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History of Belle Rive and Dahlgren, Illinois And Surrounding Territory

Prepared by Continental Historical Bureau of Mt. Vernon, Illinois
December, 1960

Page B-10

Claudie Richardson Reporting.....

Nancy Ann Rawls was born May 28, 1851, in Hamilton County, Illinois.  On September 2, 1880, she was married to Rev. E. P. Richardson, who was a Missionary Baptist minister and farmer.  They in their later years belonged to Olive Branch Church near Wayne City, Illinois.

One of her outstanding memories of her girlhood was that of a pet bear the family had.  They got it when it was very young and the bear certainly had a will of its own.  If it was in the house, no one could get it out except Nancy's father.  It loved to get in the middle of the bed.  One night while her father was out hunting, the bear was determined to gain entrance into the house.  Since the doors and windows were closed against him, the bear climbed to the housetop and was planning to come down the chimney.  The family was determined to keep the bear out as he was to get in, finally hit upon a solution.  The family used the old fashioned straw bed (as many of us can remember); and some of the children carried straw to the fireplace, making so much smoke that the bear decided there were other things to do than to descend the fireplace to get into the house.

Pg. B-11

J. T. Lempke Reporting......

John Cochrane was born in Tennessee in 1797.  When he left Tennessee and started to Illinois, he stopped at Shawneetown and worked for some time on river barges.  He arrived in the Belle Rive area about 1818.  His wife's maiden name was Turnance Robinson.

Mr. Cochrane's occupation was principally that of farming and he homesteaded some land from the Government, one hundred sixty acres in the St. Elmo School District.  His church affiliation was that of Primitive Baptist, and he belonged to the Hungry Hill Church near Bonnie, Illinois.  He served his country as a soldier during the Civil War.

While a young man, he hauled merchandise from Shawneetown to Lynchburg, serving several stores along the route.  He also hauled merchandise from Shawneetown to the Wilbanks Stand.  He had to drive through winding paths in the timber, as there were no public roads.

He told his children in later years how they used to trap wild turkeys.  They would build a pen and dig a trench into it, baiting it with corn.  When the turkeys went into the trench to get the corn, they would be caught.  They would never think to look at the opening, but would go round and round inside the pen looking upward.  The pen could be stopped up at the opening, and the trapper could easily catch his prey this way.

Mr. Cochrane was a crack marksman with a muzzle loading rifle.  His chief hobby was hunting, as he was a sturdy pioneer.  He was a life long Democrat, insofar as his politics were concerned.

Mr. Cochrane, when he passed away, was buried on the farm where he lived.  This became a small community cemetery.  He died in 1899.

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