Biographical paragraphs of the residents of Steuben Township, Marshall County, Illinois, as penned by Ellsworth Spencer in Records of the Olden Time, published in 1880.
Mr. ODELL was born in Alleghany county, N. Y. in 1847, and located in this county with his parents in 1852. His father purchased the farm Mr. ODELL is now occupying. He married Jane NEWINGHAM in 1867. She was born in Brown county, Ill. Their children are Lewis C., Mary A., W. E., Maud E. and Wilson N. Mrs. ODELL is a member of the Baptist church. He owns 372 acres of land, which he cultivates well and receives good returns. His farm is eligibly situated and very valuable.
Mr. THOMAS was born in Kentucky and moved from there when a child with his parents and located in Indiana and then to Edgar county, Ill., in 1842. He came to Woodford in 1844, where he learned the carpenter trade which he followed in Metamora, Spring Bay Washington and Marshall until 1850. He started to California with his brother in 1852 and got as far as Missouri, remained there that winter and finally settled permanently and bought a claim and entered other lands. He married Sarah CAMPBELL in 1853. She was born in Missouri. They have three children living - James Monroe, John. W, and Louis W. and two deceased. Mrs. THOMAS died in 1861. He married Elizabeth BISHOP in 1863, born in Ohio. They are members of the M. E. church. He located in this county in 1851 and owns 140 acres of land, well improved.
Mr. CHARLES was born in Monmouthshire, England, in 1817, and came to the United States in 1851, stopping a while at Danville, Pa., and coming to this county in 1858. He married Mary LLOYD in 1834. She was born in the stme place. She died in 1875 leaving six children - Mary, John, Susan, Sarah A., William and Elizabeth. He owns 81 acres of land in a good state of cultivation. He has one son, a deaf mute, whom he has given a liberal education. The young man is attached to the occupation of farming and is successfully engaged in that business.
Mr. SCHULZ was born in Prussia in 1824, and came to the United States in 1854 an located in Marshall county. He married Mrs. Barbara BASSETT. (WOLFLA) in 1859, a native of Baden, Germany. She had six children when he married her - John, Mary, Christian and Jacob and two by a still earlier marriage, Henry and Conrad, and by the present marriage three - Elizabeth S., George L. and Fred M. They are members of the Lutheran church. He is a member of the I. O. O. F. He owns 220 acres of land in good state of cultivation. He is hard working, industrious and knows how to make money.
Mr. FOSDICK was born in Washington county, New York, February 28, 1808. He moved to Alleghany county in 1830, and came to Marshall county in 1844. His wife was Alice D. MOON, whom he married in 1827. She was a native of New York also. She died February 13, 1873, leaving seven children - Reeny, Levi, Joel, Delphia, Ruth A. (WEBSTER), Alphea M. and Aaron J. His present wife was a Miss Electa ALLEN - widow CHAPMAN when he married her. She had four children by her first husband - Samuel, Delia, Sophia and Laura. Mrs. FOSDICK was born in Vermont, December 16, 1808. She is a member of the Baptist church. Mr. FOSDICK served as postmaster of Steuben from 1851 until it was abolished at his suggestion in 1865, as he declined to hold the unprofitable office longer. He owns 260 acres of land, having sold 160 some time ago, which made his farm, previous to the sale, 420 acres. His property is in a prosperous state of cultivation, with good improvements. He is one of the oldest settlers of the county, respected by all his acquaintance, and is kind, generous and hospitable.
Mrs. ORR was born in Lawrence county, Pa., and came west with her parents in 1850 and located in Marshall county where she married James W. ORR in 1852. He was a native of Maryland and came to this county with his parents when a small boy. They located about one mile from Lacon. Mr. ORR died in 1868, leaving four children - Nellie, Annie, Jennie, and Hattie. Mrs. ORR and daughters are members of the M. E. church. They own 153 acres of land. Although left alone, with four daughters, by good and careful management and business tact Mrs. ORR surrounds herself and children with every comfort from the proceeds of her farm. Her house is the picture of neatness and careful attention, herself and daughters bearing the impress of culture and refinement. Of Mr. ORR 's sad fate brief mention can be made. He left home in the morning, bidding his family a cheerful good bye, to go to Lacon and transact some business, and never returned. A year previous he had sold a farm and taken notes due about this time, and it is supposed unknown parties suspecting the purpose of his visit was to collect those notes, laid their plans so effectually that they were able to murder him and conceal his body so as to ever after escape suspicion. Although twelve years have elapsed no light has been thrown on the mystery. His domestic relations were of the pleasantest kind, and as no possible motive existed for absenting himself, the conclusion is irresistible that he was foully murdered.
