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sisting of men, women and children, who hac
been shot, speared, tomahawked, scalped anc
mutilated in the most cruel manner. Davi
was a blncksmith,and apparently a very ath
Jetic man. At, the moment of the attack h
was in his shop, and started for the house aboi
seventy-five or a hundred yards distance, fo
the purpose, no doubt, of assisting to protec
the families there. Ho was attacked a short

istance from the shop and from every indies
on a severe contest ensued.
By his side, or near him, lay a large Kentucky
fle, which had been fired, and afieiwarJ used
a hand-to-hand fight, as its stock was much
lattered, and its breech broken. The bodice
ere collected and buried as well as they could
;, under the circumstances, after which the ex-
edUion went to Ottawa, where they fell in with
[ajor Bailey, with a company from- Tazewell
ounty, who had been in the late disastrous Still-
nan expedition against the Indians at Kishwau
ie, a part of which, together with Major Bailey,
oined Captain Brown. The whole detachment
roceedod to Chicago under the command of
tfajor Bailey. Oa the route to Chicago the guide
o the expedition, a half-breed Indian, imported
t several points large fresh Indian signs. Much
olicitude was felt for the families at Walker's,
in the Dupage, and some time after dark a man
jy the nam3 of Payne was hailed, who had just
;omc alone from Chicago, and was on his wav to
Ottawa The dangers of the route were made
IIOWTI to him, and efforts were made to retain
lim with the expedition. He, however, announced
limself an ambassador of God, and said he would
be safe from any attack by the Indians. It was
vident he was partially insane, and he could not
ie induced to change bis purpose. lie had a
ong flowing beard, and yeneruble appearance.
He was probably killed the same day, as his head
was found two weeks afterward stuck on a pole
n the prairie, and his body some half mile dis-
tant fioin the head. Our fellow citizen, Gurdon

Hubbaid, Esq., was in the party that found
him. Major Bailey and his comm.-ind encamped
the same evening at the fort on the Dupage, and
started early the next morning with the families
in the fort, and all their movable effects lLat could
be transported in ox and horse teams, and arrived
late in the evening at Chicago, after an absence
of ten days. The fort was immediately organ-
ized as a military post, and placed uader the
command of Major Bailey.

Two young ladies, by the name of Hall, were
captured at Indian creek, and retained for some
two weeks, when they were given up by a party
of friendly Indians to Governor Dodge, of Wis-
consin. They were treated with gnat kindness
and respect while they were captives. The mas-
sacre of the people of Indian Creek occurred OB
the 2 1st of May.

In the meantime, three thousand militia were
ordered out from Peoria and the counties south
of it, and marched to Rock Paver, where they
were joined by a detachmeut of i egular troops


from Fort Armstrong, under General Atkinson.
A party of one hundred and fifty militia, under
the command of Major Dement, fell in with a
detachment of Indians, commanded by Black
Hawk himself, somewhere between Rock River
and Galena. An action ensued, in which the
Indians were routed. The main army continued
to move up Rock River, around the head waters
of which it was said the Indians were concen-
trated. On the 21st of July, General Henry,
commanding an advanced party of the army,
came up with the Indians between the Blue
Mounds and the Wisconsin River. The troops
were formed into a hollow square, and all at-
tempts to break the line by the savages were in
vain. A general charge was finally made by the
troops, when the Indians were forced to retreat,
with the loss of between fifty and sixty of their

The Indians continued their retreat to the
northwest, crossed the Wisconsin River, and
moved up the east bank of the Mississippi.
About fifty miles above Prairie du Chien, they
were again overtaken and completely routed, with
the loss of one hundred and fifty warriors. This
victory completely broke the power of Black
Hawk, and ended the war. He was captured by
a party of Winnebagoes, and delivered up to the
officers of the United States at Prairie du Chien,
on the 27th of August, 1832.

Early in the season General Scott was ordered
to leave the seaboard and gather up all the troops
on his route westward, and repair to Chicago.
The Indians were entirely defeated before he was
uble to join the army.

On the 21st of September, 1832, all these
difficulties were arranged by a treaty made at
Fort Armstrong, (Rock Island,) by General Scott
and Governor Reynold*, with the Sunk and Fox
Indians, by which they relinquished all their
claim to Eastern Iowa, and agreed to move west
of the Missouri. Annuities were to be paid to
the several bands, and a reservation of forty miles
square was made to the principal Chief, Keokuk,
and a portion of his followers.

