Pekin library’s first president and first librarian

By Jared Olar
Library Assistant

Last week we reviewed the earliest history of Pekin’s library as recorded in 1902 by Miss Mary Elizabeth Gaither. As her written account says, when the leading women of Pekin society gathered on Nov. 24, 1866, to organize a library association, they elected Mrs. Charlotte Donigan as the association’s first president.

She held that post only until the association’s meeting in Jan. 1867, when the association elected and appointed a full slate of officers, and hired a librarian. At that time, Mrs. Sarah Cummings, wife of Columbus R. Cummings, was elected president; Miss Cora Cummings was elected secretary; Mrs. S. E. Barber was elected treasurer; and William S. Prince was hired as Pekin’s first librarian.

Although Gaither recorded the married surname of the library association’s first name as “Donigan,” a closer look at the contemporary records of her life shows that her surname was more properly spelled “Dunnigan.” Her family knew her by the nickname “Lottie.”

Born in 1836 in Whiteside County, Illinois, Charlotte came to Pekin with her parents Jonathan and Sarah (Hinsey) Haines in 1849. As readers of this column will recall, Lottie’s father Jonathan was the inventor of the Illinois Harvester, which he and his brother Ansel manufactured and sold from their factory at the corner of Ninth and Broadway. Lottie’s uncle William had been one of the co-founders of Pekin in 1830, and she lived with her parents at the Haines place between Haines and Sixth streets.

The U.S. Census on Dec. 11, 1850, shows Charlotte, 16, living in Pekin with her parents and siblings. Then, in the U.S. Census returns of June 12, 1860, she again is shown living with her parents and siblings in Pekin. At that time she was 24 and unmarried. However, the 1850 and 1860 censuses also show an Ohio-born man named Alpheus Dunnigan, born circa 1819, living in the Haines household. In 1850, Alpheus is described as a laborer, and in 1860 he is listed as a carpenter. He probably worked for Jonathan and Ansel Haines in their factory.

Notably, in the 1860 census Alpheus is listed with a 7-month-old baby girl named Sallie Dunnigan, born in California. From the fact that no wife is listed with Alpheus and Sallie, we may suppose that he had been married, but Sallie’s mother perhaps died in childbirth. Within a year or two, Charlotte married Alpheus.

Charlotte and Alpheus did not get a chance to enjoy a long marriage together, for Alpheus was mustered into the 108th Illinois Infantry, Company K, in Aug. 1862, to serve in the Union Army during the Civil War. During his tour of duty, Alpheus fell sick at Young’s Point, Louisiana, and died Feb. 8, 1863, leaving Charlotte a widow. She never remarried. Charlotte had been a widow for almost four years when she was chosen to serve as the Ladies’ Library Association’s first president.

In the U.S. Census returns of July 7, 1870, Charlotte is shown living in Pekin in the home of her brother Murray and his wife Mary. Sallie is not listed with her, evidently having died between the 1860 and 1870 censuses, perhaps even before her father married Charlotte. Our last record of Charlotte is the U.S. Census of June 19, 1880, when she and her younger sister Annie Hughes were recorded with their widowed mother Sarah Haines, the three living together in a house in San Jose, Illinois. Charlotte died around 1886, according to an family tree.

In comparison to Mrs. Charlotte Dunnigan, not very much is known about Pekin’s first librarian William S. Prince. He appears in the U.S. Census returns dated Oct. 15, 1850, as “William Prince,” 11, born in Pennsylvania, being enumerated along with “Maria Prince,” 7, born in Pennsylvania (evidently William’s younger sister), both of them living in the household of Catesby and Fanny Gill in Tazewell County. From this, we know William Prince was born circa 1839 in Pennsylvania.

William next appears on record in June 1863 when he registered for Union Army’s Civil War draft. The draft register has two entries, both of which seem to be William: “Prince William S.,” 23, white, Clerk, single, born in Illinois, living in Washington, Ill., and a second time as “Prince William S.,” 23, white, Clerk, single, born in Illinois, living in Atlanta, Ill.

