Peoria County, Illinois Genealogy Trails

Timber Township



Est. Nov. 6, 1849
Extreme southern point of the county. Originally chief covered with timber.
First Settlers: 
 Daniel Hinkle
 Lancaster laid out by Samuel F. Bollinger on section 17. 
Glassford (First named Glascoe) laid out on Dec. 9,1868 and Inc. Feb. 2, 1889 
Kingston Mines formerly called Palmyra and laid out by James Monroe.
Rail Roads: Toledo, Peoria & Warsaw
Water Ways: Long Lake, Scotts Lake
Other: One of the Harker corners lies in the township. Kickapoo Forks




Timber Township History  [from "The History of Peoria County, Illinois; Johnson & Co., 1880.  Transcribed by Karen Seeman]

Timber Township History [from Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Peoria County, Edited by David McCulloch, Vol. II; Chicago and Peoria: Munsell Publishing Company, Publishers, 1902.]

A History of Timber Township, through the eyes of Allen L. Fahnestock.  Contributed by Richard Parr.

Early Timber Township, an article from the Glasford Gazette of 1901, written by the founder, W. F. Rader.

The Birth of Glasford






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Timber Township is located in the southwest corner of Peoria County. It derives its name from the fact that it embraces within its limits the finest body of timber in the State, abounding, as it does, in red, black, white and burr-oak, white and black ash, white and black walnut, elm, cotton-wood, hard and soft maple, linn, mulberry, sycamore and a great variety of other timber. Fine bottom land extends from the bluff to the river, in width from one-half to two miles, interspersed with beautiful lakes, the most noted being Clifton Lake, Stillman Lake, Scott Lake and Murray Lake, named after old settlers who owned land adjoining. The Stillman Lake was named after General Stillman, who commanded in the Black Hawk War, and lived on his farm near this lake. These lakes were stocked with a fine variety of game fish, pike, cat and buffalo, affording the first settlers great sport in spearing them from their canoes; while in the timber the wild turkey, deer and small game abounded in flocks and droves, and could be shot from the settlers' cabin doors with their long flint-lock rifles. They then used the deer hides, after being well tanned, for moccasins and breeches. The river and lakes swarmed with wild geese, brant and all kind of ducks. This was a poor man's paradise. Milk and wild honey graced the hunter's table and were devoured with a relish with the pone and corn-dodger.

Early settlers.—A list of the pioneers who first settled and made their home's in this township embrace the following: Daniel J. Hinkle, wife and family, of Virginia; Tesse and William Eggman and families, and Thomas Ticknor, of New York, came in 1826; William Scott and family, of Kentucky, in 1829; William Dufield and family of Virginia, and George Griggs and family, of New York, in 1829; Theodore Vickers and family, Elijah Preston and family, Timothy Gridley and family, John Runnels and family, Jacob McCann and family, all of Ohio, came in 1830; Boyce Hayes, Isaac Bush, Thos. Hunt, John Hunt, George Hunt. Charles Fielder, Thos. Webb, Elizabeth Dufield and Ragina Green and families, of Virginia; John Congleton and James Congleton and families, of Kentucky; Jonathan Newman, J. Thurman, Alex. Brown and Isaac Preston and families; Doctor Sealy, William Gibbs and son, of New York; John Baty and family and Thomas Baty and family came in 1832; John McFadden and family, George Stewart and family, Walter Stewart and family, came in 1833; Dr. C. A. Buck and family. H. Partridge and family, David Spencer and family came in 1834; Rice Smith and family, George Fritt and family, Robert McKay and family, came in 1835; M. B. Murray and family, John Shock, of Virginia; S. F. Bollinger, of Pennsylvania; Orange Babbitt and family came in 1836; Jacob Fahnestock and family, of Pennsylvania. W. C. Andrews, William Webb, George Clark, Matthew Ellis, John Ellis, James O'Connor, K. Palmer, George C. McFadden, Nathan Wells, James Hamilton, Nathan Johnston and family, of Kentucky, Joseph Doll, Jacob Doll, M. F. Wells, S. F. Underwood, Sah. Clark, Elias Jones, Sr., Elias Jones, Jr., Samuel Farmer, Solomon Hootman, David Hootman, William Jones and John McFarland came in 1837.

Domestic habits and conditions.—The people who settled this township made their own clothing. You could everywhere hear the rattle of the loom and buzz of the spinning-wheel. The sheep were sheared in the spring, the burrs picked out of the wool, then carded by hand into rolls, spun into yarn and reeled in hanks, colored with butternut bark and woven into linsey and Kentucky jeans. The latter was sold at one dollar per yard, the linsey at fifty cents, and wool socks (hand-knit) at fifty cents per pair. Men and boys wore jeans or buckskin pants, moccasins, wommases and coonskin caps; the ladies, linsey dresses. We all lived in log cabins built of round logs covered with clapboards, with poles to keep the roof from blowing off; doors were hung on wooden hinges and fastened by latch with string hanging on the outside, by pulling which the door would open. At bedtime we pulled the string inside and the door was locked. The cabin had a puncheon floor, a mud and stick chimney large enough to admit a large back log that would last a week, the small limbs in front affording a bright, cheerful fire where the cooking was done and the hunters would sit and tell the big hunting stories, while the wolves and other wild animals howled on the outside. The cooking utensils consisted of a skillet, pot, frying-pan, a clean clapboard to bake a hoe-cake on; potatoes were roasted in the ashes, tin cups were used in place of cups and saucers, meats were boiled and there was no such a thing as a stove in the township.

The greatest trouble was to get salt to cure our meats. We were often compelled to cut out large troughs to hold the meat, using hickory wood ashes to cover it, curing it in that way. Salt was one dollar per bushel, paid for in cash or in deer-skins and furs in exchange. At the first snow in the fall the hunters took their oxen and sleds, dogs and guns, and hunted their hogs that were roaming wild in the woods fattening on the acorns, as the ground was covered with them. All animals, domestic and wild, lived during the winter in the brush and timber. Every farmer had his private mark for his cattle and hogs recorded at Peoria. Often great danger attended the hunting of the wild hogs, when, on account of wounding some, the dogs were driven back on the hunters and there was a race for life by running or climbing trees, the dogs often being killed or wounded.

The first settlers. Eggman, Hinkle, Ticknor, Scott and others, held a meeting to devise some means to drive out of the township the Indians that refused to leave their old hunting grounds, and decided to use harsh measures and drive them from the county, which was done. It was under great difficulties that the settlers could raise enough to support their families on account of the birds and wild animals. The coons and deer would be in the fields at night and the fowls during the day. There was also great difficulty in getting the land cleared of the large trees and brush, the settlers having nothing but rude tools, such as the ax and grubbing-hoe, to work with. The trees were girdled and left standing until they rotted down and were then rolled in heaps and burned. All the neighbors would help at log-rolling and at night the old log cabin would resound with the music of the old violin, and then the dance commenced with the Virginia reel, "money musk" and the "French four." The little brown jug was passed around and a happier set of people was hard to find. Whiskey was cheap at twenty-five cents per gallon, but was not the fighting kind we get at the present day.

The land was plowed with woolen mold-board plow, with steel point and share. We were compelled to carry a paddle to clean the mold-board every few rods. The other farming implements were a shovel plow, wooden harrow, rakes and forks, sickle and cradle to reap the grain. The wheat was tramped out with horses on the hard ground; then two men with a sheet would make wind and blow out the chaff. The first small mill was built of logs by the sons of the Widow Green; the small stones would crack the corn. By using horses or oxen it would grind a few bushels a day. The next mill was built at Utica, Fulton County, on Copperas Creek; also Low's mill on the creek, and Hale's mill on the Kickapoo Creek. The great difficulty was to get a good grist ground, as people would come to mill sixty miles away, taking meat and corndodgers along to eat until the grist was ground.
People were sometimes compelled to live on hominy and dried pumpkin, meat and sweet milk for a week at a time, until their grist was ground. Still for dessert we had stewed pumpkin and crabapple sauce with honey. During the summer we fared much better, having plenty of wild fruit of all kinds.

Peoria was but a small village; all business of the county was transacted at the county seat.

Schools.—There was a small log cabin built at Lancaster and one at Dry Run, where school was taught a few months during the winter. The teachers were Samuel Farmer and a Mr. Weston. The parents of the children paid their tuition, the teacher boarding with the families who sent their children to school. The school house had a mud chimney, one door, one log being cut out and greased paper pasted over the opening to afford light, on clear days; on cloudy, dark days all we could do was to spell, the teacher holding the door open a little to see the word, and let the class, spell. Our books were Pike's Arithmetic, Webster's Speller, the Old Testament and New England Primer. We named our school Dry Run College. In the year 1835 Section 16 was sold in lot's, some as low as one dollar and eighty-two cents per acre, and the proceeds put out at interest, the interest being used for
school purposes. In 1837 there was a board of School Trustees chosen—S. F. Bollinger, Thomas Ticknor and John C. McFadden. John McFadden was School Treasurer. Daniel J. Hinkle was the first Justice of the Peace. There was no such building as a church in the township, the meetings being held in log school houses, barns and cabins. The ministers worked six days in the week and preached to the people on the Sabbath Day. They received no pay, the hunters would give them all the meat they could use.

