Genealogy and History
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Battle of Kellogg's Grove
Today is the 117th anniversary of the Battle of Kellogg's Grove in Kent township where Chief Blak Hawk's forces were decisively defeated by Col. John Dement's soldiers from Dixon. According to early history of Stephenson county, Black Hawk or Mucata Muhicatah (Indian Spelling) was the Sac chief and had hatred in his heart for the white settlers. He served under the English in the War of 1812 and received training which was to stand him in good stead in his private war with the whites. All Indian chiefs recognized the treaty of 1804 in which Indian lands on the Rock and Pecatonica rivers were ceded to the United States - except Black Hawk. This treaty coupled with the belief that Indians were unjustly imprisoned at St. Louis, Mo., for murder led Black Hawk to ws backed up by about 700 braves. After numerous skirmishes in Ogle County, the Indian chief led his forces to the Apple River and ELizabeth areas where he started an all-out offensive with 150 of his choicest braves in the attack. Miners held out at Apple River for shooting rapidly with the wives molding the bullets - Black Hawk was defeated.
On June 25, 1832, Black Hawk shifted his attack to the south in Kent township when the Apple River area became "too hot to handle". It was here that Dement's forces were encamped. Dement and his troops were attempting to capture seven Indians who had left the Apple River battle. They had traveled about one mile from their home camp. On the return trip, they were ambushed by a force of about 300 Indians. The commander quickly retreated with his soldiers to log cabins of Kirker and Kellogg which had been built to operate a stagecoach traveling between Oregon and Galena. The inn was located against a hill on what is now the John A. Busch farm, occupied by the Howard Busch family. According to the Busch family a fort stood in their yard where their house now stands, and it was in this fort that the soldiers staved off Black Hawk's attack. Two riders were dispatched in a nearby encampment to recruit reinforcements.
General Alexander Posey rushed to the scene with additional forces, but arrived two hours after Black Hawk had beaten a retreat. In the battle, nine soldiers lost their lives and nine warriors were killed. Black Hawk had fled north to Wisconsin when he heard a large force was moving to intercept him. AN interesting but sad phase of the Kellogg's Grove story is that of a small boy, known only as the "little drummer boy". He begged his widowed mother to accompany the settlers on their journey westward to this area. She of course, did not want him to go but finally agreed. The group traveling west agreed to take him. During the battle, the boy offered to go to the spring for water where Chief Black Hawk was camping. He was killed by the Indians. Older neighbors in the vicinity tell of a later trip made by the boy's mother to visit his grave which is among the 23 at the monument. After the battle, the bodies of men who died in the fight were buried along the trail in marked graves. Gil Aurand, father of Mrs. Ferd Phillips of Pearl City, who died five years ago on April 17, 1944, was one who clearly remembered helping to transfer the bodies from their makeshift graves to their present resting places. A monument commemorating the battle was built 54 years later two miles southeast of Kent. In 1886, rock quarried on the Roland Miller farm was constructed into a monument by James Timms. It was at this site where the old fort stood that the first male child in Stephenson county was born. He was Harvey Timms. He had two brothers, James and Ben, the latter serving as sheriff of Freeport at one time. Stephenson county owns about one-quarter of an acre of ground at the monument which was originally donated by James Timms for the purpose of building the memorial. [Contributed by Karen Fyock - Undated scrapbook clipping]
Trials and Experiences
The trials and experiences in pioneer days by Stephenson county settlers in the vicinity of Kellogg’s Grove, where the whites and Indians engaged in battles more than a hundred years ago were recalled in a paper read at the Fourth of July celebration held at Black Hawk monument in Kent township by Mrs. Adelaide Timms Deisher, granddaughter of James B. Timms one of the settlers of the region overrun by Indian warriors a century ago. That the world has since manifested an interest in the Black Hawk war as revealed by Mrs. Deisher who quoting Edward L. Burchard, son of the Hon. Horatio C. Burchard Freeport, pioneer and one time director of the United States mint, said that books on the Black Hawk war may be found in libraries of Germany and other foreign lands, indicating a world-wide interest in the struggles between those who sought to construct and those who sought to tear down. Recalling the early days and telling of the battles between the whites and Indians, Mrs. Deisher continued. Independence now and independence forever brings us here today. We feel that urge as Americans and we all feel down in our hearts a streak of interest which is aroused when we hear the word pioneer. We all have a feeling for those who dared and did, for those who were in the skirmish line, who felt the brunt of the battle’s front, that those following might avoid dangerous pitfalls even if it were over their dead bodies. That is what Dement’s men did - his independent volunteers , like the independent farmers of Bunker Hill and Lexington in 1775. These volunteers rushed without orders, pell mell after those Indians riding around on the ridge plain above. “Black Hawk sent his men to draw the whites into his “V” shaped ambush at Pilot Grove on the Elizabeth trail. My father’s private notes describe this ambush and an inspection of the ground where the ambush was laid, shows that my father’s notes were correct.
