GRANT TOWNSHIP – GAVIN 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 “Grant Township – Gavin School” is credited by : Emily Stanton, Lillian Larkin and Margarette Lane. The document “1918 School Histories – Grant Township – Gavin 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 – Gavin School”: http://www.idaillinois.org/digital/collection/lakecoun001/id/2839/rec/31
In writing these pages, we have selected the material from many sources. In giving the Ill. River, we used the material obtained from Mr. Fred R. Hiatt.
The Co history was taken from two or three histories of the Co as well as from old residents.
The material for the town of Grant was obtained from several differnt (sic) sources. The drawings were made from the object or from photographs.
Location of Illinois River
We have seen in our study of Chicago that the growth and development of that city was closely connected with the Illinois River. This river, the largest in Illinois, flows diagonally across the State, from the northeast to the southwest, for a distance of about five hundred miles. Its principal sourses (sic) are near Lake Michigan, the Des Plaines, which is on the west side of this lake near Chicago and the Kankakee which is near its southern end. These two rivers unite at Joliet to form the Illinois which from that point flows in a generally southwest direction until it empties into the Mississippi River near St. Louis. The position of this river together with its size have made it very important in the settlement and development of the State of Illinois.
Formation of the valley of Illinois River. The river flows through a valley bordered by high bluffs for almost its entire length. This valley seems much too large for a river the size of the Illinois and is in fact a valley which was made long years ago by a much larger river. At one time in the history of the world the waters from Lake Michigan flowed through the valley now occupied by the Chicago River into the Des Plaines and down the valley of the Illinois to the Mississippi and the Gulf of Mexico. It was the water which cut out the great valley which is now bordered by the bluffs and through which the Illinois flows. This was long before the white man knew anything about this country, and probably before the Indians were here, and the only way we know this is that we can find the old channel of this mighty river connecting the valleys of the Des Plaines and Chicago rivers. At some time in the past the water from the lake found an easier way to the ocean by way of the St. Lawrence River. This new outlet was so much lower than the old one that so great an amount of water ran out of the lakes that it became too low to flow out to the Illinois. Then a new river grew in that part of the old valley near the lake and flowed into it instead of out of it. This new river is the Chicago River. The old valley was so low, however, that a great swamp yet existed between the Chicago and Des Plaines rivers and in wet seasons the water flowed from this swamp into both rivers, some of it flowing down the Des Plaines to the Illinois and some of it into the Chicago and to Lake Michigan. It was this swamp in the channel of the old river which made it so easy for the Indians to get from the Des Plaines to the Chicago, with their canoes, and which made the present site of Chicago so important to them.
Long before the white man came to this country the Indians were passing over this low land from the lake to the Des Plaines and trading and fighting with orther (sic) tribes down the Illinois river. When they returned to the lake instead of paddling back up the Des Plaines they went up the Kankakee, which had a less rapid current. They followed this river to a place opposite the site of South Bend, Indiana and then carried their canoes and furs a short distance overland to the St. Joseph River which flows into the lake from the southwest. They would then float down this river to the lake and paddle up its east shore to their destination.
There were many bitter fights between the different Indian tribes for the passage of these two portages (the narrow places between the Chicago and Des Plaines rivers, and Kankakee and St. Joseph. The tribes controlling them were always the most important in the country and had many advantages over the orther (sic) tribes both in war and trade.
Marquett’s visit to the Illinois.
When the French settled in Canada they began to explore westward. They wanted to trade for furs, of which the Indians had great numbers, to convert the natives to Christianity and to claim the new country for their king. In 1673 Marquette passed through what is now Chicago, across the portage from the Des Plaines returning from a journey down the Mississippi River. He had found many Indian villages along the Illinois River and stopped at these places to preach to the natives. Two of these villages were at the places where Utica and Peoria are now.
The Fort at Starved Rock
Marquette found so many furs and skins in the possession of the Indians that the French decided to try to trade with them. The first trader of importance was La Salle. He came to the Illinois Valley by way of the Chicago River and got a great may furs. Later his lieutenant, Tonty, built a fort or post on Starved Rock, a high sand stone bluff, across the river from where Utica now is, and his men traded much with the Indians carrying their furs either to Chicago and thence to eastern Canada from whence they were shipped to Europe.
