pub Chas. C. Chapman & Co..

History of Tazewell 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

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Online Librarypub Chas. C. Chapman & Co.History of Tazewell 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 54 of 79)
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is about 800. It is on the line of the I., B. & W., and I. M. Rail-
roads. The first post-office was established in 1827. Mordecai
Mobley was the first postmaster ; the present postmaster is James
E. Hill. There is one drug store, three grocery stores, one furni-
ture store, one hardAvare store, and two of general merchandise, one
hotel, one large agricultural implement house, three wagon shops, and
a grist-mill. There is a Masonic lodge, which was organized over
a half century ago, and is now in a flourishing condition. The Trus-
tees of the town are as follows : Daniel Beckly, James H. Porter,
J. L. Davis, Thomas Higgins, and J. H. Wilson.


Christian Church. — From the earliest settlement of Mackinaw
township, dating as for back as 1826, there were occasional religious
meetings held at private houses and subsequently school-houses.
Methodist, Cumberland Presbyterian, United Brethren, occasionally
a Baptist, a New Light, or Old Christian preacher, living in other
settlements, or traveling through, would stop with the friendly
pioneers and preach to those who would gather in. These meetings
were not without some good effect. In 183-t, Elder James A. Lind-
sey came from Kentucky and settled in the east part of the town-
ship. He was a minister of the Disciples or Christian Church, and
was, perhaps, the first resident preacher of the township ; was a
man of sterling worth and integrity, kind and genial in disposition,
and ardently devotional. He began at once the proclamation of the
Gospel as taught by this people. Having a large family, and real-
izing the importance of regular church influence, he soon made it a
special feature of his work to establish the cause in his own neigh-
borhood. He was successful in harmonizing some of other religious
views, and baptizing others who had made no profession. These
efforts resulted in a meeting for consolidation, which was held at his
house in Sept., 1837, and on the 5th day of October, at what was
known as Mt. Pleasant school-house, the first Christian Church of
the township, and perhaps the first, that was strictly on that basis, in
the county. The Methodist Conference had established a station at


Mackinaw town, and had monthly preaching, and this has always
been a point in their Conference. The Christian Church organized
with 23 members and chose as Elders, George Hittle and Samuel
Fleshen; Deacons, Michael Hittle and Nehemiah Hill; James E.
Lindsey, Evangelist, and R. F. Houston, Clerk. From the first the
congregation prospered and increased steadily, seldom failing to meet
on the first day of every week. Her circle of influence and bound-
aries enlarged. The school-house and the private homes were soon
too small to contain the anxious congregations. The groves, God's
first temples, were the frequent resorts of the early worshippers.
This book will foil into the hands of those who will remember with
emotions of supreme delight many of those grove meetings, where
was heard the clarion voices of a Davenport, a Palmer, or a Bowles,
or the milder teaching of a Young, a Major, or a Lindsey, all of
whom have gone to their rewards. They brought scores to the Cross
and delighted the souls of 'the devoted throngs. When, in the year
1849, the congregation conceived the necessity of a house of wor-
ship, a majority of the members favored building in Mackinaw town.
Accordingly, in that and the following years, they erected a large
and comfortable house. For a period of over a quarter century they
occupied it, and seldom failed on the first day of the week to hold
their meeting in accordance with their faith. During these years
they have enjoyed the pastoral and evangelizing services of many of
the finest speakers of Central Illinois. In addition to those al-
ready named there were AVm. Ryan, James Robinson, the Johnsons,
the Aliens, S. T. Jones, Howe, Mitchel, R. Williams, Chaplin,
Poynter, Shick, Samuel Lowe, John Lindsey, ^\. Houston, and a
host of others.

In 1875 the Christian Church disposed of the house they had
used so long, and erected another more modern in architecture, and
at a cost of ^3,300. On the 22d day of August of that year it was
formally opened. Elder Joseph Lane preaching the first or dedica-
tory sermon. Since that time H. A. Pallister has labored one year
with them with marked success, and a number of other speakers of
notoriety have been with them. The venerable G. W. Minier has
been a frequent speaker for this congregation for many years. At
the present time Prof. Kirk, of Eureka, and Elder R. B. Chaplain,
of Normal, each preach once per month. The meetings are well
attended. The present officers are: Elders, D. W. Puterbaugh,
Joseph Myers, Thos. Wilson, Geo. Patterson; Deacons, Solomon


Puterbaugh, Jacob Smith, Moses Ingersoll, James E. Hill, Samuel
Puterbaugh, David Philips. More than 2,000 persons have had
membership with this congregation. About 150 are attending
members now. Several who made their religious start here have
been acceptable preachers, and some of them dfstinguished. Some
whose Christian career began at Mackinaw, have been instrumental
in building up the cause in other places. Thus the history of the
little start in the log school-house, in 1837, can never be told in
full until Millennial morn, when the gathering hosts shall meet before
the grand assize and strike glad hands, and receive the recompense
of their reward.

