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Frontier(1822 - 1832)

(1822 - 1832)

The first European Americans to settle McLean County faced many unknowns. Migrating primarily from Kentucky, Tennessee, and southern Ohio, their survival was dependent upon their ability to fend for themselves and get along with their Native neighbors.

Frontier Settlement

John L. Hendryx and John W. Dawson arrived in 1822. They were the first to stake claims for federal land in what is now McLean County. Like those who followed, they were lured to the area by land described as better, cheaper, and with abundant game for hunting.

The Orendorffs

McLean County was a wilderness when the first white settlers arrived. They left behind over farmed land and crowded conditions. Some came because title to the land they left behind was uncertain. Making a home proved challenging.