D. Fletcher Hitt, now of Ottawa, then a young man, came out with his brother Samuel in 1838, as surveyor, and laid off many claims and the seminary appropriation. He surveyed a portion of the village plat in 1839. It was afterward discovered that, in making the survey, he had used a chain which was eight-tenths of a foot too long, and the corporate authorities ordered a resurvey of the town, which was made by A. Q. Allen, February 22, 1875, to correspond with the one made by Fletcher Hitt.

The "Railroad Addition" to Mount Morris was made by Robert R. Hitt, M. Emory Hitt and Emily Hitt, April 17, 1872; of "Stroh's Addition," the date was not recorded on the plat. Three quarter sections had been donated for the use of the Seminary, as shown in the history of that institution in another portion of this work, and the Board of Trustees of that institution on the 29th day of December, 1840, voted that lots be donated to all applicants applying until the 1st of June following, "who shall build a house of stone, brick or frame, not less than 16 by 24 feet, stories high, to be fit for occupancy 1st of January, 1842, or sooner, J. Clark and T. S. Hitt to designate the lots donated and specify the terms." The time during which such dona­tions might be made was afterward extended. By this liberal action of the Trustees, any man who desired a village lot could have it " without money and without price," provided he would build a house on it and, presumably, occupy the premises. Messrs. Clark and Hitt ruled that every alternate lot might be thus donated.

In the Spring of 1839, James B. McCoy came from Maryland to the Maryland settlement with a view to contracting for the erection of the Seminary,'and, having obtained the contract, erected the old seminary building in 1839-40. In April, 1841, he married Mrs. Elizabeth Ankeny. Mrs. Ankeny's two children, Nathaniel A. Ankeny and Ann M., now Mrs. William Watts, still reside in this vicinity

In 1839, Mr. McCoy built the first house within the limits of Mt. Morris, in which to board his laborers. This, in 1841, he moved south, near the pressent site of Mrs. McCoy's brick residence. The building was again moved, and is at present the fourth house south of Mrs. McCoy's, and is occupied by William Foulke. Mr. McCoy died at his residence January 14, 1871.
The second building (except the Seminary) was erected by Rev. John Sharp, in 1840, as a barn; but as living room was in great demand, it was partitioned into two rooms and occupied by Rev. Philo Judson and family, in one half, while Frederick Petrie lived in the other portion. This was after­ward finished up and moved to Front street, due east of and on the same block' with the store of Lookabaugh & Middour, and has been transformed into the residence of M. T. Rohrer.

In 1841, a post office was established at Mount Morris, and Rev. John Sharp was appointed Postmaster. Previous to this date, the nearest post office was at Oregon. Mr. Sharp was succeeded by his son-in-law, Frederick G. Petrie. After him, followed, for a short time, Hiram Beard; then John Ankeny for many years; he was succeeded by B. G. Stevens, followed by Edward Davis, and then Frederick B. Brayton, who has held that position for seventeen years, and is the present Postmaster.

John Martin built the third house, in 1840, after which the houses .sprang up so rapidly that it is impossible to name them in the order of their erection. Mr. Martin's residence was situated on the lot now occupied by Andrew Newcomer's store room, in the northeastern part of town.

The first birth in the village was that of John R. Petrie, son of F. G. Petrie, about 1840.
The first burial in the cemetery was a little daughter of Nathaniel Swingley.










History of Ogle County-1878


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