Joel F. Warner – fisherman

large mouth bass

Joel Foster “Faut” Warner was a noted Dayton fisherman and his prowess received notice in the Ottawa newspaper.

May 8, 1886, p. 8, col. 3
Dayton, May 6th. – Fishing is fine here this season, and the game fish are being caught in large quantities. Our old fisherman, F. A. Warner, a short time ago caught one hundred and forty-one bass in one day, and Mr. Lewis Makinson caught seventy-five. Yesterday was a big day and scores of the finny tribe were removed from their watery homes.

May 12, 1888, p. 8, col. 2
J. F. Warner, our fisherman, caught fifty fine bass last Tuesday morning.

He is called Peg in this next item because, in 1877, he lost his left leg. He tried to get on a moving railway train, slipped and had a car wheel run over it. It had to be amputated 4 inches below the knee. He must have had a peg fitted to the stump.

8 Aug 1902, p12, col 4
                          STOLE HIS BOAT AND FISH
          “Peg” Warner of Dayton Comes To Town With a Sorrowful Tale
“Peg” Warner, an old-time fisherman at Dayton, is in the city today and with Chief of Police Westcott is making a search for his boat, fishing tackle and about fifty pounds of catfish stolen from him last night. During the summer months Peg devotes his whole time to fishing, and is kind to campers and people who visit Dayton. The boat which was stolen is a new one, especially designed and built by Peg for his own conveniences in the river. It contained a life box and also a chamber for minnows, and anybody that visited Dayton was always welcome to the use of the boat. He also had some fine reels and fishing tackle, but all were taken. It is hoped that the thief will be captured and if he is, Peg will make him suffer.

Unfortunately, there is no follow up article. I can only hope that Peg was able to get his boat back.

Mail to California

In April, 1850, David Green wrote to his father and brothers in the gold fields near Sacramento. The postage to California and Oregon was 40 cents and it was paid by the sender. This letter was folded and sealed to create its own envelope. Note the red blob of sealing wax still adhering to the paper. The postmark reads “Ottawa Ill. APR 28”. How did this letter get to California?

Mail to California began in November, 1848, when Postmaster General Cave Johnson dispatched a special agent to California to establish Post Offices. By Christmas, steamships were carrying mail from New York to California via the Isthmus of Panama. This was before the construction of the canal. When the ships reached Panama, the mail was taken off and transported in canoes or on pack animals – and later by railroad – about 50 miles to the Pacific coast. Another steamship collected the mail on the Pacific side and headed north. The total journey took about three weeks. See here for map.

Since the first overland mail service to California was not until the spring of 1851, this letter likely went by boat from Ottawa to St. Louis and then by steamboat to New Orleans. From there it joined the main mail route from New York, crossing Panama and continuing up the coast to San Francisco.

This second letter came in its own (hand-made) envelope. Note that in this case the sender paid only 10 cents, leaving 30 cents to be collected upon arrival. Was David thinking the miners would have plenty of gold to pay the amount due?

Mail to and from California was eagerly awaited and all the letters stressed the fact that they had not heard from the other in a long time. Then a batch of letters would appear all at once and news was relayed to everyone for miles around, in hopes that their people would be mentioned. Many of the letters from La Salle county people were published in the Ottawa Free Trader.

Mail from home was not only eagerly awaited, it was treasured. These two letters, mailed to California and received there, were put away safely and brought home with them. The fragile originals are now treasured as evidence of how important the mail was to the adventurers.

Mr. and Mrs. C. B. Hess

Charles Benton Hess was born November 13, 1839, in Forrestville, Virginia, the son of Henry H. Hess and Mahala Hammond. He came to La Salle county in 1854. He took up farming as a career but later decided to complete his education. He attended and graduated from Lombard University at Galesburg and later studied law in Chicago, but never asked admission to the bar. After finishing his studies he returned to La Salle County and again took up farming.

In 1877 he owned 220 acres of land, valued at $11,000; and 4 houses and lots in Dayton, valued at $3,000. Later he gave up the agricultural field to enter Green’s Woolen Mills at Dayton. Later he came to Ottawa and entered the real estate business, with offices over the post office, and from there branched out into the clay and tile industry. He served as a Justice of the Peace and as town clerk of Dayton.

In 1880, with his brother-in-law H. B. Williams, they erected a plant, known as the Standard Brick Company’s works, at Brickton, about one mile east of Ottawa, along the north bank of the canal, and commenced the manufacture of brick. This appears to have been the first clay manufacturing concern of Ottawa. In 1882, finding traveling to Dayton every day after the close of business tiresome, he removed his residence to Ottawa.

