James Lovell was the father of James Lovell, Jr., and was born in the state of Virginia about the year 1780, and lived there until 1815, when he moved to Ohio, and lived there until 1832, when he moved to Indiana and lived there three years, when he moved to Illinois, and settled in Pleasant township, Fulton county. About 1860 Mr. Lovell retired from the busy cares of life, and spent his remaining days among his kind-hearted children until 1861, when he died.
James Lovell, Jr., was born in the state of Virginia, in the year of 1809, and lived with his father until 1831, when he married Miss Jane Linn, the daughter of Solomon Linn, and moved to Ohio, and lived there three years, and then moved to Fulton county, Illinois, in 1834; and in 1837, he settled on section 8, in Pleasant township, where he has resided ever since, engaged in farming and raising stock.
Mr. Lovell has been married three times, and is the father of fourteen children, ten sons and four daughters, twelve now living, two dead, five married; the rest at home.
Mr. Lovell is a man that has been blessed with good health and a powerful strong constitution, and has done a powerful amount of hard labor. When he arrived in Illinois he had but $8, and was out of breadstuff; he loaned four dollars to one of his neighbors, to buy flour with, and bought flour for his own family with the other four dollars. And so he lived toward his neighbors, ever ready to divide. He labored at breaking prairie, clearing land, and whatever he could get to do, for about two years, and averaged about eight dollars per month, half money and half trade. Vension was plenty then, and he was a good shot, and kept his family well supplied with meat.
Mr. Lovell, through his own exertions, has succeeded in life until he has become one of the wealthy men of Fulton county; and there is no man that has more warm friends then Mr. Lovell has, wherever he is known.
[Source: "Atlas of Fulton Co., Illinois", 1871, transcribed by Cathy D.]
Rutherford Granville Carter
from the "Argus Searchlight"
Astoria, Illinois - December 9, 1913
Transcribed by Dawn Minard from materials provided from the research of Lynn Stephens Headley
R. G. Carter, the oldest Pioneer living, came to Illinois in 1829
Rutherford Granville Carter was the son of W.B. and Julia Carter, and was born near Tompkinsville, Kentucky on October 1, 1827. He was one of a family of six children who grew to a ripe old age. Mr. Carter and his brother John, residing at Lawrence, Kansas are the only members of the family living.
Mr. Carter has witnessed changes wrought in this section, which are almost beyond comprehension of the generation of today. He saw this country when it was a primitive forest, inhabited by Indians and wild beast. He was one of the advanced guards of civilization, who helped in the work of transforming the wilderness of Fulton County into a goodly land filled with several cities and thousands of comfortable and often palatial farm homes. All cities and county alike, filled with happy and prosperous people, not excelled in education, mortality, and all the gracious attributes which mark the highest and best type of civilization.
In speaking of incidents connected with his early life, Mr. Carter gave us the following information, "I came to Illinois with my parents when I was two year sold. The family consisted of father, mother and six children. The children were: Paschal (deceased), William (deceased), Simeon (deceased), James (deceased), John and myself.
We landed at Bader and located on a farm in October 1829. We lived in a log house. I cannot recall much about the trip to the state, excepting an incident that took place at Beardstown as we crossed the Illinois River on a ferry boat. Our cow, which we had tied to the rear of the wagon, broke loose and jumped into the river and swam to shore.
We moved from Bader to a farm north of Astoria, now occupied by my son Frank. At that time the farm contained sixty acres and was covered in heavy timber. I helped clear the land and remained at home until I was twelve years old, when I was hired to Robert McClelland, father of John and Edward McClelland, who lived where Edward McClelland now lives. I remained there one year, from which place I went to the prairie and worked two years for Russel Bros.
From their place I returned home and worked for five years for my Brother James, who lived on the farm now occupied Henry Weber. After that I worked a year for Abe Brown, who lived on the farm, now occupied by James Farrow.
On Nov 7th, 1847, at Vermont, I enlisted in the Mexican War. I went with an independent Company from Rushville under Capt. Dunlap. No one from here enlisted at that time. There were 117 of us in the company. From here we went to Quincy and from there to Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, where we remained until March, when we went by boat to New Orleans, at which place we boarded a ship for Brazos Island, Texas. From there we were removed over the Rio Grande at Matamoros, in Mexico, where we remained until the Spring of 1848, when we removed to Manta Bay, remaining there until the Fall, when we were brought back to Alton and mustered out of service. This was on presidential election day. Then I came home and worked on a farm for town years.
