pub Chas. C. Chapman & Co..

History of Pike county, Illinois; together with sketches of its cities, villages and townships, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history; portraits of prominent persons and biographies of representative citizens. History of Illinois ... Digest of state laws .. online

. (page 1 of 94)
Online Librarypub Chas. C. Chapman & Co.History of Pike county, Illinois; together with sketches of its cities, villages and townships, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history; portraits of prominent persons and biographies of representative citizens. History of Illinois ... Digest of state laws .. → online text (page 1 of 94)
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Digest of State Laws.




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X^ The history of Pike county possesses features of unusual interest in
'-^comparison witli those of other neighboring counties, especially those
(\i.'\n the Military Tract. Here the sturdy pioneer located and began to
f\i exert his civilizing influence long before other sections contained a
settler; and this is not only the oldest settled county of all north of its
south line, but it was the first county organized in the Military Tract.
Another fact woithy of note is, that it originally embraced all the coun-
try l}ing between the great Father of Waters and the placid Illinois,
extending east to the Indiana line, and north to the AVisconsin line. Pe-
oria, Rock Island, Galena and Chicago were originally little settlements
of this then vast c unty.

In matters of general public interest and progress. Pike county has
ever taken a leading and prominent position. Here have lived men
who have taken no unimportant part in the affairs of the State, — in
moulding the political sentiments and destiny of the country. Pike
county has been the i-cene of conflict between some of the most giant
intellects of the nation. Here the shrewd and enterprising Easterner,
the courtly Southerner and the sturdy, practical Weserner, have met
and mingled, have mherited the better traits possessed by each other,
and thus have formed a society, a people superior in many particulars
to that of most localities. The original settlens, the earliest pilgrims,
Irnve nearly all passed away. Here and there we see the bended form
and whitened head of some of these vetei'ans, but they are not numer-
ous. Most of them have gone to that country which is always new, yet
- where the trials, struggles and hardships of pioneer life are never
-^ known.

^ Accurate and reliable history is most difficult to write. Those who

^ have never experienced the difficulties incident to such labor cannot

^ realize how nearly impossible it is, or can appreciate the earnest, honest

^ and faithful labor of the historian. After the most careful and pains-

j ; taking searches and inquiry upon any particular subject or about any

J) event, he will even then find many doubts arising in his mind as to its

•0 accuracy and entire truthfulness. Each individual of whom inqury is

made will give you a dift'erent account of any event. One of them

may be as honest as the other and try to relate his story correctly, yet

they will be so widely different that the most searching and logical

mind wiLl be unable to harmonize them. This fact is forcibly illustrated

in an incident related of Sir Walter Raleigh. While in pris5n in a

tower of England he engaged himself in writing the history of the


world. One day a brawl occurred in the yard of the tower, of which
he desire<l to learn the particulars. Two uf the j)riiuipal actors came
before him, and each related the account of the tn)ubh', yet so widely
difiFerent were they that he found it utterly impossible to tell wliat the
facts were. He then remarked, "Here I am en<j^a<;e<l in writin^r tiie
history of events that occurred :5,00n years ago, and yet I am unable to
learn the facts of what happens at my window." This has been
the channel of our experience, and that of all (Others who have at-
tempted national or local history. As an example in Pike county, we
noticed in a Pittsfield cemetery "Orvillee" on the headstone as the
name of the person buried in a certain grave, and "Orval E." on the

Aside from mistakes occurring from the above causes, doubtless there
are many others to be found within these pages. Tt) suppose that a
volunje of this mairnitude, and containing so many thousaj)ds of names
and dates and brief statements would be wholly aicurate, is a supposi-
tion we presume no sane man will make. While we do not claim for
this work c;riti<'al accuracy or completeness, yet we are <|uite certain
that it will be found nu^asiirablv anci iiractieallv so. Let it rest as the
foundation for the future historian to build upon.