We are indebted to P. F. W. Peek, Esq., for
the facts contained in several of the succeeding
paragraphs ;

In July, A. D. 1831, the schooner Telegraph,
of Ashtabula, Ohio, Captain Joseph and John
Naper, arrived at Chicago with a number of fam-
ilies, their own among the number, who soon
after left and settled the place now known as
Naperville. The village took its name from
Captain Joseph Naper, he being the first white
settler upon its present pile.

Mr. Peck left New York city in the month of
May of that year, (1831) with a small stock of
goods for a " market" having previously deter-
mined upon a Western Home. Accidentally
becoming acquainted with Captain Joseph Naper,
at Buffalo, at which place the schooner was then
loading for "Fort Dearborn," (Chicago) that gen-
tleman, with characteristic frankness, invited Mr.
Peck to embark tvith him and seek a home in
that remote region, then but little known, where
Capt. N. had previously determined to remove
with his family. Mr. P. readily accepted, and
left Buffalo with Capt. N. about the 1st of June,
A. D. 1831, and arrived at Chicago after a pass-
age of two months from the city of New York.

Probably many years prior to this arrival, no
structure of any kind had been added to the
small number of log cabins which, with the build-
ings of the garrison, constituted the town of Chi-
cago ; aud the only addition to its growth during
that year was a small log store for Mr. Peck,
shortly after his arrival, and which he owned and
occupied until late in the fall of that year. It
was built near the garrison, a few rods northwest
of the land on which Col. Beaubien formerly re-
sided, and which Jas. H. Collins, Esq., recently
sold to the Illinois Central Railroad Company.

It was after some deliberation arid advice, that
Mr. P. determined to locate in " the lower vil-
lage," instead of at "the Point," (west side,^
which latter settlement was then, he thinks, rather
iu the ascendant. Rival feelings, to some extent,
existed at the time between the people of those
localities, both contending that they possessed
superior advantages for the site of the future vil-
lage of Chicago.

Shortly before, Mr. Peck's arrival, the Canal
Commissioners had subdivided into town lots part
of Sec. 9, (the Old Town) and given titles to a
few of the lots to different purchasers. "Fort
Dearborn " (fractional section 10) was rot then
subdivided, and much uncertainly existed us to
the time, and under what auspices it would uki
mately be done. These circumstances very much
promoted the interests of land owners at " Wolf


Mr. P. a}8 that his young and feitil irnanina-
tioti presented before him as possible to be built
up within a reasonable time, the village church,
schoolhouse, doctor's and lawyer's office ; a tav-
ern, more fashionable than that kept by " Jolly
Mark," a blacksmith, shoemaker, and tailor's
shop, and a few painted stores and dwellings ;
and that his newly found home -would become a
respectable consolidated village, at one or the
other of these two extreme settlement^ for then

no intermediate lots were considered to be of
much importance.

Late in the fall of 1831, Mr. Peck received
from New York, via the Lakes, a stock of goods
with which, and the small stock he had pre-
viously in trade, he removed into Naper's settle-
ment, and united in business with Capt. Joseph
Naper, and remained with him until the spring of
1832, when the Sauk war drove the people into

Mr. Peck has ever since resided in Chicago,
having immediately after the termination of In-
dian hostilities resumed mercantile business in a
building then owned by S. Miller, Esq., North
side, at the junction of the North and South
branches, which for several previous years had
been occupied by Messrs. Miller & Clyboume as
a store for Indian trade. During the fall of 1832,
and while occupying the building before men-
tioned, Mr. P. caused to be raised the frame of
the building BOW owned by him, and situated on
the S. E. corner of South Water and Lasalle
streets, which was finished and occupied by him
early in May, A. D. 1833, as appears by vouchers
for its payment which he has exhibited to us.
It is built of black walnut and oak lumber. The
lumber was hauled from Walker's mills now
Plainfield forty miles southwest from Chicago,
and is believed to have been the first lumber ever
sawed in Cook county. Plainfield is now in Will

In this building Mr. Peck continued business
until the fall of 1835, at which time he disposed
of his entire stock in trade to Thomas Hartzell,
Esq., then of Hennepin, and now a resident of

now done in Chicago. It cannot amount to
much leas than $1,500,000 per annum, and Chi-
cago beef has obtained the first place in the
markets of the world.

Mr. Peck has also shown us his original docu-
ment for the purchase of Lot 4, Block 18, in the
Old Town of Chicago. It is as follows :

CHICAGO, Aug. 15, 1831.
Received of P. F. W. Peck, eighty dollars, in
full for Lot No. 4, Block 18, in the plan of the
town of Chicago, and in full for all claims to this
date. W. F. WALKER.