Although these entries say he was born in Illinois rather than Pennsylvania, they certainly are entries of our William S. Prince, who apparently was not sure where he was born. Note that in the 1850 census he was not living with his parents, who presumably had died, leaving him and Maria as orphans who were then raised by the Gills. It is unknown whether the Gills were related to the Princes.

The Gill family had settled in the areas of Dillon and Atlanta, Illinois (Atlanta is also where Prince lived in 1863). Catesby (1787-1853) and his wife Frances “Fanny” (Vaughn) Gill were the parents of Thomas Nelson Gill (1820-1872), whose wife was Theresa. That is the Mrs. Thomas N. Gill who was one of the 22 original members of the Ladies’ Library Association, and who hosted the meeting where the Ladies’ Library Association of Pekin was first organized. Prince’s ties to the Gill family explains how William S. Prince came to be hired as the first librarian in Nov. 1866.

Prince held the post of librarian for the Pekin Library Association until 1868, when he was succeeded by Miss Alice Finley. Two years after that, at the time of the 1870 U.S. Census, we find “Prince Wm,” 30, male, white, County Clerk’s Office, born in Illinois, living in the boarding house of Thomas and Theresa Gill of Pekin. At the same time, the 1870-71 Sellers & Bates Pekin City Directory shows “Prince W. S., recorder’ office, bds ss Washington southern terminus Buena Vista Avenue.” So, after his stint as Pekin’s first librarian, Prince moved on to the staffs of the Tazewell County Clerk and Recorder.

This detail from the 1870-71 Sellers & Bates City Directory of Pekin shows William S. Prince, a staff member in the Tazewell County Recorder’s Office. Prince served as the first librarian of the Pekin Library Association from 1866 to 1868.

Prince does not appear in the 1876 Bates city directory of Pekin, for he had moved elsewhere by then. It is probably our William S. Prince who was enumerated in the 1900 U.S. Census as a resident of Springfield, Missouri. The record lists him as “William S. Prince,” 60, born Oct. 1839 in Illinois (sic), single, an abstracter residing in a boarding house at 424 South St., Springfield, Mo. This census record says his father had been born in France and his mother in Kentucky.

Prince ended his days in Illinois, residing in the state capitol Springfield, where he died Saturday, Jan. 22, 1916. His obituary, printed in the Jan. 28, 1916 Farmer City Journal, says:

“William S. Prince, who made his home with his nephew, Fred Winsor, in this vicinity for several years, died on Saturday morning in a Springfield hospital, after a year’s illness. He was 77 years old and is survived by two sisters, Mrs. A. B. Winsor and Mrs. Herbert L. Denison of Bloomington. The funeral took place at Atlanta, a former home.”

Next week we will continue with the story of the Pekin Library Association in the latter 19th century.

#alpheus-dunnigan, #ansel-haines, #catesby-gill, #charlotte-donigan, #charlotte-dunnigan, #columbus-r-cummings, #cora-cummings, #fanny-gill, #frances-c-wilson, #frances-gill, #haines-harvester, #illinois-harvester, #jonathan-haines, #ladies-library-association, #maria-prince, #miss-alice-finley, #mrs-a-b-winsor, #mrs-herbert-l-denison, #mrs-s-e-barber, #mrs-thomas-n-gill, #mrs-thomas-nelson-gill, #murray-haines, #pekin-public-library, #pekin-public-library-history, #sallie-dunnigan, #sarah-cummings, #sarah-haines, #theresa-gill, #william-s-prince

A glimpse into the life of Pekin pioneer William Haines

This is a reprint of a “From the Local History Room” column that first appeared in May 2014, before the launch of this weblog.

A glimpse into the life of Pekin pioneer William Haines

By Jared Olar
Library Assistant

Among the pioneer founders of Pekin was a man named William Haines, who is twice mentioned in the historical essay included in the 1870 Sellers & Bates Pekin City Directory, on page 9. Like many of the original settlers of Pekin, Haines came from Ohio.

Born on Sept. 13, 1801, he was the son of Joseph Haines, who came with his children to Tazewell County about 1828 and settled in Cincinnati Township. The first time the 1870 city directory mentions William Haines is in the story of the purchase and laying out of the town site that was to become Pekin.

