Thursday, March 30, 2017

A Race of Giants Lived in Lake County, IL

A race of giants were found in the mounds when the early pioneers came to Lake County.  Many were over 7 feet tall.  They didn't leave much in the matter of records and their skeletons were falling apart.  Who were they?  We won't ever know until the Smithsonian is put in check and we are allowed to fully examine their DNA without interference.  That day will be coming.  Here is the page from the book with the testimony.

"Of the very early history of the region which now embraces Lake County but little can be written. The Mound Builders had occupied it and passed away, leaving no written language and but little even as tradition.  They had erected their piles of earth, usually from the surface soil, and underneath them had deposited the remains of their dead, together with bits of pottery and a few rude implements of husbandry and warfare.  The mounds were quite numerous along the rivers and in the vicinity of the inland lakes.  That they were of great antiquity is evident from the fact that huge forest trees had come to maturity upon their summits and were awaiting the ax of the pioneer.  Excavations of these piles of earth have revealed the crumbling bones of a mighty race. Samuel Miller, who has resided in the county since 1835, is authority for the statement that one skeleton which he assisted in unearthing was a trifle more than eight feet in length, the skull being correspondingly large, while many other skeletons measured at least seven feet.  There were extensive burial ground on the shore of Lake Michigan, mainly south of the stream known as Waukegan River; also at various point all through the county."

- Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Lake County Edited by Newton Bateman LL.D, Paul Selby, A.M., and Hon. Charles A. Partridge, Chicago, Munsell Publishing Company, 1900, page 619.

Was the Town of Volo Named after the Greek Town of Volos?

I have found some information online that suggests that the town of Forksville, Illinois was renamed to Volo at the suggestion of a Greek resident who was naming it after the town of Volos in Greece.  I am still trying to determine if this information is correct.  There is a town in Greece named Volos and it is very beautiful.  Considering that the Gales were probably descendants of the Greek Trojans, this is very appropriate as many Gales settled in what is now Volo, Illinois.

Volos, Greece at night

Here is the official seal of Volos, Il (looks like a Phoenician ship which is very appropriate).

The name was changed on November 27, 1868.

- History of Lake County, by John J. Halsey, LL.D, Illinois , University of Chicago Library,  1912, page 626 of 904. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

How I found Henry's Name

The mystery of H. Wallace Gale's name was a tough nut to crack at first since all of his records referred to him as H. Wallace Gale.  Even his cenotaph (with an error in his death age - should be 20 years old and not 21 years old) referred to him as H. Wallace Gale.  For some reason, it was important for H. Wallace Gale to use his middle name more than his first but he included the initial to his first name always.  This made him unique.  He was referred to as H. Wallace.  It took me a while to find out what the H stood for, but with the help of the National Park Service, I was able to find out his name was Henry.   Here are the screenshots from their website, that helped me crack the mystery.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Town of Volo (Forksville) Started with 150 People

Another antiquated book I came across, was written by the man that defeated Gardner Gale in 1858 for Congress, Elijah M. Haines.  The book called, Historical and Statistical Sketches of Lake County, was written in 1852 and states that about 150 people were in Forksville (Volo) and about 200 in Wauconda to begin with.  Here are some screenshots from this old book that is found online:

It appears that the family of H. Wallace Gale was in Forksville, Il by 1854 (from previous research), but there were other related Gales who were in Forksville as revealed in my book.  This now gives me a good idea of the number of pioneers (150) who settled Forksville, IL. now known as Volo, IL.

Photograph of Elijah M. Haines, Illinois politician from Lake County and former Speaker of the Illinois House.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Chicago Botanic Garden

A wonderful place to visit, Chicago Botanic Garden, has over 385 acres of walking area, gardens, and nature areas.  Periodically, the Chicago Botanic Garden has several events.  I've recently visited the Orchid Show and the Night of 1000 Jack o' Lanterns in 2016.  Here are pictures from both.  Enjoy.

The Pyramid House

In the Northwest suburbs of Wadsworth, Illinois, sits one of the most interesting homes ever built.  It was built in the shape of a giant pyramid.  The Gold Pyramid house was built by Jim and Linda Onan in 1977.  They have placed a giant statue of Ramses II and the house is surrounded by a moat. The Onans live in the house and provide tours of the home and on-site museum/gift shop for a small fee.  In addition, the son of Jim Onan has begun offering tours to Egypt.  Here are some of my pictures of the Pyramid House and a link to their website.

Gold Pyramid House

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Volo Auto Museum & Haunted Tour

I've been to the Volo Auto Museum multiple times with family and highly recommend it. They have a host of various exhibits and cars ranging from classics to hollywood to historical cars. There is a bit of history in each car they display.  In addition to the cars, they also have a Military Museum with many original artifacts.  It's very good as well.  The grounds have a lot of room to walk around or sit and they have a pizza cafe (ShowBiz) on site as well.   Often times, they have live events (bands, sleep-overs, etc.) and are open most of the year.

