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1877 History of La Salle County Illinois

Sketch of the Pioneer Settlers - Adams

Adams embraces T. 36, R. 5. It lies on the north line of the county, and is drained by Little Indian creek, which runs southwardly near the center of the town, and furnished a fair supply of timber for the early settlers. The Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad passes northeastwardly across the north side of the town, and Leland Station is a thriving village. The first settlement was in 1836, but the settlements were few, and scattered, till the advent of the railroad, after which the town rapidly filled up.

Mordecai Disney, and son-in-law, Sprague, settled on S. 27, in 1836, on the east side of Little Indian creek, and were the first in the town; they claimed all the country, and sold claims to all that came; they left in a year or two, probably to repeat the same speculation elsewhere.

Nathan Townsend, from Sullivan County, New York, in 1836; came through by wagon, stopped at Ottawa for the winter, and settled on S. 27, in the spring of 1837. He died in 1857. His children are: Charles, now living near Streator; John, and Alva, are in Kansas; Mary Ann, married John Nichols, she died 1841; Olive, married Charlton Hall, she died 1853 — (Elder Batcheller married them, and attended both the funerals); Margaret, married Edwin Beardsley; Deborah, married Reuben Bronson; Phebe, married James Stoutenbury; George, and James, are at Kankakee; Perry, was murdered at Pike's Peak.

Aaron Beardsley, with his family, came from Massachusetts to La Salle County, in 1835, and first lived in the town of Serena, and moved into Adams in 1836, buying a claim of Disney, on S. 23 — some say it was in 1838.

Henry Gr. Beardsley came in 1 838; married Lavinia Blake; lives on S. 22; has seven children.

William Sargeant came from Indiana in 1838; settled on S. 27'; died in Indiana. Had three sons: James, Newton, and Jackson.

Reuben Bronson came from Green County, New York, in 1838; lived a few months at Holder man's Grove; settled in Adams in the fall; married Deborah Townsend; bought the claim of Thove Kettleson on S. 22; has served as Justice of the Peace four years. They have five children: Ruhana, married T heron J. Baresford, and lives in Amboy; Albert, lives near Amboy; Jay, is at school; Alice, and Arthur, at home.

Joshua Richardson, from Indiana in 1837; settled on S. 35; sold to Wilcox, and went back to Indiana.

Riverius Wilcox came in 1837, bought claim of Joshua Richardson; died years ago.

Allen Wilcox, son of Riverius Wilcox, came the same year; now at Amboy.

Nathaniel S. Pierce, and wife, Mary E. Simmons, from Middleborough, Massachusetts, in 1838; settled on S. 28, in 1840; he raised a large family, and became wealthy; he died in 1876, aged 74. His children are: Deborah S., Mary E., Robert Richey, Samuel N., Nathaniel, Lucy S., Hannah V., Susan, Levi, Ebenezer.

Andrew Anderson, Ole T. Oleson, Halvar Nelson, and some others, emigrated from Norway in the spring of 1836, and came to La Salle County in the summer of the same year, and settled in the town of Adams in the spring of 1837, on Sees. 21 and 22. Mr. Anderson is quite wealthy. Ole T. Oleson died long since; his widow lived until January, 1877, when she died — over 90 years of age. Their son, Nels Oleson, lives on the old place. Halvar Kelson settled on Section 15, in 1837, and died soon after. John Kallum located there about the same time, and died soon after. His sons, Jacob and Mark, lived on the old place until recently; they removed West.

Thove Tillotson, from Norway, settled on Sec. 22 in 1837, and sold to Reuben Bronson in 1839.

Paul Iverson, from Norway, came in 1837, and located on Section 14, where his two sons, Thomas and Nels, lived until recently.

Halvar K. Halvarson and family, came from Norway in 1838, lived in Rutland first, and removed to Adams in 1840.

Hans O. Hanson and family, came from Norway in 1839 and settled on Section 15 in 1840; the father and mother are both dead. The oldest son, Ole H., lives on the old place; another son, Alexander, lives near, on Section 20; the oldest daughter. Bertha, married Thomas Mosey, and lives in Freedom; Lovina, married P. H. Peterson; Helen, is married and lives in Iowa.

In 1837, a number of Norwegians came from Stavinger, (the place from which the first colonists came to America), and settled mostly in Mission. One family, that of Osman Thomason, settled in Adams in 1839; he died in 1876, aged 92.

Ansel Dewey, and wife, Philancy Alvord, from Lenox, Mass., settled near Troy Grove, and removed to the town of Adams in 1849, where he still resides. He has eight children: Mary E., married Samuel Dewey; Milton E., married Rebecca J. Brown; Maria L., and Frances C., are at home; Chauncey B., married Miss Blodget in Vermilion County; Wm. A., at home; Henrietta, married Charles S. Brown in Vermillion County; Charles O., in Ottawa.

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