Lee County Illinois
Part of American History and Genealogy Project

Wyoming Township Lee County Illinois

Third from Dixon on the old Chicago road came Paw Paw Station, named from the paw paw grove of the early days.

This township probably contained more Indians in the year 1834, when the whites began to penetrate Lee County, than any other township in the county. Of course then there were no townships. I speak of the six mile area, which subsequently constituted the Government Township.

When the treaty of Prairie du Chien was negotiated July 29, 1829, by Gen. John McNeil, Col. Pierre Menard and Caleb Atwater, with the Pottawatomie Indians, a considerable portion of the lands granted were located in and near Wyoming Township. First of course comes our old friend, Shabbona, called in the treaty, Shab-eh-nay. He was given two sections ''at his village near the Paw-paw Grove.'' This grant was over the county line into DeKalb County, just a little ways.

Madeline Ogee, wife of Joseph Ogee, was given ''one section west of and adjoining the tract herein granted to Pierre Leclerc, at the Paw-paw Grove." The Leclerc tract granted was, ''To Pierre Leclerc, one section at the village of the As-sim-in-eh-Kon, or Paw-paw Grove.'' Thus we get there in the Indian name for the grove. By some misconception the grant always has been called the LeClere or LeClair section. The statutes from which I quote, plainly enough spell the name several times ''Leclerc.''

The Ogee section, its acreage and its fate already have been stated in that portion of this work devoted to Ogee.

By reason of its early association with Indians, particularly Shabbona, Paw Paw, in the eye of the author always has possessed a sort of romantic life. His boyhood associations, just over the line into DeKalb County, in Paw Paw Township, too, have tended to make him regard Paw Paw village with that affection which, germinated in childhood, never loses its hold in after years.

At the organization of the county, Wyoming was in Inlet precinct. Paw Paw Grove attracted the settlers. The native forests of giant oaks in this township presented to the eye of the settler a never ending supply of fuel. With the beginning of townships in 1850, it was named Paw Paw, and so it should have remained, but owing to the imaginary confusion, which was feared would result from the adjoining town in DeKalb county, bearing the same name, it was changed to Wyoming. Tradition says lots were drawn to see which town should have it.

Over east, partly in Lee County and partly in DeKalb County, there was erected the village of East Paw Paw, once the most promising and prosperous place between Dixon and Chicago. In Wyoming Township, the present village, west of the grove, was called Paw Paw Grove or West Paw Paw, and on Aug. 1, 1871, it was platted as Paw Paw Grove.

One other village, in section 24 on the DeKalb County line, sprang up, designated South Paw Paw or LeClair Post office, though it never was platted. Thus it will be seen that a multiplicity of Paw Paws had sprung up. To simplify the matter, James Goble, of that township, subsequently sheriff suggested that because so many of the early settlers came from the Wyoming valley in Pennsylvania, that Wyoming be adopted as the name. Accordingly, Isaac Harding, Warren Badger and Lorenzo Wood, constituting the county commissioners court, changed the name to Wyoming, and on May 14, 1851, the board of supervisors officially ordered that ''the township formerly called Paw Paw, shall here-after be called Wyoming.''

The paw paw grew luxuriantly here in early years. This tract of timber covered over two thousand acres then. Much like Palmyra Township, the grove contained thousands of black walnut trees, hard maple oak, hickory, cottonwood, butternut and sycamore, plums, blackberries and gooseberries grew plentifully. On the east side not far from the county line, was a beautiful spring of rare water. At the northwest corner was another. This latter fed Paw Paw creek which runs from the northwest comer in a south-easterly direction and joins Indian creek, which flows on into the Illinois River.

In the winter of 1833-34, Levi Kelsey with Joel Griggs made a claim and built a house in Paw Paw Grove. But fearing he might be on one of the Indian reservations, Mr. Kelsey in March, 1834, left and went on to Troy.

When later David A. Town came along in the fall of 1834, he went down to see Kelsey about the claim. Mrs. Kelsey came out in September, 1834, and she has related many stories about the Indians.

The Indians induced Griggs to cut many trees with the expectation of finding honey. When after many failures he declined to continue, they tried to induce Mr. Kelsey, but he declined peremptorily. For his decision, he was dubbed ''good she-mo-ka man,'' while Griggs was called ''she-mo-ka man, ishnoba," no good. Kelsey came before Griggs, but they built the house together. The two were partners and by a subsequent look at Kelsey's diary, it has been found that he located there Jan. 20, 1834.

Tracy Reeve of Princeton, in May, 1834, went to the grove with three other men, to locate claims, but believing it all to be included in the reservations, they slept in Indian huts over night, during which a fearful storm raged. Next day they went to Troy Grove, the nearest settlement. This party did not meet a solitary person, red or white, at Paw Paw Grove.

I suppose some little detail of past history about these two, Kelsey and Reeve, might be interesting especially about Kelsey. His wife wrote that Mr. Kelsey came west in the fall of 1828. He peddled clocks in Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana and other southern states. During his travels he was taken sick many times. Once at Alexandria, a man in bed beside him died. He went on to St. Louis, where he was quite ill all winter. At Palmyra, Illinois, he studied with a physician. Gravitating back to St. Louis he found himself in miserable health when the cholera broke out in 1832. When well enough, he took a peddler's pack and started to peddle Yankee notions for a St. Louis firm. He was in that employment when he entered Paw Paw Grove and became its first squatter.

On the return of Reeve, he attempted to cross a creek swollen by the floods. In this effort his wagon tipped over and he turned a somersault over the dashboard.

Next morning when desiring to pay his tavern bill he found his money, about eight dollars in silver, had disappeared. Retracing his course, he found it and was about to return to Troy Grove when a band of about thirty Indians overtook him.

Mr. Reeve was not the man to lose his nerve. He said ''Good morning'' to them in the Indian language, after which the Indians with a hearty laugh, permitted his departure in peace. They told him in expecting to scare him; they had anticipated a rare treat. But he did not scare, and that ended his effort, at settlement in Lee County.

In characterizing a person as the first settler of a community, actual and continuous settlement should be considered. The man who enters a country first and tarries a brief period and then leaves, might be called more properly, a discoverer or visitor.

To Daniel A. Town belongs the distinction of becoming the first settler of Paw Paw Grove; it was in the autumn of 1834. He built his log house on the southeast side of the grove; a 16x18 affair, with the door in the east end, a six-light window in the west end and a big chimney and fireplace in the north end. The chimney like all the first ones was built on the outside, of split sticks, laid cob fashion, plastered between and lined inside with mud or day.

There was a floor in this cabin, made of boards split from logs and dressed by a broad-axe. The roof was made of shakes, split, about three feet long and four or five inches wide and laid double. Poles laid lengthwise held them up, and poles outside held them down. O. P. Johnson, later of Brooklyn, helped make this house and he says he and three others built it in a day and a half.

