First Old Settlers Picnic
The first old settlers picnic was held Tuesday September 20, 1870. According to a report filed by John R. Marshall there were twelve to fifteen hundred people on the grounds renewing old, and forming new acquaintances.
B. C. Cook and Dr. Pierce were expected to attend but did not. Lewis Steward, John Litsey, Mr. Carpenter and West Matlock made interesting remarks, and George M. Hollenback read an excellent paper about the early settlements.
A permanent organization was formed by electing the following officers of the “Old Settlers Society.”
President: George M. Hollenback, the first white child born in what became Kendall County.
Vice Presidents: Daniel Platt, Joseph J. Groom, Justus House, Dr. Gilman Kendall, William Mulkey, Dr. Blexton Harris, Clark Hollenback, Dr. Townsend Seely, and Dr. Calvin Wheeler.
Secretary: John R. Marshall.
Treasurer: West Matlock.
Secretary Marshall gathered the names, the date they came into the state, and their place of birth, of 136 of those in attendance, but was unable to get the names of all the old settlers who attended. He asked those he was unable to contact at the picnic to submit similar information so their names could be included in a list to be published.
On October 22, 1870, Edward S. L. Richardson sent the following information to Secretary Marshall.
To the Editor of the Kendall County Record
I am sending you the promised list of some of the early settlers of this county who have died. I have spent several hours in the cemetery copying from the oldest gravestones. I have read this list to Festus Burr, Esquire, and to Mr. James C. Shepard who were to include only the earliest settlers. I have omitted a few names of those whom I feel quite sure are dead, but am not positive, and do not want send them ”over the river” before their time. Yours truly, Edward S. L. Richardson.[i]
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