Clara Isabella “Callie” Green was the daughter of Jesse Green and Isabella Trumbo. She was born in Dayton December 12, 1849, while her father was away at the gold fields of California. She married C. B. Hess May 12, 1869. in Dayton.

They had 5 children:
Edwin Jesse was born in Dayton, June 28, 1871. He married Edith Powell of Coffeeville, Kansas, in Coffeeville in January of 1905.

Gertrude Noel was born in 1874 and died the following year.

Glenn Raymond was born in 1876 in Dayton. At the age of five he slipped from the rocks just above the Fox river bridge in Ottawa and drowned.

Edith May was born in October 1880 in Dayton. She married Albert E. Gilman, assistant superintendent of the King & Hamilton Co., factory in Jan 1905.

Harry Charles was born after the move to Ottawa, on August 16, 1883. He married Dell M. Terry at the bride’s home in Harding in October 1910.

C. B. died September 23, 1918, in Ottawa and Callie died July 25, 1930, also in Ottawa.

Will of Hannah Rebecca (Rhoads) Green

Hannah Rebecca Rhoads, the second wife of Jesse Green

On May 3rd, 1894, Hannah Rebecca (Rhoads) Green signed her will, only a few days before her death on May 23rd. She named her son J. Kent Green as executor and trustee of her estate. He was directed to use the income from the property for her husband, Jesse Green, during his lifetime. If not all the income was needed by Jesse, the trustee was directed to pay off the debt owing on the estate. At the death of her husband, the property was to be divided among her sons, Thomas Henry Green, Joseph Green, James A. Green, Frank Green and J. Kent Green and her grandchildren Ethel May Williams and Frank Roger Williams, children of her deceased daughter, Cora, wife of H. B. Williams.

You can see the full text of the will here.

Marriage of Charles Brown and Minnie Furr

Charles Brown and Minnie Furr on their wedding day
Marriage application

On December 29th, 1890, Charles Brown and Minnie Furr, both of Dayton township, applied for a marriage license. Charles was 24 years old, a butcher, born in Freedom township, son of George R. Brown and Isabella W. Hosford. It was his first marriage.

Minnie was 20 years old, born in Seneca, daughter of Squire Furr and Mary Bruner. It was her first marriage, also.

Marriage Affidavit

Charles Brown filled out the affadavit swearing that they were of age, unmarried, and could legally make a marriage contract.

Marriage License

Patrick Finlen, the county clerk of La Salle County from 1882-1894, filled out the license on the 29th of December, granting permission for the marriage to be celebrated.

N. O. Freeman, minister of the First Methodist Church of Ottawa, performed the ceremony in Dayton on December 31st.

Marriage Certificate

John Samuel Hippard

 

John S. Hippard, who is buried in the Dayton Cemetery, died August 25, 1905, in Dayton Township. He was 29, unmarried and left no will, so his estate went to his siblings. The proof of heirship in the probate papers1 attests to the following relationships:

John Samuel Hippard’s parents, Stephen William and Frances Rebecca Hippard, had 5 children: Charles William, John Samuel, Mary Elizabeth, Jacob Henry, and Frances May.
    Mary Elizabeth died about 1891. She was about 13 years old and unmarried.
    Jacob Henry is unmarried and living with his parents in Dayton township .
    Frances May (Fannie) is married to Newton Conner, living in Wedron in Dayton Township.
    Charles William lives in Dayton township and is the administrator of the estate.

John Samuel, Jacob Henry, and Frances (Conner) Ackerman are all buried in the Dayton Cemetery. See the index on this site.

At his death, John owned no land, and no tangible personal property. His only asset was a health insurance policy which provided that in case of ill health he would be paid $35/month. He had been sick for a little over seven months and was entitled to $223. However, the policy had a clause that in the case of tuberculosis they would pay only one fifth of the amount. John did suffer from tuberculosis, so was not entitled to the full amount The estate negotiated with the insurance company and the claim was settled for $100.

The cost of administration of the estate was $37 and other claims (doctor and funeral costs) came to $125. Thus there was a balance due the administrator of $62 and no funds to pay it, so Charles Hippard petitioned the court to accept the report and declare the estate settled.


  1. John Samuel Hippard probate file, 1905, box 464, file 12, La Salle County Genealogy Guild, 115 W. Glover, Ottawa, IL 61350

It Was Hot 140 Years Ago Today, Too

Rural Happenings1

Dayton, Aug. 3. – Hot, hotter, hottest, 100 in the shade.

The tile works shipped three car loads of tile to Serena this week. They are building up a fine reputation for first class hard drain tile, and have an ever-increasing demand for them.