That fall, Mr. Town broke about twenty acres of prairie and sowed it to winter wheat.

Later he bought part of the Ogee section of Mrs. Alcott in the manner set forth in the chapter devoted to Ogee. On this claim, he built his second house at the north end of the grove.

With Mr. Town came his wife, and four children: George, Martha, David A., Jr., and Sarah. It is said of him that when applied to for the sale of seed grain at a high price, he would refuse, saying, ''You are able to buy elsewhere; I have needy neighbors to whom I must give this.''

He was a large, powerful man; a leader; wanted to be recognized as such; tippled very moderately; resolute and fearless.

Once a stranger came to him to ask the direction to a certain place. Given him, the stranger took the opposite direction. This Mr. Town did not like; so he overtook the stranger, wormed the story out of him that he was a counterfeiter; took away his dies, and got him sent to the penitentiary.

David A. Town was the terror to horse thieves and the banditti, and for that more than any other reason, early Paw Paw was not much disturbed. Inlet to the west and East Paw Paw to the east were the places most frequented by them. When the township was organized, Mr. Town became its first supervisor.

Very soon the Harris, Butterfield, Ploss and Wilcox people came along, all related or intermarried. They came in one colony from Michigan with Rev. Benoni Harris, then over seventy, as its head. Eight adult children of the latter came too.

Mr. Town died in 1861 and he and Mrs. Town are buried in the cemetery half a mile south of town.

The dwelling occupied by those colonists, was a double log cabin, built on their arrival. Later, Mr. Harris built the first frame house at the grove. Mrs. Harris was the first to die in this new settlement.

In the spring of 1835, Edward Butterfield, who married one of Mr. Harris' daughters, came to the west end of the grove and made a claim on the southeast of 10 and thereon he built a cabin, on the south side of the Chicago road. It was the first house on the west side; it was located on the first claim; it was the home of the first married couple; it was the first store and it was the first house to be burned.

John Ploss, another son-in-law of Reverend Harris, made the first settlement on the south side of the grove; but he did not remain long. In the autumn, he returned to Michigan. His settlement was called South Paw Paw.

The first stage house and tavern was built on the Chicago road, about midway between the two Paw Paws, east and west, by Isaac or Asahel Balding. This man sold it to William Rogers; he to Dick Allen; he to John Simms, who mortgaged it for $400 to get out of the Chicago jail, his son John, who was held there for passing bogus money.

At this point the Ogee and Leclerc sections may as well be noticed and then passed up. In 1836 Job Alcott located and built his cabin on the south side of the Chicago road not far from East Paw Paw. After his marriage with Madeline Ogee, he sold the west half of the section to David A. Town for $1,000 in silver, and later he sold the east half to William Rogers. After great trouble, William McMahan found the witness trees marked OG and forth with he platted the land. Before that time Willard Hastings had platted it, but because it had not been recorded, no end of trouble was encountered.

Charles Morgan, from Virginia, settled just west of East Paw Paw. Like so many others, he was a powerful man; more powerful than any of the others. He lived here until about 1850. He opened a tavern in his house which was located next west of Alcott's place. Alcott by the way, was from Ohio. After Alcott had remained a few years he sold his place to a man named Musselman, who built the famous Hallow House on the premises, noted for years, for its dancing house and bar.

Alcott then went with his wife Madeline to Missouri where the Pottawatomie Indians were located.

By a letter dated Sept. 19, 1913, signed by the commissioner of Indian Affairs, I am told concerning Alcott's deeds, ''One of the deeds conveying part of this reserve, was signed by Job Alcott, as the husband of Madeline. In the other two deeds, he signs by mark as Job P. Alcott, the husband of Madeline. These three deeds which were all approved April 17, 1844, conveyed 620 acres."

Thus after long research, I have solved the Ogee-Alcott mysteries. Ogee was alive in 1838 at Dixon's Ferry. He died soon after and was buried, first near the corner of First Street and Peoria avenue (southeast corner); then many years afterwards when his bones were discovered, they were interred in Oakwood cemetery.

But I must not conclude without giving what the Lee County records show. Job P. Alcott and Madeline his wife, conveyed by warranty deed to William Rogers, ''A certain tract or parcel of land known and described as the northeast comer of a certain tract of land given to said Madeline, a Pottawatomie woman, then the wife of Joseph Ogee, under the 4th article of the treaty of Prairie du Chien, of the 29th of July, A. D. 1829, containing eighty acres. This deed was dated Nov. 14, 1842; the consideration was $800; it was acknowledged Nov. 14, 1842, before Noah Leabo, a justice of the peace in and for Holt County, Missouri.

A certificate of magistracy was attached and the deed was recorded in book A of deeds on pages 397-9.

A modem description would read, the ''East half of the north-east quarter.'' On the same date, Alcott and wife conveyed to the same party for $1,250, ''The east half of said grant of one section of land, under said treaty exclusive of a lot of eighty acres of said half section of land already in possession of said William Rogers and this day by us conveyed to him, it being the intention of the said Job and Madeline Alcott, to convey to said Rogers 220 acres more or less of said east half of said land.'' 80 and 220 made 300 acres.

This deed bore the same date and was acknowledged as before noticed and was recorded in the same book A. The Town deed was recorded later. These deeds simply confirmed previous sales.

Town bought the other half. To repeat his conveyance would be tiresome. I simply give these dates to show that in 1842, Alcott had left Lee County and that at best he could not have lived more than six years in Lee County. But I think I have got the dates down still closer; Mr. David Smith who came to Willow Creek when six years old in the year 1837 says by letter dated Oct. 8, 1913, that in that year of 1837, Alcott was living on his claim near Paw Paw. That he believes Alcott and Morgan lived in the same house, and that Alcott's wife was an Indian woman. Mr. Smith also has the impression that Alcott and Morgan were related. Further than this, Mr. Smith is positive that Alcott left the next spring of 1838.

Mr. Smith never has made a mistake in his statements of early Lee County history, so that we may put it down that between 1836 and 1838 Alcott was Madeline 's husband, and that in 1838 he left the country with his wife and was living with her so late as 1844, in Holt County, Missouri.

The Leclerc section was surveyed in 1843 by Wheeler Hedges and the plat was recorded at once. Samuel J. Best and August Wiley are said to have purchased the LeClair or Leclerc section, at $2.25 per acre.

On July 4, 1836, Samuel McDowell was married to Miss Delilah Harris. This was the first wedding and Shabbona, the Indian chief, was one of the invited guests. After the wedding the men went into the grove and cut a liberty pole and carrying it back, fastened a flag to it and erected it, the first function of the kind performed in Lee County.

