« AnteriorContinuar »
member of the same family was Rev. became widely known to the people
Rev. Joseph Willard, a son of the the question of combining the elelast-mentioned member of the family, ments antagonistic to slavery was the was the first settled minister at Lan dominant one in politics, and when caster, N. H., and one of the induce such local organization had been efments held out to him to locate in fected so far as this convention was what was then a frontier settlement, empowered to do so-Major Willard, was the gift of a farm, which became as chairman of the committee on orthe Willard homestead. On this farm ganization, suggested as an approMajor John H. Willard and his son, priate name for the new party, “The Alonzo J. Willard-one of the old Republican party of Franklin county." settlers of Chicago-were born.
This is said to have been the first orMajor John Haven Willard did not ganization to take the name of the follow in his father's footsteps, so far great party which has since exercised as selecting a calling in life was con so powerful an influence in controlcerned, although he was a man of ling the affairs and shaping the desfine attainments and much influence tinies of the United States. in the community in which he resided. Alonzo J. Willard, a son of Major It should be mentioned, perhaps, in John H. Willard, was born at Lanthis connection, that the name Haven caster, N. H., February 11th, 1817. was carried into the Willard family His mother was Beedee M. Cooper, through the inter-marriage of the a daughter of Judge Jesse Cooper, Willards and Havens. In the same
an old resident of Vermont. Alonzo way, the distinguished New England J. Willard grew up, or, at least, parname of Dwight became a family tially grew up, on the farm which had name among the Willards. Major passed into the possession of his John H. Willard was by occupation a grandfather when he became pastor farmer, in early life. He moved, how of the Congregational church at Lanever, from New Hampshire to the caster. portion of his boyhood, town of Wilton, in Maine, where he however, was spent at the home of opened a public house, and was both his grandfather Cooper, in Vermont. farmer and hotel-keeper for many During this time he attended school years thereafter. He was prominently
with reasonable regularity in the identified with the conduct of public winters of each year, and made proaffairs much of the time, was a fre gress, after the fashion of those enquent contributor to the press, and ergetic and enterprising young men
conveyance was a four-horse sleigh, tawa-carried them to, that point. which made a pleasant and fairly ex From there they drove to Chicago peditious means of travel in the start, with a team hired for the purpose, there being a considerable
considerable fall of reaching home at the end of a twentysnow on the ground at the time. six days' journey, in which no time When at Joliet, however, the snow had been wasted in making the trip disappeared, and the treasure-boxes, from Chicago to St. Louis and reaccompanied by the messengers, were turn. transferred to a four-horse coach. Mr. Willard was married in 1855 to At Marseiles, an open, springless Mrs. Laura A. Wooster. Mrs. Willard wagon took the place of the coach, was born in Goshen, Conn., and was and at Springfield the stage company the daughter of Ethan Walter, an old abandoned the government agents,
resident of that town. She came west and they were compelled to secure with her first husband, Mr. Wooster, their own conveyances from there on. and was a resident of Chicago as early A four-horse team took them to Jack as 1839. At a later date she removed sonville in a day and a half. There to Missouri, where Mr. Wooster died, they struck the pioneer Railroad, and in 1855 she returned to Chicago which carried them to Naples, from the wife of Mr. Willard. А whence they proceeded by steamer to son and a daughter are the only St. Louis.
children of Mr. and Mrs. Willard. As soon as the money which they The son-John Haven Willard, a had carried with them had been graduate of Michigan Universitycounted, and they were relieved of is now associated with his father their responsibility for its safe de in business, and the daughter is the livery, they began the return trip. wife of Charles G. Bolte, prominent A New Orleans steamer-the first among the young business men of the and only large steamer that city. ran as far up the Illinois river as Ot
HOWARD Louis CONARD.
When the “old settlers” of Chi- . getting his little steamer ready for its cago come together at the annual re trial trip, and in after years used to ception of the Calumet Club--the entertain his children with stories of most notable of all the receptions the comments made by the sailors which take place in the city in the after they had been permitted to incourse of a year-a conspicuous fig- spect the strange-looking craft--a ure among the silver-haired pioneers privilege for which they each had to is that of Mr. Laurin P. Hilliard, pay a fee of twenty-five cents.
. A who became a citizen of Chicago in majority of the sailors were of the 1836. He was born at Unadilla Forks, opinion--according to Mr. HilliardOtsego county, N. Y., October 11th, that the steamer would find it impos1814, and was the son of Isaiah Hil sible to run up North river against liard, a prosperous farmer of that pic- the tide." While following the sailor's turesque region, at the head of the calling, he made numerous long Unadilla river.