The vote at the school house last Saturday evening on the question of authorizing the directors to issue bonds for the construction of a new school building, was lost by a small majority. Goodbye, new school house.

Misses Hattie and Belle Brown of Newark, Ill., were visiting Miss Cora Green last week.

A frenchman working on the section had his finger badly mashed while coming home on a late train last Saturday evening. The car door was closed on his finger, and the noise of the train prevented him from being heard until the bone was broken and the finger badly crushed.

Mr. H. B. Williams started last Tuesday on a trip to northern Iowa.

Miss Hattie Edwards, of Mendota, is visiting Miss Cora Green.

Mr. and Mrs. C. B. Hess departed yesterday for Macomb, to attend the golden wedding of a cousin.

Miss Dessie Root closed her school at Wedron last Saturday with a pleasant little picnic in the grove.

The young folks picnicked at Deer Park last week. Notwithstanding the dust and heat they claim to have had a very enjoyable time.

The woolen mill runs a few hours in the evening besides their day’s work.

The river falls quite slowly. A few nice fish are being caught.


  1.  Ottawa Free Trader, August 6, 1881, p. 8, col. 2

That’s Some Bull!

Glenwood Farm Gets Fine Bull

            Straight Island bred bulls, out of 800-lb. cows with over forty daughters rapidly going under test are not picked up evey day. Mrs. Katherine E. Letchworth of Buffalo has, however, secured just such a bull for her “Glenwood Farm” at Ensenore, N. Y. She has bought of Dr. H. J. Reynolds of Chicago the great bull, Viola’s Golden Prince 111180.

            This bull has until recently been in the herd of Mr. L. A. Green of Dayton, Ill. where his many daughters are already distinguishing themselves. Seven are making a fine showing on Register of Merit test, one not yet in milk sold to Ravine Farm, Highland Park, Ill. For $600, and $500 apiece could be had for nine others if they were for sale. This will greatly add to the present popularity of this fine bull and lend increased value to every daughter he will have from now on. He is a son of Bright Prince, out of the well known cow, Cowslip’s Fawn Beauty, 806 lbs. 8 oz butter in one year, and has a good show record to his credit.

from The Jersey Bulletin and Dairy World, v. 39, no. 37, 1920 p. 2446

The Heirs of Alcinda Hite

When Alcinda Hite died in 1924, she had outlived 7 of her brothers and sisters. She never married and therefore her deceased siblings’ children were among her heirs. In order to prove Alcinda’s will, testimony was given to identify all the heirs. The following is true as of Feb. 2, 1926

Children of David Hite and Elizabeth Stickley:

Alex (died in infancy)

Isaac (died in Infancy)

Kittie Ann (died in infancy)

Benjamin married Emma Dunavan (both died before Alcinda)
2 children:
William, widower, 117 S. Monroe St., Streator
Dora, married Gillispie, Reinbeck, Iowa

James married Martha Jones (both died before Alcinda)
10 children:
baby boy (died in infancy
Martha E., married O. H. Thompson, 6 Gridley Place, Ottawa
Alcinda, married John McGrath, 432 E. Main St., Ottawa
Elsie, married John Whisler, Hutchinson, Minnesota
Elnora, married Thomas Collins, Wedron
Minerva, married William D. Whisler, Hinckley
Fidelia, married William Rabe, Belmond, Iowa
Rae, married William Osborn, McVeytown, Pennsylvania
Edward, married Gertrude Elwood, Mildred, Kansas
Elmer, married Lucy Trimble, Bayard, Kansas

David, widower, O’Neill, Nebraska

Albert (died before Alcinda)
3 children:
Calvin, married Etta Belrose (died before Alcinda)
—-1 child, Albert C., age 15-16, lives with uncle, William Temple
Vina Maude, married William Temple, Serena, Illinois
James Edward, married Jeans _____, Dayton Township““`

Fidelia (died before Alcinda), married Benjamin Babcock
6 children:
Albert, married, Schuyler, Nebraska
Jennie, married ___ Smith, Council Bliffs, Iowa
Elizabeth, married ___ Schwartz, Councill Bluffs, Iowa
Maude, married ___ Clatterbuck, Council Bluffs, Iowa
Cora, married ___ Hill, 202 Ninth Ave, Council Bluffs, Iowa
Olive, married ___ Messner, Council Bluffs, Iowa

Alcinda (the deceased)

Library Books, Oyster Suppers, and More

From the Ottawa Free Trader, December 7, 1878

                                                            Dayton, Nov. 27, 1878

            Since “Sleesel” has stopped writing, Dayton has been without representation in your valuable paper, and we think it is time for an article from our quiet town.

