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Christian County, Illinois

Revolutionary War

Jonathan Hicklin, born in Virginia in 1756, moved to Kentucky where his military service in the Revolutionary War occurred. In the Kentucky Indian wars, he acted as a spy. In 1813 he moved to Indiana; later coming to Wabash Township, Clark County, Illinois. His last years were spent in Christian County where he died on February 14, 1858 at the age of 102 years. He is buried at Donner Cemetery, west of Owaneco.

Excerpt from Crawford and Clark County 1883 History follows:
Jonathan Hicklin, an early settler of Wabash Township, was a character, and an excellent specimen of the frontiersman. He was a native of Virginia, but went to Kentucky in the days of Daniel Boone, with whom he became well acquainted. He acted as a spy in the Indian wars of Kentucky and was in many fights with the savages. In 1813, he came to Indiana having married in Woodford County, Kentucky, and located near Carlisle, where he lived for about nine years. He was a great hunter like most of the early settlers of the Wabash Valley, and being out on an extended hunt, he came through this section, and liking the land, selected a home on Big Creek in a romantic spot on a high bluff, where he built a cabin 16 by 20 feet. After getting it roofed, he hired a man to finish it while he went back after his family. When he returned, he found his cabin unfinished, and had to move into it without floors or fireplace, and with the cracks between the logs open. In this condition, he moved into it between Christmas and New Year's, and the weather was at the time cold and disagreeable. Three large stones were set up against the wall for a fireplace and an opening made for the smoke to escape through the roof. He lived with the Indians a good part of the time, hunted and traded with them, and got along with them in peace and harmony. Once a lot of Big Creek roughs sought to drive him out of the country, by inciting the Indians against him. They cut off the ears of the Indians' ponies, shaved their tails, and taking the hair and several ears to Hicklin's put them through the cracks into his cabin, that suspicion might be directed to him. As soon as he discovered them in the morning, he divined the purpose of the perpetrators of the deed, and at once gathered them up, took them to the Indians' camp and told them the circumstances and whom he suspected of having done it. The Indians were aroused and the roughs who had intended to involve Hicklin in trouble with the savages found themselves whipped with their own weapons, and were forced to seek safety in making themselves scarce for a while.

On Sunday afternoon. October 10, 1965, at the Donner Cemetery, two miles west of Owaneco, Peter Meyer Chapter DAR dedicated the recently erected monument and bronze DAR plaque at the grave of Jonathan Hicklin, the county's only known soldier of the American Revolution. The dedication service was conducted by Mrs. John Funk, regent, and Mrs. Russell Jellison, chaplain, reading from the DAR ritual and placing a floral tribute at the monument, which bears the following inscription:

"Jonathan Hicklin, Kentucky, Pvt. Hall's Regt., Kentucky Cavalry.
January 22, 1756 February 14, 1858."

The Chapter was assisted in the impressive ceremony by the color guard of the J. Ivan Dappert Post No. 73 who posted the colors, fired a three-gun salute, and sounded taps. William Robertson, chaplain of the 21st District American Legion offered a prayer. Representatives of nine patriotic organizations, the Christian County His-torical Society, Boy Scout Troop 69, attended the ceremony along with fourteen chapter members and other interested persons.
Written by Verna S. Rozanski
"Illinois sesquicentennial edition of Christian County history"
Jacksonville, Ill.,: Printed by Production Press, 1968
Transcribed by K. Torp


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