Earliest Historical Facts of Marshall-Putnam Counties
Also Bureau and Stark Counties

Embracing an Account of the Settlement and Early Progress - Compiled and Published by Mr. Henry A. Ford in 1860
Transcribed by Nancy Piper

Page 147-149


List of Officers of Putnam County

From its Organization to the Present Time.(1860)*

County Commissioners:

1831 - Thos. Galaher, Geo. Ish, John M. Gay;

1832 – Wm. M. Stewart, J. Strawn, Elias Thompson

1834 – Wm. M. Stewart, Joel Hargrove, Aaron Pain

1836 – Jos. M. Fairfield, Robert Barnes, Cyrus Bryant

1837 – Isaac Parsons, in place of Bryant, resigned

1838 – Isaac Parsons, R. Barnes, Moses Boardman

1839 – John Robinson, in place of Barnes, resigned; Townsend G. Fyffe, in place of Boardman, res.d; Williamson Durley

1842 - W. Durley

1843 – Aaron Bascom

1845 – W. Durley, Richard Harrison

1846 – Samuel C. Bacon

1847 – John Ong.


1857 – J. S. Simpson, Chairman; T. G. Fyffe, J. W. Hopkins, Jas. R. Talliaferro

1858 – A. Wardlaw, Chairman; S. C. Baon, Isaac Parsons, H. Stickel, H. M. Schooler

1860 – Joel W. Hopkins, Chairman; Wm. Allen, S. C. Bacon, Henry Mills

Probate Justice:

1833 – J. P. Blake

1837 – James J. Holt

1839-1847 – Thomas Atwater

County Judge:

1847 – E. B. Ames

1849 – A. Bascom

1853 – Joseph D. McCarty


1831 – James W. Willis*

1834 – Geo. B. Willis*

1836 – Ammon Moon* (also elected in Aug. same year)

1839 – Joseph Catterlin

1843 – Aaron Barlow

1846 – John P. Hayes to fill vacancy

1847 – Jos. Catterlin

1848 – Oaks Turner* to fill vacancy

1849 – A. Towle

1853 – J. P. Hayes

1855 – Oaks Turner

1859 – Elias Wright

Circuit Clerk

1831 – Hooper Warren*

1836 – M. P. McAllaster*

1838 – Oaks Turner*

1847 – William H. Brown*

1848-1860 – George Dent


1831 – Colby F. Stevenson*, H. Warren*

1835 – Major P. McAllaster*

1839 – O. Turner*

1847 – Geo. Dent

1848 – office united with Cir. Clerks

County Clerk:

1831 – Hooper Warren*

1834 – O. Turner* (also by election afterwards)

1848 – George Dent

1853 – Wm. Eddy

1857 – Amos T. Purviance


1831 – Ira Ladd

1832 – B. M. Hayes

1834 – O. C. Motley

1836 – James S. Simpson

1844 – Jas. Durley (died in office Sept. 1847; there being no Coroner at that time, James G. Todd was appointed Elisor)

1848 – J. G. Todd

1850 – And. Wardlaw

1852 – Wm. D. Wardlaw

1854 – Amos T. Purviance

1856 – Jefferson Durley

1858 – John P. Gerberich

School Commissioner

1831 – Nath’l Chamberlin*

1837 – J. P. Hayes* (also by election)

1847 – Hiram P. White

1849 – Luke S. Kimball

1850 – B. C. Lundy to fill vacancy

1853 – C. Cross

1859 – G. D. Henderson


1831 – C. F. Stevenson*, Ira Ladd*

1832 – B. M. Hayes*

1839 – T. Atwater

1848 – John P. Blake

1857 – J. H. Widmer

1859 – J. P. Blake


1831 – Aaron Pain

1832 – John Robinso

1838 – E. F. Skinner

1840 - Wm. Clinginpeel

1842 – E. F. Skinner

1846 Jesse Oren

1847 A. Towle to fill vacancy

1852 – Sam’l Winter

1854 Jos. P. Keiser

1858 Hiram P. White


Page 149-150

Officers of Marshall County

County Commissioners

Feb. 1839 Geo. H. Shaw, Elisha Swan, Wm. Maxwell

Aug. 1839 Warf. Bonham

1840 R. F. Bell

1841 C. S. Edwards

1842 Elias Thompson

1843 Wm. Maxwell

1844 C. S. Edwards

1845 C. S. Woodward

1846 Lewis Black

1847 David Myers

1848 John W. Bettis

1849 Jesse B. Bane


1850 Theo. Perry, Henry Snyder, J. B. White, C. S. Edwards, James Gibson, A. Ramsey, R. P. Bell, Wm. Maxwell, Amasa Garrett