“At the land sales at Springfield in the fall of 1828, the ‘Town Site’ was purchased by Maj. Cromwell for a company composed of himself, William Haines, William Brown, Thomas Snell, Peter Menard, Dr. Warner, A. Herndon and ____ Carpenter, of Sangamon county, and the purchase was divided in twelve parts. The question as to who should possess so important a piece of ground as the present location of Pekin created considerable excitement and the feeling rose to such a pitch at the land sale that pistols were drawn and bloodshed seem (sic) inevitable. The parties above mentioned, were successful, however, and the matter was amicably adjusted.”

Haines also appears several times in Charles C. Chapman’s 1879 “History of Tazewell County.” For instance, on page 244, Chapman tells of how Pekin was first designated as the county seat on Feb. 16, 1831, and county offices then were moved from Mackinaw to Pekin. “The Clerk’s office in Pekin,” Chapman says, “was located ‘in the upper room of William Haines’ corner building, occupied by William M. Farnsworth.′ The Court paid as rental for this room, where it also subsequently convened, $2 per month. These quarters were retained until Oct. 1, 1831, when the office was moved to Gideon Hawley’s room, where it remained for a month; . . . .

Then on page 563, Chapman quotes from the memoirs of Pekin pioneer settler Jacob Tharp, who wrote,
. . . Major Cromwell came in 1829, and bought out Dillon’s stock in trade . . . . In the same year, Hawley and William Haines built cabins in our town.” Chapman also quotes Tharp’s account of the surveying, platting and sale of Pekin in 1830 on pages 564-565, mentioning that Haines was one of the five original plat holders of Pekin.

Chapman also notes that Benjamin S. Prettyman married William’s daughter Sarah A. Haines in April 1845, while on page 643 of Chapman’s history is a brief biographical and genealogical sketch of William’s son Joseph. The sketch has this to say about William and his children:

″[Joseph] was born in Butler Co., O., and came to the county with his parents, William and Elizabeth (Wilson) Haines, also natives of Ohio, in the year, 1828. . . . William Haines, the father of the subject of this sketch, on coming to this county, located first at Pekin, and was one of the original proprietors. He died in that city in 1834, with the cholera. He owned, at the time of his death, all the lots fronting north on Court street, save two, of the original town of Pekin. . . . Mr. Haines, Sr., left a family of five children at his death, whose names were, Sarah Ann, now the wife of B. S. Prettyman of Pekin; Elizabeth Jane, many years deceased; Martha Ellen, who married John Gorage, of Ottumwa, Iowa, and died about the year 1872 or ’73 . . . ; Caroline Matilda, who married John M. Hedrick, of Ottumwa, Iowa, and is still living; the next, Mr. Joseph F. Haines, the subject of this sketch, is now living at Hainesville, a station on the P., P. & J. R. R., which derives its name from him . . . .” (Hainesville, today called Parkland, is southwest of Pekin in Spring Lake Township.)

As the sketch says, William’s life was cut short during the cholera epidemic of the summer of 1834 that killed many of the original settlers of Pekin. Some online genealogies state that William’s mother died in the same epidemic, William dying on July 10 and his mother on July 13. William’s father Joseph survived the epidemic, dying in Pekin in 1844.

Although William died just four years after Pekin’s founding, his younger brother James Haines, born Sept. 10, 1822, in Butler County, Ohio, lived to the age of 87, dying in Pekin on Sept. 11, 1909, making a big enough mark during his lifetime to warrant having his biography included in the 1873 Tazewell County atlas on page 55. James’ biographical sketch says he was the youngest child of Joseph and “Laura” Haines (other sources say his mother was named “Sarah”), and also notes that he was one of the commissioners appointed in 1849 by the Illinois General Assembly to build a courthouse in Pekin (the one that preceded the current courthouse).

Two other brothers of William and James were prominent in Pekin’s early history: Jonathan and Ansel, who went into business together to manufacture Jonathan’s patented invention, the Illinois Harvester. Their factory was located near Benson’s Maytag and James Field on Ninth Street, and James Haines later owned and lived in Jonathan’s former house that still stands at 412 S. Sixth St.

