THE OLD SETTLERS' ASSOCIATION
OF MORGAN COUNTY, ILLINOIS

The introduction, history and the register were written and transcribed by Florence Hutchison, and with her permission we are reprinting. Reference is made to the original record book as the source. The original book is the recording of the Secretary of the Society and has much more listed than what is transcribed here. The book is said to be located at the Jacksonville Public Library.

The List of Members was contributed by Shirley Aleguas and transcribed from the 1878 History of Morgan.


Introduction and History of the Old Settlers Society
List of Old Settlers Registered 9 September, 1869 at Arcadia
List of Old Settlers Registered 25 August 1870 at Arcadia
List of Members From 1878 History of Morgan County



RECORDS OF
"THE OLD SETTLERS' ASSOCIATION"
IN THE MORGAN COUNTY AREA

Much valuable ancestral data is contained in a large book containing the minutes, necrological lists and membership data 1869-1899. A photocopy has been made of the many pages, and is being put on a computer listing for future use by Florence Hutchison and Warren Haley. To introduce the membership list, the following information is taken from the History of Morgan County, 1878 by Donnelley, Loyd & Company, pages 319,320.

"The following history of the Association, with its list of members, was prepared by the Secretary, Mr. Timothy Chamberlain. The society is one of the best organized in the Western States. Mr. Chamberlain has taken great pains in keeping the records of its meetings, and the list of its members, in an exceedingly neat and systematic manner in a book prepared by him expressly for this purpose:

"At a Fourth of July celebration at Arcadia in 1869, there were found to be a large number of the early settlers of the county, and the conversation naturally turning to things and events of the past, and a desire having been expressed by many of the aged persons present to meet their friends of early days, it was decided among them that a call should be issued in the papers, and all invited to be present at a picnic."

The following notice appeared in the Jacksonville Journal of September 2, 1869:

"OLD SETTLERS' MEETING -- A meeting of the old settlers of Morgan County will be held at Arcadia, Thursday, September 9th, in D. G. Henderson's grove, at which time Judge William Thomas, J. T. Jones and M. P. Ayres, will speak.

Other speakers are expected, and without doubt the picnic, for such it is to be, will be an occasion of great interest. It is desired that all those residing in the territory, which in 1830 was embraced in Morgan County, should be present and participate in the exercises. Old settlers are particularly invited."

The first regular meeting of the old settlers of Morgan, Cass and Scott, was held in the grove near Arcadia, on Thursday, September 9th, 1869. Pioneers from all parts of these counties were on hand at an early hour. The exercises were opened with prayer by Rev. Joel Goodrick. Hon. Joseph Morton, Capt. Yaples, Judge Whitlake, Bradley Thompson, M. P. Ayres, and others, made remarks appropriate to the occasion. A letter was read from Judge William Thomas, apologizing for and explaining his absence. Mr. Charles Cox was First Marshal of the day, and Mr. John M. Wilson assistant. Dr. John Craig was Secretary.

Not less than 500 persons were present. An ode was sung, composed by Major George M. McConnel, of Jacksonville. The following resolution, offered by Mr. M. P.Ayres, was unanimously adopted:

"Resolved, That we cherish tenderly the recollection of the names of our honored dead, the early pioneers of our county, and we realize that though dead, yet through their works they still speak, and we trust we may imitate their virtues, and show by our works our appreciation of the toils and trials endured in our behalf."

It was intended that a regular association should be organized at this time, so that hereafter annual meetings might be held, and every valuable act concerning the history of the counties be preserved. However, the time was so fully occupied with other matters, that such an organization could not be effected, and a meeting was called for August 25, 1870, which met again in Henderson's grove, hear Arcadia, and after listening to speeches from Hon. Newton Cloud, Rev. N. P. Heath, Major G. M. McConnel, Senator Richard Yates, and others a society was organized, and a constitution was presented and adopted. All could then become members who were in this region, previous to the deep snow of 1830 and 1831.


List of Old Settlers
Registered at the Reunion at Arcadia 9 Sept 1869

Columns =
Surname, Given name, Nativity, Birth Year, Came to Morgan Co., Death, Remarks
(Columns are represented by comma's. For example, the 1st year, if any, would be the birth year, the 2nd year, if any, would be the year they came to Morgan Co., the 3rd year, if any, would be the death year. If none listed it is represented by a comma.)