1851 Perry Maxwell, White, Bell, Ramsey, re-elected, T. Harless, Nath’l Grant, Jas. Mellen, Geo. W. Mead, Joshua Powell

1852 Bell, Ramsey, Powell, Gatns, Mead, re-elected, John Ramsey, Matthew Hoyt, J. W. Maxwell, Thos. Judd, D. W. Danley

1853 Judd, Danley, Powell, re-elected, C. W. Edwards, Wm. A. Perkins, Sam’l Maxwell, Jesse B. Bane, A. Garrett, Joseph Holmes, John Burns

1854 Edwards, Danley, Perkins, Garrett, Holmes, re-elected, A. Ramsey, J. Caldwell, Wm. Maxwell, C. Springer, J. H. Brown

1855 Edwards, Ramsey, Danley, Caldwell, Garrett, Brown, Perkins, re-elected, James Miller, Samuel Camp, H. L. Crane

1856 Edwards, Ramsey, Crane, Campe, Garrett, re-elected, A. S. Sherwood, B. Fowler, Thomas Ellis, Sam’l P. Henthron, B. W. Halstead

1857 Camp, Danley, Halsted, Crane, Ramsey, Sherwood, re-elected, Henry Sargent, Lewis Black, A. H. Trowbridge, John A. McCall, Alex. Wright, J. C. Townsend

1858 Ramsey, Black, Trowbridge, Sherwood, McCall, Crane, Camp, Halstead, Townsend, re-elected, Enoch Dent, B. a. Welton, Amasa Garrett


Crane, Camp, re-elected, L. Broaddus, H. B. Barnes, W. A. Perkins, J. M. Vandervort, N. Moore, H. S. Gregory, Wm. T. Lytle, Alden Hull, Wm. Atwood, Alex. Wright

1860 Camp, Vandervort, Barnes, Moore, re-elected, John Burns, Wm. Cornwell, A. Garrett, Jos. Buchanan, H. Gregory, A. S. Sherwood, James Hoyt, William Hancock

Probate Justice

1839 William H. Efner

1843 Hezekiah T. Crane

County Judge

1849 Silas Ramsey

1853 P. M. Janney

1857 G. L. Fort


1839 Anson C. Deming

1841 Lunsford Broaddus

1843 Levi Wilcox

1847 R. B. Rogers

1851 Theodore Perry

1853 Sam’l Maxwell

1859 Ira Norris

Circuit Clerk

1839 James M. Shannon*

1846 John Burns* (in 1848 by election)

1853 G. L. Fort

1859 James Wescott


1839 C. F. Speyers

1844 J. Burns

County Clerk

1839 Ira I. Fenn*, A. S. Fishburn, James M. Shannon

1845 David S. Dickinson*, to fill vacancy

1846 Sam’l C. Cochran to fill vacancy

1847 Silas Ramsey

1849 W. E. Cook


1839 Silas Ramsey

1842 Addison Ramsey

1848 H. L. Crane

1850 G. L. Fort

1852 and 1856 Crane, re-elected

1854 A. Gardner

1858 Thos. Ellis

School Commissioner

1839 John Wier

1847 L. Wilcox

1849 A. Wall

1851 S. Camp

1853 L. Loring

1855 Chester Covell, Jas. Miller

1859 W. W. Reath


1839 J. Sawyer, H. Atwood

1845 T. Patterson

1855 W. H. Bushnell

1857 M. M. Stimpson

1859 James M. Vandervort


1839 George F. Case

1844 J. W. Bettis

1846 D. M. Robertson

1848 Green

1850 H. L. Crane

1852 Lewis G. Keedy

1854 Manuel Snyder

1856 Ira Norris

1858 John C. Gore


Page 151

Notices of Old Settlers

No especial pains have been taken to collect notices of old settlers. Those which follow are merely such as the author finds unused among his notes, correspondence, and other papers.

Page 151

Thomas Hartzell

Thomas Hartzell, one of the earliest residents of Putnam county, was born in Northampton Co., Pa., in 1790, of German ancestry. In 1819, he visited the Western country, traveling on horseback as far as Kaskaskia, whence he returned to his native State. Three years afterwards, he came back by way of the lakes, coasting along the shore in a Mackinaw boat, passing through Chicago down the Illinois river to Crooked Creek, then in Pike county, where he halted to trade with the Pottawatamies.

