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At the June term, 1832, the Court established the previously-proposed road from the Vermilion through Bloomington, on Main street, to the south line of the county at fifty feet wide; also the one from the east end of Front street, Bloomington, in a southeasterly course to Buckles' Grove, at the same width.

The amount of the county revenue collected from taxes for the current year, as reported to the County Court at the June term, 1832, was $2,313; and the amount paid the County Assessor, Mr. Thomas Orondorff, was $40.

At the December term, 1832, of the Court, Mr. John Scott, Mr. Ebenezer Barues, and Mr. William McGhee came into Court and made application for the privilege of proving themselves to have been Revolutionary soldiers. After due investigation, the Court confirmed their declarations as true. The same was done in the case of Mr. Thomas Sloan, and his declaration in the matter taken to be correct.

A petition was presented in Court, signed by John Benson and others, praying for a road to be located from Bloomington to Painter Creek Mill, and thence to Walnut Grove, near John Oatman's, in McLean County. Petition granted, and Isaac Baker, Robert McClure and Josiah Brown appointed as viewers of said road.

A petition was presented, also, signed by Lemuel Evans, Jesse Sutton, and others, praying a road to be located, beginning at John Funk's farm, in Funk's Grove; thence to the south to the crossing on Kickapoo, near A. Larison's; thence through the town plat of Waynesville, to the county line near Pilot Grove. Petition granted, and Isaac Baker, Samuel Murphy and Runion Hougham appointed Viewers.

It will readily be inferred, from the districting of the county, the appointment of township officers, the location of so many roads, and the frequent mention of so many names in every direction, that the country, as well as Bloomington, was filling up rapidly with immigrants. Such was the case. In 1830 and 1831, the prairie turf had been broken in large quantities, and the decay of such masses of vegetable growth had filled the atmosphere with malaria, and the fever and ague were very common and severe. In the winter of 1831, occurred, also the great fall of snow, such as has never been witnessed since. It caused great loss of stock, covered under the snow, and from starvation. The inhabitants were themselves nearly buried in their dwellings, and intercourse between the distant neighbors was suspended for weeks. The abundant game in the country became worthless from starvation, and perished in great numbers from the severity of the weather. Yet such were the energy and the perseverance of the early settlers, and the goodly reports which they sent back to their friends of the fertility of the soil and the magnificent prospects for acquiring good homes and future independence, that immigration continued to pour in, and the material resources of the country were rapidly developed

For some years, the style of building was mostly one story high, and the walls were of hewed logs, very substantial and comfortable. Some of such buildings are still in use in the city and in the county, in very tolerable condition, some of them from forty to fifty years old. The roofs were covered with long split shingles, and the chimneys made up of stone, or sticks and clay. As the early settlers nearly all stuck closely around the groves, that manner of building was tolerably convenient, and the immediate foresttrees supplied an abundance of excellent fuel and of rail timber. One of the most serious discouragements to be met in those days, in settling up this State, was the sickness caused by malaria. Yet it was not nearly as severe in Illinois as in Indiana and Michigan. This was unuoubtedly owing to the scarcity of forests. On this account, and owing to its fortunate location in reference to rivers, and its elevation, McLean County was then, as it is now, an exceptionally healthy one.

Later experiences show that the so-much-slighted open, wide prairies are more healthy than the immediate vicinity of the groves. But the abundance of fuel and the protection of the groves to man and beast decided the location of the early settlements. In those days, people ridiculed the idea that the broad prairie, would be settled up for generations. To obtain boards and plank, they were obliged to saw them by hand from forest logs, a slow and laborious process; and when saw-mills were afterward erected, still the lumber was so expensive and heavy to handle that but little progress was made on the prairies, for several years. When Chicago began to assume the characteristics of a town, and became a lumber market, the process of transporting it on wagons a hundred and fifty miles, the teams hauling up grain and pork, and bringing back boards, was still too slow to encourage venturing out onto the grassy seas surrounding the groves. That movement waited the advent of the iron horse, breathing fire and


Much timber was destroyed by the storm that passed across this county on the 23d of June, 1827. Though it visited Blooming Grove very roughly, Old Town Timber was the principal scene of destruction marking its pathway. The largest foresttrees of the most sturdy kinds, were but as playthings in its grasp, as it seized them in its might, hurling them headlong to the ground, and piling them in promiscuous heaps. This was far the fiercest storm that has visited this county within the knowledge of the white man. It is a subject of remark that this county has since been very

fortunate in escaping similar visitations, though they have passed repeatedly over the country several times, quite near.

At the December term of the Commissioners' Court, Messrs. James Allen and M. L. Covell, Messrs. John and Samuel Durley and Mr. Benjamin Haines made application for license to sell goods, wares and merchandise in the town of Bloomington. The style of doing business in those days was quite different from the present one. Each store was stocked with a miscellaneous assemblage of multitudinous articles then known and recognized as necessary to meet the few wants and satisfy the simple tastes of earnest and sensible people in a new country. The merchants and shopkeepers could not then, as now, send an order on the swift-winged lightning, and receive a bill of goods on the next day's train.

