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1 8 8
Feet. Inches. 1. Clay shale........
15. Slate 2. Sandstone.
4 6 3. Clay shale....
.20 6 4. Coal No. 6....
.62 5 5. Fire-clay......
2 6. Limestone....
1 7 Fire-clay
2 Clay shale....
1 9. Fire-clay
2 10. Shale ..........
6 24. Hard lime rock....
2 11. Soft blue slate
.22 7 25. Gray slate........ 12. Black slate
26. Soapstone. 13. Coal No. 4....
4 6 27. Coal...... 14. Fire-clay.......
..10 In the northern and eastern portions of McLean County, we have only the records of several borings, which afford but few particulars as to the character of the underly ing beds.
INDIANS. When this section of the State began to be settled by the white people, the Kickapoo and the Pottawatomie Indians were in possession of the country between the Wabash and the Illinois Rivers. The two tribes seemed to be so promiscuously intermixed with each other, and with the fragments of some other tribes, as scarcely to be distinguishable, on the part of the early settlers. Although they had confessedly disposed of their title to the country to the United States Government, they manifested some hostility of feeling when the pioneers came to take actual possession of their former hunting-grounds, and of the homes of themselves and of their fathers. They seemed to feel that their leaving the country was yielding to an inevitable necessity, brought upon them by the unwelcome encroachments of the white man, rather than complying with the terms of a voluntary cession of the territory. The old Kickapoo chief, Machina, even threatened unpleasant consequences to the first installment of settlers in this county if they did not leave. But there were no evil results. In fact, the intercourse between these Indians and the early settlers, was, in this section of the country, of the most friendly character, as a general thing. They would sometimes steal necessaries from those whom they hated; but the lives and the property of those who treated them kindly, and with whom they were on friendly terms, were as safe as among any other people. If they wanted a pig, or something of the kind, from a white neighbor, they were told to help themselves, and, on the other hand, if a friendly housewife wanted some game for food, it would soon be forthcoming from the red man. There is no record, nor yet tradition, that any white person was ever killed by the Indians within the limits of this county, unless, perchance during the war of 1812.
These Indians had their headquarters near Old Town Timber, near the center of the county, their fort covering several acres, surrounded by a palisade and an embankment on each side of it. Pleasant Hill, another of their stations, a few miles north, was with them a favorite place for the cultivation of the few vegetables which they raised. In the summer, many of them liked to stay about the southeast end of Blooming Grove, the scene of the earliest settlements in this county.
This section of the country was evidently a great favorite with the Indians. Here game of all kinds was abundant, wild fruits were plenty and excellent, the climate was
genial, the range for their ponies was inexhaustible, the groves and the streams were. conveniently frequent, and the scenery was unsurpassable in its quiet beauty. Here were the graves of their fathers, and here were the scenes of their own exploits and their homes. But they seemed to feel that they were a doomed people, and to anticipate their fate. Some of them were very intelligent people; and in their intimate intercourse with friendly whites, they would sometimes indulge in sad rehearsals of the many wrongs which their tribes had suffered from the hands of the white man, as they had been successively crowded from one portion of the country to another, westward, ever westward !
The Indians remained in this section of the country until the Black Hawk war ; and during that conflict, they seemed to flit about, equally desirous of avoiding contact with the whites and the Indians engaged therein. These Indians afterward emigrated to Northwestern Iowa, to fade from the memory of the early settlers in this state, and, eventually, from the face of the earth. In reference to them, we may adapt the lines of the poet,
ORIGIN. In 1781, Virginia ceded to the United States the territory northwest of the Ohio River, which was deeded to the United States in 1784, the deed being signed on the part of Virginia by her illustrious citizens, Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Hardy, Arthur Lee and James Monroe. In 1787, Congress passed an act establishing the Northwestern Territory and authorizing the organization of a territorial government, the Territory embracing all northwest of the Ohio River to which Virginia held any claim. In 1789, Congress passed another act, putting the government of said Territory in operation. In 1800, by another act of Congress, the said Territory was divided; the western portion of it, embracing all west of a line beginning at the Ohio, opposite the mouth of the Kentucky River, and running thence to Fort Recovery; and thence north until intersecting the territorial line between the United States and Canada, which was to be called the Territory of Indiana.
Again, in 1809, Congress passed an act dividing Indiana Territory into two separate governments, and constituting the portion of it lying west of the Wabash River and a direct line drawn from the said Wabash River and Post Vincennes, dué north to the territorial line between the United States and Canada, a Territory, thus separated, and to be called Illinois. In 1818, an act of Congress enabled the people of Illinois to form a Constitution and a State Government, the State being admitted into the Union the same year, and the boundaries being thus defined: Beginning at the mouth of the Wabash River; thence up the same, and with the line of Indiana to the northwest corner of said State ; thence east with the line of the same State to the middle of Lake Michigan; thence north, along the middle of said lake, to north latitude forty-two degrees and thirty minutes; thence west to the middle of the Mississippi River; and thence down along the middle of that river to its confluence with the Ohio River; and thence up the latter river along its northwestern shore to the beginning.
