Old Settlers Association Reunion, 25 August 1898

Contributed by Carman Megehe
Old Settlers Association Reunion, 25 August 1898

It is not strange that among the pioneer settlers of any new country a deep-seated and sincere friendship should spring up that would grow and strengthen with their years. The incidents peculiar to life in a new country, the trials and hardships, privations and destitution, are well calculated to test not only the physical powers of endurance, but the moral, kindly, generous attributes of manhood and womanhood. Then are the times that try men's souls, and bring to the surface all that may be in them whether good or bad. As a rule there is an equality of conditions that recognizes no distinctions. All occupy a common level, and as a natural consequence a strong brotherly and sisterly feeling rise up that is as lasting as time. For "a fellow feeling makes us wondrous kind." With such a community there is a hospitality, a kindness, a benevolence, a charity unknown and unpracticed among the older, richer and more densely commonwealths. The very nature of the surroundings teaches them to feel each other's woe and share each other's joy. An injury or a wrong may be ignored, but a kindly, charitable act is never forgotten. The memory of old associations are always fresh. Raven locks may bleach and whiten, full, round cheeks become sunken and hollow, the fires of intelligence vanish from the organs of vision, the brow become wrinkled with care and age and the erect form bowed with accumulating years, but the true friends of "long ago" will be remembered as long as life and reason endure.

The surroundings of pioneer life are well calculated to test the "true inwardness" of the human heart. As a rule the men and women who first settle in a new country, who go in advance to spy out the land and prepare it for the coming people. are bold, fearless, self-reliant and industrious. In these respects, no matter from what remote section or country they may come, there is a similarity of character. In birth, education, religion and language, there may be a vast difference, but imbued with a common purpose, the founding and building of homes, these differences are soon lost by association, and thus they become one people united by a common interest; and no matter what changes may come in after years the associations thus formed are never buried out of memory.

In pioneer life are always incidents of peculiar interest, not only to the pioneers themselves, but which if properly preserved, would be of interest to posterity; and it is a matter of some regret that "The Old Settlers' Association" was not formed years before it was, and that more copious records were not kept. Such an association with well kept records of the more important events, such as dates of arrivals, births, marriages, deaths, removals, nativities, etc., as any one can easily and readily see, would be the direct means of preserving to the literature of the country the history of every community, that to future generations would be valuable as a record of reference, and a ready and sure method of settling important questions of controversy. Such records would possess facts and figures that could not be had from any other source. Aside from this historic importance such associations serve as a means of keeping alive and further cementing old friendships and renewing among its members associations that were necessarily interrupted by the innovation of increasing population, cultivating social intercourse and creating a charitable fund for such of their old members as were victims of misfortune and adversity.

The subject of organizing an old settlers' society was brought up in the summer of 1869. In the Pike County Democrat of July 29, that year, the following significant passage occurs: "The time will come when the history of this county will be written. For that history, the meeting of such society will furnish the best material, and the parties now living attest the facts that will form a large portion of it." There was nothing definitely done toward the organization of this society until the summer of 1872, when some of the leading old settlers interested themselves in it. The first meeting was held on what is called Blue creek, August. 21, 1872. The meeting was called to order by Wm. Turnbull, of Flint, on whose motion Capt. B. F. Westlake was appointed temporary Chairman. Upon taking the chair Capt. Westlake stated in brief the object of the meeting, and for the purpose of effecting on organization he suggested the propriety of appointing a committee on permanent organization to report to the meeting at 1 o'clock, P. M. This committee consisted of Col. A. C. Matthews, Jas. H. Dimmitt and Wm. Turnbull. The meeting was then addressed by Rev. Mr. McCoy, after which an adjournment was had until 1 o'clock, P. M. After the dinner was dispatched the people were called together by the choir, discoursing most pleasant music. After singing the committee on permanent organization reported the following named persons as officers of the "Old Settlers' Association of Pike and Calhoun Counties, Ill."

