THE PRINCEVILLE CATHOLIC CHURCH,
"ST. MARY OF THE WOODS."
By Rev. M. J. McKeon, 1915.
Catholicity came to Princeville with the advent of the early Irish and German settlers. At that time there was no Catholic Church nearer than Kickapoo or Peoria. Realizing the difficulty of being compelled to go so far to be present at Mass on Sundays and Holy days of obligation, the parishioners concluded to provide a church for themselves, and in the year 1866 purchased the old Presbyterian Church which they removed to the site of the present handsome edifice. In the following year, 1867, on September the seventh, the Rev. James Murphy was appointed first Rector of the Princeville parish.
He was succeeded in 1868 by Rev. Max Albrecht, who remained until 1876. In 1869 owing to the increase in membership, it was found necessary to enlarge the old frame building; and it was during the pastorate of Father Albrecht that the Cemetery was purchased in 1875, and laid out in lots. In the following year, 1876, the old Parsonage was erected. Father Charles Wensierski succeeded Father Albrecht and in 1878 he in turn was succeeded by Very Rev. J. Canon Moynihan, who after a successful pastorate of three years was succeeded by Rev. F. Schreiber in 1881. Father Schreiber watched over the welfare of the parish until the arrival of Father P. A. McGair. in the spring of 1884.
During the pastorate of Father McGair, the parish again having outgrown the limits of the old frame church, the building of a new church was agitated. In 1889 both pastor and people, working together in harmony and with much zeal, soon obtained sufficient funds to enable them to lay the foundation, and in the summer of 1890 the new church was completed and dedicated. The stained glass windows were donated
by: Mr. and Mrs. John Kneipp, Mr. and Mrs. Michael Noonen, Mr. and Mrs. Charles German, Mr. and Mrs. Val. Weber, Mr. and Mrs. John McCarty, Mr. and Mrs. Redmond McDonna, Mr. and Mrs. Peter O'Conner, Rev. P. A. McGair, Altar Society, Mr. and Mrs. Mathew McDonnell, Mr. and Mrs. James Harmon. Mrs. Burns in memory of Samuel Burns, Mr. and Mrs. Basilius German, Mr. and Mrs. James McDermott, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph German, Edmund Purcell and family. As the cut in this issue shows, ''St. Mary of the Woods'' a beautiful and substantial brick building of the Gothic style of architecture, a monument to the zeal, faith and generosity of its members and an ornament to the village of Princeville.
In July, 1881, Father McGair was succeeded by Rev. A. Hausser, who remained pastor of the parish until 1901. During the term of this pastorate almost all the debt on the church was paid and the bell erected in the tower.
The Rev. C. P. O'Neill succeeded Father Hausser in 1901, and during his administration the present rectory was built in 1902. The interior of the Church as further improved and ornamented by the addition of new seats, stations of the cross and the main altar. The main altar was erected principally through the generosity of Basilius German and John McCarty. The statue of St. Patrick was donated by Mrs. Michael McDonna; the statue of St. Boniface by "A Friend"; the Last Supper by Philip Henseler; and that of the Sacred Heart by the Duffy family.
In 1910 the new Chapel was added on and dedicated. The altar is the gift of Adam Rotterman, and the stained glass windows were donated in memory of Rose Helen McCarty, James Aylward, Ella McDermott Hammer, Elizabeth Aylward and John Morrissey. With the addition of a new slate roof in 1914 the church stands as it is today.
The Rev. C. P. O'Neill was succeeded in November, 1913, by the present pastor, Rev. M. J. McKeon.
Attached to the Princeville parish are the out-missions of Dunlap and Edelstein. The mission at Dunlap was organized in 1879 by Very Rev. Canon Moynihan is St. Roses's, and the name later changed to St. Clement's. In 1910 the Church was struck by lightning and totally destroyed. But in 1911, owing to the zeal and generosity of its members the present commodious brick edifice of English Gothic style was erected, and dedicated by the Right Rev. E. M. Dunne, Bishop of Peoria. The stained glass windows were donated by: Rev. F. J. O'Reilly, Rev. John P. Quinn, Rev. C. P. O'Neill, John Shehan, the children in memory of Archbishop Spalding; the Patrick Byrnes children in memory of their parents; Mrs. Thomas Murphy, in memory of her husband; Wm. Powers and Mrs. Johnston in memory of their parents; Jos. Nelson in memory of Dennis Nelson; Wm. Nelson in memory of ,Julia H. Nelson; Wm. Cashin in memory of Wm. Lawless. The stations of the cross were donated in memory of: John Brennan, Mrs. Julia Riley, Hugh Gallagher, Joseph Christian, Thomas Madden, Bridget Madden, Rev. John Doran, Very Rev. Canon Moynihan, Thomas Murphy, Peter Fisher, Margaretta Fischer, Gift of Mrs. P. McGonigle, Gift of Dr. J. P. Luthringer, Gift of Dr. A. J. Kanne.
St. Matthew's Church at Edelstein, built in 1901, owes its existence to the generosity of the late Matthew McDonnell who bequeathed part of the amount expended in erecting it. Both missions are attended from Princeville every alternate Sunday, and are in a very satisfactory and flourishing condition.
When life is like a story, holding neither sob nor sign;
In the golden olden glory of the days gone by."
-- James Whitcomb Riley
PRINCEVILLE 'S PUBLIC SQUARE.
By George I. McGinnis, 1915.
The public square, now covered with growing trees, improved with cement walks, a concrete band-stand, electric lights and a drinking fountain, and familiarly called the Park, was given to the Village by its founder, Wm. C. Stevens, at the time of the platting in 1837. In 1874 an attempt was made by the officials to mar the square by locating on it the village hall and a calaboose. Injunction proceedings were started by Peter Auten, in company with Mr. Stevens and other citizens to block the intended purpose, and, on the testimony of the donor that he had given the square "to be an open space, park or square forever, for beauty, for view, for ventilation and for health," a perpetual injunction was granted.
Mr. Justice Scott delivered the opinion of the court, in part as follows: Village of Princeville vs. Auten et al., Vol. 77, Ill. Reports, p. 326: "This bill was to enjoin the village board of trustees from moving the town hall from its present site and placing it on what is called the 'square,' or 'public square.' The original town of Princeville was laid out in 1837. No division was made the center block. It does not appear to have been divided into lots as other blocks were. * * * * It is proven the proprietors of the town recognized the blank square as public grounds. * * * * Neither the plat nor any of the certificates accompanying it expresses any limitation or condition as to the future use the block designated as a public square, nor indicates in what manner the public may enjoy it. One of the proprietors, in his testimony taken at the hearing, says the land comprised in the block originally belonged to him; that it was the intention it should remain forever an open square, as a 'beauty, convenience, and charm to a country village,' and it was with that view lots fronting on it were sold for an enhanced price. * * * * Considering the evidence offered on this subject, it clear-
ly appears it was the intention of the proprietors the town, in making the dedication of this block ground, it should forever remain an 'open square' for the convenience and common benefit of the inhabitants of the village. Acquiesence on the part of the corporate authorities for so great a period, as shown by the testimony, strengthens this conclusion. The decree does not forbid the village trustees as suggested by counsel from enclosing the square, from making walks and planting it with ornamental trees, or doing anything else to make it a pleasure ground for the use of the inhabitants of the village, whenever they may think proper to do so. The decree of the circuit court must be affirmed. Decree affirmed. "
During the Civil War a secret organization known as the "Union League" of Princeville, with outer guard and pass words, and with a membership of 50 or more would assemble on the "square" and drill in military tactics, with John Seery as Captain and drill-mast The purpose of the "Union League" was to demonstrate loyalty to the Union cause, and promote a feeling in favor of a vigorous prosecution of the war. The writer remembers one time when the usual crowd of onlookers had assembled, two women made remarks: One of them saying that the League men were "a home spun looking lot of alligators" and the other subjoining that they were "only the ragamuffins of the country." These remarks gave rise to a colloquy of hot words between the two critics and other women who admired the patriotism of the league. However, nothing but a war with tongues resulted.
In 1866, the Lucifer Baseball Club was organized with the following members: L. G. Parker, Captain, H. E. Burgess, A. S. Wilson, L. B. Day, H. E. Charles, Ed Edwards, Lem Andrews, L. A. Blanchard, Marie Klinck. The first league game was played by the Lucifers vs. the "Mollie Stark Club" of Toulon, with the late Judge Wright as captain, the result being in favor of the Lucifers. In the second game at Toulon Moll Stark won, by a score almost scandalizing to the Luci-
ers. The third test was made on the Princeville diamond, where the Lucifers, strange to say, again scored triumph, deciding the series in their favor.
