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Chapter 5 - Early Settlement

To the reader of local history, this chapter is of general interest, but to the pioneer himself it is more. Here he has himself, and friends, and neighbors, as in days past they first sought out the western wilds and fought for existence in the wilderness. See him, as he takes the book in hand slowly, critically poring over every word, recalling in his mind the pictures of a vanished past at the mention of some well-known name, or smiling as recollection brings back some ludicrous adventure in the early days of his settlement. His old associations, the trials and tribulations incident to a new country, the battles against hunger and cold, while settlers were scattered thinly over a large expanse of country. All these rise up before him as he reads. Even now, in memory, he hears the wind moan round the humble cottage that first sheltered him, and hears the wolves howl as they did in days of yore. The picture of the past rises up vividly before him, and he once more rejoices in the pride of youth. Now the thought comes over him, that by and through his efforts, he has helped to make this wilderness blossom as the rose, and emerge from a state of nature into a well developed and thrifty land, and views with satisfaction the growing towns and villages and fertile farms that dot the landscape over. But perhaps the brow will cloud and the eye dim as memory's mystic voice recalls the dark and painful side of those early experiences. The loved wife of his bosom fading slowly away before the breath of the cold destroyer, or some laughing, prattling babe, the joy of the household, laid away under the sod, in solemn silence, by the hands of rough-appearing, but sympathizing neighbors. Time has healed those wounds, but to-day, as memory is fast unlocking the chambers of the mind, the silent tear will well itself to the surface and drop as a tribute to the loved and the lost of that by-gone time.

Notwithstanding the cares and adversities that clustered round the cabin door of the pioneer, these hardy argonauts led a happy life. Here all were free and equal, and the absence of the restraining presence of wealth and position, was to him a source of comfort and satisfaction. The rough hospitality, the hearty feeling of brotherhood, among these vanguards of civilization, were the spontaneous overflow of hearts full of regard for humanity, and was practiced more as the natural prompting of their nature, than from any teaching of a christian duty. They were men in the highest acceptance of the word.


For a few years preceding the advent of actual, permanent settlers, in nearly all counties, cabins, temporary in character, have been raised by a class of people, the forerunners of civilization, that are not to be regarded as settlers at all. They are, generally, hunters and trappers, who do not break the sod or till the ground, but live, almost exclusively, by the chase, and are but little removed from the red man, the original occupant of the land. That McDonough county had its usual allotment of this class of people, there is abundant proof in the traditions that are rife in many of the families of the old settlers, that when they came here, on such and such a Section, there was an old cabin that had been erected six, eight or ten years before. Who they were, where they came from, or where they went to is, at this late day, impossible to conjecture. Their names, even, are buried under the ashes of oblivion, and history has no lens powerful enough to discern them.

The first actual settler, that is, one who made any improvements and tilled the land, of whom there is any account, is Richard Dunn, who settled in what is now Hire township, in 1825, and cultivated about four acres of land. He had a cabin, and for about three weeks, in the spring of 1826, entertained the family of William Job, while the latter was building a log cabin for himself and his family. Mr. Dunn left this locality within a year or two afterwards and passed out of the knowledge of the few settlers that knew him. His cabin was situated upon section 9, and on the arrival of Hugh Wilson, the latter took up his quarters in it, the owner having vacated it previously.

In regard to who was the next to make a settlement within the limits of McDonough county, there is great difficulty to determine with the accuracy obligatory upon history, but the weight of testimony, which has been carefully sifted, seems to give the honor to William Job. That old pioneer, in the fall of 1825, leaving his family in Morgan county, came to this county, and lived in the vicinity of the present site of Blandinsville that fall, and picked out the land upon which he wanted to make a settlement. In the early winter he returned to where his family were and there remained until the following spring. Hardly had the snow gone off, than he and his family, in company with his brothers-in-law, William Southward and Ephraim Perkins, with their families came back to the land of promise and settled. Mr. Job took up a claim on the southeast quarter of Section 33, where he erected a cabin, the others locating south of him. A full account of his settlement is given in the history of Blandinsville township, to which the reader is most respectfully referred.

