HISTORY OF AVON TOWNSHIP AND FORT HILL SCHOOL

“Seventh and eight 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 “History of Fort Hill S.D. No. 45, Lake Co., Ill.”

The following has been transcribed by Vernon B. Paddock from the “History of Fort Hill S.D. No. 45, Lake Co., Ill” handwritten by Raymond Lusk and Rhoda Baumann; Illustrated by Agnes Myer. The document “1918 School Histories – Avon Township – Fort Hill 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 – Fort Hill School”: http://www.idaillinois.org/cdm/ref/collection/lakecoun001/id/617


Lake County

Lake County lies in the extreme northestern (sic) part of the state. It is about twenty by twenty-two miles. It derives it’s name from the number of lakes which is about fifty two in all.

La Salle was the first county organized in what is now Illinois. It comprised (sic) most of the counties of Illinois, including Lake, and some of southern Wisconsin.

In 1836 McHenry county was organized with McHenry as the county seat. This territory included what is now Lake and McHenry counties. An act was passed by the General Assembly in 1839 giving the people the power to create a new county, the division to be made three and one half miles east of the Fox river.

In June, 1839, three commissioners were chosen to select a suitable location for the county seat. A small settlement known as Independence Grove, was chosen it being near the center of the county. It was given the name of Burlington, although a postoffice had been established two years before with the name of Libertyville. The name of the village was later changed to Libertyville.

The location of the county seat was very dissatisfactory to those in the eastern part of the county. A small settlement had grown up at Little Fort, now Waukegan, and the people were anxious to have the county seat located there. In 1840 a petition was granted submitting its’ removal to a vote of the people, and in 1841 it was permanently established at Little Fort.

The first election was held August 17, 1839. The following officers were elected; commissioners; Charles Bartlett, Nelson Laudon and Jared Gage; sheriff, Henry B. Steele; treasurer, Matthias Mason; school commissioner, Lewis G. Schrenck; surveyor, John A. Mills; probate justice, Arthur Patterson; coroner, Starr Titus; clerk of county commissioners court, Lansing B. Nichols. There were four hundred eight votes cast.

The county business was transacted by three county commissioners until 1849, when by a vote of the people it was decided to organize the county into towns. Colonel Josiah Moulton, Michael Dulanty and Elijah M. Haines were appointed to divide the county and fix the names of the towns. The first meeting of the Board of Supervisors was held in Waukegan on Monday, April 22, 1850.

Waukegan at present is a thriving city of sixteen thousand inhabitants. It is located on Lake Michigan, about forty miles North of Chicago, and has a good harbor. It is an important manufacturing city, noted for manufacture of iron, steel and wire goods. Recently a tannery has been built.

This is one of the oldest cities in the state. It was once the site of a small fort, called Little Fort, which was used by the French as a trading post. Remains of this old fort were seen as late as 1835. A history of the United States, published in London in 1795, showed that settlements had been started at Chicago and Little Fort as early as 1700. It is supposed that the latter place was visited by La Salle and Hennepin in 1679.

A treaty was made by the United States Government with the Pottawatomies (sic) and other tribes of Indians, by which they were to give up the land east of the Mississippi River in 1835. In August, 1836 they moved to the lands west of the Missouri River.

Steamboats had been navigating the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers as early as 1814. The first railroad was begun at Meredosia in 1838. Eight miles of road was built. There were no settlers in the northern part, however, until after 1834. The Government had forbidden settlement in this part, on account the Indian Title not being extinct.

Daniel Wright was the first white settler in the county, and built the first house a short distance west of the Des Plaines River. This was in August, 1834. Several claims of land were made in the Fall of 1834. Some of them were Hiram Kennicott, Jonathan Rice, Asahel Talcott, Ransom and Richard Steele, William Cooley, Charles Bartlett, Thomas McClure, Willard Jones, Phineas Sherman and Amos Bennett. The latter was the first colored man in Lake County.

At this time the lands were not surveyed. If a man wished to make a claim he fenced or broke up the land. Sometimes he would mark or cut down trees to show what land he wished to hold.