cruises, at a time when American The Hilliard family came origin- sailors had to be provided with what ally from Connecticut, where they they styled "protection papers," ” were among the early settlers of that which secured them, to some extent, State, although the exact date of their against the danger of being seized and settlement is not definitely known. impressed into the British naval serIsaiah Hilliard was left an orphan in vice. The "protection paper" issued his early boyhood, and when still quite to Isaiah Hilliard-an interesting young he entered upon an adventur relic, by the way, of the infantile days ous career, which
of “the great Republic”-is now in thorough knowledge of the world be the possession of Edward P. Hilliard, fore he settled down to the quiet and of Chicago, and the following is a uneventful life of an Otsego county
copy of the same: farmer. Starting out as a cabin and general utility boy on a sloop running out of New York, he led a sea “I, Jedidiah Huntington, Collector faring life for several years, and de of New London, do hereby certify veloped into a skillful and generally that, well-informed sailor. He was in New “ Isaiah Hilliard, an American seaYork city when Robert Fulton was man, aged twenty-two years or there
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
« No. 3,123
abouts, of the height of five feet eight New England, Walter Palmer, the inches, of a light complexion, with American progenitor of this branch dark hair, and a scar on the left arm, of the family, having come from Not
“Has this day produced to me proof, tinghamshire, England, to America in the manner directed in the act en in 1629. His first place of residence titled 'An Act for the Relief and Pro was at Charleston, Mass., where he tection of American Seamen;' and, built the first dwelling in the town; pursuant to the said act, I do hereby and in 1653 he became a resident of certify, that the said Isaiah Hilliard, Stonington, Conn., where he lived
“Is a citizen of the United States up to the date of his death, in 1661, of America.
and near which—at Wequetequock “In witness whereof, I have here Cove--his remains still rest. unto set my hand and seal of office union of the Palmer family, which was this 14th day of December, 1804. held in Stonington, in 1881, brought “(Signed)
together nearly two thousand of his “J. HUNTINGTON, Collector." descendants, among those present At about the time he attained his being many distinguished citizens of majority, the elder Hilliard returned the United States, while others not to New York city from the West In present-such as Gen. U. S. Grant, a dies, where he had spent considerable descendant eight generations removed time and had some novel and inter from Walter Palmer-telegraphed or esting experiences. He had by this wrote their regrets, on account of untime tired of a sailor's life, and deter avoidable absence. mined to return to the pastoral call At that time the history of the ing of his ancestors, the natural fond Palmer family was reviewed in extenso ness for which had not been dispelled by many of its members who had by sea-faring experiences. Leaving given the matter careful attention. New York city, he made his way back The origin of the family name-of into the interior of the State, where which interesting mention was made his somewhat limited capital was in in this connection-dates back to the vested in unimproved lands, in close Crusades. In their marches to Jeruproximity to the farm of Jonathan salem, in the middle ages, from the Palmer, one of the pioneer settlers in time of Peter the Hermit to the close the neighborhood of Unadilla Forks. of the fourteenth century, there were The young sailor who had turned far
many who sought to see the tomb of mer soon formed the acquaintance of Christ from sacred motives. Many Farmer Palmer's daughter Keturah, of those pilgrims, on their return, wore who became his wife.
palm-leaves in their hats, or carried The ancestors of Jonathan Palmer staves made from the sacred palmwere among the earliest settlers of branches; and so it happened that
CHICAGO PRIOR TO 1840.
they came to be called palm-bearers, ranged for him to enter a country store or Palmers; and in this form the name at Burlington Flats, not far from the passed into the literature of early place of his birth. In those days English authors. In Spencer's "Farie young men who had a fancy for merQueene," an aged pilgrim is thus al cantile pursuits were expected to luded to:
learn the business before receiving “Him als accompanyd upon the way
any compensation of consequence for A comely palmer, clad in black attire,
their services. Young Hilliard, thereOf ripest years and hieres all hoarie gray, fore, entered the merchandising estab
That with a staffe his feeble limbs did stire, lishment of Charles Walker, with the Lest his long way his aged limbs should
understanding that he was to receive tire.”
no salary for the first year's work, Shakespeare also made frequent and that he would be satisfied with a mention of the 'Palmers;” and a compensation of fifty dollars during speaker at the Palmer reunion allu the second year of his employment. ded in happy vein to one of these ref His adaptability to the business in erences of the prince of English dra which he engaged soon became appamatists. Quoting from Shakespeare, rent, and he gave every evidence of “Where do the Palmers lodge, I pray becoming a successful young tradesyou?” his answer to the question thus man. His employer was especially propounded was: “They lodge every interested in him and pleased with where on this broad continent, from his business methods, and, when he Maine and the Canadas, on the north, had become thoroughly conversant to Oregon and California, on the west, with the conduct and management of sweeping the southwestern States a general store, offered him a partnerand Territories, back, by the Carolinas ship in a store at Unadilla Forks, and Virginias, to the old camp-ground While he was thus associated with in Stonington, where we are met in Mr. Walker, a brother of the latter council to-day."
came to Chicago with a stock of goods, Jonathan Palmer was a descendant which it was thought could be disof Walter Palmer, six generations re posed of to advantage in a frontier moved; and Laurin Palmer Hilliard, settlement. This business venture his grandson, is therefore a descend turned out well, and the gentleman ant, of the eighth generation.
who had charge of it returned to BurMr. Hilliard spent his boyhood days lington Flats strongly impressed with on the farm; was educated at the the advantages of Chicago as a tradpublic schools and at Hamilton Col ing point. It was this which first lege. When about eighteen years of called Mr. Hilliard's attention to the age, his father, thinking him well new western town; and, when he finadapted to commercial pursuits, ar ally sold his interest in the business