Daniel Powell

by Carol Olson

          According to Silas Wright Heard, the Powells came from Virginia. Other sources say the Powells came from South Carolina.  Some sources say Daniel and his family moved from South Carolina to East Tennessee when Daniel was 12 years of age (about 1805).  They did live in Kentucky before moving to Illinois.  

          In War of 1814, Battle of New Orleans, Daniel Powell served under William Mitchisson of Caldwell County, Kentucky in the 14th Regiment Kentucky Militia as a Sergeant.  Appeared on the tax lists for Henderson County, KY for the first time in 1816 as only white male in his household over 21 owning three horses / mares for a total tax of 100. In 1817, he was taxed on two horses for a total tax of 100. In 1818 he was again taxed on three horses for a total tax of 160.  On 29 Jun 1815, in Henderson County, KY, he married Margery Jane Miller.  He was not listed in the Henderson County tax lists in 1819.  

          When living in Illinois, Daniel was very wealthy and owned much land, 720 acres in Hamilton and 1852 acres in White County.   He started purchasing his land 19 Jan 1819 in Hamilton County and listed Henderson County, KY as the place he'd come from.  He was head of household, age 16-26, in 1820 census in White county, Illinois with 1 male under 10 (should be 1 female under 10 Lucinda), 1 female 16-26 (wife Margery), and 1 person (himself) in agriculture. Although he was enumerated in White County, he appeared to be living in Hamilton County.  When the County Commissioners' Court met for the first time 9 Apr 1821, he was appointed fence viewer along with Frederick Mayberry Sr. for range 7, township 7.  On 5 Mar 1825, his wife Margery died in Hamilton County and was buried at Wolf Creek Cemetery.  He then married Rhoda Douglas 4 Aug 1825 in Hamilton County.  Sometime
before 1830 he moved to White County.  He was head of household, age 30-40, in 1830 census in White county, Illinois with 2 males under 5 (Thomas & Henderson B - it seems Hezekiah was not counted), 1 female under 5 (Lucretia), 1 female 10-15 (Lucinda), 1 female 20-30 (Rhoda Jane
Douglass Powell), and 1 female 30-40 (unknown).  

          Daniel was captain of his own company during the Black Hawk war in regiment 3, brigade 2 of the Illinois Mounted Volunteers with 54 men under him.  It was called into the service of the US on the requisition of General Atkinson by governor's proclamation dated 15 May 1832.  The company actually formed 19 Jul 1832.  He was mustered out 15 Aug 1832.  James Eubanks was his 2nd Lieutenant and head of a detachment.  Daniel was a Major during the Black Hawk War according to some records.  

          He was head of household, age 40-50, in 1840 census in White county, Illinois with 3 males under 5 (James, John J, Hezekiah), 1 male 5-10 (John G), 1 male 10-15 (Henderson), 1 male 15-20 (Thomas), 1 female under 5 (Sarah), 1 female 10-15 (Lucretia), 1 female 30-40 (Rhoda, his wife). 

          Daniel ran for State Senator on the Democratic ticket in 1840 and was defeated.  A History of
White County recalls the following incident: "All the candidates of both parties made a canvass through the county and had a joint discussion. At their meeting at Phillipstown, while Major Powell was speaking, a very zealous Whig thought he would send a prosser between the Major's eyes.  It was this: 'Well, old Powell, you want to step on another butcher knife and cut your foot, so you can draw a pension.'  Powell, as quick as powder, replied: 'You are a dirty liar, and I can whip you like a dog,' and down he stepped from the stand, and at it they went.  Each of the men would weigh over 200 pounds, and both very fleshy.  Major Powell rode the bald horse in that fight."  

