History of Madison County
Deer Creek Township Early Conditions
From History of Madison County, W. H. Beers & Co, Chicago, 1883
With the first settlers, when the greater portion of this country was in its wild, unimproved state, and cattle, sheep and hogs were allowed to roam at large, and often were not seen for weeks and months by their owners, it became necessary to protect them in their just claims to their own stock; to distinguish, beyond any doubt, one man's stock from that of his neighbor, and, to accomplish this, legislation came to their aid and enacted laws, declaring that each owner of stock, by having his own special mark branded upon his stock, andhaving the same recorded by the clerk of the township where he resided, should thus be protected in his ownerhsip, from any claims of any other person or parties, to the stock bearing such said mark. This privilege was embraced by the first settlers of Deer Creek Township, and was continued in use for many years.
In the Township records, in 1810, we find recorded the following: John Arbuckle's mark for neat cattle is – "An under clop in each ear." Recorded June 2, 1810. Tobias Shields' mark for cattle, sheep and hogs is – "a swallow fork in the left ear, and a slit in the right." Recorded June 3, 1810. Charles Atchison's mark for cattle, sheep and hogs is – "A crop of each ear, and an upper bit in the left." Recorded July 12, 1810. John Adair's mark for cattle, sheep and hogs is – "An upper half crop in each ear." Recorded September 5, 1810. Samuel Ewing's mark for cattle, sheep and hogs is – "A crop of the left ear and a slit under bit in the same." Recorded October 21, 1810. William Blaine's mark for cattle, sheep and hogs is – "A swallow fork in each ear." Recorded September 20, 1810. And thus the records continued, ad libitum, with stock owners for many years.
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