Death of Mrs. Duryea's Daughter
Death of Mrs. Duryea's Daughter
Was one of the first residents of Yorkville where the courthouse now stands.
Published in the Kendall County Record, July 30, 1913
Edited and compiled by Elmer Dickson
Mrs. Anna Maria Duryea Jones has been getting the Record at Jersey City, New Jersey. Monday a card came from the postmaster of that city notifying us to stop sending the paper to her. Reason, "Deceased."
And so passes away another who began life in the Fox River valley in the earlier days. Deceased was a daughter of the late Rulief and Susan Duryea, who were about the first settlers in Yorkville. They came here in 1834 and made a home on the hill where the Kendall County courthouse now stands. At first their home was a log cabin. Later their home was a more pretentious frame house in which the writer was a visitor about 1850. He well remembers the premises. Deceased was probably born there, as she must have been about 76 years old. She spent some of her time in Chicago with her mother's sister, Mrs. Covell. Later she married and went to New York, living some years at Ossining, then known as Sing-Sing. Later she moved to Jersey City, where she died a widow. We have no particulars of her death. Her sister was the wife of Mr. Ed. L. Hathaway. From Hicks's history of Kendall County we take the following extract as bearing on the matter.
Rulief Duryea and James S. Cornell had been in business together in New York, and came to Yorkville as a firm. Mr. Cornell came by water with a stock of dry goods. Mr. Duryea and family came overland. On his journey he bought a span of black horses, "John and Charley." They were true and gentle, and would follow wherever there was a track. He crossed Fox River at the Galena Ford near Montgomery. Arriving at their chosen location they purchased of Mr. Bristol the claim on which Yorkville now stands. They then adopted the famous cabin on the courthouse hill as their future residence. (The cabin built by Earl Adams in the spring of 1833. Adams sold his claim to Lyman Bristol in the spring of 1834 when he resettled at Specie Grove.) The cabin was twelve by fourteen feet, one story high with a slab floor, puncheon door on wooden hinges, rived shingles "staked and ridered" on logs notched together. There was not a nail in the building. There was only one window, consisting of four, seven by nine inch lights, by the door. The room was so dark that when pegs were put in the upper log to hang articles on, the occupants would often strike their heads against them. Those wooden pegs were Mrs. Duryea's improvement. Mr. Bristol had got along without them, but she mentally resolved that she would not live in a house with no "place to put things." She soon succeeded in having the matter fixed to her liking. A new frame building was put up for a store and the business of Yorkville commenced. The partnership continued until 1838, after which Mr. Duryea continued it alone until his death in 1846. He was a generous, kind hearted man, and still remembered with gratitude by many that he befriended in their need. Mr. Cornell married Marion, a daughter of Titus Howe and made the first farm on the Rob Roy prairie in Bristol Township. The frame then erected still forms part of his residence.