In addition to their museum, the antique barn and antique malls have many things to look at and purchase.  I've never seen so many interesting things and each time I go, it seems there is something always new.

But, as I have already discussed, their antique barn seems to be haunted by a Civil War ghost and possibly others as well.   I wrote a book about my research and experiences there.  In addition to the stories and the old cemetery across the street, the Volo Auto Museum does a haunted trolly tour in the fall.  Last year I took this tour in October.   It was quite interesting.  I won't give too much away, but the most interesting thing of all was a display case (shown only on the tour) that showed the items found under the floorboard in the old farmhouse.  It included an old Civil War knapsack, a gun, some letters, and a case.  Here is a picture of it:

At the time I went on the tour, I hadn't received the federal records regarding Henry Wallace Gale, yet. After I received them, I was surprised to see what was listed as returned to the Gale family. It included clothing, a knapsack, and a few other written items I could not read.  Here is a copy of that record:

After a lot of research,  I believe one of the items listed that was hard to read, was a Walch gun. This Civil War era gun was commonly purchased by Union soldiers at the time and a picture of it found online seems very close to what was in the case.

I would highly recommend that the Grams family continue to look under the floorboards in the old farmhouse for Henry Wallace Gale's clothes and perhaps they could use a noninvasive method to find them without lifting up all the wood (or look near where the knapsack was found).

Here are some more pictures from the Volo Auto Museum:

Did Henry Wallace Gale Teach in a Log School House?

I found a reference to an old log school in Volo.  Did Henry teach in this school before he went to war?  It seems to have been replaced by a frame school.  Perhaps he did, but research is ongoing.  Here is a screenshot of the mention:

- History of Lake County, by John J. Halsey, LL.D, Illinois , University of Chicago Library,  1912, page 725 of 904. 

The Old Volo Post Office

A small blurb about the Gales (multiple cousins and brothers had moved to Forksville/Volo) and the Volo (Forksville) post office was found in an antiquated book.  Here is a screenshot:

- History of Lake County, by John J. Halsey, LL.D, Illinois , University of Chicago Library,  1912, page 626 of 904.

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Gales may have been Descendants of the Greek Trojans

A very interesting passage was put in the book about the Gale family that was written by Judge George Gale (of Wisconsin).  He wrote that the Welsh believed they were descendants of the Trojans.

But these speculations to establish a Roman ancestry are quite unnecessary as Geoffrey ap Arthur, the Bishops of St. Asaph, in the twelfth century, proved quite conclusively, in the opinion of Edward I, that Britain was first settled by a trojan colony under Brutus, a grandson of Aeneas, from whose name the Greeks and Romans derived Britania.  This theory was first promulgated by the Welsh priest Tysilio, who flourished in the Seventh Century. - Gale Family Records in England and the United States by George Gale, LL. D., page 6.

Those that are familiar with my other books, know that I have researched the origins of mythology and have concluded much of it is based on a real family out of Crete and Tyre.  I call this family the Cronides.  The Trojans were descendants of Aphrodite (Greek Goddess of Love and a daughter of Zeus) via Aeneas.  After fleeing burning Troy, Aeneas took his father and a small group of Trojans and headed to Carthage.  He fell in love with Dido but was told by the gods his destiny was further from Carthage.  He left her, she committed suicide, and Aeneas married his future Italian bride, Lavinia.

Aeneas' grandson, Brutus, had accidentally killed his father with an arrow, and was banished. Brutus traveled up north and finally ended up in Britain.  He became the first king of a dynasty and King Arthur comes from his bloodline.  How closely the Gales are to this bloodline, I don't know but their family history states they were a very old family in England and were there before William the Conqueror came.

The boy, named Brutus, later accidentally killed his father with an arrow and was banished from Italy. After wandering among the islands of the Tyrrhenian Sea and through Gaul, where he founded the city of Tours, Brutus eventually came to Britain, named it after himself, and filled it with his descendants. - Wikipedia

Thus I conclude the Gales were probably of Trojan descent and possibly related to King Brutus of Troy and King Arthur and probably Cronide descendants.

Aeneas flees burning TroyFederico Barocci, 1598.

Per Wikipedia:

In Greco-Roman mythologyAeneas (/ˈnəs/;[1] Greek: Αἰνείας, Aineías, possibly derived from Greek αἰνή meaning "praised") was a Trojan hero, the son of the prince Anchises and the goddess Venus (Aphrodite). His father was a first cousin of King Priam of Troy (both being grandsons of Ilus, founder of Troy), making Aeneas a second cousin to Priam's children (such as Hector and Paris). He is a character in Greek mythology and is mentioned in Homer's Iliad. Aeneas receives full treatment in Roman mythology, most extensively in Virgil's Aeneid, where he is an ancestor of Romulus and Remus. He became the first true hero of Rome. Snorri Sturluson identifies him with the Norse Æsir Vidarr.

