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Nature Fought Early Settlers
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Nature Fought Early Settlers
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(Continued from Page 1)

what is now section 12, Atlas township, and working turn-about with his neighbor, Franklin, he built a log house for his family. He at once set about improving his wilderness home, hewing rails from the forest trees and fencing some of his acres, plowing with oxen and wooden moldboard plow the first field ever broken at Atlas, and planting the first crop of Indian corn there.

Shinn became a leader in the early history and development of the county, assisted in building the first log court house at Coles’ Grove and the first jail in Atlas, helped lay out the road from Atlas to Pittsfield, and raised the first hogs and sheep in the county. Wolves that roamed in large bands and made the nights hideous with their howling’s, devoured 200 of his pigs before he hit upon the expedient of shutting his hogs in a log stable for protection. Mr. Shinn became the owner of 700 acres of Pike county land at one time and reared a family of 13 children. He died while visiting a daughter in Pittsfield in March, 1852, his wife having passed away about 1846.

More Settlers in Atlas

In the late summer of 1820 came the Ross brothers and established their rude cabins where now is Atlas, their families, who had stopped at Alton, coming on the following spring to occupy them, which story is told elsewhere in this edition.

The four original log houses at Ross’s Settlement (Atlas) were soon surrounded by others, whose owners arrived in the footsteps of the Rosses. Among them were two more Rosses, John and Jeremiah. About this time came James M. Seeley, father of Dr. E. M. Seeley of the old Pittsfield mercantile firm of Seeley & Loyd. Others erecting cabins included Rufus Brown, who established the first tavern at Atlas and who later established the first tavern at Quincy when that town was founded. Came also Chas. McGiffin and Levi Newman, who located opposite Louisiana on a slough once known as McGiffin’s Slough. James McDonald, wife and four daughters arrived about this time from Washington county, New York, and settled on an island in the Sny, where he established a ferry. He was later found murdered at his ferry.

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Submitted: 01/26/08

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