Riggs Pennington made a settlement on the northeast quarter of section 24, in what is now Industry township, in the spring of 1826. He located in the timber, totally ignoring the rich prairie that lay so near his door, as did nearly all the pioneers of that day. Mr. Pennington lived here for a few years when he removed to Knox county, Illinois. In 1837, he emigrated to Texas, where he died.

William Carter in the summer of the same year located upon the northeast quarter of the southeast quarter of section 26, in what is now Industry township. The settlement that sprung up around him was known for many years afterwards by the name of Carter's settlement. Here, on this section, the settlers erected, in the year 1827, a block house, or log fort, near the residence of William Carter, on section 26. This was a two-story affair, the upper story projecting about four feet over the lower one on all sides. It was built in this way because it would afford more ample protection against being set on fire by the Indians. Where the upper story projected holes were made, through which an Indian could be gently tapped on the head should he come for incendiary purposes. The building was eighteen by twenty feet, with numerous port holes for the guns of the inmates. Luckily they had no occasion to use the building for the purpose for which it was erected. The soldiers that passed through this country in 1831-2 to the seat of the Black Hawk war made considerable sport of this building, and of the idea of erecting one two hundred miles from the Indian country. But it should be remembered that the Indians were all around them every spring and fall, and like those of the present day, were a treacherous people. Carter, after some years, removed to Missouri.

Stephen Osborne, in 1826, also made a settlement in the neighborhood of Mr. Carter, where he remained but a short time when he went to Knox county, and passed out of the knowledge of those left here.

In the spring of 1826, John Vance, came to this county and locating at what was long known as Job's settlement, put up a cabin, and breaking up the virgin soil, put in a crop. All that summer he toiled to get his farm in shape, and in the fall he returned for his family which he had left behind him, and bringing them with him landed them in his cabin, in what is now Blandinsville township, December 24th, 1826. Mr. Vance removed from here to Iowa, in 1854, and died while in that state in 1866.

William Dykeson made a settlement in the same locality about the year 1826, but resided there but a short time.

Hugh Wilson in 1827, made a settlement on section 9, Hire township. He started from Schuyler county to go to some place on the Mississippi, near the Des Moines rapids, and when they arrived near the present village of Webster, Hancock county, he was met by William Job, William Southward, and Ephraim Perkins, all brothers-in-law, who had settled in that vicinity a short time previous. Through the solicitude of Mr. Job, Mr. Wilson changed his course and went to the northwest part of this county, and settled as above stated. Here he erected a "half-faced camp," being nothing more than a shed with three sides and an open front. Preparing his ground, he planted it, and raised a crop. When his harvest was over he built himself a more substantial house, into which he moved, but only lived therein about two weeks, when a friendly Indian came to his cabin and gave the alarm by stating that a band of hostile Indians was coming that way, and he had better leave. This advice he followed, going to the Des Moines rapids. He afterwards returned to Hancock county, near the McDonough county line, as is detailed in the history of the township, further on.

William Stephens, located on a farm on section 24, in Industry township, in the fall of 1827. It was in his cbin that Rev. John Logan held the first religious services in the county in the spring of 1828.

The next to make a settlement in the county was Benjamin Mathews, a native of Tennessee; but came to this county from Cass county, Illinois. He located in what is now Bethel township during the year 1827, and lived there until his death in 1878.

Frank Redden, a native of Kentucky was the next to settle at the Job's settlement in 1827. He did not stay very long, but moved on further west, and eventually to Iowa.

On the first day of January, 1828, William Pennington, a native of Virginia, settled in New Salem township at what is now known as Pennington's Point, which was named in his honor. He was the first settler in that section of the county. He and his wife have passed away to their reward, but several of their descendants are still residents in the county. Mr. Pennington lived in this county until 1881, when he died.

John Logan made a settlement on first coming to the county in 1828, in Industry township. He lived for a short time in the old fort, but afterwards removed to the house just vacated by Stephen Osborne. The next year he moved to Schuyler county, but in 1830, returned to this county, locating at Rock creek.

