1877 History of La Salle County Illinois
Sketch of the Pioneer Settlers - Manlius
The town of Manlius embraces that portion of T. 33, R.5, lying north of the
Illinois river. It formerly embraced the south half of T. Si, R.5, which now
constitutes a part of the town of Miller. It has considerable bottom land along
the Illinois, much of it valuable, considerable bluff and broken land, and about
one-third of the town is covered with bluff timber. Probably half the town is
prairie of excellent quality. The Illinois & Michigan Canal and C, R. I. & P. R.
R. pass through the bottom between the bluff and the river, bringing a choice of
transportation facilities to the doors of all its people. The town of Marseilles
is about equally divided between the towns of Rutland and Manlius, and is
destined to be an important place. The Grand Rapids of the Illinois furnish a
water power equal to any demand that will be made upon it, and the earliest as
well as all subsequent settlers have marked it as destined for a brilliant
In some respects it has been unfortunate, thus far, suffering severely from fire in several instances; but it has surmounted these and is now doing a successful manufacturing business, aggregating nearly half a million of dollars annually, which is nearly all labor. This is but a trifle of what the future will develop here. How soon it will realize that prosperity which its resources indicate, will depend upon national and local conditions which time alone will develop.
Wm. Richey was born in Pennsylvania, emigrated to Huron County Ohio, where he heard the cannonading at the time of Perry's victory on Lake Erie. Lost his first wife and married Dolly Wilson, a Kentucky woman, near Indianapolis, in 1828. Moved to Wisconsin, and engaged in lead mining. In October, 1829, came to La Salle County, and made a claim on S, 17, T. 33, R. 4, where William Moore now lives. He was accompanied by his son William W., the only child of his first wife that came West. The son stayed on the claim while the father went to the Blue Mounds for the family. They came by the way of Dixon, in a "prairie schooner," with a span of horses, and an ox and cow yoked together; arrived on the claim in January, 1830. The only neighbor was James Galloway. In February, 1830, Mrs. Galloway died. Mr. Richey and son cut down a black walnut tree the Indians had girdled, and split out some puncheon boards and made a coffin, in which Mrs. Galloway was buried. In the spring of 1830 Mr. Richey sold his claim to Abraham Trumbo. They then made a claim near Galloway's, but sold to Galloway soon after and made a claim on the S. E. i S. 18, T. 33, R. 5, and in the winter of 1831 built a cabin in the ravine near the Dr. Ward place, the first cabin built in Marseilles, and where James Richey was born, the first birth in what is now Marseilles. William W. sowed a small patch of wheat where the sod had been killed by Indian cultivation; he got some wheat, but, what was more valuable, unwittingly got a pre-emption, and as he and his father were on the same quarter section, they were each entitled to a float on eighty acres elsewhere. They sold their floats to John Green, for which he entered their quarter section; they thus secured their quarter section without money and without price. After the massacre at Indian Creek, in 1832, William W. went to Seneca to notify Abel Sprague, who had a claim there, and then moved the family to Ottawa. The father was a teamster for the army, and the son enlisted as a soldier. They were discharged on the banks of the Wisconsin river. In the fall they helped Ephraim Sprague, Charles Brown, and Richard Hogaboom build a dam and dig a race for a saw-mill at Marseilles. William Richey died about 1842; his wife died in 1839. William W married Widow Green, and lives in the town of Brookfield.
Abner Stebbins came from New York in 1834; settled on S. 4, T. 33, R. 5. George W. Brumback says he was the best axe man he ever knew, the best worker and most honest man; he went to Iowa.
Abdolonymus Stebbins, brother of Abner, and wife, Julia Webber, came from New York in 1835, and settled on S. 8, T. 33, R. 5. Had ten children. Brumback says he was not so good a worker but a better talker than Abner; that he was a staunch Whig, in favor of internal improvements, of developing manufactures, arts and sciences, and delighted in talking on these subjects by the hour; that there have been bigger fools in the United States Senate than Abdolonymus; that the good seed sown by him is still bearing fruit; but that his Democratic neighbors held him and his political heresies in utter contempt. His, children were: Henry, married Mary Ann Pope, his second wife was Miss Signal, is now in Iowa; Louana, married Jacob Reser, of Pontiac; Lorinda, married Volney Wood, both are deceased; Mary, died single; Louisa, married Gale Waterman, of Seneca; Emery, married Laura Lammy, of Iowa; Edgar, is in Missouri; Austin, married Miss Wiley, now in Florida. There are two younger sons.
Lovell Kimball, from Watertown, Jefferson Co., New York, came in 1833. Brumback says there has never been a man of greater abilities in Marseilles, except Daniel Webster, and he stayed only one night. Kimball was an active business man, energetic, venturesome and unscrupulous; he built a saw- mill, and in 1840 was a member and agent of a company that erected the best flouring mill, probably then in the State; it had eight run of stone, was forty feet high above the foundation, and every way complete.
