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1877 History of La Salle County Illinois

Sketch of the Pioneer Settlers - Deer Park

Deer Park, called after the romantic grotto of that name, which lies within its borders, is composed of that part of T. 33, R. 2, lying south of the Illinois river, and that portion of T. 32, R. 2, lying north of the Vermillion. It occupies the point between the two rivers, and is nearly in the shape of a triangle. A considerable portion of its territory is covered by the bottom and bluff timber along the streams, and much mineral wealth will be extracted from those bluffs; coal, fire clay, and stone, for lime and for building purposes, exist in large quantities. The high ridge of prairie extending through Farm Ridge, extends through this town, but is broader, giving the whole town a high rolling face, with excellent drainage; and a more beautiful section of land can hardly be found in the State.

Martin Reynolds, and wife, Elizabeth Hitt, came from Champaign County, Ohio; removed to Jacksonville I11., in 1827, and in 1829 located on S. 29, T. 33, R. 2, in present town of Deer Park; the first settler in the town. For the purpose of securing^ educational advantages for his children, in 1838 here moved to Ogle County and assisted in establishing and sustaining the Mt. Morris Academy. He returned to his farm in Deer Park in 1844, where he resided until his death. His wife died in 1849, leaving six children, (Mr. Reynolds subsequently married the widow Thurston): Joseph, married, and lived near the old homestead, where he died in 1870; James C, married Caroline Clayton, and resides on S. 28, T. 33, R. 2, a large farmer and stock dealer, has been Supervisor of the town several terms, the first Anglo-Saxon born in Deer Park;. Robert, occupies the old homestead; Margaret, married B. T. Phelps, and lives in Ottawa; Caroline, married Joseph Gum; Elizabeth, married L. P. Sanger, formerly of Ottawa and Joliet, now in Utah.

Joseph Reynolds, brother of the foregoing, from Champaign County, Ohio, came to Deer Park in the spring of 1830, where his three sons. Smith, Newton, and Milton, had located the previous fall, on what is now the Clayton farm; they sold the claim to Vroman, and located at Troy Grove, the first settlers in that locality.

John Wallace came from Urbana, Ohio, with hi» family, and made a farm on the point of prairie just above the junction of the Vermillion and Illinois and between the two rivers, in the summer of 1834. In 1838 he removed to Ogle County, in company with Martin Reynolds, to obtain a better opportunity for educating their children. He remained there until his death in 1854, leaving thirteen children: Eliza, married Caleb Hitt, brother to her stepmother, Wallace's second wife, and Mrs. Martin Reynolds; Mary Berry, died single; Josiah, was a merchant, and died in Chicago unmarried; William H. L., was killed at the battle of Shiloh (see Ottawa); Sarah Ann, is the wife of Dr. R. Shackleford, of Ohio; Thomas, died at La Salle on his way home from Wisconsin; Margaret, died single; Martin R. M., was Major and promoted to Lieut. Colonel and Colonel of 4th Cavalry, and breveted Brigadier-General — was assessor of internal revenue for First District, Illinois, and in November, 1869, was elected County Judge in Chicago — his wife is Emma, daughter of George W. Gilson — he has a large family; Barbara, married William T. Cooper, of Polo, Ogle County; John Fletcher, died of yellow fever, in Texas, in 1867; Elisha Berry, was the first of the family born in La Salle County, went South in 1856, and has not been heard from since 1869; Matthew H. W., enlisted in the 4th cavalry and was drowned at Cairo; Caleb Hitt, married V. Belle, youngest daughter of Judge T. L. Dickey, and is living in the Sandwich Islands.

Mrs. Elsa Strawn Armstrong, from Licking County, Ohio, leaving her husband in Ohio, settled on Sections 35 and 36, T. 33, R. 2, in town of Deer Park, in 1831, with a family of seven children. A woman of great energy and business capacity. She died in 1871, aged 82 years. Her children were: John S., living in town of Mission; George W. in Brookfield; William E. died in Ottawa; Joel W., (see below); Jeremiah died in California; Perry lives in Morris, Grundy County, lawyer and member of the legislature; and one son, who lives in California.