James’ older brother William figures in one other memorable episode from Pekin’s early history — the night the first steamboat came to Pekin (or the place that would later be named Pekin). This is the way the historical essay in the 1870 city directory tells the story:

“The first steamboat to ascend the Illinois river landed at ‘Town Site’ late in the fall of 1828. A steamboat was a novelty, or rather a mystery, to many of the early settlers. Coming up the river, the boat passed Kingston in the night. Hugh Barr, who lived near that point, heard it coming, and, being on rather unfriendly terms with the Indians, then quite numerous in the vicinity, concluded that it was some infernal contrivance of theirs to frighten or harm him. Seizing his gun and setting his equally bewildered dog at it, he pursued the offending mystery. The pilot, not being familiar with the channel, ran into Clifton’s lake. Finding no outlet, he had to back the boat out, which, Barr witnessing, drew off his dog, and though still hugely puzzled to know what manner of craft it was, gave up pursuit. William Haines then lived about where Behrens’ brick block, corner of Front and Court streets, now stands. Hearing the puff of the escaping steam, he hastily left his bed, and half dressed, crossed the street to Thomas Snell’s, now the Bemis House, called neighbor Snell out of bed and enquired as to what manner of creature was coming up the river. Snell replied: ‘I don’t know, Bill, but if I was on the Ohio river I would think it was a steamboat.’ Old father Tharp hearing the noise of the paddles and the steam whistle, thought it was Gabriel blowing his horn; that sure enough the end of the world had come in the night, and, calling up his family, engaged in prayer as a fitting preparation for the advent of a higher and better life.”

Shown here is an advertisement for James Haines’ insurance agency in downtown Pekin, from the April 13, 1860 Tazewell Republican newspaper. James Haines was the youngest brother of Pekin co-founder William Haines.

#ansel-haines, #benjamin-prettyman, #elizabeth-wilson-haines, #gideon-hawley, #haines-harvester, #hugh-barr, #illinois-harvester, #james-haines, #jonathan-haines, #joseph-haines, #pekin-founders, #pekin-founding, #pekin-history, #pekin-pioneers, #preblog-columns, #sarah-ann-haines, #thomas-snell, #william-haines, #william-m-farnsworth

A look inside Root’s City Directory of 1861

This is a reprint of a “From the Local History Room” column that first appeared in Feb. 2014, before the launch of this weblog.

A look inside Root’s City Directory of 1861

By Jared Olar
Library Assistant

A couple months ago in this column space, we took a look through the city of Peoria’s very first city directory, “The Peoria Directory for 1844,” compiled and published by Simeon DeWitt Drown, town surveyor for Peoria.

The later city directories for Peoria were published by Omi E. Root – and it was Root who published Pekin’s first city directory in June 1861, 17 years after the publication of Drown’s Peoria directory. A facsimile copy of the 1861 directory for Pekin, reprinted by the Tazewell County Genealogical & Historical Society, may be found in the Pekin Public Library’s Local History Room collection.

Besides a facsimile reprint of the 1861 Root’s City Directory of Pekin available for study in the Pekin Public Library’s Local History Room, the library’s private archives also include a fragile first edition of the 1861 directory that had belonged to Pekin historian William H. Bates (who heavily annotated this copy while preparing the 1870 directory).

Called “Root’s Directory of the City of Pekin for the year 1861,” this volume is only 93 pages long. To give an idea of Pekin’s growth since 1861, the most recent Polk city directory for Pekin extends to 470 pages.

Later Pekin city directories, prepared and published by William H. Bates, would include an essay on the history of Pekin, but Root’s directory has no historical or geographical essays. The entries are grouped into nine categories, each with its own section. The section titles are: Special Business Directory; Streets and Avenues; Names; City, Town, and County; Stages, Railroads, and Packets; Educational; Companies and Associations; Religious; and Business Directory.

The largest section of the directory (from pages 12 to 64) is “Names,” which lists the households of Pekin in alphabetical order by the surname of the head of household. “Stages, Railroads, and Packets,” on page 68, lists the local stage coach, railroad and steamboat companies for the convenience of those needing transportation or shipping of merchandise or property.

Shown here is an advertisement from the 1861 Root’s Pekin City Directory for local riverboats and railroads that operated in and around Pekin.

