A Trip to Lisbon in 1867
Published in the Kendall County Record, July 18, 1867
Edited and compiled by Elmer Dickson
On Tuesday morning by invitation of our School Superintendent, Mr. W. S. Coy, we took a ride to Lisbon, via Litsey's. Passing through the beautiful grove and fields, looking joyous in their green attire, we arrived at Squire John's (John Litsey) where our companion had some school business. While there we took a look at some of Mr. Litsey's horses. He has a large drove of fine brood mares and colts, and two splendid stallions. One is a Sampson horse, and the other a "John Bull." They are both three-year-olds, and "I tell you they were stunners!" Squire John says he raises no wheat, but sticks to timothy seed, corn and horses. Two years ago he sold $1,400 worth of timothy seed.
Stopping a few moments at a neighboring schoolhouse we engaged in conversation with a small boy who was very communicative. Evidently he was proud of his lineage. "Do you know who I be" he asked. Being desirous of all the items we could gather we said "no," and expressed a desire to learn his name. "I am Ernest Lloyd" he said, "my father lives over there." We can assure our readers that Ernest is a very bright boy.
Friend Coy is busy getting up a picnic, and must visit the school directors, so we drive off to find Messrs. Rockliffe and Reed. They are working their corn, which necessitates his taking a trip across the fields to see them. We remained in the buggy and wrote up our notes and look upon God's country. Surely the people of Kendall County have reason to thank the great one for this beautiful land. Such fields of waving grain. Such groves and farmhouses dotting the broad prairie, is nowhere else to be seen. Everything is lovely, and one cannot help feeling elated in breathing the pure, fresh air of heaven, laden with the fragrance of the fields, the flowers, and the new cut hay.
We feel like writing an essay on country life, its beauty, its purity, and its healthfulness. What editor has a more delightful "Sanctum" than the one where we are now writing, under the shade of handsome locusts, fanned by the breeze, made happy by the warbling of birds, and the whirl of the mower making sweet music. Coy is coming, he is here, and again we are off. At Mr. G. T. Norton's we were hospitably entertained to dinner, and we fear the lady of the house formed an opinion that editors were of a veracious genus. Mr. Norton has live in the county since 1838, and is certainly entitled to the appellation of an "old settler." His place is surrounded by groves that make you lose sight of the fact of being on an immense prairie.
Then to Lisbon by a road lined with shade trees and bordered with handsome residences. We visited the school here. Miss Rickie teaches the higher department. Miss Gaylord teaches the primary department. Both are efficient teachers. Here we learned that Mr. Coy was well posed in Bible history but the children evidently thought that the Moses that crossed the Red Sea was our modern lawgiver, Andrew Johnson. Miss Rickie shows much patience as a teacher, and is a great favorite with her scholars.
Thence to "Bushnell's District" passing on our way the residence of S. P. Bushnell, Esq., who has one of the finest locations in the county, and certainly the handsomest surroundings we have seen. Fine large larches, pines, and maples, well disposed in the yard. A barn that cannot help but attract the attention of those passing. Miss Barstow teaches the school in this district. She is a pleasant looking little lady, who has an orderly school, and teaches in a manner simple and practical. This was the only school yard we saw that had shade trees set out but there are not enough. The school house and surrounding yard seems in general to be neglected regarding improvements and neatness.
Back to Lisbon, we took tea with Dr. Pierce, who has a beautiful place of residence. We also called at the post office, and found a well-appointed grocery store kept by Messrs. Gaylord and Gifford, who are doing a good business.
We have exhausted enough space, though not the subject, and will close. The crops in this vicinity look well, small grain and grass being splendid. Corn is somewhat backward, and does not look as well as that in Little Rock and Bristol Townships. This is due to the fact that much of the land is low and the water did not dry off quickly enough. Should an early frost visit us, the corn here will not mature. The only hope is that we may have a long season of warm weather.