The square, besides being a place for ball games, fights and occasional run-a-ways, was the regular place for pitching circus tents, and many an Uncle Tom's Cabin Show has been given there, some good and some poor. The anvils and cannon were often shot off there before daylight on Independence Day; and on July 4, 1885, occurred in the premature discharge of cannon which resulted in the death seven days later, of J. F. Kronick.
One "liberty pole" after another was erected, as they wore out from time to time, on which the stars and stripes were floated on all patriotic occasions. The liberty pole was used, also, at times to demonstrate the indignation of citizens when they considered the community was being outraged in some manner by hanging the offenders in effigy. For instance the marriage, separation, divorce and remarriage of a certain aged couple gave cause for considerable comment as well as serenading with the music of tin pan, tin horn, and cow bell orchestra of many pieces. When the music failed to bring forth a treat, the musicians proceeded to display their feelings by swinging the couple on the flag pole in effigy. This occurred during the early eighties and in 1884 another occasion of hanging rose.
The Hon. N. E. Worthington, member of Congress, incurred the enmity of a number of his constituents by recommending the appointment of Jos. S. Barnum as postmaster of Princeville. Many petitions of remonstrance were laid before Mr. Worthington, insisting that he reconsider the matter, but to no purpose. Mr. Barnum owned and controlled the Princeville Telephone at that time and as his paper had supported Mr. Worthington's candidacy during the preceding campaign, the Congressman absolutely refused to listen to the protests of those who opposed Barnum. Chief among the opposition were Charles Fast, John
Bowman, Morg Rowe, Cornelius Dukes, John Little, Tom Garrison and others, with Frank Hitchcock ''chairman of the entire delegation." Once when both Chas. Fast and Nate McCready had returned from Peoria, where they both thought they had learned Worthington's intentions, "Charlie" boasted to "Nate" that a change would be made. Nate, having received his information first hand, quietly asked him how much money he would like to wager. Fast said, "Fifty dollars at any rate," whereupon McCready offered to cover the bet and as much more as he could lay down. Fast asked to be excused for a few moments, and after skirmishing for the money in smaller amounts among the members of the delegation, he returned with the total, with the result that Nat swept in the stakes. This aroused the ire of Fast's friends to such a degree that another hanging in effigy took place, and the image hung to the flag pole was labeled "Hon. N. E. Worthington" with a large sheet of paper projecting from the coat pocket, marked "Barnum's Commission."
On one occasion at the front of the post office kept by William C. Stevens in a frame building opposite the northern boundary of the square, Mr. James Miller, now of Des Moines, Iowa, who resided here at the time, drove up in front of the office with a farm wagon which was provided with part of a broken fence board for a seat. Mr. Stevens on noticing the board remarked that it looked very much like it had just come off of somebody's fence. Miller simply made a rejoinder by asking what if it had. Mr. Stevens having been previously provoked by having his fences torn down, informed Miller that he believed him to be one of the characters guilty of the destruction. Miller became somewhat angered and pushed Stevens to one side. At this Stevens remarked that if he must fight a bullock he would prepare to defend himself, and straightway walked into his office and returned with a claw hammer. Miller suggested there was no use quarreling about a small piece of board and Stevens, being
quick to relent as he was to become hasty, offered an apology and invited Miller in to partake of some fine eating apples.
From the founding of the Village to 1881, two wagon roads ran diagonally across the square, intersecting with Canton Street on the south, and Main Street at the north. These roads were abandoned in 1881, when the block was planted to trees and a board fence enclosed it for a few years until the trees were grown. Then the fence, with stiles at the corners, was removed, and the lawn mower applied for the first time.
The present concrete band stand and cement walks were built in 1909, through the generosity of the Princeville Business Men's Association, aided by the Santa Fe Railroad's donating all gravel, and by a "dollar donation" on the part of something over 300 citizens.
Beautified as it is, with the trend of modern amusements and refreshments "up town" and with the advent of automobiles, which do not need a grove for tying in, the square, now called the Park, has become the logical place for picnics and celebrations, instead of the groves farther removed from town. Memorial Day programs, Band Concerts and Sunday Evening Church in summer complete the usefulness and "pleasureableness" for which the square was originally donated by Mr. Stevens.
"When thou art feeble, old and gray,
My healhty arm shall be thy stay
And I will soothe thy pains away,
PRINCEVILLE WHEN FIRST INCORPORATED.
By Geo. I. McGinnis, 1915.
"I'm Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines,
I feed my horse good corn and beans;
I sport young ladies in their teens,
To cut a swell in the army."
From Captain Jinks.
I. I'm President H________ of great Princeville
A medical man of wonderful skill;
I'm often called to treat folks that are ill,
Though I never did serve in the army.
II. I'm running this town on a temperance plan
On a temperance plan, on a temperance plan.
I'm running this town on a temperance plan
Got Hitchcock into the army.
III. (About erecting of the Pound, last from memory.)
IV. Everything went on first rate,
Till one night the Pound met with a very sad fate,
And Joe with his pistol was a little too late
To keep the hogs in the army.
V. And now we are in another great splutter,
Our calaboose tumbled into the gutter,
It puts my heart in a very great flutter
To keep the bums in the army.
Parody by R. R. Taylor
When Princeville Village was incorporated first as the "Town of Princeville" under a special charter April 15, 1869, the citizens had to became used to restraints on a number of their former liberties. One, of course, was the control of the liquor traffic which caused a considerable division of sentiment. The temperance people arrayed themselves as an anti-license party and thereby received a storm of criticism and ridicule. The agitation was continued vigorously by the two opposing elements. The writer remembers well while the anti license people were conducting a series of
temperance meetings in the Hitchcock Hall, many members of the opposing faction were present also, to insist that they should be allowed to present and defend their views as to the best way of governing by license the sale of intoxicants.
The main spokesman of this side was Ed Bobier, who was quite persistent in being heard. On one occasion the late Peter Auten was chosen to preside, and informed Mr. Bobier that the meeting was not called as a debating society; and that if he, Bobier, insisted further there would likely be forcible means resorted to in order to compel him to desist. At this point, Mr. Bobier moved that every license man present take his hat and leave the hall. The motion was seconded by the late Thomas Alwood who gave his words quite a little of the English accent, "Ah sicond that motion," and gathering up his tin lantern, lit the tallow dip within and started in pursuit of Bobier, followed by quite a number of others of the same sentiment.
The meeting then proceeded and Benjamin Piper of Peoria was introduced as speaker of the evening. Mr. Piper proved quite entertaining and stated in the opening of his address that he was himself a reformed drunkard and hoped by the help of God to remain so. After eulogizing the efforts of the temperance workers he proved quite humorous by comparing those whom he termed "weak in the knees'' while claiming to be in sympathy with the temperance cause, to the visitor in the fable of The Woodchuck and The Skunk. Mr. Skunk called without being invited at the den of another woodchuck where she was rearing a family of young ones, and rendered himself quite familiar on entering by saying, "Good Morning, Sister Woodchuck. What a beautiful family of little ones you have here.'' He also introduced himself to the little ones as Uncle Woodchuck, and speaking again to the mother said, 'How much better we woodchucks are than other animals.'' All this was received with unresponsive toleration on the part of the mother woodchuck who finally laid, 'Look here, my friend, you are making yourself
quite familiar on short acquaintance. I don't believe you are a woodchuck. You don't look like a wood chuck, and you don't act like a woodchuck, you don talk like a woodchuck and by the eternal you don't smell like a woodchuck."
About the same time as this meeting, blacksmith Jos. Mock was appointed to fill the new municipal office of poundmaster, and a strong enclosure was erected where Mr. Mock resided at that time, on the premises now occupied by the home of Dr. C. H. Wilcox. This served to increase the fury of the storm of indignation, as people were so accustomed to allowing their livestock to run at large. Having formerly gotten the benefit of pasture on wide open range, they felt they were being deprived of a lawful privilege. Rail fence enclosures were quite numerous throughout the Village where milk cows and other stock would be corralled during the night, but liberated the following morning to promenade the streets before going off to the range and perhaps returning in the evening. The writer and a companion Stiles Mitchell at one time were each given ten cents to drive hogs, cattle and sheep from the public square while a game of baseball was being played.
Finally a number of head of livestock were gathered in by the authorities and placed in the pound, and in charge of poundmaster Mock. Some of the citizens noticed the same evenings that their hogs did not return home as usual for their rations of swill. This aroused suspicion that matters were being dealt with by the newly elected board of trustees,, and accordingly a good sized delegation was organized to execute other conclusions.
A line of march to the enclosure verified the suspicion, and the men in line gathering a good supply of axes and crowbars along with various other instruments of destruction, proceeded to reduce the enclosure to a mass of kindling wood, and liberate their animals. The poundmaster was aroused from his slumbers by the different sounds which emanated, and making haste to
the scene of desolation, opened fire with a single barreled pistol. This failed to terrify the intruders and Mr. Mock was left alone to view the wreckage, and without any livestock as evidence of violation of ordinance.
