Monday, April 12, 2010

Havens, Hiram

Born - 29 Mar 1817 Licking Co., OH
Died - 13 Oct 1890 Hudson, Mc Lean Co., IL

Note - Hiram Havens

Hiram Havens was born March 29, 1817, in Licking County, Ohio. He worked for
his father, Jesse Havens, in his younger days and broke prairie with an
ox-team. He and his brother John broke prairie together and together kept
bachelor's hall. John usually brought up the oxen in the morning, while Hiram
pounded the cornmeal for breakfast. They often killed deer, sometimes early
enough in the morning to have venison for breakfast.

In March 1883, Hiram Havens went to More's mill on Panther Creek, in company
with a man named Platt. But on his return he found it impossible to cross the
Mackinaw. His companion, Platt, managed to cross on the ice with a pole,
intending to go home and return with something for Havens to eat, but on his
return it was impossible to re-cross the Mackinaw, as it had risen to an
enormous height. Havens was left to lay all night on an open sled on the bank
of the Mackinaw in a sleeting storm. But he fortunately had his feet protected
by a big dog, which kept them warm. The wolves came unpleasantly near and
seemed very anxious to make mutton of him. The next morning he rode eight
miles in the storm on one of his horses, leading the other. He obtained some
parched corn for breakfast, of a man named More, then rode two miles farther to
a house where he was given some boiled corn and venison. He lived there
sixteen days before he could re-cross the Mackinaw. He found that the crows
and mice had eaten much of his flour, and possibly the wolves might have
assisted in the matter.

Hiram Havens was a good shot and pretty certain to bring down his game. His
father once treed a lynx, which is an immensely long-bodied animal, with spots
or short stripes, and with legs which are short, thick and powerful. Hiram was
called to shoot the animal, and put a bullet into its brain. It fell to the
ground and an incautious dog came rather close, when the lynx gave it a blow
with its paw, which sent the dog rolling senseless. The lynx died in a few
moments. It measured six feet from tip to tip, but its tail was short. Its
nails were two inches in length.

The lynxes, as may be seen by the description, are ferocious animals, and have
given rise to many stories. One of these was the story of the once celebrated
Clem Oatman. It was said that Clem Oatman was once coming home from mill, when
he saw one of these lynxes and killed it with a club and carried it on his
horse, which was a very tall one. And it was said that this lynx dragged its
head in the snow on one side and its hindquarters in the snow on the other, and
in this manner the wonderful lynx was carried home. The news of Clem Oatman's
lynx was carried over the country, and was told in every school house, church
and grocery. So far as the truth of this story is concerned, the reader can
believe as much or as little as he chooses. If he wishes to cultivate his
faith, this story is a good one to practice on.

Mr. Havens takes delight in stories, and tells one on a certain man named Wood,
an English sailor, who came to the neighborhood with Mr. Samuel Lewis. Wood
went hunting, with a fine gun, which Lewis had brought from England. The gun
was scoured up brightly, and was of beautiful workmanship. Wood wounded a
deer, which turned for fight, and came with its hair all bristling forward,
though it was much worried by the dogs. Wood turned to the deer and said:
"Don't you come 'ooking' at me, Mr. Deer, or I'll knock 'ee in the 'ead with
the gun." But the deer was not familiar with broad English dialect and did not
heed the warning. The old sailor managed the gun as he would a handspike and
broke the deer's horns and mashed its head and laid it out dead. But the
pretty gun, which had been brought from England, with pretty mountings and fancy
trappings, was broken and battered and useless for further service.

Hiram Havens commenced work for the Illinois Central Railroad Company in 1851,
when that great undertaking was put under contract. He worked two years and a
half, furnishing ties, bridge lumber, etc., and could have remained in the
service of the company, but was afraid of the uncertainty of life on the road.

Mr. Havens has been pretty successful in life, and has made his money by the
hardest of labor. When he married and commenced life for himself, he was on
sixty acres of land, which was given to him by his father. He lived in a cabin
twelve feet square, made of split logs. It had only one window, and was a hard
looking affair. He and his wife had two cows, one pony, two chairs, one bed
and one blue chest, which they used as a table. During the first year he did
his ploughing with a borrowed horse, but succeeded well and bought more land and
in about three years was able to build a house. He continued farming and
raising stock and accumulating property, until he became pretty independent.
In 1859 he bought the farm of Enoch S. Havens, and since that time built the
house where he now lives. His property is not tied up with trust deeds or
mortgages, but belongs to him in fee simple.

