History of South Ottawa Township, LaSalle County, Il
From: History of LaSalle County, Illinois
By: Michael Cyprian O'Byron
The Lewis Pullishing Company
Chicago and New York 1924

The census of 1920 gives to this township a population of 2,329, which includes the First Ward of the City of Ottawa. Much of the history of the township is an integral part of that of the county seat and has been touched in other chapters of this work. The First Ward of Ottawa, virtually the oldest, lies in this township, and was originally known as South Ottawa. In the township was established the old fort erected for the protection of settlers at the time of the Black Hawk war. The first settler within the present township was undoubtedly the Virginian known in the early history as Doctor Davidson, there being no record of his personal name. The doctor was the first American citizen to settle in the county, and in the cabin which he erected in 1823, on the south bank of the Illinois River, opposite Buffalo Rock, he was found dead, in 1826, he having traded with the Indians and having lived alone in his little cabin. Covell Creek takes its name from Thomas R. Covell, who here settled in 1824, he having been an Indian trader and having erected a mill on the creek that perpetuates his name. Enos Pembroke here settled in May, 1825, on section 15, and after his death, in 1832, his widow kept a hotel, situated at the foot of the bluff, her death having occurred in 1862. Josiah E. Shaw came in 1827, from the State of New York, and it may be noted that prior to his death, in 1875, he had served as president of the Old Settlers' Society. Among other early settlers were Reuben Reed, Charles Brown, John McKernan, David Strawn, Moses Booth, Calvin W. Eells, James Day (who laid out the original Town of South Ottawa), Silas Tracy, Doctor Roberts, Dr. Constant Abbott, Daniel Farnsworth, Sylvanus Crook, Jesse A. Clark, Benjamin J. Moore, Doctor Smith (who became one of the first merchants at South Ottawa), John Bascom, Judge James Glover, William Thompson, Samuel Tyler, Samuel W. Rogers, Abraham S. Bergen, John Rockwood, Henry Matson; John, Richard and Abel Hogaboom; Bartlett Dennison, Erastus Allen, Robert Fowler, Burnett Miller, Christopher Pavier, George Arnold, Rev. Mr. Hazard (a missionary), James Edgecomb, Solon Knight, Jabez Fitch, Russell Kimball, Sheldon Bartholomew, James Ball, George B. Macy, Platt Thorn, Silas Matson, and Henry Gorbett. South Ottawa Township was organized April 2, 1850, and the officials elected that year were: Supervisor, Calvin W. Eells; clerk, Sylvanus Crook; assessor, Ransom Palmer; collector, Jonah Davey; overseer of the poor, John A. Rockwood; highway commissioners, John A. Rockwood, Charles Brown, Joseph P. lowland; justices of the peace, William Ellsworth, Jonah E. Shaw; constables, Philip C. Watts, Josiah Dewey.

In various other chapters of this history will be found other data concerning South Ottawa Township.


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