Another expression of the municipal restraint was the village calaboose first erected on the edge of the water course running through the middle of Block 18 (near blacksmith shop of Robert Taylor, Jr., 1915). The open ditch soon caused the structure to fall into a dilapidated condition and the building was moved alongside the old Christian Church, (on Block 14, east of the present school house), which had been purchased for a town hall. This calaboose, by the way, was battered open on one occasion by two young men confined for drunkenness, who, inspired with the patriotic thought of Patrick Henry "Give me liberty or give me death," took the cannon stove to pieces and used the parts for the battering. The old church used as town hall and the calaboose in close proximity remained there for several years, and then, after failure of the attempt to place them on the public square, were removed to the present village lot, site of the water works plant.
Chafing at all of these restrictions to their former habits, and a short time after the meeting above referred to where the woodchuck and skunk comparison was made, the license men called an indignation meeting where singing and speaking were the order of the evening. Among other numbers on the program, Rudolphus R. Taylor, the tinner, appeared wearing a derby hat and large gray shawl, the same style as occasionally worn by Dr. Henry, and introduced himself by singing his parody on the then-worn-threadbare song of "Captain Jinks." One verse of the Captain Jinks song and four out of the five verses of the parody which the writer can recollect, are printed at head of this article. "President H_________" was of course Dr. R. F. Henry who had been chosen from their number by the village trustees as president. (It was a few years later that the Village President was elected by direct vote of the peo-
ple, O. F. Herrick being the first elective Village President). Hitchcock, mentioned in the second stanza, was George W. Hitchcock who had formerly conducted a saloon in the basement of his large brick building, but had temporarily professed temperance convictions and closed his saloon business. Stanzas three, four and five referred to the pound escape and to the calaboose escape above related.
THE AUTEN FAMILY.
By Edward Auten and Peter Auten 2nd, written 1902; revised in 1915.
Peter Auten was born of Holland Dutch descent at Chili, near Rochester, N. Y., Oct. 1, 1811; attended select schools in Rochester and Geneva. and began life as a clerk in a general store at Penfield. N. Y. He also taught school. On Oct. 13, 1836, he was married to Lydia Chapman of Westport, Conn., who was then teaching school at Chili. Sent by the "American Board" of the Congregational Church as missionary teachers to the Choctaw Indians, they started soon after they were married, by sailing vessel from New York City to Cuba, and thence to New Orleans, and then up the Mississippi River by boat to the mouth of the Arkansas. From Arkansas City they traveled as far as they could by coach and after that on horseback to the Choctaw Indian Mission. The trip overland was made with great difficulty and danger. They were often stuck in the mud and had to leave their baggage and send back for it. The settlers implored them not to go farther, fearing the dangers of the wilderness and of the Indians, and it was only at fabulous prices that horses and men could be obtained for the journey.
Finally reaching the Choctaw Mission, Mr. Auten taught among the Indians for two years. There were three divisions of the Choctaw nation, one of which had never consented to allow Government schools in
its territory. Mr. Auten was employed by the United States Government to negotiate a treaty with the chief this division, looking to the establishment of schools. this others had failed, but Mr. Auten was successful partly, perhaps wholly, on account of the high personal regard in which he was held by the chief. The chief was very grateful for medical aid given his wife. He took up with the idea of the schools, honored Mr. Auten at the Indian "Pole Pullings" and other public occasions, often protected him, and the Indians made a pet of baby Lemuel. They would borrow the baby, take him away and bring him back dressed in Indian baby clothes, and decorated with beads. The government sent Mr. Auten $500 in special appreciation of his services.
Unable to endure the climate after a serious illness, Mr. Auten left, with his wife, and came to Radnor Township, Peoria County, in 1838 or early in 1839. He moved to Princeville, teaching school the winter of 1840-41. He lived in a log cabin just southwest of the corner of the original village plat (West of the Misses Edwards' present residence, the cabin later moved directly East of the Misses Edwards') ; the school house was the old log one so famous in early Princeville history. Moving back to Radnor Township he farmed there until 1849, when he again took up his residence in Princeville, to continue until his death Feb. 7, 1904. He bought the Samuel Alexander house, one of the oldest frame dwellings in the village (northeast corner of Block 13, facing west side of the public square), which he occupied until 1887, then moving across the street, cornering, to his last residence on the southwest corner of Block 8, fronting the north side of the square.
In Radnor he was school treasurer 1842-50, he haying made the first set of treasurer's books. In Princeville Township he was Commissioner of Highways 1851-3, Moderator Town meetings 1852, '53 and '56, Justice of the Peace 1854-58, Overseer of Road District 1857-58 and 1859-61, Town Clerk 1859-63. He was of a committee of five appointed at town meeting 1867 to circulate
a petition to raise money to refund to soldiers their taxes paid toward the bounty fund.
For a number of years after moving to Princeville Mr. Auten was actively engaged in farming n land one or two miles out from town. He always did a great deal of writing for other people, especially during and after war times.
In 1872, at an age when many men consider themselves old, he started in the banking business to remain in it actively for twenty-five years, and still able walk to and from the bank after a period of thirty years had elapsed. His first partner, George W. Alter, was fast failing in health before the close of the year 1872, and the firm name of Auten & Alter was changed to be Auten & Auten. Mr. Auten's son Edward was the new partner, in place of Mr. Alter, and the partnership and firm name remained the same until the senior partner's death in 1904. The business has grown, and a branch bank was established at Monica in 1893, the firm now (1915) consisting of three of Mr. Peter Auten's grandsons.
Beginning with his first school in New York state, continuing through his years with the Indians, and all through his later life, Mr. Auten was of a decided missionary and philanthropic character. When teaching his first school he got nearly the entire district to sign the temperance pledge, something difficult in those days, and was instrumental in having seventy of his pupils and young people join the church. It was as a missionary teacher that he went to the Indians, and until his eightieth year he enjoyed singing hymns in the Choctaw langauge. He had always been active in temperance and in church and Sunday School work, both in the village and going out into the country. Mrs. Auten was always his equal helper, and they both assisted their neighbors in spiritual, intellectual and material ways. Mrs. Auten at times taught school in her own home, and she is remembered by many even yet for her kind deeds. Her life span extended from March 4, 1807, to April 11, 1891.
Mr. Auten was in many ways the mainstay of his family, that is of all his uncles and cousins who came west, and his mother and sister. He was liberal to them, as also he was to his own children and grandchildren. He not only favored the right and the just, but stood positively for right and justice at all times. He was a part of the building up of Princeville and many strong men of the community often spoke of him as one to whom they owed their success; he was a helper and adviser of many people. He died Feb. 7, 1904, at the age of 92 years.
Of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Auten's seven children only three grew to maturity, Lemuel, Edward and Andrew. Hanford, born Dec. 2, 1842, crippled by an accident, died Sept. 30, 1845. Emily Ann, born Nov. 12, 1844, lived to about the same age. Two later children, a boy and a girl, died in infancy without being named. These four all rest in a cemetery used by all the neighbors, but still remaining in Mr. Auten's private ownership at the time of his death, near the southwest corner of the southeast quarter of Section 19, Radnor Township.
Andrew, born March 9, 1841, attended the public schools and Princeville Academy, and also the State Agricultural College of Pennsylvania, Center County, Penn. When southern invasion was threatened at the breaking out of the war, he was a member of the Home Guards of Pennsylvania. Returning to Princeville he engaged in the nursery business, furnishing many of the evergreens and other fine shade trees that now adorn the village and surrounding country. He was married in 1863 to Alice Smith; died of typhoid fever, Oct. 4, 1864, leaving a daughter about one month old, Tula Rose. She is now Mrs. Russell E. Chaplin, and resides at Pomona, California.
Lemuel, born on the border line between Texas and Indian Territory, near Fort Towson, Dec. 5, 1837, was educated in the public schools, private schools at Elmwood, Henry and Farmington, Illinois, and at Union College, Schenectady, N. Y. He was married April 8, 1863 to Esther R. Cutter, a native of New Hampshire,
and to them seven children were born: Edith Corney, Maria Fry, Julia Campbell, Anna and Esther of Princeville, Andrew of Oberlin, Ohio, and Laura Tambling of Zion City, Ill. Mr. Lemuel Auten for years helped to support the second Princeville Academy, and invested still more money in the education of his children in college. He lived on a farm in Akron Township until 1893, then in Monica where he had charge of Auten & Auten 's branch bank for some years, and is now retired in Princeville. He held the office of Justice of the Peace in Akron Township for one term, and frequently declined that and other offices. He held office of ruling elder in Princeville Presbyterian Church for more than 20 years, beginning in 1870; and has held other offices in that church, as well as in the Methodist Church which he joined soon after moving to Monica in 1893. His wife has been active with him in Church and temperance work and has also been an active member and state officer of the W. C. T. U.
