Welcome to Tazewell County,
Situated on the very
edge of the western frontier, Tazewell County was the jumping off place for many pioneers.
As hundreds of wagon trains from
the east rumbled westward over the vast prairies of Illinois, many families claimed
homesteads along the Illinois River.
One such family to settle here
was the Berry family, who homesteaded a few acres just outside of Circleville. Four
brothers of this family, William, Isaac, Emanuel, and Simeon
Berry, and their many cohorts became known as "the Berry Gang".
This gang of horse-thieves, road
agents, and killers terrorized the people of Tazewell County for years, despite the
efforts of Pekins tough City Marshal Alfred Stone, Tazewell County Sheriff Edward
Pratt, and his deputies. Then one day they made the fatal mistake of resisting the law
once too often. Over the next few days, that resistance would result in murder, aggravated
assault, mob action, suicide, and a lynching.
The authors, using all available
official documents, newspaper accounts, and personal family records, documented and wrote
this true story.
Surnames & Locations
Some of the surnames (mostly from Tazewell
County) mentioned in Lynch
Law include Addington, Bailey, Barber, Barlow, Barnard, Barnes, Bassett,
Berry, Bode, Boyle, Bradley, Briggs, Briscoe, Britton, Brown, Browner, Brownley, Burnham,
Cass, Caswell, Chamberlain, Charlton, Charmus, Clary, Cohrs, Combs, Conner, Connett,
Coombs, Copes, Crall, Cullon, Culver, Daly, Daughtery, Dawson, Delany, Ditmon, Eades,
Edds, Edwards, Farr, Farrow, Finigan, Flemming, Frazer, Glasgow, Gordon, Green, Griffith,
Grote, Hamilton, Hamson, Harriot, Hatfield, Hawley, Henry, Hinman, Hodges, Horn, Howard,
Hyers, Jones, Kessler, Knott, Lacey, Laman, Lane, Larimore, Livingston, Mallingford,
McCain, McClintock, McCook, McFarland, McKasson, McKean, McLaughlin, McLeese, Meyers,
Michael, Miller, Milner, Montgomery, Morris, Mosher, Murphy, Nass, Newman, Olgesby,
Orendorff, Orr, Orrel, Ott, Parks, Pepper, Pratt, Prettyman, Priddy, Reed, Reeves,
Roberts, Rockhold, Rodecker, Saltonstall, Schafer, Sellers, Shaw, Shay, Shuttleworth,
Sims, Spoonhoff, Stanford, Steele, Stephens, Stevens, Stickney, Still, Stone, Storm,
Sutton, Terry, Thomas, Towner, Turner, Umdenstock, Underhill, Updike, Vanorstrand,
Warburton, Watson, Welch, Whitney, Wilson, Wiseman, Woolford, and Yeoger.
Locations mentioned include Bath,
Circleville, Delavan, Dillon, Hopedale, Jacksonville, Joliet, Mason City, Pekin, Peoria,
San Jose, and Tremont - many are in Tazewell County.