1884 LAKE COUNTY INDIANA HISTORY
Source: Lake County, Indiana, 1884 : an account of the semi-centennial
celebration of Lake County, September 3 and 4, with historical papers and other interesting records prepared for
Authors: T H B; E H Woodard; Tuthill King; Charles W Cathcart
City of Publication: Crown Point, Ind.
Publisher: Printed at the Lake County Star Office
Transcribed by K. Torp
III. HISTORICAL PAPERS.
THE PIONEER SETTLERS, THEIR HOMES AND HABITS, THEIR DESCENDANTS AND
BY BARTLETT WOODS.
President of the Old Settlers' Association.
It was a fortunate thought that prompted the Old Settlers of this county to organize an association to meet annually inviting all, young and old, to meet with them renewing old friendships and a fraternal and kindly feeling to all; and to keep green in our memories the trials and the incidents of the early days. My theme today - The Pioneers, their Homes and Habits, their Descendants, and their Influence.
Looking back it seems that we can hardly realize that from such small and humble beginnings such great results should follow; and now fifty years have passed since the first white man built his cabin and ploughed a farrow in the then unbroken and virgin soil of Lake county. It was the wish of many of our citizens that this event should be commemorated.
A community, should in their journey through life occasionally make a halt and look back, and at this time we as a people can so clearly mark the starting place, that we should meet and celebrate the semi-centennial year which marks the fifty years of growth and of civilized life in what is now Lake county. Fifty years ago a wild uncultivated region, to-day the home of thousands of people.
FIFTY YEARS AGO!
"During the summer of 1834, United States surveyors surveyed the land. The party camped for a week in June and July in that part of the grove now owned by Dr. Pettibone in the town of Crown Point." For this I am indebted to the History of Lake County, by my friend Mr. Ball, and I shall have to quote still further from that valuable record. Mr. J. Hurlburt, an old settler of Porter county, was one of that party of surveyors, and at that time he remembers no cabin, and no settler at that time, (June and July) in any of our central groves. "As yet, the squatters were not here;" but soon the pioneers came. Ball's history says "in September 1834 Richard Fancher, Charles Wilson, Robert Wilkinson, and two nephews left Attica, on the Wabash, three in a wagon and two mounted on good horses, to look for claims or homesteads in the newly surveyed northwest corner of the state. They crossed the Kankakee at the head of the rapids, crossed West Creek at a place which Wilkinson selected for a home, and came up to Cedar Lake. They camped there. They kept their headquarters at the lake. R. Fancher and Charles Wilson being well mounted, traveled considerably. They were at South East Grove, and at all the central parts. The surveyors had just been over the region. They found no settlers." Richard Fancher selected a part of section 17, the land on which we are now assembled being part of this same section, and the little lake in our Fair Ground was named after Richard Fancher, and is to-day called Fancher Lake. Charles Wilson selected land near Cedar Lake. They staid three weeks, returned to the Wabash and waited for the spring. I have quoted freely from the pages of Mr. Ball's history the doings of these pioneers, and their evidence goes to show that up to the date of their coming there were no settlers in the region of country traveled by them.
In the last of October, 1834, came a prominent figure in our county's history, Solon Robinson. In that same October there came from the Wabash, David and Thomas Hornor, and Dr. Brown. On the first of November Henry Wells and Luman A. Fowler came to Solon Robinson's tent, looking at the country.
In October 1834, Thomas Childers and family, according to the record, settled on the southeast quarter of section 17, on the edge of School Grove, being the first known settlers in the central part of the county. Solon Robinson and family settled on the part of timber now forming part of Crown Point, and must be awarded the honor of being the first settler in Crown Point, and second only in the central part of the county, and from this time the pioneers came moving on and became settlers. I will name them in the order of their settlement in 1834. In October of that year Thomas Childers. In November, Solon Robinson, Luman A. Fowler, and Robert Wilkinson. In December, Jesse Pierce, and David Pierce, and it is believed that a settler by the name of Ross settled on Deep River in the summer of this year, and it is probably from him that the township took the name. William Crooks settled in Deep River near the bridge across that stream on the present road from Merrillville to Hobart. Samuel Miller, of Michigan City, in company with Crooks built a mill there. I knew Miller but do not remember Crooks; the same Crooks was afterwards an associate Judge. There was a store there in an early day, selling a little of everything. Whiskey was part of the stock in trade. Whiskey was cheap then; and was retailed at a shilling a quart. The mill and store were finally abandoned, but the place always was known as Miller's Mill.
In 1885 came names familiar to the early settlers and to many now living. I copy from the record from Ball's history. In January: Lyman Wells, John Driscoll. In February J. W. Holton, W. A. Holton, and William Clark, from Jennings county, Indiana. March: R. Fancher, and Robert Wilkinson, from Attica, Indiana. In the spring: Elias Bryant, J. Wiggins, Nancy Agnew, widow, and E. W. Bryant. In May: Elias Myrick, William Myrick, S. P. Stringham, Thomas Reed, and Aaron Cox. In June: Peter Stainbrook. In November: David Hornor, Thomas Wiles, Thomas Horn or Jesse Bond, Jacob L. Brown, and Milo Robinson. In December: Henry Wells, William S. Thornburg, R. Dunham, John G. Forbes, R. Hamilton, and John Wood. There were settlers perhaps besides these. Some had located in 1832 and 1833 on the stage route from Detroit to Fort Dearborn, and there might be others who failed to have their names on the Claim Register, and this might have been, as the "Squatters' Union of Lake County" was not organized until the 4th of July, 1836. Be this as it may, these six names in 1834, and twenty-nine in 1835, are from the best authority, and will be accepted as the true record of the first Pioneers in 1834 and the following year 1835. The years 1836 and 1837 were marked by increased numbers, and still they came, coming not only from the older states and Canada, but from lands across the sea.
The homes of the pioneers were log cabins; many of the younger people here to-day have hardly seen one, and fewer have lived in one. Before 1834 the groves and woodlands of this region had scarcely resounded with the echo of the white man's axe; nature had here a new field for his efforts; it lay in the line of the march of civilization towards the setting sun. The mission of the race was to make the wilderness figuratively speaking blossom as the rose.
The pioneer family had come, the wagon covered for the journey their only shelter. A cabin is to be built, the nearest timber is sought for, the axes wake up the stillness of a thousand years, only broken before by the whoop of the Indian or perhaps by that mysterious race that may have lived here even before the Red Man came. The advent of civilized life had begun, the logs are hauled by the oxen that brought them here, neighbors lend a helping hand, and then, the raising. All the settlers around are invited-few there may be, but all come. The best choppers are chosen to carry up the corners, log after log goes up even to the roof, no rafters no shingles, but instead of shingles shakes two feet long rived out of a white oak log, and poles put on the shakes to keep them in place. Not a nail was necessary; even the door was hung with wooden hinges. Dinner was provided, good feeling ruled; whiskey was passed around during the raising, and few thought at that day, that it was any great breach of temperance propriety to drink with the rest, wishing success, health, and happiness to the new comers. The chimney was a curiosity. Brick were out of the question. It was a stick chimney laid up square and the sticks split out as near like lath as possible, clay mortar was laid on with each lath, the whole carried up above the peak of the roof, the jambs and inside and the hearth were all clay, kept in place by logs outside. All was plastered inside and out with clay mortar and the chimney was completed.
Of furniture in the sense we understand it now was very little. I do not remember any of the pioneer cabins having a cooking stove or a carpet. No sewing-machines, nothing like there is to-day to lighten woman's labor. The fire place at one end wide enough for a log fire, the kettle swinging on the crane, the bake kettle, the spider and the frying pan comprised about all the cooking utensils of the household. A table made from the best material on hand, sometimes shakes, a few splint bottom chairs, a bench or two, some had bed-steads, but it was no uncommon thing to see a bedstead made of poles, the ends driven into the logs and one leg out in the room holding up the ends of the poles. With an axe and few tools a one legged bedstead could be made in a few hours. No locks or bolts on our doors, no fastenings of any kind. Civilization and culture claim to have made great strides; so they have, but in our condition we had some compensating advantages; in those small beginnings, without much capital to start, the poverty of that day was clean and respectable. There were no tramps, there was no fear of the modern burglar. Simply as a way to fasten the door when shut was "the latch" and this was always of wood, with a string attached, and it became a saying, when speaking of the generous hospitality of the squatters, that their latch string was always out, and it was; to all that came there was a greeting and welcome. This feeling was the result of a mutual dependence at raisings, joining teams, and in every way in which we could help one another. In health or in sickness this trait of fraternal feeling always prompting to the most neighbourly interests and kindly offices, was to us all, a source of much comfort and happiness Our isolation and trials would have been almost unbearable without it was for that fellow feeling that made us "wondrous kind." Sympathy, that divinity that lives in its purity amidst poverty trials or trouble came out in its grandest devotion in the hours, when, in our homes came sickness and death. Pomp and wealth and luxury have come to many in our land, but not in the reveling of wealth or the splendor of its surroundings, can be often found- the beauty of this sympathy and kindness, which grew up and was a balm and a helper to the pioneers in their humble cabins in the wilderness. Fashions there were none. The cut of a coat or the style for a bonnet, did not occupy a thought. The mothers and wives and daughters of the pioneers had no money to waste, or time, to trouble themselves with the frivolities of fashion.
Let one who shared their sorrows and their joys this day bear witness that to them, this generation owes a debt of gratitude which too few appreciate, and which can hardly be fully paid. Their industry was marvellous, assisting in everything, spinning on that almost now forgotten spinning wheel, then, doubling and twisting, socks, stocking, mittens, all made by their willing hands, the baby attended to, or swung up to a baby jumper made by a hickory spring pole. No sewing machines in those days. Their own clothing, the sun bonnet for summer, the hood for winter, the children's clothes, the quilt and coverlets, everything nearly, worn by the family except the boots on our feet, all this was their work, besides the cooking, washing, and duties pertaining to a home, humble though it surely was; such were the pioneer women in the log cabins of Lake county. A few exceptions there might have been, but in the main this held true. They had a mission, a work to do, and they bravely did it. And here to-day there are young wives and mothers, who if they should enter on such a work would be as brave and loyal to duty, and would if need be, as cheerfully accept the situation and adapt themselves to the circumstances surrounding them, and if you will trace back the history of our country you will, find it is this characteristic of adapting themselves to the surroundings, and meeting all difficulties, has made this country what it is to-day. Farming then was very different from what it is to-day. The whole energy at first of the pioneer was to provide; to get something to eat. Difficulties stared most of them squarely in the face. On a piece of wild land every thing had to be done and most had little to do with. It was with many a question of endurance, a survival of the fittest. Some lost heart and gave up and returned to their homes in the east. Others who had become habitual movers, always on the frontier, moved further west Seeking new lands and adventures.
In the early days there were no churches, but there were always some good souls whose love for man and reverence for religious teachings prompted them to keep open house for every preacher who came that way, and perhaps in these humble cabins, trust in a heavenly Father and confidence in a kind providence was preached as reverently and had as attentive and sincere hearers as in any grand and costly church in the land.
Looking back over these years, I can say that the influence of the pioneers in fixing character on this county has been for good, for good morals and good government, in peace or in the days of the rebellion, always on the side of duty. Lake county has never to my knowledge had occasion to blush for any of her children. Her war record was a bright one, though to many of us a very sad one. The news of victory brought with it also the news of suffering and of death. Some came home to die and many absent ones to-day sleep in a Southern grave.
I should do an injustice to the pioneer history of Lake County were I to omit stating the reasons of the slow growth after the first settlement. The majority of the first settlers lacked means, a want of capital; it was the day of small beginnings. The man was rich who owned a breaking team. Some had a yoke of oxen, very few had horses, but many had neither. No one had pastures; everything was turned out, and the tinkle of the bell led many a wanderer to a settler's cabin. Hunting the oxen on foot through the wet tall grass and sloughs in the early morning was any thing but pleasant, and often finding them late, made plowing slow work, and a wooden mold board on the plow made good work impossible. No steel plows then. Harrows of the most primitive kind, many home made with wooden teeth; no mowers, no reapers, no seperators like our modern threshing machines, pitch forks rude and clumsy, made at the nearest blacksmith shop; all our implements would be looked on to-day as relics. Only one tool has held its own and that is the American axe; it has been the pioneers friend and has been with him and. one of his best helpers in all his labors from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
And then after working and waiting for years and when at last we did raise something to sell, our means of transportation was so impeded by bad roads, that it cost nearly all it was worth to get it to market.
For fifteen years, not calculating from 1834, but from 1835, we had no connection with the outside world east, except by steam and sailing vessels on the lake, or by the mail coach, or by private conveyance. As winter closed in on us, lake navigation ceased and the only public conveyance was by the mail coach between Detroit and Chicago. For fifteen years we were almost an isolated community, at times making a four days' trip with oxen to Chicago, and at that day Chicago was a land-locked town six months in the year. Capital had very little to do with- our early growth, for comparatively speaking there was none; what progress was made was by hard knocks and constant labor. In 1850 the railroads came and opened up to us the world and a market the, year around. Fifty years of growth has brought us up to be one of the best counties in the state with eight railroads into Chicago, now a city of over half a million of people, and with railroads diverging in every direction, we are far from being an isolated people to-day.
"Westward the Star of Empire wends it way" and from the time of the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, and of Capt. John Smith at Jamestown, the movement has been going on; the settlement here at the south end of lake Michigan was only a part of the great plan; we had our trials and difficulties, but after all as nothing compared with the wars and terrible sufferings of the pioneers on the Atlantic coast. The influence and results have been wonderful. In our day we have seen the pioneer settlers reach and pass the great lakes, building up homes, founding states and that great northwest, which made Chicago in all its magnificent growth a possibility, still moving westward, organizing territories and states on the plains and in the hills and in the valleys of the Rocky Mountains, and on the shores of the Pacific, California, Oregon, and Washington. A continent to-day the home of over fifty millions of people. Perhaps in no time or in any country has labor accomplished grander results. Science has come to its aid and now brains and work go together. Iron and steel and steam have now the breath of life, a helper I trust to lift humanity up, to lighten life's labors and to aid in developing and distributing the great and varied resources of our country. This day's celebration is a tribute to honest labor, to our county's history, and to the greatness and progress of our country. Such a country is worthy to be the home of a virtuous, intelligent, and patriotic people. As citizens, let us be true to our great responsibilities, whether adopted or native born; let us in all cases be Americans," in the highest and best sense, determined to uphold the right and denounce the wrong, and by word and vote do our best to leave to our children a Republic based on intelligent constitutional liberty and a country better than we found it.
REMINISCENCES OF WEST CREEK.
BY MRS. JOANNA FISHER.