The next section, on page 70, lists the schools of Pekin. At the time, Pekin had only six schools, each with simple if not especially memorable or interesting names: the Brick School-House (predecessor of Pekin Community High School, and remembered by its former students as “the Old Brick”), Cincinnati School, Yellow School-House, Second-Street School, Frame School-House, and German and English School.

The section entitled “Companies and Associations” is a descriptive list of Pekin’s community clubs, such as the Odd-Fellows, the Masons or the Sons of Temperance. Curiously, the city’s three fire companies – Independent No. 1, Rescue No. 1 and Defiance, all organized in 1860 – are grouped with the community associations. That was before the establishment of a single fire department as a branch of city government.

Under the header of “Religious” are listed the 11 churches that then existed in Pekin: First Baptist Church (30 members, 140 Sunday School students), the Roman Catholic Church (400 members), St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (50 regular attendants), the German Evangelical Association, St. Paul’s German Evangelical Church (64 members), the German Evangelical Church (separate from St. Paul’s, having 45 members), St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church (40 members), the Methodist Episcopal Church (96 members), the German Methodist Episcopal Church, the Reformed Dutch Church (average attendance of 60), and the First Universalist Church of Pekin (38 members).

The section called “City, Town, and County,” on page 65, is a list of the elected and appointed government officials of the city of Pekin, Pekin Township and Tazewell County. In those days, municipal elections took place annually on the third Monday in April, and Isaac E. Leonard had just been elected to serve a one-year term as mayor of Pekin. The city council in those days was a Board of Aldermen, with four aldermen representing the city’s four wards. Also in the list of county officers were Tazewell County Sheriff Chapman Williamson, Coroner John Wildhack, County Clerk John Gridley, Circuit Clerk and County Recorder George H. Harlow, and County Treasurer William S. Maus.

Notably, Maus (a former physician whose biography has been sketched in a previous Local History Room column) was wearing two hats in April 1861. He was Pekin Township Supervisor as well as County Treasurer, having been asked to fill a vacancy in the treasurer’s office on Dec. 8, 1860. He served as treasurer until the end of the unexpired term in November of 1861.

Among the full-page advertisements in the 1861 Root’s City Directory of Pekin was this one for the Haines Agricultural Works, which was owned and operated by the brothers Ansel and Jonathan Haines at a spot just east of present-day James Field. Among the implements made at their factory was Jonathan’s patented Illinois Harvester, also known as the Haines Harvester.

#a-j-haines, #ansel-haines, #coroner-john-wildhack, #county-clerk-john-gridley, #dr-william-s-maus, #drowns-directory, #first-baptist-church, #first-universalist-church-of-pekin, #george-h-harlow, #german-evangelical-association, #german-evangelical-church, #german-methodist-episcopal-church, #haines-harvester, #isaac-e-leonard, #jonathan-haines, #methodist-episcopal-church, #nebraska-packet-boat, #old-brick, #omi-e-root, #pekin-fire-companies, #preblog-columns, #reformed-dutch-church, #roots-city-directory, #sheriff-chapman-williamson, #simeon-dewitt-drown, #st-johns-evangelical-lutheran-church, #st-joseph-catholic-church, #st-pauls-episcopal-church, #st-pauls-german-evangelical-church, #william-h-bates

The old Tharp burial ground

By Jared Olar
Library assistant

Two months ago we recalled the history of one of Pekin’s early industrial businesses, the A. & J. Haines Harvester Factory that operated at the corner of Broadway and Ninth from 1849 to 1890. As a busy and noisy mid-19th century factory, the Haines manufacturing outfit was located in the midst of the sparsely populated fields and meadows of what was then Pekin’s outskirts so as not to disturb the city’s residents.

But this week we’ll turn our attention to the Haines factory’s much quieter next-door neighbors, who slept so soundly that no industrial cacophony could rouse them. These were the “residents” of the old Tharp Burial Ground, which was located at the corner of Broadway and 11th from the 1830s until the 1880s. The Tharp Burial Ground was one of the early cemeteries from Pekin’s pioneer days that is no more, the burials having been later moved to make way for the expansion and development of the city.

