PIONEER FAMILIES
Of
PIKE COUNTY ILLINOIS


Harvey, Elledge, Shinn, Hackett, Rogers, Alcorn & Willsey
Settlers in Pike County

The story of pioneer Harvey V. Elledge of Griggsville, great grandson of Daniel Boone’s brother Edward, who was killed and scalped by Indians in Kentucky in 1780, is one of the classics of Boone family history. The story of Harvey Elledge’s children is of special interest to Pike county people, since they descend in direct line not only from the Boones and Elledges but also from the Shinns and Hacketts who were among the very earliest whites to make permanent settlement in what is now Pike county.

Harvey Viven (or Vivion) Elledge, son of Benjamin Elledge and Catharine Reynolds, was born in Harrison county, Indiana, June 2, 1826; came with his parents to the neighborhood of Griggsville when he was eight years old, in 1834; there grew to manhood and engaged with his father in the manufacture of staves. Griggsville, when he came, was a raw prairie hamlet with a log house standing in the center of what is now Quincy avenue.

In 1850, when Harvey was a youth of 24, he went a-courting to the pioneer home of Thomas J. Rogers, the object of his solicitude being the daughter, Hannah Rogers. The Rogers family, in pioneer Kentucky, had already become related by marriage to the Elledges and the Boones; two brothers of Thomas J. Rogers — David R. and Robert (Robin) — married two daughters of Robert (Robin) Alcorn and Mary Elledge, she a daughter of Francis Elledge and Charity Boone.

On December 8, 1850, Harvey Elledge and Hannah Rogers were married, the ceremony being at the bride’s home, with the Reverend Charles Harrington, pioneer Griggsville Baptist preacher, officiating. Following the wedding, the Thomas J. Rogers family emigrated overland to the new state of Iowa, Harvey and Hannah going with them. The two families settled in Appanoose county, near the little town of Orleans, three miles north of the present town of Moulton, Iowa. There, Elledge engaged in the cooper. and stave business which he had learned from his father.

Harvey Elledge’s wife Hannah was a daughter of Thomas Jefferson Rogers, who on July 16, 1832, at Atlas, then the Pike county seat of justice) married Phoebe Shinn, with William Ross, one of the founders of Atlas and then a Pike county justice of the peace, officiating. Phoebe Shinn was a daughter of Pioneer Daniel Shinn, who in April, 1820, hewed a road into the Pike county wilderness for the first wagon upon the Military Tract. Phoebe, the mother of Hannah, attended the first white American school on the Military Tract in a log room at Atlas, in the winter of 1820-21. John Jay Ross, son of Captain Leonard Ross, hero of the War of 1812, was the teacher. Phoebe’s fellow pupils in that first Pike county school included her brothers and sister, Benjamin, John and Eliza Shinn; Orlando and Charlotte, children of Captain Leonard Ross; Mary Emily and Elizabeth (Betsy), children of John and Dorothy Ross; Schuyler, son of Clarendon and Roby Ross; John Webb, a six-year-old lad who had come with the Daniel Shinns; Frederick and Eliza, children of Ebenezer Franklin, first permanent white settler in the county; Jeremiah, Jr. and William Tungate, children of Jeremiah Tungate; and James, Laura and Nancy, children of William Sprague, who also was among the Ross emigrants from Massachusetts in 1820. The next school, with these same pupils, was taught at Atlas in the fall of 1821, by James M. Whitney, the noted “Lord Coke” of early days.

Daniel Shinn, grandfather of Mrs. Harvey Elledge, was a native of New Jersey, the family being of English descent and founded in America by three brothers who came from England in an early day. In New Jersey he married Mary Hackett, likewise a native of that state, one of whose forebears, Daniel Hackett, fought in the Indian wars with George Washington and reared his family in a log house equipped with portholes through which he often held the Indians at bay with his rifle. A stained spinning-wheel, treasured by generations of the Hackett family, was reputed to have been so stained by the life-blood of Phoebe Hackett (for whom Phoebe Shinn may have been named), who one day, according to the tradition, while singing at her spinning as she shifted back and forth across the floor of her father’s cabin, suddenly drooped upon her wheel and died, her bosom pierced by an Indian arrow; and found thus by her returning father, Israel Hackett, he thereafter waged relentless war upon the savage tribes, himself falling in Indian combat at the famous battle of the Point, where he fought alongside Daniel Boone and Peter Scholl. The latter married Charity Boone’s sister, Mary.