In the Spring of 1835 Peleg Sunderlin opened a public house, or tavern, near what is now call Spaulding Corners. This was the first house of that kind opened, Hiram Kennicott built the first store and saw mill at the mouth of Indian Creek the same year.

Other saw mills were built at Half Day, on Mill Creek, Squaw Creek and Lake Zurich. There were twelve in all, but they soon disappeared on account of water supply being insufficient.

About January, 1836, a daughter of Daniel Wright was married to William Wigham. This was the first marriage occurring in the county.

A road was established by the state, in 1836, between Chicago and Milwaukee. The only road in the county before this was the Green Bay Road, built by the United States Government. The same year a stage line was started on this new road carrying passengers and mail. A common lumber wagon was used, drawn by four horses. The first driver was William Lovejoy. Before this, mail had been carried between Chicago and Green Bay by a man on foot, once a month.

On the 4th of July, 1836, a celebration was held at Vardin’s Grove. This was the first of the kind held in the county. There were about fifteen persons present. The name of Independence Grove was given to it in commemorations of the day. Later it was changed to Libertyville on account of another place in the state having the same name.

On the 22nd of August, 1836, a postoffice was established at Half Day, with Seth Washburn as postmaster. Other post-offices were built at Independence Grove, Saugatuck, Fort Hill, Volo, and other places.

A school was opened in the fall of 1836 at Half Day by Laura Spraque. This was the first school taught in the county. The same year the first school house was built at Libertyville. It was made of logs hewn both inside and out. The floors were made of split logs. This was built by contribution.

On the 4th of March, 1845, the first newspaper, Little Fort Porcupine and Democratic Banner, was published at Little Fort. It continued about two years. Several others were started but soon discontinued. Nathan Geer commenced the publication of the Waukegan Gazette October, 1850. This paper is being published at the present time.

Hundreds of people went from Lake County in the Spring of 1849, to search for gold in California. Among the first were George Hibbard, Isaiah Marsh, George Ferguson, D. Sherman, William and James Steele, Jacob Miller. Hibbard was a young man who joined Fremont’s expedition and perished in the Rocky Mountains.

The first county fair was held in Waukegan on Wednesday, September 22, 1852. The Chicago and Milwaukee, the first railroad in the county was built in 1854.

Wild game of all kinds was very plentiful throughout the county. There were great flocks of quail, wild pigeons, geese, and ducks, also timber wolves and deer. It was a common sight to see two or three deer jump a fence and disappear in the woods.

One night Mr. Summer Davis heard his dog fighting. He dressed and went out, and grabbing a hickory pole used in an ox cart, he killed the wolf with it. Another story is told of another pioneer, Mrs. Amaziah Houghton who lived in the town of Fremont. The dogs had a deer down near a creek, her husband was away at the time, so she went out with a butcher knife and killed and dressed it.

In the fall the wild ducks and geese came in thousands and could be seen in great flocks on all the lakes and streams. Many stayed all summer and nested near the water.

 

Avon and Vicinity of Fort Hill

The Fort Hill School district lies in the towns of Avon, Grant, Wauconda and Fremont.

From earliest records of the town of Avon, a man by the name of Taylor is given the honor of being the first settler to take up land from the government in this town. He came in the summer of 1835 and settled on the north side of what is now Taylor’s Lake, building a log cabin there. He left that fall and never returned. He sold his claim in 1837 to Leonard Gage.

Other early settlers in this town were Noer Potter and Sons, Churchill Edwards, Delezan Haines, Harley Hendee, David Hendee, David Rich, Levi Marble, George Thomson, Thomas Renehan, Leonard Gage, Thomas Welsh, A. Miltimore, Lawrence Forvor, Freeman Bridge, Nathaniel King and William Gray.

Grayslake received its name from William Gray who settled on the south side of the lake. Gage’s Lake was named for Leonard and George Gage, who were the first settlers in that vicinity.

The first school house in this town was of hewn logs and built by contribution of the inhabitants. It was built in 1841 at the four corners on the plank road, on the northeast corner opposite the present home of A. B. Combs. The land was taken from the George Thompson farm, and was known as the Marble School House. Mrs. Hankins is believed to be the first teacher.

