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Pioneers of Madison County, Illinois

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Sources:

Settlement of Illinois, 1778 - 1830, by Arthur Clinton Boggess, 1908 (In Public Domain)

Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois, by Newton Bateman, Paul Selby, Harvey Bostwick Hurd, and Robert Dickinson Sheppard, 1906 (In Public Domain)

Madison County Gazette, 1866 (In Public Domain)

Early Days in Madison County, No. 5, by Rev. Thomas Lippincott, The Alton Telegraph, September 18, 1864

 
 

ALLEN, CAPTAIN GEORGE C.

Early settler of Marine.

 

ALLEN, ROWLAND P.

Came to Madison County in 1817 to explore, and made choice of the prairie lying near Silver Creek. (Marine Settlement)

 

ALLEN, ZACHARIAH

One of four men who founded the town of Salu, near Upper Alton.

 

ATKINS, JOHN

Early settler (1807) near Mitchell.

 

ATWATER, JOSHUA

Kept the first school of Edwardsville. Arrived in Madison County in 1817. Also opened a small business there in 1820.

 

BACON, JOEL

Kept a "public house" in Milton area, in a cabin near the bridge. In the summer of 1819, he erected a frame house, to which he removed his family and tavern - it was not a drinking house - and entertained travelers as comfortably as the circumstances of the country allowed.

 

BADGLEY, REVEREND DAVID

One of the first explorers (1799) of Madison County, and gave the name Goshen to the area because of the fertility of the soil and lush growth of vegetation.

 

BARNSBACK, GEORGE

Early settler (1809) near Edwardsville.

 

BARTLETT, JOSEPH

Early settler (1809) near Wood River.

 

BEEMAN, JAMES

Early settler. Married Nancy Moore, sister of Abel and William Moore. James & Nancy's son, Samuel Sylvester Beeman, married Mary Ann Smeltzer, daughter of George.

 

BERKEY, DANIEL

Early settler of Collinsville.

 

BIGGS, WILLIAM

In 1823, William Biggs, from Kentucky, bored for salt in Section 19 near Highland. He manufactured salt for a considerable time, until he had cut down all the timber for a distance around. He made about six bushels of salt per day, consuming from twelve to fifteen cords of wood.

 

BLACKBURN, JOHN

Early settler of Collinsville.

 

BLAKEMAN, CURTISS

Curtiss Blakeman, sea captain and pioneer settler, came from New England to Madison County, Illinois in 1819, and settled in what was afterwards known as the "Marine Settlement," of which he was one of the founders. This settlement, of which the present town of Marine (first called Madison) was the outcome, took its name from the fact that several of the early settlers, like Captain Blakeman, were sea-faring men. Captain Blakeman became a prominent citizen and represented Madison County in the lower branch of the Third and Fourth General Assemblies (1822 and 1824), in the former being one of the opponents of the pro-slavery amendment of the Constitution. A son of his, of the same name, was a Representative in the Thirteenth, Fifteenth and Sixteenth General Assemblies from Madison County.

 

BREATH, CAPTAIN JAMES

Early settler of Marine.

 

BROWN, DR. ERASTUS

Early settler of Upper Alton. Opened the first drug store in that place. One of four men who founded the town of Salu, near Upper Alton.

 

CHILTON, THOMAS

Early settler of Highland, and served as second Justice of the Peace. Spent most of his time hunting.

 

COLLETT, ROBERT

Merchant from St. Louis, bought out the interest of a Mr. Seely in Milton area in 1819. He and Wallace became the proprietors of the village, the mill and the business of Milton. Mr. Collett kept the store.

 

COLLINS, AUGUSTUS, ANSON AND MICHAEL

Three brothers, who in 1817 emigrated from Litchfield, Connecticut and purchased the premises of John Cook, and founded the town of Collinsville. They erected a distillery, an old style horse mill for grinding corn, and set about making whiskey. A saw mill was attached to the horse power, and a store house was the first frame building erected by the brothers. They had first named their village "Unionville." They also set up cooper shops, blacksmith, wagon and carpenter shops, a large farm and storehouse. In 1818 they built a commodious house of worship for all denominations. The Postmaster-General changed the town's name to Collinsville, as there was another town in the State by the name of Unionville. Their father, Deacon William Collins, joined them in about 1822.

