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
Yeigh John A. (s. Adam & Molly (Graham?)) abt 1818 Burford, Canada Apr 9 1887 Oswego, IL OS 1838 OS
Yoss John "Frederick" Feb 21 1825 Canton Berne, Swit. Dec 20 1915 Scranton, Greene Co., IA LR 1835
Yoss Mary "Elizabeth" (Wheeler)(Mrs. J. Frederick) Apr 24 1829 Schoharie Co., NY Jun 18 1882 Little Rock Twp, IL LR 1835
Young Eliza (Evans)(Mrs. John H.) abt 1834 Ohio aft 1891 [Polk Co., MO 1891] FO 1834 HI
Young Ellen (d. William P. & Mary (Jarvis)) abt 1840 NaAuSay Twp, IL aft 1850 [NaAuSay Twp, IL 1850] NA 1840 HI
Young Emeline Amelia (Warner)(Mrs. H. W.) Dec 15 1821 Camillus, NY Nov 12 1874 Oswego, IL OS 1836
Young George H. (s. William P. & ?) abt 1817 England May 28 1875 Bristol Twp, IL NA 1836 HI
Young Lauretta (d. William P. & Mary (Jarvis)) Mar 4 1839 NaAuSay Twp, IL Nov 5 1906 NaAuSay Twp, IL NA 1839 HI
Young Mary (Jarvis)(2nd Mrs. William P.) Oct 1 1817 Mayfield, England Apr 22 1890 NaAuSay Twp, IL NA 1836 HI
Young Priscilla (Hawley)(Mrs. John) Nov 9 1831 Peoria, IL Jan 26 1927 Holden, MO BG 1826 HI
Young Rebecca (d. William P. & ?) abt 1833 England aft 1850 [NaAuSay Twp, IL 1850] NA 1836 HI
Young Richard (s. William P. & Mary (Jarvis)) Feb 20 1837 NaAuSay Twp, IL Oct 19 1900 Hurdland, MO NA 1837 HI
Young William P. abt 1792 England Oct ng 1849 Bidwell Bar, CA NA 1836 HI
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Data last uploaded on 2013-06-22 18:28:37-0500 CDT by Elmer Dickson