It was not an uncommon sight to see the hunters coming to meeting on the Sabbath Day with their guns, leaving them on the outside of the house until the meeting was over, then on their way home killing deer and turkey. About all business was done by barter and trade, there being very little money in the country. Mexican, Spanish, English and other foreign gold and silver coin, with a good supply of counterfeit coin, circulated freely, but little paper currency was in circulation. The notes of the State Bank of Missouri and of the Wisconsin Marine Insurance Company were good and taken at all the banks. The wood choppers, by putting wood on the bank of the river, were able occasionally to get a ten dollar bill, which was exhibited as a great curiosity. Coal on the steamboats was not in use.

There was no postoffice in this township. I carried the letters on horseback, once a week, to Peoria, receiving twenty-five cents in trade for the trip with horse furnished. Washington Brady was Deputy Postmaster. The postoffice was on the corner of Adams and Main Streets; letter postage was twenty-five cents. No envelopes were in use at that time, wafers and sealing wax were used to seal the letters.

A great variety of grains are produced in this township—wheat, rye, corn, barley, oats and buckwheat. We have a variety of soil; black loam adapted to corn; yellow clay on the up-land, the best in the world for wheat and clover; good water, hard and soft, well and spring.

Archaeology.—This township was once the home of the ancient Mound Builders. The remains of their work still exist scattered over the township, more especially along the river bluff and on the bottom lands. Large mounds remain standing, once used for the burial of their dead and for signal stations, on which they built fires to guard against danger and to light their friends, who were fishing in their canoes, to their camps at night. I have opened and examined quite a number of them. In one, sixty-two feet in diameter, I found skeletons in a sitting position well preserved—the Chief and his wives sitting in a circle on the top of the earth and the mound built over them; stones that had been heated in the fire and mussel shells placed around their bodies, a trench from the south to near the bodies showing that a fire had been kept burning to light the spirits to the happy hunting grounds. My opinion, from the position of the bodies in this mound, is that the Chief who died or was killed in battle, was placed in a sitting posture with his wives in the same position around him alive, and that then the tribe began carrying dirt and piling it over the bodies to a great height. Close to the large mounds were small ones, also containing bones; some adults and some children have been found. Nothing was found in the large mounds but stone implements, red and yellow paint. I found in this large mound the jaw bone of a chief, not having as many teeth by two as the human race usually have. The lower jaw denoted a savage, being large and short. I have a collection of six thousand specimens, stone axes, mauls, selts, discoids, hoes, head stones, plummets, balance stones, darts, drills, spoons, pipes, ornaments and a stone horn nine inches long, making a noise similar to a couch-shell, which can be heard a long distance. No other specimen of the kind has ever been found in the United States, and history gives no account of anything of the kind ever having been found.

I have part of the tusk of a mastadon found near the east line of the township in the vicinity of Reed City. It is about three feet long and weighs twenty-five pounds, being a small part of the point of the tusk. Three of the large teeth were also found, showing that the animals at one time inhabited this country, or came from the north when the country was deluged and under water.

There is also evidence that a race of people well advanced in civilization, once inhabited this township, the workmanship of their pottery and ornaments showing that some tribes were far in advance of others.

Immigration and growth.—Immigration commenced in 1838, families moving to this neighborhood from New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio, and locating their homes on Government land. Jacob M. Doll, Samuel Hootman, Thomas Fuller, Hugh Jones, David Ryno and many other good citizens arrived and made .their homes in this township.

About this time Samuel Bailey built a steam saw-mill at Palmyra, now Kingston Mines, selling the lumber at Pekin and Peoria. At this time the first coal was mined at Kingston by Thomas Robinson and hauled, in a cart with oxen, by Thomas Branson, to the mill for fuel.

From 1840 to 1842 the township settled up very rapidly. At that time the viva voce method of voting for officers was in use—the voter telling the judges the names of the candidates he wished to vote for. William Mitchell and Charles Kettelle were the most popular officers in the county. Samuel Bandy and Sol A. Glasford arrived in 1843 and 1844. The question of the abolition of slavery created great excitement; we had three voters for the Abolition ticket in the township. I remember Moses Pettengill and Mark Aiken coming down Main Street in Peoria one morning, with the print of eggs on their hats and clothes, received at one of their meetings.

In 1846 A. D. and H. Reed, of Farmington, built a large slaughter and packing house near the Lancaster landing on the river in our township, and bought hogs. They were hauled or driven on foot from Galesburg, Knoxville, Farmington, Elmwood and Trivoli to our landing, and sold for two dollars to two dollars and seventy cents per hundred pounds, dressed. In 1846 the Mexican War broke out and I went with nine others of our boys and enlisted in Captain May's Company, at Peoria. We received our suits of blue and drilled and marched about the city. The ladies presented us with a flag, and there was a steamboat at the wharf ready to take us to Alton to be mustered into a regiment, when the Governor sent word to us he had troops enough, and we were disbanded and returned to our homes.

In 1847 and 1848 the township was settling up fast. The Government land was about all entered. In 1849 the Illinois River was very high, the bottom land being flooded. We were compelled to go to Peoria to pay taxes in gold and silver; the State would not take paper money.

Township organization.—On April 2, 1850, the township was organized and named Timber Township. The election was held at the Lancaster School House. John McFarland was chosen Moderator, Samuel Farmer, Clerk. The following officers were elected: William L. Scott, Supervisor; Joseph Ladd, Town Clerk; Samuel Farmer, Assessor; David Ryno, Collector; Eli Taylor, Thomas Ticknor and Walter Stewart, Commissioners of Highways; C. A. Buck and John Lucas, Justices of the Peace; John L. Scott and John W. Williams. Constables; James Bowman, Overseer of the Poor.

The McCook family.—In 1851 David McCook and family moved to Kingston Mines, leased the mines of J. P. Eddy & Co., of St. Louis, built a store and operated the mines until some trouble occurred about the delivery of coal, when the McCook family moved back to Ohio. Several of the sons became soldiers and served with distinction during the War of the Rebellion. The father was killed during the Morgan raid through Ohio in 1864.

In 1853 the Illinois River being very high, steamboats landed at the foot of Main Street in Peoria.

In 1856 there were three stores at Lancaster, conducted by A. L. Fahnestock. W. L. Scott and Guy Campbell. At Kingston Mines, Eddy Brothers had a large store, conducted by Samuel Hutchinson.

The civil war.—In 1861 I was Supervisor, Postmaster and School Treasurer, and was in Peoria as a member of the Board of Supervisors at the time Fort Sumter was bombarded and capitulated to the Southern Rebels. John Bryner, then a member of the Board of Supervisors, offered a resolution that the county appropriate twenty thousand dollars to enlist and equip volunteers for the Union army.

In 1862 President Lincoln called for more volunteers. I raised a company and put them in Camp Lyon, Peoria. Col. David D. Irons was elected Colonel, D. W. Magee, Lieutenant-Colonel and James P. Bean, Major. We were mustered into the service by Captain R. C. Ewing, August 27, 1862, for three years or during the war. We left Peoria on the cars for Louisville, Kentucky, September 7, 1862, and on October 1st marched from that place pursuing Gen. Bragg, and overtaking him at Perryville, Kentucky, where we took part in the battle of the 8th of October.

The officers of my company, Eighty-sixth Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, were Allen L. Fahnestock, Captain; A. A. Lee, First Lieutenant ; L. Fahnestock, Second Lieutenant.

Timber Township sent more soldiers to the war than any other township in the State in proportion to population. The casualties in the Timber Township company during the war were as follows:

Non-commissioned officers and privates killed in battle ..............................7
Non-commissioned officers and privates wounded in battle....................25
Died of wounds .........................................................................................2
Died of disease ........................................................................................13
Wounded accidentally ................................................................................2
Captured by enemy ....................................................................................1

The company fought with the Eighty-sixth Regiment from Louisville, Kentucky, to Nashville and Chattanooga, Tennessee; thence to Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia, on through North and South Carolina and Virginia, and took part in the great review at Washington, D. C., where we were mustered out June 6, 1865, having fought sixteen battles, besides small engagements, and marched on foot three thousand five hundred miles, and traveled two thousand miles by railroad.

The old town of Lancaster has been abandoned. The location of the Toledo, Peoria & Warsaw Railroad running south of the old town, the town of Glasford was laid out and now has a population of about five hundred inhabitants, with five stores, and is a good point for trading in grain and live stock. The Newsam Brothers operate the Kingston Mines, shipping coal west. The forest timber has been cleared from the township and most of the land is under cultivation.

We have ten school houses, six churches, six societies and an energetic people.

From Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Peoria County, Edited by David McCulloch, Vol. II; Chicago and Peoria: Munsell Publishing Company, Publishers, 1902.






History of Timber Township
contributed by Richard D. Parr
This series of articles written by Allen L. Fahnestock and taken from his personal journal appeared in the Glasford Gazette, Glasford, Peoria County, Il. From September 1912 to September 1913. The articles ran with a two column format under one heading. Generally, with some exceptions, one column was the History of the Township and the other was a chronology of his experiences in the Civil War. Near the end of this series of articles, the history of the township column starts to diminish, in length and in detail, in his chronology about 1860. It should be remembered that parallel to this history, the Civil War journal entries were also being run.

