Chapter 14, Page 155
a pioneer handy man……                 Pioneering in Illinois
1788 - c. 1858
Farmer - Miller - Mechanic - Cabinet Maker
Second son of John Overstreet, Sr., and a brother to the flamboyant Rev. John Overstreet was Dabney Overstreet, 1788 - c. 1858. He bore his mother's family name as his given name and possibly fathered fourteen children although only ten can be accounted for - others having died in infancy. His trail led from Bedford county, Virginia to Cabell county in the same state (later in West Virginia) and finally to Illinois. He was a part of the Hall - Overstreet migration that after the Revolution left their homes in Virginia to go westward. He was the only member of the group not to settle in Ohio, but located just across the Ohio River in what was then Virginia.
He was married in c. 1806 to Jennie (Jane) Rogers, 1790 - c. 1860. This marriage likely took place in Cabell county, Va. Dabney is listed as one of the first settlers in that section of Virginia which opened up about 1806. This was in the area of the Mud and Guyandotte River valleys not far from Point Pleasant where the famous Indian Battle had taken place in 1774.
From the 1815 Tax List of Cabell county, he was the only white male in his family over 16 years of age, he had no slaves, and owned two horses and two cows. The first grist mill in the district in which he lived was jointly owned by Dabney and a William Fullerton. It was built in 1823 and was a small tub mill with one run of stone and a single hopper. Evidently back in Bedford county, the Overstreets had been associated with the milling as his brother, the preacher, John, Jr. also had mill experience.
From the official records of Virginia the following information is gleaned: (War of 1812) +
'In compliance with general order bearing date of Jan. 13, 1815, the following details have been made from the 120th Regiment (Va. militia made part of the regular service) commanded by Captain Spurlock, Febr. 24, 1815:
Dabner Overstreet, Private. ++
His active service was less than one year.
In the early 1820s Dabney Overstreet, hearing the siren call of his brother, John, about the wonders of the Illinois (Sangamon) country, pulled stakes, left Virginia and joined the Hall - Overstreet pilgrimage from Ohio to Illinois. He may have been among the later arrivals.
On June 23, 1835 Dabney entered 40 acres of land in what was then Sangamon county. It was in an area that was to become a farm for him.
According to an account in the Athens Free Press of September 30, 1921 Dabney Overstreet owned five lots in Block 2 in the north section of Main Street. These lots had cost him $20. On January 17, 1835, he sold the entire block to Sussanah (Overstreet) Rogers, his sister-in-law for $5.00
Dabney was to make his home in the area of Sangamon county (now in Menard county) in which the village of Oakford is now located. At the time he moved there, it was a thriving community known as Robinson's Mill.
At this location, Dabney not only farmed but worked as a mechanic in the mill there as well as being a cabinet maker. Again, another family member probably made the coffins for the early-day burials.
Today, Robinson's Mill is a ghost village, with only the tavern, a brick structure, still in evidence. Even its' name has been shortened, the natives refer to the site as 'Bobtown.'
At the time Overstreet lived there, it is known that a store, mill, saloon, blacksmith shop and the Inn formed the town. It was large enough to have a post office. It was located on an old road survey made by Lincoln in 1836 which led from New Salem through Robinson's Mill to Miller's Ferry at Huron where the Sangamon River could be crossed. Principal developer of the town was Ebenezer Robinson, an important man of the time and era.
John Bonnett took over the mill in 1842 and built the Inn, long known as Bonnett's Inn or Tavern. The bricks were hand made from clay at hand.
The death of the Town came with the advent of the railroad which by-passed it and in the 1870s, Oakford became important. With the booming of Oakford, Robinson's Mill lost its post office and gradually withered away - the fate of many central Illinois' pioneer communities.
Following the death of Nancy Dabney Overstreet in 1836, Old John Overstreet, Sr., spent much of his time in Dabney's household - the pension money was welcomed.
Dabney Overstreet is assumed to be buried in the Old West Cemetery at Athens in the Hall-Overstreet family plot.
Descendants of Dabney and Jennie (Rogers) Overstreet are to be found in the Petersburg - Oakford area of Menard county today.
(in approximate order)
Delise (Anderson), 1814 - 1859
x Eleanor 'Nelly' (Hurt), 1818
x John R. (Cantrall), 1819 - 1876
x Nancy (Lounsberry) (Hudspeth), 1826 - 1879
x Susan (Lounsberry), 1831 -1863
Julia (Ogden), 1834 - 1861
Margaret (Lounsberry), 1837 - 1870
x Jane (Ogden), 1840 -
x traditional Hall - Overstreet given names
This family was essentially Southern in background and living in a pioneer community, there was marriages of brothers of one family with sisters of another. In later generations there may have been some 'cousin' marriages.
Two family situations will be discussed:
In case of the Ogden marriages, Julia Overstreet married Isaac Ogden, 1827 - 1875. Following Julia's death in 1861, Ogden, as did Lounsberry, married Jane a younger sister. These situations would cause some complex relations among the cousins.
Dabney Overstreet was the father of a son named John. This gives us the third John Overstreet and from the dates of their lives they were all three living from 1819 through 1834 in Sangamon - Menard county area. This son is the only one of Dabney of whom we have record.
The author has placed on file in the Illinois State Historical Library additional information on this family. He is indebted to Mrs. George Eilks, Oakford, Illinois, a descendant for much of the genealogical information on this branch of the Hall-Overstreet family.
+From this record it appears that three members of the Overstreet family served in the War of 1812: John Overstreet, Sr., John Overstreet, Jr., and Dabney Overstreet.