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1877 History of La Salle County Illinois

Sketch of the Pioneer Settlers - Mission

The town of Mission embraces that portion of T. 35, R. 5, lying east of the Fox river, and that portion of T. 36, R 5, which lies south of the Pox, about thirty-two Sections. The Fox forms its northern and western boundary, and Mission creek runs westwardly across the town near its center. There was some heavy timber on both the creek and the Fox. The face of the country is rolling, and the soil dry and fertile.

The first white occupant of what is now the town of Mission, was Jesse Walker, who established a mission in 1826, by appointment and under the supervision of the Methodist Episcopal Church, at the head of Mission creek, on Section 15, for the conversion of the Pottawatomie Indians, and a school for the education of Indian children. The Indians in considerable numbers were occupying an island in the Fox, near the mouth of Somonauk creek where they had cultivated corn and vegetables and made the vicinity their head-quarters. After the white settlers came in, the Indians relinquished the cultivation of the ground, preferring to buy of the whites, paying with skins or with money received as annuities from the Government. They were constitutionally lazy, and like some with whiter complexions, thought honest toil lowered their dignity, and to carry out the resemblance still farther for fear their women would overstep their sphere, the squaws were made to perform all the labor for the community.

The mission was barren of results, and was abandoned early in 1832, and the buildings were burnt by the Sauks the following summer.

Walker sold forty acres of improvements to Washington Bulbona, a half-breed French and Indian, who also had a reservation of a Section when the Indians sold to the Government, which became Section 15 when surveyed.

Mr. SchernLerhorn, and his son-in-law, Hazelton, were the first settlers after the Mission, and made claims on S. 10, where John Armstrong now lives, in 1831. Their tragic history is given elsewhere.

Peter Miller, a native of Ross County, Ohio, and wife, Harriet Holderman, from Maine, came to Ottawa in 1830; went to Pekin during the Black Hawk war, and to Holderman’s Grove in the spring of 1833; made a claim and settled where Sheridan now is in the fall of the same year, the first settler in the town of Mission, excepting those connected with Jesse Walker's mission among the Indians, and Schermerhorn and Hazleton. He now lives in the town of Sheridan, the town having come to him. He has one son, Dyson, who married Harriet Beardsley, and has eight children.

John Armstrong, then a minor, came from Licking County, Ohio, in company with his uncle, John Strawn, in the fall of 1829, and hired out by the month near Hennepin, stopping for some time with James Wallace in the Brown settlement. South Ottawa. He returned to Ohio in 1831; the same year his mother, Mrs. Elsa Armstrong, moved to Illinois with her family. He again came to Illinois in 1833. He married Margaret Trumbo, daughter of Abraham Trumbo, and settled on Sec. 10, town of Mission, in June, 1834, where he still lives — a successful farmer and stock dealer. He was an ardent supporter of the Grange movement, and is now Treasurer of the State Grange. He has six children: Abram, married Charlotte Grant, and lives at Serena; Elsa, married Henry Parr; Joseph, married Mary Havenhill, in Mission; Josephine, married Samuel Parr; Benjamin, a lawyer, is in Kansas; Fanny, at home.

Samuel D. Barbour, from Indiana, came in 1884; settled on S. 17, where he still resides. He married Betsey Neff, and has eight children: Susanna, who married John Abel, of Mission; Eleanor, is single; Ebenezer, married Mary Clark, live in Marseilles; Moses, married Augusta Freeland, of Mission; Eliphalet, married Emma Blake; Samuel D., Jr., married Emma Corning; Marion, married Margaret Mason; Henry, at home.

Beach Fellows, from Pennsylvania, settled on Section 6, town of Mission, May 1, 1835. On the farm seven years. In 1855 he was elected County Treasurer. Has lived in Ottawa since. He married Martha Nelson, and has six children: Joseph, is in Missouri; Jane, in Livingston County; William, Maud, and Delia, at home.

Ebenezer Neff, from New York, and wife, Margaret Douglass, from Pennsylvania to Indiana, from thereto Holderman's Grove in 1835, and to Mission in 1837. He was a Justice of the Peace for several terms. He died in May, 1867.

He had nineteen children, twelve of whom are living. Betsey, married Samuel Barbour, live in Mission; Daniel, married Maria Thomas, deceased; Olive, married Joseph East, they live in Indiana; Almira, married William Bogwell, live in Iowa; Isabel, married Joseph Mason, live in Mission; Henry B., married Mary Freeland, live in Ottawa; Wm. D., married Anna K Peterson, live in Ottawa; Rachel, married Newell Blodget, live in Iowa; Sarahbelle, married Wellington Mason, live in Kendall County; Janette, married Josiah. Shaver, live in Rutland; George, married Thirza Whitney, live in Ottawa; Margaret, married Sanford Whitney.