Daniel Shinn and Mary Hackett, moving westward in 1813, settled in Ohio, residing there seven years, first at Ciiiciniiati, where they followed gardening and where the girl Phoebe was born, then at Batavia, whence they came in the spring of 1820 to Illinois, arriving at the site of present Atlas in the latter part of April. Shinn, on his way here, stopped at Edwardsville, where he left most of his large family, he himself with his two elder sons pushing on into the northern wilderness with oxen and wagon. His family comprised at this time his wife and eight children: Benjamin, John, Eliza, Hannah, Mary, Phoebe, Daniel and Nancy. Five more children were born subsequent to the Pike county settlement, making a total of 13. With him on the trip to Illinois came the boy, John Webb, born near Jersey City in 1814 and living in Pike county to a great old age, a resident of Pittsfield for 23 years, where he was interested in pork packing and general merchandising, and residing in his latter years in Newburg township, five miles east of Pittsfield.

Up “Jockey Hollow,” near present Atlas, Shinn found upon his arrival the family of Ebenezer Franklin, who had arrived the preceding month from Franklin Prairie, near present Milton, where they had earlier (in 1819) pitched camp. Franklin’s family moved to Adams county. Franklin had sheltered his family against the chill winds of early spring in a tent, up the hollow, by a Spring on land later belonging to the Dober family. Shinn pitched a tent near Franklin’s, and in the following month of May, aiding each other in the work, they erected two log cabins, one for each family. So came into existence the first Pike county settlement and for the first time the prattle and shouts of little children Were heard in the Pike county wilderness.

Shjnn, with his two sons, Benjamin and John, cleared a piece of ground that first spring and planted three acres of corn. It was easy to grow the grain but to get it ground into meal and prepared for food was an arduous task. There were then no mills within easy reach. The first mill available was a horse mill run by John Shaw at Coles’ Grove (now Gilead) in present Calhoun county.

Daniel Shinn became a great wolf hunter, prompted by the fact that he found it impossible to raise stock on account of their ravages. He lost 200 pigs by wolves and thereupon made determined war upon the beasts. He finally succeeded in raising fine hogs by shutting them in a close log stable from earliest pighood.

Shinn contracted the first public improvements in the great original county of Pike, which then embraced a third of the state, extending to Wisconsin and Lake Michigan on the north and Indiana on the east. He built the first courthouse, at Coles’ Grove, in now Calhoun county, getting out the logs and completing the edifice for $26 in specie. This log structure was torn down and rebuilt at Atlas in 1823, where it continued to serve as the seat of justice. Shinn and Daniel Husong built the first jail at Atlas in 1824, of squared logs, 15 by 24 inches, “scotched” down, making a tight log box with the floor also of logs. Prisoners were let down through a square hole in the top by means of a ladder which was then removed and the opening covered by an oak door about six inches thick. The logs for this jail, according to statements of John Webb in his old age, were all cut within one mile of the building. The old log jail was bought a great many years ago by j. C. Adams and rebuilt near the Sny on land belonging to him, where it long served as a corn crib.

Mary Hackett Shinn died in 1846, and on April 6, 1851, Daniel Shinn married again, his second wife being Mrs. Ann Camp. David R. Rogers, J. P., performed the ceremony. Daniel Shinn died early in the following year, February 28, 1852; he is buried in the old Shinn burying-ground northwest of Summer Hill.

Such was the historic Pike county background of Hannah Rogers on the maternal side. On the paternal side, her lineage was likewise distinguished. Far back in the dim past her Rogers ancestors made glorious English history, among them John Rogers, English divine and martyr, who was burned at the stake at Smithfield in 1555. Her grandfather, Bartlett Rogers, first of the John Rogers descendants here in the great valley, was born in North Carolina in 1771, served in the War of 1812, came to Kentucky and then to Indiana whence he came in 1826 to early Morgan county in the Illinois country, settling in that part that later became Scott county, and near the pioneer town of Williamsport, founded by Joseph Bentley, father of Susannah Bentley who married Edward Boone Scholl, noted Pike county pioneer.

