Stories of Pioneer Days In La Salle County, Illinois Commemorating the Washington Bi-Centennial 1932
By Grammar Grade Pupils of Village and Rural Schools La Salle County, Illinois
Compiled for the School Libraries by W. R. Foster, County Superintendent


To motivate the language work and the drawing in the smaller schools and to make an appropriate contribution to the celebration of the county centennial in 1931, the grammar grade pupils in these schools were asked to collect the data and write a story of pioneer days in La Salle County and to design a series of history posters that would depict the progress achieved in some line of human endeavor during the first hundred years of our county's existence as an administrative unit. The response to this request was gratifying beyond expectations. The stories in general were from original sources and were most interestingly told. Likewise, the "history runners" were surprisingly well designed and artistically executed.

As a memento of the county-wise celebration of its centennial and as examples of good choosing of material and good telling, some sixty of these stories, by the eighth graders and several posters were published in a pamphlet to file in the school libraries for future comparison and reference. It was regretted at the time that funds were not available to include a large number of the many excellent stories and designs submitted, particularly some of those prepared by the seventh grade.

As a part of their participation in the celebration of the Washington Bicentennial this year the pupils in the rural and village schools were invited to design posters commemorative of the Father of His Country, and the eighth graders were privileged to try their hand again at telling a story of pioneer days. At the time the invitation was extended, it was expected that at least two hundred of the 1932 posters and stories could be reproduced in pamphlet form. But the financial stringency still continues and it is impossible to realize our expectations. Hence, many an interesting story and many an excellent poster had to be omitted in this pamphlet, much to the chagrin of the county superintendent and no doubt, to the disappointment of many a worthy pupil.

In the estimation of the county superintendent nothing that these smaller schools have done in recent years so definitely marks their praiseworthy advancement as the writing of these stories and the designing of these posters, for both are of the creative type that evidence intellectual growth. Likewise, both are on a markedly higher plane than was thought possible for grammar grade pupils only a few years ago. It is ardently hoped, however, that they represent a new era in school achievement, and that they but pave the way to even greater skill in the fine art of storytelling.

The county superintendent desires to acknowledge the very great kindness of the descendants of pioneers who gave so freely of their time and information to their pupil interviewers; likewise, to express his appreciation of those teachers who gave such wholesome encouragement to their pupils and exercised such fine leadership in their schools as to render this achievement possible. But even in a greater measure does his gratitude go out to the class in our village and rural schools.