Joel W. Armstrong came from Ohio with his mother’s family in 1831, married Cordelia Champlin, and settled on Sections 35 and 36, T. 33, R. 2; was a large farmer and stock dealer; he was a teamster with the army in the Black Hawk war when a mere lad; he held the office of County Recorder; was several terms Justice of the Peace and Town Supervisor; a good business man and prominent citizen. He died in 1871, leaving five children. Mulford, his oldest son, died before his father, just after graduating at the Chicago University with the first honors — much regretted; was a young man of great promise. Nellie married E. C. Lewis, and lives on the old homestead; Julia married Isaac Smead, and lives at Normal; Cora, Walter and Hart are at home.

Judge Isaac Dimmick, and wife, Clarissa Norton, from Wayne County, Pa., came West in the spring of 1833; he returned and brought out his family in the fall, and located at Vermillionville. He laid out and was the owner of the town of Vermillionville, which promised well for a time, but like many other towns of that day, refused to grow faster than the surrounding country, and was forced, with them, eventually to yield the palm to the railroad centers. Mr. Dimmick held the office of Judge in Pennsylvania, and was County Commissioner for several terms here. He removed to Ottawa, where he died, aged 91. His children were: Lawrence W., who came with his father in 1833, married Cynthia Jenks, was Deputy Surveyor, and settled on T. 32, E.. 2, where he died in 1852; Esther, married Dea. Wood, she died in 1856; Dr. L. N., a physician, married and practiced at Freedom, then at Ottawa, where he kept a drug store, and is now living at Santa Barbara, California; Philo C., married Sarah Yost, and for his second wife. Miss Stewart — occupied the old farm, then joined his brother in the drug store in Ottawa, now at Santa Barbara, California; Ann, with her mother, lives in Ottawa; Olive, is now the widow of James Van Doren, and lives in Ottawa.

Dr. James T. Bullock, from Rehoboth, Mass. He left there for Illinois in 1835, by the way of Providence, New York, Albany, Cleveland, Portsmouth, Ohio, and the Ohio, Mississippi and Illinois rivers, and reached La Salle County on January 2d, 1836. He settled at Vermillionville, and at once commenced practice as a physician, which he followed successfully for forty years. His literary education was completed at Brown University, Rhode Island, and he took his medical course at Boston. He died October, 1875, highly respected as a man and physician. He married Nancy Barrows of Massachusetts, who survives him. His children are: Sarah, who married Rev. Mr. Dickinson, and lives in Massachusetts; Ella married Robt. Galloway, who died in 1869, she is now the wife of Mr. Hay, and is living at Cheyenne, Wyoming Territory; Frank W. married Agnes Baird, is a physician, and succeeds to his father's practice; Lena lives with her mother.

John Hollinger, from Champaign County, Ohio, in 1833; settled on Section 4, T. 32, R. 2; died Jan. 4th, 1836. His widow married Thomas J. Potter in 1838, and died September 3d, 1840. The Hollinger children are: John D., who married, and lives at Granville, Putnam County; Martin H., married, and lives in Page County, Iowa; Maria H. is dead; Harry C, married, a physician at Salt Lake City; Wm. S., married, living in De Witt County, Iowa; Elizabeth, deceased; Caroline S., wife of James Holman, of Deer Park; Mary A. Barbary, married, and moved to Iowa, both herself and husband were killed by lightning.

Jason Wiswall, from Susquehanna County, Pa., spring of 1833, by way of Ohio, Mississippi and Illinois rivers, and by Chicago home. In 1835, in company with Enos Thatcher, came through from Pennsylvania by wagon, with his wife, Sally Stanley, and family, and settled on S. 12, T, 32, R. 2. He died in 1875, aged 92, a quiet, honest, worthy man. His wife died 1852. His children were: Jason P. and William; Emily, wife of Matthew R. Coon-; Jane, wife of Cook Elliott and afterwards of Harvey Kingsley.

Jason P. Wiswall, son of above, and wife, Julia Dimmick, came from Susquehanna County, Pa., by way of Chicago, fall of 1833, made a farm on S. 10, and in 1835 sold claim to E. and R. B. Williams and located on Sees. 12 and 13, T. 82, R. 2, where he is now living; has been Justice of the Peace for several years, and Town Supervisor. His children are: Adaline, who married Jacob Cadwell, and lives in California; Hannah, married Alfred Symonds, and lives in California; Caroline, married M. McMillan, now in Iowa; Harriet, married Alexander Cadwell, now in California; Julia, married O. Paine, lives in La Salle County; Jerusha, married James Garrison, at Grand Ridge, 111.; Edwin, at home.

