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Lame William Johnson, who, until a few years ago, lived in this township, taught the first school, and really commenced it in a log house near by before the schoolhouse was done. Mr. and Mrs. Amasa Washburn, Mr. Gaunt, Mr. Thompson and James Vandeventer taught in this first log schoolhouse. Mr. and Mrs. Washburn are said to have organized the first Sabbath school, though the date is not clearly ascertained. When R. F. Dickerson was married, he says that he had one pony, but neither cow, hog, sheep or money, and kept house three months without bedstead, chair or table. He afterward was able to own several.

Henry C. Dickerson, who lives on the old homestead, has been largely engaged in cattle-raising and trading. The other sons of Michael Dickerson, Caleb and Wesley, have long owned farms in the southwestern portion of Empire.

Reuben Clearwater came here in 1828, and took up land in the south part of Section 28, near Salt Creek. In 1838, his daughter was married to James Kimler, who, since then, has been living at or near the place where Mr. Clearwater first settled, and in

Le Roy.

Abram Buckles came from Indiana in 1832, and took up a claim in the north part of Section 30. This claim he entered at the land office at the sale in 1835; about 1855, he bought in Section 31, where he lived until his death in 1877, leaving a large family.

Father Silas Waters, a Virginian by birth, came from Bourbon County, Ky., to Buckles' Grove in November, 1830, and settled on Section 20, one and a half miles west of Le Roy, on the farm which his son Chalton now lives. When only twenty years old he married Miss Conaway, and, the year following, he united himself with the Methodist Church, and has been since that time a consistent, live, working Christian. He had hardly got settled in his new home before he went to mill, down on the Kickapoo, south of Randolph's Grove, taking a load with a yoke of oxen. Soop after he started back, the heavy snow, which is remembered so weil by all those who lived here in 1830, commenced to fall, and he drove as fast as possible the ten miles which lay between Randolph's Grove and his home. He had no compass and had to depend entirely on his own judgment, or on Providence, for direction. There was no road and the air was so full of snow that there was absolutely nothing to direct him. He arrived home safely. The snow had fallen to the depth of thirty-three inches during his ten miles' trip. He was one of the first to organize the Methodist Church here, and was the first Class-leader. To him, more than to perhaps any other one man, the members of that denomination have looked for advice and for assistance in the temporalities of the church. They look upon him as a father, and apparently with good reason, for he is a man of excellent judgment and great energy and piety. Though now in his seventy-sixth year, there is to the casual visitor no appearance of physical decay or approaching weakness. But for the snowy whiteness of his head he would bardly be called an old man. For some years he has lived in Le Roy. His sons that are living are near by on farms which their and their father's industry have made comfortable and remunerative.

T. J. Barnett settled near here in 1832, west of Mr. Waters. After farming for some years, he went into trade in Le Roy and has recently retired, having acquired a competency, and takes life tolerably easy.

Alvin Barnett, an older brother, made his home here two years earlier. He acquired about seven hundred acres of land in Sections 19 and 30, near the western

boundary of the township, and, about 1838, he sold to Jacob Karr, who moved in here at that time. Mr. Karr is dead, and the land was divided among his heirs.

On the south side of the Grove, Aaron Williams settled in 1835, and entered land in Section 30. When he died some years after, he left a family of twelve children, only two of whom, Mr. Karr and R. Williams, reside here. Two others live just south of the county line in DeWitt County.

John Buckles, Jr., son of Abram, had a farm in Section 3 (21-4). He sold out some years ago and went to Kansas.

C. P. Dickerson bought a farm in 1851 in Section 31, which had been taken up at an early date by Mr. Williams. He lives there yet.

John Baddeley, an Englishman, entered about one thousand acres in Sections 32 (2244) and in 4 and 5 (21-4). He had also had a store in Le Roy. He was a man of large means for that day and of good business qualifications, but the panic of 1837, which swept away the property of so many, ruined him. His son still lives in Le Roy and is much respected.

T. O. Rutledge was moving his family to Buckles' Grove in 1830, when he was taken sick and died. He was buried in the place which he had selected for a cemetery the spring before his death.

James Rutledge took up some six hundred acres in Sections 33 and 34. He had a large family.

Amos Conaway came here in 1830, and took up land in Section 3 (21-4), and at the time of his death owned about one thousand acres in that and the adjoining sections. He left a large family, but they are scattered and gone.

James Merrifield came the same year, from Ohio, and settled east of the Grove with his family of nine children. He had lived the previous winter over on the Kickpoo. They made a cabin on Section 26, and entered land in that section, and in 34 and 35.

The Indians (Kickapoos) were often seen in those days going on their hunting excursions, but they never molested the whites at Buckles' Grove. They went along quietly and peaceably, in single file, and would return in the same way. Sumetimes a hundred, or even more would pass along in this way.

