7759 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2010 with funding from 

Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center 



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■^HISTORY^- 



OF 



DE WITT COUNTY 



ILLITnTOIS. ^ 



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DESCRIPTIVE OF THE SCENERY, 



{!)ioiirniil)i(til ^(|ttc(|e$ of $ome of tlie |}rominettt Jffen anil ptoiiecro, 



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BY 

PHILADELPHIA, 



, ILL. 






1717995 

PREFACE 




'HE PUBLISHERS desire to return their 
sincere thanks to those ivho have aided 
in making this ivorh thorough and 
complete. For the incidents relative to 
the early settlement, we are indebted to a feiv earlv 
pioneers, who have seen a ivild frontier county develop 
into a wealthy and popidous community. 

For other facts we are under obligations to a class 
of intelligent men, loho, amid the ordinary pursuits of 
life, have taken pains to thoroughly inform themselves 
on the resources of their county. Among those who 
have specially contributed to the completeness of the his- 
tory of De Witt county, arc John J. Mc Graiv. C. H. 
Moore, Orin Wakefield, Benjamin Howard, Abra- 
ham Sivearingen. f. H. Randolph, W. R. Carle, S. 
P. Glenn, J. P. Dunham, Thomas Snell, Wvi. Fuller, 
Samuel Magill, Jacob Walters, C. S. Liscnbey, James 
A. PVilsoti, County Treasurer, Alex. L. Barnett, 
County surveyor, Amos Weedman, Sheriff ; fohn 
Warner, Thomas J'andeventer, Jacob Swigart, Mrs. 
Rebecca Gatnb^-el, George B. Leme^i, Edmund W. 
Fruit, Dr. Goodbrake, and Wm. J. Rutledgc. 

Especially do we acknoivledge the courtesies ex- 
tended lis by A. J '. Liscnby, coimty clerk, and John 
T. Carle, circuit clerk. We are also indebted to Miss 
Mary S. Welsh for her scholarly article on the Com- 
mon Schools of the County. Among the chapters most 
fruitful in interest to a great member of our readers, 
will be found those which treat of the early history of ' 



the churches. Many persons are living whose fathers 
and grandfathers, in the humble log cabin, which ivas 
then the only house of worship, assisted in founding 
organizations which have been of the greatest good to 
subsequent generations. To the clergytnen of the va- 
rious denominations, and to many of the older tncmbers 
of these societies, we are indebted for much valuable in- 
formation. 

The editors of the several newspapers have also ren- 
dered assistance in that cheerful manner so character- 
istic of the Journalistic profession. 

We have endeavored, with all diligence and carc- 
J Illness, to make the best use of the t?iaterial at our co?n- 
mand. It has been classified as carefully as possible 
and will, we are assured, be a great help to the public, 
as a book of reference. 

We have tried to preserve the incidents of pioneer 
history, to accurately present the natm-al features and 
material 7-esources of this portion of the State, and to 
gather the facts likely to be of most interest to our pres- 
ent readers, and of greater importance to coming gen- 
erations. 

We present the work to the public, trusting that 
they will approve our labors. If our 7'eaderszvill take 
into consideration the magnitude and difficulties of the 
task, we feel assured of a favorable verdict on our un- 
dertaking, and that they will give the volume a gener- 
ous reception. 

The Publishers. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS, 



COUNTY HISTORY. 
Chapter I. 

A brief Sketch of the Northwest 
Territory — Geographical Po s i- 
tion — Early explorations-Early 
Settlements — Louisiana P u r- 
chase — Discovery of the Ohio — 
English Explorations and Set- 
tlements--Campaign of 1759 — 
Division of the Northwest Terri- 
tory — Present condition of the 

Norlhwest . 9 

Chapter II. 

Brief Historical Sketch of Illinois 
Louis LeGrand — Roi De France 
Et De Navarre — Regne — Le 
Neavieme Avnl 1682.— The first 
settlements in Illinois — Found- 

■ ing of Kaskaskia — As part of 
Louisiana — Fort Chartres under 
French Rule — Character of the 
early French Settlers — A Pos- 
session of Great Britain— Con- 
quest by Clarke — Land Tenures 
— Civil Organization — Officers 
of the State of Illinois from 1S09 
to 1S81 — Population of Illinois 

by Counties 20 

Chapter III. 

Geography, Agricultural Resour- 
ces, and Railroad Facilities of 
LeWitt County — Population- 
Typography — Hydrography — 
Climate — Perennial Springs — 
Mounds — Soil — Agriculture — 
Transportation — Railroads of 
DeWitt County- Railroad Lands 

—Titles 30 

Chapter IV. 

Geology — Subterranean Lake — 
Coal Fields — Natural Curiosities 
— Economical Geology. ... 35 

Chapter V. 
Fauna — Ungulata or Hoofed Car- 
nivora or Flesh-Eaters — Roden- 
tia or Gwaners — Class of Aves, 
or Birds— Birds of Prey— Ra- 
sores or Scratching Birds — Gral- 
lators, or Wading Birds — Nata- 
tores, or Swimming Birds — In- 
sessories or Perching Birds — 



Scansores, or Climbing Birds- 
Class. Reptilia or Reptiles . 3 

Chapter VI. 

Flora — List of Native Wood 

Plants— Grasses 4 



Chapter VII. 
Pioneer.s and Early Settlers — 
Early Settlement — to the People 
—The Old Guard— Summary- 
Illinois State Bank— Lyceum — 
Early Marriages — First Justices 
of the Peace— First Constables 
Pioneer County Officials. . . -13 

Chapter VIII. , 

Customs of Early Days— Habits 
and Modes of Living of the Pio- 
neers and First Settlers— Trials 
and Tribulations of Pioneer 
Jjife — Games, Amusements, etc., 



etc. 



Chapter IX. 
Civil History — Organization of De 
Witt Coun ty — Land and People 
— Pauperism — County Govern- 
ment—Roster of County Officers 
First Grand Juiy— Courts . 57 

Chapter X. 
Bench and Bar — The Bench — For- 
mer Resident Lawyers — Pres- 
ent Members of tlie Bar. . . 82 

Chapieu XI. 

The Press— DeWitt Courier— De 
Witt County Democrat — The 
Vindicator — Central Transcript 
—Weekly Central Transcript— 

. Clinton Public — DeWitt County 
Public and Central Tran-script- 
The Clinton Union— The Clin- 
ton Times— The De Witt Regis- 
ter—The Clinton Register— The 
Farmer City Republican— The 
Orthorspor — The Farmer City 
Journal — The Farmer City Her- 
ald—The Farmer City Reporter 
—The Public Reaper— The Real 
Estate Index — The Temperance 
Vidette— The De Witt County 



Gazette— De Witt County Mes- 
senger — The Kenney Register — 
The Kenney Record— The Ken- 
ney Gazette 95 

Chapter XII. 

Common Schools— Origin of the 

School System — Early Schools 

in the County 102 

Chapter XIII. 
Patriotism— Black Hawk War- 
Mexican War — List of Volun- 
teers in Mexican War— War for 
the Union— Roll call Present 
and Accounted for — Seventh In- 
fantry Regiment — Eighth In- 
fantry Regiment — Thirteenth 
Infantry Regiment— Fifteenth 
Infantry Regiment — Twentietli 
Infantry Regiment — Twenty- 
Fifth Infantry Regiment — 
Twenty-Sixth Infantry Regi- 
ment—Thirty-Second Infantry 
Regiment-Thirty-Third Inf ty. 
Regiment— Thirty-Fourth In- 
fiintry Regiment-Thirty-Eightli 
Infantry Regiment— T h i rty- 
Ninth Inf'ty. Reg.— Forty-First 
Infantry Regiment— Forty-Sec- 
ond Infantry Regiment— Forty- 
Sixth Infantry Regiment— Fifty 
First Infantry Regiment— Fifty 
Second Infantry Regiment — 
Fifty Fifth 'Infantry Regiment 
— Fifty Seventh Infantry Regi ■ 
ment — Fifty-Eighth Infantry 
Regiment — Sixty-Second In- 
fantry Regiment — Sixty-Sixth 
Infantry Regiment — Sixty- 
Eighth Infantry Regiment — 
Seventy-Ninth Infantry Regi- 
ment—One Hundred and Fifth 
Infantry Regiment— One Hun- 
dred and Seventh Infantry Reg- 
iment—One Hundred and Thir- 
teenth Infantry Regiment— One 
Hundred and Eighteenth In- 
fantry Regiment— One Hundred 
and Twenty-Fourth Infantry 
Regiment — One Hundred and 
Twenty-Fifth Infantry Regi- 
ment — One Hundred and 



TIurty-Third Infantry Regiment 
— One Hundred and Forti- 
etli Infantry Regiment— One 
Hundred and Forty-Fifth In- 
fantry Regiment — One Hundred 
and Fifty-Fourth Infantry Regi- 
ment — Second Cavalry Regi - 
ment — Fourth Cavalry Regi- 
ment — Seventh Cavalry Regi- 
ment—Eighth Cavalry Regi- 
ment — Ninth Cavalry Regiment 
— Tenth Cavalry Regiment — 
Fourteenth Cavalry Regiment 
— Sixteenth Cavalry Regiment 
— Seventeenth Cavalry Regi- 
ment — Fir.st Regiment Light 
Artillery — Second Regiment 
Light Arlillery 110 



Cu 



PTKIt .XIV 



Ecclesiastical History— The Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church — Clinton 
M. E. Cliurcli— Waynesville M. 
E. Churcli— Mt. Tabor M. E. 
Church— Kenney M. E, Church 
— Green Valley Society — Wa- 
pella M. E, Church — Long Point 
M, E, Church— Farmer City M, 
E, Church— De Witt M, E. 
Church — Statistics of M. E. 
Cturch by Pastoral Cliarges — 
The Protestant Methodist 
Church — The Baptist Church — 
The Second Baptist Cliurch (col- 
ored) — The Liberty Separate 
Baptist Church -New Provi- 
dence Baptist Church -Christian 
Church— Old Union Christian 
Church— Rock Creek Christian 
Church — Long Point Christian 
Church — CI I n 1 n Christian 
Church — Farmer City Christian 
Church — Wapella Christian 
Church— Texas Christian 
Church — Fairview Christian 
Church — Harmony Christian 
Church — Land Christian Church 
--The Holy Catholic Church 
— Christian Connection — Pres- 
byterian Church — Elm Grove 
Presbyterian Church— The Uni- 
ted Brethren in Christ . . 133 



TABLE OF CONTENTS. 



BIOGRAPHIES. 

Page. 

Arbogasf, Daniel H 236 

Barnett, A^ L 177 

Bishop, John (deceased.) ... 211 
Bishop, Minerva " ... 211 

Bootli, Wm 213 

Burford, C 233 

Batler, Kichard 175 

Calhoun, W. F 1S3 

Carle, W. R 26.5 

Cleai'wateis, Nathan, deceased 221 

Cool, P. V. H 237 

Costly, W. H 331 

Camming, Andrew M. . . . 237 

Davis, Dr. T. W 267 

Davenport, Eber 307 

Devore, Wm. C 239 

Dick, Amos 201 

Edmiston, Dr. J. A IM 

Ewing, R, M 239 

Ford, C. P 209 

Fruit, Edmund W 251 

Fuller, Daniel 313 

Fuller, Wm 193 

Gambrel Rebecca 301 

Goodbrake, Dr. Christopher . 181 

Graham, Samuel 169 

Graham, Geo. B. . .' . . . . 167 

Graham, W. W 2.58 

Griner, George W 318 

Hammitt, Mathew 307 

Harrold, Jonathan 271 

Harrold, Isam 273 

Herrick, Capt. Geo. W. . . . 238 

Hickman, David W 257 

Hirst, James .... 235 

Hyde, M. D., G. W 197 

Jeffrey, F. M 305 

Johnson, Elias 238 

Jones, J, B 303 

Jones, John 235 

Lake, D. J. J 259 

Lane, TiUmon 325 

Lemen, George B 279 

Lisenby, A. V 187 

Lisenbey, C. S 329 

Ludinglon, Hon. Lewis . . . 236 

Magill, Samuel I'io 

McCord.W. Y 231 

McGraw, John J 161 

Moore, C, H 1.59 

Moore, W M 319 

Moore, Blish 281 

Palmer, E. H 185 



Pease, F. 0. . . . 
Porter, D. Edward 
Randolph, J. H. . 
Randolph, Wm, (deceased) 
Razey, A. W. . . . 
Rogers, W. 0. . . . 
Rucker, Rev, James C 
Rutledge, Wm. J. . . 
Smallwood, Geo. D. . 
Smith, John .... 
Snell, Thomas . . . 
Spencer, R. T. . . . 

Spicer,M. B 

Starkey, J. J. S., M. D, 
Swigart, Jacob . . 
Taylor, Thomas . 
Trowbridge, Jacob 
Turner, Capt. James R 
Waggoner, J. H. . . 
Wakefield, Orin . . 
Wallace, Col. Andrew 
Walker, Robert 
Walters, Jacob . 
Warner, John . 
Watson, H. D. . 
Weedman, John (i 
Weedman, Asa . 
Weedman, John 
Weedman, Amos 
Welch, Chas. M. 
Welch, Mary S. 
Wilson. Jas A. 



Page. 
Old Log School-House ... 104 
S. W. Hutchin .... facing 256 
J. H. Randolph ... " 246 
Jacob Trowbridge . . " 258 
Dr. J. J. Lake .... " 258 
E. W. Fruit . Between 250 & 251 



TOWNSHIP HISTORY. 

Clintonia Township 149 

Santa Anna 214 

Rutledge 308 

Wagnersville 293 

De Witt 285 

Harp 275 

Wapella 260 

Tunbridge 241 

Wilson 333 

Nixon 327 

Creek 321 

Barnett 315 

Texas 337 

ILLUSTRATIONS. 

County Map facing 9 

Public Buildings ... '• 66 



M. S. Hendrick . 
Dr. C. Goodbrake 
H. B. Taylor . 
W. W. Weedman 
Henry Brittin . 
John Taylor . . 
J. B, Rolofson . 
Corneliu.s Kelly 
Elisha Helmich 
J. W. Karr . . 
James S. Todd . 
Dr. T. W, Davis . 
John Brown . . 
H. D. Watson . 
George W. Griner 
Jacob Swigart . 
Nichols & North Elevator 



facing 180 
" 180 



304 
304 
334 
338 
312 



274 
268 
318 



PORTRAITS. 

Barnett, A. L 177 

Bishop, John 211 

Bishop, Minerva 211 

Burford, C 233 

Butler, Richard 175 

Calhoun, W. F 183 

Carle. W. R 265 



Cle 



vate 



Marv M 



Clearwaters, Nathan .... 221 

Costly, W. H 331 

Davis, Dr. T. W 267 

Davis Mary 267 

Dick, Amos 201 

Dick, Hattie 201 

Ford, C. P 209 

Fruit, Edmund W 251 

Fruit, Isabel 251 

Fruit, Thomas 255 

Fruit, Elizabeth 255 

Fuller, Daniel 313 

Fuller, Wm 193 

Gambrel, R;be jca 301 



Page. 
Goodbral<e, Dr. Christ . facing 181 

Graham, Geo. B 167 

Graham, Samuel 169 

Harrold, Isam 273 

Harrold, Jonathan 271 

Hyde, G. W., M. D 197 

Jones, J. B 303 

Lane, TiUmon 325 

Lemen, George B 279 

Lisenbey, C. S 329 

Liseuby, A. V 187 

McCord, W. Y 231 

McGraw, John J 161 

McGraw, Jemima 161 

Magill, Samuel 165 

Moore. Blish 281 

Moore, C. H 159 

Moore, W. M 319 

Palmer, EH 185 

Pease, F. 205 

Randolph, J. H 247 

Randolph, Margaret I. . . . 247 
Randolph, Wm. (deceased) . . 249 
Rucker, Rev. James C . . . . 191 

Rutledge, Wm. J 311 

Smallwood, G. D 189 

Smith, John 223 

Smith, Mary D 223 

Snell, Thomas 171 

Spicer, M. B 207 

Swigart, Jacob 289 

Wakefield, Orin 291 

Walker, Robert 283 

Wallace, Col. Andrew .... 253 

Wallace, Esther 253 

Walters, Jacob 335 

Warner, John 163 

Watson, H. D 269 

Weedman, Amos 195 

Weedman, Asa 227 

Weedman, John (sen) .... 225 

Weedman. John 229 

Welch, Mary S 179 

Wilson, Jas. A 203 



List of Patrons 339 

Miscellaneous Information . 245 
Constitution of Illinois . . . 248 
Declaration of Independence 255 
Constitution of United States. 256 



INTRO DFCTT ox 



^2^E\V sluiiies are more interesting and protitable to 
mankind than that of the past experiences, deeds, 
thoughts and trials of the human race. 
The civilized man and the untutored savage alike 
desire to know the deeds and lives of their ancestors, and 
strive to perpetuate their story. National patriotism and 
literary pride have prompted many, in all times, to write and 
preserve the annals of particular peoples. 

It is the aim of this work to collect and preserve in 
enduring and popular form some of the facts of the early 
settlement and subsequent growth of a great county of a 
grand State. The families whose ancestors were early on the 
ground, and whose members have made the county what it 
is, are worthy of remembrance ; and their difficulties and 
sorrows, customs, labors and patriotism, should not be allowed 
to fall into oblivion. By a knowledge of these the present 
generation will be instructed, and the future will be guided. 

All history, if properly written, is interesting ; and there 
is not a country, or a city, or a hamlet, — nay, we might say, 
not a family or an individual on the globe, — whose history 
might not be more or less valuable to posterity. 

The written history of the American Continent dates back 
scarcely four centuries, yet within that comparatively short 
period its pages have garnered from her hills and mountains, 
from her grand rivers and mighty inland seas, valuable 
additions to the world's stock of knowledge. 

Like the Eastern Continent, our own has its historic 
points, — its nuclei around which cluster the memories of 
heroic deeds, the story of martyrs, and the legends of a 
barbarous past. St. Augustine, Jamestown, Plymouth Rock, 
Quebec, Montreal, Boston, New York, Philadelphia and 
Detroit, are localities about which gather volumes of history. 



The advance of civilization ou the North American Con- 
tinent has been more rapid than in any other portion of the 
globe ; and, within the memory of living men, the fairest and 
richest portions have been wrested from the dominion of the 
wilderness and the savage, and changed into a highly-culti- 
vated region, filled with a race of industrious and thriving 
people. Prominent among the localities rich in historic lore 
is the region around the Mississippi river. It early claimed 
the attention of two of the most powerful nations of Europe, 
whose pioneers and arant couriers were boldly pushing into 
the then unknown countries lying towards the " Great South 
Sea," eagerly looking for gold and precious stone.^, for fabled 
Eldorados and fertile lands. 

To collect and arrange in one volume these various frag- 
ments, this abundant material, and to give the cream of all 
the best authors who have treated the subject, together with 
all additional information it was possible to obtain, and 
present it in readable form, has been the ol)ject of the pub- 
lishers of the present work. 

The traditions of the Indians, as given by Heckewelder 
and others, have been quoted quite extensively, and as an 
important factor in the sum total of knowledge concerning 
this region ; and the early discoveries of Marquette, La Salle, 
Hennepin and other French adventurers in the valley of the 
Mississippi and the basin of the great lakes of the Northwest, 
have also demanded a large share of attention, as preliminary 
to the troubles which grew out of the conflicting claims of 
the French and English crowns, resulting in a contest for 
supremacy, and in which not only all the contiguous region, 
but the entire French and English possessions in America, a 
large share of Europe, and immense regions in Asia and the 
islands of the sea, were interested and involved. 



INTRODUCTION. 



Another object to be gained by this work, is to bring to 
the notice of the people the immense resources which a 
bountiful Providence has bestowed upon them, and which it 
becomes, not merely a privilege to use, but a duty to improve. 
How little is now known of these treasures, and how greatly 
profitable such information may be, needs only a thought to 
comprehend. Our fertile soils, our noble timber trees, our 
genial climate, our inexhaustible mineral treasures, and our 
easy facilities for commerce are; in a great degree, unknown 
even to our own population. This volume seeks to develop 
an appreciation of them, and to stimulate a desire to improve 
and extend them. 

Then, local customs, old family traits and anecdotes are 
so rich in interest and so full of instruction to the young, 
that they ought never to be forgotten. These, so many as 
time and diligence could gather, are here recorded, and will 
be found to form no unimportant or uilinstruclive portion of 
this volume. 

Among the most influential agencies in building a nation, 
and in establishing a character for its people, are the efforts 
of its citizens to educate their children and to provide for 
social religious worship. These two interests will, therefore, 
show most accurately the tastes, the habits and aspirations of 



a community. Hence they have been made prominent in the 
ensuing narrative, and it is confidently hoped that they will 
not only interest readers, but will be studied and appreciated. 

The work will be found embellished with views of public 
and private property, in various parts of the county, and with 
portraits and biographies of many of the prominent men of 
the past and present. 

We trust, however, that it will be the means of preserving 
from the empire oj decay a host of incidents, of recollections, 
and of anecdotes, relating to the hardy pioneers and first 
settlers of the couuty, which, in the estimation of the historian 
and student of history, are of priceless value, but which 
otherwise would soon fade from the memories of the living. 

Whether this has been well done is not for us to say. A 
generous and intelligent public must decide. It is not per- 
mitted any man to attain perfection. Its region lies beyond 
our reach. We feel, howtver, in submitting this work to the 
inspection of the patrons, whose public spirit made possible 
its preparation, that satisfaction which results from a con- 
sciousness of foithful endeavor and an earnest desire to fulfill 
the expectations of all. 

Our work is accomplished, and its result is submitted to 
your favorable inspection. 




HISTORY 



DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS 



CHAPTER I. 

A BRIEF SKETCH OP THE NORTB-WEST TERRITOBT. 
GEOGRAPHICAL POGITION. 

^f 1734 the North-we3tern Territory was ceded to the 
United States by Virginia. It embraced only the 
territory lying between the Ohio and Mississipi rivers, 
and north, to the northern limits of the United States. 
It coincided with the area now embraced in the states of Wiscon- 
sin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and that portion of Min- 
nesota lying on the east side of the Mississippi river. On the 
first day of March, 1784, Thoma.5 Jefferson, Samuel Hardy, 
Arthur Lee, and James Monroe, delegates in Congress on the 
part of Virginia, executed a deed of cession, by which they 
transferred to the United States, on certain conditions, all right, 
title and claim of Virginia to the country known as the North- 
western Territory. But by the purchase of Louisiana in 1803, 
the western boundary of the United States was extended to the 
Eocky Mountains and the Northern Pacific Ocean. It includes 
an area of 1,887,850 square miles, being greater than the united 
areas of the Middle and Southern states, including Texas. Out 
of this magnificent territory have been erected eleven sovereign 
states and eight territories, with an aggregate population at the 
present time of 13,000,000 inhabitants, or nearly one-third of the 
entire population of the United States. 

Its rivers are the largest on the continent, flowing thousands 
of miles through its rich alluvial valleys and broad, fertile 
prairies. 

Its lakes are fresh-water seas, upon whose bosom floats the 
commerce of many states. Its iar-Ctretching prairies have more 
icres that are arable and productive than any other area of like 
extent on the globe. 

For the last quarter of a century the increase of population 
and wealth in the north-west has befen about as three to one in 
any other portion of the United Stat^. 

EARLY EXPLORATIONS. 

In the year 1512, on Easter Sunday, the Spanish name for 



which is Pascua Florida,* Juan Ponce de Leon, an old comrade 
of Columbus, discovered the coast of the American continent, 
near St. Augustine, and in honor of the day and of the blossoms 
which covered the trees along the shore, named the new-found 
country Florida. Juan had been led to undertake the discovery 
of strange lands partly by the hope of finding endless stores of 
gold, and partly by the wish to reach a fountain that was said 
to exist deep within the forests of North America, which pos- 
sessed the power of renovating the life of those who drank of 
or bathed in its waters. He was made governor of the region 
he had visited, but circumstances prevented his return thither 
until 1521 ; and then he w "it only to meet death at the hands 
of the Indians. 

In the meantime, in 1516, a Spanish sea-captain, Diego Mi- 
ruelo, had visited the coast first reached by Ponce de Leon, and 
in his barters with the natives had received considerable quan- 
tities of gold, with which he returned home and spread abroad 
new stories of the wealth hidden in the interior. 

Ten years, however, passed before Pamphilo de Narvaez un- 
dertook to prosecute the examination of the lands north of the 
Gulf of Mexico. Narvaez was excited to action by the late 
astonishing success of the conqueror of Montezuma, but he 
found the gold for which he sought constantly flying before him; 
each tribe of Indians referred him to those living farther in the 
interior. And from tribe to tribe he and his companions wan- 
dered. They suffered untold privations in the swamps and 
forests ; and out of three hundred followers only four or five at 
length reached Mexico. And still these disappointed wanderers 
persisted in their original fancy, that Florida was as wealthy as 
Mexico or Peru. 

Among those who had faith in that report was Ferdinand de 
Soto, who had been with Pizarro in the conquests of Peru- He 
asked and obtained leave of the King of Spain to conquer 
Florida at his own cost. It w.is given in the year 1538. With 
a brilliant and noble band of followers he left Europe, and in 
May, 1538, after a stay in Cuba, anchored his vessels near the 



Che old English "Pash" or Pass. 



' Paacuft Ftorida " is the " Holy- 



JIISTORY OF DE W'JTT COUJS/TY, ILLINOIS. 



coast of the Peninsula of Florida, in the bay of Spiritu Santii, 
or Tampa bay. 

De Soto entered upon his march into the interior with a deter- 
mination to succeed. From June till Movember of 1539, the 
Spaniards toiled along until they reached the neighborhood of 
Appalachee bay. During the next season, 1540, they followed 
tlie course suggested by the Florida Indians, who wished them 
out of their country, and going to the north-east, crossed the 
rivers and climbed the mountains of Georgia. De Soto was a 
stern, severe man, arid none dared to murmur. De Soto passed 
the winter with his little band near the Yazoo. In April, 1541, 
the resolute Spaniard set forward, and upon the first of May 
reached the banks of the great river of the West, not far from 
the 35th parallel of latitude.* 

A mouth was spent in preparing barges to convey the horses, 
many of which still lived, across the rapid stream. Having 
successfully passed it, the explorers pursued their way north- 
ward, into the neighborhood of New Madrid ; then turning 
westward again, marched more than two hundred miles from the 
Mississippi to the highlands of White river ; and still no gold, 
no gems, no cities — only bare prairies, and tangled forests, and 
deep morasses. To the south again they toiled on, and passed 
their third winter of wandering upon the Washita. In the fol- 
lowing spring (1.542), De Soto, weary with hope long deferred, 
descended the Washita to its junction with the Mississippi. He 
heard, when he reached the mighty stream of the west, that its 
lower portion flowed through endless and uninhabitable swamps. 

The news sank deep into the stout heart of the disappointed 
warrior. His health yielded to the contests of his mind and the 
influence of the climate. He appointed a successor, and on the 
21st of May died. His body was sunk in the stream of the Mis- 
sissippi. Deprived of their energetic leader, the Spaniards 
determined to try to reach Mexico by land. After some time 
spent in wandering through the forests, despairing of success in 
the attempt to rescue themselves by land, they proceeded to pre- 
pare such vessels as they could to take them to sea. From 
January to July, 1543, the weak, sickly band of gold-seekers 
labored at the doleful task, and in Jul)' reached, iu the vessels 
thus built, the Gulf of Me.^cieo, and by September entered the 
river Paunco. One-half of the six hundred f who had disem- 
barked with De Soto, so gay in steel and silk, left their bones 
among the mountains and in the morasses of the South, from 
Georgia to Arkansas 

De Soto founded no settlements, produced no results, and left 
no traces, unless it were that he awakened the hostilitj* of the 
red man against the white man, and disheartened such as might 
desire to follow up the career of discovery for better purposes. 
The French nation were eager and ready to seize upon any news 
from this extensive domain, and were the first to profit bv De 
Soto's defeat. As it was, for more than a century after the 
expedition, the west remained utterly unknown to the whites. 

The French were the first Europeans to make settlements on 
the St. Lawrence river and along the great lakfs. Quebec was 
fiiunded by Sir Samuel Champlain in IfiOS, and in 1609, when 
Sir Henry Hudson was exploring the noble river which bears 



> De Soto probably was at the lo 
i3=issippi Rio Grande, Great Ri^ 



his name, Champlain ascended the Sorelle river, and discovered, 
embosomed between the Green mountains, or " Verdmont," as 
the chivalrous and poetic Frenchman called them, and the Adi- 
rondacks, the beautiful sheet of water to which his name is 
indissolubly attached. In 1613 he founded Montreal. 

During the period elapsing between the years 1607 and 1664, 
the English, Dutch, and Swedes alternately held possession of 
portions of the Atlantic coast, jealously watching one another, 
and often involved in bitter controversy, and not seldom in open 
battle, until, in the latter year, the English became the Sole 
rulers, and maintained their rights until the era of the Revolu- 
tion, when they in turn were compelled to yield to the growing 
power of their colonies, and retire from the field. 

The French movements, from the first settlement at Quebec, 
and thence westward, were led by the Catholic missionaries. Le 
Caron, a Franciscan friar, who had been the companion and 
friend of Champlain, was the first to penetrate the western wilds, 
which he did in 1616* in a birch canoe, exploring Lake Huron 
and its tributaries. This was four years before the Pilgrims 



"Moore J their barl; ( 



ildKeM-Englamislic 



Under the patronage of Louis XIII., the Jesuits took the ad- 
vance, and began vigorously the work of Christianizing the 
savages in 1632. 

In 1634, three Jesuit missionaries, Brebeuf, Daniel, and Lal- 
lemand, planted a mission on the shores of tlie lake of the 
Iroquois fprobably the modern Lake Simcoe\ and also esta- 
blished others along the eastern border of Lake Huron. 

From a map published in 1660, it would a])pear that the 
French had, at that date, become quite familiar with the region 
from Kiagara to the head of Lake Superior, ijicluding consider- 
able portions of Lake Michigan. 

In 1641, Fathers Jogues and Raymbault embarked on the Pene- 
tanguishine Bay for the Sault St. Marie, where they arrived 
after a passage of seventeen days. A crowd of two thousand 
natives met them, and a great council was held. At this meet- 
ing the French first heard of many nations dwelling beyond the 
great lakes. 

Father Raymbault died in the wilderness in 1642, while 
enthusiastically pursuing his discoveries. The same year, Jogues 
and Bressani were captured by the Indians and tortured, and in 
1648 the mission which had been founded at St. Joseph was 
taken and destroyed, and Father Daniel slain. In 1649, the 
missions St. Louis and St. Ignatius were also destroyed, and 
{ Fathers Brebeuf and Lalleniand barbarously tortured by the 
' same terrible and unrelenting enemy. Literally did those 
zealous missionaries of the Romish Church " take their lives in 
their hands," and lay them a willing sacrifice on the altar of 
their faith. 

It is stated b}' some writer that, in 1654, two fur-traders ac- 
companied a baud of Ottawns on a journey of five hundred 
leagues to the west. They were absent two years, and on their 
return brought with them fifty canoes and two hundred and fifty 
Indians to the French trading posts. 
; They related wonderful tales of the countries they had seen, 
and the various red nations they had visited, and described the 
lofty mountains and mighty rivers in glowing terms. A new 



t De Biadna says there Jan Jed 620 r 



♦Western .\nnals. 



UISTOEY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



■impulse was given to tiie spirit of adventure, and scouts and 
traders swarmed the frontiers and explored the great lakes and 
adjacent country, and a party wintered in 16o9-t>0 on the south 
shore of Lake Superior. 

In 1600 Father Mesnard was sent out by the Bishop of 
Quebec, and visited Lake Superior in October of that year. 
While crossing the Keeweenaw Point he was lost in the wilder- 
ness and never afte rwards heard from, though bis cassock and 
breviary were found long afterwards among the Sioux. 

A change was made in the government of New France in 
16(35. The Company of the Hundred Associates, who had ruled 
it since 1632, resigned its charter. Tracy was made Viceroy, 
Courcelles Governor, and Talon Intendent.* This was called 
the Government of the West Indies. 

The Jesuit missions were taken under the care of the new gov- 
ernment, and thenceforward became the leaders in the movement 
to Christianize the savages. 

In the same year (166.5) Pierre Claude Alloiiez was sent out 
by way of the Ottawa river to the far west, via the Sault St. 
Marie and the south shore of Lake Superior, where he landed at 
the bay of Chegoimegon. Here he found the chief village of 
the Chippewas, and established a mission. He also made an 
alliance with them and the Sac>s, Fo.'ces and Iltlnoiii,f against 
the formidable Iroquois- Alloiiez, the next year (1666) visited 
the western end of the great lake, where he met the Sioux, and 
from them first learned of the Mississippi river, which they 
called "Messipi." From thence he returned to Quebec. 

In 1668 Claude Dablon and Jacqnes Marquette established 
the mission at the Sault called St. Marie, and during the next 
five years Alloiiez, Dablon and Marquette explored the region 
of Lake Superior on the south shore, and extending to Lake 
Michigan. They also established the missions of Chegoimegon, 
^t. Marie, Mackinaw and Green Bay. 

The plan of exploring the Mississippi probably originated with 
Marquette. It was at once sanctioned by the Intendent, Talon, 
who was ambitious to extend the dominion of France over the 
whole West. 

In 1670 Nicholas Perot was sent to the West to propose a 
congress of all the nations and tribes living in the vicinity of the 
lakes ; and, in 1671, a great council was held at SaultSt. Marie, 
at which the Cross was set up, and the nations of the great 
North-west were taken into an alliance, with much pomp and 
ceremony. 

On the 1.3th of May, 1673, Marqnette, Joliet, and five voi/ar/eurs, 
embarked in two birch canoes at Mackinaw and entered Lake 
Michigan. The first nation they visited was the " Folles-Avomes," 
or nation of Wild Oats, since known as the Menomonies, living 
around the "Bale des Puans," or Green Bay. These people, 
with whom Marquette was somewhat acquainted, endeavored to 
persuade the adventurers from visiting the Mississippi. They 
represented the Indians on the great river as being blood-thirsty 
and savage in the extreme, and the river itself as being in- 
habited by monsters which would devour them and their canoes 
together.]; 

* The duties nf Intendent Included a supervision of the policy, Justice, and fiuaDce 
of tile province. 

tThe meaning of tiiis word is said to be " Men." 

tSee legejid of the great bird, the terriiile •• Piasa." that devoured men, and was 
only overcome by the sacrifice of a brave younjchief. The roclis above Alton, Illin- 
ois, have some rude representations of this monster. 



Marquette thanked them for their advice, but declined to be 
guided by it. Passing through Green Bay, they ascended the 
Fox River, dragging their canoes over the strong rapids, and 
visited the village, where they fiiund living in harmony together 
tribes of the Miarnii, Mascoatens * and Kikabeax, or Kickapoos. 
Leaving this point on the 10th of June, they made the portage 
to the " Ouinconsin," and ilescended that stream to tlie Mis.sis- 
sippi, which they enteretl on the 17th with a joy, as Marquette 
says, which he could not express." f . 

Sailing down the Mississippi, the party reached the Des 
Moines River, and, according to some, visited an Indian village 
some two leagues up the stream Here the people again tried to 
persuade them from prosecuting their voyage down the river. 
After a great feast and a dance, and a night passed with this 
hospitable people, they proceeded on their way, escorted by six 
hundred persons to their canoes. These people called themselves 
Illinois, or mini. The name of their tribe was Pcnuica, and 
their language a dialect of the Algonquin. 

Leaving these savages, they proceeded down the river. Pass- 
ing the wonderful rocks, which still excite the admiration of the 
traveler, they arrived at the mouth of another great river, the 
Pekitanoni, or Missouri of the present day. Tliey noticed the 
condition of its waters, which they described as '' muddy, rush- 
ing and noisy." 

Passing a great rock, J they came to the Ouabouskir/on, or 
Ohio. Marquette shows this river very small, even as compared 
with the niiiwis. From the Ohio they passed as far down as the 
Akam.5ca, or Arkansas, where they came very near being de- 
stroyed by the natives ; but they finally pacified them, and, on 
the 17th of July, they commenced their return voyage. 

The party reached Green Bay in September without loss or 
injury, and reported their discoveries, which were among the 
most important of that age. Marquette afterwards returned to 
Illinois, and preached to the natives until 1675. 

On the 18th of May of that year, while cruising up the eastern 
coast of Lake Michigan with a party of boatmen, he landed at 
the mouth of a stream putting into the lake from the east, since 
known as the river Marquette. He performed mass, and went a 
little apart to pray, and being gone longer than his companions 
deemed necessary, they went in search of him, and found him 
dead where he had knelt. They buried him in the sand. 

AVhile this distinguished adventurer was pursuing his labors, 
two other men were preparing to follow in his footsteps, and 
make still further explorations, and, if possible, more important 
discoveries. These were the Chevalier Robert de la Salle and 
Louis Hennepin. 

La Salle was a native of Rouen, in Normandy. He was edu- 
cated at a seminary of the Jesuits, and designed for the ministry, 
but, for reasons unknown, he left the seminary and came to 
Canada, in 1667, where he engaged in the fur trade. 

Like nearly every intelligent man, be became intensely inte- 
rested in the new discoveries of the West, and conceived the idea 
of exploring the passage to the great South Sea, which by many 
was believed to exist. He made known his ideas to the Govern- 
or-General, Count Frontenac, and desired his co-operation. The 
Governor at once fell in with his views, which were strength- 
ened by the reports brought back by Marquette and Joliet, and 



« Prairie India 



t Marquette's journal. 



t The grand tower. 



1^ 



HISTORY OF BE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



advised La Salle to apply to ths King of France in person, and 
gave him letters of introduction to the great Colbert, then Min- 
ister of Finance and Marine. Accordingly, in l(J7o, he returned 
to France, where he was warmly received by the King and 
nobility, and his ideas were at once listened to, and every possi- 
ble favor shown to him. 

He was made a Chevalier, and invested with the seigniory of 
Fort Catarocouy, or Frontenac (now known as Kingston), upju 
condition that he would rebuild it, as he proposed, of stone. 

Returning to Canada, he wrought diligently upon the fort 
until 1677, when he again visited France to report progress. 
He was received, as before, with fiivor, and, at the instance of 
Colbert and his son, the King granted him new letters patent 
and new privileges. Oa the 14th of July, 167S, be sailed from 
Rjchelle, accompanied by thirty man, and with Tonti, an Italian, 
for his lieutenant. They arrived at Quebec on the 13th of Sep- 
tember, and after a few days' delay, proceeded to Frontenac. 
Father Lewis Hennepin, a Franciscan friar, of the Recollet sect, 
was quietly working in Canada on La Salle's arrival. He was a 
man of great ambition, and much interested in the discoveries of 
the day. He was appointed by his religious superiors to accom- 
pany the expedition fitting out for La Salle. 

Sending agents forward to prepare the Indians for his coming, 
and to open trade with them, La Salle himself embarked, on the 
18th of November, in a little brigantine of ten tons, to cross 
Lake Ontario. This was the first ship of European build that 
ever sailed upon this fresh-water sea. Contrary winds made the 
voyage long and troublesome, and a month was consumed in 
beating up the lake to the Niagara River. Near the mouth of 
this river the Iroqmis had a village, and here La Salle con- 
structed the first fortification, which afterwards grew into the 
famous Fort Niagara. On the 26th of January, 1679, the keel 
of the first vessel built on Lake Erie was laid at the mouth of 
the Cayuga Creek, on the American side, about six miles above 
the fiiUs. 

In the meantime La Salle had returned to Fort Frontenac to 
forward supplies for his forthcoming vessel. The little barque 
on Lake Ontario was wrecked by carelessness, and a large 
amount of the supplies she carried was lost. On the 7th of Au- 
gust, the new vessel was launched, and made ready to sail. She 
was about seventy tons' burden. 

La Salle christened his vessel the "Griffiu,"in honor of the 
arms of Count Froatenac. Passing across Lake Erie, and into 
the small lake, which they named St. Clair, they entered the 
broad waters of Lake Huron. Here they encountered heavy 
storms, as dreadful as those upon the ocean, and after a most 
temi)sstuous passage they took refuge in the roadstead of Michilli- 
mackiuac (Mackinaw"), on the 27th of August. La Salle remained 
at this point until the middle of September, busy in founding a 
fort and constructing a trading-house, when he went forward 
upon the deep waters of Lake Michigan, and soon after cast 
anchor in Green Bay. Finding here a large quantity of furs and 
peltries, he determined to load his vessel and send her back to 
Niagara. On the 18th of September, she was sent under charge 
of a pilot, wdiile La Salle himself, with fourteen men,* proceeded 
up Lake ilicbigan, leisurely examining its shores and noting 
everything of interest. Tonti, who had been sent to look after 



stragglers, was to join him at the head of the lake. Prom the 
19th of September to the 1st of November, the time was occupied 
in the voyage up this inland sea. On the last-named day. La 
Salle arrived at the mouth of the river Miamis, now St. Joseph. 
Here he constructed a fort, and remained nearly a month wait, 
ing for tidings of his vessel ; but, hearing nothing, he determined 
to push on before the winter should prevent hira. On the 3d 
of December, leaving ten men to garrison the fort, he started 
overland towards the head-waters of the Illinois, accompanied 
by three monks and twenty men. Ascending the St. Joseph 
River, he crossed a short portage and reached the The-a-ki-ki, 
since corrupted into Kunkakee. Embarking on this sluggish 
stream, they came shortly to the Illinois, and soon after found a 
village of the Itlinois Indians, probably in the vicinity of the 
rocky bluffs, a few miles above the present city of La Salle, Illi- 
nois. They found it deserted, but the Indians had quite a 
quantity of maize stored here, and La Salle, being short of 
provisions, helped himself to what he required. Passing 
down the stream, the party, on the 4th of January, came to a 
lake, probably the Lake Peoria, as there is no other upon this 
stream. Here they found a great number of natives, who were 
gentle and kind, and La Salle determined to construct a fort. 
It stood on a rise of ground near the river, and was named 
Creve-Cccur* (broken-heart), most probably on account of the 
low spirits of the commander, from anxiety for his vessel and 
the uncertainty of the future. Possibly he had heard of the loss 
of the " Griffin," which occurred on her downward trip from 
Green Bay ; most probably on Lake Huron. He remained at 
the Lake Peoria through the winter, but no good tidings came, 
and no supplies. His men were discontented, but the brave 
adventurer never gave up hope. He resolved to send a party on 
a voyage of exploration up the Mississippi, under the lead of 
Father Hennepin, and he himself would proceed on foot to Niag- 
ara and Frontenac, to raise more means and enlist new men ; 
while Tonti, his lieutenant, should stay at the fort, which they 
were to strengthen in the meantime, and extend their intercourse 
with the Indians. 

Hennepin started on his voyage on the last day of February, 
1680, and La Salle soon after, with a few attendants, started on 
his perilous journey of twelve hundred miles by the way of the 
Illinois River, the Miami, and Lakes Erie and Ontario, to 
Frontenac, which he finally reached in safety. He found his 
worst fears realized. The " Griffin " was lost, his agents had 
taken advantage of his absence, and his creditors had seized his 
goods. But he knew no such word as fail, and by the middle of 
summer he was again on his way with men and supplies for his 
band in Illinois. A sad disappointment awaited him. He found 
his fort deserted, and no tidings of Tonti and his men. During 
La Salle's absence the Indians had become jealous of the French, 
and they had been attacked and harassed even by the Iroquois, 
who came the long distance between the shores of Lake Ontario 
and the Illinois River to make war upon the more peaceable 
tribes dwelling on the prairies. Uncertain of any assistance 
from La Salle, and apprehensive of a general war with the sav- 
ages, Tonti, in September, 1680, abandoiied his position and re- 
turned to the shores of the lakes. La Salle reached the post on 
the Illinois in December, 1680, or January, 1681. Again 



' Annals of Hie West. 



HISTORY OF LE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



13 



bitterly disappoiuted, La Salle did not succumlj, but resolved to 
return to Canada and start anew. Tl''- he did, and in June met 
his lieutenant, Touti, at Mackinaw. 

Hennepin in the meanwhile had me^ ivith .strange adventures. 
After leaving Creve-Cceur, he reached the Mi.s.sissippi in seven 
days ; but his way was so obstructed by ice that he was until the 
11th of April reaching the Wisconsin line. Here he was taken 
prisoner by some northern Indians, who, however, treated him 
kindly and took him and his companions to the falls of St. An- 
"thony, which they reached on the 1st of JIay. These falls Hen- 
nepin named in honor of his patron saint. Hennepin and his 
companions remained here for three months, treated very kindly 
by their captors. At the end of this time they met with a band 
of French, led by one Sieur de Luth, * who, in pursuit of game 
and trade, had penetrated to this country by way of Lake Su- 
perior. With his band Hennepin and his companions returned 
to the borders of civilized life in November, 1680, just 
after La Salle had gone back to the wilderness. Hennepin re- 
turned to France, where, in 1684, he published a narrative of 
his wonderful adventures. 

Robert D3 La Salle, whose name is more closely connected 
with the explorations of the Mississippi than that of any other, was 
the next to descend the river in the year 1682. Formal posses- 
sion was taken of the great river and all the countries bordering 
upon it or its tributaries in the name of the King. 

La Salle and his party now retraced their steps towards the 
north. They met with no serious trouble until they reached the 
Chicka.saw Bluffs, where they had erected a fort on their down- 
ward voyage, and named it Prudhomme. Here Xia Salle was 
taken violently sick. Unable to proceed, he sent forward Tonti 
to communicate with Count Frontenaa. La Salle himself reached 
the mouth of the St. Joseph the latter part of September. From 
that point he sent Father Zenobe with his dispatches to represent 
him at court, while he turned his attention to the fur trade and 
to the project of completing a fort, which he named St. Louis, 
upon the Illinois River. The precise location of this work is not 
known. It was said to be upon a rocky bluff two hundred and 
fifty feet high, and only accessible upon one side. There are no 
bluffs of such a height on the Illinois River answering the de- 
scription. It may have been on the rocky bluff above La Salle, 
where the rocks are perhaps one hundred feet in height. 

Upon the completion of this work La Salle again sailed for 
France, which he reached on the loth of December, 1683. A 
new man. La Barre, had now succeeded Frontenac as Governor 
of Canada. This man was unfriendly towards La Salle, and 
this, with other untoward circumstances, no doubt led him to at- 
tempt the colonization of the Mississippi country by way of the 
mouth of the river. Notwithstanding many obstacles were in his 
path, he succeeded in obtaining the grant of a fleet from the 
King, and on the 24th of July, 1684, a fleet of twenty-four ves- 
sels sailed from Rochelle to America, four of which were destined 
for Louisiana, and carried a body of two hundred and eighty 
people, including the crews. There were soldiers, artificers, and 
volunteers, and also " some young women." Discord soon broke 
out between M. de Beaujeu and La Salle, and grew from bad to 
worse. On the 20th of December they reached the island of St. 
Domingo. 



Joutel * was sent out with this party, which left on the 4th of 
February, and traveled eastward three days, when they came to 
a great stream which they could not cross. Here they made sig- 
nals by building great fires, and on the 13th two of the vessels 
came in sight. The stream was sounded and the vessels 
were anchored under shelter. But again misfortune overtook 
L.i Salle, aud the vessel was wrecked, and the bulk of the sup- 
plies was lost At this juncture M. de Beaujeu, his second in 
command, set sail and returned to France. La Salle now con- 
structed a rude shelter from the timbers of his wrecked vessel, 
placed his people inside of it, and set out to explore the sur- 
rounding country in hope of finding the Mississippi. He was, of 
course, disappointed ; but found on a stream, which is named the 
Vaches, a good site for a fort- He at once removed his camp, 
and, after incredible exertions, constructed a fortification suffi- 
cient to protect them from the Indians. This fort was situated 
on Matagorda Bay, within the present limits of Texas, and was 
called by La Salle Fort St. Louis. 

Leaving Joutel to complete the work with one hundred men, 
La Salle took the remainder of the company and embarked 
on the river, with the intention of proceeding as far up as he 
could. The savages soon became troublesome, and on the 14th 
of July La Salle ordered Joutel to join him with his whole force. 
They had already lost several of their best men, and dangers 
threatened them on every side. It would seem from the histo- 
rian's account of the expedition that La Salle began to erect 
another fort, and also that he became morose and severe in his 
discipline, so much so as to get the ill will of many of his people. 
He finally resolved to advance into the country, but whether 
with the view of returning to Canada by way of Illinois, or only 
for the purpose of making further discoveries, Joutel leaves in 
doubt. Giving his last instructions, he left the fort on the 12th 
day of .January, 1687, with a company of about a dozen men, 
including his brother, two nephews. Father Anastasius, a Francis- 
can friar, Joutel, and others, and moved north-eastward, as is 
supposed, until the 17th of" March, when some of his men, who 
had been cherishing revengeful feelings for some time, waylaid 
the Chevalier and shot him dead. They also slew one of his 
nephews and two of his servants. 

This deed occurred on the 20tli of March, on a stream called 
Cenis. 

In 1687, France was involved in a long aud bloody war. The 
Leiigue of Augsburg was formed by the Princes of the Empire 
against Louis XIV., and England, Spain, Holland, Denmark, 
Sweden, and Savoy took up arms, and Louis found himself bat- 
tling with nearly the whole of Europe, and only Turkey for an 
ally. This war ended with the peace of Ryswick in 1697. 

No material ehaage took place in America, but the colonists 
were harassed and many of their people killed or carried cap- 
tives to the Canadas. In 1688, the French possessions in North 
America included nearly the whole of the continent north of the 
St. Lawrence, and the entire valley of the Mississippi ; and they 
had begun to establish a line of fortifications extending from 
Quebec to the mouth of the Mississippi, between which points 
they had three great lines of communication, to wit: b)' way of 
Mackinaw, Green Bay, and the AVisconsiu River ; by way of 
Lake Michigan, the Kankakee and Illinois Rivers ; and by way 

•Joutel, historian of the voyage, accompanied La Sulle. and subsequently wrote 
his "Journal Hisiorique," which was published in Paris, 1713. 



14 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



of Lake Erie, the Maumee and Wabash Rivers, aud were pre- 
paring to explore the Ohio as a fourth route. 

lu 1699, D'Iberville, under the authority of the crown, disco- 
vered, ou the second of March, by way of the sea, the mouth of 
the " Hidden River." This majestic stream was called by the 
natives " Malbouchia," and by the Spaniards, " La Palissade," 
from the great number of trees about its mouth. After travers- 
ing the several outlets, and satisfying himself as to its certainty, 
he erected a fort near its western outlet, and returned to France. 
An avenue of trade was now opened out, which was fully im- 
proved. 

At this time a census of New France showed a total popula- 
tion of eleven thousand two hundred and forty-nine Europeans. 
War again broke out in 1701, aud extended over a period of 
twelve years, ending with the treaty of Utrecht, in 1713. This 
also extended to the American Colonies, and its close left every- 
thing as before, with the exception that Nova Scotia was cap- 
tured in 1710. 

In 171S, New Orleans was laid out and settled by some 
European colonists. In 1762, the colony was made over to 
Spain, to be regained by France, under the consulate of Napo- 
leon. 

In 1803, it was purchased by the United States, for the sum 
of fifteen million dollars, and the territory of Louisiana and the 
commerce of the Mississippi river, came under the charge of the 
United States. Although La Salle's labors ended in defeat and 
death, he had not worked and suffered in vaiu. He had thrown 
open to France and the world an immense and most valuable 
country. Had established several ports, and laid the foundation 
of more than one settlement there. " Peoria, Kaskaskia and Ca- 
hokia are to this day monuments of La Salle's labors ; for, 
though he had founded neither of them (unless Peoria, which 
was built nearly upon the site of Fort Crevecceur), it was by those 
he led into the west that these places were peopled and civilized. 
He was, if not the discoverer, the first settler of the Mississippi 
Valley, and as such deserves to be known and honored."* 

The French early improved the opening made for them, and 
before 1693, the Reverend Father Gravier began a mission 
among the Illinois, and became the founder of Kaskaskia. For 
some time it was merely a missionary station, and the inhabitants 
of the village consisted entirely of natives ; it being one of three 
such villages, the other two being Cahokia and Peoria. This we 
learn from a letter written by Father Gabriel JNIarest, dated 
" Aux Casoaskias, Autrement dit de I'lmmaculee concepcion dc 
la Sainte Vierge, le 9 Novembre, 1712." In this letter, the 
■writer tells us that Gravier must be regarded as the founder of 
the Illinois missions. Soon after the founding of Kaskaskia, the 
missionary, Pinet, gathered a flock at Cahokia.f while Peoria 
arose near the remains of Fort Crevecreur.;); 

An unsuccessful attempt was also made to found a colony on 
the Ohio. It failed in consequence of sickness. § 

In the north, De La Motte Cadillac, in June, 1701, laid the 



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elation to La Salle 


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Am 


rican State Pape 


s, xviii 


476 








2 Western Annnla^ 





















foundation of Fort Pontchartrain, on the strait, (le Detroit),* 
while in the southwest efforts were making to realize the dreams 
of La Salle. The leader in the last named enterprise was Le- 
moine D'Iberville, a Canadian ofiicer, who from 1694 to 1697 
distinguished himself not a little by battles and conquests among 
the icebergs of the " Baye D'Udson or Hudson's Bay." 

The post at Vincenues, on the Oubache river, (pronounced 
Wa-bii, meaning summer cloud moving swiftly), was established 
in 1702. It is quite probable that on La Salle's last trip he 
established the stations at Kaskaskia and Cahokia. Until the 
year 1750, but little is known of the settlements in the north- 
west, as it was not until this time that the attention of the 
English was called to the occupation of this portion of the new 
world, which they then supposed they owned. Vivier, a mission- 
ary among the Illinois, writing " Aux Illinois," six leagues from 
Fort Chartres, June 8th, 1750, says : " We have here whites, 
negroes, and Indians, to say nothing of the cross-breeds. There 
are five French villages, and three villages of the natives within 
a space of twenty-one leagues, situated between the Mississippi 
and another river, called the Karkadiad ( Kaskaskia). In the 
five French villages are, perhaps, eleven hundred whites, three 
hundred blacks, and some sixty red slaves or savages. The 
three Illinois towns do not contain more than eight hundred 
souls all told.f Most of the French till the soil. They raise 
wheat, cattle, pigs and horses, and live like jirinces. Three 
times as much is produced as can be consumed, and great quan- 
tities of grain and flour are sent to New Orleans." 

Again, in an epistle dated November 17th, 1750, Vivier .says: 
" For fifteen leagues above the mouth of the Mississippi, one sees 
no dwellings * * * * New Orleans contains black, white and 
red, not more, I think, than twelve hundred persons. To this 
point come all kinds of lumber, bricks, salt-beef, tallow, tar, skins, 
and bear's grease; and above all pork and flour from the Illinois. 
These things create some commerce, as forty vessels and more 
have come hither this year. Above New Orleans plantations are 
again met with ; the most considerable is a colony of Germans, 
some ten leagues up the river. At Point Coupee, thirty-five 
leagues above the German settlement, is a fort. Along here, 
within five or six leagues, are not less than sixty habitations. 
Fifty leagues farther up is the Natchez post, where we have a 
garrison." 

Father Marest, writing from the po.st at Vincennes, maizes the 
same observation. Vivier also says, " Some individuals dig lead 
near the surface, and supply the Indians and Canada. Two 
Spaniards, now here, who claim to be adepts, say that our mines 
are like those of Mexico, and that if we would dig deeper wo 
would find silver under the lead ; at any rate the lead is excellent. 
There are also in this country, beyond doubt, copper mines, as 
from time to time, large pieces have been found in the streams."]; 

At the close of the year 1750, the French occupied in addition 
to the lower Mississippi posts and those in Illinois, one at Du 
Quesne, one at the Maumee, in the country of the Miamis, and 
one at Sandusky, in what may be termed the Ohio Valley. In 
the northern part of the north-west, they had stations at St. 
Joseph's, on the St. Joseph's of Lake Michigan, at Fort Pont- 

• Charlevoix, ii. 284. Le Detroit was the whole strait from Erie to Huron. The 
first grants of land at Detroit, i. c. Fort Pontchartrain, were made in 1707 

t Lettres Edifiantes (Paris, 1781), rii. 97-108. 
t Western Annals. 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



15 



chartrain (Detroit), at Michillimackinac or Massillimacinac, 
Fox Eiver of Green Bay, and at Sault Ste.lMarie. The fondest 
dreams of La Salle were now fully realized. The French alone 
were possessors of this vast realm, basing their claim on discovery 
and settlement. Another nation, however, was now turning its 
attention to this extensive country, and learning of its wealth 
began to lay plans for occupying it and for securing the great 
profits arising therefrom. 

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

DISCOVERY OP THE OHIO. 

The largest branch of the Mississippi river from the east, 
known to the early French settlers as la belle- rieiere, called 
" beautiful " river, was discovered by Robert, Cavalier de La 
Salie, in 1659. While La Salle was at his trading post on the 
St. Lawrence, he found leisure to study nine Indian dialects, the 
chief of which was the Iroquois. While conversing with some 
Senecas, he learned of a river called the Ohio, which rose in their 
country and flowed to the sea. 

In this statement tlie Mississippi and its tributaries were con- 
sidered as one stream. La Salle, believing as most of the French 
at that period did, that the great rivers flowing west emptied into 
the Sea of California, was anxious to embark in the enterprise of 
discovering a route across the continent. He repaired at once to 
Quebec to obtain the approval of the Governor and the Intend- 
ent. Talon. They issued letters patent, authorizing the enter- 
prise, but made no provisions to defray the expenses. 

At this juncture the seminary St. Sulpice decided to send out 
-missionaries in connection with the expedition, and La Salle 
offering to sell his improvements at La Chive to raise the money, 
the offer was accepted by the Superior, and tsvo th lusand eight 
hundred dollars were raised, with which La Salle purchased four 
canoes and the necessary supplies for the outfit. 

On the 6th of July, 1669, the party, numbering twenty-four 
persons, embarked in seven canoes on the St. Lawrence. Two 
adilitional canoes carried the Indian guides. 

In three days they were gliding over the bosom of Lake On- 
tario. Their guides conducted them directly to the Seneca vil- 
lage on the bank of the Genesee, in the viciuity of the present 
city of Rochester, New York. Here they expected to procure 
guides to conduct them to the Ohio, but in this they were disap- 
pointed. After waiting a month in the hope of gaining their 
object, they met an Indian from the Iroquois colony, at the head 
of Lake Ontario, who assured them they could find guides, and 
offered to conduct them thence. On their way they passed the 
mouth of Niagara river, when they heard for the first time the 
distant thunder of the cataract. Arriving among the Iroquois 
they met with a friendly reception, and learned from a Shawnee 
prisoner that they could reach the Ohio in six week.s. Delighted 
with the unexpected good fortune, they made ready to resume 
their journey, and as they were about to start they heard of the 
arrival of two Frenchmen in a neighboring village. One of them 
proved to be Louis Joliet, afterwards famous as an explorer in 
the west. He had been sent by the Canadian government to ex- 
plore the copper mines on Lake Superior, but had failed and was 
on his way back to Quebec. 

On arriving at Lake Superior, they found, as La Salle had 
predicted, the Jesuit fathers, Marquette and Dablon, occupying 



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

When Washington was sent out by the colony of Virginia in 
17.5.3, to demand of Gordeur de St. Pierre why the French had 
built a fort on the Monongahela, the haughty commandant at 
Quebec replied: " We claim the country on the Ohio by virtue 
of the discoveries of La Salle, and will not give it up to the 
English. Our orders are to make prisoners of every Englishman 
found trading in the Ohio valley." 

ENGLISH EXPLORATIONS AND SETTLEMENTS. 

We have sketched the progress of French discovery in the 
Talley of the Mississippi. The first travelers reached that river 
in 1673, aud when the year 1750 broke in upon the father of 
waters and the great north-west, all was still except those little 
spots upon the prairies of Illinois and among the marshes of 
Louisiana. 

Volney, by conjecture, fixes the settlement of Vincennes about 
17.S5.* Bishop Brute, of Indiana, speaks of a missionary station 
there in 1700, and adds : " The friendly tribes and traders called 
to Canada for protection, and then M. De Vincennes came with 
a detachment, I think, of Carignau, and was killed in 1735." "j" 
Bancroft says a military establishment was formed there in 1716, 
and in 1742 a settlement of herdsmen took place. J In a petition 
of the old inhabitants at Vincennes, dated in November, 1793, 
we find the settlement spoken of as having been made before 
1742. § And such is the general voice of tradition. On the 
other hand, Charlevoix, who records the death of Vincennes, 
which took jjlace amoug the Chickasaws, in 1736, makes no 
mention of any post on the Wabash, or any missionary station 
there. Neither does he mark any upon his map, although he 
gives even the British forts upon the Tennessee and elsewhere. 
Such is the character of the proof relative to the settlement of 
Vincennes. 

Hennepin, in 1663-4, had heard of the " Hohio." The route 
from the lakes to the Mississippi, by the Wabash, was explored 
1676, II and in Hennepin's volume of 1698, is a journal, said to 
be that sent by La Salle to Count Frontenac, in 1682 or '83, 
which mentions the route by the Maumee^ aud Wabash as the 
most direct to the great western river. 

In 1749, when the English first began to think seriously of 
sending men into the west, the greater portions of the states of 
Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota 
were yet under the dominion of the red men. The English knew 
however, of the nature of the vast wealth of these wilds. 

In the year 1710, Governor Spotswood, of Virginia, had ma- 
tured a plan and commenced movements, the objectof which was 
to secure the country beyond the Alleghenies to the English 
crown. In Pennsylvania, also. Governor Keith and James Lo- 
gan, Secretary of the Province from 1719 to 1731, represented 
to the powers of England the necessity of taking steps to secure 
the western lands. Nothing, however, was done by the mother 

* Volney's View, p. 336. t 

g American Sfate Papers, Kvi . ".: 
^ Now called .^Uami. 



IG 



EISrORY OF DE WITT COUA'TY, ILLINOIS. 



country, except to take certain diplomatic steps to secure the 
claim of Britain to this unexplored wilderness. England had 
from the outset claimed from the Atlantic to the Pacific, on the 
ground that the discovery and possession of the sea coast was a 
discovery and possession of the country ; and as is well known, 
her grants to Virginia, Connecticut, and other colonies, were 
through from " sea to sea." This was not all her claims ; she had 
purchased from the Indian tribes large tracts of land. This was 
also a strong argument. 

In the year 1684, Lord Howard. Governor of Virginia, held a 
treaty with the five nations at Albany. These were the great 
Northern Confederacy, and comprised at first the Mohawks, 
Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senecas. Afterward the 
Tuscaroras were taken into the confederacy, and it became known 
as the six nations. They came under the protection of the 
mother country, and again in 1701 they repeated the agreement. 
Another formal deed was drawn up and signed by the chiefs of 
the National Confederacy in 1726, by which their lands were 
conveyed in trust to England, " to be protected and defended by 
his majesty, to and for the use of the grantors and their heirs." 
The validity of this claim has often been disputed, but never 
successfully. In 177-1, a purchase was made at Lancaster of 
certain lands within the '■ colony of Virginia," for which the In- 
dians received i."200 in gold and a like sum in goods, with a 
promise that as settlements increased, more should be paid. The 
commissioners from Virginia at the treaty were Col. Thomas Lee 
and Col. William Beverly. 

As settlements extended, and the Indians begau to complain, 
the promise of further pay was called to mind, and Mr. Conrad 
Weiser was sent across the Alleghenies to Logstowu. In 1784,* 
Col. Lee and some Virginians accompanied him, with the inten- 
tion of ascertaining the feelings of the Indians with regard to 
further settlements in the west, which Col. Lee and others were 
contemplating. The object of these proposed settlements was not 
the cultivation of the soil, but the monopoly of the Indian trade. 
Accordingly, after Weiser's conference with the Indians at Logs- 
town, which was favorable to their views, Thomas Lee, with 
twelve other Virginians, among whom were Lawrence and Augus- 
tine, brothers of George Washington, and also Mr. Hanbury, of 
London, formed an association which they called the " Ohio 
Company," and in 1748 petitioned the king for a grant beyond 
tlie mountains. This petition was approved liy the English 
government, and the government of Virginia was ordered to 
grant to the petitioners half a million of acres within the bounds 
of that colony beyond the Alleghenies, two hundred thousand of 
which were to be located at once. This portion was to be held 
for ten years free of quit-rent, provided the company would put 
there one hundred families within seven years, and build a fort 
sufficient to protect the settlement. The company accepted the 
proposition, and sent to London for a cargo suited to the Indian 
trade, which should arrive in November, 1749. Other companies 
were also formed about this time in Virginia to colonize the west. 
On the 12th of June, 1749, a grant of 800,000 acres from the 
line of Canada, on the north and west, was made to the Loyal 
Company, and on the 29th of October, 1751, another of 100,000 
acres to the Greenbriar Company. t 

The French were not blind all this time. They saw that if the 



• Plain Facts, pp. 4a, 120. 



t Revised Stalules of Virginia 



British once obtained a stronghold upon the Ohio, they might 
not only prevent their settlements upon it, but in time would 
come to the lower posts, and so gain possession of the whole 
country. Upon the 10th of May, 1744, Vaudreuil, the French 
governor, well knowing the consequences that must arise from 
allowing the English to build trading posts in the north-west, 
seized some of their frontier posts, to further secure the claims of 
the French to the west. Having these fears, and seeing the 
danger of the late movements of the British, Gallisoniere, then 
Governor of Canada, determined to place along the Ohio evi- 
dences of the French claim to, and possession of, the country. 
For that purpose he sent, in the summer of 1749, Louis Celeron, 
with a party of soldiers, to place plates of lead, on which were 
written out the claims of the French, in the mounds and at the 
mouths of the rivers. These were heard of by William Trent, 
an Indian commissioner, sent out by Virginia in 1752, to treat 
with and conciliate the Indians, while upon the Ohio, and men- 
tioned in his journal. One of these plates was found with the 
inscription partly defaced. It bears date August 16th, 1749, and 
a copy of the inscription, with particular account, was sent by 
De Witt Clinton to the American Antiquarian Society, among 
whose journals it may now be found. These measures did not, 
however, deter the English from going on with their explora- 
tions. /^ 

In February, 1751, Christopher Gist was'^sent by the Ohio 
Company to examine its lands. He went to a village of the 
Twigtwees, on the Miami, about 150 miles above its mouth. 
From there he went down the Ohio River nearly to the falls, at 
the present city of Louisville, and in November he commenced 
a survey of the company's lands. In 1751, peueral Andrew 
Lewis commenced some surveys in the Greeubrisr country, on 
behalf of the company already mentioned. Meanwhile the 
French were busy in preparing their forts for defence, and in 
opening roads. In 1752 having heard of the trading houses on 
the Miami River, they, assisted by the Ottawas and Chippewas, 
attacked it, and, after a severe battle, in which fourteen of the 
natives were killed and others wounded, captured the garrison. 
The traders were carried away to Canada, and one account says 
several were burned. This fort, or trading liouse was called by 
the English writers Pickawillauy. A memorial of the king's 
ministers refers to it as " Pickawellanes, in the center of the terri- 
tory between Ohio and the Wabash." This was the fii'st blood 
shed between the French and English, and occurred near the 
present city of Piqua, Ohio. The English were determined on 
their part to purchase a title from the Indians of lands which 
they wished to occujiy, and in the spring of 1752, Messrs. Fry,"" 
Lomax and Patton, were sent from Virginia to hold a conference 
with the natives at Logstown, to learn what they objected to in 
the treaty at Lancaster, and to settle all difficult) %«. On the 9th 
June the commissioners met the red men at Logstown. This 
was a village seventeen miles below Pittsburgh, upon the north 
side of the Ohio. Here had been a trading point for many years, 
but it was abandoned by the Indians in 1750. At first the 
Indians declined to recognize the treaty of Lancaster, but the 
commissioners taking aside Montour, the interpreter, who was a 
son of the famous Catherine Montour, and a oliief among the six 
nations, being three-fourths of Indian blood, through bis influence 

* Aftprwsrds Commnnder-in-Cliief over Washington, at the commencement of the 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



17 



an agreement was effected, and upon the 13th of June they all 
united in signing a deed, confirming the Lancaster treaty in its 
fullest extent. Meanwhile the powers beyond the seas were try- 
ing to out-inanoeuver each other, and were professing to be at 
peace. The English generally outwitted the Indians, and secured 
themselves, as they thought, by their politic conduct. But the 
French, in this as in all cases, proved that they knew best how 
to manage the natives. While these measures were taken, another 
treaty with the wild men of the debatable land was also iu con- 
templation. And in September, 1753, William Fairfax met their 
deputies at Winchester, Virginia, where he concluded a treaty. 
In the month following, however, a more satisfactory interview 
took place at Carlisle, between the representatives of the Iroquois, 
Delawares, Shawnees, Twigtwees, and Wyandots, and the com- 
missioners of Pennsylvania, Richard Peters, Isaac Norris, and 
Benjamin Franklin. Soon after this, no satisfaction being 
obtained from the Ohio, either as to the force, position, or pur- 
poses of the French, Robert Dinwiddle, then Governor of Vir- 
ginia, determined to send to them another messenger, and learn 
if possible their intentions. For this purpose he selected a young 
surveyor, who, at the age of nineteen had attained the rank of 
major, and whose previous life had inured him to hardships and 
woodland ways ; while his courage, cool judgment, and firm will, 
all fitted him for such a mission. This personage was no other 
than the illustrious George Washington, who then held consider- 
able in'erest in western lands. He was twenty-one years old at 
the time of the appointment.* Taking Gist as a guide, the two, 
accompanied by four servitors, set out on their perilous march. 
They left Will's Creek, where Cumberland now is, on the loth 
of November, and on the 22d reached the Monongahela, about 
ten miles above the fork. From there they went to Logstown, 
where Washington had a long conference with the chiefs of the 
six nations. Here he learned the position of the French, and 
also that they had determined not to come down the river until 
the following spring. The Indians were non-committal, they 
deeming a neutral position the safest. Washington, finding no- 
thing could be done, went on to Venango, an old Indian town 
at the mouth of the French Creek. Here the French had a fort 
called Fort Machault. On the 11th of December he reached the 
fort at the head of French Creek. Here he delivered Gover- 
nor Dinwiddle's letter, received his answer, and upon the IGth 
set out upon his return journey with no one but Gist, his guide, 
and a few Indians who still remained true to him. They reached 
home in safety on the 6th of January, 17.54. From the letter of 
St. Pierre, commander of the French fort, sent by Washington 
to Governor Dinwiddle, it was perfectly clear that the French 
would not yield the West without a struggle. Active preparations 
were at once made in all the English colonies for the coming con- 
flict, while the French finished their fort at Venango and strength- 
ened their lines of fortifications to be in readiness. The Old 
Dominion was all alive. Virginia was the center of great activities. 
Volunteers were called for, and from the neigliboring colonies 
men rallied to the conflict, and everywhere along the Potomac 
men were enlisting under the Governor's proclamation, — which 
promised two hundred thousand acres on the Ohio. Along this 
river they were gathering as far as Will's Creek, and far beyond 
'.his point, whither Trent had come for assistance, for liis little 
oand of forty-one men, who were working away in hunger and 

♦Sparks' Washington, Vol. ii., pp. 42S-H7. 



want, to fortify that point at the fork of the Ohio, to which both 
parties were looking with deep interest. The first birds of spring 
filled the forest with their songs. The swift river rolled by the 
Allegheny hillsides, swollen by the melting snows of spring and 
April showers. The leaves were appearing, a few Indian scouts 
were seen, but no enemy seemed near at hand, and all was so 
quiet that Frazier, an old Indian trader, who had been left by 
Trent in command of the new fort, ventured to his home at t'le 
mouth of Turtle Creek, ten miles up the Monongahela. But 
though all was so quiet in that wilderness, keen eyes had seen the 
low entrenchment that was rising at the fork, and swift feet had 
borne the news of it up the valley, and on the morning of the 
17th of April, Ensign Ward, who then had charge of it, saw upon 
the Allegheny a sight that made his heart sink; — sixty batteaux 
and three hundred canoes, filled with men, and laden deep with 
cannon and stores. The fort was called on to surrender : by the 
advice of the Half-King, Ward tried to evade the act, but it 
would not do. Coutrecoeur, with a thousand men about him, 
said ' Evacuate,' and the ensign dared not refuse. That evening 
he supped with his captor, and the next day was bowed off by the 
Frenchman, and, with his men and tools, marched up the Mon- 
ongliahela." The French and Indian war had begun. The 
treaty of Aix la Chapelle, in 1748, had left the foundries b6„ween 
the French and English possessions unsettled, and the events 
already narrated show that the French were determined to hold 
the country watered by the Mississippi and its tributaries: while 
the English laid claim to the country by virtue of the discoveries 
by the Cabots, and claimed all the country from New Foundland 
to Florida, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The first deci- 
sive blow had been struck, and the first attempt of the English, 
through the Ohio Company, to occupy these lands had resulted 
disastrously to them. The French and Indians immediately 
completed the fortifications begun at the fork, which they had so 
easily captured, and when completed gave to the fort the name 
of Du Quesne. Washington was at Will's creek, when the news 
of the capture of the fort arrived He at once departed to re- 
capture it. On his way he entrenched himself at a place called 
the "Meadows," where he erected a fort called by him Fort 
Necessity. From there he surprised and captured a force of 
French and Indians marching against him, but was soon afler 
attacked by a much superior force, and was obliged to yield on 
the morning of July 4th. He was allowed to return to Virginia. 
The English Government immediately planned four cam- 
paigns, one against Fort Du Quesne, one against Nova Scotia, 
one against Fort Niagara, and one against Crown Point. These 
occurred during 175.5-6, and were not successful in driving the 
French from their possessions. The expedition against Fort Du 
Quesne was led by the fiimous Braddock, who, refusing to listen 
to the advice of Washington and those acquainted with Indian 
warfare, suffered an inglorious defeat. This occurred on the 
morning of July 9th, and is generally known as the battle of 
Monongahela or " Braddock's defeat." The war continued 
through various vicissitudes through the years 1756-7, when, 
at the commencement of 1758, in accordance with the plans of 
William Pitt, then secretary of state, afterwards Lord Chatham, 
active preparations were made to carry on the war. Three 
expeditions were planned for this year: one under General 
Amherst, against Louisburg ; another under Abercrombie, 
against Fort Ticoiideroga ; and a third under General Forbes, 



18 



JIISTORY OF DE W2TT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



against rort Du Quesne. On the 26th of July, Louisburg j 
Eurreiuleretl after a desperate rej-istauce of more than forty days, 
and the eastern part of tlie Canadian possessions fell iutu tlie 
hands of the British. Abereroiubie captured Fort Froutenac, 
and when the expedition against Fort Du Quesne, of which 
Wasliington had the active command, arrived there, it was 
found in flames and de-erted. The English at once tooli 
possession, rebuilt the fort, and in linnur of their illustrious 
statesman, changed the name to Fort Pitt. 

The great oljject of the campaign of 1759, was the reduction 
of Canada. General Wolfe was to lay siege to Quebec ; Am- 
herst was to reduce Ticonderoga and Crown Point ; and General 
Prideaux was to capture Kiagara. This latter place was taken 
in July, but the gallant Prideaux lost his life. Amherst cap- 
tured Ticonderoga and Crown Point, without a blow ; and 
Wolfe, after making the memorable ascent to the plains of " 
Abriiham, on September 13th, defeated Montcalm, and on the 
18th the city capitulated. In this engagement, Montcalm and 
Wolfe both lost their lives. De Levi, Montcalm's successor, 
marched to Sillery, three miles above the city, with the purpose j 
of defeating the Englis!i,and there, on the 28th of the following 
April, was fought one of the bloodiest battles of the French 
and Indian war. It resulted in the defeat of the French, and 
the fall of the city of Jlontreal. The Governor signed a capitu- ! 
lation by which the whole of Canada was surrendered to the ' 
Englisli. This practicall)' concluded the war, but it was not 
until ITO.j that the treaties of peace between France and Eng- 
land Were signed. This was done on the 10th of February of 
that year, and under its provisions all the country east of the i 
Mississippi and north of the Iberville river in Louisiana, were \ 
ceded to England. At the same time, Spain ceded Florida to > 
Great Britain. 

On the 13tli of .September, 1700, Major Robert Rogers was \ 
sent from Montreal to take charge of Detroit, the only remaining i 
French post in the territory. He arrived there on the S)th of j 
November, and summoned the place to surrender. At first the 
commander of the post, Beletrc, refused, but on the 29th, hearing 
of the continued defeat of the Frencli army, surrendered. The 
North-west Territory was now entirely under the English rule. 
In 1702, France, by a secret treaty, ceded Liuisiana to Spain, 
to prevent it falling into the hands of the English, who were 
becoming masters of tlie entire West. The next year the treaty 
of Paris, signed at Fontainbleau, gave to the English the domi- 
nion in question. Twenty years after, by the treaty of peace j 
between the L^nited States and Enghmd, that part of Canada 
lying south and west of the great lakes, comprehending a large 
territory, was acknowledged to be a portion of the United States, i 
In 1803 Louisiana was ceded by Spain back to France, and by 
France sold to the United States. By the treaty of Paris, the 
regions east of the Mississippi, incluiling all these and other 
towns of the north-west, were given over to England ; but they 
do not appear to have been taken possession of until 176-5, when 
Captain Stirling, in the name of the Majesty of England, estab- 
lished himself at Fort Chartres, bearing with Iiim the proclama- 
tion of General Gage, dated December 30th, 1764, which pro- 
mised religious freedom to all Catholics who wor.'hiped here 
and the right to leave the country with tlieir effects if they 
wished, or to rera.ain with tlie privileges of Englishmen. During 
the years 1775 and 1770, b^- the operations of laud companies \ 



and the perseverance of individuals, several settlements were 
firmly established between the AUeglienies aud the Ohio river 
and western land .sjieculators were busy in Illinois aud on the 
Wabash. At a council held in Kaskaskia, on July 5th, 1773, 
an a:5sociation of English traders, calling tliemselves the " Illinois 
Land Company," obtained from the chiefs of the Kaskaskia, 
Cahokia, and Peoria tribes two large tracts of land lying on the 
east side of the Mississippi river south of the Illinois. In 1775 
a merchant from the Illinois country, named Viviat, came to 
Post Vincennes as the agent of ttie association called the "Wa- 
bash Land Company.'' On the 8th of October he obtained from 
eleven Piankeshaw chiefs a deed for 37.497,600 acres of land. 
This deed was signed by the grantors, attested by a number of 
the inhabitants of Vincennes, and afterward recorded in the oflSce 
of a Notary Public at Kaskaskia. This and other land compa- 
nies had extensive schemes for the colonization of the West; but 
all were frustrated by the breaking out of the Revolutionary 
war. On the 20th of April, 1780, the two companies named 
consolid.ated under the name of the "United Illinois and Wabash 
Land Company;" they .afterwards made strenuous efforts to 
have these grants sanctioned by Congress, but all signally failed. 
When the war of the Revolution commenced, Kentucky was an 
unorganized country, there beiug settlements within her borders. 

In Hutcliins' Topography of Virginia, it is stated that at that 
time Kaskaskia contained 80 houses, and nearly 1,000 white and 
black inhabitants, the whites being a little the more numerous. 
Cahokia contained fifty houses, 300 white inhabitants, and 80 
negroes. There were east of the Mississippi river, about the year 
1771 — when these observations were made — "300 white men 
capable of bearing arms, and 230 negroes." From 1775 until 
the expedition of Clark, nothing is recorded and nothing known 
of these settlements, save what is contained in a report made by 
a committee to Congress in June, 1778. From it the following 
extract is made : " Near the mouth of the river Kaskaskia, there 
is a village which appears to have contained nearly eighty fami- 
lies from the beginning of the late Revolution ; there are twelve 
families at a small village at La Prairie Du Roohcrs, and nearly 
fifty families at the Cahokia village. There are also four or five 
families at Fort Chartres and St. Philip's, which is five miles 
further up the river." St. Louis had been settled in February, 
1764, and at this time contained, including its neighboring towns, 
over six hundred wliite and one hundred and fifty negroes. It 
must be remembered that all the country west of the Mississippi 
was under French rule, aud remained so until ceded back to 
Spain, its original owner,'wbo afterwards sold it and the country 
including New Orleans to the L'nited States. At Detroit, there 
were, according to Captain Carver, who was in the north-west 
from 1768 to 1770, more than one hundred houses, and the river 
was settled for more than twenty miles, although poorly culti- 
vated, the people being engaged in the Indian trade. 

On the breaking out of the Revolution, the British held every 
post of importance in the West. Kentucky was foumed as a 
component part of Virginia, and the sturdy pioneers of the West, 
alive to their interests, and recognizing the great benefits of 
obtaining the control of the trade in this part of the New World, 
held steadily to their purposes, aud those within the common- 
wealth of Kentucky proceeded to exercise their civil privileges 
by electing John Todd and Richard Gallaway burgesses, to rep- 
resent them in the assembly of the present state. The chief spirit 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COUXTY. IILIXOIS. 



19 



in this far-out colony, who liail represented her the "year previous 
east of the mountains, was now meditating a move of unequalled 
boldness. He had been watching the movements of the British 
throughout the north-west, and understood their whole plan. 
He saw it was through their possession of the posts at Detroit, 
Vincennes, Kaskaskia, and other places, which would give them 
easy access to the various Indian tribes in the north-west, that 
the British intended to penetrate the country from the north and 
south, and annihilate the frontier fortresses. This moving, ener- 
getic man was Colonel, afterwards General George Rogers Clark. 
He knew that the Indians were not unanimously in accord with 
the English, and he was convinced that, could the British be 
defeated and expelled from the north-west, the natives might be 
easily awed into neutrality; by spies sent for the purpose, he 
satisfied himself that the enterprise against the Illinois settle- 
ments might easily succeed. Patrick Henry was Governor of 
Virginia, and at once entered heartily into Clark's plans. The 
same plan had before been agitated in the Colonial Assemblies ; 
but there was no one until Clark came who was sufficiently 
acquainted with the condition of affairs at the scene of action to 
be able to guide them. 

Clark, having satisfied the Virginia leaders of the feasibility 
of his plan, received on the second of January two sets of instruc- 
tions: one secret, the other open. The latter authorized him to 
proceed to enlist seven comp.i-u'es to go to Kcutu^Kv, subject to 
his orders, and to serve thret months from thei; irrival in the 
west. The secret order authorized him to arm the troops, to 
procure his powder and lead of General Hand, at Pittsburg, and 
to proceed at once to subjugate the country. 

With these instructions Clark repaired to "Pittsburg, choosing 
rather to raise his men west of the mountains. Here he raised 
three companies and several private volunteers. Clark at length 
commenced his descent of the Ohio, which he navigated as far as 
the falls, where he took possession of and fortified Corn Island, 
between the present sites of Louisville, Kentucky, and New 
Albam', Indiana. Remains of this fortification may yet be 
found. At this place he appointed Col. Bowman to meet him 
with such recruits as had reached Kentucky by tlie southern 
route. Here he announced to the men their real destination. 
On the 24th of June he embarked on the river, his destination 
being Fort Massac or Massacre, and thence marclied direct to Kas- 
kaskia. The march was accomplished and the town reached on 
the evening of July 4. He captured the fort near the village, 
and soon after the village itself, by surprise, without the loss of 
a single man or killing any of the enemy. Clark told the natives 
that they were at perfect liberty to worship as they pleased, and 
to take whichever side of the conflict they would, and he would 
protect them from any barbarity from British or Indian foes. 
This had the desired effect, and the inhabitants at once swore 
allegiance to the American arms, and when Clark desired to go 
to Cahokia on the 6th of July, they accompanied him, and 
through their influence the inhabitants of the place surrendered. 
Thus two important posts in Illinois passed from the hands of 
the English into the possession of Virginia. During the year 
(1779) the famous '• Land Laws" of Virginia were passed. The 
passage of these laws was of more consequence to the pioneers of 
Kentucky and the north-west than the gaining of a few Indian 
conflicts. These grants confirmed in the main all grants made, 
and guaranteed to actual settlers their rights and privileges. 



DIVISION OF THE NORTH-WEST TERRITORY. 

The increased emigration to the north-west, and extent of the 
domain, made it very difficult to conduct the ordinary operations 
of government, and rendered the efficient action of courts almost 
impossible ; to remedy this it was deemed advisable to divide the 
territory for civil purposes. Congress, in 1800, appointed a 
committee to examine the nutstion and report some means for 
its solution. 

This committee on the 3d of March reported: "In the three 
western countries there has been but one court having cognizance 
of crimes, in five years, and the immunity which offenders expe- 
rience attracts, as to an asylum, the most vile and abandoned 
criminals, and at the same time deters useful citizens from making 
settlements in such society. The extreme necessity of judiciary 
attention and assistance is experienced in civil as well as in 
criminal cases. * * * * To remedy this evil it is expedient to 
the committee that a division of said territory into two distinct 
and separate governments should be made, and that such division 
be made by beginning at the mouth of the Great Miami river, 
running directly north until it intersects the boundary between 
the United States and Canada." 

The report was accepted by Congress, and, in accordance with 
its suggestions, that body passed an act extinguishing the north- 
west territory, which act was approved Jlay 7th. Among its 
provisions were these : 

" That from and after July 4 next, all that part of the terri- 
tory of the United States north-west of the Ohio river, which 
lies to the westward of a line beginning at a point opposite the 
mouth of the Kentucky river, and running thence to Fort 
Recovery, and thence Nortli until it shall intersect the terri- 
torial line between the United States and- Canada, shall, for the 
purpose of temporary government, constitute a separate territory 
and bo called the Indian Territory." 

Gen. Harrison (afterwards President), was appointed governor 
of the Indian Territory, and during his residence at Vincennes, 
he made several important treaties witli the Indians, thereby 
gaining large tracts of land. The next year is memorable in 
the history of the west for the purchase of Louisiana from 
France by the United States for 815,000,000. Thus by a peace- 
ful manner the domain of the United States was extended over 
a large tract of country west of the Mississippi, and was for a 
time under the jurisdiction of the north-western government. 
The next year Gen. Harrison obtained additional grants of land 
from the various Indian nations in Indiana and the present 
limits of Illinois, and on the 18th of August, 1804, completed a 
treaty at St. Louis, whereby over 51,000,000 acres of land were 
obtained. 

During this year. Congress granted a township of land for 
the support of a college, and began to offer inducements for 
settlers in these wilds, and the country now comprising the 
state of Michigan began to fill rapidly with settlers along its 
southern borders. This same year a law was passed organizing 
the south-west territory, dividing it into two portions, — the terri- 
tory of Kew Orleans, which city was made the seat of govern- 
ment, and the district of Louisiana, which was annexed to the 
domain by General Harrison. 

On the 11th of January, 1805, the territory of Michigan was 
formed, and Wm. Hull was appointed governor, with headquar- 



20 



HISTORY OF DE WITl COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



ters at Detroit, the change to lake effect June 30th. On the 
11th of that month, a iiru occurred at Detroit, wliich destroyed 
almost every building in the place. When the officers of the 
new territory reached the post, they found it in ruins, and the 
inhabitants scattered throughout the country. Rebuilding, how- 
ever, was commenced at once. AVhile this was being done, 
Indiana passed to the .second grade of government. In 1809, 
Indiana territory was divided, and the territory of Illinois was 
formed, the seat of government being fixed at Kaskaskia, and 
through her General Assembly had obtained large tracts of land 
from the Indian tribes. To all this the celebrated Indian 
Tecumthe, or Tecumseh, vigorously protested,* and it was the 
main cause of his attempts to unite the various Indian tribes in 
a conflict with the settlers. He visited the principal tribes, and 
Buoceeded in forming au alliance with most of the tribes, and 
then joined the cause of the British in the memorable war of 
1812. Tecumseh was killed at the battle of the Thames. 
Tecumseh was, in many respects, a noble character, — frank and 
honest in his intercourse with General Harrison and the settlers ; 
in war, brave and chivalrous. His treatment of prisoners was 
humane. In the summer of 1812, Perry's victory on Lake Erie 
occurred, and shortly after, active preparations were made to 
capture Fort Maiden. On the 27th of September, the American 
army, under command of General Harrison, set sail for the 
shores of Canada, and, in a few hours, stood around tbe ruins of 
Maiden, from which the British army under Proctor had re- 
treated to Sandwich, intending to make its way to the heart of 
Canada by the valley of the Thames. On the 29th, General 
Harrison was at Sandwich, and General JIcArthur took posses- 
sion of Detroit and the territory of Michigan. On the 2d of 
October following, the American army began their pursuit of 
Proctor, whom they overtook on the 5th, and the battle of the 
Thames followed. The victory was decisive, and practically 
closed the war in the northwest. In 1806, occurred Burr's 
insurrection. He took possession of an island in the Ohio, and 
was charged with treasonable intentions against the Federal gov- 
ernment. His capture was effected by General Wilkinson, acting 
under instruction of President Jefll-rson. Burr was brought to 
trial on a charge of treason, and, after a prolonged trial, during 
which he defended himself with great ability, he was acquitted 
of the charge of treason. His subsequent career was obscure, 
and he died in 1836. Had his scheme succeeded, it would be 
interesting to know what efl^ect it would have had on the north- 
western territory. The battle of the Thames was fought October 
6th, 181.3. It effectually closed hostilities in the north-west, 
although peace was not restored until July 22d, 1814, when a 
treaty was made at Greenville, by General Harrison, between 
the United States and the Indian tribes. On the 24th of De- 
cember, the treaty of Ghent was signed by the representatives 
of England and the United States. This treaty was followed 
the ne.xt year by treaties with various Indian tribes throughout 
the north-west, and quiet was again restored. 

PKESENT CONDITION OF THE NORTH-WEST. 

In the former chapters we have traced briefly the discoveries, 
settlements, wars, and most important events which have occurred 
in the lai-ge area of country denominated the north-west, and we 

* American State Papers. 



now turn to the contemplation of its growth and prosperity. Its 
people are among the most intelligent and enterprising in the 
Union. The population is steadily increasing, the arts and 
sciences are gaining a stronger foothold, the trade area of the 
region is becoming daily more extended, and we have been 
largely exempt from the financial calamities which have nearly 
wrecked communities on the sea-board, dependent wholly on 
foreign commerce or domestic manufacture. Agriculture is the 
leading feature in our industries. This vast domain has a sort 
of natural geographical border, save where it melts away to the 
southward in the cattle-raising districts of the south-west. The 
leading interests will be the growth of the food of the world, in 
which branch it has already outstripped all competitors, and 
our great rival will be the fertUe fields of Kansas, Nebraska 
Coloi'ado, Texas and New Mexico. 

To attempt to give statistics of grain productions for 1880 
would require more space than our work would permit ot^ 
Manufacturing has now attained in the chief cities a foothold 
that bids fair to render the north-west independent of the outside 
world. Nearly our whole region has a distribution of coal mea- 
sure which will in time support the manufactures necessary to 
our comfort and prosperity. As to transportation, the chief 
factor in the production of all articles except food, no section is 
so magnificently endowed, and our facilities are yearly increasing 
beyond those of any other region. 

The principal trade and manufacturing centres of the great 
north-west are Chicago, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, De- 
troit, Cleveland and Toledo, with any number of minor cities 
and towns doing 3 large and growing business. The intelligence 
and enterprise of its people ; the great wealth of its soil and 
minerals ; its vast inland seas and navigable rivers ; its magnifi- 
cent railroad system ; its patriotism and love of country will 
render it ever loyal in the future as in the past. The people of 
the Mississippi Valley are the keystone of the national union 
and national prosperity. 



CHAPTER II. 

BRIEF HISTORICAL SKETCH OF ILLINOIS. 

T Ls necessary to treat the history of this great State 
briefly. And first we direct attention to the dis- 
covery and exploration of the Missimippi. Hernando 
De Soto, cutting his way through the wilderness from 
Florida, had discovered the Mississippi in the year 1542. Wasted 
with disease and privation, he only reached the stream to die 
upon its banks, and the remains of the ambitious and iron-willed 
Spaniard found a fitting resting-place beneath the waters of the 
great river. The chief incitement to Spanish discoveries in 
America was a thirst for gold and treasure. The discovery and 
settlement of the Mississippi Valley on the part of the French 
must, on the other hand, be ascribed to religious zeal.- Jesuit 
missionaries, from the French settlements on the St. Lawrence, 
early penetrated to the region of Lake Huron. It was from the 
tribes of Indians living in the West, that intelligence came of a 
noble river flowing south. Marquette, who had visited the Chip- 
pewas in 1668, and established the mission of St. Mary, now the 
oldest settlement within the present commonwealth of Michigan, 
formed the purpose of its exploration. 




IZSTCBl: CF LE Will COUNIY, ILLINOIS. 



21 



In company with Joliet, a I'lir-trader of Quebec, whn liad been 
designated bj- ]M. Talon, Intendeut of Canada, as chieftain of the 
exploring party, and five French voyageurs, Marquette, on the 
10th of June, 1673, set out on the expedition. Crossing the 
water-shed dividing the Fox from the Wisconsin rivers, their 
two canoes were soon launched on the waters of the latter. 
Seven days after, on the 17th of June, they joyfully entered the 
broad current of the Mississippi. Stopping six days on the 
western bank, near the mouth of the Des iloines River, to enjoy 
the hospitalities of the Illinois Indians, the voyage was resumed, 
and after passing the perpendicular rocks above Alton, on whose 
lofty limestone front are painted frightful representations of 
monsters, they suddenly came upon the mouth of the Missouri, 
known by its Algonquin name of Pekitanoui, whose swift and 
turbid current threatened to engulf their frail canoes. The site 
of St. Louis was an unbroken forest, and fiirther down, the 
fertile plain bordering the river reposed in peaceful solitude, as, 
early in July, the adventurers glided past it. They continued 
their voyage to a point some distance below the mouth of the 
Arkansas, and then retraced their course up the river, arriving 
at their Jesuit Mission at the head of Green Bay, late in Sep- 
tember. 

Robert, Cavalier de La Salle, whose illustrious name is more 
intimately connected with the exploration of the Mississippi than 
that of any other, was the next tu descend the river, in the early 
part of the year 1682. At its mouth he erected a column, and 
decorating it with the arms of France, placed upon it the follow- 
ing inscription : 

LOUIS LE GP..\ND, P.OI DE FP.ANXE ET DE XAVARRE, KEGXE ; 
LE XEUVIEME AVEIL, 1682. 

Thus France, by right of discovery, lay claim to the Missis- 
sippi Valley, the fairest portion of the globe, an empire in extent, 
stretching from the Gulf to the Lakes, and from the farthest 
sources of the Ohio to where the head waters of the Jlissouri are 
lost in the wild solitudes of the Rocky Mountains. La Salle 
bestowed upon the territory the name of Louisiana, in honor of 
the King of France, Louis XIV. 

The assertion has been made that on La Salle's return up the 
river, in the summer of 1682, a portion of the party were left 
behind, who founded the villages of Kaskaskia and Cahukia,but 
the statement rests on no substantial foundation. 

THE FIR.ST SETTLEMENTS IN ILLINOIS. 

The gentle and pious Marquette, devoted to his purpose of 
carrying the gospel to the Indians, had established a mission 
among the Illinois, in 1675, at their principal town on the river 
which still bears their name. This was at the present town of 
Utica, in La Salle County. In the presen'ce of the whole tribe, 
by whom, it is recorded, he was received as a celestial visitor, he 
displayed the sacred pictures of the Virgin INIary, raised an altar, 
and said mass. On Easter Sundav. after celebrating the mys^ry 
of the Eucharist, he took possession of the laud in the name of 
the Saviour of the world, and founded the " Mission of the Im- 
maculate Conception." The town was called Kaskaskia, a name 
afterwards transferred to another locality. 

La Salle, while making preparations to descend the ilissis- 
eippi, built a fort, on the Illinois River, below the Lake of Peoria, 
in February, 1680, and in commemoration of his misfortunes, 



bestowed upon it the name of Creucctntr, " broken-hearted." 
Traces of its embankments are yet discernible. This was the 
first military occupation of Illinois. There is no evidence, how- 
ever, that settlement was begun there at that early date. 

On La Salle's return from this exploration of the Mississippi, 
in 1682, he fortified " Starved Rock," whose military advantages 
had previously attracted his attention. From its summit, which 
rises 125 feet above the waters of the river, the valley of the 
Illinois speeds out before the eye in a landscape of rarest beauty. 
From three sides it is inaccessible. This stronghold received the 
name of the Fort of St. Louis. Twenty thousand allied Indians 
gathered around it on the fertile plains. The fort seems to have 
been abandoned soon after the year 1700. 

Marquette's mission (1675), Crevecreur (1680), and the Fort 
of St. Louis (1682), embrace, so far, all the attempts made 
toward effecting anything like a permanent settlement in the 
Illinois country. Of the second few traces remain. A line of 
fortifications may be faintly traced, and that is all. The seed of 
civilization planted by the Jesuit, Marquette, among the Illinois 
Indians, was destined to produce more enduring fruit. It was 
the germ of Kaskaskia, during the succeeding years of the 
French occupation — the metropolis of the Jlississippi Valley. 
The southern Kaskaskia is merely the northern one transplanted. 
The Mission of the Immaculate Conception is the same. 

FOUNDING OF KASKASKIA. 

On the death of Marquette, he was succeeded by Alloiicz, and 
he by Father Gravier, who respectively had charge of the Jlis- 
sion on the Illinois River. Gravier is said to have been the first 
to reduce the principles of the Illinois language to rules. It was 
also he who succeeded in transferring Marquette's Mission from 
the banks of the Illinois south to the spot where stands the 
modern town of Kaskaskia, and where it was destined to endure. 
The exact date is not known, but the removal was accomplished 
some time prior to the year 161)0, though probably not earlier 
than 16S3. 

Father Gravier was subsequently recalled to Mackinaw, and 
his place was supplied by Bineteau and Piiiet. Pinet proved an 
eloquent and successful minister, and his chapel was often in- 
sufiicient to hold the crowds of savages who gathered to hear his 
words. Bineteau met with a fate .similar to that which befell 
many another devoted priest in his heroic labors for the conver- 
sion of the savages. He accompanied the Kaskaskias on one of 
their annual hunts to the upper Mississippi, that his ]iastoral 
relations might not suffer intermission. His frame was poorly 
fitted to stand the exposure. Parched by day on the burning 
prairie, chilled by heavy dews at night, now panting with thirst 
and again aching with cold, he at length fell a victim to a vio- 
lent fever, and " left his bones on the wilderness range of the 
buffaloes." Pinet shortly after followed his comrade. 

Father Gabriel Jlorrest had previously arrived at Kaskaskia. 
He was a Jesuit. He had carried the emblem of his faith to the 
frozen regions of Hudson's Bay, and had been taken prisoner by 
the English, and upon his liberation returned to America, and 
joined the Kaska-skia Mission. After the deaths of Bineteau 
and Pinet, he had sole charge until joined by Father Mermet 
shortly after the opening of the eighteenth century. 

The devotion and piety of Mermet fully equalled those of his 
companion. He had assisted in collecting a village of Indians 



22 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



and Canadians, and had thus founded the first French port on 
the Ohio, or, as the lower part of the river was tlien called, the 
Wabash. At the Kaskaskia Mission his gentle virtues and fervid 
eloquence seiiu not to have been without their influence. " At 
early dawn his pupils came to church dressed neatly and 
modestly, each in a large deer-skiu, or in a robe stitched together 
from st^eral skins. After receiving lessons they chanted canti- 
cles ; mass was then said in presence of all the Christians iu the 
place, the French and the convert? — the women on one side and 
the men on the other. From prayer and instruction the mission- 
aries proceed to visit the sick and administer medicine, and their 
skill as physicians did more than all the rest to win confidence- 
In the afternoon the catechism was taught in the presence of the 
young and the old, when every one, without distinction of rank 
or age, answered the questions of the missionary. At evening 
all would assemble at the chapel for instruction, for prayer, and 
to chant the hymns of the church. On Sundays and festivals, 
even after vespers, a homily was pronounced ; at the close of the 
day parties would meet in houses to recite the chaplet in alter- 
nate choirs, and sing psalms until late at night. These psalms 
were ot\en homilies with words set to familiar tunes. Saturday 
and Sunday were days appointed for confession and communion, 
and every convert confessed once in a fortnight. The success of 
the mission was such that marriages of French immigrants were 
sometimes solemnized with the daughters of the Illinois accord- 
ing to the rites of the Catholic Church. The occupation of the 
country was a cantonment of Europeans among the native pro- 
prietors of the forests and the prairies.* A court of law was 
unknown for nearly a century, and up to the time of Boisbriant 
there was no local government. The priests possessed the entire 
confiilence of the community, and their authority happily settled, 
without the tardy delays and vexatious of the courts, the minor 
difficulties which threatened the peace of the settlement. Of the 
fomilies which formed part of the French population in the early 
history of Kaskaskia, there is some uncertainty. There is, how- 
ever, authority for believing that the following were among the 
principal settlers: Bazyl La Chapelle, Michael Derouse (called 
St. Pierre), Jean Baptiste St. Gemme Beauvais, Baptiste Mon- 
treal, Boucher de Jlontbrun, Charles Danie, Francois Charles- 
ville, Antoiue Bicnvenu, Louis Bruyat, Alexis Doza, Joseph 
Paget, Prix Pagi, Michael Antoyen, Langlois De Lisle, La 
Derroutte and Xoval. ■'"■ 

AS PAKT OF LOUISIANA. 

The settlements of Illinois had been a separate dependency of 
Canada. In 1711, together with the settlements on the Lower 
Mississippi, which had been founded by D'Iberville and Bien- 
ville, they became united in a single province under the name of 
Louisiana, with the capital at Mobile. 

The exclusive control of the commerce of this region, whose 
boundless resources, it was believed, were to enrich France, 
was granted to Anthony Crozat, a merchant of great wealth. 
" Vre permit him," says the king in his letters patent, " to 
search, open, and dig all mines, veins, minerals, precious stones 
and pearls, and to transport the proceeds thereof into any part of 
Franco for fifteen years." La Motte Cadillac, who had now 
become royal Governor of Louisiana, was his partner. Hopes 



of obtaining great quantities of gold and silver animated the 
proprietors, as well as agitated France- Two pieces of silver 
ore, left at Kaskaskia by a traveler from Mexico, were exhibited 
to Cadillac as the produce of a mine in Illinois. Elated by this 
prospect of wealth, the Governor hurried up the river to find 
his anticipations fade aw.ay in disappointment. Iron ore and the 
purest lead were discovered in large quantities ia Missouri, but 
of gold, and silver, and precious stones not a trace was found. 
After Crozat had expended -12-5,000 livres, and realized only 
300,000, he, in 1717, petitioned the king for the revocation of 
his charter. The white population had slowly increased ; and 
at the time of his departure it was estimated that the families 
comprising the Illinois settlements, now including those on the 
Wabash, numbered three hundred and twenty souls. 

The commerce of Louisiana was next transferred to the 
Mississippi Company, instituted under the auspices of the notori- 
ous John Law. The wild excitement and visionary schemes 
which agitated France during Law's connection with the Com- 
pany of the West, and while at the head of the Bank of France, 
form the most curious chapter in the annals of commercial 
speculations. These delusive dreams of wealth were based 
mainly upon the reports of the fabulous riches of the Mississippi 
Valley. Attempts to colonize the country were conducted with 
careless prodigality. Three ships landed eight hundred emi- 
grants iu August, 1718, near Mobile, whence they were to make 
their way overland to the Mississippi. Bienville, on the banks 
of that river, had already selected the spot for the Capital of the 
new Empire, which, after the Regent of France, was named New 
Orleans. From among the emigrants, eighty ccmvicts from the 
prisons of France were sent to clear away the coppices which 
thickly studded the site. Three years after, in 1721, the place 
was yet a wilderness, overgrown with canebrakes, among which 
two hundred persons had encamped. 

Phillip Renault- was created Director-General of the mines of 
the new country, and an expedition was organized to work them. 
Renault left France, in 1719, with two hundred mechanics and 
laborers. Touching at San Domingo, he bought five hundred 
negro slaves for working the mines. On reaching the Mississippi, 
he sailed to Illinois, the region in which gold and silver were 
supposed to abound. A few miles from Kaskaskia, in wdiat is 
now the south-west corner of Monroe County, was the seat of his 
Colony. The village which he founded received the name of St. 
Phillip's. From this point various expeditions were sent out in 
search of the precious metals. Drewry's Creek, in Jackson 
County, was explored; St. Mary's, iu Randolph; Silver Creek, 
in iMonroe ; and various parts of St. Clair County, and other 
districts of Illinois. On Silver Creek, tradition has it that con- 
siderable quantities of silver were discovered and sent to France^ 
and from this the stream has its name. By the retrocession of 
the territory to the crown, Renault was left to prosecute the 
business of mining without means. His operations proved a 
disastrous failure. 

Si, 

FORT CHAETKE9. 

Meanwhile war had sprung up between France and Spain, 
and to protect the Illinois settlements from incursions of Spanish 
cavalry across the Great Desert, it was thought advisable to 
establish a fort in the neighborhood of Kaskaskia. A Spanish 
expedition had, indeed, been fitted out at Santa Fe, but their 



HISTORY OF LE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



23 



guides, leading it by mistake to the Alissouri Indians, instead of 
the Osages, enemies instead of friends, the whole party was 
massacred, with the exception of a priest who escaped to relate 
the fate of his unfortunate comrades. Previous to this La Salle, 
on the occasion of his visit to Paris, had shown the necessity of 
building a chain of forts from Canada to the Gulf, in order to 
secure the territory to the crown of France. In 1720, Boisbriant 
was despatched to Illinois. He began the building of Fort 
Chartres, long the strongest fortress on the Western Continent, 
and of wide celebrity in the subsequent history of Illinois. 

Fort Chartres stood on the east bank of the Mississippi, 
seventeen miles north-west of Kaskaskia, and between three and 
four miles from the location of the present village of Prairie du 
Eocher. The Company of the West finally built their ware- 
houses here. In 1721, on the division of Louisiana into seven 
districts, it became the headquarters of Boisbriant, the first local 
Governor of Illinois. Fort Chartres was the seat of the govern- 
ment of Illinois, not only while the French retained possession 
of the country, but after it passed under English control. When 
the fort was built, it stood about one mile distant from the river. 
In the year 1724 an inundation of the Mississippi washed away 
a portion iif bank in front of the fort. 

Captain Philip Pitman visited Illinois in 1766. He was an 
engineer in the British army, and was sent to Illinois to make a 
survey of the forts, and report the condition of the country, 
which had recently passed under British control. He published 
in London, in 1770, a work entitled, "The present State of the 
European Settlements on the Jlississippi," in which he gives an 
accurate description of Fort Chartres: 

" Fort Chartres, when it belonged to France, was the seat of 
the government of the Illinois. The headquartei-s of the Eng- 
lish commanding oSicer is now here, who, in fact, is the arbitrary 
governor of the country. The fort is an irregular quadrangle- 
The sides of the exterior polygon are four hundred and ninety 
feet. It is built of stone, and plastered over, and is only de- 
signed for defence against the Indians. The walls are two feet 
two inches thick, and are pierced with loopholes at regular dis- 
tances, and with two port holes for cannon in the facies, and two 
in the flanks of each bastion. The ditch has never been finished. 
The entrance to the fort is through a very handsome rustic gate. 
Within the walls is a banquette raised three feet, for tho men to 
stand on when they fire through the loopholes. The buildings 
within the fort are, a commandant's and a commissary's house, the' 
magazine of stores, corps de garde, and two barracks. These 
occupy the square. Within the gorges of the bastion are a 
powder-magazine, a bake-house, and a prison, in the floor of 
which are four dungeons, and in the upper, two rooms and an 
out-house belonging to the commandant. The commandant's 
house is thirty-two yards long and ten broad, and contains a 
kitchen, a dining room, a bed-chamber, one small room, five 
closets for servants, and a cellar. The commissary's house is 
built on the same line as this, and its proportion and the distri- 
bution of its apartments are the same. Opposite these are the 
store-house, and the guard-house, each thirty yards long and 
eight broad. The former consists of two large store-rooms, 
(under which is a large vaulted cellar), a large room, a bed- 
chamber, and a closet for the storekeeper. The latter of a sol- 
diers' and officers' guard-room, a chapel, a bed-chamber, a closet 
for the chaplain, and an artillery store-room. The lines of bar- 



racks have never been finished. They at present consist of two 
rooms each for officers, and three for soldiers. They are each 
twenty-five feet square, and have betwixt a small passage." 

Such was Fort Chartres, believed at the time to be the most 
convenient and best-built stronghold in North America! Just 
before the French surrender, forty families lived in the neighbor- 
ing village, in which stood a parish church, under the care of a 
Franciscan friar, and dedicated to St. Anne. At the time of the 
surrender to the English, all, with the exception of three or four 
families, abandoned their homes, and removed to the west bank 
of the Mississippi, preferring the government of La Belle France 
to the hated English rule, ignorant that by secret treaty the ter- 
ritory west of the Mississippi had been ceded to Spain, even be- 
fore the transfer of the region eastward was made to the 
English. 

But the glory of tho old fortress soon departed ! In 1756 
nearly half a mile intervened between Fort Chartres and the 
bank of the Mississippi. A sand bar, however, was forming 
opposite, to which the river was fordable. Ten j'ears later the 
current had cut the bank away to within eighty yards of the 
fort. The sand-bar had become an island, covered with a thick 
growth of cottonwoods. Tiie channel between it and the eastern 
bank was forty feet in depth. In the great freshet six years 
after, in 1772, in which the American Bottom was inundated, 
the west walls and two of the bastions were swept away in the 
flood. It was abandoned by the British garrison, which took up 
its quarters in Fort Gage, on the bluff opposite Kaskaskia, 
which then became the seat of government. From this date its 
demolition proceeded rapidly. In 1820 the south-east angle was 
still remaining. Only vestiges of the old Fortress can now be 
traced. Much of the stone was carried away, and used for 
building purposes elsewhere. Trees of stately growth cover the 
foundation!. The river has retreated to its original channel, and 
is now a mile distant from the ruins. A growth of timber covers 
the intervening land, where less than a century ago swept the 
mighty current of the Father of Waters. 

UNDER FEEXCn RULE. 

During the few years immediately succeeding the completion 
of Fcirt Chartres, pros^rity prevailed in the settlements between 
the Kaskaskia and tho Mississippi rivers. Prairie du Rocher, 
founded about tht^ear 1722, received considerable accessions to 
its population. Among the earliest Frencli settlers to make 
their homes here were Etieune Langlois, Jean Baptiste Blais, 
Jean Baptiste Barbeau, Antoine Louvier, and the La Compte 
and other families, whose descendants are still found in that 
locality. New settlements sprang up, and the older ones in- 
creased in population. At Kaskaskia, the Jesuits established a 
monastery, and founded a college. In 172.5 the village became 
an incorporated town, ami the king, Louis XV., granted the in- 
habitants a commons. The Bottom land, extending upward 
along the Slississippi, unsurpassed for the richness of its soil, 
was in the process of being rapidly settled by the larger number 
of new arrivals in the colony. Fort Chartres, the seat of gov- 
ernment and the headquarters of the commandment of L^pper 
Louisiana, attracted a wealthy, and for Illinois, a fashionable 
population. 

After having been fourteen years under the government of the 
Western Company, in April, 17o2, the King issued a proclama- 



24: 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



tion by which Louisiana was declared free to all his subjects, and 
all restrictious on cojnmerce were removed. At this time many 
flourishing settlements had sprung up in Illinois, centering about 
Kaskaskia, and the inhabitants were said to be more exclu- 
sively devoted to agriculture than in any other of the French 
settlements in the West. 

M. D'Artaguette, in 1732, became commandant of Fort Char- 
tres, and Governor of Upper Louisiana. Between New Orleans 
and Kaskaskia the country was yet a wilderness. Communica- 
tion by way of the Mississippi was interrupted by the Chicka- 
saws, allies of the English and enemies of France, whose cedar 
barks shooting boldly out into the current of the Mississippi, 
cut off the connection between the two colonies. It was in an 
attempt to subdue these that M. D'Artaguette, the comniaudant, 
lost his life. An ofiBcer arrived at Fort Chartres from M. Prer- 
rier, Governor-General at New Orleans, in the year 1736, sum- 
moning M. D'Artaguette, with his French soldiers, and all the 
Indians whom he could induce to join him, to unite in an expe- 
dition against the enemy. With an army of fifty Frenchmen, and 
more than one thousand Indians accompanied by Father Senat and 
the gallant Viucennes, commandant of the post on the Wabash, 
where now stands the city bearing his name, D'Artaguette stole 
cautiously in the Chickasaw country. His Indian allies were 
impatient, and the commander consented, against his better 
judgment, to an immediate attack. One fort was carried — an- 
other — and then in making the assault on the third, the young 
and intrepid D'Artaguette fell at the head of his forces, pierced 
■with wounds. The Indian allies made this reverse the signal for 
their flight. The Jesuit Senat might have fled, Vineennes might 
have saved his life, but both preferreil to share the fate of their 
leader. The captives afterward met death at the stake under 
the slow torments of fire. 

La Buissoniere succeeded as commandant at Fort Chartres. 
In 1739 a second expedition was undertaken against the Chicka- 
saw country. La Buissoniere joined Bienville, then Governor- 
General of Louisiana, with a force of two hundred Frenchmen 
and three hundred Indians. The whole force under Bienville 
was twelve hundred French and five hundred Indians and 
negroes. His men suffered greatly from malarial fevers and 
fivmine, and returned the following spring without conquering the 
Chickasaws, with whom afterward, however, amicable relations 
were established. 

The period from 1740 to 17-30 was one of great prosperity for 
the colonies. Cotton was introduced and cultivated. Regular 
cargoes of pork, flour, bacon, tallow, hides and leather, were 
floated down the Mississippi, and exported tlience to Prance. 
French emigrants poured rajiidly into the settlements. Cana- 
dians exchanged the cold rigors of their climate for the sunny 
atmosphere and rich soil of the new country. Peace and plenty 
blessed the settlements. 

La Buissoniere was followed, in 1750, by Chevalier Macarty 
as Governor of Upper Louisiana, and Commandant of Fort 
Chartres. Peace was soon to be broken. The French and 
English war, which terminated in 1759 with the defeat of Mont- 
calm on the plains of Abraham, and the capture of Quebec, 
began with a struggle for the territory on the L^pper Ohio. Fort 
Chartres was the depot of supplies and the place of rendezvous 
fur the united forces of Louisiana, and several expeditions were 
fitted out and dispatched to the scene of conflict on the border 



between the French and English settlements. But France was 
vanquished in the struggle, and its result deprived her of her 
princely possessions east of the Mississippi. 

THAEACTER OP THE EARLY FRENCH SETTLERS. 

The early French inhabitants were -well adapted by their pe- 
culiar traits of character for intercourse with their savage neigh- 
bors of the forest, with whom they lived on terms of peace and 
friendship. For this reason, the French colonists almost entirely 
escaped the Indian hostilities by which the English settlements 
were repressed and weakened. The freest communication ex- 
isted between the two races. They stood on a footing of equal- 
ity. The Indian was cordially received in the French village 
and the Frenchman found a safe resting-place in the lodge of 
the savage. In scenes of social pleasure, in expeditions to remote 
rivers and distant forests, in the ceremonies and exercises of the 
church, the red men were treated as brothers, and the accident of 
race and color was made as little a mark of distinction as pos- 
sible. Frequent intermarriages of the French with the Indians 
strongly cemented this union. For nearly a hundred years the 
French colonists enjoyed continual peace, while the English set- 
tlements on the Atlantic coast were in a state of almost constant 
danger from savage depredations. 

It was doubtless greatly owing to the peculiar facility with 
which the French temperament adapted itself to surroundings 
and the natural address with which Frenchmen ingratiated 
themselves in the favor of the savages, that this happy condition 
of affairs existed. But something must be ascribed to the differ- 
ence of character between the French and English in regard to 
their aggressiveness. The English colonists excited the jealousy 
and fear of the Indians by their rapid occupation of the country. 
New settlements were constantly being projected, and the white 
population pushed farther and farther into the wilderness. 
When the Indians saw their favorite haunts broken up, and their 
hunting grounds invaded, a natural feeling of distrust and jeal- 
ousy led them to warfivre against the English. With the French 
it was different. There was but little disposition to found new 
settlements, or occupy the wilderness. They were essentially a 
social people, and the solitary life of a pioneer in the forest was 
repugnant to'their disposition. They lived in compact villages. 
Their houses were in close proximity. With abundant room for 
spacious streets, they yet made them so narrow that the merry 
•\-ill.agers could converse with ease across the street, each from 
his own cottage. Hunting was a favorite pursuit, and the chief 
means of support. With this mode of life the French were con- 
tent. Ambition failed to incite them to conquer the wilderness, 
and push their settlements to unknown regions, and avarice was 
wanting to lead them to grasp after great possessions. The de- 
velopment of the " territorial paradise," as La Salle had called 
the region through which he passed on his first voyage down the 
Mississippi, was to be accomplished by another race. 

A rOSSESSION OF GREAT BRITAIN. 

By the treaty of Fountainbleau, 1762, the vast possessions of 
France, east of the Mississippi, with the exception of the island 
of New Orleans, passed under British control. Fort Chartres 
and the other Illinois posts were surrounded by an impenetrable 
barrier of hostile savages, friends to the French and enemies to 
the English, and the French ofBcers were authorized to retain 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COUXTY, ILLINOIS. 



25 



command until it was found possible for the English to take pos- 
session. M. Neyon de Villiers was commandant of Fort Char- 
tres, and upon his retiring in 1764, St, Ange d'Bellerive took 
upon himself the duties of that position. It was the time of 
Pontiac's conspiracy, when the Indian tribes, inflamed bj' the 
savage spirit of that warrior, were precipitating themselves on 
the English settlements from Canada to Carolina. The French 
commandant of Fort Chartres was besieged for arms and am- 
munition to be used against the English The French flag was 
still flying over the Fort, and the fact of the territory having 
been ceded to Great Britain was not generally known except to 
those in authority. The commandant was visited by embassies 
from the Illinois, the Delawares, Shawnees and Miamis, and 
finally Pontiac himself, at the head of four hundred warriors, 
entered the council hall. St. Ange d'Bellerive, unable to fur- 
nish arms, offered instead his good will. The reply was received 
with dissatisfaction. The Indians pitched their lodges about the 
Fort, and for a time an attack was seriously apprehended. 
Finally Pontiac dispatched a chosen band of warriors to New 
Orleans to obtain from the Governor there the assistance St. 
Ange refused to grant. 

Pontiac was killed a few years after. Disappointed by the 
failure of his plans against the English, he retired to the solitude 
of the forests. In the year 1769, he suddenly made his appear- 
ance in the neighborhood of St. Louis. Arrayed in the French 
uniform given hira by the Marquis Montcalm a short time pre- 
vious to the latter's death on the Plains of Abraham, he visited St. 
Ange d'Bellerive, who at that time had removed from Fort 
Chartres to St. Louis, where he had become one of the principal 
inhabitants and commandant of the Spanish garrison. While at 
St. Louis, he crossed the Mississippi to attend a social gather- 
ing of Indians at Cahokia. Becoming intoxicated he started to 
the neighboring woods, when an Indian of the Ka^kaskia tribe, 
bribed by an English trader with a barrel of whiskey, stole up 
behind him and buried a tomahawk in the brain of the renowned 
warrior. St. Ange procured the body, and buried it with all the 
honors of war near the fort under his command in St. Louis. 
The tramp of a great city now sweeps over his grave. 

Two attempts, on the part of the English, to take possession of 
Illinois and Fort Chartres, had been made by way of the Missis- 
sippi, but hostile Indians on the banks of the river had driven 
back the expeditions. Meantime a hundred Highlanders of the 
Forty-second Regiment, those veterans " whose battle cry had 
echoed over the bloodiest fields of America," had left Fort Pitt, 
now Pittsburg, and descending the Ohio, appeared before Fort 
Chartres while the forests were yet rich with the varied hues of 
autumn. St. Ange yielded up the citadel. It was on the tenth 
day of October, 176.5, that the ensign of France on the ram- 
parts of the Fort gave place to the flag of Great Britain. Kas- 
kaskia had now been founded more than three-fourths of a 
century. 

On the surrender of Fort Chartres, St. Ange with his garrison 
of twenty-one soldiers retired from the country, and became 
commandant at St. Louis, an infant settlement just founded. A 
large number of the French residents of Kaskaskia and other set- 
tlements refused to live under English rule. Many of the wealth- 
iest families left the country ; some removed across the Slississip- 
pi, to the small .'illage of Ste. Genevieve, under the impression 
that on the west bank of the Mississippi they would still find a 



home under the government of France, while in truth that ter- 
ritory had been ceded to Spain by a secret treatv in 1762. 
Others joined in founding the city of St. Louis. The French 
settlements in Illiuoi.s, at a period immediately preceding this 
date, were at the zenidi of their prosperity. From that day the 
French inhabitants have declined in numbers and influence. In 

1765, the population of the Illinois settlements was computed as 
follows : White men able to bear arms, seven hundred ; white 
women, five hundred ; white children, eight hundred and fifty ; 
negroes, nine hundred ; total, two thousand nine hundred and 
fifty. One-third of the whites, and a still larger proportion of 
the blacks, removed on the British taking possession. A popu- 
lation of less than two thousand remained. Few English, or 
Americans, with the exception of the British troops, were in the 
country. 

Captain Stirling, who now had command of the Fort, issued a 
proclamation guaranteeing the inhabitants the liberty of the 
Catholic faith, permission to retire from the country, and enjoy- 
ment of their full rights and privileges, only requiring an oath 
of fidelity and obedience to His Majesty, the English King. 
Captain Stirling died some three months after his arrival. In 
the period that elapsed before the coming of his successor, St. 
Ange d'Bellerive returned from St. Louis, and discharged the 
duties of commandant. Major Frazier, from Fort Pitt, exercised 
for a time an arbitrary power, and his successor. Col. Reed, 
proved still worse. He held the ofiice eighteen months, and 
during that time aroused the hatred of the settlements by his 
oppressive measures. Lieutenant Colonel Wilkins assumed com- 
mand in 1768. 

Captain Pitman, to whose book on " The Present State of the 
European Settlements on the Mississippi" reference has already 
been made, gives the following description of Kaskaskia, as it 
appeared in 1766 : 

The village of Notre Dame de Cascasquias is by far the most 
considerable settlement in the country of the Illinois, as well 
from its number of inhabitants as from its advantageous situa- 
tion. 

" Mons. Paget was the first who introduced water mills in this 
country, and he constructed a very fine one on the river Cascas- 
quias, which was both for grindiiig corn and sawing boards. It 
lies about one mile frem the village. The mill proved fatal to 
him, being killed as he was working it, with two negroes, by a 
party of Cherokees, in the year 176-1. 

" The principal buildings are the church and the Jesuits' 
house, which has a small chapel adjoining it ; these, as well as 
some of the other houses in the village, are built of stone, and, 
considering this part of the world, make a very good appearance. 
The Jesuits' plantation consisted of 240 arpents (an arpeat is 
8.5-100 of an acre) of cultivated land, a very good stock of cat- 
tle, and a brewery which was sold by the French commandant, 
after the country was ceded to the English, for the crown, in 
consequence of the suppression of the order. 

" Mons. Beauvais was the purchaser, who is the richest of the 
English subjects in this country; he keeps eighty slaves; he 
furnishes 86,000 weight of flour to the King's magazine, which 
was only part of the harvest he reaped in one year. Sixty five 
families reside in this village, besides merchants, other casual 
people, and slaves. The fort which was burnt down in October, 

1766, stood on the summit of a high rock opposite the village 



20 



inSIOEYOFDL Will COUA'TY, ILLINOIS. 



and ou the opposite side of the river. It was an oblong quad- 
rangle, of whieh the extreme polygon measured 290 by 251 feet. 
It was built of very thick square timber, and dove-tailed at tlie 
angles. An officer and twenty soldiers are quartered in the vil- 
lage. The officer governs the inhabitants under the direction of 
the commandant at Fort Chartres. Here are also two companies 
of militia." 

Of Prairie du Rocher, Pitman writes that " it is a small village, 
consisting of twenty-two dwelling-houses, all of which are inhab- 
ited by as many families. Here is a little chapel, formerly a 
chapel of ease to the church at Fort Chartres. The inhabitants 
are very industrious, and raise a great deal of corn and eveiy 
kind of stock. The village is two miles from Fort Chartres. It 
takes its name from its situation, being built under a rock that 
runs parallel with the Mississippi river at a league distance, for 
forty miles up. Here is a company of militia, the captain of 
which regulates the police of the village." 

In describing the distance from Fort Chartres, the author, 
doubtless, refers to Little Village, which was a mile or more 
nearer than Prairie du Eoclier. The writer goes on to describe 
" Saint Philippe" as a " small village about five miles from Fort 
Chartres on the road to Kaoquias. There are about sixteen 
houses and a small church standing ; all of the inhabitants, 
except the captain of the militia, deserted in 1765, and went to 
the French side (Missouri.) Tiie cajitain of the militia has 
about twenty slaves, a good stock of cattle, and a water mill for 
corn and planks. The village stands ou a very fine meadow 
about one mile from the Mississippi. 

From the same authority we learn that the soil of the country 
is in general rich and luxuriant. It was favorably adapted to 
the production of all kinds of European grains, which grew side 
by side with hops, hemp, flax, cotton and tobacco. European 
fruits arrived to great perfection. Of the wild grapes a wiue 
was made, very inebriating, and in color and taste much like 
the red wine of Provence. In the late wars, New Orleans and 
the lower parts of Louisiana were supplied with flour, becfj 
wines, hams, and other provisions, frjm this country. At pre- 
sent, its commerce is mostly confined to the peltry and furs 
which are got in traffic from the Indians; for which are received 
in turn such European commodities as are necessar}' to carry on 
that commerce and the su^iport of its inhabitants." 

