W.R. Brink & Co.

Combined history of Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois : with illustrations descriptive of their scenery, and biographical sketches of some of their prominent men and pioneers online

. (page 1 of 102)
Online LibraryW.R. Brink & CoCombined history of Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois : with illustrations descriptive of their scenery, and biographical sketches of some of their prominent men and pioneers → online text (page 1 of 102)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

I B77c

G F'


Q++ ++++*- ++ + +-H- + +-+C

— *S 1686 «*-


() F

Schuyler and Brown




Biographical Sketches op some op their Prominent Men and Pioneers.


"W". n.. BR.I1VXS. cfc CO.,



+ l' :


\ \bTlc




B^S^^^JB///? publishers desire to return
their sincere thanks to those who
have aided in making this work
thorough and complete. For the
incidents relative to the early settle-
ments of the two counties, we are
ifidebted to a few early pioneers, who have seen a
wild, frontier country develop into a wealthy and
populous community, and for other facts, we are un-
der obligations to a class of intelligent men, who,
amid the ordinary pursuits of life, have taken
pains to thoroughly inform themselves on the his-
tory and resources of their county. Among those
who have especially contributed to the completeness
of tlie history of Schuyler County, are, the
Chadseys, Judge Pinckney H. Walker, Hon John
C. Dagby, Joel Tullis, Mrs. Sarah Brown, Rev.
William Gain, William Anderson, William P.
Sapp, William T. Black, Charles Hatfield, Dr.
Hosea Davis, John S. Vance, George Little,
James G. McCreery, Thomas Wilson. Valu-
able letters were also received from Rev. Chauncey
Hobart, of Red Wing, Minn. , and Jonathan D.
Manlove, of Fort Scott, Kansas.

In the preparation of the history of Brown
County, we Jiave been materially assisted by Rob-
ert N. Curry, Dr. Saul Vandeventer, the Six fam-
ily, Eliliu Vandeventer, Elisha Adams, letters of
A. A. Glenn, Peter Rigg, Thomas B. Dehart, John
Teefey, Moses Black, John Harper, Judge Taylor,
T ' L. Vandeventer, John R. Briggs, Dr. Wm.
. V, Bower, William Lee and Luke W. Perry.


The articles on Common Schools have been pre-
pared by gentlemen thoroughly acquainted with
their subject, whose names appear at the head of the
sketches in the body of the work. To the Clergy-
men of the different denominations and others
whose articles appear in the work, we are indebted
for much valuable information ; and to the County
Officials of both counties, we return our sincere
thanks for the many courtesies extended to us. The
Editors of the several newspapers have also ren-
dered assistance in that prompt and cheerful man-
ner so characteristic of the journalistic profession.

We have endeavored, with all diligence and care-
fulness, to make the best of the material at our com-
mand, but we <by no means claim to have produced
a work beyond criticism. It is almost an im-
possibility to publish a work free from errors
where the facts are gathered from a hundred
different sources, and depend largely, nut on exact
written records, but on the uncertain and conflict-
ing recollections of different individuals. We
have tried to preserve the incidents of pioneer
history, to accurately present the natural features
and material resourses of this portion of the state,
and to gather the facts likely to be of most interest
to our present readers, and of greatest importance
to coming generations. If our readers zaill take
into consideration the difficulties of the task, we
feel assured of a favorable verdict on our under-

The Publishers.



hap. Page.

I— Brief Sketch of the

North-West Territory,

Early explorations,

etc. etc 9

II — Brief historical Sketch
of Illinois, Physical
Features of the State,
Civil Organization,
Official Roster from
1809 to 1882, Popula-
tion, etc 25

III — Geography, Agricultu-
ral Resources, and
Railroad Facilities,
Names of townships,
Land Surfaces, ... 44

IV — Geology 47

V — Fauna, Schuyler and
Brown Counties. . . 53

VI — Flora, Schuyler and

Brown Counties ... 55
VII — Pioneers and Early Set-
tlers, Incidents and An-
ecdotes, Deep snow,
Habits and modes of
Living of the first set-
tlers 56

VIII— Civil History, Public
Buildings, County Gov-
ernment, early roads,
Mill seats, Revolution-
ary Pensioners, etc. 78


IX— Bench and Bar ... 144

X— The Press 153

XI — Patriotism of Schuyler

and Brown Counties . 158

XII — Common Schools . . 194

XIII — Ecclesiastical History . 203


Baker, N. W 288

Barnes, R. M, M. D 293

Baxter, WiH. W., M. D. . . . 259

Black, Moses 264

Black, Win. T 333

Bogue, Mark 241

Bowe, Thomas 324

Bowe, John H 325

Bowman, Hiram, M. D. . . . 342

Bratten, Robert T 347

Brockman, E. C 260

Brown, Hon. Robert .... 333

Brown, J 372

Campbell, Alexander .... 279

Clark, W. A 278

Clark, Elias 327

Cox, James A 327

Cox, Stephen D . . 328

Crane, Elias F 256

Curry, George W 257

Curry, Robert N. . •. . . . .255

Darnell, Jesse 283

Darnell, John M -284

Davis, Henry K 264

Dehart, Thomas B 349

Dyson, Edwin 242


Ferguson, John 350

Flattery, John A 307

Frank, E. S 362

Garrison George 317

Givins, John A 266

Glass, John B 263

Glaze, Wm. W 304

Gristy, Benjamin D 372

Hambaugh, Stephen D. dee'd. 304

Hammond, Jacob 240

Harper, John 266

Henry, George N 262

Henry, H. E 329

Hershman, Jacob 263

Hershman, George 265

Hinman, Gideon, dee'd. . . . 326
Horney, Col. Leonidas . . . 315

Howell, Ira 328

Howes, Philip A 259

Keith, Charles W 312

Kerley, King 361

Jones, Thomas 258

Lee, William 358

Long, J. M 372

Lowry, Alex K 261

Lucas, D. R. . . M. D. ... 359

Martin, Adam E 341

McDannold, T. 1 373

McPhail, Angus M 362

McPhail, Cape. E. P. (Dee'd.) . 276

McCreery, James G 243

Means, George W 261

Mehl, Andrew 288

Mills, Franklin, Sr 288

Moore, John W. 361


Nell, Augustus 243

Nokes, Capt. S. D 360

Orr Frank 260

Parks, Absalom, dee'd. . . . 326
Rader, Wm. H. H. . . . . .243

Rash, David J 280

Ratcliff, A. B 371

Ravenscroft, A. D. dee'd . . . 305
Ray, Wm. H. . . . ■ . . . .239

Razey, Rufus G 349

Reger, .Casper ....... 326

Rigg, Abner C 278

Rigg, Wm. T 277

Ritter, H. D 287

Roberts, John 275

Root, Stephen C 303

Root, Thomas E. . . . . . .306

Rottger, Fred W 266

Seckman, J. W 323

Six, Daniel 265

Six, Alex D 307

Shineharger, G 348

Snyder, Jacob H 325

Speed, Dr. J. N. ." 240

Stout, Francis M 328

Taylor, John J 303

Tebo, George H., M. D. . . . 260

Teefey, John J 259

Vandeventer, E 301

Vandeventer, Saul, M. D. . . 302

Watson, D K 370

Weigand Adam 280

Webb, Allen 361

Williams, G. W 349

Zimmerman, G 289




Bainbridge 267

Birmingham 373

Brooklyn 351

Browning 308

Buckhorn 345

Buena Vista 334

Camden 342

Cooporstown 318

Elkhorn , ... 285

Frederick 281

Hickory 269

Hnntsville 363

Leo • 354

Littleton 311

Missouri 271

Mount Sterling .* 245

Oakland 289


Pea Ridgo 366

Ripley 337

Rushville 231

Versailles 294

Woodstock • 330


Brown, Co Buildings, . facing 118

Bowe, J. H " 324

County Map facing 9

Clark, Elias "328

Frank, Ed. S " 362

Garrison, Geo. . bet. 316 4 317
Kirkham, George H. . facing 314

Potts, John "362

Ravenscroft, A. D. . . " 306
Reger, Casper " 314


Ritter, H. D facing 362

Schuyler, Co. Buildings, " 82

Snyder, J. H " 326

Taylor, John J . . . " 304
Teal, James A. . . bet. 244 & 245
Vandeventer, E. . . . facing 306


Bogue, Mark 241

Barnes, R. M. M.D 293

Curry, Robert N 255

Dyson, Edward 242

Darnell, Jesse 283

Darnell, John M 284

Garrison, George 317

Garrison, Mrs. Sarah .... 317
Homey, Col. Leonidas .... 315


Henry, George N 262

Lee, William 358

Nokes, Capt. S. D 360

Ray, Wm. H 239

Roberts, John 275

Rigg, William T 277

Ravenscroft, A. D., dec'd . . . 305

Vanderventer, C 301

Vanderventer, E 301

Wateon, D. K 370

Partial List of Patrons . . . 377
Constitution of Illinois .... 395
Declaration of Independence . 413
Constitution of the United

