History of Will County
By Hon. George H. Woodruff.
In the town of Dupage (Town 37, Range 10), which lies east of Wheatland, settlements were early made. This town is beautifully watered by the two branches of the Du Page which unite just before entering Wheatland. The first settler in this township was Stephen J. Scott, a native of Maryland, who came into this State in 1826, and made a claim at Grose Point, now known as Evanston. He had the year before located on the eastern shore, but was not satisfied with the place, and crossed over with his family. There were then but few white people north of Peoria, besides the garrison. Only two or three families of Indian agents and traders at Chicago. While out hunting with his son Willard, then a young man of twenty or more (now a resident of Naperville, and a banker), he came upon the Du Page River near Plainfield. Struck with the beauty of the stream and the adjacent prairies and groves, he followed the stream until he came to the forks, or the union of the east and west branches, on Section 7. The beauty and evident fertility of the spot led him at once to the determination to leave the vicinity of the lake and locate on that spot, and make it his future home. He, accordingly, in the Autumn of 1830 made his claim, built a comfortable log house and moved his family to the spot. This is the farm now occupied by Mrs. Sheldon.
Willard Scott, who accompanied his father, had acquired a good knowledge of the Indian language and character, and had great influence with the Pottawatomie Indians, and at a council held at Big Woods in 1832, was largely instrumental in preventing the tribe from joining the Sacs in their murderous war upon the early settlers. He had been adopted into the tribe and received an Indian name—Kish-wash, an Eagle. The sterling honesty and undaunted bravery of the young man commanded their respect and confidence. On one of his early hunting expeditions he wandered as far as Holdeman's Grove, and there found a wife in the family of Hawley. This family removed to the same locality in 1830. These Scotts subsequently removed to Naperville and became identified with the history of Du Page County.
In the years 1830-32, this vicinity was selected as their future home by Israel Blodgett, Pierce Hawley (above named), Robert Strong, John Dudley, Ralph Stowell, Harry Boardman, Seth Wescott, Isaac Scarrett, Lester Peet, Simon Terrill, John Barber and Samuel Goodrich. In 1833-35, the settlement was increased by the coming of Andrew Godfrey, Harry Lord, Philip Lord, Hiram Warren, Hannibal Ward, Daniel Stewart, Peter Stewart, Samuel Whallen, Shubal Swift, Joseph Berry, S. Clifford, George Spicer, William Smith and Jonathan Royce and sons.
Isaac Scarrett, above named, was another Methodist pioneer itinerant, and co-laborer with Beggs and Walker, and he succeeded Walker, in 1828, as Superintendent of Fox River Mission previous to his settlement in Du Page. His son, P. P. Scarrett, was Sheriff of our county in 1854-55. Elder Scarrett died at the residence of his son in Joliet, in May, 1861, at the age of 78. Samuel Whallen was a County Commissioner in the years 1841, 1842 and 1843, and died about five years since at the ripe age of 94. Wm. Smith, commonly known as Col. Smith, removed, in a few years, to this city, having been elected Clerk of the Circuit Court, which office he held for seven years. He was a prominent citizen until his death, in November, 1870; was 82 years old. His son, R. W. Smith, was Supervisor of Dupage in 1855-57, and has also deceased.
Harry Boardman was one of our most popular and genial citizens and Supervisor of the town in 1855; a son of Jonathan Royce, of same name, was Supervisor of the town in 1870-73. John Barber was the father of our well-known citizen, R. E. Barber, Esq., and settled on the south side of the east branch, and gave name to Barber's Corners. Robert Strong still lives, one of our most worthy citizens and an Elder in the Dupage Presbyterian Church, and was Supervisor of the town in 1862. Judge Blodgett, of Chicago, is a son of Israel Blodgett.
Mrs. Kinzie, wife of John H. Kinzie, one of the earliest Indian Agents of the Northwest, and for a long time a resident of Chicago, in a book which she wrote about her early experience on the frontier, speaks of stopping at Hawley's over night, after a long exposure in traveling from Fort Winnebago to Chicago in the Winter of 1831. A brother of Hawley's was killed by the Indians near his place in 1832, after cruel torture. So far as known, this and the Dunkard preacher, hereafter noticed, were the only persons killed in the Sac war within the bounds of Will County, although, as we shall presently relate, there were many who were badly scared.
Lester Peet taught the first school in the Naperville settlement, Du Page County, by a contract with the early settlers of that locality, for twelve dollars a month. Capt. Jo. Naper heads the list of twelve subscribers, who promised to pay in proportion to the number sent. The writer remembers this ancient pedagogue well in later years as one who always came to Joliet to attend Anti-slavery, Temperance and Bible meetings. The first school in Dupage town is said to have been taught by Josiah Giddings, and the first church organized, in 1833, by Rev. N. C. Clark—we suppose the same church which now exists and to which the veteran J. A. Porter now preaches, and who was also its Pastor many years ago.
The Des Planes River passes through the southeast corner of this township in which is a widening of the river, which has received the name of Goose Lake. Any man who supposes it to be much of a lake would certainly be a goose. Another "Lilly-Cache," which rises near the place where the other stream of the same name rises, runs east and empties into the Des Planes. This, however, is not a navigable stream. Both have their source in springs. Besides the timber along the streams, there is, in the south end of the town, a beautiful island of timber, which, together with a noted spring between it and the river were all known in early times by the name of Lilly-Cache. The old roads from Plainfield to Chicago and from Joliet to Chicago, passed on opposite sides of this island grove and came together upon the highland near Godfrey's (on Section 12), a famous tavern stand in the early times, where we got our first refreshments on the way to Chicago, and the stage-driver "changed horses." Godfrey and Spicer, and, perhaps, others named above, settled in this part of the town. The Illinois & Michigan Canal and C., A. & St. Louis R. R., which follow the course of the river Des Planes, run through the same corner, of the town. Martin's Landing, on the canal (a small city), lies on the line of the township, and partly in Dupage and partly in Lockport. There is also a Romeo depot on the railroad. In this vicinity one of the paper cities of the county was early laid off and called Romeo, to match Juliet. It was intended, perhaps, as a rival; but the starting of Lockport by the canal ended it. Of course, along the east side of the river are found quarries of lime-stone. These will be more particularly described in the township history.
