History of Clinton County.

 

By L. P. Allen.

“Upon the world’s great battle-field the brave
Struggle, and win and fall. They proudly go,
Some to unnoticed graves, and some to stand
With earth’s bright catalogue of great and good.”

    Less than half a century has passed since the extinguishment of the Indian title and the pioneer entrance of the white man to these fertile lands, now bearing the rich fruits of civilization. Less than a half-century has witnessed the wonderful transformation of a vast area, redeemed from a ‘howling waste,” over which a few savages roamed, into a populous and wealthy State, environed and bisected with railways, teeming with an intelligent, industrious and thriving population, dotted with prosperous cities and villages and with a future outlook that can only promise as rapid and wonderful a growth in wealth and population for the next half century. Measured by the historian’s work, whose chapters record meridian lines of time by cycles, and whose ranges are centuries, and who writes of the rise and downfall of nations; whose story is of conquests and "feats of broil and battle," the compiler of the history of a peaceful conquest of a single county in a State in the line of civilization where "Westward the course of Empire takes its way," may seem to be an humble task.  Nevertheless, the faithful gathering of the facts connected with the early settlement of this county, and the dangers, privations and hardships encountered by the hardy pioneers who advanced the standards of civilization across the “Father of Waters” is a work that is worthy of attention, and one which, we trust, will meet with a cordial reception. If this work is ever to be done, the time is opportune.  A true history can only be written from "actual facts." The preserved facts are meager and not easily found.  The pioneers are rapidly passing away, and the few yet remaining must soon be "gathered to their fathers."  The difficulties to be overcome in the preparation of the work have been beyond the anticipation of the compiler, as forty years’ have warped the memories of the “Old Settlers” who remain. Effort has, however, been made to verify dates and statements by such records as are obtainable, and to corroborate by cumulative testimony. Errors will doubtless be found, but we believe that, in the main, the history will be found to be accurate and authentic.

   The early history must necessarily be largely narrative of a personal or biographical character, as the history of a few individuals is the history of the county at that date. The records of the county, of cities and towns, have been consulted, as well as the early records of churches, societies and incorporations. The files of newspapers in existence have been pored over, and the “Old Settlers” have been interviewed and diligent effort made to glean all possible facts.

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