States 414

Amendments to the Constitu-
tion of the United States . 417


is but the life and career of
people and nations ; and the historian,
in rescuing from oblivion the life of a
nation or a particular people, should'
" nothing extenuate, nor set down aught
in malice ; " myths, however beautiful,
are at their best but fanciful ; traditions,
however pleasing, are uncertain ; and
legends, though the very essense of poesy, are unauthentic.
The novelist will take the most fragile thread of vivid
imagination, and from it weave a fabric of surpassing beauty.
But the historian should place his feet upon the solid basis
of fact, and, turning a deaf ear to the allurements of fancy,
sift with careful and painstaking scrutiny, the evidence
brought before him, and upon which he is to give the
record of what has been. Standing, as he docs, down the
stream of time, far removed from its source, he must retrace,
with patience and care, its meanderings, guided by the
relics of the past which lie upon its shores, growing fainter
and still more faint and uncertain as he nears its fountain,
ofttimes concealed in the debris of ages, and in mists and
darkness impenetrable. Written records grow less and less
explicit, and finally fail altogether, as he approaches the
beginning of the community, whose life he is seeking to
rescue from the gloom of a rapidly receeding past.

Memory, wonderful as are it3 powers, is yet frequently
at fault ; and only by a comparison of its many aggrega-
tions, can he be satisfied that he is pursuing stable-footed
truth in his researches amid the early paths of his subject.
It cannot, then, be unimportant or uninteresting to
trace the progress of Schuyler and Brown's gratifying de-
velopment, from their crude beginnings to their present
proud position among their sister counties. And therefore we
were to gather the scattered and loosening threads of the
past into a compact web of the present, ere they become
hopelessly broken and lost, and with a trust that the har-
mony of our work may speak with no uncertain sound to
the future. Records will be traced as far as they may yield
the information sought ; the memories of the pioneers will
be laid under tribute ; the manuscripts of the provident will

give their contributions, and all sources will be called into

requisition to furnish material, reliable and certain, to bring
forth a truthful history of these counties. •

Individual success is a proof of triumphant energy, and
pledges a like career to corresponding enterprises ; therefore,
biographies of earnest, successful, representative lives, inti-
mately connected with the development of these counties,
will illustrate what energy, determination, and indomitable
will have hitherto accomplished, and can yet accomplish.
To foster local ties, to furnish examples of heroism, to
exhibit the results of well-applied industry, and to mark
the progress of the community, literature, art, and topogra-
phy (an attractive trio) are freely employed to embellish
and render invaluable a practical and interesting work.

In prosecuting our enterprise, we shall essay, first, some-
thing of the history of the north-west territory, and of the
state of Illinois in its early settlement, with a brief sketch
of the title to the fee of the millions of acres of prolific
soil within its splendid domain. Then will follow in their
regular order, an account of Schuyler and Brown counties
up to, and including, the present ; showing their develop-
ment in agriculture, trade, manufactures, political influence,
population and wealth ; not forgetting to do honor to the
brave men, of all political faiths, who rallied to the common
defense of the country when armed treason raised its bloody
hand against the national life, and who bore the banner of
the " Prairie State " through the carnage of many hard-
fought fields, onward to ultimate triumph.

Brief histories of the several townships and villages com-
posing the respective counties will follow, wherein will appear
the names of the early settlers, and the more important
events, interspersed with incidents, humorous and sad, which
invariably attach to border life, but which, however graphi-
cally they may be told, cannot give to us of the present
day, who have come to our pleasant places through the toils
and privations of the pioneers, any realizing sense of the
rugged, thorny path those heroes and heroines patiently
and hopefully trod for many long weary years.

Now, kind reader, we leave ourselves in your hands.
Read our work carefully, judge it charitably, and pronounce
not against it, until time shall afford an opportunity of test-
ing its merits.







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

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

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

For the last quarter of a century the increase of popula-

tion and wealth in the north-west has been about as three to
one in any other portion of the United States.


In the year 1512, on Easter Sunday, the Spanish name
for which is Pascua Florida,* Juan Ponce de Leon, an old
comrade of Columbus, discovered the coast of the American
continent, near St. Augustine, and in honor of the day and
of the blossoms which covered the trees along the shore,
named the new-found country Florida. Juan had been led
to undertake the discovery of strange lands partly by the
hope of finding endless stores of gold, and partly by the
wish to reach a fountain that was said to exist deep within
the forests of North America, which possessed the power of
renovating the life of those who drank of or bathed in its
waters. He was made governor of the region he had visited
but circumstances prevented his return thither until 1521 ;
and then he went only to meet death at the hands of the

In the meantime, in 1516, a Spanish sea-captain, Diego
Miruelo, had visited the coast first reached by Ponce de
Leon, and in his barters with the natives had received con-
siderable quantities of gold, with which he returned home
and spread abroad new stories of the wealth hidden in the

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

•Pascum, the old English "Push" or Passover; "Pascua Florida"
is the "Holyday of Flowers."