As one of the most interesting features of this work, we present the
portraits of niinu^rous representative citizens. It has been our aim to
have the prominent men of to-day, as well as the pioneers, represented
in this department, and we flatter ourselves on the uniform high charac-
ter of the gentlemen whose portraits we present. They are in the
strictest sense representative men, and are selected from all the callings
and professions worthy to be represented. There are others, it is true,
wIk) claim e<pial prominence with those ])rescTited, but a-s a matter of
course it was impossible for us to represent all the leading men of the

As we quit our long, tedious, yet nevertheless pleasant task of writ-
ing and compiling the History of Piki; County, we wish t<> return the
thanks of grateful hearts U) those who have so freely aided us in col-
lecting material, etc. To the county uflicials and editors of the various
newspapers we are particularly grateful for th»,' many kindin'sses and
courtesies shown us while laboring in the county. To .Iam'*s (iailaher,
editor of 77ie Old l''ln<j^ we especially acknowh'dge our indebtedness
for the excellent historical sketch of Pittsfield presented in this vol-
ume. Last and most of all we wish to thank those who sf) liberally
and materially aided the work by becoming subscribers to it. We feel
we have discharged our duties fully, have fullilled all our promises, have
earned the laborer's pay. Thus feeling, we present the volume to the
critical, yet we hope and believe justly charitable citizens of Pike
county — or more especially, our subscribers.

Chas. C. Chapman & Co.

Chicago, May, 1880.

/: /i Ji

/.' h




The numerous and well-authenticated accounts of antiquities
found in various parts of our country, clearly demonstrate that a
people civilized, and even highly cultivated, occupied the broad
Burfiice of our continent before its possession by the present In-
dians; but the date of their rule of the "Western World is so re-
mote that all traces of their history, their progress and decay, lie
buried in deepest obscurity. Nature, at tlie time the first Euro-
peans came, had asserted her original dominion over the earth; the
forests were all in their full luxuriance, the growth of many cen-
turies; and naught existed to point out who and what they were
who formerly lived, and loved, and labored, and died, on the conti-
nent of America. This pre-historic race is known as the Mound-
Builders, from the numerous large mounds of earth-works left by
them. The remains of the works of this people form the most in-
teresting class of antiquities discovered in the United States. Their
character can be but partially gleaned from the internal evidences
and the peculiarities of the only remains left, — the mounds. They
consist of remains of what were apparently villages, altars, temples,
idols, cemeteries, monuments, camps, fortifications, pleasure
grounds, etc., etc. Their habitations must have been tents, struc-
tures of wood, or other perishable material; otherwise their remains
would be numerous. If the Mound-Builders were not the aTicestors
of the Indians, who were they'^ The oblivion wliich has closed over
them is so complete that only conjecture can be given in answer to
the question. Those who do not believe in the common parentage
of mankind contend that they were an indigenous race of the West-
ern hemisphere; others, with more plausibility, think they came
from the East, and imagine they can see coincidences in the religion
of the Hindoos and Southern Tartars anil the supposed theology of


the Moiind-Builders. They were, no doubt, idolators, and it has
been conjectured that the sun vva8 the object of their adoration. The
mounds were generally built in a situation affording a view of the
rising sun: when enclosed in walls their gateways were toward the
eat^t; the caves in which their dead were occasionally buried always
opened in the same direction; whenever a mound was partially en-
closed by a semi-circular pavement, it was on the east side; when
bodies were buried in graves, as was frequently tlie case, they were
laid in a direction east and west; and, tinally. iulhIhIs have been
found rcj^resenting the sun and his rays tif light.

At what period they came to this ci>untry, is likewise a matter of
speculation. From the comparatively rude state of the arts among
them, it lias been inferred that the time was very remote. Their
axes were of stone. Their raiment, judging from fragments which
have been discovered, consisted of the bark of trees, interwoven
with feathers; and their military works were such as a people
would erect who had just passed to the pa.storal state of society
from that dependent alone upon hunting and fishing.

The mounds and other aiicient earth-works constructed by this
people are far more abundant than generally supposed, from the fact
that while some are (juite large, the greater j)art ot them are small
and inconspicuous. Along neiirly all our water courses that are
large enough to bo navigated with a canoe, the mounds are almost
invariably found, covering the base points and heatllands of the
blulfs which border the narrower valleys; so tiuit when one finds him-
self in such j)ositions as to command the grandest views for river
scenery, he may almost always discover that he is standing upon,
or in close pro.ximity to, some one or more of these traces of the
labors of an ancient people.