The first settler in West Creek was Robert Wilkinson, who settled, where Charles Marvin now resides, in March, 1835. He moved back south many years ago. His son, John, lives in Lowell. In 1836 James Farwell and his sons took up claims in what is now Hanover township. Mr. and Mrs. Farwell died many years ago and are buried in the Brunswick cemetery. Next to the youngest son, Hudson, after serving in the Mexican war, died on his way to California. Abel lives in Lowell, Major in Missouri. Carlos in the far west, Edwin near Chicago, and Darius and the only daughter, Mrs. Thomas Clark, are dead. Darius died in Brooklyn, N. Y., and Mrs. Clark in Crown Point. Also, in this year came Mr. Charles Marvin from Connecticut. He is still living in the township. They were soon followed by Derastus and Henry Torrey, Chancelor Graves, John Kitchell, Mier Spalding, Joseph Jackson, John Michael, and William Farley, in the central part of the township. Henry Torrey soon moved to Lockport; Derastus, commonly called Major Torrey went to Kansas over thirty years ago where he died, and his wife and children live. Chancelor Graves and William Farley died in the fall of 1838, the first death in the township. Mrs. Farley died some twenty years ago. The blind son, William, well known to the early settlers died before his mother; the eldest daughter, Mrs. Orrin Graves, several years ago. Lyman and the youngest daughter, Mrs. Farrell, live near Mokeno, Illinois, Edward at Lockport, Illinois, and Zebulun in Chicago. Mr. Kitchell went away after a few years. Mr. Spalding died about twenty-seven years ago. His wife and children all live in the county except the youngest son who is a physician in Chicago. Mr. Michael moved to Michigan a few years ago. His sons, Edward and William reside in West Creek. Mr. and Mrs. Jackson are living at a good old age at Wapello, Iowa. In July 1838, Harry and Solomon Burns, their brother-in-law, Joseph Hazelton, and George Willey, all from western New York, located near Farwell's. They came through with horses and wagons, and were four weeks making a journey that now takes less than two days. Before six weeks had passed, eight of the thirteen in the company were prostrated by sickness, only one of the adults, Mrs. George Willey, escaping. Mr. Hazelton, discouraged by sickness, soon tired of the new country and went further south. The Burns brothers are both buried in the Brunswick cemetery. Of their children the eldest son, Joseph, and the youngest daughter, Mrs. Abel Farwell, now reside in Lowell. Albert died in Utah, Clark in Illinois, and Louisa, Mrs. R. P. Robbins, in Lowell. Mr. Willey lived where he first settled until nineteen years ago, when he moved to a farm a mile east of Crown Point, where he died April 5, 1884. His wife and eldest daughter, Mrs. John Fisher, are still living there. His son, G. A. Willey, lives in Bellville, Illinois. The two youngest daughters, Mrs. Granger and Mrs. Griffin, in Fort Dodge, Iowa. The following year H. P. Bobbins and Ransom Rankin came into the Farwell settlement. Mr. Robbins married Louisa Burns, and lived for many years where he first settled. His two sons died in the army. His wife a few years ago died in Lowell, where he now lives with an adopted daughter, Mrs. George Waters. Mr. Rankin moved to Iowa where he died; his wife and family living there now. In the south part of the township the Hamiltons, Haydens, Hathaways, Fosters, and Belshaws settled about this time; in the eastern part Father Beckley, Mr. Wiverly, Jesse Bond, and Mr. Jarret. Two Hoosier families, Kinnerson and Green, now came into the Farwell settlement. Mr. Sasse bought Mr. Marvin's place, Mr. Marvin moving three miles further south. They were soon followed by Seth Gordinier, Orrin Graves and Joseph Hunt; and still later by Isaiah Gordinier and the Blayney, Fuller, Klaas, Tegtmeir, and Irish families. In most of these families were young people, and quite a large congregation used to meet in the Graves school house for Sabbath school and church. Here Mr. Townley, Elders Hunt and Whitehead, and later H. Wason and T. H. Ball preached the Word of Life. What changes time has wrought! Of all that used to meet there, Mr. Irish and Mrs. Brenker are the only ones now living in the neighborhood. Mr. Sasse lives in Crown Point. Of this large family only two are living. Mr. Blayney is dead. His wife and youngest son live at Beecher, Illinois, the eldest son near Crawfordsville, and the two daughters in Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. Fuller, two sons and two daughters, all sleep the quiet sleep of death, Albert lives in Dakota, Charley in Illinois, and the daughter, Mrs. Marvin, in West Creek. Mrs. Graves and both her sons are dead. Mr. Graves lives with his eldest daughter, at Laporte. One daughter is in Kansas and one in Sherburnville. The Tegtmeir family are all in Bramer county, Iowa, except Mrs. Fred Brinker. Mr. and Mrs. Klaas and their daughter Mary are dead. Henry lives in Missouri, and Christopher on the homestead, and August at Dyer. Mr. and Mrs. Irish and their daughter, Mrs. Henry Klaas, are dead; two of the sons are west, and Hull lives in Hanover township. All traces of the Green and Kinnerson families are lost. The first physician in West Creek was Dr. Youngman, and soon after Dr. Mazuzan settled near the Torrey bridge. The first Protestant church built in the county was the Methodist in West Creek. Eider Morrison, a Methodist minister from Yellowhead, preached in the Farwell neighborhood in the early days. He was an earnest and able, though uneducated man, somewhat noted for eccentricities, and, like his hearers, had worn out the clothing he brought from the east. One Sabbath he appeared with one boot and one shoe, and all the men but one in the congregation were barefooted, and the women wore homemade bonnets. But these trifles did not detain them; they enjoyed the sermon as much as if clad in broadcloth and velvet. For the first few years the settlers had to go forty miles to Wilmington to mill, and to Chicago, which was but a village, to do their trading; and they had very little to trade with when they got there. What they raised brought very low prices, wheat at fifty cents and less a bushel, and every thing else in proportion, after hauling it there in wagons drawn by oxen, through almost impassable swamps, often carrying their loads, bag by bag, on their backs through places where the team could not draw it. But their wants were comparatively few, and they were strong hearted and brave. The neighbors, though far apart, were kind and true, and never failed to lend a helping hand in times of sickness and need, and those times often came in those days of exposure and hardship. Many were sick. In my own home at one time father and mother both lay sick in one bed with fever, and the oldest child only six years old; but the neighbors cared for them faithfully and tenderly; and so it was in every case. These pioneers fully understood what was meant by "my neighbor," and acted the part of the Good Samaritan whenever the opportunity offered. There was no isolation, no living just for self alone; but earnestly, patiently, and helpfully they took up the hard task of redeeming the wilderness and making the prairie blossom as the rose. And to-day we reap the results of their toils and privations, in thriving villages, well improved farms, comfortable dwellings, and general prosperity. Let us honor their memory and learn a lesson from their patient endurance of privations, their unflinching courage, and tireless industry, and strive to impress upon our children the same habits of economy, industry, and sobriety, which they taught us.
EAST CEDAR LAKE.
That part of the present Center and Cedar Creek townships included in the designation written above commences on the northeastern shore of Cedar Lake, at the old Indian burial ground, and extends southward to the eastward bend of Lake Prairie; and as some of those who made the original settlement along the lake went southward to the prairie, where their descendants are now to be found, this paper will include also a notice of the locality called Creston.
Solon Robinson says, in his manuscript history, that Henry "Wells and Luman A. Fowler, reaching his camp November 1, 1834, passed on to Cedar Lake, "then the center of attraction for land lookers." This remark is valuable, as showing that so early as the fall of 1834, that sheet of water proved attractive to explorers here; and, although it has lost some of its earliest charms, yet through all these fifty years, it has proved attractive to large numbers of fowlers, fishermen, and visitors. It became one of the very early social centers of the county; and had a good right to be, as it did become, a competing point for the location of the county seat.
In the year 1835 the east side was visited by claim seekers, but, while Aaron Cox settled on the west side in May, no cabin seems to have been built and occupied on the east side until 1836.
Then came members of a large family connection. These were Adonijah Taylor and Horace Taylor, two brothers, with wives and children, and two brothers-in-law, Calvin Lilley and Horace Edgerton, with their families, and the aged father, Obadiah Taylor. There also came James Knickerbocker from New York and John T. Knickerbocker, and Cyril Carpenter, but the last of these were not permanent settlers. With the large Taylor family and its connections East Cedar Lake is mainly identified. Dr. Calvin Lilley, who had been stopping for a year or two at South Bend, and whose goods were brought in a good sized row-boat down the Kankakee river, chose for his claim the northern portion of the east side, built his cabin near the top of the slope where it commanded a full view of the broadest part of the lake, and opened a pioneer hotel and started a new-country store. Of course his licenses could not be obtained until after the organization of the county and the election of county commissioners in 1837. May 29, 1837, a license was granted to Calvin Lilley to sell foreign and domestic groceries and dry goods, for which he was required to pay five dollars; and a license to keep a tavern at Cedar Lake, for which he was required to pay fifteen dollars. The commissioners had in this same month granted licenses for three taverns on the "beach of Lake Michigan" for six dollars each, and for two on the Sand Ridge Road at the same cost, and for one at Liverpool at a cost of ten dollars. Judging from the rate of license, the Lilley hotel must have been considered at that time the most important and lucrative one then in the county. For some years it continued to be an important social center.
South of Dr. Lilley Horace Taylor made his claim and settled with his family, in 1836, on what is now the "Stanley place," his claim taking in Cedar Point. Fine large cedar trees were then growing on that wooded bank, of which but few traces now remain. South of him, at the outlet, where is now the Binyon hotel, settled Adonijah Taylor. His claim is recorded on the Claim Register, October 17, 1836, No. 322, R. 9, T. 34, S. 26, S. W. quarter, North and South fractions, Timber and Outlet. Settled or to be, May 15, 1836. No. 35 on the Register, entered by Calvin Lilley from South Bend and A. Taylor from Pennsylania, "9, 33, 12, N. W. quarter, Prairie, and outlet, and mill seat," gives both men as residents in June, 1836. These two in company also entered 9, 33, 11, N. E. quarter, described as "Prairie;" No. 36; both entries having been recorded July 7, 1836. It thus appears from the Register that if not in May certainly in June, 1836, this family settlement was made. It also appears that these East Cedar Lake settlers extended their claims southward, the first summer, as far as the south-eastern limit of the present Creston. In this same summer, Horace Edgerton, with four sons and three daughters, made his home near the two Taylor families. The northern claim of this neighborhood, made by Calvin Lilley, settled June 1, 1836, was first recorded, No. 32, " 9, 34, 23, S. W. quarter, East" eighty, "fraction." Oct. 30, there is this entry; "This claim is altered by direction of the arbitrators so that the claimant now holds the South fraction of this section abutting on Cedar Lake and containing about 60 acres."
For arbitrators and their duties see Lake County, 1834, pages 40 to 46.
Returning again to this early settlement, James Knickerbocker, from New York, "resident" with his family " since May," made his claim July 5, 1836, recorded July 7, to 9, 34, 24, N. E. quarter, west eighty; and John T. Knickerbocker claimed May 1836," resident on it since same time," 9, 34, 26, N. E. quarter, S. W. eighty " fraction, abutting on the Lake." Of this the Claim Register says, "Transferred to James Westbrook, Feb. 27, 1837." Of this Westbrook family the writer of this paper retains one vivid remembrance, on account of a very fine black pony colt, placed in his hands to be broken to bit and saddle, by a member of this family, the pony proving to be an intelligent but rather wayward animal which nearly cost the rider his life as he endeavored one day to ride the still unbroken colt with only a halter to restrain and guide him. The Westbrook pony was at length broken, but not to wear a harness; the Westbrook family removed from the county; and the place, still bearing their name, was occupied afterward by Dr. James A. Wood. The date of removal of the Westbrook family was probably 1840; of the Knickbockers still earlier. Claims were made in June 1836, by L. Dille, of Ohio, on 9, 33, 8, for J. M. Dille, on 9, 33, 7, for A. W. Dille, on 9, 33, 17, for T. J. Dille, on 9, 33, 18, for D. M. Dille, on 9, 33, 2, and 9, 34, 24, for G. W. Dille, in July, and in September, by A. W. Dille for G. W. Dille, on 9, 34, 35, N. W. quarter east eighty, south fraction on Cedar Lake. Of these young men, sons of Gen. Dille, of Ohio, George Washington Dille marrying Miss Freedom Edgerton became a resident and for many years on that "fraction on Cedar Lake." These claims are numbered 86, 87, 89, 90, and 91. In the summer of 1837 Lewis Warriner, of Springfield, Massachusetts, bought of Henry Myrick a claim made in September 1835, recorded "9, 33, 2, N. E. quarter," No. 826. "To be settled this fall." And Norman Warriner made a claim at the same time, 9, 33, 8, N. E. quarter, south eighty "to improve immediately and settle next spring." These families made their settlement according to the recorded intentions; and in the summer of 1838, some other families settling eastward of the lake and near, quite a little community of " pioneer squatters" were gathering around them home comforts. The lake settlers took quite an interest in fishing, the store and "tavern" proved to be quite attractive, while several of the men gave their attention to mill-building on the Lilley and Taylor mill-seat. Comforts were provided for the women and children, some gardening was clone, but no extensive farming. There was very little rain that summer and a large amount of sickness. Death visited this community and a burial place was selected near the bank of the lake. A school house was soon built, where religious meetings were held conducted by the Rev. R. Hyde, and a school was opened, taught by Albert Taylor, Lorin Hall, and then by Norman Warriner, probably in the winter of 1838, and in 1840 or 1841 by Miss H. Caroline Warriner, and in the winter of 1843 by T. H. Ball. At that time what are now two districts were but one, the school house stood near the edge of Center Prairie, and nearly a mile from the lake, on which prairie were then the four families of Paine, S. P. Stringham, J. Foley, and Dr. Wood. For a time school had been held in a cabin built by Leonard Stringham near the same locality. The regular appointment in this neighborhood, at the school house, and at the Paine place, was for Methodist preaching; but occasionally a Baptist minister from the west side of the lake would come over and preach.
In 1839 Dr. Calvin Lilley died and his place passed into the hands of Benjamin McCarty, from Porter County, who with his wife, six sons, and two daughters, having considerable means, intelligence, and enterprise, made quite an addition to this community. His sons dressed well and rode fine horses; his house was opened for Baptist meetings; he named his place West Point, and made offers to the commissioners for locating there the county seat; his oldest son, Enoch Smiley McCarty, put up and burnt a brick kiln, probably the first in the county, which is accredited to the year 1840; his older daughter married the oldest son of Adonijah Taylor; and for a number of years the family was thoroughly identified with the East Cedar Lake community. The name McCarty, is still to be found among the inhabitants of the growing village of Creston.
The post office of the neighborhood was established at Lewis Warriner's, (the place now owned by Moses M. Esty,) and his house became a center for the east side debating society and also a place for occasional Baptist preaching. L. Warriner had two sons and one daughter, his wife and younger daughter having died in 1838; he had been a member of the Massachusetts legislature at Boston; was United States Census officer for Lake in 1840, and represented Lake county two or three limes at Indianapolis; and connected with his home, with the post office, and the literary gatherings, there are many pleasant remembrances and associations. There are those yet living who can recall these.
But the time soon came, West Point not having been selected for the county seat, when the fishing and milling interests proved insufficient as occupation for the dwellers beside the lake; and they commenced removing southward to the fertile and inviting then open prairie. The first to remove was probably the McCarty family, settling and building where is now the home of James Hill. The next was probably the Edgerton family, locating where now resides Alfred Edgerton. The exact dates have not been ascertained, but the latter removal was probably 1844; the former was some years earlier perhaps 1842. Other families followed; and soon a mile and a half of the eastern side of the lake became almost a wilderness again. The neighborhood roads were untravelled, a thick undergrowth came up; and "West Point" remains tenantless unto this time, a pasture ground only, covered with trees, shrubs, and blackberry "bushes." Little vestige remains of the earlier pioneer life that once was there. One of our first social centers, where large households have gathered, where hotel and business life has been, where literary exercises have been held, where neighbors have often gathered, where has been heard the voice of prayer and praise; there, for life are only the birds, the rabbits, and the honey bees now. Fifty years from a wilderness to a wilderness again.
But further south, less than a mile from the laid out town of West Point, an effort was made to start a new enterprise, and thus build up again on an old homestead. Israel and William A. Taylor, two sons of Adonijah Taylor, with their cousin, O. G. Taylor, commenced in the spring of 1854 the erection of a large steam mill at the outlet of the lake. The mill was built, and did some work; but was not a profitable investment. In the spring of 1858 there came to the outlet mill Robert Gray.
Another town was laid out bearing the name Graytown. Village life commenced. It is sufficient here to say that Graytown was abandoned about 1865.