 There was no attempt to correct or edit any information here. It is presented in the form it was printed. There were missing or blurred parts of the text that were encountered on the microfilm. So, passages indicated were left out for that reason. There was no attempt made to speculate on what was there. The only additions to the text are about my relatives where I know there were some errors. The original copy is here and my notations are made in italics.

 There was apparently a demand for recent back issues during the running of these articles. In one of these issues an Editor’s comment appeared encouraging people to save their original copies, because additional copies of some weeks issues were in limited supply.

 The “A Daily Record of Co. I, 86th Ill. Vol, Inft.” portion of the articles is not yet available.

        Richard D. Parr - May 2004


Fifty Years Ago

Extracts from the Diary of Col. A.L. Fahnestock - A Daily Record of Co. I, 86th Ill. Vol, Inft.-Also an Early History of the County and Township.

(History of Timber Township.)

12 Sep 1912

The History of Timber Township

Timber Township is located in the south-west corner of Peoria County. It derives it’s name from the heavy body of fine timber of a great variety, and it is doubtful that there was another township in the state of Illinois with such a great variety and fine growth. This township was bounded on the north by Logan Township, east Hollis Township, west Fulton County, south by the Illinois River. In the original survey of Peoria and Fulton Counties, the surveyors had a strip of land left between the two counties. The settlers entered into this strip of land had difficulty voting until the land was divided between the two counties. The division was made by giving Fulton County the south end and Peoria County the north end, so that settled the right of the settlers to vote in their own county.

We have the very best bottom land, and most of it in cultivation from the bluff to the river-the best corn land on earth, never misses a crop.

We have beautiful lakes, namely: Clifton Lake, named after Mr. Clifton, one of the first settlers on the banks of the lake-when steamboats first came up this river, several ran up this lake thinking it was the river. Stillman Lake, below Kingston, named after General Stillman, who owned the land and lived there. Scott Lake, names after Mrs. Scott who lived there. Murray Lake, named after M. B. Murray, who lived by the lake and was an expert fisherman. Long Lake takes its name by being a long lake. It heads in Peoria County and extends into Fulton County.

These lakes were stocked with a large variety of game fish, such as pike, cat and buffalo, affording the first settlers great sport spearing them from their canoes. The hunters who were expert with the spear were Daniel Hinkle, Wm. Duffield, Moses McElhaney, M. B. Murray, Alexander Duffield and Elias Jones.

All these men enumerated as expert fisherman were great hunters. Game of all kind was plenty and we had all the venison, wild turkey, prairie chicken, ducks, and geese we needed to supply our families. But the great trouble and expense was to get salt. It had to be brought from Chicago by team. They usually sent furs of all kinds and venison saddles to Chicago to trade for salt and often when the salt arrived there would be such a demand for it that one quart of salt is all that one get. So our mothers were compelled to do their cooking with a small quantity.

I remember when our hogs fattened and ready for slaughter we could not get salt at any price. So father cut down a large white oak tree, made two large troughs and put them in the smokehouse. Then butchered his hogs, cut up the meat, hams, shoulders and sides, and laid them in the trough and covered the meat with hickory ashes. It kept the meat in fine condition.

The lakes in this township were stocked with a fine variety of fish, such as pike, two species of buffalo, black and brown, dogfish, gar, catfish, mud, channel, black and bullhead, sturgeon, shovel fish, sheephead, sunfish, gogle-eye, white bass, black bass. Carp were put in the river in 1881.

Moses McElhaney killed two alligator gars in Clifton Lake in an early day. He speared one and made a desperate fight, came near upsetting his canoe, but he finally killed it and left it to rot on the bank of the lake. A rifle ball would not penetrate the scales. They lay in the shape of a diamond. He killed the mate a short time after, shooting it with a rifle, shooting it in the gills. He saved the skin and sold it to St. Louis parties for the museum. He received twenty five dollars. The gars were about seven feet long. This lake was and is a great resort for fish and fisherman. There were also turtles, hard and soft shell, and small terrapin. Also, a few eels, mostly in the river.

19 Sep 1912

The creeks were: Copperas Creek, so named because the water was the color of copperas. It heads up in Logan Township and runs a south-westerly course through Fulton County, empties in the Illinois River above the Locks. Small fish have been plenty, such as suckers, sunfish, catfish, bass, gogle-eye. Ducks and geese in the spring and fall were plenty in this creek. There has been native copper found along this creek. I have some specimens. There were two sawmills located on this creek John Shock owned one, Benjamin Duffield the other. There was plenty of water to run them the greater portion of the year.

The Little LaMarsch Creek runs near the east line of Timber Township, from north to south. A small stream empties into the river near Kingston Mines. Dry Run Creek heads up in Glasford. It derives its name from being dry most of the year. It runs south, empties in the river. There had been coal mined along its banks for many years. Hinkle Branch, named after Daniel Hinkle, as it runs through his farm. Its course is from east to west, empties into Copperas Creek in Fulton County. In 1837 there was running water the whole year. At present it is dry most of the year. The fishing in this stream might do for a boy with a pin hook. Green’s Run was named for Regina Green, that lived on the farm now owned by C. Riedelbauch. The stream runs from this farm north-west and empties into the Hinkle Branch.

We could locate the county by the names of the creeks, runs, ponds and paths. A piece of land called Duffield’s Prairie had several large ponds, or as the hunters named them buffalo wallows. The ducks and wild geese hatched and raised their young at these ponds. They are at present day cultivated and producing heavy crops of corn and wheat.

Will give a short history of the settlers that came here in 1826 to 1838. In 1826 there were still Indians here that would not leave their hunting grounds and the graves of their friends and relatives, but annoyed the settlers. So the pioneers called a meeting and notified the Indians that they must leave by a certain time. They still lingered around so another meeting was called, when the settlers cut whips and got after them and drove them out of this part of the country. This was in 1826 and 1827.

Daniel Hinkle Sr. moved here from Virginia with his wife and family by wagon and landed in Peoria, where he remained a short time before removing to the land he entered in in Timber Township. His son, Nebat, was born in Peoria near Moffitts’ Farm. Mr. Hinkle was a man about six feet tall, dark complexion, black hair and an expert fisherman and hunter of deer and wild turkey. He feared nothing when he had his gun and two dogs, Hetch and Rose. He had a voice that could be heard a mile. He wore buckskin breeches, moccasins, coonskin cap and womas, and was a fine type of man for a wild country like this was at the time. The greatest trouble was to keep a supply of powder and salt.

Almost all of the settlers used liquor more or less, and Mr. Hinkle was no exception. Have been at his cabin when he would come home from Pekin on horseback with his saddlebags, a jug in each end, and one broke, but the saddlebags would hold the liquor. He would call for a pan and empty the liquor in it, not losing any. It was cheap, twenty five cents a gallon. About the first thing he did after he got his cabin built was to set out an orchard, and when we arrived his trees were bearing fruit. People were very kind to each other. He owned the first wagon in the township.

Thomas Tichnor and family came from New York in 1827, and settled in the east side of the township and built his log cabin, then planted an orchard and cleared the land as fast as possible. He had a fair education, and was elected Justice of the peace. When the township was organized he was elected Commissioner of Highways and made a good officer. He was a gentle man and an hones man. Made a good neighbor and provided well for his family. I had two of his sons by his second wife in my company. They were twins, both looked alike and were model soldiers. There are none of the family living in Peoria County. Three sons went out west, All the first settlers dead.

Jesse and William Eggman and families came in 1826 and settled above Kingston and built their log cabins. They built a ferry boat that they used by poleing the boat across and back, putting the pole to their shoulders and shoving the boat with its load across. The ferry was named after the brothers. If you had no money they would take trade for the ferryage. Coonskins would be  a legal tender. By crossing the river at this ferry the road led to Pekin.


26 Sep 1912

William Duffield and wife, Sophia, came to the township in 1829, and built their cabin and lived and died on their farm now owned by Wm. Karstetter. Mr. Duffield’s children are nearly all dead. His son Andrew’s children are living, one daughter in Nebraska and three sons in this township, Silas, Marion and Henry A. Mr. Duffield was a man about six feet tall, fair complexion, sandy hair an expert fisherman and hunter. He had a fine grove of sugar maple trees and every spring made hundreds of pounds of maple sugar and barrels of molasses. He wore the regular style buckskin breeches, moccasins and coonskin cap. He was a good neighbor, his word was as good as his note.

Thomas Vickers and wife came here and located on a farm in 1830. He had three children, one girl and two boys, one living, Johanna Jackson. Mr. Vickers was born in England, a man about five and ten inches, dark hair, and a fair education. When he came here we paid seventy five cents a bushel for ear corn. We made hominy and were glad to get it. It was farming under difficulties, as deer and coons destroyed the corn. Mr. Vickers was a good neighbor and an honest man.

