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Hancock County, Illinois

Township History
Source: History of Hancock County, Illinois, by Th. Gregg, 1880, Transcribed by J.S.

Fractional township numbered 7-S lies above the bend of the river at Nauvoo, and is the northwest township in the county. It loses about one-third of its dimensions by the river; one-third is broken timbered bluff land, and the remainder prairie. The south and south-eastern portions of the township are composed mainly of beautiful prairie land, embracing some fine farms owned by rich and properous farmers. Three or four streams enter the river from the south, heading out in the open prairie. Chief of these are Tyson and Rollosson creeks, which furnish considerable bodies of timber.

The early settlers were Edward White and Amzi Doolittle. Chauncy Robison was an early settler in the county, though not in this township till after the Morman exodus. The celebrated big prairie mound is located in this township, on section 25, on the summit of which the late Amos Davis built his fine residence,and where his widow still resides. The portion nearest to Nauvoo is partly settles by some German and French foreign immigrants, who came to the county after the Mormans left the city; some of them belonged to the Icarian community. They are generally industrious and thirty citizens.

This township sports two towns, as yet very small ones. Appanoose, from which the township was named, was laid out by Edward White and Amzi Doolittle in 1836, nearly opposite Fort Madison, Iowa.

Niota, a later town, near the mouth of Tyson creek, also on the river, two miles below Appanoose, This was laid out by John H. Knapp, William Adams, George P. Eaton and J.P. Harper, in 1857.

Appanoose was named for an Indian chief of the Sac and Fox Indians, well known in those days about Fort Madison.

This township, lying on the river above the rapids, is supposed to have been the residence of several of the settlers previous to 1829, but who left the county at an early day. We know no one in the township who was there previous to the Black Hawk war. Many Mormons settled in this township and in Sonora, in the vicinity of Nauvoo, and since they left, their places have been supplied by newer immigrants.

Township officials - The town Officers that have served or are now serving this township are about as follows:
James A. McCance 1850 I.D. Stone 1868
Fred R. Prentice 1852 Amzi Doolittle 1869
William Jackson 1853 I.D. Stone 1871
Wm. P. Logan 1858 Samuel Elliott 1872
William Jackson 1860 Hugh Jackson 1873
Samuel Elliott 1863 John Jackson 1874
Peter Wilsey 1866 George H. Rudisil 1876
Amzi Doolittle 1867 Leonard A. Hobbs 1878
George T. Thompson 1858 Charles G. Fish 1873
Hugh Jackson 1863 John Trouthart 1874
L.A. Hobbs 1866 Charles G. Fish 1876
Hugh Jackson 1869 John W. Bertchi 1879
Samuel V. Elliott 1870 Alexander Haymart 1880
Benjamin Ritter 1858 William Jackson 1863
Geo. T. Thompson 1859 Charles C. Ritter 1867-1880
Robert Mackie 1858 James Webb 1871
Gershom Pope 1863 James Hammond 1872
Robert Mackie 1864 Wm. G. Webb 1873
John D. Johnson 1865 Leonard A. Hobbs 1874
L.A. Hobbs 1866 George H. Rudisil 1875
Hugh Jackson 1867 Leonard A. Hobbs 1876
George Elliott 1870 John W. Bertchi 1877-1880

Available biographies for this township are Amos Davis, Samuel T. Egan, Samuel V. Elliott, James Green, John Haigh, James Hammond, John Hobbs, L.A. Hobbs, Hugh Jackson, Robert Jackson, William Jackson, John Kennedy, James Lindsay Jr., James A. Ollis, Chauncy Robison, Lewis Sleight, James Webb, John Zingree.

Congressional, or surveyed, township number three north and range number five west of the fourth principal meridan (usually written 3n.5w., or 3-5 for short) is named Augusta, after the handsome and ambitious little city within its borders. The township is about one-third timbered land, the rest prairie; the timber skirting the head waters of Panther creek in the northwest, Flower creek near the center, and William's creek near the south line. Augusta contains much valuable land and many fine farms. Many of its settlers are farmers of the first class-emigrants from the East and South, who came to the county to make permanent homes for themselves and their families.

The first settlers we can learn of in this township (and we cannot pretend to name them all, or in the order of their coming) were Alexander Oliver, Jesse and Shelton Phillips, Dr. Adolphus Allen, Benjamin Gould, Christopher E. Yates, George Sadler, Isaac Pidgeon, Solomon Stanley (these two last Quakers), Joel Catlin, Wm. D. Abernethy, Dr. Samuel B. Mead, Horace Mead, Alfred Mead and Jonathan Mead (the father died aged 87), James Bowman, P.P. Jones, Rober Ireland, Thomas Trimble, Thomas Rice, David H. Rice, John Wilson, P.P. Newcomb, Wm. Dexter, Wm. M. Dexter, Emsley Jackson, George W. Hawley, Benjamin Bacon, Alfred Skinner, Silas Griffith, John Jackson, George Jackson and E.S. Austin.

A number of these left the county again, while many of the more aged ones have gone to their reward.

Mr. Oliver settled over the line, in Adams county, but his land was in Hancock. He came in August preceding the "deep snow" (1830). He purchased his supply of provision for the winter in Rushville, just before the snow, and was not able to get them home till March, consequently hominy was the main support of himself, wife and eight children during the winter. His stock suffered severely, and he had to cut down bass-wood trees to keep his cattle from starving, tey eating the tops.

In July, 1832, during the Black Hawk war, Joel Catlin and Wm. D. Abernethy (brothers-in-law) came to "Oliver's Settlement," from Augusta, Georgia, though they were Eastern men. They  located where the town of Augusta now stands, and gave the name to the place. Mr. Catlin resided there, an honored and influential citizen for a  number of years, then removed to Jacksonville, where we believe he still lives at an advanced age. Mr. Abernethy was afterward Sheriff of the county, and subsequently went into business in Warsaw, where he died, about 1850, of cholera.

The Phillipses left early. One of them is remembered as being the manufacturer of the primitive mills for grinding corn, in use in those early days. He is not known to have ever patented it, so that any one is still at liberty to construct one for himself. We describe it for the benefit of our readers and for posterity. The mill was constructed in this wise: A boulder of proper size was obtained from Flower creek, or at any other creek, and made as level and flat as possible. It was then placed on top of a sawed log set endwise, or on a rude frame made for the purpose. This was then surmounted by another boulder of similar construction, set face to face, and these composed the upper and the nether millstones. They were held in place by a pivot in center, and made to turn as easily as possible. A hole was drilled in the upper stone near to one edge, into which a handle would be placed for turning it. The regular price for one of these mills was two dollars and a half.

Dr. Mead came to Augustaq in 1833; his father and brothers still later. He thinks he was, perhaps, the second practicing physician in the county, Dr. Isaac Galland being before him at Riverside, while Dr. John F. Charles came a little later to Carthage. See biography of Dr. Mead on a subsequent page.

In  1834 a postoffice was established at Augusta, W.D. Abernethy being the first postmaster. Elder Thomas H. Owen was contractor and carried the  mail on route from Rushville to Carthage on horseback once a week. Dr. Mead was postmaster from 1840 to 1857.

In August or September, 1833, occurred the first burial in Augusta cemetery, the remains of Mr. John Anderson.

The first wedding that took place in the township, says Mr. Gould (and he is supposed to know), was that of Mr. Benjamin Gould and Miss Rebecca J. Jones, on Christman Day, 1833, Christopher E. Yates, Esq., performing the ceremony. "No cards."

The first 4th-of-July celebration is Augusta took place in the beautiful "Round Grove," which has since disappeared. This was in 1839 or 1840. Orator of the day, William N. Grover, Esq., of Warsaw.

Miss Ruth Bateman, sister to State Superintendent Bateman, taught the first school in 1835.

What was known in the early days as "Round Prairie," embraced a portion of Augusta township, a part of St. Mary's, and the adjoining portions of McDonough and Schuyler counties. This section, as a unit, ranks among the earliest settlements in the south part of the county, and embraces much beautiful country and many fine farms. It does not include the town of Augusta, and just how far it extends in other directions is not strictly defined. Like the "Great West," its borders are indefinite. Mr. Phillips, Mr. Yates, Dr. Allen, Mr. Bowman, Mr. Solomon Stanley and Mr. Pidgeon are perhaps the very first settlers in that part of Round Prairie belonging to Augusta.

Flour creek,  now more properly written Flower, is said to have received its name from the following circumstance: In the turning from the Brooklyn mill with their grists one Sunday evening, when the "creek was up," crossing at the ford south of Plymouth with their ox team, a large and well-filled sack of flour was swept out of their wagon by the deep and rapid stream and supposed to be lost, but on the Wednesday following it was fished out, well preserved and in good order, except a thin crust next the sack -so saith the "oldest inhabitant," Mr. Allen Melton--Young's Hist. Round Prairie.

How Panther creek obtained its title we can only guess; but a fair presumption is, that animals of that name existed, or were suposed to exist, in its woods.

On Williams' creek, south of the town, are coal veins, which have supplied considerable quantities of coal for local use. But the vein is thin, and the cost of obtaining it too great; and that article is now chiefly supplied from abroad by rail.