The M. E. Church. — The church edifice of this congregation was
erected in 1850, at a cost of §1,000. The first pastor was Rev.
Wm. Beadle. It was organized with about nine members — J.
Tucker and wife, Dr. Sailor and wife, Jas. Mathewson and wife,
and A. S. Smith and wife. The several pastors have been Revs.
George Miller, Samuel Smith, John Calhoun, Wm. McKay, Mr.
Pinkcrton, George Milsap, John Smith, and others. The present
pastor is Rev. Wm. Wiley. The present membership numbers 24.

Seventh Day Adventists. — This congregation was organized in the
village in 1877, and includes members residing in Deer Creek.
They have no church edifice, but meet in private houses. All mem-
bers take part in exercises. One-tenth of the actual income of
members goes to the Church. They have no discipline but the Bible ;
construe immersion as baptism, and observe the seventh day instead
of the first day, as the Lord's day. Xo person is admitted into the
Church who uses whisky, tobacco or opium in any form. They
believe Jesus Christ is soon to come to earth to destroy it, and set
up his kingdom ; that the soul sleeps in the grave until the final
judgment day.

In closing this sketch we wish to mention, personally, some of
the leading citizens of the community.

Edward H. Bacon, farmer, stock raiser and brick-maker, sec. 13;
Post-office, Lilly. Mr. B. is the owner of about 1,200 acres of land.
He is a native of Oxford, Butler Co., O., having been born in tliat
State March 13, 1827. His jiarents were Edward and Jane Bacon.
His father was a native of X. J., and mother of l\'nn. Mr. B.
received his education in the schools of his native State. He came
to this county in the year 1860, and has been very successful
in business matters. He was united in marriage March 15, I860,
to Miss Sarah Worden, Of this union one daughter and one son


were born. The latter is deceased. In politics Mr. B. is a Demo-
crat. His portrait may be found in this work.

Charles Bergen has followed the occupation of farming since he
came to this State. He located in this county in 1832 ; has only
moved once since coming to the State and then only eight miles ;
now resides on sec. 22. He is the owner of 720 acres of fine farm-
ing land. Mr. B. was born in Kings Co., N. Y., Jan. 21, 1806;
his parents were Johannes and Johanna Bergen, natives of N. Y.
He was educated in the common schools of his native State and was
married Feb. 6, 1834, to Eleanor Maples. They are the parents of
eight children — two boys and six girls — only three of whom are
now living. Post-office, Lilly.

Isaac Blair is a native of Ross Co., O., having been born in that
State Feb. 4, 1836. He is the son of Bethnel and Sabry Blair, who
are natives of the same State. Mr. B., the subject of this sketch,
received his education in the common schools of his native State
and 111. By occupation he is a farmer, residing on sec. 27. He
was united in marriage Oct. 5, 1860, to Miss Elizabeth S. Chaplin;
their union has been blessed with six children, five of whom are
living. Mr. B is a member of the Christian Church. His Post-
office address, Mackinaw.

Joseph L. Boucher, salesman for George Miller and Son, Macki-
naw, was born in Licking Co., O., March 22, 1828. His parents
were Jacob and Elizabeth of Maryland and Virginia. Mr. Boucher
came to the county in 1837, and was a delegate in the first Republi-
can convention ever held in Tazewell Co. ; was postmaster at Arm-
ington under the administration of Buchanan, and at Mackinaw
under Lincoln and was U. S. ganger for four years under Grant, and
no indictment or fault was ever found against or with him in his
official duties. Mr. Boucher was married Jan. 16, 1850, to Sarah
Parmelee, who died Jan. 13, 1851; was married again June 15,
1853, to Mary A. Hittle. He is a member of the Christian Church,
and a Republican.

Joseph L. Davis, Justice of the Peace and Notary Public. Mr.
Davis has been Justice of the Peace since 1849, with the exception
of two years, and has at various times filled the offices of Town-
Clerk, Collector, and Assessor. In politics he is a Democrat. He
resides in the village of Mackinaw. He is a native of Bennington
Co., Vt., where he was born April 22, 1814. His parents were
Gideon and Lydia Davis, of New Hampshire. He attended the
common schools and Chester Academy, of Chester, Vt. He was
married Sept. 22, 1838, to Catherine Lance. They have had nine
children — two boys and seven girls — six of whom are living.

