Illinois Genealogy Trails
Jo Daviess County, Illinois
Warren Weekly Sentinel, July 30, 1868

Our readers will remember that sometime last winter the Sentinel made mention of a Panther that had been seen near Plum River, and of a reward that had been offered for its capture or death. On Saturday last, as Mr. John Hileman, of Wards Grove, was preparing his reaper to cut his grain, a young daughter of his, aged about 15, who was with him at the time, noticed a strange looking animal in the grain about twelve feet off, and called her father’s attention to it. Mr. H., being unarmed, called his dog, but the strange looking animal disappeared on his making a noise. Soon after, however as he was fixing something under the machine, his daughter noticed the animal about four feet off, ready to spring. She screamed, which attract Mr. Hileman’s attention, who changed his position, and his dog appeared just at that time, battle was given to the animal. The dog, which was a large one, caught the animal by the throat, and Mr. Hileman, with a rake attempted to breaks its legs as it would draw them up to rip open the dog. After fighting half an hour the lynx or catamount began to show signs of weakness, and Mr. Hileman pinning it down with a rail, finally despatched him with his pocket knife. The monster measured three feet four inches in length, and stood two feet high. He was of a dark brown color, with a claw somewhat resembling that of a lion. The hide has been taken off, and is in the possession of Mr. Hileman. Miss H. states positively that she saw, at first two of them, but the second one has not yet been found. Great excitement exists in the neighborhood, and the people are almost afraid to leave their houses.

A good deal of speculation is going on as to what kind of an animal it was. Some call it a catamount, while others think it a lynx. From the description we have of it we should call it the latter. Mr. Hileman suffered no injury, but his dog was cut pretty badly, some places six inches in length as the lynx succeeded in reaching him with his claw. On the whole, this is one of the most exciting fights with a wild, ferocious animal, that we have ever heard of, and Mr. H deserves the thanks of the entire community for thus ridding it of so dangerous an enemy, and more especially for his attacking it unarmed.

[Transcribed and submitted to Genealogy Trails by Charles Hammer]


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