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Full text of "Township histories, Peoria County, Illinois; Princeville, Akron, Millbrook, Jubilee, Hallock, Radnor"

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Reprioted by permission of David McCulloch aad Munsell 
Publishing Co. from ** Historical Encyclopedia of 
\ Illinois and History of Peoria County'* 

(Munsell Pub'g Co., Chicago, 1902). 


Partly taken from "History of Stark County" (M. A. Lueson 
4& Co., Chicago, 1887), 

To the History of Jubilee Township is added the text of a booklet recently 
issued by Raymond Riordon, Principal of Jubilee College, telling of the rejuven- 
ation of Jubilee, which all old settlers are glad to see. 




Novejnbcr, 1906. 



-4 -i* 




<^ Ji By Edward Auten and Pkter Adxen, Jr. 

3 Seeking a free and open country, Daniel Prince 
•43 came from Indiana, and, in 1822, was the first white 
-^ man to live among the Indians in what, three years 
^ later, was the northern part of Peoria Countj^ In a 
^ few j'-ears other white men, some of them friends or 
^ employes of Mr. Prii]ce, gathered around the attractive 
-M? timber, and the settlement became known as Prince's 
^ Grove. Mr. Prince, as he drove into Peoria market in 
the winter of 1832-33, is thus described by Mr. John Z. 
rj, Slane, then a small boy living in Peoria: "The men 
- ' shouted that Prince was coming, and he was a nabob. 
' < Clad in a home-spun and home-wove blue-jeans ovcr- 
O ^oat reaching to his ankles, with an old felt hat, a com- 
forter over his hat, brought down over ears and neck 
and tied in front, with long, large whiskers, and chew- 
ing tobacco. Prince came up with his three-yoke team 
of oxen. His load was hogs, dressed. Mounting his 
wagon he slung off, first the hay for the cattle, then 
quilt after quilt, and then hurried the unloading of the 
meat. After feeding his oxen in the rail-fence enclosure, 
and perhaps eating his own lunch there, and perhaps 
lying on the floor at the Indian store over night, ]\Ir. 
Prince returned to his home." Mr. Prince is described 
as a modest man, tall, but stooping, with brown curly 
hair, red cheeks, and light e.yes, probably blue. At 
home he was more easy-going than when seen in the 
Peoria market. He was a farmer on a large scale, fur- 
nishing employment to all who needed it, and very gen- 
erous. Different men, who were then boj^s, tell of his 
butchering a steer or a hog and giving a quarter here 


1. .•)!/. To 

,Tr,II. '-lit '1-J70 


and a qnarter there. If nny neighbor needed some- 
thing to eat and had nothing, iMr. Prince furnished it; 
payment was to be made whenever that neighbor found 
it convenient, and if it Avas never made, Mr. Prince did 
not complain. It is needless to say that it was for I 
Daniel Prince that Princeville Township and Prince- 
ville Village were later named. His brother, Myron 
Prince, was an early settler a few miles to the north- 
west, later keeping a hotel in PrinceviHe, and I\ryron 
Prince's son, George W. Prince, is now Congressman 
from the Galesburg District. j 

Mr. Prince's log cabin was on Section 24, a few rods 
west of Sylvester and Elizabeth Slane's present resi- 
dence (1902). This was ''on the edge of the timber," 
and the next three cabins, remembered at this time, 
were ''along the hollow" to the north of Prince's. One 
was very near Higlee's jjresent coal-shaft, on Mrs. 
Jacob Fast's land, one double cabin was at a fork in 
the ravine a few rods south, and another a few rods 
east of that. All these cabins — and, in fact, the entire 
west half of Section 24 — belonged to Mr. Prince. The 
cabin near Higbee's coal-sliaft was occupied by Dr. 
Oscar Fitzalen Mott, of the old "Thomsonian" school. 
The double cabin had an ox-mill in one end of it for 
grinding corn. I 

This was the country in the early day, up to about 
1835 or 183G. The Indians had left immediately after 
the Black Hawk War of 1832. The prairies grew 
prairie grass, rosin-weed, "red-root," and "shoe- I 
string." Near the timber and in the timber were often i 
patches of hazel brush, sumach, black-berry bushes 
and goose-berry bushes. Now and then eight or ten, ^ 
or a dozen deer could be seen in the edge of the hills. j 
Along Spoon River, tradition says, there were droves 


of deer with sometimes as many as 150 head together. 
There were also wikl cats '*as large as lynxes," and 
plenty of wolves, both the coyotes or prairie wolves 
and the gray timber wolves. The timber was of large 
growth, and had very few small trees. Daniel Prince 
appreciated the timber, and took means to preserve it. 
He plowed two sets of furrows and bnrned the grass 
between them around both the ** North Grove" and 
"South Grove" to protect from prairie fires. 

