Chapter 16 The Game of Life Union County IL Tour

The beginning of the search for the answers, Where? Who?Why?What? How?,lies somewhere in the dust bin (records) of history.

I have attempted to accumulate those records, and the sources are many and varied. One very good source would be the web site Family Search.

The process of  elimination in establishing direct lineage, i.e., father, grandfather, great grandfather, etc., (Mother or maternal lineage), is  to analyze those records in the IGI (International Genealogical Index at the Family Search site.

Gail McMahon, wife of Joe McMahon, my cousin, published an excellent journal, “Strengthening of the Branches” in 1982, that covered the John L. Bittle family of Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and to Union County Illinois in 1832, after living in Calloway County KY for a number of years. John Bittle/ Polly Cole preceded in 1818 and is listed in the 1818 census of Franklin County, that became Union County Illinois. John and Polly had 4 children at the time as 6 people are counted in the family in this census. John Bittle married Hannah L. Kitts in Calloway County KY in 1828.

John L Bittle , stayed in Union County, while his brothers William, Henry and George are holding Land Patents in Arkansas from 1844 – 1900’s in Cleburne County Arkansas. The following Bittle’s in that state are:  William, Henry, John, George Lewis H., Henry D., George T.,Samuel H., Dudley Monroe, Abraham L., Levi, Jesse C., John H., Andrew J., Frank, John A., William A., and Taylor. This would indicate that this group in Arkansas are all relatives of John L. Bittle, down line. Cleburne County, Arkansas.

John L and Hannah Kitts Bittle, settled in Union County, Alto Pass or South Pass at the foothill of Bald Knob Mountain, west. As you may be aware, this is a beautiful mountainous area that most likely reminded them of back home in North Carolina.

The old “Bittle”  homestead is near Beech Grove, near the magnificent Cross of Bald Knob. If you were to visit the Cross be sure to stop for dinner at the restaurant operated by a  couple from Sweden originally. It is located of Rt. 127 on the road up to the Knob. I would recommend the wine of choice and the Swedish Meatballs are succulent.

The Bittle cemetery is located at the old Bittle homestead farm, Lewis Mortimore and Emmaline Wilson Bittle, then Walter/ Cora Lingle Bittle raised their families. There is another Bittle Cemetery located on Dry Branch, I believe to be the original homestead of John L and Hannah. I could be mistaken on this fact and really need to check it out some day.

We Bittle brothers spent a few nights at the old homestead with Grandpa Walter and Grandma Cora. If memory serves me, the house was a 2 story house, atop a hill and I remember a “corall” utilized to “break” horses to the saddle or the plow. Of course in the 1940’s electricity and running water had not reached the countryside. We went to the Well to bring up our water in a bucket for all necessities. We would take a bath in a tub, located by a big pot bellied stove.

On a cold winter night, you could hear the “wolves” wailing their mournful cry or perhaps the red foxes that were abundant in those days. Grandpa had to worry about the foxes getting in  the hen house and he had a old Blue Tick Hound, that was supposed to be the sentry. Well the hound would go to sleep and then the foxes would raid the hen house. One night Grandpa killed all the hens in the house when that old hound, put his cold nose where the flap was supposed to be fastened on his long johns. Guess what that shotgun went off accidentally of course and killed most of the chickens in the hen house. At least that is the story that my uncles would tell when they held their annual Deer Camp.

Chapter 16 will be continued later………………………..



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