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1877 History of La Salle County Illinois

Sketch of the Pioneer Settlers - Otter Creek

Otter Creek township, embracing T. 31, R. 4, originally a part of the town of Bruce, was detached and made a town in 1871, and named from the creek of that name which runs from east to west across the town near its center, and with its principal branch, Wolf creek, furnishes a small area of good timber.

The few early settlements in the town were, like all others at that day, confined to this belt of timber, the remainder of the town being all prairie — which settled much less rapidly, but is now full of people.

Solomon Brock, born in Kentucky, and came from near Dayton, Ohio, in 1880, to Bailey's Point, and to S. 21 in 1833. He married Jane Moon, daughter of Jacob Moon, and raised a family where he first settled. He died in 1860. His children were: Henry, who is married; Evans B., married Sarah Birtwell, and occupies the old farm; Rees B., married Mary Cooper, he was killed at the battle of Hartsville; Philander B., married Ellen Spencer, he is now insane; Calvin B., married Sarah Hart, and moved to Iowa; Ellen, married Christian Wagoner; Mary, married Jerry Hopple; Orilla Jane, married Wm. H. Gochanour; Lilly married Daniel Barrackman, she is dead; Anna, married J. C. Campbell.

Hiram Brock, twin brother of Solomon, came from Ohio in 1835. Went to Iowa.

James McKernan, son of John McKernan, of South Ottawa, with his mother, settled on S. 22, at the head of the creek timber in 1834, where he still resides; his mother died there in 1872. Mr. McKernan has held the office of Justice of the Peace for several years, and was Captain of Volunteers in the late war. He married Miss Cramer, and has eight children: Rosanna married Aaron Kleiber in Allen; George married Miss Little, now in Iowa; Samuel married, and resides near his father; Candace married Henry Ackerman in Iowa; Solanda married M. Lockwood, and lives near the old place; Ann Eliza married Matthias Cavanaugh. Two younger children at home.

Hugh and Patrick McKernan, brothers of James, died single.

Benjamin Craig, from Ohio, settled on S.16, in 183T. Sold to Pickens.

Martin Dukes, from Kentucky, in 1835, settled near McKernan, and after two or three years moved to Iowa. Henry Pickens, from Middlebury, Mass., came to Otter Creek in 1839 with his wife, Mercy Pierce. Mr. Pickens died in 1844. His widow is still living with her son James, aged 89 years.

James Pickens and wife, Eliza Chase, from Massachusetts, in 1838, came in a wagon the whole distance with his family and aged grandmother, Mrs. Abia Hathaway, who died a few years after, aged 98. He settled on the creek, and in 1848 moved to Ottawa, where he now resides. His son Henry resides in South Ottawa, and is the Supervisor of that town.

Robert Wade, from Lancashire, England, in 1830, came to Taunton, Mass., and here, in 1840; he married a Miss Wilson from England. He has two daughters: Rebecca, married Henry Simmons; Elizabeth, married and lives on the old place.

James Spencer, from Lancashire, England, came with Mr. Wade in 1830, and reached Illinois in 1840. He married Mary Bulsbury, an English lady from Michigan. He has held the office of Justice of the Peace for many years. His son James was killed in the army. Ellen married Philander Brock; is now living with her father. One younger daughter.

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