Reasons for founding of French village of Peoria
A little later the French, founded a village on the site of Peoria. As we have stated the Indians had, had a village there and the same reasons which caused them to like the location caused the French to want it a lot. These reasons were: it was near the river so that they could travel up and down it in their canoes; the land was high enough to be out of danger of floods; it was near a large lake (Lake Peoria) in which there were many fish; the soil in the neighborhood was very fertile; there were many animals to hunt and trap; and when the French came the Indians were near and eager to trade their furs and skins for little trinkets of glass or brass. This village was destroyed by the American army in the War of 1812 because they thought the Frenchman living there were on the side of the English.
Illinois River used as highway by
French between Canada and southern Mississippi
Many French came from France and settled near New Orleans on the lower Mississippi River. This made the Illinois River more important than ever because the French in Canada and those of the Mississippi River had to communicate with each other and the Illinois was the best way. They might also have crossed to the Ohio by some of the numerous rivers in Indiana and Ohio but unfortunately they and the Indians in that country had quarreled and these red-men refused to let them pass through their lands.
The Coming of the English
The English who first settled along the Illinois came from the south. There were several reasons for this: the English had settled along the Atlantic coast and there was a great range of mountains between them and the part of the country where the rivers lies; there were only a few places where these mountains could be crossed easily and all of these places at the north end of the range were held by Indians who refused to let the people through; about the middle of the range, however, there was a place where the people could cross and reach a great river, the Ohio, which flows westward into the Mississippi a short distance south of where the Illinois enters it.
Settle along Illinois River.
The English who first crossed the mountains therefore settled along the Ohio or in the country south of it.
(Kentucky and Tennessee) These early English settlers like the French were trappers and hunters after furs and skins. These men were soon followed by orthers (sic) who wanted to have farms in the fertile country west of the mountains. Since bear, deer and beaver would not live where the land was farmed they went to the wild land farther west and the hunters followed them. Some of these men finally reached the Illinois and settled along its banks and began to hunt, fish, and farm a little.
The hunters settled along the river because there it was easy to carry their furs and skins to a great market in the South, New Orleans in canoes. Also there were forests in the river valleys and not in orther (sic) places because the Illinois flows through a prairie country and these men were used to living in the woods. There were only a few men at first but soon orthers (sic) came and more houses were built. This caused the first men to move to some orther (sic) places where there were fewer people and more game.
Reasons for raising corn.
These newcomers settled along the river and began to farm. They found the soil in the valley very fertile and began at once to grow corn. This was a good crop for them because they could raise a great many bushels per acre and it is good food not only for animals, but for people as well. Also corn will stand in the field until very late in the autumn and not spoil. This meant a great deal to the man who must harvest his crop alone because he could take as long as he needed to gather it. He also had the river to carry it to the good market at the south where there were many people who always needed it.
Advantages of living near the river.
These first farmers settled near the mouth of the river because it was closer to the place they came from. As more people came they went farther up the stream but all of them settled in the valley. Even when they came in wagons drawn by oxen entirely across Illinois from Shawneetown, on the Ohio, or Vincennes, on the Wabash, they came to the river valley to build their homes. They did this because they must have a way to get supplies and to take their produce to market and the river furnished the best way. There were no wagon roads and in the spring the mud was often knee deep on the prairies and their teams could not pull loaded wagons. They also needed timber to build houses and barns and for fuel, and the river valleys were the only places where much of this could be found, also they thought that land which would not raise trees would not raise crops so they would not settle on it. It was more over much easier to secure water near streams than for from them and the bluffs and timber on the banks shut out the cold winds of winter. This last reason was very important to these settlers from the south who were not accustomed to the blizzards which frequently occurred on the prairies and in which men and animals had been known to freeze to death.
Homes of settlers.
These early settlers lived in little rude cabins made of saplings, the cracks chinked with mud and the roofs of clap-boards split by hand The floors were either of puncheons (rude boards split from logs) or of beaten clay and the chimneys of clay and sticks or stones. There was little furniture and that was made of puncheons and logs. They lived on what they killed and raised. Their corn was prepared for bread by being beaten to meal on the squared end of a log. There was very few towns and these were little villages on the river bank where men bartered in furs and skins with Indians and white hunters.
Terraces of Illinois River.