For President, Col. Wm. Ross, Newburg; 1st Vice President, Col. Benj. Barney, Pleasant Vale; 2d Vice President, Daniel B. Bush, Pittsfield; 3d Vice President, Capt. B. F. Westlake, Newburg; 4thVice President, Capt. Benj. L. Matthews, Perry; 5th Vice President, Jos. Brown, Chambersburg; 6th Vice President, John Lyster, Detroit; 7th Vice President, Jas. Grimes, Milton; 8th Vice President, Abel Shelley, Griggsville; 9th Vice President, Perry Wells, Atlas; 10th Vice President, Sam'l G. Sitton, Hardin; 11th Vice President, Wm. Grammar, Hadley; 12th Vice President, Montgomery Blair, Barry; 13th Vice President, John Brittain, Martinsburg; 14th Vice President, Thos H. Dimmitt, Griggsville. Secretary, Marcellus Ross, Newburg; 1stAssistant Secretary, Dr. E. M. Seeley, Pittsfield; 2d Assistant Secretary Wm. Turnbull, Flint.

Col. Barney presided at this meeting, Col. Ross being absent on account of sickness. A communication was however read from the President. Rev. W. D. Trotter, one of the pioneer preachers of the county, spoke for about an hour, reviewing the early life of the pioneers. Hon. William A. Grimshaw delivered the address of the day. It was an ably prepared historical review of the county's history. Indeed, so replete is it with interesting facts of pioneer times that we give the entire address in this connection: Address Of Hon. William A. Grimshaw

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen: - Selected by your committee of arrangements to bid you welcome here to-day, I do so most cordially, as an old settler myself, of, say, the second period of Pike county, coming here in the year 1833; that being after the winter of the deep snow, which was our early noted period in the annals of this then wild, romantic, and beautiful country, sparsely settled and embraced in the bounds of Pike county. That snow with us, once, was the starting point of the date of current events, although our records of the courts of justice do not legally recognize that as a "day in law," yet we even in courts, in the simplicity of our early language, often heard events traced by that snow as the date point.

In the early days we all enjoyed the largest constitutional liberty; we voted for him we liked best, as I, a Whig, did for "honest Joe Duncan," a Democrat, on a deep question in those days, the Illinois and Michigan Canal, "the deep cut;" we also each worshiped God according to the dictates of our own conscience and under our vine and fig-tree. When Brother Trotter, who is now present, venerable with years and revered for piety, or old Father Woolf, now gathered to his fathers, blessed for his good deeds, came around to his appointment, all, of every religion and no one religion, turned out to meeting in the woods or the log school-house or at a settler's home. We had no fine churches in those days. Mormons puzzled the unwary by their startling pretense at new revelations. Or, if disappointed by the regular minister, old Father Petty would recite, in prayer, Belteshazzar's feast, in trembling tones of piety.

Our worthy and venerable President (elect but absent), Col. Wm. Ross, who has been often honored by the people of Pike Co. by their votes, electing him to high offices of public trust, could tell you much of the first period or earliest years of the settlement of your county, as he arrived in the county in 1820 and settled at Atlas, which was the county-seat in its day, and was laid out by the Ross brothers. Atlas was yet the place at which the county records were kept in 1833, but in the spring of the year Pittsfield was surveyed and laid off into lots and the sale thereof made at different periods, the first sale of lots being in that spring. A court-house was built in the summer of 1833 at Pittsfield; from that event the greater prosperity of the county and an increase of population began.

The terror infused into the public mind, beyond the settlements of Illinois, by the Black Hawk war, which had retarded emigration to our State, the Indians being removed to the West of the Mississippi, the tide of emigration began to set in, and you witness to-day, in the presence here of this assemblage, the vast change in a little over fifty years since the Yankees (who came before the clock-peddlers) set foot within the limits of Pike county, as it now exists. Clock peddlers were the only gentlemen in those days, as they rode in the only covered carriages.

