A street scene shows Sublette as it appeared in 1895. Shown is the Letl Bros. Hotel and Saloon, "The Sample Room." The hotel was built in 1856 by Paul Lindstrom. Buildings on the left were livery stable, feed barn and ice house. The building on the right was the Jos. Letl cigar factory. Pictured by the hotel, from left to right were Mrs. Fred King, Phillip Miller, Joseph Letl, Charles Letl, Jake Michel, Ferdinand Full, Frank Letl and Max Letl. (Photo from the Telegraph Feb. 1976)

History of Sublette

This is No. 19 N., in R. 11 E. of the 4th P.M. Bureau county bounds it on the south, and La Salle county tonus half of the eastern boundary. It has a very fertile soil and is but slightly undulating. In places it is a little low, but is all capable of easy drainage. The soil is black, excepting a little in the northwestern part, which is sandy. Here a part of Palestine Grove covers Sec. 6 and portions of 5 and 7. Nearly all of Knox Grove is in this township, on Secs. 24 and 25, along Bureau creek, mostly on the south side. This stream enters the township near the middle of the eastern boundary of Sec. 24, and flows across the southeast corner, through Secs. 24, 26, 34 and 33, leaving near the southeast corner of the latter. Below Knox Grove it is slightly skirted with timber, and is the only stream of any importance in the town. About half a mile south of it, and running nearly parallel with it, is a part of the old “ Chicago road,” which in an early day led from that city to Princeton. Many of these diagonal roads once intersected this region, but most of them have been abandoned. A few remnants, however, still remain. A part of the original La Salle and Grand Detour road is still in use through Sec. 17 and a part of 18. In the eastern part of the town there are two pieces of road of the same nature. There is a road running north and south through the center of the town, and another east and west to within half a mile of the east and west boundaries. The Illinois Central railroad crosses the eastern line of Sec. 36, and runs nearly due northwest through Secs. 36, 25, 23, 15, 9, 8, 5 and 6, dividing the town nearly in the center. The old Black Hawk “ Army Trail ” crossed the town in nearly the same direction, entering near the southeast comer and leaving on the west line of Sec. 18. The old telegraph line and stage route from Dixon to Peru entered the town at the northwest corner of Sec. 30 and left near the center of the south line of the same section.


The settlement of Sublette township dates from 1837. Jonathan Peterson came to Ottawa, Illinois, in October 1836; he had come from New Hampshire by Lake Erie to Detroit, and thence afoot to Ottawa. Here he spent the winter of 1836-7, and in February started for Lee county. The same summer he made a claim in the northwestern part of Sec. 4, Sublette, and after building a log cabin just over the line in Lee Center, he went back to his native state and was married, returning with his wife the following year. In June, 1837, Sherman Hatch arrived in Dixon and came across the country to Lee Center township to Chas. F. Ingals, who had settled there the previous year. The same summer or fall he settled on the southwest part of Sec. 7, taking possession of and completing a log house that had been partly built by four young men from Chicago, who had abandoned their claim. In the fall of 1837 Mr. Hatch returned to Vermont. He came back the next year with his wife, whose marriage he had recently celebrated. He claimed a half section of prairie and nearly as much timber in the vicinity of his first settlement, but did not enter much of it, having loaned most of his money to parties who were unable to pay him when the land was offered for sale. The same fall Thomas and William Fessenden, with their families, came on from New Hampshire, Thomas Fessenden having been west as early as 1834 and returned the same year to New Hampshire. They claimed land on Secs. 6 and 7, and built a log house on the southeast corner of the N.W. 1/4 of Sec. 7, and moved into it in December, having lived in the meantime on the “ Blunt place,” Amboy township. This was the first real settlement in Sublette, and the nearest neighbor of the Fessendens at that time was Joseph Doane, who was living about half a mile from the “Blunt place. The following year William Fessenden built half a mile north, on the southeast corner of the S.W. of Sec. 6, where John H. Long now lives. In 1838 Joseph Knox and his family settled at the south end of the grove which bears their name. The same year Sylvan us Peterson settled on the S.E. of Sec. 5. Before 1840 John Morton and R. E. Goodall settled north of him on land now owned by William Long, jr., and Russell Phillips on the southwestern part of Sec. 5, claiming forty there and forty opposite in Sec. 8. In 1830 Daniel Baird settled where Elijah Austin lives, on the La Salle and Grand Detour road, on Sec. 17. Mr. Baird settled in La Salle in the fall of 1836. The same year (1839) Phineas Rust built the first frame house in Sublette, on Sec. 30, half a mile south of where Ambrose Angier is now living. Mr. Rust never lived here, but sold his claim, the N.E. of Sec. 30, to Philo Stanard and Thomas Angier late in 1840. The same year Thomas Tourtillott built a frame house 16x20 on Sec. 31, and O. Bryant settled on the “Old Chicago road” on Sec. 35. In 1842 Thomas Angier built a frame house where his present buildings are located. Gilbert Thompson also built on the site now occupied by Mrs. Fauble, on the S. E. of S.E. & Sec. 31.

In 1843 Ephraim Reniff settled with his family on the S. $ N.E. Sec. 19, and afterward entered the same. It was in this year that Hiram Anderson settled on the N.E. J of S.E. J Sec. 33. The jumping of his claim subsequently caused quite an excitement among the rulers of the prairie. Bull, the offending party, lived at Dixon, and when it was known that Anderson’s claim had been “jumped,” the “ Claim Society,” consisting of all the settlers within several miles, turned out en masse, and going to Dixon well armed demanded the person of Mr. Bull. There were about sixty-five in the party, and the “jumper” was easily taken. While on their way back to the claim Sheriff Campbell interviewed the party, and concluded an agreement with them by which Bull was turned over to him. This was on the condition that the contestants should meet on a certain fixed day, and that the deed of the “ forty” in dispute should be returned to Anderson, who was to pay the first cost of the land. The summary treatment employed in this case had the desired effect, and settlers in this region were not troubled again in a similar way. In 1844 Alpheus Crawford came to the Knox Grove settlement, and bought from widow Pratt a claim of eighty acres on the S. 1/2 of Sec. 13 for $75. At this time several families had settled at the grove. Daniel Pratt, Levi Camp and J. B. Barton were early settlers here. The same year Prescott Bartlett claimed the S. 4 of N.W. 1/4 and the N. 1/2 of 8.W. 1/2 Sec. 20, and built a log house on the same. Silas Reniff settled where he now lives, on Sec. 20, and claimed about half a section. He entered only 160 acres, the N. 1/2 of N.E. Sec. 20, and the S. £ of S.E. £ Sec. 17. In this year (1844) John Betz settled on the S.E. Sec. 33, and in 1845 Hoffman settled on the S.W. £ of the same. In 1846 Bartholomew Theiss made a claim of 120 acres on Secs. 21) and 30, where Godfred Theiss lives. In 1844 R. P. Hubbard settled and claimed the N.W. of N.E. and N.E. of N.W. Sec. 17. H. N. Erskine settled the “ Kapser place,” on Sec. 35, at an early day.

In the year 1844 was the land sale at Dixon. That year is known to this day by old settlers as the wettest season on record, from May until August. But few of the settlers were prepared to pay for their land, and consequently they formed themselves into societies for the protection of their homes, until they could raise the money necessary to pay for the land they had claimed. The circumstance mentioned above had the effect of deterring speculators from abroad. Many farms were secured through Mexican land warrants on the market here soon after the close of the Mexican war. Many good farms were bought with these by men who could not have raised the cash to buy from the government at $1.25 per acre. But little land had been bought from the government before these warrants appeared, but within live years after nearly all was sold except that held by the Illinois Central Railroad Company, and this was sold very soon.

In an early day wolves were plentiful, and are not yet extinct. In 1848 Alpheus Crawford and others killed a boar north of Knox Grove which weighed 400 pounds.

For many years after the settlement of this region prairie tires were the scourge of the settlements. Many are the thrilling incidents related of their ravages. Mrs. Baird relates her experience in fighting one when Mr. Baird was away from home. She whipped it until she was completely exhausted and had suffered greatly from the heal of the fire; and all the time expecting it would sweep their house and entire personal effects. Early in October, 1845, the settlers were visited by one of these fires. It is described by one of the early settlers in nearly the following words: “ After dark my family noticed in the southwest the light of a fire so far off that it seemed it would not reach them before morning. That night a family of emigrants from Tennessee were camped in their wagon on a small piece of breaking near my house. About midnight my wife was aroused by loud knocking and other noise. Upon getting up she found a girl about twelve years old nearly frightened to death. (This girl was the only one of the emigrants not sick.) Going out of doors she saw the whole country southwest and west in a blaze of fire, some of which was thirty feet high. She started for the nearest house, which was half a mile distant, and aroused the inmates, and then a quarter of a mile further to another dwelling, where all were sleeping. These parties all had property that would have been destroyed had they not been warned. Upon returning home she found the worst danger over, the main tire having passed a little northwest of the building and breaking. Her husband, who was in Chicago at the time, found on his return the entire prairie burnt over.”

Nearly all of the early settlers teamed to Chicago more or less till the Illinois Central road came through. Produce was cheap, but this was the only way known to raise a little money. Often would they return home with a few trifles, the gross profits of an eight or ten days’ trip. Little or nothing was taken for expenses, and often would a man be gone a week or two without entering a house. They would often go in companies of ten or more ox-teams, generally entering the city in the morning and coming out at night, thereby avoiding hotel bills. For a good load of wheat or dressed-pork but a few dollars would be realized. Often the driver had to unhitch his team and carry his load out of a slough on his back, and not unlikely this interesting process would have to be several times repeated during one trip. The farmers also went a long distance to get their milling done. For several years they wont to Greeno’s mill, at Dayton, and to other points on the Fox river.

But little was seen of the Indians by the settlers of Sublette. Old Shabona, however, with his followers, was an annual visitor for several years, passing, as he did, across the town on his way from his reservation, in DeKalb county, to the swamp near Walnut grove, in Bureau county. Shabona was a noble red-man, and on account of his friendship shown the settlers in the Black Hawk war, became very much endeared to them.

The Hast post-office was that of Brookfield, at Daniel Baird’s house, started about 1840.

In 1841 O. Bryant burned a kiln of brick on the northwest corner of Sec. 35. In 1850 a certain Beck built a blacksmith shop on or near the site now occupied by Dorsey Scott’s shop. Richardson, Daniel Baird, Thomas Tourtillott, and Morrison, just over the line in Maytown, kept taverns in an early day.

