The Kilbourne/Boyd/Dixon/Breithut /Ohaus Families:Information about Charles S. Boyd
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Charles S. Boyd (b. 19 Sep 1794, d. 12 Nov 1881)
| Chas S Boyd 1877|
Charles S. Boyd (son of James S. Boyd and Sarah)58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71 was born 19 Sep 1794 in Orange County, NY(Prob. New Windsor)72, 73, and died 12 Nov 1881 in Princeton, IL74, 75.He married Elizabeth Dixon on 06 Jun 1814 in New York , N.Y.76, 77, 78, daughter of John Dixon and Elizabeth Purdy.
Notes for Charles S. Boyd:
CHARLES S. BOYD was born in New Windsor, Orange County, New York onSept.19, 1794, son of James S. and Sarah Boyd. In his youth he went to New York City where he resided for several years.There he was a merchant tailor, and there he was married to Elizabeth Dixon on June 16, 1814 by Rev. Archibald McClay.Seven children were born to them.In 1820, about 14 months after the birth of their third son, Nathaniel,he and his brother-in-law, John Dixon, his partner in the tailoring business, conceived the idea of emigrating to what was known as the Far West, an almost unknown wilderness inhabited principally by "savage tribes of Indians and wild beasts".
They closed out the business, and with their families, along with Charles' dog Turk, they left New York on April 13, 1820."History of Lee County, H. H. Hill Publishers" states they left in a covered wagon drawn by a single team and passed through the states of New Jersey and Pennsylvania to Pittsburgh.Bradsby states they began their journey April 13 from Orange County, NJ with two ox teams.Charles' daughter Angelica Boyd Paddock writes "(they) left New York City April 13, 1820,... making the journey... with two ox teams, the roads or trails being impassable by horses".
In Pittsburgh they bought a flat boat for $65 (per Bradsby and Paddock) or $30 (per Stevens).They partitioned off a part of the boat for living quarters, and putting their wagon, teams and effects in the other part, floated down the Ohio River.At Cincinnati they stopped to purchase provisions, including a barrel of flour for $2.62 1/2.Here they engaged a pilot to take the boat through the rapids, which were passed in safety. Their journey ended in Shawneetown, Illinois, where their boat was sold for $5.The party then again drove across the prairies with their ox teams, guided by trail and compass, over boundless prairies and unbridged rivers and streams, to Madison County where they stopped for a time at a place known as the "Marine Settlement", and finally arriving on June 24 at a settlement where the city of Springfield, IL now stands.This was two years after the admission of Illinois to the Union. They were 72 days on the way,
Here Charles Boyd erected the third log cabin in Springfield.His house stood where the capital now stands.From 1820 till 1830 he resided there, and would work at his trade whenever he could during the summer. As he would often get paid for his work in cattle, during the fall he would drive the cattle to the lead mines around Galena, and sell them to the miners, then stay and work at the mines during thewinter, and would then again return to his home.
One memorable example of such begain in June of 1827, when he, his son Alex, John Dixon and two hired hands, including Josiah Hinkle, a black servant of Mr. Todd, father-in-law of Abraham Lincoln, drove a herd of cattle along the Galena Trail to the lead mines. The area from Peoria to Galena that he traveled was an unoccupied wilderness, and his only guide on his first trip was a wandering wagon track made a few days before by a party going from Galena to Peoria. This trail, a distance of 160 miles, was later known as Kellogg's Trail.The trail passed Indian villages in the distance.The area was completely uninhabited by American settlers. It is thought that this was the first wagon that ever tracked the praries of this country.
It was a long and tedious trip. The streams were crossed by swimming the cattle and horses, with the men grabbing their tails to be ferried over.Charles disposed of his cattle at Galena.On the return trip, when the party reached Dixon, after much difficult bargaining they got the Indians to carry them across the river in their canoes, and they swam the horses.The trip was wearing out the horses, the provisions were gone, and the men began to suffer for water.As a small dog had followed them, they decided to kill it the next morning to have something to eat, but when they awoke they found the dog dead of starvation. Charles devised to get water by getting up early in the morning, spreading his shirt before him and running at full speed through the tall grass, thus gathering the dew, and wringing out the garment.The others, seeing this original device followed his example, and thus a general supply was secured.
