History of Mission Township, LaSalle County, Illinois

Mission Township

The town of Mission embraces that portion of T. 35, R. 5, lying east of the Fox river, and that portion of T. 36, R 5, which lies south of the Fox, about thirty-two Sections. The Fox forms its northern and western boundary, and Mission creek runs westwardly across the town near its centre. There was some heavy timber on both the creek and the Fox. The face of the country is rolling, and the soil dry and fertile.

The first white occupant of what is now the town of Mission, was Jesse Walker, who established a mission in 1826, by appointment and under the supervision of the Methodist Episcopal Church, at the head of Mission creek, on Section 15, for the conversion of the Pottawatoinie Indians, and a school for the education of Indian children. The Indians in considerable numbers were occupying an island in the Fox, near the mouth of Somonauk creek where they had cultivated corn and vegetables and made the vicinity their head-quarters. After the white settlers came in, the Indians relinquished the cultivation of the ground, preferring to buy of the whites, paying with skins or with money received as annuities from the Government. They were constitutionally lazy, and like some with whiter complexions, thought honest toil lowered their dignity, and to carry out the resemblance still farther for fear their women would overstep their sphere, the squaws were made to perform all the labor for the community.

The mission was barren of results, and was abandoned early in 1832, and the buildings were burnt by the Sauks the following summer.

Walker sold forty acres of improvements to Washington Bulbona, a half-breed French and Indian, who also had a reservation of a Section when the Indians sold to the Government, which became Section 15 when surveyed.

Mr. Schermerhorn, and his son-in-law, Hazelton were the first settlers after the Mission, and made claims on S. 10, where John Armstrong now lives, in 1831. Their tragic history is given elsewhere.

[Source: History of LaSalle County, Illinois by Elmer Baldwin, Chicago, Rand, McNally & Co., Printers, 1877, SKETCH OF THE PIONEER SETTLERS OF EACH TOWN IN THE COUNTY, Mission, Page 414-416 - Transcribed by Nancy Piper]