This lot is at the S. E corner of South Water
and Lasalle streets, fronting 80 feet on South
Water and 150 feet on Lasalle street, and entire
is now valued in our table at 42,500. Mr. P.
retains a part of the lot only, having sold the
largest portion of it soon after his purchase. He
has also exhibited to us a receipt of his taxes for
1833, signed S. Forbes, Sheriff, amounting to
$3.50. The books of the proper officers will
show that he has paid, for general and special
assessments, for the past year, about $5,000.
Mr. Peck is but one among a score in our city
whose taxes would show as large, and some of
them even larger figures.

Early in 1832, Chicago received quite an ad-
dition to her citizens. Among those now resi-
dents of the city, we remember Dr. Maxwell, G.
W. Snow, Philo Carpenter, John S. Wright, and
Dr. Kimberly.

Going back to 1831, we find that the Commis-
sioner's Court, under the act organizing the
county, was opened March 8th of that year.

this city, and one of the oldest and most respec-
table settlers of Northern Illinois. He thinks the
store above mentioned was the first frame build-
ing built on the south side of the river ; but G.
W. Dole, Esq., assures us that his old warehouse,
on the southeast corner of Dearborn and South
Water streets, was completed and occupied by
him in the fall of 1832. Mr. Dole then lived in
a small log building, now covered with siding,
which stands two or three doors east of the old
warehouse on Water street. The warehouse has
for some years been occupied for dwellings.

In the rear of this building, and in front of the
Tremont House, Mr. Dole slaughtered, in the
fall of 1832, the first lot of cattle, in all two hun-
dred head, ever packed in Chicago. They ware
driven from the Wabash valley, and cost him $2.
75 per cwt. He also slaughtered in the same
place and packed 350 hogs from the same local-
ity, for which he gave $3 per cwt. Here was
the nucleus of the immense " packing" bxisiness

The first record we have is that " Samuel Miller,
Gholson Kercheval and James Walker, Commis-
sioners for Cook county, were sworn into office
J. S C. Hogan, Justice of the Peace. Wil-
liam See was appointed Clerk of the Commis-
sioner's Court, who, after being duly sworn and
giving bonds ' according to law, the Court pro-
ceeded to business.' Archibald Clybourn was
appointed County Treasurer, and an order passed
that the ' S. W. fraction of Sec. 10 in T. 39, N.
R. 14, East of the third principal meridian, be
entered for County purposes.' At the next meet-
ing, March 9th, the Treasurer is authorized to
borrow one hundred dollars, with which to enter
the land before mentioned, and he is directed
' not to give more than six per cent, interest.'
It is also ordered that Jesse Walker be employed
to enter the land, that Jedeiah Wooley be nomi-
nated to the Governor for County Surveyor, and
that there be three precincts in the county of
Cook, to wit : ' the Chicago Precinct,' the ' Hick-


ory Creek' Precinct, and the ' Dupage Precinct.'
The boundaries of these three precincts were es-
tablished, Judges of Election appointed, and the
times and the places of holding the same. Grand
and Petit Juiors were selected, and some other
minor business transacted, when the ' Court ad-
journed until Court in course.' "

April 13th, 1831. A special term was held
The record says: -'Court was called at the hour
of ten o'clock in the morning, and Samuel Miller
and Gholson Kercheval being present, formed a
quorum, and proceeded to business.

" Ordered, That there be a half per cent, le-
vied on the following description of property, to
wit : On town lots, on pleasure carriages, on dis-
tilleries, on all horses, mules and neat cattle
above the age of three years ; on watches, with
their appurtenances, and on all clocks."

Elijah Weutworth and Samuel Miller were li
cenfed to keep a tavern in the town of Chicago
and taxed therefor the sum of $7 and $5 respec
lively. The following financial measure, the se
cond recorded hi the history of Chicago, was also
adopted, and as one of the " quorum" on this
occasion was also one of the prospective " tav
era keepers," we have a right to presume tha
the tariff was fairly adjusted.

" Ordered, That the following rates be allowed
to tavern keepers, to wit :

Each half pint of wine, rum or brandy.
Each pint do.. .

" half pint of fdn.
" pint do.,

gill of whisky,
half pint do-
pint do..


each breakfast and sapper.

95 cents.

31 X

37 X



horse feed.
Keeping horse one night.
Lodging for each man per night.
For cider or beer, one pint,
"* " " quart.