Township Organization. Soon after the organization of Lee county the west half of Sublette, and what is now May, were known as Bureau precinct; the polls were held at the house of Daniel Baird. The east part of the township was incorporated with a part of Brooklyn, with their voting place at Knox Grove. In 1849 the county was divided into townships. This town was first called Hamo. The railroad company having named their depot Sublette, it was desired to have the name of the township correspond, and consequently a petition was sent in the winter of 1856-7 to John V. Eustace, representative in the Illinois legislature. The name was accordingly changed to Sublette. This name was first employed, it is said, because of the frequent subletting of the grading of the road in this vicinity. The first town meeting was held on the second Tuesday in April 1850, “for the purpose of electing town officers, dividing the town into road districts, and for the transaction of other business.” Alpheus Crawford was chosen moderator and Daniel Baird clerk for said meeting. A tax of 12 1/2 cents on every $100 of taxable property was voted to be assessed and collected. Stock was prohibited from running at large from November 15 to April 1 of each year. The first election resulted in the choice of Daniel Baird for supervisor, Henry Porter clerk, Whitlock T. Porter assessor. Silas D. Reniff collector, Daniel Pratt overseer of the poor, Hiram Anderson and W.H. Hamblin highway commissioners, Samuel Averill and Thos. S. Angier constables, Alpheus Crawford and Andrew Bertholf justices of the peace. The town was divided into nine road districts two miles square. April 17, 1851, the highway commissioners ordered that district number “10” be formed out of the east half of Secs. 20 and 17, and the west half of sections 16 and 21. At an election held in the school-house in district “3” April 6, 1852, forty-six votes were cast for supervisor, forty-seven for assessor, forty-five for collector, and forty-seven for town clerk. It was voted that the next annual town meeting be held at the house of Daniel Pratt, at Knox Grove. In 1854 the annual meeting was held at the house of Daniel Wilcox on Sec. 15, and in 1855 at the house of Daniel Maxwell. At this meeting $1,000 was voted for the erection of a town-house in the village of Sublette. Thomas Angier, H. Benton and Prescott Bartlett were appointed a committee to report a site for the same. At a special meeting held in December, Thomas Angier, John Tourtillott, S. Reniff, Thomas Fessenden and Horatio Benton were appointed a committee to build a house one story high, and of a size to correspond with funds voted for that purpose. At a meeting held in 1858, $150 was appropriated to bridge Bureau creek at the old army trail. At the annual meeting in 1860 a fence law was passed declaring what should be considered a legal fence, whether of wire, rails or boards. In 1860, 150 votes were cast for the supervisor, and the same number for town clerk, 152 for assessor, 147 for collector. In 1866, 177 was the highest vote cast for any office; Silas Reniff was unanimously chosen assessor. For justice of the peace T. Angier received all but one (176), and A. L. Wilder the same number for town clerk. In 1881 about 220 votes were cast. The supervisors of Sublette have been: Daniel Baird three years, S. Peterson one year, T. Angier eighteen years, Albert Linn one year, Jonathan Peterson three years, John Theiss. five years, G. M. Crawford one year. The justices of the peace have been T. Angier thirty-one years, Alpheus Crawford six years, A. Bertholf one year, James Brewer one year, W. F. Wilder one year, A. B. Linn eight years, Daniel Barton three years, Isaac Clink one year, N. W. Smith twelve years. Silas D. Reniff was elected assessor of Sublette in 1854, and except three years has assessed the town ever since. A. L. Wilder with one exception has held the office of town clerk since 1864.

The village of Sublette occupies parts of Secs. 9, 10, 15 and 16. The Illinois Central railroad buildings, a depot and a warehouse on the northwest corner of Sec. 15, were built in the summer of 1854. Daniel Cook built the first dwelling house the same winter. In the following summer A. L. Wilder built a small store, in the back part of which he lived. Jesse Hale began his store about the same time George A. Richmond put up a house, and did a flourishing business in the sale of lots.- Mr. Swart wont built the same fall a part of the house which he finished the next year, and lived in the winter of 1855-6. Frank Bartlett built what is now the Catholic parsonage in the fall of 1855 and moved into it the same winter. Paul Lindstrum built a shanty the same fall and began his tavern, which he completed the next year. Doctor Smith built a part of his present residence and got into it in December. Hugh Carr came in the dead of winter and rigged up an old barn in which he lived a short time. “Uncle Aba” Hale came in 1856, also the families of James Colvin and Robert Ash, J. B. Barton came the same year and opened a drug store. There are now fifty seven families in the village, doing a good business. The Methodist, Baptist, Congregational and Catholic churches are located here.

Sublette Lodge, No. 349, A.F. and A.M.— The dispensation was issued to Thomas S. Angier, W. D. Tourtillott, Jacob D. Tourtillott, James Tourtillott, Daniel Barton, B. F. Berkley, and Prescott Bartlett, and the first meeting was held January 31, I860. The charter of the lodge was issued October, 1860, to Thomas Angier, W.M.; W. D. Tourtillott, S.W.; Jacob D. Tourtillott, J.W.; James Tourtillott, secretary; Daniel Barton, S.D.; B. F. Berkley, J.D.; Daniel Baird, treasurer; H. C. Chapman, and N. J. Swartwout. At first meetings were held in the rear of Jesse Hale’s store, and subsequently on the second flour of the school building. In 1870 the members of the lodge put up a building at a cost of $2,500. The first meeting in the new hall was held August 16, 1870. The lower part of their building is rented for store purposes, and is now occupied by Frank Thompson. The present membership of the lodge is thirty, five of whom are non-resident. The present officers arc Joseph H. Ayres, W.M.; Joel S. Cook, S.W.; Henry Paris, J.W.; E. W. Patton, treasurer; T. S. Angier, secretary; Oliver A. Wood, S.D.; William Obernaur, J.D.; Lafayette Long, tyler.

Cemeteries.—There are several burial places in the township. The most important of these are the one at the Catholic church in Sec. 32, and that in Sec. 4 on the land of N. and J. Peterson. In the first nearly a hundred have been buried, all Catholics, and some from a considerable distance. In both, many of the old settlers arc buried, one of whom, in the latter, is Jonathan Peterson, sr. Near here on the N. W. 1/5 of Sec. 3, are several graves. Near Knox Grove is a small cemetery in which Daniel Pratt and others of the early settlers of this vicinity are reposing. Several interments have been made near the Catholic church in the village of Sublette. Daniel Baird was buried on the farm which he last owned. This is the “eighty” entered by E. Reniff. Besides these there are a few other small burial places within the town.


Many of the first settlers here were church members, and consequently religious meetings date from the beginning of society here. They were of a very humble and unpretentious style, and in keeping with the spirit of the time. Few went, we apprehend, to display finery—if any there were to display; nor did they have churches of any kind for many years in which to worship. Primitive dwellings or rude school-houses were their only temples, and in these did they often meet to sing their songs of praise and offer their devout prayers to a Father whose guidance they sought. The first church organization in Sublette was that of the Baptists. This was effected April 1843, in Jonathan Peterson’s log house. There were at first thirteen members: Jonathan Peterson, sr., and his wife, Jonathan Peterson, jr., Sylvanus Peterson and his wife, Nathaniel, Mary and Hope Peterson, Jonathan Eells, Hubbard Eells and his wife, Joshua Rogers and his wife. Meetings were held in the log school in this vicinity as soon as it was built; previously from house to house. This was the central or mother organization for quite a large adjoining region, and was known as the first Baptist church of Palestine Grove. Meetings were held alternately on opposite sides of this grove for the mutual accommodation of those who lived widely apart. Some of the members of this society became by letter members of the Baptist church of Amboy at its organization. In 1854 meetings were first held in Benton's Hall, on Sec. 16, about half a mile west of the site of the church in which they now assemble, and here they continued till 1858, when, in November, they dedicated a church edifice in the village of Sublette, on Main street, erected at a cost of $5,000. The first pastor was Rev. Henry Headley, of La Moille. Jonathan Peterson, sr., was the first deacon, and Warren Hills, the second. Sylvanus Peterson was the first clerk. Pastors have been: Charles Cross, E. O. Whittaker, J. H. Morrison, A. S. Denison, 0. D. Taylor, Albert Guy, A. S. Merritield, H. C. Yates, R. R. Coon. Jonathan Peterson and A. L. Swartwout are the present deacons, and A. J. Rogers is clerk. The society has a membership of about 120, is out of debt, and owns a parsonage worth $2,000. The Sunday-school of the church is in a flourishing condition, and is superintended by Abram Swartwout.

Methodist Episcopal Church.—The first Methodist organization within the limits of the township was at the house of Levi Camp, at Knox Grove, about thirty-five years ago. Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Pratt, Mr. and Mrs. John Skinner, Mr. and Mrs. Vertrees, Joseph, Miriam and Sarah Vertrees, Mrs. Levi Ellsworth, Mrs. Dr. Heath, Mrs. John Clink, Joseph Knox and his family, were early members; also Mr. and Mrs. John Barnes, Albert Linn and his wife, Skinner Pratt and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Wood. These parties were then living around or near Knox Grove. Nearly all of them were first members. For quite a number of yean the society was supplied by circuit preachers. Elder Julian was a very early preacher in this vicinity. Milton Hana and U. P. Gollidav were others. For several years meetings were held in the town hall at the village of Sublette. W. H. Smith was one of the first pastors at the “Hall.” In 1870 a church was built and was dedicated in 1871. The ministers of the church since have been: F. F. Farmiloe, Wm. A. Cross, Philo Gorton, T. 0. Youngs, E. Brown. W. H. Records, and M. C. Smith (supplied). The officers of the church at present are W. W. Ireland, W. R. Long, C. Brown, John H. Gentry, trustees; W. R. Long, Mrs. W. W. Ireland, C. Brown, E. Lewis, Mrs. Joel Cook, Statira Crawford, stewards, and Ida Ireland, recording steward. But very few of the early members are left, they either having died or moved away.

Congregational Church.—The organization of this society was effected April 20, 1871. Rev. E. Baker was the first pastor. Meetings were at first held in the town hall. The officers were: John Methven and Elias Purdy, deacons; Levi Mead, clerk : Russell M. Brown, treasurer. There were about thirty original members, among whom were John Methven and wife, Mrs. Walter Morse, Mrs. Jane Ells, E. Purdy and wife, Russell Brown and his family. Wm. Brown and wife, H. C. Chapman and wife, Levi Mead and wife. A few weeks after the organization of the society a church was begun, which cost about $5,000. The officers of the church are E. Purdy, jr., and Chas. Hatch, deacons; Edward Fessenden, John Tourtillott and E. Purdy, jr., trustees, Chas. H. Ingals. treasurer E. Purdy, clerk. The first Sabbath-school was superintended by Russell Brown, under whom it flourished. Mr. Edward Fessenden is the present superintendent. Church of the Evangelical Association of North America.—This society built their church in 1864, on the N.W. of Sec. 35, at a cost of $2,000. This is a branch from the church of the same denomination at Perkins’ Grove, Bureau county. The services are all in German. The preachers who officiate at this writing are the Revs. Woehr and Fry, this being in the Perkins Grove circuit and Mendota district. The Sabbath-school in connection with the church has an average membership of about 55. J. C. Speilman is the superintendent. The trustees are Messrs. Barth, Richert and Speilman. The membership at present consists of a dozen or more families.
Roman Catholic Church.—The organization of this church was effected in the fall of 1848. Meetings were first held at the house of Bartholomew Theiss. Among the first families of the church were the Steins, Katzenbargers, Theisses, Beckers, Smiths, Laner, Krebs, and others. Rev. N. Steele was the first priest. In 1853 a church was built on Sec. 32, on land owned by A. Stein. A parsonage was also built. This burned in 1869, since which the church has not had a regular priest. The Catholic church built in the village of Sublette in 1868 is a branch of this, also the German Catholic church built a few years ago in May township. Only seven of the original members are left, and meetings are held in the old church only a few times a year. Schools. The school land was sold about 1850, and the town was soon divided into ten districts. On each of these is a good school- house. There is also a school in connection with the Catholic church at the village. As early as 1841 there was a Sunday-school started in the Tourtillott neighborhood. This was not in connection with any church. The prime movers in this work were Father Tourtillott and Mrs. Angier. It was not continued more than a year or two. The first school was in a log house on Tom Fessenden's farm ; the next was in a slab building on the farm of Thomas Tourtillott. This was a structure used at first for preemption purposes, and was never intended for a school-house. It was afterward known as the "sheep pen.” Maria Codinan, of New York, was the first teacher here. The next school in this vicinity was taught in the winter by Joseph Carey in Mrs. Tourtillott’s house; and the next of any importance in Mrs. Richardson’s house by John Bacon, about 1850. The third school in the town of Sublette was in the log school-house on See. 5. Mrs. Clute, sister of Jonathan Peterson, taught the first summer school here about 1844. The winter school held hero was for several years quite important, being well attended by an advanced class of students.


