opportunity of adding many hundreds of additional acres to each son's holdings over that in Ohio if they chose to stay where they were born and reared. At any rate, nine covered wagons, bearing as many families, emigrated from near Jeromeville, Ohio, in the autumn of 1838, to Lawrence County, Illinois. However, Lawrence County was later divided and most of the emigrants actually settled in eastern Richland County.
Eight families of the nine who emigrated are known. They
are as follows:
The (9th) family in the covered wagon train is not definitely known; however, it is believed to have been Samuel Oram, (maybe a son of one of Benjamin's sisters) and wife Maria.
What an epoch this must have been in the lives of our direct ancestors. However, that was the manner in which the lands of our Nation were largely settled. These families according to tradition trudged westward for six weeks along dusty trails in search of the "Pot of Gold" at the end of the rainbow.
They forded streams, fought the little, green horseflies that were said to be as abundant over great areas as swarms of bees. Mosquitoes and other insects harassed them. Probably they experienced illness, particularly among their children -- but these forbearers were hardy pioneers and proved that they possessed all of the necessary qualities for establishing homes in a new country.
Perhaps they crossed the Wabash River at old Vincennes; then followed the old Vincennes-St. Louis trail through what is now Lawrenceville to a point not too far distant from the town of Bridgeport, Lawrence County. Hyatt, eldest son of Benjamin, found a quarter section of land to his liking in the vicinity of Bridgeport. He entered this land from the government in the fall of 1838. He lived on it for a relatively few years. Others of the caravan trudged on a few miles farther west apparently in search of lands similar to those that they had left at east central Ohio. Hyatt was lonesome in being so far away from his father and mother and other members of the family. Thus, he sold the quarter section of land piecemeal or traded it for meager numbers of livestock and followed the remainder of the caravan. He eventually settled in an area north of what is now Mount Olive church in eastern Richland County.