PREFACE TO THE 2005 REPRODUCTION OF "IN THE LONG AGO"
"In The Long Ago," is based on my Great-Great-Grandfather William Fraser's diaries. Assembled and originally published in 1911 by William's son, Thomas H. Fraser, "In The Long Ago" offers a glimpse of life in northwestern lllinois, spanning the Pre-Civil War, Civil War, and Reconstruction eras. Beginning in 1851, while living in Carroll County, lllinois with his wife Christina McLeod Fraser, William Fraser recorded facts and provided insight on subjects of enduring interest: Taxes, education, commodities prices, and local crimes. Threaded through these descriptions of timeless concerns are heartwarming stories of patriotism, family, and community. His entries end in 1870, when William, Christina, and their daughter Elizabeth Alice Fraser, relocated to Mt. Pleasant Township, Whiteside County, lllinois. They later settled in Morrison, Whiteside County, lllinois in 1885.
William Fraser was born in Kirkhill, Invereshire, Scotland in 1816. In 1842, he and Christina, while living in Pictou, Nova Scotia, became parents of my Great Grandmother, Elizabeth Alice Fraser. Elizabeth married Peter R. Boyd of Morrison, lllinois in 1872.
While I was tracing the Fraser and Boyd family histories, Morrison photographer Alastair Muir referred me to Marilyn Moczek of Kirkwood, Missouri who might have helpful information. Ms. Moczek indeed provided much helpful Boyd family information and in turn referred me to Jim Fraser of Carlisle, Cumberland, England, who told me of the existence of "In The Long Ago." lllinois State Historical Library staff in Springfield located a single copy in their collection and provided me with a photocopy. My research was further rewarded when I discovered, at page 64, a photograph of my Mother, Pauline Boyd (Baily), at age 4, posed with her Grandmother Elizabeth Alice Fraser Boyd.
Now, in 2005, I have undertaken the reproduction and distribution of "In The Long Ago" to share the historical information William Fraser scribed so long ago. I am grateful to everyone who assisted in my discovery of "In the Long Ago," and hope these pages will inspire and generate further information and additional history of the Fraser and Boyd families.
Douglas Boyd Baily
Touching the History of Mount Carroll, Oakville and the Region Roundabout; Elaborated from the Diary of the late William Fraser, of MOrrison, formerly of Oakville, Carroll County, by Thos. H. Fraser, and recently published as a series of Newspaper Articles in the Mount Carroll Democrat. C.M. Feezer Publisher "1911".
A Glimpse at part of the Fraser Family Tree
William Fraser born 1816 in Kirkhill, Invernesshire Scotland - died 1902 in Morrison, Whiteside County IL. He married about 1840 to Mary Robinson who was born February 1800 in Scotlandand and died October 20, 1872 in Morrison IL. William Fraser lived in CarrolL County from 1850 to 1870 before moving to Morrison.
Theodore Fraser, son of Wm. and Mary Robinson Fraser
Elizabeth Alice Fraser, daughter of Wm. & Mary Robinson Fraser, born November 26, 1842 in Nova Scotia married Peter R. Boyd May 29, 1872. Peter was born 7 February 1844 in Scotland, he died January 20, 1902 in Morrison.
Paul Fraser Boyd, son of Peter & Elizabeth (Fraser) Boyd, born 8 November 1874 in Morrison - died February 1, 1962 in Jo Davies County. He married Gertrude Louise Bull in 1904. Gertrude was born 20 June 1884 in Morrison, she die din 1954 Evanston, Cook Co IL.
Pauline Gertrude Boyd, daughter of Paul Fraser & Gerrude Louise (Bull) Boyd was born October 27, 1908 in Morrison, she died 18 March 2000 in Island Co WA.
Pauline Gertrude Boyd is the Great Grandmother of the contributer Doug Baily.
We are very thankful to Doug Baily for allowing Genealogy Genealogy Trails to present this little booklet on these pages. The photographs and illustrations are not given here as they don't copy well.
These journals, covering a period prior to,and including the Civil War, are replete with interesting records. The earlier volumes are now very much faded, with only an incident here and there legible. But, beginning with the year 1862, the memoranda may be easily read. While the items relate largely to family affairs, there are stilI many records that recall long forgotten incidents of a public or social nature, and many almost forgotten names. These are briefly and quaintly told, and it is observable that the errors to which humanity was then prone, are barely touched upon, yet touched in hopeful charity. There is one memorandum which states that the historian found a bag of salt hidden under a heap of rubbish near a watering hole on "David Carr's place. Subsequently it was learned that this find had been stolen from a merchant in Mt. Carroll. The historian paid for the salt, fed it to his cows, and the thief was told to "go and sin no more. "
In the year 1862 the historian was collector for the town of Salem, and the amounts of taxes paid by the different land owners would make the wealthy and accumulating farmers of today sweat with envy, and like compensation for the work would deter anyone from seeking the, office. The collecting was done on foot. Payments were made in gold, silver and copper, mostly silver and copper, and the amount turned in to Owen P. Miles, who seems to have been the county's financial custodian, would hardly cover the taxes paid upon, say three of the principal farms in that locality today,
The cost of living problem does not seem to have worried the philosophy of the community as it does today, And, although two pounds of tea cost the price of a 100 pound bag, wheat was only 36 cents per bushel and boots from five to eight dollars a pair, the growing generation always seemed fat and saucy and wore boots in winter time,
During a period following the battle of Pittsburg Landing, inactive gloom seems to have settled upon the people of this locality, But as disaster followed disaster the men of Mt. Carroll and the surrounding country seemed to realize the necessity of whipping the rebels into submission, and that they would have their hands full in doing it. A war mezting was held in the school house at Oakville and although little is recorded besides the object of the meeting and some of the names of those who were present, by consulting an aged gentleman of excellent memory, who took part therein, many details of this meeting were recalled, Duncan Mackay, Esq. presided, and David B. Colehour, who had taught the Oakville school the previous winter, acted as secretary. Many war-like speeches were made. One by a pugnacious young aspirant for military glory, calling for the following from Mr. Edward English, (afterwards Sargeant Co, I, 92nd Regiment) - I like the spirit of my young friend, and have no doubt but what he would like to whip a dozen rebels as he says. But we must not delude ourselves with the belief that they are easily conquered. It would be better to believe that we are not equal to them man to man. But surely two of us can whip one of them. Here is one of the two that is willing to try," (throwing his hat upon the floor), who is to help me?" David Becker (Egbert's father,. and likely the oldest man in the house) threw his hat down beside that of Mr. English, and the speaker exclaimed, pointing to the hats; "There is the death doom to one traitor!" . Then the enthusiasm broke loose, Mr. Co1ehour interposing with a wish to hear from the younger men. Robert Gunn (aged 22) rose to say: "I'm off as soon as possible. Just wait until I get on the ground and you'll hear the rebels stampeding." George Finlayson, aged 20, said: "Judging from my success in encounters with school-mates and sometimes teachers, I think I'll be able to make a good showing in a fight with traitors. I'm ready to go now." Don Fraser, aged 17, rose to say that he intended to enlist, but didn't want it generally known, in case the rebels, hearing of his coming, might quit und run for home before he got down there. Many others, older and as young, voiced their patriotic sentiments, and Company I of the 92nd Regiment gathered quite a contingent as the result of that meeting. The three young orators mentioned, all went south as members of Company I shortly after this meeting, all to stay through the war. George Finlayson was wounded at Chickamauga, but after a short furlough at home, resumed his duties at the front. Robert Gunn went through all the campaigns of the army of the Cumberland, without a furlough or a wound and was "in at the death" of the Great Confederacy. The Confederates thought so much of Don Fraser that they kept him on exhibition at Andersonville during the last six months of the war. Perhaps the most interesting period covered by these diaries is that of the Civil War. But there are other memoranda that recall commercial transactions. Public meetings touching the administration of municipal affairs and events in the Ecciesiastical world that seem to have been quite worthy of recording. The contrast of prices between various commodities of farmer and mc:rchant is something that might puzzle the economist of today. Some things astoundingly high, others inexplainably low. And there seems to have been no fixed commereial rule, exccpt in the case of the money lender whose rule was always ton per cent compound and as much more as he could get.
In the early 60's the merchants doing business in Mt. Carroll, as appears from memoranda found in the above diary, were Lindaur, Liehtenstine, Reynolds, Sam Campbell, Blake & Stowell, and some others, all of whom seem to have been able to supply anything from hank of thread to a threshing machine. There are also some pleasant commercial transactions with one familiarly called "Natty." This was N. H. Halderman. Hub's father. The druggists, about this time, were A. H. Lichty and Mr. Bitner. Mr. Lichty's assistant or clerk being Dan Lichty, while Morris Rea and ; "Jim" Cormany performed like duties for Mr. Bitner. Crouse & Eby were the doctors, as appears from the following entry under date of Jan. 21, 1865: "Paid Crouse & Eby $19.50 in full for medical services."
Doctors Pratt, Miller, and Belding are also occasionally mentioned. The historian seems to have had no dealings with the legal fraternity except to consult C. B. Smith once or twice about a railway mortgage. Up to the year 1866 there are more than thirty ministers, mostly Presbyterian, mentioned as having preached either in Mt. Carroll or at the Oakville School House. Some of these were candidates for the vacant pulpit, the majority of them in fact, while some were stationary for different periods. The time and place of serviee is recorded as well as the text upon which each discourse was founded. Among these are many names that may be remembered by the older people in and around Mt. Carroll: Revs. Mr. Gray, Ormsby, Cunningham, McCorlde, Carey (Freeport), Kidd, (Joliet), Lewis, Skelly, Aurand, and many others too numerous to mention.
Many social events of Mt. Carroll, Preston Prairie, Oakville and Lanark are recorded; one brief but particularly interesting one. under date of Jan. 30th, 1865, being us follows:
"In Lanark attending The Wedding of Mr. and Mrs. R. H. Scott."
While these entries relate largely to the doings of the" grown-ups, " the "youngsters," as they are sometimes called are not forgotten; particularly the young people of Oakville. Their spelling schools, singing schools, exhibitions, social parties and sometimes their pranks, are duly recorded in the order of their occurrence. Their spelling schools were competetive, one school arrayed against the other. Sometimes at the Fairhaven school house, or Emmert's; but most frequently at the" Red Schoolhouse" or the brick at Oakville, the pupils of the latter, in every instance coming off victorious. Oakville's champion spellers of the late 50's and early 60's were Will Graham and Annie Mackay (Moore); and either of these two always won. Later their places were taken by Rob Graham and his sister Annie (Mrs. English. of Villisca, Iowa), and the Mackay girls, Jennie (Mrs. Van Patton, Los Angeles), Kate (the late Mrs. Ford of Kansas City) and Ellen (Mrs. Hawse of Morrisorl.) The whole settlement took great pride in these champions and their admiring school mates were always confident in accepting the challenge of any school near or far.
One sombre feature of these journals is found in the records of the funeral ceremonies over friends old and young. In nearly every instance the name of the officiating clergyman is given, as well as the text upon which the funeral discourse was founded. But the most pathetic part of this feature are memoranda of funerals of boys who died of disease or were killed in battle in the South. Under date of July 12th, 1863, is found the following entry:
"In MT. Carroll attending the obs. of L. B. Fiske. Funeral sermon by Mr. Ormsby. Text Exodus: 32-27. Eloquent Eulogy by C. B. Smith."
Maj. Leander B. Fiske of the 45th Ill. Infantry was killed June 25th, in an assault upon thc Confederate fortifications at Vicksburg and his body was afterwards taken home and interred in the cemetery at Mt. Carroll.
Under date of Aug. 27th. 1865 , is this entry: "Attended funeral services of G. W. Downs. Sermon by Rev. Cartwright, Chaplain of the 92nd. Text Phil.3: 12 "
This refers to Waite Downs, brother to Charlie of Chadwick, who was, some considerable time previous to this date, killed in battle in the South.
Under date of Feb. 4th, 1866, appears the following brief entry: "Funeral of Dan J. Mackay. Sermon by Mr. Gray. George Hay and wife to dinner and attending the funeral."
Dan J. was the eldest son of Duncan Mackay, Esq., and a fine type of rugged young manhood was a member of the 12th Illinois Cavalry during the war and upon the collapse of the Confederacy re-enlisted under a renowned General flushed with victory, who was then concentrating his forces near the frontier of Mexico, preparatory to driving the French army out of that country. While these preparations were going forward, young Mackay died and was buried in Texas, his body afterwards being disinterred and taken home to Oakville and laid in the cemetery at that place, as indicated by the entry quoted.
A part of the entry of July 15th, 1862, reads as follows: "John Ross arrived from Seceshhland."
This is certainly a novel and entirely original name for the "Sunny South" and is used but once. John Ross was a friend and neighbor who had gone down into western Louisiana in the fall of 1860, and was working at railway bridge building in that country, when the war broke out. In order to escape being forced into fighting agzinst his principles, he took to the woods. The story of his hairbreadth escapes from rebel scouts and confederate conscription officers, and long and dangerous flight through a hostile country full of wars alarm, would make a thrilling volume. Under date of Jan. 24th, 1863, appears this entry:
"Mass meeting to endorse Old Abe's Proclamation."
At this day it seems funny to call a man of 51 "old." Some of those who will remember to have attended that meeting, would hardly like to be called "old" even now. The .entry probably refers to the Emancipation Proclamation, and it would be interesting if some of the speeches made on that occassion were preserved. They must have bristled with exultant abolitionism, or the aggressive anti-slavery sentiment entertained and expressed by the men of that locality and time wns something to conjure with. March 3, 1862, has the following record: "Walked to Mt. Carroll. On grand jury. No judge, Roads too bad."
This incident seems comparatively amusing in this day of rapid transit and convenient traveling facilities; and from the fact that this Grand Juror plodded through five miles of mud in order to escape being fined for non-attendance or being late. The probability is that the judge had to come on horsebaek or on foot from some distant town that was without a railroad, and got stuck by the mud. However, the judge arrived later in the week and court convened. It does not develop that he fined himself for keeping the grand jurors and attorneys waiting for the best part of a week.
The Mirror seems to have been the only newspaper published in Mt. Carroll about this time, and it must have flourished as a factor in local affairs. The editor must have been happy and prosperous for one subscription, at least, was kept paid up, usually a year or two in advance. And that same subscriber paid a dollar for an advertisement about a lost purse, and it does not appear that the money was recovered either. The Chicago Tribune seems to have been the only daily reaching Mt. Carroll and appears os the political bible though it was then comparatively expensive. The every day issue cost 5 cents per copy and it does not appear that there was a Sunday issue
These journals contain diurnal records of weather conditions throughout each year; the memoranda showing that the elements were just as erratic in that region then as now. That the extremes of heat and cold prevailed in and sometimes out of season. But there appear to have been some conditions that, if occurring in this age of vast crops, would prove disastrous to agricultural interests and must have been distressing to the farmers of that day. On April 16, 1862, occurred a terrific rain and thunder storm, followed by a great freshet that washed out roads and destroyed mill-dams and bridges. On July 13th, 1863, then was a heavy frost that killed the corn, potatoes and garden vegetables generally. Also on Aug. 25th of the same year, frost did much damage. January 1st, 1864, was "the coldest day of the year." A terrific wind prevailed and many people caught abroad in the icy blizzard, were severely frostbitten and some perished.
The following memoranda of meetings held either in Mt. Carroll or Salem will indicate some of the events that engaged the interest and activities of the people of that locality at the times mentioned: "March 25th, 1863, meeting at Red School house to hear Holmes and Becker Road Appeal. Present, Supervisors French, Groves and Eacker."
"April 13th, 1864, Trustees meeting at John Mackay's to divide Townsnip into School Districts."
Aug. 6th, 1863, President's Thanksgiving for victories in the field; Rev. Mr. Lingel preached patriotic sermon in the Baptist Church."
"Sept. 9th, 1864, Special town meeting to vote tax for bounty to volunteers."
"Jan. 20th, 1865, meeting to revise enrollment of Salem."
At Mt. Carroll, Dec. 17, 1865, was held the semiannual meeting of the Bible Society, at which John Irvine delivered the principal address. And on Jan. 25th, the Historian attended "a railroad tariff indignation meeting at Mount Carroll" There are several entries referring to the enrollment in Salem. This enrollment was for the purpose of draft in case the town failed to enlist its quota of volunteers for the army. But there was no draft in Salem. In fact, it taxed the watchfulness of the wise fathers to keep their younger boys at home.
Age didn't matter much provided the boy was long enough up and down, had sufficient sand, and was adroit enough to get away, several boys filled this bill. One young lad, on one occasion, purloined a horse from his father's stable in the wee, small hours, galloped bareback across the prairie to Polo in order to enlist; but the recruiting officer at that place asked him if he had brought his nursing bottle, and he returned home much crestfallen, got a spanking from his father, and went to bed with the prayer that he might be like Jonah's gourd that grew up in a single night. Resolving that if he, were so blessed, there would be someone else to thrash beside the rebels. The meetings noted are but a small percentage of those that are recorded. In 1866 there were a series that extended, through a considerable period. These were termed the F. W. B. and occurred three or four times a week Although there is frequent memoranda showing some member of the family to have been present there is no data by which the work .and object of the society can be determined. Perhaps some reader will remember and be able to explain. But wait! perhaps a modern utility can give the required information. Yes! It has just been learned by telephone from Mrs. Boyd, formerly Eliza Fraser of Oakville, that the abbreviation prohably means Freedmen's Bureau. At all events there was an organization of women about that time whose object was the amelioration of the condition of the liberated slaves. They met frequently with Mrs. Gray (Rev.) as presiding genius, to make shirts for the picanninnies, skirts for the wenches and coats for the colored men, and sent barrels of supplies to the parent institution at Washington.
