20 August 2011

Asa Landon--1850 Era School Teacher

The wonderful thing about newspapers is that one really has no idea what discoveries one will make until searches are done. This gem, which is really only part of the article written by the county School Commissioner,  was located on  GenealogyBank.com when I conducted a search for Asa Landon. Asa was the second husband of Mary (Dingman) Sargent, mother of my elusive ancestor Ira Sargent. 

The clipping tells me that Asa teaches in the Canadian district. I did not know that Asa Landon taught school--but apparently he did in Winnebago County in the early 1850s (the census shows him to be a farmer). What was also interesting was that the article refers to the part of the county where Landon lives as the "Canadian district."

Why does that matter?

Asa was born in Canada, as was his wife Mary (Dingman) Sargent. Mary and her first husband, Clark Sargent, came to Winnebago County, Illinois, from Ontario in the mid 1840s. I had noticed several other Canadians in the area, but this reference to the area where they lived as the "Canadian District" confirmed that there were quite a few Canadians there. 

It probably explains why the Sargents settled where they did. I had long wondered why they left Canada to go to Winnebago County and the presence of a significant number of other Canadians is most likely the reason. It also tells me that the Sargents might not have had any relatives in Winnebago County, Illinois. Searches to this point for other Sargents or Dingmans in the area had been futile  and it is highly likely that the Sargents were living near former neighbors and not relatives. 

This clipping comes from page 3 of the 5 March 1851 issue of the Rockford Forum which appears in digital form on GenealogyBank.com