HISTORY & GENEALOGY
part of the Genealogy Trails History Group
Source: "1906 Blaine & Hunter Historical Records, A Complete History of the Pioneer Life in the Townships of Leroy and Manchester, Boone County, Illinois,"
by Rev. J. T. McMullen, 1906;
transcribed by Genealogy Trails Transcription Team
BOONE COUNTY, ILLINOIS
BLAINE & HUNTER HISTORICAL RECORDS
In placing this little booklet in the hands of the friends around Blaine and Hunter, at the very beginning the writer would like to have it clearly understood that he does not wish to pose as an author, or in any sense to place himself in the distinguished position of an historian, and he would also like to say that he does not aim to produce anything great, or to publish something that might be styled either systematic, prismatic, pneumatic, or ever dramatic. All this he has decided, and he thinks wisely so, to leave in the hands of a more gifted and distinguished scribe.
What he does aim to do, is simply to give a brief outline of the lives of the early settlers of Blaine and Hunter; to gather up and if possibly frame some of the pioneer life of the Townships of Le Roy and Manchester so that on the days to come the men and women who have done and dared, cleared the bush, and laid the foundations of our present prosperity, may not be forgotten, but that their names may be continually kept in the place they deserve and forever be enshrined in the hearts of the present and coming generations. It might be well to note that while the writer of this sketch is deeply indebted for Some of his information to former records, principally "Past and Present of Boone County," and to the "History of Methodism," by Rev. A. D. Field, yet most of the items, especially those that are local, have been gleaned from an original source and have not heretofore been published. They have come red-hot from the lips of those who themselves were pioneer settlers and eye-witnesses of what occurred.
The Townships of Le Roy and Manchester occupy the extreme northern part of the state of Illinois, The name Illinois is derived from Illini, a Delaware word which means "superior" man, The term was very appropriately applied to the primitive inhabitants. The Illinois Indians who occupied one of the most fertile spots of the state - the Valley of the Mississippi - were distinguished for their great value or and prowess. It was only after many years of proud resistance, and when from the ravages of war their ranks had grown thin, their place was taken by their surrounding rivals. "Starved Rock," on the Illinois River, marks the spot of the last great tragedy of their existence. Tradition says that here, after an heroic struggle, the entire tribe succumbed to the enemy, death, rather than surrender to their conquering foes.
The first white man to set a foot on Illinois soil was a Frenchman named Nicholas Perrot. In the year 1671 Perrot was sent to Chicago as an agent of the Canadian government to call a great peace conference of Western Indians at Green Bay. Two years later the celebrated explorers, Marquette and Joliet, paid a visit to II1inois. Their history is too well known to be repeated. It will be remembered that they were sent by the French government of Canada to discover the Mississippi. Marquette was a French Jesuit priest. He was a man of great zeal and devotion in extending the Roman Catholic religion among the Indians. On the bank of Superior Lake, in 1673, he was joined by Joliet. By the way of Green Bay and the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers they entered the Mississippi which they explored to the mouth of the Arkansas and returned by the way of the Illinois and Chicago Rivers to Lake Michigan, thus opening up the way for succeeding footsteps. The first real occupation of territory in Illinois was effected by La Salle seven years after the visit of Marquette and Joliet, Above the Niagara Falls, La Salle constructed a vessel called "The Griffin," sailed to Green Bay, thence in canoes to the mouth of the Joseph River, reached the Illinois in January of 1680, and at the lower end of Peoria Lake erected Fort Crevecoeur, the place where the city of Peoria now stands, But although the territory embraced in the state of Illinois was occupied by the French under La Salle as early as 1680, it was not until over a century afterwards that any serious consideration was given to the colonization of the country by the white people. About the beginning of the last century the attentions of the older states began to be attracted to the rich prairies and fertile soils of the "Prairie State." Emigrants from the states of Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina, came this way, and settled down to make, what they were then pleased to call, "a home." As the great fertility and productiveness of the soil became known, it was looked upon from one end of the country to the other as a very paradise. For many years the settlements in Illinois were confined to the lands along the rivers and the southern part of the state. But about the year 1832-1833 the beautiful valleys of Fox and Rock Rivers began to attract attention, and a tide of immigration set in, bringing with it settlers from many New England and Middle states. These immigrants brought with them the thrift, economy and enterprise that had enabled them and their fathers to make a living among the rocks and timbers, the hillsides 'and mountain peaks of their native states. It is in part from men of this type that "Little Boone" and the Townships under consideration have been made what they are - a land of milk and honey. About three quarters of a century ago the eight Townships covering the territory now called Boone County, was a wilderness, but soon the rich soil beckoned a friendly and to open up her resources. In 1835 a few settlers found their way to the place now called Belvidere. At that time the counties of Joe Davis and Cook were outlined. They extended from the lake on the east, to the Mississippi on the west. Winnebago County also had its birth in 1835. It was in the following session of legislature in the year 1836-1837 that "wee" Boone presumed to take a place upon the map of the globe. It was then twenty miles long and eleven miles wide, and in this respect it stands unaltered. But what a number of other changes have taken place. Its brawny face, how different - its appearance. Then a skeleton-now a fully-fledged if not abnormal individuality. Then a wilderness, now a garden of beauty. The wild prairies of the west have everywhere been transformed into a paradise and made to blossom as a rose. From north to south, from east to west, prosperity abounds. Almost every house is a palace and of the whole locality it may in truth be said, what was said of old: "This indeed is the land of promise."
Under the old-time regulations the three present Townships of LeRoy, Boone and Caledonia were known as Beaver precinct. At an early date LeRoy was designated and known as Lambertstown, probably called after the Lambert brothers, who were among the first to make a home in the community. The declining years of the thirties were memorable in the making up of what we now call Blaine. It was in 1836 that three or four families, having said good-bye to the friends and relatives in the east, and in pursuit of a new home, set their faces toward the west, making their way as best they could by their primitive traveling methods. Some coming by caravan, often content to follow the trail of the Indian - some coming partly by water and partly by land - at last found a place to rest on what they then christened "Round Prairie," and here amid the haunts of Indians, they dug out and built for themselves what they were pleased to designate "a home," or these families, my information is that the first settlers on the prairie were John and Gibson Wright. It is said that in the fall of 1835 a man named John Langdon, with his wife and family, on the southeast corner of Long Prairie, and here they built the first cabin in the Township. In the fall of 1837 Mrs. Langdon died and was buried in the corner of the grove. This was the first death that occurred amongst the new settlers. Mr. Langdon had a brother who came about the same time, and this Mr. Langdon was grandfather to Mrs. E. McCollum. But the first actual settlers on Round Prairie were the Wright brothers, John and Gibson. John made a claim where the Hammon home is now situated, and here he built the first house in-the community. Miss Sarah Wright, the daughter of, John Wright, was the first white woman to cook a meal on Round Prairie. It might be of Interest, especially to the politicians of this town, to state that the first election carried out in the precinct was held in this home in August, 1837. John Wright, James B. Lambert and Allen Carpenter were judges of the election. Only twelve votes were polled, but the polls were not closed until late in the evening and it was well on towards morning of the next day before the votes were counted and the tally sheets made out. John Wright and James B. Lambert were elected Justices of the Peace, and Gibson Wright and Alfred Chamberlain were chosen constables. Gibson Wright lived for a while on part of the farm now owned by Mr. Beck, and after some time settled down on the place where Mrs. Wright now lives. Mr. Wright was one of those who went to the front in defense of the union in the war of 1861-1865. He joined the Ninety-fifth Illinois and passed through the battle of Nashville. Mr. Wright was married to Miss C. M. Hayden, our Mrs. Wright of today, and we think that here is about the most appropriate place to say a word or two about this mother in Israel. Everyone who knows anything about Mrs. Wright knows there is nothing she abhors more than praise or notoriety, but we think it is not befitting that such a life of usefulness should be allowed to pass unnoticed. It would be impossible to tabulate all the good things Mrs. Wright has done in the community. It is not exaggeration to say that there is scarcely a home for miles around that has not, in some way or other, been helped by, this beneficent hand. She is the friend of the needy - a friend to the pastor and the church - a friend to everybody. With "Uncle John," who is equally unselfish, and of whom we have a little to say later on she has gone from home to home as our doctor, carrying to the sick not only he healing draughts for the body, but has taken a deep interest in everything that goes to build up a community, filling the place of school director, Sunday school superintendent, president of the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society, Steward of the church, collector for the pastor's salary and many other offices, all of which have been carried out in a way that could scarcely be equaled by anyone else, and what has graced all her efforts; she does her work in that spirit of meekness and humility; that has always characterized and crowned the noble life. Mrs. Wright has given to this community two sons, Mr. Clayton Wright of Blaine, and Mr. Frank Wright of Clinton, as well as children living elsewhere. Both are well known as men of breadth and height of intellect and physique, as well as citizens of the highest type.