From that time for a number of years he continued trading with the Indians of the Illinois river, remaining among them during the cold season, and returning to his headquarters at Mackinaw or Grand Island in the spring. He spent the winter of 1827-8 in traffic with the Indians of the Putnam county region, meeting with considerable opposition from the American Fur Company, who had a station near Hennepin.

The next winter was passed in Peoria, and in 1829, Mr. Hartzell took up his residence at Hennepin, building a rude log trading-station in the wilderness as it then was. Here he remained for several years, trading with Indians and whites, and witnessing the growth of civilization around him.

In 1836 he sold out his stock of goods, having amassed a large property by the toils, privations and hardships he had experienced in savage and pioneer life. Some years afterwards, he removed to Chicago, and thence to Waukegan, where he now resides. He is very aged and feeble, and has suffered much for three years past from various diseases, no doubt induced by the exposure and hardship of his early career.

Page 152-153

Captain William Haws

Capt. William Haws, the oldest settler in Putnam county, was born in Madison county, Va., Sept. 23d, 1800. His grandfather on the paternal side was a soldier of the Revolution. At the age of five years he was taken with the family to Warren Co., Ohio, where they resided for many years, meeting with some annoyance from the Indians of that locality.

About the age of seventeen, he set out to do battle with the world for himself, and went to work as apprentice to a tanner and currier at Wilmington, the county seat. While still a youth, he heard the distant roar of the cannonading at the gallant defence of Lower Sandusky, by Croghan. In 1821, Capt. Haws came to Sangamon Co., in this State, and started a tan-yard about six miles south of Springfiled. Sangamon then extended north over a vast wilderness tract to the Indian line, and Springfield was a village of five or six log houses.

Nov. 13th, 1823, he was married to Miss Lucinda Southwick, whose parents had emigrated to Madison Co. in 1819, and to Sangamon the next year. In Sept. 1826, with two others named Slater and Knox, he prospected the Putnam county, returned for his family, and removed to his present location near Magnolia the same autumn. There was then, save him, no permanent settler in Putnam county.

The first preaching and first election in the county, and the meeting of Commissioners to locate the county seat, were at his house; and he was a member of the first Grand Jury of Putnam. On the breaking out of the Black Hawk war, he promptly offered his services, and was chosen Captain of a ranging company.

In 1847, he was appointed to lead a large body of emigrants across the plains to Oregon, which he successfully accomplished, and returned via California, Mexico, South America, and Cuba. He is still in the enjoyment of vigorous health, has acquired a handsome fortune, and lives much respected by his neighbors and friends.

Page 153

James W. Willis

In the Peoria Register and North-western Gazetteer for Sept. 8, 1838, an article appears distinguishing Mr. Willis as “the first white man that planted corn in Putnam county.” It is there stated that in the spring of 1819, Mr. Willis, then living in Ohio, came to the West and looked over the southern counties of Illinois, finally settling in Bond county. In the fall of 1826, he set out to look at the upper country, which he explored as far as the region of Magnolia, in Putnam Co., where he made a claim, returning the next spring with his brother. Mr. Willis believed that “he was the first white man who had penetrated thus far into the wilderness with the intention of immediately settling.”

The brothers put up a cabin, broke ten acres of land, and planted it with corn and potatoes – the first, Mr. Willis claimed, in Putnam county. They were frightened away by news of the Winnebago war that year, but returned in the autumn, and found that a fine crop had grown, unfenced and uncultivated. The younger brother took this claim shortly after, and the elder removed to the Union Grove Settlement.

Page 153-154

Hooper Warren

Hooper Warren, Esq., has been identified to some extent with the early history of the State as well as Putnam county. In 1819, he established the “Spectator” newspaper at Edwardville, which was for years the only journal in Illinois opposed to slavery, then a much and fiercely agitated question.