Charles Boyd dug the first dry well and built the first brick chimney in Springfield.During this time there was no law in force. In one case only was a tax collected, this being 75 cents collected from him - the first tax paid in the county .During his residence in Springfield he kept a merchant tailor shop, in connection with a general merchandise store.His business partner was William Stephen Hamilton, who was a bachelor and made his home with the Boyds. He was the son of statesman Alexander Hamilton.William Hamilton had in his possession the silver-mounted pistols which his father used in his fatal duel with Aaron Burr in Weehawken, N.J.He apparently inherited them, and brought them to Illinois in the early 1820's. William later left these pistols, as well as a fine library, in the care of Charles for safekeeping.The pistols were heavily mounted with silver, so their value in precious metal alone was considerable, not to mention their historic value.When Charles later moved to Boyd's Grove, he took the pistols and library with him. Four children were born to the Boyds in Springfield, one a daughter called Angelica Hamilton Boyd, named by William Hamilton for his sister.
In his 2004 book "Alexander Hamilton", author Ron Chernow describes William Hamilton as follows: "William. . . was charming, handsome and eccentric.After studying at West Point he fought in the Black Hawk War, surveyed public lands in Illinois, and enjoyed a bachelor's free spirited life on the western frontier.In 1849, he flocked to the California gold rush and opened a store in Sacramento to sell supplies to miners.He died there of cholera in 1850."
In April 1830, Charles bought the claim of John Dixon along the trail at Crow Creek, south of the Indian Boundary Line in what is now Bureau County, where he was one of the original parties to establish the stage route from Peoria to Galena.A beautiful cone shaped belt of timber, it became known as Boyd's Grove.The Boyds lived in a double log house, and for 14 years kept a house for travelers, in addition to farming.A Mr. Winters ran his four-horse coaches over the stage route three times a week, and the Boydhome was one of its regular stopping places. Charles kept a relay of horses at his station, where the stages met and exchanged mail, passengers and horses. The Boyds provided "entertainment", that is, a hearty meal and straw pallets on the floor for a good night's sleep.In the morning the travelers would resume their journey.(See notes on Elizabeth Dixon for further details).At his home stopped many who were looking up claims, and he assisted many in the selection of their future homes.
About the same time as the Boyds moved to Boyd's Grove, the family of Oliver W. Kellogg, another brother-in-law of Charles Boyd, [the wife of Charles' sister?] settled first at Kellogg's Grove in Stephenson County, later in Buffalo Grove, which later became the town of Polo, Ogle County, twelve miles from Dixon.With the promise of a mail route from Peoria to Galena, Kellogg opened a trail between those towns, using the old Indian and fur trade trails from Peoria to Prairie du Chien.Kellogg established a tavern and trade post en route, and built 13 log cabins.In 1832 Kellogg's Grove was the site of an Indian attack and massacre during the Black Hawk War.Today the monument and park are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.The Dixon, Boyd and Kellogg families were the first permanent white settlers in the territory between Peoria and Galena.
On January 18, 1831, between the hours of 12 midnight and 1:00 A.M., the Boyd's dwelling burned down, consuming nearly all its contents and leaving the family destitute. (The Hamilton library was destroyed in the fire, and the Hamilton pistols were melted. The silver that remained from them was later found among the ashes. Charles had this chunk, along with the a nugget of melted silver coins, sent to Springfield and made into spoons by E. S. Phelps, a jeweler.He later gave them to his daughter Angelica, who loved to entertain her guests with the story of how Alexander Hamilton's dueling pistols came to grace her dinner table.They are currently on display in the museum of the Bureau County Historical Society.)