The trap was sprung by Lieutenant Ewing, who, entering first, was wounded by a shot which should not have been fired, but which was fired by one of Black Hawk’s unrestrained Indians, Black Hawk baited the trap for a body of men marching, in regular-army formation, but he lost that part of the game, and Major Dement won it unknowingly. Major Dement met his panic stricken men half way between Pilot Grove on the old Elizabeth road, and the cabins at Kellogg’s Grove. He had about thirty men, against hundreds of howling savages. That this whirlwind of savage warfare passed with the loss of only five of his company was almost a miracle. The siege at the cabins ended with the escape of two couriers through the cordon of watchful eyes, shots, and flying tomahawks. These two men were the S. O. S. to Posey’s brigade, which was then on the old Sucker trail, near Buffalo Grove, now Polo. Black Hawk’s retreat to the big woods of Lake county followed. Black Hawk knew that he must retire before help came to the whites. A tablet on the campus of the University of Wisconsin at Madison marks at that point the route of Black Hawk to his final battle at Bad Ax. We saw his federal prison at Fortress Monroe, Virginia, where President Jackson sent him for a few weeks. The resting place of the men slain at the battle of Kellogg’s Grove was undisturbed for fifty-four years. Silent guards along the line of their Major Dement’s line of March. It was years before those bleaching bones of the horses shot at the battle of Kellogg’s Grove disappeared.
The poor animals cowered close in the angles of the log structure, the riders plunging safely within the cabins. Black Hawk, thinking to assault the place to create a place for an entrance had to shoot them. My father, then a little boy of three years of age, said he played among the bones, which at one time formed a fence around the house. During the years 1835 to 1838 immigration poured its freight along the trail. The central counties of Illinois sent their surplus crops and stock along the trail in ox-drawn wagons, ironless, tireless, but not noiseless, driven by goads and the gee haw commands, usually stepped where the trial pigeon winged toward Apple River and Galena by way of S_immons Mound. This turn is sometimes called the ‘Kickoff’ where the cabins are located down the slope. These are old-time sayings which are used for that reason. The herds of cattle found a market along the trail and in Galena, coming by way of the Kellogg cabins, where my grandmother entertained the traveling public; and whose drivers frequently stopped while the children at the cabins greatly enjoyed the cup of milk to which they were treated by the herders. On those days, the children playing on the old battle field, picking flowers or playing with the stick-of-wood dolly, heard the sound of those squeaking wagons and ran for their tin cups, took position at the turn and waited. Shouts, dust and creaks, sounded over and over. It was as good as a circus parade to these children. They might get pink lemonade, or something that resembled it. But, on a certain day I am speaking of the calves bawling died down, the uproar calmed, the dust cleared off, and before the children realized it the herd had passed on and the herders did not even hailoo to the house. The children looked aghast at each other and with one voice cried, ‘Oh mother, no milk!’ With sobs of anguish they returned to the cabin. They had no cow, father was gone on a freighting trip to Chicago. Galena was the nearest point to this frontier stopping place, 28 miles away. A cup of sweet milk was to them as much a treat as an ice cream cone is to children today.” [Contributed by Karen Fyock - July 6, 1933 scrapbook clipping ]
Black Hawk Monument in Pearl City
The Blackhawk Monument
On the site of the battle of Kellog’s Grove, stands a monument erected in 1886. A marble slab on the north side of the monument bears the following inscription:
“Black Hawk War. This monument is reared by Stephenson County, A. D., 1886, in grateful remembrance of the heroic dead who died that we might live.”