Sublette has a war record of which her people are justly proud. According to the population and area, it seems almost incredible that so many men should have been furnished within the short space of four and a half years. From the beginning to the close of the great civil war Sublette sent fathers and sous into the service, till her energies seemed all but exhausted. When the great struggle was nearly ended, and the town shorn of its strength, a number of men were hired; nearly all of them from outside of the township. The quota of troops for Sublette was 204, fourteen of whom were veterans. Of the veterans who first enlisted within the township but two were afterward hired, the others having volunteered their services.

The Lee County Guards.—Designated as Co. F, 12th Inf., was mustered into the military service September 20, 1878, by Maj. W. G. Coulter, with a membership of sixty-one men, which augmented till, at its annual inspection and muster, March 31, 1879, it numbered ninety-eight, and 103 at the annual inspection and muster, March 31, 1880; thirty-four more than any other infantry company in the State of Illinois.

The Guards have been the recipients of many invitations to participate in public demonstrations and ceremonies, among which were decoration of soldiers’ graves by the citizens of Mendota, May 30, 1879; the Guards being escort for procession, and were handsomely entertained by the city.

They encamped with the 3d reg. I.N.G., at Freeport, July 3, 4 and 5. 1879, being entertained by the public. They encamped four days with the 1st brig. I.X.G., in September 1879, at South Park, Chicago, at which time eighty-one men reported for duty. On November 5, at a reception tendered Gen. Grant by the citizens of Mendota, the Guards had the honor of being the first military company to receive and escort the general in Illinois after his tour around the world. On July 4, 1880, at a celebration in Amboy, they escorted the procession and were guests of the city. Having accepted an invitation to attend the twenty-fifth annual fair of the northwest, held at Sterling, September 14, 15, 16, and 17, the company was entertained with princely hospitality by the management of the association. At this time it escorted Gen. Grant and other gentlemen of national reputation, among whom were Gov. Cullom and Gen. Logan. On account of their discipline and military precision strangers mistook the Guards for soldiers from the regular army. The commissioned officers are Chas. H. Ingals, captain; William Deter, first lieutenant; Phillip H. Schwab, second lieutenant. A large proportion of non-commissioned officers and a number of privates were soldiers in the late war. The rank and tile, by their persistent and determined effort to excel, have succeeded in attaining proficiency and excellence in military discipline and tactics for which they have, without an exception, received commendation and profuse compliments from the assistant superintendent general whenever paraded for inspection, and are now rated as one of the best companies of the Illinois National Guard.

Its property is valued at $4,000, secured without outside assistance (except about $100). It consists of an iron-roofed armory, which contains drill-room, gun-room, officers’ quarters, dining-room and kitchen, and is one of the best in Illinois. <)P>The organization is a grand success, and an honor to itself, the locality in which it exists, and the county it represents.

The armory is 40x96 feet, one and two stories high. Musical instruments, colors, munitions, etc.


Jonathan Peterson, farmer, Sublette, is one of a family of three boys and eight girls. He was born in Truxton, Courtland county, New York, in 1812. His parents, Jonathan and Doretha (Smith) Peterson, were born in Franklin county, Massachusetts. His mother was of Irish descent. He was reared a farmer, and enjoyed the benefits of a common school education. He came west in 1836 via the Erie canal, Lake Erie, and across Michigan afoot to Chicago, where he stopped one week; thence to Ottawa, LaSalle county. Here he spent the winter of 1836-7, whence he come directly to Lee county in the following spring, and settled in Lee Center township, near its southern boundary, nearly opposite his present homo in Sec. 4, Sublette,having moved across the line about twenty-five years ago. In the fall of 1837 Mr. Peterson went back cast and was married to Percis Avery, of Connecticut. With his bride our subject came to his western home in the spring of 1838. In these early days Mr. Peterson hauled much produce to Chicago; in 1840 he took up a load of wheat, and brought back his parents and their family (except one sister), who had come on from the east. He has had five children: Francis Augusta, born April 1839, was a graduate of the first class of the state normal school, Normal, Illinois; was married July 1862 to E. A. Gastman, her classmate, and now a prominent educator and principal of schools, Decatur, Illinois. She died in the winter of 1803. Before her marriage she taught in Normal and Decatur. Alice M., born in the fall of 1840; in March, 1863, married to W. F. Hoyt; died of consumption in the latter part of 1863. Mr. Hoyt is now residing in Clinton, Iowa. Emeline W. was born in May 1842, second wife of A. J. Biddle, her second husband, a native of Indiana, and a veteran of the Union army in the late rebellion. Myron J. was born in April 1844. In September, 1862, he enlisted at Dixon in the 75th 111. Vols.; was wounded at Perryville, and was sent back to the hospital at New Albany, Indiana, reentered his regiment June 1863; was in the 75th IL Vols. until the close of the war. Myron was in the following engagements: Chickamauga, Chattanooga, with Sherman to Atlanta, and back with Thomas to Tennessee. In 1873 he took up a soldier's claim in Nebraska, where with his wife ho is now living. Walter A. was born in April 1852, is married and living in Wisconsin, having gone to that state in March 1881. The subject of this sketch has twice been supervisor of Sublette,having held that office three years. In an early day he was elected justice of the peace for Lee Center township, but did not qualify for the office. He is a republican and a deacon of the Baptist church, of which he and his wife are prominent members. Mrs. Peterson, daughter of Elisha and Percis (Pease) Avery, was born 1811. Her father was born in Massachusetts, her mother in Connecticut. Her ancestors on both sides are a long-lived race. Her mother's grandfather was born in Ireland, her father's people were from England. Her uncle, Walter Pease, aged ninety-eight, is living on the Connecticut river, near Hartford, whore seven generations of the Pease family have lived. He is active yet and walks all over his farm. Her grandfather and grandmother on both sides lived to be over eighty years old. At one time her father had four widowed sisters, all more than eighty years old, living in Hartford, Connecticut. Mr. Biddle, the son-in-law of Mr. Peterson, is an industrious, self-made man. He left his home when he was eleven years old, and began for himself. He was a lumberman twelve rears in Indiana. He has farmed in Lee Center township; is a republican and a member of the Baptist church. He was born in 1835.

Charlotte (Field) Baird was born in Worcester county, Massachusetts, in 1811. Her mother, Martha Hitchcock, was born in 1868, and her mother's mother and father were born in 1742 and 1740 respectively. The name of the latter was David. Mrs. Baird has a brother and a sister: Seth, born in 1802, living in Massachusetts, and Adeline O. (Mrs. Baldwin), born in 1807, is living in La Salle county, Illinois, with Elmer Baldwin, her husband, and author of a history of La Salle county. Charlotte Field was married in December 1832, to Daniel Baird, born in Tioga county, New York, in 1806. Mr. Baird was reared a merchant and had a common school education. He came to LaSalle county in 1836, via Buffalo, Detroit and Chicago. Mrs. Baird and her sister came in the fall of the same year, via the Ohio and St. Louis. In 1839 Daniel Baird and his family came to Lee county, Sublette, and settled within a few rods of where Elijah Austin now lives, on the old mail route from Peru to Grand Detour; he took tip a claim for a large tract of land. Then there was no house between his place and Troy Grove, thirteen miles southeast, in La Salle, and only one between there and La Moille. Here was the first post-office in Sublette, called Brookfield, and afterward Hanna. Mr. Baird was widely and favorably known ; he was the first supervisor of Sublette, and held the same office in 1858; he was county commissioner from 1844 to 1846 inclusive. In his house the first town meeting for Sublette was held. Baird’s first house contained two twelve-pane windows and a stairway to the second floor, and compared with the greased-paper-window and peg-ladder-log-house, was considered by some rather stylish. He died in March 1866, and was buried in the family burial-ground. His family are: Marianne, born in 1838 (Mrs. Henry Chapman), living in Sublette township; Caroline (Mrs. Newton Pumphrey), 1843; Seth F., 1846. The latter is married and living on the homestead in Sec. 19, and with him Mrs. Baird is living. Newton Pumphrey is a tinsmith in the village of Sublette.

William Dexter, farmer, Sublette, was born in Canada, December 1831; he is the son of Elisha and Mary (Kane) Dexter, and the second in a family of eight. His mother, born in Ireland, came to Canada when she was about three years old. His father was born in New York state, and several of his people were in the revolution. Elisha Dexter was a radical in McKinzie's rebellion in Canada in 1837, and was in Michigan during the latter part of 1837. In 1838 he left Canada, after selling his farm near Toronto at a great sacrifice, and came to Illinois with his family. On their way they were all sick in Michigan, where his wife died. They arrived in Lee county in November 1839, and settled about a mile east of Binghamton, where they staid a short time; from here they moved to May township, where, after a little, Mr. Dexter bought a claim from John Dexter, his uncle, who came to Lee county in 1835. In 1846 he left this place, moved to the central part of the township, and bought a claim of 200 acres now owned by Jake Baker. Mr. Dexter, sr., died about 1858. In 1852 William Dexter married Martha Coleman, of Pennsylvania, whose people had come to Lee county about 1848. William had obtained a common school training, often going several miles to school. In 1858 he bought the W. 1/2 of S.W. 1/4 Sec. 4, Sublette, from Lewis Clapp for $2,400, having previously owned land and farmed in May and Lee Center townships. He has since bought land in Secs. 8 and 9, and now owns over 200 acres. In August 1862 Mr. Dexter enlisted in the 75th IL Vols., Co. E, Captain Frost, of Lee Center. During Iris entire service of nearly three years he was off duty only five days (in regimental hospital). Mr. Dexter drove a team about three months; drove an ambulance at Stone River, Liberty Gap, Chickamauga, Dalton, Resaca and Rome; here he was commissioned commissary sergeant of an army train, of which he had entire charge at Atlanta, and back with Thomas to Tennessee. He was discharged June 20, 1865. Mr. Dexter has nine children: Eliza, born 1853; Etta M., 1855; Emma, 1857; Otta, 1861; William, 1866; Ira, 1868; John, 1870; Margaret, 1872; Fred, 1874 (Martha, born 1859, died 1864). Etta in a graduate of the Northwest College, at Naperville; here Otta attended two years. Mr. Dexter has been nine years road commissioner, was chairman of the Garfield club of Sublette, is first lieutenant of the Lee county guards, and with his wife and four eldest daughters is a member of the Baptist church.

Alpheus H. Clink, farmer, Sublette, was born in Bradford county, Pennsylvania, in 1829, and was brought up to farming. His parents were William and Rebecca (Hulburt) Clink. His father was born in New York, and was descended from German ancestors. His mother was born in Pennsylvania, and her grandfather was German, while her grandmother was Scotch. Of a family of six Alpheus was the third. He was educated at the common schools, and with the whole family came to Lee county in August 1843. His father bought a claim in Lee Center township from William Church; lived here a few years, and was engaged much of the time in teaming to Chicago, chiefly for Geo. E. Haskell, store-keeper at Inlet. In 1848 the family came to the N.W. 1/4 Sec. 12, Sublette, and entered the same. About this time the eldest daughter, Mrs. Lucretia Sawyer, died. The youngest boy died in 1854 of typhoid fever. In 1856 William Clink, the father, died of consumption, and was buried in Bradford cemetery, where the son and daughter had been laid. Margaret (Mrs. Canfield) died in Marshalltown, Iowa, in 1857. Isaac M. Clink is farming in Iowa. He is well known in this and Bureau county, having been a justice of the peace in both. In 1852 Alpheus Clink built an 18X20 frame house on the south “ eighty ” of the homestead. He has since bought sixty acres south of that. In 1879 he erected a fine dwelling, cost about $1,800. He was first married in 1850, to Julia A. Canfield, by whom he had one son, now living in Greene county, Iowa. His wife died in December 1854. His second wife, Melissa M. Robinson, born in Ohio in 1837, has given birth to five children: Nina (Mrs. John Ellsworth), born September 1856, William H., 1857, Frank E., 1859, Harry, January 1869, and Sarah, December 1870. Mr. Clink is a republican.