It is true, when you consider the rise and growth of Chicago in our own State, and of St. Louis in Missouri, rival cities, each of nearly four hundred thousand people, we don't seem to have much to brag of as to our growth. Consider, however, that we are almost strictly an agricultural county, that being our chief and most profitable pursuit, and then the greatest zealot for progress must admit that, from a beginning of a few families in 1821, we are now a county not to be sneezed at, and especially when our vote at the polls is counted. Excluding counties in which cities have arisen, we are most densely populated, more so than many in our beautiful Illinois, and yet we have broad acres of valuable lands in a state of nature.

Once our prairies were the home of the bounding deer in vast herds, of the prairie wolf, the prairie fowl in great flocks, the timber land abounded with the squirrel, the turkey and the pigeon, and in the hollow trees we had the beautiful but noisy paroquet; as well as in their haunts numerous other birds and animals. These have in a great measure disappeared until game is a rarity. The wild fruits once abounding have been superseded by more luscious cultivated fruits. And yet, who of the old settlers does not remember with a twinkle in his eye the old settlers' first substitute for an apple, a big turnip; and also find a good taste in the mouth when he thinks of those nice preserved plums, crab-apples and ground cherries, and the pumpkin pie, and the pork mince meat. We then think of the prairie and woodland each abounding in the season in beautiful flowers, rivaling in their colors the rainbow. These were the holiday delights of dame and maiden, and the husband and lover were alike made glad in their contemplation. The retrospect of nature has its beauties. The reality of the first settler's life in a new country is often full of prose and but little poetry. Compare the simple and even poor furniture of our early homes with the elegant furniture now in use, and what a contrast! But with all the drawbacks of an early settler's life few repine at their lot in this beautiful land. None can who accept with reflection and thankfulness the many mercies which crown our lives.

I am reminded by this retrospection, that yesterday, on returning home, I found a written, kind notification from your Committee, in charge of the convening of this your first Old Settlers' meeting, that I was invited and expected to address you to-day. I then took my pen to endeavor to bridle my thoughts and to bid them serve the request of the Committee, that I should speak as to the "honesty, patience, industry, self-sacrifice and hospitality of the old settlers."

Honesty was the rule, crime the exception, in early days. It would seem as if at the first mention of the honesty of the old settlers it was a sarcasm, on the idea of lawyers settling here, and as if I had some personal experience and revelation to make. Of course I know something and much of the facts, and will relate them. It was well known that because we had no locks we never locked our houses and out buildings; it was proverbial that the deer skin of the door latch was never pulled in, that is the latch string was out; then we had not much to tempt people to steal; so our things lay about loose; our plows with their wooden mold-boards hung on the fences with impunity; but at Christmas time, the plow or ox skull hung upon a tree by the way side, reminded the passer-by, on the three-year old, riding to see his girl, that a fool's head was too soft to butt either of those pendants in the tree.

At an early day an old ax, worth fifty cents perhaps in these days being stolen, the vile thief was ordered to leave the settlement of Atlas, and did leave for his country's good. It was said that loud porcine cries were heard upon the "Sny Island" at times, because men would kill their neighbor's hogs: that was a trifling affair and cost only the penalty of going halves with the nearest justice; thus dividing the meat, unless the head and ears were found and those bearing some man's recorded mark; then that was a case for the Grand Jury. Hog stealing was said to be caused by drinking Sny water. We have told only of the style of dishonest tricks in those days. With more facts to bear us out, we can now affirm that the general reputation of our early settlers was remarkably good for honesty in general, but there was a slight propensity to "hook timber" to make rails and to use as house logs, and some fellows in the land, held, in fact it was "common law," that a "bee tree" even in your pasture lot was lawful plunder.

As to the patience of our people, if that means bearing up with the courage of a true man and true woman under the perils to limb and property, the early settlers were exemplary for that; the trials of an early settler's life were legion. His resources, so far as supplies for his family, were small; his debts were a great vexation, and some, if not all, had these pests, until the lands were entered and paid for, the money often being loaned at interest as high as 75 per centum per annum. Then if you went to mill, you journeyed a score, aye, three-score miles; to meeting often as far. No bridges, and but few roads existed; the saddle, or the ox cart, or truck, wooden- wheeled wagon, and no fine carriages, was the mode of travel. Corn dodger, without salt, and pork or side-meat, were great staples; vegetables and fruits, unless wild fruits, were rarely on the table, unless when company came to spend the afternoon, or to a quilting, then the best the house or the neighborhood afforded was forthcoming for the visitor. The quilting parties were generally the resort of young and old. Marriages were rare in those days, because bachelors were more plenty than belles.

