McDonough ILGenWeb ILGenWeb

Reminiscences - James Jarvis

To illustrate the difficulty the pioneers had in having their grain ground, I will relate an incident which occurred at an early day. There were no flouring mills running in our county, and we were compelled to go to Spoon River, Rushville, Vermont, and other places for that purpose. William Lawyer, David Jenkins and myself took our grain to the mill at Vermont. On driving up I asked the miller, "What chance have we for our grinding?" He replied, "We can do it in about three weeks." "Do you think you can do it that soon?" "Yes, if the mill don't break, I think we can." "Can we unload out grain, so as to feed?" "Well, you had better put it all in one wagon and feed in the other." "Can you drive in the lot for that purpose?" "I think you had better drive off a little ways." "Don't you think we had better go to Beardstown or Rushville?" "You can do just as you please so far as I am concerned," and he turned his back on us and returned to his work; as independent as you please. But we were not to be bluffed off, and thought, if possible to have our grain ground in less than three weeks, so when night come, instead of going to bed, we concluded to run the mill ourselves, which we did, and had our grist all ground before two o'clock A. M. On driving off in the morning with our flour the men who had been waiting many days for their grist were quite indignant to see how we had got ahead of them, but then, we were all right and went home happy.

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 590-591.