The town of Augusta was laid out by Joel Catlin, Wm. D Abernethy and Samuel B. Mead, Feb., 1836, and surveyed by James W. Brattle. Mr. Brattle was an early surveyor and an early settler in the county, now residing at Macomb, in a green old age. And right here we must tell an incident concerning him, related by Mr. Lawton, of Augusta township.  Mr. B., old as he is, has not forgottten the business of his younger days; and so, a year or two ago, Mr. L. had him re-establish some lines he had run 30 or 40 years ago. While so engaged, a young man of the vicinity came along, who did not know Mr. Bratte. The young man was asked if he knew who planted a certain stake. He replied, "I don't know unless it was old Jimmy Brattle." "This is Mr. Brattle," said Lawton. The young man look at him again: "I mean old man Brattle."

Augusta also contains the village of Pulaski, named for the patriot Polish count. It was laid out in 1836 by Alexander Oliver, Wm. McCready and Benjamin Bacon. Its growth has been very slow.

Mechanicsville, laid out in 1842, by Alanson Lyon, was also in this township. It was designed for a manufacturing center, and for a time bid fair to be a town of importance. But for some cause (probably the death of Mr. Lyon) it failed, and it is now one of the forgotten towns.

The first grist-mill in the township was established in 1833, by John Wilson; run by horse-power.

The venerable P.P. Newcomb, born in Mass., 1804, and raised in Vt., came to Rushville 1830, to Augusta, 1836. The Rebellion dealt hard with this aged gentleman's family. Two sons went into the army; the eldest, Wilbur Fiske, was wounded at the assault on Vicksburg under Grant, on 22d of June, and died 31st of June, on board the hospital boat J.C. Wood, at Memphis. The second, William L., was wounded Nov. 30, 1864, at Franklin, Tenn.; was brought home and died 14th Jan., 1865; and his mother, Mrs. Ann (Munson) Newcomb died six days afterward from virus in dressing his wounds.

Dr. Adolphus Allen removed to Riverside and died many years ago; Mr. Yates to Nauvoo, still living at an advanced age. Pidgeon went to Salem, Iowa; Stanley back to N.C. The elder Mead and his sons Horace and Alfred, we believe are all deceased. So are Messrs. Dexter, Hawley, Ireland and Skinner. The latter was for many years one of the most active business men in the county. Mr. Bacon was a leading and honored citizen, resident of Pulaski, died much regretted many years since.

There are many other respected and honored pioneers of Augusta township, some of them still living, whom we would be glad to mention, if space would warrant. But a history of Augusta would not be complete that failed to name Eliphalet Strong Austin, the genuine, true-blue, whole-souled, musical Free-soiler, from the land of wooden nutmegs. Born in 1809, his parents removed to Ashtabula, O., in 1811, and in 1843 Strong came to Augusta. Was always an ardent Whig; assisted in organizing the Republican party, and it is his boast to-day that he hesitated not to accept position as conductor on the U.G.R.R., and that no train under his care ever jumped the track or met with a smash-up.

Mr. A. married Miss Julia W. Hawley, in Northern Ohio, also from Conn. They have several children residing "out West;" and it was while on a lengthy visit to these a few days ago, that Mrs. A. manfully marched up to the polls in Wyoming with other women, and deposited a ballot for the right. Perhaps she is the one solitary woman in Hancock county who has ever exercised the elective franchise.

Township officials - The town Officers that have served or are now serving this township are about as follows:
James Stark 1850 James Stark 1876
P.P. Newcomb 1861 P.P. Newcomb 1877
Wm. H. Mead 1865 H.L. Beard 1880
Andrew J. Winfield 1874
Giles Hawley 1858 E.W. Wood 1871
I.B. Leach 1861 Eli Gillett 1874
William Cassaday 1865 W.H. Watson 1877
A.B. Crooks 1866 I.B. Leach 1880
Jas. C. Bertholff 1869
Giles Hawley 1858 E.P. Hawley 1868
J.R. Combs 1861 A.G. Bacon 1870
B.J. Long 1862 E.P. Hawley 1871
J.C. Berholf 1863 John W. Browning 1874
J.A. Dexter 1864 E.P. Hawley 1875
F.M. Kinsey 1865 John Avery 1876
Wm. Roland 1866 E.P. Hawley 1880
Wm. J. Pitney 1867
Benjamin Bacon 1858 Robert Booker 1875
E.P. Hawley 1861 A.J. Winfield 1876
Henry A. Young 1863 D.E. Belden 1877
W.J. Pitney 1864 Wm. McGilvery 1877
A.J. Winfield 1866 Abner Murphy 1878
A.L. Weed 1867 D.J. Kniss 1879
Wm. C. Cassaday 1872 A.J. Winfield 1880
I.B. Leach 1874

Township 4-7 received its name from a crooked and ugly stream which meanders through it, heading in the township above the passing into Walker, enters Adams county, emptying into the Mississippi above Quincy. This, like St. Alban's, is about hald prairie and half timbered lands. The C., B.&Q. railroad passes about centrally through it from north to south. It contains its one village, Basco, lying on said road, near the center of the township, laid out Feb., 1871, by Wm. S. Woods. It occupies the same, or nearly the same, site as Somerset, a town laid out in 1853 by Abraham Baldwin, and since vacated.

Among the names of the earliest settlers in Bear Creek township, we recall those of James S. Kimball and his sons, Sidney A. Knowlton, Richard Wilton, Thomas Graham, Samuel Russell, Thomas Morgan, Nicholas Wren, Elijah Pike, John Pike, Moses Van Winkle, Robert Wilhite, Elder Addis, Jesse Carnes, John Carnes, Jesse Gordon, Thompson  Frakes, Riley Young, Thomas and Edward Daw, James Tweed, W.A. Patterson, Andrew and Wm. S. Moore, James and G.W. Wedding, Mahlon Fell, Wm. Meredith, Vernon Doty, Peter and John Fry, James Boyles, Cornelius Elson, Lafford Totten, W.W. Mason, Hiram Sammons, Felix G. Mourning, Samuel McGee, Gulford Fuller, Henry Kent, David Cole, William George, James M. Charles, Dr. Alvin Thompson, William Wallace, John Pavy, Wm. B. Skinner, John Huff, David Bedford, Benjamin G. Wright, David Crow.

Of the above we note specially James S. Kimball and Sidney A. Knowlton, the former from New Hampshire and the latter from Ohio, who emigrated together in 1835. The Kimballs were Methodists, the Knowlton's were "Campbellites," but both subsequently joined the Mormans and removed to Salt Lake with them, leaving this county in 1847. Mr. Kimball died in Salt Lake ten years thereafter, and Mr. Knowlton at a later period, each near about the age of 70. Their widows were still living as late as 1875.

Richard Wilton will be remembered as having been elected School Commissioner of Hancock county in 1841, the first year of contest between the old citizens and Mormons. Mr. Wilton left the county a few years afterward. Subsequently his farm came into possession of Benjamin G. Wright, Esq., a native of Belmont county, Ohio. Mr. Wright was a remarkable man; had been educated in the common schools only; was possessed of a strong mind; a deep thinker; radical in his opinions, which he embraced without inquiry as to their populartiy or othodoxy. He did not remain long in the county. Desiring to settle his family where land was cheaper, he removed to Henry county in this State, where he procured a large body of land and settled his sons each on a farm around him. There he was residing when the Rebellion broke out. He had long ago embraced the doctrines of the Virginia and Kentucky resolutions, and hence when these troubles arose he was strongly in favor of allowing "the wayward sister to go in peace." His opposition to the war and the war measures of President Lincoln became so violent as to render him extremely unpopular in his county. In 1872 he was put on the extreme Democratic bolters' ticket for Governor - of course, with no hope of an election. He received but 25 votes in this county. Mr. W. was still living Jan., 1880, at an advanced age of about 80 years.

The postoffice known as Sylvan Dale was established at his place and at his instance.

Many of the persons named in the foregoing list are long since deceased; numbers of others have gone to newer States and Territories.

Township officials - The following is a list of the officers that have served this township since its organization, as far as could be obtained from the old records:
Almon Thompson 1850 David W. Browning 1868
Felix G. Mourning 1853 D. McGinnis 1869
Thomas Logan 1855 W.C. Williams 1870
C.W. Baldwin 1858 Wm. P. Damron 1872
Wm. S. Moore 1859 Jameson H. Wetzel 1873
Chas. H. Steffey 1860 Jesse E. Gerard 1874
John W. Tatman 1861 Wm. P. Damron 1876
Wm. B. Skinner 1862 Wm. A. Anderson 1877
John R. McGinnis 1866 Constant Cacheaux 1878
Wm. B. Skinner 1867 James A. Anderson 1879
John G. Seger 1855 John G. Seger 1868
William Hawkins 1858 Albert Naegelin 1879
William Fleming 1865 John G. Seger 1880
John M. Wetzell 1855 James Anderson 1872
Andrew Moore 1858 Edward Harrison 1873
Charles W. Baldwin 1860 A.H. Caywood 1874
Elisha McGee 1862 Geo H. Damron 1875
John W. Tatman 1864 and A.H. Caywood 1875
Almon Thompson 1865 Clark Lewis 1876
C.W. Baldwin 1866 J.H. Wetzel 1877
Geo. C. Gordon 1867 John Daw 1878
E. Brown, Jr. 1869 Wm. G. Mott 1880
Wm. P. Damron 1870
William S. Moore 1855 G.C. Gordon 1870
J.G. Seger 1858 John D. Page 1871
Nicholas Wren 1862 John J. Hawkins 1872
J.R. McGinnis 1862 Nathaniel C. Caywood 1873
Charles H. Steffey 1864 Josephus Huff 1874
Wm. P. Damron 1866 G.C. Gordon 1875
J.H. Wetzell 1867 J.R. McGinnis 1876
William Dryden 1869 G.C. Gordon 1878-80

Reveived its name from the county seat on its west line. It is numbered 5-6; is principally prairie land, but has bodies of timber on Middle, Prairie, Long and Rock creeks, tributaries of Crooked creek. Certain portions of this township are level and prairie, and consequently better suited to meadow and stock-raising than to grain. Large quantities of corn are grown, however, in all directions. This township has many finely improved farms and substantial and neat residences, owned by independent farmers.

