"CHANEY, ELI M. Farmer; Sec. 35; P.O. Paine's Point; born in Harrison Co., Va, Oct. 7, 1824; married Ellen B. Austin [sic, should be "Eyster"], Feb. 12, 1856; she was born in Northumberland Co., Sept. 26, 1834; have three children: Emma L., John B. and Ella B. Mr. C. came from Ohio to this state with a colony in 1834, and settled in Putnam Co.; traveled mostly with wagons drawn by oxen; this colony purchased the claim of John Hall, consisting of six rude dwellings and a large tract of land; Hennepin was the nearest market place, and salt was $15 per barrel; organized a body of men, and with teams started for Chicago, being the first teams that had traveled this part of the country; were in water waist deep twelve miles west of Chicago; crossed the Chicago River on rafts constructed by the party; was four weeks on this journey; many days going only five or six miles; the second day out reached a place called (by them) Pluck Creek, a stream wide and deep, where they haulted, unable to cross; while here a team was discovered running at full speed toward the creek and opposite shore; the wagon contained two men, and the horses plunged with them over the precipitous banks into the stream; they were with great difficulty rescued, one of them proving to be Shabbona, a celebrated Indian chief, the buggy and team, with a suit of clothes, being the same presented him by the U.S. Government; secured salt in Chicago at 80 cents per barrel, and loaded 150 barrels in wagons, reaching home after many difficulties and trials; in 1835 Mr. C. moved to Galena, remaining until the following April, when he settled in Bureau Co.; in the Spring of 1837 he came to this Co. and settled on his present estate; has 248 acres, valued at $15,000; Mr. C. is a member of the Baptist Church; Mr. C. met Shabbona in Chicago, in 1847, and when he had made himself known, he clapsed him in his arms as if meeting with a lost brother."
"History of Ogle Co., IL" by H. F. Kett & Co., Chicago, IL, 1878
Contributed by Juli Chaney Jarvis, Buffalo, WY
Eli M. Chaney. Merit deserves mention wherever it is found, and it is therefore with pleasure that we state at the beginning of this short biographical notice that the subject of this sketch belongs to that class of individuals who have themselves earned what they have of this world's goods. Commencing life a poor boy, he has through his own energy and persverance accumulated a handsome competency and is today pleasantly located on his fine farm, on section 35, Marion Township, where he is enjoying the accumulations of a honorable past. Eli Chaney was born in Harrison Co., Va., Oct. 7, 1824, his father being a native of Maryland. The families of Chaney of which our subject is a member and descendant in the United States are all of French origin, and descendants of settlers in this country. The Father of our subject went from his native State of Maryland to Virginia when a young man, and was there united in marriage with Miss Ann Davis, a native of Virginia and daughter of William and Elizabeth Davis. Soon after marriage, or about that time, Samuel Chaney purchased a farm in Harrison County, Va., on which he and his bride located and where he was actively engaged in the vocation of an agriculturist for some time. He subsequently became a mail contractor on a given route. The mails were at this time carried by horse-back through the mountains, and while engaged in this business and being at Washington, Samuel Chaney was taken sick and after arriving at his home, in the year 1828, he departed this life, leaving to the care of his widow 11 children. About one year later in 1829, after the death of her husband, the widow, in company with her children, came to the State of Ohio. The family at this time consisted of the mother, step father and six children. In 1834 the family came to Illinois and settled in Putnam County, traveling mostly with wagons, drawn by oxen, and on arrival in Putnam County purchased a claim of John Hall, consisting of six rude dwellings and a large tract of land. Hennepin was the nearest market place, and salt at that time was $15 per barrel. Our subject, in company with others, organized a party and with teams started for Chicago for provision, and these were the first teams that had traveled this part of the country. Twelve miles this side of Chicago they were in water waist deep on arrival at that, then, village they crossed what was then the clear and beautiful, but now dirty, Chicago River on a raft. They were four weeks making the journey, many days only going about five or six miles. The second day they reached a place called Duck Creek, a stream wide and deep, where they halted, unable to cross. While there, a team was discovered running at full speed toward the opposite shore. The wagon contained two men, and horses plunged with them over the precipitous bank into the stream and the men were with great difficulty rescued, one of them proving to be Shabbona, a celebrated Indian Chief, and the buggy and team, together with a suit of clothes, were the same that had been presented to him by the United States Government the same day at Ottawa. At Chicago, loaded 150 barrels in wagons, reaching home after many difficulties and trials. The second husband of the mother of our subject was Tinothy Searls, with whom he resided until leaving home. In 1835 Mr. Chaney of tis notice removed to Galena, where he remained until the following April, when he made settlement in Bureau County, where he lived until 1837, when, with his parents, he came to this county and located in White Rock Township, where his mother died in 1852. Mr. Chaney was but four years of age at the date of the demise of his father, and but nine years old when he came with his mother and step-father to this State. Twelve winters of his life had passed when the family came to this county and made settlement in what is now White Rock Township. The land at that time was unsurveyed and uncultivated and the hand of civilization was hardly visable in the community in which they located. Our subject remained under the parental roof-tree for three years after his parents had made settlement in this county, when he set forth to fight the battles of life single handed and alone. He found no trouble in securing employment in the neighborhood, but remuneration for services at that time was small, his earnings being 50 cents per day. He, nevertheless, had an ambition to be somebody in this world and to have something which he could call his own, and was, therefore, economical and saved his money. Soon he entered 200 acres of land from the Government, located on what is now section 35, Marion Township. On this land he erected the primitive cabin and here laid the foundation of his present handsome competency. Chicago was the nearest market, it being 85 miles distant and requiring from six to twelve days to make the round trip. There he hauled his produce, realizing for his wheat from 25 cents to $ 1 per bushel. He continued to reside on his farm, battling against all the trials which came in his way and successfully overcoming all obstacles. As time passed on and his exchequer was increased by the sale of his produce, he erected good and substantial buildings upon his place, set out fruit, shade and ornamental trees and improved his land, until at the present writing he has one of the best and most productive farms in Marion Township. His real estate interest comprises 220 acres, on which he lives. The subject of this notice formed a matrimonial alliance Feb. 12, 1856, with Miss Ellen B. Eyster. She was born in Northumberland Co., Pa., Sept. 26, 1834, and is the intelligent and accomplished daughter of Benjamin and Catherine (Sechler) Eyster. Her parents were natives of Pennsylvania and of German descent. Of the union of Mr. and Mrs. Chaney three children have been born: Emma, who is the wife of Jerome Burroughs, a resident of Marion Township; John B., married Adelia Stowell and lives on the old homestead; and Ella B. Mrs. Chaney is a member of the Baptist Church, and our subject is a believer in and supporter of the principles of the Republican party.
"Ogle Co. Portrait and Biographical Album" by Chapman Bros., Chicago, IL, 1886, page 595-596
Contributed by David Lee Zellers
Return to Ogle Co. Genealogy Site