1879 History of Menard & Mason Counties
Published by: O.L. Baskin & Co., Historical Publishers
186 Dearborn Street

Mason County

Early Settlements
Page 408

The lands within the present county of Mason were first surveyed and opened for settlement in the years 1821-22-23-24, by William L. May and others. For many years, the region of country within the forks of the Illinois and Sangamon Rivers was looked upon by the surrounding inhabitants in other counties as a sandy, barren waste, fit only for the abode of hunters, fishermen and such people as cared not for mosquitoes, fleas and other "varmints," and who were not afraid of the ague and other malarial diseases that then prevailed most plenteously, and so the country was avoided by what was considered the better class of people. These prejudices kept back the settlement of the country until the year 1827.

On the 17th of October, 1827, Ossian M. Ross, then living in the neighboring town of Lewistown, entered the first land in the county, where the city of Havana now stands, and on the 12th of November, 1827, the town was laid out by Stephen Dewey for Mr. Ross, the proprietor. The plat was not put on record until June 2, 1835, at Pekin.

The first settler in Havana, and in the county is believed to have been James Hoakum, who kept the ferry for Mr. Ross. Henry Sears says that he was at his house in 1827, he thinks, and certainly not more than a year later. He had a child born in his house about that time-the first white birth in the county.

In 1828, John Stuart settled on the head of Snicarte Island, now in Bath Township, and afterward sold out to Amos Richardson, who afterward sold out to John Knight. Some of the Stuart family are still living in the same neighborhood, and one of them is now languishing in the county jail under a charge of murder! John Gillespie settled the same year on the place where the town of Moscow once stood, and soon left it, to be afterward entered by O. M. Ross.

In 1829, O. M. Ross built the Ross Hotel, which stood on the bluff, south side of Market street. Moses Freeman & Bros. were the architects and builders, and, when completed, Mr. Ross moved into it with his family and there remained to the time of his death-January 20, 1837. It is safe to say that Mr. Ross was the first permanent settler. In the fall of that year (1829), the Havana Post Office was established, and O. M. Ross appointed Postmaster, making the Havana office two years older than the Chicago Post Office. The ferry had been established some time before, and for a long time the place was best known as "Ross Ferry." Asa Langford, the father of our George, was interested in the ferry at a later time, and finally settled in Havana-a jolly old fellow.

George Gorman and brother were the first settlers in Walker's Grove, Crane Creek, in 1829. They sold out to Solomon Norris. On the 12th of August, 1829, Leonard Alkire made the first entry of land on Salt Creek, in Section 34, Town 20, Range 6, where the Virgins afterward lived.

In 1830 William Hagan settled on what is known as the Montgomery place, near the old Salt Creek bridge, where he continued to reside until 1847, when he sold out and went to Missouri.

Mr. Allen, for whom Allen's Grove was named, lived in Allen's Grove as early as 1830, and that year he had a crop of wheat in the ground during the winter of the "deep snow" in 1830-31. He was a squatter, and soon left for other parts. James Price, who had an Indian wife, lived in Walker's Grove in 1830, and sold out and went to Lease's Grove in 1833, and afterward sold out to William Lease and went West to live with the red men and his red woman. We do not know which of these three were first on the ground, but Hagan stayed the longest.

In the year 1831 (possible a year later), Absalom Mounts settled on Crane Creek and built a mill on the land now owned by William Webb. The mill was built to run by water conveyed over the dam through a hollow sycamore log on to a flutter-wheel; but, on account of a scarcity of water, it was afterward reconstructed so as to run a part of the time by horse or ox power. It was a rude affair, with a pair of 10 or 12-inch stones, grinding a bushel and a half of corn per hour when doing its best. Being the first and only mill in the county, it was considered a big institution in those days, and was patronized by the pioneer people from all quarters. John Sidwell bought out Mounts in 1837, and, among other valuable improvements, he attached a pocket distillery, where the waiting and weary customer at the mill could brace up the inner man whilst waiting for his grist. This was the first mill and first distillery in Mason County. Dock Field says that Sidwell used to take the stones out and carry one under his arm to dinner, and, to save time, dressed it as he went.