A trip to Chicago though comparatively inexpensive, was, in those days, something of an event, and took time, as will appear from the following entry under date of June 16, 1863. Left Mt. Carroll depot 8:28, A. M. Reached Chicago 3:30 P. M. Excursion round trip ticket $2.00. (17th). In Chicago. Paid Thomson & Bishop, Dearborn St., R. R. Mortgage. Left Chicago at 3:30 P. M. Arrived at Mt. Carroll 1:30 A. M. the 18th." The mortgage noted was one of many similar mortgages that in 1856, caught hundreds of farmers and other residents along the line of a proposed railroad to run from Racine, Wisconsin, through Mt. Carroll to Savanna. These mortgages were made to the Racine & Mississippi Railroad Company, so-called. At that time there was no railroad west of Freeport, and the farmers of that locality were sorely handicapped for the want of a market for their surplus grain and cattle. The promise of a railroad was encouraging and the prospectus of the Racine & Mississippi Company alluring in the extreme. Farmers were not only to have a market at Chicago but were to be stock-holders in the road as well, with large dividends in view. The railroad was being built, as evidence the line of railway cutting disfiguring the Hurley farm. Certificates of stock were easily and rapidly sold. Mortgages were given when the ready money was not at hand. But the scheme ended when all that could be caught were in the toils. The railroad was still a dream or a "story that was told." But the unsightly banks in Hurley's field remained for many years a monument to the craft of schemers and credulity of honest men. Mr. Hurley had the ready money and paid cash for a large amount of stock. He was to have the depot, but all he got for his money was a hole in his farm, without a "Thank you, Sir!" It was alleged that the mortgages had been sold to (so-called) innocent purchasers and therefore must be paid. Some contested payment but in the end there was little or nothing saved. The mortgage noted, with certificates of stock attached thereto, was preserved as a relic and a warning and bears the date of April 7th, 1856. It is drawn in favor of "The Racine & Mississippi Railroad Company of Racine, Wisconsin," with the names of H. J. Durand as President, John Dickenson Vice-President, .and A. Redburn Secretary. Witnesses to the execution are Geo. N. Harris and S. D. Clough. The certificate or record is by J. P. Emmert, Clerk and ex-Office Recorder. The release is dated at Racine, Wisconsin. June 26th. 1863, signed by H. J. Durand and by him sworn to before Moses Miller Notary Public, with James Bowors as witness. The Certificate of Record at Mt. Carroll is by B. P. Shirk, Recorder. There is a marvel in the placid discharge of this alleged obligation in the light of its prima facie errors. The orthography of names appearing in the body of the instrument is widely different from the signatures thereto. One statement gives the day and year without the month, and the mortgagees contract to do impossible and even supernatural things and to break the law. But the instrument still shows that there were men in those days who could peacefully submit to injustice and wrong rathern than repudiate a promise.
The prices shown as having been paid for land in those days will be something of a surprise to those who occupy or own the small farms today. A deed made on the 20th day of December, 1853, by Duncan and Jessie Mackay to the historian. shows that the consideration for the 80 acres described therein was $170. This was the west 80 of the Fraser farm, land that was a few years ago sold by Rob. Graham to Henry Bast for something in the neighborhood of $100 an acre. The consideration paid for the east 80 of the same farm was $500, the deed being by John and Catharine Harvey of Delaware County Canada, by Duncan Mackay, their attorney, and dated Dec. 5, 1854. The acknowledgement was before J. P. Emmert, Clerk of the Circuit Court.
There is at hand also a deed of the same property made a year earlier by Sobeski Brown and Sarah Ann Brown of Middlesex County Canada to John Harvey in which the consideration is Four Hundred Dollars equal to the value of one hundred pounds currency." The affidavit to this Canadian deed was made before Thomas Dickson Warren, Notary Public of St. Thomas. Middlesex County, Canada, and closes with these words: "In test veritas," and the whole document is an example of elaborate and painstaking care.
The reason of the greater value having been placed upon the eastern 80 was the fact that there were fences, buildings and a large apple orchard thereon at the time, and some fields were under cultivation. There was a long rambling log house on a side hill near the creek at the edge of the woods, and a log barn farther up the slope, with plastered compartments for holding grain and vegetables; a room for "curing" tobacco, and a wide "mow" under the roof for storing hay. There was also a partly dismantled Block House that had been used by the earlier pioneers as a defense against marauding Indians. The floor of this partial ruin was composed of large hickory and oak logs hewn smooth on the upper side with the three lower logs of the ancient walls still in place. Beneath this floor was an excavcation, later utilized and called a "root house" and from this ran a tunnel that had its outlet among the willows on the bank of the creek, evidently a line of retreat in case the fortress were overwhelmed or set on fire. In later days this ruin, caving in, became a safe refuge for skunks and rattle snakes, and to the child mind a place of "spooks" by night and a lair where the scarioo and cave bear slept and snored through the long summer days.
Prairie land brought a much higher price than grub or timber hind. But about this time all kinds, whether improved or otherwise, begun to advance in price. Ten years later unimproved land had nearly quadrupled, as will appear from the following entry under date ot Feb. 3rd, 1864: "Sold John McKiel's 40 to Anton Spinka at 7.25 per acre. Order from Duncan Mackay on H. A. Mills for the amount $290."
The land here referred to was located in the neighborhood of the old Daggert farm. Six years later land was bringing upwards of $10 per acre. Today $100 will not touch a single acrc of the land and twice that amount is sometimes refused.
The social events of those years as recorded, show that the country including Lanark. Mt. Carroll, Hanover and Elizabeth on the north, Preston Prairie, York or the "Bailey Settlement," so-called, Salem and Fairhaven on the south, was one vast neighborhood, the people pooling their sorrows and their joys, "bearing one another's burdens," and cheerfully uniting to soften the hard lines of life and make the time pass happily. The pioneer life developed such a needed spirit and resulting association and helpful friendship made land-marks of uplifting joy. The Baileys, proverbial for genial qualities and wholesome cheer, stormed the Oakville homes, and their friends returned the welcome favor. The English's dined at Gunn's and Fraser's, and were in turn assailed by cheery neighbors. "Parties" were held at "Duncan's" "William's" and at "John's," and Finlayson's, Cameron's, Craig's, Graham's, Hildt's, Reynolds', Goldings', Liberton's and Hallett's and scores of others joined in the wholesome mirth. No member of this wide community was for long left to brood in isolated loneliness, and over all their gatherings hung the benediction of mutual helpfulness end good will.
The singing and spelling schools of the younger people were not only places of improvement in these lines, but bureaus of information as well, where the activities of that wide region were discussed and news from different quarters was exchanged. These seem to have been matrimonial bureaus as well, for the following are frequently recorded as having attended such gatherings and afterwards paired for life's onward journey: James Beatty and Divina Mackay; Jim Graham and Phoebe Reynolds; Robert Moore and Anna Mackay; Frank Brown and Jennie Graham ; John Becker and Ellen Graham: Jerry Hall and Amelia Stearns; John Zuck and Emmaline Becker; Rob Gunn and Jane Cameron; Will Ashby and Molly Gunn; Dave Carr and Katie Hildt; John L. Smith and Barbara Mackay; John Kahler and Theresa Kline; Dan Graham and Annie Bailey; George Francks and Lucinda Kline; Robert Jack and Lena Mackay; James Mackay and Sam Isenhart; and Partis English and "Little Annie" Graham.
Here are a few entries abbreviated simply to indicate some of the "doings" in the Christmas season:
January 1, 1862, Dined at English's."
"Christmas, 1862, John and Jane McKiel and Anna McLellan to dinner. Youngsters at Jerry Hall's in the evening."
"January 1, 1863. To Mrs. English's with Finlay Fraser and Jay McDougal (of Wisconsin) and the Gunns and Baileys. Youngsters and Anna McLellan at Willoughbys."
"Christmas, 1863. Sleigh-riding with the children. Mrs. McKiel [Jill] family to dinner. All hands to town."
Judging from the itemized expenditure of this rare "splurge" the kids must have" blowed" themselves to a grent extent. Let the exploits of the others remain a secret. But Tommy spent 35 cents of papa's money and Uncle William invested 10 cents in a Christlnas present for Martin. What that present was, history saith not, possibly a rattle; or mayhap a miniature barometer or comic almnnac.
"New Year's Day. 1864. Self and Mrs. at Finlay Fraser's, Waukesha, Wis. Coldest day known in many years. Around the fireside talking over boyhood days in Scotland." Finlay Fraser, though no relation of the historian, was a school-mate and boyhood friend in Scotland. Each knew that the other had come to America, one to Nova Scotia and the other to the "States," but it took many years of inquiry and search before the friends located each other, and during the last few years of tbis search they had been little more than a hundrcd miles apart.
"Christmas, 1865. English and family and Charlie Reynolds to dinner."
"Christmas. 1866. Dined at English's with W. Fraser and wife, John Fraser and W. F. McCormick of Elgin. Youngsters at Gunn's in the evening."
There are many records of social events of other days as well. One mentions a husking bee at Ira Bailey's. The boys gathered to husk corn and the girls to sew, with a dance at night, which is not recorded. One New Year re,cord mentions a gathering at the Fraser home, a dinner and after that a game of shirley by the " youngsters," in which the grave and dignified elders took an enthustiac and enthusing part. "Shirley, or shinny;" as it was often called" was the leading game of the young men and boys in those days. Why called shinny? Perhaps because the shins were as often a mark for the contestants' clubs as the ball. The ball, usually of bounding rubber, was dropped between the two chief contestants standing in the middle of of the field, and their clubs came together with a bang. Then pandemonium broke loose, when each side armed with curved sticks, sought to drive it to either goal. It was a wild and strepuous game, with few rules to govern the resultant fights and tumult. But it was a game to make active and hardy men, as those who came out of the Oakville school well know.
Those with wise, grizzled heads who now live largely retrospective lives, and realize the swifter flight of time, may turn regretfully to memories of those golden days, but gathering still a sunbeam here and there that shone upon their earlier years forget the heart-aches and the sorrows by the way, rejoicing always that their greater share was joy.
In the light of modern taxation, the amounts paid upon personal property and real estate prior to the year 1862, are somewhat amusing. Either there was very little personal property to tax, and realty was rather below par, or the ratio was extremely low. One farmer is recorded to have paid $1.89 on personal property and $7.40 on his land, and this was a quarter section farm. In the year 1862, when the historian was collector for the town of Salem, a memorandum of the taxes paid by each farmer was made according to these entries they had little or no reason to complain of burdensome taxation. The total amount collected was a little over $1,000. But notwithstanding this meagre sum to be expended in State, County and municipal improvements, the business seems to have gone forward smoothly and without the handicap of modern graft. Under date of March 11th, 1862, is the following entry: "Settled with Owen P. Miles for State, County and Volunteer tax; paid him $1088.02. Settled with John MacKay for School tax, paid him in full, $365.10. Paid Becker $50., town tax."
This was the total tax paid by the residents of Salem on the assessment of 1861. There is a memorandum showing delinquent tax amounting to $39., but this was collected later in the year.
During the first five years of the decade of '60-'70, prices of farm produce varied greatly, likely in consequence of the Civil War. But in the first two or three years of this decade the farmer seems to have had the wrong end of the stick, for the wares of the merchant seemed to remain almost stationary, and were always extremely high. In February, 1862, oats were 17cents a bushel at Savanna and corn 18 cents at Lnnark. In July of the same year flour was bought from "Natty" for $1.50 per hundred. Dressed hogs at the depot brought $2.50 per hundred. Ten shoats, 1175 pounds, sold to Beardsley brought $27.37. In October of this year 12 pigs sold to Eisenbise for $12., and four to D. Cameron for $3.4 7. Two cows were sold to Mellinger for $15 each. Potatoes were 40 cents per bushel and apples 50 cents. Eggs were 6 cents per dozen and butter 12 1-2 cents per pound. Curiously euough, wheat at this time was relatively high, being 90 cents per bushel at Lanark. This in all liklihood was owing to its scarcity. It will be remembered that about this time, during a period of three or four years, the chinch bug practically destroyed the wheat fields of Illinois and Iowa, and this recollection may explain an entry showing Dr. Shimer to have been, on a certain date, at the Oakville school house to lecture on Bugs.
Dr. Shimer had on previous occasions lectured in the Oakville school house upon sanitary and other subjects. Always solicitous for the welfare of the toiling farmer, the misfortunes following the chinch bug scourge must have awakened his ready sympathy. He came out to tell the farmers not to be cast down; that the reign of the chinch bug was over, adding that in the coming season, farmers, jubilant over abundant harvests, would be going about offering a dollar for a specimen of the chinch bug, dead or alive. Farmers believed in the doctor's rugged honesty and wide knowledge of the smaller objects of God's handiwork, and tried again. The prophecy came true. Abundant crops were harvested. The chinch bug was only a memory!
On the other hand the wares of the merchant were comparatively high. August 27, 1862, 200 pounds of fence wire cost $15 at Polo. This was the old fashioned smooth wire, just then introduced into the country. This price seems extremely high,: when its lasting usefulness and the price of the effective barb wire of today is considered. The Singer sewing machine cost $95, and traveling agents therefor, swarmed over the country and accumulated fortunes. Nails were 7c per pound at retail, and 3!6.50 per keg, while pine shingles were worth $6.00 per thousand at Lanark, Leather was very high, and following a memorandum of a quantity bought at Lanark, is this item:
"Bought punch 30c." When the elaborator struck this latter entry, he received a shock and surprise; but it developed later that the purchase noted was an implement for cutting holes in leather.
Tea was $1.60 per pound; molasses $1.15 per gallon and kerosene remained stationary four or five years at 60c per gallon. There was no coffee, its place being taken by various condiments made from chickory, wheat and other cereals ground in black molasses. Boots wore out rapidly and climbed from $5 to $8 and $9 a pair, while calico was almost impossible at 40c per yard.
But about this time, products of the farm began to advance in price, and in 1855-6 reached encouraging and speculative figures. Wheat at one time went up to $2.50 per bushel and oats to 60c; corn $1.04 and hogs as high as $12.50 per hundred, while the wares of the merchant remained about the same. There was no noticeable rise in these during this period, perhaps because the conscience of the vendor, or revolutionary attitude of the consumer remained a bar.
War news traveled slowly in those days. If like events were taking place at the present time the marvelous utilities for transmitting tidings, would keep the people posted as events occurred, and all might watch the battle from afar. Victory or defeat would be known a thousand miles away 'ere the smoke of battle cleared or the cannons thunder ceased re-echoing from the hills. But in that day, first came rumors of a battle, then more definite news of victory or defeat, and last of all the names of wounded, killed, or missing were known in the stricken homes. Here is an entry that will give some idea of how the people must have waited in heart-rending anxiety for definite news of rumored battle.
"Thursday, May 28, 1863, News of Vicksburg being taken last Monday."
If the prophecy had been made that the time would come, within the lives of many of those taking part therein, when the news of such a battle in all its details might be known in every corner of the land, before the wind had brushed the smoke a way, or the guns had time to cool, the prophet making such prediction would have been "laughed to scorn," and remained for forty years without honor in other countries as well as in his own.
A curious instance of the effect of belated news is given by an eminent English historian, at that time in public life in Great Britain. There was no Atlantic cable then, and vessels didn't make the speed they do now. This writer was in sympathy with the north, while a large minority of his fellows favored the southern cause. In describing the close of the civil war, he says that mass meetings in sympathy with the Confederacy were held in London, Manchester, and other places three weeks after the fall of Richmond, and surrender of Lee, and while President Davis was in jail, the participants therein still enthusiastic that the South would win. What must have been their feelings when at last they heard the shouting from Union housetops, and realized that the "brave defense" was all over!
During the latter part of the year 1862, and the following year, although there are mem oranda of military movements elsewhere. the historian seems only to have tried to keep track of the Army of the Cumberland. This was but natural, as most of the boys who enlisted from Northern Illinois, as well as those from his own immediate neighborhood, were in that department. Individually and collectively these boys became objects of watchful interest, and the vast army a barometer of exultation or despair. Sometimes the records of battle and victory were made in doubt, to be confirmed or disproved later on. Couriers and the mails were slow. A record of letters received from different boys in the army investing Northern Georgia and Tennessee, shows the date of posting as well as of receipt.
Letters posted at Franklin, Tenn., and LaFayette, Georgia, took eight and nine days to reach Mt. Carroll. One letter, found in a file bears this unique legend upon its wrapper: .
"Mr. Postmaster! Push this letter through; postage stamps are scarce in the Army of the Cumberland, and the home folks have had no news for a long time."
It required eleven days to push it through from Atlanta to Mt. Carroll, but it came through without a stamp.
The 92nd Regiment left Rockford for the front on October 10, 1862, and just a month later, November 10, is this entry:
"Reported capture of the 92nd."
The home folks must have been crest-fallen at hearing such tidings: that their host of hardy boys were "easy" after all. But a few days later they were on deck again, and engaged in wiping up the ground with the "Johnnies" instead of getting lost. It would be wearisome to go over a story that has been so often told. The 92nd made its own inspiring history in those days of anxiety and gloom. And the grizzled warriors who still survive, may well scan the record with proud heart-beat and kindling eye.
Here are a few entries abbreviated and given some of them to show that news of battle, victory or defeat, was sometime doubted and sometimes doubtful, others merely touching on the closing events of the war.
"January 4th, 1863. Battle of Murfreesboro closed after five days fighting."
April 10, 1863. Fight with VanDorn at Franklin, Tenn. Van defeated."
"Sept. 22, 1863. News of Rosencrans and Bragg fighting at Chicamauga-Rosencrans and Bragg fighting at LaFayette, Ga. Rosy defeated at Chicamauga, not sure. Battles around Fredericksburg. Hooker and Lee. Both sides claim victory. Probably a draw. (May2-3-4,1863.)
For a concluding description of the exploits of the Army of the Cumberland, the reader is referred to a piece of history long ago set to lively music, and entitled "Marching Through Georgia."
"Monday, April 3rd. 1865. Richmond taken"
Sunday, April 9th. 1865 reported surrender of Lee and Army."
April 10th, Lee's surrender confirmed."
"April 15th. Abraham Lincoln assassinated last night. Died this morning."
"Sunday, April 23rd. In town attending funeral services of Abraham Lincoln at the Court House."
"Thursday, May 18th. Funeral services of A. Lincoln, by Mr. McCorkle. Text Isa. 45:13: I have raised him up in righteousness and I wi1l direct his ways; he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price or reward, sayth the Lord of Hosts.'''
"May 16, 1865. Letter from Don R, Jacksonville, Fla. First news since last October. "
"July 10, 92nd home."
"Sunday, July 23, 1865: Don arrived this morning having enlisted August 9, 1862. Left for Rockford August 25, and his regiment, the 92nd, left Rockford on October 10, '62. Taken prisoner at Atlanta October 19, '64. Released at Jacksonville April 30, 1865."
And so the long, bitter and sometimes doubtful conflict ended, and the nation was cleansed of its darkest stain. There was waving of flags and shouting upon loyal housetops as "Johnnie came marching home," while tears fell in public and in secret places, for the boys who did not return.
The boys who went from Oakville and its immediate neighborhood were as follows: Sam Hall, Dan Mackay, Egbert Becker, Rob Gunn, Charlie Reynolds, Edward English, Waite Downs, Wm. Beattie, Henry Weber, John Weber, Balser Appel. George Finlayson, Don Fraser, Will Reynolds, Mike Higgins, Wm. Graham. John Hildt, Fred Schreiner, John S. Hall, Jim Beder, John Zud:, John W. Puterbaugh, John Coin, Jacob Acker, Lyman Gray, Hugh Galhagher, James Siddels, George Robins, John Schreiner, and there may be others unintentionally omitted from this list.
Turning to the archives of earlier years, a certificate of survey, dated February 8, 1862, is found, describing the Graham, Mackay and Fraser farms. This instrument is by Elijah Funk. surveyor for Carroll county, with Conrad Hildt and Edward Bonnyman as sworn chairmen.
Two receipts, dated respectively Feb. 25, 1857 and March 13, 1858, show that Nathaniel Halderman was county treasurer and W. Fraser collector for the town of Salem in those year's. The receipt also shows that "Natty" was an excellent penman and well versed in careful business methods.