Edward was born May 27, 1839, in Radnor Township on Section 30; the cabin was close to the spring near the Northwest corner of that section. He attended public schools, the Pendleton Seminary at Henry, Ill., the Academy at Farmington, Ill., the old Princeville Academy, Union College at Schenectady, N. Y., where he received degrees of A. B. in 1862 and A. M. in 1865; also Harvard Law School at Cambridge, Mass., where he received the degree of LL. B. in 1865.
He was admitted to the bar in Massachusetts in 1865, and continued study at Harvard Law School two years longer; was librarian of the Law School during his last three years there.
Returning to Princeville, he began the practice of law, and was married in Akron Township. May 6, 1 869, to Maria Louisa Cutter. Miss Cutter was a sister of his brother Lemuel's wife, both of the ladies having come West as "Yankee School Ma'ams," and being nieces of Dr. Cutter and of Mrs. Hannah Breese. Mr. and Mrs. Edward Auten 's children have been nine in number. Benjamin C., of Carthage, Mo.; Lydia C., wife of J. E.
rmstrong, Claremont, Ill.; Nellie M., Peter, Sarah R., Edward Jr. and Charles H., all of Princeville, Hanford Louis of Kennett, Mo., and Lemuel, twin of Charles H., who died in infancy.
Entering the banking partnership with his father in 1872, Mr. Auten gave up the regular practice of law, but has always continued to be an adviser and a holder of many trusts. He also engaged in cattle raising quite extensively at one time. He was the first Village Clerk, and has been at different times Trustee and President of the Village of Princeville. The township office of school treasurer he held continuously from 1880 until signing in 1915 in favor of one of his sons.
Mr. and Mrs. Auten have long been members of the Presbyterian Church, Mr. Auten holding the office of Secretary and Treasurer at one time for several years. They have been active in temperance. missionary and educational work. The second Princeville Academy was maintained largely by their efforts, jointly with the help of his father and brother, for as many years as the people seemed to appreciate it and desire its continuance.
Mr. and Mrs. Auten have sought for their children the best to be had in education. Mr. Auten has been a "war-horse'' especially in the temperance fight in Princeville; he helped materially in the wind-up of the licensed saloon (and of the un-licensed) by first leasing and later purchasing the Frank Hitchcock or Henebery property, and also the "Cappie Washburn" Hotel property, thus making it possible for the former saloon keepers to retire gracefully from business. Mr. Auten has also helped to build and improve the town in many other ways, one of his recent activities being the erecting of the building now used as Post Office. In general, Mr. Auten and his wife have tried to do their share in making Princeville a wholesome and progressive town to live in
THE BAILEY FAMILY OF ESSEX TOWNSHIP
By Ellen G. Bailey, 1915.
Louis Bailey was born in 1786 in Jefferson County, New Hampshire. His father Alexander C. Bailey was a blacksmith and Louis assisted his father. The father was a soldier of the Revolution, and was present only a few feet away when Gen. Burgoyne handed sword in surrender to Gen. Gates.
Louis was drafted in the war of 1812 at the age twenty-six. He had five hours in which to get ready to serve his country, a part of which time he put in mending his shoes. At one time, when on a three days forced march, pursued closely by the English soldiers, while crossing a swamp, he saw his captain fall with fatigue. He broke a branch from a tree to over hang the path and mark where the captain fell, then marched into camp. Laying his drum upon a stump, as he was drummer boy, he returned to help the captain into camp.
The captain said, "Let me lie and die," and as the captain was a strong and heavy man and Louis Bailey was a small man, the drummer boy was not able to carry him. He begged of his captain to come and go with him, but to no avail. Finally he gave his captain a few little kicks and called him a "lazy lubber." Th captain plucked up courage and by Bailey's assistance reached the camp. Bailey worked all night bringing in twenty-five stragglers that had dropped by the wayside; then ate only a slice of hard corn bread for his breakfast, picked up his drum, and started on his march with the rest of the soldiers. He came in contact with many hardships at that time.
After the war there were glowing accounts of Illinois' great prairies. So Mr. Bailey started for his future home on foot. He was robbed on the way,even his hat, coat, shoes, and money were taken. But this did not daunt him; he started on his journey bare-
footed and bare headed. An inn-keeper gave him a hat and coat and shoes, which he afterwards paid for. He came to LaSalle County, Illinois and took up a claim. Afterwards he returned as far as Ohio and married Miss Betsy Butler, a girl who had laughed at his predicament on the way out when he was coat-less, hat-less, shoe-less and money-less after being robbed. With his bride he returned to his claim in LaSalle County. He was the first settler in Vermilion Township in that county, two miles from Tonica. Here he was engaged in saw-milling and his sons Augustus and Timothy were born,Augustus being the first white male child born LaSalle County.
In 1832 the Black Hawk War broke out. Mr. Bailey it his family aboard a boat and sent them down to Fort Clark (which is Peoria today), and he stayed at his claim alone. He could hear the shooting of Black Hawk's braves and knew well some of the people that were killed on the west side of the Illinois River. Mr. Bailey was personally acquainted with Black Hawk and Shabbonathe latter being an Indian character well known to the Peoria settlers. And later on, after Mr. Bailey had moved to Stark County, he had a number of visits from Shabbona. The old Indian would never accept accommodations in a bed, but insisted on rolling up in his blanket on the floor.
In later years Mr. Bailey told traditions from the Indians as to how Starved Rock and Deer Park received their names. One tribe of Indians drove a weaker tribe upon the rock and stood guard till they starved them. There were some deer that went into Deer Park, in which there is a large canyon. A severe snowstorm filled the mouth of the canyon so the deer could not escape and they were an easy prey for the Indians.
During this time there was a man keeping grocery store who sold out all his goods but a cask of liquor. He asked Mr. Bailey if he might put this in his cabin for a short time, and the Indians found out the whiskey
was there. Three Indians came and asked Mr. Bailey if he had any whiskey. He replied, "No." They pointed down to the floor and said, "Down there." Then Mi Bailey replied, ''It isn't mine." One Indian drew a long knife and ruffled up his hair. Mr. Bailey knew this meant fight. There were two white men beside Mr Bailey in the house and six little children and his wife Mrs. Bailey took a child by each hand and led them outside; then came after the other children making_ two more trips. Mr. Bailey said to Mr. Eliot, which was one of the men at the cabin, "Knock him down." Eliot knocked his Indian down, and the other white man, his name unknown. grabbed a rolling pin and beat one of the Indians over the head which sounded like beating an empty barrel. Mr. Bailey took a chair and struck the other Indian, breaking his chair to pieces. Then he grabbed a fire shovel and struck the Indian over the head; the next lick he struck him cut a horrible gash in the Indian's head. Mr. Bailey says to Mr. Eliot. "Don't kill him, make him beg." Mr. Eliot, being a powerful man, would have killed his Indian in a few minutes.
The next morning Mr. Bailey rose before day-light and rode horse back to the Indian camp. The Indians were all up. His excuse to them was that he had a cow strayed away and was hunting for her. The three Indians who received the beating the day before werr sitting upon the ground. The chief asked him about the trouble of the night before, and said, "I will have them put to death if you say so." Mr. Bailey said "No, I do not want them killed."
On this same morning he was surprised to meet with a half-breed girl he had known years before. Mr. Bailey knowing the character of the Indians, knew that something must be done to show that the whites were not afraid of them. He thought that on that morning their intention was to massacre the settlers, but his courage and bravery changed their intentions.
In 1849, Mr. Bailey sold his farm and moved to Stark County, Illinois, with his two sons, Augustus and Timothy. He bought a piece of land which is now owned by his grand-son, Orpheus Bailey (in Sec. 11, Essex Township). In 1877 he died in Oregon.
His son Augustus was born in 1828, and lived on the Stark County farm and raised his two sons Orpheus and Alexander C. Bailey. Timothy Bailey moved to Oregon in 1878 and now lives at Menlo, Pacific County, Washington. He was a member of the 112th Illinois Regiment in the Civil War.
Orpheus Bailey, a bachelor is now living on his farm near Wyoming. Alexander C. Bailey lives in Wyoming, Illinois, with his family of eight daughters and one son. Three of the daughters are teaching in public schools at the present time and one daughter married is living in Indiana.
THE BEACH FAMILY.
By Amine Reeves and Emma Ferbrache, 1913.
Lester Beach was born in Rochester, New York in 1804. He served an apprenticeship and learned the carpenter trade in the city of Rochester. After the death of his parents he and his brother Charles went as young men to the vicinity of Clyde, Ohio. Here Mr. Lester Beach engaged in farming for a short time and was married to Miss Lydia Chase, who was an aunt of General McPherson of the Civil War.
