'History of Gallatin, Saline, Hamilton, Franklin, and Williamson Counties, Illinois:
from the earliest time to the present, together with sundry and interesting
biographical sketches, notes, reminiscences, etc., etc.'
953 pgs.
reprint published by Unigraphic in 1967
Originally published by Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1887.
The small amount of text taken below falls under the Fair Use Act.

p. 338-40

In consequence of the difficulties that existed among the Indians, there were no settlers this side of Equality until the year 1804, when seven brothers by the name of Jordan, John and Willing Browning, Joseph Estes, and a man by the name of Barbrey, a brother-in-low[sic] to the Jordans, from Smith County, Tenn., located in this county, and built a fort and block-house where the residence of Judge William Elstun now stands. These settlers were all related. John Browning's mother was Mollie Jordan, sister to the seven Jordan brothers. John Browning was the father of James and Levi, who were well known to nearly all citizens of the county. The latter still survives and is a prominent merchant of Benton. ELIAS JORDAN, the father of Moses, was one of the seven Jordans. William Browning died in 1817. From the time of the building of the fort until about the year 1815, little or no attempt was made to cultivate the soil, the settlers subsisting almost entirely upon game, honey and a little corn, which they, by close watching, succeeded in raising and preventing the Indians from stealing. While these early settlers were thus fortified, and in the year 1812, James Jordan and Mr. Barbrey, while out of the for gathering wood, were fired upon by the Indians. Barbrey was killed and scalped. James Jordan was wounded in the leg. After obtaining re-enforcements from Frank Jordan's fort, which was then located in what is now known as Williamson County about three miles south of the first named fort, the whites started in pursuit of the Indians, and followed them as far as the Okaw River, but did not succeed in overtaking them, Barbrey was buried at the fort and his grave still remains near the residence of Judge William Elstun. This was the starting of the first graveyard in Franklin County.

The Jordan settlement was made in what is now Cave Township.

John Browning returned to Tennessee in 1805, and came back to this county in 1806, and lived about two years in Jordan's fort. About this date he guarded the mail for one or two years, between Shawneetown and Kaskaskia, and afterward assisted the government surveyors in the survey of the lands of the county. In 1820 he located on the Browning Hill farm, and subsequently became a prominent Baptist minister, and died June 13, 1857. James K. and William R. Browning, twin brothers, and sons of John Browning and wife, were the first white children born in the county. They were born December 24, 1810 in the old Jordan fort. "As pioneers and settlers, few did more than John Browning and his wife. Coming here in 1804, they at one commenced to subdue the soil and raise children, becoming the parents of eighteen (three set of triplets--nine children at three births--and twins once). Two of the triplets, Joseph and Jonathan, lived to be middle aged men and raised quite large families." Other early settlers of Cave Township were John McCreery with his family, and his son Alexander with his young wife, who came from Kentucky in 1817. The former settled in the place now known as the Fancy farm. Alexander McCreery brought his household and kitchen furniture along with him in a pair of saddle bags. He settled the farm now occupied by Judge Wm. Elstun. AARON NEAL and his brother Moses, settled near the present site of Parrish, in 1812. Isaac Moberly, John Hall, Nathan Clampet, John W. Swafford, Nathaniel Jones, John Plasters, Wm. Jackson, David Williams, James Isaacs, Thomas Lampley, J. L. Cantrell, John Harlow and Henry Yost, were all early settlers in the southeastern part of the county. John Jones and son John, and his son Wiley, the father of W. R. Jones, the ex-sheriff of Franklin County, came from Tennessee in 1830, and settled in Cave Township.

p. 394-95


The county of Franklin has not been behind her sister counties in helping to fight the battles of our common country. Among the early settlers were a few survivors of the war of the Revolution, and also of the war of 1812-15. But the first military bodies, organized within the county for actual service, were those formed in 1832, for the purpose of participating in the war with the Indians, known as the Black Hawk war, which resulted in the defeat of the Indians, and their removal, by treaty, to lands beyond the Mississippi River. There were three companies raised and organized in this county (then including the territory of Williamson County) on that occasion, all of which joined the Second Illinois Regiment, and were mustered into the service of the United States for ninety days under the call of the governor of the State, made on the 15th of May 1832. The members of these companies all being early settlers of the county, their names are hereby given in full. The first company consisted of captain, George P. Boyer; lieutenants, Jacob Phillips and Thomas P. Moore; sergeants, Thomas Adams, Jacob Clark and Edward Franklin; corporals, William Fleming, William Akins and Augustus Adams; bugler, William Whittington; privates, Benj. Adams, Thomas Bevers, James Bowling, Benj. Bowling, Henry Bowyer, John Berry, Jacob Bailey, James Browning, William Clampet, Evan Cleveland, John Clark, Jesse Cleveland, Reuben Clark, John P. Due, Vachel Dillingham, Absalom Estes, James Farris, Joseph Gifford, Thomas Hail, MOSES JORDAN, ELIJAH JORDAN, JAMES JORDAN, Nathaniel Morgan, AARON NEAL, James Plasters, Abraham Redburn, Garrett Robertson, A. W. Richardson, John Scribner, James and Noah Summers, James Schoolcraft, John Slater, Benj. and James Whittington, Benj. Williams, Wm. Ward and Joseph Western.

The second company consisted of captain, William J. Stephenson; lieutenant, Tramel Ewing; sergeants, John P. Maddox. Anderson P. Corder, Henry Hays, and John T. Knox; corporals, Thomas Province and Michael Rawlins; musician, Walter B. Scates; privates, John Robbitt, Josiah B. Denning, Elisha Eubanks, Anders P. Farris, Hez. and Robert Garrett, William Gassaway, Benj. F. Hickman, John Hays, William A. Hubbard, Lewis Hillen, Nat. Jones, Thomas Knox, Larkin Lynch, William P. Maddox, Andrew Miller, MOSES NEAL, Benj. W. Pope, Henry Rotramel, Andrew Robertson, Ezekiel Rawlings, Wilson Rea, Harvey Swafford, H. M. Silkwood and Benj. Talbot.

The third company consister of captain, Obediah West; lieutenants, Robert West and Hugh Parks; sergeants, Wilie Scott and William Henry; corporal, MOSES ODUM; privates, JAMES BROWNING, Pleasant Bradley, Wash. Beasley, Edward Franklin, Isaac Groves, Jabez Hooker, Augustus Henry, Giles Joiner, Henry Layman, Junior Meriditch. William Murphy, Albert Province, Thomas Pully, Samuel Parks, Richard Price, Andrew Price, William Rich, William Ran, Seth Roper, David H. Springs, Robert Worthen, John Ward, Dickson Ward, Robert Watson, Isaac Youngblood and Zach. George. These companies, after having served until hostilites ceased, were mustered out of service at Dixon Ferry, August 7, 1832, by Capt. Z. C. Palmer of the Sixth United States Infantry, upon the order of Maj.-Gen. Scott, commanding the Northwestern army. These pioneer soldiers have nearly all completed the battle of life, and gone to rest--the only ones now living, being Edward Franklin, Jesse Cleveland, James Summers and Benj. Whittington of Capt. Boyer's company, and John T. Knox and Elisha Eubanks of Capt. Stephenson's company.