Joseph Mason, from Indiana in 1835; married Isabel Neff; a blacksmith by trade; settled on S. 28 T. 36, R. 5; still living on a good farm. Has nine children: George is in Kendall County; Daniel is in Serena; W. W., married Lovina Peister, live in Miller; Ellen, married Milton Reed, at Sheridan; Sarah Ann, married James Knickerbocker; Althea, married Abel Misner; Lewis, married Ellen Hamon; Pamelia and Joseph, at home.

Robert Trimble, from Tazewell County, in 1834, sold his claim to Robert Rowe, and went to Missouri.

Robert Rowe, a native of Scotland, with his wife Mary McMath, came from Indiana here in 1835; has held the office of County Commissioner, and is a practical surveyor and mathematician; still resides on the farm he first occupied. His wife died in 1 56. He has eight children: James, married, and lives in Mission; Samuel, married Celeste Robinson, lives on the homestead; Alfred, is in Colorado; Mary Ann, married Cyrus Delameter; Isabel, married John North; Jane M., married Peter Cunningham; Amelia, married Levi Spradling; Emeline, married Delos Robinson.

Jesse Pearson, half brother to Wm. Barbour's wife, from Indiana; removed, and died near Bloomington, I11.

Thomas Dart, from Virginia to Indiana, came here in 1834; settled on S. 15, resided here a few years, removed to Missouri, and died there. One daughter, Sarah, married Enoch Spradling; another, Lina, lives at Shabona's Grove, widow of James Price.

Enoch Spradling, and wife, Sarah Dart, came from Indiana, in 1840. He has five children: Rachel, married Alva Pitzer; James, married, lives near the old farm; Elizabeth, at home; Frances, married Mr. Snelling, in Mission; Josephine, married Levi Rood.

George A. Southworth, and wife. Miss Bowen, came from New York, in 1836; settled on S. 11; died about ten years since. He had two children: Mary, married Mr. Southworth; Marcus, a lawyer, in Aurora.

Anthony Haman came in 1835, and moved to De Kalb County.

Conway Rhodes came in 1836, married Miss Haman, and moved to Iowa in 1836.

Mr. Poplin came in 1835, married Miss Haman, and moved to De Kalb County.

James Rood, and wife. Miss Babcock, a native of Massachusetts, first to Connecticut, then to New York, and came to Illinois in 1836. Died about 1850; his widow died several years after.

Launcelot Rood, son of the foregoing, was a merchant in Georgia; came to Illinois in 1836; went to Iowa about 1850.

Levi H. Rood, son of James Rood, from Litchfield County, Ct., went to Georgia; taught school there, and came to Illinois in 1838; was a Justice of the Peace several terms. He died in 1875. His first wife was L. A. Philips; she had four children: Mary H., married Dr. Pierce, of Minooka; James P. and Joseph B., in Will County; Rufus B., in Sandwich. His second wife was Mary E. Wyman, of Massachusetts, who had six children: Levi W., married Josephine Spradling, and lives with his mother; Grace W.; Benjamin B.; Julia E.; Ellen, and Charles, are deceased.

Henry Verbeck, from New York, married Jane Southworth. He died in 1867. Had three children: James, in Missouri; Eddy, in Colorado; Eva, married Frank Bowen; Mabel, lives in Millington with her mother.

Ever Waller came from Norway in 1835, and bought claim of Jesse Pearson.

Jesse Pearson came from Indiana in 1835; sold to Waller, and went to Bloomington.

J. Q. Eastwood came in 1836; died about 1847. His widow married Nathaniel Hibbard, from New Jersey; died some two years since.

Myers Foster came from Pennsylvania in 1834; returned in 1837 or '38.

Charles Colton came from New Hampshire, and settled on Section 15; moved West.

George Havenhill came from Nelson County, Ky., to Tazewell County in 1830; in 1832 raised a crop near Holderman’s Grove, which was destroyed by the Indians; was County Commissioner in 1835; died about 1842.

Marshall Havenhill, son of George, came with his father, and settled on S. 12, T. 34, R. 5, in 1834; married Jane Collins.

Fielding Havenhill, son of George, came with his father, and settled on Section 12, in 1834; was married in Kentucky.

Alexander Rowe, and wife, Ann Eliza Philips, came from Connecticut in 1835, and settled on Section 26, where he still lives, aged 72 years. His wife died in 1857. His children are: Robert, married Fear R. Hosford, and lives in Freedom; Ann, married Hamilton Rawlin; John H., married Mary Austin; Jane M., at home; Isabel, married Freeborn Rawlin; Edward, married Jennie Angevine; Henrietta, married Morris Law, lives in Sheridan; Ebenezer M., was accidentally shot while hunting, 12 years old.

Steward Liston, and wife, came from New York in 1837. He died about 1850. He had three children: Lemuel, married Lois Townsend; Lucy, married Henry Newton; Maria, married John Warren.

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