This monument stands on one of the highest points in Illinois and overlooks the beautiful valley of Yellow Creek. It can be seen for miles and miles in all directions. It is built of yellowish, flinty limestone, taken from the quarry nearby on the farm of Mr. J. B. Timms. The monument was built by Mr. William Ascher and is eight feet square at the base, three feet square at the top and is thirty-four feet high, surmounted by imitation cannon balls.
The credit for this monument is due to Mr. J. B. Timms, who has lived on the site of the battlefield of Kellog’s Grove since 1835. Mr. Timms’ father was a soldier in the Black Hawk War and Mr. Timms, himself, was born in Fort Funk, and as a child witnessed the attack on the fort at Apple River by Black Hawk in 1832. Mr. Timms has always maintained an extreme interest in the stirring events of the war, and it was he who presented the monument proposition to the county commissioners of Stephenson County, 1886.
In March, 1886, Mr. J. B. Timms appeared before the county commissioners of Stephenson County and addressed them on the events of the Black Hawk War, about Kellog’s Grove, urging the commissioners to make an appropriation to build a monument there. The commissioners looked upon the proposition and appointed a special committee to investigate the matter, consisting of H. W. Stocks, H. S. Keck and Isaac Bogenrief, of the board, and Mr. J. B. Tinims. At the April meeting the committee reported and the commissioners voted that a site be secured and the monument built. D. W. Hays, Wm. Dively; Isaac Bogenrief and H. S. Keck, with Mr. Timms, were appointed a committee to draft a plan and secure estimates. At the July meeting, plans were adopted and the committee was instructed to proceed with the work. The contract for the monument complete was let to Mr. Wm. Ascher for $535. A contract for an iron fence was let to Flachtemeier & Bros. for $144. Incidental expenses, exhuming and reburying the remains of the soldiers brought the total costs to the county almost to $1,000. The supervisors who voted the funds were: William Ascher, W. H. Barnds, Isaac Bogenrief, W. H. Bolender, W. I. Brady, J. C. Briggs, Ira Crippen, William Dively, T. J. Foley, D. W. Hays, Jacob Jeager, Joseph Kacheihoffer, Henry S. Keck, G. S. Kieckner, J. T. Lease, James Musser, J. M. Reese, S. F. Rezner, D. F. Thompson, J. W. Stocks and T. B. Young. The monument is the idea of Mr. J. B. Timms, who prosecuted it to its completion. As a boy he had walked over the battlefield and had kept in mind the unmarked burial places of the men who fell in battle. In 1886 he pointed out these places, the bodies were taken up and buried at the foot of the monument. Fifty-four years after the war, the remains of these men who stood between the Indian and the frontier settlements were decently buried and the place was marked by a suitable monument.
On the east side is inscribed on a tablet: "Battlefield of Kellog’s Grove, where was fought, June 25, 1832, the decisive battle between the forces of the United States and the great Indian Chief, Black Hawk."
The tablet on the west side bears the following: "Killed on the field of battle - names as far as known -
Benj. Scott, the drummer boy; William B. Makenson and Benj. McDaniels of St. Clair County;
Wm. Durley, Charles Earnes, Stephen P. Howard and Michael Lovell, of Jo Daviess County;
Felix St. Vram, the Indian agent; Messrs. Hale and Fowler, escort to St. Vram; Wm. Allen,
James P. Band, James Black and Abner Bradford of Jefferson County,
and Wm. Hecklewad of Jo Daviess County.”
