Chas. C. Chapman & Co.

History of Knox County, Illinois online

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Over a half century has rolled its years away since this section of Illinois
was first chosen for a home by the white man. The trials, sufferings and
struggles that were experienced in converting even this fertile land from its vir-
gin wildness into the luxuriant and densely populated country now existing can
never be fully portrayed. Although, as in many frontier settlements, the
ground was not consecrated by the blood of pioneers and their families, yet hu-
man tongue or pen can never accurately ^picture the vicissitudes and trials of
the advanced guard of civilization who pitched their tents in Knox county.
Their labors were as trying to their mind as to the body. Physical and mental
strength waste together, and the memory of names, dates and events becomes
lost by the confusion of accumulating years. Events that were fresh in mem-
ory ten to twenty years after their occurrence are almost if not entirely for-
gotten when fifty years have passed. If not entirely obliterated from mem-
ory's tablet, they have become so dim that when we call for information con-
cerning the past it is often given with many doub tings and much hesitancy ;
while others were positive and often as immovable as to their correctness as
Gibralter. For instance, one man insisted that the Black Hawk war was in
1830. Again, we were informed that Michael Fraker came to Lynn township
in 1828. The information came from reliable sources, yet from other facts we
had deemed the date incorrect and set about a careful investigation ; and after
weeks of patient labor found the date of his settlement to be 1830. We refer
to these to show how apt people are to let their memories betray them. The
best memories will differ in the particulars of past events, some seizing upon
one detail and some on another ; hence often arises honest difference. Many
may question the dates given in this work. Indeed it is more than likely some
are wrong, for it is not expected that it is so perfect as to be above criticism,
for the book is yet to be published that can justly claim perfection ; but it is
the Publishers' hope, as it is their belief, that it will be found measurably cor-
rect and generally accurate and reliable. Industrious and studied care has
been exercised to make it a standard book of reference as well as of interest
to the general reader. If in such a multiplicity of names, dates, etc., some
errors are not detected it will be strange indeed.

It may be claimed that many important events of early history are omitted,
or but casually mentioned. For this we can say we are not at fault. For weeks
and months we btgged for information. In the very incipiency of our labor no
pains were spared to interest the people of all parts of the county in the work.
We published 25,000 copies of the Historic Record and sent them broadcast
over the county ; appeals were made through the various papers ; beside these,
hundreds of letters have been written and hundreds of journeys made. We
have been willing and anxious to get every important scrap of history. The
items gleaned from public records are full, complete and correct. We doubt
if the public journals will ever be read more carefully than the perusal we
gave them. From July 7, 1830, the date of the opening of the first record, to
the present time, every page of the many musty old volumes was carefully
read. The chain of official events was followed from the first.


Every item given we were careful to have correct, and not being satisfied with
our own knowledge of facts had the various articles read by responsible parties
who were known to be acquainted with particular events. We have had much
of the early history read and corrected by Major Thomas McKce, who every
one knows is perhaps the best posted man in the county on pioneer history.
We have also had Hon. W. Selden Gale, State's Attorney J. J. Tunnicliff,
( '<>unty School Superintendent Miss Mary Allen West, and many others of well
known authority, read manuscript and proof and make needed corrections and

Our soldiers' list is full and was very carefully compiled. Months of labor
were bestowed upon this one item ; and should there be a soldier whose name
is not recorded here we believe the omission not our oversight ; and investiga-
tion will show him credited to some other county. It was impossible to obtain
the correct spelling of some of the names.

In the latter part of the work — the educational and religious history and
sketches of cities and towns — we were compelled to condense more than we
would have done could it have been avoided. As it is we give to our subscri-
bers a book of 750 pages instead of one of 600 pages, which is as large as we
ever promised to any one. By additional pages and smaller type we have
increased the amount of matter by at least one-half. From comparison
with other county histories we believe it to be more full and com-
plete than any similar work published in the State, and trust, with all of
its imperfections, it will prove satisfactory to all. In this confident
belief we submit to the enlightened judgment of those — our subscri-
bers — for whose benefit it has been prepared, in the assurance that it
will be kindly received.

We have avoided indulging in general reflections or mere speculations,
excepting such as naturally rose out of the subject under consideration, prefer-
ring to give a minute narrative, omitting no particular that was characteristic of
the persons, the events or the times, and endeavoring to place every fact in
such a point of view that the reader might see the county in all its various
stages of progression. We have labored faithfully and conscientiously, with
no thought of swindling or humbugging the people, as we believe our work
will show.