John C. Dennis, jr., farmer, sec. 35. He owns 160 acres of fine
land and has been successful in his chosen pursuit. When our
country called for men to perpetuate the Union, Mr. Dennis donned
the bliie and joined Co. G, 17th 111. Infantry, May 25, 1861, and
served his country for over three years. He is a native of Morgan





Co., this State, where he was born March 27, 1832. He was educat-
ed in the common schools of his native county. His parents are
John C and Rachel A. Dennis, natives, respectively, of Virginia and
Kentucky. Both of them arc now living at Eureka, this State,
aged 76, and 71. The subject of this sketch was married INIarch
22, 1866, to Susan A. Railsback, daughter of D. G. A. Railsback.
They have had six children — three boys and three girls — five of
whom are living. He belongs to the Christian Church. P. O.,

Robert A. Dunham, retired, resides in the village of Mackinaw,
and is the owner of 345 acres of land. Mr. Dunham started in life
with a cash caj^tal of twenty-five cents, and never received a cent
from any one but what he gave value received. He was born in
Northumberland Co., Pa., April 15, 1806. His parents, Mathias
and Maria Dunham, were natives of Pa. and N. J. He received a
common school education in his native State. He came to this
county in 1834; was married July 11, 1839, to Sidney A. Halsey.
They have had nine children — five boys and four girls, but three
of whom are living. He is a Methodist. His political views are

Peter G. Ilai/ was born in Christian Co., Ky., Jan. 12,1825;
his parents were John and Celia Hay, of Virginia and Kentucky.
Mr. Hay attended the common schools of Kentucky and Illinois.
He came to this State in 1835 and settled in this county in 1853;
he now lives on sec. 25. He pursues the occupation of farming and
stock raising, in whicli he has been quite successful. He ownes 793
acres of land. The subject of this sketch was married Nov. 27,
1850, to Almedea Smith, who has borne him eight children, one of
whom is deceased. Mr. Hay is connected with the Christian
Church. Political views are Democratic. P. O. address, liilly.

Neheminh Hill is a native of North Carolina, and a son of Gar-
land and Elizabeth (Wade) Hill. His mother died when he was
quite small. His father moved to Ky. in an early day, in which
State Nehemiah grew to maidiood and was united in marriage to
Emily I. Wooldrige May 13, 1828. They have celebrated "their
golden wedding. Their union was blessed with nine cliildren ; their
names are as follows : Mabel, who died in infancy ; Henry W., who
served three years in the 47th regt., is now deceased ; John W. ; J.
E. ; Benjamin C, who served in the 26th regt. and was killed in
battle; ^lary Elizabeth, deceased; Philip P., who served in the
26th regt.,jwas wounded at luka. Miss. ; Nehemiah L., who served
in 26th regt. ; and Hernion W. Mr. and Mrs. Hay are consistent
members of the Christian Church. He was an old-time Wliig, but
has acted with the Republican ]>artv since its organization. Post-
office, Mackinaw.

Hermon W. Hill, druggist, INIackinaw. Mr. Hill luis a first-class
drug-store, is an experienced apothecary, and is (juite successful in
his business. He is a native of Tazewell Co., and was born Aug.


7, 1850. His parents are Nehemiah and Emily I. Hill, natives of
North Carolina and Mississippi, respectively. Hermon W. was ed-
ucated in the common schools of this county and Eureka College,
Woodford Co., 111. He was married to Ida B. Boucher Feb. 20,

James E. Hill, postmaster, of the firm of J. E. & N. L. Hill,
general merchants, INIackinaw. Mr. Hill was born in this county
and township, Oct. 29, 1835. His parents were Nehemiah and
Emily I. Hill, of North Carolina and Mississippi. James E. at-
tended the common schools of this county ; was married to Mary
E. Blair Dec. 27, 1862. They have one boy and two girls. Mr.
Hill is a member of the Christian Church, and, politically, a