As to the industry of the old settlers, as a class, industry was to the extent of present ability, implements, health and condition, and was not surpassed by the toil of men of the present day. The matron and the few young ladies had much toil and vexation, and that was often more excessive on wash-day, because of having to pick up fuel as it could be gleaned, or carrying the clothes to and from the wash place, which was a branch or spring. The clothes-line was a grape vine or a fence, and the hogs and calves trespassed on that to "chaw the things," and to keep the "creeters" off, old boss and the old woman (not yet 25 years old) often had a hard fight lest the baby in the cradle sitting near the out-door fire should be "up sot." Self-sacrifice was one of the many and noblest virtues of the early settler; in times of sickness you were free to call up any neighbor for help, to sit up with the sick, to ride 25 or even more miles for the doctor, and that mostly, as our doctors said, in the dead of night, to the great horror of the doctor, who had to saddle up and travel, even in the dead of night, to the farthest limits of his own or to an adjoining county.

Although the county of Pike was naturally healthy, the over toil, the privation, the imperfect protection from the inclemency of seasons, the water used from shallow water-holes, all these tended to multiply disease and death. This county was never, as a general thing, visited so much with sickness and death as other counties in our State. In the early day no iron horse snorted and raced over our prairies. The steamer once perhaps in several weeks dragged itself along. Twelve days was a short time for a trip from New York here, and that mostly by stage. Our mails arrived once a week, and a letter cost us our "last quarter." News from Europe a month old was fresh. No troublesome quotations of daily markets puzzled or enlightened us. A counterfeit United States bill was almost legal tender. Hoop-poles, staves and cord wood were equal at a later day to gold. Store pay was better than any of the foregoing, but often lead to heavy mortgages and secret bills of sale. The laws were quickly enforced. Once a client of a celebrated lawyer was taken out of Court and the penalty of the law put on his back with stripes before the motion for a new trial was over; then the client protested against a new trial lest if convicted he would be a second time whipped.

Now how changed is everything around us! In the early day there was more variety in dress, if less taste. All dressed in their best, and sometimes (if the ladies will pardon such an o'er true tale) a white satin bonnet, the worse for the wear, was seen over a blue "Dolly Varden" ruffled cap. The most distinguished man at shows, for a number of years, was an old, gaunt, straight man, with a bell-crowned hat, in the height of the fashion when he was young, which was nearly twelve inches perpendicular; horses often carried double in those days, if girls were plenty, and about sparking and wedding time. Oh how sociable! And yet all was modesty and innocence. Hospitality, that signifies strictly "practice of entertaining strangers," but its true early settler's ways much more was meant, intended, and done. On a journey almost every house was a welcome home to the weary traveler; if any charge was made for the entertainment it was very moderate; at times the parting word to you was, "You are welcome to such as we had, and please call again when traveling this way."

Hospitality scarce expresses the fine sensibility, the manly Christian spirit, of many of the olden time. The pioneer feels that each and every settler of his neighborhood (and he does not criticise much as to who is his neighbor) is entitled to such help and good feeling as may be asked or should be extended. I felt and still feel a large degree of sympathy, and that the most cordial, with the old settlers. It occurs to me that as Pike county once included Calhoun, and as some of the settlers there are cotemporaries with our earliest settlers, we should include the Calhoun old settlers in our Society, in fact just this week that was named to me in that county.

With great hopefulness as to the prosperity of this new Society, desiring for it many happy re- unions, I offer to you the thanks of myself, an old settler, for your courtesy in inviting me to address this meeting; and may God bless our vast population, spread over our large county, which had when first known to myself about three thousand people, and now contains approaching forty thousand, although the hive of people has swarmed many times. Farewell, my friends, one and all. Let us part with mutual good wishes, as we never more can meet again in this life.

