"A FOOL AND HIS MONEY ARE SOON PARTED."
Of James Willis this story is told: In the spring of 1830 he returned to his former home to settle up some business and on his way stopped at a wayside house of entertainment, where he made the acquaintance of a traveler, looking up, as he said, a location. As usual in those days, the men made known their respective businesses, and Mr. Willis stated that he had been quite successful in closing up his affairs, and was conveying home the results. He had some ready money and proposed to improve his farm, and was on the lookout for a suitable man to engage. The stranger listened with interest and replied that he thought some of visiting the Illinois country, and that if Mr. Willis would give him a job he would change his route and accompany him home. A bargain was easily made, and the next morning the two started out, Willis riding his horse and the stranger on foot. In this way they passed the settlements and entered on an extensive prairie, Willis occasionally giving his companion a ride and walking himself. As they journeyed along a deer sprang up and the stranger asked to shoot it. His request was granted, but, though the chance was good, the fellow didn't fire, saying he couldn't "get the hang of the tarnal thing." Not long after they again changed, Mr. Willis resuming his gun. The money was carried, be it known, in a pair of saddlebags behind the saddle. After mounting the stranger rode off leisurely but in a gradually increasing gait until a sufficient distance was gained, when he raised his hat, bade Willis good-by, and rode off at a gallop. Willis brought his fusee to his face and ordered him to stop, but the powder had in the meantime been removed from the pan, and it would not go off. He turned off the regular road and was soon lost to view. Willis, meantime, pushed on as hard as he could. A dozen miles or so ahead was a settlement where he was known, and a few hours sufficed to gather a crowd of trusty men on horseback, and after a sharp chase of thirty miles the thief was turned over to the sheriff of the county, and Willis proceeded homeward. There was no jail in the county and the sheriff took his prisoner home, placed shackles on his limbs and kept him in his own house. The fellow took the arrest quite coolly, and appeared to be not at all displeased with the arrangement. It was the beginning of a hard winter and the prospect of comfortable quarters was not at all displeasing. He read and sang and played the fiddle, and made himself both agreeable and useful. Finding his landlord's household needed shoeing, he made it known that he understood the whole art of cobbling and said that if his entertainer would furnish the leather he would do the work. It was done, and the good-natured thief made shoes for the whole family while chained by one leg to his work bench. One stormy day the sheriff was absent and none about the premises but women, the cattle broke into the field where the corn was in shock and the accommodating fellow unlocked his shackles with an awl, drove them out, and then replaced the irons on his legs as usual. Toward spring he grew uneasy, and as court was about to convene, he told his entertainers that his health was failing, and was afraid they would have to part. So, removing his shackles in their absence, he left.
CHIEF SHABBONA EXCITED.
Somewhere about 1831, a minister named Jesse Hale came to Hennepin to establish a mission among the Indians. He was a man of simple faith and very earnest, believing himself able to convert and civilize them if only a hearing could be obtained. Old Louis Baley was sent for as an interpreter, and the Indians came from far and near. Hale mounted a stump in the woods below Hennepin and harangued his dusky audience for an hour. When the interpreter had translated the last sentence into the Pottawatomie dialect, old Shabbona came forward and, motioning silence, said: "To what white preacher say, I say may be so! Are all white men good? I say, may be so. Do white men cheat Indians? I say, may be so. Governor Cole gave me, Shabbona, hunting grounds, and told me to hunt. Your big White-sides (General Whiteside) come along and tell Shabbona puck-a-chee (clear out)." Here the angry chief exhibited his papers bearing the signature of the governor and the great seal of the state, and, throwing them on the ground, stamped them with his feet. Hale tried to pacify the indignant chief by saying that "Whiteside is a bad white man", whereupon Shabbona retorted: "If white man steal Indian's land, hang him." Hale thought he meant himself, and he fled through the bushes for town and never sought to convert an Indian again.
"QUEEN ANN" AND MOSQUITOES.
The year 1849 will be remembered by the old settlers for the great prevalence of bilious diseases. It was known as the "sickly season." It was ushered in by a wet, dismal spring, a backward summer and very high water in June, running down in August and leaving ponds of stagnant water everywhere to rot and breed pestilence and death. Ague was universal, even far out on the prairies among the few settlements that had been attempted in the wilderness of grass and sloughs. Along the river, bottoms and the borders of streams ague was universal, continual, unrelenting and incurable; never yielding to anything but its higher type of bilious or intermittent fever, either of which in those days very frequently ended the patient's career.