(George Crawford) --- Alpheus Crawford, the father of Geo. M. Crawford, the subject of this sketch, was born December 28, 1798, in Lucerne (now Bradford) county, Pennsylvania. His grandparents on his father’s side were born and married in Scotland. His father and mother were born in Connecticut, and the parents of the latter were English. During the revolution his father belonged to a guard of minute men at New Haven, Connecticut, and he witnessed Burgoyne’s surrender. In 1844 Alpheus Crawford with a family of six children came west with a team and wagon via Buffalo, Lake Erie by boat, and across Michigan directly to Knox Grove, where seven or eight families were then living. He bought of widow Pratt, for $75, a claim of the N.E. 1/4 of S.W. 1/4 See. 13, and a “forty” just east of the same. There was a log house on the place, and about seven acres were broken. He is still living here. Geo. M. Crawford, born December 19, 1825, was the second in a family of seven. His mother was Marsha Skinner, born June 1803. George received a common school education and in the spring of 1845 took a claim of the E. 1/4 of N.W. 1/4 Sec. 13, and an “eighty” east of the same. In the spring of 1849 he built a frame house, partly with lumber hauled from Chicago with a team. He was married the same year to Mrs. Lydia A. Dewey, daughter of Levi Camp, an old settler at Knox Grove. This lady died in 1852, and in December, 1859, Mr. Crawford married Maria J., daughter of Stephen Clink, an early settler in Bradford township. Three children are the offspring of this union : Milo H., born October, 1861; Norval M., born October 1863, Clara M., May 1870. In 1862 Mr. Crawford bought of Daniel Pratt the N.W. 1/4 of S.W. 1/4 Sec. 13, at $30 per acre. He also purchased the W. 1/2 of N.W. Sec. 13, at $58 per acre. In 1868 he built a house at a cost of $2,000, and a barn in 1877 at a cost of $1,200. Mr. Crawford is a republican, and his wife is a member of the Congregational church.

Edward M. Lewis, wagon-maker and blacksmith, Sublette, was born in Broom county, Massachusetts, December 1844. He is the son of Joseph W. and Elsie (Shutts) Lewis, the latter of German descent. His father was from Vermont, and was a carpenter by trade. Edward was the oldest of four children, of whom two are now living. He worked on a farm until he was nineteen years old. In the meantime he obtained a common school education. He came with his parents to Lee county in 1845, first to Nachusa, thence in 1853 to Amboy, where they have since had a residence. He learned carriage wood-work of H. Sweet, of Amboy. Was married in 1868 to Sarah Tate, born of English parentage in 1851. Two boys have been born to them: Howard, in 1871, and Henry, 1876. Mr. Lewis began in Sublette in 1869. He owns property to the value of about $1,000 and is doing a good business, chiefly wagon and carriage repairing. He is a republican, a member and officer of the Methodist Episcopal church, and belongs to the Lee county guards. His wife is a Baptist.

Nelson F. Swartwout, farmer, Sublette, brother of Abram Swartwout, was born in Rock Island county, Illinois, in 1844. He attended the Lee Center Academy as well as a commercial school; enlisted at Dixon, October 1864, in the 34th IL Inf.; went into Tennessee, was first engaged at Nashville, and was there wounded. After being in the hospital a month and spending another at homo on furlough, he was sent via New York to his regiment at Goldsboro, North Carolina, skirmished a little in this vicinity, and was mustered out July 12,1865, at Louisville, Kentucky, having previously witnessed the grand review of Grant’s and Sherman’s armies at Washington. Mr. Swartwout has, at different times, been engaged in teaching school. He was married, October, 1869, to Amelia Nettleton, of Massachusetts. They have three children: Walter R., Mina L. and Nellie A. His farm of 170 acres in S.W. 1/4 of Sec. 3 is well tilled and valuable. Mr. Swartwout votes the republican ticket, belongs to the Sublette Baptist church, and is a frank, outspoken man.

Abram L. Swartwout, farmer, Sublette, was born October 20, 1841, in Rock Island county, Illinois. He is one of four children of Nelson J. and Abigail Ricker Swartwout: Abram L., Nelson F., Frank E. (deceased), and Hattie (Mrs. Wright). His father came to Illinois from Otsego county, New York, about 1836. His mother was born in Sangamon county, Illinois. After living in Lee Center township about ten years the family moved to Sublette in 1855. The senior Swartwout built here, and was the first lumber dealer and grain buyer in Sublette. He had built the first blacksmith shop in Lee Center township. This was on the old Chicago road from Dixon. Mr. Swartwout hauled lumber from Chicago to build his house in Lee Center. Frank, nine years old at his death, was killed by a horse in Sublette in 1856. Abram L. Swartwout received an academic education. He enlisted September 21, 1861, in Co. D, 34th IL Inf., at Springfield, Illinois. He went into Kentucky, came up with Bull's command at Shiloh the second day of the fight, afterward went to near Chattanooga, then fell back to Louisville when Bragg threatened Cincinnati. Ho was captured about the time of the engagement at Perryville, but was soon paroled. Early in 1863 was again in service. At Liberty Gap, June 1863, he was brigade inspector’s clerk; was captured at Chikamauga, and was a prisoner seven months in Richmond and Danville, Virginia. June 10, 1864, Mr. Swartwout joined his regiment on the Atlanta campaign. He was mustered out September 1864, reenlisted March 1865, in the 4th U. S. Veterans, Hancock’s corps. During most of his latter service he was a detailed clerk in the war department. Finally mustered out April 1866. Mr. Swartwout was married to Carrie E. Thayer, of Massachusetts, September 1866. He settled on the homestead, where he now resides, having previously been one year in business with A. L. Wilder, in Sublette, and two years in the grocery business in Mendota, Illinois. He now has a farm of 240 acres, Sec. 4, S.E. 1/4 and S. 1/2 of N.E. His family are Frank A., Edith L. and Hattie May. He is a prominent republican, a deacon of the Sublette Baptist church, quartermaster sergeant of the 12th I.N.G. and withal an intelligent, an assuming gentleman.

Chas. H. Ingalls, farmer, Sublette, son of Charles F. and Sarah (Hawkins) Ingals, was born March 11, 1846, in Lee county, Illinois, and was brought up to farming. Besides going to the common schools he took a partial course in the normal school at Normal, Illinois. He enlisted at Dixon in 1862, but was rejected because he was too young and too small. In the fall of 1863 ho entered Co. A., 75th IL Inf., went with his regiment to Tennessee, from Chattanooga to Atlanta, was with Sherman at the capture of Atlanta, came back with Thomas to Tennessee, was in the engagements at Franklin and Spring Hill, November 30, and at Nashville in December 1864. Mr. Ingals was then detailed by the medical directory to the 1st division of the 4th Army Corps, was transferred to the 21st IL reg. in June 1865; went to New Orleans the next month, and thence, in August 1865, to San Antonio, Texas, where he remained until ho received orders to be mustered out. From January till June 10, 1865 he was in the office of the medical directory. He was afterward in the provost guards, 4th corps army headquarters, and the provost marshal general’s office at St. Antonio, which position he held until the expiration of his service, December 25, 1865. In May, 1865, Mr. Ingals received a sergeants commission. He was in the engagements at Kenesaw Mountain, Peach Tree Creek, Atlanta, Nashville, Franklin, and others. He is now captain of Co. F., 12th Inf. Illinois national guards (see Lee county guards,) also commander of Lee county post No. 65 of G.A.R., headquarters at Amboy. Mr. Ingals is a republican, and belongs to the order of Masons. His farm of 200 acres is in Sec. 10. His residence is about half a mile from the village of Sublette, and was built in 1870 at a cost of $3,400. Previous to his settlement here he was engaged in mercantile business at Rocky Falls, Whitesides county. Was married in March 1871, to ___ Marv I. Morse, who came with her parents from Massachusetts to Illinois in 1869 was born in Natick, Massachusetts, December 10, 1854. The offspring of this marriage are five children: Herbert F., Grace M., Neva May., Walter F. and Fred. M. Mr. Ingals is a thrifty farmer and an enterprising citizen. He has an attractive home with beautiful environments, and seems to enjoy life.

Sherman L. Hatch, father of Charles L. Hatch, the subject of this sketch, was born in Cavendish, Windsor county, Vermont, in 1807. He was the son of Sherman and Caroline (Lovell) Hatch, of the same place. His grandfather on the father’s side lived in Hartford, Connecticut, and his mother’s father was one of the earliest settlers in Cavendish, Vermont. His father owned a small farm and was a hatter. Sherman was the oldest of twelve children, of which only he and four sisters arc living. He received what was then called a common school education, and in the spring of 1837 came west to Chicago, thence to Milwaukee, and from there to Janesville, Wisconsin. From there, with seven others, ho went down the Rock river in a boat, stopping at Rockford, Dixon and Prophetstown. Mr. Hatch remained over night in Iowa, opposite the mouth of the Rock, and then next day started up the river to Dixon, and arrived there in June. From there ho went to Charles F. Ingalls’, who had settled in Lee Center in 1836. On his way he stopped at the house of Mr. Whittaker, Lee Center, the only home seen since he left Dixon. Mr. Hatch came to Sublette, Sec. 7, in the southwest part of which was an abandoned claim and an unfinished log house, which he occupied and completed. He returned in the fall of 1837 to Vermont, and married Lucy Brown in the spring of 1838. Returning to his claim he found it occupied. He appealed to the squatter tribunal; the decision was that he (Hatch) should pay $150 to the occupant in consideration of tillage and other improvements made during his absence; or if Hatch chose, the occupant might pay him $125 and retain possession. Our subject paid the $150, and reentered his humble dwelling. During the summer of 1838 mother earth was the first floor of his cabin; the second, consisting of split rails covered with corn stalks, was for company. Mr. Hatch claimed a half-section of prairie and 240 acres of timber in May and Sublette townships; but when the land was sold ho bought only an eighty (in Maytown), having loaned considerable sums of money which he could not collect. He has since bought the W. 1/4 of N.W. Sec. 18, Sublette, and soon after the E. 1/4 of the same, where, in 1846, he built a 16x20 frame house, and in 1852 he built a brick house and a large barn; the lumber for the latter was all hauled from Chicago. Mr. Hatch lost his wife in November 1876; all of their four children are married: Harriet L. (Mrs. Gardner) was born December 1839; Caroline L. (Mrs. James Darrell), December 1840; Julia A. (Mrs. J. W. Latta, Dixon), December 1845; Charles L., 1848. The latter was married in 1874, to Catharine Barse, of Detroit, Michigan. Their family are Lucy M., bora April 1875, and Harry L., May 1877. Mr. C. L. Hatch has recently bought land in Secs. 17 and 18, adding to the large tract only partially described in this sketch. He taught school two winters; he is now living on the homestead. He is a deacon of the Sublette Congregational church; his wife is a Unitarian. His father is a republican, and in an early day was a captain in the Vermont militia.