The building had one large window on each side to admit light, the floor was oak puncheon sawed at one of the saw mills. The seats faced the wall all around the room, with movable seats. They were made this way so the pupils could use the boards to cipher on. The only article of furniture in the middle of the room was a long stove. The teacher’s desk, like the pupils’, was roughly made from the lumber by a carpenter and stood on a platform in the front of the room.

Religious and other public meetings were held in the school house.

This building was torn down later and a frame building was built by Reuben Botsford at the same place. This was sided up with bricks and mud between the walls, and lathed and plastered inside. This was built about 1850. It was later moved further south, to the line between the towns of Avon and Fremont, where the present building stands.

Mr. Frank Davis went to this school when he was about fifteen years old. He was working at Goodells at the time, on what is now the Stanford place. He is now living at Grayslake and is seventy-eight years old.

There was much rivalry in selecting a name for this town. Some proposed the name of Hainesville, some wanted the name of Eureka, and others Avon. A meeting was held Jan. 21, 1850 at what is now the Avon Center school, and the name of Avon was chosen. This was probably taken from the river in England by that name.

Fort Hill is the name of a hill in the town of Fremont near the Deinlein place now. It exceeds any other hill in the county in heighth (sic) by seventeen feet. It is said that Black Hawk once had a fort on this hill. The name was first suggested by Mr. Payne one of the first pioneers.

Parts of the four towns are included in the region called Fort Hill. It includes about ten square miles of land and was in early times supposed to be the most fertile and beautiful part of Lake County.

The settlement of what is now the town of Fremont was commenced in 1835. Some of the early settlers were Daniel Marsh, William Fenwick, Dr. Bryan, John Ragan, Hiram and Elisha Clark, Oliver and Stephen Paine, Nelson and Thomas Darling, Joseph and Samuel Wood, Thomas Payne, Oliver Booth, Charles Fletcher, P. P. Houghton and Michael Murry.

Daniel Marsh came in the Fall of 1835 and made a claim of land in the vicinity of Fremont Center.

Most of the early settlers came from New York, Vermont and other eastern states. They drove to this country in covered wagons or came as far as Chicago on railroads, the Northwestern was then built, and came the rest of the way in wagons.

The town of Fremont gets its name from Gen. John Fremont, who had acquired so much fame as a western explorer.

Thos. H. Payne, Joseph Wood and Joel Johnson were probably the first white persons who ever set foot upon that elevation, now known as Fort Hill, which was in the month of January 1837. They gave to it the name suggested by Mr. Payne.

The settlement which they commenced in the spring following in the vicinity of this mound for a long time known as the, “Fort Hill Settlement.”

On the 4th of July 1842, a celebration of the day was held on Fort Hill, being the first occurance (sic) of the kind in the town (Fremont.) The arrangements for the occasion were very complete and extensive and a large congregation were assembled.

People came from all parts of the country, a celebration of this kind at such a place, away off on the prairie, being considered a novel affair. The oration was delivered by George Thompson.

During the day an accident occurred, which cast a gloom over the occasion, and soon brought the proceedings to a close. A son of Elisha Clark, of Mechanic’s Grove was accidentally shot by a pistol in his own hands, and died soon after being removed home.

In the spring of 1838, a post office was established, by the name of Fort Hill, about a mile south west from the hill, at the house of Joseph Wood, who was appointed postmaster.

From Fremont the Fort Hill post office was moved to the house of George Thompson in the town of Avon. It was later moved to the house of Mrs. Combs, where it remained until finally discontinued.

A log school house was built in 1844, what was known as Goodales Corners on the edge of the town of Grant. This was at the place that is known now as the Bert Paddock farm. Daniel Armstrong was the first teacher.

At this time teachers were paid a certain sum for each child instead of a salary. They boarded around, that is they stayed two or three weeks with each family.

A school house was built on the road running between the Converse and Amann farms, about the year 1858. This school had no name as far as can be found out. Mary Raymond, a sister of Jack Raymond, taught the school where she was sixteen years old. When this school was discontinued, it became a part of the Fort Hill district.