These early settlers did not settle on the flood plains of the valley (that is on the low land next to the water) because it was too low and swampy and at times was covered by floods. These places were very unhealthy as well as dangerous. There were, however, terraces along the river above the flood plains which were very fertile and afforded excellent places to build houses and have farms. If you remember we said that the Illinois Valley was made by a river much larger than the one, at same time in the distant past, but because the water from the lake found a new outlet there was much less water to flow through the valley and the stream became the size it now is. When this new stream was young it cut out a new valley within the old one. The bottom of this new valley is the flood plain, while that part of the bottom of the old valley which is left at the sides of the old valley are now the bluffs.
Why the people raised cattle and Swine
Soon the farmers who settled on these fertile terraces began to raise cattle and swine because it was easier to drive them to market than it was to haul the corn. The swine were left to fatten on acorns in the woods along the river, and the cattle were herded on the prairies. Some of these animals were driven to market but many of them were killed during the winter and the meat salted to ship down the river in the spring. When spring came two or three farmers would load their salt meat, corn and orther (sic) products on a flatboat and float down the Illinois to the Mississippi and then to New Orleans where they would sell the cargo. It was very difficult to bring a flatboat back up the stream so these men generally took money for their goods and boat and walked the long distance home.
The effect on the building of Erie Canal
During all of this time only a few settlers had entered the country from the north but in 1825 conditions changed. In that year the Erie Canal was built from the Hudson River to Lake Erie and the people from New England began to move west in great numbers. Some of them came to Chicago and entered the Illinois Valley from the north and orthers (sic) came across the country from the towns of Lake Erie. These people had, had much experience with mills and water power and they at once began to build sawmills and gristmills at places where there were falls and rapids in the tributaries of the Illinois.
Settlement of the prairies
This greater number of people also crowded some parts of the valley and they began to settle in the edge of the prairie. These first settlers on the prairie built their houses in the woods and had only their fields in the open country. They found the soil here good and many more followed their example, but because they needed wood for fuel, building and fences they all stayed as near the river as possible. It was also very difficult to haul loads on the prairie where there were yet no roads.
Building of roads
As settlers increased in numbers some of them had to build their houses out of the prairies but these men brought little tracts of timber near the streams to supply their needs. As they settle farther and farther from the river it became necessary for them to build roads to it to carry their goods to a place from which they could send them down the stream. In this manner all of the small prairies near the river were settled but the larger ones and those far from rivers were not occupied until the coming of the railroads.
The coming of the Steamboat
There had been steamboats on the Ohio River since 1811, but the first one entered the Illinois in 1828. It came as far up the river as Beardstown about ninety miles above the mouth. After this time Beardstown became an important trade center. Much produce was carried there to be loaded on down river boats and much merchandise was brought there to be distributed among the settlers along the river.
The first steamboat reached the little village of Peoria in 1829. At this time there were no towns on the river above this place so the boats went no further, but their coming was a great help to the settlers, instead of having to take their products all of the way to St. Louis or New Orleans to dispose of them they could now sell them at Peoria or some inner town below that place. Stores were established at these places and the settlers could buy many articles brought up by the steamboats which previously had been unobtainable.
This easy market greatly stimulated settlement and by 1830 many people had settled in the valley of the Sangamon River near where Springfield now is. Many of these people did not come up the Illinois River, but drove across the country to the fertile valley. After they were there, however, they depended on the river to get their produce to market. The Sangamon Valley, because of its fertile soil and good climate, soon became noted for its great crops and corn and is one of the best producing areas in the state at the present time.
Effect of the coming of the steamboat
By 1840 the settlements made by the people from the south and those from the north extended the full length of the Illinois valley and for up most of its tributaries, steamboats had reached LaSalle and there was much commerce on the river but practically all of it went to the cities at the south. Great elevators were built in the towns in which grain was stored to await shipment. Dams were built across the rivers at various places, particularly the smaller tributaries, to make water power for grist mills and sawmills and the people were prosperous. There were settlements on all the small tributaries with many good farms. Steamboats could not reach these because the water was too shallow, but every spring at the time of the flood the farmers along these streams sent their produce down to one of the towns on the great river in flatboats, where they were loaded on to steam-boats and carried to market.
Need of a better way to reach Chicago
Everybody in this region raised their own crops so that most of the grain, cattle and swine must be sold. When the number of farms increased and the amount of produce became very large there were not enough people at the south to use all of it. This meant that a new market was in the large cities on the east coast of the United States. To reach these cities they produce from within a short distance of Chicago had to be taken to New Orleans, loaded on an ocean boat and sent round to the eastern coast, possibly to New York. This was much farther than it was by way of Chicago. The people, therefore, wanted to send their goods to Chicago and from there to these same large cities by way of the Great Leaks and the Erie Canal, but there were no roads. A few men did drive across the country to Chicago taking grain in wagons and brought back lumber and salt which they needed badly. This was, however, a long hard journey and could be made only in the fall when the prairies were dry and hard.