The snow at the time of the fire was two feet deep and the temperature was below zero. There were no houses within ten miles. The family, in their nightclothes and barefooted, escaped with two feather beds.As it was not a stage-stop night, they bundled themselves in the bedding and spent a miserable night in the smokehouse, in which happened to be some bacon and ham on which they subsisted until other supplies could be obtained.(See Angelica Boyd, who was four years old at the time, for her description of the fire).Charles was left without pantaloons, but was relieved from his embarrassing situation by a traveler on the Peoria stage, which arrived next morning, who had an old pair in his saddlebags.The stage hastened to Dixon, 50 miles to their north, with news of the disaster, and John Dixon then sent food and clothing.
Charles built a temporary camp in the woods, where he and his family remained during the winter.He campedalongside the cabin of Shabbona, (alt. Shaubena), Chief of the Potowatomes, and his four wives and band of followers. While the Boyds rebuilt their home, Shabbona and his family provided almost all of the food and necessities for the family that winter.Shabbona also made with his own hands two wooden trays which he presented to the Boyds, and which they kept as a memento of the past as well as in memory of the donor.
Charles and his sons spent the winter cutting timber and hewing logs to build a new, larger house near the site of the once which had burned.When spring came, a "raising" took place with all his friends from Peoria county pitching in to help build it, and "a beautiful dinner and three 2-gallon jugs of booze ended the exercise".Chief Shabbona carved a bowl to help the family start housekeeping again, and that bowl is in the above mentioned museum's Native American Collection.It is signed by Chief Shabbona on the bottom and also has the Boyds' name on it.
In the spring of 1832 rumors of an Indian raid, headed by Black Hawk,were heard.Depradations were being committed and some people had been killed.Shabbona advised that all women, children and old men be sent to the fort.Eliza and the younger children were sent to Ft. Clark, now Peoria.Charles and two of his sons remained on the farm and made a crop of corn, taking their guns into the fields with them for fear of attack.At night, they slept in the brush patches near the cabin, loaded guns by their side, not deeming it prudent to remain in it at night.
Matson relates an incident in which a war party consisting of nine Indians made an attack on Boyd's house about midnight one night, believing the family were sleeping within.They carried bundles of dry sticks with which they intended to set the house on fire, and then shoot the inmates as they came out.It happened that the Boyds had an old red work ox named Ben, who had a great dread of Indians. If hitched to a plow or wagon, and an Indian came within sight or scenting distance, old Ben would raise his head, roll his eyes wildly in their sockets, commence bawling, and start to run, if not prevented.A large bell had been put on Ben, so if Indians approached, he would give the alarm.Thus, as the Indians cautiously approached the house, Ben jumped up with a loud bawl, and rang his big bell at a furious rate.This frightened the other cattle, and they too jumped up and ran in various directions.The dogs barked, the horses snorted, and the Indians thought they had aroused a regiment of rangers, and, being panic stricken, dropped their bundles of sticks and fled with all haste for their camp.
The following morning, an Indian returned to the Boyd house and secreted himself close by among the thick bushes.Charles had gone to the prairie after his horses and the boys were in the door yard cleaning their rifles, unconscious of danger.The Indian advanced quietly, and seeing the boys' guns were unloaded, raised his rifle to shoot the largest boy, with the intention, no doubt, of springing forward and tomahawking the two smaller ones.But his rifle misfired, and the boys, hearing the click of the lock,ran into the house, thus defeating his murderous intentions.The Indian fled for his camp.When Charles returned and learned the facts, he and the boys mounted their horses and rode to Fort Thomas, sixteen miles distant, where they remained over night.The next morning, accompanied by a file of soldiers, they returned to the grove to search for the Indians.In the thick timber some distance from the house they found where the Indians had camped the night before, and the coals of their camp fire were still alive.By the tracks of their ponies and by the marks on the butt of a tree against which their guns had been leaned, it was thought there were eight or ten Indians, but they could not be found, and it was now quite evident that they had left the grove for other fields of depredation.
In the fall the family returned and Eliza again began to accommodate passengers on the stage routes.