In February, 1846, a post office was established at Hainesville, under that name, and Elijah M. Haines appointed postmaster. In the spring Mr. Haines, the original proprieter (sic) of the land, laid out and recorded the town plat of Hainesville.

At the session of the Legislature of 1846-47, an act was passed incorporating the village of Hainesville. In the spring following it became organized by virtue of said act, as a town corporate, being the first village incorporated in Lake County. Two rival points, east and west of this village on the same line of road wished to have the road running through Hainesville closed and another built. This they thought would destroy the village. They did not succeed in their purpose, however.

A history of Hainesville written in 1870, tells us that at that time it was a flourishing village of about two hundred inhabitants. It had two stores and various kinds of Mechanics found in a country village. The inhabitants had erected a commodious (ie roomy and comfortable) building for public assemblies and entertainments.

The first log school house built in this village was erected at the forks in the road. It was built in 1855. Harry Rankin was the first teacher. It was only used in the years of 1855 and 1856 as small pox broke out and it was used as a pest house (ie. a hospital for people suffering from infectious diseases).

Mrs. Arnold and her daughter tended the toll gate at this place. A man, working for Albert Kapple, was the first to come down with this dreadful disease. He was taken to this school house and Mrs. Arnold and her daughter took care of him.

A log house was built by Abner Fox on what is now the Hendee place. Mr. Haines built one for himself where Mr. E. F. Shanks’ home now stands. Mr. Haines built a frame house to replace this. Part of this building still stands and forms the west wing of the Shanks house.

Mr. Haines opened a law office and edited a paper, “The Hainesville Porcupine,” in this part of the house.

The house owned by Mrs. T. Gorman was one of the first frame houses built, and still stands today. The west part of the Battershall house was built by Haines for his mother Mrs. Bowen.

The old hotel was built about 1836 to 1840 and was torn down about 1900. In 1870, when it was being remodled (sic) an old rubber was found between the walls. It was covered with plaster, showing that it must have been dropped there before the building was finished. The proprieter (sic) inquired about it, and was told by an old settler that a dance was held there while it was being built. People came from all over the country. They hung their cloaks, caps, and rubbers up on the ends of the lath. The rubber was thought to have dropped down in this way. The rubber was as good as new when found, showing that it was made of pure rubber.

A store was built about the same time. It was used for a ware house but burned down soon afterward. It was replaced by another frame building that is used at present as a store and post office.

Stephen Garwood was one of the first settlers in the vicinity of Hainesville. He had a whisky distillery on Cranberry Lake.

The town well, which stands in the middle of the street and in the center of the town, was dug in 1854 by David Bates of Antioch. It was dug sixty-six feet and bored thirty four feet. It is stonedup.

Jane Wilson and Alvin Truesdale were married at a Fourth of July celebration held in the village of Hainesville. She often said afterword that she was married in the beautiful village of Hainesville under the canopy of Heaven and she thought she had married an Angel but he turned out to be the very Satan himself.

An old settler tells that as many as fifty teams, taking grain to Waukegan to be shipped by boat, have been tied at one time in the village of Hainesville. At the present time it has less than fifty inhabitants.

Mr. George Battershall is one of the oldest residents that is still living. He was born in Columbia County, New York, in September 1839. He graduated from the grammer (sic) school and attended one of the best high school at that time in New York.

He came to Lake County with his parents in 1854, coming as far as Chicago by rail. They drove out from Chicago in a wagon and stopped at Justice Bangs, at Wauconda, on the way.

Mr. Battershall, first worked at the Marble nursey (sic), grafting trees and other things. He boarded with Mr. Crosby the tenant. He is now running a store and postoffice in the village of Hainesville.

The first minister of the Gospel who settle in the town of Avon was Rev. James Kapple. He came in 1842 and settled on the Plank Road east of George Thompsons. He was a Congregationalist and preached in schoolhouses in different parts of the town, whereever an audience would come together. He usually preached at the Marble School House and at Hainesville.

A church of Disciples of Christ, or Campbellites, was organized at the Marble School House on January 12, 1850. Eighteen persons joined the church at this meeting. Within the next six years it had increased to eighty-five members.

