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year, with the assistance of those ready writers, 0. C. Sabin and Esquire Van Voris, when he went to Wilmington, having sold his paper to Mr. Sabin, who, in August of that year, changed the name to McLean County Anti-Monopolist, a defender of the special views of those engaged in the "farmers' movement.” In January, 1874, he moved it to Bloomington, continued its publication a year and sold it to Mr. Goff.

T. J. Horsely commenced the publication of the Saybrook Herald October 9, 1875, first as a five-column folio, then as a four-column quarto for one year, then as a six-column folio. It is a neatly-printed, non-partisan local paper, and seems to be receiving a generous support.

Mr. Horsely has had a large experience in newspaper work, at Roberts, Chebanse, Du Quoin, Morris, Aurora and elsewhere.

The Sunbeam, a paper under the auspices of the Young Men's Christian Association, commenced its publication May 1, 1879, W. H. Schureman, manager, the editorial department being in the care of 0. C. Sabin, Esq. Its peculiar field is literature and the causes of temperance, religion, intelligence and morality.



Gridley Township is the largest in the county, being a full Congressional Township and a half; is nine miles long east and west, by six miles north and south, embracing Township 26, Range 3 east, and east half of Township 26, Range 2 east of the Third Principal Meridian. The Toledo, Peoria & Warsaw Railway runs through the northern tier of sections, and on the south the Mackinaw Creek runs through three sections of its southern tier. It is all prairie except the four or five sections along the Mackinaw, which were formerly well timbered with oak, black walnut, maple, ash, basswood and such other kinds of timber as grow naturally in this part of the State. The land is quite level in the northern part, but farther south it is quite rolling. The soil is rich and deep, fully equal to any in the State. The township lay wholly within the belt, the even sections of which (except the school section) were given to the Illinois Central Railroad. That

company at brought the land into market, and it was rapidly sold to actual settlers. Their terms of sale were easy, although their prices were kept high. The price was scaled from $8 to $18, according to distance from a station. The terms were two years interest in advance, and payments to be made in four equal annual installments after the expiration of two years; the purchaser to pay to the agent 50 cents per acre for his commission, if he bought of the agent. As this town had very few settlers, nearly half the land went into the possession of the railroad on the passage of the act of incorporation. Ashael Gridley, then as now a prominent citizen of Bloomington, was agent for the sale of these lands in the district which embraced all the land between the Illinois River at La Salle and the southern boundary of McLean County. When the land was all wild and unfenced it was not an easy matter to tell just where to find the section lines and corners. And it was necessary for the agent to keep in his employ men that knew every foot of the ground-knew where the corner-stakes could be found, and could read the resin-stalk on the prairie "like a book.” One of these was a Boston Yankee,



who had served his time on the ocean wave, and came out here to seek his fortune -G. W. Kent—who afterward became proprietor of the town of Gridley, and named itafter his employer. When township organization was adopted, the name clung to the township

It was formerly believed that these wild prairies never would be inhabited. That these lands might do for cattle to roam over, as they do over the vast pampas of South America. And as late as 1850, the argument used by Douglas in securing the passage through Congress of the act granting to the State the alternate sections of land for six miles on each side of the railroad to be built, was that in no other way could these vast prairies be settled. For twenty years the land now comprising the township of Gridley had been in the market without a tithe of it being sold, and less even cultivated. Nobody wanted it, for they could not make a living from it. This Illinois Central Railroad, for years after it was built, did not carry passengers and freight enough to pay running expenses. But as soon as it was built, its lands, in such townships as this, went off very fast. The terms of payment were made so easy that it induced many to buy who otherwise would not have thought themselves able to pay $10 or $12 per

Indeed it was a fact that some were able to pay for their land out of the first crop of wheat ever raised ; but they never got such a crop again, from that time to this. But it helped to sell the land and increase the population. Most of the land

never fenced. The owners early set out hedges, which now form the principal fencing. Since the first two years' experience, corn has become the principal crop, and probably must remain so; though there is reason to believe now that crops must rotate, in order to keep up the average yield of former years. A gentleman fully qualified to form an estimate, from his long acquaintance and from business transactions running through fifteen years here-Mr. W. H. Boies--says that an "average" corn crop is under, rather than over, thirty bushels per acre in the two townships of Gridley and Waldo (and there are no better corn tracts certainly east of the Illinois River). It would look as though men must find some cheaper way of living before they can get rich on thirty-cent corn.

The first commercial venture, in the way of shipping produce, was by Kent & Young in 1859 and 1860. They brought a Buckeye mower onto this prairie, and cut several hundred tons of prairie grass; bought whatever else they could, and baled it and sent it to Peoria. It cost them, at Peoria, $t per ton. There may

be yet a return to first practices. The raising of grass, as an alternate crop, may prove advisable.