Michael Hittle was born in Greene Co., O., Nov. 29, 1808. His
parents, George and Mary Hittle, were natives of Northumberland
Co., Pa. His father came West to Ohio in 1790. He visited Illi-
nois in 1817, and moved into Sangamon county in 1825, where he
remained only four months, when he pushed on to the beautiful
grove in Hittle township, which was christened Hittle's Grove in
honor of the Elder Hittle. Mr. H., the subject of this sketch,
felled the first tree and split the first rail in Hittle township. He
sold out his improvements in Hittle's Grove in 1830, and moved
into Mackinaw township, sec. 22, where he has since resided. He
received his education in the log school-houses of Ohio and Indiana.
Aug. 6, 1828, he was united in marriage with Mary Ewing, of
Logan county, 111. She died Sept. 15, 1869. June 16, 1870, he
married Mrs. Agnes Bovd. His children, with dates of birth, are
as follows: Eliza Jane, May 29, 1829; Mary Ann, Oct. 27, 1831;
George, April 8, 1836 ; Ehzabcth, July 8, 1837 ; Angeline, Aug.
19, 1839; Harriet, Aug. 20, 1841; J. A., Oct. 16, 1843; Clara B.,
June 12, 1846; Jonas, May 14, 1849, and Emma A., Sept. 6, 1851.
Seven of these ten children are now living.

Mr. Hittle was a member of Capt. Adams' company, Avhich went
from this county during the Black Hawk war. He participated in
the battle of Stillman's Run. We were not aware Mr. H. was in
the Black Hawk war at the time we wrote the chapter on that war,
in this volume, or we would have given his name there. We made
diligent inquiries, but his name was not mentioned. Mr. H. is a
member of the Christian Church ; politically, a Republican ; post-
office, Mackinaw.

Mosea W. Ingersoll is a son of William and Lora Ingersoll, na-
tives of Mass. Moses AV. was born in Courtland Co., N. Y., Sept.
26, 1813. He was educated in the schools of his native State. Mr.

I. moved to Ohio in 1836, and to this Co. in 1852. He follows the
occupation of farming. INIr. Ingersoll was united in marriage Oct.

II, 1840, to Miss Caroline Hoffner, by whom he had eight chil-
dren. She died April 12, 1856. He was again married June 25,
1857, to Elizabeth Taylor, by whom he had five children. Of his


thirteen children, but six arc now living. In politics Mr. I. is a
Eepnlilican. P. ()., INIackinaw.

Elder Jtimes Alfred Lindsey was l^orn April 28th, 1793, near Haw
river in the vicinity of Raleigh, N. C. His father, James Lindsey,
a native of Va., was of English and Welsh origin. His mother,
Delilah Hodgson, a native of North Carolina, was of Scotch ])arent-
age. His father was a mill-wright by ])rofession. On his way
from the South at the close of the Revolutionary war, in which he
served as a soldier for many years, he was taken down sick in North
Carolina, at the house of Mrs. Delilah Brewer, formerly Miss Hodg-
son as above. On his recovery he was mtirried to the Avidow
Brewer, who bore him eight children, four sons and four daugliters,
among whom was James Alfred, the subject of our narrative.
When he was thirteen years old his parents removed to Christian
Co., Ky. Here his father opened a farm and built a mill, which
bears the name of Lindsey's mill to the present day. James A.
grew up among the pioneers of Western Kentucky, and had many
an adventure with the wild beasts of the forest ; bears, wolves and
panthers being numerous. When about 19 years of age he enlisted
in the army against the Indians in the war of 181*2; but before
leaving home he obeyed his deep religious convictions, and was bap-
tized Sept. 29, and united with the Baptist Church, of which his
forefathers had been members time immemorial. He was chief mu-
sician in his regiment. He was married when 21, to Miss Jean
Scott, dautrhter of Wm. Scott, also a Revolutionarv soldier. Jean's
origin was Scotch and Irish. She Avas also at that time a member
of the Bajitist Church and deeply pious. She had, however, been
reared a member of the Scotch Presbyterians or Independents.
Soon after his marriage James A. became fully convinced that God
required him to preach the Gospel. He therefore began his work as
a minister. He was poor, but thirsted for knowledge, and went to
school after his marriage, and among other studies he mastered sur-
veying. He was elected County Surveyor of Christian Co. He,
however, grew exceedingly unhappy over human creeds and human
names in the Church, and resolved to abandon all these, and have
no creed, but God's word, and, accordingly, he left the Baptist con-
nection and took his whole church with him. In the meantime he
fell in with the ChristUoi B<(pfisi, and on reading it he found that in
many things Alexander Campl)ell taught his own views, and on
many other points Campbell gave him new and better views. So,
when he took the Noali's Spring Church witli him they were at once,
in derisif>n, called Campbellites. This was the first church in Ken-
tucky south of Green river to take this position. Soon many other
churches and several other preachers went with them. His new
position was taken as early as 1827 or 1828. W'iicn he had worked
hard all day as surveyor he wouhl j)reach at night, and he, in this
way, baj)tized many. His wife, Jean, bore him twelve children —
six sons and six daughters — who all lived to be grown. The fami-