In 1866 a church was built at the four corners of the road north of Squaw Creek. It is thirty-two by fifty feet, with gallery, and will seat about four hundred persons. It cost about three thousand dollars. Elder Joseph Owen at one time preached there. It is said to have continued in prosperous condition for a long time, with good congregations. The building hasn’t been used now for about fifteen years and is crumbling to decay.

In December 1848, a company was organized call the “Lake and McHenry Plank Road Association”. A plank road was to be built from Waukegan to McHenry. John Gage, John Tyrrell, and Elmsley Sunderlin were the first directors.

The company constructed a plank road as far as Volo or about fifteen miles of road. There were toll-gates at Volo, Hainesville, Gages Lake, Saugatuck and Waukegan. The experiment proved a failure and the road was abandoned in a few years, as the tolls were not sufficient to keep it in repair.

Public houses, or hotels, were built along this road at Volo, Hainesville, Coopers, Goodells and Saugatuck.

Mr. Frank Davis, before mentioned tells the following story; he says that one time, when going to Waukegan, he had no money so he drove on the side of the road. When he reached the toll gate he told them he had no money but had not used the plank. He was allowed to pass without paying toll.

Old settlers that went to Waukegan at this time to sell their produce, say that these were not 1918 times. A man could stable and feed his horses and get his own dinner for fifteen cents.

The first stage line west of Chicago was established between Chicago and Woodstock. Three teams were used, one team at each destination and one being left about halfway between. Ed. Mills was the first driver on this rout (sic). He made a round trip once a week.

The following extract is taken from a History of Lake County, written by E. M. Haines in 1870. It is about Payne’s nursery in the town of Fremont and reads as follows: The fruit nursery of Thomas H. Payne, Esq., is a matter worthy of a moments attention, and one which reflects much credit upon the flourishing town of Fremont. It contains about one hundred thousand trees of different kinds and varities (sic). He has also about thirty acres of orcharding, composed of bearing trees and of the choicest varieties of grafted fruit. He has about ninety varities (sic) of apples, sixteen of plums, thirty of cherries, forty of pears, fifteen of grapes and five of apricots.

The Thomas H. Payne place is now owned by Ed. Baumann, and is in the Fort Hill district. A small grove of crab apple trees is all that remaines (sic) of this prosperous nursery.

Limestone was found in abundance in many parts of the county. It was found in large quantities in the vicinity of the village of Volo. The burning of lime was a source of considerable profit, in early days to those engaged in the business.

In 1842-43 occurred what is known as the “Cold Winter.” It was the longest and coldest remembered by the oldest inhabitants. About the year of 1860 a cyclone occurred which blowed roofs from buildings and completely destroyed others. Trees were pulled up by the roots and broken off so that damage mounted to millions. Another great disasters which happened about this time was the chinch bug panic. For several years the chinck bugs came in thousands and destroyed entire fields of wheat and barley. For a number of years after this these grains were not raised.

Early cemeteries were started at about 1840.

One that is still used is at Fort Hill. It must have been started many years ago. One stone remains which is so old and worn it is no longer readable. The earliest inscription is dated 1814.

There are about twenty stones in it now. The latest being placed there in 1916. There is one grave since that that which has no stone. A child was buried there in the fall of 1917.

In 1845, on the Devereau Smith place a cemetery was started. There are nine stones still standing. The oldest inscription has the date of 1847, but it is believed that, that is the oldest grave but there may have been some earlier.

Elisha Clark is buried in this cemetery. His son was shot with a pistol in his own hands on the first 4th of July Celebration. It is probable that he was buried in the same place but no stone is present in his memory.

There is an iron fence enclosing the grave of John Fleming and Mary and Jane Noble.

The latest stone put in this place was Jane Noble, being placed there in the year of 1859.

The stones of John Fleming and George Dart are still polished. They were erected in 1852 and 1858.

There is another cemetery one half mile North of Hainesville. There were about twenty graves there. But they have all been taken up except two, which still remains.

Near the Swan place there is another. About ten or twelve graves are there. This was one of the earliest cemeteries and so was soon abandoned.

The first one mentioned is still used. The others are abandoned, most of which are going to ruins.