About the year 1837 he came to Farmington, Illinois, from which place he sent back for Mrs. Beach. She came, with her baby Amine, and accompanied by Charles Beach. Mrs. Beach used on this trip an iron tea-kettle that is still in possession of the family, just at present loaned to Cutter's log cabin. Interesting stories are told of a faithful mastiff dog "Old Tige," that Mrs. Beach brought on this trip, remem-
bered by many of the early settlers; at one time he stayed faithfully by a runaway team; and at another time took the pants leg off a thief who would other wise have gotten Mr. Beach's horses.
Arriving at Farmington the family could get no dwelling except the old "council house," a bark covered structure where the white men and Indians had been in the habit of meeting for their parleys. Mrs. Beach often told her children how the roof leaked and how the shadows in the large recesses suggested Indians to her even when there were none around.
The next year the family moved to Princeville where Mr. Beach built the first house East of town for the Sloan's. For himself he rented land from Wm C Stevens, the house being a double log one-half mile North of the Cutter house. Here the children remember their father often driving a steady old nag right into the house to drag in a log for the large fire place. There were no floors in some of the cabins nor in any of the stores and blacksmith shops of that day. In the stores, men could sit on a box or barrel and spit tobacco juice wherever convenient.
Children were born, including the one in Ohio, in the following order: Amine, Elvira, Frank, Cornelia, Lydia, Emma, Willie and Orville. The oldest child Amine was sent first to school in the log school house near Mr. Slane's southeast of town. Mrs. Cutter and Solomon Cornwell were her first teachers and at this late date the pupil now recollects that one of these teachers, perhaps Mrs. Cutter, wished to punish little Elvira for pulling a tame flower in some forbidden spot, but as Elvira was too little, the teacher punished Amine instead. This enraged the father, who went and informed the teacher that any whipping to be done might be taken out on him. Mr. Cornwell who was developing his land as well as teaching school, had a habit of announcing to the scholars that if it were rainy or stormy on the following day they might come back to school, but if fair weather they need not come as he would be working on his place.
Later on Mr. Beach moved northeast of town to his own farm in the neighborhood of McGinnis, Peet and Clussman. This was on the Southeast quarter of Section 6, Akron, now known as the Blue farm. Here he helped to build a new school house. Selling this farm Mr. Beach bought one mile East of Princeville where he lived until he died in 1859, and his widow continued to live continuously until her death in 1906. This is the place remembered by the children as the old home and where they remember their mother carding wool and many other scenes that have long since gone out of date in the Illinois home. The daughter Emma still has in her possession a coverlet made of home spun wool raised on their own sheep, with the year "1840" and Grandmother Slocum's name woven in it. Mother Beach often remarked that her husband did not like farming as well as carpentering and after becoming a farmer he did not whistle at his work as he had formerly.
An interesting reminiscence of Grandfather Slocum is as follows: At the time of the massacre of Wyoming, Pennsylvania, a seven year old sister of his was captured by the Indians and never heard from, until many years later a traveller came upon an Indian camp and an old woman, the widow of the chief, was very sick. She told him that she was of white blood and had been stolen by the Indians when a little girl. The story told by this man reached the ears of Grand-father Slocum who immediately set out to see if she was not his sister. She had recovered from her illness and denied the story; but when her brother said to her, "Now, if you are my sister there will be a scar on your foot where I once hit you with an ax when we were making our wood," the woman broke into tears and showed the scar. Her brother then visited her every two years. She said she did not remember much about her mother and her mother's housekeeping, except she had always swept with a broom and set the broom in the corner when she got through, as she remembered her mother had done.
Of the children, Amine Reeves of Abilene, Kansas and Emma Ferbrache of Sutherland, Nebraska, are the writers of this article. Elvira Frost died in 1893 and is survived by her husband Enos Frost, her children Mrs. Cora Nixon of Princeville, Ill., Miss Lydia who lives with her father in Wymore, Nebraska, Lester Enos of Canada, and Mrs. Flora James of Denver, Colorado. Frank is still living at Dumont, Iowa. Lydia died at the age of five years, and Cornelia at the age of twenty-three. Willie and Orville went West as young men and have never been heard from.
In the Charles Beach family the children were Harlow of Peoria, Ill., Fred who has been dead several years, Elizabeth whom everybody knows as Miss Libbie, of Princeville, Mrs. Caroline McMains who died about 1910, at Phoenix, Neb., and Birdseye now of Glasford, Illinois.
HISTORY OF THE BLISS FAMILY
of Peoria County, Illinois.
By John F. Bliss, 1911.
The history of one family of the early settlers of Illinois is largely the history of all. They had many things in common. They were largely descendants from the original colonists. They brought with them those sterling qualities which made them able to meet with an unyielding will, the new problems, and to successfully solve them with a courage which knew no defeat.
We of the present generation have a very limited conception of the suffering and deprivations our illustrious predecessors endured in settling a new country. We, their children and grandchildren, who sat at their knee on many a wintry night in the old farm home, heard from their lips the stories, which to us never lost interest, and which we rehearse to our children. And it may be there shall arise a historian who will give these heroes and heroines of the common people a place
which they deserve in the making of the history of Illinois.
The Bliss family, of whom I write more especially, were not pioneer settlers or frontiersmen. Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett and Prince, after whom Princeville was named, were frontiersmen. Mr. Prince's log cabin stood on the ground now owned by our esteemed citizen, S. S. Slane. The cabin was a little north and west of the house of Mr. Slane. Forty years ago or more, when as a boy I roamed the woods, this cabin stood. At that time it was unoccupied. Mr. Prince had lived with the Indians for many years. He depended more on his unerring rifle for sustenance than upon tilling the soil. He must have had friendly relations with the Indians at that time for my mother told me that he was bitten by a rattlesnake. At that time he was the only white man in this part of the state. He used what remedies he had, but he grew much worse. Thinking he must die, he painfully drew himself up to the top of the roof of his cabin so that after death his body would not be eaten by wild beasts. In his extremity some friendly Indians passed that way. They found him in this dying condition. They hurriedly held a consultation. Then they got busy. One hurried away out on the prairie. Soon he returned with an armful of herbs known later as rattlesnake master. A kettle had been placed upon the fire, a poultice was soon made and applied to the bite, and the life of Prince was saved. It seemed difficult for these frontiersmen to take up with the civilization which the first settlers brought with them from their eastern homes. That you may understand this better, I remember of my mother telling of a religious meeting which was held in Prince's cabin. A large number of the settlers were present. While they were in the very interesting part of the service Prince came from his work, looked over the people and then made a rush for the bed, rolled himself up in the bed clothes and remained there during the rest of the meeting.
My mother's people came to Princeville in 1836. At that time she was what they now call sweet sixteen. I have been told by those who knew her that she was not only beautiful in looks but beautiful in all the lovely graces which make up an attractive young woman. She was the daughter of William Blanchard, whose family history is written in Vol I of these reminiscences. Only four of my mother's family are living: Aunt Delilah, a maiden aunt, who had the distinction of knowing the names and ages of four or five generations of her relatives. For more than ninety years she has lived. We can almost say of her as was said of Moses of old; ''His eyes were not dim nor his natural force abated"; Henry Blanchard of Joplin, Mo.; Mrs. J. E. Merritt, and F. B. Blanchard, of Princeville. These are all that are left of a large family.
The Bliss genealogy traces our family history back to the time of William the Conqueror. One of our ancestors was dragged through the streets of London tied to the tail of a mule, because of his religious belief. In the year of 1638 three brothers and a nephew emigrated to the Plymouth colony, and from these came the Bliss family in America. My father informed me that his great grandfather, Rev. John Bliss, was a minister of more than ordinary ability. Old Salem, Mass., was the home of many of the Bliss tribe. My grandfather, Henry Bliss, was born in East Town, Washington County, New York, Oct. 15, 1790. When he became a man he went West (The West at that time was western New York), to Chautauqua County, where he taught school during the winter and farmed during the rest of the year. At a social gathering one evening he met for the first time his future wife, Rebecca Smith, of Adams, Conn., who was visiting some of her relation in that part of New York. The social function turned into a dance in which all took part except my grandparents, who had religious scruples along that line. They were naturally thrown into each other's society for the evening, which proved to be very enjoyable to them. This was the
beginning of a courtship which ended in marriage on March 14, 1815. About this time he was ordained as minister in the Baptist church and held this relation o that church until he came to Illinois, when he united with the Christian church some time after. His family were all born in New York, consisting of Hiram, Solomon, Esther, Nancy, Betsy, Reuben. There were a few tribes of Indians in western New York then. My father said they would often come to their house when he was a boy. They usually wanted salt. They always wanted to see the little white papoose. He was the white papoose. If they did not see him they would look for him, and many a time the Indians have pulled him out from under the bed. He would kick and fight and they would laugh. The early settlers were brave women, as well as brave men, and my grandmother was one of them, as the following little incident will show:
Their home was in a clearing along the Chautauqua lake. One day a deer took refuge from a pack of hounds, behind a large log near her home. A neighbor woman was sent to tell the men, who were chopping a the woods some distance away. After she had gone she heard the dogs coming. She was afraid they would frighten the deer away before the men came, so she took the butcher knife, quietly crawled up to the log, reached over and cut the throat of the deer. When the men arrived she had it partly dressed. Like all of the women of that time, she did the work of the house, made the clothing for the family, including the tailoring for the men. The song of the spinning wheel, as my grandmother turned the wheel, with one hand holding the thread, I can hear yet, for fifty years ago the spinning wheel was in common use in our rural homes. Economy was one of the virtues practiced in my grandmother's home. Pins were a valuable and scarce article in her home. I have heard her say that a dozen pins were expected to last that many years and if one should be lost, diligent search was made for its recovery.