John Wilson, a son of Hugh Wilson, set out for himself and came to McDonough county, in 1828, although he had been here with his father's family a year before, and located upon a farm in Industry township. He was married October 30, 1828, to Mattie Vance, which event was the first of the kind in the county. Mr. Wilson is still a resident of the township and county.

Elias McFadden made a settlement in what is now Chalmers township, about one mile south of Macomb, on section 12, in 1827 or 1828. He was accompanied by his son David, and a nephew, Wylie McFadden, afterwards his son-in-law. They lived here until November, 1834, when the two first named were arrested for the crime of murdering their neighbor, John Wilson, tried, convicted and hung in Schuyler county. A full account of the crime and its punishment is given in chapter XIII. It was at the house of Elias McFadden that the first election in McDonough county was held.

William Moore made a settlement in what is now Eldorado township, in 1828, on the place west of the Comber farm. The following year he went crazy, and was taken back to Georgia by his family.

William Osborne is believed to have been the first to make a settlement in what is now knows as Scotland township, he camping out all the summer of 1828, on the banks of the water-course since known as Camp creek, from this circumstance. This Osborne was not what may be truly termed a settler, but rather in the light of a temporary inhabitant.

Elijah Bristow made a settlement in Blandinsville township, on section 21, during the year 1828 or 9. He, in 1845, sold out and removed to Oregon.

About the same time, John Woodside settled on section 16, in the same subdivision of the county, where he lived for ten years, when he, too, left the county, going westward.

Isaac Fowler settled in the Carter settlement, on section 25, in 1828, where he remained several years. His present whereabouts is unknown.

John Baker, in the summer of 1830, came to McDonough county, and erected a cabin on the southwest quarter of section 31, in township 6 north, and 2 west, on the site of the present city of Macomb. He was, or had been a minister of the Regular Baptist church, but was little given to following his calling, being too busy in the every day affairs of life. He was the first clerk, pro tem. of the county, and is noted at length in that connection. He was the first resident of the city of Macomb.

With him came Oliver C. Rice, who helped put up the cabin and who lived in part of it. He was to run a blacksmith shop, and John Baker a tavern, but for some reason Rice, in the following spring, removed west of town and ran a mill. Pascal and Hess Smith assisted in the building of the double cabin.

Lewis Walters made a settlement upon the northeast quarter of section 3, in Hire township, in the spring of 1829, where he resided until the fall of 1830, when he left the county.

David Troxwell, in the spring of 1829, entered land on the northwest quarter of section 21, Chalmers township. He remained but a short time, for in November of that year he left for parts unknown.

James Edmonston, made a settlement in 1829, in the southern portion of the present Chalmers township. He shortly afterwards removed into Bethel township, but after some years residence there migrated back to Chalmers township, locating on section 32. He afterwards removed to Schuyler county, where he died.

William O'Neal, a native of North Carolina, made a settlement on section 24, Chalmers township in 1829, where he remained a few years, when he removed to Iowa.

William Edmonston, settled in McDonough county in 1829, locating upon the southwest quarter of section 26, in Chalmers township. He is quite noted in the official life of the county and is spoken of in that connection. He was a member of the legislature of three different states in his time, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri. He left this county about 1842 or 3.

Most likely the next family to locate in this county, was that of John Bridges. He arrived in what is now Industry township in November, 1829. He at once set to work to open up a farm, and resided here until the day of his death in 1844. He was a North Carolinian by birth, but was for many years a resident of Tennessee. He came here from Morgan county, Illinois.

Daniel Campbell, came to McDonough county in December, 1829, and in the following spring located upon a farm on section 10, in Tennessee township.

He died in Greene county, Illinois, while on a journey through that place. His son, Daniel W., came with his parents, and is still a resident of the county.

A party by the name of Smitherton, squatted upon the northeast quarter of section 19, now within the limits of Colchester township in the fall of 1829 or spring of 1830, and remained there until the summer of 1831, when he left for Morgan county.