Farther north of this, James Lucas, about the same time, took up the south half of Section 23. He remained there about fifteen years, and sold to Charles Cope. John Merrifield had a farm north of him.

Daniel and Henry Crumbaugh came here to live in 1830. They were originally from Maryland. In 1828, they came from Kentucky to Elkhart Grove, in Sangamon County, and remained there two years. They came here together, and took up land near each other, in Section 14, northeast of Le Roy. They had had very few early advantages, and came here at a time when it required all their energy, pluck and good management to live. Daniel had had a good deal of experience, but neither of them had acquired any property before coming here. In 1812, Daniel had enlisted in Col. Richard M. Johnson's regiment, to fight the Indians and British. He participated in the battle at River Thames, where Tecumseh was killed, and after the war closed at the North, returned home to Kentucky.

Arriving at Buckles' Grove, they had to contend with all those difficulties which settlers in a new country encounter-sickness, lack of conveniences and of markets, rainy seasons, fires, serpents and hard winters, and poverty. They proved the men for a new place. They have been remarkably prospered in their property and their families. Daniel has been the father of fourteen children, and Henry of twelve. Of these twentysix, fifteen are living, and most of them in this vicinity, with children growing up around them to extend and perpetuate the good name of Crumbaugh. Four sons of DanielLeonard, Thomas, Daniel and Frank—and four sons of Henry-James, John, Andrew and Lewis—are men of good character, and most of them of considerable farms in this and adjoining townships; quiet, peaceable, industrious and thrifty men, never quarreling nor at law. It may well be said that these two men have done more to settle this part of the county than any other two men. N. T. Brittin, from Ohio, in 1830 settled near the middle of the south half of Section 2. He owned land in Section 11, and in various other places. He had a large family, and acquired a large property, but a good deal of it was lost to him and to his heirs from his peculiar unwillingness to collect what was due him. While he was exceedingly close, yet he never would try to force collections of what was due bim if such collection would prove oppressive. He loaned a great deal of money, and was always hopping around to get the interest, but never seemed to let the principal worry him. He once took a note of a man, and not having sufficient paper to write a note on, actually wrote it on the back of another note which he had taken from some one else.

He was popularly supposed to be very rich, but his estate did not divide as many thousands among his heirs as it was supposed it would, partly from the fact that the wealth of pretty nearly all men is overestimated by themselves, their children and everybody else except the assessor, and partly from the fact that many of his loans had been made to those who could not repay. Like all men who loan money, he got a name for close and penurious habits, but was really a man of many kind and good qualities.

James Bishop, another of the prosperous citizens of Empire, came here, as the Irishman would say, in several years. He came first from Ohio in 1831, and was back and forth every year until 1837, when he married, and made his home here, buying land in Section 10.

He was a man of some means, and great force and activity. Among the stories told to illustrate the man, was the stolen pig and the bull exploits, which the old settlers of Empire have told with variations, until the original proprietor could himself hardly recognize them.

He was so annoyed by wolves that he found it necessary to keep his pigs close by the house. Early one fall morning, he heard the well-known juvenile porcine squeal He had heard it so often that he knew the “first gun” in a wolf-attack as well as a breakfast-bell, and rushed out, without even dressing, to rescue his property. The wolf had got a good start, and Bishop took the line of lupine retreat, without a thought of his unlawful appearance, in his lawful endeavor to rescue the perishing. Over fences, through breast works of briers he stormed, deploying in cornfields, without the loss of a man, throwing himself into single file, to more easily dodge the cornstalks, in light marching order, he soon overtook Mr. Wolf, who was carrying three days' rations, and captured the pig, which had only lost a part of an ear and had been frightened out of at least six months' growth. When Bishop came to make report to his wife—women are always inquiring into these matters—he found that the cuts and thrusts from cornstalks and briers would, if estimated at 10 cents a dozen, bring the price of that pig,

at the then market price of such articles, up to about four times what he ever expected to get for it.

The story of his trying to get his hired man to come over into the pasture, wbich. he had suddenly and unexpectedly changed into a first-class race-track-a purely agricultural one—and help him let go of the bull's tail is too well known to need repeating and too well authenticated to need the certifying.

Mr. Bishop was always considered a good farmer; his traits were energy, thrift and activity. Coming at a time when everything was greatly depressed, he did not need to learn by experience that which so many others had to. He traded in cattle a good deal, and seemed to know almost intuitively when the time came to let go, for he avoided the losses which so many others met during the last ten years of his life.

He seems to have come short of the average number of children, having only five: but in all other things, his life appears to have been a success. He died in 1877, and left about three thousand acres of land in Sections 8, 9 and 10, and in Padua and West.