A receipt dated Jan. 23, 1858, signed D. B. Emmert, by 1. V. Hollinger, shows that there was a newspaper called the Carroll County Republican published in Mt. Carroll at that time. It also shows that it had been there for five years and intended to remain on deck. The receipt reads in part as follows: "From No. 48, voL 5, to No. 48. vol. 6."
The Mirror receipts from 1860, forward ten years or more are signed Hollinger & Windle, except that of 1864 which is by Bolm & Howlett.
A receipt dated January 4, 1858 shows that there was a law firm under the name of Miller & Smith, doing business in Mt. Carroll, and that their retaining fee was $2.50. Another in the same year shows that S. G. Metcalf was a Mt. Carroll financier.
Another receipt, yellow with age, may here speak for itself and whatever else it implies: . "Mt. Carroll, IlL, March 30, 1861: Received of Wm. Fraser, 46c in full of postage account. G. W. Harris, P. M., per W. H. Harris, Ass't.
On the reverse side of this receipt appears the official stamp of the Mt. Carroll postoffice and a "statement of account." There are similar papers by R. J. Tomkins, who succeeded Mr. Harris as postmaster at Mt. Carroll, that imply an "easy" system of transmitting mails in those days. Letters were often mailed, carried and delivered without being stamped, and the postmaster, like the merchant, had to keep individual accounts of his patrons. . When an unstamped letter for a known "customer" arrived, it was placed in the box or general delivery receptacle and the postage was booked. Publishers of newspapers in Chicago and other cities had no postage to pay upon their wares. The snbscriber at the other end of the line attended to this detail when he settled his account at the close of the year for postage charges. Local newspapers were carried to the surrounding country in various old fashioned ways and distributed from a corner grocery or some prominent or central neighbor's house. Nearby subscribers called at the place of publication for their paper or went without. Other receipts of '61 and thereabouts, show that Gearhart & Fisher did business in Mt. Carroll, that. Nelson & Bohn were on deck, and E. O. Meacham was an employee of Lichty's drug store, that David Mumma sold patent rights for curing furs and Tim Hurley sharpened plows, that Volney Armour was deputy collector of internal revenue and that farmers as well as merchants and salaried employees paid "income tax," and' that E.M. Rosenblatt sold hoop skirts at $4.50 per pair. This must have been in the day when women went spinning around like inverted tops, putting dancing out of fashion, and when sidewalks were scarcely wide enough for single file.
Behind these and many more are slowly fading records of transactions at "Natty's mill." This grand and ancient pile of boyhood's wondrous and wondering world, was built in 1840 and stood for years one of the chief land marks in that wide and wild region, lying between Rock Ishand and Galena, its murmuring wheels revolving day and night that the scattered pioneers might have bread. It must have been a sturdy structure then, for it is a sturdy structure still, surviving mans allotted span of life. Its wheels now turn by modern force and the grateful splash of water at its throbbing side is heard no more. But its shadow still falls upon the slope where truant schoolboys of ye olden time foregathered to adjust their fishing tackle and their quarrels. An inviting shadow still where this grizzled school boy might lie and meditate upon the story that his ardent friend might tell.
THE OLD MILL
By Thomas Fraser
The brook still running to the river, the river flowing to the sea
Their murmuring unchanged since we were boys;
What is there in their music that is aught to thee and me?
Their mystic cadence telling of ever vanished joys?
Here let us lie in the shadows deep
And list to the catbird's trill
Here where wont we were lulled to sleep
By the drone of Wonderland mill.
Here while the sunlight is rippling down,
And Fancy is blending at will
The chastened noise of the busy town
With the song of Halderman's mill.
The brook still babbling to the river, the river laughing to the sea
Their harmony unchanged since manhood's dawn.
What is there in their gladness that is aught to thee or me,
In all that made their language sweet to us is gone!
Long silent voices of boyhood's day
A wake on the distant hill
And joeund shout of lusty play
Gladdens the song of the mill.
Let the stately school house on yonder slope
Be the Mecca for Henry and Will,
While for us the shrine of youthful hope
Is the shadow of Halderman's mill.
The brook now sighing to the riycr, the river, moaning to the sea
The melody unchanged by virile years
What is there in their sadness that is aught to thee or me?
When retrospective laughter ends in retrospective tears?
But halloo! and hello is borne on the breeze,
From the voices of Geordie and Phil,
And the grizzled young dreamers under the trees
Are awake and respond with a will.
The sunlight's abroad in the blue vault above
And cloud-shadows race o'er the hill
And drowned are the voices of cat-bird and dove
In the roar of Halderman's mill
There are no records to imply a mischievous trend in any of the Oakville boys. But several mysterious abbreviations recall some fireside stories of nocturnal pranks that were not all play. Today some grizzled heads, recalling such, will wonder if they really did such things. But realizing still that the spice of youthful life is fun, there will be no remorse. Perhaps 'twas some one else who did such things; but the proverbial originality of the average Oakviile boy is against the thought. And now for a few of the old traditions:
A farmer coming to his barn to do the early morning chores was very much astounded to find a steer in harness, dragging a corn sheller about the yard.
Another, after a long search, found his stable furniture and harness piled in a heap on the green, at the Red School House.
Another coming from Lanark late at night, upon a spirited horse, was nearly thrown from his saddle when he came suddenly upon two ghostly figures dancing in the moonlight, twenty feet above Moore's lane. This latter gentleman had just been through the war and was not easily scared. Turning back a short distance to tie his now terrified and trembling mount, he came forward and found a wire fastened to a post on each side of the lane, the ghostly figures made frorn withered corn stalks, astride thereof and raised high on poles to dance in the fitful wind.
A German farmer getting up in the night to look for burglars, found a very frightened yearling in his cellar.
Another found his reputed savage watch dog in a barrel on the porch, with feet tied fore and aft.
A plow dressed in effigy was found in the school house trying to look dignified in the teacher's chair, and preserve order with a wicked looking club.
A wheelbarrow upon a chimney; a rooster under an inverted milk can in a dairy, a cat caged in a discarded joint of stove pipe, and pushed in at an open parlor window; a dog fastened' to a churn, and, other strange phenoniena attributable to nothing short of spooks.
These are some of the things that did happen. There was one at least that did not materialize, at least as one of the participants expected. Let this exception be called "Jack," for Jack is a common appelation and may mean almost anything or anybody, at least when followed by a double s.
Jack was attending the Oakville school at the time and had behind him an interesting and honorable record in the Civil War, but felt that his glory would not be complete until he had participated in some nocturnal prank, similar to those reported from time to time. He made known his wish in this behalf-and got it. On a certain dark night seven or eight young men cautiously and silently descended on a neighbor's barn-yard, Jack in the lead, and just as they were about to execute some novel enterprise in mischief, a gruff voice from a dark corner demanded to know what thay were doing there. His companions scattered and Jack broke for the grubs, followed by a Nemesis with a roaring voice, and revolver streaming fire, each leadless crack accelerating Jack's speed. He made a wide detour and an hour later unshod himself at his mother's door and slipped quietly to bed, thankful once more that he could sleep the sleep of the unscarred and innocent.
The subject of the plot indicated now resides in Mt. Carroll, as well as one of the conspirators. Whether Jack ever knew that the whole thing was a prearranged affair is not known, but if Jack never knew, he knows it now, and should these two neighbors ever come together, this scribe, unlike Sheridan at Winchester, will not gallop down until the war is over.
On a certain wet day in June when thcre was little doing at the various Oakville farms, a mare and colt that were quietly grazing in the upper pasture on the Gunn farm, suddenly became terrified by a strange and uncouth animal loping out of the nearby woods. The mare, followed by her colt, raced madly down the slope, jumped two or three fences, and brought up at the door of the farm house, with a terrified snort. The young men of the family, togerher with two or three visiting neighbors, at once rushed out to find the cause of such commotion. They saw an animal whose species could not be determined otherwise than by dubious conjecture, frisking about near the edge of the woods. They watched the surprising antics for a short time, until presentJy it jumped the fence, came farther afield, and commenced sporting about upon the grass. Hurriedly securing a shot-gun and an old flint-lock pistol that had been wrested from a good Indian in the Blackhawk war, two of the most venturesome slipped rapidly down a long winding ravine, in order to cut off a retreat to the woods. But the animal, whose range of vision must have been keen, even for a member of tbe Simiade tribe, seemed to understand the move and stole quietly back into the woods. A few hours thereafter the whole countryside was on fire with the news and for days the incident remained the dominant theme for gossip and speculation while the unknown and untrapable animal commenced ranging over the whole timber dotted region between Rock Island and the Wisconsin line, a terror to town as well as country districts. Whatever other characteristics this terror may have had he was surely fleet of foot.
It was seen or heard at three or four different points about the same time. On a certain clark night its terrifying yell was heard in the woods near Hanover and the same night, about the same time, it tried to steal a squealing pig from a farmer in Fairhaven. If a horse, in broad day, with a fly in his ear, lnadly raced ncross the pasture, it was the scent of the bug-a-boo that started the stampede. If a hungry or quarrelsome pig voiced his protest at night the beast was there. In fact the presence of this monster was accountable for every unusual night sound from forest, glen or hill.
On an early morning he was seen loping across Mackay's pasture and a half hour later chased a man out of the timber at Cherry Grove. It became a terror to the belated lover and children going to schoo, while frenzied local naturalists were trying to determine its species. Some thought it a chimpanzee escaped from Dan Rice's traveling circus. Some that it was a baboon from a menagerie in St. Louis, then recently destroyed by fire. One adult student who had been poring over his childrens book on natural history, thought it was an "orange," pronouncingthe name of a fruit so spelled. But a sly and thoughtful local naturalist pronounced it to be nothing more dangerous than a "Scarioo."
The whole scheme had been planned and carried. out by shy, diffident, but handsome Oakville boy. He had exploited his weird raiment and astounding antics only on three occasions, and that in broad day when a chance rabbit hunter or ambushed shot gun might have spoiled his clothes. But the story bolongs to a later date than any yet touched and will be told in the clue order of its occurrence. It will be a correct version from an authentic source.
It would require a clever and unwearying pen together with long and tireless application, to write the history of the Oakville school as it might be written. No such necessary qualifications are claimed, but time that waits for no man (only women) must be considered here.
The history of the Oakville school is about the same as the history of other district schools in many respects. In addition to this it is the pioneer school of Salem township. Many pupils attending it during the earlier years were obliged to travel long distances - some of them three miles and more, from the east across the prairie and from the west through pathless woods, the Germans from the western portion of the township a considerable portion of the attendance. Some of the older records show an attendance of over sixty pupils, all under one teacher. The Schreiners, Daggarts, and Appels from the west; the Hildts, Kleins, Ruppels and others, from the south; and the Englishes, Halls, Sterns, Mortons, Howells, Beckers, Smiths, Zucks, Swaggerts and others from the east and north, are recorded as having attended at one time. These though living at a distance of two miles and more from the schoolhouse, usunlly mnde up a fair proportion of the regular attendance.
In 1846 John Mackay started the project of building a school house and, with one or two others. went into the woods with an axe and broad-axe and chopped and hewed the timbers which went to make up the frame. Other material was hauled by ox-team from West Point, northwest of Mt. Carroll. When the building was finished Daniel G. Shottenkirk was employed as teacher. being paid by subscription. He taught several terms, then took that gold fever, and with W. A. J. Pierce and others went to California.
Following him as teachers were: Miss S. Nourse, James A. Hughes, Wm. Fraser, E. Clamin, Miss Jeffries, (Mrs. Ferrin), Miss Hawley (Mrs. Chase), Miss Van Alstine (Mrs. Swaggert.) These all teaching in the old school house on the east side of the lane at the edge of the woods, directly in line with the present building, which is the third building used as a school house on that spot of ground.
In 1855 a new brick school house was built from materinl from the Hallet brick yards in Mt. Carroll, the woodwork of the building being done by C. S. Dennis, one of the pioneer carpenters of the county. Then, even as before, the influence of this excellent institution was felt to be the leading factor in the uplift of this wide community.
The best teachers from, abroad were employed and the results of their practical methods of instruction were deep and lasting. The names of the teachers, up to the year 1870 are here given as nearly as possible, in the order of their service, possibly some are omitted. Many of them are dead and the whereabouts of othern is unknown. For these reasons full information is not attempted in case errors might be made: Daniel Shottenkirk. Miss Hawley, Wm, Fraser, James Hughes, Miss Nouise, James Clamin. Miss Jeffries, Miss Pomeroy, John G. Gill, Amanda Van Alstine, Wm. H. Gill. Hattie O'Neal, David B. Colehour, Nan Gallup, John M. Graham, Ada F. Black, Louise Chaddock, Miss E. T. Lenfest, Eliza Fraser, A. J. Forbes, Lena Ormsby, Robert Finlayson. Will J. Lihberton, F. G. Yeoman, Jennie Mackay, W. K. Larish, George Franks, E. Hodgeson, and W. H. Kridler.
And these were no kinkergarten teachers either. They believed that instruction to be lasting should make its impress on the brain, instead of upon paper, as in the present day. If those good old methods are scorned today, let the scorner stand before one of these teachers, still living, and without the aid of pencil, slate or paper, try to solve the test problem found in the old "Stoddard's Mental Arithmetic," about the bear and wolf eating a sheep, which ran something in this wise:
If a wolf can eat a sheep in 7-8 of an hour, and a bear can eat it in 3-4 of an hour, how long would it take them together to eat what remained of a sheep after the wolf had been eating 1-2 an hour, provided the bear didn't eat the wolf?"
Of the pupils who attended the Oakville school up to the year 1870, nearly forty of them afterwards became school teachers, three families supplying twentyone of these. Some of these did not remain for full equipment at the Oakville school, going to the Seminary or Union at Mt. Carroll, the high school at Morrison, Champaign college, and other places for the finishing touches." But quite a number never attended any other school. A few attended but a term or two and two or three attended while in bibs or Imickerbockers, moving elsewhere as their families did.
An effort has been made to determine the address or whereabouts of all and whether living or dead, but the list still remains largely imperfect in this respect and somewhat doubtful with respect to some of the names, which are as follows:
Alex M. Fraser, Nova Scotia; Mary Gunn (Ashby) deceased; Hugh Gunn, Alberta, ,Canada; Jane Cameron (Gunn) Wyoming; Mary Cameron (Sanborn) Wyoming; Kate Cameron (Paul) Quincy, Ill.; Robert Graham, Mt. Carroll; Thomas Greenan, Coon Rapids, Iowa; George Finlayson, Kansas; Rob Finlayson, Grundy Center, Iowa; D. W. Finlayson, Des Moines, Iowa; Calvin Finlayson, Armstrong, Iowa; Jennie Finlayson, Mt. Carroll; John Finlayson, deceased; Mary Finlayson (Dunshee) Mt. Carroll; Lena Mackay (Jack) Oakville; Jennie J. Mackay (Van Patten) Los Angeles, Calif; D. S. Beattie, Colorado; Jennie J. Mackay, Mt. Carroll; Ed O. Lee, Salt Lake, Utah; Will A. Mackay, Madison, S. D.; Dan S. Mackay, Oakville; Henry Mackay, Mt. Carroll; Divina MacKay, deceased; Helen Mackay (Weston) Nebraska; Jennie B. Mackay, deceased; John L. Maclmy, unknown; Belle Smith (McGoun) Los Angeles; Eliza Smith (Mills) Los Angeles; Don Fraser. Wewolm, Okla.; Eliza Fraser (Boyd) Morrison, Ill.; Tena Fraser (Waller) Morrison, Ill.; Kate Fraser, deceased; 'Ella Fmser (Weller) Los Angeles; Herd Fmser, Peoria; Martin McKeil, Oakville; Egbert Becker, deceased; Emma Becker (Zuck) Mt. Carroll; Lyman C. Gray, Fort Dodge, Iowa.
In the early 80's the pupils of this school, past and present. who still resided at .Oakville, Mt. Carroll and nearby points, organized a reunion association and held bi-ennial gatherings ror some years to which the old pupils and teachers fore-gathered from all parts of the country. The exercises at these meetings were reported as they occurred and were published at the time. These reports have been preserved in scrap book form and a few notes are here culled therefrom.
At one of these gatherings (1886) a game of shirley by "the boys" took place, and is thus described:
"Then the boys of twenty years ago chose sides for a game of shirley and with clubs and ball, the contestants were soon hard at work; Crack! crack! roll and tumble, farmers, mechanics, lawyers, teachers, merchants, editors, artists and all were surging over the school yard for mastery. Twenty-five years vanished in an instant and the game was as hotly contested as of yore: but years and sedentary employment told on the "boys" and three times and out was enough for them."
At another time reflections upon "calling the roll" are thus given:
There were the names of many of the earlier pupils whose whereabouts are unknown to the present generation, who have long been swallowed up in the world; there were the names of those who closed their eyes upon the earth, in peace and quiet at home among friends; there were the names or those who fell in the full tide of battle in defense of the old flag, dead in their boyhood under Southern skies. Among the names of the living appeared those well known in all branches of business. There were ministers, lawyers, and doctors: the Chamber of Commerce of Chicago had its representative; the field of art sent up an answer; the mechanic and artisan were there; the farmers bronzed face and stalwart form loomed up among the rest; literature had its representative, and the business interests of the county answered from the assembly. They were all there in memory; in person many were absent.
"Then the voice of the president was heard calling the assembly to listen to letters from absent teachers and pupils, from the mountains in the west and from the shores of the Atlantic; from the great cities and little hamlets dotting hill and wide valley, had come many missives of cheer and happy recollections. Some of these found their way into print and have so been preserved. About them is an air of pathos, but they carry lots of fun in recalling incidents of the old days, but all expressing sincere regret at being unable to answer the roll call. One written in a foreign country by this scribe, after dilating at length upon pranks of the old times, closes his letter thus:
"God bless old Oakville and its people; those smiling in life's morning and those rejoicing in the strength of noon; and those gray haired ones whose precept and example 'twere well to follow, that our evening, too, may be as glorious as the morning. May their steps be led in pleasant places as the sun declines, and joy abide as the shadows darken on the land!"
And with such a sentiment still touching memory's sounding strings this chapter closes.
There are many entries in these journals that have a general historical interest, but few are adverted to unless they have some local bearing. One of these is found in a memorandum of the news of John Brown's attack upon, and capture of the United States Arsenal at Harper's Ferry. This entry was made in October 1859, and is only in part decipherable, but the incident is termed" fanatical."
A few notes touching this event may prove interesting from the fact that one of the men who fought under John Brown and Jim Lane in the" Border War" of Kansas and Missouri, afterwards became a teacher in the Oakville school. This was W. H. Gill of Elizabeth, JoDaviess county, and no doubt his influence among the people aided largely in inspiring the strong anti-slavery sentiment that remained proverbial in that locality for years.