But again, in that same place, life in another form commenced. In 1877 Christopher Binyon bought the Graytown property and erected buildings to accommodate visitors and boarders, but a notice of this new form of life belongs to another paper, "Cedar Lake as a pleasure resort;" and there is only further to be added here that now Bohemian and German families, some of them large bee-raisers, have opened farms in the woodland extending some miles northeastward towards Crown Point. Their woodland farms show the prosperity that accompanies industry and economy. The early pioneers would be astonished to see these bee farms and pasture grounds where once they hunted deer.
And now we come to CRESTON, or the settlement on the prairie. This neighborhood, formerly called Tinkerville, yet without any significance in the name, and now, from the name of the station, called Creston, extends east and west one mile and a half, and north and south about two miles. Its principal north and south street is the dividing line between Cedar Creek and West Creek townships; its east and west streets are two, a half-mile apart. It is on the northeastern portion of Lake Prairie. Claims were made here, it has already been seen, as early as 1836, and a mill was soon built, on Cedar Creek or the Outlet, known as the Taylor, and McCarty, and then the Carstens mill; but the settlement proper dates about 1842. It soon became the home of the McCarty, Edgerton, and Taylor families from the lake side, and then, as the years went along, of the Stillson, Palmer, Thompson, Scritchfield, Davis, Hill, Wheeler, Garrison, Nichols, Carstens, and still other families; the earlier lake families being blood relations, and nearly if not quite all the families coming into the neighborhood becoming connected by marriage with these kindred families. Some thirty families may be counted here that are related by ties of blood, or connected by marriage with the Taylor, Edgerton and Palmer families, and are thus connected back to Obadiah Taylor from Pennsylvania.
Good farms were soon and easily made on this fertile prairie land; and a prosperous agricultural community, with a growth now of forty years, can show well cultivated fields, orchards, barns well filled, and herds of cattle, also trained fast horses, comparing favorably with any in the county. On the land of Jacob Nichols, who became a resident in 1856, is one of the finest springs for watering stock to be found in the county, a spring for which with reason he would not take a thousand dollars. It is on the line between sections 11 and 14, in 9, 33, a little east of the center of that line. The basin is some sixteen feet in diameter, the water in which is about three feet in depth. The supply is considered abundant for a thousand head of cattle.
The first school house in this neighborhood was built about 1849, on the northwest corner of the center of section 2, R. 9, T. 33. This house soon became the place for public meetings of the Cedar Lake Sunday-school and the Cedar Lake Baptist church. Here a number of interesting meetings were held, and here were received as members and in Cedar Lake baptized, of those in this neighborhood, in 1850, "William Taylor, Enoch Smiley McCarty, Daniel Davis, Lucy Taylor, Mary Edgerton, Polly Jane Edgerton, these in January, Israel Taylor and his wife Hannah Taylor in May, Calvin Taylor, Lucy Taylor, and Esther Edgerton, in December; in 1851, Harvey Davis, Jonathan McCarty, Elizabeth Vinnedge, Laura Thompson, and Alvin Taylor; in 1853, Betsey Davis, Catharine Scritchfield, Jane Scritchfield, Nancy Ann Scritchfield, and Susan Davis; and in 1855 Sophia Palmer, Catharine Taylor, and Amy Mann. At that time this was a Baptist community; but in 1856 that church was disbanded. A second school house was built about 1857 a half mile further south, on the south-west corner of the south-east quarter of this section 2. Here for a number of years, besides the public school, and literary societies, which are still held in the school building ac-cording to the custom of the county, religious meetings were held and the Sunday-school met, until the erection of the Creston meeting-house beside the cemetery on the north-east quarter of this section 2. On the first school-house corner a store was opened by Amos Edgerton in 1865, and kept by A. D. Palmer from 1868 to 1875, when he was burnt out and built a half mile further west, on the township line, near a supposed railroad line. Here he still continues in business, the railroad having been built by a new company, the road now bearing the name of Louisville, New Albany, and Chicago, the trains running since 1880. Around this station, called Creston, village life has commenced. Other store buildings have been erected, and one store besides A. D. Palmer's is having considerable trade. This is kept by Cassius M. Taylor, a grandson of Horace Taylor who settled at the lake in 1836. Two brothers, John and William Love, have built a large hay barn and ship largely. A. D. Palmer has erected and carries on a grain warehouse. Several families live around and near the station. A good church building has been erected by the inhabitants. Here Methodist meetings are held regularly, and the Cedar Lake Sunday-school, in its fourth locality, holds its sessions. Commenced by Baptists and held by them for some sixteen years as a union school, it has passed through several changes, and now, held by Methodists, it is likely to become the Creston school and to be made denominational.
North from Creston, and on the shore of Cedar Lake, is one very large ice house, and there are three smaller ones. A station is there called Paisley, and a boarding house for the pleasure seekers and visitors of summer. With the exception of one ice house and some dwelling houses and land, the interests here do not belong to the East Cedar Lake or Creston community. That community as spread over that small portion of the once wild and beautiful Lake Prairie now numbers more than forty families. Among these are now great-great-great-grandchildren of Obadiah Taylor, who came here as an aged father in 1836. In other words, those of us who have been here some less than fifty years,-he died in 1839-have seen in this family line already six genera-tions. The number of descendants of Obadiah Taylor now living in this county is a full hundred. Among the men of means of this family in the Creston community, the "solid men" of landed property, are O. G. Taylor, D. C. Taylor, Alfred Edgerton, Amasa Edgerton, and A. D. Palmer. Other men of this class are, M. M. Esty, Jacob Nichols, O. J. Thompson, Amos Thompson, H. A. Carstens, James Hill, and Philander Cross. Others are also well situated for homes and home comforts, and enterprising, business young men are accumulating property. Some fair young girls and promising children are growing up in this community whom discretion says mast not be named.
As one of our many prosperous, farming, neighborhood communities, and especially as a part of the descendants of those who were the pioneer settlers around that beautiful lake, that has already become such a pleasure resort, which was even in 1834, fifty full years ago, "the center of attraction for land lookers" in Lake county, the Creston inhabitants should see to it that they keep up not only the intelligence and enterprise of their early New England ancestry, but that they hand down unimpaired virtue and religion to their descendants.
BY MRS. NANNIE W. AMES.
Lake Prairie has been called the "Gem of the county," and certainly it well deserves the fair name. Twenty-five years ago, Professor Mills, of Wabash College, stood on a knoll on Mr. Peach's farm, and looking around till his eye met the woods that encircle the gently" rolling land, said, " I have been thirty years in the west, and have been in every county in the State, and-never but once have I seen so beautiful a view." Other strangers from the East, South, and West have said the same thing, and Lake Prairie's own children who have gone away to seek homes elsewhere have come back and said, " There is no place like this after all. The scene has changed in this quarter of a century but has only gained in beauty. Now, as far as the eye can reach, may be seen comfortable houses and farm buildings, orchards and shade trees, with here and there a bordering of deep green osage; while still farther in the distance the tall wind-mills point out the homes beyond the range of vision.
Not an acre is unfenced, and but few are unfit for cultivation. The soil is good and best adapted to corn, oats, and grass. The earth has well "yielded of her increase," for almost without an exception the land owners are in good circumstances. The one landmark of ear days was the "Lone Tree," a burr oak, that is still standing on the farm of Cyrus Hayden. Many stories are told of men lost on the trackless prairie, who came to that, and were able to locate themselves, and find their way home.
The first settler was Robert Wilkinson who came in 1835, and lived in the edge of the grove, near where Charles Marvin now lives. Twenty years later he moved to Missouri, where he died. But two of his children are now living in the county, John Wilkinson and Mrs. Wm. Hill, both of Lowell. In 1842 George Belshaw came and settled on the farm afterwards known as the "Tarr place," and now owned by his grandson, Charles Belshaw. His two sons, William and Henry, entered the land they now live on. In 1846 James Palmer came from St. Joseph county and bought 320 acres of land and built the house afterwards owned by Abram Ritter, about a mile north of the Presbyterian church. His son, A. D. Palmer, who now keeps a store in Creston, lived for a few years just north of his father. Two brothers, George and Abram Ritter, came about 1851. Abram bought land of James Palmer, where his widow and youngest daughter, Mrs. Livingston, still live. George entered the land now owned by T. A. Wason, Edwin Michael, E. P. Ames, E. N. and T. P. Morey. George Ritter died in a few years, and none of his children are now living in the county. In 1850 Jacob Baughman moved .here from Ohio with his family, and entered 320 acres of land now owned by Frank Plumer, Jay D. Baughman, and Abiel Gerrish. He has two sons living here now, Jay D. and Jacob Baughman, of Lowell, with two daughters, Mrs. Knisely and Mrs. A. G. Plumer, while two sons are in the west. About this time A. G. Plumer came from New Hampshire and bought a large farm just west of Mr. Baughman, where he now lives. Just on the edge of the prairie, a mile south of Mr. Plumer, lived E. D. Foster, the father of Lyman and Alfred Foster, who were early settlers in the county but living outside of Lake Prairie. In the south-western part of the prairie lived Calvin Taylor, who died some years ago in Lockport, Illinois; John J. Michael, who moved to Coldwater, Michigan, a few years since, after building on his farm one of the finest residences in the township ; John Green, and Joseph Jackson, who is now living in Iowa, over ninety years of age. On the eastern side of the prairie the father of William Pixley entered quite a large tract of land. A furrow was plowed around it and a hedge set out, but it did not prove a success, very little of it living. H. R. Nichols and Oliver Fuller were among the early settlers, Mr. Fuller living on the farm now owned by Mr. Bruce. Mr. Nichols has lived in Lowell for some years, where his two sons are in the hay business, but he still owns the farm where he first settled. Near to him were the two brothers Harvey and Henry Austin, on the farm now owned by Wesley Pattee. The Austins have lived in Michigan a number of years, and Harvey met his death by a railroad accident last winter. In the south-east the brothers James and Amos Brannon moved on the land where they now live about 1850, though they had been in the county several years before. James Brannon married Eleanor Foster and Amos Brannon Sally Taylor, both daughters of early settlers. A little farther to the south-east, not really belonging to the prairie yet identified with the society and church there, were the two families of Peter Burhans and his brother-in-law Marshall Barber. Mr. Burhans moved to Crown Point a few years ago, but his sons Charles and Alexander live on his farm. Mr. Barber sold his farm some twenty years ago, moving first to Crown Point, then to Kansas where he now lives. George Ferguson and Mr. Sherart were near neighbors of Mr. Belshaw, and both died many years ago. A son of Mr. Ferguson lived on his father's farm till a year ago, when it was sold to Perry Brannon, a son of James Brannon. In 1855 and 1856 several families came from New Hampshire and settled near each other. Thomas Little bought the land owned by a Mr. Barber, who had lived on it several years, and which is now part of the large farm owned by his son, Joseph Little. Abiel Gerrish, who died this summer, bought land of Jacob Baughman and his son John, also 80 acres of A. G. Plumer. His only son, James L. Gerrish, has lived on this farm for some years. Henry Peach bought his farm of E. Knisely, who then went west, but afterwards came back and bought land on the state line, where his widow and youngest daughter still live. Mr. Peach died in 1858, and his was the first grave in the Lake Prairie burying ground. His son Abiel lives on the farm now. Samuel Ames and E. N. Morey bought unimproved land of the heirs of George Ritter. Mr. Morey still lives there, and has sold part of his farm to his oldest son. Mrs. Morey's father, Dr. Peach, came with his family a year or two later, and lived here till his death, a few years ago, at the advanced age of ninety-eight. He was the oldest person in the county. Mr. Ames moved to Elkhart, Indiana, two years ago, to live near his daughter, and his son, Ed. P. Ames, now owns the farm. In 1857 Rev. Hiram Wason, also a native of New Hampshire, came from Vevay, Indiana, and became the pastor of the Independent Presbyterian church, which had been organized the year before with twelve members. He bought land of A. G. Plumer and built the house where he still lives. He resigned his charge of the church in 1864, and has preached only occasionally since.
This neighborhood has sustained a Sabbath school, though not always having regular preaching. They have also aimed to have good schools, and their teachers have been among the best in the county. One teacher especially deserves the gratitude of her pupils for her faithfulness, both in mental and moral lessons. Miss Mary J. Ball, now Mrs. Cutler, of Kankakee, Illinois, taught the school for four successive years, and during that time it ranked the first among the district schools of the county in scholarship and advanced studies. There are but two churches on Lake Prairie, the Presbyterian, and a German Methodist not far from Hanover Center.
The northern part of the prairie was not settled until later, the land being entered by persons living elsewhere, and remained unimproved till sold again. The present owners are nearly all Germans.
REMINISCENSES OF EAGLE CREEK
BY MRS. S. J. MONTEITH.
The toilsome journey from Pennsylvania was over and for a time our weary feet found rest in Door Village. Fair and beautiful it lay before our eyes, but we were poor and must press onward to fields yet uncultivated and almost unsought. Thus Samuel Turner and wife journeyed on, and spent the summer of 1838 in the southern part of Lake county, locating their farm on the banks of the winding little stream, afterward called Eagle Creek. In the fall they went back to La Porte county, sending in their stead the young people of the family, as better able to endure the hardships of a pioneer winter.
" O the long and dreary winter, O the cold and cruel winter. Ever thicker, thicker, thicker, Froze the ice on lake and river, Ever deeper, deeper, deeper, Fell the ice o'er ail the landscape, Fell the covering snow, and drifted Through the forest."
Our cabin stood on a little hill, surrounded by giant oaks and hickories, a short distance to the west from the creek. It was dark and cheerless enough during the day, for the only light must come through the chimney, as window glass were not to be obtained. At night the glowing flames, leaping and crackling in the broad fireplace, transformed the place entirely, and around our humble hearthstone many a happy hour was spent, talking of the past and planning for the future. Before the first glimmer of dawn the boys must be away to the swamp, and who can tell how long the hours and days were to the sister at home alone, trying to make things comfortable for them when they should return at night, nor how often she wended her way to an oak standing alone, to peer out over the snowy wastes and into the gathering darkness to watch for their coming. Our neighbors were the Sarjeants, Dilleys, George Smith, A. Goodrich, M. Pearce, E. Coplin, the Bryants, and a few others; and after a while we had a Doctor within nine miles, which was a great boon ; for in those early years sickness, especially ague and fevers, prevailed to such an extent that often whole families were prostrated, and scarcely enough well people would be found in the neighborhood to wait on the sick ones. In the spring the father and mother brought apple seeds with them, which we planted, and, if you will visit the farm now, you may still eat the fruit from some of those seedlings. "We were the first in the neighborhood to have apples. Then revived our Pennsylvania taste for apple butter; but it needed sweetening and fortunately Aunt Polly Dilley could give us honey in exchange for apples, so that both families were supplied with the luxury. Once a traveler from Alabama stayed with us over night and gave us some peach pits, which were planted, and in
three or four years we were abundantly supplied with peaches which we have never seen equalled in this part of the country; but our winters were too severe for the trees and they did not endure many of them. When we settled there we would not have taken as a gift what is now the Niles farm; for it was impossible to cross it without miring down in the quicksand.
The mail service in those days was very limited and envelopes entirely unknown; but occasionally a letter written on a sheet of blue legal cap folded so that the paper served for an envelope, and securely sealed with wax, would find its way from Pennsylvania or Ohio, often by the hand of a traveler and after spending weeks on the way. We have one such in the house now bearing date of 1848, in which occurs a sentence something like this: "The Washingtonian movement has reached here, and total abstinence is being agitated. I trust this reform will go on and prepare the way for others until human slavery shall be abolished." The writer did not live to see his hope fulfilled twenty years later.
