From William Henry Perrin, ed., History of Effingham County, Illinois, Chicago: O. L. Baskin & Co., 1883:
“Fifty-seven years ago, 1825, Mr. Scott, in company with a man named Elliott, and his wife, traveled through this county on their way, moving from Wayne to Shelby County. They camped near Blue Point. In passing the timber at the head of Brockett’s Creek, a smoke was seen curling up from a camp fire, a clearing, or a wooden chimney. Mr. Elliott, who had made the trip through here before, told him that it was smoke from the cabin or clearing of a man’s place named Fancher. This was Isaac Fancher. That Fancher was here then is strongly corroborated by the oft-repeated statements of Ben Campbell to his step-son, Thomas Andrews, that when he (Campbell) came here in 1826 he found the Fancher family here; that he stopped with them for several weeks, and they put in their time hunting bee-trees, of which they found a great many. Campbell also stated that he thought the Fulfers were here when he came, or that they came soon after.
“Fancher and Fulfer in 1834-35 moved away from here into Coles County, where they died years ago. . . .
“After the Legislature incorporated the county, matters seem to have remained quiescent until the 20th day of December, 1832, when the Legislature passed an act authorizing Effingham County to hold an election ‘to elect three County Commissioners, a Sheriff and a Coroner.’ . . . This election was held January 1, 1833. No record of it can be found. Theophilus W. Short, Isaac Fancher and William J. Hankins were elected the first County Commissioners, and they proceeded to organize the County Commissioners’ Court in Ewinton on the 21st day of January, 1833, . . . .
“The first deed recorded in the county bears date February 27, 1833, Isaac Fancher and Amy Fancher, his wife (her mark), to T. J. Gillenwaters; consideration $500, and conveys by quit claim east half of northwest quarter of section 36, Township 8 north, Range 5 east. The officer vouches that he ‘examined the wife separtely [sic; separately],’ etc. . . .
“In 1832, the Black Hawk war was in progress, and this young county sent out its first warriors. The little battalion was not very strong in numbers, yet it was a large, proportion of the able-bodied men to go to war. Fourteen names are all that can now be recalled of these Indian fighters, to wit: . . . Isaac Fancher, Alexander Fancher, . . . .
“Something of the history of the legal life of the county, that is, its officials in their regular order, is the following:
“1833 – T. W. Short, Isaac Fancher and William J. Hankins were the first elected County Commissioners’ Court; . . . . Isaac Fancher only served as Commissioner a few months, and was succeeded in office by James Turner.
“JOHN C. RUSSEL, mer chant, Altamont, was born in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, October 3, 1834. When about four years old, he moved to Belmont County, where he grew up, until the age of fourteen, on a farm, and was educated in the common schools. . . . [p. 112:] . . . He . . . was discharged in the summer of 1865 and came direct to Effingham, where he opened a store, . . . He married the only daughter of D. Boyer, Lydia A., March 17, 1859, and they have two children living – Ardelia B., wife of E. Fancher, of Chapman, Kan., . . . .
“The first settlement in what now forms Jackson Township was made by Isaac Fancher in 1825, and is one of the earliest settlements made in the county. His brother, Byron [Bynum?] Fancher, settled a year or two later. They were from Tennessee, and Isaac settled on the place where Judge Gillenwaters afterward lived. Byron was in the Black Hawk war, and was a good and upright man. He afterward sold out and moved to Texas. Isaac died in the township many years ago. . . . “