A short time previous to his assault on Harper's Ferry, John Brown had passed through this part of the state, visiting prominent and well-known abolitionists and, traveling all over the Northern and Eastern states, had declaimed against slavery in an effort to incite an armed attack upon that institution in the South. No doubt he had received much encouragement and had reason to expect a rising in that behalf when he made his ill-starred raid. He had imbibed an intense hatred of slavery. and went to Kansas to vote and fight against its establishment in that territory. In many of the conflicts that ensued between the pro-slavery party from Missouri and the free settlers, John Brown had played a prominent part. In one of these raids, he had a son killed which deepened his hostility against the Southern party. The agitation in Kansas had at last been settled by a general vote and Brown came east upon the mission indicated.
In October 1859 at the head of seventeen white men and five blacks, he made a descent upon the U. S. arsenal at Harper's Ferry, a city of 5,000 iilhabitnnts where were stored 200,000 stand of arms. The arsenal was easily captured. Fifty prominent citizens were taken prisoners intended to be held as hostages for Southern slaves. Then Brown instead of retiring to the mountains, as he could easily have done, loitered about the city, probably waiting for an expected uprising until he was surrounded by fifteen hundred militiamen. . His position was attacked and after a brave but desperate defense with some loss of life Brown with his surviving followers was overpowered and taken prisoner. He was shortly afterwards tried for treason and with seeming indecent haste, executed. Several memoranda made about this time, refer to the trial and execution of John Brown, and indicate that there was widespread sympathy for the sincere but mistaken enthusiast. Money was collected for his defense, petitions to President Buchanan for his pardon were signed but all without avail.
A curious instance of the inconsistency of certain public men of that day is found in the discovery that some of those opposing Brown's pardon, were, a few years later, persistent in their efforts for clemency to Davis.
John Brown's execution, as is well known, though within the law, created widespread. indignation and no doubt aided largely in precipitating the conflict that soon ensued. President Buchanan was described as a monster in human form because he refused to pardon him. But there was really nothing else for him to do. President Buchanan was not a Southerner, he was not even a sympathizer with slavery. But he was President of the United States under oath to support the constitution thereof and uphold the law. The government had been assailed in a manner that if it had succeeded might have been even more appalling than the events which followed a year later. In these days people may judge such things with calm minds, and although the lofty zeal and transcendent bravery of John Brown may be glorified and his memory revered: the thoughtful mind may shudder at what might have been the consequences of his rash act; and ask who is there mad enough, even in this day of liberal sentiment and broader education to advocate putting arms in the, hands of negroes to redress a' real or fancied wrong?
Descendants of John Brown at one time lived in the vicinity of Hanover. Some may reside there still, In 1874 when A. M. McKeil taught school in that district, he had as one of his pupils Miss Agnes Fablinger, a grand-daughter of John Brown, who is described as a retiring, modest but bright stude-nt: There are' many' other descendants and relatives in different parts of the country, some in California, some in Kansas and others elsewhere. The lives and character of these are often adverted to by the magazines and newspapers of the country, evidencing the truth of the saying that "blood will tell."
W. H. Gill mentioned rin this connection was one of a family of that name residing at Elizabeth, JoDaviess county, five of whom are frequently mentioned in these journals. John G. Gill now of San Antonio, Texas, was one of the early teachers of Oakville. He was then only 18 years of age, but regarded by his pupils as quite advanced in years and becomingly dignified and venerable. Emma Gill, who came to Oakville to attend school while her brother was teaching there, is now a resident of Los Angeles, Calif. Mrs. Elwell, nee Gill, is mentioned as visiting at Oakville once or twice and several memoranda record visits of the historian to the Gills and Elwells at Elizabeth. There is a curious incident or rather coincidence in connection with this family. Richard Gill left home when quite a lad, and his whereabouts was unknown to his family for some years. When Don Fraser was taken prisoner while in charge of an amunition train near Atlanta in '64, a member of the squad of Confederate cavalry making the attack and capture was Dick Gill. He had been conscripted or forced into the rebel army, and although ostensibly performing his duties as a soldier, had been vainly watching for a chance to eseape to the north. When the prisoners were being searched young Gill was recognized by .Fraser from his resemblance to his two brothers who had taught in the Oakville school. Gill was quartermaster of the First Mississippi Cavalry and for the sake of auld lang syne, secured a horse for his prisoner to ride, offered him an opportunity to escape and showed many kindnesses in his behalf. A month later the Quartermaster of the 1st Mississippi was at home in Elizabeth.
A few years ago Miss Kate Fraser, then a teacher of art in California, had as one of her pupils in painting, a daughter of the lady rooming in the same house with her. These two became good friends, often visited together and on a certain occasion the married lady said to the teacher: Your name is like a dream to me, and calls up memories of my childhood's days."
Inquiries followed. It developed that the lady was Emma Gill, and the two who had been schoolmates in their childhood, as the old saying goes, "fell upon each other's neck."
Some three years ago John Gill picked up a. magazine in which there was an article by this scribe. It touched npon and described a point near Mt. Carroll. Mr. Gill recognized the place and name of the author and thus his whereabouts became known. W. H. Gill is now a prominent citizen of the state of Kansas, a , territory in his boyhood days, for which he risked his young life to make free.
There are many entries in the business department of these journals, touching commercial transaction in Boyhood's World such as:
"Sold quails for the boys to Lichtenstein." " Sold prairie chickens for the boys, $2.25 per dozen." Mink pelt, $5." "Bounty for wolf, $5."
There is also a memorandum in 1857 about putting up a "scare crow" to keep wild pigeons off the buckwheat patch just sowed. Another about the boys catching a coon in the" Bullet Tree." There are others about hunting ducks and wild geese in the immediate neighborhood, fishing in the nearby creeks, and two or three entries that mention the "youngsters" being on a two or three days fishing trip to Dyson Lake, and one to Plum river and the Mississippi. And other about an attempt to shoot a deer seen in the wooded ravine between the Graham and Fraser homes.
These entries with many others of like character, imply an abundance of wild game in those days. Many will doubtless remember about the wild pigeons. How in the fall and particularly, in the spring of the year, they swarmed over the country in countless thousands, the roar bf their wiilgs in flight, like distant distant thunder. How a ten acre field would not be large enough to accomodate a single flock, foraging from farm to farm, those in the rear continuously flying to the front and if stampeded by some alarm, sweeping to the woods with deafening roar. Leaves were stripped from the trees and branches broken by their weight and if a shot-gun chanced to crack. the groves seemed suddenly to be in the throes of a destructive cyclone. But the wild pigeons have long since passed away, no man knwing the wherefore of their brief visitation or their sudden vanishing.
Thousands of prairie chickens covered the fields in seeding time, their booming morning music proclaiming the spring to be at hand. In the fall it was no unusual sight to see the long winding rail fences covered with these birds or dotting cottonwood and oak trees like clusters of gigantic fruit, and to see the straw stacks far afield covered with these peerless objects of the sportsman's craft. They were comparatively tame in those days, the pot hunter requiring nothing mere than a pocketful of stones to supply his table with choice game.
Ducks and wild geese swarmed up from the Mississippi "bottoms" to forage on the fields. The desirable mallard frequented the numerous sloughs and ponds in full and spring, and even in the corn fields in husking time in vast flocks, and it was no task at all for the hunter to secure all he wished in an hour or two.
There was a large pond on the south side of the Graham farm, about an acre in extent with a row of butternut trees running through it, where ducks were often filled Hildt's creek, or the" Little Creek" so called, now unknown, was once an excellent resort for water fowl of various kinds as well as bass, suckers and other fish. The deeper pools, secluded bends and various "swimmin' holes" along the larger Oakville creek, from the Wm. MacKay pasture to the "gravel bank" near Finlayson's western line, made a prolific field for the local or strolling hunter and a resort as well of the angler of pin-hook-fame, as well as those of costly and effective tackle. Bass, suckers and other fish were found in all the upper pools and near the gravel bank, pickerel were often caught. Today this one-time stream-turbulent and destructive in spring time thaw or sudden freshet - is a mere muddy thread traversing its discouraged way between banks long since shorn of "their former glory, avoided even by the" pyechs" and mud hens and ill-supporting pollywogs in its lonesome pools. The various" swimmin holes" are grass grown and their very location almost indeterminable, while the quarries along its banks one time resounding with tumult and challenge in juvenile warfare are silent and deserted. The thrilling tug at hook and line, the quack, quack or mallard and honk of wild geese overhead are all but a dream of the unreturnable past.
The" bullet tree" referred to herein was a large oak tree that stood some 200 yards directly east and plainly to be seen from the front door of the log house already described. It was a veritable lead mine and had evidently been used as a target in rifle practice by the earlier pioneers when accuracy in that line was a necessary factor in defense against marauding Indians. Perhaps a prowling Black Hawk warrior had used it as a shield to draw the fire at thq block house noted in a previous chapter or it may have been an execution tree where good Indian captives were manufactured for the Happy Hunting Grounds. At all events, in later years it was hacked and chopped by the boys of of that time in order to secure its treasures of lead. This commodity was quite an item of commerce in the Juvenile world, being used by the older boys in the manufacture of slugs for their primitive guns, and by the younger ones to make splatters. This by pouring melted lead upon a smooth surface from a height of a foot or so. The result of this industry was a jewelry of varied and unique form which became a valued commodity in barter and sale at school. This tree decaying later became hollow, was re-named the "coontree" and still remained a source of commerce until a storm laid it low.
There are many things that the returning Oakville boy would miss: The tall oaks of his boyhood's day are smaller now and few remain. The wide slopes where forests shed their somber shadows are cultivated fields. He would miss the picturesque and winding rail fences and mountain ranges of straw. He would miss the floral panorama dotted with valiant gumstalks on Weitzel's prairie and the giant walnut trees in Gunn's wood. He would miss the booming of prairie chickens in warming fields; the cheery piping of the quail in hazel hrush; the liquid revelry of the brown thrush and cry of the kildeer along the lanes and over all for him, a brooding silence that responds to memory alone.
Some years ago a writer in an Eastern periodical, who had learned his alphabet at the OakvilIe school and was later punished because he could or would not write a "composition" thus mentions the unexpected piping of a quail awakening boyhood memories:
A few years ago, " he writes." I was strolling with a party of young, friends on a Sabbath evening among the trees in a Boston suburb. I had not heard the voice of a quail in many years. We were chatting lightly upon all kinds of subjects, when suddenly I became spellbound by a familiar note. A quail had alighted upon a stone fence nearby, and had commenced piping his Bob, Bob White! One of the young ladies remarked my translated look and I answered, Hush! I am listening to music long, forgotten. I had been for years in foreign lands, had heard the music of victorious rejoicing and requiem above the titled dead. Had been where the spears of Africa's bushmen curved like fiery serpents through the air, and had heard the bugle blast that proclaimed the flight of the dusky hordes of Zululand and the strains of solemn melody over the fall of the last hope of the House of Bonaparte, which had filled to overflowing Eugenia's cup of sorrow. I had been in the ranks at Saskatchawan, where the exiled Reil had massed his hosts of mixed blood, menacing the land with a trail of carnage and ruin, and had heard the exultant blare of martial music for an almost bloodless victury. I had heard the acclamations of joy and approval at the Imperial Capital on the day which closed the 50th year of Victoria's rule, when a thousand maiden voices chorused the glories , of the Golden Reign. But the sweetest music that ever fell upon my ear was the whistle of that liquid toned darling, on that Sahbath evening, in a New England grove; bringing to me . as it did, memories of the long ago, when as a bare footed boy, I lay under the old oaks of Illinois and listened to Bob White" piping his cheery notes from hill and field.
In returning to an attempt at killing a deer in a wooded ravine between the Graham and Fraser homes, the story may be mainly told in the way it used to be told, as one of the fireside stories that remained fascinating to the "youngsters" for some years. The historian hqd a little single barreled fowling piece that he had brought with him from Scotland. It was an excellent gun, muzzle-loader of course, as all guns were in those days, and in addition to being sure death at fifty yards when loaded. with shot, it carried a bullet with sufficient force and accuracy to kill large game at one hundred paces. In going abroad in quest of quail, prairie hens or duck, the hunter's plan was to carry a bullet in his pocket to be rammed into the gun on top of the charge of shot in case a coon, wolf, or other large animal might cross his path.
On the occasion referred to the historian was seated upon a log, endeavoring to locate a quail from the suggestive maneuvers of a hawk soaring above the trees, when he was astonished to see a fine stag walk leisurely out into a little open glade. The recognition and surprise were mutual and each gazed inquiringly at the other. Then the bullet was tremblingly produced, laid on the grass and the ramrod was drawn. Then when the hunter put his hand cautiously forward for the bullet it wasn't there, and, as he used to say in concluding the narrative:
"For the life of me, I couldn't find that bullet. I must have been struck blind with buck fever for when the deer was hopelessly out of range among the bushes, there was the bullet lying just where I had put it and looking as large as a ball of yarn."
"But why didn't you put the bullet. in first?" inquired Tommy. Then a humerous glance and this mysterious answer:
If you ever see a deer you'll know why."
The answer is no longer a mystery! For some years following the incident related, deer were occasionally seen in the Oakville woods.
On one occasion, about the year. 1864, people returning from church at Mt. Carroll, saw two deer trot across the road in front of the team. It is said also that they were then and for some time thereafter, quite plentiful in the woods north and west of Mt. Carroll where they were occasionally killed.
Wolves were plentiful in those days and ranged through the timbered districts and out over the farms and prairies for miles east of the Mississippi river. On cold winter evenings they often showed themselves in packs of five or six or more, coming out upon the fields adjacent to the timber to howl defiance to. the farmer's dogs. But there are no records at hand of depredations being committed by them. But several fireside stories - told generally at night time while wolves howled between the periods in the woods nearby, recalled incidents wherein human life had been in jeopardy from these animals.
John Carr, a one time Oakville pioneer while returning from a distant neighbor's was surrounded by :.t pack of snarling wolves. He was foreed to take to the rail fence and pulling a stake therefrom got upon the top rail and defending himself with the stake, walked thereon until near his home and the dogs beginning to bark, the wolves took the hint and slunk away.
Mrs. Graham, searching in the early morning for a cow and calf that had failed to report the night before, came upon the two in the bushes just back of her home, surrounded by a pack of threatening wolves. The cow was just about to drop from exhaustion in consequence of her all night battle with the savage animals, when Mrs. Graham, with a courage belonging to her race and time untied her apron, ran up and shook it between the cow and the wolves. And the latter, seemingly astounded at such boldness or frightened at the curious threat, ran away. The lady did not faint then as one ip her position would be bound to do today, out told the story afterwards modestly and with her warm and well-remembered smile.
For some years the bounty on wolves remained at $5, offered and paid by the county, but; there were few killed, their final passing being in consequence of the cutting down.of the timber and clearing of the land for agricultural purposes. Some were poisoned, a few trapped or shot and once in a while when the snow lay deep upon the ground a single wolf, venturing far out on the prairie would be chased by a man or men on horseback, and a few are known to have been ki1led in this way.
Some years after the incidents already related, Don Fraser, John Zuck, and a smaller boy organized a hunting club, avowedly to exterminate the wolves infesting that region, ia a single season. They had one glorious chase, but their quarry is still at large. The continuation of the enterprise was blocked by two wise fathers who thought they might need their horses on the farm the coming spring. Anyway one chase was quite enough for the three horses that took part therein.
On a certain crisp winter day when the fields mid prairie were covered with virgin snow, three mighty Nimrods mounted upon fiery steeds, and accompanied by a fleet-footed dog, rode forth to trail Lobo to his lair. They had not gone for abroad when the trail was found. John dismounted and his practised eye soon determined that the trade was that of their intended quarry, and was following Greeley's advice. The three followed the erratic trail for a long anxious hour, until at last the huntsman's cry, "There he goes!" cut the air. Away dashed the two larger horses and older boys with wild yells, followed by a howling dog, while the small boy, mounted on a little brown devil that suddenly developed unsuspected speed, started on a straight line for Iowa. He remembered he had only one neck and thought that if he could only save that until he reached the interior of the next state he would be willing to walk back. As he topped a ridge a mile on his course toward the timber, a quick side glance showed John riding over the wolf in a snow bank at Smith's line fence. And then as the little mare, still doing as she pleased, raced down the slope toward the gap in the woods, her ride with increased alarm saw several animated objects that must soon come together - an almost exhausted wolf trotting toward the gap; a dog with tongue hanging out trailing in his wake; two Germans coming down the hill from, the timber with a sled load of wood and the little mare with her rider making for the same point with railroad speed. Unfortunately one of the Germans had a gun and evidently thinking that the wolf was about to climb a tree, fired into the branches as the whole moving panorama came together. The mare bolted, slipped and tumbled over, while the boy kept on going and landed in the hazel brush. Recovering quickly he caught the wolf by the hind leg as he was slipping, past and was knocked over on the dog. The wolf dragged himself into the thick bushes and the chase was over. Presently the two other hunters hove in sight on their foam flecked and tired steeds and after the exchange of experiences and much laughter, the hunt was called off and the boys returned to their homes to nurse their aches and bruises and doctor three crippled horses for many days.
It will be remembered that for a few years after the inexplainable exodus of the wild pigeons, a few of them occasionally returned in the fall of the year. Flocks of five or six or more were seen at times flying about or resting together upon the bare points of high oak trees and sometimes alighting upon the grain stacks in barn yard or field. Many of these were shot from these resorts by the local hunters and for a time they furnished quite an item in the line of sport. Alex Fraser was at that time the Nimrod of the family and was usually quite successful in supplying tpe table with duck, quail, prairie hens, and sometimes a few wild pigeons.
Returning on a certain day from an unsuccessful cruise after a flock of mallards that had been observed flying about the creek he was elated to see three wild pigeons perched upon the cap sheaf of a grain stack near the barn. Quickly dodging behind the Osage hedge that ran along the orchard, he stole cautiously forward into easy range. Bang! And the hunter was dumbfounded to see the pigeons fly into a thousand fragments. Coming into view from behind the hedge he gazed for awhile wonderingly up at the top of the stack, his pose being worthy of the best camera artist. But a suppressed giggling from a nearby fence corner and presently two small boys breaking for cover in the hazel brush broke the spell, and the hunter, in much anger, realized that Nature-faking, having its origin in a bank of blue clay at the creek, had been going forward during his absence. Who would believe it? One of these boys was Martin and he and his late companion in mischief were stalked from cover to cover through the whole afternoon, the woods resounding from time to time with shifting mirth until evening and Uncle William came, making it safe to slip quietly to the house.
It will scarcely be believed by those occupying some of, the Oakville farms today that they raise hay, grain and vegetables in places where the one-time fisher-lad was able to land basketsfull of catfish, bass, and suckers. There was a stream running across Graham's pasture that, entering at Gay's bridge and taking a northwesterly course across the farm, supplied a stone dairy house with abundant water and uniting with the larger Oakville creek, furnished an abundance of fish throughout the year. On the larger creek, the "swimmin' hole" at the quarry held an abundance of fish of various kinds. Bass and catfish were caught with hook and line in summer time, and in winter pickerel were speared through holes in the ice. A few years ago a romantic rambler along this one-time stream found two or three minnows and as many emaciated tadpoles contending for the barrel or two of muddy water that remained to mark this point.