By 1839 the country was too thickly settled to suit 
Mr. Prince. His cattle, roaming around, found neigh- 
bors' hay stacks to hook. The neighbors, in turn, 
''sicked the dogs" on Prince's cattle, and he would 
have no more of it. He moved in that year, 1839, (or 
1840) to ]\Iissouri, where the country was free. 

Sometime prior to 1837, Mr. William C. Stevens 
was riding from his home at the forks of the Kickapoo 
in Rosefield Township, on horseback toward Kock 
Island, and admired the present site of Princevillc. 
It was level and high rolling ground, between the two 
groves. Later he purchased the southeast quarter of 
Section 13. This joined on the north the northeast 
quarter of Section 24, which was owned by Benjamin 
Clark and Jesse M. ]\rcCutchen, land speculators. IMr. 
Stevens and Clark & McCutchen on June 22, 1837, 
acknowledged and filed for record the plat of original 
Princeville. The streets received their names in the 
following manner: North and South Streets, from their 
location on the plat; Main, because Mr. Stevens thought 
it would be the principal street, as is evidenced b}^ his 
choosing it to build on; Spring, from the spring near 
its east end ; Walnut, from the fine trees below its south 
terminus; French Street, for Stephen French, toward 
whose farm this street led; Clark, for Mr. Clark of 



Clark & McCutclien, as he wanted each of the three 
partners to have a street named for himself. Mr. j\Ic- 
Cutchen and Mr. Stevens, however, did not want their 
names to appear as streets; so Mr. ]\IcCutchen named 
his street Canton, in honor of the town where he lived. 
Mv. Stevens named High and Tremont Streets to com- 
memorate a pleasant stay with a cousin of his, Simeon 
Short by name, whose residence, the finest in the place, 
occupied the corner of High and Tremont streets, at 
Thetford, Vermont. Sumner and Stanton Streets, in 
the later Stevens' addition, were named for the states- 
men of whom j\Ir. Stevens was a great admirer. 

The village grew slowij^ John Z. Slane says (1902) 
that, when he came on January 13, 1841, the families 
in town numbered nine, as follows: His father, Ben- 
jamin Slane, William Coburn, Peter Auten, Samuel 
Alexander, George McMillen, Moses R. Sherman, Jon- 
athan Nixon, Seth Fulton and William C. Stevens. ^h\ 
Prince, Elisha Morrow, Law^rence McKown and John 
F. Garrison had just left. Stephen French lived north- 
west of the village. He was the first man to bring his 
family to the township, which was in 1828, and his son, 
Dimmick, was acknowledged to be the first white male 
child born in the county. Thomas Morrow, a settler 
since 1831, lived southeast of the village, and George 
I. McGinnis, a settler since 1835, northeast. The two 
last named, although living in Akron, belong in Prince- 
ville history. 

Over the line in Akron Township, about fifteen or 
twenty rods southeast of the present Kock Island & 
Peoria Railway station, on the northwest corner of 
Section 19, w^as a log school house, very famous in its 
day. It accommodated as many as sixty scholars, chil- 
dren coming from ^H directions, as far as Spoon River 


to the nortliwest, and the center of Jubilee Township 
on the southwest. The first teacher here was ]\Iiss 
Esther Stoddard, and later ones were Miss Phoebe 
Stoddard, Mrs. Oiive L. Cutter, Jane Hull, Theodore 
F. Ilurd, Peter Auten, B. F. Hilliard, S. S. Cornwell, 

Newell, Isaac Moss, and Daniel B. Allen. This 

cabin was also used as a ''meeting house" for different 
church denominations, and as a polling place for all 
voters in ''Prince's Grove Precinct." It was burned 
about 1849. 

Democratic and Whig politics w^axed warm in the 
National election of 3840, and one old settler tells of 
the string of men going all day from the school house 
to Seth Fulton's tavern. The "bell-wether" of one 
party carried a jug of whiskey in plain sight leading 
the men on with his shouts, and voting them in a body. 
William P. Blanchard and Stephen French had been 
elected the first Justices of the Peace in 1838, and they, 
with the help of the three County Commissioners, fur- 
nished the government for the precinct. 

