Reasons for Settling in Early Ogle Co., IL

History of Ogle County, Illinois edited by Kauffman & Kauffman, 1909:

page 644 & 645

"The settlement of Ogle County, then a part of Jo Daviess County, was brought about by the lead mining industry at Galena. The Galena lead mines were known as early as 1700. From 1823 they developed rapidly and in 1827 county organization was effected. Travel from the older parts of the State, the central and southern, with Vandalia as the capital, followd a trail which crossed Rock River at Ogee's Ferry, after 1830 Dixon's Ferry, and led through the western portion of the present limits of Ogle County. In 1829 John Ankeny staked a claim at Buffalo Grove. Returning from Galena in 1830, he found Isaac Chambers located on a claim that overlapped his of the year before. They adjusted their differences, and Isaac Chambers continued to occupy his log cabin, the first built in the county.

In 1833, John Phelps of Schuyler County and formerly of Tennessee, after spending the summer at the lead mines at Galena, and having been attracted in the fall of 1829 by the beauty of Rock River Valley, decided to explore the region with a view to making a permanent home if he found a location to please him. He selected, after many leagues of travel through the well nigh pathless country, and upon the advice of Col. William Hamilton, son of Alexander Hamilton, who was leading a surveying party along Rock River for the Federal Government, a spot three miles west of the river, where there was a spring. The place was known for many years as the Phelps Farm, now the Major Newcomer Farm, situated equally distant from Oregon and Mount Morris, and containing now 300 acres...

In 1834, Leonard Andrus went up Rock River from Dixon's Ferry in a canoe paddled by Indians. There were no settlers and Mr. Andrus made claim to the land upon which the village of Grand Detour now stands, influenced by the fertility of the land and the water the time the years 1836-40 passed, the smoke from the cabins of the first families of the new Ogle County could be seen in many directions. The names of the households of those early days included that of Kellog, Reed, Bush, Brooke, Doty, Sanford, Stephenson, Shoemaker, Webster, Hull, Merritt, Waterbury, Shaver, Walmsley, Cushman, Beardsley, Worden, Nichols, Bogue, Wilcoxen, Fellows, Hoffhine, Gannon, Donelson, Good, Sanborn, Phelps, Moss, Mix, Shepard, Campbell, Woodburn, Maynard, Juvenal, Spalding, Norton, Hurd, Kimball, Carr, Patrick, Smith, Wood, Knowlton, Bradbury, Brewster, McIntyre, Irvine, Brodie, Grant, Crary, Noe, Cochrane, Randall, Bartholomew, Flagg, Leonard, Andrus, House, Weatherby, Green, Bosworth, Dana, Warren, Deere, Cushing, Hathaway, Henry, Day, Palmer, Chamberlain, Hubbell, Bass, Gardener, Goodrich, Harrington, Anthony, Crombie, Clark, White, Rosecrans, Jenkins, Aiken, Royce, Hunter, Holden, Gaffin, Light, Heaston, Kitzmiller, Piper, Trine, Ryder, Myers, Turner, Mitchell, Andrews, Scott, Whittaker, York, Bryan, Snow, Brown, Eyler, Blair, McLain, Fossler, Oliver, Hitt, Swingley, Wagner, Rice, McDannel, Stover, Finkboner, Householder, Crowell, Reynolds, Wertz, Wallace, Allen, Sprecher, Miller, Artz, Brantner, Sharer, Coffman, Nally, McCoy, Hiestand, Roe, Williamson, Peabody, Bemis, Farwell, Dort, Carpenter, Hatch, Paddock, Hills, Richardson, McKenney, Stiles, Jackson, Key, Moore, Gale, Hill, Bond, Ford, Everett, Mudd, Spencer, Fuller, Wooley, Roberts, Pickett, Harris, Ray, Leland, Evarts, Griffith, Etnyre, Mumma, Painter, Ruggles, Joiner, Paul, Baker, Perrine, Hagan, Seyster, Walkup, Alexander, Wilbur, Haas, Bridge, Morgan, Stevenson, Paine, Iler, Stinson, Maxwell, Taylor, Trask, Russell, Sanderson, Friedly, Griswold, Knox, Read, Waite, Marshall, James, Gitchell, Medford, Lucas, Chaney, Hays, Young, Gaston, Wellington, Gees, Peek."

Pages 9& 10, "Brethren In Northern Illinois and Wisconsin", by John Heckman and J.E. Miller:

The Brethren, being opposed to slavery, turned westward rather than southward. Because they were an agricultural people rather than urban, the broad and productive prairies of Illinois, landscaped with woods and streams, appealed to them. The happy hunting grounds so recently vacated by the Indians, who were being shoved farther and farther west, offered new homes at figures amazingly low. The price of land in the eastern states was rising and the population increasing. Naturally some of the more venturesome were ready to leave the blessings of the East, break ties with the home community, cast their lot with those who were reporting the glories of Illinois, and share whatever hardships pioneer life was sure to offer. The Brethren who first came to northern Illinois brought with them the pioneer spirit. They were not driven out of their comfortable Eastern homes; they left them voluntarily. Peering into the future they beheld doors opening to opportunities for themselves and their children that were not possible in their old and populous communities.

Fathers, who had several sons, were not able to will them any land in the East because it was all taken. There was not enough land to bequeath to their children. Land being sold cheaply was an attraction. When those from MD and PA arrived in Illinois, they built their homes in the woods as they did in the East. The originally saw no good in the prairie soil. If prairie land could not grow trees, what good was it? They soon found out! John Deere's steel plow of 1837 saw that stubborn prairie sod broken down into wonderful farm land. No wonder they wrote letters back and forth, inviting their family and friends to join them in Ogle County.

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