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Mr. Baker has had a varied experience. Possessed of an unusually vigorous and robust frame, he endured the privations and hardships of a pioneer life, the chase of the deer, and the defense against "the noble red man” that few could endure with him. But now that eye is dimmed with age, and that vigorous arm that once poised the unerring rifle with the grip and steadiness of a vise, hangs feebly by his side; that six foot, stalwart frame totters feebly along, his mental vision dimmed, and all his faculties bespeak the needed rest the grave will soon afford,
He has fought the Indian from tree to tree; was cotemporary in Havana with Ross and Scovil, and Yardley and Krebaum, etc.
He engaged in farming, on Crane creek, near where he and his descendants now reside, and here has grown his ninety bushels of corn per acre, and sold supplies to Mr. Falkner, the first farmer in Sherman township.
These new comers took pride in the duty of assisting new comers, and gladly welcoming them as accessories to their strength.
Mr. Baker's pilgrimage will soon be done. His descendants are among the substantial residents of the county, and we gladly here record his worth, and honorable sense of right, for his successors when he has passed away.
Was born in Maryland, in 1787, and died in Fulton county, Illi. nois, in 1859, at the age of seventy-two years. He came to Havana in 1835, in the month of June, and lived in a cabin where the corner of Orange and Main streets now is. His family was John M., Miss Deziah, Miss Athliah, Hiram W., Samuel, Jr., Uriah B., An. drew J., Amberiah, Daniel R., Miss Jane and Miss Charlotte, only four of whom now survive, viz: Hiram W., Samuel, Uriah B. and Amberiah, all of whom reside in Fulton county, except one, who is in Kansas; their ages range from forty to sixty-one.
The settlers in Havana at that time were Krebaum, Ross, Timony, Hilbert, Miller, Sloan, and north of Havana were Burnell and Barnes, south, at Matanzas, was Shepherd, and at Moscow, a Mr. Herbert. Nine miles east was Gibson Gerret, who, with those before named, were all the inhabitants in the west side of the county.
The milling for the family was taken to Mount's mill, and Hiram informs us that he has ridden a horse, with three pecks of corn in a sack, to mill, and waited twenty-four hours for it to be ground.
The supply of pork was obtained by hunting it in the woods where Ross had numberless wild hogs, and gave new settlers one. fourth for killing it and bringing in.
Hiram Sloane got a special contract, in which he got one-half of all he killed, and Ross found one pound of powder and four pounds of lead. Sloane well knew an important rendezvous of the hogs he did not care to find under the old contract. With his bro. ther Samuel, and Frederick Krebaum, in half a day they killed fifteen hogs of heavy weight, that furnished supplies for a year, and some for sale. He once had a desperate hand to hand fight with a wild hog, where the M. E. Church now stands, and finally dispatched him with his knife. His dog died from wounds received in the encounter.
Hiram followed the river to some extent at an early day. In 1834 he arrived at the Havana levee in a little keel boat. A man named Mallory kept a trading post here, and a lot of Indians came for whisky, and were refused. They said they were friendly and peaceable, and carried no knives. He gave them whisky, got serious trouble on his hands, and sent to the boat for help.
About the time help came from the boat Mrs. Mallory blew the top of an Indian's head off by the discharge of a musket, and the fight became hot. One of the boat's crew, Ben. Hokum, killed two, and another man named Odd was also busy. A Mr. Terry was cut off from the party, and ran north, pursued by an Indian, with a drawn tomahawk. Terry's knee became dislocated and he fell, and as he was about to be tomahawked, the Indian was struck on the back of the neck with a stick and felled by the hand of Ter. ry's friend, and Terry siezed the tomahawk, intended for his head, and buried it in that of the prostrate Indian. While he was doing this the friend who saved him pulled his dislocated knee into place, and Terry and his friend returned together. Mr. Sloane did not inform us who this friend was, but we infer from what we know of him that he was not an idle spectator of the scene. On their return they saw three Indians crossing the river in a
Hokum shot two of them with a steady hand and unerring aim, and the third sank before he reached the east bank of the river. Sloan and his party proceeded to Fort Clarke, now Peoria, where
they arrived on the third day, and discharged their cargo; were visited by Indians who enquired if that boat came from Havana. They replied, no. The Indians were not satisfied, and our party must either seek safety by flight or in the fort. They chose the former, and at nightfall left with muffled oars in a light skiff, for the south, and rowed to Beardstown by sunrise the next morning. Here again the Indians were on the aļert and suspiciovs, and our party concluded they had pressing business at St. Louis, and left for that destination on the first steamer.
