THE BEAVERS FAMILY OF COLES SO., ILLINOIS
DESCENDANTS OF WILLIAM BEAVERS WHO CAME FROM KENTUCKY in 1820
In the two decades following the first settlement of what is now the environs of the town of Hutton, by the Parker families on the banks of the Embarras River, in 1824 there arrived many families who became the permanent settlers and from whom many of the citizens of Coles Co. today are descended. In order to visualize the conditions of the county at that time, one must feel what their big problems were before they had a chance to raise a crop on which they had to live, and carry them through the several months of cold winter weather. The majority of the first settlers came by covered wagons which contained a few pieces of necessary furniture, bed clothes, homespun wearing apparel, seeds to plant their first crops, tools to hew the wood from the forest to build their log cabin, work the garden, clearing where corn and wheat were to be planted. The principle tool of the field was a "carry" plow with which they goughed (sic) sufficient loose dirt from around the stumps, or blazed trees to cover the seed. After the erection of the cabin by the help of all the neighbors, who would gather from several miles around, the next consideration was to clear away the virgin timber, a gigantic task in itself. Ten acres was considered a good winter clearing by men and his sons. Among some of the first settlers were the Beavers and Brandenburg families, who came about the same time. The two progenitors of these families were William Beavers Sr. and Solomon Brandenburg Sr., brothers-in-law. William Beavers came first from Kentucky in 1820 to Clay Co., Indiana, where he lived until 1827, when he settled in Richwood east of Westfield, Ill. in 1830. In 1830 he made a change, settling in the woods about ¼ mile east from where Salisbury now stands. His new neighbors, the Kickapoo Indians, owned the land at that time, and lived all around him.
On Feb. 18, 1834 he entered the land office at Palestine, Ill., and asked for the NE of the SW Section 10 T11NR10E, which is the 40 acres joining Salisbury on the east-where he and his wife, some relatives and perhaps some neighbors were buried in the little cemetery still there today. On October 27, 1834 he entered the 40 acres just east of the above 40 acres, making a farm of 80 acres. On this land he and his good wife lived the balance of their lives, and their ashes have gone back to the soil which gave them sustenance for life. He was just 33 years of age at the time he settled there, a young man, just twelve years after he had been married in 1818 in the state of Kentucky to Miss Nancy Brandenburg, the daughter of Henry Brandenburg. The writer has been unable to find out who the wife of Henry was, but it is reasonably sure that Henry was a son of Mathias Brandenburg, who removed from Hampshire Co., Virginia to Kentucky at an early date in the settlement of that state, and died Nov. 20, 1807 in Clark Co., Kentucky. His wife was Esther Volgamot who died Sept. 19, 1821 and was buried in Brandenburg, Meade Co., Kentucky. Beyond that we have no definite data as to the family history except that the family originally came from Brandenburg, Germany. When is not known, nor is it known to the writer's knowledge if Mathias was the first American immigrant or whether his father or grandfather was the first. The family seemed to have been quite large when it lived in Meade and Hardin Cos., Kentucky, consisting of numerous cousins and their families. Nancy Brandenburg, the wife of William Beavers, was the sister of Solomon Brandenburg who heads the Brandenburg family in Hutton.
William Beavers was born July 23, 1797 in Loudoun Co., Virginia at the age of 17 he drove a team through to Barren Co., Kentucky. For one year after his marriage in 1818 he and his bride lived with her parents, then rented a farm for one year, and in 1820 removed to Clay Co., Indiana which perhaps was about the time that Solomon Brandenburg Sr., his brother-in-law, settled in Richwood, Clark Co., Ill., and at that time the Black Hawk War was brewing. William Beavers was cutting some bee trees down at long point when he saw the Indian runners passing through summoning the Indians to the grand pow-pow, which resulted in the war. William Beavers died Feb. 25, 1882 at the ripe old age of 85 years. A newspaper of the time said that he was one of the oldest citizens of Hutton. His illness was not very long but was most distressing. His wife was taken away more than a year before-- in 1880 at the age of 77. After her death he lived alone most of the time. Lewis Beavers, his grandson, told me that his grandfather was a slim man, not very strong-that all his sons were heavy set except Barnett. The last visit I made to the Beavers family cemetery, east of Salisbury, there were only 3 stones to be found, that of Nancy Brandenburg Beavers was so worn that the month of her death could not be made out. These are the children of William and Nancy Beavers-not in order of birth:
1. Mathias, born June 6, 1823 (one authority says Meade and another says Hardin Co., Kentucky); he was married Jan 2, 1845, at Salisbury by Jonathan N. Hulen, J.P. to Elizabeth Endsley, daughter of Andrew Endsley. Her parents could not have been Andrew and Eliz. Bell Endsley as they were not married until April 8, 1839 in Coles Co., Ill.
