Father: John Pringle, Sr.
Spouse: Mary Keaton - b: 13/Feb/1784 - VA
d: 16/Mar/1856 - bur: Old Macomb Cem., McDonough Co., IL
m: 24/Apr/1812 - Henry Co., KY
Child-1: Sarah Ann
2: William K.- b: 1818 - KY
d: May/1871? - bur: Old Brick Cem., Huggins Twp., Gentry Co., MO
3: Morton Brinker - b: 14/May/1822 - KY
d: 24/Dec/1896 - bur: Darlington (Rouse) Cem., Cooper Twp., Gentry Co., MO
m: Mary Olive Arnold - 2/Dec/1852 - McDonough Co., IL
4: Martha B. - b: 19/Sep/1824 - New Castle, Henry Co., KY
d: 18/May/1885 - Macomb, McDonough Co., IL - bur: Oakwood Cem.
m: Merritt Arthur Russell - 11/Apr/1844 - McDonough Co., IL
It would seem evident from later census records that William Pringle was born about 1794 or 1795, reportedly in Kentucky, and was, perhaps, the son of John Pringle, but the identity of his mother remains entirely unknown. At the time of his birth much of the population of the state was concentrated in what is now called the “Bluegrass region”, i.e., north central Kentucky, and it is probable that William was born somewhere in this area. Subsequent civil records confirm that William Pringle and Mary Keaton were married in Henry County, Kentucky, on April 24, 1812. Within this context, the population schedule of the 1820 census clearly indicates that there were three individuals named William Pringle living contemporaneously with their immediate families in Henry County. Therefore, it would seem plausible to presume that they were relatives and, hence, probably members of a large extended family; however no explicit details are known. Accordingly, Martha Pringle Russell, daughter of William and Mary Keaton Pringle, stated late in her life that she had been born in 1824 in New Castle, Kentucky, and that she had come with her family to McDonough County, Illinois, in 1830.1 Indeed, William Pringle has been identified as an early settler of this locality. Moreover, there seems to be no record of this Pringle family anywhere in the 1830 census, which would tend to support the presumption that they moved from Kentucky to Illinois in that year and as a consequence, were not enumerated by census takers in either place. (Even so, there was a household of William Pringle listed in the population schedule of 1830 US Census for Henry County, but its composition does not accord well with what is known of the family of William and Mary Keaton Pringle.)Source Notes and Citations:
Accordingly, three purchases of public land were recorded for William Pringle in McDonough County. The first of these, purchased by warrant on February 26, 1832, was for forty acres lying just over a mile southeast of the present village of Colchester, Illinois.2 This parcel appears to have been a part of military bounty land awarded to Jonathan Crandall in 1818 and subsequently transferred to William Pringle (and others). Three years later William purchased two hundred and forty acres in two adjoining parcels lying about three miles west southwest of the present town of Macomb and just south of Crooked Creek (i.e., the East Fork of the La Moine River).3 However, by the time the patents were granted in October of 1840, he appears to have sold one hundred and sixty acres lying in the southeast corner of Section Four to Richard Farrell Barret. Therefore, the eighty acre parcel in the northeast corner of Section Nine can probably be identified with the family homestead. Moreover, the Pringle family seems to have remained resident at this location for the following two decades. Of course, as was usual practice in early western settlement, informal land claims would typically be made by marking “witness trees”, making “improvements”, i.e., building a cabin or another structure, or some similar method. Furthermore, these original claims were customarily recognized by other settlers and, as such, were commonly traded, bought, and sold, perhaps, as much as several years before any official grant from the government. Therefore, dates of purchase in 1832 and 1835 are quite consistent with arrival of the Pringle family in Illinois in 1830. Concomitantly, the household of “William Pringgle” appeared in the population schedule of the 1840 US Census for McDonough County and included seven individuals, viz., an adult male of between forty and fifty years of age; an adult female between fifty and sixty years; two young adults, a male and female both between twenty and thirty; male and female adolescents between fifteen and twenty; and a small male child of less than five years old. Obviously, the older adult couple can be identified with reasonable confidence as William and Mary Pringle themselves. (Indeed, there is good evidence that Mary was approximately ten years older than her husband, which would have been quite uncommon in pioneer society and even today might be considered unusual.) Similarly, four of the five younger individuals undoubtedly correspond to their known children, viz., Sarah Ann, William, Morton B., and Martha B. Of course, Sarah Ann Pringle had married James L. Welch in 1835, but he died in 1839. Therefore, it would seem evident that she returned to her parents household as a young widow, hence, the young child was almost certainly her son, Francis M. Welch. Subsequently, the household of William Pringle was listed in the population schedule of the 1850 US Census of McDonough County and included four individuals, viz., William, aged fifty-five; Mary, aged sixty-five; and their two sons, William and Morton, thirty-one and twenty-five years of age, respectively.
