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The History of Wethersfield 2.0 is an updated story of the 1836 founding of the village of Wethersfield and Wethersfield Township in Henry County, Illinois. It traces the dreams and the hardships of those early settlers until their aspirations were shattered a little more than a decade and a half later by the building of a railroad and the 1854 founding of the village of Kewanee a mile or so to the north.
Researcher and author Dean Karau pulls together disparate elements of previous histories of Wethersfields founding, resolves conflicts among them, while adding newly-discovered information, in order to make the story come alive in todays world. Dean tells the history from the point of view of a friend of Henry Gilman Little, one of the pioneer Wethersfield colonists, breathing realism and excitement into the story of the beauty, the privations, and disappointments faced by those intrepid men and women. In the words of Henry,
[y]es the people were poor in those years, we were very poor if lack of money and luxuries constitutes poverty. But I do not think we felt poor, certainly we were not unhappy. It seems to me that we were rich, rich in love and neighborly kindness, rich in our equality of condition and the warm sympathy which resulted rich in appreciation for the best things and rich in our high hopes, which never failed us for the future of the great west and of our own community, rich in the common joy of overcoming difficulties, of subduing the wilderness and bending the forces of nature to our will.