Timothy ______ had a claim on Sec. 17. He had a bad reputation. Every man that owned or raised hogs and let them run in the woods was compelled to have a mark and have it recorded in Peoria at the County Clerks Office, and in the spring the hogs were marked by cutting the ears, by crop bit, slit underbit, one hole, two hole in ear. He was not very particular about the marks. He would kill the hogs cut the ears off and throw them away. He lived on parched corn and hog meat.

George Griggs and family came from New York in 1829. He built a cabin in the north-west corner of the township. He lived there some time, then moved a little further north out of our township and bought a farm. He was a large, strongly built man, truthful and honest in his dealings.

Jacob McCann entered a farm one mile west of Lancaster, on the right hand side going west, known as the Scovil farm. He was gentleman.

John Reunels owned the land that old Lancaster was located on. Sold it to Mr. Bollinger and my father. Left this country for the west.

Brice Hayes and his wife lived on the river bottom. They did not remain long.

Isaac Bush and wife owned a farm on the river bottom, the land now owned by Chauncy Lightbody. A very good man.

Thomas, John and George Hunt and their wives located on the river bottom. The three brothers fished and hunted. Game was plenty and they could live cheap. Do not know what became of them.

Chas. Fidler and wife lived on the river bottom. Think he was a gunsmith. A good man.

Thomas Webb and Jonathon Neuman were laborers, and did not remain here long.

Johnson Thurman and Alexander Brown were laborers, with families and moved west.

Isaac Preston married Daniel Hinkle’s daughter. Lived in Palmyra, now Kingston Mines. He was what we call a backwoods preacher. Went to California in the rush for gold.

Dr. Seley and wife lived in Palmyra. He was what we called a one-horse doctor, killed more than he could cure. Calomel and quinine was his medicine. My brother, Samuel, had the croup. He was called and the boy died. He left the country.

William Gibbs and son, Isaac, lived on Copperas Creek. He was an Englishman. He had trouble with his wife in New York, so he carried his son on his shoulders out here. He built a shanty with poles and cleared a small piece of land. They trapped for quail and rabbits and raised a little corn and made hominy, and how they lived  God only knows. The boy ran away and the old man died.

Thomas and John Beatty and wives lived in the north-west corner of Timber Township. They moved west.

John McFadden and wife lived in the north-east corner of the township.


03 Oct 1912

George, Walter and James Stewart all lived and owned farms in north of Timber Township. They are old settlers. They held offices. Their politics was  Democrat, pure and unadulterated. Good people and kind neighbors.

Samuel F. Bollinger and wife came from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 1836, and with my father, Jacob L. Fahnestock, laid off the town of Lancaster. Two of Mr. Bollinger’s sons were in my Co. I, 86th Ill. The old people are all dead. Wm. Bollinger lives in Lancaster, Penn., a homeopathic physician.

Jacob L. Fahnestock, wife and family came from Abbottstown, Penn., in the fall of 1837. He was a man five feet ten inches, sandy hair, he was a tobacconist by trade. He manufactured plug, fine cut, cigars and snuff. He also ran a general store in the town, and was postmaster a number of years when the mail was transported from Philadelphia to Pittsburg by stage, which also carried passengers. No railroad. Abbottstown was on a line with Pittsburg and Philadelphia, and the teams from New Jersey and other manufacturing towns passed through our town, and they made it a custom to spend the night and have a jolly time, as every hotel was compelled to keep liquor for sale.

Father came out in 1836 and purchased the land before moving here, and we found it a wild country. Mother had no trouble in keeping her children in the cabin as soon as it got dark and they heard the wolves howl. Father was school treasurer in 1839. He died Sept. 9, 1841, and rests in Lancaster Cemetery. We were left strangers in a wild country, mother and five children.

Charlotte Fahnestock was married to J. W. Robbins; still alive, lives in Glasford.
Allen L. Fahnestock was married to Sarah E. Doane, dead; merchant in Glasford.
W. F. Fahnestock was married to Ellen Minick, dead; lives in Glasford.
Chas. Fahnestock was married to Malisa Ren, dead; lives in Glasford.
Henry Fahnestock was married to Ellen Hill, Henry is dead.
Jacob Fahnestock was married to Emma Tindall; government gauger, lives in  Peoria.


17 Oct 1912

Dr. C. A. Buck and family lived at Harkers Corners, north-east corner of Timber Township. He practiced medicine and moved west.

Hiram Partridge and wife lived near Harkers Corners, Was a hunter and farmer. A good neighbor and kind man, and all respected him and his family. He moved to Smithville and died.

David Spencer and wife moved from the township in an early day. Have no recollection when they left.

John Congleton and wife came from Kentucky. His farm lay one half mile east of Glasford. They never had any children, but took two boys to raise, George and John Saylor. I never saw a nicer couple than Mr. Congleton and wife. Mr. Congleton was township collector one year. He was related to Voise in Peoria. I think Voise married his sister. Mr. Congleton was a staunch republican.

George Saylor received land from the estate. The land joins Glasford on east. He  went to the same school, a small log cabin. No windows, but a log cut out and  greased paper pasted over the opening to give us some light. That was the best  that could be done at that day. Mr. Saylor was a soldier in the late war and is  buried in Lancaster Cemetery.

John A. Saylor and family lived on the Congleton home place, just East of his  brother George’s farm. I enlisted him in my Co. I, 86th. He was a good honest man  and soldier. He marched with us to Nashville, Tennessee, and died. He is buried in  the Nashville Cemetery, Section A, Grave number 5219.

James Congleton and wife, a brother of  John,  lived on the George Saylor farm. I boarded with them one winter and went to school. He died and is buried in Saylor Cemetery. They were kind people.

24 Oct 1912

Elizabeth Duffield, a widow came from Virginia in March 1832. I worked for her and her son in the summer, and boarded with them in the winter and went to school. She owned the land on which Glasford is located. A good, kind old lady. She made her friends welcome when at her home. She had a hewed log house, about the best in the township. She had one daughter and four sons.

Henry was married and lived on the farm now owned by John Clinebell.

Benjamin married Miss Campbell and owned a sawmill on Copperas Creek, north  of Lancaster. He was a gentleman in every respect.

Robert was sickly and the climate was not suitable for him. He died.

Alexander went to California in the rush for gold, and never returned. All are a  now dead, except for Sarah. (Since the above was written she has passed away.)

Sarah Duffield married Samuel Glasford, who is now dead. She lives with her  sons. She is now eighty seven years old and still has her memory. She is last of the  first settlers of the township. She was a Baptist and is a model woman.

Betsy Duffield married John Shock, who came to this country in 1837. They had  three children. One son, ,Benjamin, went out west. Molly lives on the homestead.  Mariah lives with her sister. The income of the place keeps them both.

John Shock came from Virginia in 1837, and married Betsy Duffield, the widow’s daughter. He bought out O’Connor and Palmer’s sawmill on Copperas Creek located on  Farmington Road. They built a log house and sawed lumber, and people commenced to build better houses. Teams come from Farmington and the prairie for their lumber. I worked for Mr. Shock, and he would often tell me to stop working in the evening, take the gun and shoot the squirrels that were destroying the corn. My heart aches when I write about these good people and think that they are gone.

31 Oct 1912

Regina Green, widow, sister of the widow Duffield came from Virginia in 1832. Her farm joins Glasford on the west, now owned by Christopher Riedelbauch. Mrs. Green had a family of four boys. She was a hard working woman. She would plow her corn with a shovel plow in her bare feet. She had a loom and wove all her clothing. I have set many a day and helped her put the chain through the loom. I would get a good dinner, venison, hominy, milk, butter, potatoes, coffee and maple sugar, baked squash, but no bread. Her sons built a small building and got two mill stones, and fixed a couple of cog wheels and a place to hitch a horse or a team of oxen, and the upper stone would jump on a few grains of corn and make coarse meal, three or four bushels a day. Many used had mills.

Robert, her oldest son, went to Galena lead mines and never came back.

Richard enlisted in Co. I, 86th Ill., and when he returned from the war. He moved  to Missouri and died.

Jariah enlisted in Co. I, 86th Ill, returned home and died in Peoria.

Evans died quite a good sized boy. Family all dead. The boys were good soldiers  and did their duty.

Rice Smith, laborer, left the country.

George Fritt, laborer, left the country.

Robert McRay lived on the river bottom.

M. B. Murray and wife lived in Lancaster, bought land on the river bottom. Had one son George. He lives in Canton. Mr. Murray was the great bee hunter and expert with gig or spear. A great fisherman. Murray Lake, where he lived, was named after him.

William C. Andrews came to Lancaster in 1838. My father raised him, he was an orphan boy. When a young man he peddled trinkets from Abbottstown to Pittsburg, carrying two tin boxes with a strap across his shoulders. In 1835 he came to St. Louis and worked there until we came out here. Then he came up and built a double log store house, the first store in Lancaster, about year 1839. He married Hans’ daughter. Mr. Hans lived on Sand Prairie. He was a rich man, owned a large tract of land on Spring Lake. Andrews got involved and could not borrow money to pay his debts. So he sent his wife home and while she was at her home he committed suicide by shooting himself with a rifle. He is buried in Lancaster Cemetery.

