AVON TOWNSHIP – EAST FOX LAKE SCHOOL

“Seventh and eighth grade students throughout Lake County compiled the 1918 School History notebooks in celebration of the Illinois Centennial. The histories feature photographs and accounts from students and teachers at one-room schoolhouses. In addition, information on the settlement history of the area is often included, along with photos of early families, businesses and residences.” – Bess Bowers Dunn Museum of Lake County

Cover Page of “East Fox Lake School”

The following has been transcribed by Vernon B. Paddock from the “East Fox Lake School” and is credited by: Erwin Barnstable, Tom Jarvis and Margaret Jarvis. The document “1918 School Histories – Avon Township – East Fox Lake School” is provided by the Bess Bower Dunn Museum of Lake County (formerly the Lake County Discovery Museum) through the “Illinois Digital Archives” website of the Illinois State Library.

Illinois Digital Archives website for “1918 School Histories – Avon Township – East Fox Lake School”: http://www.idaillinois.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/lakecoun001/id/616/rec/2

Community History.
East Fox Lake School – 1918 – April

Monaville is located in Avon Township and in district forty. It was organized in the year 1846. At first it was called Barnes Corner. Most of the first settlers came from a town called Mona on the Isle of Mann and when Mr. Nelson suggested at the meeting which was held in the Tavern at Hainesville, that they call their new town after their old home most of the folks approved. Some laughed and nicknamed it Monkey Town. Never the less the name is still Monaville.

All the town meetings were held in Hainesville which is four or five miles south of Monaville. No one has been to tell us of any trials or officers.

Nathum White was Moderator, Leonard Gage, Clerk, John Gage, Supervisor, Orville Slusser, town clerk, James Kapple, overseer of the poor, Caleb Arnold, Leonard Gage, Robert Carroll, Commissioners of Highways, Levi Marble, Just of Peace, W. B. Dodge Justice of Peace; John Salisbury, Collector, John Salisbury and Robert D. Gordon, Constable’s, Freeman Bridge, Assessor. There were one hundred twenty eight votes cast at the election.

The first settlers who were, Marvin Gilbert who came in 1846, Samuel Gilbert, Thomas Palmer, Robert Hook in 1845, David Nelson, James Caine, John R. Galiger and Mr. Hamilton, 1841, Huckers, came across from the East in covered wagons drawn by oxen. (They) most all came from England, originally. The (sic) followed Indian Trails and rivers and sometimes blazed their own trail.

Mr. T. Palmer and Marvin Gilbert lived in a log house on the road which extends north and south, just east of Monaville, where James Barnstable’s farm buildings now stand. Samuel Gilbert and the others who had come to this country with him staid (sic) in this log house until they had their own land picked or “staked out” and their log houses built.

Mr. John Hook came here in 1822 and took up a Government claim it was all Government land, and after he had built his home he went back to England (in (1843) for his wife. His home stood just in back of Caines. The logs, of which the house was made, were the trees which had to be cut down to make a clearing for the crops and buildings. The crevices in between the logs were filled in with mud and plaster. In the picture we saw of the house, or cabin, the corn is planted up to with in a few yards of the house. The weeds and grass are merely trappled (sic) down.

The (sic) was one entrance to the house, there were double doors. The windows were just holes in the side of the house into which a wooden window could be placed whenever desired. In 1850 Mr. Hook had a brick house built on the road which extends east and west from Monaville. The house is just east of the present school house. Just a few years ago the bricks began to crumble and to save the house they cemented over the bricks. The bricks were made in a brick yard which stood on the land belonging to Mr. Sherwood in Lake Villa.

Mr. Smith Gilbert built a frame house out of oak which were fixed at the Chittendon’s saw mill. The part of the house is still standing. Some say it is the first frame house in the community.

John Galiger had a long house just about where the present Galiger house now stands. He came in 1846.

Mr. Hawkins lived in a log house on the land now owned by Mr. Deering. Edwin Richards lived in one of the oldest log cabins.

Just west of the barn on the farm which Mr. Gib Polten rented was a log cabin Hucker’s lived.

David Nelson built a log cabin just back in the field off from the road in 1840. The land now belonges (sic) to Mr. Herbert Nelson, David Nelson’s son.

Their (sic) were two log cabins on Mr.Caines farm.

Up on the top of the highest hill on Mr. Ern Hook’s farm there was a log cabin in which people by the name of Drinkwine lived.

