1877 History of La Salle County Illinois
Sketch of the Pioneer Settlers - Serena
The town of Serena embraces Township 35, Range 4, and about three additional
sections of T. 35, R. 5, which lie on the west side of Fox river. Indian creek
runs nearly across the township and is intersected by its principal branch, the
Little Indian, on Section 16. There was much good timber along those streams,
and consequently settlements commenced at an early date. The plentiful supply of
timber, with rolling, rich prairie, made it a desirable location. There were
several saw-mills on the creek at an early day, and two or three flouring mills
have been added since.
Settlements commenced in ]831, and settlers came in rapidly after the close of the Indian troubles, in 1833. Robert Baresford was the first, in 1831, and the Warrens, Alva O. Smith, Daniel Blake and others in 1838.
The Pox River Railroad runs through the east part of the town, with a depot nearly central, which brings a market to the doors of the people who settled in an inland town.
Robert Baresford, a native of Derry, Ireland, came to America, and with his wife, Mary Desert, and family, came first to Peoria, and, with Jesse Walker, to Ottawa in 1825; assisted Walker in establishing his mission at Mission Point, and in 1829 settled at Holderman's Grove. He removed to Indian Creek in 1831; he built a saw-mill on the creek, and resided in that locality till his death in 1851. Mrs. Baresford died in 1843. He left three children: John, married, and is now living at Fremont, Nebraska; Mary Ann, married William Cullen, of Ottawa — Mr. Cullen has been Sheriff, and for many years editor of the Ottawa Republican; Lovina, married Mr. Wykoff; James, was killed by Indians while scouting in 1832.
Daniel Warren, Jr., came from Madison County, N. Y., in 1830, and settled on Indian creek in 1832. His wife was Lucy Skeels, from Putnam County.
He died in April, 1867. His widow married Peter Dick, and lives on Section 17. He left six children: Elizabeth, married Anthony Hoar, in Missouri; Ardilla, married Henry Hoar, deceased; Luther, married Catharine Cristler, at Streator; Huron, is in Nebraska; Ruden, married Charlotte Wright, of Serena; Louis S., married Eliza McClure, of Serena.
Nathan Warren came from Madison County, N. Y., in 1830, and settled on Section 8; is now living on Section 5. His first wife was Lydia Baxter; second wife, Maria Lester. He has seven children: William, is in Serena; Fanny, married Mr. Wariner, of Paw Paw; Lucien, is in Amboy. Second wife’s children are: Mary, married George Bristol, near Amboy, now deceased; Emma; Florence.
Ezekiel Warren married Susan Sargent and settled on Section 17. He and Daniel Warren built a sawmill on Section 8, and moved to Morris, and died there in 1847.
Samuel Warren, from Madison County, N. Y., came on the creek with his brothers; died single.
The four Warren brothers were children of Daniel Warren, and came with their father from Madison County, N. Y., in 1830, by wagon to Bailey's Point, now Vermillion. The father died near Ottawa in 1832. His widow married the father of Horace and George Sprague; she died in 1836.
John Hupp, from Licking County, Ohio, came through by wagon, and settled on Section 23; went to California in 1850. His children are: Sedgwick, living in Serena; Wilson, was drowned in Columbia river; Havilah, resides in Serena; Jane, married James Moore; Cemantha, married Ira Bayley, of Grundy County; Stephen, in Iowa; George, at Northville; Riley, in Serena; Louisa, married Joseph McKim.
Kinne Newcomb came from Plattsburg^ N. Y., in 1833; married Jerusha Lyman. He died in 1810.
Hiram Brown, and wife, Olive Niles, came from Shaftsbury, Vt., in 1833; now in Kane County.
Alva O. Smith, from North Haven, Ct., in 1833; arrived in Ottawa in 1834. He married Olive Warren and settled on Section 18, T. 35, R. 4, in Dec, 1835. In company with James Day, bought the saw-mill of Ezekiel Warren. Mr. Smith died in 1870, leaving eight children: James, married Margaret Barker; Levi C.; Lois L., married William M. Curyea, of Ottawa; Mary, married Isaac Pool, of Serena; Sarah E., married William T. Jones, of Serena; Alva O.; Olive, married Geo. W. Curyea, of Dayton; Sidney, at home; Eunice O.
