Starting the Journey

Family and wagon

An account of the 1829 trip from Ohio to Illinois is told by David and Jesse Green, sons of John Green, in Elmer Baldwin’s History of La Salle County, written in 1877.

On the 2d of November, 1829, the following named persons left Newark, Licking County, Ohio, for what is now La Salle County, Illinois: John Green, David Grove, Henry Brumback, and Reason Debolt, with their families, and the following named young men: Samuel Grove, Joseph Grove, Jacob Kite, Alexander McKee, and Harvey Shaver. Their outfit was one four-yoke oxen team, three two-horse wagons, and one carriage. Found the roads passable till we got into Indiana, where we lay by three days for bad weather. The streams were high, but we were bound for the West, and pressed forward. Found about forty teams weather-bound at Boxby’s, on the Whitewater, where we were told it would be impossible to proceed unless we traveled on the top of wagons and teams already swamped. From there we cut our way through heavy timber for sixty miles, averaging about ten miles per day. One of the party, with a child in his arms, was thrown from the carriage, breaking three of his ribs, and the carriage wheel passed over the child without injuring it. The wounded man pursued the journey, never complaining; so readily did those hardy pioneers adapt themselves to circumstances, and heroically face the inevitable. The streams were so high we had to head them, or, as the saying is, go around them.

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