Joel Cook, farmer, Sublette, was born in Otsego county, New York, in 1828, and was raised a farmer. He came west with his people in 1845, learned the carpenter and shoemaker trades in Lee county, though he had worked at the latter a little in the east. He went overland to the Far West in 1850, was in California and Oregon nearly four years, came back, and married Emily Strickland, of Pennsylvania, in the fall of 1855, her parents having come to Lee county in 1849. Mr. Cook bought eighty acres of laud from his brother John for $1,700, and went to farming, the next spring, in the S.E. Sec. 8. He built a 16x24 house. He has since purchased 110 acres in Secs. 5 and 9, at a cost of $4,000. In 1875 Mr. Cook put up a house at a cost of $1,800. His family are Lacon, born in 1863, and Katie, born 1871. His wife belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church. He is a republican and a Mason, but was formerly an Odd-Fellow. In an early day he used to go to Chicago much with an ox team; once he was gone forty days. In the meantime, however, he took some emigrants out to Iowa. Daniel Cook, father of the above, was born in New York, on Van Rensselaer's grant, in 1802. He was the second in a family of seven. He had five uncles killed in the revolution. His parents, Simeon and Polly (Baldwin) Cook, moved to Pennsylvania when he was three years old. He went to school only about two weeks, but was taught at home. He married, in 1823, Phoebe House, and lived in Pennsylvania until he came west. Their family consists of four children living: Samuel, born 1824; Joel, born 1826; John J., born 1830; Lydia, born 1836. On his arrival in Lee county with his family in 1845, Mr. Cook, during the first winter, lived with Daniel Trip at Inlet creek; the next year on Thomas Fessenden’s farm, after which he settled on the S.E. 1/2 Sec. 8. For this John J. Cook had a warrant, having been a soldier in the Mexican war. John is now living in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Samuel was in the late rebellion, and received injuries at Perryville, from which he has never recovered, though he was not in the engagement. He is now living with his family in Cherokee county, Kansas, and is engaged in farming. Mr. Cook and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. The former is an Odd- Fellow, and the latter belongs to the Rebeccas. Mr. Cook was an old- time democrat, but voted for Abe Lincoln, and has since voted the republican ticket. He can remember seeing the soldiers of the war of 1812, in which was one of his cousins. He and his wife are now living with their daughter, Mrs. Scofield, in Sublette.

Wm. W. Ireland, farmer, Sublette, was born in Harrison county, western Virginia, in 1826. He is the son of Jonathan and Eliza (Boring) Ireland, both of Maryland. He was brought up to farming, his father's occupation, and received a common-school education. His people moved to Clinton county, Ohio, when he was a year old ; here they lived a few years; thence to Bureau county, Illinois, where his father bought a claim. William Ireland came to Sublette in 1850, and bought of Stiles and Eustace for $130, a warrant for the S.W. 1/2 Sec. 23. The same year he bought twenty acres of timber. He now owns 215 acres of land, having bought the last in 1876. For several years Mr. Ireland lived with his brother on the N.W. 1/4 Sec. 23. He built on his own land in 1857, was married in the fall of 1856 to Sarah Vertrees, who was born in Indiana in 1833. They have had seven children, five of whom are living: Theodore F., born September 1857; Ida E., born December 1858; Della J., born August 1860; Miriam A., born March 1862; Fay, born September 1865 (died April 1880); Willie, born March 1864 (deceased); Chas. A., horn 1868. In politics Mr. Ireland is a liberal republican. Mrs. Ireland is a member and officer of the Sublette Methodist Episcopal church. She taught school in an early day in the vicinity of Knox Grove, named after her mother’s people, who were early settlers there. Her great-grandfather Knox came from Scotland, and settled in North Carolina. Her father’s father was in the war of 1812. Her mother's grandfather (Brooks) was all through the revolution. John Knox, her uncle, when above fifty years old went with three sons and a son-in-law from Lee county, Missouri, into the federal army of the rebellion. He died in the hospital at Nashville. One of the boys, wounded at Allatoona, Georgia, went home, and was replaced by his youngest brother. None of the other four ever returned from the battle-fields.

Emerson W. Patten, railroad agent, Sublette, was born September 25, 1826, in Greenwich, Hampshire county, Massachusetts. He is the youngest of four children of Calvin and Laura (Warrener) Patten, Mrs. R. H. Millen, of Amboy, being the eldest. His father was from Connecticut; his mother was born in Massachusetts. There is a tradition that three Patten brothers came from Scotland very early in the history of our country, one landing near Boston, one near New York, and the other in Rhode Island. “Great Uncle Billy” Patton was a revolutionary hero, and until he was almost a hundred walked annually to Taunton, Massachusetts, a distance of eight miles, to draw his pension. Emerson Patten was raised a farmer, and lived in his native town till 1853 when he came west to Amboy. Here he dealt in books and jewelry, but chiefly in real estate, losing heavily in the latter business in 1858. He lived in Amboy till 1873: was one year in Freeport, Illinois, and in 1874 came to Sublette, where he has since been employed by the Illinois Central Railroad Company. He was married in the tall of 1859 to Lucy E. Morse, born in New York. Three children are the fruit of their marriage: Alfred E., born December 1864; Calvin E., November 1866; Lena, September 1860. Mr. Patten is a Mason and a republican, and since he was nineteen years old he has belonged to the Congregational church.

Alfred L. Wilder, merchant, Sublette,was born in Conway, Franklin county, Massachusetts, in 1825. It is the son of Joshua and Lavina (Long) Wilder, of the same county, and his mother’s mother was a revolutionary pensioner. He was raised a farmer, staying with his father till he was twenty years old; and was educated at the Shelburne Falls Academy, Shelburne, Franklin county, in which town both his parents wore born, and he lived from his early youth. In 1854 Mr. Wilder came to Chicago; he clerked one year in Putnam county, where he was married to Mrs Elvira Hewitt, of Franklin county, Massachusetts, born in 1826. In 1854 he bought land in Iowa. In 1855 he settled in Sublette, and built a store. Mr. Wilder is now doing a large business, carrying a stock of about $10,000. He occupies the store began in 1855, to which he has added from time to time, the last improvement in 1877, and which is now worth about $3,000. His house was built in 1865 or 1866 at a cost of $2,500. His children are: Wm. A., born 1856; Nellie M., 1858, married T. F. Ireland, son of W. W. Ireland, and is now living in Mills county, Iowa; Raymond A., 1862. Roth sons are working with their father in his business, a general dry-goods, grocery, boot and shoe trade. William is married. Mr. and Mrs. Wilder, the parents, are members of the Baptist church. Mrs. A. L. Wilder’s father, Horace Benton, a native of Massachusetts, who has lived in Sublette since 1855, is in his eighty-sixth year, and possesses remarkable mental and physical vigor for one so old.

Mrs. Harriet L. Gardner, daughter of Sherman L. Hatch, and widow of Dr. Francis B. Gardner, was born on the homestead in December 1839. She went to the common school but three months; was sent to Lee Center and Janesville, Wisconsin, to school, and completed her education at a private school in West Chester county, New York. She taught school a few terms, and was married to Mr. Gardner in 1861. Ho had received his education at the Bridgewater, Massachusetts Normal school, and was a graduate from the Cincinnati Eclectic Medical School. Ho afterward graduated from a homeopathic school in Cleveland, Ohio. Mr. Gardner was born in February 1822, in Swansea, Massachusetts. His father was a sea-captain, and Francis was the youngest but one in a family of ten. He settled in Sublette in 1861. He had been in California most of the time since 1849, working mines or practicing medicine, having returned three times from that country. In 1863 he bought from Elder Morrison the house where his family are living in the village of Sublette, a little west of the Baptist church. At that time he purchased two lots, since increased to five acres of farm land. His heirs now own in May and Sublette townships to the amount of 160 acres. Two boys and a girl are the fruit of his marriage: Seraphine, born July 1862; Frank, March 1864; Charles, November 1865. In November, 1880, the doctor met a cruel and unexpected death; ho was tossed by a bull and foil on the back of his head, from the effect of which he died the third day after the accident. He was a hearty, rather stout man, and had never experienced any sickness worth mention. He and his wife were Episcopalians, though the latter recently united with the Congregational church, there being no Episcopal church in Sublette. He joined the Masons about a year before he died; he was a brother of Dr. Charles Gardner, an early settler in Nachusa township.

Frank Thompson, hardware merchant, Sublette, was born in La Salle county, Illinois, in 1853. His father, John B., was born in Ohio in 1825; his mother, Clementine Eastman, in Maine in 1822. They came west in 1844, lived about a year in Bureau county, then settled in La Salle county, Ophir township, where Mr. Thompson took up a claim. In 1853 he took a contract to grade a part of the Illinois Central railroad between Amboy and Sublette; he came to Sublette in 1867. Frank Thompson is one of a family of three boys and two girls. He was raised a farmer, and was graduated from the Valparaiso (Indiana) Commercial School. For a time he was a clerk in Amboy; went with his eldest brother, in the spring of 1875, to California, where they worked a mine. Frank came back in the winter of 1876-7, and began in the hardware business in Sublette in 1878, under the firm name of F. A. Thompson & Co. He now has a stock of $2,500. Mr. Thompson was made postmaster at Sublette, February 1881. Ho is a Baptist, and a member of the Lee county guards. He was married October 25, 1880, to Stella S., daughter of James Dexter, and sister of Mrs. William Wilder.

Prescott Wilcott Bartlett, farmer, Sublette, was born in Conway, Franklin county, Massachusetts, August 10, 1821. His father, born in 1789, was a tanner by trade, and raised a company during the war of 1812. His mother, Narcissa Robinson, was born 1787. Mr. Bartlett came west in 1844, to Du Page county, Illinois, and soon after to Sublette, taking a claim of a quarter-section on Sec. 20, a part of which is now owned by H. C. Chapman. After living here about five years he went to Bureau county and bought a farm. He now owns and lives upon the E. 1/2 Sec. 17, Sublette, having bought it in 1850 from William Erskine for $500. In 1868 be built a fine residence of Batavia stone at a cost of $12,000. Having passed through Texas and Arkansas in 1855, he became convinced that war was imminent; he studied cavalry tactics in the winter of 1860, and in the following spring began to raise a cavalry company. He took several horses from his own farm, giving one to a hired man as an inducement for him to enlist. Mr. Bartlett enlisted in June 1861; was sworn into service August 7, and received a captain’s commission in Co. C, 7th IL Cav. The company, when mustered, numbered about ninety-eight, about twenty-five or thirty of whom were from Sublette; the rest chiefly from Mendota, Amboy, and Lee Conner. They went first into Missouri, thence through Kentucky and Tennessee, early in 1862. In September 1862 the 7th cavalry was encamped at Tuscumbia, Alabama, at which time Co. C was detached as special escort to Gen. John M. Palmer, in which service they continued until January 1864. They were in all the hard fighting of the Rosecrans’ campaign, the battle of Stone River being their first general engagement. They did gallant service at Missionary Ridge, and were in much skirmishing, especially at and near Nashville. Capt. Bartlett was six weeks president of a military commission at Memphis. That ho was not promoted during his service was from no lack of merit. He escaped promotion more than once through accidental circumstances, over which he had no control. To his worth as a true soldier many freely testify. He was married January 4, 1849, to Caroline Whitney, born in Warren county, Ohio (her father was from Maine, her mother, Ohio). Of their eight children four are living, the others having died young: Silas Wilton, born March 1853; Eugene P., born March 1858; Howard, born November 1865; Cora May, born March 1869. Wilton, was admitted to the bar in May 1881. Eugene is a master penman. Both have attended school at Normal, Illinois, a considerable time. Mr. Bartlett has been a stirring, industrious man and has seen much of the world. He has traveled widely in the purchase and sale of horses, having gone to Boston and Providence several times, for the latter purpose. In an early day ho was elected constable, and was a deputy under sheriff Campbell at the time of the famous “ banditti ” prosecutions. He is a Mason and a staunch republican. Mr. Bartlett has always been a generous, public spirited man, identifying himself with every progressive movement. But for lack of space many an interesting anecdote might be related illustrative of his enterprise in civil life and his willingness to assume responsibility during his military career.

