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Before the first settler to Pike County there had often been French traders, hunters and travelers passing through the native forests, crossing the wild, beautiful prairies of the mysterious land of Illinois. They would pitch their tents for the night, amid the vast wilderness, inhabited only by wild beasts and the native red man; and rested their weary limbs only to move at early dawn.

The first traditionary account, of the first individual that settled in Pike County as it is, or who made it his home for any considerable time, was J. B. Teboe (Tibault), a Canadian Frenchman. He came sometime during the period between 1817 and 1819, and lived in a cabin on the banks of the Illinois River, situated on what is now section 33, Flint Township.

There is no doubt that Tibault was in the area prior to 1820. He was a hunter, and we believe for a time ran a ferry, but whether he is entitled to the honor of being termed the "first settler" we very much doubt. He, it seems, tilled no land and made no permanent abode, nor had a family. He was killed at Milton in 1844.

Franklin and Shinn The First Settlers

The man who may properly be denominated the first settler of Pike County was Ebenezer Franklin. Ebenezer Franklin came to Pike County in March, 1820, and first stopped upon the northwest quarter of section 27, half a mile east from where Atlas was later located, and up "Jockey Hollow." Ebenezer brought his family with him, consisting of his wife, son and three daughters, besides a Mr. Israel Waters. Mr. Waters later moved to Adams County.

When Ebenezer Franklin first came he found no neighbor with whom he could stop until he had built his cabin. He was obliged to pitch his tent and gather his family around him in his tented mansion provided with the meager and crude furniture he brought with him and what he built after he arrived. The family suffered tremendously from the chilling winds of early spring, but were sturdy pioneers and withstood the privations and hardships as true pioneers. Ebenezer Franklin lived in his tent until May, at that time he erected a rather primitive log cabin.

Daniel Shinn, was next to settle in Pike County. Shinn, came from Batavia, Ohio, and arrived about the last of April, 1820. He stopped at Edwardsville, on his way here. He left most of his large family in Edwardsville, which consisted of a wife, and eight children: Benjamin, John, Eliza, Hannah, Mary, Phoebe, Daniel, and Nancy. John Webb, now living five miles east of Pittsfield, was only six years old, came with Daniel Shinn.

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Copyright © by Rhonda Miller 2008