Historic Rock

Updated: Sep 19, 2021


Historic Rock Turner Farm Butler Grove Township Montgomery County Illinois
Historic Rock Turner Farm Butler Grove Township Montgomery County Illinois

On the farm of John B. Turner, of Butler Grove township, there is a very large sandstone rock. Standing out alone from any other rock naturally causes the inquiry as to how it came there and what it represents.


From Mrs. Dr. William Douglas we have this bit of history:


One of the earliest settlers of Butler Grove township was a queer, quaint character, Reuben Ross. He was an illiterate, eccentric man, though a money maker. At one time he owned a large body of land, including the Turner farm, extending from the Springfield Road to the timber. Many interesting stories of this man's pranks and peculiarities are told, which we cannot relate here. He had a family, and one of his boys dying, when the time of burial came a brother of the dead boy went to the barn to hitch up a team of mules to drive to the burial place, and one of the mules kicked the boy to death. The old man Ross buried the two boys where the rock now stands. Subsequently he sold out with the view of moving to Texas, and prior to going he got a lot of his neighbors together and went west to what is known as "Rocky Ford" and there quarried this large rock and loaded it onto a vehicle and hauled it to the grave and deposited it over the place of his sons repose. It took fourteen yoke of oxen to haul the rock to its location.


But it accomplishes its purpose and the grave of his two sons is not likely to be disturbed by the cruel hand of the marauder. A few years ago, Mr. Ross, after becoming very rich in the new home of his adoption in Texas, sent a man here to ascertain if the stone had in any way been disturbed, and as it is well cared for, he probably now rests in composure.

 

Reuben Ross was a very early settler in Butler Grove Township purchasing farmland here April 6, 1837.


Reuben Ross appears in the 1850 Montgomery County Census. He was 41 years of age and listed as a farmer. His wife Elizabeth was 40 years old. At this time, they had six children living with them. Thomas (14), George (13), Mildred (10), Mary (8), Felix (5) and Richard (3). Both Reuben and Elizabeth and their first two children Thomas and George were born in Kentucky. Census records show that the family left Montgomery County prior to 1860.


This article was written over 100 years ago and today the rock is still there.

Historic Rock Turner Farm Butler Grove Township Montgomery County Illinois
Historic Rock Turner Farm Butler Grove Township Montgomery County Illinois

Special thanks to Ann Mullins Tindall for sending me photos of the rock!

Historic Rock Turner Farm Butler Grove Township Montgomery County Illinois
Historic Rock Turner Farm Butler Grove Township Montgomery County Illinois

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Jeff Dunn

Vice President

Historical Society of

Montgomery County

Advisory Board

Illinois State

Historical Society