1940 Stories from Illinois History

When in 1832, a law was passed giving pensions to veterans of the American Revolution, ex-soldiers who had moved to Illinois began at once to make application for benefits provided in the congressional act. If legal discharges from the army had been lost or never received, proof of military service could be established by a recital of incidents that agreed with information sent by government officials to the various county boards. Men who had served under Washington told county commissioners about the battles of Brandywine, Germantown, Monmouth, and other engagements.

How well Montgomery County veterans painted word pictures of their war days when they assembled in the log cabin courthouse at Hillsboro is revealed in records of the time. After each story heard by the attentive county commissioners is the following notation: "And the said court do hereby declare their opinion that this man was a revolutionary soldier and served as he states."
Church services that began at 10 o'clock in the morning and lasted until 5 o'clock in the evening were offered to the early-settlers of many Illinois communities. Preaching in the log cabins was open to members of all denominations, and ministers often joined to lead the day-long meetings.

An account of such a service, held in Montgomery County in 1822, states that the preacher, described as "big and burly," read the first two lines of a hymn and then led the worshippers in singing them. After the sermon and a second hymn, it was announced that after a short recess, another pastor would continue the service. During the noon recess the children rushed to the fireplace with sticks or pieces of clapboard and rolled out the eggs they had brought for lunch.

In the meantime, the men went to the water bucket which stood in the back corner of the room. The procedure there was described as "being rather slow as only one dipper was provided."

Extracted 23 Oct 2019 by Norma Hass from Stories from Illinois History, compiled by the Workers of the Writers' Program of the Work Projects Administration in the State of Illinois, published in 1940, pages 41 and 54.

Templates in Time