Next in order we meet with the name of Hammon, a family of long and noted standing and one of the early few to make a home in the vicinity. In 1836 Levi Hammon, grandfather to the present Mr. Hammon, came from the east and settled in the northwest side of the Beck Corners, and here in April, 1838, the first sermon preached in the Township was delivered by the Rev. L. S. Walker of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The Mr. Hammon of today, who lives a little east of Blaine Corners, owns one of the best farms and most commodious homes in the county. He is a prominent citizen and tor a number at years has taken an active part in the political world, (needless to say, pulling on the republican side), as well as in the general welfare of the Township. At present he holds the offices of supervisor, school director, and other places of importance. Mr. Hammon was married to Miss Hattie Schellenger, daughter of Captain Schellenger, a volunteer in the Ninety-Fifth Illinois Infantry, who served through the war. He left home with the commission of Lieutenant, and when Captain Cornwell was killed, Captain Schellenger assumed command and successfully led his men from the field. Previous to being discharged he was commended for bravery and efficiency. Mrs. Hammon stands second to none as the maker of a home. If you doubt it all you have got to do is to step in some time and see for yourself, and all the better if you go at meal time. But it is not only the home that Mrs. Hammon excels. She is one of the most untiring and infatigable workers in connection with the church. There have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Hammon two children, Mabel, who for the past six years, has given unstinted and gratuitous service to the church in the capacity of organist, a place she has filled with marked ability, and Ray, who gives exceptional promise of being a violinist of no mean order.
Contemporary with the coming of the two families mentioned, we are privileged to greet the family name of Chamberlain, one of the oldest and best known in the community and one, like the other two, that still survives. Joseph Chamberlain, father to Mr. LeRoy E. Chamberlain, was a native of Delaware County, New York. In 1813 he was born of wealthy parents who formerly lived in Battleboro, Vt. His father died in early life and in the fall of 1836 the widow and four sons, Carman, Alfred, Lewis and Joseph moved west and located in the vicinity of Round Prairie. In 1839, Joseph was married to Miss Sal1ie P. Hovey. Mrs. Chamberlain was a member of the first class meeting ever organized around Blaine and was a lady much respected. She still lives in Capron at the ripe old age of eighty-four. After his marriage, Mr. Chamberlain settled down on a claim of one-half section of government land, and to him belongs the honor of being the first man to build a frame house in the city of Rockford. He was a hard working, industrious man and by prudent management accumulated a handsome property. On the 4th of November, 1891, when seventy-eight years of age, he said good-bye to this world, leaving a family of four sons and six daughters, two of whom died in infancy. The only one living in this immediate locality is our noted Justice of the Peace, Mr. L. E. Chamberlain, who lives on the corners at Blaine. In addition to filling the office of magistrate he takes a great part in politics, being a strong prop to the republican party, a member of the Odd Fellows, a prodigious reader, a man of more than ordinary knowledge and ability. Mrs. Chamberlain, who comes of high parentage, was formerly Miss Kittie Brett of Whitewater, Wis., sister to Mr. Charles Bret, Capron. She was married to Mr. Chamberlain in 1881 and to them have been born five children, Maude E., Harry, Selah, LeRoy and, Floyd.
One authority says that the first claims made in or around Round Prairie were made by Jeremiah A. and James B. Lambert, two brothers who made their way here in the fall of 1836. Whether this is true or not we cannot say, but one thing we do know, that they were among the very first to visit the home of the Indians in this locality. Jeremiah A. lived on the farm now owned by Mr. Hyndman, and James B. took up his abode where Mr. Robert Smith now lives, and afterwards on the place now worked by Mr. A. Ludeman, a man who makes the most out of every minute and every article to the advantage of the owner, Mrs. Ida Lambert. Walley Lambert, our esteemed mail carrier on route three from Capron, is a son or James B. Lambert and it may be said there could be no better man on the walk. Lambert is painstaking, punctual and obliging, and while loyal in every way to Uncle Sam; he does everything in his power to meet the wishes of those on his rounds, and discharges his duty to the satisfaction of all. In Mr. Lambert combine all the qualities that go to make up an ideal mail carrier.
Rev. James Van Ness, a devoted Baptist preacher, was also a comer of the thirties. As well as being an expositor of the word, he was a tiller of the soil, perhaps principally because it was necessary to be such, as the population then was very sparse. He lived on a farm of one hundred and sixty acres which is now a portion of the holding owned by Mr. John McClure, a son of the Emerald Isle, a hard working and industrious farmer. The devoted labor of Mr. Van Ness in the Master's Kingdom was very much appreciated. While men sought a home on earth he continually and faithfully pointed them to the home above. His parish was a wide one, and after a life of usefulness this man of God passed to his final reward at Rockton, Illinois.
At a very early date, perhaps as early as 1835, a visit was paid to this part of the new country by one whose name has ever since been preserved, and one that is held in high esteem in the community - the name Hayden. The first of the family to come was Mr. Ormond Hayden, who left Ohio and landed here about 1835. This Mr. Hayden was chosen as one of the constables at the second election ever held in the precinct. It is said, one reason why he was chosen was because he was owner of the only horse in the Township, and that was a brindled ox. The ox had been broken to the saddle and was a fast trotter, making 3:20 in the slough. A little after the coming of Ormond Hayden came his brother, A. S. Hayden and in 1842 settled down at the place we now call the "Burr Oaks." As immediate descendants of Mr. A. S. Hayden we have with us, in addition to Mrs. C. M. H. Wright, already referred to, Mr. Ormond Hayden and "Uncle John" Hayden. The former is possessor of a nice farm about a mile east of the Beck Corners, and to him we are indebted for a good deal of the information contained in this publication, and here publicly the writer was to offer a word or two of thanks to Mr. Hayden. Again and again he has been questioned and cross questioned about this and that home, who lives in it now, etc.? Yet - unreluctantly and with the best grace he has turned over the pages of his mental note-book and given freely of his unpublished but valuable records. Already we have mentioned the name of "Uncle John" Hayden, but to mention all the good things that could be said of him would take some time and space. Perhaps one of the best things we could say is: "He is the friend of the children." There is not a girl or boy for miles around that does not know, in a practical way, that "Uncle John" is alive. He is thoroughly acquainted with Santa Claus and every year, no matter how far he has to go, makes it his business to be sure and meet this gentleman. Sometimes it involves going to either Beloit, Sharon, Capron or Belvidere, very often to all these places, but no matter how "Uncle John" has to travel he is sure to meet "Santy," and needless to say; when he does meet him, "Santy" has not it all his own way. The first order is "hands up," and "Santy" thinking "discretion the better part of valor," quickly obeys, and as a result "Uncle John" comes home with a broad smile and the buggy filled to its utmost capacity. "Uncle John" not only serves the children, but he has served his country. During the struggle of the sixties, when the call came for men to shake off the yoke of slavery, he was one at the many around Blaine who, leaving the home ties, stepped to the line and went forward to wipe off the great blot that stained our national life. He joined the Tenth Wisconsin Infantry, saw a good deal of active military life and in the battle of Perryville, Kentucky, got wounded, and as a result he carries with him today and will perhaps as long as he lives, the honorable scars of heroic service. Long live "Uncle John" is the cry of many an indebted heart.
There is no monument that wears so long or bids defiance to the inroads of time than the one set up in the hearts at men, and no better way to bring this about than to do something worth doing. Perhaps no name comes nearer to the hearts at some, or will be longer remembered than that of Streeter, and the reason is, they helped to brighten the lives of those around them. About the year 1838, William and Jacob Streeter, brothers, made their way to Round Prairie and settled down on the northwest at Blaine Corners, near to Mr. Chamberlain's old house. The former was gifted with a splendid voice. In those days most Methodist people passed through the struggle that some churches are going through now, the question of admitting instrumental music into the service. Round Prairie was not exempt from deciding the question, but meanwhile William Streeter took the place of organ, organist and choir. He was a gifted singer and for a number of years took the lead in this very important part of God's work and thus won a permanent place in the hearts of many. In those days, when there was no parsonage, the Streeter home was the home of the preacher.