This same rambler afterwards published in a periodical with which he was connected, an account of his return to the scenes of his boyhood, concluding as follows with the "capture of a pickerel at the gravel bank:
"The American boy who reaches the age of ten years ,without having enjoyed his share of angling with pin-hook and wrapping cord, may, from the milestone of manhood look back upon many blank pages in his youthful career that otherwise might have been written over with the record of many enjoyable rambles along meandering streams and hours of lawless freedom as the uplifting portion of the run-a-way. To such a boy, an unweeded garden was a nightmare, and a vain parental call something beyond atonement. Yet he was good-very good as the Sunday school world. goes - but did not live the life designed by Nature's rule or juvenile law and was regarded by his more stirring and ambitious mates as a sort of "muff" or a girly-boy."
In the olden time, say a quarter of a century ago, the steel barbed hook and regulation fishing twine was usually beyond the financial reach of the average boy, the smallest hook costing a cent, and the necessary length of twine a whole dime. A medium sized hook cost a glittering two-cent piece and one large enough for pickerel cost the rarely attainable nickle. Through some now forgotten financial scheme I became, at last, the owner of a good shed hook and ample line and was therefore regarded as a "bloated aristocrat" by the unmoneyed circles of Boyhood's World. My pin-hook days were past and gone, cast behind me, as it were but not without an inward regret for broken ties and severed associations, and a certain kind of timid anticipation that I might fail in the higher walks of sportsmanship, to which my financial coup had opened up the way. But I had served my apprenticeship in the pin hook school among the little rivulets and pools that wouldn't drown a boy. A delightful apprenticeship it had been, to be sure; but thereafter the dignity of my elevation must be maintained in greater waters and among larger game.
"It will be remembered that 25 years ago in and near the Lead Mine District of Northern Illinois there were many more brooks and sloughs than there are today, there being much more summer rain and greater freshets and tbat the rivulets of today that are but a thread water trickling along between the banks and can be stepped across at any point, were then considerable streams during the whole year and betimes were roaring torrents; that during these freshets bass, pickerel and good sized perch found their way up from the Mississsippi, and the water suddenly subsiding, they were left imprisoned in the deeper pools. It was to one of these pools after an unusually high freshet had subsided that I first repaired to try my new hook and line. It was a blistering sporific day in June, when all animate Nature had to struggle to keep awake. The voice of the thrush ih shadowed nook was only a sleepy twitter. The erstwhile high-keyed and rakish song of grass-hopper in nearby field. dwindled to a drowsy lullaby, and the mellow complaint of yellow-hammer on the dead point of an old oak seemed to come from and inv:ite to the borders of the Land of Nod. But this lad kept very much awake. Indeed, what boy was ever known to drowse with a new line and hook in hand, and the hopeful mysteries of a deep, dark pool before his face? But an hour went by without the slightest sign of pickerel or bass, and very reluctantly the line was rolled up and preparation made to leave the place, when, happening to look down into the pool, I observed in the more clear and shallower water, near the bank, a long, dark object, whitening toward the sand beneath, and I knew it at once to be a pickerel. I have you now my boy! "thought I, and unrolling my line I fastened a tempting angle-worm on the hook and lowered it cautiously, down through the water, until it hung within an inch of his nose, but he never winked an eye, or maqe a move, so, thinking that some other bait might tempt him, I went far afield and impaled a large grass-hopper and offered him a chance at this in the same way but he made no sign, then going to the riffles below, 1 secured a small minnow, and let it down, shaking it gently before his nose, but all without avail. . My lad, amused I, at last, I'll wake you up now, whether I get you or not.' So stripping the hook clean. I let it down slowly and very cautiously over his back. Once it touched him lightly on the side and he moved perceptibly from the contact; then letting it still lower, and moving it forward until it hung just beneath his forward fin, I commenced raising it gently, until at last the point touched, and, with a little jerk took hold. I had broken young colts for the halter, had lassoed frisky calves in the barnyard, and had held old Bosen in leash with a rabbit down on the floor. He was greeted with a storm of indignation from the committee on form mingled with roars of laughter from the Lower House. He pretended to get angry and wouldn't get up until he was pried loose with a little hand spike in the hands of an Irate teacher. But the incident had one good result: It put "appropriate gesture" out of commission-just as Calvin had intended it should.
The exhibition came off in due order and as usual was a great success. A stage with regulation curtains was erected across one end of the school room and the exercises, consisting of songs, declamations, and orignal essays went forward. A paper, containing the news and gossip of the neighborhood, humorous items touching the foibles of individual members of the school, statistics, poems, and other articles, was read at intervals by two of the pupils appointed for that purpose. Songs were sung. by an excellent choir of young htdies and young gentlemen, one of the songs remembered being entitled" Get out of Mexico-o-o-o-" This song was expressive of the popular American sentiment in regard to Napoleon I I I attempting to establish a monarchy in the sister Republic of Mexico, arid was sung in a way that had it re-echoed among the Mexican mountains must have Etampeded Maximillian's army in short order. Partis English delivered a humorous original lecture on "Doubles," maintaining that two of a kind was superfluous, citing Cyclops as an example favoring his contention. Robert Finlayson delivered a profound original discourse in which he is remembered to have called up the geologist from the bowels of the earth to aid in establishing a theory he was striving to maintain. Then came other songs by the choir, one of which was" Life's Railway" each stanza being followed by this chorus: "We've reached the summit level, John, And now go down the grade, With shorter stroke and swifter speed Than any we have made."
darting across his path, but never had my young arms received such a strain as they got now, and had I not let go, I must have been jerked headfirst into the stream. Recovering my wits again, I somehow caught the line around my arm, and ran quickly up the bank, throwing myself down'when I found the line taut and holding on for dear life. When I had caught my breath again, I looked back toward the pool, and there among the weeds, saw a great head, and the fish partly up the bank, yet still half in the water. He was harmless now and safe enough, if I could only keep him from sliding back to get hold of the water again. Slowly I worked. my way toward the bank, keeping the line taut by hand - over - hand, until all a-tremble I fastened my hand in his gill, and with every atom of remaning strength dragged him safely up the bank. I remember that when this fish was opened there was found in his maw another pickerel that would weigh probably a pound and within this Jonah a small bass, partly decomposed, and I concluded that a full stomach was the reason of his sleepy indifference to my tempting bait. This was my last catch at this periodically prolific pool, for my German friends, the Schreiner boys, visited the place a few days thereafter and with net and pitch-forks swept it clean. These same boys own the land about there now, but they don't catch pickerel any more, being conte;nt to find sufficient water for their cattle on many hills."
The Frequent allusions in these journals to the gathering and sale of apples intimate that the historian raised large quantities of this fruit. People are frequently mentioned as coming in the fall of the year from a distance of many miles to purchase apples in various quantities. And the history of the old orchard on the Fraser farm may be interesting from the fact that it is the pioneer orchard of the country, and the only one of theold orchards that still remains; It was planted prior to the Blackhawk War, by a man named Moses Hart - a sort of pioneer squatter who occupied the land at the tirne of its purchase by the historian from the legal owners. Hart spent the greater part of his time in hunting, trapping., and fighting Indians; but was still fond of fruit and tobacco and started to raise both. In his earlier days there were no apple orchards within a long distance and this desirable fruit rarely found its way to the trading posts except in a dried or evaporated form. When he indulged in a pound ot two of this rare luxury he always saved the seed. Going once on a short visit to Detroit and crossing over to Canada he saved the seeds of every apple that he ate and on his return had a pocketful to add to his store, and at last had enough to start his orchard. He laid out the ground with fair accuracy in landscape gardening and planted his apple seeds in hills of a dozen each. They grew and prospered and from time to time the weaker shoots were pulled out and the stronger ones allowed to grow. In the course of a few years he had an abundance of fruit. There were something over a hundred trees in all and no two bore the same kind of apples. Some trees produced excellent fruit, that of others was hard and sour, but nearly all made fair eating when mellowed by time.
A considerable portion of this ancient orchard still remains and it may be something of a problem for the modern horticulturist to determine why, since all the other orchards planted on neighboring farms, have disappeared. There used to be an old tradition that Mose planted a good Indian at the foot of every tree, and judging from the variation and quality of the fruit, Mose must have levied tribute upon every tribe from the Micmacs to the Yumas.
Among the entries touching the commercial transactions in apples is one showing the historian to have paid for the "youngster's" instruction in vocal music with a load of apples, to Wm. P. Smith - " Singing Billy" as he was lovingly and familiarly called.
Another giving the boys (this late in the spring when apples were scarce) a half bushel for the "Rehearsal." As this was a short time before an exhibition at the Oakville school house, it is remembered as a preparation for that event. In consequence of these rehearsals in the presence of a watchful teacher and an exacting committee on form and deportment - these exercises often became stale and irksome to the pupils before the final event came off, and sickness about that time was welcomed as a blessing in disguise.
"They wrapped the ship in splendor wild," "My Country, Oh! My Country," and" Old Rover is the Finest Dog," lost their thrill in time and any excuse to avoid the final ordeal was welcomed. The committee on form were usually great sticklers for appropriate gesture and on one occasion their insistence in this direction nearly precipatated a juvenile rebellion.
Calvin Finlayson was to deliver the poetical history about "Old Rover" being the finest dog that ever ran a race. He got along nicely until that point where Rover's master got tired and sat down to wait for the dog to bring back his hat. At this point Calvin remembered how his critics loved "appropriate gesture." and sat
R.M. Finlayson was born at Oakville in 1844; attended the Oakville School in boyhood and the Mt. Carroll High School in the years 1861-1863; taught school three terms in Carroll and Whiteside counties, and moved to Tama county, Iowa, in 1867. Engaged in farming and teaching school and later took up his residence in Grundy county where he served as county auditor for ten years. Was married in 1875 to Jenetta Dubois; has two sons and two daughters living and two sons dead. Was elected Representative in the Lower House of the State Legislature in 1908 and again in 191O, and is now serving as Representative for the 65th District in that body; owns a farm of 680 acres in Brown township, Grundy county and is president of the First National Bank of Grundy Center.
Next came Dan Graham and Don Fraser as FitzJames and Rhoderick Dhu. The stage was now strewn with bunches of hazel brush to represent bracken and here and there were scattered common. paper bags, puffed with air, tied tightly and shaped as stones When the two enemies arrived at Coilingtogel Ford and found that nothing but blood would atone, they started in and had a ripping good fight. As the fight progressed, Fitz-Jim in jumping aside to avoid Rhoderick's savage thrust, happened to step on one of the stones already described, when it burst with a loud crack:, and Dan in trying to suppress his always ready mirth, nearly lost the fight. He continued, however, though handicapped with a bursted rock hanging to his foot, until Rhoderick stumbled over and kicked the bucket. Fitz-James then gravely wiped a red sword on his tunic and strolled off as the curtain carne down to hide a dead warrior convulsed with laughter.
Then came the final performance for which a packed house was anxiously waiting. This was a comedy in three acts entitled, "When the Cat's Away the Mice Will Play." Only a few of the most impressive parts in this play are remembered.
It seems that the lady and master of the house were away visiting at a distance and the head servantman and his wife thought it a good time to have a party. Aping the formula of aristoeratic life they sent out letters of invitation to a number of friends.
The date fixed for the function came around in due time, and the guests filed in by twos and threes, their dress and society manners and speech creating the wildest kind of mirth in the expectant audience. Partis English was the host and Eliza Fraser, the hostess Bob Finlayson in answering an inquiry after the health of his family, by Annie Graham, said: "They're comfortable, mum, thank you mum, barrin' that Jim's got the faiver and- Maggie stuck a fork in her foot yisterday."
Tena Fraser came in carrying a hoop skirt instead of a fan that she had been sent for, and becoming flurried by the burst of laughter which greeted her, dropped it on the floor and fled. Dan Finlayson coming forward now as a Scotchman, caught his foot in the abandoned skirt and stumbling forward, sat down on Mary Gunn's fancy bonnet that had been left on a chair. Finding that there was something contraband under him. Dan put down his hand, pulled out the bonnet, and holding it arm's length, said in grief-stricken tones:
"Oye fex I fear I ha doon sem domige!"
Then Mary running forward, hit Dan a resounding smack in the mouth with her fist and a general row started. To quell the tumult, Partis jumped on a chair and shouted for quiet, promising to bring in refreshments. When the ice cream can was brought in it was faund to be empty. Partis looked into it wistfully for a moment and said:
"Somebady's been, at the refreshments; the ice creme's all gone"
Then the guests began to make fun of their host and hostess, hinting that they never had any ice cream and that the whole thing was only a pretense, and "Sich a party!" was heard in every corner. Then each guest turned to settle same real or fancied score with a neighbor, and a general riot ensued. Mary Gunn again attacked Dan Finlaysan in revenge for her damaged bonnet. Ed English was heard to threaten Mr. Dooley with blue rings araund his eyes. Partis jumped on to Tom for stealing the "ice-crame." Women screamed, several tried to faint and just then the door opened and the master and 'mistress appeared. As the old saying goes, you could have heard a pin drop. No one thinking to drop a pin just then, what was heard was the rattle of the curtain being drowned in loud and pralonged applause.
Another song, "Ring, the Bell, Watchman," then a trim little school-girl came forward to thank the audience for being good and the exhibiti.on was over.
Several entries from time to time, recording the fact that the historian attended at the new court house as grand juror and several times as petit juror, together with brief notes of certain unique doings by those bodies, led to the belief that the history of the early administration of justice in Carroll county would prove interesting.
After some inquiry and considerable research it has been found that the administration of justice for the district began at Savanna, the county seat having been established there by an election held April 1839.
The scribe, through this research, discovered also that it is not wise for him who attempts to elaborate ancient history, to rely upon hearsay, carried from generation to generation, for his facts. But rather to found such comment upon documents bearing unmistakable evidence of an age as great as that of the events which they record. Perhaps if there were no liars there would be less of history.
Lord Macauley as an authentic historian is far from reliable but for some reason his work still lives and is much sought after, while that of many reliable authors is neglected or forgotten. In this connection the scribe wishes to say to the party who attempted to lure him into a statement that would have made author and publisher alike the laughing stock of the country, that his letter will keep and may yet become a part of these papers, intimating that while he may flnd many to be sorry for his precarious position; there will be found none willing to stand in his boots. In the meantime he is referred to the story of the Scotchman and the bull.
A Scotchman strolling along a lane noticed an angry bull in an adjacent field, tearing up the turf with his horns and bellowing loudly. It struck him that it would be fun to jump the fence, take the bull by the horns and rub his nose in the ground. The anticipation was so amusing that he doubled up and roared with laughter. Presently he jumped the fence and proceeded to carry out his plan when the bull promptly attacked him, caught him on his horns and pitched him back into the lane. As he brushed the dust from his clothes and rubbed his bruises, he consoled himself with this reflection:
"Eit's adorn fyne thing el haed me laf oot fairst!
The first term of the Circuit court convened on the first Monday in May 1840 at. Savanna, with Daniel Stone of Galena as presiding judge, Leonard Goss, clerk, and Hezekiah Francis, sheriff. Court was held in a frame building - a vacant residence on block 40, in the upper end of town. At the opening of the court, Judge Stone dismissed the grand and petit jurors on account of informality in summoning them so that no criminal or jury cases could be tried.
The old docket shows twelve cases had been entered for trial. Martin P. Sweet, Judge Drummond, Lawyers Chase and Hoge were present as attorneys. Judge Drummond had two divorce cases, the first of the kind in the county. They were entitled Jeremiah Humphrey vs. Hannah Humphrey and Dudley Humphrey vs. Lavina Humphrey. Of the other ten cases two were slander suits brought by the same man, Robert Ashby vs. Peter Bashaw and Oliver Bashaw. Both cases were dismissed from tbe docket without coming to trial.
At that time there was but one resident attorney in the county, John A. Wakefield who had his office in Savanna, which, in reality, was the only place in the county at that time claiming the name of town. Among the names of young attorneys atttending the early courts of Carroll county are found those of E. B. Washburne and Judge Heaton, names tbat have become an honorable part of the history of the whole country and are still as familiar as household words.
Judge Stone was succeeded by Judge Brown and the following appear as the order of succession: Judge Wilkinson, Drury, Eustace and Heaton.
Several terms of court were held at Savanna, but in time the town failed to comply with the requirements of the law under, which the county had been organized, the project of moving the county seat was agitated by the settlers.
The Halderman mill had been built and the locality bidding fair to become a future town, it was recognized as the most central and proper place for the county seat. During the session of the legislature for 1842-3, an act entitled, "An Act to relocate the county seat of Carroll county" was passed and John Dixon of Lee county, Moses Hallett of JoDavies county and Nathnn Belcher of Rock Island county were appointed commissioners to select a site. On the 17th day of May, 1843, two of the commissioners reported as follows:
The undersigned (who constitute a majority of the commissioners appointed to select a site as a county seat for said, county) who, after having examined said county with a view of the best interests of the greatest number of inhabitants of said county, and after taking into consideration the liberal donations to be secured to the county cominissioners of said county for the use of the people thereof do, by these presents, make known and declare that the site selected as aforesaid, is the south half of the east half of the southwest quarter of section one (l) township twentyfour (24) north, range four (4) east of the fourth principal meridian and that a substantial stake has been set in the place selected as a public square to which site we have given the name of Mt. Carroll."
The donations referred to in this report were gifts of land and a considerable sum of money by Emmert Halderman & Co. In August of the same year, an election was held in the four precincts of the county, Savanna, Cherry Grove, Elkhorn Grove and Preston, to settle the question whether the county seat would remain at Savanna or be moved to Mt. Carroll. At this election 421 votes were polled. Savanna gave 6 votes to Mt. Carroll and 130 to Savanna; Cherry Grove gave, 46 votes to Mt. Carroll and 16 to Savanna; Elkhorn Grove gave 78 votes to Mt. Carroll and 38 to Savanna; Preston gave 101 votes to Mt. Carroll and 6 to Savanna. The total result shows a majority of 41 in favor of Mt. Carroll. The immediate site designated by the locating commissioners by driving a stake in the ground was at or near the west. line of Main street on top of the hill near the Baptist church.
A dispute having arisen between Emmert, Halderman & Co., and the county commissioners as to the location of the courthouse, the former claiming that the location was to be near the mill site, the project of building was delayed for a time, or untn the mill company offered that if the county would deed back the 40 acres donated by Emmert, Halderman & Co., release them from the payment of the $1.000 they had agreed to donate, and deed to them the 13 acres donated by George W. Christian, they would give a sufficient number of acres of ground near their mill, build a court house thereon and deed the same to the county. This proposal was accepted by the county and the present public square was surveyed and the erection of a stone court house by Halderman & Co. was completed about September, 1844. This building, which stood on the. northwest corner of the square, served the county as a seat of justice and repository. of its records until the present court house was completed in 1858. Afterwards, with a frame addition built on the north side, it was occupied by Blake & Stowell as a hardware store until it was burned down in 1872.
