Seeing your request for family sketches and historical facts concerning the early settlers of this county I thought it might not be amiss to give a few incidents connected with that early day. It was thought by many that only the simple would settle in such a country. Being one of those simple ones I first settled in Stark county in July, 1840. After a journey of seven weeks and five days over hill and dale, on the 10th day of July we (I say we for I had taken captive one of Deacon O. Boardman’s daughters a few months before)
together with my father-in-law and family, drove up to the door of L. Dorrance in said county, and then commenced our first housekeeping. The first thing we did was to buy a cow, after which I had just $3 left. To care for the milk wooden troughs dug out of slabs made very good substitute for pans then we bought a rough table of Mr. White, a carpenter. I took it home on my back a mile and a half. This, together with a kettle and a frying pan and a few other things brought in a one horse wagon from the east comprised our household goods. Working here a day, and there a day, for flour and potatoes, I got our food. Pumpkins being plenty they came without work. In the fall of the same year after the excitement of the Tippecanoe campaign was over we came to Paw Paw, and built our first log cabin. Here, not having any chairs we used stools or benches until a tavern keeper sold out to get money to bail his son, who was under arrest for counterfeiting; of him I bought two chairs, carrying them home on my back. Having exchanged my horse and wagon for a claim I got a yoke of steers and commenced farming in earnest. With this team I used to haul my surplus grain to market, go to church and visiting with as much pride as the young man of today with his fine carriage and 2:40 horse. In the meantime my good wife was supplying our wearing apparel, bed and table linen, spinning and weaving the flax with her own hands, until we were able to own sheep, when the wool was, sent to the factory and carded, then she spun the yarn and wove the cloth to make our clothing, bed blankets, etc., doing all the work with her own hands, unless we wanted something very fine for Sunday wear, when the homemade cloth was sent to the factory, sheared and pressed and then made up. The experience of my wife was but the experience of nearly all the women of that early day, who not only prepared for the family what was provided by the husband, but who cheerfully manufactured from the wool and the flax material that could not be procured in any other way. And to these pioneer mothers the people of this generation owe much of the luxuries, and comforts which they enjoy. I. F. HALLOCK.
From the History of LEE COUNTY ILLINOIS TOWNSHIPS