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 transcribed by Celia Snyder. Please do not repost this information without the express written permission of Celia Snyder.

Champaign County, Illinois

Biography of William Tompkins

SOURCE: "A Standard History of Champaign County, Illinois," J. R. Stewart, Supervising Editor, The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York, Vols. I & II, 1918


Tompkins Squats on Site of Urbana

Soon after the coming of the Fielders in Big Grove, WILLIAM TOMPKINS settled on the site of Urbana. He built a cabin of unhewn logs twenty feet square near the southwest corner of the southwest quarter of Section 8, which was known, after the platting of Urbana, as Lot No. 7 of Hooper & Parks' Addition. The site of the Tompkins home was a patch of hazel brush and small timber, also upon the bank of Salt Creek. The cabin was standing as late as 1855, in the heart of Urbana, and was then pointed out as the oldest house in town. The locality was of special historic interest also, because it marked a well known camping ground of the Kickapoos and Pottawattamies, and the remains of old corn fields were plainly visible for several years after the locality commenced to be well settled.

"Tompkins," says Judge Cunningham, "like other early settlers of the county, must have occupied this land as a squatter, for the records show no entry of lands by him until February 5, 1830, when he entered the eighty-acre tract where he lived, which embraced all the territory in Urbana bounded on the north by the city limits, east by Vine Street, south by the alley north of Main Street and west by a line running north from the stone bridge. On November 1, 1830, he also entered the eighty-acre tract lying immediately south of that tract, bounded on the north by the first entry, east by Vine Street, south by the city limits and west by the alley next west of Race Street. Before this last entry Tompkins had improved and fenced about twenty acres which lay mostly south of Main Street.

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