In 1832, Austin P. and Robert Melton located at Big Grove, and afterward sold out to George Virgin.

In the year 1832, Benjamin Kellogg made the first entry of land in Allen's Grove.

On the 14th of June, 1832, Henry Shepherd entered the southeast quarter of the southeast quarter of Section 28, Town 21, Range 9, and became one among the first land owners and settlers in the county. He afterward made additional entries of adjoining land, and sold a portion of it to V. B. Holmes and Watkin Powell, who, on the 10th of April, 1839, had the town of Matanzas laid out by Thomas C. Wilson, County Surveyor of Tazewell County. Mr. Westervelt located as a neighbor to Mr. Shepherd about the same time, and Mr. Barnes at the mounds, north of Havana. Mr. Shepherd continued on his little farm to the time of his death, some thirty years ago. His land, which was a high, sandy place, is now cultivated by William Riggins, and, although it has been in cultivation over fifty years, there is no sign of its giving out. It has produced good crops of corn and wheat for all these fifty years without fertilizers and without rest. The town of Matanzas, like unto the city of Moscow, is now among the defunct towns of Mason County.

In the year 1836, Jesse Baker settled on Crane Creek, where he still resides in a very feeble condition. He was one of the stalwart pioneers, born in Tennessee in 1798; came to Illinois in 1816 and settled in Morgan County.

In the same year, J. M. Estep, born in St. Clair County, Ill., December 14, 1819, settled on Crane Creek, in Mason County, where his sons still live, highly respected. He and Jesse Baker are pioneers in the Crane Creek settlement.

In the year 1833, William Lease bought out a man of the name of James Price, who was the first settler at what was called Lease's Grove.

Solomon Norris was living on Salt Creek in 1833, and must have come a year or two before.

Lewis Clarkson was the first settler of Field's Prairie, and came there in the spring of 1833 and located on what is now the Upp place.

Levi Blunt, with his family of boys, Thomas F., Samuel (now in Kilbourne), Laben and Richard, all came in the spring of 1834 and settled on the west side of the prairie, where some of the family still live.

Henry Sears settled in the county in 1834, locating first in Walker's Grove, buying land of Estep and selling out to James Walker in 1836. He was one of the solid men in those days, remarkable for integrity and eccentricity, and is still living on the old homestead on Crane Creek, as bright and queer as ever.

In the year 1834, July 3, Bernard Krebaum, a native of Hesse-Cassel, Germany, landed in Havana via New Orleans. His was the third family in town-Messrs. Ross and Myers being then here-and here he remained until his death in 1853. His family consisted of Frederick, Adolph, William, Edward and Charles G.-the latter born in Havana, and the oldest native-born white person now living in the county. Adolph, William and C. G. are the surviving ones of the family, and all live in the city of Havana, highly respected and well conditioned.

Stephen Hilbert, Mr. Myers and Mr. Blair also came and settled here that year.

In the year 1835, the population of Havana was re-enforced by a little colony of live, active men, consisting of N. J. Rockwell, A. W. Kemp, Daniel Adams and O. E. Foster, who came from Demorestville. Upper Canada. Mr. Foster kept hotel in Havana until his death, in 1843. Mr. Adams met a violent death on the Ohio River, near Louisville, on a trip East. Judge Rockwell, after filling a prominent position among enterprising public men in Mason County for many years, went into business in Troy, N. Y., where he died in 1878, and where his wife died the present year. Mr. Kemp is the only survivor of this colony, and is now, at a ripe old age, living in the city of Sparta, Wis.

John H. Neteler, a native of Hanover, Germany, settled below Havana that year. He was an educated, upright man, and assisted Mr. Lincoln in his early surveys in Mason County, where he resided to the time of his death, December 4, 1863. He left a good estate to his children.

Daniel Clark came from Ohio and settled near Mr. Hagan, on Salt Creek, in this year, and remained until his death, in 1854.

George Close, John Close, Jr., and Josiah Dobson, each bought tracts of land in Crane Creek in 1835, and became a part of the pioneer population of the county.