Rev. L. S. Walker of the Methodist Episcopal Church, as we have already seen, preached the first sermon ever delivered in the community. He was born in Claremont, New Hampshire, April 24, 1809. At the age of nineteen he joined the Methodist Church and in 1833, in Indiana, he received license to preach. His first appointment was in Jonesboro; his second, in 1834, was Peoria. In 1837, Sycamore, and from that time every charge he filled was within the bounds of the Rock River conference. It was doubtless that when stationed at Rockford or Crystal Lake that he covered the ground around Blaine. Brother Walker was a man greatly owned of God and one much beloved by all who knew him. Quoting from "Worthies and Workers," Rev. Field says: "It was thirty-eight years from his first labors 'till his last, and from his first appointment until his death - fifty-one years - fifty-six years a Christian, fifty-one a minister. In the pastorate he was much beloved and uniformly successful. No sacrifice the church demanded was too great. He cheerfully endured the privations in the days when the heroic band who constituted the R. R. conference at its beginning planned so wisely and so well and planted deeply and broadly the foundations of religious and civil liberty. He was, as well as an ardent Christian, a dignified gentleman of spotless character. His last years were spent in feebleness, but all the time he never doubted, never murmured. When he could no longer speak he wrote in his diary the following lines: "The sacred leaves of autumn are falling slowly, but each leaf is gilded with hope of glory." He passed to his final reward at the home of his daughter, Melsena, December 13th, 1884. Brother Walker was uncle to the late Mr. E. McCollum, and for some time lived on the farm now owned by Mr. Jesse Conyes.
The first postoffice in the Township was established in 1839, and was called "Amazon." It was located in a log house on the southwest corner of section twenty-seven, near to Mr. Eugene Hovey's. Robert B. Hurd was the first postmaster and he held the office until his death about 1849. At that time it cost twenty-five cents to get a letter. There were no stamps and the money was collected from the addressee. In January, 1845, another postoffice was established in the northwest part of the Township and called Burtons' Corners. Benjamin P. Patton was appointed postmaster and held the office until the completion of the Chicago & North-Western Railway through Sharon, Wis., when the office was removed to Sharon. In later years an office was established at Union Corners. (Blaine), and for the last few years was in charge of Mr. Lancaster, but owing to rural free delivery, the office was abolished and Mr. Lancaster resigned.
G. H. Hovey, grandfather to Mr. Eugene Hovey, was born in New England in 1817. In 1832 he moved west to Ohio, where he made his home for a few years, and about 1836-1837 came to Illinois and settled on a quarter section near where Mr. Andrew Suttle now resides. He was a self-made man and well informed on topics which interested the community. After emigrating to Illinois he was for many years justice of the peace. R. R. Hovey, his son, was married to Miss Sarah Norris, who lived only a year after her marriage. His second wife was Miss Fannie, daughter of Mr. Daniel Webster, New York. Mr. Eugene Hovey, our esteemed neighbor, lives on the place where he was born. The home is one of the nicest in the vicinity. Mr. Hovey has proved himself efficient and painstaking in promoting the growth and developing the resources of the old homestead.
About 1840, two brothers named Baker, Elias and J. S., made their home near to the place chosen by Mr. Hovey. The former, who was father to Mr. Guard Baker, lived near to where Mr. Elwanger now lives, and the latter, who was brother-in-law to Mrs. R. C. Hovey, lived where Mr. Andrew Suttie now resides. Both were men of influence and uprightness of character.
H. Munger, a settler of the later thirties or early forties, kept a store on the Blaine Corners. At first he lived where Mr. Ed. Farmer now lives, but after a time moved to the Corners. One of his daughters became the wife of Rev. William Cross, now pastor of the M. E. Church, Poplar Grove.
The above name is one of those that have been perpetuated and respected in our community. About 1839 or 1840, Cornelius Van Dyke, father to Mr. Jeffers Van Dyke, settled on the present homestead. Mr. Van Dyke was a straightforward, upright citizen and succeeded in making a comfortable home in the wilderness. The present Mr. Van Dyke and family maintain the reputation of their predecessors and take an important part in the social and other affairs of the Township.
Yet another name must be brought into light before we finish the roll of the thirties. The name of Charles Stocking, who came here about 1840 and settled down on part of the farm now owned by Mr. Beck. He was a man of good qualities and much respected.
And now we say good-bye to the thirties and cross over the line to the forties. Perhaps the first name to greet us in one that is known to everybody and shall linger in the minds and thoughts or the Blainites as long as time shall last. I mean the name of Bowman. In 1841 the two brothers, Benjamin and Elijah, who had made their way from the east, selected within the borders of Round Prairie, a spot where they could rest and where, soon afterwards, they made for themselves a home. Benjamin was born in Lazerne County, Pennsylvania, February 27, 1810. In 1831 he married Miss Frances Parks, sister of Mr. John Parks, and for a number of years lived where Mr. Charles Maitland now lives, and afterwards on the farm now owned by Mr. Fred Myers. In early life Mr. Bowman became a devoted member of the Methodist society and during the erection of the present church his brother Elijah and he were among the foremost with financial and other aid. Rev. A. D. Field says about them: "We shall never forget their labors of love in those days." He was a man of strong character and strong convictions and was unusually intelligent. He belonged to a large family of staunch Methodists. Bishop Bowman was his cousin and schoolmate. His brother Samuel was a member of the first class meeting at Dixon and was superintendent of the first school there. It was not only in the church Mr. Bowman's influence was felt, but his energies were spent in many another good cause. He took an active part in the anti-slavery struggle and gave five sons and one son-in-law to the Union side in the war of the sixties. Three of these soldier boys lie in the Blaine cemetery. When the war commenced there were but three sons old enough to go. These went and as soon as the other two were old enough they went also. When Elijah, a bright, Christian boy, the first to die at the front, lay breathing his last, the father flew to his side, but arrived only in time to bear the body back to a Round Prairie grave. Mr. Bowman passed away at Blaine on November18, 1884.
He is gone but his influence lingers. He is lost to sight, but bye and bye we shall meet him again.
Elijah Bowman, brother to Benjamin, was also a man of means and integrity. He lived on the Ellis farm where Mr. Wincapaw now lives. Elijah was all that we have said about his brother Benjamin. He was father to Ada. who became the wife of Rev. G. L. S. Stuff, presiding elder of the M. E. Church and father to the wife of our much respected citizen, Mr. Joseph Lilley; and also of Benjamin, who married Miss Katie Emery, a member of one of the well known and highly esteemed families of the Township.
There is no family name in the Township that has done more for the uplifting of the community or one more honored than that of Noble. In 1819, Samuel Noble, father of Mr. John Noble, was born in England. In 1842 he, in company with others, emigrated to America. A short time before leaving Yorkshire, Mr. Noble was married to Miss Elizabeth, daughter of Wm. Goodall, but the union was brief. On their way to the new country Mrs. Noble died and was buried at sea. Afterward Mr. Noble married Miss Diana Goodall, a sister to his former wife. In the fall of 1842, Mr. Noble came from Oneida County, New York, making the trip by way of canal and lake to Chicago where, in company with his father-in-law's family, they hired three teams to bring their household goods to the country, being one week on the way. He made a claim to one hundred and twenty acres of land which is still in possession of the family. Since that time an adjoining farm has been added and the two farms make one of the most desirable places in the country. He made a claim to one hundred and twenty acres of land which is still in possession of the family. Since that time an adjoining farm has been added and the two farms make one of the most desirable places in the country. Mr. Noble was a great lover of music and in his younger days was an accomplished player on the clarinet. He was extremely conscientious and of a retiring disposition. Mr. John Noble, eldest son of Samuel Noble, lives on the farm west of the old homestead. He was first married to Miss S. J., daughter of Mr. Henry Bird, and after her death, to Miss M. Williams who has also passed away. Both were ladies of culture and refinement. Mr. Noble, who is now fifty-eight years old, has lived all his days in the locality and needless to say, possessing as he does an affable and genial spirit, has won for himself a small army of friends. For fourteen years he has occupied the office of school director and, having won his way into the confidence of the people, he has filled many places of trust to the satisfaction of all. Wesley, his son, and Mrs. Noble, who is the daughter of Mr. Stephen Warren, occupy the same home. They keep a beautiful home, are earnest workers in the cause of righteousness and truth. They are always anxious and ready to throw in their lot with everything that is good and goes to build up the community.
Largely connected with the former English family we have another of equal worth and standing. In the year 1842, in company with Mr. Samuel Noble, there came to this country Mr. William Goodall, and settled down where Mr. Robert Goodall now lives. Since that time the name has taken deep root and spread until it now covers a large place in the community. Born to Mr. Goodall were three sons, Thomas, Robert and William, all of who, owned farms around the old homestead. The two former are still living, own their farms, and are industrious and successful agriculturalists. William, who was married to Miss Saluda, sister to Mr. Thomas Robbins, one of our former and much respected citizens, died some years ago, leaving Mrs. Goodall to mourn his loss. There are now five different homes of the name all adjoining each other. Robert and already referred to Joseph, a prominent man in the town and son to Robert, is the owner of a neat and well kept place next door to his father. William, who is son to the late William Goodall, has one of the most modern houses in the county, a photograph of which is given elsewhere, and Charles, also a son to William, whose place is a little northwest of the former.
