Illustrated Atlas Map of Menard County, Illinois 1874|
Published by W.R. Brink & Co., of Illinois
Brief Sketch Of Sangamon County
In view of the fact that what is now Menard County formed a part of Sangamon for nearly twenty years after its settlement, the narration of a few facts pertinent to the pioneer era of the "Capital County" will not prove uninteresting. The first settlement in the famous Sangamon County of which there is any record was made in what is now known as Ball Township, Sangamon County, early in 1816, by Robert Pullman, Joseph Drenan, B. and J. Easley, and a family named Dodds. What is now the City of Springfield was the next point settled. Here, in the spring of 1818, a hardy pioneer from North Carolina, named Kelly, with his two sons, built for themselves a permanent residence in the shape of a rude log cabin. Two more cabins were soon erected, west of the first, for each of the sons, and then the blue smoke, curling up from the clay chimneys of the hunter's home, and the sharp crack of their trusty rifles as they brought down the unsuspecting deer and turkey with unerring aim, convinced the "red men of the woods" that their supremacy was broken, and that the "Star of Empire" was still driving them to a more distant western wilderness. The family of Doggets settled here the following year. No other settlements were made in the immediate locality until the spring of 1821, when several families were added to the infant colony, which for several years was known as Newsonville. C. R. Matheny and Major Elijah Iles were among the more prominent of the settlers of 1821. The County of Sangamon was organized in 1821, and the first survey of the public lands occurred during the same year. On the 7th of November, 1823, the United States Land Office was first publicly opened at Springfield. The first Receiver of the Land Office was Pascal P. Enos, appointed by President Monroe. On the 18th of March, 1825, the County seat was, after considerable wrangling, permanently located at Springfield, where a court-house had been erected in 1821, costing the enormous sum of eighty-four dollars. This house, however, was supplanted by a small frame edifice in 1825, erected at a total cost of five hundred and nineteen dollars.