The first white men known to have made their home in this township were James Bigger, in 1833; Reuben and Taylor Loving, in the spring of 1835. These men have passed away and their families are gone, none of them, it is believed, now residing in the township. At the same time, or in the same year, came Enoch Beem, from Indiana. Iu August, of that year, he was sick with the chills. Partially recovering, he went out and ate wild plums which were hardly ripe, and died soon after. He was an exemplary man and devotedly pious. His was the first death inside the limits of this township. He was buried at Clarksville, a hamlet a little way up the stream, which was and con. tinued to be until the building of the Chicago & Alton Railroad, a rival of Lexington in prospective importance. Beem left a widow and five small children, and some property for their support, but not much. Mrs. Beem managed carefully and brought up

her children. One son, David, lived on the farm, after arriving to manhood. Another, Reason, was for a long time Postmaster at Lexington.

The same fall John Slown came into the little settlement on the Mackinaw. He was of Irish descent, and came here from Kentucky, and still lives in Gridley. He is the oldest resident now living in the town. He rented some land and worked in saw. mills for a few years. There was no mill on the stream at that time above Kappa, but others were soon built. The nearest mills where grinding could be done were at Peoria and Kankakee. When they took their grists to mill, they were obliged to take their turn; and it often required two or three days to grind out what was ahead of them. The land was not in market then, but came into market the following year. Three years later he built the first frame house in the township. The clapboards were black walnut and the shingles oak. Pine had not come into use in these wilds at that time. The inside finishing was black-walnut. Mr. Slown was elected Constable in 1843; and when the township was organized, was elected Justice of the Peace, and has continued to serve as such, being elected each term either as Justice of the Peace or Police Magistrate. In 1862, he enlisted in the Ninety-fourth, under Captain, now Governor, John L. Routt, and served two years. He has always been a firm temperance man, even when along these timber-skirts nearly every one was accustomed to drink intoxicating liquors. At the age of eighteen, he joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, and has lived consistently up to his profession. He was the father of eight children-five of whom survive—one of whom lives near his old home on the Mackinaw. Mr. Slown now lives in Gridley village, engaged in the furniture and agricultural implement trade. Notwithstanding the hardships incident to pioneer life, he still thinks they enjoyed life better then than now.

John B. Messner, known far and wide as a hunter, came to his present bome in Gridley the same year. He had come on to the Mackinaw five years previous, and married into the Patten family, one of the first to settle in the vicinity of Lexington. He was long considered one of the most daring and successful hunters among many who at that time gave much attention to that avocation, either for sport or as a partial livelihood. He gave the names to the two streams which run into the Mackinaw at this point-Buck Creek and Turkey Creek. In this following, he met some narrow escapes, one of which, twenty years ago, nearly ended his life and practically closed his career as a hunter. While chasing a deer from Rook's Creek, his horse stepped into a dangerous hole and threw him with such violence that the injury nearly cost him his life. Hunting, as carried on in the earlier days, has, of course, with the spread of civilization, disappeared, and there is not enough of danger and adventure in the hunting of to-day to lure such men as Mr. Messner into it. It was not uncommon for Messner to kill fifty deer in a single season, running through the late fall and early winter. One of the singular incidents of his avocation is thus related by Mr. Messner : When out on a tramp a cold day, he drew off his boots to more carefully approach the deer he was following. In the excitement of the chase some considerable time elapsed before he returned to the place where he had left his boots. When he did so, he found them so frozen that they resisted every effort to draw on, and he was actually obliged to go home in his stocking-feet. He learned a lesson, however, by this experience. At another time, a buck which he had wounded, caught him in the nether garments by his antlers, and nearly destroyed him and his valuable clothing. He has latterly given more

attention to farming. He has raised a large family of children, several of whom live near him. He and his son John own 440 acres in Sections 27 and 34 in Town 26, Range 2, and are recognized as good and successful farmers.

In 1844, Jonathan Coon commenced to improve the place where John Slown had lived, the principal attraction to which was the fine spring of water on the place. He had been among the early settlers of the county, and had followed building as a business. He built the first Court House of Pontiac about 1839, a building which still stands there, showing excellent workmanship.

Adam Coon, the father of Jonathan, Isaiah and James S. Coon, came with his sons to the county in 1836. He resided two years where Towanda now is, and two years at Clarksville before coming to Gridley. He died here at the residence of his son in 1863. He and his sons, while not of the very earliest settlers of Gridley, came here when no farms had been taken up on the prairie, and largely helped to change the early wilderness into farms. They were fond of hunting, and still relate many instances of decided excitement in that line. They at one time found a lynx, an animal not common here, and killed it. Many people remember the tornado of May 13, 1858. Mr. Isaiah Coon, whose habit is to keep a record of the weather, gives a very intelligent, minute account of it. It differed from the usual sultry weather tornadoes which are common, in that it was a steady wind of near two hours' duration, strong enough to blow down timber, unroof houses and level fences. The track of the storm's path through Mackinaw timber was nearly seven miles wide, and is yet discernible. This is the same storm which took the early settlers of Chenoa by surprise, and leveled some of their new-made homes.

