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

Mason County

Some Of The Early Inconveniences
Page 647

Much the same surroundings and inconveniences greeted the early settlers of this township as did those of Manito and other adjacent portions of the county. Their marketing had to be done a long way from home, and the time required for getting their crops to market was almost equal in length to that required to raise them. Their principal trading-points were Havana, Mackinaw and Pekin. Their milling was done at Mackinaw or across the river in Fulton County. The journey to Mackinaw consumed four or five days, governed somewhat by the length of time they had to wait for a "grist" to be ground. Simmonds built a mill on Quiver Creek, in quite an early day, and a few years later, McHarry's Mill, on the same stream, was erected, so that those coming in a few years subsequent to the date of the earliest settlements made in the township, were denied the exquisite pleasure of going to mill at Mackinaw, and on Spoon River, in Fulton County. While there were many inconveniences and hardships to be endured by the early settlers, they had many things of which we cannot boast to-day. They had game of almost all kinds, which could be had for the simple act of killing. It did not require hunting, for there was a superabundance on every hand. Alexander Cross states that on one occasion, he counted forty deer in a single herd, as they rose up one at a time, and then they began getting up so fast that he could not keep the run of them any longer. Thomas H. Ellsworth takes the "trick" and goes fifty-six better. Wild game of all kinds was so abundant that the farmer did not dare to cut up his corn in the fall and place it in shocks; if he did he was sure to come out in the spring minus one-third to one-half of his crop. The marshes and sand hills around the head of Quiver Creek were famous hunting-grounds in an early day. But the march of civilization, the dense settling-up of the country and its improvement into fine and productive farms, have driven out all the larger kinds of game, and we have nothing left save that which is commonly found in the older settled portions of our country. Vast and might changes have come upon us during the forty years last past. Forest City Township has never had a grist-mill erected within her borders. McHarry's, in Quiver, and Shanholtzer's, in Manito, supply the deficiency. The Peoria, Pekin & Jacksonville Railroad, put in operation in 1859, is the only railroad line in the township. It passes diagonally through the northwest corner of the township, in a southwestern direction, giving to it about four miles of track.

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