History of the towns of North and Old Utica, LaSalle County,
From: History of LaSalle County, Illinois
By: Michael Cyprian O'Byron
The Lewis Pullishing Company
Chicago and New York 1924
Though classed as a village, North (or New) Utica is a prosperous town situated north of the Illinois River
and rich in its historical associations, scenery and mineral wealth. Its population in 1900, thirty years after
the incorporation, was 1,150, in 1910 it was given as 976 - a decrease of 174; at the census of 1920 it had risen
Old Utica, as described by Elmer Baldwin, was first occupied by Simon Crosiar, a native of Pennsylvania, "and,
when the business was all done by river boats, was a commercial point of some importance, the boats arriving and
departing with considerable regularity. It was regarded as the head of navigation, except at very high water when
the boats ascended to Ottawa." After the opening of the Illinois & Michigan Canal and the construction
of the railroad, its business declined, and the northern settlement, at first known as New Utica, under the fostering
influence of railroad and canal, became a busy and prosperous town. Simon Crosiar died in 1846, his widow, Mrs.
Sarah Crosiar, survived him by twenty-five years. "Both Mr. and Mrs. Crosiar were bold, hardy and resolute"
(qualities inherited by their descendants to the present day), "and well calculated for frontier life. Mrs.
Crosiar told the writer [Elmer Baldwin] many incidents of her pioneer life. She said she was not afraid of the
Indians, even when alone, unless they were drunk; but they were like white men when intoxicated, unreasonable and
dangerous. On one occasion, during her husband's absence, they came and wanted whiskey; she had covered up the
whiskey barrel and told them she had no whiskey. They told her she had, and went to uncover the cask; she then
seized a hatchet and told them they should not have it if she had. They told her she was a brave squaw, but raised
their tomahawks, and she was compelled to yield to numbers: they got the whiskey and had a big drunk, but did not