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The speaker is a 73-year-old White man with a college education from Ottawa, Illinois; he was recorded in 1969.
00:10-02:45


County: LaSalle
State: IL

Commentary:
This speaker was born and raised in Utica, but spent the fifteen years before this interview was made in the larger near-by town of Ottawa, at the junction of the Fox and Illinois Rivers in north-central Illinois. He is knowledgeable about the history of the area, which he relates here.
Inf: Well, I live in La Salle County, which is uh, one of the larger counties in north-central Illinois. Uh, it's bisected by the Illinois River. And it's famed because uh, in this county, we have Starved Rock. At the time, the early French uh, explorers came down this river, Illinois River, and uh, they uh, estab-, there was a big Indian village on the plains or in the bottom lands opposite Starved Rock, several thousand Indi-, Illini Indians lived there, and the French uh, had a fort on top of Starved Rock. And then later, this is the same rock where they, i-in the Indian wars, the uh, Iroquois came from the east and uh, besieged a, a party, the last party of the Illinois Indians on top of Starved Rock, and starved them out there, and that is about the end of the Illinois tribe, in this part of the country.

And uh, my great grandfather, who was born in around Pittsburgh and was apprenticed out as a boy, and to get out of the apprenticeship, he enlisted in the army during the War of 1812 and that freed him from his apprenticeship. And then he came to, down the Ohio River, stayed a sh-short time uh, in Ohio and then came down to southern Illinois. And in 1819, he made a visit up in er, uhs, uh, use, he was one of the first men in, white men, to come into uh, La Salle County. At that time, he only stayed a year or so and uh, he made part of his living by uh, uh, getting honey out of uh, wild honey bee trees. And he came back in the 1820s and uh, he was a millwright and he established uh, a gristmill on the Cedar Crick south of uh, of La Salle and he kept that for only a little while and then he moved to, uh, sold that and moved to uh, north of Utica and on Pecumsaugan Crick, which is an Indian name of a crick that flows into the Illinois River, he established two gristmills: a gristmill and a carding mill. And uh, at about the same time, steam, uh, steamboats started uh, use-, coming up the Mississippi River and the Illinois and they would uh, head of navigation was Starved Rock 'cause the rapids at Starved Rock and boats couldn't go any further. So the whole town of Utica, or Science as it was called then, was established on the north bank of the Illinois River, several miles west of wh-, of Starved Rock.


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