On the top of the high blulfs that skirt the west bank of the Mis-
sissippi, about two and a half miles from Galena, are a number of
these silent monuments of a pre-historic age. The s{X)t is one of
8urj)assing beauty. From that point may be obtained a view of a
portion of three States, — Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin. A hundred
feet below, at the foot of the perpendicular cliffs, the trains of the
Illinois Central Railroad thunder around the curve, the portage is
in full view, and the '* Father of Waters," with its numerous bayous


and islands, sketches a grand pamorania for miles above and below.
Here, probably tiioiisands of years a;^o, a race of men now extinct,
and unknown even in the traditions of the Indians who inhabited
that section for centuries before the discovery of America by Colum-
bus, built these strangely wonderful and enigmatical mounds. At
this point these mounds are circular and conical in form. The larg-
est one is at least forty feet in diameter at the base, and nut less
than fifteen feet high, even yet, after it has been beaten by the
storms of many centuries. On its top stands the large stump of an
oak tree that was cut dowu about til'ty years ago, and its annual
rings indicate a growth of at least 200 years.

One of the most sinjjular earth-works in the State was found on
the top of a ridge near the east bank of the Sinsinawa creek in the
lead region. It reseuibled some huge animal, the head, ears, nose,
legs and tail, and general outline of which being as perfect as
if made bv men versed in modern art. The ridije on which it was
situated stands on the ])rairie, 300 yards wide, 100 feet in height,
and rounded on the top by a deep deposit of clay. Centrally,
along the line of its summit, and thrown up in the form of an
embankment three feet high, extended the outline of a quadruped
measuring 250 feet from the tip of the nose to the end of the
tail, and having a width of 18 feet at the center of the body. The
head was 35 feet in length, the ears 10 feet, legs 60 and tail 75. The
curvature in both the fore and hind legs was natural to an animal
lying on its side. The general outline of the figure most nearly
resembled the extinct animal known to geologists as the Megathe-
rium. The question naturally arises. By whom and for what pur-
pose was this earth figure raised? Some have conjectured that
numbers of this now extinct animal lived and roamed over the prai-
ries of Illinois when the Mound-Builders first made their appearance
on the upper part of the Mississippi Valley, and that their wonder
and admiration, excited by the colossal dimensions of these huge
creatures, found some expression in the erection of this figure.
The bones of some similar gigantic animals were exhumed on this
stream about three miles from the same place.


Mr. Breckenridge, who examined the antiquities of the Western
country in 1817, sj)eakiiig of the mounds in the American Bottom,
says: "The great number and extremely large size of some of

20 msroKv <»k Illinois.

them iniiy be reji^ardeil as fiiriuslung, with otlier circumstancea,
evidences of their aiiti<|uity. 1 liave sometimes heeii intluoed to
think that at the period when they were constructed there was a
popuhitioti here as numerous as that which once animated the
borders of the Nile or Euphrates, or of Mexico. The most num-
erous, as well as considerahle, of these remains are found in pre-
cisely those parts of the ctHintry where the traces of a numert)us
population mi^lit he looked for, namely, from the mouth of the
Ohio on the east side of the Mississippi, to the Illinois river, and
on the west from the St. Francis to the Missouri. I am perfectly
Batisfied that cities eimilar to those of ancient Mexico, of aeveral
hundred thousand souls, have existed in this country."

It must be admitte«l that whatever the usos of tlieso mounds —
whether juj dwellings or burial places — these silent monumenti}
were built, and the race who built them vanished from the tuce
of the earth, a;^es l>efore the In<lians occupied the himl, but thfir
date must ]»robably forever batHo human skill and ingenuity.