CONQUEST BY CLARKE. 

On the breaking out of the War of the Revolution, it is pro- 
bable that the British garrison (removed in 1772 from Fort 
Chartres to Fort Gage, opposite Kaskaskia,) had been with- 
drawn. Illinois was remote from the theatre of action, and the 
colonists were little disturbed by the rumors of war which came 
from the Atlantic coast. The French inhabitants were rather in 
sympathy with the Americans than the English, but probably 
understood little the nature of the struggle. Illinois belonged 
to the jurisdiction of Virginia. George Rogers Clarke, who 
visited Kentucky in 1775, seems to have been the first to com- 
prehend the advantages which would result from the occupation 
of Illinois b_v the Americans. He visited Virginia, where he 
laid his plans before Patrick Henry, the Governor of the State. 
Clarke received his instructions, January, 1778, and the follow- 
ing month set out for Pittsburg. His insti'uctions were to raise 
seven comnanies of men, but he could only succeed in enlisting 



four, commanded by Cai>tains Montgomery, Bowman, Helm, 
and Harrod. Ou Corn Island, opposite Louisville, on the Ohio, 
Clarke announced his destination to the men. At the mouth of 
the Tennessee, a man named John Duff was encountered, with a 
party of hunters, who had recently visited Kaskaskia, and also 
brought the intelligence that one Rocheblave, a French Cana- 
dian, was in command at that point, that he kept the militia well 
drilled, and that sentinels were posted to watch for the " Long 
Knives," as the Virginians were called, of whom the inhabitants 
were in terror. Securing his boats near Fort Massacre (or 
Jlassae,) Clarke undertook the journey across the country, one 
hundred and twenty miles, to Kaskaskia. It was accomplished 
with difBculty. On the afternoon of flie fourth of July, 1778, 
the exhausted band of invaders came to the vicinity of Kaskas- 
kia, and concealed themselves in the hills to the east of the town- 
A'ter dark Clarke proceeded to the old ferry-house, three-fourths 
of a mile above the village, and at midnight addressed his troops 
on the banks of the river. He divided his force into three 
parties. Two were to cross to the west side of the river, and 
enter the town from different quarters. The third, under the 
direction of Clarke himself, was to capture the fort on the east 
side. Kaskaskia at that time was a village of about two hun- 
dred and fifty houses. The British commander last in charge 
bad instilled in the minds of the people tlu impression that the 
Virginians, otherwise the "Long Knives," were a ferocious baud 
of murderers, plundering houses, slaughtering women and chil- 
dren, and committing acts of the greatest atrocity. Clarke 
determined to take advantage of this, and so surprise the in- 
habitants by fear as to induce them to submit without resistance. 
Clarke effected an entrance to the fort without difficulty. The 
other parties at a given signal entered Kaskaskia at the opposite 
extremities, and with terrible outcries and hideous noises, aroused 
the terrified inbabitants, who shrieked in their alarm, " The 
Long Knives!' 'The Long Knives arc here!" The panic- 
stricken townsmen delivered up their arms, and the victory was 
accomplished without the shedding of a drop of blood. 31. 
Rocheblave, the British commandant, was unconscious of the 
presence of the enemy, till an officer of the detachment entered 
his bed-chamber, and claimed him as a prisoner. I:i accordance 
with his original plan of conquering the inhabitants by terror, 
and then afterward winning their regard and gratitude by his 
clcmencj-, Clarke, the next day, withdrew his forces from the 
town, and stcrnh* forbade all communication between it and his 
soldiers. Some of the j^riucipal militia officers, citizens of the 
town, were next put in irons. The terror now reached its height. 
The priest, and a deputation of five or six elderly men of the 
village, called on Clarke, and humbly requested permission to 
assemble in the church, to take leave of each other and com- 
mend their future lives to the protection of a merciful God, 
since they expected to be separated, perhaps never to meet 
again. Clarke gruflly granted the privilege. The whole popula- 
tion convened at the church, and after remaining together a long 
time, the priest and a few others again waited upon the com- 
mander of the American forces, presenting thanks for the 
privilege they had enjoyed, and desiring to know what fate 
awaited them. 

Clarke now determined to lift them from their dcs]iair, and 
win their gratitude by a show of mercy. "What! "said he; 
" do you take us for savages ? Do you think Americans will 



JIIsTOEY OF LE WITT COUXTY. II.LIXOLS. 



strip women and children, and take broad from their mouths ? 
My countrymen disdain to malce war on helpless innocents." 
He further reminded them that the King of Finance, their 
former ruler, was an ally of the Americans, and now fighting 
their cause. He told them to embrace the side they deemed 
best, and they should be respected iu the enjoyment of their 
liberty and' the rights of property. 

The revulsion of feeling was complete. The good news spread 
throughout the village. The church-bell rang a merry peal, and 
the delighted inhabitants gathered at the chapel, where thanks 
were offered to God for their happy and unexpected deliverance- 
The loyalty of the inhabitants was assured, and ever after they 
remained faithful to the American cause. The French inhabi- 
tants of Kaskaskia were readily reconciled to a change of gov- 
ernment. In October, 1778, the Virginia Assembly erected the 
conquered territory into the County of Illinois. This County 
embraced all the region north-west of the Ohio, and five large 
states have since been formed from it. Colonel Clarke was 
appointed military commander of all tlie western territory north 
and south of the Ohio, and Colonel John Todd, one of Clarke's 
soldiers, who next to Clarke had been the first mau to enter Fort 
Gage, was appointed lieutenaut-commandant of Illinois. In the 
spring of 1779, Colonel Todd visited Kaskaskia, and_ made 
arrangements for the oigauization of a temporary government. 
Many of the French inhabitants of Kaskaskia, Prairie du 
Rocher, and the other settlements, readily took the oath of 
allegiance to Virginia. Colonel Todd was killed at the famous 
battle of Blue Licks, in Kentucky, August, 1782, and Timothy 
de Montbrun, a Frenchman, succeeded him as commandant of 
Illinois County. Of his administration but little is known. 

LAND TENURES. 

The early French settlers held the possession of their land in 
common. A tract of land was fixed upon for a Common Field, 
in which all the inhabitants were interested. 

Besides the Common Field, another tract of land was laid off 
as the Commons. All the villagers had free access to this as a 
place of pasturage for their stock. From this they also drew 
their supply ot fuel. 

Individual grants were likewise made. Under the French 
system, the lands were granted without any equivalent considera- 
tion in the way of money, the individuals satisfying the authori- 
ties that tne lands were wanted for actual settlement, or for a 
purpose likely to benefit the community. The first grant of 
land, which is preserved, is that made to Charles Danie, May 
10th, 1722. The French grants at Kaskaskia extended from 
river to river, and at other places in the Bottom they commonly 
extended from the river to the bluff. Grants of land were made 
for almost all the American Bottom, from the upper limits of 
the Common Eield of St. Phillip's to the loner line of the Kas- 
kaskia Common Field, a distance of nearly thirty miles- 

The British commandants, who assumed the government on 
the cession of the territory by France, exercised the privilege of 
making grants, subject to the approval of his Majesty, the King. 
Colonel Wilkins granted to some merchants of Philadelphia a 
magnificent domain of thirty thnu.sand acres lying between the 
village of Kaskaskia and Prairie du Rocher, nuicli of it already 
covered by French grants previously made. For the better car- 
ryins; out their plans, the British officers, and perhaps their 



grantees, destroyed, to some extent, the records of the ancient 
French grants at Kaskaskia, by which the regular claim of titles 
and conveyances was partly broken. This British grant of thirty 
tliousand acres, which had been assigned to John Edgar, was 
afterward patented by Ciovernor St. Clair to Edgar and John 
Murray St. Clair, the Governor's sou, to whom Edgar had pre- 
viously conveyed a moiety by deed. Although much fault was 
found with the transaction, a confirmation of the grant was 
secured from the United States government. 

When Virginia ceded Illinois, it was stipulated that the 
Fjench and Canadian inhabitants, and other settlers, who had 
professed allegiance to Virginia, should have their titles con- 
firmed to them. Congress afterwards authorized the Governor 
to confirm the possessions and titles of the French to their lands. 
In accordance with this agreement. Governor St. Clair, in 1790, 
issued a proclagiation directing the inhabitants to exhibit their 
titles and claims to the lands which they held, in order to be 
confirmed in their possession. Where the instruments were 
found to be authentic, orders of survey were i-ssued, the expense 
of which was borne by the parties who claimed ownership. The 
French inhabitants were in such poverty at this time that they 
were really unable to pay the expenses of the surveys, and a 
memorial signed by P. Gibault, the priest at Kaskaskia, and 
eighty-seven others, was presented to Ciovernor St. Clair, praying 
him to petition Congress for relief in the matter. In 1791, 
Congress directed that four hundred acres of land .should b& 
granted to the head of every family which had made improve- 
ments in Illinois prior to the year 1788. Before this, in 1788, 
Congress had also directed that a donation be given to each of 
the families then living at either of the villages of Kaskaskia, 
Prairie du Rocher, Cahokia, Fort Chartres, or St. Phillips. 
These were known as " bead-right " claims. 

At an early date, si^eculatiou became active in the land 
claims of different kinds ; bead-rights, improvement rights, mili- 
tia rights, and fraudulent claims were produced in great num- 
bers. The French claims were partly unconfirmed, owing to the 
poverty of that people, and these were forced on the market 
with the others. The official report of the commissioners at 
Kaskaskia, made in 1810, shows that eight hundred and ninety 
land claims were rejected as being illegal or fraudulent. Three 
hundred and seventy were reported as being supported by per- 
jury, and a considerable number were forged. There are fourteen 
names given of persons, both English and French, who made it 
a regular business to furnish sworn certificates, professing an 
intimate knowledge, in every case, of the settlers who had made 
certain improvements upon which claims were predicated and 
when and where they were located. A Frenchman, clerk of the 
parish of Prairie du Rocher, " without property and fond of 
liquor," after having given some two hundred depositions in 
favor of three land claimant speculators, " was induced," in the 
language of the report, " either by C(mipensation, fear, or the 
impossibility of obtaining absolution on any other terms, to de- 
clare on oath that the said depositions were false, and that iu 
giving them he had a regard for something beyond the truth." 

The report of the commissioners raised many doubts in regard 
to the validity and propriety of a number of confirmations by 
the Governors, and much dissatisfivction among the claimants ; 
and in consequence. Congress, in 1812, passed an act for the 
revision of these land claims in the Kaskaskia district. The 



28 



lllSJORY OF DE WITl COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



commissioners under tliis law were Michael Jones, John Cald- 
well and Thomas Sloo. Facts damaging to }>",roons who occu- 
pied positions of high respectability in the community, were 
disclosed. They reported that the English claiiu of thirty thou- 
sand acres confirmed by Governor St. Clair to John Edgar and 
the Governor's son, John Murray St. Clair, was founded in 
neither law nor equity, that the patent was issued after the 
Governor's power ceased to exist, and the claim ought not to be 
confirmed. Congress, however, confirmed it. 

For a period of several years, emigration was considerably 
retarded by the delay iu adjusting land titles. The act of Con- 
gress passed in 1813, granting the right of pre-emption to set- 
tlers, was influential in bringing the public lands into market. 
Emigrants p<jured into the country, and improvements were 
rapidly made. 

CIVIL ORGANIZATION. 

The history of Illinois has been traced while a possession of 
France, and when under the British government ; and the for- 
mation of Illinois as a County of Virginia has been noted. The 
several States afterwards agreed, on the adoption of the Articles 
of the Confederation, to cede their claims to the western land to 
the General government. Virginia executed her deed of cession 
March 1st, 1784. For several years after, there was an imper- 
fect administration of the law in Illinois. The French customs 
partly held force, and afliiirs were partly governed bv the pro- 
mulgations of the British commandants issued from Fort Char- 
tres, and by the regulations which had subsequently been issued 
by the Virginia authorities. 

By the ordinance of 1787, all the territory north-west of the 
Ohio not constituted into one district, the laws to be administered 
by a governor and secretary, a court was instituted of three 
judges. A general assembly was provided for, the members to 
be chosen by the people. General Arthur St. Clair was selected 
by Congress, as Governor of the north-western territory. The 
seat of government was at Marietta, Ohio. 

In the year 179.5, Governor St. Clair divided St. Clair County. 
All south of a line running through the New Design settlement 
{\n the present County of Monroe ) was erected into the County 
of Randolph. In honor of Edmund Randolph of Virginia, the 
new county received its name. 

Shadrach Bond, afterward the first Governor, was elected from 
Illinois, a member of the Territorial Legislature which convened 
at Cincinnati, in January, 1799. In 1800 the Territory of In- 
diana was formed, of which Illinois constituted a part, with the 
seat of government at Vincennes. About 1806, among other 
places in the West, Aaron Burr visited Kaskaskia in an en- 
deavor to enlist men for his treasonable scheme against the 
government. In 1805, George Fisher was elected from Ran- 
dolph County a member of the Territorial Legislature, and 
Pierre Menard was chosen member of the Legislative Council. 

By act of Congress, 1809, the Territory of Illinois was con- 
stituted. Ninian Edwards was appointed Governor of the newly 
organized Territory, and the seat of government established at 
Kaskaskia. Nathaniel Pope, a relative of Edwards, received 
the appointment of Secretary. 

For nearly four years after the organization of the Territorial 
Government no legislature existed in Illinois. Au election for 
representatives was held on the eighth, ninth, and tenth of 



October, 1812. Shadrach Bond, then a resident of St. Clair 
County, was elected the first Delegate to Congress from Illinois 
Pierre Menard was chosen from Randolph County member of 
the Legislative Council, and George Fisher of the House of 
Representatives. The Legislature convened at Kaskaskia on 
the twenty-fifth of November, 1812. 

In April, 1818, a bill providing for the admission of Illinois 
into the Union as a sovereign State was passed by Congress. A 
Convention to frame a Constitution assembled at Kaskaskia in 
the following July. The first election under the Constitution 
was held iu September, 1818, and Shadrach Bond was elected 
Governor, and Pierre Menard, Lieutenant Governor. Illinois 
was now declared by Congress admitted to the Union as on equal 
footing in all respects with the original States. The Legislature 
again met at Kaskaskia in January, 1819. This was the last 
session ever held at Kaskaskia. Vandalia, the same year, was 
selected as Capital of the State. It was stipulated that Vanda- 
lia was to be the Capital for twenty years. At the end of that 
period it was changed to Springfield. Below we give list of 
governors and chief officers of Illinois. 

Illinois was constituted a separate Territory by act of Con- 
gress, February 3d, 1809. 

OFFICERS OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS. 



FROM 1809, 




TO 1878. 



ILLINOIS TERRITORY. 



Natlianiel Pope Secretary of the TLrritorv, March 7, 1809. 

Xinian Edwards, Governor April 24, 1809. 

n. H. Ma.'jwcll, .\uditor Public Accounts, 1816. 

Daniel P. Cook " '• " January 13, 1816. 

Joseph Phillips Secretary December 17, 'lo. 

Robert Blackwell, Auditor Public Accounts, April 5, 1817. 

Elijah C. Berry " " " Augu.st 29, 1817. 

John Thomas Treasurer 1818. 



STATE OF ILLINOIS. 



Rhadrach Bond, Governor, 

Pierre Menard Lieut-Governor, 

Elias K. Kane Secretary of State, 

Elijah C. Berry, Auditor Public Accounts, 

John Thoma.s, Treasurer, 

Robert K. McLaughlin,... " 

Edward Coles, Governor, 

Adolphus F. Mubbard Lieut. Governor, 

Samuel D. Lockwood, Secretary of State, 



, 1818. 



0, 1818. 

6, 1818. 

1818. 

1818. 

igust 2, 1819. 

ccmber, 1822. 

1822. 

18,1822. 

Abner Field Trea.surer, January 14, 1823. 

David Blaekwell Secretary of State, April 2, 1823. 

Morris Birheck " ■' October 15, 1824. 

George Forquer, " " January 15, 1825. 

Ninian Edwards Governor December, 1826. 

William Kinney Lieut-Governor, " 1826. 

James Hall, Treasurer Febr'y. 12, 1827. 

Alexander P. Field, Secretary of State, Janiiary 23, 1829. 



EISTOBl GF DE Will COUNIY, ILLINOIS. 



29 



John Reynolds, Governor, December 9, 1S30. 

Zadock Casey Lieut-Governor, " 9. 1830. 

John Dement, Treasurer, February 5, 1831. 

James T. B. Siapp, Auditor Public Accounts, August 27, 1831. 

Joseph Duncan, Governor, December, 1834 

Alexander M. Jenkins. ...Lieut-Governor, " 1S34. 

Levi Davis Auditor Public Accounts Nov. IG, 1835- 

Charles Gregory, Treasurer December 5, 1R36. 

John D. Whiteside, '' Murch 4, 1837. 

Thomas Carlin, Governor, December, 1838. 

Stinson H. Anderson, Lieut-Governor, " 1S3S. 

Stephen A. Douglas, Secretary of State, Xov. 30. 1840- 

Lyman Truml>iill " " March 1,1841. 

Milton Carpenter, Treasurer, " 1841. 

James Shields, Auditor Public Accounts '" 1S4I. 

Thomas Ford, Governor, December 8, 184'^. 

John Moore, Lieut-Governor, " 8, 1842. 

Thomas Campbell, Secretary of State March 6, 1843. 

William L.D.Ewing Auditor Public Accounts, " 6, 1843. 

Thomas H. Campbell « P. A. (to fill vac-mcy), " 2Q, 184G. 

Augustus C. French, Governor, December 9, 1840. 

Joseph B. Wells, Lieut-Governor, " 0. 1S4G. 

Horaces. Cooley,^ Secretary of State, '' 23, ls4G. 

John Moore. Treasurer, (to fill vacancy), August 14, 1>'48. 

William McMurlry, Lieut-Governor, January, 1849. 

David L. Gregg, Sec'y. of State (to fill vacancy},April3. 1850. 

Joel A. Matteson, Governor, January. 1853 

Gustavus Koerner, Lieut-Governor, " 1853. 

Alexander Starne, Secretary of State, " 1853. 

Ninian W. Edwards Super't. Public Instruction, March 24, 1854. 

William H. Bissell, Governor, January 12, 1857. 

John Wood, Lieut-Governor, '' 12, 1857. 

Ozias M. Hatch Secretary of State, ' 

Jesse K. Dubois Auditor Public Accounts, 

James Miller, Treasurer, 

William IL Powell, Super't. Public Instruction, 

Newton Bateman, " " 

William Butler, Treasurer (to fill vacancy) Septe 

Kichard ^ates, Governor, J:in' 

Francis A. IIofFman, Lieut-Governor, 

Ozias M. Hatch, Secretary of State, 

Jesse K. Dubois Auditor Public A.ccoiint=, 

William Bnller Treasurer, 

Newton Batoman. Super't. Public Instruction, 

Alexander Starne. Treasurer, 

John P. Brooks, Super't Public Instruction ' 

liiebard J.Oglesby, Governor * 

William Bross, Lieut-Governor 

Sharon Tyndale, Secretary of State, 

Orlin H. Miner, Auditor Public Accounts, Dec. 12, 

J.anies U. Beveridge, Treasurer, Js 

Kewlon Bateman, Super't. Public Instruction Jc 



12, 185 



10, 


1859. 


bcr3,lS50. 


rv 14, 


I>iC.l. 


14 


1M.U. 


14 


1801. 


14 


1S61. 


14 


1861. 


14 


18GI. 


12 


1SG3. 


1-2 


1863. 


IG, 


186-5. 


16 


I860. 


16 


1S65. 


2, 1864. 


rv9, 


865. 


rv 10, 


1SC5. 



George W. Smith, Treasurer, January, 1S67, 

JulinM. Palmer Governor January 11, 1869. 

John Doushertv, Lieut-Governor, " 11, 1869. 

Edtt-ard Ruraraell Seeretsry of State '' 11, 18G9. 

Cliarles E. Lippincott Auditor Public Accounts, " H, 1S69. 

Erastus X. Bates, Trea-surer " 11, 1S69. 

Newton B,ateman, Super't. Public Instruction, .January, 1871. 

ErastusN. Bates Treasurer, Nov. 8, 1870. 

Kichard J. Oglesby, Governor January 13, 1873. 

Jolin L. Beveridge, Lieut-Governor, " 13, 1873. 

George H. Harlow, Secretary of State " 13, 1873. 

Charles E. Lippincott, ....Auditor Public Accounts, " 13. 1873. 

Edward Eutz, Treasurer " 13, 1S73. 

John L. Beveridge, Governor, " 23, 1873. 

John Early, Lieut-Governor, " 23,1873. 

S. M. Cullom Governor, " 8,1877. 

■Andrew ShuuLin Lieut-Governor, '' 8, 1877. 

George H. Harlow, Secretary of State, " 8,1877. 

Edward Eutz Treasurer " 8, 1877. 

T. B. Needles Auditor Public Accounts " 8,1877. 

S. M. Etter Super't. Public Instruction,.... " 8, 1877, 

J-P-Slade, " •' " 8!l879. 

J. C. Smith, Treasurer " 8,1879. 

S. M. Cullom Governor " 10. 1881. 

John M.Hiuiiilton, Lieiit.-Govemor ■' 10. ISSl. 

Henrv D. Dement .Secretary of .Sate, " 10, 18S1. 

Charles P. Swigert, .-Vuditor'PublicAccounts, " 10.1881. 

Edward Eutz,.r Treasurer, " 10, ISSl. 

Believing that it will be interesting to the younger readers of 
our work, we subjoin the following list of Presidents of the 
United States : 

George Washington Virginia 1780 to 1797, eight years. 

John Adams Massachusetts 1797 to 1801, four years. 

Thomas Jefferson Virginia 1801 to 1809, eight years. 

James Madison Virginia 1809 to 1817, eight years. 

James Monroe Virginia, 1817 to 1825. eight years. 

John Quincy Adams Massachusetts,, .,.18'25 to 1829, four years. 

Andrew Jackson Tennessee, 1829 to 1837, eight years. 

Martin Van Buren New "Vork, 1837 to 1841, four years. 

William H. Harrison Ohio 1841, one month. 

John Tyler Virginia, 1841 to 184-5, four years. 

James K. Polk Tennessee 1845 to 1849, four years. 

Zachary Taylor Louisiana, 1849 to 1859, one year. 

Millard Fillmore New York 18-50 to 18-53, three years. 

Franklin Pierce NewDampshire,.1853 to 1857, four years. 

James Buchanan Pennsylvania 18-57 to 1861, four year?- 

Ahraham Lincoln, (murdered'i..Tllinois ISGl to 1865, 4 yrs, 1 mo. 

Andrew Johnson,, Tennes.'ee, 1865 to 1869, four years, 

Ulysses S, Grant Illinois, 1869 to 1877, eight years. 

Eulherford B. Hayes Ohio 1877, to 1831. f.-ir vears. 

James .-i.- Garheld Ohio ISSl, 



FOP»XJL^TIO]>T OF ILILIjSTOIS, BY COUNTIES. 



1870. 



1S60. 



Adams 5G.3C2 59,t4S 

Alexander 10,504 14,809 

Bond l.-l,152 I4,ST3 

Boone 12,942 11,527 

Brown 12,205 13,044 

Bureau 32,415 33,189 

Calhoun C,.502 7,471 

Carroll „ 10,705 10,805 

Cass 11,580 14,494 

Champaign , — 32,737 40,809 

Christian 20,363 23,232 

Clark - 18,719 21,000 

Clay 15,S75 10,105 

Clinton 10,285 18,718 

Coles 2.-.,2.1o 27,(155 

Cook ai9,9C6 607,4r8 

Crawford 13,889 16,190 

Cumberland... 12,223 13,7(^2 

Do Kalb 23,265 26,774 

De Witt 14,7ia 17,014 

Doudass 1.3,484 15,657 

Du Pago 16,086 19,187 



ISTO. 

Edgar 21,450 

Edwards 7,505 

Effingham 15,053 

Fayette 19,6,38 

Ford 9,103 

Franklin 12,052 

Fulton 38,291 

Gallatin 11,134 

Greene 20,277 

Grundy 14,938 

Hamilton 13.014 

Hancock 35.935 

Hardin. 5,113 

Henderson 12,562 

Henry 35,-506 

Iroquois 25,782 

Jackson 19,ra4 

Jasper 11,234 

Jefferson 17,804 

Jersey 15,054 

Jo Daviess 27,820 

Johnson 11,248 



18,924 
23,243 
15,105 
10,129 
41,249 
12,802 



11..'.15 
20,f,s6 
1.5,546 
27,534 



1870. 



Kane 39,091 

Kankakee- 24,352 

Kendall 1A309 

Knox 30,522 

Lake 21,014 

LaS.-illc 60,792 

La^vTence 12,.J33 

Loo 27,171 

Livingston 31,471 

Logan 23,053 

MoDuiii-ush- 2i,'.n'i 

M.-n - - J 

M L 

M, .1 

JIi 

Jl.ij u 41 1 

Man.-n 2n i __■ 

Marshall 10,950 

Mason 16,184 

Massac 9,581 

Menard 11,735 

Mercer 18,769 



44,9-56 
24,001 
13,(ls4 
a^,3G0 
21,209 
70,4:0 
13,003 
27,194 
38,450 



1S7( 



Monroe 12,982 13,082 

Montgomery... 25,314 2S,OS6 

Slorgan 28,403 31,5W 

Moultrie 10,385 13.705 

Ogle 27.402 29.946 

Peoria 47,540 65,419 

Perry 13.723 16,008 

Piatt 10,953 15,583 

Pike -... 30.708 33,761 

Pope 11,437 13,256 

Pulaski 8,752 ■ 9,507 

r !n 6,280 6,555 

'■ - ' 20,859 25,691 

12,803 15,646 

i ..i.- 29,783 38,314 

,= : ' ! , 51,008 01,850 

S.iUnj 12,714 15,910 

Sangamon 46,352 52,902 

Schuyler 17,419 10,249 

Scott..: 10,530 10,745 

Shelby... 25,470 30,282 

Stark 10,751 11,209 



Stephenson 


30,C08 


31,970 


Tazewell 


27,903 


29,079 


Union .- 


10,518 


18,100 


Vermillion 


30,388 


41,000 


■Wabash 


8.841 


9,945 


Warren 


23,174 


2-2,940 


Washington ... 


17,599 


21,117 


Wayne 


19,758 


21,297 




10,846 


23,089 


Whitesides..... 


27,503 


30,8SS 


Will 


43,013 


63,424 


Williamson .... 


17,329 


19,326 


Wmnehftgo .... 
Woodford 


29,301 


30,518 


18,956 


21,630 


Total 


,539,891 3,078,709 



White, 3,032,174; Colored, 46.- 
595, including 214 Chinese, and 
133 Indians. 



30 



HISTORY OF BE ^\^ITT CDUXTY, ILLINOIS. 





CHAPTER III. 


AXn RAIL- 


Creek 


704 

1,018 

743 


1.022 

i.or.i 

1,104 
] .437 

048 

064 

1.270 

1,064 


1.211 




De Witt 

II;ir|. 


1,110 

1,077 


GEOGRAPHY. 


AGrJCl'LTVRAL RESOURCES, 
ROAD FACILITIES. ' 


Wiipella, (Townsliip), . . 
Village, (Wapt-lla),. . . 
Nixon 


1.016 
3i7 


1,184 
302 
80) 












Santa Anna, 

Texas 


S33 
893 






< 


2.106 
950 




E WlXr COUXTY i3 situated nearly cen- 
tral iu the state, the g 'ographical centre of 
Illinois, beiog. located but a few miles from 
the southern boundary. It lies between the 
fortieth and fnrtj'-first parallels of north 
latitude, and is bi-sected by the twelfth me- 
ridian west from Washington ; while the 
third Principal Meridian forms the western 
b lundary. Its greatest length from east to 
west is thirty miles, ami from north to south sixteen miles, and 
contains an area of about 39.3 square miles, or 2.51,657 acres. 
In compari-on of acres of improved and unimproved lands, there 
are proHabli' but few counties in the state, that can show a 
better record. The following is the official data taken from 
the record for 1880. Acres, improved lands, 232,66'2; va- 
lue, §3,188,091 : Acres unimproved, 18,995 : value, 8142,799. 
Number impr.ived lots, 2,814; value, 8273,239. Unimproved 
lots, 1 ,393 ; value, 816,721. We are further informed by Mr. A. 
L. Barnett, the first and present surveyor of the county, that De 
Witt does not contain a single acre of land not susceptible of 
improvement. It is bounded on the north by McL°an ; east by 
Piatt, south by Macon, and west by Logan county. Cliuton, 
the capital, is situated nearly central, and equidistant from the 
two great cities of Chicago and St. Louis, baing about one hun- 
dred and fifty miles from each. AVheu the county was organ- 
ized in 1839, its territory was considerable in excess of its pre- 
sent boundaries. Nearly a whole town.ship on the north-west has 
been lopped off and joined to Logan, while on the south and east, 
quite a (jortion of territory has been given over to form a part of 
what is now Piatt coanty. It embraces seven full, and si.'C frac- 
tional parts of congres-sioual townships, making thirteen voting 
])recincts as follows: Waynesville, Wapella, Wilson, Rutledge, 
Santa Anna, De Witt, Harp, C'liiitoiiia, Barnett, Tunbridge, 
Texas, Creek, and Nixon. 

The first land entries were made the 3J d.iy of November, 
1827, as fol ows: James K. Scott entered the E -2 of the N. E.!, 
s ction 27 ; and Samuel P. Glenn the E \ of the S. W.J, sectioa 
26; both being in town 21, range 1, east. Prior to the first of 
May, 1830, there were not to exceed 2,500 acres of land en- 
tered in the county. 

Population. — The first settlers were principally Americius, who 
were natives of Kentucky and Tennessee. The present nation- 
ality is a mixture of English, Irish, Swedes, Germans, and a few 
French, and Negroes. The former largely predominates. Fifty- 
one years ago — 1830 — there were not to exceed 250 inhabitants 
within the present limits of the county. Below we give the offi- 
cial census of the several decades, from 1840 to the present time. 
In 1840, the records show a population of 3,247 ; 1850, males 
2,554, females (white) 2,447; females (colored) 1; total, 5,002. 
The following is the census by townships since 1860. 

1800. 1870. 1880. 

Barnett, 804 1,078 1,122 

(lintonia (Township). . . . 1,984 2.038 3.308 

City (Clinton), . . 1,302 1.800 2,702 



Tunbridge, 636 1,105 1.005 

Waynesville 872 970 1.042 

Wilson 314 040 006 

Totals 12,182 10,.567 20.054 

It should be borne in mind that the census of 1840, included 
that p Ttion of territory, afterwards lopped off from the east and 
north-west, which has already been mentioned- From the fijre- 
going table it is easy to discover the gradual and healthy growth 
of the c 'Uuty in population. 

Typography. — The surface of the country presents a pleasing 
variety of gently undulating prairie land, interspersed with 
belts of timber, that hug the water-courses in their various mean- 
derings. Originally, about one-tenth of the county was covered 
with a fine growth of timber consisting of oak, walnut, elm, syca- 
more etc. Along the creeks the surface; is somewhat broken, 
and at various points assume the nature of small bluffs, especially 
along the Kickapoo iu the north-west. There are two principal 
divides or water-sheds, o je lying in the north and west, between the 
Kickapoo and Salt Creek, and the other extending along south of 
the latter creek, midway between it and the southern boundary 
of the c mnty. In many pirts of the state, the prairies, from 
their peculiar forms or other causes, received various names in 
an early day, and are yet familiarly known as such. But one, 
however, appears in De Witt county ; and it is doubtful if there 
are half a score of people to-day that could name or locate it. It 
lies between the north and south forks of Salt Creek, and is 
known by the oldest settlers as Pork Prair'e. Prior to the con- 
struction of the rail.'oads, or any artificial drainage, there were 
a few acresof land that were not considered tillable, and were com- 
monly known as Swamp Lands. In 1853, the governor of the 
state appointed Mr. A. L. Barnett county surveyor, to ascertain 
and report to the State the number of acres of said lands. After 
making a careful survey, Mr. Barnett reported but 2,000 acres, 
all of which at this writing is under cultivation, or susceptible of 
improvement. 

Hydrography.— T\\e cojnty is fairly well supplied with water 
courses suitable for natural drainage. The largest and most 
important stream is Salt creek, which enters the county at the 
north-east. Here two branches. North and South fork, trend in 
a south-westerly direction a few miles apart, when they unite in 
the southern central part of the county. These form the main 
stream, which then takes a westerly course, and crosses the county 
line at Tunbridge township. The Kickapoo with its tributaries 
form excellent drainage for the north-west. Fish of fine quality 
abound in these streams, and afford the sportsman ample recrea- 
tion and pleasure. Bass, croppy, pike, and cat-fish are the 
principal species. Other small strc^ams abound, which meander 
through the prairie depressions, and finally empty their waters 
into Salt creek. 

Artificial drainage is now being carried on to a great extent, 
especially that of tiling. But a few years ago an under-ground 
ditch was scarcely thought of, and much less practiced. Time 
and experience, however, has developed the fact that if the bus- 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLIXOIS. 



31 



bandnian would prosper, and succeed in getting out of tlie soil 
what it is capable of producing, the surface must be made warm ; 
and it has been further demonstrated, that man can do nothing 
in the way of tillage that is more conducive to this end than the 
sj'stem of under-drainage. No portion of the state is more largely 
engaged in the work of tiling than the fiirmers of De Witt. 
Hundreds of miles are already buried beneath the fertile prairies, 
branching out in every direction, like the veins of the human 
circulatory system. Thus are the surface waters at once carried 
away, leaving the soil t<j perform its complete and normal func- 
tions. 

Clhnile. — The climate of Central Illinois is a happy medium 
between the extremes of heat and cold, and specially adapted to 
the raising of all kinds of productions peculiar to the temperate 
zones. The winters are comparatively short, and the summer 
seasons long and delightful. Snow falls seldom to exceed six 
inches in depth ; in fact, so light are the snows that the covering 
needed, so necessary to the production of winter wheat, makes 
this cereal an uucertai i crop ; yet it is largely planted, and olten 
yields very remunerative returns to the husbandman. 

Perennial Sprinys abound in various parts of the county, but 
are mainly found along or near the water-courses ; a few, how- 
ever, appear upon the open prairies. The largest and mo^t im- 
portant spring is situated on the premises of Mrs. Weldon, a 
few miles south-east of Clinton, in Creek township. It gushes 
forth in considerable quantities, forming quite a brook of ever- 
running water. This spring is strongly tinctured with sulphur, 
aud the same may be said of nearly all others in the county, 
but few consisting of pure water. In dry seasons these provi- 
sions of nature are of almost incalculable value to the farmer 
and stock-raiser. 

Mounds. — It may be known to but few citizens of the county 
that they have within their territory relics of a pre-historic race 
known as Mound Builders; but from the best authority there 
are unmistakable evidences that such is really the case. Men of 
close observation and scientific knowledge, after careful inves- 
tigation, have pronounced them beyond question the work of the 
same race that have left evidences of their existence along the 
Father of Waters, and other portions of the West. The largest 
of these is found in the south-west corner of Clintonia township, 
on the premises owned by Bushrod Munson. It is oval in shape, 
from eight to ten feet in altitude, and thirty yards in diameter. 
There are two smaller ones within bow-shot of the former. None 
of these have been excavated, only in taking portions of gravel, 
from time to time, from their sides. It may be asked, why do 
scientists arrive at the conclusion that these are really artificial 
mounds? This question can be answered in a few words. In 
the first place, they are rather uniform in shape ; and secondly, 
they do not partake of the same nature of material as the soil 
around them. The bulk of their substance is composed of sand, 
gravel, and numerous small stones, the same as may be found in 
the creek bed two or three miles distant. Other small mounds 
are seen near Salt Creek, in Texas township. It is said, and by 
very reliable authority, that some of these have been exhumed, 
and human bones taken from their interior ; hence all the evi- 
dences go to show that the extinct race of centuries ago once 
roamed over the prairies and through the forests of this particu- 
lar territory. Another peculiarity of the surface near some of 
the creek bottoms should not be neglected or passed by in this 
connection. These are certain depressions of a rotund shape, 
and from two to three feet in depth. In an early day, herds of 
thousands of buffaloes roamed wild over this part of the Missis- 



sippi Valley. Their main stamping ground was near the river 
or creek bottoms. Here they would seek the shade to rest and 
recreate. The theory is, and a very plausible one, that in their 
numerous stampings and wallowings these hollows or depressions 
were formed. To the student of history and the scientist these 
formations are familiarly known as Buffalo Wallows. Years and 
ages may glide by, yet they will exist, like the mounds of the 
unknown race, to inform the historian that other beings and 
other animals once inhabited this part of the globe. 

Soil. — In fertility aud richness of soil, the county of De Witt 
is probably unsurpassed by any in the State. It is situated in 
the famous " Grand Prairie," which extends through the cen- 
tral part of Illinois, and is widely known as the garden spot 
of the West. Indeed, it possesses but one drawback, and that 
consists in its extreme productiveness. So inexhiustible is it in 
its yield, and so easy of cultivation, that the average farmer 
hardly deems it necessary to give it proper culture, or to return 
to the soil a portion he has received ; in other words, to feed as 
it has fed him. This is not an idle thought, but one that it may 
be well for the agriculturist to stop and consider. It may be 
said that there are three distinct classes of soil, to wit, the prairie, 
the timber land, and the creek bottoms. The former, which con- 
stitutes about nine-tenths of the county, is a black peaty loam, 
from two to five feet in depth, and commonly known as a vege- 
table decomposition, the formation of which took place centuries 
ago, thus preparing these vast plains to yield abundant crops for 
the present generation and the millions yet to come. The timber 
land is more or Ifss broken, the soil of which has a light yellow- 
ish color, and is but few inches in depth. It contains more or 
less lime, aud all other properties necessary to produce excellent 
wheat. Indeed, it is cousidered the most valuable land for this 
cereal, aud for the production of blue grass, of any soil in the 
county. The bottoms are composed of a deep sandy loam, com- 
bined with silt-deposit, aud specially adapted to the raising of 
corn. The bottom lands are not extensive, but when not incon- 
venienced by overflow, the yield of maize to the acre exceeds 
that of the prairies. 

Agriculture and HoriicuUure. — The growth and prosperity of 
a country depends largely upon its agricultural resources ; in 
fact, the world could not move if it were not for this industry. 
Nothing is truer than the aphorism, '"The success of the hus- 
bandman is the success of the country." He is the bone aud 
sinew of the land, the engine, as ii were, that drives the whole 
machinery which fosters life, gives wealth, and creates happiness 
for mankind. When this industry fails, famine, misery, and 
tears prevail in the land. Ireland, and other countries of Europe 
have, in times pa.st, been striking examples of the famine fiend ; 
but thanks to a kind Providence, in our own country, and espe- 
cially in central Illinois, have the people never had to know 
what it is to want for the necessaries of life 

The means aud facilities for tilling the soil, a half-century ago, 
would be considered a burlesque on farming to-day. Then they 
scratched over the laud as best they could with the old wooden 
mould-board plow, aud gathered the harvest with a reap-hook. 
The threshing wa-s as .slow and laborious as the reaping, the pro- 
cess being by tramping out the grain by the use of cattle, or 
beating it from the straw with a flail. Presto change ; fifty 
years have glided by, and we cast our eye out upon the prairie 
landscape, aud what a transition ! The old mould-board has 
given place to the elegant sulky-plow, the reap-hook is trans- 
formed into the wonderful mechanism known as the self-binder, 
and the tramping of the cattle and the thud, thud of the flail 



32 



HISTORY OF DE WITT CnUXTY, IILIXOIS. 



have yielded to the steam-engine and the hum of the gigantic 
thresher. The change in the variety of crops raised is nearly if 
not quite as great as the use of utensils. Tiie fir^t settlers were 
not so much engrossed in money-making and money-getting as 
the people of to-day, but were laboring more for a mere sub- 
sistence. They raised patches of flax and some cotton, from 
which products they manufactured their own apparel. Corn 
was then the staple, as now, but produced in very limited quan- 
tities, as transportation facilities were so meagre that it was not 
a profitable crop only as it was used for home consumption. 
Wheat was rarely cultivated in the early days. 

As already stated, corn is the staple, and on the prairies and 
bottom-lands, no portion of the state can excel De Witt in the 
raising of this cereal, the average crop yieldiug from forty to 
fifty bushels per acre, and often far exceeding this number. 
Wheat of an excellent quality and yield is raised, especially in 
the timbered lands. The prairie is not considered a safe or sure 
ground for its production. The soil, though very rich, is too 
loose and spongy to protect the roots of the wheat during the 
winter, and the constant freezing and thawing peculiar to the 
spring climate. Yet, in the years 1870 and 'SO, the average 
yield was upwards of twenty-five bushels per acre. These extra 
crops are probably due to the climatic peculiarities of those 
winters, and the improved methods of preparing the ground and 
planting the seed. Within the last three or four years the cul- 
tivating of this important cereal has largely increased, in fact it 
has nearly doubled in acreage. With tlie improvement of tilling 
which is now so rapidly being pushed forward, and the progress 
in the science of agriculture, it can be but a question of time 
when wheat will be as certaiu a crop in this county as corn and 
oats are now. The Irish and sweet-potato are raised with excel- 
lent success, and form a very important part of the agricultural 
industry. Grasses of all kinds are raised in abundance ; timothy, 
blue-grass, red-top and clover are the chief varieties, which afford 
the best pasturage for stock, and furnish a choice quality of hay 
for the market. The rich soil of the prairies is the best adapted 
to the growth of timothy and clover, while the thinner lands of 
the timber are utilized with great advantage for grazing cattle 
upon the bountiful supply of blue-grass. De Witt county stands, 
probably, second to none in the state in the careful raising and 
propagating of tine draft-horses. Many are shipped annually 
to various parts of the United States. Indeed, this branch of 
business is made a specialty by some of the leading farmers and 
stock-men. The Norman stock prevails, which are descendaut-s 
of the famous "Louis Napoleon." He was imported from 
France in 18.51, by Erastus JNIartin and Charles FuUington, of 
Champaign and Union counties, Ohio, and afterwards brought 
to De Witt county, Illinois, by A. P. Cushman ; was purchased 
by E. Dillon & Co , of Bloomington, in whose hands he died, in 
1871, at the age of twenty-three j'ears. When young, he was a 
dark dapple-gray, but snow-white at his death, and was the sire 
of over four hundred successful stallions. So choice was the 
stock of this noted horse that the county fairly took the lead in 
this noted industry, and retains it at this time. The following is 
a showing of the numbers and value of the stock raised in the 
county for 1880: Ilorocs, 7,.569, value, 8188,175; neat-cattle, 
14,147, value, 81o.3,712; mules "95, value, 820,642; sheep, 
12,792, value, 817,123; hogs, 28,468, value, 844.840. 

Hortindture receives but little attention. But few climates 
are better adapted to the raising of mo.st fruits than Central Illi- 
nois ; the soil is certainly adequate to perform its part, and yet 



there is scarcely enough fruit raised annually to supply home- 
demand. Grapes and berries grow in abundance, and that 
spontaneously; apples, pears, plums and cherries bear fair crops, 
with but small labor after having once been planted ; peaches 
are really the only uncertain fruit. What better evidence do we 
need to prove that this is a natural fruit country? Young trees 
shoyld be cultivated for several years, and not left to struggle 
for themselves ; old or middle-aged ones should be carefully 
pruned at least once a year; the early falling fruit, or such as is 
not marketed or used, should be disposed of in some manner to 
prevent the propagating of insects, which are so detrimental to 
raising good and perfect fruit. Many good orchards abound in 
the county, and by proper pruning and culture, they could be 
made to yield double the usual crop, and produce by far a more 
desirable fruit. 

Tramportation Facilities. — The early markets, and the facili- 
ties of transportation were as inconvenient as the produce to be 
moved was meager — all things were in keeping and consistent 
with the times. The first market, and principal trading point 
was St. Louis via Pekin. Goods were boated up the Illinois 
river to the latter place, and then carted across the country to 
the little hamleti of the county. 

No railroads, and scarcely passable highways then traversed 
this section of the country — verily, " Necessity is the mother of 
invention." The world moves, and we have lived to see and 
enjoy the Iron Age. Only half a century ago, within the 
memorv of man, the fir-it step was made that has revolutionized 
the whole world of traffic. The first locomotive engine was in- 
vented by George Stephenson, of England, and was first success- 
fully operated, September 27th, 1825, on a short road from 
Stockton to Darlington. lu 1830 there were but twenty-three 
miles of railroad this side of the Atlantic. The road between 
Baltimore and Ellicott's Mills, Maryland, eleven and one-half 
miles in length, was the first operated road for passenger trans- 
portation in the United States ; this was in July of that year. 
The cars were drawn by horse-power, the locomotive not then 
having been introduced at that time within the States. The 
coaches were open, somewhat resembling the common carriage 
vehicles of that date. In the Baltimore American of July, 1830, 
was the advertisement of this road, stating that a sufficient num- 
ber of cars had been provided to accommodate the trading pub- 
lic, and that a brigade (train of cars) would leave the depot on 
Pratt street at 6 and 10 o'clock A M., and at 3 and 4 o'clock 
P. M. ; returning, would leave the depot at Ellicott's Mills at 
G and Si o'clock A. M., and 12^. and 6 o'clock P. M. This 
time-card was accompanied with positive orders, prohibiting 
any passengers entering the cars without tickets; also with a 
provision for engaging cars by the day, if parties desired. 

The first railroad constructed in the Mississippi Valley was 
built from Illinoistown— now East St. Louis — to the bluff, a dis- 
tance of about six miles across the American Bottoms. It was 
constructed in ISil, under the personal supervision and efforts 
of Governor Reynolds, Yha.\ Jarrot and a few others. It was 
expressly built for the purpose of transporting coal from where 
it cropped out at the bluff to the St. Liuis market. It had the 
wood rail, and the cars were pulled by horse-power. In speak- 
ing of this enterprise. Governor Reynolds, in his history entitled 
My Own Tim's says : We had not the means nor the time in 
one year to procure the iron for the rails or the locomotive, so 
we were compelled to work the road without iron, and with 
horse-power. We did so, and delivered much coal to the river. 
It was strange how it was possible that we could construct the 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COUNTY; ILLINOIS. 



33 



road under the adverse circumstances. The members of the 
company and I — one of them — lay out on the premises of the 
road day and night while the work was in progression ; and I 
assert that it was the greatest work or enterprise ever performed 
in Illinois under the circumstances. 

The first line of railroad built in the state in which the loco- 
motive was used, was the Northern Cross Railway, extending 
from Quincy to Danville. This was chartered in 1837, and the 
first locomotive placed upon it in the winter of 1838-9, running 
from Meredosia to Jacksonville. The track was the primitive 
strap-rail style, which was made by spiking thin straps of iron 
to the rail-beds. The engine, as well as the road, soon became 
so impaired that the former had to be abandoned and the horse- 
power substituted. But Illinois, to day, leads the van, has out- 
stripped all the other states in this gigantic enterprise, and now 
modestly bears the honors of a well-earned success in the mag- 
nitude of internal improvements. 

According to the official reports of 1880, Illinois has 0,294 
miles of track, constructed and equipped at the cost of 
$408,740,915, thus surpassing every other state in the Union in 
miles of railroad. If within less than half a century such 
strides have been made, in the facilities of transportation, what 
mind can conceive the condition of things fifty years hence. 

EAILEOADS OF DE WITT COUNTY. 

Five roads, like net-work, now traverse the county, three of 
which center and cross at the county seat as follows : Illinois 
Central main line, Gillman, Clinton and Springfield branch of 
Central and the I. B. & W. The latter is now under the con- 
trol and management of the Wabash, St. Louis &: Pacific Rail- 
way. The G. C. & S. has been leased by the Illinois Central for 
ninety-nine years, and now operated by said road. 

lUinois Central Railroad. — The main line of this road enters 
De Witt County on the north, near the center of Wapella town- 
ship, on section fifteen, and traverses the county in an almost 
due southerly direction through the township of Clintonia and 
Texas^ The most important station on the road in this county 
is Clinton. For many years the shops of this road were located 
at WapiUa. They were sabseiuently moved ti Chicago. 

The Springfield Branch.— The Gillman, Clinton & Springfield 
road w.as constructed in 1871, and was leased to the Illinois 
Central in 1878 for the term of ninety-nine years. This is one 
of the important roads traversing th^ county. It enters the 
county from the west on section 30, Tunbridge township, traverses 
the county in a north-easterly direction through the townships 
of Tunbridge, Texas, Clintonia, Harp, De Witt, Rutledge and 
Santa Anna- The most important stations on this line in this 
county are Clinton, Farmer City, De Witt and Kenney. It has 
always been the policy of the Central road to foster and en- 
courage the growth of the country through which it passes. 
This is one of the largest corporations in Illinois, and a brief 
sketch would not fail to interest our readers. 

In September, 1850, Congress passed an act, and it was ap- 
proved by President Fillmore, granting an aggregate of 2,595,053 
acres, to aid in building this road. The act granted the right of 
way, and gave alternate sections of land for six miles on either 
side of the road. The grant of land was made directly to the 
State. On the 10th of February, 1851, the legislature of Illinois 
granted a charter to an eastern company, represented hy Bantoul 
and others, to build it, with a capital stock of §1,000,000. The 
road was completed in 1854. The legislature, in granting the 
charter, aud trauiferring to the corporation the lands, stipulated 
5 



that seven per cent, of the gro.ss earnings of the road should be 
paid semi-annually into the treasury of the State forever. This 
wise provision, in lieu of the liberal land-grant, yields a hand- 
some annual revenue to the State; also that in the event of war 
government transportation should be furnished at a certain re- 
duction from the prices regularly paid by the general govern- 
ment for such services. The proceeds of laud sales have been 
regularly applied to the redemption of construction bonds, and 
it is significant that while tho original issue of mortgage bonds 
amounted to 322,000,000, that amount has been so reduced that 
in 1890 the whole issue will be retired, and the stockholders will 
own a road more than 700 miles in length, fully equipped, with 
no outstanding liability other than the share of capital. It may 
be noted here, that when the general government donated lands 
to the States of Illinois, Mississippi, and Alabama, it was in- 
tended that through the aid derived from these lauds a through 
artery of travel should be established between the Lakes and 
the Gulf-ports. Had the war not supervened, the project would 
then have been carried out in its entirety, and the North and 
.South movement of trafiic would have been fully developed, but 
the enforced delay in carrying out the original programme was 
utilized in building up the Stale of Illinois, and in perfecting 
the track of this road. The re.sources of the company were 
taxed to their utmost capacity during the war, in furnishing 
transportation for the general government ; but the interests of 
communities along the line were carefully watched, and a local 
business was built up, which in volume and value far exceeded 
the most sanguine expectation of the proprietary. Strict atten- 
tion to local business has always been a marked characteristic of 
Illinois Central Railroad management, hence their lands have 
been eagerly sought after ; and they have the satisfaction of 
knowing that the value of the road is not dependent entirely 
upon its identification with the through business of the country, 
but on the contribution of local traffic, which shows a permanent 
aud certain increase. Two years after the close of the war, in 
1867, the Illinois Central Railroad Company leased three rail- 
ways in Iowa, "The Dubuque and Sioux City," "Cedar Falls 
and Minnesota," and " Iowa Falls and Sioux City " Railroads. 
The last named road was not, however, completed to Sioux City 
until 1871. These leased lines have been extensive feeders to 
the Central ; and also have adiled immensely to the commerce 
of Chicago, and have been great auxiliaries in the development 
of Iowa and southern Minnesota. 

On the opening of the Vandalia line, the Illinois Central made 
its first direct advance toward securing a representation in the 
traffic between Chicago aud St. Louis. Two through trains were 
run daily, lia Etjingham. In 1870, on completion of the Belle- 
ville and Illinois Southern Railroad to Du Quoin, the southern 
^ business of the Illinois Central Railroad, originating in St. Louis, 
1 was transferable from Odin and Ashley, the former connections 
with the Cairo Short Line. Though the Illinois Central Rail- 
road put in a car-hoist at Cairo, to obviate the difficulties inci- 
dental to the difl'erent gauge of the southern roads, the tedious 
transfer between Cairo and Columbus militated against a satis- 
factory development of through business, and it was not until 
1873, by completion of the Mississippi Central Extension, from 
Jackson to a point opposite Cairo, that the Illinois Central was 
enabled to compete on equal terms with rival routes to the South 
for the business of the Gulf States. This extension could not 
have been built without the aid of the Illinois Central Railroad 
Company, which was given by exchanging one million of Illinois 
1 Ceuli-al, Jive per cent sterling bonds, which were easily negotiable 



34 



EISTORY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



in foreign marliets, for live millions of the southern bonds, bear- 
ing seven yjcr cent, annual interest, with the understanding that 
the difference between the interest of the sterling and the south- 
ern bonds should constitute a sinking fund for the redemption 
of the bonds at maturity. The financial jianic of 1873, com- 
bined with other local causes, prevented the line between New 
Orleans and Cairo from earning sufficient to meet the annual 
interest charges, and the property was placed in the hands of a 
receiver, where it remained until 1877, when a reorganization of 
the companies resulted in placing the direct control in the hands 
of the Illinois Central Railroad Company. No expense has 
been spared to put the road-bed and equipments in first-class 
condition. About the same time the Illinois Central Managers 
acquired, on favorable terms, possession of the Oilman, Clinton 
and Springfield Railroad, and thereby secured in perp tuity the 
traffic of a valuable section of country formerly tributary to 
competing roads. At Durant, 309 miles from Cairo, connection 
is made with a branch, 21 miles in length, to Kosciusko, also at 
Jackson (Mississippi) ; the Vicksburg and Meridian Railroad 
furnishes a line to Vicksburg, and thence via the Vicksburg, 
Shreveport and Texas Railroad for Monroe, La., Shreveport 
and all points on the Texas and Pacific Railway. The Morgan's 
Louisiana and Texas Railroad, in connection with steamers from 
Brashear, furnish an alternate route to Galveston and other 
points in Texas. I 

The following statistics in reference to the physical condition 
and equipment of the Illinois Central Railroad, will not be 
devoid of interest : — j 

MILES. 

Main line-. Cairo to La Salle, opened for business, J.in. Rtli, ISoo, 308.99 

Galena Branch, La Salle, to Dunkirk, opened June 12th, ISoo . 140 73 
Cliicago Branch, Chicago to Centralia Junction, opened Sept. 

2Gth, ISoti 249.78 I 

Spi-ingfielJ Division, Oilman to Springfiehi, opened in Septem- 
ber, 1871, 111.47 

Total length of Main Line an.l Branches, 816.97 

Aggregate length computed a-s single track, 833 OS 

Length of Sidings, 132. Ij8 

Total length of track owned in Illinuis 966.30 

Iowa Division, from Dubuque to Sioux City, 327.00 1 

Southern Division, from Cairo to New Orleans, 518.00 \ 

Minnesota Branch, from Waterloo to Mono, 80.00 

Making the total number of miles 1921.36 

The line between Chicago and Cairo is operated as the Chicago I 
Division ; that between Centralia and Dubuque as the Northern 
Division, and the Road between Oilman and Springfield as the 
Springfield Division. The tracks of the various lines are mostly 
steel-rails, the road beds, especially in this state, are ballasted 
with rock, the rolling stock is excellent, and the road throughout 
is, in all parts, first class. The Main Line passes through the \ 
richest portion of the state — and is the greatest thoroughfare of 
travel and traffic between the North and the South. 

RAILROAD LAND.?. 

Believing that there are many farmers in De "Witt county 
who desire a profitable investment, we would therefore call the 
attention of all who are desirous of procuring more land, or 
larger farms to the large quantity of good farming land, the 



Illinois Centntl Railroad company still offer for sale, along their 
line in Marion, Fayette, Clinton, Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, 
Perry, Franklin, Union, and Williamson counties in this state. 



The titles to these lands offered for sale is as perfect as human 
agency can make it. It was originally donated by act of Con- 
gress to the State of Illinois, and by an act of the State Legisla- 
ture transferred to this company and its Trnstees. No incum- 
brance of any kind whatever. To all who desire in good faith 
to examine any of these lands, the railroad company issues half 
rate tickets on any of their own lines to and from the nearest 
points to the laud, and if such ticket-holder buys even a forty- 
acre tract, they will allow what he paid for such ticket as part 
payment on the purchase. These lands are productive, the cli- 
mate healthy, and prices very low — usually from SI to S8 per 
acre, on easy terms, and a low rate of interest. These lands can 
be purchased on the following terms : 

One quarter cash, with five per cent, interest for one year in 
advance on the residue ; the balance payable in one, two and 
three years, with five per cent, interest in advance, each year on 
the part remaining unpaid. For example, for forty acres of land 
at $.5.00 per acre, the payments would be as follows: 



Cash payment . 


. . $.50.00, principa 


, and .?7..50 interest 


In one year, . . 


. . 50.00 


•' 5,00 


In two years, . . 


. . .50.00 


2.50 


In three years, . 


. . 50.00 





§200.00 ?lo.00 

Or the same land may be bought for §180.00, all cash, as we 
deduct ten per cent, when all cash is paid. Full information on 
all points relating to any particular locality or tract, will be 
furnished on application, either in person or by letter, to 

P. Daggy, Land Commissioner. 
Room 11, No. 78 Michigan Ave., Chicago, Illinois. 

Wabash, St. Louis and Pacific: more widely and commonly 
known as the Wabash, passes through five townships of De Witt 
county, viz. : Nixon, Creek, Texas, Clintonia, and Barnett. The 
principal stations on the line of the road in this county, are 
Clinton, Weldon, Lane, Hallsville, and Midland City. The 
road passing through the county which is now under the manage- 
ment of the Wabash, was finished in 1873. It was first called 
the Havana, Macon City, Lincoln and Eastern. It afterwards 
assumed the name, Champaign, Havana and Western. Subse- 
quently it went into the hands of the I. B. and W., and in the 
year' 1880, was leased by the Wabash for ninety-nine years. 
Through a system of consolidation, unparalleled in American 
railways, it has become a giant among them. This consolida- 
tion, it is estimated, has added §50,000,000 to the value of bonds 
and shares of the various companies now incorporated in the 
Wabash system. The road takes its title from the river of that 
name, a tributary of the Ohio, which in part separates the States 
Indiana and Illinois. 

For convenience in management and operation, the road is 
divided into two grand divisions, the eastern and western, with 
headquarters in St- Louis. Under its new name it has rapidly 
extended its lines east and west of the Mississippi river, and at 
present comprises the following divisions, with termini and 
lengths as presented : 



HISTORY OF BE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



35 



EASTERN DIVISION-. 

Toledo, Ohio, to St. Louis, Mo., 43G miles. 

Decatur, 111., to Quincy, 111., lol " 

Blufl:-., 111., to Hannibal, Mo., 50 " 

Maysville, III., to Pitisfield, 111., (5 " 

Clayton, 111., to Keokuk, Iowa 49 '' 

Logansport, Ind., to Butler, Ind., 93 *' 

Edwardsville, 111., to Edwardsville Crossing, ... 10 '' 

Bement, 111., Chicago, 1.51 '• 

Decatur. 111., via Campaign to Havana, 111., .... 131 " 

Peoria, III., to Jacksonville, S3 " 

Slate Line, 111., to Warsaw, 111., 227 " 

Total miles east of the Miisissippl river, . . 1387 

WESTERN DIVI.SION. 

St. Louis to Kansas City 227 miles. 

Brunswick, Mo., to Council Bluflfs, Iowa, 224 

Eoseberry, Mo., to Clarinda, Iowa, 22 '' 

Moberly, Mo., to Ottumwa, Iowa, 131 '' 

North Lexington, Mo., to St. Joseph, Mo 76 " 

Centralia, Mo , to Columbia, Mo., 22 " 

Salisbury, Mo., to Glasgow, Mo l.j " 

Ferguson, Mo., to Biddle street, St. Louis, 10 " 

Total miles west of Mississippi river 777 " 

Grand total 21.58 miles. 

In addition to this a branch road is being now constructed to 
Detroit, Michigan, which, with a connection whose terms are 
already agreed upon with the great railway system of Canada, 
and with a further addition of double steel track, thence to the 
seaboard, will make this the most stupendous combination known 
to railway systems. The management" of the Wabash have re- 
cently secured a controlliog interest in the Iron mountain Rail- 
way, and its connection with the systems of railways of Texas, 
and the south-western States and Territories will greatly increase 
its earnings, and will do much toward populating and developing 
the resources of the great south-west. This road is progressive 
in every respect, The finest passenger cars on the continent are 
run on its lines, and every effort is being made to advance the 
interests of its patrons, and to develop the material growth of 
the country, through which its various lines pass. 

The Illinois Midland Railroad extends almost through the 
■western portion of the county. This railway is a consolidation 
of the Paris and Decatur Railroad Company, incorporated by 
charter approved February 18th, 1861 ; the Paris Terre Haute 
Railroad Company, incorporated under provisions of the law of 
March 1st, 1872, and the Peoria, Atlanta and Decatur Railroad 
Company, incorporated March 1st, 1869. On September 19Lh, 
1874, the Peoria, Atlanta and Decatur Company purchased the 
Paris and Decatur, and the Paris and Terre Haute Roads, 
and on November 4th, 1874, changed its name to Illinois Mid- 
land Railway Company. It has 176 miles of track, one hundred 
and sixty-eight of which is in Illinois. It has a capital stock of 
$2,000,000, and its total income for 1880, was 8336,936 90. 

The Indiana, Bloomington and Western cuts across the north- 
eastern part of the county in Santa Anna township. This com- 
pany is the result of a consolidation of the Indianapolis, Craw- 
fordsville and Danville, and the Danville, Urbaua, Bloomington 
and Pekin Railroads. The consolidation was effected July 20th, 
1869, and the main line opened for business October 1st, 1869. 
The western extension was opened in 1873. It holds temporary 
lease-hold privileges over the Paris and Springfield Railroad 
between Pekin and Peoria, paying for the privileges a sum based 
upon the freight tonnage, with a special basis for passenger traffic. 



Its aggregate length of track is 234 miles, 144 of which is 
located in this state. The capital stock invested is 83,3:30,000, 
and the total earnings in 1880, were 81,186,347.49. 

The total railroad bonded indebtedness of the county at pre- 
sent is 817.5,000, bearing 6 per cent, interest. This amount is 
due, entire, to the Gillman, Clinton and Springfield Road. In 
addition to this there is also a township indebtedness to this road 
as follows: Cliutonia, 850,000; De Witt, 840,000; Tunbridge, 
830,000 ; Harp, 82.5,000. The following townships are also in- 
debted to the Havana, Mason City and Eastern Railway. Clin- 
tonia, 8-50,000; Creek, 830,000; Nixou, 825,000. Ten thousand 
of the bonds of the former township will be paid off this year, 
1881. 



CHAPTER IV. 



1717995 




j)vs.*^^^y EOLOGISTS have studied closely the strata 
r^ ■i't £J f^^ beneath the earth's surface, and evolved 
thereby knowledge that is rapidly taking its 
place among the exact sciences. I'pheavals 
of nature haje here and there arranged these 
strata like the leaves of a book, inclined at an 
angle of forty-five degrees, to be read by 
close observers, who have thereon indulged 
much speculation regarding the age of the 
earth, and attempted to assign to natural causes, reaching through 
almost incalculable stretches of time, their presence. These 
observations have been rewarded by a general acceptance of a 
classification of these strata, such as appears in the text-books of 
Geoloo-y of to-day. Here in De Witt county researches have 
not been made beyond the Quarternary, or uppermost stratum, 
save at one point, where the carboniferous system has, by boring, 
been penetrated, simply establishing a fact, patent to all geolo- 
gists, that this county is underlaid with a wealth of coal which 
only demands capital and pluck in its exhumation to make its 
mining one of the great industries of her people. There are 
represented in Illinois the Quarternary, Tertiary, Carboniferous, 
Devonian, and Silurian systems. Beneath them may, and, if 
generally accepted theories be true, must be formations of other 
systems antedating these. Nature's terrible throes by earthquake 
or volcanic action have spared the empire State of the VaUey, 
so that her prairies spread out in beautiful repose, uninterrupted 
by unsightly masses of representations of long-past ages. 

The Quarternary, or uppermost stratum, is possessed of greater 
economical value than all other formations combined, thus evi- 
dencing the wisdom of the Creator in His preparation of the 
earth for the habitation of man. It comprises the drift and all 
deposits above it, of whatever quality the soil may be. In sci- 
entific terms, it includes the alluvium, bottom prairie, blufi', drift 
of various thicknesses, which crop out here and there upon the 
surface. All those deposits which have been formed since the 
inauguration of the present order of things, might be appropri- 
ately classified under the head of Alluvium, as it embraces soils, 
pebbles and sand, clays, vegetable mold, all of which are found 
in De Witt county. Soils are a well-known mixture of various 



36 



HISTORY OF BE WITT COUNTY,- ILLINOIS. 



comminuted and decomposed mineral substances, combined and 
mingled with decayed vegetable and animal remains, and com- 
posing those ingredients so well adapted to the nourishment of 
the vegetable kingdom. They are formed by the action of water 
in form of rain or dew ; by atmospheric changes of heat and cold ; 
by decay of vegetable and animal matter. Those of this coun- 
ty are very deep and exceedingly productive. The vegetable 
kingdom has contributed largely to their formation. The luxu- 
riant growth of prairie grass, high as a man's head riding horse- 
back (as the old settlers are wont to say), dying with the touch 
of frost each autumn to form a thin layer of vegetable mold, or, 
being burned by the raging fires of the hazy Indian summer-time 
to add their mite of alkali, has contributed untold wealth to the 
fertility of the soil. Here and there, over this county, are clay 
formations cropping out upon the surface, kindly inviting the 
hand of industry to transform their barrenness into tile and 
brick, and thus contribute to the general good. Immediately 
underneath are evidences of the aqueous agencies in pebble and 
formative sand rock measures, only waiting to become useful in 
various ways that man's inventive genius has devised. Upon 
the surface everywhere, over the count}', are the monuments to 
the existence of a glacial period, in form of great boulders, com- 
posed of quartz, feldspar, mica, and hornblend. We look upon 
these massive rocks, and note nothing in common with the for- 
mations surrounding them. Bedded in the virgin prairie soil, 
poised upon its surface, their composition declares them of diU'er- 
cnt origin from other rock, and the abrasions upon their surface, 
sometimes in deep longitudinal grooves, oftentimes well rounded 
in general outline, declare in plain words a long journey thither- 
ward. Scientists have critically examined them. Evidently ihe 
storms of centuries have beaten upon them where they stand, and 
the hand of time has broken many a fragment and piled them 
at their bases, as if to number the years of their being. Specu- 
lations have been indulged as to their mighty journeyings from 
the far-ofl' North land during an age.when Manitoba waves would 
have been hailed as the breath of spring-time ; an age when ani- 
mal and vegetable existence were alike impossible. Borne on 
before the resistless power of slowly-moving glaciers or icebergs, 
they wore dropped here and there on far-stretching prairies, or 
carried on to the very tops of mountains, like those of Missouri, 
where their piled up confusion leads to the idea of a battle-field 
of the gods. Who can number the ages that have rolled away 
since it paused in its course, or measure the time of its journey ? 
or who assays to count the time it occupied its place in the parent 
ledge before the glacier or iceberg wrenched it from its place 
and bore it away ? Did the hardy pioneers, as they utilized these 
boulders as burn-stones in their primitive mills, think that they 
spoke of an age when this world, which now rolls on in glorious 
sunlight, was enveloped in mighty avalanches of ice, being borne 
on^vard by centrifugal force from the poles to the equator ? And 
yet such is the accepted theory as to their presence. Some of 
the larger stand like silent sentinels iu the very heart of fine 
rolling prairies; others, again, are almost wholly embedded. 
Edom Shugart, when he built the first mill erected in this county, 
on Kickapoo creek, used one of these boulders, about two and 
a half feet in diameter, as a burr-stone, and on trial ground 
thirty bushels of corn in two hours. The second one thus util- 
ized was by Henderson, when he constructed a horse-mill, in 
Tunbridge township, in the year 1830. In fact, the sole depend- 
ence of the early pioneers were these same " prairie dornicks," as 
they denominated these monuments to an age of more than arctic 
frigidity. 



The prairies themselves, stretching out in their beauty, — nay, 
iu silent grandeur, — have invited man's genius to assign to natural 
cause their origin, and declare the years of their formation. 
Much scientific discussion has been indulged respecting them. 
Prof. Leo Lesquereux, in report of the State Geologist of Illi- 
nois, asserts that they, with their peculiar surface soil, owe their 
origin to the same causes that are at present operating to form 
prairies, though on a less extensive scale. The black, rich soil 
is doubtless, he says, due to the growth and decay of successive 
crops of vegetation, which, in the geological ages of the past, 
under a far higher temperature and more favorable atmospheric 
conditions than now exi.st, grew to an extent unknown since the 
appearance of man upon the earth. These prodigious crops of 
plants and grasses were from year to year submerged, and becom- 
ing decomposed, contributed their annual accumulations to the 
surface of the country. By the continuation of this process for 
untold centuries, and by the subsequent recession of the waters 
that once covered the eutire Mississippi Valley, a black, mucky 
soil was formed, and the whole regiou emerged as vast swamps 
or swales interspersed with hills and valleys, mountains and 
table-lands. These, by gradual growth, became outlined in prai- 
ries. 

Other authority claims their formation to have been much 
more recent and less dependent upon aqueous action ; that the 
annual growth of plant-life as everwhere exhibited on these level 
plains, would, iu a comparatively few centuries of time, produce 
the depth of soil presented by our prairies. In corroboration of 
their theory, they would cite you to the fact that, underlying these 
prairies, are deposits of sand pebbles, and in places large stones, 
whose surfaces have been abraded by action of water, and fur- 
ther, that imprinted upon these rocks, and imbedded in these 
gravel pits, are animal remains, Molluscs especially, of the class 
denominated Acephals, embracing the orders Bryozoa, Brachi- 
opods, Tunicata, and Samellibranchiates. The writer has, in a 
cursory examination of a gravel pit passed through by the Wa- 
bash Branch Railroad, in Creek township, found Brachiopods, 
well defined, as well as Samellibranchiates. It may be well to 
define ihese terms, to make his meaning yet clearer. The Brachi- 
opods comprise those bivalve moluscs whose two valves are never 
equal, but are always equal sided ; they grow attached to subma- 
rine bodies. Samellibranchiates are lho.se molluscs which have 
gills in lamella;. To this class belong the oyster, fresh water and 
marine clams, and the like. Unquestionably these formations 
are indicative of a vast sea, extending throughout the length and 
breadth of the great Mississippi Valley. Whether the more 
recent deposits were the beginnings of the prairie soils or not, is 
a matter of conjecture, and yet undecided by scientists. In 
places, these gravel beds are surmounted with great masses of 
sand, whioh crop out upon the very surface, like that on the 
farm of Benjamin Mitchell, about two miles south-east of Clinton ; 
then again they are beneath a deep subsoil of clay, on which, in 
turn, rests the prairie soil. In places they are only reached after 
penetrating a bed of quicksand, or by passing through a cavern- 
ous structure that may be a subterranean lake. In support of 
this assertion we have but to present a few facts. In boring for 
water on the farm of Benjamin Miller, on section 31 in Creek 
township, after attaining a depth of sixty-eight feet, the auger 
fell from its attachments through several feet of space ; water, 
together with gas, rushed up to within a few feet of the surface, 
and since then the well has affl^rded a never-failing supply of 
pure water. The noise made by the fall of the auger was dis- 
tinctly heard at the house some hundred yards from the barn. 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COUXTY. ILLIXOIS. 



37 



where the boring was done. Again, anywhere in the vicinity of 
Kenney, this lake of water, if lalie it be, can be tapped at a 
depth of from eighteen to twenty feet, after reaching tlie clay 
subsoil which forms the base of the prairie soil. In reaching 
this subterranean lake, there is passed through about six feet of 
clay, or hard pan, then twelve feet of grave!, which forms a 
roofing over the water. The depth of the water varies greatly. 
The supply is simply inexhaustible. During the driest time of 
1881 no diminution in the supply was discernable. Again, in 
Farmer City, though at a much greater depth, the same con- 
ditions obtain. In the vicinity of Clinton, it is-asserted, the same 
underground stream or lake has been penetrated. That it is 
simply a stream cannot be true, since it has been tapped at so 
many points, and that, too, in so many points of the compass. 
As indicative of its extensiveness, it may be stated that at Macon, 
in Macon county, on the 28th of October, 1881, two young men 
lost their lives, by reaching this lake, in digging a well, at a 
depth of one hundred and twenty feet. As recorded in a Decatur 
paper, "Fred Wilde and William Kalips were engaged in sink- 
ing a well. At the depth of one hundred and twenty feet the 
bottom seemed to fall from under them, and a rushing sound, as 
of mighty waters, was heard beneath them. They seized the 
bucket and gave the alarm, and were being drawn up, when the 
gas arising from the auful chasm cau.sed them to swoon and fall 
from the bucket." Water arose in this well, and remains sta- 
tionary at a depth of about forty feet. Thus it will be seen that 
an underground. cavern, at least, extends under much of this part 
of the State; that in the vicinity of Kenney it becomes an exten- 
sive reservoir of water is certain. What is remarkable, is the 
fact that the roofing is made up of gravel and sand, - not solid 
sand rock, but sandstone in a formative state. Elsewhere, where 
underground passages or caves exist, the roofing is of limestone, 
and their presence as vast fissures is accounted for from natural 
causes. Not so hei-e. The existence of any opening below gravel 
or sand is an anomaly. The causes of its existence is a nut for 
the geologist to crack. 

To follow up and read aright the strata that have been pene- 
trated and are set forth elsewhere in this chapter would be of 
interest. To note the fossiliferous forms unearthed, and classify 
them as zoology would require, or the plant impressions, and 
arrange as botany would dictate, would be a pleasure — would carry 
one back into the vast eternity of the past, an eternity as vast and 
as incomprehensible to the mind as the eternity of the future. No 
mathematician can compute the years since coal, the stored-up 
sunshine and heat evolver for the coming ages, was a vigorous 
plant-life, reveling in an atmosphere to surcharged with carbon 
as to be incapable of sustaining other form of existence; and 
yet the coal measures would carry our feeble conceptions back to 
such an age. The testimony of the rocks beneath our feet, when 
recognized as things of growth, astound as they encourage us to 
further research. When the earth was encompassed in an air of 
carbon, doubtless the Creator could have rolled it together and 
brought about its destruction ; but it was to be fitted for beings 
endowed with reason — for immortal souls, as a home, hence it 
pleased Him to store away deep beneath the rolling waters that 
left the sediment of ages upon it, this wondrous plant-life that in 
turn comes forth as coal. It has been aptly said, that " coal is 
to the world of industry what the sun is to the natural world, 
the great source of light and heat, with their innumerable bene- 
fits." It furnishes the power that evolved the spirit of steam 
from water, which in turn propels the machinery run in the 
world's material interests; it weds the rough, uncouth ores of 



the mountains to the various arts devised by man's genius ; it 
renders the cold, cheerless winter such aid as dispels its gloom. 
Is it then surprising that such sums as have been expended in its 
search have been employed ? In De Witt county everything 
known geologically points to and indicates its presence. 

At Farmer City a coal shaft was sunk a depth of 163 feet, 
passing through clays, gravel and quick-sand, seemingly a con- 
tinuation of the subterranean passage elsewhere spoken of, and 
which was insufficiently guarded against by the use of heavy 
planks, which breaking away, inundated the shaft completely. 
After reaching the depth of 163 feet, the projectors were deter- 
mined on finding the depth to the underlying coal-fields, by 
boring, which they prosecuted to the further depth of 476 feet 
11 inches, through the following strata and formations: 

FT. IX. 

Blue Chiy Sli.-ift 1C3 7 

Hurd-pan (iiiite similar to tli.it iiiiiiR-ili^itely underlying 

the prairie soil IS 

Soap-stone (gray shale) 2 

Gray sand rock .._^ ^ ^ 

Formative lime rock 12 S 

Red clay 2 

Soap-stone in layers, hard and sot't 18 2 

Black shale. .' 2 3 

Coal (Brstveinl 1 15 

Fire clay 8 10 

Gray sand rock ■ • 3 10 

Soap-stone (argillaceous shale) 2 1 

Hard rock (calcareous) S 1 

Soap-stone . . . ■ * 1 

Bluish shale 2 6 

Tellow clay 3 8 

Soap-stone 1 

Ked clay 3 

Limestone 2 4 

Soap-stone 4 

Sand rock 1 5 

Bluish clay shale 3 

Dark slate "12 

Soap-stone in layers, iiarJ and soft ■ • 20 10 

Hard sand rock 3 8 

Fire clay 2 10 

Red shale ' 2 

Gray slate 37 6 

D-aik .clay shale 12 

Soft gray sand rock 2 6 

Bituminous shale 93 

Coal, second vein • . - ■ 1 o 

Fire clay • 3 

Sand rock 6 

Total deith 476 11 

Thus bv this boring only two veins of coal were penetrated, 
neither of which was of sufficient thickness to warrant its mining. 
The roofing over the second is described as soap-stone, with a 
thin layer of bituminous shale. The use of the term soap-stone 
in this record is unfortunate, since it is quite indefinite, and may 
be any of the many varieties of shale. The writer cannot secure 
terms more definite, save in two or three cases where from de- 
scriptions extended him, he has substituted more appropriate 
terms. A study of interest would be the age of these forma- 
tions. Those of coal can be computed more accurately than any 
othe 3. It has been calculated that thirty feet of vegetable 
matter would be required to form one foot of coal. If so, the 
two veins passed through in this boring would indicate a depth 
of ninety feet of vegetable matter. To accomplish even this 



38 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



how vast must must have been the forest growth during the car- 
boniferous period ! 

To the south-west and north the coal mining is carried on as 
an industry of profit. At Decatur coal is mined at a depth of 
six hundred and eight feet. In reaching this no less than five 
different strata of coal were passed through. May not two of 
these be identical with those penetrated at Farmer City ? An 
analysis of the record kept at Decatur may aid in determining 
this question. A record is subjoined : 

FT. IN. 

Surface soil 6 

Gray calcareous clay 2-5 

Argillaceous sand 5 

Tougli, dry, hard cl.ay 1 

Quick-sand 3 6 

Black, mucky soil 2 6 

Argillaceous sand 2 

Clay 3 

Greenish sand 6 

Hard-pan — blue clay II 

Chocolate-colored soil 2 

Quick-sand (requires piping) 4 

Hard-pan, calcareous clay and gravel 24 

Quicksand 6 6 

Argillaceous shale b2. ii 

Bituminous shale 3 

Gray calcareous shale 14 

Fine-grained marly sand-stone 1 

Gray calcareous shale 32 

Bituminous shale 1 

Argillaceous limestone '. . . 5 

Bed sliale 2 

Argillaceous limestone 17 

Calcareous shale 2 6 

Bituminous shale and coal mixed 2 

Shale, calcareous and brown 8 6 

Argillaceous sand-stone (slate rock) 51 

Coal . 6 

Thus coal was found at a depth of two hundred and ninety 
feet ; that at Farmer City at a depth of two hundred and 
twenty-nine feet. Pursuing this inquiry as shown by the record, 
■we find : 

FT. IN. 

Gray argillaceous shale 8 6 

Kodular limestone, of cherty appearance 9 

Shale, calcareous and argillaceous 15 

Limestone 11 

Shales 10 6 

Limestone 6 

Shales, alternating in kizd 64 

Biiuminous shale 2 

Coal, fine quality 1 6 

Shales, varied 43 

Limestone (Carlinville) 8 

Shales, bituminous and argillaceous 4 6 

Argillaceous shale, containing iron ore nodular .... 26 

Shale, brown and calcareous . 20 

Limestone, (argillaceous) 2 

Shales 42 

Impure coal 1 

Shales 4 

Coal 9 

Gray argillaceous shale 10 5 

Very hard limestone, with pyrites 2 5 

Coal 4 

Gray argillaceous shale 14 5 

Marly sand-stone 1 6 

Fine-grained sand-stone 20 

Gray shale ■ ■ S 

Coai 3 6 



The vein is now being worked producing coal of a superior 
quality. At a depth of five huudred and eighty feet, a veiu of 
salt water was struck, which proved almost artesian, since in a 
single night it rose to the height of five hundred feet. Singular 
to relate, in sinking the shaft, it was not encountered. 

Thus it will be seen that it is more than possible that the coal 
veins penetrated at Farmer City, and those at Decatur, are the 
same. The inference .to be drawn is, go deeper, and not only so, 
but the jjrobable depth is easily reckoned. 

Tile Making. — This is an industry carried on quite extensively 
in this county, as the following exhibit of manufactories devoted 
to such work will show : 

Clinton Tile Works, F. C. Davidson, proprietor ; capacity for 
making 600,000 feet per annum. 

Lane Station Works, Messrs. Lane, Brittin & Thompson, pro- 
prietors ; capacity, 250,000 feet per annum. 

De-Witt Tile Works, Charles Richter, proprietor; capacity, 
300,000 feet per annum. 

Karr & Downing's Tile works, north of Wapella, on Illinois 
Central Railroad ; capacity, 200,000 feet per annum. 

In Waynesville township, two factories, owned and operated 
by E. Davenport ; capacity, 200,000 feet per annum ; and by D. 
Atchison, with capacity for making 300,000 feet per annum. 

In Tunbridge township, works of Messrs. Bruaw & Quigley, 
proprietors ; cajiacity, 300,000 feet per annum. 

Farmer City Tile Works, operated by Joseph Neal ; capacity, 
350,000 feet per annum. 

In Harp township, on section fourteen. Works owned and 
operated by E. R. Ross, with a capacity for making 1.50,000 feet 
per annum. 

Thus the aggregate capacity of these works reaches over twe 
and-a-half million feet per annum. During the past year quite 
that amount was manufactured here, most of which is dispoosd 
of at home. 

The price of tiling varies according to diameter, as follows : 
Tiling, 3 inches in diameter, per 100 feet, $10 

4 " " 15 

5 " " 22 

6 " " 30 

7 " " 40 
" 8 " " 50 
" 10 " " 80 

Thus far the demand far exceeds the supply. The coming 
year will witness extensive additions to the works already in 
working order to meet this demand. 



Natural Curiosities. — The field of the Geologist is wide. It 
not only reaches down through the evidences of past ages, but 
takes care of surface wonders as well. In De-Witt county, 
curiosities coming within its domain are scarce, but perhaps 
worthy a mention. On section 11, T. 19 R 4, there was found, 
a few years ago, a petrifaction, remarkable from the fact that it 
is of quite recent formation. It bears evidences of having been 
chopped with an axe, and was probably used as a pillar to one 
of the cabins of a pioneer. What should have caused a piece 
of timber to thus change from woody fibre to solid rock can only 
be conjectured. Nature's silent chemists are ever busy, and in 
her vast repository are re-arranging crystalline forms, thereby 
giving us new materials. Carbon, a heavy, deadly gas, sub- 
jected to a re-determination of its particles, presents us the use- 
ful charcoal, or changed again gives us the brilliant diamond ; 
so too, what is wood to-day, through a mysterious law of nature, 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



39 



may on the morrow become a stoue, which we simply Ivcow as a 
petrifaction. 

Economical Geology. — From the foregoing brief resume of 
■what has been accomplished in the way of geologic exploration 
in this county, it is readily seen that only the A. B. C. of what 
is in store has been made manifest. Sand, various kiuds of 
clays, gravel, have been used, aud coal has been found, although 
as yet not in workable quantity. That the time is not far dis- 
tant when it will be is quite certain. The first utilized rocks 
were the prairie boulders in the construction of mill-stones, a use 
long since abandoned before the introduction of superior burr- 
stone rock from other sections of the country. The second sub- 
stance to be used in home arts was sand from various quarries. 
Sand of a superior quality has been an article of shipment from 
Mitchell's bank for years. The third article availed of, was 
clay in the manufacture of brick, aud then succeeded that in the 
making of tile. It has been demonstrated that tiling proves 
beneficial, not alone to swampy, mucky soil, but to high or 
rolling prairie as well, hence the conclusion that its use is yet in 
its infancy — that tile manufacturing may be numbered among 
the standard industries. Potter's clay has been found, but no 
use as yet has been made of it. The vast gravel beds underlying 
the greater portion of the county, in many places quite near the 
surface, and of great depth, will be utilized io the construction 
of roadways. There is no reason that the deep, mucky, miser- 
able roads throughout this county could not be exchanged for 
gravel ways, excelled only by the shall-roals of the South 
Count the cost of making roads as they now are, together with 
the annual expenditure necessary to keep them in repair for a 
period of twenty years, then balance against this outlay that ne- 
cessary in taking out and hauling this gravel upon them, and 
thus making highways both durable and inviting, and the 
balance will be in favor of the gravel roads from a financial 
stand-point. 

From a stand-point of comfort no comparison can be insti- 
tuted. The most impsrtant of all minerals underlying this 
county is coal. Its mineries will, in the near future, be com- 
passed. Its depth is a grave consideration ; the passage through 
and walling against the subterranean waters graver. The re- 
quired engineering skill will be forthcoming in the near future 
here, as it has when equal, if not greater disadvantages existed. 
Lastly, in this summing up of a word with reference to the sur- 
face soil. Can its fertility be exhausted? Does the farmer raise 
less corn or wheat to the acre now than when the first furrows 
were made across the bosom of these prairies ? 

The presence of ulniic acid in great quantities in this soil tends 
to preserve the elements of its fertility' The impermeability of 
the clayey sub-soil has prevented the escape of these elements, 
otherwise the surface-soil would be lighter in character, and 
practically worthless for agricultural purposes. Further than 
this, the sub-soil itself is a vast repository, as has been practi- 
cally demonstrated, of the very elements silica, lime, alumina, 
and ammonia, needed as fertilizers, hence deep plowing will tend 
to maintain the soil's great fertility. Here too is one of the ad- 
vantages accruing from tiling the laud. In laying the tile the 
sub-soil is disturbed, part of it is spread upon the surface, and 
its good effects are noticeable wherever used. 




CHAPTER V. 






E apend a brief sketch on the Natural His- 
tory, as relating to the animal life of this 
county, found here during the early settle- 
ment of the county, and probably for some 
years subsequent thereto The most im" 
portant animals indigenous to this region 
are the 

tJ>"GCLAT.V, OR HOOFED. 



Of the hoofed animals, one of the most prominent is the Ameri- 
can Bison {Bison, or Bos Americanus,) which disappeared from 
the prairies of Illinois before the arrival of the white man, leaving, 
as the only evidence of its former presence, a few " buffalo wal- 
lows" in certain parts of the state. The bison is a large animal, 
with thick, heavy body, short, stout legs, short, black horns, and 
black, or brown, shaggy hair. Large herds of these animals at 
present roam ovir the plains at the eastern base of the Kocky 
Mountains. Like the mastodon and other ancient animals, the 
bison is destined at no distant day to become extinct. The 
American Elk (Cervus Americanus), next to the moose, is the 
largest deer of America. It is remarkable for the size of its 
antlers, which sometimes grow to the height of six f>-et, and 
W' igh from forty to eighty pounds. The animal itself is about 
as tall as an ordinary horse, is very fleet, and has wonderful 
powers of endurance. It long ago left the prairies of Illinois, 
and is now found in the northern parts of the United States and 
in British America. The deer family ( Cervidn) has had, so far 
as is known, only one representative in this region, viz.: the 
common American deer, ( Cervus Virginianu.^') which disappeared 
from its prairie haunts several years ago, aud is found in the 
mountainous regions of Missouri and the unsettled parts of other 
states. Its flesh is very sweet and palatable, and it is highly 
prized in the finest markets, where it commands a ready sale 
at the highest price. 

CABXIVOEI, OR FLE.-?H-EATEK.S. 

The most ferocious animal of the carnivorous order, common 
to this country, is the wolf, which belongs to the dog family 
( Canidce). There were formerly two species of this animal in 
De Witt county, viz.: the prairie wolf (Cajiis lalrans), and the 
common American, or gray wolf (Cazii's accident alis). The former 
is small, with long body, elongat d, sharp muzzle, smooth tongue, 
and like all the dog family, has five-toed fore-feet and four-toed 
hind ones. It formerly inhabited, in large numbers, the wild 
prairie regions, but latterly has disappeared from this part of the 
state. The latter is large, with long, slim body, long, sharp 
muzzle, smooth tongue, and straight, bushy tail. In years gone 
by the howling of these wolves was the evening sereni.de of the 
pioneer settlers, and foreboded havoc among the flocks of those 
times. A few of this species are still found in dense woodlands 
and unfrequented thickets on the prairies. Two species of fox 
{Vulpes) are found here, the common or Gray Fox {Valpes vul- 
garis), and the Red Fox ( Vulpes fuleus). The former are still 
numerous in this region ; the latter, rare. Both species are noted 
for their extreme cunning, and their predatory habits. Foxes 



40 



HISTORY OF HE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



are readily distinguished by their slender, pointed muzzle, long, 
bushy tail, and the eliptical pupil of the eye. Of the Cat family 
(Feliche), the only two indigenous representatives are the Ameri- 
can wild-cat iLynx rujm), and the Canadian lynx (Lynx cana- 
densis). The former was very common during the early history 
of this country. It was about thirty inches long, of a pale 
rufous color, dappled with gray, ears black on the out-ide, tail 
short, with black patch above the end. It was very destructive 
to Iambs, kids, poultr}', etc. It has, withiu the last few years, 
almost disappeared. The lynx was never common in Illinois, 
though it was (.ccisionally seen thirty years ago, and even 
later. It is about forty inches long, of a grayish color, streaked 
with black; ears tipped with a bunch of black hairs, and tail 
very short. It is further distinguished by having one molar less 
that the true cat, in each side of the upper jaw. It is extremely 
doubtful whether the panther (Felis pardus), ever inhabited 
these regions. A few individual members of this genus may 
have been seen here during their migrations from one place to 
another ; but that this animal ever had any permanent habitation 
in this prairie country is highly improbable. The common 
Raccoon (Proeynn lutor) is one of the most familiar wild animals 
in these parts. It inhabits the timbered regions, generally near 
some stream or body of water, to which it resorts for food, in 
the shape of craw-fish, frogs, mussels, etc. It also feeds upon 
roots, berries, young corn, " roasting-ears," birds, and other 
small animals. This animal, from the end of its nose to the tip 
of its tail, is about two feet long, and has a pointed muzzle, five 
toes on each foot, and a ringed tail. It is nocturnal in its 
habits, and in cold climates passes the winter in a partially 
torpid state. Its fur is valuable. The raccoon belongs to the 
family of Proeyonidre, of which it is probably the only represen- 
tative in this region. There is no evidence at hand that the 
Bear family (Ursidw) ever had any represtatives in this county. 

The Weasel family (Mustelidcc) belong to the well-known 
animals, minks, skunks, otters, common weasels, etc., most of 
which have long, slender bodies, five-toed feet, and glands which 
secrete a li'juid of very disagreeable odor. Otters and minks 
are hunted for their furs, which are very valuable. The former 
are amphibious, and are at present rarely seen. Th> costly fur 
called ermine is obtained from a weasel which inhabits the 
northern parts of Europe and Asia. 

Weasels are brown in summer and white in winter, the tip of 
the tail being black. The color of minks is dark-brown, or 
black, throughout the year. The otter {Lidra canadensis) is 
black, and is noted for its size and strength. Its toes are 
webbed; head large and flat; ears short; tail slightly flattened, 
and nails crooked. It is aquatic, and subsists on fish. Minks 
and weasels prey on birds, poultry and small animals of various 
kinds. The skunk (Mephitis Americani) has a pointed nose, 
bushy tail, and is nocturnal. It feeds npon beetles and other 
small animals. It is also fond of eggs. It was very common a 
few years ago, but like most of the wild animals, is gradually 
disappearing. Of the opossum family (Didelphidida), the only 
species here is the common opossum {Dide/plnjs) Virginimm). 
Opossums are small animals, about twenty inches long to the 
tail, which is from twelve to fifteen inches in length, nearly 
bare, and prehensile. Its hair is whitish with dark-brown tips. 
When captured and wounded, it feigns itself dead. It is a 
marsupiiil, or pouched animal, and carries its young, which at 
birth weigh only a few grains, in a ventral pouch situated near 
its hind-legs. On emerging fnmi this pouch, which occurs four 
or five weeks from birth, the young twine their tails around that 



of their mother, and thus supported ride on her back. The opos- 
sum lives on birds, egg.s, insects and other small animals. This 
animal, like the raccoon, is found in all parts of the United 
States and throughout most of North America. 

RODENTIA, OR GNAWERS. 

The animals of this order are easily distinguished by their 
teeth. In the front part of each jaw they have two chisel- 
shaped incisors, between which and the molars is a considerable 
space without teeth, these animals having no canines. The 
largest representative of the rodents ever known in this country 
is the American beaver (Castor ca}iudensis), and it is very 
doubtful whether it at any time had permanent habitat in this 
county. The rats and mice (Muridw) constitute the most nu- 
merous family of the rodents. They number, in all, about three 
hundred species in the world. 

Their uppearance and habits are too well known to require 
description here. The black rat (Mas rattan) was formerly very 
common, but of late years it has been almost extirpated by the 
brown, or Norway rat (Mas dccumanus), which is much larger 
and stronger. 

Of the mice we note, as found here, the common house-mouse 
(3fus muscalas), the field-mouse, the meadow-mouse, the jumping- 
mouse (Jaculus hudsonius of ihe family JucuUdcc). — which has a 
body about three inches long and a tail six inches, — and the 
tree mouse. The musk-rat ( Ondatra zibethicus), allied to the 
beaver, has but one species. This animal is about the size of a 
cat, and has a strong, musky smell. It is amphibious, building 
its mud houses in ponds and shallow lakes. It is a native of 
North America, and is still quite common. Its fur, like that of 
the beaver, is valuable. The fur of the latter is used for making 
the finest hats. 

The squirrel family (Sciraridic) is represented here by the red 
(fox) squirrel (Sciarus hudsoniu-<), the gray squirrel (Sciurus 
Carolinensis), the flying-squirrel (Pteromys mluceUa), the ground- 
squirrel (Tamias striatas), the gopher (Spermaphilus), the prairie 
squirrel and the woodchuck or ground-hog {Arclomys monax,) all 
of which are so common that they need not be described. 

Of the hare family (Leporidw), the common gray rabbit 
(Lepsus cunicul.us') is the only representative now inhabiting 
this region. It is very ])rolific, and is destined to propagate its 
species long after .some of the animals mentioned shall have be- 
come extinct. 

Bats and moles — the former belonging to the order of animals 
(Chiropetra), the latter to the order (In-eetivori) — are still very 
numerous. Both are carniverous (insectirorous), and during 
hibernation are semi-torpid. 

CLASS OF AVES, OR EIRDS. 

In the following list of birds indigenous to the county, the old 
system of groups, or orders, is used rather than the new classi- 
fication of birds adopted provisionally by the Smithsonian Insti- 
tute at Washington. The former, as it contains fewer and less 
difficult technical terms, will, it is believed, be more readily 
understood by the general reader. The chief characteristics of 
all the birds belonging to each order are given first, and ap- 
pended thereto are the names of such birds of the order as are 
indigenous to this region. 

EAPTORES, OR BIRDS OF PREY. 

These arc generally of large size and stout form ; bills hooked 
and very strong ; claws sharp and curved ; wings extensive and 



HISTORY OF BE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



41 



muscles powerful; females larger than males; live in pairs and 
choose their mates for life (?). Under this order and belonging 
to the hawk family (Falconidm), are the sparrow-hawk ( Tianun- 
culus alaiidarias) ; swallow-tailed hawk {Xauderus furcatus); 
hen-harrier {Cirini,s eyaneus) ; gos-hawk (Falco palambaria.s) ; 
sharp skinned hawk, red-tailed hawk (Buteo borealis) ; red-shoul- 
dered hawk, pigeon-hawk (Falco columbariim); white-headed 
(." bald ") eagle (Halielus leucocephalus ; ring-tailed, or golden 
eagle {Aquila chryaetos). 

To the owl family (Strigida) belong the great horned-owl 
(Bubo Virgini:inus) \ snowy owl (Strix niia) ; barred owl (Sy)'- 
nium nebulosmn, or hoot-owl " ) ; American barn or screech-owl 
{Strix flamnue) ; spotted owl, marsh owl, Kennicott's (?J owl. 

Of the Vulture family ( VuUuridai), the only representative is 
the turkey-buzzard ( Cathartes aura) 

RASORES, OK SCRATCHING BIRDS. 

Birds of this order are characterized by their stout bodies, 
strong legs and feet, and their general adaptation to living on the 
ground. It includes the wild-turkey Meleagris gallopavo), prai- 
rie-hen ( Tetrao cupido) ruffled grouse, or " partridge " {Bonasa 
umbellus), quail ( Ortyx Virginiaiius) , turtle-dove ( Turlur auritiis). 
wild or passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratoria) . 

GRALLATORS, OR WADING BIRDS. 

These have long necks, long bills, very long and slender legs, 
and slender bodies. Their general form is well adapted to 
wading. This order includes the plover ( Charadrius), common 
snipe {Scolopax gallinago), American woodcock (Phi/oliela 7ninor\ 
Wilson's snipe {Gallinago Wilsonii), mud-hen (Futiea Ameri- 
cana), kill-dee (Aegialifes vocifer^is), red-breasted snipe {0am- 
betta melanoleuca), tell-tale snipe {Oambctta fiavipes), water-rail 
{Rallus aquaticus), sand-hill crane (fffits Canadensisi), blue crane 
{Grus Amerieanus), yellow-legged and upland plover, white 
crane {Grus albus), and heron {Ardea cinerea) 

N.\TATORES, OR SWIMMING EIRD.S. 

They are broad and flat ; feathers compact and well oiled ; 
legs wide apart , femur short, and feet webbed. Under this 
order are found the common wild-goose {Aiiser Amerieanus) 
summer or wood duck (Aix sponm), Canada goose {Bermieala 
Canadensis), American swan (Cygnvs Amerieanus), brand goose, 
or " brant " [Anser Bernicla), butter-ball {Bucephala albeola), 
mallard {Anas Boschas), blue-winged teal (Boschas crecca), 
American widgeon {M'ireca Americana), red-head dnck {Ay- 
ihaya Americana), canvass-back duck (?) Ayfhaya vallisneria) , 
green-winged teal {Nettion Carolinensis) , pin-tail duck (Dafila 
acida), trumpeter swan (Cygnus bnccinator). 

INSESSORIES, OR PERCHING BIRDS. 

The perchers differ greatly among themselves ; all have three 
front-toes and a single hind-one ; feet well adapted to perching. 
To this order belong the majority of birds, of which we note, as 
belonging here, the wood-thrush ( Turrfwi m"ste&t?is\ mocking- 
bird {Mimus polygloltus), blue-bird {Sialis Wilsonii), cat-bird 
(Mimus Carolinensis), robin {Tardus migratnrins), brown thrush, 
or "thrasher" {Tardus rufus), titmouse, or chickadee {Parus 
atricapillus), brown creeper {Certhia familiaris), nuthatch, {Si'ta 
Carolinensis), winter wren {Troglodytes hyemalis), cedar bird 
{Ampelis cedrorum), rose-breasted gosbeak {Guiraca ludovieiana), 
6 



chewink {Pipilo erythrnphthalmus), meadow-lark {Sturnella mag- 
na), blue jay (cyanura crisfata), wren (Troglodylei domesfica) 
warblers barn-swallow { Hirundo hordeorum), bank-swallow 
{Cufyle riparia), blue martin { Prague purpurea), cardiual red 
bird Cardinalis Virginianus), field sparrow \Spizella pusilla), in- 
digo bird ( Cyauospiia cjanea), great northern shrike, or butcher 
bird, {Collurio borealis), yellow, or thistle bird {Sylvitica (estiva), 
swamp, or red-winged black-bird {Sturnus prelalorius), cow 
blackbird (cow-bird") common blackbird {Menda munca), 
king bird, or bee martin ( Tyranmis Carolinensis), raven {Corvus 
corax), common crow {Corvus Amerieanus), i-ummer red-bird, 
{Pi/rangra cestiva), scarlet tanager, Baltimore oriole (Icterus 
Baltimore), peewee, or Phu>be bird, (Sayorius Juseus), kingfisher 
(Ceryle afcj/on), ruby-throated humming-bird {Trocliilus colubris), 
yellow-billed cuckoo {Ciiculus canorus), ruby-crowned kinglet, 
golden-crowned kinglet, whippoorwill {Antrostomus vociferus), 
grass sparrow, or black-throated bunting, lark, sparrow, finch, 
snow-bird {J unco hyemalU), chipping sparrow [Spizella socialis), 
night hawk (Cliordeiles popetuc). 

SCANSORES, OR CLIMBING BIRDS. 

Birds of this order have their tues in pairs, two in front and 
two behind. Under this order and indigenous to this county 
are the swift, or chimney-swallow {Cypselus pelasgim), red- 
headed woodpecker, ( Mclinerpes erythrocephalus) , golden-winged 
wooilpecker ( Calantes auratus), Carolina paroquet (Conurus Caro- 
linensis), sap-sucker {Picus pubeseens) . 

(CL.4.SS) REPTILIA, OR REPTILES. 

Under this class we find represented here the order Testudi- 
nata, or turtles, and including such individuals as the box- 
turtle {Cistudo virginea), snapping-turtle (Chelyara serpentina), 
wood tortoise ( Glyptemys insculpta), and soft shelled turtles, in- 
cluding mud-turtles. Of the order Lacertia (lizards), the common 
striped lizard (Ameiva sexlineata) is the only representative we 
have found here. Under the order ( Ophidia), or serpents, we 
note the common black-snake {Bascanion constrictor), water- 
snake (Serpens aquatieus),Tatt\e-sna.ke{Crotalushorridus'), moc- 
casin {Toxicapkis atrapkcus), copperhead (Trigonocephalus contor- 
Irix), garter-snake (Eutania sirtalis), house-snake, joint-snake, 
blue racer, and green snake. Of these the rattlesnake, copper- 
head and moccasin are very poisonous, and therefore most to be 
dreaded. The blowing, or hissing adder, a venomous serpent, is 
rarely seen here. 

The class Batrachia, or frogs, has as representatives, the leopard 
frog (Bana haleeina), bull-frog (Rma pipiens), wood-frog, tree- 
frog (" tree-toad, ") {Ranajiyla), marsh-frog {Eana palustris), 
common toad {Bufo vulgaris) tadpole, salamander {Amblystoma 
punetatuni), triton, or water-newt {Diemictylus viridescens), and 
mud puppy {Menobranchus la/eralis). 

The class o{ Pisces, or fishes, is represented, in the streams of 
the county, by the white, the black and the stribed bass, cat-fish, 
pike, sturgeon (rare), gar, goggle-eyed perch, sun-fish, chub, 
white perch (" croppie " ?), white and black suckers, bufialo and 
a few others of minor importance. 




3S-5^ 



42 



mSTORY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



CHAPTER VI. 




T is our object, in this chapter, to give, in a suc- 
cinct manner, a catalogue of the principal 
native trees, shrubs, and grasses found within 
the limits of the county. 

To add a detailed botanical description of 
each plant, or of all the genus, species, or even 
families, represented here, would fill a large 
part of this volume, to the exclusion of other 
more appropriate matter. By way of preface, 
it may be stated that vegetation is a sure index of the character 
of the soil in which it is growing. No class of persons realizes 
this fact so fully as does the practical, observant farmer. If he 
wishes to buy uncultivated land, the kinds of trees, shrubs, or 
grass growing in the locality decide for him the approximate 
depth and fertility of the soil, and the consequent value of the 
land fur agricultural purposes. According to its flora Illinois 
has been divided by botanists into three parts: the heavily tim- 
bered regions of the south, whose dense vegetation is remarkable 
for its variety ; the central portion, which, except in the vicinity 
of the water-courses, is mostly prairie, and noted for the great 
number and variety of its grasses and other in<ligenous plants; 
and the northern section, which is about equally divided between 
woodland and prairie. This county lies within the great prairie 
belt, a region famous for the fertility and depth of its soil, and 
the luxuriance of its flora. Plants, like animals, are greatly 
influenced in their growth and development by surrounding cir- 
cumstances. As man and the domestic animals have driven 
many species of the native animals from this region so, numer- 
ous kinds of indij^enous plants have disappeared before the 
onward march of civilization. Hence, we find to-day, in the 
fields and meadows, few of the grasses and other plants that 
flourished in their native beauty here fifty years ago. Thus, 
under the great laws of evolution and succession, all animated 
nature, from age to age, moves gradually but grandly forward 
toward the eternal destiny which the Almighty, in the beginning, 
ordained for all His creatures. The following is a complete 



LIST OF NATIVE 

Acer Sacch.arinnm, Kock Sugar Ma- 
ple. 

A. Nigrum, Black Sugar Maple. 

A. Dasycarpum, Soft Maple, Silver- 
Leaf Maple. 

A. Negundo, Bos Elder, Ash Leaf 
Maple. 

JJsculus Glabra, Stinking Buckeye. 

A. Serrulata, Smooth-Leaf Alder. 

Anielanchier Canaden.^is, True Ser- 
vice-Berry. 

Araorpha Fruticosa, False Indigo 
Shrub. 

A. Canescens, Lead Plant. 

Ampelopsis Quinquefulia, Virginia- 
Creeper. ' 

Asimlna Triloba, Papaw. 

Betula Nigra. Kiver or Red Birch. 

Carpinus Americana, Blue Beach. 
Hornbeam. 



WOODY PLANTS. 

Ceanothus Araericauus. Red Root. 

C. Ovalis, Great Red Root. 

Cercis Canadensis, Judas Tree, Red 

Bud. 
Celastrus Scandeus, Bitter Sweet, 

Wax Work. 
Cellis Occidentalis, Hackberry. 
Cephalanlhus Occidentalis, Button 

Bush. 
Prunus Virginiana, Choke Cherry. 
P. Serotina, Black Cherry, Cabinet 

Cherry. 
Cornus Altemifolia, False Dogwood. 
C. Sericea, Kinnikinic. 
C. Circinata. Pigeon Berry 
C. Slolonifera, " Red Osier. 

C. Paniculata " 

C. Sanguinea, " 

Corylus Americana. Hazelnut. 
C'raltegus Coccinea, Hawthorn. 



C. Tomentosa '' 

C. Crus-galli 

Carya Alba, Shagbark Hickory. 

C. Sulcata, Thick Sbellbark Hickory. 

C. Tomentosa, White Heart Hick- 
ory. 

C. Glabra, Pignut Hickory. 

Dirca Palustris, Leatherwood. 

Euonymus Americanus, Strawberry 
Tree. 

Fraxinus Americana, White Ash. 

F. Viridis, Green Ash. 

F. Sambucifolia, Black Ash. 

F. Quadrangulata, Blue Ash. 

Gleditschia Triacanthos, Three 
Thorned Acacia, Honey Locust. 

Gynmocladus Canadensis, Kentucky 
Coffee Tree. 

Hamamelis Virginica, Witch Hazel. 

Juglans Cinerea, Butternut. 

J. Nigra, Walnut. 

Juniperus Virginiana, Red Cedar. 

Lonicera Grata, Woodbine. 

Menispermuui Canadense,Moonseed. 

Morus Rubra, Red Mulberry. 

Oslrya Virginica, Ilup-Hornbeam, 
Iron-Wood. 

P. Angulata, Cotton Tree. 

Platanus Occidentalis, Buttonwood 

Populus Tremuloides, Quaking Asp, 
Aspen. 

P. Monilifera, Neclace Poplar, Cot- 
tonwood. 

Prunus Americana. Wild Plum. 

Pyrus Coronaria, Crab .\pple. 

Qtiercus Macrocarpa, Burr Oak. 

Q. Obtusiloba, Post Oak. 

Q. Alba, White Oak. 

Q. Prinu.s, Swamp Cliestnut Oak. 

Q. Bicolor, Swamp Wliite Oak. 

Q. Imbricaria, Laurel Leaf Oak. 

Q. Nigra, Black Jack Oak. 

Q. Tinctoria, Yellow Bark Oak, 
Quercitron Oak. 

Q. Coccinea, Scarlet Oak. 

Q. Rubra, Red Oak. 



Q. Palustris, Swamp Spanish Oak 

Pin Oak. 
Rhus Glabra, Sumac. 
R. Toxicodendron, Climbing Poons, 

Ivy. 
RibesCynosbati, Prickly Gooseberry. 
R. Hirtellum, Smooth '• 

R. RotundifoUum " 

R. Lacustre, Swamp '' 

R. Floridum, Black Currant. 
Rosa Lucida, Prairie Rose. 
R. Blanda, Wood Rose. 
Salix Tristis, Rose Willow. 
S. Humilis, Cone Willow. 
S. Eriocephala, Silky Head Willow. 
S. Nigra, Black Willow. 
S. Fragilis, Joint Willow, Brittle 

Willow. 
Sambucus Canadensis, Elderberry. 
S. Pubens, Red Fruit Elderberry. 
Sassafras Officinale. Sa-ssafras. 
Shepherdia Canadensis, Buffalo Berry 
Smilax Hispida, Greenbrier. 
Spiraea Opulifolia, Vinebark Spirrea- 
Spirjea Tomentosa, Hardback, Wil- 

lo\F Spireea. 
Staphylea Trifoia, Rattle-Bo.t, 

Wood Bladder Nut. 
Symphoricarpus Vulgaris, Coral Ber- 
ry- 
Tecoraa Radicans. Trumpet Creeper. 
Tiiia Americana, Bass- Wood. 
Ulraus Fulva, Red Elm. 
U. Americana, White Elm. 
U. Racemosa, Cork Elm. Hickory 

Elm. 
Viburnum Prunifolium, Black Haw, 

Arrow Wood. 
V. Lentago, Sheepberry. 
Vitis Aestivalis, .Summer Grape. 
V. Cordifolia, Frost Grape. 
Zanthoxylum Americanum, Prickly. 

Ash. 
Lendera Benzoin, Spice Bush. 
Rubus Slrigosus, Red Raspberry. 
" Occidentalis. Black Raspberry 
" Villosus, Blackberry. 
Robenia Pseudoeacia, Black Locust. 



Of the forest trees the most valuable deserve special mention. 
Rock Sugar Maple is excellent ; the Black Cherry is used by 
cabinetmakers, and is a wood of good color and grain. The 
Shag-Bark Hickory is perhaps the most valuable of its kind. The 
White Oak is much used in making furniture and agricultural 
implements. The Blue Ash is capital for flooring. The Honey 
Locust is a very durable wood, and shrinks less than any other 
in seasoning. The Walnut is nearly all gone. The Plane tree, 
or .Sycamore, is used by cabinetmakers. Of the Oak family the 
most and valuable kinds are the Burr Oak, Panel Oak, and the 
Pin Oak. 



In the following list of grasses, the common grain plants, not 
being indigenous to the county, are omitted. Some of the gr.asses 
given are not native, but are among those best adapted for ani- 
mals ; hence we include them : 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



43 



Piileura Pratense, Timothy. 
Agrostis Vulgaris, Red-Top. 
Muhlenbergia Diffusa, Nimble Will- 
CalaniagrostLsCanatlensis, Blue-joint, 

a native grass of the prairies, where 

it grew from ten to fifteen feet in 

height. 
Dact_vii;i Glomerata, Orchard Grass. 
Poa Pratensis, Kentucky Blue-Grass- 
Poa Compressa, Wire-Gra-ss. 
Festuca Elation, Meadow Fescue. 
Brjrnn Sjciin'ts, Common Cheat. 
Phragmites Communis, Common 

Reed. 
Arundinaria Macrosperma, Large 
Caue. 



Loliura Perenne, Darnel Rye-Grass 

Anthoxanthum Odoratum, Sweet- 
scented Vernal Grass. 

Phalai-is Arunilinucea. Rjed Canary 
Grass. 

P. Canariensis, Canary Grass. 

Panicum Sanguinale, Crab Grass. 

Panioum Glabrum. Smooth Panicum. 

Panicum Capillare, Witch Grass. 

Panicum Crus-galli, Barnyard Grass* 

Setaria Glauca, Common Foxtail. 

S. Viridis, Bottle Grass. 

S. Italica, Itallian Millet. 

Andropogon Scoparius, (?) Brown- 
Beard Grass. 



CHAPTER Vir. 



PIOXEERS AND EARLY SETTLERS. 




I HE contents of these pages have been gathered 
with patience and diligence from all accessi- 
ble sources of information. 

A complete record of the brave men who 
first settled in this county, was obtained 
from two honored members of that small 
band, Mr. J. J. McGraw, and his friend, 
Mr. A. L. Barnett. 
The pioneers, through uureniitting toil and 
hardship, through sacrifice and danger, have made possible the 
degree of comfort and culture now enjoyed by many thousands, 
and jointly with the settlers of other sections, have assisted and 
brought about the progress of science, letters and philosophy in 
this great valley. The germ of our beneficent system of free 
schools was planted by their hands, and nursed by their care. 
They brought with them the elevating ceremonies of a pure re- 
ligion, and the great idea.? of personal freedom and the brother- 
hood of mankind. 

We are heirs and also debtors of the past- It is not creditable 
to us, that we so easily forget our great obligation to the hardy 
men and women who more than half a century ago traveled west- 
ward into this part of the great Mississippi valley, and changed 
the wilderness into fertile fields of plenty. Most of their num- 
bers have gone to the narrow house appointed for all the living, 
and the tombs which received their worn frames, received with 
them the host of recollections, anecdotes and reminiscences of 
almost priceless value. A few, blessed with stout hearts and 
robust health, frugal and virtuous, still survive, and by their 
very appearance gladden the hearts of the generation of this 
day, for whom they have done so much. From them have beeu 
gathered, directly and indirectly, the facts recited in this chapter. 
They deserve well of their country ; and as we reap the grand 
harvests their hands have sown, we can at least cause them to feel 
that they are held in high honor, and that their deeds, trials and 
distresses will be ever held in grateful remembrance. 

Before speaking more specifically of the pioneers and first 
settlers of De Witt county, it is proper to speak briefly of the 



Indians who roamed over this land at the time the pioneer built 
his hut. 

It seejus clear tli it they were not the first denizens of the soil 
but America was the home of a prior race, and evidence is not 
wanting that this race was preceded by another. Of the race 
directly preceding the Indians, there remains but a meagre 
record. A few mounds, some beads, a small variety of earth- 
made wares, stone hammers, implements for dressing skins, and 
now and then one of their idols of religious worship, together 
with a few articles for ornaments are all of their domestic life 
left to us. 

The Indian race which succeeded the mound-builders was 
numerous, less than a century ago, but we know little of them. 
They were a race of hunters; they practis<:d scarcely any of the 
arts of peace. They were sheltered by wigwams ; they had 
rarely fixed bouadarie.s fir their tribes. And so we can remem- 
ber ouly a brief day of their history. They preceded us, but left 
the county no better for their labors. We can scarcely be grate- 
ful. We find their gimlets, arrow-heads, spear-heads, flesh- 
scrapers, spades and hammers, all made of stone, and demanding 
infinite patience for their manufacture. They delved as patiently 
as their neighbors, the beavers, yet despised labor, and imposed 
it as a degrading burden on their women. We alternately pity 
and despise them ; even admire their sublime stoicism, but sicken 
at their abominable cruelties. We use the maize which they 
sometimes cultivated, and enjoy the smoke of the tobacco they 
taught us to consume. Their modes of life were individual rather 
than social. They were cunning and cruel, cautious and brave. 
Like the lion, they sprang unawares from ambush upon their 
victim, and from a lurking place would speed the arrow into the 
back of an enemy. Yet they could endure torture with stoic 
indifference, and look a single foe in the face with Spartan deter- 
mination. 

The Kickapoo Indians occupied this portion of the country 
before the advent of the whites, and a remnant of this once power- 
ful and warlike tribe was found here, when the first settlements 
were made. This tribe was at peace with the whites, so that 
there are no blood curdling tales of midnight attacks on defence- 
less settlements to recount. Fully ten years before the organi- 
zation of the county, the last of the Kickapoos had been removed 
to their reserve in the eastern part of Kansas. Civilization has 
subsequently crowded the poor remnants of the Kickapoo away 
from their beautiful Kansas home. 

E.\RLY .SETTLEMENT. 

The history of De Witt county differs from that of many sister 
counties in this, that its pioneers became permanent settlers. 
The " squatter," so frequently met in a new county, was of rare 
occurrence in De Witt. 

The pioneer proper is the skirmisher of the vanguard of civi- 
lization, and rarely goes into permanent quarters. He sows the 
seed, but leaves others to gather the harvest. He is never happy, 
but when upon the frontier. When the columns of those seeking 
homes app2ar, he plunges deeper into the western wilderness. 
Let him not be despised. His mission is to spy out the land, and 
direct the footsteps of the swarming millions behind him. 

Gov. Reynolds, in his history of Illinois, says of the pioneers : 

"They were rough in personal appearance, yet kind, social and 
generous. They were hunters and stock-growers, and confined 
their agricultural operations chiefly on corn. They were brave, 
prompt and decided in war, yet liberal and magnanimous to a 
defeated and subdued foe. They were hospitable and generous, 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



and reaiiy to share with newly arrived strangers their last 
luaf." 

The first settlers in the present limits of De Witt county were 
a party of six persons : Zion Shugart, Edom Shugart, their 
mother, Elisha Butler, and his wife and John Coppenbarger, of 
whom the only living member is Edora Shugart, who now resides 
in Jlarysville, Nebra ka. The party arrived in what is now 
section 7, Tunbridge township, (on the Emily Hays farm), on 
October 29th, 182-4. They put up a hastily constructed log-cabin, 
and made ready for winter. 

During the winter of 182 1, Nathan Vester, with a large 
family, moved in and settled a short distance from the Shugarts, 
and in the spring John Coppenbarger moved his family into the 
neighb irhood, and thus was commenced the settlement of that 
portion of the Illinois territory now known as De Witt county. 

During the winter of 1824, a little girl of Nathau Vester died, 
and was buried on the hill, near Emily Hay's residence- As 
there was no lumber in the country, a coffin was made by split- 
ting slabs out of trees, and hewing them into shape. The nearest 
settlement to the Shugarts' at that time, was the residence of a 
man named Laughery, ten miles down Salt creek, in what is now 
Logan county. 

The next settlement of which we have any rec ird was that of 
John Barr, and Prettyman Marvell, in Big Grove, 'now Waynes- 
ville), in February, 1826. After them, cajiie Ezra Knapp, Ta- 
rusey C'line, Abram Onstott, Samuel Glenn, Benj. Day, Tim. 
aad Samuel Hoblit, Hiram Chapin, Tilman Lane, Samuel Curt- 
right, Samuel Spencer, the Scotls, Josiah Clifton, Matthew Mar- 
tin, and others, until this became the most populous settlement 
iu the county. About the year 1832, the town of Waynesviile 
was laid out by George Isam, and for a long time was the prin- 
cipal trading point of the county. As to who sold the first 
goods in Waynesviile, there has been discussion. The following 
account is given by Hugh L. Davenport, and it is considered 
correct : 

" The first goods that were sold in this part of the countrv, I 
hauled for a man named Jerre Greenman, who kept them in a 
log-house, owned by a man named Davis, and Thomas Dunham 
was his clerk. I hauled the first load from Pekiu, on the Illinois 
river; one article was a barrel of good peach brandv, which 
found some warm friends soon after its arrival. Where these 
goods were sold, in a short time there sprang up a small town, 
which was afterwards called New Castle ; it was located near 
where Atlanta now stands. In 1831, 1 think a man by the name 
of Isam laid out the town of VVaynesville, on the south side of 
Kickapoo creek, and a man named Post, kept the first goods 
there, if my memory is correct." 

The next settlement iu the county was made iu the north-east 
part of the county, near where Farmer City now stands, in what 
was then called Hurley's Grove, about the year 1830. Dennis 
Hurley, Richard Kirby, Henry Huddleston, Nathan Clearwater, 
and Daniel Webb, being the earliest settlers, coming in the order 
in which they are named. 

The next settlement was made in what was called Fork 
Prairie, in the vicinity of the present town of Marion or De 
Witt, in 1831 and 1832; the first settlers being Thos. R. Davis, 
James Morris, John Miller, Benj. Lisenby, Alex. Dale, Josiah 
Harp, Chas. McCord, and Hugh Davenport. 

The first settlement about Clinton was made by Joseph or 
Josiah Clifton, in 1830. He erected a cabin on what is now known 
as the Pascal Mills farm, one mile west of Clinton. The early 
settlers of this county were generally Kentuckians, although 



there were a few from some of the other southern states. They 
came into the county by the way of Springfield ; the route from 
Kentucky being by way of Indianapolis, Danville, Springfield, 
and thence up the streams. 

Coming from a timbered country, they held the prairies as of 
no value, and settled along the edge of the timber, thinking that 
no one would ever settle upon the prairies, they could hold it 
forever for grazing; it was not until after the Illinois Central 
Railroad was built through the county that the prairies became 
of any value. The prairies in those days are represented as pre- 
senting a lovely sight in spriug and summer, being covered with 
large bright flowers. The grass grew so high that a man 
riding through it after a rain was literally drenched. The 
county abounded in game, and for years there was scarcely a 
day that the settlers' tables were not bountifully supplied wiih 
venison or wild tu key. The early settlers had few wants to 
supply, being simple in their habits and dress. Their greatest 
difficulty was getting bread-stuffs ; mills being few and far be- 
tween, thej' very often had to go from thirty to sixty miles to get 
a sack of corn ground They were a social and hospitable peo- 
ple, and a stranger was warmly welcomed and aided on his way, 
while a new settler was helped iu building his cabin, and getting 
a start in this new world. As an illustration of the character of 
the people of that day, we give an incident related by John J. 
McGraw. 

Mr. McGraw and a neighbor got out of corn one winter, and 
had no money to buy any. The neighbor said he thought he 
could get some from John Barr, who lived near Waynesviile. 
So they mounted their horses and rode to Barr's, and arrived 
towards evening. Upon making their errand known, Mr. Bair 
told them that they could have the corn, and they could pay for 
it by making rails in the spring. Said he, " A man came along 
the other day, and wanted to buy some corn, saying he had the 
money to pay for it. I told him that if he had money he could 
buy corn almost anywhere, and I would save my corn for some 
one who had no money." McGraw and his neighbor shelled 
each a sack of corn, and the next morning took it to a horse- 
mill and had it ground. In the spring they paid for the corn 
by making rails ; and Mr. McGraw says he never made better 
rails, nor gave better count, than he did in paying that debt. 

The nearest post-office was Springfield, and the postage on a 
letter from Kentucky was twenty-five cents. If a man got a 
letter ouce in three or six months, he thought he was doing well. 
They really had no market for their produce, Pekin, bt. Louis, 
and Chicago being their nearest trading point, and thirty cents 
per bushel for wheat and ten cents for corn was the ruling price. 
Of money there was little or none, all transactions being carried 
on by trading. For a number of years there was little more 
raised than was necessary for home consumption. While the 
early settlers suffered from lack of what we term necessaries of 
life, they performed but little labor, in comparison with the people 
of to-day, and seemed to enjoy life in their way better than we of 
to-day, while their simple life seemed to prolong their years, as 
is evidenced by many of the early settlers who are living in this 
county to-day. Indeed it is astonishing to see how closely is con- 
nected the early settlement of this county with the present day, 
for daily, men may be seen on the streets of Clinton who have 
seen this county grow and develop from a wilderness to a pro- 
ductive and thickly-settled county. 

A history of De Witt county without an account of the "deep 
snow" would be like the play of Hamlet without the Prince of 
Denmark, and a short description of it, and an incident which 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



45 



occurred at the time, as related by one who passed through that 
remarkable winter, may follow here. The snow commenced 
falling about the 8th of December, 1830, and snowed, either day 
or night, for twenty-one days, until it was four feet deep on a 
level in the timber, while around the edge of the groves it drifted 
from fifteen to twenty-five feet high. Several settlers from the 
vicinity of where Clinton now stands were over to a mill about 
two miles from where Waynesville now stands. The weather 
was mild, and the snow fell very fast. They got their grist and 
started for home. At that time there was no house from the 
timber on Kickapoo to Ten-Mile Creek, near Clinton, a di.-tance 
of twelve miles. When they got about three miles from Kicka- 
poo timber, it snowed so fast that they could not see any distance 
before them, and their team (two yoke of oxen), gave out. The 
wind changed, and they got lost. The snow was from two to 
three feet deep, and it began to get very cold, and their clothes 
froze hard on them. They did not see any timber, and could 
not tell which way they were going. Finally they unyoked their 
cattle, and let them go their own way. One of the oxen took a 
straight course, and they followed him till one of the party, John 
Clifton, gave out and laid down. The other two dragged him 
through the snow and cuffed him about to keep him awake. 
About sunset it quit snowing, and they could see timber and a 
house about three miles away, and their ox guing straight towards 
it. But it was getting colder, and their pilot gave signs of giving 
out. They drove the ox before them and dragged their com- 
rade, the ox going a few rods and then stopping to rest, while 
they rubbed their comrade and cuffed him about, to keep him 
and themselves from freezing. About dark a crust had formed 
on the snow hard enough for a man to walk on So they got 
their sick comrade upon his feet, and left the ox, to walk upon 
the snow. The sick man was the first to get to the house, he 
being the lightest, while the others would occasionally break 
through the crust down into four-feet of snow, causing them hard 
labor to regain their footing on the crust; they were nearly 
frozen to death by the time they got to the house. The house 
was that of John Robb, who lived on Rock Creek, four or five 
miles east of Waynesville. They got their oxen to the house in 
about three days ; but their sled and meal laid where they left 
them until the next spring. 

The names of the three men were Josiah and John Clifton, 
and David Moffit. " The snow was so deep, and the sharp hoofs 
of the deer penetrated the crust so easily, that we could ride up 
to them, and jump from our horses' backs on to their backs and 
cut their throats with a hunting knife. They were so plenty, we 
could kill all we wanted. Our corn was generally out in the field, 
and we had to wade through the snow up to our wastes, gather 
it in sacks, and carry it on our backs, to feed our stock, make 
hominy, or pound it in a mortar. 

