This information is part of the Champaign County ILGenWeb Project. If you have reached this site by means other than The USGenWeb Project, The ILGenWeb Project, or directly, please visit the main Champaign Co, ILGenWeb site for more information regarding Champaign County, IL ancestors. Information contained here was submitted by Celia G. Snyder. Please do not repost this information without the express written permission of Celia Snyder.

Champaign County, Illinois

Biography - Matthias Rinehart

SOURCE: Submitted by Celia Snyder


MATTHIAS RINEHART and Elizabeth MARCH, his wife, were natives of Chester county, Pennsylvania. They came west in the fall of 1829, and made a settlement on the farm later owned by A. M. Fauley in Somer Township. When the Rineharts arrived in this section of the state there were but thirty-five families living within, what is now, Champaign county. Their son, Martin, related many things that occurred here in those early days. The year 1831 was almost without a summer, the cold weather continued until late in the spring and a hard frost set in on September 20th, and it was so severe that it froze the corn, cob and all. In consequence of the loss of the crop, times got close and money was extremely scarce. The following year the settlers were compelled to send to Kentucky for their seed corn. In December 1836, a deep snow lay upon the ground. It began to rain and continued all day, when suddently it turned intensely cold making ice over the ground and freezing very hard. The sudden change caught many persons unprepared and they were frozen to death. Two men named Hildreth and Frame were crossing Four Mile Prairie on that day; they became bewildered and lost their way and were out when the change came. They killed their horses and Frame crawled inside the body of his horse for protection against the cold. But it proved his tomb as he was found therein frozen to death. Hildreth wandered around all night, and when found in the morning was so badly frozen that he lost his toes and fingers.

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