At the first meeting it was decided to invite the old settlers of Calhoun county to join with the Pike county Old Settlers' Society. In harmony with this decision Calvin Twichell, Smith Jennings and William Wilkinson were elected Vice-Presidents.

Second Meeting

The second meeting of the Old Settlers' Association was held in September, 1873. The following letter from Judge William Thomas, of Jacksonville, was read: "Jacksonville, Aug. 30, 1873. "Mr. Marcellus Ross, Secretary: Dear Sir, I have received two invitations to attend the Old Settlers' Meeting in Pike county on Wednesday next. I regret that I cannot accept either, for I would be glad to meet the survivors of those with whom I became acquainted forty-five years ago. I attended the Circuit Court in Atlas in June, 1827, which was my first visit to Pike. The Court was held by Judge Lockwood, who now resides at Batavia, in Kane county. The attorneys in attendance were John W. Whitney, N. Hanson, and John Jay Ross, of Pike county, Gen. James Turney and Alfred W. Caverly, of Greene county, now of Ottawa, and J. W. Pugh, of Sangamon county, Mr. Jenkins, of Calhoun county, John Turney and myself, of Morgan county. Capt. Leonard Ross, one of nature's noblemen, was Sheriff. Col. Wm. Ross was Clerk; James M. Seeley was an officer of the Court. Of all these, Judge Lockwood, Mr. Caverly, and myself are the only survivors. The Court was in session three days, and then went to Calhoun county. It was held in a log cabin in the prairie, near which was a log cabin occupied by the grand jury. The traverse jury had the privilege of the prairies.

"In September afterward, returning from the Winnebago war I left the boat at Quincy, where I purchased a horse, saddle and bridle for $40. From Quincy I came to Atlas, a good day's travel; remained in Atlas one day and two nights, and then set out for home. Passing Col. Seeley's, I found no other house until I reached Blue river, where Van Deusen had a small grist-mill, and I crossed the Illinois river on Van Deusen's ferry. That night I reached Exeter. The weather was pleasant, the roads were dry and smooth. "Pike county was then a wilderness. I came as directed, the nearest and best route home. I could never have been made to believe that I should live to see a population of 30,000 within its boundaries.

"Capt Ross entertained the jury and the lawyers in their double log cabin free of charge, expressing his regret that we could not stay longer. I was at Atlas at the Presidential election in 1824 and voted for John Quincy Adams for President. "Judge Lockwood, Mr. McConnell and myself, in attending Court at Atlas (the year I do not recollect), passed the present site of Griggsville and saw the man, Mr. Scholl, raising the first log cabin on that hill. I suppose the land had been laid out in town lots.

"In the early settlement of the Military Tract traveling cost but little. The old settlers were always glad of the opportunity of entertaining travelers, and especially the judge and lawyers, from whom they could obtain interesting accounts in relation to what was going on in the world around them. Besides, we often had to encamp in the woods and prairies because no house was within reach at dark, and this was called "lodging at Munn's tavern," because of the large number of quarter sections of land owned by him. I have often fared sumptuously in the log cabins on bread made of grated meal, venison, honey, butter and milk and stewed pumpkins, and slept comfortably and soundly on the puncheon floor.

"Feb. 14, 1823, Wm. Ross was elected Judge of the Court of Probate. In 1823 Geo. Cadwell, then of Greene county but afterward included in Morgan, was elected to the Senate for Greene and Pike, and Archibald Job, who was still living, for the House. Cadwell's term expired in two years, and in 1824 Thos. Carlin, afterward elected governor in 1836, was elected to the Senate. Cadwell was an educated physician, a man of talent and stern integrity: he died in 1824 or 1825.