            Perhaps it is generally known that the woolen mill has been sold, and that Mr. Jesse Green was the buyer, so it is needless to say anything about that. Mr. Green is taking out the lower floor, and will fill in with dirt and stones.

            The public school, under the management of Miss F. A. Mott, is progressing finely. Our people consider her a No. 1 teacher.

            Although our town has no churches, yet for the past two months we have had religious services averaging once a week, and for the past year Universalist services every two weeks. Last week we were treated to an excellent discourse by Rev. M. Barnes, Congregationalist minister at Ottawa. An effort is being made to have him preach in this place next year as often as he can come.

            Last Saturday evening an oyster supper was held at the commodious residence of Mr. Geo. Dunavan, northwest of town, for the benefit of Mrs. Gibb. A large number were in attendance, about eighty-four taking supper. A notable feature of the evening’s entertainment was Prof. (ess) Mott’s Art Gallery, which, through the pluck and perseverance of the Prof., netted eight dollars for the church. It is seldom so many people get together and have such a good time as all seemed to have on that occasion. The Universalist people were well satisfied with their entertainment, as it netted them thirty-seven dollars.

            Harry, Joseph and James Green leave next week for Aurora, where they are to attend school.

            The Literary meets Friday evening to re-organize and adopt a new constitution. A committee has been appointed to procure more books for the library.

                                                                        Occasional

The Dayton Woolen Mill in 1877

Large stone building

The Dayton Woolen Mills

            One day last week we took a look through the extensive woolen mills of J. Green & Co., at Dayton. It will be remembered that this is the pioneer establishment of this kind in the state. In 1853 the old wooden structure, near the location of the present mills, ran but one set of machinery; and even in its infant state, and limited capacity, it supplied the farmers for many miles around with excellent cloth and good stocking yarn, and furnished them with a good market for wool. Mr. John Green, the senior member of the present firm, wisely concluded to add to and extend the mills in capacity, – so as to keep pace with the rapid growth of the country around.

            In 1864 the new building was erected. It is built of Joliet stone, is one hundred feet by fifty, and six stories high, and not only solid and durable in its construction, but elegant in architectural design externally, and handsomely furnished internally, and is, altogether, a most splendid building.

            The firm now constantly run eleven broad and three narrow looms; six spinning jacks, of 240 spindles each; three fulling mills, besides proper apparatus for all other purposes, in proportion, and give constant and remunerative employment to a large number of people, male and female.

            The Dayton mill’s doeskins and beavers took the premiums at the fair of the North-western States, in 1868, besides the silver medals and diplomas at the state fair last year. Their goods are all of a superior grade, and find a ready market all over the country. As an instance, we may mention, that an agent of this firm sold five thousand dollars worth of the Dayton goods in Iowa in a single month’s trip, where the goods had never been introduced before.

            The Dayton cloths, blankets, yarn, &c., are the best and cheapest any one can purchase, and are made in good faith and always warranted to be made of the best material and in the best manner.

The Ottawa [IL] Free Trader, July 6, 1870

On this day in 1888 in Dayton

Image by Noël BEGUERIE from Pixabay

Dayton Doings

            The river is about dried up, there being no water running over the dam for two days. We do not recollect of its ever being so low during the month of June, and hope that some timely rains may come and put more water into the stream.

            Conductor Williams of “Billy’s” train on the main line of the “Q,” Crooker of Mendo, and others are camping out near the dam.

            Mr. William Dunavan, of Kinsley, Kansas, came home last week for a week’s visit. He has become a full fledged Westerner and swears by Kansas, which State he says, is bound to have a big boom this fall. Now is the time to invest in cheap lands.

            Mrs. John Gibson, of Eldorado, Kansas, daughter of Basil Green, Esq., is visiting relatives and friends in Dayton and vicinity.

            Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Green attended the commencement exercises of the Leland high school last Friday evening.

            Our public schools closed last Friday, and the pupils are now enjoying their summer vacation.

            Prof. Butters started with the Ottawa military company (of which he is a member) to Springfield to spend a week camping out under military discipline. He has given excellent satisfaction as a teacher, but we learn that he will not return next year as he has other plans in view.

            The Paper Co. are getting to plenty of baled straw and are running right along. The prospects at present are that there will be plenty of straw in the country for them after harvest.

            A few of our citizens and their ladies attended the excursion and picnic at Deer Park last Sunday. They say there were about 5000 people there.

            Joe Green says his strawberry crop was almost a failure this season, as he did not get one-fifth as many berries as last year. The dry season last year killed out a large number of his best plants. He is not discouraged, however, but says he will erect pumping works and irrigate with river water another season.