W. R. Foster
County Superintendent of Schools
Ottawa, Illinois, August 10, 1932

Title Pupil Page
Tony’s Story Richard Weber 8
Story of Allen Lois Cleal 20
An Old Pioneer Philip Swift 7
History of Dana William Roth 10
Vermillionville Marjorie Calkins 9
A Visit to the Riggs Farm Eloise Holland 11
An Early Home in Dimmick Catherine Spicer 12
Caroline Wood’s Family Loise Yates 14
An Old Grist Mill Vivian Suppes 15
Early Times Glenn Hagenbuch 16
Buffalo Rock RosemaryDuffy 17
Industries of a Pioneer Village Richard Larkin 18
Life in a Pioneer Home Paul C. Gunn 19
Early Experiences in Spinning Mabel Fatland 22
The Mendota-Ottawa Mail Route Lillian Morey 22
First Settlers in Eden Nikocum Degatis 23
My Great-grandmother Edward Madden 25
Pioneers of Dayton Elsie Buser 26
Mills in Our Neighborhood Wayne Scott 27
The Farm Ridge Church Virginia Boles 28
Life Story of Mrs. Edwards Roberta Crane 29
Mrs. Gebhard’s Pioneer Home Charles H. Miller 30
An Early Settler in Bruce Township Lois Richard 31
A Trip to Ottawa Long Ago Dale Jones 32
Early Settlers in Osage John Cramer 33
The Old Homer Trails Marjorie Hickok 35
A Home Hunter Wilden Harris 36
Hardships of Early Days Lorraine DeBolt 37
A Stagecoach Tavern Helen Chapman 38
A Confederate Uniform Margaret Fullerton 39
Echoes of Pioneer Days Doris Petersen 39
Immigrating to the United States Esther Johnson 41
Happy Days Gone By Adalene M. Spach 42
Benjamin Lundy Dolores Schroeder 43
Grandfather’s Early Home Ethel Chapman 44
Grandfather’s Life John Pillion 45
Our First Post Office Robert Phillips 46
Hedges Evelyn Pool 47
The First Meetinghouse in Mission Twp Geraldine Risk 48
Immigrants from Czechoslavakia Mike Berta 49
In Oxen Days Marion Mitchell 50
The Hawleys of Vermillion Irma Hawley 51
An Old Revolver Speaks Eldon Worsley 52
A Blind Mole Drain Margaret Jean Boyd 53
Improvements in Harvesting Spencer Zimmerman 54
An Early Church Elizabeth Kavinsky 55
Gearge Bazore, a Pioneer Albert Kollar 56
Tales of Pioneer Days Irene Atwood 57
A Four-row Hand Planter Lucille Sheedy 57
The White Man’s Friend Eliza Kerns 58
Brevoort’s Early Home Lyle Hess 59
Apple Butter Time Virginia Anne Esmond 60
Mrs. Catherine Gephard-Fahler Melva Frank 61
The Naming of Waltham Ralph Bradford 62
The Underground Railway Mashall Krug 63
A Century Ago Francis McGrath 64
Village of Leland Loretta Wright 65
Chief Shabbona Marjorie Simpson 66
Pioneer Life in Illinois Margaret F. Nelson 67
A Pioneer Cemetery Kenneth Baker 68
A German M. E. Church Arthur Rath 69
Duncan Dunn Dorothy Redlich 70
Grandma’s Reminiscences Dolores Anderson 70
The Indian Creek Massacre Gladys Thorson 71
Spelling Matches Mary Arntzen 72
Aiding Runaway Slaves James Gadletti 73
Dayton’s Beginning Arthur Henicksman 74
The Underground Railway Ethel M. Whitmore 75
An Old Pumping Station George Causland 76
Making Soap Stephen Wojek 77
Streator as Hardscrabble Arthur Turner 78
A Roy in Blue Goldie Hubbard 79
Relics of Interest Kathryn Chapman 79
Conquering the Prairie Delbert Chapman 80
Pioneer Days with Grandfather Marjorie Bane 81
Bits of Local History Janet Fields 82
The Story of Mrs. J. C. Beach Lyle Chambers 83
The Burlingames of Earl Mary Louise Sturgeon 84
The Prichetts of Dana Gladys Y. Klesath 85
Experiences with Wolves Charline Curtis 86
Lostland’s Church and Cemetery Mary Solon 87
Mr. Myers’ Boyhood Experiences William Woodward 88
Early Experiences in LaSalle County Giles W. Sullivan 89
The old Stone Mill Lola Mae Kirsteatter 90
The Gold Rush of 1819 Helen George 90
The Grandfather’s Early Farming Gerald Maubach 91
An Early Presbyterian Church Zelma Hansen 92
The Ebersol Farm Lillian Landers 93
Pioneers of Dana Ruth Dunham 94
Adventures of the Hall Girls Junior Keith 95
The Oldest Church in Leland Della Wood 96
Going to Chicago Long Ago Willy Ott 97
An early Coal Mine Evelyn Brennan 98
The Codys of Freedom Evelyn Peterson 99
A West Point Commandant Clark Tryon 100
Spinning and Knitting Esther Schlesinger 101
Making Maple Sugar Leila Shreffler 101
Experiences of the Hall Girls Thelma Henrickson 102
Scenes of Yesterday Gene Buchanan 103
Mr. Robert Rowe 1802-1879 Walter E. Larson 104
A Story About My Grandfather Roy Sulzberger 105
Jefferson Nisbet of Earl Mabel Mende 106
Almost a City Romaine Tyrrell 107
The Vanished Town Melvin Wollmer 108
Crossing the Plains in ‘51 Orla Foster 109
A Pioneer Eileen Sunken 110
A Pioneer of District 286 Charles Schmitzq 111
Life of John Cooper Harriettee F. Wakeman 112

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