The Tharp Burial Ground is named for the Tharp family, who were among the earliest pioneers to settle in what was soon to become the “Town Site” that was formally named Pekin in Jan. 1830. In fact, Jonathan Tharp was the very first white settler here, erecting a log cabin in 1824 on a bluff above the Illinois River at a spot that is today at the foot of Broadway. Tharp’s cabin was not far from the wigwams of Shabbona, leader of the Pottawatomi who lived in a large village here. The following year, Jonathan’s father Jacob and other family members followed him from Ohio and built their own homesteads near his.

Later, the Tharps operated a farm in the area now occupied by St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and School, and a historical marker at the St. Joseph’s Parish Center tells visitors that the Tharp farm was once located there, on the street once called Tharp Place (now St. Joseph Place). If one were to extend the line of Tharp/St. Joseph Place straight eastward out to 11th Street, one would reach the southeast corner of the Tharp Burial Ground, which began as a family burying ground for the Tharps.

The detail from an old 1877 aerial view drawing of Pekin looking toward the south shows the former Tharp Burial Ground on the left edge of the map. The old Haines Harvester factory buildings are shown left of the center of this image. At the center is the plot of ground that is today known as James Field. The farmstead of the Tharp family (at a spot now occupied by the St. Joseph Parish Center) is shown at the right edge of the image.

The Tharp pioneer cemetery is marked with a Christian cross and the word “cemetery” on the 1864 M. H. Thompson wall plat map of Tazewell County. An 1872 map of Pekin in the 1873 “Atlas Map of Tazewell County” also identifies the cemetery as “Tharps Burial Ground.” However, by 1891 the Tazewell County atlas plat shows only the outline of where the cemetery had been.

This detail from an 1872 plat map of Pekin shows the location of the old Tharp Burial Ground at the corner of Broadway and Pearl (now 11th Street). The area is now occupied by the Schnucks grocery store building.

What became of the Tharp Burial Ground? The answer is found in the Local History Room’s index for Oak Grove Cemetery, which the index describes as follows (emphasis added):

“Oak Grove consists of six acres originally under the supervision of Sons of Temperance, instituted April 10, 1848, known as Temperance Cemetery. Warranted by William and Jerusha Stansberry for the sum of $150.00. It is now a part of Lakeside Cemetery Association, located on North side of Pekin, West side of Route 29. Some burials were on the East bluff at the Old Sons of Temperance Burial Ground. They were moved to Oak Grove to make way for the building of McKinley School. Also moved here was the Tharpe (sic) Burial Ground which was at the corner of Broadway and Eleventh Streets, to make way for the building of the Old Douglas School.

The Old Douglas School was built in 1881-2 and was originally called “the East Side School,” and thus on the 1891 plat map of Pekin we find the Tharp Burial Ground replaced by “the East Side School House.” That school building stood until the 1920s, when it was replaced by a larger Douglas School. That school in turn stood until 1988, when it was demolished to make way for a new shopping center, originally K’s Supersaver (now Schnucks).

Construction work at that site in 1988 led to the somewhat unsettling discovery that when the Tharp Burial Ground was closed down and the pioneer remains interred there were moved to Oak Grove Cemetery (now Lakeside Cemetery), a number of burials had been overlooked. In June 1988, anthropologist Alan Hern of Dixon Mounds Museum was called in to assist Tazewell County Coroner Bob Haller with the investigation and removal of the burials. Hern and Haller determined that the burials were probably victims of the cholera epidemic of July 1834 who had been buried in haste.

A video of Hern’s work at the site of the former Tharp Burial Ground was made by retired Pekin police officer and local historian Jim Conover. A DVD copy of Conover’s video is in the Pekin Public Library’s Local History Room Collection and is available for viewing at the library.