          At age 57 in 1850 census, Daniel is living on a farm, valued $10,000, in Grayville, Illinois as a farmer with wife Rhoda, 8 children: Thomas, John G, Sarah J, Jehu J, James W, Mary E, Elizabeth C, Silas W, and farm laborer John W Snider.  Age 66 in 1860 census living on a farm, real property $20,000 and personal property $20,000, in Duncanton, Illinois as a farmer with wife Rhoda, 6 children: John G, Jehu J, James W, Mary E, Elizabeth C, Silas W, 2 grandchildren Florence & Mary Dagley, and 2 boarders Ed Barnes and John Gillis.  In about 1862 Daniel built a house (on the property, which presently belongs to the Powell General Baptist Church,) in hopes that the Predestination Baptists would organize a church there, something which never happened.  The land was sold in 1875, three years after his death, to the General Baptist Church, which was still active there in the 1880's.  Silas W Powell, Daniel's youngest child, was buried in the adjoining graveyard in 1899, his monument being one of the largest in the center of the graveyard.  Age 76 in 1870 census he is living on a farm, valued at $11,565, in Roland, Illinois as a farmer with wife Rhoda, youngest son Silas W, and grandchild Mary Dagley.  

          Daniel moved to Carmi in 1871 after his wife died where he remained until his death.  He was
buried in the Lick Creek or Old Prairie Cemetery near Herald's Prairie.

           In January 1939, Florence Powell Caton wrote the following about Daniel and his home:  "I believe it was one of the Bryant men who told me the foundation of the old Powell home was of hickory.  It might have been oak; I wouldn't want to go on record that it was hickory, but some way or other it was imbedded in my consciousness.  At any rate it stands there imposing, homey as staunch as the people who built it were.  Two years ago when I visited it last they told me that long ago, there were great granaries, a blacksmith shop, a store, all kinds of stock, Jacks [mules?], stallions, bulls, rams - everything to improve the farm.  He [Daniel] built a church with doors too narrow for women with hoops to crowd in - he did not permit his women folks to wear those 'contraptions' Cousin Rebecca told me.  He built the school house, and mostly paid the preachers who came now and then, also the teachers. They said he had a voice that would reach from one end of the county to the other, when he called his hogs, of which he had hundreds fattening on the native nuts in the forests.  Cousin Rebecca said he used to call my father [James] or Uncle Jay [John Gideon] out of school to add up interest when some one came to pay their indebtedness to him.  The Bryants told me during my last visit that the house had 11 rooms.  I did not suspect it of being so large, but I've no doubt it was always pretty well filled.  I have an old portrait of grandfather hanging up here near my desk and a large photo of his old home.  Some ten years ago [about 1928] I visited the old Herald's Prairie cemetery, and midst tall weeds and bushes and grass was a fallen monument with grandfather's [Daniel Powell] name on it."  

          By 2002, when Robert & Carol Olson visited the grave, there were two markers, both in fine condition, although the Lick Creek Baptist Church nearby was being torn down.  The inscription on one of the tombstones at Old Prairie or Lick Creek Cemetery in Herald's Prairie reads: "Daniel Powell Illinois Captain Capt Powell's Co 3 Regt 2 Brigade Black Hawk War 1793 1872".  The large monument reads: "In Memory of Daniel Powell Died Dec 9, A. D. 1872 Aged About 79 years He lived an honest man.  Yet for Salvation he trusted only in the Lord."  On the opposite side of the monument is his wife's inscription which reads: "Rhoda wife of Daniel Powell died Jan 3 AD 1871 Aged 66yrs 2 mos 25 days. Good bye dear mother, sweetly rest, with Jesus and the blest."

Click here to view obituary

Click here to view Silas Powell's probate record.  Daniel's heirs are listed here.

1820 census for Illinois, White county, Waconteby, p 340
1830 census for Illinois, White county, p 35
1840 census for Illinois, White county, p 295
24 Oct 1850 census for Illinois, White county, Grayville District 13, p 334
7 Aug 1860 census for Illinois, White county, Twp 6S Rn 8E, Duncanton PO, p 452
26 Jul 1870 census for Illinois, White county, Indian Creek Twp, p 32
Henderson County, KY Marriage records
Hamilton County, IL Marriage records
War of 1812 database at rootsweb
Land info from Illinois State Archives
Black Hawk war info from Illinois State Archives
Death date & burial found by visiting cemetery
Tax Lists of Henderson Co., KY
Marriage Records & Related Notes - Hamilton Co., IL 1821-1854 by Harold G. Felty
History of White County, IL; pub 1883
Letter from Florence Powell Caton; 26 Jan 1939
Obituary 12 Dec 1872 (Daniel Powell)
; pub. Carmi Weekly Courier

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