14 Nov 1912

Joseph Doll, Sr., came from Pennsylvania to Lancaster in 1838. He and his cousin bought a piece of  land west of Lancaster, now owned by Al Bitner. Sold out and built a blacksmith shop  and worked at his trade. He was a fine workman and made money. He died and sleeps in Lancaster Cemetery.

Joseph Doll, Jr., came from Pennsylvania in 1838. He farmed with his cousin, Joseph. Married a Miss Breed, of Fulton County. He was an industrious, hard working, honest man.

George Clark and daughter came from Pennsylvania. He lived and worked on the river bottom. His daughter kept house for him.

Matthew and John Ellis, bought land that is now owned by Al Bitner. Remained a few years and sold out.

O’Connor and Palmer built the first sawmill in the township, and sold it to John Shock. They left the country.

George McFadden was the first school trustee in 1837.

Nathan Johnston and wife came from Kentucky, in a wagon. Camped at our house and next day went out and squatted on a piece of land, and the neighbors helped him build his cabin. He brought two nice pigs in a box with him, and raised a better stock of hogs than were running at large here, living on acorns. Mr. Johnson enlisted in Col. J. D. McClure’s Company 47th Ill., and died in the service. He has but one child living, Cyrus Johnston, of Glasford.

Matthew G. Wells married Seth Doane’s daughter. He went to California and returned, made no money while there. Both dead, no children living.

Samuel Farmer and wife came from Ohio in 1838. Owned a farm on the east side of the township. Had two sons and two daughters. The oldest, William, lives in Glasford, does teaming. (Mr. Farmer has since died.)  I went to school to Mr. Farmer. He did some surveying. An expert in figures and a fine penman. A good neighbor and an honest man.

Samuel J. Hootman and wife came from Ohio in 1838.

David Hootman and wife came from Ohio in 1838.

John McFadden and wife lived north of Lancaster. He was a blacksmith.

Hugh Jones and wife came from Ohio in 1838. Moved to Hollis Township and died.

Benjamin Hankins and wife came from Ohio in 1838, and moved west.

Thomas Tichnor was one of the first settlers and Justice of the Peace. He was a large, active man, with a common education. He had three daughters by his first wife. He was well respected and was Commissioner of Highways. His second wife was a Houghtaling, had six children. The twins were both in Co. I, 86th Ill. Vol.

21 Nov 1912

We came from Abbottstown, Adams Co., Pennsylvania, and moved by teams to Harrisburg. Then by canal to Pittsburg, steamboat to St. Louis, reshipped on an Illinois River boat. Landed us and another family one mile above Kingston on the Tazewell County side. There was a small cabin, a hunter and his family had lived there. The captain of the boat did not know which side of the river was Peoria County or Palmyra, now Kingston. You can imagine the families with about twelve children in that small cabin, nothing to eat and a cold night. The hunter went out before daylight and killed a deer. Had meat but no bread. The river was so rough we could not cross until afternoon, when they lashed two canoes together and loaded our goods and got them across, and an ox team to take us to, Lancaster, our new home. Will never forget the howling of the wolves. The first white men settled here in 1826. Ten years before we came the Indians occupied this township and were driven out by the white settlers. The Blackhawk Was of 1825 decided their fate.

Peoria was a small village. All business in the county had to be transacted in Peoria. There was no school in our township for several years. In 1837 an organized board of school trustees was chosen and John McFadden was the first school treasurer, S. F. Bollinger, Thomas Tichnor and George McFadden school trustees. In 1835, Section 16 was sold in lots, some as low as $1.82 per acre. The money went into the township school funds, and only the interest on the school notes could be used for school purposes. That money, except what might have been lost, is still in the hands of our township school treasurer.

About this time the settlers built some log school houses. One east of Glasford was named Dry Run College. Dry Run heads there. The building was a puncheon floor, clapboard roof, stick chimney, a log cutout on the west end, greased paper put over the opening to give us light. Our seats were slabs with wooden legs. We had to be careful or the benches would turn over. Samuel Farmer taught several winters, and a man by the name of Heaton.

28 Nov 1912

Apparent missing section……………………of getting a common education.

There was not a nail or iron lock or latch in the building, the hinge and latch was wood and wooden pins in the place of nails.

Our amusements were playing ball, bull pen or ring, three hole cat and ball and bat, running races barefooted, jumping, climbing trees, etc. The girls skipped and jumped the rope.

5 Dec 1912

The law had very little to do with the first settlers. They had a law amongst themselves, and justice was meted out to the offenders as the deserved it. For theft they were notified to be honest or leave the neighborhood. The first Justice of the Peace was Daniel Hinkle, but the law was seldom enforced as disputes were most always settled by a fist fight, and the word was fair play, and sometimes ended in a free fight for all that wished to indulge in that kind of sport.

Thomas Tichnor was another one of the first justices of the peace. Very little need of law. Horse thieves were plenty. We had one horse and they stole it, and we never heard of it. They went in the direction of Nauvoo to make believe the Mormons did the stealing.

The most stealing that was done was in the fall when hogs were fattened on acorns in the woods. Parties would shoot them that did not belong to them , and cut the ears so the hogs could not be identified. But the people were more hones than they are now. We never locked our smokehouses or outbuildings. In our house all we had to do was to pull in the latch string, that locked the door.

12 Dec 1912

The religion then were Methodist and Baptist. About the only place to hold their meetings was the log school houses. The ministers received no salary, but took any small donation that was offered them.

I can remember then we carried our shoes under our arms until we came near the place of worship, then we would put our shoes on, and walked in as proud as young bucks do now with their tan and patent leather. As soon as the meeting was dismissed and we were out of sight of the people we took off our shoes and carried them home. One pair of shoes must last our boys and girls a year and it made us careful, and it has been a good lesson to us. It is not what you make but what you save that will help you in your old age. We had the experience and suffered the hardships incidents to settling and improving a wild and new country.

It was a sight and would shock the people of this day and age to see the hunters some to church with their rifles on their shoulders, shot pouch made of deerskin tanned with the hair on hanging at his side, hair hanging over his shoulders, moccasins, buckskin breeches, coonskin cap, with a linsey womus on. He would set his gun outside, and when the meeting was over take his gun and kill a deer or turkey on the way home.

19 Dec 1912

There was no caste society as we were all poor alike. Should a neighbor take sick the whole neighborhood would turn out and cut his harvest or put in his crop. Was there a cabin to build, the settlers turned out and in one day built and had it ready to be occupied by the stranger that had just arrived. It was hard work to clear the land, so much underbrush, mostly hazel. The large trees were girdled and soon died and the wind would blow them down. Then the settlers would cut them into logs and have a log rolling , when the settlers all turned out and had a grand old time making log heaps ready to burn. In that way the township was cleared ready for the plow.  You can imagine what a time there was to plow through the roots and stumps, but it had to be done. It looked like a pity to burn such nice walnut logs but here was no sale, until coopering started. Making staves for whiskey and pork barrels and cutting cord word for the steamboats on the river-they burned nothing but wood, cost then about one dollar a cord on the bank of the river-that brought a little money into the country. The boats were small and took about a week to make the trip. We soon got a market for the walnut logs. They were put by the river and bound together and floated to St. Louis. The people could get their nails from there to fence their farms, lumber to build their houses and barns.

The most of the land in the township was patent and no owners, so the timber was stolen and it was difficult to get title to the land. The land would be assessed and if the taxes were not paid, it would be sold for the taxes and the purchaser would get a tax title and then have a law suit or buy the patent.

My father and Mr. Bollinger first bought the tax title and then were compelled to buy the patent, which was a hardship and made us poor to raise the money. But the titles to all the land have been made good.

09 Jan 1912

This part of the country was named the Military Tract. This township has some rough land but has a variety of soils . Fine corn land on bottom and bluff, and some as good wheat and clover as can be found in any state in the union.

There was but one store in Lancaster kept, by W. C. Andrews. His goods were bought in St. Louis and brought to Lancaster Landing on the river. There being very little money in the country, it was all trade. If we worked and traded about all we could get would be butter, eggs, wool socks at fifty cents a pair and jeans at $1.00 a yard.

This township was covered with fine timber including black and white walnut, iron wood, red, pin, black, jack, yellow, chickapin, burr, white oak, water, red and slippery elm, swamp and upland willow, pecan, mulberry, hard and soft maple, june berry, honey locust, linn and brick wood, black, white and pignut hickory, gray, white, black and prickley ash, buckeye, coffee nut, swamp, crab and thorn apple, hazel, paw paw, box elder, sycamore, sassafrass, onakenasp, pigeon berry wood, hackberry, yellow cottonwood, sumac, persimmon, black and red haw, wahoo wild plum, wild cherry.

The following were tame fruit trees: Rambo, Russet, Sheep-nose, Jeniton, Harvest, Wine Sap, Romanite, Maiden Blush and crab apples, blue plum, tame black cherry, tame red cherry, summer pear and winter pear.

The following are wild fruits: gooseberry, currant, blackberry, raspberry, strawberry, persimmon, paw paw.

Wild nuts: black walnuts, white walnuts, pecans, hickory nuts, hazel nuts, pond lily nuts.