To replenish their miscellany of goods, wares and merchandise involved the necessity of shinning around among their customers for two or three weeks, to raise the necessary funds, sufficient at least to pay traveling expenses, and then a trip to Pekin, by horse-power, and thence by a tub of a steamer, when one was luckily encountered in its meanderings up and down the Illinois River, in search of sandbars, that were to be avoided. By this process a replenishment of goods and wares could be obtained from St. Louis in the short period of two or three weeks, involving, of course, the departure and return of the swift wagon-train of Mr. Benjamin Depew and his associates in that line. We say St. Louis, for Chicago, in those days, knew not itself. Or if any of the business men of the time were bold enough to undertake a pilgrimage to Philadelphia, for goods, their return was greeted with much welcome by those who still remembered them.

As we have before said, the Commissioners' Court was held at the residence of Mr. James Allen; but at the January term, 1832, the Court resolved to have a Court House ; it accordingly instructed its Clerk to give public notice that the erection of a building, which was to be one story high, and 18x30 feet, comfortably finished off in the then prevailing style, would be sold at public vendue, on the 6th day of March succeeding. The erection of the building was bid off by A. Gridley, Esq., for $339.75. The building was erected according to the contract, located on the west side of the public square, and accepted by the Court in December of the same year. The Jail was built about the same time, by Mr. William Dimmitt, at a cost of $321. So the Court House was not very much ahead; in fact, the Jail was the more substantial building of the two, as there seemed to be more anxiety about the stay of the prisoners than about that of the Court.

At the December term, 1832, and at the February term, 1833, the County Commissioners' Court granted deeds to the following-named gentlemen, who had bought town lots in Bloomington at the public sale of said lots on the 4th of July, 1831. The record of the sale appears not to be obtainable ; but the following are believed to be substantially the names of the purchasers: James Latta, Martin Scott, A. Gridley, Nathan Low, William R. Roberson, John Maxwell, Ebenezer Rhodes, Cheney Thomas, Solomon Dodge, Caleb Kimler, Jesse Frankerberger, Jesse Havens, Frederick Trimmer, M. L. Covell, John W. Dawson, David Wheeler, Alvin Barnett, Jonathan Cheney, Joseph B. Harbert, Eli Frankerberger, Hezekiah M. Harbert, Richard Gross, William Harbert, Samuel Durley, Orman Roberson, Baily Kimler, Baily H. Coffey, Lewis Soward, John W. Harbert, Isaac Baker and Absalom Funk. The sale is said to have been quite lively and the bidding spirited—the lot on which the McLean County Bank now stands, bringing the highest price-$52,

At the March term, 1833, a petition was presented signed by Samuel Hoblitt and others for a road commencing at the county line of Mason and McLean County, near Long Point, thence to Waynesville, to Napp's mill, thence over the line between Samuel Hoblitt's and Shipley's, thence to intersect the road to be laid out in Tazewell County by way of Orondorff's mill to Pekin. Petition granted, and Isaac Baker, Andrew Brock and Benjamin Shipley appointed Viewers thereof.

So rapid had been the increase of population in the county that, at the same session, the Court redivided the county into road districts as follows, which will give a very good idea of the distribution of the population at that time, and also many of the names of the early settlers and their location : District No. 1, to commence at the line between the land of John Kimler and Benjamin Haines; thence west to the west end of the causeway near J. Toliver's land; also on the road from Bloomington south to the largest branch of Sugar Creek; and also on the road from Bloomington north to the middle of Town 24, Range 2 east, and the streets and alleys in Bloomington. John Kimler was appointed Supervisor.

District No. 2, commencing at the west end of the causeway east of J. Toliver's, on the county road leading to Funk's Grove, including the inhabitants near said road as far as the northwest corner of Isaac Hougham's fence, and those on the west side of Blooming Grove as far south as Mr. Hinshaw's. James Toliver, Supervisor.

District No. 3, including all the inhabitants on the west side of Blooming Grove, from Mr. Hinshaw's to Kickapoo Creek, between Seth Baker's and Omen Olney's thence up

to labor on the road from Sugar Creek, near the north end of Section 16, south to Town 22 north, Range 2 east. J. B. Harbert appointed Supervisor.

District No. 4, to commence at Kickapoo Creek, between Seth Baker's and Omen Olney's, thence, including all the inhabitants to work on the roads on the east side of the grove in Town 23 north, as far as the north and west of Mr. Haines' land. William Orondorff appointed Supervisor.

District No. 5, the inhabitants of Funk's Grove, John Murphy's Grove, and of William Johnson's Grove, to work that part of the road leading from Bloomington to John Funk's, commencing at the northwest corner of Isaac Hougham's farm, thence to Funk's Grove. John Funk appointed Supervisor.

District No. 6, all the inhabitants of that part of the big grove lying west of the Third Principal Meridian, and thence west and south to the county line, to work on a road intended to be opened. Samuel Hoblitt, Supervisor.