Indians

In the western part of Lake County are a chain of lakes which attracted the Indians on account of the hunting and fishing. Some of this county presents a wild appearance today, being covered with woods or marshy.

Before settlement began in the country, it was the home of the Pottawattomie (sic) tribe of Indians, Here were their villages and most extensive cornfields. The lakes were filled with fish, the waters were covered with wild foul, and the country around abounded in game.

A newspaper published in Chicago in 1844, says that it was Blackhawk’s purpose in commencing his war with the whites, to reach this chain of lakes with his tribe as a place of safety.

Ancient mounds, the repository of human bones, were formerly visible in various parts of different towns. One of these remained for some time undisturbed, in the central part of the village of Wauconda.

The Indians claimed the land of northern Illinois, as told before, until 1836 when they moved further west. A few stayed, however, and Indians were known to have been living here as late as 1855. They were good friends of the early settlers. A peculiar characteristic of theirs was of always going around and looking in all the windows before going into a neighbors house.

Some places were given Indian names such as Wauconda, Squaw Creek, and Fox River. Squaw Creek rises in a small lake in Fremont, called Grass Lake. It flows into Long Lake and thus into the Fox River. Black Hawk was thought to have camped one time on Fort Hill.

As many as a hundred Indians tents or tepees have been seen on Fox Lake at one time. The Indians sat inside of these tents and dangled a wooden fish, through a hole in the ice, to coax the fish to it. When they, finally, got the fish coaxed up to the opening in the ice they speared it with a one tined spear.

Arrow heads, axes and scalping stones have been found along Squaw and other creeks and on hills where the Indians have camped.

A story is told of how the Indians used to come to the home of Mrs. John Baumann’s parents at Buffalo Grove and beg for food. An Indian came one day begging for food. While her mother was getting some bread, he began to rock Mrs. Bauman, who was only a baby, in the cradle. She became frightened for fear he would take the baby.

 

Early Settlers and their Homes

Most of the early settlers in the northern part of the state came in large covered wagons, bringing their families and all their household goods with them. Some of them tell of their experiences in fording the rivers.

They usually located their homes where they would have access to a market. The houses were made of hewn logs, plastered between with mud. The floor was made of puncheon, that is lumber roughly sawed or split from logs. Some of the furniture such as benches were made by hand.

The fireplace was in one end of the house. It was made of stone plastered with mud. About half of the chimney was made of the same material. Above this the chimney was made of sticks plastered with mud.

The hearth was made of dried clay. This was thrown up from the cellar when it was wet an (sic) tramped down with the feet to make it hard. The hearth wore away gradually, so new clay had to be added two or three times a year.

Matches were not known at this time and fires had to be started by using a flint. This was not an easy task and housewives remembered to put on plenty of wood at night so there would be coals in the morning. If their fire did go out they often went to the neighbors to borrow some.

One old resident tells us that when he was a little boy, he was often sent to a neighbors a half mile away to borrow coals. One time a strong wind was blowing, some sparks flew out of the pan, lit in a large meadow and set it a fire.

Cooking was done in a large kettle hung from a hook in the chimney. The baking was done in a fireplace baker. Rye and Ingun bread were baked in a bake kettle by pulling the coals up around it and letting it bake a number of hours. The crust on it was too hard to use so it was dried, crushed, and use for crust coffee.

The first fences were made by putting down two posts side by side. A hole was made half way through and each and the poles inserted. Later they grew more ingenious and saw that by making the hole clear through the post, they only needed to set one post in a place. The fences were made four or five rails high. The next kind were the zigzag rail fences, and finally the wire fences that are used now.

The granaries were made of rails. Long slough hay was hung down on the inside to hold the grain in.

Housewives spun their own cloth and made their own linen. The flax was grown on the farm. It was bleached, spun into the thread, and woven into sheets and cloth for other things.

David Townsend, grandfather of Mrs. Ira Smith, was one of the first settlers around Fort Hill. He was born in Seneca Co. New York, in 1821. He and his family drove to Illinois with a four horse team in 1841. When they reached Chicago they got stuck on what is now Clark Street. They came on up the prairie until they reached Mud Lake. Here they lived in their wagon until they got a log house built.