16 Jan 1912

The following were the birds and wild fowl: geese, brants, mallard, wood, teal, canvas back, and blue bill ducks, mud hen, hell diver, swan, sand hill crane, blue crane, white crane, , prairie chickens, pheasant, wren, martin, chimney swallow, canary, mockingbird, hoot owl, screech owl, turkey, snipe, quail, pigeon, hawk, mouse hawk, parquets, woodpecker, woodcock, crow, blackbird, robin, kingfisher, turkey buzzard, jay bird, goldfinch, bee bird, sapsucker, meadowlark, whooper will, pee wee, turtle dove, rain crow, humming bird, shite poke.

The following were fur bearing animals: otter, mink, muskrat, rabbit, weasel, raccoon, opossum, house cat, black, short stripe, narrow stripe, wide stripe skunks.

Other animals: gray, red, ground, timber and flying squirrels, ground hog, gopher, mole, rat, red, and gray fox, timber wolf, wild cat, Canada Lynx and deer.

23 Jan 1913

The Illinois River was well stocked with fish, pike, buffalo, cat, sturgeon, shovel fish, dog, gar, sun, sheephead, croppy, and many smaller species. Most of the old hunters were expert fisherman with a spear or gig as it was called at that time. Wm. Duffield, Moses McElhaney, and Daniel Hinkle were considered experts with the spear, and seldom failed to supply the demand for fresh fish. We found the greatest trouble to get salt to cure them. Salt was  $1.00 per bushel, cash, and where cash was to be had was a question. All kinds of expedients were used to save and cure our meat, without salt. Venison was cut into thin strips and hung in the chimney to dry and get smoked. Good hickory ashes were used to cure meat. We made large troughs out of white oak trees and put meat into them and covered the meat with ashes and it kept the meat in fine condition. There were no barrels to be had.

The hogs ran wild in the woods and lived on acorns. In the spring the farmers would mark their cattle and hogs. The farmers all had different marks, recorded in the County Clerk’s office in Peoria.

The first good snow in the fall the farmers would take their dogs and gun and sled and hunt their hogs, kill and haul them home. Often the hogs would whip the dogs and the dogs would run to their master, then they were compelled to climb trees. We would keep what meat we wanted and send the balance to Peoria and sell them to Voris. They paid seventy five cents a piece for dressed hogs, but no money. Compelled to take trade out of the store.

The capturing of hogs was dangerous, for the male hogs had tusks from four to six inches long and often wounded the dogs so the hunters had to sew up the wounds. The children would sit and listen to the hunters’ stories and how they escaped being torn to pieces by a drove of wild hogs taking after them.

30 Jan 1913

We all wore about the  same kind of clothing, home made. Many families had looms and did their own weaving. They would sheer the sheep, pick and cord the wool, spin it, weave it and make their own clothes. The ladies wore lincey and the men lincey womases. Many wore buckskin breeches and moccasins and all were compelled to do their own shoemaking and mending, , tan and make leather and coonskin caps.

Boys had great sport trapping quail and hunting rabbits during the day, and opossum and coon at night.

Our long winter nights were spent sitting around our log fires in our cabin chimney, made out of split sticks daubed with mud. We had no gas lamps and kerosene oil at that time. The tallow candles made from deer tallow and hog grease to burn in an iron lamp, or a wick laid in an old saucer and put grease or coon oil on the wick

We had no matches to light our lamps and candles, and were compelled to keep a continual fire, and before going to bed cover the coals with ashes. Should the coals go out we would go to the neighbors for fire. Every home had a steel with flint and punk. Strike fire and ignite the punk, then put some powder on the punk and make a blaze and we soon had a fire.

06 Feb 1913

There were but two public roads through the township east to west. One on the river bottom from Peoria to Canton, and one on the bluff passing through Lancaster. There was great trouble keeping the roads in condition, they being so little used, and that on horseback. There were but few wagons in the country. The brush and grass would cover the path and no one to keep them in order. There were paths through the woods to the neighbors’ houses, and they were used by deer and wild hogs.

There were but two wagons in the township, Daniel Hinkle owned one and Thomas Tichnor the other. We hauled our wheat and oats on sleds. We tramped it out with horsed and two men would fan the chaff and dirt out with a sheet. It was hard work but we were compelled to have bread. We could grate corn and make bread or Johnny cakes or mush.

The fine timber was destroyed and burned up in clearing the farm. The finest black walnut and oak all went in the log heap and was burned.

The township was styled the military tract, as the land was deeded by the government to the soldiers of the War of 1812. Many of the patents to these lands were sold for a horse, as they were so far away they never expected to use the land, while many allowed the land to be sold for taxes.

The water in the township was the best. Most every settler had a good spring, with a hollow elm about five feet long put in the spring with a gourd dipper to drink out of.

13 Feb 1913

The farmers were troubled with wild animals and birds of every description destroying their grain. The raccoons destroyed the grain at night. We would have fun with our dogs chasing them out of the fields. I plowed many a day on the land where the town of Glasford is now located. The plows had a wooden moldboard and a little steel on the point and shear. Can recollect how the roots would fly back and hit me on the shins or bare feet. Cry a little and go ahead at my work-twenty five cents a day in trade.

There were no grist mills in our township, nothing but hand mills, so we were compelled to go to Utica water mill, the mill on Copperas Creek or Hales mill on Kickapoo Creek. It would take several weeks to get our grist ground.

Thomas Carlin was governor of the State of Illinois in 1838. Owen Lovejoy was murdered at Alton for advocating anti-slavery in this and other northern states and territories, and his press was destroyed on the night of November 7, 1837.

There was a railroad built to Meridosa, on the Illinois River. Hard times, no money, everything barter and trade. The country settling up fast, government land about all taken. The country was settling up with Pennsylvania, Ohio and Kentucky families, coming by horses and oxen and wagons. The country was a poor man’s paradise, we could live cheap.

27 Feb 1913

1839-1840-- The immigration to Illinois was great in our vicinity. Our township  was settling up fast, immigrants mostly from Ohio, Kentucky and Pennsylvania. Game of all kinds plenty band wild grass sufficient to feed the stock during the long cold winter. It was a great task to clear up the land ready for plow, but every settler with his family went to work and cleared.

The land increased in value fast. There was some demand for produce. Hogs and bacon brought better prices. Produce and bacon was shipped from Peoria in flat boats to New Orleans and exchanged for sugar, molasses and rice.

About this time there were a rough lot of men made this locality their home, hunting and fishing and drinking whiskey and when under its influence were ready to fight and find out who was the best man. Whenever a man was called a liar the fight commenced and very often ended in several fights. It was cowardly to use anything but the fists, and fair play was the word.

This fall I went to St. Louis with Jacob Doll, who had a store on second street with his brother and worked in the store until spring, and came home.

General Harrison was elected President on the Whig ticket over Martin VanBuren. Jacob Doll was a Whig, and his brother a Democrat. Our store had two windows in front, so Jacob illuminated one window. He got a large portrait of Martin VanBuren and put it in the window, head down and heels up, and when the procession came marching by the store they would cheer, which I thought was grand.

16 Mar 1913

1840- I was twelve years old in 1840. The Later Day Saints or Mormons moved to Nauvoo, Ill., Joseph Smith was the founder of the church.

The Grand Lodge of Masons was organized in the State of Illinois. The subordinate lodges in the state met at Jacksonville April 6, 1840. Bodely, Columbus, Equality, Far West and Harmony Lodges were there, represented by delegates and formed the Lodge.

 On April 29th the following officers were duly installed:
  M. W. A. Jones, G. M.
  R. W. J. Adams, D. G. M.
  S. W. Lucas, G. S. W.
  H. Dill, G. J. W.
  W. B. Warren, G, Sec.
  A. Dunlap, G. Treas.
  P. Coffman, G. S. D.
  M. Stacey, G. J. D. Pro Tem
  M. Helm, G. M.
  C. Ludlum, G. P.
  A. C. Dixon, G. S. A. T.

After returning from St. Louis I worked out by the day for farmers, receiving twenty five cents in trade per day, and then we worked from daylight to dark. The days were longer then than now. There was no time for play unless we met on Saturday with our neighbors boys to have some fun.

27 Mar 1913

1841-1842-- The country and township settling up fast. Money more plenty, the people coming brought money to buy and cultivate and clear the land. The country well stocked with all kinds of game and fish.

We voted for our officers at the election by naming the candidate we wished to vote for, and the clerk would record it, there being no township officers. There were but few votes in our district to count. Wm. Mitchell and Chas. Retelle were two of the old county officers. Thomas Branson came from Indiana and located near Kingston and assisted to run Eggman’s Ferry above Kingston. The charge was twenty five cents to ferry a team over the river. Often when they had no money they would take trade for the ferryage.

About the only good bank paper money was State Bank of Missouri and Wisconsin Marine Insurance Company.  These banks circulated their money and in end redeemed and made good every dollar that was presented to them for redemption.

About this time there was trouble with the Mormons at Nauvoo, Illinois.

The population of the state at this time was 700,000. Thomas Ford was the governor of the state.

The following settlers arrived here about this time: James Fuller, Samuel Bandy, and wife from Virginia, Samuel A. Glasford.

03 Apr 1913

1843-1844--This year I boarded during the winter with the widow Duffield and went to school. Samuel Farmer was our teacher. Dry Run school house was a small log house with puncheon floor, clapboard roof, a mud stick chimney, a log cut out of the west end and a greased paper pasted over the opening to admit light. Our seats were slabs as they came from the sawmill. Dark days we would do nothing but spell. I worked mornings and evenings and Saturdays on my board. Children came from a long distance to school through the woods and brush. No roads but paths that deer and wild animals made.

The scholars were the Duffields, Pettys, Scotts, Hinkles, Saylors, Vickers, Fahnestocks, Greens, Tichnors, etc. Those were our happy days, getting education under difficulties. The children that read what I have said in here will really that we worked hard and studied under great difficulties to get an education. All the books we had in our school was Webster’s Spelling book, the Old Testament for a reader and Pike’s Arithmetic. We used the goose quill. The ink was made with indigo and poke berries, and when we could get any money bought black ink. The price of fool’s cap paper was two sheets for five cents.

After his term of school I went to Peoria and bound myself to James Soles to learn the cooper trade, to serve two years, receiving $35 the first year and $60 dollars the second. My father was dead. Mother and the other four children lived at Lancaster. Brother William and Charles working out for their clothing. In 1844 I was making flour barrels and doing chores. The old cooper shop stood near the old Methodist church. Mr. Soles and wife were good people and treated me kindly, but was compelled to work very hard for a boy my age.

10 Apr 1913

1843-1844--About this time the abolitionists created a great excitement and bad feeling at their meetings. They were often rotten-egged. I have seen Moses Pettingill and Mark Aiken the next morning after one of  their meetings with the marks of the eggs still on their hats. I was often asked to go with these roughs to mob these meetings but always declined.

Orin Garret kept the Peoria Hotel. It was considered a fine hotel at that time.

Voris Brothers and Curterm & Griswold did the most business. Barlett’s had a store on Main St. Chas. Fisher had a drug store. John Comstock and Jacob Darst were busy making money. The doctors were Murphy, Frey, Rouse and Dickenson.

Bradley, Frazier, A. S. Cole, Gregg, Moss, Dobbins Bros. were all small capitalists at the time, but making money.

Hunting was good. Deer could be shot at the time where the distilleries now stand, and along the banks of the Kickapoo Creek.

About all the business was done at that time on Water St. There was no railroad running into Peoria, all business and travel was done by steamboats on the river.

The prominent lawyers in Peoria were Judge Purple, Judge Peters, Jesse Knowlton, Metcalf, Copper, Sanger and others. James Polk was elected President of the United States.

Jacob M. Doll and wife came here about this time from St. Louis. He had a store at Lancaster. Jacob Cowser and wife came from Ohio.

17 Apr 1913

1844-- This year there was trouble with the Mormons at Nauvoo. Horse thieves were stealing horses and taking them toward Nauvoo, then go to some other direction and dispose of the horses and it was all charged to the Mormons. Joseph Smith and his brother Hiram were shot to death by a mob at Carthage, Ill., on the 27th day of June.

From 1844 to1846 I was learning the cooper trade with James Soles in Peoria. After serving my time, two years, I returned home to Lancaster and worked at my trade for J. W. Robbins, making flour barrels out of culls for 15 cents a piece, five barrels being a good days work. I saved money enough to buy a shop and some staves and commenced working for myself, and soon employed several coopers to assist me. I made barrels for A. D. and H. Reed of Farmington. They owned a warehouse and packing house at Lancaster Landing, and slaughtered all the hogs that came here from Knoxville and surrounding country. Shipped the lard and mess pork to St. Louis by steamboat in the spring. The teams would haul their dressed hogs to the Landing and take a load of sugar, molasses and groceries back. Some days there would be one hundred teams pass through Lancaster. All goods then came by steamboat, no railroads.

The state was settling up fast with eastern people hunting cheap land. Augustus C. French was governor of the state, held the office six years.

24 Apr 1913

1846--This was the year of the Mexican War under James K. Polk. I enlisted in a Peoria Company under Capt. May. He was a lawyer. We drew our suit of clothing and the ladies presented us with a flag. The steamship was at the wharf to take us to Alton to go from there to Mexico. That evening the Governor notified our company that he had men enough so we disbanded and returned home. General Zack Taylor was ordered to Mexico and soon settled the war. I took the following men from Lancaster and put them in Cpt. May’s company. Kellog Barnes, John P. Williams, Riley Scott, Nebat Hinkle, Alexander Duffield and myself.

The Grand Lodge of Masons met in Peoria Oct 5, 1846. J. C. Heyle presented a petition from Brother Metcalf and others praying for a new in Peoria.

1847--I was married Aug 5, 1847, to Sarah E. Doane, and went to housekeeping in Lancaster and working at my trade, coopering. The Mexican War ended May 30, 1848.

William Shreffler and wife, Molly, came from Pennsylvania this year. Was a cooper by trade.


01 May 1913

1848--The corner stone laid for the Washington Monument. The foundation of the monument is 126 ½ feet square, 36 feet 9 inches deep, the wall 15 feet thick, the height above ground 555 feet. James K. Polk was President.

I taught dancing school at Austin Johnson’s Hall on the Farmington Road near Trivoli. Daniel Harcourt musician. Pit Kellog was teaching school here. He was a regular visitor. He was Governor of Louisiana after the war.

Gold discovered in California. Great excitement, many young men getting up teams to take them over the plains to that country.

The following are the names of the men that worked for me making barrels and furnishing me with hoops and staves and doing my teaming: Eli Crampton, George Cure, James Long, George Bonney, David Long, Jeremiah Shade, George Clark, James W. Polk, Nebat Hinkle, David Ryno, Henry Duffield, Charles Davis, Daniel C. Harcourt, Harry Bird, Harmon Strude, Jonathon Wolf, Charles Fahnestock, James Simpson, M. G. Wells, John Ernest, Simon Hawkins, John Scovil, James Eads, Daniel Hinkle, Robert Brown, Franklin Farley, John McCarty, Leander Doan, John Hartman, Jacob Tharp, John C. Sanders, Nick Meyers, William Eads, William Martin, Henry H. Fahnestock, Theodore Sanders.

08 May 1913

1849--This year I bought the property of the Andrew’s estate and operated their cooper shops, making barrels for A.D. and H. Reed of Farmington, Ill.. And whiskey and flour barrels for the Peoria distilleries and flour mills.

James Fuller and his family came from Ohio this year.

Timber Township was organized as a township. The election was held at Lancaster at the school house. John M. McFarland was chosen moderator, and Samuel Farmer clerk.
Officers elected:
 Supervisor, William L. Scott
 Town Clerk, Joseph Ladd
 Assessor, Samuel Farmer
 Collector, David Ryno
 Overseer of Poor, James Bowman
 Commissioners of Highways, Eli Taylor, Thomas Tichnor, Walter Stewart
 Constables, John L. Scott, John W. Williams
 Justices of the Peace, C. A. Buck, John Lucas.

15 May 1913

1851--February 10th  I was initiated in the Enteredaprentice Degree of Masonry in Peoria Lodge No. 15, A. F. & A. M. Thomas J. Pickett, Worshipful Master. Passed to the Degree of Fellowcraft Apr 14, 1851. Raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason May 12, 1851. Demitted to join Lancaster Lodge No. 106 Aug 11, 1851.

Daniel McCook was Worshipful Master of Lancaster Lodge. He lived at Kingston Mines and worked the coal mines. He was a grand old man and the first master of our lodge, a bright mason and we are proud that we had the honor and benefit of his knowledge of Masonry. I received the Degrees of Past Master, Mark Master, May 4, 1851, Royal Arch Degree Jan 6, 1853.

I saw Brown and Williams hung at Peoria for the murder of a farmer.

About this time John Krisher and wife came from Pennsylvania. Augustus Spong also came from Pennsylvania.

12 Jun 1913

1852-- Am still working at my trade making barrels. Have two shops. I Joined Peoria Chapter Royal Arts Masons. Mark Master and Past Master Degrees taken May 4, 1852, Most Expert Master and Royal Arch Degrees Jan 6, 1853.

Lancaster Lodge No. 106 A. F. & A. M. in a flourishing condition. Bro. Edward J. Jones, W. M. I was Senior Deacon. Bro. Daniel McCook was Master in 1851. He lived at Kingston Mines and operated the coal mines. His son, Alexander McDonnell McCook, was a cadet at West Point Military Academy. He made a visit to his parents at Kingston Mines. He made application to join our lodge. We made application to the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge to confer the three degrees in one meeting. A dispensation was granted and we conferred the degrees the same evening. I conducted him through the
Degrees. He remained at my home that night. I lived at Lancaster. I called him up in the morning for breakfast. He got up and put on his boots. I remarked, “Boots before breeches?” He said, “Yes, we wear white breeches and we do this to keep from soiling our breeches.”

I inquired as to what he was studying, and he said infantry. I told him I thought cavalry was much easier, but he said promotion was easier in the infantry. He became a Major General in the Union Army during the great rebellion, and fought at the battles of Perryville, Ky., Murfreesboro and Chattanooga.