In conclusion we extend our heartfelt thanks for innumerable favors to Ma-
jor Thomas McKee, Prof. Geo. Churchill, Prof. M. L. Comstock, Prof.
J. V. N. Standish, Geo. Davis, Hon. W. S. Gale, David Sanborn, R. L.
Hannaman, Mayor John C. Stewart, Galesburg, Hon. 0. F. Price, and the
county officials, — Judge Dennis Clark, County Clerk John S. Winter, Cir-
cuit Clerk Geo. L. Hannaman, State's Attorney J. J. Tunnicliff, School
Superintendent Miss Mary Allen West, Sheriff A. W. Berggren and
Treasurer J. L. Burkhalter ; also to Miss Emma Everest, T. Leslie
McGlRR, M. J. A. Meadows, and to the various newspaper editors of the

Before closing we wish to vindicate ourselves in the statement made at the
beginning, — -that "we would publish no more books than we had actual and re-
liable subscriptions for." This we have scrupulously. adhered to ; and by re-
ferring to our biographical sketches of subscribers, the list will be found to
contain a large proportion of the people who comprise the life, enterprise and
intelligence of Knox county.


Galesburg, Nov. 1878.


CHArTEK. • p Af . E ,

I- Early Settlement, - . 100

First Settlers, 100 — Knox County, 106— Prairie Fires, 110— The Big Snow, 116
—Going to Market, 117 — Money, 119— First Celebration, 120— Militia, 121 —
Bee-Hunting, 121— Courts, 125. .

II. Important Labors of the County Commissioners' Court, - - 12S

Organization, 128— First Meetings of the Court, 129 — Circuit Court, 132— Rev-
enue, 133 — First Court House, 133 — County Seat, 137 — Judicious and Liberal
Commissioners, 137 — School Commissioner, 139 — Log Jail, 140 — Knoxville
Named, 141 — Licenses, 141 — Brick Court-House, 143 — Jail at Knoxville, 145 —
Escape of Prisoners, 145 — Horse-Thieves, 146 — Last Meeting, 146.

III. Black Hawk War, - 149

IV. Geology of Knox County, - - - 161
Surface Geology, 161 — Economical Geology; Stone for Building, 165 — Lime-
stone for Lime, 166 — Coal, 166.

V. Zoology and Botany, .-•__. u;s

Quadrupeds, 168— Birds, 168— Fishes, 175— Trees and Shrubs, 176 — Vines, 180
— Herbaceous Plants, 180. •

VI. Archaeology, -_"-_-_ 185

VII. Pioneer Life, - - 188
Log Cabins, 188 — Selections of Homes, 189 — Milling, 190 — Native Animals,
193 — Cooking, 197 — Implements, .197 — Women's Work, 199— Pleasures of
Pioneer Life, 200.

VIII. Underground Railroad, - - - - - 201
Black Laws, 201— Mode of Running the U. G. R. R., 202— Aunt Sukey, 203—
Bill Casey, 206— Galesburg Station, 210— Ontario Station, 211— Hitchcock
Station, 211 — Arrest of the Rev. John Cross, 212 — Rev. John Cross Again, 213.

IX. Railroads, - - • - - - - 216

X. Criminal Record, - 227
First Murder, 227— Other Murders, 22S-233— Gilson Murder, 233— Horse
Stealing, 240.

XL Old Settlers' Association, - ... 241

XII. Important Labors of the Board of Supervisors, - 247
County Court, 247 — Township Organization, 249 — Alms-house, 253 — War
Record, 262.

XIII. The War— At Home, ... - 274
The Tocsin of War, 274— Liberality of Those at Home, 2S1— Soldiers' Aid
Society, 289— The Close, 302.



XIV. The War— In The Field, .... 305

The War, 305— Stone River, 305— Prison Life, 306— Incidents of Enlisting, 308
—The 102d, 309— Knox County Volunteers, 312-379— The 4th Regiment,
I. N. G., 379— Band, 381— Regimental Officers, 382— Drum Corps, 382— Com-
pany A, 382 — Company B, 383 — Company C, 383 — Members of Battery, 3S4.