The second wedding was that of George Town and Fidelia Sawyer, Dec. 13, 1836. Some histories claim this was the first wedding celebrated in Wyoming; that the other was over the line.

A week later, Dec. 20, a remarkably cold day, Levi Carter was married to Mrs. Gillette, a widow.

Rev. Benoni Harris officiated at all of these weddings.

Wareham or Wiram Gates, dubbed ''Bogus'' Gates, frequented this Morgan tavern. What was called the box game was played there extensively. To quote an authority, ''Supposing bogus money could be bought at a liberal discount, and an applicant would come for it. A sample box of the 'stuff,' which was good money, in layers of sand, would be shown, with the remark that the negotiation could be arranged and the price paid, but delivery of the base coin would only be made by being placed at the foot of a certain tree at 10 o'clock at night; but when the buyer came to the rendezvous in the darkness, confederates of the other party would cry out, 'Here he is; now we'll fix him!' and discharges of firearms and other alarms would cause the person who came, to flee in terror, without getting what he bargained for.''

Bogus Gates protested his innocence always, but some of the bad coin was found dangerously close to his house and too, two horse thieves, with the property in their possession, were caught at his premises.

In this township there are four cemeteries. Willard Hastings donated the ground for the first one. The Presbyterians own another called Cottage Hill. The Baptists at South Paw Paw own another, and near the old Lester Harding place is another. It is a sad commentary to notice the disaster time has wrought with many of the markers over the graves, although latterly, efforts have been made to repair them.

The first schoolhouse built of poles, in 1836, on what later became the Meade farm, not more than 12x12, was taught by Emily Giles from Fox River. She received $1 per week and boarded round. Tuition was paid for by subscription. Mrs. Andrew Breese also taught there. This schoolhouse was located on the north side of the road. The first school, however, was held in a log house on the north side of the Dixon road. One of the teachers was a traveling Irishman who had been highly educated. He had a remarkable memory and could quote the poets ad libitum. But the poor fellow drank heavily like so many of the first itinerant school-masters.

Vacated cabins and private houses were used at one time and another, too, in which to hold schools. Among the early teachers were Robert Walker, Adams, Willard Hastings, Deacon Boardman, Walter Hyde, Basswood, Mary Harding, Mrs. Amasa Harrington, Elisha A. Stanton, and Mrs. Andrew Breese, before her marriage. Walker who came here with May and Breese in 1841, taught in the Comstock blacksmith shop until about the year 1846.

The first frame school building was built as early as 1846 near the location of the creamery subsequently, in Paw Paw. About 1848 the country was divided into districts and about 1860, district No. 1 was graded.

Benoni Harris preached at different times as early as the winter of 1834-35, in his son's cabin. In 1839 the venerable Father Morris preached around in some of the different cabins. About the same time, the circuit preachers came along; among the first were Peter Cartwright, Elders White, Lumery, Alonzo Carter, and Batchelder, all Methodists; and Elders Carpenter, Charles Harding, and Norman Warriner, who were Baptists. The appearance of the average circuit rider was about once in three months.

The first postmaster was William Rogers. The mail was carried along this route as early as 1834, but in 1837 a star route was established. Before an office was opened here, Somonauk, fifteen miles to the east, was the common post office for the settlers. Isaac Robinson was postmaster along about 1838 or 1839. In 1841, Willard Hastings was postmaster. He kept a store and tavern and carried the mail from Paw Paw to Princeton via the Four Mile grove. By reason of the junction of the roads at Paw Paw, the place enjoyed a considerable boom for many years. J. D. Rogers was another mail carrier. Among some of the other early post-masters were Hiram Wood, William H. Robinson, James Simons and John Colvill.

The first hedge raised in Lee County was grown in Wyoming Township on the west line of section 21 and was grown by Ira Baker.

Wyoming was organized in 1850, like so many other townships, under the name of Paw Paw. The first town meeting to elect officers was held at schoolhouse number 5, at which 113 votes were cast. David A. Town was selected supervisor and John Colvill was elected town clerk. As already stated the name soon was changed to Wyoming.

George Town's house was built of hewn logs and was the second one to be built on the town site of Paw Paw, in 1837. Edward Butterfield's, built in 1835, was the first.

In 1841 the little grocery burned down and for a considerably period thereafter there was no store in Paw Paw. Peddlers during this period did a thriving business. So late as the spring of 1847, the place contained but half a dozen families and its business interests all were comprised in the smithy and a shingle mill. But beginning with this year the settlers came in rapidly and the place showed rapid improvement. The peddlers began to look elsewhere, although the peddler performed a useful mission in those days. One of them, William H. Field, traveled that territory from 1843. Among the first business men to locate in Paw Paw were John Colvill and Jacob Rogers, ''Prairie," who ran the shingle mill. Dr. J. C. Heath, from Somonauk, was the first physician to locate there, sometime between 1846 and 1849. In the last named year, he was in the drug business. Subsequently he erected two buildings in the village.

Field and Robinson put up a building and began merchandising in the fall of 1848. In a year or so they dissolved and Field erected a building of his own and went into business.

As early as 1841, Charles Pelcher burned brick at the east end of the grove and Mr. Hastings was the first to build a brick house from the product.

Charles Pelcher erected four brick houses along about the years 1847-49.

Mechanics moved in. Here as in all other places, the black-smith was the prosperous man. Among the earlies were the Walton brothers. Sylvester Smith was a shoemaker and Eri Butler was an early wagon maker. In 1849 Isaac Morris began his career as shoemaker. John Allen was an early carpenter. Alonzo Osborn and James Symonds built places and did a flourishing business in the manufacture of wagons and plows. As many as five fires were kept burning all the time. William Cole, Thomas Webster, Bunker, Leonard Bell and Major Morse all worked over the anvil there in early times. But L. H. Flagg was the most distinguished. His voice was a deep bass, very sweet and he was a famous singer. For almost a lifetime he continued as justice of the peace in Paw Paw and between him and John Colvill all the legal papers of the countryside were made by them. After 1850 John Colvill was an active merchant. He built several buildings.

Andrew Breese opened a dry-goods store here in 1852. Of course there were many others coming and going, but those already named were the first ones and about the only ones history has to do with.

Paw Paw always has enjoyed first-class newspapers. Nov. 23, 1877, R. H. Ruggles issued the first number of the Herald. In January, 1878, Ezra C Cass and J. B. Gardner, took it over, but on February 22, W. M. Geddes took charge of it, and on March 21,

1878, Messrs. Cass and Gardner issued the first number of the Lee County Times. At about the same time these gentlemen started the Lee Monitor and the Compton Record. In August Gardner dropped out of the partnership and Mr. Cass continued. In April, 1880, he started the Earlville Leader.

