GRANT TOWNSHIP – BRICK 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
The following has been transcribed by Vernon B. Paddock from the “Brick School District 39″ credited by : Edwin Bauer. The document “1918 School Histories – Grant Township – Brick 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 – Grant Township – Brick School”: http://www.idaillinois.org/digital/collection/lakecoun001/id/2876/rec/29
The first home in the town of Grant was built by Harley Clark in the summer of 1839. The town was first called “Goodale” in honor of Deveraux Goodale, one of the early settlers. The Indians had been removed from Lake County in 1835.
In 1860, there were no settlers in the town of Grant, in 1870 there were 572.
June 30th, 1884, there were, in the town of Grant, 207 school children, 4 school districts and 4 schoolhouses.
Emory Tower was a native of New York State. At the age of thirteen he was apprenticed to a wagon maker which trade he followed for a number of years. In 1824, he united in marriage with Sally Jones. To this union eight children were born – four lived and four died.
Upon the death of his wife, Mr. Tower married Persis Buckle. To this union two children were born – William W. who enlisted in Company B. Ninety Sixth Illinois Infantry and died from a wound received at Atlanta, and Emory Jr. of this sketch.
In 1846, the Tower family came west by way of the Great Lakes. They landed at Little Fort (now Waukegan). They came by wagon to section twenty seven, Grant, where they took one hundred twenty acres of government land. The only buildings on there were a log shanty and a log stable.
A good log cabin was built, and Mr. Tower tilled his land and made his home there until 1866. Mrs. Tower died October 7, 1890. Mr. Tower was an active member of the Methodist Church. In Politics he was a Whig and later a Free Soiler. Upon the establishment of the Republican party, he again changed his platform. In social relations he was a Master Mason.
Young Emory was given a fair English education. At the age of twenty he enlisted in February, 1865, in Company 1, 147th Illinois Infantry.
This division was organized at Camp Fry near Chicago. They were then sent to Dalton, Georgia, and from there to Albany in the same state. Later they were sent to Savannah. On January 20th, 1866, they were mustered out of service.
Mr. Tower returned to his home where he had one hundred forty six acres of land. In 1868 he married Fannie Allanson of Yorkshire England. Her father was born near Leeds Yorkshire. When about twenty one years of age he married Miss Clareton. The Allansons came to America to better their finances. They embarked at Liverpool, and after a stormy voyage of nine weeks, they reached New Orleans. They came by boat up the Mississippi to St. Louis, where the father and one son died and were buried.
The family then came to Lake County by the way of Chicago. Mrs. Allanson died April 18th, 1884, and was buried in the Grant cemetery.
Mr. Tower was Justice of Peace for four years, and Director of Schools for nine years. His first vote was cast for Grant. In politics he was a radical Republican.
Mr. and Mrs. Felix O’Boyle were among the first pioneers to settle in Western Lake County. They lived on a farm near Belfast, Ireland. They had six children. About the year 1840, they disposed of their property and set sail for America. After a six weeks voyage in a sailing vessel, they reached New York. Several storms and bad weather had caused the ship’s delay.
They came at once by rail to Chicago, and from there by way of the Des Plaines river as far as possible, then by wagon to the present site of Ingleside where they purchased a farm of three hundred acres. The first house was a log cabin. The walls were whitewashed and heat was obtained from a stove. There was no fireplace in the dwelling. There was a loft which served as a sleeping room for the children. It was reached by means of a ladder. Often in the winter, they would awaken in the morning to find their bed covered with snow which had sifted through the cracks in the walls. There were no lamps, and when candles could not be obtained, light was secured by means of oil poured into a dish, into which a twisted string was laid. The string when saturated with, was lighted, giving quite a satisfactory light.
Mrs. O’Boyle did not have a spinning wheel, but she borrowed one from her neighbor, Mrs. Devlin.
A yoke of oxen served as horses. These had been purchased on the way out from Chicago. A short time later a few cows were purchased from a cattle dealer. These cows were driven to a pasture near Fox Lake over a mile away. The only farming implements were a crude plow and an old fashioned wooden drag. Hay was cut with scythes and raked by hand.
