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David C. Myers and Luetta May Davis, September 15, 1897.
Ira B. McMurty and *Lillie Winifred Stewart, June 12, 1900.
William Thomas Burrill and Florence Floatie Baker, November 8, 1900.
Arthur D. Brewer and Laura E. Wright, August 30, 1902.
George Oscar Thomas and *Bertha Mabel Price, October 18, 1905.
Hugh Martin and *Silva Ross, June 18, 1907.
Everett B. Simpson and Dessie D. Spencer, August 5, 1912.
Reed McKinley Holcomb and *Zoe Marie Myers, June 30, 1914.
Earl B. Brock and *Regina L. Price, June 26, 1915.
Maurice D. Partelow and Ruth May Thomas, March 2, 1920.
Melvin Hoots and Dorothy E. Nickey, March 27, 1920.
William Nelson Mayberry and *Bertha May Rucker, September 16, 1920.
Berthel L. Owens and Ethel M. Camp, May 31, 1921.
• The stars indicate that their parents had been married by Rev. N. M. Baker.
Decatur, Ill. Mrs. Jessie Palmer Weber, Springfield, Illinois. Dear Mrs. Weber:
I am sending you the list of marriages and hope they will prove of value to you. From 1878 my father kept a written record of the marriages as they took place. Some few years before his death he wrote from memory a list of the ones he had performed before that year. The dates, and in some cases the Christian names, I supplied from the county records last winter, and was much interested to find that he had not omitted a single one. Father never solicited marriages as ministers often did in those days, and his pastorates were all in country churches, so that the number is really quite large all things being considered. He retired from active service on account of his health about 1894, and after that those who came to him were mostly children of old friends. In many cases he had married the parents of one or the other of the parties. He married one couple and each of their five daughters in the course of time. With kindest regards, I am
Very truly yours,
CLARA MARTIN BAKER.
SOME SIDELIGHTS ON THE EARLY HISTORY OF STARK
COUNTY, ILLINOIS. By WILLIAM H. JACKSON, Toulon, Illinois. The historian pursuing that elusive idea called truth is happy when, after collecting all available material, the testimony of the sources supplement each other so completely that he can declare "Thus must this event happened and not otherwise."
Unfortunately, this is not true in the determination of some of the most important events in which case the writer must content himself with an approximate truth in his explanations. The more one studies the history of this great country, certain happenings and incidents recorded here and there, certain references made to the particular topography of the section of country involved, leads one to conclude this event or that event must have been thus and so. In connection with the history and early settlement of the Illinois country its rivers, lakes, wooded lands, and broad prairies let us take a bird's eye view of conditions, environment as well as the opportunities at hand for a successful venture in this, then the remotest part of the earth. Prior to the year 1825 all territory north and west of the Illinois River was one vast county called the County of Pike. Upon its shore bounded by the Great Lakes, Chicago, were a few houses, several families lived at Fort Clark (Peoria) and a few men were working in the lead mines of Galena.
No road had yet been broken through the great and extensive wilderness, neither east or west, north or south.
It was late in 1825 that we read and are able only indefinitely to locate “Kellogg's Trail” leading from Peoria to Galena. Not a white man's home on its entire route, the country being overrun by several tribes of Indians among whom were the Sacks, Winnebagoes and Pottawattomies, the Illinois or Illini tribes were to the north and east and not on
friendly terms with those before mentioned. In 1818 our state became a real factor in the Nation, the early part of the 19th Century seeing great development in many sections of our country, especially so in the northwest territories extending to the Louisiana Purchase, as far away even as Pike's Peak, whose explorer in 1806 was no less than he whose name designated our own country, Zebulon Montgomery Pike, soldier, scientist and explorer. The writer, probably the only one present from this county, or perhaps state, witnessing the unveiling of the bronze tablet to his memory on top of Pike's Peak, September 24, 1906, one hundred years after his memorable expedition to that region. Let us pass from these lofty heights and come nearer home to the silent review of happenings on our own borders.