"The wolves g ew fierce, and attacked man and killed calves 
and sheep, carried off small pigs, c?me close to our houses in 
daytime and killed our dogs." 

The territory now embraced by De Witt county was first em- 
braced in Sangamon county, which, in the early hi-itory of the 
State, embraced all the northern part of the State- Afterwards 
we fell unto Tazewell county, which was again divided up, 
and this territory was placed in Macon and McLean counties. 
Through the exertion of Hon. James Allen, of Bloomington, 
the Legislature, in 18.39, passed an act organizing De Witt 
county, from territory taken from the counties of Macon and 
McLean; the county line between those two counties running 
four miles south of the present northern boundery of De Witt 
county. 



We are informed by the old settlers that they could have, 
very easily, gotten another tier of townships from Macon county, 
embracing the present town of Maroa ; but the country then 
presented such a low, flat appearance, that it was thought it 
would never be settled to any extent, and it would prove more a 
burden than an advantage to a new c juuty. That county now 
produces the best crops of corn of any section in central Illinois. 

The county then embraced what is now known as Atlanta 
township (then known as Four by Six), Blue Ridge, Goose 
Creek, and Sangamon townships, in Piat county. 

The county was named after De Witt Clinton, the governor of 
York State. 

On the sixth day of May, 1839, an election was held for county 
officers and for permanent location of county seat, when four 
hundred and ninety-three votes were cast. 

The contest between Marion and Cliuton was hot ; and as in 
those days voting had to be done vim voce, it may be said that a 
vast deal of dodging had to be done. The founders of Marion 
were as ambitious as their neighbors in Clinton, and the magni- 
tude of the town and its prospects for prosperity had been her- 
alded to the world by advertisements and posters. One of the 
latter, dated July, 1836, is as follows: — 

" TO THE PEOPLE. 

"Marion is located on the head branches of Sangamon River. 
The first glance at the geographical situat on of this town is suf- 
ficient to discover its great importance. There will and must be 
one great central town in Illinois where the internal improve- 
ments of the State will cross and intersect, and this point appears 
to have been destined by nature for that purpose. High, healthy, 
and beautifully undulating, the prairie is about four miles across, 
nearly surrounded by a splendid mill-stream, which affords a 
number of seats- Mills are now building and contemplated 
which will be ample for any amount of lumber for building. 
The timber is as fine as can be found in the Western States, and 
is inexhaustible. A number of important roads already cross at 
this point, and the east and west railroad, now locating, passes 
near enough for all the purposes of commerce. The north and 
south railroad will pass directly through Marion. The first house 
was put up last winter ; it is already quite a village, affording one 
store, one grocery, and a number of dwellings, and others now 
building. Within the last six weeks our lauds have been nearly 
all taken, and such is the present prosperity of this country, that 
there must be a speedy and great advance on property in a short 
time. 

" A map of Marion and its additions, showing its streams and 
the prairie, can be seen at the room of Garrett, Brown & Brother. 

"' July 2d, 1836." " D- Bobbins. 

We have already mentioned that the county of De Witt had a 
voting population of about five hundred at the time of its or- 
o-anization. The list of voters contained in the poll-books of the 
first election has been lost with those books. Hon. John J. 
McGraw, for what purpose he does not now remember, took a 
complete census of all the voters of the county in August, 1844. 

Thes3 lists are still in existence, and from them the following 
data are culled : 

Former citizens of the county now no more — Clinton Precinct. — 
Levi Spencer, Lorenzo D. Scott, Thomas Bevan, Thomas Jenkins, 
James Brown, a physician, zealous member of the Lyceum (see 
it) ; Nelson Davis, a teacher ; Poetan Bennett, Peter De Spain, 
at one time county treasurer ; Greenberry Hall, John McAboy, 



46 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



Jonathan Curtright, Rufus Mills, Dawson Beatly, Darius Hall, 
Josiah Downen, Thomas Hutchin, G. W. Cox, Jacob Krauish, 
Pascal Mills, Archibald McCullough, Thomas Blalock, William 
Neal, Fred. Troxel, B. R. Warlield, Isaac Hutchin, G. \V. Mills, 
Alfred JIurphy, Joseph Malson, W. McPherson, John Lowry, 
Lewellen Hickman, John Springer, J. B Allsup, Ezekiel Lane, 
James Ennis, Joseph Howard, Thomas Allsup, Gabriel Watt, 
R. Richards, Mahlou Hall, a Virginian, settled on section 33 in 
township 20 R. 1 East in 1830 ; was in 1839 the largest land- 
holder in the county, owning 1200 acres of land, valued at 
S4,600, died in 1850; Reuben Thomley, VVil Ham James, Jesse 
Blankenship, died in Mexico in the service of the U. S. ; James 
Cantrall, Henry Cuudiff, A. Gideon, William Coppenbarger, 
James French, John French (a great tigliter, and addicted to 
drinking; many amusing anecdotes are told of him. His visits 
to the town of Clinton had frequently ended by his landing in 
the county jail, and so on one occasion he took the precaution of 
spiking the key-hole in the lock on the jail-door, by driving nails 
into it, thus keepiug out of the dungeon for once. The usual 
fine for a fist-fight was S3, and whenever French was arrested on 
a charge of the kind, he would state that his antagonist was the 
meanest man in the county. He had occasion, however, to 
modify this asserdon in this way: Squire J. J. McGraw, iudig. 
naut at the repeated transgressions of French, and iu ordtr 
to make a more lasting impression ou the mind of the culprit, 
fined him at one time some S25 for an assault. French took it 
to heart, and whenever afterwards he asserted that such and such 
•was the meanest mau of De Witt county, he would qualify it by 
stuttering out, (excepting Scjiiire John J. McGraw, who is ten 
thousand times meaner), John Winn, T. J. Mills, John Copijeu- 
barger, Edward Thornley, John Walker, Jeremiah Kellev, James 
Stephens, Joshua Dale, Henry Fordice, Solomon Cross, Benjamin 
Cross, George Carlock, Calvin Pain (in Mexican war), John 
Lane, Sam. Duncan, William Lowry, Ralph Rosencrans, John 
:Miller, Dudley Richards, Noel Blankeusliip, David Hood, W. 
Belford, James Henson, Joseph Pollock, Hugh Davenport, 
Jeremiah Thompson, Melvin Lowry, John Clifton, Reuben 
Parkhurst, Alvin Potter, Moses Kenney, James Lowrey, Joha 
Hutchin, James Wilson, Alex. Dale, James S. Brown, Joel E. 
King, William Wallace i^in Mexican war,!, Solomon Ely, Har- 
rison Lane, B. T. Lowry, Walter Karr, James Sraallwood, J. B. 
Smallwood, James Pollock, Samuel Curtright, E. W. Fears, 
Melvin Lowry, Daniel McGennis, Thomas Lamb, David Willis, 
Major Farris, William Coon, Richard Murphy (in Mexican war 
was a brave man, and rose from the ranks to a lieutenancy), 
Andrew Wallace, Henry Brown, Rob. F. Barnett (shot dead by 
one Hill), Jefferson T. Cross, Thomas Fruit, Washington Allsup, 
M-iles Gray (first post-master of Clinton), Joseph Bowles, Daniel 
Bauta, Jetse Stout, W. Cundiif Tolbert Allsup, Hugh Glenn, 
Henry Summers, B. H. Farris (in Mexican war), J. P. Mitchell, 
Daniel Newcomb, Franklin Barnett, John W. Scott, W. 
Mitchell, James K. Scott. 

The following have been lost sight of, and are in all probability 
now in their graves: Johu Davis, Henry Thomas, Anderson 
Johnson, Matthew Harvey, James Hall, Da iel French, Thos. 
Coon, Solomon Miller, Henry Foster, G. W. Karr, J. W. Karr, 
Hiury King, Fleming Lynch, Newtou Lynch, Jacob Cross, John 
Thompson, H. Benuett, Henry Clerage, T. R. Areherd, Job. 
Clilton, Lewis A;kinson, Joseph Karr, William Matthews, Phil. 
Farmer, Guslavus Shelley, Dennis Provine, W . A. Knight, 
Joshui Gardner, L-onard A. Provine, James Tuttle, and Jame- 
son Wright. 



The following have removed from the county, and most of them 
are known to be living: Burnell Martin, Kansas ; EliB. Fruitt, 
Ohio; Martin Scott, Mo.; Matthew Miller, Mo.; W. Hutchin, 
H. H. Hall, A. B. Wright, Kansas; Charles Hutchin, Landers 
SUtten, R. Peyton, Mo., Wm Clifton, Vernon Brown, Uriah 
McKenney, Kansas ; Elisha Littler, Kansas ; Murrell Paine, 
Egbert Hill, Mo. ; Will. Gadberry, Mo.; Johu Bruner, B. Ely, 
Mo.; Sidney Gay, Mo.; Henry Bowles, William Allsup, Samuel 
Beebe, Mo. ; F. G. Paine, the probate judge, went to Texas ; 
Jacob Silver?, Texas; Henry Thompson, Thomas J Rodgers, 
Jordan Bantea, David Maiken, Ervin French, Ky ; J. M Ftars, 
California; Will. Hickman, Joel Hall, Mo.; Sam. Brown, 
Chicago ; Will. Hill, California. 

Of those two hundred and thirty voters of the old Clinton 
precinct, living there iu 1844, only thirty-seven survive; the 
reader will find their names under the heading of " The Old 
Guard," below. 

Wiiyen.n'itle Precinct — Dead Lid. — Absalom Hamilton, J. B. 
Jones, R Pust, J. E. Cantrall, John Zollar, James R. Robb, 
John Montgomery, F. S. Harrison, Z P. Cantrall, David 
Wheeler (a physician), George Dyer, Hugh Bowles, James Barr, 
John Hobbs, J. Elli.i, Thomas Bjrton, James T. Morton, Alien 
Turner, W. H. Jones, Jouathan Ellington, Robert Turner, 
George Bodkin, Abel Larison, John Turner, Richard McElhiney, 
Adam Stevens, John Miller, William Dyer, Jacob Johnson, J. 
H. Morley, Jesse Griffin, F. M .Jeflrey, Thomas Ackerson, 
John McCantrall, Wm. JetFrey, Elijah Hull, Sam. Richards, 
George Isham, W. Montgomery, David Montgomery, John Robb, 
E. W. Mathews, Elisha Bushnell, Edward Winn Andrew Brock, 
Isaac W. Jones, R S Doolittle, and J S Atchinson. 

Lost sight of awl probably dead. — 0. W. Young, John F. 
Buckner, W. Evans, Will. Branson, William Richards, Darius 
Cody, Johannes Birgen, Alfred Miller, A. B. Ireland, John 
Simpkin, A. T. Jones, John Ev^eland. T. D. Cantrall, D. F. 
Grosh, Edward Morris, J. C. Cantrall, Thomas Coffer, John 
Scott, Charles Huffam, J. W. Hamitt, W. L Cjntrall, M. G. 
Williams, John Mclntire, Charles Ciok, Isaiah Che-^k, Jonathan 
Williams, Fred. Eveland, J. C. Macon, Henry Michael, Joel 
Gray, Garrett and Abram Ackerson, W. Hall, Xathauiel Harris, 
W. J. Davis, James, McNeely, Charles Adkinson, Benjamin 
Brock, Jacob F. Sampson, Josiah Porter, and Hardin Wallace. 
Removed from the County. — J. L. Jennings, Harrison Maltby, 
Elisha Butier, Charles IMaltby, R. E. Port, A. X. Dills, Th. C. 
Bergen, John Slatten, Sam. Haramet, James M. Harrold, Preston 
Butler, Jerome Gorine, Johu Christison, G. W. Stipp, Charles 
Giraves, B. W. Gray, Nathan Eveland. A. D Downey, John 
Thissell. Ezra Thissell, and P. Storey. 

Twenty-two of the one hundred and thirty-three resident 
voters of 1844 are still living in the county. See Old Guard. 

M'irion Precinct, Dead Lid. — Jam^s Martin, George Barns, 
W. H. Lifferty, Benjamin Church, Peter L^ar, James McDeed, 
Daniel Bobbins, John McDeed, B S. Day, Gabriel Benuett, J. 
B. Htigar, E. C. Hirr.ild, Sylvester Griffia, T. E. Sawyer, S .1. 
Despain, William Waldon, John Burt, J. B. Williams, S. B. 
H iblett, Binj-imiu L'siiiby, Z ;bulon Cantrall, R )Jen Line, Mon- 
roe Thompson, B. D. F. Maple, N. C. Caine, John E. Day, 
Thomas Lye, John Lash, John Wilsoo, Nathan Britton, Henry 
Webb, Joseph Wilson, Morris Britton, Ge.)rge Barns, W. Mc- 
Kiuley, Arthur Jones, Elihu Gissfor.l, .John Lay ton, John Dor- 
son, C. Webb, ElwarJ Wilson, Michael Troutmau, Charles 
Parker, Hiram Chapin, and F. S. Rjbbins. — 4.5. 

Lost sight oj, prob Mj de id — Ch.irles Sawyer, Thomas Glenn, 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COUNTY. ILLINOIS. 



47 



Nathan Goodall, R. D. Taylor, Joshua E Jackson, G. L- Tayhir, 
A. W. Haddock, William Hall, William Haus, Daniel Willard, 
Douglas Spear, E W. Wright, Johu Gutman, H. Sanger, John 
Cooksey, Jesse E. Sawyer, Job Rathboae, George Livingston, 
W. E. Walker, Xathan Birnan, W. E. Sawyer, Robert Semple, 
Thomas Williamson. William Walters (sent to penitentiary for 
perjury), Joseph Sample, Charles Richardson, J. M. Storm, W. 
Bsrnes, David Ripp, Dav. Vandeventer, John Britton, and G 
S. Morrison. — 32. 

Removed from County. — James A. Lemon, in California; J. A. 
Jackson, west ; James Harp, Kansas ; James Vandeventer, west ; 
Daniel Baker, Indiana ; Thomas Smith, west ; Alex. Harp, west ; 
J. E. Daugherty, west ; Hiram Beebe, west ; Thomas Swain, 
Bloomington ; Heury M. White, west ; John E. Harris, west ; 
P. M. Gideon, north ; Pleasant Smith, west ; Greenbury Donar, 
west ; and W. R. Detherage, west. — 1 6. 

Thirty of the original one hundred and twenty-three voters of 
Marion precinct are still living in the county. 

Mount Pleaeant Precinct, Dead LiM. — Robert H. Pool, Benja- 
min Newberry, Peter Arbogast, Solomon Hand, Samuel Brickey, 
Richard Kirby, John McCord, Timothy Hurley, William Dan- 
ner, David White. Edward Covev, Samuel Danuer, Thomas 
Gardner, Absalom Danner, John Danner, Dennis Harley, Henry 
Barnes, Lewis Jackson, Henry Huddleson, John Smith, Asa 
Weedman, Preston Webb, Josiah Davis, Ambrose Hall, James 
Sternes, John Weedman, Mathew Johnson, and William Y. Mc- 
Cord.— 28. 

Lost sight of , probably dead. — William Webb, William Pearson, 
A. B. Danner. Ben. Newbury, N. W. Cox, J. P. Williams, Rob. 
Williamson, Harrison Blake, Joseph Brown, Hiram White, and 
A. F. Rogers.— 11. 

Remov'd from County. — David White and Phineas Page, west ; 
E. Shinkle, north ; Isaac Parmeuter, west ; Byron Covey, west ; 
Patton Camel, west ; and W. H. McFall, west. — 7. 

Eighteen of the sixty-four voters of Mount Pleasant precinct 
are still residing in the county. 

Long Point Precinct, Lend List. — John Scott, F. S. Troxel, 
Homer Buck, J. A. Payne, W. Scott, Abrani Bash, Samuel Mar- 
tin, Will. Lane, Alfred Eveland, Elihu Lane, William Morris, 
Henry Troxel, Adnan Lane, Samuel Spencer, Peter Troxel, Elijah 
Swearingen, Amos Nichols, W. Bowling. Moses Houghan, George 
Hanger, Alex. Ellis, Mitchell Harrold, Jacob Harrold, S. F. 
Bowling, John Young, William Harrold, and Jonathan Frisby. 
—27. 

Lost sight of, probably dead. —Hiram Riley, David Bash, 
Joseph Winkle, William Downen, William Holsey, Edward 
Philips, Samuel McElhaney, W. G. Swearingen, James G. 
Hobbs, J. W. Scott, Benjamin Withham, and James Scott. — 12. 

Removed from the County. — John Chatham, William Chatham, 
J. J. Chatham, Isaac Chatham, Andrew Brumfield, William 
Spencer, Alex, and A. K. Scott, William Anderson, James An- 
derson, Wilson S. Fears, and Nathan Lundy, all west. — 12. 

Fifteen of the sixty-six voters of Long Point in 1844 are to 
this day residents of the county. 

The former precinct of New Castle, not being now a part of 
the county, is omitted 

We shall now introduce the names of the surviving pioneers 
and early settlers, as it were. 

THE OLD GUARD. 

The Van. — Abraham Onstott, S. P. Glenn, Nathan Clearwater, 
William Adams, Abraham Swearingen, Elijah Watt, and Orriu 
Wakefield. 



Rank and File. — .John J. McGraw, Allen Wilson, John An- 
drew, Jacob Bruuer, H. Bowles (now in McLean), Z. H. Blount, 
Anderson Bowles, Preston Butler (now in Macon), S C. Baker, 
A. L. Barnett, F. M. Broeck, William Bennett, John Blount, 
William Bodkin, J. M. Cox, George Clifton, B. L. Cundiif, 
Joseph Coppenbarger, Wyatt Cantrall, Levi Cantrall, James 
Cook, Z. G. Cantrall, William Cantrall, J. B. Cain, William 
Cottingham, S. Covey, William Cisca, Peter Crum, H. A. Chapin, 
Thomas Davenport, Isaiah Davenport, David Remus, Daniel 
Dragstrem, A. M. Dills (now in Logan), Squire Davenport, A. 
D. Downey, E. O. Day (heavy weight), John Doyle, David El- 
lington, Isaac Ellington, Thomas Frisby, Jerome Garin, L. 
Graves (Bloomington), B. W. Gray (Pontiack), Benjamin How- 
ard, Samuel S. P. Hufl; William Hays, G. L. Hill, John Hum- 
phreys, Thomas Hill, William Harp, Jonathan Harrold, I.*am 
Harrold, Ely Harrold, John Jones, Elias lohnson, John Kelli- 
son, Alex. Kelley, C. S. L'senbj-, E. G. Lawrence, George Lemen, 
Charles Leaper, Benjamin Mitchell, John Maxwell, .James W. 
McCord, James McCord, John Marsh, Robert McKiuIey, Solo- 
mon Moore, Harrison Maltby (in Lincoln), Ebenezer Miller, 
Abram Miller, James McAboy, J. L. McMurry, N. W. Peddi- 
cort (Macon), James S. Riley, J. M. Richter, D. F. Robbins, 
William Rust, W. J. Rutledge, Thomas Spainhour, Sam. Small- 
wood (Decatur), Isaac Strain, C. W- Slinker, William Summers, 
V. N. Sampson, D. B. Smallwood, Isaac Suisher, J. B Swearin- 
gen, Henry Smith, Daniel Scott, J. H. Swearingen, John Scott, 
William Scott, H. Thompson (in Logan), Heury Thomas, Samuel 
Troxell, Thomas Vandeventer, T. C. Wright, W. W^illiams (iu 
Jlacon), John Warner, Elijah Waldon, Henry Webb, William 
Webb, George Weedman, Jacob Walters, R. D. Webb, James 
G. Watson, and Peter Walton. 



Of the 623 voters of De Witt county in 1844, 214 are known 
to be alive at this day, December, 18^1 ; 122 of whom live in 
De Witt county or its immediate vicinity; 275 of those 623 are 
known, and 134 others are supposed to be dead. 

The youngest of the survivors must be at least fifty-eight 
years of age ; many have crossed the three-score, and not a few 
have gone beyond the scriptural three-score and ten. De Witt 
U well stocked with hale and hardy old men, and the writer was 
grejtiy pleased to see so many of them iu what might be called 
beauteous old age. 

The pioneers of De Witt county sent a number of their men 
to protect the State against the inroads of hostile Indians, and 
in Mav, 1832, we see the following residents of the county take 
the field in the Black Hawk wir. They had enlisted in Ciptain 
James Johnson's company— their names, as far as could be 
ascertained, were as follows; 

Walter Bowls, 3d sergeant, died in 1865 by his own hand ; 
George Coppenbarger, corporal, dead ; Asher Simpson, now a 
resident of Kansas; Elisha Butler, dead; G. D; Smallwood, still 
living in DeWitt county; John Henderson, lelt the State during 
the civil war ; James Funis, dead ; John Clifton, returned to his 
native state, Kentucky ; John Murphy, dead ; S. Troxel, living ; 
Thomas Davenport, still hale and hardy, and ready to run an- 
other foot race with hi-s friend J. J. .\IcGraw, who defeated him, 
then considered the fleetest man in the State, in a foot-race fifty 
years ago, and would do it again ; William Adams, still in the 
county ; William Hooper, emigrated to Missouri, and Jos. Clif- 
ton, dead. 

Another and a very interesting feature of the life of these 



48 



HISTORY OF BE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



pioneers is exhibited in the minutes of their early Lyceum, as 
they call a debating club organized in autumn, 1839, for the 
purpose of improving our minds, as expressed in the preamble to 
their simple constitution. 

The initiation fee was 12} cents, and no one was to be con- 
sidered a member until his " bit" was contributed. 

Hon. J. J. McGraw, a pioneer in the forest as well as an effi- 
cient, conscientious and respected magistrate and county officer, 
from the birth of the county to this very day, has thoughtfully 
and with care preserved the minutes of this Lyceum. 

A leaf or two seem to have been lost, and we could not learn 
the subject of the first debate. 

On the 26th of November, however, the members discussed 
the following question : " Which would be the more politic 
course under now existing cireuiuitaaces for the legislature, to 
prosecute or to abandon their Internal Improvement System f " * 

The debt amounted, per capita, to $30, and the share of De 
Witt county, with its 3,247 inhabitants, to 897,400. 

The districts of which the present county of De Witt formed 
a part in 1837 and 1838, were represented by George Henshaw, 
of McLean, and W. G Reddick, of Macon. Both voted in favor 
of the system John J. McGraw and William Dishou had pre- 
viously selected the parties for discussing the subject. 

William Dishon, William Lowry, Dr. J. C. McPherson, and 
F. G Paine advocated the continuing of the system, while J. J. 
McGraw. Charles Maltby, K. H. Fell, Dr. Thomas Laughlin, 
and Daniel F'jurdice argued for its abandonment. J. W. Sapp, 
E. W. Fears, and John S. Warfield, who had also been called on 
as debaters, were marktd " absent." 

* Tlie impetus to the system of internal improvements at tlie e.xpense, 
or more properly speaking, on tlie credit of the state, was given by George 
Forquer, a senator of Sangamon connty in 1834 ; his plans, however, failed. 
J. M. Strode, senator of all the country, including and north of Peoria, 
had a bill passed in 183-5, authorizing a loan of half a million of dollars 
on the credit of the state. This loan was negotiated by Governor Duncan 
in 1836, and with this money a commencement was made on the Illinois 
canal in the month of June of that year. The great town lot speculation 
had reached Illinois about that time, The number of towns multiplied so 
rapidly, that it seemed as though the state would be one vast city. All 
bought lots, and all- dreamed themselves rich ; and in order to bring people 
to those cities in embryo, the system of internal improvements was to be 
carried out on a grand .scheme. The agitation became general, and the in- 
difference of the busy farmer was taken for tacit consent. The legislature, 
in 1837, provided for the building of about 1,300 miles of railroads, and 
voted eight railliona of dollars for that purpose ; two hundred thousand of 
which were to be paid to counties not reached by those proposed railroads 
as an indemnity. In order to complete the canal from Chicago to Peru, 
another loan of four millions of dollars was authorized. And, as a crown- 
ing act of folly, it was provided that the work should commence simul- 
taneously on all the proposed roads at each end, and from the crossings of 
all the riveis. 

No previous survey or estimate had been made, either of the routes, the 
costs of the works, or the amount of business to be done by them. The ar- 
guments in favor of the system were of a character most difficult to refute, 
composed as they were partly of fact, but mostly of prediction. In this 
way it was proved, to general satisfaction, by an ingenious orator in the 
lobby, that the state could well afford to borrow a hundred millions of dol- 
lars, and expend it in making internal improvements. 

None of the proposed roads were ever completed; detached parcels of 
them were graded on every road, the e.xcavations and embankments of 
which have long remained as a memorial of the blighting scathe done by 
this legislature. 

The next legislature voted another $800,000 for the system. A special 
session in 1S39 repealed the system, and provided for winding it up, for it 
had become apparent that no more loans could be obtained at par. Under 
this system a state debt of ?14, 237,348 had been created, to be paid by a 
a population of 476,183 souls.— Gui'. Ford's History of Illinois. 



From the annexed foot note, the readers will observe that the 
question itself was still a burning " one at the time of the de- 
bate." Most of the participants in the debate have paid that 
tribute to nature which is due by all mortals. Let the survivor 
or survivors recite the details. Mr. Woodard and Josiah 
Downing acted as judges and decided that John J. McGraw and 
his side had produced the best arguments. That same night the 
club or lyceura prepared a by-law, from which fact it is to be 
inferred, that the club had previously adopted a constitution. 
The by-law reads as follows : " Be it enacted by the members of 
thi< lyceuni, that it be considered a breach of good order for any 
person, who may attend the meetings of said body, and in time 
of business not to keep his seat, or to talk." 

The next meeting was ordered to be held on the fourth of 
December next, and one question to be discussed was: " Would 
it be right, as things now exist, for the legislature to legalize the 
suspension of the State Bank of Illinois ?" It was arranged that 
Charles Maltby, William Dishon, Dr. Thomas Laughlin, Henry 
Dishou, Daniel Fourdice, J. S. Warfield, E. W. Fears, and R. 
Post should speak in favor of, and K H. Fell, Dr. James 
Brown, William Lowry, John J. McGraw, F. G. Paine, Dr. J. 
C. McPherson, and J. W. Sapp, against, the proposed measure. 
The debate was conducted with some feeling, as the very ques- 
tion at issue had occupied the minds of all people for years. The 
judges presiding at the meeting, James Vandeventer and John 
Hughs, could not agree. The president of the club, concurring 
with Vandeventer, decided that Charles Maltby 's side had the 
best of the argument, and that the legislature ought to legalize 
the suspension of the Bank.* 

* Illinois State Bank — It is but recently that the United States has 
seen a new party — '' Greenback party,'' for short — spring into life, with the 
avowed object of abolishing the use of gold and silver as measures of value, 
or money, and substituting for it their fiat money. The older people of 
our state have had some experience in this matter, and the few remarks in- 
troduced here are intended for the generation now starting out into politi- 
cal life. It i.s presumed to he known by all, that almost every person re- 
siding in Illinois about the year 1820 was virtually a bankrupt; that is, he 
could not jiay any debt, however small it was, and despite his possessing 
many acres of land, etc., simply because there was no money in the state. 
Well, it was a glorious time for *' fiat" money, and the legislature created 
it, by chartering a bank, the Stale Bank of Illinois, without a dollar in its 
vaults, and wholly on the credit of the state. It was authorized to issue 
notes of various denominations.ditfering from the notes of regular banks only 
in being made interest-bearing (2 per cent, per annum) and payable by the 
state in ten years. The bank and its branches, officered by men appointed by 
the legislature (politicians, of course, and not business men) weredirected by 
law to lend its bills to the people, to the amount of $100 on personal se- 
curity ; and upon the security of mortgages upon land for larger sums. 
These notes were to be received in payment of taxes, costs, fees, salaries of 
ofiicers, etc., and if tendered to a creditor, and by him refused, the debtor 
could stay the collection of the debt due him for three years by giving per- 
sonal security. The Solons at Vandalia {mmen et omen] actually believed, 
that these notes would continue to be worth their face value in gold or 
silver, and the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States was requested 
by a resolution of the legislature to receive those notes into the land offices 
in payment for the public lands. Governor Ford tells an amusing anec- 
dote in reference to the adoption of this resolution in the State Senate : 
" When it was put to the vote in the Senate, the old French Lieutenant- 
Governor, Col. Menard, jiresiding over the body, did up the business as 
follows :— Gentlemen of de.Senale, it is moved and seconded dat de notes 
of dis bank be made land office money. All in favor of dat motion, say 
aye, all against it, say no. It is decided in de affirmative. And now, 
gentlemen, I bel yon one hundred dollars he nerer be made land offiee money. 
The banks went into operation in 1821, and their officers, finding it easier 
to lend than to refuse, had soon scattered some $300,000 of their " fiat " 
throughout the state. It was takm at first at 75 cents per dollar, but soon 
came down to 25 cents. A large number of people who had *' borrowed" 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



49 



On the 11th of December, the question : — I 

" Is it right, in any case to use dissimulation ? " 

" Well, George Washington could not tell a dissimulation, and 
our minutes do not state how the question was decided ; but from 
subsequent proceedings one might infer that the discussion was 
' spirited 'for a ' By-Law,' creating the responsible position of 
a prosecuting attorney was enacted that very day, and Charles 
Maltby elevated to the place. William Lowr_v was elected 
President, and John J. Mc Graw, Secretary for the next Jour weeks, 
December 1], 1839. How Democratic! Rotation in otfice, 12 , 
times during the year." 

The question : — 

" Which has been of the greatest advantage to mankind the 
discovery of the art of printing, or that of the magnetic needle?' 
was mooted on the 18th of December and decided in favor of 
printing. — Henry Cundiifand Mr. Long acting as judges. 

H. Dishon proposed for discussion at the next meeting, on the 
27th of December, the question: "Who has been the most 
imposed upon, the Negro of the United States, or the Indian?" 
J. W. Sapp and K. H. Fell selected the speakers, to wit; — J. 
W. Sapp, W. Dishon, F. G. Paine, Dr. Laughliu, Dr. iMc Pher- 
son, John Lowery and S- M. Richardson for the Indian, and 
K. H. Fell, W. Lowry, H. Dishon, John J. Mc Graw, J. S. 
Warfield, William Mitchell and Dr. James Brown, for the Negro. 
E. W. Fears and D. Fourdice, acting as judges, gave the follow- 
ing verdict : " We believe the Indian has been most imposed on." 

A much more difficult subject : " Which has the greatest 
restraint on the minds of mankind, the laws of nature or the laws 
of man?" was debated on the 3d of January, 1840. Four 
of the members appointed to speak for the laws of nature dodged 
the work, leaving it to the care of the three physicians, Lnughlin, 
Brown and Mc Pherson, and they handled the subject well. They 
were opposed by the Dishons, the probate judge, the clerk, the 
recorder, by D. Fourdice and J. S. Warfield, who got worsted, 
the President deciding in favor of the Doctors. 

F. G. Paine was elected President, K. H. Fell, Secretary, and 
Dan Fourdice, Prosecuting Attorney. It was resolved to devote 
next Tuesday evening to the trial of those members of the Lyceum 
who had disobeyed the Constitution and By-Laws of said Lyceum. 
The minutes do not state what was done with the criminals 

The question : " Which does mankind esteem the highest, wealth 
or education?" was discussed on the 16th; Daniel Fourdice, 
the valiant, William Lowry, John Lowery, Henry Dishon, the 
sage, the warlike Warfield and the sarcastic Fell broke their 
lances in vain for education. John J. Mc Graw and the three 
doctors, speaking for wealth, laid them out on the sand, so 
declared by F. G. Paine, Harvey Bradshaw and the president, 
acting as Judges. 

Another subject of interest, now and then, as well as hereafter 
was to be debated at the next meeting. It had been selected 
by Dr. Brown, and ^^'illiam Lowry: "Would it, or would it not 
be better for the people of the United States to abolish all laws 
now in existence which compel men to pay their contracts? ' 

The criminals were brought to justice on the 17th of January, 
to wit : John S. Warfield, E. W. Fears and Dr. Mc Pherson, 
tried on a charge of contempt, and fined each, 12J cents. 

from the banks, of course, thought that their transactions with the banks 
terminated then and there. The idea of ri:payiu(j was. and remained for- 
eign to them. The real troubles commenced four or five years later, and 
the history of the state from then for a period of almost twenty years was a 
series of financial misery and disaster. All honor to James Vandeventer 
and H. Dishon (?) the president of the Be Witt County Lyceum for their 
decision. 
7 



The Secretary reported an income of 81 25, and the expendi- 
tures amounted to SI. 051, leaving a balance of 183 cents in the 
Lyceum's cash box. 

" Would it not be better to abolish capital punishment and 
substitute imprisonment for life?" 

Strange to say. this question was decided in' favor of abolishing 
capital punishment, although two of the doctors argued in favor 
of retaining this mode of killing. The discus-iion came off on the 
31st of January; two new men, Josiah Downen and Mr. Cox 
acting as judges. 

February Cth, 1840, the question : — 

" Which is the stronger passion, love or anger ?" was discussed. 
The doctors, or a majority of them, were on the love part, and 
were defeated, but a resolution ^vas passed, to discuss this question 
again at the next meeting — but, alas, there was no next meeting. 

The Lj'Ceum may have lived, and been wide awake, but the 
minutes are silent in regard to all proceedings until January 6, 
1841. A meeting was then held. Miles Gray was elected Presi- 
dent, and Harvey Bradshaw, Secretary. This seems to have 
been a re-organization of the first Lyceum, many of whose mem- 
bers re-appear, to wit : J. J. Mc Graw, the three Doctors, Charles 
Maltby, Harvey Bradshaw, K. H. Fell, J. W. Sapp, William 
Dishon and F. G. Paine. The Liwry's, Henry Dishon, Dan 
Fourdice, Sheriff Fears, and Warfield are missing, while Miles 
Gray, the old post-master, and Eli Fruit seem to be new mem- 
bers. 

The debates commenced again on the 14th of January, 1841 
when it was decided, " That Capital Punishment was justifiable 
by the laws of justice and humanity." The three doctors had 
this time been -successful. 

The next subject for discussion was : " Does the credit system 
as it now exists, promote the interest of the country or not ?" but 
the Lyceum had ceased to be ; on motion of Dr. Laughlin, the 
meeting adjourned ! Oh, those doctors ! 

The Lyceum had ended, but it had become the leaven of a 
new organization. 

" The Adelphic Society of Clinton," founded in November, 
1841, by William Lowry, John Wealch, J. J. McGraw, Charles 
Maltby^ W. W. Williams, C. H. Moore, R. Post, and D. New- 
comb. This society started out with a constitution of Six Articles, 
subdivided into numerous sections, and supplemented by a large 
number of by-laws, but the objects sought were those of its dead 
predecessor. The first question selected for discussion is being 
discussed to this day, to u<it. : " Is the intemperate use of 
ardent spirits the greatest evil amongst mankind '!" The doctors 
were divided on this question. Dr. Brown, iu co:nmon with C. 
H. Jloore, J. J. McGraw, and others, argued it was, while Dr. 
Laughlin, Dan. Newcomb and others, said no. The chair and 
the judges decided in favor of Dr. Brown. Turnuig to state- 
economy, our intellectual pioneers, ou the 18th of November, 
discussed the question : " H;ive chartered institutions been bene- 
ficial to our county?" and proved that they had been beneficial. 
"Should capital punishment be inflicted?" This question was 
decided in the negat'rve; all honor to the judge and jury! 

At the next meeting, December 8th, 1841, the question: 
"Should the internal improvement system of the State of Illinois 
be abandoned ?" was decided in the negative. At a club meet- 
ing on the 27th of December, C. H. M jore gave notice that he 
would offer for adoption at the next meeting the following 
I resolution : Resolved, That it is the opinion of this club, that 
; the signs of the times do not indicate the perpetuity of our re- 
publican institutions." The club met again on the 30th of 



50 



J I IS TORY OF DE WJTT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



December, when the above resolution was brought in, and on 
motion of R. Post, the following araendinent to the above reso- 
lution was adopted, to wit. : strike out the words " republican 
institutions," and insert " Federal Institutions." The resolu ion 
thus amended, was after a most animated discussion rejected. 
There is but one other resolution mentioned in those minutes. 
It was brought in by Wibiam Lowry : " Besotved, That it is 
the opinion of this club, that immediate measures should be 
taken to compel the State bank to resume specie payment." 
The resolution wa^ lost, and so were the minutes of later pro- 
eetdin;.s of the club. 

E.IKLY 5IAKRI.\OE.S. 

William Jones, Polly Cantrall, May 2d, 1830, by Josiah Por- 
ter, Presbyterian minister. William Clifton, Partheny Paine, 
June loth, 1S39, by Kubert Ilensun, M. G. James Brown, 
Milarea Blount, July -Jth, LSSil, by Pa.xton Cummings, M. G. 
David Hood, Sarah Ann Brown, August 2.5th, 1839, by J. C. 
McPherson, M- G. John S range, Nancy Scott, August 22d, 
1839, by J.iha Mjntg )Hi.'ry, Ju-stica of the pjacj. Janiei G. 
Hobbs, Mary Hay, Sept. 10th, 1839, by John Montgomery, 
Justice of the peace Thomas Davison, Caty Ann Hoblett, Oct- 
10th, 1839, by M. S. Hoblett. Levi Cantrall, E. G. Robb, 
Oct. loth, 1839, by Josiah Porter, Pastor of Waynesville. J. D. 
Morgan, Miss L. Graves, November 10th, 1839, by John Hughes, 
Justice of the peace Jesse Griffin, Nancy Stipp, November 
10th, 1839, by David Montgomery, Justice of the peace. 
W. Wills, Lyilia Hurley, November 14ih, 1839, by Henry 
Maynard. W. L. Fruit, Isabel C. Glenn, December 31st, 1839, 
by James Glenn Statistical reports of subsequent marriages 
are given in the chapter on Civil History — under the sub- 
head of Land and Peojile. 

FIRST JUSTICES OF THE FE.YOE. 

Obadiah Hooper, John Hughes, Henry Barns, Marion 
precinct. 

Thomas N. Glenn, Long Point precinct. 

Abraham Manpiiso, Sangamon precinct. 

Malou S. Hoblett, Peter Crum, Long Point Precinct. 

John Smith, Charles H. Simonson, Clinton precinct. 

John Blontgomery, Jeremiah P. Donham, Orrin Wakefield, 
Clarion precinct. 

David Montgomery, ^Vaynesville prec'nct. 

Jesse McPherson, Robert H. Pool, Mt. Pleasant precinct. 

William Anderson was also an acting justice of the peace. 
His bond however is not on file, and he seems to have been a 
justice for McLean county. 

FIRST COXSTABLES. 

William Gadberry, Isaiah S. Davenport, Alexander Scott, James 
M. Cantrall, Hiram Crum, John Pratt, Josiah Harp, Gabriel 
Bennett, Samuel Bevans, Henry Cuuditt', Nathan Brittain, Wil- 
liam Morain, Lucas Graves, Andrew Scott, Thomas Blalaiek (?). 

Having mentioned the names of those officers of the peace, it 
is but proper to recite some of their early acts, to wit : 

Isaac M. Cudy was fined six dollars for contempt of court by 
Esquire Anderson on the 12th of September, 1839. Isaac paid 
his fine. Probably the first case of contempt of court in the 
State was committed by Joseph Marrie, a Frenchman, in 
autumn 1794. The justice, Jean Dumonlin, at Cahokia, pro- 
nounced the fine, when Joseph extended a very insulting invita- 
tion to Dumonlin. The latter jumped upon Monsieur "and 
admitted a merciless " thrashing. Dumonlin was indicted for 



assault and battery, but acquited. Monsieur Marrie, who had 
prosecuted Dumonlin in the name of the State, had to pay the 
court costs besides. 

Hiram Bernard, assault and battery, ten dollars, and Daniel 
Fourdice, two cases of assault and battery, sis dollars, all by 
Squire Anderson, September 2, 1839. Hiram's battery must 
have been of a more violent character than Daniel's two. cases. 

Henry Summers, October 12, 1839, assault and battery, three 
dollars, and John French on December 2, 1839, assault and bat- 
tery, twenty-five dollars, J. C. McPherson justice of the peace. 

Noah Grant, November 1, 1839, assault and battery, three 
dollars, and Cornelius Cavey, same day and same offence, five 
dollars, fines assessessed by R. H. Pool, J. P. 

Daniel G. Craig, fined six dollars for a.ssault and battery 
upon the body of Mary Craig, his wife, March 2, 1840, Orrin 
Wakefield, J. P. 

Cost of the county government in pioneer times, I\Iay to De- 
cember, 1839: Compensation of county-officers, $221.00 ; furni- 
ture for court house and office rent, §181.74 ; roads, $104.62 ; 
elections, S.54.35 ; paupers, 81.25 ; total, S562 96. 

1840- Compensation of county officers, 8768 35 ; court house 
expenses, 84766 ; roads, 833.25; elections, 890.70; paupers, 
87.00; guarding and dieting prisoners, 836.37 ; total, 8983.33. 

The first failure to pay taxes occurred in the third year of the 
county's existence- The following citizens had failed to make 
the required payment : Daniel Smith, dead, due by him, 40 ets.; 
H. Hornbaker, removed to Sangamon county, 74 cts. ; David 
Graham, removed to Iowa, 81.15 ; Xoah Sneddaker, removed to 
Otawa, 46 cts. ; Jesse Dalby, removed to Ohio, 81.00 ; J. C. 
Bellew, removed to Bloomington, 67 cts. ; Clark Bousine, re- 
moved to Logan county, 35 cts. ; Ervin Bergen, dead, 46 cts. ; 
W. W. Allen, removed to Tazewell county, 80 cts. ; total loss, 
86 03. 

The first assessment of taxable property is mentioned in the 
chapter on Civil History. The readers perceive that the pioneers 
of their county were by no means in poor circumstances, a large 
number of the then residents had good farms. About 35,000 
acres of land had become taxable by having been entered at least 
five years previously. The lands were owned by about one 
hundred and sixty resident and fifty non-resident citizens, and 
were valued at over 8150,000. Horses — not numbered — were 
assessed at 817,420, and cattle at 811,600, other property in pro- 
poition, the totals approximating a quarter of a million of 
dollars. 

A few capitalists wore met in the county at that time, we men- 
tion W. Morris with 8800, Thomas Ward with 8400, John Hob- 
blett with 8200, Sam Bevan with 8100 at interest. 

James Glenn was credited with a forty dollar watch — must 
have been a gold one. A number of taxpayers were sporting 
carriages, for instance, S. M. Richardson, the merchant ; Dr. 
Wheeler, Daniel Dragstrem, Sam Hammet. R. T. Doolittle, Joel 
Jackson, Thomas Ward, Jos. Cantrall, F G. Paine, the probate 
judge, and E. W. Fears, the sheriff', whos-e carriage, not a 
very expensive one, was assessed at 823.00. 

The folloning r-sidents paid taxes on 81000.00 and over, viz.: 
Andrew Brock, John Richards, John Miller, William Dyre, 
Adam Stephens, Sam Hoblett, Benjamin Shipley, John Hoblett, 
M. S. Hoblett, Charles Counsil, Stephen Folty, Sampson Rees, 
John Barr, M. L. Knapp, Zebulon Cantrall, David Ellington, 
Samuel Hammet, Allen Turner,Sarauel Glenn, Thomas M. Glenn, 
Abraham Onstott, J. S. Strange, John Robb, Thomas Cuppy, 
Russell Post; George Isham, S. M. Richardson, R. T. Doolittle, 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



51 



John Slatten, D. H. Lawrence, T. T. Sampson, J. T. Atchison, 
Z. B. Cautrall, Prettyraan Marvel, Joshua Cantrall, Thomas 
Ward, Abraham Swf-aringen, Fred Troxell, Jr., Juhn Young 
Samuel Spencer, Peter Crum, Mahlon Hall, John Humphrey and 
others. 

r.ESIGN'ATIOX liF PIOSEER (OrNTY (irKIl FAI.S. 

Several of the pioneer officers nf the county mu.«t have luokwl 
upon their respective offices with disgust, as a great number of 
resignations w. re tendtred. 

The treasurer's office was not coveted at all. 

J. C. McPherson, the first treasurer of the county, resigned 
before the expiration of a year. He certainly could not have 
been afraid of the great responsibilities of his office, for he never 
had as much as §2-5.00 in the county's cash box. Peter D. Spain 
elect d treasurer in August, 1840, threw up his commission on 
the 8th day of Juue, 1841. Charles Maltby beat this record by 
one day, as bis resigna'i n was filed on the 7th of June, 1842. 
E. W. Fears held out three months longer as collector, resigning 
on the 5th of Sepember of that year. William Mitchell did nut 
serve that long by two week", as he resigned on the 23d of 
August. He too had been treasurer. F- G. Paine, probate 
justice, served five years and two mouths. He chose Independ- 
ence dav, July 4, 1844, for the date of his resignation. 

Patriotic resig ation of Richard Murphy: — 

State of Illinois, ) 
DeWitt County, j 

Mr. J. J. McGraw, Clerk of the County Court: — 

Be it known to thee that I, Richard Murphy, constable of 
DeWitt county, do hereby resign my office for to depart for 
Mexico, therefore I pray thy honor to receive my resignation 
this June 11. 1845. Richard Murphy. 

PERSO>i AL MENTION. 
Judge John J. McGraw. 

There is no man in the county more intimately connected 
with its entire history than the honorable judge, this fugleman of 
the Old Guard. None has ever carried the three score and ten 
with better grace and more vigor than he, the very picture of 
healthful beauty in age. His forty years in the harness of official 
life scarcely tell on him. His broad shoulders are still unbent, 
his stalwart arms would crush a foe as surely now as half a cen- 
tury ago, and writing these lines, methinks I could see that 
bright old face, beaming with intellect and benevolence, before 
me. He was the friend of Lincoln in our days, he remembers 
the festivities of the fiftieth anniversary of the Republic, the day 
on which the sage of Monticello closed his weary eyes, he remem- 
bers the visit of Gen. Lafayette, and further back, in his school- 
boy days, in his South Carolina home, heard the proud Albion 
had triumphed over the great Napoleon and that the famous 
" Old Guard " had died, man after man, on the fields of Waterloo. 

Born in South Carolina of Irish parents in the year 1806, 
he came to Illinois in 1830, and as stated heretofore, was a resi- 
dent of what is now De Witt County, before the winter of the 
" deep snow." At the time of the organization of the County, he 
was elected County clerk and remained in that office until 1857. 
On the 16th of May, 1839, he was appointed superintendent of 
schools, was subsequently elected and repeatedly re-elected to said 
office until 1855, when Lawrence Weldou succeeded him, served 
the people of the County as master in chancery from 1839 until 
1865, assisted the circuit clerk in the first years of the County's 
existence, held the office of County treasurer by app intment 



during a vacancy caused by the resignation of Jesse C. McPher- 
son, was an acting and active justice of the peace during that 
period of time, was elected Couuty judge in 1877' resigned that 
office April 12, 1881, and Ciucinnitus like, took charge of the 
modest office of justice of the peace. Such is McGraw! The 
records of the county will forever show the careful and accurate 
work, written out in the bold John Hancock style, of this her 
faithful servant. 

The readers will observe that there is no gap in the early his- 
tory of the Couuty, and this fact i.-^ due to the judge's diligence 
and conscientiousness. 

A good portion of the ink, with which the maunscript of these 
sketches is written, was dipped from the very inkstand carried 
hither by the judge in his saddle bags in 1830. 

THE karnetts 

We have above stated that the original settlers of De Witt 
hailed from Kentucky and other southern states, and it should 
be said to their credit, that none of them made an effort to bring 
slaves into the state, which, under the then existing laws of Illin- 
ois, could have been done very easily. But, more than that, 
these very men selected Illinois for their future home to escape 
from the curses of the institution of slavery. William Lowry, of 
whom we shall speak below, stood not alone as an advocate of free- 
dom, but had the support of the Barnett's, McGraw, Hall, Kenney, 
Wallis, Bowles and others, and it is proper that a few words be 
said of them. The Barnett family are of Scotch-Irish stock, and 
made Virginia their home in the beginning of the eighteenth cen- 
tury. Alexander Barnett, the grandfather of Alexander L. Bar- 
nett, the present surveyor of De Witt County, was born in Vir- 
ginia about the year 1754, and served during the revolutionary 
war as regimental surgeon in the Virginia continentals. Some 
of his books and writings are still in the possession of his grand- 
son as highly treasured relics. Being a cotemporary of Thomas 
Jefferson and a glowing admirer of the liberal and broad views of 
the writer of the declaration of independence, he firmly resolved 
that his descendants should dwell on a soil not tainted with 
slavery. He did not get to see this land of freedom, but 
in his will he arranged that his sons and their families should 
carry out his wishes. In those days a father's will was gospel to 
his children. 

Two of the three sons of Alexander, Robert and William, died 
without issue, a daughter, Eliza, was married to J. G. Brown, 
and John, the surviving sou, and the sire, of the Barnetts in De 
Witt, was intrusted with the execution of the old Dr's plans. 
The family had removed to Kentucky after the close of the rev- 
olutionary war, and settled in Bourbon county, where two large 
farms, one of 390 and one of 320 acres, were purchased. The 
former was the homestead of the old man Alexander, and the 
latter that of hi-i son John. It was arranged in the will of Alex- 
ander, that these 320 acres should be sold, and the money thus 
realized be invested in real estate in free soil for the benefit of 
John's and his sister's desoendents, and the 390 acres were willed 
to John in fee simple. John, who had served in the army of the 
U.S. in the war against England, in 1812 and 1813, made two ex- 
ploring trips through Indiana and Illinois, in 1829 and 1830, and 
decided to locate in the latter. His son Franklin had accompanied 
him on his second expedition, and remained in Illinois — the first 
Barnett to settle in the present limits of De Witt county. He 
bought 160 acres of land in section 33, T. 20, R. 1, east. He was 
a member of the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th, board of county 
commissioners from 1841 to 1847. He removed to Kansas in 



52 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



1874 or 1875. One of his sons, Gideon, is still a resident of this 
county in Tunbridge. 

Roliert F., the oldest sou of John Barnett, arrived in 1832, 
and settled on lands previously entered by his father in Section 
34, T. 20, R. 1, and Sec. 2, T. 19, R. 1, east. Robert represent- 
ed his county in the House of Representatives in the r2th Gener- 
al Assembly, 1840 to 1842, in the Senate of the 13th General As- 
sembly, 1842 to 1844, and again in the House the 17th General 
Assembly, 1850 to 1852. For years, terra after term, our read- 
ers will find him presiding at the numerous ses-ions of grand 
juries. The time and manner of his death is mentioned else- 
where. Five sons are still surviving him. Nathan M. as super- 
visor of Barnett township, wore out a manJaimis of a United 
States Court, as he expressed it How it was done will be told 
in the township history. His brother Lyman, formerly Sheriff 
of De Witt, is at present wearing out another mandamus, but does 
it in a less unpleasant way. Alexander L. Barnett, the 3d son 
John, born Oct. 15, 1810, came to De Witt in 1831, and made 
the township of Clmtonia his home in 1834. 

He was elected county surveyor in 1839, against George D. 
Smallwood, after quite a hot contest, and was re-elected, terra 
after term until 1859, when he retired voluntarily on account of 
failing sight. His friends gave him a re^t of twenty years, when 
in 1879 they re-elected him to the .■•arae office. Mr. Barnett was 
at that time on a deer hunt in Mi .souri, little dreaming that theo- 
dolite and Jacob's stail' were again awaiting him on his return. 
He told the writer but a day ago, that, dispite the three score 
and ten with an odd one added, he intended to serve the people 
to the end of his term — providence willing. 

It should also be stated that John Barnett, the father of Rob- 
ert, Franklin and Alexander, spent the eyeing of his life in De 
Witt county, to which he had removed from Kentucky years 
after his sons had come there. 

William Lowry, whose name appears in the roster of the coun- 
ty officers, merits more than a passing notice. He was a mem- 
ber of the state legislature in 1822, representing the county of 
Clark. This legislature had succeeded by foul means, to call a 
convention, with the avowed purpose of introducing or more prop- 
erly legalizing the system of slavery in this state. Lowry voted 
in opposition to this measure and became a member of those fa- 
mous " Fifteen," w ho prepared an address to the people of Illinois, 
in which they boldly denounced slavery. Speaking of it, they 
say : What a strange spectacle would be presented to the civi- 
lized world, to see the people of Illinois, yet innocent of this 
great national sin, and in the full enjoyment of all the blessings 
of free government, setting down in solemn convention to delib- 
erate and determine whether they should introduce among them 
a portion of their fellow beings, to be cut off from those blessings, 
to be loaded with the chains of bondage, and rendered unable to 
leave any other legacy to their prosperity than the inheritance of 
their own servitude 1 The wise and the good of all nations would 
blush at our political depravity. Our professions of republican- 
ism and equal freedora would incur the derision of despots and 
the scorn and reproach of tyrants. We should write the epitaph 
of free government upon its tombstone." The address closes 
with the following pathetic and eloquent appeal : "In the name 
of unborn millions who will rise up after us, and call us blessed 
or accursed, according to our deeds — in ihe name of the injured 
sons of Africa, whose claims to equal rights with their fellow 
men will plead their own cause against their usurpers before 
the tribunal of eternal justice, we conjure you fellow citizens, to 
ponder upon these things." 



There were fifteen members of the legislature who signed this 
appeal to the people of Illinois, to wit: Risdon Moore and 
Jacob Ogle, of St. Clair, William Kinkade, from Wayne, George 
Cadwell, of Morgan, Andrew Bankson, of Washington, Curtis 
Blakeman and George Churchhill, of Madison, Abraham 
Cairnes of Lawrence, William Lowry, James Sims, of Sangr- 
mon, Daniel Parker, of Crawford, G. T. Pell, of Edwards, 
David McGahey, of Crawford, Stephen Stillraan, of Sangamop, 
and Thomas Mather, of Randolph. 

The strenuous eftbrts, the undaunted spirits and the energetic 
labors of these men and their friends have saved the State frora 
slavery. The stupendous consequences which would necessarily 
have resulted from the success of the pro-slavery party, could of 
course not be realized in 1822 ; we, who have lived throughout 
the civil war of 1861 to 1865, may now contemplate them with 
a silent shudder. 

De Witt county may well be prjud of her pioneer AVilliam 
Lowry, who ra.ide the county his home some time after the year 
1830. Lowry wasanative of Kentucky, had b3en associatejudgeof 
Greenup county, and came to Clark county at an early day. 
After the organization of Edgar county, formerly a part of 
Clark county. 111 , Lowry served for a time as circuit clerk, and 
became the first recorder of the new county of De Witt, on the 
16th of May, 1839. 

James Ki;xney, a Kentuckiau, of Scotch Irish descent, a 
friend of John Barnett, located in town 19 R. 1, about the year 
1834. The town, laid out by his sons, was named after him. 

Andrew Wallis, (Wallace,) another pioneer of this class, 
arrived in 1831, and settled in Tunbridge township. Walli^, 
like John Barnett, had served in the war of 1812 and 1813. 
He lived to a high old age, being over eighty years of age when he 
was called to the grand reveille on the other side of Jordan. 

Hugh Bowles, a native of Bourbon county, Ky., came to 
Sangamon county, 111., in 1830, and removed in the spring of 
1831 to what is now called Tunbridge township, De Witt county. 
He served as county commissioner of Macon county prior to the 
organization of De Witt. 

PRExrYMAN Marvel, the first settler of Waynesville, came 
from Georgia in 1825. He died in 1842, leaving a numeorous 
family, most of whom are still living in the county. His widow 
married again in 1S47, and is now loved and honored by all, the 
oldest resident of the county. John Barr, her brother, came 
with the Marvel family to Illinois, and is now a resident of 
Logan county. 

The Glenns, who followed in the next year, were from South 
Carolina. The sire of the family, John Glenn, was an old man 
when he arrived ; he remained only a few years. Thomas M. 
Glenn, a son, had come with his father, and remained in the 
county for nearly thirty years. Later, about the year 1856, he 
emigrated to Iowa. S. P. Glenn, another son, came in 1827- S. 
P. was a man of family at the time; he was probably the first 
bona fide land owner in De Witt county. S. P. Glenn, now the 
patriarch of the county, represented it in the State's legislature 
frora 1846 to 1848, and the first county assessment charges hira 
with the ownership of a watch valued at forty dollars ; his 
watch must have been the first gold watch brought into the 
county. 

John Donner was one of the actual froutierraen who never 
come to stay until death overtakes thera. Donner had raade the 
township of Santa Anna his home as early as 1830, a few years 
later he folded his tent and continued his course westward. He 
is said to have perished on his way to California in 1846. 



HISIORY OF LE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



53 



Another frontierman named Bridges had come with Doiiuer, left 
even before Donner did. 

Peter Gideon was the first outspokui abolitionist of the 
county. 

Nathan Clearwater, still surviving, will be mentioned 
elsewhere. 

The Harps. — One of the finest townships of the county is 
named after them. Tyre and Joseph Harp were originally from 
Tennessee, and had first lived in or near Waynesville. The 
brothers were ardent friends of public education, and made great 
personal sacrifices in order to raise funds out of which to pay 
competent teachers. 

Edom Shugart, one of the first five white people in the coun- 
ty, taught school in Harp's dwelling as early as 1836. Edom 
is still livii'g, he resides now in Nebraska. 

The Harps had been preceded by Solomon Cross, Jesse Mulkey 
and Isaac Davidson. 

G. B. Lemen arrived in 18.36, and is still an honored citizen 
of his county, which he repre.sented in the constitutional con- 
vention of 1847. Mr. Lemen was also associate county justice 
from 1854 to 1857. 

Thomas Davenport, a Kentuckian, had removed with his 
father to Illinois as early as 1820, and made De Witt his home 
prior to the " deep snow." His f jot-race with Judge McGraw 
some fifty odd years ago is mentioned in the township sketches. 

The writer saw both contestants of the foot-race of 1830 a few 
days ago, and would be ton McGraw, giving odds at that. 

The Cliftons and Liseuby's arrived iu the county in 1830, 
the former were Kentuckians, the latter Carolinians. 

Reuben Lisenby, father of Abraham, the first settler in Creek 
township, had been a soldier in the revolutionary army, and had 
lost his life in the service. Abraham Lisenby died within a 
year of his arrival in De Witt, when Benjamin Lisenby became 
the head of the family. 

John Miller, from Kentucky, was the second settler or pio- 
neer of the township. 

The ScoTTS, came with their kinsman, S. P. Glenn, in 1827. 
They were Carolinians, and held in high esteem by their pioneer 
brethren. James K.Scott represented the county of De Witt in 
the state legislature for two consecutive terms, 1842 to 1846. 

Abraha.ii Onstott, from Kentucky, arrived in 182y, and has 
lived now almost fifty-three years in the county. 

The Robbs came from Tennessee in 1830, and the Cantralls 
from Virginia in 1835. 

The American pioneer, as a rule, brings up a large family. 
Malthus' Essay on Population, and the evils occasioned by a 
rapid increase of population, has not found its way to the fron- 
tier. Contemplating this numerous progeny — families of from 
eight to twelve children seem to have been the rule — one may 
suppose that Oliver Goldsmith's Vicar of Wakefield, or at least 
the first sentence of the first chapter was put into practical use. 
The worthy vicar opens his memoirs with a philosophical re- 
mark, " I have always been of the opinion," says he, " that he, 
who marries and brings up a large family, does better service to 
the state than he who continues single and only talks of popu- 
lation." Little did the Vicar at the time dream of the troubles 
and sorrows to be caused to him by a wayward daughter, not to 
speak of his son Moses, who sold a valuable colt for a number 
of worthless green spectacles. 

The reader is referred to the historical sketches of the vat ions 
townships, and the biographical department of this work for 



further informatiou as to our pioneers and early settlers, their 
hardships and trials, their frugality and hospitality. 

The few who remain may look with just pride upon the 
present prosperity of the county. Their labors have not been 
in vain. The little " patch " of corn has grown into immense 
fields of plenty, beautiful and comfortable habitations occupy 
now the sites of the windowless log-hut, stately school-houses are 
scattered all over the county, and Edom Shugart, the pioneer 
teacher of the county, rejoices to hear, in his Nebraska home, of 
the prosperity of the public schools in De Witt. The ox-cart of 
the early times is not seen any more. The substantial wagon, 
the giy carriage have been substituted, not to speak of the rail- 
roads traversing the couuty in all directions. 



CHAPTER Vlir. 



CUSTOMS OF EARLY DAYS. 



HABITS AND MODES OF LIVING OF THE PIONEERS AND FIRST 
SETTLERS. 







T is a trite but true proverb that "Times change, 
and we change with them;" and it is well il- 
lustrated by the changes in dress, condition 
and life that have taken place in this county 
in less than half a century. AVe doubt not 
that these changes, as a whole, are for the 
better. 
. To the old man, indeed, whose life-work is 

■^p accomplished, and whose thoughts dwell mainly 

on the past, where his treasures are, there are 
no davs like the old days, and no song awakens so responsive an 
echo in his heart as " xVuld Lang Syne." 

The very skies that arch above his gray head seem less blue to 
his dimmed eye than they did when, in the adoration of his young 
heart, he directed to them his gaze ; the woods appear less green 
and inviting than when in the gayety of boyhood he courted 
their cool depths ; and the songs of their feathered inhabitants 
fall less melodiously upon his ear. He marks the changes that 
are everywhere visible, and feels like crying out, iu the language 
of the poet : 

" Backward turn, backward, oli, Time in thy flight !" 

It is natural for the aged to sigh for a return of the past, nor 
would we attempt the hopeless task of convincing them that with 
the changes of the years there have come also an increase in 
happiness, an improvement in social life, progress in education, 
an advancement in morality, and a tendency upward in all that 
relates to the welfare of mankind. 

We may learn u.seful lessons, however, from a study of that 
land over which the pardonable and fond imagination of the 
old settler has thrown the " light that never was on sea or land," 
if, withdrawing ourselves from the dizzy activities of the present 
days, we let the old settler take us by the hand and lead us back 
into the regions of his youth, that we may observe the life of 
those who founded a grand empire in a great wilderness. Let 



54 



HISTORY OF BE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



us leave the prow of the rusliirig s^hip, from which may be dis- 
cerned a mighty future rich in promises ami bright with hope, 
and take our place upon the stern, and gaze backward into the 
beautiful land of the past. 

Xo doubt we shall he led to regret the absence among us of 
some of the virtues of dwellers in those early days. Gone is that 
free-hearted hospitality which made of every settler's cabin an 
inn where the belated and weary traveler found entertainment 
without money and without price. Gone is that community of 
sentiment which made neighbors indeed neighbors ; that era of 
kindly feeling which was marked by the almost entire absence 
of litigation. 

Gone, too, some say, is that simple, strong, upright, honest 
integrity which was so marked a characteristic of the pioneer. 

So rapid has been the improvement in machinery, and the 
progress in the arts and their application to the needj of man, 
that a study of the manner in which people lived and worked 
only fifty years ago seems like the study of a remote age. 

It is importaut to remember tliat while a majority of settlers 
were poor, that poverty carried with it no crushing sense of de- 
gradation like that felt by the very poor of our age. They lived 
in a cabin, it is true, but it was their own, aad had been reared 
by their hands. Their house, too, while inconvenient and far 
from water-proof, was built in the prevailing style of architec- 
ture, and would compare favorably with the homes of their 
neighbors. 

They were destitute of many of the conveniences of life, and 
of some things that are now considered necessaries; but they 
patiently endured their lot and hopefully looked forward to 
better. They had plenty to wear as protection against the 
weather, and an abundance of wholesome food. They sat down 
to a rude table to eat from tin or pewter dishes ; but the meat 
thereon spread — the flesh of the deer or bear ; of the wild-duck or 
turkey ; of the quail or squirrel was superior to that we eat, and 
had been won by the skill of the head of the house or that of his 
vigorous sons. The brf ad they ate was made from corn or wheat 
of their own raising. They walked the green carpet of the grand 
l)rairie or forest that surrounded them, not with the air of a 
beggar, but with the elastic step of a self-respected freeman." 

The settler brought with him the keen axe, which was indis- 
pensable, and the equally necessary ritle ; the first his weapon 
of offence against the forests that skirted the water-courses, and 
near which he made his home ; the second that of defence from 
the attacks of his foe, the cunning child of the forest and prairie. 
His first labor was to fell trees and erect his unpretentious cabin, 
which was rudely made of log-, and in the raising of which he 
had the cheerful aid of his neighbors. It was usually from four- 
teen to sixteen feet square, and never larger than twenty feet, 
and was frequently built entirely without glass, nails, hinges 
or locks. 

The manner of building was as follows : First large logs were 
laid in pcjsitiou as sills ; on these were placed strong sleepers, 
and on the sleepers were laid the rough-hewed puncheons, which 
were to serve as floors. The logs were then built up till the 
proper height for the eaves was reached ; then on the ends of 

'■ Tlie whole country, nnw dotted with smiling farms and happy villages, ' 
traversed by railroads and telegraph-wires, was a wilderness, consisting 
chietiy ol' prairie, which stretched away in billowy vastness, like a congealed 
ocean. Along the water-courses was a fringe of timber, and occasionally 
was to be seen a grove. The immigrants came ; some in carta, the children 
packed like sardines in a bo.x ; some in wagons, and some on horse-back I 
with pack horbes. 



the building were placed poles, longer than the other end-logs, 
which projected some eighteen or more inches over the sides, 
and were called " butting-pole sleepers; " on the projecting ends 
of these was placed the " butting-pole" which served to give the 
line to the first row of clap-boards. These were, as a matter of 
course, split, and as the gables of the cabin were built up, were 
so laid on as to lap a third of their length. They were often 
kept in place by the weight of a heavy pole, which was laid 
across the roof parallel to the ridge-pole. The house was then 
chinked, and daubed with a coarse mortar. 

A huge fire-place was built in at one end of the house, in 
which fire was kindled for cooking purposes, for the settlers 
generally were without stoves, and which served the needed 
warmth in winter. The ceiling above was sometimes covered 
with the pelts of the racoon, opossum, and of the wolf, to add 
to the warmth of the dwelling Sometimes the soft inner bark 
of the baxs wood was used for the same purpose. The cabin was 
lighted by means of greased-paper windows. A log would be 
left out along one side, and sheets of strong paper, well greased 
with coon-grease or bear-oil, would be carefully tacked in. 

The above description only applies to the very earliest times, 
before the rattle of the saw-mill was heard within our borders. 

The furniture comported admirably with the house itself, and 
hence, if not elegant, was in most perfect taste. The tables had 
four legs, and were rudely m de from a puncheon. Their seats 
were stools having three or four legs. The bedstead was in 
keeping with the rest, and was often so contrived as to permit it 
to be drawn up and fastened to the wall during the day, thus 
affording more room to the family. The entire furniture was 
sitnple, and was fratued with no other tools than an axe anrl 
augur. Each was his own carpenter; and some displayed con- 
siderable ingenuity in the construction of implements of agricul- 
ture, and utensils, and furniture for the kitchen and house. 
Knives and forks they sometimes had, and sometimes had not. 
The common table-knife was the pack-knife or butcher-knife. * 
Horse-collars were sometimes made of the plaited husk of the 
maize, sewed together. They were easy on the neck of the hor.se, 
and if tug-traces were used, would last a long while. Horses 
were not used very much, however, and oxen were almost ex- 
clusively used. In some instances carts and wagons were con- 
structed or repaired by the self-reliant settler ; and the woful 
creakiugs of the untarred axles could be heard at a great dis- 
tance. 

The women corresponded well with the description of the 
vtitiious woman in the last chapter of Proverbs, for they "sought 
wool and flax, and worked willingly with their hands." They 
did not, it is true, make for themselves " coverings of tapestry," 
nor could it be said of them that their " clothing was silk and 
purple ;" but they "rose while it was yet night, and gave meat 
to their household," and they "girded their loins with strength 
and strengthened their arms." They " looked well to the ways 
of their household, and ate not the bread of idleness." They 
laid " their hands to the spindle and to the distafl^," and "strength 
and honor were in their clothing." 

In these days of furbelows and flounces, when from twenty to 
thirty yards are required by one fair damsel for a dress, it is re- 
freshing to know that the ladies of that ancient time considered 
eight yards an extravagant amount to put into one dress. The 
dress was usually made plain, with four widths in the skirt, and 

* Wooden vessels, either dug out or coppered, and called " noggens," were 
in common use for bowls, out of which each member of the family ate mush 
and milk for supper. A gourd formed the drinking cup. 



HISTORY OF BE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



56 



two front ones, cut gored- The. waist was made very short, and 
across the shoulders behind was a draw-string. The sleeves were 
enormously large, and tapered from shoulder to wrist, and the 
most fashionable — for fashion, like love, rules alike the "court 
and grove " — were padded so a? to resemble a bolster at the 
upper part, and were known as " mutton-legs," or " sheep-shank 
sleeves." The sleeve was kept in shape often by a heavily 
starched lining. Those who could afford it used feathers, which 
gave the sleeve the appearance of an inflated balloon from elbow 
up, and were known as "pillow-sleeves." 

Many bows and ribbons were worn, but scarcely any jewelry. 
The tow dress was superseded by the cotton gown. Around the 
neck, instead of a lace collar or elegant ribbon, there was dis- 
posed a copperas-colored neckerchief. 

In going to church or other public gathering in summer 
weather, they sometimes walked barefooted till near their desti- 
nation, when they would put on their shoes or moccasins. They 
were contented and even happy without any of the elegant arti- 
cles of apparel now used by the ladies and considered necessary 
articles of dress. Ruffles, fine lace^, silk hats, kid gloves, false 
curls, rings, combs and jewels, were nearly unknown, nor did the 
lack of them vex their souls. Many of them were grown before 
they ever saw the interior of a well-supplied dry-g-oods store. 
They were reared in simplicity, lived in simplicity, and were 
happy in simplicity. 

It may be interesting to speak more specifically regarding 
cookery and diet. Wild meat was plentiful. The settlers gener- 
ally brought some food with them to last till a crop could be 
raised. Small patches of Indian corn were raised, which, iu the 
earliest days of the settlements, was beaten in a mortar. The 
meal was made into a coarse but wholesome bread, on which the 
teeth could not be very tightly shut on account of the grit it 
contaiued. Johnny-cake and pones were served up at dinner, 
while mush and milk was the favorite dish for supper. In the 
fire-place hung the crane, and the dutch-oven was used in baking. 
The streams abounded in fish, which formed a healthful article 
of food. Many kinds of greens, such as dock and polk, were 
eaten. The " truck-patch " furnished roasting-ears, pumpkins, 
beans, squashes and potatoes, and these were used by all. Fur 
reaping-bees, log-rollings and house-raisings, the standard dish 
was pot-pie. Coffee and tea were used sparingly, as they were 
very dear, and the hardy pioneer thought them a drink fit only 
for women and children. They said it would not " stick to the 
ribs." Maple-sugar was much used, and honey was only five 
cents a pound. Butter was the same price, while eggs were three 
cents a dozen. The utmost good feeling prevailed. If one killed 
hogs all shared. Chickens were to be seen in great numbers around 
every doorway ; and the gabble of the turkey and quack of the 
duck were heard in the laud. Nature contributed of her fruits 
Wild grapes and plumbs were to be found in their season, along 
the streams. 

The women manufactured nearly all the clothing worn by the 
family. In cool weather gowns made of " linsey-woolsey " were 
worn by the ladies. The chain was of cotton and the filling 
of wool. The fabric was usually plaid or striped, and the 
differing colors were blended according to the taste and fancy 
of the fair maker. Colors were blue, copperas, turkey-red, light- 
blue, etc. Every house contained a card-loom and spinning- 
wheels, which were considered by the women as necessary for 
them as the rifle for the men. Several different kinds of cloth 
were made. Cloth was woven from cotton. The rolls were 
bought and spun, on little and big wheels, into two kinds of 



thread ; one the " chain," and the other the " filling." The more 
experienced only spun the chain ; the younger the filling. Two 
kinds of looms were in use The most primitive in construction 
was called the "side-loom." The frame of it consisted of two 
pieces of scantling running obliquely from the floor to the wall. 
Later, the frame loom, which was a great improvement over the 
other, came into use. 

The men and boys wore "jeans" and linsey-woolsey hunting 
shirts. The "jeans" were colored either light-blue or butternut. 

Jlany times when the men gathered to a log-rolling or barn- 
raising, the women would a.ssemble, bringing their spinning- 
wheels with them. In this way sometimes as many as ten or 
twelve would gather iu one room, and the pleasant voices of the 
fair spinners were mingled with the low hum of the spinning- 
wheels. " Oh ! golden early days ! " 

Such articles of apparel as could not be mauufactured were 
brought to them from the nearest store by the mail-carrier. 
These were few, however. The men and boys, in many instances, 
wore pantaloons made of the dressed skin of the deer, which then 
swarmed the prairies iu large herds. The young man who de- 
sired to look captivating to the eye of the maiden whom he 
loved, had his " bucks" fringed, which lent them a not unpleasing 
efl'ect. INIeal-sacks were also made of buck-skin. Caps were 
made of the skins of the wolf, fox, wild-cat, and musk-rat, tanned 
with the fur on. The tail of the fox or wolf often hung from the 
top of the cap, lending the wearer a jaunty air- Both sexes 
wore moccasins, which in dry weather were an excellent substi- 
tute for shoes. There were no shoemakers, and each family 
made its own shoes. 

The settlers were separated from their neighbors often by miles.- 
There were no church-houses or regular services of any kind to 
call them together; hence, no doubt, the cheerfulness with which 
they accepted invitations to a house-raising, or a log-rolling, or a 
corn-husking, or a bee of any kind. To attend these gatherings, 
they would go ten and sometimes more miles. 

Generally with the invitation to the men went one to the 
women, to come to a quilting. The good woman of the house 
where the festivities were to take place would be busily engaged 
for a dav or more in preparation for the coming guests. Great 
quantities of provisions were to be prepared, for dyspepsia was 
unknown to the pioneer, and good appetites were the rule and 
not the exception. 

" The bread used at these frolics was baked generally on Jonny 
or Journey-cake boards, and is the best corn-bread ever made. 
A board is made smooih, about two feet long, and eight inches 
wide — the ends are generally rounded. The dough is spread out 
on this board, and placed leaning before the fire. One side is 
baked, and then the dough is changed on the board, so the other 
side is presented, in its turn, to the fire. This is Jon;iv-cake, and 
is o-ood, if the proper materials are put in the dough, and it is 
properly baked.'' — Eeynolda History. 

At all the log-rollings and house-raisings it was customary to 
provide liquor. Excesses were not indulged in, however. The 
fiddler was never forgotten. After the day's work had been ac- 
complished, out doors and in, by men and women, the floor was 
cleared and the merry dance began. The handsome, stalwart 
young men, whose fine forms were the result of their manly out- 
door life, clad in fringed buckskin breeches and gaudily colored 
hunting-shirts, led forth the bright-eyed, buxom damsels, attired 
in neatly-fitting linsey-woolsey garments to the dance, their 
cheeks glowing with health and eyes speaking of enjoyment, and 
perhaps of a tenderer emotion. 



60 



HISTORY OF BE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



The following description of a "Shucking" of the olden time 
is talien from Reynolds Pioneer History of Illinois: 

" In pure pioneer times the crops of corn were never husked 
on the stalk, as is done at this day ; but were hauled home in 
the husk and thrown iu a heap, generally by the side of the crib, 
so that the ears, when husked, could be thrown direct into the 
crib. The whole neighborhood, male and female, were iuvited 
to the shucking, as it was called. The girls, and many of the 
married ladies, generally engaged in this amusing work. 

" In the first place two leading, expert huskers were chosen as 
captains, and the heap of corn divided as nearly equal as possi- 
ble. Rails were laid across the pile so as to designate the divi- 
sion ; and then each captain chose, alternately, his eoi~ps of 
huskers, male and female. The whole number of working hands 
present were selected, on one side or the other, and then each 
party commenced a contest to beat the other, which was in many 
cases truly exciting. One other rule was, that whenever a male 
husked a red ear of corn, he was entitled to a kiss from the girls. 
This frequently excited much fuss and scuffling, which was 
intended by both parties to end in a kiss. It was a universal 
practice that iaffia, or Monongahela whisky, was used at these 
husking frolics, which they drank out of a bottle, each one, male 
and female, taking the bottle and drinking out of it, and then 
handing it to his next neighbor, without using any glass or cup 
whatever. This custom was common and not considered rude. 
Almost always these corn-shucks ended iu a dance. To prepare 
for this amusement fiddles and fiddlers were in great demand ; 
and it often required much fast riding to obtain them. One 
violin and performer were all that was contemplated at these 
innocent rural games. 

" Towards dark, and ihe stipper half-over, then it was that a 
bustle and confusion commenced. The confusion of the tongues 
at Babel would have been ashamed at the corn-shuckings. The 
young ones hurrying off the table, and the old ones contending 
for time and order. It was the case, nine times out of ten, 
that but one dwelling-house was on the premises, and that used 
for eating as well as dancing. 

'■ But when the fiddler commenced tuning his instrument the 
music always gained the victory for the young side. Then the 
dishes, victuals, table and all, disappeared in a few minutes, and 
the room was cleared, the dogs drove out, and the floor swept off 
ready for action. The floors of these houses were sometimes the 
natural earth, beat solid, sometimes the earth, with puncheons in 
the middle, over the potato-hole, and at times the whole floor was 
made of puncheons. 

" The music at these country dances made the young folks al- 
most frantic, and sometimes much excitement was displayed to 
get on the floor first. Generally the fiddler on these occasions 
assumed an important bearing, and ordered, in true professional 
style, so and so to be done ; as that was the way in North Caro- 
lina, where he was raised. The decision ended the contest for 
the floor. In those days they danced jigs and four-handed reels, 
as they were called. Sometimes three-handed reels were also i 
danced. 

" In these dances there was no standing still ; all were moving 
at a rapid pace from beginning to end. In the jigs the by- 
standers cut one another out, as it was called, so that this dance 
would last for hours. Sometimes the parties in a jig tried to 
tire one another down in the dance, and then it would also last a 
long time before one or the other gave up. 

" The cotillion or stand-still dances were not then known. 

" The bottle went round at these parties as it did at the shuck- 



ings, and male and female took a dram out of it as it passed 
around. No sitting was indulged in, and the folks either stood 
or danced all night, as generally daylight ended the frolic. The 
dress of these hardy pioneers was generally plain homespun. 
The hunting-shirt was much worn at that time, which is a con- 
venient working or dancing dress. Sometimes dressed deer-skin 
pantaloons were used on these occasions, and mawkawsins — 
rarely shoes - and at times bare feet were indulged iu. 

" In the morning all go home on horse-back or on foot. No 
carriages, wagons, or other vehicles were used on these occasions, 
for the best of reasons — because they had none." 

Danciug was the favorite amusement, and was participated in 
by all. 

"Alike .ill ages; dames of ancient days; 
Have led tbeir cliildren through the mirthful maze. 
And the gray grandsire, skilled in jeslic lore, 
Has frisked beneath the burden of three-score." 

The amusements of that day were more athletic and rude than 
those of to-day. Among the settlers in a new country, from the 
nature of the case, a higher value is set upon physical than 
mental endowments- Skill in wood-craft, superiority of muscular 
development, accuracy in shooting with the rifle, activity, swift- 
ness of foot, were qualifications that brought their possessors fame. 
Foot racing was often practised, and often the boys and young 
men engaged in friendly contests with the Indians Every man 
had a rifle, and kept it always in good order; his flints, bullet- 
molds, screw-driver, awl, butcher-knife and tomahawk were 
"fastened to the shot-pouch strap, or to the belt around the waist. 
Target shooting was much practised, and shots were made by the 
hunters and settlers, with flint-lock rifles, which cannot be ex- 
celled by their descendants with the improved breech-loaders of 
the present day. 

At all gatherings, jumping and wrestling were indulged in, 
and those who excelled were thenceforth men of notoriety- Cards, 
dice, and other gambling implements were unknown. Dancing 
was a favorite amusement. It was participated in by all. 

At their shooting-matches, which were usually for the prize of 
a t.urkev, or a gallon of whisky, good feeling generally prevailed 
If disputes arose, they were settled often by a square, stand-up 
fight, and no one thought of using other weapons than fists. They 
held no grudges after their fights, for this was considered unmanly. 
It was the rule that, if the fight was between two persons, the 
victor should pour water for the defeated as he washed away 
the traces of the fray, after which the latter was to perform the 
same service for the former. 

To illustrate the ready ingenuity of the early settlers, devel- 
oped by their poverty, and remoteness from places where neces- 
saries could be purchased, we borrow an anecdote from " Ford's 
History of Illinois," related of James Lemon, a well-known 
pioneer of Monroe county, and an old style Baptist preacher. 
A farmer by occupation, "He manufactured harness as they were 
required. Being one day employed in plowing a piece of stubble 
ground, on turning out for dinner, as was his wont, he left the 
harness on the beam of the plow. His son, not diifering from 
the proverbial minister's boy, perhips, who had assisted him by 
removing the clogging straw from the plow with a pitch-fork, 
remained behind loug enough to conceal one of the collars, that 
he might have a playing-spell while his father was occupied in 
making another. But his plot failed ; on returning after dinner 
and missing the collar, his fiither, reflecting a few minutes, 
promptly divested himself of his leather breeches, stufl'ed the 
legs with stubble, straddled them across the neck of the horse 



HISTORY OF BE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



57 



for a collar, and plowed the remainder of the day bare-legged, 
requiring the assistance of his truantly inclined boy all the 
time." At this day, to provide for such a mishap, half a day 
would have been spent in going to town after another collar. 

Pioneer Mills. — Among the first were the " band mills." A 
description of one will not prove uninteresting. The plan was 
cheap. The horse power consisted of a large upright shaft, some 
ten or twelve feet in height, with some eight or ten long arms let 
into the main shaft and extending out from it fifteen feet. Augur 
holes were bored into the arms on the upper side at the end, into 
which wooden pins were driven. This was called the " big 
wheel," and was, as has been seen, about twenty feet in diameter. 
The raw-hide belt or tug was made of skins taken off of beef 
cattle, which were cut into strips three inches in width ; these 
were twisted into a round cord or tug, which was long enough to 
encircle the circumference of the big wheel. There it was held 
in place by the wojden pins, then to cross and pass under a shed 
to run around a drum, or what is called a " trunnel-head," which 
was attached to the grinding apparatus. The horses or o.xen 
were hitched to the arms by means of raw-hide tugs. Then, 
walking in a circle, the machinery would be set in motion. To 
grind twelve bushels of corn was considered a good day's work. 

The most rude and primitive method of manufacturing meal 
was by the use of the Grater. A plate of tin is pierced with many 
holes, so that one side is very rough. The tin is made oval, and 
then nailed to a board. An ear of corn was rubbed hard on this 
grater whereby the meal was forced through the holes, and fell 
down into a vessel prepared to receive it. An improvement on 
this was the Hand-mill. The stones were smaller than those of 
the " band-mill," and were propelled by man or woman power. 
A hole is made in the upper stone, and a staff of wood is put in 
it, and the other end of the staff is put through a hole in a plank 
above, so that the whole is free to act. One or two persons take 
hold of this staff and turn the upper stone as rapidly as possible. 
An eve is made in the upper stone, through which the corn is put 
into the mill, with the hand in small quantities to suii the mill, 
instead of a hopper. A mortar, wherein corn was beaten into 
meal, was made out of a large round log, three or four feet long. 

The picture here drawn of the pioneers, their modes of living, 
their customs, and amusements, while lacking entire complete- 
ness, we feel is not inaccurate and untruthful. 



CHAPTER IX. 



CIVIL HISTORY. 



ORGANIZATION OF DE WITT COUNTY. 




pie to an extent unknown to other nations, 
nor even understood by them. 

It is said that the Pole imbibes his hatred 
against oppressive Prussia with the milk from 
the breast of his mother. NVhy not say then 
that love of liberty and desire for self-gov- 
ernment have, with the people of this land, 
their origin in so beautiful and poetical a source? The very 



atmosphere of America breathes this love of freedom, and the 
foreigner arriving on its shore seems to inhale it, and a feeling of 
self-reliance with it. 

When the United States had become a hundred years old, the 
glorious day was celebrated by a people of fifty millions, scat- 
tered throughout three thousand five hundred counties. Who 
can foresee in how many more counties the untold millions of 
1976 will salute the second centennial in festive array ? 

Meanwhile the American pioneer, scarcely realizing that the 
prosperity and the greatness of the laud are largely his work, will 
continue his march west and south. Log cabins will spring up, 
and wilderness be converted into laughing fields of plenty. 

The pioneer has scarcely become settled, when his innate desire 
for maintaining law and home government urges him on to organ- 
ize a new county. Counties, even in this State, have entei'cd upon 
their mission as such with less than a hundred families residing 
in their respective limits. 

Sometimes other motives combine with this desire of home-rule 
in the formation of counties, — the spirit of speculation is also 
well developed in this people. 

And thus we reach De Witt county. 

" This would be a beautiful site for a town and future county- 
seat," said A to F. (in 1834), when, on their journey from Deca- 
tur to Bloomington, they beheld, about midway between the two 
cities, the lovely mound on which now stands the public school- 
house of Clinton. "A good suggestion," or, "a capital idea," 
said F. to A. A quarter section of land was soon after entered, 
and the to%vn of Clinton laid out on it by A. and F. in 183.5. 

The question of organizing a new county commenced to be 
agitated in course of time, and culminated in the creation of the 
county of De AVitt, March 1st, 1839. 

Hon. James Allen, of McLean county, had made great exer- 
tions to have the Legislature, of which he was a member, pass 
the necessary act. 

De Witt county takes the 8-lth place in the chronological order 
of the one hundred and two counties of this State. 

An Act fur the formation of De Witt County : — 
Section 1. Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illi- 
nois, represented in the General Assemby, That all that tract of 
country within the following boundaries, to wit. Beginning at the 
north-west corner of section numbered eighteen, in township 
numbered twenty-one north, in range numbered one, west of the 
third principal meridian, and running thence east, on the section 
lines, to the north-east corner of section thirteen, in township 
numbered twenty-one north, in range numbered six east ; thence 
south, on the range line between ranges six and seven, to the 
township line between townships numbered eighteen and nineteen 
north ; thence west, on the last-mentioned township line, to the 
third principal meridian ; thence, north, on said meridian line, 
to the township line between townships numbered twenty and 
twenty-one north ; thence, west, on the last-mentioned township 
line, to the range line between ranges numbered one and two west ; 
and thence, north, on said last-mentioned range line, to the place of 
beginning, shall constitute a new county, to be called the county 
of De Witt. 

Sec. 2. For the purpose of permanently establishing the seat 
of justice of said county, the legal voters thereof shall meet at 
the several places of holding elections for Representatives and 
Senators in said county hereby created, on the first Monday in 
May next, and proceed to vote for the following points, to wit : 
the towns of Clinton and Marion, of said county ; and the place 



53 



IIISTOR Y 01 BE WITT CO UXTY, ILLINOIS. 



receiving the largest number of votes givea shall be the estab- 
lished seat of justice of said county- 

Sec 3. The legal voters of said county shall, at the same time 
and places above specified, elect one Sheriff, one Coroner, one 
Recorder, one Cjunty Surveyor, one Probate Justice, one Clerk 
of the County Commissioners' Court, and three County Commis- 
sioners, who shall hold their offices until the next succeeding 
general election, and until their successors are elected and quali- 
fied ; which said election shall be conducted in all respects agree- 
able to the provisions of the law regulating elections. 

Sec. 4. It shall be the duty of the Clerk of the Circuit Court 
of said couuty to give at least thirty days' notice of the time and 
places of holding said elections above provided for, by posting 
up notices thereof at least in six public places in the county ; 
and the returns of said election shall be made to said Clerk who 
gave the notice as aforesaid, and hy him, in presence of one or 
more Justices of the Peace, shall be opened and examined ; and 
thev jointly shall give to the persons elected County Commission- 
ers, certificates of their electinn, and shall transmit abstracts of 
the election for the county officers to the Secretary of State, as 
now required by law. 

It shall further be the duty of said Clerk and Justice or Justices 
of the Peace, as the case may be, to furnish the Clerk of the County 
Commissioners' Court with an abstract of the votes given for the 
seat of justice of said county ; which said alistract shall be recorded 
in the record of tlie proceedings of said Commissioners' Court, 
and shall forever exist as evidence of the established seat of jus- 
tice of said county. 

Sec 5. For the purpose of holding said elfction it shall be 
the duty of the present judges of election, tnjbraced within the 
limits of said County, t > act as judges of the same: Provided, 
however, That should said judges decline acting, or be absent on 
the day of election, the qualified voters present may elect, from 
among their own numbers, three qualified voters to act as judges 
of said election, who shall have power to appoint two persons to 
act as clerks as in other cases. 

Sec. 6. The present justices of the peace and constables era- 
braced within the limits of said County shall be and ai'e hereliy 
continued in office as justices and constabks of said County of 
De Witt until the next regular election of justices of the jieace 
and other county officers. 

Sec. 7. The i^rojuietor or proprietors of the town where the 
county seat may be located as aforesaid shall donate the sum of 
two thousand dollars payable within a period not less than twelve 
nor more than twenty-four months from the time said election 
shall be made or in lieu thereof, at their discretion, shall grant 
and convey by good and sufficient warranty deeds town lots or 
other lands situated in or about the town where the Couuty seat 
shall be so located, the aggregate value of which shall not be less 
than two thousand dollars, to be appraised by three disinterested 
freeholders, to be mutually agreed upon by the proprietor or jjro- 
prietors of said town and the County Commissioners of said Coun- 
ty, provided said proprietor or proprietors and the Couuty com- 
missioners of said County cannot agree upon the value of the 
same; Proelded, however. And said donations or grants are upon 
this express condition, that the court-house and public offices of 
said County shall be erected on the present established public 
square of the town in which the County seat may be 
located. 

Sec 8. It shall be the duty of the County Commissioners' court, 
at as early a period as practicable, to approjjriate said two thou- 
sand dollars so donated as aforesaid, or the proceeds of said real 



estate granted as aforesaid, as the case may be, in the erection of 
a court-house or other necessary public buildings, for which pur- 
pose, should the donations consist of real estate, the County com- 
missioners shall have power to dispose of said real estate in such 
manner and upon such terms, as they may deem most consistent 
with the public interests. 

Sec. 9. Said county shall be attached to, and form a part of, 
the eighth Judicial Circuit, and until the county seat shall be 
located as provided in this act, the Circuit and County Commis- 
sioners' Courts shall be held at the town of Marion. 

Sec. 10. For judicial and other purposes, said county shall 
continue to form parts of McLean and Macon counties until 
organized as above provided for, and shall continue to be at- 
tached to said counties in all general elections until otherwise 
provided for by law. 

Sec. 11. After the election of county officers as herein ]iro- 
vided, the persons elected County Commissioners are hereby 
authorized to administer oaths of office to all other county 
oflicers; and the said County Commissioners shall, within ten 
davs after their election, meet together as a court, lay off the 
county into precincts and justices' di-tricts, appoint a school 
Commissioner of the county, and transact any other business 
which may be deemed necessary. 

Sec. 12. The school funds belonging to tl>e several townships 
in said county, together with all interest arising out of said 
moneys that have not heretofore been expended for schools 
embraced within the limits of the counties of SIcLcan and 
Macon now proposed to be set off into the county of DeWitt, 
and all notes and mortgages a])pertaining to the same, shall be 
paid and delivered over to the school commissioners of said 
county of DeWilt, by the school commissioners of the counties 
of McLean and Macon, as soon as said county shall be organized, 
and the commissioner of school funds shall be appointed and 
qualified according to law. 

Sec. 13. It shall be the duty of the County Commissioners of 
said county, before the erection of public buildings, to provide 
some suitable room or building in which to hold the Circuit and 
County Commissioners' Courts. The inhabitants residing within 
so much of the territory set off and forming a portion of DeWitt 
county as are now within the bounds of Macon county, 
shall continue to be and constitute a part of the taxable in- 
habitants of Macon county until the first day of January, 
A. D., 1840. 

Approved March 1st, 1839. 

(Signed) Thomas Carlin, Governor. 

Tlie county was represented in the Constitutional Convention 
of 1S47, Ijy lion G. B. Lemen ; in that of 1862, by Hon. T. K. 
Webber — and in that of 1870, by Hon. Clifton H. Moore. 

In 1848 the counties of De Witt, Tazewell, JIcLean, Logan, 
and Macon formed the Eleventh senatorial, and De Witt and 
McLean the Twenty-ninth representative district. 

The apportionment of 1854 made De Witt, Champaign, 
Piatt, Moultrie, Christian, Shelby, and McLean form the Six- 
teenth senatorial, and De Witt, Macon, Piatt, and Champaign 
the Thirty-sixth representative district. 

By the apportionment of 1861, De Witt, McLean, Piatt, Moul- 
trie and Macon formed the Tenth senatorial, and De Witt and 
McLean the Thirty-eighth representative district. 

In 1870 De Witt remained a part of the Tenth senatorial, and 
formed a representative district — the Fifty-second in itself. 
Since 1872, when the state was divided into fifty-one senatorial 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



district?, to elect one senator and three representalives each, De 
Witt and Macon have formed district No. Twenty-nine. 

De Witt county was represented in tlie state senate by John 
Moore, from 1840 to 184-2; R. F. Baniett, from 1842 to 1844; 
G. W. Powers, from 1844 to 184S ; E. C. Smith, of Macon, from 

1848 to 1850; Ashel Gridley, of McLean, from 1850 to 18.54; 
Gabriel R. Jernigan, of Christian, from 1854 to 1856 ; Joel S. 
Post, of Macou, from 185G to 18G0 ; R. J. O^desby, of Macon , from 
1860 to 1862; Isaac Funk, from 1862 to 1866; W. A. Cheney, 
from 1866 to 1868; .John McNulta, of McLean, from 1868 to 
1870 ; Michael Djuahue, from 1870 to 1874 ; J. F. Harrold, from 
1874 to 1878 ; and W. T. Moffett, of Macon, from 1868 to date. 

In the House of representatives, De Witt county was repre- 
sented by R. F. Birnett,from 1840 to 1842; James K. Scott, from 
1842 to 1846, (two terms) ; S. P. Glenn, from 1846 to 1848 ; J. B. 
Price, from 1848 to 1850 ; Robt. F. Barnett, from 1850 to 1852 ; 
J. E. Mcl'lun, from 1852 to 1854; H. C. Johns, of Macon, from 
1854 to 1866 ; Jerome R. Garin, of Macon, from 1856 to 1858 ; 
Daniel Stickel. from 1858 to 1860 ; Lawrence Weldon, from 
1860 10 1864 ; Boynton Tenney, from 1862 to 1864 ; John War- 
ner, from 1864 to 1866; Henry S. Green, from 1866 to 1868; 
Jacob Swigart, from 1868 to 1870; W. R. Carle, from 1870 to 
1872 ; Tilman Lane, from 1872 to 1874 ; J. H. Tyler, from 1874 
to 1875 ; W. L. Chambers, from 1876 to 1878 ; J. H. Tyler and 
G. K. Ingham, from 1878 to 1880 ; and by Lewis Ludington, 
from 1880 to date. 

It is remarkable that of all this long list, there is but one 
man who has served two terms in succession, to wit- : James K. 
Scott. R. F. Barnett has served two terms in the house, and a 
half term in the senate. J. H. Tyler has also served two terms 
in the house. 

The county of De Witt was represented as part of the third 
congressional district of Illinois, by John T. Stuart, of Spring- 
field, in the 26th and 27th Congress, 1839-1843, by Orlando B. 
Ficklin, of Charleston ; in the 28th, 29th, and SOth, from 1843 
to 1849, by Timothy R. Yonng, of Marshall ; in the 31st, from 

1849 to 1851, by Orlando B. Ficklin, of Charleston ; in the 32d, 
from 1851 to 1853, by Jesse O. Norton, of Joliet ; in the 33d 
and 34th, from 1853 to 1857, and by Owen Lovejoy, of Prince- 
ton, in the SSth, 36th, and 37th, from 1857 to 1863. 

As part of the 8th congressional district, De Witt was rejire- 
sented by John T. Stuart, of Springfield ; in the 38th, from 1863 
to 1865, by Shelby M. Cullom,of Springfield ; in the 39th, 40th, 
and 41st, from 1805 to 1871 ; and by James C. Robinson, of 
Springfield, in the 42nd, from 1871 to 1873. As part of the 
13th congressional district, the county was reprfsented by John 
McNulta, of Bloomington ; in the 43d, from 1873 to 1875, by 
Adlai E. Stevenson, of Bloomington; in the 44th, from 1875 to 
1877, by Thomas F. Tipton, of Bloomington ; in the 45th, from 
1877 to 1879, by Adlai E. Stevenson ; in Bloomfield, in the 46th, 
from 1879 to 1881, and by Dieterich C. Smith, in the 47th, from 
1881 to 1883. None of the citizens of De Witt county have ever 
represented as such the congressional district in which the county 
forms a part. Among the successful presidental electors, how- 
ever, we find the following, De Witteans, to wit- : Lawrence 
Weldon in 1860, — first election of Abraham Lincoln, and 
Michael Donahue, in 1876, election (?) of Rutherford B. Hayes. 
The other successful electors for the districts of which De Witt 
county forms a part, were in 1840: James H. Ralston, in 1844: 
William A. Richardson, in 1848 : H M. Vandeveer, in 1852 : 
Edward Omelveny, in 1856: Milton T. Peters, in 1864: James 



C. Conkling, in 1868 : Samuel C. Parks, in 1872: Hugh Fuller- 
ton, and in 1880, Jonathan H. Rowell. 

No citizen of De Witt has ever graced the state board of 
equalization Ijy his presence as member, since its erection in 
1867-' Tne politicians of the county seem to lack ambition. The 
county certainly has the very best of material from which to 
draw, and excellent timber wi h which to build. 

LAND AND TEOPLE. 

The area of the county of De Witt, in its present boundaries, 
is composed of seven full and seven fractional townships, embrac- 
ing two hundred and fifty-two thousand four hund.red and thirty 
acres of laud, a fraction le.ss than 395 square miles, — not 675 
square miles, as stated by Appleton's American Cyclopaedia. A 
large portion, about thirty-three per cent, of the full area of the 
land, had been entered, and was principally owned by bona fide 
residents at the time of the organization of the county. Al)out 
11,000 acres of land were owned by non-residents or si)Cculators. 
These lands were usually assessed a little higher than those of 
the actual settlers of the county, — a policy alway.s to be expected 
in " new" counties. Mahlon Hall, mentioned in a previous chap- 
ter, was the largest landholder at that time : he owned 1 200 
acres of land, assessed at 84,600. He also paid taxes on eight 
hundred and sixty-three dollars' worth of personal property. 
Besides him, there were two resident taxpayers assessed at 63,000, 
ten at over 82 000, and fifty-eight at over one thousand dollars' 
worth of property, both real and personal. Fifty-three resident 
citizens paid taxes on personal property only. The first election 
held in the county had to decide the question of where to locate 
the County seat, and it is to be presumed that a full vote was 
brought out. The poll-books, however, cannot be found, and 
from a short memorandum made in the records of the County 
Commissioners we learn that 493 citizens voted on that day, 
Mari;h 6th, 1839. The orignal census lists of 1840 are also lost 
so that no names of heads of families could be obtained from 
that source. The writer found, however, a list of voters, most 
carefully compiled on the 29th of November, 1844, by Hon. 
John J. McGraw, then Clerk of the County Commissioners' 
Court This list is here introduced in substitution of the lost 
census lists of 1840. It is arranged by election precints, and 
many of those 635 names may remind the survivors of persons 
and events they have not thought of for years. 

Clinton rreciiict- -L,evi Spencer, Lorenzo D. Scott, Thomas 
Bevan, Thomas Jenkins, Benjamin Howard, James Brown, Ninian 
W. Peddecord, Burnel Martin, Nelson Davis, Eli B. Fruitt, 
Thomas Devenport, Poetan Bennett, John Davis, Henry Thomas, 
Peter D. Spain, Anderson Johnson, G. Hall, John McAboy, 
Jonathan Curtright, Rufus Mills, Dawson Beatty, John M. Cox, 
Darius Hall, Martin Scott, George Clifton, Josiah Downen, 
Thomas Hutchin, George W. Cox, Jacob Kranish, Pascal Mil- 
ler, Archibald McCullough, Nathan Harvey, Thomas K. Blad- 
lock, James Hall, Wra. Neal, Harvey Bradshaw, Frederick 
Troxell, Matthew Mill-r, B. R. Warfield, William Hutchin, 
Henry H. Hall, Isaac Hutchin, Daniel French, Isaiah Deven- 
port, George W. Mills, Thomas Coon, Jacob Bruner, Alfred 
Murphey, Joseph Malson, Wm- McPherson, Joshua Fenton, 
John Lowry, Amos B. Wright, Thomas C. Wright, Lewelleu 
Hickman, John Springer, James L. McMurry, John B. Allsup, 
Solomon Miller, Ezekicl Lane, James Enuis, Charles Hutchin, 
Landers .Slatten, Henry Foster, Joseph Howard, Thomas Allsup, 
B. L. Cundiff, Gabriel Watt, Thomas Dunham, Rolla Richards, 



60 



HISTOEY OF DE WITT COUNTl:, ILLINOIS. 



George W. Karr, John W. Karr, Mahlon Hall, Reuben Thorn- 
]y, Wm. James, Jesse Blaukinship, James Cantrail, Henry 
King, Henry C'undiff, Runisford Peyton, Armsted Gideon. Wm. 
Coppenbarger, James French, John Winn, Wm. Clifton, Vernon 
Brown, Thomas J. Mills, John Coppenbarger, Uriah McKenney, 
Edward Tl'.ornby, John Walker, James Walker, Jeremiah Kel- 
ley, Elisha Littler, James Stephens, James McAboy, Wilson 
Allen, Joshua Dale, Fleming Lynch, Newton Lynch, Henry 
Fourdice, Solomon Cross, Benjamin Cross, Skelton K. Cross, 
George Carlock, Jacob Cross, Thomas Spaiuhoward, Calvin 
Pain, John Lane, Henry Bour Kain, Samuel S. P. Huff, S. 
Duncan, Murrell Pain, John Thompson, H. Bennett, Abram 
Miller, Wm. Lowry, Ralph Rosencrans, Henry Clerage, John 
Miller, Lemuel Woodard, Dudley Richards, Egbert Hill, Wm 
Gadberry, John Boyer, Noel Blankenship, John Bruner, David 
Hood, Wm. Belford, James Henson, Joseph Pollock, Hugh Dev- 
enport, T. R. Archard, Bonarges Ely, J. Thompson, Melvin 
Lowry, Job Clifton, Sidney Gary, Henry Bowles, John Clifton, 
Ruben Parkhurst, William Allsup, Alvin Potter, Ebenezer Mil- 
ler, Jloses Kenney, Samuel Beebe, Lewis Atkinson, James Lowry, 
John Hutchin, Remus Davis, Thoma^ Wilson, Alexander Dale, 
Jacob Silvers, James S. Brown, Joel E. King, Joseph Karr, 
William Mathews, William Wallace, Henry Thompson, Philo 
Farmer, Thomas J. Rogers, Jordon Banta, Solomon Ely, Har- 
rison Lane, B. T. Lowry, Walter Karr, James Smallwood, Sam- 
uel Smallwood, John B. Smallwood, James Pollock, William 
Williams, Samuel Curtright, E. W. Fears, John French, John J. 
McGraw, Melvin Lowry, Daniel McGinnis, Thomas Lamb, 
David Willis, Gustavus Skelley, Major Farris, William Hayes, 
Dennis Proviue, David Maiken, Erviu French, Wm Coon, J. 
]SL Fears, Isaac Strain, Joseph Coppenbarger, Charles S. Lisenby, 
Nathan Cooper, Wm. A- Knight, Richard Murphy, Andrew 
Wallace, Henry Brown, Robert F. Barnett, Jeflerson T. Cross, 
Thomas Fruit, Washington Allsup, Joshua Gardener, William 
Adams, .Samuel H. Martin, Miles Gray. Joseph Bowles, William 
Hickman, A. L. Barnett, Z. H. Blount, Daniel Banta, Jesse 
Stout, Wm. C'undiff, Tolbert Allsup, N. Murphy, Leonard Provin, 
Joel Hall, Anderson Bowles, Hugh Glenn, Henry Summers, B. 
H. Farris, Samuel Brown, John P. Mitchell, Daniel Newcomb, 
John Warner, George L. Hill, Wm. Hill, Franklin Barnett, F. 
G Paine, James Luttle, John W. Scott, Wm. Mitchell, James 
K. Scott, Jameson Wright. 

WaynesviUe Precinct — Abraham Hamilton, .L L. Jennings, 
J. B. Jones, Harrison Maltby, Elisha Butler, O. W. Young, 
Charles Maltby, John F. Buckner, R. Post, Daniel H. Dragstrem, 
R. E. Post, Wm. Evans, J. E. Cantrail, Wm. Branson, Wm. 
Richards, Darius Cody, E G. Lawrence, A. N. Dills, Johannas 
Bergen, Thos. C. Bergen, John Zollars, Alfred Miller, James C. 
Riley, James R. Robb, John Slatten, A. B. Ireland, John Simp- 
kin, John Montgomery, F- S. Harrison, Z. P. Cantrail, Samuel 
Ilamet, Cornelius W. Slinker, David Wheeler, A. T. Jones, 
John Barr, George Dyer, James M. Ilarrold. John [Eveland, 
Preston Butler, Jerome Gorin, Thos. D. Cantrail, Hugh Bowles, 
D. F. Grosh, James Barr, John Hobbs, Edward Morris, John 
Christison, James Ellis, J. C. Cantrail, Wyatl Cantrail, Thos. 
Burton, Thos. Coffer, James T. Morton, Geo. W. Stipp, John 
Humphreys, John Scott. Allen Turner, Wm. H. Jones, Jonathan 
Ellington, Samuel C. Baker, Charles Hutfam, Jas. W. Hamitt, 
Robert Turner, Wm. L. Cantrail, George Bodkin, Moses G. 
Williams, Abel Larison, John Mclntire, Charles Cook, John 
Turner, Isaiah Cheek, Richard McElbiney, Adam Stevens, Jona- 
than Williams, John Miller, Wm. Dyre, Jacob Jouson, Levi 



Cantrail, Squire Devenport, Charles Graves, Wm. Summers, 
Thos. Hull, James H.-Morley, Jesse Griffin, F. M. Jeffrey, Thos. 
Ackerson, Linus Graves, B. W. Gray, Wm. Summers. Jr., 
Frederick Eveland, John Cantrail, Wm. Jeffrey J. C. Macon, 
Henry Michael, Nathaniel Eveland, Elijah Hull, Joel Gray, 
Garrett Ackerson, Abram Ackerson, Wm. Hall, Samuel Richards 
David Ellington, Nathaniel Harris, George Isham, Wm. Mont- 
gomery, Wm. J. Davis, Abraham Onstott, David Montgomery, 
David McNuley, A D. Downey, John Robb, B. W. Matthews, 
Elisha Bushnell, John Thissell, V N. Sampson, Chas Adkinson, 
Edward Winn, Ezra Thissell, .\ndrew Brock, Isaac W. Jones, 
Benjamin Brock, Isaac Ellington, F. M. Brock, James Cook, 
Jacob F. Sampson, Z. G. Cantrail. R. S. Doolittle, Thos. Frisby, 
Parmer Story, J. S. Atchinson, Josiah Porter, Hardin Wallace, 
Wm. Cantrail. 

Niw Culle Pi-eciiiet. — Mjses L. Bjshnell, James Foley, Wm. 
R. Hulsey, Spencer Turner, Andrew Fogg, Harvey Turner, 
Cornelius Lambert, Samuel Briggs, John Druly, George Guard, 
Joel Hulsey, Lemuel Shipley, Charles Council, Benj. Shipley, E. 
H. L. C. Dunegan, Samuel Sevan, John Gellatly, Sampson 
Reese, John E. Hoblitt, James Shipley, John Kensey, James 
Hobblitt, Samuel Jones, Cyrus Tuttle, John Druly, Samuel Hob- 
litt, Sylvester Strong, Jesse Hedges, Isaac A. Dunnagan, Eze- 
kiel Hedges, T. J. LaHson, David Mason, James Hedges, A. K. 
Marden, Jonn Mas(m, Wm Foley, Archibald V. Gardner, John 
Hoblitt, James JDowney, John Barr, Henry Williams, J. P. 
Dunham. 

Marion Precinct. — James A. Lemon, J. A. Jackson, James 
Harp, James Martin, D. B Sallwood, William Bennett, James 
Vaudeventer, Geo Barns, Wm. H. Lafferty, John M. Richeler, 
Benj. Church, Peter Lear, Charles Sawyer, Thos, Glenn, D. F. 
Robbins, James McDeed, Daniel Rjbbins, John McDeed, Daniel 
Baker, Thos. Smith, Nathaniel Goodall, R. D. Taylor, E. O. 
Day, B S. Day, Gabriel Bennett, J hn Blount, Joshua E Jack- 
son, Alex. Heap, J. B. Hagar, J. E Daugherty, Solomon Moore, 
Green Lee Taylor, Hiram Beebe, Eli Harrold, Thos. Swain, A. 
W. Haddock, Sylvester Griffen. T. E. Sanger, William Hull, Solo- 
mon Despain, John D.Huston, Elijah Walden, Christian Shelikle, 
Wm. Walden, Wm. Rust, John Rust, Wm. Haus, Daniel Wil- 
lard, Douglass Spear, John B. Williams, E W. Wright, John 
Gatman, T. B. Hoblitt, Benj. Lisenby, L. Cantrail, R)den Lane, 
Monroe Thompson, B. D. F. Maple, Stillman Sawyer, Robert 
McKinley, Johu Cooksey, N. C. Caine, John E. Day, Thos. Dye, 
Henry M. White, Henry Webb, Jesse E Sawyer, John Kelli- 
son. Job Rathtone, Johu Lash, John Wilson, Geo. Livingston, 
Win. Webb, Nathaniel Button, Henry Webb, Sr., Joseph Wil- 
son, Wm. E. Walker, Nathan Boman, Wm. E. Sawyer, Thos. 
Yandeveuter, Morris Button, Geo. Weidman, Geo. Barns, Wm. 
Bodkins, Wm. J. Rutledge, Benj. Button, J. B. Caine, John E. 
Harris, Robert Semple, Thos. Williamson, John Andrew, Wm. 
Walters, Joseph Semple, P. M. Gideon, Charles Richardson, Wm. 
McKinley, John Marsh, James M. Stone, Wm. Bernes, David 
Ropp, Arthur Jones, Henry Arbogast, Hugh Arbogast, Pleasant 
Smith, Elish Gussford, Elijah Watt, Geo. Lemen, Isaac Swisher, 
David Vandeventer, John Button, John Layton G S. Morrison, 
S. Wateribrd, John Dorson, C. Webb, Jacob Walters, Edward 
Wilson, Charles Day, Michael Troutman, Wm: Carew, Chas. 
Parker, S. Donor, Stillman A. Chapin, James McCord, 
Hiram Chapin, Wm R Deterager, F. S. Robbins, 0. Wake- 
field. 

Mount Pleasant Precinct. — R. D. Webb, J. B. Swearingen, 
Robert H. Pool, Joseph C. Egensou, Benj Newbery, Peter Ar- 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



61 



bogast, Wm. Webb, John Jones, Solomon Hand, Samuel Buckey, 
Richard Kirby, John McCord, Peter Buckey, David White, 
Timothy Hailey, Phineas Page, Wm. Banner, David White, 
Jr., Edward Corry, James W. McCord, Samuel Dauner, Thos. 
Gardner, Absolom Dauner, Henry Smith, Wra. Pearson. John 
Dauner, Dennis Harley, Xathan (Jlearwaters, Henry Barnes, A. 
B. Dauner, Cornelius Corry, AVm. Cottiugham, Alex. Heely, 
Ezekel Shoukle, Wm. Harp, Lewis Jackson, Elias Johnson, 
Henry Haddlesou, Benj. Mitchell, Benj. Newburg, Jr., N. W. 
Cox, J. P. Williams, John Doyle, Robert Williamson, Harrison 
Blake, John Smith, Asa Weedman, Isaac Parmeter, Preston 
AVebb, Byron Corry, S. Corry, Josiah Davis, Ambrose Hall, 
Patton Camel, Joseph Brown, Wm. H. McFall, Wm. Watson, 
James Sternes, John Weedman, James G. Watson, Peter Wat- 
son, Mathew Jackson, Wm. G. McCord, Hiram White, A. F. 
Rogers. 

Long Point Precinct.— John Scott, Sr , John Chatham, Hiram 
Riley, Frederick Troxel, Homer Buck, J. A Payne, Wm. Scott, 
Abram Bash, David Bash, Wm. Cisca, Joseph Winkle, John 
Chatham, Samuel Martin, Wm. Chatham, Daniel Scott, Isaac 
Chatham, Andrew Brownfield, Wm. Lane, Alfred Enland, Alex. 
Scott, Wm. Spencer, A. K. Scott, Elihu Lane, Wm. Morris, 
Henry Troxel, Wm. Downen, Wm. Holsey, Zebidee Holsey, Solo- 
mon Holsey, AmosHoughman, Adam Lane, Samuel Spencer, Ed- 
ward Philips, Peter Troxell, Elijah Swearingen, Amos Nichols, 
Samuel McElhaney, Wm. Anderson, John H. Swearingen, James 
Anderson, Wm. Bowling, Thos. Jackson, Abraham Swearingen, 
Mosts Houghman, John Scott, Wm. Scott, George Hanger, Chas. 
Leaper, Alex. Ellis, Samuel P. Gleason, Peter Crura, John 
Maxwell, AVm. T. Fears, James G. Hobbs, Mitchell Harrold, 
Jacob Harrold, Jonathan Harrold, J. W. Scott, S. F. Bowling, 
John Young, Samuel Troxell, Isam Harrold, Eli Harrold, James 
Johnson, Wm. Harrold, Nathan Lundy, Jonathan Frisby, Benj. 
Withham, James Scott. 

The United States census of 1840, taken one year after the 
organization of the county, furnithes the following data in regard 
to its then inhabitants. The population amounted to 3,247 sou's, 
586 of which were heads of families. The census mentions one 
person being over one hundred years of age, without naming 
said person. There was only one colored person, a young woman, 
in the county at that time. 

Eight hundred and seventy-five adults were employed in agri- 
culture, eighty in mechanical pursuits, sixteen were merchants, 
and nine professional men of learning. Two deaf and dumb, 
two blind, and seven insane or idiotic persons are mentioned in 
the census reports. These unfortunates were depending on pri- 
vate charity for maintenance, as the authorities of the county 
had no funds whatever at their disposal to provide for paupers 
The county at th .t time supported eleven schools, attended by 
four hundred and seventy-four pupils. Three hundred and six- 
teen adults out of a total of less than one thousand five hundred 
were unable to read or write. 

The wealth of the people of the county consisted principally 
in lands, live stock and agricultural products. 

The "squatter," so frequently met with in new counties, is 
scarcely observed in De Witt; fully one-third of the area of the 
county had been purchased from the United States, and was 
owned by bona fide citizens of the county on the day of its or- 
ganization. We shall here introduce some statistics in reference 
to the area of the various congressional townships, and the quan- 
tity of land taken up or entered in each prior to the 1st of JNIarch, 
1839, the birth-day of the county ; 











Acres Purchased o 


r En- 


Designation 


f Town 


hip. 


Notes in Acres. 


lered 


prior to Mar. 




Townsliip 


19-E 


1 E. 
2E. 
.SE 


23,233.07 
22,424..S1 
23,194.79 




10.440 
10.320 
4,680 




fr. 


"I 


4E, 


17,:!T'.>,3« 




440 






20 


1 E. 
2E. 
3E. 
4R 


22,7-"i7,"l 

21,I>:!2,U1 

21,.511,88 
21,1188.32 




6,280 
5.760 
11.880 
8.200 




fr. " 


" 


f,-F. 


.5,1G7,09 




960 




fr. 


21 


1 E. 


1.5,021,48 




11,280 




fr. 
fr. 




2E. 
3E. 


1.5.M2I,41 
l.i,37li,23 




6,640 
620 




fr. " 




4 E 


I.-),44(i,7S 




2,360 




fr. 


5E 
Total 


12,2.>5,49 




3,280 






252,429,73 


83,040 



Township 21, Range 1 West, was a part of the county at that 
time, and half of its territory, viz., 11.080 acres had been entered 
prior to March 1, 1839. 

It is impossible to state accurately how many acres were under 
cultivation, but the agricultural products of the year indicate 
that a considerable portion, probably eleven or twelve thousand 
acres, were being cultivated during the year. The census reports 
the following crops, to wit : Wheat, twenty-five thousand three 
hundred and seventy-four bushels ; oats, thirty-six thousand seven 
hundred and seventy-two bushels; rye, eight hundred and twenty 
bushels ; Indian corn, two hundred and eighty-five thousand five 
hundred and seventy bushels ; potatoes, eight thousand four hun- 
dred and twenty-one bushels ; hay, seven hundred and sixty-six 
tons ; flax and hemp, seventeen tons ; tobacjo, six thousand and 
fifty pounds ; sugar, four hundred pounds. Nine thousand two 
hundred and sixty-six pounds of wool had been clipped off five 
thousand and eighty-three sheep. Said census reports further, 
one thousand four hundred and thirty four horses, four thousand 
two hundred and seventy-two heads of cattle, and fifteen thousand 
four hundred and ninety-eight hogs. There were ten retail 
stores in the county, with a capital of 823,660 invested ; two 
tanneries, with S3,o00 capital ; one distillery and three grist and 
three saw-mills constituted the various branches of industry 
rep-esented in the county at that early day. During the year 
1840 sixteen houses had been erected in the county at an expense 
of about nine thousand dollars. 

Comparing the statistics as taken from the census reports, with 
the county assessments of 1840, the following may be added : 
Thirty-five thousand acres of land, or about two-fifths of all 
lands entered, were assessed at one hundred and fifty-four 
thousand dollars— some at three dollars, some at four dollars, 
and the lands of non-residents at five and six dollars per acre. 
The personal property was valued at eighty-six thousand five 
hundred dollars, and the imp'oved town lots in the county at six 
thousand five hundred dollars. 

Land sales in the present limits of De Witt county, prior to 
its organization as such : 

On February 3, 1832. Richard Dogget sold to Baron T. 
Lowry the west half of the south-west quarter of section 22, in 
township 19, range 2 east, containing 80 acres, for S200. This 
land is now owned by Magill Brothers, is assessed at 81,200, and 
worth about 83,000. 

On April 18, 1832. William Spitters sold to John Lowry the 
east half of the south-east quarter of section 21, in township 19, 
range 2 east, containing 80 acres, for 8200. This tract is now 
divided into six unequal parts, which in the aggregate, are worth 
about 83,500. 



62 



EISTORY OF BE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



On September 25, 1832. Jesse Morris sold to Alexander 
Purviance the west half of the south-east quarter of section 19, 
in township 19, o east, for 81.25 per acre; it is now worth fully 
SIO per acre. 

April 24, 1832. Robert Hamilton sokl to Alexander Pur- 
viance the east half of the north-west quarter of section 9, town- 
ship 19, range 3 east, 80 acres, for 8140. This tract belongs 
now to H. C. Sijainhour, and it is very questionable whether 
this land could now be purchased for twenty times that price. 

December 2o, 1832. Hiram Daniel sold to Mahlou Hall the 
west half of the south-east quarter of section 34, in township 20, 
range 1 east, 80 acres, for 8160. This tract is now subdivided 
into six parcels of various sizes, it is assessed at 81,000, and is 
worth .S4,000. 

January 5, 1832. Samuel Curtright sold to Mark McPherson 
the west half of the noith-west quarter of section 32, in town- 
ship 21, range 1 east, for §400, So per acre. This quarter section 
is BOW divided into twenty-seven lots and tracts, being in the 
immediate vicinity of Waynesville. Agricultural lands there- 
about are assessed at 820, and are worth 845 to 850 per 
acre. 

Jannary 28, 1832. Daniel Venson sold to ThomaS Cuppy the 
east half of the north-west quarter of section 28, in township 21, 
range 1 east, containing 80 acres, for 8400. The land now be- 
longs in part to M. Fiuprock and Augustus Ball, is assessed at 
8900, and worth about 82,400. 

February 20, 1832. Fred. Troxell sold to Henry Troxell the 
north half of the east half of the north-east quarter of section 
32, in township 21, range 2 east, 40 acres, for 840. This tract 
is now owned in part by Eli Harrold and David Troxell, and is 
worlh 845 per acre. 

November 12, 1831. Thomas Cuppy sold to George Isham 
the west half of Jie south-east quarter of section 29, in township 
21, range 1 ea-st, for 8100,8125 per acre. This tract belongs 
now to James Cook, and is worth 833 per acre. 

First land sdei after the organization of the county: James 
Vandeveuter sold to Thomas Patterson the north-east quarter 
of section 27, township 20, range 3, for 8040, or 84 per acre, 
June 7, 1839. 

Elijah Watt sold to Robert Rosencrans the south-west quarter 
of the south-east quarter of section 31, and the north-west quarter 
of the north-east quarter of section 32, all in town- hip 20, range 
4, for 8310, on May 21, 1839. 

Prettyman Maxwell sold to Thomas Barr the south-west quar- 
ter of the south-west quarter of section 30, in township 21, range 
1, 40 acres, for $75, June 11, 1839. 

James Nelson sold to Henry Summer the south-east quarter of 
the south-east quarter of section 32, in township 20, range 2, 40 
acres, for 8100, June 12, 1839. 

These prices are introduced here to compare them with the 
assessed value hereafter to be mentioned, and to show that the 
assessors of laSO invariably assessed property at its actual 
value. 

The census of 1850 enumerates eight hundred and ninety two 
families residing in eight hundred and eighty-eight dwelling- 
hou-es. 

The occ ipations of tho?e heads of families are stated to have 
been as follows : Five hundred and ninety-one farmers, one 
hundred and fifty-one mechanics, thirtv-six merchants, nineteen 
engineers and millers, ten teachers, ten ministers, nine physicians, 
two lawyers, five county officers, six clerks, two tavern keepers, 
fourteen day-laborers, and thirty-seven without occupations. 



The county, had then nine mills, one steam, six water, and two 
horse-power; two tanneries, two saddle and harness shops, two 
blacksmiths, two cabinet makers, and one wagon-shop. 

The assessed values of all the property in the county amounted 
to $738,621, an increase of over 200 per cent, on the values of 
1840, viz., 8244,000. The population showed an increase of 60 
per cent. 

The county supported forty-one schools, attended by nine 
hundred and forty-six pupils. The public funds for school pur- 
poses were still very limit d, and the schools depended almost 
exclusively on private subscriptions. 

The public funds expended during the year for school pur- 
poses amounted to 8789.45, by which only thirty-six of the pub- 
lic schools were benefitted, five not receiving any support from 
this source. In some of the districts efibrts had been made to 
start school libraries, and the year 1850 finds fourteen libraries, 
with about seven hundred volumes in the aggregate. The census 
man reports one pauper in the county, supported by the county 
at an expense of 8212 78 per annum. Some marginal remarks 
of the said oflScer may find room here also. He says : " The 
health of this county has been very good, only twenty-four 
deaths during the year. The county is in the central part of 
Illinois, in a fine farming district ; it is watered by Salt Creek, 
running from east to west, a fine stream for mills ; the timber ig 
of an excellent quality for farming purpos s; white, black, and 
burr-oak, walnut, hickory, and maple. Stone and coal are 
scarce ; excellent water is reached by digging from fifteen to 
twenty feet into the ground. The prairies are covered wiih a 
fine crop of grass. Wages are as follows : Farm hands per 
month, 813 ; day-laborers, 62] cents per day and board, or 87i 
without it; mechanics receive 81-50 per day and board, which is 
considered to be worth 25 cents per day." 

Ten years later, in 1860, the population of the county had 
increased to 10,820, fully one hundred per cent, since 1850. 
Among these were only six persons of color. 

The census of 1870 shows a population of 14,768, — an increase 
of thirty-seven per cent. The chief productions of 1870 were 
118,185 bushels of wheat, 1,311,635 of Indian corn, 216,756 of 
oats, 88,1-0 of potatoes, 20 289 tons of hay, 341,456 pounds of 
butter, and 96,916 of wool, 39,790 acres of pasture, 14,938 of 
woodland, 10,719 of cultivated lands, and 1217 of acres in cities 
and villages. 

The value of the products enumerated above is estimated to 
have been 81,-300,000, to which may be added the value of the 
products of those 53,000 acres not mentioned in the return=, 
amounting iu the aggregate to 8335 000. 

These agricultural statistics of 1880 report also 350 sheep, 
valued af Sltl59, killed by dogs; 58,41S pounds of wool shorn ; 
3035 fat sheep sold, weighing 310,340 pounds in the aggregate ; 
3413 cows kept ; 112,612 pounds of butter, 320 pounds of cheese, 
and 19,370 gallons of railk sold ; 796 colts foaled during the year, 
and 399 horses died ; 3618 fat cattle, weighing 4,717,295 pounds, 
sold; also 28,643 hogs, weighing 6,851,837 pounds. It is fur- 
ther reported that during the year 857,105 feet of drain-tiling 
had been laid throughout the various parts of the county, and 
that 698,788 feet of the same had been laid previously. 

There were 7873 horses, 12,067 head of cattle, 21,800 sheep, 
and 29,322 hogs, 12 carriage factories, 1 large flour mill, and 2 
manufactories of saddlery and harness. 