Princeville Township was organized in 1850, the 
voting population then numbering 100. The first offi- 
cials were: Supervisor, Leonard B. Cornwell; Town 
Clerk, Jonathan Nixon; Assessor, Seth Fulton; Col- 
lector, William C. Stevens; Justices of the Peace, Wil- 
liam C. Stevens and Solomen S. Cornwell; Constables, 
John Fulton and Jolni E. Seery; Cojnmissioncrs of 
Highways, Wm. P. Blanchard, Wm. P. Smith and Ira 
]\roody ; Overseer of the Poor, Solomon Bliss. Benjamin 
Slane, who lived over the line in Akron, was elected 
the first Supervisor of that township in the same year. 

The township was now rapidly filling up. "Con- 
gress land" on the prairie was unlimited at $1.25 per 
acre. Military claims or "patent lands" had been 



allotted in the timber. Land with timber near Princc- 
ville Village sold around 1840 for $200 np to $800 for 
a quarter section. The open prairie was, by 1850-55, 
selling for $400 to $800 per quarter. The greater rise 
in values did not come until after the Civil War and 
the days of tiling. The early *' blind ditches," made 
with a ''mole" drain machine, were not satisfactory. 
The mole was a wedge-shaped iron, fastened to the 
bottom end of a fiat and sharp bar of steel, which was 
fastened to a frame. This implement was drawn 
through the ground by several yoke of oxen or a 
capstan. Fences, earliest, were of the worm-rail vari- 
ety, then of post and rail; on the x^rairie, later, a 
machine was used to cut and pile rows of sod, making 
ditches alongside. Above the sod was sometimes placed 
a low fence, "staked and ridered," or stakes were 
driven in the sod and boards or wire attached. The 
sod fence was not a marked success, and smooth wire 
was also a failure. After pine lumber came within 
easy reach, fences were very largely, especially away 
from the timber, built of posts and boards. Before 
many years the osage orange tree was introduced as a 
fence ; then came barbed wire, and very recently woven 
wire. As tlie prairie Avas fenced, the town records 
show a gradual squaring of the old Rock Island and 
Peoria State Road, and other angling roads, to north 
and south and cast and west roads, mostly on section 
lines. It was when the Illinois and ]\Iichigan canal was 
opened, allowing lumber to come from Chicago via 
l^aSalle and the Illinois river, that building began on 
the open prairie. 

In the fall of 1847 the school was removed from the 
old log cabin in Akron to the new stone school house, 
which still stands,'With a frame part added to it, on 


lot 5, block 13, on Canton Street. This was built by 
public donations of stone, lime, timber, labor and 
money, tlie only way in which it could be afforded, 
and was then given and owned as a public school 
house. B. F. Slane taught the first winter here (1847- 
48) and John M. Henry the next. Women teachers 
were hired for the summer months. This house was 
used until the completion, in 1873 or 1874, of the 
present brick school house. The records show three 
school districts in the township in 1847, which were 
gradually increased in number by subdivision, until 
the present number, nine, was attained in 1871. 

Before the days of ^'district schools" supported by 
public funds, were four or five ''subscription schools," 
for which each family ''signed money." The log 
school house on Section 19, Akron Township, was run 
on this plan at first. Another was located in the Wil- 
liam P. Blanchard neighborhood on Section 22; an- 
other on the northwest quarter of Section 16; one on 
Section 5; and one on Section 8. All of these schools 
except the one in Princeville village, were held in 
cabins built for dwellings. One father paid for a 
year's schooling for his children, the total sum of nine 
dollars and thought this a large sum to pay. lie had 
ten children. After a few years the cabin on Section 
8 was superseded by a frame school house, built from 
lumber sawed at Prince's sawmill, and having nothing 
but the thin siding to keep out the cold. This was 
moved to the present site of the "Moody" or Dis- 
trict No. 2 (new No. 94) School. 

