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Carroll County Biographies


David Henry Stitzel was born Nov. 1, 1794 in Franklin County, Pa., near Greencastle. He was married to Sarah (Sally) Strickler born December 13, 1806 and had a family of five children. In the spring of 1845 they left Franklin County for Carroll County, Illinois, in company with four other families, coming by covered wagon. According to a quotation from a history of that time these other four families were: George Grove, Daniel Sherar, Daniel Leter and Samuel Mitchel and their families. They were five weeks on the way and arrived at Lanark at noon on June 23, 1845. Lanark at that time was a very small settlement. The story tells us that at noon that day a family of settlers living at the north edge of Lanark near the creek invited these folks to stop for dinner with them. That afternoon the Stitzels proceeded on north-west to the Arnolds Grove settlement to the farm upon which they were to live the rest of their lives. That farm is located in parts of Sec. 15 and 22 in Freedom Township.

The Stitzels were Brethren people so were attracted to this area because Arnolds Grove was by that time a settlement of Brethren people. Henry Strickler helped organize the congregation and together they built the Arnolds Grove Brethren Church House located about four miles northest of Mt. Carroll. Henry was a farmer and minister and a good organizer. Arnolds Grove in the years that followed thrived and grew rapidly. After the Stitzels were here a year or two they had another daughter, Sarah, thus making a family of six chidiren. David and his wife Sarah spent the rest of their lives on this farm and died in 1859 and 1870 respectively and are buried in the Old Church Cemetery along the present Ridge Road.

In the years that followed, the family went their separate ways, but generally moved to the Lanark area, down to the prairie and away from their wooded hill farm. Joseph, the oldest son, bought and located on what came to be known as the Stitzel Homestead, about two and a half miles west of Lanark in 1890. Many of the descendants of this family are still living in and near Carroll County: Arnolds, Zucks, Rowlands, B renemans, Dubbels, Grossmans etc.

Source: A Goodly Heritage Supplement #1 Spring 1975

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