Under the territorial government, the State was divided into fourteen counties, as follows: Bond, Madison, St. Clair, Monroe, Randolph, Jackson, Johnson, Pope, Gallatin, White, Edwards, Crawford, Union, Washington and Franklin. In 1809, the
territory now embraced in McLean County was included in St. Clair County ; the Territory of Illinois being divided into two counties, Randolph and St. Clair, the former embracing all the southern portion of the Territory, and the latter all the northern portion. In 1812, McLean County was embraced in Madison County. In 1814, McLean formed part of the counties of Madison and Edwards; that portion of it lying west of the Third Principal Meridian being in Madison ; and that portion lying east of it being in Edwards. In 1817, it formed part of Bond and Crawford Counties; that portion of it lying west of said Meridian being in Bond County; and that east of it in Crawford. In 1819, McLean County formed part of Clark and Bond Counties; that portion of it west of the Meridian being in Bond, and the eastern portion in Clark. In 1821, the portion of McLean County west of the Meridian was included in Sangamon County, and the eastern portion in Fayette County. In 1826, Vermilion County was created, and all that portion of what is now McLean County, formerly part of Fayette, was attached to Vermilion for county purposes; the western portion remaining in Sangamon. In 1827, that portion of McLean west of the Meridian belonged to Tazewell County; the eastern portion remaining in Vermilion. In 1829, the boundaries of Tazewell County were re-adjusted, but McLean remained as before, divided between Tazewell and Vermilion.
In 1830, McLean County was created with the following boundaries : Beginning at the southwest corner of Township 21 north, Range 1 west of the Third Principal Meridian ; thence north between Ranges 1 and 2 west of said Meridian, to the northwest corner of Township 28 north; thence east between Ranges 28 and 29, to the northeast corner of Township 28, Range 6 east of the Third Principal Meridian ; thence south between Ranges 6 and 7 east of said Meridian, to the southeast corner of Township 21 north, Range 6 east of the Third Principal Meridian; thence west to the place of beginning. This territory lay wholly within the counties of Tazewell and Vermilion ; the latter not within the county proper, but lands attached for county purposes. The original boundaries of McLean County, as will be seen by the above description, comprised eight townships north and south, and seven ranges east and west, being in extent 42 by 48 miles, and in regular form-a perfect rectangle-containing fifty-six townships.
In 1837, Livingston County was created, and 94 townships were taken from the northeast corner of McLean. In 1839, De Witt County was created, taking 4$ townships from the south end of McLean ; and in 1841, Woodford County was created, taking, in a zigzag direction, from west to northeast about 9 townships from the northwest corner of McLean, and reducing it to its present shape and dimensions, but still leaving it the largest county in the State.
At the time McLean County was organized, Tazewell and McLean were together entitled to one Representative and one Senator in the State Legislature ; and the Clerks of the County Commissioners' Courts of the two counties were required to meet at Bloomington to compare the election returns of Senator and Representative. At the same time, the counties of Peoria, Jo Daviess, Putnam, La Salle and Cook were entitled to one Senator and one Representative. This indicates a remarkable change in the relative population in the middle and the northern portion of the State, though the increase here has itself been remarkable for its steadiness and rapidity.
AN ACT CREATING MCLEAN COUNTY.
SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois, represented in the General Assembly, That all that tract of country lying within the following boundaries, to wit: Beginning at the southwest corner of township numbered twenty-one north, of range numbered one, west of the third principal meridian, thence north between ranges numbered one and two, west of said meridian, to the northwest corner of town. ship numbered twenty-eight north; thence east, between townships numbered twentyeight and twenty-nine, to the northeast corner of township numbered twenty-eight, of range numbered six, east of the third principal meridian ; thence south, between ranges numbered six and seven, east of said meridian, to the southeast corner of township numbered twenty-one north, of range numbered six, east of said meridian ; thence west to the place of beginning, shall constitute a new county, to be called McLean.