Carthage, being in the midst of an extensive prairie, was not settled as early as the western and eastern portions of the county; and had it not been for the fact that they county-seat was located in it, its settlement would have advanced no faster, perhaps, than those of Harmony, Prairie and Pilot Grove adjoining. We are not advised that it had an inhabitant within its limits (other than Elder Thomas H. Owen, who came in 1831), when in March, 1833, William Gillham and Scott Riggs located the county-seat on sec. 19. That event of course gave an impetus to settlement; and we find that on April 2 of the same year a special term of the County Commissioners' Court was held there, at the house of Thomas Brewer, which, if not there before, must have been a temporary buildng hastily put up. At that meeting Thomas H. Owen was appointed to built a court-house, and it was to be finished before Aug. 25th! for the use of the Circuit Court soon to be held. Ex-Secretary O.H. Browning, then a young lawyer on the Circuit, attended the Court, as he had others before at Venus. Here is his account of that event, and description of Carthage at that time. We quote from his address delievered before the "Hancock County Pioneers' Association," in the court-house, June 15, 1869: "He said he rememberd attending the first Court held at Carthage. The Temple of Justice at that day was a log cabin of limited dimensions, roofed with clapboards. The Bench and Bar boarded with a family near the timber, and near the subsequent residence of Mr. Baldwin. The 'hotel' of Carthage was sort of rail-pen, 12 feet square, the provisions and whisky being dealt out through the cracks to the outsiders. The site of the present court-house was a frog-pond; and yet this unpromising beginnng had culminated in the present town of Carthage, one of the neatest and prettiest villages he had ever visited."

As we have seen, the town site was pre-empted by the county, and the County Surveyor (John Johnson, of Riverside) employed to lay out the town at once, to be completed by May 1.  This time seems to have been too short for him to do his work well, for we find that afterward a new survey was ordered and a new plat made. Clerk Williams immediately removed to the new town, and we find that a special term of the County Court was held at this house on the 3d of June. The regular term, Sept. 2, was held at the new court-house.

At this time that singular attorney at law, Louis Masquerier, was licensed to keep a tavern and also to sell goods. Counting the "boarding house," referred to by Mr. Browning as the first one, this tavern of Masquerier's must have been the second one in the town or township, and his store the first store. He was still there in 1836, but soon returned to New York.

Thomas Brewer must have emigrated soon, as we hear nothing more concerning him.

Among the early settlers of Carthage, as we remember them, were Gad Hamilton and his sons Artois and Canfield, Samuel Williams, Walter Bagby, Frederick Loring, Rev. John Lawton, Dr. John F. Charles, Louis Masquerier, James B., Hamilton C. and David W. Mathews, Senator Little Robert Miller, Joshua and Jonas Hobart, Elam S. Freeman, Homer Brown, Ellis Hughes, Capt Robert F. Smith, Ebenezer Rand, Franklin A. Worrell, Harmon T. Wilsn, Charles Main, Lewis Stevenson, Samuel Comer, Jesse B. Winn, George W. Thatcher, Miles B. Mann, James Baird, Isaac Galland, James W. Woods, James W. Brattle, Samuel Marshall, Malcom McGregor, Chauncey Robison, Sylvester Thompson, U.C. Taylor, John Wilson, John Wilson Williams, George W. Stigall, Dr. Barnes, Michael Barnes. In the vicinity were David Baldwin, Epaphra B. Baldwin, Williams C. Hawley, Michael Rickard, Richard Cannon, Allen McQuary, Thomas Metcalf, T. Gridley, Thomas J. Kimbrough, W.J. Dale, John Booth, Robert G. Bernethy, Norman Hobart, I.N. Cauthorn, George C. Waggoner, Samuel F. Pray, Alexander Barnes.

Of the foregoing 50 odd individuals, more than half are known to have died, numbers of them long years ago. Many others left the county, some of them still living. Several will be recognized as men of note in the county's history. Three-Little, Marshall and Worrell -met violent deaths, which are mentioned elsewhere.

Business of Carthage
The following men comprise the business circle of Carthage; Chris Y. Long is Postmaster, and keeper of a book-store. Shultz & Son, Wm. T. Smith and Dwight Cutler are engaged in the drug business; the latter also keeps a large stock of books and stationery. James Sample controls the furniture trade. Wm. Hughes has a large business in saddlery and harness. Dr. E.M. Robbins is the prominent dentist. The dry goods trade is represented principally by Wm. B. Bennett, J.C. Williams and J.W. Everett; the latter has also a branch millinery department on the north side of square. Mr. Dale is also in the same business. Wm. H. Patterson is the oldest living merchant in the city, deals in grain, etc. Also J.B. Strader & Son have an extensive ware-house, and offer a specialty in fence posts and drain tile. Also Foutch & Shultz, Taylor Bros., in the same business. J. Mack Shollard and John Boyd control the hardware, and Charles G. Clark & Sons are extensive dealers in lumber. Stephen S. Wilson is the miller. W.P. McKee has a lucrative trade in agricultural implements. O.P. Carlton also in the grocery business. Jas. N. Currens runs a nice trade in boots and shoes. Will O. Sharp is the only photographer. J.S. Johnson, patentee on corn-husker, does a large manufacturing business. F.B. Miller & Co., located near the depot, are large grain dealers. Chas. E. Smale and John Helfrich both have a good market business. The lawyers are Judges J.M. Ferris, and T.C. Sharp, W.E. Mason, State's Atty., M.P. and O.F. Berry, W.H. Manier, Geo. G. Rogers, C.J. Scofield, T.J. Scotfield, A.W. O'Harra and others. Dr. J.W. Carlton, W.M. Kellog , R.C. Halladay, W.T. Hannan, W.D. Noyes, J.H. Callahan, are the physicians. Dr. Adam Spilter is a retired physician. The banking interests are represented by the Hancock County Bank, II. G. Ferris, President; A.J. Griffth, Vice President; William Griffith, Cashier. A second institution of the kind isrun[sic] by Sholl & Cherill. Henry C. Wilson and E.T. Dorothy have the trade for livery business. The Stevens House, located on the square, is being run by J. Jackson. The Rohrer House, two blocks northwest of the square, is controlled by C.G. Rohrer.

Township officials - We give a list of the Supervisors, Clerks, Assessors and Collectors who have served Carthage township since its organization, with the years of the beginning of their respective terms:
James A. Winston 1850 J.M. Randolph 1871
John Booth 1851 W.C. Wiliams 1872
Claiborne Winston 1858 Melancton S. Carey 1873
Melgar Couchman 1862 Wesley H. Manier 1874
John W. Cherry 1864 Hiram G. Ferris 1876
Thos. C. Miller 1866 Melancton S. Carey 1877
John M. Ferris 1867 George J. Rogers 1878
Nathan Cutler 1868 Wm. H.D. Noyes 1880
John D. Miller 1869
Emanuel Showers 1858 Nathan Cutler 1872
Wiliam J. Dale 1859 Oscar W. Williams 1873
Emanuel Showers 1863 John Elder 1874
Huddleston M. Steater 1866 D.C. Cutler 1876
James Abbott 1868 John F. Scott 1878
E.T. Dorothy 1870 John K. Alexander 1880
John Carlin 1858 Thos. J. Kimbrough 1870
Melgar Couchman 1859 Ephraim P. Dorothy 1872
Chas. B. Ruggles 1862 Thos. J. Kimbrough 1873
Thos B. Griffiths 1863 Washington Martin 1874
William Ogilvie 1864 A.J. Carlton 1875
Jackson Shultz 1866 Wm. A. Cutler 1878
F.M. Fain 1867 Ste. S. Wilson 1878
Peter Wolfe 1868
W.H. Williams 1858 J.H. Kirkpatrick 1871
Walter B. Loring 1862 Washington Martin 1872
Charles B. Ruggles 1863 A.J. Carlton 1873
Jas. B. Crawford 1864 Stevens W. Merrill 1874
Daniel P. White 1865 Wm. A. Cutler 1876
Wm. Kimbrough 1868 George T. Proctor 1877
Asbury Ruggles 1869 Cicero L. Roll 1879
A.J. Carlton 1870 John Fletcher 1880

Township 3-6 received its much-mispronounced  name from the little village of Chili, near its southwest corner. This village was laid out by Elisha Worrrell, Esq., one of its early and much respected pioneers, in the year 1836. The township is composed mainly of prairie land, though the head waters of Bear and Panther creeks supply it with some small bodies of wood land. Conisiderable of it is rather flat prairie, while other portions are rolling and well drained. It contains much valuable farm land, and a large proportion of well-improved and productive farms. This township is settled by an intelligent and enterprising class of emigrants from many of the States of the Union.

Its only villages are Chili, before mentioned, and Bowen, of later origin built on the line of the Toledo, Wabash & Western Railroad. These towns are both in the midst of thriving communities. The former has grown but little and begins to show age, and proably contains no greater population that it did twenty years ago. Bowen was laid out in 1863 by Mr. Peter C. Bowen, from whom it derives its name. It is six miles due west from Augusta, and about fourteen southeast from the county seat.

