Francis Dollarhide & Ambrose Maulding

Two Revolutionary War Soldier and How They Came to Hog Prairie
by Ralph S. Harrelson

From: Outdoor Illinois, March 1976

            THE COURSE of human events often brings colorful personalities and rich backgrounds of history to a particular locality.  Such was the case in the settlement of two Revolutionary War soldiers, Ambrose Maulding and Francis Dollarhide, on or near Hog Prairie.  This little prairie, once a tiny speck in the old Dominion of Virginia, was destined to become in 1821 a part of Hamilton County, Illinois.

            Hog Prairie was situated between two county creeks, the “Possum and the Ten Mile, and in Township Five south of Ranges five and six.  Historic trails were viewed and established near Hog Prairie, and others traversed it.  This bit of meadowland, with its prairie flowers and grasses gently waving in southern Illinois breezes, no doubt looked like a paradise to those far-traveled old Revolutionary War veterans.

            Ambrose Maulding entered from the government land on the prairie in Section 13, in 1817.  His son Ennis in 1819 entered a tract just above the prairie in Section 12.  Francis Dollarhide lived near where the Gunter school later stood, and not far from the southwest edge of the prairie in Section 13.

            About one mile south of where Ambrose Maulding settled, the oldest church in Hamilton County, the Ten Mile Creek United Baptist (now Southern), was constituted September 2, 1820.  In the church cemetery the Ambrose Maulding memorial monument was unveiled June 15, 19__ to commemorate the memory of an old Indian fighter and frontier soldier who died August 26, 1833.

            Ambrose was a son of James and Katy (Tyler) Maulding, and a grandson of Richard Maulding, an Englishman migrated to Caroline County, Virginia.  In April 1732, Richard was granted 387 acres of land in that county.

            About 1780, James Maulding and his wife and sons Morton, Ambrose, Richard and Wesley, and several daughters, settled on Red River in the present day Adairville, Logan County, Kentucky.  There they established Maulding’s Station, sometimes called Red River, or Old Station.  Before that time Ambrose and Morton had helped to establish Kasper’s or Gasper’s Station in Tennessee.  Due to violent Indian depredations the Mauldings temporarily abandoned their Red River station, but returned later to play an important role in founding Logan County.

            The state of Kentucky was formed in 1792.  Early in its first session the legislature of the commonwealth authorized the formation of Logan County.  Ambrose Maulding, ___Jackson and Young Ewing were the magistrates of the county’s first court held in the home of Richard Maulding.  Wesley Maulding became the county’s first sheriff and Morton Maulding was elected in 1794 the county’s first state representative.  Such is the background of this pioneer who settled on Hog’s Prairie.

            After coming to Illinois, Ambrose Maulding served as Justice of the Peace, while Hamilton was still part of White County, and helped to locate the county seat of Jefferson County.  He also helped to view, open up and oversee numerous pioneer roadways.

            In Kentucky, on May 23, 1806, Mourning Maulding, daughter of Ambrose, was united in marriage to John Anderson.  The Andersons removed to Illinois and settled on __ Creek, near the present spillway of Lake McLeansboro.  In the Anderson log cabin Hamilton County government was instituted in 1821.  One of Mourning (Maulding) Anderson’s granddaughters, Mary Catherine ____ Benson married James R. Campbell, who became a General during the Spanish-American War.

            A family legend recalls the time when Mourning was returning from her father’s home on Hog Prairie and was ___by a pack of hungry wolves.  She was on horseback and was carrying a side of fresh pork.  After leaving the Prairie and upon entering the heavy timber the wolves made their appearance and followed the swiftly running horse and its rider to the Anderson cabin, where she was safe.  Across Hog Prairie, according to the County records, ran the trace of the Carmi-Kaskaskia road, which dated from 1817.  In February of that year Peter Phillips, Thomas Mays and Richard Maulding were appointed to  ___ this road from Peter Phillips’ to connect with the road from Carmi to Ten Mile Prairie.  In June of that same year, Asa Ross, John Cameron, William Wheeler, Esqr., John Gore and Peter Phillips were ordered to open up and keep in good repair the five sections of this road from Carmi to where Peter Phillips lived.  The records indicate that Phillips lived northwest of present Macedonia, and just inside the east border of Franklin County.  Information in this order gives the general ___of the Carmi-Kaskaskia road. 

Another order relative to this road was made by the commissioners of White County in October 1817. Peter Phillips, Lazarus Webb and John Miller were ordered to view and mark out a road the nearest and best way from Peter Phillips’ to the west boundary of White County.  At that date the west boundary of White would have been the same as the west boundary of Franklin County after its organization in 1818.

In June, 1819, Ennis Maulding (son of Ambrose), was appointed overseer of the section of the Kaskaskia road from two miles west of Proctor’s to Ambrose Maulding’s.  This section would reach from some point east of present McLeansboro, to Maulding’s home on Hog Prairie.  Ennis was to open the road thirty feet wide, bridge all branches and causeway all muddy lands.

Ennis Maulding served in the eight General Assembly, 1832-1834 from Hamilton County.  He later moved to Wayne County, Illinois and established a mill on the Skillet Fork River about a mile north of present Wayne City.  He also became the first postmaster at Maulding’s Mills.  The Post Office was established there February 3, 1837.