Prior to the final location of the public square, Daniel Hurley in charge of a force of twenty men, had completed the mill-dam and race for the mill, and it was soon in active operation, evidencing the stability of the founders of the new town and encouraging settlers to locate in its vicinity.
Among the names appearing most prominent in the founding of Mt. Carroll, are those of David Emmert, Nathaniel Halderman, John Rinewalt, and Beers Tomlinson - names that are still heard upon the streets of the modern, progressive city, and are honored in their children and their children's children. 0
Samuel Preston, Sr., made the first claim and was the first settler in Mt. Carroll township. His claim covered the water power of Fulrath's mill and what has ever since been known as Preston Prairie.
He was followed by the Downings, Nathan and Herman, who sold their farm to John Kinney in 1856. The first white child born in the settlement of Mt. Carroll was a daughter of Nathan Downing, who at womanhood was married to Gideon Carr.
Norman D. French was the pioneer settler of York township. David Becker and Z. Kinkade were the first settlers in Rock Creek township. Becker afterwards sold to Daniel Belding and moved into Salem, which then had as its early pioneers, David Masters, George Swaggert, Seymour Downs, the Mackays and Henry Reynolds. 0
The first term of circuit court in the building (old court house) at Mt. Carroll, was held October 1844, Judge Thomas C. Brown of Galena, presiding.
The attorney for the people being absent, the court appointed Atty. James Strade as prosecutor pro tem. The old docket shows eight criminal cases: one for perjury, on a change of venue from JoDaviess county; one for assault with intent to kill; one for contempt of court as a grand juror; one on forfeiture of recognizance; one for riot; one for larceny, one a change of venue from JoDaviess county; one on indictment against a supervisor, and one on indictment for malicious mischief - shooting a mare.
November, 1866, the historian with Mrs. Fraser and Mrs. DunGan Mackay, left for a trip to Nova Scotia, the former residence of the historian, and birthplace of Mrs. MacKay and Mrs. Fraser. The following is an abbreviated memorandum of the journey to that country and return:
"Left Mt. Carroll November 12 at 7:30 A. M. Left Chicago at 10:00 P. M. Arrived at Portland, Maine, November 15. In harbor at Townsend, sixty miles east of Portland, at anchor all day. Terrific storm on Bay of Funday. Arrived at St. John, N. B., November 18; stage from Truro at 12 M; arrived at destination, (Pictou) at 9:00 P. M.. November 22. Fare from Truro to Pictou, $6."
This journey can now be made in a little over three days, and the time taken now between the two last named points is one hour at a cost of eighty cents.
The travelers returned to Mt. Carroll on Sunday, March 16, 1867, and were taken out to Oakville by Frank Craig.
The elaboration of the events of this sojourn might be of enchanting interest to those familiar with that country, but such might not interest the general reader. A few notes however, may be interesting to those of a literary turn from the fact that this country is the Acadia of Longfellow's poem, "Evangeline; and of local interest as the native country of a number of Oakville people. The older children, and, in some cases, the parents of the following families are natives of Nova Scotia: Mackay, Graham, Gunn, Finlayson, Cameron, Fraser. McKeiI, and Mrs. Calder and daughter Margaret, now Mrs, Harris of Iowa. These all came from the same county in that province and were neighbors there.
The reader is asked to take a map of North America and, placing the finger upon the coast of Maine, trace northeasterly until a little peninsula is found jutting out. into the Atlantic ocean, and attached to the mainland by a narrow isthmus. This is Longlellow's Acadia - the land of song and story. In coast line it is about a third as large as Illinois, but when the area of its lakes and inland hays is deducted, it is still much smaller, and cutting out its mountain districts, forest, and " barrens," the area of the tillable and cultivated farms would probably cover four of the larger counties in this state, while the present population is about one fourth of that of the dty of Chicago. Withal, it is a rich country per capita and one which has been invaded by many prosperous American enterprises of late years. Though a land of romance, and history that remains largely traditional, its people are no dreamers, but conservative, upright and every day men of action and strenuous lives, among whom the investigator would search long and vainly for any germ or institution favoring anarchy or socialistic tendencies.
Some may think that Longfellow's "Evangeline" is nothing more than poetic fancy. But such is not the case. There is not a character, anecdote or description of locality that cannot still be verified by the curious and obscerving modern traveler among the scenes made immortal in Longfellow's sad, sweet story. It was the scribe's happy privilege to sojourn for some years in this land, and such sojourn made him a firm believer in the authenticity of this apparently romantic tale. The expulsion of the Acadians is a matter of record still to be found among the archives at the provincial capitol and appears as rather a blot upon the pages of England's history. The writer has stood upon the highest point of the Cobequid Range and looked down up on Annapolis Valley - the scene of Longfellow's matchless story, and though a descendant of the hostile race, has felt his heart beat in sympathy for the exiled people who were forced by English tyranny, to renounce such a glorious heritage. And while the soft breezes come up laden with the scent of ancient orchards, and he hears the whisper of bearded pine, and bends to catch the chastened thunder of water-fall over distant crag. Longfellow and his exiled people seem near at hand; and a feeling of thankfulness arises in his breast that no such cruelty is possible in our day. For the poet, in sweet measure has turned the world's frown upon all such tyranny.
Take a region of about a third the area of Illinois, let it be 280 miles in length and from 50 to 75 in breadth, run a range of mountains and hills through the center, some of them from 1200 to 1500 feet high, cover two-thirds of the area with dense forests of spruce and hemlock, and distribute some 400 lakes over the surface, the largest being 500 square miles in area, then dot the country with all the hills and bluffs in Northwestern Illinois, and you will have a fair topographical sketch of the maritime province of Nova Scotia, a land that is unsurpassed in charming scenery, beautiful women, and hardy men, its people devoted to the ten commandments and the Golden Rule. This little country may be said to have been the battleground of four different nationalities, the Mic-macs, French, Virginians and English.
In 1604 the French, living at peace with the aboriginal Mic-macs, were expelled by settlers from Virginia. The French subsequently returned and making many settlements, were driven out or subdued by a force sent out by Cromwell in 1654. Later came what is termed "The Expulsion of the Acadians." England had reconquered the country and the crown proclaimed that all those of French descent who neglected or refused to take the oath of allegiance to the British government, should be driven from the country and that their dwellings and other property should be destroyed or confiscated to the crown. .
Here is a part of ths order to Col. Monckton, who had in charge the expulsion of the French from one of the coast districts:
"That a detachment of your command be sent to Tatmagouche to demolish all the houses found there, together with all shallops, boats, c.anoes, or vessels of any ldnd, and that you have particular orders to destroy the villages of Jediacke and Ramsack."
How far these injunctions were carried out here, and like orders enforced in other parts of the province, cannot be fully determined from the English side of history, but certain it is that all the French settlements along the north shore of Nova Scotia were abandoner shortly after, and the circumstnnces under which articles were found leaves little doubt that their departure was hurried. . '
The writer has known people in that country within whose memory the foundation of houses of French architecture could be traced. There was but little land cleared, but there were gardens or orchards, the trees of which continued to bear for many years. A variety of articles were picked up here, shovels, knives, spoons, crockery and a few coins. On the western part of a little island lying close to the mainland. could, in late years. be traced the remains of an Acadian settlement; among the articles found here was the debris of a blacksmith's forge, with axes unfinished. and one in the tongs. Everywhere evidences of battles that are unrecorded in history are found, and conjecture founded upon these relics, makes the greater portion of the country's ancient history. At Middle River Point, the birthplace of the scribe, a relative once ploughed up a human skeleton, alongside of which he found a sword, still of such excellent temper that the point could be bent to touch the hilt. Alas for military glory! It was taken to a blacksmith's shop and there made into knives for splitting mackerel.
During the absence of the historian in this country, the scribe was left in charge of the stock, and farm and the girls, (two of them were now school ma'ams,) but his dominion over the latter was short-lived. He found a line of conduct laid down, that, incomparison to his former freedom, was tame and irksome, and his vision of wider liberty soon vanished. One necessary concession was, however, granted. He was not forced to go to school. Frank G. Yeoman taught the Oakville school at this time I and when the real loss of this term was later realized, it won the promise of a double term at the Mt. Carroll Union school, a promise that, though somewhat costly for that time, was faithfully kept.
John T. Jacobs was born in the year 1850, at the, then so-called town of Jacobsville, two miles down the Waukarusa from Mt. Carroll. The town at that time consisted of a grist mill, saw mill, store and post office, with a school house nearby. John may be called one of the pioneer school boys of this region, having attended the early school taught by John McKenzie in the little log school house near the Jacobs home, and later in the year 1858. attended the same school, with Miss Strong (who later became ! the wife of Henry Crouse) as teacher, and in 1859 with Mary Petty (Markley) as teacher. A few weeks at school, in the winter time and the remainder of the year at hard work on the farm was young Jacobs portion in life until he grew to manhood. In 1880 he moved, with his family to Lanark where for seventeen years he successfully engaged in carpet manufacture. In 1907, on account of failing health, he moved to Muskogee, Okla., where he is now one of the healthy, prosperous, and solid citizens of that community.
In 1867 the country north of the obliterated Mason and Dixon line had pretty well recovered from the effects of the Civil War. In this locality, it may be said to have entirely resumed its commercial equilibrium. Taxes,: however, had more than quadrupled, but the people were found to be able and willing to pay. The young men, late in arms, had returned to resume their labors on the farm or to prepare for or enter commercial or professional life, thus exploding the prediction that the returning soldier would be found unfit for the humdrum employments of peace. The general records of this year are largely similar to those of preceding years, with the additional suggestion of adaption to changed and changing conditions, a general move toward reconstruction and the inauguration of an area of improvement in agricultural and commercial lines; although the "dove of peace " - now hovering over political gatherings - still seems to have worn the eagle's claws and a hooked beak. Farmers cultivated larger fields with. more help and less to pay for the same; had fair prices and ready markets throughout the year; while the wares of the merchant were more at a reasonable, par and not subject to extreme rise or fall in price.
Some new firm names appear as doing business in Mt. Carroll, among them that of Strong & Wildey who are frequently to the fore, with a pleasant memorandum recording the marriage of one of the firm as having occurred on April 24 of this year. As there were no smokers in the family then, Capt. Harry's cigar is remembered to have reposed upon the "clock shelf" for a long time until a young man who came a-courting, appropriated and smoked it, and although a wedding cigar of the best quality, its aroma seems to have been without charm for the smoker was then and there "turned down." It's particular brand is not remembered, but recollection suggests the name of "M i g h t have Been" La ter the firm of Strong & Wildey dissolved partnership and the ,genial Captain continued at the old stand where he is still found as the untamed warhorse of commerce in that city; his erec t form unbowed by the effects of nearly five years service in the war, including a severe wound at Stone River, and nearly a half century of commercial toil. Among other marriages recorded in this year is found that of the historian's old and valued friend Egbert Becker, which event took place December 29 the words "at last" figuring in the memorandum. One can only surmise the glowing tribute he would have paid and recorded of this good friend had he lived to stand beside his grave.
Wm. Patterson had now established a business in Mt. Carroll, and there were no more delightful trips to Savanna after lumber. These trips had been great events to us, and always spelled a swim in the Mississippi, a cast with hook and line for gar or pike, and awesome rambles among the bluffs above Savanna which were then the wonders of the world.
Public sales of stock, farm implements, and "other articles too numerous to mention," were then held in winter near the close of the year and it seems none along toward spring. Sales attended this year were the Summervilie sale at Plum river on December 4; George Hay's, December 13, and Merritt's on December 16. At the latter sale the historian among other things purchased a "corn sulky" for which he paid cash $7.25. This is remembered to have been a double shovel-plow for cultivating corn.
Heretofore the fields had been cultivated by a single horse attached to a light plow or cultivator having only two small blades and it was up one side of a row of corn and down the other all day long, and one may well believe that a short-legged boy would make but a small showing in a forty acre field in a single day. It was about this time that the double shovel plow came into general use. This was drawn by two horses and destroyed the weeds and loosened the soil on both sides of the row, but it was still a comparatively primitive affair. The "legs" were" stiff and the whole plow had to be shifted in order to avoid rooting up the hills in a crooked row and the plow boy had to walk to avoid stepping on the corn by straddling" or walking to one side.
Shortly after this the buggy plow came into use and "shovel-plowing" censed to be a long summer nightmare. But the memory of that old double plow is still disturbing and it is no wonder that it was called a "sulky" for it made boy as well as horses so. In fact all the farm work and farm machinery was camparatively primitive at the time. Corn was planted by hand and covered with the hoe and in preparing the soil for an event in which every member of the farmer's family, that was able to toddle in a row and drop the seed, took part, much time and labor was required. After a thorough preparation of the soil with plow and harrow came the marking. This was done with a "marker" made by fastening three runners at the regulation distance under a couple of heavy hard wood planks and with tongue attached was ready for the team. A stake was set at one side of the field and then it was "gedup" and keep an eye on the stake and a "tight rein over the nags. Upon reaching the stake it was moved to the point of returning with the next three rows and the eye was fixed upon a stake left at the opposite side of the field, and so on until the whole field was marked one way. The planters and men "with the hoes were now ready and the marker started in to cross mark the field and was followed by the planters and the hoes.
But the farmers of that time raised excellent corn and plenty of it while the great labor and inconveniences incidental to its cultivation were cheerfully met and overcome. For, according to an old couplet from an old song, one time published in the Prairie Farmer, and sung in cheerfully prophetic tones by Dan Graham as he went up one side of a row and down the other"
"'Tis good for men, 'tis good for cattle, And grunters squeal to hear it rattle."
The smaller grains were also sowed by hand, the sower using stakes in a similar way to that of the markers for corn. Harvest time was usually a period of lame backs and sore hands as the sheaves had to be picked up from the ground and tied with bands made from a bunch of grain picked from the sheaf.
The old Manny is the earliest type of reaper remembered. When it was on its good behaviour and was willing to go, it did fair work, but it was a cumbersome affair. The standing grain was pulled forward against the sickle and thrown upon a "table" by a revolving reel from where it was pushed off into sheaves of various sizes and shapes according to the condition of the grain, by a man with a pitchfork who rode standing at the left band side of the sheet iron platform or "table" as it was called. This old reaper must have been" possessed of a devil" or at least instinct with malicious life for it would go along smoothly, doing fair work for perhaps an hour, and then without any known reason the clumsy crank attached to the wheel that drove the sickle would commence to kick and at last fly off, throwing the burr that held it in place, in any direction far nfield. The" bull-wheel" would start to bury itself in the ground, the horses would be jerked back upon their haunches, and the driver, if not watchful, would be pitched from his seat: then it would have a breathing spell until the burr was found and put in place. It might then go nicely for a few hours but it was never to be trusted; and all the time three horses doing the work that would in time tire four elephants.
But the evolution in reapers as in all other utilities kept place with inventive genius and broadening enterprise, and may continue to so improve until the farmer of some future generation may laugh at today's utilities as we laugh now at the curious antiques of '67.
Passing over many interesting memoranda made in the earlier part of the year 1868 an entry is found relating to a crowd of men and boys engaged in an organized hunt in the Oakville woods. This is remembered to have been a scarioo hunt. growing out of the pranks of that "shy diffident, but handsome Oakville boy," of a former chapter. This hunt took place in and around "The Point "- a strip of woods that ran down from the Graham farm coming to a point at the creek on the line between the two adjacent farms on the north and west. This was an eerie piece of woods, a place that years before, had been, to the child-mind, the home of all sorts of spooks by day and from whence, at nightfall, came weird and indeterminable voices. On this June day it was rife with armed determination and wordy feats of future valor. But the woods were surrounded and beaten and ranged by men and dogs in vain, and the hunters returned to their homes to learn that while they had been thus engaged their intended quarry had been ranging in other places widely apart.
On a rainy day, a fortnight previous to this occurrence, three restless, boys housed in the garret of an Oakville home, exemplifying the old saying that Satan finds mischief for idle hands to do, had planned scheme of Nature-faking that eventually proved rather disturbing to them in its wide-spread and exciting results. Two wolf-skins hung from the rafters. The boys seized upon these as a means of sport, and after "playing wolf" until all the novelty and most of the hair was knocked out of them, they planned to carry their game into wider and more appreciative fields. With knife, needle ancI strings, like Darius Green, at his flying machine, they cut, and patched, and sewed, until a wonderful and awesome garment was made. This, when fitted upon the largest of the three boys, evolved a fair representation of the party who is said to manage the affairs of the least desirable of the two future worlds; and as the weather had now somewhat cleared, the garment was stuffed into a gunny-sack and the conspirators slipped out of the house and away to the woods, with results as told in a former chapter. No nameless boy should ever figure in a story. Therefore the leader of this trio shall be called Timothy, or Tim for short. His associates in mischief were a cousin and a younger brother. The hoys had "touched the button," as it were, and newspapers and liars had done the rest. The scarioo became a terror" to every country settlement within a radius of a hundred miles. Imagination transformed the yelping of the coon and solemn notes of the owl in the woods at night, into the fearful cry of this unlmown animal, and belated travelers made quick time in getting home. A returning lover that Tim did not fancy as a future brother-in-law, while making for his home on a certain dark night, and carrying a gun from which the shot had been serreptitiously withdrawri, heard a II whoosh!" in the hazel-brush beside the path, and instead of turning to fire his harmless charge of powder or break. his gun over the head of the scarioo, he disappeared like a nightmare in the darkness, the only evidence of his line of flight being. the crack of a rail as he leaped the fence to take a short and swift cut across the pasture.
Had Tim been a philosopher, he might have chosen the effect of imagination on the human mind, as a theme for profitable thought and meditation, for this strange animal was often heard or seen abroad when Tim slept the sleep of the innocent or was engaged in legitimate and useful employments. But a passion for fun obscured the opportunity, while the beast was allowed to roam at the liars will. If a drove of pigs hustled, out of the hazel-brush without being called to corn, or a frisky steer with a gad-fly boring into his spine, led a stampede out of the woods in any part of the country, the news of the presence of the scarioo was sent abroad and the story grew apace. ' . In time, if the excitement seemed to wane, a new and indisputable demonstration would be given by Tim and his companions, and the "merrie war " went on.
Tim's good neighbor, Mr. English, had bought an adjacent piece of new iand, and while from day to day he was seen lonesomely cutting brush with a sickle made for that purpose, the boys were planning to give him a little diversion. Now Mr. English was known to have been a professional sprinter in his younger days in England, and it was not considered safe to go too near the sickle. The two younger boys were sent to where Mr. English was .at work, in case he might fail to note the scarioo racing across the lower end of the field. The words, "O! Look" from one of the boys put new metal into the heels of the running animal and the three joined in the chase with Mr. English and the sickle in the lead. The chase covered nearly a mile but Tim thought of the sickle and its possibilities, and at last out-stripped his pursuers, jumped the creek and disappeared in the woods.
