From: The Past and Present of Warren Co., Il
Published: Chicago, H. F. Ket & Co., Cor. 5th Ave. and Washington St., 1877

Return to Index Page

This is one of the earliest settled locations in this county. L.P. Rockwell and Jonathan Buffun came here on a prospecting tour in 1830 from Ashtabula county, Ohio, and found Adam Ritchie located in a small block house on the hill. This had been built by Ritchie in the previous year.

Rockwell and Buffun bought his claim of 160 acres, having upon it a mill site on Cedar Creek. They remained here during the winter of 1830 and '31, and engaged in building a saw-mill, the first in the county.

They returned in the fall to Ohio, and in April, 1832, they set sail with their families and some others on a raft down the Ohio river, They started from Warren county, Pa., and were four weeks on the raft in reaching Cincinnati. Here, after much delay, they took passage on a steamboat for St. Louis, and on arriving there found the same boat was going to Beardstown, and so contiued their journey to this point. From this latter place they went by ox teams to Canton, and then to their new homes on Cedar Creek. They added another block house near the first and built a stockade for fort. The nearest mill or postoffice was about seventy miles distant. Soon however, the postoffice was established at this point and was first called Cedar Creek Postoffice, and in 1851 the name was changed to Denny at Washington. In the spring of 1832 Rockwell and Buffun rented their saw-mill to Chester Potter, who was also from Ashtabula county, Ohio. He added a small pair of burrs for grinding wheat and corn. These millstones were only twelve and a half inches in diameeter, but did the grinding for a large scope of country. They were made by Poter from a Granite Boulder or "Nigger-head" found on the prairie in this county. Potter, however, continued here only one year, when he moved to Kelly Tp. and set up a mill for himself on Henderson Creek. Buffun sold out his interest to Rockwell September 21st, 1832, and went to Fulton county, afterwards to Rock Island. On the 8th of August, 1835, L/P. Rockwell and D. G. Baldwin entered into agreement to build a large flouring mill, which resulted in the erection of the present Rockwell Mills. The first P.M. here was J. Buffun, one year; then L.P. Rockwell for about twenty years. He died in 1860. The first school was in 1834--teacher, Miss Betsy Hopper. There is not a more pleasant location in this county than Denny.

Return to Homepage

Updated September 10, 2001