In the Spring of 1852 in company with my brother John Carter, Dave Powell and a man named Clarkson, I went to California. We made the trip in a wagon, drawn by an ox team. Our trip was by way of Council Bluffs, Iowa, going up the Platt River, landing at a place called XXXX Ranch, a mining town in California. It took us ninety days to make the trip. The Indians were pretty numerous in those days. The entire route traversed was thickly populated with the red race and they were very hostile. We stood guard over the cattle every night the entire way across the plains. We engaged in a couple of little skirmishes with the Indians on our trip. The incident took place at night. There were eighty-seven wagons in the company all going to California. The reason the Indians did not attack us more severely was due to the large number of men with the party.
We went to California for the purpose of securing gold. At that time the "Gold Fever" ran high in this country. Many people went to California with great expectations and many were sadly disappointed too. Our health was good the entire trip and out cattle stood it well. We took food enough to last about two hundred, the rest of the distance the pasture was sufficient to afford food for our cattle. For ourselves, we laid in a goodly supply of provisions which lasted until we reached out destination.
I remained in California tow and one half years. While there I operated a pack train with mules and done good business. My route covered a distance of seventy-five miles and I carried freight altogether.
On returning home, I went to san Francisco, California and took passage on a vessel to Colon and crossed the Isthmus of Panama, where the Panama Canal is now in course of construction. From Colon, I traveled nice miles on a mule. The remainder of the distance, forty miles I traveled by train. The train was a steam road and the cars were open, similar to the flat cars now in use. The road was not fully completed. The entire distance across the Isthmus was forty-nine miles. After we crossed the Isthmus, we took a vessel at Aspernal for New York City. It was a steam vessel and took us eight days to reach New York. There were seven hundred passengers on the ship. One died enroute and was buried at sea. The mode of burial at that time was simple and there was no ceremony. The body was placed in a large sack for that purpose, containing a sufficient quantity of coal to carry it to the bottom of the sea, after which it was placed on a plank, which projected over the ship and slid into the ocean. The vessel was stopped only long enough to perform the burial.
I purchased a ticket at San Francisco to cover the entire route to New York, costing $300. We landed at New York December 15. from New York I came by railroad to Chicago. It took two days and two nights to make the trip and the fair was $54. From Chicago I came to Peoria by rail and from Peoria I came by stage. It was about a month on the road, that is from the time I left San Francisco. I left my brother there, making the trip alone.
After I came home, I stayed around home for about a year, when I got married and settled down. On November 22, 1855, I was married to Miss Sarah Ann Hudnall, daughter of Mr. And Mrs. William Hudnall. The ceremony was performed at the home of my wife's parents. They lived on a farm where William Gibble now lives, north of Astoria. Rev. Cook, a Methodist minister, who preached here in town, officiated. We had a big dinner and there were about twenty immediate relatives of the families present. We went to housekeeping on the same farm where my son Frank carter now lives.
Six children blessed our home, namely: Gertrude Plummer (deceased), James Carter of Astoria, Mrs. Elizabeth Bloomfield of Albany, Oregon, Frank G. Carter and Henry H. Carter of Astoria and Mrs. Ella Farr of Schuyler County. My wife died May 7th , 1899. Since that time I have made my home with my son Frank Carter.
Politically, I have been a Democrat, although my first vote was for Taylor. I have never held any office of any consequence, but I served a school director for thirty-three years. My health is good, my eyesight is good, don't use glasses, eat three square meals each day and feel like working a little every day. I put in thirty-three days working on the road this summer, and intend to be as active as I can as long as my health permits.
When we came to Illinois, there were only fifteen or sixteen houses between here and Rushville, and Astoria was not yet laid out. The Indians were quite plentiful and were not altogether peaceful. Near the old Ray homestead, down on the Illinois River bottom, near Sheldon's Grove, the Indians had a camp there. There was also a small colony located on the farm now occupied by Samuel Bowles, north of Astoria. Between Lewistown and Canton on what is known at Big Creek a large number were located. They were driven back until finally they crossed the Mississippi River, where they were strong for many years.
There were no mills here. We ground all our own corn on a grater, which we made by punching holes through a curved piece of tin. We would soak the corn, which was left on the cob until it got soft, then, we would grate it and make meal for our bread. We lived on corn meal, pumpkins, potatoes, lye hominy etc. We had no stoves. The first mill built in this section was on Crooked Creek. When the road were good it would take a day's time to make the journey to the mill, which was operated by water. It was owned and operated by a man named Justus. He made fairly good meal and owing to the many people who depended upon it to get their corn ground there, it would take sometimes as much as a day before ones turn would come.
Later, this same man conducted a mill operated by horse, north of Rushville, and the people from there took their corn there. Each party who had corn to grind, had to use his own team to operate the machinery. This same man later built a water mill at Lupton's Ford on Sugar Creek. Old George Skiles also built a mill at Ridgeville on Sugar Creek. I hauled the first engine for the first flourmill built in Astoria, which was owned by Kost and Bottenburg. The engine was shipped from a factory by boat to Sharp's Landing.