After a few years the family moved to another log cabin, which had been built by someone else but was now vacant. They lived here for several years. By the time there was a store and a few houses at Ingleside. Mr. O’Boyle purchased lumber and building materials and found enough carpenters there to build him a modern house. This house is still standing and is now occupied. A new barn had been built a little before this and it is also standing.
During the summer and winter months the children attended school, but as it was some distance away from their home they did not attend very regularly. Practically the only studies taught were reading, writing, and arithmetic. It was often necessary to stay at home to herd sheep.
In the spring, when the snow melted, and the heavy rains came, there was so much water that it was necessary to stay at home or to use boats to travel. It was possible to go by boat, over fences and bridges, to Ingleside, which was some distance away.
Gradually neighbors began to move near. Among them were the family of Dan O’Boyle, a brother of Felix’s, the Tweed family, and the Devlin’s .
Mr. and Mrs. O’Boyle lived on the farm until the time of their death. Mr. O’Boyle died in 1900. Mrs. O’Boyle died in 1912. Of their children, Catherine, Sarah, and Mary are married, living near Ingleside. Martha is also married and is living near Lake Villa. The son, Charles, died in 1911.
About the year 1845, two years after his brother Felix came to America, Dan O’Boyle and family left their home in Ireland and came to America. Very little is known of the journey, but it is known that the family came in a sailing vessel, which landed at New York.
The family then came to Chicago by rail, thence by wagon to the home of Felix O’Boyle. The family made their home with the family of Felix until a log cabin was built from them. For many years they lived in this cabin. It was more comfortable then that of the other family having a fireplace. A log barn was built, in which a few head of cattle and oxen were kept, also a small herd of sheep. There were six children in this family, three boys and three girls. They took turns at watching the sheep. In the summer and winter months they attended school but not very regularly.
This family lived within easy walking distance of the Felix O’Boyle family, which was very convenient in the busy harvest season. The work was nearly all done by hand, the only farm implements being a plow and a wooden drag. The hay was cut with a scythe, also the grain. The grain was then raked into piles and bound by hand.
After many years a frame house and barn were built, which a (sic) still standing. The family have all died except one son, Felix, who now resides at Fox Lake. The father of the family, Dan O’Boyle, died about fifty years ago.
John L. Tweed
John Lynn Tweed came to America from Ireland in the year 1841. He was not married at the time. Patrick Devlin, who had been a friend of his, in Ireland, had preceeded (sic) to America. For many years Mr. Tweed hired out as a farm laborer. He frequently worked for his friends, Dan and Felix O’Boyle.
Mr. Devlin was not married when he left Ireland, but was married soon after he reached America. He built a log cabin a few miles from Ingleside. The family lived in this cabin until the children were grown up, but the parents lived there all their lives.
After working as a farm hand for many years, John Tweed was married. He had laid aside money to build a modern frame house. There were six children in this family. Five are still living. They are, Eliza, Margaret, Martha, Mary and Sarah.
The families of Dan and Felix O’Boyle, John Tweed and Patrick Devlin had been close friends in Ireland, and being near neighbors here, they had much in common. Patrick Devlin served as a soldier in the Black Hawk War.
William Curtis Howard.
William C. Howard was born at Victor, New York in 1817. His grandfather served in the Revolution. His father was pressed into service in Canada. He would not fight against the American so he deserted. He made his way in front of the battery at Ogdensburg across the ice. He was discovered and the battery guns were turned upon him and his companion, Ben Seigles, who was shot. The Americans sent an escort to meet him and he was saved. From that time he served in the American Army.
He married Susan Isabel and to them three children were born, William, Orlando and Emmeline.
At the age of twenty one William married Hannah Roberts. In 1843 his corn crop failed, and he decided to come west. The family came to Cleveland and from there by boat to Chicago. After a stormy voyage of three weeks, the storm blew them into Mackinaw. They landed at Chicago on July 1, 1844. Mr. Howard came on foot to Fort Hill, which he reached after two days.