The census of 1880 gives the county a population of seventeen 
thousand souls, in round numbers. The statistics of said census 
not having been published at the date of this writing, we take 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



03 



the county assessment of 1880 as the basiis for the following sta- 
tistics : — 

251,657 acres of land, assessed at . . S3,8:!l,729 

4207 town lots 414,1,SS 

Personal property of every description, . l,12o.246 
Railroad property, with the exception of 

Illinois Central and its branches, . 26<1,049 



Total, 



. 85,634,212 



The assessed value of property is about forty per cent, of the 
actual value, hence the wealth of the county may safely be esti- 
mated at twelve millions, or about S700 per capita, — a splendid 
showing. 

The agricultural statistics of the county for the year 1880 
account but for 198,859 acres, or four-fifths of its area. They 
are here introduced as follows : 82,779 acres of corn, having pro- 
duced 2,714,168 bufhels; 12,776 acres of wheat (winter), pro- 
ducing 191,221 bushels; 1901 acres of spring wheat, 18,209 
bushels; 15,203 acres of oats, 397,153 bushels; 2127 acres of 
orchards, 91,938 bushels of fruit ; 2248 acres of rye, 37 742 bush- 
els ; 25 acres of barley, 329 bushels ; 309 acres of potatoes, 20,084 
bushels ; 14,418 acres of meadows, producing 17,167 tons of hay ; 
509 acres of all other field productions, valued at .?4,450. 

One-fifth of the area of the county was donated to the Illinois 
Central Railroad Company, about the year 1853, and as this 
company received all the open land in each alternate section, it 
may be inferred that, prior to said time, three fifths of the land 
had been entered. We have shown above that 83,000 acres had 
been entered during a period of time commencing November 
1827 and March 1830. From 1839 to 1853 some 70,000 acres 
seem to have been entered. 

The said railroad company received the follosving quantity of 
lands, to wit : — 



In range 1, east. 
In range 2. east. 
In range 3, east, 
In range 4, east. 



9,555,65 acres. 
12,511,03 acres. 
14,598,12 acres. 
14,049,20 acres. 



Total, 



. 50,714,00 

Pauperism. — This ugly sore on the body politic has caused the 
people of this county less trouble than other counties had to 
endure. The accounts of public expenditures at an early day 
scarcely mention this item, and when mentioned, the amounts of 
money needed and expended in this direction are very small, to 
wit : SI 25 in 1839, and S7.0U in 1840. The records of the 
county do not mention pauperism at all, though overseers of the 
poor were appointed. A county farm, that had been intended 
for an asylum for the helpless at an early day, was sold again 
December 31st, 1860. The few paupers in the county at that 
time were farmed out under contracts. 

Soon after, however, it became necessary to provi<le ampler 
means to meet the expenses of caring for paupers. The writer 
found in the tax levies of from 1862 to 1866 the following 
amounts, under the name and title of "Pauper Fund," to wit: 
82,112.83 for 1862; 81,365.34 for 1863; §2,360.97 for 1864; 
83,349.54 for 1865 ; and 82,729.57 fiir 1866,— amounting in the 
aggregate, for those five years, to 811,918.25. The tax levies 
for all other expenditures, with the exception of war and sinking- 
fund taxes, amounted, during those five years, to 847,275.01. 
From it we may infer that, at the period mentioned, pauperism 
absorbed twenty per cent, of the county tax. In 1807, 1868, 



and 1869 no mention is made of pauper tax, and the support of 
paupers was treated as one of the regular branches of expendi- 
tures. In 1870 and 1871 a heavy pauper tax, amounting to 
$7,152.16 and $7,082.91 respectively, was levied. About the 
same time the present county farm was purchased. The readi r 
will find a full account of this transaction in another part of this 
chapter, under the head of "' Government." 

At present the county paupers are domiciled on that farm, 
which contains two hundred acres of good land, and is provided 
with ample buildings, representing a cash vilue of at least 
812,000. The land is productive, and provides for the wants of 
its twenty-three inmates of the asylum, six of whom are insane. 

W. M. Moore took charge of the farm in March, 1879, as 
Superintendent. His administration has been very successful, 
and has given satisfaction in all directions. His salary, 8900 
per annum, is, like the salaries of all oflicials of the county, 
below the average salaries paid in the State. 

INCREASE OF POPUL.VTION. 

We have seen, in the foregoing, a population of 3247, in 1840, 
increase to 5002 in 1850, to 10,820 in 1860, to 14,768 in 1870, 
and to 17,014 in 1880. 

Records of births and deaths not having been kept until 
recently, it is impossible to state how great the natural increase 
of population has been. 

Marriages were solemnized as follows: twelve in 1839 ; thirty- 
six in 1840 ; forty-one in 1841 ; thirty-three in 1842 ; forty-four 
in 1843; twenty-four in 1844 (must have been an off year) ; 
twenty nine in 1845 ; thirty-one in 1846 ; forty-sis in 1847 ; 
thirty-five in 1848; fifty-two in 1849; sixty-one in 1850; fifty- 
two in 1851 ; sixty-eight in 1852 ; one hundred in 1853 ; eighty- 
eight in 1854 ; one hundred and nine in 1855 ; one hundred and 
twelve in 1856 ; ninety-four in 1857; one hundred and thirteen 
in 18-58 ; one hundred and thirty-one in 1859 ; one hundred and 
four in 1860; one hundred and twenty in 1861 ; seventy-eight in 
1862 fwar) ; seventy-three in 1863 ; one hundred and eleven in 
1864; one hundred and twenty in 1865 ; two hundred and three 
in 1866 (boys in blue are home again) ; one hundred and sixty 
in 1867 ; one hundred and forty-four in 1868 ; one hundred 
and fifty-three in 1869; two hundred and eighty in 1870; one 
hundred and fifty-eight in 1871 ; three hundred and six (climax) 
in 1872 ; one hundred and six y-f mr in 1873 ; one hundred and 
ninety in '874 ; one hundred and fifty in }875 ; one hundred and 
thirty-eight in 1876; and one hundred and fifty-one in 1877; 
hundred and forty-five in 1878 ; one hundred and seventy in 
in 1879 ; and one hundred and thirty-eight in 1880, — 4567 mar- 
riages in forty-two years. 

The statistics of the county in reference to births and deaths 
are as follows : — 

Born during the year 1S80, 339 children. 

Died during the ye.ir 18S0, 98 persons. 

Natural increase, 241 

This increase, equal to 1 1-25 per cent., corresponds with the 
general average of the nation. It does not seem large, — 14 to 
1000, — and yet it would double the population in about sfxty-six 
years, and continued at the rate, it would produce a population 
of about four millions in five hundred years. 

COUNTY GOVERNMENT. 

The civil government of the county of De Witt was conducted 
by boards of County Commissioners, consisting of three members, 
from the date of its organization. May 15th, 1839> to December 



64 



HISTOBY OF BE WITT COVXTY, ILLINOIS. 



1st, 1849. The administrative duties then devolved on county i 
courts, composed of one county judge and two associate justices. | 

In l8o9 the present system — ^i)verameut of county by a Board 
of Supervisors — superseded the county court*, and has conducted 
the affairs of the county ever since. 

Before entering upon a recitation of the acts of the otEcers 
conducting the affairs of the county, we shall here introduce an 
alphabetically arranged list of the various officers having served 
the people of the county in the forty-two years of its political 
life. 

ROSTEK OF COUXTY OFFICERS OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 

Barnett, Alexander L , County Surveyor, from 1839 to 1859, and 

from 1879 to date. 
Barnett, Franklin, County Commissioner, from 1841 to 1847. 
Bolin, William, Treasurer, from 1845 to 1847, and Sheriff from 

1848 to 1850, aud from 1852 to 1854. 
Blount, Zeno H , Recorder, 1847 to 1849. 
Brown, J. S. County Surveyor, from ISGl to 1863, and from 

1869 to 1875. 
Barnett, Lyman, Sherifl', from 1874 to 1876. 
Booth, W. H., States Attorney since 1880. 
Campbell, D. B., States Attorney, from 1839 to 1849. 
Cantrall, Zebulon, District Assessor in 1840. 
Cottingham, William, County Commissioner, from 1846 to 1849. 
CundiU', Henry, Treasurer, 1847 to 1849. 
Clay, Samuel E , Associate Justice, from 1857 to 1858, when he 

left the State. 
Carter, S. K., Superintendent of Schools, 1867 to 1869, and 

States Attorney from 1872 to 1876. 
Campbell, Barz., Sheriff, from 1860 to 1862. 
Chambers, W. L., Circuit Clerk, 1868 to 1872. 
Carle, J. T., Circuit Clerk since 1880. 
Dragstrem, Daniel, Assessor, 1839. 
De Spain, Peter, Treasurer, 1840 to 1811. 
Banner, William, Associate Justice 1849, died in office July 13th, 

1851. 
Donahue, Michael, Master in Chancery, 1865 to 1871. 
Deland, James, Circuit Clerk, to fill vacancy, appointed 1880. 
Emerson, Charles, States Attorney 1849. 
.Eads, A. A., County Judge, 1861 to 1865. 
Ely, Lafayette, Coroner since 1880. 
Fell, K. H., Circuit Clerk, 1839 to 1841. 
Fears, E. W., Sheriff, from 1839 to 1844, and also Collector of 

Revenue in 1841 to 1843. 
Fuller, William, Sheriff, 1854 to 1856. 

Graham, Samuel, Associate Justice, from 1853 to 1859, aud 
County Judge from 1865 to 1869. 
Green, J. M., Coroner, 1862 to 1864. 
Green, H. S , States Attorney, 1862. ' 
Gardiner, Thomas, Jr., Sherifi', 1870 to 1874. 
Graham, G- B., Master, since 1872. 
Graham, W. W., County Clerk, 1873 to 1877. 
Ganibrel, W., Treasurer, 1873 to 1877. 
Hall, H. H-, Coroner, 1839 to 1844. 
Hughs, John, Commissioner, 1839 to 1841. 
Hall, Darius, Assessor, 1841, and Coroner 1876 to 1878. 
Hoblett, T. B., Commissioner, 1842 to 1845. 
Hamilton, Absalom, Assessor in 1843, and Recorder in 1847 to 

1849. 
llammitt, A. J., Treasurer, 1849 to 1851. 
Hall, B. F., Coroner, from 1852 to 185S. 



Hull, AVilliam, Coroner, from 1860 to 1862. 

Hand, J. S.. Superintendent, 1863 to 1867. 

Hickman, W. W., Coroner in 1868. 

Howell, J. H , States Attorney, 1868. 

Hall, Jonathan R., County Judge, 1869 to 1873- 

Hovey, Lorenzo D., Treasurer, 1871 to 1873- 

Hefferman, William, Coroner in 1871. 

Harri.son, W. H , Circuit Clerk, 1872 to 1880. 

Ingham, J. K., County Judge since 1881. 

Jones, B. T., Treasurer, 1861 to 1863. 

Kelly, J. J., School Superintendent, 1859 to 1861, and Circuit 

Clerk from 1860 to 1868. 
Kelly, Thomas, Treasurer, 1867 to 1871. 
Kelly, W. R., State Attorney, 1876 to 1879. 
Lowry, William, Recorder, 1839 to 1841. 
Lafferty, W. H., Assessor and Collector of Revenue, 1839 to 

1841, and County Judge from 1857 to 1861. 
Lane, Ezekiel, Sheriff, from 1850 to 1852. 
Lewis, Robert, Circuit Clerk, from 1852 to 1860. 
Lemen, G. B., Associate County Justice, from 1854 to 1857. 
Lutterell, G. M , Treasurer, from 1855 to 1857. 
Lamont, W. H., State Attorney, from 1858 to 1860. 
Lukin, Oliver, County Surveyor, from 1859 to 1861, and from 

1863 to 1865. 
Lisenby, James, Treasurer, from 1859 to 1861, and County Clerk 

from 1861 to 1869 
Lafferty, J. A , Sheriff, from 1862 to 1864. 
Lisenby, A. V., County Clerk since 1877. 
McGraw, John J., County Clerk from 1839 to 1857, County 

Treasurer /iro tem. in 1840, School Superintendent in 1839 

to 1855, Master in Chancery from 1839 to 1865, County 

Judge from 1877 to 1881. 
Maxwell, John, County Commissioner in 1839, four mouths, and 

again from 1845 to 1849, also Associate C'ouuty Justice from 

1849 to 1853. 
McPherson, J. C, Treasurer, 1839 and 1840. 
Maltby, Charles, Treasurer and Assessor, 1841 and 1842. 
Mitchell, William, Treasurer in 1843 and 1844, Sheriff from 

1846 to 1848. 
McCord, W. Y., Associate County Justice, 1851 to 1853. 
Meservay, W. N., Treasurer, 1853 to 1855. 
Merrymau, H. H., Sheriff, 1856 to 1858. 
McFarlaud, Josiah, Coroner, 1858 to 1S60. 
Martin, S. H., Probate Justice* 1846 to 1849. 
Morlan, J. G., Coroner, 1864 to 1868. 
McHenry, A. D., Sheriff, from 1864 to 1866, and from 1868 to 

1870. 
McMurray, W. C, Sheriff, from 1866 to 1S68. 
Newcomb, Daniel, Circuit Clerk, from 1841 to 1848. 
North, W. H., Superintendent of Schools, 1861 to 1863. 
Post, Russell, County Commissioner, 1839 to 1842. 
Paine, F. G., Probate Justice, 1839 to 1844. 
Pool, R. H, Recorder, from 1841 to 1843, Treasurer in 1842 and 

1843. 
Post, Seth, State Attorney, 1849, one term. 
Pool, Decatur, Sheriff, from 1858 to 1860. 
Porter, Edward, Treasurer, from 1863 to 1867. 
Robbins, F. S., Assessor in 1840. 
Richter, J. JL, Coroner, from 1844 to 1852. 
Robbins, Daniel, County Judge, 1849 to 1857. 
Richardson, David, Surveyor, from 1865 to 1867, and from 1875 

to 1879. 



HISTORY OF BE WITT COUNTY, ILLIXOIS. 



65 



Swearingen, Jolin, Assessor in 1839. 
Springer, W. T., Treasurer, 1S51 to 1S53. 

Stansbur)', James E., Treasurer, from 1855 to 1857, County 
Clerk from 1S57 to 1802, died iu office three mouths after 
commencing a second term. 
Tipton, T. F., State Attorney, 1866 to 1868. 
Thomas, Ezekiel, Coroner, 1874 to 1876. 
Vandeventer, .James, County Commissioner, 18.39 to 1846. 
Vanlue, F. JI , School Superintendent, 1869 to 1873. 
Van meter, E. S., State Attorney since 1879. 
Wright, W. G, County Commissioner, 1S47 to 1849. 
Warner, Johu, Circuit Clerk, 1848 to 1852. 
Watson, C. C, Associate Justice, 1853 to 1854. 
Weldon, Lawrence, School Commissioner, 1855 to 1859. 
^Voodward, Jesse J , Associate Justice, 1858 and 1859. 
Walker, Robert, County Judge, 1873 to 1877. 
Welch, Miss Mary, School Superintendent, 1873 to date. 
Weedman, Amos, Sheriff, 1876 to date. 
Wilson, James A., Treasurer, 1877 to date. 
Young, W. H,, State Attorney, 1860 to 1862. 
Fird Board of County Cummuisioners, Mai/ 15, 1839, to Sept. 1839. 
John Maxwell, '^ 

James Vandeventer, ;- Commmioners. 
John Hughs, J 

The board held their first meeting on the 15th of May, 1839, 
at Clinton, which town had been established as the county seat 
by a public election held on the 6th of May. — Three hundred 
and thirteen votes had chosen Clinton, while one hundred and 
eighty had selected Marion as the county seat- The abstract of 
this election is certified to by Iv. H. Fell, circuit clerk of De 
Witt county, and by William Anderson, an acting justice of 
the peace. 

The first orders made by the board had reference to a political 
subdivision of the county into six precincts, to wit.: 

Sangamon precinct — Commencing at the south-east corner of 
the county, thence north to the center line of township twenty, 
thence west one mile, west of division line between range four 
and five, thence south to line between townships eighteen and 
nineteen, thence east to the place of beginning. Poll to be at 
the house of John Madden, and John Madden, Ezra Marcus, 
and John Mailer to be judges of election. 

Mount Pleasant. — Commencing on the south-east corner, thence 
west with the county line, one mile west of the range line between 
four and five, thence south of the county line, thence with the 
county line to place of beginning, with poll at Mount Pleasant. 
Richard Webb, John Dener and Denis Hurley were appointed 
judges of election. 

Marion. — Commencing on the county line between sections 35 
and 36, township 19, range 4 east, thence north to county line, 
thence west, taking two-thirds of range number three, thence 
south to county line, thence east to place of beginning, with poll 
at the town of Marion. James McCord, Gabriel Watt, and 
Hiram Chapin were appointed judges of election. 

Clinton. — Commencing on the south line of the county, or 
county line, between sections 32 and 33, township 19, north of 
range 3 east, thence north to the north-west corner of section 16, 
township 20, thence west to county line, thence south with the 
county line to the south-west corner of the county, thence east 
to the place of beginning, with poll at Clinton. Henry Brown, 
Andrew Wallace, and Thomas Fruit, judges of election. 

Lonff Point. — Commencing at the north-west corner of section 



9 



16, township 20, thence north to county line, thence west with 
county line to center of section 17, township 21, thence south to 
center section 17, township 20, thence east to the place of begin- 
ning, with poll at the house of Samuel P. Glenn. William 
Hougham, S- P. Glenn, and Samuel Spencer, jr , judges of elec- 
tion. 

New Castle. — Cemraenciug in the center of section 17, in town- 
ship 21, north of range 1 east, thence south with the said center 
line to section 17, in township 20, thence west to county line, 
thence with said line to the place of beginning, with poll at ISew 
Castle. Andrew Brock, John Hoblett, sen., and .John Barr, 
judges of election. 

The board next proceeded to organize and divide the county 
into nineteen road districts, and to appoint the following citizens 
supervisors of public roads, to wit.: Joseph Howard, John Hum- 
phries, Ambrose Hall, John Lowry, Isaac Davenport, Henry 
Distion, William Dye, G. D. Smallwood, Tyre Harp, William 
Pierce, Abraham Marins, Andrew G. Winkler, Samuel Cline, 
Isaac Swisher, William Bolin, Allen Turner, George Isham, and 
T. R. Hoblet. 

The various roads through the county, designated either as 
state or as county roads, were declared to be county roads of the 
new county of De Witt. 

William Lowry (see pioneers), qualified as county recorder, 
and Fleming G. Paine, took the oath of office a^ probate justice, 
the clerk of the court of county commissioners, John J. McGraw, 
was appointed school commissioner; Jesse C McPherson, county 
treasurer, and W. H. Lafferty collector of taxes for that portion 
of the county formerly belonging to McLean county. The 
valuations of that — (the northern) — part of the county, amounted 
to one hundred and fourteen thousand, seven hundred and 
eighty six dollars ; the rate of tax was 30 cents per hundred dol- 
lars of assessed values. The prospective revenue for the first 
year was therefore only 8344.35. The taxes to be paid on the 
property situated in the southern part of the county, formerly 
part ot Macon county, was being collected by the authorities of 
said county. More than one-half of the first year's revenue of 
the county of De Witt was thus lost to the county. The amount 
was but small, yet the loss was felt severely. The county had 
to enter upon its mision of an independent corporation in a de- 
pendent condition, so to say, ushered into existence with a debt, 
in embryo. The financial condition of the county was bad in 
the beginning, nor did it improve for years thereafter. The 
board organized a seventh precinct, — 

WaynesviUe — from parts of New Castle and Long Point, pre- 
vious to the regular August election, and appointed Zebulon G. 
Cantrall, Thomas Cuppy and David Montgomery judges of 
election. 

Henry Dishon contracted for the building of a court-house, to 
be completed by September, 1S39, and for which the county was 
to pay to him the sum of sixteen hundred and four dollars. 
E. W. Fears appears as the first sheriff, and A. L. Barnett as 
first surveyor of the county. Daniel H. Dragstrem was ap- 
pointed constable of New Castle precinct. 

Second Board of County Commissioners. 
J.4.5IES Vandeventer, ") 
John Hughs, - 1839 to 1840. 

Ru.ssELL Post, J 

The court house was completed, as contracted for, and was 
received on the 2d of September by the commissioners. The con- 
tractor received on payment two county bonds of .3302,00 each, 



6(j 



J I [STORY OF DL ■ WJTT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



due in 18 and 36 months, and bearing interest at the rate of 
twelve per cent, per annum. These two bonds remained unpaid 
fur many j'ears' ; the county managed, however, to pay the 12 
per cent, interest, with regularity. 

Preparations were now made to hold a terra of the circuit 
court at Clinton ; the board appointed the following citizens to 
constitute 

THK FIRST GRAND JURY. 

Samuel Hobblet, John Barr, James Downy, John Montgomery 
Matthesv McElheny, Thomas M. Glenn, Frederick Troxel, 
Daniel Newcomb, Thomas Fruit, Charles JNI. Simonsou, Ambrose 
Hall, William Wright, Franklin Barnett, John Walker, John 
Lowry, Polly Richards, George B. Lemen, James McCord, 
John Lane John Danner, Preston Webb, John S. Madden, and 
AVilliam Baily. 

The acts of this and other grand-juries are mentioned under 
the heading of ■' Circuit Court." to which our readers are referred. 

The proprietors of the town lots of Clinton had, in accordance 
■with the act of the legislature creating the county of De Witt, 
to donate to the county the sum of two thousand dollars, either 
ia money or in real estate, to be appraised by competent parties. 
The question of the location of the county-seat had been decided 
by tJie elections above mentioned. From the number of votes 
cast, 493 — it may be inferred, that all voters took a deep interest 
in the raat'er, and no one seems to have ab-taiaed from voting. 
The feeling between the rival towns, Marion and Clinton, had 
become rather warm, and the decision of the Gth of May, 183d, 
was by no means considered final However, the C'lintonians 
had it, "'and the proprieiors of the town lots were ready" to ful- 
fill their part of the contract. Hugh Bowles, Henry Dishon 
and J. J. McGraw acted as appraisers lor the projjrjetors had 
chosen to donate lots in lieu of the two thou-and dollars cash to 
the county, In consequence of the appraisement thus had, the 
following deed was executed, to wit. : 

State of II,LI^'OIS | This indenture made and entered 
])e Witt County, j into this 20th day of September, A. D. 
1839, between Jesse W. Fell and Hester V., his wife, of the 
county of McLean, and State of Illinois, of the first part, and 
James Vandeventer, John Hughs and Kussell Post, County Com- 
missioners of the county of De Witt, and State of Illinois, and 
their successors in office of the second part, Witnesseth, that 
whereas by an act of the General Assembly of the .State of Illinois, 
entitled an act for the formation of De Witt county, it 
was provided among other things that the proprietor or proprie- 
tors of the town where the county seat should be established 
should donate to the said county the sum of two thousand dollars, 
or in lieu thereof, at their discretion, grant and convey town lots 
or other lands situated in or about the town where the county- 
seat should be located, to the value of two thousand dollars; and 
whereas, the county-seat of said county of De Witt was, in man- 
ner prescribed by said act, established at the town of Clinton on 
the first Monday in May, A. D. 1^39. Now, therefore, J. W. 
Fell and Hester Vernon his wife, one of the proprietors of the 
said town of Clinton, in considcraticn of the premises do, give, 
grant, bargain, sell and convey to the said county commissioners, j 
and their successors in office, for the u.se of and in trust for the 
inhabitants of said county of De Witt, the following described i 
loti, to wit. : Lot No. 4, block No. 1 ; Lots No. 1 and 2, I 
in block No. 2 ; Lots No. 7 and 8, in block No. 14; Lots No. 5, 
6, and 8, in block No. 20 ; Lots No. 3 and 4, in block No. 20, j 
and Lots No. 5, 6, 7 and 8, in block No. 30, all of said town of 



Clinton, as marked and tecorded in the recorded plot thereof, 
with all the privileges thereunto belonging, or in any wise ap- 
pertaining. To have and to hold the aforesaid lots to the said 
county commissioners and their successors in office, for the uses 
aforesaid forever. 

And I, the said Jesse W. Fell, for myself from my heirs, ex- 
ecutors and administrators, do covenant to and with the said 
County Commissioners and their successors that I will forever 
warrant and defend the title of the aforesaid lots against the 
lawful claims of myself, my heirs, or assigns, and against the 
claim of every other person or persons whatsoever. In testi- 
mony whereof we have hereunto set our hands and seals the day 
and year aforesaid. 

J. W. Fell. [seal.] 

Hester V. Fell, [seal.] 

This deed was acknowledged before Geo F. Markley, notary 
public of McLean county, 111., on the 21st of September, 1839, 
and recorded in book A, on pages 145, 14G and 147, Dewitt 
County Records, on the 14th of March, 1840. By similar deeds 
Peter and Evelina A. Withers convey to the county lots 1 and 2 
in block 20 ; James Allin and Catharine, his wife, lot 5 in block 
15, lots .5 and 6 in block IS, lots 5, 6, 7 and 8 in block 19, lots 3 
and 4 in block 30, lots 3 and 4 in block 29, lots 5, 6, 7, and 8 in 
block 25, and John Anderson the Public Square, to wit : 40 feet 
of the west side of lot No. 5 and block No. 9, and more particu- 
larly described as follows : Cojumencing at the south-west corner 
of said lot, and running thence north 123] feet to the north side 
of said public square, thence west 40 feet to the place of be- 
ginning. 

Thus the county obtained possession of thirty-two lots, valued 
at 82,000, or St>2.o0 each,, rather a fancy price, as subsequent 
events amply proved. . 

The public square had been lad out and properly recorded as 
such on the 1st day of October, 1835, almost four years prior to 
these donations. The title of the county to the public square is 
imperfect for this very reason. The county will have to build a 
new court-house sooner or later, and should then erect it on 
grounds actually owned and possessed by the county. Public 
squares are not intended for buildings of this or any other kind, 
and people cannot be legally taxed to erect public buildings on 
real estate not owned by the authority ordering such tax levies 
to be made. Besides, it may be said that the ])resence of a court- 
bouse on the publie square is detrimental to the development of 
the city in all other directions. 

We return to the county affairs. 

The board granted the prayer of D.ivid Macon to erect a mill- 
dam, five and one-half feet high, across Salt creek, on the north- 
west quarter of the north-east quarter of section 19 north, range 
2 east. R Edwin Post, of Waynesville, obtained license to re- 
tail liquors — the first license granted by the authorities of the 
county. 

The board next proceeded to examine into the financial affairs 
of the county, and caused the treasurer, J. C. MePherson, to sub- 
mit a detailed report at the December term, 1839. This rejiort 
is still on file ; we give it in full, to wit ; — 

REI'ORT OF J. C. Mc-rilERSOX, Teeasuker. 
Br 

Amount received for licenses ? 10 00 

Amount received for fines 24 00 

Amount received in town lots, .is p;irt of donations to tlie county 

from proprietors of Clinton ; appraised value 1,3G9 00 

One promissory note in liand of trtasurer 24 00 

?1,427 00 



/$^ 




PUBLIC BU ILD I NGS , Da Witt County, I ll . 



HISTORY OF BE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



67 



Cr. 

By cash paid to K. IT. Fell 

By cash jiaid E. W. Fears ; services as slieril 

By county orders due and unpaid 

By courtdiotise bonds issued Sept. 2, 18o9 . 
By balance m favor of county 



GU-1 


UO 
.OS 


51,4-27 


0(1 



This report seems to have given full satisfaction, inasmuch as 
the couuty had a surplus of Si79.5S after all its debts had been 
discharged and paid in full. A closer examination of the report 
will develop a less prosperous and plethoric condition of the 
treasury. The treasurer had received not more nor less than 
S34.00 into the treasury, and was called on to pay 8947.42, 
therewith clearly demonstrating that the revenue then being 
eollected would barely suffice to pay one-third of the county in- 
debtedness. The report does not show who paid those SIO.OO 
for license.s, nor who had been fined. It is to be presumed, how- 
ever, that the fine item is the proceeds of eight fist-fights, the 
usual fine being 83, until Esquire McGraw raised it, as will be 
seen in our chapter on Pioneers. 

The promissory note has remained promissory to this date ; it 
was made by one Bradshaw, and has received reinforcements or 
compromises in the shape of similar notes ; they are still on file 
in the county clerk's office at Clinton, and apt to remain there. 
The lot item of 81,369 has long ago been stripped of its illusion. 

We come now to the credit items, and find them solid and 
genuine ; they all had to be met, and were met, although at a 
much later day ; the court-house bonds were redeemed in 18.53. 

In March, 1840, the board appointed Joseph Bowles, John 
Montgomerv and Daniel Robbins overseers of the poor. This 
office proved a sinecure, for fortunately thecounty of DeWitt had 
but few if any paupers in its limits at that time. The first 
pauper it mentioned in the census reports of 1850. 

McPherson resigned the office of treasurer on the 17th of 
March, 1844, and was succeeded by John J. McGraw, appointed 
treasurer ^;ro (em. 

The board ordered a road tax of ten cents, and road laljor of 
two days. 

The first assessment of taxable property was returned to the 
court in June, 1840, by John Swearingen, W. H. LafTerty and 
Daniel Dragstrem, district assessors, who received seventy-two 
dollars for their work. These officers had been very exact and 
conscientious in the discharge of their duties. The assessed 
values correspond with the actual values, as appears from deed 
records and administrators' sale of personal property records. 
The assessed value in 1840 was 8305,920. The tax levy was 30 
cents per 100. 

W. H. Lafl'erty was appointed census commissioner for the 
county at the June term, 1840. His reports seem to have been 
lost or destroyed. 

Third Board. 

John HuGnr..«, ') 

RUS.SELL Post, - 1840 to 1841. 

James Vandevextee, (re-elected) ) 

The necessity of having a proper prison at the county-seat had 
become more and more apparent, the board therefore invited 
bids for the building of a jail, to wit: 

" To be fourteen feet square in the clear, two stories high, the 
lower story to be eight feet, the upper seven feet high ; lower 
story to be built of timbers twelve inches square ; two walls with 
a space of four inches between said walls, said space of four 



inches to be filled with timbers upright; the lower floor to be 
laid with timbers twelve inches square ; the timbers of the second 
floor also to be twelve inches square, and the third floor to be 
composed of timbers ten inches thick." 

William Dishon took the contract, and completed his work 
June 1, 1841. He received his pay, 8900.00, in county bonds, 
pavable in two and three years, bearing interest at the rate of 
six per cent. He was allowed a further compensation of 825.00 
for some extra work not mentioned in the contract. 

P. De Spain, who had been elected treasurer in August, 1840, 
resigned in June, 1841, the vacancy being filled by the appoint- 
ment of Charles ^laltby. W. H. Lafl'erty reported to have com- 
pleted the collection of the county revenue, and requested to be 
credited with 837.64 of delinquent taxes. From this it would 
appear that the net revenue of the county, proceeding from 
taxation amounted in that year to 8880.12. 

E. W. Fears was appointed to collect the revenue of 1841, the 
tax rate being 40 cents, and the assessed value had increased to 
8392,000. 

Foiirlh. Board. 

Russell Post, ") 

J.vMES Vaxdeventer, - 18 tl to 1S42. 

Fr.vnklix Barnett. 3 

The building of the jail had increased the county debt — the 
treasury of the county was continually out of funds ; so another 
slow and searching examination of the financial condition of the 
county was resolved upon. 

The Treasurer, Charles :\raltby, at the December term, 1841, 
submitted the following report : 

Cash in Treaisury, S3 31 

Bills receivable 306 07 

Tax bills in hands of collector 1,503 7.5 

Lots in Clinton, unsold, 899 00 

Balance due from proprietors of claims, 607 00 

Credit ; 

County orders unredeemed C30 69 

Court-house bonds 60-t 00 

Jail bonds W 00 

Balance in favor of county 1.2-Jl 4-t 

3,379 13 «3,370 13 

Here is the same state of afi'airs mentioned in 1839, the county 
assets exceeding its liabilities nearly 81250, and yet no money to 
pay or redeem county orders and matured bonds. The " bills 
receivable" mentioned above are the Bradshaw notes, etc. From 
the statement above, it is to be inferred that the county had, up 
to that date, realized .about 8496 from the sale of Clinton town 

lots. 

The Treasurer reports further, that during the year ending 
Kovember 30th, 1841,8979-84 had been issued in county orders 
to defray the current expenses of the county. This amount is 
in excess of the county revenue, which, as seen above, could not 
have amounted to more than 8880. The county board seems to 
have been fully aware of the want of proper economy and man- 
ao-ement of the fiscal affairs, for in making the levy for the ensu- 
ino- year, they provide for an amount sufficient to pay off' unre- 
deemed orders and to meet current expenses. The writer does 
not know what member of the board should be complimented in 
the premises, and would merely state that Franklin Barnett was 
the new member. 



68 



limiORY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



This financial report, like the one of December, 1839, is fol- 
lowed by the resignation of the Treasurer, June 1842, when R. 
H. I'uol was appointed Treasurer/)™ iem. 

Fifth Board. 

James Van'devexter, ') 

Franklin Baesett, ■- 1842 to 1843. 

Timothy B. Hoelett, ) 

The financial condition of the county continued to improve 
during the administration of this board. The amount of unpaid 
county orders was reduced to S305.07 ; a part of the " bills re- 
ceivable," some 842-00, were collected, and the total amount of 
expenditures of the county reduced to -S901.60. There had been 
trouble during the year in the collection of the revenue. E. W. 
Fears had resigned the office of collector, and was succeeded by 
William Mitchell. The latter neglected to file a bond, and was 
superseded by E. W. Fears, in September, 1843. Mitchell ren- 
dered a full and succinct account of collections made by him and 
paid his vouchers, amounting to §791.88, into court, as required. 
The collectors of the county performed, for many years, nearly 
all the official functions of the treasurers, who had apparently 
no duties to perform. Collectors would disburse the county 
funds in the payment of county orders and juror warrants, and 
then settle their accounts with these vouchers, by paying them 
directly into court. The county board would then examine these 
vouchers, count them, and finally burn them. From the finan- 
cial reports introduced here, it would appear that the treasurers 
of the county, during the first four years of its existence, had 
handled less than SlUO in cash, and that they received no com- 
pensation for their services. There were not less than seven 
treasurers in office during those four years, and all of them but 
one, R. E. Pool, resigned before the expiration of their respective 
terms. 

The financial condition of the county having materially im- 
proved, the board reduced the annual county tax to twenty cents 
per one hundred. 

Absalom Hamilton was appointed to make the county assess- 
ment for the year 1843. 

Sidh Board. 
Franklin Barnett, "> 

Timothy B. Hoelett, ' 1843 to 1844. 

James Vandev enter, re-elected. 3 
O. Wakefield was appointed overseer of the poor, and agreed 
to keep, clothe, feed and guard a certain idiot — John Bellew — 
for 8120.00 per annum. 

The county tax was raised to thirty cents, as the financial 
statement of 1843 exhibited an increase of county indebtedness, 
and consequently a depreciation of county orders. 

From March, 1844, the county sheriffs became collectors of 
revenue, and the treasurers became assessors by virtue of their 
office. 

Seventh Board. 
Timothy- B. Hoelett, ^ 

James Vandeventer, '- 1844 to 1 845. 

Franklin Barnett, re elected. 3 

During the year the citizens of the county were greatly agi- 
tated about some questions in reference to changing the county 
seat, dividing the county, or making additions to it. 

Presley Williams and four hundred others had petitioned the 
State Legislature to make Waynesville the county seat. 



Another petition, signed by E. W. Wright and four hundred 
and seventy-six others, prayed for a division of the county ; 
while B. R. Warfield and four hundred and forty-one others 
remonstrated against Wright's petition. 

The reader will perceive that this petition and the remon- 
strance against it aroused the most profound interest of all citi- 
zens, for there appear the signatures of nine hundred and thirty- 
nine citizen/ attached to either one or the other of said documents. 
Many citizens were wholly wrapped up in the business, so that 
they signed the petition as well as the remonstrance. 

John J. McGraw, county clerk at the time, careful and accurate, 
compiled the names of all voters of the county by precincts, and 
stated officially, and above the seal of the court, that the county 
of De Witt counted, in August, 1844, not more nor less than 
six hundred and seventy-five voters. This list is still on file in 
the clerk's office, — our chapter on Pioneers contains it at length. 

Another petition, headed by W. E. Sawyer and signed by 
two hundred and eighty one others, prays the State Legislature 
to add a part of Logan county to De Witt. Fred Troxell and 
three hundred and forty-seven others remonstrated against Saw- 
yer's prayer, saying that the object of it was, first, to add terri- 
tory to the county ; next, to divide the county, and, finally, to 
get the county seat away from Clinton. 

F. G- Paine, probate justice, resigned his offi;e on July 4th, 
1844. It is not known what induced him to tender his resigna- 
tion at the nation's holiday,— his letter seems to indicate ill 
humor, to wit : — 

J. J. McGraw, Esij., Clerk of the Coun-ty Commi.ssioners' Court : 

I hereby resign the office of Probate Justice of ifie Peace, to wllich I 
was comnjissloned by the Governor of the State of Illinois Jor the county 
of De Wilt. I shali refuse to do business in that office from and after the 
present day. You are therefore authorized to issue a writ of election to 
fill my vacancy, 

A financial statement, dated June, 184.5, represents an indebt- 
edness of S1624.31, and not a dollar in the treasury. The avail- 
able assets consisted in the delimiueut tax list for the current 
year, amounting to $170.55. 

Eighth Board. 

James Vandeventer, ^ 
Franklin Barnett, '- 1845 to 1846. 
John Maxwell. 3 

The first inquest of the county, held by J. H. McPherson on the 
body of Matthew K. Martin, occurred during this administra- 
tion. The reader will find a full account of this murder case 
under the heading of " Courts." 

There is nothing further of any interest to mention. The 
county debt was slowly increasing ; it amounted in June, 184G, 
to $1959.54, and no money in the treasury. 

Ninth Board 

Franklin Barnett, ~) 
John Maxwell, I 1846 to 1847. 

William Cottingiiam, j 
This board undertook to build a new court-house. The Clerk 
was instructed to invite bids, by advertisements in Springfield 
papers. John Maxwell protested against these proceedings, and 
had his protest entered upon the records, as follows: — 

"I, John Maxwell, one of the members of the County Commissioners' 
Board of De Witt County, do hereby dissent and enter my most solemn 
protest against the majority of said board in relation to the building of a 
court-house, or receiving proposals for the same ; jirsf, believing that the 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COL'STY, ILLIl^GIS 



09 



people are already oppressed with taxation, and the county is already some 
twelve or fourteen hundred (over two thousand) dollars in debt, and that the 
people, who should ever rule, have not been consulted on the subject; 
the»e, with many other reasons, I deem sufficient to dissent from the ma- 
jority, being determined to do no act of this kind without consulting the 
people.'' 

The fiscal statement of June, 1S47, shows a county debt of 
S-I1T.35, with §16.70 in the treasury to meet it. 

Tenih Board. 
John Maxwell, -\ 

William Cottixoham. - 1847 to 1848. 
W. G. Wright. j 

Tiie protest of Maxwell's had delayed the building of the 
court-house for almost a year ; meanwhile the question had been 
diligently mooted, and some citizens had volunteered pecuniary 
aid towards building a better court-house. 

The records of the board, December term, 1847, contain the 
following : — • 

"AVhereas, the citizens of De Witt County have bound themselves to 
raise one thousand dollars, in responsible subscriptions, for the purpose of 
building a court-house in the town of Clinton ; therefore it is ordered that 
the County Commissioners proceed to the letting of .=aid house on the tirst 
Monday of January next, said house to be two stories high, thirty two feet 
wide by forty-four feet long, built of brick, and finished in a good work- 
man-like manner. It is furtlier ordered by the Court, that the Clerk cause 
an adverlisement to be published in the State Uajisler, for three weeks, stat- 
ing that a court house will be built, of the size and form aforesaid ; that 
§•500 will he paid when the walls are erected, and ?500 when the same is 
completed and received, and the balance to be paid as to be agreed upon 
by the parties at the time of accepting the bid ; bids to be sent in by the 
first Monday of January, 184S." 

Messrs. Smith <t- Dellahuut took the contract on the od of 
January, 1848, for S3, 300. The court-house was completed and 
received in June, 1849 ; the contractors were paid S-65 for ex- 
tras not provided for in contract, to wit: "Cupola" and painting. 
The total cost of the building was S3,565. The county issued 
eleven bonds, amounting in the aggregate to §2,674. 53, to pay 
the balance due to the contractors on the day of settlement. 
They seem to have received previously the sum of 8880.47, and 
it is very probable that this amount was raised by voluntary 
contributions. 

Eleventh Board. 

John Maxwell, ") 

William Wright, -1848 to 1849. 

William Cottingham. ) 

The building of the court-house seems to have occupied the 
attention of the commissioners to a great extent, no other public 
business being considered during the time. The collector of the 
revenue of 1847 had departed this life rather abruptly, leaving 
his accounts in a somewhat confused condition. The financial 
statement of 1849 reports tax-bills of 1847 to the amount of 
S679 still outstanding, and the county debt to be 84,250.01, and 
not a dollar in the treasury. The ordinary expenditures during 
the year amounted to 81,055.20 only. 

Tu-ejflh Board. 
William Weight, ") 

William Cottingham, - Sept. 1, 1849, to Dec. 1, 1849. 
John Maxwell, re-elected, j 

The official term of this board was but brief. The new con- 
stitution of Illinois had abolished the county boards, substituting 



in their stead county courts, to consist of one judge and two 
associate justices, to be elected for a term of four years. 

The last county board perfected a settlement with the collector 
of the revenue for 1848, who had also completed the work of his 
predecessor. 

From this settlement it appears that William Mitchell had 
collected 8252 41 before his death. 

The county debt amounted, as stated above, to 84,250.01, 
to wit : 

Court-house bonds of 1S39 5604 00 

Jail bonds, balance of 205 00 

Accrued interest on ab jve Court-house bonds 600 48 

Court-house bonds of 1849 2,674 53 

County orders — unpaid 166 00 

Total $4"250 01 

First Co%mty Court, 1849 to 1853. 

Daniel Kodbins Judge. 

John Maxxvell, \ ^^^^^;^,;^ j,^,,,.^^^_ 
\V illiam Danner, j 

Up to this time the authorities of the county had in no wise 
aided in the improvement of roads and the building of bridges, 
so much needed ; nor had the financial condition of the county 
permitted any appropriations for this purpose. 

In 1850 the county court had bridges built over Rock Creek, 
Big Slough, south-east of Mount Pleasant, Salt Creek, at the 
crossing of the road from Clinton to Marion and South Fork of 
Salt Creek, near Mount Pleasant, spending 8325 in their erection. 
The current county expenditures during the year exceeded those 
of the preceding years to the amount of about 8500, gl,229 10 
in county orders, and 8163.85 in juror warrants were issued 
durino' the year. The records give also an account of the town 
lots in Clinton, sold by the sheriff in April, 1851. James 
AUsup bought fourteaa bts for 8286, Samuel Harrold, one for 
834.25 ; S. Slatton, one for 8 30 ; Nathan Murphy, one for SiO ; 
Alex. Argo, three for 884 ; Samuel Cox, one for 825 ; W. N. 
Meservay, one for 825 ; Thomas Little, two for 840, and W. 
Yearman, one for 820 These twenty-five lots bad been ap- 
praised at 81,562.50 in 1839, and were sold for 8566.25 in 1851. 
No wonder that the paper of the county remained under par. 

The county jail was found by the grand jury to be in a 
"dilapitated, unsafe, and unfit condition," and the sheriff was 
ordered to have it repaired at once. The reader will soon learn 
what steps that officer took to carry out this order. 

Associate Justice William Danner died on the 13th of July, 
1851. The following resolutions were entered of record Sep- 
tember, 1851 : 

"That by the death of William Danner the county hast lost a 
good citizen, a just and faithful judge, an upright and honorable 
man. 

"That this court, feeling deeply the loss of their associate, 
tender their sympathy to his bereaved family. 

" That the clerk make out and transmit to the widow of the 
deceased a copy of these resolutions." 

\V. Y. McCord was elected associate justice to fill vacancy 
caused by the death of William Danner. 

The county expenditures were constantly increasing, the taxes 
grew higher, and yet the public debt was not reduced. The 
court continued to make internal improvements by the building 
of numerous bridges, and the citizens endorsed this proceeding 
by re-electing the county judge for another term. 



70 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



Second County Court, 1853 to 1857. 
Daniel Roebins, Countij Judge. 
Samuel Graham, ) . ■ . r i- 
Charles C. Watson, j -'1««»^'««« •^'«*'''<=«- 

The same system of internal improvements was pursued during 
this term. The county tax, §i,45S.22 in 1853, was increased to 
. S7,300 in 1854. 

A short abstract of the tax values of the county may find 
space here. 

Value of live stock $400,000 

Moneys at interest 135,000 

Siore goods 70,000 

Farming utensils 55,000 

All other personal property 150,000 

F.arming lands 930,000 

Town and city lots 85,000 

Total $1,825,000 

The state tax for the year amounted to about S9,000, and the 
local school taxes to a little more than $2,000. The total tax 
did not exceed one dollar per one hundred dollars of tax value. 
Still the usual growling at the enormous taxes were constantly 
heard. It is very much to be deplored that none of the consti- 
tutional growlers of those years had to pay taxes, when they had 
run up, as in the city of Clinton, to ten times the amount men- 
tioned herein. 

The jail building had meanwhile remained an eye-sore; the 
peremptory order of the county court, that the sheriff should at 
once repair the building, had been disobeyed, iguored, yea, 
treated with contempt. A powder plot at Clinton in 1854 ! and 
so reported by grand jury of the county, as will more fully ap- 
pear from the following, a verbatim copy of said report : 
De Witt County Circuit Court, May term, 1855. Pleas b gun 
and held at the Court-house in Clinton, on Monday, the 
14th day of May, a d. 1855. Plon. Davtd Davis, judge 
of the 8th judicial circuit, composed of the counties of De 
Witt, etc., presiding. 

On the 18th day of May of the said May term, the following 
order appears of record : 

The grand jury this day returned into court the following or- 
der, to wit : 

"The grand jury have visited the jail of our county, we find 
the roof very much dilapitated, the rooms very filthy, and an 
amount of gunpowder, nearly two kegs spilled on the floor some 
time last year, and not removed, with the probability that it has 
settled between the crossed timbers and beneath." 

It is therefore ordered by the court, that all prisoners of this 
county shall be committed to either the county jail of McLean 
or :-angamon counties, until the county court of this county 
shall prepare a suitable prison ; it is further ordered that the 
clerk of this court certify this report, together with this order, 
to the county court at its next regular ses ion. 

State op Illinois, ) 

De Witt County J '*■ I, Robert Lewis, clerk of the 
circuit court within and for said couuty, do hereby certify the 
above to be a true copy of the report and order, as appears of 
record in this office this 3d of June, 1855. 

i^^^.^-J RoBEKT Lewis, Clerk. 

William Bdin, who had been sheriff in 1854, and ex-ofl5cio 
jailer of the couuty, was considered the iutellectual originator, 
the modern Robert Ratesby as it were, of this diabolical plot ; 



it has never been ascertained whom he had intended for the Guy 
Fawks of this conspiracy, he probably intended to play that 
part too. However his plans, like those of the London plotters 
of 1604, were frustrated. Guy Fawks' day (November 5) was 
kept as a national holiday for over two hundred years, and was 
also celebrated in the New England states for many years. 
Fven to this day, the street gamins of London may be seen, on 
the 5th day of November, dragging Guy Fawks in effigy through 
the streets of Lindon, and burning it publicly at night. The 
historical day of the discovery of the De Witt county powder 
plot is the 14th day of May. So far the two conspiracies are 
analagous; they difl'er, however, materially in the objects to be 
attained. Ratesby and Fawks attempted to destroy the great 
and good men of the land, while Bolin aimed at the bad and 
wretched jail-birds of his county ; and if hereafter the boys of 
De Witt county should contemplate to celebrate their 14th day 
of May, let them have a bjoming bonfire in honor of their grim 
old sheriff. 

The county court of those days looked upon the matter from 
a diflerent standpoint, and contemplated with anger the extra 
expenditures to be met. Their order in reference to the affair, 
sinister as it appears, is not plain nor very intelligible — reading 
as follows : 

■' The grand juiy has condemned the county jail on account of 
its being in a filthy condition and in need of repairs — that gun- 
powder to the extent of two kegs has been spilled on the floor, 
descending through the cracks thereof, making it unsafe to life, 
and that Hon. Judge Davis had thereupon ordered that all 
criminals or persons committed in De Witt county should be 
conveyed to the Bloomingtou or Springfield jails in this state — 
and that this court, being of the opinion that the gunpowder 
above alluded to was placed in said jail by the permission of 
William Bolin then sheritt'. It is therefore ordered, that the court 
will choose a man, and that the said William Bolin may choose 
a man, and if they cannot agree, the two to choose a third man 
to value the said jail, and that said William Bolin may use any 
means he may choose for the purpose of removing the difficulty 
so far as the powder is concerned, at his own risk ; and as to the 
cleaning and repairing of said jail, this court will provide, the 
said Bolin being accountable only so far as the use of fire or 
other means he may use for the purpose of removing the danger 
of the ponder to the county for the value of said jail." 

The records do not disclose who were chosen to value, nor 
what further measures were resorted to. It is probable, how- 
ever, that the building of a new jail in 1857 was in part brought 
about by the plot. 

Charles C. Watson vacated his office in autumn, 1S54, and 
was succeeded by George B. Lemen in December of said year. 

The Clinton division of the Sons of Temperance, No. 216, were 
granted the free use of the courtroom up stairs, on condition 
that said Sons repair damages done by holding meetings in said 
room previously, to repair broken benches, put new glass where 
there are holes in the lights, and repair the plastering around 
the stove-pipe. This order leads us to infer that the meetings of 
these Temperate Sons had been rather intemperate. 

On the 26th of January, 1857, the bids for building a new 
jail were opened, and the contract awarded to Hoagland &: 
Ricketts, who offered to build the jail according to plans and 
specifications for $12,000 in cash, or for $14,578.40 in county 
bonds, bearing interest at the rate of six per cent, per annum 
from date ; the building was to be completed on or before 
December 1, 1857. 



HISTORY OF DL WITT COUNTY, ILLIXOIS. 



The court chose the bond bid, and the contractors filing a good 
and sufBcient indemnity bond, issued a number of bonds, amount- 
ing in the aggregate to 817,223.00, to become due in June, 1857 
1858, 1859, and 1860, respectively, bearing six per cent, annual 
interest from date of issue, viz., March 6th, 1857, in payment of 
work hereafter to be done ! 

W. Bolin, G. B. Lemen, and Jesse Stout were appointed ex- 
perts to inspect the work as it progressed. The jail was to be 
built on the plans of the Tazewell county jail, then considered 
one of the best in the State. 

The ground on which it was to be erected had been bought of 
Fred. Hanguer, who received his pay, viz., 8623.87, in ten per 
cent, interest-bearing county bonds, March 2d, 1858. We have 
failed to ascertain why the county court issued and paid over 
to the contractors 817,223 in county bonds, instead of 814,578.40, 
as previously agreed upon. The cash bid of 812,000, made at 
the same time, indicates that the county paper, at the time of 
receiving bids (January 2d, 1857), was worth about eighty-three 
cents per dollar. Two months later (March, lS57j, it seemed to 
have taken 817,223 in county bonds to represent 812,000 in 
money ; in other words, county orders were then worth only 
seventy cents per one dollar. 

This unfavorable condition of the finances of the county de- 
layed the work of the contractors, who, in one instance, had to 
hypothecate 89000 of those bonds to obtain a temporary loan of 
only 82500. In July, 1858, the county court negotiated with 
A. Gridley & Co. a loan of 812,000, in order to have funds with 
which to pay the work on the jail as it progressed. The money 
was placed in the McClean county bank, and was to be checked 
out by Robert Lewis, and onlj- in favor of the jail contractors, 
and in amounts in accordance with the progress of the work. 

This is the first instance of placing public funds under the 
control of a fiscal agent, of rudely ignoring the county treasurer, 
and in defiance of the revenue law. The jail bonds mentioned 
above (817,223) seem to have been surrendered to the county 
court in part only, as some of them are marked " paid," and 
defaced ; none of them have been destroyed, and they all remain 
on file in the Clerk's oiBce. No financial statements are men- 
tioned during this period, and with part of the county funds in 
another county, part in hands of collectors, and balance, if any, 
in the hands of treasurer, it would scarcely have been possible 
to have a correct and succinct statement made. 

The people of the county had meanwhile become restive and 
dissatisfied with the management of their affairs. A petition, 
signed by Kathaniel Kazey and ninety-nine others, praying for a 
vote on the adoption of township organization, was presented to 
the court in September, 185S. The court thereupon ordered a 
vote, and the system was adopted by a vote of 1424 against 308 
at the November election in 1858. 

In December, 1858, R. Lewis reported that he had drawn 
85262.22 of the county deposits in the McClean county bank. 

A. L. Barnett, Smith D. Jones, and D. !M. Drag were ap- 
pointed Commissioners to divide the county into townships. 

In January, 1859, Robert Lewis reported that he had drawn 
82450 of the jail funds, leaving a balance of 84387 78 in bank. 
The court ordered the issuing of 812,433.80 in new bonds, to 
take up an equal amount of jail bonds issued March 7th, 1858, 
which were ordered to be caeelled. 

The county court remained in activity until June 6th, 1859, 
confining themselves to routine business only, when the Board 
of Supervisors tojk charge of the government of the county. 



SUPERVISORS. 

First £oaj-d— 1859 to 1860. 

George A Hume, of Wapella, Chairman ; Wilson Allen, Texas ; 
B. G. Liseuby, Creek ; Hiram Chandler, Nixon ; A. A. Eads, 
Barnett ; W. B Smith, Clintonia ; John D. Hutchin, Tunbridge ; 
James Millmore, Harp; Edward O. Day, De Witt; Thos. C. 
Robb, Waynesville ; C. S. Cain, AVilson ;'r. R. Knight, Santa 
Anna; and Jonathan Pearson, of Rutledge. 

One of the first resolutions of the board was to employ a com- 
petent attorney to attend to the legal business of the county, and 
to be the counsellor of the board iu their proceedings. They 
accepted the offer of L. Weldou, and fixed his compensation at 
one hundred dollars per annum. 

Questions having arisen as to the legality of the acts of the 
former county court since April, 1859, the Board asked C. H. 
Moore and L. Weldou for their opinion iu regard to this matter. 
Tliis opinion was given on the Oth of June, 1859, in words as 
fol lows : — 

'* To The Honorable the Board of Supervisors of Clintox 

COUNTV. 

" Gextlemex : — The undersigned, to whom you referred tlie qne-stion : 
' When did the power of the county court of this county over county bu.si- 
ness cease?' would give as their legal opinion, that on and after the first 
Tuesday of April, 18-59, the county court, for county business, ceased to 
exist, and that any acLs done after that time w^e illegal and void. 

"The sixth section of the 7th article of our Coustttutiou provides how 
counties can adopt township organization. 

"The Legislature, in their Act of .\pril Ist, 1S51, article 1, section 4. 
expressly state.s, that if it shall appear that a majority of the legal votes of 
said county was cast for township organization, then the county so voting 
shall be governed by and subject to the provisions of this Act. 

"Township organization on and after the first Tuesday in April succeed- 
ing said election. 

" As we presume that there was nothing wrong intended, permit us to 
suggest that your hoard run over all acts done by them, and adopt all that 
are right. Those tliat you don't ratify are dead letters, and you had better 
so notify the Clerk, Treasurer, and Sherifl'.'" 

The opinion rendered was undoubtedly correct, and the advice, 
though unasked, more .so, and what is still better, the board had 
sense enough to act on this wise suggestion. Fault-finding seems 
to have been the rule for years and years; committees of inves- 
tication chase one another; reports follow reports, until the cli- 
max is capped by a resolution of the board to invesilyate their 
own actions. 

Returning to the subject, let it be said that the Board of Su- 
pervisors examined the proceedings had by the dcfuuet county 
court up to the fourth day of June, and that these proceedings 
were sanctioned by the following resolution : — • 

" Resolved, that after a full examination of the proceedings of the old 
officers of the old county court, from the 1st to the 4th of June, and as from 
the full examination of laws and decisions of the Supreme Court, and like- 
wise of legal counsel, we are fully satisfied that their powers ceased on the 
5th of April last, and further, that, as we find all bills that were allowed 
were fair on their face ; and we further agree that the Clerk shall issue his 
orders on the same." 

From the latter part of this resolution, it is to be inferred that 
the board suspected that doubtful claims or jobs had been passed 
on and ordered to be paid; hence the trouble. The "old mem- 
bers of the old county court," however, had acted wisely and 
properly in confining themselves to routine business only, and in 
finallv disposing of pending claims against the county. These 
" old members of the old county court " certainly knew more 



HISTORY OF BE WITT C0U2\TT, ILLINOIS. 



about the merits of those claims than a number of new men 
could find out in the brief space of their sessions. 

The jail contracted for in 1857 was received in June, 1859. 
Hoagland and Rickets, contractors, received the following 
amounts, to wit : — 

First payment, bonds of March, 1857, . 82500 00 

Amounts drawn from county funds in Mc- 

Clean county bank, .... 8,776 40 

Subsequent payments (June 10th), proba- 
bly count}' orders, .... 041 25 



811,917 65 

The actual cost of the jail seems to have exceeded this amount, 
as will appear from the following : — 

Jail bonds paid to contractors as above, . 82,500 00 

Bonds issued January, 1859, to take up part 
of first jail bonds, issued March 7th, 

1857 12,433 80 

Amount paid to contractors in cash as above, 9,417 65 

Amount paid Fred. Hanguer for lot, . 623 87 



824,975 32 

The original jail bonds, 817,233, seem to have been disposed of 
as follows : — 

Amount paid bona fide to contractors, . 82,500 00 
Amount redeemed by the issue of January, 

1859 ". 12,433 80 

Amount surrendered to the county, . . 2,289 20 



817,223 00 



On the 24th of June, 1850, L. AVelden was appointed agent of 
the county to prosecute its claim against the Federal Govern- 
ment for swamp lands sold in violation of the Swamp-Land Act 
of 1850. 

Darius Hall was made the fiscal agent of the county, June 
24th, 1859. All county moneys were ordered to be deposited 
with him, and he was to pay interest to the county at the rate of 
ten per cent, per annum on all deposits left in his hands for ovf r 
sixty days This arrangement, probably made through motives 
of economy, was wholly and absolutely wrong. The Treasurer 
of the county is by law the custodian of all county funds, and 
his bond secures the county against lo.=s. 

The boundaries of the townships of Clintonia and Wapella, 
were changed, September, 1859 ; sections one, two, three, four, 
five and six of Clintonia were added to Wapella. 

The first tax levy made by the Board of Supervisors was 
thirty-three cents per one hundred dollars. 

John Warner was made swamp-agent in December, 1859, in 
place of L. Weldon heretofore appointed. 

The boundary between Santa Anna and De Witt township 
were clianged by taking off' from Santa Anna and adding to De 
Witt the following tracts, to wit. : commencing at the north-west 
corner of section thirty, in township twenty, range five east, thence 
east to the north-east corner of the north-west quarter of said sec- 
tion, thence south one-half mile, thence east to county line, thence 
south-west with the county line to the range line, thence north 
with the range line to the place of beginning. 

The Board, by order of December, 1859, prohibited the keep- 
ing of salocns or tipling houses, by a vote often against three- 
Wilson, Allen, J. D. Hu^chin, and Ben. Lisenby voting nay. 



In March, 1860, the Board instructed their attorney, L. Wel- 
don, to bring suit against ex sheriff Merryman, for the recovery 
of revenue balances in his hands, viz., 837500, from 1856, and 
8425.00, from 1857. 

The finances of the county were found to be in a very confused 
state, so that it became necessary, in the opinion of the Board, to 
cause a minute examination to be made. The following resolu- 
tion — the records do not state who brought it in, nor who seconded 
it, was passed at the same term : 

Resolved, 1st. That on the second day of said term of the Board - 
of Supervisors, the board proceed to issue bonds to the amounts 
of fifty and one hundred dollars, payable five years after date 
thereof, with 8 per cent interest, payable annually by the county. 

2d. That county orders or jury warrants, when presented to 
the amount of 850 GO, or its multiple, shall be exchanged for 
such bonds, and then be cancelled and burned, and a record of 
the same be kept, in which each bond issued chall be numbered 
as issued. 

3d. That the bonds be signed by the clerk and the chairman 
of the Board, and countersigned by the County Treasurer. 

4th. That the clerk is hereby authorized to procure blank 
bonds of the denomination of 85U.00 and 8100 00 — to be of some 
good form. 

5th. That the Board proceed to get up a petition to the legisla- 
ture for a law legalizing the issue of the above bonds. 

6th. That these resolutions be published once in the " Central 
Transcript." 

Would it not have been proper to have given the fifth 
resolution the place of the first one? _ And why had Darius Hall 
been made the fiscal agent of the county, when there were not 
even funds on hand to pay expenses? 

Second Board— 19,0,0 to 1861. 

Wilson Allen, of Texas township, chairman ; William Clagg, 
Clintonia; Hiram Chandler, Nixon; J. K. Davis, Wilson; A. 
A. Eads, Barnett; William Faller, Rutledge ; J. D. Hutchiu, 
Tunbridge; Tillman Lane, Creek; Thomas Love, Wapella; 
Isaac Monett, Santa Anna; Alexander McConkey, De Wilt; 
Thomas C- Robb, Wayuesville ; ana James T. Willmore, of 
Harp. 

This Board held their first meeting on the 10th of September, 
1860, having allowed the county to govern itself for fully tix 
months. 

On the 12th of September the Board made an order to sell 
the swamp lands belonging to the county. These lands seem to 
have embraced some 1934 acres in the aggregate, 454 of which 
were sold at prices ranging from 83.00 to 810-33 per acre, net- 
ting 82,844.70. 

On the 13th of September, the Board passed a most sweeping 
order, in the following resolution, to wit. : 

That the Board of Supervisors now in session, declare all old 
orders, contracts or agreements, heretofore made by the county 
judges, under county organization and not consummated or en- 
tered into, shall be void from and after this day ! ! 

Nullification, yea, repudiation. Shades of John Caldwell Cal- 
houn ! 

On the 31st of December, the board sjld the old county farm 
to R. E. Liveney for 81,202 00. 

A committee having examined the books of the circuit clerk, 
reported that docket fees, amounting in the aggregate to 8306. On, 
had been collected, and not been paid into the cjun y treasury. 

Another financial measure of very doubtful merit was taken — 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



(see Buok C., page 97) — by passing the following resolution, ap- 
parently not " fathered :" 

"That the treasurer of De Witt county is hereby authorized 
to USB county orders at 10 per cent, discount, in raising the 
balance of the money necessary to pay interest on the jail bonds, 
after getting the balance in the hands of Darius Hall due the 
county, or as much lower as he can." 

How is this very remarkable order to be understood, or to be 
construed? The treasurer is authorized to use county orders, &c. 
How was he to procure them? County orders can only be issued 
on vouchers duly audited and allowed ; they certainly could not 
be ir^sued as a commodity to be sold. It is therefore to be inferred, 
that county orders heretofore issued and redeemed, were to be put 
on the market again, a most pernicious, if not felonious, pro- 
ceeding! 

On January 3d, 1860, two bonds, of -STOO 00 each, bearing 8 
per cent, annual interest, and maturing January 3d, 1866, were 
issued iu payment of goods purchased of Messrs. Herring & Co. 

Third Board— \m\ to 1862. 

A. A. of Barnett, chairman ; Wilson Allen, Hiram Chandler, 
Kixon ; William Fuller, Rutledge ; Walter Karr, Wapella ; 
G. B. Leraen, Harp ; Isaac REouett, Santa Anna ; Alexander 
McConkey, De Witt; Thomas Ritchie, Creek ; John P. Jlitchell, 
Cl'ntonia; James B. Turner. Tuubridge; Bayuton Tenney, 
Waynesville, and Luther S. Hubble, of Wilson. 

The first meeting of this board was held in May, 1861 Fort 
Sumter had been fired upon and occupied by the rebels ; the civil 
■war was inaugurated ! 

Thomas Snell presented a petition to the board, praying for 
the appropriation of S.5,000.00 to defray the expenses of uniform- 
ing the volunteers from De Witt county, and to support the 
families of those volunteers while in the field. This petition was 
referred to a special committee of seven, to wit.: Chandler, 
Lemon, Allen, Monett, Tenney, Fuller and Karr, with instruc- 
tions to act immediately. The committee reported unanimously 
in favor of granting the prayer, and upon motion of James B. 
Turner, the following order was made: 

" Be it ordered, by the board of supervisors of the county of 
De Witt, now in session, that John P. Mitchell, John Bishop 
and L. D. Hovey, be and they are hereby appointed a committee 
to disburse the funds appropriated by this board for uniforming 
all volunteers from this county regularly mustered into the ser- 
vice of the United States, or of this state, and for the necessary 
expense of assisting in the support of the families of those who 
volunteer, while in service, and that said committee shall have 
power to appropiate so much of said funds as liiay seem to them 
actually necessary for the purpose aforesaid, pledging the good 
faith of the county for the payment of the same to be drawn by 
orders on the county treasurer, to be paid out of money to be 
levied and collected for that specific purpose, by said board at 
the next September term, in the same manner as state or county 
taxes are now collected by law, and that said committee shall 
be bound to make a full report of all their acts at the regular 
meeting of said board on or before September next, and before 
entering upon their duties they shall be required to give an ap- 
proved bond to this couuty for the faithful performance of their 
duties for the best interest of the county in the sum of 810,000 " 

The committee reported in September as provided above ; their 

report was approved, but never made a matter of record, nor 

could it be found among the files. A special tax, the first war 

tax, of 12 cents, was levied to meet those expenses, and the col- 

10 



lector was instructed to pay the amount collected to the trea- 
surer of the committee, instead of the county treasurer, where it 
really belonged- The assessed value of taxable properly in the 
county was at that time about S-,300,000, and the tax levied 
would net about S2, .500.00, or one-half of the amount appro- 
priated. It is therefore to be inferred that the committee 
managed to meet all necessary expenses with about S2.500, in- 
stead of the So,000 appropriateil. 

The August interest on county bonds, viz., 81,200, was over- 
due, and no funds were in sight, neither for this nor the February 
interest. The board therefore ordered that the holders of said 
coupons receive a bond of 81,290, bearing eight per cent, in- 
terest, and to mature in 186.5. 

According to the amount of semi-annual interest due in Au- 
gust, 1S61, th; ouaty bonded debt must then have amounted 
to 830,000 in eight per cent, bonds, principally accrued from the 
building of the jail. 

On February 11, 1862, the clerk was instructed to pay to A. 
Gridley & Co. county orders to the amount of Sl.-tl-l.oO, in pay- 
ment of 81,200 ia coupons, 8600 of which were six months over- 
due ; county orders seem to have been worth 85 cents per 81,00 
at that time. 

The tax levy of 1861 was as follows: 

Slate tax, 47 cents per .yiOO .510,177 67 

County ■' .50 " " 11,501 15 

War ' •' 12 •■ " 2,760 27 

Town " *>' " " aveno'e 1913 2.5 

Road " 3! " " .average 877 89 

School ■■ 3.5 J; " " average 8,1:33 .53 

Delinquent ta.v-s of former year.s 2,191 63 

Total $37,558 39 

or about 1.53 per one hundred dollars tax value. Wilson Allen 
was appointed a committee to examine all county records, with 
a view of ascertaining if there were any moneys due to the 
county, and by whom. 

Fourth Board— \%'&1 to 1863. 

Boynton Tenney, of Waynesville, chairman ; H. P. Smith, Santa 
Anna, William Fuller, Rutledge ; Luther S. Hubble, Wilson ; 
Thomas Loer, Wapella; J. R. Hall, Barnett ; J. P. Mitchell, 
Clintonia; G. B. Lemen, Harp; Jacob Swigart, De Witt; 
Hiram Chandler, Nixon ; John McAboy, Creek ; Wilson Allen, 
Texas ; and Benjamin Howard, Tunbriilge. First meeting held 
August 7, 1862. 

The interest in the war seemed to have absorbed everything ; 
no committees were appointed to investigate, nor did former 
committees of investigation have anything to report. 

The board resolved to negotiate an eight per cent, loan of 
825,000, bonds to mature iu five, six, seven and eight year*, in 
order to pay a bounty of 810 to each volunteer, and to levy a 
special tax of 82,000 to meet the first annual interest on the 
proposed loan. This part of the resolution was not carried out, 
but formally rescinded, and instead of it a special war tax of 
50 cents on the one hundred dollars of tax value ordered ; the 
proceeds of which were to be applied as follows : 

81,000 to redeem county orders heretofore issued to volunteers 
as bounty. 

82,000 to support the families of volunteers. 

82,000 to pay the interest on the war-loan of 825,000, made 
September, 1862. 

The tax of -50 cents would, however, produce more than twice 



74 



JIISTOEY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



the amount above provided for, and as none of those war-bonds 
would mature during the coming year, it was and remains a ques- 
tion, why so large an amount was levied. 

The ardor for war, and the desire for further blood-letting 
seemed to have abated to a certain degree. A resolution to dis- 
continue payment of bounties from and after October 1, 1862, 
was brought in before the board and debated. It was lost by a 
vote of five against eight 

J. R. Hall, G. B. Lernm, Hiram Chandler, L. S. Hubble and 
J. P. Mitchell voted f )r, and \V. Fuller, Ben Howard, Tom ! 
Loer, John McAboy, H. P. Smith, Jacob Swigart and Wilson 
Allen against the resolution. 

On the oOth of September the board modified the order in 
reference to the §25,000 county loan, by substituting the follow- 
ing : The county clerk shall issue county orders, drawing ten 
per cent, annual interest from date of issue, to the amount of 
83,000, due October 1, 1863; $7,000, due October 1, 186-1; 
87,000, due October 1, 1865; and 38,000, due October 1, 1866. 
These orders were issued and placed in the hands of the finance 
war committee — J P. Mitchell, John Bishop, and L. D. Hovey, 
with instruction to sell them at the highest market price, and to 
use the money thus realized for bounty purposes. Subsequently 
the clause as to market price wa.s modified by the words : kot 
FOR LESS TH.\x 80 CENTS PER 8100. The records do not show 
what rmount had been sold for less than 80 cents. It is a fact, 
however, that some bounty claims of those days are still pending. 

The county had now been under the system of township or- 
ganization for four years. Innumerable resolutions bearing on 
economy had been offered and passed, but matters had not im- 
proved ; the credit of the county was impaired, not because the 
county was loaded down with debts, but because the "governors" 
had succeeded to make all believe that every body was not any 
more honest than the law would make him. The county debt 
was less than one per cent, of its tax values, or less than half of 
one per cent, of its actual values. 

Fifth Board— \mZ to 1864. 

Wilson Allen, of Texas, chairman. William Fuller, of Rut- 
ledge ; John Johnson, Wilson ; Thomas Loer, Wapella ; T. C. 
Robb, Wayuesville ; W. Morrow, Barnett ; J. P. Mitchell, Clin- 
tonia; James W. McCord, Harp; A. D. Chapiu, De Witt; 
John McAboy, Creek ; Benjamin Howard, Tunbridge ; W. H. 
Martin, Nixon ; H. P. Smith, of Santa Anna. 

The board had their first meeting in September, 1863, and for 
want of having anything else to do, they appointed a new com- 
mittee under the chairmanship of William Fuller, to re-examine 
all county books and papers, to ascertain if there were any funds 
due to the county, etc. 

In December, 1863, John Warner reported that he had suc- 
ceeded in recovering 8679.30 swamp land funds, that he had paid 
to the auditor of state the expenses incurred in surveying swamp 
lands, to wit : 8235, that his commissions, twenty per cent, of 
amount recovered, aggregated 8135 86; and that, with his re- 
port, he tendered the balance, viz., 8308.44 to the county. This 
report was accepted. 

The board ordered another loan of {3 000 for war purposes. 
This amount of money was to be distributed to the several town- 
ships in equal amounts, and to be disbursed by the supervisors 
in the support of the families of volunteers. A queer measure, 
and of very questionable merit. 

Exit fifth board. 



Sixth Board— \iU to 1865. 

H. P. Smith, of Santa Anna, chairman. Benjamin Howard, 
Tunbridge; Wilson Allen, Texas; Tilman Lane, Creek ; W. S. 
Brooks, Nixon ; Eli Robb, Barnett ; James De Land, Clintonia; 
Isaac McCuddy, Harp ; Jacob Swigart, De Witt ; Thomas Loer, 
Wapella; John Johnson, Wilson; William Fuller, Eutledge, 
and J. M. Sampson, of Wayuesville. 

The various investigation committees appointed during pre- 
ceding vears have thus far not reported. The board held its first 
meeting in September, and confined its action to a pretty stiff 
tax levy, nearly three times as high as that of 1861 . The board 
had come to the conclusion that the interest of the county debt 
should not longer be paid by issuing new bonds, and that part 
of the old 1)onds should be taken up and canceled. In order to 
have the necessary funds the following levy was made : 



Current expenses. 

Special tax to redeem bonds. 

War lax, .... 



40 cts. 



81 65 



For county purposes alone. State and local taxes made the levy 
reach three dollars per one hundred dollars tax value. 

The support of paupers had, in the meantime, been a con- 
stantly growing expense, and the board contracted with Thomas 
Harris to take charge of all county paupers at 82.50 per week 
for board. Six thousand dollars were appropriated towards the 
suppgrt of the families of volunteers during the current year. 
The records do not state how this fund was to be distributed, 
hence it may be inferred that the distribution jilan practised in 
1863 was tried again. The sale of the swamp lands was com- 
pleted on the 13th of March, 1865. The county had sold in all 
1930 acres of swamp land, and had drawn from that source the 
handsome revenue of 810,103.18, the average price being 85.25 
per acre. 

The accounts of the outgoing Treasurer, B. J. Jones, were, on 
examination, found to be short to the amount of 82,580. 03, as 
reported .September 14th, 1864. If, during his terra of oflice, all 
county moneys had passed through the Treasurer of the county, 
as the law contemplates and prescrilies, the Treasurer's compen- 
sation would have exceeded the above amount ; besides, the Trea- 
surer was lawfully entitled to his full percentage on all county 
funds handled by fiscal agents or war finance committees. 

In February, 1865, at the last call for volunteers, the quota of 
the county appeared to have been one hundred and one, and in 
order to avoid a draft, a large bounty, 8300 each, was offered and 
paiil in ten per cent, bearing county bonds, lUl of which, repre- 
senting 830,300, were issued. 

The war-fund committee was at last discharged, March 14th, 
1865, and the County Treasurer authorized to act in its stead. 
A deal of confusion and anxiety would have been avoided, if the 
plain letter of the revenue law had been strictly adhered to. 

At that time it was ascertained that some of the bonds issued 
to townships, in support of volunteer families, had not been used, 
and it was therefore ordered that those unused bonds should be 
" rescinded." Under this order 82250 of those 83,000, and 6000 
issued in 1S63 and 1864, were surrendered, and finally cancelled 
February, 1867. 

The last war tax, fifty cents per one hundred dollars, was levied 
iu 1866. The war fund levied as direct tax during this period 
of time amounted in 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



1861 to 82,760 27 

186:i " 10,569 31 

1863 " 11,241 SO 

1864 " 11.T93 00 

1865 " 14,467 09 

1866 " 13 595 75 



Tutal, 



864,431 72 



Of this amount the collectors of the couuty report to have col- | 
lected and paid over to committees or treasurers, as the case might | 
be, the sum of 860,941.16 ; cost of collection was $1218.82, and 
the balance, §2271.74, remained on the tax books as back tax, 
and, when subsequently collected, was treated as part of the regu- 
lar county revenue. This amount, however, was insufficient to 
pay and discharge all county war loans and accrued interest. 
The loans amounted to $72,000 after deducting those $2250 men- 
tioned above, and the interest accrued during those years cannot 
have been less than $18,000, making an aggregate of war expen- 
ditures of $90,000 at least. 

The readiness to make these sacrifices is highly commendable ; 
but as the subject itself is more extensively treated iu the chap- 
ter on " Patriotism," it may here be dismissed. 

The expenditures of the county had been heavy during the 
year, but as all payments of interest were promptly met, aud a 
part of the funded debt paid and cancelled, and as the county 
funds were placed where the law directed they should be, the 
credit of the county was restored at once. 

The administration by the Sixth Board of Supervisors was 
meritorious and etficient. 

Seventh Board— li:6o to 1866. 
Wilson Allen, of Texas, Chairman ; John Johnson, Wilson ; 
W. R. Carle, AVapella ; J. C. Cantrall, Wayuesville ; William 
Morrow, Barnett; James De Land, Cliutonia ; Isaac McCuddy, 
Harp ; Darius Cheney, De Witt ; John Bosserman, Nixon ; 
Thomas Lane, Creek ; Benjamin Howard, Tunbridiie ; W. C. 
McMurray, Santa Anna ; aud William Fuller, of Rutledge. 

This board confined its labor to routine business only; the 
policy of the preceding board, "pay as you go," was strictly ad- 
hered to ; the assessed values of taxable property in the county 
amounted now to 82,S2'.i,635. 

Eighth Board— 1866 to 1-SG7. 
Wilson Allen, of Texas township. Chairman ; William Fuller 
of Rutledge ; J. K. Davis, of Wilson ; T. L- Grofl^, of Wapclla ; 
J. C. Cantrall, of Wayuesville; John Bartley, of Barnett, J. F. 
Harrold, of Harp ; David Bosserman, of De Witt, John Bos- 
serman, of Nixon ; T. Lane, of Creek ; M. B. Spicer, of Tun- 
bridge; James De Land, of Cliutonia, and W. C. McMurray, of 
Santa Anna. 

This board appropriated $10,700 towards building bridges in 
the several townships. The Clerk was ordered to issue six per 
cent, interest-bearing county orders for that purpose, and Wil- 
liam Fuller, O. Wakefield, and W. Clagg were appointed a spe- 
cial committee on bridge-building, and were entrusted with the 
disbursement of amounts appropriated. 

Ninth Board— imi to 1868. 
James De Land, of Clintonia, Chairman ; M. B. Spicer, of 
Tunbridge ; D. M. AValler, of Texas ; T. Lane, of Creek ; John 
Bosserman, of Nixon ; J. M. Maddox, of Barnett ; J. F. Har- 
rold, of Harp; David Bosserman, of De Witt; E. Davenport, 
of Wayuesville ; W. R. Carle, of Wapella ; W. M. Smith, of 



Wilson; AVilliam Fuller, of Rutledge, and S. S. Chapin, of Santa 

Anna. 

Tenth Board— \^Qi>ia 1860. 

Boynton Tenney, of Wayuesville, Chairman ; W. Y. McCord, 
of Santa Anna ; James A Wilson, of Wilson ; H. D. Watson, 
of Wapella; D. Cheney, of De Witt; J. F. Harrold, of Harp; 
Lewis Campbell, of Clintonia; Georee Hartsock, of Texas; 
James A. Kirby, of Tunbridge ; William Fuller, of Rutledge ; 
John Manlove, of Nixon, and Thomas Maddox, of Barnett. 
Eleventh Board— ISGd to 1-^70. 
William Y. McCord, of Santa Anna, Chairman ; Peter Brickey, 
of Rutledge; J. A. Wilson, of Wilson; CJalvin Timmons, of 
Wayuesville; William Gambrel, of Barnett; James De Land, 
of Clintonia ; R. Mitchell, of Harp ; P. V. C. Poole, of De Witt ; 
W. M. Moore, of Texas; James A. Kirby, of Tunbridge; John 
Bosserman, of Nixon, and William Wright, of Wapella. 

During the administration of the ninth, tenth, and eleventh 
boards, public afi'airs seemed to have managed themselves. The 
boards confined themselves to the auditing of claims presented 
fur payment. ^^ 

A startling resolution, introduced by James De Land, was 
passed in 1867; we call it startling, because it reads so queer iu 
a county where the temperance laws were strictly enforced, to 
wit; "James De Land is hereby authorized, by order of this 
board, to buy all necessary stimulants for the use of John Sprad- 
ley, and that the County Treasurer is authorized to pay all bills 
thus contracted." 

The records, of course, do not state the circumstances under 
which this strange order was made, and on inquiring, we 
learned that John Spradley had been a soldier in the army ; had 
came home badly wounded, and had then to undergo the ampu- 
tation of a leg. This operation is said to have been a rare 
triumph of surgery. Spradley survived for years. Dr. J. 
Wright, of Clinton, performed the operation. 

The eighth board— 1866 to 1767— had, as stated above, placed 
810,700 in the hands of a bridge-building committee. This 
amount had not all been disbursed ; 82975 were returned in 
1869, and placed in the hands of the several Supervisors foi 
direct disbursement. 

Twelfth Board— IS70 to 1S71. 
A. A. Eads, of Barnett, Chairman; Benjamin Howard, of 
Tunbridge; J. W. Blue, of Texas; J. D. Graham, of Creek; 
Ross Mitchell, of Harp; John Bosserman, of Nixon; James A. 
Wilson, of Wilson ; P. V. C. Poole, of De Witt ; David Kelley, 
of Santa Anna ; James De Land, of Cliutonia ; E. B. Harrold, 
of Wapella ; Calviu Timmons, of Wayuesville, and Peter Brickey, 
of Rutledge. 

Poole's claim to his seat was questioned, and the chair decided 

that Mr. Poole was not longer a member of the board, as he had 

moved his residence to McClean couuty. 

I The general prosperity and a plethoric money-market had had 

its eS'ec't on the people of De Witt county as well as on others ; 

various railroads were in contemplation, and aid was asked from 

counties, townships, cities, and towns. The good people of De 

I Witt county tumbled handsomely and deeply into it. Large 

I amounts of stock were subscribed for by townships and county, 

and this subscription has been the ca\ise of endless troubles. In 

1870 the county board instructed their chairman not to sign the 

county bonds iutendod for the Gilman, Clinton and Springfield 

Railroad, and caused a copy of this instruction to be sent to the 

officers of the road,— a formal declaration of war. 



70 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



In December, 1 870, the authorities purchased a tract of land 
for the purpose of an asylum for the poor of the county, the 
present coiinlij farm. 

The treasury of the county being depleted, the old and per- 
nicious remedy of issuing interest-bearing county orders was again 
resorted to. The Clerk was instructed to issue, in payment for 
the farm, ten per cent, interest-bearing county orders, to the 
amount of SoOOO, and so much more as needed to meet the probable 
discount (verbatim ). 

The actions of the board seem to have been the object of some 
criticism, as appears from the animus of the following "liberal " 
resolution, passed in December, 1870, viz.: 

" Resolved, by the board of supervisions, that the editor of any 
paper of the county be permitted (sic).' to examine the records 
•with a view of publishing the proceedings of the board." There 
may be some propriety in such permissions, when granted by the 
Czar of Russia, the Tycoon of Japan, or the king of the Cannibal 
Islands, but a board of supervisors in the grand American Re- 
public ought to have known that neither editors nor the people 
generally need any permit to inform themselves of the proceed- 
ings of thiir servants. 

The domain of the county of De Witt seemed to have been too 
small for this board, as appears from the following resolution 
passed at the same December term : 

Revolted, "That the registering law of the state is onerous, 
burdensome and productive of no good, and ought to be repealed." 
Thirteenth Boarl— 1871 (o 1872. 

John D. Graham, of Creek, chairman; Benjamin Howard, 
Tunbridge; W. H. Grier, Texas; H. C. Martin, Nixon ; William 
Gambrel, Barnett ; James De Land, Clintonia ; Robert Walker 
Harp; Smith Fuller, De Witt; Calvin Timmons, Waynesville ■ 
E. B Harrold, Wapella ; James A. Wilson, Wilson ; Peter 
Brickey, Rutledge ; and David Kelley, of Santa Anna. 

A resolution, that the chairman be instructed not to sio-n any 
county bonds for the Gilman, Clinton and Springfield Railroad 
company, until there had been a full investigation of the legality 
of issuing such bonds, and of the constitutional power of the 
legislature to authorize such subscriptions, was voted down, onlv 
Walker voting in the affirmative. (What had become of the 
member who had seconded the motion?) 

The board voted to the various townships the sum of 81,45000 ; 
the records do not state who introduced the resolution, nor for 
what purposes the money was voted. The several supervisors 
were authorized to call on the clerk for their respective money 
orders ! ! 

The issuing of such orders, with no audited vouchers to back 
them, is a violation of law, and the treasurer, who honors them 
is liable on his bond for the full amount. Another resolution 
following at the heels of the preceding one, is worse — an absolute 
wrong, as the supervisors vote themselves a larger compensation 
than the law coutemplates, to wit. ; 82.00 per diem, 81..5f) a dav 
for expenses, and 10 cents per mile, mileage, one trip. Robert 
Walker voted — nay. 

The railroad figlit came up again, on December 27th, 1871. 
The following resolution, introduced by De Land, was passed: 

Resolved, by the board of the supervisors of De Witt countv, 
that W. Gambrel, Robert Walker, and Benjamin Howard be 
appointed a committee to employ jiroper counsel to inquire as to 
the legality of the bonds of De Witt county, given to the Gilman, 
Clinton and Springfield Radroad company, and if by their de- 
cision they are found to be illegal, resist the collection of the 
tax as now extended on the various collectors' books. 



Lorenzo D. Hovey had been elected county treasurer and col- 
lector, and collected a part of that railroad tax during the year. 

Fourteenth S'-nrrf.— 1872 to 1873. 

David Kelley, of Santa Anna, chairman ; Robert Walker, 
Harp; Moses Predmore, Nixon ;j'Heury Bennett, Creek ; Benja- 
min Howard, Tunbridge; William Bishop, Clintonia; E. B. 
Harrold, Wapella; William Gambrel, Barnett; W. H. Oglevie, 
Waynesville; W. M. Moore, Texas; J. A. Lemert, Wilson; D. 
A. Rosencrans, De Witt; and Peter Brickey, of Butledge. 

The committee appointed in December, 1871, made report in 
August, 1872. The report, not recorded, nor on file, was received, 
and the committee disharged. The tax fight continued, being 
based principally on the omission of the treasurer's signature on 
the bonds issued. 

By a resolution of the board the salary of the circuit clerk and 
sheriff, was fixed at 81,500 per annum, and $1,000 each for 
deputy hire. 

This board seemed to have had an, inclination to enter into 
general legislating, as shown hereby : 

" Be it resolved by the supervisors of De Witt county, that the 
extending of common law jurisdiction to county courts, and 
the present mode of selecting jurors is both expensive and unne- 
cessary, and is derogatory to the best interest of the tax-payers 
of this county, and should be repealed." Another: 

" Be it resolved, by the board of supervisors of De Witt county, 
that the present registrj' law is useless aud burdensome, and a 
tax on the people without any benefit whatever resulting there- 
from, and that both experience and economy, as well as justice 
and right, demand its immediate repeal." — Still another: 

" Re-'iolved, second, that it is our opinion the present require- 
ments of the common school law in reference to the qualifica- 
tions of teachers, is an unjust discrimination in favor of certain 
state institutions and injurious to the masses of the people, and 
that equity and good conscience demand its immediate repeal." 

" Resolved, third, that in our opinion the county superintendent 
is a mere man of straiv, and that the office should be abolished, and 
a county board of examiners elected or appointed instead thereof, 
to be paid by the applicants for teaching." 

Fifteenth Board— 1873 to 1874. 

David Kelley, of Santa Anna, chairman ; John Randolph, 
Tunbridge; S. E. Arnold, Creek; Charles Klipzig, Nixon ; Wil- 
liam Gambrel, Barnett; Lewis Campbell, Clintonia; Robert 
Walker, Harp ; Jacob Swigart, De Witt ; James P. Strange, 
Waynesville ; E. B Harrold, Wapella; Joshua Lemert, Wilson ; 
Peter Brickey, Rutledge; and W. M. Phares, of Texas. 

First meeting was held in September; the salary of the county 
clerk was fixed at 81,20000, and 81,000 for deputy hire; salary 
of county judge at 8400 per annum. 

William Gambrel resigned, and was succeeded by Z. D. Can- 
trail — appointed. 

The county employed E. H. Palmer, and Weldon, Benjamin, 
as attorneys in the railroad bond suits. 

On the 2nd of February, 1874, the following resolutions — not 
stated by whom introduced, was passed, to wit. : 

Whereas, the county finance is in a " mixed " and unsatisfac- 
tory condition in consequence of our county officials not carrying 
out the provisions of the laws now in force in regard to records ; 
and whereas, in order to get our finances in a more safe and 
" intelligible " condition, and for the purpose of having our laws 
fully carried out, — therefore be it resolved by the board of 
supervisors of De Witt county in session, that the treasurer of 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COV^'TY, ILLINOIS. 



T7 



De Witt county is hereby instructed to carry out sections 30 and 
31, cliapters 27, page 149. Gross' Statutes of Illinois ; also section 
25 of chapter 25, page 156 of the above statutes." 

The following resolution may account in part for the " mixed " 
conditian of "our" finance; it was passed on the 3rd of Fubu- 
ary, 1874. 

" Resolved, by the board of .'upervisors of De Witt county, that 
a committee of two be appointed by the chair, to search records 
and reports, and make a full investigation of the acts and doings 
of THIS BOARD and its committees in relation to the purchasing 
of and paying for the poor farm, the amount paid, and how paid ; 
also, the purchasing of stock and farm implement.5, and fitting 
up the poor farm for the first year, also naming the expenses 
of each year, and report to this board at its next meeting." 
- Walker and Randolph were appoiuted as members of this 
committee. 

Sixteenth Board.— 1S74 tolSTo. 

David Kelley, of Santa Anna, chairman ; Amos Dick, Wavnes- 
ville; Charles Klipzig. Nixon; J. JI. Hendrix, Creek; Z. Cau- 
trall, Barnett; E. B. Harrold, Wapella; Robert Walker, Harp; 
J. H. Randolph, Tunbridge; Lewis Campbell, Clintonia; James 
Wilson, Wilson ; Jacob Swigart, De Witt ; W. JI. Phares, Texas ; 
and James Vandeventer, of Rutledge. 

The committee of inves'igation, Messrs Walker and Randolph, 
submitted their report, at the first meeting of the board in April, 
1874. 

REPORT OF COMMITTEE OX PURCHASE OF POOR-FARM. 

To the Board of Siiperviior.^ nf De Witt county: — Your commit- 
tee appointed to investigate the acts of this board and its com- 
mittees in purchasing, fitting up, and putting in practicable 
operation the poor-farm, also its necessary expenses, would re- 
port, that we find on page 640 Supervisors' record, a resolution 
appointing a committee of three to purchase a farm, and put in 
operation as a poor-farm, and instructing the county clerk to 
issue coun'y orders to pay all indebtedness incurred therebv. 
Your committee cannot learn from the records that any bonds 
were issued. James De Laud, Benjamin Howard, and John 
Bosserman, were appointed that committee. From other sources 
your committee learned that bonds to the amount of 85,000 were 
issued and sold to Shepard & Co., of Chicago,- but that after- 
■wards it was discovered that the county had no authority to issue 
such bonds. And on page 472 of supervisiors' record, we find 
a resolution directing De Land to correspond with Shepard & 
Co., and have the bonds paid in some other way. On same page 
committee on poor-farm reported. Report was approved and 
ordered filed, and the committee directed to complete their 
work. Your committee could not find said report among the 
files, nor ascertain or learn its contents. On page 473, we find a 
resolution directing the county clerk to issue county orders to 
cover all indebtedness incurred in purchasing and fitting up the 
poor-farm. Your committee, by examining the stubs on the 
order book, found the following orders have been issued : 

J. De Laml, to pay on land $1,000 00 

Millard and others, work un buildings 1,590 12 

Bishop, McGill & Co., J. E, Hall, farm 2.5S 2,S : 

E. H. Palmer and J. E. Hall, mides 230 00 

Kirk, for work on ppor-hoiise 100 00 

J.M.Green 17 .50 

B. Mills 530 00 

Thomas Kelley, for money paid Shepard 5,152 77 

Total ?8,.578 67 



(The committee's addition is incorrect, should be 89,578.67 ) 

84,000 of the above amount were paid on the farm, and the 
balance, 84,578 67 (should bs 85,578.67) seems to have been 
spent in building the house, buying teams, stock, farming tools, 
household furniture, seeds, feed and provisions for the first year. 
What part was spent in building your committee have not the 
means of knowing. The farm contains two hundred acres, and the 
contract price 89,500. Four thousand of that amount appears 
■to have been paid out of the above orders, the balance was to 
be paid in two notes, which were made by B. Mills, and secured 
by deed of trust on the farm; one of the above notes was for 
82,500, and was paid by L. D Hovey, county treasurer, in May, 
1872, and the other is for 83,000, due in May, 1874. The per- 
sonal property is inventoried to be worth 83,663. Your com- 
mittee find the record of running expenses during the first two 
years so imperfect, that they cannot state what the expenses were." 

This report was received, but failed to give satisfaction or to 
quiet the minds of the people- It cannot now be stated, whethtr 
the error of 81,000, pointed out above, was discovered at the time. 
The fact is that the poor-farm, improvements and stock included, 
had cost the county fifteen thousand and seventy-eight dollars 
and sixty-seven cents. 

The board, after accepting the above report, passed the follow- 
ing resolution, to wit : 

" Be it resolved by the board of supervisors of De Witt countv, 
that there be a committee of three appointed to investigate the 
acts and doings of the committee empowered to purchase a poor- 
farm, and that said investigating committee have power to sum- 
mon any person or persons whom they believe to know anything 
in regard to the facts pertaining to the same, and especially the 
purchasing committee, and such evidence shall be taken in writ- 
ing, and report the same to the board of supervisors at their next 
meeting — the evidence shall be taken under oath." 

AVilson, Hendrix and Cantrall were made members of this 
committee. 

The last payment on the poor-farm was made .July 27, 1874. 

The committee of investigation of purchase of poor-farm re- 
ported on said day as follows : 

To the board of supervisors of De Witt county — Your com- 
mittee appointed to investigate the acts and doings of the com- 
mittee appointed by said board to purchase and put in practical 
operation a poor-farm, would submit the following: 

That we find, upon the sworn statement of James De Land, 
that the amount of money received by said De Land from the 
county did not exceed the amount paid out by him in the pur- 
chase and fitting up of said farm, and upon the sworn statement 
of said De Land and .John Bosserman, that there was a detailed 
report made by them of their acts and doings as said committee, 
and submitted to the board, received by them and placed on file 
and the committee discharged ; that the deposition of B. Mills 
corroborates the evidence of said De Land and Bosserman so far 
as the purchase of the farm was concerned. Your committee 
recommend that the depositions of said De Land, Bosserman 
and Mills, be placed on file. 

The poor-farm troubles ended for the time with this report, 
the contents of which are neither new nor interesting. The re- 
port made by Walker and Randolph was decidedly more ac- 
curate and to the point. 

Seventeenth Board — 1875 to 1876. 
Lewis Campbell, of Clintonia, chairman. J. H. Randolph, 
Tunbridge; W. M. Phares, Texas; J. C. Coulter, Xixon ; Z. D. 



78 



HISTORY OF BE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



Cautrall, Barnett; Robert Walker, Harp; John Marsh, De 
Witt; Amos Diuk, Wa}'ne3ville ; Jacob Parlier, Wapella; C. S. 
Cain, Wilson ; W.O.Gray, Rutledge; Levi Rathburn, Santa 
Anna ; and Benjamin Miller, Creek. 

As stated heretofore, the authorities of the county had caused 
a special railroad- tax to be levied and extended in 1871 and 
1872. Pending the collection of this tax, the board undertook 
to repudiate the debt, thus leaving the amounts meanwhile col- 
lected in the hands of L. D. Hovey, treasurer. The railroad 
levy had amounted to 839,888.48, of which S7,642 09 had been 
collected, and had remained unaccounted for ; this appears from 
a report made to the board at their August term, 1876. 

The ex-treasurer failed to account for those amounts, and, 
■when suit was brought, June, 1877, he had left the state. 

Eighteenth Board— l>^7(i to 1877. 

James De Land, of Clintonia, chairman. J. H. Randolph, 
Tunbridge ; John Hendrix, Creek ; W. M. Phares, Texas ; 
Robert Walker, Harp ; John Jlar.-'h, De Witt ; James Wilson, 
Wilson ; Levi Rathburn, Santa Anna ; C. S. Lisenby, Nixon ; 
J. E. Bradley, Barnett ; Amos Dick, Waynesville ; Jacob Parlier, 
Wapella ; W. O. Gray, of Rutledge. 

The suits about those railroad bonds had been decided against 
the county. In September, 1876, the board consented to hear 
Hon. Milton Hay, of Springfield, who would make some proposi- 
tion in regard to the payment of those bonds. The records do 
not contain any account of the nature of this proposition. A 
committee had meanwhile been appointed to ascertain the prob- 
able cost of an appeal of the case to the Supreme Court of the 
United States, and now reported, that S-570 were needed to bring 
the case before that court. On the 11th of October, 1876, the 
board elected a committee of three to negotiate with the bond- 
holders, with a view of effecting a corapromi-e. 

This committee, consisting of J. H. Randolph, James Wilson, 
and W. O. Gray, entered into consultations and deliberations 
■with the attorneys of the bond-holders, and on the 29th of De- 
cember, 1876, submitted the following articles of agreement to 
the board, to wit : 

Whereas, the JEtna Life Insurance Company, the Ridgely Na- 
tional Bank, Ammasso Stone, and the Society of Savings, are 
the holders and owners of bonds i.-sued by the county of De Witt 
in aid of the Gilman, Clinton, and Springfield Railroad, in the 
aggregate amounting to one hundred and sixty-four thousand 
dollars, and upon which said bonds there are over-due coupons 
for five annual installments of interest, ending with the coupons 
due the 1st of July, A. D. 187G, amounting to eighty-two thousand 
dollars, and upon which over-due coupons there have also accrued 
a considerable amount of interest; And whereas suits have been 
pending in which the validity of said indebtedness has been 
questioned, by reason of said bonds not having been counter- 
signed by the county treasurer, both b)' the tax-payers of said 
county of De Witt and the board of supervisors of said county, 
■which said suits have been terminated adversely to the said tax- 
payers and county of De Witt; And vliereas the holders of said 
bonds are pressing the county by suits and otherwise for the 
payment of said over-due interest, as well as of all accrued in- 
terest thereon ; and the said bond-holders are desirous of quieting 
all questions as to the validity and sufficiency of said bonds upon 
the one hand, and said board of supervisors are desirous upon 
the other hand of obtaining ease and time for the payment of 
Baid over-due interest. Now, therefore, it is agreed by and be- 
tween the said board of supervisors and the said bond-creditors 



of said county, that the said board of supervisors will, by an 
order or a resolution of said board at its next meeting, direct 
the county treasurer of said county of De Witt to countersign 
the aforesaid bonds as held by said creditors, as the same may 
be presented to him for that purpose ; and said board of super- 
visors Jo further agree, that said over-due interest, as evidenced 
by the said five over-due coupons, and all interest accrued 
thereon, shall be paid by the said county in five annual install- 
ments of one-fifth thereof in each installment; the first of said 
installments to be paid by the first day of July, A. D. 1878, the 
levy in the year 1877 to provide for the same, and thence suc- 
cessively until all are paid, subject to a deduction, however, to 
be made of four years of accrued interest, or interest to accrue 
upon said over-due interest; that is to say, that said annual in- 
stallments or coupons over-due, shall be taken up and paid each 
in its order six years from maturity thereof, with two years' in- 
terest on each of said coupons or installments. The true intent 
and meaning of this being, that said county shall have a rebate 
of interest accrued and to accrue, equal to the sum of nineteen 
thousand six hundred and eighty dollars (819,680). And the 
said creditors agree on their part to accept payment of said over- 
due coupons in manner aforesaid, and with the deduction of in- 
terest thereon, to be made as aforesaid ; and that they will desist 
in the mean time from all legal proceedings to enforce the col- 
lection and payment of said over-due interest, and upon pay- 
ment as aforesaid will surrender said coupons to said county. 

And said creditors do further agree, that if the board of super- 
visors of said c unty of De Witt shall be lawfully authorized by 
a vote of the legal voters of said county to fund the said over- 
due interest into bonds bearing interest at the rate of ten per 
cent, per annum, the interest payable annually, and the principal 
maturing at either sixteen or twenty years, so as that said bonds 
may be executed and delivered by the 1st day of July next, that 
they will accept said bonds at par for said overdue coupons, so 
arranging and adjusting the coupons for interest thereon as to 
give to said county the advantage of the same reduction as con- 
templated by the arrangement first recited herein, or the said 
county may, at its election, dispose of said bonds, paying to said 
creditors the par value thereof, and if such election be made, 
said county shall have the same advantage of reduction to the 
extent aforesaid, that is to say, the said creditors will accept the 
face of said coupons less the sura of three thousand two hundred 
and eighty dollars in full discharge thereof, provided said money 
is paid by the first day of July, A. d. 1877. 

It is further agreed, that the judgments upon a portion of said 
coupons rendered in favor of the Society for Savings and the 
JEtna. Life Insurance Company, shall be subject to the foregoing 
agreement, and that said judgments shall be satisfied upon the 
payment nf the coupons embraced therein, as though judgment 
had not been rendered thereon, the county to pay the costs in 
said suits. And it is further agreed, that the suit of Lisenby 
and others vs. Melvin and others, in the Logan Circuit Court, 
may be dismissed at the cost of the county, and that defendants 
shall waive all damages by reason of the injunction therein. 
Signed : Hay, Green & Little, Attorneys, 

for and in behalf of creditors. 

J. H. Randolph, ") 

J. A. Wilson, [ Committee,' 

W. O. Gray, ) 

on behalf of the Board of Supervisors of De Witt county, 111.] 
This 2d of November, 1876. 



HISTORY OF BE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



The board, by a vote of six, to wit, Randolph, Phares, Hen- 
drix, Marsh, Wilson, and Rathburn, against five, to wit, Lisenby, 
Bradley, De Land, Walker, and Parlier, passed a resolution to 
compromise the bond (juestion on the basis of the articles of 
agreement submitted. (Amos Dick and W. O. Gray did not 
vote; they had probably "paired" off. Mr. Gray had previously 
signed the articles as member of the c immittee, and would cer- 
tainly have voted in the affirmative.) 

The bonds represented by the parties above mentioned amounted 
to §164,000, drawing ten per cent, annual interest; the accrued 
interest remaining unpaid amounted, July 1st, 1S76, to the enor- 
mous sum of 8S2,000. 

In June, 1S77, the board ordered suit to be brought against 
L. D. Hovey, former Treasurer, found in default. 

Nineteenth Board — 1877 to 1878. 

J. H. Randolph, of Tunbridge, Chairman ; Thomas Corn well, 
of Texas ; George Scott, of Creek ; C. S Lisenby, of Nixou ; N. 
M. Barnett, of Barnett ; James De Land, of Clintonia; Charles 
Willmore, of Harp; D. H. Rosencrans, of De Witt ; Matthew 
Hammett, of Waynesville ; Jacob Parlier, of Wapella; Thomas 
Cain, of Wilson ; Daniel Fuller, of Rutledge, and L. Rathburn, 
of Santa Anna. 

It will be observed that only two of the six members voting 
for a compromise had been re-elected, while three of the five 
voting in the negative were returned. Neither Gray nor Dick, 
of the " pair off," was re-elected. 

Twentieth Board— ISJS to 1879. 

W. 0. Gray, of Rutledge, Chairman ; Edward Weld, of Texas ; 
J. D. Graham, of Creek ; C S. Lisenby, of Nixon ; N. M. Bar- 
nett, of Barnett ; John Wrightwick, of Clintonia; Charles Will- 
more, of Harp; John Marsh, of De Witt; Mathew Hammett, 
of Waynesville; T. W. Cain, of Wilson ; L. Rachton, of Santa 
Anna; Jacob Parlier, of Wapella, and J. R. Turner, of Tun- 
bridge. 

For the first time since 18.50 a financial statement of the 
county is made a matter of record. It was submitted by the 
County Treasurer on the fourth day of December, 1878, and 
though brief, it has a pleasing appearance, i. e., the cash-box of 
the county was well stocked. 

Financial Statement of De Witt County, Illinois, December \at, 
1877,(0 Noveviher 30th, 1878. 

Dr. 
Dec. I, 1877. To am't received from W.Gambrel, ex-Treasurer, |I2,101 44 
To Nov. 30, 1S78. To am't of revenue of 1877 collected in 1378, 32,637 43 
To e.xce.'^s of earnings of officers over tlieir 

compensations, 2 249 86 

To fines, etc, 221 46 

$47,213 10 
Credit: 
Current expenses of the Cuuntj for which county 
orders or juror certificates were issued during 

the year ?lfi,9C9 14 

Witness fees paid direct, 254 75 

Collector's commissions, 769 64 

Over-due coupons of railroad bonds paid, 17,808 00 $35,801 53 

1878, Dec. 1. Cash in Treasury, $11,411 66 

In March, 1879, steps were taken to refund the county debt in 
six per cent, bonds, the holders of §155,000 of old county bonds 
having agreed to surrender them for cash. A petition praying 
for a vote on this question was presented on the 2d of March, 



and an election ordered to be held on the first Tuesday of April 
next. A called meeting of the board was held on the 31st of 
March and the above order in reference to holding such elec- 
tion was rescinded. 

Twentjz-first Board— 1^1% to 1880. 

W. O. Gray, of Rutledge, Chairman ; J. R. Turner, of Tun- 
bridge ; A. E. Newman, of Texas ; John D. Graham, of Creek ; 
John N. Maidove,of Nixon ; Lyman Barnett, of Barnett; James 
De Laud, of Clintonia; Charles Willmore, W Harp; Jacob 
Swigart, of De Witt ; Matthew Hammett, of Waynesville ; Jacob 
Parlier, of Wapella ; Nicholas Foley, of Wilson, and Levi Rath- 
burn, of Santa Anna. 

Board met on the 22d of April. Upon motion of James De 
Land, the chairman appointed a committee of one in each town- 
ship to collect the remains of deceased Union soldiers buried in 
private or village cemeteries. 

The revenue derived from the surplus fees earned in the various 
county offices had fallen far short of expectation, and the board, 
in their desire to increase the resources of the county, passed the 
following preamble and resolutions: 

" Wiiereas, there is a large amount of fees in the Circuit Court of De W-ilt 
County tincollecled ; and whereas, by the negligence and delay in collecting 
saiil fees the county sustains great losses, therefore be it Resolved by the Board 
of Supervisors of De Witt County, that we hereby .sell said fees to W. Z. 
Dewey, for one-half of tiie actual amount of said fees which he may be 
able to collect; and it is hereby expressly agreed that the county shall be 
at no expense in or about tlie collection of said fee^, and that he make a 

' full and cumplete report, whenever required by said board, of the amounts 
collected and not collected, with reasons for their non-collection ; and that 
he leave said money in the hands of the proper officers of said county, to 

! wit: the Circuit Clerk, the County Clerk, and the Sheriff. Time for col- 
lecling fees to commence immeJiately, and to cover tiie time from Decem- 
ber, 1872, to December 1878." 

On the 3d of September, a report in reference to the poor 
farm was placed on file. We introduce it here because of its 

1 general make-up. It is somewhat bucolic, the reader imagines, 
to snili'the balmy air of that bright September day ; the luscious 
melon and the tempting peach, tilt cattle lazily ruminating, aj)- 
pear before his mental vision, etc., etc. '■ We were shown " says 
the report, after mentioning the pleasures of the festive board, 
" through all the buildingj by the Superintendent (, W. M. Moore, 
Esij.J, and then walked over the farm, through the cornfields, 
finding them well tended, and burdened with a heavy crop," etc., 
etc. ; " and we desire to say to the people of the county, that the 
farm buildings and stock are a credit to the county ; the hogs, 
157 in number are unsurpassed in tjuality, and the teams, tools, 
and machines are in good order. Tne management of the farm, 
as well as the care of inmates, is faultless, and reflects credit 
upon the superintendent and lady, to whom the board cheerfully 
accord the same, without a dissenting voice. The apartments for 

' the poor are clean, airy, and comfortable, as well as their clothing 
and food (' airy ' clothes may be all right in summer, but ' airy ' 
food is rather ' thin ') ; their discipline is good, — all in keeping 

I with the times in which we live." 

Bright as this picture is, it appeared still more so when com- 

1 pared with the gloom caused by other public affairs. A strong 

1 suspicion had gained ground that the accounts of Circuit Clerk 
Harrison were crooked. Resolutions to investigate multiplied, 

I and ended in the appointment of James De Land as committee 
of one to investigate. W. Z. Dewey reported, about that time, 
that he had collected §486.25 of old fees, and drew his compen- 



HISTORY OF BE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



sation, §243.12. Would not the county liave fared better in 
offering this compromise of iifty per one hundred to the individu- 
als by whom those fees were due ? 

At the next meeting of the board, James Do Land filed his 
report in reference to tees earned and collected in the office of 
Circuit Clerk, 18 72 to 1ST6. This report is most elaborately 
compiled, and winds up by stating that the officer in question, 
Mr. Harrison, was then owing to the county a balance of S"'372.03, 
and not of 8350..39, as would appear from his own report. On 
motion of Mr. Graham, the report of Mr. De Land was accepted. 

W. H. Harrison thereupon resigned his office. James De 
Land was appointed by the judges of the circuit to fill this 
vacancy. 

A second petition, praying for a vote on the question of refund- 
ing the county debt at a lower rate of interest, was filed March 
1st, ISyO ; the prayer was granted, and an election ordered on 
the day of the April township election. 

Suit for S10,OOU was brought against Harrison and his sure- 
ties, but an amicable settlement, based on fifty per cent, of 
amount due to the county, was proposed by said sureties ; the 
moaey, viz., S'lOOO, to be paid into the county treasury within 
sixty days after adjournment of court. 

W. Z. Dewey reported to have collected ohl fee? to the amount 
of S1200. The county d^bt to be refunded amounted, in the ag- 
gregate, to §175,000. At a called meeting of the board, held on 
the loth of March, the order for holding an election on this 
question, at the April town election, was rescinded, and a special 
election ordered to be held on the fifteenth day of April next. It 
seems that the phraseology of the previous order did not suit 
capitalists or bondholders, and the vote now was to be on twenty 
years' bonds of SIOOO each, bearing sis per cent, annual interest, 
and made payable in Xew York. 

Twenty-Second Board— ISSO to 1S81. 

J. R. Turner, of Tunbridge, Chairman ; A. E. Newman, of 
Texas ; J. D Miller, of Creek ; J. N. Manlove, of Nixon ; Charles 
Kichter, of De Witt ; Lewis Campbell, of Clintouia , Charles 
Willmore, of Harp ; E. D. Sessions, of Waynesville ; Jacob 
Parlier, of Wapella; Mathias Crum, of Santa Anna; E. Hel- 
mick, of Rutledge; Nicholas Foley, of WiUon. Oae vacancy 
(Barnett), the Supervisor elected refusing to qualify. 

This and the present board are composed of twelve members 
onlv, as the members of Barnett refuse to qualify. 

There is quite a little history connected with the supervisor- 
ship of said town, which will more fully appear in the township 
sketch. Nathan Barnett, elected Supervisor in 1878, had quali- 
fied as such officer in due form of law. His township had voted 
a subscription of §30,000 in aid of constructing the Illinois Mid- 
land Railroad ; and as the road was located so very near the 
West township line as to be almost outside of the town, the au- 
thorities concluded to repudiate this subscription. The law- 
machinery was put in operation, and in due course of time a writ 
of mandamus was issued. Nathan refused to obey, was fined 
§500, and sent to Springfield jail for contempt of court. A man of 
grit, and Spartan-like, Nathan remained in jail until his term of 
office had expired and a successor was elected and qualified in 
the person of his brother Lyman. Nathan having, as he said, 
"worn out" the mandamus, had to be set at libertv. Lvman 
attended the meetings of the board during the year, and was suc- 
ceeded, in 18S0, by W. Gambrel, who refused to qualify. The 
court holding that Lyman remained a member until his successor 



had qualified, proceeded against Lyman. He, however, is away 
from home at the present writing, and has been since those pro- 
ceedings began. Barnett town is without a Supervisor, but gets 
along pretty well in its orphaned condition. 

The election on the bond question was hi-ld on the 15th of 
April, and resulted in the adoption of the refunding plan. One 
hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars in one-thousand-dollar 
bonds were issued, and after some eflbrts to place them, the bank 
firm of John Warner & Co. oflfered to sell them at a commission 
of one-eighth of one per cent. This proposition was accepted, 
and §125,000 were disposed of by July 12th, ISSO. By Sep- 
tember following all but six thousand dollars had been placed, 
and the board, desirous to close and complete the work, passed 
the following resolution : — 

'■ Wliereas. tliere are certain persons holding and owning a small number 
of old county bonds, wlio refuse to deliver up the same for their fair value, 
therefore be it Resolved by the Board of Supervisors of De Witt C^junty, 
that if said bonds are not delivered up to the hank firm of John Warner & 
Co-, at Clinton, Illinois, on or before November 1st, ISSO, for cancellation, 
this Board will then proceed to litigate, and stop payment of interest. 

This resolution had the desired effect. 

Taenty-Third Board— ISSi to 1832. 

J. B. Turner, of Tunbridge, Chairman ; Cornelius Kelley, of 
Texas ; H. C. Spainhour, of Creek ; John N. Manlove, of Nixon ; 
William Metzger, of Clintonia; W. H. Cardifl!", of Harp; Jacob 
Swigart, of De Witt ; Charles Jones, of Waynesville ; F. L. 
Harpster, of Wapella ; Henry Brittin, of Wilson ; Franklin 
Vance, of Rutledge; Mathias Crum, of Santa Anna. Barnett 
township not represented. 

The afl!airs of the county are now in a very favorable con- 
dition, the county indebtedness in a fair way of being gradually 
reduced and wiped out. The board is ably assisted in its labors 
by a corps of efficient county officials, to wit: 

G. K. Ingham, County Judge; Augustus V. Lisenby, County 
Clerk ; J. T. Carle, Circuit Clerk ; Amos Weednian, Sheriff; 
James A. Wilson, Treasurer ; Miss Mary S. Welch, School Su- 
perintendent ; Alexnder L. Barnett, Surveyor; Lafayette Ely, 
Coroner ; VV. H. Booth, States Attorney ; G. B. Graham, Master 
in Chancery. 

COURTS. 

Probate Court. — The first session of this court was held August 
10th, 1S39, and presided over by Fleming G. Paine. The pro- 
ceedings were not of great interest. The few remarks about 
estates administered on at this early day are merely made for the 
purpose of illustrating the wealth or poverty of the parties men- 
tioned, and of showing what commodities or personal property 
they had been possessed of, and what prices were obtained at the 
various admini.strators' sales. 

The first estate administered on was that of Solomon Blount, — 
the day and date of his death is not mentioned. Catharine, his 
widow, and G. B Lemen, were appointed administrators. The 
penalty of the bond was §800, with Isaac Strain and W. C. 
Swisher as sureties. James Vandeventer, Thomas Wilson, and 
W. H. Lafferty were appointed appraisers. The warrant of their 
appointment was, however, revoked on the 26th of September, 
and W. H. Lerty, D. Bobbins, and John Sash appointed in their 
place. 

The personal property brought §682 IH, at public sale held 
October 4th, 1839. 



EISTOEY OF BE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



81 



The following prices were obtained: A bee-stand, S4. 00 ; one 
side-saddle, 38 cents; one man's saddle, 84.00; a stack of fall 
wheat, 86.G0 ; one of spring wheat, 81. 50; one of oats, 82.25 ; 
one yoke of oxen, 860 50; eighteen sheep, 841.00; one colt, 
S42 00, etc., etc. 1'. Robbins clerked, and F. G. Paine, the judge, 
cried the sale. Corn was sold subsequently at 20 cents per 
bushel. 

The inventory stated that the deceased held, at the time of his 
death, land certificates covering two hundred and eighty acres, 
all in town 20 Jf. R. .3 East. 

The estate was settled on the 4th of September, 1S43. 

The administrators charge themselves, as above, with 8"S2 \\\, 
and take credit as follows: Funeral expenses, 810.18; costs of 
appraisement and sale, 85 38 ; probate fees, 82000 ; debts paid, 
8597.50, and administrators' compensation 840.55 cents, leaving 

balance of 88.501 to the heirs. 

Second Estate. — Samuel Stewart died September 6th, 1839. 
The widow having resigned her right to administer, letters were 
granted to William Stewart, a son of deceased, on the 20th of 
September, 18o9. A bond of 83200 was signed by John Moore 
and George Barnes. The inventory, filed November 15th, showed 
cash and notes of hand amounting to 8318. 06. The personal 
property was appraised at 8654.78. 

The widow's award was 8218.44, which she took in chittles at 
appraised value, the rest of personal property was sold at auction 
for 8508.48. 

An informal settlement was made on the 4th of Septem- 
ber, 1841, when the administrator reported to have collected 
81,020.39, and to have disbursed 8970.25. 

Third £«ta<e. -William Dye, died Sept. 23d, 1839. Nancy 
Dye, widow, and Ben. Cundiff, administrators. Inventory men- 
tions 295 acres of land in township 19, 2 east, personal property 
appraised at 892.S.50. A part of this was sold at auction on the 
8th of November, 1S39, for 8442.86. The following prices were 
obtained : 

Oae eight-day clock, 80,00; a shotgun, 86 00; one-half of a 
wind-mill, (probably wheat fan), 83. 00 ; four yokes of steers, 
8167.50; one Durham bull, 86.75; eighteen shoats, 837 00; three 
cows, 828.00: two heifers, 812.00 ; thirteen sheep, 813 00; one 
filly, 837.50 ; one mare, 820 00 ; one stack of fall wheat, 89 00 ; 
one do. of spring wheat, $o 00 ; seven roim of corn in the field, 
$36.20; one saddle, 50 cents; and one spinning-wheel, §1 00. 

The claims probated against the estate amounted to 8403 15. 

Fourth Edate. — Charles McCord, died November 8th, 1839. 
W. Y. McCord, administrator. This estate was small — 8168.10 
in toto, but proved to be solvent; debts amounted to 8146.38. 

Fijth Edate. — Amos Armsby died February 23d, 1840. 
Horace Armsby, adminstrator, bond, 83, COO. 

Personal assets, as follows: 

Cash on hand at time of dealh §4S0 69 

Promissory notes 5.50.00 

Proceeds of sale, 1,010.72 

52,041.41 
Real estate, two hundred and eighty acres of land, in T. 20, 
R. 1 west. Prices paid at sale : 

One saddle, 81175; one mare, S65.50 ; one cow and calf, 
$16 50; one cart, 830.00 ; one wagon, 849 00; shingles, 82.87 
per thousand; nails, 11 cents per pound ; planks, 81.06 per hun- 
dred ; wall-paper, 32 cents per roll ; crowbar, 6 cents per pound ; 
one screw-plate, 85.00; one hay-hook, 86.30; one log-chain, 
$3.50. 

11 



A complete and accurate settlement of this estate was made, 
March loth, 1841. The administrator charged himself with 
the inventory and sale-bill, together with amount of interest ac- 
crued on deferred payments, to wit.: 893. S6 ; total, 82,135.27, aud 
took credit for costs in court, 816 00 ; expenses of sale and ap- 
praisement, 812.00; debts paid, 822.00 ; administrator's compen- 
sation, 8107.81 ; balance for distribution, 81,977.46. The heirs, 
Panthea, Edwin, Lawrence, and Horace Armsby receipted for 
their shares, 8494.36, on the same day. 

Sixth Edate. — Jacob Brown died April 7th, 1.840. This estate 
was insolvent; there was only 818.77 with which to pay funeral 
expenses, court fees, and 8108.53 in probated claims. 

Seventh £,Me. -Matthew R. Martin died April 18th, 1840, 
(His name appears again below ; he had been killed by one 
Turner.) John Lane became administrator, and sold the per- 
sonal effects of deceased for 847. 69. 

In Sept. 1851, eleven years later, the administrator was cited 
to make a settlement. He appeared and paid the court fees. 
The debts of the deceased amounted to 888.98. 

Elrjhih Edate — Joshua Cantrall had died testate. His will 
being the first ever probated in the county of Dj Witt, is here 
introduced in full, to wit- : 

The instrument is dated April 5th, 1838, and was probated on 
the 25th of August, 1840. It reads as follows : 

In the name of God, Amen! I Joshua Cantrall, of McLean 
county,* and State of Illinois, being in perfect health of body and 
of sound aud disposing mind, memory and understanding con- 
cerning the certainty of death and the uncertainty of the time, 
and being desirous of settling my worldly aft'airs, and thereby be 
the better prepared to leave this world, when it shall please God 
to call me hence, aud I do therefore make and publish this my 
last will and testiment, in manner and form following, that is to 
say : First and principally I commit my soul into the hands of 
God, and my body to the earth to be decently buried ; and after 
my debts aud funeral charges are paid, I design and bequeath as 
follows : 

Fird. I design and bequeath to my wife, Raehcl, during her 
natural life, the farm on which I now live, as deeded to me by 
Mark Pherson and Frederick Stip, except the east-half of the 
west-half of the north-west quarter of section 29 of township No, 
21. north of range No. 1, east of the third principal meredian. 
and I will one acre of land to be laid oft" in a square in the 
north-west corner of section No. 32, for the purpose of a burying 
place. 

Also, of the live stock as follows: two head of horses, three 
cows and calves, twenty head of sheep, all of such as she may 
choose, and as much of the house-hold and kitchen furniture as 
she may deem necessary for her convenience ; also, one wagon 
two plows, and the tackling sufBeient to work the .«ame, and four 
pair of gears, one logchain, one axe, one mattock, and one hun- 
dred and fifty dollars in money- 

Secondly. I design to bequeath my daughter, Jane, two hun- 
dred and fifty dollars. 

Thirdly. To my daughter, Thirza, I design and bequeath a 
tract of land, it being the west half of the south-east quarter of 
section No. 4, in township No. 19, north of range No. 1, cast, and 
one hundred and fifty dollars. 

Fourth, and to ray son, Zubulon, I design and bequeath two 

* De Witt county was organized abont one year after the date of this 
will, wfiich accounts for the name of .McLean county in the above. 



82 



EISTORY OF BE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



hundred dollars and forty acres of land, more or less, it being the 
north-east quarter of the north-east quarter of section No. 12, in 
same township. 

Fijlh, and to my daughter, Mahala, I design and bequeath 
three tracts of laud, the first being the west half of the east half 
of the south-east quarter of section No. 30, in township No. 21, 
north of range No. 1, east of the third principal meridian; the 
second being the west half of the north-west quarter of section 
No. .5, in township No. 20, north of range No. 1, east of the third 
principal meridian, except one acre and one hundred and forly 
rods, lying on the north-east corner of said lot, beginning at the 
north east corner of said lot, thence west twenty-five rods to a 
stake, thence north twelve rods to a stake, thence east twenty- 
five rods to a stake, thence north twelve rods to the beginning, 
which lot or parcel of land, of one acre and one hundred and 
forty rods as last described, I bequeath and design to my son 
AVilliam. 

The third tract I design and bequeath to my daughter jMahala, I 
being the east half of the north-east quarter of section No- 11, 
township No. 19, north of range No. 1, east of the third principal ] 
ibedidian. 

Sixth. And to my daughter, Polly, I design and bequeath three 
tracts of land as follows : The first being the east half of the south- 
east quarter of section No. 27, in township No. 20, north of range 
No. 1, east of the third principal meridian, the second being the 
south-east quarter of the south-west quarter of soctiou No. o5, 
in township No. 20, north of range No. 1, east, the third being 
lot No. 2, north-east quarter of section No. 2, in township No. 19, 
north of range No. 1, east. 

Seventh. And to my son AVilliam, in addition to the one acre 
and one hundred and forty rods above mentioned, I design and 
bequeath four tracts of land, the first being the east half of the 
east half of the south-east quarter of section No. 30, of township 
No. 21, north of range No. 1, east. The second being the west 
half of the north-east quarter of section No. 12, in township No. 
19, north of range No. 1, east. The third being the south-east | 
of the south-west quarter of section 32, of tawnship No. 21, north i 
of range No. 1, east. The fourth being forty-eight acres, to be ; 
laid off upon the north end of the east half of the north-west 
quarter of section No. .5, of township No. 20, north of range No. 
1, east. The balance of said lot or parcel of land. I design and 
bequeath to my daughter ^lahala, in addition to my other be- 
quests to her. 

Eight. And to my son Levi, I design and bequeath three tracts 
of land ; the first being the east half of the west half of the north- , 
west quarter of section No. 29, in township No. 21, north of range 
No. 1, east; the second being the west half of the south-east 
quarter of section No- 32, in township No. 21, north of range No. 
1 , east ; the third being the east half of the south-east quarter of 
section No. 2, in township ^"- 19. north of range No. 1, east. 

Ninth. And to my daughter Nancy, I design and bequeath 
three tracts of land as follows : The tlrst being the west half of 
the north-west quarter of section No. 2G, in township No. 20, 
north of range No. 1, east ; the second being the north half of 
the north-west quarter of section No. 1, in township No. 19, 
north of range No. 1, east; the third being the south half of the 
west half of the south-west quarter of section No. 36, in township 
No. 20, north of range No. 1, east. 

Tenth. And to my son Joshua Christopher, I design and be- 
queath a tract of land, it being the wtst half of lot No. 2, north- 
east quarter of section No. 1, in township No. 19, north of range 
No. 1, cast. 



Eleventh. And to my son Eli, I design and bequeath a tract 
of land, it being the west half of lot No. 1, north-east quarter of 
section No. 1, in township No. 19, north of range No. 1, east. 

And furthermore, at the decease of my wife, I design and be- 
queath the farm on which I now live, as above described, to my 
last mentioned sons, Joshua Christopher and Eli, with all and 
singular the appurtenances thereunto belonging, to be equally 
divided between them ; and lastly, I will that the balance of my 
estate, both real and personal, be equally divided amongst all 
my children, as above named. 