John Massingall, settled in Chalmers township, on the southwest quarter of section 33, in 1829 or 30. He paid but little attention to farming, but gained his living by hunting. He died while a resident of the county. A good, kind man, but carried the knife as the ugliest man in the state.

John Bagby, a native of Virginia, located on the same section with John Woodside, probably about the year 1830. He removed to Hancock county afterwards, but feeling dissatisfied there, returned to this county, and again took up his residence. He dropped dead, one day, while engaged in some household duties.

Stewart Pennington with his family settled upon the northwest quarter of section 30, in what is now New Salem township, in 1830. He was a nephew of the famous Kentuckian, Daniel Boone, and was himself born on the "Dark and bloody ground" in 1783. A history in detail is given of him in the history of the township, further on, in this volume.

Michael Stinson came to McDonough county in 1830, and made a settlement southwest of Macomb. He was appointed the first clerk of the commissioner's court pro tem., but held the office but a short time when he left and went westward.

T. J. Pennington, a son of Stewart Pennington, came to Pennington's Point, New Salem township, in 1830. Here he remained a short time, when he removed to Industry township, southeast of the village. He died in the township in 1875.

Richard Pennington, another son, although but a lad of sixteen at the time, came with the family and is worthy of mention in this list of the old settlers of the county. He was born January 24, 1814, in Monroe county, Kentucky. He was married January 30, 1834, to Delilah Shannon. They settled, on their marriage, on section 30, and the old homestead is still the residence of Mr. Pennington.

John Rogers settled in what is now Industry township, in the summer of 1830. He erected a cabin on the prairie but in the fall moved it to the timber, but being caught by the falling snow before it was rebuilt, enclosed it in a tent and managed to exist in it all winter on hominy without salt. In the spring he left, disgusted with the country. He afterwards came back to Hancock county.

Resin Naylor came to McDonough county during the year 1830, and made a temporary settlement near Macomb. In 1835, he removed to Macomb and entered upon his business of harness making. He was, in early days, quite a character, and is familiarly spoken of as "Boss Naylor." He held several official positions and is noted at length in the chapter entitled, national, state and county representation.

Dr. John Hardesty with his wife and children settled upon section 8, of Blandinsville township, during the early spring of 1830. A sketch in detail of this eminent gentleman is given in the chapter devoted to the history of the medical profession of the county. Doctor Hardesty died in the month of August, 1875.

The same spring of 1830, William Duncan came to the above township and made a settlement, but the following winter drove him away. He afterward removed to Iowa where he died.

Enoch Cyrus also settled in the same locality, at the same time. He farmed sometimes and taught school, being the first teacher in the township now known as Blandinsville. After a few years he sold out and went to Missouri and from there to California, when he died. Noble Owsley came with him and settled near him but only remained a year or so, going westward.

David Clarke, made a settlement in the immediate vicinity of Macomb during the year 1830, and shortly after the laying out of the city, moved there, and was a resident until the day of his death, in March, 1884.

Nathaniel Herron, in the spring of 1830, took up land on the northeast quarter of section 3, in Hire township. He improved a farm, and lived on the place until 1855, when, being seized with the spirit of emigration, he went to Nodaway county, Missouri, where he has since been called upon to pay the debt of nature.

Charles Shannon, made his settlement in McDonough county in 1830. He located where the town of Industry is now laid out. He was a native of Greenbriar county, Virginia, but early in life removed to Knox county, Tennessee. In 1819, he removed to Gallatin county, Illinois, where he lived until coming to this county. Mr. Shannon, like many others of the old pioneers, has passed to his reward, dying about the year 1858.

John Huston, arrived in McDonough county on the 14th of March, 1830, and settled upon the northwest quarter of section 3, Blandinsville township. He was very prominent in county matters in an early day; was elected and served as a member of the general assembly of the state, in which connection is given a sketch in full detail. He died July 8, 1854. His son, William M., now a practicing physician in the town of Blandinsville, then but a small child, came with his father and mother.