George W. Cox, who has been long a prominent man in town, came to the county in 1837, and, in 1842, married a daughter of Taylor Loving, since which time he has resided in Gridley. In 1844, he broke the prairie, where he now lives. He has been successful as a farmer, and having received a good education in Maine, before coming to this State, was looked to by the early settlers as one to look after the public affairs. Old Sammy Ogden, as he is familiarly called, after living several years in Money Creek Township, took up the land he now lives on, in Sections 34 and 35 (Range 3), about 1840. He was fond of horses, and racing was a passion with him. He used to attend every horse-race between Peoria and Le Roy, and usually had a horse that could win. In selecting the farm he now lives on, he was governed by the fine stream-Buck Creek—which runs across it. He has been largely engaged in raising and feeding cattle, and has been successful. He has a good farm of 280 acres, well stocked, and gives it good attention.

Jesse Stretch commenced early what is now a very good farm of 240 acres in Section 26. Like most of his neighbors, he has fed cattle largely and made it a good busi



There are in Gridley a number of large farms, which have been very successfully managed, and which are worthy of a passing notice.

John Gregory, who, although not one of the very earliest, came here at an early day, and, by good management, hard work and practical sense, has accumulated what seems to be a very good share of this world's goods and lands. He owns something over 2,000 acres, lying in Sections 20, 21, 28, 29, 30, 32 and 33 (Range 3), which is under good cultivation, well fenced, and is considered the finest stock-farm in Gridley. Mr. Gregory has for many years made the raising and feeding of cattle his principal business. He had not many advantages in early life, but such as he had, he made good use of, and is spoken of by those who have long been his neighbors, as a man of large intelligence, decided convictions and positive qualities. He was at one time the candidate of his party for Representative, and it is believed he would have proved a useful member. His party was, however, largely in the minority, and the system of electing minority representatives had not then come into constitutional use. He resides now at Normal, though he still owns his large farm. Joseph Houseman for many years carried on a large stock-farm.

James Moon, a son-in-law of Gregory, owns and occupies the Houseman farm of 900 acres, adjoining the Gregory farm. He is also engaged in raising and feeding cattle largely. William Alspaugh, another son-in-law, has also a stock-farm adjoining

Senator David Davis owns a fine, well-watered, rolling farm out on the prairie, three miles from the Mackinaw, in Sections 14, 15, 23, 26 and 27, embracing 1,540 acres. Buck Creek runs through it, and numerous springs supply water to the herds. The farm carries 230 head of cattle, most of which are being grain-fed. The farm lies in that part of the township which is highest and most rolling, shedding toward the Mackinaw on the south, and north, toward Rook's Creek; 200 acres are under the plow, 200 acres in meadow and about 1,100 in pasture. There are no hedges on the place, but it is all fenced with a five-board and cap fence. Some open draining has been done, and tile are now being put in where needed. Hugh Hynman, a man of large experience in cattle-feeding is Superintendent of the farm, and looks well after the interests of the Senator, who does not himself (we may be pardoned for saying) either hold the plow or drive. There is a neat and comfortable two-story house and a nice, well painted barn, 36x50 feet, and sheds for the storage of all the implements and farm-tools used on the farm.

Boies & Breese, while largely engaged in other branches of business, farm 900 acres of land, raising corn and feeding stock. They feed from 75 to 100 head each year and a large number of hogs. They are both men of iron constitution and large capacity for business and endurance.

J. J. Kemp, who resides in Lexington, owns a fine farm of 1,040 acres in Sections 24, 25 and 36.

Emily Moberly owns a fine farm of 320 acres in Section 11.

H. Hadley has a good farm of 240 acres in Section 9, with good buildings and excellent improvements.

H. E. Sieberns, who, through nearly the whole history of Gridley, has been engaged in trade in the village, owns in this and the adjoining township several hundred acres of land, which is being successfully managed, with satisfactory results.

J. B. & J. P. Messner have an excellent farm of 440 acres near the Mackinaw, in Range 2.

Jacob Hoobler has for twelve years been engaged in raising and feeding sheep op his farm. He keeps several hundred head of middle-wooled sheep, and has been very successful in the undertaking.

Michael Vineyard, James Tarman, Joseph Yeagley and George Kemp have large farms devoted to grain-raising, and Jesse Stretch, Samuel Ogden, and the Coons have

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