Samuel Sloane was born in Maryland, in 1787, and died in Fulton County,
Illinois, in 1859, at the age of seventy-two years. He came to Havana
in 1835, in the month of June, and lived in a cabin where the corner of
Orange and Main Street now is. His family was John M., Miss Deziah,
Miss Athliah, Hiram W., Samuel, Jr., Uriah B., Andrew J., Amberiah,
Daniel R., Miss Jane and Miss Charlotte, only four of whom now survive,
viz: Hiram W., Samuel, Uriah B. and Amberiah, all of whom reside in
Fulton County, except one, who is in Kansas; their ages range from forty
The settlers in Havana at that time were Krebaum, Ross, Timony,
Hilbert, Miller, Sloan, and north of Havana were Burnell and Barnes,
south, at Matanzas, was Shepherd, and at Moscow, a Mr. Herbert. Nine
miles east was Gibson Gerret, who, with those before named, were all the
inhabitants in the west side of the county.
The milling for the family was
taken to Mount's mill, and Hiram
informs us that he has ridden a horse, with three pecks of corn in a
sack, to mill, and waited twenty-four hours for it to be ground.
The supply of pork was obtained by hunting it in the woods where
Ross had numberless wild hogs, and gave new settlers one-fourth for
killing it and bringing in.
Hiram Sloane got a special contract, in which he got one-half of
all he killed, and Ross found one pound of powder and four pounds of
lead. Sloane well knew an important rendezvous of the hogs he did not
care to find under the old contract. With his brother Samuel, and
Frederick Krebaum, in half a day they killed fifteen hogs of heavy
weight that furnished supplies for a year and some for sale. He once
had a desperate hand to hand fight with a wild hog, where the M. E.
Church now stands, and finally dispatched him with his knife. His dog
died from wounds received in the encounter.
Hiram followed the river to some extent at an early day. In
1834 he arrived at the Havana levee in a little keel boat. A man named
Mallory kept a trading post here, and a lot of Indians came for whisky,
and were refused. They said they were friendly and peaceable, and
carried no knives. He gave them whisky, got serious trouble on his
hands, and sent to the boat for help.
About the time help came from the boat Mrs. Mallory blew the top
of an Indian's head off by the discharge of a musket, and the fight
became hot. One of the boat's crew, Ben Hokum, killed two, and another
man named Odd was also busy. A Mr. Terry was cut off from the party,
and ran north, pursued by an Indian, with a drawn tomahawk. Terry's
knee became dislocated and he fell, and as he was about to be
tomahawked, the Indian was struck on the back of the neck with a stick
and felled by the hand of Terry's friend, and Terry seized the tomahawk,
intended for his head, and buried it in that of the prostrate Indian.
While he was doing this the friend who saved him pulled his dislocated
knee into place, and Terry and his friend returned together. Mr. Sloane
did not inform us who this friend was, but we infer from what we know of
him that he was not an idle spectator of the scene.
On their return they saw three Indians crossing the river in a
canoe. Hokum shot two of them with a steady hand and unerring aim, and
the third sank before he reached the east bank of the river. Sloan and
his party proceeded to Fort Clarke, now Peoria, where they arrived on
the third day, and discharged their cargo; were visited by Indians who
enquired if that boat came from Havana. They replied, no. The Indians
were not satisfied, and our party must either seek safety by flight or
in the fort. They chose the former, and at nightfall left with muffled
oars in a light skiff, for the south, and rowed to Beardstown by sunrise
the next morning. Here again the Indians were on the alert and
suspicious, ad our party concluded they had pressing business at St.
Louis, and left for that destination on the first steamer.
In after years Hiram boated on the river steamers and traded
along the Illinois, and to his energies were the family indebted for
much of their early supplies, as were also many of the other settlers.
Much might be said in this connection of the kindness of early pioneers
to each other. Many were the sacks of apples and potatoes brought over
by Mr. Gardiner, the grandfather of the present proprietor of the
Gardiner estate across the river, and distributed to the early settlers
here without money or price, and to those he had never seen before as
freely as to those he knew.
In closing this department of the work we regret that there are
a number of interesting biographies we have been unable to obtain.
Among those are the Hortsman family, henry Sears, Solomon Bayles, the
Scott family, the Blakely family, Wm. Atwater, Peter Ringhouse, Peter
and Adam Himmel, Mr. Fisk, Henry Buck, and others, that would have been
added to the interest of this work. Some it has been impossible to
obtain data from; to others we have applied and received no response.
We cannot use matter unobtainable.
Contributed by: Mandy Reiley