The postoffice was established in Chili when Amos Kendall was Postmaster-General, Moses Stevens, postmaster, and Elisha Worrell assistant, and performing the duties. After him came George N. Crowley, then Alfred T. Dickinson for a year or so, then Mr. Crowley again for several years, then J. Clarkson Caine for a year or two, then Mr. Crowley again, who still holds the office, having held it for from thirty to thirty-five years-one of the oldest postmasters in the county.

Among the early settlers in this township we may mention Stephen Owen, Sr., and his sons Ainsley, John L., B.C., Archibald C., Isaac and William, who were immigrants of 1831; William Pike and his sons, John, Thomas, William and James, who were settlers of 1832; Joseph Stevens and his sons John, George, Joseph and Frank, 1833; S. Garner and Evan Bettisworth and his sons David, Charles and Evan, Jr., in 1833. Then we have among those whose date of settlement we cannot exactly fix, the names of Rev. Joseph Worrell, David F. Paker, and his son Samuel C. Parker; Wm. Sullivan, Stephen Tripp, John Wilhite, Joseph Harter, David Todd, Alpha Forshthe, John and James Prutzman, Zachariah, Henry, David and Woods, and Geo. N. Crowley. There may be others whose settlement in the township was as early as some of these, but whose names we cannot now recall. Many of these pioneers are since deceased; other have removed from the township to make homes elsewhere, while a few of the younger class, with here and there a white head among them remain.

Township officials - The town Officers that have served or are now serving this township are about as follows:

Gilmore Callison 1850 Albert Holmes 1866
Elisha Worrell 1851 A.E. McNeil 1867
Levi G. Patchin 1852 T.C. Clayton 1868
Elisha Worrell 1855 Jos. C. Caine 1870
Milton K. Pomeroy 1856 Eugene B. Davis 1872
Levi W. Pomeroy 1858 Henry K. Ramsey 1874
Joseph C. Caine 1859 Joseph C. Caine 1876
George W. Murphy 1863 Mathias McNeall 1877
Levi G. Patchin 1864 Charles Cook 1878
Joseph C. Caine 1865
William Sulivan 1855 George W. Nash 1870
Nicholas Hanson 1856 Charles C. Marsh 1873
Jonathan W. Todd 1858 John f. Williams 1874
Gilbert Tillapaugh 1862 H.B. Nash 1876
Joseph Ivins 1864 Oscar Weisenberg 1877
L.W. Pomeroy 1864 H.B. Nash 1878
William Prescott 1867 T.N. Gillis 1880
Wm. J. Dimmock 1869
A.T. Dickerson 1855 Levi W. Pomeroy 1871
Levi Pomeroy 1856 Daniel Smith 1872
A.T. Dickerson 1858 Sam'l E. Elliott 1873
Geo. W. Stevens 1864 Benj. C. Edwards 1874
D.G. Todd 1865 David Van Brunt 1876
Samuel B. Elliott 1866 Wm.B Marvil 1877
Joseph C. Caine 1867 Clark Caine 1878
A. Holmes 1868 J.C. Caine 1880
John J. Worley 1870
A.T. Dickerson 1855 Jesse Palmer 1872
Levi Pomeroy 1856 John F. Williams 1873
A.T. Dickerson 1858 David P. Worrell 1874
Daniel Smith 1865 J.R. Fordyce 1875
Gilbert Tillapaugh 1866 C.B. Taylor 1876
A.T. King 1867 Oliver Stevens 1877
J.A. Cunningham 1868 Wm. Palmer 1878
Adam Reeves 1869 Henry Garner 1879
Isaac Newland 1870 Thomas Tateman 1880
David P. Worrell 1871

(see Pontoosuc and Dallas Townships)


There is probably no better township of land in the county than that numbered 7-6, and named Durham. It lies on the extreme north line of the county, and is chiefly prairie, though much of it is rolling and well drained. It has a small branch of Crooked creek on its east side, and a portion of Camp creek in its northwest corner, each of which are skirted by bodies of timber. All the railroad it contains is about a mile of the Burlington branch of the Toledo, from Disco across its northeast corner. Its northwest corner lies less than two miles from the river at Dallas City. Durham may be called the western extension of what in the early days was known as "North Prairie," a tract of splendid farming country lying north of La Harpe and extending into Henderson county. Disco, on the east line of the township, must be near the center of it. This town was laid in Feb., 1876, by John Shutwell, and is located on the line of Durham and La Harpe townships. It is young and small yet, but seems to be a aplace of considerable business as a railroad station.

Among the early settlers in Durham we have the names of Thomas Dixon, Sr., George Weaver, John Gilmore and brothers, of 1835; and Jacob Mendenhall, William Logan, Ferdinand Brent and son, James and Wm. Meeker, and Jesse Avise, of 1836. Among those the dates of whose emigration we are not advised, are the Boyses, Manifolds, Loftons, Harknesses, Wilsons, James Mills, I. Wimp, Wm. McGuire.

Among the first things in Durham township, we may mention: First school-house, of hewed logs, built in 1837, and called Camp Creek school-house; first school taught by Mary Jane Jacobs, now of Washington Territory. First preaching by Rev. Wm. Johnson, Episcopalian; first Sabbath-school by Wm. McGuire, at same place; first M.E. preacher was Rev. Pool ; first P.O. was called Camp Creek, John L. Avise, P.M. Concerning this P.O. it was on sec. 18, west line of the top.; when Mr. Avise died it was kept by his widow; and when she married Mr. Lyman Harkness, he was made P.M.,-three in one family. It was afterward removed to Durhman Corners, and kept by J.Hugh McGuire.

The beautiful village with fanciful name gave title to township 6n, 5w. It is agreeably diversified with woodland and prairie, and about evenly divided. Its timbered and broken lands lie along the several branches of Crooked creek.

The village of Fountain Green was laid out in 1835, by Jabez A. Beebe and Stephen G. Ferris, two of its early and enterprising settlers. The township also contains the town of Webster. This was originally a Mormon town, laid out in 1840 by Wm. Wightman, and called Ramus, or Macedonia. After they left, its name was changed to Webster.  Its population in 1845 had reached about 600, mostly Mormons. The villages are only about a mile apart; the first is much better built than the latter, and seems to be in a more flourishing condition.

The township now contains a large number of excellent and well-improved farms and substantial farmers, many of them descendants of early settlers who have passed away. A few of them are yet remaining, their heads whitened by the frosts of many winters.

The earliest settler in the township is supposed to have been Ute Perkins, who came in 1826. The next was John Brewer, in 1827, followed by Abrah, James adn Mordecai Lincohn, Benjamin Mudd, John Day, Andrew and Pittillo Perkins and Wm. Saylors, all in or about 1830. Then Wm. Duff, Jabez ? Beebe and Jonathan Prior, 1831; Stephen G. Ferris, 1832; Amos Hobart, 1833; Wm. Allton, 1834; Jary White, 1835; Martin Hopkins, 1836; Col. Thomas Geddes, 1836; David Allton, 1836.

James Lincoln was the first Justice of the Peace in the township, form 1832 to 1836. From his docket, still extant, in the hands of L. Vandyne, Esq., of Webster, we obtain the following additional names, either as parties in cases or jurymen: William Robertson, Eben Wiggins, James Gray, John Massingall, Nicholas Jarvis, Leney Boyd, Edward Shipley, Ira Gridley, Samuel Prentice, Evan Martin, John Shelton, Jacob Coffman, Jacob Clark, Thomas Whitaker, Samuel Brown, Daniel Prentis and Anson Hobart. Charles Hungate succeeded to the docket in 1836.

On the tombstones in the Fountain Green cemetery we find the following: (see Fountain Green Cemetery)

Some of the foregoing were very probably residents of other townships, and some may not have been among the pioneers.

The first child born in the township is said to have been Thomas J. Brewer, son of John Brewer, in 1829; the second, James Day, son of John Day, August, 1831; and third (perhap second, date not obtained), Alexander Saylors, also in 1831, son of William Saylors.

The first death was that of Pittillo Perkins, Sept. 15, 1834, who died from the effects of poisonous herbs taken for the ague. Wm. Duff died 1837, killed by a limb falling on him from a tree.

The Perkinses joined the Mormons at Ramus, and went with them to Salt Lake. Andrew Perkins was a County Commissioner at the time, and left his seat vacant.

The Lincoln brothers were from Kentucky, and were cousins to President Lincoln. They were connected by marriage with Day and Mudd. The latter left years ago for Missouri. All threee are deceased years ago; Mordecai, the latest, in 1866. He had lived a bachelor.

David Alton was born in Connecticut about the year 1786, and was married to Luch Farwell, a native of Vermont. Mr. A. died at Fountain Green about 1850, aged 64 years. Mrs. Alton survived him till the month of May, 1880, when she passed away, at the advanced age of 92.

A postoffice was established two years before the town was laid out, in 1833, and Jabez A. Beebe appointed Postmaster. The first regular school-teacher is supposed to have been Judge John M. Ferris, son of S.G. Ferris, and now of Carthage. The first school house was erected about 1836.

Mr. Beebe was a New Yorker, born July 1, 1789; came to Fort Edwards previous to deep snow, and wintered on the Aldrick place in the vicinity; in the spring settled in Fountain Green, where he died July 2, 1871, aged 82.

Who was first to open store in the village we are not advised; but Martin Hopkins (at present living there), Mathew McClaughry and Stephen H. Tyler, junior, carried on general merchandising business there as a firm for many years. They were all prominent and much respected men in the community.