The next day a spasm of virtuous remorse seized upon Tim and he sought out his injured friend and confessed the whole thing. His friend, instead of taking a hazel rod and thrashing him as he should have done, looked curiously for a minute at the abashed culprit, quietly said "you'll do" and then went off into surprising and long-continued contortions of laughter that at last trailed off into little chqckling ebullitions as he joined the conspiracy- a compact which he kept with a fidelity that wm, unwise though it made a life-long friend. Shortly after this Capt Harry, a veteran of the Civil War, came out from Mt. Carroll with a band of hunters to surround and beat the woods all the way from Zuck's to Daggert's. Tim resolved to let them have their fun, but with self-surprising caution he first sent a spy to determine whether among the various shot guns there might not be a long range rifle that in the hands of a cool headed veteran might prove disastrous. The efficiency of the equipment proved to be such as to caution against the venture and the hunters returned disappointed. Had the chase taken place, however, the hunters might have been superstitiously astounded to see their intended quarry if close pressed, mount a litle hrown mare that had been tied in a clump of bushes, and race over the fields to the safety of the Oakville woods.
All this time the identity of the strange animal was known to more than a score of Oakville people and these were as many accessories before the - fact. Even Tim's best girl was in the secret-of course! of course !and although her big brothers joined in the hunt, and her younger sisters were afraid to go to school, her fidelity still proved that although a woman cannot keep a secret, a girl sometimes may.
With the exception of . coming .out of the woods upon the bank of the creek at the "Point" to yell at a farmer shovel-plowing in a nearby field and send him flying to organize a hunt, the foregoing are all the Nature faking exploits of Tim. All other stories extant at that time originated with imaginative' people or those disposed to flirt with Veracity. Tim at last became appalled at the Monster cf Exageration that he had turned loose, quietly hid his queer raiment, and listened with simulated surprise to tales of the manmonkey's continued exploits in various and distant parts of the country.
On the 12th day of October, 1868, the scribe entered the High School at Mt. Carroll and recollections of two years in the dear old building-now replaced by a modern but less impressive structure are rife with pleasant incidents that are to be elaborated here.
New Year's day, 1868, was mild and warm, with only a slight frost noticeable in the morning. The day was celebrated at the Gunn home by the Campbell, Finlayson, Cameron, English and Fraser families and a pleasantly sociable time was enjoyed.
On the third of January, Ira Bailey and Mrs. Bailey visited at the Fraser home, and all through the winter of this year there are records of social events that go far to explain why the people of this matchless neighborhood were knit together in bonds of herpful friendship that time, distance, or even death could not weaken, and why memories of such associations are pleasant to recall.
Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26, of the same year, was a pleasant sunlit day. There was a sermon in the school house by tbe Rev. Mr. Marsh, the text being from Proverbs 16:7. Following this the historian has the following record. "To dinner at Duncan Mackay's with the neighbors."
One who remembers the people, the time and the proverbial hospitality of the jocund host, can easily fancy him rounding up "the neighbors" into droves and driving them to the big house on the hill, and if any reluctance were shown, in case the women of the house might have too much to do, hear him saying: Never you mind, I have a hustling wife and a drove of daughters, but if they find their hands more than full, some of you women can turn in and help."
This the women were all expected and willing to do, and this particular day will be remembered as a real Oakville Thanksgiving.
There are many records of social events made during these years that are passsed over with reluctance. The few that have been noticed are given, mainly to show the upli'rting illfluence of a friendly intercourse that make Oakville what it was, and its surviving sons and daughters what they are. Out in the wide world they are scattered, but be-times their thoughts will turn to the fields and wooded hills of the old Homeland, and loving remembrance linger with the friends of long ago. In passing on to other fields the spirit of retrospection urges the pen to linger over its most delightful theme. To listen still to babbling brooklet and the song of birds so sweet when expierence was only a dream and boyhood's world was circumscribed by the horizon line, and the great and unexplored outside, with its hard-headed facts and untried mysteries, lay just beyond the two long hills that kissed the rising and the setting sun.
But instead of the coo of the turtle dove whistle of the quail and the and the gladsome laughter of boyhood's day, fancy hears the pleasantly modulated voice of Monroe McKiel reciting his exeellent poem "That Old Sweetheart of Mine," and the intervening years fall like a shadow upon the lamplight, and the Present with its urgent mandate bids to cease.
Coming forward now to the last year of the historian's residence at Oakville, the following entry is found under date of January 12, 1870:
"This is my birthday. This day I am 54 years old. How much my life is like a dream or a tale that is told. But I can truly say; Goodness and merey followed me all my days. May my dwelling be in God's House forevermore
For thirty-two years after this entry, the historian lived a quiet studious life at Morrison with faculties unimpaired until the last, doing his work in the world of Christianity and scholarship and still keeping diurnal records of passing events until within a few days of the end. Great-grandmother Fraser is still at my elbow at the age of 95, in excellent health, and memory unimpaired. When asked a question relating to any of these memoranda of the long ago, she is able to answer with the desired information even to the conversation used by persons taking part in any event that may be called up.
On the 29th day of September, the writer in company with Warren Livingstone, Milton Jewell and John S. Hall left for Michigan to attend the University at Ann Arhor. But notwithstanding this intellectual exodus, the people of Oakville and Mt. Carroll still kept the "even tenor of their ways." They bought, they sold, they married and were given in marriage, and no perceptible,change was noted unless it might. be that there was a slump in pranks at Oakville. A quarter of a century went by before the wanderer returned to revisit the old Happy Hunting Grounds, and here is the way he closed three columns of reflections, touching Time's changes, published on the occasion of his return.
Was it only a few days ago that we were all here? Was it only last week or the week before that our matchless choir sang this chorus to the old song?
We've reached the summit level, John,
And now go down the grade
With shorter stroke and swifter speed
Than any we have made.
It must have been in some far off time for the words have a real meaning to us now.
And now as I leave the cool shade of the old trees, memory finds the old brick school house as it was in " ye olden time "and the boys and girls all here.
Here is William the sage, and Johnnie and John,
And Robert and Calvin and rollicking Don,
And David and Dannie and Willie and George,
Only waiting for recess to caper and surge.
Here is mild-mannered Hugh, with his eye on his book.
But he's thinking of shirley I know by his look.
And Frederick, three Charlies and Sammie and Joe,
On the platform in front of the desk in a row.
Here long-legged Alex with eye on the girls,
Sits praying for license to tumble their curls;
And Henry and Jerry and Dannie and Dan,
Can we find them all seats in this limited plan?
Here is Rinehart, the cheerful; and Duncan the bold,
And broad-shouldered Martin, who will never grow old.
And fleet-footed Robert, and glad-hearted Will,
With the boy we called 'elephant,' chubby-faced Dill.
Here is Partis - the Deacon, with voice like a lute,
And little Tom Coin, so wicked and cute,
And Patsy, and Lyman and Davie and Fen,
And Jack, the cartoonist, with red-headed Ben.
Here's Tom who'd maintain that a bull's-foot was' B,'
And Tom who spelled' Job,' with a 'g,' and an 'e.'
And Tommie, the sauciest boy of the three,
'Who declared the mistake he could see.
Here is Ed in the corner by whispe.ring Dan,
And Bert throwing kisses to sweet little Ann.
And if memory wiII only the interval span,
I'll kindly remember them all if I can.
But Henry the jurist, with illnocent face,
Wakes Jack with a pin in some tender place.
And memory tumbles and tosses and whirls,
I must now let it rest ere. l talk of the girls.
Beyond the scarred pillar, in smiling array,
Sit the girls of that period, light-hearted and gay.
There is Anna, the graceful. and Jennie the sly,
And Katie coqueting with fun-loving eye.
There is Barbara, Theresa, Amelia and Kay,
One busy with lessens, three busy with play.
And, Tena the rymer, Kate, Nellie and Bell,
A kiss to them all, who cares if they tell?
There is Jennie so quiet, forgiving and kind,
And Mary with nothing to worry her mind.
And Ernaline busy with copy and pen,
With Liz writing sonnets to curly-haired Fen.
There is light-hearted Annie who never told fibs,
And Catharine and Kate with the curls.
And Vena, the neat little Iady in bibs,
The jolliest quartette of girls.
There is Emma and Ellen and Mollie and Jane,
Preparing for life with its joys or its pain.
But while I am thinking of Dora and Nell,
The scene is all changed by a tap of the bell.
And now they come crowding around me,
With laughter and chattel and glee.
Can my cycle of time have been dream-land,
And this the reality be?"
According to a memorandum made on October 1868, the writer entered as a pupil of the Union high school at Mt. Carroll, an event that is remembered to have been clouded by considerable diffidence on the part of the embryo student. The soil of an Oakville farm still clung to his boots in spots and there was hayseed in his hair, but much to his own surprise and perhaps that of others, he was found qualified to enter the highest grade and take his place in the old "Fifth Room."
Another surprise that was soon met was the fact that the city pupils who were being educated in this excellent seat of learning, were no farther advanced in their studies than the "foreign scholars" so-called, and that these latter; particularly those from the Oakville school, had been and were to continue dominating nearly all progressive innovations.
In those days it was the custom of the older country boys of two or three families who intended entering this school, to club together and take rooms in town, their supplies being sent in from the farms. But the wise fathers and mothers frowned upon any expressed desire to have these clubs composed entirely of irresponsible boys, and the sisters were often included ostensibly to attend the Seminary, but really to keep the boys in the straight and narrow path, and they usually had their hands full.
During the first year our studious and happy family consisted of Edward and Thomas English, and their sister Annie, and the writer and his, sister Tena. The girls attended the Seminary, bossed the house, and did the cooking, whiile the boys recited their lessons in the fifth room and studied at home, and hunted larks whenever they could steal away. We were domiciled with Mrs. Padgett in the little yellow house just across the street from the school bllilding. Mrs. Padgett was a kind soul and mothered us all, watching bur out-going, and in-coming with a warm-hearted solicitation that was fruitful of good results. In addition to being conveniently near the school, we had t the advantage of religious instruction without leaving our rooms. This came through the windows of a chrurch next door, its pastor being the Rev. Mr.Smile, who will be remembered as an eloquent orator of active force and far-reaching voice.
Continuously through the winter there was a revival at this church and nightly meetings were held. It can be easily fancied how five somewhat timid and receptive students worried through their problems in geometry or loaded up on ancient. history with the terrors of the eternal future thundering in their ears, and how their mathematical calculations might be lost in conjecture about statistical sin, their geographical research and in vocal declarations about "Greenland's Icy Mountains and India's Burning Sands."
On one occasion the whole congregation was singing that good old hymn, "We're Going Home to Die No More," They had been at it a long time and finally it was noticed that Annie's mind was not on her lessons. Some one chided her for idling and asked her what was wrong.
"I was just thinking," she replied with a resigned air, and a far-away look in her eyes, "that if they are really going, I'd wait and finish my lessons after they start,"
The boys had other ways of voicing their disapproval, which they did only in the absence of good Mother Padgett and the girls.
Although these meetings were betimes irksome and distracting to the toiling student it is remembered that they were productive of much temporary and some lasting good. They were at least sufficiently instructive and entertaining to keep the boys off the streets and to lure them away from resorts from which the law bars them today.
Col. J. M. Thomson was principal of the school at this time, with Miss Mary Hathaway of Savanna and Miss Marsh of Freeport as his assistants in the" Fifth Room." The teachers remembered as presiding over some of the lower departments were Miss Hattie O'Neal, Miss Louise Bartholemew,and Miss Lillian Seymour. The names of the others cannot now be recalled. Col. Thomson was an able teacher and brought the boys and girls forward rapidly, and although he was almost unapproachable in a social way, he was highly respected by the boys. among whom it was a fad to copy his dignity and long hair.
There was a Debating and Literary Society or Lyceum, as it was called, in connection with the school that was of great instructive benefit to the pupils. This society was divided into two "sides" and the exercises at their meetings, held every Friday night, were competitive and a friendly rivalry prevailed that went far in stimulating ambitious effort. At these meetingg original essays upon various subjects were read by members of either "side" previously placed upon. the programme by the "leaders." Songs (not competitive) were sung by the choir. Declamations were given by the boys. A paper or magazine in manuscript containing the news of the school, spicy articles touching the foibles of certain pupils, general gossip in the juvenile world, and various philosophical discourses, was read by two members from each side, the readings being alternate and marked by the judges of the competition according to merit. Lastly came the debate and it is remembered to have been upon questions that are still subjects of popular agitation and remain unsettled. Horace Ferrin, George P. Perry, Peter Libberton, Warren Livingstone, George Thomas, Albert Green, D. W. Finlayson and some others, usually took the leading part in these discussions and the speeches made must have been deeply impressive at the time for passages from them are remembered still.
The great majority of the pupils attending this Lyceum went solely because of its entertaining and instructive features, but there were a few young men who made it an asylum for their lovelorn moods and the chance opportunity it might afford for going home with the girls. But the chosen object of that "lovelorn mood" usually had an empty mitten ready for the young man who failed to distinguish himself by eloquence in debate or competitive cledmnation, and the disconsolate victims of failure in controversy and love had to resort to "The Revival" for further entertainment and consolation.
The young ladies of this society were very helpful in many ways. Beside assuring the attendance of a large number ' of young men, furnishing excellent music and many instructive and entertaining essays, they were sometimes chosen as "judges of the debate. The question for discussion was chosen and the judges were named a week in advance, and then followed seven days full of attempted bribery and the receiving of graft. The prospective debaters instead of employing their time in studying the subject and outlining their arguments, now devoted their energies towards pleasing the judges, and their surplus nickles in buying candy. But ere long it was found that our Portia could receive adulation and graft without hurting her conscience or impairing her judgment, and the question was decided according to the merits of the argument. The Union High School building was erected in 1865 and stood upon the present site of the splendid strucure that took its place a few years ago. In its day it was a magnificent pile and from its lofty seat upon the highest hill looked down upon the town with an air of impressive watchfulness that inspired a certain respectful awe in the hearts of its one-time inmates. But it is gone, to be rebuilt no more, only in Dreamland and the memory of those who loved its courts and its pleasant and instructive associations. During the recent reunion at Mt. Carroll the writer went through the new building with an old friend and schoolmate whom he had not seen since they sat side by side in the old fifth room. After strolling about the grounds, seemingly seeking something that could not be found, the friend said: "I hate this new and splendid building. It seems garish and is not of our world. They may tear down the old walls and dismantle the halls sacred to the long ago; but they cannot destroy what I learned here or drive the love I still have for the old building and its happy associations out of my heart of hearts. There may be many who feel the same way. It is true that some of the old-time pupils will go out of their way to avoid passing the place. Of course this is only a sentiment; but a natural one that speaks well for the impressive associations and exalting influences of the long ago.
Here is the pleasing physiognomy of a well-remembered High School boy, who, with his brother Russ, Lew Tomkins, Rob and George Campbell, Steve Mills, Henry Metcalf and the Beeler boys, was always found in the front rank of competition against the country boys for honors in the various classes.
Will Hallett was born in Mt. Carroll, and received his education in the Mt. Carroll High School and at Beloit College. Thoroughly trained in commercial life, he has been in the drug business for over thirty years; having had five years experience in Mt. Carroll, nine years in Wyoming, Iowa, and sixteen years in Sterling, IL, being a registered phmmacist in both Iowa and Illinois. In 1877 Will was married to Miss Mary Corlett of Iowa, a former student of the Frances Shimer Academy. They have two children, Earle who is in business with his father, as partner in the firm, and Miss Marian, a graduate of the Frances Shimer Academy. Will P. Hallett & Son do a prosperous business in Sterling, Ill., and Will still remains among the young-in-heart.
Under date of October 23, 1866, the following entry appears "Paid subscription for the Soldiers College at Fulton to Rev. Mr. Gay. Donation subscribed June 5th, to be paid in October."
No such institution as the" Soldiers College at Fulton," was remembered by the scribe, but after some inquiry, and considerable research, a very interesting history of this one-time popular educational institution was disclosed. It appears that this corporation was established first as the Western Union College and Military Academy, by Col. D. S. Covert, and favorably opened in Septemher 1861. Col. Covert had received from the United States government, a full equipment of muskets and acoutrements for the use of a cadet corps, a band of musicians was employed, which furnished music for dress parades, reveille, and other exercises of the military department. The Civil War had commenced, causing the military spirit to run high in the country, and large numbers of young men flocked to Col. Covert's academy for instruction in military tactics. The institution was successfully conducted for five years, under the same plan and management, and during the war many well-drilled and disciplined cadets went forth from its halls to talte their places in the actual arena of military life. The building occupied by this institution and its successors was a large, four-story stone structure (now practically vacant) covering a whole block of the city of Fulton, Whiteside county. It was erected in Fulton's booming days, by Charles Dement, and was originally intended and for a time used as a hotel. The Dement House was built in 1855, and in its day was the largest hotel west of Chicago. The main building is 96xl00 feet in size, and, including the basement, is five stories high. The walls are stone, 23 inches in thickness, and to the main building there was later added a wing 70 feet in length and two stories high. But the profitable use of this great building-costing upwards of $1 00,000 was a hotel, departed with the building of the bridge at Clinton, the removal of the passenger depot and the building of the railroad shops on the Iowa side of the Mississippi river. These unexpected events gave Fulton a severe blow, and nothing but the indomitable energy of its citizens exercised under adverse circumstances saved the town from becoming entirely a "has-been."
Today, Fulton is rapidly recovering from this oldtime set-back, and with the recent moving of the railroad shops and the establishment of other enterprises, bids fair to become a metropolis after all.
The Illinois Soldiers' College and Military Academy was organized March 30, 1866, and afterwards incorporated by act of the general assembly, approved February 26, 1867, as the Illinois Soldiers' College, the object being to enable the disabled soldiers of the Union army, belonging to Illinois regiments, to acquire an education, so as to fit them for proper stations in civil life. The benefits of the institution also applied to their children. Donations were asked for and received from all parts of the state and quite a large fund was raised. The trustees managed the institution, with a faculty of. which Leander H. Potter was president. The expenses were defrayed from the donation fund. The institution during its second period as a military college, received from the state about $20,000, and educated and sent out a large number of ex-soldiers and others well equipped for either military or civil life, among them General McArthur of recent military fame. Later the institution became the Northern Illinois College and its doors were opened to young ladies as well as men, and at the zenith of its prosperity, really ranked with the best colleges in the land.
From its halls came forth hundreds of young men and women, well equipped for commercial or professional life; and among those who have made their mark in various callings and still do honor to their Alma Mater, are found the following: Nelson C. Pratt, Atty., Omaha; W. H. Cook, Member of Congress, Paris, Texas; Hon. Charles Fiske, Chief Justice Supreme Court, N. D.; C. R. Hansen, Sec'y Board of Ad ministration, Springfield, Ill.; Clinton Hansen, M. D. Silvas, Ill.; Joseph Story, Lawyer, Peoria, Ill.; Fred Bick, Atty., Polo, Ill.; C. E. Hansen, Prinnter, Fulton, Ill.; Hon. A. N. Abbott, Representative House of Assembly, Morrison, Ill.; Miss Clara Kremer, County Supt. of Schools, Bozeman, Mont.; D. C. Waite, Atty., Fulton, Ill.; Frank L. Holleran. Atty., Lyons, Iowa; John Stowell, M. D., Los Angeles; Thomas Lawton, M. D., Chicago, and Silas E. Morris and William A. Morris, Bankers, Redfields, South Dakota.