We pass now to the settlements along Hickory Creek. It must be borne in mind that we are giving the history of early settlements, without strict reference to present town lines. The Hickory Creek settlement would now be included in the towns of Joliet, New Lenox, Frankfort, Homer, etc. W. R. Rice, in a letter which we find quoted in the combination map of the county, says that in June, 1829, he, together with William Rice, his father, and Miller Ainsley, left Fountain County, Indiana, to take a look at the Far West. He says, "We struck the Iroquois, which we followed to the Kankakee, which, in turn, we followed to the Des Planes. We then went up the latter until we came to Hickory Creek. Going up this a mile or two, we found a Mr. Brown and old Col. Sayre, living in an old Indian bark shanty near where Dr. Allen's house stands (the old Davidson place); and about eighty rods northwest across the creek was an old man of the name of Friend, who had a log cabin partly built." This account is no doubt correct. The Brown he speaks of died soon after and was buried on the Davidson place, perhaps the first white burial in Will County. As is well known to all old settlers, Col. Sayre built a saw-mill on the creek, near where the Red Mill now stands, but on the north side of the creek, a little higher up. Mansfield Wheeler, who came to the vicinity in 1833, went into partnership with him. This old mill has long since gone to the limbo of things that were, but the writer hereof has often seen the saw crashing ruthlessly through huge oaks and black walnuts to supply the needs of new settlers. It was at this mill that the lumber was sawed for the first frame houses of Joliet, built in 1834.
To this settlement there also came, in 1830, Lewis Kerchival and son, John Gougar, Michael Runyon, Jared Runyon and Jas. Eminett; in 1831—John Norman, Jos. Norman, Aaron Ware, Thos. and Abraham Francis, Isaac Pence and Samuel Pence. There is a tradition that Jo Smith, the Mormon, once preached at the Point, and that Jas. Eminett and others were converts and left the vicinity. In 1832, were added Cornelius C. Van Horne, John Stitts, Peter Watkins and sons, Wm. Gougar and son Nicholas, and Joseph, Alfred and James Johnson. The Johnsons located on Spring Creek, in the edge of what was known as Yankee Settlement, most of which is now embraced in the town of Homer. To these were added, in 1833, Isaac Reynolds and his three sons, Smith, Newton and Milton Reynolds, Judge Davidson and Matthew Van Horne; and in 1834, G. S. Greenwood, John Broadie and John Cooper and sons. Later, in 1835 to 1837, came John Carl, Abel Bliss, L. A. Cleveland and many others. It will be understood that the above list includes settlers on both the north and south sides of the creek; some on what is now known as Maple street. Ohio, Indiana and New York furnished most of these settlers. Most of these have passed away. Some have left sons that perpetuate their family names and are counted among our best citizens.
A daughter of the elder Pence has the distinction of being the first Joliet bride, for a description of whose wedding the reader is referred to "Forty Years Ago." Perhaps the most prominent of the persons named above, in our history, was C. C. Van Horne. He taught the first school in the vicinity in the Winter of 1832. His place in the point of timber that makes out into the prairie, in which are the Camp Grounds of the Methodist brethren, was known in the early days as Van Horne's Point. He was a marked character, well and extensively known throughout Cook County, of which we then formed a part. He was a man of liberal education, great shrewdness, abundant self-esteem and tenacity of purpose. He got the appointment of Postmaster and Justice of the Peace soon after coming here. The only mail route at that time in the county was a weekly horseback one from Danville to Chicago. This passed by the cabin of Uncle Billy Gougar. As Van Horne resided some distance to the east, the office was kept by one of the Gougar boys. In 1834-5, before a post office was established at the city of Joliet, the writer hereof made weekly pilgrimages to Uncle Billy's, after the longed-for letters from home. Well can he recall the old log house (long since replaced by a comfortable frame farm cottage), with its two rooms, in one of which the post office was kept. In what a striking contrast to the place where he now gets his mail, was that old dry-goods box, roughly pigeon-holed, with the letters of the alphabet rudely inked on the edges of each partition. With what greed he seized a letter when he happened to get one, although it cost a quarter, and had been several weeks on its dreary way. He remembers how, on one occasion, he had to pay about a dollar for a pamphlet, the margins of which were covered with writing, contrary to law. But it was cheap, even at that price! And the writers of those letters—where are they? Gone! all gone!
But we are sadly digressing. Van Horne was one of our most useful citizens in those days, transacting the business of the early settlers, aiding them in obtaining their claims and land titles. It was the good fortune of the writer to make his acquaintance before that of any other settler, having met him somewhere this side of Niles, when coming into the county, and riding back with him to "Van Horne's Point." It was, perhaps, owing as much to his influence as to the good sense of the settlers generally, that two years after he was elected as the first Recorder of the county. But we soon forfeited his friendship by our bad behavior in apostatizing to abolition. But we are anticipating. It will be well remembered that Van Horne, some years ago, removed to Joliet, and was elected the first Mayor under our city charter, and how he "magnified his office." It may not be improper to add that one of his sons is now Superintendent of an important Western railroad. C. C. Van Horne died of cholera in 1854.
Several members of the Reynolds family still live in our county. J. S. Reynolds, who was brevetted General near the close of the late war, and who commanded the Sixty-fourth Regiment in the important battle at Bentonville, on Sherman's march from Savannah to Washington, is a son of one of them. Higginbotham moved to town many years ago, and built a fine house, where his widow (now Mrs. Sutphen) still lives, while his sons perpetuate his name. He died in March, 1865.
Many yet living will remember Uncle Billy Gougar, so noted for his strong good sense and sterling integrity. He held the important trust of County Commissioner in 1840 and 1841. He died in 1861 at the age 78. Father Beggs officiated at his funeral, which was largely attended. Lewis Kerchival was one of the best citizens and farmers in the county, and died some years since. His son James C., was Supervisor of the town of New Lenox in 1854 and 1855, and again in 1858. He died in 1873 at the age of 55 a worthy son of a worthy sire. Jarod Runyon was, for some years, a Justice of the Peace of the village of Lockport, and now resides in California. We had a visit from him a few years since.
Judge Davidson came to this section in 1830, from the State of Indiana. He was originally from the State of New Jersey, where, when a poor young man, earning his living at surveying, he found a lot of pine land which had not been taken up. He managed to secure it, and immediately took his ax and "lifted it up against the big trees." This not only made him "famous," but put some money in his purse, with which he came to Indiana and there invested it in lands at Government price. This soon made him rich. When he came to Hickory Creek, he entered not only the well-known Davidson farm, but several others; and he was, while he lived, one of our most prominent and substantial men, although of retiring disposition, and never seeking office. When he came here, he was still a bachelor, and in the prime of life. He met his fate in the daughter of one of his tenants (Mr. More), to whom he was married, and by whom he had two daughters, well known in Joliet society. His widow has since married Dr. B. F. Allen. It is said that the Judge always kept the ax with which he hewed his way to fortune. He acquired his title of Judge in Indiana, where he held the office of Probate Judge. He died in March, 1844, at the age of 57.
