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Paist, Maria Dawson

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Decade of birth: 1810s
Featured in: 1995

Maria Dawson Paist came to Illinois with her family in 1822 at the age of five. The Dawson and Hendrix families were the first permanent settlers in McLean County. Over the course of her lifetime, Paist witnessed her home evolve from a stretch of wild prairie inhabited by the Kickapoo Native American tribe into the expanding urban centers of Bloomington and Normal.