He married Sarah A. Trimmer, April 5, 1838. She is still living. He has five
children, of whom three are living. They are:

Mrs. Martha E. Johnson, wife of John S. Johnson, lives at White Oak Grove.

Alice Havens and Etta B. Havens, the pet, live at home.

Mr. Havens is nearly six feet in height, and has a fair amount of muscle. His
hair was once what is politely called intensely auburn, that is, it had a
reddish cast, but now it is sprinkled with gray. He has been a hard and
industrious worker, and has the respect and confidence of the community where
he resides, as is seen by the fact that he has been justice of the peace for
sixteen years.
(Source: The Good Old Times of McLean County, Illinois, Dr. E. Duis, 1874, p.

MARRIAGE: The marriage of Hiram Havens and Sarah Ann Trimmer is recorded in Book
A, p. 100.

Hiram Havens, deceased, was one of the honored pioneer settlers of Mc Lean
County, IL. He was born in Licking County, Ohio, March 29, 1817, the son of
Jesse and Margaret (Hinthorn) Havens.

Jesse Havens was a native of Monmouth County, N.J., and the son of Jesse
Havens, Sr., who was killed during the War of 1812 when the vessel, Essix, was
sunk and the entire crew massacred. Jesse Havens, Jr., father of the subject
of this sketch, brought his family from Ohio to Mc Lean County, Ill., on Dec.
31, 1829, making the trip in covered wagons. They settled on land in Hudson
Township, and Mr. Havens became the owner of 2,000 acres of land, which is
known as Havens Grove. He served in the War of 1812 and was one of 160 men who
took part in the defense of Fort Stephenson. Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Havens had 11
children, of whom Hiram, the subject of this sketch, was the second in order of

Hiram Havens was reared on the farm in Hudson Township, where he spent his
entire life. He was 12 years old when his people came to McLean County and at
that time Indians were still living in the county. The homestead in Hudson
Township is known as "Havenhurst" and it has been in the Havens family about
100 years. Hiram Havens was greatly interested in the study of law and at the
time of his death owned 300 volumes of law books. He became a counselor and
also served as justice of the peace for many years, and was always proud of the
fact that in his 40 years of service in that capacity, none of his decisions
were reversed in higher courts. Mr. Havens died Oct. 13, 1890.
On April 5, 1838, Hiram Havens was united in marriage with Miss Sarah Ann
Trimmer, a native of Hunterdon, N.J. born Feb. 4, 1821, and a daughter of John
and Elizabeth (Lanterman) Trimmer, the former a native of Hunterdon County,
N.J., and the latter of Germany. To Mr. and Mrs. Havens five children were
born, of whom only one is now living, Mrs. Etta Carrithers.

Mrs. Etta Carrithers was born on the home place in Hudson Township, and on
March 1, 1863, was married to Fred A. Carrithers, a native of Marshall County,
Ill., born Jun 20, 1858, and the son of Rev. William P. and Mary (Barnes)
Carrithers, natives of Indiana. Mr. Carrithers is depot agent for the Illinois
Central Railroad at Hudson and he and his wife reside on the old Havens
homestead, "Havenhurst." They have one son, Henry Carrithers.

Mrs. Carrithers was educated in the public schools and attended Illinois State
Normal University at Normal. She is a member of the Daughters of the American
Revolution and is now the fifth vice-president of the United States Daughters
of the War of 1812. During the World War Mrs. Carrithers was chairman of home
service and devoted her entire time to war work. She is a member of the McLean
County Historical Society and held the vice-presidency for two years. She has
in her possession some interesting history in connection with the Havens family
and has traced it back as far as the year 800. The Havens family originally
came from France and Mrs. Carrithers has a metal painting coat of arms of the

In politics Hiram Havens was originally a Whig and later a Republican. He was
a member of the Methodist Church. Mr. Havens was a prominent man of the
community, highly esteemed by all who knew him.
(Source: History of McLean County Illinois, Jacob Louis Hasbrouck, 1924, p.

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