About the same time, another settlement was made, mostly on the south side of Hickory, in Joliet Township. Robert Stevens and David Maggard made claims in 1830, and brought their families in 1831. Stevens located on the well-known Stevens' place (on Section 2), a well-chosen selection, which made him, in time, the possessor of a valuable property. The first "fair grounds" were located on this property in a beautiful grove of oak openings, a beautiful and abundant spring supplying water. These grounds, with the fair buildings, were afterward occupied as a soldiers' camp and barracks, when it became necessary to subdue the "unpleasantness" of our Southern brethren. David Maggard settled on the bluff on the west side of the Des Planes about opposite the Rolling Mills. His cabin was the first one erected in the present limits of our city. It stood on the edge of a ravine up which passed the Sac trail. This trail, it is perhaps necessary to many readers to explain, was the trail made by the feet of the Indians and their ponies on their yearly journeys from the Great West to Fort Malden, in Canada, to receive the annuities which it was the cunning policy of the English Government to keep up long after the country had passed from their possession. The fruit of this policy was apparent in the fact that in the war of 1812, the Indians were generally, secretly, if not openly, on the side of England, and in the massacre at Chicago, and other barbarities. This trail, which was for many years very plain and distinct, and which was a well-known guide for the early voyager over the prairie from Niles hither, and which is now probably entirely obliterated, divided somewhere near the present cemetery, one branch going south to Ottawa, crossed the old ford below Joliet, and the other crossed the ford opposite Maggard's cabin and went on by Walker's Grove to the Great River.
In 1831, Philip Scott, William Bilsland, Major Robert Cook and his aged father, a Revolutionary soldier, Daniel Robb, Jesse Cook and Reason Zarley, were added to the settlement. Seth Scott and Aaron Moore, also John Norman, came in 1832; William Hadsell and John Goodenow, in 1833; Joseph and Jacob Zumalt, in 1834. We suppose Mr. Goodenow to be the same man who settled in Yankee Settlement before the war. He was the father of Mrs. Michael Rodgers, and died some years since at Reed's Grove.
Reason Zarley came here from Ohio, was one of our first Justices of the Peace while we were yet a part of Cook County. He died Aug. 30, 1859, aged 68 years and six months. He was born in 1791; served in the war of 1812, and was one of the few survivors that returned from the bloody engagement at Brownstown, where one hundred and thirty Americans were assailed by eight hundred Indian and four hundred British soldiers. He was in the army at the time of Hull's surrender. He came into the State in 1829, and to this township in 1831, and settled upon the well-known Zarley farm, which he had purchased when the canal land was in market, under the act of 1829. There were few here then except Indians. When the Black Hawk war broke out, he went, with his family, to Danville, returning, after it was over, to the same place, where he resided until his death. He was a man of sterling character, high moral sentiments, sound mind and strong, good sense and judgment. A large concourse of citizens attended his remains to their resting-place. A Chillicothe, Ohio, paper, noticing his death, speaks of him as one of the pioneers of that country. He was a man of large influence in shaping the early politics of Will County. It is hardly necessary to say that he has supplied us in his sons with two editors and printers, one of whom has lately deceased, while the other, familiarly known as "Cal," still gives shape to our politics and school affairs; while a third son, sometimes called "Bill," after long and useful service as City Clerk, has got a comfortable seat as County Clerk in the old Court House. Another son, Linton, died in 1850, at the age of 24, having just entered upon the practice of law.
When our county was erected, Robert Stevens was elected Sheriff with great unanimity. He was most deservedly popular. But he did not covet office, and he declined to qualify, and all that Summer we were without a Sheriif. We are glad to be able to state that this is the only time we know of Bob Stevens (as he was familiarly called) shrinking from his duty, and we knew him pretty well. And for the honor of Will County, we are also glad to be able to state, and we do it without fear of contradiction, that from that day to this there has been no difficulty in getting men to fill the office of Sheriff, or any other county office. Indeed, sometimes there has seemed to be a super-abundance of men who were willing to serve the public. We shall, by and by, give a list of those who have shown their devotion to our county by actual service. We should be glad to give a list of those who have been willing to do so had the county needed them, but this would require more room than our publisher could spare. Robert Stevens was a native of Kentucky, and raised in Ohio and Indiana. He died in January, 1864.
William Hadsell, named above, still lingers in our midst, and may often be seen upon our streets carrying the weight of 88 years of an industrious and honest life. He begins to fail, but says he should have lived to a hundred easy enough if he had not got caught in a storm on the prairie a few years since and had to fight lightning, which was a harder fight than he ever had with the British, although a soldier in the war 1812.
John Norman erected the first flouring-mill in Joliet—we wish we had a picture of it and the surroundings, as we well remember them. About opposite the Penitentiary there was an island in the Des Planes, heavily wooded—a romantic spot then, where the writer often went in search of plants and flowers. At the head of this island, across one channel, Norman built a brush and gravel dam, which threw the current strong upon the other side; near this he built a log mill. His wheel was placed in the current, and the shaft running into the mill, turned the machinery which ground the corn. A very simple affair, having the capacity of twelve or fifteen bushels of corn in twenty-four hours, but very useful in those early days when corn-dodgers formed an important part of the daily rations. This old mill was not as big a thing as the rolling-mills opposite, but it was built without municipal aid.
In this township, yet farther down on the river, a family settled in 1836 or 1837, which we must not forget to mention—that of Robert Shoemaker, the father of Mrs. Dr. A. W. Bowen and Mrs. Josiah McRoberts (and that's how we got the Judge). M. Shoemaker, a partner of J. A. Matteson in the early days of the old wooden block on upper Chicago street, and who has been and we believe now is a State Senator in Michigan, was his son.