The Boyd kept a house for travelers for a total of 14 years.In 1833 a post office was established here, called Boyd's Grove Post Office.Matson states, "This office did not pay very largely to the Department, as the nearest neighbor on the south was twenty miles, on the west twelve miles, on the east fifteen miles, and on the north ten miles.For ten years, no other person settled in this town."
Also in 1833 an act passed the legislature legalizing the Galena Coach Road.Although it had been traveled for six years, it had never been laid out or worked.Levi Warner conducted the first survey of the road under the direction of three appointed commissioners, one of whom was Charles Boyd.The commissioners' final report was filed in Jo Daviss County June 17, 1833, and in Springfield on June 27, 1833.The three commissioners were also among those appointed road viewers to assist in the surveying.The commissioners met at Peoria to commence their work, and at the ferry they drove the first stake.
In 1837, Charles was one of the incorporators ofthe first corporation to be organized in Lee County, "The Dixon Hotel Company".Although it is not clear that this corporation had any lawful right to issue money, it appears that Nicholas Biddle of the United States Bank received money from it.The hotel was probably killed in the subsequent panic of 1837. The foundation for the hotel was laid on the spot where the Nachusa House now stands.The Nachusa House was the site of the famed Lincoln-Douglas debates.
Charles built a log schoolhouse in the yard of his Boyd's Grove home and employed a teacher to educate the children. This continued for eight years, until the difficulty of securing and keeping competent private teachers finally caused Charles, on April 1, 1844, to sell his tavern and farm of twelve hundred acres to Robert Swanson, and move to Princeton, where he resided for the remainder of his life.
On February 11, 1864, during the Civil War, Charles enlisted as a Private in the army, and served in B Company, 64th infantry.He mustered out at Louisville, KY on July 11, 1865.
The Princeton 1877 Voters and Taxpayers record shows Charles as being then retired. Additionally, it shows him as a Republican and a Christian, having been added to the congregation of the Church of Christ by baptism.He was still a member at age 82.
The 1880 Federal Census shows Charles as a tailor living with his daughter Angelica and her son, 1st Lieut. George Paddock, at the house at 823 S. Main St., Princeton.
Charles lived 39 years in Princeton, an honored and respected citizen until his death on Saturday, November 12, 1881, at the age of 87 years and two months.He died at the residence of his daughter, "Mrs. Dr. Paddock", with whom he lived at that time.The funeral was at the Christian Church Sunday afternoon, and per his obituary,"not withstanding the inclement weather, a large number of our citizens were present."The services were conducted by G. M. Radcliffe of the Christian Church, assisted by Dr. Edwards of the Congregational Church.
His obituary also states "During his years of vigor he acquired a competence of this world's goods, and twenty-five years ago he retired from active business.In 1840 he became a member of the Christian Church of this city [another source showing he moved to Princeton in 1844, this presents a discrepancy) and during the remaining years of his life he was a devoted and active Christian; known far and wide for his liberality and acts of kindness to the poor.Strong in body, strong in mind and strong in Christian character . . . He was widely known as one of the early settlers of this county, being the head of one of the nine families which were here in 1830, and surviving by several months all who came to this vicinity with their families prior to the Black Hawk war."
More About Charles S. Boyd:
Burial: Unknown, Oakland Cemetery, Princeton, IL.79
More About Charles S. Boyd and Elizabeth Dixon:
Marriage: 06 Jun 1814, New York , N.Y..80, 81, 82
Children of Charles S. Boyd and Elizabeth Dixon are:
- Sarah Elizabeth Boyd, d. date unknown.
- +Alexander Boyd, b. 03 Jul 1817, New York City83, 84, d. 02 Jul 1902, Princeton, IL85.
- +Nathaniel Boyd, b. 01 Oct 1820, New York City, NY, d. 28 Feb 1903, Sheffield, IL.
- Charles S. Boyd, Jr., d. date unknown.
- +Angelica Hamilton Boyd, b. 03 Nov 1828, Springfield, IL86, d. 19 May 1911, 906 S. Main St., Princeton, IL87, 88, 89.
- John H. Boyd, d. Bef. 1902, Tahiti90.
- James Boyd, d. date unknown, California.