William Wiswall, brother of Jason P., and wife, Louisa Case, from same place, came by the rivers in the fall of 1834; settled on S. 12, T. 32, R, 2. His wife died in 1856. With his two sons, Bruce and Ferris, and daughter Sarah, moved to Colorado.

Jedediah Beckwith, and wife, from Wayne County, Pa., in 1833 came to Hennepin, Putnam County, and to Deer Park in 1834; made a farm on S. 13, T. 32, R. 2.; died, 1838; leaving two children: Horace, married Miss Collins, and moved to Iowa; Emily, is a seamstress, and lives at Wenona, this county.

Bradish Cummings, and wife, Sophia Sergeant, from Ware, Massachusetts, in 1834, settled on S. 11, T. 32, R. 2. His wife died in April, 1835. He married Betsey Hatch, from Connecticut, in 1836. Sold his farm to Nathan Applebee, and moved to Brooklyn, Iowa. His children are: Sergeant, who married Mary Hays; Henry, married Mary Peck; William, married Susan Crusen; and Charles— have all four settled in Iowa, Sophia, married Samuel J. Hayes, and lives in Farm Ridge; Frances, married Moreland Francis, and lives in Iowa; Almira and Maria, children of the second wife, went with their parents to Iowa.

Camp Hatch, and wife, Miss Ambler, from New Preston, Ct., in the spring of 1834 settled on S. 9, T. 32, R. 3. He died in the fall of 1835. His widow married Jabez Whiting.

Jabez Whiting, from England, came to Vermillionville in 1836; married the widow of Camp Hatch, and in 1869 or '70 moved to Iowa. Held the office of Justice of the Peace one term. Had two sons: Adolphus and John — all in Iowa.

Matthew R. Coon, and wife, Emily Wiswall, from Pennsylvania, in the fall of 1834, with William Wiswall, came by the rivers, and settled on S. 1 2, T. 32, R. 2; moved to Iowa about 1845, and from there to California, where he died, leaving four children.

Enos Thatcher, and wife, A. Case, came from Pennsylvania in wagons, with Jason Wiswall, in 1835, and settled on S. 12, T 32. R. 2; served as Constable for several years; a teacher and leader of sacred music. His wife died in 1838; his son Henry, and daughter Elizabeth, who married Godfrey Lincoln, are both in Oregon. Mr. Thatcher married a second wife, who with their children, George and Celia, reside in Livingston County. Mr. Thatcher is now with his children in Oregon.

Ephraim Dimmick, brother of Isaac Dimmick, and wife, Jerusha Dunham, from Wayne County, Pa., in the fall of 1833, and settled on S. 33, T. 32, R. 2; his wife died in 1848; he is still living with his son-in-law, J. P. Wiswall, at the ripe age of 90. His children were one son and three daughters: Franklin, who married Harriet Hubbard, and settled on S. 26, T. 33, R. 2— was a joiner by trade, and a successful farmer — he died in 1866, leaving eight children; Julia, married J. P. Wiswall; Sophia, married Lewis Rugg, and resides in Pontiac; Minerva, married James M. Leonard — died in 1875.

Harvey Hatch (deaf and dumb), came from New Preston, Conn., a brother of Dr. Jethro Hatch and of Mrs. Bradish Cummings, settled on S. 10; married, and removed to Galesburg, where he is now living.

Rev. Thomas Powell, a Baptist clergyman, and his wife, Elizabeth Day, came from Saratoga, N.Y., in June. 1836, and located on S. 14, T. 32, R. 2, but resided and preached at Vermillionville; was pastor of the church at that place nine years; he was the pioneer Baptist of this region, and formed a large number of churches in La Salle and adjoining counties, he was a faithful and earnest worker, and the denomination owes him a debt of gratitude for the work he has accomplished; he is living in Ottawa in good health at a ripe old age. His children are: Euphemia, widow of Mr. Foote, living with her daughter in Ottawa; Barbara Ann. married Mr. Jacoby, she is now deceased; William T., is now in Chicago; Mary E., married H. C. Strawn, and lives in Ottawa; Sarah P., is deceased; Benjamin R., is in Dubuque, Iowa; John D., is in Chicago; Truman S., is in College in Missouri; Isaac W., is in Pella University.