The remains of the soldiers who were killed in Captain Stephenson’s battle at Prairie Grove between Lena and McConnell, were taken up and interred with the bodies of the men who fell about Kellog’s Grove. The committee and Mr. J. B. Timms, accompanied by W. H. Crotzer, Geo. Roush, S. J. Dodds, Ed. Shoesmith, A. Jones, Wm. Dively and sons, C. Shippy and Levi Robey, found the bodies of the three men, about eighteen inches underground. One of the skeletons was almost intact. The soles and heels of the shoes were well preserved. Pieces of blankets and blue coats were found. With one skeleton was found a bullet mould, a jack knife, part of a wooden ramrod, about thirty bullets, the handle of a camp knife, several rifle flints, etc. Under another body were found several bullets. One of the men killed here, Charles Eames, was a brother-in-law of James Mitchel, of Freeport. There is a tradition that after the battle, a white man and an Indian were found so tightly clasped in each others arms that they could be separated only by severing the head of the Indian. These men were Charles Eames, Stephen P. Howard, and Michael Lovell.
The bones of the men exhumed at Kellog’s Grove were fairly well preserved. In one grave, a shattered hip and a flattened bullet were found. The bones of fourteen victims of the Black Hawk War, scattered over the county, in some cases a dozen miles apart, were exhumed and reburied at the base of the monument. Although fifty years had passed, some were in a good state of preservation. The lonely grave of Bennie Scott, the drummer boy, was marked by his initials, B. S., cut on trees near his burial place.
The monument was publicly dedicated September 30, 1886. The services were conducted by the William R. Goddard Post, No. 258, G. A. R. of Lena, G. S. Roush commanding.
Two thousand people attended the dedication of the monument, September 30, 1886. At 10:30 A. M. the W. R. Goddard Post and other G. A. R. members present fell into line at command of Commander Roush. The remains of the fourteen men as they lay in a rough box were viewed for the last time. The pallbearers, Messrs. Peter Yeager, A. S. Crotzer, W. W. Lowis, Isaac Bogenrief, Henry Bryman and John Winters lifted the box and, followed by the G. A. R. marched with solemn step, following John Van Sickle, fifer, and F. J. Harris, snare drummer, playing a military dirge. The coffin was lowered into its resting place and three volleys were fired over the open grave by a squad of eight from the Lena G. A. R. Post. The post then formed a half circle on the north side of the monument and after music by the Kent and Ward’s Grove band, the president of the day delivered over the monument in the following brief words: “Commander of William R. Goddard Post, No. 258, G. A. R., Department of Illinois: I have been authorized by the people of Stephenson County, through their legal representatives, to invite your post to dedicate this memorial shaft to the noble purpose for which it had been erected. I present it to you for dedication.” A guard was then placed at the four corners of the monument by Captain Sherry, the flag was raised by the color bearer, Mr. Sisson, the army symbol consisting of a musket and accoutrements were placed against the shaft and the beautiful dedicatory service of the Grand Army of the Republic, appropriately revised for the occasion, was read by Commander Roush, assisted by Mr. Charles Waite, representing the navy, and Captain W. S. Barnes, representing the army, Captain Geo. Sherry and Chaplain John M. Rees. At the close of the prayer, Commander Roush closed the services as follows: “In the name of the Grand Army of the Republic and of the people of Stephenson County, I dedicate this monument to the memory of the brave men and true, who suffered death but not defeat, at the hands of the red men. I dedicate it to the memory of the pioneer soldiers who fell while valiantly serving their country in the Black Hawk War.” The guard of honor with drum, the symbols and the flag was removed; the salute was given and the dedication of the Black Hawk War monument was complete.