In the edges of the timber lying along the Des Planes and Jackson Creek, and in the groves known as Jackson's, Reed's, Starr's, Troutman's, etc., which now form parts of Joliet, Jackson and Channahon Townships, settlements were early made. In 1831, Charles Reed, Joseph Shoemaker and Wesley Jenkins settled in Reed's Grove, near the present station of Elwood. John and Thos. Coon, the two Kirkpatricks, Thomas Underwood, Eli Shoemaker, Charles Longmire, James Hemphill, Peter Eib and sons, Archibald Crowl, Henry, George and Lewis Linebarger, Daniel Haight, John and Samuel Catron and Theopilus and Robert Watkins settled in some one of these groves in 1831-2-3; and Benj. and Joseph Shanks, Smith Johnson, John Brown, George Young, Peter Brown and son and R. J. Boylan, in 1833-4, and William Cotton in 1835, and, we had almost forgotten him, Peter Doney. Charles Reed is perhaps better entitled than any one else to be called the founder of Joliet, as he came up here in 1833, built a log cabin (the old McKee house) and commenced preparations to build a mill. These preparations consisted, as his deed of sale to McKee in the Spring of 1834 says, "of a dam partly made on the east side of the river, a house, some fence, a mill-race and some machinery for a mill, both of wood and iron, on the west side of the river." Of this matter, however, we will speak more particularly by and by. Joseph Shoemaker, a most excellent man, a warm friend and an ardent Methodist, opened a splendid farm on the south side of Reed's Grove, which after many years he sold out, and which is now known as the Rogers' place. He was Supervisor of Florence four years. We are sorry to say he has left the State. Jenkins was a fine specimen of a great Hoosier, of whom we have told a pretty good story in "Forty Years Ago," which we will not repeat here. But we don't know why he should have been named Wesley, unless on the principle of "lucus a non lucendo." Hemphill and Eib still have representatives in the county. Joe Shanks was another specimen of a Hoosier, and was Shanks by name and Shanks by nature. The best thing that we remember about Joe is that he was the writer's friend when he ran for Recorder, and save him his vote, although it was urged against us that we belonged to a temperance society—not a popular thing with "Hoosiers" then or now. "Wall," said Joe, "I drink right smart of likker myself, but I allow we'd better have a sober man to do our business." We commend Joe's philosophy to all voters, and the higher the office, the more important the rule. George Linebarger is still living near Elwood, and has been Supervisor of Jackson ten years. R. J. Boylan is still one of the well-known residents of Jackson, and he held the office of County Surveyor for eight years (1840-48), and what he doesn't know about the sections and corners of Will County is not worth knowing. Boylan sometimes tells the story of his first arrival at Joliet, in the Fall of 1834. After a long and tiresome horseback ride from Chicago, he began to look anxiously for the town of "Juliet," of which he had heard all along the road, and, fearing that he might have lost his way, he rode up to a small wooden building, which he found to be a store. On entering, a long, lank youth rose up from the counter, on which he was stretched out—that is, as much of him as the counter would hold—of whom he inquired the way to Juliet. The youth somewhat pompously replied: "Sir, if you seek the city of Juliet, look around you." Little did Boylan dream that he was on the corner of Bluff and Oneida streets, and that he was addressing the future historian of himself, Joliet and Will County—who would some day have his "pictur" in a book! It should be mentioned, to the credit of Jackson Grove Precinct, that they built a school house as early as 1833—perhaps the first in Will County. Henry Watkins, from the Hickory Creek settlement, taught the school. Any one who remembers his little shiny round head will not doubt that his scholars looked upon him with the same awe and wonder as did those in Goldsmith's "Deserted Village" upon the village pedagogue,"
"And still they gazed, and still the wonder grew,
That one small head could carry all he knew."
We have spoken of the Johnsons as settling in Yankee Settlement. These were "Hoosiers," but, as will be inferred from the name, most of those who settled in that portion of the county embraced in the town of Homer, the northern part of New Lenox and the eastern part of Lockport, and called "Yankee Settlement," were Yankees. The word meant in that day those who came from any State east of Ohio, in distinction from those who were called Hoosiers—a term which, though properly applicable only to Indianians, was popularly made to cover all others. When more exactly speaking, those from Ohio were Buckeyes; those from Kentucky, Corncrackers; those from Michigan, Wolverines, etc., etc. This was a famous settlement in the early days, containing many fine families of well-to-do farmers, where we could find more pretty girls forty-odd years ago than in almost any other locality. How this may be now, the writer cannot say; circumstances have prevented him from keeping posted in this regard. Offshoots of Yankee Settlement were known as Gooding's Grove and Hadley.
Of those who came in before the Sac war, we recall the names of James Richie (the first settler and still living, although for some years blind), James Glover, Abijah Watson, John Pettijohn, Wm. McGaffery, Peter Polly, Joseph McCune, Daniel Mack, John Blackstone, Dr. Nathaniel Weeks and sons, William Ashing, John Goodenow, Joseph Cox, Dick Boilvin, Uriah Wentworth, Calvin Rowley, Holder Sisson, Selah Lanfear, Orrin Stevens, Armstead Runyon, Edward Poor and Benjamin Butterfield. Some of these persons were not "Yankees," and some did not return after the stampede occasioned by the Sac war, and Goodenow, Polly and McCune, on their return, settled in other parts of the county.
Holder Sisson came in 1831, from Chautauqua County. N. Y. Having previously explored the West, he came with his family; and at the same time came Selah Lanfear and Orrin Stevens, with their families, who were from the same county. They came around the lakes, in a schooner; and after a long and stormy passage, landed at an outpost called Chicago, in the latter part of July. Harry Boardman, who settled in East Dupage, came on the same vessel. Mr. Sisson was a prominent man in the early history of the county. He was elected one of the first three County Commissioners, and served in that capacity five years, faithfully and well. He soon moved to the west side of the river, in the town of Lockport, on the old Chicago road. He has very recently deceased, at an advanced age.
Edward Poor, Armstead Runyon and Benjamin Butterfield were on the ground previously, and some others. Edward Poor is the first name as grantee upon our county records. Armstead Runyon was a prominent man in the early history of Lockport, having been proprietor of a part of the city plat. We believe he is now living in California (if not dead). Mrs. C. E. Boyer, of Lockport, is his daughter.
Mrs. Munson, until lately, a resident of Joliet, was a daughter of Selah Lanfear. We remember her as one of the pretty girls of Yankee Settlement. If you should call upon ex-Collector Weeks, you would find one of her daughters, who, in her turn, has pretty daughters too. How the years do creep on, and what changes they bring!
Calvin Rowley came from the State of New York—the first one of the family—traveling all the way with a peddler's cart. He set up a store near Lockport, and traded with the Indians.
After the Sac war another tidal wave of emigration set toward the West, and brought many to Yankee Settlement in the years 1833-4-5. Among these were Reuben Beach and sons, Thomas Smith, Chas. M. Grey, George Grey, Levi Hartwell, Jireh Rowley and four sons, Wm. H. Frazier*, Alanson Granger, Addison Collins, Frederick Collins, Norman and Horace Messenger, John Lane, Lucius M. Case, H. S. Mason, Dr. Moses Porter, Abram Snapp, William Williams and three sons, Benjamin Weaver, Dea. Levi Savage, S. C. Chamberlin and sons, William Bandle, Samuel Anderson, John Griswold, Comstock Hanford, Nathan Hopkins, Aaron Hopkins, John Fitzsimmons, Benjamin Dancer, Cyrus Cross, Andrew Frank, Sylvester Munson, Lyman Cross, David Parish, Leander Bump, Jacob Bump, Rev. Mr. Ambrose, John Ross, Hiram Olney (now of Manhattan), Rev. Mr. Kirbey, who became Pastor of the Hadley Church,—and Isaac Preston, now of Lockport, in 1836.
