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Wednesday, June 3, 2009
The following items concerning the life of Mr. Hand were given by his daughter, Mrs. A.M. Stringfield of Randolph's Grove. Mr. Hand was born in 1790, Mrs. Stringfield cannot tell of the place of this birth or give any information containing his early life. He was a soldier in the war of 1812, and for his services a land grant was given to his family after his death. In the spring of 1819, he left Ohio where he was living, and came with his family to Shawneetown, Illinois. The journey was hard and adventurous. The family started on a flatboat, but it ran against a sawyer and sank, and the Hand family saved only their lives and the clothing which they happened to wear at the time of the accident. A small steamboat took them from the wreck and landed on shore. They found shelter in a little cabin near a grog-shop, where they came in contact with the worst element of western society. The men in grog-shop made the night terrible with their drunken revels. At one time they became so noisy that the proprietor turned them out, and shortly afterwords a storm came up and blew off the roof of the grogery. The party took refuge in Mr. Hand's cabin, and during the whole night kept up their drunken revelry. After waiting three or four days, Mr. Hand's family were taken in a boat to Shawneetown. They went out into the country about eighteen miles, and there Mr. Hand supported his family all summer with his labor and his gun. He built a little round log cabin which as Mrs. Stringfield says, had cracks in it large enough to sling a cat through. He stayed there four years and went to Sangmon County. Here he raised two crops. Mr. Hand hauled his hay from the Sangaman bottom. He had ten girls in his family, and they sometimes helped him in his work.
In 1825, he came to Randolph's Grove, and there built a cabin and broke prarie. No young man could be found for help, so Amelia drove the oxen to break prairie. When the land came into market, he entered his farm. The country was then very wild, as he may be imagined, and the wolves came around the house and made so much noise, that, as Mrs. Stringfield says, "you could not hear it thunder." Mr. Hand opened his house for preaching place until school-house could be built. Their cabin was also the preacher's stopping place. Mr. Hand died in 1845, in the fifty-fifth year of his age. He had a family of ten girls and four boys, and all, except one girl, grew to be men and women. Six of the girls and two of the boys are yet living. Mr. Hand was a rather tall man, fair-haired, fair-complexioned, with very expressive blue eyes, and with heavy shoulders. He was bold, energetic looking man, and was strong and active. He was an exorter in the Methodist Church, and brought up his children in the way they should go.
This was found under surnames. It was on microfilm on pages 775-776. Old Settlers of Illinois and was found in the San Jose Morman Library. The research was done by my cousin, Dottie (Ambler) DeRosa and she is thinking that this is a possible brother to my great-great-great grandfather George R. Hand.