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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 D-2

Florence Wilkerson Reporting......

Nathan Garrison was born August 21, 1817, in Kentucky near Mammoth Cave.  He was married to Sophia Shelton, who was born December 7, 1822.  He and Mrs. Garrison were married in Kentucky and had one child before coming to Dahlgren.

They came from Kentucky on a horse-drawn sled, and settled on a farm about three and a half miles northeast of Dahlgren.  He bought his land from the Federal Government, and it is believed that the price was fifty cents per acre.  When he arrived in his new location, he had an ax with him; as timber was plentiful, he cut trees and hewed them, then built a log house for his family.  Mr. Garrison purchased his meal and flour from Shawneetown before Lovilla had a mill.

Mr. Garrison was a merchant already established in business when the first train came through Dahlgren.  A disability kept him from being in the army during the Civil War.  It is believed that he got his furniture from Shawneetown to stock his store.

Mr. Garrison continued to live on his farm while in business, and would commute back and forth.  At the time of his death, he owned one complete section of land.

He owned one of the first buggies in Dahlgren Township.  As this was such an unusual vehicle, his neighbors would watch him pass their house with amazement and wish they had one.  In later years, one of his neighbors related that a number of people would line up to get to watch Nathan Garrison pass their house in that wonderful buggy.  The envy of his neighbors was beyond words.

Following are the children of Nathan and Sophia (Shelton) Garrison: Nancy, born December 1, 1841, who married W. M. Williamson and later married Peyton McReynolds; Elizabeth, born February 13, 1844, who married Joseph Jenkins; Edith, born January 17, 1847, who married George Hall; Mary, born November 2, 1848, who married Grundy Wilkerson; William, born December 13, 1850, who married Sophia Kuykendall; Ellis, born March 17, 1852, who married Catherine Sphar.

Mr. Garrison was affiliated with the Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, northeast of Dahlgren.  He combined several occupations: that of farmer and furniture dealer; he was the first postmaster of Dahlgren, and served as county judge of Hamilton County prior to 1900.

He passed from this life on September 5, 1905, and was buried in a private cemetery about three miles northeast of Dahlgren.

Pg. D-3

Mrs. Roland Cross Reporting.......

Roland Robert Cross, M. D. was born July 27, 1888 at Dahlgren, Illinois.  He was married on November 19, 1914 to Isabel Hunter.

Dr. Cross served in the Government Services for approximately six years, in the Department of the Interior, prior to entering Army service.

He served his country during World War I, entering service in February, 1918, and being discharged February 19, 1919, with the rank of First Lieutenant, M. C.

He practiced medicine in private practice in Southern Illinois, in and around Dahlgren, for about twenty years.  When a resident in Southern Illinois, he was a member of Middle Creek Baptist Church, southeast of Dahlgren.

He served as a District Health Superintendent, Department of Public Health, State of Illinois, for about eight years; he became Assistant Director of Public Health for the State of Illinois in 1939 and Director of Public Health in 1940, serving in the latter capacity for almost twenty years.

After moving his family to Springfield, he became a member of the First Christian Church of Springfield, Illinois.

Dr. Cross was prominent in many civic and professional organizations, among them the County, State and American Medical Societies; he served faithfully in the Disabled American Veterans organization, and with the American Legion.  Highest office with the American Legion was that of Department Commander of the State of Illinois.

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