Michael Bovey the last adult survivor

Came to Mount Morris with Original Party of Maryland Colonists.

Michael Bovey – Died April 1, 1908, aged Over Ninety-Two Years.
It is a matter of much interest in local history to note that in the death of Michel Bovey, which occurred last week, passes the last of the original old settlers in the vicinity of Mount Morris, who were members of the first party of settlers forming the advance guard of the Maryland Colony.

There are several persons yet living who came with this first party as settlers but they were only small children at the time and Mr. Bovey was the last survivor of the grown men and women who made up the party. It will be remembered by those familiar with the early history of Ogle County that the founders of what was known as the Maryland Colony were Samuel M. Hitt and Nathaniel Swingley, who made a trip to this vicinity in the summer of 1836 and made some claims including the present site of Mount Morris. They returned to Maryland in the Autumn and employed a number of men to come out with them in the spring, paying them $1 per day for services in building houses, splitting rails and building fences, breaking and the prairie and harvesting crops. Mr. Bovey was among those thus engaged. The party made up of a dozen or more men, several of whom were accompanied by their families, started for their new home in Ogle County, in the spring of 1837. They traveled by wagons to Wheeling, West Virginia, by boat on the Ohio, Mississippi, and Illinois Rivers to Peru, and the remaining distance by wagon. Early in the spring they arrived at a vacant cabin in Fridley’s Grove, east of the present site of Mount Morris. This cabin had been built and occupied by Judge Ford, afterward governor of the state. Here the first Maryland colony, as these settlers were afterward termed, remained for two weeks, while the menfolks proceeded to erect their cabins. The first one built by them, which was also the first in the township, was a …(article cut off)

Contributed by Julie Bartimus (source unknown)

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