Zenas Bliss, a brother of my grandfather, moved from New York to Illinois in 1837. He had a family
of eleven children. He settled near Northhampton in Peoria County. He was a man of means and of mechanical ability. Among his many accomplishments he was a millwright. He built a grist mill near Northhampton, if I am rightly informed, on the Senachwine creek. This investment did not prove a financial success. With his family he afterward settled out on the rich prairie lands not far from Blue Ridge. His wife, Aunt Mabel, a bright and intellectual woman, lived many years after her husband's death, in the little house which was remodeled and made over, now occupied by W. M. Keck. Uncle Zenas was a soldier in the Mexican war. I can not give the date of his death, but likely it was in the early sixties. One of his sons, Cyrus, settled between Farmington and Yates City. He was a man much respected in that community. He accumulated a good deal of property. He died full of years with his children around him to call him blessed. His widow lives in a beautiful home in Yates City. Two of her sons, Cyrus and Luther, and two daughters, Mrs. Matthews and Mrs. Bird, all live on farms of their own near Yates City. Amanda Bliss, a daughter of Uncle Zenas, married M. M. Blanchard, who came to this state with his father, William Blanchard, in 1836. Their first home was on the farm now owned by Mr. George Adams. At that time the Blanchards all owned homes along the road going west from his place, known then as "Mud Row." He sold his farm and became one of the first merchants of Princeville, forming a partnership with a Mr. Taylor. The part of the Mrs. Selby hotel which extends to the west, if I remember correctly, is the building once known as the Blanchard & Taylor general merchandise store. He also built the building now owned by Mrs. Shane. It was considered one of the best buildings in Princeville. He built it for a hotel and post office. Later they moved to the east part of town. He was justice of the peace for many years. Three of their family are living: Emily Ellis of Brimfield, Ill.; Lettie Mitchell of Iowa; Alonzo, of
Evanston, Ill. Thc dead are Lillie, Edward and Clara, who was Mrs. Wm. Collins of California.
Abner Bliss, a son of Uncle Zenas, was also one of Princeville's early settlers. He married Lydia Miller, whose family came to Princeville at an early date. He first lived in the northwest part of the township, where their children, Fiducia, Albert, Alvin, Emily, Lucy and Jane, were born. In the early seventies he purchased the place two miles northeast of Princeville, now owned by John Oertley. He and his wife have been dead a number of years.
One of the daughters of Zenas Bliss married a Mr. Fox, who owned the farm now owned by our well known citizen, Richard Dunn. One of Zenas Bliss' daughters also married a Mr. Reed, who was one of the first settlers on the prairie north of Speer. He afterward moved with his family to southern Missouri, where this branch of the family are among its best and most successful citizens. Of the eleven children constituting the family of Zenas Bliss only three are living Amos, Edward and Phineas. Amos and Phineas are living in Medford, Oregon. I am not acquainted enough with their children to give their names. I only know they have families and are scattered in many places. Zenas Bliss' family of eleven children all lived to mature years. They were well born and well cared for in their child life. They were able to take their place among the early settlers and do their share in making the history of our great country.
After a residence in Illinois of one year, Zenas Bliss wrote to his brother, Henry Bliss, giving him glowing accounts of the beauty of its forests and beaches, fertility of the soil, of the many people who were coming from every part of the East. And so my grandfather, the wood chopper, teacher and preacher, with his wife and family of six children, Hiram, aged 19, Solomon, aged 17, Esther, aged 14, Nancy, aged 12, Betsy, aged 5, and Rheuben, aged 3, loaded their few household goods on a raft, said good bye to their many relatives and friends of western New York, and set their faces
toward the country of the setting sun. The voyage had its dangers, for there were rapids which they must run and many a raft had gone to pieces.
This was not the first time Hiram and Solomon had made this dangerous trip. They were possessed of great strength and physical endurance. They had spent their lives as woodsmen. They were expert swimmers and they felt at home in or on the water as well as on dry land. They passed down the river into the Ohio, and landed their raft safely at Cincinnati, where they disposed of it. There they took passage on a boat for St. Louis, and from there to Peoria, the father and boys working for the support of the family. The next year they moved to near Southhampton, a town at that time three or four miles west of Chillicothe. A man by the name of Hammond did the business of the place. My father, Solomon Bliss, then a boy of 18, became his clerk. The contents of this store would make the present generation smile. There was a barrel of New Orleans molasses, a barrel of New Orleans sugar, a sack of green coffee, a cask of tea, a barrel of salt, a little pepper, one or two sizes of rope, two or three kinds of nails, shot and powder, a few pairs of boots, and shoes. Dry goods consisted of a few calicoes worth at that time 40c per yard. I forgot a barrel of whiskey with a tin cup attached, a caddy of U. S. Dogleg Navy tobacco. This was the place where my father got his first experience in selling merchandise. He remained with Hammond about one year. His father's family had moved to Blue Ridge. His brother Hiram was married in 1840 to Jennette Hodges. They had one child, a girl. I remember her as a very beautiful young woman, when she and her mother visited my father's home when I was a child. Since that time we have lost all trace of them. Uncle Hiram died in 1857. I know little about him except that he was a hard working man and lost his life by unnecessary exposure.
About the year 1840 my father's people made the acquaintance of the Win. Blanchard family of Princeville. This came about through both of my grandpar-
ents, who were preachers for the early settlers. Grandfather Blanchard's house was large, being a double log cabin, where they often held meetings. Ten or fifteen miles was not considered a long distance then to go to attend church. They would often hold a two days' service. The friends from a distance would stay over night. It would tax the resources of the people of this time to feed and sleep a family of fifteen or twenty and then add as many more visitors. I remember a story of two hungry boys who were watching the rapid disappearance of food from a table surrounded by a large company of old settlers. As the custom was, a blessing was asked before the beginning of each meal, but on this occasion, their being two ministers at the table, the host did not wish to show partiality. He conceived the happy way out of this dilemma by having a blessing asked at both ends of the meal. The two boys, who were looking on through a crack in the door, said, "By golly, Dick, they're going to commence over again. There will be nothing left for us." The early settlers' homes were homes of hospitality. They did not have delicacies or luxuries, but they had plenty of good, clean, well cooked substantial foods, like hominy, corn bread, beans, potatoes, ham and eggs. There was plenty of wild game. On the lakes and ponds there were wild geese and ducks. There was plenty of fish in the streams. In the early spring the sky would be darkened by the great number of wild pigeons as they passed on to their hatching grounds farther north. Wild hogs roamed the woods. Venison was not at that time considered a luxury. Fruits were not common. Prince planted apple seed along what was known as apple row. The people were allowed to help themselves. Canned fruits were unknown. I have often thought if the present generation would eat more of the coarser foods we would have less use for the pill doctor.
My grandfather moved, about 1842, this time south and west of Monica. The itinerant preacher of that time went long distances. The saddle bag which he used, and which contained his bible, song book and
change of linen, were in our home. I remember of seeing them when a small boy. They were a great curiosity to me. With the spinning wheel, and the loom, they have disappeared with the generation that used them. He buried the dead of the early settlers, united the young men and women in holy wedlock, which was not easily broken in those days. He preached a pure, simple gospel that reached human hearts. Eternity will reveal and surely reward the self-sacrificing devotion of men of his kind.
