Adapted from Combined History of Randolph, Monroe, and Perry Counties, Illinois pages 78
In the Indian hostilities from 1786 to 1795, the inhabitants of the present Monroe County suffered greatly. The pioneer settlers realized their exposed condition, and as soon as they reached the county erected forts for their protection.
One of these block houses was at Bellefontaine. Another was in the American Bottom near the residence of Shadrach Bond. Another was built by Daniel and James Flannery on the main road from Kaskaskia to Cahokia. This was about three miles southeast of the present town of Columbia, and was afterward widely known as Whiteside's station. A fourth ws erected by James Piggot at the foot of the bluff, a mile and a half west of Columbia, where a small creek, called by the French the Grand Ruisseau, emerges from the bluff. This was also a celebrated place in early times, and was known as Piggot's fort. A fifth block house was built by Nathaniel Hull at his residence at the foot of the bluff just below the present Chalfin bridge. Brashear's station stood near the present town of Harrisonville, and Golden's block house not far from where Monroe city is now built.
Sometimes these forts, or stations, consisted of a single block house, the second story projecting over the first, with holes through which to shoot the Indians attempting to enter the lower story. The lower story was provided with port holes, and with strong puncheon doors, three or four inches thick, stoutly barred.
Another and better style of pioneer fortification was made by building a large, strong block house on each of the four corners of a square lot of ground. Large timbers, placed deep in the ground and extending twelve or fifteen feet above the surface, filled in the interval between the buildings. Within these stockades cabins were built, and if a spring was not to be found a well was dug. When danger was suspected horses were kept inside during the night. There were usually two strong gates.
In the line of the stockade, near the top, port holes were cut here and there. and platforms were constructed inside on which to stand and shoot. The timber was carefully cleared away in the vicinity so that no place of ambush might be afforded the enemy. Sometimes sentinels were kept on watch during the night. In the morning the inmates emerged from the fort with great caution, for the Indians at that hour often lurked in the neighborhood.
In these stations the inhabitants found refuge in times of anticipated danger, and from them issued the expeditions that set out from time to time to punish the Indians for some atrocity.