EARLY DAYS IN GREENBUSH
MOSES THOMPSON HAND
Moses T. Hand was born in New York City, November 4, 1807. When but a child his parents moved to the state of New Jersey. After a few years they again moved, this time settling in Huron county, Ohio, where Moses grew to manhood and was married to Sarah Ann Squires, who lived but three years after their marriage. Two children were born to them, the first one dying in infancy. After the death of his wife, Mr. Hand with his infant son Henry left Huron county, Ohio, and came to Illinois.
Arriving at Canton, Illinois, in the fall of 1834, he remained there during the winter. In the spring of 1835, he came to Greenbush township, Warren county, Illinois. He was united in marriage with Mrs. Elizabeth Crawford, December 23, 1835.
Her maiden name was Elizabeth Snapp. She was born in Nichols county, Kentucky, February 2, 1808, and was a daughter of George and Sarah (McIntyre) Snapp. She was the mother of John Crawford, born July 14, 1827; married Rebecca Wallace. He died January 21, 1862. She was also the mother of Sarah Crawford who was born September 23,1829; married Thomas Parks. She died December 2, 1887.
Mr. Hand resided in Greenbush after his marriage, where he was engaged in the mercantile business for some time. He finally purchased the northeast quarter of section 35, in Swan township. Here he undertook the task of converting the unbroken prairie land into a grain-producing farm, breaking prairie, fencing and building; the timber furnishing the only source from which fencing and building material could be obtained. The county then abounded in reptiles and wild animals. When in the timber making rails, he would have to cover his provisions with the box from the wagon to protect it from the wolves and other wild animals.
Aside from farming, Mr. Hand engaged in buying and selling live stock. In those days long trips must be made by the wagon road to reach a market for the produce of the farm, Liverpool, Illinois, being the nearest place where stock could be disposed of, with an occasional trip to Chicago driving a herd of cattle. Upon one of these trips he purchased a cook stove, it being the second stove brought into the neighborhood, William McMahill claiming the first. The fireplace, which had so long done duty as the only means of cooking, was to be abandoned for the modern convenience. But the cook stove was then in a rude, primitive state, differing very much from the cook stoves and steel ranges of the present day. Mr. Hand was agent for the sale of the first McCormick reapers used on the prairies in this section of the country. In the fall of 1856, he left the farm and moved with his family to Prairie City, Illinois, where he bought a stock of goods of D. K. Hardin. Here he engaged in the mercantile business for several years. Finally, selling his stock of goods to Ebenezer Sanford, he again engaged in farming, stock and grain-buying; also in the coal-mining business. Mr. and Mrs. Hand were the first couple married in Greenbush township; the ceremony was performed by John C. Bond, justice of the peace. To them were born the following-named children:
Mary, born September 22, 1836; married Richard Silver. They moved to Seward county, Nebraska, where she died.
Ann Eliza, born March 31, 1839; married James F. Hartford, June 13, 1856. He died February 27, 1902. She now resides near Prairie City, in Greenbush Township.
Giles F., born April 27, 1841; married Eliza Brink, May 12, 1864. They now reside on a farm near Stansberry, Missouri.
Caroline, born October 13, 1843; married John W. Cope. She died at Bushnell, Illinois, August 27. 1905.
Jane, born June 11, 1846; married Robert P. Maxwell.
William Oscar, born December 16, 1848; married Mary Curtis, December 16, 1873. They reside in Prairie City, Illinois.
Henry, a son of Moses T. Hand by his first marriage, married Catherine Buchner, and is living in Shenandoah, Iowa.
Moses T. Hand and wife were for many years before their death members of the Methodist Episcopal church. In politics, he was a republican. He died at his home in Prairie City, Illinois, February 18, 1888. On August 19, 1898, his aged wife was called to reunite with him on the other side. Their remains were laid to rest in the Prairie City cemetery.