Esther Bliss, the eldest daughter of my grandfather, was 12 years old when they came from New York. She has a splendid memory of all that took place on the way from the East. At the age of sixteen she was united in marriage to Reuben Stowell of Lawn Ridge. Mr. Stowell's family was one of the first settlers in that section. They were people intellectual, progressive, industrious; always at the front in every good and noble movement. Our respected citizen, Mr. Charles Stowell, a nephew of Aunt Esther, is the only one residing in the old home community. After seven years of happy married life, Aunt Esther was left a widow with two little boys, Henry and Albert, who grew to splendid manhood in this place. They both were volunteers in defense of their country's flag. They were engaged in many battles and returned safely home. Henry married William Wilson's daughter, a sister of the wife of the late Hugh Morrow. Henry was a school teacher, farmer and merchant. His family of four children grew to be young people in this place. Mrs. Stowell and her eldest son, William, died in Kansas. He was married the second time to Miss Emma Gilbert, a splendid lady, who formerly resided at the home of the late Dr. R. F. Henry. Mr. Stowell is following his vocation of school teacher in Kansas. Albert was also a teacher. For many years he has had charge of the Garfield monument. In the year of 1850 Aunt Esther was married to John L. Blanchard, oldest son of William Blanchard. They lived for many years on the place now owned by C. W. Fry. In the early sixties
they moved into Princeville, building the house now owned by Joseph Geitner. Uncle John did not sell his farm. He was considered a retired farmer. He went into business with J. H. Russell in the manufacture of wagons. He was afterwards in the lumber and dry goods business. He was a man of more than ordinary ability. For many years he was active in the Christian church. He was also for many years master of Princeville Lodge, No. 360, A. F. and A. M. He died full of years, honored and highly respected. Uncle John was a widower when he married Aunt Esther. He had two children, Win. Blanchard of Kansas, and Sarah Andrews, wife of the late Stephen Andrews. She now lives in California. To this union were born four children: Maria, Charles, John and Horace. Maria married Al Wilson of LaFayette, Ill. Their children were educated in our schools. They were a highly respected family. Mr. Wilson was successfully engaged in the butcher business. He was deputy sheriff, and while on duty in this work, contracted a severe cold, which finally terminated in death. Maria and her mother are now living in California. Charles married Ada, a daughter of James Rice, who conducted the Arlington hotel and bought stock here for a number of years. Charles moved to Creston, Iowa, where he became a successful farmer, a man who was always at the front in every good and noble enterprise. His life came to a sudden end by accident while he was at work. His wife and children are now living in Canada.
John L. Blanchard was the companion of my youth. Our joys and sorrows were one. We entered the Princeville primary school together, where we were taught by a Miss Rogers of respected memory. Our last teacher was Mr. Wood, or Mr. Bridegroom, I am not sure which. John attended school at Marion. Ind., and afterwards practiced law in Missouri and Iowa. For many years he has been a successful minister of the Congregational church. He is now preaching at Harlan, Iowa. He was married to Miss Bird Battles in 1881. To this union were born three children, two boys
and one girl. His wife, daughter and one son have died, only one son being left. He is engaged in the banking business in Nebraska.
Horace Blanchard, the youngest son of Aunt Esther, married a daughter of J. Benjamin. They have a family of five children and are now living in California.
Nancy Bliss, second daughter of Henry Bliss, was married to Alfred Root of Blue Ridge in 1843. The Root family was among the first settlers of Illinois. Some of the progeny of the family live near Lawn Ridge and Chillicothe. Uncle Alfred was a farmer. He moved to Chenoa, Ill., where he lived many years. Aunt Nancy, now a widow, lives with her daughter Alma. Her son Henry is a prosperous farmer living near Chenoa. Her daughter, Louisa Stewart, lives at Chenoa also. Her oldest son, Lucius, lives at Bloomington, and her daughter, Henrietta, lives in Missouri. Aunt Nancy is 83 years of age. She has a good memory of the early days in Illinois.
Betsy Hill, daughter of Henry Bliss, was born in 1833. She is among our oldest and best known citizens. She was five years old when she came to Peoria County. She has lived in this county seventy-three years. A man told me that she was the prettiest young lady in all the country. He said there were others who had the same opinion. This man was her husband, the late esteemed and respected Clark Hill of Monica. The Hill family were more than early settlers. I think we could call them pioneers. They were a large family and of no small importance in the making of the history of Peoria County. Aunt Betsy has lived on the same farm since her marriage. She is the mother of seven children, three girls and four boys. The living are James, of Ohio; John, of Oklahoma; Clara Cook, of Wisconsin; and Milton, who lives on the old farm. The dead are Fronia, who was the first wife of George Belford; Nannie, wife of Rev. Stahl of Iowa; and Wilbur, of Monica. Aunt Betsy has been a member of the Methodist church of West Princeville and then of Monica from its beginning. She makes frequent visits to
her children and grandchildren. She is greatly loved by all who know her. Her health is good and her mind clear. She has a good chance of reaching the age of her grandmother, who died at 102 years.
Reuben Bliss, son of Henry Bliss, was three years old when the family came to Illinois. He lived with my father for a number of years, and died at his home at the age of 25 years.
Solomon Bliss, the second son of Henry Bliss, was born in Chautauqua County, New York, March 8th, 1821. He came to Illinois with his father and immediately took his place in subduing the new country, bringing the soil under cultivation and making a new home. He was married to Elizabeth Blanchard, May 15, 1842. Their first home was a log cabin one-fourth mile east of where Patrick O'Conner now lives. The first furniture was bought of Bishop Chase. He gave rails for it. Money was very scarce, but their wants were few and the land yielded plentifully. Neighbors were kind and helpful, helping each other in the building of their modest homes or the erection of their barns. At this time implements of agriculture were rude and simple. The grain was reaped with the cradle and the hay was cut with the scythe. It took muscles of steel, and wills, and a courage which knew no defeat to do the hard work they accomplished. My father lived in this first cabin eight years. Onias, Ezra and Charles were born here. He then bought the land now owned by Lawson Lair. This was the first property he owned. After improving this place he sold it and bought the house now owned by M. L. Sniff. It was a part of the hotel and grocery store which my father ran for a number of years. It was built where the Z. L. Rice store now stands. The lumber in this building was hauled from Rock Island. This place was occupied by Dr. Charles for many years. Emma, James and Viola were born here. My father conducted the hotel and grocery here until the year 1858, when he moved onto the land now owned by the Palmer sisters, on which the Taylor coal bank is located. He afterwards bought
the land extending to the Byrnes estate on the west. He improved these lands. At this place the writer (John Bliss), and Matilda were born. For twenty years this was the Bliss home. My grandfather and grandmother made their homes with my father, where they lived until their death. My boyhood days were full of memories of war and war songs, of battles lost and won, of boys in blue home on a furlough. The war song which was my favorite was "Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys," and I made this more impressive by the use of a long stick with a piece of red flannel fastened on for a flag. This I waved as I sang. Like all the rest of the boys, I wanted to go to the war.
The first harvest machine I remember of seeing was in the year 1864 or '65. It was a McCormick owned in partnership by my father and Wm. Henry Harrison In good grain 12 men would be necessary to rake, bin and place into shocks the grain. Following this, the Woods self-rake, which took one man less. Then the most wonderful labor saving self binder, with the saving of labor of nine men. The first corn I remember seeing planted was by marking the ground four feet each way. A boy or girl would drop just so many grains in each cross. A man would cover them with a hoe. Then followed the hand planter. Then the Brown horse planter with a boy on the front to pull a lever, which dropped corn in the mark. The first 50 cents for a day's work I ever made was by dropping corn for our old remembered friend, Wm. DeBolt. When I was a boy my father was at his very best. Prices were good and live stock was in good demand. It was war times. Land values began to rise. Better homes were built, new improvements were made and the outlook along financial lines was good. About this time there was considerable horse stealing in and about Princeville. My father was one of the first members of the Princeville Thief Detective and Mutual Aid Association and at one time captain. With Wm. P. Smith, R. DeBord, Frank Beall, Wm. Henry Wisenburg, Thomas and Sylvester Slane and many others, he made
successful captures of thieves, until horse stealing has for many years been a thing of the past in this community. This Association still exists with an active membership of over 100. My father was very active in securing the C. R. I. & P. railway through this place. He never lost his love for his old home in New York. He made frequent visits to his many relatives and friends at the old home.
He went into the drug business with H. E. Burgess in 1875. This partnership lasted for a short time. He conducted the business alone from that time on for many years. The first store occupied a building where the David Kinnah meat market now stands. The second place was a general store, where the German & Friedman hardware store is. He then moved to the Dr. Henry block, which was destroyed by fire six years ago.
My mother died in 1878. She had raised to young manhood and womanhood eight children. The dead are: Rev. Ezra Bliss, a soldier, dying at the age of 25; Emma Burgess, wife of H. E. Burgess, mother of Charles, Haller, Irma and Mabel. The living are: O. C. Bliss, Battle Creek, Mich., a soldier of 1861 to the close of the war, Rev. Charles Bliss of Peoria, Rev. James Bliss of Monica, Viola Hoag, wife of S. S. Hoag, Matilda, wife of Frank DeBord, and the writer, J. F. Bliss of Princeville.
