Lighting Ancestral Lamps

Page 51

CHAPTER VIII

Benjamin6, Patriarch
Southern Illinois Bunn Clan

According to meager records available, most of the families spent the first winter among those who had previously settled in the area near Bethel church, western Lawrence County. Benjamin6, wife Margaret, and his unmarried children, lived during the first winter at the Samuel Schrader home. Solomon and wife and Joseph Bryan and family lived at the Adam Corrie home; Seely and family lived at the Andrew Corrie home. Some of the Corries and Schraders, descendants of the above, are fellow townsmen of the writer of this sketch, William Benton Bunn, in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois.

Even though these early Bunns' lived with their new but very accommodating lllinois neighbors the first winter, they were enterprising pioneers and hurried to establish themselves in their new, surroundings as quickly as possible. Records disclose that Benjamin6 and wife and eight of their children entered from the government 1,280 acres of land in Bonpas, meaning good step, and Claremont townships in what is now Richland County, Illinois, between the dates of October 6, 1838, and December 26, 1838. In addition, Benjamin, Jr.,7 entered 160 acres, and Hyatt7 and wife, as before mentioned, entered 160 acres in the fall of 1838 in Luken township, Lawrence County. Later more land was purchased from the government until the Bunn families of this early period owned approximately 2,500 acres. All of this land had been previously surveyed and plotted in 8O-acre tracts by the government.

Records disclose that the following land entries were made directly from the government by Benjamin Bunn6 and his children in what is now south eastern Richland County, in the autumn of 1838: October 6, 1838 -- Silas Bunn, 80 acres; Seely Bunn, 160 acres; Aaron Bunn, 160 acres Mary Ann and Rebecca Bunn, 160 acres; November l, 1838 -- Benjamin Bunn6, 240 acres; Seely Bunn, 160 acres; Joseph Bryan, Jr., (husband of Elizabeth Bunn) l60acres; November 5, I838 -- Hyatt Bunn, 80 acres, and December 25, 1838 -- Solomon Bunn, 80 acres. This land for the most part is near, or along side, Bonpas township in Richland County. The east central Ohio area, and eastern Richland County, Illinois, are very similar in topography. Both acres are rolling to hilly. The hills are not as high nor as long in the Southern Illinois area. In both areas the lands were originally heavily wooded. The soil in both Ohio and Illinois was light colored- However, the sub-soil in the Ohio area was apparently superior to that in Illinois. At any rate, the crops do not deteriorate as quickly from adverse weather conditions.

Both areas originally contained numerous hard maples (sugar trees). Sugar making largely occupied the time of these early Bunns in both the Ohio and Illinois counties during the early spring months of sap flow. This product not only provided them with sugar for their household, but it also afforded them some revenue for it was saleable. Another Point of similarity of the two areas in the fact that there were here and there "out crops" of limestone on the hillsides or only a slight amount of earth over burden. These early families dug the lime stone -rock, burned it in kilns as they cleared the land, and sold quantities of it

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