Pioneer Tidbits - LaSalle County Illinois

Short articles about La Salle County Pioneers


Adam Holcraft

Mr. Osgood

1875 Old Settler's Picnic

Moses Gunn


Taken from the Tonica News, Tonica, Illinois
June 5, 1875

Old Settler

We had the pleasure on Monday, of interviewing an old resident of the bottoms called "Uncle Adam". Adam Holcraft was born at Henry Court house, Kentucky in 1788 making him now 87 years old. His grandmother, Anna Adams, adopted him when a child of two weeks, and cared for him until she died at the age of 105. He then took to rambling and traveling almost all over the world. In 1837, become satisfied with his wanderings, he settled down to farming in the township of Peru, about five miles from the town, and has attended every election since that time. Uncle Adam is a bachelor from choice. At the age of 18 he was betrothed, but his promised bride died before the consumation of their marriage, and he remained single in accordance with that true and ennobling spirit which actuates all pure-minded men, trying to live an unblamable life, and hoping to meet in Heaven the choice of his youthful heart. He cannot have long to wait.

Adam Holcraft is entitled to a pension, having served ten years in the U. S. army, and he was in company with Abraham Lincoln in the Mohawk Indain war. He served faithfully and was honorably discharged. - La Salle Reporter.

Taken From the Tonica News, Tonica, Illinois
September 4, 1875

Mr. Osgood of Lostant called on us the other day and showed us a pen-knife which he made. It was of good size, and shape and of the best steel, the handle made to represent turtle shell. Its maker deserves credit. He also had some smaller ones which he had made blades for.

Mr. O. is an old settler of his town and built the first Protestant church in La Salle, thirty years ago. He followed preaching three years and then moved to his home in Hope township, 12 miles from La Salle. At that time only one house stood between his place and the Illinois river at La Salle and Tonica was unknown. Mr. O. is 70 yars old, enjoys good health and amuses himself by making novelties.

Taken from the Tonica New, Tonica, IL
August 28, 1875

The Old Settler's Picnic

The Old Settler's Picnic and reunion was held last Thursday at Hoes Grove, near Ottawa. All agree that it was one of the most successful meeting yet held. The exercises were opened at 10 o'clock. The President, Hon. John Miller, called the crowd to order, and offered a few appropriate remarks. Singing by Prof. Lansing and choir, followd by prayer by Rev. W. Batcheller.

The Address of Welcome by Charles Blanchard Esq., was eloquent and impressive. We regret that we cannot copy it in full. The afternoon was mainly occupied with short speeches by Hon. T. L. Dickey, S. R. Lewis Esq., Rev. F. Bascom, Hon. E. Baldwin, and Wm. Hickling Esq. From the secretary's report we learn that four members have died during the year, viz: J. P. Wiswall, A. Walbridge, L. H. Rood, and J. E. Shaw.

The oldest living native born, Mrs. A. Hannah. Born in 1837. The oldest settler of Eden is David Richey. He dates back to 1830. Three old ladies, Mrs. J. Farrel, Mrs. E. Plymize, and Mrs. Dominy, showed the former mode of carding and spinning flax. The old people felt young again and many will look back to that day as one of the green spots in their old age.


Moses Gunn, Oldest Resident of La Salle, To Be 96 Tomorrow

Contributed by Alice Horner

Newspaper Clipping from March 29, 1935

Moses Gunn, La Salle’s oldest resident and last local survivor of the Civil War, will observe his 96th birthday Sunday. Still maintaining an interest in events of the day, Mr. Gunn keeps abreast of the times and enjoys studying the day’s news.

Born in this city in a log cabin in 1839, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Aaron Gunn, who came here from New England, he has lived in this community nearly all his life, with the exception of the years spent in the northern army during the Civil War and while in the ministry.

Taking part in a number of major engagements of the war, Mr. Gunn was mustered out at Baton Rouge, La., and returned to La Salle July 14, 1865. Although he had studied for the ministry prior to the war, it was not until later that he accepted a pastorate, serving a church in Norman township, Grundy County. Later he preached in various churches here until ill health forced him to retire. His wife, Mrs. Emma Gunn, is active in the affairs of the household. There are three children, Miss Frances Gunn, Chicago; Carroll and Lloyd, at home.

Mr. Gunn’s father, Aaron, died here in 1897 at the age of 91. His mother lived to the age of 99.

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Alice Horner’s note: I’ve been unable to find a date of death for Moses Gunn. His wife and father and mother are buried in Oakwood Cemetery in La Salle (and the tombstones are pictured on Findagrave.com), but his headstone isn’t on that website.

Please email me or add a note there if you have more information on this Moses Gunn.


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