During this year, John Grigg, of Philadelphia, made large entries of land on Field's Prairie, which he sold out in about ten years to settlers at $3 per acre.

The year 1836 brought a still larger number of pioneer settlers into the county. On the 16th of March, 1836, Abraham Lincoln entered the north half of the northwest quarter of Section 3, Town 19, Range 7, containing forty seven acres, and in 1837 sold an undivided half of the same for $30-not a very great speculation for those times. This land lies about a mile above Miller's Ferry, on the Sangamon, near where the famous town of Huron was laid out soon after, and the location of which is not marked by a single house or habitation at this date.

On the 1st day of November, 1836, the original plat of the town of Bath was laid out by Abraham Lincoln, Deputy Surveyor of Sangamon County, for John Kerton, proprietor, and, on the 30th of November, the plat was recorded in Springfield, the county seat of the county, in which the town was then situated. The original lat made by Mr. Lincoln is still extant, in the hands of Maj. Gatton, of Bath.

Pulaski Scoville removed from Cincinnati to Warren County, Ill., in 1834, and into Havana in 1836. He was an active, go-ahead man, and the same year of his coming to Havana, he, in company with the three Low brothers, commenced the erection of a steam saw-mill, in which lumber was manufactured for the first railroad built in the Mississippi Valley, from Springfield to Meredosia, and also timbers for buildings in Alton and St. Louis. He was also an extensive operator in real estate and other business enterprises, and now lives with his fifth wife on his beautiful farm, not far from Teheran.

In the spring of 1836, Thomas and Eliphaz Low came also from Cincinnati to Havana, and afterward bought lands near the Quiver and settled on them; and they also operated, to some extent, in real estate. Thomas Low died about 1846, and Eliphaz died in Havana in the year 1864. They were natives of Massachusetts.

In the fall of the same year, their brother, Francis Low, came to Havana and entered into active business, dabbling in real estate, buying and selling lands, opening and improving farms, etc. In 1838, he was appointed Deputy Sheriff of Tazewell County, and, when Mason County was organized, in 1841, he was elected and served as first Sheriff of the county. He also assisted in the building of the Illinois River Railroad, the first built in the county. In the year 1875, he was active in the organization of the First National Bank of Havana, of which he still continues to be President. In farming and other pursuits he has been successful, as an ample fortune bears evidence.

In the year 1836, Charles P. Richardson became the first settler on Grand Island, opposite the town of Bath, and tradition says that he assisted Mr. Lincoln in laying out that town.

C. W. Andrus came from Watertown, N. Y., early in the year 1836, to Havana, where he has lived an honored life to the present time.

Loring Ames came also the same year and settled in Mason County. He was a native of Massachusetts, born in 1806. Came to St. Clair County in 1818; was in the Black Hawk war as a Lieutenant, and still lives on a farm near Topeka.

During the year, the Virgins came and settled on Salt Creek, where they remained on their farms until removed by death, which events occurred as follows: George (one of the first County Commissioners) died in 1855: Kinsie, in 1853: Regin, in 1872, and Abraham in 1873. George had a little store, and there was a blacksmith and shoe shop, constituting an embryo town, which was given the name of Hiawatha.

Ephraim Burnell settled near the Mounds, above Havana, this year. He afterward died on the way to California.

John Ritter, father of Col. Richard Ritter, settled in the same neighborhood, about the same time, and remained to the date of his death.

A. C. Gregory also settled, near the Mounds this year.

In the early spring of 1836, Vivian B. Holms, Albert J. Field and Benjamin F. Wigginton came from Tennessee to Mason County. Mr. Holmes came as the agent of Dr. Drury S. Field under a contract to purchase 10,000 acres of land. In the months of April and June, he entered over three thousand acres for Dr. Field, and some in the name of his brother on Field's Prairie. He also went into merchandising the same year in a part of Ross' Hotel, with Wigginton as clerk. Col. Holmes was an eccentric man of the old Virginia stamp: despised work as beneath the dignity of a gentleman, and could endure a vast amount of comfort, which he sought in riding his horse "Pomp" over the country, and stopping for indefinite periods wherever there was good fare and pleasant people to chat with. He was a great admirer of the other sex, and used to say, in a devout way, "When I cease to love the women, or to have the power of responding to woman's love, I hope my heavenly Father will take me home!" In his time, he was the husband of four wives, and he used to say, in an impressive way, "It has pleased God to give me three angels and but one devil!" and then he would groan, or moan, like a saint, and, in the next breath, per chance, swear like a trooper! He died some years ago, at Tremont, leaving a fifth wife.