Because of its gateway proclivities; so to speak, the one point that bears a close relationship to the early settlements of our Spoon river country, I must speak of, that which is now La Salle County. It was here that in the late 70'ties, some 40 years before the events referred to that a culmination of circumstances lead to a memorable event in the history of our local Indian tribes, and likewise our
our early settlers. Scarcely a white man could be seen in this vast country, only an occasional band of French traders sailing up and down the Illinois river trading at the Indian villages from Chicago on down to Fort Clark (Peoria). Over this region one hundred years before had come the gallant “La Salle and his Italian lieutenant "Tonti,” with Father Hennepin. Fort St. Louis was built by these men on Starved Rock where with the Illinois Indians for many years they had a veritable stronghold. However great may be our powers, however strong may be our arms there comes a time in the affairs of men, as well as sometimes nations when the strongest must needs give way. It was here in 1770 that at a great council of war between the tribes of Indians of the Illinois country the great chief "Pontiac" of the Pottawattomies was stabbed to death by an Illinois warrior. For this offense the Pottawattomies swore bloody war of extermination on the Illinois tribe.
For many days they fought with all the savage fury known only to Indian warfare.
"Here chief met chief in dubious strife,
That spoke of life to death preferred.” By their powerful enemies the Illinois Tribes were re duced to a few warriors; these under cover of night ascended to the summit of the rock, (Starved Rock) surrounded by their foes without food or water, that, which was first thought to be a haven of safety, proved their darkest tomb.
From this region in LaSalle county came many of our first settlers, tempered with the experiences of the environments of these prairies they passed on, through what was so to speak, our first entry to what was later known as the Spoon River country on down the river to Fort Clark or perchance over the prairies from the Illinois river.
Perhaps the first settler in the Spoon River Country was Daniel Prince, coming on to Prince's Grove in 1826. Here he built a cabin, planted trees and his place became the nucleus for "Prince Grove" settlement or Princeville. A Mr. French also had a cabin one-half mile north of Princeville. Mr. Prince being a strong, robust man, and one of extremely keen foresight was able to intrench himself into strong holdings to this county south of our present county limits. It is said no man went hungry when near Mr. Prince, a quarter of beef or pork was given without a thought of its return. It was from this source our first settlers came. From a personal recollection of a Princeville resident, the writer in an endeavor to locate the original trail from Fort Clark to Galena lead mines obtained this recollection.
That the trail leading through Princeville from Peoria ou to Spoon River in Essex Township was familiarly known as the "Indian Trail” and as he supposed running to Rock Island. In confirmation of this recollection he recalls that Josiah Fulton, one of the historical characters of the very earliest times in Peoria County, told my informant's father that in 1826 he had been at the Galena lead mines, that he came in a flat boat on the Mississippi to Rock Island; and then on the Indian trail to Daniel Prince's house at Prince's Grove; that this house was the only house that he saw anywhere along the
trail between Rock Island and Peoria, and that the famous “Apple Row,” a half mile of apple trees, which was in evidence until a few years ago, had already been set out in that year 1826. This recollection in connection with Daniel Prince's house together with the apple row fixes the date of these and establishes the location in a general way of “The Indian Trail.” This Indian Trail was known as the trail from Fort Clark (Peoria) to Rock Island.
The Galena Road, known by that name at the present time, leads from Peoria right up the Illinois river for several miles, then heads for North Hampton; this is entirely different from Indian Trail above referred to. If you can picture then to your mind's eye this vast area coming up from Peoria crossing Spoon River and continuing past where Wyoming, Duncan and Toulon now stand between Spoon River on the east and Indian Creek on the west, going on up through Goshen township into Henry County and on to Rock River, crossing the same probably in northwest part of county, you will have the proper setting for the Stark County settlement. This country then occupied by the Pottawattomies on the south, the Sac's and Winnebagoes on the north with the treacherous warrior and Chief Black Hawk in command especially of the northern tribes, there was not much that offered encouragement to our early settlers.
Notwithstanding these conditions, in the latter part of April, 1829, a solitary heavy laden wagon could be seen wending its way from the home of Mr. French at Prince's Grove about one-half mile northwest from Princeville toward Spoon River. This outfit was a peaceable one, composed of neither hunters or warriors, but they feared no enemy and sought not the spoils of war. The prairie must have had a pleasant appearance, having been burnt over by the Indians in the early spring, the grass was green and tender as the wagon rolled along. A guard of men neighbors, some from the La Salle prairies 40 or 50 miles away, others from the Prince's Grove country, but seven miles south and east of their destination, accompanied this expedition. From the best information obtainable after inquiring from numerous persons who have a word to mouth knowledge of incidents and locations, it is