Wm. Saylors was born in Tennessee about 1802, came to Fountain Green with the Perkinses in 1830; died in 1850; aged 48.

John Brewer was a Kentuckian, died about 1852; was out in a campaign in the Black Hawk war.

Hickerson Wright, born in Virginia, 1791; came to the county in 1833; died, January, 1877.

Jary White, Sr., was born in Wales about 1790; came to America in 1811, and settled in Fountain Green in 1835; his death occurred September 8, 1844, aged 57.

John Day, born in Kentucky, 1796; came to Hancock in 1830; date of his death not given; Mrs. D. still living at an advanced age.

Daniel Prentis, still living in the village, was a native of Vermont, son of a Revolutionary soldier, and was born in 1799; came to Fountain Green and settled in 1833; was engaged in merchandising in Carthage about 1835, and under the wild scheme of internal improvements had a contract with the State for grading a portion of the Warsaw & Peoria Railroad, in 1838-'9. "Prentis' Shanty," on the line of said road, was for years a well-known landmark.

Township 5-5, in the center, on the east line, and improperly named after the county, was for some time attached to St. Mary's and Fountain Green.  It is largely timbered and broken, but has some beautiful prairie land and fine farms. The west branch of Crooked creek runs an extremely tortuous course through this tp., entering it at sec. 26 and crossing into McDonough from 36. From the northwest corner to 28 to the southeast of 26, less than three and a half miles, this stream meanders a distance of about 12 miles, at one point making a circuit of over three miles and returning to within 40 rods of its starting place. It is appropriately name Crooked creek. The east branch enters the tp. from McDonough county, and the united stream flows again into that county from sec. 36.

Among the pioneers of this tp,, we are unable to mention but a few; viz., Major Williams, the Yetters, Wrights, Spangles, Longs, Anthony Duffy, Dr. Wm. Booze, James G. Smith, T,B. McCubbin, A.G. Botts, J. Lenox, T. Callifhan, Lewis Rhea, etc.

In al the earlier history of the  county the people of this tp. were known as citizens of St. Mary's or Fountain Green, respectively, as they lived north or south of the center.

The mills on Crooked creek have, in the early days, supplied much of the lumber for the eastern portion of the county, and much of the flour and meal for their breadstuffs. But since the advent of railroads and the introduction of steam, and the gradual failure of the stream, they have fallen into decay. Timber is still plenty, and hard-wood lumber is still manufactured for local supply.

There is no village in the limits of this tp., neither is there a postoffice, the offices of St. Mary's, Fountain Green, Webster and Middle Creek supplying the habitantts with their mail facilities.

In the south part of Hancock tp. is a locality known to the earlier settlers at Black Hawk Ridge, or Black Hawk Headquarters, from a tradition that the old chief made it a frequent residence, during the Indian occupancy of the county. It has evidently once been an extensive Indian encampment, and even yet such relics as arrow-heads, stone implements, pottery and heads are found there. The forests and bluffs of Crooked creek and its tributaries are as much noted for these Indian remains as the bluffs along the river.

Officers - of Hancock township who have served, or are not in office:
J.T. Spangler 1856 Joseph T. Spangler 1874
Peter E. Weakley 1861 Reuben Cravens 1875
Wiliam Booz 1863 Wm. Booz  1876
J.H. Folts 1868 George Brewster 1877
Peter E. Weakley 1869 J.T. Spangler 1878
Wm. Booz 1870 Peter E. Weakley 1879
John Denison 1856 Joel T. Booz 1874
F.E. Belknap 1863 Albert S. Bear 1875
John J. Grohegan 1864 John Martindale 1876
George W. Jones 1865 Levi J. Rhea 1877
Thomas McAvoy 1867 Jerome B. Jones 1878
Wm. M. Anderson 1868 John Campbell 1879
Jerome B. Jones 1871 James L. Martin 1880
Wm. M. Anderson 1873
A.G. Botts 1856 Levi Smith 1868
William Booz 1858 John H. Parker 1869
Jefferson Perkins 1860 Levi Smith 1870
J.H. Parker 1863 James G. Smith 1871
Levi Smith 1864 Thos. B. McCubbin 1874
William Long 1865 James G. Smith 1875
Thomas Cambron 1866 J.T. Spangler 1879
Wm. Long 1867 Geo. W. Green 1880
William Long 1856 John W. Huston 1869
Emanuel Jones 1858 James G. Smith 1870
William Long 1860 John Martindale 1871
Wm. Spangler 1861 Monroe Riggins 1872
William Long 1863 Samuel Duffy 1874
John H. Parker 1864 Stephen A. Kelly 1875
William Long 1866 Albert S. Bear 1877
Levi Smith 1867 C.L. Rhea 1878
Calloway L. Rhea 1868 Joel T. Booz 1879-1880

Township 4-6, with a harmonious name, is seven-eighths prairie-land, there being a few sections of partly broken and rough-timbered land on the head-waters of Bronson's creek, and another small body on another tributary of Crooked creek. A portion of this township is rich flat prairie, valuable for meadow; and a large part is sufficiently rolling for corn and grain. It has fine farms, and some rich and enterprising farmers. This township, being so largely prairie, was not settled as early as the townships surrounding it. It contains two villages on the T.,W.&W. railroad, Bentley and Denver, both small places but doing considerable local business.

Bentley lies ten miles west from St. Mary's and five southerly from Carthage, and was laid out in August, 1863, by John Sutton, Jr., and first called after his name, but for some cause changed to Bentley. It lies just south of the well-known Big Meadow. Postmasters in Bentley-T.J. Bates, A.R. Robinson, J.A. James, present incumbent.

Denver was laid out Jan., 1864, by S.C. Seybold and G.W. Bush. It is distant nine miles from the county seat, and ten miles due west from Plymouth. The P.O. was formerly called Rough and Ready.

Among the earlier settlers in this township we may name George M. Browning, Truman Hecox, E.S. Cannon, S.B. Walton, B.F. Tucker, George Langford, Samuel Ramsey, Isaac S. Burner, Samuel Dickenson, Larkin Scott, Wm. Pike, Mr. Peebler, Mr. Wedding, Mr. Collison, James Major, and the several sons of Samuel Ramsey-Enough, Henry K. and Samuel F.

Township Officials - The following is a list of the Supervisors, Town Clerks, Assessors and Collectors who have served or are now serving Harmony  township, with perhaps some unavoidable omissions:
Moses Scott 1856 Jefferson O'Hara 1865
Samuel Ramsey 1858 George M. Browning 1867
Samuel Grove 1859 Isaac S. Burner 1873
Corland Vandyke 1860 Enoch Ramsey 1874
Jeremiah M. Slusher 1862 Isaac S. Burner 1878
Joseph Massie 1863 George W. Shinkle 1879
James Dodd 1856 Thos. A. Thompson 1872
James Black 1858 W.A. Slusher 1873
Peter Comer 1860 Thos. A. Thompson 1875
C.T. Cannon 1863 Josephus Huff 1876
Isaac S. Burner 1864 W.O. Davis 1877
A.R. Coffman 1869 T.N. Kinbrough 1878
Thos A. Thompson 1870 H.R. Robertson 1880
Isaac S. Burner 1871
George W. Capron 1855 Sam'l S. Waggoner 1867
Isaac S. Burner 1856 Thomas M. Orton 1868
Joseph Massie 1858 Sam'l D. Wallace 1870
Peter Comer 1859 George W. Jones 1871
Isaac S. Burner 1860 Pleasant Cox 1875
Samuel S. Waggoner 1861 A.R. Coffman 1875
C.T. Cannon 1863 E.J. Bush 1876
George M. Browning 1864 Henry W. Shoup 1878
Samuel F. Ramsey1865E.W. McCoy1878
Thomas Hardy1866Michael P. Shoup1878-1879
Enoch Ramsey 1855 F.N. Pennock 1871
S.L. Symmonds 1860 Enoch Ramsey 1872
Aaron E. Byers 1861 James A. Mabry 1873
G.W. Ewing 1863 Dickerson Thompson 1875
T.M. Orton 1864 William A. Jones 1877
And. R. Coffman 1865 James A. Mabry 1878
Michael P. Shoup 1866 William Black 1879-1880
M.M. Buford 1870

Township 7-5 occupies the northeast corner of the county. Nature has done much for it. It is well tiimbered, skirting two branches of Crooked creek, and it has as excellent a boyd of prairie land as can be found in the county. What is known as "North Prairie," lying in the north part of the township, has always been noted for its productiveness. Its settlers combine a goodly mixture of Yankee, Middle State and Southern blood. Time has been, before railroads changed things about, when La Harpe township sold more wheat in the Warsaw market than any other, except perhaps, Fountain Green, the north prairie being capable of 25, 30, and even 40 bushels per acre. It may take the lead still.

The name given, first ot the village, is that of one of the early French explorers, who traversed the Illinois wilderness and prairies 200 years ago. The town was laid out in 1836 by Major William Smith and Marvin Tryon; previous to this date it had been called Franklin; but was changed because Uncle Sam refused to give the postoffice that name, there being enough Franklins already. In 1831, Maj. Smith settled there from N.H. with a stock of goods, though to whom he expected to sell his goods is a mystery. Another member of the firm was Mr. Oliver Felt, at Montebello, with a portion of the stock. This can be understood, for all "along shore" were squatters and keel-boat men and half-breeds and whole breeds (red and white) for customers. Mr. Smith's was thus the first store in the township. The La Harpe concern only lasted about three years, the trade being too limited.