The following persons settled in Gooding's Grove, and gave that locality its name: Dea. James Gooding and his three sons—James Gooding, Jr., William Gooding and Jasper A. Gooding—and his nephew, Charles Gooding, in 1832. Dea. James Gooding had been a pioneer in Western New York, and was a native of Massachusetts. He resided at Bristol, Ontario Co., until he came West. We remember him well—a tall, noble-looking man. He died in 1849, at the age of 82. Orange Chauncey settled in the same locality before the war.
Rev. Jeremiah Porter, the well-known pioneer missionary of the American Home Mission Society, early organized a Presbyterian Church at Hadley. We believe that this was the first regularly organized Church in Will County, outside
*Died in 1873.
of the "classes" organized by the Methodist itinerants. Dr. Porter, William Bandle, Reuben Beach and John C. Williams were Elders or Deacons in this Church. Soon after the organization of this Church, a Mr. Freeman organized a Baptist Church of sixteen members. Abram Snapp was one of the Deacons of this Church. He was the father of Hon. Henry Snapp, and died in October, 1865. He came to the settlement in 1833. Father Beggs had a station here in 1833, and others at Reed's Grove, Hickory Creek, East Dupage and Walker's Grove.
Dr. Weeks was for many years a practitioner in Lockport and Yankee Settlement. His sons are the well-known Judge Weeks and ex-Collector Weeks and Mr. J. H. Weeks, now of Lockport. He was from Western New York. Dr. Porter was also a well-known physician in the early history of the county; one of the reliable men, whether in Church or State; a strong upholder of every good enterprise and reform. He moved farther west many years ago, and is now deceased.
Lyman Cross died at Lockport in October, 1876, at the age of 82. His death was occasioned by a fall, while at work on a barn.
Mr. Bandle, who was familiarly known as Deacon, was a stone-mason, and had the job of putting up the stone-work of the first stone building in Joliet—the old block now known as the Darcey Block, from its present owner, but formerly and long known as the old Demmond Block, from its first proprietor. He has been dead some years.
John Lane was a famous blacksmith, especially known as the maker of prairie or breaking plows. The settlers all around used to make pilgrimages to his smithy. Nobody in all the land could shape and temper a plow like him. He might have sat to Longfellow for his picture of the village blacksmith:
"The smith, a mighty man is he,
With large and sinewy hands;
And the muscles of his brawny arms
Are strong as iron bands."
On many, many an acre of the virgin prairie of Will County did Lane's plows upturn the sod, drawn by from four to eight yoke of oxen and steers, and propelled by a ten-foot ox-gad mounted with a lash perhaps as long, the snap of which wielded by the hands of the Hoosier driver resounded like the crack of a rifle. On, on, over the prairie swells, with steady but ruthless tread, moved the long "breaking team," and on, on, came the giant plow, cutting the turf with its sharp colter, and turning over with its mold-board the rich earth in long, black ribbons; before it blooming grass and fragrant herb and beautiful flowers; behind it a dreary waste of black, fat humus, inviting the steps and stimulating the hopes of the sturdy planter. Ah! breaking teams, plows, Hoosier drivers, prairies, and old Lane himself, are now things of the past! Mr. Lane died in 1857.
Addison Collins was one of our leading county men; held the office of County Surveyor during the first four years of our organization, and served one term, 1842-3, as our Representative in the General Assembly of the State. He died in March, 1864. His brother, Frederick Collins, still lives in the old locality, one of the staid and substantial citizens of Homer, fast ripening for a better country. The brothers were from Tioga County, N. Y., and came to the settlement in 1833.
John Blackstone, generally called Judge Blackstone, was a man of property and influence. The grove near which is the Hadley post office was known first as Blackstone Grove. James McKee, of whom we shall speak by and by, borrowed the money of him wherewith he purchased the Reed claim, of which we shall presently speak. He was the first Justice of the Peace in Yankee Settlement, when a part of Cook County. Judge Caton has told the writer about his coming down from Chicago in 1833, to try a suit before him perhaps the first lawsuit in Will County. He died in 1848.
Jireh Rowley, commonly know as Capt. Rowley, was also a prominent man in our early history. He settled first on Section 19, but afterward bought the Butterfield place on Section 34, a beautiful spot embracing a little grove, where his youngest son, A. G., now lives. He was an old contractor on the Erie Canal, and built the great embankment near Rochester. This was a very heavy and difficult work. The Canal there crosses a considerable valley and a stream, and passes along the top of the embankment which Rowley made. While the work was in progress, Gov. Clinton, having great anxiety in respect to its success, made frequent visits to note its condition. On one of these occasions, the Governor and his party got in the way of the laborers and their teams, when Rowley pretty sharply ordered them to get out of the way. Instead of being offended at the brusque manner of the Captain, the Governor had the good sense to remark to his friends that he should go home with his mind at rest concerning the job, as Capt. Rowley evidently meant business. Three sons still live in the township. The younger, A. G., has been a Justice of the Peace since 1850, and three years the Supervisor of the town. Capt. Rowley, when he came West, had married a Mrs. Grey, and the George and Charles Grey above named were her sons; both of these have since been prominent as railroad officials in Chicago, and George is now agent of the Pullman Car Company. Charles has been Mayor of the city. Three of her daughters were also included among the "nice girls" of the settlement, as some of the "boys" still living remember well. One of these is now Mrs. Chamberlin, of Lockport. Her husband is one of the sons of Mr. L. C. Chamberlin, and is our well-known undertaker and furniture dealer of Joliet and Lockport. We remember seeing, not long ago, the fence which surrounds Oakwood placarded with the words, "Chamberlin's Relief cures all pain." We do not suppose the sacrilegious painter had any reference to our undertaker or his business, but unconsciously told a truth, which these placards seldom do. Wm. Gooding was the chief engineer of our canal, and we shall have something more to say of him in the history of that work. The school teacher Hanford, so cruelly murdered at Chicago a few years ago, was a son of Comstock Hanford, born in 1834. Deacon Beach (this settlement seems to have had a good share of Deacons, and we have noticed that as a rule, it is the best men who get this title, and Deacon Beach was not an exception) has gone to his reward some time since. He died in 