Ezra Cass was a remarkable man in many ways. When he started the papers in Paw Paw he was but nineteen years old. Not very long after his Earlville venture he died of consumption. Many have said he worked himself to death to win success.

The Baptist Church was organized at the house of Deacon Orlando Boardman, at South Paw Paw, in February, 1841. There were present at the meeting, Elder Burton Carpenter, from Dixon; Elder Thomas Powell from Vermilion, and Elder Hadley from LaMoille. Elder Carpenter preached the organization sermon and Elder Powell preached the second sermon. Thirteen members composed that first organization meeting. Elder Carpenter preached about two months and he was succeeded by Elder Charles Harding, who was the first regularly installed preacher. He resided at Indian Creek and supplied the pulpits at Paw Paw, Ottawa, Dayton, Indian Creek and Paw Paw. Rev. Norman Warriner was the second minister, and he continued for twenty years. In South Paw Paw, a house of worship was erected during the pastorate of Mr. Warriner, 24x36. Deacon Orlando Boardman contributed most of the cost. Towards the close of Mr. Warriner's pastorate another church building, 36x60 was built in 1864 and in 1873 it was moved to Paw Paw and remodeled.

About 1870 the Presbyterian worshipers began holding meetings in the schoolhouse and Rev. Alexander S. Peck preached for them regularly every two weeks. In May, 1873, the society was duly organized and in 1875 their new church at a cost of $1,900 was built.

In 1869 the Methodists met at the schoolhouse where Elder Lazenby preached. In the year 1875 under the work of Reverend Pomeroy, their church was built. In 1857 the Cottage Hill or Wyoming Presbyterian Society was organized. In 1858 a building, 20x40 was built. In 1863 to care for the increased numbers, this building was sold and a larger church building 36x60 with a steeple eighty feet high, was built at a cost of $2,000.

The first Sunday school at the grove was instituted by the Rev. Benoni Harris in the little Mead schoolhouse; the second one at the Robert Walker schoolhouse and the third in the frame school-house near the big spring. The first Sunday school picnic was held about the time of the organization of this last one and was attended with much pomp. James Goble was marshal of the day, and Elder O. W. Bryant orator.

The settlers of Wyoming were very much like the settlers of the other settlements and many are the yarns which have been spun about them. To repeat them all would take several volumes.

Jacob D. Rogers came from Pennsylvania and settled at Paw Paw in 1837. He was a powerful man. On one of his trips to Chicago, the merchant of whom he had bought a barrel of salt excused himself from assisting to lift it into the wagon. To show his disgust, Rogers lifted the barrel up and tossed it into the wagon. He was a member of the vigilance committee and no member of the banditti ever attempted to become familiar with him or his property.

At another time he desired his hired men to throw five three-bushel sacks of oats into the wagon. They suggested that the wagon might be driven to the barn for the purpose. Mr. Rogers threw one sack on one shoulder; another sack on the other shoulder and then had the men add a sack more to each shoulder, and then the fifth was put up as a rider, making a dead weight of 480 pounds. To emphasize his disgust, he remarked, ''If either one of you men is too lazy to walk across the road, I will carry him on top, if the other has ambition enough to put him there.''

He was a free talker and if he ever had any troubles, they arose from the propensity to criticize whenever it was needed.

He maintained an underground station for the escape of slaves. In those days most of the school teachers were drunken fellows. Mr. Rogers disliked them so cordially that he built a log school-house, hired a teacher and joined with others to fill it.

During this early period the Indians were very friendly. Waubansie, a noted chief, and a great friend to Shabbona, was located at the grove when the settlers began to arrive. He was not so susceptible to civilizing influences as Shabbona, neither was he so intelligent. At one time, earlier, he was regarded as a bloodthirsty enemy of the whites and during the Indian Creek massacre of 1832, he undoubtedly knew all about the plan and urged its enactment. But with the conclusion of the war, he was what might be called a good Indian.

At one time when those Indians had been started on their migration to their new reservation, 1,000 of them camped around the big spring. They were quiet and made no effort to disturb the settlers. So soon as they had been paid off they resumed their journey westward.

I have had occasion to mention the frequency of the taverns along the highways, great and small. Being the great artery connecting the two principal towns in Northern Illinois, the Chicago road was dotted along with taverns and it seems at this time as though the Paw Paws had more than their share.

Over in East Paw Paw a traveler stopped at the Jacob Wirick tavern. When the woman made the beds next morning, she found there a sack or portmanteau of money. It was not disturbed and when the guest left, of course he took his money with him. He had been shot as I have been told and a woman came and tended him. Later she left, and then the man. In fact my mother, conversant with the facts, has said so. Subsequent to this the guest was arrested for horse stealing. He sent for his wife and told her he had buried the money near a fence and marked the spot with a notched stick. She tried very hard to locate the money but failed. Of course the affair got noised about and many a search was instituted.

By an accident, almost incredible, Harris Breese noticed a notched stick near a fence one day, and he broke it off and started for the village. Meeting Robert Hampton, he told the latter of his find and asked him to join in digging. Incredulously they began, but soon they dug up the sack which contained in Spanish doubloons, the equivalent of $900. This was divided equally and it became the foundation of Mr. Hampton's ample fortune.

Caroline, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Russell Town, was the first child born at the grove, April 21, 1836.

The dates of early Wyoming settlements have been put down in other books so many times that it would seem uninteresting to repeat them here. But so long as the books are not accessible, I must set them down without allusion to subsequent careers.

Levi Kelsey, Joel Griggs, David A. Town, Tracy Reeve, the visitor, Oliver P. Johnson, D. A. Town's family (Mrs. Town was Aunt Roxy), Rev. Benoni Harris and wife, and eight children, six of whom were married, Edward Butterfield, John Ploss and John Wilcox, the last three of whom were sons-in-law; these all came in 1834.

Butterfield was another Black Hawk war veteran, who, attracted here by the beauty of the country, was instrumental in bringing out the colony.

Isaac or Asahel Balding, Russell Town and five children, Hosea, Harriet, David, Zerah and Elizabeth; a Mr. Alger, whose grave is said to have been the first made in the grove, all came in 1835.

Job Alcott came in 1836. It is the general impression that he married Madeline Ogee before settling there; when or where nobody can tell. I have written every county clerk in the north half of Illinois, but no marriage license was issued from any of the counties. Charles Morgan came in 1836; so did William Rogers, the first postmaster. He was the man who had charge of the removal of the Indians in 1837 to Council Bluffs, and it is more than likely that 1836 or 1837 is the date he bought his half of the Ogee section. He could not have bought it before because he came here in the year 1836. Subsequently he became an officer in the Mexican war and still later sheriff of the county in which Sacramento, California, is situated.