Mr. BUSSELL was born in Somersetshire, England, in 1820, and came to the United States in 1841. He first settled in Ohio, then removed to Peoria county, and came to Marshall county in 1851. He married Miss Johannah HOWARD in 1862. She was born in Ireland, and is a member of the Catholic church. He owns 560 acres all in cultivation, except 80 which is timber. He is one of the solid old farmers of LaPrairie township, influenced only by that which he believes to be right. He is a good neighbor and kind friend.
Mr. DUNCAN was born in Indiana county, Pa., in 1826, his father being a soldier in the war of 1812. He came to Marshall county in October, 1869. His wife was a Miss Eliza A. DAVIDSON, whom be married in April, 1863. Their children are Thomas, Annie, Robert, John, Agnes, James, William, Dollie and George. They are members of the U. P. church. He owns 158 acres of very choice land, beautifully located, with fine improvements. Mr. DUNCAN desires to sell his elegant home, with a view to purchasing a larger place, as he has a large family for whom he wishes to provide.
Mr. ADAMS is superintendent of the county poor farm, and was born in Prussia, Germany in 1820. He came to the United States with his parents when ten years old, and located in Ohio, where he remained until 1857, and then came to Lacon, Marshall county, Ill. In 1849 he married Ann HOLT, born in Shadfield, England. They have six children, - Anna A. (Mrs. MORELAND), Rosena A. (Mrs. SANDS), Edward A., Martin A., Una Bell and John H. Mr. A. is a member of the Masonic order and I. O. O. F., and has been for thirty years. He has been superintendent of the county poor farm since 1876, filling the position to the satisfaction of all concerned. Both himself and wife are eminently qualified for the place, and while the dictates of humanity prevail they will be continued.
Mr. THOMPSON was born in Athens county, Ohio, in 1812, and came to Marshall county in 1835, where he has lived ever since. At that time there were only a few families living west of the river. In 1836 he married Sarah DRAKE, born in 1817, in the same county and state as himself. They have two children living, George F. and Delia A., and two deceased. Joseph C. died in hospital at St. Louis in 1861, while serving in the 47th Ill. Vols.. Capt. Andrews. Mrs. THOMPSON is a member of the M. E. Church. He has filled several local offices, and cultivates 166 acres of land, besides owning other tracts. Mr. THOMPSON and his wife are among the few first settlers of the county who still live. When they came the country was a wilderness, and most of their neighbors have moved elsewhere or sleep in the cemetery. Their lives have been long and useful, and when they die they will not be forgotten.
Mr. GARRATT was born in Washington county, Ohio, in 1817, and came to Putnam (Bureau) county, along with his father, in 1836. and to this county in 1860, and located on section 9 in Steuben township where he remained twelve years, then moved to section 17, where he now lives. He married Sarah A. ORR in 1861. She was born in Maryland. They have five children living - James O., Josephine, Augustus, Clara and Alison. He served as supervisor of his township, and has served as justice of the peace some fifteen years. Has filled other local offices, attended closely to business, accumulated a handsome properly, and owns nearly 900 acres of land.
Mr. SARGEANT was born in St. Clair county, Ill., in 1824, where he lived for 31 years, and settled in Marshall county in 1865. He married Miss Amelia F. WILLIAMS in 1854, born in Ohio. They have eight children, - William H., George F., Charles T., James, Sarah, Electa, Amelia E. and John L. They are members of the M. E. church. He owns 300 acres of land, about 175 of which is in cultivation, with good brick dwelling. Mr. SARGEANT is one of the representative men of his neighborhood, and a successful farmer.
Mr. BAUGHMAN was born in Chambersburg, Franklin county, Pa., in 1829. He moved to Ross county, Ohio, with his parents when five years old, and to Marshall county, Ill., in 1858 locating in Steuben township. He followed his trade as carpenter down to 1871, when he became identified with the furniture business and followed it successfully until 1878, when he associated with him his brother-in-law Mr. TARBILL and embarked in the hardware and farming implement trade. The firm is doing a large business in all branches of their trade. Mr. BAUGHMAN married Miss Elizabeth TARBIL in 1817. She was born in Pickaway county, Ohio. Their children are Catherine U. and Angie F., and one, Nancy J., deceased. They are members of the M. E. church, and Mr. B. is also a member of the I. O. O. F. He is a good business man, pleasant, sociable and reliable.