Hon. Malon Bishop came here from Ohio in 1835, and took up land in the northwest quarter of Section 15. When the school section was sold, in 1857, he and his brother James bought nearly all of it, and he now owns and resides on the north half of Section 16.

Settling here at a time when political excitement ran high, and in a community which held the political tenets which he did by a large majority, he naturally got into political and official life. Empire Township has always been, under all the changes through which we have passed, steadily Democratic. Mr. Bishop was elected a Justice of the Peace in 1837, and, in 1842, during the most depressed time in the history of the State, he was elected to the Legislature. A few now of the elder settlers are left who well recollect the discouraging prospect at the time that Legislature met.

The panic of 1837 had prostrated every industry. The State was hopelessly in debt, and only required a resolution of the Legislature to that effect to put it in the class of repudiating States. Taxes were payable only in gold and silver, of which there was, practically, none to be had. The bank currency, which went by the name of “wild-cat," “ red-dog," "stump-tail," and other significant and insignificant names, had received legislative authority to circulate, and was received generally, but not by the Tax Collector or Postmaster. People were shunning the State, and Eastern merchants did not wish to "extend their credit” in this State. Everybody thought the Legislature “ought to do something,” and every man who did not spend his time getting his living by hard work, spent it on dry goods boxes, explaining how this thing could be remedied. Indeed, the county of McLean has only just now gone through the experience of listening to the second batch of statesmen which sprung from the “panic of 1873," and the governmental policies of our own day.

Mr. Bishop went to Springfield as the representative of McLean, to do whatever was in his power to restore confidence and breathe new life into the lungs of trade and agricultural pursuits.

That he labored faithfully to do the best he could for his people, no one who knows him will doubt. If he did not succeed in legislating money into every man's pocket and title-deeds for farms into every family, he and the men who were with him kept the State in the line of honest ones, prevented official repudiation, raised the amount

necessary to go on with the Illinois Canal, and took their own pay in the same kind of money as other people received.

It is a strange commentary on our ability to learn by experience that, at this present time, “ currency questions ” are still fruitful subjects for discussion and legislation.

Thomas D. Gilmore came from Kentucky in 1836, and took up land in Sections 3 and 4, along the Old Town timber. He was a blacksmith by trade, and soon went to work in Le Roy. Esquire Buck shows a pair of fire-dogs which Gilmore made for him more than forty years ago. The Gilmore family had a little experience with the “Sudden Change.” They had come from Kentucky, and had but just got their little cabin 80 that it was comfortable to live in in ordinary weather, when this “Change" struek them " in the twinkling of an eye,” as it were. They could hardly have been more surprised or more struck had the veritable sound of Gabriel's trump been heard in connection with this. They all thought that if this was Illinois, they wished to be carried back to the Kentucky shore as soon after the weather should permit as was agreeable.

Mr. Gilmore's father, a hale and rugged old man, accompanied the family here, and lived here until 1870, when he died, at the age of ninety-eight. He was strong and quite active to the last. Mr. Gilmore now lives on the northwest quarter of Section 3, and owns about two hundred acres.

As early as 1830, the following persons were in Buckles' Grove in addition to those whose sketches have been given : Richard Edwards, William Davis, Catharine Johnson, James Lawrence, Levi Westfall, H. Huddleston and Ambrose Hall. Most of them had families, and many remained here for several years.

Yes, and there is Esquire Buck. Though not one of the earliest settlers, he has formed so important a link in the history of Empire and Le Roy that it will hardly do to leave him out. He was born in Seneca County, N. Y., and early went to North Bend, Ohio, the home of Harrison. Here he taught school and worked around; tried flatboating for awhile, and then married in 1827. Under the law of Ohio, he had to give security for his wife's maintenance, as he had no worldly possessions. This rather stirred the Revolutionary blood with which his veins were largely supplied, and he thought tea-taxing and stamp-acting were mild as compared with this. As soon as he could get enough together to start with, he came West by way of the Ohio, Mississippi and Illinois Rivers to Bardstown, thence across the country with teams to Randolph's Grove, where he remained until 1837, when he sold his claim to Gen. Gridley, and came to Le Roy to build and keep a hotel. While living in Randolph's Grove, he Was Deputy County Surveyor, and laid out the new towns which were then springing up all over the country. The three years following the close of the Black Hawk war had brought a tide of immigration and speculation into this country. Gen. Gridley's active mind had been busy laying out new towns and inducing immigration. He was a thorough judge of human nature, and always knew how to enlist the right kind of men in his undertakings. He immediately saw in Mr. Buck the man for him to work up his Le Roy undertaking, and made him an offer. The opening was a flattering one, and but for the panic which immediately followed, bursting the bubble speculation on all sides, its realization would have been complete. The demand in 1836 for accommodation of strangers was beyond the capacity of entertainment all over the State.

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