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Old Appleton is a village that extends into Perry County from Cape Girardeau County, Missouri. Among the first settlers in the area was Pierre Louis Lorimier, a French Canadian of mixed French and Shawnee ancestry, who had worked as an Indian interpreter for the British during the Revolutionary War. Lorimier was appointed Indian agent by the Spanish, who had control of the area at the time. The Spanish granted two large tracts of land in the Apple Creek watershed to Lorimier, who intended to use it as a settlement for the Shawnee and Delaware Indians, who had also sided with the British during the war. In 1784, a group of Shawnee and Delaware settled in the general area of Old Appleton, and their villages became known as Le Grand Village Sauvage, which was to the west of current-day Old Appleton, and Petit Village Sauvage, which was to the east. Culturally, these Indians had largely adopted French and American culture and lifestyles, building granaries and barns, as well as log homes. In the early 1800s, American settlers came into the area, ignoring treaties that had been made with the local tribes. Representatives of the two tribes appealed to Meriwether Lewis, who was territorial governor at the time, asking to exchange their lands for territory further west. However, the Shawnee and Delaware stayed but, by 1815, the new territorial governor, William Clark, ordered the white intruders removed from the area, an order that was largely ignored. By 1816, the encroachment by white settlers had gotten to the point where the federal government relocated the Shawnee and Delaware instead. In 1824, John McClain and John Schatz established the settlement of Apple Creek, which became known as Appleton when a post office was established. In 1918, it was renamed Old Appleton in order to reduce confusion with Appleton City in St. Clair County.



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