My father was married the second time to Mrs. Wm. Lair. My father died at his home in Princeville in 1896. He was honest, brave and true. He loved children. He did his part in making this splendid country. He died surrounded by loving hearts who hold him in fond remembrance.
"Thrust in thy sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe." Rev. XIV : 18.
THE COLGAN FAMILY
By Daniel J. Colgan and Mrs. Margaret Colgan Cahill,
This family of six brothers and a sister were born to Francis and Mary Campbell Colgan at Kilkeel, County Down, Ireland. Edward the eldest son, born Jan. 12, 1828, came to America in August, 1648, and located at New Orleans. Michael, born in August, 1830, landed at New Orleans in the spring of 1831, and John born near Christmas, 1831, came in 1854. All of these brothers came to Stark Co., Ill.. Edward first in 1849, Bernard, Thomas, Francis, Mary F. (the baby) and them mother came to America later, as noted hereafter.
Edward Colgan kept post office in the days of the stage coach, at his home near site of the present Town House in Valley Township. Besides being one of the leading farmers of his time he held the office of supervisor for a number of years, also Justice of the Peace. He was familiarly known as "Squire Colgan." In 1853 he married Miss Drusella Marlatt. To them were born nine children: Francis B. of Dunlap, Ill.; Mrs. Clara Traphagan, McCook, Nebr.; Mrs. Ellen Heagney, Cheyenne, Wyo.; Bernard of Arkansas; George of Grafton. Nebr.; Mrs. Jennie Moran, Mrs. Sadie Kelly and Mrs. Anna Kelly of Wyoming, Ill.; and Mrs. Rose McIntyre (deceased). Squire Colgan died July 19., 1910.
Michael after working at $8 per month on the farm of James Jackson and breaking prairie with an ox team, returned to Ireland in 1856and was there married to Mary Dymond in February, 1857. In May, 1857., he and his wife arrived at Stark County, settling on a farm in Valley Township. Here they remained till the year 1864 when they moved to a farm in Essex Township; and in the spring of 1888 they moved to the present home at Wyoming. His wife died January 26., 1894, and he died February 12, 1915. They were the
parents of ten children: John M., Frank M., Mary M., Edward M., Thomas M., Jane, Anna, James, William, and Margaret, all of whom live in Wyoming and vicinity.
John Colgan, commonly known as "Cobbler John," came by stage from Peoria and opened a shoe shop on the lot where the Wyoming High School Building now stands. In 1861 he married Marie Goldsbury and to them were born eleven children. Two died in infancy, and Wm. H. and Ellen T. died about 1905. Those living are, Sister Mary Suso, Oakland, Cal.; Rev. Edward J., British Honduras; Frank P., Alma, Neb.; Mrs. Katie Cox, John T., Bernard P. and Daniel J. still in Stark County. John Colgan died April 7, 1892.
Bernard Colgan, born 1836, came to America via New York in 1856 and settled in Stark County. In 1867 he married Anne Sloan, and to them were born nine children: Francis, of Bradford, Edward now in Kansas, James, Mary, John, Bernard, and Margaret Kelly living in Stark County, and Rose and an inf ant deceased. Bernard Colgan is now a retired farmer, living in Wyoming, Ill.
Thomas Colgan was born in Ireland in 1840, came to America in 1860, settled in Stark County, Ill., and on August 4th, 1872 married Annie Ferron. To them nine children were born, the living being Frank, Michael, Thomas, James, Mary and Rose of Augusta, Kansas and Edward G. of Stark County, Ill. Thomas Colgan sold his farm here and moved to Kansas in 1895, where he still resides.
Francis Colgan, the youngest of the brothers was born in May, 1843, and came to America in April, 1870. He settled in Stark County and on April 5th, 1877 married Mary Sloan. They had no children. In 1877 he moved to Hoopeston, Ill. where he still lives, being a retired farmer, and large land owner.
Mary F. Colgan, the baby of the family, came to America in May, 1843 with the mother of the boys and Francis. She has lived in Stark County which place
is still her home, although she has been living a part of the time at Augusta, Kansas.
It may be stated that all of these brothers came from Ireland with very little money, the oldest coming first and then sending for the next oldest. They in turn saved their money and kept on until the whole family was here. They were very industrious and prosperous and all acquired a great amount of the Stark County valley land.
THE HENRY COLWELL FAMILY.
By P. B. Colwell, 1914.
In the fall of the year 1836, the brothers Henry and Presley Colwell and their wives came to Illinois from their native place in Ross County, Ohio, and settled in what is now Essex township, then a part of Putnum County. The following year their father, Thomas Colwell, and the rest of their brothers and sisters came from their home in Ohio and settled in the vicinity.
Henry and Presley Colwell lived the first winter in a log cabin on section 15, Essex township on land now owned by William Cornall, near the place where was made the first settlement in Stark County by Isaac B.. Essex in 1829, and near where the first school house in Stark County was built in 1834.
In 1837 Presley Colwell moved to section 21 in Essex township where he had bought land, and where he lived until the fall of 1868, when he sold out and moved. to Nodaway County, Missouri. He died at his home there a few years later.
In the fall of 1838 Henry Colwell moved to a farm which he had bought in section 30 in Essex township, where he lived for a number of years, or until he traded farms with John Martindale, whereby he became the owner of the southwest quarter of section 29 in Essex township. This farm is known as the old Henry Colwell homestead. It is still owned by Henry Colwell's heirs.
Henry Colwell was closely connected with the growth and development of Stark County. He very early knew the need of education. Besides being greatly interested in the common schools of his township, with a number of others he contributed liberally to the building of Lombard University in Galesburg, Illinois. The Colwell family still holds a scholarship in that institution as a recompense for the money contributed by Mr. Colwell. Mr. Colwell's son George was one of the first enrolled as a student in the University.
Henry Colwell had a very large acquaintance throughout the surrounding country, as he was one of the first auctioneers in Stark County, and the only one for many miles around. He was one of the County's foremost men in agriculture. He with others organized the Stark County Agricultural Society in 1853, which held successful fairs in Toulon for more than thirty years, doing much good in the advancement of agriculture in the county. Mr. Colwell filled the office of President of the Society for several years with credit to himself and a benefit to the society. Mr. Colwell also held several offices in his township and creditably performed the duties required of him. He was supervisor of Essex Township during the time the railroads were built in Stark County.
Mr. Colwell was one of those early pioneers who had the experience of hauling their grain to the Chicago market. Even when doing so it was impossible to get any money for their grain. They could only trade it for the actual needs of life, such as sugar, salt, sole leather, etc.
Mr. CoIwell was one of the leading stock men of Stark County for a great many years, buying, selling and shipping stock of all kinds at all times. Before time railroads came to Stark County he would buy stock and either drive to Kewanee or to Chillicothe and ship from those places to Chicago.
Like many of his neighboring pioneers Mr. Colwell was able to meet disappointments, and do all in his power to overcome them. He met with many disap-
pointments and misfortunes, the greatest of which was no doubt the death of his first wife, leaving him with six small children for whom to care. Afterwards Mr. Colwell married Clarinda Eby and to them were born thirteen children.
Mr. Colwell's first wife was Elizabeth Dawson of Hocking County, Ohio. She died in 1847, aged thirty-three years. His second wife died in 1880, aged fifty-one years. Henry Colwell was born in Ross County, Ohio, April 20, 1813, and died in Toulon, Ill., March 4, 1900, being in his 87th year.
Of Henry Colwell's large family of nineteen children, all lived to manhood and womanhood except one died in infancy. Of this large family several are now dead. The living at this writing are Mrs. Mary Nicholas of Osborn, Missouri; Mrs. John McGregor of Grand Junction, Iowa; Mrs. E. A. Trimmer of Perry, Iowa; Marvin M.; Mrs. M. B. Trickle, Lillie and Ollie of Toulon; Day of West Jersey; P. B. of Wyoming; Jennie of Peoria.
It is interesting to note the inter-marriages of this large family. Two of the sons, George and Miles, married Sarah and Amanda Barr of Essex township; John married Almira Fast of Essex township; Marvin married Mary Kendig of Naperville, Ill.; Day married first Addie De Lent of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, second Maggie Dryden of West Jersey; P. B. married Cecillia Burns of Princeville; Douglas married Maggie Selby of Princeville. Two of the daughters, Alcinda and Mary, married Joab and Thomas Nicholas of Essex township; Martha married John McGregor of Monica; Anna married E. A. Trimmer of Essex township; Sarah married M. B. Trickle of Essex township. Nearly all of these marriages were into the early families of the south part of Stark County and adjoining townships.