Mr. WAUGH was born in Selkirkshire, Scotland, in 1838. He came to the United States in 1850 and remained some time in Ontario county, N. Y., and came to Marshall county, Ill., in 1853. He worked by the month on a farm in La Prairie township for three years, and then farmed on his own account in that township until 1862, then moved to Steuben township where he worked one year, and two years in Longpoint, Livingston county. He entered Col. Baker's 1st cavalry, of the District of Columbia, in Jan., 1865, and served until December of the same year, when he was mustered out through disease contracted in the service. He commenced peddling dry goods, etc., in 1867, and established his present business in 1870. He married Lina STEVENSON in 1877. She is a native of Woodford county, Ill. They have one child, James. He carries a very full stock of boots, shoes, clothing and dry goods suitable to his trade. He is a liberal, pleasant business man and reliable.
Mr. HOSKINS was born in Pickaway county, Ohio, in 1822, where he lived until he was twenty years old, and then settled in Steuben township. His wife was Mary A. BONHAM, whom he married in 1852. She is a native of Boss county, Ohio. They have eight - children Clayton, Eveline, Clarissa, Eliza. William. Louis, Thomas and Elmer. They are members of the M. E. church. He has served as road commissioner 12 years, and school director several terms. In the dark days of the rebellion, Mr. HOSKINS being unable himself to give his personal services to the government, he furnished a substitute to whom he paid $800. He owns 254 acres of land in Marshall county and 300 acres in Livingston county. He is not in good health but is reconciled to the will of Providence.
Mr. DUNCAN is a farmer, living on section 6, who was born in Indiana county, Pa , in 1820. He entered the service of the United States during the war of the rebellion, and served until disabled in the Signal Corps. On one occasion he got within the rebel lines and encountered a "gray back," who presented his shooting-iron and told him to "come in." Suspecting the Dutchman couldn't read, he told him he was a spy going through the lines, and showed an old letter as his authority. The intelligent soldier turned it upside down, looked it carefully over, "hefted" it, and drawling out, "Yas, dat ish goot," allowed him to pass on. In 1842 he married Elizabeth CLARK, and there was born to him A. Jackson, George, Matilda, Sampson, Annie, Estep, Watson and Mary. Jackson enlisted in a Pennsylvania regiment when 15, and was killed at the battle of Bull Run. George also enlisted and lost a leg in the service. His wife having died, he married Martha PARKS in 1864, by whom he has one child, Maggie.
Mr. WATKINS was born in Athens county, Ohio, in 1818, and moved to Marshall county, Ill., in 1837, when there were but few settlers on the prairie near him. He married Miss Eliza J. HOSKINS in 1844. She was born in Pickaway county, Ohio. Their children are Wesley, Albert W. and Eliza Jane. Mr. WATKINS owns some 560 acres of choice land, the fruits of an industrious life. It is all in cultivation, except 40 acres of timber. He has good buildings, and personally oversees its cultivation.
Mr. GARRETT was born in Steuben township in 1850, and comes from a family whose ancestors fought in the Revolution, and one of whom fell at the massacre of Wyoming. He married Miss Charity NEWINGHAM in 1878, born in Brown county, Ill. They have one child, named Emmett, born Aug. 26, 1879. He is a member of the Masonic order, and owns 150 acres of land. Is principally engaged in raising sheep and hogs. He has about 200 sheep at present, and will increase his herd. Mr. GARRETT is a good farmer and citizen.
Mr. TANQUARY was born in Washington county, Ohio, June 17, 1831, where he lived until 1855. In 1853 he wedded Mrs. Lucinda BLACKWELL, and to them wan born one son, Nathan Q. Another member of their family is Ehial J. KEYES, a boy whom they rained. Mrs. TANQUARY's maiden name was WATKINS, she having married in 1846 a Mr. BLACKWELL, who became the father of two sons, William R. and David R., now grown to man's estate. Her parents' names were Josiah and Mary WATKINS. Are members of the M. E. church. Mr. TANQUARY and his sons have a finely cultivated farm of 240 acres. He is a substantial citizen, well known and widely respected.
