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1878 HISTORY
First Impressions

In order to show the conflicting opinions of the early settlers of this county we subjoin the following first impressions formed of the country as they have narrated them to us, and in their own words:

Certainly as fine a country as ever was seen. But not timber enough, even to fence it. --Salem Woods

A perfect paradise to look at but not favorable to make a living. --Richard Pennington

I thought it splendid. Thought it the richest land I ever saw. --Geo. G. Guy

Thought it a mighty poor place to stop at. Thought it never would be settled up in the world. --Wm. J. Jackson

Thought it never would be settled up only around the timber. --Chas. W. Greenup

Thought I had settled on the frontier, and would always have an outlet. --Charles Creel

Thought it a grand country. --Samuel McCray

Thought if I lived a year I would go back to Indiana, sure. --John Ledgerwood

I always admired it; thought it a healthy climate. --Nelson Campbell

Did not fancy the location. --Andrew Allison

Have a good opinion of it; fine county; land rich, would all be settled. --Wm. Moore

Got tired of the county in one year. I went to Iowa, but was awful glad to get back. --Joshua Simmons

Corn-stalks looked small. Discouraging. --S. C. Simpson

No question about the richness of the soil. --William McKamy

I was wonderful homesick. Thought it a dreary place until next summer, when everything was pleasant. --M. C. Foster

Didn't like it very well. --J. W. Fugate

Thought I would never live to see it settled up, for it wouldn't be for a hundred years. --Abraham Powers

I thought the country very good and liked it well, but it was rather cold. --Miss Mary Yocum

Thought it was a bully country. --J. E. D. Hammer

Thought it was a good farming country, but not enough timber to fence it. --Silas Creel

I thought it very pretty to look at, but no timber. The prairies were beautiful, all covered with flowers. --Benjamin F. Naylor

Thought the land would never be taken up. --W. F. Wayland

We suppose we could not live two miles from timber, for it would be too cold. --John N. Dunsworth

Thought it a terrible wild country. --Josiah S. Hamilton

Pretty cold. Didn't like it at first. --Moses Foster

Didn't think much of the country; thought everything burned off of the prairie. --Mrs. Catherine Painter

Thought it a pretty wild affair. --G. W. Thompson

Not very favorably impressed; hard times; big snow fell on the fourth of October, 1831. --J. S. Campbell

I liked it first rate. --Samuel Morrow

Having traveled a good deal, the impression was good; much better than Morgan or Sangamon counties. --Samuel R. McClure

Good. Admired the appearance of the country. Did not like the sudden changes of the weather. --Gideon Waters

Awful sick of it. Used to pray to be back in old Pennsylvania. --Ellis Crane

Thought pretty well of it. Pretty wild though. --James Fulton

Didn't think the flat prairies would ever be settled. --William L. Wilson

Thought it a wild world of Indians and wolves. --Mrs. Lorina Banks

The country looked mighty wild and desolate. --Thomas F. Wilson

Darndest, meanest country I ever heard of. --J. H. Head

The country looked terrible gloomy. --Nathaniel Mustain

Thought it the prettiest country in the world. But never expected the prairies would be settled. --Nathaniel Grigsby

Thought it a very good country. --William D. Mustain

It looked mighty gloomy. --William Hardesty

Didn't like cold weather. Pretty dismal looking country. --Hugh Conners

I thought it the garden spot of the world. --David Seybold

Thought it devilish cold, but a good country. --John O. C. Wilson


Source: History of McDonough County, Illinois, It's Cities, Towns, and Villages with Early Reminiscences, Personal Incidents and Anecdotes, and a Complete Business Directory of the County, by S. J. Clarke, published in 1878, pages 242-244.