William R. Millard was born in Columbia County, Pennsylvania, July 1, 1813, and is a son of Reese Millard, a native of Berkshire County, Pennsylvania. In 1832, William Millard came overland to Michigan, but on the death of his father he returned home and remained until 1838. In the meantime he married Miss M. Moore, and in the fall of 1838 the young couple came to Illinois, stopping at Dixon until the spring of 1841, when he came to this county and purchased eighty acres of government land. Within a few years he was able to add to his estate until he had two hundred and forty acres. To Mr. and Mrs. Millard were born six children, Frances, Catherine, now Mrs. Phillip Stall; Dorcas, Elizabeth, who married Mr. D. H. Jones; Susan, the wife of Mr. Thomas Robbins; and Clarinda R., now Mrs. Hiram Day of Caledonia; Emmor K., who married Miss Hattie Livermore of New York, and Mary M. married to Mr. C. B. Wincapaw, an industrious and well to do farmer in the town of Le Roy. Mr. Millard was a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church to which his wife also belonged and of which body both were active workers.
One of the best known names in the whole district and one that is most associated with uprightness and sincerity, is the name of Parks. Samuel, a man widely known and highly respected, settled at the corners east of Blaine about the year 1842. For years, and in fact up to the present time, the place is known as Park's Corners. Mr. Parks was a faithful and consistent church member, a local preacher, and in the days when leaders were few he stood loyally for the cause of Methodism. And not only in this did he take a stand, but in all the affairs of the Township that had as their object the establishment of good. Mr. Parks was brother-in-law to Mr. Benjamin Bowman.
In 1841-1842, three brothers named Culver made their way to this Township and settled quite close to where Mr. M. Culver now lives. Their names were Homer, Clarke and Henry. The present M. Culver, who is grandson to Henry, is a hard-working and industrious farmer. He is well supported by Mrs. Culver and two or three sons who are ready to do the work of a man and help their father in every way they can.
Another settler of 1842 was Jonathan Webster, who came to this county and settled on a home opposite the Ardery farm, where Mr. George Boothby now lives. Mr. Webster was father to Mr. David Webster, who is widely known as the inventor and patentee of the Webster windmill.
John Daniel was born in Pennsylvania and removed to Ohio when a young man, and after residing many years in the "Buckeye" state, in 1841 moved west to Illinois, accompanied by his wife and eight sons and settled where Mr. T. Welch now resides. Mr. Daniel was identified with the early history of the country. He was an earnest Methodist and his voice possessed such remarkable sweetness and power that he was called "one of the sweet singers of Israel." He had a son Samuel, who was a minister in the Methodist church, and another, Wesley, who has been for over thirty years a practicing physician at Prior, Iowa. The member of the family we know most about was David, the pioneer shoemaker of Blaine. He came here in 1842 and cared for the feet of those who plowed the wilderness and looked for bread in the mother earth. He was a skilled workman and for fifty years followed his trade at Blaine. Mr. and Mrs. Daniel were the parents of five children. Martha, who died at the age of two; Lucy, wife of C. C. Leech, Denver; Mary, wife of M. F. Duyrea, Iowa; Morris H. and Parmelia, who became the wife of the late D. G. Webster, formerly of Blaine. Mr. Daniel took a deep interest in the welfare of Blaine, for twenty years serving as justice of the peace, and during all this time never had a decision reversed.
Three brothers, Joseph, Augustus and Alfred Klumph, made their way to Le Roy as early as 184l.They were sons of Mr. Jacob Klumph, a farmer living in Chautauqua County, New York, who traces his ancestry to Germany. A few years later another brother, Benson, came this way and established for himself a home in the same locality. To this Mr. Klum, who has done excellent service in subduing the wilderness and bringing it to its present condition, we are indebted for the present generation. In direct descent we have Mr. Alex. Klumph, one of the valiant sons of blue, who at the call of his country joined the Ninety-fifth Illinois Infantry and spent at the front two winters and one summer in the defense of liberty. Mr. Klumph, with his partner, who was Miss Elizabeth Cramer, a native of Ohio, although advanced in years, are both still fresh and hearty. To them were born Joseph, an upright citizen, a lover of song, and chorister of the church music, who lives on the old homestead A. B., who is the owner of a good and up-to-date farm, formerly belonging to Mr. T. Marriet; also Mrs. Warren Woods, Mrs. Charles Yeoman, and Mrs. Thomas Cockerill, all of whom with their husbands are devoted and active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
James A. McCollum was born in New Hampshire in the year 1803, and in his early manhood came to Michigan where in 1832 he was married to Miss Lucretia Walker, who, like himself, was a native of the "Granite" state. After their marriage they resided in Indiana until the spring of 1836 when they removed to Illinois and settled on a farm near Sycamore, DeKalb County. About 1846, Mr. and Mrs. McCollum came to Boone County and bought a farm near Capron, where Mr. A. Elwanger now lives. There were eight children, five girls and three boys. Two of the boys served in the union war. James A. enlisted in 1861 at Dixon as a member of the Thirteenth Illinois Infantry and was mortally wounded at L. Gap, Ga., in 1863; and was buried in the National cemetery at that place. Edwin E., who died only a couple of years ago, was a true type of a worthy citizen. Straight, conscientious and upright, he was a man much respected, and like his father, was a faithful member of the M. E. Church. He was not only regular in attendance, but ably supported financially and otherwise. Mr. McCollum was one of the boys in blue. In 1861 he enlisted as a member of Company F, Forty-fifth Illinois Infantry. He served eighteen months, with valor, and at the expiration of his term of enlistment was honorably discharged. In 1873, Mr. McCollum was married to Miss Clarissa Langdon, a family already referred to and one of the first; if not the first settlers in the Township. Mrs. McCollum with her family, still lives in the locality. Della,. the eldest daughter was married to Mr. A. Hood, a man of more than ordinary intelligence and who takes an active part in the business of the town. Edna now Mrs. Taylor of Belvidere; Lillian, Ruby E., and Ray F., all industrious and intelligent members of society, and who follow closely in the footsteps of their honored predecessors.
Perhaps the first physician to practice about Round Prairie was Dr. E. M. Wolley, uncle to Mr. L. E. Hammon. In early days he was owner of one hundred and twenty acres of land a little east of Mr. Beck's corners. He was an excellent doctor and much in demand by all around. Some years ago he passed away at Tama County, Iowa.
Another of those names that still live and are cherished in the hearts of many, is that of Prindle. Mr. John Prindle was a native of Massachusetts and New York, respectively. He came west in 1842. The first stop was at Kenosha, and from there he came to Boone County and settled on a tract of land taken from the government. The place is now in the hands of Mr. Stevens. To Mr. and Mrs. Prindle were born two sons and three daughters. Franklin enlisted in the Thirteenth Wisconsin Infantry at the age of nineteen years, and had served but three months when he died of pneumonia; S. W. living now in Belvidere, who is owner of the farm worked by Mr. M. M. Oppedahl, a man who, in addition to being a farmer of the highest type, is a citizen of sterling qualities, upright character, and a consistent member and trustee of the Methodist Church. Mr. Prindle is to be congratulated in having a man to look after his place who possesses so many admirable qualities.
The name Dullam is too widely known to require a formal introduction. It is a family of old and fond memories. Thomas Dullam came to Le Roy Township in the year 1844, where in a short time he succeeded in making a comfortable home, and since that time the name has spread and prosperity increased. Mr. Dullam was married to Miss Downing and to the union were born six children. John, for a time lived on Long Prairie and then moved to Beloit, where he died some years ago. William built a comfortable home a little south of Blaine Corners on the Downing farm, then went to Rockford, and a few months ago, when preparing for a new home in California, took suddenly ill and died. Lucy was the wife of Mr. John Bird, who at one time was one of the much respected Blainites and now lives in Sharon, but Mrs. Bird has gone to her last resting place. Mary is wife to Mr. Jacob Shager of Sharon, Wis., and Bessie is Mrs. Kenyon, who with her husband lives in Wisconsin. There were also two other sons, Robert and George. The latter, who lived on the old homestead, is now a retired farmer living in Sharon, Wis. He is the owner of not only one, but several farms around Blaine. He is a man of thrifty and industrious habits and an upright, straightforward citizen.
