1877 History of La Salle County Illinois
Sketch of the Pioneer Settlers - Eden
The town of Eden embraces Township 32, of Range 1. It joins the Illinois
timber on the north, and Bailey’s Grove on the east. It is drained by Bailey’s
and Cedar creeks, which run to the Illinois and Vermillion rivers. The southwest
part of the town is high land, forming the divide separating the waters that run
north to the Illinois and those that run to Sandy creek, and southwest to the
same stream. It is a fine farming region, and its beauty and fertility suggested
the name it so well bears.
It was settled at an early day along the north and east sides, adjoining the timber, then considered indispensable. The Illinois Central Railroad passed through it, near its eastern boundary, in 1853, and the prairie portion of the town was soon converted into farms. Tonica station, on the Central Railroad, sprang up immediately after the road was built, and has had a steady and healthful growth, and does a large business.
Nathaniel Richey, and his wife, Susanna Kirkpatrick, came from Muskingum County, Ohio, in 1830; came through the wilderness, by wagon, and settled on Sees. 3 and 4, T. 82, R. 1. Mr. Richey sympathized with the slave, and had the reputation of kindly entertaining the sable sons of Africa when traveling toward the North star, and freedom. He was a Justice of the Peace for several years; he raised a large family, and his descendants are numerous. His children are: Sophia, who married James Robinson, now deceased, leaving eleven children; Mary, married Joseph Robinson, has six children, on the old place; David, married Margaret E. Evans, they live in the town of Eden — he is a farmer, and prominent politician, has three children; Sarah, married John Hopkins, lives in Iowa, and has seven children; Margaret, married George B. Holmes, lives in Kansas, has five children; James, married Anna Hamilton, is a farmer in the town of Eden, and has three children; Susanna, married J. F. Evans, lives in Iowa, and has three children; John married Nancy Hall, lives in Iowa, and has seven children; Esther Ann, died young; Elizabeth, married A. P. Landers, lives in Missouri, has five children; Nathaniel, married Bertha E. Wilson, and lives in Tonica, has one child.
Dr. David Richey, brother of the above, came from the same place, at the same time; was here three or four years, then removed to Putnam County, and resided for several years in Livingston County. He died August, 1877.
David Letts, and wife, widow Dunnavan, from Licking County, Ohio, in 1830; made a farm on S. 4, T. 32, R. 1; kept a store at Dayton, and at Ottawa; He was School Commissioner of the county; removed to Louisa County, Iowa, and died there, in 1852.
N. M. Letts, son of David, married Miss Grove; his second wife was Mrs. Holderman; resided on the old farm, at Cedar Point, till 1854, when he sold to Franklin Corwin, from Ohio, and moved to Iowa, and is living at Lettsville; a large dealer in cattle.
James R., and Noah H., also sons of David, moved to Iowa, the first in 1855, the last in 1861.
Nathaniel Manville came from Pennsylvania in 1835; lie laid out the town of Manville, which, like many of its cotemporaries, failed to be a town. He died in the south part of the State, leaving two daughters: Clarissa, married H. L. Owen; Susan, married E. D. Lockwood, and lives on the old place.
John Myers came from Tennessee, in 1840. He married a daughter of John Hays, of Peru, and settled on Cedar Creek timber; he bought the mill that Simon Crosiar built, on Cedar creek, -and run it some years; an eccentric character, such as is often seen on the frontier. Kind and generous at home, he was wild and loquacious when he visited the town, calling himself the stallion panther. He became, restive when surrounded by civilization, said the Yankees had overrun the country, and he left for Missouri, and freedom, but came back, and died here, in 1 846, or 1847.
John Hendricks, from Virginia, to Indiana, and came here in 1831. His mother was a daughter of a respectable Virginia planter, who eloped with and married her father's coachman, one of his African chattels. Under the laws of Illinois then, he could neither vote nor testify against a white man; yet he was an honest man and a good citizen. He bought the Peru ferry of Hays in 1840, and run it several years: he removed to West Missouri or Kansas, and died there.
William Kelly, from England, came to Ohio, and from there here in 1835; he died in Iowa.
Thomas Wakeham, from Ohio, came here in 1835; son-in-law of Kelly; died in Iowa.
Resolved H. Potter was born in New Bedford, Mass., and settled in Green County, New York, in 1828; removed to Onondaga and then to Tioga County, New York, and from there to Illinois in 1834; settled on S. 12, T. 32, R. 1; deceased in 1842, aged 60 years, leaving two sons, Champlin R. and Adam. Adam came to Illinois with, his father, and returned to New York about one year after.
Champlin R. Potter, son of Resolved H., with his wife, Mary Jane Richards, came from New York with his father in 1834, and resided on the same farm. He was a surveyor; held the office of Justice of the Peace several years, and was a member of the Legislature one term; he died Sept. 27, 1860, aged 56, leaving two daughters: Catharine, who married D. Darby of Wenona — died 1873; Helen, who married Fred Ambrose, and lives with her mother on the old farm; a son, Adam, died about 1854.