In the meantime, the trustees and friends of the institution had been equipping the building with all modern improvements and beautifying the grounds until it was said that it was one of the finest buildings in the state, and a park of about three acres was a garden spot of which any city might be proud. The locality is one of the finest and most healthful in the state and is easy of access by both rail and river. Among the various faculties and boards of trustees appear many names that are as familiar as household words throughout the country, and many of them, of the living and dead, Qccupying lasting , recollections of respect and gratitude in the popular neart of today. Among these names is found that of O. D. W. White, once a pastor , of the Presbyterian church in Mt. Carroll, who appears in the records of the institution as professor of natural and agricultural science. Also that of Dr. Leander Smith of Morrison, who was treasurer and 11 member of the board of trustees until his death in 1889. Before going to reside permanently in Morrison in 1876, Dr. Smith seems to have been one of the most solid and energetic citizens of the neighboring town of Fulton, and always a friend of this one time prosperous college,: having charge of its endo'wment fund, and being at all times energetic in advancing its interests-educational, financial and moral. Dr. Smith while still a resident of Fulton, established the First National Bank in Morrison, in 1865, with A. J. Jackson as cashier, and later established, also, the private banking house of Leander. Smith & Sons, two financial concerns that still remain as solid as any in the state. But notwithstanding his great business cares of a private nature, he still found time to care for the interests of the college and remained energetic and interested in its behalf until the day of his death.
There are other names that deserve recognitionpopular recognition, in fact, in connection with the institution, but with one exception these names are left to history, where they have found an honorable place, and to an apprecintive people. The exception indi cated is the name of Prof. A. M. Hansen, who, when the tide of success turned, and financial and legal adversity threatened to overwhelm the college, stood manfully at his post as president of the institution, and struggled vainly for years to save his beloved seat of learning from utter ruin. To his efforts is largely due the fact that the college kept on imprting learning and efficiently equipping young men and young women for some years after its ultimate doom was apparent to its friends as well as to its enemies. There is something pathetic in such a struggle, particularly when the object is that of an educational institution whose influence has done so much for the whole country, and Dr. Hansen's efforts, at great self sacrifice, are verily worthy of the martyr's crown History as far as known here is almost silent as to the cause of the collapse of this excellent seat of learning, but a search among the records of the district court and the supreme court of the state, shows that the difficulties were largely legal. The institution became involved in law. The corporation had received a large money donation from the city of Fulton, to be considered as a donation as long as the said trustees maintained and continued, without material interruption, a college of fair order in the building on block ten, range ten, in the said city of Fulton. The terms of agreement were secured by mortgage, and upon the failure of the trustees to abide by this clause, the donation was to revert to the mortgagee. The mortgage is dated April 29, 1868, and some twenty odd years later an attempt was made to foreclose. The case was eventually carried to the Supreme Court of the state, and although that tribunal declared that the mortgage was barred by the statute of limitations, and that there was not sufficient evidence to show that a "college of fair order" was not being maintained, the college, through this litigation received a blow to its reputation from which it never recovered and it finally ceased to exist.
Among the friends and acquaintances of this scribe who are known to be graduates of this college are Hon. R. E. Eaton of Mt. Carroll, who served four terms as state's attorney of Carroll county and is a lawyer with a statewide practice Charles C. McMahon, for years city attorney of Fulton, one time member of the law faculty of. his alma mater and a lawyer of eminent ability; Samuel McCalmont, ex-mayor, and John A. Riordan, city attorney of Morrison, both lawyers of recognized ability and wide practice, and Hon.Will A. Blodgett, Judge of the county court of Whiteside county.
It is, or must be a source of keen regret to such men, that the magnificent structure remembered as .their beloved alma mater, in whose halls, learning once held court, and whose influence will long be widely felt in the military, commercial and professional life of the country, should be left wholly to the spirit of inactivity, and Elves of Silence.
After passing over memoranda touching a two years course at the Union High School, and marking a few for future reference, the writer has picked up two manuscripts with the intent of filling out this chapter with either of the two. One of these is a discourse upon "Ambition,", found in an old copy of the Quackenbos Rhetoric, that was evidently written for the "paper" or manuscript magazine of the High School Lyceum. It bears evidence of being blue penciled by'George Thomas and copied in the" magazine," by Ella Rea. Whatever may have been its merits then, it is certainly crude enough here.
Starting,out with a Websterian definitbn of "Ambition," supplemented by philosophical reflections upon the true meaning of the word, the writer is at last found abroad in the woods, his soul far removed from sordid things, and without any ambition to get back. It is thought that he must have here encountered a bevy of High School girls who persuaded him to pilot them to the "cave," for the interest suddeny dies out and the wise discourse ends with a string of nothings. But Wisdom's mandate here forbids to turn this ancient paper over to companions of "ye olden time," to serve as an object of their cruel mirth, and another is substituted.
Some time after the scribe's return to this country, in the year 1895, he was smitten with the spring fever and, while convalescent, was siezed with an overwhelming desire to resume the employments of his youth, and thus voiced his bucolic desires and their results in the press of the time. They are here given, not only to fill out the chapter, but in the belief, as well, that it will interest or amuse his old companions who have betimes "felt that way" themselves, at least those among them continuously under the grind of indoor toil.
[long poem omitted]
According to a memorandum found under date of Oct. 26, 1869, the scribe entered upon his second term at the High School in Mt. Carroll, and here memory, and apparently surreptitious notes, written upon the margin of old school books, must supply the data for a brief notice of this six months term. The educational combination included John Gunn and his sister, Dora: and Kate Fraser, the quartette being all from the Oakville school. Miss Gunn entered as a pupil at the Seminary, while the other three sought training for the young idea in the old Fifth Room. They were domiciled in the upper flat of old Number 7, a building owned by T. T. Jacobs and then occupying a site on Clay street, east of the Court House. This building is now found on Carroll street with its face turned to the east and the figure 7 almost as dim as memories of happy times spent within its walls. But the old outside stairway will still carry the sedate man as safely as it did the tumultuous school-boy in the old days and nights.
Little is remembered about our landlord only that he was kind and fatherly, and, to us, seemingly an old man even then. The principal of the school at this time was Prof. H. R. Edwards, a brother of Dr. Edwards the then President of the State Normal School. Mr. Ed wards was superceded, near the close of the term, by Rev. Mr. Rice, the then pastor of the Presbyterian church at Mt. Carroll. Mr. Edwards' assistants in the Fifth Room were Miss Hathaway, Miss Pierce, and later Mrs. Edwards, Prof. Edwards having become a benediet during the Christmas holidays.
The claim is made by many of the old pupils of this school, and is endorsed here, that the system of instructi.on and discipline practiced in those days, was more practical and lasting in results than present educational methods. Lessons were learned and recitations given without the aid of pencil or paper and memory was under constant discipline. The "old foggies" still carry what little they learned, in their heads, and fail to understand how, the modern pupil, with so many fancy helps to master every branch of' study, can long retain an education so easily acquired.
Our school choir, consisting of ten or a dozen voices and an organist, is remembered to have been an excellelit one. Some of the names composing have passed from memory and few passages from their songs can be recalled, possibly for the reason that bright eyes and alluring smiles, or attendant mischief, were more impressive than the language of the songs, that we sang at the opening and close of school.
There was one song, however, about dancing in the shady groves so glad and free, and a gipsy's life being the life for me, that is in part remembered, this, perhaps, because there was at least one "Barkus" in the choir who was "willin" provIded any, of,the brighteyed singers, meant what they sang.
At this time there was a Literary and Debating Society composed of the practicing attorneys of the town and studunts studying under them, and some others, their their meetings being held once each week in the rooms over what is now Squires' hardware store. The names of membersof this society that are remembered were: James Shaw, C. B. Smith, T. M. Hunter, C.L.Hostetter, Egbert Becker, Will J. Libberton, Morris Rea, C. C. Farmer, and H. A. Mills. Later, after the Christmas holidays, two of the High School boys, Warren Livingston and the scribewere admitted to this intellectual fold. It is remembered that this late contingent entered this Society burdened by some diffidence and a large amount of ignorance. But they found the older men kind and helpful and the burdens indicated quickly gave place to unbounded egotism, and when they were later appointed as chief disputants in a certain debate, they were as proud and gratefuI as they might be today if elected to the Supreme Bench. , Mr. Shaw is remembered as a man of deep thought and scholarly attainments, while Eghert Becker supplied the quaint humor and occasional song that kept his hearers amiable, ! even while heated by the usual incidents in disputive controversy. Linneas Hostetter was regarded as the mathematical pbilosopher of this intellectual circle, and treated the various problems that came up for discussion, in a way that always inspired emulation. Morris Rea, thcn quite a young man, was combatively eloquent and gave promise of a brilliant future. Dr. Farmer was clear and practical in debate and in his avowed views upon any question, left the impression, even upon his opponents, that there was nothing more to be said. Dr. Farmer was at that time in business here as a Denta1 Surgeon, but could still use his own jaw as cleverly and as interestingly as he could manipulate the jaws of his clients.
The weight of the various debates usually fell upon Mr. Shaw, Mr. Mills, Mr. Hunter and Mr. Smith, while the ambition of the others was to learn from these. and, once in a while, overthrow them in controversy. Will Libberton was recognized as rather modest student, "brief and to the point" in discussing a question, and gave little or no promise then of becoming the eloquent pulpit orator that he is today.
A majority of these early friends have passed away, but recollections of their helpful friendship and many kindnesses will remain a cherished page of boyhood's history.
Two events of the season that are quite vividly remembered are the mumps and the scribes first shave. Both of these include pleasant recollections of Dr. N. Rinedollar and Charles Stober. Mr. Stober was the leading tonsorial artist in town at that time; and, like all school-boys of his age. the scribe ardently longed for the U droopin moustache. He was advised that a barber might facilitate its progress. In the dusk of an eventful evening he stole bashfully up into Charlie's shop, then located on the second floor of the Miller Block, and shyly asked for a shave. Years afterwards the moustache appeared and the reader may here turn to the first page of this book to look upon the graceful result of Charlie's ancient handiwork. Charlie still attends to the requirements of the now grizzled physiogonmy and dilates upon the good old times, while so employed.
The mumps came on without any warning or consideration for unlearned lessons and both boys were shelved at the same time. It is remembered that the girls were absent on vacation and the afflicted school boys had the fight all to themselves. Their compulsory diet I consisted wholly of mashed turnips, and the experience of eating and laughing at the same time is remembered to have been very painful. It was the aim of each boy to start the other laughing , and the result usually ended in a semi-strangulation or a fight. ' But eventually Dr. Rinedollar, then a I young practitioner in town was called in and the boys were soon back at school.
An effort has been made to secure the address of all the old pupils whose names are remembered for record here but the list still remains so largely incomplete that the thought is regretfully abandoned; and the history of this term , closing the scribe's school-boy days, is left to be elaborated in the memory of his never-to-be-forgotten companions, from the words "D' ye mind?"
They will remember that we learned our lessons largely under compulsion: that we played in and.out of school as boys and girls will; that we quarreled; flirted and had affairs of the heart as they do, today; that we played truant and strolled the Waukarusa when the trees were turning brown; that we visited the cave not wholly bent on geological research, and that we did everything with better zest and more uplifting joy than modern pupils dare to do, and bade good-bye at last, to the old school building with sincere regret that we could not be always-boys and girls.
It would require many volumes to elaborate a complete biography of every pupil of the Oakville School, and the author, herein, curbs his desire for a pleasing task by simply giving. the names, addresses and occupations of those whom he has been able to locate. There is no apology for a curtailed list. It is quite large as it is arid though known to be largely incomplete, it is unavoidably so. During a recent visit to the old neighborhood, an old poplar grove, near the Graham homestead was sought out and found to have been replaced by an unromantic cornfield. It was remembered that, upon several of the larger trees in this grove were at one time carved. the names of many of the old pupils girls as well as boys. Far above the lower branches these legends were, for our girls could climb in those days and sought to place their names above or beside that of some chosen boy. Among these, side by side, are remembered the names of two of the older pupils, around which, later, was carved a circle of crude hearts, by a young vandal dominated by the essential sense. With these names, shorn of all romance, the list begins:
Alex M. Fraser, Stipendary Magistrate and Supreme Court Commissioner, New Glasgow, N. S.
Anna Mackay (Moore) wife of President Moore of the First National Bank, Mt. Carroll.
Jennie Graham (Brown) widow, Lanark, Ill.
James Graham, died at Mt. Carroll.
Lieut. Will Graham, died in Chicago.
Dan M. Graham, retired merchant, Mt. Carroll.
Ellen Graham (Becker) Los Gatos, Cal.
Annie Graham (English) Villisca, Iowa.
Rob Graham, retired farmer Mt. Carroll.
Dan J. Mackay, died in Texas.
Barbara Mackay, (Smith-Gilmore) Chicago.
Jennie Mackay ( VanPatten) Los Angeles.
Lena Mackay (Jack) Oakville.
Charlie Mackay, died at Oakville.
Henrietta Mackay, died at Morrison, Ill.
Ellen Mackay (Haw~e) widow, Morrison, Ill.
Kate Mackay (Ford) died at Kansas City, Mo.
Duncan Mackay, broker, McKay BIdg. San Antonio Texas.
Nettie Mackay (Sharp) Jacksonville, Ill.
Ada Mackay (Gray) died at Morrison, Ill,
Eliza Fraser (Boyd) widow, Morrison, Ill.
Don Fraser, ex-Territorial Judge, now post master. Wewoka, Oklahoma
Tena Fraser (Waller) Moline, Ill.
Kate Fiaser, artist, died at Morrison. Ill.
Herd Fraser. ex-member Idaho Legislature, mining broker, present address Peoria, Ill.
Ella Fraser, widow of S. H. Weller, D. D., 327 W. Ave. 53, LosAngeles, Cal.
Margaret Mackay, died at Oakville.
Will Mackay, farmer, Oakville.
Effie Mackay, died at Oakville.
Jean Mackay (Glidden) M. D., Mt. Carroll.
George Finlayson, broker and real estate, Summerfield, Kansas.
Robert Finlayson, banker, Grundy Center, Iowa.
Dan W. Finlayson. M. D., Des Moines, Iowa.
Mary Finlayson (Dunshee) widow, Mt. Carroll.
Calvin Finlayson, farmer, Armstrong, lowa.
John Finlayson, M. D. died at Armstrong. Iowa.
Jennie Finlayson, Mt. Carroll.
Robert Gunn. ranchman Beulah. Wyoming.
Mary Gunn (Ashby) died in Sacramento, Cal.
Will Gunn, Sec'y Black Hills Transfer Co., Deadwood, S, D.
Hugh Gunn, Calgarry, Canada.
John A. Gunn, M. D. Des Moines, Iowa
Dora Gunn (Symonds), San Jose, Cal.
Dan B. Gunn; merchant, Red Oak, Iowa.
Katie Gunn (Howard), Red Oak, Iowa.
Jane Cameron (Gunn) Beulah, Wyoming.
Mary Cameron. (San burn) Widow, Beulah, Wyoming.
J ol1n Cameron, Farmer, Audobon, Iowa.
Heck Cameron, Ranchman, died near Beulah, Wyoming
Kate Cameron (Paull) widow, 1618 N. 5th st., Quincy, Ill.
Will A. and Duncan F. Mackay, Bankers, Madison S. D.
Dan S. Mackay, Farmer and Stockman, Oakville.
Divina Mackay (Beede) died at Chadwick, Ill.
Helen Mackay (Weston) Nebraska.
Henry Mackay, Lawyer, Mt. Carroll, Ill.
Partis B. English. Retired farmer, Sec'y Mutual Ins. Co., Villisca, Iowa.
Ed English, V. S., Retired farmer, Villisca, Iowa.
Thomas English, Retired farmer, Villisca, Iowa.
Annie English (Zimmerman). died at Kansas City, Missouri
Ella English (Ware) Lincoln. Nebr.
John Hildt, Farmer, Tama, Iowa.
David Hildt, deceased.
Will Hildt, Farmer, Tama, Iowa.
Henry Hildt, Contractor, Chicago.
Conrad Hildt, Ranchman,. Snohomich, Wash.
Rinehardt Hildt, Methodist minister.
Katie Hildt, (Carr-O'Neal) Tama, Iowa.
Mary Hildt (Craig) Mt. Carroll, Ill.
James R. Mackay, Retired farmer, Douglas, Butler Co., Kansas.
Alex Mackay, Contractor and builder, Morrison, Illinois.
Capt. Egbert Becker, Lawyer, died at Mt. Carroll.
Emmaline Becker (Zuck) Mt. Carroll.
John Becker, Retired ranchman, Los Gatos, Cal.
Thomas Grennan, Farmer, Coon Rapids, Iowa.
Maggie Calder (Harris) Armstrong, Iowa.
Amelia Sterns (Hall-Smith) York township, Mt. Cartoll
Rev. Jeremiah Hall, deceased
Samuel Hall, died at Mt. Carroll.
John S. Hall, County Surveyor Carroll County, Mt. Carroll
Mary Bonnyman (Potter) David City, Neb.
John C. Fremont Bonnyman, Ranchman, St. Paul, Nebraska.
Lucinda Kline, (Franks) Widow, Gresham, Oregon.
Theresa Kline (Kahler) Died at Chadwick, Ill.
Guy Secord,. Ex-Sheriff, Insurance Agent, Clay Center, Nebr.
Virginia Rupple (Bailey) Everett, Wash.
Charles W Reynolds, Died at Grundy Center, Iowa.
Phoebe Reynolds (Graham) Mt. Carroll.
Archey Matheson, Farmer, Britt, Iowa.
Henry Rupple, Farmer, Thomson, Ill.
Wright Hawse, died in Fairhaven.
Martin McKiel, Assessor of Salem for over twenty years, Mt. Carroll.
Monroe McKiel, Justice of the Peace of Salem for twenty-five years, Mt. Carroll.
John Zuck, Retired farmer, Mt. Carroll.
Mary Zuck (Davis) Oakville.
Henry Bast, Farmer, Oakville.
John L. Smith, died in Iowa.
Eliza Smith (Mills) Los Angeles.
Belle Smith (McGoun) Widow, Los Angeles.
The Schreiners, Dgggarts, Appels, and Whitzels
are all still living, with the exception of Henry Shreiner, who died at his home in Oakville several years ago. All the others are located in or near Mt. Carroll
In parting with the friendly reader with whom I have come, hand in hand, through all these years-so lightly touched, may we still find our recollections of the early days, as golden links to bind the Present to the Past; and if the years going by on swift, and swifter wings, throw more of shadow than of light across the interminable way that leads to Mystery, let us still go back to gather up the sunbeams of the Long Ago, and find within the narrowing circle of the Present, a radiance to banish every shadow of tegret.
© Copyright by Genealogy Trails