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Location: Dry Grove Illinois

Early Industry of Dry Grove, Illinois

The first settlers at Dry Grove had to endure the usual hardships for lack of mills, shops, and such other enterprises of a public character that are always necessary for the happiness and enjoyment of any community. The lack of milling facilities was felt more keenly, perhaps, than the want of any other single thin,_. The great distances which it was necessary- to traverse in order to reach even a water-mill were enough to discourage the most determined. During the deep snow of 1830 and 1831, all were compelled to provide for themselves. The particulars of this ever-to-be remembered winter have been so often rehearsed that it is needless to dwell upon them here. It seems that this taught all to be prepared to make their own meal. The usual sight of the front yard included a mortar and sweep for the pounding of corn. As nearly all families lived in the woods, a mortar was generally made by chopping down a tree, cutting the stump off so as to make it level, and then burning a basin from the top. In this the corn was put, and pounded by a heavy pole with an iron wedge in the end, and swung from the upper end of a sweep similar to the kind often seen used in drawing water from a well. These were common all over this country,...

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Military History of Dry Grove, Illinois

In the Black Hawk war, Dry Grove was well represented. Col. William McCullough enlisted as a private in the company commanded by Merritt Covel. His great courage, spirit and daring are well known by all. James Phillips, Thomas Brown and Berry Wyatt were under Col. McClure. Col. McCullough was on the battle-field of Stillman’s defeat, and there supplied himself with a gun which a hostile Indian was wont to use against the whites. McClure’s command did not reach the scene of action in time ” to save the day ” nor participate in the flight. We are thus saved the pain of chronicling any disaster to these men on that occasion. But they were in the field, ready to go at their Captain’s command, and the simple fact that they had no opportunity of dealing the enemy a heavy blow, should not detract from them any honors. They went at the call of an emergency and left their friends and relatives, not knowing whether the Indians would visit their home while they were gone, or whether their own scalps would be trophies strung to some chieftain’s neck. In the war with Mexico, Dry Grove claims honors, too. Among those who went to Southern battle-grounds, we learned the names of Benjamin Wyatt, A. J. Mason. John Cranmer, Allin Palmer, J. S. W. Johnson and Thomas Johnson. These all went, and...

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History of Churches in Dry Grove, Illinois

The Christian Church is the strongest at Dry Grove. It was organized by James Robinson and Amos Watkins. They held their first meetings at the residence of Samuel Barker. The house was a cabin, just across the road from where Mr. Snodgrass now lives, in the eastern side of Dry Grove. These pioneer preachers lived oil Panther Creek, in Woodford County, and came down to this grove to preach, and start a church, if possible. They were successful. This was in 1842. Belonging to the first list of membership, we find the names of John Harbard, Abraham Staggers. William Beeler, Samuel Harley, Stephen Webb, Francis Johnson, James Ward, George M. Hinshaw and others. After the first organization, the church experienced a season of inactivity. For some time, the cause was at a low ebb. But they revived again, and built their first church in 1850 and 1851. It stood on the site of the present. church, and cost about $600. It was 30 by 40 feet. With the progress of the society, this house became too small, and was replaced by another of more spacious dimensions, in 1864. This building stands on Section a3, near the southwest corner. It is jut in the south edge of the timber. There is a neatly-cared-for and elegantly-ornamented cemetery in connection. Here rest many of the earlier settlers. This is a frame house,...

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History of Schools in Dry Grove, Illinois

The citizens of Twin Grove and Dry Grove suffered all the inconveniences usually experienced by the original inhabitants of any country. The few who dwelt within convenient distances of one another were not, at first, sufficiently numerous to support a school. So far as can now be ascertained, the first school taught in the township was held in a log cabin on the farm that Jacob Hinshaw bought of Abraham Carlock, when Hinshaw first carne to the settlement. The teacher was Daniel Crooks. His was, as all others at that time, a subscription school. The number of pupils or the amount of money the worthy teacher received for his services, we know not; but it would not be in accordance with the spirit of the times to suppose that he more than earned a sufficiency for family necessities. It is probable that the first schoolhouse in the township was at Twin Grove. The exact date of its erection we were unable to learn, but it was quite early in the history of the settlement. The first teacher here was James Garten. About the time of the building of the schoolhouse in Twin Grove, the progressive spirit manifested itself at Dry Grove. The pioneers concluded that the private residence on Mr. Hinshaw’s place was no longer sufficiently ample, commodious or dignified to serve as the educational edifice of the community....

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Early Settlers of Dry Grove, Illinois

The two groves on the south side of the township offered as many points for settlement to the pioneer. It is no wonder that these hardy, hunting men should select the places that they did for their early efforts at civilization. These woodlands are still attractive. They are in the upland. There are no marshes nor swamps in them. The ground is rolling and soon dry after the rains. In early spring, the grass is seen peeping out from under the leaves, clothing the woodland with a carpet of green before the somber prairies put on their summer’s garb. The first to enliven the township with a white man’s home, was Peter McCullough. He came from Flemingsburg. Ky., and settled in the grove in 1826. Peter McCulluugh was a noted character in early times. He was a man of remarkable shrewdness and decisiveness. His son William McCullough is well known in the general history of the county, both as an honored and respected citizen, and as a brave and efficient soldier and officer. There are several of the descendants of Peter McCullough still living in the county. He kept a kind of inn for some time, and many anecdotes might be told in regard to the primitive modes of entertainment. The next man in the township was Stephen Webb. Mr. Webb came originally from North Carolina, but moved early...

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History of Dry Grove, Illinois

Dry Grove Township was so named from a grove in the southwestern part. This grove was long known as Dry Grove. Who first gave it the name, we do not know. All the groves in the county were named early. The reason for calling this Dry Grove may probably be found in the fact that it is on high ground, without. any stream of water running through it. The township bears the same name that was given it at the first organization in 1857. It lies in the northwestern part of the county, and includes one Congressional town. It is bounded on the north by White Oak, on the east by Normal, on the south by Dale, and on the west by Danvers Township. It is known as Town 24 north, Range 1 east of the Third Principal Meridian. As will be seen by this the Third Principal Meridian forms its western boundary, separating it from Danvers Township. Besides the grove mentioned above, there is another in the southeastern part of the township, called Twin Grove. These skirt the southern border, forming almost an unbroken line of timber nearly across the southern side. On the north there is no native forest; but the many clusters of forest-trees planted by the industrious farmer, together with the orchards, give the country the appearance of a woodland. This is upland prairie. It...

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