1851. Two of the Demmond boys—"Dar" and William—are indebted to him for good wives; and his son, Eben W., was Supervisor of Crete in 1862, and deceased in October, 1878. Levi Savage, another Deacon, still lives, and has given to the town of Homer a Supervisor for six years (1867-72), and to our county a Representative in 1872, and to the State and nation a brave soldier in his son, Capt. Amos Savage, of the Thirty-ninth Regiment, or Yates Phalanx. Of William Williams we remember little; he died many years ago; but we know the family was a good one—from Massachusetts, we believe, as were others of the Hadley people; hence the name of the locality which was first known as Blackstone's Grove. One member of the family was Elder J. C. Williams, for some time a resident of Hadley, but afterward of Chicago, one of the old, substantial merchants of that city and an Elder in the Second Presbyterian Church; while another, Charles A., was a preacher of the Gospel, once settled in Rockford; and another is the present Judge Erastus S. Williams, of Chicago. Still another Deacon was Orange Chauncey, lately deceased (died in 1877), who for a long time, with his family, resided in Joliet, but left again for the vicinity where he originally settled. This Deacon was a "Universalist" one, but his wife, who still survives, was a Deacon for a long time in the Baptist Church here—or at least she ought to have been. Alanson Granger is a name well known in Will County, for a long time a most successful granger on Section 32 of that town. He is said to have run the first reaper in Will County—an old original McCormick made in Brockport, N. Y. He was from Cortland County, N. Y., and died in October, 1874, nearly 72 years of age. To the list of Deacons in Yankee Settlement, we ought to add the name of Comstock Hanford, inasmuch as he was one of the original organizers of the Episcopal Church here. Some of these persons we have named would probably be included in the township of Lockport. It is said that Butterfield built the first house in the present township (of Lockport), and that a Mr. Everden built the first house on the town plat in 1831, little dreaming that he was beginning to found a city. It is also said that Armstead Runyon bought his claim, on which he laid out, in 1836, the town plat now known as North Lockport, once known as Runyon's Town. To the list of old settlers in Lockport ought to be added those of D. C. Baldwin, 1834; A. J. Matthewson and John Fiddyment in 1837; and Dr. J. F. Daggett. 1838.
Dr. J. F. Daggett represented the county in the State Senate after the resignation of Hon. Henry Snapp. A. J. Matthewson is our present County Surveyor, and is one of the blessings for which we are indebted to the canal, he having been one of the corps of engineers. West Lockport, where the old mill still stands, was laid out by a company consisting of Wm. Rogers, Lyman Hawley, Wm. Gooding and E. S. Prescott. John M. Wilson—Judge Wilson, of Chicago—was also interested in the mill, which was built by these parties, but whether as one of the original parties to the enterprise or as a purchaser afterward, we cannot say. West Lockport was once the most flourishing part of the town. But it seems that in relation to towns, Bishop Berkley's saying, "Westward the star of empires takes its way," does not hold good. Mr. Horace Morse built a tavern on one of Runyon's lots in 1836.
The site on which the most flourishing part of the city is now located, was laid out in 1837 by the Canal Commissioners, and for many years had the prestige of being the canal headquarters. It is beautifully located, and was well laid out under the skillful and careful supervision of the Chief Engineer. Canal Commissioners Thornton and Fry took up their residence there, and built fine dwellings—fine for that day. We believe it is one of these which has been remodeled into a beautiful home by Mrs. Boyer.
Across the river on the beautiful bluff which overlooks the town and the valley of the Des Plaines, as we have said, Holder Sisson moved, after selling out to Hanford. On this bluff also located Wm. Rogers, Lyman Hawley and sons, Justin Taylor, Thomas and Harvey Reed, and that "fine ould Irish gintleman," Patrick Fitzpatrick, and O. and L. M. Clayes, and Cyrus Bronson, in 1832-5. These farms, which we suppose have mostly passed into other hands, are among the most finely located in the county. Lyman Hawley was a substantial man from Western New York, the father of our well-known citizens, O. L. Hawley (now deceased), our County Clerk from 1849 to 1856 (eight years), and who also held the office of County Judge four years (1856 to 1860), and of Walter B. Hawley, who has also been County Clerk. The writer well remembers a notable "raising" we had in 1835 or 1836, when Lyman Hawley built his famous barn—a big thing for that day when barns were not very plenty, and which we believe is still extant, although it doesn't look as large now as when it was the best in all the country. What a lift we had at the big timbers of green oak, and how glad the boys were when the last rafter was up, and we all went to the feast set on the lawn, the old but comfortable log house being altogether too small to hold the guests. What a feast that was, and not the least among the attractions to some was the fact that we were waited upon by three or four blooming daughters of the host, for Yankee Settlement did not, in those days, have a monopoly of the pretty girls. We could name one old gray head that was there, and who was "sweet" on one of the girls. But we won't for he is married now to somebody else, and it might make a fuss.
There were also a Mr. Webb and Thomas Williams still further up the river, and also a Mr. Turner at the Lilly-cache Grove.
In the Upper Hickory Creek timber, east of Van Horne's Point, there were early settlers. In 1831, a Mr. Osborn, Wm. Moore, Robert Williams, Aaron Ware, John McGoveny and sons, John McDeed, and a Mr. Ghost, and a Mr. Berry, who soon turned Mormon, settled there. Daniel Lambert, John Duncan, James Troutman and Hiram Wood, in 1832; Allen and Lysander Denny, Ambrose Doty, Chester Marshall and sons, Francis Owen and sons, Eliphalet Atkins and sons, Samuel Haven, Myron Holmes and sons, Phineas H. Holden and sons, a Mr. Dewey, and Peter Clayes, father of L. M., Orlando Clayes and Charles Clayes, in 1834-5.
A child of John McGoveny, John W., is another first child born in the county. There were quite a number born first! However this may be, Squire McGoveny, of Mokena, and Thos. G. McGoveny, of Joliet, are his sons. He was from Ohio, originally, and came to the region where he settled in 1831, and died in March, 1869, aged 61. An addition to Mokena is part of his farm. Allen Denny, on the north side of Hickory, and Samuel Haven, on the south side, both kept stations on the underground railroad in Antislavery times. The writer hereof knows of some who paid midnight visits to both stations. A midnight ride with one or two fugitives was an exciting thing in those days, not without danger of being prosecuted, at least.