District No. 7, to be composed of all of that part of big grove lying east of the Third Principal Meridian, including Town 21 north, Range 1 east. George Isham appointed Supervisor.

District No. 8, commencing at Isaac Harrold's, thence westwardly so as to include all the inhabitants living on the north side of the Vermilion, within the limits of the county as far west as the county line crosses the south fork of the river Vermilion ;

said stream, including all the inhabitants to the southeast end of the timber called Epperd's Point, the inhabitants as before mentioned to work on the road now located, running from Frederick Rook's to Bloomington as far as the ten-mile post on said road. Frederick Rook appointed Supervisor.,

District No. 9, commencing at the southeast end of Indian Grove, near Martin Darnell's, thence northeastwardly, following the said grove or creek, so as to include all the inhabitants east of where Isaac Jordan now lives, on the north side of the Vermilion River, and to include all the inhabitants living east of the two mentioned points. Martin Darnell appointed Supervisor.

District No. 10, commencing at the west end of the claim or farm of Isaac Jordan, where he now lives, on the Vermilion River, so as to include all the inhabitants on both sides of the grove of timber on said river as far west as where Isaac Harrold now lives on the said river. Uriah Blue appointed Supervisor.

District No. 11 shall comprehend all the road, and inhabitants to work the same, from the ten-mile post, north of William Evans', southerly to the prairie south of Mr. Young's, extending east to the center of Towns 24, 25 and 26 in Range 4, and east to the junction of Mackinaw and Money Creek Timber. William Young, Supervisor.

District No. 12, comprehending the inhabitants and roads commencing at the edge of the prairie a little south of Mr. Young's, in Mackinaw Timber, thence southerly through the Money Creek Timber to the center of Town 24 north, in Range 2 east, and extending east so as to include the grove of Mr. Smith, and west to the junction of Mackinaw and Money Creek Timber, thence southerly to the center of Town 24 north, in Range 1 east. Jacob Spawr appointed Supervisor.

District No. 13, comprehending all the inhabitants in Painter Creek Timber and Walnut Grove within the county to work on the roads running through their settle

William McCord, Supervisor.


District No. 14, comprehending all that territory in the county west of the following line, to wit: Beginning at the center of Town 24 north, in Range 1 east, northerly to the junction of Mackinaw and Money Creek Timber. Isaac Allen appointed Supervisor.

District No. 15, comprehending all the inhabitants in Stout's Grove within the county, to labor on the road from Mackinawtown to Bloomington, from the west line of the county extending to Dry Grove. Robert McClure, Supervisor.

District No. 16, comprehending all the inhabitants of Dry Grove, Harbert's Grove, Brown's Grove and Mosquito Grove, if in the county, to work the road from the Third Principal Meridian eastwardly through Dry Grove, and on toward Bloomington to the west bank of Sugar Creek. Elijah Dixon appointed Supervisor.

District No. 17, shall comprehend all the inhabitants of Long Point and Short Point, to near Jesse Funk's, to labor on the roads leading south from the north part of Town 21, running southerly to the county line. John P. Glenn appointed Supervisor.

District No. 18, comprehending Town 22 north, Range 2 east, including Jesse Funk, and to labor on roads from north part of Town 21, to the north of Town 22, in Range 2 east. David Noble appointed Supervisor.

District No. 19, shall comprehend the Towns 22 and 23, Range 3 east. Henry Manning appointed Supervisor.

District No. 20, comprehending all the inhabitants in Buckles' Grove on the north and south forks of Salt Creek, in the county, to work the road from Town 22 north, Range 3 east, to the county line near Osburn's Grove. Silas Waters appointed Supervisor,

District No. 21, comprehending all the inhabitants in Old Town Timber, east of Range 3, except south side within a mile of road from Merrifield's to Dawson's, to work the road from Range 3 east, eastward to four miles east of John Dawson's. Jeremiah Greenman, Supervisor.

District No. 22. All the inhabitants in Cheney's Grove to work the road from county line east of Jonathan Cheney's; thence westerly to within four miles of John Dawson's. Benjamin Thomas, Supervisor.

At the same session, on application, the Court granted license to Greenbury Larison to keep tavern in the town of Bloomington one year, for the sum of $5. The Court granted also the petition for a road round the southwest side of Bloomington ; a petition for a road through Big Grove; and a petition for the alteration of a road southerly through Randolph Grove. A tax of one-half of one per cent was levied on stock, animals, personal property and distilleries. The Court, acting as overseers of the poor, bound Maryann King, a poor girl of eight years, to Gervis Gaylord, as apprentice in housewifery until she should be eighteen years


This is the first instance of the kind in the county.

License was granted to Benjamin Haines to vend goods, wares and merchandise.

At the June term, on request of John Recob and others, the Court set off the following territory into a separate election precinct, to be called Vermilion Precinct, to wit: Comprehending all the inhabitants and territory north of a line extending from the southeasterly part of Indian Grove, westerly to Epperd's Point on Rook's Creek; thence northwestwardly, including all the inhabitants on said creek and timber to the county line, shall constitute said precinct; and the place of holding elections shall be at Uriah

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