I do constitute and appoint my sons, Zebuhm and William, my 
executors of this my last will and testament, revoking and au- 
nuHing all former wills by me made, ratifying and confirming 
this and none other. In witness whereof I have hereunto set 
my hand and seal, this 1.5th day of Ajjril, in the year of our 
Lord 1838. 

Joshua Cantrall. [seal.] 

Signed and scaled in the presence of us, 
F. S. Harrisom, 
Homer Burk, 
David JMontgomery. 

Letters testamentary were granted to said Zebulon and Wil- 
liam Cantrall on the 2.5th of August, 18-10 ,they having qualified 
by oath and entering into bond for S3,200. William, one of 
these executors, filed inventory and sale bill on the 2d day of 
November, a. d 1840. 

The inventory contained a description of real estate, viz. : 
llGi'cs acres of land, four lots in the town of Waynesville, a list 
of notes and accounts due to the estate, amounting in the aggre- 
gate to S209.59, and a statement of cash on hand at the time of 
death, viz., 8400.50. 

The sale of personal property, held on the 18th of September, 
brought §1,775.11, hence it would appear that the whole per- 
sonal estate of the deceased amounted to §2,385.20. 

The debts probated amounted to S47.14. There is no further 
mention made of this estate on the probate records. 

Peter Belleio, bound to E. W. Wright, December 6, 1843. 

Emeliiie Winflow, bound to Orin Wakefield, June, 1845. 

I-iaac II. Blanhensh'p, bound to B L. Cundrifi^, June, 1846. 

Mary Baker, bound to James McCord, June 7, 1847. 

Elizabeth Ilolsey, bound to Samuel Spencer, the father of Eliza- 
beth consenting, June G, 1848. 

The probate court also granted certificates of naturalization 
to a few foreigners, residents of De Witt county. 

The first certificate of this kiud was granted to John Sheehey, 
a native of Ireland, on November 1, 1866. Besides him, this 
court naturalized twenty-five other Irishmen, one German, and 
one Swede Eight others received cert'ficates of naturalization 
on account of military services rendered during the late civil 
war, to wit: William McDonald, company K, 152d Illinois In- 
fantry ; George Toohey, company A, 107th Illinois Infantry ; 
John Stewart, company D, 107th Illinois Infantry; Ora C. Ives, 
company I, 154th Illinois Infantry; Stephen Adams. 

Fourth Maryland Infantry (all Irishmen) — Avery H. Ives, a 
Canadian, 4ih Illinois cavalry ; John Schlafke, a German, 
company D, 107th Illinois Infantry, and George H. Claus, a 
Dtitchmau, company L, Johnson's cavalry. Seven others, who 
had come here as minors with their fathers, received also certi- 
ficates of naturalization on first application. The county court 
of De AVitt county has therefore granted forty-three such certi- 
ficates during a space of forty-two years. 



EISTOB Y OF DE WITT CO UXTY, ILLIXOIS. 



83 



Another branch of biijiiicss transacted by the probate or 
county court, was the " binding out," or indenturing of minors. 
The phraseology of the instruments seems to have been taken 
from an old English text; boys -nere to be taught the arts and 
secrets of farming, etc., and were to receis-e a Bible, and a horse 
with saddle and bridle at the expiration of their term, twenty 
one years of age ; girls were to be introduced into the secrets of 
house-keeping, and sometimes be taught the arts of a " spinster." 
Their servitude terminated with their eighteenth birth-day, and 
their compensation usually consisted in a Bible and an extra suit 
of clothes for Sunday wear. The following are the earliest in- 
dentures of the kind made in De Witt county, viz : 

William Bromjield, bound to G. B. Lemon in March, 1840. 

A'. IT. Poff, bound to D. S. Ely, June, 1840. 

Henri/ Winkle and CiiaiioUe Winkle, bound to Abraham Bash, 
September, 1848. 

James J Bdlew, bound to Jacob Harrold, December G, 1843. 

Albert Windoio, hound to James Shinkle, in March, 1846. 

The Roster of officers in the Appendix contains the names of 
the gentlemen who presided over the sessions of this court, and 
also the length of their respective terms. 

CIP.CUIT COURT. 

The first term of this court was held on Thursday, October 24, 
18-39, with Hon. .Samuel H. Treat on the bench, and D. B. 
Campbell, state attorney. K. H. Fell had been appointed cir- 
cuit clerk of De Witt county, then a part of the eigh'h judicial 
circuit, by Hon. Stephen T. Logan, on the 23d day of March, 
1839. Fell took the oath of office before William Anderson, an 
acting justice of the peace, on the 1st of April, 1839. 

John Montgomery was appointed fijreman of this the first 
grand jury of the county. The names of the grand jurors chosen 
for this term have been recited above under the heading, (/ocera- 
ment of the county, and need not be mentioned again. 

The first and only indictment returned by this august body 
was for a most trivial offense, and resulted, as it ought to have, 
in a verdict of " not guilty." This indictment was the "fore- 
runner" of multitudes of similar charges, and it is very much 
to be deplored that grand juries will branch off on such business. 
True, such trivial charges are never upheld, but people are not 
only harrassed and worried by them, but have to incur heavy 
and galling expenses in defending themselves against frivolous 
and often malicious charges. The indictment above mentioned 
is here introduced at length. Its victim is to this day an honored 
citizen of the county, and though the contents of these pages 
may induce a smile yet, he well remembers how outraged 
he felt when the "capias" was presented. 

George Clifton, an early settler was, at the October term of 
the Circuit Court, in 1839, indicted for malicious mischief. The 
indictment is in words and figures as follows: 

Of the Oc ober term of the De Witt Circuit Court, in the 
year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-nine. 

St.\te of Illisois, I 

De Witt County. J ' The grand jurors, chosen, selected, 
and sworn in and for the county of De Witt, in the name and 
by the authority of the people of the State of Illinois, upon 
their odths presen', that one George Clifton, on the first day of 
September, A. D. 1839, at the county of De Witt and slate 
aforesaid, one hog of the value of five dollars, (being then and 
there the property of one B. Lowery,) unlawfully, wilfulh', 
maliciously, did wound, contrary to the form of the statute in 



such case made and provided, and against the peace and dignity 
of the people of the .State of Illinois. 

And the grand jurors aforesaid, in the name and by the au- 
thority upon their oaths aforesaid, do further present, that on 
the said first day of September, A. D. 1S39, in the county and 
state aforesaid, the said George Clifton, one pig, of the value of 
five dollars, the property of one B. Lowery, then and there 
being found unlawfully, wantonly, willfully and maliciously did 
wound by then and there cutting the hoof-strings of the said 
pig, contrary to the form o'f the statute in such case made and 
provided, and against the peace and dignity of the same people 
of the State of Illinois. 

D. B. Campbell, 
JoHX Mostgo:mery, State's Attorney. 

Foreman Grand Jury. 

George Clifton was put upon trial May 22 1, 1840. John 
Lowery, Wilson Hood, and Job Clifton had been subpcened for 
the people, and a jury was impannelled with William Stewart as 
foreman. 

The defendant, George Clifton, who had at the October term 
last preceding, given bonds in the penalty of one hundred dol- 
lars, with Nehemiah Clifton as security, was acquitted. 

The verdict (without date) says: We, the jurors, do find the 
defendant not "guilty." 

Thus ended the first criminal ca-e tried in De Witt county. 

May term, 1840. — Same officers of court. 

R. F. Baruett, foreman of grand jury. 

Indictments were returned — 

James Harp, f >r selling liquor without license, six indict- 
ments- Harvey Bradshaw, for the same offense, five indictments. 
John French, for assaulting an ofiicer. Spencer Turner, for the 
murder of Matthew K. Martin. 

The particulars of this latter case were as follows : 

The first murder trial in the county came off in September, 
1840, bef ire the Hon. Samuel U. Treat, prosecuted by D. B. 
Campbell, States Attorney. Although the trial terminated in 
acquittal, there are some facts and incidents of great interest 
connected with the case, so that a brief sketch of it may here 
find space. 

It appears, from a coroner's inquest conducted by Squire J. C. 
McPherson on the 19th of April, 1840, that Matthew K Martin, 
a citizen of De Witt county, "came to a premature death," in 
the town of Clinton, on said 19th of April, 1840, and that 
one " Spencer Turner " was in part the cause of said Martin's 
death. 

The verdict of the coroner's jury stated further, that Martin 
came to his death by a severe blow upon his head with a club, 
struck by Spencer Turner, " together with his own (Martin's) 
imprudence in keeping himself in a state of intoxication and 
exposure in rain and inclemency of the weather, in the night 
previous to his death." 

J. C. JlcPhersou now issued a capias, directed to all sheriffs, 
coroners, and constables of the State of Illinois, commanding 
each and all to " take the said Spencer Turner, if he be found in 
your county, and if he shall have fled, to pursue after said Tur- 
ner into any other county within this State, so as to have his 
body forthwith before me or some other justice," etc. 

Turner had not gone far, for the above capias is endorsed as 
follows: "Executed the within by fetching the body of Spencer 
into court, as commanded. This 19th day of April 1840. 

" G- E. Bennett, Constable" 



84 



IILSTOn Y Ot DE WITT CO UXTY, ILLINOIS. 



The prisoner gave bond to the amount of ten thousand dollars 
for his appearance at court, with Merlin Hnblct, Allen Turner, 
Benjamin Shipley, I». II. Lawrence, aud Timothy B. iloblet, as 
bureties. 

At the May term, 1840, of the Circuit Court of De Witt 
county, the following indictment was returned into court: — ■ 

" ixdictmext. 
" State of Illinois, 1 
De Witt Cousty, j ''^^ 

" The Grand Jurors, chosen, selected, and sworn in and for 
the county of Te Witt, in the name and by the authority of the 
people of the State of Illinois, upon their oaths present: That 
Spencer Turner, not having the fear of God before his eyes, but 
being moved and seduced by the instigation of the devil, on the 
15th of April, in the year of our l^od one thousand eight 
hundred and forty, with force and arms, at the county of De 
Witt, in the State of Illinois aforesaid, in and upon one Matthew 
K. Martin, in the peace of the people then and there being, felo- 
niously, wilfully, and with hi:* malice aforethought, did make an 
assault, and that the said Spencer Turner, with a certain wooden 
slick, of the value of ten cents, which he, the said Spencer Tur- 
ner, iu his right hand then and there had and held, the said 
Matthew K. Martin in and upon the right side of the head, near 
the right temple of him, the said Jlattew K. Martin, then and 
there feloniously, wilfully, and of his malice aforethought, did 
strike, giving to the said Matthew K. Martin, then and there 
with the wooden stick aforesaid, in and upon the said right side 
of the head near the right temple of him, the said Matthew K. 
JIartin, one mortal wound, of the length of two inches, and of 
the depth of one inch, of which said mortal wound the said 
Matthew K Martin, from the said fifteenth day of April, in the 
year aforesaid, until the eighteenth day of the same month of 
April in the year aforesaid, in the county and State aforesaid, 
did languish, and languishing did live, on which said eighteenth 
day of April, in the year aforesaid, the said Matthew K. Martin, 
in the county and State aforesaid, of the said mortal wound died, 
and so the grand jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do 
say that said Spencer Turner the said INIatthew K. Martin, in 
manner and form aforesaid, feloniously, wilfully, and of his malice 
afiirethought, did kill and murder, contrary to the form of the 
statute in such case made and provided, and against the peace 
and dignity of the people of the State of Illinors. 

D. B. Campbell, States Attorney." 

The case was continued to September, 1840, and again to May, 
1841, when it was tried before tlie following jury, to wit : — 

Henry Williams, foreman ; George Copenbarger, Charles Day, 
Isaac Carlock, Moses J. Williams, A Oiistott, W. Dyer, W. Stew- 
art, Jeremiah P. Dunham, William Wright, Sr., Thomas Wilson, 
and Samuel Duncan. 

'I'he accused was ably defended by the illustrious Stephen A. 
Douglas and the immortal Abraham J>iucuhi. 

The verdict of the jury, written on a bit of paper rudely torn 
from a sheet, reads as follows: — 

" We, the jury, find the defendant not guilty (gilty)." 

" Hexry Williams, Foreman. 

" Clinton, May 23rf, 1841." 

Douglas and Lincoln each took a promissory note of two hun- 
dred dollars iu pay for their services. Douglas was careful to get 
" good " paper, while Lincoln, with his known " charity to all," 
was satisfied with Spencer's paper, endorsed by William Turner. 



Lincoln brought suit at the October term, 1841. The decla- 
ration is in his o«n handwriting, and is given here at length : — 



'State of Illinois, 
De Witt County 
AND Circuit. 



Of the October Term of the Circuit Court 
of said Countv, A. D. 1841. 



" Abraham Lincoln, plaintiff, complains of Spencer Turner 
and William Turner, defendants of a plea of trespasss on the 
case upon promises ; For that whereas, the said defendants, here- 
tofore, to wit, on the twenty-third day of Jlay, in the year of our 
Lord eighteen hundred and forty-one, at Clinton, to wit, at the 
county and circuit aforesaid, made their certain promissory note, 
iu writing, the said \Villiam signing his name thereto, thus: 

iMS 

William x Turner, bearing date the day and year aforesaid, and 

mark. 

thereby then and there promised to pay, ninety days after the 
date thereof, to the said plaintiff, by the name of A. Lincoln, the 
sum of two hundred dollars, for value received, and then and 
there delivered the said promissory note to the said plaintiflT, by 
means whereof, and by force of the statute in such case made and 
provided, the said defendants there and then became liable to 
pay to the said plaintiff the said sum of money in the said prom- 
issory note specified, according to the tenor and eflTect of the said 
promissory note, and being so liable, they, the said defendants, 
in consideration thereof, afterwards, to wit, on the day and year 
aforesaid, undertook, and then and there faithfully promised the 
said plaintiff, to pay him the said sum of money according to the 
tenor and effect of the said promissory note; yet the said defend- 
ants (although often requested to do so) have not as yet paid to 
the said plaintiff the said sum of money in the said promissory 
note specified, or any part thereof, but so to do have hitherto 
whollv neglected and refused, and still do neglect and refuse — 
To the damage of the said plaintiffof three hundred dollars; and 
therefor he sues." 

(Copy of Note sued on.) 

" Clinton, May 2.3d, 1840. 
" Ninety days after date I promise to pay A Lincoln two hun- 
dred dollars, for value received. 

Spencer Turner. 

his 

William x Turner." 

The suit was decided in favor of Abraham Lincoln, but the 
I officers failed to make collection. C. H. Moore, Esq., informed 
us that Spencer Turner, subsequent to the trial, offered Mr. 
Lincoln a horse in payment of the judgment. Lincoln took the 
animal, which soon after got stone blind and perfectly worthless. 
Mr. Turner is still living. 

October term, 1840. — Same officers. 

David Montgomery, foreman grand jury. Harvey Bradshaw 
was tried on his five indictments, acquitted on four, convicted on 
one, and fined 810. Four of Harp's cases were nol. pros., and on 
the other two he was acquitted ; so was John French. 

The grand jury returned four new indictments against Harp 
for selling liquor, and indicted Samuel K. Goble for passing a 
fictitious bank note, purporting to be a note for the payment of 
money by a certain bank, — the Merchants' and Planters' Bank 
at Chicago, 111., — when in fact there was then and there no such 
bank in existence. The note is on file, a beautifully executed 
steel engraving. 
: ifay term, 1841. — Same officers. 

James Brown, foreman of grand jury. R. Benedict was ap- 
' pointed state attorney pro. tern, during the absence of D. B. 
Campbell. 



HISTORY OF BE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



85 



John French was indicted for malicious mischief, and Gabriel 
Bennett for embracery. The writer could not find this indict- 
ment nor ascertain with what jury Mr- Bennett hail been tam- 
pering. Four liquor cases were also returned. 

October term, 1841. — Same officers, with exception of the clerk, 
Daniel Xewcomb having succeeded Mr. Fell. James A. Lemeu 
foreman of grand jury. 

Three indictments for selling liquor were returned. 

May term, 1842. — Same officers. 

E. F. Barnett, foreman of grand jury. L. Hickman was 
indicted for assault and battery. Hickman stood trial, was found 
guilty, and had to pay a fine of S47..50, about sixteen times the 
fine of the current assault and battery cases. 

October term, 1842. — Same officers. 

Jeremiah P. Dunham, foreman of grand jury. Charles Council 
was indicted for assault. 

April term, 1842. — Same officers. 

R. F. Barnett, foreman of grand jury. Francis and Charles 
Groshang were indicted for larceny ; they were tried in Septem- 
ber, 1843, and acquitted. Jordan Banta, indicted for larceny — 
nol. pros., and Jesse Blankenship, indicted for same, was ac- 
quitted. 

September term, 1843. — Same officers. 

R. S. Doolittle foreman of grand jury. Charlc? Wines was 
indicted for compounding a criminal offence, and John Strain for 
perjury — was tried in September, 1844, and acquitted. 

April term, 1844. — Same officers. 

John B. Jones, foreman of grand jury. Westley Allsup was 
indicted for assault, and also for malicious mischief Owen 
Belford, for assault, was tiol. pros., Sept., 1844. William Belford 
and six others, for riot. This indictment was quashed in Sep- 
tember next. 

September term, 1844. — Same officers. Joseph Howard, fore- 
man of the grand jury. 

Indictments — W. Walters, perjury ; John Howard, foreman 
grand jury. D. F. Grosh, gaming, nol. pros. ; John Warner, 
gaming, not. pros.; Jacob Hurley, mischief nol. pros-; James 
A. Lemen, gaming, nol pros. ; Ralph Rosencrans, gaming, nol 
pros.; Thomas Hutchin. mischief, acquitted September, 184.5. 

Mat/ and September terms, 1845. — Same officers. 

Ed. W. Fears and B. F. Barnett, foremen. No indictments. 

The first divorce case in De Witt county was tried at the May 
term, 1845. Edward Morris had at said term filed a complaint 
with the clerk of the court, praying the court to grant a divorce 
from Louisa, his wife, to wit : 
To the Hon. Samuel H. Treat, Judge of the Circuit Court held 

in and for the County of De Witt and State of Illinois, in 

chancery sitting. 

Humbly complaining, shows unto your honor, your orator, 
Edward Morris, of the county and state aforesaid, that on or 
about the year A. D. 1821, in the county of Morgim and state 
of Ohio, he was duly married to Louisa Mjrris ; thit, in or about 
A. D. 1835 your orator and his said wife, the said Louisa, came 
to reside in the said county and state first aforesaid, and are still 
residents of said county of De Witt. Your oratar further shows, 
that by virtue of his said marriage aforesaid with the said Louisa, 
he has from the time of the marriage aforesaid to January, A. D. 
1843, lived with, associated and cohabited with his said wife, the 
said Louisa; your orater further shows, that subsequent to his 
marriage with the said Louisa as aforesaid, she the said Louisa, 
has committed adultery with one Russell Post at the county and 
Btate first aforesaid ; your orator further shows, that subsequent 



to his marriage with the said Louisa, she the said Louisa, has 
committed adultery with the said Russell Post at the times fol- 
lowing, to wit: in the months of January, February, March, 
April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November 
and December, A. D. 1S43 ; your orator further shows, that 
subsequent to his marriage with the said Louisa, .she the said 
Louisa, has committed adultery with the said Russell Post, in the 
county aforesaid, at the following times, to wit: in the months of 
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, Sep- 
tember, October and November, in the year 1844. 

And your orator charges that the several statements and allega- 
tions aforesaid are true, and this your orator is ready to verify 
and ))rove, as this honorable court will direct. 

All which acting.s and doings herein alleged against the said 
Louisa Morris are contrary to the moral sense of the community 
and the well-being and the good order of society, and tend to the 
corruption and destruction of the same, and has destroyed the 
peace and happiness of your orator, and are in violation of the 
laws of this state and contrary to equity and good conscience 
and tend to the manifest wrong and misery of your orator in the 
premises. Forasmuch, therefore, as your orator can only have 
adequate relief in the premises in a court of equiiy where matters 
of this nature are cognizable and actionable, may it please your 
honor that the said Louisa Morris be made defendant hereto and 
that the peoples' writ of subpoena issue out of and under the seal 
of this honorable court to the said Louisa, thereby commanding 
her at a certain day, and under certain pain, to be and appear 
before your honor in this honorable court, and then and there 
full, true, direct and perfect answer make to all and singular 
the premises statements, allegations and charges in this bill 
contained. And your orator prays that the bonds of matrimony 
heretofore and now existing between the said Louisa Morris and 
your orator by virtue of the marriage aforesaid, may be by the 
order and desire of this honorable court forever dissolved, an- 
nulled, vacated and discharged, and that your orator may be 
from the time of granting this his petition, forever absolved and 
released from all liabilities to the said Louisa, or on account of 
and by virtue of the marriage aforesaid, except such alimony, if 
any, as this honorable court shall allow the said Louisa. And 
that your orator may have such other and further relief in the 
premises as the circumstances of this case may require and to your 
honor shall seem meet ; and your orator will ever pray, etc., etc. 

Edward had fourteen witnesses subprened, but Louisa failed 
to appear or make defense. The divorce was granted. Louisa 
and her paramour were married on the same day. 

April term, 1846. — .Same officers. 

R. F. Barnett, foreman of grand jury. Jacob Silvers was in- 
dicted for larceny ; tried in October, 1846, and acquitted. 

October term, 1846. — Same officers. 

Orin Wakrfeld, foreman of grand jury. Alfred Murphy, 
indicted for assault; stood trial and was fined S30.00. 

April term, 1847. — Same officers. 

R. F. Barnett, foreman of grand jury. No indictments, nor 
convictions. 

September term, 1847. — Same officers. 

J. K. Scott, foreman of grand jury. No indictments nor con- 
victions. 

April term, 1848 — Same officers. 

Mardu Scott, foreman of grand jury. No indictments nor 
convictions. 

September term, 1848. — Same officers. 



HISTORY OF BE WITT COl'XTY, ILLINOIS. 



J. K. Scott, foreman of grand jury. Daniel Carpenter, in- 
dicted for larceny. 

April term, 18-19.— Hon. David Davi,^, judge; 'Seth Post, 
prosecuting attorney ; Joun Warner, clerk. 

G. B. Lemon, foreman of grand jury. Ko indictments nor 
convictions. 

Octobtr term, 18-19 — Cbarles Emerson, acting prosecuting attor- 
ney. 

R. F. Barnett, foreman of grand jury. George Lutlierfield, 
indicted for assault with deadly weapju ; on plea of guilty, was 
fined 820. 

April term, 18.50. — Seth Post, prosecuting attorney. 

Samuel P. Glenn, foreman of grand jury. No indictments 
nor convictions. 

October term, 1850. — Daniel Newcomb, foreman of grand jury. 
Michael Scott, indicted for larceny. 

April term, 1851. — R. F. Barnett, foreman of grand jury. A. 
L. Brown, indicted for larceny ; stood trial and was acquitted. 

October term, 1851. — Dudly Richards, foreman of grand jury. 
Liquor cases seem to have revived. There were six indictments 
found, and six convictions had. The fine in each case was S25. 
John Scott was indicted for assault with a knife. 

Aj/ril term, 1852. — R. F. Barnett, foreman of grand jury. 
William Jackson and Hamilton Giddis were indicted for larceny ; 
tried and aquitted- 

Oetober term, 1S52. — R. F. Barnett, foreman of grand jury. 
No indictments nor convictions. 

May term, 1853. — R. F. Barnett, fireman of grand jurv. John 
Cole, Jr.,G. W. Walters, John Lash, Jr., and Sr., Benj. Batson 
and Wm. William.son were indicted for riot; tried, convicted 
and fined from $10 to §25 each. 

A Murder Case. — That of Moses Loe, was tried at this term, 
and ended in the conviction of one Moses Low, who bad been in- 
dicted b)' the grand jury of Sangamon county in September, 
A. D. 1852, and whose case was taken by venue to De Witt 
county. Loe had mortally wounded one James Gray with a 
knife — of the value of six cents, as stated in the indictment — 
on the 30th of April, 1852. Gray died on the 31st of said 
month. The trial lasted several days. Williamson Nipper, 
John C. Buchanan, Almira Jane Nipper, James S. Carter, E. 
D. Meacham, William Rhoa, Benjamin Morris, and Ira Parker, 
witnesses, testified for the state, and Thomas Blankenship for 
the defense. 

The verdict of the jury was in words and figures as follows : 

May 18th, 1853. ! 

We, the jury, find the prisoner, Moses "Low," guilty of man- 
slaughter in the highest degree, and therefore "annex" the 
penalty accordingly, which is eight years confinement in the 
penitentiary of Illinois. 

Signed : B. W. MoxsoN, H. W. Hi<,km.4x, Jajies 
Speatt, Epqraim Burns, James Swear- 
iXGEX, William Keal, William Sum- 
mers, Alfred Cain-, G. W. Kxeedler, 
Joel Jackson, William East, and F. 
M. Jeefry. 

FIR.5I XATURALIZATIOy OF A FOREIGXER. | 

Clinton, De Witt county. May, A. D 1853, May Term: j 

At a circuit court, began and held at the court-house, in the 
town of Clinton, within and for the county of De Witt, on Mon- 
day, the 16lh day of May, a d. 1853 : 



Present : The Hon. D.wiD Davis, 

Judye of the Sth Judicial Circuit of the Slate of Illinois. 
Robert Lewis, Clerk. 
William Bolin, Sheriff. 
Ex parte \ 

James Alsop. J 

This day personally appeared in open court James Alsop, and 
it appearing to the satisfaction of the court that the said James 
Alsop was born on the 30th day of Sepiember, 1807, in the 
county of Derbyshire, in the kingdom of Great Britain, and that 
he emigrated tj the United States in the year 18-18 ; and it being 
proved to the satisfaction of the court by competent testimony, 
that the said James Alsop has demeaned himself as a man of 
good moral character, attached to the principles of the constitu- 
tion of the L^nited States, and well-disposed to the good order 
and happiness of the same. It is therefore ordered by the court 
that the said James Alsop be permitted, in pursuance of the laws 
of the United States, to take the oath of allegiance, whereupon 
the said James Alsop took and subscribed the following oath, 
to wit: 
State of Illixois, | 
De Witt County, j *^' 

I, James Alsop, do solemnly swear, in the presence of Al- 
mighty God, that I will support the Constitution of the United 
States. And that I do absolutely and entirely renounce and 
abjure all allegiance and fidelity to every prince, potentate, state 
or sovereignty whatever, and more particularly the allegiance 
and fidelity which I in anywise owe to Victoria, the queen of 
the said kingdom of Great Britain, whereof I was heretofore a 
citizen or subject. James Alsop. 

Subscribed and sworn to in open court this 21st day of May, 
A D. 1853. Robert Lewis, Clerk 

It is therefore ordered by the court to be certified to all whom 
it may concern, that the said James Alsop be and he is hereby 
entitled to all the rights* and privileges of a native-born citizen 
of the United States of America. 

The number of foreigners naturalized in this county is very 
limited, and may here be briefly stated. The county court, as 
stated above, h.id granted forty-three certificates of naturaliza- 
tion. The total number granted by the circuit court is eighty- 
two, of whom forty-nine were formerly subjects of the Queen of 
England, eleven of the King of Sweden and Norway, two had 
been formerly citizens of the Swiss republic, and twenty had 
been subjects of the various crowned heads of Germany. Wil- 
liam Klipzig, one of those twenty Teutons, renounced all 
allegiance to King Frederick William IV. of Prussia in 1873, 
twelve years after the death of poor insane F. AV. IV. f 

October term, 1853 — G. B. Lemon, foreman of grand jury. 

Grand jury indicted Fred Stinsou and Benjamin Sutler for 
obtaining goods under false pretenses, William Curry for assault 
with a deadly weapon, Thomas Howard for keeping a disorderly 
house, fined ten dollars ; and William Smith for same, but his 
case was nol. pros. 

* "All the rights" is rather hroad. The lion. D.ivid Davis is at pre- 
pent enjoying some rigtus of an .\merican native horn citizen, wiiich James 
.VIsop could not enjoy, the order of the hon. court to the contrary Dot- 
withstanding. 

t This king had, in his younger years, been a great admirer of .-^tnericn, 
His father, F. \V. III. had' locked with alarm at tlie increasing emigration 
of his people to .\merica. Tiie prince, being asked how to prevent a further 
e.xodus, replied: " Yuur majesty should proclaim, through all official or- 
gans, that .\merica has become Prussian, and not another soul of your 
majesty's subjects would think of going there." 



HISTOBY OF BE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



87 



May term, 1854. — Orin Wakefield, foreman of grand jury. 

Indictments returned in fifteen liquor cases, but no convic- 
tions had. 

Herman Brockman was indicted for assault with attempt to 
kill; Archer Herndon and K. Herudou, for riot; fined fifty 
dollars each. 

Elizabeth Shirtlifl^, Catharine Shirtlifl^, Rocna Herndon, Caro- 
line Sawyer, Catharine Shiukle, Martha Taylor, Caroline Taylor, 
Emily Lewis and Helen Sawyer were indicted for riotously, 
unlawfully and with forca turning out, wasting and destroying 
tan gallons of whisky, of th3 value of five dollars, the property of 
one George Tanner. The parties were tried by a jury composed 
of Joseph Howard, Paschal Mills, Hiram Wilson, W Cadberry, 

Thomas Cougher, McKiuney, B. T. Mitchell, Jefierson 

Hawser, Robert Wray, John E. Day, Mahlon K. Hall and Jona- 
than R. Hall ; found guilty, and each " riotress " fined two ilollars. 

Oct'iber and Speciil November term, 1854. — William Cautrall 
and Thomas Gardiner, foremen of grand jury. 

Fourteen liquor cases and three gambling cases; James Wil- 
liams and others were iudiciod for riot ; tried and acquitted. 

Maij term, 1855. — Daniel White, foreman of grand jury. 

Indictments : Wesley Roberts, raps ; tied the country. Crafton 
Scott and G. F. Davenport, larceny, were fined ten dollars each, 
on plea of guilty. Isaac Henderson, malicious mischief, ac- 
quitted. Twenty whisky cases and sis gambling cases, but no 
convictions or fines. 

October term, 1855. — Robt. F. Barnett, foreman of grand jury. 

Indictments : John Walker, larceny ; W. Young and George 
Young, same ; plead guilty aud were sentenced to three years in 
penitentiary. Nine whisky aud three gambling cases ; Isaac 
Wyant, murder. 

Isaac VVyant was indicted for murder at the October term, 
1855. He obtained a change of venue to McLean county 
where he was tried and acquitted. The verdict of the coroner's 
jury is stdl on file in the circuit clerk's ofiice at Clinton. The 
writer found it in a sealed envelop, apparently unopened. Its 
contents are as follows: 

''We, the undersigned jurors impanelled and sworn to inquire 
how, ami in what manner, and by whom, or by what, the dead 
body came to its death, do find upon the examination of said 
body ; and Christopher Goodbrake, Thomas Edmonson and 
Harry Kidder, witnesses, examined, that the name of the dead 
man was Ason Rusk, and that he came to his death by four 
pistol shots, shot by one Isaac Wyant, on the 12th of October, 
1855, which caused the immediate death of Ason Rusk. 

"This loth October, 1855. B F. Jones, foreman; A. Crura, 
W. H. CundiS; J. W. Bullock, James W. Haise Thomas Kelly, 
B. F. Hall, S. T. Franbus, Allen Xixon, John H. Hendrick, 
James Proud and W. G. Savage." 

The causes leading to this murder may be briefly mentioned. 
"Wyant and Rusk had had a personal rencontre a few months 
previously, when Rusk shot at Wyant, wounding him severely 
in the arm, in consequence of which the limb had to be am- 
putated. Wyant became enraged, and vowed vengeance. He 
met Rusk on said day in the county clerk's ofiice, at Clinton, 
and shot him down at sight. The county clerk, J. J. JIcGraw, 
was not in the ofiice at the time of the shooting, but was in 
hearing distance. He hastened to his ofiice in time to see Wyant 
rush out, pistol in hand. AV. W. Williams, a constable, arrested 
Wyant before leaving the square. As said above, Wyant was 
tried and acquitted in McLean county, the jury finding him in- 



sane ; whereupon the court ordered him to be taken to the insane 
asylum at Jacksonville. After the lapse of two or three years 
Wyant was discharged from the asylum and returned to this 
county. Later he moved to the state of Indiana. It is feared 
by another party that Wyant is still living and ready to execute 
another threat, that of murdering one of the witnesses who testi- 
fied against him. 

3Iai/ term, 185G. — R. F. Barnett, foreman of grand jury. 

Indictments : W. E. Hampton, larceny, dismissed March, 1857 ; 
John Henson, larceny, acquitted October, 1856 ; Thomas Duer, 
assault with deadly weapon ; Jefferson Yocum and eight others, 
for riot ; Andrew J. Cox, larceny, plead guilty, fifteen months 
penitentiary ; four liquor cases. 

Odober term, 1856. — R. F. Barnett, foreman of grand jury. 

Indictments: Peter Kiefer, larceny, tried, convicted and sen- 
tenced to one year penitentiary ; Matthew Kiefer, larceny, nol. 
pros. ; Theod. Johnson, larceny, plead guilty, one year peniten- 
tiary ; George and John Hubble, riot; Thomas Allen and two 
others, r!ot ; Theod. Johnson and two others, riot. 

March term, 1857. — Hou. E. L. Powell, of the 16th circuit, 
presiding in the absence of Hon. David Davis. Joseph Howard, 
foreman of grand jury. 

Larry Bohen was indicted for larceny, tried, convicted and 
sentenced to penitentiary for one year; Patrick Kinney, Thomas 
O Connell, William Miller and John D. Finch, larceny, were 
acquitted ; twenty-four liquor cases aud two for selling cards. 

October term, 1S57. — Peter Crum, foreman of grand jury. 

Indictments. Maria Scott, bigamy, stricken from docket 
March, 1858; Daniel A. Calkins, illegal marriage, stricken 
from docket as above; George King, rape, acquitted March, 
1858; thirty liquor and four gambling cases. 

March term, 1858. — R. F. Barnett, foreman of grand jury. 

Nathan Bridgman, indicted for burglary, tried, convicted and 
sentenced to penitentiary for one year; William Owles, larceny, 
plead guilty, sent to penitentiary for two years ; four liquor cases. 

October term, 1858. — R. F. Barnett, foreman of grand jury. 

Indictments : W. T. Read, assault ; Adolphus Delano, larceny ; 
Isaac N. Carter, burglary ; eight liquor cases. 

March term, 1859. — G. B. Lemon, foreman of grand jury. 

Indictments : Three cases of larceny ; thirteen of selling liquor 
without license, and two of malicious mischief, no convictions. 
Indictments: J. A. Lemen, rape; W. W. Williams and W. S 
Todd, assault; Matt. Alsop, passing counterfeit money; Lewis 
Woodcock and Isaac Jones forgery ; Egbert O. Hill, embez- 
zlement of records ; fourteen liquor cases, aud J. B. Lintner, 
assault with intent to kill, tried and acquitted. 

March term, 1860. — L. D. Hovey, foreman of grand jury. 

Indicted : O Andrew, for distutbing a worshiping congrega- 
tion ; twenty liquor cases. 

October term, 1860. — G. D. Smallwood, foreman of grand jury. 

! Indictments: Thomas Snell, assault with intent to kill, tried 

May, 1861, and acquitted ; I. Davis, horse-stealing, and Charles 

Bunteraon, for larceny, plead guilty and sent to penitentiary for 

one year. 

May term, 1861. — Hon. Oliver L. Davis, balance of term ; 
Harvey Hogg was appointed states attorney pro. tem. ; Smith 
Minturn, foreman of grand jury. 

Only nine grand jurors of regular appointment had appeared, 
1 and fourteen had to be selected from " bystanders." 

Indictments : Four for larceny ; three for riot ; one for open 
lewdness ; one for removing landmark and three for selling 
liquor. 



HISTOR Y OF BE WITT CO UN'Tl, ILLINOIS. 



Isaac Davis was tried for horse-stealing, convicted and sent to 
penitentiary for one year. Franklin Payn was indicted for keep- 
ing a misgoverned house, Frauds Doyle for keeping a lewd one, 
Frank Lisk for assault with a deadly weapon, J. D. Haven for 
carrying a pistol with intent to assault, Franklin Loer, assault 
with intent to commit a rape ; tried, jury did not agree. David 
Warrenbuig and others for riot, Timothy Green and Pat Rodgers 
for keeping a gaming-house, Richard De Webb and Levi Rath- 
bone for betting on elections, and eight liquor cases. 

W. H. Summers was indicted for murdtr; he obtained a 
change of venue to McClean county on the 2lith of November, 
and was acquitted. 

Summers had killed Mr. Roberts, the postmaster at Clinton, 
on a slight provocation. The murder was committed in broad 
day light, in front of the post office. Fleeing from the spot, 
where his victim lay bleeding, Summers was arrested by John 
Bullock and others in James Lisenby's garden. The indignation 
of the citizens at the deed was deep and loud ; violence was 
feared by many, but the counseling of older and cooler citizens 
prevailed; the law was allowed to have its course, and luid it, as 
stated above. 

N'joemher term, 1831. — Hon. David Davis on the bench until 
November 19. The rest of the term wa5 presided over by Hon. 
Amaza S. Merriman. 

W. B. Smith, foreman of grand jury. 

New indictments; Four larceny cases. 

Samuel Warner aud R)bert Campbell were convicted of lar- 
ceny and sent to penitentiary for one year each. 

May term, 18(j2. — Hon. D. Davis, judge. 

W. M. Springer, appointed state attorney pro tem. Orin 
Wakefield foreman of grand jury. 

Timothy M. Cormick, in jail on a charge of murder, was re- 
leased, the grand jury having ignored this charge. 

New indictments: One for larceny, one for riot, one for per- 
jury, and two for obstructing public roads. William Biffin was 
sent to penitentiary for one year — larceny. 

November term, 1832. — William Bolin, foreman of grand jury. 

No indictments nor convictions during this and the succeeding 
May terra, 1863. 

]\''ovember term, 18(53. — Hon. J. M. Scott, judge ; Henry S. 
Green, state's attorney; Caswell P Ford, foreman of grand jury. 

New indictments: Two cases of larceny, seven of riot, two of 
assault with intent to kill, and two of nulicious mischief. The 
rioters were fined from ten to twenty-five dollars each. 

May term, 1864. — Hon. Charles Emerson, judge; Henry S. 
Green, attorney; G. B. Lemon, foreman of grand jury. 

New indictments : Two of liquor, one of rape, two of larceny, 
two of riot, and one of receiving stolen goods. 

Nooember term, 1864. — Hon. John M. Scott, judge ; Smith 
Minturn, foreman of grand jury. 

New indictments : Larceny, two ; assault with deadly weapons, 
four; nmlicious mischief, one; riot, three. No convictiims. 

May term, 1865. — Same officers. G. B. Lemon, foreman of 
grand jury. 

New indictments : Larcany, four ; assault with deadly wea- 
pons, one ; selling liquor, six. 

The grand jury presented the following resolutions, to be 
spread on the record of the court: 

" Abraham Lincoln," late president of the United States, who 
has been removed from us by the ruthless hand of a vile assasin, 
the illustrious and revered, is no more. 

Resolved, That we mourn the loss of bo good and great a man. 



Resolved, That the citizens of De Witt county, Illinois, devise 
some plan to raise a sufficient fund to erect a suitable monument 
to the memory of our departed soldiers, buried in Woodland 
Cemetery, Clinton.* 

November term, 1865. — Caswell P. Ford, foreman of grand 
jury. 

Indictments: Larceny, four ; forgery, one ; liquor, one; for- 
nication, one ; riot, one. 

Elisha Gilbert, convicted of larceny, having stolen three hun- 
dred dollars, was sentenced to penitentiary for four years ; and 
W. B. JIarquiss for one year, for forgery. 

May term, 1866. — Thomas Kirker, foreman of grand jury. 

Indictments : Larceny, three ; selling liquor, four ; disturbing 
congregation, one; rape, one; riot, three; malicious mischief, 
one. 

William Burns, on change of venue from McLean, indicted 
for murder, was tried on the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th of May, 
and found guilty. He had a new trial granted ; was tried again 
in May, 1867. This second trial occupied a whole week, and 
ended in acquittal. 

November term, 1866. — G. B. Lemon, foreman of grand jury. 

Indictments : Assault, 1 ; larceny, 6 ; horse-stealing, one ; 
riot, one ; disturbing congregation, one ; selling liquor, ten ; for- 
nication, one. 

G. W. Teal, convicted of larceny, was sent to penitentiary for 
one year, and Park McGowan, on plea of guilty for same oflTense, 
for tight years. 

Thomas Peddicord, indicted with McGowan, plead guilty, and 
in consideration of his youth, being under eighteen years of age, 
was sent to jail for thirty days. 

May term, 1867. — T. F. Tipton, state's attorney ; Joseph How" 
ard, forman of grand jury. 

Indictments: Perjury, one; arson, one ; larceny, two ; cheat- 
ing, one; bigamy, one; assault, one; disturbing worship, one. 

Benjamin Smith, convicted of larceny, was sent to penitentiary 
for three years. 

November term, 1867 — R. M- Benjamin, appointed attorney 
pro tern- ; William Clagg, foreman of grand jury. 

Indictments: Arson, two; larceny, 7; assault with deadly 
weapons, three ; fornication, one; riot, one. 

David A.Johnson was fined fifty dollars, and George Johnston 
one hundred dollars, on being convicted of assault with deadly 
weapon. 

May term, 1863. — Hon. J M. Scott, judge; T. F. Tipton, 
state's attorney ; John Warner, foreman of grand Jury. 

Indictments: Larceny, one ; resisting officer, one ; disturbing 
worship, two ; riot, one ; liquor, two ; gambling, two. 

November term, 186S. — John Porter, foreman of grand jury. 

Indictments- Manslaughter, one (Jonathan Way); larceny, 
four ; assault to kill, five ; keeping gaming-house, six ; liquor, 
eleven; disturbing worship, one ; riot, one ; producing abortion, 
one ; gaming, five ; disorderly house, one. 

May term, 1869. — Joseph Harvard, foreman of grand jury. 

Indictments: Cheating, one; liquor, three; keeping gaming- 

* The erection of a monument is mentioned in the chapter on pa- 
triotism, and thi-i resolution of the grand jury may have given the impetus 
to the formation of an association of the kind. \t any rate, tlie monnment 
was built by .such an association, with Hon. C. H. Moore, as president, and 
Captain J. M. North as treasurer. The corner stone wai laid under im- 
poJng ceremonies on the 4ih of July, 186S, and the monument unveiled 
4th of July, 18GD. in the presence of tlionsands, and with grand festivities. 

The funds out of which to erect this monument, some $2,500, were raised 
by voluntary snbscription. 



HISTORY OF LE WITT COUNTY, ILLIXOIS. 



house, one; horse-stealing, one; disturbing peace, twenty-two; 
assault, one ; larceny, one. 

November term, 1869. — Paschall Mills, foreman of grand jury. 

Indictments: Assault to kill, two; larceny, five; liijuor, five; 
resisting officer, one ; disturbing peace, one ; gambling, five ; 
perjury, one. 

Ma'i term, 1870. — George B. Lemen, foreman of grand jury. 

Indictments: Larceny, eleven ; assault to kill, two; adultery, 
two ; riot, one. 

November term. — Hon. Thomas F. Tipton, judge; Jonathan 
H. Howell, state's attorney ; A. G. Williams, foreman of grand 
jury. 

Indictments: Arson, one ; larceny, six; assault, four, liquor, 
seven; riot, one; murder one (Martha A. Dobbs) ; disturbing 
peace, one. 

Convictions: Krist Warkee, larceny, one year; Charles 
Crosby, larceny, one year; Patrick ^Munghan, larceny, one year. 

Mat/ term, 1871. — Samuel E. Arnold, foreman of grand jury. 

Indictments: Cruelty to animals (J. H. Keseckeri, fined fifty 
dollars ; riot, one ; bastardy, one ; liquor, two ; larceny, three ; 
assault, three ; disturbing worship, six ; malicious mischief, one. 

Francis Euthorpe, tried for manslaughter, was found guilty 
and sentenced to penitentiary for thirteen years ; Thomas Smith 
for larceny, one and a half years. 

November term, 1871. — L. D. Hovey foreman of grand jury. 

Indictments : Larceny, four ; riot, four ; horse-stealing, one ; 
assault, three; disturbing worship, two ; larceny and burglary, 
six ; liquor, two ; arson, one. 

Convictions : John Daily, larceny, one year ; Joseph Wickens, 
horse-stealing, four years ; E Leister, larceny, one year. 

C. K- Pfeifer, also indicted for horse-stealing, obtained a 
change of venue to Champaign county. 

May term, 1872. — Hon. M. C- Crawford, judge ; Henry Smith, 
foreman of graad jury. 

ludictmeuts: Resisti g officer, one; assault to kill, one; 
liquor, eleven ; riot, o: e. 

December term, 1872. — Hon. T. F. Tipton, judge; Steph. K. 
Carter, attorney ; Mitchell Herrold, foreman of grand jury. 

Indictments : Burglary and larceny, five ; assaults, three ; and 
incest, one, (W. Bateson, tried and acquitted.) The case of 
Martha Ann Dobbs, for murder, was stricken from docket. Alex- 
ander Stanley plead guilty to a charge of burglary, and was sent 
to the penitentiary for two years. Richard J. Hull's term for 
larceny was eighteen months. 

March term, 1873. — Parker Gardner, foreman of grand jury. 

Indictments : Riot, three ; liquor, six ; larceny, three ; assaults, 
two ; bigamy, one ; beastiality, (Joseph Sprague"), one ; malicious 
mischief, one; and disturbing worship, one. No convic ions. 

August term, 1873. — Hon. Lyman Laeey, judge; W. R. Carle, 
foreman of grand jury. 

Indictments: Larceny, three; embezzlement as attorney, one; 
assault, two ; cutting timber, ten ; selling liquor, three ; riot, one ; 
fornicati'm, one, and marking hogs, one. Convicted ; James 
Holeran, larceny, one year in the penitentiary. 

December term, 1873. — Daniel Thompson, foreman of grand 
jury. 

Indictments : Robbery, one ; larceny, one ; false imprison- 
ment, one; assault, two; adultery, one; and liquor, 14. 

March term, 1874. — Jonathan R. Hall, foreman of grand jury. 
Indictments : Larceny, ihree ; liquor, six ; and assault to com- 
mit rape, one- Joseph Page was convicted of larceny, three 
12 



years ; Ruben Bushnell, assault to commit rape, plead guilty, 
and was sent to the reform school at Pontiac for three years. 

August term, 1874. — Hun. Cyrus E|)lcr, judge ; H. A Rucker, 
foreman of grand jury. 

Indictments: Larceny, three ; assault, three; assault to kill, 
one ; riot, two ; false pretense, one ; swindling, four ; liquor, 
forty, and embezzlement by county treasurer, (Thomas Kelley), 
one. Convicted: John Barrow, larceny, one year. 

December term, 1874. — Hon. Lyman Lacey, judge; Charles 
Willmore, foreman of grand jury. 

Indictments : Burglary and larceny, eight ; assault with intent 
to kill, three ; marking stock, one ; riot, one ; arson, one ; swind- 
ling, one. — No convictions. 

March term, 187o. — Joel H. I'rovin, foreman of grand jury. 

Indictments: Larceny, one; riot, one ; forgery, one, and cut- 
tiug timber, one. — Convicted : Adam Rush, of arson, one year 
iu penitentiary. 

August term, 1875. — C. P. Ford, foreman of grand jury. 

Indictments : Robbery and larceny, six ; riot, three ; adultery 
and fornication, five ; liquor, six, and assault, two. Timothy 
Heffernan, a youth of fifteen years, plead guilty to a charge of 
larceny, and was sent one year to reform school at Pontiac. 
Robert Shaw was sent up one year for larceny, and Joseph Good- 
year, for same, two years. 

December term, 1875. — John Vandewort, foreman of grand 

j"''j- 

Indictments: Burglary and larceny, three; liquor, eight; 
mischief, one, and murder, one, (John Kollner) John Kollner 
had shot and killed one Timothy Profl'cer. John stood trial, 
proved self-defence, and was acquitted. James Wilson wa-s sent 
to jail thirty days for larceny. Richard Bass four years to the 
penitentiary for burglary. Patrick McSherry was fined S75.00 
for malicious mischief. 

March term, 1876 — Alexander AViUs, foreman of grand jury. 

Indictments: Larceny, three; assault, one; gaming, two; 
malicious mischief, two ; forgery, one, and liquor, two. — Xo 
convictions. 

August term, 1876- — John Warner, foreman of grand jury. 

Indictments: Burglary and larceny, ten ; false pretenses, one; 
assault, four ; counterfeiting, one ; malicious mischief, one, and 
horse-stealing, one. — Convicted : Charles Hayes, larceny, two 
years iu penitentiary ; Edgar Harris, William Thompson, and 
Eugene Ragan, larceny, each thirty days in jail ; Thomas Brady, 
larceny, two years; Charles Hastings, larce:iy, one year; Eze- 
kiel Jackson, larceny, one year; Thomas Jackson, larceny, one 
year; John Yates, horse-stealing, one year; and John Sullivan, 
larceny, two years at reform school. 

December term, 1876 — Hon. Lyman Lacey, judge ; W. R. 
Kelley, state's attorney ; J S. B. "Willis, foreman of grand jury. 

Indictments: Larceny, two ; assault to kill, two; liquor, four; 
and forgery, one. John Hoff plead guilty of forgery, and was 
sent up for one year. 

A. K. Carter, former state's attorney, reported to the court, 
that during his terra of office, viz. : December, 1872, to Decem- 
ber, 1876, he had collected in fines and forfeitures the sum of 
82,904.14; that he had paid to Miss Mary S.Welch, superintendent 
of schools, the sum of 81,982.00, that his fees as attorney 
amounted to 8780.00, and that he was further entitled to a com- 
mission of 10 per cent, on amounts collected, to wit-: S290.41, 
and that therefore a balance of 8141.27 was then due to him. 
He reported sixteen penitentiary cases; twelve of liquor cases; 
fines paid ; twenty jail cases ; three cases reform school ; twenty- 



90 



JirSTORY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



reli; 



worsliip, in which 



three assaulti=, anri one disturbing 
fines hail been paid. 

March term. 1877. — Jacob B. Haldman, foreman of grand 
jury. 

Indictments: Larceny, eight ; assault, six ; forgery, one ; riot, 
seven; liquor, one; aud adultery, one. — Convicted: Benjamin 
F. Taylor, and Jasper Shaffer, larceny, eighteen months in peni- 
tentiary each ; Daniel Ward, John Henderson, Timothy Hickey 
and Harvey Ford, larceny, two years in penitentiary each ; John 
Edwards and Thomas Boland, larceny, two and a half years in 
penitentiary, each. 

August term, 1877- — Smith Fuller, foreman of grand jury. 

Indictments: Forgery, one; larceny, four; manslaughter, 
one; liquor, one; perjury, one; and embezzlement, one. — Con- 
victed : Mary Boram, larceny, one year in penitentiary, and 
George Moore, larceny, five years in penitentiary. 

December term, 1877.— Hon. A. Ci. Burr, judge; .John Bishop, 
foreman of grand jury. 

Indictments: Burglary, sis; swindling, one; riot, two; as- 
saults, one; liquor, one. — Convictions: Samuel Doss, James A. 
Clark, and James Wilson, burglary, each one year in peniten- 
tiary. 

March term, 1878. — Hon. Lyman Lacoy, judge; John War 
ner, foreman of grand jury. 

Indictments; Adultery, one; larceny and burglary, eight; 
horse-stealing, one ; manslaughter, one ; i W. W. Davenport,) as- 
sault to kill, two ; perjury, one — W. W. Davenport had killed 
one Eli Bell with a scythe, on Bell's premises, July 28th, 1877. 
His case was tried in August, 1878, and resulted in acq^uittal ; 
the jury was comp-sed of the following citizens: S. K. Harnell, 
J. A. Brickey, Ephraira Page, C. A. Owen, G. W. Burter, A. R. 
Smith, Thomas Weaver, John T. Blue, Wiley Marvel, D. K. 
Scott, A. W. Bell, and A. E. Newman. — Convictions : Merritt 
Hughfs, horse-stealing, in penitentiary three years ; Ezekiel 
Jackson and Thomas Jackson, larceny, one and a half years 
each. Elizabeth Davis ten days in jail, and Frank. Jackson 
ninety days in jail for adultery. 

August term, l.s78. — Hon. Cyrus Ephler, judge ; W. H. Xorth, 
foreman of grand jury. 

Indictments: Larceny, six; assault, one; rape, one; cruelty 
to animals, one ; i shooting a vicious dog) gaming, two ; adultery, 
two; liquor, two; embezzlement, one; horse-stealing, one. — Xo 
convictions. 

December term 1878. — Albert G. Burr, julge ; Daniel A. 
Rosencrans. foreman of grand jury. 

Indictments: Burglary, five; confidence game, one; horse- 
stealing, one; assault to kill, two; obtaining signatures bv false 
pretenses, one ; disturbing a family, one; assault, one; forgery, 
one, and cruelty to animals, one. — Convictions: Samuel Clark, 
burglary, two years; William Bates, forgery, one year; William 
Brown, larceny, one; J. W. Murray, larceny, two years. 

March term, 1879. — Hon. Lyman Lacey, judge ; J. H. Ran- 
dolph, foreman of grand jury. 

Indictments: Larceny aud burglary, twelve; abortion, one; 
liquor, five ; aud forgery, one. 

Special grand jury, same term ; C. P Ford, foreman. 

Indictments : Burglary, five ; cruelty to animals, one, and 
forgery, one- 
Convictions: James Mansfield, burglary, two years; John 
M. Orrell and Stephen Hazelett, larceny, each two and a half 
years; Timothy Heflernan, larceny, one year; George Dee, 



larceny, one and a half years ; Thomas Nixon and W. Murray, 
larceny, each three years. 

Augu.it term, 1879. — Hon. Lyman Lacey, judge; Edgar S. 
Van Meter, state attorney ; A. L. Barnett, foreman of grand 
jury. 

Indictments: Forgery, fijur; larceny, five; adultery, one; 
perjury, one; arson, one; liquor, one. No convictions. 

December term 1879. — N. M. Barnett, foreman of grand jury. 

Indictments: Burglary, thirteen ; assault to kill, one ; arson, 
one; manslaughter, one ; robbery, one; adultery, one; gaming, 
ten ; assault, three ; disturbing worship, one. 

Convicted : Thomas Rea, larceny ; Henry .J Orrell, burglary, 
two years each. 

Clerk W. H. Harrison resigned his office on the 7th of Feb- 
ruary, 1880, whereupon the judges of the circuit court, to wit, 
Lyman Lacey, Cyrus Epler, and Albert 8. Burr appointed 
James De Land to fill this vacancy. ^Ir. James De Land quali- 
fied for office Feb. 14, 1880 

March term, 1<380. — W. R. Carle, foreman of grand jury. 

Indictments: Rape, one; liquor, three; perjury, one; dis- 
turbing meeting, two; larceny, two; concealed weapons, two; 
embezzlement, one, (W. H. Harrison, late circuit clerk). 

August term, 1880. — Smith Fuller, foreman of grand jury. 

Indictments : Horse-stealing, one ; liquor, one ; burglary and 
larceny, three. 

December term, 1880.— Hon. Albert G. Burr, judge; W. H. 
Booth, attorney ; William Firfrock, foreman. 

Indictments: Forgery, two; assault to kill, one; riot, one ; 
larceny, one ; rape, one. 

A raiir.ler case, that of Patsey Devine, brought on a venue 
from McLean county, was tried during this term. Devine was 
found guilty, and was sentenced to be hanged on the 14th of 
October, 1881. Subsequently he was granted a new trial, and 
will in all probability get otf with a few years in the penitentiary. 
Adelvert Culiver was convicted of forgery, and sentenced to the 
penitentiary for one year. Henry Meissell, alias Henry Russell, 
convicted of horse-stealing, was sentenced for nine years. 

J/arc/i (!?™i, 1881.— Hon. Cyrus Epler, judge; Edwin Weld, 
foreman of grand jury. 

Indictments : Forgery, one ; arson, one ; larceny, one ; liquor, 
twelve; disturbing assembly, one; adultery, one. 

Convictions : Luke Bain, forgery, one year : Elizabeth Barton, 
arson, one year in penitentiary. 

August term, msi. — Hon. A. G. Burr, judge; Alonzo D. 
McHenry, foreman. 

Indictments: Larceny and burglary, three ; riot, one; assault, 
one; adultery, one; liquor, two. 

Convictions : Richard E. Smith, burglary, sent to penitentiary 
for two years. 

From the date of organization of the county, in 1839, to date 
of this writing, there have been held ninety terms of the circuit 
court; twenty of which were presided over by Hon. Samuel H. 
Treat, twenty-five by Hon. David Davis (a part of three of his 
terras the seat of Hon. Davis was occupied by the Hon's E. N. 
Powell, Oliver L. Davis, and A. S. Merriman ), thirteen by Hon. 
J. M. Scott, one by Hon. Charles Emerson, five by Hon T. F. 
Tipton, one by Hon. M. C. Crawford, eighteen by Hon. Lyman 
Lacey, three by Hon. Cyrus Epler, aud four by Hon. A. G- 
Burr. 

The several grand juries have returned into court one thousand 
and thirty-five indictments, to be classified as follows: 

Crimes against life or limb. — JIurder, four cases ; manslaughter. 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COVXTY, FLLIXOIS. 



91 



four eases; abortion, two cases; assault with iutent to maim or 
kill, tweuty-seveu eases. 

Crimes against properly. — Larceny, burglary, and robbery, 
two huudreJ and thirty-four cases ; passing counterfeit money, 
three cases; false pretenses, four cases; forgery, sixteen cases; 
embezzlement, six cases; horse-stealing, nine cases; receiving 
stolen goods, one ca-e. 

Crimes agahut Mortdilij. — Ripe, ten cases; bigamy, three 
cases; lewdness, two cases ; bestiality, one case ; fornication, four 
cases; adultery, fifteen cases; bastardy, one case, and incest, one 
case. 

Oiher felonies. — Arson, nine cases; perjury, nine cases. 

Minor offences — Riot, seventy-two ; disturbing public worship, 
twenty-two; assaults, sixty-three ; disturbing the peace, twenty- 
three; cutting timber, eleven; cheating or swindling, ten; re- 
sisting officers, five ; disorderly houses, four ; concealed weapons, 
four ; gaming, forty-six ; selling cards, two ; gaming houses, nine ; 
betting on elections, two; malicious mischief, eighteen; em- 
bracery, one;" compounding criminal offence, one; illegal mar- 
riage, one; removing landmark, one; marking stock, three; 
obstructing public road, two ; confidence game, one ; cruelty to 
animals, five, and Liquor cases, three hundred and sixty-four. 

Convictions : Murder. — None of those four parties indicted for 
murder were convicted of the crime; however, in one murder 
case from Sangamon county, that of Moses Loe, a verdict of 
manslaughter was rendered, and the criminal sent to the peniten- 
tiary for eight years. Another murder case, brought from ' 
McLean county, resulted in a sentence of death, not carried out 
thus far. 

Manslaughter. — One of the four parties indicted — Frank Eu- 
thorpe — was convicted, and sent to the penitentiary for thirteen 
years. Of those thirty-seven cases against life or limb, this one 
seems to be the only one where the criminal could be reached. 

Crimes against property were punished with more severity ; 
sixty-six parties were convicted of grand larceny, and their pun- 
ishment aggregated to one hundred and fifteen years and three 
months in the penitentiary ; in sixteen cases of forgery, there were 
four convictions, punished by four years in the penitentiary ; there 
were five convictions for horse-stealing, punished by peniten- 
tiary sentences of from one to nine years, aggregating eighteen 
years. 

Two of nine charges of arson were sustained, and parties pun- j 
ished by one year in the penitentiary each. 

Of the thirty-seven crimes against public morals, only one case 
could be made out, and it on a plea of guilty, viz : a case of 
rape, sentence, three years in the reform school. 

Minor offences, six hundred and seventy in number, were 
punished by fines, at the rate of about one out of every five. 

AI'DEXDr>r. 

ROSTER OF COUNTY OFFICERS. 

Probate and County Judges. — Fleming G. Paine, 1839 to 1S44 ; 
Daniel Newconib, 1844 to 184(J ; J. H. Martin, from 1846 to 
1849; Daniel Robbins, 1849 to 1857; \V. H. Lafferty, 1857 to 
1861 ; Addison A- Eads, 1S61 to 1865; Samuel Graham, 18S.5 . 
to 1869; Jonathan R. Hall, 1869 to 1873; Robert Walker, 1 
1873 to 1877; John J. McGraw, 1877 to April 12, 1881, when ' 
he resigned ; G K. Ingham, since 1881, having been appointed I 
by the governor to fill said vacancy. 

County Commissioners. — John Maxwell, May 15, 1839, to ! 
Sept. 1,1839; James Vandeventer, 1839 to 1846 ; John Hughes, 
1839 to 1841 ; Russell Post, 1839 to 1842 ; Franklin Barnett, ' 



1841 to 1847 ; Timothy B. Hobblett, 1842 to 1845; John Max- 
well, 1845 to 1849; W. J. Wright, 1847 to 1849, and \Vm. 
Cottingham, 1846 to 1849. 

Associate Juslice.s.—yVm Danner, 1849 to 1853 (died in office 
on the Kith of July, 1851 ; W. Y. McCord, filled balance of 
term); .John Maxwell, 1849 to 1853; Samuel Graham, 1853 ti 
1853; C. C Watson, 1853 to 1857; (removed from the county 
in 1854; G. B. Lemon filled vacancy); Samuel E. Clay, 1857; 
(left county in 1858, vacancy filled by J. J. Woodward). 

County Eecorder.i.—WiUmm Lowry, 1839 to 1S41 ; R. H- Pool, 
1841 to 1843; Zeno H. Blount, 1843 to 1847 ; Absolom Hamil- 
ton, 1847to 1848, when clerks of circuit courts became recorders 
by virtue of their office. 

County A'ses.^ors.— John Swearingen, W. H. Latterly and 
Daniel Dragstrem, in 1839; F. S. Rubbins, Charles Malthy 
and Zebulon Cantrall, in 1840; Darius Hall, in 1841; W. H. 
Latterty, in 1842; Absol. Hamilton, in 1843 The county 
treasurers were ex-officio assessors from 1844 to 1859 ; since 1859 
the assessment is entrusted to township officers. 

County Odlectors.—^y. H. Lafferty, in 1839 and 1840 ; E. W. 
Fears, in 1841, William Mitchell, in 1842, and E. W. Fears, in 
1843. The county sheriffs were made ex-officio collectors of 
revenue in 1844, and continued such until 1859. when under the 
svstem of township goverjiment, the treasurer was also collector 
by virtue of his office. 

Circuit Clerks. — K. H. Fell, app jinte 1 by Judge Logan, in 
1839 to 1841 ; Daniel Newcomb, appointed in 1841 to 1H48 
John Wnrner, elected 1848 to 1852; Robert Lewis, 1852 to 
1860; Joseph J. Kelly, 1860 to 186S; W.L.Chambers, 1868 
to 187-2 ; W. H. Harrison, 1872 to 1880, resigned Feb. 7, 1880 ; 
James DeLind appointed to fill vacancy ; J. T. Carle, since 1880. 

County Cyerfo.— John J. McGraw, 1839 to 1857; James E. 
Stansbury, 1857 to 1862, died three months after entering upon 
his second term, was succeeded by James Lisenby, 1862 to 1869 ; 
W. W. Graham, 1869 to 1873 ; Augustus V. Lisenby, since 1877. 

gl,griffs,^E. W. Fears, 1839 to 1844; William Mitchell, 1844 
to 1848, (died before expiration of his second term by suicide) ; 
William Biilin, 1848 to 1850; Ezekiel Lane, 1850 to 1852; 
William Bolin, 1852 to 1854; William Fuller, 1854 to 1856; 
H. H. Merryman, 1856 to 1858; Decatur Pool, 1858 to 1860; 
Barzilla Campbell, 1860 to 1862; James A. LaH'erty, 1862 to 
1864; Alonzo D. McHenry, 1864 to 1866; W. C. McMurray, 
1866 to 1868; Thomas Gardiner, jr., 1870 to 1874; Lyman Bar- 
nett, 1874 to 1876, and Amos Weedman, since 1876. 

Treasurers. — Jtsse C. McPherson, 1839; J.J. MeGraw, pro 
tem , 1840 ; Peter D. Spain, 1840 ; Charles Maltby, 1841 ; Robert 
H. Pool, 1842; William Mitchell, 1843 and 1844; William 
Bolin, 1845 to 1847 ; Henry Cundiff, 1847 to 1849 ; Andrew J. 
Hammitt, 1849 to 1851; W. T. Springer, 1851 to 1853 ; W N. 
Meservay, 1853 to 1855 ; Jamrs E. Stan.sbury, 1855 to 1857 ; G. 
M. Lutterell, 1857 to 1859; .James Lisenby, 1859 to 1861 ; B. 
T. Jones, 1861 to 1863; Edward Porter, 1863 to 1867; Thomas 
Ivelly, 1867 to 1871; Lorenzo D. Hovey, 1871 to 1873; W. 
Gambrel, 1873 to 1877 ; James A. Wilson, 1877 to date. 

School Superintendents.— John J. McGraw, from 1839 to 1855 ; 
Lawrence We'den, 1855 to 1859 ; Joseph Kelly, 1859 to 1861 ; 
Jacob S. Hand, from 1863 to 1867 ; S. K. Carter, from 1867 to 
1869 ; F. M. Vanlue, from 1869 to 1873, and Mary S. Welch, 
from 1873 to date. 

Counti/ Surveyors.— Alexander L. Barnett, 1839 to 1859; 
Oliver Lakin, 18.59 to 1861 ; John S. Brown, 1861 to 1863 ; Oli- 
ver Lakin, 1863 to 1865 ; David Richardson, 1865 to 1869 ; J. 



92 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



S. Brown, 18G9 to 1875; David Richardson, 1875 to 1879, and 
Alexander L. Barnett since 1879. 

Coroners.— Henry A. Hall, 1839 to 1844; John M.-Richter, 
1844 to 1852; B. F. Hall, 18-52 to 1858; .Tosiah McFarland, 
18.=>8 to 1860 ; William Hull, 18G0 to isr,2 ; -I. M. Green, 1862 
to 1864 ; John G. Morlan, ]8li4 to 1868 ; W. W Hickman, 1868 
to 1870; P. T. Sweeny, 1870 ; William Hefternan, 1871 to 1874; | 
Ezekiel Thomas, 1874 to 1876; Darius Hall, 1S76 to ISSO, and 
Lafayette Ely, .since l^SHO. 

Stales AUorneys.—T)a.s\A B. Campbell, 1839 to 1849; Seth 
Post, Charles Emerson, W. H. Lamont, to 1858 ; A. Hogg, to 
1860; W. H. Yonng, 1860 to 1862; Henry S. Green, 1862 to ; 
1866; Thomas F. Tipton, R. M. Benjamin, to 1868; J. H. 
Rowell, 1868 to 1872; S. K. Carter,'l872 to 1876; W. R. 
Kelly, 1876 to 1879; Edgar S. Vanmeler to fill vacaiic)-, 1879 I 
to 1880, and W. H. Booth since 1880. | 

Masters in Chancery. — John J. McGraw, 1839 to 1865 ; Michael 
Donahue, 1865 to 1872, and G. B. Graham since 187.'. 

CHAPTER X. 



THE BEXCH AND BAR- 




H yf^Sss^^S^ She lawyer in all civilized nations lias 
.AiFSEsVnf/- dli. eupied a position of prominence and distinc- 
tion. The legal profession is the one in 
which men of the keenest mind and most 
aggressive intellect have naturally found a 
place. It will be found that this important 
and influential class of men has not b>:en 
deficient in patriotism and love of lilierty. 
Especially under the influence of the com- 
m)u law of England, the principles of which spring from the 
great body of the people, the profession of law has produced 
men who have been foremost in advocating the liberties of the 
masses, and in maintaining popular rights against the encroach- 
ments and aggressions of tyranny. The liberty-breathing spirit 
of the old common law nurtured in no small degree the sturdy 
notions of independence which have ever characterized the Eng- 
lish race, while the sacred right of trial by jury, and the writ of 
Habeas Corpus have always been regarded as the strongest bul- 
warks of popular freedom. To this heritage, bequeathed by our 
English ancestors, the American lawyer has been faith ul. His 
voice was the first to lift itself in opposition to encroachments 
on the rights of the inhabitants of the thirteen colonies. It was 
a lawyer who formulated the principles of the Declaration of 
Independence, and in the subsequent history of our country, the 
great part of the legal profession has been composed of men who 
tor intelligence and patriotism have stood in the foremost rank. 
In Illinois, among the early pioneers, were men of mark in 
the profession, of high personal character and broad attainments, 
who instead of confining themselves to the old centres of wealth 
and population, where it might be thought their labor would 
reap the richest rewards, and their talents secure the highest 
emoluments, pushed to the frontier with the first wave of advanc- 
ing population. Their services were of inestimable value in 
placing on a broad and firm basis, the foundations of the common- 
wealth. Their voice has since been potent in directing public 



opinion, and shaping the broad and liberal policy with which in 
general the state has treated public questions. And the two 
names which are most conspicuously and honorably connected 
with the history of the state, are those of two lawyers, who won 
their first triumphs at the bar of Illinois, and there fitted them- 
selves for a wider arena in which they achieved a reputation 
more than national; Stephen A. Douglas and Abraham Lincoln. 

THE BENCH. 

Some of the brightest aritiy of talent in the state have presided 
at the courts in De Witt county since its organization in 1839. 
When first organized it formed part of the eighth circuit, 
which comprised the following counties: Tazewell, Livingstone, 
McLean, Piatt, Champaign, Vermillion, Edgar, Coles, Moultrie, 
Christian, Macon, Sangamon, Logan, and De Witt. 

Stephen T. Logan was commissioned Circuit Judge February 
29th, 1839. His rapidly increasing, and extensive jiractice at 
that time, however, imluced him to resign, and Samuel H. Treat 
succeeded hijn. May 27th, 1839, and was again elected and re- 
coramissioned January 30th, 1840 and continued to preside until 
the adoption of the new constitution in 1848. His successor 
being David Davis, who received his commission December 4th, 
1848; recommissioned June 25th, 1855, and was again elected 
July 1st, 1861, and was then appointed by President Lincoln one 
of the judges of the Supreme Court of the United States. He 
was followed by John M. Scott, December 2d, 1862 who was 
re-elected June 27th, 1867, and presided until 1870. Thomas 
F. Tipton was elected Judge, August 18th, 1870, and held the 
position until 1873. '' Under the constitution of 1870, the General 
Assembly, by act of March 28th, 1873 divided the state into 
twenty-six judicial circuits, (Do Witt county forming part of the 
seventeenth), in each of which one judge of the circuit court 
was elected for the term of six years. Lyman Lacy, of Havana, 
was elected circuit judge June 10th, 1873. In 1877, the legis- 
lature passed a law establishing an appellate court, and provid- 
ing for the election of three judges for each circuit. The judges 
thus elected, ofiiciating in this county, were respectively Lyman 
Lacy, C. Eppler, and A. G. Burr — who fill that position at the 
present time. O. L. Davis officiated as judge pro tern, in 1861, 
and C Emmerson in 1864. A brief sketch of the before-men- 
tioned representatives of the bench we append as follows: 

Stephen T. Locsan possessed a brilliant intellect, and won for 
himself a high reputation, both in law and politics. His career 
as circuit judge commenced in 1S35, when he was elected judge 
of the first judicial district. He was subsequently elected judge 
of the eighth circuit, which position he resigned as above stated, 
in 1839. His death occurre<l a few months ago, at his home in 
Springfield. He was one of the ablest lawyers that Illinois ever 
produced. 

Samuel H, Tre.it, a dirtinguished jurist, and an eminent 
man, possessing great legal talent, and exercising strict impar- 
tiality in his official duties, presided for a time over the courts 
of De Witt county. He is now one of the United States district 
judges, located at Springfield. And by his erudition, and purity 
of character, has won for himself a proud and enviable fame. 

David Davis, of Blooraiugton (now United States Senator). 
The career of judge Davis is familiar to all, and honorable to 
himself and his state and therefore will receive but brief mention 
here. In all public trusts, as Judge of Circuit, as one of justices 
of the Supreme Court of the United States, as U. S. Senator from 
Illinois, he has proved himself worthy and efficient. He is one 
of the few men who are able to rise equal to all emergencies, — ■ 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



93 



one of the strongest elements wliieli has contributed to his fame 
is his sterling integrity, and purity of character. 

John M. Scott — one of the Supreme judges of Illinois, was 
born in St. Clair county, near Belleville, August l^t, 1823. He 
is of Scotch-Irish extraction. His immediate ancestry, however, 
were born iu Virginia ; prior to the organization of the state his 
parents emigrated to Illinois. His rudimentary education was 
acquired in the common schools, and subsequently under private 
tuition he acquired a knowledge of Latin, and great proficiency 
in the higher branches of mathematics ; he taught school for a 
short period, and then began the study of law in the office of 
Kinney & Bissell. After his admission to the bar in 1848, he 
removed to McLean county, and began active practice. In 
politics, in his early boyhood, he was an ardent Whig, and on 
the formation of the Republican party, he became an active 
member of the new organization, and has since adhered to its 
principles. Upon the appointment of Judge David Davis to the 
Supreme Court of the United States, in 1862, he became a can- 
didate, and was elected judge of the circuit, and presided until 
1870. When on the adoption of the new constitution, he became 
a candidate, and was elected one of the judges of the Siipreme 
Court of the state. For several years he presided as Chief Justice. 
He is the first native who has been honored with the distinction 
of a seat on the Supreme bench of Illinois. He is a sound and 
able jurist, and has shed additional lustre upon the jurisprudence 
of his native state. 

Thomas P. Tipton — was born in Ohio, of English parentage, 
in the year 18-33. His father, who was a farmer, moved to McLean 
county in 1844, and died within a year. Owing to the death 
of his father, and the necessity of his aiding in the maintenance 
of the family, therefore the educational facilities of Judge Tipton 
in his boyhood, were limited to the common schools, and a short 
period at an academy at Knoxville. AVhile at Knoxville, he 
read law, — was admitted to the bar, and in 1854 began practice 
at Lexington, Illinois ; and in January, 1862, removed to Bloom- 
ington, and iu the summer of 1870, was elected Circuit Judge of 
the district, in which De Witt county forms a part. As a circuit 
judge he became noted for the rapid dispatch of business, and 
the soundness of his rulings. 

Lyman Lacy was a native of Tompkins County, New York, 
in 1836 ; he then a mere child removed with his parents to Michi- 
gan, and the next year they settled in Fulton County, Illinois. 
His elementary education was acquired in the common schools. 
He subsequently became a student at Illinois College, Jackson- 
ville, graduating therefrom in 18.5.5. The same year began the 
study of Law, in the office of Hon L. W. Ross, of Lewiston, 
Illinois, and the next year was admitted to the bar, and i-nme- 
diately thereafter located in the practice of his profession at 
Havana, Mason County. In politics he is a Democrat, and in 
1862 was elected a member of the legislature, representing the 
Counties of Mason and Menard. In June, 1873, he was elected 
Judge of the seventeenth circuit. As a jurist he has won golden 
opinions, his decisions are clear, forcible, and concise, and exhibit 
a thorough and sound knowledge of the law. 

We have been unable to obtain data bearing on the history of 
the other able jurists who hold court in this county. Judge 
Cyrus Eppler, of Jacksonville, and Judge A G. Burr, of Car- 
roUton, however, are regarded by their contemporaries as men 
well learned in the law. 

Prosecuting AUorneys : David B. Campbell from 1839 to 1 849 ; 
Joel S. Post, C. Emmerson, Ward H. Lament, 1858; W. H. 
Young, 1860 ; H. Hogg, H. S. Green, 1864 to 1867, resigned and 



term completed by Thos. F. Tipton, R. M. Benjamin, J. H. 
Rowell, 1868 to 1872 ; S. K. Carter, 1S72 to 1876; W R Kelly, 
1876 to 1879; Edgar Van Meter, 1879, to complete term; W. 
H. Booth, 1880, and is now the prosecuting attorney for the 
county. 

(.'onntij and Probate ('aurt.^. — The Court having jurisdiction of 
probate matters and wills, was originally known as the Probate 
Court, and presided over by a justice of the peace under the con- 
stitution of 1848 ; this was superseded by the County Court, over 
which presides a County Judge, having a clerk and seal, and 
being a court of record. The f jllowiug County .Judges have held 
office in De Witt County : Daniel R(jbbins, 1849 to 1857 ; W. 
H. Lafferty, to 1861 ; A. A. Eals, to I860 ; Samuel Graham, to 
1869 ; Jonathan R Hall, to 1873; Robert Walker, to 1877; J. 
J. McGraw, to 1881. Judg'^ McGraw resigned in the early part 
of the present year, and was succeeded by G. K. Ingham, (ap- 
pointed by the Governor), who is the present incumbent. 

FOUJIER RESIDENT LAWYERS. 

E. H. Palmer, was born in Madison County, Ohio, attended 
the common .schools there, afterwards the Granville College, 
finally gradu.ating at Wittenberg College, Ohio. Mr. Palmer 
being desirous of making money to effect a good start in the 
world went south, where higlier salaries were paid for services in 
those days than in the north He undertook the charge of a 
Collf-ge in the State of Missisippi; in the meantime he studied 
the languages, also read law, and was admitted to the bar in 
Mississippi. Judge L. Weldon being an old schoolmate, induced 
him to come to Illinois. He settled in Springfield in 1855, and 
commenced the practice of his profession. He removed to C in- 
ton in 1X56. The first night of his arrival in Clinton, at the 
hotel he met Abraham Lincoln, Leonard Swett, David Davis 
and others. The host being pressed for room, suggested to his 
guests the necessity of making each bed hold two persons. Mr. 
Lincoln arose to his full height, and looking calmly down at Mr. 
Palmer .said, I will take the young stranger under my wing ; from 
that time the two were always staunch friends, and Mr. Palmer 
was always fimd of telling the story of his introduction to Lin- 
coln. Mr. Palmer was a well-educated man, a good linguist, 
and a man of experience and ability. 

Among his professional brethren he was known as a skillful 
and cautious lawyer, and the carefulness and promptness with 
which he devoted his attention to legal business entrusted to 
him, secured him a large and remuuerative practice. He died 
on the 20th of March, 1S79. His eldest son, Frank, has recently 
been .admitted to the bar. 

Henry S. Green, also an excellent lawyer, is now a resident 
of Springfield, Illinois ; L. Weldon, of Bloomington ; Samuel 
Ashton ; S. F. Lewis, still a resident here, but not in practice; 
E O. Hill, J. B. McK nley, H. C. Wisner W. L. Chambers, J. 
Ogle, .Jos. Kelly, AV. R. Kelly, Mr. Ferguson, J. R. Bl.ackford, 
A. Hayne, Rcinhart, Bayliss and J. W. Fell, also practiced the 
profession of law in De Witt county. 

present members of the bar 

C. H. Moore, the oldest resident practitioner at the De Witt 
county bar, was boru in Ohio. Leaviug that state, he located in 
Pekin, Illinois, removing here, in 1841. He had obtained a fair 
education in the Painesville Academy and Western Reserve 
Teachers' Semii ary, whose sessions were held in the old Mormon 
Temple, at Kirtland. His early manhood was jrassed in the 
schoolroom, as teacher and pupil— teaching to enable him to 



94 



HISTORY OF BE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



defray his expenses as pupil. In Pekiu ha entered the law office 
of Bailey & AVilmot, and in Jul_v, 1841, was admitted to prac- 
tice, having passed an examination in Springfield. August 
found him penniless, but full of energy and hope, in the village 
of Clinton. His proudest dream was to become as indepen- 
dent ill life as an uncle, worth perhaps ten or fifteen thousand 
dollars. To work he went, and abundance has crowned 
his arduous labors with success. His energy knows no flagging ; 
his zeal on behalf of his clients has no abatement ; his keen 
foresight into future values, and firm faith in the destiny of Illi- 
nois, has been rewarded. As a lawyer, he is painstaking, judi- 
cious and skillful. He is recognized wherever known as being 
well-read in tlie law, of pleasing address and urbane manners. 
He has hosts of friends. 

William Fuller is a native of Pennsylvania; he came to 
De Witt county in 1848, engaged in teaching, and while prose- 
cuting this work read Blackstone, Chitty's Pleadings, and pon- 
dered over the Illinois Form Bijok, and the General Statutes of 
the State, and acquired a somewhat lucrative practice in justices 
courts long before his admi.ssion to the bar —in fact, a larger one 
than that of any attorney in the county. When he applied for 
admission to the bar in 1807, the first question asked him was 
with whom he had studied law. The reply was prompt: " Wiih 
William Fuller, sir." A close examination proved his fitness, 
and he was admitted. He has acquired an extensive criminal 
practice, and enjoys the reputation of having always cleared his 
man. No client of his has suffered death by hanging, nor been im- 
prisoned, although he has defended several charged with murder. 
As a speaker he is earnest and effective ; his power is not that of 
persuasive speech, but of a thorough understanding and judicious 
application of the law. ^ 

Geokge B. GRAn.\M is an Ohioan by birth ; came to Illinois 
with his parents in 18-32; obtained a fair common-school educa- 
tion ; commenced the study of law with E H. Palmer in 1S6-5 ; 
was admitted to the bar in 1867. In 1868 he formed a co- 
partnership with William Fuller, with whom he has since re- 
mained; was appointed master in chancery in June, 1874, a 
position which he has continually held since. In 1881 he was 
elected Mayor of the City of Clinton, on the anti-license ticket. 
He is characterzied by great earnestness of manner, close appli- 
cation to business, and firmness i j his advocacy cif what he deems 
to be the right. He has taken strong grounds in behalf of the 
cause of Temperance. Possessed of social qualities of a high 
order, he endears himself to all friends. 

Michael Donahue was born in jS^ew York but came when a 
lad to Chicago, in which city he obtained his education. He 
studied law with Moore & Greene, of Clinton, for three years, 
and was admitted to the bar in 1S63; he immediately began the 
practice of his profession in partnership with J. ■'. Kelly a former 
resident of Clinton, and afterwards with W. R Kelly. Mr. Dona- 
hue in 1870 was elected states senator, and was re-elected in 1872. 
Vespasian Wakner, a native of De Witt county, acquired 
his first teachings in the schools here, and continued his education 
at the Lombard University, Galesburg ; began reading law in the 
winter of 1S60, with Moore & Greene, of Clinton; joined the 
federal armv in the late war, in 1861, and after a service of five 
years, was breveted major. He graduated in the law depart- 
ment of Harvard University. Cambridge, Mass., and was admitted 
to the bar in 1S67, and the following year commenoed the prac- 
tice, in partnership with C. H. Moore, of Clinton ; he is a man 
of education and culture, and an able advocate. 
S. K. Carter, when a boy, came from Ohio, h!s native state. 



to De Witt county ; attended the schools here until the breaking 
out of the rebellion. He joined the Union forces, and after his 
return from the war entered the State Normal University ; sub- 
squently read law with H. S. Green, and became a member of 
the bar in 1870, and the year following commenced practice in 
Clinton ; was elected states attorney for four years, and city 
attorney for three years. 

P. T. Sweeney, a native of Ireland, landed in New York in 
18-18, in which state he received his education ; came to Illinois 
in 1856, and tlie following year commenced reading law with 
Judg*' Richmond of Lacon. Mr. Sweeney gave his services to 
the Union in the late war, after which he came to Clinton, 
where his professional studies were continued with John R. 
Blackford, a former resident lawyer of this county ; he was ad- 
mitted to the bar in 1871, and commenced the practice in par- 
nership with his preceptor. 

G. K. Ingham came to Dd Witt county from Ohio, in 18-58, and 
obtained his early education at the schools here, after which for 
two years he attended the Wesleyan University, Bloomington, 
subsequently the University at Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he 
graduated in the law department, in 1875. He first began the 
practice of law in Kenney, this county, where he remained until 
1879 ; during that time he was elected to the legislature for one 
term. Siuce 1879 he has resided in Clinton, and during the 
present year was appointed county judge, to fill the resignation 
of Judge McGraw. 

F. M. Burroughs has been but a short time in practice, com- 
mencing in partnership with E. A. Lemon. He is a native of 
the state of N-^w York, but received his education at Illinois In- 
dustrial University, Champaign ; came to Clinton in 1873, and 
began the study of law with R. A. Lemon, with whom he sub- 
sequently entered into partnership. 

G. W. Herrick, of Farmer City, attended the academies of 
his native state, (Indiana) also the LTniversity at Ann Arbor, 
Michigan, where he graduated in the law department of that in- 
stit Jtion. He took an active part in the late war, and did valiant 
service for the cause of the Union, and was promoted captain. 
He began the practice of law in Farmer City in 1870, and has 
held the office of city attorney for the last three terms. Mr. 
Herrick has a large and increasing practice, and possesses an 
excellent knowledge of his profession. 

R. A. Lemon was born in Sangamon county. 111., in 184'^, but 
removed when young to Piatt county, and received his educa- 
tion in the schools there ; r ad law in 1867 with W. G. Randall, 
afterwards with Ingersoll, Harper & Cassel, at El Paso, until 
1870; during that year was admitted to the bar, and practiced 
in Farmer City until 1877 ; he then came to Clinton, and during 
the present year entered into partnership with F. M. Burrouglis. 

William Monson is a native of Ohio, but came when very 
young to De Witt county, and obtained the rudiments of an 
education at Clinton, which was completed at the Illinois Wes- 
leyan L'niversity, Bloomington. He read law with Fuller & 
Graham, and was admitted to the bar iu 1875. He practiced 
alone until 1870, when he became a partner iu the firm of Fuller, 
Graham and Monson. Mr. Monson is a good lawyer and a 
genial, pleasant gentleman. 

WiLLiAJi H. Booth, originally fr-im Greene county, Ohio. 
He obtained the rudiments of an education at Waynesville, this 
county ; subsequently gained the highest class honors at the Illi- 
nois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, in 1873, in which place 
he afterwards studied law with Rowell & Hamilton, subsequently 
with Orendorf & Creighton of Springfield ; was admitted to the 



HISTORY OF BE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



95 



bar in ihe early part of 1879, ami began the practice of his pro- 
fession in the same year at Clinton, and was for a time in part- 
nership with E. S. Van Meter. He was elected states attorney 
for four years in November, 1880, and is the present incumbent. 

C. M. Welch, of Farmer City, a native of Ohio, obtained his 
education in the academics of that and the neighboring state of 
Jndiaia; came first to Illinois in 1860 ; the ne.xt year returned 
to Indiana and commenced studying law with Judge John 
Morris, of Fort Wayne, in 1861 ; soon afterwards joined the 
Union troops in the late war, and at its close iu 1865 came to 
Farmer City, where be for a number of years followed tbe pro- 
fession of teacher; finally renewed the study of law with G. W. 
Herrick; qualified himself, and was admitted to the bar in 1S79, 
from which time he has continued to practice. In April, 1S81, 
he was elected Mayor of Farmer City for the usual term of two 
years. 

O. E. Harris, of Kinney, came from Henry county, Kentucky, 
at an early age, and received the first rudiments of an education 
in tbe neighboring county of Logan; attended the State Normal 
University in 1S6S, and completed his education at Eureka Col- 
lege ; read law with Judge W. E. Dicks, of Logan county, and 
was admitted to the bar in 1S73 ; settled at Kinney in the early 
part of last year, where he continues the prac ice of his pro- 
fession. 

Edgar S. Van Meter, born in Hardy county. West Virginia, 
and educated in the schools of that state, came to Illinois in 
1870, and to De Witt county in 1875 ; began the study of law 
with E H. Palmer^ and was admitted to the bar in 1878. He 
practices tbe profession in Clinton, and does an extensive busi- 
ness in conLcction with the railroad interests of the county. 



— *=s-f>-t§-e=-T— 



CHAPTER XL 



THE rEESS- 



BY D. MACKENZIE. 

De" Witt CorKiER, De Witt County Democrat, The Vixdicatoe. 
Central Teansceipt. Weekly Central Tkansceipt, Clinton 
Public, De Witt County Poblic and Central Transoeipt, The 
Clinton Union, The Clinton Times, The De Witt Register, The 
Clinton Register, The Farmer City Republican, The Orthoes- 
FOR. The Farmer City Journal, The Farmer City Herald, 
The Farmer City Reporter, The Public Reaper, The Real 
Estate Index, The Te.mperanoe Vidette, the De Witt County 
Gazette. De Witt County Messenger, The Kenney Register, 
The Kenney Record, The Kenney Gazette. 




ItlE inventor of printing, Laurentius Coster, 
was born in Haerlem, Holland, about the 
year 1370. It was while rambling through 
the forest, contiguous to his native tawn, that 
he cut some letters on the bark of a birch 
tree. Drowsy from the effort, and relaxation 
of a holiday, he wrapped his handiwork in 
his handkerchief and lay down to sleep. 
While men sleep the world moves. Damped by the atmospheric 
moisture, the paper wrapped about his carvings had taken an 
impression from them, and Coster awoke to discover an inverted 
image of what he had carved upon the bark. The phenomenon 



was suggestive because it led to experiments that resulted in 
establishing a printing office, the first of its kind, in the old, 
Dutch town of Haerlem. The date of the discovery was between 
the years 1420 and 1426. In this office John Gutenberg served 
a faithful and appreciative apprenticeship. Gutenberg was born 
near the close of the 14th century at Mentz, Germany. He is 
regarded by some German writers, as being the inventor of print- 
ing, but the preponderance of evidence is in favor of Coster. He, 
however, was the first to employ moveable types in printing, the 
date of which was about the year 1438. After the death of Cos- 
ter, he absconded, taking with him a considerable portion of the 
tyjie and apparatus. He settled in Mentz where he won the 
friendship and partnership of John Faust, a wealthy goldsmith 
and of sufficient means and enterprise to set up the printing busi- 
ness upon a secure financial basis. The date of the copartner- 
ship was in the year 1450. It was dissolved several years later 
owing to a misunderstanding. Gutenberg tiien formed a partner- 
ship witli a younger brother who had set up an office in Stras- 
burg, but had not been successful, and becoming involved in 

I law-suits had fled from that city and joined his brother at Mentz. 

[ These brothers were the first to use metal types. 

j John Faust, after the dissolution of partnership with Guten- 
berg, took into partnership Peter Schoett'er, one of his servants, 
and an ingenious workman. He privately cut matrices for the 

I whole alphabet, and when he showed his master the type cut 
from these matrices Faust was so much pleased that he gave 
Schoefifer his only daughter in marriage. Scboeffer's improve- 
ment in casting type from matrices was made in 1456. Guten- 
berg's printing office existed in JMentz until 1465. He died 
February 14th, 1468. 

These are the great names i-ti the early history of printing and 
each is worthy of special honor. In this connection it is fitting 
that mention should be made of William Caxton, who introduced 
printing into England, and was the first English printer of whom 
there is any knowledge. He was born in Kent iu 1422. In 
1471 he entered the service of Margaret, Duchess of Burgundy. 
During his sojourn in Bruges be formed the acquaintance of 
Colard Mansion, a well known printer of that city. He acquired 
the art, and in 1476 returned to England, and set up his wooden 
printing press in Westminster. The " Game and Play of the 
Chesse," was one of his earliest publications He died about the 
year 1491. 

For a long time printing was dependent upon most clum.sy 
apparatus. The earliest press had a contrivance for running the 
form under the point of pressure by means of a screw. When 
the pressure had been applied, the screw was loosened, the form 
withdrawn and the sheet removed. The defects of this very rude 
mechanism were at length partially remedied and improved by 
William Jansen Blain of Amsterdam. He contrived a press in 
which the carriage holding the form was wound below the point 
of pressure, which was given by moving a handle attached to a 
screw hanging in a beam, having a spring, that caused the screw 
to fly back as soon as the impression was given. The Blain press 
was made entirely of wood, and was in general use in Europe 
and America, until the present century. The next improvement 
in printing presses was made by the Earl of Stanhope, who 
constructed one entirely of iron, which printed tbe whole surface 
of the sheet at one impression — tbe size of the sheet being regu- 
lated by the size of the press. Numerous improvements were made 
upon the Stanhope press, which culminated in the Columbian, an 
American invention patented in 1816, which in time gained a 
large share of approbation. Other inventions followed rapidly, 



96 



HISTORY OF BE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



and all were more or less improvements upon others. The 
Eamage hand press came into more general use in America 
than any other. Cylinder presses are the great modern inven- 
tion in the history of the art. The first was invented by Mr. 
Nicholson, an Englishman, and was patented as early as 1790. 
His patents covered and embodied almost every principle so suc- 
cessfully applied to printing since that day. Cylinder presses 
were much improved by Messrs. Applegath and Cowper in 1818. 
In 1814 steam was first applied to cylinder presses by Frederick 
Kouig, a Saxon genius, and the subsequent progress of steam 
printing has been so remarkable as to almost justify a belief in 
its absolute perfection. Indeed to appreciate the improvements 
which have been made in presses only, one ought to be privi- 
leged to stand by while the pressman operated one of the clumsy 
machines of Gutenberg, and then step into one of the well- 
appointed printing ofiices of our larger cities, where he cuuld see 
the roll of dampened paper entering the great mammoth press, 
a continuous sheet, and issuing from it as newspapers, printed, 
cut, folded, and ready for the carrier or express. 

Type founding, or the manufacture of type, originated in Ger- 
many along with printing, and dates as early as 1492. It was 
then connected with the business of printing, but in time it be- 
came a separate and distinct manufacture. The process of cast- 
ing type was much the same, and done by hand from the 16th 
century until 1848, when Meller and Richard of Edinburgh, 
Scotland, invented and patented a machine for casting types. In 
1860 it was much improved by the patentees, and is now the 
most advanced and approved system of type casting in both Eu- 
rope and America. The earliest type used were in the style 
now known as " Gothic," or Black-letter. 

It would be interesting to trace more minutely the history of 
this great art from its humble origin in Hierlem, through all suc- 
cessive stages, to the present, and to classify its products. For 
nearly a thousand years previous to its introduction, mankind 
had been surrounded by the densest ignorance the world has 
ever known. Teutonic barbarians had swept over fair Italy, 
had sacked her capital, had despised her civilization as unworthy 
even the indulgence of men dependent upon muscle and sword 
for empire and liberty. Vandalism had been christened, and had 
mocked the wisdom of philosophers while destroying and defac- 
ing the master-pieces of Grecian and Roman architecture and 
sculpture. Attila the " Scourge of God," at the head of vast 
Tartar hordes from Asiatic steppes, had traversed the Roman 
empire, spreading dismay and disaster, until checked at the fierce 
battle of Chalons. Omar had burned the great Alexandrian 
library, after declaring that if its volumes agreed with the Ko- 
ran, they were needless; if they conflicted, they were pernicious. 
During this period, feuilalism had kept the noble at war with 
his sovereign, had unsettled governments, and made men soldiers 
with scarcely time for necessary -practice in arms ; amusements 
were popular, only they contributed to martial prowess, and 
poetry in the main was but a minstrel's doggerel concerning the 
chivalrous deeds of a listening knight or the wonderful charms 
of a favorite mistress. From the fall of Rome, there had been 
but little talent and time to cultivate letters. A few ecclesiastics 
here and there were the custodians of the learning saved from 
the wrecks of Grecian literature and Roman knowledge. The 
masses were ignorant. They believed that the hand which com- 
monly held the sword would be disgraced if trained to wield the 
pen. Books were for the monk's cell or the anchorite's cave, and 
the objective points of all study were to escape purgatory, to cast 
a horoscope, to turn the baser metals into gold. Superstition, 



priestcraft and thirst for material renown moulded public acts 
and private training. 

The Crusades broke the power of feudalism, dispelled much 
geographical ignorance by making neighboring nations better ac- 
quainted, gave an impetus to commercial enterprises, awakened 
the sluggish intellect, enlarged the human mind and rendered it 
more tolerant, introduced the luxuries and refinements of the 
Greek empire, and brought about Magna Charta and Free Cities. 
With the expanding and increasing commerce, arts came to the 
front, trades flourished and practice began to test precept. The 
middle classes, whose condition ever determines the character of 
an era or nation, obtained concessions and rights to which they 
had been strangers for centuries. The mental world began to 
move. Famous journeys and discoveries were made. Roger 
Bacon and Berthold Schwartz studied the chemistry of the Arabs, 
and were among the first devotees at the shrine of physical science. 
Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and England sought new outlets 
for their suplus products of soil, loom and fisheries. Mental 
darkness can make no long-continued stand against such enter- 
prise, and enterprise will ever find an exponent to herald its 
doings from nation to nation, and a medium to make its conquests 
the property of succeeding generations. Europe was in a com- 
mercial and intellectual ferment when Coster set up his printing 
oflice in Hi'erlem, and inaugurated an industry until then 
unknown. To understand the efi'ect of that industry upon 
humanity, compare the enlightenment, civilization and progress 
of the present with the serai-barbarism and stagnation of the 
middle ages. Printing is rolling back ignorance, vice and degra- 
dation ; is unfolding the mysteries of nature, and is explaining 
the mandates of Him who made man in His own image, and ex- 
pects the homage of the creature due the Creator. 

The Romans in the time of the Emperors had periodical 
notices of passing events, compiled and publicly posted. These 
^lc((( Diurna (daily events) were the newspapers of the 
day. Before they were posted in the public places, where 
all who desired could see them, they pasjed under the in- 
spection of the Emperor, and later, of Censors, Quietors or 
JIagistrates, whose duty it was to carefully scrutinize and 
erase such information as they, or, the Emperor desired 
withheld from the people The first newsjiapers in Europe 
are traceable to Germany and Venice and date back to soon 
after the discovery of printing. In 1536 the first newspaper 
of modern times was issued at Venice, but governmental bigotry 
compelled its circulation in manuscript form. In the latter half 
of the 1.5th century small news sheets named the " Regulationer " 
and " New Zeytuug" appeared in difterent cities composing the 
commercial centers of Germany, but they were generally in the 
form of a letter. The first newspaper established in Germany 
was the Frankfort Gazette, which still survives, and is credited 
with being the oldest newspaper in the civilized world. It was 
established in 161.3. The first and nearest approach to newspa- 
pers in the English language were the pamphlets called the 
"English Mercury," "News out of Holland," and others, that 
made their appearance in 1622. They, however, hardly deserve 
the name of newspapers. In 1663 the Public IntelUriencer, 
printed in Loudon, made its appearance. It was the first Eng- 
lish paper to attempt the dissemination of news. I( continued 
until the appearance of the London Gazette, which was first issued 
Nov. 7th, 166.5, at Oxford. There were no papers printed oftener 
than once a week, until the reign of Queen Anne, that from the 
interest created by the war in progress, and tlie brilliant victo- 
ries achieved by Marlborough, there was a demand for more fre- 



HISTORY OF BE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



97 



quent intelligence. To satisfy the demand of the Daily Courant 
was issued every day of the week, Sundays excepted. The Cou- 
rant was the first daily paper issued. 

The first newspaper issued in America was the Public Occur- 
rences at Boston, Sept. 2.5th, 1690, by Richard Pearce, and was 
immediately suppressed by the government. Xo man, or, set of 
men had the presumption to undertake a similar enterprise until 
fourteen years afterwards, when John Campbell, postmaster, es- 
tablished the Boston. News Letter. The first issue was April '24th, 
1704. It was a half sheet, twelve inches by eight, with two 
columns to the page. The Boston Gazette was issued Dec. 21st, 
1719, and the American Weekly, at Philadelphia, one day later 
— Dec. 22d, 1719. In 1721 James Franklin started the Boston 
Courant, which was edited for six years by his brother Benjamin. 
Prom 1704 to 1748 there were but six newspapers published in 
America. From 1748 to 1783 the number increased to forty-nine. 
The oldest living newspaper in the United States is the New 
Hampshire Gazette. It was founded Oct. 7tb, 17.56, and has 
been published without intermission or radical change of name 
from that date to the present. The first daily newspaper in the 
United States was the American Daily Advertiser, established in 
Philadelphia in 1784, now called the North American. The next 
year the New York Daily Advertiser was issued. 

There are published in the United States and Territories 
nearly 9000 newspapers and magazines, of which 800 are issued 
•daily; 60 tri-weekly ; 120 semi-weekly ; nearly 7000 weekly ; 40 
semi-monthly; 90 semi-annually ; 17 once in two months, and be- 
tween 50 and 60 quarterly. The Census of 1880 will show nearly 
one newspaper to every five hundred inhabitants. At the begin- 
ning of 1880 there were of journalistic publications in the United 
States, besides English, 220 German, 35 French, 25 Spanish, 25 
Norwegian, Danish and Swedish, 10 Bohemian, 10 Hollandish, 5 
Welsh, 2 Portugese, 2 Polish, 1 Hebrew, 1 Cherokee, 1 Choctaw 
and one Chinese. 

Keal journalism, by which is meant the compiling of passing 
events for the purpose of making them more generally known 
and instructive, did not commence until about 1820. Prior to 
that date the ambition of journalists was to direct and crystallize 
public opinion. The columns of the journals were much occupied 
with discussions and dissertations upon every conceivable subject 
in which the masses had no direct interest or sympathy, and news 
was almost entirely ignored. 

Now, the real object of a newspaper is to get the latest, fresh- 
est news, and lay it before their readers in the shortest possible 
time. The innovation upon old forms and introduction of new 
methods whereby the publishing of news was made the first 
object of the paper, originated with the publishers of the N'etii 
York Sun. It was the first real newspaper in the world. It was 
Bpecially devoted to news both local and general, and soon 
attained a circulation unprecedented in the history of journalism. 
Other newspapers were not slow to observe the signals of success, 
and followed in the wake of the Sun, and soon old fogy methods 
were lost in the hazy past. News is the dominant idea of the 
successful newspaper of the day. 

Journalism has become a powerful educator. Experience has 
been its only school for special training, its only text for study, its 
only test for theory. It is scarcely a profession, but is advancing 
rapidly towards that dignity. A distinct department of literature 
has been assigned to it. Leading universities have contemplated the 
inauguration of courses of study, specially designed to fit men and 
women for the duties of the newspaper sanctum. These innova- 
tions are not untimely, since no other class of men are so powerful 
13 



for good or ill as editors. More than any otiier class they form 
public opinion while expressing it, for most men but echo the 
sentiments of favorite journalists. Even statesmen, ministers 
and learned professors not unfrequently get their best thoughts 
and ideas from the papers they read. 

For dates and facts relating to the early history of the press of 
Dj Witt county, we are indebted to Hon. C. H. Moore of Clin- 
ton, who kindly placed at our dispo.sal, files of nearly all the 
newspapers published in the county. From them we have 
gleaned much of the information comprising this chapter. We 
also desire to extend our thanks to Col. Thomas Snell, M. M- 
De Levis — the latter one of our county's veteran printers, and to 
present members of the press for favors shown and information 
given which has in a great measure enabled us to trace the his- 
tory of newspapers in De Witt county from thdr first establish- 
ment in 1854, down to the present time, and present it in such a 
shape as we hope will be acceptable to our patrons and readers. 

Prior to the publishing of a newspaper in the county the peo- 
ple of this section received their news from the outside world 
through the medium of the Louisville Journal, edited by the 
gifted George D. Prentice. It had a large circulation in De Witt 
county, and remained the principal medium for news until driven 

I out by the hepublican and Democrat of St. Louis. After the 
completion of the Illinois Central railroad, Chicago journalistic 
enterprise drove all foreign competitors from the field, and from 
that time to the present has supplied the people with the metro- 
politan journals. The Springfield, Decatur and Bloomington 
papers were the medium for legal and official publications until 
snch times as they could be published in the county. The 
S'lnyamon Journul published at Springfield, was the best known 
and most widely circulated newspaper in this section, of any of 
the country papers of the State. It proposed and did to a certain 
extent publish much of the local pews and gossip of the town of 
Clinton and vicinity through the aid of local correspondents. 

The We'kli/ New York Tribune also supplied much of the 
political and foreign news. It was a power in the land thirty 
years ago. Many of the cit'zens yet living in this section formed 
their political opinions from reading the editorials of its great 
editor, who was then the foremost leader of the advanced thought 
of America. Few papers were ever published that were more 
potent in forming and crystalizing public opinion than Horace 

[ Greely's "Tribune," of thirty years ago. 

Illinois during that time settled up slowly. It must be remem- 
bered that what is now the most populous and productive agri- 
cultural part of the State, was looked upon with disfavor by 
those seeking western homes. Emigrants disliked the open exten- 
sive prairies and criticised its sloughs and pools of stagnant waters ; 
hence those sections of Illinois that were composed mostly of 
prairie land were slowly settled, although now so popuhir and the 
most populous portions of the State. 

De Witt County never received a greater boon than the loca- 
tion within its borders of the Illinois Central Railroad. The 
completion of that great thoroughfare through the center of the 
county from north to south, at once brought its lands into market 
by assuring facilities for the transportation of grain and surplus 
products. Emigration immediately set in, land rose rapidly in 

, value, swamps were drained and the land re-claimed, and the 
broad prairie was soon dotted over with farm houses, the happy 
homes of thriving husbandry. A new order of business was es- 
tablished, enterprise waved its magic wand and residents caught 
its infection and became imbued with a desire to excel. With 
enterprise came the desire for a newspaper, which was indeed to 



HISTORY OF BE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



speak for the county, for its advantages as an agricultural pro- 
ducing region, for its flattering promises of future greatness, and 
for its rights and privileges as an organized member of a great 
State. In addition to all this, was its increasing prolific impor- 
tance. There was a healthy growing sentiment in favor of free 
soil, and the exclusion of slavery from the territories, and kindred 
other subjects of vital importance to all the people, that induced 
discussion and their proper presentation to the people. Then as 
DOW the people were not all of one mind, some were 
disposed to regard slavery as a divine institution, (in those days 
slavery appeared in some shape or another in all questions of a 
political character), while others were gradually preparing the 
way and means to strike the shackles from the limbs of four 
million of slaves. The people were ready for a newspaper. 

In the summer of 1854 S. H. McElheuey and R. A. Mills, two 
enterprising gentlemen canvassed the town of Clinton and 
vicinity for subscriptions and aid for a newspaper that was to be 
established in their midst. The people met the proposition with 
favor, and subscribed liberally towards its support. Accordingly 
the type and presses wore purchased, and on the 13th of October, 
1854, the first number of the first paper ever published in DeWitt 
County, made its appearance. It was called the 

DE WITT COUKIER. 

Its appearance was greeted with fervor and enthusia?m. It 
was the first actual step beyond frontier life. Soon the newspa- 
per and railroad within her borders would give the county name 
and fame among its contemporaries. A new era was to be in- 
augurated in the history of the county. 

In form the Courier was a seven column folio, neatly printed 
and well edited. We were unable to find a copy of the first issue, 
but we have no doubt that the editors in their salutatory to the 
public, made many promises for the future which were only par- 
tially fulfilled. It started with ten columns of local and foreign 
advertisements, and gave evidence of thrift and prospective 
wealth. Its motto was, " The People's paper, independent on all 
subjects and neutral in nothing." Among the first things appa- 
rently necessary in those days to insure a journal a respectable 
standing, was to appoint agents in St. Louis and Chicago, to 
solicit subscriptions and advertisements. For this purpose W. 
AV. Swyner was appointed agent at St. Louis, and Charles 
Woollett at Chicago. Agents were also appointed in the sur- 
rounding towns of Bloomington, Decatur, Urbana, Shelbyville 
and Taylorville, to secure subscriptions to the Courier. Among 
the resident advertisers in those days, and the first to support the 
paper, are names of several professional gentlemen who are still 
residents of Clinton. Some of the advertisements were unique 
in their way, and called the attention of the public to their wares 
in a manner that now-a-days would be quite odd. Among the 
professional cards is that of a physician and surgeon, who tells 
the public in poetical rhyme what he is willing to do in order to 
cure them of the "ills that flesh is heir to." If his nostrums 
and physic were as harmless as his poetic verse, then his patients 
had, at least, a fair chance of recovery. Various were the means 
resorted to for the purpose of increasing the circulation of the 
paper. Among other inducements oflTered by the editors and 
proprietors to increase the list was : " To persons ftirnishing the 
largest number of subscribers by the 14th of February, 1855. we 
will furnish a daguerreotype of themselves as a gift, half size, 
worth 88 ; second largest list, the same, worth 85 ; and third 
largest list, picture worth 83. This we think a fair and generous 
proposition." This magnificent offer, from some cause, failed to 



attract a large number of cash paying subscribers, as we find in 
a few numbers later, the editors calling upon their subscribers to 
pay up so that they might be enabled to continue the publication 
of the paper. They also take their correspondents to task for 
sending them letters on their own private business without pay- 
ing the postage. They are reminded that postage costs money 
and " potatoes are one dollar and fifty cents per bushel." That 
has the ring of practical sense about it. Times were hard and 
money scarce, and editors at best had a sorry time in collecting 
sufficient money to pay current expenses and provide a living fiir 
themselves 

The firm of McElheney & Mills conducted the Covrier until 
February 9th, ls55, when McElheney's interest was purchased 
by A. J. Back, a practical printer. The firm of Mills & Back 
continued until August 31st, 1855, when the office passed into 
the hands of Burrell T. Jones. Up to this time the Courier 
had been neutral in politics. Mr. Jones converted it into the 
organ of the Democratic party. On the 16th of November fol- 
lowing, Paul Watkins secured a half interest in the oflSce, and 
became the publisher of the paper, Mr. Jones' name appeared as 
editor. Together these gentlemen continued the paper in support 
of James Buchanan for the presidency. The firm of Jones & 
Watkins was dissolved July 4th, 1856, Jones retiring on account 
of long continued bad health. Watkins conducted the Courier 
through the political campaign of 1856, and until the winter 
of 18.56-57, when the office caught fire and the type and presses 
were destroyed. 

The Democratic party were now without a paper to represent 
them. No cff'ort was made to secure an organ until the Spring 
of 1858. Very early in that year was heard the mutterings of 
the political storm. Parties were much divided. Stephen A. 
Douglas and his squatter sovereignty doctrines was met with fierce 
opposition by a faction in his own party. The fight was between 
him and the administration party represented by James Bucha- 
nan, and backed by the federal patronage of the nation in addi- 
tion to the young Republican party. Douglas was a candidate 
for the United States Senate, and oppo.sed to him was Abraham 
Lincoln, and together these rival candidates stumped the State. 
The campaign was the most memorable that, perhaps, ever oc- 
curred in the nation. The issues presented, the result, efl^ect and 
causes which grew out of it are well known to all students of 
American history. The leading representatives, democrats of 
De Witt County, who espoused the cause of Douglas, cast about 
to provide ways and means to start a newspaper in the interests 
of their candidate. They found two men, E. F. Campbell and 
■ E. Douglass King, who had some means, and who were desirous 
of journalistic fame They furnished the presses and material 
necessary, and a number of the leading democrats, conspicuous 
among whom was Will Fuller, who is still a citizen of Clinton, 
became sureties for the payment of the materials, stipulating that 
for so doing they were to control the politics of the paper. An 
agreement setting forth that fact was drawn up and signed by the 
parties. The office was opened, and on the 14th of March, 1S58 
the first number of the paper was issued. It was called the 

DE WITT county DEMOCRAT. 

The Editors entered heartily into the contest in the support of 
Douglas, and their eff'orts continued unabated until near the 
close of the campaign, when influences were brought to bear on 
King th.1t made him lukewarm in the support of the " Little 
Giant." He was ousted from the office, and Campbell took con- 
I trol, but he proved more recreant even than King. He was ap- 



HISTORY OF BE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



99 



proached by members of the different parties and importuned to 
give this or that candidate the preference and benefit of his 
columns. His weak spirit yielded to all the factions. In order, 
as we suppose, to satisfy all parti&s he got out his last issue with 
one side of the paper advocating the claims of Douglas, the other 
side the claims of Lincoln, and the third advocatiug the claims 
of the administration party as represented by James Buchanan. 
The leaders of the Douglas wing of the party discovered the 
treachery before the papers were circulated. They seized the en- 
tire issue and suppressed it. They then sent William Fuller to 
Bloomington where he secured the servicts of a printer by the 
name of EJson. He was placed in charge of the paper, and 
conducted it through the campaign and until the Spring of 
1859, when the office caught fire, and the press and type shared 
the same fate as its predecessor of three years before. 

During the campaign of 1858, spoken of above, political excite- 
ment ran high. The administration party in the county deter- 
mined also to have an organ. Members of the party secured a 
press and material, and the services of Joseph M. Prior to con- 
duct it. It was called 

THE VINDICATOR. 

It made an open and aggressive fight upon Douglas, and in- 
tensified the already bitter feeling between the difierent wings of 
the Democratic party. It was backed, financially, by some of 
the most influential men in the county, and edited with consider- 
able ability. After the campaign closed it suspended publication. 

The attempt of members of the Democratic party in the county 
to establish an organ representing their views, had twice met with 
disaster. Both offices had been destroyed by fire, consequently 
they were loth to put their money in an enterprise that promised 
nothing but total and actual loss. No attempt was made to start 
a Democratic paper until 1868, when the Register was started. 
Of this paper we shall speak hereafter. 

During the year 1856 the young and aggressive Republican 
party effected a national organization. John 0. Fremont was 
chosen as their leader, and his name presented as their candidate 
for the presidency of the United States. The party in De Witt 
County were without an organ to represent them in the campaign. 
To supply this want, a Mr. Blackford and Isaac N. Coltrin, the 
latter a practical printer, (at present foreman of the Republican 
Office, in Decatur, Illinois, which position he has held for many 
years), established a paper bearing the name of the 

CENTRAL TRANSCRIPT, 

whicli has, from that time to the present, been the authorized 
exponent of the principles of the Republican party. The first 
number of the Transcript was issued in September, 1 856. It 
openly declared in favor of Fremont for President, Wm. H. Bis- 
sell for Governor, Owen Lovejoy for Congress, and Ward H. 
Damon for Prosecuting Attorney 'for the 8th Judicial District. 
With the thirteenth number, B T. Jones became associated with 
the paper as editor. The firm of Coltrin & Blackford conducted 
the publication until February 20th, 1857. On the 2?th of May 
of the same year John R. Blackford purchased the office and fix- 
tures, and remained in possession until November 13th following, 
when I. N. Coltrin and B. T. Jones came into possession of the 
office by purchase. The firm of Coltrin & Jones continued one 
year. The interest of Jones in the office was then sold to James 
W. De Lay. The date of sale was November 12th, 1858. The 
firm of Coltrin & De Lay changed the name of the paper to the 



WEEKLY CENTRAL TRANSCRIPT. 

On the 22d of July, 1859, Coltrin published his valedictory, 
stating his reasons for his withdrawal from the 'I'ranscript, and 
severance from the printing business in De Witt County, but 
from some canse he failed to go out, and still continued the 
management of that journal. In August of the same year Joe 
M. Prior, since one of the veteran editors and publishers of Illi- 
nois, was made local editor. Soon after a partnership was formed 
between Coltrin and Prior, which continued until July 1861, at 
which time A. J. Blackford became Prior's successor. The firm 
of Coltrin & Blackford was dissolved November 5th of the same 
year. Blackford's interest was purchased by James M. DeLay. 
On the 30th of May 1862 the Transcript was sold to M. M. De 
Levis and O. F. Morrison. These gentlemen were at that time 
editors and proprietors of the Pana Public, a newspaper published 
in Pana, Christian County, Illinois. That office was moved to 
Clinton, on the 1st of June, 1862, and consolidated with the 
Transcript OSice, and the paper issued under the name of 

CLINTON PLBLIC. 

At the time Me.=srs. De Levis & Morrison purchased the Tran- 
script office, it was understood and agreed with Mr. Coltrin that 
he would retire permanently from the newspaper business in 
De Witt County, but soon after the sale was completed, Coltrin 
gave evidence of his desire and longings after the journalistic 
flesh pots, and made up his mind to again enter the De Witt 
County field of journalism. The new proprietors, believing he 
would adopt the old name of Central Transcript, changed the 
name of their paper to the 

de WITT COUNTY PUBLIC AND CENTRAL TRANSCRIPT, 

which name it bore for a number of years. On the 2nd of July, 
1863, Mr. De Levis purchased Blr. Morrison's interest, and con- 
tinued sole editor and proprietor of the paper until April 29th, 
1869, when he sold a half interest to J. Van Slyke. The latter 
was a practical printer, and took charge of the mechanical de- 
partment. He, however, failed to comply with the conditions of 
the sale, and defaulted in the payments, and soon after, his inter- 
est reverted back to De Levis, who remained in possession until 
March 31st, 1870, when he sold out the office, fixtures and good- 
will, to George B. Richardson. Under Mr. De Levis' manage- 
ment the Public for the first time was brought up to a paying basis 
and made self-supporting. He was a good new.-paper man, and 
a writer of more than average ability. He was the first to intro- 
duce method and system into the business, in the count}'. He 
learned the trade in the course of his experience in the printing 
business, and did much of the composition, besides attending to 
the editorial duties. Since his retirement from the printing office, 
he has been engaged in the drug business, in Clinton. Mr. 
Richardson continued editor and publisher of the Public until 
March 1st, 1872, when he sold out to Richard Butler, the present 
editor and publisher. 

Mr. Butler learned the printer's trade in Canada, his native 
country. He had considerable experience in journalism before 
coming to Clinton. The first paper he published was the 
" Oxford Citizen," in the town of Oxford, Ohio. Rev. David 
Swing assisted in the editorial duties until Mr. Butler had ac- 
quired sufficient confidence and experience to mount the editorial 
tripod. Even then his editorials passed under the inspection of 
Mr. Swing, who kindly criticized, corrected and improved them, 
and in various ways aided young Butler in acquiring a knowled<»e 
and skill in writing. Mr. Butler was afterwards editor and pub- 



100 



HISTORY OF BE WITT C0UI7TT:, ILLINOIS. 



lisher of the " Oberlin Kews." From Oberlin he went to Bur- 
lington, Iowa, where he accepted a situation on the " Hawkeye," 
as city editor, a potition he filled with credit to himself and the 
complete satisfaction of the proprietors of that journal. He 
resigned, and his place was filled by " Bob " Burdette, who has 
since acquired a national reputation for his witticisms and 
humorous writings. 

Mr. Butler has remained sole editor and proprietor of the 
Public since March 1st, 1872. The paper has been since its 
first establishment, a faithful exponent of Republican principles. 
"Under its present management it has done valuable and ettective 
work in the political campaigns in the past, and has been, and is 
yet, one of the potential organs in the 13th Congressional District. 
Mr. Butler is a terse logical writer, and possesses good business 
qualifications. The office of the Public is well supplied with 
the modern style of type and power presses. 

THE CLINTON UNION 

was established by Joseph M. Prior. The material was pur- 
chased new and brought to Clinton, and the first number made 
its appearance August 20th, 1863. It was a six column folio, and 
typographically, a neat paper. It was neutral in politics, and 
was continued for several mouth, when its editor was convinced 
that there was no room iu Clinton for his paper, and its publica- 
tion was abandoned. The material was finally traded oft' for 
patent washing machines, and removed out of the county. 

THE CLINTON TIMES. 

The first number of the Times was issued May 11th, 1866, by 
A. J. Bell and Thomas J. Sharp. In form it was a five column 
folio, and intensely Democratic in its tone. On the 17th of 
August, 1866, Mr. Bell retired from the concern, and Mr. Sharp 
continued the publication until the spring of 1867, when he re- 
moved the press and material to ^laroa in Macon County, and 
there issued the '" Maroa Times." 

THE DE WITT HEGISTER 

was established May 29th, 1868, by Jason Blackford, who was a 
native of Ohio, and by trade, a printer. He came west to Illi- 
nois, and settled in Clinton, where he commenced the practice of 
law. At that time the Democratic party in De Witt County were 
without an organ. Through the solicitation and promises of aid 
from the leading representative men of the party, Mr. Blackford 
was induced to start a paper. He purchased the type and presses 
of S. P. Bounds, of Chicago, established the office and issued the 
first copy on the date above named. He remained in charge of the 
office until Kovember 27th, 1868, then sold out to AVilliam L. 
Glessner and C. C. Stone. They remained in charge without 
change until September 1.5th, 1873, when F. M. Van Lue pur- 
chased Stone's interest- The firm of Glessner & Van Lue con- 
tinued the publication of the Register until August 7th, 1874, 
when Mr. Van Lue retired, and Mr. Glessner became sole owner 
of the office. He had been the editor of the paper from his first 
connection with it. With the commencement of Volume Third, 
the word " De Witt " was dropped out and " Clinton " substituted, 
since which time it has borne the name of the 

CLINTON REGISTER. 

At the same time the change was made it was issued as a semi- 
weekly, and so continued until January, 1873, when its form was 
changed to a sis column quarto, and issued weekly. Mr. Glessner 
is one of the best country newspaper managers in Illinois, and is 
one of the few men who have been able by good management, 



tact and industry to make the business profitable. He is a prac- 
tical printer, and was trained to the business from his youth up, 
which in a measure accounts for his success. As a writer of 
political articles Mr. Glessner wields a graceful pen, and is forci- 
ble and vigorous. He may be regarded as the first, editor and 
publisher who has successfully established a Democratic newspa- 
per in De Witt County. 

Without disparaging the efforts of other editors and publishers, 
who have conducted journals in this county, we think that Mr. 
Glessner has been by far the best editor on the Democratic side, 
ai Mr. Butler has been on the Republican. Both are excellent 
newspaper men of much tact and ability. Mr. Glessner con- 
tinued the Register until October 1st, 1881, when on account of 
long continued ill health, he was compelled to seek some warmer 
climate. He sold the office and fixtures to J. H. Waggoner & 
Son, residents and former editors, of Sullivan, Moultrie County, 
Illinois. Mr. Waggoner has had considerable experience in the 
newspaper business, and we doubt not that he will keep the Reg- 
ister up to the high standard that it has always maintained, 
among the country journals of the State. 

THE farmer CITY REPUBLICAN 

is credited with being the first newspaper printed in the thriving 
town of Farmer City. John S. Harper, so w 11 known to fame as 
the great newspaper founder of the west, was the proprietor and 
editor. The material and presses were the same from which the 
Homei- Journal in Champaign County was issued. The first 
number appeared July 28th, 1870. It was a seven column folio, 
neat in its make-up, and full of local news. It started off with 
a fair amount of local patronage, and had its editor possessed as 
mich tact, energy and industry in conducting a newspaper as he 
exhibited in starting, then he would without doubt ere this have 
risen in point of financial wealth to the dignity of a millionaire. 
In his salutatory to the public he announces that he " has come 
to stay one year, and that upon the political complexion of the 
Republican there will be no manner of doubt." Those two im- 
portant points settled, the editor was ready for .business. Mr. 
Harper continued the paper until the time stated, and then it was 
sold to Me^srs. Cummings & Wilkins. They changed the name 
to the 

ORTHORSPOR. 

It was then a thirty-two column sheet, and was run in the inter- 
est of the temperance movement. Prof. Wilkens was the editor. 
' Soon after the purchase of the paper by the above named parties 
J. W. Richardson became local editor and manager. The paper 
survived its name about six months and then passed into Mr. 
Richardson's hands, and was by him removed out of the county. 
Soon after the suspension or sale of the Republican Mr. Harper 
went to Le R y, and started the " Sucker State, " subsequently 
removed to Saybrook, in McLean county, and in the fall of 1872, 
returned to Farmer City. On the 14th of November, 1872, he 
issued the first number of the 

farmer city journal, 

and continued the publication for nearly two years, then sold the 
property to O. J. Smith and J. R. Robinson. These gentlemen 
were farmers by occupation, and unacquainted with the details of 
running a newspaper. They conducted the Journal into the 
Greenback fold, and made it the organ of the Granger element, 
which had then some political prominence. Harper had pre- 
pared the way for the paper to advocate Granger measures before 
he sold out. 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COUXTY, ILLINOIS. 



101 



Before Messrs. Smith and Robinsou purchased the Journal, W 
L. Glessner of Clinton, had made arrangements with one of them 
to go into partnership in the purchase, and for that purpose had 
solicited and obtained quite a large list of sub-icribers. To the 
surprise of Glessner the purchase was made and he was left out. 
He immediately made arrangements to purchase a c miplete out- 
fit in Chicago and start an opposition paper, but before doing so 
the parties cam 3 together, and Smith & Eobinson sold the paper 
to Glessaer. They did not get out a single issue of the paper. 
Mr. Glessner associated with him his brother, L C. Glessner, and 
the latter purchased a half interest and took charge of the paper. 
The iirst number under their management was issued October 
15th, 1874. Under Harper's management it had been an eight 
page, seven column paper, three-fourths of it printed in Chicago. 
The Glessner Bros, cut it in two, and printed it all at home as a 
seven column folio. In June, 1877, L. C Gessner bought his 
brothers interest, and conducted the paper with commendable 
success and much ability until February 7th, 1879, when the 
office was removed to Carlinville, Macoupin county, Ills , from 
whenceit was issued as the fieruM. The Journal when conducted by 
Mr. Glessner was independent in politics and had the reputation 
among its exchanges of never being asleep. In truth it was a 
wide-awake Journal brimful of local news. Before removing the 
office from Farmer City, Mr. Glessner made arrangements with 
W. C Devore to continue the Journal, and in consideration for so 
doing, gave him the subscription lists- The paper has been con- 
tinued by Mr. Devore to the present. It still retains the same 
form. It is now the recognized organ of the Republican party 
in the northern part of the county. It started as a neutral paper, 
but Mr. Glessner gave to his editorials a Democratic coloring 
although it was not a partisan paper. Mr. Devore is a practical 
printer, and has demonstrated his ability to give the people of 
Farmer City and vicinity a good paper, of which they may well 
be proud, and to whose support they can graciously contribute. 
In 1873,Mr. Devore, who was then a resident of Iowa, brought a 
printing office to Farmer City, and on the 23d of September of 
the same year he issued the first number of the 

FARMER CITY HERALD. 

