Kendall County Pioneers 1828-1840

Preface [Select to Show/Hide]

It is now approximately 175 years since the first people moved into what became Kendall County. The first pioneers settled near the timber. They believed the trees would help protect them from the fierce winds that blew across the prairie. They also needed to be near a source of building material, and fuel for cooking and heating their homes.

The pioneer's best source of water was a good spring. Initially springs were plentiful and the settlers clustered around them. After the most desirable land was taken, pioneers began to drain the sloughs. When the sloughs were drained, the springs dried up and the pioneers were forced to seek other sources of drinking water. Initially wells were dug by hand, but the depth a well could be dug was limited. It was not until the late eighteen seventies or early eighteen eighties, that well drilling technology advanced to the point that deeper wells could be drilled. The ability to drill a well, even through solid rock, was a major factor in the development of the area away from the timber and streams that flowed through the groves.

When the first settlers arrived, the closest mill was near Peoria. Under normal circumstances, taking wheat or corn to the mill required several days. When weather was bad, a round trip to the mill could take two or three weeks.

Initially wheat was the only marketable commodity. Chicago was the nearest market but there were no roads between Kendall County and Chicago. The grain had to be hauled there by wagon, sloughs were numerous and difficult to pass through, and rivers and creeks had to be crossed without the benefit of bridges. A round trip to Chicago often required several days.

During the initial settlement period there was virtually no money in circulation, requiring the pioneers to trade one commodity or skill for another. If they became ill or were injured, they had to rely on their own medical skill to survive.

Those who led the way had to survive droughts, prairie fires, storms, harsh economic times, and much other depravation.

To the extent possible, the following represents a list of the names, and the genealogy of the pioneers and settlers who came to Kendall County before January 1, 1841. In some cases it was not possible to determine the pioneer's date and place of death. In other cases pioneers were tracked for a while and then lost. Information in brackets [ ] within the second "Place" column indicates the last place and time the compiler was able to find that person. For example, [Burlington, IA 1910] means the last genealogical sighting of the person referred to was Burlington, Iowa in 1910.

Some of the entries are incomplete. Addition information or corrections will be gratefully accepted.

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    Bir      Dea        Arrival  
SurnameGiven NameMoDyYrPlace of BirthMoDyYrPlace of DeathTwpYearCode
    Bir      Dea        Arrival  
SurnameGiven NameMoDyYrPlace of BirthMoDyYrPlace of DeathTwpYearCode
Naden Martha Maria (Barker)(Mrs. Henry)(1st mar.) May ng 1830 Oneida Co., NY Sep 28 1901 Aurora, IL BG 1838
Needham Helen (Mason)(Mrs. Albert) Jun 3 1840 Big Grove Twp, IL Dec ng 1908 Mitchell, SD BG 1840 HI
Needham Mary P. (Lewis)(Mrs. S. Newell) Sep 8 1829 New York Oct 20 1919 Aurora, IL KE 1838
Neff Daniel B. (s. Ebenezer R. & Susannah) May 27 1811 New York Jan 26 1865 Big Grove Twp, IL BG 1835 OS
Neff Ebenezer (s. Daniel B. & Maria (Thomas)) Mar 7 1835 Indiana Jan 14 1896 Oregon, IL BG 1835
Neff Jane Ann (d. Daniel B. & Maria (Thomas)) Jun 22 1837 Big Grove Twp, IL Apr 7 1899 Beaver, PA BG 1837
Neff John (s. Daniel B. & Maria (Thomas)) abt 1839 Big Grove Twp, IL aft 1880 [La Salle Co., IL 1880] BG 1839
Neff Maria (Thomas)(Mrs. Daniel B.) Nov 22 1814 Kentucky Jul 21 1880 Newark, IL BG 1835
Newell John A. (came with Robert W. Carnes & J. S. Murray) Nov 1 1818 South Carolina Feb 1 1894 Kendall Twp, IL KE 1834
Newell Louisa (Wing)(Mrs. John A.) Sep 28 1821 New York May 5 1907 Aurora, IL KE 1835 OS
Newell Rebecca S. (Gale)(Mrs. Orlando W.) Jun ng 1837 New York Oct 8 1914 Chicago, IL LR 1840
Newton Ami D. (s. Peter & Chloe) Nov 17 1824 Conklin, NY Apr 24 1898 Yorkville, IL BG 1836
Newton Asahel G. (s. Peter & Chloe) abt 1816 Broome Co., NY Jun 6 1888 Aurora, IL BG 1836
Newton Elsa "Almira" (d. Peter & Chloe) Mar 23 1831 Conklin, NY Nov 30 1895 Sandwich, IL BG 1836
Newton Henry G. (s. Peter & Chloe) Aug 11 1814 Chenango Co., NY Jan 28 1888 Newark, IL BG 1836
Newton Mary Ann (Reynolds)(Mrs. Ami D.) Oct 14 1830 Sweetwater Val., TN Nov 2 1901 Yorkville, IL BG 1836 OS
Newton Susannah (d. Peter & Chloe) May 12 1824 Pennsylvania May 25 1903 Newark, IL BG 1839 HI
Newton William F. (s. Peter & Chloe) abt 1825 New York? Apr 23 1848 Big Grove Twp, IL BG 1836
Niblo Alexander R., Sr. Dec 14 1808 Pennsylvania Jun 2 1858 Big Grove Twp, IL BG 1839 HI
Niblo Eliza Ann (d. Alexander R., Sr. & Rebecca) Jan 8 1837 Pennsylvania aft 1850 [Big Grove Twp, IL 1850] BG 1839 HI
Niblo Rebecca D. (Haymond)(Mrs. Alexander R., Sr.) Apr 10 1813 Monongalia Co., VA Nov 28 1893 Lincoln?, KS KE 1834 HI
Niblo Sarah Jane (d. Alexander R., Sr. & Rebecca D. (Haymond)) Feb 8 1835 Pennsylvania aft 1850 [Big Grove Twp, IL 1850] BG 1839 HI
Nixon Cordelia (Humiston)(Mrs. David) Apr ng 1837 New York aft 1900 [Nevada, MO 1900] BG 1838 HI
Noble Polly Oatman (Thurber)(Mrs. James) Oct 26 1801 Rensselaer Co., NY Dec 27 1886 Plano, IL KE 1837 HI
Noble William (came from Ohio with William Hiddleson) nds nds LR 1836 HI
Norton George T. (2nd teacher, school in center of Big Grove Twp.) abt 1813 Massachusetts Jan 15 1889 McPherson Co., SD LI 1838 HI
Norton Laura (Green)(Mrs. George T.) abt 1814 New York aft 1894 [Marshall Town, IA 1894] LI 1838 HI
Nugent Harriet H. (Shadley)(Mrs. Patrick J.) Aug 10 1821 Monongalia Co., VA Mar 16 1910 BG 1837 HI
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Data last uploaded on 2013-06-22 18:28:37-0500 CDT by Elmer Dickson