From "History of Kane Co., Ill" 1907
Joslyn and Joslyn
The Pioneer Publishing Co.
Chicago, Ill. Volume one
" An idea of the hardships and privations suffered by the early settlers who journeyed here from the east may be had from the experience of Mr. and Mrs. George E. Sawyer, who came from Vermont to Kane County in 1837. The means of conveyance for the trip was a wagon drawn by a single horse, and occupied from April to October. Shortly after their arrival a farm, or "claim", was purchased in Dundee Township, in which was invested their entire fortune, about $300, brought with them from the East.
During the winter was begun the erection of a log cabin, and while engaged in this Mr Sawyer injured his back, and for several months was unable to do any work. There they were, he helpless, without money, an uncompleted log cabin, and among strangers, better off than themselves in but one particular, they were able to work. By the help of these good neighbors, they were enabled to complete the cabin, which provided them a shelter, and wood being plentiful, they could at least keep warm, but how were they to live. Here the neighbors once more rallied to their assistance, and when springtime came they managed to get about twenty acres cleared, broke and planted with corn.
Some time during the season, Mr and Mrs Sawyer one day drove several miles to a
neighbor's, at whose cabin a doctor from St. Charles was making occasional visits to see a
patient, the purpose of the trip being that Mr Sawyer, who was still laid up, might consult the
doctor without incurring the not-to-be-thought-of expense of a visit from him. When they were
away on this trip, a herd of cattle, belonging to the neighbors, got into and destroyed the entire
field of corn. Here was a dilemma. It was this twenty acres of growing corn upon which their
dependence had been placed to carry them through the winter. They had nothing now left but a
quantity of hay, cut from their prarie land. A trip was made to Pingree Grove to the home of a
relative of Mrs. Sawyer, and through his influence, some cattle were taken to be fed during the
winter on this hay, the payment for which was advanced, and thus they were tided over."
"In common with all the other settlers, the first habitation of Chas.V.Carpenter was a
log cabin, erected within what is now the village of Carpentersville. These cabins, or log houses,
as they were called, were built of logs cut from the woods, the trees being selected of as nearly
as possible a uniform size,and to get the required length with as little variation in dimension at
top and bottom as could be found. The logs were slightley flattened on two sides, then laid up
crib-fashion one upon the another, breaking joints at the corners so as to interlock and hold the
corners firmly. Rafters of smaller timbers were put in place to receive the roof boards or
flattened small timbers, on which the split or shaved shingles or shakes were laid. Floors
consisted of slabs laid on log joists. The spaces between the logs were filled with wet clay,
plastered, or otherwise rendered weather-proof. The more prententious of these cabins were of
dimensions to admit of a partition dividing it into two rooms below and with a loft above, where
the younger members of the family could sleep, and that too, without fear of suffering from want
of fresh air."
Transcribed & contributed by Cynthia Nelson on 9 Mar 2002Return to Kane County ILGenWeb