Another pioneer trail dating from about 1819 touched on Hog Prairie.  The record on page 204 of the History of Jefferson County gives some data relative to this road, as follows:

“September 7, 1819 – Curtis Caldwell, John Jordan and Robert Mitchell were appointed to view a road from the ford of the creek near Jordan’s – now Garrison’s – to where the new road from Maulding’s intersected the county line.  This last was a road that Maulding had just cut out from his house in Hog Prairie, a few miles this side of where McLeansboro now stands, to Hodge’s – late Abe Irvin’s—crossing the east line of the county near the southeast corner.”

Evidently the road cut out by Maulding from his house in Hog Prairie is the same as that shown on the plat of Hamilton County, done from the field notes of the government surveys, and with date, 1837.  This road on the said plat is designated “Road from U. S. Saline to Goshen Settlement.”

            The state road from McLeansboro to Benton, dating from 1841, branches off of the older McLeansboro-Frankfort road at the Ten Mile Creek meeting house.  This junction was immediately south of Hog Prairie.

            Alexander T. Sullenger, an early settler in Hamilton County, told of the novel survey of the old Frankfort of McLeansboro road.  Robert Page, Alfred Moore and Moses Shirley were ordered to make the survey, when Moore suggested the method.  Each of the road viewers had a mare and colt, the former of which each rode to Frankfort, leaving the colts at home.  Arriving at Frankfort, the mares were turned loose.  The beeline they made for their respective offspring answered every purpose for the location of the road.

            Through the north side of the prairie ran the trace of the old McLeansboro-Mt. Vernon road, dating back to 1821.  This road made intersection with Goshen Road at the old Abram Irvin place, about one mile east of the Hamilton County line.

            The oldest trail through this county, with the exception of Indian and buffalo traces, is the famous Goshen Road.  A section of this road is still traveled southwest of Hog Prairie.  This section of road is linked to the lore of Hog Prairie, and to an incident relative to Francis Dollarhide, the Revolutionary soldier, and to young Hiram Wesley Hall.

            Col. Hiram W. Hall (Civil War) was also a soldier in the Mexican War.  He was the father of the well-known Dr. Andy Hall.  Col. Hall knew Francis Dollarhide personally and had an exciting encounter with him when but a lad of seven or eight years of age.  In fact, Hall wrote that it looked as though he was doomed to receive a “caning.”

            At the time of the expected “caning,” 1832 or ’33, John Hall, Colonel Hall’s father, lived on the east side of the Goshen Road a short distance south of where the Reed schoolhouse now stands.  The John Hall farm was known later as the Albert Smith place.  Young Hiram was attending school in a log house which stood on the east side of the Goshen Road, about one half mile south of where Route 14 West now runs.  Robert Page was his teacher. (Page became the second school commissioner of Hamilton County, and its first County Judge after the 1848 state constitution was adopted.)

            Mr. Hall reported that one afternoon he was going home from school in company with some older boys who lived near Hog Prairie.  They passed through a field near where Gunter school later stood.  In this field, Dollarhide cultivated a watermelon patch.  All the boys were industriously thumping the melons when Mr. Dollarhide appeared, and the war clouds of the Revolution broke about over the field.

            Col. Hall said the older boys sought safety in flight and he was left to his fate –the expecting caning.  The old patriot asked young Hall what he was doing there.  He told him he was going home from school, whereupon Mr. Dollarhide sternly informed him the road didn’t lead through his melon patch.  Young Hiram then said he was lost and didn’t know the way home. 

…Mr. Dollarhide then led from to the road leading to Hog Prairie, gave him some timely advice and told Hall he thought he could overtake the other boys, which Hall said that he did by some sprinting.

            Francis Dollarhide was born in Caswell County, North Carolina about 1750.  He enlisted in 1776 and served about six years.  His service was with Captains William Morrow, __Taylor and Samuel Sexton, and under Col. Lytle and Major Dugan.  He also served in Washington’s  ___.  Among other engagements he was in Eutaw Springs and Yorktown.  Mr. Dollarhide died August 30, 1837.  Col. Hall believed he was buried at Ten Mile cemetery near where he had lived.

            Hog Prairie lore is in part ____ manifest by stone and flint artifacts of the red man.  The white pioneers gave the prairie a name.  It would be [interesting?] to know what the Indian called it.  …its lore has been preserved in documents, newspaper articles and history sketches.


            County Commissioners’ records, Hamilton County, Illinois
         Plat of Hamilton County, constructed from field notes of government surveys.
         The story of Russellville, by Ed Coffman
            Probate records of Hamilton County, Illinois
         Mourning Maulding (A family Outline), by Ruth Adams.
         History Sketch of Maulding …
         History of Jefferson County, Illinois by Globe Publishing Co. 1883
County Commissioners’ records, White County, Illinois
         Old Newspapers
Family Legends
            Records from Logan County, Kentucky
         Information from War Records
         History of Hamilton County, Illinois by Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1887.

Carol’s note: Some portions of this article are illegible due to my poor copy.  When a word was questionable, I have so designated.

Thank you for visiting "Yesterdays"!


Back to Hamilton County, IL Back to Military Section

Copyright © 1999.  All rights Reserved