The people were poor in every sense of the word. Ragged, shrunken of form, living skeletons, with nothing to eat, nobody to cook it, and not appetite to eat if food were cooked. The prevailing malady not only affected human beings, but even dogs and cats dragged their hollow carcasses into the sunlight and trembled and shook as if stricken with the dread contagion. The calves got too poor to bawl, the cattle, neglected, roamed off to the timber, and the very chickens seemed to crow with melancholy languor. Of course, these were exaggerated descriptions of the general complaint, but several of our old physicians, who were then young men, who went forth to battle with the universal malady, still insist that the accounts cannot be overdrawn. During the great freshet in the spring one or two steamboats and wrecks of others were seen in the cornfields between Ottawa and Hennepin by Dr. Perry, who soon afterward had occasion to note the "tallow-faced" people he met. All were sallow, hollow-eyed, blue-lipped and ready to shake on the slightest provocation. Children died of the fever and dysentery, and quinine, or "queen ann," as they called it, was the staple diet of everybody. A storekeeper of a neighboring county said that region produced two articles, "queen ann and mosquitoes." The mosquitoes were pests of the most aggravating character, and, owing to the extent of their breeding places from the unusual overflow and the consequent stagnant water, their increase favored, too, by a fiercely hot sun, the winged messengers of sharp bills swarmed and grew to monstrous proportions, and as the modern appliances of screens and mosquito bars were unknown then, the miserable victims of the double affliction were defenceless indeed.
But there is no evil without its corresponding good. The great floods drove the ducks out upon the ponds in the edge of the prairie, where they reared large flocks. They swarmed the country everywhere, and became so numerous and so accustomed to the new haunts of stubble field and corn that the settlers had no trouble in supplying themselves and neighbors with duck meat in abundance.
DURLEY'S STRATAGEM -- INDIANS SEE DOUBLE.
One of the first merchants of Hennepin was John Durley, and the following incident in which he was an actor, though occurring elsewhere, is told by his descendants. Previous to his removal to Putnam county he resided in Madison county, in this state, where in 1824 they were greatly annoyed by a band of thievish, impudent Indians, encamped in the vicinity. Having previously sold their lands to the government, and consented to emigrate beyond the Mississippi, application was made to the Indian agent, who sent a company of soldiers to order their removal. The former were few in number, while the Indians were well armed and supplied with ammunition, and the advantages if force were resorted to would be all on their side. In this predicament a ruse suggested by Mr. Durley was tried and proved entirely successful. Accompanied by his son James, now of Hennepin, he rode over to the Indian village, with the chief of which he was on friendly terms, and told him the purpose of the great father, who had sent a thousand warriors with orders to kill all the Indians who had not left the country as agreed in their treaty, adding that in half an hour they would pass in front of Sugar Loaf hill, a small, conical eminence a mile from the Indian village, and near which they were to camp. He advised the chief to leave, or, doubting his word, to hide among the trees and count the soldiers.
Soon after the troops appeared, marching slowly in front of the hill, and running at full speed on the opposite side, so as to keep the show in front continuous. In this way the duped chief was deluded into counting thirty or forty men over and over until they numbered thousands, when he broke for the camp, hastily packed his ponies, and left helter-skelter for the Mississippi river, followed by the soldiers at a safe distance all night. While crossing the Illinois river the Indians were fired upon by the troops and several killed. A pony on which was strapped seven little Indian children was shot and its load of infants all drowned.
SOAP AND WATER OBJECTIONABLE.
In 1832 few settlers came into the country, and many who were here, alarmed at the prospect, abandoned their claims never to return. After the war was over, a few came in, among whom were Isaac D. Glenn, Henry Hartenbower and Henry Studyvin. Also, Isaac Ash, George Griffith and William and Joseph Hoyle.
Joseph Hoyle moved into a cabin built by Mr. Gunn, who afterwards moved to La Salle. It was quite primitive in character, having been built during the Indian war excitement and had port holes for defense. It was sixteen feet square and had a "shake" roof and the old-fashioned chimney with dried clay hearth. Mrs. Hoyle, a Quakeress, and, like her friends, noted for cleanliness and tidy surroundings, undertook to polish up with soap and water the clay hearth, not doubting that she could make it clean and white, until it assumed the consistency of a sort of mortar bed, when she perceived her error and abandoned the task with disgust.
MARRIED – UNMARRIED – REMARRIED -- MUCH MARRIED.
