Rock Island County, Illinois Genealogy Trails


Stories of several early Rock Island County Settlers

Austin Marshall keeps the Hotel LeClaire. He is not strong on his feet, but seems O.K. otherwise. Born March 20, 1842; came to Rock Island County in November of the same year. Now gets $50.00 per month as pension for Civil War service and is trying to get more.

We lived neighbor to the Huntoons. Old Mr. Huntoon's father, Nathaniel Huntoon, camped on top of the hill on the old Indian trail. I remember very well when his father died. This land, where this part of the Indian trail was, ain't land that can be worked.

I recollect the time we lived in the washburn neighborhood two miles east of Coal Valley and a little north. I used to herd cows and I used to cross that Indian trail almost every day. This was east of Coal Valley about three miles. It was washed out in places; was six or eight inches deep and about so wide (eighteen inches). It was pretty near on the line of the Peoria railroad. I think I could go there and find it. The trail must show yet.

Old Indian Jim was a doctor. He doctored my sister for scrofula. Indians from up Rock River came down to get him once. They were sent down to kill him because he was putting up with the whites. They found him at Joe Turner's and they asked him to go with them up Rock River. He willingly went and afterward they found Indian Jim dead. They arrested the Indians and found them guilty, but they were afraid to hang them. There wasn't enough white men around here at that time to defend themselves against the Indians if they should attack them, mob them.

I remarked that Indian Jim is buried in the Glenn cemetery, but that no one knows the exact spot, to which he says, "If old Mrs. Glenn was alive she would know. She knowed everybody's grave.

Do you know of Rev. Britch and his death? The night before, he staid either with my Uncle Stephen Marshall's or at Glenn's. The water was high and he was throwed off the horse. They found him on the side hill, leaning against a tree, dead. Rock Island County got his money, and it also put up the stone at his grave. I think the County got $3,000.00 and they had a legal quarrel with Henry County over the money. The place he died was two miles south and a little east of Coal Valley. For a long time they called the creek Britche's Branch, but afterward they called it Coal Valley creek.

Mrs. Austin Marshall is an old Rock Island County resident also. She said, I was born and raised opposite the Catholic cemetery on top of the hill at East Moline. My father was Uncle Billy Evans. He was from Baltimore, Md. My father was on the jury that convicted the murderers of Col. George Davenport, and he was one of the guards at the hanging. Yes, it was a great day, the hanging. Then the rope broke; there was a stampede. There was a woman ö she weighed bout 300 lb. and she fell and was hurt. Another woman was run over by a buggy in the same stampede and was hurt.

Mr. Brasher built a little log house for father right where the gate is for Chippianock cemetery. This was right after the Black Hawk War. One time there was a big Indian scare. A man came on horseback and told them the Indians were coming. Father was milking and they took the two buckets of milk, some meat, an ax and gun and rushed for Fort Armstrong. Father kept the ax and gun beside his bed. The two sons also kept each a gun beside their bed. These were Indians that lived up Rock River. They were mad that Black Hawk had been licked and were ugly to the whites.

by Hauberg, John
Memories of Marshall, Huntoon, Davenport, Indian Jim, Britch
Feb. 14, 1941

Submitted by Mary Lou Schaecht


Rock Island County, Illinois
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