#alan-hern, #douglas-school, #haines-harvester, #jacob-tharp, #james-field, #jim-conover, #jonathan-haines, #jonathan-tharp, #ks-supersaver, #oak-grove-cemetery, #old-douglas-school, #pekin-history, #pekins-lost-cemeteries, #shabbona, #st-joseph-parish-center, #tazewell-county-coroner-robert-haller, #tharp-burial-ground

Jonathan Haines and the Illinois Harvester

By Jared Olar
Library assistant

Pekin officially has been organized as a city since 1849. That year was important in Pekin’s history for other reasons, as the 1949 “Pekin Centenary,” page 9, explains:

“The year 1849, just 100 years ago, was the turning point in Pekin’s development. The Smith Wagon company, an enterprise which was then to become one of the city’s key enterprises and builders came into being at 301 Margaret street that year, and Jonathan Haines invented an improved mechanical reaper and built a reaper factory at Broadway and Ninth streets, the forerunner of the great steel and farm implement factories of this area.”

We have already told the story of the Smith Wagon company, but what can we learn about Jonathan Haines and his reaper factory?

Quite a lot, as it happens. But to tell the tale properly, first we must turn to Charles Bent’s 1877 “History of Whiteside county, Illinois,” in which a biographical sketch of Jonathan Haines’ life was published on page 302. Haines is mentioned many times in Bent’s history, but for our purposes we need only notice his biography, which reads as follows:

JONATHAN HAINES was a native of Butler county, Ohio, and came to Illinois in 1826, first settling in Tazewell county. In 1835 he came to Whiteside county on his way to Galena, and being so well pleased with the location of what is now known as Jacobstown, and the water privileges there, made a claim and erected a cabin. His purpose in going to Galena was to use his steam ice boat, which he had recently patented, in navigating the Upper Mississippi during the winter, feeling sanguine of carrying the United States mail, and keeping up trade with St. Paul, and the upper forts. He made a few trips to Dubuque. In the winter of 1835, Felix French lived in the cabin, and took care of the mill claim, Mr. J. T. Atkinson boarding with him during the time while he was making rails and cutting logs on his claim near by. Mr. Haines returned in 1836, and built a saw mill on his claim, on the opposite side of the creek from the present mill. This mill, however, was washed away by a freshet after one log had been sawed, and in 1837 he erected another one on the same site, to which he afterwards added a pair of burrs for grinding grain. In 1847 he invented the ‘Illinois Harvester,’ and put up machine shops at Unionville, where he manufactured them until his removal to Tazewell county, in 1849. These Harvesters have since been somewhat improved, and are now extensively used in all the Western States. Union Grove Precinct was named by Mr. Haines, J. T. Atkinson, and Henry Boyer, in the spring of 1836. Mr. Haines was quite a prominent man in Whiteside county at an early day, and held several positions of public trust. He was a useful citizen, a kind and generous neighbor, and endeared himself to all who became acquainted with his many excellent traits of character. He died in Pekin, Tazewell county, February 22, 1868, of apoplexy.”

As one of the earliest pioneers of Tazewell County in 1826, it’s no surprise that Jonathan Haines is also mentioned in Charles C. Chapman’s 1879 “History of Tazewell County.” Somewhat disappointingly, though, he is mentioned in that volume only once, on page 261, where he is said to have seen action but escaped with his scalp still in his possession at the military debacle of Stillman’s Run at the start of the Black Hawk War in 1832. An online memorial at Find-A-Grave shows a photograph of his grave and grave markers in Lakeside Cemetery, Pekin, and the inscription on his weather-worn gravestone says he had died “in the 60th year of age” and identifies him as “PVT CO 6 MTD REG (IVC) BLACK HAWK WAR.” An early photographic portrait of Jonathan Haines has also been uploaded to his Find-A-Grave memorial by Sue Durst. The memorial also says Jonathan was born Oct. 3, 1808, in Ohio, one of the many sons and daughters of Joseph and Sarah (Long) Haines. Jonathan’s oldest brother was none other than William Haines (1801-1834), one of the four co-founders of Pekin. Jonathan’s wife was named Sarah Hinsey (1814-1886), and they had at least two children, a daughter Rose Frances (1836-1917) and a son Murray J. (1844-1884)

Jonathan Haines (1808-1868)

Despite the absence of any biographical information in Chapman’s 1879 history that might have told of what Haines did while living and working in Tazewell County from 1849 to his death in 1868, details from the story of Haines’ life and labor in Pekin can be gleaned from city directories, maps, and atlases in the Pekin Public Library’s Local History Room. An account of Haines’ business dealings in both Whiteside and Tazewell counties may also be found in Sam Moore’s article, “Acme Hay Harvester Company: Giant Among Farm Equipment Manufacturers Nearly Lost to Farm History,” published May 2010 in the online magazine “Farm Collector.”

