Van Gundy Family Tree


Notes for William NICHOLS


Mariah's brother Thomas mentioned the Nichols children often in his 1887-1888 diary.

Residences & events:

1808 Ross Co, OH. According to descendents, he arrived here this year.

He served in the War of 1812.

1815 Columbus, Franklin Co, OH. He was listed as a tavern owner on tax rolls.

1827 Vigo Co, IN

1836 Vermilion Co, IL

Spring 1837 Momence Twp, Will Co, IL, where he received government land.

From Momence of the Old Frontier:

"This log house was built by Cornelius Cane for a residence in 1838, and was located about two and a half miles north-east of Momence. The first election held in the county was held in this log house in 1845. Mr. William Nichols was elected Squire.....

THE "GOLL DUMMED" RAILROAD
That innovations stuck "hard" in the crop of the average pioneer there can be no doubt. Grandfather and grandmother William Nichols who established the well known Nichols home north of Momence, near to the Chicago-Vincennes Trail, in an early day, regarded with considerable suspicion the newfangled ideas of civilization. They were pioneers bred in the bone, who always found the old-time methods sufficient unto their needs. It is related of them that, shortly after the building of the C.D. & V. railroad, now the Chicago & Eastern Illinois, they one day had occasion to cross the railroad track on their way to visit the Grabams. As they drew near the crossing a train, consisting of several antiquated coaches drawn by a wheezy, woodburning engine, happened along. Their pioneer souls were thrilled by this most unusual sight and grandmother, in her excitement, grabbed grandfather Nichols by the arm with one hand while she pointed with the other, exclaiming as she did so, "Why, dad drat it, William, 'there's people a ridin' in them keers!" 100

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After the train had passed, they drove cautiously up onto the rails and grandpa stopped squarely astride of them, and watched the spectre retreat until it was well out of sight. At the Grahams that day, grandpa and grandma's unusual experi- ence with the cars was easily the main topic of conversation. This experience may have been larged upon somewhat in the course of narration but, if so, they simply made use of a privilege which the world concedes to all who tell of startling things first hand. The railroad with its "keers," easily held the center of the stage that afternoon, and the terrIble ravages of the dreaded "milk-sick," over in the Exline woods, was not mentioned once."

1840 Vermilion Co, IL. The census recorded Wm living just down the road from Mariah's brother Jacob. Their family included: 1 male under 5, 1 was 5-10, 1 at 10-15, William at 30-40, 1 female at 5-10, 1 was 10-15, and 1 at 30-40.

1850 Momence, Will Co, IL. Having moved before the next census and remarried he was listed at 62 years of age with $4000 in real estate. Second wife, Margaret was 54 and children in the house were John, 19, Peter, 17, and Joseph, 15. Also living there was Sarah Green, 27, born IL. William was a farmer.

1860 Momence, Kankakee Co, IL. Apparently county lines shifted had shifted by census time. William probably lived in the same place where he was recorded at 72 with a huge estate worth $21,400/3935. Margaret was 64 and still at home were sons Peter, 26, and Joseph, 24. Next door was son Jacob, followed by son John, and daughter Mariah Kight, then nephew William Gundy.

Taken from the Kankakee Gazette, January 4, 1877:

Estate William Nichols. Claims allowed: administrator estate of Sarah A. Chatfield, $308.58; John Deerson, $66.52; H. Wilber, $177.47; H. B. Hall, $107.92; administrator's report approved.
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