Mr. GALLUP was born in Windham county, Conn., in 1825, and moved to this state in 1840, locating in Peoria county, and in Marshall county in 1852, where he purchased a farm in La Prairie township, and put up a house and moved into it that year. He had occasion to return to Peoria for part of his goods, and left Mrs. GALLUP alone in their new house on the prairie three days and three nights. The first night a pack of wolves invaded the premises, making the night hideous with their terrific cries. It was new music for the ears of Mrs. GALLUP, who had but recently left the refined civilization of Rhode Island, where she was born and brought up. But she came out all right. He lived in La Prairie about 11 years. Engaged in the meantime in the grain business at Sparland, and in 1870 he associated with him Mr. NOON, and added the lumber trade to his business. He married Miss Patience C. STONE in 1849. She was born in Rhode Island, Aug. 31, 1826. They have five children, - George H., Benjamin, William, Juliette and Charles F.; and three deceased. He is a member of the I. O. O. F., and has been through all the chairs and encampments. He left home at the age of 15, was superintendent of the large woolen manufactory of Fox, Rice & Co., Worcester, Mass., at 20, and was the first to produce fancy cassimeres in the United States of home manufacture. The king of England had a pair of pants made from the first piece produced in England of a fancy pattern. Mr. FOX had a portion of the same piece sent him, which he submitted to Mr. GALLUP, with the question if he could make it, which he set about and successfully produced. This gave him great prominence in the manufactory. He owns 160 acres of land in La Prairie township and some seventeen lots in Sparland. Having made his "pile,” he takes the world easily, and hunts, fishes or travels as fancy dictates. Last year he ascended to the headwaters of the Missouri and floated down in a canoe to its mouth.
Mrs. THOMPSON is widow of the late Asa Thompson, and daughter of James and Sarah (RAMSAY) ORR. She was born in Cecil county, Md., and came with her parents to Danville, Ill., and in 1833 to Lacon, going upon the old homestead, one mile above town. She married Mr. THOMPSON, February 8, 1834. He was a son of Joseph and Jane (EWING) THOMPSON, natives of Virginia, but removed to Athens county, Ohio, in an early day, where their son Asa was born. Mr. THOMPSON first settled in Chillicothe, and worked at his trade of wagon making, but removed to Steuben township in 1835, where he lived until his death, Feb. 15, 1874. He left behind him a good name and six sons and daughters - Norton, who resides in Steuben; William E., in Lacon; Margaret (Mrs. BOYS), in Livingston county; Melford J., in Blandinsville Ill.; Joseph A, and Mary at home. Mr. THOMPSON was a man of ability, and accumulated a large property, owning nearly 800 acres of land when he died. He held various local offices, and was respected by all who made his acquaintance. Since his death Mrs. T. has managed the estate with good judgment and prudence. One of the sons is treasurer of Marshall county, and another is a successful grain dealer. They inherit their father's prudence and their mother's executive ability, and are sons any parent would be proud of.
The subject of the following sketch comes from an old Scotch covenanter family that some 250 years ago lived on the coast of Scotland, and followed the occupation of millers as had their fathers before them. It was a time of bitter religious persecutions. When Catholics were in power they persecuted Protestants without mercy, whipping, branding and murdering, and when the disciples of Calvin obtained the upper hand they paid off in like kind. The McLAUGHLINs were Covenanters, and would not belie their religion. Through persecution and threatened death they clung to their faith, and when grim old Claverhhouse, who was never known to show mercy, ordered the head of the family to recant, be stoutly refused, and told Black John to do his worst. Eleven times they strung him up, but life did not desert him, and still he refused to give up his religion. But it was not the Papist leader's purpose to take his life. Good millers were scarce and could not well be spared, so they left him more dead than alive, swearing to return again. Far in the distance across the blue channel the Irish coast was visible. The miller knew his vindictive enemies would surely return and then unless he recanted no mercy would be shown, so making his arrangements hastily and secretly, he embarked in an open boat with his family and such goods as he could carry and bade adieu to his native land forever. He found an asylum in Ireland, where he lived and died, with his wife also. The family here became farmers, and nearly a hundred years