Here he found game very plentiful, and being fond of hunting, he found game enough to shoot as much as he wished. From Fort Hill he walked several miles farther west, where he took eighty acres of government land and built himself a log cabin. His wife and four children followed him. Mrs. Howard died in 1863. Mr. Howard several years later.
Honorable George Wait
George Wait was born at Cuyahoga County, Ohio in 1840. He was the son of Ethan and Amanda Wait. His father died when George was quite small. The mother and seven children came to Illinois in 1849 when George was nine years old. They came by boat, up the Great Lakes, and landed at Kenosha. Then they came overland into Illinois, where Mrs. Wait purchased a farm.
The educational advantages of George were poor, and he desired to get an education. He saved his earnings and took a course of instruction at Waukegan Academy. He then stayed at home until the Civil War broke out.
On August 9th, 1862, he enlisted in Company B, 96th Illinois Infantry. The regiment was mustered at Rockford, and was then sent to Covington and Lexington Kentucky, then up the Cumberland river to Nashville. Mr. Wait was first a Corporal then First Sergeant, and later Second Lieutenant.
After the war he returned home and married Kate Hart. They had no children of their own, and adopted Walker Townsend. Mr. Wait cast his first vote for Seymour, later he voted for Greeley, Tilden, Hancock and Cleveland. In 1866 he was elected on the Democratic ticket to the thirty fifth general assembly of Illinois.
Robert Stanley now resides on Nippersink Point in the town of Grant. He keeps summer boarders. He was born at Oneida County, New York, in May, 1834. After two years his folks came by water to Chicago, then overland to the town of Goodale, now Grant.
He went to school in Chicago for a time, but spent most of his childhood on his father’s farm. On August 7th, 1862 he enlisted in Company D, of the 96th Illinois Infantry. He fought in seventeen regular battles, and was honorably discharged at Nashville, Tennessee.
He was not injured but was ill for seven weeks in the base hospital at Harrisburg. He married Mary Rix in Lake County on December 31, 1854.
For fifteen years he was a carpenter. Socially he was an Odd Fellow in politics – in politics he was a radical Republican.
When only seven years old he fired his first shot. He can remember seeing seventy-five deer cross the ice on Fox Lake.
Robert Curry was born in Ireland. He married there, and with his family came to America in the year 1840. They landed at New York and then came west to Illinois by way of the Great Lakes, to Little Fort. The rest of their journey was made by wagon.
The farm which Mr. Curry cultivated contained about forty acres, and is now a part of the farm owned by Mrs. Mabel Benwell. Most of the land was wooded or slough so that much work was necessary before it was in good condition.
The family lived in a log cabin. The cracks between the logs were filled with sand and lime made into a plaster. Shingles were obtained for the roof.
During the first few years grain was raised to provide food for the family. Game was also quite plentiful, especially quail and wild pigeons. A small herd of dairy cows also helped the food supply.
After many years, Mr. Curry sold his farm to Alfred Benwell, the exact year is little known. Mr. Curry moved to Elgin, where after a few years he died.
Other pioneers, of whom little is known, are Robert Hook, a native of England, who came to America about the year 1842; James Percel, a native of Ireland, who came to America in the 1840’s also; and Frank Dailey, also a native of Ireland who live near Long Lake.
The Wisconsin Central railroad was started in 1853 and completed in 1873. The railroad was a great boon to the farmers for they could now ship the products to Chicago, saving the long tedious drive which they had formerly made about twice a year. About five or six years ago the name of the railroad was changed to the “Soo Line”.
The Chicago Milwaukee and St. Paul railroad was completed in 1899. Stations were put at Grays Lake, Round Lake, Ingleside, and Fox Lake. Hainesville tried very hard to have one of the stations but Grays Lake and Round Lake succeeded in getting them. This new railroad was another great boon to the farmers in the western part of the county, because they did not even have to haul their products as farmers had been doing to Gray’s Lake to the Wisconsin Central Line.
Early Experiences With Indians
The Indians had been removed from Lake County in 1835, so there were very few people who had any personal experiences with them. Traces of them have been found however on several farms in the western part of the town. Near Nippersink and Fox Lake the Indians had a trail, and often made their camps. This part of the country was very favorable to the Indians, owing to the hilly and woody nature of the land.