In 1833 there were eleven families, all told, in Hennepin, half a dozen marriageable females and about forty eligible bachelors and widowers. Of course the former were in great demand among the young settlers wanting wives, but the widowers had the inside track and carried off the best ones. In those days an extensive trip and wedding outfit was not thought of, for both parties meant business and proceeded in a business way. The groom prepared his cabin for its new occupant and she, dressed in a clean calico dress, with hair nicely combed, was ready for the ceremony. Next the services of a minister were invoked, a few friends called in, and a bountiful supper of venison and johnny cake concluded the festivities, after which the bride was conducted to her new home and their married life began. For ten years there was a marked scarcity of marriageable women, and the first indictment in the county was made against a man for having two wives. The culprit, a man named Hall, lived in the vicinity of Hennepin, in a small cabin, and claimed to be lawfully married to the two women with whom he lived, and that his religious views justified his conduct.
The jurymen, who were mostly bachelors, thought it smacked too much of monopoly and some favored hanging as an example for the future, but their advice was not taken.
What was strange about it was that the women seemed satisfied, and on hearing what had been done by the grand jury voluntarily followed their much-married husband elsewhere.
AN EARLY DAY HOSPICE.
Hotel accommodations in 1834 and 1835 were not what they are at present. There was plenty to eat, such as it was, but French cooks had not been imported and cook books were unknown to our grandmothers. Hog and hominy, coffee and molasses were the staples, and the traveler who could not appreciate them after a six-hour jolt in Frank & Walker's "mud wagons'' was set down as "too nice for anything." For lodgings, a blanket, buffalo robe, or a sheepskin was provided, and the traveler told to select the softest plank he could find. As landlords increased in wealth they increased their accommodations, and a single large room was devoted to sleeping purposes, filled with beds upon which was a "shake down" filled with prairie hay and a blanket. Sheets were a decided luxury, and it was not "every hotel" that afforded them. The traveler was expected to share his bed with others, and this custom of the country was accepted as a matter of course, though occasionally some fine-haired individual objected.
Captain Haws, of Magnolia, once entertained a choleric fellow who claimed to be "a gentleman" and said he never in his life slept with anyone but his wife and rather than do that he sat up all night. At intervals he would groan and wish himself out of this barbarous country, to which the unfeeling lodgers would respond with a hearty "Amen."
BIG "INJUN" RIDE OX COW.
Indian boys affiliated readily with the whites of their own age, and joined heartily in the sports common to both. They were athletic and "springy," but usually undersize, and could not cope in a fair rough-and-tumble with the pale faces. They did not easily take offense, but when angered their wrath was fearful. Mr. William Gallaher tells us an amusing story of one who was his frequent playmate. Mr. G.'s business was hauling logs with a yoke of oxen, one of which, a very quietly disposed brute, he used to ride, and his mate was wild and vicious. The Indian one day wished to ride and G., in a spirit of mischief, put him on the wild animal, at the same time releasing him from the yoke. The ox has an instinctive fear of an Indian, and, unused to such treatment, he started off at a desperate pace, setting up a bellow that infected every animal on the place with a like frenzy, and away they started in pursuit. The Indian was a good rider and hung on like grim death, while the ox tore through the fields, brush and briers until he readied the larger timber, where a projecting limb brushed off his rider, unhurt. But the Indian never forgave this too practical joke and sought to kill young Gallaher, who was careful ever after to keep out of his way.
CAPTURED BY THE INDIANS.
Volumes might be written about incidents that occurred during the Black Hawk war, which war has been dignified by special history and not necessary to repeat here. Illinois was the dividing line between the settlers and the red men and while Putnam county was not the battle ground of the war, it was on the very borders. A simple incident taken from "Reminiscences of Bureau County" will serve to illustrate the experiences and the exciting events of those cruel days. This narrative of the capture and escape of Rachel and Sylvia Hall, personally narrated by the elder sister:
After being placed on horseback, and guarded by two Indians who rode by our sides, holding onto the reins of the bridles, we commenced our long and tedious journey. We rode most of the time on a canter and the Indians frequently looked back, as though afraid of being followed by the rangers who were at that time roaming through the country. We continued to travel at a rapid rate until near midnight, when we halted to rest our ponies. After waiting about two hours we rode on, traveling all night, and all the next day until noon, when we again halted. Here our captors turned out their horses to graze, built a fire, scalded some beans, roasted some acorns, of which they offered us some to eat, but we declined tasting. We remained in camp a few hours; during that time the Indians were engaged in dressing scalps by stretching them on small willow hoops. Among these scalps I recognized my mother's by the bright color of her hair. The sight of this produced in me a faintness and I fell to the ground in a swoon from which I was soon after aroused in order to continue our journey. After leaving the camp we traveled more leisurely than before, until about nine o'clock at night we reached the camp of Black Hawk, after having ridden near ninety miles in twenty-eight hours.