Edward Fessenden, farmer, Sublette, was born April 4, 1839, in Lee county. The Fessendens were among the very early settlers of the Massachusetts colony. His father, Thomas Fessenden, was born in Fitzburg, New Hampshire, February 1, 1805, and was raised a farmer, being the son of William and Rebecca Fessenden, whose family consisted of three sons and four daughters. One of the latter, Mrs. Joel Jewett, settled with her husband on Sec. 18, a few years after Thomas and his family settled in Sublette. Mr. and Mrs. Jewett are both dead. In 1830 or 1831 Thomas Fessenden married Sarah Pearsons born June 13, 1804. With his brother-in-law, Addison G. Bragg, he came west in 1834, passing through Chicago, Peru, Illinois, and down the Illinois river to St. Louis, returning in the fall of the same year. In 1837 with his wife, three children, and his brother William, he came west again, directly to Lee county. They lived three months on the Blunt place, in Amboy township; thence to Sublette, where they settled, William on Sec. 7, where John H. Long lives, and lived there till about 1852, when he sold to J. B. Wyman. Thomas settled on Sec. 8, and lived there till 1860. Selling out to his sons, he went to Missouri for his health, and thence after three years to Santa Barbara, California, where he now resides. Of the family of Thomas Fessenden but four of eleven are now living. Three died in infancy. The names of the others are Frederick A., born December 20, 1830 (died at the homestead December, 1862); George F., January 24, 1833; Frances J., December 1, 1835 (deceased November 16, 1867); Edward, April 4, 1839; Austin, October 7, 1842 (died June 22, 1862); Emeline and Caroline,twin sisters, May 24, 1844 (Emeline died February 5, 1866); Warren G., December 14, 1846. George is living with his wife and two daughters in Kansas, whence he went from Lee county in 1878. Caroline (Mrs. Benj. Dexter) is living in Santa Barbara, California. All of the boys, except the youngest, served their country in the late rebellion. Warren entered the 104th IL Vols., in the one-hundred-days service. Edward and George enlisted in Co. E,75th IL September 1862. George was with this company until he was mustered out, June 12,1865. He was in the fighting at Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge, with Sherman through Georgia to the sea, and around to Richmond. Edward was transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps, July 1863. Was at Elmira and Buffalo, New York, and afterward, except two months, was at Camp Douglas, Chicago, until he was mustered out, July 1865. The subject of this article was married February, 1862, to Harriet E. Dexter, youngest daughter of John Dexter, the first settler in Amboy township. Their family consists of three children living: Thomas E., born September 1862 (deceased January 1863); Francis D., born August 1867; James H., born January 1871; Stella, born July 1873. Mr. and Mrs. Fessenden are members of the Congregational church. Mr. Fessenden sold his farm, the old homestead, in the spring of 1881, and is going to California to reside. He is the last of the family in Sublette, and like all the rest is a republican. He will be greatly missed by his neighbors and friends, who have long known him as an upright and conscientious man.

Warren Clarke, carpenter, Sublette, was born in Medfield, Norfolk county, Massachusetts, February 22, 1825. His father, Jacob Clarke, was born in 1792 and died in 1865; he was of Scotch ancestry. His mother, Cyntha Ann Morse, born in 1795, is still living. His father was a tifer in the war of 1812; he was a first cousin of the celebrated Lowell Mason, of Boston, to whose singing-school Warren went when a youth. Warren Clarke learned the carpenter’s trade when eighteen years of age, having previously worked at shoemaking, his father’s trade. He came west in 1854 to Mendota, Illinois; worked five years in a foundry there, and, except two years in the insurance business, he has since followed carpentering in Mendota and Sublette, having moved to the village of Sublette in 1877. While in Mendota he did many first- class jobs, building the west side school-house, besides many of the finest stores and dwellings. He has been a Mason since 1862, and belongs to the order of I.O.O.F. He has always been a republican. Mr. Clarke has been twice married: first, 1849, in Vermont, to Juliaetta L. Aldrich, by whom he had two children : a eon, born February 1852 (deceased 1854), and a daughter, January 1857 (now Mrs. Allen, Mendota, Illinois). In 1876 he married his second wife, Melphia Stearns, of Sublette, his first having died in 1873. The fruits of this second marriage are two daughters: Mary, born June 15, 1877, and Lina Stearns, December 1878.

John D. Tourtillott, farmer, Sublette, was born June 26, 1827, in the town of Howland, Penobscot county, Maine. His father, Thomas Tourtillott, born in Orino, Maine, April 1786, was of French descent. His mother, Hannah Douglass, was born in Hancock county, Maine, April 1797, and was of Scotch ancestry. His grandfather was a “Revolutioner.” His parents were married in Howland, Maine, September 20, 1826. This was the second marriage of Thomas Tourtillott, Charlotte Inman, by whom he had eight children, being his first wife. By his second wife he had seven children, of whom John is the eldest. In 1839 the Tourtillotts came west in two wagons drawn by three horses. There were fourteen in the company, and the journey occupied seventy days. They stopped at La Moille, Bureau county, and in the following year, 1840, came to Sublette and settled on Sec. 31. Here the senior Tourtillotts lived till 1868, when they ceased housekeeping and went to live among their children. Hannah Tourtillott died March 19, 1878, at the residence of her son-in-law, Joseph Hodges, two miles north of Sublette. She had reached the ripe age of nearly eighty-one years; she had seen her family grow up and settle, some near her and others in Kansas, Iowa, California and elsewhere. She survived only one of her children, a son who died October, 1876. She was a devoted Christian mother, having experienced religion at the age of seventeen. “ She possessed an extraordinary self-sacrificing and sympathetic spirit for her family.” In the following year, December 8, 1879, she was followed by her aged companion, who, in the ninety-fourth year of his life, went to meet her in the “better land.” When twenty-three years of age he united with the Methodist Episcopal church, and “ lived for many years an active and zealous member, enforcing both by word and example the holy religion he professed.” John Tourtillott, the only one of his family left in Lee county, received a common school education, and was married October 5, 1856, to Mary Jane Dexter (deceased October 1878). Four children are the fruits of their wedded life: John Fremont, born July 1857 (deceased October 1858); Thomas A., September 1858; Ella Mary, July 1862; and a deceased infant, born October 1864. He went with his family to California in 1869, with some view of remaining there, but returned in 1871. He is now living on the homestead on Sec. 31. In politics he was an old-time whig, but he has been a republican since the organization of that party. He and his family are members of the Congregational church.

Newton Stanard, farmer, Sublette, was born in Madison county, New York, November 1819. His father, Libeous Stanard, born in Vermont, was a farmer. His mother, Luceba Fay, was born in Connecticut. They had a family of twelve, ten of whom are living. The father was in the war of 1812, and was at Sacket’s Harbor some time in the fall of 1840. Libcous Stanard came west with his family in two covered wagons to Perkins’ Grove, Bureau county, to which Newton and his brother had come the year before. The family were six weeks on their way. They bought 160 acres of land, timber and prairie, from the widow of J. Kendall, some of which they afterward entered. In 1842 the mother and one son died with typhoid fever. The father survived till October 1859. Newton Stanard was married in November 1844, to Emily Reniff, who was born in New York state in 1823., Her parents, when she was an infant, moved back to Massachusetts, whence they came west. In the spring of 1847 Mr. Stanard bought from John Dement the S.E. 1/2 of Sec. 19, Sublette, and settled there. He hauled lumber from Chicago and built a house 24x30, with an addition 16x16. This was then one of the best in that vicinity, and is still in good condition. His family are Charles, born February 1846; Ora, December 1852; Irvin, February 1857; Laura E., September 1859; Adella, May 1861. They have all enjoyed good educational advantages, Ora being a graduate from the college at Naperville, Illinois. Charles enlisted, October 1864, in the 75th IL Co. E, and was mustered out October 15, 1865. He was in the Hood campaign in Tennessee, and saw his first fighting at Nashville. During the latter part of his service he was in Texas. He is married and living in Sublette; has two children. All but one of the family of Newton Stanard belong to the Baptist church. Of the first family mentioned, three own property in Bureau county, two of whom are living there. The rest are widely scattered.

Seth F. Baird, farmer, Sublette, was born September 1846; son of Daniel and Charlotte (Field) Baird, early settlers in Sublette township. He received a common schooling and took a commercial course at Aurora, Illinois; was married June 12, 1870, to Amanda S. Thompson, of Lee county, who had come from West Virginia with her people the previous year. She died July 27, 1873, leaving two children : Carrie A. and Robert Daniel (deceased infant). Mr. Baird was again married, February 4,1875, to Martha A. Rees, of Indiana. She has given birth to one child: William M., born May 1876. The family are now living on the old homestead on Sec. 19. They are Methodists.

Chas. D. Hubbard, painter, Sublette, was born in Lee county, May 4, 1846, and is the youngest son of Royal Prescott Hubbard, who was born in Sunderland, Mass., September 1805. The mother of the latter, Lavinia Prescott, was one of a family of Prescotts noted in American history, and who trace their lineage to a certain James Prescott, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, of England. Moses Hubbard was the father of Royal P. Hubbard, who is the eldest of a family of thirteen, only four of whom are living. In 1827 he sailed from Now York in company with forty-one young men from Connecticut and Massachusetts, and settled in Macon, Georgia, where he engaged in mercantile business till 1835, when he had to flee for his life, having too freely expressed his sentiments in regard to the atrocities of slavery. This was the first abolition excitement there, and the mob surrounded the home of our subject a few minutes after he left it and fled to Charleston and out of the South, of course losing all his property there. In 1838 he came to Princeton, Illinois, and in 1844 to Sublette, settling on Sec. 17. In 1842 he married Mary (Boring) Berkeley, a widow with four children, by whom he had four more, all of whom are living. Their mother died May 13, 1881. When the rebellion broke out Mr. Hubbard, having seen all the horrors of slavery, told his sons to “pitch in and clean them out.” All of them, four in number, went into the service, and the father also offered his life, but was rejected because of physical disability. Chas. Hubbard enlisted in the 75th IL Co. E, Captain Frost; was in the battle of Perryville. In this engagement Co. E lost eleven killed, twenty-six wounded and two prisoners. He was in the fighting at Stone river, and under Hooker at Lookout Mountain; was at Crawfish Springs as a flank in the battle of Chickamauga; was at Missionary Ridge, and with Sherman to a little below Atlanta. Came back with Thomas to Tennessee, and was in the fighting at Nashville and Franklin. He was mustered out June 12, 1865, without a wound, and having won the reputation of being a splendid soldier, being especially noted for his intrepidity and love for foraging. He was married August 26, 1871, to Lide Anderson, of Dixon. Their issue are: Louis P., March 1873; Mary G., August 1875; John, June 1878. Mr. Hubbard is living near the village of Sublette.