 

COOK, JOHN

Farmer who built and occupied the first cabin that stood on the site of the present town of Collinsville.

 

COX, ANTHONY

Early settler of Madison County. Appointed (in April 1813) overseer of road leading from wood near where David Moore formerly lived to Indian Ford on Cahokia Creek.

 

CRUME, DANIEL

Contracted with Col. Easton in 1818 to build four log houses in the newly formed Alton.

 

DAVIS, DENNIS

Husband of Hannah/Anna Thomas. Early settlers.

 

DELAPLAIN, SAMUEL

One of the first settlers of Godfrey.

 

DILLON, SAMUEL

Samuel Dillon, born about 1781 in Maryland, married Elizabeth Davis from Pennsylvania. They lived for some time in Butler County, Ohio, where Samuel was appointed Coroner of Butler County twice. He and Elizabeth and some of their children (Thomas, William, Martha & John) moved to Section 23 (Fosterburg) in Madison County, Illinois before 1834. Samuel operated a saw mill, son William operated a cooper shop, and son John David operated a blacksmith shop. They began building a flour mill but it was destroyed by fire before it was completed. Elizabeth died before 1860 and Samuel died before 1870. . Son John David was also known locally as a talented musician, one of his sons, John H. Dillon served as sheriff of Madison County for sixteen years. All were buried in Fosterburg Cemetery.  (Submitted by Patricia Fabri, 3rd great-granddaughter)

 

DORSEY, NIMROD

(1789-1849)  Purchased farmland in what is now Dorsey, Illinois in 1839.

 

DUNCAN, JOSEPH

Early settler (1818) of Highland. Served as Justice of the Peace. The name of his residence was "Pleasant Hill."

 

DUNFORD, THOMAS AND ELIZABETH

Elizabeth, born in England in 1810, came to America in 1828.  She married Thomas Dunford in Alton.  Thomas was one of the builders of the Chicago and Alton railroad, and was one of the first coal operators on the coal branch [near North Alton].  He accumulated large holdings of real estate.  Mrs. Dunford often told how she and her husband kept money in the cellar of their home, and hauled gold to the first bank in Alton with ox teams.

 

EASTON, COLONEL RUFUS

Rufus Easton was the founder of the town of Alton. Soon after coming to St. Louis, Easton began to buy up claims to land in Missouri and Illinois. When seeking to find a suitable place for a town in Illinois, he selected a point on the east bank of the Mississippi, twenty-five miles north of St. Louis and twenty miles south of the mouth of the Illinois. There was here a good landing place for boats, and also extensive beds of coal and lime stone. The town was named Alton in honor of the founder's son, Alton R. Easton, and Langdon, George, Easton and Alby streets were named for his sons and daughter.

 

EGGEN, JACOB

In 1865, elected first Mayor of Highland.

 

EMERSON, DR. WILLIAM S.

First practicing physician in Alton, 1831.

 

FERGUSON, MAJOR ISAAC H.

Built the first house on marine prairie in 1813.

 

FINLEY, JOHN

Early settler (1806) at Sand Ridge Prairie.

 

FLAGG, GERSHOM

Early land owner in Alton (bef. 1829). Born in Orwell, Vermont, November 26, 1792. Served in the War of 1812 in Vermont Militia. In 1818 he came to Illinois and lived the remainder of his life as a farmer. He married September 27, 1827 to Jane Paddock (Richmond), by whom he had one son, Willard Cutting, born September 16, 1829.

 

GILLESPIE, ANDREW

Born in the South, June 5, 1805, Andrew came north to Madison County, IL with his parents, Robert and Sarah McDonald Gillespie.  They settled in the Goshen area, where they lived until 1816, when they removed to Bond county and settled near the present town of Pocahontas. Mr. Gillespie was a member of the first Sunday school organized in Illinois.  [Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, June 5, 1905]

 

HANNIBERRY, PATRICK

The first white settler to locate in Six Mile Prairie, so named because it was located six miles north of St. Louis, in Upper Louisiana.

 

HAUSKINS, ALVIS

Settled near Edwardsville in 1819.

