In this connection, I wish to remark that the preparation of this little work was, to the historian, almost a labor of love. As he progressed in the work, his interest in everything pertaining to the towns increased until he could scarcely lay aside the pen. He was aware of the great responsibility resting upon the writer of the first historical sketch, but has attempted conscientiously and fairly to arrange and present an impartial, authentic account of the events of our half century of history. The imperfect-ions of the present work are, per haps, more evident to its author than they possibly can be to the general reader, and such as exist, he hopes will be regarded with all proper indulgence. Great care was taken in verifying all statements — particularly those relating to the earliest events. The writer visited Pekin and Vandalia, and carefully examined all records, being, perhaps, the only person who has ever taken such pains to ascertain the facts of our early history, Only those who have been actually engaged in an enterprise of this kind, can properly estimate the difficulties and perplexities that must be encountered, and it is asking too much to expect the general public will be satisfied with what has been accomplished. Still, such as it is, we hereby present the little work, hoping our earnest efforts will be appreciated, and that our contribution to history will prove acceptable.