In June, 1836, Dr. Drury S. Field came from Tennessee to Mason County and settled at what is called White Hall Point, on Field's Prairie. He had been an extensive slave owner and planter in the South, sold out a hundred or two negroes and came North, where he died in 1838, leaving a large family, all of whom are now dead, except two sons-A. J. and A. E. Field-and two daughters. At the time he settled in the county, and for years afterward, the county fairly swarmed with deer, wild turkeys, prairie chickens and wolves, and it was no uncommon occurrence to shoot a deer from the door of his house. As late as 1844, the writer saw on his land, out in the prairie, a herd of from fifty to sixty deer. The settlers, in those times, used to hunt wolves on horseback, run them until overtaken and then dispatch them with the stirrup of the saddle. Turkey were run down and captured on horseback, thus saving ammunition.

From the most reliable sources, we hear the Garret family came and settled in what is now Kilbourne Township in 1836, or, perhaps, two years before. Gibson Garret and Joshua Garret were of the old stock of pioneers-regular Nimrods and wolf-killers. Joel Garret, an offspring, died on the old hunting-grounds of his father two years ago.

James Blakely also settled in what is now Kilbourne Township in 1836, and, without moving, was an inhabitant of three counties-Sangamon, Menard and Mason. He died a few years ago, leaving A. S. Blakely and two other sons in the old neighborhood.

Aaron Scott also settled, the same year, in the neighborhood where his sons, Martin and Asher, now live.

N. R. Murdock also came from New Jersey and settled in the same neighborhood with the Scotts the same year. Three years later he returned to New Jersey; but the Western fever was in him and he had to come back again, and now lives, an honored resident, of Crane Creek.

On the 14th of July, 1837, T. M. Neal, Surveyor of Sangamon County, laid out for John Rea and William May, the town of Lynchburg on the southeast quarter of Section 22 and southwest quarter of Section 27, town 19, Range 9. The proprietors and Pleasant May, and probably others, had already settled in that neighborhood, but the date is unknown to us, and, therefore, not given.

In this year, Joseph Adkins bought lands and settled near where Sadora now is, which he had laid out some years ago. Mr. Adkins died within a year past and left a family of children to take his place.

Among the first settlers in Lynchburg was Nelson Abbey, in 1837. He settled near where Snicarte now is.

James Walker settled this year at Walker's Grove, coming from Indiana, and died a few years ago at a very old age. He had a family of five sons and four daughters, all of whom have been connected, in many prominent ways, with the history and prosperity of the county.

Alexander Stuart, a native of Ireland, settled in Havana this year, and has ever since been an active business man.

John H. Schulte, from Hanover, Germany, came to Mason County this year and opened business on the river, which, for years, overshadowed all other places of business. He died in the year 1845, leaving two sons, of whom J. H. is Deputy County Clerk.

Thomas McCarty settled in the county this year, coming from Ohio, and still lives in Mason City, as we believe.

Edward Sikes settled on Salt Creek this year, and died there in 1855. John Auxier, Eli Auxier, John Y. Swarr and john Young all came at the same time and settled in the same neighborhood. Of these, all are dead, except, perhaps, Mr. Swarr.

Charles Howell came from Pennsylvania and settled in Quiver this year. The balance of the Howell family came some three years later.

John H. Havighorst, from Hanover, Germany, came this year to Mason County. As a county official, he has made his mark upon the records of the county.

