When our ancestors first came to Illlinois, the state was unbroken prairie, an expanse of rich soil which, while
extraordinarilry fertile, did not lend itself to tillage by the ploughs famililar to farmers of the eastern states. One of the
most crucial innovations of early nineteeth-century agriculture in Illinois was that of John Deere's steel mouldboard plough.
Moultrie, and all similar grass-bound counties, owes its cultivation to this invention.
Just as the grassland counties of central Illinois owe their initial development to this innovation,
Moultrie's founding residents did not rest content with their lot. They tinkered
and fussed to make their daily lives better, and here are their contributions.
Some of these are truly ingenious; others are stillborn mechanical monsters, but all demonstrate
a craving for an easier life and a better world.
A note from the web master: I do not know whether any of these innovations achieved commercial success,
though some appear worthy of it. If you have any information concerning any of these devices, please let me know.
Francis M. Green, 1858:
Morgan Wright, 1879:
Improvements in Bee Hives
Moses Porter, 1884:
Capstan and Lifting Power
Martin V. B. Kenney, 1885:
Improvements in Hay-Derricks
William H. and Eddy G. Monroe 1893:
Michael McCarthy and John H. Wehmoff, 1896:
James C. Smith, 1905:
Process of Making Explosives
Leonard C. Weaver, 1906:
Clothes-Line Support and Tightener
Charles O. McKinney and Luther Perry, 1911:
Rivet Anvil and Remover
William A. McMullin and Frank E. Rittenhouse, 1917:
Alexander H. Whigam and Alfred E. Eden, 1919:
Steering Wheel Attachment
Stephen Ralph Underwood, 1922: