South Ottawa - History of LaSalle County Town Sketches - 1877 - Illinois

History of LaSalle County, Illinois ~ 1877

Sketch of Settlers

South Ottawa

[pages 255 - 265]


The town of South Ottawa embraces that part of T. 33, R. 3, which lies south of the Illinois river, being about half the township. Except a narrow strip of bottom-land along the Illinois river, it is on the bluff, and the village which constitutes one ward of the city of Ottawa, looks down upon that part of the city which lies in the valley.

The view is a very fine and commanding one. It was settled before North Ottawa, and the fort built for protection in the Black Hawk war, was just east of where the road going south cuts the bluff. The timber land which skirts the bluff of the Illinois river and along Covell creek, which runs northwesterly through the town, covers a large proportion of its surface.

A peculiar feature, is the existence of a fountain of water which lies a few feet below the surface between the Illinois river and Covell creek; there is a bed of coarse gravel several feet in thickness, which contains a fountain of pure water. It supplies North Ottawa by pipes running under the river, and the fountain is inexhaustible. The town is favorably located, and will be as valuable as any portion of the county.

Enos PEMBROKE, from New York, came to Alton in 1818, and from there to Ottawa, May 1st, 1825, and settled on S. 15, T. 33, R. 3; he died in 1832, his widow surviving him. She kept a hotel at the foot of the bluff; was a Methodist, and Stephen R. BEGG says, a leading sister in the church. She died in 1862.

Their children were: David, married Mary REYNOLDS, lived in Fall River from 1844 to 1870, now lives in Macoupin County, has 11 children; Ursula, married Wm. KESSLER, lived in South Ottawa; Richard, died one year ago; Enos, married Miss CHEW; Calvin, married Mary GORBIT, lived at Tiskilwa; Jeremiah, married Rachel SPRAGUE, second wife, Rosa DENSMORE; Mary Ann, married Horace SPRAGUE, and died soon after.

Josiah E. SHAW, from Whitestown, N. Y., came here in 1827. He married Rosanna TEST; he was a step-son of Enos PEMBROKE; he died in 1875. His children are one son and two daughters.

Reuben REED, from Monroe County, N. Y., in 1822; stopped in Kentucky two years, then removed to Cincinnati, Ohio, where his wife died, leaving six children. He married a Miss HIBBARD, and soon after with the HIBBARD family, fifteen persons in all, moved to Illinois in 1827, stayed in Chicago two months, then moved to Ottawa, and wintered in the cabin with Col. SAYERS in South Ottawa. Leased the widow PEMBROKE’s farm in 1828, and made a claim on S. 17, T. 33, R. 4, where Wm. MOORE now lives. A Mr. HIBBARD, brother of Mrs. REED, came from St. Louis, who seemed to be the evil genius of the family. He caused the separation of Mr. REED and his wife, and broke up the family. His son Darius was bound out to James GALLOWAY; his son Ansel, to Moses BOOTH, and his daughter Emeline, then a mere child, to Lewis BAYLEY. Reuben REED abandoned his claim and it was taken by a Mr. TOWN. Darius REED, who served an apprenticeship with Jas. GALLOWAY, when he arrived at man’s estate made a farm on S. 31, T. 34, R. 5, on which he has resided for many years, a wealthy and respected citizen, now temporarily residing in Kansas.

Henry HIBBARD made a claim on S. 5, T. 33, R. 4, and sold to DISNER, and he to McKERNANS in 1831, and they sold to EBERSOL in 1834.

Eleazar HIBBARD, who married a daughter of Reuben REED, made a claim on S. 32, T. 33, R. 4, where B. B. REYNOLDS now lives. He also separated from his wife, and the HIBBARD family moved to San Prairie, near Hennepin. All the HIBBARD men separated from their wives, and all the HIBBARD women from their husbands, it is claimed from the influence of the brother from St. Louis; in the words of Darius REED, "they were always in commotion and trouble, casting up mire and dirt, and never found rest but in the grave." All the HIBBARDs but one died soon after they left the county.

Charles BROWN and wife, Abigail HOGABOOM, came from Ulster County, New York, and arrived here November 30th, 1830; bought a claim of James McKERNAN, on S. 32, T. 33, R. 3, where he spent the remainder of his life, a good citizen and honest man; he died in May, 1874; his wife died in November, 1874. Their children were: William, who married Betsey ELLSWORTH, died in 1869, aged forty-nine, leaving six children: Louisa, married Calvin EELLS, now deceased; Clarinda, married a Mr. MILLS, is now a widow, in California; Russel, married Susan HOPPLE, and lives on S. 33, T. 33, R. 3; Ann, married P. C. WATTS; Jane, married Frank LIBBEY, and is now a widow, with three daughters and two sons; Edward, lives on the old homestead; Cordelia, married Lyman CADWELL, and lives in Vermillion County.

John HOGABOOM married Miss HOPKINS, and came from Ulster County, New York, here, in the fall of 1830; settled on S. 33, T. 33, R. 3. After his wife died he married widow BROOKS; had fourteen children. Of those living, Adelia married Nathan T. CARR, lives in Brookfield, and has seven children; Emily married Morgan MARION, in Iowa; Mary married Frank OCEAN, and lives in Iowa; George and Loring live on the old farm; Edgar married Miss WADE, and lives in Ottawa; Charlotte married a Mr. ROBINS, and lives in Nebraska; Frances married Henry GILBERT, and lives in Iroquois County.

Richard HOGABOOM, brother of the above, from the same place, in 1830, married Phebe FARNSWORTH, and settled on S. 32; removed to Green Bay, in 1837, and now lives in Nebraska. Has four children: Eliza, married D. C. MILLS, and lives in Farm Ridge; Cornelia, married Joseph D. LEWIS; Harriet, married a Mr. ROBINSON, both in Nebraska; William, lives with his parents.

Abel HOGABOOM, brother of John and Richard, came from the same place, and settled on S. 6, T. 32, R. 3. He married Charlotte JONES, and after her death, he married the widow HORN, daughter of Jacob GRUBER; is now living in Nebraska, and has seven children, one son, Frank, living on the old homestead. Mary, married to Robert CRANE, in South Ottawa; Hannah, Eliza, Susan, and Luella at the old home; Abbey and Lucy with their parents.

Richard HOGABOOM and wife, Hannah, parents of the foregoing brothers, came from Ulster County, New York, in 1830. He died in 1845, aged 83; his widow died in 1857, aged 84.

John McKERNAN, from Kentucky, settled on Covell Creek, in the fall of 1828; lived there one year, and then went to Brown’s Point, and made a claim on S. 32, T. 33, R. 3; In 1831 sold the claim of Charles BROWN, and bought a claim of DISNEY, on S. 5, T. 33, R. 4. In 1832, Mr. McKERNAN was drowned in the Illinois river. In 1834 the widow sold the claim to Joseph EBERSOL, and with the family, removed to S. 22, T. 31, R. 4, at the head of Otter creek, where she died, in 1872. Two sons, Hugh and Patrick, died previously.

James EDGECOMB, came from New Providence, West Indies, in 1835, and settled on Covell creek, west of Ottawa, and died soon after.

David STRAWN, son of Jeremiah STRAWN, came with his father’s family from Perry County, Ohio, in 1830; bought land on S. 35, in South Ottawa, at the sale in 1835. He married Sarah LOYD, of Ohio, and occupied his land soon after. He was a large farmer, and extensive raiser and dealer in stock, and one of the owners and builders of the Paducah Railroad. He died in 1873, leaving seven children. Theodosia married J. W. EBERSOL, and lives at Strawn, Livingston County; Susan married a Mr. PORTER, and is now deceased; Bertha married Thomas MORGAN; they live in Chicago; Walter married Florence PARR, and lives at Strawn; Clara married Mahlon B. LINTON; Ella, Harlan L., and Cora Belle, are at home.

John ROCKWOOD, and wife, Sally GREEN, a sister of Henry GREEN, of Ottawa, came from Cheshire County, New Hampshire, in fall of 1834, and settled on Section 26, where he made his home till his death, about 1840. They had seven children: Loring Otis, lives with his mother, now 86 years of age, on the old farm; John, married Sarah Jane LEWIS, and is living in Gibson; William, married Maria DOOLITTLE, and lives on Section 10, Farm Ridge, a large farmer; Elisha, married Deborah COX, and lives in Indiana; Levi, died young; Mary, married J. R. DUNN.

Judge James GLOVER, father of J. O. GLOVER, came from Oswego, N. Y., in 1833, and settled in South Ottawa; he had held the position of County Judge in New York for a considerable time. He died about 1849.

James DAY, mother and sister, came from the city of New York in 1832; the sister died, the mother returned to New York, and James became insane and left. Mr. DAY laid out the original town of South Ottawa. Their family history is a sad one; they were educated, refined and intelligent people; Miss DAY died of calomel salivation, the result of murderous medical practice of that day.

Henry GORBETT, from Clermont County, Ohio, in 1837, with his wife, Sally ROBINSON, settled on S. 31, T. 33, R. 3. His second wife was the widow HOLLAND; he had fifteen children: Mary, married Calvin PEMBROKE; John, is in Texas; Debby Ann, married David CLARK; Francis Asbury; Mary Ann, married John QUIMBY; George, is dead; Margaret, married James WILSON; Peter, is in Pontiac; Sarah, married a Mr. FISK; Joseph, is in Pontiac; Angeline, married Edward SMITH; Henry and Samuel are at Rooks Creek.

William THOMPSON, from New York City in 1833; settled on S. 32, T. 33, R. 3; was here seven or eight years; sold to William RICHARDSON and went to St. Louis.

Solon KNAPP, from New York in 1835; died of cholera.

Jabez FITCH, from Plattsburg, N. Y., in 1835; he was a merchant, and County Treasurer several years; he died in New York.

Ebenezer TRACY, from New York in 1831 or ’32; went back to New York.

Thomas TRACY, brother of the above, from same place, had a wife and several children; died in Michigan; his family have all left the county.

Silas TRACY, brother of Thomas, came here in 1831 or ’32; he settled on Covell creek, where he died many years since; his widow married Jesse A. CLARK and went to Madison, Wis.

Dr. ROBERTS, from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in 1832; died of cholera.

Dr. Constant ABBOT, from New York in 1836; a physician; went to Cincinnati.

Henry MATSON, from Owego, New York, in 1834; went to Texas; died in Central America.

Silas MATSON, and wife, Lydia STANTON, from Owego, New York, in 1839; settled in South Ottawa. Has four children: Charles Henry, now in Livingston County; David, Jerome and Mary, at home.

Calvin EELLS, from Oneida County, New York, came to La Salle County in 1831, went West for a year or two, then returned to New York, and in 1836 removed with his widowed mother to South Ottawa, and settled on Section 28. He married Louisa BROWN, who died about 1850. He afterward married S. A. TUCKER. His first wife’s children are: Frederick, who married Ernestine MAINES, lives in South Ottawa; Charles B., married Eliza MAINES in Vermillion County; Nathaniel is on the old farm, and Lucien in Kansas; Susan O. married George H. MAINES, on the old farm; Marcus is in Farm Ridge; Isabella, married Samuel POUNDSTONE of Farm Ridge. The second wife has two sons: Douglass A. is in Odell; Horace is with his mother, near the old place.

Russell KIMBALL came at an early day from New York. He married Mercy HOGABOOM, and settled on Section 28, sold to Calvin EELLS, kept a hotel in South Ottawa, afterward moved to Sheboygan.

Sheldon BARTHOLOMEW came from New York with BROWN and HOGABOOM, married Charlotte HOGABOOM, and settled on Section 28; he sold to Thomas HODGSON; died in Ogle County; his widow came back to La Salle County, and died a few years after.

Mr. BEERS came from New York at same time with BARTHOLOMEW; he married Prudence HOGABOOM, and died soon after; his widow married Peter MINKLER, who moved to Kane County; they are now living at Rochelle, Ogle County.

George B. MACY, from Connecticut, first to Peoria, and to Ottawa, 1836; he married Mary JENNINGS, who died in 1854. He died about 1864. They left five children: Charles, Eliza, Mary, Anna and Clara.

Bartlett DENNISON, and wife, Jane LINDLEY, came about 1834. He sold goods, and owned a saw mill on Indian creek; went to California, and died there.

Erastus ALLEN, from Plattsburg, New York, came in 1834; sold goods with CROOK; went to Galena.

Robert FOWLER, and wife, Polly PLATT, from Plattsburg, New York, kept a boarding house; died here.

Burnett MILLER, from Clinton County, New York, went to Wisconsin.

Daniel FARNSWORTH, from Clinton County, N. Y., in 1832; he died in 1870. His widow was fatally burned by her clothes taking fire. Children: Albert, died in California; William, married Miss DIX, he died in South Ottawa; Robert was killed, his widow is in Texas; Elizabeth, married S. CROOK; Electa; Phebe, married Richard HOGABOOM, and was fatally burned by a like accident as that which befell her mother.

Samuel TYLER, the first wagon maker in Ottawa, came in 1833; moved to Wisconsin.

Platt THORN and wife, Betsey PLATT, from Clinton County, New York, a glove maker by trade; went to Pontiac, returned, and died here. His widow and children went to California.

Sylvanus CROOK, from Clinton County, New York, in 1832, a merchant and farmer; he was a Justice of the Peace for several years, and died July 9, 1871. He married Elizabeth FARNSWORTH, who survives him. Lucy married Albert POOL, now in Iowa; Minnie and Charles are at home.

John PARISH, from Glasgow, Kentucky, and brother, came in 1832; one died, the other went to Rock River.

Moses BOOTH, brother-in-law to Christopher LONG, came here in 1827 or 1828, and lived with LONG, on Covell creek. His wife died, and he married Miss ALVORD. He went to Kendall County, lost a leg, and died soon after.

Christopher PAVIER came here about 1834, from Yorkshire, England. He had four children: George, died in Cincinnati; Charles, married Miss CUNLIFF, lived for several years in South Ottawa, and died in East Ottawa; two sisters live in Cincinnati.

Mrs. PAVIER was the widow Nancy ARNOLD, and had a son and a daughter by her first husband. Her son George ARNOLD married Sarah RUSSELL. He ran the ferry at Ottawa for several years, and is well remembered by the people from the south side. He is now in Iowa, near Dubuque. Jane ARNOLD married Samuel W. ROGERS; after his death, she married a Mr. KELLEY, and went West.

Samuel W. ROGERS, from Vermont, came to Ottawa in 1833 or 1834. He kept a grocery, and owned the ferry for several years. He died in South Ottawa.

James BALL, from Owego, New York, in 1835; he married Cepha BALL, and lives on Section 25. Has one daughter.

Jesse A. CLARK, from Fort Covington, New York, in 1832; kept tavern at the foot of the bluff; made the CLARK claim, then went to Madison, Wisconsin, and died there.

Justus M. CLARK, son of Jesse A., took the farm occupied by his father in 1835. He married Martha DUNN; he had kept school in Kentucky; he was a Presbyterian minister, and died on his farm, February 13th, 1867, leaving children. One daughter married Walter GOOD, now of Marseilles; one married Henry HOWLAND; Julius CLARK is a lawyer, now in Kansas.

John BASCOM, from Connecticut, in 1831; his mother and sister came in 1834. He kept a hotel at the foot of the bluff. BASCOM and his mother died of cholera, the same night, in June, 1835. The sister married a Mr. FOSTER, of Earl, and died in Wisconsin.

Abraham S. BERGEN, from Springfield, Illinois, in 1833. He was a merchant here for eight or ten years; he with his wife died in Galesburg.

Benjamin J. MOORE, from Clinton County, New York, in 1832; a land agent and speculator; went to Wisconsin in 1838; he had three sons and one daughter.

Dr. SMITH, from Clinton County, New York, in 1832, with Jesse A. CLARK; he opened one of the first stores in South Ottawa. He had one child, Lucy; she went to Rock River, and died there.

Rev. Mr. HAZARD, from Clinton County, New York, in 1834; was a minister and missionary; died when returning to Plattsburg.



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