Samuel L. Peters and wife came from Pennsylvania this year. Their children were Mariah, Rolando L.,  (Rolandus) Logan S., Enos (Aeneas).

Also, Samuel Hess and wife from Pennsylvania. Their children were George W., Samuel,  David, and Daniel.

Also, George Shade and wife from Pennsylvania.

19 Jun 1913

 Township election held April 6, 1852; results:
  Supervisor, John Earnest
  Town Clerk, Joseph Ladd
  Assessor, Joseph McRechen
  Collector, Walter Stewart
  Overseer of Poor, Hugh Jones
  Commissioners of Highways, Jacob Silzel, Thomas Tichnor, George Stewart

 Benjamin Hobble arrived here this year in November from Pennsylvania.

 Thomas P. Hall and wife came from Ohio.

 Also, Easton Tindall and wife from Ohio.

 1853--There was very high water in the Illinois River. Steamboats landed at the foot of  Main Street in Peoria. Cellars filled with water.

26 Jun 1913

1853--The Grand Lodge of Masons of Illinois convened in Springfield. Allen L. Fahnestock, Worshipful Master attended the meeting. T. J. Pickett and Wellington Loucks represented Peoria Lodge No. 15.

1854-- I am still working at my trade making barrels for A. D. and H. Reed of Farmington, and had in my employ the following men: John W. Hartman, Harmon Strude, John Chappell, Joseph Saylor, Jacob Tharp, Henry Fahnestock, Theodore Sanders, Joseph Knox, Jeremiah Shade, John Earnest, John C. Sanders, Nick Myers.

1855--Still at my old trade. Harmon Strude has an interest in the business with me.

The Peoria Transcript was started by N. C. Naron, the first publisher of a Whig paper at that time.

The Peoria and Oquawka Railroad commenced running into Peoria Dec 20, 1855.


17 Jul 1913

Town meeting was held at Kingston Mines Apr. 3, 1855 and the following officers were elected:

Supervisor, Joseph Ladd
Town Clerk, Allen L. Fahnestock
Assessor, Samuel Farmer
Collector, Walter Stewart
Highway Commissioners, Thomas Tichnor, George Stewart, John Congleton
Overseer of Poor, Gen. Isaiah Stillman

The following settlers arrived about this time: Hiram Shrives from W. Virginia and Henry D. Folk and wife Julian from Jefferson Co., Ohio.

Also, Bernard Fries, born in Langston, France, came to America in 1853, landed in New York. Came to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in 1854. Married Mary Bowers and moved to Illinois in the fall of 1855 and settled in Timber Township. He enlisted in my Co. I, 86th Ill. Vol. Inft. Served through the war of the great rebellion, was wounded at the charge of Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia, in 1864 and discharged Jan. 22, 1865, and returned home. His wife died January 5, 1899.

07 Aug 1913

I had 215 customers that traded at my store in Lancaster in 1856. Now there are only eleven living and four are Fahnestocks.

My first inventory of goods at Lancaster was $1225.12. This was a large stock at the time.

Township election was held was held at Lancaster April 7, 1857. The results were:

Supervisor, Walter Stewart
Town Clerk, Allen L. Fahnestock
Assessor, James Stewart
Collector, W. F. Fahnestock
Overseer of Poor, Jas. Hall
Constable, Richard Green
Commisioners, W. L. Scott, E. McMeanes, Thomas Hall

September 1857, occurred the Mountain Meadow Massacre by the Mormons.

14 Aug 1913

1858--Annual communication of the Grand Lodge of Masons met at Springfield, October 5th. We commenced in 1840 with six lodges and less than 100 members. We now have 283 lodges and about ten thousand members, besides a large number of non-affiliated Master Masons.

1859--N. C. Geer published the Peoria Transcript, a Republican paper.

Township elections held at Lancaster, April 5th:

Supervisor, John W. Robbins
Town Clerk, Allen L. Fahnestock
Assessor, John Ernest
Collector, S. F. Bollinger
Overseer of Poor, Richard Charlton
Commissioners of Highways, J. M. Doll, Shadrick L. Scott, Harvey Griggs

July 7th my store was robbed. I traced one of the men in Havana, Mason County and had him tried and convicted and sent to the penitentiary for five years and eight months.

Built my store building in Lancaster this year. It cost me $1080.04, built by Marion and James Baty.


21 Aug 1913

1860--This year there was great excitement in t Congress and in the Senate over the new territories, especially Kansas. The Southern Representatives and many weak kneed men of the North favored the South in their efforts to force the institution of slavery in the territories. The debates in Congress and the Senate were bitter and personal on both sides, and soon brought on the War of the Great Rebellion of the slaveholders of the South, which cost billions of dollars and the lives of thousands of good men. My sympathy was with the Government and slaves that were cruelly beaten by their masters.

I, being a Republican, worked and voted for Abraham Lincoln for President, and put men in the field and fought for the old flag to the end of the war, and lived to see the curse of slavery abolished in the United States of America.

Abraham Lincoln was elected President Nov. 6, 1860.

Annual town election held at Lancaster, Apr. 3, 1860

Supervisor, Allen L. Fahnestock
Clerk, Wm. F. Fahnestock
Assessor, John M. Glasford
Collector, John Congleton
Commissioners, Harry Griggs, S. L. Scott, Jacob M. Doll
Overseer of  Poor, Richard Charlton
Constable, John Ernest

28 Aug 1913

I was attending to my store, and there was great excitement in the country over the prospect of Civil War. I was Supervisor and Postmaster at Lancaster and School Treasurer.

The news came April 12th that Fort Sumter, South Carolina, was captured by the rebels. I enlisted 60 men, intending to make a company and go with them to fight for our country and flag. But, Col. John Bryner, a friend, was making up the regiment, the 47th Illinois, so turned the men over to Co. Thrush and Capt. John McClure. Put Silas Chappell in as first Lieutenant of Co. C, 47th Vol. Inft. I could not well leave home at this time and the government needed soldiers. I assisted the men in camp and equipped Lt. Chappell with sword and sash. Got the men to the front as soon as possible. The regiment went to Missouri and did good service and made a splendid record, an honor to the country and state.

Richard Yates Governor for the State of Illinois.

Jan 8th Mississippi seceded from the Union; Jan 18th Georgia seceded; Feb 1st  Texas seceded.



Timber Township

Timber township forms the extreme southern point of the county, and was originally chiefly covered with timber. The north part is rolling; the southern part is bottom lands. The Toledo, Peoria & Warsaw railroad, passes across the lower portion, and opens to market some valuable lands. Timber township is settled by an industrious and energetic class of citizens, who have made some of the best farm improvements in Peoria county. It is well watered and rolling, and is well adapted to stock and grain raising. One of the old settlers asserts that they have not had a failure in crops for forty-five years. It is claimed that a man by the name of Daniel Hinkle was the first settler in the township.

Benjamin Duffield immigrated to Timber township from Nicholas county, Va., in the Spring of 1832, where he died the following year. He married Miss Elizabeth Shock, of Shenandoah county, Va., by whom he had seven children, five boys and two girls. Mrs. G. has been in the township over forty-seven years. She married Samuel A. Glassford, a native of Ohio, who came to the county in 1842.

Mr. G. laid out the town of Glassford, December 9, 1868. The first name given to it was Glascoe, but it was afterwards changed for the reason that there was another town by that name in the State. The town contains two general stores, one Baptist church, a good school-house, two blacksmith shops, one flouring and saw mill, two shoemaker shops, a warehouse and one wagonmaker shop.

The first school-house, says Mrs. G., was a small log building near Dry Run, 16x18, with greased paper for windows. The benches were made of slabs turned flat side up with pins for legs. Here some of the best people in the township got their education.

The first church erected was at Lancaster, by the M. E. society, which has since been moved to Coperas creek, and is now used by the Christian Union. The first meeting was held at Wm. Eyman's, one mile above Kingston.

John Congeton immigrated to the county in 1835. In the Spring of 1836, there was an election at the house of Wm. Duffield; he was appointed as one of the judges of election, and the whole number of votes cast was seven. Daniel Hinkle was not only the first settler in Timber, but the first justice of the peace.

Col. A. L. Fahnestock came to the county in 1837, from Adams county, Pa., and located at Lancaster. In 1856, he embarked in the mercantile business in Lancaster; afterwards removed to Glassford, where he handles a large stock of general merchandise. He has held several offices; was county treasurer two years. He entered the army as captain and was commissioned as colonel, but not mustered. Charles Fahnestock, son of the colonel, is also engaged in the same business.

Wm. H. Davis, has one of the finest flouring mills, outside of Peoria, in the county, equipped with the latest improvements. It was erected in 1872, and cost $17,000. There is also a saw mill worked by the same power, which cost about $3,000.

Lancaster is situated on section 17, and was laid out by Samuel F. Bollinger. Since the railroad passed through the township the business has gone chiefly to Glassford.

Kingston, formerly Palmyra, is situated on the Illinois river, and was laid out by James Monroe. The chief business is coal mining.


[from "The History of Peoria County, Illinois; Johnson & Co., 1880.  Transcribed by Karen Seeman]



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