Building of Illinois and Michigan Canal
In 1848 this condition was remedied by the construction of the Illinois and Michigan Canal from Chicago to La Salle on the Illinois River. This was not a very difficult task because when the canal was built, it was dug through the old river valley which leads from Lake Michigan to the river.
Produce marketed at Chicago.
After the canal was built almost all of the produce from the Illinois Valley went to Chicago instead of the south because it was so much nearer to a good market that way then by way of New Orleans, also the farmer could get supplies much cheaper form Chicago than from St. Louis for the same reason.
Chicago was near the great forests of Michigan and Wisconsin and much lumber was shipped by the canal to the people on the prairies. The people in Chicago and the steamboats on the lake needed coal for fuel and there was much of this in the Illinois valley which could be shipped by boat to this market.
Chicago benefited by building of canals
The opening of this canal benefited Chicago as much as it did the people of the Illinois Valley. From a small village on the lake shore it soon grew to be a thriving town with many large elevators and warehouses. Most of the trade of the interior passed through it and its merchants prospered. But on the orther (sic) hand St. Louis and New Orleans lost much of their trade because of the canal. Their merchandise which they had formerly handled was now handled in Chicago and the trade went to enrich the merchants of that place.
La Salle grew also because it was here that goods from Chicago were transferred to the river steamboats from the small canal boats and goods from the interior from the steamboats to the canal.
Construction of the railroads.
A few years after the canal was completed an event occurred in Illinois which was to have a great effect on the importance of the Illinois River. In 1852 the Illinois Central Railway was built through the great prairies of the states. This road was followed by man orthers (sic) and these vast areas were opened for settlement. As we have stated these areas had not been settled because of the lack of transportation facilities. These roads furnished easy transportation to Chicago and orther (sic) cities, and farmers at once settled on the wide, fertile plains. This meant that the river farmers had much competition because the prairies were fertile and the land was ready to be ploughed (sic). Finally railroads were built along the Illinois Valley itself. The valley made an ideal place for their construction and the good farms along it assured the roads a good business.
Effects of railroads on Illinois River
With the coming of the railroad, the importance of the river declined rapidly. This was largely due to the fact that railway trains run much faster and carry much more than river steamboats. Also railroads are built in merely straight lines and reach cities in the shortest possible distance while the river is crooked and goods must be carried much farther on it to reach a market than on a railroad. The great speed with which railways carry produce to market makes it possible to ship fruits and vegetables which would spoil long before reaching market if shipped on slow steamboats. This gave the farmers a market for many crops which they could not sell before and added much to their prosperity.
Present importance of Illinois River
The river is used very little for transportation at the present time, the valley is, however, a very important part of the state. There are many good farms on the bluffs and terraces and much of the land which the early settlers could not use because of swamps, is being drained and farmed. The great swamps along the Kankakee have been drained and are now some of the best land in the state. Along the Illinois many of the lowest bottoms are being surrounded by dykes, (great walls of earth) to keep the water out and good farms established. These lands when drained are among the very best, growing large crops, and selling at high prices.
Many fish are taken from the river and a large number of people obtain at least a part of their living from this industry. The fish are packed in ice and shipped to cities in the vicinity where they are sold while yet fresh. Some of the cities along the river obtain their water supply from it, while orthers (sic) drain their streets and sewers into it.
In many places this great river has cut its channel many feet into beds of rock, limestone, and sandstone. Where these stones are exposed on the sides of the valley they are grained and shipped to the large cities to be used in the erection of buildings. The state penitentiary, at Joliet, and many of the buildings in Chicago are built of these stones.
The Drainage Canal.
The Illinois and Michigan Canal declined in importance along with the river and for the same reasons. Within the last few years an orther (sic) and larger canal has been constructed through the same valley which made the old canal possible. This is the Chicago Drainage Canal and much of the sewage from that city passes through it to the Illinois River.
With the coming of the steamboat many towns were built along the river. Most of these were located on terraces where good steamboat landings could be built and near good farming areas which needed outlets to the river. With few exceptions these towns are yet in existance (sic), railway now taking the place of steamboats. Some of the most important of these were Peoria, De Pu, Hennepin, Henry, Lacon, and Chillicothe.