            Kent Green is studying law with Griggs & Allen in Ottawa.

            D. L. Grove, Esq., of Ottawa, was in town on business last Saturday.

            The new brick company are making arrangements for shipping clay, and will soon be grinding and shipping twenty tons per day. They expect to manufacture brick and other ware also, and we hope the new Co. may prove to be one of our substantial institutions.

            The seventeen year locusts are very numerous in our woods and are beginning to be very noisy. Will Dunavan has pickled a few in alcohol to take to Kansas with him. He will place them on exhibition and see how they compare with the original Kansas “hopper.”

            The news of Harrison’s nomination was received here with no enthusiasm by the members of his party. As one of the Chicago delegates remarked, “they did not want to vote for a pair of dudes like Harrison and Norton, but live men like Gresham, Sherman, &c.” Harrison will do for a clean candidate, but his Chinese records, and his free whisky platform, together with the Cleveland rose and the red bandanna, will “bury him deeply down” in the ides of November, and the Democrats will win by a popular majority of a million votes.

            Boss Blaine had almost entire control of the Convention, and at a word of assent could have received the nomination, but chose to give it to his friend Harrison, as he saw no possibility of electing a Republican President. Harrison controlled the Indiana machine, but has been defeated every time he has asked the suffrage of the people. Query – can he beat his record?

                                                                                                Occasional

Ottawa [IL] Free Trader, June 30, 1888

1829 home of the Green party

When the Green party arrived in Illinois in December 1829, they moved into the cabin that William Clark had built for them. It was 18 feet by 24 feet, and in that single room, fourteen adults and ten children (four of them under two years of age) spent the first winter.  In the picture above, the small extension on the back of the house is the original cabin.

My Dear Isabella,

On April 2, 1850, Jesse Green, hard at work in the gold mines of California, wrote home to his wife, Isabella:

            It is one year today since I parted with you and my friends, at home, and although a distance of near two thousand miles intervene, I presume our hearts are probably beating in unison together at this moment in anticipation of meeting again before the same period rolls around again, the past year has no doubt been one of long to be remembered, not only by you and I, but thousands of others, and by many it is remembered no more. I speak more particularly of those at home who were taken off by cholera, and many too, on the same route with us last season are denied the pleasure of meeting their wives, their parents and friends at home. — Fortunately for us two only of our company are denied that pleasure yet. Levi Zeluff and Daniel Stadden are the two.

            Your care and anxiety, I am aware had been great both for them dear little Babes and for us but try and not borrow trouble. make yourself as content as possible and at all times when sorrow would come, endeavor to banish it by the bright rays of hope, and in anticipation of happier days to come. 1

  1. extract from original in possession of Candace Wilmot

News of Dayton – 1850

Pages 1 and 4 of a letter from Josiah Shaver to Jesse Green

                                                                                                                                                Ottawa, Illinois Feb 6th 1850

Mr. Jesse Green Esqr.

                Dear Cousin

                                I am seated for the first time to address you since you left us. But we were very sorry to see in your last of Nov. 8 ’49 to E. Trumbo stating that up to that time you had not heard a word from home. (which letter came in Ottawa on the 26th of Jan ’50 with many more, one for your wife of an earlier date, and some for the Mrses Dunavans) I hardly know where to commence in giving you the news, for I expect that your folks have written of events as they transpired, and much that I may write will likely be no news to you but thinking that perhaps you will not receive all I will commence back at the time of your departure and come up as near correct as my memory will serve me. The first item of importance is the cholera which scared the folks more than it hurt them. It made its appearance in Ottawa in the fore part of June. Never was there such a cleaning of the St.s and renovating and white-washing of houses & cellars before in that place which fortunately cept it from raging very much about, but 30 or 40 died with it there and many of them caught it on the canal. The Country folks never stoped going in on buissiness. The folks in Dayton were perty badly scared at one time being so many in one house. They feared if it got among them that it would make bad work. But fortunatley they were joyfully disappointed (for they expected it) for there was but one case in Dayton and that was Cousin David thought that he had every symptom of it, but by using the cholera medicine he soon was as well as ever. It did not cramp him. Aunt Anna Groves died with it Aug 8th ’49. She took it and had not been exposed to it in any way, and in a few days Aunt Trumbo took it but was soon relieved. That is all of the connections that suffered any with it. Colman Olmstead’s wife and two oldest daughters died with it, also Jesse Johnson’s wife and oldest girl. (Colman is married again to his wife’s cister, an old maid)