Indian arrow head have been found to quite a great extent around Fox Lake. Some of these arrow heads are quite large, others are much smaller.
One of the Indian trails led through the county to the western part, then north thru Kenosha to Milwaukee.
Organization of the School District
In the early years of the 1870’s, a movement was started among the settlers around the present Brick School district, toward the organization of a school district. Practically all concerned were in favor of the plan, and when a meeting was held and the matter voted upon there were but few votes in opposition.
Among those who resisted in managing the affairs were Emory Tower and George Wait. It was voted upon and decided that the building should be of brick, and it was erected where it now stands, the building in use at the present time, being the original one.
The walls were tinted blue, the wainscoting a light green. A low bench was built around the room on the sides. The desks were of oak and of the old fashioned double type. Two of the benches are still in use as recitation benches.
The first stove was a wood burning stove, it was placed directly in the middle of the room. After a few years this was replaced by a coal stove which was in use until 1910. At this time it was practically worn out in every respect, it was replaced by a coal heater which is now in use.
The teacher’s desk was a plain wooden table, the teacher’s chair an old fashioned arm chair. During the year 1912-13 a new oak chair and desk were purchased.
Some of the early teachers were Jeanette Nobles, John Nobles, Belle Curry and C. J. Heydecker. The salary at first was eighteen and twenty dollars a month. Later, for a few years, school was held in the summer and winter months. At this time the salary was twenty dollars a month in the summer and twenty five in the winter. From that time the salary was raised to thirty dollars a month in the year 1907-08. During the following year 1908-09, Ruby Cleveland taught the school for thirty-two dollars and fifty cents a month.
In the year 1906, a set of forty books of the “Illinois District School Library” published by A. O. Moore, was purchased. These books deal with various topics, history, architecture, literature, cattle raising and many others. Since that time very few books have been added to the library, the total number being seventy.
Some of the early pupils of the school are, Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Wait, Mr. Sumner Bauer, Levi Wait, Charles Wait, Dell Townsend, Earl Townsend, Jussie Townsend, Amanda Wait Taggart and Adeline Wait Neish.
The schoolhouse has never been used as a social center to any great extent. During the past year several meetings of the Red Cross and Woman’s National Council of Defense have been held at the school. During the summer of 1917 a canning demonstration was held at the school, conducted by Mrs. Fred L. Hatch.
Its purpose was to teach the women of the community the use of the cold pack method of canning both fruits and (sic). The demonstration was a success in that the community saved a great deal of food by using all vegetables.
The Grant cemetery was purchased by the town of Grant from the farm of Charles Townsend. Burials were made in it as early as 1845. Some of the earliest burials and the date of their death are:
Willis Hamilton, died November 10 – 1855
Dorothy “ , “ September 5 – 1859
T. D. Townsend, “ January 23 – 1845
Caroline Shepherd, “ January 1 – 1855
Catherine Hoffman, “ June 9 – 1862
Janet Baron, “ March 7 – 1883
Wm Dalziel, “ 1859
Samuel Wood, “ July 1 – 1867
Cordelia Wood, “ February 2 – 1862
B. W. Porter, “ March 24 – 1875
Rhoda Ford, “ May 11 – 1857
Joseph Fisher, “ December 1 – 1872
Lucy Baldwin, “ “ 3 – 1886
Horace Fisher, “ April 3 – 1890
Frank Willey, “ November 26 – 1889
Lucinda Smith, “ December 8 – 1855
Alice Brown, “ 1856
Sarah Brown, “ May 30,-1877
Sarah Clark, “ March 12 -1849
Harriet Snook, “ January 5,-1856
John Compton, “ November 29,-1852
Howard White, “ October 30,-1862
J. D. Tower, “ October, 20,-1866
Persis Tower, “ October 7 – 1890
Patty King March 26 – 1856
Samuel King January 7 – 1870
Civil War –
Emory Tower Jr. Company 1, 147th Ill. Inf.
George Wait Company B 96th “ “
Robert Stanley Company D 96th “ “
Revolutionary War –
William C. Howard Sr.
Black Hawk War –
Edwin Bauer 76