Mary Keaton Pringle died in McDonough County in 1856.4 A year or two later, shortly before the outbreak of the Civil War, it appears that William; his two sons, viz., William, who apparently never married, and Morton along with his wife and children; his daughter and her husband, viz., Martha and Merritt Russell and their children; as well as his grandson, Frank Welch, left Illinois and moved to Grayson County, Texas. Indeed, they were all included in the population schedule of the 1860 US Census for Grayson County. Moreover, William would have been between sixty and seventy years old at this time and, thus, it does not seem likely that he would have particularly wanted to leave Illinois. Accordingly, it is a reasonabale speculation that it was one or more of his sons or his son-in-law who desired to move to the southwestern frontier, perhaps, having been attracted by availability of land, reports of other settlers, etc.; however, their precise motivation remains unknown. Nevertheless, with the exception of William himself, who may have died in Texas, it is evident from subsequent census records that all of these individuals returned to the north, apparently before the end of the war. It is not certain why they remained in Texas for such a relatively short period of time, but family tradition suggests that they were supporters of the Union and had little sympathy with the Confederacy. Consequently, it has been further asserted among later descendants that they became involved in conflict with Confederate partisans and were forced to leave for their own safety. In any case, the Russell family returned permanently to Illinois; however, after a few years, the others settled in Gentry County, Missouri, perhaps, having lived in either Illinois or Indiana for a year or two after leaving Texas. Within this context, it is possible that William Pringle also returned and died in either Illinois or Missouri, but no burial place is known.
1a. S. J. Clarke, History of McDonough County, Illinois, D. W. Lusk, State Printer and Binder, Springfield, IL, 1878: pgs. 589-90.
“Martha Russell’s Reminiscences.--My father, William Pringle, moved to this county in 1830, when I was a very young girl; but I remember the occurences of that day very distinctly. The ‘big snow’ of that year comes to my mind just as vividly as if it was but yesterday. It was a terrible winter, indeed. For three long months we could hardly stir out of our house.
My father settled west of Macomb, near the old cemetery; for a barn he used his wagon, and sheltered his horses under the broad canopy of heaven, allowing them to graze around upon the prairies, they going out in the morning and home at night. Among the horses he had was one we called ‘Old Bill,’ who was as white as the driven snow. One day, while the horses were out, the prairie was discovered on fire, and soon all returned in great fear but old Bill. The fire swept by, and old Bill came in, but now his color was entirely changed, he being as black as coal, the fire having singed off every bit of his hair. By careful treatment he was saved, but ever after this, when the smell of fire was in the air, he would scamper home in a hurry.
Peter Hale was one of our near neighbors, he living on the site of the old grave yard. Sometime in 1830 one his little girls fell into the fire and was burned to death, and was buried near by, she being the first person there buried. Truman Bowen was the second. When Mr. Bowen died there could not be found lumber enough in Macomb to make his coffin, and James Clarke had to give his wagon-bed for that purpose.
About this same time a man named Thomas Morgan married a widow lady with a little girl about three years old. The little one had the chills and probably gave some annoyance to the man. One day he took her with him to the woods to gather blackberries, and, as he said, carried along some coals to make a fire in case a chill should come on the girl. When he returned home the little one was noticed by its mother all stained with blackberries. Examining her body, she found the inhuman wretch, her husband, had, with coals of fire, burned her body in a terrible manner, afterwards staining it with berries to hide the mark. Peter Hale took the little one to his house where she lingered about three days, when she died and was the third person to be buried in the old grave yard. The wretch was arrested, and, there being no jail at Macomb, he was taken to Rushville for safe keeping, from which he escaped and was never afterwards heard from. Thus the gallows was cheated out of a deserved victim.
The story of the ‘Lost Child,’ which was published in Clarke’s Monthly, in January, 1876, I well remember, as well as the dreadful murder of John Wilson, which occurred in 1834.
I was born in New Castle, Henry county, Kentucky, September 19, 1824, and was married to Merritt A. Russell.”
b. ibid.: pgs. 19-20, 69, 133.
“In 1830, James Clarke, David Clarke, William Pringle, Resin Naylor, and a few others, settled in the neighborhood of Macomb. At this time Indians were still frequent visitors to the cabins of the white man. It was in the fall of 1830 that a large number of the tribe of Fox or Sac Indians encamped on the creek just west of Macomb for the purpose of engaging in their annual fall hunt, when a few of the brave settlers went out and ordered them away, and in order to hasten their departure, caught a few of them, and while some of their number kept guard, Resin Naylor, with a hickory withe, gave them thirty and nine lashes upon their bare backs. In doing this the settlers ran great risk, for the Indians were well armed, while the white had only a few old flintlock muskets, the most of which were too rusty to be of any service. Luckily no resistance was made, and the Indians hastily left.”
