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TO OUR PATRONS.
SICKNESS has interfered very provokingly in the work of getting out Vermillion County Directory and Guide, and we will have to ask for liberal allowances for any apparent defects.
The work done, however, is not sufficiently patronized to make the enterprise profitable, and yet we have not in any sense slighted it on this account.
Our aim has been to do full justice to each township of the county, and to gather the names of the citizens of the county generally, and yet in some instances we have no doubt failed because we had no guides to lead us back to those we had accidentally passed. Still, take it all in all, we think we have done well, and are able to present to the citizens of Vermillion county the ablest and most satisfactory Guide Book yet published in the State. We feel, after all, that we have done our duty.
PREPARED EXPRESSLY FOR THIS VOLUME.
W. W. HIBBEN, HISTORIAN.
The county of Vermillion, which is one of the most fertile of any in the State, is worthy of special notice for its interesting historical record, its beautiful physical scenery, its agricultural products, and sor its rich and immense mineral resources.
It is bounded on the north by Warren county; on the east by Fountain and Parke counties, with the channel of the Wabash river as its boundary line; on the south by Vigo county, and on the west by Edgar and Vermillion counties, of the State of Illinois. It is thirty-six miles long, and varies in breadth from five to ten miles, with an average of a little iess than
*The fine and very appropriate map of Vermillion county, which was gotten up in 1872 by James Tarrance, we have found to be our best guide in giving our topographical sketches of this beautiful county. This map is geographically correct, and affords at a bird's-eye view a complete outline of every township, section, village and improvement. The thanks of Vermillion are certainly largely due Mr. Tarrance for the production of this appropriate map of this county.
seven miles, thus including an area of two hundred and fortynine square miles.
Of this area from one-fourth to one-third consists of the rich productive bottoms and terraces of the valleys of the Wabash and its affluents, the Big and Little Vermillions, and Norton Creek.
Its attractions of beautiful, picturesque scenery are equal to any other county in the State. The modest meanderings of the classic old Wabash, which ever and anon are hiding their silvery waters away amid the luxurious foliage of the forest trees, give to its eastern border a lineal presentation of romantic beauty such as attracts universal attention; while the long range of bench-hills, which skirt the west of this garden valley, throw along its railroad line a continued display of panoramic, rural beauty, which, without any coloring, might be termed "the lovely valley of the West."
The main terrace, or second bottom, is especially developed between Perryville and Newport-an order of nature resulting, probably, from the combined action of the two main affluents, which join the Wabash within these limits.
The terrace is here from one to four miles wide, furnishing a broad stretch of rich farming lands, and has an average elevation of about forty feet above the more immediate bottoms.
Below the town of Newport, the bluffs approach the river so closely that this famed terrace is almost obliterated, and even the bottoms become somewhat narrowed and unattractive.
At the mouth of Little Raccoon Creek, the bottoms set in again in a wider form, though the terrace assumes no considerable extent until we reach the head of Helt Prairie, about six miles north of Clinton, whence it stretches southward with an average width of from two to three miles. It narrows again about three miles below Clinton, as we approach the mouth of Brouillet's Creek and the county line.
THE AZTEC MOUNDS.
The fact that these whole beautiful regions were once, perhaps, densely inhabited by an extinct race, gives, even now, an interest to the country that inspires one with a sort of reverential awe as he looks out upon the numerous "mounds ” which still lift their quiet and unpretending elevations, here and there, after having been washed by the rain storms of centuries, as if they were, or had been preserved by the Grand Architect of the universe Himself, that all succeeding generations of people might learn that any race which might thereafter become denizens of this lower world,
“Build too low, who build beneath the skies."
In company with Hon. John Collett, an intelligent gentleman of this county, and to whom we are indebted for a vast amount of our historical notes, we visited a number of these mounds which lay thickly scattered over his farm, as if there the ancient Aztec had once held empire when his race was in the zenith of their glory. The lost history of this once wonderful people can now only be gathered up in scattered and broken fragments as they are seen, at the present time, over the various plains of the West.
What precise purpose these mounds were built for, of course may now only be guessed at. But the evidence is sufficient to satisfy any one that they were in some way connected with the burial of their dead. At least there are evidences of such