Henry and Medad Comstock came in 1836; they were brothers and blacksmiths. Both were drowned in 1839 while hunting ducks in Iowa. Samuel McDowell, 1836; his marriage with Delilah Harris, July 4, 1836, was the first wedding in the grove; Levi Carter came in 1836 and his marriage with Mrs. Gillette was the third.

Jacob D. Rogers came in 1837 from Pennsylvania. James Goble, later came in 1837; William Jenkins and family, 1837; John Sims, 1837, opened a tavern west of David A. Town's.

In 1838 came Rev. Caleb Morris and family, including his daughter, Mrs. Nancy Robinson, a widow, and her seven children, six sons and one daughter. These located south of the grove. Mr. Mead, too, came this year, purchased a claim south of the road of Benjamin Harris, and built, on it. Mr. Dunbar, who died soon after, settled at Four Mile Grove in 1838, just over in LaSalle County.

Deacon Orlando Boardman came in 1840, from Pennsylvania and settled on a claim bought from Eber St. John. It is said of Charles Morgan that he told Deacon Boardman, ''whether I am an abolitionist or not, my best mares are.''

Deacon Hallock also came in 1840, and he is authority for the statement that then eighteen families encircled Paw Paw Grove, thirteen of whom were in Wyoming Township, besides one White and French Pete, who was Pierre (Peter) Leclerc or LeClair. I must be pardoned in my orthography of this word; it appears in every conceivable form.

Bailey Breese came the same season and bought a claim from William Rogers, which included a good portion of the land on which East Paw Paw is situated. This Mr. Breese was a man highly educated; public spirited, and commanded great influence in the community.

Peter May came in 1841, May 5th, and bought from George Town nearly all the land on which the town or village of Paw Paw now stands. About the year 1851 he disappeared mysteriously and beyond any question he was murdered. In 1879, when removing an old fence which surrounded his premises, the bones of a human being were found buried beneath it. Undoubtedly they were Peter's bones. The supposition was that in a drunken brawl he was killed. He was a blacksmith and built a smithy in 1842 on the south side of the road.

O. W. Bryant came in 1842 and settled at Four Mile Grove, past which the old Princeton road ran. In 1843, Rev. Norman Warriner came here.

Amasa Harrington came in 1844, with his two sons, A. J. and H. H. In 1846 he bought the May property.

Tragedies and Cyclones
Tornado of 1898

In 1838 the township and range lines were surveyed, but the section lines were not run until the winter of 1842-43. So soon as the surveys were completed, preemptions were made promptly under the original act of 1841.

Prior to this time, title was held only by right of occupancy and an improvement made was held to be occupancy until the maker of it might return.

Many times a claimant had to go long distances to get work to subsist on, until he could go alone at his farming. In other instances the claimant desired to return to get married. In all such instances the claim was presumed to be respected. Of course once in a while a claim was jumped. David A. Towne's second claim north of the grove was jumped, but with his well known forcefulness, it needs no great imagination to see the trespasser removed vie et armis, as he was. This led to the various mutual protection societies, and be it said, they protected, invariably.

An instance is given by Charles Pierce of claim jumping in Wyoming. A settler gave employment to a lad until he could earn enough to start for himself. This lad jumped one of his employer's two forties. The committee came to the premises. The lad defied them in a set speech from the top of a barrel. The captain kicked the barrel from Under him; others produced a rope. The youngster then begged for mercy and left the country. Ducking was employed at times. Floggings too, were used. They all were successful.

The burial ground of the Indians in this vicinity was near the southeast corner of Paw Paw Grove; something less than an acre. The Indian method of burial there is interesting. Some twenty of the dead were thus buried: Each body was placed between two halves of a hollow log, which were supported above the ground upon posts. Other bodies were buried in the ground.

J. C. Heath was the first physician to come to Paw Paw, but George S. Hunt was the first resident physician. He came in the spring of 1844, and while residing at South Paw Paw, his practice extended to all the settlements. Henry Hudson and James Goble Boardman succeeded him there.

A. S. McIntyre, a name almost forgotten, was another very early physician.

George Ryon, undoubtedly was the leading physician of Wyoming. He located in Paw Paw in 1850. He was a learned physician. There was one thing he could do thoroughly and that was practice medicine. He knew how to cure; he knew how to enter a sick room and his commanding presence almost drove away an illness. He was over six feet tall, but like many another, he thought he could do something else than his chosen profession, better.

Through a deadlock in a republican convention, his brother-in-law, William E. Ives of Amboy, got him the republican nomination to fill a vacancy in the Legislature. He was elected. He grew intimate with Governor Yates an brought home with him the promise of a commission as colonel to raise the Seventy-fifth Regiment. He went to the war, and at the Perryville fight he was charged with sending his troops into the field without ammunition. A court martial was ordered and he was acquitted. He then resigned. In 1858 he was admitted to the bar and rather expected to practice law. After the war, he conceived the idea that he might grow very rich at coal mining. In this venture he lost heavily. He tried banking in Amboy, and after making some atrocious loans, quit. In all he had lost the competency he had amassed and with everything gone, he turned again to medicine, in Amboy. Practice came instantly and he was astonishingly successful. When he died he left a fine estate for that period.

W. T. Sherwood, Thomas Fish and M. H. Everett followed. J. Oliver Stanton, too. Among the later physicians were James H. Braffet, Thomas Steller and Thomas D. Palmer. The last named today has a commanding position in Chicago as a physician. Doctor Avery is now in Paw Paw, and has assumed a strong position there. For a long while he acted as assistant to Dr. A. W. Chandler of Compton.

The Elephant

In 1880, the skeleton of a monster was discovered by L. W. Bidwell, in the employ of George Lindsay, excavating in a slough for an ice pond. Its length was twenty-two and one-half feet and its height about fifteen or sixteen feet. Its eye socket was about the size of a tea cup. The head was about three feet in length; the lower jaw twenty-six inches. In this, two teeth remained; one twenty-one inches in circumference, the other two inches smaller. The upper joint of the hind leg measured four feet four inches long and twenty-one inches in circumference at the knee; from there to the ankle joint the measurement was three feet, two inches. The foot was about twelve inches high. The backbone and ribs were well preserved, some of the ribs measuring six inches in circumference.

East Paw Paw

East Paw Paw, though partially in DeKalb County, was connected by such inseparable ties that it cannot justly be divided here. Some of the items already related, were indigenous to DeKalb County soil; but interlocked with Lee County, they always have been associated with the latter and always will be.

William Rogers reached there about 1836, the first man. He was a great gambler. After buying part of the Ogee section, he sold it piece meal. Subsequently he went to Dixon; run the Western tavern; then he went to the Mexican war; then to California. He probably was the widest known man who ever lived in Lee County. In 1877, when he came back, John Wentworth of Chicago, and others banqueted him.