Sumner Davis bought one hundred sixty acres of land in the town of Wauconda, at one and one fourth dollars per acre. He sold eighty acres to get money enough to build with. His son, Frank was born here in 1840. They moved to Fort Hill in 1866. Frank Davis owns a farm of one hundred acres at Fort Hill and lives in the village of Grayslake.

Jack Raymond was born Apr. 26, 1848, in a log cabin on the Thad Raymond farm. It is now owned by Fred Converse. Three families lived in the log cabin the first winter after coming here, there were twelve in all. They had come from the east.

Many of the descendants of these early settlers have old relics which belonged to these people and are prized very highly. Mrs. Payne who lives in Ivanhoe has a calico dress and a bonnet which are about one hundred years old.

Mrs. S. C. Davis has a mort and pestle, an iron vessel for pounding corn to make bread, which her grandfather Amaziah Houghton brought from Vermont in 1838. Mr. Frank Davis was chairs which he says he can trace one hundred and seventy five years back.

Many years ago an Indian scalping knife was found. It is made of stone and shaped like a potato, with a stick for a handle. The stick is bound with strips of hide. Mr. Ed. Lusk of Volo has this.

Mrs. L. V. Lusk has an old Indian kettle. It is a copper kettle about six inces high, with an iron rim and handle. They have also an ox yoke brought from the south.

Mr. Ed Baumann has a hatchet which is about seventy five years old. It was used by settlers to cut the bark from the trees after they had been chopped down. He has a shoe worn by the oxen among his relics.

An old gun, some shells and a cracker, called hard tack, are some of the relics of the Civil War which Mr. Fred Converse has in his possession.


An Up-To-Date Farm

Fred Converse has the most up-to-date farm in the vicinity of Fort Hill. The farm contains two hundred thirteen acres. All but five acres of the cultivated ground is put into grain. All of the buildings are painted white.

The house is furnished with electric lights, hot and cold water. The furnice (sic) in the basement heats the house with radiators.

The barn is one hundred twenty feet long and fifty feet wide. It is wired all over with electric lights and has running water for the cows and horses. The stalls for the horses are in one end of the building and cows in the other. Above is a large space for storing hay, the bins for grain are on the second floor.

There are two large silos. All the buildings, including one silo, garage, milk house, and hen house, are wired with electric lights. The electricity is furnished by a engine in the barn.

The hen house is about forty by fifty feet. It is divided into three rooms, with graveled floors. There is running water for the chickens. Almost all of the front, which faces the south, is made up of windows. They keep about two hundred chickens.

The garage is about twenty feet wide and thirty feet long, It has two windows on each side, one at the end and a hip roof. It has a drain and running water so that cars may be washed inside. The floor is of cement. It is large enough for four cars.


Fort Hill School

The present school house was built in the summer of 1916 by John Walton of Volo. It cost three thousand five hundred.

The outside dimension of the building are thirty two by thirty feet. It has a hall in front with double doors at each end.

The school room is twenty-two by thirty-two. It has seating space for thirty pupils, and about forty feet of blackboard. There are seven large windows on the west and two small double windows on the south.

The basement is the same size as the school room. It has a cement floor and coal room. A furnice (sic) heats the room. There is a large brick chimney three by six feet, it is divided into three parts, having a flue for the smoke, hot air, and foul air from the school room.

The library and cloak rooms are on the east of the school room. They are about nine by twelve. It has a library for books and four large drawers for school materials.

It has a good piano and considered among the best district schools in the county. There are twenty two pupils attending school at the present time, ages ranging from six to fourteen years.

 

Pupils of Year 1917-18

Raymond Lusk
Rhoda Baumann
Alice Myer
Clara Davis
Mabel Myer
Helen Wilson
Edward Lusk
Howard Mason
Mildred Davis
Elma Baumann
Russel Wilson
Durley Curran
Pete Cossman
Lillian Davis
Alice Wilson
Martha Lottie Smith
Esther Lusk
Antoinette Cossman
Julia Cossman
Johnnie Myer
Alma Wilson
Nora Hurlie Smith

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