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Editor's Notes:

History of Millburn

by Beatrice Anderson (around 1975)

People: M thru S

Names of some of the pioneer families who settled in the area up to about 1850. Hearing of the rich lands of the new country from relatives already settled here, several other Scottish families came to this locality and made their homes.


William. The Masons were a Scottish family who settled on a farm north and east of Millburn, near the creek (Kelly Road), in 1845.

Mrs. Mason (Isabella) joined the Sewing Circle of the church 1846. She died in 1847.

The Masons were relatives of the "Scotch" Smith family who settled just north of Millburn.

The Masons and the Smiths left Millburn to gain fame in the financial world in New York.

In May 1, 1935, an item appeared in a local paper -"George Grant Mason, 80 of Millburn died at his home (Park Avenue) New York City. Mason left Millburn to gain farm in the financial world. He inherited 2/3 of the estate of an uncle, James Henry Smith, railroad financier."

Older members of the Mason and Smith families are buried in Millburn Cemetery.


John ("Mac" or "Sandy") was born in Falkirk, Scotland, October 2, 1803.

About 1816, his parents, a brother, a sister, and he came to Chatham, Canada. There he met and married Jane Strang, October 2 1838. Jane was a daughter of John and Margaret Strang and had come to Chatham from Scotland in 1834.

In 1842, John, Jane, and his mother came to Lake County, Illinois (Millburn) by team and wagon. All they had was $25.00 in cash and the team and wagon. They purchased 160 acres of land from the government for $1.25 per acre in Newport Township (Kelly Road west of Hunt Club Road north side of the road). They spent $22.00 of the $25.00 for a cow. Here they established their home, working very hard to have a productive and well stocked farm. They had no family of their own, but often had young men living with them who helped with the farm work.

After McAlister had accumulated a little money he became known as the "money lender". He charged a high rate of interest, 10%, andforeclosed on property when the loan was not paid. Rumors had it he had "pots of gold" hidden on his property. When someone came for a loan he would take a few steps this way and a few steps that way and dig. There would be a "pot of gold".

The McAlisters moved to Waukegan in 1882.

He died in 1888 and is buried in Millburn Cemetery.


Jane was born in Perthshire, Scotland, October 18, 1817, the daughter of John and Margaret Strang. She came with her parents and the family to Chatham, Ontario, Canada in 1834. October 2, 1838, she married John McAlister.

Like most of the Scottish farmers they had a flock of sheep. Jane sheared the sheep, washed the wool, carded it, spun it into yarn and knitted it into socks, sweaters, and other garments. She did the work of a man in the fields for over forty year.

The McAlisters moved to Waukegan in 1882. Their first home was on Madison Street, later moving to Clayton Street.

Jane became a faithful member of the Presbyterian Church. The Reverend Samuel Chidester was the pastor and lived with his friend, a teacher, John Baggott in the manse given to the church by Jane. She also gave a generous donation for the church's first pipe organ.

But there was other work for her to do in Waukegan where she was to play a role in the city's history. She was instrumental in getting a hospital for the town. There had been a six bed hospital on North Avenue, but that was not adequate. About 1896 the property on Franklin Street and North Avenue was acquired, mostly through the generosity of Jane, and there was established in a three story brick building " The Jane McAlister Hospital".

This hospital was in use until the Victory Memorial Hospital was built in the early 1920's. One wing of the new hospital was called Jane McAlister Hall, and her portrait hangs in the lobby.

Jane died in Waukegan in 1903. She left an estate of $2,000.00 in real estate and $200,000.00 personal property.

She is buried in Millburn Cemetery. The Reverend Chidester and Mr. Baggott are buried on the McAlister lot in Millburn Cemetery.


(Scotland). Settled about 2 miles east of Dodges Corner.


David and Jane (Scotland). Farm Northwest of Millburn, east shore of Loon Lake.


Merrill and Lydia. Early 1840's. Home is about 1 1/2 miles east of the village. From New Hampshire.


Robert and Elizabeth (Scotland). Farm about 2 miles north of Millburn, west side of road.


Ben. Home south of the village, west side of road, across from site of the old Millburn School.


George (Yankee) and Mercy (New York). Home west and north of the village.


George (Scotch). George "Scotch" Smith and his wife Beatrice came from Scotland and settled in the Millburn area about 1845. Their farm home was a mile north of the village, west side of the road. Here they built a lovely home on a rise of ground back from the road, where they could look down on the near by creek as it flowed through the countryside. They were relatives of the Mason family who settled a little farther north and east. (Kelly Road).

The Smiths had two sons James and John and three daughters.

In a few years the family left Millburn and became very successful financially. The son James became known as "the silent man of Wall Street".

The Smith and Mason families made large contributions to Millburn Cemetery. They gave money to build the Cemetery fence. the landscaping, and the sprinkling system.

Several members of the Smith and Mason families are buried in Millburn Cemetery.


Jacob (Germany). North of the village about a mile, east side of the road near Thain's.


Ben, and Hannah Dodge, son-in-law of W. B. Dodge.


Peter and Elizabeth (Scotland). Mile south of village, east side of the road. Called home "Sleepy Hollow".


George married Eliza Sorter June 17, 1847. The George Strangs were the parents of six children, 4 sons and two daughters. Mrs. Strang died in 1911 and Mr. Strang died in 1890.

Their Children were:


John and Margaret, Scotland, 1839. Settled at the cross roads. John passed away in 1866 and his wife died shortly after coming here in 1841.


John "Jake". Mr. and Mrs. John "Jake" Strang made their home on their farm east of Millburn for over forty years. They built a substantial brick home in 1856. They were hard workers and the farm was a very productive one. They were faithful workers in the church and in the community.

They had an adopted daughter, Jessie. In 1902 she married the Rev. George Mitchell, pastor of the Millburn Church. Shortly after that they left the community.


Peter, Sr. was one of the three brothers who walked into the area in 1838. Peter, Sr.'s claim was in Warren Township two and a half or three miles, east and south of Millburn. The younger son, John "Jake" lived with the parents for a time. Then he went to the gold fields in California in 1849. Upon his return he secured land of his own just east of his father's and brothers' claims.


Peter, Jr. was the second son of Peter Strang, Sr., one of the three brothers who walked into the area in 1838. Peter was born July 18, 1842.

He built a home north of cross roads in Millburn (south of William White's east side of route 45).

He was a well driller and a carpenter, and cropped ten acres where Mill creek Hunt Club stables are.

In his younger days he made violins and played at country dances.

He married twice and was the father of twelve children (four died in infancy).

A grandson, Donald Truax and his wife Louise live in Millburn. Their home is on Millburn Road.

Peter Strang, Jr. died at his home February 23, 1929.


Robert had 12 children.
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