 

HOWARD, MRS.

Widow who built the first house in Highland, 1809, on the edge of Looking-Glass Prairie. Her family consisted of several grown sons and daughters.

 

HUNTER, MAJOR CHARLES W.

Founder of "Hunterstown" in Alton, and served as Alderman in Alton's Third Ward in 1851-2. The Alton City Cemetery, incorporated on March 1, 1845, are on the grounds of the former property of Major Hunter.

 

HUSER, ABRAHAM

Son-in-law of Mrs. Howard, who in 1810 settled a mile north of the Howards in Highland.

 

GILLHAM, CHARLES

Early settler (1803) of Edwardsville.

 

GILLHAM, ISOM

Pioneer farmer, as early as 1818. Son of Thomas Gillham Jr.  Married Ruth Vaughn and lived on the American Bottom. He served as Sheriff of Madison County from 1812 to 1818.

 

GILLHAM, JAMES

Early settler (1793) of Edwardsville.

 

GILLHAM, JOHN (and sons)

Early settlers (1802) of Edwardsville.

 

GILLHAM, THOMAS

Eldest son of Thomas Gillham Sr., he married in South Carolina and had two sons, William & Isom, and daughter Sally. He moved to the American Bottom where he remained until his death.

 

GILLHAM, WILLIAM

Early settler (1803) of Edwardsville.

 

GODFREY, CAPTAIN BENJAMIN

Came to Alton in 1832, and shortly afterwards purchased nearly all the land in Monticello Township and made his home there. Founded the Monticello Female Seminary there at a cost of $52,000, paid out of his own pocket.

 

GONTERMAN, JACOB

Settled in Edwardsville in 1816.

 

GOOD, THOMAS

Early settler (1808) of Edwardsville. Appointed Constable in April 1813 for the County of Madison, Goshen Township.

 

GREGG, HARMON

Son of Jacob Gregg. Moved to Illinois, probably with John & Barbara [Higgins] Smelser, and Josiah and Barbara [Smelser] Higgins. Harmon Gregg and Josiah Higgins moved to Missouri before the War of 1812. They were in Cooper's Fort during the War of 1812.

 

JARVIS, JOHN

Owned a horse grist mill in the early days of Troy.

 

JOHNSON, DANIEL

Early settler. Married daughter of George Smeltzer, Susanna, on November 25, 1813 in Madison County, IL.

 

JOHNSON, BENJAMIN

Early settler of Collinsville.

 

JONES, WILLIAM

Early settler of Sand Ridge Prairie (1806).

 

JUDY, COLONEL SAMUEL

Early settler (1801) of Edwardsville. Built the first brick house in the county in 1808. Later elected member of the first Legislative Council of Illinois Territory. Also appointed Warden of the State Penitentiary at Alton, and served with two others as a Board to adopt a Penitentiary system. He died in 1833 at age 75 years.

 

KIRKPATRICK, THOMAS

Founder of Edwardsville in 1805. Edwardsville is named after the Governor of the Territory of Illinois, Ninian Edwards. Kirkpatrick also built a water mill on Cahokia Creek, and kept of Public House in 1813. Also appointed road overseer in 1813.

 

KOEPFLI, DR. CASPAR

Arrived in Highland area in 1831. Let the way for a large emigration from Switzerland to the Mississippi Valley. Did not like Missouri because of its pro-slavery stance. Had three sons, Bernhard, Joseph and Solomon, and one daughter. Together with his children and nephews, Joseph Suppiger and Anthony Suppiger, arrived from St. Louis to the Looking-Glass Prairie.

 

LANGWORTHY, DR. AUGUSTUS

Early settler of Upper Alton.

 

LIPPINCOTT, REVEREND THOMAS

Reverend Thomas Lippincott was a principal contributor (in 1819) to the Spectator, an Edwardsville newspaper. He was believed to have preached the first sermon in the village of Lower Alton, about 1829-30. He organized the Presbyterian Church at Alton, June 19, 1831, which consisted of eight members. On January 8, 1837, he, along with Revs. F. W. Graves and T. B. Hurlburt, organized the Presbyterian Church of Upper Alton, with twenty-four members. The first minister of the church was Rev. Elijah P. Lovejoy, acting as a temporary supply until a pastor could be secured.