On the 7th of August, 1837, there was an election held in Havana Precinct to vote for county officers of Tazewell County, at which election twelve votes were cast, viz.: Daniel Adams, Henry Shepherd, O. E. Foster, N. J. Rockwell, Anson C. Gregory, A. W. Kemp, B. F. Wigginton, V. B. Holmes, C. W. Andrus, William Hyde, J. H. Netler and one other. This constituted the voting population of Havana and many miles around at that time.

John Rea and William May were, at this time, living in the neighborhood of Lynchburg; and at about that time Pleasant May, George Marshal and others settled in the neighborhood. Zephenia Keath was also an early settler near by, followed by George Carpenter and John Johnson, making quite a re-enforcement for the lower end.

Isaac Parkhurst came from New Jersey and settled in Havana in the year 1837, where he remained until his death, leaving representatives still in the county.

Moses Ray and his sons, Aaron and James, settled on the east side of Field's Prairie in 1837. The old man died in 1845. He was a backwoods preacher, of the Hard-shell Baptist persuasion.

In 1837, Washington Daniels settled on Field's Prairie, where his sons, Isley, Callaway, Martin and George still live.

Robert McReynolds, a native of Pennsylvania, settled in Mason County in 1838, and died in Havana in 1872. He held the office of County Judge and other public places.

Thomas K. Falkner came from Indiana and settled near by Judge McReynolds the same year and began the first improvements in what is Sherman Township. In the fall of that year, the families of Hibbs, Hampton and Dentler came to the same vicinity. West of them, toward Havana, were eight other families, and east of them there were no settlers for thirty miles.

J. H. Dierker, from Hanover, Germany, came to the county that year, and still lives near the city of Havana.

The same year, and from the same county, came Henry Bishop, and settled where Bishop's Station now is. He still lives there and prospers.

William Atwater also came in 1838, and settled near Quiver. Also, William Rodgers and John Rodgers, settling in Lynchburg.

Amos Smith, Sr., Amos Smith, Jr., and B. F. Smith, came that year from the State of Vermont, and settled in the same neighborhood. Soon after, came John Camp, first Probate Judge of the county, and Richard J. Phelps, followed soon after by George W. Phelps, James D. Reeves and William Davis, making quite a populous neighborhood.

George H. Campbell came that year to Mason County, and began to improve his father's land, six miles below Bath. He was highly favored at an early day, in the way of offices, as the county records show, and, with an eventful life, "still lives" in Mason City. W. H. Campbell, present Mayor of Havana, is his first son, born in Bath in the year 1847.

There were a number of settlers came from Greene County that year, among them Robert Elkin and Isaac H. Hodge, both afterward Sheriffs of the county.

"Hall Hodge," as he was called, was the second Sheriff of the county, and in strange contrast with his predecessor in all respects. He was a diminutive, ill-favored, illiterate man, lively and chatty with everybody, using an abundance of all sorts of words, of the meaning of which he was entirely ignorant. He was a kind-hearted man, that had no guile in him )but generally plenty of whisky, which suggested the calling of him the high-Sheriff), and was a great favorite of the people in those days. His reading of a summons or court paper sounded like a chapter from "Nasby" or the Innocents Abroad." The law term "versus," which usually occurred in the summons, he invariably called "vestigated," and at the wind-up of reading a legal paper, he always added, with a grand flourish, "thus and so-the measures!" In calling court, he would yell out, in his tenor voice, "Oh, yes! Oh, yes! The court has met, subject to adjournment!" At one time, he was directed by the court to call the names of parties on a criminal bond, and declare a forfeiture, on account of the absence of the criminal, in accordance with the formula of those days, which was long and precise. The Sheriff was very much excited and nonplused, knowing it impossible for him to repeat so many words correctly. In confusion and despair, he rushed to the window, thrust his head through the crashing glass, and called the names of the parties he could remember, and then mumbled and jumbled a lot of stuff that sounded like the clatter of "four and twenty blackbirds," Winding up the words. "You will come into court, or everything will be lost!" The Judge laughed, the bar roared, and the people were delighted to see that they had a Sheriff equal to any emergency. At the time of his last election, there was a fierce strife between the upper and lower end of the county about the county seat, and so the candidates had hard work to "make both ends meet," and secure an election. On the eve of that eventful day, a crowd of friends gathered around the Sheriff, to hear what he had to say about the prospects. He was very jubilant and lavish of big words, saying, "I know I shall be sumptuously elected, for I have ravished the whole upper end!" As Hodge was a virtuous man, the presumption is that he meant "canvassed" "triumphantly, and nothing more. He was invincible before the people, until, in his kindness, he became a defaulter, and subsided into private life.

