History of Christian County, Illinois
We are pleased to make acknowledgment to those who have so generously assisted us, in various ways, in our efforts to collect reliable data for the compilation of this history. Especially are we indebted to the late Dr. Calvin Goudy for valuable manuscripts of the early settlements, incidents and history of this county, purchased by us from his widow. Mrs. Goudy. In many places, we have used his language: and in others, added much to the original copy. We would also tender thanks for the valuable assistance rendered by Judge H.M. Vandeveer, Alexander Mathew's, Elder A.D. Northcott, Judge Wm. S. Frink, Hon. Andrew Simpson, Hon. John B. Ricks, Hon. W.W. Anderson, Dr. H.C. Chapman, J.E Southwick, Joseph A. Whitecraft, Capt. Jesse Hanon, J.C. Whitecraft, Leason Adams, Wm. F. Gore, Col. J.A. Hayward, J.C. McQuigg; H.N. Schuyler. Daniel De Camp, Noyes B. Chapman, James Ferguson. Robert A. Hazlett, Capt. R.W. Covington, Wm. B. Hall, E.T. Leigh, Alfred Boyd, Judge J.H. Dawdy, Dial Davis, Isaac Q. Virden, John A. Hazlett, F.M. Minnis, R.P. Langley, James M. Campbell, and J.W. Kitchell, We also desire to return thanks to Charles Whitmer. County Clerk: Josiah A. Hill. Circuit Clerk: and to R.W. Orr, County Superintendent of Schools, for his able article on the common schools. From the press we have received that aid which members of the profession so cheerfully render to one another. To the clergymen of the various denominations, whose articles appear in this work, we express our thanks for information given relative to the history of their churches.
Owing to the imperfect records at the county-seat, we are unable to give a complete list of the township officers, but we have done the best possible under existing circumstances.
We have confined ourselves, as nearly as possible. to the original materials furnished. The public are aware of the difficulty attending the compilation of a work of this character, — a difficulty arising not so much from a lack of material, as from the great quantity of it, — and the care necessary in making a proper selection. The material has been classified as carefully as possible, and will, we are assured, be a great help to the public, as a book of reference, concerning the past of the county, — its geography. its resources, its topography, and all subjects connected with it. We expect criticism. All we ask is, that it be made in the spirit of charity. If our patrons will take into account all the difficulties to be overcome, the impossibility of harmonizing various memories. of reconciling diverse dates, and accurately localizing events that are attributed to different districts, we feel assured the verdict will be a favorable one.
Table of Contents.
I. — Brief Sketch of the North-West Territory... 9
II. — Brief Historical Sketch of Illinois... 20
III. — Pioneers and Early Settlers... 30
IV. — Customs of Early Days... 41
V. — Geography, Agricultural and Manufacturing Resources and Railroad Facilities... 45
VI. — Geology... 47
VII. — Fauna... 50
VllI. - Flora... 51
IX. — Civil History... 52
X. — Bench and Bar... 66
XI. — The Press... 70
XII. — The Common Schools... 75
XIIII. — Patriotism... 80
XIV. — Ecclesiastical History... 92
Disastrous Storm of 1800... 111
Partial List of Patrons... 260
Bear Creek... 224
Mt. Auburn... 234
South Fork... 159
Constitution of Illinois... 268
Declaration of Independence... 275
Constitution of the United States... 276
Amendments to the Constitution of the United States... 278
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Few studies are more interesting and profitable to mankind than that of the past experiences, deeds, thoughts and trials of the human race.
The civilized man and the untutored savage alike desire to know the deeds and lives of their ancestors, and strive to perpetuate their story. National patriotism and literary pride have prompted many, in all times, to write and preserve the annals of particular peoples, but narrow prejudice and selfish interests too often have availed to suppress the truth or to distort facts.
It is the aim of this work to collect and preserve in enduring and popular form some of the facts of the early settlement and subsequent growth of a great county of a grand State. The families whose ancestors were early on the ground, and whose members have made the county what it is, are worthy of remembrance; and their difficulties and sorrows, customs, labors and patriotism, should not be allowed to fall into oblivion. By a knowledge of these the present generation will be instructed, and the future will be guided.
All history, if properly written, is interesting; and there is not a country, or a city, or a hamlet, — nay, we might say, not a family or an individual on the globe, — whose history might not be more or less valuable to posterity.
From the ancient days, away back in the dim and shadowy past, when the human race first arrived at a state of intelligence sufficient to enable them to transmit a traditionary or written account of themselves, all along down the teeming ages, our proenitors have left in various ways, and by different means, information, more or less mythical,of the age and generation in which they played their ephemeral part on the world's ever-changing theatre of action. It is graven in bronze on the wonderful works of the central nations of Africa, around those "dim fountains of the Nile;" the gray old pyramids in the valley of "twenty thousand cities" are covered with the hieroglyphical language of the "shadowy past." The vast and mighty "palaces and piles stupendous," hoary with the dust of unknown centuries, that bewilder the traveler 'mid Egypt's drifting sands, upon the plains of the Euphrates, and hidden away in the tiger-hunted jungles of the "farthest Ind;" the gigantic ruins of Southern and Central America, under the snow-capped Cordilleras and among the wondrous forests of Yucatan; the seamed and wrinkled pyramids of the Aztecs, in Mexico and California, and the ten thousand crumbling evidences of a powerful civilization scattered throughout the great valley of the Mississippi, ail bear testimony of countless attempts to transmit knowledge to posterity.
The written history of the American Continent dates back scarcely four centuries, yet within that comparatively short period its pages have garnered from her hills and mountains, from her grand rivers and mighty inland sets, valuable additions to the world's stock of knowledge.