Although the celebrated criminal trial to which I would call attention, was held at Bunkum, across the state line, it deserves mention as a part of local history. Several of the persons actually participating in the trial afterward became citizens of Newton county. Furthermore, county and state lines did not form arbitrary divisions as they do at present. Bunkum was the center of a community of which Newton county was only a part.
in July 1827, what is now the city of Chicago was a settlement of six or seven American families, a number of half-breeds, and a few vagabond Indians. At that time the Winnebago Indians were gathering in the neighborhood of Green Bay, threatening to attack and destroy the few white settlements established along the lakes. Gurdon S. Hubbard was a resident of Chicago and the owner of trading posts, established along the Iroquois river where the towns of Middleport and Bunkum were afterward located, and also of a trading post on the Kankakee river in Newton county, afterward known as Blue Grass, near the present site of the town of Thayer.