It was much worse in Peru at one time in July it was nearly deserted all kinds of buissiness stopped for a few days. Here it was but a short time that they feared it. Your son Byron died on the 6th of may ’49. He was sensible until the last he wanted to be carried across the room but a few minutes before he expired. We had great trouble with the seed corn, almost all had to plant over from once to three times, which cept very backward until quite late but we had such an extraordinarily good fall that corn was first rate, wheat on an average both Spring and winter was scarcely a half crop. Potatoes, tolerable good, rot doing but little damage. Corn market last summer ranged at one time from .30 to .37 cts pr. Bush, and came down to 2 shillings at which price it readily sells for now in the ear. Wheat market was up last fall to 5 and 6 shillings pr. Bushl and then fell and was very low until lately. It is worth now best qual .75 cts pr. B. Pork was very dull from $1.75 to 2.50 pr. Hund. Lbs. Ottawa has improved very fast this last summer. We had a delightful warm and dry fall until the 25th of Nov. when winter set in but we have had a pleasant winter this far. Some snow which made good sleighing for two or three weeks. For the last two weeks it has been quite warm and windy, but it is colder today. The ice has started in the river. W. Irwin, Commision merchant of Ottawa (Eaton Goodel’s brother-in-law) went to Chicago last June and there entered his passage on a vessel for the lumber country, as he intended to purchase some lumber to bring home with him, and that was the last track that could be got of him all supposed that he was murdered or fell overboard in the night as the officers of the boat could tell nothing about him, all was mystery until lately when a Mr. Kellog returned from California and said that he saw him in Sanfrancisco, and a few days ago they got a letter from him. It is supposed that he got scared too soon. (he ran from debt.) A. W. Magill of Ottawa failed this fall. His store was sold at auction. The California Fever is raging this winter as bad as last if not worse, although Elias Trumbo and David and I have not got it so bad but I do sincerely wish that I had of went with you. George & Theodore Gibson are going. Aaron Daniels & John Holkan are using every effort to make a raise to go, the Connord boys are going. All intend to go with the oxen. In fact they are going from all over the country. Alison & Ralph Woodruff & Jo. Hall started a month ago, and Ralph died in Peoria in a drunken fit, and the others came back on account they say that they would have to lay too long at the isthmus. George Galloway with a number of them on that side are going to start soon. Our Township Organization caried unaminous. The commissioners are now laying out their boundaries, and in April we elect our officers which is some 14 or 15 in each town. I can’t give you the boundaries of them as they are fractions and will be attached, to some other and the commissioners have not got this far along. The banc of Marseilles has gone the way of all the living. Old L. Kimble died this last fall with an old complaint. Jack Trumbo had been in Cincinatti over a year, studying to be a physician when the cholera broke out there and he started for home, and died with it near the mouth of the Ohio river, and his father went in the fall and took him up and brought him to Ottawa for interment. The connections here have been unusually healthy since you left, your folks have got along very well as far as I know. They all remain in the big brick house. Their greatest anxiety is for your welfare which is often increased by the long space of time between letters, as I will tell you by and by. You will have to try for a large lump or your wife will beat you, as she found over a 7 pounder. The married part of the emigrants have generally left their representatives they range from a month to 8 weeks of age, yours is a fine daughter about 6 weeks old wife and child well. Tell George & Albert that their wives can present them with a Son each

Tell Snelling that his wife has a daughter also. All are well and doing well. Mrs. Zeluff is in the same fix. (Surely the idea of California is quite prolific.) Eliza Gibson had a young daughter. So much for the live stock. Rachel & Rebecca have been on a visit to their Unkle William Greens this winter for 6 or 8 weeks. They were all well and his oldest daughter come home with them and is there now. David is not running the factory this winter and he thinks that it will hardly quit expense in the winter. Old man Hite gets along very well. They all think a great deal of him the girls say he is so good and fatherly that they can’t help but like him. Ben is living with David and talks some of California. Feb 13th river closed up again roads have been excellent for the last 2 weeks neither snow nor rain, excellent, winter weather. Winter wheat looks fine yet. Grain is on the raise wheat 80 cts corn 28 cts They say that the California gold has made quite a visible change on real estate and in the markets in N.Y.

                We but seldom hear from you. We heard tolerably regular from you until you left Fort Hall and then it was over 3 months before we got any more, which you wrote about 300 miles from the diggings, then the next was when you got through which was some 8 weeks after incoming. We were glad to hear of your success in getting through, and in your first adventures in the diggings, and may you continue to be successful until, as the song goes “now I’ve got all I want I cannot lift any more &.c.” Tell Snelling his folks are all well and John gets along as well as well as could be expected. I will write to him soon. Please write soon. Tell Joseph a line from him would be thankfully received. My respects to you all.