Mr. Avery lived in a log cabin just south of the farm owned by Culvers. Near the road on the top of a little hill there was a log cabin which was called “Hungry Hill” because one of visitors always was hungry when he came to the cabin. People named Hooks lived there.

Where the home of Mr. Walter Atwell now stands there was a log cabin where people by the name of Loyd lived.

When Mr. Hamilton came here in 1841, the roads were all laid out but they were not in very good condition. The country was very swampy and the roads turned and twisted to avoid the swamps so much as possible. The roads were made over the old Indian Trails in most cases. South of the road (east and west) which extends to Monaville in Mr. Mort Kapple’s woods, there is the remains of an old bridge. No one ever remembers any road which went thro those woods.

In 1862 Mr. Hook went to Chicago and there were only a very few bridges along the way. The Stage Coach and wagon which brought mail, passengers and freight from Waukegan followed the Grays Lake Road. The bridge, although not strong were passable. There was a stage road from Waukegan to McHenry.

Mr. Ela brought mail from Waukegan to Monaville in 1862 by stage. Mr. Frank Hooper ran a bus from Waukegan to Monaville and carried mail, freight, and passengers. The nearest railroad center for a long time was at Salem, Wisconsin.

There were toll gates at Gages Corners and Hainesville. Miss Cooper kept a tavern at Hainesville.

Many years ago, before this county was thickly settled, the Fox Lake Post Office was the post office for all the country between Antioch and Hainesville.

William H. Hall had charge of the post office on April 9, 1850.

Then Miles L. Galiger had in (sic) on July 1st, 1862. Later, in 1867, Mr. Knowles took charge of it. In 1882 Mr. Alexander Tweed had (sic) was postmaster. The post master received three cents for every money order which was sent from his office. When Round Lake and Lake Villa sprung up and had railway service the post office was taken from Monaville and now it has the Rural Delivery with Lake Villa as its post office.

Church meetings were held in the school house and Mr. Thomas Palmer was the Baptist minister.

The Cemetery has always been where it is at present located in back of the school house. It is called the East Fox Lake Cemetery.

Because of the Fox Lake Post Office, which was the only one around, Monaville was an important trade center.

Several men, or companies, surveyed the land for a railroad but none was ever built. Mr. Rothschild surveyed the farm now belonging to Mr. Sidney Barnstable but nothing ever more was heard of the proposed railway. The corners just west of the school house were called Barne’s Corners, after the storekeeper. Later it was called Tweed’s Corners after the storekeeper where Barnes used to have a store. Mr. Levi Tweed now lives in the house.

Mr. Chris Knowles and Mr. Hogely once had a saloon near where Mr. Sorenson now lives.

Ira Richmond was another store keeper. Mr. Francis Knowles had a store where Mr. Sorenson now lives. Mr. Nelson was the first blacksmith. Mr. Nelis and Mr. Morten were blacksmiths also. There is a black smith shop which Mr. Tom Wilson now takes care it stands just about where the other blacksmith used to stand.

Mr. William Moore had a repair shop near Mr. Bert Galiger home. George Skinner had a cheese and butter factory where the Fox Lake Bottling building now stands.

Then Mr. Robert Gauglin had a feed mill where the cheese factory was and later Mr. Arthur Curwin had a butter factory just before the Bottling Company built there.

Mr. A. Tweed and his partner had two large vats down in the basement of their store in which they kept eggs in a preparation to keep them from spoiling.

There is a saw mill in Mr. Mort Kapple’s woods and Mr. Kapple made it himself. There is another mill at Spring Grove.

Mr. Chester Hamilton kept a brick yard at Good Ale.

The Blacksmith shop stands just north of Mr. Nelson’s house and across the road from Mr. Sorenson’s. The brick yard from which Mr. Ern Hook got his bricks for his home was on the land owned by Mr. Sherwood in Lake Villa.

Mrs. Ern Hook told us the that quail were very plentiful about forty years ago. In the morning when her mother-in-law went out to gather eggs the deer would dart out of the thickets in all directions. The land was covered with trees and little by little the settlers would cut down trees and plow up the land. Oxen were used to plow up the land. They were fixed together by large wooden yokes which were sometimes home made. Horses were a luxury.

One day when Mrs. Hook was gathering eggs she heard a strange noise and looking down she saw a large rattle snake coiled up ready to strike. She dropped the eggs and ran. When she came back the snake was gone and so were the eggs.