James Black, farmer, Sublette, was born January 1823, in the province of Leinster, Ireland. His parents, John and Charlotte (Pilkington) Black, had a family of seven children, and James Black was educated for the ministry of the English Episcopal church at Trinity College, Dublin, leaving that institution when he was about to take the degree of A.B. About 1843 his father sold his property in Ireland to go to Australia, but in consequence of a wreck off Cape Good Hope he returned to his native land with his family and three or four thousand pounds, the remnant of his property. Remaining a few years in Ireland, he came to America with all his family except the eldest son, and settled in New Jersey, where he and his wife both died, and where their youngest daughter is now living. James Black was married, 1850, in New Jersey, to Sarah Wynne, by whom he has had ten children, eight of whom are living: William, born January 1853. Lottie (now Mrs. Levi Mead, Astoria county, Iowa), Susan, John, Jane (deceased, aged eleven years), Sarah, James, Hattie, George (deceased, infant), Edith. Mr. Black came to Lee Center township about 1853, and in 1860 to Sec. 1, Sublette, he and his brother buying 182 acres in the N.W. 1/4 of same. Here he has since lived. The family are members of the Congregational church.

C. M. Miller, butter and cheese maker, Sublette, was born in the Rhine province, Prussia, November 28, 1854. He was the eldest child of K. and Anne (Michels) Miller, who with their family came to Winfield, Du Puge county, Illinois, in 1864. The subject of this notice received a common education in the English and German schools. Mr. Miller has been thoroughly schooled in the cheese and butter business, having been employed by several of the best manufacturers in the famous Fox river region. In 1873 he began in La Fox, Kane county, under Potter & Baker, and afterward in the same vicinity for H. L. Ford. He was subsequently employed by Martin Switzer at St. Charles, same county, making the first cheese in his factory there, and also in Batavia by H. A. Bogardus, wholesale dealer in butter and cheese, Chicago, Illinois. Mr. Miller began to manufacture for himself in Cook county, Palatine Grove, thence to Sublette in the spring of of 1881, buying the factory built by George Pulling. This establishment when completed will have cost about $3,500. A boiler and engine have been put in and a milk pool is contemplated. Mr. Miller is making both butter and cheese, shipping chiefly to Chicago. He is governed in his sales by Elgin prices, and his business is steadily increasing and promises soon to he a leading industry.

Oliver A. Wood, farmer, Sublette, was born in Bolton, Massachusetts, June 1833, son of Amariah and Rachel (Atherton) Wood, born May, 1807, and February, 1811, respectively. Both of his parents are of English descent, his mother having descended from one of four brothers named Atherton who came to Massachusetts at an early period. Oliver Wood is the oldest and the only survivor in a family of four sons and three daughters. The latter all died young in the east; one son died an infant. The rest of the family, Oliver, George and Frank, received a good education for the times. In 1851 the family came to Sublette and settled on Sec. 30, where Oliver and his family are living with his parents. George was killed at Chickasaw Bayou, near Vicksburg, December 1803. Frank died in the hospital at Nashville, January 1864. Oliver Wood enlisted in the 75th III., Co. E, in August 1862. He was seriously wounded in the battle of Perryville, and was mustered out January 8,1863, having been confined in hospital from October, 1862, till January, 1863, at Perryville and Louisville, Kentucky, and New Albany, Indiana. His wound was a serious one, the ball passing entirely through his abdomen, and from its effects he has suffered more or less ever since. Mr. Wood married, August 1863, Climena Hubbard, daughter of Royal Prescott Hubbard. Their sons, George Frank, born October 1865, and Leon A., October 1869, constitute their family, having lost their two daughters in infancy. Mr. Wood is a Mason and an Odd-Fellow, and with his family belongs to the Congregational church. He owns the homestead of 120 acres.

John C. Spielmann, farmer, Mendota, was born in Hesse Darmstadt, Germany, March 9, 1830. His parents are John and Mary (Sinner) Spielmann, and he is the only survivor of their four children. In 1847 he came via New York directly to Lee county with his father and mother, who are now living with him. They settled on Sec. 34, buying a claim of 30 acres from a Mr. Kenney. They now own a valuable farm in Secs. 34 and 35, and in Bureau county opposite. In 1871 they built a fine residence on Sec. 35, on the Chicago road. In 1858 Mr. Spielmann married Julia Naumann; they have no children, but they have reared two adopted ones: Julia Kinnenberger, who was married in 1879, to Julius Alber, now living in Iowa; and George Higgins, aged fifteen years. John Spielmann, jr., is a self-made man, having received the most of his education in the German tongue. From 1854 until 1869 he was a circuit preacher in the church of the E.A.U.A., but quit these duties on account of bodily infirmities. He has preached in Cook, La Salle, Tazewell, Peoria, Kankakee and other counties in this vicinity. Ha is a man of unimpeachable character, and is better known in Bureau than in Lee county.

Jacob Richert, farmer, Mendota, was born in Alsace, Germany, November 1835; son of John and Anna C. (Staub) Richert, and is the fifth in a family of four boys and three girls. In 1854 he came to New Orleans with Peter Richert, his eldest brother, thence to Lee county in the fall of 1854, stopping in Indiana during the summer. Jacob worked around for several years, and in the spring of 1861 bought 80 acres in Sec. 36 from John Fry, jr., at $21 per acre. In the same year he enlisted in Co. B, 52d IL Inf. This regiment was mustered at Geneva, Illinois, and departed late in the fall of 1861 for St. Louis, thence to St. Joseph, where they staid about two months. From here they were sent to Tennessee, by the way of Quincy and Cairo, Illinois, crossing the Mississippi at Quincy on the ice. The regiment came up at Fort Donelson just as the rebels surrendered, and were under Grant at Shiloh, losing there 260 of their number in killed and wounded. Previously Mr. Richert had been detailed as a guard with prisoners to Springfield, Illinois. He was in the battle of Corinth, where his regiment staid till they were sent to Pulaski, Tennessee, in the early winter of 1863. From here Mr. Richert was sent home to recruit, remaining home live months and returning with as many recruits. He reentered the 52d in the Atlanta campaign in June 1864, and was engaged in twenty days, hard lighting and skirmishing. He was mustered out at Rome, Georgia, October 1864, not having received a scratch during his faithful service. In December, 1864, he married Mary Butz, of May township, and seven children now gladden their home: Frederick, born December 1865; Mary, born February 1868; George B., born April 1870; Sarah, born August 1873; Clara, born September 1875; Emma, born January 1878; Simon, born September 1880. Mr. Richert now owns the S.E. 1/2 Sec. 36, having bought the west half of the same from Michael Bitner at $45 per acre. There are good buildings on the place, and its owner is now enabled to enjoy the fruit of his toil. He and his family are members of the Evangelical church. Mr. Richert is a republican. His father has been to Illinois three times, once remaining four years, and returned to his native land for the last time in 1876, and died in Baden while on the way. For many years he had lived among his children, and had a strong attachment for the sea.

Christian Biester, farmer, Sublette, was born in Germany, Hanover county, December 1831. His parents, Fred and Caroline (Weber) Biester, had a family of three boys and one girl. His father was seven years in the German army. Our subject came to America in 1855, via Baltimore to Chicago, where ho stopped two years; thence to Lee county, Illinois. Here he worked out for several years as a farmhand. In 1867 he bought eighty acres in Sec. 8. He has been industrious and careful, and now has the deeds for 236 acres of valuable land, upon which ho erected a fine dwelling in 1873. He went back to Germany in the fall of 1861, and was there married, March 1862, to Dora Miller, whom he had known in childhood. They arrived in Chicago in March 1862. Their family are: Louis,born January 1863; Henry, November 1865; Ernest, November 1867; Dora, December 1860; Mary, June 1871; Anna, May 1873; August, December 1874. The family belonged to the Lutheran church. Mr. Biester is the only one of his family that came to America. Mrs. Biester’s mother came to America in 1868 The latter has a son in Dakota, a daughter in Minnesota, and three daughters, all married, living in Lee county. John H. Schwoub, farmer, Sublette, was born in Hesse Darmstadt. Germany, May 1, 1813. He was six years in the German army. In 1847 he came to America with his family of a wife and five children. He settled on Sec. 34 in the town of Sublette, and now owns a farm of 170 acres there. He first bought thirty acres on which was a log house, on the north side of the “Chicago road,” on land now owned by Conrad Speilman. When twenty-five years of age he married Margaret Kuhl. Their children are: George, Conrad (enlisted in Co. B, 52d IL Vols., and was killed at Kenesaw Mountain, Georgia); Philip, Mary, Henry, Katherine, Eva and Margaret. George, Henry, Mary (Mrs. Reichart) and Margaret (Mrs. Boeler) are living in Clay county, Kansas, and Katherine (Mrs. Thomas Boettcher) in Mendota. Eva (Mrs. Baoer) is now living with her husband on the homestead. Schwoub belongs to the Evangelical church, and his life shows that he is a true disciple of Christ. In politics he was an old-time democrat; but voted for Fremont and Lincoln, and has since been a republican.

Frederick Oberhelman, grain-buyer, Sublette, was born in Warren county, Missouri, in 1844. His father, Frederick, and his mother, Christine (Knoepker), came to Missouri, the former in 1833, the latter in 1838. Frederick was the eldest in a family of eleven children. His father was a farmer and he was reared to the same business. His grandfather was a German soldier, and was in the battles of Leipsic, Waterloo, and others. Mr. Oberhelman was sent to school but little, in all not more than twelve months, and never to an English school. During the war of the rebellion he was five years in the Missouri State Militia and Home Guards. In 1866 ho married Mary E. Betz, daughter of John Betz, an early settler in Sublette. None of their children have lived; they have one adopted daughter. Mr. Oberhelman began farming in 1867 on Sec. 22, and continued in the same till 1871, when he went into the business of buying and shipping grain in the village of Sublette. In 1874 he built an elevator, which with his engine cost him $5,000. lie also deals in coal and lumber, and till recently dealt in live-stock. His business is prosperous, he having paid out. as much as $100,000 in one year. He and his wife belong to the Evangelical Lutheran church. In politics he is non-partisan.

Elijah Austin, farmer, Sublette, was born in tipper Canada, January 1820. His father, Norman Austin, and his mother, Sarah Landers, were natives of Connecticut. His ancestors were “ Revolutioners,” and his father served in the war of 1812. In the fall of 1837 Elijah Austin went to Sandusky, Ohio, thence with wagon to the present site of Galesburg, Illinois, passing through Aurora and Monmouth, then only the germs of towns ; lived in Knox county till 1840, when he went back east. Returning to Knox county, he lived there till 1846, thence to Princeton. In 1849 lie made a claim on Secs. 17 and 18, of 152 acres. In 1859 he bought from Henry Hannon 80 acres formerly owned by Daniel Baird, who lived on the old La Salle and Grand De Tour road, where Mr. Austin now resides. The latter owns a large farm in Secs. 17, 18, 19, and a few acres in Sec. 20, Sarah Burton, of Hancock county, Illinois. They have a family of seven children living. Abagail, born December 1843 (wife of Nelson Van Fleet, Kansas, son of an old settler in Aurora); Mary, born 1845 (Mrs. Joseph Donne, died in 1868); Burton, February 1848 (married October 1876, has two children and is farming in Sublette); Elizabeth, May 1850; Melissa, September 1852; Jane, March 1855; Frances A., September 1866; Minnie R., April 1871. The last two are by his second wife, Catherine Austin, to whom he was married September 1863. Elizabeth (Mrs. Blair) is living in Brooklyn township. In politics Mr. Austin is an ex-republican green backer, formerly a free- soiler. He is a Mason, a genial neighbor and a kind father.