Why Peoria Grew.
Peoria soon became the most important river town because: (1) its central location; (2) the citizens of Peoria early built roads into the surrounding country; (3) here the first ferry across the Illinois was established; (4) many steamboats did not go any farther up the river; (5) many roads from all parts of the state came here; and (6) there was some trade in fish, ice, and coal with the cities of the south.
Location of Peoria
Peoria is located about half way between Chicago and St. Louis. This meant that all of the towns on the river could be reached more easily from Peoria than from any orther (sic) river towns. This made it and continues to make it an important collecting and distributing center for the entire valley. As a result of this it early had a number of large firms dealing with all of the towns up and down the river.
Building of roads
The people of this town were progressive and early began to build roads into the rich country around it so that the farmers could bring their produce in more easily. This greatly enlarged the territory which was dependent on the town and gave it much more business than those towns which neglected this important work.
The first bridge
To increase their business the people of Peoria established there a ferry across the river to get the trade from the orther (sic) side. Soon this ferry would not carry all of the trade and they built a bridge. This bridge made it easy and safe to cross the river so that men driving cattle or hogs from one side of the river to the orther (sic) would go miles out of their way to take advantage of it. This gave Peoria much business which it ortherwise (sic) would not have had.
Building of state roads.
Its location on the river, the bridge, and its growing business caused many roads to be built to the towns. These roads connected Peoria with many important places and thus added greatly to its business. One of these roads led to Galena, in northwestern Illinois, where there were great lead mines. The men working in the mines needed many supplies and Peoria furnished a good part of them. Another led to Chicago and there was a stage connection between the two places at a very early date.
This importance caused many steamboats to stop there instead of going further up the river, so that boats at that point. This transfer business gave employment for many men. Some fish were caught from the lake above the town, as before stated. Also much ice was cut from this lake, in winter, and shipped to St. Louis during the next summer. Very early, coal was shipped from Peoria to St. Louis and orther (sic) cities along the Mississippi.
From this it may be seen that Peoria was a very important place even before the coming of railways, and the coming of these swift and convenient carries had added much to the importance of the thriving river villages.
It derived it name from a large numbers of lakes within its borders and from the fact that it borders on Lake Michigan. It contains about 460 square inches or 294400 acres.
The land comprising Lake County is a portion of the County acquired by the U.S. Government by treat with the Pottowattomies (sic) and orther (sic) tribes of Indians, at Prairie Du Chine in August 1829. By the terms of that treaty the Indian title became extinguished Feb. 21, 1835 but by stipulation the Indians remained in the County until August 1836 when they were removed to the lands assigned them west of the Missouri River, on what is now the state of Kansas. By act of the legislature of the state of Illinois passed 1836 the Co. of McHenry was erected out of territory taken from Cook and La Salle Counties. In the spring of 1837 McHenry County was organized pursuant to an act of legislature approved March 1, 1837.
The first election of officers was held June 5, 1837 at the house of Hiram Kennicott on the Des Plaines River; 138 votes were polled, and the following officers elected: Sheriff, Henry B. Steel Corner, Michael McMaguire record, Seth Washburn commissioners Mathia Mason Charles H. Bartlett and Soloman Norton.
The increase of population reached a point in the fall of 1838 which suggested the advisability of dividing the territory into two counties. The legislature was petitioned and at its session of 1838-39 passed an act dividing McHenry County and creating there from the County of Lake establishing its boundaries as follows. All that portion of McHenry County east of a range or section line not less than three miles nor more than four, east of the present county seat McHenry village of McHenry County shall constitute a new county, to be called the county of Lake.