In this same northwest corner of the to'wnship, 
along the belt of timber bordering Spoon Kiver, set- 
tlements had been made almost as early as at Prince's 
Grove. Hugh White,, Christian Miller, Sr., and his 


sons, Christian, Henry, Dan, James and John, Ira 
]\roody and Kobert Colwell were amon^;- the earliest 
residents. James Morrow went from Prince's Grove 
to Spoon Ixiver in 1832, but the Indians, during the 
Black Hawk War, molested the settlers there, and he 
returned to Prince's Grove. The foregoing are men- 
tioned by Mrs. Jane Smith (widow of John Smith), 
as residents when she came Avith her parents, Walter 
and Kachel Payne, in 1842, to Section 7. Between 
them and Princeville, a distance of six miles, the only 
house on the prairie was that of John i\Iiller on Sec- 
tion IG. On a line farther south were the houses of 
B. S. Scott, Oliver T^Ioody, John Dukes, Boling Hare 
and James Debord. Coal was not yet known to be 
here, and some did not know what it was when found 
a few years later. Timber was held high by those who 
owned it, and was frequently stolen. Cutting from 
land of non-residents, and from Government lands, 
was common. Fifty cents was charged for a small 
load of wood on the ground, and one dollar for a 
walnut which would split into four posts for the cor- 
ners of a small shed. 

On the northern side of White Oak," the timber 
which extends into Princeville from Jubilee Township 
and the region of the Kickapoo, and on the prairie 
adjoining in the central and southwestern parts of 
the township, the early settlers were Solomon S. Corn- 
well, Wm. P. Blanchard, John McKune, Wm. Parnell, 
Joseph I\I.endel, John Hill ; and, a little later, Wm. 
Lynch, Wm. Cummins, John Nelson and Lawrence 
Seery, Reuben Deal, Roger Cook and John O'Brien. 

*'West Princeville" may be said to have started 
with the building of the O'Brien wagon and black- 
smith shops, in 185G or '57. They were located on 


the south side of the road between Sections 19 and 30, 
about one-fourth mile east of the ]\Iillbrook line. Here 
John 0']^rien and his sous, James, Joseph and * 'Billy," 
manufactured wagons, cultivators and harroAvs. Billy 
O'Brien invented and got a patent on a three- 
winged iron harrow, which they made in large quan- 
tities and shipped far and wide, the famous ''O'Brien 
harrow." The cultivators were without wheels and 
their manufacture Avas soon discontinued on account 
•of the appearance of wheeled cultivators. The O'Briens 
sold out to Jesse Carey and moved to Kewanee, w^here 
they continued to m.ake the O'Brien wagons and har- 
rows on a much more extensive scale. "William P. 
Hawver kept, in one building, a grocery and shop for 
making and repairing boots and shoes. He was suc- 
ceeded by McElhose, who conducted the 

grocery only. Robert Lovett, father of our present 
County Judge, was a blacksmith at West Princeville. 

In 1858 the Mt. Zion Methodist Episcopal Church 
was organized in this same neighborhood, meeting in 
the Nelson School House, now District No. 8 (new 
No. 100). In 1867 this society built a church on the 
southwest corner of Section 20, a little east of West 
Princeville. This was a frame building, 32x45 feet, 
costing about $2,200. The starting of Cornwell, soon 
called Monica, on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy 
Railroad, was the quitting of West Princeville. Nearly 
all of the buildings, the church included, were moved 
to the new^ town. But we must go back to the '50 's 
again to tell of the old "oil works," and then de- 
scribe the days of the war. 

The oil factory was located on the southwest quar- 
ter of Section 27, the farm now owned by Joseph E. 
Hill, and the "oil company" owned, in addition, tlic 


square 40-acre tract coruering with this land on the 
northeast. The refinery was a large stone huilding 
in the hollow, wnth six or eight retorts close by. The 
company had a house called the hotel, an office and 
store combined, and many small buildings. Out of 
the 18-inch vein of cannel coal they made a ''coal oil" 
similar to kerosene, and sometimes had as many as 
30 or 40 workmen. The 18 to 24 inches of bituminous 
coal on top of the cannel was of poor quality and 
brought little or no return. The oil, barreled and 
hauled to Chillicothe, although sold at $1.00 or $1.10 
per gallon, did not pay for the cost of production, and 
the discovery of oil fields in Pennsylvania killed the 
industry at once. This was about the year 1859. The 
buildings were gradually torn down or removed. 

In the northeast part of the township early names 
were the following: Wm. P. Smith, ^Moses and Carlos 
Alford, George Andrews, Henry Adams, Ezra Adams, 
Frederick Griswold, Joseph Nickerson, James Jackson, 
Dr. Harlan, John M. Henry and Godfrey Fritz. In 
the southeast part of the township were the Boutons, 
Wears, Slanes, "Wilsons, Woodbury, Little, Harrisons 
and Mansfield. 