We found the Indian camp on the bank of a creek, surrounded by marshy ground covered with burr oak trees, being, as we afterward learned, near the Four Lakes (now Madison City, Wisconsin). On our arrival in camp, a number of squaws came to our assistance, taking us from our horses and conducting us into a wigwam. These squaws were very kind to us and gave us some parched corn and maple sugar to eat, it being the first food we had tasted since our captivity. Our arrival in camp caused great rejoicing among the Indians. A large number of warriors collected around us beating on drums, dancing, and yelling at the top of their voices. Next morning our fear of massacre or torture had somewhat subsided, and we were presented with beans and maple sugar for breakfast. They also offered us coffee to eat, which had been taken from Davis' house, not knowing that it required to be ground and boiled before using. About ten o'clock the camp was broken up and we moved five or six miles, crossing a creek, and encamped on high ground which was covered with timber. We were provided with horses to ride and behind us was packed camp equipage which consisted of tents, kettles, provisions, etc. On arriving at our new camp a white birch pole was stuck into the ground, on which the scalps of our murdered friends were hung, being exhibited here as trophies of the war. About fifty warriors, with faces painted red and divested of their clothing, danced around this pole to the music of drums and rattling gourds. Every day during our stay this pole with the scalps was erected and the dance was repeated.
One morning a party of warriors came to our camp and took us out, placing in our hands small red flags, and made us march around the encampment with them, stopping to wave the flags at the door of every wigwam. After this we were taken to the dance ground beside the scalp pole, by the side of which a blanket was spread. After painting our faces, one half red and the other half black, we were made to lie down on the blanket with our faces on the ground. The warriors then commenced dancing around us, flourishing their tomahawks and war clubs over our heads and yelling like demons. We now thought our time had come and waited our fate quietly, expecting every minute to be our last. When the dance was over, we were taken away by two squaws, whom we understood to be the wives of Black Hawk. By these squaws we were adopted as their children; although separated, we were allowed to visit each other frequently. Every day our camp was moved, always traveling in a circular route. Along the trail at short intervals the Indians would erect poles with tufts of grass tied on one side to show the hunters in what direction the camp could be found. Our fears of massacre had entirely disappeared, being adopted into the families of these squaws, not being required to work, but being watched closely to prevent our escape.
Some days after our arrival at Black Hawk's camp we were told that we must go with two Winnebago chiefs who had come for us. The squaws with whom we lived were greatly distressed at the thought of parting with us. The Winnebago chiefs tried to make us understand that they were taking us to white people, but we did not believe them. Thinking they intended to take us further from home and friends, we clung to the squaws and refused to go.
Contrary to our wish, we were placed on horses, behind each of the chiefs, and with us they galloped away, traveling twenty miles that same night. The chiefs said they were afraid of being followed by some of the Sacs and Foxes, who were displeased at our departure. Every few minutes the chiefs would look back to see if they were pursued, and would then whip their ponies into a gallop.
Some time after dark we arrived at the Winnebago camp, where we remained over night. Early the next morning we continued our journey, traveling all day, when we arrived at an encampment on the Wisconsin river, where there were about a hundred warriors. During the next day a party of Sac Indians, dressed in the clothes of murdered white men, came into camp. These Indians commenced talking to us, but the Winnebago chiefs told us to turn away from them and not listen to what they said, which we did. ("It was afterwards ascertained that a petty chief who had captured the girls was off on a hunt at the time the girls were given to the Winnebago chiefs, and not receiving his portion of the ransom, immediately started off with a party of warriors to retake them or kill them in the attempt. These warriors did not overtake the girls until they arrived safe at the Winnebago camp.")
White Crow asked us if we thought the whites would hang them if they took us to the fort. We gave them to understand that they would not. White Crow then collected horses and with Whirling Thunder and about twenty Winnebagoes we crossed the river and pursued our journey, my sister and myself, each on a different horse. We encamped about dark, rose early the next morning, and after a hasty meal of pork and potatoes (the first we had seen since our captivity) of which we ate heartily, we traveled on until we reached the fort near Blue Mounds, Wisconsin territory.
