Page 275Transcribed by: Jeanie Lowe
Of course this county sent no soldiers into the last war with England; but as this part of Illinois began to be settled up only a few years after the close of that war, a great many who had served their country at that time, settled here, and made this their home ever after. But nearly all of these have long since gone to their final rest. In our cemeteries, we frequently see inscriptions telling the fact that some of these men sleep in this part of the State. Only a year or two ago, one of these old patriots was laid to rest beneath the leaves and flowers of Rose Hill Cemetery. He was well stricken in years, but, at the mention of the days of trial he experienced in the war, the old fire would come back to his eye, and, for a time, he seemed to have regained all the fire of his youth; but, at the change of the theme of conversation, he relapsed again into the apathy and weakness of extreme old age. He was buried by a detachment of the State Guard with honors of war. We can learn of only three persons now living in the county, who were soldiers in that war, and these are, of course, all very old men. Mr. Tarleton Lloyd, living on Rock Creek, some six miles south of Petersburg, was a man of, at least, thirty years of age at the beginning of that war. When war was declared, he was living with his family in one of the Southeastern States. Notwithstanding the fact that he had a wife and children at the time, he unhesitatingly responded to the call of his country, and enlisted in the army. He served faithfully till the fall of Gen. Packenham and the close of the war, having been in several engagements, and then returned to his family. In 1820, he settled on the place where he now lives; reared a large family (several of whom are still in this part of the State), and still lives, a hale and hearty man considering his age. He remembers facts in his earlier life remarkably well, and nothing pleases him better than for the younger people t listen to his stories of the war, and the early history of Illinois. There are conflicting statements concerning Mr. Lloyd's age. According to his own statement, he is now about ninety-six years of age. But those who have known him long, say that he has claimed to be of that age for several years. Those who knew him forty or fifty years ago, say that according to the account he then gave of his age, together with his appearance at that time, he is now, certainly, several years above a century old. William Estill, living on Indian Creek, five miles east of Petersburg, was also a soldier in the late war with England. Sometime after the close of the war, he removed to Illinois, and has lived ever since within a few miles of his present residence. His first wife was a Miss Williams, sister of John Williams, one of the leading capitalists of this county. She died many years ago, and some years later, he was married to a widow lady - Mrs. Eliza Hayden. By his first wife, he reared a large family of children, among them were Capts. William J. and Samuel Estill, of the war of the rebellion; Lieut. Isaac and a younger brother, both of whom died in the service; and also, Joseph and James Estill (both farmers) living in the eastern portion of the county. Besides these sons, he has two daughters still living. These are Mrs. Luther Jennison, living near Greenview, and Mrs. William Price, near Athens. "Uncle Billy," as he is generally called, is now eighty-five years of age, and, with the exception of considerable suffering from rheumatism, is in remarkably good health for one of this great age. He became a professor of religion in early life, and has, for about half a century, been a Ruling Elder in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. He is a man of deepest piety, and, perhaps, no man in this part of Illinois has exerted a greater influence for good by a constantly devoted and consistent Christian life than he. In fact, among all classes, he is held in the highest esteem, and regarded as a model of devoted piety. The third soldier of the late war with England, living in this county, is Mr. Lewis McKay, living on Rock Creek, seven miles south of Petersburg, and in the same neighborhood with Mr. Tarleton Lloyd, spoken of before. Mr. McKay is now eighty-two year old; as straight as a boy, and, with the exception of a defect in his hearing, he seems to be in the enjoyment of excellent health for one of his years. Unfortunately, we have not had the means of learning the history of Mr. McKay. He went into the service in 1814, hence, was not more than seventeen years old at that time. He served till the close of the war, and then settled down to the practice of the arts of peace, by all who know him. He, at present, makes his home with his son-in-law and daughter - Mr. and Mrs. Abraham Golden. We should delight to honor those old men who have done so much for our country. They are almost all gone. Here and there one still lives, but a few years from now - in less than a decade - the last of them will have gone to the journey's end.
It becomes our duty, in this connection, to speak briefly of another military organization in this county. This organization is the Harris Guards.