Louis R. Chaffin was the first Postmaster, a position which he held till 1846. When Mormonism spead itself over the county, Mr. Chaffin, among some others of La Harpe, embraced it; and when they left, in 1847, he left with them, and the last his old neighbors heard of him he was a missionary of that sect, proselyting in the wilds of Australia.

La Harpe is well supplied with railroads, the Toledo, Peoria & Warsaw entering it from the east, and running to the city, where it divides, the Warsaw branch running southwardly, and that to Burlington taking a northwest course and crossing the line at Disco Station.

La Harpe is the only town in the township. It has become a place of considerable business, the business center for all the  northeast portion of the county. It sports a bank, a good complement of well stocked business houses, and a proportionate number of tradesmen and manufactories and a newspaper. Its population is a stirring and intelligent class, and manages to keep well even with the people of other towns in the county.

Who succeeded to the office of Postmaster, after Louis R. Chaffin, we are not advised, though we find Henry Coulson in the office not long afterward. Then followed Mr. Bliss, Mr. Coquillette, Mr. John Warren, succeeded by his son, E.L. Warren, the present incumbent.

Among the first settlers we may mention Jacob Compton and Abraham Brewer, the former of whom sold to Major Smith. These settlements were made aobut 1830. After these come Wright Riggins, L.R. Chaffin, Mr. Hendricks, Mr. Hobraker, Jonathan Wassom, Job Clinkenbeard, John Scott, Mr. Robinson, Jesse Seybold, Isaac Sears, George Sears, Daniel Drake, Marvin Tyron, Samuel White, Lot Moffit, Jeremiah Smith, Lewis C. Maynard, Henry Comstock, Charles Comstock, James Gittings, Dr. George Coulson, Daniel N. Bainter, Hezekiah Lincoln, Jasper Manifold, John Warren, Benjamin Warren, Joseph W. Nudd, James Reynolds, Dr. Richardson, George Oatman, Mr. Johnson, Lyman Wilcox, Joel Bradshaw, W.C. Bainter, H.H. Barnes, Smith Bryan, Samuel Cogswell, L.S. Cogswell, John Manifold, Wm. F. Manifold, H.R. Painter, M.D. Sanford.

This city of "pleasant land" is a township by itself. It embraces two small fractional townships, lying in the bend of the Mississippi, and numbered 6 and 7 north, 9 west, the township line dividing them striking the river a little north of the extreme point of the bend, and dividing the city into two nearly equal parts. It embraces within its limits what was once the site of Venus, as well as the town of Commerce and the later Commerce City. The portion on which the Mansion House and famous Nauvoo House stand, is part of the farm originally pre-empted and owned by Capt. James White, the first settler; and that on which the Temple stood was a portion of the farm of Daniel H. Wells, Esq., now Gen. Wells, of Utah. The stone from which the temple was built was obtained partly from the great quarry a little below the town in the river bluff.

We cannot learn from the records that there was ever any laid out town at Venus. The name was given to it perhaps by Mr. White, and that is the name Uncle Same used for the postoffice there, the first ever established in the county. It contained Alexander White's store, and the residence of his father, and of George Y. Cutler (in the same vicinity), but whether near enough together to consititue a village, is unknown.

Commerce was laid out by Joseph B. Teas and Alexander White, in 1834. Commerce City was laid out in 1837, by Horace R. Hotchkiss and John Gillett, two speculators from Connecticut, and lies a little above its namesake on the river. These plats seem not to have been vacated; so that they are included in, but not a part of, the plat of the city.

Nauvoo was laid out in 1839, by Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, Sidney Rigdon and George W. Robinson. Afterward, at intervals, down to May, 1843, it received as many as fifteen additions by Hiram and Ethan Kimball, Hyrum Smith, Daniel H. Wells, Davidson Hibbard, Herringshaw and Thompson, Geo. W. Robinson, Joseph Smith, James Robison's heirs, Benjamin Warrington and John T. Barnett.

The situation of Nauvoo is most commanding and beautiful. But few, if any, sites on the upper Mississippi can compare with it. The Mississippi, which opposite Commerce is over a mile in width , gracefully sweeps around its rock-bound shore in a semi-circle, then falls off to the first chain of the rapids. Above the city the river approaches in a westerly course; below, it glides winding over the rapids southward, presenting a long reach of green and wooded bluffs on either side, to Keokuk and Hamilton, twelve miles below.

From the immediate bank of the river-some feet about high water mark- the ground is nearly level for six or seven blocks, when begins a gradual ascent to Temple Block, where, after a rise of 60 or 70 feet, it again falls off level, away back into the prairie. There are, however, some bad ravines and broken bluffs within the city limits, which break the monotony and give variety to the landscape.

The curve of the river around the city forms a somewhat pointed half circle. A straight line back of it, from where it intersects the shore above and below, will measure about four miles; while the water-line measurement around its western side is nearly twice that distance. Some of the additions lie in Sonora township.

The towns of Commerce and Commerce City are laid out square with the shore opposite them; but the whole of Nauvoo and all of its additions are laid out on due east and west lines. The streets of the city are named mostly after Morman dignitaries - as Sidney, Parley, Ripley, Kimball, Young, Knight, Hyrum, Carlos, Samuel, Robinson, Wells, Woodruff, Page, etc. Major General Bennett, Bishop Lee and Orrin P. Rockwell seem to have been slighted.

How many of the earliest settlers resided within the limits of Nauvoo, it is hard to tell. Mr. White and his sons were there; George Y. Cutler and Davidson Hibbard were there; Daniel Van Burkloe is supposed to have been there also (there was a Van Burkloe there when the Mormans came); but of all the other officers and jurymen at organization, none other is now known to have reside there, though numbers were in the vicinty.

The history of this city from 1840 to 1847 can be found in the chapter on the Mormon period.

After those people left, an entire new class of citizens apeared, from all parts of the country and from Europe.

Township officials - Nauvoo township has had the following officers:
James Irving 1850 August Begar 1864
J.W. Phillips 1852 Milton M. Morrill 1865
George Kraum 1856 John Dornseif 1869
John B. Icking 1858 Alonzo W. Burt 1874
John Bauer 1862 Gustav Eberdt 1875
Adam Swartz 1863 John Bauer 1880
Ed. Farrell 1856 George Bratz 1872
John A. Hammond 1862 Wm. D. Hibbard 1879-1880
John P. Thomas 1864
Warrick M. Cosgrove 1856 John P. Thomas 1870
John F. Neibhour 1858 Anton Fisher 1873
J.B. Risse 1860 Andrew Heberger 1876
J.J. Heffleman 1865 Albert Person 1878-1880
John B. Risse 1866
Edward Farrell 1856 Gustav Eberdt 1870
August Begar 1858 John Machenheimer 1875
George Bratz 1863 Michael Baumert 1876
Anton Fischer 1866 Jacob Kemler 1879-1880


Numbered 6-6, was named for a grove of timber, which stood alone in the prairie, in the early days, near the old Indian Trail, or what we in Hancock county termed the "Rock Island Trail." This trail ran from point to point on the prairie, following the general course of the Mississippi, avoiding thus its many tortuous windings. In Hancock county it ran from Green Plains to Golden's Point, thence past this grove and through Durham, to some point in Henderson county, and so on to Rock Island. It had apparently been long traveled, and when the white settlements began, it became a much used local road.

This township was settled mainly by people from Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, and New York. They are mostly a thrifty and hospitable class of imigrants, and have come generally to stay, as may be judged by the appearance of their farms and residences. They have a cemetery, but claim that it is seldom used, except for the interment of those who die of old age, or who come in from other parts of the county. What was a wide expanse of prairie, covered with ducks and deer and waving grass and wild flowers forty years ago, is now as one beautiful checkered farm, with not a single open quarter section. Grain and stock are the chief products, Peoria furnishing the principal market for both. Politically, this township has usually given from 20 to 40 Democratic majorities.

The first postoffice was called Pilot Grove, and was kept by Nelson Andrews; afterward removed to the village of Burnside. The first J.P.'s were Isaac C. Howd, Nathan Mason and John Huckins. William Glaze is the oldest man in the township at this time, aged 86; and Mrs. Perkins is the oldest woman, aged 85. She says she came there early enough to have Indians about her door, and to have to hide her meat from the wolves.

Probably the first settler in the township was one Franklin, a few miles northeast of Carthage. This was about 1830. This claim was bought by Ephraim Perkins, in 1835, a son of Ute Perkins, who was about the first settler in Fountain Green. Among other early settlers in the township, we have the names of Neill McKay, Joseph Lionberger, Thomas Perkins, Elting Thompson, Wm. B. Wilson, Wilson Wright, John Hamrick, Ralph Gorrell, James Goldsburg, Mr. DeHart, Dr. Cheney, and Nelson Andrews - all now deceased. Among those living are, Merrill Andrews, Nathan S. Cheney, Isaac Cooper, John Bailey, Solomon Elifritz, Harry Earles, James Gibson, Wm. Gorrell, Isaac C. Howd, Mr. Hathaway, John Huckins, John Manering, Nathan Mason, Samuel F. Pray (now of Montebello), Neil Rice, John Roth, Joeseph Thompson, Geo. C. Wagoner, Wm. and L.V. Aleshire, Smith Howd, Benjamin and J.W. Lionberger, J.B. McMillan, Wm. G. McCubbin, William Tyner, Miles B. Mann, I.K. Jacobs, J. Hemmingway.