 

LOOK, HORACE

Early settler and prominent citizen of Collinsville.

 

LUSK, JOHN T.

Early settler of Edwardsville (abt. 1805). Opened the first hotel in Edwardsville in 1816. Emigrated from Kentucky and settled in Goshen. Married Lucretia Gillham on August 22, 1809.

 

MASON, JAMES

Early settler of Edwardsville. Owned the second brick house in Edwardsville, built by Col. N. Buckmaster. Used as a hotel. Donated land for the building of the first Methodist Church in Edwardsville.

 

MAXEY, REVEREND BENNETT

First minister of Upper Alton.  One of four men who founded the town of Salu, near Upper Alton.

 

MEACHAM, JOSEPH

Founder of Upper Alton in 1817.

 

MOONEY, BRYANT

Early settler (1803) of Edwardsville.

 

MOORE, ABEL

Early settler (1808) in Wood River.

 

MOORE, THOMAS

Early settler of Collinsville.

 

MOORE, WILLIAM

Brother to Abel Moore. Wife was Mary "Polly," sister to Rachel Reagan. Two of William & Mary's children (John, age 10, and George, aged 3) were killed by Indians in the Wood River Massacre.

 

MORSE, SAMUEL G.

Built the first Court House in Madison County, completed February 12, 1817. It was a log building on the edge of the square in Edwardsville. When the eccentric Lorenzo Dow came to Edwardsville to preach some years afterward and was shown the Court House as the place of meeting, he refused to preach in it, saying "it was only fit for a hog pen."

 

NEWMAN, JOSEPH

Early settler of Madison County. Appointed (in April 1813) overseer of the road leading from the town of Cahokia to the Indian Ford on Cahokia Creek.

 

O'CONNER, EPHRAIM

First white man to locate in Goshen area in the American Bottom near the bluff, five or six miles southwest from Edwardsville. Colonel Samuel Judy bought O'Connor's land in 1801 and lived upon that land the rest of his life.

 

OTWELL, WILLIAM

Built the first public building in the county (the jail) in December 1816.

 

OWENS FAMILY

According to a statement in the Alton Evening Telegraph, Sept. 2, 1910, the ancestors of Attorney Riley Owens came to Madison county in 1802 and became prominent citizens in the county.

 

PARKISON, WASHINGTON

Early settler of Highland area. Had a large and well cultivated farm, and held religious meeting at his home.

 

PEMBROOK, ENOS

May have been the one who first started the Fountain ferry in 1817 near Alton, advertising an excellent set of boats and hands, "three miles nearer from Milton to Madame Griffith's near Portage du Sioux than any road now travelled," and that "he can make three trips across the Mississippi at this Ferry sooner than one trip can be made at any other ferry on the same river within the State."

 

PINCKARD, WILLIAM G.

Contracted with Col. Easton in 1818 to build four log houses in the newly formed Alton. In 1854-5, he served as Alderman in the Second Ward of Alton. In 1834 William G. Pinckard rented, for church purposes, a hall in Alton on Second street known as Lyceum Hall. Previously, religious services were held in private houses. William also was one of the early settlers of Upper Alton, and with his wife joined the first Methodist Episcopal Church in Upper Alton.

 

PREUITT, MARTIN

Settled at Sand Ridge Prairie, 3 miles east of Alton, in 1806. Father of Major Solomon Preuitt/Prewitt.

 

PREWITT/PREUITT, MAJOR SOLOMON

One of the earliest settlers of Madison county. He was the youngest child of Martin Prewitt, and was born in Virginia, January 7, 1790. He was elected Captain of a militia company at age 21. In 1813 he volunteered and joined the Rangers in the war against Great Britain. In 1818 he moved to the area one and a half miles south of Bethalto. In 1831, Solomon volunteered for the Black Hawk War, and was sent as captain of a spy company which marched to Rock Island. In 1832 he volunteered and went again as captain. The company marched to Beardstown and he was elected Lieut. Colonel. At the close of the Black Hawk war, he arrived home, and the people elected him Major of the militia.