At Williamsport, on Big Sandy Creek, opposite Montezuma, Bartlett Rogers on December 29, 1826, purchased a bond for a deed to lot number 15, from John Radcliff, who had bought the lot from the town’s proprietor, Joseph Bentley, for $70, but before paying for it sold it to Rogers, the bond and deed being still in the possession of one of Bartlett Rogers’ descendants, William Riley Wilisey of Maysville.

Bartlett Rogers died in Williamsport, in then Morgan county, May 2, 1831, and was buried there. His wife Elizabeth had died September 19, 1825. Among his Sons were David Redmon, Robert (Robin) and Thomas J., the latter of whom, born May 7, 1810, married Phoebe Shinn and became the father of Hannah Rogers, who married Harvey Elledge. David Redmon, born in North Carolina, February 18, 1802, came to Kentucky when a young man and there married Fanny Alcorn on February 26, 1824, she being a daughter of Robert Alcorn and Mary Elledge, the latter one of the eleven children of Francis Elledge and Charity Boone. Robert Alcorn appears on the records of Clark county, Kentucky, as bondsman for the license of his brother-in-law, Boone Elledge, to marry Rebecca Beall, in the year 1809. Robert Rogers, a brother of David Redmon, married Cynthia Alcorn, an elder sister of Fanny, the two Rogers brothers marrying the two Alcorn sisters on the same day in a double wedding, February 26, 1824. Together the two couples came to Illinois, leaving Harrison county on October 3, 1826.

David Redmon Rogers and Fanny Alcorn had a daughter, Malinda, who in Pike county June 19, 1851 married James Gallett Willsey, and they had a son, William Riley Wilisey, a great great great grandson of Edward Boone, born in Pike county July 29, 1853. Malinda Rogers and Hannah Rogers were first cousins. Hannah Rogers and Harvey Elledge had a son, born near Orleans, Iowa, June 20, 1853, who was named William Riley Elledge, his birth being a little more than a month before that of William Riley Willsey.

William Riley Elledge died in 1921; William Riley Wiisey is still living at Maysville in Pike county at the age of 83. The name “William Riley” was handed down by descendants of the Boone line for several generations, one such of the name, William Riley Rogers, a son of David R., having been an early resident of Pike county, as was also William Riley Elledge, a son of William Elledge and Tabitha Beall.

The Rogers family is associated in Pike county history with the Lewis and Collard families at Pleasant Hill, and with the pioneer Hendersons, of whom we have spoken in earlier chapters. Lewis Rogers, a cousin of Thomas J., crossed the Ohio from Kentucky into Indiana at about the same lime as the Elledges, the two families having long been associated in Kentucky. Lewis Rogers later settled in Iowa Territory, which then included present Minnesota and the Dakotas, emigrating thence in 1846 to Oregon Territory, where he became one of the pioneers of the Northwest.

In Oregon, Lewis Rogers’ son, James William Rogers, married Mary Ellen Henderson, a daughter of Jesse C. Henderson and Elizabeth Mussett, of early Missouri, she a cousin of Kit Carson, noted Western scout. Mary Ellen’s sister, Martha Frances Henderson, married in Oregon John Jasper Collard, a native of Pleasant Hill and eldest son of Felix Alver Collard and Martha Damaris Lewis, who in 1847 with their six children left Pleasant Hill behind an ox team for Oregon Territory. These families (Rogers, Henderson, Collard and Lewis) became further inter-related by the marriages, in Oregon, of two of the sons of Felix Collard and Damaris Lewis, namely, Isaac Newton and William Franklin Collard, to two of the daughters of James William Rogers and Mazy Ellen Henderson, namely, Jane Ann and Priscilla Evaline Rogers. Mrs. Evelyn Collard Fidelle of Portland, Oregon, a daughter of Isaac Newton Collard and Jane Ann Rogers, and Victor Wayne Jones of Seattle, a grandson of Felix and Damaris Lewis Collards eldest child, Mary Jane (Mrs. Douglas Jones), have contributed much authoritative data to this his-tory, which will be related in the Lewis and Collard family histories.