The new County of Lake was attached to the Seventh Judicial Circuit. The first election for County officers were held on the first Monday in August 1839. The total number of votes cast was 375 and the following officers: Sheriff, Henry B. Steel; Treasurer, Mathias Mason; Record, A. B. Wyncoop; School Commissioner, Lewis G. Schenck; Surveyor, John A. Mills; Probate Justice of the peace, Arthur Patterson; Coroner, Starr Titus; Commissioner, Charles H. Barlett; Nelson London and Jared Gage. By the act creating the County of Lake, Edward E. Hunter, Wm Brown, and Col. E. C. Berry were appointed commissioners to locate the County seat. They were required to meet at Independence Grove, now Libertyville, on the first Monday in May, 1839, or as soon there after, as might be convenient, and after being duly sworn, to proceed to locate the seat of justice. About the first of June, 1839 Hunter and Brown met at Libertyville and selected that place as the new County seat, and gave it the name of Burlington, that being the fourth name applied to the place. The subject of erecting county buildings was agitated, but it was urged that the finances of the county would not justify such an undertaking, and a building was rented of Burleigh Hunt for county purposes. Then was a project maturing during this time to remove the county seat to Little Fort now Waukegan, and the friends of that project secured the passage of an act by the legislature of 1840-41, submitting the question of removal to a vote of the people. The election was held Apr. 5, 1841, at which 744 votes were cast, a majority of 188 being in favor of Little Fort, Apr. 13, following, the county seat was formally removed to Little Fort and located on the S.E. ¼ section 21. In the fall of 1844 a court house was completed at a cost of $950, the builder being Benjamin P. Cahoon, of Kenosha. The building was destroyed by fire 1875 and in 1878 the present magnificent structure was completed at a cost of about $43,000.
The first term of circuit court in Lake County was at Libertyville in April 1840, Judge John Purson presiding, Alonzo Huntington was present as states atty., the orther (sic) lawyers that were present were: Horace Butler, Nathan Allen, W. W. Kellogg, Charles McClure, Grant Goodrich, Justin Butterfield, J. L. Loop, and James M. Stroder.
The first civil case disposed of was that of Hulburt vs., William Easton, and the first criminal case was the of the people vs., John J. Gatewood.
The first term of the circuit court held after the removal of the county seat convened at Little Fort Oct. 21, 1841, Judge Theodore W. Smith presiding. At the general election in 1849, the question of adopting township organization was submitted to a vote of the people. There were 1,995 votes cast only through of which were against the proposition. Col. J. Moulton, Michael Dulanty, and E. M. Haines were appointed to divide the county into towns. This was done, and the first town meeting of the Board of Supervisors was held at the court-house Apr. 22, 1850. The severeal (sic) towns were represented as follows. Antioch, Harrison P. Nelson; Avon, John Gage; Benton, Harrison L. Putnam; Troy Piletus Beverly, Deerfield, Coleb Codivell; Ela Stephen Bennett; Fremont, Hurlburt Swan, Goodale, Chester Hamilton, Libertyville, Wm Crane; New Port, John Reid; Shields, Michael C. McGuire; Vernon, James Moore; Wauconda, Peter Mills; Warren, H. Whitney; Waukegan, James B. Gordon.
The first white settler in Lake County was Daniel Wright, who built a house a short distance west of the Des Plaines River in the summer 1833. The first death occurred in his family.
The first newspaper enterprise in the county was started in 1845 Mar. 4, of that year. The first number of the “Little Fort Porcupine and Democratic Banner” was issued at Little Fort with N. W. Fuller as publisher and A. B. Wyncooop editor and proprieter (sic). The paper was published about two years, the next appear was the Lake County Herald started by N. P. and S. M. Dowst in the summer of 1845 and continued one year. The Lake County Visitor appeared in the spring of 1847, and lived about six months when it was suceeded (sic) by the Lake County Chronicle, with W. H. H. Tobey and Co, publishers and A. H. Tobey editor.
In the summer of 1849 the Waukegan Free Democrat was started by John Henderson and N. W. Fuller, but lived only a few months. In Oct. Nathan C. Grur commenced the publication of the Waukegan Gazette, which became a permanent and prosperous enterprise. Mr. Grur was succeeded by J. Y. Corey.
In Feb. 1854 the Freeman’s Advocate was started by John Gentzel and continued about a year, when it was sold to S. I. Brodley and E. S. Ingalls who had purchased the Lake County Chronicle. They named their paper the Chronicle and Advocate, whose name was afterwards changed to the Independent Democrat. The publishing of this paper was suspended in 1857.
A paper called the N. W. Orient was started in 1856 by J. C. Smith, and Ira Parter as editors and J. N. Brundage as publisher, the name was afterwards changed to the Excelsiar, the paper was finally discontinued and in 1859 the Lake County Citizen was started and continued about a year. About 1860 S. J. Bradley started the Lake County Democrat but in June suspended it publication. In 1866 he resumed its publication under the title of the Lake County Patriot.
