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History of Belle Rive and Dahlgren, Illinois And Surrounding Territory
Prepared by Continental Historical Bureau of Mt. Vernon,
of Joseph Shelton Reporting……..
Joseph Shelton, an early settler near Dahlgren, was born in 1793, some say in the eastern part of the United States, though most of the descendents feel that he was born in Kentucky.
Shelton was a private in the War of 1812.
He fought in the Battle of New Orleans in 1815, and the Shelton
heirs have an old watch he found on the battlefield at New Orleans.
He served, probably as a captain, in the Indian Wars in Illinois
in 1816 or 1817. The
Shelton heirs have his old rifle and powder horn that he carried in the
Indian War. When this
period of service was ended, he was discharged near where Chicago now
stands. His horse was lame,
so he turned it loose and walked to Southern Illinois.
The captains in the Indian War furnished their own horses, and
the pay was $8.00 per month.
Shelton was married somewhere in the East in about the year 1817, and
about 1820 he and his wife settled a mile north and a mile west of what
is now Dahlgren.
first baby was born and died at the home northeast of Dahlgren.
When Mr. Shelton was gone into the woods to make a coffin in
which to bury the baby, a panther came to the door of their cabin.
Mrs. Shelton drove the hungry animal away with a stick with fire
on one end of it that she had grabbed from the fireplace.
summer a long, hard rain had put out the fire which they always tried to
keep near their cabin in order to have fire with which to cook.
Mrs. Shelton rode a horse twelve or fifteen miles east to the
nearest neighbor to get some fire in an iron pot.
She covered the glowing coals with ashes so it would not out
during the long journey back home.
children of Joseph and Mrs. Shelton included: Sopha, who married Nathan
Garrison, the grandmother of David M. and Roman Garrison; Pernecie, who
married a man named Rawls; Nan, who married a Mr. Richardson; Julie Ann,
who married a Mr. Atchinson; Sylvester, who was the grandfather of
Lawrence and Frank Shelton who live near Dahlgren; and a son whose name
is unknown who was the grandfather of Carl, Bernie and Earl Shelton.
* (See below)
* (See below)
Shelton again served his country as a major in the Black Hawk War in
was a very dignified man, and relied greatly on ceremony.
It is often told that when he was coming home if his wife did not
come out and meet him and say, “alight, Mr. Shelton, and come in,”
he would ride right on by!
M. Garrison, one of the grandsons of Joseph Shelton, has an old kettle
about four and a half feet in diameter which has been in the family a
long time. This kettle was
originally used near Shawneetown, Illinois, to “boil down” salt
water for salt in the early 1800s.
Shelton is buried on the old Shelton homestead northeast of Dahlgren.
His heirs held a Shelton Reunion every year from 1915 to 1925.
*Update: Joe D. Garrison "a son whose name is unknown was the grandfather of....", should read: Albert Shelton, was the grandfather of Carl, Bernie and Earl Shelton. Wilson Albert was the son of Josiah Shelton who was a brother to Joseph C. Shelton.
Joseph C. Shelton was born March 1, 1793 in Pittsylvania Co., VA. As a small child his family moved to Kentucky where he grew up and married Nancy Fagin Chaffin January 15, 1850 in Christian Co., KY. This may be why some thought he was born in Kentucky. Linnie Pernecie Shelton married James Rawls; Nan (Nancy) Shelton also married Aaron Flatt; Julia Ann Shelton married James Arnold Atchison; Rebecca Shelton married James Garrison; Leonard Chaffin married Mary Blake, and Sylvester married a Melissa.
Eva Gage Reporting…….
Nelson Zellers was born February 20, 1841, at
Hagerstown, Maryland. His
parents decided to move from their Maryland home to the State of Ohio
when he was quite young. He
grew to manhood in the Buckeye State in the city of Zanesville.
April 1861, young Nelson Zellers enlisted as a private in the Union
Army. He was assigned to
Company G, Sixty-second Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and served two
enlistments without a discharge.
He served in some of the hardest fought battles of the War. He had a great admiration for the Stars and Stripes and honored the Union very highly as long as he lived. It was his strong conviction that no flag should ever fly over this nation except Old Glory, and that was what caused him to enlist and fight in his country’s service.
his later years of life, he often told members of his family that on
numerous occasions he had seen President Lincoln when the
Commander-in-Chief visited battle zones.
Some of the troops were of the opinion that their President was
an infidel, but Zellers stated that he knew Lincoln requested the men to
have prayer before going into battle.
the engagements that Nelson Zellers took part in are not available to
this Bureau. However, we
know that the worst wound that he received (which caused him to remain a
cripple for the rest of his life) occurred at Rice’s Station,
Virginia, four days prior to the surrender of the Confederate forces by
General Robert E. Lee to General U. S. Grant.
We are informed that Zellers was hospitalized for a considerable
length of time as a result of this wound from which he never completely
received his discharge from the Army on December 7, 1865.
He decided to make his home in Illinois, and in 1866 he located
on a farm in the vicinity of Dahlgren, Illinois, and remained a farmer
by occupation until his retirement.
March 26, 1872, Nelson Zellers was married to Emily J. Thierry.
To this union were born the following children:
Minnie, Frank, Eva, Etta Stillman, and three children who died in
Zellers was one of those sturdy pioneers who believed in sound
principle, whether it be in military life or civilian life, and he held
to the theory that the common good of the community and the welfare and
progress of his fellow men were the things that counted most.
The sacrifices that he made in the war and the kind of life that
he followed as a citizen pointed up the kind of character that was to be
found in Nelson Zellers. He
was a convert to Christianity, and joined the Presbyterian Church at
Belle Prairie, Illinois.
was keenly interest in his farm and was actively engaged in that pursuit
until he entered retirement, when he moved to town in 1906.
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