It was in form a five column quarto, and Republican in pol- 
itics. He edited and published the Herald for two years, then 
sold it to the Whetzell Brothers. They continued its publication 
in Farmer City for six weeks, then moved the office and fixtures 
to Lovington, Moultrie County, Illinois, and there issued a paper, 
" Lovington Index. " They continued the publication for six 
months, then they defaulted in the payments, and the office passed 
back into the hands of Devore. He continued the paper under 
the name of the " Lovington Free Press " until the spring of 
1879, when he removed the material back to Farmer City, and 
commenced the publication of the Journal at the date and under 
the circumstances as above stated. 

THE FARMER CITY REPORTER 

was the name of a five-columu quarto, the first issue of which 
was in the fall of lt>7S. Albion Smith was the editor and pro- 
prietor. It continued until August, 1870, when the office was 
destroyed by fire, and all the material consumed. 

THE PUBLIC REAPER 

is the last candidate in Farmer City for journalistic favors. The 
type and material of the office originally composed the old 
" Gibson City Herald." It was brought to Farmer City in the 
fall of 1878, and the first number issued Kovember 1st of the 



same year. Wesley Clearwaters was the publisher, and R. 51. 
Ewing, eilitor. On the 1st of January, 1S81, they retired and 
M. L. Griffith became the publisher, and Reuben Clearwaters 
the editor, in which capacity they still remain. The Reaper was 
originally a six-column folio. In ISSO it was enlarged to a six- 
column quarto, then reduced back to a six-column folio, which 
form it still retains. It was started as an Independent paper. In 
the campaign of 1880 it supported Hancock for the presidency, 
but lately it has paid little attention to politics, but is especially 
devoted to the interests of Farmer City and vicinity. 

THE P.EAL ESTATE INDEX 

was the name of a small advertising sheet published in Farmer 
City by W. H. Anderson. The first issue was in 1871. It had 
a brief existence. 

THE TEMPERANCE VIDETTE 

was a sprightly four-column quarto, first issued in Clinton, Oct. 
17, 1869. Its name indicated its missing. 

THE DE WITT COUNTY GAZETTE, 

ISTo. 1, of -Vol. 1, was issued March 2Sth, 1875. Its founder 
was the erratic, though versatile Joe M. Prior, who, as stated 
before, was among the pioneer newspaper publishers of De Witt 
County. He had, prior to this time, much experience in found- 
ing and editing newspapers, but from some cause or other, when 
he assayed the role of publisher his ventures turned out badly. 
He was a fine paragraphist and a good general newspaper writer, 
but managing a newspaper, to use his own words, " was not his 
best holt." One year previous to his coming to Clinton, he was 
local editor of the " Campaign Gazette." From there he went to 
Indiana, then came to Clinton and set up a printing office which 
was furnished throughout with a large lot of type of the latest 
styles and patterns, power presses, steam fixtures, and was in its 
appointments, the most complete office ever brought to the city 
of Clinton. But like all previous ventures, six months had 
scarcely elapsed when the office was closed up. It was re-opened 
for a short time, then the type and fixtures were sold at auction. 
The greater portion, if not all, was purchased by Mr. Anderson, 
who, with the material started the 

DE WITT COUNTY MESSENGER, 

which had a brief existence. The office was then closed up, and 
the material was removed by Andei-son to Windsor, Shelby Co., 
Illinois, and therefrom was issued May 25th, 1876, the first num- 
ber of the " Windsor Sentinel." The material afterwards passed 
back into the hands of Prior s friends, and by them it was re- 
moved to Paris, Illinois. 

The Gazette was a six-column folio, and was Republican in 
politics. It was ably edited and a live, wide-awake, spicy jour- 
nal, and deserved a better fate. 

The young and growing town of Kenney is situated on the line 
of the Oilman, Clinton and Springfield Railroad, on section 16, in 
the township of Tunbridge. The first paper established in tlie 
village was named the 

KENNEY REGISTER. 

W. L. Glessner, the publisher of the ('Union Register, was the 
editor and proprietor. It was printed in the office of the Clinton 
Register, and sent out and distributed. The fir^t number was 
issued July 16, 1S75, and was continued fur a short time, over 
one year. It was the same size and form as the Clinton Register- 
In IS'i'i,. J W Wolfe commenced the publication of the 



102 



EISTOR Y OF BE WITT CO UNTY, ILLINOIS. 



KEN'XEY I'.EfOr.D. 



It was a four column quarto — patent insides. It was continued 
for one year, then the publication was abandoned as unprofitable, 
and the oiBee removed to Mt- Pulaski, Logan County, Illinois. 

On the 20th of March, 18S1, R. T. Spencer commenced the 
publication of the 

KENNEY GAZETTE, 

a neat, seven-column folio, printed in Atlanta, Logan County, 
Illinois, and sent out to Kenney and distributed. It still con- 
tinues, and in time, we have no doubt, the town of Kenney will 
see the importance of having a newspaper office in their midst, 
and give it such support as will insure its usefulness and per- 
manency, and make it one of the institutions of that enterprising 
town. 

Thus, in brief, the history of the press in De Witt County has 
been traced. It has witnessed as few failures as any other in- 
dustry and has been fairly representative, and kept pace with the 
growth and prosperity of the county. No industry can show 
more patient, industrious and energetic workers, nor number 
among its ranks, men who strive harder to build up and increase 
the material interests and prosperity of the section of country in 
which they live. The state of Illinois owes much of its unex- 
ampled prosperity to the introduction of railroads and a live, 
energetic press. The latter has, at all times and under all cir- 
cumstances, proclaimed to the world, the wonderful fertility of 
our soil, its great advantages as an agricultural region, its fine 
prairie lands, interspersed with beautiful groves, its streams, 
mineral deposits and its hospitable and enterprising citizens. 
Through this medium the world has learned of its greatness. To 
the press, more than any other agent, belongs the honor of 
building up the great West, and aiding in its prosperity. To this 
end, the press of Dj Witt C >unty has contributed, and it shares 
the honor with its contemporaries. 



CHAPTER XII. 



C M M O A' SCHOOLS. 



BY M.iRY .'i. WELCH. 



OEIGIX OF THE SCHOOL SY'STEM. 




?||0 give a brief and concise history of the schools 
and school-interests of De Witt county, is 
the object of this chapter. But such a his- 
tory would be incomplete without giving a 
synopsis, at least, of the rise and progress of 
the free school system in the State of Illinois. 
The State has encouraged and nurtured 
education since her admission into the union. 
The present school-system dates from Jan- 
uary loth, 182-?. Illinois was admitted as a state in 1818, and 
the act of admission contains the following stipulations imposed 
by Congress : " Whereas the Congress of the LTnited States, in 
the act entitled ' An act to enable the people of the Illinois terri- 
tory to form a constitution and state government, and for the 
admission of such state in the union on equal footing with the 



original states, passed the 13th of April, 1818,' have offered to 
this convention, for their free acceptance or rejection,the following 
propositions, which, if accepted by the convention, are to be 
obligatory upon the United States, viz : 1. The section number- 
ed sixteen in every township, and when such se^ tion has been 
sold, or otherwise disposed of, other land equivalent thereto, and 
as contiguous as may be, shall be granted to the state for the use 
of the inhabitants of such township for the use of schools. 2. 
That all salt springs within such state shall be granted to the 
said state for the use of said state, the same to be used under 
such terms and conditions and regulations as the legislature of 
said state shall direct: Provided, the legislature shall never sell 
nor lease the same for a longer period than ten years at any one 
time. 3. That five per cent, of the net proceeds of the lands 
lying within such state, and which shall be sold by congress from 
and aft r the first day of January, 1819, after deducting all 
expenses incident to the same, shall be reserved for the purposes 
following, viz : Two-fifths to be disbursed under the direction of 
congress, in making roads leading to the state; the residue to be 
appropriated by the legislature of the state for the encourage- 
ment of learning, of which one-sixth part shall be exclusively 
bestowed on a college or university. 4. That thirty-six sections, 
or one entire township, which will be designated by the president 
of the United States, together with the one heretofore reserved 
for that purpose, shall be reserved for the use of a seminary, and 
vested in the legislature of the said state, to be appropriated 
solely to the use of such seminary by the said legislature. " 

From the above, it will be seen with what care and jealousy 
the general government guarded the school interests of the new- 
formed states. These grants and conditions were accepted by the 
convention which assembled at Kaskaskia in July, 1818, for the 
purpose of framing a constitution for the new state. Hon. Shad- 
rach Bond, a man of marked ability, was elected first governor 
of Illinois. In his inaugural address to the general assembly, he 
called their special attention to the educational interests of the 
state in the following forcible language : "The subject of educa- 
tion, the means for which have been so amply provided by the 
bounty of the general government, cannot fivil to engross your 
serious attention. It would be well to provide for the appoint- 
ment or election of trustees in each township sufficiently popu- 
lated, and empower them to lease, for a limited period, the sec- 
tion of land reserved and granted for the use of schools within 
the same, requiring them to appropriate the rents arising there- 
from to such use and in the manner to be prescribed by law. 
The townships of land which have been granted to the state for 
the use of a seminary of learning, cannot, it is to be believed, be 
so disposed of at present as to authorize the passage of a law to 
commence the undertaking; but at least a part of them may be 
leased, and the rents arising therefrom may be laid up or vested 
in some productive fund as a secure deposit to be hereafter appro- 
priated to the object to which the grants were made ; such a 
course will render tho.se lauds productive, and when the period 
shall arrive at which it may be advisable to sell them, they will 
be extensively improved and of great value- These donations, 
together with the three per cent, upon the net proceeds arising 
from the sale of the public lands within the state, which have 
been appropriated for similar purposes, with proper arrange- 
ments, will create a fund sufficiently large to educate the children 
of the state to the remotest period of time. It is our imperious 
duty, for the faithful jierformance of which we are answerable to 
God and our country, to watch over this interesting subject. No 
employment can be more engaging than that of husbanding those 



HISTOSY OF BE WITT COT'XTY, ILLIKOIS. 



103 



resources which will spread through all classes of our fellow- 
citizens the means of wisdom and of knowledge, which in the 
freedom of our institutions will make the child of the poorest 
parent a useful member of society and an ornament to his coun- 
try." 

The first General Assembly was too much engrossed with other 
matters of state to give this portion of the governor's message the 
attention it deserved ; but at its second session, it took cognizance 
of the recommendations contained in his first message, and a bill 
was passed by both houses, and approved by the governor, March 
2d, 1819. It provided for the appointment by the county com- 
missioners in each and every county, of three trustees in each 
township, who were within six months after appointment author- 
ized to employ a surveyor, who should lay out section sixteen in 
each township in lots, not containing less than forty, nor more 
than one hundred and sixty acres, and to lease the same for a 
term of ten years, for the purpose of creating a revenue for 
school-purposes. As this law was general in its tenor, it was 
sutficient to protect and throw around these school-lands a proper 
safeguard ; and had the recommendations of the governor and 
the provisions of the law been adhered to until the lands became 
valuable, the public fund in nearly every township in the .state 
w.uld be to-day sufiicient to maintain our public schools without 
special taxation. Unwise counsel prevailed somewhere, and the 
most of this munificent gift of the general government has been 
largely sacrificed. 

From 1819 to 1S25 but few changes were made in the school- 
law. Although the changes were few and unimportant, there 
was a decided, growing sentiment favorable to the free-school 
system ; and in 182.5 the General Aserably passed an act provid- 
ing for the establishment and maintenance of public schools. In 
the preamble to this act, the following patriotic sentiment was 
expressed: "To enjoy our rights and liberties we must under- 
stand them ; their security and protection ought to be the first ob- 
ject of free people ; and it is a well-established fact that no nation 
has ever continued long in the enjoyment of civil and political - 
freedom which was not both virtuous and enlightened ; and be- 
lieving the advancement of literature always has been, and ever 
will be, the means of developing more fulh' the rights of man, 
that the mind of every citizen in a republic is the common prop- 
erty of societv, and constitutes the basis of its strength and hap- 
piness. It is therefore considered the peculiar duty of a free 
government like ours to encourage and extend the improvement 
and cultivation of the intellectual energies of the whole." 

This act is unquestionably the foundation-stone of the present 
free-school system in the State of Illinois. The act was manda- 
tory, as will be seen f om the language of the statute in the fol- 
lowing passage: "There shall be established a common school or 
schools in each of the counties of this state, which shall be open 
to every class of white citizens between the ages of five and 
twenty-one years." It also provided for the election in each dis- 
trict of the following officers : Three trustees, one treasurer, one 
clerk, one assessor and one collector. The trustees were empow- 
ered to perform many of the functions now performed by the 
county superintendents, such as examining of teachers, visiting 
schools, reporting to the county commissioners, etc. Some of the 
provisions of the law of 1825 were repealed by the act of 1827, 
creating a general law of the state relating to the common schools ; 
but no material changes were made until 1^41, when the legisla- 
ture made a complete revision of the school law, and approved 
February 26, 1841. 

Among the changes of this act are the following provisions : 



Each township could have as many schools as the inhabitants of 
such township desired ; the people of every organized district 
were required to meet and elect from their number three trustees, 
and to agree upon the plan and manner of conducting the school. 
These trustees or directors were vested with power to execute the 
plan adopted, and were required to visit and superintend the 
schools. This law was the first that required schedules to be 
kept by the teachers and returned to the township treasurers. 
It also required a teacher to pass an examination for a certificate 
to teach. The board of trustees was required to perform this 
duty, or appoiut a board of examiners for the purpose. The 
law did not mention the branches to be taught, nor did it specify 
the branches in which the teacher should be examined, but re- 
quired that the certificate, when issued, should enumerate the 
branches in which he was qualified to teach. 

In 1845 another revision of the school-law was made, and 
many new and important features were incorporated in it. The 
secretary of state was by virtue of his oflice created state super- 
intendent of schools. Among the various duties the statute pro- 
vided that he should counsel with experienced teachers, relating 
to the latest and most improved methods of conducting the com- 
mon-schools ; he was required to advise the school commissioners 
as to the best manner of managing the schools ; of constructing 
school-houses, and procuring competent teachers ; to recommend 
the best text books, charts, maps, etc., and to bring about a uni- 
formity of the same. Under this law, whose duties were those of 
secretary of state, the first state superintendent was the Hon. 
Thomas Campbell, who made a very eflicient and useful ofiicer. 
Many of the suggestions given by him in his report to the gover- 
nor could be used with profit in our school system to-day. 

The duties of the secretary of state confined him almost entirely 
to his office as the state developed, and the demands for a special 
officer to discharge the duties of this department became a neces- 
sity. Hence, in 1854, this legislature passed a law making the 
office of state superintendent of public instruction a separate one. 
The duties to be performed were similar to those under the act of 
1845. It was provided to fill the office by appointment of the 
governor until after the election in 1855, with a salary of ?l,-"00 
per annum. 

The Hon. Xinian W. Eihvanls was appointed the first state 
superintendent under this law, and the first to have the honor of 
framing a bill for the unification of the school system of the state. 
Again, in 1872, there was another general revision of the school 
law, since which time there have been but few important changes 
made. Of the last revision, I should do this hi.story great injus- 
tice without the mention of the name of Hon. Newton Bateman, 
I who has no superior in this country as an educator or friend to 
the free-school system. Our legislators, in the above revision, 
which caused our school system to rank with the best in the land, 
gave the greatest heed to his judgment and counsel. 

From the foregoing it will be seen that there have been five 
marked epochs in the school history of Illinois — 1825, 1840, 1845, 
1854 and 1872. In the main we have a most excellent free- 
school system in our state ; but there are changes in the law that 
should be made, and which would prove wholesome to all con- 
cerned. I have special reference to the want of clearness in the 
language of the statute. The school law, above all others, should 
be the plainest in all its det.iils, and so well arranged as to be 
intelligible to all who are able to read. 

The permanent school fund of the state comprises: 1st, the 

school fund proper, being three per cent, upon the net proceeds 

, of the sales of the public lands in the state, one-sixth part ex- 



lOJ 



HISTORY 01 BE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



cepted ; 2d, the college fund, consisting of the above one-sixth 
part; 3d, the surplus revenue derived from the distribution in 
1836, of the surplus revenue of the United States; -Ith, the semi- 
nary fund, derived from sales of lauds granted to the state by 
the general government ; 5th, county funds created by the legis- 
lature in lS3o; 6th, township funds arising from the sale of 
public lands granted by congress for common-school purposes. 

EARLT SCHOOLS IX THE COUXTV. 

In these days of prosperity, surrounded as we are with the ad- 
vantages of social and business life, we can form no adequate idea 
of the trials, hardships and privations endured by the pioneers 
of this county. To them and those who have aided us in secur- 
ing the information necessary from which to write this article, 
we dedicate this imperfect history of her common schools. That 
it is very incomplete we know; having no records of the early 
schools, we were obliged to glean from the failing memories of 
the surviving few, the data from which to write. 

The early settlers were a hard-working, intelligent, warm- 
hearted people, who came from the older states to the wilderness 
of Illinois. Having had opportunity to note the value of learn- 
ing in the work of life, they determined that their children 
should not grow to years of maturity in ignorance, so that we 
find them early turning their attention to the establishment of 
schools, into which in accordance with the spirit of those times, 
they introduced the severe discipline of which we shall speak 
further on. Many now complain of the backwardness of our 
schools. But comparing them with the schools of fifty years ago, 
and remembering with what crude material we have had to work, 
aud that like the Yankee, we not only had to make the thing 
itself, but the things to make it with, we will conclude that all 
things considered, we have not been slow to improve our oppor- 
tunities, although with better management of the school affairs, 
we might have had better results. 

The youth of that day never dreamed of the comforts and even 
luxuries enjoyed by the school children of the present. They 
were compelled to make long journeys over bramble and bush, 
through mud, snow, cold and heat, to reach the little log-hut, in 
•which the school was kept, as they termed it. The first schools 




01 D LJt s H I H L E 

were taught in cibius, somjtinijs previously occupied as dwell- 
ings, and were of the poorest sort, with greased paper for windows, 
no floor, and often no chimney; a hole iu the roof allowed the 
smoke to escape, which was prevented from returning by the use 
of what they called a wind-board, which had to be changed 
every time the wind changed. A fire-place in one or both ends 
of the room kept the children from freezing, and seats were made 
by splitting logs and putting iu wooden legs to support them, the 
flat side of the puncheon up ; another slab supported by pins 



put in the walls, formed the only desk for writing purposes. The 
older pupils, many of them men and women for size and age, 
sitting with their backs to the school ; their elbows resting on the 
desk in front of them, performed their allotted tasks, girls on 
one side of the room, and the boys on the other. The smaller 
children occupied lower seats, but so high from the floor that 
their feet dangled in the air, with no support whatever for their 
backs. Thus they were compelled to sit erect, holding thfeirbook. 




rCXCHEOX BEXCH. 

or more often, a little thia board with letters printed on it, up 
before them in an attitude of study, ft-om six to eight hours each 
day, and if they dared to grow noisy or restless, they felt the 
keen tingle of the master's switch. In those days " licken and 
larnen " went together, and no teacher was considered capable 
who did not make a vigorous use of the pursuasive rod. Hence we 
find that every teacher of that day, who had an ambition to be 
abreast of the times, sought to be an expert wielder of the 
'' birch," or the ever memorable ferule. 

The teachers, though severe in their discipline, were faithful 
in the discharge of duty, teaching to the extent of their ability. 
But few of them were well qualitied to teach beyond the rudi- 
ments of an education, yet. possessed of that hard common sense 
characteristic of the early settlers, they were enabled to accom- 
plish much — they taught but little, and taught it well. In 1837 
teachers were first required to hold certificates, for which they 
were seldom examined be3'oud the three R's, " Rithmetic, Read- 
ing and Ritiug " Arithmetic was considered the all-important 
branch, especially for boys to study, and it still holds a very sig- 
nificant place iu many of the rural districts to-day. It was 
thought that a girl needed little book preparation for her work 
in life, but usually in a later day, when grammar was more often 
taught in the schools, it was pursued by the girls, the boys think- 
ing it was useless to waste time on such foolishness. The only 
common ground on which they could meet was the spelling. 
Here the boys were often compelled to acknowledge the girls their 
equals. Spelling schools, so common, and so enjoyable in those 
davs, were an outgrowth from which they derived much social and 
intellectual pleasure. These also were the days of " barring out " 
and "ducking'' for treats, and the older citizens who enjoyed 
these sports, would think the history incomplete without mention 
of them. 

Sometimes it would happen that a man of good attainments 
was found at work in these cabins, and, when such was the case, 
the young men from the settlements around would attend the 
school, and so earnestly apply themselves that often they were 
better prepared for the practical duties of life tlian many of their 
more favored brothers of the present day, who have the privilege 
of a college course. The individual plan of recitation was in 
vogue in all the earliest schools The master went round from 
one to another, helping them ''do their sums" and pronouncing 
hard words in the spelling lesson, which confronted him at every 
turn he made. Between these exercises, he would make and 
mend pens, for which they used goose quills. They made their 
own ink out of nut galls, and other things known to them. Then 
there were the copies to " set " for those that wrote, and the 



HISTORY OF BE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



105 



little ones to hear from four to six times a day. From this daily 
programme we Icnow that the teacher who did his work faithfully 
and well, had little time to idle. They paid him a small salary, 
and expected him to earn his money. It was thought at that 
time, and many still cling to that old idea, that any one might 
without injury or loss to the commuuity, teach the schools, espe- 
cially the smaller scholars, even though they knew very little 
themselves of the subjects they proposed to teach. 

After a few years, the manner of recitation was somewhat 
changed from the individual plan. The older pupils were ar- 
ranged in a straight line on the tloor, and required to " toe the 
mark," then " make their manners," after which they proceeded 
to recite, toeing the mark through the whole recitation. If it 
was reading, the one that read loudest and called the words most 
readily, was counted the best reader. This expressionless style 
of reciting was called the " school-tone." At the close of the ex- 
ercise, more "manners" were required, and the class passed to 
their places, and swinging their feet oyer the long slab bench, 
were ready to study the next lesson, or write, perhaps. 

Then the smaller pupils came to the master's knee, one at a 
time, with their little board or book, if they were so fortunate as 
to have one, which the teacher takes, and resting it upon his 
knee, points out the letters in regular order with his knife, the 
child repeating them after the teacher, till he knows them. 

Often the little urchin fails to recognize a letter, perhaps T. 
After many fearful contortions of the face and nervous move- 
ments of the limbs, he gives it up, and fixes a blank stare on the 
face of the teacher, who by way of reminder, asks, " What did 
you drink for supper last night?" Quick as thought, the little 
fellow has it, and answers in a loud voice, " buttermilk," and 
the teacher, an adept at turning things to account, repressing a 
smile, uses the blunder to fix the letter in the mind of the child. 

But the old log school-house, with all its discomforts, has 
pa=sed entirely out of use, and the teacher, ruling with the iron- 
heel, has become a creature of the past. The state has provided 
a better class of accommodation, and prepared the way for 
teachers to fit themselves for their work ; and we are now be- 
ginning to enjoy in a fuller measure the rich results of all the 
long line of laborers, from the first parents who built the first 
cabin for school purposes and the first teacher who wielded the 
birch and taught the "young idea how to shoot," to the grand 
army of educational workers of to-day. 

The first school of which we can get any account was kept 
on Jacob Coppenbarger's farm, which is now on section eight 
of Tunbridge township, in 18i!9. A young man by the name 
of Edom iShugart, who is said to have been possessed of a 
good education for the time, taught this school. The second 
school we find was taught in 1831, on the site of the town of 
Waynesville, by William S. Dunham. This was the first school 
taught in what is now Waynesville township, and the second in 
the county. Again, in the winter of 1832, we find Edom Shugart 
teaching in the first house built in the county for school pur- 
poses, as we found him in 1829 in Tunbridge township, teaching 
the first school in the county. 

This school-house was located in what is now Wapella town- 
ship, about a mile and a half north of the town of Wapella. It 
was a little, rqugh log cabin, and was used but one year, when a 
larger and better house was erected nearer the centre of the 
present district and on the same hill where Liberty school-house 
now stands. This was the first school-house to have a floor and 
a glass window. For several years subsequent to this, however, 
the school-rooms were lighted by removing a log the full length 



of the house, and sometimes greased paper was pasted over to 
keep out the wind and storms ; this with the light admitted 
through the open doors and chimneys, was thought sufiicient. 
In this new house John B. Swearingen taught the first school, in 
the winter of 183J. This year we find two other schools taught, 
one in Tunbridge township, by Edom Shugart, just north of 
Kenney, and one in what is now Waynesville township, by J. J. 
McGraw. The next winter (1834) we find several schools, taught 
by the following teachers : Edom Shugart, William Lowry, 
Daniel Newcomb, Wm. S. Dunham, J. J. McGraw, J. B. Swear- 
ingen and AValter Roben, all teaching schools located in the 
townships now organized as Tunbridge, Barnett, Waynesville and 
Wapella. In this year, 183-1:, the Howard school-house was built, 
which was the first frame school-house erected. The same winter, 
what was known for years as the Hall school-house was built on 
the farm of Mahlon Hall, the first built west of the present city 
of Clinton, the third in the county, and for many years the only 
school-house in the present limits of Barnett township, which 
now has eight schools, all furnished with good, comfi)rtable 
houses, — that at Midland City being a graded school of two de- 
partments. Some of the teachers who have done excellent service 
may here be mentioned : Reuben Howard, Alfred Hyde and J. 
I. Barnett. The last named has taught at Hallsville for several 
years ; he is a graduate of Eureka College, and in his own school 
does excellent work, as his long stay in the same place will 
attest. Some of the first teachers in this township were: Lnwry, 
Newcomb, Mcintosh, Pollock and Derby. 

Tunbridge township has ten schools, all in good condition ; 
that in the village of Kenney a graded school of three depart- 
ments, under the care of Henry E. Sisson at present. Some of 
the men who were prominent and who aided and encouraged 
the school-work in the townships of Barnett and Tunbridge, 
were : Andrew Wallace, Judge Lowry, John Barnett and Mr. 
Randolph. Later, were their descendants, and others, among 
whom many will remember those genial men. Judge J. R. Hall, 
Robert Barnett and John Kenney, all of whom held a high 
place in the hearts of those who knew them. Others, still living, 
who were pupils in these early schools, and could tell the story 
of those good old times better than I cat* write it, are the How- 
ards, Randolphs, Thornleys, Brelefords, Fruits, Butlers, Halls 
and Humphreys. 

Waynesville. — The first settlers of what is now Waynesville 
township, took special care in educating their children. They early 
began preparations for schools, the result of which is, her citizens 
have long been prominent in the county's history. J. J. McGra » 
is worthy of especial mention from the fact of his long service as 
a teacher and school oflncer, having been elected to the office of' 
School Commissioner at the very first election of officers at the 
county organization in 1839, to which place he was continuously 
elected for eighteen years. The building of the first school house 
in that township dates back to 183.5. It was constructed after the 
style of the times and rudely furnished, and located three miles 
east of Waynesville on the farm of John S. Strange. J. J. Mc- 
Graw also taught this school, which was attended by pupils from 
all parts of the township, and was a kind of High School in its 
time. We are told that at one time there were but three spelling 
books in the school from which thirty pupils learned their les- 
sons; other books were equally scarce. As the population increas- 
ed other schools were organized and other houses built for school 
purposes, all the people of the neighborhood assisting, some 
furnishing the material, others converting it into a house. When 
the 16th section of land was sold, which was about 1840, the 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



township was divideil info districts and the proceeds of the sale 
distributed among them. In 1S48 there were in operation in the 
township five schools, most of which had good buildings, furnish- 
ed in the approved style of the times. The schools of the town 
of Waynesville deserve more than a general mention. In 1836, 
after various buildings, that happened to be vacant had been 
occupied, school was opened in the M. E. Church, which was used 
for two years. In 1840 the number of children was so large that 
it became nec^ssarv to divide the school. So in 1842 both the M. 
E. and Presbyterian Churches were pressed into service, until 
1S.>8 when they built their present two story frame house. 

Besides the public schools just noted. Wavnesville at various 
intervals until recently, has supported a select school. The 
Mioses Leeper in 1852 and 18.i.'), assisted bv Miss Linzey, con- 
ducted the private school. In 18,50!, H. ■!. Harris was principle 
of the school. Another who will long be remembered for his 
abilily as an in.structor and also as a gentleman, was Frank 
Longbrake. In 1866, J. G. Turner took charge of the school' 
which he conducted till 1870. This gentleman although peculiar 
in his make up, was possessed of such unbounded enthusiasm and 
indomitable energy that the school reached a high plane of use- 
fulne.s.s. Since that time there seems to have been little interest 
on behalf of select schools. The interest in home education in 
and around the village appears to be less now than it was twenty 
years ago. Waynesville township now h.is six school districts 
with a school property valued at (877,000.) The number of 
pupils in the township is 288. The amount of expenses incurred 
hv these schools during the year ending June 30, 1881, was 
(SI 883.29.) Paid their teachers (SI 300.02.) Their present 
school fund is (S108.'i.38.) Their prf-sont trustee is Wm. Gam- 
brel, Sr , and their present treasurer, William Cantrell, who has 
served in that capacity about sixteen years 

Wapella. —The earliest school history of what is now Wapella 
township has been referred to above. In 1848 the first frame 
f chool house was built in the township, and Trustum Hull taught 
the first school in it. He continued to teach very succe.s.sfully in 
the schools of different townships for several years. Since his 
retirement from the school room, he has almost continuously acted 
as the township Treasurer. Among the citizens who have been 
interested in the educational work of the township may be named 
the Swearingen's, Brown's. Harrold's, Homer Buck, Walter 
Karr and Peter Crura Wapella Township h,as four school dis 
tricts all having good, well furnished houses, and no bonded 
debt. 

Santa Anna — The first school-house was built of hewed-logs, 
on the highe.st blufi!' in the township overlooking Salt Creek, one 
mile south-west of where Farmer City now stands, in 1835, by 
the following pioneers : Dennis Hurley, Eichard Webb, John 
Donner, Nathan Clearwaters and Richard Kirby. The first 
teacher was John Heath, the second was Celia Lowry ; others 
fidlowed. These were subscription schools, and many of the 
older citizens, who were pupils in this rural academy, still retain 
vivid impressions made upon their backs by the hickory sprouts 
and ironwood twigs. The old school-house has long since been 
removed and there is not a relic left to mark the spot, save the 
beatiful hard-maple grove, near which it stood. Other schools 
were established in the township of a like character, but they 
have all given way to better ones, and the present schools, -six 
in number, are as good as any elsewhere in the county, each 
having a comfortable, well-furnished house. There is but one 
graded school, that at Farmer City. It has a good, two-story 
brick building, finished in 1873, at a cost of about §1600, with 



bonds all paid off but one, which is due and will be paid in 1882. 
There are eight rooms in the building, accommodating about 8.30 
pupils. The ground upon which the house stands is a beautiful 
plat, occupying a block of ten lots, hand.somely laid off with 
walks, and set with shade trees, and is reached by good walks 
from every part of the city. This building is a palace when 
compared with the old school-house, which did, indeed, seem like 
an old corn-crib infested by rats before its use was discontinued, 
as the writer can testify, having spent one unfortunate year of 
school life within its smoking walls. 

The first school taught in the new building, was in charge of 
Prof M. Jess, a very efficient teacher, who remained about five 
years in the school, raiding it to a high standard, when he retired 
from the place to take charge of the Leroy School, where he still 
remains. Among the pupils of Prof. Jess, are to be found many 
occupying honored positions as lawyers, physicians, ministers and 
teacheis. Mr. Garrell succeeded Prof Jess, but could not sustain 
himself, and Prof William Smith, of Normal, was called to finish 
the unexpired term. Mr. Smith was re-elected the next year, but 
was elected County Superintendent of Schools, of McLean 
County and resigned to assume the duties of his office. Prof. 
W. D. Hall was then engaged to take charge of the school, but 
owing to various circumstances was unsuccessful in its manage- 
ment, notwithstanding, he is regarded by many competent judges 
as the best educator ever in the county, and is ranked among 
the most excellent and thorough in the state. He was eccentric, 
but needed only to be known to be loved. J C. Scullin, of Logan 
County, succeeded him, and held his position one year. Mr. Gay 
next served a year or two, when L P. Brigham, of Areola, a 
graduate of Normal, and a good teacher, assumed the charge, 
which he held for three years. He left to go into the practice of 
medicine, and Allen J. Stults, the present incumbent, was elected 
to take charge of the school, which opened September 21st, 1881. 
Mr. Stults is endeavoring to bring about a better system of 
gradation, and being a very practical teacher, the prospect seems 
fair that the school will be prosperous and active under his 
management. A number of the principals and assistants who 
have taught in this school were graduates of the Normal Univer- 
sity. Farmer City is alive to her educational interests, and has 
usually a very efficient Board of Directors. Its present board, 
J. B. Lewis, Wni. T. Bean and S. C. Copen are careful in the 
management and hopeful for the future. The standard of the 
school has alternately advanced and retrograded during the 
past eight years, which cannot be avoided when there is so fre- 
quent a change of teachers. 

Harp Township. — Some of the earlier teachers were Jefferson 
Cross, Ab-alom Hamilton, Susan McCuddy, Elizabeth Thomp- 
son and Harvey Blount. Tbe latter was looked upon at that 
time as an expert in his profession. He has taught about forty 
winters, most of them in De Witt County, and probably the 
oldest teacher now teaching in it. There are eight districts in 
this township, all having very good houses, and an enrollment 
of 264 pupils. The school-property is estimated at 83,6.jO, and 
no bonded debt. 

Te.i;as Township. — The first school-house, one of the log-cabin 
kind, was built in 183.5, on or near the site of the present Texas 
school-house. This school has been the leading one in the 
township, having had in the past, as at the present, some 
very efficient teachers. Many remember the late F. M. Van Cue 
as among the leading teachers of a late day ; also Stephen Adams 
and G. C. Kelly, who now has charge of the schools, and others, 
will be remembered as successful teachers in the years to cotue 



HISTORY OF BE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



107 



Texas has nine districts, all having neat and well furnished houses, 
some of them comparatively new. The school fund amounts to 
S107S.58. Edwin Weld, the present treasurer, has served a 
number of years very efficiently in that capacity- 

De Witt Township. — The earliest school in this township was 
taught in an old kitchen belonging to Benj. Day, and fitted up 
after the style extant. The school was taught in the winter of 
1856 and '57 by F. S. Eobbins ; it was entirely a private enter- 
prise. In June of 1837, this sixteenth section of land was sold 
for 85.00 per acre. The same year organization of the townships 
into school districts took place, and five trustees were elected, 
namely : Hiram Chapiu, Benj. Day, R. J Duseubury, -fames 
McCord, and Orin Wakefield. The latter was appointed Treas- 
urer. The township was at first divided into three districts, 
each district soon provided itself with a log cabin and whatever 
furniture was needed. The interest and state fund paid a large 
part of the teachers salaries, which were very low. In a few 
years District No. one, after using the old log cabin near the 
grove for some seven years, built a brick building in Marion, (De 
Witt,) which they still occupy. Mrs Nellie S. Richards, an 
experienced and thoughtful teacher, presides over the school at 
present- In a few years after the first organization, District No's 
1 and 2 were divided and District No. 4 was formed. This dis- 
trict in 184fi, built the first frame school house in the township, 
which was finished and furnished in the most approved style. De 
Witt has likewise been favored with good teachers, and she has 
among them some of the most substantial and honored men of 
the county. We take great pleasure in recording the names of 
our old and well tried friends Col J. J- Kelly, and the Hon. 
Wm. H. North, upon the pages of the county's history Botn 
of these gentlemen served a term of four years each as county 
Superintendent of schools, under whose supervision we had the 
honor and pleasure of holding certificates and teaching. Another 
name that will long be remembered especially by the young men 
and women, to whom he taught the higher branches and gave a 
lift in life that enabled them to succeed as practical and definite 
workers in their chosen calling, is P. V. C. Pool, who taught a 
private school for a number of ygars near De Witt. Other teach- 
ers were Mr. Tavener, Betsy Weaver, Cynthia Vincent, and J. 
D. Chapin. 

liutledge Tonmship. — The first school in this township was 
taught by Robert H. Pool, about 1838. He was a man of more 
than average ability and an earnest worker in the school room. 
The school house was located in the timber about a quarter of a 
mile west of where the Fuller school house now stands. It also 
was a log house like the others of that day. The teacher and 
large boys gathered wood at playtime to burn during school 
hours. Daniel Craig was the second teacher, and John E. 
Dougherty, a young man of good ability as a teacher, was the 
third. These were subscription schools, the teacher receiving 
S2.25 a quarter for each pupil, the schools averaging from 15 to 
20 scholars- Thus the teacher received from 12 to 25 dollars per 
month and board among the scholars. The log school house was 
used till about 1845, when a frame was built, known as the Rut- 
ledge school house There are now six school houses, one brick 
and five frame. The Fuller school house is the finest country 
school house in the county, and in contrast with the old log 
house fir,«t built marks well the advancement of thirty years. The 
prominent men who labored hard to push forward the cause of 
education in the early settlements were John E. Dougherty, 
Peter Brickey, John JNIcCord, Wm. Lafferty, and Thos. Vande- 
venter, the last named being the only one now living. The prom- 



inent early teachers were R. H- Pool, Peter Brickey, J. E. 
Dougherty and Mr. Tavener. Of the successful teachers of a 
later dav we have space to name but one. Dr. Wesley Anderson, 
the finest scholar that ever taught in the township, and a superior 
mathematican. He claimed to have been the first to figure out 
and publish the total eclipse of the sun in 1869. He introduced the 
higher branches in his school at Fuller school house and aroused 
an interest in the cause of education in both old and young, 
giving bountifully from his storehouse of knowledge by night 
schools and lectures to all that would attend. 

Wihon Township. — Among the names that are prominent in 
the educational aflfairs of the present day are the Wilsons, Wald, 
Hurd, Hubbell, and Cains. There are six school districts with 
good houses and an enrollment of 230 pupils. The present 
School Fund is S1333.20. The present Treasurer John T. Hub- 
bell. 

Nixon Township — The sale of the school land of this township 
was made in 1852, but the first record of a school is 1856. This 
school, a summer term, was taught by John A. Helmand, at the 
Twist school house. The old school house is still occupied by 
the district for school purposes. The present teacher is Miss 
Alice Branson. The meeting of the first Board of Trustees was 
in Dec- 1855. In Feb- 1856, the school fund amounting to 
(§4442.011,) was paid by Lawrence Weldon, School Cjmmission- 
er, to the Treasurer of the township. This town-hip has always 
been favored with excellent teachers, many of whom have since 
filled honorable positions. Some of those who merit mention are 
Joseph Anderson, A. E. Hilton, Henry -S. Green, now one of the 
leading lawyers of the state, Rufus Crocker, Edmund Deverse 
W. B. Caldwell. 

Creeh Towjiship. — The first house built in what is now Creek 
township, was after the prevailing style of logs with roof of clap- 
boards held to their place by weight poles. It was situated in 
the timber and about one mile from Lane station. It is probable 
that the first teacher was a crippled man by the name of Jefl'er- 
son Cross. Another of the early teachers whose work has been 
of great value was Walter Roben, who is still an honorable resi- 
dent of the township. John P. Mitchell and Mr. Pool were also 
at one time teachers in this township. 

C/int'jnia Township. — Probably the first school opened within 
its boundaries was in 1834, by Mr- Lowry in the old court house. 
At all events we learn that he taught the first school in the town- 
The schools were taught, either in the court house or in rented 
rooms, by Mr. Lowry, (who was the first probatejudge elected in 
this county). Dr. Gardner, now of Farmer City, and others 
until 1841, when the first school house was erected. It was a 
rough frame building, constructed we understand, entirely of 
oak, even the siding and shingles were of black oak, and the effect 
of a year or two's sunshine and storm, caused such a shrinking 
and warping of the parts that in a few years it was unfit for use. 
In winter it was too wet when it rained and too cold when dry. 
There was no lot purchased on whicli to erect it, but it was placed 
near the center of the street running south from the court house, 
(which was situated on the site of the present temple of justice) 
and there it stood for many years. 

That school houses in general, and this house in particular was 
not the pet of the people then living in Clinton, as its treatment 
will fully show. In 1846 the prospect of war with Mexico 
loomed up in the near future, and Clinton not to be behind her 
neighbors, sent to Bloomington and procured a nicely mounted 
six pounder, and we venture to say that more hats were passed 
around for the purpose of raising money to pay for amunition to 



108 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



be used in firing that canon, than for any other purpose. If the 
gun was fired in the evening or at night, it was considered a loud 
call for every adult, male and female, and all the small boys 
«^ithin hearing, to appear in Clinton the next morning to hear the 
news. As the prospect for war increased, the desire to shoot 
somebody or something increased, and a contribution was taken 
up in order to get the necessary amount of lead with which to 
make balls for the canon. This ball took more lead than was to 
be obtained in Clinton, and a messenger was soon started for 
Blooraington or Decatur to get the necessary number of bars of 
lead, which was soon melted and beaten into a very respectable 
ball, a little larger than a man's fist. And now the inquiry, 
" what shall we shoot at? " " what can we hit? " and it proved a 
staggering question — no stumps, no trees, big enough for any 
gunner to risk his reputation by using either as a mark. In the 
houses there were families and there were no barns. In this ex- 
tremity, some one suggested the school house as the fortress, to be 
demolished. This idea '' took well," and the man in that crowd 
who would raise his voice or say one word to save that house from 
such an indignity, would have been looked upon as a public 
enemy, advised to keep silent if he knew what was for his own 
good, and ranked with Tom Corwin who had just made the most 
brilliant speech of his life, upon the Mexican question. The 
canon was located on the square to the ea.st of its center, the 
school house being a little west of south and in full view. It was 
a rich target, and so arranged that if the bullet passed through 
or over the house and went on to Salt Creek, there was no danger 
of hilling any building, and every person within carrying dis- 
tance of the gun was supposed to be at its side or safely standing 
in the rear. The first shot we are informed missed the house, 
passed on over it and on into the timber, and the cry of " lost 
ball " was emphatic and sorrowful. Another subscription stared 
them in the face, but a contest between their patriotism and 
their already depleted pockets, was avoided by the cry " let us 
find the ball." A range was obtained from the muzzle of the 
gun to the first shrub or limb cut off by the bullet, and by a rude 
system of flagging it was soon found and brought back in great 
glee. A shot or two more and one could see the shingles fly, and 
in a short time the house was ruined, but the patriotism of the 
people was exhibited in a remarkably expressive manner. The 
school house stood there unrepaired for several years. Finally it 
was purchased by a clergyman named Collins, who removed it 
and converted it into a dwelling. Whatever schools there were 
after that, for some years were taught in rented rooms and in the 
Disciple and M. E. Churches, until about the year 185(3, when 
a new school house was built which Mrs. Savage now occupies as 
a dwelling, one block south of the present school building. This 
second house in its day was considered too expensive for the dis- 
trict, and yet it only had four good school rooms. A vote for the 
tax to build it was only carried on the third election, and then, 
we are informed, by a manoeuvre of this kind. John J. JMcGraw, 
C. H. Moore and another man were directors. They had put up 
notices calling the election in the district to vote for or against 
the tax. At this — the third election C. H. Moore refused to 
sign the notices, but took great pains to see every known opponent 
of the tax before the day for voting, telling them it was a great 
outrage to call a third election — the tax had been beaten twice 
and that was enough — now he was with them against the tax. 
He thought if they would all come out and vote once more 
against it, that would end the matter, otherwise, he was fearful 
the tax would carry and the house be built. Mr. Moore's chang- 
ing to their side paralized the opponents of the tax, struck them 



dumb with astonishment, and either from a dislike to have him 
succeed in anything he undertook, or in the belief that he would 
or could beat the tax unaided by them, most of the opponents of 
the tax stayed away from the polls or refrained from voting and 
"for the tax" carried easily, and the house was built the sime 
fall. This we believe was the last organized opposition to school 
houses in Clinton. The house then built answered well for some 
years, but proved too small in time, and the present house was 
built, and while it is almost the only ornament in the town, we 
think it an expensive luxury unless run with all the economy 
consistent with good teaching and good management. 

To resume the history of the teachers, Mr. Wm. Bates is the 
first teacher who remained for any considerable length of time, 
teaching mostly in the old court house and in his own private 
house. His pupils were from the families Argo, Newcomb, Crura, 
Gideon, McKlhanie, Woodward, Long, &c. His first school was 
in 1847- In his later schools were the children of De- J. Warner, 
Dr. Adams and Elder Burger. Mr. Bates is remembered as 
having introduced and practiced other modes of rewards and pun- 
ishment than the use of the rod, so familiar in all the early 
schools. The ticket system of governing will be remembered by 
many who attended and procured prizes with the price of their 
carefully hoardeil treasures, on the last day of school, when an 
auction sale was held and the articles sold were to be paid for in 
the little diamond-shaped tickets held by the pupils as a reward 
for good lessons and good behavior. One of the largest boys 
acted as auctioneer, in which capacity, if we are correctly in- 
formed, Lee McGraw would especially distinguisced himself. 
After the sale was over and good byes said, home the childrtn 
went to show their treasures and boast or bewail their bargains 
as the case might be. In view of the success of these primeval 
methods of controlling as chool, I doubt whether we moderns have 
so very much improved on them after all. Mr. Bates' school 
seems to have been the dawn of a better day for the schools of 
Clinton. Following him was Mrs. Acres. Then came Mr. and 
Mrs. John Heldman, who probably made the first attempt at 
teaching a graded school in this county. Among her teachers 
and school officers Clinton can boast of many good men and 
women, some of them have since won for themselves rank among 
the leading educators of the state and others have distinguished 
themselves in other walks of life. 

Among those deserving mention we will name James M. Ewing, 
now a member of the honorable law firm of Stephenson & Ewiug, 
Blooraington, 111., also Miss Lizzie Smith and Miss Sophia 
Granger, both graduates of a seminary in Cincinnati, and excel- 
lent teachers. Mrs. Granger, who labored long in the schools 
of the town, foreseeing the need of preparation for her chosen 
profession, had taken a regular course of instruction before enter- 
ing upon her work as a teacher, and having this special training 
together with her superior qualities of mind and heart and the 
irreproachable example of her every day life, she was an inspira- 
tion for good to her pupils and an ornament to society, and the 
resignation of her position in the schools was a matter of regret 
to the community. Another was D. W. Russell, who will be 
remembered as having taught a school of high order in the 
Christian church, in 18.56. He was a model teacher in our opin- 
ion, and, we understand, has since become an eminent and 
wealthy physician. Another was Prof. J. M. Powell, who for 
some time after acted as curator for the State Museum at Xormal, 
and gave to the world glowing accounts of the western wilds in 
his able articles on the Canyons of the Colorado." 

In the year 1856 the new school house being completed, T. N. 



HFSTORY OF BE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



109 



McCorkle, a young man who had previously taught a term or 
two in the old M. E. Church, very successfully was employed to 
take charge of the first school opened in this building, which 
position he held for seven years. Being a good teacher and good 
disciplinarian, he placed the school on a permanently high basis. 
Mr. McCorkle has reason to be proud of his work in Clinton, for 
from among his pupils, Clinton and other places have derived 
many of their substantial citizens, by whom we feel that we 
should not be forgiven if we fail to pay this just tribute. He 
is ever held by them in grateful remembrance for his untiring 
efforts in their behalf, and for the wisdom of his counsels and his 
ever ready sympathy with their individual aspirations to fit them- 
selves for positions of usefulness in life. Mr. McCorkle was fol- 
lowed in the same school house by Messrs. Armstrong and !Mar- 
chant, who retained their places a year each. W. D. Hall was 
next elected to take charge of the school, and under his supervis- 
ion it increased to such an extent that it became necessary to 
enlarge the old or build a new house. The result was the erec- 
tion of the present fine school building, the best in the county 
and among the finest in the State, the cost of which including 
grounds, furniture, &c., was about 860,000. The site is one of 
the finest for the purpose, being a beautiful plat of high ground 
adorned with trees and flowers. Its location is sufficiently cen- 
tral to accommodate the whole city. 

Each year the people endeavor to place men upon the Board 
of Education who will work to keep the school up to a high 
standard. The new building being completed, the Clinton High 
School was organized in 1869, with S. M. Heslet as superin- 
tendent, and Miss Shurtleff as principal of the High School 
Mr. Heslet held his position until June 6th, 1874. - He was an 
excellent organizer, a superior disciplinarian, and commanded 
the respect of all his pupils. 

He was a man of fine moral influence, an active member of the 
Presbyterian church, and very efiicient in its Sunday-school, 
and will be long remembered by his many friends. Miss Shurt- 
leff" resigned during the fall term of 1871, and left the school in 
good condition. She was a good teacher, and beloved by all her 
pupils. She soon afterward became the wife of J. B. Haldeman, 
well known in this city and county. 

Miss Anne Byrne succeeded Miss Shurtlefli', and graduated the 
first class, consisting of three members, although we believe there 
was a class of three members that finished a course under Pro- 
fessor Hall, in the old building ; but Miss Byrne graduated the 
first class in the new house. Miss Lucy Long was her successor, 
and taught one term, when she was succeeded by ]Miss Laura E 
Holbrook, who held the position until June G, 1877, graduating 
the following classes ; Class of 1873, nine members ; class of 1874, 



ten members; class of 1875, four members; cla.ss of 1876, eight 
members; class of 1877, seven members. 

Miss Holbrook was succeeded by B. F. Hull, the present in- 
cumbent, who has graduated classes as follows: Class of 1878, 
eleven members ; class of 1879, seventeen members ; class of 
1880, eleven members; class of 1881, nine members. Mr. Hull 
deserves especial mention, not only as being an excellent in- 
structor, but as having by untiring industry and perseverance, 
raised himself from a poor boy to an honorable and lucrative 
position. 

Prof Heslet was succeeded by W. D. Hall, who resigned in 
the fall of 187.5, and was followed by I. Wilkinson, who held the 
position until .June 6, 1876, when R. E. Morrow was elected 
principal. Miss Laura E. Holbrook, who had been the High 
School teacher for several years, was Mr. Morrow's successor. 
She was a lady well qualified for the position by her superior 
education and high moral and social culuire, and the school pros- 
pered under her administration. Mr. N. D. Gilbert, the present 
incumbent, succeeded Miss Holbrook, and in many respects has 
raised the school to a high standard. 

Clintonia Township has eight school districts, with comfort- 
able houses, and most of them furnished with the latest and best 
furniture. The Clinton School is a first-class graded school, 
having twelve departments, under a board of six directors, who 
manage the machinery of the school and keep it in good running 
order, consulting with the superintendent in regard to the needs 
and general working of the school ; and they prepare, with his 
assistance, a course of study for all the grades, and give general 
instructions to the teachers in their work, and general informa- 
tion to the public as to the management and expense of the same. 
Counting those graded schools which have more than one depart- 
ment, we have eight graded schools in the county, located at the 
following places : Clinton, Farmer City, Wapella, Kenney, 
Waynesville, De "Witt, Midland and Weldon, and eighty-seven 
ungraded schools, with an entire enrollment of 4,.566 pupils. 
Total receipts during the year ending June 30, 1881, for school 
purposes, amount to $58,906.62. Total expenditures for same 
year amounts to 644,.320.25, much of which has been lost to the 
county through a lack of proper management. While the 
schools of the county are in a fair condition, which is due to her 
teachers and school officers, yet there is much that needs to be 
done before the people will receive an equivalent for the money 
expended for their support. 

And we think, that since the state has provided for the esta- 
blishment of a free school system, as a necessity to the well-being 
of our Government, it should also provide for the protection and 
proper supervision of the same in all its parts. 




110 



HISTOEY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



CHAPTER XIII. 



ue of her citizens partici- 



PATIUOTISM. 




fe ENE ATH the wide sp read 
brauclies of the tree of 
liberty, whether her roots 
be embedded iu Athenian 
or American soil, the 
spirit of true democracy 
flourishes. Liberty of reli- 
gious action was the 
fond dream of those who 
built the first fires on the 
lileak rock-bound New England shore in 
1(5'J0. Liberty was the ringing watch- 
word of those who first anchored their 
boats on the waters of the James river. 
Liberty of speech caused thousands to for- 
sake homes they loved in sunny England, 
fair France, rugged Scotland, distressed 
Ireland, and Germany, the " faderland," 
for untried ones in this new Republic. It 
is strange, then, that principles of patri- 
otism so much abound among us as a peo- 
ple. America, the asylum of the oppressed 
of all nations, for two hundred years, ha.s 
gathered to herself a citizenship univer- 
sally Liberty-loving ? Of her it can be 
said. Patriotism is an all-pervading princi- 
ple, and lingers everywhere. It is en- 
shrined in poetry and song. It rolls on in 
grand musical anthem, that strike respon- 
sive chords in every breast. When the 
fathers of our Republic proclaimed " that 
all men are created equal ; that they are 
endowed by their Creator with certain 
inalienable rights; that among these are 
life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," 
an oppressed world applauded. When 
founded on such principles a government 
was sought to be erected, millions were 
ready to become sovereigns, and forsake 
kingdoms and empires for the enjoyment 
of God-given rights. ThuS brought before 
the attention of the world, a nation that 
e.ssayed to incorporate in her civil govern- 
ment the best idea of all ages and peoples. 
Her growth has been marvellous, and the 
spirit of patriotism has been commensurate 
therewith. To day the proudest exclama- 
tion of any citizen of any country is, " I 
am an American." Wars may and have 
threatened ; red battle may stamp her fiery 
feet, but our nation emerges from the cru- 
cible fires rejuvinated and clothed in 
mightier power. In order to present the 
patriotism of De Witt county, it will be 
necessary to give brief sketches of the 
Black Hawk, Mexican and late wars, in 



each of which 
pated. 

BLACK HAWK WAR 

Before entering much into detail of that 
war, its causes and results, we give to our 
readers a brief sketch of Black-Hawk, the 
celebrated warrior, who figured so con- 
spicuously in those campaigns. Macuta 
Mahicatah i's the Indian name for Black- 
Hawk. He was born in the Sauk village 
in the year 1767, and was an Indian of 
consideable talent and sagacity, shrewd and 
eloquent in council ; he, however, deported 
himself in that demure, grave, and formal 
manner incident to almost all Indians. It 
is said he possessed a mind of more than 
ordinary strength, but slow and plodding 
in its operations. In comparison he could 
not be classed with the great Indian char- 
acters, such as Philip, Brant, Logan, Te- 
cumseh, and such illustrious men. By the 
portraits of him now extant, the reader of 
character will readily observe in his large, 
high forehead and the lines worn by care 
in his face, massive jaws and compressed 
lips, a character indicative of more than 
ordinary ability. His ambition was to dis- 
tinguish himself as a great warrior ; yet he 
was merciful to the weak, the women and 
children. The only road for an Indian to 
distinguish himself and become a great 
man, is in war. So soon as he kills an 
enemy he may paint on his blanket a 
bloody hand, which will entitle hira a seat 
in the councils. In 1810 and IS II Black- 
Hawk and comrades were " nursing their 
wrath to keep it warm," against the whites. 
A party of Sacs, by iuvitatation, went to 
see the prophet at Tippecanoe. They re- 
turned more angry against the Americans. 
A party of Winnebagoes massacred some 
whites, which excited for murder the Sac 
band headed by Black-Hawk. A part of 
his band and some Winnebagoes attacked 
Fort Madison in ISl 1, but were repulsed- 
Black-Hawk heailed the Sacs in this 
attack. 

In 1S12 emissaries from the British ar- 
rived at Rock Island with goods, and 
secured Black-Hawk with five-hundred 
warriors to go with Col. Dixon to Canada. 
When they reached Green Bay there were 
assembled there bands of the Ottawas, Pot- 
tawatomies, Winnebagoes and Kickapoos, 
under the command of Col. Dixon. Black- 
Hawk and band participated in the battles 
of River Rasin, the Lower Sandusky, and 
other places, but getting dissatisfied with 
the hard fighting and small amount of 
spoils, he, and twenty comrades, left for 
the Sauk village at Rock Island, where he 



remained for many years at peace, with 
the exception of a small battle on the 
Quiver river settlement in Missouri, in the 
present limits of St. Charles county, where 
one white man and an Indian were killed. 
The principal cau.se of the Indian trou- 
bles in 18.31-'32, better known as the 
Black-Hawk war, was the determination 
of Black-Hawk and his band to remain in 
their ancient village, located on the Rock 
river, not far from its junction with the 
Mississippi. The government having some 
time previously, by various treaties, pur- 
chased the village and the whole country 
from the Sac and Fox tribe of Indians, 
had some of these lands surveyed, and in ^ 
1828 some of the lands in and around the 
ancient village were sold ; the collision be- 
tween the two races for the possession of 
the property produced the first disturbance 
between the Indians and the government. 
Seeing that war was inevitable the Gover- 
nor of Illinois made a call on the militia 
of the state for seven hundred men on the 
26th of May, 1831, and appointed Beards- 
town, on the Illinois river, as the place of 
rendezvous. The call was responded to 
with that promptness characteristic of the 
early pioneers of this state. Their habits 
of life were such that all were familiar 
with the rifle. After marching eight days, 
the mounted militia reached a point a few 
miles below the Sac village on the Missis- 
sippi, where they joined the United States 
forces under Gen. Gaines, and encamped 
in the evening. The next morning the 
forces marched up to the Indian town pre- 
pared to give the enemy battle ; but in the 
night the Indians had escaped and crossed 
the Mississippi. This ended Black-Hawk's 
bravado and his determination to die in his 
ancient village. The number of warriors 
under his command was estimated at from 
four to six hundred men. Black-Hawk 
and his band lauded on the west side of the 
Mississippi, a few miles below Rock Island, 
and there camped. " Gen. Gaines sent a 
peremptory order to him and his warriors 
that if he and his head men did not come 
to Rock Island and make a treaty of peace, 
he would march his troops and give him 
battle at once. * * * * In a few days 
Black-Hawk and the chiefs and head men 
to the number of twenty-eight, appeared at 
Fort Armsrong, and on the 30th of June, 
1831, in full council with Gen. Gaines and 
Governor John Reynolds, signed a treaty 
of peace." 

THE BL.ICK-HAWK WAR IS 1832. 

During the winter of '31—32 rumors 
were rife that Black-Hawk and his band 



inSTOEY OF DE WITT COUXTY, ULINOIS. 



Ill 



were disatisfied, restless, and preparing fur 
mischief. A chief of the Winnebago In- 
dians, who had a village on Rrjck river, 
some thirty miles above its confluence 
with the Mississippi, joined Black-Hawk, 
who was located on the west bank of the 
Father of Waters. The chief had great 
influence with Black-Hawk and his band. 
He made them believe that all the tribes 
on the- Rock river would join them, and 
that together they could bid defiance to the 
whites. By this unwise counsel, Black- 
Hawk resolved to recross the river, which 
he did in the winter of 1832. That move 
proved to be their destruction. Through 
his influence and zeal, Black-Hawk en- 
couraged many of the Sacs and Foxes to 
join him at the head of his determined 
warriors. He first assembled them at old 
Fort Madison on the Mississippi; subse- 
quently, marched them up the river to the 
Yellow Banks, where he pitched his tent 
April 6th, 1832. This armed array of 
savages soon alarmed the settlers, and a 
general panic spread through the whole 
frontier,from the Mississippi to LakeMichi- 
gau. Many settlers in terror abandoned 
their homes and farms, and the Governor 
decided, on the 16th of April, to call out a 
large number of volunteers to operate in 
conjunction with Gen. Atkinson, who was 
in command of the regular forces at Rock 
Island. The Governor ordered the troops 
to rendezvous at Beardstown on the 22d 
of April. We give Governor Reynolds' 
circular which he addressed to the citizen- 
soldiers in the crisis then pending: 

" To Ihe Militia of the North-uesiern section 
of the State: 

'■ Fellow Citizens : 

"Your country requires your services. 
The Indians have assumed hostile attitude, 
and have invaded the state in violation of 
the treaty of last summer. The British 
band of Sacs and other hostile Indians, 
headed by Black-Hawk, are in pijssession 
of the Rock river country, to the great 
terror of the inhabitants. I consider the 
settlers on the frontier to be in imminent 
danger. I am in possession of the above 
information from gentlemen of respectable 
standing, and also from Gen. Atkinson, 
whose character stands high with all 
classes. In possession of the above facts, 
I have hesitated not as to the course I 
should pursue. No citizen ought to remain 
inactive when his country is invaded, 
and the helpless part of the community are 
in danger. I have called out a large de- 
tachment of militia to rendezvous at 
Beardstown on the -2d. Provisions for 



the men and food for the horses will be 
furnished in abundance. I hope my coun- 
trymen will realize my expectations, and 
offer their services, as heretofore, with 
promptitude and cheerfulness in defence 
of their country. 

John Reynolds." 

To the stirring appeal of the Governor, 
the patriotic citizens of the state and De 
Witt county nobly responded in both cam- 
paigns of '31-32. Many of the best and 
most prominent men of the county enlisted 
to protect the frontier and preserve the 
honor of the state, and did signal service 
in the memorable events of the Black- 
Hawk war. 

Among those to go from De Witt county 
were Walter Bowles (sergeant), George 
Coppenbarger, Asher Simson, Elisha Bai- 
ter, George D. Smallweed, John Hender- 
son, James Ennis, John Clifton, John Wil- 
liams, C. Cooper, Samuel Troxel, Thomas 
Davenport, William Adams, William 
Hooper, Joseph Clifton, J. G. Wright who 
also participated in what was known as the 
Winnebago war in 1827. 

The force marched to the mouth of Rock 
river where Gen. Atkinson received the 
volunteers into the United States service 
and assumed command. Black-Hawk and 
his warriors were still uj) on the Rock 
river. 

The army under Atkinson commenced 
its march up the river on the 9th of May. 
Gov. Reynolds, the gallant " Old Ranger," 
remained with the army, and the President 
recognized him as a major-general, and he 
was paid accordingly. His presence in the 
army did much toward harmonizing and 
conciliating those jealousies which gener- 
ally exist between volunteers and regular 
troops. Major John A. Wakefield and 
Col Ewing acted as spies for a time in the 
campaign of '32, to discover the location 
of the enemy, if possible. A. Mr. Kinney 
acted as guide for them ; he understood 
the Sac dialect. On the 14th of Jlay, 
1832, Major Stillman's command had a 
sort of running battle with the Indians at 
or near what is now known as Stillman's 
run, a small, sluggish stream. In the en- 
gagement eleven white men and eight In- 
dians were killed. Black-Hawk and war- 
riors fought with a spirit born of des- 
peration. Black-Hawk says in his book 
that he tried at Stillman's run to call 
back his warriors, as he thought the whites 
were making a sham retreat in order to 
draw him into an ambuscade of the whole 
army under General Whiteside. The hasty 
retreat and rout of Stillnian and his army 
was, in a measure demoralizing to the en- 



tire forces. Undoubtedly the cause of the 
defeat was a lack of disci|iline. When 
Gov. Reynolds learned of the disaster of 
Major Stillman, he at once ordered out 
two thousand additional volunteers. With 
that promptitude characteristic of the old 
" War Governor," he wrote out by candle- 
light on the evening of Stillman's defeat, 
the order for the additional troops, and by 
daylight dispatched L. D. Ewing, Robert 
Blackwell and John A. Wakefield to dis- 
tribute the order to the various counties. 
The volunteers again promptly responded ; 
however, the soldiers from this county did 
but little fighting. On the 10th of July 
the army disbanded for want of provisions. 
Gen. Scott arrived soon after with a large 
force at the post of Chicago, to effect if 
possible a treaty with the Indians. Small 
detachments of Black-Hawk's warriors 
would persistently hang on the outskirts of 
the jjiain body of the army, thieve and 
plunder, and pounce upon and kill the 
lonely sentinel or straggling .soldier. On 
the 1.5th of July the soldiers were review- 
ed, and those incapable of duty were dis- 
charged and returned home. Poquette, a 
half-breed, and a Winnebago chief, the 
" White Pawnee," were selected for guides 
to the camp of Black-Hawk and band. 
Several battles and skirmishes occurred 
with the enemy, the principal of which 
was on the banks of the Mississippi, where 
the warriors fought with great desperation. 
Over one hundred and fifty were killed 
in the engagement, and large numbers 
drowned in attempting to swim the river. 
After the battle the volunteers were march- 
ed to Dixon, where they were discharged. 

This ended the campaign and the Black 
Hawk war. At the battle of the Bad Axe, 
Black Hawk and some of his warriors es- 
caped the Americans, and had gone up on 
the Wisconsin river, but subsequently sur- 
rendered himself. Fort Armstrong, on 
Rock Island, wiis th ^ place appointed 
where a treaty would be made with the 
Indians, but before it was efi'ected, that 
dreadful scourge, the cholera of 1832, visi- 
ted not only the regular army, depicting 
its ranks far more rapidly than the balls of 
the Indians had done, but it also sought 
out its many victims in the dusky bands of 
the Black Hawk tribe. 

On the 15th of September, 1832, a treaty 
was made with the Winnebago Indians. 
They sold out all their lands in Illinois 
and all south of the Wisconsin river and 
west of Green bay, and the government 
gave them a large district of country west 
of the Mississippi, and ten thousand dollars 
a year for seven years, besides providing 



112 



J I IS TOBY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



free schools for their children for twenty 
years, oxen, agricultural implements, etc., 

etc. 

SaptL-mber 21st, 18 )2, a treaty was made 
with all the Sac and Fox tribes, on which ■ 
they ceded to the United States the tract [ 
of country on which a few years afterwards 
the State of Iowa was formed. In consid- , 
eration of the above cession of lands, the 
government gave them an annuity of 
twenty thousand dollars for thirty years, 
forty kegs of tobacco and forty barrels of i 
salt, more gunsmiths, blacksmith shop, etc., 
etc, six thousand bushels of corn for imme- 
diate support, mostly intended for the 
Black Hawk band. 

The treaties above mentioned terminated 
favorably, and the security resulting there- 
from gave a new and rapid impetus to the 
development of the state, and now enter- 
prising towns and villages, and beautiful j 
farms, adorn the rich and alluvial prairies 
that before were only desecrated by the 
wild bands who inhabited them. Agricul- 
tural pursuits, commerce and manufac- 
tures, churches and schools, are lending 
their influence to advance an intelligent 
and prosperous people. 

MEXICAN WAR. 

War was declared with Mexico in May 
1846, and Illinois under the call for volun- 
teers was entitled to three regiments. E. D. 
Baker, then a prominent man of Illinois, 
through the influence of Hon. O. B. Fick- 
liu, a congressman at the time, prevailed 
on President Polk to allow him to raise a 
fourth regiment from Illinois, and by this 
means the DeWitt county men entered the 
service. Mr. Baker was elected Colonel, 
Lieutenant-Governor Moore was chosen 
Lieutenant-Colonel, and Thomas Harris 
was elected Major. They were ordered 
into the service of the United States from 
the 30th day of April, 1846, to the 28th of 
May, 1847. The company were mustered 
into service July ISth, 1846, by Colonel 
Churchill. 

The following is a list of the volunteers 
in Co. F. Tliose marked ^*) were present 
at the muster out of the coni))any. 
Caoiain. * Daniel Newcombe. 
Isl Liatlenanl. Richard Muvijliy. 
ind Lientaituil. * Benjamin Howard. 
Zrd Lieulaimd. * Charles Maltby. 
Orderly Sergeant. William Lowery. Left sick at 

Jalapa. May 7th, 1847. 
2m; Serriatiit. *G. E. EenneU. 
■id Serymnt. *JohnVenson. 
4tli Sergeant. * Absalom Hamil'on. 
Isi Corporal. * Icaiah Davenport. 
•li:4 Corporal. * William Altaii. 
3rd Corporal. VVilliam Kinney. Hospital atten- 
dant at Jalapa. M.ay 7lh. 1847. 
ith Corporal. * William Davis. 
Ilusieiun. * John Mason. 



Privates. 

Allsup, William 

Benson, Charles H., left sick at llatamora.'s, Oct. 

9, 1848. 
Brown, Samuel J., left sick at Matamoras, Oct. 

9, 1846. 
Beyer, George M., left sick at Jalapa, May 7, 

1847. _ 

* Beebe, David 
Bennett, liabriel E., 
Belforil, Owen 
Butler, William 

* Brock, Ellas 
Brown, James 

« Clifton, William 

^ Coppeubarger, Joseph 

*Chack, Adam 

Chapman, J. F., left sick at Matamora.s, Oct. 9, 

1846. 
*Connell, Samuel 

* Clifton, William 
' Clifl.in. Joseph 
Carlock, Andrew 
^ Davis, Kemlis 

'^ Davenport, Isaiah 

Dawson, James. 

Farris, Benjamin, left sick at Metamoras, Oct. 9, 

1846. 
^' Glenn Samuel P., 

* Glenn, Darby 

* Hite, Levi, was Sergeant till Dec. 6. 1846. when 

appointed to the (iuarlermasler Dep't. 
Hill, Egbert O., left sick at Metamoras, Oct. 9, 

1846. 
Hutchlns. Thomas, killed In battle. 

* Harp, William 

* Henry, James 
Halsey, Solomon 

Inman, James, left sick at Matamoras, Dec. 14, 
1846. 

* Logan, James A., 

* McDeed, John 

* Martin, James 

* Martin, Benjamin 

Murphy, Richard, killed In battle. 

* Purely, William 
» Purdy, John H., 

* Price, John 

® Ferryman, James 
"Ru.'»sell, Lowe Z. 

* Richards, Isaac 

* Slatten, Joseph 

* Star, Conrad 

* Strani, Isaac H. 

* Skidmore, Reuben 
Sherk, Adam 
*Scroggins, ,\ndersoii 
^ Sawyer, Sellck 

Smith, James left sick at Matamoras, Dec. 14, 

1846. 
Thornley, Leroy, died from wounds, Jalapa, May 

7, 1847. 
Tenerv, Thomas, died from wounds, .Jalapa, Mav 

'7,1847. 
Turner, James R. 
*Van Xoh, Isaac 

* Webb, Richard D. 

* Wright. William 
» Willis, Isaac W. 

The following were discharged on Sur- 
geon's certificate: 

John Hutchins, Camp Patterson, Aug. 22, 184C. 
Jerrv Williams, 

Evan Richards, Matamor.as. Oct. 13, 1840. 
Franklin Ponieroy, " " " 

Solomon Halsey, '' " '' 

Daniel King, '' '* " 

James B. Dawson, " " " 

James Linton, " " " 

Ellas Brock, " " '' 

Andrew Brock, discli'd, Matamoras Oct. 13, '46. 
Thomas England, " " " " 

Thomas Harp, " " '' 

Isaac McCuddv, discharged, Camargo Nov. 10, 

1846. 
Joseph Hammllt, discharged Vera Cruz, May 8, 

1847. 



The following died in service : 
Jesse McPherson, Camp Patterson, Aug. 2-5, 1846. 
Isaac N. Richards, " Sept. 8, 1846. 

Calvin Payne, " Sept. 10, 1846. 

Jesse Blankenshlp, Matamoras, Oct. .5, 1846. 
William Wallace, Camargo,.Nov. 3, 1846. 
Ambrose Kelmev, " Nov. 11, 1846. 

Daniel Beebe, ' " Xov. 14, 1846. 

Theophilus Johnson, " Nov. 8, 1846. 

Job Clifton, '' Nov. 18, 1846. 

William Butler, " Dec. 23, 1847. 

Owen Belford, Tamplco, Feb. 14, 1847. 
Richard Murphy, Rio Delplan, April 21, 1847. 
Joshua E. Jackson, Cerro Gordo, April 21, 1847. 

At the present time 1881, the following 
are still living here : 

Isaac H. Stralm, Isaiah Davenport, Thomas 
Harp, William J. Harp, Benjamin Howard, 
William Lowrey and Ellas Brock. Seven in all. 

After its formation this company march- 
ed to Alton, where arms were in store, 
which the regiment procured by a little 
manieuvering on the part of Col. Baker 
and Capt. J. S. Post. Col. J. J. Hardin, 
believing that he was entitled to these 
arms, stoutly protested agiinst their ap- 
propriation by Col. Baker, and a wordy 
warfare ensued which came near resulting 
in a duel. From Alton the regiment was 
transferred to Jefterson Barracks, and there 
placed under charge of Col. Churchill, 
commandant, under whom it received 
thorough discipline and drill. About the 
20th of July the regiment was mustered 
into service by Col. Croghan,of Fort Meigs 
notoriety. In a few days the regiment 
received orders and embarked for New 
Orleans, and thence to Brazos Santiago 
Bay, four milis north of the month of the 
Rio Grande, where it disembarked. 

They remained there about a week, 
when orders were received to march up 
the Rio Grande, a distance of eight miles. 
At this point orders were received to move 
still further up the river to Matamoras, on 
the Mexican side, where they remained a 
few days, and then moved on to Camargo, 
where a great deal of sickness ensued. 
Returning to Matamoras, they then 
marched to Victoria — marching on Christ- 
mas day forty-five miles. About the first 
of January, 1847, orders were received to 
march to Tampico, two hundred miles 
distant, at which place preparations were 
made for an attack on Vera Cruz. Taking 
ship at Tampico about the first of Febru- 
ary, Vera Cruz was reached in sixteen 
days, and Company C assisted in the con- 
struction of the batteries and the bom- 
bardment of the city, which surrendered 
March 29. After the taking of the city 
of Vera Cruz, Scott's army marched for 
the city of Mexico, and en route met Santa 
Anna at the mountain pass of Cerro 
Gordo, on the 18th of April, wliere a bat- 
tle was fought. 



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i,,,,.:..il 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



113 



At this battle Santa Anna came near 
being taken prisoner, and in his effort to 
escape left in his carriage twenty-five 
thousand dollars iu silver and his cork leg, 
which were captured by Company C, it 
being at the head of the brigade. The 
next morning ensuing the battle, Gen. Scott 
followed on to Jalapa, where Company F 
remained about a mouth, when the time of 
enlistment expired, and the company re- 
turned via New Orleans and St. Louis, ar- 
riving at home about the first of June, 
1847. 

THE WAR FOR THE UNION. 

Nothing better can be said than what 
has been said i-elative to the first company 
raised in De Witt ounty in behalf of up- 
holding the nation with a big " N " on the 
occasion of one of ihe annual reunions of 
Company E, Twentieth Illinois regiment, 
as follows: 

" On Friday, April 19, a public meeting 
was held at the court-house in this city to 
respond to the call of Gov. Yates for 
volunteers under President Lincoln's pro- 
clamation for seventy-five thousand men. 
Old Colonel George B. Lemen, who held a 
commission in the State militia, presided, 
and made a short speech. Ttie crowd 
that came to the meeting was too large to 
occupy tlie court-room, so the meeting ad- 
journed to the square. Every loyal heart 
was full of enthusiasm, and the soul-.stir- 
ring notes of Jack Robinson's fife and 
John Stoker's drum added to the excite- 
ment. It was no time for speech-making ; 
treason had raised its hand against the 
flag of our country, and men of all parties 
were ready to rush to arms. When Col. 
Lemen called for volunteers, Evan Rich- 
ards, a soldier of the JNIexican war, and a 
practising physician, was the first to step 
forward. Then came Clay Phares, J. M. 
North, Dr. G lodbrake, J. Richey Conklin 
and others, who stepped into line with him. 
By this time military ardor became catch- 
ing, and it was but a little while till the 
company was nearly filled to its maximum. 
An election of officers was held at once 
and Evan Richards was elected Captain ; 
H. C. Phares, First Lieutenant; John 
Bullock, Second Lieutenant ; J. M. North, 
Third Lieutenant. Instead of telegraph- 
ing to Springfield, Captain Richards went 
by railroad to Decatur, and from thence 
to Springfield. By the time he reached 
the capital Gov. Yates had tendered to him 
more companies than would thrice fill the 
call. This was a sad, disappointment to 
the brave boys. However, the company 
was held in the State service, and on 
15 



Friday, May 10, it went into camp at 
Camp Goodell, Joliet. Prior to leaving 
the ladies of Clinton presented the com- 
pany with a handsome flag, the work of 
their own hands. The presentation speech 
was made by Miss Lydia Gideon, now 
Mrs. J. M. Prior, and the flag was ac- 
cepted on behalf of the company by Dr. 
Christopher Goodbrake. That flag was 
worn out in the service. 

" On the l.Stli day of .lune company E was 
mustered into the United States service at 
Camp Goodell as a part of the Twentieth 
Regiment — a regiment that afterward saw 
more and harder service than any that 
went from Illinois, having been engaged 
in more than twenty five battles and minor 
engagements. It is not necessary for us to 
follow the company and regiment thniugh 
all the vicissitudes of field and camp. The j 
Twentieth began its fighting record at 
Predericktowu, Mo., October 21, '61, where 
it received its "baptism of fire." This 
was the beginning. From the outset Co. 
E sustained the honor of De Witt county. 
We will here recount the battles in which 
the regiment bore a valiant part, leaving 
it to the survivors to fill in the details. Be- 
ginning at Fredericktowu, Mo., the glori- 
ous victories that crowned our armies iu 
the south-west, from there to Bentonville, 
N. C, are a part of the history of the 
Twentieth. The_. skirmish at Charleston, 
Mo., the battles of Ft. Henry, Ft. Donel- 
son, Shiloh, Corinth, Britton's Lane and 
Tallahatchie, down to the memorable siege 
of V icksburg. Then came Hillsboro, Canton, 
Meridian, Big Shanty, Kenesaw Mountain, 
Nickajack. And then came the two daj's' 
terrific fighting at Atlanta, known in his- 
tory as the battles of July 21 and 22. 

The Twentieth had sutTjrcd terribly, and 
its numbers had become so reduced by 
killed, wounded and sick, that there was 
but a bare remnant of it left. But those 
who were fit for duty were as full of 
courage as on the day when they started 
out from Camp Goodell. After the fight at 
Atlanta the remnant of the regiment was 
mounted. Gen. Logan fittingly and feel- 
ingly speaks of this time in his letter, when 
on the morning of the 23d of July barely 
enough men of the entire regiment answered 
at roll-call to make one company, and when 
the officer iu command of the handful re- 
ported : ' General, this is the Twentieth 
regiment.' 

And then began Sherman's celebrated 
march to the sea, in which the Twentieth 
bore a prominent part. The fights at Ogee- 
chee Bridge and Millen, Ga., were but a 
slight taste of what followed at the twelve 



days' siege of Savannah. Then came Poco- 
taligo. South Ellsto, Orangeburg, Colum- 
bia, Cheraw, Fayetteville, Big Raft Swamp, 
and finally wound up the fighting at Ben- 
tonville, North Carolina. 

On to Washington, via Richmond, went 
the Twentieth, where tlie boys, ragged and 
shoeless, took part in the grand review. 
Then for " home, sweet home." The regi- 
ment was sent to Louisville, Ky., where it 
was mustered out of the service on the 
lOth of July, 1865, having served for over 
four years from the date of mustering in. 
Then to Chicago, where the boys were paid 
off. Out of one hundred and fourteen 
men that belonged to Co. E from its 
organization till the date of its discharge, 
not more than fifty lived to return to their 
homes. 

On the occasion of the re-union referred 
to. Dr. C. Goodbrake delivered the follow- 
ing address of welcome, which is replete 
with patriotic thought: 

Comrades, — I never saw the time when, 
if I applied myself studiously to the task, 
I could not compo.se some sort of an ad- 
dre.^^s, or essay on any subject with which I 
was, at least to some extent, acquainted ; 
but ever since the day when a few of us 
met to consult over the arrangements for 
this re-union, where it was hinted to me 
that I as chairman of the committee would 
be called upon to make a few remarks, I 
have tried to compose something which 
would be appropriate to present to you on 
this anniversary of our muster into the ser- 
vice ; and I must acknowledge that for 
once I have most signally failed. Every 
time I have endeavored to collect my 
thoughts for the task I could think of 
nothing ouly how in April, l^jGl, the coun- 
try became aroused, en masse at the acts 
of the South, at southern impudence, 
southern threats and southern treason. 
How Col. Lemen came down to Clinton, 
procured a drummer and fifer and beat up 
for volunteers; how enough of us sio-ntd 
the roll to constitute a company ; how we 
held an election in the old court-house 
which resulted iu the choice of Evan Rich- 
ards, Captain, H. Clay Phares, 1st Lieu- 
tenant ; James M North, 2d Lieutenant; 
and John R. Conklin, Orderly Sergeant ; 
how the ladies presented us with a flag on 
Snell's Hill ; how speeches were made ; 
how every heart beat with the strong im- 
pulse of patriotism, and how every man in 
the company was resolved to aid iu caus- 
ing the flag of our Union to be respected, 
and the mandates of our government to be 
obeyed throughout our whole country', or 
perish in the attempt. Then, in my mind's 



114 



HISTORY OF BE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



eye, I can see the company — then called 
the De AVitt County Guards — march to the 
depot, then the hasty and tearful hand- 
shaking and earnest adieus, between friends 
and relations, which with a great many of 
our comrades were the last on earth. Then 
ail-aboard for Joliet : then the encamp- 
ment at Camp Goodell ; then the organiza- 
tion of the 20th regiment of Illinois volun- 
teers when the Dd Witt County Guards 
became company " E " ; then the months 
of encampment under the auspices of the 
State, and then on the 13th of June the 
mustering of the regiment into the service 
of the United States, by Capt. Pitcher, 
U. S. A., for three years, unless sooner dis- 
charged. 

Comrades, you well know how many 
who on that beautiful June day held up 
their good right hands were discharged ; 
some by surgeon's certificate of disability, 
and many were discharged from further 
service here on earth, being transferred to 
the Grand Army above, where we hope the 
God of battles has given them a glorious 
rest eternal. 

I now see the regiment on the way to 
Alton, where we received our first tents and 
where camp life began in earnest. But we 
can't tarry here, for "still must we on," and 
we find ourselves at the Arsenal at St. 
Louis, and then down the " Father of Wa- 
ters" to Cape Girardeau ; and here we may 
say the " tramp, tramp, tramp" of our sol- 
dier life commenced in reality. From the 
Cape we go to Jackson, thence back to the 
Cape ; then to Bird's Point, back again to 
the Cape, then through Jackson and Dallas 
to Fredericktown, where our regiment re- 
ceived its "baptism of fire," and where it 
assisted in gaining a signal victory over 
JeflT. Thompson, which I believe was the 
first complete victory during the war ; for 
those of the enemy who were not killed or 
wounded, were completely routed and scat- 
tered in flight. Oh ! how my heart swelled 
within me on that occasion, to see the boys 
— OUR OWN BOYS — Stand up so bravely 
before the enemy. Well, back we marched 
through Cape Girardeau to Bird's Point, 
then to Fort Jefi'erson, back again, and 
then, hurrah! for Fort Henry and Fort 
Donelson, where, at the latter place, 
'' Greek met Greek," and where, after the 
battle was over, the 20th had lost twenty 
killed and nearly one hundred wounded. 
But now on to Shiloh, where on that (ith 
day of April, that glorious spring morning, 
on the holy Sabbath, the long-roll again 
beat to call our regiment into that two 
days' fight, the most terrible fighting that 
ever transpired on this con.ineut, and 



where we lost about one-third killed and 
wounded, of the fighting force left us after 
the battle of Donelson. To the losses of 
tlie regiment in both these battles, com- 
pany " E " contributed a large, yea, a 
melancholy number. At Shiloh, losing 
four killed and twenty-three wounded out 
of forty-three who went into action. 

But I cannot particularize. You have 
not forgotten the slow advance to Corinth, 
the march to Jackson, Tennessee, then on 
to Estinaula ; then the battle of Britton's 
Lane; then on to La Grange, Holly 
Springs, Oxford, and Yaughnapataupha, 
and then back to La Grange, Memphis, 
down the river to Lake Providence, Milli- 
kin's Bend, Hardtimes Landing, Port Gib- 
son, Raymond, Jackson, Champion's Hill, 
and the siege of Vicksburg. Have you 
forgotten the forty-four days among the 
sand-hills in the rear of that stronghold of 
rebeldom ? Have you forgotten the final 
surrender and your glorious march into 
the city on that hot and sultry Fourth of 
July, under your gallant leader, John A. 



1865, after serving four years and twelve 
days. 

Comradee, what a gloriou.s reconl is this 
for company " E," of the Twentieth Illinois 
Infantry ! You marched through sixteen 
different states, fought fifteen battle?, shared 
in four sieges, besides taking part in almost 
innumerable skirmishes ; and you have 
the proud satisfaction to tell your children 
you belonged to a comjjany, a regiment, a 
brigade, a division, a corps, and an army 
that never sustained defeat, but always 
conquered. 

Comrades, my task is done. I will only 
add that I am glad to see so many of you 
here to-day. For myself and in behalf of 
the committee of arrangements, I heartily 
greet you. In the name of our local au- ' 
thorities, and the mothers and daughters 
of Clinton, I welcome you to our city and 
to the Reunion Picnic ; and I hope you 
will enjoy yourselves in every rational 
manner possible on this occasion. You 
can renew old friendships, you can take 
each other by the hand, you can tell your 



Logan ? " No ; I see the memory of those j old camp fire stories and sing your old war 
days and scenes are with you to-day." 



Now comes the guarding of the city, the 
march to Brownsville, the raid to Meridian, 
the steaming up the river to Cairo, up the 
Ohio and Tennessee to Clifton ; then the 
march to Rome by way of Huntsvdle and 
Decatur ; and on, on, to Big Shanty and 
Kenesaw Mountain ; down to Nickajack, 
Marietta and Atlanta, where, on- the 22d 
of July, 1864, you fought the last, great 
battle in which you were engaged, and 
which left eighteen men for duty belonging 
to your regiment. But soon Atlanta fell, 
and you followed our glorious old chieftain 
"from Atlanta to the sea." 

From Atlanta you served as head- 
quarters' guard of the Third Division. 
You were mounted, and the whole regi- 
ment, after all details were called in, num- 
bered for y-two men present for duty. 
What a falling off was there in numbers, 
from the time we left Joliet, and the morn- 
ing you left Atlanta and turned your faces 
Savanuahwards ? 
j After Sherman presented President Lin- 
coln with Savannah as a Christmas gift, 
! you marched inland again from Beaufort, 
j through Pocotaligo, Orangeburg, Colum- 
bia, Fayettesville, Bentonville, Goldsboro, 
and Raleigh ; then on through Richmond 
to Washington, where, at the " Great Re- 
view " you represented part and parcel of 
"Sherman's Bummers." 

From Washington you were ordered to 
Louisville, Ky., thence to Chicago, where 
you were paid ofl' and discharged, July 25, 



songs. 

" You can fisht a bloodless battle. 
You can .skirmish along the route. 
But it's not worth while to forage. 
There are r.itions enough without." 
ROLL CALL-PRESENT AND ACCODNTED FOR. 

C. Goodbrake — Promoted Surgeon June 13, 
'CI ; resigned Sep. 17, '64. 

Evan Richards, Capt. — Promoted Major Dec. 
17, '61 ; Lieut. Col. Feb, 62 : wounded at Shiloh, 
Tenn., April 6,62; killed at Raymond, Miss., 
Mav 12, -fiS. 

H. E. Phares— Elected Ist Lieuttnant Mav 10, 
'61; rtsigned Jan., 62. 

James M. North — Elected 2d Lieutenant May 
10, '61; promoted Captain Jan. 1, '62; wounded 
at Sliiloh, Tenn , .-Vpril 6, '62; mustered out Aug. 
G, '64. 

RoUa T. Richards — .Appointed 2d Assisslant 
Surgeon Sep. 1, '61 ; 1st A.ssistant Surgeon Nov. 
17, 'ti.j ; Surgeon Sep. 17, '64 ; mustered out July 
16, 'ft; ; died at Farmer Ciiy, 111., in '66. 

J. R. Cunklin, 1st Sergean't — Appointed Sergt. 
Major ; promoted Adjutant April 7, '62; mustered 
out Nov. 27, '64. 

E. "W. Gideon, Sergeant— Appointed Hospital 
Steward June 1?, '61 ;" died at C.inton, Nov. '61. 
Ephraim Carruihers. Sergeant — Killed at Fort 
Donelson Feb. 14, '62. 

J. M. Porter, Sergeant — Promoted 1st Sergeant 
Jan. 1, '6.5; Breveted 2il Lieutenant July 16, 
'6-3 : mustered out July 16, "6-5. 

V. Warner, Sergeant — Promoted 2d Lieutenant 

Jan. 1,'62; wounded at Shiloh April 6, '62; 

promoted Captain Comraissarv of Subsistence 

Feb. 13, 'G.5 ; Breveted Slajor March 13, '65. 

James M. Lemen — Promoted 1st Sergeant Jan. 

15, '62; woiindeil at Cliaoipion Hi 1, Miss., May 

16, '63; discharged June 13, '64. 

James McAlhaney— Wounded, caplured and 
paroled at Britton's Lane, Tenn ; never returned 
to company. 

Samuel B. McJIurry — Died at Mound City. 
111.. March 13, '62. 

Wm. H. Brewster — Discharged Nov. 12, '62, 
for disability. 

J. N. D rbv — Wounded at Britton's Lane, 
Tenn.. Sep. 10,' '62; missing. 

Thos. N. Bverh— Wounded at Shiloh April 6, 
'62 ; discharged April 20, '63. 



HISTORY OF BE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



115 



Lafayette Lucas — Died at Ciniennali, O., JKir. 
21, '02. 

Martin Mohrle — Promoted for Color Sergeant; 
wounded at Shiloh, Tenn., April 6. '62; awarded 
medal for bravery at Vicksbiirg; killed in action 
at Atlanta, G;u, July 21, '6i, and buried on the 
field. 

Clixs. Aughinbaugh — Discharged Nov 2-S, '61, 
for disability ; re-enlisted in J07th III., Aug. '02. 

Wnl. 3. Bayles — Veteran : captured at Brit- 
ton'3 Lane, Teun., Sep. 1, '62, again at Atlanta, 
Ga, Julv 221, '64, exchanged Xov. '6i, dis- 
charged July 16, '6.5. 

Riley Aler. discharged Sep. 6, '62, since died. 

Wra." A. Allen, missing OcU 30, '61. 

John G. BohoD, discharged .lune l.>, '64. 

Gus Bayha. discharged June 13. '64. 

J. M'. Beattv, died at Clinton, March 10, '67. 

B. S. Brown, killed April G, '62, at Shiloh. 

F. i\[. Bates, wounded at Shiloh April 6, '62, 
and discharged Sep. 5, '62. 

TIm-s. Butler, wounded at Shiloh April 6, '02, 
and .lischarged Oct. 28, '62. 

JauiL-s K. Brewster, died Xov. 17, '61, at Cairo, 
111. 

George^ Bazler, discharged April 12, '62; since 
died. 

Asa W. Cain, died at Clinton, March 2-5, '62. 

J. W. Cain, wounded at Ft. Donelson Feb. 

14, '62, died April 12, '62, from wounds received 
at Shiloh, April 6, '62. 

John C. Cain, died at Louisville, Ky., June 

5, '64. 

Gideon Chenoweth, discharged April 4, '63, 
for disability from wounds received at Jackson, 
Tenn. 

Wm. D. Cole, died at Clinton, May 22, '02. 

AVra. J. Comstock, disch.irged June 13, '64. 

Thos. W. Clark, wounded at Shiloh April 6, 
'62; date of discharge unknown. 

Wm. Cartv, died at Cape Girardeau, Mo., Sep. 

15, '61. 

John Drury, missing, Oct. 3, '61. 

finmuel Denton, sergeant, wounded at Big 
Shanty, Ga., June 12. '64, and Atl.ant.a, Ga , July 
21, '04; promoted 1st Lieutenant; veteran Aug. 

6, '64; mustered out July 16, '65. 

Isaac F. Dawson, sergeant, discharged June 13, 
'64. 

D. B. Franklin, veteran, wounded at Vicks- 
burg, MLss., May 2-5, '63 ; captured at Atlanta. Ga., 
Julv 22, '64; exchanged Xov. 64; mustered out 
July 16, '0.3. 

E. B. Gibhs. wounded at Britton's Lane, Tenn., 
Sep. 1. '62; discharged June 13, '64. 

J. M. Griffin, died at Fort Donelson Feb. 14, 
'61. 

M- L. Harrison, died at Cape Girardeau, 5Io., 
Oct. 6, '61. 

Jamts M Hall, wounded at Shiloh April 6, '62; 
discharged Aug. 28, '62. 

Oliver Harrold, veteran, captured near Canton, 
Mi.ss., Feb. 't^A ; remained in prison until close of 
war; mustered out July [Q, '6.5. 

Joshua C. Hull, wounded at Britton's Lane, 
Tenn., Sep. 1, '62; discharged Xov. 14, '62. 

George A. Hull, discharged June 13, '04. 

L. A. B. Hormell, Sergeant, discharged June 
13, '64. 

E. -\. Hnbbell, died from wounds received at 
Shiloh April 10, '62. 

Jos. M. Jones, veteran, wounded at Raymond, 
Miss , May 12, '63, and at Atlanta, Ga., July 22, 
'64, captured ; exclianged Nov. '64, and died at 
Annapolis, Md., Dec. 11, '64, from inhuman treat- 
ment while prisoner at Andersonville. 

M. Y. Jiidd, transferred to invalid corps Aug. 
9, '63 ; since died. 

Abner C. Kneadler, discharged .Tune 3, '64. 

J. H. Kelly, died at Clinton March 30, '02. 

J. J. Kenney, died at Paducah, Ky., Feb. 20, 
•62. 

Svlvester M. King, wounded manv times, at 
Shiloh. April 6, '62; discharged Oct. 12, '62. 

R. B. Moodv, wounded at Shiloh April 6, '62 ; 
discharged June 13. '64. 

J. F. Miller, killed in action at Shiloh April 6, 
'62. 

J. W. McDonald, wounded at Shiloh April 6, 
'62; discharged Sep. 23, '62. 

John McFarhind, veteran, wounded at Shiloh 



April 6, '62; mustered out Julv 10, '0-5; since 
died. 

.Joe Morrison, veteran, wounded at Raymond, 
Miss., May 12, '03 ; captured at Atlanta. Ga., 
Julv 22, '64; exchanged Nov. 64; mustered out 
Julv 16, '65. 

f heo. McGee, wounded at Shiloh April 0, '02 ; 
di.scharged June 13. '64. 

R. H. Mecum, veter.m, wounded at Ravmond, 
Miss., Mav 12, '03; discharged Julv 16, '()-5. 

Pat Malonev, died at S:. LouU,'Mo., Nov. 24, 
'62. 

Alex. Martin, veteran, captured at Atlanta, Ga., 
J'llv 22. '64 ; exchanged Nov. '64 ; mustered out 
July 10, ■O.5. 

Samuel P. Martin, veteran, discharged July 16, 
'6-5. 

W. H. Marrs, wounded at Shiloh April 6, '62 ; 
discharged Oct. 12, '02. 

W. H. Miller, died .at Pekin. 111.. Feb. 6, '62. 

Jas. McGough, discharged June 13, '64. 

Jas. A. Morrison discharged Dec. 7, '61, for 
disibilify ; died at Clinton. 

Theo. McKirrigan, killed at Raymond, Miss., 
M ly 12. '03. 

G. F. Marsh, veteran, wounded .it Vicksburg. 
Mi.ss., Mav 22, '63, and at Atlanta, Ga., July 22, 
'64 ; mustered out July 16, '65. 

Lewis Long, veteran, wounded at Vicksburg, 
Miss.. May 22, '63. and Atlanta, Ga, July 21, 
'64; diseliar.red .Ipril 12. "65. 

Theo. Nicholson, died at Cairo, III., Nov. IS, 
'61. 

J. M. Osborn. wounded at Shiloh April 6, '62; 
discharged at Keokuk. la., O.-t. 13. '62. 

R. E. Osrburn, died at St. Louis March 2S, '62. 

D.inlel O'Leary, discharged Aug. 1, '64. 

John A.. Porter, discharged at .Si. Louis Mav 7, 
'62. 

Thos. Patterson, died at Mound Citv, 111., Oct. 
23. 'CI. 

Samuel Proud, veteran. .Tan. 8, '04. 

John Rcs5, killed at Hillsboro, Miss., Feb. 15, 
'64. 

S. D. Robb. wounded at Fort Donelson, Feb. 
14, '62; killed ^ Shiloh April 6. '02. • 

J. C. Robb, died at Wavnesville, 111., April 6, 
'62. 

Eli Ratcliffe, killed at Raymond, Miss., May 
12, '63. 

O. S. Sampson, veteran, killed at Neuse River, 
N. C, April. '05. 

.Tohn F. Street, veteran, run Vicksburg block- 
ade .\pril 22, '03; mustered out July 16, '05. 

David Schmidt, wounded at Britton's Lane, 
Tenn., Sep. 1, '62, and at Raymond, Miss., May 
12. '63; discharged June 13, '04. 

Jas. W. Seott,'discliarged Feb. 5. '03, for disa- 
bility ; killed by cars at W'apella, III. 

John Solomon, died at Vicksburg, Jliss., July 
9, '03. 

John Short, wounded .at Shiloh April 6, '62; 
Britton's Lane. Sept. 1, '62; discharged June 8, 
■63; killed at Wapella, III. 

Chas. A. Stewart, discharged June 12, '03, for 
disability. 

J. A. Slatten, wounded at Donelson; killed at 
Britton's Lane, Tenn., Sept. 1, '02. 

Wra. R. Thomas, wounded at Shiloh April 6, 
'62 ; discharged .June 13, '04. 

David West, discharged Nov. 23, '01, for disa- 
bility. 

Charles A. Winslow, discharged Nov. 2S, '61, 
for disability. 

R. .J. W.'Winn, missing from camp near Hum- 
boldt, Tenn., Oct. 12, '02; never heard from. 

Asa Wilson, wounded at Ravmond, Miss., May 
12, '63; discharged June 13, '04. 

J. P. Yeanians, discharged June 13, '04. 

Jacob Hogle, veteran, captured at Britton's 
Lane, Tenn., and at Atlanta, Ga. ; exchanged 
June. '64; mustered out July 10, '65; since died. 

S. K. Carter, wounded at Shiloh April 6, '62 ; 
, discharged Sept. 2, '02. 

Joel E. King, disch.arged Oct 11, '62. 

J. \. Edmiston, hospital steward. Nov. 1, '61; 
1st Lieutenant Jan. '62; Captain March 21, '05 ; 
I captured at Atlanta, G.a., Julv 22, '04; exchanged 
1 Sept. 28, '04. 

I James H. Bean, veteran, wounded near .\tlanta, 
Ga.. July 21, '04; discharged July 10, '05. 



Alex. G. Bettis, wounded at Shiloh April 6, 
'02 ; discharged Dec. 1.5, '63. 

J. H. Hutciiinson, died at Cincinnati, O , March 
19. '02, from wounds received at Donelson. 

J. H. Hudson, died at St. Louis May 7, '62, 
from wounds received at Shiloh. 

W. R. Ivelly, veteran recruit; mustered out 
July 16, '05. 

Fred. Moldenhour, veteran recruit; mustered 
out July 10, '65. 

G. W. Morgan died at Jackson, Tenn., Sept. 
15, '62 

Thos. B. Phillips. veter.an recruit; captured at 
Atlanta, Ga., Jidy 22, '61; exchanged Nov. '04; 
mustered out July 10, '65. 

Isaac R. Porter, discharged Oct 29, '62, for 
disabilitv. 

Chas. "E. Price, discharged Feb. 16, 62, for 
disability. 

Samuel Richards, promoted chaplain June 13, 
'63 ; resigueil January 29, '04. 



W. R. S-nith, veteran, wounde I at Siake Creek. 

Gap, Ga., mustered out July 16, '65. 
H. B. Runnels, mustered into service to take 
effect March 4, '63 ; mustered out July 16, '05. 
James Franklin, cook for company from 1861 

to 1S64. 
George R. Watt, mustered into service in Dec. 
'61 ; mustered out July 16, '65, as .Sergeant. 

SEVENTH IXFANTRT REGIMENT. 
(three YEAKs' SEEriCE.) 
ML'STEE ROLL COMPANY E. 

PrU-alcs. 
Chadderon, Jonas G., discharged April 7, 1862. 
Darrow, Thomas R., discharged Dec. 21, 1861. 

eighth isf.ixtrv regiment, 
(three yeae-s' sertice.) 
muster roll compasy k. 

Ermti. 

Gondy, Robert L., discharged April 22, 1863, 
disability. 

thirteenth infantry regiment, 
(three y'eabs' service.) 
This was organized under the Ten-Regi- 
ment Bill at Dixon, 111., May 9, 1861, and 
mustered into the U. S. Service May 24, 
1861. It made several marches through 
Missouri and Arkansas, and July 9, 1864, 
consolidated with the Fifty-sixth Illinois 
Infantry Volunteers. 

MUSTER ROLL COMPANY E. 
Priade. 
Patch, William B., deserted March 10, 1862. 

MUSTER ROLL COMPANY G. 

JJeci'Ui'b. 

.\lden, Henrv D., died Nov. 5, 1861. 

Baclius, Delo's W., mustered out June 18, 1864. 

Stiles, George H., deserted Oct. 27, 1S02. 

fiftee-nth infantry regime.nt. 

(three years' service.) 

muster roll company c. 

Primtes. 

See, Garrett, discharged Aug. 13, 1862, disability. 

See, Alfred, discharged June 1, 1802, disability. 

Wood, Newel P., Vet., mustered out May 30, 

1805. 

MUSTER ROLL COMPANY H. 

Vderan, 
McKiulev, James H., mustered out Aug. 14, 1805. 



116 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLIKOIS. 



TWENTIETH TNFANTEY. 
(THREE years' SERTICE.) 

Tliis rrgiment was organized at Joliet, 
May 14, 1861, as volunteers. It was mus- 
tered into the United States service for 
three years, June 13, ISGl, by Capt. T. G. 
Pitrher, U. S. A. The regiment left Joliet 
June 18, by order of Governor Yates, and 
proceeded to Alton, Illinois, July 6:h ; 
moved to St. Louis Arsenal on the 10th, 
to Cape Girardeau on the 12th, to Bird's 
Point; October 17th, returned to Cape Gi- 
rardeau : on the 19th moved to Frederick- 
town, and on the following day had an 
engagement with the enemv, under Jeff. 
Thompson, in which it was victorious. Janu- 
ary 14, 1862, accompanied General Grant 
on a reeonuoissance in Kentucky, toward 
Columbus, and returned to Bird's Point on 
the '20th. On the 2d of February moved 
to Fort Henry, and on the 4th occupied 
the Fort. February 11th arrived before 
Fort Donelsou, and participated in the 
three days' battle. Ariived at Pittsburg 
Landing March 24th ; was engaged in the 
battle of Shiloh, April 6th and 7th ; was 
ordered from its position before Coriuth 
June 3d, arriving at Jackson the 8th. 
September 1st, engaged the enemy at Brit- 
ton's Lane, and rtturned to Jackson on 
the 4ih ; arrived at Lagrange on the 
11th and moved from there to Holly Springs 
on the 30th ; left Holly Springs December 
1st; crossed the Tallahatchie river on the 
3d, arriving at Oxford ; returned to Talla- 
hatchie river December 24, 1862. 

The regiment was mustered out July 16, 
186-5, at Louisville, Ky., and arrived at 
Chicago July 19, 1865, for final payment 
aud discharge. 

The above is a brief sketch of the move- 
ments of the Twentieth Regiment, and 
below may be found the names of those who 
volunteered from De Witt county. 

Limt Colonel. 
Eran Eichards, killed iu battle. May 12, 1863. 

Jolin E. Conklin, term t.xpiinl >'ov. 27, 1S64. 

Sii.-fiains. 
Chrirtnpher Gooilbi-ake, resigned Sept. 17, 1S64. 
Kulla T. Eicliards, uiustertd out July 16, 1S65. 

a,ai,!a;,i. 
Samuel Eiclmrds, resigned Jan 29, 1864. 

SOX-COJIMISSIOXED STAFF. 

Sergeant Major. 
John E. Conklin, promoted. 

Honiiittil Slorunl. 
EdniuW. Gideon, d. at Clinton, 111, Nov. 29, ISCl. 

firSTER ROLL CO.MFASy E. 
O'plaiiii. 
.James J[. Xorll), term rxpired .\ns. 6, 1SG4. 
John .\. EdmUlon, musleral out July 16, 1S63. 



Firft Lieiittmmts. 
Henry C. Pliares, resigned Jan. 30. 1862. 
Samuel Denton, mustered out July 16, 1S65. 

Second Lleutenantft. 
Vespasian Warner, term expired Dec. 10, 18(54. 
John M. Porter, must'd out asserg't, July 16, ^6-5. 

Serf/eants. 
Eph. D. Carnithers, k'd at Ft. Donl'sn Feb. 1.5, '62 
Jno. M. Porter, vet., m'd out July 1.5, (>3, as s'gt. 

Carpornl.,. 
Jas. il. Lenien. disch'd June 1.3, '64. as sergeant. 
James Mc.Vllianev, reduced; d.serled. 
Saui'l B. McMurrav. died Mound citv, Mar. i3,'6.5 
\Vm. M. lirewster, diseli'd Nov. 12.''G2; disbl'ty. 
John A. Darbv, deserted, Oct 1, 1S61. 
Tbos. X. Bver'lev, disc-b'd .\pril 20, '63; woMnds 
Lafayetie, Lucas, died at Cincinnati. March 31. '62 
Martin Morely, vet. k'd Atlanta, Ua. July 31, '64. 

MuMcians. 
Chas .\Hgbonbaugb, dis. Nov. 2.S. '61 : dis'blty. 
Wm. E. Eayles, vet., miist'd out May 13, '6-5. 

Wtifffmer, 
Martin K. Ilarrison, died Cape Girad'u, Oct. 6, '61. 

Prn-alrs. 
Alex. Eilev, disch'd Sept. 6, 1862: disability. 
Allen, Wm. A., deserted Oct. 30, 1S6I. 
I!olton, .;,)lm G., disch'd June 13. 1864. 
Bavha. (iu^stave, disch'd .Inne 13, 1864. 
Battv, John \V., disch'd June 13, 1864. 
BroH-n, Beni. 8., died April 9, 1861, wounds. 
Biles, Fr.wcis M., disch'd .Sept. ii, '62; disb'lty. 
Itutler, Thomas, disch'd Oct. 28, 1862; wonnds. 
Brewster, James E , died at Cairo, Xov. 17, '61. 
Eavler, George, disch'd April 12. '62; di>-b'ltv. 
C.iin, Asa W.] died at Clinton, 111.. M.arch 22.''C2. 
Cnin. John C. died at Louisville, Kv., June5, '63. 
Clin, John W., died April 10, 1863: wonnds. 
Chenoworth. Gideon, disch'd'Ap. 14, '62: wonnds. 
C.le, Wm. D., died at Clinton, HI., Mav 22, '62. 
Comstock, William J., di-cb,->rged June 'l3, 1864. 
Clark, Thomas W., di.sch:irged. 
Cartv, William, died Cape Girard'u, Sept. 15, '61. 
Drurv. John, deserted Oct. 3, 1S61. 
Franklin, Beni,. Dr. Vet. M.O., dis'd July 16, '6.5. 
Gibbs, Eeuben B., disch'd June 13, 1864. 
Griffin, John M., died at Ft.Donclson .Mar. IS, '61. 
ILiIl, James M., disch'd August 28, 1862. 
ILirrolil, Oliver, vet., m t out July 16, '0.5, as s'gt. 
Hull. Joshua C, disch'd Nov. 14,' '62; disability. 
Hornell, Lucian A. B.. disch'd June 13, 1SB4. 
Hull, George A., disch'd June 13, 1S64. 
Ilubbell, Ephraim A., died of wounds, Ap. 10, '62. 
Jones, Joseph M., died at Annapolis, Dec. 12, '64. 
Judd, Milton Y., trans, to V. E. C. Aug. 9. "63. 
Knradler, Abner C, discharged June 13, 1864. 
Kellv, John A., died at Clinton, III.. Mar. 30, '62. 
Kinnev, John J., died at Paducah, Feb. 20, '62. 
King. Svlvcster M.. iliscb'il Oct. 12, '62; dis'bhv. 
McDonald, John W, disch'd Sept. 29, '62: dis'blty. 
McFarland, John, vet., mustered out July 16, '65. 
Morrison. Joseph, mustered out July 16."lS65. 
McGee, Theodore, discharged June '13, 1864. 
Moody. Reuben B., discharged June 13, 1864. 
Mecumb, Robl. H., vet, corp , absent at raus. out. 
.Maloney. Patrick, died at St. Louis. Nov 24. '62. 
Martin, .-Uexander. yet , mustd out July 16, '6-5. 
Miller, William II., die! at Pekin. 
.Martin, Samuel P., vet., mu«t'd out .luly 16, '65.- 
Marrs, ^^■illiam H., corp., dis. Oct. 12, '62 : wnds. 
McGough, James, discharged June 13, 1864. 
Nicholson, Thom;is, died at Cairo Nov. 18, '61. 
Osbom, John M., discharged for disability. 
Osborn, Eeuben E , died at St. Louis, Mar". 28, '62 
o'Larrv, Daniel, discharged .\iig. 9, 1864. 
Porter,' John A., discharged 1862: dis.ahiiity. 
Proud, .Samuel, vet., mus. out Julv 16. ■'6.5,'s^rg't. 
Eobb, Stephen D., killed at Shiloh, April 6, '1)2. 
Eobb, .Joshua C, died at Wavnesville, .\p S, '62. 
Ratcim; Ely, k'd at Eaymond, Miss., .May 12, 63. 
S rmpson. Orestes S., Vrt'., missing since Ap. 13, '63. 
Schmidt, Davi.l, discharged June 13. ImU. 
Scate, James 'VV.,di.scbaiged Feb. 0, '63: dis'billy. 
Solomon, John, died at Vicksburg. Julv 9, 1863. 
Short, John, discharged Jan. 8. 1863. 
Stewart, Charles A., disch'd. June 12, '62: dis'btv. 
S:;iitou, James A., kd Brittou's Lane, Sept. 1, '62. 



Thomas, William E., discharged June 13. 1864. 
West. David, discharged Nov. 28, 1861 : disb'tv. 
Winslow, Charles .\., discharged June 13, 1864. 
Winn. Eeuben J. W., di.serted October 12, 1862. 
Wilson, A.sa, di.scharped Jnne 13. I8I54. 
Yeatman, James P., di.-charged June 13, 1864. 

Vetcravg. 
Benn, .James H.. mustered out July 16, 1865. 
Long. Lewis, discharged April 12." I860. 
Jlarsh, (leorge F., mus. out .July 16, '65, as serg't. 
,Street, John F.. mns. out July 16, '65. as serg't. 
Watt, George E., mns. out July 16, '65, asserg't. 

Eecrnits. 
.\ughom, Eeuben. died at St. Louis, JIar. 28, '62. 
Betlhs, Alexander G., mustered out Oct. 1, 1864. 
Carter, Stephen E., disch'd Sept. 2, '61 : disb'lty. 
Hogle, Jarob, disch'd Mav 2, 1862; disability. 
Ilogle, Jacob, mnst'd ontJuly 16,_'65, as corp'I. 
Hufchinson, .James H., died at Cincinnati, Mar- 

19. IS('.2: wounds. 
Ilnd.son. J. Howard, died at St. Louis Jlav 7. '62. 
K. Ilv, William B , mustered out July W. 186.5. 
King, Joel E , disch'd Oct. 11, '62: disability. 
Jloldenhonr. Frederick, mnst'd out July '16, '6.5. 
McCaragan, Thomas, k'd, Eaymond, May IS, '63. 
Phillips, Tbom.is B.. mus-ered out July '16, 1865. 
Porter, Is.aac E., disch'd Oct 29,1863: disability. 
Smith, William E., mustered out July 16, 1865. 

Under-Cook. 
Eounds, Henry B., mustered out Jnly 16, 1865. 

TWENTY-FIFTH INFANTRY REGIMENT. 
(THREE teaks' SERVICE.) 

This regiment was organized Aug. 4th, 
1861. Ordered to Missouri we find thera 
with the army at Rolla, Mo., December 
ISGl, participating in the campaign 
against McCullough, Van Dorn and Price ; 
engaged in the battles of Pea Ridge, March 
6 and 8, 1862. April following, commenced 
march to Batesville, Arkansas, at which 
place we find thera May 8. Assigned to 
General Jeff. C. Davis' division,aud began 
march to Cape Girardeau, Mo. ; arrived 
there on the 21st, a distance of 2.52 miles ; 
embarked on steamers for Hamburg Land- 
ing, engaged in the reduction of Corinth, 
also assisting iu the battles of Chattanooga, 
Chickamauga, IMarion Bridge, Kenesaw 
Mt., Atlanta and Stone Kiver. Officers 
killed, 3; enlisted men, 3.5; wounded, 97; 
died, 184; prisoners, 17; discharged for 
disability, 185. 

Colmel. 
Caswel! P. Ford resigned April 14, 1863. 

twenty-sixth infantry, 
(three years' service.) 
A portion of Company " K " of this 
regiment volunteered from this county. 
The regiment was mustered into the United 
States service at Camp Butler, August 31, 
1861, and was ordered to Quincy, Illinois, 
for the protection of that place. They 
were not armed, and the men did guard 
duty here with hickory clubs. The 26th 
was a gallant regiinent,and participated in 
many hard-fought battles. It served out 
the full time of service and received final 
payment and discharge at Springfield, Illi- 
nois, July 28, 1865. 



HISTORY OF BE WITT COUNTY. ILLINOIS. 



117 



Following is a list of the battles in which 
this regiment participated ; 

Ackwortii, Adairsville, Altooiia, AtlaDla, siege 
of, Bealunville, Big Shanlv, Bird Song Ferry, 
Big Halchie, Booneville, Burt Hickory, Casey- 
ville, Cluitahooche river, Collierville, Columbia, 
Congaree creek, Corinlli, siege of CoriniJi, Octo- 
ber 3 and 4, 1862, Coldwater, Dallas, Davis's mills, 
Decatur, Ezra L'lmrch, Farmington, Goldsboro, 
Ureyville, Griswoldville, Hollv Springs, Island, 
No. 10, Ikua, Jackson, Miss,, Kingston, Kcnesaw 
ilojntain, Lamar, Lovejov Station, Little Salka- 
hatchie, Lumpkin Mills, Lvncli Creek, Marietta, 
Mis.sion Kidge, Fort MeAlis"ter,Ne\v Madrid, Nick- 
ajaek.Oxford, Powder Creek, Pumpkin Creek.Poco- 
taligo, Kaleigh, Bed Oak,Kesaea, Eienzi, Kogers- 
ville, Saikaliatehie, Savannah, Scotboro, Snake 
Creek Gap, Sweetwater, Vicksburg. 

The marches made by this regiment 
were front Commerce to New Madrid, Mo. ; 
Pittsburg Landing to Booneville, Miss. ; 
Corinth to Oxford, Miss. ; Corinth to Tus- 
cumbia, Ala. ; Vicksburg to Jackson, Miss. ; 
jMemphis to Chattanooga, Tenn. ; Chatta- 
nooga to Knoxville, and return ; Chatta- 
nooga to Atlanta, Ga. ; Atlanta to the sea, 
Savannah to Washington, D. C. Total 
distance marched by the regiment in four 
years' service, G,931 miles. 

JinSTEa ROLL COMPiNT K. 

Corpwal. 
Jonathan P. Gray, vet., niitst. out July 20, '65. 

ir„jo,u-r. 
Martin L. Todd, vet., absent sick at muster out 
of regiment. 

Prkales. 
Bowman, John F., veteran. 
Gray, Eli, vet., musl'd out July 20, 1S6.5; as 

corporal. 
Hoffman, Morgan J., vet., shot by Provost 

guards. 
King, Geo. W., lost right arm at Atlanta, Ga., 

August 14, 1864. 
Moreford, Jobn, disch'd Aug. 2, '62 ; disability. 
McClintock, Jolm 
Riddal, James, discharged. 
Eidda!, David W., vet., must'd out July 20, '6-5. 
Spelts, Louis, discli'd Jan. 20, '65 ; term espd. 
Stanford, William, vet., must, out July 20, '6-5. 
Wilson, James H., yet., must'd out July 20, '65. 

Veterans. 

Forsythe, John H., mustered out July 20, 1865. 

Smaildon, John, must'd out July 20, '65 ; as ser- 
geant. 

Smith, George H., must'd out July 20, 1865. 
Emuits. 

Baker, Samuel C-, mustered out June 2, 1865. 

Frisby, Jonathan G., mustered out June 19, '65. 

Genning, Edwin K., lost right leg at Benton- 
ville, N. C, March 22,"'lS65. 

Havnes, Greenberrv, must'd out July 20, 1S65. 

Jacobs, Theodore H , " " " 

King, George AV-, absent, wounded at muster out 



of 



regin 



Morris, Wintield, mustered out July 20, 1865. 
Morris, B. J., " •' " 

Moblev, William F., " " " 

Kobble, Henry, " " " 

Reid, Lewis B., " " " 

Rankin, Jobn W., " " " 

Riddle, Zebulon, " " " 

Riddon, William A., 

Riddal, David, " " " 

Sutton, Amos E., mustered out June 2, 1865. 
Spelts, George A., " " " 

Sheet, Charles A. L., " " " 

Sheet, John W., 

Sampson, William M, mu.st'd out Julr 20, '65. 
Todd, John F. M., " " " 



THIR1Y-SEC0SD ISFASTRY. 
(three years' service.) 
This regiment was mustered into United 
States service as Illinois Volunteers, Dec- 
Si, 1861. It served the full term, aud 
participated in a number of battles sus- 
taining heavy losses. While in the U. S. 
service it traveled about 11,000 miles. 
Was mustered out at Fort Leavenworth 
Sipt. 6, 1865. 

MVSTER ROLL COJIPAST H. 

First fierrieanl. 

Jolui P. Wright, killed at'shiloh April 6, 1862. 

Frillies. 
Lakins, John, died. 
Meeks, Squire IL, vet , mustered out Sept. 16, 'do. 

TninxY-TniRD ixi'axtry. 
(three years' service.) 

In this regiment De ^^'itt county was 
represented by a few volunteers in com- 
panies "A" and " D," whose names 
may be seen immediately following this 
brief histoi')'. The regiment was organized 
at Camp Butler, Sept., 1S6I, by Col. 
Charles E. Hovey, aud mustered into the 
U. S. service by Capt. T. G. Pitcher, U. 
S. A. 

On the 20th of September, it was ordered 
into Missouri, where it remained scouting 
during the winter, with headquarters at 
Ironton. At the battle of Fredericktowu, 
Company " A " was on the skirmish line. 
In March, 1862, with General Steele's com- 
mand it moved southward, and joined Gen- 
eral Curtis' army. Was engaged in the 
battle of Cache and in several skirmishes. 
At the battle of Cotton Plant, Company 
" A," on skirmish line, met and repulsed a 
charge of 2,000 Texan Rangers. Camped 
near Helena and made eight expeditions 
up and down the river. Wintfred in 
South East, Mo. Was ordered south 
and attached to the First Brigade, 
First Division, Thirteenth Army corps, 
participating in the battles of Port Gilison, 
Champion Hills, Black River Bridge, as- 
sault and siege of Vicksburg and the siege 
of Jackson. Moved to New Orleans aud 
thence to Texas. January 1st, 1864, re- 
enlisted as veterans and returned home on 
veteran furlough. 

The regiment was ordered to New Or- 
leans, where it did guard duty. The non- 
veterans were sent home aud mustered out 
Oct 11th, 1861. During a trip by rail 
to join the 16th army corps, the train was 
thrown from the track and nine men were 
killed and seventy wounded. March 27th, 
arrived in front of Spanish Fort, the main 
defense of Mobile, and, until its capture, 
April 8th, was actively engaged. Loss: 



one killed, two died of wounds and nine 
wounded. Marched to and encamped on 
the Alabama river. Here it received the 
news of Lee and Johnson's surrender, after 
which its operations were not of a hostile 
character. Was mustered out at Vicks- 
burg Nov. 24th, 186."), and ordered to 
Camp Butler for final payment and dis- 
charge. 

MUSTER ROLL COMPASY A. 

Corporcik. 
Isaac X. McCuddy, died at Ironton, Mo., Oct. 19, 



Allvn, Edward, vet., mustered out Xov. 24, '6-5. 

Davenport. Isaiah S., vet., " ■' 

De Boice, Williiuu H. H., died at Ironton. Mo., 

Jan. 2. 62. 
Dines, Martin, died at Ironton. Mo., Nov. 16, 'Gl. 
Finch, George D., vet., mustered out Nov. 24, '65. 

as corporal. 

Garrett. Louis, vet., died at home on furlough. 

Howe, Jesse If., died at Ironton, Mo., Nov. 10, '61. 

I Montgomery, Chas. D., discharged Feb. 24, 63 ; 

j wounds. . 

Pliiliips, Philip H., vet., mustered out Nov. 24, 

'65, as sergeant. 
Spradling, John W., disch'd April .'5, '64; wound.s. 
Spradling, Richard M., vet., disch'd Nov. 24, '65 ; 

term expired. 
Zartman. Absalom, vet., killed at Vick.sburg,Mis3., 

May 24, '63. 

Veteran. 
Power, Matthew H., sg't, died at Cairo, Oct, 24, 64, 

Earuits. 
De Boice, Francis M. 
Spradling, Jame-s, mustered out Nov. 24, '65. 

MUSTEI! ROLL COMPAXY O. 

Frli-ales. 
Atkins, Francis D. 

ML'STER ROLL CnMP.AXY D. 

Em;,;t.<. 

Hodgkins, Alfred H., died at Meridian, Miss., 

Aug. 7, ^fSo. 
Orr, Alfred, tr fr 124, 111., dis. Oct. 27, '65 ; dsbl'ty. 

MUSTER ROLL COMPANY G. 

Fr!mle.^. 

Brown, George P., disch'd Feb. IS, '63 ; disabl'ly. 

Hickman, William L., dis. Jan. 1.3, '62 ; disabl'ty. 

Swearingen. Isaac T., vet., must, out Nov. 24, '65. 

MUSTER ROLL COMPAXV K. 
Eecruil.^. 
Hendrick, S.imuel A., died at Old Town, Ark., 
Aug. 9, 62. 

THIRTV-FOURTII IXFANTRY. 
(three Y'EAn.s' SERVICE.) 

Was org.inized at Camp Butler, Sep. 7, 
1861, by Col. E. N. Kirk. Oct.' 2d, moved 
to Lexington, Ky., and from thence to 
Louisville, and then to Camp Nevin, Ky., 
where it remained until Feb. 14, 1862. 
Marched to Bowling Green aud thence via 
at Nashville, Franklin and Columbia to 
Savannah on the Tennessee river. Arrived 
Pittsburg Landing, April 7, 1862, and was 
hotly engaged in that battle, losing JIajor 
Levanway and fifteen men killed and 112 
wounded. From thence moved to Corinth, 
and was engaged on the 29th of May, 



118 



HISTORY OF BE -WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



losing one man killed and five wounded. 
From Corinth, moved to luka and Flor- 
ence, Ala. Was camped over one month 
at Battle Creek, and from there moved to 
Louisville. Oct. 1st, 1862, left Louisville 
for Frankfort. Oct. 4th, skirmished at 
Clayville, Ky. Nov. 27th, had a skirmish 
at Lavergne. Assisted in driving the 
enemy from Nashville. On Nov. 29th, 
moved I'm Independence Hill, toward Mur- 
freesboro. 30th, took position as extreme 
right of Union lines. 31st, the enemy at- 
tacked the regiment in overwhelming force, 
driving it back on the main line, when the 
enemy's cavalry made a charge capturing 
many of the regiment. Lo.ss — killed 21, 
wounded O.i, missing 66. Skirmished near 
Liberty Gap, June 24th, driving the enemy 
from his position ; losing 'A killed and 213 
wounded. Nov. 25th, ordered to join the 
Brigade on the battle-field of Chattanooga. 
At 1 o'clock, A. M., of the 26th moved via 
Chickamauga Station — met the retreating 
enemy near Graysville, and was engaged 
about half an hour. Re-enlisted as veterans 
and returned home on veteran furlough. 
Moved South in February, 1864. Was 
mustered out at Louisville, Ky, July 12, 
186^. Received final payment and dis- 
charge at Chicago, July 16, 1S6.5. 
thietv-fourth infantry regiment, 
(tiieee years' service.) 
ju'ster koli,, company d. 
Srmiits. 
Fisher, James A., vet. rei;niit, JI. O., .Tiily 12, 'G.5. 
Robbins, Daniel F., " " dcserled May 24, '64. 

aiUSTER ROLL, CO.MP.VXY G. 

Ball, Geo. H., mustered out July 12, '6-5, as Corii'l 
Baughman, Jacob H., mustered out July 12, 'G.5, 

as Corporal. 
Baugliman, David J., mustered out July 12, '0.5, 

as Sergeant. 
Brewer, John, mu.-itered out .July 12, '6-5,asSerg't. 
BrownfieW, James, mustered out July 12, 'C.5, as 

Sergennt. 
Buck, Ira, itisch.arged Oct. 7, '64, disabilitv. 
Cully, Ricliard N., mustered out July 12,' '6.5, as 

Corporal. 
Clendenen, Henrv, Sergeant, transferred to V. E. 

C, Feb. 25, '65. 
Crisler, Anselm S., mustered out July 12, '65 as 

Sergeant. 
Davis, Elias, deserted May 25, '05. 
Farris, John E., mu.slered'out Jnlv 12, '65. 
C-ieidner, Tiraothv, died at Nashville June 22 

'01; wounds. ' 

Glore, "William H.. mustered out Julv 12, "65 as 

Sergeant. - ■ . 