                                                                                From your affectionate cousin   J. R. Shaver

Mr. Jesse Green Esqr

Feb 20 This leaves us all well. I have not got a line from any since you left.  J. R. Shaver    write soon

Dayton in the 1850 census

On November 8, 1850, the census taker enumerated the village of Dayton. Here’s what he found.

There were 85 residents, 17 female 0-16; 25 females 19-71; 19 male 0-17; 24 males 18-72

The breakdown by last name:
Stadden 15
Turner 10
Green 9
Johnson 8
Dunavan 7
Gibson 4
Carter 3
Crossley 3
Ford 3
Makinson 3
Stickley 3
Wheatland 3
Goodrich 2
Jacobson 2
Beamen, Davis, Dyson, George, Hite, Jacob, Jacobs, Lockard, McCoy, and Samson were represented by one each.

By birthplace:
US 58
—-Ohio 18
—-Pennsylvania 5
—-Virginia 4
—-New York 3
—-Vermont 3
—-Maine 2
—-New Hampshire 1
—-no state specified 22
Norway 13
England 9
Ireland 4
Wales 1

by occupation:
farmer 2
gunsmith 1
laborer 1
woolen manufacture 6
Methodist clergy 1
miller 7
shoemaker 1
wagon maker 1

2 couples were married in the pastyear
16 attended school

D. Green & Son in 1880

Flour mill and tile factory

This description of the flour mill at Dayton comes from the1880 Manufacturing Schedule for Dayton, La Salle County, Illinois

The Manufacturing census schedules in 1820, 1850, and 1860 provided the following information for each farm:

  • Name of the manufacturer
  • Type of business or product
  • Amount of capital invested
  • Quantities, kinds, and value of raw materials used
  • Quantities and value of product produced annually
  • Kind of power or machinery used
  • Number of men and women employed
  • Average monthly cost of male and female labor

The amount of detail reported in these schedules increased in 1870 and again in 1880. In 1880, supplemental schedules were also used for specific industries, such as boot and shoemaking, lumber and saw mills, and flour and grist mills.

Exclusions: Small manufacturing operations that produced less than $500 worth of goods were not included on any of the schedules.

D. Green & Son

Flour Mill

Capital invested in business         $10,000

2 employees, both males over 16

Greatest number of hands employed at any one time in the year – 2

Number of hours in the ordinary day of labor May-Nov – 10, Nov-May – 10

daily wage for skilled mechanic – $2.50

daily wage for ordinary laborer – $1.00

Total wages paid for the year – $110

In operation ½ time only – 6 months

Idle – 6 Months

Number of runs of stone – 4

Estimated maximum capacity per day in bushels – 550

Do you do custom work or make only for a market? If the former, what proportion of your product is custom grinding? 4/5

Is there an elevator connected with your establishment? No.

If water power is used:

On what river or stream? Fox River, flows to Illinois

Height of fall in feet – 18

——–Wheels———————

Number – 5

Breadth in feet – 4

Revolutions / minute [Blank]

Horsepower – 150

—————-Materials————————-

Number of bushels of wheat – 400

Value – $480

Number of bushels of other grain – 1500

Value – $600

Value of mill supplies – $20

Total value of all materials – $1100.

———————Products—————————-

Number of barrels of wheat flour – 80

Number of barrels of rye flour – None

Number of Barrels of buckwheat flour – 500

Number of pounds of barley meal – None

Number of pounds of corn meal – 1000

Number of pounds of feed – 6000

Number of pounds of hominy – None

Value of all other products – [Blank]

Total value of all products – $1500

Tavern Stand to Let

The Subscriber offers to let that well known TAVERN STAND, 7 miles from Ottawa, on the road leading from Ottawa to Chicago. Attached to the tavern, is a tract of land, containing 10 acres, on which are erected a large barn, and other convenient out-houses, together with a fine Young Orchard of apple, peach, and cherry trees, which yield annually an abundance of fruit.

Possession will be given by the first of March. Persons wishing to examine the property, and ascertain the terms, can do so by applying to the subscriber at Dayton, Ill’s.

W. L. DUNAVAN

January 8, 1841

Local News From Dayton

For a brief period of time, Dayton had its own newspaper, the Dayton Enterprise. It was produced by Charles Green, son of David. With his own small printing press, Charlie was reporter, editor, printer, and publisher. He was also a musician, giving lessons and conducting a singing school at the schoolhouse

The front page of the October 18, 1878, edition contains local and area news, humor, and advertising. It is a great loss that only this one issue has survived.