Livingston Jenks, and wife, came from Bradford County, Pa., in 1838; settled at Vermillionville; served as Justice of the Peace for several years; he died at Tonica in 1870; his widow died in 1872. His children are: Oliver, a physician in Marengo, I11., Chancellor, a lawyer in Chicago; Charles, is in California; Morgan and John, are in Chicago; Cynthia, is the widow of L. W. Dimmick; Nancy, is married; Sarah, married Mr. Shed; Abbey, is in California; Olive, married Dr. Jennings, and they are also in California.

Charles Jenks, brother of Livingston, a bachelor; lived with his brother. He died in Chicago in 1877.

Ira L. Peck, came from Saratoga, N. Y., and settled in Vermillionville. In 1835, he married Miss Allen, and subsequently a second wife; he is deceased; his family are in Iowa. His children were: Mary, who married Henry Cammings; Ira, is married; Jane, Wayland, and Julia, are at home.

David Clark, and his wife, Debby Ann Gorbet, came from Clermont County, Ohio, in 1836, and settled at Vermillion, where he worked at his trade for several years, then removed to Utica, and is now living in Waltham; a good blacksmith, and an honest man.

Andrew Kirkpatrick, and his wife, Ann Lefevre, came from Champaign County, Ohio, in the fall of 1837, and settled on S. 8, T. 32, R. 2; is a potter by trade; and for several years carried on the manufacture of stone ware; lie died in the spring of 1866, and left five sons, and two daughters: Jolin, married Rebecca Brant, 2d wife, Mary Mays, now in Texas; Nathaniel, is in Southern Illinois; Sarah Ann, married Lloyd C. Knapp, and died Jan. 6, 1857; Cornwell, and Wallace, manufacture stone ware, at Anna, Union County; Andrew, married Anna Woodward, and died in 1853; Murray, married Diantha Baldwin, and lives in Lowell; Mary Jane, married Alfred Slater, and lives at Metropolis, 111.

James M. Leonard, came from Middleborough, Plymouth County, Mass., in the spring of 1834, and settled at Vermillionville. He married, second wife, Minerva Dimmick. In company with Seth Eaton, he erected a dam and saw-mill on the Vermillion, in April, 1835, and completed a flouring mill in 1836; the company kept a store, and for several years did a heavy business in the flouring mill, but were unfortunate in losing their dam several times. Mr. Leonard died in 1852, leaving one son and two daughters by his first wife, and one son and one daughter by his last wife, who died in 1874. Manning Leonard, son of above, married Miss Sumner, and died at Tonica, in 1870; Eliza Ann, married Charles Todd, who died of cholera at La Salle in 1852; Fanny, died in 1852.

Seth Baton, came from Middleborough, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, in September, 1834, and settled at Vermillionville; was partner with James M. Leonard, in a store, saw, and flouring mill, and is now residing in the town of Vermillion; his wife, Miss Allen, died, and he afterward married Maria Bailey. His son, Frank, was killed in the battle at Fort Donaldson. The children of his last wife are: Clarence, Sarah, Belle, and Anna — all at home.

John Beeson, and his wife, came from England to New York, and to Illinois in 1836, and settled on S. 5, T. 33, R. 2. He was a radical abolitionist, and lectured upon anti-slavery, temperance, and other reforms; removed to Oregon, and espoused the cause of the red man, and is now on a mission to the Indian reservations, laboring to get justice done to the poor Indian; an honest, true, but over-zealous friend of humanity, and will doubtless find wrongs enough to be righted, to occupy the remainder of his life. He had one son, Welburn, who is residing with his mother, in Oregon.

William Wheatland, and his wife, came from England, to Urbana, Ohio, and from there here in 1835, and settled on S. 3, T. 32, R. 2; he was a local Methodist preacher; he filled a humble place as a preacher among the few early settlers, which without him, would have been vacant; both he and his wife have long since gone the way of all the earth. He had one son, Isaac, of Farm Ridge.

Edward R. Williams, came from New Milford, Connecticut, in the summer of 1835. He was educated as a cadet, at West Point, and served as a lieutenant in the United States army, for five years, when he resigned, and came to Illinois. He settled on S. 34, T. 33, R. 2, where he still resides. He married Huldah Kent, and has four children.

