This little work makes no pretension to a thorough and exhaustive treatment of any one of its topics. The limits of the volume, the difficulty of procuring accurate information upon a great variety of subjects, and the brief time allotted the author for preparation and publication, alike forbade this. The utmost claimed for the present work is that it marks the first movement in the right direction — namely, a full development and permanent record of our local annals. The author trusts that, by newspaper contributions, public correspondence and meetings of old settlers, the formation of historical societies, and future issues in pamphlet or book form, the errors of this preliminary essay may be corrected, and its deficiencies supplied. He believes that the history of localities, however meagre or brief it may be, is richly worth preserving, and will attain in time a value far transcending its apparent and present importance. Under this conviction the work now offered has been projected and executed.
Endeavor has been made to base every statement herein upon reliable authority. To this end, libraries have been ransacked, rare works consulted, many files of serial publications and official records carefully examined, a wide correspondence carried on, and numerous conversations held with those who are personally cognizant of facts stated. It would be too much, however, to presume that no errors have escaped notice; though it is believed that the work will be found in the main correct.
It was expected that several local views and portraits of old settlers should embellish the work. But its probable limited circulation, and the cost of engraving, induced the reluctant abandonment of this intention. Should another and enlarged edition ever be called for, they may be added. It has been found advisable to depart in some particulars from the announcements of the prospectus, and also to prefix chapters on European discovery and Illinois history.
In the prosecution of his researches, the author has been placed under obligations to a large number of individuals, for their incidental or direct assistance; and he desires to make public acknowledgment of their several favors to the officers of the Chicago Historical Society, especially to the accomplished Secretary, Dr. Wm. Barry; to the clerks of the Treasury Department, at Washington; to the librarians of the Eureka College, Peoria City, Henry Public, and Magnolia Public Libraries; to Judges Bangs and Ramsey, of Lacon; to the veteran editor, Hooper Warren, Esq., of Henry; to Dr. B. Clarke Lundy, of Magnolia, Rev. J. P. Hayes, of Hennepin, David Walker, Esq., of Ottawa, the editors of the local papers, the county officers of Putnam and Marshall, and many officers.
With these explanations and acknowledgments, this humble effort is submitted to the public.
Gazette Office, Lacon, August, 1860.
On page 17, 7th line from top, read "French" for "English." The fort was rebuilt a few years before the English became masters of the country.
On page 40, 6th line from top, read "1855" for "1854." The first Board of Supervisors, however, does not appear to have been elected until 1857.
On page 47, 10th line from top, read "2d" for "3d."
On page 57, 15th line from top, read "of" for "off."
On page 87, 9th line from top, read "1833" for "1838."
In the note to page 112, read "so named" for "done." The town was not laid off at the suggestion of Mr. Warren, as might be inferred from the language of the note.
Source: History of Putnam and Marshall Counties authored by Henry Allen Ford, published in 1860