later one of the name, bidding his relatives adieu, sailed for the new world and settled in Virginia. Of their history there little is known in detail. The name is prominent in the annals of the time, and several members served in the war of the Revolution, fighting manfully on the side of the Colonists. After its close they drifted to the "dark and bloody ground," and one became a noted Indian fighter. After the border tribes were defeated and dispersed they settled down to peaceful pursuits, one branch locating on Green River, where, on the 17th day of Feb., 1813, Samuel B., the subject of this sketch, was born. His father was a tanner and likewise cultivated a small farm. The country was new, the people poor, and though soil and climate were unsurpassed, the imperfect means for tilling the earth made life one continued struggle for existence. Imagine the artistic steel plows of to-day transformed into a clumsy affair, with a short beam, a blunt iron point, and a wooden mould-board, warranted never to scour, and you have the "Clipper” plows of our forefathers. It was commonly drawn by a mule, the lines and traces made from homespun and twisted hemp, passing through the wooden hames and tied with a knot; a shuck collar, and the whiffletrees fastened with withes of hickory bark to the plow. Wagons were unknown, a clumsy sled being the only means of conveyance in summer or winter. Good schools there were none. During the winter months some tramping pedagogue would gather a few scholars, and ply the birch and ferrule in some out of the way cabin until cleaned out by the larger boys, which usually happened about the middle of the term, when there would be no more school that year. The knowledge obtained under such circumstances could not be great, yet he learned sufficient to transact ordinary business, and it must be a sharp one who can profit by his want of information. The food of those days was plain and simple, corn bread and bacon, or "hog and hominy," formed the living of rich and poor, the luxuries of wheat bread and home-made coffee being indulged in only once a week on Sunday mornings. Very little sugar or coffee was used or to be had if desired. Books and newspapers in that benighted region were unknown, and information from the outer world came through those adventurous voyagers who made annual trips by flatboat to New Orleans, and for six months thereafter were the self-appointed oracles of the village. When sixteen years, old his father promised as a reward for extra labor, that all the corn raised, besides filling a certain crib, should be his. It may be believed the weeds had little show that season, and his labors were rewarded with a surplus of 150 bushels. A Christmas, and then left me. On this day commenced what has ever since been remembered and designated as the neighbor, the proprietor of a keel-boat, was going on his annual voyage to the gulf, and young McLaughlin bargained, in consideration of the aid he should give, for ten feet of space therein. In addition to his share of the corn, he loaded it with a thousand hoop-poles, while his mother sent along a venture of chickens, ducks, etc., with many admonitions as to the careful expenditure of the proceeds, which were to be laid out in such products as most delight the maternal heart. The question of getting the hoop-poles on board involved much thought and labor. A team to haul them to the boat was out of the question, so a place was selected a near the river as possible, and then cut, conveyed by hand, and rafted to where the boat lay, four miles below. For a sixteen-year boy this was an undertaking, unaided, of no small magnitude, but it was accomplished after infinite labor and pains, and the craft was got afloat. All went well until it struck a sand-bar, and refused to budge another peg. Throwing off his clothes, although it was November, he swam ashore, walked four miles to where a six-foot brother-in-law lived, and by their united efforts at lifting and pushing, the raft was afloat again. The venture was a success, the corn, hoop-poles and chickens finding a ready market, and with the proceeds laid out in a suit of store clothes, some sugar and coffee for his mother, a drawing-knife for his father - a wonderful implement in those days - he returned to enjoy his well earned laurels, and relate his surprising adventures. For the next three years he lived at home. When 19 he started on horseback for Illinois, ostensibly to see the country, but in reality to find the possessor of a pair of bewitching eyes that had stolen his heart away and had it in her keeping. Both were found, and during the season he was married to Rachel L. HAMMETT. His choice was a good one, and to her industry, frugality and careful management he is indebted for much of his after success.