Fifty years have seen many changes. Here and there stands a tree that looked down on our grandfathers in middle life and their sons in boyhood days; but they are fast giving way to younger ones that were only saplings then. And the weather-beaten stones and grass-grown mounds in yonder cemetery would tell you where rest our forefathers. So must we follow them.
" All that breathe will share their destiny.
So live, that when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan that moves
To the pale realms of shade, where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death, Thou go not, like the quarry slave at night, Scourged to his dungeon; but, sustained and soothed By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams."
NOTE:-The "sister at home" mentioned in the foregoing paper was Miss Susan Turner, a sister of Judge Turner, of Crown Point, who has remained through the changes of these, our first fifty years, on the early family homestead, until this November; sometimes almost alone; at other times entertaining the group of happy children that would go down from Crown Point to visit "aunt Susan." The writer of this note has met her in her Eagle Creek home, and he was delighted with the rural and sylvan beauty there; the running stream near by, the grove of majestic oaks, the singing birds of sum
mer time, the quiet and repose of nature there, all adding to the associations and pleasantness of the place. Many a beautiful spot for a little home, where the glad voices of childhood would be heard, and manhood and age would find comfort and rest, the pioneers of our county selected, when they reared their first log cabins.
The "cemetery" mentioned above is near Hebron, about one mile from the county line. T. H. B.
HISTORY OF NORTHERN LAKE COUNTY.
BY JAMES H. LUTHER.
The writer of this begs to be excused for all the defects in composition, amount of matter and lack of more interesting items for the reasons that he could not commence writing it until the present month, November, 1884, and that he has not time to gather facts from old settlers within the territory which this is allowed to cover. He also asks to be excused for any personal events in his own life experiences that may seem to go out of the proper territory and not pertinent to his subject proper. I need not refer to my inability, for that is generally known and admitted: but I am doing the best I can under all circumstances.
"The northern extremity of Lake county had a history before the central and southern portions were hardly known. All the communication between Detroit and Fort Dearborn-Chicago-during the territorial days of Michigan were along the beach of Lake Michigan in Indiana. One of our oldest citizens, James Adams, of Ross township, passed over this route, the bearer of despatches from General Cass, then Governor of the territory of Michigan to the officer then in command at Fort Dearborn." I got the above from Hon. B. Woods.
As my own experience and travels along that beach are the next earliest that I can give I write as briefly as I can and be understood. I in company with the Cutler boys, of La Porte county, traveled with ox teams upon the beach from near where Indiana City was afterwards built, to Chicago and Fox river, in Illinois, which was then called the Indian country, was unsurveyed, and occupied by Aboriginees. Our object was to make claims and secure farms. I was then nineteen years old.
We returned in the spring of 1835 for teams and supplies. After the grass had grown so that our cattle could subsist upon it we, with an elderly gentleman from Virginia by the name of Gillilan who had a large family of girls, three horses, a "schooner wagon" filled full, started west, and this time struck the beach at Michigan City. Our first camp was on the beach where, back of the sand ridge, were extensive marsh lands, with abundant grass, upon which we turned our cattle consisting of eight yoke of oxen and one cow. After breakfast we went for our cattle and found all but one ox, and being absent from the rest we presumed he was mired, which we learned was a fact when we found him. He was al-most out of sight, could not stand if he was up, and could not be got up in that deep mud. So we managed to get his legs up and got his body on a rail, and we rolled him as much as five rods to ground upon which he could stand. We only made about three miles on our way that day. We finally reached the Calumet, now South Chicago, without further accident in the evening, and went into camp. That region was then all a common, with a plenty of feed.
A small, ferry was then used there by the single inhabitant living on the north side of the river in a log cabin. After considering the matter well and consulting with the ferryman we concluded to drive into the lake below and go round the river on the sand bar. After studying and getting our bearings we hitched our friend's lead horse before the ox teams, and I, as pilot, led the way and succeeded in getting the ox teams nicely over. Our Virginia friend and family came next. They had never seen so large a body of water before, and were very timid in spite of all. The only danger was in get-ting too near the river, not in getting too far into the lake. I hitched on to them and started in; they were scared and screamed, and begged me to get nearer land, which I presume I did, and the wheels began to sink in the softer sand near the river, and we were stalled. The boys on the other side hastened to us. I dismounted into the cold liquid to my arm-pits ; could hardly keep the precious freight aboard our wagon. But the oxen came, were hitched on, and my horse to lead, and we pulled out all safe and well pleased. This was exciting, but we boys feared nothing, but it was awful to our Virginia friends. But they soon cooled off, settled on a claim near ours, and were happy. I hope to be excused for this digression from the line of history asked of me, for I could not well avoid these items so vivid in my mind and so dear in my estimate of an early pioneer life. I drove teams between Chicago and La Porte up to the fall of 1836, and did not know of any other way but via the beach.
I will now quote from a manuscript history written and read by Solon Robinson, in Crown Point, now the property of Amos Allman: "In 1828 the Government purchased the 10 mile strip on the north line of the state which extended to the extreme south bend of Lake Michigan, which is on section 35, town 37, range 8. By the treaty of 1832 the remainder of the land held by the Indians in northern Indiana was acquired, previous to which time no whites, except trappers and hunters of the American Fur Company and soldiers from Fort Dearborn, had ever trod upon these broad prairies.
"In 1833 the first white man settled upon the soil of Lake county, near the mouth of the old Calumic, and kept a tavern to accommodate the increasing travel along the beach of the lake, then the only road. The next was by name of Berry, in the spring of 1834, also a tavern keeper on the beach of the lake. There was also another of these beach taverns built this year, but whether in our county limits I cannot say. All were temporary settlers located to administer to the necessities but not much to the comfort of emigrants flocking to Illinois by the only known route along the lake shore. I have my-self slept with more than fifty others in and around one of these little log cabin taverns. The only eatables were flour and coffee, and this was a stage house. During this year, 1834, most of the land in the county was surveyed and settlers began to make claims. Lake was taken from Porter county at the session of 1835 and 1836. In the fall of 1835 the first tax collector visited us from La Porte. Most of the settlers had to draw their provisions from the Wabash in the summer of 1836. One of the greatest events of this year was the sale of Liverpool lots amounting to $18,000 (and this without a title from the Government) and at this sale the first electioneering speech was made in this county by Gustavus A. Everett for state senator. The district included Lake, Porter, St. Joseph, and I think Elkhart counties. The first election and the first assessment of lands were made this year, 1837, 409 lots in Liverpool being assessed at $26,440. The county seat was located at Liverpool in 1839, and relocated at Crown Point in June, 1840."
Emigration started for the west in 1834, mainly for Illinois, which attracted people to the business of tavern keeping along the beach, as before mentioned, and I am sure that all but one, if not all the beach taverns before alluded to, were in the present territory of Lake county; and that one may have been in Porter county, near where City West was built in the speculative days, and abandoned almost within the same year ; and as emigration increased mail must be carried, and stages and stage roads followed, and rude log taverns, with barns, etc., which my space will not permit me to describe specifically. I have not traveled along that beach since 1836; but in the spring of 1837 I started from Valparaiso for Milwaukee, and the now famed Waukesha, where I had a claim that had to be looked after, intending to take the usual beach route, but missed it and came upon what my friend Bartlett Woods speaks of as the ever-to-be-remembered-by-those-who-crossed-it" Long Bridge over the Calumet river, at the mouth of Salt creek, built of logs and covered with poles. He says he drove a team of oxen over it. I, too, remember it, for I had far more fear in crossing this than I had in getting around the mouth of the Calumet river. I think this bridge was built by Porter and Lake counties in 1836. My father, James Luther, was Porter county's commissioner to build it, but I do not know who was Lake county's. This mistaking my road made much extra travel for me, via Liverpool, where George Earl was then in glory as to business (for business there was lively); thence I took in what is now Old Thorntown, and Rexford's, now Blue Island, to Chicago. On my return the same spring I took stage from Chicago to my nearest point home, which was nearest the old maids' tavern, about ten miles west from Michigan City, and its route was along the lake banks, near where Cottage Grove avenue now runs, to the Calumet, which we ferried, thence to the Calumet again, where Hammond now is, and where there is now a fine drawbridge. On the north side of the river there was a stage tavern. Mr. Hohman afterwards bought the property, and lived upon it till his decease. Mr. M. M. Towle (and perhaps others) erected here a slaughter house. Other business enterprises followed, and finally Hammond was laid out. Business increased, and additions to the town were made until, at this writing, it is a corporate city whose voters almost decide the political balance in the county election. From thence the road ran on between the Grand and Little Calumet rivers via Baileytown, where there was a stage tavern kept by one Culver; thence northeasterly to Michigan City. Besides the taverns mentioned above on the north side of the Little Calumet there was another one kept, which I think was kept by a Mr. Gibson, which was near what is now Gibson Station, on the Michigan Central Railroad, and north from Hessville. Friend Bartlett Woods says, that about seven miles west from Liverpool there was a big log-house tavern kept by Jack Cady, and about four miles farther west was a stage house, built by one of the Gibsons, which was afterwards purchased by Mr. Allen H. Brass, and was well and widely known as Brasses tavern.
From Mr. A. H. Brass I get the following: He settled in what is now North township in 1845, and says that the first, (I think it must have been the second) wagon road from Michigan City and Valparaiso to Chicago was via the old maids' tavern, long bridge, Liverpool, and crossing at Brasses, then at Osterhouts and Daltons, then to the city. He also says, there was a road north of that, which was doubtless the one described.
Of the citizens living north, between the Little Calumet and the lake he could only recollect the following, the widow Gibson, David Gibson, the Moss family, and a Mr. Carger. He further states the Tuttles, of Chicago, run the stage line on the north road, and that Clem. Brown, lately deceased in Crown Point, once lived on this route and was general manager if not a company proprietor.
In the years from 1855 to 1860 Mr. George W. Clark, of Chicago, purchased several thousand acres of land in the northwestern part of the county, southeasterly from the state line, near South Chicago, at $1.25 per acre. It was swamp land with alternate slough and sand ridge, that previously had been considered entirely worthless; but within the last three years Mr. Forsyth, Mr. Clark's brother-in-law and heir by his wife, sold eight thousand acres of it for an even MILLION of dollars. There are at this time several bodies of that land, which are held at from ten to one hundred dollars or more per acre. The principal causes of this great appreciation in the prices are, the railroads passing through it, consisting of the Michigan Southern, the Michigan Central, Baltimore and Ohio, "Nickel Plate," Chicago and Atlantic, and the Louisville, New Albany and Chicago; also, its close proximity to the greatest inland city in the United States, if not in America, Chicago; and to the head of Lake Michigan, which affords one harbor, and prospectively others, by and through which the immense shipping of all the lakes may take refuge inland for many miles along the Grand Calumet river, whose waters are deep enough to float any vessel that traverses the lakes and rivers, from the Atlantic ocean to Chicago.
I will now close this writing with some statistics which cost me two days labor, and which I think will prove the most interesting of anything before written, because it will show the growth of that part of our county.
The Records of the Commissioners. Book One has a record of the organization of the county, from which and the duplicates I get the following facts:
March 28, 1887, an election was held to elect a coun-ty clerk, recorder, two associate judges, and three commissioners. There were three candidates for clerk. Solon Robinson received 38 votes, D. Y. Bond 21 votes, and Luman A. Fowler 17. Total, 76 votes at a county election. Solon Robinson was declared elected. For recorder, William A. W. Holton received 50 votes, J. V. Johns received 22 votes. Mr. Holton was declared elected. For associate judges, William B. Crooks received 50 votes, G. W. Bryant received 28 votes, William Clark received 50 votes, Harace Taylor received 1 vote. Total vote 79 votes. For county commissioners Amsi L. Ball received 78 votes, S. P. Stringham and Thomas Wiles received each 59 votes. Being a tie, lots were cast which gave the election to Mr. Wiles. Mr. Ball got the three years' term, Mr. Wiles the two years' term, and Mr. Stringham the one year's term.
At that time the county was in three townships, North, Center, and South. North was bounded, by order of the Board, in Record Book One, April 5, 1837, as follows : District No. 1 to consist of all the territory lying north of the center of congressional township 35, in ranges 8, 9, and 10, and in range 7 all north of township 34, which includes half of Ross, all of Hobart, half of St. Johns and Winfield. In all of this territory -North township- the tax duplicate of 1839 shows that there were 109 names and 65 polls, and the total tax for that year was $763.26. Between this and the making of the duplicate for 1850 other townships had been set off ; and in my statements for 1850, 1870, and 1880 I get from the then townships of North and Hobart the following:
North and Hobart were taxed separately after this.
On duplicate for 1850 North had names 75, polls 21, tax $996.20;
Hobart had names 95, polls 43, tax $530.58 ; totals, names 170, polls 64, tax $1,526.78.
The duplicate of 1870 shows there were 553 names and 199 polls taxed on the duplicate.
The total tax charged was $5,722.09.
Hobart had 453 names and 152 polls, and a tax of $5,529.61.
Totals of both-names 1,006, polls 351, tax $11,251.70.
In 1880 North had names 619, polls 319, tax $13,878.38.
Hobart had of names 631, polls 222, tax $4,586.60.
Total of both-1,250 names, polls 541, tax $18,464.98.
There were of course more or less non-resident persons' names on the duplicate; but the foregoing will show the growth of each of said townships by the names taxed and of the prosperity of each, and the whole, from one decade to the next. For 1884, when the late North had become North, Calumet, and part of Hobart, the following are the figures: North has a personal tax of $114,287, and 491 polls; Calumet has a personal tax of $14,385, and 50 polls; Hobart has a personal tax of $73,545, and. 287 polls; total, $202,217 tax, and 828 polls.
NOTE.-Accompanying this paper was a map of the present North, Calumet, and Hobart townships, with the ranges, townships, and sections all numbered, which I should be glad if we could reproduce upon this page. I am sure that all the members of the Old Settlers Association will be glad that we have the foregoing paper on North township from one who passed across it fifty yeas ago, and who from 1861 to 1809 was auditor of this county of Lake. T. H. B.
CROWN POINT FROM 1834 TO 1884.
By T. H. BALL.
I. THE HAMLET: 1835.
Into the wilds of Lake county there came, in the fall of 1834, as pioneer settlers, Solon Robinson with his wife and two young children. They settled on the spot around which is now the town of Crown Point.
Then there was no political division known as Lake county; the land in this region had two years before been purchased by the United States from the Pottawatomie Indians, many of whom still remained on their old hunting and trapping grounds, friendly and quiet, but Indians nevertheless, having learned from the French missionaries and traders some virtues and some vices connected with European civilization; the land had a few months before been divided into townships and sections by U. S. surveyors, but none was owned or could as yet be purchased by private individuals; Fort Dearborn, or Chicago, thirty-six miles west of north on Lake Michigan, a military outpost and Indian trading place, was beginning to become a village on the outskirts of white settlement; and here, amid the surroundings of only trapper, fur trader, Indian, and explorer life, vast soli-tudes, remaining apparently as the Mound Builders had left them, except as trodden by wild beasts, by Indians, and by Frenchmen, stretching westward to the Mississippi and to the Rocky Mountains, this family sought a new home. It was the last day of October, a month that usually, around the great Lakes, is filled with glorious autumnal beauty, when they reached having travelled from Jennings county, Indiana, says the family tradition, with an ox team and wagon, -the open level, covered with waving grass and bright with many a flower that grows in no tree's shadow, known for many years after as Robinson's Prairie, a region in marked contrast with the heavy growth of beech, maple, walnut, elm, hickory, and oak through which for. so many weary days they had journeyed. "About noon, of a clear delightful day," they entered this prairie region; about sunset they camped for the night; the next day the camping spot was selected for a home. A cabin was soon erected and pioneer life began. In mid-winter, from the same neighborhood in Jennings county, three other families came, and the little hamlet, almost excluded from the outside world, was formed. The cabins of these families were on sections five and eight, and the names of each individual, as probably the inhabitants of Crown Point will never again be named one by one, are here given:
1. THE ROBINSON FAMILY. Solon Robinson, Mrs. Maria Robinson, Solon Oscar, about four years old, Josephine, a babe; young men, Luman A. Fowler, from the East, and Jerome Curtis and J. B. Curtis, two estimable young men from Jennings county, both of whom returned in a few months to their former home, where the latter was still living in 1876.