It is sometimes ditlicult to distinguish the placea of eepulture
raised by the Mound-Builders fmm the more uuMJern gnives of the
Indians. The tombs of the former wt're in gonenil larger than
those of the latter, and were used as receptacles for a greater numl>er
of bodies, and contaitiLMJ relics of art,t'vir>cinga higher degree of civ-
ilization than that ]ittaine<l by the Indians. Tiie ancient earth-
wctrks of the Mound- IJuildera have occasionally Ikjcii appropriated
as burial places by the Indians, but thu skeletons of the latter may
bo distinguished from the osteologiail remains of the former by
their greater stature.

What tinally l>ecamo of the Moimd-Builders is another query
which has i»een extensively discussed. The fact that their works
extend into Mexico and Peru has induceil the belief that it was
their |>o6terity that dwelt in these Cfjuntrics when they were firot
visited by the Spanianls. The Mexican and Peruvian works, with
the excej)tion of their greater magtjitude, are similar. liclics om-
mon to all of them have been occ;isionally found, and it is believed
that the religious uses which they subserved were the same. If,
indeed, the Mexicans and Peruvians were the progeny of the
more ancient Mound-Builders, Spanish rapacity for gold was the
cause of their overthrow and final extermination.

A thousand other queries naturally arise respecting these nations


wliich now repose under the ground, but the most searching investi-
gation can give us only vague speculations for answers. No liisto-
rian lias preserved the names of their mighty chieftains, or given an
account of their exploits, and even tradition is silent respecting


Following the Mound-Builders as inhabitants of North America,
were, as it is supposed, the people who reared the niagniticciit
cities the ruins of which are found in Central America. This ])eo-
ple was tar more civilized and advanced in the arts than were the
Mound-Builders. The cities built by them, judging from the ruins
of broken columns, fallen arches and crumbling walls of temples,
palaces and pyramids, which in some places for miles bestrew the
ground, must have been of great extent, magnificent and very pop-
ulous. When we consider the vast period of time necessary to erect
such colossal structures, and, again, the time required to reduce
them to their present ruined state, we can conceive something of
their antiquity. These cities must have been old when many of
the ancient cities of the Orient were being built.

The third race inhabiting North America, distinct from the
former two in every particular, is the present Indians. They
were, when visited by the early discoverers, without cultivation,
refinement or literature, and far behind the Mound-Builders in
the knowledge of the arts. The question of their origin has long
interested archaeologists, and is the most difficult they have been
called upon to answer. Of their predecessors the Indian tribes
knew nothing; they even had no traditions respecting them. It is
quite certain that they were the successors of a race which had
entirely passed away ages before the discovery of the New World.
One hypothesis is that the American Indians 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.
Prominent among those distinctive traits is the hair, which in the
red man is round, in the white man oval, and in the black man fiat.

A more common supposition, however, is that they area derivative
race, and sprang from one or more of the ancient peoples of Asia.
In the absence of all authentic history, and when even tradition is


wanting, any attempt to point out the particular location of their
origin must prove unsatisfactory. Though the e.xact place of urigin
may never be known, yet the striking coincidence i>f physical
organization between the Oriental type of mankind and the Indians
point unmistakably to some part of Asia as the place whence they
emigrated, which was originally peojjled to a great extent by the
children of Shem. In this connectiun it has been claimed that the
meeting of the Europeans, Indians and Africjxns on the continent
of America, is the fulfillment of a prophecy as recorded in Gen-
esis ix. 27: "God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the
tents of Shem; and Cansian shall be his servant." Assuming the
iheory to be true that the Indian tribes are of Shemitic origin,
they were met on this continent in tho fifteenth century by the
Ja)'hetic race, after the two stocks had ])assed around the globe by
directly dilferent routes. A few years afterward the Ilamitic
branch of the human family were brought fn»m thec<»ast of Africa.
During tho occuj)ancy of tho continent by the three ilistinct races,
the children of Japheth have grown ami prospered, while the called
and not voluntary sons of Ham have endured a servitude in the
wider stretchinj; vallevs of the tents of Shem.

When Christopher Columbus had fiiudly succeeded in demon-
Btratinir the truth of his theorv that bv sailing westward from Eu-
rope land would be discovered, lamling on the Island of Bermuda
he supposed he had reached the East Indies. This was an error,
but it led to the adoption of the name of " Indians " for the inhab-
itants of the Island and the main land of America, bv which name
the red men of America have ever since been known.

