I have long had a fascination with historic documents, and books and the ledger of Asahel Enloe ledger labeled “Account Book A” was one of these.
Asahel was a justice of the peace before Illinois was a state, with his first entry in his ledger dated 1817.
This initial entry was a deed of 160 acres between Simon Lindly and his wife, Ann, to John Lindly of Madison County, Illinois Territory. Lindly originally purchased the land on April 4, 1816, at the Kaskaskia land office, paying 50 cents per acre.
The book, 146 pages in length, held many deed transfers and such, a few wills and a “Bill of Sale’”for a 13-14-year old Negro boy, Spencer, formerly in possession of Green P. Rice, to keep to the age of 35. Chatham Ewing of Logan Co., Ky., is mentioned, with witnesses Robert Lathen and William B. Whiteside.
Asahel Enloe has an interesting history. He came to Madison County in 1816 from York District, South Carolina when he was 44 years old. Two years later, he settled with his wife, Sarah Stewart, and their children on the highest point near Greenville, the current site of Lansing Cemetery.
Perrin’s 1883 Bond and Montgomery County history tells that along with Paul Beck and Samuel Davidson (Enloe’s son-in-law), Asahel received first settler status.
With his sons, Asahel is credited with clearing off a tract of land near the Bond County courthouse in 1818, planting it in corn.
His family included wife, Sarah and children, Mary, Violet, Cythia, Ezekiel, James, Hannah, Louisa, Enoch, Nathaniel and Isaac Enloe.
Illinois’ first governor, Shadrach Bond, appointed Asahel to the surveyor job, a position he held for 40 years.
He was described as a scholarly man for his time and taught school. He served as clerk and chorister at the Presbyterian Church for years.
During the years represented by the ledger, Asahel Enloe surveyed and platted the historic villages of Ripley and Perrysville, and their plats are recorded in this ledger.
Ripley was 24 blocks in size, with a Public Square and streets 66 feet wide. All lots measured 66 feet by 148 feet deep.
Ten lots were devoted for the purpose of raising funds for religious purposes and schools.
Perrysville also had a “Publick Square” and streets named Niagary, Erie, Main, Eliot and Back. Lot owners were Isham Revis, Martin Jones, R.P., Winchester, F. Mason, William Jones, T. Finley, N. Buckmaster, J. Conway and Samuel Houston.
Many of the names in Asahel Enloe’s Account book are also found in the early Bond County history books. Simon Lindly, whose sale of land was the first entry in Enloe’s book, came to Bond County in 1808 and built a blockhouse one and one-half miles southwest of Greenville. He also helped build both Hill and Jones’ Fort.
Martin Jones looms large in the history of Fayette and Bond County. His wife, Kerrenhappuck T. Jones, is a mysterious figure to me. She placed her “X” on several deeds, along with her husband, selling land lots in Perrysville and died young.
James Denny’s will was recorded by Enloe on April 21, 1825. In his will, he named his wife, Mary, and children, George, John, Polly, Jenny, James, Alexander, Robert and Samuel Denny.
Their descendants populate Bond and Fayette counties today.
The old ledger book is much more than a collection of deeds, wills and bills of sale. It represents the beginning of recorded history in Bond County.