BRETHREN-L ArchivesArchiver > BRETHREN > 2001-01 > 0980646430
Subject: Re: 1850's Illinois
Date: Sat, 27 Jan 2001 20:47:10 EST
I'm very much interested in the WHY all these Brethren went to Illinois about
this time. My dad's great grandparents, Stephen Gottlieb & Maria Glock
Bauer (she was the sister of Elder John Glock, Brethren preacher), left the
Aughwick Valley area of PA with their five sons, and moved to Stephenson
County, IL in 1849. They were traveling to a place they had never been but
obviously had some reason to choose to move to Waddams Grove--and presumably
there were Brethren there they already knew, so word must have come back
about good land being available cheap???
Their trip from Huntingdon County involved boat travel, then crossing the
Allegheny mountains from Hollidaysburg to Johnstown, PA , in what
Great-Grandpa David Bower (just a kid at the time) later described as "in a
canal boatmade in sections. These sections were put on tracks and pulled up
inclines by stationary engines at the top. There were double tracks, one
truck going up while another was going down.. At Pittsburgh, they
transferred to a steamboat, went down the Ohio River to Cairo, Illinois, then
up the Mississippi River to Galena, Illinois."
According to Great-Grandpa's journal, before they stopped at Galena, they had
word of a cholera epidemic in the town but stopped anyway. (He gives some
details on the panic in the town.) During the brief time they were stopped
at Galena, the two youngest Bower boys contracted cholera and died within two
days of one another. Apparently this resulted in a change of travel plans
for the family because Stephen Bauer met somebody in Galena that he knew or
knew of--Michael Reber's brother, "who happened to be in Galena with an old
style 6-horse sway box wagon painted blue as they were in Pennsylvania."
The family sent their freight with Reber and hired a hack to take them the
60-70 miles overland to Stephenson County.
Living was fairly primitive, with the family spinning their own yarn from
their own sheep, "the children made spools or quills, and Grandfather wove
cloth on his loom in the kitchen. Grandmother colored the cloth with walnut
and butternut shucks and made suits for the boys to wear to school. One year
they raised a patch of flax. The family pulled it, rotted it, scutched it,
and heckeled it. Grandmother spun it into thread for linen towels, straw
ticks, grain sacks, etc. But all this took so much work that it was done
one year only."
At the end of the year (1850, if his timetable is accurate), "the Illinois
Railroad came through and little towns grew up. The stores kept readymade
clothing that could be bought. So Grandmother quit spinning and Grandfather
Bless Great-Grandpa for having written this stuff down--just wish he had
written more and had said something about the WHY of it.