For the information of our younger readers, it may, perhaps, be well to explain, and here is as good a place as any to do it, that in those days, besides the general fugitive slave law of the United States, the State of Illinois had in force statutes against the colored man hardly less outrageous and cruel than those of the slave States themselves. Many slaves had been brought into this State while a Territory, and when the State was admitted into the Union the ownership in these was practically confirmed, although the importation of any more was prohibited. The southern part of the State was settled by persons from the slave States, and it was only by a small majority that the State became nominally a free State. Every colored man was presumed to be a fugitive from slavery, and, unless he could prove the contrary, was subject to arrest and sale, although the sale took the form of a lease or indenture. Now, there were, in those days, all over the North, as is well known, many persons known as Abolitionists, who had more respect for the God-given right of self-ownership than they had for the title which human—or rather inhuman—laws gave to one man who happened to be white, over another who happened to be black. These human laws, whether State or national, they held to be against the law of God, and therefore void "in foro conscientioe" however they might be enforced by human courts. It was an easy corollary to this belief that to help a man who was fleeing from bondage was a duty—that to aid in his capture was a crime against God and man. To aid the fugitives, these underground railroads—so called because the matter was generally conducted secretly and in the night—were established, consisting of relays of well-known friends of the slave, who at any time stood ready to harness a team and forward the slave to the next station. Of course Canada was the destination of the fugitives. Nowhere was he safe under the eagle; only when he got into the embrace of the lion could he breathe free. As we have said, Denny and Haven both kept stations of this kind. It happened in the course of things that Denny, good old Deacon Cushing and Col. Stewart, of whom we shall soon speak, were once indicted under the black laws of our State for aiding such fugitives. As all know, our brave soldier boys and Father Abraham's proclamation destroyed the business of the underground railroad. The march of enlightened public opinion has long since brought about the repeal of the black laws of our State.
Allen Denny settled in Sheridan, Chautauqua Co., N. Y., in 1811, when 20 years of age. While there, he engaged in storekeeping, and among other goods, wares and merchandise, sold whisky and its congeners. But he went to hear a lecture of the agent of the State Temperance Society, and was converted to teetotalism. He at once stopped the sale of liquor, and, with five others, one of whom was Samuel Haven, he formed a temperance society. In 1835, he came with the Holmes families to Hickory Creek, where he lived until his death, well known and highly respected. In the war of 1812, he was a soldier, and was present at the battle of Black Rock and the burning of Buffalo, and could give graphic accounts of the stampede of our militia. The Rock Island Railroad run through Mr. Denny's farm, and he laid off a part of it into the village of Mokena. We have not the date of Mr. Allen Denny's death. His brother Lysander died in March, 1872, at the age of 75.
O. and L. M. Clayes we have given as early settlers in West Lockport Township; but they soon abandoned their claim there, which was on canal land and located on Hickory, where their father, Peter Clayes, and another son, Charles, also settled. Previous to the opening of the railroads, there was a little village (i. e., a store and post office) in the Clayes neighborhood, named Chelsea—L. M. Clayes, Postmaster; but the Cut-Off Railroad cut off its prospects as a city. Peter Clayes died in 1849, at the age of 74.
Chester Marshall, who, by the way, was also a Deacon of a Baptist Church, we believe, was also one of these Abolitionists, and a strong temperance man, always on hand at Temperance and Antislavery conventions. He was a tall, large, noble-looking man. Our State Senator, A. O. Marshall, and R. W. Marshall, lawyers, in Joliet, are his grandsons. He died in August, 1859, at the age of 80 years. He came to Will County with Benjamin Weaver, of Yankee Settlement, in 1833, from Onondaga County, N. Y. Phineas H. Holden was also a prominent man in early times. He was the father of C. C. P. Holden, of Chicago; of Major L. P. Holden, of the Eighty-eighth Illinois Regiment, and of Dr. Holden, of Frankfort. He died in 1872, at the age of 80 years. Of Samuel Haven and the other Havens we will speak by and by.
Still further east and south, in what is now known as the town of Crete, but then having two settlements, known as Beebe's Grove and Thorn Creek, there were early settlements. In 1833-4, Major Price, Wm. Osborn and Asa Dade; in 1835-6, Minoris Beebe, Shipman Frank, Quartus Marsh and four sons (Jonathan, Edwin, Horatio and Henry), Jas. L. Dean, Wm. Bryant, J. Stalcop, Wm. R. Starr, Willard Wood, Dea. Samuel Cushing (of whom we have spoken), Norman Northrop, John H. Bennett, Moses H. Cook, Henry Milliken, Charles Wood, Hazen Adams, John Kyle and son, Enoch Dodge, Henry Ayers, David Haner, John E. Hewes, J. W. Safford and three sons.
One of Mr. Safford's sons was afterward well-known in Joliet, as the confidential clerk of Gov. Matteson, while he carried on business in Joliet. He afterward removed to Cairo, and became a prominent business man and banker. Another son was the Hon. C. P. K. Safford, Governor of Arizona. Both have recently deceased. A daughter of Mr. Safford became justly and honorably noted for her efforts in behalf of our soldiers during the war of the rebellion, on the battle fields of Belmont and Pittsburg Landing and in the hospital at Cairo. Many a soldier yet remembers the "Angel of Cairo." She subsequently became a physician, studied in the hospitals of Europe, where she attracted considerable notice for her modesty of demeanor and her professional and surgical skill. She is now, we believe, married, and resides somewhere in New England.
Quartus Marsh was from Monroe County, N. Y. He died in 1850. He was the first settler in his immediate neighborhood. Jonathan Marsh, who died at Matteson, lately, and Edwin, who still resides there, Henry Marsh, for some time a cabinet maker in Joliet, and who got one of Deacon Beach's girls for his wife, as well as H. N. Marsh, so long known and respected in Joliet and Will County, are his sons.
Deacon Cushing, we mentioned a little back as one of the indicted. We have a little more to say about this indictment. It was obtained when the brilliant Pat. Ballingall was State's Attorney for the District, and O. C. Van Horne was the Foreman of the grand jury and complainant. There were also on the jury some who were outspoken friends of the slave; but they felt, justly, that their oaths compelled them to find a bill against an infringement of an unjust law. When the officer called early Monday morning to arrest the good Deacon, he was at his breakfast. The officer allowed him to finish, and also to attend to a duty which was as regularly observed as his morning meal—family devotions. It so happened that in the morning's regular lesson in course occurred these words: "Whether it be right to obey God, rather than man, judge ye." When brought into court, he was allowed to give bail for his appearance at the next term of court. James McKee promptly volunteered to be his bail, and James H. Collins, of Chicago, who was then on his return from Princeton, where he had been to defend Owen Lovejoy, on a like charge, volunteered to defend him, and John M. Wilson also volunteered to assist. But before the next term of court, the parties complaining had got thoroughly ashamed of their course, and Ballingall entered a nol. pros. The fiery eloquence of the prosecuting attorney and the voice of the complainant have both been long since hushed in the grave, while the good old Deacon still lives, fast ripening for that world where we may believe feeding the hungry and pouring in oil and wine into the wounds inflicted by the driver's lash, are not indictable offenses. Blessed be the man against whom no more serious charge can be brought. It is some compensation to the Deacon to have lived to see the time when such an indictment is impossible in all our land.