Robert B. Williams, brother to Edward R., from the same place, and came at the same time, and settled on S. 10, T. 82, R. 2. He married Miss Allen; after her death, he married Sarah Herrington, who lived but a short time; his third wife was the widow Beach, from Connecticut, who also died in 1872. He has two children: Jehiel, who married Lucy White, and lives in Deer Park; and Henrietta, who married a Mr. Holeman, and lives with her father.

William Clayton, and his wife, Elizabeth Puntney, came from near Wellsburg, Virginia, and settled on S. 28, T. 33, E. 2, in 1834. He bought the claim of Esdell, who bought of Vroman. Vroman bought his claim of Reynolds, and sold to Esdell, who got badly frozen on the prairie, and died at Martin Reynolds'. His administrator, Josiah Seybold, sold the claim to William Clayton. Mr. Clayton has held the office of Justice of the Peace, and Town Supervisor, but has little taste for office, preferring the quiet of his farming operations, in which he has been very successful, accumulating a handsome property. His wife died in 1875. His children are: James, who married Sarah Clayton, and settled on S. 21 — removed to Colorado, and was murdered when out prospecting; Caroline, married James C. Reynolds; Sarah, married David Dick, who lives on S. 22; William married Miss Ostrander, and lives on S. 32; John, married Julia Suydam, and lives adjoining William — both are successful and prosperous farmers; George, went to Colorado, and while taking a drove of cattle and horses from New Mexico to Colorado was murdered, probably by his Mexican assistants — his body was found unburied with the fatal bullet-hole in his head; Manning, served in the volunteer service in the war of the Rebellion, and died soon after his return from the army; Ellen, is unmarried, and lives with her father.

Alexander Eaton, from Middleborough, Mass., in April, 1836; married Dorcas Little, from Plymouth, N. H., and settled on S. 8, T. 32, R. 2; a farmer. His children are: Charles L., married Abby L. White, on the old farm; Julius A., married Rosa White, and lives in Deer Park; Nellie R., married Homer Palmer in Deer Park; William, and Lucia T., are at home.

John Wood came from Wayne County, Pa., November, 1833, and settled at Vermillionville; married Esther Dimmick, daughter of Judge Isaac Dimmick. He was the first Postmaster at Vermillionville; for several years was Deacon of the Baptist church, and is now Justice of the Peace. His wife died in December, 1856, after which he married the widow Emma J. Lockwood. His first wife left two children: Newton, who married Miss Esmond, of Livingston County, are living near Odell, in that county; Sarah, married a Mr. Mitchell, and is now living in Indiana.

George Bronson, from Connecticut, first came to Illinois in 1834, to where Streator now is. Visited Michigan, Ohio and California, and in 1853 married Priscilla A. German, from New York, and settled in Deer Park.

Robert Brown, and wife, Anna White, from England, came in 1838, and settled at Vermillionville in 1839, and both died the same year, leaving three children: Mary B., married William Gray, and have resided in Deer Park; Emma, married a Mr. Davis — her second husband was Mr. Haines; Robert, died of cholera.

William Gray came from Rhode Island, in 1837; a carpenter by trade; married Mary Brown, and settled and still lives on S. 2, T. 33, R: 2. They have two children: Arthur, who married Belle Bane; his present wife is Candace Fuller — he lives in Streator; Fanny, married James Chase, now at her father's.

Job G. Lincoln came from Middleborough, Mass., with William Gray, in 1837; a carpenter by trade. Married Elizabeth Thatcher, and settled on S. 2, T. 82, R. 2; removed to Oregon.

John Clark, and wife, Sarah Cook, from Grafton, N. H., came in 1839, and settled on S. 10, T. 32, R. 2. Mrs. Clark died in 1 845; he died in September, 1872, leaving five children: Charles, married Olive Slater, and lives in Missouri; Moody, died single; John, married Rachel Merritt, and lives in Bureau County; Lydia, married William Ellsworth, and lives on the old farm; Sarah, married John Elliott, and lives in Vermillion.