After the wedding he went back to Kentucky with his wife and worked on a farm, built a boat, etc., in which he returned to Illinois in 1833 with ten dollars in his pocket. He took up a claim above Chillicothe, put a cabin of primitive construction, which to its owners seemed a palace. The floor was made of puncheons, the roof of shakes, and the windows of greased paper. Wooden stools sufficed for chairs, a store box in which their goods were packed answered for a table, and the cradle soon needed, was hollowed out from a log of wood. In this primitive style many of the now wealthy families of Marshall county began housekeeping. During the winter he cleared five or six acres of land, which with the aid of his wife he planted to corn and potatoes. A severe cut in the foot disabled him, but the corn was properly cultivated and produced a good crop, though he was obliged to labor supported by a crutch. They lived here four years. Markets were too distant and transportation too expensive to make the raising of grain profitable, so he turned his attention to raising cattle and hogs, marketing the latter with Jabez FISHER, at Lacon. It was a great event to him, when after paying all his debts he had a clean surplus of $50 left. He has sold wheat for 15 cents and corn for 8 cents a bushel. Occasionally a trip was made to Chicago, loading in with grain and out with lumber, salt and household necessaries. When lands came into in market there was much difficulty in raising the entrance money many losing their homesteads. McL. had little money, but he had two yoke of oxen and a cow, with which he started for Galena, hoping to convert them into money. A cash customer could not be found, and he sold them on credit with the solemn promise that payment should be sent down before the sales. There were no banks or express, and the money must be risked by mail, carried by a tow-headed boy on a blind horse for a hundred and fifty miles. But those were days when men were honest and women virtuous, and the cash was duly paid according to promise, and safely arrived. The homestead was saved, and from this time prosperity was theirs, and riches came almost unbidden. In due time the old cabin gave way to a showy house with all the modern improvements. The homemade chairs were replaced with costly mahogany; the old spinning-wheel to a thousand dollar Knabe piano; the puncheon floot to costly carpets; the gourd cup and tin plates to cut glass and china. He owns nearly 1300 acres of land, is out of debt, has corn and wheat in the crib, hogs in the pen, and "cattle on a thousand hills." To himself and wife thirteen children have been born, nine of whom survive. Their names are Martha J., John B., Andrew J., Jefferson M., Jennette C., Susan R., Samuel A., Harriet A. and George W. Are members of the Presbyterian church. He has filled various local offices, and is a good neighbor and citizen.
My maiden name was HAMMETT, and I was born in Warren county, Ky., six miles from Bowling Green, in 1812. My father was a farmer, and likewise a blacksmith, cultivating a few acres of ground on which the necessary food for a numerous family was grown, together with the cotton for our clothing and tobacco for home consumption. Money was scarce in those days, and with many mouths to fill we were early taught to work, and I remember when but ten years old of carding and spinning sufficient cotton to make half a yard of cloth. It was my duty to attend to this department, and I early learned to plant and tend the cotton, to pick it when the time, and separate the seeds. This was our summer labor, and the winter was devoted to carding, spinning, coloring, weaving and making up, leaving but little time for going to school. My father had a numerous family, and was anxious to get where land was cheap and the boys could each get a farm. We heard much of Illinois; many of our neighbors went, and they sent back such glowing accounts that in the year I was twenty he started with his family. We had two large wagons, five yokes of oxen, with sheep, horses and cows. Myself and sister drove the sheep, my younger brothers drove the cattle and horses. After a long but not eventful journey we reached the hoped-for land of , promise and settled on Senachwine creek, one mile north of Chillicothe, where the railroad now crosses. Father and my brother-in-law immediately set about preparing for a crop, and succeeded in breaking, fencing and plowing sufficient for a few acres of corn. A rough cabin was made out of rails, into which we moved until a larger and better one could be built. We had been here but two weeks when all but father and mother were taken down with the ague. Peoria, twenty-one miles distant, was the nearest place where either doctors or drugs abounded, and I thought I should surely die; but a good constitution pulled me through. My attack of fever and ague lasted until "great snow storm." On the 1st of February there came a heavy rain, carrying off the snow and creating a great flood. The Senachwine overflowed its banks, and the back water from the river came up so rapidly that our stock was like to drown. At ten o'clock at night my brother and sister waded out to the canoe and made their way through the driftwood to Brother John's, while the rest of us climbed on the beds to keep out of the water. My father was not at home. When he returned he entered the house in his canoe and took us off. In the spring we made sugar, and the next summer succeeded in raising a very good crop of all kinds. There was no mill in the country at that time, and our corn and wheat was ground on a hand mill made by my father, and the bran separated by a sieve. My wedding cake was made from flour ground in this manner. In the fall of 1831 I was married to S. B. McLAUGHLIN. We returned to Kentucky and lived there two years, but didn't get ahead much, and determined to return to Illinois. We reached my father's with ten dollars in cash and a pair of ponies, gave five dollars to a Mr. JONES for a claim, and paid five dollars for dishes. Our first labor was to build a cabin, after which we cleared ten acres and built a fence. After the land was "logged" and the brush piled, my husband cut his foot and could do nothing, so the burning them up devolved on me. Women of now-a-days, with a young babe and no "hired girl," if left in similar circumstances would have very likely sat down and cried, but I had no time for that, and so set to work and burned the log heaps and brush and hired the ground broken up and laid off, and then planted it, my husband being able to stand on one foot and assist some. We raised a good crop, and have since been, on the whole, quite successful, for which I sincerely thank the Lord. In course of time the cabin on the bottom gave place to a more convenient house on the place where we now live, and this in its turn has been replaced by one of more modern style, yet after all I think I found as much true enjoyment in the little cabin where we began housekeeping as I have since. I have had thirteen children, nine of whom survive; seven are married, and I have fourteen grandchildren. Rachel L. McLAUGHLIN.