Of the several great l)ranches of North American Indians the
onlv ones entitled to consideration in Illinois liistorv are the Ai^'on-
quins and Iroquois. At the time of the discovery of America the
former occupied the Atlantic seaboard, while the home of the
Iroquois was as an island in this vast area of Algonquin popula- .
tion. The latter great luition spread over a vast territory, and various
tribes of Algonquin lineage sprung up over the country, adopting,
in time, distinct tribal custfjms and laws. An almost continuous
warfare was carried on between tribes; but later, on the entrance of
the white man into their beloved homes, every foot of territory
was fiercely disputed by the confederacy of many neighboring tribes.
The Algonquins formed the most extensive alliance to resist the
encroacliTnent of the whites, especially the English. Such was the


nature of Kin«^ Pliilip's war. This King, with his Algonquin
braves, sjiread terror and desolation throughout New EngUvnd. With
the Algonquins as the controlling spirit, a confederacy of conti-
nental proportions was the result, embracing in its alliance the tribes
of every name and lineage from the Northern lakes to the gulf.
Pontiae, having breathed into them his implacable hate of the
English intruders, ordered the conflict to commence, and all the
British colonies trembled before the desolating fury of Indian


The Illinois confederac}', the various tribes of which comprised
most of the Indians of Illinois at one time, was composed of five
tribes: the Tamaroas, Michigans, Kaskaskias, Cahokas, and Peorias.
The Illinois, Miamis and Delawares were of the same stock. As
early as 1670 the priest Father Marquette mentions frequent visits
made by individuals of this confederacy to the missionary station at
St. Esprit, near the western extremity of Lake Sujierior. At that
time they lived west of the Mississippi, in eight villages, whither
they had been driven from the shores of Lake Michigan by the
Iroquois. Shortly afterward they began to return to their old
hunting ground, and most of them finally settled in Illinois.
Joliet and Marquette, in 1673, met with a band of them on their
famous voyage of discovery down the Mississippi. They were
treated with the greatest hospitality by the principal chief. On their
return voyage up the Illinois river they stopped at tiie principal
town of the confederacy, situated on the banks of the river seven
miles below the present town of Ottawa. It was then called Kas-
kaskia. Marquette returned to the village in 1675 and established
the mission of the Immaculate Conception, the oldest in Illinois.
When, in 1679, LaSalle visited the town, it had greatly increased
numbering 460 lodges, and at the annual assembly of the difierent
tribes, from 6,000 to 8,000 souls. In common with other western
tribes, they became involved in the conspiracy of Pontiae, although
disj)laying no very great warlike spirit. Pontiae lost his life by
the hands of one of the braves of the Illinois tribe, which so enrasred
the nations that had followed him as their leader that they fell upon
the Illinois to avenge his death, and almost annihilated them.


Tradition states that a band of this tribe, in order to escape the
general slaughter, took refuge upon the high rock on the lUinoip


river since known as Starved Rock, Nature has made tliis one of
tlie most Ibrniidable military fortresses in the world. From the
waters which wash its base it rises to an altitude of 125 feet. Three
of its sides it is impossible to scale, while the one ne.\t to the land
may be climbed with difficulty. From its summit, almost as inac-
cessible as an eagle's nest, the valley of the Illinois is seen as
a landscape of exijuisite beauty. The river near by etrui^t^les
between a number of wooded islands, while further below it (piietly
meanders throui^h vast meadows till it disappears like a thread of
liirht in the dim distance. On the summit of this rock the Illinois
were besie<;ed by a suj)erior force of tlie Pottawatomies whom the
great strength of their natural fortress enabled them to keej) at bay.
Hunger and thirst, however, soon accomj)li8hed what the enemy
was unable to etfect. Surrounded by a relentless foe, without food

Online Librarypub Chas. C. Chapman & Co.History of Pike county, Illinois; together with sketches of its cities, villages and townships, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history; portraits of prominent persons and biographies of representative citizens. History of Illinois ... Digest of state laws .. → online text (page 1 of 94)