In that beautiful portion of our county which lies between the Des Plaines and Du Page Rivers, and near the meeting of the waters, now included in the town of Channahon, some settlers came as early as 1832, while the Indian still cultivated corn on the bottom and fished along the streams. This was a favorite spot with them, and they long lingered here. Their canoes passed up and down the rivers, and in the mounds which are still distinguishable they buried their dead. Somewhere near Treat's Island an Indian was buried as late as 1835. He was placed in a sitting posture partly out of the ground, and a pen of saplings placed around him. He is supposed to have been a chief, as the Indians passing up and down always visited his grave, and left various articles upon it as tokens of respect. A little flag was also kept flying over it, which was cared for by the Treats. North of Joliet, the writer remembers to have seen the grave of an infant in the top of a tree. It consisted of two hollow slabs in which the body was placed, being fastened together and to the tree by strips of bark. Perhaps it is a misnomer to call this a grave, and why they thus disposed of an infant's body we know not, unless it was a dim reflection of the Savior's words, "Of such is the kingdom of heaven." Believing that the child's spirit had gone straight to the "happy hunting fields," they placed the body as near as possible to the sky. Among the earliest settlers in Channahon were Isaac Jessup, Wm. E. Peck, E. C. Fellows, H. D. Risky, Peter McCowan, Capt. Willard, Michael Morehouse, Jedediah, Walter, and E. G. Eames, Joseph N. Fryer, Russell Tryon, George Tryon, "Uncle Bont" Schermerhorn and his four sons—Peter, Jacob B., Cornelius and Isaac—and John Ward. These came in 1832-3-4. In 1835, Dr. Peter Schermerhorn, Joseph Lewis, Sam'l Lewis and Dr. Wm. Lewis, Isaac and Burke Van Alstine, Wm. Althouse and a colored gentleman for whom we have never heard any name but "Dick." Several of these settlers were representatives of the old Dutch families on the Hudson, coming from Schodack and vicinity, and, like their ancestors, knew good land when they saw it, and then settled down to stay. Joseph Davis and his sons came in 1836. Isaac Jessup, long a prominent citizen, died in 1853, at the age of 66. He, too, bore the honorable title of Deacon, and was County Treasurer in 1843-6. His sons still perpetuate his name. A daughter of his, Mrs. E. Jessup Eames, had considerable reputation as a poetess some years ago; and another, Sarah, who died in 1863, was not altogether unknown to local fame. H. D. Risley was from Salina, N. Y., and being elected Sheriff of the county in 1840, he removed to the old county jail, where he remained four years. He was also a canal contractor in canal times. The Van Alstines are still extant and residents of the vicinity, and so is their "Nigger Dick," the same old sinner he was forty-odd years ago. There seems to be little change in him since the time he came up to attend a ball in 1836, when his ox-team got wedged so inexplicably between the old Demmond Block and the precipice in its rear, save that he has grown a little grayer. Dick has the honor of being the first, and for a long time the only representative of his race in Will County. J. B. Schermerhorn was County Commissioner in the years 1848-9, and Supervisor of Channahon 1854-6. Dr. Peter Schermerhorn was for some years a practicing physician in Channahon and vicinity, and afterward removed to Ottawa, where he died. Wm. B. Peck, generally known as Judge Peck, having been a County Judge where he came from in the county of Columbia, State of New York, was a prominent man, something of a politician, and County Commissioner four years—1839-42. He died in the year 1849, in the 71st year of his age. E. C. Fellows, the well-known lawyer, and the earliest lawyer in the county, came to Channahon at the same time and married a daughter of Judge Peck. He came to Joliet in 1835. It is but recently that he has deceased. Of his ability as a lawyer, especially as a criminal lawyer, everybody in Will County is well aware. George Tryon was Supervisor of Channahon for the years 1850-52. E. H. Jessup, one of Isaac Jessup's sons, was Supervisor in 1862, and John S. Jessup, another son, represented in part our county in the Legislature in the year 1872. He was the first victim of minority representation. J. N. Fryer has been Supervisor from 1866 down to date, and perhaps will be as long as he lives. Michael Morehouse was a native of Connecticut, born in 1791, a good, honorable and intelligent man, who died in 1876.
Dr. Knapp and George Tryon came together from Vermont, and were the first settlers in the part of the town where they located, now on the beautiful "wide water" made by the canal, and the favorite resort of Fourth of July picnics. The Indians were dwelling on the bottom of the Des Planes, and at a spot across the river, a little lower down, known then as the "sugar bush," in considerable numbers. They were under the supervision of one of old Bourbonnie's sons, a half-breed. Seymor Treat and son had settled at the island still known by his name, in 1833. The Treats were great friends of the Indians, never refusing them food or shelter, though their supplies were not very abundant. The Indians held the family in high regard, and when they received their last annuity, they gave him $1,000 as a remembrancer, which furnished him the means to go on with the mill which he was building. He had a son and daughter. The son was known as Dr. Treat. The mill was built at the lower end of the island. The Indians were friendly to the early settlers, and never troublesome unless they had drunk too much fire-water. They called this liquid good-na-tosh—clearly a misnomer. As the settlers were not familiar with the Indian language, they had to resort largely to the natural language of signs, at which the Indians are as expert as the deaf-mutes. Dr. Knapp tells an amusing story as to how an Indian tried to make him understand what he meant when he wanted to sell him some "ho-mo-sis-paw-quet"—that is, bee-sugar or honey. This is a story that can't be told except in pantomime, and nobody can do it justice but the doctor. If you ever see him, get him to tell it. It is the best specimen of pantomime we ever saw.
We must note the fact that in Channahon, on the southeast side of the Des Plaines, is the large plantation of Charles C. Smith, one of the sons of our old resident and Justice of the Peace, Barton Smith. We gave a little history of Charley in "Forty Years Ago." He has been Supervisor of Channahon for several years, and we wish we had his note for a thousand or two dollars. The village of Channahon was laid out by the Canal Commissioners, and was first named Swifton, after one of their number; but Judge Peck got it changed by an act of the Legislature to its present name, the significance of which we have already given.