Charles Morgan settled immediately west in 1836. He lived here until about 1850.

Of course we must not forget Job Alcott, who came in 1836. He joined Morgan on the east.

Along the county line, north of the Chicago road from Rogers, Bailey Breese from Morristown, New Jersey, settled in the fall of 1840. He bought from Rogers a quarter section. Part of the village was platted on his land. His house was the second built on the town site.

At one time when Breese had $400 in cash he was offered forty acres of land near the Bulls Head tavern near Chicago; but Rogers persuaded him to buy more land and he bought from Rogers. He was a cousin of Judge Sidney Breese. He died in 1859.

Jacob Wirick came along in 1842 or 1843 and bought out William Rogers. A tavern was on the place and he run it awhile. He later moved to the southeast part of the village.

In Ohio he was converted to Mormonism, removed to Nauvoo; thence to Missouri; lost his property and later by leaving the for-tunes of that sect, he regained a fortune.

Wiram Gates came in 1845, bought out Mead and settled down. He had been a circus proprietor. He was believed to be a copartner of counterfeiters and horse thieves, and while never caught with the goods, the goods were found suspiciously near, more than once, and thieves were caught at his place.

At one time he owned 600 acres of land. He built a fine establishment for the time. His house cost about three thousand dollars. One day it burned down and he never recovered any insurance.

He entered mercantile life in East Paw Paw. Once he brought $12,000 worth of goods to the place, to be disposed of fraudulently, as has been said. Before the goods reached there, the settlers sent a party to the scene and required him and a son, who had means, to indorse for the son who originally had bought them. Unable to meet the notes at maturity, the goods were seized and Bogus Gates' career was at an end.

The first store was opened by Charles Howard in 1847. This stock subsequently was moved to East Corners (East Paw Paw) and sold to Sherbom Gates. In 1849, S. B. Warren bought the store and James Little entered as a partner.

The post office was established in 1850 and Andrew Breese was made postmaster.

Eleazer Darby LeMoyne settled there before 1845.

Old Spartan Lodge, No. 272, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, is the parent of five other lodges, Shabbona, of Earlville; Anchor, of Paw Paw; Fidelia, of Steward; Fertile, of Shabbona; and Triumph, of Melugin's Grove. It was organized March 31, 1859.

South Paw Paw

South Paw Paw, on the DeKalb County line in section 24, is more a small collection of houses than a village, a Methodist Episcopal Church, a cemetery and a few private houses.

John Ploss, who settled there in the spring of 1835, was the first settler. Eber St. John bought his claim when he left to return to Michigan, and when Deacon Orlando Boardman reached there in 1840, he bought the claim.

Deacon Israel Hallock came there in 1840.

Ralph Atherton, from Massachusetts, came in 1844, a shoe-maker.

Dr. George S. Hunt, was the first regular physician. He located there in the spring of 1844.

Deacon Daniel Pine, who lived to be almost a hundred, came there in 1845.

David R. Town, son of Russell Town, came to Wyoming at the age of ten, in 1835. He went in 1848 to California, across the plains, in the Government service.

Timothy Goble, from the Wyoming valley in Pennsylvania, came to this Wyoming in 1843.

In the year 1838 Rev. Caleb Morris, Nancy, Caleb and Isacher Robinson, Betsey and Lydia Town, organized a Methodist class here. Caleb Robinson. was made leader and steward and acted as such until 1858.

In 1843 the South Paw Paw Union Sabbath School was organized in the schoolhouse, with C. M. Dickinson as superintendent.

The Railroad

Like Amboy and Brooklyn, Wyoming bonded herself to help build the Rock River railroad, from Rock Palls eastward.

Thirty-four legal voters and tax payers petitioned to have called a special election to vote on the proposition to issue $50,000 in bonds for the purpose. John Harding, town clerk, issued the call, and on Sept. 22, 1869, the election was held, 142 votes were cast in favor of the bonds and 62 against. The eastern terminal was to be Calumet and on that understanding many voted affirmatively who would have opposed the issue, otherwise. . It terminated at Shabbona.

On June 19, 1872, Isaac Edwards, the contractor, finished the line to Paw Paw and Mr. Edwards and his men were banqueted.

At once, after finishing, the line was leased to the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy.

Injunctions were issued and the matter was litigated by James K. Edsall, for the town. On his election, as attorney-general, Judge John V. Eustace pushed the suit, but in the end the bonds had to be paid and now that the road is done, who shall say, he would do without the road?

Another branch of the Burlington, runs from Paw Paw south-easterly.

Paw Paw Of Today

A little older, but the Paw Paw of the early day just the same. In point of years many may be classed advanced, but in all the delightful ways of life they are young. A constant sunlight is reflected from Paw Paw.

Here are the LaPortes of 1838, just over the line for so many years. The only difference between those who lived over in Paw Paw Township and those living in Paw Paw village, Wyoming Township is one generation. Alonzo LaPorte, the father who died at eighty-one some time ago, was not more than eighteen in spirit. Frank A. LaPorte, James H. LaPorte, Mrs. Lillian Nisbet and Mrs. Lucie Herrick, children of Alonzo, all live here yet and endowed as they are with plenty, it is improbable that they ever will change their residences.

For many years James H. LaPorte was engaged in the general merchandising business and aside from large ownerships else-where, he made money rapidly. A few years ago, desiring to get out into the open air more and enjoy the sights afforded out in the world, he closed out his business and now Prank LaPorte Edwards, grandson of Alonzo LaPorte is installed in business in the same store.

But James could not stand idleness. He opened a real estate office and he enjoys a very successful business in that line. Loans upon real estate too are negotiated by him. A large number of valuable farms have been sold by him in Lee and DeKalb Counties.

Frank LaPorte oversees his farming interests in DeKalb County and Iowa and that of itself keeps him busy.

From James LaPorte I found my information about the values of lands at present in Wyoming. The average price per acre is $175 and the average rental is $7 per acre. But most of the farms in this township are rented on shares.

man. Within the past year he has sold a large number of farms in this township and Willow Creek. Mr. McMillan does a large insurance business as well. S. A. Wright and Ed. P. Fleming too, are very successful real estate men. Paw Paw is a center for big deals and these firms prosper.

Among the professional gentlemen of Wyoming, is Mr. C. F. Preston, the attorney who long has been a resident of the village of Paw Paw. By common consent he is conceded to have the largest and best paying legal business in Lee County. The village is so situated that three counties are tributary to Preston, and from those three counties, Mr. Preston draws. His probate practice is one of the largest in the down state counties. This may seem incredible, but so it is. As a professional man Mr. Preston stands very high. Many attempts have been made to lure him into running for office, but all to no purpose. Beyond a doubt were he to permit the use of his name to his party, the democratic, he might win; but sensibly enough he refuses steadily.