The first licensed merchants in Cook county,
as appears from the licenses granted at this time,
were B. Laughton, Robert A. Kinzie, Samuel
Miller ; and the first auctioneer, James Kinzie.
Russel E. Heacock was licensed to keep a tavern
at his residence.

Initiatory steps were taken for the establish-
ment of a ferry across both branches of Chicago
river, at the forks, over which the people of Cook
county, with their " traveling apraties" were to
be passed free. Rates of ferriage were specified
for outsiders, and a ferry scow was purchased
from Samuel Miller for sixty-five dollars. At the
next meeting of the Court, Mark Beaubien filed
his bond for $200, with James Kinzie as se-

curity, and having agreed to pay into the Trea-
sury fifty dollars, and " to ferry all citi/ens of
Cook county free," became the first ferryman of

During vacation of Court, permits to sell goods
were obtained from the clerk by Alexander Rob-
inson, John B. .Beaubien and Madore Beaubien,
thus adding by so many to the number of Cook
county merchants.

At the next term of Court, June 6th, Jesse
Walker, who had been commissioned to enter
the land selected for county purposes, reported
that he had been refused permission to enter the
same, and paid back the money put into his
hands for that purpose.

The fees received by the members of the Com-
missioners' Court during this period were, as ap-
pears from appropriations made them, at the rate
of $1.50 per day, for actual term time, and were
paid in county orders. Joseph Leflenboys was
added to the list of merchants ; also, Mark Beau-
bien and 0. Newberry.

Certain blocks and lots having been given to
the county by the "Canal Commissioners," it
was thought proper to dispose of them, with the
exception of the Public Square, and acco: dingly
a " sail of lots" we use the spelling of the re-
cord was advertised to take place on the first
Monday hi July following. This semi-nautical
proceeding was probably the first of the specu-
lative and numerous land sales of which Chicago
has since been the theatre. In return, probably,
for the liberal donation received from the Canal
Commissioners, and, as also perhaps considered
the best and only method of extending to them
the "hospitalities of the county," it was ''or-
dered that the county pay the Canal Commission-
ers' ferriage during their stay at Chicago on
canal business," all of which ferriage, according
to Mark Beaubien's account, afterwards pre-
sented and paid, amounted to the enormous sum
of seven dollars and thirty-three cents. In these
days of paved streets and present and prospec
ave plank roads and railroads, it is also interest-
ing to glance at another order, having in view
the opening of the first two highways of which
any definite history has come down to us. The
irst provides for the viewing of a road to the
est boundary of the county, in a direction to-
ward the mouth of Fox river, as follows : " From
he town of Chicago to the house of B. Laugh-
on, from thence to the house of James Walker
>n the Dupage river, and so on to the west line
>f the county, and that Elijah Wentworth, R. E,
Heacock and Timothy B. Clark be the viewers."
'he other is a road from the town of Chicago,

the nearest and beat way to the house of the
w.dovv Blown, on 'Hycory creek, 1 and that
James Kiuzie, Archibald Clybource and R. E.
Ee.icock be the viewers."' What would widow
BJOWII now say were the to count from the cu-
pola of the Tremont House the eighty trains of
cars that daily an ive and depart fi om this city.
And for aught we know she may have done so,
for it is only twenty-three yeais since her house
waa made ihe terminus of ths "onginal survey"
of one of the first avenues fi Gin Chicago.

The vexed question, whether our present
splendid Court House, with all its rccmy and
convenient public offices, stands on a " square"
or a " skew," is resolved into a matter of insig-
nificance, when it is remembered at how recei t
a date, as the ai chives ii.fonn us, the Sheriff was
authorized "to piovide, on the best tetras in his
power, to secure a piieon sufficient to hold prifi-
oners for the time being," or when, as in the
present instance, the "court adjourned until
'court in course, to the house of William See."