ly record is as follows : James Alfred Lindsey, born April 28, '93 ;
Jean Scott, his wife, Aug. 6, '92 ; Elizabeth, Dec. 5, '14; James,
Feb. 18, '16; William, Oct. 13, '17; Alfred, June 1, '19; John,
June 15, '21; David, Jan. 28, '23; Delilah, Dec. 21, '24; Jane,
Oct. 22, '26 ; Eliza Davenport, June 10, '29 ; Lucy Ann Major,
Feb. 1, '31; Mary Eleanor, Dec. 3, '32; Felix Erastus, April 15,
'35. He never dabbled in party political strife, but was early con-
vinced that human slavery was wrong and alike injurious to master
and slave. Hence his great concern, for many years, was to move
his family from the region of its pernicious influences. Elder Lind-
sey first came to Tazewell county, in the fall of 1833, in search of a
new home. He entered land on sec. 23, Mackinaw township. Dur-
ing this visit he baptized the first man and the first woman ever
baptized in Tazewell county. In the Spring of 1834 he moved to
the spot chosen for his new home, with his wife and their eleven
children, the twelfth being born the following year. On his arrival
at Little Mackinaw, which occurred about two o'clock in the after-
noon, on Saturday, he found that they had a meeting appointed at
three. He preached that afternoon and again on the next day, the
Lord's-day, at the house of Thomas Railsback, five miles south of
Mackinaw. He thus promptly began his life-work in his new home,
which he prosecuted to the day of his death with unabated interest.
His first work was at Little Mackinaw, where he and his numerous
family held their membership, till he gathered in enough of his
neighbors to form a congregation in his own neighborhood, called
Mount Pleasant congregation. This took place in 1837. Being a
practical surveyor he was of great value in locating corners and
lines, and this settled and prevented many difficulties and much
strife. Being a good practical scholar he taught for several winters.
But his life-work was preaching the Gosjiel. So, as the Apostles
and the primitive preachers, he went every where preaching the
Word. He constituted a church at Stout's Grove ; preached often
at Bloomington, and in the region all round about Bloomington,
Danvers, Lexington, Leroy, etc. He began to preach early south-
west of Tremont, and soon built up a large and prosperous church
called Antioch. He preached much at Hittle's Grove, where he
baptized many and established a strong church. He was the first
man who ever taught the distinctive features of his church at Sugar
Creek, now in Logan county. Salt Creek, Dewitt county, at Hieron-
ymus, Delavan, Pekin, Green Valley, and, indeed, for from fifty to
one hundred miles all around Mackinaw. He early formed the ac-
quaintance of H. D. Palmer, near Lacon, Hugh Bowles and his son,
Walter P. Bowles, near Clinton, Elder E. Rhodes, near Blooming-
ton, and several others, who belonged to the Christian connection or
New-Lights. He had much earnest labor in harmonizing the differ-
ences between himself and them. Yet he ultimately succeeded, and
those who differed so widely at first became one, and all preached
and practiced as he had done from the first. Thus he became one of





the greatest mouklino; powers that gave shape and caste to all the
churches in the State of Illinois, from S])riiigfiekl, north, and from
the Illinois, east. Although his great power lay in organizing and
harmonizing, this was by no means his only power. His mind
being clear and delineative, he seldom failed to bring conviction to
those who heard him. Hence, he was a successful prosclyter, and
baptized manv hundreds with his own hands. Being mild and gen-
tle toward all he was generally beloved, and early received the title.
Father Lindsey, and was so addressed and spoken of during the last
forty years of his life, and his name is yet sacred in the memory of

He had the pleasure of seeing three of his s(nis successful ])reach-
ers of the Gospel, James, Alfred, and John. The two former went
to the spirit land before him. He was an earnest advocate of the
great temperance cause, and as early as 1842, in company with his
sons, John and William, got up a Washingtonian society, writing
the pledge with his own hand. He was often heard to say: "if this
nation is ever overthrown, it will be caused by intemperance and
})ride." He was also one of the first jireachers of his church who
advocated a missionary society, and a new and improved translation
of the Scriptures into our great English language. He advocated
the establishing of high schools and colleges for the education of
preachers and teachers ; and after his son, John, graduated at Beth-
any College, and entered into the work of establishing AValnut
Grove Academy (now Eureka College), he gave him his full aid
and support, and deserved more honor than any other man, living or
dead, who lived as far from the College as he did, for the existence
of that great seat of learning. During his career of near forty years
in this county, besides constituting some twenty or thirty churches,
he had the good fortune to induce many young men to enter

Online Librarypub Chas. C. Chapman & Co.History of Tazewell 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 54 of 79)