The physicians and surgeons of Paw Paw are W. M. Avery, the associate of Doctor Chandler at the Compton hospital, T. H. Stetler and J. R. Crowell. J. B. Daugherty is a D. D. S. and E. L. Von Ohlen, has established himself in a fine business in Paw Paw, as a veterinary surgeon. S. M. Bennett also is a veterinary surgeon. These medical gentlemen enjoy practice far into the two adjoining counties. In fact it may be repeated that Paw Paw always was singularly fortunate with its doctors.

Unusual for the small town. Paw Paw has a fine greenhouse of which J. J. Bennett is the proprietor. His greenhouses have a demand for every bloom it can supply.

Mr. C. C. Faber beyond doubt enjoys one of the best trades in meats in Lee county. Not so very long ago, he was requested to ship clear back to Virginia, some of the meats of his preparing. Here, too, is a fine example of doing things down to date. Mr. Faber's market attracts people from those same three counties. We have seen in so many small villages how difficult it is to maintain a first-class market. Mr. Faber never has been confronted with that feature of the meat trade. He has large interest in lands up in Minnesota. The grain elevator of Frank E. Gufifin and J. W. Banks, known to the trade as Warner and Guffin, does a very large business, not only in the shipment of grain, but in the sale of coal, and seeds and those kindred commodities which go with them. Last year over 250,000 bushels of grain were shipped from this village and by this company alone. The proprietors own the elevator at Compton, just to the west and between both elevators these gentlemen have one of the best businesses.

Paw Paw is splendidly supplied with hotels and restaurants The Detamore House is one and Mrs. E. M. Ransom is proprietor; the other is the Commercial House and Dallas McLaughlin is the proprietor. These two hotels stand side by side just to show that neither dislikes having rivals in business. Besides the hotels, there are lunch rooms kept by Thomas Harper and Fred Gehlfuss. The latter keeps a full line of fancy groceries besides. C. M. Gibbs sells cigars and confectionery and in connection with his grocery trade, H. R. Town sells confectionery and ice cream. Thus it may be seen that he who hungers can find no legitimate excuse for going hungry.

Paw Paw is the center of a large amount of building and to care for it, the village is especially well provided. Arthur S. Wells pays most of his attention to things built of cement and he is without doubt one of the best posted men in Lee County on cement and what may be done with it.

At a recent meeting of the board of supervisors of which he long has been a member, he was made superintendent of highways for Lee County at a salary of $2,000.

Harry Prentice, E. J. Valentine, J. O. Morrow, H. G. Beach and C. C. Smith are contractors and builders. The telephone system which serves Paw Paw is the Northern Illinois Telephone Company which has headquarters at Sandwich.

Paw Paw is well cared for so far as lighting is concerned. The Paw Paw Electric Light Plant owned by Beemer Bros., composed of the brothers, J. J. and Harrison Beemer, have but lately established a plant here. Since opening for business the village is as well lighted as any other in the state.

I. H. Breese is the hardware man. This store also cares for tin work and plumbing.

The post office is managed in a very superior manner. Wilbur Woods, son of A. N. Woods, was assistant for a long while before his recent appointment, the first appointment of postmaster in the county. Mrs. Verna Woods is assistant.

The firm of J. M. Beale and Co. has been established here for a long while. They send their output to almost every state in the Union. Brick and drain tile are made by them in large quantities. Over at West Brooklyn they have another branch plant.

There are two very large general stores, one owned by Edwards and Case and the other by Chaffee and Faber. These two stores are large, and the stocks are very large and selected with especial care for the trade of that locality. In fact they are much larger than the average village store. The store that I am most familiar with, the one of Edwards and Case has made four generations wealthy.

Pratt & Hartwell carry a full line of jewelry, silverware and china. The drug, paint, oil, medicine, toilet articles and school book trade is very well provided for by Wilbur A. Pratt.

Hicks Brothers are the clothing dealers.

L. C. Coss and F. J. Adams are the barbers. W. H. Smith is the undertaker and in connection he handles a full line of furniture, carpets, rugs, curtains and paints and oils. Closely identified as a kindred business is the Williams & Henry establishment. These gentlemen are extensive painters, paper hangers and decorators.

Paw Paw has 800 inhabitants and being in line for all the down to date features which go with 800 people, she has a first class ''Lyric Theatre.'' Mr. J. H. Hackman is proprietor of that. The movies and occasional vaudeville are put up here in the latest fashion.

The Beemer Brothers who run the electric light plant are proprietors also of the Paw Paw garage and it may as well be said at this point that this township of Wyoming owns and operates eighty automobiles and almost every business man in Paw Paw and many of the women own automobiles.

The Lee County Times is the only newspaper in Paw Paw and it enjoys a splendid patronage both in circulation and in job work. Ed F. Guffin, chairman of the republican county committee, is the owner and editor of it. Its history is quite fully noticed in another column. I am indebted to Mr. Guffin to a very large extent for facts obtained which went into this history. He and Mr. J. H. LaPorte approached every business proprietor and obtained the facts needed to make this chapter. Moreover, Mr. Guffin loaned me several copies of his files from which to derive facts I needed very much. I desire to thank him for his kindness, right here. His office turns out some of the best job work in the county and the paper turns out some of the best reading matter to be found. The paper is very ably edited. From these and the geologically added fact, Mr. Guffin's office is one of the most profitable offices in the county. Paw Paw is singularly fortunate in its tributary country.

But Paw Paw is still more fortunate in possessing the business people who know how to handle it.

Fred Henry is proprietor of the boot and shoe store and he also handles the repairing for the community.

S. Baker is the proprietor of a flour and feed store. Julius Schamberger is a merchant tailor. E. L. Tarr has a large agricultural implement house, demons Bros, operate a very large shoeing and blacksmithing business. Another one is carried on over at Compton.

Wayne Pierce operates the North Side Billiard Parlor.

Ellen C. Mitchell is proprietor of a millinery store. A. L. Coakes repairs and times pianos and organs. Snow Brothers is another firm. Harper & Stroyan are proprietors of the livery, feed and sale business. J. W. Mayor has the harness and blanket store. Beginning with the hay that the farm animals eat, we find F. Flewellin, the hay dealer. For years Wyoming Township produced some of the best pure bred horses and cattle one might find. J. W. Larabee has a large herd of red polled cattle with which he has met great success at the various fairs.

J. W. Lambkin has gathered around him a splendid herd of pure bred Herefords. In making his selections, he has secured the best animals both on blood lines and individual merit. This has been the home of Herefords for half a century, but Mr. Lambkin has assembled the best herd of all that period.

J. T. Epla is proprietor of the West Side Stock Farm. He raises and trains and drives fast horses. I should like to stop and talk a little while about the fine horses which have been developed by Paw Paw men, but it cannot be done.