When Kimball commenced his improvement he found Ephraim Sprague in possession of a part of the water privilege, owning and running a saw-mill. Kimball so made his dam as to flood out the privilege of Sprague, and as Sprague had no title but a claim on Government land, he found himself dispossessed of his little property with no redress but Kimball's generosity, and as that did not serve, he left in despair, and as he did so, he raised his hands and prayed that water might wash away, and fire burn all in Marseilles, as long as the memory of Kimball should last. This is related by the old settlers of Marseilles, and is called "Sprague's curse." Kimball's saw-mill and the flouring mill were burned on the night of the 18th of May, 1842; lie rebuilt the saw-mill, but never recovered from the loss, as, by some quibble, the Insurance Company evaded payment, and the flouring mill was never rebuilt. The members of the Marseilles company that built the mill were: Gurdon S. Hubbard, of Chicago; Robert P. Woodworth, James A. Woodworth, Lovell Kimball, Augustus Butterfield, Wm. Whipple, and James Brown. Kimball died in 1848 or 9; after Kimball’s death, his widow married Orville Cone, of Morris; she died in 1875.
L. S. P. Moore, from Vermont, came in 1838; a wagon maker by trade. He married Jemima Reser, and is still living in Marseilles.
Vivaldi Morey, came from New York to Illinois, in 1837, with his wife, Emily Brown, and settled on S. 32, T. 34, R. 5; went to Kendall County for five years; now living in Marseilles. His children are: Sarah, who married Melvin Prescott, of Marseilles; Wm. A., married H. C. Belknap, his second wife was A. P. Skinner — he is a lawyer. Justice of the Peace and Town and City Clerk; Frances, married H. G. Peister; Emily A., married F. W. Simpson, and Nettie, married R. W. Kilbourn, all of Marseilles.
Hanson Morey, came from New York in 1835, and settled on S. 8, T. 33, R. 5; left in about two years. Nelson Morey, brother of the above, came about the same time and went to Texas.
John Harrington, from England to New York in 1836; bachelor; grain dealer in Marseilles.
Thos. Harrington, brother of above, was drowned at the time of the flood in 1838. The ice gorged on the island below Marseilles, and flooded nearly the whole town.
Joseph Brumback, from Licking Co., Ohio, arrived here Aug. 3, 1832, built a cabin on S. 6, T. 33, R. 5, and lived in it nineteen years. His neighbors very appropriately called him the Patriarch Joseph, as he had nineteen children and eight step-children. His first wife was Mary Parr, who died, leaving four children; George W., lives in Manlius, is County Surveyor of La Salle County; Elizabeth and Mary, are dead; Samuel, lives at Odell. His second wife was Margaret Oatman; she died in 1842; had one child, Margaret, now dead. His third wife was Comfort Young, who died in 1858; had eight children: Newton W., Jervis J., both in Bates County, Mo.; Ada Perkins, Grundy County; Joseph Jefferson, Livingston County; John Howey, Merritt M., and Oby David, all in Odell; Nite E. died. His fourth wife was Margaret Hart; had six children: Ella, Viola, Mirza, Ira E., Ezra H., and Oliver C, who are all at home.
Christopher Massey, and wife, Sarah Bennett, from New England to Illinois in 1838. He died in 1877; his widow is living. He left three children: Ann, married Jas. Mossman, her second husband was Mr. Jacobs; Susan, married George Turner, of Indiana; Charles, is in Grundy County.
Jonathan Massey, brother of Christopher, came at the same time. His wife was Nancy Dow. He died in 1866, and his widow died in 1876. He left five children: Adeline, married Mr. Houghton, of Michigan; Stillman E., married Miss McEwen, and lives in Morris; Myra, married Mr. Pettis, of Morris; Horace and Lizzie, are single.
Israel Massey, brother of the foregoing, came at the same time, with his wife, Phebe Gardner. Has five children: Warren, married Caroline Barbour, and lives in Nebraska; Mary A., married Mr. Young of the City of Washington; Gordon, is in Chicago; Sylvanus, is dead; Prank, is in Nebraska.
Dr. Robert P. Woodworth, from New York, 1837, one of the firm that built the Marseilles Mill, went to Ottawa, was postmaster and merchant; moved to Peru; was killed by an accidental gunshot wound while hunting.
Jas. H. Woodworth, brother of the above, from New York, 1837, also one of the Marseilles mUl firm; after the burning of the mill moved to Chicago; was a member of Congress one term, and died at Evanston.
David Olmstead, and wife, Mary Linderman, from Tioga County, New York, 1833; settled on S. 10, T. 33, R. 5; died 1846. They had eleven children: Dea. Hiram, settled on a farm in Freedom, now in Ottawa, married the widow of Rev. Chas. Harding, had four children; Allen, married Mercy Baker, live in Marseilles; Lewis, married Lydia Ackley at Marseilles; Edward A., in Grundy County; Sally Ann, married Lewis Linderman in Boone County; Anson, married Phebe M. Jameson; Wesley, is a Methodist Episcopal preacher in Minnesota; Ann, Mary and William, with their mother, moved to Minnesota; Curtis, is in McLean County.
