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Samuel Judy, the first permanent resident of Madison County, built this home in 1808.

Kristen Detmer
All Saints Academy, Breese

Many immigrants traveled to Illinois and settled in an area known as "The Land of Goshen," in Madison County. With its rivers, rich vegetation, and miles of open prairies, it was an ideal spot for the immigrants. Because of these many advantages, Reverend David Bagley gave it its name. Goshen Township was established after Madison County was created in 1812. Between 1820 and 1830 it was divided into five smaller townships, Edwardsville, Silver Creek, Big Prairie, Six-Mile Prairie, and Woodriver.

On August 19, 1773, Samuel Judy was born in Switzerland. When Samuel was four years old he and his entire family immigrated to America. They first settled in Maryland, and ten years later moved to Kaskaskia, Illinois.

By 1801, Sam Judy, who was now a colonel, received a military grant for some land in Madison County, Illinois, just north of Judy's Creek at the base of the bluffs. Squatter Ephraim Connor built a cabin on this land. Judy and Connor agreed on a fair price for the land and the cabin. Therefore, Judy became the first permanent settler, not only of the Goshen Settlement, but also of Madison County.

At the age of twenty, Sam married Margaret Whiteside. Samuel Judy was a prominent man of his day and was elected as territorial legislator of the Kaskaskia District, which included Madison County. He served the people for many years as a commissioner of Madison County. Judy was also a brave soldier. During the Indian Wars, he was one of the best fighters in Illinois. Samuel could always be found in the front ranks in every expedition against the Native Americans. The Judy family showed great devotion to home and country.

These early settlers were very friendly. When newcomers arrived they received a hearty welcome. Orchards were common property and any man that charged for apples or anything else was known all over the county for his meanness. If a stranger stopped by someone's house near evening, he was often offered a bed for the night and received things that the family could afford to give to him. Women were very reliable and independent. They were often left alone so they became proficient at shooting a rifle. Many men said that their wives could shoot just as good as any man.

During Samuel Judy's life two Christian denominations dominated Southern Illinois—Methodist and Baptist. Samuel Judy did not belong to any specific religion, but many of the churches benefited from his good will. Samuel Judy died in 1838, and he was greatly missed by the people of Madison County. — [From Glen Carbon Centennial, 1892-1992, W. R. Brink & Co., History of Madison County.]

2 ILLINOIS HISTORY / DECEMBER 1999


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