Charles Hill and David Fees, in the spring of 1830, settled on the northeast quarter of section 12, in what is now Lamoine township, being the pioneers of that sub-division. Mr. Hills is still a resident of the county, having survived the trials and hardships of pioneer life, and although over seventy years of age, is still quite active.

At the same time, or very shortly after, John Hills settled upon section 12 of the same township, where he still resides.

George Dowell, came to this county in 1829 or 30, and built a cabin in what is now Eldorado township. This place was occupied by Abraham Davis.

Anson Mathews, in about 1830, settled at what was afterwards called Foster's point, and sold out to Arthur J. Foster during the year 1831.

Abraham David, with his family, settled in what is now Eldorado township during the summer of 1830. He settled on a farm and resided there until 1863, when he died. He had come into the county in the spring and temporarily stopped in the Carter settlement, but moved here as above.

John D. Barber, made a settlement in August, 1830, on the northwest quarter of section 20 of Colchester township, where he lived two years. He then moved to section 19, where he died in 1874.

Roswell Tyrrell, in the fall of 1830, came over from Fulton county, where he had settled in 1823, and put up a cabin on section 29, in Tennessee township. He then went back to bring his family; but did not return until 1830, in the spring of which year he made a permanent settlement. He died there in April, 1872. A sketch in full detail is given further on in the history of Tennessee township.

In the fall of 1830, Joel Duncan, father of Russell and Charles, came to McDonough county. He made his home temporarily with his son Russell, and commenced the erection of a cabin, but before he had it finished, the great snow of that winter came on, so thirteen people were compelled to live all winter in that little cabin not over eighteen feet square. In the spring Joel removed south of his sons and opened a farm, where he afterwards died.

Robert Seybold, in the fall of 1830, made a settlement in Hire township. A sketch of this pioneer and his family is given in the chapter devoted to that township.

A party by the name of Jesse Bartlett, a native of Tennessee, located on section 34, Walnut Grove township, in the fall of 1830. A sketch of him is given in its proper place in the chapter devoted to the history of that township.

Truman Bowen, in October, 1830, located on section 3, in Chalmers township. He commenced to open up a farm but the year following his settlement he died. He was a Pennsylvanian by birth, but came here from Ohio, where he was reared.

During the fall of 1830, Redmon Grigsby and others of that family came to the infant settlement in Blandinsville and settled. Many of the descendents of the name are still residents in that quarter of the county, influential and prosperous.

James Clarke, one of the first commissioners of McDonough county, and quite a prominent man in the history of this section, made a settlement upon section 12, in Chalmers township, in 1830. He did not remain there long, but the following year moved to Macomb, where he lived until the day of his death in June, 1876. A sketch of Mr. Clarke will be found in chapter XII, under the head of county judge, he being the first to fill that honorable position.

Russell Duncan was also a settler of 1830. He erected a cabin in which he installed his family on section 3, of Blandinsville. It was his intention to place it on section 4, but got it the wrong side of the line. He lived here until the spring of 1840, when he died very suddenly. With him came his brother Charles Duncan, who was a single man. He made his home sometime with his brother, but moved to Hancock county. Later he came back, but afterwards, during the time of the rush to California, he fell in with the tide of emigration, and moved to that Eldorado of the west, where he now resides.

Among the settlers of 1830, was Peter Hale, who erected a cabin in what is now Emmett township, just west of where Macomb now stands, near the site of the old grave yard. He was the first coroner of this county. William Pringle, also, made a settlement a short distance west of him about the same time.

William I. Pace, a Kentuckian, came to this county in the fall of 1830, and after spending the winter with T. J. Pennington, he made a settlement in the spring, on the place now owned by Robert Venard, in Chalmers township, where he remained some five years, removing from thence into the adjoining township of Scotland. He lived there until 1855, when he passed to "that land from whose bourne no traveler ever returns."

Jacob Coffman erected a cabin on section 8, Blandinsville township, in 1830, also, and made some improvements. After a few years he sold out and moved to Missouri, but subsequently returned to this county, where he died.