 

PRICE, UNKNOWN

Lived near Hunter's Spring in the lower end of Alton, and on June 20, 1811 was approached by Indians, one of whom laid down his guns and extended a hand of friendship. Price took the hand unsuspectingly, but his hand was held fast and Price was immediately murdered by the others.

 

PRICKETT, ABRAHAM

Early settler of Edwardsville, and was on the Board of Trustees. Opened the first store in Edwardsville.

 

RATTAN, THOMAS

Early settler (1804) near Edwardsville.

 

RAY, REVEREND THOMAS

A Baptist minister, settled near Edwardsville in 1818.

 

RENFRO, JAMES

Settled in what is now Collinsville township in 1811.

 

REYNOLDS, JAMES

Emigrated to Illinois from Kentucky in 1818. He settled first near Fort Chilton near Highland, and in 1830 he bought the land where Abraham Huser had lived in 1810. He was later elected to the State Legislature, and also served as Justice of the Peace.

 

REYNOLDS, JOSEPH

Built the first cabin in Godfrey, and sold it to Samuel Delaplain.

 

REYNOLDS, ROBERT

Early settler (1807) near Edwardsville. Father of Gov. John Reynolds.

 

ROBERTSON, HUGH

Early settler of Collinsville.

 

RUNDEL, HENRY POST

Henry Post Rundell and his wife, Catherine Delaphain, were married in Madison County in September 29, 1822. They lived in Upper Alton, and he died there February 25, 1880. Catherine died in Upper Alton December 15, 1877.  Henry was born in New York in July of 1795, and arrived in Madison County before September of 1822.

 

SCARRITT, NATHAN

Broke the first ground of Godfrey Township, on what for many years was considered "Scarritt's Prairie."  In his home was the first sermon preached, by Rev. John Hogan, Methodist, in the summer of 1828. Abigail Scarritt taught the first school in that area.

 

SMELSER, DAVID

Teacher at Chilton's Fort during the War of 1812. Father in law was Jacob Gregg.

 

SMELSER, JOHN

Had a daughter about 1810 in Illinois, then returned to Tennessee.

 

SMELTZER, GEORGE

Registered a 17-18 yr old female negro bond servant in St. Clair County, Illinois, November 3, 1805, having arrived in the state 20 days prior. Owned ferry, north of Alton previously run by Mr. Langford, at or near the mouth of Wood River, whence Smeltzer moved it several miles beyond Alton. In 1817 the ferry was considered the best site, paying an annual license of $12.

 

STEPHENSON, BENJAMIN Y.

Opened the second store in Edwardsville. His was the first brick house of Edwardsville, built by Col. N. Buckmaster.

 

TETER, PHILIP

Early settler of Collinsville.

 

THOMAS, SAMUEL

Brother to Mary "Polly" Moore and Rachel Reagan (of the Wood River Massacre fame). In 1813, in company with two of his brothers-in-law, Reason Reagan and Dennis Davis, with their wives and children, came to Illinois, landing at the forks of Wood river.

 

UZZELL, UNKNOWN  (Father of George Carr Uzzell)

Came to Madison County about 1807. Lived in St. Jacob, Madison County.  Fought in the Battle of New Orleans in January 1815, under Andrew Jackson.

 

WALKER, JAMES

Owned personal property, including a brickyard, in Six Mile Prairie, Madison County. Married to Eve (maiden name unknown). Had three daughters: Sarah (who married Thomas H. Robinson in 1827 in St. Louis, MO; and Nancy; and Eliza.  James died August 10, 1826 in St. Louis.

 

WARREN, HOOPER

Edited the first newspaper published in the county (1819), the Edwardsville Spectator.

 

WATERS, ISAAC

One of four men who founded the town of Salu, near Upper Alton.

 

WHITESIDE, SAMUEL JOEL

In 1803, made the first improvements on Ridge Prairie, six or eight miles south of present day Edwardsville.

 

WIGGINS, UNKNOWN

One of the first white settlers to locate in the Six Mile Prairie, along with Patrick Hanniberry.

 

WILLIAMSON, JOHN

Early settler of Collinsville.

 

WRIGHT, TOLIVER

Early settler (1806) near the mouth of Wood River.

 

 

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