Isaac Newton Collard, born in Oregon City, Oregon, January 15, 1848, married Jane Ann Rogers, January 15, 1878. He was the seventh child of Felix Collard and Damaris Lewis. Felix Collard, Kentuckian by birth, was the first justice of the peace at Pleasant Hill; also one of the earliest school trustees and the notary who in 1836 acknowledged the signatures of the founders and proprietors of the town of Fairfield (now Pleasant Hill). John Jasper Collard, elder brother of Isaac New­ton, was named for Felix Collard’s Pike county brother, the John Jasper Collard who was one of Pleasant Hill’s first school teachers and who was clerk of the Pike county court in 1847-49. Damaris Lewis, who married Felix Collard at Pleasant Hill in 1832, was a daughter of Samuel Harding Lewis and Mary Barnett, the latter a heroine of Indian adventure in early Mis­souri Territory. The Lewises and Barnetts were among the one hundred families which Daniel Boone brought into Upper Louisiana (now Missouri) from Kentucky and Virginia at the close of the 18th century, and for which, pursuant to an agreement witn the spanish authorities, Boone was to receive 10,000 arpents (an arpents about five-sixths of an English acre) of land.

Lewis Rogers was born in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1795, a son of Aquilla Rogers, who was in the Army of Virginia in the Revolution. Lewis Rogers had an uncle of the same name, who was also in the Revolution and participated in the battle of the Blue Licks in Kentucky in 1782. Lewis Rogers’ grandfather (Aquilla’s father) was Giles Rogers, a brother of Ann Rogers who married John Clark; George Rogers Clark and General William Clark being own cousins of Aquilla and Bartlett Rogers. Aquilla’s mother was Ann Iverson Lewis, cousin of Meriwether Lewis, who was also a cousin of Samuel Harding Lewis of Pleasant Hill, and of his wife, Mary Barnett. Parents of Giles Rogers and Ann Rogers Clark were John Rogers and Mary Byrd of Virginia, and the grandparents were Giles Rogers and Rachael Eastham, the family’s Pilgrim ancestors from England and Scotland, he in direct lineal descent from John Rogers, first of the Marian martyrs, whose name was borne by one of Hannah Rogers’ brothers. Lewis and Rogers relationships were further involved by the marriage of John Rogers, Aquilla’s and Bartlett’s brother, to Sera Iverson Lewis, of the noted Warner Hall line. Aquilla Rogers, in 1838, was a resident of Clark county, Illinois, and prior to that had resided a few miles from Louisville, Kentucky, in Clark county, Indiana.

Thus, we see that Harvey Elledge married in Pike county into a family of distinguished lineage, even as his brothers, James McClain and Leonard Boone, one of whom married a descendant of the early Massachusetts Eliots, the other a descendant of the royal Tudors, also that the stalwart pioneering lines of these ilus­trious ancestors, moving westward on the tide of emigration and settling here between the two great rivers, had much to do with the ultimate destiny of this region, laying broad and deep the principles of their glorious cultures.

Harvey and Hannah Elledge, settling near present Moulton in Iowa, late in 1850, remained near that place for many years. There five children were born, and when the fifth was but a baby, Hannah Rogers Elledge died. Harvey later married again, his second wife being Mary Scott Jennings, a young widow of 22, with a child about the same age as Hannah’s youngest.

Harvey Elledge, shortly after his second marriage, took a contract to grade a section of railroad. His wife boarded a number of his laborers. Before the road was completed, something went wrong with the company and Harvey lost everything the family possessed. Then came a demonstration of the stuff of which our pioneers were made. Writes his daughter, Evelyn (Mrs. E. E. Boone) of Hibbing, Minnesota:

“A less gallant soul than he would have gone under, but he had such a never-failing stock of optimism he refused to be counted out. He gloried in the fact that his part of the work had been done and done well, and in his old age, after he had lived in complete blindness for more than fifteen years and his mind was more in the past than in the future, he built that road to completion! It consumed his last energy, but as all other tasks had been completed to the best of his ability, so this, the one pet project of his life, was completed too. We were glad for his sake that his end came this way, even though it shut out last recognition of us, his loved ones.

“He gave to his children a heritage of fine courage, a singing kind that found a song on his lips nearly every day of his fifteen years of blindness.”

Edward Boone Scholl, the Pike county pioneer, in his memoirs, speaks of a “singing Elledge” who sang joyously as he manned the sweep of the early St. Louis ferry, in about the year 1800. But here was another “singing Elledge,” who sang under far different circumstances, in his blind old age singing his troubles away, lifting his voice in old Kentucky folk song or some old church hymn or singing school roundelay, singing, as his daughter says, even “when death came for him.”

History of Pike County - Jess Thompson 1935