Joseph T. Bullock came from Rehoboth, Mass., in 183T, and settled on S. 36, T. 32, R. 1; he married Catharine Galloway, and with his brother, Leonard, engaged largely in farming and stock-raising; since his brother’s death he has continued the same on a large scale. He has two children: Ransom, married Ada Ellsworth, and lives near Tonica; Susan, married Henry Foss, now in Colorado.
Asa Holdridge, from New York in June, 1833, and settled on S. 25, T. 32, R. 1, near Bailey's Point; he married Polly Warren; was a successful farmer, and died in 1866, leaving five children: Lafayette, married Hannah Simmons, and lives in Livingston County; W. H. H., married Mary Swift, live in Eden; Volney, married Lizzie Simmons, and lives in Ancona; Clarinda, married D. Willey; Arminda, married Capt. L. Howe, and lived near Tonica.
Nathaniel Eddy, from Virginia, in 1833, bought a claim of John Slater, west of Bailey's Point; he kept a store. Eddy, Holdridge and Bailey built a sawmill on Bailey's creek near its mouth; Eddy moved West.
William Groom, and wife. Miss Burhans, from Albany County, N.Y., came with Alvord's company in 1833; was a farmer, and Methodist preacher; he died in 1852. His children were: Delia, married a Mr. Wells; Betsey, married John Harkins; Alida, married Austin B. Carleton, of Vermillion; Peter, married Miss Martin, now in Nebraska; Abram married L. T. Naramoor; Joseph, married Eunice Harrington, in California; William, married Miss Thomas, in Tonica.
Ira S. Moshier, from Saratoga County, N. Y., came in 1834, and settled on S. 12, T. 30, R. 1; a farmer, Methodist preacher, and lawyer. He died in 1874, leaving nine children: Edgar W., at Sandwich; Henry C, married Elizabeth Baker, and lives at Gilman; George, married Delana Schermerhorn, and lives at Gilman; Charles W., married Celia Wilson, of Sandwich; Maria A., married Thomas Foster; M. Charlotte, married Hugh Miller; Sheridan L.; Margaret, married Onslow Barrass, of Tonica; Clara J., married A. G. Gray.
Amos A. Newton, and wife, L. P. Bunnell, from Lexington, Green County, N. Y., in the spring of 1836, and settled on Section 26, where he lived until his death in 1844, aged 66; his widow still survives, at the age of 90 years. He had nine children: A. Judson, died in 1842, aged 23; Barnum, is in Guthrie County, Iowa; Wallace, is also in Iowa; Esther L., married Moody Little — her second husband is Andrew J. West, of Tonica; Charlotte, married Henry Kingsley, from Connecticut — she is deceased; Harriet L., married Henry Kingsley— his second wife; Eunice, married Joel B. Miller; Abi, married Angus McMillan.
Geo. M. Newton, son of Amos A., and from the same place, came to Bailey’s Point in 1835. He moved his wife, Fanny Loomis, and family in 1836; and settled on Section 25. Mr. Newton has been Postmaster, Justice of the Peace and Supervisor. His wife died in 1863. He is now living with his second wife, the widow Sarah Maffis.
Joel B. Miller, came from Greene County, N. Y., in 1837. He married Eunice Newton; he died in 1862; his widow died in 1875. Has three children: Horace, lives at Minonk; a daughter married a Mr. Swift; another married George Beardsley.
Angus McMillan, from Pennsylvania, came in 1838. He married Abi Newton, and lived here five or six years, and then removed to Grundy County. His wife died, and he went to Iowa.
James Little, and, wife, Polly Cook, came from New Hampshire, in 1839, and bought the farm of Nathaniel Eddy on S. 24. He died in 1842, and left four children: Daniel, married Mary Jones, and removed to Geneseo; Lucy, married Isaac Gage, of Brooklield; Moody, married Esther Newton, lived at Tonica, and died in 1848; John, married Frank Bassford, now in Southern Illinois.
Harvey McFerson, from Brown County, Ohio, came to Putnam County, in 1840, and to Eden on S. 22, in 18o6». His present wife is Martha King — have six children.
Willis Moffat, and wife, Olive Simmon, from Greene County, New York, in 1835, and settled on the west side of Bailey's Grove, and is now living in Tonica. His first wife died and left two children: Walter S., married Elizabeth Defenbaugh; Sarah E., married James B. Flulin, both are living in Livingston County. Mr. Moffit's second wife is Louisa Harwood, the widow Jenkins, when she married him; she has one daughter, Mary L., at home.
Rev. Reuben H. Moffat, brother of Willis, came from the same place in 1834 — a Methodist preacher. His wife was Catherine C. Yale. He died in 1863, aged 66. His children are: Reuben, married Miss Defenbaugh — he died in the army; Sarah, married the Rev. Mr. Young, a Methodist preacher.
Sanford Harwood, from Saratoga County, New York, came in 1837; married Keziah Dryer, and moved to Iowa.
Heman Harwood, brother of Sanford, from the same place; married Melissa Ide, and settled on S. 1. Died in 1857, in Deer Park. His widow married a Mr. Lathrop, and moved to Iowa. He had three children: Sarah, married, and is living in Iowa; Charles was killed by the accidental discharge of a gun; the younger daughter is with her mother.