Ephraim Sprague came first to Ottawa, and to Marseilles in the spring of 1833; built a dam and saw-mill, completed in the fall of 1833. A dam built below him ruining his mill power, he moved to Grundy County.
Abel Sprague made a claim near where Seneca now is, on the Crotty place, sold the claim to two young men by the name of Stocking, and they sold to one Carter, who afterwards abandoned it. In 1841, when work was resumed on the canal, Jeremiah Crotty occupied it.
Dolphus Clark, and wife, Sally Loring, from Ontario County, N. Y., in the fall of 1836 settled on S. 5, T. 33, R. 5; first a farmer; present residence in Marseilles. Children: Carlos, married Clarissa Dyke, live in Nebraska; Adaline, married Samuel Parr, now a widow in Marseilles; Mercy, married Sylvester Renfrew, live in Nebraska; Sally Ann, married D. A. Nicholson in Marseilles; Caroline, married H. W. Morey, died from the bite of a rattlesnake; John, married Mary Jane Kerns, lives in Iroquois County; Mary, married Ebenezer Barbour in Marseilles; Richard, married Mary Parr in Nebraska; Clara M., married F. E. Titus in Morris, Grundy County.
Wm. R. Loring, from New York, came here in 1838, married Jane Micca, and settled on S. 33, T. 34, R. 5; now in Benton County, Iowa.
Jacob Reser, from New York, came here in 1838; died thirty years since, leaving five children, two now living: Jacob, Jr., married Louana Stebbins, and settled on S. 2, T. 33, R. 5, now in Livingston County; Jemima, married L. S. P. Moore, and resides in Marseilles.
Nathaniel Neece, and wife. Miss Lewis, came here in 1836; now in Iowa.
James Dyke, and wife, Mary Sabin, from Connecticut, came here in 1837, settling on S. 5, T. 33, R. 5; was killed by the fall of a tree, February, 1844, leaving a widow and six children, all now dead but one, Eunice, who married Perry Baker, and lives in Missouri.
Seth Otis, father in-law to A. D. Butterfield, from Water town, N. Y., resided here a short time. Geo. W. Brumback, now County Surveyor of La Salle County, says that Otis' family were well educated and intelligent; that Mr. Otis came to his father's, and finding their stock of book knowledge was contained in one Bible, one Methodist hymn book, one Pike's arithmetic, an old work on chemistry and Cobb's speller, very generously, and unsolicited, loaned them a portion of his library, of which they made good use. The next season the neighbors put up a small log school house, and Otis' daughter Mary, now Mrs. Mancell Talcott, of Chicago, kept school for them. Brumback thinks that without Otis' books, and Mary's teaching, some other person than Geo. W. Brumback would be County Surveyor of La Salle County to-day. Otis soon after moved to Chicago, and died there several years since. John Loring, and wife, Louisa Micca, from Bloomfield, Ontario County, New York, came here in 1835, and settled on S. 31, T. 34, R. 5, where he still resides. They have five children: Eliza Jane, married Milton Peister, of Rutland; Hulbert, married Mary Bosworth — his wife is deceased, and he lives with his father; George, and Alzina, are at home.
David Loring, brother of John, from the same place to Ohio; came here in 1836. Married Elizabeth Nichols, and settled on S. 5, T. 33, R. 5; removed to Nebraska.
Richard Ives, from Tompkins County, New York, came here in 1835; resided here about eight years, then went to Will County, and thence to Grundy County.
Horace Sabin came from Connecticut in 1836, and died in 1837. His widow and son are living in Minnesota.
David Meacham died soon after his settlement, leaving three or four children; one is in California, and one in Grundy County.
Reuben Simmons, and wife, Susan Kinney, came from New York in 1834, and settled on S. 4, T. 33, R. 5. Moved to Iowa in 1855. His children are: Joshua, Lois, Melinda, Eliza, Emily, and Prank.
Giles W. Jackson, came from New York in 1836. He married Hannah Jennings, and settled on S. 20, T. 33, R 5. In 1854 he removed to Ottawa, and for several years was the senior member of the firm of Jackson & Lockwood, hardware merchants. He is now retired. Mr. Jackson was the first Supervisor of the town of Manlius, has been Agent of the county for the care of the poor and poor farm for several years, and Alderman of the city. His children are: Henry A., in Kansas; Elizabeth, is Mrs. Morgan, of St. Louis; Harriet, married Chas. Catlin, of Ottawa.
Samuel Bullock, from Boston, came here in 1834. He married Rhoda Bailey, daughter of John Bailey, of Vermillion. He left his family in 1850 and went to California, and did not return. Mrs. Bullock died in 1873. Of their children, Elisha married Brintha Hall, in Rutland; Samuel and William are in Indiana; Martha married George Jacobs, in Nebraska.