Jackson County, Illinois


Part of Jackson County's history for over 150 years

(East Side of Cabin)

Written and Donated by Jane Ellis
Photos by Vicky Cripps


The cabin pictured here has stood in Southern Jackson County for over 150 years. It is believed it was built in 1848 about the time the builder, Richmond Gregory, patented the land on which it stands.

Richmond Gregory was born about 1819 apparently in North Carolina. and died 4 Nov 1904 in Jackson Co. Richmond married his first wife, Nancy Smith in 1842 in Jackson CO. and is believed to have had one daughter from this marriage who was raised by her Smith grandparents in Union CO. Richmond married his second wife, Nancy Cripps in 1846 in Jackson Co and the couple lived in this cabin the remainder of their days. Nancy (Cripps) Gregory died in May 1912 and along with Richmond is buried in the Gregory/Minton Cemetery behind the cabin.

Six daughters have been identified for Richmond and Nancy (Cripps) Gregory.

Mary Elizabeth b. 1847 and married William M. Rawlings
Ellen b. 1848 and married John Finch
Isabel b. about 1852 - d. young
Emily b. about 1854 - d. young
Cynthia b. 1860 - d. young
Mirar Lillian b. 22 Feb 1866 d. 7 April 1951 married Jesse Sherman Minton

It was the youngest daughter, Mirar, known as "Ri" and her husband Jesse S. Minton who made this cabin their home after the death of Richmond and Nancy. Jesse died in 1938, Mirar (Marie on her tombstone) died in 1951 and both are buried in the Gregory/Minton Cemetery. Jesse and "Ri" had 7 children:

Ross (1891-1907)
Myrtle (1892-1966) who married John Norton
Odda Roy (1895-1908)
Tiff (1897-1976) married Marie Bridgeman
Homer "Gene" (1898-1994) married Viola "Ola" Franklin
Charles Lester (1906-1974) who married (1) Ida Estep and (2) Mabel Hickam.

Ross, Roy, Homer, Mamie and Charles are all also buried in the family cemetery along with their parents, grandparents and several neighbors who lived nearby in this area of the Pine Hills.

"Gene'" and his wife "Ola" were the next generation to reside in this family homestead until their deaths and the property now belongs to their daughter, who is the 4th generation of this family.

In 1972 the Pine Hills area was designated as the 1st ecological site in the U. S. and was renamed "LaRue-Pine Hills". LaRue was an early explorer who obtained pitch from the Pine trees in the area to keep his long freight canoes watertight on the return trip up the Mississippi to Montreal. During the last 40 years what was once farmland has been purchased by the State Of Illinois and farm homes, barns, and outbuildings have been taken down and the land has been allowed to return to nature. All traces of many farms in this area have disappeared and remain only as a memory to descendants of these hearty farm folk.

This cabin, however, still stands as a current reminder of the "old ways'.

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