2. THE CLARK FAMILY. William Clark, Mrs. Ann Clark; children, Thomas, about twenty years of age, Miss Margaret, then a young lady, Alexander, Mary M., eight years of age, and John F., a boy of six years.
3. THE HOLTON FAMILY. Mrs. Harriet Holton, a widow; a son, William A. W. Holton; a daughter, Miss Harriet Holton. A married son, J. W. Holton; children, Ellen Maria, about four years old, and John.
It thus appears that three married men and four married women, five young men and two young ladies, four boys and three girls, twenty-one in all, were members of the little community when in 1885, in the latter part of winter, where the woodland and the prairie meet, hamlet life commenced. Unlike the early settlement in 1607 at Jamestown, we find here manhood and womanhood, young men and maidens, and little children. The grain fields, the mills, the work-shops, the stores, the neighboring settlers, the supplies, were, for the most part, from forty to eighty miles away, in La Porte county, at Wilmington, and on the Wabash; and procuring the needed supplies, encounters with the Indians, with prowling wolves, and hunting wild animals, gave rise to many interesting incidents and adventures, the details of which must be sought for elsewhere or left to the imagination of the reader.
The winter passed, and the ever beautiful spring called the settlers to agricultural pursuits. A large breaking plow, with a wooden mold-board had been provided--L. A. Fowler was a carpenter and J. B. Curtis a shoemaker, but blacksmith there was none nearer than Morgan Prairie in Porter county, where the irons were carried for sharpening-four yoke of oxen were attached to the plow, and the women and children came out from the cabins to see the first furrow turned in the green sward of the prairie. Judge Clark held the plow, Thomas and Alexander guided the oxen. "W. A. W. Holton walked behind to aid in turning over any refractory turf, himself then young and vigorous with that jet black hair, that cares little for exposure, which has characterized the Holton young men, while in front of all, to enable the oxen and boys to keep the line, walked the tall, spare form of Solon Robinson, even then as white haired as Christopher Columbus when he stood on the deck of the Santa Maria. The first furrow turned was along the center of section eight, where is now the center of Main street, commencing, for certain reasons, nearly opposite the present Register office and ending at the center of the section in South street. The plowing went on. The women soon returned to their cabin duties. The children and the birds lingered behind the strange machine, the breaking-plow. Some grain was raised that season. An old Indian garden furnished a garden spot where all the families could raise a few vegetables.
In the fall, and early winter some other families came. In November Milo Robinson, from New York City; and in December Luman A. Fowler, who had returned to Michigan and was there married in October, came with his young wife as a permanent settler now. With these also came, to reside in the hamlet, the then small family of Henry Wells; and with these William R. Williams. The latter afterward married Miss Margaret Clark. They came through from Wayne county, Michigan, with two wagons drawn by oxen, with one horse as a leader for each team.
With these additions to their little band, another winter, mild until February, passed away amid varied incidents, and the summer of 1836 brought new labors, additional settlers, and weighty responsibilities. The hamlet was growing into a central village. A store was opened by Solon and Milo Robinson; a post-office was established, Solon Robinson, the post-master, bringing the mail occasionally from Michigan City, the next offices being Joliet and Chicago; about five hundred settlers, who were men, were around this little center, besides women and children, all on lands belonging to the Government, except a few families at Liverpool; and on the Fourth of July, " in the grove," "at the house of Solon Robinson," was organized by " a majority of the citizens of Lake county," The Squatters' Union. Solon Robinson became Register of Claims. The little log huts were evidently insufficient for the business that would be required in this political center, and in the summer of 1837 a log courthouse of respectable size, which became a two-story building, stood on a public square. The county was organized. Henry Wells was appointed Sheriff. Elections were held, and true political life began. "LAKE COUNTY COURT HOUSE," the name of the post-office, was evidence of the aspirations and expectations of the enterprising citizens. A tavern was opened, kept by Milo Robinson; a frame dwelling house was erected in 1838 by Russell Eddy; religious meetings commenced, Col. John Vawter, in June, preaching in the log court house "to a very respectable congregation;" marriages were solemnized; bridge building commenced; and in October was held the first term of circuit court, nine lawyers and the judge being present. In 1839 the land of this region belonging to the Government came into market. Parts of sections five and eight were purchased. And in this year A. McDonald became the first resident lawyer; and death came and removed one of the enterprising business men, the late city resident, Milo Robinson. The hamlet had already grown into a village.
II. THE NEW COUNTY SEAT. 1840.
The aspiring and also enterprising little village of Liverpool, situated on Deep river, had secured in 1839 the location of the county seat; but many were dissatisfied; and the Indiana Legislature therefore ordered a relocation. West Point, on Cedar Lake, and Lake Court House, both sought the location. The commissioners from Marion, Pulaski, White, and Carroll counties came in June, 1840, and Lake Court House was successful. George Earle, of Liverpool, had been appointed County Agent. He with the two proprietors, Judge Clark and Solon Robinson, met to give to the new county seat a name. West Point at Cedar Lake, with no local significance, had already been named; and it was agreed, with no local allusions, to call the county-seat Crown Point. This name the place has ever since borne. Seventy-five town lots were laid out, Judge Clark appropriating twenty acres, and Solon Robinson, forty. A public square was donated to the county, and one acre of ground was set apart for a court-house and for public offices. Other donations of lots, of land, of money, and of labor, were also made, and the work of town building went earnestly forward. Town lots were sold at auction November 19th. In 1841 Dr. Farrington and C. M. Mason burned a kiln of brick, and then the stick and mud chimneys began to disappear. Steadily, but slowly, the village was growing. Major C. Farwell erected a log blacksmith shop, and in 1845 built a frame shop, stocked plows, and commenced to make wagons and buggies and cutters. July 4th, 1841, was publicly celebrated by about three hundred people in the grove, enjoying "cold water and a picnic dinner."
In the spring of 1843 a malignant form of scarlet fever visited the growing town. Eight persons died in a few weeks; and it was found necessary now, while enlarging the borders for the living, to provide also a place for a "city of the dead." So a cemetery was added to the precincts of the county seat. Religious services were now held regularly in the court house, the Rev. N. Warriner, the first Baptist pastor and first minister ordained in the county, and the first resident minister at Crown Point, and the Rev. J. C. Brown, a resident pastor at Valparaiso, conducting the public worship. In the summer of 1843 the Rev. M. Allman became a resident and also took part in the Sabbath service and in the Union Sunday School.
The resident lawyer, ministers, and physician, Dr. W. F. Farrington, who settled at the county seat in 1840, have been named. The first store and public house, have been also noticed. These all form an essential part of village and town life. In 1842 M. M. Mills, from Canada, built what is now called the Rockwell House.
The Robinson store, opened in 1836 in the log hut beside the old court house, where the Pottawatomies traded extensively, exchanging furs and cranberries for goods, came into the hands of H. S. Pelton about 1840. His store was on the west side of the square. He died May 26, 1847, and his goods were purchased July 28th by Carter & Carter, of New York city, J. S. Holton, agent. Carter &. Carter sold to J. W. Dinwiddie, who became a resident in 1847.
M. M. Mills opened a store in a room of his hotel in 1842, and, probably in 1843 sold his stock to William
Alton, who commenced business on the northeast corner of the square in a room of his dwelling house.
In 1848 the brick store was built on the same corner, into which Shedd & Farwell brought from Michigan City a stock of goods. This store soon passed into the hands of Alton.
In 1849 Clinton Jackson built the brick bakery, the second brick store, and sold goods till 1852.
CHURCHES AND SCHOOLS.
Methodist, Presbyterian, and Baptist ministers occupied by turns the rude pulpit of the court house. In that room was also organized the Lake County Temperance Society in June, 1841, an organization which continued some eight years. In that room also were held the first and most influential revival meetings connected with the earlier history of Crown Point.
The Presbyterian Church of the town was organized April 27, 1844. Rev. William Townley became pastor in 1846. The meetings mentioned above were conducted by him aided by ministers from Michigan City and South Bend. Many additions were then made to the church and some permanent good seems to have been accomplished. In 1847 the Presbyterian church building was completed, and then for the first time, in the village of thirty families, the simple village spire reminded the passing traveller that there stood a house of prayer.
A smaller and less church-like structure was completed about this same time for a Methodist house of worship. The Methodist Episcopal church at Crown Point probably dates back to 1843.
Churches sometimes precede and sometimes follow schools. There was a school in the little hamlet in the winter of 1835, taught by Mrs. Harriet Holton, who died in 1879 ninety-seven years of age.
A log school house was soon erected for the use of the village; and, in 1841, for the young county seat, a small frame house was built. This was used for the public school during many years. As early as 1848 the Rev. "William Townly opened a select school, which marked a new era in educational advantages. In connection with this school, although a few years later than this period properly extends, belongs
THE FIRST TEACHERS INSTITUTE.
It opened November 1, 1852. From records made by Heman Ball, of Cedar Lake, the following extracts and statements are given:
"Left home at 4 o'clock for Crown Point amid the rain and mud. Went to the Presbyterian church. The sexton was just lighting up the house. Went over to Mr. Townley's to inquire the prospects. In about half an hour Mr. Jewel, the Superintendent, and Mr. Hawkins, of La Porte, arrived in the stage. After some salutatory remarks the conversation turned upon the prospects of the Institute and the educational interests generally. Mr. Townley remarked that when he came here six years ago the district schools generally were very poorly kept. He had supplied from his school most of the female teachers. He had had nearly five hundred scholars, and not five males had gone out as teachers. The cause, compensation not sufficient. At 7 o'clock went back to the church. Mr. Jewel gave the opening lecture. He said that he had been travelling all day over the prairie. He had been pleased with the almost boundless prospects. He thought that all that was wanting to make the people of the West great was energy and perseverance. He spoke of the educational prospects East and West; of Normal schools as they exist in the Eastern states. Tuesday morning. The students assembled in the Presbyterian meeting house and organized by appointing a treasurer and secretary. Morning exercises opened by prayer. Then we receive instruction in vocal music and the best methods of teaching it in schools. This is followed by reading. A lecture is then given on physiology by the Superintendent. During the latter part of the week Dr. Boynton, a travelling lecturer, gave lectures illustrated by a manikin or artificial man.-We are occupied the remainder of the forenoon upon mental and written arithmetic. The afternoon exercises are as follows: 1st, geography; 2d, grammar; 3d, composition; 4th, a lecture upon school tactics. Public lectures are given every evening."
Such is the outline of the teachers' institute held the first week in November, 1852, arranged and carried out by private enterprise. How much improvement has been made since then, the state of Indiana expending annually about seven thousand dollars to make these gatherings of teachers profitable, the community at large has had some opportunities to judge.
Thus slowly, amid business changes and growing churches and schools, new families arriving and some seeking other homes, each year bringing its marriage or birth or death, the log huts gradually disappearing, shade trees and fruit trees taking the place of oak and hickory undergrowth, ten years passed over the county seat, the year 1849 witnessing the erection of the frame courthouse, '"George Earle, architect; Jeremy Hixon, builder;" leaving the log building of earlier days, its surroundings and associations, its court scenes and Sabbath services, its jail incidents and many public gatherings, among the things of the past. Another era opens.
III. THE INLAND TOWN: 1850.
A railroad from the east enters Chicago! The Michigan Central, finding a pathway among the sand hills of Lake Michigan, through the marsh and huckleberry region of Lake county, connects that growing young city, a little older only than Crown Point, with Detroit, with the Atlantic coast, with the civilized world. A little station on this road and on Deep River is named Lake. It is fifteen miles distant. But the inhabitants of Crown Point go to Lake to send their telegrams, to take the cars, to ship and receive freight. The Cut-Off is built, and sometimes they go to Ross, nine miles distant. The Pittsburgh and Fort Wayne Road is built, and they go to Hobart, twelve miles away. A little stage or hack starts out in the early morning; it returns, perhaps, each evening. It carries the mail, it takes passengers and packages. It brings back news. Truly do the inhabitants of Crown Point learn the meaning of "inland." For fifteen years they live on as a town. They can hear, in still, clear mornings, the shrill whistle of the engine among their northern sand hills, but the iron horse comes no nearer to them. He is busy bearing burdens to a city. Exciting events transpire; civil war breaks out; the life of the nation is imperilled; tidings from the capital flashes along the wires. They wait, to hear the news, the results of battles in which their loved ones are fighting and falling, until the little stage from Hobart comes in. Thoroughly do the inhabitants of Crown Point learn the meaning of inland. And yet, during these fifteen years, they make progress.
Until 1850 the principal stores were those already named kept by the Robinsons, H. S. Pelton, J. S. Holton for Carter & Carter, and J. W. Dinwiddie, on the west side of the square, and by William Alton on the northeast corner. Strait & Holton bought out Alton in the spring of 1853. Joseph P. Smith, the captain of the military company organized about 1841, who led a company to Mexico and returned at the close of that war, who had been school examiner and recorder and county clerk, succeeded J. S. Holton in the firm, and not long after bought out Strait, probably in 1855. He was a correct and for several years a prosperous business man. Partners were admitted, and the firm became Harding, Smith, & Co. The steam mill west of the Rockwell House, built by Lewis and Dwyer, sold to A. H. Merton, and by him to Harding and Laws, came from them into the possession of this company. It proved a bad investment. The firm dissolved about 1858. Captain Smith invested largely in a patent stove sold by Tripp, of Chicago. He and others found the investments in that line a failure.
Judge Turner bought the west side store from J. W. Dinwiddie in March, 1850. He received James Bissel as partner in 1851, and in 1853 was formed the firm of Turner & Cramer. They carried on, for those days, a large business for the next few years.
A harness store was opened by J. C. Sauerman in 1851, and a furniture store by H. C. Griesel in 1853.
J. S. Holton retiring from the northeast corner, opened a store on the southwest corner of the square in 1854. He sold in 1855 to A. H. Merton to whom Turner & Cramer sold their stock of goods in 1857.
In June, 1855, Luther and Holton bought the Townley school house, removed it to the south side of the square and opened a new store. This building is the one next west of the brick block. Luther and Farley succeeded Luther and Holton.
J. G. Hoffman commenced business May 10, 1852, on the east side where was a few years ago the grocery store of W. R. Marston. He sold to G. A. Woodbridge in the spring of 1855. Commenced business again in the fall of 1856. In 1857 he bought out Luther and Farley and removed to the south side. He closed business in 1864 and was succeeded by Fred. J. Hoffman.
Nichols & Nichols built the store once occupied by O. G. Wheeler about 1855, and commenced business. Closed in 1858. The building is now taken down.
Returning to the east side of the square, in the brick building erected by Clinton Jackson, Levi Tarr opened a drug store about 1854. He soon disposed of the drugs to Lewis & Dwyer for sheep. Dr. A. J. Pratt, then a young practitioner, settling in 1854 and having an office in the building, bought a quarter interest. Dwyer went out. Lewis & Pratt carried on the business. In 1857 Lewis sold his interest to R. B. Young, who, about two years later, bought the remaining interest of Dr. Pratt, and removed the stock to his own building a few doors north. He continued in business until after 1865.
In the same brick building, made vacant by the removal of the drug store, W. G. McGlashon placed a stock of goods in 1859. Removed to the south side, afterward to the store north of the Hack House, when M. L. Barber became a partner; removing to the south side they dissolved about 1867.
