Hungry Hollow, a
quiet, peaceful settlement is about three miles northwest from Redden
Square.Stretching along the old Danville-Glenburn turnpike, now a paved
double highway, for a distance of two miles from the steel bridge, which
spans the North Fork at the
Big Vermilion River, through a narrow defile which is bounded by steep
hills, is this rustic neighborhood rich in local history. In the long ago
it was an enterprising settlement.
Hungry Hollow still retains some of its importance as a suburb of
Danville, but it is not the industrial center it was 60 years ago. Brick
making was one of the important industries in the early days. Abraham
Bolton had the brickyard. Coal mining was also carried on to a greater or
lesser degree. A Mr. Harbaugh opened a sawmill and grist mill on the
In those days they conserved time. While the lumber was being
sawed, he ground your corn into meal. They also had a well stocked grocery
store for those days. It was run by George Corbin. All of this is gone and
the residents have turned their attention to other trades and are employed
in and around Danville. There are still others who have farms and depend
largely upon them to make a living.
Through Hungry Hollow runs a narrow stream, placid and shallow in
summer and fall, but a torrent when the heavy rains of the late fall and
early spring set in. In summer the jagged banks of the little stream are
carpeted with green and studded with wild flowers. In the fall season, the
wooded hills present a scene some artist should paint. In the days of the
Piankashaws and Kickapoos, the Indian braves fished along the banks of the
North Fork in summer and hunted for wild animals in winter. The Indians
even chased deer over what is now Hungry Hollow.
The Edward Gutterridge family came to the "Hollow" from Ohio in
1835. He established his homestead a half mile east of Amos Corner. A
house still stands on the original site.
This story concerns what was at first believed an epidemic of mumps
among the Indian children in the Hollow. One morning there appeared at the
Gutterridge cabin an Indian squaw and her papoose. The papoose was
evidently suffering from the mumps. The squaw asked the white settlers
what to do about it. Mrs. Gutterridge resorted to an early method. She
cooked hot cakes out of thick cornmeal batter and applied them as hot
poultices to the suffering papoose's jaws. The mother thanked the white
woman and hurried away. Soon there appeared more than a dozen Indian
squaws dragging their youngsters. Each pointed to the children's jaws and
made signs they wanted similar attention.
While symptoms did not indicate they were afflicted, Mrs.
Gutterridge set about making the cakes in a wholesale lot. To every
applicant she gave a quota of cakes sufficient to cover their supposedly
sore jaws. Then the Indian mothers and their left.
Some of the men who were abroad in the woods
watching the proceedings saw the mothers take the cakes as soon as they
were out of sight and begin eating them. They liked the cakes much better
as food than as poultices, so the story goes.
But this was not the end of the incident as far as the pioneers or
the Indians were concerned. Not long afterward came Thanksgiving.
Word got around that the white settlers were soon to begin a period of
feasting. And one morning shortly after dawn the settlers saw two big
Indians, each carrying the form of a big buck deer on his shoulders,
approach the Gutterridge cabin.
When they reached there they deposited their burdens on the doorstep and
motioned the white settlers to take them in. They had provided the
settlers with plenty of meat for their Thanksgiving dinner. Not all
Indians were bad, were they?
When the Piankashaws were driven from their homes on the bank of the Big
Vermilion by the more powerful Kickapoos and Potawatomis, the hunting and
fishing grounds along the North Fork and Hungry Hollow were surrendered to
their enemies. It was then the Piankashaws set their faces toward the
setting sun for the purpose of finding for themselves another home
somewhere in the great heart of the American wilderness.
The Tate residence, once one of the palatial homes of Hungry
Hollow, burned many years ago, thus removing one of the landmarks of the
Hollow. It was on the site of this cottage and was operated for 20 years
as a brickyard, one of the principal industries years ago. It was started
by Henry Dettman, a thrifty German and later run by Abe Bolton. During the
brick making season it is said that 30,000 bricks were made in the yard
each day. The enterprise furnished employment for half the residents.
Opposite the old residence, across the winding stream and the
Danville-Glenbum turnpike, stood the old Hungry Hollow store where the
boys of the neighborhood gathered the latest gossip. It was here that the
Hungry Hollow band was organized. This musical organization, if one might
call it that, had a reputation in its days.
A little farther down the highway formerly stood the old Christian
Church where prayers were heard and said on Sunday and where many social
gatherings were held during the winter. Above the old brickyard, facing
the turnpike, stood the old mill where the familiesof the community
brought their corn to be ground and their timber to be sawed. The old
landmark, long an abiding place
for owls and bats, has gone the way of many another building of the long
Just back of the Jess Chappell residence is an old graveyard, where
lies the dust of the first white settlers of Hungry Hollow. There is very
little evidence that once it was a well kept cemetery, the burial ground
of the pioneer settlers.
The old glory of Hungry Hollow has passed, but it retains its name and
memories. Where did the name originate? I have heard many versions. This
seems to be the true one. Once in 1865 the Henry Cramer family had run low
on flour. There was enough for gravy and pie crust but not enough for
biscuits. So Mrs. Cramer told her husband to go to town and get some
flour; but it began to rain and
the North Fork rose, making the old Sutherland Ford impassable for three
days. The family subsisted on cornmeal.
This led Cramer to complain: "Cornbread three times a day! This is
certainly Hungry Hollow".