Pilot Grove stands well in the line of common schools. Her people are fully up to the standard in that respect. She now counts nine school houses used exclusively for that purpose. Beginning in the northeast, they are named -  The Rock, Pilot Grove, Madison, Liberty, Burnside, Oak Grove, Cottage, Jubilee, and Grant. The Burnside school building has two departments, and is well suited to the wants of the people. This and the Cottage are mentioned as creditable to the community.

In Mormon times John Huckins formed a company of Anti-Mormon warriors, which was called the "Brick-Batters."

Pilot Grove sports one very pleasant little village on the line of the T.,P.& W. Railway, Burnside. It was laid out by J.B. McMillan in 1868. It now contains near 300 inhabitants. There are 10 business houses and one mill doing a good business. And far from the least item to its credit, it has no saloon, and few who would patronize one.

Another, La Crosse, also on the line of the railway, is on the extreme eastern edge of the township, on land owned by John W. Lionberger, who was its first P.M. It has but two or three business houses and thirty or forty inhabitants. Both La Crosse and Burnshide are surrounded by fine farms and thriving and enterprises farmers.


Forming together township 7n-7w, lie on the north line of the county and on the river, which cuts off about half of the upper tier of secions in Pontoosuc. The stream known as Snake Hollow (we never heard of any big snake story connected with it, though there must be one, of course) empties into the river at Poontoosuc. Camp creek runs northeastwardly through the southern portion of the township, into Durham. There is much valuable farm land in this township, and is well settled with an intelligent and thrify community.

The township is divided for political purposes, the two and a half tiers of sections on the east side being Dallas, and the three and a half on the west side comprising Pootoosuc.

The town of Pontoosuc is on the river and was laid out in April 1837, by Hezekiah Spillman, Marvin Tryon and James W. Brattle.

Dallas City is also on the river, three miles above, and was laid out Oct., 1848, by John M. Finch. This is a town of considerable trade, and has a population of perhaps 1,000 souls.

Colusa, on the C.B.&Q. railroad, in Dallas township, is a small village five miles south of Dallas City.

Perhaps the first settler in this township was Hezekiah Spillman, and one of the earliest permanent settlers in the county. The exact date we have not been able to fix, but he was a citizen when this was part of Pike in 1825. Spillman's Landing, on the river, has been a place of note among all the early settlers; and it was here that he, with a few of his neighbors constructed a rude block house during the Black Hawk war. His death occurred 20 or 30 years ago.

Of the other early settlers we can name Mr. Yaple, Major John McAuley, Esquire Bennett, George Meyers, John Welch, Brant Agnew, Jesse Wimp, Elijah Pease, Johnson Clark, Thomas Harris, Edward Davis, Louis Smith, Thomas Stevens, Israel Atherton, Andrew Daubenheyer, John R. Tull, Reuben Tull, Aaaron Atherton, John R. Atherton, Wiliam H. Bennum, John Garner, Henry Wiliams, Mattias Allis.

The first postoffice in the townshp was caled East Bend, Thomas Stevens, first Postmaster. In 1846 Jeremiah Smith, since of La Harpe, was Postmaster at East Bend. At Dallas City, J.M. Finch was first Postmaster, succeeded by R.M. Brewer, he by Mr. Finch again, then G.H. Ames, then B. Mendenhall. The present one is Mr. Tandy.

The first common school taught in the Spillman's Landing settlement, was by Mr. Reuben Tull, in a little cabin near the river. In the fall of 1839 a hewed-log school-house was put up. This, like most other school-houses in those days, was used for meeting of all kinds, religious, political, social, etc.

Without a doubt the oldest person resident of Hancock county is Mrs. Lofton, the mother of Mr. N. Lofton, of Durham, and Mr. J. Lofton, of Dallas, and now residing witht the latter. We are reliably informed that she was 102 years old on the 14th day of February last (1880), having been born that day, 1778. It was only about two years ago that she was in any way afflicted mentally, and is yet in comparatively good health physically, but confined to her bed.

Township Officials - The Supervisors, Clerks, Assessors and Collectors of Pontoosuc township are about as follows:
Joseph Kidson 1850 B.P. Hewitt 1867
H.C. McMurphy 1853 Henry Walker 1868
I.M. Agnew 1855 John S. Campbell 1870
B.F. Newton 1858 John W. Maxwell 1871
Henry Walker 1859 Samuel Lamb 1875
I.B. Agnew 1860 Thomas H.B. Walker 1879
Samuel Lamb 1861 William Riggins 1880
S.H. McDonald 1855 J.I. Lionberger 1869
E.M. Sanford 1856 Jns. L. Sanford 1870
J.H. Brooks 1858 John S. Harper 1871
E.S. McIntyre 1859 W.A. Feldhausen 1872
E.M. Sanford 1861 Wm. Englehardt 1873
John c. Wodworth 1863 Alexander Abernethy 1876
Henry Walker 1864 Riley Thomas 1878
Jacob Hettrick 1866 John Moyes 1879
Issac N. Fisher 1868 Wm. Englehardt 1880
James N. Johnson 1855 Robert Alexander  1867
E.M. Sanford 1856 John S. Campbell  1868
John R. Tull 1858 Waterman S. Wood 1869
John Bailey 1859 Riley Smith 1872
Henry Walker 1861 Joseph D. Riter 1875
John R. Tull 1862 Henry Walker 1876
Robert Alexander 1863 John Lamb 1877
Joseph D. Riter 1865 Franklin C. Little 1879-1880
John M. Schramm 1866
S.R. Fortua 1855 Samuel Lamb 1872
John H. McDonald 1856 J.W.S. Wood 1873
John Lionberger 1859 Jacob Hettrick 1875
L.C. Barker 1860 Thos. H.B. Walker 1877
Jacob Hettrick 1861 Samuel Wright 1878
John R. Newton 1866 Jacob Hettrick 1879-1880
Jacob Hettrick 1868

This township, 5-6, is, as its name implies, all prairie land, excepting about two sections of dwarf woodland on the breaks of Long creek. Lying so far inland, it was not settled as early as those portions of the county nearer the borders; but later it began to fill up with enterprising farmers, and has now become one of the best improved townships in the county. It is favored with more railroad line than any other township. It has the T., W.&W. running across it from Elvatson to Carthage, six miles; about the same length of the T., P.&W., northwestwardly; and full seven miles of the Q., C.&B. running southwardly. There is no point in the township, except its extreme northwest corner, that is more than two miles from one of these roads.

Being in the center of the great Hancock prairie, it contains the highest land between the river and Crooked creek, and with Rock Creek township, constitutes the dividing line between those waters.

Its one village is the thriving and pleasant town of Elvaston, on its west line, laid out May, 1858, by Albert L. Connalbe and George B. Smythe, of Keokuk; E.C.A. Cushman, of Hamilton, and W.L. Judson, of Elvaston.

Among the early settlers of Prairie (most of whom had previously resided in other townships) we name William R. Hamiton, Ebenezer Rand and his sons, James Tweed, Joseph W. Hawley, L. Wells, George Wells, William A. Moore, Henry Walker, John Lively, W.H. Moore, the Ewings, Rohrboughs, etc.

Township Officials - The Supervisors, Clerks, Assessors and Collectors who have served or are now serving Praire township are about as follows:
Wm. N. McCall 1855 David Mack 1866
Dennis Smith 1858 William A. Patterson 1867
Lorenzo Wells 1859 Boyd Braden 1868
Wm. N. McCall 1861 Wm. R. Hamilton 1870
Lorenzo Wells 1862 J.R. Miller 1875
Wm. N. McCall 1863 Saml. P. McGaw 1876
Emore J. Rohrbough 1864 Wm. H. Moore 1879
Wm. N. McCall 1865 W.C. Williams 1880
Ebenezer Rand 1855 John Ashlock 1869
T.B. Wallace 1857 John R. Karr 1870
James S. Miller 1858 Hugh Markey 1873
Wm. M. Ewing 1860 J.H. Lemon 1874
Ebenezer Rand 1862 J.S. Spangler 1875
James M. McCall 1863 M.H. Cochran 1876
T.G. Moore 1865 John J. Randlemon 1877
John B. Henry 1866 M.H. Cockran 1878
Wm. N. McCall 1868 Washington Enlow 1880
D.W. McCall 1855 John R. Miller 1868
Henry Davis 1856 John Ashlock 1870
Thomas Gill 1858 David Miller 1871
D.W. McCall 1859 Wm. N. McCall 1872
James S. Miller 1860 James Tweed 1874
Charles Abbott 1861 E.J. Rohrbough 1875
D.W. McCall 1862 J.S. Spangler 1876
Wm. R. Hamilton 1863 Thomas G. Moore 1877
Joseph Miner 1864 James Tweed 1878
G.W. Zern 1865 John L. Rand 1880
Wm. Rohrbough 1866
Thomas P. Gill 1855 Wm. A. Moore 1868
D.C. Miller 1856 Thomas McFarland 1869
Wm. N. McCall 1858 A.J. Moore 1870
Orlan Abbott 1859 Isaac Roseberry 1871
Thomas T. Gill 1860 Henry S. Batchelder 1873
Wm. Rohrbough 1861 A.J. Moore 1874
Wm. N. McCall 1862 S.P. McGaw 1875
J.W. Ewing 1863 Thomas McFarland 1876
Wm. A. Moore 1864 Wilson M. Wetzel 1877
E.J. Rohrbough 1865 Thomas J. Ruddell 1878
A.E. Boude 1866 George S. Walker 1880
James Tweed 1867

This township, 6-7, as elsewhere stated, is all prairie land. Larry's creek, emptying into the Mississippi, and Rock creek and Pilot Grove creek emptying into Crooked creek, all head within its limits, and yet none of them have any timber. It contains about three miles of the T.,P.&W. across its southeast corner, an six miles of the C.,B.&Q., on a due north line. The villages of Ferris and Adrian are two pleasant little places within its limits. The first laid out, June 1869, by Charles G. Gilchrist and Hiram G. Ferris, is at the crossing of the T., P.&W. and C., B.&Q. roads.