Before our arrival there we had become satisfied that our protectors were taking us to our friends and that we had done them injustice. About three miles from the fort we stopped, and the Indians cooked some venison, after which they took a white handkerchief which I had, and tying it to a long pole, three Indians proceeded with it to the fort. About a quarter of a mile from there, we were met by a Frenchman. The Indians formed a ring and the Frenchman rode into it and had a talk with our protectors. The latter expressed an unwillingness to give us up until they had seen Mr. Gratiot, the agent. Being informed by the Frenchman that we should be well treated, and that they should see us daily until Mr. Gratiot's return they delivered us into the Frenchman's care.
We repaired immediately to the fort, where the ladies, who had in the meantime assembled, received us with the utmost tenderness. We were thereupon attired once more in the costume of our own country and next day started for Galena.
On reaching a little spring at White Oak Springs we were met by our eldest brother, who, together with a younger one, was at work in the field near the house where we were captured and who, when the massacre began, fled and arrived in safety at Dixon's Ferry. On leaving Galena, we went on board the steamboat "Winnebago" for St. Louis, which place we reached in five days and were kindly received by the citizens and hospitably entertained by Governor Clark. Previous to our leaving Galena we had received an affectionate letter from Rev. Mr. Horn of Morgan county, Illinois, inviting us to make his house our future home. We accepted the invitation and left St. Louis in the steamboat Caroline, for Beardstown on the Illinois river, where we arrived on the third day thereafter. On landing, we were kindly received by the citizens and in a few hours reached the residence of Mr. Horn, five miles distant, in the latter part of July, 1832, when our troubles ended.
A brother of the Hall sisters, having married and settled in Putnam county, invited his sisters to come and reside with him. They did so in the forepart of August, 1832. The elder Miss Hall afterward married William Munson, and the younger sister in May, 1833, married William Horn, a son of the clergyman who had so kindly offered them a home in his family, removed to Morgan county and then to Nebraska.
The Hall sisters were captured May 21, 1832. According to foregoing account, they were three days in traveling with their captors and continued five days with the Sacs at their camp. This would bring the time up to May 29. They were five days more in traveling with the Winnebagoes to the Blue Mounds which comports with all the reliable statements of the time of their being delivered up to the whites which was June 3, 1832.
William Munson, who became the husband of Rachel Hall, a few years ago, erected a beautiful marble monument at the grave where the fifteen victims were buried. It is in view of the public road leading from north to south in Freedom township, near the banks of Indian Creek and the scene of the massacre. The inscriptions are: First -- "William Hall, aged 45; Mary J. Hall, aged 45; Elizabeth Hall, aged 8." Second -- "William Pettigrew, wife, and two children, -- Davis, wife and five children."
At the bottom: "Killed May 20, 1832."
Mrs. Munson (Rachel Hall) died May 1, 1870.
WOLVES AND DEATH.
In the summer of 1833, a Mr. Hale, living south of Beckwiths, lost a child and the sympathizing neighbors came over to sit up with the corpse and comfort the bereaved family. The father, too, was lying very low and nobody about but women, when a pack of wolves made daring by hunger and doubtless scenting the dead child, came to the house and began to howl. They got beneath the floor, and scratched at the doors seemingly determined to get inside. The women were greatly terrified and threw blazing brands of firewood to drive them away. Mrs. Beckwith, who narrated this, says it was the most dreadful night she ever experienced.
Another instance related is of a young mother who was left alone with a sick babe. The cabin had no windows, and the only door was a blanket hung before the opening. During the night her babe died and then began the awfulest uproar outside imaginable. A gang of twenty or more wolves appeared and seemed determined to force an entrance. The mother's fears were for her dead babe which she wrapped in blankets and placed upon a beam overhead and then barricaded the door with a table. Throughout the long and dreadful night the poor woman stood against the frail protection through which the infuriated beasts outside tried to force an entrance. Morning came at last and during the day her husband returned and friends came to assist in the burial.
The Hennepin jail was set on fire and burned down September 27, 1842. A fellow named Frederick was confined in it for burglary, having broken open the store of Pulsifer Company and stolen valuable goods, or which he was under indictment. It was built of brick at a cost of $3,000 and was lined with heavy timbers, and supposed to be burglar proof. While the jail was burning the prisoner was placed in the Court House for safety, but gave his guard the slip and escaped. The enraged tax-payers, however, hunted him down and kept him safe until his trial.
IT PAYS TO PRAY.
Among many reminiscences that Amos T. Purviance recited to the writer was one narrating how Oakes Turner secured a teacher for his rural school.