XV. Resources of the County, - - . - - 385

XVI. Political, ...... 404

XVII. Personal Incidents and Miscellany, - 422

Historical Items from Rev. Wright's Journal, 422 — Indian Boy Killed, 427 —
Big Storms, 427— Sudden Changes, 429— Cold Weather, 429— Wet Season, 430
— A Ferocious Dog, 430 — Lost Children, 431 — Race to Quincy, 433 — Early Mill-
ing, 437 — Canada Thistles, 438 —Bee-Raising, 439 — Pop-Corn and Mustard, 440
— Prizes for Hogs, 441 — Matrimonial, 442 — Catamount, 448 — Wolves, 448 —
His First Trip, 448— An Old Hatter, 449— Aerolite, 449— Table of Distances,
450— County Funds, 450— First Things, 450.

XVIII. The Bar and Officials of the County, - . - 452

The Bar, 452 — County Commissioners, 460 — Treasurers, 462 — County Clerks,
463 — Circuit Clerks, 463 — Sheriffs, County Judges, County School Superin-
tendents, Coroners, Surveyors, 464.

XIX. Temperance, - - - 4(35

XX. Township Histories, - - - 479

Indian Point, 479— Cedar, 480— Galesburg, 483— Henderson, 484— Rio, 484—
Chestnut, 486— Orange, 486— Knox, 486— Sparta, 487— Ontario, 495— Maquon,
496— Haw Creek, 497— Persifer, 498— Copley, 500— Walnut Grove, 501— Salem,
502— Elba, 503— Truro, 504— Victoria, 507— Lynn, 508.

XXI. Blooded Stock, - - - 512

XXII. Manufactories, - 516

Frost Manufacturing Company, 516— The Steel Plow, 519— The Novelty Ma-
chine Works, 521 — Brown's Corn-Planter Works, 521 — Broom Factory, 529 —
Hemstreet Carriage Manufactory, 530 — Marble Works, 530 — May Brothers'
Windmill, 530 — Cheese Factories, 531.

XXIII. The Press, - - 533
Newspapers of Galesburg, 534 — Knoxville Papers, 537- Abingdon Papers, 540

— Oneida and Maquon Papers, 543.

XXIV. Education, - - - 544

Early Schools, 544— Holiday Treating, 548— The Loud School, 551— Knox
College, 553 — Cherry Grove Seminary, 563 — Lombard University, 563 — Abing-
don College, 571 — Hedding College, 579— St. Mary's School, 585— Western
Business College, 595— Ansgari College, 596— Knox Agricultural School, 598—
Galesburg Public Schools, 602.

XXV. Religious, -.-.. - 604

Old School Baptists, 604— Methodist Episcopal, 604— Christian, 609— Presbyte-
rian, 610— First Church, Galesburg, 611— Baptist, 614 — Congregational. 617 —
Lutheran, 618 — Christian of Christian Connection, 618 — Universalist, 619 —
Catholic, 619 — Protc6tant Episcopal, 019— United Brethren, 620 — Protestant
Methodist, 620— United Presbyterian, 620— Swedish Independent, 620—
Galesburg City Mission, 620.




XXVI. Cities and Towns, - 622

Knoxville, 622— Henderson, 623— Galesburg, 623— Maquon, 640— Hermon, 641
—Abingdon. 641— Union Town, 642— Victoria, 643— Oneida, 643— Altona, 644
— Wataga, 644— St. Augustine, 645— Summit, 645— Gil son, 645— Yates City,
645— Rio, 646.
Biographical, Sketches, - 647