Mrs. DORAN was born in Athens county, Ohio, in 1824. Her father was Frank B. DRAKE, the pioneer settler of Drake's Grove, from whom it received its name. When ten years old she came to this county, and in 1853 married Thomas DORAN, a native of the Isle of Man. They came to the old homestead to live, and have ever since remained there. Two children have blessed their union, Mai and Lessie. When Mrs. D. came to this country it was almost a desert, and their journey here is best described by herself. The journey was made in company with her parents, two brothers Frank and George, and the children of the latter, one of whom is now Mrs. SHERBURN and the other Mrs. COTTON, of Sparland. The little company passed through a wild and uncultivated country, infested with game and innumerable snakes, and often made a reluctant halt beside swamps in place of a better locality. F. B. DRAKE, who is noted for his able rending of a good yarn, describes the traveling as endured with less fortitude when some poor soul would startle them with a deafening yell of "Get off my head!" Their team being part oxen and not decidedly fleet, were forsaken at one point by Mrs. D., who describes the self importance with which she set forth, remarking she would walk to the next house and wait till they arrived the following day, but was met with the withering reply there was not a house within 15 miles. They intended wintering at Springfield, but could find no habitation excepting those whose former inhabitants had all died of the cholera, and not liking these, they pushed on 8 miles further to a settlement of southern people, who had been there for 20 years, and owned 300 acres of splendid land and large droves of cattle, feeding them on un-husked shocks of corn, which the following spring was burnt if not consumed by the stock, preparatory to another crop. Their food consisted of bread ground on an ox or horse mill, and pork fried to a cracklin over their fire-places - stoves being unknown - no fruit or vegetables, excepting a very few sweet potatoes. Their school house, 12 by 14 feet square, furnished light from one window having but four small panes of glass, and scholars numbering about 60, all of whom, both boys and girls, had learned to chew tobacco. In the winter these resolute emigrants received a visit from Dr. Wm. THOMPSON, who having some acquaintance with the country and being most pleased with what is now Marshall county, advised their removing there, which they accordingly did in the year 1835 and found the country very sparsely inhabited, save with wolves, deer, wild hogs, prairie chickens and wild turkeys.
They settled on Senachwine Creek, what has since been called Drake's Grove, in honor of Mrs D.'s father, F. B. DRAKE, Sr., who was the first white settler. Their nearest neighbor on the east was a Mr. GRAVES, living where Sparland now stands; on the west was Gen. THOMAS at Wyoming, a distance of 16 miles: on the north lived Elder CHENOWETH, a Baptist minister, this being 15 miles distant. In Lacon there was but one house, though there were several scattered along the river bottoms. The wild animals were fierce and quite dangerous, wild hogs sometimes "treeing" settlers and keeping them there until friends came to their relief, which might not be until starvation seemed imminent. Deer were so plenty that the hunters killed several a day, while the Indians were peaceable, but caused much anxiety from their peculiar mode of association, coming into the house and searching for something they wished, and upon finding it, would offer to swap their venison and wolf meat, the latter of which the settlers invariably declined. The distance to mill being twenty-five miles, the trip, including detention at the mill, would often occupy a week, while those at home would pound corn upon which to subsist during their absence. Obliged to travel over a trackless prairie, they of ten became lost from wandering round and round, supposing they were taking a direct route for home. To pay for their land they took their cattle on foot to Chicago, receiving $6 to $10 a head for the best, while Mrs. DRAKE's mother took cheese, etc., to St. Louis to lighten the family expenses. Mr. DRAKE was once employed by William FENN, then engaged in merchandising, to plough a furrow from Sparland to Wyoming, to direct people here. It may be set down as the longest advertisement ever made. While living in the state of New York himself and two others discovered a den of rattlesnakes, and destroyed 300. One of the men fell in convulsions from the poison inhaled and died on the ground, the other died not long after, while Mr. DRAKE was ever after subject to cramps, and finally died from cancer in the face, the effect, as stated by physicians, of inhaling the poison.
Extracted June 2011 from the Biographical Department in Records of the Olden Time