One of the grade teachers in the Hennepin school was a very devout young woman who devoted a great deal of time to opening exercises of a religious character. The good people of the district were not opposed to the nature of her exercises, but objected to taking so much time from the real object of the school. Finally the matter became so distressing that the Board requested her to limit her devotions to a reasonable length of time. The teacher asserted that it was a matter of conscience with her and that pray she must, though the children never got out of her grade. Finally she was requested to resign, which she did at once.
Oakes Turner, was a director in an adjoining district and on hearing that this superior teacher had quit at Hennepin, jumped astride his horse and was at the teacher's door before breakfast the next morning. He briefly stated his mission, to which the lady replied, "Do you know, Mr. Turner, why I have quit here? I can not do good work without first invoking God's guidance and blessing on the work in hand." To which Mr. Turner replied, "Oh, that's all right, you just come and teach our school and you can pray all you damned please; it won't make a bit of difference to us."
She went, she prayed, she succeeded.
LOU DODSON'S AUTOMOBILE.
The great proverb writer states that there is no new thing under the sun. In these modern days of telegraphy, telephone, wired and wireless, electric and aerial transportation, photophoney and all the wonderful discoveries and inventions of science, we are apt to believe that we are living in the golden age, and all these things are new under the sun. Men are now living in Putnam county who could tell us that in 1848 Magnolia township, near the present site of the Quaker meeting house, an inventive genius by the name of Lou Dodson made an automobile whose motive power was air, and whose machine ran nicely in the open, making modern time speed until his steering apparatus gave way, depositing him in the middle of a big pond, where his invention remained all summer.
Four years previous to Dodson's experience John Ham ran a traction engine through the streets of Magnolia, and yet, thirty years afterward, when engines came into use for threshing purposes, they hauled them from farm to farm by horse power, demonstrating that mechanical invention has not been confined to any one age.
TRAGEDY NEAR HENNEPIN.
No bridge has ever spanned the river at Hennepin. Until the establishment of Spring Valley, a quarter of a century ago, there was no crossing between Henry and Peru. In the winter time when the river is frozen over teams cross on the ice, but in the high water time no crossing is affected except by skiff. Hennepin gets her mail from the Rock Island railroad at Bureau Junction by hack. During the high water season the mail carrier uses a skiff. In the spring of 1906 two men, Percy McWhorter, a grain buyer, and Blaine Jenkins, a drug clerk, volunteered to go after the mail since Hennepin had been for several days without any. William Bentley, son of Richard Bentley of Hennepin, who was living in Chicago, desired transportation across the river from Bureau to Hennepin. These three men, with several sacks of mail and some packages of express, braved the waters of the Illinois; but not one of them reached Hennepin to tell the story of their sad fate. For forty-eight hours excitement reigned in the quiet village. The floating skiff and the mail pouches and hats indicated where the tragedy had occurred and in due time the bodies were all recovered and a triple funeral took place.
In the fall of the same year a team in transportation upon the ferry took fright and dashed off the boat, taking the faithful old ferry horse with them. Two horses were drowned and the driver barely escaped with his life, and yet Hennepin continues to get her mail from Bureau with a railroad station equally as close in Hennepin township -- Moronts.
PRESENT GENERAL CONDITION.
The general condition of Putnam county at the present writing, socially, morally and financially is that of an intelligent and prosperous people. Cosmopolitan in the extreme, we have Swedish settlements, German communities, Polish neighborhoods, Irish vicinities in the country; and in the villages, particularly in Granville township, all tongues and nations mingle and co-mingle in political, social, fraternal and religious relationship. As a farming community Putnam county is strictly in the advance rank. Very few farms in the county but what are connected by mutual telephone systems with the centers of population, and the establishing of the rural free mail delivery brings them in close touch with the world at large. Especial attention is being paid to the improvement of highways. In Hennepin and Senachwine townships all the main roads are thoroughly graveled. In the other townships which have more prairie roads much attention is being given to graveling, and eventually the whole county will be one network of graveled highways. The coming, of the consolidation of schools and the introduction of automobiles by the farmers themselves demand a better condition of the public thoroughfares. Since the enlargement of the home market the farmers no longer haul their produce out of the community and the tendency is to make permanent public improvements. There is no state institution in this county, but the developments of the last decade are causing public attention from without and Putnam county is destined to take her proper rank among the counties of the state justified by her advanced condition in all things that make for an intelligent and progressive citizenship.
Extracted 17 Feb 2017 by Norma Hass from Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties Illinois, authored by John Spencer Burt and W. E. Hawthorne, published in 1907, pages 110-118.