Mound-Builders, , 17

Indians, 18

French and English Rule, 23

County of Illinois, 26

Territory of Illinois, 27

Illinois as a State 27

State Bank 32

Early Governors 33

Black Hawk War, 37

Martyr for Liberty, 40

Mormon War, 43

Mexican War, 46

The War of the Rebellion, 47

Senators, 50

Governors, 51

Dress and Manners, 51

Physical Features of Illinois, 54

Agriculture, 57

Chicago, 61

Massacre of Fort Dearborn, 62

The Great Fire, 66

Commerce of Chicago 69


Jurisdiction of Courts, 73

County Courts, 73

Commissioners of Highways, ..... . 73

Fences, 75

Eminent Domain, 77

Drainage, - 77

Trespass of Stock, 77

Estrays 78

Horses, 79

Marks and Brands, 80

Articles of Agreement, . . . 80

General Formjof Agreement, 80

Deeds, 81

Wills, 82

Adoption of Children 84

Notes, 84

Judgment Notes, 85

Interest, 85

Days of Grace, 86

Limitation of Action, 87

Receipts 87

Exemptions from Forced Sale, 87

Landlords and Tenants, 88

Criminal Law, 89

Millers 90

Paupers, 91

Public and Private Conveyances, ... 92

Wagers and Stakeholders, 93

Sunday, 93

Definition of Commercial Terms, ... 94

Legal Weights and Measures, 9^

Game, 94

Bees, 95

Dogs, 95

Cruelty to Animals, 95


U.S. Mails, 96

Rates of Postage, 97

Third-Class Matter, 98

Registered Matter, 99

Money Orders, 99


Allen, S. W., 135

Bateman, Newton, 559

Berggren, A. W . 303

Blair, Dr. J. L, 291

Blanchard, J., 183

Brown, G W., 523

Bruner, F. M., 573

Burkhalter, J. L, 351



Butler, J. W., 411

Churchill, Geo., 327

Clark, Dennis, 279

Clark, Gen. Geo. R, 21

Colton,C. S., 493

Cooper, Dr. E. S., 171

Hannarnan, Geo. L, 555

Hannaman, R. L. , 243

Henderson, David, 387

Hitchcock, H, 219

Holyoke, J. M.,. 207

Housh, David, -. 147

Jones, Conley, 399

Knox, James, 599

Latimer, J. F 363

Lefflngwell, C. W., 593

Lewis, J. H., 159

May, H. H., 505

Mc Kee, Thomas 123

Peck, G. W., 615

Perkins, I. S., 339

Reynolds, W. H 375

St. Clair, Gen. A 29

Stilson, J.F., 469

Tunnicliff, J. J 231

Turner, Israel, 435

West, MissM. A 549

Wetmore, I. M., 195

Winter, John S 445


Abingdon College, 570

Ansgari College, 596

Hedding College, 581

Knox College, 555

Knox Seminary, 555

Lombard University, 565

St. Mary's School, 589

Knoxvifle High School, 481

Oneida High School, 315

Wataga High School, 423

Pontiac, 35

Black Hawk, 41

Old Kinzie House, 55

Fort Dearborn, 59

Chicago Exposition, 67

Chicago Water Works, 71

La Salle Street Tunnel 11 1

Alms House, 255

First Jail, 267

Knox County Jail, ? 267

Frost Factory, , 517

Brown's Works, 527

M. E. Church, Galesburg, 605

Union Hotel, Galesburg, 637


Knox County Map,







rr\z wo? ll




Antiquarians claim that three distinct races of people lived in
North America prior to its occupation by the present population.
Of these, the builders of the magnificent cities whose remains are
fonnd in Central America were the most civilized. The second race.
as determined by the character of their civilization, were the Mound-
Bui kk-rs, the remains of whose works constitute the most interesting
class of antiquities fonnd within the limits of the United Stat
Like the ruins of Central America, they antedate the most ancient
records. They consist of the remains of what were apparently vil-
lages, altars, temples, idol-, cemeteries, monuments, camps, fortifica-
tions, pleasure grounds, etc., etc. Their habitations must have been
tents, structures of wood, or some other perishable material; other-

3e their remains must have been numerous. If the Mound-
Builders were not the ancestors of the Indians, who were they? The
oblivion which has closed over them is so complete that only con-
jecture can be given in answer to the question. Those who do not
believe in the common parentage of mankind contend that they were
an indigenouc race of the western hemisphere; others, with more
plausibility, think they came from the East, and imagine that they
can see coincidences in the religion of the Hindoos and southern
Tartars ami the supposed theology of the Mound-Builders. They
were, no doubt, idolaters, and it has been conjectured that the sun
was an object of adoration. The mounds were generally built in a
situation affording a view of the rising sun; when inclosed with walls,
their gateways were toward the east. The caves in which they were
occasionally found buried always opened in the same direction.
Whenever a mound was partially inclosed by a semi-circular pave-
ment, it was on the east side; when bodies were buried in graves, as
was frequently the case, they lay in an eastern and western direction;
and, finally, medals have been found representing the sun and his
rays of light.

At what period they came to this country is likewise a matter of
speculation. From the comparatively rude state of the arts among
them, it has been inferred that the time was very remote. Their


axes weie of stone ; their raiment, judging from fragments which
have been discovered, consisted of the barks of the trees interwoven
with feathers; and their military works were such as a people would
erect who had just passed from the hunter to the pastoral state of

What finally became of them is another query which has been
extensively discussed. The fact that their works extend into Mexico
and Peru has induced the belief that it was their posterity that
dwelt in these countries when they were first visited by the
Spaniards. The Mexican and Peruvian works, with the exception
of their greater magnitude, are similar. Relics common to all
of them have been occasionally found, and it is believed that
the religious uses which thev subserved were the same. If, in-
deed, the Mexicans and Peruvians were the progeny of the more
ancient Mound Builders, the Spanish rapacity for gold was the
cause of their overthrow and final extermination.