It was in 1847 that Jonathan obtained a federal patent for his hay harvesting machine, which he called the Illinois Harvester. As mentioned above, at first Jonathan manufactured his invention in Whiteside County, but in 1849 he returned to Pekin and built a factory there.

The 1861 Root’s City Directory of Pekin, pages 30 and 79, shows that by that year Jonathan was in a partnership with his brother Ansel. The directory identifies their firm as “HAINES A. & J., manufacturers of Haines’s Illinois Harvester, agricultural implements, steam engines, and mill work, se. cor. Fleet and Campbell.” The names of Fleet and Campbell streets are no more, but the streets are still there – they are Broadway and Ninth. The Haines’ factory was located at a spot just across the street from James Field today, catty corner to the former West Campus. It’s a subdivision known as (naturally) the Haines Addition, where Benson’s Maytag and various residences are today. Jonathan and Ansel had built homes in Colts Addition, just south of St. Joseph Catholic Church and School. The land of Jonathan and Ansel is today bisected by Haines Avenue. (The 1861 city director shows that another Haines brother, Pekin attorney James Haines, also lived in Colts Addition at this time, and James’ house, which may have belonged to Jonathan before his death in 1868, is still there today.)

An 1864 wall map of Tazewell County published by “Surveyor & Map Publisher” of Dundee, Ill., shows “HAINS ADD” (Haines Addition) just east of Colts Addition, and in Haines Addition are shown five buildings identified as “Machin Works” (machine works), at the southeast corner of Fleet and Campbell.

This detail from an 1864 wall plat map of Pekin shows Jonathan Haines’ factory (“Machin Works”) in Haines Addition, where Haines’ patented invention, the Illinois Harvester, was manufactured. The area is across the street from James Field and catty-corner to the former location of West Campus.

The 1872 map of Pekin in the 1873 “Atlas Map of Tazewell County” shows “Haine’s Manufactory” (sic) in “HAINE’S ADDn” (sic) consisting of five buildings. The property of Jonathan and Ansel in Colts Addition is also marked on the map as “J. HAINES” and “A. HAINES,” although Jonathan had died four years earlier (the “J. Haines” property by then was certainly the home of their brother James Haines). The map indicates that Jonathan Haines’ factory was still operating even after his death. Sam Moore’s “Farm Collector” article explains what became of the Haines factory, telling of a man named:

“. . . Andrew J. Hodges, who also invented a header harvester during the early 1870s, and started the Hodges Header Co. in Pekin to build the thing. At that point, events are murky, but based on one account it appears that the Haines and the Hodges firms were combined, retaining the Hodges Header Co. name.”

Much of that murkiness can be dispelled with the help of the Pekin city directories from that time. The Haines and Hodges firms certainly were combined, probably after Jonathan’s death. In the 1870, 1876, and 1887 Pekin city directories, we find the “A. J. Hodges & Co. Haines Harvester” factory located at the same spot as the old Haines Harvester factory, at the corner of Fleet and Campbell. However, the Hodges firm does not appear in any later Pekin city directories. It was in 1890, according to Moore’ article, that Acme Hay Harvester Co. bought the Hodges firm, and thus we find in the 1891 Tazewell County atlas plat that the old Haines factory had become the “Acme Harvester Works” at the site of the old Haines factory. (Moore does not say whether or not Wile E. Coyote ever bought one of Acme’s harvesters.)

Acme does not appear in the 1893 Pekin City Directory nor in any later Pekin directory. From Moore, we learn that Acme moved to Peoria and built a large factory complex there, so it must have been about 1892 that Acme closed the Pekin factory and moved all operations to Peoria. During its heyday, Acme was one of the chief competitors of International Harvester, but finally lost its fight with IH and went out of business in 1917. Thus ended a tale that began with Jonathan Haines’ 1847 patent for the Illinois Harvester.

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