Mick, Isaac, mustered out Julv 12, '6.5, as Serg't. 
Mick, Peter, " " "' " 

Jloore, Isaac V., promoted to 1st Lieutenant. 
McCoy, D.ivid, mustered out Julv 12, '05. 
Meyer, Henrv, " " '■' as Coru'l 

Modglin, Trov, " " " " 

Newton, Truman C," " " 
Perkins. James 31., promoted 
Pratt, Henry C, mustered out Julv 12, "05, as 

Sergeant. 
Palmer, J. T,, mustered out Julv 12, '6-5. 
Pierson. R.ibi'rt. '' '* "* " 
Pickett, Sanuiei, " " " < 
Eogge, William, " 



Rogge, Henry, mustered out Julv 12, '65. 
Kussell, Albert, " " " ' " 
Smith, Henrv H., " " " " 
Stanley, Jos." H., " " " " 
Sherman, Alb'tC.," " " " 

MtjSTER ROLL, COMPANY K. 
Eca-uUs. 
Wilson, Arthur W., mustered out. Oct. 8, '66. 

THIRTY-EIGHTH INFANTRY, 

{Three Years' Service.) 
There were a few volunteers in com- 
pany F of this regiment from De Witt 
county. Their names may be seen below. 
The regiment was organized at Camp 
Butler, Illinois, in September, ISGl, by 
Col. William P. Carlin. Its first engage- 
ment occurred October 21.-t, at Frederick- 
town, with the enemy under command of 
Jeff Thompson. Participated in the last 
days of the siege of C .rinth ; charged a 
battery at Knob Gap, capturing two guns. 
Loss three killed and eight wounded ; in 
the battle of Stone river, loss thirty-four 
killed, one hundred and nine wounded, 
and thirty-four missing; engaged at Liberty 
Gap; June 26, 1862, skirmished with the 
enemy, losing three killed and nineteen 
wounded ; was at Chickamauga, losing one 
hundred and eighty men killed, wounded, 
and missing. Was in the camjiaign of 
Chattanooga, losing four killed, thirty-six 
wounded, and three missing, and was en- 
gaged in several other minor engagements 
and many long and severe marches. The 
regiment was mustered out in Texas and 
ordered home. 

THIRTY-EIGUTII INFANTRY REGI.MENT. 

{nrce Years' Semce.) 

Quartermaster. 

Reuben N. Laurence, mustered out Mar. 20, 1866. 

^'0N-co:^^MlssIoNED st.vff. 
Q. M. .Sa;j,„nt. 
Jason Ham. 

WrSTER ROLL CO^IPANY F. 

Scrrjcunh. 

John H. Leigher, trans to V. E. C. Sep. 6, 1863. 

Corporals. 

Chas. H. Omsby, mus. out Sep. 1, '64 as serg't. 

Eeuben N. Lawrence, vet., trans, to N. C. S., pro. 

Q. M. ^ 

rrirnle.^. 

Howser, Alvin F., died in Andersonville prison 

Sept. 27, 1864. No. of grave 9880, 
Ishuiael, Richard T., vet., deserted July 3, 1864. 
JefTrey, Francis M., must'd out Sept. 16, 1864, as 

1st sergeant. 
Onstatt, George, mus. out Sept. 15, '64. 
Parks, John, mustered out .Sept. 15, 1S64. 
Smith. George B., mustered out Sept. 15, 1864 
Smith, ^Valler, trans, to U. S. Navy Feb. 5, 1862. 

Hemiil. 
Ogden, Charles E., mustered out March 20, 1866. 
- THIRTY-NINTH INFANTRY REGIMENT. 

The Thirty-ninth regiment began organ- 
izing as soon as the news of the firing on 
Fort Sumter reached Chicago. It assumed 



the name of " Yates' Phalanx " in honor 
of His Excellency Governor Yates. Aus- 
tin Light, of Chicago, was appointed Col- 
onel ; and under his direction the organiza- 
tion was completed, and on the morning of 
October 13, 1861, it left for the field of 
action, being assigned to the army of the 
Potomac. January 'i, 1862, the advance 
iif a rebel force 1.5,000 strong, under com- 
mand of " Stonewall " Jackson, attacked 
companies D, I and K, in command of 
Major Mann, near Baih, Va., and after a 
brisk little fight were repulsed ; then with 
two pieces of artillery, a liberal display of 
strategy and courage, the enemy was held 
in check for nearly twenty-four hours. 
Companies C and G, under command of 
Capt. Stoughton were also attacked at 
Great Cacapon Bridge, but repulsed the 
enemy with considerable loss. Companies 
C and F drew into ambush about 500 of 
Ashby's Cavalry, and after killing and 
wounding 30 routed them. From this it 
made some long and severe marches, suf- 
fering much from cold and hunger, serving 
occasionally on guard duty. 

Took part in the brilliant fight at Win- 
chester, March 2:2, 1 862, that resulted in 
the utter defeat of " Stonewall " Jackson's 
forces. The regiment participated in many 
hard-fought battles, numerous skirmishes, 
and several hard and long marches, and was 
one of the most gallant regiments in 
the late war. It received its final pay- 
ment and discharge at Springfield on Dec* 
16th, 1S65. 

MFSTER ROLL COMPANT B. 

CurporaU. 
Elliot B. Hill, discharged Aug. 1, '64 ; disability. 

MUSTEP. ROLL COMPANy D. 

Second Lieutenants. 
Austiu Towner, resigned, Sep. 4th, '62. 
Ciergo W. Liun, mustered out as Sergeant, Dec. 

0, '05. 

Pr!mte.i. 
Bullis, Newman, discharged, Sep. 10, '04, term ex- 
Dresser, Lewis, vet., killed at Deep Run, Va., 

Aug. 10, '64. 
German, Allen, deserted, Dec. IS, '61. 
Griffith, George, died Aug. 31, '62 ; wounds. 
Godfrey, Isaac W., vet., mustered out July 20, '65. 
Hare, John, discharged. May 31, '62 ; disability. 
Hummell, Eobert N.. vet,, killed at Fort Gregg, 

Va., April 2d, '05. 
Hewett, Frank, discharged June 9, '62 ; disability. 
Jones, William F., vet., absent ; sick at M. O. of 

Eegimeiit. 
Lankenaw, Henrv, vet., killed at, Deep Eun, Va. 

Aug. 16, '64 
Lyons, John, vet., mustered out Dec. 6, '65 as 

Corporal. 
Lucen, Thomas, vet., mustered out Dec. 6, '65, as 

Corporal. 
McCarnley, Frederick, vet., M. 0., Dec. 6, '65, aa 

Corporal ; wounded. 
Martin, John, discharged June 6, '62. 
Miller, John, vet., discharged Jan. 15; disabilitv. 
McLaughlin, John, transferred to Bat. B, 5th 17. 

S. Art., Dec. 5. '02. 
Moore, William, discharged Sep. 10, '65; term 

exp. 



EISTORY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



119 



Nye, Edward, mustered out Oct. 12, '64. 

Boot, Charies, ret., killed at Petersburg, Va., Sep. 

9, '1)4. 
Reese, John, vet.. Sergeant, deserted Aug. 5, '6-5. 
Smith, Michael, vet., uinrfered out Dec. 6, '6.5. 
Swain Koval E., vet., sergeant, killed inVa.,Aug. 

16,' '64. 
Tobias, Nathaniel, died at Richmond Ya., May 

21, '64; wounds. 
Waite, Maiden C, died Julv 2, '64 ; 'Wounds. 
Wade, William, vet. 
Wells, George W., mustered out Dec. 6, '65, as 

Sergeant. 

MCSTER ROLL, COMPANY K. 

Corporah. 
Miles, B Eilminston, discharged Oct. 17, '£2; dis- 

abilitv. 
Elias, H. Wilson, M. 0„ May 9, '65, as Sergeant ; 
term esp. 

Privates. 
Moorley, William R., mustered out May 9, '65. 
Martin, D. J. J., M. M., musi'd out May 9, '65, 

Veterans. 
Wilson, John S , di:icharged July 4, '65, as Ser- 
geant; disability. 

MVSTER ROLL, COMPANY I. 

Captaim. 

Samuel Gilmore, must'd out to date, Jan. 26, '66. 

First Lieutenants. 
Emory L. Waller, resigned, June 14, '62. 
James D Lemon, died Aug. 20, '64. 
Joseph W. Neul, mustered out Dec. 6, '65. 

Second Lieutenants. 
Albert W. Fellows,- killed in battle, June 2, '64. 

Serf/eant.f. 
W. C. McMurry, mustered out March 14, '65. 

Corporais. 
John A. Bean, vet., killed near Richmond, Va., 

Oct. 27, "64. 
J. M. Neal, promoted. 
Thomas J Jolin.-ion, vet., mustered out Dec. 6, '65, 

as Sergeant. 

Privates. 
Brennan, James, vet., mustered out Dec. 6, ^G5, as 

Sergeant. 
Berrv, John, mustered out Oct. 18, '64. 
Clark, Lake, discharged June 28, '62 ; disability. 
Ford, Newion. wounded, died of starvation, about 

Oct. 15, '64, in Ander.>onville prison. 
Goodin, Hiram, died of wounds, Aug. 10, '64; 

prisoner. 
Gesford, William, discb'gd Julv 4, '63 ; disaWlilv. 
Hurlev, Lewis, vet., killed at Drury's Bluff. Va., 

'May 16, '64. 
Hoover John, vet., missing in action since May 

10. '64. 
Halloway, Philip M., mustered oul Sep. 10, '64. 
Hurst, Edward, killed at Deep Run, Va , Aug. 

16,' 64. 
Hoover, Columbus, vet., mustered out Dec. 6, '65. 
Johnson, John S. musician ; discbgd ; disability. 
Kirbo, John W., vet., discharged April 13, '65 ; 

disability. 
Poff. Henry M., discharged July 4, '62 ; disability. 
Robertson, G. P., discb'd Nov. 20, '63 ; disability. 
Thomas, J. M , mustered out Sep. 10, '64. 
Weedman, John W., Sergeant, died of starvation 

about Nov. 15, '64, at Andersonville pri- 
son: No. of grave, 10, 7S5. 
Woodward, Edward, vet., mustered t)ut Dec. 6, 

'65, a.s Corporal. 
White, William D., vet. ' discharged Jan. 16, '65 

disability. 
Wetzel. Michael, vet.. Sergeant (wounded), April 

2, '65 ; discharged for disability. 
Weedman, John B., mustered out Sep. 20, '04. 

Fucruils. 
Blandon, Jolin K , mustered out May 31, 65. 
Hoover, Theodore, muster* d out Dec. 6, '65. 
Johnson, 3oA B , died of wounds, June 2, '64. 
Neal, Amos, mustered out June 22. '61. 
Weedman, Jacob T., mustered out May 28, 1865; 



FOKTY-FIEST IXFAXTRT. 

(Three years' serriee.') 

This regiment was organized by the au- 
thority of the Secretary of War, in July, 
1861, at Decatur, Illinois, on the 9th of j 
August, 1861, by Col. Isaac C Pugh. j 
The volunteers from De Witt county, in I 
this regiment, belonged to companies C, 
D, G and K. Their names, and what be- 
came of them, may be seen in the list below. 
On the 7th, the regiment moved to St. 
Louis, Mo. ; the 29th, to British Point, 
Mo., and was assigned to the command of 
General Prentiss ; Sept. 8th, moved to 
Paducah, Ky. Was assigned to General 
C. F. Smith's command, Nov. 6th, 1861, 
marched to Melbourne, and returned ; to 
Lovelettsville, and returned Nov. 19th, 
1861 ; to Crown Point, and returned Dec. 
31, 1861 ; February oth, 1862, the regi- 
ment marched for active service to Fort 
Henry, and on the 11th marched to Fort 
Donelson, and under Col. McArthur, was 
engaged in the siege on the loth, 14th and 
15th of February, 1862. The Fort was 
surrendered on the following morning, 
Feb. 16th, 1862. 

Immediately after^he surrender of Fort 
Donelson, the regiment moved up the Ten- 
nessee river. The following is a letter 
from a private to a friend, under date of 
March 26, 18G2. 

" We are now encamped within a mile 
and a half of Pittsburg, Tenu., near the 
lines of the States of Mississippi and Ala- 
bama. There are about 100,000 men here 
in the heart of ' Dixie,' ready to move at 
an hour's notice upon the enemy. The 
Confederates are fortified, about 80,000 
strong, at Corinth, twenty miles west of us. 
If they do not evacuate their position soon, 
you will perhaps hear of a battle, compared 
with which that of Fort Donelson was 
child's play. When 200,000 men meet in 
conflict, 'somebody will get hurt.' Our 
course in atl probability will be westward 
to the city of Memphis. This, however, is 
but the speculation of a ' high private,' in 
Uncle Sam's Army — rear rank. The boys, 
from exposure to wet, fatigue, hard crack- 
ers and bacon, are not in as good trim for 
the fray as might be desired. But the 
warm spring weather and the forwardness 
of vegetation, (for the peach trees have 
been in full blossom for the past ten days, 
and the May apple nearly ready to bloom.) 
is invigorating, and the health of the troops 
shows a marked improvement since we 
landed at this point. We were nine days 
aboard the steamboats, exposed to drench- 
ing rains most of the time. There was one 



hundred and thirty-two steamboats of the 
largest class iu the line, conveying the 
troops and military stores up the river — • 
the Jtlst regiment among the number. The 
country is rolling and heavily timbered. 
In the valleys and bottoms there are cane 
brakes and cypress swamps. 

" On the 24th Gen. Buell's division of the 
army, from Cumberland Gap, by the way 
of .Nashville, formed a junction with Gen. 
Grant's forces, at Savannah, fifteen miles 
below us, on the Tennessee river." 

The battle of Pittsburg Landing, or 
Shiloh, as named in official reports, was 
fought on Sunday and Monday, April 6th 
and 7th, ]8G'2. It was a long and desiier- 
ate conflict. A Lieutenant from an ad- 
joining county gives us the following 
graphic account of the two days' battle, 
which we copy from an old paper : 

" Gen. Grant has been concentrating his 
forces at this port for the last four weeks, 
preparatory to an advance upon the ene- 
my's strong hold at Corinth, Miss. We 
were only waiting a junction with the 
troops under Gen. Buell to commence the 
march. The enemy, reported 130,000 
strong, endeavored to cut us off' before Gen. 
Buell'a arrival, and thereby command the 
navigation of the Tennessee river — "ive his 

troops the spirit and eclat of a victory 

cheer and encourage the despondency of 
the enemy, replenish their exhausted ord- 
nance and commissary stores, and fijht 
Gen. Buell at their leisure. They have 
been signally disappointed ; although they 
fought like devils incarnate for thirt^'-six 
hours. 

" On Sunday morning, about four o'clock, 
the enemy drove in our pickets, and the 
cannonading commenced with round shot, 
shrapnel,. shells, and other projectiles, grape, 
etc. The enemy in force were in the camps 
almost as soon as were the pickets them- 
selves. Here began scenes which hardly 
I have a parallel in the annals of war. 
INIany, particularly among the officers of 
the army, were not yet out of their beds ; 
some were dressing, others washing and 
cooking, and a few eating their breakfast. 
Many guns were unloaded, accoutrements 
lying pell-mell, ammunition was ill-sup- 
plied — in short, the camps were completely 
surprised— and taken at almost every pos- 
sible disadvantage. 

" The first wild cries from the pickets 
rushing iu, and the few scattering shots 
that preceded their arrival, aroused the 
regiments to a sense of their peril ; an in- 
stant afterward, rattling volleys of mus- 
ketry poured through the tents, and before 
there was thought of prejiaration, there 



120 



HISTORY OF BE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



came rushing through the woods, with lines 
of battle, sweeping the whole fronts of the 
division camps, and liending down ou 
either flank, the fine, compact columns of 
the enemy. 

" Into the just aroused camps of the 
union forces, thronged the confederate re- 
giments, firing sharp volleys as they came, 
and springing forward upon our laggards 
with the bayonet; for while their artillery, 
already in position, was tossing shells to 
the further side of the euoampmeuts, scores 
were shot down, as they were running, 
without weapons, hatless, coatless, towards 
the river. The searching bullets found 
other poor unfortunates in their tents, and 
these, unheeding now, they slumbered, 
while the unseen foe rushed on ! Others 
fell, as they were disentangling themselves 
from the flaps that formed the doors to 
their tents ; others as they were vainly 
trying to impress on the critically exultant 
enemies, their readiness to surrender. Offi- 
cers were bayoneted iu their beds, and left 
for dead, who, through the whole two days' 
fearful struggle, lay there gasping in their 
agony, and on Jlonday evening were found 
in their gore, inside their tents, and still 
able to tell the tale. 

" Thus the battle raged by 8 o'clock in 
the morning. The roar of musketry and 
rifles ; the infernal din of two or three 
hundred thousand small arms continued 
all day, and ceased not till darkness jjut 
an end to the strife. We halted in line of 
battle, and remained there during the 
night, notwithstanding it rained torrents 
throughout the latter part of it. Col. 
Pugh commanded the First Brigade of the 
Fourth Division. The 41st regiment, in 
the Fourth Division, took their position iu 
line of battle, by 8 o'clock, A. M , the enemy 
showed himself, and commenced firing 
upon our battery, which replied promptly, 
and for two hours they kept up a most in- 
cessant roar. About 12 o'clock our battery 
changed position right in front of the 41st 
regiment, Illinois volunteers, and for fifteen 
minutes kept up a brisk fire ; but the 
enemy disabled one gun, killed several 
gunners and horses, when the battery re- 
tried. This had drawn the grape and 
canister upon us, and several men were 
killed out of the 41st, close by my side and 
in my rear. 

" Our division was posted near the left 
wing of our lines. For two hours and a 
half our regiment presented the appear- 
ance of a young volcano ; nor did it give 
one inch of ground until our ammunition 
was exhausted, when we retired behind the 
second line, refreshed ourselves with water 



and replenished our ammunition. Lieut. 
Col. Tapper, of the 41st regiment, was 
killed early in the action. The command 
then devolved upon Maj. Warner, who led 
us during the remainder of the fight on 
Sunday afternoon. 

" The enemy outflanked us on the left, 
and drove us in until five o'clock in the 
afternoon, wlien one or two brigades of 
Gen. Buell's command landed from the 
boats, and a masked battery of heavy guns 
was planted, which opened in easy range : 
and such a cannonading from that time till 
dark was never excelled, if equalled, in 
modern warfare. The enemy's batteries 
were silenced, and they were forced to re- 
tire some distance for the night. 

" Gen. Buell's forces continued landing 
all night, and taking their position in the 
field, and as soon as daylight made its ap- 
pearance, they ' cried havoc, and let slip 
the dogs of war,' and kept it up till three 
in the afternoon of Monday, when the 
enemy broke and retreated from the field. 
Col. Pugh's brigade, ou Monday, the second 
day of the fight, were posted in support of 
the right wing, and here it was that the 
heaviest fighting was done. The enemy 
had erected breast-works of fallen timber, 
from behind which they kept up a severe 
firing for a long time, but we routed them 
at the point of the bayonet. In fact a 
great jjroportion of the fighting in the 
afternoon was with the bayonet. 

" Among the prisoners were several of- 
ficers of distinction ; and among the dead 
were the bodies of Gen. A. Sidney John- 
sou, of Virginia fiime, and Gen. Bragg, of 
battery notoriety at Buena Bista. We lost 
many prisoners on Sunday, at the com- 
mencement of the battle. The enemy took 
many of our guns on the first day, but were 
retaken on the day following, together with 
forty of the enemy's guns. 

" Tuesday and Wedn-sday after the 
battle was occupied- iu burying the dead. 
The battle ground was covered, more or 
less, for three or four miles iu diameter, 
with dead and wounded men and horses. 
Some twenty-five or thirty miles were 
fought over. The country was hilly and 
cut up by deep ravines. The enemy had 
the advantage of a thorough knowledge of 
the country, of its geography and topo- 
graphy, which our men had not, with the 
exception of the commanding generals. 

"About five o'clock of the first day's 
fighting, when we were marching to the 
right wing, to take position, Gen. Hulbert 
paij the 41st regiment a very high compli- 
ment; many regiments were broken and 
in confusion, and the General seeing us all 



in ranks in line of battle, called out, ' What 
regiment is this ?' ' Forty-first Illinois,' was 
the response. ' Tliat is as it should be — 
the 41st is in line ! I expect always to find 
them in line!' " 

After the battle of .Shiloh, the regiment 
was next engaged iu the siege of Corinth, 
Miss. July 6, 186i, marched for Memphis, 
via Holly Springs, Lagrange and Grand 
Junction ; arrived at Germautown 20th, 
and at Memphis 21st July, where it re- 
mained till the 6th of September, and thea 
marched for Bolivar, arriving on the 14th 
of September; ou 19th marched to the 
Grand Junction, and returned October 
4th, and marched to Hatchie river. On 
the 5t\i of October, 1S62, was reserved 
during the battle of Corinth. On 6th 
marched to Bolivar ; on 7th marched from 
Bolivar, arriving at Lagrange Nov. 3d. 
On the 6th of November in Col. Pugh's 
brigade ; moved out on a reconuoisance to 
Lamar on the 8th, and Somerville on the 
24tli ; Nov. the 28th, 1862, again marched to 
Lamar ; on the 19th to Holly Spring*, on the 
30th to Waterford. Decendjer 10th, 1862, 
Beaver creek; on the 11th to Yocona 
creek, passing through Oxford and cross- 
ing tlie Tallahatchie ; ou the 22d marched 
from Yocona to Water Valley, and re- 
turned via Oxford, Beaver creek, Talla- 
hatchie, and arrived at Holly Springs, 
January 5th, 1863. 

The 41st Regiment was in the first bri- 
gade, Col. Pugh ; fourth division, Brig. 
Geu'l Lauman ; right wing. Gen. McPher- 
sou ; 13lh army corps, Maj. Gen. Grant. 
The regiment went into camp at Moscow, 
Tenn., and remained until March, 1863. 
On March 5th, 1863, ordered to Memphis, 
Tenn., where it arrived on the 10th. The 
regiment before this had been transferred 
from loth army corps, Maj. Gen. Grant, to 
16th army corps, Maj. Geu. Hurlburt com- 
manding. 

Ou 12th of April, 1863, proceeded on an 
expedition to Hernando, Miss. At Cold 
Water, seven miles beyond the latter place, 
met the enemy, under Gen Chalmers. 
Here the 41st was under a heavy skirmish 
fire for about seven hours. On the 16th 
returned to Memphis. April 28th, 1863, 
moved to Vicksburg ; disembarked at 
Young's Point; on 19th, transferred to 
Gen. McClernand's command. AVas en- 
gaged in the siege of Vicksburg. 

July 5th, 1863, moved towards Jackson, 
Miss. Engaged in the battle of Jackson. 
The loss of the regiment in this action was 
40 killed upon the field, and 122 wounded. 
This great sacrifice of life was by a mis- 
taken order of Gen. Lanmau's. It was un- 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



121 



called for and effected nothing. After this 
disaster the regiment returned to Vicks- 
burg on the 2oth of July. 

Nov. 18th, 1863, mo%'ed to Natchez 
Miss., and remained until the 28th, when 
it returned to Yicksburg. Deo. 3d, 1863, 
marched to Big Black river, where it re- 
mained and erected winter quarters; the 
41st regiment being in 1st brigade. Gen. 
Thomas Kirby Smith; fourth division. 
Gen. M. JI. Crocker; 17th army corps, 
Maj. Gen. James. B. McPherson command- 
ing veterans and recruits of the 41st III., 
consolidated with the 53d regiment. 

The 41st musttred out August 20, 1864, 
at Springfield, 111. Number in regiment 
1,211. 

Lis}i(i:nani-Colond. 
JoLn Warner, hon diseliargdd Nov. 20, '02. 

Chaplain. 
Henry C. McCook, resigned Jan. S, '62. 

NON-COMMISSIONED STAFF. 

Commissary Serjeant. 
John M. Robinson, vet., prorat'd 2d lieut., Co. A. 
Vet. Bat. 



Home 



Principal Mmieian. 
■ B. Taylor, luusl'J out .\ug 



12, '01. 



MUSTER ROLL COMTARY C. 

Cuptaina. 
Jolin Conklin, resigned March 17, '02. 
Michael Danison, terra expired .\ug. 20, '64. 

First Lieutenants. 
Willi.im C. Campbell, resigned Nov. 12, '62. 
William W. Hickman, resigned Oct. 1-5, '62. 
John W. Bullock, resigned June 18, '63. 
Seward C. Nelson, term expired Aug. 20, '64. 

Second IJeutenant- 
Philip F. McGowan, resigned Dec. 26, '63. 

First Sergcaut. 
George W. Parker, mustered out Aug. 20, '64. 

Sergeants. 
Locklin W. Rogers, 1st seg't, kl'd at Ft. Donelson. 
A. B. Hildreth, must, out Aug. 20, '04 : nounded. 

Corporals. 
Samuel F. Day, k'd at Ft Donelson Feb. 1.5, '02. 
Joseph Ware, vet., tnn^. to .53d 111, dis. Jlarch 22, 

for prom, in Co. T. 
James A. Laferty, dis. April 29, '63 ; wounds. 
Richard Klinglore, m'd out Aug. 20, '64, as pv't. 
James Ro.ss, disch'd June 17, '02 ; disability. 
Jackson Adams, must, out Aug. 20, '64, as serg't. 

Mnsici,m.-<. 
John Sliort, vet., tr, to.53d 111., M.O., July 22, '65. 

Primtes. 
Bay, Edward R., vet., tr. to o3d 111., M. O., July 

Bradford,' William B., died April 16, '02 ; wounds. 
Boatman, Robert, di.sch'd Aug. 27, '01 ; disabl'ly. 
Bates, Jerred M., mustered out Aug. 20, '64. 
Bruner, James, 

Brown, John P.. " " 

Barrickman, Allen W., died of w'nds April 8, '62. 
Bates, Benjamin, must, out Aug. 20, '04 ; wounds. 
Cunningham, Robert, disch'd March 17, '63, as 

corporal, died at Memphis, Jlarch l.S, 63. 
Cline, MatthiiLs, must, out Aug. 20, '64, as corp'l. 
Cobian, Samuel, disch'd Oct. 9, '62; wounds. 
Cundiff, Jerome B., must, out Aug. 20, '64. 
Dugan, James C, disch^d Jan 27, '62 ; disabilitv. 
Dine, John W., vet, tr. to.53Ill.M.O., July 22, '60. 
Edwards, Joseph, killed at Jackson, Miss., July 

12, 63. 
16 



Gibson, James, dis. June I'.l, 02 ; disability. 
Graham, James H., dis. March 11, '03 toeillistin 

Marine brig. 
Guuo, Lorenzo, disch'd Juh- 11, '02; disability. 
Cirovos, Andrew J., mustered out Aug. 20, '64. 
Hnlliiian. W. H., disch'd April 27. '02; di.s.ibl'ty. 
Mill, Lewis, di.scliarged Julv 11, '62; woimds. 
Hank, J(din B , mustered out Aug. 20, '64. 
Hubbell. Joseph O. 

Huiibell, Francis M., mustered out Aug. 20, '64. 
Huddleston, Shelby A., ilied at Paducah, Ky., 

Oct. 1. '61. 
Hazel, John P., must out Aug. 20, '64, as corp'l. 
Hillman,John W.. " " wounded. 

Jackson. Andrew, died Jidy 29, '63 ; wounds. 
Jewell, Samuel P., mustered out Aug. 20, '64. 
Lester, Madison. k'd.atJackson, Miss., July 12, '63. 
Lvons, James, mustered out .\ug 20, 04. 
JIalone, Daniel, k'd at Ft. Donelson Feb. 15. '62. 
McUurdv, Frank M., died at Clinton, III., April 

12. '02. 
McDeed, Francis M., mustered out Aug. 20, '64. 
Murphy, Robert A , died at Clinton. III. 
McHenry, Perry, disch'd April 29, '02 ; disbl'ty. 
JlcICean, -Vndrew R., nujstered out Aug. 9, '64. 
Miller, James, deserted Sej.t. 22, '61. 
Murrv, H.aden W., vet, rausi'd out Julv 22, 65. 
Macon, John, killed at Cold Water, Miss., Apri. 

19, '63. 
Nelson. Matthi.as, died at Paducah, Kv., Oct. 

15, '61. 
Norris. Sherman J., w'nd'd and missing at Shiloh. 
Nutt, Henrv A., died at Vicksburg Feb. 15, '64. 
Overmire, Samuel, disch'd Aug. 2, '62 ; disbl'ty. 
Pyatt, Bvron, must, out Aug. 20. '64, as corporal. 
Phares, Francis M., M. O , Aug. 20, '64 as serg't ; 

wounded. 
Ragen, John, died at New Orleans, July 8, '02. 
Roberts, Job M.. mustered out .\ug 20. 04. 
Rowlev, Norton, captured Julv 8, '64. disch'd. 
Robinson, William N., killed" at Jackson, Miss., 

Julv 12, '63. 
Sears, Alsin, must, out Aug. 20, '64, as sergeant. 
Sprague, Stephen W., deserted and joined 121 

Ohio Infantrv. 
Smith, David W., disch'.l M.av 3, '62; disabilitv. 
Tevambly, Alvin, discli d Oct^ 19, '62; disability. 
Walker, Nathan, disdi'd June 7, '62; wounds. 
VValcut, Samuel ^V., killed at Ft. Donelson Feb. 

1.5, '02. 
Wood, David M., must, out Julv 20. '65 as corp'l. 
Walrath. Amanzo, must, out Al'lg. 20, '64. 
Willis, James H , mustered out Aug. 20, '64. 
Williams. William W.. disch'd April 10. '63. 
Weaver, Thomas, vet., pro'td seg't Maj.. Vet Batt. 
Wilson. Samuel, disch'd Aug. 5, '62; disability. 
Ward, Martin V. B., dis. April 17, '62; disabl'ty. 
Wilson, Thomas C, deserted Mav 22, '63. 
Warrenb'iirg, David P , vet.. M. O., July. 22, '65. 

Recruits. 
Bird, James T., tr. to .53 111., M. O.. June 1, '65. 
Crandall, Wizzoon M., died at Memphis May 

9, '63. 
Clemens, John M., mustered out Aug. 20, 1S64. 
Clifton, Wm. F., vet., mustered out July 22, 1865. 
Earley, Jerome, mustered out Aug. 20, 1804. 
Glenn, Daniel, transferred to 53 III., must'd out 

Julv 22. 1865. 
Hunt, Wn'i. H., mustered out Aug. 20, 1864. 
Kellev, Joseph M., " " 

Knof,' William, died at Vicksburg. July 28, 1863. 
King. Jonathan, vet., must'd out Julv 22, 180.5. 
King, William, vet., must'd out Aug. 20, 1864. 
Lappen. James O., discliarged Sept. IS, 1802, 

dLsubilitv. 
McCuin, FMward E., discharged Dec. 16, 1862, 

disability. 
Pendleton, George, discharged Aug. 4, 1802, dis- 
abilitv. 
Poff, Reuben, discharged Oct. 8, 1802, disability. 
Perry, (ieorge D., died at Paducah, Kv., Dec. 

31, 1861. 
Spencer, John, mustered out Ang. 20, 1864. 
Sandy, William, discharged Aug. 11, 1862, dis- 
abilitv. 
Stewart, Saiimel, discharged Jan. 27, 1863. 
Spainhower, Henrv C, transferred to 53 Illinois, 

mustered oiit Jlarch 20, 186.5. 
Woods, Stacy W., transferred to 53 111., mustered 

out Julv 22, 1865. 



Schwaulo--, Ctrl W., Iran-.ferred to -53 111., must'd 
out. July 27, 1.865, as corporal. 

Ml'STER ROLL COMP.\NY D. 
Priralcs. 
Grady, William F., deserted Sept. 6, 1862. 
JIcFarland, Le inder F., under arrest at muster 

out of regiment. 
Slinker, James W., supposed mirst'd into V. R. C. 

Recruit. 
Williams, James, died Aug. 27, 1862, wound.s. 

JIUSTER ROLL COMPANY F. 



David P. Brown, resigned Jlarch 28, 1862. 

John C. Lewis, resigned Oct. 16, 1802. 

Je.sse Harrold, term expired August 20, 1864. 

First Lieuiautnts. 
Henrv Bevis, resigned Feb. 10, 1862. 
William H. Taylor, term expired Aug. 20, 1864. 

Second Lieutenant. 
Edward C. Sackett, term expired Aug. 20, 1864. 

First Sergeants. 
Geo. W. WakeBeld, must'd out Aug. 20, 1864. 

Sergc'juts. 
Alonzo D. JIcHenrv, discharged Jan. 15, 1864, 

disabilitv. ' 
William R, Oyler, discharged April 1, 186:t. 
John Jlel). n dd, must'd out Augu.st 20, 1864. 
Amos Johnson, 



Cor 



•rnls. 



James Adams, discharged Jlarch 11, 1863, as 

private, to enlist in Jliss. JIarine Biigade. 
William W. Barger, discharged Jan. 13, 1863, 

disabilitv. 
William W. Abbott, died at Wapella, III., Jan. 

1-5, 1862. 
Richard Farrend, must'd out August 20, 1S64. 
Hugli Thompson, must'd out Aug. 20, 1864, as 

private. 
Benjamin S. Wilkins, must'd out Aug. 20, 1864, 

as private. 

Musicians. 
John W. Shinkle, deserted Oct. 6, 1861. 
.\ddison Harrison, must'd out August 20, 1864. 

Waiioner. 

William JlcCord, must'd out August 20, 1864. 
Prirates. 

Armstrong, John, rairst'd out Augu.st 20, 1864. 

Arbogast, George B., " " " 

Barnett, Jacob, " '* " 

Bancroft, David, di.shonorablv discii'd by G. C. M. 

Ballard, Anderson L., must''d out Aug. 20, 1864. 

Burkherd, Nicholas, vet., must'd out July 22, '65. 

Brown, Delos, discharged for disabilitv. 

Collins, Noah, must'd out Aug. 20, 1864, as corp'l. 

Cresap, Edward, •' " " 

Carter, Joshua A., died April 1, 1862, wounds. 

Cobean, Robert, died August 30, 1863. 

Davenport, Hugh, must'd out August 20, 1864. 

Downing, Job, 

Dillavon, John T., discharged Jlarch 16, 1863, 
disability. 

Flood, James, discharged Sept. 22, 1862, wounds. 

Gammel, William F., discharged May 1, 1862, as 
corporal, disaljilitv. 

Gillmore. William, must'd out August 20, 1864. 

Gregarv, John VV., 

Harris,' Andrew H., " '• " 

Haggard, Thoma-s, must'd out Aug. 20, 1864, ag 
corporal. 

Haggard. Nelson F., died at Jlemphis, Sept. 15, 
1803. 

Hisey, Henry C. discharged (Jet. 13, 1862. 

Houston, James, discharged Nov. 11, 1862, dis- 
ability. 

Hall, Samuel, must'd out Aug. 20, '64, as corp'l. 

Hillberry, Abraham, disch'd Aug. 29, 1863, dis- 
ability. 

Hudson. Jolin L., died at Centralia, Til., Sept. 4, 
186.1 

Hughes, John C, disch'd Aug. 15,1862, wound. 



122 



HISTORY OF BE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



Judd, Rufus y., must'd out Aug. 20, 1SG4. 
Jones, Isaac M., vel., must'd out July '2.1, ISGo, 

as sergeant. 
Jones, William H., discli'd Sej.t. 2ll, 1SG3, dis- 
ability. 
Jones, Columbus D., died at Paducali, Ky., Mar. 
16, 1S62. 

Kegrice, James C, disch'd Jan. 1, 1S03. 

Keys, Latham N., must'd out Aug. 20, 18fi4. 

Kerr, John Alex., disch'd March 2, 1SU3, dis- 
ability. 

Kerr, Joseph, vet , transferred to .53 III., deserted 
Nov. 13, 1864. 

Kinder, Thomas G., must'd out Aug. 20, 1864, as 
corporal. 

Lane, Morgan, died at Paducah, Ky., Feb. 14, '62 

Lane, Francis M., killed at Jackson, Miss., July 
12. 1N63. 

Mulkev, Samuel W., must'd out Aug. 20, 1864. 

Mulkey, Philip B,, di.sch'd Dec. 20, 1862, dis- 
ability. 

Madden, Henry, disch'd Nov. 7, 1862, disability. 

Malioney, William, tr. to V. E. C, >ov. 10, '63. 

Mastiii, Aaron L. disch'd July 5, '63, disability. 

Masiin, Levi, vet., must'd out July 22, 1865. 

Merrill, Frank, must'd out Aug. 20, 1864. _ 

Maple, Levi L., ab?ent sick, supp'd to be disch'd. 

Maple, Benjamin, must'd out Aug. 20, 1864. 

Morgan, Owen, vet., must'd out July 22, '65, as 
corjioral. 

McUmber, Amber, vet., must'd out July 22, '65. 

Parker, George W., must'd out Augu-t 20, 1864. 

Porter, Thomas J., disch'd Jan; 17, '62, disability. 

Perry, Owen, died Sept. 11, 1863, wounds. 

Keece, Isaac J., veteran. 

Kodgers, Henrv, mustered out July 22, 1865. 

bhriver, Albert, mustered out Aug'. 20, 1864. 

Slinson, Alex. B., disch'd Aug. 4, '62, 'disability. 

STuith, John H., must'd out Aug. 20, '64, us corpl. 

Thomas, John E., disch'd for disability. 

Wilson, Alfred, \V., disch'd Oct. 10, '62, disability. 

Warfield, John H,, must'd out Aug. 20, 1S64. 

Winner, Azariah S., disch'd Dec. 25, '62,disability. 

Warrenburg, John F.., mustered out Aug. 20, '64. 

Reeraih. 

Ballard, Andrew S., must'd out .-iug. 20, 1864. 
Bovin, John T., tr. to 53 111., m. out July '22, '65. 
Davenport, W. W., " 

Lister, William, tr. to .53 111., m. out July 22, 64. 
Moffitt, Tunis A., in hospital at m. out, supiiosed 

to be discharged. 
Smith, Thomas E., must'd out .\ug. 20, 1864. 
Webb, Isaac N., tr. to 53 111., m. out July 22, '65. 
Webb, Hiram, 
Wymer, \Vm , vet. " 
Young, Thomas B., tr. tn 53 111., disch'd April 26, 

1865, term expired. 

SroSTEB BOLL COMPASY G. 

Musician. 
Alfred Clemens, disch'd April 9, 1862. disability. 

Wa.j.mer. 
Wm. H. Andrews, deserted August 25, 1862. 



Crawford, FrankUn, must'd out Aug. 20, 1864. 
Ellis, W. A. vet., Ir. to 53 Ill.,m. o. July 22, 65, 

as corporal. 
Gilbreath, John, vet., tr. to 53 III., m. o. July 22, 

1865, as corporal. 
McPherson, John W. vet., tr. to 53 111., m. o. 

July 22, 1865. 
Peterson, Isaac N. vet., tr. to 53 111., m. o. July 

22, 1865. 
Kichards, Linnus, vet., tr. to 53 111., m. o. July 

22, 1865. 
Robinson, Wm. N. killed at Jackson, Miss,, July 

12, 1863. 
Eigdon, William, disch'd Apr. 5, '62. disability. 
Sissom, William I., disch'd Dec. 11, '63, wounds. 
Sissom, Andrew J. must'd out Augu.sl 20, 18G4. 

MUSTER ROLL COMP.\NY K. 

Cplmm. 

Alexander Kellv, resigned Dec. 17, 1S61. 
Samuel Winegardncr, dismissed Aug. 26, 1864. 



First LieuteruinU. 
Samuel Woodward, resigned Aug. 8, 1863. 
Thomas Kelly, term expired August, 1864. 

Second Licutemnls. 
Tliomas Davis, resigned Jan. 8, 1862. 
James W. Warren, term expired Aug. 20, 1864. 

First Sn-geniit. 
Thompson F. Cooper, wounded at Donelson, Cor- 
inth and Vicksburg, m. o. -Vug. '20, 1864. 

Serfjeants. 
Milton Z. Davis, m. o. Aug. 20, '64, .as private, 

wounded, 
F. M. Payne, died at Paducah, Ky., Dec. 15, '61. 

Corporals. 
James Stewart, disch'd April 28, 1862, wounded. 
David L. Willis, left sick at Fort Donelson, Mar. 

5, '62, went home and never relumed. 
Marshall W. Bovd, m. o. Aug. 20, '64, woimded. 
Isaac C. Hedges,'died at Vicksburg, July 16, '63. 
Enoch Fruit, died July IS, 1862, wounds. 
Joseph R. Garrett, det'd at m. o. of regiment. 
William J. Hufi', killed at Jackson, Miss , July 

12, 1863. 
Clark C. Dement, must'd out Aug. 20, 1864. 



Beebe, Orley, disch'd Sept. 18, 1862, wounds. 
Bline, John, must'd out Aug. 20, 1864. 
Barilett, Edw. H. disch'd Dec. '24, '62, disability. 
Dupes, Franklin, absent sick at m. o. of reg't. | 
Duncan, Harrison, vet., tr. to 53 III., m. o. July 

12, 186.5. 
Deverse, Edmond J., vet., tr. to 53 III., m. o. July 

12, 1865. 
Doughman, Benton, serg't, died at Vicksburg, 

Feb. 28, 1864. 
Ely, Overton, serg't, killed at Jackson, Miss., 

July 12, 1863. 
Frazy, Benjamin F., tr. to.53 111., m. o. July 2'2, '65. 
Gaudy, Garner M., vet., tr. to vet. batt. 
Gaudy, Jolm E., vet., tr. to 53 III., m. o. July 22, 

1865, as corporal. 
Gregory,Enoch, vet., tr. to 53 111., m.o. July 22, '65. 
Gregory, Solomon, vet., tr. to vet. batt. 
Hill, Edwin L , diedat Paducah, Kr., Jan. 22, '65. 
Henderson, Noel, m. out Sept. 13, 1864. 
Jone-s, James E. vet.,tr. to 53 Ill.,ra. o. July 22, '65. 
Kelley, Thomas, must'd out Sept. 17, 1864. 
Noakes, Wm. H. H., disch'd Aug. 11, '62, disab'y. 
Owens, Richard, must'd out Aug. 20, 1864. 
Potts, James, killed at Jackson, Mi.ss., J '^ly 12, '63. 
Power, William, died at Macon, Ga., Aug. 12, 

1862, prisoner of war. 
Bay, Curtis, must'd out Aug. 20, 1864. 
Rouse, Andrew, must'd out Aug. 20, 1864. 
Rouse, Geo. W., disch'd Sept. 5, 1862, disability. 
Staley, Thoma.s, died at St. Louis, June 20, 1863. 
Smith, William H. vet., tr. to 53 111., m. o. July 

22, 1865. 
Shaffer, John A., died at Paducah, Ky.,Mar.lO, '62. 
Walburn, Isaac, tr. to V. E. C, Sept. 15, 1863. 
Williams, James D., killed at Ft. Donelson, Feb. 
1-5, 1862. 

Haruits. 
Clark, Thomas A., veteran. 
Daughman, John H., veteran. 
Gre(iory,John.killed at Jackson,Miss.,July 12, '63. 
Griffin, James A., transferred. 
Menter, George, mustered out Aug. 20, 1864. 

Unftssifjned Recruits. 
Cox, Peter, discharged Nov. 16, 1864. 
Perry, John S., rejected and discharged. 

forty-second infantry regiment, 
(three years' service.) 
muster roll company k. 



Frost, George R., tr. to Sappers and Miners, Aug. 
20, ISGl. 

FORTY-SIXTH INFANTRY. 
{three years' service.) 
AVas organized at Camp Butler, Illinois, 
December :;8tb, 1861, by Col. John A. 



Davis. Ordered to Cairo, 111., Feb. 11th, 
1862. From thence proceeded to Fort 
Donelson, Tenn., arriving on the 14th, and 
was assigned to the command of Geu. Lew. 
Wallace. On the loth, lost one man kill- 
ed and two wounded. On the 19th moved 
to Fort Henry. On the 6tb, embarked for 
Pittsburg Landing, where it was assigned 
to Gen. S. A. Hurlbut's brigade. 

The Forty-Sixth took a most conspicuous 
and honorable part in the battle of Shiloh, 
losing over half of its officers and men, in 
killed and wounded, and receiving the 
thanks of the commanding Generals. 
Among the wounded were Col. John A. 
Davis, Maj. Dornblaser, Captains Musser, 
Stephens, Marble and McCracken, Lieu- 
tenants Hood, Barr, Arnold, Ingraham, 
and Howell. In this action the " Fight- 
ing Fourth Division," of Gen. Hurlbut's 
achieved a reputation for bravery, to which 
it added on every field in which it was en- 
gaged until the close of the war. The 
regiment was also engaaed in the siege of 
Corinth in the month of Rlay. 

June 2d, camped a little west of Corinth ; 
10th, marched to the Hatchie river ; loth, 
passed through Grand Jimction and camped 
three miles from town. 24th, moved to 
Collarbone Hill, near Lagrange. On the 
30th moved to the Old Lamar Church. 
July 1st, marched to Cold Water and re- 
turned on the 6th. Moved on the 17th, 
toward Memphis, via. Moscow, Lafayette. 
Germantown and White's Station, camping 
two miles south of Memphis on the 21st of 
July. Engaged in a scout to Pigeon Roost, 
August 27th. Made several marches dur- 
ing the following month, arriving at Hatchie 
river on the 14th. September 27th, all 
the troops on the river, at this place, were 
reviewed by General McPherson. 

On the 4th of October moved toward 
Corinth ; 5th met the enemy at Matamoras 
The 46th Regiment went into position ou 
the right of the Second Brigade, support- 
ing Bolton's Battery. After an hour of 
shelling by the batteries, the infantry were 
ordered forward, and at a double quick ad- 
vanced, driving the enemy across the river. 
The First Brigade coming up, Hurlbut's 
" Fighting Fourth Division " advanced 
and drove the enemy from the field, com- 
pelling their flight. Col. John A. Davis 
of the 40th, was mortally wounded in this 
action and Lieutenant M. R. Thompson, 
also— both dying on the 10th. After the 
battle returned to Bolivar. November 3d, 
marched to Lagrange; 28th, moved to 
Holly Springs ; 30th, toward Tallahatchie 
river, and camped near Waterford, Mis- 
sissippi, where splendid winter quarters with 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COl'XTY, ILLINOIS. 



123 



mud chimneys aud bake oven complete, 
were fitted up in time to move away from 
them. December 11th, moved to Hurri- 
cane Creek, and on the following day to 
Yocona Station, where it remained until 
the 22d, when it marched to Taylor Station. 
Holly Springs having been captured by 
Van Dorn, moved on the 23d, via O.xford 
to Hurricane Creek, and camped on the 
26th, near Holly Springs. Jloved to that 
place Jan. 6, 1863, and on the 10th, escort- 
ed ammunition train to Lagrange. April 
12th, 1863, engaged in the expedition to 
Hernando, aud returned to Memphis on 
the 24th. On the 13th embarked for 
Vicksburg, and on the 1.5th landed at 
Young's Point ; 18th marched to Bowers' 
Lauding ; 19th to Sherman's Landing ; 
20th moved by Steamer up the Yazoo to 
Chickasaw Bayou. Disembarked and mov- 
ed across the swamps to the- bluff. May 
21st proceeded to the right of Gen. Grant's 
army, aud were then ordered to Snyder's 
Bluff On the 24th marched in the direc- 
tion of Vicksburg, and on the following 
day took position at the extreme left of the 
line. The regiment was detailed on picket 
duty, and during the night the out-post, 
consisting of five companies of the regi- 
ment, were captured hj the enemy. One 
hundred and four men and seven officers 
were captured, seventy escaping. The re- 
mainder of the regiment took an active 
part in the siege of Vicksburg. July ■5th, 
moved to Clear Creek ; 6th to Bolton 
Station ; 8th, to Clinton ; 9th, to Dickens' 
Plantation, where it remained guarding 
train. On the 12th, moved on the extreme 
right of the line near Pearl river. En- 
gaged in the siege until the 16th, when the 
enemy evacuated Jackson ; after which the 
regiment returned to Vicksburg. The di- 
vision was now transferred to the Seven- 
teenth Corps, and Brigadier General M. 
M. Crooker was assigned to command. 
Aug. 12th moved to Natchez. September 
1st, went on an expedition into Louisiana, 
returning on the 8lh, and on the 16th again 
returned to Vicksburg. January 4th, 
1863, the Forty-Sixth was mustered as a 
veteran regiment, aud returned home on 
furlough. Returned again to the field, was 
mustered out of the United States service 
January 20th, 1866. Below is a list of 
those from De Witt who served in the 4 Jth 
infantry. 

JIUSTER ROLL COJirASY A. 

Becruits. 
Huddleston. Keuben H., mus. out Jan. 20, 1866. 

MUSTER POLL COMPANY H. 
Capta!,,,. 
Jolin A. HiiehfS. mustered out Dec. 1, 1864. 
Frederick W. Pike, mustered out Jan. 20, 1866. 



Serge., „ls. 
Ebenezer McCuUough, dis. April 4, '62; disali'y. 
De Villia D. Stgner, dis. Sejit. 1, '62 : disability. 

Corpon,L<. 

Elijah H. Blackburn, dis. Oct. 9. '02 ; wounded. 
Andrew J, Coolcy, deserted Jan. 21, 18G2. 
Samuel D. Henneniway, vet., sick, mus. out reg't. 
Wm. H. Cook, dis. Dec. o, '64, as priv., term ex. 

Mu.<inan.'<. 

Ed. H. Keynold.s, vet., M. O. Jan. 20, '6.5, as serg't. 

Pnviite.i. 

Bullis, Abram F., dis. Dec. 23, 1862; disability. 
Cook, Monroe, vet., mustered out Jan. 20, 1866. 
Cook, Lyman H., veteran, mus. out Jan. 20. '66. 
Chapman, D.ivid, dis. Dee. .5, '64 as serg't ; ter. ex. 
D..iley, Patrick, died May 6. 1862; wounds. 
Dunn, Jarae.s, dis. Dec. 5, 1864; term expired. 
Horlen, Sylvester, died at Henderson, M.iy 16, '62. 
Hill. Preston K-, dis. Dec. -5. '64. as corp'l ; ter. ex. 
McGrath, John P.. vet , trans, to V. R. C. ; dis. 

Feb. 20, '6.5, as sergeant ; died. 
McDowell, David, dis. Dec. .5, '04; term expired. 
Meigher. John, vet., Corp.. died at Duvall's Bluff 

Dec. 19, 1864. 
Newberry, J;is. B , vet., M. O. Jan. 20, '66 ; serg't. 
Patterson, W'm. N., vet., serg't ; des. Nov. 17, '6.3. 
Patterson, James, must, out Jan. 20. '66, as serg't. 
Shommaker, Andrew, dis. June 16, '62; disability. 
■Townsend, Luther, died at Mt. Ver., .Aug. 17, '62. 
"Talley, William, vet., mustered out Jan. 20, '66. 
Welch, Theron, deserted May 7, 1S62. 
Wood, Jacob, must, out Jan. 20, '66, as corporal. 

Vclernm. 
Reynolds, Edward H., mus. out Jan. 20, '66, sergt. 
Stone, Corydon, mus. out Jan. 20, '66, as serg't. 

Reeruils. 

Atkins, Woodbury, mus. out Jan. 20, '66 as corp. 
Carmichael, John, mustered out Oct. 31, 186.5. 
Kelcher. Cornelius, mus. out Jan. 20, '66 as corp. 
Landy, James, mustered out Jan. 20, '66 as corp. 
Loveridge, Jerome, died at Vicksb'g Jan. 26, '64. 
Livingston, Huntly, mustered out Jan. 20, 1866. 
Martin, Don V., " '' " " 

Mahin, Thomas, " " " " 

Oyers, Henry, " '' " " 

Patterson, Ezra G., " " " '* 

Paige. Scott, '' " " '' 

Seihler, James M., mustered out Nov. 25, 1865. 

MUSTER P.OLL COMPASY I. 
reta-a-M. 
Tearney, Edward, absent, sick at mus. out of reg't. 
fiftv-fikst infantry, 
(three years' service.) 
The fifty-first regiment was organized at 
Camp Douglas, Chicago, Illinois, Decem- 
ber 24th, 1861, by Col. Gilbert W. Gum- 
ming. Engaged in the battle of Farming- 
ton, and the siege of Corinth. December 
30th, 1862, the brigade met the enemy 
under Bragg, and was engaged during the 
day, losing seven wounded. December 31st 
the regiment was in the thickest of the 
fight at Stone river, losing 57 killed, wound- 
ed and prisoners. After some days' move- 
ments, entered the town of Chickamauga, 
at 4 p. m., 19th, losing that evening 90 
men out of 200 engaged. November 24th 
, at Mission Ridge, lost 30 out of 150 men 
engaged, at Rocky Face Ridge, Resaca, 
Dallas, Kenesaw Mountain, Peach Tree 
Creek, Atlanta, Na.?hville. Mustered out 
at Camp Irwin, Texas, Septemljer 25th, 



MUSTEK ROLL COMPANY D. 

Primles. 
Jefferson, Reuben. 

Neff, Martin C, trans, to V. R. C. Feb. 11th, 1864 
Williams, Jester M., vet., serg't. killed at Frank- 
lin, Nov. 30th, 1864. 

FIFry-SE30.\D INFAXTBY. 
(three years SERVICE.) 

De Witt county was represented in this 
gallant regiment by a few men in com- 
panies C and D whose names are ap- 
pended to this short sketch. It was or- 
ganized at Geneva, Kane county, Illinois, 
in November, 1861, by Col. J. G. Wilson, 
and mustered into the United States 
service, November 19th, by Lieutenant J. 
Christopher. It moved with 945 men to 
St. Louis, and went into quarters at Ben- 
ton Barracks ; here Col. Wilson resigned. 
With Lieutenant Col. J. S. Wilcox com- 
manding, the regiment on December 8th 
moved to St. Joseph, Mo., and other points 
in that State. Embarked for Fort Donel- 
son, Feb. 10th, 1S62, but on the ISth was 
interrupted and sent to Chicago with pri- 
soners. March 13. h left for the army of 
the Tennessee, and 20th disembarked at 
Pittsburg Landing, aud were assigned to 
General Smith's brigade. The regiment 
took a prominent part in the battle of 
Shiloh, April 6th and 7th, losing 170 killed, 
wounded and missing. It also participated 
in the siege of Corinth, May, 1862, pur- 
sued the retreating enemy to Booneville, 
Miss., and returned, engaging in the battle 
of Corinth, Oct. 3d and 4th— loss being 70 
killed and wounded. Made several scouts 
from Corinth, skirmishing occasionally- 
with the enemy. January 9th, 1863, three- 
fourths of the regiment re-enlisted as vet- 
erans, and returned home on furlough. 
May 3d, 1864, commenced the Atlanta 
campaign. The regiment engaged in the 
battles of Snake Creek Gap, Resaca, Lay's 
Ferr}', Rome Cross Roads, Dallas, Kene- 
saw Mountain, Nickajack Creek, Decatur, 
July 22d and 23d, before Atlanta and 
Jonesboro, and went into camp at East 
Point. Was present at the battle of Ben- 
tonville. The regiment went to Washing- 
ton, D. C, and participated in the grand 
review. May 24th, 1865. Was mustered 
out of the United States service and moved 
to Camp Douglas, Chicago, III., and re- 
ceived final payment and discharge July 
12th, 1865. 

FIFTY-SECOND INFANTRY REGIMENT. 
(three years' SERVICE.) 
MUSTER ROLL COMPANY C. 



3IustrM 



Calvin R. Ho.adley. 
John Muore. 



Cochran, Eugene O. 



124 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



Lawles, Charles L., vet., must, out Julv U, 'G.3 as 

corporiil. 
Rowley, Harri.*on. 
ViiURlin, Delevan E. 
Whiteliead, Malvin B., nui.'^lereJ out July I',, '(55. 

Vctemn. 
Bain, .lolin, mustered out July G, '6-5 a.1 corii'l. 

MUSTER ROLL COMPANY P. 

Vdemns. 

Lamb, William H, mu.-lered out Julv 6, '65. 
McDowell, John C , 

Wood, George, died near Columbia, S, C, Feb 
IG, 'Go. 

MUSTEK ROU, tOMTANY G. 

I'riml.:. 

Lockwood, William S. 

FIFTY-FIFTH INFANTRY EEcilMEXT. 
(THR£E YEARS .SERVICE.) 

This regiment was organized at Camp 
Douglas, Chicago, III., and mustered iuto 
the United States service October 31st, 
1861. It served for three years; was in 
many hard-i'onght battles and several 
minor engagements, and during its term 
marched 3,37-1 miles. Was mustered out 
August 14, 1865. 

MUSTER ROLL COMi'ASY' B. 

rrinitcs. 
Jackson, John, vet., mustered out Aug. 14, '0-5. 
Landley, Jolin. 
McElroy, Thomas, discharged April 16, '63. 

FIFTY-SEVENTH INFANTRY REGIMENT. 
(THREE years' SERVICE.) 

Secomd Assisicmt Suigeon, 
Isaac N. Bishop. 

FIFTY'-EIGHTH ISFHXTEY. ' 
(THREE years' SERVICE) 

Was organized and recruited at Camp 
Douglas, Chicago, 111., Feb. 11th, 1862. 
It was a strong and gallant regiment, and 
was many times complimented for bravery 
and courage in the numerous battles in 
which it was engaged. It was mustered 
out at Montgomery, Ala., April 1st, 1866, 
and ordered to Springfield, 111., for final 
payment and discharge. 

There were but few in this regiment from 
De Witt county, as will be seen in the list 
below. 

MUSTEK ROLL COMPANY G. 
Priinlc. 

Walker, William P. J., mustered out Feb, 7, 0.5 ; 
was prisoner. 

MuSTER ROLL COMPANY H. 
Primlcs. 
Schwartz, Michael, deserted April .5, 'G2, 
Schafner. Alonzo, M. 0., April 17, 'G.3; to dale 
Feb. 7, '65. 

FIFTY-EIGHTH INFANTRY' (Consolidated). 

(three Y-EARS' SERVICE.) 
MUSTER ROLL COMPANY" F. 

PrUah: 
Cooper. David C, mustered out March 27, GG 



.SIXTY'-SECONll INFANTRY. 
{Three Years' .Scn-ire.) 
The sixty-second regiment volunteers 
was organized in Camp Dubois, Anna, 111., 
April 10, 1862, by Col. James M. True. 
April 22, 1862, was ordered to Cairo, 111. ; 
May 7th, to Paducah ; June 7th. to Colum- 
bus ; and thence in Cul. Ditzler's Brigade 
to Tennessee, where it was stationed at 
Crockett, on the Mobile and Ohio rail- 
road. From here it marched on campaign 
through Tennessee, after General Forrest, 
doing nothing however but occasional skir- 
mishing. August 24, 1863, embarked for 
Helena, and on the 28th took up the line 
of March for Little Rock, Ark. Septem- 
ber 2d, came up with General Steel's army 
at Brownsville, and on the 10th met the 
enemy near Little Rock, driving him back 
and compelling the evacuation of the 
place. January 9, 1864, the regiment re- 
enlisted as veterans. Was mustered out 
of the U. S. service at Little Rock, Ark., 
March 6, 1866. 



MUSTER ROLL COMPANY' C. 

Oorponds. 



William H. Co 



, discharged June 5, 1SG3. 

Tf(,r,:«.s. 



MilLs, John, discharged June 22, '65 ; disability. 

liecruiu. 
Sumpter, Hiram, discharged Aug. 7, 1S63. 

MU.STER ROLL COMPANY H. 

Cnptidn. 
John Foley, promoted 2d Tenn., African descent. 

Firtft Lkntenant. 
Read Anderson, died Oct. 1, 1863. 

Prirates. 
Arbogast, John W., mustered out March 6, 1866. 
McC'nllough, John W., mustered out May 2, '65. 
McCullough, John M. 
Murphy, John, mustered out May 2. 1S65. 
Patterson, James B., vet., mus. out March 6, '66. 
Weeks, W.F., died .at Duvalls' Bluff Aug. 23, '64. 

SIXTY'-SI-YTH INFANTRY REGIMENT. 

MUSTER ROLL CO.MPANY' C. 

Privntes. 

Harris, Elijah II., killed at Atlanta July 22, '64. 

Reeruiti. 
Harri.s, Amos, mustered out July 7, 1865. 

SIXTY-EIGHTH INFANTRY REGIMENT. 
MUSTER ROLL COMPANY C. 

C\.pU,U,. 
Henry Davy, mustered out Sept. 26, 1862. 

First Licttlamnl. 
George II. Whiteman, muslered out Sept. 26, '62. 

Second Lieutenant. 
Isaac X. Coltrin, mustered out Sept. 26, '62. 

First Scr.jennt. 
Joseph M. Prior, mustered out, Sept. 26, 62. 
Sergeants. 

John L- Lane, mustered out Sept. 26, 1862. 
J.ames B. Currv. mustered out Sept. 26, 1862. 
Charles C. Wiiisloiv, mustered out Sept. 26, 1862. 
Thomas Ewing, mustered out Sept. 2G, 1SG2, 



S. Chappele 
111 H Col. , 
sO Conk. in, 



aiustered out Sept. 1862. 



odard, 



Wil 

Irei 

William Na 

James Y. W 

Duuiinie Curry, " '* " 

Thomas G. Harvey, " " " 

Albert J.Clemens, " 

Mmicians. 
Geo. M. Aughenbaugh, must'd out Sept. 26, 1862. 
Miles T. Caatrall, mustered out Sept. 26, 1862. 

Prirates. 
Adams, Parker W., must'd out Sept. 26, 1862. 

Adams, .lames W., " '' 

Adams, Calvin, 

Baylas, Perry, '' " 

Barnett, George W., " " 

Bennett, George, *' " " 

Baldwin, John M., 

Bales, John A., " " '' 

Brooks, Jesse, " '' " 

Brooks, Almon D , 

Burkholder, John M., " " " 

Bowles, Charles F. B., ' 

Bowles, Robert B. " " " 

Brooks. Leonard U., '' '' 

Bates, Theodore, '' " 

Cross, Weslev S., '' " '' 

Cross, George H., '' " " 

Cantrall, William H., 

Clements, C:ayton C, " " '' 

Denton, John S., *' *' " 

Davenport, .lackson P., '■ •' 

Deiupsey. Michael, '* *' *' 

EIridge, Israel H., " 
Ely, George Vf-, 

Ely. David L., 

Fears, William, •' 

Gaines, Samuel B., 

CTraves, James, '* " *' 

Graham. George B., '' " " 

Gahagan, Andrew, " " " 

Geer.^William H., 

Geer, William E., 

Garton, Daniel, " '' '' 

Grove.s, George W., " " " 

Groves, Levi L.. " " " 

CTarritt, George W-, '* " '' 

Heflcrmou, William, 

Hill, Curtis, 

Hinkel, Abraham, __ " 

Ilitchner, Matthias, " " " 

Hankinson, Benjamin, '' '' '' 

Humphrey, Levi A., " " 

Harper, William A., " " " 

Hood, Wilson B., " " '| 

Jones, David W., ** " 

Jellrey, William O.. " " '' 

Johnson, Ira, " '' '* 

Jones, .Samuel, *' " '' 

Kranich, Alfred, " " '| 

King, George W., " 

Kellv, Zachan' T., " " " 

Lilla'rd, W. B!, " " " 

Lisenby, John, '' " *' 

Lighner, Isaiah M., '* " 

Lyons, Michael, " '' '' 

Lanterman, Henry C, " " " 

Murphy, Israel J., " " " 

Murpliv, Joseph, " " '* 

JIulkev, William A., 

McPhearson. Jesse B. F., " '' ;| 

Morse, Joseph, " " 

Miller, John H., 

Munson, William, 

McAbov, Artluir I., 

Norm.an, Elias M., 

Owens, Silas M., 

Pendleton, Samuel B., " " ' 

Phare.s, Samuel C, '' " '' 

PedUKi-id, Thomas J., 

Petitt, Jonas, '* '' '' 

Reed, Edward, 

Rogers, Andrew W^.. *' " *' 

Rifcdon, William, 

Spaulding. James, " '* *i 

Swecnev. John. " 

Smith, George W., '' 



EISTORY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



125 



Slinker, William, mustered out Sept. 2(i, 1S(j2. 

Thomas, James L., " " 

Todd, John M., " " " 

Twadle, Samuel B., " " " 

Vandeventer, "William, " " " 

Vandeventer, Cliristoplter, " *' " 

AViiislow, Orlando, " " *' 
Wriner, Robert, 

"Wren, John S., " " " 

MUSTEK EOLL COMPANY K. 

Prirnlc. 
Brady, Xoah M., mustered out Sept. 20, ISC2. 

SEVESTY-NIXTH INFANTRY REGIMENT. 

( Three Yeues Se, rice.) 

MUSTER ROLL COMPANY D. 

Priente. 

Trice, David N., died at Xashville, June 20, '0.3. 

HUNDRED AXD FIFTH INFANTRY'. 
(THREE years' SERVICE.) 

About one-half of company K, of this 
regiment, volunteered from DeWitt county. 
The regiment was mustered into the United 
States service, September 2d, 1862, at 
Dixon, Illinois. Oa the 8th, moved to 
Camp Douglas, and on the 30th left there 
fur Louisville, Ky., arriving on the 2d of 
October, and reporting to General Dumont, 
was attached to his division. Brig. Gen. 
W. T. Ward's brigade. Moved from here 
to Frankfort, where it engaged in guard 
and picket duty, with occasional skirmish- 
ing with the enemy. From this time to 
May, 186-1, it was occupied in guarding 
and marching from place to place, with oc- 
casional slight skirmishing in Kentucky 
and Tennessee. May 10th, 1861, it moved 
to Snake Creek Gap, and on the loth in 
the direction of Resaca, Georgia, skirmish- 
ing that evening and during the next day. 
Early on the loth moved with the corps to 
the extreme left of the line. Immediately 
upon its arrival taking part in a charge 
upon the enemy's works, which were car- 
ried, the regiment losing several men in 
the engagement. Followed the retreating 
enemy. On the 19th, the One Hundred 
and Fifth being the advance, skirmished 
with the rear guard of the enemy, driving 
them at every point. On the 25th con- 
tinued its march toward Dallas, Georgia, 
encountering the enemy, having a brisk 
engagement till dark, the casualties 
numbering fifteen, including two commis- 
sioned officers. From this time until June 
1st, the regiment was engaged in advanc- 
ing line, building and strengthening the 
works and skirmishing, losing 16 men. 
June 1st moved to the extreme left, with 
Twentieth Corps. On the 2d the regiment 
was ordered out as flankers, and on the fol- 
lowing day moved around and beyond the 
enemy's right, encamping near Ackworth, 
Georgia. On the 15th it moved forward, 



encountering the enemy behind the breast- 
works. A steady fire was kept up until 
dark. The next two days were occupied in 
strengthening the position by erecting 
breastworks, being exposed to fire of the 
enemy. Lost 19 men. Drove the enemy, 
following line skirmishing at intervals. 
21st severe skirmishing fire; 22d lost 11 
men. Following the enemy, skirmishing 
as they went, losing 1 man killed and 2 
wounded. Participated in the battle of 
Peach Tree Creek and the Atlanta cam- 
paign, and was with Sherman on the 
" Grand march to the Sea." AVas at the 
siege of Savannah ; battle of Averysboro, 
and Beutonville, and in all the skirmishes 
in the campaign of the Carolinas. Took 
part in the grand review at Washington, 
May 2-lth, 1865, where the regiment re- 
ceived a compliment for their movements 
in the manual of arms and their military 
appearance. It left Washington, June 7th, 
1865, after being mustered out, and ar- 
rived at Camp Fry, Chicago, on the 10th, 
wh'^re it received payment and was dis- 
banded May .17th, 1865. 

one hundred and fifth infantry'. 

(three years' service.) 

mustek roll company h. 

Priiaies. 

Eckhart, Lewis, mustered out June 7, '&b, 

MUSTEK ROLL COMPANY K. 

Ca-pl.un. 

Xathan S. Greenwood, re.-^igned Dec. 2, '63. 

Firiit Licictetinnt. 
John Ellis, mustered out June 7, '6-5. 

Scrrieanf!<. 
George G. Congdon, dis. March 25, '63 ; disbl'ty. 
Joel A. Gleason, mustered out June 7, '6o, 

Corporals. 
Jerome Perry, m'd out June 7, '65 as sg't; wounds. 
Byron S. Barnes, must, out June 7, '65 as priv't. 
Almond JI. Ingalls, must, out June 7, 'Qd as .sg't. 
Delano M. Williams, dis. Jan. 3, '63 ; disaiblity. 

iMu-tiewn. 
Elijah Fields, mustered out June 7, ^&o. 

Prmdes. 
Akerraan, August, mustered out June 7, 'Go. 
Alford, Buel G., absent sick at M. O., of reg't. 
Allen, Ira, trans, to engineer corps July 2, '6t- 
DuHV, Christopher, must, out June 7, '65 a-s crp'I. 
Flanders, Charles M., dis. April 11, '63 ; disbl'ty. 
Fullerton, J. Taylor, M. O., June 7, '65. 
Gardner, Horace, M.O., June 7, '65; twice wnded. 
Gibson, James, died at Kingston June 1, '64; wds. 
Huglies, Elia-s, mustered out June 7, '65. 
Handv, Jerome, " '* 

Ivellog. Henrv, d'd at Gallatin, Tenn.,Dec. 12, '62. 
Kimball, Jos'eph A., tr. to V. R. C, Mar. 13, 'tii. 
Low, .James, died at Gallatin, Tenn., Mar. 3, '63. 
Morrill, Jonathan M., died at South Tunnell T., 

Jan. 26, '63. 
Manning, Luke.M, O, June 7, '65; w'nded3t'ms. 
Mennis, William W., abs't sick at M. O., of reg't. 
Parr, Edwin, disch'd Dec 26, 62; disability. 
Pearson Edward, M. O., June 22, '65; wounds. 
Smith, Andrus, M. 0., June 7, '65 wounded. 
Seeley, Anson, disch'd May 15, '63 ; disability. 
Schroeder, Charles N., tr to Eug. cordis July 2, '64. 



Telford, Robert, disch'd Jan. 12, '63; disxbilitv. 
Wakefield, George W., m'd out Juue7, '65 as crp'I. 
Wakefield, Horace, m'd out June 7 '05 ; wounded. 
M'alker, Robert, must, out Jime 7, '65 as corp'l. 
Wheeler, William, m'd out June 7, '65.; wounded. 

ONE HUNDP.ED AND SEVENTH INFANTRY'. 

{Tlirce Years' Service.) 

The volunteers in this regiment were 
from De Witt and Piatt counties, the for- 
mer having six companies, A B D F G, 
and I, and the latter four companies. 
They were mustered into the United States 
service at Camp Butler, Illinois, September 
4, 1862. 

On the 30th of September, 1862, the 
regiment left Camp Butler for Jefferson- 
ville, Indiana, where it arrived on the 
morning of ( )ctober 1st. Here it remained 
in camp, employed in drilling and disci- 
pline, and otherwise preparing for active 
field service, until October 12th, when it 
crossed the Ohio river to Louisville. Re- 
mained there until the 18th, when it was 
ordered to move to Elizabethtown. Ky., to 
intercept the rebel General John IMorgan, 
who was advancing in that direction. A 
slight skirmish occurred between the regi- 
ment and Morgan's advance, which re- 
sulted in the capture of some of the enemy 
and no casualties to the regiment. 

From here it moved to Mumfordsville, 
Ky., early in December following, where 
it remained until March, 1863, when it 
left for Glasgow, remaining there until the 
following June. The twenty-third army 
corps, being organized by order of General 
Burnside, Brigadier General H. M. Judah, 
was ordered to Glasgow to assume com- 
mand of all troops organi-ziug for the Se- 
cond Division, Twenty-third Army Corps, 
Department of Ohio; and the 107th Il- 
linois being assigned to this division, 
marched on the 18th of June for Tomp- 
kinsville, Ky., on the Cumberland river, 
in order to meet an anticipated movement 
of John Morgan, who was preparing for 
the evasion of Kentucky. Followed him 
to Mumfordsville, Ky., and from there by 
rail to Louisville, thence by steamer to 
near Buffington Island, where he was 
finally captured. 

Returned to Lebanon, Ky., late in Au- 
gust, when, after reorganizing, proceeded 
with Genera! Burnside on campaign of 
East Teuneisee. General Judah, being in 
delicate health, was relieved by General 
Julius White, who assumed command of 
the Division August 24ih. 

The enemy retiring from East Tennessee 
the command arrived at Louden Septem- 
ber 1st, 1863. Remained there until the 
middle of October, then proceeded toward 



126 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COUNT'i, ILLINOIS. 



Greenville. Having marched some sixty 
miles east of Knoxville, received orders to 
countermarch, and move with all speed 
to the assistance of General Rosecrans. 
Reached Sweet Water, seventy-five miles 
north of Dalton, where it heard of the bat- 
tle of Chickamauga. Returned to Lou- 
den, where it was soon confronted by the 
advance of Longstreet. Retired to the 
north side of Holston riv^r, where it re- 
mained until November 13th, when it was 
ascertained that the enemy had effected a 
crossing b)' aid of pontoons, at Huff's 
Ferry, four miles below. The Division 
retired to Lenoris Station. Was met by 
General Burnside, who ordered a counter- 
march in the direction of the enemy, who 
was found three miles below Loudeu. 
Company A, of this regiment, as skir- 
mishers, commanded by Capt. Milholand, 
attacked the enemy's skirmishers and 
drove them back. A line was then formed 
and an attack made by the whole division, 
driving the enemy back to the pontoons. 
The i-egiment lo=t one man killed and 
several wounded. Encamped on the night 
of the loth of November, jt Lenoris 
General Burnside issued order No. 81, re- 
quiring all baggage and part of ammuni- 
t.on trains to be destroyed, in order to 
facilitate movements of artillery, etc. The 
regiment lost all books and papers. Hav- 
ing destroyed all trains, retired at three 
o'clock x.Ti- in the direction of Knoxville. 
Engaged the enemy at Campbell's Station 
at 11 A. M., November 16th. Engagement 
lasted till night. Returned to Knoxville 
November 18th. Again engaged the ene- 
my at Dandridge, December 21st, return- 
ing to Knoxville, by order of General 
Schofield, where it remained until April 
On April 27th, moved to join Sherman's 
army. Arrived at Calhoun, Tennessee, 
April 30th, and remained till May 3d. 
INIoved to Red Clay, Ga , and, on the 7th, 
to the vicinity of Rocky Face Ridge. 
Engaged the enemy May 8th. On the 
9th moved for Resaca, via Snake Creek 
Gap, and participated in that battle on 
the 14th and 15th of iMay. Moved with 
the command from Resaca to Dallas. 
While the regiment was on picket duty. 
May 28th, it was attacked by the enemy 
in force, and, before re-enforcements came 
up, lost numbers of its men. June 18th, 
while engaged near Kenesaw Mountain, 
Captain Ed. Camp, of Company H, while 
on the skirmish line, was instantly killed. 
The regiment engaged in all the fighting 
around Kenesaw Mountain and the subse- 
((uent engagements around Atlanta. Left 
Decatur, Ga., September 28th, in pursuit 



of Hood's Army, passing over old lines 
around Dallas and Kenesaw Mountain, to 
Resaca. November 18th, the regiment, 
with division, proceeded ria Nashville to 
Columbia, Tennessee, where, November 
22d, met the advance of Hood's army. 
Skirmished with the enemy until the 28th, 
discovering the enemy crossing Duck river, 
fell back to Franklin. Regiment engaged 
the enemy at Spring Hill on the same day, 
with small loss. November 29 ih, was as- 
signed to position in the lines near Colum- 
bia pike, and owing to the lateness of the 
arrival, had not completed breastworks 
when the battle commenced. Regiment 
suffered a severe loss in the death of Col. 
Lowry, who fell, mortally wounded, from 
a minnie ball in the head. First Lieuten- 
ant Isaac C. Morse, commanded Company 
A, was also killed. After fall of Colonel 
Lowry, the command of the regiment de- 
volved upon Captain McGraw (Major Jlil- 
holand being on staff duty). Arrived at 
Nashville December 1st. Daring the bat- 
tle of Franklin the regiment captured two 
stands of the enemy's colors, and had its 
own colors seized, but they were recovered 
by private Walker, of company G, who 
killed the enemy seizing them. December 
1st, 18(34, the regiment went into position 
with Division, near Fort Negly, Nashville. 
It drew new arms, and was fully clothed 
and equipped. Remained doing picket 
duty, and skirmishing until December 
1.5th, when it broke camp, and attacked 
enemy at 11 A. M. At 3 p. M. charged 
enemy's lines with success. Captain S. S. 
Williams, company K, was wounded. The 
enemy being completely routed, regiment 
encamped near Brentwood Hills on the 
night of the 16th. Next morning moved 
towards Franklin in pursuit of retreating 
enemy. Arrived at Columbia December 
20th. January 2d, 18G5, left Columbia 
for Clinton, Tennessee. Remaining in camp 
until January 26th, when it embarked on 
board transports bound for Washington, 
D. C, and arrived February 2d. Moved 
to Alexandria, Virginia, February 9th. 
February 11th, embarked on steamer for 
Fort Fisher, North Carolina. Moved for 
Fort Anderson, and on the enemy's pickets 
at 7 A. M. 18th. Drove in his skirmishers 
with but little difficulty. The enemy 
shelled furiously, six men were wounded. 
Held the position during the day, and at- 
tacked fort at daylight, on the morning of 
the 20th, and found it evacuated, excepting 
fifty-two men, taken prisoners. Regiment 
took the fort's colors. Followed the re- 
treating enemy to Brunswick river, op- 
posite Wilmington. Crossed Cape Fear 



river on 22d. Remained at Wilmington 
two weeks, doing guard and picket duty. 
Arrived at Red river March 8th. Arrived 
at Kingston on the 14th, and remained 
until 19th, when moved forward again for 
Goldsboro, arriving there on the evening 
of the 21st, meeting the advance of Gen. 
Sherman's army. Itemained at Goldsboro 
until April 10th, awaiting clothing and 
supplies for Sherman's army. Remained 
at Raleigh until surrender of Johnson. 
After surrender the regiment, with division, 
moved to Salisbury, N. C, where it re- 
mained doing guard duty until June 21st, 
1865, when it was mustered out of service. 
June 22d, left for Camp Buter, Illinois, 
where it arrived July 2d, 1865, and re- 
ceived final payment and discharge. 

oxe hundred axd seventh infaxtry 
regi.mest. 
(three years' service.) 
Colonf:h. 
Thomas Snell. discharged Dec. 13, '62. 
Joseph J. Kelly, resigned Nov. 10, 'G.3. 
Thomas J. MilholanJ, must, out as Lieut. Col. 
June 21, '65. 

Majors. 
James T. Brooks, resigned Jan, 9, '64. 
David Lowry, m'd out as cap't. June 21, '65. 

Quiirtcrmmters. 
Barzille Campbell, resigned Dec. 7, *63. 
William L. Chambers, musu out June 21, '65. 

Sarfjron. 
John Wright, must, out June 21, '65. 

NOX-COMMLSSroSED STAFF. 

Sergeant Majors. 
Joseph R. Wolf, promoted First Lieut. Co. I. 
William W. McNuIty, must, out June 21, '65. 

Quurterinnster Scrgmnt. 
AYilliam L. Chambers, promoted Quarmaster. 

Gomm'ssary Sergeant. 
John M. Chambers, dis. Nov. — , '63 ; disability. 
Eobert Millard, must, out June 21, '65. 

Principal Musicians. 
Charles R. Augenbaugh, dis. Jan. — , '63 ; dsbl'y. 
Alexander D. Cockley, must out June 21, ^65. 

MUSTER ROLL COSIPAXY A. 
Captains. 

Isaac C. Morse, killed Nov. 30, "64. 
Edward Is'ugent, must out June 21, '65. 

First Lieutenants. 
John Cuppy. res'gned Jan. 31, '64. 
Richard Cole, must, out June 21, *65. 

S'-Cond Lieutenant. 
Edward N- Eby, must, out as seg't," June 21, '65. 

First Sergeant. 
James L. Dalgh, died June 3, '64. 

Sergeants. 
Andrew J. Winningham. reduced to ranks at his 
own request, dis. Nov- 15, '63 ; disability. 
Benjamin F- Miller, must, out June 21, 'Qo. 
Philip J. Gossard, died at Louisville, Ky., Aug. 
10, '63. 

Corpora/s. 
Albert D. Metz, disch'd March 3, '63 ; disabilitv. 
Jesse Gates, sergt., died. Knoxv'le, T., Dec 10, '63. 
Stephen Rigg, must, out June 21, '65 as private. 
Milton N.Copeland, must, out June 21, '65 as sg't. 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COUKTY, ILIINOIS. 



127 



Alfred Harper, must, out June 21, 'Co as private. 
ADthony H. Randall, ab, sick at M. 0. of Reg't. 
Wm. C. Briant, died in Andersonville prison 
Aug. 24, '64 ; No. of Grave 6256. 

Musicians. 
Crafton P. Scott, discli'd Sept. 17, '63; disability. 
Aaron S. Vanvalv, reduced in ranks ; absent 

wounded at muster out of reg't. 
Wagoner. 
Henry Johnson, absent sick at M. O. of reg't. 

Prirale. 
Artherington, John S., corp'l, accidentallv killed 

Aug. 22, '64. 
Artheringon, Jonathan S., dis. Nov. 23. 63 ; dis'y. 
Burluw, Alexander H., dis. Sept. 2J, '63; disb'ty. 
Butterworth, Jame.=, tr to Colvin's 111. Bat. Oct. 

6, '63. 
Buck, Asaph A., dis. Sept. 17, '63 ; disability. 
Brown, Miles B., ab sick at musler out of reg't. 
Buck, William M . corp'l, died June 4, 114 ; wnds. 
Brown, James W., must, out June 21, 'Go. 
Barlin, John, '' " 

Borders, Solomon, " " 

Brock, (jieorge W., '' '* 

Campbell, William, tr to Colvin's, 111. bat. Oct. 

6, '63. 
Cram, David J., serg't, ab sick at M. O. of reg't. 
Clime, William H., must, out June 21, '65. 
Coon, Charles il-, reclaimed bv Capt. Black, 3 

Mo. Cav. Sept. 30, '62. 
Coon, William H., must, out June 21,65 as corp'l. 
Crawford, Bartley '• " 

Dungey Charles, must out May 12. '6^. 
Furguson, James, absent sick at M. O. of reg't. 
Furr, David A., must, out June 21. ^iib. 
Foster, Joseph, must, out June 21, '6.3. 
Griffith, Newton, " " 

Gilson, George G., trtoColvin's, 111. bat. Oct. 6, '63. 
Gaston, John McP., disch'd Jan. 6, '65 ; disbil'tv. 
Groves, William, died Knoxville,T., Jan 26, '64. 
(Jroves, Eli W., absent wounded at M. O of reg't. 
Haylelh, John H., disch'd Marcii 3, '63 ;disabl'ty. 
Hull. Levi C, absent sick at M. O. of reg't. 
Harold, John C, must, out June 21, '65. 
Halsey, Solomon, *' •' 

Hannesv, James, tr. to Colvin's, 111. bat. Oct. 6, '63. 
Harry, "Cyrus, tran.sto V. R. C. March 23, '64. 
Kiley, William, must, out June 21, 65. 
Lunn. Richard, tr to Colvin's 111. bat. Oct. 6, '63. 
Leper, Huston, must, out June 21, *&k}. 
Morrison, Alexander F., must out June 21, '65. 
Montgomery, John W., dis. Dec. 7, '03 ; disal'ly. 
Maccalister, William, deserted Oct. 6, '62. 
Nelson, Isaac, deserted Jan. 13, 53. 
NeUon, Calvin, must, out June 21, '65 as corp'l. 
Price; James, absent sick at M. O. of reg't. 
Pettibone, John, tr to \'. R. C. Jan. 26, 64. 
Reeves, Marquis S., tr to V. R. C. Jan. 26, '64. 
Reeves, Thomas, must, out .June 21, 65 as corp'l. 
Hauls, James, disch'd Sept 11, '63 ; disability. 
Hauls, William, disch'd Aug. 24, '63. ; disability. 
Smith, Joseph, must, out June 21, '65 a-s serg't. 
Spenser, James 'H.. tr to Colvin's 111. bat. Oct. 6 '63. 
Sampson, Tenah T., must, out June 21, '65. 
Swearengen, Abraham B., died, Knoxville, Tenn., 

July 24, '64. 
Scolt, George W., must, out June 21, '65. 
Scoggen, Joseph B., " " as corp'l. 

Stauifer, Isam, '' " 

Trent, James P., corp'l, died at Knoxville, Tenn., 

Dec. 6, '63. 
Thorp, Joseph, dropped as deserter Nov. 1862. 
Trembell, David B , must- out June 21, '65. 
TooheV; Gregory, discli'd Nov. 2-5, '62. 
Upton, Aaron, must, out Junt 21, '65 as corp'l. 
Vinson, Andrew J., disch'd Dec. 1, '62 ; disabl'ty. 
"Wiley, Isaac M., corp'l, died at Raleigh, N. C., 

May 1, ^(jo. 
Watt, Levi, tr. to Colvin's 111. bat. Oct. 6, '63. 
Wooldridge, Christopher C. m'd out June 21, ^Qb. 
Wright, James, disch'd Nov. 4. '62; disability. 
Weller, George W., must, out June 21, 'G.5. 
Williams, Lewis W., tr to Colvin's III. bat. Oct. 

6, '63. 



R'c 



tits. 



, Jacob W., tr to Y. R. C. March 23, '64. 
Buck, Irwin, trans, to 65 111., M. O., July 13, 65. 



Hazeletl, Jas. H., tr. to 65 111., M. O., July 13, '65. 
Lewis, Erastus C., must out June 21, '^io. 
Richards Andrew J.. " " 

Smith, Robert, tr to 65 III.. M. O., July 13, '65. 

MUSTER ROLL COMPANY B. 

Oii^tains. 
Jas. R. Turner, resigned Oct. 14, '04. 
Edward Giddiugs, mublered out June 21, '65. 

FirM LifVtenanls. 
David W. Edminsten, resigned Feb. 11, '04. 
Charles K. Borger, Mustered out June 21, '65. 

Strand Lifutenants. 
Edward Bosserman, mustered out (as Serg't) June 
21, '6.5. 

First Srrrimnt. 
Wm. C. .Vdamp, discharged Sept. 4, '63 ; Jisabilily. 

Scri/rnnls. 
Edward Porter, disch'd Sept. 17, '63 ; disability. 
Thomas Irwin, mustered out June 21, 05. 
Joseph P. Taylor, disch'd Sept. 17, '03 ; disability. 

Corpnrah. 

Washington Bates, disch'd JIarch 1, '04; dis- 
ability. 

Edward W. AUvn, died at Knoxville, Tenn, 
April 20, ''04. 

Richard Watson, must, out June 21, '65, as serg't. 

Thos. G. Argo, musr. out June 21, '6.5, as serg't. 

Thos. B. Peddicord, must, out June 21, '65. 

Wm. II. Proud, must, out June 21, '65, as private. 

Andrew J. Wallace, disch'd Nov. 17, '63, as pri- 
vate; disability. 

Jacob Walters, absent, sick at M. O. of Reg't. 

Mu.<^ician. 
John B. Wolf, disch'd Sept 1'2, '64 ; disability. 

Wagoner. 
George Nace, detached at M. O. of Reg't. 

Primtes. 
Abbott, Chas. D. must, out June 21, '65. .%s corp'l. 
Belzer, .\saa T., must, out June 21, '6.5, as corp'l. 
Butler, Peter, disch'd August 9, '94. 
Brilton, Nathan T., must, out May 19, '65, as 

corp'l. 
Betzer, Isaac N., died .\ndersonville prison -\ug. 

17, '64; No. of grave, 5,978. 
Besserman, William, must, out June 21, '65. 
Bean, Wm. W.. disch'd Sept. 3, '63; disabilitv. 
Bouls, Peter H., transf'd to Colvin's 111. Bat. Oct. 

6, '64. 
Burnett, Lyman T., must, out June 21, '6o, as 

corp'l. 
Ba.se, Squire W., must, out June 21, 'Go. 
Bateson, Joseph, absent ; sick at M. O. of Reg't. 
Bouls, Jesse P., absent; sick at M. O. of Reg't. 
Curtis, Roza, transFd to V. R. C. Sept. 2.5, '63. 
Cooper, Nathan, disch'd Jan. 31, '63 ; disability. 
Cisco, Francis M. 
Coppenberger, David, transfd to Colvin's III. Bat. 

Oct. 6, '63. 
Colwell, Milton K. or R., must, out June 21, '65. 
Cloenger, Jonathan, died at home .\pril 10, '64. 
Clark, .\nthony W'., supposed killed Sept 8, '64. 
Deverell, John C, must, out June 2.5, ^6b, as 

musician. 
Dickson, Sanford, died at Lexington, Ky-, Aug. 

2.5, '63. 
Day, Natha'l C, died at London, Tenn. Mar. 7, '64. 
Drurv, Frederick S., must, out June 21. '05. 
Davis, Walter, transf'd to Colvin's 111. Bat. Oct. 

6, '63. 
Ellsworth, Duncan, must, out June 21, '65, as 



corp 



Ellsworth, Hamilton, absent ; sick at muster- 
out of Reg't. 

Furgerson, John, must, out June 21, 'Go. 

Fennell. Jas. W., absent; sick at muster out of 
Reg't. 

French, Squire C, must, out June 21, 05. 

Farris, Amos G., transf'd to Colvin's 111. Bat. 
Oct. 6, '63. 

Gradon, Wallace, died at Marietta, Ga., Aug. 20, 
'64, w<iiinds. 

Giddiugs, Miltim, must, out June 21, '6-5, as corp'l. 

Gaddas, Jacob W., must out June 21, 'bb. 



^uv. 


J 


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Malf 


V 


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Mav 


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Nidi 


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on 


, Th 



Garlon, John, di.sch'd Sept. 28, '63; disability. 
Gibbons, David, deserted Nov. 28, '02. 
Hobbs, Wm., detached at must.; out of Reg't. 
Highsuiith, Abijali M., must, out June 21, 'Gb. 
Hoyt, Orrin A., transfd to Colvin's 111. Bat. Oct. 

0,' 03. 
Irvin, Matthew D., must, out June 21, '65, as 

musician. 
Jones, Cyrus, must, out June 21, '05. 
.lolley, .I'ohn M., must, out June 21, '65. 
Jones, Lemuel, absent ; sick at muster out of 

Reg't. 
Jone.s, John M., must, out June 21, '05. 
Johnson, Noble, detached at must.; out of Reg't. 
Kennison, Wm. G., died at Woodsonville, Kv., 

March 12, '63. 
King, Edward II., must, out June 21, '6b, a-s corp'l. 
Keever, Moses H., must, out June 21, '65. 
Lookingbell, Bartely, must, out June 6, 'Go ; ab- 
sent, sick, 
Martin, Wm. S., must, out June 21, '05. 
Mose', John, must, out June, 21, '65. 
Moore, Jesse, died at Woodsonville, Kv., Feb. 

28, '63. 

^t. out June 21, '05, as serg't. 
jU5t. out June 21. '0.5. 
ust. out June 21, '65. 
on, must, out June 21, '65. 
., died at Gla.sgow, Ky., Nov., '63. 
Pollock, Sam'l, transfd to Colvin's 111. Bat. Oct. 

'63. 
Price, Thos. W-, absent, supposed to be in V. R. C. 
Ratclifi; David, transf'd to Colvin's 111. Bat. Oct. 

0, 03. 
Razey, Rufus, must, out June 2], '05. 
Robuck, Peter C, must, out June, 21, '05. 
Schenck, Obadiah, transfd to Colvin's 111. Bat. 

Oct. 6, '63. 
Smoot, John, transfd to V. R. C. March 17, 'Cj, 
Throckmorton, Wm. S., died at Knoxville, Tenn.. 

Sept. 17, '64, wounds. 
Taylor, John, disch'd Dec. 26, 03 ; disability. 
Taylor, Benjamin, must, out June 21, '05. 
Updike, Joseph H. , died at Nashville, Tenn., 

Jan. 20, '04. 
Watson, Wm. F., must, out June 21. '65. 
Walden, Thomas, mu.st. out June 21, '05. 
Waldeu. Maris, must, out June 21, '65. 
Williams, Shepherd J., disch'd Oct. 28. '63, to 

enlist in U. S. A. as hospital steward. 
Wisegarver, Wm. H., absent; sick at muster- 
out of Reg't. 
Walters. John, must, out June 21, *65. 
Wells, James M., absent ; sick at mu.ster out of 

Reg't. 
Walton, Jesse or Isaac, died Elizabethtown, Ky., 

Nov. 29, '62. 
Williams, John, transf'd to Colvin's 111. B.it, 

Oct. 6, '63. 

ML'STER ROLL COMPANY D. 

O.I plains. 
Samuel McGowan, resigned Feb. 4, 1863. 
LeanderS. McGraw, honorably dischd. Jan. 8, '65. 
Joseph M. Moore, resg'd as 1st lieut. Mar. 25, '65. 
Thomas Rose, mustered out June 21, 1865. 



William M. Clagsr, resigned Feb. 12, 1804. 
George Cooper, mustered out June 21, 1865. 

Second Lieutenants. 

Eliakim Sylvester, m. o. as serg't June 21, 180.5. 

Sergeant. 

Mordecai Pratt, dischd. Feb. 19, 1863, as private. 
Frank B. Byerley, priv. absent sick at m. o. regt. 
John Canlrail m. o. June 21, 1865, as corporal. 
George L. Morrison, discharged May 20, 1865, as 
private, disability. 

Corpoircts. 

David WesI, sergeant, deserted Feb. 1863. 
Edwin T. Hainev, sergt., died at Knoxville, Jan. 

7, 1864. 
William J. Clinton, M. O. June 21, 1865, as priv. 
V. B. Clinton, mustered out June 21, 180.5. 
Charles W. Beaty, absent sick at m. o. of regt. 
Isaac W. Swisher, m. o. June 21, 1805, as sergt. 



128 



HISTORY OF BE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



31, ,..;,■:„ „s. 

C. R. Aughinl.augli, distlid. Dec. 14, 18G:!, d!s'v. 
Alex. Liavid Cackley, [iruiiioted. 

K.uirjiirr. 
"ffvot Cantrail, tr. to V. E. C, Dec. 12, 1SG3. 



Atkinson, Hirani.discli'd June 2.5, TA. disability. 
Arm.slrong. William, tr. toColvin's 111. bait. Oct. 

5, 1S03. 

Allsup, J. F., corpl., deserted Jan. 19, 1SG.3. 
AIlsup, William, deserted Sept. 1, 1S62. 
Acton, James K., raustd. out .June 21, 1SG.5. 
Barnet. Nathan, mustered out June 21, 18G5. 
Barngrover, Geo. W- tr. to Colvins 111. batt., Oct. 

6, 18C3. 

Borum, Aaron, absent sick at m. o. of regiment. 
Bryant, Thomas D., detached at m. o. of regt. 
Curl, Jeremiah, dischd. Jan. 2-5, 1XG3, disability, 
Cushman, Ira H., m. o. June 21, 18G-5, a-s corpl, 
Classon, Lucillis, corpl., ab.sent sick at m. o. regt. 
Clark, Wm. M., killed at Franklin, Tenn., Kov. 

30, 18G4. 

Clifton. Jackson, died at Jeffersonville, Dec. 17, 

18G4, wounds. 
Clifton, Job, detached at muster out of regiment. 
Cutwrighi, Joel, tr. to V. E. C, Nov. 13, 18G3. 
Clifton, C. T., mustered out June 21, 1865. 
Davenport, Mason, dischd. Feb. 7, 1SG.5, disabily. 
Delay, Coleman, mustered out June 21, 1805. 
David, Welcomb, absent sick at m. out of regt. 
Duncan, John, died at Jladison, Ind., Dec. 1), '64. 
Davenport, George F., absent sick at in. o. of regt. 
David, Joshua, disch'd Sept. 2~i. 18G i, disability. 
Davis, Tlioma.s, died at Chaitanonga, J.in 2:i, Go. 
David, N. B.. di.schd Feb. i;i, Is ;:i, disability. 
Davenport. T. J. mustered out June 21, 186-5. 
Earlv, William, tr. to Colvins [II, bat., Oct. 6, ■6-5. 
Elde"rton,William,died at,Glasgow,Ky , July 1,'G3. 
Fenner, David, died at Knoxville, Tenn., Jan. 

31, 1864. 

Gibson, David L., musl'd out Jime 21, ISG.'i. 
Graham, Marion D., died at Knoxville, Tenn., 

April 6, 1SG4. 
Goodrich, James M., must'd out June 21, ^Go, as 

sergeant. 
Grissim, James, must'd out June 21, 1865. 
Gay, James M., tr. to V. E. C, Dec. 12, 1803. 
Hammond, William H., died at Glasgow, Ky., 

Mav, 1863. 
Harden, Thomas, deserted Feb. 1803. 
Harlem Jonathan, killed at Franklin, Tenn., Nov. 

30, 1804. 
Hiter, William, disch'd Sept. 23. '03, disability. 
Uiter, Christopher, killed at Franklin, Tenn., 

Nov. 30, '04. 
Johnson, Charles L., must'd out June 21, 1805. 
Jimeson, Harvey, absent sick at M. O. of reg'i. 
Leever, Oliver, mustered out June 21, 1805. 
Lowery, George L., mustered out June 21, 1865. 
Leever, John W., tr. to marine service Apr , '04. 
Longbr.ike. James E., must'd out Jime 21, 1805. 
Long, Jacob, disch'd Jan. 23, '03, disabilitv. 
Mcllheney, T. H. B., must'd out June 21, 1865. 
Mourer, Charles, died at Woodsonville, Ky.,Feb. 

1863. 
Morrow, J. J., deserted May 19, 1863. 
Morlan, J. A., must'd out June 21, 'Go, as corp'l. 
Ne.sbitt, Henry W., disch'd Sept. 13, '63, disabil'y. 
Nesbilt, William W., must'd out June 21, 1865. 
Newell, Geo. A-, must'd out June 21, 1865. 
Nichobs, Frank, mu.stered out June 21, 1SG5. 
Nutt. William, tr. to Colvins batt. Oct. 6, 1SG3. 
Poland, Samuel, mustered out June 21, ISGo. 
Piatt, Samuel H., m. out June 21, '65, a-s sergt. 
Piatt, John, m. out June 21, 1865, as corporal. 
Eouse, Joseph, died at Knoxville, Tenn., Dec. 

30, 1863. 
Enssell. Je.sse, tr. to Colvin's III. batt Oct. C, '63. 
Kobb, Marion, must'd out .lune 21, 18G-5. 
Eumels, George, died at Woodsonville, Kv., Jan. 

22, 1863. 
Ripple, Abram, supp'd captured Nov. 16, 1863. 
Schlafter, John, mustered out June 21, 186.5. 
Scott, Augustus, tr. to Colvin's III. bat. Oct. 6, '63. 
Simmons, Walter D., died at Woodsjilville, Kv., 

Dec. 31, 1862. _ 
Sprague, James C. died at Elizabethtowa, Ky., 

Dec. 31, 1862. 



Sutton, William C, died at Knoxville, Ten., Dec. 

10, 1863. 
S ewart, John, absent sick at m. out of reg'c. 
Stiles. Matthew, deserted Mav 19, 1863. 
Smalley, William C, suppd'capt'd Sept. 10, '64. 
Wren, Isaac, died in Libby prison, Richmond, Va., 

-March 17, 1864. 
Wood, William T., detached at M. O. of reg't. 
Winslow, Warren S., mu.stered out June 21, 1S65. 
Welch, William F., tr. to V. R. C. 
Winkle, George, must'd out June 21, 1865. 
Waldman, Andrew, absent sick at M. O. of reg'i. 
Zombro, John A., must'd out June 21, 1865. 
Zombro, Jacob, absent sick at M. O. of reg't. 

Sccriiils. 
McGowan, Parker, tr to Colvin's 111. bat. Oct. 6,63. 
Peddicord, Thom.as J., 
Smith, John A, " " 

Sylvester, Eliakim, M. 0. June 21, '6.5, as 1st sergt. 

MUSTEK KOLL COMT-iNY F. 

Cliplulnx. 

Henry G. Wismer, resigned April 13, 1864. 
John'D. Graham, honorably di^cl^d Sep. 11, '64. 
Albert J. Blackford, must'd out June 21, 1805. 

Fist LicHteiiaid. 
Madison R. Stansbury, must'd out June 21, '65. 

Second Lieutenants. 

James Parker, resigned, Feb. 4, 1863. 

Parker S. Adams, resigned, Feb. 5, 1864. 

Aaron Mciiston, rausi'd out June 21, ,05, as priv. 

First Sa-gcanl. 

. William D. Catterlin, M. O. June 21, 'G5,as priv. 

Soijeants. 

Tillman Martin, disch'd Apr. 20, '63, disability. 

Thomas Cole, died at Mumfordsville, Ivy., Jan. 

15, 1863. 
Madison Lane, private, absent sick at ra. o. reg't. 

Corporals. 
Thoiuas H. Proviand, disch'd Sept. 2, 1804. " 
William Cole, serg't, absent sick at M. O. of reg't. 
John Pennington, disch'd Sept. 17, '63, disability. 
Henrv Reed, disch'd Sept. 17, '63 ; disabili y. 
William C. Cross, disch'd Dec. 11, '63 ; disability. 
Christopher Davis, reduced to ranks ; died at 

Chattanooga M.ay 26, '64. wounds. 
James Spencer, must out June 21, '63 as serg't. 
Hiram H. Martin, disch'd April 28, '63; dis'bl'ty. 

.Vimcian. 
George Messer, corp'l, died at Knoxville, Tenn. 

Dec. 29, '63. 
Abram T. Roberts, di.sch'd March, '63 ; disability. 

Wagoner. 
Martin Phares, trans, to V. R. C, Feb. 16, '64. 

Private.^. 
Adams, Parker S , promoted serg't, then 2d lieut. 
Aler, Ander.son, mustered out June 21, '65. 
Batterton, William H., died at Knoxville, Tenn., 

March 3, 64. 
Bennett, Permenous, dis. Sept. 30, '64 ; disabl'tv. 
Bennett, George, disch'd Sept. 30, '63 ; disability. 
Cross, Benjamin, corp'l, tr. to Colvin's 111. Bat. 

Oct. 6, '63. 
Cross, George J., disch'd Sept. 17, '63 ; disability. 
Cross, Solomon J., absent sick at M. O. of reg't. 
Cromer, William H., tr. to Colvin's 111. Bat. Oct. 

6, '63. 
Clifton, John, mustered out June 21. '6-5. 
Carlock, James, disch'd Oct. 2, '63 ; disability. 
Despaine, William, died at Cartersville, Ga., .-Vug. 

17, '64. 
Drum, Phillip, absent sick at M. O. of reg't. 
Drum, John W., must, out June 21, *6o as corp'l. 
Dav, Daniel P., 

Darshum, Samuel, trans, to V. R. C. Feb. 6, '04. 
Dillavon, William E., ab. sick at ms'tr out of reg't. 
Foster, John E., must, out June 21, '05. 
Fisher, John L. '' " 

Greer, Willis, died at Lebanon. Ky., Sept. '03. 
Gammell, Wm. T., mn ^I'd out June 21, '6.5. 
Guy. Samuel K., disch'd .Sept. 11, '63; disabl'tv. 
Hand, Sil.as, Sr., died at Bentou Barracks July 

19, '63. 



21, '65 



Hand, .Silas, Jr., nuisl'd out Jun 

Hand, Chileon. •' ■■ .ascrpl. 

Hull, Klrklev, disch'd Oct. 41. '63 ; disability. 

Hull, Alfred," disch'd Dec. 7, 'G3 ; disability." 

Harvey, James M., must'd out June 21, '65. 

Hinkle. Emanuel, " '' 

Harp, Millington, " " 

Lofton, Barney, died, Mumfordsville, Kv., Jan. 

6, '63. 
Lisenby, John, died. Marietta, Ga., Aug. 24, '64 ; 

wounds, 
McXultv, William W., pro. seg't, then seg't mi'r. 
Mc.Murrv, Alfred, must'd out June 21, '65 a-s cp'l. 
Malone. James M., dis. Jan. 16, '03; acdn'l wound. 
Mastin, Aaron L., must'd out June 21, '65 as 1st 

Serg't Com. 2d Lieut, but not must'd. 
Matthews. James, disch'd Nov. 17, 63 ; disabl'ty. 
Mabern, Thomas L., deserted Feb. 63. 
McNeir, Eli, disch'd Dec. 30, '63 ; disability. 
Ma.stin, Benjamin F., must, out June 21, '65. 
Mitchell, John H., deserted Nov. 11, '62. . 
O'Brien, John, died .at Ma.lison. Ind., Dec. 30, '63. 
Peed, Eobert, must, out May 24, 'i\~i as corp'l. 
Pennington, Benj. C, died, "Mumfordsville. Ky., 

Feb. 18, '63. 
Parker, Aaron, corp'l, died, Madison. Tnd., July. 
Phipps, Emsley, disch'd Dec. 30, '63; disibility. 
Plummer, Alpheu.s, must'd out June 21, '65. 
Popham, William, ab. sick at muster out of reg't. 
Eeed, Miles, disch'd Feb- 15, '65 ; disability. 
Bobbins, Reuben, died, Mumfordsville, Ky., Feb. 

24. '63. 
Roberts, William H., m'd out June 21, '65 asrp'l. 
Rogers, John W., m'd out June 21, '65 as niusc'n. 
Stephens, William, absent sick at M O. of reg't. 
Shaw, Robert C, deserted Dec. 12, '62. 
Spencer, L. Berrv, mustered out June 21, '65. 
Spanhour, Allen", , " 

Tackwell, Wm. W., disch'd Mar 25, '65; wounds. 
Thompson, E, corp'l, died, Knoxvill, Tenn., Jan. 

20, '64. 
Wise, Israel F., tr. to Colvin's III. Bat. Oct. 6, '63. 
Wise, Reuben, ' " " 

^Vil!ive^, William, must, out .June 21 '05 as serg't. 
Wt)lf, Joseph E , promoted .Sergeant Major. 
Willis, David, must, out June 21, '05 as serg't. 

Ileeruit.i. 
Brock, Frank, must'd out June 21, '05 as corp'l. 

MUSTER ROLL COMPAQ- G. 
Cuptnilis. 

Benjamin S, Lewis, resigned .Ian. 3, '64, 
Cox, Israel S., M. O., June 21, 65. 

First Lieutenant, 
Joseph Marsh, mustered out June 21, '65. 

Second Lieutenant. 
John Lewis, must, out (as serg't) June 21, '65. 

Seru-eanl. 
George Day, must, out June 21, 'G5 as musician. 

Cfjrporais_ 
William S. Barnes, disch'd Jan. 10, '03 ; disbl'ty. 
J. H. Flood, 

George Corder, *' " " 

William A. Dennison, disch'd Feb. 20, '03 as 

private ; disabilitv. 
John Pain, killed at Dallas, Ga., May 31, '64. 

Ma.-,ieian. 
William J. McCord, died .at K 
March 17, '64. 



lie, Tenn. 



Wagoner. 
Willis Eeed, tr. to Colvin's 111. Battery. 

Priratcs. 
Blount. John E., mu.stered out May 11, '6-5. 
Bradt'ord, James, dis. April 3, '65; disability. 
Baldwin, Thomas, mustered out .June 21, '65. 
Baker, William, disch'd Jan. 10, '63; disability. 
Baker, Jarvis. disch'd M.irch 24, '64; disability. 
Barnett Nathan, deserted Feb., 1863. 
Baley, Joab, transferred to V. R. C. Sept. 1863. 
Cowell, Chester, must'd out June 21, '65, a.s corp'l. 
Cobb, Horace, absent sick at M. O. of reg't. 
Cobb, Edgar, dis. Sept. 11, '63 as corp'l ; disabl'tv. 
Davis, Isaac, died at Knoxville, Tenn., Feb. 27, '64. 



HISTORY OF BE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



129 



glon, Di 
Hution, Williai 
Hedges, Flelclif 
Johnson, Z:icli! 



Emery, John, detached at 51. O. of reg't. 
Ennis, William, mustered out June 21, '65. 
Field, Levi, mustered out June 21, '6o a.^ serg't. 
Field-i, Jonathan, diseh'd July 2, '63; di.^abilitv. 
Fordice, William H., tr to V. R. C. Dec^. 12, '63. 
Flood, E H., diseh'd July 13, '63 : disability. 
Grey, Hiram, mustered olit June 21, '6-5. 

" liel, dis. Jan. 1, '63 ; disability. 
L T., mustered out June 21, '6-5. 
r, must, oit June 21, '65 a' serg't. 
■iah, died at Chattanooga, Tenn-, 

June 16, '64. 
Johnson. Baley, died at Knoxville, Tenn. Feb. '64. 
Lookinbill, Matthew, mustered out June 21, '65. 
Lister, Alford, diseh'd Aug. 5, '63; disability. 
Lewis, George, dis. Mar. 7, '65 a.s corp'l ; wounds. J 
Livingston, Richard L, corp'l, died at Nashville, 

Tenn , July 10, '64; wounds. 
McMuIlon, John F., m'd out June 21, '65ascrp'l. 
Monnett, Hillery, diseh'd July 2, '63; disability. 
McConkey, James, must, out June 21. '65 as crp'l. : 
Mires, Henry, mustered out May 17, '65. 1 

McMullen. John, died at Elizabethtown, Ky., 

Dee. 17, 62. 
Munroe, Alvin, must out June 21, '&o as corp'l. ' 
McNier, Abner, died at Woodsonville, Kv. Jfuly \ 

13, '63. j 

McNier, Samuel, tr. to V. E. C July, 1864. 
North, .John, mustered out June 21, '65. 
North, -Wm. H., 

Opp, Henrv, '* " 

Page. George, dis. Sept. 3, '63 as corp'l ; disbl'tv. 
Paine, Lewis, accidentally killed Nov. 1S63. 
Powell. John, died at SVoodsonville, Kv., Dec. 

28, '62. " I 

Page, Timoihv, diseh'd Feb. 8, '61 ; disabilitv. I 
Provines, D.aniel, diseh'd Oct. 13, '63 ; disability. 
Pearson, James, mustered out June 21, '65. | 

Priest, John T., " 

Palmer, Thomas, " " 

Parker. Nathan, died at Elizabethtown, Kv, Nov. 

3. '62. 
Rusk, Culver, died at London, Tenn. Sept. 14, '63. 
Rusk, John D., diseh'd Dec. 31, '64 ; wounds. 
Robbins, Cordiller.as, must, out June 21, '65; as 

musician. 
Roberts, Elisha, died at Baltimore, April 22, '65 ; 

wounds. 
Rivett, John, mustered out Jlay 24, '65. 
Simpson, William, died at W^oodsonville, Ky., 

Jan. 3, '65. 
Stanhope, G., mustered out June 21, '65. 
"Welcharaer, Joshua, absent sick at M. O. of reg't. 
Welchamer, Samuel, mustered out June 21, '^b. 
'tt^orley, Willi 

uust. out -Tune 21, '65 as corp'l. 
lustered out June 21, 'Qo. 
mustered out June 2, "65. 
uust. out June 21, '65 as corp'l. 

S^cruits 
Dillavon, S.amnel, died Jan. 20, '64. 
Walker, Mosbey, mustered out June 21, '65. 

MUSTER ROLL COMPANY J. 

Captains. 

Emory L. Waller, resigned Dec. 15th, 1863. 
Joseph R. "Wolf, musi'd out (as l.>^t Lieut.) June 
21st, 186.5. 

Fir&t Lkutenant. 

John R. Ricliards, promoted Capt. Co. H. de- 
clined. Resigned June 1st, 1863. 
Erasmus D. Sessions, resigned June 30th, 1864. 
Robert Curaming, mustered out (as Serg't) June 
21sl, 1865. 

Second Lieutenant. 
Preston Jones, must'd out (as Serg'i) June 21, 'Go. 

First Sergeant. 
Jeti'erson Doyle, serg. absent sick, at M. 0. of reg't. 

Sergeants. 
Rompier R. Robins, died at Knoxville, T. April 

1.5th, 1864. 
Thos. McClerg, diseh'd Nov. 1863: disability. 
Benj. Flahart, must'd out June 21st, 'Go, as pv't. 
Abram Thomas, died at Knoxville, Tenn., Dec. 
19th, 1863. 
17 



Co 



.,fe. 



AVier, Sheldon, 
■West, Apinas, n 
Walker, Baley, i 
Zartman, Peter, 



Wm. A. S.aImons, di.scb'd Jan. 29: disability. 
Wesley E. McDonald, must'd out June 21, '65, 33 

sergeant. 
William Lemon, died in Ky., Nov. 10th, 1862. 
Alei. McCoy, must'd out June 21st, '6-5, as serg't. 
James Foley, diseh'd May lSth,'65; disability. 
Wm. .Shoemaker, must'd out June 21st, 1865. 
Andrew J. Krepps, private, absent sick at muster 

out of regiment. 

Jfumcian.?. 
Jefferson Wetsel, must'd out June 21, '65, as pv't. 
Orin S. Weaver, priv. absent sick at muster out of 

regiment. 

Wagoner. 
Henry Farmer, must'd out June 21, '65, as pv't. 

PrleatCi. 
Brennen, Edvv. must'd out June 21. '65, as corp'l. 
Bishop, Isaac N., diseh'd Jan. 1.5, '63, for pro. as 

surgeon United States service. 
Clearwaters, John W., mustered out .June 21, 'Go. 
Drybread, Wm. L., must'd out June 21, 1865. 
Funk, Henry, detached at muster out of reg't. 
Fennaron, Mich.iel, transferred. 
Gardner, Thos. Jr., diseh'd D.-c. 1.863 : disability. 
Gardner, Anson, J., must'd out May 25, 186.5. 
Hagg:ird, Francis M., must'd out jime 21, 1865, 

as wagoner. 
Hankins, Ramott N., must'd out June 21, 1865, 

furlough. 
Hurlev, David, absent sick at muster out of regt. 
Hoover, Abram T., must d out June 21. 1865. 
Hoover, Geo. D., died at home Sept. 1862. 
Hicks, Wm. F., mustered out Mav 22, 1865. 
Halaway, John W., must'd out June 21, 1865, as 

corporal. 
Hughes, John W., transferred. 
Johnson, William, muslered out June 21. 1865. 
Johnson, Silas, 

Knobbs. John, " " " " 

Kendall, Jjemuel, absent sick at muster out of regt. 
Lemon, John J. Jr., died at ICnoxville, Tenn., 

January 2, 18B4. 
Lewis, Thomas, mustered out June 21, 1S65. 
Laforce, Daniel, died at Knoxville, Tenn., Dec. 

in, lSfi3. 
Marsh, John P., muslered o\it June 21, 1865. 
Meliza, Geo. W., deserted Nov. 18, 1862. 
.0' Brine, Thomas, mustered out June 21, 1865. 
Pattersfin. Enoch, must'd out June 21, '65, as corp'l. 
Page, John T., mustered out June 21, 1865. 
Poff, John K., de.serted February, 1863. 
Roth, Simeon, absent sick at muster out of regt. 
Roth, James M., mustered out June 21, 1865. 
Robbins, Rochambeau, R., discharged May 23, 

1865 ; disabilitv. 
Robbins, Francis R , must'd out June 21, 1865. 
Riggs Randolph S , absent sick at muster out of 

regiment. 
Rue, Henry, mustered out June 2, 1865. 
Scoll, Arthur, " " " " 
Sadder, Edw. 

Shinkle, James, diseh'd Nov. 1863; disability. 
Schooley, Alfred D., mustered out June 21, 1865. 
Scheellej', Richard, *' " " " 

Spicer, James A., diseh'd Feb. 20, '65; disability. 
Thom,a.s, Columbus, mustered out June 21, 1865. 
Vannote, Ralph, T, " " " " 

Vannote, Morris .J., must'd out June 21, 1865, as 

corporal. 
Vannote, Lawson J., mustered out June 21, 1865. 
Webb, James V., mustered out June 21, 1865. 
Webb, Isaac S., absent sick at muster out of regt. 
Webb, Henrv W., trans, to V. R. C . Feb. 10, '65. 
Wheeler, Sam'l P., diseh'd Jan. 23, '03 ; disability. 
Wiekoff, Lorin, mustered out June 21, 1865. 
Williara.s, William, rau.stered out June 21, 186.5. 
Williams, Thomas, 
Williams, Edw. H., 
Yates, Francis, mustered out June 21, 1865. 

James A., must'd out June 21, 1865, 

35 corporal. 



JJe< 



nita. 



Finn, Martin, deserted August 28, 1862. 
Moore, William W., rejected. 

Cim.'sigiicd Becruit.^. 
Chine, Jonathan, transferred to 65lh III. Infantry. 
Kirby, Henry, transferred to 65th 111. Infantry. 



ONE HUXDRED .\ND THIRTEENTH INFASTRY 

Was organized at Camp Hancock, near 
Camp Douglas, III, November 6, 1862, 
when it was ordered to Memphis, Tenn., to 
report to General Sherman ; was in the 
" Tallahatchie Expedition : " in the siege 
of Vicksburg ; Chickasaw Bayou ; in cam- 
paign against General Forrest. The regi- 
ment participated in many other skir- 
mishes and minor engagements ; was mus- 
tered out June 20, 1865. 

Ml.STER ROLL COMPASY I. 

Mecruits. 
Cross, Allen J., tr. to 120 III., ms'td out Sept. 10, '65. 
Hickman, John L., tr. 120 III., m. o. Sept. 10, '65. 
Hume, Joel C , tr. to 120 III., ms'td out Sept. 10, '6.5- 
Karr, Mvers B., tr. to 120 111., m. o. Sept. 10, '65. 
Roraainc", Wm T., died at Memphis, Ap. 14, '64. 
Swearenger, Jacob W., trans, to 120 III., mustered 

out Sept. 10, 186.5. 
Trent, John B., tr. to 120 III., m. o. Sept. 10, '65. 

ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTEENTH INFANTRY. 

[Three Years' Service.) 

MUSTER ROLL COMPANY' E. 
rrimle.-!. 
Hood, Wihen B., died at Jefferson Barracks, Mo., 
Feb. 3, 1863. 

ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-FOURTH 
INFANTRY. 

{Thret Years' Sen-ice.) 

CN.iSSIGNED RECRUITS. 

Case, William J., rejected. 

Heil, Philip, died at Camp Butler, Dec. 31, ISOi. 

Orr, Willliam C, rejected. 

Tisler, .Alfonso. 

ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-FIFTH INFANTRY. 

Three Years' Service. 

MUSTER ROLL COMP.ANY H. 
Privates. 
Coon, Henry, discharged Oct. 23, 1862. 

ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTT-THIRD REGI- 
MENT. 
( One Hundred Days' Service.) 
These Volunteers were organized in this 
regiment by Col. Thaddeus Phillips, May 
31, 1864. On the 3d of June, moved to 
Rock Island Barracks, and was assigned to 
guarding prisoners of war. The regiment 
performed the duty faithfully and efBi- 
ciently, and was mustered out September 
24, 1S64. 

MUSTER ROLL COMPANY E. 
Privates. 
McNair, Elias, mustered out Sept. 24, 1864. 
Roggers, Elias, mustered out Sept. 24, 1864. 
Shockey. Joseph, mustered out Sept. 24, 1964. 
Sheets, Peton, mustered out gept. 24, 1864. 

MUSTER ROLL COMPANY I. 
Private.^. 
Wallers, John M., mustered out Sept. 24, 1864. 

ONE HUNDRED AND FORTIETH INFANTRY. 

( One Hundred Day/ Service.) 

MUSTER ROLL COMPANY H. 

Captain. 
George E. Furkinton, mustered out Oct. 29, 1864. 



130 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



FirM Lmdrnant. 
John McLindsley, mustered out Oct. 29, 'iM. 

Second Lkuldvmt. 
Jacob Fesler, mustei'ed out Oct. 29. '64. 

Firai Srrf/frinl. 
Isaac T. Kniglilar, nuistere.l out Oct. 29, 'C4. 

.S,.r;,,„„(..-. 
Janipa M. Walker, mu..ilered out Oct. 29, l.^C-1. 
Samuel Confer, 
•William G. Willard, 
Francis H. Goddard, 

Corporals. 
Flevious J.Knepper, mus. out Oct. 29, 'C4. 



Le« 



; Wood, 



James O.McCanoughv, " 
John H. .Sanders, 

Israel Throop, 

Amos B. Van Xunys. 

Mtmcmis. 
■William W Ackerson, mustered out Oct. 29, '64. 
Ilenrv R. May, 

Woynnrr. 
Xorris Tracy, mustered out Oct. 29, 1S64. 

Prirntcs. 
Brundage. Samuel, mustered out Oct. 29, 1864. 
Barer, Martin, 
Blood, Hulbert J , 

Coolbaugh. Herman C, " " 

Downey, Hugh, *' 

Eyster. Joseph M , " " 

Kbel. Citr.xstern, '' '' 

Evster, Charles L. '* " 

Ferris, George S , mus. out Oct. 29, '64. wounded. 
Freeman, Edwin C, 

Griffitii. George H., ■' " " 

(irant, John U, " 

Griswold, Alanson, '* "' 

Hamaker, Jacob, 
Hare, George, '' '' 

Heaganv. Peter, '' " '' 

Haiford', Francis D., " 
Hostraner, George, " '' " 

Kellev. James, " " " 

Hendrick, Edgar J, died at Memphis July 12, '64. 
Kuglar, Joseph, mus. out Oct. 29, '64. 
Long, John, " '' " 

Marshall, Wm. H., 
McDermott, John, " " *' 

McCan, John M., 

Myer.<, Oliver C. " " " as corp'l. 

Orcutt, Jacob H., *' " " 

Place, Henry, •' '' " 

Pattersim.Ciiarles W., " " " 

Parker, Henrv. " " " 

Kandall, Osb.'.rn R., " " " 

Rndgers, WilUam O., '' 
Reed, Orlando, " •' 

Royce, John, " " '' 

Rapp, Lewis, '* " 

Kussle, James L., 
Smith, Amos. 
Summer, Peter, " 

Scott, Joseph S., ■' '* " 

Steuben, George W-, " " " 

Sitterly, Emory, " " " 

Somers, John, '' 

Throop, Alvin, " " " 

Ure, William, 

Williams, Lovd J., " " 

Wlieeler, Andrew, " " " 

Wheeler, J. Milton, '• 
Willard, J. Revere, 

ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY FIFTH INFANTRY 
(ONE HUNDRED DATs' SERVICE.) 
Q'lfxrtennaster. 
James T. Snell, mustered out Sept. 23, 1864. 

XOS-COMMISSIOSED STAFF. 

Commiss:trif Sergeant. 
Irenus 0. Conklin, mustered out Sept. 23, 1864. 
Pri)icipal Musician. 
m W. Dunham, must'd out Sept. 23, 1S64. 



MUSTEK ROLL COMPANY D. 



Brock, James K., nr.istered out Sept. 23, 1S64. 
Morris, William P., mustered out Sept. 23, 1846. 

MUSTER ROLL COMPANY G. 

First Linilcmnt. 

Isaac X. Coltrin, dishonorably disch'd .\ug. 16, '64. 

First Sergedut. 
Francis D. Butts, mustered out Sept. 23, 1864. 

Norton C. Rowley, mustered out Sept. 23, 1864. 
Corporals. 

Alexander B. Stimson, must'd out Sept. 23, 1864. 

Privates. 

I Argo, William, must'd out Sept. 23, 1864. 

Bealty, Isaac B., 

Beekman, Christopher, '' " '' 

Brooks, Albert D., " '' " 

Cloud, Almond D., " " " 

Cornwell, Isham, 

Cousins, William, " '' " 

Downing, Alexander, 

Dillavan, William D., 

Dav, Philip D„ " 

Frisby, Isaac D , " " - " 

j Gregory, Theodosius, " " " 

Grady, Benjamin. *' '' " 

Gundv, Robert M., 

Gandv, Jacob H., 

Harp, Thomas D., 

Hanks, Philip K., 

Haynie, Alvin, 

Hiitlbian, Frederick, " ** " 

H;:ll, Theodore, 

Jones, Guilford. 

Jones, David W., '" *' " 

Johnson, George, Xo. 1. *' *' " 

Lissenbv, Benjamin, died Beaton Barracks, June 
23, 1864. 

Jlower, Henrv, musLd out Sept. 23, 1S64. 

Miller, Jacob, 

Negley, William G., " " 

! Ogbourn, John, '* " " 

Ragan, George, " 

Swaney, John, " '' " 

Warren, Henry, '' " •* 

Recruits. 
Field, Lewis, mustered out Sept. 23, 1864. 

; MASTER ROLL <:o:MPANY' I. 

.Serond Lieutennnt. 
George H. Whiteman, must'd out Sept. 2.3, 1864. 

Corporals. 
John L. Converse, mustered out Sept. 23, 1864. 
Charles E. Larapson, must'd out Sept. 23, 1864. 



must'd out Sept. 23, 1864. 



Bavs, Walter, 
Booth, William 

Dunham, William W., ' 

Evans, William, 

Inghon, Alva C, 

Jefrrey, William O., 

Jell'rev, Ephraim, " " " 

Leighner, Isaiah M., 

Martin, William H., 

Mann, Eli F., 

Slinker, William, 

Wren, Daniel, " 

MUSTER ROLL COMPANY K. 

Sergeants. 

Azariah S. Wimer, mustered out Sept. 23, 1864. 

Corporah. 
John T. Wray, mustered oulSept. 23, 1864. 



Hall, Joseph, mustered out Sept. 23, 1864. 
Loi.kins, De Witt C, mustered out Sept. 2.3, 1S6.5. 
Parker, Fletcher, died at Rolla, Mo., Aug. 23, '64. 
Porter, William, mustered out Sept. 23, 1864. 
Ray. William L., mustered out Sept. 23, 1864. 



ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY-FOURTH INFANTRY. 
(ONE years' SERVICE.) 

