History of Henry county, Illinois
But few can realize the task involved in the publication of a work of this kind. We have to contend against ignorance, prejudice and selfishness. Ignorance of some people as to our objects, many refusing to give their names, for fear they will be used for some swindling purpose; or their politics, lest it be used to their discredit; or how much property they own, fearing it is to increase their taxes. Prejudice of people who have subscribed through agents for publications and not having received what they expected, have forever thereafter sworn war- fare against all agents, without discriminating, or taking into consideration the absolute necessity of employing men under certain circumstances as the media between publisher and people. Selfishness by citizens who expect to have published, gratuitously, every thing they see fit to send us, which usually is of a personal nature, or not relevant matter, and if published would be of no general interest, therefore we deem best to suppress it, thereby receiving their outspoken enmity. For this work we do not claim perfection ; that would be an impossibility. Most townships have been gone over thoroughly, but still there are undoubtedly errors, mostly in spelling names and in dates. We have several cases in Henry County where members of the same family spell their names in different ways, and a number of cases where the dates of births, of marriages, or when they came into the county, were improbable, and when brought to their notice, they had made a mistake generally of ten years in calculation. We give our agents the most positive instructions to be especially careful in getting names and dates, but ofttimes men are indifferent in giving required information, and when met on the road, at the thrashing machine, or in the rain or cold, the information is given hurriedly or carelessly, and our agents are obliged to put it down as given them, and when copied, mistakes necessarily occur.
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In April, 1835, James Glenn settled on Section 20, in what is now Colona township, and erected a house thereon in the same month, and still resides on the same farm. At this time Dr. Baker and family, heretofore mentioned, were living near him in a wagon. The next house was built at White Oak Grove by a man named Butler, who was bought out by the New York Company. The house is believed to have been the Company House, and if so, is still standing near the residence of Dan Moore. Butler is said to have been the first white man who planted and raised corn in the county. He sold out in the Fall of 1835, and is believed to have moved to Kansas. Washburne, an early settler and well known in the county, sowed the first wheat ; others, however, sowed wheat the same Fall. The first mill was at Andover, built in 1836-7, and the first "grist" for which toll was taken, after the bolt was put in, belonged to this same Washburne. He says that before the mill was running they got their samp by grating corn upon an old tin pail with holes punched in it, and meal in much the same way. This provender answered a good purpose where only "corn bread and common doings" were gotten up, unless too liberally supplied with blood from knuckles barked during the process of grating. Wheat bread and " chicken fixins" could be found more frequently in the cabins after the mill got into operation. In that day many early settlers began going to Spoon River, in Knox County, to get their meal.