2. Henry, born June 21, 1830 either in Clark or Coles Co. He died Sept. 13, 1914, married July 17, 1851 in Coles Co. to Dicy Strader, the daughter of Vincent and Patience (Stewart) Strader, both buried in the Wiley Brick Church.
3. Solomon, born Mar 30, 1834 in Hutton, died Sept. 10, 1913, married Jan 4, 1855 in Coles Co., by Jeremiah Stone, a Susanna Strader, daughter of Vincent and Patience Strader; both were buried in Wiley Brick Church.
4. William, born Aug. 14, 1833, died Mar 1, 1880, buried at Wiley Brick Church, married Jan10, 1838 in Coles Co., by A.D. Morris, M.G. to a Georgia N. Boydy. The courthouse records also show that William Beavers married Georgianna Dailey on Feb. 22, 1855 in Coles Co.
5. Barnett, married a Molly Walker, daughter of Jackson Walker and Rachael Ward. A Barnett Beabers married Miss Mary Ann Martin on Mar. 18, 1869 in Coles Co., by George Biddle.
6. John, married and removed to Kansas.
7. Joseph, married on Jan4, 1855 in Coles Co. by B.F. Bulah, to a Cynthia Harris, perhaps a daughter of George K. Harris of Salisbury. They removed to Kansas.
8. Sarah (Sallie) Ann, Married William Ashby, son of John Ashby and Elizabeth Redding, whether they had more children or not I do not know, but Maria Ann married Oct. 21, 1867 in Coles Co., to a Frederick Myers.
9. Nancy, married Joseph Dyer, son of Daniel Dyer and Elizabeth Cooper, Dec. 27, 1857 in Coles Co. by Jay Stone-they removed to Iowa where she died.
10. Martha Jane, married Ambrose Strader on Dec. 24, 1860 in Coles Co. by Silas White. Some told me she married Andrew Strader, did she marry 2 Straders?
11. Rebecca M.--killed by a horse at the age of 27--perhaps buried in family cemetery.
12. J. Calvin
13. Polly (Mary)
14. Elizabeth, married Jan 7, 1848 by John Goodman to Charles Mills in Coles Co.
15. Francis (Fanny), married 1) by J. Stone, Jan. 2, 1859 in Coles Co., Thomas P. Donelson. Their daughter Ella F. married Arthur French. 2) Jan 7, 1866 in Coles Co. by J. Waltrip--Elijah Hamblin--records show that Elijah Hamblin, age 32, of Hutton Co. married 2) Nov. 26, 1875 by P. Brock, Miss Mary J. Waters of Hutton, age 30.
16. and 17--two infants who died young, unnamed
Among the early neighbors of William Beavers around Salisbury who entered land adjoining him were: James Brandenburg, Feb. 1, 1837, SW of NE Sect. 10, T11NR10E; Solomon Brandenburg, entered the NE of the NE Section 15 and their homes were just about three-fourths of a mile apart through the woods; William Barrack, Dec. 18, 1837 SW of SW section 10, T11NR10E; William Endsley, Oct. 11, 1838, SE of NW Section 10; George K. Harris, Dec. 2, 1837, SW of NW Section 10; Hezekiah Mann Jr., Sept. 30, 1836, SE of SW Section 10; John Hulen, Sept. 15, 1837, E½ of the SE Section 10. The will of a Thomas Beavers was filed in Loudoun Co., Virginia on Oct. 8, 1770 and mentions a wife Martha and children: Samuel, William, Thomas, Joseph and James. It is likely that he was the grandfather of William Beavers who settled here.
Mrs. Julia Beavers married Arthur Boyd on May 27, 1870 in Coles Co.
Benjamin F. Beavers married Mrs. Loretta A. Stevens on Dec. 29, 1871.
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