At 1:30 after the basket picnic, the people assembled in the grove just across the road, north of the monument. A stand had been erected and seats provided. A stirring air was played by the band and Dr. Naramore, of Lena, called the meeting to order. “America” was rendered by the Yellow Creek Quartette, composed of J. P. Betts, Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Goodrich and Mr. John Seabold, with Mrs. Hart at the organ.
Mr. S. J. Dodds, of Lena, explained that not all of the fourteen bodies were those of soldiers. Two were bodies of drivers; one, Rogers, dying of illness in the cabin and the other, Hallett, being slain in a quarrel by a companion, east of the grove, while St. Vram was an Indian agent of the government.
Mr. J. B. Timms has frequently advocated that the State of Illinois should buy a part, or all, of the site of the battlefield and convert it into a state park. The people of Stephenson County, and especially the young people, may well afford to make the trip to the battlefield and at the foot of the monument, give serious thought to the lives of the men and women of the pioneer days, and especially to the sacrifice of those men who drove back Black Hawk’s British hand with flintlock guns, and gave up their lives on the battlefields, about Kellog’s Grove, now Timms’ Grove.
Mrs. Mantzke told of a former teacher, Mrs. Adelaide Timms Deisher whose home was near the monument. The Timms family she said were instrumental in the campaign to establish a monument to those who died in the Blackhawk Indian War battles is the area. Miss Lucille Gray told how Oliver Kellogg in 1825 first blazed the trail which bore his name, for those going though this county to the lead mines around LaFevre or Galena.
The trail from the south crossed the river at Dixon by ferry, came into Stephenson County near Crane's Grove and turned west over the ridge at the monument site. Miss Mary Dunn, former social studies teacher in Lena, told the story of Bennie Scott, a boy of 24 or 15 who carved his initials on one of the trees to the north of the monument. He had lived near the Dixon ferry and when his father was killed, he came along with the soldiers and was allowed to remain with them. He was one of those killed and buried, their graves marked by the monument. Miss Dunn also spoke of Samuel Dodds of Lena who spoke at the dedication of the monument on June 18, 1932. [Contributed by Karen Fyock - Undated Scrapbook Clipping]
Blackhawk War Monument - Gravedigger Abe
South of US 20 near Kent is a monument located on the site of Kellogg's Grove, an early settlement established in 1827 on a mail route between Peoria and Galena, and now on the National Register of Historic Places. It honors those killed in the Blackhawk War, including the final Illinois battle which occurred at this grove in June, 1832.
Abraham Lincoln, a member of the Illinois militia, helped to bury five of the slain men. The remaining soldiers were originally buried throughout the area at the spots where they fell. Fifty years after the war, local farmers collected the remains and buried them in one enclosure on top of this hill overlooking the Yellow Creek Valley. The 34 foot high monument was dedicated in 1886, and the area now includes a shelter, play area and log cabin. [John Holmes, 10/28/2006; Contributed by Virginia Gorton Bonne]
William Ascher was at one time very well known in Freeport. On 4 Aug 1886 he won the bid to build the Black Hawk Monument at Kent. [Built of Stephenson Co. rock, the 30' monument would cost $330 plus foundation, and was completed by 30 Sep.] He was a benevolent man and because he remembered needy children at Christmas he was known to some as Santa Claus Ascher. William was especially remembered for creating the subdivision called Ascherville, which he accomplished by moving about 50 houses, some built as early as 1836. The houses were originally located on the east side of Freeport, and may have stood in the way of progress. Thus, they had to be moved across the Lancaster Freeport Bridge onto some land William owned (which is now across from the present Sewage Treatment Plant). The moving of the houses was recalled in Letters to the Editor of the Freeport Jl Std, Wed. 10 Apr 1957: How did Mr. Ascher get the houses across the river?...the oldsters used to tell how he moved the smaller ones on wagons and drays way out across the dry bridge which spans the Milwaukee Road tracks at the termination of South Adams avenue. Some were cut in two and ferried across the Pecatonica, moved up the bank, set where directed and rejoined. It was a demanding task, and engineering job successfully accomplished. [Contributed by Virginia Gorton Bonne]
First Annual Reunion
The first reunion of the survivors of the Black Hawk War was held at Lena, on the M. E. camp grounds, August 28, 1891, and an association was formed. Mr. J. B. Timms, of Kent, was chairman of the committee on arrangements and presided at the meeting. The following officers were elected: President, Mr. J. B. Timms, Kent; vice president, H. S. Townsend, Warren; secretary, Samuel J. Dodds, Lena; treasurer, Wm. Lawhorn, Lena.