“Macomb.--Elias McFadden was the first settler in the vicinity of the present city of Macomb, and came to the place in the fall of 1828, or spring of 1829. He was followed soon after by John Baker ... . After Mr. Baker, James Clarke, David Clarke, Resin Naylor, Samuel Russell, Wm. Pringle, Samuel Bogart, --- Anderson, and others, forming a very respectable neighborhood. Like other settlers of the county, this community hugged the timber, consequently we now find that all the oldest farms are the timbered ones. The settlers were nearly all from Kentucky. In the year 1831, the original number was increased by the coming of James M. Campbell, Moses Hinton, S. H. Robinson, and others. Several stores were opened, the tavern sign hung out, and entertainment was provided for man and beast.”
“Emmet.--This township lies 6 north, 3 west, and is about equally divided between timber and prairie land. A portion of it lying in the present city of Macomb, its history is contemporaneous with it, Peter Hale, the first Coroner of the county, building his cabin on the quarter where the old grave yard, west of Macomb, is located, in the year 1830. William Pringle settled a short distance west. This was the first settlement in the township. In the year 1831 William Pennington removed from Pennington’s Point, and located upon Spring creek, about eight miles northwest of Macomb, where he still resides. John Wyatt settled near by about the same time. Others soon followed, and the Spring Creek settlement became quite noted. The Russells, McCords, Humberts, and others were among the first, and all have descendants yet living in the township.”
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2a. Federal Land Sale: February 26, 1832. 40 Acres: Northwest Quarter of Southwest Quarter of Section 20, Township 5 North, Range 3 West of Principal Meridian 4 (Colchester formerly Chalmers Township) in McDonough County, Illinois. Purchaser: William Pringle; by Warrant; Price: $0. (Field General Land Office Register, Vol. 698, pg. 103, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL, 1957. (Illinois Public Domain Land Tract Sales Database, www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/archives/data_lan.html, 2006.))
b. James Monroe, President of the United States of America, To all to whom these presents shall come, Greeting: Know ye, That, in pursuance of the Acts of Congress appropriating and granting Land to the late Army of the United States, passed on and since the sixth day of May, 1812, Jonathan Crandall having deposited in the General Land-office a Warrant in his favor, numbered 17033--there is granted unto the said Jonathan Crandall late a Private in Ross Compy 40 Regt of Infantry a certain Tract of Land contaning one hundred and Sixty acres being the North West qr of Section twenty of Township five north in Range three west in the Tract appropriated (by the Acts aforesaid) for Military Bounties, in the Territory of Illinois: TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the said quarter Section of Land, with the appurtenances thereof, unto the said Jonathan Crandall and to his heirs and assigns for ever.
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have caused these Letters to be made patent, and the Seal of the General Land-Office to be hereunto affixed. Given under my Hand, at the City of Washington, this twenty ninth day of July in the Year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and Eighteen and of the Independence of the United States of America the forty-third By the President, J M J...ss Commissioner of the General Land-Office.
(Appearing along the side of the document: copy sent 18th Oct 1841 to S. Smith Esq Recd the Patent For Joseph Watson Wm H. Prentiss (sic - Pringle?)) (US Land Patent Certificate No. 144; Washington, DC, issued 29 Jul 1818.)
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3a. The United States of America; Preemption Certificate No. 1201; To all to whom these presents shall come, Greeting: Whereas William Pringle of McDonough County Illinois has deposited in the General Land Office of the United States, a Certificate of the Register of the Land Office at Quincy whereby it appears that full payment has been made by the said William Pringle according to the provisions of the Act of Congress of the 24th of April, 1820, entitled “An Act making further provision for the sale of Public Lands,” for the North half of the North East quarter of Section Nine, in Township five North, of Range three West, in the District of Lands Subject to Sale at Quincy Illinois, Containing Eighty acres according to the official plat of the survey of the said Lands, returned to the General Land Office by the Surveyor General, which said tract has been purchased by the said William Pringle.
Now Know Ye, That the United States of America, in consideration of the Premises, and in conformity with the several acts of Congress, in such case made and provided, Have Given and Granted, and by these presents Do Give And Grant, unto the said William Pringle and to his heirs, the said tract above described: To Have And To Hold the same, together with all the rights, privileges, immunities, and appurtenances, of whatsoever nature, thereunto belonging, unto the said William Pringle and to his heirs and assigns forever.