Page 2 of the 4 page issue provides more area news, a census of Dayton, and the premiums offered to subscribers. Coincidentally, the visiting and floral cards were printed by Charles as a sideline.

If sufficient interest is shown, pages 3 and 4 may be forthcoming at a later date.

135 Years Ago Today – Death of Barbara Green

Barbara Grove Green

Barbara Grove Green

            Died May 5th, 1886, at the age of ninety three years, five and a half months. She had been confined to bed for about two months, and gradually and gladly passed away like an infant going to sleep. It was her desire to cast off this earthly tabernacle and be present with her Lord.

She retained her faculties to the last, with the exception of her sight, of which she had been deprived for the past seven or eight years. She was never heard to murmur or complain of her misfortune, but on the contrary seemed cheerful and happy.

She was born in Shenandoah county, Virginia, November 15th, 1792. At the age of thirteen she, with her parents, removed to Licking county, Ohio, being in the year 1805, and lived there until the fall of 1829, when she and her companion, John Green and family, removed to this county. A few incidents of their journey will show the hardships and privations of those early pioneer days. We quote her own words from statements made by her to one of her grand daughters, who has recorded them:

“We started from Licking county, Ohio, on the first of November, 1829, for the state of Illinois. There were 24 in the company. Father had gone to Illinois the September before we started and bought land. He and three other men rode on horseback around by Cleveland and along the lakes. When they reached Chicago, where there were only two families besides the garrison, father bought some provisions and in paying for them pulled out quite a roll of bills. That night his brother, Wm. Green, dreamed there were robbers coming and woke the others up, but they refused to start out in the night just for a dream, and he went to sleep again only to dream the same thing again, and when he had dreamed it three times he told them they could stay there if they wanted to, he was going to leave; so they all started and soon after they saw three men following for the purpose of stealing they [sic] money.

“When we reached the ‘Wilderness,’ in Indiana, a man who lived on the edge of the woods told us it was impossible to go on, as the mud was so deep, unless we could travel on the wagons already stuck in the mud; but if we were foolish enough to try it, we must leave ‘those two smart little boys’ (Jesse and David), for we would surely freeze to death. But we did go on and the men cut a new road through the woods for sixty miles, about ten miles a day.

“Then, when we got to Cicero river, we had to take the wagons over with bed cords. One wagon, loaded with mill irons and blacksmith tools, was so heavy it tipped over, and we lost a good many things.

“Then the next place we came to was Sugar creek, and it was so high we had to pull the wagons over with ropes again and cut trees for us to walk on. Then there was a swamp next to the creek that the men had to carry the women over on their backs. Between Iroquois and Nettle creek there were five days the horses had nothing to eat, as the prairie was burnt, and they became so weak they got stuck in a ravine and could hardly pull the empty carriage out.

“One evening we had only bread and tea for supper, but that night father came back with corn and beef that he had obtained at Holderman’s Grove, and we were the happiest people you ever saw. We spent the next night at the Grove and the next day home, at what is known as William Dunavan’s farm.”

She lived in the town of Rutland something over a year when she removed to Dayton, being at this place at the time of the Black Hawk war in 1832. Of this war she says: “On the 16th of May, 1832, the girls and I were at the spring, near where the feeder bridge now stands, when Eliza came down on horseback and told us that the Indians were coming, and we would have to go to Ottawa immediately. Then we went to a place a couple of miles below Ottawa and stayed there all night, and the third day returned home again. This was Sunday, and the next day the men made a stockade around the house out of plank. After it was finished they tried it to see if a bullet would go through it, and as it did, they hung feather beds all around. There were about sixty people here at the time, and we were so crowded that they had to sleep on tables, under the beds and all over the house.”

Mr. Green had intended to remain in his improvised fort during the war, but at about twelve o’clock at night, hearing of the massacre on Indian creek, and fearing there might be too many Indians, all those in the fort went to Ottawa. “When we got to Ottawa, there was no fort there, only a log cabin on the south side of the river, but they soon built a fort on top of the hill. We went to the fort, but there was so much confusion there that we had the log house moved up on the hill and lived in it. The next day a company of soldiers from the southern part of the state passed through Ottawa on the way up the river.”

Grandma Green bore all the hardships and privations incident to the settlement of two new countries and lived to see the development of this vast prairie country far, very far beyond her anticipations. When she came here she supposed that in time she might see the country settled around the skirts of timber, but never in her early days did she anticipate seeing the prairies settled up.

from the Ottawa Free Trader, May 22, 1886, p. 5, col. 2