During the memorable contest of 1823-4, upon the issue of slave or fee institutions for Illinois, Mr. Warren was among the leaders of those opposed to a Convention, and his paper, says Gov. Reynolds “waged a fiery and efficient warfare during the whole canvass.” He has since been connected with a number of journals, mostly in the interest of the Liberty or Abolition party; and is, with a single exception, the oldest living editor in Illinois. When Putnam county was formed, he was residing in Galena; but, being appointed Clerk of the Circuit Court by Judge Young, he removed to Hennepin early in 1831, where he gave prominent assistance in the organization of the county, and received, in addition to the office of Circuit Clerk, successive appointment or election to the offices of County Clerk, Recorder, and Justice of the Peace, all which he held at one time. In 1839, Mr. Warren removed with his family to Henry Prairie, in Marshall county, and in 1841 to the site of Henry, where he has since resided, with occasional intervals. Though far advanced in years, he still retains much of the intellectual and bodily vigor of his maturity.

Page 154

Jonathan Babb

Gen. Jonathan Babb, one of the founders of Lacon, was a native of Maryland, born in 1789 or 1790. While yet a child he was taken with his parents to Perry Co., Ohio, where he was brought up, and subsequently discharged the duties attaching to the offices of Sheriff and County Auditor with acceptance.

During the war of 1812, at the call of Harrison for volunteers, he led a company to the defence of the north-western frontier; and was afterwards Brigadier General in the Ohio militia. In 1831, he purchased the site of Lacon, and had a town laid off thereon in connection with Maj. Henry Filler, of Somerset, O. Thither he removed in the fall of 1835, and was conspicuous in his efforts to build up the infant town. He expired at his residence near Lacon, after a lingering illness, on the 12th of May, 1843, deeply regretted by the people of the whole county.

Page 155

Henry D. Palmer

Rev. Henry D. Palmer has long been held in honor as one of the most laborious and self-denying of the pioneer preachers of Illinois; and his is a great and venerable name in the churches of the Christian (or Campbellite) denomination. He was born April 19, 1782, in Oland Co., N. C. When about a year old, the family removed to the neighborhood of Winsborough, S. C.; and thence in a few years to Wilson Co., Tenn.

In 1804, he was married to Miss Patsy Aingell, of Trumbull Co., and shortly after commenced preaching, being ordained in 1809 as a minister of the Christian Church. Subsequently, his convictions became aroused on the subject of slavery, and he determined not to rear his family under the influence of the “peculiar institution.”

Collecting a colony of Tennesseans of similar views, he emigrated to this State, and settled in Edward Co., while Illinois was a Territory and that part a wilderness. In 1818, he moved into Indiana, founded a church near Carlyle, and gave the name to “Palmer’s Prairie,” He also represented Sullivan Co. two years in the House of Representatives, and assisted in the formation of the first Revised Code of statute law for Indiana. In 1835, he again emigrated to Illinois, settling with a numerous family on Half Moon Prairie, in Marshal Co.

In 1847, he was elected to the Convention to form a new State Constitution, and served with honor and conscientious fidelity. All this time his pulpit efforts over a wife field of labor were scarcely intermitted; nor did they cease until his physical powers were totally prostrated. His last sermon was delivered in the summer of 1859. He now resides in Eureka, Woodford Co., very much enfeebled, but calmly and peacefully awaiting the summons to his reward

Page 156

Indians of Putnam and Marshall County

There is no intelligible memorial left of the Illini Indians in this part of the State; but, since the explorer La Salle found a large village of these natives a few miles below Ottawa, and met them in large numbers about the head of Peoria Lake, it is an easy inference that the intervening country was inhabited at intervals by some of the Illini confederacy – probably the Kickapoos. The nation of the Illini was nearly exterminated by the Mohawks and Pottawatamies, the latter of whom were found in possession of this region when the first white settlers came. They were a filthy and degraded race, peaceable enough when sober, but infuriated demons when intoxicated, and, with rare exceptions, possessing none of those noble traits which sometimes elevate the savage character, and make Indian history worthy. They were generally on good terms with their white neighbors while they remained, and went off quietly at various times from 1831 to 1835, to the lands assigned them beyond the Mississippi.

Page 156-158


Shau-be-na (Shab-bo-na or Shab-ba-nee) lived but little, if any, in Putnam county; but as he frequently hunted in this region with his band, and was well known to many of its old settlers, who owe a lasting debt of gratitude to him for timely warnings during Indian troubles, he deserves notice in this work.

Shau-be-na was an Indian of the Ottawa tribe, but was a long leading chief among the Pottawatamies. He was always a warm friend of the whites, but not invariably on the side of the Americans. He was with the British at the battle of the Thames, as Tecumseh’s aid, until that king of red men had fallen, and he observed Proctor’s forces retreating.

