Saturday, September 8, 2012

1835-1836---Land in LaSalle County--Early History

Stephen Sherwood married Maria Hubbell in August 30, 1832.  Maria was born in in Herrick Center near Pleasant Mount in 1811.     On June 19, 1835 Stephen bought 160 acres of land at $1.25 an acre.  When this land was sold to by Stephen to Solomon it was suggested it was actually bought from Joel A. Matteson at the land sale at Chicago.  Joel A. Matteson homesteaded near Seward Township in Au Sable.  It was here that Stephen and Maria's second child, Henry Stephen, was born.  Joel Matteson moved in 1836, about the time Stephen Sherwood did, and became active in politics.  In 1852,
Joel Matteson was elected governor of Illinois.

The Black Hawk War and indians problems discouraged settlement at first, but by 1835 things were changing.  The Sherwood Family had their Indian problems.  Upon one occasion while Stephen was gone to mill at Chicago, a number of Indians came to the the Sherwood home and wanted the last loaf of bread which Mrs. Sherwood had for herself and children.  On being refused they became angry, so she took the little ones up the ladder to the second story of their home and then drew the ladder up after her.  The savages endeavored to get up but as they did so the brave mother would hit their hands with a hatchet and finally they left but took all of the provisions in the house with ten.  The family were three days without food until Stephen returned.

This land was in La Salle County but would later be Kendall County (next to Aux Able)  July 2, 1835, he had sold half of his land to his brother Solomon H Sherwood.  By September 10, 1835, Solomon had sold back the land to Stephen.  Stephen's oldest brother, Solomon H. Sherwood died September 23, 1835.  I don't believe Stephen did much farming.  He sold the land the next Spring to George Goodhue for a promissory note of $1000.  He likely worked his trade was well as farmed during those early years as money was tight.  By 1838 he was in Coltonville, DeKalb, Illinois. working as a blacksmith.

The land Stephen bought was reasonable at $1.25 an acre.  Internal improvements such as inland waterways  help persuade new people to move to Illinois.  Also steam navigation caused many people to come westward.  The number of vessels coming to Chicago harbor increased from four in 1833 to 450 a year in 1836. A depression had hit the country from 1831-1840 and many people had lost everything they owned and had to find a new place to live. Farmers in Kendall county found that the Illinois prairie was so rich they could buy 80 acres of land, fence it in, build a house and other building, and pay off all debts and have several hundred dollars in the bank in only two years.  The frontier was a lonely place at this time, bu land at low prices was an incetive to come West.  Kendall County was one of the richest farmng counties in the state of Illinois. (75)
The first sale of land that would eventually comprise part of Kendall County was on January 1, 1835.  By June 19, 1835, Stephen Sherwood had some of that land.  Stephen probably did some farming and worked as a blacksmith.  He sold part of his land to his brother, Solomon H. Sherwood.

(Information from miscellaneous papers with the Stephen Sherwood Letters #1, #2, #3)
#1  Summary of Deed
Land Office at Chicago Illinois
19 June 1835

Received from Stephen Sherwood of La Salle County, Illinois the sum of 200 dollars__ cents being in full  payment for the N E quarter of section  22 at Township  35 North of Range  8 East of the third principle Meridian containing 160 acres and hundredths of an acre at the rate of $1.25 per acre.
E.D. Taylor   Receiver

The foregoing is entered in Index Book page 16

Stephen Sherwood & wife
To         ( Deed)
Solomon H Sherwood
(Summary of the deed)

July 2, 1835
Sherwood and Maria, his wife, of LaSalle County, Illinois (sell to)  Solomon H Sherwood of LaSalle for $400 an equal undivided half of all that certain piece or parcel of land known as described as the
NE quarter of Section 22 in Township 35 North of Range  8 East of the third principal Meridan containing 160 acres.

(continuing to 333)
Stephen Sherwood
Maria Sherwood

in presence of John B Sherwood (younger brother of Stephen Sherwood)

Stephen and Maria Sherwood came before Reuben Fagg, a Justice of the Peace July 25, 1835

The deed was entered in index book page 16

(J.A. Mateson and wife
     (Deed To)
S & S Sherwood
This indenture made this second day of July
(do not have the next page)

#2 Summary of Deed
Solomon H Sherwood to Stephen Sherwood
September 10, 1835

Solomon Sherwood of LaSalle County, Illinois sold to Stephen Sherwood for $500 all that equal undivided  half of the North East quarter of Section  22 in Township  35  North of Range  8 East of the third principal Meridan containing   80 acres which is the half of the quarter  the above described property deeded to me by Stephen Sherwood July 2, 1835.   Also are equal undivided half of the North West Eighty of Section 23 in Township 35 North of Range 8 East of the third principal Meridan containing in the whole total 80 acres which was bought at the land sale at Chicago 19 June by Joel A. Matteson and deed to S.H. Sherwood & Stephen Sherwood July 2, 1835.  Deeded from Matteson

Sealed and Delivered in the presence of Solomon H Sherwood

James Walker, a Justice of the Peace knew Solomon H Sherwood and approved this deed September 14, 1835

The foregoing deed  entered in index page 8
Rec 19 February 1836    Recorded 27 February 1836

#3 Summary of Deed
Goodhue to Sherwood
May 13, 1836

Between  George J. Goodhue  and Stephen Sherwood of LaSalle, Illinois. George Goodhue owes Stephen Sherwood $1000 to be paid by a promissory note with interest; also for further consideration for $100   the North East Quarter of Section 22 in township 35 north of Range East of the third principal Meridan and the west half of the North West quarter of Section 23 in the same Township and Range.

Sealed and Delivered in presence of Geo J Goodhue

May 10, 1835 George J Goodhue  that he entered the written mortgage for the purpose herein

Possibly George Goodhue bought out Stephen when he left the area.

June 19, 1835    Stephen buys 160 acres in Chicago for $200
July 2, 1835      Stephen sells half the land to Solomon for $400
September 10, 1835   Solomon sells his half of the land back to Stephen for $500
September 23, 1835  Death of Solomon Sherwood
May 13, 1836  Goodhue buys the land with a promissory note for $1000

Note:  The $1000 from the sale of this land may have been used to purchase land in Kenosha, Kenosha, Wisconsin the next year.

This  land would probably be in Kendall and/or  Grundell County today as these counties were formed from LaSalle in 1841 (see map in previous post)
Joel Matteson

1 comment:

  1. I know everyone back then said land was cheap, but I still can't get over the notion of buying an entire acre for $1.25. Incredible.