In September, 1858, John Reuschli opened a meat market, and in September, 1860, was formed the firm of Pratt & Reuschli.
William Krimbill commenced business in 1863, and is now located in his own store in the new brick block. He has built up a large trade, and is one of the leading dry goods merchants of the county.
The goods to supply these different houses were brought from Lake and Hobart and Ross, and the produce exchanged was shipped from these points. In the spring and fall, when rains were frequent and the wheeling heavy, the merchants learned the disadvantages of being "inland."
Notwithstanding the disadvantages and the slow growth for fifteen years, new buildings were erected and improvements made. Z. P. Farley, in 1851 built the Hack House. In 1856 the Baptist church building was completed. In 1858 the brick dwelling houses of Z. P. Farley, J. G. Hoffman, and J. Wheeler, and the three-story building containing the Register office, were erected. The county offices and the brick school house were built in 1859, and in 1860 the present Methodist Episcopal church structure. In the steeple of this large and commodious house, where the crowds so often congregate, was placed a bell, and no longer could it be said, "The sound of the church going bell" this prairie and grove never heard. As on Sabbath mornings and evenings its inviting sounds are heard, when the solemn toll announces that the slow-paced burial train is moving to the resting place of the dead, and when as sometimes in the still hours of night its rapid sounds startle the slumberers with the alarm of fire, the inhabitants are able to feel that they are abreast with all the towns of Christendom in the possession of a many voiced bell, the bell that in all Christian lands tells of joy and sorrow, tells of hope and fear, calls to praise and prayer.
Schools also advanced during these years. Sylvester Lamb, an ambitious young man, was one of the advancing teachers. His school celebrated one May Day, but the cold wind kept back the flowers, and the Crown Point girls in white dresses were not very comfortable.
R. F. Patrick taught some two or three years, probably during 1856 and 1857. He built the house afterward owned by S. D. Clark, on South street. His select school was held in the Methodist church.
Miss Mary E. Parsons, a graduate of the Mt. Holyoke Seminary, taught a select school for girls from 1856 till her death in November, 1860, with one summer's absence in visiting Iowa.
In September, 1861, W. W. Cheshire and wife became resident teachers in Crown Point, teaching in the public school during the winter months, and having a private school in the summer. They continued to teach until 1867.
After churches and schools would come very naturally the printing press and newspapers, and along the line of progress in these years came the establishment of a weekly newspaper.
The publication of a little sheet, called The Lake County Herald, was commenced by Rodney Dunning about 1856. It continued a few months. The press and materials were sold to J. S. Holton. He in 1857 sold to John Wheeler and Zerah F. Summers, who commenced the publication called The Crown Point Register. This paper passing through the hands of Harper & Beattie, and Samuel E. Ball, came in October, 1869, into the ownership of Frank S. Bedell. The Register proper dates from 1857, established as a weekly, political newspaper by J. Wheeler and Z. F. Summers. In 1860 a Democratic paper called The Jeffersonian was also started, but its life was short. Democracy, so-called, did not nourish in Lake county during the opening years of the Great Civil War.
During those years Crown Point was thoroughly alive with military ardor and patriotic zeal. Her citizens were fully represented in camp and guard duty and on the battle fields.
Intensely as the hearts of the citizens of Crown Point were enlisted in the Great Contest, those remaining at home still sought additional culture, and in 1863 was organized at the brick school house the Crown Point Literary Society. Among its active members were especially the three patriotic pastors of the town, J. B. Newhouse, J. L. Lower, and T. H. Ball. The two first named were teachers of vocal music and good performers on the guitar, each possessing an instrument. Never have three pastors in Crown Point labored so unitedly and zealously for literary culture as the three above mentioned. Those were the palmy days for ministerial literary exercises. J. B. Newhouse left in the fall of 1884 and J. L. Lower in 1865.
Additional lawyers: Martin Wood, settled in 1848; E. Griffin, 1857; C. N. Morton, 1858; J. B. Turner, 1881; T. Cleveland, 1863.
Other physicians: H. Pettibone, 1847; W. E. Vilmer, 1853; A. J. Pratt, 1854; J. Higgins, 1859; C. Gromann, 1861.
IV. THE RAILROAD TOWN: 1865.
The Cincinnati Air Line, the Great Eastern, now the Chicago, St. Louis & Pittsburg, or the Pan Handle, found Crown Point on its way to Chicago in 1865, and the town was no longer inland; iron rails and telegraphic wires connected it with all the outside world. An engine with a construction train reached Crown Point in December, 1864. In the spring of 1865 the passenger and freight trains went through to Chicago. Immediately a new growth commenced.
Parts of the early claim of J. W. Holton on section five, having been farming lands for many years, were purchased by Joseph E. Young, Major E. Griffin, and Judge D. Turner, and laid out in city blocks and town lots. These formed Railroad Addition to the town of Crown Point. A depot building was speedily erected. The Holton barn was transformed by M. L. Barber into a grain warehouse; another was built by Z. F. Summers, and dwelling houses and business rooms were rapidly increased. Block No. 1 came into possession of the Crown Point Institute Educational Company, organized May 31, 1865, and the "Institute" building was ready for use by the close of the year. The following business houses belong to the railroad growth:
In 1865 a drug store was opened by Dr. M. G. Bliss, and business commenced by J. M. Foster.
In 1866, in March, J. H. Prier commenced; in August Meyer & Bierlen.
In 1867, W. N. Hartupee in April, successor to A. Sanford; May 15, O. G. Wheeler; in the hay trade, A. H. Merton.
In 1867, P. Geisen, furniture dealer and undertaker.
In 1870, George Sanford. In 1871, December 20, H. P. Swartz. In 1874, Church & Church, J. Schlemmer, D. Longnecker, A. Edgerton.
Two lumber yards were opened at the depot soon after the completion of the road, one by J. E. Fraas, the other by J. Schell. These came after a time, the latter in 1875, into the hands of P. H. Saylor. A sash, door, and blind factory was also soon established by G. L. Voice. This line of work is now carried on by the Gosch Brothers.
Hay presses and barns have been erected by J. G. Hoffman, A. H. Merton, and B. F. Jones; and a green house was built by A. L. Thompson, in 1874; a second by A. Phelps, in 1874, and a third by Miss Millikan and Mrs. Ingersoll, in 1883.
Other business men have aided during these ten years, from 1866 to 1876, in enlarging the channels of trade, among these F. Hildebrandt, J. Houk, J. Lehman, W. R. Marston, Z. P. Farley, M. Minas, H. Farmer, R. Fancher, William Aulwurm, A. Sherman, gunsmith and dealer in guns and ammunition, Goulding & Sons, C. Simons, H. H. Meeker, A. Krimbill, C. A. Weis, J. F. Rowins, whose dates have not been ascertained.
Business needs money and a place of security for money. In 1874 was opened the First National Bank of Crown Point in the Register building.
Three churches had hitherto supplied the religious wants of the citizens. New ones were added in the following order: 4th, Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Catholic, 1867; 5th, Trinity Church, Lutheran, 1869; 6th, German Methodist Episcopal, 1874; 7th, German Evangelical, 1874; 8th, North Street Church, opened for public worship July 11, 1875; 9th, Free Methodist, 1882.
1. The Crown Point Institute, opened in September, 1865, closed in the spring of 1871. Its place was supplied in part by The Lake County Gymnasium and Normal School, opened in one department in 1872 and fully in 1874.
2. Miss Knight's school also opened in September, 1865.
3. The Lutheran school commenced in 1870.
4. The Catholic school commenced about 1871. Of these only the Lutheran and Catholic are now kept up.
Connected with the first two of these schools may be named instrumental music.
The little hamlet contained in the year 1838 one piano, whose ivory keys were struck by the well-trained fingers of Miss Eliza Eddy. Mr. Townley's school had furnished a teacher of instrumental music, Miss Bloomfield, who as Mrs. A. Foster became the first music teacher of the Institute, succeeded by Prof. Julius, Mrs. N. C. Cornell, and Miss L. Western. Miss Knight also gave musical instruction; and private lessons have been given by Miss Helen G. Bedell, Miss Sophia Pratt, and Miss Flora McDonald; also by Prof. Julius and Mrs. Cornell; and in still later years by some others. As a result there are now quite a large number of pianos and organs, some guitars, and several other instruments in the town, a glee club, a brass band, the Crown Point Singverein and many amateur performers.
In June, 1868, the town was incorporated, having for officers three trustees and a marshal. Sidewalks now began to be constructed by town authority; a voluntary association had furnished funds for building in 1865 walks to the three churches. The corporation sidewalks have formed an era of marked improvement in town life. A fire engine was procured in 1872 and a fire company organized.
In 1873 the first half of a brick block was erected by J. H. Abrams, W. W. Cheshire, William Krimbill, and J. H. Prier, at a cost of about twenty-two thousand dollars. It contained four store rooms, a large audience room known as Cheshire Hall, a Masonic and an Odd Fellows' Hall. These last two halls are neatly furnished, the Masonic Hall especially, ranking among the finest in the State. The three halls and the National Bank placed the inhabitants of the late inland town very near to city life.
For a notice of Cheshire Hall see the following paper. Here may fittingly be inserted the names of the various additions which have been made to the town of Crown Point, given in the order in which they are recorded in the abstract office of Amos Allman and Son, to whose courtesy I am indebted for them. The year in which each addition was made is attached.
Rail Road Addition, 1865, Central, 1849, Commissioners,' 1848, Smith's 1853, Luther's Subdivision of Lots 13 & 14, 1854, Smith's Addition of Outlots, 1855, Jackson's Division of Commissioners' Addition, 1855, Eddy's Addition, 1855, Nichols,' 1856, Eddy's 2d, 1859, Hoffman's 1859, Hughes,' 1864, Fancher's, 1865, Cottage Grove, 1866, Mills' 1849, (now vacated,) Mary E. Wood's, 1871, Young's 1st, 2d, 3d, 4th, 1869, Summit, 1870, Wood's, 1869, Griffin's R. R. Addition, 1872, Griffin's Subdivision of Block 3, Griffin's R. R. Addition, 1872, Ball & Griffin's Subdivision of Lots 1, 2, 3, 4, Block 26 and all in Block 27 R. R. Addition, 1872, Pelton's Addition, 1872, Lake View, 1873, Spring Lake, Fair Ground, Rolling View, Foster's each 1873, Burge's, 1874, Turner's Addition of Outlots, 1874, Pratt & Ruschli's, 1875, Hughes' 2d 1875, Crown Point Cemetery, 1872, Wolfe's, 1876, (now vacated,) J. H. Ball's Addition, 1874. In all thirty-eight additions, two of which have been vacated, leaving thirty-six additions for the original town of Crown Point in forty-four years.
The brick block, or half block, built in 1873 was, in the center, two stories high, and on each side, where are now the two halls, three stories high. The following two story brick buildings have since been erected on the east side of Main street, for store rooms, halls, and offices, with basements; in 1876 by Peter Geisen and Reuben Fancher, one 25 and the other 22 1/2 feet front, with a depth of 81 feet, the former, owned by P. Geisen, at a cost of $5000; in 1878 by W. N. Hartupee, H. C. Griesel, and J. D. Clark, each 24 feet front and 90 in depth, costing nearly $5000 each; in 1881 by John Griesel, Conrad Hoereth, and the Crown Point Bank, the first 24 feet by 80, costing $5100, the other two 36 feet by 60; in 1882 by J. H. Abrams, 22 feet front by 70 deep; and in 1883 by Warren Cole, 27 feet front by 90 in depth, with a very securely built vault communicating with the jewelry room, the whole costing $7000; making thus ten new store rooms, two halls, and a number of offices and basement rooms. In 1878 and 1879 was built the new brick court-house; and in 1882 the brick jail. The removal of the frame court-house, which has been remodeled and transformed into Hoffman's Opera House, and of the frame jail and the old brick offices has changed very much the appearance of the public square, in the center of which is now the court-house, on the north and east side broad walks, and on each side a public street. Bordering on these streets is a row of solid oak posts, twelve feet apart, supporting on three sides a strong chain, which forms a convenient and secure cable to which horses can be tied.
The present business of the town may be briefly stated thus: Commencing on Court Street, opposite the north-west corner of the square and proceeding southward, we have, a black-smith's shop, S. B. Coneway's, Paul Raasch's flour and feed store, the Rockwell House, kept by O. Fur man, and a basement saloon by E. A. Mee; Dr. Pettibone's office; and, south of the old school-house, Dubois' black-smith shop; and the printing office of J. Lehman, Editor of the Freie Presse, near the school house; on the south side of the square, John Meyer, agricultural implements; Jacob Houk, boots and shoes, and C. Weis, hardware and practical tinner; meat market, F. Simons; shoe-shop, C. S. Coneway; harness-shop, J. H. Minas; cigars and tobacco, Eder Bro's; groceries and provisions, j. M. Hack; Keller Bro's, dry goods and clothing, (commenced business in Crown Point, June, 1880, one of the group of four business houses, the main house at North Judson, in Starke county, doing a large business, the other two situated at Winamac and Lowell;) William Krimbill, dry-goods & clothing; H. P. Swartz, drug-store; second story of this half-block, the armory of the Crown Point military company; the Star office, Wheeler & Rowins, Printers and Editors; Mrs. Allman's millinery rooms; Dr. N. D. Edmonds, dentist. On Main street, Herman Baake, shoemaker, (commenced here in September, 1882, came from Berlin, Prussia, in 1881, an excellent workman;) Henry Sasse, Jun., agricultural implements; Wells & Judson, livery stable; Hack House, Mrs. A. Hack; J. Horst, hardware, (commenced business May, 1882;) Miller's saloon and boarding-house and feed-barn; Reeder's saloon boarding-house and barn with stalls for some twenty-four horses, on Joliet street; and "The Fair," M. J. Kramer; on East street the black-smith's shop and wagon and carriage manufactory of Joseph Hack, a successor of Major Farwell, who established the shop in 1841.