In the year 1839, John R. Chaney, a native of Tennessee, came from Greene County to Mason, and settled near the east line of Havana Township, where he still resides.

Mark A. Smith, second son of Amos Smith, Sr., came from Vermont and settled near Snicarte, which he laid out afterward, and where he now resides.

Joseph Mowder settled near the center of Havana Township in 1839, where he has lived for forty years of upright life.

Abraham Swing came from Ohio in 1839, and settled in Swing's Grove, near the southeast corner of the county. He died in Mason City in 1866.

John W. Holzgraffe came from Hanover, Germany, and settled near Havana in 1839, where he still resides. He has five sons in business in Havana.

John Bowman and John Cooper came from Greene County and settled halfway between Havana and Bath this same year.

In 1840, Samuel C. Conwell first made his appearance in Havana, coming from Indiana, but a native of the little State of Delaware. He has lived here long, and been much mixed with the history of the county, as the land records will show. S. D. Swing also came from Ohio and settled at the Grove with his brother this year.

Nathan Howell came from Pennsylvania in 1840, and settled near his son Charles, who preceded him. He has survivors still living near Havana.

Solomon Bales also entered land in 1840 on Crane Creek, and settled there.

Maj. B. H. Gatton, born in Kentucky in 1808; came to Morgan County in 1824, with his father's family, and to Bath, Mason County, May 1, 1841. Since that date, he has filled a large place in the business and enterprise of the lower end of the county, making and losing fortunes by turn, in the vicissitudes of the grain trade and merchandising. He was the first Postmaster in Bath when the office was established there in 1842, and has held other public trusts. Maj. Gatton has taken Greeley's advice, and in the month of July, 1879, took his family to Cass County, Mo., there to live out the balance of his days.

R. P. Gatton came also with his brother from Beardstown, and died in the year 1873, leaving a wife and one daughter there.

William H. Nelms, brother-in-law of Maj. Gatton, and also from Kentucky, came also from Beardstown about the same time, and settled in Bath, where he lived an active business life up to the time of his death, many years ago. He was the Deputy Circuit Clerk for J. A. Phelps for some years, and was also engaged in trade for a time. His only living son, John E. Nelms has been a prominent business man in Bath and Peoria, and is now retired to a farm in Lynchburg.

In the year 1840, the question of making a new county was agitated by the people of Havana, and decided upon. At the suggestion of John Ritter, it was to be named Mason County. On the 20th of January, 1841, the act was passed, providing for the organization of the county by the selection of a county seat and also the election of the necessary number of county officers.

Having traced the early current of emigration to the date of the organization of the county as correctly as we have the means of testing its accuracy, we leave to the township historian the task of following up the work, which he can do more fully and satisfactorily than can be done in the limited time we can devote to it. It has been our endeavor to be accurate and impartial in all personal references, still there may be errors of date and omissions of names that should have had a place among the early settlers of the county.

An act for the formation of Mason County:
SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois, represented in General Assembly, That all that part of the counties of Menard and Tazewell included within the follow-boundaries, to-wit: Beginning at the mouth of the Sangamon River, running thence with the channel of said river, to the mouth of Salt Creek, running thence with the channel of said creek, until it intersects the range line between Ranges 4 and 5; thence north with said range line, to the north line of Logan County; thence west six miles; thence north to the center of Township 23 north, Range 6 west of Third Principal Meridian; thence west to the Illinois River, to the place of beginning, which shall constitute a county to be called the county of Mason.

