Lyman S. Knox, Bristol Township Pioneer
Published in the Kendall County Record, October 13, 1881
Edited and compiled by Elmer Dickson
When thinking over the reminiscences of the past long ago, I deem it of interest to relate the following from Lyman S. Knox, which was told in the presence of myself, County Surveyor Phillips and George W. Ferriss, a few days ago. He said: When I took the idea into my head, when only 19 years of age, to come west, I received from my Uncle, with whom I was then living in Monroe County, New York, a handful of apple seeds. I carried them in my vest pocket when I traveled toward the then wild and uninhabited western prairies of Illinois. When I arrived I stayed over night with David Johnson, in a log hut where the Boyds now live. In the morning I took an Indian trail up Fox River traveling as far as opposite George W. Ferriss' farm. At that point I turned my course north on a beeline for Blackberry Creek, and traveled on till I arrived on the elevation where the residence of Mr. Ferris is now situated, where stood a few lone oaks. There I halted for the first time in my walk to look back, casting my eyes about me to the south, the east, west and north. I exclaimed to myself, this is the prettiest site I have ever beheld in my life. Here I will establish my claim. Here I will make my home, and he did. How faithfully and well he did it all along the long stretch of time from 1825 to 1881. His neighbors, Lyman Lane, David P. Gillam and Deacon Lathrop can attest to his success. The old man said, now pointing to the large orchard of Mr. Ferriss, those are the trees that sprung from the apple seeds I carried from Monroe County, New York, in my vest pocket. Those are plum trees, pointing to the southwest corner of the farm; I dug into the wild prairie sod with my pocket knife in 1835, soon after setting my foot on Illinois sod. Having determined to make his home, he broke 40 acres. During the winter of 1836 he split rails from the then unclaimed timber lands along Fox River and farther out west where the Palmer boys now live. He fenced his 40 acres to keep the herds of Indian ponies from destroying the crops.
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