A thousand other queries naturally arise respecting these nations
which now repose under the ground, but the most searching investi-
gation can only give us vague speculations for answers. No historian
has preserved the names of their mighty chieftains, or given an
account of their exploits, and even tradition is silent respecting them.


The third race, which, according to the ethnologists, has inhabited
North America, is the present Indians. "When visited by early
European pioneers they were without cultivation, refinement or
literature, and far behind their predecessors, the Mound-Builders, in
the knowledge of the arts. The question of their origin has long
interested archaeologists, and is one of the most difficult they have
been called on to answer. One hypothesis is that they are an original
race indigenous to the western hemisphere. Those who entertain
this view think their peculiarities of physical structure preclude the
possibility of a common parentage with the rest of mankind. Prom-
inent among those distinctive traits is the hair, which in the red man
is round,' in the white man oval, and in the black man flat.

A more common supposition, however, is that they are a deriva-
tive race, and sprang from one or more of the ancient peoples of
Asia. In the absence of all authentic history, and when even tradi-
tion is wanting, any attempt to point out the particular location of
their origin must prove unsatisfactory. Though the exact place of
origin may never be known, yet the striking coincidence of physical
organization between the Oriental type of mankind and the Indians


point unmistakably to some part of Asia as the place whence the)
emigrated. Of the several great branches of North American Indi-
ans as determined by sameness of language and mental and physical
type, the only ones entitled to consideration in Illinois history are the
Algonquin and Iroquois.

The Illinois confederacy was composed of five tribes: theTamoroas,
Michigans, Kaskaskias, Cahokas and Peorias. The delinition of the
Indian word Illinois is real, or superior men, and is derived from the
Delaware word Illini. The termination of the word as it is now-
used is of French origin. As early as 1670, the priest, Father Mar-
quette, mentions frequent visits made by individuals of this confed-
eracy to the missionary station of St. Esprit, near the western extrem
ity of Lake Superior. Joliet and Marquette, in 1673, descended the
Mississippi, below the mouth of the Wisconsin, on their famous
voyage of discovery, and met with a band of them on the west bank
of the river. The principal chief treated them with great hospitality,
gave them a calumet as a pass down the river, and bid them a friendly
farewell. The same explorers, on their return voyage up the Illinois
river, discovered and stopped at the principal town of the confederacy,
situated on the banks of the river seven miles below the present town
of Ottawa. It was then called Kaskaskia. Marquette returned to
the village in the spring of 1675, and established the mission of the
Immaculate Conception, the oldest in Illinois. When, in 1679, La
Salle visited the town, it had greatly increased, numbering 460 lodges,
and at the annual assembly of the different tribes, from 6,000 to 8,000

The Sacs and Foxes, who have figured extensively in the history of
Illinois, dwelt in the northwestern portion of the State. Though still
retaining separate tribal names, they had, by long residence together
and intermarriage, become substantially one people. Drake, in his
"Life of Black Hawk," speaks of these tribes as follows: "The Sacs
and Foxes fought their way from the waters of the St. Lawrence to
Green Bay, and after reaching that place not only sustained themselves
against hostile tribes, but were the most active and courageous in
the subjugation, or rather the extermination, of the numerous and
powerful Illinois confederacy. They had many wars, offensive and
defensive, with the Sioux, the Pawnees, the Osages, and other tribes,
some of which are ranked among the most fierce and ferocious war-
riors of the whole continent; and it does not appear that in these
conflicts, running through a long period of years, they were found
wanting in this, the greatest of all savage virtues. In the late war
with Great Britain, a party of the Sacs and Foxes fought under the


British standard as a matter of choice; and in the recent conflict
between a fragment of these tribes and the United States, although
defeated and literally cnt to pieces by an overwhelming force, it is
very questionable whether their reputation as braves would suffer by
a comparison with that of their victors. It is believed that a careful
review of their history will lead the inquirer to the conclusion that

Online LibraryChas. C. Chapman & CoHistory of Knox County, Illinois → online text (page 1 of 75)