James H. Dunsworth came from his native state of Tennessee, during the year 1830, and locating upon section 8, in Bethel township; opened up a farm. He remained upon this place until August, 1860, when he was summoned hence by the angel of death.

John Wilson, a native of Washington county, Kentucky, made a settlement in 1830, upon section 12, Chalmers township, where he lived until the fall of 1834, when he was murdered by the McFaddens, as related elsewhere.

Austen Coker, in 1830, settled down with his family upon a farm in what is now Industry township. He came from Jackson county, Tennessee. He died while still a resident of McDonough.

Lewis F. Temple, a settler of 1830, came from Kentucky, and opened a farm on section 3, Chalmers township. In about 1835 he left for Iowa.

John Scroggins male a settlement in Blandinsville township, on section 32, in 1830, but remained but a short time. He made some improvements and built a cabin, but sold out and moved farther west.

On the first day of April, 1831, there arrived at the cabin of John Baker, which then stood on the site of the city of Macomb, the newly appointed clerk of the circuit court, James M. Campbell, he being the fifth settler of that town, the family of Mr. Baker consisting of four persons. Perhaps there is no man in the county, that has been more fully identified with the interests of it, who has been more active in advancing its standing, or who has done more toward developing its resources than Mr. Campbell. He held the several offices of county clerk, clerk of the circuit court, county recorder, postmaster of Macomb, and notary public for many years. A full sketch of this eminent and honored gentleman is given further on, in chapter XII. He is still a resident of Macomb, after a life of fifty-four years spent there, honored and respected by all--still a sturdy survivor of early days.

Thomas Palmer, located in Colchester township, on section 19, in the spring of 1831. He came from Morgan county, and returned to that place after about two years residence.

Moses Henton and Lawson H. Robinson, came to Macomb village in 1831, and opened a general store, a history of which is given in its proper place in the annals of that city.

Jonathan Reno, with his family, settled in what is now Scotland township in the spring of 1831. He, after opening a farm, disposed of it to Charles Hays.

About the same time Roland Lee and his son John, came to this township with their families and made a settlement. With them came Alexander and James, also sons of Roland Lee, who were at the time unmarried, but who soon obtained partners and settled down. Cyrus Walker purchased the land which he owned here, of these Lees.

About the same time, settlements were made in this locality by Josiah Huddleston, Anthony Huddleston, Berry Stockton, Elhannon Lane, Benjamin Rice, Stephen Rice and others.

Huddleston and his family, "squatted" upon section 34 in Scotland township, where he remained until 1834, when he left the country. Berry Stockton settled on section 33, of Industry township, in 1832, and remained until 1836, when he went to Texas.

Nicholas B. Rodgers, settled in the village of Macomb during the year 1831, and died while a resident of the place in after years.

John Anderson came from Columbia, Adair county, Kentucky in 1830, to Lewistown, Fulton county, and in November, 1831, located two miles and a half west of Macomb in Chalmers township, on the northeast quarter of section 3. Here he remained until about September, 1835, he moved into Macomb, and purchased lot 1 in block 24, where the city buildings are now built, and erected a hotel which he operated until 1846, when he was called to his reward. He was a native of Washington county, Pennsylvania, and moved to Kentucky with his father in 1791, and settled near New Castle, Henry county. There he was married to Sarah Loudon. In 1808 or nine, he removed to Columbia, Adair county, and from thence to this state.

When Mr. Anderson came here he purchased a claim of Lewis F. Temple, on which was erected a small cabin about fourteen feet square. In this small building, a family of fourteen were compelled to pass the winter, one of the most severe ever experienced in the state. They were compelled that winter, to grate corn to live on as there were no mills, and the corn was partially frosted and even had they had mills they could not have had it ground.

Samuel Bogart came to Macomb during the early summer of 1831, and opened a small grocery. He afterwards, in 1832, commanded, as major, the odd battalion during the Black Hawk war. At its close, or in 1833, he went to Iowa.