Ebenezer Little, and wife, Phebe Palmer, from Kew Hampshire, in 1838, and settled on S. 9, T. 32, R. 2. He died in September, 1839; his widow died in February, 1864. They left seven children: George, is married, and lives in Southern Illinois; Charles, a graduate of Hamilton College, came West, in 1840, and died soon after; Moses, married Miss Cook, died in Iowa; Fernal, lives in Southern Illinois; Mary, is the wife of C. Dryer, and lives at Lowell; Dorcas D., married Alexander Eaton; Sarah, married Henry Thatcher, and lives in Oregon; Elizabeth B., is the wife of John Morehead, of Vermillionville; Alice, married E. Leavenworth, and died in Southern Illinois.

Luther Woodward, and wife, Sarah Knapp, from Taunton, Mass., came in 1836, and settled on S. 10, T. 33, R. 2; he built a dam and saw-mill on the Vermillion; became involved in an unfortunate lawsuit with the firm of Seeley & Elliott in relation to the water privilege, which, crippled and injured the usefulness of both firms. Woodward went to California in 1850, and returned in 1853, and died in 1857; his wife died in 184:2. He held the office of Justice of the Peace for several terms. He left eight children: Sarah, married John Wilson, of Deer Park, is now dead; Lucinda, married Alonzo Beardsley, of Sterling; Anna, married Andrew Kirkpatrick, her second husband was Asa Holdridge, of Tonica; Martin S., died young; Oliver Cromwell, was killed in the battle of Hartsville; Emma, married Frank McCall; Jane, married and went to California; Helen J., married J. Burgess.

Sheldon Cadwell, from Middletown, Ct., and wife, Aphia Van Valkenburgh, from Green County, N.Y., settled at Vermillionville, in 1836; he was a tinner by trade; he moved on to S. 29, T. 33, R. 2, in 1839, and followed farming until his death, in 1853, aged 60. His widow died in 1876, aged 81, leaving six living children: Cushman, married Maria Greenfield, and removed to Kansas; Charlotte, married Dr. Thomas W. Hennesey, of La Salle, now living in Dimmick; Alexander, married Harriet Wiswall, they are living in California; Sheldon, is a Baptist clergyman, married Martha Adams, and lives in Deer Park; Jacob, married Adeline Wiswall, they are in California; Lyman, married Cordelia Brown, now in Iroquois County; George, married Mary Elizabeth King, and occupies the old homestead.

Michael O'Connor and wife, Sarah Lane, from Ireland to New York, from there to La Salle, and on to S. 36, T. 33, R. 2, in 1838. Four sons, John, Thomas, Michael and Martin, were born in Ireland; Elizabeth, married; Elias, May and Edward, at home. Mr. O'Connor is deceased. He gave each child eighty acres of land; to William, who is insane, 160; to the widow and two youngest children, 160. He died about 1866.

Obadiah Brown, from Vermont in 183Y or '8. Settled on S. 26, T. 33, R. 2. Moved West about 1840.

Peter Trout, and wife, Leah Brady, from Ohio in 1840. Was here about five years; went to Wisconsin, and died there.

Jacob Roan, from Ohio in the fall of 1840. Married Phebe M. Trout, and is now living in Tonica.

Hiram Trout, from Ohio in 1839. Now living at Vermillionville.

William Turner, from Kentucky in 1839. Settled on Section 35. He married Nancy Argubright. They both died of milk sickness near the same time, leaving nine children: Fletcher, Arthur, Elizabeth, Jane, Melissa, James, John, Martha, and George.

Alva Lee, from Pennsylvania. Settled near Lowell, and run the Lowell saw-mill. He went to Utica, and then down the river.

Mr. Argubright, from Ohio. Settled in the west part of Deer Park about 1837 or '8. He died soon, leaving several children: Andrew, married Catharine Trout, and died in 1847; Jacob; Nancy, married William Turner; and James.

Micah Pratt, from Massachusetts about 1838. Manufactured brick near Lowell, and then settled on Section 20, where he died in 1870. One daughter, married Abner G-ray, now in Livingston County; one son, Delbert, died in the army.

Mr. Fay made a claim on Section 10 in 1 833, and in 1834 sold to Camp Hatch.

Mr. Ellis, from Canada, made a claim on Section 11 in 1833, and sold to Norris. Norris made a small improvement, sold, and left. Ellis died soon after, and his widow became insane.

Mr. McCoy came to Vermillionville in 1834, and then settled on S. 31, T. 32, R. 8. He sold his claim and went to Livingston County.

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