Returning again to Main street, we have, a tailor's shop, Joseph Horn; a basement restaurant kept by Miss Nellie Taylor and brother under the drug store; on the east side of the square, John Schlemmer, dry-goods and clothing; O. G. Wheeler, hardware and a basement tin shop, in the brick store built by W. N. Hartupee; H. C. Griesel, furniture store and undertaker; basement, G. Volk, barber; E. Church & Son, groceries, (store room of Clark and Pinney;) harness store and shop by Conrad Hoereth; Rockwell Bro's, groceries; Wm. Hack, hardware ; bakery, Fry & Wilson, (in a frame building on the site of the original brick bakery which came down in 1883;) "Wm. J. Young, Clothier;" "W. Cole, Watches and Jewelry;" Joe Atkin, barber in basement; saloon, kept by E. Laws; meat market by Daniel Krinbill, and later in the year sold to Scoates and Hayes, the present proprietors; and on the west side of Main street we have the Register office, John Millikan, Editor and Proprietor, and the hall of James H. Ball, occupied by the Public School Cadets as an armory, containing also a circulating library. Further northward, passing the, law office of Griffin & Griffin, we find Mrs. Pierson, dressmaker, and the law office of Wood & Wood, and, on the corner of North street, the black-smith's shop of E. Caswell, and then the shops and saloon of Charles Shroeder. Returning to the west side of Main street near the square and passing northward, the business houses are: Ladies furnishing- store Mrs. Jerome Dinwiddie, business com-commenced July 7, 1884; drug-store by W. A. Scheddell, opened November 23, 1881; (on the second floor, in the office of Clark, Turner, and McMahan, is kept the McClure library;) grocery and provision store by George Krinbill, opened in December, 1884; (on the second floor the News office, lately opened by T. Cleveland and Charles Cleveland;) C. Dubois, cigars and tobacco; and Fred. Imhoff, barber; Young's saloon; groceries by L. Dresser, opened October, 1880; dry-goods store by Otto Schultz; furniture store, Peter Geisen, who is also undertaker; agricultural implements, Fessenden & Seberger, who also deal in sewing machines and hardware; a shoe-store and shop by F. Guttschow; flour and feed store by Laws and Son; Hayward's art-gallery; and near North street, the shoe-shop and oil-store of James Cooper. Near the Pan Handle depot, there are the stores of D. N. Longnecker, groceries and provisions, of Amos Edgerton, groceries and dry goods, of M. Foster, hardware and agricultural implements, the harness shop of Lewis Edgerton, and meat market of H. Frederick; also Buderbach's saloon, the black-smith and wagon shop of H. Nassau; the Indiana House and saloon; Frank Hilbrich's saloon; the Crown Point House livery and feed stables; the black-smith, wagon, and carriage shops and the agricultural-implement store of Jacob Weis. Also the iron foundry of R. McAllister; and, near the Atlantic depot, the depot saloon and boarding house. Also the hay press and barn of Alfred Coffin, the hay and grain barn and warehouse of Beranger Brown; the seed and grain store of William Aulwurm; the ware-houses and hay press of B. F. Jones, and the lumber yard, planing mill, sash and door factory of the Grosch Brothers. It appears from the foregoing list that while Crown Point is not Chicago, nor even claiming to have become a city, it has attained a fair growth, and without manufacturing interests it has as a railroad county seat sufficient business facilities for a healthful, slow-growing town. Its two rail-roads furnish sufficient competition to bring passenger commutation rates to Chicago, forty-one miles on one road and thirty-six on the other, down to fifty-four cents a trip; giving also direct communication to Boston, New York, Jacksonville, and New Orleans. It has already become the home of many retired farmers who find here a healthful town, away from the bustle and the danger of "strikes" and the other attendants of a large manufacturing center, in which to spend the afternoon and evening of their days, giving to their families the advantages of the growing schools and many churches and the cultivated society of the county seat. Of course the county officers, with their families reside here, nearly all the lawyers of the county, a number of good physicians, many retired business men, several editors and journalists; and here is the home of our present state senator, J. W. Youche; of our circuit judge, E. C. Field; of the present member of Congress of this tenth district, Thomas J. Wood; and of the presidential elector of the district for 1884, J. Kopelke. Here also reside of former representatives, Elihu Griffin, Bartlett Woods, David K. Pettibone, Martin Wood, T. S. Fancher, Dr. H. Pettibone; and a former probate judge, representative, state senator, and United States Assessor, Judge David Turner. Several former county officers also reside here, among whom may be named as men of means and influence, Amos Allman, James H. Luther, John Krost, Janna S. Holton, J. C. Sauerman, Wm. Krimbill, John Donch, and John Brown. There are yet others of our many intelligent and worthy citizens, some who have and some who have not held office, whom I would be glad to find an excuse to name. Having a healthful and beautiful location, sufficiently near to Chicago, with some fine springs near by that may yet prove to have good medicinal qualities, with a rich grazing and far miner region not far away, the day is quite sure to come when many a Chicago business man will have a beautiful home, and many a factory laborer will have his pleasant cottage, within the ample limits of the Crown Point of the future.
(The following paper was prepared for the literary exercises of Wednesday evening, September 3d, and was then read, as mentioned on page 43, which fact will account for the construction of the opening sentence. For readers who may not know the family relationship of the county the editor will take the liberty to say here, that Mrs. Wheeler is the wife of J. J. Wheeler, one of the editors of the Lake County Star, a daughter of Janna S. Holton, and a granddaughter of SOLON ROBINSON, the first settler in Crown Point.)
BY MRS. BELLE WHEELER.
When requested by Mr. Ball to take part in these exercises, and our subject was assigned us, we felt that it was quite a serious undertaking for a novice in such matters, and hesitated to attempt what might be the beginning of a brilliant literary career; but as he assured us it was our duty we will try to make it our pleasure as well, doing the best we can with the facts and figures at our command.
When in the year 1873 the building was erected which contained the large room fitted up with every convenience, as we thought, for the holding of lectures, concerts, dramas, and the like, the town had reason to feel proud of having a town-hall, which, after proper dedicatory exercises, received the name of its owner and builder, Mr. W. W. Cheshire, who came here from the South during the war to take charge of our public schools, and who has since remained a citizen, being now absent in government service. The county was also greatly benefitted, for here the institutes, the political speeches, and all forms of public meetings were held. And this Society of Pioneers held several meetings under its roof if we mistake not. It has been the scene of many happy gatherings, and its audiences have listened to some of the finest lecturers of these times, the most notable of which were those given under the auspices of the Lecture Club, of which Mrs. J. W. Youche was secretary, and from whose books we glean the following: There were given lectures by Prof. Swing, Rev. Dr. Thomas, Will Carleton, Pheobe Cousins, Fanny McCartney, Rev. Mercer, Gen. Kilpatrick, Mrs. Livermore, Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Dr. Brook Herford, Benj. F. Taylor, Mrs. Dunn, a series of five lectures by James K. Applebee, reading by Laura E. Dainty, entertainments by the Hutchinson family, and others. After the walls of this hall have echoed the talented voices of such a long list of lecturers of world-wide fame, it can never be utterly buried in oblivion. From its platform we have also often heard our own home talent, Rev. Mr. Ball, Judge Field, and many others. Mr. and Mrs. Cheshire were both active and willing workers in this society who with the rest of the members deserve and receive the thanks of the literary public.
"We regret that our first pride, Cheshire Hall, is a thing of the past, though we think it devoted to very good use, being the "abode of journalism," we would have been glad could its doors have been kept open to the Lake county public, as long as time would let its portals stand, and the name of its projector be kept green in the memories of the coming generations.
THE FAUNA OF LAKE COUNTY.
BY EDWIN W. DINWIDDIE.
The peculiar position and varied nature of the soil of Lake county probably render it the natural home of more species of animal life than any other region of similar extent in the United States. Lake Michigan, the Kankakee and Calumet rivers and marshes, numerous-small streams and lakes, swamps, prairies, groves, loam, clay, and sand hills, make a variety of soil and condition suited to the wants of hundreds of species of temperate zone animal life.
In the scientific classification of the Animal Kingdom the first three great divisions Vertebrates, Articulates and Mollusks are abundantly represented. Of the Vertebrates all the classes-Mammals, Birds, Reptiles, and Fishes- are represented; In the class of Mammals the first two orders, Carnivora and Herbivora, are represented. In the class of Birds all four orders, Perching Birds (Insessores), Climbers (Scansores), Waders (Grallatores), and Swimmers (Natatores), are represented. In the class of Reptiles the last four orders, Lizards, Snakes, Turtles, and Frogs, are represented; and in the class of Fishes three orders, Placoids, Ctenoids, and Cycloids, and perhaps also the Ganoids, are represented. The three classes in the Department of Articulates, Insects, Crustaceans, and "Worms, are all represented. In the class of Insects the three orders, Suctoria, Manducata, and Aptera; in the class of Crustaceans one order, Malacostraca; and in the class of Worms two orders (first and third) are represented (Tubulibranchiates and Abranchiates). In the Department of Mollusks two classes, Gasteropods and Acephals, are represented; the Gasteropods by two orders, Pulmonates and Branchifers, and the Acephals by one order, Lamellibranchiates. In addition to these classified species there are many kinds of microscopic Animalcula or Infusoria.
Civilization and Wild-Animal Life are generally antagonistic; therefore, it is not strange that many species are steadily diminishing in numbers, while several species have already entirely disappeared. It is supposed that Lake county was once the home of the Buffalo, but since white men visited these prairies none have been seen here. Elk horns have been found here, and the inference is easily drawn that Elk once inhabited our county. Deer, once numerous, are still occasionally seen and more rarely shot on the islands of the Kankakee marsh. Beaver have undoubtedly once dwelt in what is now Lake county, but they disappeared before the advent of the white man. Some few Opossums have been killed in Lake county, but they were probably stragglers from counties farther south. Musk-rats and Mink are very abundant, as is attested by the fact of at least $7,000.00 worth of fur being taken on the Kankakee marsh the past season. Add to this probably $1,000.00 worth taken in other parts of the county, and the value of our fur-bearing animals can be readily seen. Raccoon are numerous on some of the ridges in the swamp, and are readily caught by the help of dog and axe. Four species of squirrels are numerous in the timber; and grey Ground Squirrels and striped Gophers are found on the prairies and grass lands-. Chipmunks, Ground-hogs or Wood-chucks, and Moles are occasionally found. Rabbits are, in places, very numerous, and destructive to young orchards and shrubbery. Badgers and Hedgehogs have never been very numerous and are almost extinct here. On many of the islands in the marsh and in some more frequented places is found the most disagreeable of all the fur-bearing animals. This is the Striated Weasel or Skunk, often, though improperly, called a Polecat. Notwithstanding its disagreeable odor it is often hunted for its valuable fur, and quite an income is derived from this not very pleasant employment. The Common Weasel is sometimes found, but never numerous. Otter are still to be seen along the Kankakee. In the early settlement of the county Prairie Wolves were very numerous and bold. They were mostly the common brownish wolf, but there were a few nearly black. Large grey timber Wolves inhabited the south part of Eagle Creek township, and have been known to come around the farm houses and both play and fight with the dogs. Foxes are still numerous and sometimes troublesome. Fox hunts are indulged in, and if well conducted are usually successful. In 1837 or 1838 a Wild-cat was killed at the head of Cedar Lake. From 1855 to 1867 two were often seen and heard in Pleasant Grove and vicinity, and in the latter year one was killed at Bostwick Prairie. Though persons out at night since then have reported seeing a Lynx no well authenticated instance of it is known. Bats are numerous in dark woods and old buildings, but are never troublesome. Three species of Mice are found here, the common domestic mouse, which follows civilization, the field mouse, and a white-throated and sometimes white-footed timber mouse. Common brown Norway Rats are numerous and destructive around barns, and sometimes in the grain fields.
The most majestic as well as the most rare of the birds of Lake county is the White Swan. But as no great number has been seen here, and, so far as known, no nest found, strictly speaking, they, like several other species of migratory birds, can hardly be said to belong to the Fauna of Lake county. Lake gulls are often seen. Wild Geese and Brants are found in great numbers in the spring and fall, but nest here only to a very limited extent. Wild Goose eggs are often found, and, hatched by our domestic fowls, become easily domesticated. But, though thousands of ducks are hatched in our marshes and grassy ponds, it is impossible to domesticate them. They will either run away at the first opportunity or if kept confined will soon die. The principal varieties found here are the Mallard, Blue Wing Teal, Widgeon, Wood-duck, Spoon-bill, and Spike-tail. The Ducks are found in such numbers that club houses are built for the convenience of hunters from other places in the hunting season. About three hundred and twenty men, making a business of hunting on the Kankakee marsh, bag an average of two hundred ducks each. This would give 64,000. That this is not by any means an over-estimate is easily believed when it is known that two men have killed and bagged 280 ducks in a single day, and one man has killed 2,300 in a single season. To these 64,000 add the number killed on the Calumet, about the same, and the vast number killed on all our interior waters and by non-professional hunters, and, the number would not fall short of 250,000 ducks killed within the boundaries of Lake county in a single season. The Northern Diver or Loon is sometimes seen. Mud Hens and Rice or Reed Birds are quite numerous. Though Cranes are classed among the "Waders," our white and bluish Sandhill Cranes rarely if ever wade, but are often seen in flocks of from five up to two or three hundred feeding on the grass or stubble fields. They are hard to get at on account of their habit of always keeping sentinels on the watch for danger. There are also white and bluish Water Cranes. These are nearly always solitary, or not more than two together, and are only found in low wet places. Another solitary bird is the common Thunder-Pumper, which also belongs to the Heron tribe. Jack-snipe, Sand-snipe, and Plover, are quite common. Rail and Woodcock complete the list of wading birds.
The most destructive of the dry-land birds as well as the most numerous are the common crow-black-birds which are found every summer and fall in immense flocks doing great damage to all kinds of grain. They are nearly always accompanied in nearly equal numbers by the Red-wing Troopials or Blackbirds, regarded by most persons as the young birds of the first variety, but really an entirely different species. There may sometimes be seen in large flocks of blackbirds a few with white heads or a red head and white wings or variously marked, but whether a distinct species or an accidental variation, the writer has been unable to determine. Wild Pigeons sometimes, though rarely, come in large flocks, but usually in very moderate numbers. Meadow-larks, Mourning-doves, Robins, Blue-jays, Cat-birds, Wrens, Thrushes, Mocking-birds, English Sparrows, two species of Martins, three of Swallows, four varieties of Wood-peckers, and several varieties of wild Canaries, are all found in considerable numbers. Snow-birds are plenty in the winter season. Humming-birds of two varieties are sometimes, though seldom seen, but never captured. The Kill-dee and the Whip-poor-will may often be heard in the twilight, giving the call from which they receive their names. Crows, four species of Owls and two of Hawks, are natives here. Buzzards are numerous but not native. Eagles of two kinds, once often seen, are now quite rare. The Wild Turkey once found m considerable flocks is now hard to find, only occasionally revisiting its old haunts. Grouse or Prairie Chickens are still present in quite large numbers, but are rapidly diminishing as their nesting places are being broken up for cultivation. The last few winters have been severe on Quails, so that they are scarcer than they formerly were. Pheasants are found in the large groves, but never very abundant.
The third great class, in the department of Vertebrates,-Reptiles-is, perhaps fortunately, not repre-sented by many species. Four varieties of Lizards, all harmless, are known to exist here; but owing to their modest habits of living in dark cellars and out of the way places they are not often seen. Only two varieties of turtles are found, the common Mud Turtle and a larger Snapping Turtle. Three kinds of Frogs are found, the small green frog very abundant. Between three and four hundred green frogs were taken from three post-holes which had been left uncovered for a few days. Common Toads and Tree-toads are numerous, and of great service in reducing the numbers of troublesome insects. Toads, with the exception of the eyes, are not beautiful creatures, and from their loathsomeness are, by many, erroneously regarded as poisonous, and are treated as an enemy when they should be encouraged as a friend.
Rattlesnakes, once very abundant, are happily fast disappearing. Black-snakes, Bull-snakes or Water-snakes are not often found. On the contrary, the harmless little green and striped snakes seem to increase in numbers as the others disappear. The writer wishes here to protest against the indiscriminate slaughter, by the thoughtless, of everything that bears the obnoxious name of "Snake." The food of these harmless striped snakes consists of mice, frogs, and insects; and surely we need all the help we get from them and toads to battle with the multitudes of insect life. Spare the friends whose only faults are in their names and forms.
A naturalist mentions the curious fact of a frog- being heard to "cry" after being swallowed by a snake. The writer once rescued a frog from two snakes which had each swallowed half until their lips met. They fought for at least twenty minutes, by wrapping their tails around grass and weeds and pulling until the improvised anchors would give way. When rescued the frog never "cried " but struck for water.
Another time the writer noticed a large swelling or protuberance in the body of a snake, and, in boyish curiosity, cut the animal in half. His curiosity was satisfied when a large frog crawled out and, without shedding a tear, hopped nimbly away.
In variety of fish Lake county is fortunate, having some fourteen species; among which the Sturgeon, White-fish, Pike, Pickerel, Perch, Black and Speckled Bass, Sun-fish and River-salmon are the best. Cat-fish, Dog-fish, Gar-fish and Minnows are also found. The fish have been seined for so much that the quantity has been greatly diminished, but, at favorable seasons, still repays the sportsman for his toil.