Abram Lawshe was born in Pennsylvania in 1806. In 1837 he moved with a horse team to Ohio, where he was ranked among the well to do citizens. Mr. Lawshe was married to Miss Hannah, daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Parks, both of whom lived in the Buckeye state. Late in the forties they sold out and came west and after a journey of twenty-one days, settled in the town of Le Roy, and here followed the blacksmith trade. Mr. Lawshe was a man of upright character and one whose name is surrounded with happy memories. He was a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Blaine, and for a time was secretary of the quarterly conference. Mr. W. C. Lawshe followed his father's business on the old place where Mr. Jesse Warren now lives; after a time he sold the farm and retired to Sharon. On one occasion he ran as prohibition candidate for the legislature and was only defeated by a small majority. Mr. Fuller Lawshe is a grandson to Mr. A. Lawshe.
Mathias Robbins was born in Columbus County, Pennsylvania, married Miss Sarah Conder, and in 1820 moved to Ohio. In the fall of 1848 he came to Illinois, accompanied by seven of his children. The eldest daughter followed in the year 1854. Mr. Robbins purchased forty acres of land in the town of Le Roy to which he added more, and was soon possessor of one hundred and sixty acres. His son Thomas was married to Miss Amanda Creveling, and to them were born two children: William Russell, a bright, intelligent and Christian young man, who has gone home to his final reward, and Bertha May, a talented and Christian young lady, living with her father in Sharon, Wis. Mrs. Robbins died November 5, 1873, and Mr. Robbins chose for his second wife Miss Susan, daughter of William Millard already referred to. Mr. Robbins lived on the on the old farm until quite recently when he rented and moved to Sharon. When on the farm and even yet, he and his family take an active interest in the work of the M. E. Church of which they are members. They were a people greatly respected and beloved, and when they left the community, Blaine lost one of its best families.
Arnold Dodge lived on Long Prairie. He came here in 1845-1846, was owner of fifteen hundred acres of land, and a man of means. His daughter was married to Mr. Peter Van Antwerp, a man of industrious and diligent habits and one of the largest farmers in our community. Mrs. D. Marshall is another daughter to Mr. Dodge. In 1846-1847, three brothers named Kirk, George and Joseph landed in La Roy and took up their abode at the place now owned by Mr. Noble. They were men of worth and highly respected. For a number years the former was an exhorter and consistent member of the M. E. Church.
Grandpa Markle, as he was called, came to Le Roy Township about the year 1846 and settled down on what is now the Ardery farm, a little west of Beck's Corners. Mr. Markle was a veteran of the War of 1812. He was not only a good soldier, but an upright citizen and devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. His son Jesse was a volunteer in the Civil War and is now engaged in his business profession in Clinton, Wis. His good wife is a sister to Mrs. M. M. Oppedahl of this Township.
There is just one more name before we close, and that is the name of Cramer. About the closing days of the forties, two brothers named Cramer: William and Isaac, settled in the Township. The former made a home where Mr. Burke now lives, and the latter where the McCollum home stands. Both were faithful members of the Methodist Episcopal Church and at one time filled the office of both steward and leader. Isaac still lives in Sharon, Wis., widely known by a large circle of friends. Mrs. Alex. Klumph, spoken of already, is sister to the Cramer brothers.
And now we come to the end of our tether as far as Blaine is concerned. If we had time we would like to go on and take in the fifties and sixties. In doing so we would meet with the names of those men of genius, intellect and integrity, who have not only built up, but maintained the honor and reputation of Le Roy Township. Families like that of Schellenger, Lilley, Ellis, Hunt, Bird, Burch, Bailey, Marriett, Reser, Hazlewood, Ardery, Beck, Cockerill and many others, most of whom have done heroic service, not only in the social and philanthropic world, but in the service of their country, as well as taking a prominent part in the affairs pertaining to the church. To say all we would like to say about these men, and others, instead of writing a booklet, we would want to write three or four books and would require two or three years instead of the few weeks at our disposal for the work. So we must be content to draw the line without intruding on the year "fifty," Perhaps some time in the future we might enlarge or continue the work, and bring to light the many who deserve a place upon the historic roll of fame.
As has already been said, the first house built around Blaine, was erected by the Wright brothers. A glance at the photograph elsewhere will show that the log cabins built then were not just what the homes today are. The writer has been informed that the cabins of old were generally put together without a nail. The lumber was hewn out of the brush and roughly dressed with the hatchet, pigeon-grooved and put together, and then to keep the light from entering through any place but the window or what they were pleased to call a window, they generally plastered between the logs. In those days there was rather an ingenious device for locking and unlocking the doors. A piece of string was tied to the wooden latch inside, then passed through a hole in the door to the outside. This served two purposes; it gave admittance from the outside, and then at night when the string was drawn in the latch served as a bolt. That is, when a bolt was necessary, which was seldom, for in those days it would not encumber a robber very much to carry off all the furniture, money or personal property that was to be found on Round Prairie. A glance at the home of Mr. and Mrs. William Goodall will show how we have prospered in the way of making homes. This beautiful structure stands close to the place once called "Parks Corners," a little more than a mile east of the church. It is a type of many houses in the locality and has been fitted up with library, bath-room, steam heat, acetylene gas plant, telephone, as soon as possible, and every modern convenience. Mr. and Mrs. Goodall have not only succeeded in making the inside superb, but are doing their utmost to beautify the outside. Over one hundred dollars have been expended on shade trees alone. These have been planted around the lawn. The barn and office houses are first-class and on the whole it is one of the neatest and best equipped homes in the county, and one of which Mr. and Mrs. Goodall may be justly proud.
The first and only church ever built in the Township was erected by the Methodist Episcopal Society in the year 1861-1862. As far back as 1838 a Methodist society was formed in Round Prairie. The place of meeting was in an old log school-house a little east of the Beck Corners, opposite the Conyes farm, where Mr. L. Durley now resides.
At that time Round Prairie was included in the Rockford circuit, which took in Beloit, McHenry, Richmond, Crystal Lake and Belvidere. But in the following year, 1839, the circuit was divided and Blaine found itself joined with Crystal Lake. On November 4, 1839, the first quarterly conference of the Crystal Lake charge was held at Round Prairie. John Clark was present as presiding elder and R. P. Streeter was secretary. C. H. Staples, Uriah Cottle, Jonathon Munger, William Deats, Wesley Diggins, J. Walkup, and R. K. Hurd were present at the conference. Round Prairie reported as quarterage during the year sixty-four dollars. The members at Round Prairie in 1839 were W. R. Streeter, wife and mother, Gibson Wright, J. D. Mason, R. C. Hovey, R. K. Hurd, and the year after; Benjamin and Elijah Bowman. In 1842 the appointment was attached to Belvidere with Rev. A. Blanchard as preacher. In 1841 the Hovey school-house was built with lumber hauled from Chicago and the preaching place was moved there. About 1845 an appointment was made at Union Corners, now Blaine. In 1859 it was made a separate circuit with Rev. W. R. Irvine as preacher. The following year Rev. A. D. Field was appointed to the charge and to this worthy preacher we are indebted for the church of today. It seems that five years previous to this an effort had been made to build a church, but the difficulty of deciding on the location caused it to fall through. At that time Parks' Corners were struggling against each other for the supremacy. Finally, Union Corners became the most prominent place, and here in 1862 the present church was erected. It is 30x42 and at that time had a small vestry at the north end. The building cost $1,195 dollars and was dedicated by Rev. A. P. Mead, of Rockford, who preached from the text, "Upon this rock," etc. It was opened free from debt and the ladies raised the money for furnishing. Since that time many changes have taken place, both in the building and in the congregation. It has often been said that the churches of our cities and towns are fed by the country, but I think there is not a country charge in the state of Illinois, or perhaps in ten states, that has done more for the congregations of our towns and cities than Blaine has done. Last Sunday, in the re-opening services held at the church, Mr. Lilley, one of our former members said that quite recently he went to the church at Belvidere and there he counted thirty-five who were at one time scholars in the Blaine Sunday school. For the three years the writer has been on the charge he has been in quite a few pulpits, but he has yet to go to a church where he did not meet some one who at one time was connected with Round Prairie charge. Year by year the exodus has gone on. Some of our most wealthy farmers, having become independent, rented their farms and have gone to some neighboring town to live. Some have made their homes in Rockford, Belvidere, Beloit, Sharon, Poplar Grove, Capron, and some have gone even as far as Dakota and Michigan. Only last year we were reluctantly obliged to say good-bye to five whole families whom we numbered amongst the most faithful; families that had been regular in attendance, prompt with the pocket-book, to the front with every forward movement. But notwithstanding the fact that in the days gone by congregations have moved out, it is gratifying to know that still there is a first-class congregation left. The ranks are being strengthened daily with noble hearts and hands. No sooner do we equip men and women for work and send them to the relief of the cities, than their places are taken by volunteers and recruits who, if they do not surpass, at least equal in valor and generosity.
