A large land purchase by John Grigg

    Did John Grigg own your property one day? John Grigg was born in 1792, a native of Cornwall in southern England. He came to the United States and was a publisher, banker and land speculator in Philadelphia. About 1825, when Thomas Beard was helping settlers get across the Illinois River on his homemade ferry and Beardstown wasn’t a town yet, John Grigg read that the government was going to give veterans land to farm in the new area called Illinois, or it was to be for sale by the government to others for $2 an acre.
    Mr. Grigg was soon on his way to Illinois and he immediately purchased a lot of acreage at $2 per acre. Actually he purchased over 10,000 acres in Cass County. He immediately put up posters that said that he had tracts of 40, 80, 120, 160 acres or more for sale at $3 and up. The posters were directed to farmers and emigrants going to Illinois. Prospective buyers were advised to contact John Grigg, No. 9 North 4th Street, Philadelphia, or his local agents, D. B. Ayers, Jacksonville or John Dunn, Beardstown. Mr. Ayers’s records indicate that most of the land was sold to settlers for $3 to $5 per acre, depending on the quality of the land. A very considerable profit for his investment.

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