Vancil Bend History

Vancil Bend is the loop of Big Muddy river that reaches down into sections 10 and 11 of Blairsville Township. Isaac Vancil (1800-1872) was by some accounts the first white man born within the area that became Williamson County. His father was a confidential friend of George Owl and George Hunter, chiefs of the Indian tribes that lived between Big Muddy river and the Mississippi. The Vancil’s first home in Illinois was the site of Jonesboro and the father, Jonas Vancil (1754-1856), was ordained a Mormon minister.

Isaac Vancil finally settled in his old age at the bend of Big Muddy river that contained Humphreys’ ford and Odum ford. In his time the better ford at Blairsville had superseded these older crossings. There was little travel past his place, the river banks were low, and the bottom muddy. Vigilantes ended Isaac Vancil’s occupation of the river bottom by hanging him when he refused to leave the country.

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(Extracted from Pioneer Folks and Places, Barbara Barr Hubbs, 1939 which is on sale at the Williamson County Museum)