Excerpt from Biographical Directory of the Tax-Payers and Voters of McHenry County
The useful design of a work like this will be evident to all who give it even a casual inspection; but the labor of preparing and completing it, the difficulties surmounted in gathering and compiling the facts, can scarcely be estimated by any one not experienced in similar undertakings. Our intention has been not only to provide a convenient Directory, but also to offer to our patrons a useful family book, which will be valuable not only to the present generation, but become more so to their descendants, in thus preserving, in a condensed form, the records of their families. In producing a fair and condensed History of McHenry County, it was our intention to call in person on the oldest settlers to obtain reliable information concerning the history, settlement and financial interests of each township. This plan was modified; circulars containing questions were distributed, in stead, to parties most capable of giving the facts. The parties receiving the circulars were then visited by our historian, A. W. Cumins, Esq., and in many instances definite answers gained. We are sorry to say that in some cases an indifference or unwillingness to impart information was encountered, which accounts for the less complete history of some townships than others.
We wish to thank other parties for their painstaking in collecting and forwarding items to the compiler. Among these are the Hon. Wm. A. McConuell, C. G. Cotting and R. R. Crosby, of Richmond; Sidney Disbrow and M. D. Hay, of Alden; Hon. George Gage, of McHenry; W. G. Billings, of Chemung; James McMillan and Cameron Goff, of Nunda; W. M. Jackson, of Coral; Geo. T. Kasson, of Woodstock; Dr. Wm. A. Nason, of Algonquin, who kindly loaned us a history of that village, prepared by himself; and John Brink, Esq., of Crystal Lake. In Greenwood, G. H. Garrison, A. W. Murphy and James Watson. For the facts regarding Harvard we are indebted to Mr. E. Ayer. To make the Township Directories as accurate and complete as was possible, we called to our assistance the different Assessors; still, in a work of this extent, errors undoubtedly will occur, mostly in spelling of names. Even subscribers in giving their biographies have made mistakes in dates, too late discovered by them to be remedied. We have endeavored, leaving out the floating population, to give the name of each tax payer and voter. The information upon various subjects for farmers we have culled from the best sources. The Abstract of State Laws will be found valuable at all times. It would be impossible to make a work of this kind perfect. Neither could it be published without offense to some, whom it would have benefited. No claim to literary merit is made for this volume. It has necessarily been somewhat hurried in execution. Many facts, however, not before published will be found within its pages.
We offer to our patrons this result of months of labor and outlay, in the hope that they will find it satisfactory.
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