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
O'Brien Adam abt 1801 New York aft 1850 [Tazewell Co., IL 1850] BR 1840 HI
O'Brien Diantha (Adams)(Mrs. Charles M.) Sep ng 1838 Kendall Co., IL aft 1880 [Mission Twp, IL 1880] KE 1833 HI
O'Brien Sarah Elenor (Oatman)(Mrs. Edward) Jun 26 1834 Kendall Twp, IL aft 1880 [Ganges, MI 1880] KE 1834 HI
Oatman John M. (s. Simeon & Margaret (Matlock)) Jun 14 1830 Hendricks Co., TN Jan 30 1853 Kendall Twp, IL KE 1834 HI
Oatman Margaret (Matlock)(Mrs. Simeon) Mar 2 1808 Roane Co., TN abt 1846 Kendall Twp, IL KE 1834 HI
Oatman Minerva A. (d. Simeon & Margaret (Matlock)) Mar 27 1832 Kendall Twp, IL aft 1880 [Guelph, KS 1880] KE 1834 HI
Oatman Sarah Elenor (d. Simeon & Margaret Matlock)) Jun 26 1834 Kendall Twp, IL aft 1880 [Ganges, MI 1880] KE 1834 HI
Oatman Simeon (John Matlock's bro-in-law) Apr 27 1809 New Albany, IN Dec 13 1837 Kendall Twp, IL KE 1834 HI
Oleson/Olson Christian "Chris" abt 1806 Norway, Europe May 7 1895 Millbrook, IL BG 1836
Olmstead Marietta "Martha" (Heath)(Mrs. J. (or I.) Lewis) abt 1819 Ohio nds [De Kalb Co., IL 1863] LR 1834 HI
Olson Bertha Ann (d. Ole & Sarah)(mar. William Shaver) Jul 29 1830 Niagara Falls, NY May 24 1898 Red Wing, MN FO 1837
Olson Elizabeth (Mrs. Brown)(2nd Mrs. Ole) abt 1800 Kentucky aft 1860 [Big Grove Twp, IL 1860] BG 1839
Olson James "Webster" (2nd) (s. Ole & Sarah (Chamberlain)) Aug 18 1839 Big Grove Twp, IL Nov 13 1912 Santa Rosa, CA FO 1839
Olson James Webster (1st) (s. Ole & Sarah (Chamberlain)) May 29 1837 Big Grove Twp, IL Aug 28 1838 Big Grove Twp, IL FO 1837
Olson Ole [Hetletvedt] (lived on Millington-Newark Road) Aug 5 1797 Sjernero Parish, Nor. Jan 27 1853 Newark, Il FO 1837
Olson Porter Chamberlain (s. Ole & Sarah) Apr 11 1832 Niagara Falls, NY Nov 30 1864 Franklin, TN FO 1837
Olson Sarah (Chamberlain)(1st Mrs. Ole)(d. James & Joanna Stevens) Mar 18 1805 Westford, MA Mar ng 1841 Newark, IL FO 1837
Olson Soren Luther (s. Ole & Sarah (Chamberlain) Mar 23 1834 Niagara Falls, NY Dec 31 1862 Stone River, TN FO 1837
Ormsby Cynthia (d. Rufus B. & Elizabeth (Haymond)) Apr ng 1832 nds BG 1834
Ormsby Elijah J. (s. Rufus B. & Elizabeth (Haymond)) Apr ng 1839 Newark, IL nds BG 1839
Ormsby Elizabeth (Haymond)(Mrs. Rufus B.) Mar 20 1808 nds BG 1834
Ormsby Roanna (d. Rufus B. & Elizabeth (Haymond)) Sep ng 1829 Indiana aft 1900 [Chicago, IL 1900] BG 1834
Ormsby Rufus B. abt 1806 Monongalia Co., VA nds BG 1834
Ormsby Sarah Jane (d. Rufus B. & Elizabeth (Haymond)) Aug ng 1836 Newark, IL aft 1880 [Arcola, IL 1880] BG 1836
Ormsby William W. (s. Rufus B. & Elizabeth (Haymond)) Oct ng 1834 Newark, IL nds BG 1834
Osborne Frances Eleanor (Haymond)(Mrs. Jonathan J.) Jan 1 1835 Shelby, IN Dec 5 1898 Crescent City, IL FO 1837 HI
Ovitt Emily Celestia (Durrell)(Mrs. Squires "Addison") Aug 26 1821 New York Sep 27 1896 Plano, IL LR 1838 HI
Ovitt Squires "Addison" (first frame house in NA) Oct 2 1813 Fairfield, VT Nov 16 1900 Little Rock Twp, IL LR 1838 HI
Owen Archabee (bought William Roger's claim) abt 1785 North Carolina Nov 1 1869 Plano, IL LR 1836 HI
Owen Lucinda (Ryon)(Mrs. Reuben) Mar 29 1823 Tioga Co., PA Oct 15 1898 Little Rock Twp, IL LR 1836 HI
Owen Nancy (Judd)(Mrs. Archabee) abt 1784 North Carolina May 11 1870 Little Rock Twp, IL LR 1836 HI
Owen Reuben (s. Archabee & Nancy (Judd)) Apr 27 1820 Wilkes Co., NC Sep 9 1899 Streator, IL LR 1836 HI
Owens David (s. Richard B. & ?) Aug 23 1825 New York Nov 4 1892 Minooka, IL SE 1836
Owens Griffith (s. Richard B. & ?) abt 1805 nds SE 1836
Owens Jane C. (House)(Mrs. David) abt 1813 Oneida Co., NY abt 1895 Joliet, IL SE 1833 HI
Owens Richard B. (b. 1780-1790) abt 1785 nds SE 1836 WD
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Data last uploaded on 2013-06-22 18:28:37-0500 CDT by Elmer Dickson