The Palestine Register Jan. 1, 1903

Having accidentally seen a copy of an issue of your paper giving an historic account of Palestine, I write you to please mail me a copy if you have one as it is very interesting to me, being a very close descendant to one of the first settlers of that country. My grandfather was Wilson Lagow and Alfred Lagow and Washington Lagow were brothers of my father, John, he being the oldest. He died here in 1880, being 80 years old at the time of his death. My grandfather was born in Virginia, moved to Kentucky and was a large slaveholder, and at the time Virginia ceded the N. W. Territory to the U. S. Upon conditions that slavery should never enter it, my grandfather and many others petitioned Congress to give them a permit to let them hold their slaves for a certain number of years, but were refused and they set them free. Some ten or twelve remained for years with my grandfather. He gave one to each of his sons, John, Alfred, and Washington. The woman he gave Uncle Washington died a few years ago at Mt. Carmel at the age of 105 years. After Uncle Washington died she came here and lived with father for many years.

Grandfather went to Vincennes first and there he engaged in the mercantile business. He lived there during the Indian trouble and was an eye-witness to the surrender of Tecumseh to General Harrison. Grandfather was a Major in the War of 1812. He then moved to Palestine, and there entered in the dry goods business on the East side of Main Street, where he made money, gathering possession of large quantities of land. He lived in the old homestead owned by M. B. Woodworth, and in which I have spent many happy hours in my boyhood days. He married a second time and had two sons and one daughter, Clark B. Lagow, who was one of Grants staff during the War of the sixty's, and David Lagow, who died in Palestine. I think grandfather died in 1846. My father came to Princeton in 1825, where he engaged in the dry goods business till 1870, when he retired. Palmer Woodworth and I clerked for him during that time. I was, for a boy, well acquainted with Col. John Houston, have put my feet under his table many a time, as he and my grandfather lived side by side for a number of years. I was also well acquainted with Mr. Paul, Dr. Alexander, the Kitchells, Gogins, Judge Allen, J. M. Hill, the Prescotts, Haskells, Wilsons, and in fact everybody who lived there then. I have been in the old courthouse that was built after the first one burned. My oldest sister was the wife of Wm. H. Preston, the oldest one of the Preston brothers who had 10 or 12 stores throughout that part of Ill. At that time. He died in New York City some years ago. Many are the times what I have driven from Palestine to Hutsonville and from York over Lamotte Prairie and I am no "spring chicken", as I am now 70 years old and sound as a dollar. I am, if spared, coming to Palestine some day and take a look at the town. I will never forget the old town pump at the corner and "old uncle" Boatwright, who kept store in a little frame building, looked to be a hundred years old. I have seen and enjoyed many happy days in old Palestine and hope to see and spend a few more there, before I go hence. I also want to go to Robinson and see my old friend Palmer Woodworth. My father used, when grandfather was living there, to take what was then called a carriage, now called an express wagon, and go to Palestine and take his family to visit his father. It was 50 miles from here but it required two days hard driving to make the trip there, and I remember grandpa would always, the day before we left, tell grandma, whose name was Nancy, to prepare a good lunch to take with us, and once he told me to go out to the chicken house and kill the chickens. I went, supposing he meant to kill all in the coop. I went in on them. He heard them making more noise than usual and I had 17 dead when he got there. From that day on, as long as he lived he called he "Hawk". He might have been angry, but he took it good naturedly, and we had chicken for several days, you bet. Well, I will wind up this poor and I fear, uninteresting letter, to you and when I do come to Palestine, I will call on you, and be glad to see you and all that are left of the old people of your city, and I do want to go through the home of my grandfather. He was great stockman. Many an evening I have seen 60 or 80 mares, horses and cattle come up to water and be fed in his barn yard. He always kept two or three stallions for his own use and had nothing but the finest that money could buy. He had a mile race track and used to frequently have races.

Well, pardon me for taking up your time and wishing you great success and a long and prosperous life and plenty of cash, I remain yours, Henry W. Lagow