In Testimony Whereof, I, Martin Van Buren, President Of The United States of America, have caused these Letters to be made Patent, and the Seal of the General Land Office to be hereunto affixed. Given under my hand, at the City Of Washington, the tenth day of October in the Year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty and of the Independence Of The United States the Sixty fifth. By The President: Martin Van Buren; By M. Van Buren, Jr. Secretary; Jos. S. Wilson, Acting Recorder of the General Land Office ad interim (US Land Patent Certificate No. 1201; Washington, DC, issued 10 Oct 1840.)
Federal Land Sale: March 27, 1835. 80 Acres: North Half of Northeast Quarter of Section 9, Township 5 North, Range 3 West of Principal Meridian 4 (Chalmers Township) in McDonough County, Illinois. Purchaser: William Pringle; Rate: $1.25 per acre; Price: $100.00. (Field General Land Office Register, Vol. 698, pg. 101, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL, 1957. (Illinois Public Domain Land Tract Sales Database, www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/archives/data_lan.html, 2006.))
b. The United States of America; Preemption Certificate No. 2201; To all to whom these presents shall come, Greeting: Whereas Richard Farrell Barret Assignee of William Pringle has deposited in the General Land Office of the United States, a Certificate of the Register of the Land Office at Quincy whereby it appears that full payment has been made by the said William Pringle according to the provisions of the Act of Congress of the 24th of April, 1820, entitled “An Act making further provision for the sale of Public Lands,” for the South East quarter of Section four, in Township five North, of Range three West, in the District of Lands Subject to Sale at Quincy, Illinois, containing one hundred and Sixty acres according to the official plat of the survey of the said Lands, returned to the General Land Office by the Surveyor General, which said tract has been purchased by the said William Pringle.
Now Know Ye, That the United States of America, in consideration of the Premises, and in conformity with the several acts of Congress, in such case made and provided, Have Given and Granted, and by these presents Do Give And Grant, unto the said Richard Farrell Barret and to his heirs, the said tract above described: To Have And To Hold the same, together with all the rights, privileges, immunities, and appurtenances, of whatsoever nature, thereunto belonging, unto the said Richard Farrell Barret and to his heirs and assigns forever.
In Testimony Whereof, I, Martin Van Buren, President Of The United States of America, have caused these Letters to be made Patent, and the Seal of the General Land Office to be hereunto affixed. Given under my hand, at the City Of Washington, the tenth day of October in the Year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty and of the Independence Of The United States the Sixty fifth. By The President: Martin Van Buren; By M. Van Buren, Jr. Secretary; Jos. S. Wilson, Acting Recorder of the General Land Office ad interim (US Land Patent Certificate No. 2201; Washington, DC, issued 10 Oct 1840.)
Federal Land Sale: June 13, 1835. 160 Acres: Southeast Quarter of Section 4, Township 5 North, Range 3 West of Principal Meridian 4 (ChalmersTownship) in McDonough County, Illinois. Purchaser: William Pringle; Rate: $1.25 per acre; Price: $200.00. (Field General Land Office Register, Vol. 698, pg. 100, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL, 1957. (Illinois Public Domain Land Tract Sales Database, www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/archives/data_lan.html, 2006.))
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4. Marge Harris (comp), “Old Cemetery” Macomb, Illinois, privately published, McDonough County Genealogical Society, P. O. B. 202, Macomb, IL, 1984: pgs. 86-7.
“Martha Pringle Russell d 18 May 1885. She was a daughter of William & Mary Keaton Pringle and a younger sister to: Sarah (Welch), William, Morton B. [p 99 Oakwood Cemetery records]”
“William, probably buried here
Mary, his wife, d 16 March 1856 age 72y 1m 3d This burial is in the southwest area.”
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5. 1820 US Census Population Schedule for Henry County, Kentucky, National Archives, Washington DC: pg. 196, (microfilm: roll M33_22; img. 143).
6. 1840 US Census Population Schedule for McDonough County, Illinois, National Archives, Washington DC: pg. 211, (microfilm: roll M704_65; img. 44).
7. 1850 US Census Population Schedule for McDonough County, Illinois, National Archives, Washington DC: pg. 270A, (microfilm: roll M432_116; img. 384).
8. 1860 US Census Population Schedule for Grayson County, Texas, National Archives, Washington DC: pg. 196A, (microfilm: roll M653_1295; img. 392).
9. Anonymous, History of McDonough County, Continental Historical Co., Springfield, IL, 1885: pgs. 111 & 665.
10. Newton Bateman, Paul Selby, and Alexander McLean (eds), The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, Munsell Pub. Co., Chicago, IL, 1907: pgs. 623 & 663.
11. Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Illinois State Archives & Illinois Genealogical Society, Springfield, IL, 2002. (“Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, 1763–1900”, www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/archives/marriage.html, 2002.)
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