THE CODYS OF FREEDOM
By Evelyn Peterson, Dist. 246
Mr. Samuel Cody was born in Oneida county in the state of New York, April
13, 1813. On February 11, 1836, he married Caroline Baxter.
In April, 1837, he, his wife and child Harriet, moved to Illinois. He came in a covered wagon drawn by oxen. It was hard traveling because there were no bridges or roads. They had to make their way through. They arrived in La Salle county almost penniless.
The first winter Mr. Cody and his family stayed with the Warren family.
Mr. Cody bought his land for fifteen dollars an acre. He could have gotten land east of his home for a dollar and a quarter an acre. Why do you suppose he paid so much for his land ? The land east of his house didn't have any trees or willows. The land he bought had a few trees and willows on it. This helped keep out the cold and wind. Mr. Cody bought his land from Mr. Engersal. He bought his land from the government.
Mr. Cody bought walnut lumber for his home. He bought it from a saw-mill east of his home. His first house had only two rooms. He kept adding to the two rooms as it was needed.
Mr. Cody told Mr. Sampson that he would help him build his home if he would build it near him. Why do you suppose he did this? Mr. Cody did this because he wanted help if any Indians should attack.
Mr. Cody had to haul grain to Chicago. He and his neighbors would go together to haul the grain. They would haul the grain in a wagon drawn by oxen.
The colonists had trouble with diseases besides other hardships. Cholera broke out in the Cody family. Mr. Cody's wife and children and his wife's two brothers died from cholera.
In the time of the gold rush Mr. Cody, with his neighbor, Mr. Sampson, went West. They went in a covered wagon drawn by oxen. On the way he had to watch out for the Indians. Mr. Cody got out there safely and got some gold. On the way back he went by water. He went down to lower California and crossed the Isthmus of Panama. Mr. Cody saw people's throats cut by robbers and their gold taken away from them.
In 1851 Mr. Cody married Miss Theda Kenyon. They had one son, whose name was Jay A. Cody. Jay went South in time of the Civil war to fight, but was killed. He was buried at New Orleans.
Frederic Cody, the father of all the Codys who now live in Freedom township, lived in the house of Samuel Cody.
In 1891 they tore down the old house and built a new one. In 1900 they added five rooms to the new house. It now has ten rooms in it.
Before the Civil war the negroes would run away from their masters. They came to the North. The people in the North helped them get to Canada. As soon as they reached Canada they would be free. Some of the negroes would come to Mr. Cody's place. He kept them in an attic. Upstairs in the northwestern part is a small room. In the room is a small trap door. You can get in it by a ladder. In the attic is a place where the negroes hid. Sometimes during the night he would take them to Leland. From there someone else took them.
The Cody family had many relics. Mrs. Cody used candles. She had a candle mold which would hold a dozen candles. She would make them out of tallow.
She had a beautiful clock which was made of rosewood.
Ethel and Bayard Cody have furniture made from the old house. Some of the boards are under the radiators. Bayard made a library table and morris chair from the old house.
He also made a gun cabinet in which he keeps his guns and revolvers.