Haines, Jonathan

Born: 1808 Butler County, Ohio

Died: 1868-02-22 Pekin, Illinois

Alternate name: Hains, Haynes

Jonathan Haines was an inventor, miller, entrepreneur, machinist, and Black Hawk War veteran. He traveled to Illinois in 1826, settling in Tazewell County, Illinois. At the outbreak of the Black Hawk War, Haines volunteered for service in the Illinois State Militia, serving as a private in John G. Adams’ company of mounted volunteers. In March 1833, he married Sarah Hinsey, with whom he eventually had at least seven children. He patented a steam ice boat and traveled the upper Mississippi River during the winter seasons, carrying U.S. mail and trade goods. While engaged in this work and on his way to Galena, Illinois in 1835, he traveled through Whiteside County, Illinois. Admiring the area around Jacobstown, he purchased land and settled there in 1836, erecting a sawmill. After this mill washed away in floodwaters, he built another sawmill and later added a gristmill. He helped name Union Grove, Illinois and, in 1837, he laid out “Illinois City” just west of Jacobstown in Tazewell County, but its lots were never improved and no town developed on the site. In 1847, he invented a harvester he named the “Illinois Harvester” and opened machine shops in Unionville, Illinois to manufacture them. In 1849, he returned to Tazewell County. In 1850, he owned $2,000 in real estate. By 1860, he owned $20,000 in real estate and another $20,000 in personal property.

Charles Bent, ed., History of Whiteside County, Illinois (Clinton, IA: L. P. Allen, 1877), 291, 302; Ellen M. Whitney, comp., The Black Hawk War, 1831-1832: Illinois Volunteers, vol. 35 of Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library (Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library, 1970), 1:183-84; William W. Davis, History of Whiteside County, Illinois (Chicago: Pioneer, 1908), 1:297; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Tazewell County, 19 March 1833, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Pekin, Tazewell County, IL, 111; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Pekin, Tazewell County, IL, 83, Gravestone, Lakeside Cemetery, Pekin, IL.