SEC. 2. For the purpose of fixing the permanent seat of justice of said county, the following-named persons are appointed Commissioners, viz. : Lemuel Lee, of Fayette County; Isaac Pugh and Elisha Freeman, of Macon County, which Commissioners, or a majority of them, shall meet at the house of James Allen, in said county, on the second Monday of February next, or within five days thereafter, and, being first duly sworn by some Justice of the Peace of the State, faithfully and impartially to take into view the convenience of the people, the situation of the present settlement, with a strict view to the population and settlements which will hereafter be made, and the eligibility of the place, shall proceed to explore and carefully examine the country, determine on and designate the place for the permanent seat of justice of the same; provided, that the proprietor or proprietors of the land shall give and convey, by deed of general warranty, for the purpose of erecting public buildings, a quantity of land, in a square form, or not more than twice as long as wide, not less than twenty acres ; but should the proprietor or proprietors of the land refuse or neglect to make the donation aforesaid, then said Commissioners shall fix the said county seat (having in view the interest of the county) upon the land of some person who will make the donation aforesaid. If the Commissioners shall be of opinion that the proper place for the seat of justice is, or ought to be, on lands belonging to Government, they shall so report, and the County Commissioners shall purchase one-half quarter section, the tract set forth, in their name, for the use of said county. The Commissioners aforesaid, so soon as they decide on a place, shall make a clear report to the County Commissioners' Court, and the same shall be recorded at length in their record-book. The land donated, or purchased, shall be laid out into lots and sold by the County Commissioners to the best advantage, and the proceeds applied to the erection of public buildings and such other purposes as the Commissioners shall direct, and good and sufficient deeds shall be made for the lots sold.
SEC. 3. An election shall be held at the several places of holding elections as now laid off by Tazewell County, in the said county of McLean, on the second Monday of March next, for one Sheriff, one Coroner and three County Commissioners, who shall hold their offices until the next general election, and until their successors be qualified; and the Justices of the Peace and Constables who are now in office and residing within the limits of said county of McLean, shall continue in office until the next quadrennial election for Justices of the Peace and Constables, and until their successors be qualified. And it shall be the duty of the Clerk of the Circuit Court of said county, and if there be none acting, then the Recorder or Judge of Probate, shall give at least fifteen days' notice previous to said election, and who shall appoint the judges and clerks of said election, who shall be legal voters; and the returns of the election shall be made to the Clerk, Recorder, or Judge of Probate Court, as the case may be, who gave the notice aforesaid, and by him, in the presence of one or more Justicas of the Peace, shall be opened and examined, and they jointly shall give to the persons elected Commissioners, certificates of their election, and like certificates to the persons elected Sheriff and Coroner, to forward to the Governor; which election shall in all other respects be conformable to law.
Sec. 4. All courts for said county shall be held at the house of James Allen until public buildings are erected, unless changed to some other place by order of the County Commissioners' Court, who shall make the same a matter of record.
Sec. 5. The Commissioners herein appointed to locate the county seat shall be allowed two dollars per day each, for every day by them necessarily employed in making said location, to be paid by said county.
Sec. 6. The seat of justice of said county of McLean shall be called and known by the name of Bloomington.
(Approved December 25, 1830.)
After the creation of McLean County, as herein previously stated, by act of the State Legislature, in 1831, the First Judicial Circuit of the State consisted of Pike, Calhoun, Greene, Morgan, Sangamon, Tazewell, Macon, McLean and Macoupin Counties ; and the first term was to be legally held in this county at the house of Mr. James Allen, in Bloomington, on the first Thursday after the first Monday after the fourth Monday in April in 1831. The Circuit Courts were then presided over by the Judges of the Supreme Court of the State, and the Circuit Judge of the Fifth Judicial Circuit. The Hon. Samuel D. Lockwood presided in the court, in this circuit, from 1831 till 1835; Hon. Stephen T. Logan presided from 1835 till 1837; Hon. Jesse B. Thomas, from 1837 till 1839; Hon. William Thomas, from 1839 till 1840; Hon. Samuel H. Treat, from 1840 till 1819.
The Circuit Judges then becoming elective, Hon. David Davis was elected, and presided in this circuit from 1819 till 1863; then Hon. John M. Scott, from 1863 till 1870; Hon. Thomas F. Tipton, from 1870 till 1877, and then Hon. Owen T. Reeves, the present incumbent, became his successor.
At the first term of the Court in this county, Mr. James Allen was the Clerk pro tempore. In September, 1832, Gen. Meritt L. Covell was appointed Clerk, who held the office till 1845 ; then Mr. James T. Gildersleeve held it till 1819; then Mr. William H. Allen was elected to the office, and held it till 1853; then Mr. William McCullough, till 1863; then Dr. E. R. Roe, till 1868; then Rev. Robert E. Guthrie, till 1872; then Mr. Samuel F. Dolliff, till 1876, who was succeeded by Mr. James C. McFarland, the present incumbent.
David B. Campbell, Esq., was Prosecuting Attorney in this circuit from 1849 till 1854. In 1855 and 1856, A. McWilliams, Esq., held the office; in 1857 and till 1860, it was held by Ward H. Lemon, Esq. ; in 1861 and 1862, by William H. Young, Esq.; in 1863 and till 1867, by Henry S. Greene, Esq.; in 1867 and 1868, by Hon. Thomas