Silas D. Reniff, farmer, Sublette, born 1816, in Tioga county, New York, is the son of Ephraim and Betsey (Wesson) Reniff, both born in Massachusetts. His grandfather on the father’s side was a Scotchman. Ephraim Reniff was a farmer and had a family of eight children. In 1843 he came west, and settled on section 19, where Seth Baird lives. The following year Silas Reniff came out and claimed a half-section of land, one half of which he afterward entered. This was a 160 in Sec. 20, where he now lives. He owns 240 acres of well improved land, upon which there are good buildings. In 1849 Mr. Reniff was married to Laura Angier, only sister of Thomas Angier. Their issue is a son, Ernest, born September 1855; he married Mary Chamberlain, May 1876, by whom he has two boys, Ernest and Laurie, born November, 1877, and June, 1880, respectively. Mr. Reniff has been a very energetic business man, and is now active for one of his age. For many years he has been a general stock dealer and he is now shipping to Chicago. For twenty-seven years he has assessed the town of Sublette, and has been twenty years school trustee. Before coining west he was eight years a teamster to Boston, driving an eight-horse team about a hundred miles to and from that city. Then and for many years after he was an athletic and daring man, and one with whom it was not safe to trifle. He is a staunch republican and a perfectly reliable man. His father died about 1855 and his mother a few years later.

Thomas S. Angier, farmer and magistrate, Sublette, was born 1822, in Fitzwilliam, Cheshire county, New Hampshire; he is the son of Abel and Laura (Holmes) Angier, born 1797 and 1801 respectively. His grandparents were born in New England, and his great-grandfather Amidon was in the revolution. His mother died when he was eight years old, and his father seven years later. Thomas, the only son in a family of two children, received a common school education ; was married in 1838, to Fannie, daughter of Benjamin B. and Grata (Whitnev) Morse, who was born in New Hampshire in 1821. Her ancestors, Whitney and Morse were “Revolutioners,” and the latter was in the war of 1812. Mr. Angier, with his wife and one child, came west to LaMoille, Bureau county, Illinois, in 1840; thence to Sublette, Lee county, the following spring, settling on the N.E. 1/2 of Sec. 31, having bought it the year before. Of a family of ten children only three survive. In the summer of 1861 his eldest sons, Abel, born in 1838, and Leander in 1841, enlisted in Co. D, 46th IL Vols. In the winter of 1861-5; before their regiment went south, both were taken sick with diphtheria. Though two others of the family died at this time, they recovered, and were with Co. D till the fall of 1862, when both were in the hospital at Memphis; there Leander died in September. Abel did not again enter the service, and died of consumption in 1873. Ambrose, third in the family, is married and living on the homestead. In 1874 Mr. Angier moved to the village of Sublette, where he has since lived. He is a man in whom the people have entire confidence, having held some office ever since the organization of the township. In 1851 he was elected justice of the peace, in which capacity he has acted ever since. He has been eighteen years supervisor of Sublette township, and much of that time was chairman of the board of supervisors. Besides these he has held other offices; he is consequently well acquainted with the development of this township, and to him the writer is indebted for much valuable information. Mr. Angier is a republican and a Mason, and may be very appropriately styled “the oracle of Sublette.”

Phillip Fauble farmer, Sublette, was born in Lee county in April 1851. His father, John Fauble, was an early settler in Sublette and acquired a large property. His mother is one of the largest tax payers in the county. In October, 1877, Philip Fauble married Barbara Pope, of Bureau county. Their family: George L., born June 1879, and Katie, December 1880. He has a farm of 200 acres in Sec. 32. This is known as the William Tourtillott farm. In 1880 Mr. Fauble built a fine barn at a cost of about $1,400. He has a good house and a large orchard. His wife owns a quarter-section in Brooklyn township. They are members of the Evangelical church. Our subject received a common school education; ho is a strong republican and a man of pleasing address.
History of Lee County together with Biographical Matter, Statistics, Etc.
Chicago by H.H. Hill and Company Publishers 1881


History of Sublette

Here is one more township carved out of old Inlet. It joins Lee center on the South and its inhabitants took active part and stood up against the common enemy, the banditti, with the same courage.

Sublette, in the very earliest days was inhabited by the sturdiest of settlers and to this day the sons and daughters of these old pioneers are just as sturdy, industrious, thrifty, intelligent and honorable as the old forefathers who are buried in two or three cemeteries down there. Sublette Village was platted as Sublette. Many have thought it took its name from the circumstances of that particular section of the railroad being sublet. But as every other section of the road was almost was sublet in parts by the original contractor the suggestion should have no consideration. The name of the original plat Sublette should regulate the name. As to who the individual Sublette, was the oldest inhabitant cannot tell. He must have been a non-resident.

The eastern terminus Palestine Grove will be found in this township on sections 5, 6 and 7. Knox Grove is almost exclusively in this township along Bureau creek. The old Chicago road running from Princeton ran through Sublette township. A part of another old state road running from LaSalle to Grand Detour in the days of the latter may be traced through the township to this very day through sections 17 and 18. The old Black Hawk trail made by the army in 1832, on its trip to and from Ottawa and to and from Fort Wilbourn - the old telegraph and state line between Dixon and Peru - entered the town at the northwest corner of section 30 and left near the center of the south line of the same section.

It seems agreed that the first permanent began here in the year 1837. Jonathan Peterson came over from Ottawa in October 1836. He had come originally from New Hampshire. He spent the winter of 1836-37 at Ottawa. In February 1837 he started for Lee County. During the summer he made his claim on the northwest quarter of section 4. He built his cabin just over the line in what became Lee Center Township subsequently. Then he returned to New Hampshire where he married and in 1838 he returned to Sublette.

In 1837, the month of June, Sherman L. Hatch reached Dixon. To him Inlet appeared more promising and to Inlet he went to the house of C.F.(Charles Francis) Ingalls who had settled there the year previous. That autumn he made his claim on the southwest quarter of section 7 where he built a log house. As though imitating the example of Peterson, he immediately returned to Vermont, was married, and the next year he returned.

In the autumn of 1838, Thomas and William Fessenden with their families, came into Sublette from New Hampshire. They claimed lands in Section 6 and 7, built a log house on the northwest quarter of Section 7 and moved into it in December. This is called the first real settlement in the township.

In 1838 Joseph Knox settled in the south end of the grove which took on his name. The same year, Sylvanus Peterson moved into the southeast quarter of 5. Sometime before the year 1840 John Morton, R.E. Goodsall settled. In 1839 Daniel Baird settled on the Grand Detour and LaSalle Road.

In this same year, 1839, Phineas Rust built the first frame house in Sublette Township on Section 30. Philo Stannard and Thomas A. Engler were there in 1840. Thomas Tourtillott was there too in 1840 and built a frame house 16 x 20 on section 31, and C. Bryant settled on the old Chicago road on section 35.

Hiram Anderson, the man whose claim was jumped and the man with which claim Bull of Dixon was mixed up, lived in Sublette and the exact description of that celebrated claim is the northeast quarter of section 33, and 1843 was the year during which Anderson settled on it.

About this time came Ephraim Reniff, 1843; Alpheus Crawford 1844; Daniel Pratt, Levi Camp, Prescott Bartlett, Silas Reniff, Mr. Rogers, John & Hezekiah McKune. At this period the year 1844, the immigrants who came to Sublette were to throw the character of the settlers from New England to Germany, and to this day Sublette bears imprint of Jacob Betz, the first German settler in Sublette. He took up a claim, the southeast quarter of section 33, near the timber known as Perkins Grove. He erected a log house and without loss of time began breaking up the virgin prairie. Like Hotsell of Bradford, he became the pole star of old and young German friends back home. He wrote them his experiences and his views and the next year, 1845, Matthew Reis came there to live, finding with Mr. Betz a hearty welcome. He spent the summer and fall with Mr. Betz and in the winter time he split rails for Mr. Betz for 50 cents per day.

In Sublette and Bradford the Germans predominated and do this day. Now the children have spread over into China and Ashton, and the population is made up largely of German people. Some of them belong to the fifth generation.

Chicago in those days was the marketplace, and in common with others who were compelled to go there, bad roads, sloughs, and swamps played havoc many times with their journeys. One of the remedies applied to prevent miring down was to place sacks of grain ahead of the wheels, drive over them and after a long and tiresome effort the other side was accomplished and much good grain was spoiled. Groceries were generally all that could be brought back in exchange for the grain. One of Mr. Reis' trading places was near the present site of the courthouse in Chicago and there for a long while was posted the sign "Beware No Bottom". Later, Peru became the market center for the people in that part of Lee county. Travel was invited that way and greatly accelerated by the laying of a plank road for several miles.

That plank road was regarded with the same feelings of superiority over their neighbors as settlers in a favored locality regarded the railroad when it came along and super ceded the plank road. This plank road was called the toll road and for a considerable while it made Peru famous.

Bartholomew Theiss, an old soldier came with his family consisting of four sons and daughters, John, Jacob, Godfrey, George, Margaret and Catherine to Lee county May 5th in the year 1846 and located in Sublette. Mr. Theiss possessed great will power, courage and endurance of the man who has always lived properly. For many years he served under Napoleon Bonaparte in the latter's campaign in Italy, Prussia, Austria and Russia. He had won such distinction that he was made one of the great Napoleon's bodyguards.

In the early 50's the Theiss family built the first Catholic church in Sublette township known ever since as the Perkins Grove Catholic Church, or as St. Mary's Church. The old church still stands as well as the cemetery in which Mr. Theiss was buried on his death. Both the church and the cemetery are kept beautifully to this very day by the descendants of the original Theiss.

George Hoffman and his family, consisting of his wife and three sons and two daughters came to Sublette in the summer of 1845. They too were old friends of Jacob Betz and they settled near Perkins Grove. Henry the oldest son, married and by consistent work and economy he accumulated 600 acres of as good land as there is in Lee county. The father George Hoffman, died in 1909, leaving surviving him his widow, seven sons and three daughters.

George Beiber landed in Sublette township in the summer of 1852. He was a shoemaker by trade and worked at his trade until the year 1858, when he returned to Germany to be married. He returned with his wife and bought a lot in the village of Sublette and built a house there on, one room which he used as his shoe shop.

The first post office established was that of Broomfield, maintained at the house of Daniel Baird. This was about the year of 1840. In the year 1841, O. Bryant burned a kiln of brick and like his Maytown neighbor, he succeeded. Just over the line in Maytown, taverns were kept by men named Richardson, Daniel Baird, Thomas Tourtillott and another named Morrison.

The only Indians ever known to Sublette people were the Shabbona Potawatomies who used to ride to and from the swamp near Walnut Grove, along the Chicago - Princeton road. Green's mill at Dayton, on the Fox river, for a long while was the milling market for the settlers.

Some little time after Lee county was set off, Maytown and the west half of Sublette was known as Bureau precinct and the polls were held at the house of Daniel Baird. The east half of the township was incorporated with Brooklyn township.

In 1849 the county was divided into townships instead of precincts and this township was Hamo. The railroad named the village Sublette. In order to secure harmony and to get the name of the township changed to Sublette, a petition was sent to Hon. John V. Eustace who during the winter of 1856-57 represented this district in the legislature and the later secured the desired change.

The first town meeting was held on the 2nd Tuesday in April 1850. Alpheus Crawford was chosen moderator and Daniel Baird was made clerk of the meeting. A tax of 12 1/2 cents was voted to be assessed on every one hundred dollars worth of taxable property. At that election Baird was made clerk ... Porter, accessor; Silas D. Reniff, collector; Daniel Pratt, overseer of the poor; Hiram Anderson and W.H. Hamlin, Highway Commissioners; Samuel Averill and Thomas S. Angier, constables and Alpheus Crawford and Andrew Bertholf, Justice of the Peace.
Dixon Evening Telegraph May 1, 1951 - Centennial Issue