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

De Soto entered upon his march into the interior with a
determination to succeed. From June till November of

1539, the Spaniards toiled along until they reached the
neighborhood of Appalachee bay. During the next season,

1540, they followed the course suggested by the Florida
Indians, who wished them out of their country, and going
to the north-east, crossed the rivers and climbed the moun-
tains of Georgia. De Soto was a stern, severe man, and
none dared to murmur. De Soto passed the winter with his
little baud near the Yazoo. In April, 1541, the resolute
Spaniard set forward, and upon the first of May reached
the banks of the great river of the West, not far from the
35th parallel of latitude,*

A month was spent in preparing barges to convey the
horses, many of which still lived, across the rapid stream.
Having successfully passed it, the explorers pursued their
way northward, into the neighborhood of New Madrid ;
then turning westward again, marched more than two hun-
dred miles from the Mississippi to the highlands of White
river; and still no gold, no gems, no cities — only bare prai-
ries, and tangled forests, and deep morasses To the south
again they toiled on, and passed their third winter of wander-
ing upon the Washita. In the following spring (1542), De
Soto, weary with hope long deferred, descended the Washita
to its junction with the Mississippi. He heard, when he
reached the mighty stream of the west, that its lower portion
flowed through endless and uninhabitable swamps.

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

De Soto founded no settlements, produced no results, and
left no traces, unless it were that he awakened the hostility
of the red man against the white man, and disheartened

• De Soto probably was at the lower Chickasaw bluffs. The Spaniards
callod the Mississippi Rio Grande, Great River, which is the literal
meaning of the aboriginal name.

t De Biedna says there landed 620 men.


such as might desire to follow up the career of discovery for
better purposes. The French nation were eager and ready
to seize upon any news from this extensive domain, and
were the first to profit by De Soto's defeat As it was, for
more than a century after the expedition, the west remained
utterly unknown to the whites.

The French were the first Europeans to make settlements
on the St. Lawrence river and along the great lakes. Quebec
was founded by Sir Samuel Champlain in 1608,* and in 1609
when Sir Henry Hudson was exploring the noble river
which bears his name, Champlain ascended the Sorrelle
river, and discovered, embosomed between the Green moun-
tains, or " Verdmont," as the chivalrous and poetic French-
man called them, and the Adirondacks, the beautiful sheet
of water to which his name is indissolubly attached. In
1613 he founded Montreal.

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

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

" Moored their bark on the wild New England shore."

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

In 1634, three Jesuit missionaries, Brebeuf, Daniel, and
Lallemand, planted a mission on the shores of the lake of
the Iroquois, (probably the modern Lake Simcoe), and also
established others along the eastern border of Lake Huron.

From a map published in 1660, it would appear that the
French had at that date, become quite familiar with the
region from Niagara to the head of Lake Superior, includ-
ing considerable portions of Lake Michigan.

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

Father Raymbault died in the wilderness in 1642, while
enthusiastically pursuing his discoveries. The same year,
Jogues and Bressani were captured by the Indians and
tortured, and in 1648 the mission which had been founded
at St Joseph was taken and destroyed, and Father Daniel
slain. In 1649, the missions St Louis and St Ignatius

• Western Aunals.



•were also destroyed, and Fathers Brebeuf and Lallemand
barbarously tortured by the same terrible and unrelenting
enemy. Literally did those zealous missionaries of the
Romish Church "take their lives in their hands," and lay
them a willing sacrifice on the altar of their faith.

•It is stated by some writer that, in 1654, two fur traders
accompanied a band of Ottawas on a journey of five hun-
dred leagues to the west. They were absent two years, and
on their return brought with them fifty canoes and two
hundred and fifty Indians to the French trading posts.

They related wonderful tales of the countries they had
seen, and the various red nations they had visited, and
described the lofty mountains and mighty rivers in glowing
terms. A new impulse was given to the spirit of adventure,
and scouts and traders swarmed the frontiers and explored
the great lakes and adjacent country, and a party wintered
in 1659-GO on the south shore of Lake Superior.

In 1660 Father Mesnard was sent out by the Bishop of
Quebec, and visited Lake Superior in October of that year.
While crossing the Keeweenaw Point he was lost in the wilder-
ness and never afterwards heard from, though his cassock
and breviary were found long afterwards among the Sioux.

A change was made in the government of New France in
1663. The Company of the Hundred Associates, who had
ruled it since 1632, resigned its charter. Tracy was made
Viceroy, Courcclles Governor, and Talon Intendent.* Thi3
was called the Government of the West Indies.

Online LibraryW.R. Brink & CoCombined history of Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois : with illustrations descriptive of their scenery, and biographical sketches of some of their prominent men and pioneers → online text (page 1 of 102)