As to the church itself very little is left of the original building save the walls. Many times the inside appearance bas been altered. About seven years ago, while Rev. S. W. Lauck, was pastor, both the church and parsonage underwent substantial improvement at a cost of $1,200. It was then painted and papered, fitted with new furnace, pews, new floor and stained glass windows, and now the same building has once more silently submitted itself to the renovating hand of the decorator. In place of the vestry room that stood at the north end, there has been erected a church parlor and kitchen, both together measuring 36x20. This was a much needed addition. Heretofore it was necessary to hold most of the social meetings in the church, as the old vestry was very small. Now the suppers, social and missionary meetings can be taken to the new and larger apartments. Re-opening services were held on Sunday, July 19th, and is a day-long to be remembered by those present. Rev. S. Earngey, D. D., presiding elder of the district, was the special preacher. At 10:30 a.m. he delivered an eloquent sermon from the text, "He hath built us a synagogue." The sermon was a masterly one, greatly appreciated and very appropriate for the occasion. The afternoon meeting with the presiding elder in charge, was one of the best in every respect that Blaine has had for years. There were present from the surrounding towns, many who had lived here in former years. As had been arranged, all speaking at this service was of a reminiscent nature. Needless to say, many tender memories of the past were recalled. Leaf after leaf of mental note-books were turned over, endeavoring to recall some of the old faces, companionships and blessings of the days gone by. Rev. William Cross of Poplar Grove, who is one of the oldest members of Rock River conference, and who spent many early days at Blaine, spoke about some of the old "worthies and workers," and of those who were connected with the charge in the days of his early ministry. Rev. A. Porter at Sharon, very touchingly and in a manner that found its way to the hearts of the people, referred to the early days and events that shaped and marked out his career in the service of the Master. Mr. Joseph Lilley, in a nice talk, told us in a pathetic way, about some of the doings, and some of the blessings received while connected with the charge of his boyhood. Mrs. C. M. H. Wright, Mrs. S. Adams, Mr. Blake Manchester, also spoke of former days. The outlay for "building of the addition, painting and papering the church and parsonage, etc., cost about six hundred dollars. Prior to the reopening services, $460 was covered by subscription, and before the meetings of the Sunday ended, there was more money than was required, and everyone felt happy. Speaking of it in the "Republican Northwestern," our local correspondent says: "The presiding elder was pronounced the champion money raiser, doing it with so much ease and composure, that no one felt that they had lost anything, but rather wondered if they ought not to have given a little more." The church is now in good repair and is dressed in a fine suit. New folding doors have been put in between the auditorium and church parlor. These have been placed there through the generosity of Mr. John Noble, who not only carries the whole expense, but subscribes liberally to the other work as well. So that on the whole, the hearts of the people have been cheered, because the old church looks now so young and fresh and to all appearance will stand the wear and tear of another half century at least. The trustees and stewards of the church at present are: Mrs. Dr. C. M. Wright, Mrs. M. Hazlewood, Mrs. H. Hammon, Mrs. N. Pearson, Messrs. I. A. Beck, William Hunt, M. M. Oppedahl, Albert Flood, Wesley Noble, Thomas Welch, Jesse Warren, Frank Dangerfield, Thomas Cockerill, and John Hazlewood.
When Boone County was organized, the above Township was designated Manchester Precinct. It lies on the northwest corner of Boone County, and is one of the most fertile spots in the state of Illinois. Farming is the principal industry and this is carried on in such a manner that the skill and energy displayed would not suffer by comparison with any other state. One thing the farmers are to be congratulated on, and that is, they not only own their places, but live on them. Perhaps, in a measure, this is due to the love for rural and home life that has been imported by many of its residents. The homes are beautiful, the people kind and generous and their hospitality unsurpassed. The northern part of the Township is peopled by a settlement of hard-working, industrious and intelligent Norwegians, who have succeeded in building up a little colony, and who support one of the finest churches in the state. On the south the town is protected by an army of faithful and consistent followers of John Knox. Argyle and its people are too well known to require any eulogy from this pen, but in honor to these brave sons of Scotland, I must say, they are a people of whom any country may be proud, and a people who have, during these many years, ably and honorably maintained the reputation of their mother land. Argyle Presbyterian Church has the distinction of having the largest country congregation in the state of Illinois. The members are faithful, always at church on Sunday, rain or sunshine, and are a people loyal to their pastor. Their congregation is not only the largest in the state, but the writer would venture to say, if he were sure this little piece of information would not get into the hands of Dr. Pearson, they have one of the biggest pastors in the state. I don't mean in stature, though in this respect he is not by any means a Lilliputian, but for preaching ability, brotherly feeling and catholicity of spirit, we have yet to find his equal. Dr. Pearson, possessing as he does a genial and affable nature, and embracing all the qualities of a good and beloved pastor, has gathered around him an army of workers and church members who are able to laugh at impossibilities, and with whom any minister may count it an honor to be associated. The first settlements in this town ship occurred about 1836, and the first home-seekers, according to our information, were three brothers named Hanson. They came about the year 1836 and settled on the road west of the Livingston school house. One brother, John, made his home where Mr. Alfred Hanson now lives. This pioneer-settler was a man of straightforward and upright character; strictly honest, a deacon in the church, and one looked up to by all in the community. Mr. Alfred Hanson, his son, is a farmer on a large scale, a dealer in real estate, and one active in all the affairs of life. Sylvester Hanson, the second brother, settled on the place now owned by Mr. D. Griffis. He was He was married to Miss Whitcomb and as a result of the union have with us today, Mrs. Ela Griffiths. And then, we have the third brother, Nathaniel, who settled down where Mr. Emerson now lives, on the farm owned by Mr. Livingston. Mrs. E. W. Livingston is a daughter, and Mrs. R. G. Ramsey, granddaughter of this Mr. N. Hanson.
Dewitt C. Cady was born in Oneida County, New York, in 1828. In November 1836, with his father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. Alvah Cady, he came to Manchester Township. From New York they traveled by way of the Erie Canal and Buffalo. At that time there were no wharves or public landing places in Chicago. They paid twenty dollars for a team to take their goods to Downers Grove. Here they left part of the family and Alvah and his brother started on foot for Rock River district with only the Indian trails to follow.
When they got to St. Charles they paid one dollar for one hundred friction matches, the first they had ever seen. They stalled in the mud on Kite River, near the present site of Rochelle, and had to remain in the woods all night, being serenaded during that time by prairie wolves. They tried to cross the Kishwaukee River at Belvidere, on the new bridge not finished, and had a narrow escape from drowning in the stream. After much trouble they found their way to Manchester and here they made a home. The nearest postoffice at that time was Belvidere, twenty-five miles distant. Mr. Cady, learning there was a letter at the office, went nine miles to borrow the necessary twenty-five cents, and then walked to Belvidere and secured the letter. Opening it, he found it was from a party in Galena requesting his vote. Had Mr. Cady met the writer and given vent to his feelings, there would probably have been one office-seeker less, so Mr. Cady says.
DeWitt C. Cady was married to Miss Lavina Hill of Boone County. During the Civil War he enlisted in Company H, Twelfth Illinois Infantry. His brother William and cousin Horace D. Cady, enlisted at the same time. Mrs. Connell of Manchester, was daughter of Mr. Alvah Cady and sister to Dewitt.