"At the meeting of the legislature in 1824 Nicholas Hanson and John Shaw both produced certificates of election to the House. The question which was entitled to the seat was referred to the Speaker, who decided in favor of Hanson. During the session the question was again brought before the House, and decided by a unanimous vote in favor of Hanson. Near the close of the session the question was reconsidered and Shaw admitted, in consideration of which Shaw voted for the resolution for a call of a convention. "For several years after I came to the State, deer, wild turkey and wild beasts were plenty, especially on the Illinois and Mississippi rivers. But for this fact many of our early settlers would have suffered for provisions, or have been compelled to retreat for supplies.

"In passing from Rushville to Quincy, the Judge, Mr. Caverly and myself slept on the prairie during the night, and the next morning, which was Sunday, we found a house a few miles distant in the barrens; and we could not make the family believe it was not Saturday. The nearest neighbor lived five miles distant. They lived on wild game, grated corn meal and roasted ears, and lived well. We thought at breakfast we could not wish for better fare. "In passing from Atlas to Gilead in Calhoun county we always made the house of an old gentleman named Munn our stopping-place. He and his wife were always glad to see us and made sumptuous preparations for our comfort.

"If I were at the stand and questioned I could probably answer many questions in regard to matters of interest to the present inhabitants; but as I do not know the points on which they would question me, and as I have already extended this letter, considering the hot weather, to what may be considered a reasonable length, I close, hoping that you may have a good day and a good time. Respectfully your friend, William Thomas

This meeting was addressed by many old settlers, who related very interesting experiences. The exercises were interspersed with music and a grand picnic dinner, etc. Letters were read from Edwin Draper and Levi Pettibone, of Louisiana, Mo., besides the one from Judge Thomas, above given. Wm. A. Grimshaw was elected President, James McWilliams, of Griggsville, Vice President, and Geo. W. Jones Assistant Secretary. The following resolution was adopted: "Resolved, That the old settlers of Pike and Calhoun counties be requested to notify the President and Secretary of the Old Settlers' organization, the names of all members of this Association who shall depart this life during the present year, and that the Secretary be instructed to enter the same upon record."

Among those who addressed the assembly were Hon. Wm. A. Grimshaw, John T. Hodgen, of St. Louis, Calvin Twichell, of Calhoun county, J. T. Long, now of Barry, for many years a resident of Adams county, Wm. Turnbull, of Flint, A. P. Sharpe, of Griggsville, Alvin Wheeler, the oldest living settler of Pike county (came here in 1818), now 75 years of age. Col. D. B. Bush closed the line of history by giving a sketch of Pittsfield. Dr. Worthington claimed Frederick Franklin, of Montezuma, as the oldest living settler of Pike county now living. He was the son of Ebenezer Franklin, the first settler in the county.

In this connection we give the very interesting letter of Mr. Draper: Louisiana, Mo., Sept. 1, 1873, Hon. Wm. A. Grimshaw and others: Gentlemen, Through the politeness of some friend of your county-seat I am indebted for an invitation to attend the meeting of old settlers of your county at Pittsfield, on the 3d inst.; for this invitation I presume I am indebted for the fact of being nearly connected by marriage with Levi Pettibone, Esq., an old settler and perhaps the oldest man in Pike county, Mo., and perhaps with few exceptions the oldest man in Missouri, he being now nearing the completion of his 93d year. But from whatever cause, I esteem it a compliment altogether undeserved to myself, but which nevertheless I should take the greatest pleasure, if circumstances permitted, of meeting with the old settlers of your county, among whom I am proud to recognize, not only the many distinguished public men, but many old and long esteemed personal friends, some of whom have long been settlers of Pike county, Ill., and not a few of them old settlers of Pike and Lincoln counties, Mo., who, not content with aiding to break up the wilds of Missouri and bring them into the paths and fields of civilization, have largely colonized Pike county Ill., where they have been long enough to earn the appellation of "old settlers," where they are realizing the rich fruits of their industry in land flowing with milk and honey, and as I lament to know, many of them are resting beneath the sods that are no respecters of persons in the final winding up of human affairs. The memory of many of these persons, both living and dead, carry me far back into the history of the past, in the early history of Missouri, of whose soil I have been an occupant since the year 1815, before either your State or Missouri had a State Government. Though then quite young (but eight years old) I was old enough to remember everything I saw, and everybody I knew, much more so than persons and facts of later years; but to attempt to recount or name any considerable number of them would be to inflict a bore upon you that I dare not presume upon; but as I presume that a part of the exercises of the occasion would be to recur to the early history of the West, including your State and ours, I cannot resist the temptation to jot down a few facts and names, even at the risk of being laid upon the table as a bore.