The affairs of the ounty appear to have bern
managed during these primeval times with com-
mendable prudence, economy and good faith, for
we find subsequently that Jas. Kin/Je, having, in
^his official capacity, disposed of the lands given
to the county by the ("anz.1 Commissioners, was
allowed a county order for $14 53|, being at the
rue of 21 per cent, for the first $2"0, and one
per cent, for all over that sum, for his services
.as "auxineer" we use the sjelling of the
record * in the sail of lots" elsewhere men-

The mercantile corps of Cook county waa
meanwhile increased by the addition of four new
firms, viz: Brewster, Began & Co., Peck,
Walker & Co., Joseph Naper and Nicholas Boil-
vin. It, perhaps, ought not to be omitted that
Mark Beanbien, who from all accounts was not
an unworthy pioneer to Chicago enterprise and
ambition, not satisfied with being already chief
ferryman, as well as a merchant, or with having
experienced the clemency of the Court in the
ehape of a remittance of a fine of ten dollars,
" assessed to him for a fracas" with John G.
Hall, also applied for and received a license to
"keep a tavern," being charged therefor the
moderate sum of six dollars. As an offset to
these various evidences of favor, he well nigh
met with a worse fate than old Charon, for he
was "ordered" to ferry the citizens of Cook
county "from daylight in the morning until
dark, without stopping.'"

The reason for this stringent order, as given
by Dr. Kimberiy, was, that Mark at the time

kepttwo racs horses, and he had euch

fo.- the sports of the turf that he wo^ld, every

day, if possible, get up a race with somu of the

Indian "bloodd," and sadly neglect his duty

to lorry the good citizens of Cook county free,

according to tiie law in such cass made and pro


An mcideai in the history of the Baaubier
family should be didy recorded. The military
cuimnandant of the State gave orders in 1835
that the militia of Cook comity should b<> duh
organized and officers elected. Like the im-
mortal Falstaff, there were some gentlemen who
did not fancy that kind of company. As usual,
there were eeveiul aspirants who, if elected,
would carry out the law ; but over all these it
was determined to elect John B. Colonel. The
^lection was to be held in ths house of a Mr
Laughton, who kept tavern near where Lyons-
ville now stands on the southwestern plauk road.
The town turned out en tuassf, taking with then:
a keg of brandy, four packages of loaf sugar ai;d
six dozen of lemons. John was elected over all
opposition, and it was determined, of course, to
have " a time " At the base of the bluff, near
the house, is a fine spiing. A dam waa made
across the outlet, and the brandy, lemons and
sugar were all emptied into it, and being dulv
stirred up, each one drank till he could drink no
more from this novel " PCNCH BOWL." Colonel
Beaubien was entirely satisfied with " Ike Jwnof"
conferred upon him, and never called out hi,-*
forces. Ho is the fiist, and still is the highest
officer of the Cook county militia.

The first mention we find of the Circuit Cou;t
is contained in the minuter, of Sept. tith, J8S1,
providing that it be held 5r " Fort Dearborn, in
th'i brfck house, and iu the iewer room of stM

It IB worthv of remark, that notwithstandir^


the low state of the county finances during th's
period, the nick or disabled strangers arid t:.i-
vellers, or unfortunate reoideats, wen? uniform),-
provided with proper nourishment, medicine, ai:d
careful attendance at the public expense. Sev-
eral instances are on record of appropriation.*
from the treasury for these and lika purposes. It
is equally in evidence, that amid all the imposi-
tions and irregularities attending the first years
of a new settlement, the administration of public
affairs rested in the hands of coo! and impartial
officers, who were not to be easily deceived or
imposed r.pon, and who had a single eye to Use
general good. As an instance, we notice that
when the first road was located from the Public
SquEU-e to the weet county line, it appeara that


swine or all of the viewers were influenced by
some selfish purpose, and hence we find that
their " report is rejected, and the viewers shall
have no pay for their services."

The population and business of the town stea-
dily increased from month to month, and with it
many changes occurred which it is beyond our
limits to notice.

Richard J. Hamilton was appointed Clerk of
the Court in place of William See, resigned, and
entered upon the duties of his office on the
second day of April, 1832. Much business of
more or less importance was transacted at this
special term. More roads and streets were
authorized, and Commissioners appointed to de-
cide their location ; election precincts and magis-
trate districts were set apart, described and
named ; judges of elections appointed, etc., etc.
From a statement returned by the Sheriff of
Cook county, April 4th, 1832, it is shown that
the amount of the tax list on real and personal
property for the year ending March Is', 1832,
was $148.29, and that the non-resident delin-
quent tax list amounted to $10.50. Of this
amount there had been paid into the treasury
142 28. The Treasurer's report for the same
period shows that the amount received from li-
censes " to keep taveran," sell goods, etc., was
$225 50 ; taxes paid in, as per Sheriff's report,
was $132.28 total, $357.78. To balance this
amount, the Treasurer reports, license tax delin-

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Online LibraryDaily Democratic PressThe Rail-roads, history and commerce of Chicago → online text (page 6 of 15)