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BRANCH COUNTY

1833 QUINCY

There, with the first dead in Quincy, sat the relatives of the deceased, viz: Mr. Cornish and Mrs. Cornish, his sister, Mr. and Mrs. Ichabod Burdick, brother-in-law and sister, Mr. James Burdick, a nephew, and Mrs. Burdick, with her first born, a tender babe, in her arms. They sang a hymn, the book was opened and a chapter read. Mr. Ichabod Burdick offered prayer. Then the rude coffin was put into a big wagon, the first hearse of Quincy, and fifty years ago the first funeral procession slowly moved down the Chicago road to Aliens for burial.
The same year, in the fall, in this little cabin there was born a little baby-boy, and he was named Allen Cornish, the first child born in the township and village of Quincy. Thus fifty years ago, the first house was built, the first plowing was done, the first wheat was sown, the first death occurred, and the first child was born, and to-day we celebrate the Semi-Centennial of the settlement of our village. This same year Mr. William P. Arnold, now our venerable townsman, came from the East and located on university land near Coldwater. The spring of 1834, found Mr. Cornish busy preparing timber for his new house, and as soon as the material was ready, he raised a frame on the site of Clark's Hotel. When it was roofed, floored and sided, he moved into it, and opened a tavern. This building with all its contents was burnt in '43, the first fire in Quincy. During the same summer Mr. Cornish put up a frame barn on the corner west of his tavern, where Mr. Knowlton's hardware building now stands. It was afterwards painted red and was known as the Red Barn.

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