The Lena Star Band furnished the music. Judge Andrew Hinds gave the address of welcome. Dr. Monroe, of Monroe, Wisconsin, made a brief response. In the afternoon, the principal address was delivered by Mr. S. J. Dodds. Other speakers were, Hon. Peter Parkinson, of Fayette, Wisconsin, and Hon. Robert R. Hitt, member of Congress from this district. A photograph was taken of seventeen survivors of Black Hawk’s War.
Mrs. Wm. Lawhorn, who was in Apple River Fort at the time of the Indian attack, gave an interesting account of the event. D. S. Hawley, of Evansville, Wisconsin, sang an Indian song and startled the audience with an Indian war-whoop.
Second Annual Reunion
The second annual meeting of the survivors of the Black Hawk War was held in Lena, June 24, 1892. The day was stormy and the exercises in the afternoon were held in the Opera House. President J. B. Timms called the meeting to order and a welcome address was given by S. J. Dodds. The officers were ejected as follows: President, Henry Dodge Dement, Joliet, Illinois; vice presidents, J. B. Timms, Kent, and H. S. Townsend, Warren, Illinois; secretary, S. J. Dodds, Lena; treasurer, Wm. Lawhorn, Lena. Hon. Henry Dodge Dement, of Joliet, delivered eloquently the annual address on the battle of Kellog’s Grove. A stirring address was given by Rev. B. H. Cartright, Oregon, Illinois.
Third Annual Reunion
Black Hawk War Veteran Reunion - July 1893
The survivors of the Black Hawk War held their third annual reunion at Pearl City, Stephenson county. The day's doings commemorated the 61st anniversary of the Battle of Kellogg's Grove, where Col. Dement and his men turned the tide of the conflict to success for the whites.
The attendance was large from all surrounding cities and counties. The number of survivors was larger than ever seen before at such a gathering. The weather was perfect, and the old pioneers enjoyed the day greatly. The old pioneer and statesman, Col. Jones, of Dubuque, who is now in his 89th year, told of the part he took in the Black Hawk conflict, and other survivors made addresses. Among the most interesting was a brief talk by Mrs. William Lawsorn, a little old woman bent with age, who told how she helped mold bullets at the Elizabeth fort. There was an excursion to the battlefield and monument at Kellogg's Grove.
Col. Geo. W. Jones talk was of a reminiscent character. He said: "After the opening of the Black Hawk war, Gen. George W. Jones asked me to be his aid-de-camp. When Galena was reached we found that Col. Stephenson had started out to find the remains of those who had been killed by the Indians, among whom was my brother-in-law, Felix Savery, otherwise known as St. Verium. We followed and overtook Col. Stephenson somewhere in the vicinity of Kellogg's Grove, where we found the remains of my brother-in-law. The Indians had cut off the head of Savery and also both his hands and feet and had cut out his heart.
W.G. Neritt is another of the interesting survivors of the war. He fought all through it, and has attended every reunion. Neritt was born in Kentucky in 1814, came to Illinois in 1719 (transcriber's note: should probably be 1819, not 1719), and enlisted in the service in 1832.
The tombs of those who fell in the war, and whose remains sleep beneath the shadow of the Black Hawk war monument were covered with flowers by members of the Grand Army of the Republic. [July 5, 1893, The Newton Press, Jasper County, IL; sub. by KT]
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