Salem Woods settled on section 30, New Salem township in the fall of 1831, although he had purchased it in 1827. He was a native of Pennsylvania

Hugh McDonough made a settlement in what is now Tennessee township during the fall of 1831, where he resided many years. Although he has since died, several members of his family are still living in McDonough county.

A man by the name of Ladd came to McDonough in the fall of 1831, and took up his residence in a cabin already built on section 17, Colchester township, but left within a year's time.

Evan Martin, a native of Kentucky, came to McDonough county in 1831, and entered over ninety acres of land on section 31, in what is now Hire township. Here he opened and improved a farm, and is still a resident of the township.

Arthur J. Foster located on section 2, in Eldorado township during the year 1831, and made a settlement. On this farm he resided until September 23, 1843, when death came to his home, and took him from his family. He purchased the claim or the land held by Anson Mathews. In 1836, Mr. Foster built the first brick house in the township. To him, also, belongs the credit of planting the maple grove in which the Cumberland Presbyterian church is now built. When he set it out he gave it out as his intention that it was for that purpose, and since his death, his wishes have been fully carried out.

John Duncan made a settlement in Blandinsville township in 1831, and remained a resident until his death, many years after.

William Venard, made a settlement in Bethel township in 1831, on the place now owned and occupied by his son, George.

Joshua Hunt made a settlement in what is now Colchester township, in 1831, on a farm about a mile west of the present site of the town of Colchester. He and his family remained on this place until 1839, when he removed to a house built on section 3. He has since been "gathered to his fathers" but some of the family are still residents of the county.

James Fulkerson, in the winter of 1831-2, emigrated from Tennessee to Illinois, and remained the balance of that season in Jacksonville, Morgan county. In the spring of 1832, he came to McDonough county and located on sections 28 and 29, in Tennessee township where he remained until overtaken by death.

In the spring of 1832, Willis Wayland, Sr., located upon section 34, in Chalmers township. He was a native of Virginia, but came to this county from Kentucky. He died while a resident of this place in 1861.

David Jenkins and his sons, William and James, in the spring of 1832, came to McDonough county from Tennessee, and liking the looks of the land in Lamoine township, made a settlement there. The elder Mr. Jenkins is now living in Kansas, but the sons are both residents of this county yet.

Among the other settlers of 1832, was Daniel Sandidge, who in the spring of that year located in Industry township, opening a farm. He stayed there until 1833, in the fall, when he removed to Eldorado township, and later to Schuyler county, where he died in 1882.

John Hushaw was another early pioneer of the southeastern part of the county, locating in the township now known as Industry, in the month of April, 1832.

Bethel township received another settler in the person of Malachi Monk, in the fall of 1832. He located on the west half of the southwest quarter of section 7, and opened a farm. He made this his residence until April, 1840, when he died. His son, John Monk, came with him and took up the east half of the southwest quarter of the same section as his father, where he has resided many years.

Section 33, Chalmers township, received a settler in 1832, in the person of James McClure. He was a native of Kentucky, but came to this state in an early day and lived in Morgan county. He was quite an oddity in his way. He died a resident of the county.

James Head came to McDonough county and settled in Emmet township, on section 5, in 1832. Here he remained until 1855, when he moved to the city of Macomb, where he lived until overtaken by death in 1863.

In 1832, Joseph Smith made the first settlement in what is now Mound township, on section 18, where he remained until the spring of 1837.

Joseph McCroskey, a native of Kentucky, settled in Scotland township in l832. He died in the city of Macomb.

John A. Chenoweth was a settler in the town of Macomb during the year 1832; he was engaged in trade there for some little time, but left in 1837, quite suddenly.

Richard H. Churchill made a settlement on section 14, in what is now Emmet township, in 1832.

Dr. Charles Hays located on the southeast quarter of section 34, Scotland township, in 1833, purchasing the land of Jonathan Reno.

Section 31, in Lamoine township, received a settler in 1832, in the person of Orvel Sherrel. He afterwards removed to Missouri, where he died. Elijah Poole, his father-in-law, at the same time settled upon section 30, and moved with him to Missouri, and is also numbered with the "great majority."

