In the November 17, 1838 issue of the Prairie Beacon newspaper of Hillsboro, Illinois, was a column called "A Traveler in Illinois." In this paragraph, the Traveler was referring to prairie land at the end moraine of the Wisconsin glacial episode (25,000 to 14,000 years ago). The southern tip of the moraine is located fewer than fifty miles from Hillsboro.

"What particularly attracted his attention . . . were those occasional black masses commonly called "lost rocks." The rocks contained granite, like the rocks of the Great Lakes region, hundreds of miles to the north. ". . . he adopted the theory, now generally received, that these numerous boulders were transported hither by ice, when this region must have been inundated with water . . . They (the rocks) appear often so rounded and worn by attrition, as to lead many to believe that they were rolled along by currents sweeping from the north. It would seem, however, that ice was a more adequate agent in removing them."