Then said he, “Shau-be-na run too, and never fight for British any more.” Ever after this, he was friendly to the Americans; was prominent in his efforts on behalf of the whites at the time of the Chicago massacre, and also in the prevention of another outbreak among the Winnebagoes and Pottawatamies, in 1816.

Previous to the Black Hawk war, strong inducements were held out to him to assist in the foray upon the white settlements. He pretended to fall into the enemy’s arrangements, but managed to get away from them, and by traveling night and day, gave the settlers on Indian Creek and at Holderman’s Grove timely notice of the intended outbreak, which some of them unhappily disregarded, and paid the forfeit of their lives. The settlers of Putnam also received early warming from him. For these acts he incurred the deadly hatred of the hostile tribes and lived long in constant fear of his life. His eminent services during the war were recognized by the General Government, which made a reservation of land for him at what is called Shau-be-na’s Grove, where he lived for some time, until the Government, regardless of his claims, had the tract surveyed and sold. He dwelt afterwards with his tribe on their reservation west of the Missouri; but was driven back by fear of the Sacs and Sioux, who retained their old hostility, an murdered one of his sons and a nephew. Twenty acres of land below Seneca, on the bank of the Illinois river, were purchased for him by the citizens of Ottawa, where he resided until July, 1859, when death called him away, at an age of over eight years. He was buried, contrary to his wish, at Morris, where no mark designates the resting-place of this unwavering friend of the white man. One of the last visits of Shau-be-na was to his old friends at Hennepin, accompanied by a number of his children and grand-children, dressed and mounted in true savage style.

Page 158

Se-nach-e-wane (Senachwine or Snachwine)

Se-nach-e-wane lived in a beautiful valley along the stream called by his name, in western Putnam. He is also stated to have lived at some period at the mouth of another creek of the name, which flows through parts of Marshall and Peoria counties.*

Se-nach-e-wane was a chief of celebrity, but little is known of his history. He did aobut the time the first white settlers came to that region, and was buried at the angle of a high overlooking the valley in either direction.

Page 158-159

Shick-Shack was the name of a petty chief who lived near the mouth of Clear Creek, in Putnam Co. He was an intelligent Indian, said to be of mixed Kickapoo and Pottawatamie blood. One of the early white settlers was employed by him to break up his ground for more thorough cultivation of crops than is usual among the savages.

Crow was another petty chief who lived in Belle Plaine region, Marshall Co. From him the name of the prairie (Crow Meadow) and of Crow Creek was derived.

Black Patridge had his town below Crow Creek, near the southern border of Marshall co. The destruction of the village and the massacre of his band, have been related in chapter XI. Of the work.

Mark-whet (or Nar-po-et) lived in the neighborhood of Lacon, with a small tribe. He generally resided at the village near the railroad station, west side of the river, and was very friendly to the whites.

Gomas was a chief of some note, stated by Shau-be-na to have had a village two miles below Lacon, where traces of Indian occupancy are very numerous. Nothing was known of him by the earliest settlers.

Page 159-160

Antiquities In The Two counties

There are a number of earth-works in Putnam and Marshall which may clearly be referred to the time of the mound-builders, but exhibit no striking feature of magnitude or peculiarity of form. They are usually mound-shaped, generally round, but sometimes long and barrow-like. In one instance (on the brow of the bluff opposite Lacon) they are disposed in a quandrangular manner, bearing a distant resemblance to a fortification, which would seem to be appropriately located at that point. In many cases large forest-trees are growing upon the works proving that centuries have passed since their formation. Like other erections of this strange, unknown race of men, they are found generally in the vicinity of streams of water. Mounds of widely-varying size appear on the hills overlooking the Snachwine valley; on the farm of the late Guy W. Pool, Esq., a few miles below Hennepin; a range of about thirty of the farm of Michael Weiss, three miles south of Henry; a number on the bluff west of lacon, about half a mile from the railroad station; several small mounds in Lacon; also on the Sawyer farm, two miles below; and in a few other places throughout the two counties. None of them have yet been excavated with any satisfactory result.

Indian antiquities are numerous. Arrow-heads, pipes, kettles, beads, tinsel ornaments, and other articles of Indian manufacture and use, have been frequently picked up. Burying grounds of the savages are found wherever their settlements were, and their skeletons are sometimes exhumed from the top or surface of the ancient mounds. The sites of their villages may usually be traced with considerable accuracy, by depressions in the earth marking the places where “corn-holes” were dug. At times the lodge-poles have been found still remaining where a village stood.

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