SEC. 2. All Justices of the Peace and Constables heretofore duly elected and qualified in and for the counties of Menard and Tazewell, and who now reside within the aforesaid boundaries of the county of Mason, shall hold their offices in and for the said county of Mason, the same as if no division had taken place.

SEC. 3. The legal voters residing within the limits of said county of Mason, shall meet at the town of Havana, in said county, on the first Monday in April next, appoint Judges and Clerks of Election, and proceed to elect a Sheriff, Coroner, Clerk of the County Commissioners' Court, Recorder, Treasurer, Probate Justice of the Peace, School Commissioner, and three County Commissioners for said county, and any other county officers provided by law, to be elected for counties, and the returns of said election shall be made by said Judges and Clerks to the Justices of the Peace in said county of Mason, and any two or more of said Justices shall meet at Havana at any time within five days after said election, and proceed to open said returns, make out abstracts of the same, and transmit one to the Secretary of State, and file one with the Clerk of the County Commissioners' Court of said county of Mason, and to do and perform all other duties now required by law, in like cases of the Clerks of the County Commissioners' Courts and Justices of the Peace.

SEC. 4. The legal voters of said county of Mason shall also, at the time and place, and in the manner specified in the third section of this act, vote for sites or places at which to locate and establish the permanent seat of justice of said county of Mason, and the site or place which shall receive the greatest number of votes shall be and forever remain the permanent seat of Justice, or county seat, of said county of Mason, and the Judges and Clerks of said election are hereby authorized to open columns in their poll books, and receive votes for the same; said election to be conducted in all respects, and returns thereof made in the same manner as provided for in the third section of this act, and of the laws of this State in relation to elections: Provided, however, That the Judges and Clerks of said election are not authorized to open columns or receive votes for any site or sites, place or places, for said county seat, unless the proprietors or friends of said site or place shall first place in the hands of the Judges of said election their promissory note drawn to the County Commissioners of Mason County, or their successors in office, for the use of said county of Mason, for the sum of one thousand dollars, payable three months after date, with good and sufficient security for the payment of the same, to be approved by the Judges of said election, and shall also place in the hands of said judges a bond conditioned for a donation of real estate for the use of said county, on which to erect the public buildings, which donation shall not be less than one block of lots, if the county seat is located at a town already laid off, and not less that twenty acres if on land not heretofore laid off in town lots.

SEC. 5. The Judges of the aforesaid election shall deposit with the County commissioners of said county of Mason, as soon as said court shall be organized, the notes and bonds which may come into their hands in the manner specified in the proviso to the fourth section of this act, and said Commissioners, after the returns of said election shall have been made agreeable to the provisions of this act, and it shall have been finally decided which point has received the highest number of votes for the county seat, all the aforesaid notes and bonds shall be returned to the persons from whom they were received, except those received from the friends or proprietors of that point at which the county seat has been located.

SEC. 6. The School Commissioner of the county of Mason, as soon as he shall be duly elected, qualified and commissioned, according to law, shall call upon the School Commissioners of the county of Menard and Tazewell, and demand of and receive from them all notes, bonds, mortgages or other writing or obligations which may belong or be coming to said county of Mason; also the distributive share of the school, college and seminary fund, which said county of Mason shall be entitled to.

SEC. 7. The said county of Mason shall constitute a part of the -Judicial Circuit and a Circuit Court shall be held for said county, at some convenient house in the village of Havana until the public buildings shall be erected; the time of holding said court shall be appointed by the Judge presiding on said circuit. This act to take effect from its passage.
Approved January 20, 1841.

After the passage of this act, it becoming known that Havana was the only voting-place named, parties not in the Havana interest procured the passage of the following supplemental act, providing for polls being opened in Salt Creek and Lynchburg also.

An Act supplemental to an act for the formation of the county of Mason:
SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the people of the State of Illinois, represented in General Assembly, That polls shall be opened at the town of Lynchburg, and at the house of James Walker (in Walker's Grove), in the county of Mason at the same time, and for the same objects, and under the same regulations as provided for at the town of Havana, by the act to which this is supplemental.
Approved February 27, 1841.

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