George W. Frey & Co. are large buyers of poultry and eggs. Mr. M. D. Warren is the manager. F. R. Mead is proprietor of the Paw Paw dairy. Mr. J. C. Miller long has been a successful horse buyer. He buys and ships for market.

D. L. Hartwell has a jewelry shop at which watches and jewelry are repaired.

There are three churches here at present: the Methodist, Rev. O. T. Canfield, pastor; First Presbyterian, Rev. C. H. Miller, pastor; and the Baptist, Rev. J. B. Martine, pastor. There are three cemeteries in Wyoming Township, Wyoming, Harding and Cottage Hill.

The Pogue Brothers Lumber Company, dealers in coal, lumber, lath and building material, have an office here. Besides they are engaged in business at Hinckley, and at Waterman over in DeKalb County.

G. C. Schreck has a large blacksmithing and horseshoeing business.

In commenting on the post office it was my plan to state the business of this well managed office. The number of outgoing pieces of mail, first class, for one year were 100,000; the number of second class, 6,000; the number of third class, 2,000; the number of parcels post, 4,500. The record of the incoming is as follows: First class pieces, 80,000; second class, 75,000; third, 45,000; parcels post, 7,000. The total receipts for the year were $2,600. This volume indicates plainer than words the amount of business the village does.

Paw Paw has a right to be proud of her schools. It holds one of the best buildings in the county. W. C. Duff is the superintendent; Mrs. W. C. Suft is principal; Miss Elizabeth Turner is assistant principal. A four-year course is taught in the high school. Besides there are four rooms in each of which two grades are taught. In the first or primary grade there are today nineteen pupils, eight boys and eleven girls; in the second grade there are five boys and six girls. Miss Erma Lowrey teaches these two grades. Grade three has nine boys and six girls. Grade four has eleven boys and nine girls. Miss Gertie Smith teaches these two grades. Grade five has six boys and eight girls. Sixth grade has six boys and twelve girls. Miss Avis Adams teaches these two grades. In the high school for the first year there are five boys and nine girls. In the second year there are eight boys and seven girls. In the third year there six boys and six girls. In the last year there are five boys and eight girls. Total enrollment, 175.

Paw Paw is a great village for lodge work. Anchor lodge 510, I. O. O. P., is a very large order. Its officers are H. H. Row-land, N. G.; P. A. LaPorte, V. G.; E. J. Kirk, Recording secretary; D. R. McLaughlin, financial secretary; A. C. McBride, treasurer; D. R. McLaughlin, official examiner, instructor and representative to the Grand Lodge.

Officers of Paw Paw Encampment are E. J. Kirk, C. P.; C. C. Tarbell, H. P.; R. L: Tarr, S. W.; G. C. Schrock, J. W.; D. R. McLaughlin, Scribe; Albert N. Woods, Treasurer; L. A. Coss, representative to the Grand Encampment; D. R. McLaughlin, official examiner and instructor.

Officers of Paw Paw Rebekah Lodge 264 are Mrs. A. R. Kelley, N. G.; Mrs. Fred Lilly, V. G.; Miss Vida Radley, F. S.; Mrs. R. L. Tarr, treasurer; Mrs. M. D. Warren, representative to the Rebekah Assembly.

Officers of Paw Paw Camp 4453, R. N. A., are Lula Rosenkrans, Oracle; Nettie Fightmaster, Vice Oracle; Jessie Barstow, Chancellor; Lettie G. Hyde, Recorder; Grace Baker, Receiver; Grace Rogers, Marshal; Mittie Lilly, I. S.; A. M. Carnahan, Manager 1; Florence Clemons, 2; Rose Hammond, 3; Wilbur M. Avery, physician.

Officers of the M. W. A. are A. M. Carnahan, Consul; F. D. Rogers, Adviser; Byron Rosenkrans, Banker; George E. Hyde, Clerk; Willis Hinke, Escort; W. T. Fightmaster, Watchman; Frank Ambler, Sentry; Dr. W. M. Avery, physician; F. D. Rogers, B. F. Ambler and W. T. Fightmaster, board of managers.

Officers of Corinthian Lodge 205, A. F. & A. M., are C. F. Preston, W. M.; E. N. Gibbs, S. W.; A. C. McBride, treasurer; H. L. Case, secretary; F. J. Adams, S. D.; G. A. Ramer, J. D.; Charles Gibbs, marshal; J. C. Shamberger, chaplain; Dallas McLaughlin, S. S.; E. P. Fleming, J. S.

Officers of Foster Chapter 331, O. E. S., are Bertha Wheeler, W. M.; Ed F. Guffin, W. P.; Alice Ramer, A. M.; Libbie Stetler, treasurer; E. Maude Pogue, secretary; Addie Guffin, Conductor; Josephine Pratt, A. C.; May Pierce, warder; Frank Wheeler, sentry; Lillian Hammond, chaplain; Bertha Mills, Ada; Mary Hartwell, Ruth; Stella Case, Esther; Pearl Crowell, Martha; Helena demons. Electa.

The State Bank of Paw Paw is one of the strongest banks in the state. In a little village of 800 this bank on October 30 made a statement which totaled $416,253.31. But more than this: its stockholders are men of such business strength, that were they called to pay the last depositor and to the last cent, they could do it without very much effort. Just a little while ago, Mr. J. B. McBride, the vice president, died. He was one of the biggest of all our big Lee county men. He had led a long and quiet life in Paw Paw. He had been generous and public spirited. When his estate was inventoried a short while ago it footed $]80,000, and but a few years ago he divided between his children, so I am told, a large fortune. All made in Paw Paw. The cash reserve held in this bank runs all the way from 35 to 60 per cent. The bank enjoys the comfortable distinction of being able to take any good loan that comes along. If a certain reserve was desired, several stockholders could make the loan out of their own funds. It's a wonderful bank.

In 1882 this bank was founded by M. M. Morse and P. C. Ransom under the name of "Union Bank." A couple of years later, Mr. Ransom retired. In 1886, B. J. Wheeler and Teal Swarthout, who were partners known as B. J. Wheeler & Co., bought the bank and continued it under the name of the Union bank. This firm continued the business until 1901 when the partners, with others organized the present State Bank with a capital of $25,000, which capital was increased to $40,000.

In 1902 the First National Bank was organized, but during the same year the banks consolidated and increased the capital of the present bank to $50,000. The officers and directors who direct its affairs are: President, B. J. Wheeler; A. C. McBride, cashier; Frank Wheeler, assistant cashier; all of whom are directors besides S. B. Mller, W. M. Goble, W. T. Chaffee and J. H. LaPorte. The surplus is $15,000.

Tragedies and Cyclones
Tornado of 1898

Lee County Townships


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