No name is better known and perhaps few families have taken a stronger hold in the Townships of Manchester and Caledonia, than that of Ramsay. James Ramsay can be counted as one of the very earliest settlers. He came to Manchester in the year 1837 and is of Scotch descent. Early in life he enlisted in the British army and took part in the war of 1812. For fifteen years he served under the "Union Jack" of old England, part of the time in Canada. From Canada he came to Ohio, and from Ohio to Manchester. He first settled down on the Crosby farm, part of which is now owned by Mrs. Lois Blake. After a short time on this place he took up a claim where his nephew, Mr. Ramsay now lives. Mr. Ramsay was married to Miss Hannah Richardson, and to them six boys and four girls were born/ Three of the boys were volunteers in the late war, two of them serving through the whole campaign. Thomas, the eldest son, lived for many years on the home farm. Some time ago he retired to Belvidere, and here, in company with Mrs. Ramsay, he is spending the evening of life. His son John now resides on the farm and is an intelligent and upright citizen, as well as an up-to-date farmer. Both his wife and he are members of the Hunter M. E. church. Another son, Reuben, is also a well known and respected citizen. James, the second son, owned a farm southeast of Hunter and became a man of means. Later he retired to Clinton, Wis., where about two years ago he passed away to the life beyond. Nathaniel lived a little west of the Manchester town hall. He was one of the brothers who engaged in the Civil War. He joined the First Minnesota Regiment and was through the siege of Petersburg. Wallace J. has a record of sacrifice for his country that can be equaled by few. He joined the Twelfth Illinois Cavalry in 1861 and served until May, 1866. He was through the struggle at Harper's Ferry and to his credit, it may be said he was not found amongst those who surrendered on that occasion, but amongst those that had cut their way through the rebel lines. He was also at Gettysburg, the Red River campaign, and then in 1865, marched to Texas to sound a note of warning to the French. Mr. Ramsay is now the owner of a beautiful home in Caledonia Township and has for his wife, formerly Miss H. Peters, also a member of one of the earliest families to settle in Boone County. William, the third son, who gave his best to Uncle Sam, has also a record unique in the soldier world. He enlisted in the First Minnesota Infantry and was in twenty-two different engagements. He was at Bull Run, the seven days' fight; Antietam, Chancellorsville, Fredericksburg, and last, but not least, Gettysburg. John, another member and the fourth eldest son; died some time ago in Wisconsin. Mr. James Ramsay had also four daughters, two of whom are living; namely, Mrs. T. J. Hinton and Mrs. G. Hinton, both living in Wisconsin.
The above name is one that is very early associated with the pioneer life of Manchester. Jacob Livingston was one of its first settlers and was a prominent figure in all the affairs of the town. At first he settled back of the home now belonging to Mr. Duncan S. Kelly. The Livingston school-house is known all over, having derived its name from this early tiller of the soil. E. W., a son of Jacob Livingston, who for a number of years lived in the old surroundings, is now a resident of Capron, where, with his son E. M., he carries on a well established hardware business. It is not too much to say they have the confidence of the entire district and are well known for good articles at a reasonable price. During the time E. W. lived in Manchester he took a deep interest in church life, especially in the Sunday school, helping to organize and establish this important branch of work, and we are glad to say he has lost none of his original zeal. He married, as has already been stated, Miss Hanson, in whom he found a faithful partner. Mrs. Edwin Livingston, Jr. was formerly Miss Tuttle. She also is a prominent worker in church circles at Capron.
About the time that the two former families came to Manchester there were several others of note who took up their abode in the same community, but about whom, we are sorry to say, we cannot gather very much information. One was a Mr. Isaac Wilcox who settled on the place now owned by Mr. Campbell Kelly.
Another of these early settlers was a Mr. Gray, who settled a little west of the Livingston school-house, on the north side of the road. The place belongs at the present time to Mr. Dwight Griffis.
Robert Frost made a claim a little west of the Livingston schoolhouse, on the north side of the road.
Robert Harvey settled on the next place, on the same side of the road. The place is now worked by Mr. Robert Kelly.
Mr. Crosby made a claim near to the well known Crosby Springs. We are indebted to Miss Alcy Clay of Caledonia, once of Manchester Township, for a beautiful little poem written about these springs. We give it on another page.
A man named Mr. G. Whitcomb lived where Mr. D. McClean now resides.
Simon Sequah took up the place now belonging to Mr. Diamond, and where Mr. Sauchs now lives.
Hiram Hopkins lived west of Hunter, on the place now owned by Mr. George Ray. Mr. Hopkins was a man of influence and for a number of years was justice of the peace.
Dennis Smiley, a son of the Emerald Isle, as the name indicates, lived west of Hunter, on the place now belonging to Mr. C. Gifford.
A family named Webster lived right across the road from the church, and another named Wright lived a little east of the Corners.
In those days, although the folk were absorbed in the getting of a home, they were not allowed to forget their higher and better interests. To this end there were at least two preachers who worked earnestly and successfully. One was Mr. Russell Brayton, a minister of the Baptist Church, who lived where Mr. Charles Biggerstaff now lives. Mr. Brayton was a talented preacher, gave his time and life to the work, and was much beloved by the people. The other was a Rev. Durgan, a minister in the Christian Church, who labored faithfully and unselfishly in his wide and thinly populated district. Amongst other old settlers, we have come across the name of a Mr. Bullard, who lived where Mr. D. Kelly, Jr., now resides. He was a man with a wide knowledge of things and much quoted by others around the place. A Mr. Barnes lived quite close to where the church now stands. Two brothers named Griffin lived close to Hunter. One brother, known as Elder Griffin, lived where Mr. Frank Ball now resides. He was a consistent member and earnest worker in the Christian Church. Abraham Griffin, his brother, was "closely" connected with the Baptist Church.
Sherwood A. Ellsworth was born in New York state in 1814, and when an infant, was brought by his parents to Bennington, Vermont. Here his father died. He remained in the Green Mountain state until 1842 when, accompanied by his wife and family, he came by water to Chicago. From that city they walked to Manchester, a feat that would scarcely be attempted in the present age. He settled down on part of the old Ellsworth farm, two miles west of Hunter. Mr. Ellsworth was first married to Miss Maria Steel and to them were born four sons, Elmer, George, John and Edwin D. The latter is one of the prominent farmers in Manchester; takes an active part in all affairs of the town; is a faithful and consistent member of the M. E. Church, and at present it district steward for the Blaine and Hunter charge. In Mrs. Ellsworth he has a worthy helpmate, and together they have succeeded in making a beautiful home. Sherwood EIlsworth was married a second time to Miss S. J. Shermon, of Bennington, Vt. Their son Jerome B. lived until his death on the old homestead. He was married to Miss Catherine Campbell, sister of Mrs. I. A. Watts and Mrs. McMillan, of Belvidere, also of Mr. Duncan Campbell of Hunter, and Mr. Archie Campbell of Beloit. To Mr. and Mrs. Jerome Ellsworth were born nine children: four sons and three daughters are still living. They are: Clarence, Eunice, Florence, John A., Stanley A., Everett and Ada.
Few families in the county are more respected, or have a more honored record than the one that needs these remarks. The name was first introduced amongst us by the coming of Owen Griffis, a native of the state of Vermont. In 1846, Mr. Griffis settled on a claim north of the Gray school-house where, through earnest endeavor, he succeeded in laying the foundation of the many "Griffis" homes of today. He was an unostentatious, upright, pioneer and a man of unimpeachable character. In early life he was married to Miss Mary Steel, also a native of Vermont. As descendants of the family, we have today Messrs. Bert and Dwight Griffis, both well known citizens of Manchester. The former owns one of the best homesteads in the country. A person has only to look around this place to discover that neatness and order prevail in every department. Mr. Griffis was first married to Miss Ralston, sister of our worthy and esteemed fellow citizen, Mr. Thomas Ralston. To them were born six children: Mary, now Mrs. Osgood, Bertie, Willie, Eva, Olive and Owen, twins. Mr. Griffis was obliged to part with his beloved partner in life. Her death was greatly mourned by a host of friends. In later years Mr. Griffis married Miss M. Ralston, a member of a noted and much respected Scotch family. Mr. and Mrs. Griffis are both most consistent members of the church, and steady supporters of all the interests of their Master's kingdom. Dwight, the second son of Owen Griffis, has also made his mark, not only in earthly pursuits, but also in the business and church matters of the community. He married Miss Elva Hanson, daughter of Mr. Sylvester Hanson, already mentioned. Mrs. Griffis is an untiring worker in connection with the M. E. Church at Hunter. For a number of years she has been president of the L. A. society. She has filled the office of Sunday school superintendent and other places of importance, and in all these she has been indefatigable in her efforts, and is as energetic today as she has ever been, if not more so. Mr. and Mrs. Griffis have been blessed with an ideal family of two girls and four boys. Rena and Lena, twins, Earl, Ralph, Harvey and Leonard, all becoming members and earnest workers in the church as they grow up and closely follow in the footsteps of their father and mother. Miss Fidelia Griffis is sister to Bert and Dwight, just mentioned. She resides on the old homestead and fully lives up to the reputation that surrounds the family name. After the death of his wife, Mr. Owen Griffis married, in later years, Miss Harriet Fillingham, who during the past year was called to rejoin her husband in the home above.