The Lake County Tiding was started at Wadsworth by Dr. W. H. D. Newth in 1879, was afterwards moved to Waukegan and its name changed to Lake County Republican. It experienced several changes, and Nov. 1883 was purchased by Patridge Bros. and merged into the Gazette. The Lake County Times was started at Libertyville by H. L. McCullock in 1881. The name was originally the Libertyville Time.
News Items take from The
Little Fort Porcupine – In
Dec. 15, 1846.
Tampico – This Mexican town was captured by our navy on the 14th inst., without bloodshed; and is in possession of the marines and sailors of our fleet.
The Mexicans had been wholly withdrawn, probably by order of Santa Anna.
Mark the Traitors –
Now is the time, when our nation is involved in difficulties with foreign powers, to mark the internal foe. The Whig Legislature of Vermont has denounced the war with Mexico. Daniel Webster in addressing the whigs at Fenueil Hall calls it “treason” and say the President can be impeached for the part he has taken it – Giddings, the bell – weather of whiggery on the Western Reserve, has signified his determination in advance, to oppose all appropriations for the pay of soldiers or volunteers. The same tory spirit which opposed the Revolution, and war of 1812, now exhibits itself as before in opposition to our country and what is very unfortunate too, among the leaders of the same party although of a different name. That party has assumed so many names, it needs a lexicographer to time their titles, but all that in ’76 they were Tries, in 1812 Peace Men, in 1846 Whigs.
The very next session of Congress will show an organized whig opposition to the present war, and if we mistake not, will attempt to impeach the President for recommending and executing the war policy. We call such “traitors!” Those who seek to embarrass the free actions of government at such a time as this, aid the enemy by weakening our power, are as much traitors to their country, as if found in the Mexican camp with arms in their hands. They may scoff at the word traitor, but they will yet find it imprinted on their foreheads as the crowing infamy of their lives. He who will not stand by his country right or wrong – but especially when Right – merits not the protection of her Government . —Cleav. Plaindealer
The town of Grant is situated on the Western boundary of the county, and it is only four miles wide, as a congressional township, it is known as Township 45 N. Range 9 E.
Among the early settlers are, Harley Clark, Rufus Willard, Robert Stanley, Chester Hamilton, Devereaux and Henry Goodale, T. D. and D. C. Townsend and Timothy B. Titcomb.
The first house in the town was built by Henry Clark on the south side of Fish Lake, in the summer of 1839.
The town of Grant is watered by Fish Lake, Wooster Lake, Sullivan Lake, Mud Lake, Duck Lake, or three smaller ponds not named; also by Squawk Creek, which passes through the northern portion.
The first is commonly called Grass Lake, and second, Fox Lake.
Before the settlement of the county, this was a place of general resort for the Pottowattomie (sic) tribe of Indians. Here were villages and most extensive corn fields, the lakes were filled with fish, the waters were covered with wild foul, and the country around, abounded with game.
The first school house in the town was a log building of hewn logs, at the crossing of the North McHenry road, and the road leading to the Nippersink Point, it was built in 1844. Daniel Armstrong was the first teacher.
The Lake and McHenry plank road, during the days of its existence, past through the southeastern part of this town – Sec. 36.
In a newspaper published in Chicago in 1844, we found several articles referring to these lakes, and county around. In one of which the whites states that it was Blackhawk’s endeaver (sic) in commencing his war with whites, in 1832, to reach this chain of lakes with his tribe as a place of security; and the writer remarks that had Blackhawk succeeded in gaining this ground, the many points and islands of these lakes would have long secured his forces from an army unacquainted with the country. No authority is given for this conclusion, but a reference to Blackhawk’s own account of the circumstances attending the commencement of his hostilities would lead to the correctness of this statement. This account shows that his plan was to form a coolition (sic) of attending with the Pottowattomies (sic), by which they would provide him a place of security for the women and children and old men of his tribe.
These lakes were then in the heart of the Pottowattomie (sic) country. It is known that the Pottowattomie (sic) River, west of Chicago. It is said to have been defeated only by the efforts of Billy Caldwell and Alexander Robinson, two half-breed chiefs.
The following from Blackhawk’s narrative, as going at Rock Island, after his return from captivity in 1833, to Mr. J. B. Patterson, through the Government Interpreter, will be found espical (sic) interest in this connection, is confirming the opinion giving of the original intention of this chief of coolition (sic) and finding security in the country of the Pottowattomie (sic) as has been herein before stated.
