HE time has arrived when it becomes the duty of the people of this county to perpetuate the names of their pioneers, to furnish a record of their early settlement, and relate the story of their progress. The civilization of our day, the enlightenment of the age and the duty that men of the present time owe to their ancestors, to themselves and to their posterity, demand that a record of their lives and deeds should be made. In biographical history is found a power to instruct man by precedent, to enliven the mental faculties, and to waft down the river of time a safe vessel in which the names and actions of the people who contributed to raise this country from its primitive state may be preserved. Surely and rapidly the great and aged men, who in their prime entered the wilderness and claimed the virgin soil as their heritage, are passing to their graves. The number remaining who can relate the incidents of the first days of settlement is becoming small indeed, so that an actual necessity exists for the collection and preservation of events without delay, before all the early settlers are cut down by the scythe of Time.
To be forgotten has been the great dread of mankind from remotest ages. All will be forgotten soon enough, in spite of their best works and the most earnest efforts of their friends to perserve [preserve] the memory of their lives. The means employed to prevent oblivion and to perpetuate their memory has been in proportion to the amount of intelligence they possessed. The pyramids of Egypt were built to perpetuate the names and deeds of their great rulers. The exhumations made by the archeologists of Egypt from buried Memphis indicate a desire of those people to perpetuate the memory of their achievements. The erection of the great obelisks were for the same purpose. Coming down to a later period, we find the Greeks and Romans erecting
mausoleums and monuments, and carving out statues to chronicle their great achievements and carry them down the ages. It is also evident that the Mound-builders, in piling up their great mounds of earth, had but this ideato leave something to show that they had lived. All these works, though many of them costly in the extreme, give but a faint idea of the lives and characters of those whose memory they were intended to perpetuate, and scarcely anything of the masses of the people that then lived. The great pyramids and some of the obelisks remain objects only of curiosity; the mausoleums, monuments and statues are crumbling into dust.
It was left to modern ages to establish an intelligent, undecaying, immutable method of perpetuating a full historyimmutable in that it is almost unlimited in extent and perpetual in its action; and this is through the art of printing.
To the present generation, however, we are indebted for the introduction of the admirable system of local biography. By this system every man, though he has not achieved what the world calls greatness, has the means to perpetuate his life, his history, through the coming ages.
The scythe of Time cuts down all; nothing of the physical man is left. The monument which his children or friends may erect to his memory in the cemetery will crumble into dust and pass away; but his life, his achievements, the work he has accomplished, which otherwise would be forgot, is perpetuated by a record of this kind.
To preserve the lineaments of our companions we engrave their portraits, for the same reason we collect the attainable facts of their history. Nor do we think it necessary, as we speak only the truth of them, to wait until they are dead, or until those who know them are gone; to do this we are ashamed only to publish to the world the history of those whose lives are unworthy of public record.