John Hoxie, from Williamstown, Berkshire Co., Mass., came in 1836, and settled on Sec. 25, where he still resides. He married Elizabeth Beem. His children are: Henrietta, Fremont, Lincoln, and Fanny. Henry was killed at the battle of Mission Ridge.
Daniel Blake, born in Maine, removed to Ohio, and from there here in 1833; lived a short time under the hospitable roof of Robert Baresford, and settled on Section 84; removed to Ottawa in 1868; served as Sheriff from 1871 to 1873. His children are: Joshua M., in Livingston County; James A., on the old farm; George, a lawyer, in Ottawa; Mary J., married Havilah Hupp, in Serena; Hattie M., is the wife of Irvin Niles, of Livingston County, and Susie A., is at home.
Ezra Dominy was born at East Hampton, L. I., 1876 — with his wife, Rhoda Smith, and family, came from Plattsburg, New York, in 1835, with a wagon, by the Lake shore, to Illinois, being six weeks on the road; settled on S. 28. The Dominy family, descendants of Ezra, with their wives and husbands, held a reunion in September, 1873; there were 100 present, including children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. His children are: Rebecca, who married Robert Greenless, of Dayton; Nathaniel, married Philinda Finch, in Grand Ridge; John, in Iowa; Belinda, married Martin Lewis, now dead; Sally, died single; Lorenzo, in Serena; Ezra A., married Ann Eliza Pool, in Serena; Gilbert, married Mary E. Pool; Betsey, married Jacob Peterson, in Serena; Anna, married Matthias Pool, in Serena. Mr. Dominy is living with the last named, at the ripe age of 91. Mrs. Dominy died in 1873, aged 87.
Amos St. Clair, from Kentucky to Jacksonville, in 1830, and here 1835; he settled on S. 32; he died 1839, aged 49 — his widow, Elizabeth Watkins, died in 1868.
Watson St. Clair, son of Amos, came at the same time and settled on Section 32, is now on Section 36. His wife was Laura J. Beckwith. His children are: Martha E., and Laura E., both at home.
William St. Clair, also son of Amos, came at the same time and is living on the old farm on Sec. 32. His wife was Susan Miller. His children are: Eugene and Lucretia, at home.
St. Clair sisters, daughters of Amos, were: Mary Ann, who married H. P. Harvey, of Freedom; Rachel, married Urial Miller, of Freedom; Eliza Jane, married Samuel B. Flint, of California; Sarah E., married L. Clifford, of Serena.
John St. Clair, also son of Amos, came from the same place and settled on Section 32 in 1834.
Rev. John St. Clair, brother of Amos, came from Kentucky in 1834; a Methodist preacher and Presiding Elder; he was prominent in his denomination, an able, enterprising and useful man. He died in Evanston in 1861. Settled in Rutland.
William Beardsley, from Williamstown, Mass., came in 1837, and settled on Sec. 27; Julia, died in the fall of 1838; Lyman, insane; Harriet, married Dyson Miller.
Henry Beardsley, half-brother of William, from Williamstown, Mass., came in the fall of 1837. His children are: Lovina Blake, now in Adams; one son, William, in Mendota; Chester, married Miss Wheeler.
Nathaniel Perley, and wife, Eliza Stevens, from Massachusetts to Ottawa, and from, there to the creek in 1839. Mrs. Perley met her death by her clothes taking fire. Mr. Perley has gone West.
William Haskell, and wife, Martha Batcheller, first came to Ottawa in 1837, and to the creek in 1839. Perley & Haskell built Curyea's mill and distillery in 1839. He died recently in Streator.
John R. Hobbs, came from New York, in 1835; settled on S. 26. Daruria, died; Alfred, married, and lives in Serena.
Phineas Perley, came from Massachusetts, in 1833; married Wm. Beardsly's widow: one daughter, Almira. He died about 1857.
Joseph T. Roy, bachelor; run a mill on the creek. Died in 1871.
Aaron Grinnell, bachelor, came from New York, in 183Y, in the poor house, familiarly called "Old Chub."
Martin Lewis, came from Plattsburg, N. Y., in 1834; settled on S. 28, and died in 1837.