Abel Friend about the same time located upon section 30, but soon removed to section 20. In 1848, he emigrated to Iowa, where he afterwards died. His father and brother Charles also came with him, the former settling upon section 8, the latter on 28.

Martin Fugate made his first settlement in this county in Bethel township, during the year 1832. He is now in Bushnell, but some of his children are still resident of the locality where the father settled.

James C. Archer was also a settler in this locality the same year.

John P. Kinkade entered a farm on section 5, in Industry township, in 1832, and putting up a cabin, entered upon the labor of opening up a farm. He resided here for many years, but has long since been gathered to his fathers.

During the year 1832, a settlement was made within the limits of what is now Lamoine township, by Christopher Yates. He put up a cabin and broke about six acres of land, but soon left and moved to Hancock county.

William McKamy, with his widowed mother, located in Chalmers township in 1832. He is still a resident of the county; his mother is dead.

Rev. James King, a Tennesseean, made a settlement in Lamoine township in the fall of 1832 or spring of 1833, where he lived for many years. He was a minister of the Methodist Episcopal church, and a most excellent man, and had the respect and esteem of all who knew him.

Charles Dunsworth came to McDonough county in the fall of 1832, and remained all winter with his son James, who had preceded him some two years. In the spring of 1833 he settled on the northeast quarter of section 17, in what is now Bethel township1 where he remained until overtaken by death, in 1842.

This brings the settlement up to January 1, 1833. After that the country began filling up more rapidly, until in 1835, over 400 votes were cast in the county, showing it then had a population of nearly 2,000. The names given above are simply an index of what will be finished in the histories of the respective townships, where will be found the accounts of the settlement of these and many other parties, in full detail, which are not given here, to avoid needless repetition, which space and judgment forbid.


The first child born in the county was James, son of John Vance, who was born May 18, 1828, on section 30, at what was then known as "Job's Settlement," now Blandinsville.

The first marriage in the county occurred on the 30th of October, 1828, when Rev. John Logan joined in wedlock the hands of John Wilson and Martha R., daughter of James Vance, at the residence of the latter, in Industry township.

The first death in the county was most likely an infant son of Isaac Fowler, of Industry township, who died in the summer of the year 1828, on section 25.

The first school in the county was taught by a man by the name of George Dowell, in a log cabin on section 15, in Industry township, during the year 1830.

The pioneer postoffice was that at Macomb, which was established in 1831, with James M. Campbell as postmaster, the date of whose commission was October 1, of that year.

The first sermon ever preached in the county was delivered by Rev. John Logan, a Baptist clergyman, at the cabin of William Stephens, on section 24, in Industry township, in the spring of 1828.

The first professional lawyer in the county was W. W. Chapman, in June, 1832.

The first physician to locate in the county was Doctor Shuff, who settled in Macomb during the early part of 1832.

The first newspaper was the McDonough Independent, first issued September 12, 1851, at Macomb.

The first term of the circuit court was held at the house of John Baker, on the site of the city of Macomb, on October 17, 1830, by Judge Richard M. Young.

Richard Dunn is believed to have been the first white settler in the county, locating in what is now Hire township, in 1825, and building a cabin and cultivating about four acres of corn that year.

The first store opened in the county was in Macomb, by James M. Campbell, in 1831.

The first town laid out in the county was Macomb, in 1831.

The first cooking stove was brought into the county of McDonough by Salem Woods, to Pennington's Point, in 1832.

James M. Campbell brought the second one to the county.

The first Sunday school in the county was organized at the old fort in Industry township, two miles south of the town of Industry, at what is now called "the cross-roads," by Rev. John Logan, a Baptist minister.

Rutherford McClure, of Tennessee township, laid the first tile for drainage purposes, in McDonough county, in 1872. He purchased the tile from Abram Horricks, who established a small factory in Colchester about that time.

Source: The History of McDonough County, together with sketches of the towns, villages and townships, educational, civil, military and political history; portraits of prominent individuals, and biographies of the representative citizens, 1885, pages 83-96. Transcribed by Karl A. Petersen

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