In after years Hiram boated on the river steamers and traded along the Illinois, and to his energies were the family indebted for much of their early supplies, as were also many of the other settlers. Much might be said in this connection of the kindness of early pioneers to each other. Many were the sacks of apples and potatoes brought over by Mr. Gardiner, the grandfather of the present proprietor of the Gardiner estate across the river, and distributed to the early settlers here without money or price, and to those he had never seen before as freely as to those he knew.
In closing this department of the work we regret that there are a number of interesting biographies we have been unable to obtain. Among those are the Horstman family, Henry Sears, Solomon Bayles, the Scott family, the Blakely family, Wm. Atwater, Peter Ringhouse, Peter and Adam Himmel, Mr. Fisk, Henry Buck, and others, that would have added to the interest of this work. Some it has been impossible to obtain data from; to others we have applied and received no response. We cannot use matter unobtainable.
MASON COUNT Y.
e assume, in the following pages, to give the organization, etc., of the various benovelent organizations in Mason county, from such data as we have been able to obtain on that subject, and follow with some quotations from various publications, which we deem relevant to this division of our work. From personal knowl. edge and our own experience in the work of the various orders, we cannot write. From our observation, our reading, and conver. sation, and a long association with members of these organizations, we can give our opinions from a disinterested standpoint.
The following little circumstance illustrates our individual views: Many years ago, in an Eastern city, a stranger stopped for the night at the principal hotel, and after registering his name, retired for the night. During the night he was taken suddenly ill. He called a servant and enquired for any member of a masonic organization. A member was sent for, and he brought other members. The stranger grew rapidly worse. In the beginning he gave his trunks, money, letters, and all his valuables, unreservedly into the keeping of his strange brethren. They watched his sick-bed day and night, and furnished him the best medical attendance the city afforded.
In four days the stranger died. His funeral was largely attended by members of the order to which he belonged, and the citizens. A funeral sermon was preached on the occasion at the First Presbyterian church, by its pastor. The sermon closed, the minister spoke on the kindness and care bestowed on the stranger by the order to which he belonged, and closed his remarks by saying:
“That if professing christians did their duty, these organizationsthese orders, would have no existence; that commendable as were the acts of kindness shown this stranger, it was only what should be done under like circumstances in any and every christian community.” That very small word “if,” boy as we were, when we heard those remarks, looked to us as an important feature of that paragraph, and those words have remained in our memory nearly
From a work on the table on which we write we make the fol. lowing extracts:
The order of Freemasons has for its object beneficence, the study of universal morality and the practice of all the virtues.
It has for its foundation-stone the existence of a God, the immor. tality of the soul, and the love of humanity.
It is composed of freemen, who, submissive to the laws, unite themselves into a society governed by general and particular statutes.
Freemasonry occupies not herself with the various religions spread throughout the world, nor the constitutions of different countries. Having her place in the sphere of ideas, she respects the religious faith and the political sympathies of all her members. And so at her meetings all discussions upon such subjects are formally forbidden. She ever maintains her ancient device-Liberty, Equality and Fraternity--but she reminds her members that while walking in the domain of ideas one of their first duties as Masons and as citizens is to respect and to observe the laws of the country in which they live."
Below we give the organizations in this city and county:
HAVANA LODGE NO. 88, A. F. AND A. M. Chartered 1850.
George Wright, W. M.; George R. Wilson, S. W.; M. Baldwin, J. W.
Number of charter members, 7.
H. W. Lindley, W. M.; Charles Schill, S. W.; A. T. Beck, J. W.; N. Leibenaler, Treas.; H. H. Hanrath, Sec'y.; O. H. Harpham and Geo. Bigg, S. and J. D.
Present membership, 88.