We are next privileged to write a little about another family of long and noted standing in our Township and surrounding district. The name Adams is familiar and well known to all. David Adams came from New York state and settled in Manchester in the year 1846. Up until late years he labored faithfully for a home, and in this he succeeded. Having obtained a competency he retired some twenty-three years ago to Clinton, Wis., where he still resides at the ripe old age of eighty-nine. Mr. Adam's family consisted of eight children. Willis, our well known townsman, is now an independent farmer, living a short distance north of the Center schoolhouse. Mrs. Adams, his esteemed wife, has filled many offices of trust. At present she is treasurer for the Township of Manchester, and is also superintendent of Hunter Sunday school. These and other offices she has filled with marked ability. Grace, their daughter, graduated last year from Beloit high school. Mr. and Mrs. Adams and Grace are all devoted members of the M. E. Church. George R., the fourth son of David, is also a resident of Manchester. He is a well to do farmer living in the north of the town, near the Free Church. With his family, he takes an interest in the services and work of the church, especially in the orchestra of which he is a gifted member. The other members of the family are Marriett, Ira C., Elmer, Clarence, Mrs. J. F. Lindermann and Mrs. Youngs, of Roscoe.
The above name is one that is well known and much respected, not only in Manchester, but for many miles around The genealogy of the maternal ancestors of the present Mr. Lebring shows that their first representative in America was Mr. William Hartwell, who came over in the "Mayflower." There are now about one thousand who for the past years have held reunions at Concord, New Hampshire. Their patriotism has been shown in the dark days of warfare. Grandfather Hartwell served as a soldier from Vermont, in the War of 1812, and his father ,William, faithfully defended the colonies during the War of the Revolution. The paternal ancestors of our subject, originated in Holland, where Grandfather Lebring followed farming pursuits until he emigrated to America.
In the spring of 1845, Mr. Isaac B., father of I. V. Lebring, moved west, and settled on one hundred and twenty acres of government land, in section 25, Manchester Township. He was an upright man, firm in his convictions, and a staunch adherent of the principles of truth and justice. During the Civil War, he enlisted as a member of Company C, Thirteenth Wisconsin Infantry. He served with valor for months, but while marching to Kansas with his regiment, was taken ill and died at a farm house in April, 1862.
There was a number of children in this family. Harriet was married to A. Cushman of Shirland; Jane became the wife of Mr. J. H. Livingston; Sarah married Willis Hollister of Belvidere, and Ella is the wife of Mr. Oliver Webster. Isaac now lives in the town of Manchester. The latter has resided all of his life in Boone County. He is a man of public spirit; has served his fellow citizens as highway commissioner and school director, and exerts his influence in behalf of those measures that are conducive to the good of the community.
No name in Manchester is more fondly remembered than that of Clay. Mr. Joseph Clay came to this Township at an early date and for a number of years exerted a healthy influence wherever he went. He lived on the farm now owned by Mr. Fred Marriett and at one time made his home near Blaine. Mr. Clay has all his life taken a deep interest in church matters and even today he is as anxious as ever about its welfare. He has been placed in many positions of trust. He traveled for a business firm for twenty years, covering many states; invested by an employers; worth all the powers he required. Mr. Clay is now retired, living in Caledonia in company with his two daughters.
Mr. Warren was born in England and in early manhood emigrated to Batavia, New York state. In the year 1846 he came to Boone County and settled on the border between Caledonia and Manchester Township. He was married to Miss Grace, daughter of Mr. William Dullam. To this union were born three daughters and one son. Anna became Mrs. Jesse Dennis; Henrietta, wife of Mr. W. Wilson; Ellen, now wife of our much respected and talented newspaper editor, Mr. George Ziegaus, of Sharon, and Stephen M. The latter, who owned one of the nicest farms in Le Roy and now lives in Sharon, was one of those with whom in late years we were obliged to part. He always took an active part in the working of the town, and for that which was good, and in Mrs. Warren he had an excellent help-mate. Mrs. Warren, who was a daughter of Mr. John Prindle, spent her very best in the interests of the church, and when she left, Blaine was poorer, but Sharon richer. On the farm, at present, Mr. Jesse Warren lives, an industrious and thriving farmer who, with his wife, formerly Miss Agnes, daughter of the much loved Mr. and Mrs. Erricson, make an ideal couple. We have also Mr. Will Warren, another son who, with his worthy wife, formerly Miss Grace Marriott, are both examples of all that is good, and staunch supporters of church and state. Mrs. Wesley Noble, already referred to, is another excellent member of the same family.
Lewis D. Linderman came to Illinois in the year 1843. In 1837 he took up a claim in Rock county, Wis., but after six years there he came to Manchester, where he made his home. Mr. Linderman was father of Bennett and James F. Linderman, both now living in the town of Manchester. The former has a comfortable home situated a little south of the Free Church, and the latter also owns a fine homestead about the same distance east of the church. Both are faithful and consistent members of the church and take a deep interest in all affairs of the town. For some years James F. was district superintendent in connection with the state Sunday school work. Henry Linderman came to Manchester in the year 1843. He owned a place in the Empire state, but sold out and moved to Illinois. Charles A. Linderman who married Miss Mary Grant, a son of this pioneer and Fred S., who married Miss G. Burlingame, is a grandson. He is hardworking, industrious farmer and has one of the most comfortable and modern homes in the Township. There was also a Mr. Luther Linderman, another very early settler in Manchester. He was a brother of Lewis D. Linderman.
H. H. Smith, a well known farmer of Manchester, is one of the oldest living pioneers of the county. In early life he came from England to Canada and from thence, in 1838, he came to what in later years we call Beloit. Soon afterward he paid a visit to the lead mines of Galena, Ill., and in 1847 he made Manchester his home. He married Miss Harriet Steele, sister of Mrs. Owen Griffis and Mrs. Sherwood Ellsworth. Mr. Smith has all his life been an intelligent and respected citizen and is today, with Mrs. Smith, full of life and energy. There are two sons in business for themselves, who visit the old home occasionally.
Thomas Ball was born in England, but emigrated to Canada in the year 1836. In 1840 he made his way to Beloit and in 1845 found a home in the town of Manchester. Mr. John Ball, his son, is at present nicely situated on a good farm a short distance east of the schoolhouse. He is a man largely connected with the business affairs of the town; fills the office of school director and other places of trust. His son Fred lives in the home with him who, with his wife, formerly Miss B. Ray, ably looks after the interests of the farm. Mr. Ball has two other sons; Frank, the owner of a good farm at Hunter Corners, and Jesse, who also lives in Manchester. His daughter Annie, married to Mr. Fred Peters, resides a little south of the old home.
Christopher Ward was born in Yorkshire, England on June 6, 1802. He came to America in 1824 and for a while settled in New York state, afterwards going to Canada. In the year 1850 he came west and settled in Manchester, where he made himself a home. Mr. Ward was an inoffensive, upright citizen and in his own quiet way won for himself a large circle of friends. His son Alfred, who lives on the old homestead east of Hunter, is a man of the same type. He is an extensive farmer and looks after his business with tact and ability. To Mr. and Mrs. Ward, eight children have been born, five sons and three daughters.
And now we have come to the end of our Manchester record. If any names have been left out it has not been done intentionally, but because we do not know of them. The writer has used every effort in the short time at his disposal to gain all the information possible from reliable sources, and has done his utmost to mention at least the name of every early settler, and hopes that in this he has succeeded.
The first school in the district was taught by Mary, wife of Mr. Horace Campbell. A private house, now the property of William Peter, was used for the purpose. The first postoffice was established in 1844 with Mr. A. B. Wadsworth as postmaster.
The first church organized in the Township was by the Methodist Episcopal society in 1839, when Rev. Leander Walker and Nathan Jewett instituted a class. William Linderman, Luther Linderman and W. Woods were the active members of the class. Services were held in private houses and schoolrooms until the present Methodist Church was built. This was accomplished in 1892, at the time Rev. J. M. Cormack was appointed by conference as pastor of Blaine M. E. Church. This wide-awake pastor soon saw that Hunter was the center of a vast field for labor, and consequently he set to work making arrangements for the present structure. Mervin Ables donated three quarters of an acre of land and through the untiring efforts of Brother Cormack and the help and generosity of his flock, $2,035 were subscribed, besides gifts of stone and labor amounting to $200 additional. The church was organized with forty members and was dedicated on December 23, 1893, by Rev. W. H. Haight, presiding elder of the district. The total cost of erecting church, sheds, etc., was about $3,200. There is now in connection with the church, a congregation of earnest and devoted worshippers, a Sunday school, Ladies' Aid and Epworth League, all in a flourishing condition. Blaine and Hunter combined, make a very desirable charge for any pastor who wants a good opportunity and is not afraid of work. The present stewards and trustees are Mrs. S. Adams, Mrs. E. Griffis, Mrs. L. Ralston, Dwight Griffis, E. D. Ellsworth, Willis Adams, Bert Griffis, Richard Heward, Reuben Ramsay, Frank Vickers, John Ramsay, and Walter Church.
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