This regiuient was organized at Carup 
Butler, Feb. 21, 186.5, uuder call of Dec. 
1864. The regiment left for the south, 
Feb. '24th, and spent most of its term in 
Tennessee, doing guard and picket duty. 
Was mustered out at Nashville, Tennessee, 
Sept. lath, 186-5. September 29, I860, it 
received its pay and was discharged at 
Camp Butler, Springfield, Illinois 

MUSTER ROLL COMPANY B. 

First Sergeant. 

Thomas B. Adkerson, must'd out Sept. 18, 186-5. 

Sirgeanl. 
Jonas Tibbs, m. o. Sept. IS, 1865, as private. 

Corporals. ^ 

Hiram J. Kennv, must'd out Sept. 18, 1865. 
William H. Mitchell, m. o. Sept. 18, '6-5, as priv. 
Eriah L. Davenport, mustd out Sept. 18, '6-5. 

Privates 

Carlwright, Samuel, mustered out Sept. 18, 1865. 
Dunker, Lewis S., 

Geer, Joseph II., '' " " 

Gregory, Jacob P., *' " " 

Geer, Cnorge W., " " *' 

Tibbs, John W., discharged Jime 12, 1865. 

SECOND CAVALRY. 
(THREE years' SERVICE.) 
.Major. 
John R, Hotaling, mustered out, 1864. 

Battallion Adjutant. 
John R. Ilowlett, adjutant 1st battallion, m. o. 

MUSTER ROLL COMPANY' A. 

Captain. 

William B. Cummings, hon. disch'd June 24, '65- 

First Lieutenants. 
Frank B. Bennett, resigned June 3. 1862. 
Edward C. Baker, must'd out, term expired. 
I Seeond Lieutenant. 

James S. McHenry, resigned March 3. 1?64. 

Sergeants. 
Nicholas Hotaling, disch'd Aug. 11, '64, tm. exd. 
D. B. Dewey, disch'd April 22. 1862. 
Frank Hatch, prisn'r of war since Feb. 12, 1862, 
reported to have died in prison. 

Corporals. 
J. A. B. Biitterfield, disch'd Aug. 11, '64, asserg't, 

term expired. 
G. W. Hemstock, disch'd Aug. 11, '64, as sergt, 

term expired. 



Antisdale, Simon L., died at N. 0., Oct. 12, '62. 

Belles, Cornelius, disch'd August 11, 64, as corp'l, 
term expired. 

Bechtol, Reuben, disch'd Jan. 20, 1862. 

Denkler, S. F., must'd out Sept. 3, '64, tm. exp'd. 

Fletcher, S. H. vet., m. o. Nov. 22, '65, as corp'l. 

Hotaling, Charles, dischd Dec. 20, 1861. 

Hoatling, D. W., dischd Julv 11, 1862. 

Hunisdon, Lewis, disch'd June 30, 1862. 

Hardcastle, Geo., disch'd Aug. 18, '64. Im. exp'd. 

Hubberd, Lewis, died at Memphis, July 28, 63, 
wounds. 

Hamaker, Morgan, died at Memphi.s.Feb. 2G, '63. 

Hiland, Robert, m. o. Sept. 3, '64, term exp'd. 

Johnson, Samuel, discharged Jan. 7, 1863. 

Luti.s, Jacob, died Feb. 25. 1862. 

Manning, Jo.seph, discharged Jan. 26, 1862. 

Mills, G. H. vet., serg't, mustd. out as supernu- 
merary U'^n-com. ofBcer. June 24, 1865. 

McCorckle, .James, 1st serg't killed in action at 
Port Gibson, Miss., May 20, 1863. 

Pottarf, B. R., died at Trenton, Tenn., Aug. 3, '62. 



HI&TORY OF BE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



131 



P.ir^one, Jas. F., di-ch'il Aug. 11, '64, tm. exp'd. 
Padgett, James L., vet., rn. o. Nov. 22. 181)5. 
Place, Samuel M., discli'd .\ug. 11, '64, tm.exp'd. 
Rlioades, .John, vet,, niusl'd oat Nov. 22, 1S65. 
Rosens, William, discharged Jaa. 20. 1862. 
Smith, Frank, vet., inust'd out Xov. 22. 18ii.5. 
Steel, Calvin F. vet., must'd out Nov. 22, 1S65. 
Stillwell, William F. vet., Co. Q. M. serg't. m. o. 
June 24, 'Go, assupernu'y non-com. officer. 
Winters, Geo. W., died Sept. 22, 1862. 

Chatterton, Charlei E., inust'd out Nov. 22, '6.5. 
Feeland, Charles, musl'.i out Nov. 22, 1865. 
Recruits. 

Airhart, Wm W , discharged Sept. 10, 1S63. 

Anils, Ch.irles W.. mustered out Jnne 26, 1863. 

.Vdams, Robert M., died at Vicksburg, Aug. 8,'63. 

Casler, Orlando U. 

Gordonier, Henderson, mustered out June 11, '65 

Hemstock, James L., disch'd Jnne 11, 1865. 

Hiland, Andrew, mustered out June 11, 1865. 

Hamlin, David, 

Hemstock, Jolm D., mustered out Nov. 22, 1865. 

Jewell, George W., tr to (E. Co. consolidate,) 

mustered out Nov. 22, 1S65. 
Keith, Corwin B , discharged March 1S63. 
Lord, James M , mustered out June 11, 1865. 
Lillev, I^azarus. mustered out Nov. 22, 1865- 
Miers, Henry, discharged Oct. 9, 1862. 
McDonald, C H. 

Rathburn, Roval A., mustered out Jnne 11, 1865. 
Skeleton. Thom.as. discharged Mav 16. 1862 
Steinberg, Hezekiah, musiered out June 11, 1865. 
Smith, Henry L., m. o. Nov. 22, '65, as co. com. 

sergeant. 
Towner, .Selh S. vet., died at N. O. Dec. 16, '64. 
Towner, Wayne, deserted J.in. 7, 1865. 
Wheeler, Charles T., musiered out June 21, 1865. 

MUSTEK ROLL COMPANY B. 

Q. M. Sergeant. 
David Thomas, disch'd Aug. 11, '62, disability. 

Recruits. 
Elv, John F.. must'd out Nov. 22, '65, as serg't. 
Taylor, George W., mustered out Nov. 22, 1865. 
Wren, John S., mustered out Nov. 22 1865. 

MUSTER ROLL COMPANY F. 

Privates. 
Griffith, John, discharged May 8, 1862. 
Meyers, John W.. disch'd Dee. 7, 1S63, disability. 
Meyers, Geo. N., disch'd M irch 6. '62 ; disabiliiv. 
Meyers, William, vet., m. o. Nov. 22, '65, b'kl'h. 
Rass, George, discharged Oct. 16, '63, wounds. 
Weedraan. Isiah. serg't, killed in action at Holly 
Springs, Miss., Dec. 20, 1802. 

R^cruit,<i. 
Kelly, Joel A., mustered out Nov. 22, 1865. 
Ross, Edmund, disch'd Aug. 14, '63, disability. 

MUSTEK ROLL COMPANY I. 

Recrmts. 
Manlove, John N., m. o. Aug. 11, '64. as serg't. 
Osbourn, Henry C, disch'd Apr. 16, '61,disabt'y. 

FOURTH CAVALRY. 

[Three Years' Service.) 

MUSTER ROLL COMPANY L. 

Captain. 
Harvey H. Merriman, trans, to Major 12tli Cav. 
Resigned (as captain), Feb. 16, 1866. 

Privates. 
Bates, Zenas, disch'd March 3, 1862 ; disability. 
Bowers, J. C, disch'd June II, 1862; disability. 
Berger, Frederick, mustered out Nov. 3, 1864.' 
Cantrall, Amos A., vet., must'd out May 29, 1866. 
Costolo. John, trans, to naval service, Jan 31, '62. 
Duncan John, mustered out Nov. 3, 1864. 
Despain, J J. must'd out Nov. 3, '61, as serg't. 
Dennis, Joseph, disch'd .\pril 18, '62; disabilitv. 
Dickhoff. John F., nmstered out Nov. 3, 1864. 
Forbes, William, mustered out Nov. 3, 1864. 
Finnan, J. J., mustered out Nov. 3, 1864. 



Farren, James M., must'd out Nov. 3, '64, as serg't. 
Gregorv, Jac .b, trans, to naval service Jan. 3, '62. 
Graves; John H., disch'd .Jan. 31, 62; disabilitv. 
Harper, Francis M., disch'd Jnne 26, '63: ilisb.'ty. 
Hume, John H., mustered out .Nov. 3, 1S64. 
Ives, .\verv H., mustered out Nov. 3. 1864. 
Jenkin.s, Tlios.died in DeWiti Co., 111., Ap. 15, '62. 
Kirbv, .John D., tnusiered out Nov. 3, 1S61. 
KirbV, James C, discharged Jnne 16, 1862. 
ICing, George M., mustered out Nov. 3, 1864. 
Kinney, John, musiered out Nov. 3, 1864. 
Lear, Corneliu.s, mustered out Nov. 3, 1864. 
Morris, Isacher, dis. Mar. 3. '62. as serg't ; disb'tv. 
Mc.Man, Thomas, discharged Mav 8. 1862. 
.McA'ooy, Wm. M., disch'd Nov. 1, 1861 ; disbl'ty. 
-Mclntire. Stewart, Ir. to naval ser., Jan. 31, '62.' 
O Neal, Thomas C, died at Natchez, Jan. 27, '64. 
Proud, William, must'd out Nov. 3, '64, as corpl. 
Bunyon, Joseph, discharged May 8, 1862. 
Stanton, Armon, mustered out Nov. 3, 1864. 
St. Clair, A G , vet., mus't out Mav 29, 1860. 
Turner, J. B., musiered out Nov. 3", 1S64. 
Walker, John B, d. Humboldt, Tenn., Nov 7 '62. 
Willon, or Wellen, J. F., died at Monterey, Tenn,, 

Jjoe 3. 1862. 
Wriijht, James M., disch'd June 19. '62; disb'lty. 
Wilson, Michael, died at Natchez, Sept. 29, '64. 
Wilson, .\sa, must'd out Nov. 3, '64, as corporal. 
Walker, Mosby, disch'd Nov. 1, 1861 ; disability. 
Williams, Prentice N., must'd out Nov. 3, 1864.' 
Young, .\ndrew, vet., mu.st'd out March 17, 1866. 



;:',•.• 



Jackson, John A., died Piltsl.'g Lndg, Mav 5. '62. 
Richard.s, William, mustered out Mav 29, 1866, 

as corp'l Co. I, 12th Cav. 
Taylor, William H., mustered out May 29, 1806, 

as com. sergeant. 

SEVENTH CAVALRY. 

{Three Years' Serrice.) 

MUSTER ROLL COMPANY A. 

Recruits. 
Aler, M'ilson, mustered out Nov. 4, 1865. 
Enos, Francis, nmstered out Nov. 4, 1865. 
Forbe.s, Stephen, musiered out Nov. 4, 1865. 
Harrold, William F., mustered out Nov. 4, 186.5. 
Maple, Thomas E., mustered out Nov. 4, 1865. 
McNeir Elias, mii.stered out Nov. 4, 1865. 
Norris, Theotloi-e, tnustered out Nov. 4, 1865. 
Tubes, or Tuper, Allison, must'd out Nov. 4, 1865. 

MUSTER ROLL COMPANY C. 



Church, Henry C, mustered out Oct! 19. 1865. 
Freeman. Marcus, piustered out Oct. 19, 1865. 

Unai^signed Recruits. 
Harp, Mark B. 

EIGHTH CAVALRY. 
(THREE years' SERVICE ) 

This orgaDization was eflected at St. 
Charles, Illinois, in September, 1861, by 
Col. J. F. Fanisworth, and was mustered 
into the United States service September 
18th, 1861, October 13th, the regiment 
moved to Washington City, and was as- 
signed to the department of the east. 
March 10th, 1862, the regiment joined the 
general advance on Manassas, at four 
different times driving the enemy across 
the Rappahannock. June 26th, met the 
enemy under Jackson, and repulsed him, 
and, afterwards at Gaines' Hill, skirmish- 
ing continually with the enemy. Bore the 
blunt of the fight at Malvern Hills, where 
it sustained a severe loss. Engaged at 
Monocacy Church ; captured 20 prisoners 
at Barnesville ; at Sugar Loaf Mountain, 
Middletown, South Mountain and Boones- 



boro, captured 2 guns, killing and wound- 
ing 67, and taking 200 prisoners. Was at 
the battle of Antietam, Martinsburg, 
FrederickKburg Loss up to February 
17th, 1863, 27 killed, 71 wounded, and 20 
missing. Was in many engagements dur- 
ing 1863, losing 23 killed, 116 wounded, 
and 37 missing. Was mustered out July 
17th, 1865. 

MUSTER ROLL COMP.ANT B. 

Q. jV. Sergeant. 
J. J. Woodruff, disch'd Oct. 14, 1862; diability. 

Privates. 
Bailev. William, mustered out Sept. 28, 1S64. 

Bc41, .Jam« M,, vr( , n,;.:,., ,,1 .July 17, 186.5. 

Fancher, Martin, ,1, ,1 \, ,1 h, 1864; wounds. 
Herrick, Willi;iin. n, :,;,,< ^..pt. 28, 1864. 
Hill, Henrv, luii^i, ,.■ I ..m s ;,, l'S 1864. 
Thomas, Julius 0., mustered out S<?pt. 28, IS64. 
Wales, John, discharged, May 15, 1862. 

Recruits. 
Percival, Judson, mustered out July 17, 1865. 
Percival Stephen, mustered out July 17, 1865. 

MUSTER ROLL COMPANY K. 

Veteran. 
Willard William, mustered out July 17, 1865. 

Vnnssigucd Recruit. 
Barry, Job.i. 

NINTH CAVALRY REGIMENT. 

{2'hree Years' /Service.") 
This regiment was mustered into the 
United States service since November 30, 

1861, at Chicago, Illinois. It participated 
in several batths and skirmishes, losing 
heavily. The regiment served out its full 
time, and was mustered out at Selma, Ala- 
bama, Oct. 31, 1S6.5, and ordered to Spring- 
field, where it received final payment and 
discharge. 

MUSTER ROLL COMFANY M. 

Recruits. 
Bigelow, Henrv .\.., musiered out Oct. 1.3, 1865, to 

date Oct. 2, 1865. 
Fuller, Adelbert, died at Gainesville, Oct. 14, '65. 
Reed, Charles, musiered out Oct. 13, 1865. 
Wail, Percival. 

l^ua.mgned Recruit. 
Bush, Ralph, rejected by board. 

TENTH CAVALRY. 
(TUREE years' SERVICE.) 

The organization of this regiment was 
efl^ected at Camp Butler, III , November 
25th, 18GI. Dudley Wickersham was ap- 
pointed Colonel, May 15th, 1862. Spent 
the winter at Quincy, 111., and March 18th, 

1862, reported at Benton Barracks, Mis- 
souri. During the remainder of the year 
it operated in the States of Missouri and 
Arkansas. The remainder was spent in 
the south-west, doing frontier skirmishing. 
It was mustered" out of service November 
22d, 1865, at San Antonio, Te.xas, and or- 
dered to Springfield, Illinois, for final pay- 
ment and discharge. Below are the names 
credited to De Witt county. 



132 



HISTORY OF BE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



TENTH CAVALRY REGIMENT- 

(THREE years' SERVICE.) 

MUSTER ROLE COMPANY L. 

Corp.,;,!. 

Enoch, Thornley. vet., intist. oat Xov. 22, '05, 

Ilecnnl. 
■\VuIclron. Allen, must, out June 13, '65. 

MUSTER HOLL COMPANy M. 

Able, James C, deserted from ; absent in hands 

of the enemy Feb. 12, '65. 
Able, Thomas, deserted fiom ; absent in hands of 

the enemy Feb. 12, '65. 
East, Edward H., must, out Nov. 22, '65. 
Masiin, James W., must, out Nov. 22, '6.3. 
Mulkv, Wm. A., must, out Sept. 6, '65. 
Mulkv, Philip E., mu.'it. out Nov. 22, '65. 
Eoss, John f:., must, out Nov, 22, '6-5. 
Stone, Elijah B., disch'd Feb. 25, '65 ; disability. 
Fibbs, Jackson, must, out Nov. 22, '65. 
Wiraer, Thomas K., must, out Aug. 24, '65. 
Wilson. Alfred, must, out Nov. 12, '65. 



FOURTEENTH CAVALRY. 
{three YEAR.S' SERVICE.) 
MUSTER ROLL COMPANY F. 

Ryan George W., deserted Feb. 21, '63. 

."MUSTER ROLL COMPANY H. 
.S'..,«o-. 
Nathaniel P. Harris, disch'd M.ay 16, '63; dis- 
ability. 

Prirutes. 
Brooks, Wm., must, out July 31, '65. 
Hayes, Charle.?, must, out Julv 31, '6.5, as serg't. 
Odell, Delos, must, out July 3"l, '65, as serg't. 
Polen, Joseph R., must, out July 31, '65- 

SIXTEENTH CAVALRY-. 

(three tears' SERVICE.) 

MUSTER ROLL COMPANY H, 

Primtes. 
Meeyer, Augus', must, out Aug- 19, '65. 
Meyer, Fritz, deserted March 21, '64. 

SEVE.NTEENTH CAVALRY. 
(THREE years" SERVICE.) 

This regiment was organized under 
special authority from the War Depart- 
ment, issued August r2th, 1863, to Hon. 
John F. Farnsworth. The Colonelcy of 
the regiment was offered to John L. Bev- 
eridge, then Major in the Eighth Illinois 
Cavalry, who assumed the work of organi- 
zation, November 15th, 1863 The regi- 
ment was completed February 12th, 1864. 
May 3d, 186-t, the regiment moved under 
orders from the General-in-Chief, to report 
to Maj. Gen. Kosecrans, commanding the 
department of Missouri, at St. Louis, Mo. 
The three battalions of this regiment were 
for the most time separated, and it would 
be difficult to give an account of the move- 
ments of the companies or parts of com- 
panies that are given below, or those that 
went from De Witt county. The service 
of the regiment was wholly within the de- 
partment of Missouri, commanded resjiec- 
tively by Generals Rosecrans, Dodge and 
Pope. Reconnoissance, skirmishing and 



guarding was its principal duty. Muster- 
ed out November and December, 1865. 

MUSTER ROLL COMPANY- A, 

Primtes. 

AVilkie, Calvin, detached at mus. out of regiment. 

MUSTEK ROLL COMPANY" D. 

First Lieuteiuints. 
Israel H. Eldridge, mustered out March 16, 1865. 
Henry S. Chappelear, mustered out Dec. 20, '65. 

Srnjeaiits. 
John M. Osborne, m. o. Dec. 20, '65, as private. 
John F.T. J. McKinney, dis. as priv. Oct. 29, '64. 
Harrison S. Andrew.s, m. o. Dec. 20, '65, wagontr. 

Corporals. 
Geo. W. Garrett, in confinement at m. o. of reg't. 
Wm. B. Waller, dis. Nov. 30, '65 ; disability. 

Privates. 
Cunningham, .John, mustered out Sep. 15. 1865. 
Field, Robert, mils, out Dec. 20, '65, as Sergeant. 
Lillard, Jooeph E., " 
Ledbetter, Job F., " 

Lillard, Wm. E.. " ■' as Corporal. 

Morse, Wm. H., " 
Polan- Samuel, " " 

Wimer, .John R. " ■' Co. Q. M. Serg't. 

Williams, Lewis, " " as Corporal. 

i R.-rr„it. 

Clemens, Albert J., m. o. Dec. 20, '6-5, as Serg't. 

MUSTER ROLL COMPANY- H. 
Prirnlc. 
Tours, John, nuistered out Dec. 1865. 

MUSTER ROLL COMPANY M. 
Privates. 
Deets, Sylvanus, mustered out Nov. 23, 1865. 
Murphy, John, deserted Sep. 7, 1864. 
Moore, Calvin, mustered out Nov. 2.J, 1865. 
Rust, John J., mustered out May 15. 1865. 
Ray, Charles, mustered out Nov. 23, 1865. 

FIRST REfJIMENT LIGHT ARTILLERY. 

(THREE years' SERVICE.) 

MUSTER ROLL BATTERY H. 

Prirnte.-!. 

Kyler, George, vet., mustered out Aug. 10, '65. 

MUSTER ROLL BATTREY- K. 
Sreond Lirutnmnt. 

William L. William.s, mustered out Aug. 1.5, '65. 

Privates. 
Armstrong, William, must, out June 19, '65. 

Barngrover, Geo. W., m'd out June 19 '65 as cp'l. 

Butterworth, James, m'd out June 19, '65 as bugler. 

Bowles, Peter H., mu.st. out June 19, '65. 

Cross, Benjamin, must'd out June 19. 65 jis serg't. 

Coppenbarger, David, must'd out June 19. '65. 

Cromer, William H., must'd out April 19, '65. 

Clark; Lake, must'd out Jime 19, '65. 

Campbell. William, must, out Julv 1.5, '65. 

Davis, Walter, must'd out June 19, '6.5. 

Early, William, died near Knoxville, Tenn. 
Feb. 16, '64. 

Farris, Amos G-, mustered out July 13, '65. 

Freeze, Andrew, mustered out June 19, '65. 

Fenneran, Michael, '* " " 

Gilson, George E., " '' " 

Hoyt, Orin A., must, out June 19, '65 as serg't, 

Knobl.s. Charles, mustered out June 19. '65. 

Lunn. Richard, must'd out June 19, 65 as corp'I. 

Luck, William, discharged. 

McKinley, Joseph, must, out June 19, '65 as Q. 
M. Sergeant. 

McGowan. Parker S., deserted Oct. — , '65 ar- 
rested and confined ; escaped April 15, 'Go. 

Page, William, must. outa.s corp'I June 19, '65. 

Pollock, Samuel M., mu^t. out June 19, '6-5. 

Petticord, Thomas J., '■ " 

Page, Alfred, " " 1 



Reed, 'Willis G., must, out June 19. '65 as serg't. 

Ru.ssell, Jesse, '■ •■ as corp'I. 

Ratclifl; Daniel, 

Rooker, William, . " 

Smith, John A., " •' 

Simpson, John H., *' " 

Spenser, James H., '* " 

Schenck, Obadiah, " " 

Scott, Augustus, de.serted Aug. 31, '63. 

Wise, Reuben, must, out June 19, 'G5 as corp'I. 

Wise, Israel F., 

Williams, John F., " 

Williams, W^. L., promoted. 

Walt, Levi, mustered out June 19, '65. 

Williams, Frank E., deserted July 19, '65. 

Reerails. 
Bowles, Henry H., mustered out July 15, 1865. 
Lafl'erty, Isa^ C, mustered out July 15, 1865. 

SECOND REGIMENT, LIGHT ARTILLERY. 

(THREE Y-EARS' SERVICE.) 

HISTORY OP BATTERY P. 

This Battery was organized at Cape 
Girardeau, Mo., by Capt John W. Powell, 
and was mustered in, December 11, 1861. 
March 14th, 1862, moved to Pittsburg 
Landing with six 6 pound guns, and was 
assigned to Gen. W. H. L. Wallace's Bri- 
gade, sixth division. April 6th, engaged 
the enemy near Shiloh Church ; engaged 
in the siege of Corinth October 3d and 4th, 
1S62 ; at the siege of Vicksburg ; in the 
Meridian campaign ; one section fighting 
on the Hatchie; at Kenesaw Mountain; 
heavily engaged before Atlanta and in the 
siege of Atlanta and Jonesboro ; and at 
Nashville. It was ordered to Springfield, 
Illinois, for muster out July 9th, 1865, and 
was mustered out July 27th, 1865. 

MUSTER ROLL BATTERY F. 

First Lieutenant. 
Richard Osborne, mustered out (as fr. 2d lieut.) 

July 27, 1865. 

Second Lieutenant. 
Israel H. Eldridge, resigned Feb. 13, 1863. 

Peeruits. 
-Anderson, John J., must'd out July 27, 186.5, as 

wagoner. 
Beatty, James, must'd out July 27, '65, as corp'I. 
Brooks, Leonard F., mustered out July 27, 1865. 
Blavlock. Robert G., mustered out July 27, 1865. 
Burns, De Witt C, 

Beatty. Henrv G., '' '' " 

Bock, Tiieodore. 
demons, Clayton C, promoted reg't. com. serg't. 

mustered out .July 27, 1865. 
Curry, Domink, mustered out July 27, 1865. 
Collins. Daniel, '' '' '' 

Curl, John W., 
Crawford, Smith, died at N.ashville, Tenn., Feb. 

2.5, 1865. 
demons, Albert 

Donavan, John, must'd out Julv 27, 186.5. 

Eaton John A., 

Eaton Jeremiah, " " " 

Fitzpalrick, Isaac N., " " " 

Fitzpatrick, Robert G., " " " 

Ciaines, Samuel B., " '* " 

Harvey, Thomas G., must'd out July 27, 186-5, as 

1st sergeant. 
Hanken,-on, Benjamin, must'd out July 27, 1865. 
Hill. William C, 
Hall, Peter C, 

Hinkle, Abraham, " *' " 

Lillard. Joseph. 

McCatfrev, Francis, mustered out July 27, 186-5. 
McFarlaiid, Alva C, " '' 

Morse, Joseph B., prisoner of war since July 22, 

1864, not mustered with battery. 



HISTORY OF BE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



133 



McAboy, Arthur J,, mustered out July 27, 1S65. 
Reaston, Francis, corp'l priy. of war since July 22, 

1864, not mustereil with battery. 
Sumpter, Joeph, mustered out July 27, 13G">. 
Smith, Augustus L., must'd out May 2:i, ISUo. 
Seeley, Samuel D., mustered out July 27, IStio. 
Smith, Cha=. died at Marietta, Ga.. j'uly 30, 1864. 
Thomas. James L., prisoner of war since July 22, 

1864. not mustered with battery. 
Winslow, Orlando R,, must'd out July 27, 186.5. 
Yarzell, William R., 
YeamoDs, John W., " " " 

MUSTER ROLL B.VTTERY 0. 

Charles Greenwood, dis. Oct. 16, '63 : disability. 

Corporal. 
Sam'I E. Curtis, died at Goodrich L.ind'g La Sep.2. 



Atkinson, Edn 
Sliafer, Thom; 



luid T., nni^trred out .'>pp. 4, 
:, mustered out Sep. 4, '6-5. 



Primh; 



Rose, Corydcn, ditd Camp Butler, 111., J.an. 9, 'lii. 
Steel, Joseph M., vet., m. o. .Si-p. 4, G."i, .-is Coip'l. 



Anstiss, Frank D., deserted Jan. 31, 1863. 
Brown, William, died at Memphis June 29, '63. 
Davis, Jesse W., died at Vicksburg Oct. 1.5, '63. 
Dusenburv, Albert A., vet., rous. out Aug. 2, '65. 
II:is;cr, .lohn Wesley, m. o. Dec. .3, '64; term ex. 
ll.iiiniKway, llLinniah W., m.o Dec.3, '64 ; ter. ex. 
Luveridgc, Jcliir.-on S., veteran, dis Aug. 7, '65, 

Corporal ; superannuated. 
Minnis, James P., vet., mustered out Sep. 4, '6.5. 
McDowell, Corvden H., vet., m. o. Sep 4, '65 ; Cor. 
McDowell, William, mustered out Nov. 25, '64. 
Padgett, Robert M,, vet., m. o. Sep. 4, '65; Serg't. 
Ransom, Amos C, dis. Aug. 14, '02; disability. 



MUSTER ROLL It.VTTERY 



Dibert, Warren, vet., m.o. June 14, '65. as Corp'l. 
Dourgan, Robert, vet., mustered out Jime 14, '05. 
Finnell, Thoma.s, vet., mustered out June 14, '65. 
Grovenor, Nathan, vet., mus. out June 14, 'tio. 
Hobbs, Allen, vet., mustered out June 14, '65. 
Lighthall, Robert W., vet., mus. out June 14, '65. 
McGary, Hugh, vet., died at Chattanooga, Tenn. 
Peterson. Marshall, vet., m. o. June 14, '6.5 ; Bugler 
Provin, William, mustered out June 14, '6.5. 
Smith, Peter A., veteran, mus. out June 14, '65. 
Wallace, Stephen, vet., mus. out June 14, '6.5. 

R-rnnt. 

Burns, John, mustered out June 14, 1805. 



CHAPTER XIV. 



ECCLESIA TIC. I L IIISTOR Y. 




THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH. 

BY REV. J. C. KUCKER. 

JHE Indian tribes, fifty years ago, matJe their 
trails, and wild beasts prowled through woods 
and prairies, when numerous swamps and 
swelling waters overflowed nearly all the en- 
tire country ; when pestilenlial malaria pros- 
trated almost every family; when snows and 
storms of unparalleled depth and severity 
made the winters desolate and formidable to 
a degree before and since unknown, so that 
starvation was at the door of every settler ; even then a few 
Methodist people met to worship God in their cabins, and Metho- 
dist preachers went to and from in the wilderness, "' seeking the 
lost sheep of the house of Israel." The preachers, were men 
of strong common sense, earnest convictions, and such ready 
utterance as to command attention wherever they held divine 
service. Their appointments were commonly from twelve to 
twenty miles apart, and they usuall}- preached every day in the 
week, except Monday. Their circuits were often hundreds 
of miles around them, and were travelled every four weeks. 
Rarely have people had as their first pa.stors, ministers of 
greater moral force to draw the hearers, and mould the 
minds of men to Christian truth and life, and few pulpit orators 
since have surpassed the founders of Methodism in De Witt 
county in subduing argument and cultivating eloquence. 
Peter Cartwright, John Sinclair, S. W. D. Chase, Norman Allyn, 
and Peter Akers, and others, as leaders in great religions 
movements, were the peers of any ministers east or west in this 
broad country: they carried the signs of true apostolical succes- 
sors, " in journeyings often ; in perils of waters ; in perils of rob- 
bers ; in perils by the heathen ; in perils by their own country- 
men ; in weariness and painfulness; in hunger; in cold and 
nakedness, besides that which came upon them daily, the care 
of all the churches." 

Let us now give the names of some of those pioneer settlers 
who took lessons from such pastors, and those who have known 
them during the past half century can realize, many of them 
were worthy of their teachers, and have been solid foundation 
stones in the Christian temple in this county. 



Judge William Lowry, an aged Methodist with a large family 
emigrated from Kentucky, and stopping a while in Edgar county 
in this state, came and settled on the south side of Salt creek 
timber, one and a half miles etfst of the present town of Kenney, 
in 1829. That year, at the Mt. Carmel Conference, Illinois Con- 
ference was organized ; Rev. W. L. Deneen, an effective and 
promising young man, was appointed to " Salt creek circuit," 
embracing all the country now included in Menard, Logan, Ma- 
con, and De Witt counties, and all of Sangamon county, north 
of Sangamon river. Mr. Deneen organized the first Society in 
De Witt county, at the house of Judge Lowry. The members 
were William Lowry and wife, and two sons and three daugh- 
ters: Reuben, Frank, Cecilia, Nancy and Eliza Lowry. Thomas 
Alsop and wife, widow Alsop and daughter, James Kenney and 
wife, ana son. Daniel Newcomb and wife, his father and sisters 
Elizabeth and Hannah, were added to the infant church. 

In the fall of 18.31, Gd. Andrew Wallace, from Bourbon 
county, Kentucky, came and settled four miles north-west of 
Lowry 's, on the north of Salt creek ; and in 1832, the Colonel's 
wife and daughter, now widow Hickman, united with the church ; 
in 18.36, Joseph Howard and wife, and Reuben Thornley and 
wife, Rachel Howard, and Mary Wallace, now widow Reddick, 
of Clinton. This Society made quite a creditable beginning for 
Methodist history in the county. 

The preaching place continued at Judge Lowry's for several 
years ; also at Daniel Newcome's ; then it was removed to Joseph 
Howard'.s house where it remained for eighteen years. Col. 
Wallace's house was also a place of worship for a long period. 
Though the Col. was not a church member, he was one of nature's 
noblemen. The preacher in those days held closed door class- 
meetings after preaching and as many of the congregation like 
himself were turned out of doors during class hour, he good hu- 
moredly said he would not stand it ; and he built another room 
for himself and brother outsiders to have accomodations also on 
class meeting occasions. 

After the first years' hardships passed social life was greatly 
relished and cultivated in home circles ; and plenteous tables 
were covered with luscious refreshments. The houses where 
preaching was held often entertained at those tables ten, twenty 
atid even fifty at a time. No famed Virginia hospitality ever 
surpassed in generous abundance, so often furnished, to so many 
who worshiped at those private houses. Mrs. Heta Wallace wife 
of the Colonel prepared one of these tables ; she is still living at 
the age of 91. 

In 1834 a Methodist society was formed at Waynesville; and 
one at Marion (now De Witt) and also at Hurlys Grove, Dennis 



134 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



Hurly and wife, Richard Kirby and wife, Clmrles McCone aud 
wife, and some of tiie Huddlejton and Clearwater family, John 
Weedman and wife ; all of these had large families who afterward 
united with the church. About the same year societies were 
formed on Xorth fork of Salt Creek at Brittons at Isaac Swishers 
and in Texas township, but at the last named place Methodism 
did not succeed very well aud is the only township in the county 
where it has no representation. 

After five years the name of Salt Creek Circuit was changed 
and called "Athens Circuit"' after a small town in Sangamon 
county containing the parsonage : Abraham Lincoln lived there 
in those days. Clinton Circuit was formed in 1839. The same 
year De Witt county was organized and Clinton was made the 
county seat when there were only twelve families in the town, 
and of these a small Methodist society was formed by Rev. Ga- 
briel Watt. John J. McGraw was the circuit clerk and his office 
in the old frame court-house was the preaching place. The first 
board of official members of Clinton Circuit were Reuben Thorn- 
ley, Joseph Howard, Samuel H. Martin, Nicolas Moore, Wood- 
ford Taylor, Wm. Cottingham and John Clark, Joseph Howard 
and S. H. Martin were licensed to preach at the first quarterly 
conference of that year. 

In 18.35 Hurly's Grove formed a part of Marion mis>ion and 
had Rev. John C. French for their pastor, and at their first quar- 
terly conference had twelve local preachers, nine stewards, and 
thirteen class leaders besides the preacher in charge on the official 
list, and of those in thii county were Paxton Cummins, Gabriel 
Watt, Dudlev Richards, Charles McCone, Benjamin Day, George 
Lemons, Wm. McPherson (who afterward joined the Baptists), 
and Richard Kirby. Three years after Clinton Circuit was 
formed twenty-four members of the quarterly conference were in 
attendance. Quarterly meetings in those times were seasons of 
great religious interest, drawing official and private members to- 
gether from a distance of twenty, forty and sixty miles. The 
business was performed with order and dispatch ; but temporal 
business was not then the main object of those assemblages. 
The presence of the Presiding Elder was utilized by all in atten- 
dance. The other preachers drew inspiration from his superior 
wisdom and deeper experience in spiritual realities. His pres- 
ence became a magnetic stiraulent. His preaching was "not in 
word only but in power and in the Holy Ghost and in much as- 
surance." The preachers and elders then could truly say " silver 
and gold have I none but such as I have give I unto thee," and 
many were those whose " feet and ancle bones received strength" 
and leaping up went through those humble temples " walking 
and leaping and praising God." 

The Pastors and presiding Elders for the first ten years were in 
1829, AV. L. Deneen; 1830 A. S Phelps; 1831 Wilson Pitner ; 
183- Levi Springer; 1833 Jas. H. Dickens, Emanuel Metcalf ; 
1834-5 Moses Clampet, S. P. Burr; 1836 Richard Bird, Moses 
Wood; 1837 Levi Springer; 1S38 David Colilsour; 1839 Gabriel 
Watt. And those on Marion mission were 1835 John C. French; 
1836 Richard W. Clark ;■ 1837 Paxton Cummins ; 1838-9 Horace 
Maynard, Peter Cartwright, John Sinclair, and S. W. D. Chase, 
served in the Eldership. 

The first parsonage was built at Hurly Grove in 1838, of logs 
and only one room, John Weedman and Richard Kirby donated 
five acres of ground for the use of the parsonage. The first 
fleeting house was built in 1843 at Hurly's Grove. Dennis 
Hurlv, John Weedman, R. Kirby, John Danner, William 
McCone, James W. McCone and John Day were the trustees. 
The first camp meeting was held near Col. Wallace's in 1832. 



Camp meetings were soon held at AVaynesville and Marion and 
in 1840 the camp ground was located for eighteen years at 
Hurly's Grove and was greatly successful. 

The gifted but eccentric Dr. Goddard's preaching produced ex- 
traordinary emotions among the multitudes in attendance, con- 
tinuing for two weeks. In 18 18, J. C Rucker and W. J. Xewman. 
One hundred additions were made to the church on the circuit this 
year, and first Methodist church built in Clinton. 1849, A. D.jn- 
carlos ; 18-50, Wm. Hiudall and T. A. Eaton ; 1851, W. Hindall ; 
1852, W. E Johnson ; 1853-4, G. Garner. The Elders presid- 
ing during these fourteen years were P. Akers, W. D. R. Trot- 
ter, P. Cartwight, John S. Barger, C. D. James and H. Buck. 

For convenience and better arrangement, the history of the 
several charges in the county will now be given. 

CLINTON M. E. CHURCH. 

About 1851, '52 the Illinois Central Railway was completed 
to Clinton, and a large increase of population soon followed ; 
and in this way considerable additions were made to the mem- 
bership of this church by letter. So much, that in 1855 the 
church here became self-supporting, and a Station was organized 
securing the services of a minister every Sabbath. The Station 
ministers were in 1855, '56, A. Semple ; 1857, '58, Wm. McEl- 
fresh ; 1859, J. Montgomery ; 1860, '61, James Shaw; 1862, '63, 
Preston Wood; 1864, A. S. McCoy; 1865, W. H. H. Moore; 
1866, W.H.H. M)ore, H. Buck, J. C. Rucker, C.ArnoU. Resig- 
nations that year being unusually hi order. From February and 
through the month of March during this year, extensive revival 
influences pervaded the Methodist and Presbyterian churches. 

In the winter of 1863, a crusade was made on Clinton by the 
advocates of modern spiritism. For several months some of their 
ablest lecturers devoted their energies to establish that system in 
this community. Public curiosity become awakened. Large 
numbers nightly paid entrance fee to hear their addresses and 
witness their "seances." They affirmed their system was a need- 
ed substitute for the Bible and Christianity, and challenged all 
clergymen for controversy ; the ministers in the city declining, 
about twenty citizens sent a request to the writer of this article 
to meet one of the spirit champions in debate, which the writer 
did, for three days in the court-house. Rev. Mr. Franklin, of 
Cincinnati; Rev. D. P. Bunn, of Decatur; Rev. Reuben An- 
drews, of Bloomington ; and Rev. John S. Barger were present, 
and lent their moral support to the writer during the discus- 
sion. On the last day au incident occurred in the debate that 
revealed to all the true " inwardness " of that system. The Spir- 
itualist had said the divorce laws of Moses were '' immoral and 
cruel, lie," as he had it; "whenever a husband felt like aband- 
oning his wife, by that law he was only required to give her a lit- 
tle bit of writing called a bill of divorcement, and then send her 
adrift." His opponent in replying to this charge said, " Spiritual- 
ism in such cases did not require any notice at all to be given the 
wife. If a believer in Spiritualism falls in love with another woman 
it permits him to send his wife adrift, and take another woman to 
his embrace, without notice or excuse whatever." At this, the 
Spiritualist became greatly excited, and rising to his feet lustily 
exclaimed, " no personalities here. You shall not insult," &c. 
For a while neither moderators nor audience knew what was 
hurting him The cause was, he had cast away his wife and taken 
up with a woman, who was then sitting near him in the room. He 
seemed after this retort to be disabled, for his thoughts only ram- 
bled till the debate closed that afternoon. He left town next 
day, and advocates of that system have not had an audience in 
ClLntoD since. 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



135 



In 1867, Kev. S- S. Meginnis, a young man of uncommon force 
of character, was appninted to Clinton station and continued for 
three years; and while he was not a first-clas? preacher, he had 
superior abilities in administration. He was able to awaken an 
interest in church building till then not dreamed of by the peo- 
ple he was serving. A ten or twelve thousand dcjllar house of 
worship had been talked of fur several years, and 3Ir. Meginnis 
managed to enlist all classes of citizens so strongly for the enter- 
prise that many were ■' provoked to good works," and a gener- 
ous desire to exceed in liberality pervaded the community. 

The plans were made, and the present elaborate and beautiful 
edifice was erected, and the basement was opened for religious 
services during Mr. Meginnis' pastoral term ; costing when com- 
pleted 832,000. After serving four years as Presiding Elder of 
Mattoou district Mr. Meginnis died, lamented by all who knew 
him best. His monument is the church in Clinton. 

Kev. R. X. Birnes succeeded Mr. Meginnis in 1870; he re- 
mained two years. He pushed forward the work of hispredeces 
sor till the audience-room and towers were finished, and the 
entire building stood out a gem of architectural richness and 
beauty for some months ; and then a storm of wind prostrated the 
main tower, which was 180 feet high. In 1872, Rev. W. H. H. 
Adams was placed in charge, and for three years he had perhap- 
more attentive listeners than any minister who had preceded 
him in Clinton. With a wide range of thought and concise- 
ness in stating his views, he had an easy elegance in language 
and manner thatwas unusually attractive and proved him worthy 
of any pulpit, even in metropolitan cities. Dr. Adams is now 
the esteemed President of Illinois Wtsleyan University. Dr. H. 
Buck having dedicated the basement in 1870. Rev. Dr. Ives, 
of Xew York, asisted by Rev. Bishop Bowman, of St. Louis, 
made the last dedication December 20lh, 1874. In 1875, '76, 
'77, G. W. Gray; 1878, James Leaton ; 1879, A. Semple ; 1880. 
W. Stevenson, served as pastors. During Dr. Gray's term a con- 
siderable religious interest was awakened in his congregation in 
his first year, and in 1877 he contributed largely to the success of 
the cause of temperance in the city and county. This year, the 
"tidal-wave" of temperance spread over every State in the 
Union. In 1881, Mr. Stevenson's removing in May his vacancy 
was supplied by Rev. G. W. Henning, and in September he was 
reappointed. 

W.WN'ESVILLE 31. E. CHUKCH. 

Waynesville circuit was formed over furty years ago, and has 
not had its name changed. Rev. John Sinclair and Zadok Hall 
organized the first Methodist society in Waynesville, in 18S4; 
in a few years considerable additions were made to their num- 
bers ; camp-meetings were held near by. Sinclair Cartwright, 
Chase Trotter, Barger James, R. E. Guthrue and G. Rutledge, 
were, consecutively, presiding elders of Waynesville charge. 
Pastors also served them year after year, till in 1S47, a board of 
trustees was elected. A commodious brick church was erected 
in 1S49 by the active management of the Rev. Wm. Hindall, 
then pastor. Methodism was a strong force about this period ; 
but the rising town of Atlanta, on the Chicago and St. Louis 
railroad, drew away so many business men and Methodists from 
Waynesville, the church declined in its strength materially with 
the town. Linus Graves, J. R. Doolittle, the Elder, Mr. Samp- 
son, Col. Gambrel, Harry Maltby, and others once valuable 
workers for the church here, removed or <lied ; and now the 
aged Mrs. Gambrel and Mrs. Miles, and one or two others, remain 
as relics of former years ; and the old records disappearing, only 
the last twenty-five years can be stated of the historic life of this 



church. In 1857, A. Simple ; 1S58, W. R. Howard ; 18.59, J 
C. Rucker, G. H. Adams ; 1860 and '61, W. R. Howard. Un- 
der his labors, three new churches were erected on the circuit. 
In 1802 and '6>!, .LC. Rucker; 186.'), J. W. Warfield ; 1866 
and '67, B. Barthlow; 1868, Samuel H. Pendleton; also 18'i9 
and "70, among the other ministers were S. Middleton, B. F. 
Hyde and Dr. Lapham ; 1871, V. Randolph; and in 1880, 
Henry Adams, who was reappointed in 1881. Rev. S. H. Pen- 
dleton was converted and learnfd to preach at AVaynesville, and 
nas so well fsteeuifd for his piety and gifts, that the Waynesville 
people welcomed him to the charge of the circuit the first three 
years of his ministry. He afterwards removed to Kansas, and is 
now a presiding elder in one of its conferences. 

The societies forming Waynesville pastoral charge are Mt. 
Tabor, Green Valley and Kenney. 

MT. TABOR M. E. CHIF.CH. 

This society worshipped in a school-house for a number of 
years. Its leading members were Wiley Marvel and sons, with 
their families ; John Barr and family, John Humphrey; Joshua 
Humphrey and Jos. Leonard, and some others. By the activity 
of the Rev. W. R. Howard, a neat house of worship was erected 
in 1861 and '62, and while the writer was pastor, the year after, 
a meeting was held, when a number of young men embraced 
religion ; two of whom became earnest ministers of the gospel 
in Illinois C'pnfereuce, one transferred to Iowa, and the other, I 
think, to Tennessee conference. The venerable Wiley Marvel 
is perhaps the oldest Methodist in De Witt county, and his 
sister, Mrs. Gambrel, relic of Col. Gambrel the oldest Methodist 
lady. Mr. Wiley has, all his years in the church, been a model 
Christian ; combining deep piety with cheerful moderation, being 
plentiful in good works. 

KENNEY M. E. CHURCH 

Was organized mostly of members formerly composing the 
Pleasant Valley Society. Under the pastorate of Rev. Wm. B. 
Howard, a comfortable house of worship was erected by the 
Pleasant Valley members in 1S61. Rev. Joseph Howard and 
Wm. Humphrey contributed largely to this enterprise ; but 
when the town of Kenney had been established several years, it 
was thought prudent (as the church was three miles distant) to 
remove it to Kenney, which was done in 1875. Kenney was 
connected awhile with Chestnut, in Logan, and with Maroa, in 
Macon county ; but at present with the Waynesville circuit. 
The pastors have been, in 1874, Robert Stephens ; 1875, W. A. 

Smith ; 1876, F. M. Hays ; 1877, Tombs ; 1878 and '79, 

W. R Howard ; 1880 and '81, Henry Adams. 

In August, 1878, Rev. Joseph Howard, a member of this 
church, died at the advanced age of eighty-one years. He re- 
moved from Ohio to this county in 1834, and took his share of 
the privations, and did his part in the labors of the early set- 
tlers. During his entire life he was known as possessing ster- 
ling worth as a citizen and Christian gentleman, and as a wise 
counsellor on questions of county and ecclesiastical policy in 
several relations. His funeral discourse was by Rev. Dr. Buck. 
Many public men of the county attended the funeral services at 
Kenney. 

In the winter of 1881, Rev. Henry Adams had a very profit- 
able series of meetings in Kenney. By his fervent ministry the 
membership of the church was doubled, and a marked moral 
improvement has pervaded the general community since that 
meeting. Dr. Adams is the son of Rev. H. C. Adams, of Clin- 
ton, who was one of the most successful evangelists in the 



136 



HISTORY OF BE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



county for about forty years. Though now near seventy years 
of age, his mental activity and snap has not abated. The inci- 
dents connected with his life would make a book of attractive 
interest. The membership at Kenney numbers about eighty. 
There is also a prosperous Sabbath-school. 

GREEN VALLEY SOCIETY 

Was organized by Rev. Rnbert Stevens in 1874. Under his 
labors, a handsome church was erected about half way between 
Clinton and Waynesville. The membership is small. John 
Pollock and Wm. Armstrong, and their families, have been 
active supporters of religion in this society, a few others co-ope- 
rating. This society forms part of Waynesville circuit. Mt. 
Tabor and Green Valley, and Kenney, have the same pastor, 
and have prepching every two weeks. The presiding elders 
lately serving on Waynesvile circuit have been M. Buck, W. S. 
Prentice, P. Wood, C. \V. C Munsell and W. N. McElroy. 

WAPELL.\ M. E. CIIARIIE. 

Wapella began wheu the Illinois Central Railroad was com- 
pleted. Among the first Methodists located there were Thomas 
Loar, James Stone, Henry Morrison, the elder Mr. Martin, and 
Williams, and JNIrs. Gates; afterwards James Willis, H, A. 
Pucker and their families. In 18.57 the society formed part of 
Randolph Grove circuit, and the writer served them in this pas- 
torate for that and the following year : in 18.59, W. R. How- 
ard ; 1860-1, W. E. Johnson. After this Wapella was attached 
to Dewitt circuit; and 1862-3 H. C. Hockenship. In 1863 the 
church was built and was dedicated by Rev. Hiram Buck. In 
1864-5, J. C. Rucker; 1866, H. C. Hockenship. Then the 
society was transferred to Hey worth circuit. In 1867, C. G. 
Bradshaw became pastor, I think, for two years. His preaching 
was a delight to his hearers. He took in some valuable persons 
into church membership. Mr. Bradshaw is not now a minister 
at all. Then followed in the pastoral charge: la 1869, S. Mid- 
dleton; 1870, T. J.N. Simmons; 1871. S. H. Martin. This 
was Mr. Martin's first itinerant year. He had been an uncom- 
mon useful local preacher, welcomed in every part of the county 
for thirty years. He was raised in the Roman Catholic church, 
and after his conversion he was soon licensed to exhort, and his 
own mother, a catholic, was converted to Christ under his labors 
—the first fruit in his spiritual conquest. His power to interest 
his hearers in pulpit or conversation was surpassed by few 
preachers, however much they might excel him in literary cul- 
ture. Wapella society, after this year, was united to De Witt 
circuit- 
In 1872 W. F. Lowe : 18"; 3, D. Brewer was appointed; 1873- 
4-5, N. S. Morris; 1S77-8, L. P. Deatheridge ; 1879 and '80, 
AV. A. McKiunev- In 1881 the present charge was formed, con- 
sisting of Wapella, Bells S. H. and Long Point societies, with 
Rev. Mr. Tindale, a young man of fine attainments, is in charge. 
Bell's school house, five miles north-east of Wapella, has been 
a place for Methodist preaching about twenty years. About 

that time Henry Bell, Letzeuberger, William Bell, Wm. 

Smith, William Letzeuberger, with their families, including Mrs. 
Elizabeth Ewing and her mother, removed from Clinton M. E. 
church, and with some others, formed a Methodist society in Wil- 
son township, where they had located on a beautiful ridge of 
land, with the usual agencies to promote religious life. Of 
that colony, Mrs. Ewing and her respected mother, William Bell, 
William Smith and the elder Mrs. Letzeuberger have died. In 
1865 a revival of unusual interest prevailed in this society. The 



writer began the meeting while school was in session, holding 
service at noon recess. The lady then the teacher became 
deeply anxious her pupils should bacDoae Christians, and well was 
she rewarded ; for every one of them united with the church, 
and all but one made a joyful profession. Several heads of fami- 
lies, and nearly all the young people in the neighborhood, em- 
braced religion. Two young men, subjects of this revival, have 
since received a classical education and for several years been 
members of the annual conference, and are now filling important 
appointments. 

Few societies have held on in religious life with such uniform 
regularity ; yet strangely this is the only Methodist Episcopal 
church having regular preaching for years that has not built a 
church. 

LON(; POINT M. E. CHURCH. 

Twenty years ago this society was in a fair state of prosperity. 
There seems to be no record when preaching began in this part 
of the county. The writer became acquainted with thera as 
pastor for two years in 1857 and '58. Then, and years after, it 
formed a part of Randolph Grove circuit. In 1858 the meeting- 
house was completed. Among the principal members then were 
John Wilson, Henry Morrison, Myrus Boling, Widow Scott, and 
their families, and Mrs John Brown. Myrus Boling and family 
left the church ; John Wilson died, and his family and Henry 
Morrison moved away, leaving a few only to " hold the fort " 
They have most of the time had the same pastors as Wapella. 
A debate occurred years ago in Long Point M. E. church be- 
tween Rev. John Luccock, Methodist, of Peoria, and Rev. Mr. 
Franklin, of the Christian church, from Cincinnati, with no 
visible beneficent results. One mile from this place of Methodist 
worship, the Christian church has their church, rendering it 
dilBcuIt for both to prosper so near each other in a country neigh- 
borhood. Under the labors of their present minister. Rev. Mr. 
Tindale, a good congregation is in attendance, and hopeful pros- 
perity may be looked for by this society. 

F.ARJIER CITY M- E. CHURCH. 

The beginning and growth of Methodism about Hurly's Grove 
has been related already. The noble men who labored for and 
fostered an earnest Christianity in Hurly's Grove settlement in 
the early years of this county, laid the stable foundations that 
form the underlying granites of Farmer City Methodist Chris- 
tianity now. After belonging to Marion mission for several 
years, Mt. Pleasant circuit was formed in 1839; and as the pas- 
tors who served on this circuit for many years have already been 
named, we may only now say, precious be the memory of Horace 
Mayuard, R. Wiuans Clark, Paxton Cummins, Abbott Goddard, 
John Sinclair, Peter Cartwright, Norman Allyn, William Hin- 
dall, and John S Barger, who years past " ceased from their 
labors ; their works follow them " Their spiritual oifspring 
now compose an important uud influential part of the member- 
ship of this station. While these ministerial worthies planted 
the Gospel in Hurly's Grove, thirty, forty, and fifty years ago, 
the soil in which they planted it was rich in unusual fertility. 
Few communities in any county had for first settlers a better 
class of men than those that settled about Hurly's Grove. Fewer 
still have had so many men of sterling religious worth ; and 
smaller yet are the number of communities who have raised up 
so many children to follow in the steps of their parents in busi- 
ness enterprise and decided piety than the Hurly's Grove people 
— Richard Kirby, Charles McCord, Dennis Hurly, John Weed- 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COUXTY, ILLINOIS. 



137 



man, John Darmer. Asa Weedman, Wm. McCord. and othei-s 
who have ceased to live, belong to this roll of honor. 

The ministers of ilt. Pleasant circuit, in lS5i). C. Y. Heco ; 
18G0-1. \V. B. Barton ; 1862, C Arnold. During Mr. Arnold's 
term, the main body of the present church was built; in If^tiS, 
B Barthlow; 1864, S. Shinn ; 1865-6, G. B. Wolfe; 18G7, M. 
M. Davidson. lu 1S6S, Jit. Pleasant had its name changed, and 
the circuit, so long bearing a worthy record, passed away, and 
Farmer City became a station, and Eev. A. T. Orr, its first min- 
ister in charge. Tlie church lias now two wings to the main 
building, atfording iocreased capacity for an audience, and with 
sliding doors, convenient for clas-s-room^. It is ample in size, 
avoiding architectural attractiveness, but is a model of chasteness 
and comfort. Mr. Orr served this station three years ; was 
highly esteemed by his people, and gathered many into the 
church; in 1871, M. W. Everhart ; in 1872, Ira Emerson: 1873, 
J. B. Sevmour ; ■1874-5, J. Shaw ; 1876, D. Gay ; 1877, W. F. 
T. Spruill ; 1878-9, J. T. Orr; 1880-1, M. A Hewes 

During the pastorates of Mr. A. T. Orr, Mr. Shinn, Mr. Da- 
vidson, Mr. Everhart, Mr Shaw, and Mr. J. T. Orr, the church 
was encouraged by special revival seasons and additions to their 
numbers. Fanner city station forms one of the charges of 
Champaign District, and the presiding Elders have been A. 
Setnple, R. Travis, H. Buck, W. X. JIcElroy, and now J. G. 
Little. 

A Society has recently been formed at Wecdman, a rail-road 
town, a feiv miles frjm Farmer cit\', and by the efforts of John 
Weedmin and others, a handsome church has been erected. 
This Society is supplied with preaching by the pastor at Farmer 
city. 

IIE WITT M E. CIUTRCn. 

The town of De Witt (formerly named Jlarion!, forty-five 
years ago, gave name tc an important Methodist mission, several 
hundred miles around it. In early years this was the focal point 
where camp-meeting? were held. Gabriel \\'att, Amos Shinkle, 
Col. Geo. Lemon, Wm. Cottingham and others, were members 
then. In 1853. a house of worship was built, and the Society 
met ill this place till si.K or seven j-ears past it fell, or was blown 
down ; and has not been erected since. A parsonage was se- 
cured in 1860, which is still occupied by the ministers in charge. 
George Isixon, who died a few years since, was a member of this 
Society. Mr. Nisou had been a trustee of the church in Clin- 
ton, and was a heavy contributor to that elegant structure. The 
Society has, by the courtesy of the Protestant Methodists, wor- 
shipped in their church since they lo-st their own. The number 
of members is only about twenty. 

Rucker chapel Society belongs to De Witt circuit. Before 
1865, for many years a Methodist Society worshipped at Brit- 
lou's school-house, on the north fork of Salt creek. Mr. William 
Walden, Xehemiah Cain, John Cain,— Charles Cain's family, Mr. 
Vandewater, and Mr. Gear. The Brittons and others, held many 
joyful meetings in those years in that neighborhood. For a long 
time the house of Chas. Cain and his brothers was the resting- 
place of many a weary preacher. Mrs. Charles Cain was one of 
those "elect ladies" who left a sweet and hallowed influence on 
all who knew her. The elder Mr. Gear was one of the best of 
class-leaders, and like "Barnabas," a son of consolation. In 
1864 the church was built, and the following winter a revival of 
impressive interest followed. The writer was assisted by Itev. 
Robert Taylor, of the Cumberland Presbyterian church, in con- 
ducting these meetings. 

This Society is the largest Methodist organization in the 
18 



county, not belonging to any town. In 1881 they renovated 
their ciiurch inside and out, ami it is said to look better now than 
when it was finished seventeen years ago. 

Weldon S iciety also f irrui p.irt of the pa^tiral cliarge of 
De Witt circuit. Weldon, on the Wabash rail-r ad, ha^ been 
built only a few years. In 1876 there was a small number of 
Methodists living in the vicinity of Weldon ; these aided largely 
by the citizens, erected quite a creditable Methodist church. 
Little progress, however, has been made in adding to the nu- 
merical strength of the Society. 

Swisher's school-house is the place where preaching is held 
by the ministers of De Witt circuit. There is a small Society 
here. 

PAr.xELL Society: This infant church organization began 
like the village itself, in 1881. The first thing done was the 
election of a board of trustees, and then building a church dedi- 
cated on January 8th, 1882 by Rev. W. II. H. Adams, D. D., 
of Illinois Wesleyau University. 

The.se five Societies, De Witt, Pucker's chapel, Weldon, 
Swisher's, Parnell, with Deland Society in Pratt county form 
De Witt circuit pastoral charge. The pastors who have pre- 
sided on this circuit have been: In 1861, G. Adams; 1862-3, 
H. C Hockensmith; 1864-5, J. C Rucker; 1866-7, H. C. 
Hockeiismith ; 1868. G. Garner; 1870, T. D. Weems ; 1871, D. A. 
Grimes ; 1872 W. F, Lowe; 1873, D. Brewer; 1874-5-6, X. S. 
Morris: 1377-8, P. Deatherage ; 1879 ; and 80, W. A. JIcKin- 
ney ; 1881, Uriah Warriugton Choate. The Presiding El- 
ders have been the same as for Farmer eitv station. 



STATISTICS 


OF 


M. 


E. CHL-RCH EY PASTORAL CHARGES. 






.Y 


imber 
of 


Cliurchcs 
uml 


Parsonage 
nnd 


Suhi-iesand 




' 


nif 


iihers. 


value. 


j Villif'^- 


erpeitsc^. 


Cliiilon, , . . 


.1 




229 


^30,000 


$1200 


11485 


M'aviH-sviile, . 






2-2i; 


12,r,00 


500 


1 200 


W;i|.I»lla. . . 






rill 


l-iOO 


— 


700 


Farmer citv, . 






?SI7 


6-500 


1800 


1200 


De Witt. . . . 






l.so 


•50O0 


•500 


1200 


Sun.niar,-, . 






1022 


S.5.5.-500 


54000 


S.50S.5 



THE PROTESTAXT METHODIST CHURCH. 

A society of the Protestant Methodist Church was organized 
in this county in 1850, at De Witt, then at several other points, 
till a circuit with regular preaching was established. After 
some years a substantial brick house of worship was erected in 
the town of De Wilt. The annual conference was held in this 
building soon after it was completed. The following facts are 
all the writer has been able to obtain for this history : The Rev. 
John L. Scott, the present worthy pastor of the Protestant 
Methodist Church in this county, informs me that De Witt circuit 
has five preaching places in this county, one atDe Witt with fif- 
teen members, one at Prairie Centre with fifty, one at Swisher's 
with twenty, one at Walnut Grove with twelve, one at FuUerton 
with fourteen, and one at Davenport with ten members. There 
are two other societies on the circuit ; part of the members reside 
in this countv, and the whole number in the pastoral charge is 
166. The present pastor organized the societies at Swisher's and 
at Fullertou. Mr Scott has been quite successful in securing 
additions to the church at several points. Rev. Wm. Cotting- 
ham and Rev. Archibald McConkey, of De Witt, have for many 
years been active and earnest laborers in this branch of the 
Church of Christ. 



138 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILIINOIS. 



THE BAPTIST CHITRCH. 



UY REV. :>. MACAUTIIUK. 



Clinton.— The fiitt Baptist Church of Clintou, Ills., was orga- 
nized February 1st, 1839, in the house of George L. Hill. The 
following ministers ami brethren constituted the council who was 
called upon for the i)urpose of assiiting in the organization of 
the church, viz: Rev- Jonathan Mirriam, Rev. Isaac Kewell, 
and brethren William Randolph and Jacob Coppenbarger. The 
usual proceedings, in such ca-ts, were had, and the church was 
duly organized according to the usages of the Baptist denomina- 
tion. The names of the constituent members were, Rev. Joel 
Hulsey, George L. Hill, William Ilulsey, John McAboy, Polly 
Hulsey, Elizabeth Ilulsey, Louisa V. Hill, ilary McAboy, and 
Sarah F. Hickman. Brother George L. Hill was the ttlicient 
church clerk for a number of years, to him, in fact, the church 
owes to a great extent, its existence and present standing in the 
community 

The following named Pastors have served the church, Rev. 
Joel Hulsey, from February IfiSO to December 1<S41 ; Rev. 
"William McPherson, from January, 1842 to May, 1^-54 ; Rev. 
Lucias H. Gibbs, from June, 1854 to August, l'^54 ; Rev. Zenas 
Hall, from Decembtr, 18.'i4 to February, 1855 ; Rev. Thomas 
Rees, from June 1855 to November 1S56; Rev. Overton Ely, 
preached occasionally to the church for some time ; Rev. W. G. 
Johnson was pastor from June, 1857 to April. 1859 : Rev. J. Z 
Zimmerman, from .June, 1860 to April, 1861 ; Rev. H. B. Johu- 
fon, from June, 1861 to March, 1862 ; Rev. D. MacArthur, from 
July, 1865 to March, 1870; Rev. C. A. Quirell, from Jlarch, 
1870 to June, 1871 ; Bev. J. W. Rees, from Sept 1871 to March 
1873; Rev. J. Storrs, from Aug 1873 to Dec. 1873; Rev L.J. 
Huntley, from Jan. 1874 to April 1874 ; Rev. Joseph H. Sedge- 
wick, from Oct. 1874 to Dec. 1876; Rev. D. JIacArthur, from 
September 1877 to October, 1881. Rev. J. W. Estey, an evan- 
gelist, held a protracted meeting, which resulted in great and 
permanent good to the community and the church, in the year 
1859. A house of worship was erected early in the history of 
the church. In 1866 the church resolved to build a new meet- 
ing house, the result was, the present commodious building, seat- 
ing capacity about two hundred. The building and lots 
cost 87,000, all paid for. The church at present is out of debt 
Considering the financial condition of the membership of the 
church, they may be said, to give cheerfully and liberallv for 
the maintenance of the church at home, and also to the various 
benevolent enterprises of the denomination at large. The pre- 
sent membership is fifty-five. This church has sustained an 
efficient Sunday School since the year 1859 ; there is at present a 
membership of 140 scholars. The present Superintendent, B, n- 
jamiu T. Hill, is doing a great amount of good, he is aided bvan 
efficient force of teachers. 

The following statement may be accepted as the historical 
characteristics of the Baptist denominalion in the United States. 
The Baptists are a denomination of evangelical Christians, who 
hfjld that the immersion of Christian believers is of universal 
obligation, and practice accordingly. " Thev hold this, because 
they acknowledge uo master but Christ ; no rule of faith but His 
word ; no baptism but that which is preceded and hallowed bv 
personal piety ; no church but that which is the body of Christ, 
pervaded, governed and animated by His Spirit." Ever since 
the Church and State were first united, the Baptists have suffered 
every form of persecution on account of their loyalty to the doc- 



trine of soul liberty. The historian Bancroft, speaking of tbe 
German Baptists, says : " With greater consistency than Luther, 
thev applied the doctrines of the reformation to the social posi- 
tions of life, and threatened an end of priest-craft and king-craft, 
spiritual dominaticn, title and vassalage. They were trodden 
under foot with foul reproaches and most arrogant scorn, and 
their history is written in the blood of thousands of the German 
peasantry ; but their principles, secure in their immortality, es- 
caped with Roger Williams to Providence, his colony is witness 
that naturally the paths of the Baptist are paths of freedom, 
pleasantness and peace." Mr. Locke has truly said : " The 
Baptists were from the beginning, the friends of liberty, just and 
true liberty ; equal and impartial liberty." Yet, until the 
Quakers arose in 1600, the Baptists stood alone in its defence. 
A writer in the JS\io Ameriran Cyclopedia, says : " Among the 
Baptists, Christian freedom found its earliest, its staunchest, its 
most consistent and its most disinterested champions. Nor less 
powerful has been the influence of the Baptists in the United 
States. Introduced into Rhode Island with Roger Williams and 
John Cook, in 163"'. Their history for more than a century in 
most of the colonies is that of proscribed and banished men, yet 
persecuted themselves, i( it their glory never to have persecuted 
others." On the code of laws established by them in Rhode 
Island, Judge Story says: "We read for the first time, since 
Christianity ascended the throne of the C:esars, the declaration 
that conscience should be free, and men should not be punished 
for worshipping God in the way they were persuaded he requires." 
From that declaration Rhode Island has never departed, and in 
this it was followed, first by Pennsylvania and New Jersey, after- 
wards Virginia, and since by all the United States. 

The article on religious liberty in the amendment to the 
American Constitution, was introduced into it by the united 
eflTorts of Baptists in the year 1789. The new impulse given to 
the spirit of liberty by the revolutionary war was followed by 
the rapid spread of Baptist principles. Their great prosperity 
dates from that era. In 1702 there were but 56 Baptist churches 
in America; in 1792 there were 1,000; in 1812, 2,433; in 1832 
5,:S22; in 1852 they exceeded 9,500 ; in 1858 there were 12,000 
churches with 1,000,000 members. At the present time, statistics 
of 1880, there are 25,000 churches, 18,596 ordained ministers, 
and 2,296,327 members. 

From these statistics it appears that the rate of increase of the 
Baptists far outruns that of the population of the United States. 
And the rates of increase have been greatest in Massachusetts 
and Virginia, where they were most persecuted. The Baptists 
are ardent supporters of the cause of missions both home and 
foreign. They are sustaining missions in North America, Europe, 
Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Islands of the Sea. In the prov- 
ince of Burmah alone, they have 400 mission churches, 200 
ordained ministers with over 30,000 members, all converted from 
the grossest idolatry. 

There has been given by the Baptist churches in the United 
States for the support of Home and Foreign Missions during the 
year 1880, 8885,486. 

While the Baptists do not make educational attainments a test 
of fitness for the ministry, yet, they have always encouraged 
their candidates for the ministry to secure the highest possible 
attainments in scholar.-hip. Hence, in order to provide such 
advantages, they are sustaining 10 Theological Seminaries, 31 
Colleges and Universities, 46 Academies and Female Colleges, 
with an attendance in all of over 10,000 students. They also 
support 70 religious newspapers and periodicals. 



EISTORY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



139 



THE SECOND BAPTIST CHURCH, (COLORED) 

This church was organized in the year L'^T'J under the labors 
of Elder Thomas Reasoner, who labored among this people as an 
Evangelist with some success. He found a people here who 
were formerly slaves in the Southern States, and were crushed 
under the irou wheels of the slave power, and as a matter of 
course were brought up in ignorance, but since the famous Eman- 
cipation Proclamation by President Lincoln, they have under- 
taken to act for themselves in matters of religion and politics, 
and consequently, wherever they have opportunity, they meet 
together to worship God according to the dictates of the Bible 
and their own consciences. 

The names of the constituent members of this church are as 
follows: Polly Jackson, Mary Jackson, Samuel Jackson, Peter 
Simpson, B. W. Livingstone. 

Elder J. M. Davis served the church for one year followed by 
Elder William Watson, Elder Isaac Stratton, and the present 
pastor. Elder Andrew Xewsome. 

They have succeeded in erecting and paying for a neat little 
meeting house at a cost of -S70U,. The present membership is 
eighteen. 

The Separate Baptist churches of this county have been in 
existence for a long time. They claim the Scriptures of Divine 
truth as the only rule of faith and practice, and while they difier 
in some respects from the great body of Baptists, yet they are 
firm adherents of Bible doctrine as they understand it, they 
practice feet wa-hing, as a church ordinance, and open or free 
communion ; these are perhaps, the main differences, otherwise 
they are faithful advocates of the leading doctrines of the Bible. 
In their manners they are plain and humble followers of Jesus. 

THE LIBERTY SEPAR.4.TE BAPTIST CHURCH 

Was organized in the year 1834 under the labors of Elder 
Solomon Dispane, after him the following named ministers served 
as preachers and pastors. Owen Davis. Thomas Davenport, 
Robert Henson, William Springer, John Springer, Abram Jones, 
George Clifton, Peter Garrett, Franklin Lowrey, Thomas Jenkins. 

This church has several congregations in various parts of the 
county, who have occasional preaching. 

THE NEW PROVIDENCE B.IPTIST CHURCH, 

Sometimes called Old School, or Predestinarian Baptitts, located 
in Tunbridge township. This church was constituted in the 
month of June, 1853, by elders Mann, Scroggins and J. Fro- 
man. The names of the constituent members were Simon Wil- 
liams, Sarah Williams, Ellenor Baird, Lucilla Duncan, Tarlton 
Embree, Patsy Embree, Ursula Belfoi'd, Elizabeth Gamble and 
John B. Moore. 

The following named ministers have served this church as 
pastors, viz: Elders J. B. Moore, S. Hukill, P. McCay, J. H 
Myers, J. H. Ring and L. Davis. 

These brethren have a comfortable house of worship, located 
some two miles east of th^ town of Kenney. Their church pro- 
perty is all paid for. Their present membership is thirty-three. 

The following are the doctrinal tenets of this church : 

We believe in one only true and living God. The Father, 
the Word and Holy Ghost, and these three are one. 

We believe the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments 
are by inspiration of God, and the only rule of faith and prac- 
tice. 

We believe that by one man's disobedience (Adams), all his 
posterity became sinners by nature and practice, and are unable 



to save themselves from that lost, dead state by their own free 
will, power or ability. 

We believe in the doctrine of eternal, personal election and 
predestination of all things pertaining to the church, as His 
body, and that God did choose His people in Christ, bei"ore the 
world was. 

We believe that sinners are justified before God, by and 
through the righteousness of Jesus being imputed to them, and 
that good works or spiritual sacrifices are evidences of our faith 
and justification. 

We believe in the final perseverance of the saints, through 
grace to glory, and that not one will or can be lost. 

We believe that baptism and the Lord's Supper are ordinances 
of the Lord, to be continued by His church until His second 
coming. 

We believe that believers are the only subjects for baptism, 
and that baptism is immersion, and none legal but that per- 
formed by an orderly minister of the church. 

We believe that none but those who are legally baptized have 
a right to the communion. 

We believe that no minister has the right to administer the 
ordinances in the house of God, until he has been legally bap- 
tized and approved by the church, and come under the imposi- 
tion of two or more ministers or elders of the church. 

We believe in the resurrection of the dead, both of the just 
and unjust; and the judgment of the great day, and that the 
joys of the righteous and the punishment of the wicked will be 
eternal. 

We believe in the doctrine of regeneration, or being born 
again ; that except a man be born again, he cannot see the king- 
dom of heaven, and that which is born of the flesh will remain 
flesh, and that which is born of the spirit is spirit, and out of 
the natural, or Adamic, and the spiritual natures, grows the 
warfare between the old and new man, or outward and inner 
man. 



CHRISTI.\X CHURCH. 



BY EDWARD ALLYN. 



Every religious body should be able to give a reason 
for its existence ; enlightened public sentiment demands it ; if it 
is not doing a good work for humanity, peculiar and distinct 
from other religious bodies, there is no reason for its existence, 
for why, should we multiply agencies to accomplish a certain 
end, when united effort would accomplish the same in less time? 
If then this body of Christians cannot give sufficient reasons for 
its existence, to satisfy an intelligent community, it ought to die. 

What then are its positions, principles, and purposes? I give 
them, by quoting from the pen of our .state evangelist, N. S. 
Haynes : " While this Church holds much truth in common 
with others, yet it has its distinctive features that give it a right 
to live. With others it holds the divine inspiration of the Holy 
Scriptures, the revelation of God's will and character in them, 
the divinity and Christhood of Jesus, forgiveness of sins through 
His atonement, faith in the Christ and obedience to His author- 
ity as the necessary human agencies in the formation of Christian 
character, the resurrection of the dead, and the doctrine of 
future retribution. The peculiar features of this Church are 
these : that while believing the Old Testament is the Word of 
God and necessary in order to a right understanding of the New, 



140 



JITSTORY OF DE WITT COVXTY, ILLINOIS. 



j-et tlie 01(1 is not our rule iu life, because it was never given ks 
tuch to us Gentiles, and because it has been supplanted by the 
New Testament ; that the Scriptures are all-sufficient to make 
the man of God perfect, and hei ee the rejection of all human 
creeds as schismaiical and sinful ; that in religious teaching we 
hold the " form of sound words," rejccling all unseriptural terms, 
as Trinitj, el id omne r/eiitis, and all unbiblical names; hence the 
nickname " Campbtllite " is unauthorized and offensive; that 
conversion is not the mysterious and direct impact of the Holy 
Spirit on the sinner's soul, but his turning from sin to the 
Saviour, the proof of His conversion being a Christian life ; and 
that an inquirer after salvation must always be answered, accord- 
ing to his condition, in the exact words of the inspired oracles 
for such cases made and provided ; that the ordinances, baptism 
and the Lord's supper, must be observed as given by Christ and 
His apostles without change ; that all of God's people should be 
united in "one body," as iu the primitive and apostolic church, 
iu order that they may the more eihciently do their Master's 
work, and turn the world in faith to Him. " Where the Bible 
speaks we speak, where the Bible is silent we are silent," is a 
cardinal maxim. To go back to the beginning of the Cburch to 
make our teaching and practice, in all matters e;.sential, coincide 
with that of the in.spired apostles is the aim of this religious body. 
This, our plea, has made wonderful progress in the past fifty 
years. From a very feeble folk we have grown to .500,000 
iu the Uuited States, besides large and flourishing churches 
in Australia and New Zealand. Our missionaries are at work 
in Jamaica, England, Denmark, Norway, France, and Turkej'. 
As uKinv were added to this Church in the United States as 
to the Methodist Episcopal Cburch in the same territory 
iu the year 1879. The influence of this diviue plea has 
reached all classes of society, and this Church has two 
members in the United States Senate, twelve in the House of 
Representatives, and our late president, James A. Garfield, was 
a member of this society ; besides these there are other names 
with a national reputation. It publishes fifteen papers and 
periodicals and a large number of tracts and books. Its mem- 
bers have under their control thirty-eight schools of all classes, 
one-half of which are academies, colleges, and universities of a 
good srade. The following is the history of this Church in De 
Witt county : 

OLD UNIDX CeP.ISTI.VN CHURCH. 

" The groves were Ciud's first temples," and in a grove near 
where ohl Uuion Church now stands, Father Hugh Bowles, cum- 
raenced preaching the Gospel of Christ ; and here in this primi- 
tive temple, on Saturday before the second Lord's day in August 
1833 old Union Church was organized, seventeen persons entered 
into this organization, of this number only seven remain to tell 
the old, old story, viz: Anderson Bowles, Margaret Bowles, 
Rebecca Bowles, Henry Hall and wife, Mary Hall and Eliza- 
beth Barnett. The first officers were Hugh Bowles and Malou 
Hall, Elders ; Joseph Bowles and Darius Hall, deacons. The 
following named preachers have ministered to this congregation 
Hugh Bowles. James Scott, Abner Peales, Alfred Lindsey, Wil- 
liam Ryan, W. P. Bjwles, Isaac Martin, John England, .John G- 
Campbell, Isaac Stout, Dudley Downs. C. F. Short, William 
Knight, R. B. Roberts, Samuel Low, E. C. Craig, L. M. Robin- 
son and T. T. Holton. In addition to tbe.se regular preachers, 
noted protracted meetings have been held by John Q. Houston, 
Elder Craiu, George F. Adams and Simpson Ely. At these 
meetings large additions were made to the church. Over one 



thousand persons hnve been connected with this church. The 
present membership, who attend church regularly, is two hun- 
dred and fifty, of this number, are twenty-five who take active 
part in the social meetings. This congregation had no house of 
worship until 18.'58, when the old church was built ; this first house 
was a union church, occupied part of the time by the Baptists and 
Jlethodists, previous to the building of this house meetings were 
hell] in the grove and in private houses. The present church 
building was erected in 18ti4, near the site of the old house. It 
is situated ten miles south-west of Cliuton on a hill near Salt 
Creek, at the foot of the hill are large springs of never failing 
water, back of the church is the old grave yard where many of 
the early settlers are buried. The cost of the new church was 
83,000. It has a seating capacity of 600. The present officers 
are Robert Black and .Joseph Bowles, Elders ; Daviil McClimans, 
William F. Bowles and J. A. Evans, deacons. 

The present pastor T. T. Hohon has labored for this congrega- 
tion ten years, has been instrumental in settling difficulties in the 
church, and under his preaching it has been harmonious and 
prosperous. He is universally loved, and vrill probably labor 
for this congregation for some time to come. He preaches for 
the church one-half of the tiuie, the pulpit being filled the rest of 
the time by home talent. Two public discussions have been 
held at this church, one between James Barger, Methodist and 
W. P. Bowles, Christian ; the other between Abraham Jones, Baji- 
tist and Absalom Forman, Universalist. This church sustains a 
good Sunday school of seventy-five members, C. D. Bowles, su- 
perintendent, and they exert a wide influence for good. To 
day counting among her membership many of the leailing fami- 
lies of the community. It is a tower of strength and a potent 
factor for good. It is the oldest church of this denomination 
iu the county and among those who contributed much to its 
prosperity in an early day was Father Bowles. He was born 
in Virginia in 178fi, and spent the early part of his life in Ken- 
tucky. His educational oportunities were limited, yet he was 
a great reader, and an original thinker, and was well read in hi;to- 
ry both ancient and modern, but his greatest text book was the 
Bible, especially the New Testament ; of this he cnuld repeat the 
greater portion. He removed to Illinois iu 1830 and to De Witt 
county in ISol. Besides old Union, he organized churches at 
Rock Creek and Long Point, in this county, and at other points 
in Logan and S.mgamoa counties. He labored upon the farm 
through the week preaching Saturdays and Sundays, often riding 
on horseback from twenty to fifty miles to reach his appoint- 
ments. The largest sum of money ever received by him for 
preaching was ten dollars, this he gave to a lady who was hurt 
by being thrown from her horse while attending one of his meet- 
ings. He spent the later years of his life in preaching to the 
various congregations he had founded, and iu December 1 840 at 
the age of sixty years was called to reap the rewai-d of his 
labors. 

r.OCK CREEK CHRISTIAN CHURCH, 

This church is situated about four miles west of Wapella, near a 
small stream, from which the cburch derives its name. In the fall 
of 1837, Father Hugh Bowles, of old Union church, made a visit 
into this neighborhood, and with James Scott held a protracted 
meeting at the house of Samuel P. Glenn, and organized the above 
named church. Henry Michaels, Peter Crum, Samuel P.Glenn, 
Benjamiu Slatteu, William Lane, with their wives, and Mrs. Isam 
Harrold, constituted the charter members of this organization. 
The church met at the houses of Peter Crum, at Long Point, aud 



HISTORY OF BE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



141 



Samuel P. Glenn's, Rock Creek, alternately, until the building 
of their first hcjuse of worship io l.s4o. 

The first Elders were Henry Jliehaels and Peter Crura ; Dea- 
cons, Samuel P. Glenn and Benjamin Slatten. The pioneer 
preachers were William Ryan, \V. P. Bowles and uncle James 
Robinson. In 187G the present house of worship was built one- 
fourth of a mile south of the old church, at a cost of 81,325, with 
seating capacity of 300- 

The present officers are. Elders: Sanuiel P. Glenn, F. M. 
Cisce and Andrew Scott. Deacons : G. \V. Halsey and John 
Cisce. Evangelist: A. J. Vinson. Prtsenl membership, sixty- 
two. They have no Sunday-school. 

LONG roiXT cnEi.sTi.\x ciiur.rH. 

This congregation is located four miles north of Wapella, in 
Long Point timber, on the State road leading from Clinton tn 
Bloomington. It was organized in the grove near Liberty school- 
house, by William Ryan and William Morrow, in August, 18.51, 
with nineteen members. The officers chosen were : Walter Earr 
aad Peter Crum, for elders ; and E. W. Swearingen and William 
Keunidy, for deacons. The following named preachers have 
served this church : W. P. Bowles, AVilliam Ryan, John Wilson, 
Dudley Downs, George Owens, Dr. Ingle, Samuel Low, Harry 
Vandervort, Jefiersou Hodson, John Q. A. Houston, E. F. Bas- 
ton, andS. B- Lindsley, the present preacher. Protracted meet- 
ings have been held by W. P. Shockey, Benjamin Franklin, 
Leroy Skelton, William Knight, Clark Braden and J. W. Per- 
kins, in which many were added to the church. This congrega- 
tion met in Liberty school-house until 1S58, when the present 
house of worship was built, at a cost of about 82,000. Its present 
value is 81,.5UO. The whole number of members connected with 
this congregation since it was established is about two hundred 
and fifty. 

The present membership is seventy-seven. The officers are. 
Elders: JohnM. Cunningham, William F. Turner, Abram .Sum- 
mers. Deacons: Barton Karr, James B. Romine and William 
S. Karr. A public discussion was held with this church and the 
Methodists in 1862. Benjamin Franklin rejiresented the Chris- 
tian church, and John Luckock the Methodist church. This church 
has a large Sunday-school during the summer months. 

CLINTON CnRLSTIAN CHfKCH. 

In the spring of Is.jl Walter P. Bowles and AVilliam Springer 
were holding a meeting four miles south of Clinton at the house 
of HLram Dotson ; while there elder Springer proposed to W. 
P. Bowles and others present, the building of a meeting house at 
the county seat. All present approved of the move. A meeting 
■was called and a building committee appointed, consisting of 
'William G. Springer, William Bowlin and Samuel Brown. The 
committee secured the lot where the church now stands, aa a 
gift from Judge David Davis, and in the early part of 18-52 had 
the house ready for use. Still the congregation was not yet or- 
ganized. There were members enough for a small congrega ion 
living in and around Clinton. In the fall of 1852 William G. 
Springer, then acting county assessor, c mmer.ccd a protracted 
meeting, during which Elder Shockey, of Indiana, came to Clin- 
ton and assisted in the meeting ; at the close of the meeting the 
Clinton Christian Church was organized. The first elders were 
William Bowlin, W. G. Springer ; deacons, Abram Crum and 
Milton Oakerson. 

The preachers who have labored for this congregation are 
William G. Springer, William ilorrow, C. F. Short, Dudley 



Downs, J. J. Miles, D. D. Miller, J. C. Tullcy, G. F. Adams 
and Samuel Lowe. Protracted meetings were held by Wil- 
liam Brown in 18.5G; W. P. Shockly in 1858; W.Houston 
in 1859; John Q, A. Houston and Dudley Downs in 18G0-G1. 
At this meeting the crowd was so great that the church floor 
broke down, and produced quite a stampede. David Walk in 
1862; Benjamin Franklin in 1803; R. B. Roberts and Cieorge 
Owen in 1807 ; Alexander Hutcherson in 1808 ; E. T. C. Ben- 
nett in 1869, and "the following named ministers have preached 
for the church occasionally : Charles Rowe, James ilitchel, 
•Jaines Robinson, John Wil-on, Peter Schick, N. S. Huynes, F. 
T. Holton, A. D. Filmore, S. M. Robinson, Harry 'S'audervort, 
W. H. Crow, and Elijah Stout. 

The present officers are J. .1. Miles and Edward Allyn, elders; 

R. B Bowles and .deacons. Present membership thirty-two. 

Two public discussions have been held in this church, the first 
between William .Shockey, Chri.-tian, and Rev Josiah Davis, 
Universalist ; the second between Dudley Downs, Chiistian, and 
Dr. Summerbell, (newlight,) Christian. The church has a Sun- 
day school in connection with the social meetings and meets regu- 
larly every Lord's day. This church has had a hard struggle 
to keep up its orsanization. and its meetings have not beeji 
very regular in the past ; it has had its times of prosperity and 
adversity, and we trust a brighter day is dawning for this strug- 
gling congregation. 

Dudley Downs made his home with this congregation several 
years, ajjd the period of its greatest prosperity was when he 
labored for it ; he was a man of great zeal and piety, an eloquent 
and persuasive speaker, and a sweet singer. His singing added 
much to the interest of his meetings. For a time he was one 
of the editors of the ChrUtUin Hrratd, a monthly, first published 
at Wapella and afterwards at Eureka. His writing, like that 
of his preaching, was full of persuasive eloquence. He was born 
in 1836, and came to this county in 1861. By his preaching large 
numbers were added to the various congregations throughout the 
county. In 1869 he went to Tennessee, and from ihence to Min- 
nesota in hopes of restoring his health, but his labors had been 
so unceasing, and his exposure so great, that consumption hurried 
his b,)dy into the grave, while hij spirit winged its way into 
" the realms of the blest,'' and " He knows what it is to be there," 
(one of his favorite songs). He died at St Paul, Minn , in 1870, 
at the age of thirty-four. 

F.S.RMEn CITY CHRISTIAN CHURCH. 

In and around Farmer City lived quite a number of persons 
wlio had been members of the Christian church in Ohio, and 
elsewhere. These, with others interested, decided to build a 
house of worship and then organize the church. In the fall of 
1864 they had the house erected ; immediately after the comple- 
tion of the house, Dudley Downs commenced a protracted meet- 
ing, and October 4, 1864, organized the church. Twenty-five 
persons entered into this organization. The first officers wtre, 
elders — Milam Mi ore and John Lemon; deacons, J. F. Bean 
and 'amuel Watson. The regular pastors since are, T. E. C. 
Bennett, S. K. Hallem, W. T. Maupin, and S K. Shields. Suc- 
cessful protracted meetings have been held by R. B. Roberts In 
April, 1868, with forty-five additions, and by D. P. Henderson, 
in the winter of 1876, with one hundred and two additions. 
Over three hundred persons have had membership with this con- 
gregation, the present membership being si.xty-nine. The present 
officers are, elders — Jefferson Wetzel and H. H. Welch ; dea- 
cons, J. H. Bean, Z. F. Morau, Nathan Welch, and Chas- Prior. 



142 



HISTORY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



The church was without a pastor from 1879 to 1881, and have 
receutly employed D. K. Shiehls as pastor of the church. The 
preseut house of worship cost .1p3,.")00, with a seating capacity of 
400; is situated near the center of the town, nu Main street; 
was dedicated by J. Z. Taylor in 1865. A public discussion 
■was held in this church in June, 1868, between R. B. Roberts, 
Christian, and E. Manford, I'Biversalist. 

This church has an excellent .Sunday-school, average attend- 
ance sixty, Mrs. J. H. Bean, superiutendeut. 

•n-APELLA CHRISTIAN CIIUI'.CH. 

Quite a number of the members of the Long Point congrega- 
tion lived at Wapella, four miles fr.m their house of worship, 
and it was very inconvenient for them to attend public worship 
so far from home, as but few of them had means of conveyance ; 
so it was thought best to organize a congregation at Wapella. 
In the winter of 1867 elder George Owens, of Jacksonville, 111., 
commenced a protracted meeting in the M. E. church house. 
Here he continued until his preaching had converted quite a 
number from the Methodift^, when he was excluded from their 
bouse. The meetings were then held in the old school house, 
and here, on the 24th day of January, 1867, the church was 
constituted ; a goodly number had obeyed the gospel during the 
meeting, and these, with twenty frtm the Long Point congrega- 
tion, constituted the charter members. The first elders were 
Joshua Carle, Peter Crum, and Stephen Riggs ; deacons, A. D. 
Jletz, Wm. Crum, and J. W. Carr. Having no house of wor- 
ship, they continued to meet in the eld school-house until 1869, 
when the present house was built, at a cost of 83,000 ; size, 34 
by 50 feet, with a seating capacity of 350. The present officers 
are, Joshua Carle and James W. Karr, elders; A. D. Metz, 
AVilliam Crum, and Thomas Wright, deacons. The present 
membership in good standing is forty-five. The following 
preachers have been pastors of this congregation : George 
Owens, two yeaj-s ; L. Engle, E. T. Russel, John C. Tulley, one 
year each ; W. L. Jermane and S. D. Lindsley, two years each. 
S. D. Lindsley resides here and preaches for this congregation 
one-half of the time. The church maintains an interesting 
Sunday-school of 50 members, and keeps up regularly its 
Wednesday evening prayer-meetings. When no minister is 
present, the pulpit is filled by W. R. Carle and elder James W. 
Karr alternately. This congregation believes in cultivating its 
home talent, making the church a school, Christ's school, where 
His disciples are taught- In such schools some of our best 
ministers are taught, and who can estimate the good a church 
may thus accomplish, by giving gifted young men an oppor- 
tunity to develop their talents, mental and moral, and thus fit 
themselves for preaching " the unsearchable riches of Christ and 
His kingdom." This church has never failed to meet upon the 
first day of the week ''to show forth the Lords death" and 
attend to the other ordinances of His house. Its intiuence for 
good is felt in the community where it exists. The history of 
this church would not be complete without a short sketch of the 
life and labors of elder Joshua Carle. Father Carle was born 
in Fayetteville, Pennsylvania, August 4, 1800; from here his 
parents moved to Jefierson county, Ohio Here Joshua grew 
into manhood, and Xovember 29, 1829, under the preaching of 
AValter Scott, became " obedient to the faith." He was a true 
disciple, a learner in Christ, and advanced rapidly in the knowl- 
edge of the scriptures. He attended the meetings of A. Camp- 
bell at Wellesburgh, and succeeded in getting Campbell to hold 
a meeting in his father's neighborhood in Jellerson county. The 



few disciples gathered together here continued to meet from 
house to house until 1830, when a church was organized. Father 
Carle then became an active worker, teaching, exhorting, and 
admonishing; the teaching, belief and practice of the Disciples 
here at this time was an astonishment to the people. In 1830 
he organized a congregation at Warrington. Walking by the 
book, he found it his duty to baptize, and did so — being the first 
in the reformation to find authority for a Disciple, ''a royal 
priest" to baptize. ( 1 Peter, 2d chapter.) He soon began to 
preach, and organized a congregation at Smithfield and built a 
meeting house. In 1839 he moved to Trumbull county, and 
waa made elder of the c )ngregation at Ausliutown. In 1842 
he assisted in the organization of a church and the building of 
a meeting house at Jfiles. He remained in Trumbull county 
sixteen years, preaching for the various congregations in the 
county. In 1859 he moved to McLean county, 111 , and to 
Wapella, De Witt county, hi 1864, where he still lives. Much of 
the stability of this congregation is owing to Father Carle, who, 
unless sickness prevents, may always be found in his place in 
the house of the Lord. 

TEXA.S CHRISTIAN CHURCn. 

The records of this church could not be found, and but few 
facts could be learned about its early history. The first organi- 
zation was constituted by W. P. Bowles in 1850. Walter Bowles 
and W. G. Springer were the first ministers who labored for this 
organization. A re-organization was eflfected about the year 
1860. For this new organization Dudley Downs, J. J. Miles, 

Mclntyre, Thomas Cully, and J. V. Bcekman have 

labored. The present house of worship was built in 1876, at a 
cost of §1250, with a seating capacity of 360. Part of the mem- 
bership of this congregation lived in and near Maroa, and when 
the church there was organized they withdrew from the Texas 
church and joined the new organization, leaving the Texas 
church with only forty members. The present officers are : Syl- 
vanus Potter, elder ; Henry Beal and Berry Spencer, deacons. 
They have a Sunday-school during the summer months. The 
church at present have no regular meetings- 

FAIRVIEW CHRISTIAN CHURCH. 

This small congregation is situated four miles north of the 
Rock creek church in Waynesvilie township, and was organized 
in 1877 by Elder J. S. Stagner. A house of worship was built 
in 1878, at a cost of 8900, with a seating capacity of 250. The 
ofiicers are : Robert H. Baker, A. H- Gates, and Calvin Riley, 
elders ; B. F. De Spain, deacon. Present membership twenty- 
five. The following ministers have labored for this congregation : 
J. S. Stagner, James Robinson, M J Hodson, and D.T.Hughes. 
Have no regular meetings at present ; maiutain a small Sunday- 
school during the summer months- 

HARMONY CHRISTIAN CHURCH. 

This church was situated four miles north-east of Clinton, and 
was organized by Elder George Owens in the winter of 1867. 
The present church buildiug was dedicated the following sum- 
mer. This church kept up its organization only a short time, 
nearly all the members having moved away, — some to the far 
West, and some to other parts of the county. The building still 
stands, and is principally owned by members of the Lane con- 
gregation, and they contemplate moving the building to Lane. 

LANE CHRISTIAN CHURCH. 

This church was organized by W. P- Bowles in March, 1850. 
Tsventy persons eutered into the organization as charter main- 



HISTORY OF BE WITT COUNTY, ILIINOIS. 



143 



bers, many leaving the old Christian connection to join this 
young congregation. Among the first officers were T. Lane and 
Dr. Simmerman, the present elders. The following ministers 
have labored for this congregation : Dr. Siiumerinan, Dudley 
Downs, J. J. Jliles, Edwin Kodgers, George Sweeney, D. D. 
Miller, and L. M. Robinson. In 18(1(5 a public discus.sion was 
held between this church and the Christian connection, Dudley 
Downs representing the Christian churcli and Dr. Sumnierbell 
the Christian connection. 

They have no church building, and hold their meetings in the 
Line school-house. The present membership is sixty. L- M. 
Robinson preaches for this congregation once a month. The 
great need of this church is a house of worship ; had they this 
much more good might be accomplished by this congregation. 

SUMMARY. 

Value of church property, 815,275. Seating capacity of houses 
cf worship, 2,600. Total membership in county, 700. 



THE HOLY CATHOLIC CHURCH. 

We have been greatly disappointed in' our efforts to gather 
sufficient materials to enable us to give a full history of the rise 
and progress in this county, of this great ecclesiastical organiza- 
tion, which numbers in its ranks nearly one-half of the professing 
Christians of the globe ; and which has done more toward the 
advancement of civilization in this and the old world than any 
other religious denomination. We have tried in vain to make 
this article more extensive, but the ministers of this the " Old 
Faith " (who now reside here; have been here only a short time, 
nor have the records of the church been accessible to us. We 
present the sketch, fully aware of its deficiencies, but as the very 
best possible under the circumstances surrounding us during its 
preparation. 

The Catholic faith is represented in this county by one or- 
ganization, located at Wapella, and one mission, recently esta- 
blished at Clinton. For several years after the organization at 
Wapella was effected, it was maintained as a mission auxiliary 
to Bloomington. In 1857 the idea of erecting a house of wor- 
ship began to be agitated, and was soon put into execution. A 
house, costing about 82,300 was constructed, also a parsonage, 
•which cost about 81,200. The first resident priest was Father 
Eeavis, in 1867. He w-as succeeded by Fathers Schriber, 
Recouver, and the present incumbent, Patrick C. McGrath. 
The Church is in a flourishing condition. The membership are 
now moving in the matter of building a larger house of worship. 
Plans and specifications have been partially settled upon for a 
brick structure, which, when completed, will be among the best 
edifices of the kind in the county. 



CHRISTIAN CONNECTION. 

BT ASHER LANE. 

A Christian church was organized in the year of our Lord 
1837, by the Rev. Thomas Welch, at the house of Peter Leare, 
in Creek Township, De Witt county. Ills., with thirteen members, 
consisting of the following: Benjamin Lisenbey, Peggy Lisenbey, 
Jeremiah Thompson, Nancy Thompson, Rebecca Lane, Maria 
Springer, John Springer, John Lane, John Miller, Nancy Miller, 
Ezekeil Lane, Tabitha Lane, and Geo. D. Smallwood. 

In the organization of this church they covenanted together 



and strongly contended for the right and duty of private judg- 
ment, and taking the Bible and that alone as the only rule of 
faith and practice. They also contended that Chris(ian charac- 
ter should be the only test of fellowship. In the admission 
of members it was their custom to present them with the Bible, 
instructing them to study it well, informing them that it con- 
tained all that was necessary to guide them in the way of truth 
and righteousness, unaided by any human commentary or tyran- 
nical creed. If, after careful searching therein, they thought it 
taught the doctrine of Trinitarianism, Humanitarianism, Socin- 
ianism, or any other ism, they were not excommunicated from 
the Church therefor, but were suffered peacefully to hold their 
own private views, providing they showed forth the fruits of 
Christianity. 

They held and taught the doctrine of Christ. 

1. They believe that there is one (and only one) true and 
living God who created all things, "in whom we live and move 
and have our being." 

2. That "Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God ;" that 
He existed with the Father Ijefore the world was ; that He was 
given as the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but 
for the sins of the whole world ; that He now exists with the 
Father and will be the final judge of the quick and the dead. 

3. That the Holy Ghost is a divine emanation of God, by 
which He exerts an energy or influence on rational minds. The 
same emanation by which our Saviour was anointed (Acts x. 38), 
and which was poured out on the day of Pentecost. The same 
that Christ promised to send from the Father, even the Spirit of 
Truth, which proceedeth from the Father. 

4. That the Bible is of divine origin and profitable for doctrine, 
for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness ; that 
it is sufficiently plain and sufficiently perfect without the aid of 
one-sided commentaries or human creeds. 

5. That all men have sinned and come short of the glory of 
God, and hence a regeneration or change of heart is necessary in 
order to become true disciples of Christ. 

0. That all men are created free moral agents and made capa- 
ble of obeying the Gospel. 

7. That baptism is the immersing of the candidate in water, 
in the name of the Father, and cf the Son, and of the Holy 
Ghost. 

8. That the Lord's Supper and all Gospel ordinances are to be 
observed by all true believers. 

9. That a life of watchfulness and prayer only will keep 
Christians from falling, enable them to live in a justified state, 
and ultimately secure to them a crown of eternal life. 

10. Relative to the atonement, they think the Scriptures 
plainly show that the death of Christ has laid the only foun- 
dation of hope, and that Christ crucified is the power of God 
and the wisdom of God. 

To these we might add their belief in a resurrection of both 
the just and the unjust ; in a future judgment ; in future rewards 
and punishments : in infants' salvation ; in the necessity of good 
works added to faith ; in the mediation of Christ ; in the willing- 
ness of God to bless all that seek His face and favor in Christian 
equality; in Christian fellowship; in revivals; in Christian 
character; and in church discipline. 

The above named church increased in number and strength 
until 1850, when the onward and peaceful march was inter- 
rupted by the Disciples (Campbellites so called), as well as other 
opposing elements with which they were surrounded. Notwith- 
standing all opposition they stood firm to their principles, and 



lU 



UISTOBY OF BE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



advocated what thev understood to be truth. Quite a number 
of their member- left and j<ii:)ed the Di.-^eiples. About this time 
the ehuveh juiucd the Cllri^ti:ul coniercuee. 

Bro. J. \Vekh liib.ind haiil and iaithfully for about tweuty 
years to hold tlie ground they oecupied Bro. J. Lane com- 
nieuced exliortiug and preacliiug, and onntiuued faithfully en- 
cased in advocating the doctrine they had irabu d until his 
death, being determiued to hold their ground. In the fall of 
18o4 thev sent to Ohio for Eld. J. A. Simmermau to come and 
hold a pro'tracted meeting, nud assist in establishing their princi- 
ples. He continued the meeting for thirty days and received in 
the church and immersed 40. In 18.i.5-() a number of the mem- 
bers left and joined the Disciples In 18.58 they built a comfort- 
able house of worship. After the deatli of Bros. W-elch and 
Lane the church gradually went ddwu, lint a small remnant yet 
is left to advocate the cause nl'the (.'hristian coimectiou. 



PBESBYTEKI.^N CHURCH. 



ny w. B. r.UNDi.E. 



The Presbyterian Church of Wapella was organized May 26tb, 
1808, bv a Comnnttee appointed by the Presbytery of Blooming 
ton, with the following members by letters from other churches, 
viz: John Patter. Jane Potter, H(pmer Buck, M.ary Buck, Mar- 
tha Buck, Thomas Brown, George F. Brown, Lucinda Brown, 
Hugh D. Watson, Endine Watson, Eli Cantrall, Zavilda Can- 
trail, Joshua Hull, Xancy Hickle, Susana Cartwill, S. A. Long- 
brake, Mary E. Longbrake, James Ellis, P.ay Nelson, Mary W. 
Abbott, Marcuda Hull. (21.) 

John Potter, Homer Buck and H. D. Watson were elected and 
installed as Elders. George F. Brown, Eli Cantrall and Joshua ! 
Hull, Trustees I 

There have been added since the organization to January 1, ■ 
1882 : On examination, 29 ; by letters from other churches, 1.5 ; [ 
making a total membership of 6.5. Of these, 9 have passed to I 
their reward ; 26 have withdrawn by letter, aud 15 have left ir^ 
regidarly ; leaving the present membership 1-3. 

The building and lot cost about -54,000 ; the amount paid for 
church purposes, pastor's salary, &c., about 87.000. 

The following ministers have served this church : Rev. Samuel 
Stevenson, Rev. A. L. Knox, Rev. W. L Ral)e, and Rev. W. W. 
Paris. There was a Sabbath-scliool organized in the fall of 1871, 
and continued its work for about five years, and the members be- 
coming few in number and living in the country, it was disband- 
ed and united with other schools. 

The Presbyterian Church of Clinton, De Witt Cotmty, III, 
was organized on July 23, 18.5S, by a Coniniitttte of the Presby- 
tery of Peoria " old school," as the ancient record reads. The 
Committee were Revs. Fielding, N. Ewing and A. H. Rogers. 
The original members were thirteen, viz: Mrs. Patience Leav- 
ens, Miss Catharine B. Leavens, Mrs. Mary Lewis, jMiss Mary 
C. Lewis, L. B. Hickman, Miss Elizabeth A. JIcKeniiay, Alex- 
ander Shields, Mrs. Jane Shields and James MeKinley were 
received upon certificate from other churches. JIrs Nancy Dye, 
James H. McKenny, James IMcKenny and Mrs. Jane McKenny 
were received uponexamiuation. James B. MeKinley was chosen 
ruling Elder, and was regularly ordained and installed on the 
following da)', July 24, 1853. (Signed), F. N. Ewing, Moder- 
ater. J. B. MeKinley, Clerk. Of these thirteen members, four 



and perhaps others are still in the church militant ; three are still 
with us, and held in e.-teem among us — Mrs. Mary Lewis, Miss 
C. B. Leavens, Miss Mary C. Lewis (now Mrs. Wm. Bishop), 
the fourth — J B. MeKinley, is an active and honored member 
of the churcli at Champaign, and a ruling Elder iu the same. 
Mr. McKinlpy, though no longer of our number, is held in warm 
remendn-ance and high honor by the church. All unite iu rep- 
resenting him as one of the faithful few who stood firm shoulder 
to shoulder in the long and trying day of small things ; and there 
is evidence tliat he liad no little to do under God in imparting to 
the Church that stability, solidity, persistence in good works and 
ferv(u- of mutual afli^otion which mark it to the present day. He 
writes most modestly, " I shall always retain many cherished re- 
collections of the organization and early history of that branch 
of the Lord's vineyard. I often think of the little band of thir- 
teen original members and of our weekly meeting, when no one 
of our number was absent. We are all here was a common re- 
mark amongst them at the close of the meetings." At the head 
ot this list of thirteen, and justly at the head, stands a woman's 
name which deserves to be crowned with honor— Mrs. Patience 
Leavens, the common ancestress of three of that original num- 
ber who still walk with us, " has been lifted higher ; but her mem- 
ory remains. Her devotion to the interests of the church was 
unwavering and intense. She made the very atmosphere of her 
home redolent of her zeal, and all who entered there could not 
but breathe it in. That devotion has its fruit to-day." 

The next record, June 10, 18.54, tells of the reception of Dr. J. 
B. Hunt, another honored member and ruling Elder; also, Mrs. 
Sarah B. Hunt, Mrs. Lucretia Morton, N. W.Smith, Mrs. N. E. 
Smith, Mrs E. H. Jloore and Mrs. S. F. Moore, only three of this 
number remain with us and are faithful in their attendance upon 
the worship of the sanctuary, viz : Mrs. Morlan and Mr. and Mrs. 
ITunt ; the latter two were absent from us for some time at Mans- 
field, III., but returned to this church in May, 1878. Mrs. Mor- 
lan, the oldest member of the church, is quite feeble and often 
her pitrce is vacant in the church, and N. W. Smith, no more of 
earth, has had prominent and kindly mention, especially of his 
marked fervor and fidelity in the early prayer meetings of the 
church, so highly is this fellowship prized and so long do these 
memories last. One year later, June 10, 18.55, the following were 
received to membership: Mrs. IMary Harsha, Miss Alice Mc- 
Kiuley, Miss Isabel MeKinley. On October 14, 1855, Samuel H. 
Stevenson, Mrs MiiiervaF. Stevenson, Mrs. Nancy J. Sloat, Miss 
Eliza M. Smith and ]Miss Lucretia Morlan were added. April 
13, 1856, fourteen more were added, and in this list the familar 
names of Dr. T. K. Edraeston, T. S. Dickerson, and L. D. Ho- 
vey ; from this point the record begins to grow voluminous, we 
cannot follow them further. It is a pleasing mark of the early 
tendency to Christian sympathy between the churches, now so 
notable, that this church was organized in the house of worship of 
the M. E. Church. Afterward divine service was held with great 
regularity in the court-house; then, for a season, in the Baptist 
church, and then in an old hall. During part of this time, the 
prayer meetings, so often and so warmly named, were held in an 
old frame building on Centre street, south of the square. At 
last, however, after some five or sis years of waiting and work- 
ing, lols were secured on the corner of '\^''ashington and Madison 
streets, and a house of worship was erected, the building we new 
use. The ladies bought the lots, paying for them two hundred 
and fifty hard earned dollars The building cost about 84,500. 
It being in the year 1859, during the hardest times this section 
of country has ever seen, the church being feeble and receiving 



HISTOBY OF DE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



Ui 



almost no assistance outside of the community save 8250 from 
the Presbyterian Church Extension treasury. The task proved 
very heavy. One, even at this late day, recounts the difficulty 
in paying subscriptions, the resort to notes, to the trading of pa- 
pers, and diver^- unusual expedients. Another, having acted as 
treasurer and paymaster, tells of window-frames, etc., coming 
from Chicago in several successive lots, and urgently needed bv 
the builders, while yet there was no money on hand with which 
to wrest the materials from the clutches of the forwarding com- 
pany. Somebody's subscription grew vastly larger than it was in- 
tended to be by " advancing " payments on the.«e importations. 
Then came the regular weekly payments to the workmen. The 
treasurer was very busy on Saturdays ; there was usually no mo- 
ney on hand. But there were subscriptions and notes, and notf s 
and subscriptions I Then came in a system of due-bills on the 
tradesmen of the town, so that after much worry and work each 
Saturday night closed down upon" an arrangement " of some sort, 
satisfactory or otherwise. So, also, at last, through much toil, 
anxiety, and liberality, and much prayer, this commodious house 
was completed, and opened for divine service with the burden of 
but a very small debt, which has long since been removed. The 
history of this church seems to divide itself into three epochs. 
The first closed, say in 1860 or soon after, with the erection of 
and full and final payment for the church edifice. This was the 
periodof foundation-laying, a time of much labor, marked by unity 
of feeling and effort, of much attention to strangers, and of great 
prosperity in the prayer meetings especially. Yet, externally, 
these were the days of small things. This epoch covered about 
seven years. The second epoch seems to have fairly opened with 
the coming of Rev. H. C. McCook, in 1S61 ; although qpt in- 
stalled, he seems from the records to have been a resident pas- 
tor, and the first one giving his whole time to this field. His 
service covered nearly three years, and was marked by the be- 
gining of a rapid and substantial grosvth. He was followed by 
Rev. A. J. Clark, and he by Rev. A. D. White, who seems to 
have shared to the full extent in the prosperity of this epoch, 
which was nearing its close upon Jlr. White's departure in 1870. 
The membership increased from about 60 in 1860, to 161, as re- 
ported, in 1871 — the largest membership the church has ever had 
at any one time- After this, during the service of Rev. J. A. j 
Piper, which closed in 1874, the church nobly held and develop- 
ed what strength had been brought within her grasp. During 
the six years ending April, 1, 1874, the contributions of the 
church amounted to 817,321, of which 83,304 was given to agen- 
cies of benevolence. These purely benevolent contributions aver- 
aged 8551 per year. Since this time the contributions of the 
church for all purposes have averaged about 82,200 per year. 
The church has had the stated services of twelve ministers, in- 
cluding our present pastor, viz : 

1. Rev. John H.Moore, from August, 1853, to February, 1854. 

2. Rev. Samuel H. Stevenson, from July, 1856, to October, 
1857. 

3. Rev. Samuel M. Wilson, part of the year 1858. 

4. Rev. R. Conover, from Sept. 1859 to 1861. (Jlost, if 

not all of the above, seem to have given the Clinton church but 
part of their time). 

5. Rev. H. C. JlcCook, from April, 1861, to January, 1864 
(except a few months spent in service as army chaplain). 

6. Rev. A.J. Clark, from April 1, 1864, to May 1, 1867. 

7. Rev. A. D. White, from December 20, 1867, to Jlay 1, 
1870. 

8. Rev. J. A. Piper, from August 1, 1870, to April 1, 1S74. 

It) 



9. Rev. M. V. Van Arsdale, from Julv, 1874, to December, 
1874. 

10. Rev. J. McLean, from January 7, 1875, to ]\[ay 1, 1876. 

11. Rev. W. W. Faris, from July 1, 1876, to May 1, 1881. 

12. Rev. (;)scar B. Thayer, from July 1, 1881, who was in- 
stalled pastor Nov. 3, 1881, by a commiitee from the Presbytery 
of Bloomington, Revs. R. Conover, J. Payson Mills, and Adam 
W. Ringland. 

The roster of ruling elders exhibits the following names : — 
1. J. B. McKinley. 2. J. B. Hunt. 3. T. E. Dickerson 4. 
Wm. Haynie. 5. Henry Crosley. 6. D. Edmiston. 7. G. W. 
Harden. 8. Smith Minturn. 9. B. L. Colwell. 10. L. D. 
Hovey. 11. S. F. Lewis. 12. J. J. Kelly. 13. EmmettKent. 
14. \V. B. Rundle. Of these, Messrs. Colwell, Dickerson, Hunt, 
Lewis, Kent and Rundle constitute the present session. Messrs. 
McKinley, Ilaynie, Edmiston, Hovey and Kelly have moved 
away. Messrs. H. Crosley and Col. Smith Jlinturn have gone to 
their reward, and Mr. G, W. Haj-den is still with us. Follow- 
ing is the list of deacons:— 1. G. W. Philips. 2. G. W. Martin. 
3. Emmett Kent. 4. W. B. Rundle. 5. Robert Ualker. 
6. W. E. Kirker. 7. M. D. Irwin. 8. M. M. De Levis. Of 
these, Martin has removed from our midst; Mr. G. W. Philips 
has gone to his reward, and Kent and Rundle are ruling eldtr» ; 
and the last four constitute the present board of deacons. The 
financial report shows how well the work has been done, but not 
at what cost and self-sacrifice. A complete list of all the trus- 
tees is not at hand. 

During these twenty-eight years the ordinance of Baptism has 
been administered to 90 adults, and to 110 infants, or to 200 
persons in all. Members have been received in all as follows : 
I'pon examinati'in, 220; upon certificate, 207; or 427 in all— an 
average of more than 15 per year. 

Of these 427 members, 42 have died, 200 have removed with 
letters of dismission, 25 have gone without letters, 20 are absent 
or unaccounted for and placed on the reserved roll, and the re- 
maining 140 are still with us and faithful. A Sabbath-school in 
this church was organized several years ago and has been main- 
tained. 

ELM-i;ROVE PRESBYTERIAN' CHURCH. 

Elm Grove Presbyterian church, situated in Barnett township, 
De Witt county, about nine miles north-west from Clinton, was 
organized June 8th, 1872, by a committee from the Presbytery 
of Bloomington, Revs. Samuel Hart and A. L. Knox, and Elder 
William Haynie, — the following persons being present by letter 
from the Presbyterian church of Waynesville : — Thos. C. Robb, 
Margaret L. Robb, E. H. Robb, Clarissa J. Robb, Carmi Good- 
rich, Margaret Goodrich, Z. D. Cantrill, Susan Cantrill, H. B. 
Jones, Matilda Jones, John H. Adams, John E. Brittan, Jacob 
Leper, Martha Leper, G. B. Smith, Almeda Smith. James Jones, 
Nancy Jones, John E. Bradley, Sarah J. Bradley, G W. Hoff- 
man, L. .\. Hoffman, E. L. Hoffman, Laura A. Hoffman, S A. 
Graham, Sallie Graham, A. W. Bell, Elizabeth Bell, Susan Mil- 
sted. Flora J. Goodrich, Isidora Bradley, Deborah Ingham, 
George R. Ingham, J. H. Robb, Charles Robb, Peter L. Robb, 
Perry Robb, S. B. Clayton, J. M. Goodrich, D. W. Lauterman, 
B. S. Lauterman, George W. Wright, Alexander Stewart, and 
Henry Graham, Miss Tillie Adair (now Mrs. John Adams), from 
the United Presbyterian Church of Sunbury, Pa. — 45 members 
in all. 

Z. D. Cantrill and .1. E. Brittan were elected as elders. Mr. 



146 



HISTORY OF BE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



Brittan was ordained and the two were installed elders (Mr. C. 
having served as elder in the Presbyterian church of Waynes- 
-ville, ills.) 

Thomas C. Eobb and Jacob Leper were elected deacons — they 
having served as deacons iu the church at Waynesville, were 
duly installed as deacons. 

John Bradley, W. W. Graham, and Thomas C. Robb were 
elected trustees. 

Feb. 16, 1873, Mrs. Susan Cantrill, Miss Sarah Ida Brittan, 
and Miss Martha Robb were admitted on examination. March 
1, 1873, George W. :Mabury, Carmi G. Cantrill, Henry A. Good- 
rich, Willis B. Morse, Robt. B. Banks, and Miss Emma Brittan 
were added on examination ; Thomas W. Hull aud Maggie Hull 
on certificate. August 17, 1S73, Miss Sarah J. Adair on certifi- 
cate. May 17, 1874, J. T. Jones on certificate. December 15, 
1875, Perry Robb was dismissed by letter. Aug. 21, 1876, Thos. 
0. Robb, Margaret Robb, and Martha Robb were dismissed by 
letter to Presbyterian church at Lincoln, Ills., and Miss Sarah J. 
Adair to the U. P. church, Chicago, Ills. April 23, 1877, A. 
t^tewart to the M. E. church of Waynesville, Ills. June 3, 1877, 
James E. Longbrake Edgar H. Williams, Henry M. Teal, and 
Mrs. Ida JI. Teal were added on examination. June 7, 1877, 
John H. Adams and Sam'l A.Graham were elected ruling elders. 
Z. D. Cantrill having re>igned. E. H. Robb, G. B. Smith and 
A. W. Bell were elected trustees for two years. June 16, 1877, 
Mrs. Sarah A Longbrake and Mr. William Ellis were admitted 
on examination. Jan. 26, 1879, Mr. Cieorge W. Wright dis- 
missed to church at Miron, Ind. April 10, 1880, letters of dis- 
mission to Elder J. H. Adams, Matilda Adams and Edgar 
Adams to Presbyterian church of Apjileton City, Mo. ; J. W^. 
Leper and Martha Leper to Presbyterian church at Waynes- 
ville, Illinois ; James T. Jones to M. E. church, Pilot Grove, 
Mi.^soiiri. 

Since the organization of this church with forty-five members, 
there have been added on examination fifteen, and on certificate 
four — making a total of sixty-four members; of which thirteen 
have received letters of dismission, ten have left without letters, 
and removed without the bounds of this church; and there are 
about ten who do not attend to any of the church meetings or 
take any part in the support of the gospel of this church — leav- 
ing the present membership to be nominally thirty-one. Of these 
only a few are active members, and only one elder, to bear the 
most of the expense of the church, viz : J. E Brittan, who has 
tver been faithful to the blaster's cause 

Sabbath-school has been maintained in this church pretty 
regularly since its organization, except in some of the winter 
seasons, and has proved to be a benefit to the neighborhood, as 
we find that accessions have been made from its number to the 
church. The ministers who have served this church are: Revs. 
S. V. McKee, J. AV. McDonald, S. A. Stevenson, W. AV. Faris, 
and A. H. Bates. These have spent a part of their time with 
this church and the church at W^aynesville, except Rev. W. W. 
Faris, who was pastor of the Presbyterian church at Clinton and 
supplied the pulpit about once a month. The church at present 
is without a supply, but arrangements are being made for a 
supply soon. 

Present elders; J. E. Brittan and S- A. Graham: although 
Mr. Graham is really outside the bounds, but has not changed 
his membership. 

The first Presbyterian Church ever organized in wliat is now 
De Witt county, was organized at Waynesville, June 25, 1836, 
(Waynesville then being a part of McLean county,) by a com- 



mittee appointed by the Presbytery of Sangamon, Rev. Lemuel 
Foster ; Rev. Flavel Bascom being absent. The following per- 
sons being received by letters from other churches, viz. : Joshua 
Cantrill aud Rachel, his wife, Samuel Baker and Margaret, his 
wife, Zebulon G. Cantrill and Sarah, his wife, Zebulon Cantrill 
and Polly, his wife, AVm. Dye and Nancy, his wife, John Robb 
and Barbara, his wife, William Cintrill and IS'aiicy, his wife, 
John S. Polk, Mary M. Polk, Mrs. Mary Dunham, Mrs. Minerva 
Mclntire, Mrs. Mary Atchison, Mrs. Eliza Dunham, Zebulon 
P. Cantrill, Levi Cantrill, Polly Cantrill, Nancy Cantrill aud 
Mrs Mahala Hull. The above named persons adopted the fol- 
lowing as their Covenant; " You do now in the presence of God 
his holy angels and this assembly avouch, the Lord Jehovah to 
be your God. God the Father to be your Father and preserver. 
God the Son to be your intercessor and Saviour. God the Holy 
Ghost to be your sanctifier and comforter, and the word of God 
to be your only rule of Faith and practice. And you do now 
solemnly dedicate and give up yourselves and all you have to 
him, confessing that your sins deserve his wrath and trusting 
solely in his mercy through Christ for pardon and salvation. 
You cheerfully promise that you will rely on the proflTered and 
needful aids of his Spirit for the discharge of every duty, and 
lead a life of piety and devotion toward CJod, of sobriety and 
watchfulness towards yourselves and of uprightness and benevo- 
lence toward men ; that you will seek the glory of God, and the 
prosperity of the Redeemer's Kingdom as your supreme object, 
and that you will take Christ for your example, and walk with 
his people all the days of your life. And since he has appointed 
spiritual administrations such as sacrament^ to seal, signify and 
exhibit the benefits of his death and purchase ; also administra- 
tions for the disorderly, censures for oflfenders, consolation for the 
penitent ; teaching quickenings, exhortations, brotherly watch- 
fulness and church discipline for the perfecting of the saints ; 
you faithfully covenant that you will yield your influence and 
support, and cheerfully submit to the regular dispensation of all 
these in the church of Christ ; that you will walk in love and 
charity with its members and consciencioiisly labor to promote its 
purity, peace, unity and edification till in the proyidenc! of God 
your relation with it shall be dissolved." 

With an affecting belief that your vows are recorded on high 
and will be reviesved in the day of final judgment, to this cove- 
nant you give your cordial assent. 

Joshua Cantrill, Samuel Baker were then elected elders 
and on Sabbath, June 26, Mr. Baker was ordained and these 
two brothers installed into the ofiBce of ruling elders. The 
Lord's Supper was administered. It was a solemn, precious 
season, and the appearance and feelings of many seemed 
to say that God was there. Thus was organized the first Presby- 
terian church in central Illinois. The church was organized in a 
log barn, about one and a half miles west of the village of 
W^aynesville. Worship was maintained in private houses until 
the spring of 1839, when a small frame house 22x28 was built 
on the lot where the present building now stands, which served 
its purpose until l^Ol, when the present building was erected, 
36x51, at a cost of -32,200. This money was raised on subscrip- 
tion except .$100, which was received from the treasurer of the 
Presbyterian Church Erection Fund. The church went with the 
new school branch of the church in 1837, and returned to the old 
school branch in the fall of 1851. The following ministers have 
served the church ; 1st, Rev. Lemuel Foster, who organized the 
church and preached a few times ; 2d, Rev. Cyrus L. Watson, 
one year, one-third of his time ; 3d, Rev. Josiah Porter, who 



HISTOBY OF BE WITT COUNTY, ILLINOIS. 



147 



commenced in March, 1839, serving the church fi)r six years and 
six months ; 4th, Rev. Adam Johnston, Jan. 1, 1840, served 
three years ; 5th, Rev. James Walker, October, 18.50, served six 
months ; 6th, Rev. Amos M. Rogers, served four years and six 
months. During this time he lost his health and was compelled to 
resign ; 7th Rev. Wm. P. Carson who served three months in the 
winter of 1854-.3.5 ; 8th, Rev. John V. Dodge served four months 
in the summer and fall of 1856 ; 9th, Rev Thomas M. Newel 
commenced October 1853, served the church eight years and six 
months. He died suddenly May 10th, 1865, while getting ready 
to attend the Wednesday evening pnyer ni-eting ; 10th, Rev. 
Samuel Hart, Jan. 1st, 1866 served two years and four months ; 
11th, Rev. Samuel V. McKee Sept, 1863, served three years 
and six months ; 12th, Rev. B. E. Mayo, Jan 1873, served one 
year and three mouths; 13th, Rev. J. M. C McDonald, Sept. 
1874, served four years and six months ; 14th, Rev. A. H. Bates, 
Nov. 1880, served ten mouths. Rev. Macomb is their minister 
now. The following are the names of the ruling elilers : 1st, 
Joshua Cantrill, Sr., and 2d, Samuel Baker, Sr., who was elected 
at the organization; 3d, Zebulon Cantrill, March 4, 1839; 
4th, Levi Cantrill ; 5th, James R. Robb Dee. 4th, 1841 ; 
6th, A. B. Lewis, Feb. 7, 1848; 7th, Elijah Hull; 8th, 
Dr. J. B. Hunt, March 17, 185-2; 9th, Peter Lauterman, 
June 16th, 1854. April 2, 1857, Zebulon Cantrill agreed 
to be dismissed to go into a new organization at Atlanta, 111., to 
serve as elder, Dr. John B. Hunt having moved to Clinton and 
returned again was re-elected elder June 6th, 1857 ; Zebulon 
Cantrill having returned his membership from the church of 
Atlanta was re-elected elder Feb 5th, 1859; 10th, Col. Smith 
Minturn ; 11th, Dr. J. C. Ross was elected Feb. 5th, 1859 ; Dr. J. 
B. Hunt having moved to Atlanta and returned was re-elected 
elder Oct. 5th, 1861; 12th Zebulon B. Cantrill; 13th, Eber 
Davenport; 14th, John Robb was elected Sept. 4th, 1869, mak- 
ing the whole number fourteen. Of this number eight have died 
and are buried here. Three have been dismissed to other 
churches and three remain and are the present elders, viz : Levi 
Cantrill, Eber Davenport and John Robb. Levi Cantrill, who 
has been an elder for forty years and one of the original twenty- 
five, has only been absent from the meetings of his session but 
once in forty years' active service. Truly this is a faithful ser- 
vice for his church, and not ofteu does it occur in the history of 
auy church. 

The record does not give a full list of the deacons and trustees, 
the present deacons are Wm. Whiteman and Wm. M. Sampson, 
and trustees are Eber Davenport, Wm. H. Cantrill and George 
Robb. Of the original twenty-five only four are now living, Mr. 
Wm. Cantrill, M. Cantrill, Mr. Levi Cantrill and Mrs. Nancy 
Robb, the last named being a member of the Presbyterian church 
of Heyworth, 111. Since the organization of this church, forty- 
five years ago, there have been many precious times when the 
Lord has visited this branch of his vineyard and most graciously 
blessed his church by various additions that have been made to 
its membership. There have been added to the original twenty- 
five on e.xamination 278, and on certificate 139, making the total 
number 442, or a little over nine for an average of each year. 
Of these 442 about 110 have died, 243 have removed with letters 
of dismission, 30 have left without letters and 14 are unaccounted 
for ; the remaining 45 are still with us and are faithful. The 
ordinance of baptism has been admistered to 100 adults and 140 
infants. 



"' THE rRESBYTEEt.\N CHURCH OF F-\.EMER CITY 

Was organized on the 21st day of Nov. ISG-^, by a committee 
appointed by the Presbytery of Bloomington, consisting of Rev. 
R