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 • Griggsville
 • Pike County
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Benjamin Elledge
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Birth: Jan. 20, 1782
Clark County
Kentucky, USA
Death: Oct. 31, 1853
Pike County
Illinois, USA

The biography below is from the "Thompson History of Pike County Illinois":
Benjamin Elledge, one of 11 children of Francis Elledge and Charity Boone, died October 31, 1853, on the land on the old State Road where he settled in 1834. He had been born in the year of the Blue Licks defeat in Kentucky, and was 71 years old. He is buried in the old Elledge cemetery, near the site of his early habitation. The stone that marked his grave is broken and part of it lost, but a fragment yet remaining near the site of the burial bears this much of the inscription: "Died Oct. 31, 1853 aged 71." The portion bearing his name is lost, but a foot-marker with the initials "B. E." still remains upon the ground.

Benjamin Elledge came overland, with teams, wagons and pack horses, from Harrison county, Indiana, in 1834 and located on Section 2 in what is now Griggsville township. With him came his wife, Catharine Reynolds, and, in order of their ages, the following children: Adaline (with her husband, Sheldon Baldwin), Sarah (Sally), James McClain, Leonard Boone, Edward Kindred, Elizabeth Jane, Harvey Viven and Reynolds Milton. Two daughters, Mary Beswick (or Bessick, as the name is written in Benjamin Elledge's will) and Charity Elledge had died in Indiana in 1830 and had been buried in Harrison county; both were born in Kentucky and died in the same year, Mary on October 1 at the age of 21, and Charity on December 19 at the age of 19.

Benjamin was not the first Elledge in this Illinois country. Jesse Elledge, militant Baptist of early days, had raised his voice in God's first temples along the Illinois, long before Benjamin's arrival. Jesse was in Scott county as early as 1825 and was carrying his ministry into Pike county as early as 1828. Edward and William Elledge, brothers of Benjamin and Scott county Pioneers of 1822, had both died in this western land before Benjamin came. Benjamin's sister Charity (or Sarah) Allen, had been living in what is now Scott county since April, 1820, reputed to have been the first white woman settler in that county. Francis Elledge, a son of Boone, was in Pike county as early as 1830, and in 1831 had married Sarah Philips of the noted Philips Ferry family. James Elledge, another brother of Benjamin, had also brought his family here prior to 1834, probably as early as 1825. James himself may have been in these parts on an exploring trip as early as the beginning of the 19th century, the late Mrs. Hannah Dalby of Griggsville, whose family was neighbor to James in the early 1830s, having so related.

Benjamin Elledge, on November 14, 1834, purchased from William Wilkinson and his wife Lydia the east 80 of the southeast 160 in Section 2, Griggsville township, two and a half miles northeast of the then infant town of Griggsville which had been laid out earlier that year. Tall prairie grass still waved where Griggsville now stands. The site of Griggsville had been known since 1825 as Bateman's Gap, Henry Bateman having arrived there in that year, where he further improved a site that had been established earlier in the same year by Abraham Scholl, who started the first log cabin on Griggsville knoll in mid-May, 1825. Prior to Scholl and Bateman, the place had been known as Sackett's Harbor, a hunter by the name of Sackett having had a rude shelter there, even before the Rosses came to Atlas.

Wilkinson was the first owner of the 80 purchased by Elledge, having had it directly from the government under a grant dated March 9, 1831. Elledge paid the Wilkinsons $500 for the 80, the transaction being certified by Andrew Philips, then proprietor of famous Philips Ferry and also a Pike county justice of the peace. The transfer to Elledge was made in the presence of Samuel Holloway, and Benjamin Elledge's eldest son, James McClain Elledge.

On the same day, Elledge purchased from Samuel and Margaret Holloway 12 3/4 acres in the northwest of Section 1, Griggsville township, adjoining the 80 on the east, for a consideration of $17. This transaction was in the presence of James Elledge and Sheldon Baldwin, the latter a son-in-law of Benjamin Elledge. In the deed describing the tract a sycamore tree (spelled "cickamore" in the deed) was used as a landmark. Andrew Philips was the certifying official.

The above properties, acquired by Benjamin Elledge in November, 1834, for $517, were sold by Benjamin's son, Reynolds M. Elledge, and his wife Zerilda at the close of the Civil War, July 14, 1865, for $4,250, the purchasers being Walker G. and John G. Sleight.

Benjamin Elledge remained "lord and master" of the foregoing property for the balance of his life. Following his death in 1853 the property, under his will, was shared by his widow Catharine and his sons. On November 25, 1856, Leonard Boone deeded to his brother Reynolds 20 acres in the southeast corner of the 80-acre tract for $600. This improved plot laid adjacent to the stage route that then ran diagonally across the southeast corner of the 80. In this deed, the property was Transferred without any encumbrance other than "the dower of Catharine Elledge, widow of the late B. Elledge deceased."

In the deed given by Reynolds Elledge to the Sleights in 1865, the grantors (Reynolds M. Elledge and his wife Zerilda) reserved one-eighth of an acre, a plot 4 rods square, for "a burying ground for the heirs of the late Benjamin Elledge deceased," the plot being described with great particularity. This burial plot was 60 rods north and 32 rods east of the southwest corner of the old Elledge 80. It lay about 100 yards from the early Elledge log house; it is today traversed by a farm driveway, along which are strewn a few fragments of stones that once marked the burials of numerous descendants of the Boone line.

Walker Sleight transferred his interest in the old Elledge 80 to John G. Sleight in 1868, and in 1869 John G. and his wife deeded the property back to Reynolds M. Elledge and the latter's brother-in-law, James H. Ingalls, who had married Benjamin Elledge's daughter, Elizabeth Jane. Ingalls, in 1870, transferred his interest to Reynolds, and on March 7, 1871, the old Elledge homestead passed from the Elledge to the Harrington family, when Reynolds M. Elledge deeded the property to Abel F. Harrington. Abel F., in 1883, deeded it to Joseph C. Harrington and he, on July 3, 1901, deeded it to his daughter, Mary C. Harrington (now Mrs. Mary C. Riley), who is the present owner.

A few scattered stones and a sunken bit of earth are all that now mark the site of the first rude habitation of the Elledges. Even the old stage route that passed that way in early days is now but barely discernible. None in the neighborhood can recall the exact locations of the early cooperage and grist mill. In the nearby valley are indications that here may once have been a living spring of water. Certain it is that the Elledge stave factory and mill made the settlement a place of considerable importance in those early days. 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Francis Elledge (1750 - 1827)
  Charity Boone Elledge (1758 - 1843)
 
 Spouse:
  Catherine Reynolds Elledge (1786 - 1863)*
 
 Children:
  James McClain Elledge (____ - 1842)*
  Adaline Delefyat Demarcus Elledge Baldwin (1807 - 1841)*
  Edward Kindred Elledge (1822 - 1842)*
 
 Siblings:
  Benjamin Elledge (1782 - 1853)
  Leonard Boone Elledge (1783 - 1841)*
  Nancy Elledge Phillips (1788 - 1861)*
  Charity Sarah Elledge Schull (1795 - 1878)*
  Jesse Byran Elledge (1800 - 1875)*
  Jemima Boone Elledge Beall (1803 - 1900)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Benjamin Elledge Cemetery
Griggsville
Pike County
Illinois, USA
 
Maintained by: Kathy Robinson
Originally Created by: Anna Jaech
Record added: Feb 12, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 105081434
 

 
 
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