The laws concerning game were not very strict and when meat was scarce the men merely took their guns and shot the game which was all around them. There were many many pigeons around and there were sometimes as many as eighty eight deer in one drove. Mr. Hamilton shot 17 pigeons at one shot.

In the winters the Indians often came around with their traps to catch the wild animals. The large number of Lakes in which many good fish were found was another attraction.

In 1862 Mr. Hook took a load of pork to Old England.

The first school house was in the field, just south of Mr. Sorenson’s home, which Mr. Rehm uses as a pasture. The first school house was made of logs and had roughly made boards for the desks and planks were used for seats. A stove (old fashioned) with an opening large enough for cord wood. The books which were used are a Reader, A Geography, a Speller, a Grammar and a grammar book. Then men selected as directors decided on the building wanted, took the logs to mill and helped to build the school house.

In those days teachers were paid $1.50 in cash and boarded around at the homes of the people living in the school district.

Samuel Avery taught the Monaville school in 1841. Mr. Young taught just before or just after Mr. Avery taught school.

Mr. John Hook and Miles Galiger were the earliest pupils.

Mr. Gilbert, Mr. Caine, and Mr. Ern Hook were school directors when the present school house was built. Most people called it Gilbert’s School.

A list of teachers who have taught in the present school house are: Tim Palmer, Horace Culver, Erasho Nelson, Aborn Gilbert, Johnny Hafmon, John Noble, Squire Mason, Maki French, Blona Doolittle, Alice Moore, Isa Buckas, McCarney Belfer, Jane Delzell, Ida Skinner, Mary Kerr, Betsey Rose, Martha Hall, John Lane, Henry Sabin, Anna McCody, Maud Moore, Aggie Chard, Delia Gagin, Johanan Frisby, Lena Walch, Ora Gilbert, Sadie Zitt, Alice Cunningham, Martha James, Gelma Bretsnyder, Frank Sherwood, Adeline Miller, Hattie Miller, Laura Gilbert, Emily Felton, Jesse Seery, Mabel Mussie. (The’ (sic) used to used) as a Sunday school and church. A singing class also met here. The East Fox Lake Cemetery Society have often met here.

There must have been an Indian Tribe living here many years ago, probably the Pottowattamies (sic), because Indian relics of all kinds have been found here.

When the first settlers came here there were no Indians living here, but there were many different tribes who came here during the cold weather and trapped the wild animals. They often came around begging for food and clothing. One day while school was in session the door opened and in walked a large Indian. The children didn’t lose much time in getting down underneath the seats. The Indian visitor explained that he was looking for a friend who lived in the neighborhood. The children and teacher were glad when the Indian finally departed.

Over at Fox Lake there is an Indian Mound. From which skeletons, and all kinds of Indian implements have been taken. Most of the tribes stayed on the island in Fox Lake. The Indians were free to use the entire country as hunting ground.

There are no railroads going directly thro Monaville. The nearest railway stations are Round Lake and Lake Villa. Several companies have surveyed the land for railroads but none have ever been built.

We have been unable to get a list of men who served in the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Indian Wars, or Mexican War. In the Civil War there were Thomas Kinrad, John Garrett, Thomas and John Farrier, John Wesley and brother, Martin Blunt, Corydon Maltby, Hermann Hall, Robert and Eralsman Stanley, Charles Hall, Joseph Marsh, John Gillis, George and Edward Rix, William Gallagher, Highland Gilbert, Charles Peppard, Charles Hawkins. Most of these men served in the 96th Illinois Infantry.

Thomas Corkill, Mrs. Miles Gallagher’s brother served in the 15th Illinois Infantry. He was wounded in the Battle of Pittsburgh Landing and sent home on furlough. While home he drilled the school children for an entertainment they were going to give.

Mr. Gene Wilmington served in the Spanish American War.

In the present war, Oscar Sorenson is serving in the Army at Camp Grant, Rockford. He is a private in Company D. 342 Infantry. Another boy is expecting to go this month.

On August 4, 1862, a lady was annoyed by the mewing (sic) of her cat and took it down into the cellar. Just as she reached the last stair a cyclone came along and carried away her home.

Mr. J. Stratton’s barn, which was just built burned down and considerable stock and all the hay and grain was lost.

Mr. and Mrs. Leo Barnstable’s house is the newest in the neighborhood. It is a small bungalow. There are no new barns although the old ones are greatly improved by Delco or Electric Lights.

Emma Snyder,
          Teacher.

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