King of Great Britain

The Brutus Stone in Totnes

From Wikipedia:

A Branch From the Tree

After a recent visit to the Volo Cemetery,  I noticed that a branch from the old, lovely tree next to H. Wallace Gale's cenotaph had broken off, fallen down, and had knocked over another tombstone nearby.  The large branch was lying next to Henry's cenotaph and I couldn't help but think of the symbolism of the situation.  The tree represented his family and his death was symbolized by the lost branch of the tree that would be forever gone from that family line (bummer).   His death also affected those nearby and not just his family.  It was a loss for all of us.   It is a message to us to remember what our ancestors went through and how many came before us and how many will come after us.

The Gale Family and Education

In addition to being staunch abolitionists, the Gale family was not only involved in farming, law, and politics, but also in education.  Later on as the Civil War progressed, their cousin in Wisconsin was involved in Sanitation which was very much needed due to the number of Civil War deaths involving water and food contamination.   

Judge George Gale was a third cousin of Henry Wallace Gale per my preliminary research from  Judge George Gale was one of the founders of Galesville, Wisconsin and Gale College.  He was a member of the Free Soil Party, a lawyer, a judge, and an educator.  He also wrote a book on the Gale family history.  Here is what Wikipedia says about him:

George Gale (November 30, 1816 – April 18, 1868) was a Wisconsin pioneer, judge, and legislator.  Born in Burlington, Vermont, Gale was admitted to the Vermont bar. He then moved to Wisconsin Territory, where he practiced law in Walworth County, Wisconsin serving as District Attorney and as a member of the second Wisconsin Constitutional Convention of 1847-1848.[1]In 1850-1851, Gale served as a Free Soil Party member of the Wisconsin State Senate's 14th District.[2] Gale moved to La Crosse, Wisconsin, where he became a Wisconsin county judge and then was elected a Wisconsin Circuit Court judge. Gale bought land north of La Crosse and helped plat the city of Galesville, Wisconsin in order to found Gale College; he is responsible for the creation of Trempealeau County, Wisconsin.[3] During the American Civil War, Judge Gale served with the United States Sanitary Commission. He died in Galesville.[4][5],_Wisconsin

Here is a picture of him, courtesy of

Judge George Gale

With this picture, you can see the characteristic Welsh Gale family long face, curly hair and taller, slim features of the Gales.

There is also a Galesburg, Illinois that was involved with the underground railroad and was founded by another George Gale as well who was also involved in education and the founding of Knox College.  I have not yet concluded his family relationship to the Volo Gales.   Per Wikipedia:

Galesburg was founded by George Washington Gale,[3] a Presbyterian minister from New York state who dreamed of establishing a manual labor college (which became Knox College). A committee from New York purchased 17 acres (0.069 km2; 0.027 sq mi) in Knox County in 1835, and the first 25 settlers arrived in 1836. They built temporary cabins in Log City near current Lake Storey, just north of Galesburg, having decided that no log cabins were to be built inside the town limits.

George Washington Gale (fair use)

As I have revealed in my book about Henry Wallace Gale, he was a teacher.  I did find an old school in Volo that was converted to a business.  I am still trying to research and determine if this was the school he taught at and it appears it may be as it is not very far from the Gale home in Volo, IL.  I took a few pictures of the old building that was modernized and it still has the old chalkboards inside.  The inside of the old Volo School that has now been converted in to a business

It also appears that H. Wallace Gale's family were the pioneers in Volo, Il (Forksville, IL.), but whether they were the first is something I am still researching.  Without a doubt, the Gale family had their act together for the times, and were organized with a large number of family members and a method that involved their participation in education, politics, law, sanitation, farming, and finally soldiers of the Union.  We can learn a lot from the Gales.  Too bad, there are not a lot of them around, today because we are indebted to them for our quality of life in America.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Civil War Reenactment in Lake County, IL.

Enjoy history.  If you allow those in power to erase your history, whether it's politically correct at the current time or not, you have allowed them to erase you and your ancestors and your descendants. Never give them an inch to do so.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Finding Errors in the Historical Record

One thing I noticed while researching history, is that you will find small errors along the way in the official records.  For example, the last name for Henry Wallace Gale was not correct in the Illinois State records, and his middle and last names were switched in the Illinois records. Unfortunately, there does not seem any way to correct it either.   To get around this, multiple sources must be looked at and compared to flesh out the mistakes.   Here is a screenshot of the mistake:

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Illinois Civil War Detail Report