The department of Articulates comprises such a mul-titude of Insects that not much more than the merest mention is possible here. There is a very great number of varieties of Moths and Butterflies, many of them very brilliant and beautiful. Four species of Gnats, four of Mosquitoes and ten of Flies, are a little bothersome, while Honey-bees, Sweat-bees, Bumble-bees, Yellow-jackets, Wasps and Hornets, while they cannot write their names, often contrive to "make their mark." Locusts occasionally appear and Katy-dids annually sing in the trees. There are fifteen or twenty species of Beetles of which the Colorado Potato Bug is the best known. Grasshoppers are numerous and lively. Curculio do great damage to fruit. There are at least five species of Ants and two of Crickets well known. Fire-flies are numerous, and at least five species of Spiders. One species of Fleas and one of Bed-bugs are all that is necessary. There are unnumbered hosts of small Bugs and Insects, and a great variety of Worms, many of which however are only embryo insects. The only Crustacean is the fresh water Craw-fish. In the Department of Mollusks there are only four known species here. Three species of Snails and fresh-water Clams.
Such is the Fauna of Lake county, comprising several thousand species of animals, any order of which is worthy of more space than can be given in this article.
NOTE.-To the above notice of our varied and abundant wild-animal life I will take the liberty to add that along the Cady Marsh, north of Ross, Bobolinks are often seen in considerable numbers. T. H. B.
THE FLORA OF LAKE COUNTY.
The peculiarities of soil and surface here, the sand, clay, deep, prairie, soil, and almost bottomless muck, the highland and the lowland,-the same peculiarities that give such abundant animal life-make our native vegetation rich and varied. The usefulness and the beauty of the vegetable kingdom all recognize; nor can it be shown that flowers, well classed among the most beautiful things in nature, emblems of innocence and of beauty and of frailty, are not as attractive now as in the earliest days of the human race. The roses and lilies of Eden may have been no fairer and no more fragrant than are some roses and some lilies now. Science, in classifying plants, may teach us also their uses, but cannot rob them of their beauty. It has been well said that "No science more effectually combines pleasure with improvement than Botany:" and also that "This extensive department of Natural History justly claims a large share of the attention of every individual." Yet the majority of people who live in the country, and are in daily contact with the vegetable world, look upon plants more with an eye to their usefulness for man and beast than to learn their scientific names, or to be able to analyze and classify them.
A brief outline of the "natural" system of classification is the following: Two grand divisions are first made in the vegetable kingdom. Some are called Flowering and some Flowerless Plants; or Phaenogamia and Cryptogamia. The former are divided into Exogens and Endogens; the exogens growing by external accretions and being dicotyledonous, the endogens growing by internal accretions and being monocotyledonous. Of the exogens are two classes, Angiosperms and Gymnosperms; and of the endogens are two classes, Aglumaceae and Glumacese. Of the flowerless plants are also two classes, Acrogens and Thallogens. The Natural System gives thus in all six classes. For five of these classes the botanist, "Wood, gives one hundred and sixty-six orders, the last class, the Thallogens, composed of plants having no regular stems, roots, leaves, nor flowers, not being divided into orders. These orders or families of plants are then divided into genera and these again into species. Individual plants of the same kind make up the species. Some claim that in the whole vegetable kingdom there are as many as a hundred thousand species.
In taking now a brief survey of our native flora some description will be given, for the general reader, of five great varieties of growth here, as determined by the soil and surface, naming some of the leading plants of each variety; the scientific names will then be given of quite a large number of our plants with the common or English names attached.
1. We will commence our survey at the north part of the county, on the sand ridges and marshes between Lake Michigan and the Little Calumet. Here grew the white pine and red cedar; also different species of oak. Here also grew in abundance huckleberries, cranberries, and wintergreen berries. From Tolleston alone, two miles and a half from Lake Michigan and about the same distance from the Little Calumet, there have been shipped in a single season one thousand bushels of huckleberries. Sassafras is native here; and of shrubs and bushes of various kinds there are probably twenty or thirty species. Many portions of this narrow region, cut up though it now is with railroads, are almost as wild and inaccessible as Southern swamps and jungles; and a large knife or sharp axe is needed to enable one to pass in a straight line through the thick, tangled, almost impenetrable growth of shrubs and running vines, that will in many places obstruct one's progress.
2. Passing now south of the Little Calumet let us notice the growth of the clay land. This soil gives support to trees, yet not, except in some favored localities, to a dense forest growth. The name, "openings," has been applied, sometimes even the name "barrens;" but to our woodlands the latter name is hardly appropriate. The growth here is largely oak, of several species, and hickory of two species, Carya alba or shagbark, and Carya glabra or pig-nut. Also, in the edge of the woodlands, a dense growth of hazel bushes; and, in some localities, crab-apples, plum trees, slippery elm, ash, sassafras, huckleberries, wild currants, goose berries, black-berries, strawberries, hawthorn, white thorn, iron-wood, poplar or quaking aspen; and, as stragglers perhaps, red cedars, black-walnuts, and hard or rock-maple. This woodland region extended originally south to Turkey Creek, along the eastern part of the county to Eagle Creek Prairie, and over sections 13, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 24, 28, 29, 30, in township 35, range 9; over sections 7, 18, 19, 30, and most of 31, in township 34, range 8; over 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 8, 9, 20, 21, 29, 32, 24, and parts of 23, 26, 35, in township 34, range 9; over most of 6, 7, parts of 18, 19, in township 33, range 8; and over 6, 7, 18, most of 19, parts of 1, 12, 13, 23, 24, 25, 26, in township 33, range 9. Besides these strips or belts of continuous woodland, there were the four groves, School, South East, Plum, and Orchard, with other smaller ones. Pleasant Grove was a part of the continuous woodland. In all of this portion of the county the clay soil or sub-soil is quite near the surface. But these groves and this woodland abound in spring time with flowering plants, so that the ground is sometimes almost literally covered with blossoms. Among these are anemones, spring beauties, butter-cups, sanguinaria or blood-root, several species of blue violets, dog-tooth violets, Indian puccoon, lady-slippers, and very many species whose names will by and by be given.
3. From the woodland region let us pass now to the wild and beautiful prairie. Here the soil is deeper, generally more productive for farming, often a black mold, containing more or less of silex and of vegetable matter. Out of this soil grew the true prairie grass, the rosin-weed or polar plant, and the prairie burdock or flock. Of this characteristic polar plant, Silphium laciniatum, the botanist Wood well says, "producing columns of smoke in the burning prairies by its copious resin." There are those yet living in Lake county who in childhood witnessed the great fires that swept in' upon us from the Grand Prairie of Illinois, who can say with one of Ossian's heroes, " The columns of smoke pleased well mine eyes." This plant grew from five to seven feet high. The burdock, or prairie dock we called it here, Silphium terebinthinacium, exuded resin but not so abundantly, had broad leaves, from seven to twelve inches and from one, Wood says, to two feet in length. These plants have nearly perished from our prairie region now. No children chew purer or nicer gum than the pioneer children of the prairies gathered there in abundance from the polar plant. It cost no pennies. It could be had fresh every day in midsummer. And then, in June, July and August, and until the frosts came, the other plants of the prairie, of some forty or fifty species at least, were in bloom, adding their own beauty to the careen and luxuriant verdure. Among these flowering plants, abundant and beautiful, grew in immense beds, the lychnidia or Phlox, probably of two or three species, also a tall plant with a red flower, once called, from the tuber from which it grew, potato plant. There was also the beautiful meadow lily; and there were others, bright and beautiful, the colors very rich, peculiar to the moist or lowland of the prairie, found in the edges of the marshes. On Tuesday, October 14th, of this year, on a little portion of Lake Prairie Cemetery, where is still the original prairie sod, the writer of this picked specimens of twenty-five different species of the original prairie plants; and there were among these none of those very bright, richly colored blossoms of the lower prairie growth. One close observer of nature, who is accustomed to the wild haunts here, says, that the number of prairie plants is two or three hundred. One characteristic of the leaves of many of these larger plants is a peculiar roughness; and several of these plants are resinous.
The true upland, prairie grass has been thus far recognized. The grass growth of the whole county may here be noticed. Probably from fifty to a hundred species were native here. Some varieties made poor, but many kinds made excellent hay. Some varieties grew about one foot high, some were two and three, some five and six feet in height. Some of the woodland grass was only a few inches in height. Some species had a small, almost wiry blade, some a broad blade, some varieties had a reed like stem with blades like the blades of maize. The stem of one variety was three-sided. Wild pea vines growing with some of the grass aided in making excellent winter provender. "With some also grew wild parsnip. Wild onions and wild parsnips were in some parts abundant.
4. The soil, or the muck, the mud, and the sand, (sometimes with clay lying not far from the surface, some-times practically, as some of the rail-roads find it, bottomless,) which is usually covered with water, as found in our small marshes, in our lakes, and in the Calumet and Kankakee rivers, produces a number of true aquatic plants. These, the grasses growing in damp and wet soils having been referred to, are now to be noticed. Of these the water lily, Nymphaea odorata, may well stand first. Wood says of it, "One of the loveliest of flowers, possessing beauty, delicacy, and fragrance in the highest degree." This beautiful flower is abundant in its season in our waters. Well has it been called "The Greek Nymph or Naiad of the waters." The yellow pond lily comes next, Nuphar advena, not so choice a flower as the former, sometimes called frog lily; the plant being sometimes called among us spatter-dock. The third of these is probably a water shield or target, Brasenia peltate. The cat-tail, Tpyha latifolia, may next be named as very abundant, called also reed mace. There are many rushes and sedges. These used to form nice nesting places for the marsh black-birds and the bobolinks. Conspicuous among these water plants in the
early summer is the blue flag, Iris versicolor. Along the Kankakee and in the various bayous grow water needles in abundance. Another of these river plants is called Indian hemp. The cranberry, Oxycoccus, is a native in many of the marshes, and with it is often found a luxuriant water moss. Still other, and various aquatic plants form a great abundance of vegetation in the water and above its surface. The channels of the rivers are usually more free from vegetation, and the central parts of the large marshes and of the lakes are "open water" but along the margins the growth is dense, varied, and luxuriant. So dense and luxuriant is the growth on the Kankakee marsh land, that when the marsh becomes dry in the autumn time it is dangerous for an inexperienced footman to venture into that tall spring and summer growth. He is likely to become lost as though in a tangled wilderness. And when, late in the autumn, fires sweep over this marsh land, the scene is magnificent.
5. The last division of our vegetation to be noticed is the timber growth in the Kankakee marsh region. A part of this region is swamp. In this grow ash, elm, sycamore, birch, willow, maple, and cotton-wood, with a thick growth of underbrush, or puckerbrush. Through this latter growth neither man nor dog can travel rapidly. On the islands here, which are generally sandy, grow red oak, black oak, jack oak, hickory, sycamore, maple, pepperidge or gum-tree, (Nyssa multiflora,) beech, and black-walnut. Also some elm.
For the following list of orders or families, genera, and species, I am indebted to Mrs. M. J. Cutler, of Kankakee, whose sister, Henrietta Ball, of Cedar Lake, analyzed specimens of two hundred and eighteen species. Leaving out from that list some that were cultivated or not native in this county, and then adding fifty from her own knowledge of our plants, this list was made up. So that it comes to us from the two daughters of Mrs. J. A. H. Ball, who were born at Cedar Lake, and one of whom, Henrietta Ball, died there in January, 1863, when twenty-one years of age. Mrs. Ball, the mother, was herself an excellent botanist, having shared the instructions given by Dr. Sumner, the botanical lecturer and author, in the city of Hartford sixty years ago, and who as a young mother, in 1838, 1839, and 1840, analyzed with the delight of a naturalist the beautiful woodland and prairie flowers that then grew around Cedar Lake, and who taught the same delightful art to her three daughters and to some of her sons. Her last botanical teaching was in 1880 in the summer of which year she gave instructions in her home at Crown Point to three of her grandchildren. She was then nearly seventy-six years of age, having still the freshness of interest and the enthusiasm of youth, in this, one of her favorite branches of scientific pursuit. She died at Crown Point in October, 1880, having completed her seventy-six years of life. The writer of this is glad that her knowledge, although she is not now living, can, through her children, add value to these pages.
In this list, "Of the grasses and mosses and ferns and sedges and golden rods and asters" the various species are not given. Neither does the list claim to be exhaustive. But it will give some idea of the variety and richness of our native flora.
(Transcriber's Note: 6 pages (pgs 166-171) consisting of tables of plant names have been omitted)
It thus appears that we have two hundred and thirty -nine different species of plants that have been analyzed, with many species of aster, of golden rod, of sunflowers, of grasses; and yet many other plants the species of which has not been determined.
Situated directly south of the eastern part of Crown Point and nine and a quarter miles from North Street, twenty and a half miles due south from Tolleston is Orchard Grove, two miles east from the range line between ranges eight and nine, and one mile east of the central north and south line of the county. It extends to the low-land of the Kankakee marsh, and is west of Plum Grove one mile and a half, and one quarter south. It is three miles west of the north and south line that passes through South East Grove, and three miles south of the southern limit of that grove. The eastern part of it is directly south of the western part of School Grove, and the distance between these two groves is seven miles. It is not so broken as School Grove, nor as high ground as South East Grove, and in size is larger than Plum Grove, covering perhaps a half mile of surface.
Orchard Grove produces, in favorable seasons, a large supply of hickory nuts. A few years aero two persons gathered sixteen bushels from the trees in that part of the grove now owned by J. P. Spalding. This year ten bushels were gathered from the same trees, and in all the grove about fifty bushels were gathered. The yield was quite large this year, and many remained on the ground when the snow came.
The history of the early settlement here I have been unable to obtain any more fully than has elsewhere been already given.
The present inhabitants of the neighborhood called by this name are the families of Mrs. John Clement, Niles Clement, Alonzo Dickinson, W. A. Davis, Richard Hill, John McNay, Barton Dickinson, Wilson Wiley, Lester Wallace, Clinton Hill, J. M. Kenney, J. C. Kennedy, Samuel Miller, J. M. Craft, O. DeWitt, F. Eberts, Joshua Spalding, Thomas Craft, Conrad Eberts, Conrad Bower, Hervey Kinney, Mrs. Hannah Kinney, and Mrs. De Forest Warner.
A fine stream of water runs on the west side of Orchard Grove into the lowland of the Kankakee. It is called Spring Run, or Spring Run Branch, starting from some quite bold springs in the Clark neighborhood,
receiving additions from other little streams, that flow down that southern prairie slope, one of these coining-from the lands of Mrs. Mary E. Nichols, and its waters ' are supposed to reach the Kankakee and the Illinois, and so, finally, to reach the Gulf along the channel of the Father of Waters.
In this same part of the county are five other small groves that have borne no particular names. These may be called the Hamilton Grove, south of Plum Grove, on the Kenney place; Mrs. Dinwiddie's Grove, just east of her home, covering some fifteen or twenty acres, containing a great many thrifty hickory trees, which, like the trees in Orchard Grove, yielded this year an abundance of nuts, this grove forming an excellent shelter from the west and break-wind for the residence of Isaac Bryant, thus making his a choice building spot; the small grove of Oscar Dinwiddie; the Nichols Grove, just east of Mrs. McCann's, and extending also northward including some of the land of S. Hogan, some of the echoes of this grove abounding in luxuriant hazel brush; and the Kenney Grove, small and beautiful, north-west of G. W. Handley's. The soil in all these little groves is quite deep and rich, and the growth, of course, is thrifty and luxuriant.
From what is here called the Nichols Grove, because largely on the land of M. Nichols, a private lane extends southward, with a fence on one side and black-walnut trees and then a fence on the other side, on the lands of Mrs. Dinwiddie, which shady avenue forms a delightful walk in the summer time. This shaded, retired, sloping-way has been enjoyed by the writer on many a bright morning in the past years. The view southward is delightful, extending to the blue groves on islands of the Kankakee.