The date 1815 shows that the early settlers, among whom was my father, were crowding into Missouri even before the forts were all vacated, whither the old settlers had fled for the purpose of protection from hostile savages, who but recently had almost undisputed possession of a large part of our State. To get into Missouri, then largely considered as the promised land, we had to cross the Mississippi river, the Father of Waters. I don't know how much of a father he was at that time, but I have been acquainted with him since that time, and I don't know much difference in his size between then and now, except occasionally, as in 1851, he got into a terrible rage and had uncontrolled possession from Louisiana to Atlas, and rolled on, whether vexed or unvexed, in solemn majesty to the Gulf of Mexico. But to continue. He had to be "crossed" to get into Missouri. In 1815, as history shows, no steam-boats were known on our rivers, and the only modes, or rather mode, of crossing the river at St. Louis was by means of a small keel-boat or barge without any deck or covering, propelled by poles; and our wagons were crossed by placing two planks or slabs across the keel, running the wagons by hand upon these slabs across the boats and "scotching" the wheels with billets of wood, filling in the inner parts of the boat with horses, children, etc. Yet we conquered the old gentleman and rode across in triumph, but not, however, until after waiting two days on the eastern bank for the wind to lie, which had so ruffled the surface and temper of the "father" that he could not, safely at least, be mounted by an insignificant keel-boat until the cause of his irritation had ceased.

Safely on the Missouri shore, the first night was passed in the city of St. Louis, then containing about 1,200 inhabitants and very few brick houses: I did not count them, however. No railroads then were even thought of in the West, so far as I remember, but now well, you can tell the tale yourselves. St. Louis has now 450,000 inhabitants, and would likely have a million but for Chicago and the railroads, which have revolutionized the course of nature and the natural rights of St. Louis, which depended on the navigation of the great rivers to work for her; and while her great land-owner slept a quarter of a century Chicago and the railroads were surging ahead of her. Excuse this digression, which I could not help while reflecting on the immense change all over the West since I first crossed the great river.

I have alluded to the fact of your county being largely colonized from Pike and Lincoln counties, Mo. It would be impossible for me to enumerate all of them, even if I knew them all; but among the names I remember well those of the Gibsons, the Sittons, Buchanan, Yokems, Galloway, Uncle Jake Williamson, the Cannons, Collard, Wellses, Kerrs, Noyes, Metz, Johnsons, McConnells, Andersons, etc., etc., all of whom went from Pike or Lincoln. All of them were good citizens, while some of them held high and honorable positions in public office. Your former valued Sheriff, Ephraim Cannon, was for a while a school-mate of mine, larger and older than I, but still a school-mate. The only special recollection I have of our school-boys life was that the teacher once asked him, when nearly time to close school, "How high is the sun?' He replied he had no means of measuring the height, but from appearance it was about a rod high. John J. Collard, Esq., a former Clerk of one of your Courts, was the son of an old settler of Lincoln county, dating before the war of 1812, if my memory is not at fault. I have attended your courts when held at the old county-seat, Atlas, and since its location at your beautiful town Pittsfield. The old settlers at Atlas, as well as of Pittsfield, were the Rosses, most of whom I knew personally, and had a slight acquaintance with the "Bashaw" of Hamburg, Mr. Shaw. Old Father Burnett and his boys John and Frank belonged to both Pikes, in Illinois and Missouri. The sons wore out their lives in trying to sustain a ferry between the two Pikes.

But I must forbear, fearing that I have already bored you, a thing I feared at the start. I could write a half quire of recollections of Pike in Missouri, and some of Pike in Illinois, if there were any market for them. But I must close with my best wishes for your people, both old and young. (Edwin Draper)