About this time, – Ne – A – Pope (who started to Maldance, where it was ascertained that the great was chief, General Gaines, was coming to remove us) returned. He said he had seen the chief of our British Father, and asked him if the Americans could force us to leave our village.
He said: If we had not sold our village and land, the American Government could not take them from us.
That the right being vested in us, could only be transferred by the voice and will of the whole nations; and that as we had never given our consent to the sale of our country, it remained our exclusive property, from which the American Government could never force us away! And that in the event of war we should have nothing to fear, as they would stand by, and assist us. He said he had called at the Prophets village, on his way down, and there learned for the first time that we had left our village. He informed me, privately, and that the Prophet was anxious to see me, as he had much good news to tell me, and that I would never hear good news, in the Spring, from our British Father. The Prophet requested me to inform you of all the particulars. I would much rather, however, you should see him, and learn all from himself.
But I will tell you that he has recieved (sic) from our British Father, who says that he is going to send us guns, ammunition, provisions, clothing, early in the Spring. The vessels that bring them will come by the way of Mil-wa-kee.
The Prophet has likewise received wampum, and tobacco from the different nations on the lakes, — Ottawas, Chippewas, and Pottowattomies, — and as for the Winnebagoes he has them all at his command.
“We are going to be happy once more,” We-a-pope said, The Prophet told me that all the different before mentioned would fight for us, if necessary, and the British would support us. My party having all come in and got ready, we commenced our march up the Miss— our women and children in canoes, caryying (sic) such provisions as we had, camp – equip – page, etc; — and my brave, braves, and warriors on horse back, armed and equipped for defence (sic). The Prophet came down and joined us below Rock river, having called, at Rock Island, oh his way down to consult the War Chief, agent and trader, who (he said) used many arguments to dissuade him from going with us, and requested him to come and meet us, and turn us back they told him, also, that there was a war chief on his way to Rock Island, with a large body of soldiers.
The Prophet said he would not listen to this talk, because no war chief dare molest us as long as we are at peace, that we had a right to go where we pleased, peaceably, and advise me to say nothing to any braves any warriors until we had arrived at the place where General Gaines had made his encapment (sic) the year before, and encamped for the night. The Prophet then addressed my Brave’s and Warrior’s. He told them to follow us, and act like braves, and we had nothing to fear but much to gain, that the Americans, but would not, nor dare not interfear (sic) with us so long as we acted peaceably, that we were not yet ready to act otherwise. We must wait until we assend (sic) Rock Island and receive our re-enforcements and we with them be able to with stand any army!
That night, the White Beaver (Gen. Atkinson) with a party of soldiers, passed up in steamboats. Our party because alarmed, expecting to meet the soldiers at Rock River, to prevent us from going up. At our arrival at its mouth, we discovered that the steamboat had passed on.
District No. 37
Some years ago the books of the town were burned, so much of the history of the district has to be omitted.
At one time this town considered one of the poorest towns in the county.
The land around Fox Lake, Long Lake and Pistakee has become very valuable because of its nearness to Chicago.
Many city people coming here for the summer.
The primitive log houses of the early settlers have given away to cozy cottages, beautiful bungalows, and stately mansions.
The camping ground of the red men is now the home of his white brother.
All of Crab Apple Island was owned by one man name Mr. Wooder.
Where the Lake Side Hotel is now used to be a camping ground for the Indians.
The old Indian Trail from Fox Lake was over the land now owned by Margaret Tweed.
Mr. Henry Devlin says he remembers when the Indians lived here, they often came to his father’s house and traded game such as quail, ducks, and geese for potatoes, apples or what ever his mother had to exchange.
The squaws carried the loads on their backs by means of a band of buckskin that they placed on their foreheads.
This band was then fastened to the load on their back.
The first school house and the first Catholic Church in the district was built at Big Hollow, forty years ago. They were log structures both were blown down by a severe wind storm. The first priest was Father Smith.
The site then chosen was the one where St. Marys’ Church now stands. The school site was selected just west and adjoining the church yard.
The church has been remodeled several times.
The school house has also seen several changes.
Some of the families who first settled in this district were Hodleys Stanleys Gavins Devlins Tweeds Mr. Felix O’Boyle bought land from Alex McGavin in 1847.
Several from here entered the Civil War.
Walter Drew – lost an arm
Eliza Hosley – killed
Bleecher – killed
Some of the people who lived in this district who became noted were
Alexander McGavin Bishop in Chicago
James McGavin – priest
Emliy Gavin actress died in Algeria Africa