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Abraham's Lands

Abraham Eyman seems to have settled first in "American Bottom" or perhaps New Design. One web posting has him filing for a Virginia land claim for 100 acres, though nothing about such grants has been found in a search of Virginia records. Abraham's name can be found on a number of land transactions noted in Cahokia Records prior to statehood. In 1796 he seems to have received land from Larkin Rutherford for an undisclosed price, and not recorded until 1804. There are historical notes suggesting purchases of 100 acres from George Hendricks of New Design in 1798. This land apparently adjoined that of Anthony Badgley in Fountain Township. Cahokia Records also noted an 1803 purchase of a 51 acre purchase in the hills of Prairie du Pont Creek perhaps from the estate of Louis Belle, most likely a hold over from the French rigime. There's no doubt, though, that he moved toward Belleville, and having done so, lived there the rest of his life. He likely traveled regularly to Vandalia during his service in the House of Representatives. He was probably back and forth to Hardy -- at least his correspondence was presented in the trial of Jacob Stookey and the messy court matters which following Abraham's return of a Stookey son long since captured by the Indians. (Some have thought that Abraham's mother was a Stookey, but it's probably enough to leave off the clear connections by noting that his wife's mother was a Stookey, that the neighbors at Turkey Hill were Stookeys, and that Abraham had first toured the Illinois territory with a small Badgley party which included Daniel Stookey -- his wife's brother. A flinty Scotch-Irish chap by the name of Joseph McClintock, sick of his Kentucky brother's slave running ways moved into the Pennsylvania dutch neighborhood in about 1818, bought out the squatters on the land adjacent to Eymans, and started marrying the Eyman kids. (Somehow, it's been said that 6 McClintock children wound up marrying seven of Abraham and Susannah's kids!) Some notes relating to the Bellevill Eyman lands were published by William McClintock, who had married Nancy Eyman. As a point of reference, this William McClintock seems to be the "Uncle" Billy McClintock described in a history of Richland Township. He seems to have been the first teacher in the precinct, though he ran into problems in 1824 which a student rebellion around Christmas time when students, egged on by a new kid from Maine, demanded that they be free to drink alcohol. McClintock's efforts to compromise with cider afer having climbed onto the roof were to no avail, the loss resulting in his being hauled out of the school by one of the students and the end of a promising teaching career.

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"Old Times in St. Clair", Weekly Advocate, Vol. 36, No. 38June 18, 1875

We have been permitted to copy some old papers, now in possession of our friend and long time subscriber William McClintock, Esq., which are in themselves a history. About the year 1800 Abraham Eyman settled on a tract of land in "Turkey Hill township, St. Clair county," containing 320 acres, made claim to the same in accordance with usage in those days, and paid taxes thereon. One of his tax receipts reads as follows:

"Received of Abraham Eyman one Dollar and Seventy cents his Tax for 1806. John Hays, Shrr."

Next in order we find the permit granted Mr. Eyman from the U.S. Land office as follows:

No. 143 Land Office Kaskaskia, January 8th, 1808

In Conformity with the Act of Congress, entitled "An act to prevent Settlements being made on Lands ceded to the United States until authorized by law," Permission is hereby given to Abraham Eyman new settled on a certain Tract of Land belonging to the United States situate in Turkey Hill Township, in St. Clair County, within three miles of Forbisher's Prairie, on the dividing ridge between Rich Land and Prairie du Pont Creek, bounded on all sides by vacant Land and containing three hundred and twenty acres, to remain thereon as Tenant at will, on the Condition of doing no waste or Damage on the Land, and on the other Conditions expressed in the Act above Mentioned. Michl. Jones, Regr."

Two year thereafter we find an increase in taxation of about 33 per cent which Mr. Eyman paid, as is witnessed by the following paper which we copy from the original:

"Received of Abraham Eyman two Dollars and Forty cents the amount of his tax for 1810. John Primm, Dep. Shff."

Some trouble in perfecting title to this tract caused the owner to allow it to be sold for taxes, and then he himself bought it at the sale by the sheriff, in 1816, and we copy the tax deed executed by the sheriff therefore, in full:

By John Hans, Sherrif of St. Clair County, in the Illinois Territory.

To all people to whom these presents shall come, I, the said Sheriff send greeting:

`Know ye that pursuant to the several laws of the Said Territory for levying and collecting a tax on land, I the Said Sheriff of hereby Certify that I did advertise according to the Said Laws, the Tract of Land herein after mentioned and Described as the property of Abraham Eyman owner or proprietor and entered with the assessor of Said County of St. Clair for taxation for the year 1816, in a public newspaper printed as Kaskaskia in the Illinois Territory Called the Illinois Herald and Missoury Advertiser; and that I did accordingly on this the thirteenth day of May in the year one thousand Eight hundred and Sixteen Sell according to said Laws at the Dorr of the House in which Court is Usually held at Belleville in the County of St. Clair aforesaid at 10 of the Clock A. M. of this day (having given Notice as aforesaid by advertising on the Court House door and three Successive weeks in the Newspaper aforesaid) the Said Tract of Land herein after Mentioned and described for the Tax and Costs due theron for the Said Year 1815 the same being due and unpaid and that Abraham Eyman of St. Clair County Illinois Territory became purchaser thereof for the price and sum hereinafter mentioned that it to say to wit, the Southwest quarter of Section No. 86, and the South half of Section No. 85(?) in Township No. 1 North and Range No. 9 West of the third principal Meridian which was sold for the Sum of three dollars and seventy-five cents Tax & cost said due thereon which Said sum I acknowledge to have Received from the said Abraham Eyman in consideration of which I hereby certi9fy that all the right, title, and Interest of the aforesaid Tractcs of Land herin Certified, and sold is hereby Vested in him the Said Abraham Eyman and his heirs, Subject only to the provision of Redemption Contained in the aforesaid Laws.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal at Belleville the 16 day of May 1816 John Hays, (Seal) Sherrif and Collector of St. Clair County Ill. T. Witness Wm. Kinney

Since this sale the land has mostly remained in the hands of the Eyman family. The heirs of Isaac Eyman paid for taxes of 1874 on some 350 (?) acres of the above described, $152.95, which is a fair percentage higher than the $1.70 paid by their ancestor on the whole tract in 1806; but the land is worth more than $1.25 per acre now.