Adrian, on the latter, was laid out by Warren Yaple and G.W. Jacks, September, 1873, and named from Adrian, Mich., by Arthur Rice, son of Orrin Rice, then running as postal clerk on the C.,B.&Q. Railroad. Orrin Rice was born in New York, came from Cincinnati, O., about 1857, to Oakwood, and settled in this township in 1866.

Among the first settlers in Rock Creek township may be named the Ellisons, Lamberts, Saulsbury, Yaples, McCalls, Baileys, Abbotts, Alstons, Terrys, Thornbers, etc. Isaac Roseberry , George Singleton, Isaac Bellew, Jedediah Bellew, John Bellew, are old settlers in the neighborhood.

For the following statement concerning the first school taught in the township, we are indebted to Mr. M. Alston, a present citizen there. The first meeting held for the election of school officers, was at the residence of Mr. John Alston, a log cabin 15 feet square, located on the southwest quarter of sec. 9, now no more, having gone into stove-wood. [We have before us a sketch of this cabin for inserton, but must omit it, as we could print little else if we undertood to insert all the log cabins of 1847.] The meeting was held Oct. 16, 1847, nine voters present, electing Henry Thornber, Timothy Terry and Matthew Ellison, Sr., for Trustees, and John Alston, Treasurer.

After the election of officers, the next thing must be a school. But there was no school-house, and no funds to build one. So it was decided to employ Mrs. Ann Alston, wife of John Alston, school to be taught at their residence. A bargain was made for her to teach ten weeks for $20.00. School began in January and ended in March, 1848. The following are the names of the pupils, ten in number: Thomas Ellison, Margaret Ellison, Mary H. Ellison, Ralph Ellison, John Terry, Sarah Terry, George Terry, Ellen E. Terry, Matthew Alston, Ellen Jane Alston. The old original schedule of said school is still in possession of John Alston.

Our correspondent refers to this as a school of the "pioneer times," and it is for that prairie township; but he will find mention herein of schools taught fifteen years earlier in the county.

There are a number of neat school buildings in this township at present, indicating that educational matters have progressed at even pace with other improvements form the first small beginnings.

This township at the present writing (July 1, 1880) about half under water, embraces No. 3 north, 9 west, and what the Mississippi has left of 3-10. It receives its name from a stream that runs through it from the prairie of Walker township. Three-fifths of this township is bottom land, composing the rich alluvial bottoms bordering the river, and subject to overflow in seasons of high water. It is intersected by numerous bayous (called sloughs) from Warsaw down through Wilcox and Rocky Run, and emptying into a broad pond on the south line of the county, called Lima Lake. This bottom land is generally warm, sandy and rich; and the best and most productive corn land in the county. A portion of it was covered with a fine growth of valuable timber, most of which has now been cut off by its owners, thousands of cords in old times having been sold to steamboats, or sawed into lumber.

An effort has been made to reclaim this land from overflow, by leveeing, under the State Drainage act, with encouraging prospects. In ordinary spring rises, this will be probably ample protection; but when the Father of Waters gets on a boom, such as we have witnessed four or five times within the last forty years, it will be found that his efforts to spread himself will not be so easily controlled.

The portion of the township on the bluff is mostly broken timbered land, among which are some good farms and thrifty farmers. It is excellent for wheat, and cannot be excelled in the county for fruit, a fact which its citizens are not slow to profit by, as the increase of orchards there will testify.

Among the early settlers of Rocky Run may be named several who were in the county previous to organization; viz., Luther Whitney (resided at one time in Montebello), Daniel Crenshaw, Davis Hill, Curtis Caldwell, Henry Nichols, Leonard L. Abney and Charles HIll; others later are Henry Newton, Stephen S. Weston, Charles C. Stevens, Hiram Woodworth, John Banks, John Harness, Luther Perry, William Shipe, John A. Morrison, James Carmean, Daniel P. Clark, John Fletcher, A. Daughtery, Joseph Caldwell, the Jenifers, Fraziers, Fredericks, Bolts, Worthingtons, etc.

Andreas' Atlas of Hancock county states that Luther Whitney built the first house in Rocky Run in 1822; a statement that needs confirmation. That was two years before the evacuation of Fort Edwards by the soldiers; and we nowhere met with any evidence of a settlement below the fort previous to that event. A relative of  Mr. Whitney informs us that he came to the county just previous to the Black Hawk war, a statement wide of the mark, as he was a juryman in Adams previous to the separation, and had a ferry license granted him at Montebello soon after organization in 1829.

If, however, Mr. Whitney was a settler in 1822, he was the earliest one in the county of whom we have any account, antedating Col. Whipple of St. Alban's by one year, and Capt. White and John Waggonner, of the rapids, by two years.

The son, Edson Whitney, so long Sheriff of the county, resided for many years on a farm about nine miles below the fort, near where Judge Henry Nichols, his brother-in-law, also resided. The first marriage in the township is said to have been Mr. Nichols to Miss Sophronia Whitney. The Crenshaws were early settlers, the elder being one of the first officials' and the first death reported is said to have been a member of the family.

Centrally on the south line of the county lies St.Alban's-numbered 3 north, 7 west. This township is pretty nearly equally divided between woodland and prairie-the former predominating in the west half, and the prairie over the east half. It contains many fine farms and much good farming land, and considerable bluffas and broken woodland. This last is to be found on the borders of the Bear creek branches. Its two towns are-
Westpoint-laid out in March, 1856, by David Wigle; and
Stillwell-laid out Dec., 1870, by Wm. H. Zinn and Arthur Stillwell; both on the Quincy, Carthage & Burlington Railroad, and six or seven miles westwardly from Bowen, on the T.W.&W. The former road runs directly south through this township, near its center.

Among the early settler of the county, and who were here precedent to organization, we have the names of John Harding, and Robert and Aaron (Abel) Harding, who are supposed to have been his brothers or more distant relatives. John Harding transferred his claim, lying due west of and adjoining the village of Chili, to Elisha Worrell, Esq., in 1835, having occupied it for seven years. Through Mr. Worrell we have the statement that this same claim -north half of section 25, St. Alban's township-had been owned and occupied since 1823, by Col. Daniel B. Whipple, late of Adams county, at a date when his nearest neighbors were Fort Edwards, Rushville and Quincy. If so, Col. Whipple must have been one among the earliest settlers in Hancock county-indeed, the earliest of whom we have any account, if we except the officers and people at the fort. Col. W. and his uncle, Barnabas B. Whipple, were the patentees of the claim, having been in service in the war of 1812-'14, with Great Britain.

Among the other early settlers of this township were Garrett Bean and his brother-in-law, Mr. Mills, who came to where Mr. B. now resides in 1836. [For a very interesting narrative of Mr. Bean, see another chapter.] He resides below Stillwell on the county line. Mr. Mills moved to Missouri over 30 years ago, and is now deceased. Other pioneers were, Jonathan Todd, Wm. Pike, Jesse Richardson, Dr. Cook, Noah Stokes, John Slater, Wm. Bride, Benoin C. Bride, Truman Kinney, Joseph Kinney, James E. Moore, Wm. Owen, Eldridge Renshaw, C.W. Hicks, Alexander McDonald, David Wigle, Bradley Hecox, James Knott.

Township Officials-The Supervisors, Town Clerks, Assessors and Collectors of this township are as following: with perhaps some unavoidable omissions:
Alexander McDonald 1850 J.C. Knott 1871
David Wigle 1851 John J. Guthrie 1872
Sylvester H. Crouch 1858 Bradley Hecox 1873
M.T. Hart 1861 James H. Nelson 1875
Charles Overman 1862 Jmaes B. Moore 1876
S.H. Crouch 1864 Wm.H. Zinn 1877
David Wigle 1866 Wm. P. Sutherland 1880
John J. Guthrie 1867
William Hart 1855 E.B. Tuttle 1871
Alexander McDonald 1856 Milan Smith 1872
A.B. Crooks 1858 Calvin S. Clark 1873
W.B. Stanton 1861 George W. Wolf 1874
Marcus L. Fite 1862 Geo. W. Guthrie 1875
W.B. Stanton 1864 Wm. A. Davis 1878
Geo. W. Guthrie 1866 Charles M. McMillan 1879-80
James Wigle 1867
James Knott 1855 J.W. Madison 1871
William Fite 1856 B.B. Tuttle 1872
Samuel Zinn 1858 Peter Frey 1873
Lavalette Kinney 1859 R.W. Harding 1874
James McClintock 1861 John F. Hart 1875
J.F. Hart 1862 Samuel W. Layton 1876
Aaron O. Dayton 1866 E.B. Rhodes 1877
Peter Frey 1868 Lewis Martin 1878
Lavalettte Kinney 1870 Elijah B. Rhodes 1879-80
Lavalette Kinney 1855 Sam'l W. Slayton 1873
J.F. Hart 1862 Geo. W. Wolf 1874
Levi P. Bissell 1864 Arthur F. Day 1877
John F. Hart 1866 Geo. W. Linn 1878
S.L. Symmonds 1868 Arthur F. Day 1879-80
Peter Frey 1869



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