William C. Stevens, the founder of Princeville Vil- 
lage, and Dr. Charles Cutter were, perhaps, the strong- 
est Free Soilers in the township. They voted for Van 
Buren, the first Free Soil candidate for President in 
1848, and often stood ill treatment for their principles. 
Tlieir fences were burned, their trees girdled, their 
houses egged, and their jjersons sometimes threatened. 
Ichabod Codding was an Abolition evangelist. When 
objection was made to his speaking any more in the 
Presbyterian Church, Mr. Stevens said, "Thank God, 
I have a place of my own where he may speak," and 


after that the speeches were in Mr. Stevens' yard. 
Many runaway slaves were harbored by Mr. Stevens 
and Dr. Cutter and sped on toward freedom. Dr. Cut- 
ter at one time had as many as six black men hid in 
the cellar of his house, and, on a certain occasion, one 
such refugee \\as scarcely half an hour aAvay, under 
a "\vagon load of fodder, Avhen his pursuers fiercely de- 
manded him of Mrs. Cutter, only to be told there was 
*'no such man in the house." 

When the war broke out, the ''Lucky Thirteen," 
who all came back, went from Princeville and joined 
the ''Peoria Battery," Battery A of the Second Illinois 
Artillery. In the fall of 1861 two Princeville men 
joined Col. Ingersoll's regiment, the Eleventh Cavalry. 
These two men, Stephen A. Andrews and John Sheelor, 
immediately came back from Peoria on a furlough and, 
in two weeks, took down twelve more men w4th them. 

The distinctively Princeville company was started 
in August, 1862. On that date Congressman Ebon 
Clark Ingersoll (brother to Bob) came out from Peoria 
to hold a "war meeting." Julius S. Starr accompa- 
nied him in the hope of getting recruits for a Peoria 
company, and recruit hunters were present also from 
Chillicothe and other places. The meeting was held 
in the old Methodist Episcopal Church, then on the 
corner southwest of the public square. The crowd was 
so large that the windows were taken out to enable men 
to hear on the outside. After the speaking the crowd 
gathered on the public square, when Clark Ingersoll 
got on a wagon and proposed a Princeville company. 
John McGinnis began fifing, indicating that he was go- 
ing, and led a march around the "liberty pole." Others 
fell in, a few at a time, until there were fifty men 
marching around and around the "liberty pole." Then 


they paraded to Dr. Charles's office, got out a table in 
the center of the room, and signed the muster roll. 
Within forty-eight hours the roll was increased to 96 
men. This was Company K of the Eighty-sixth Regi- 
ment, Illinois Infantry. John F. French was elected 
Captain, James B. Peet, First Lieutenant and IT. P. 
Irwin, Second Lieutenant. The company was soon 
ordered into camp at the Peoria Fair Grounds and saw, 
in all, twenty-one engagements, Chiekamauga, Mission- 
ary Ridge and Kenesaw Mountain being among the 
niunber. The company was in ''Sherman's i\Iarch to 
the Sea." Somewhere near one-half the company sti)l 
survive (1902), and those residing at Princeville are 
organized, with their comrades, in J. F. French Post, 
No. 153, G. A. R. On Decoration Day, 1900, John Mc- 
Ginnis dedicated in Princeville Cemetery, a monument 
''In ]\[emory of all Soldiers and Sailors who, on Land 
or Sea, periled Life for Liberty and Law — 1861-65." 
Princeville always honors her soldiers, and Decoration 
Day sees the gathering of several townships in memory 
of the dead and in honor of the living. 

An outgrowth of civil war conditions was the organ- 
ization, in August, 1863, of the Thief Detective and 
]\Iutual Aid Association. The demand for horses and 
resultant high prices caused horse-stealing to flourish 
to an unpleasant extent, and this society was organized 
to stop the stealing around Princeville, and to catch 
the thieves. It accomplished its purpose well at the 
time, and has continued a strong society to the present. 
Wm. P. Smith, Solomon Bliss, Cliarles Beach, Vaughn 
Williams and S. S. Slane were the originators of the 
society. Wm. P. Smith was the first captain, followed 
by H. F. Irwin, John G. Corbet, Solomon Bliss, J. D. 
Hammer and S. S. Slane, who is now serving his six- 
teenth year in that capacity. 


Before railroads were built, Prince ville was one of 
the stoppinof places on the stage routes running from 
Peoria and Chillicothe, through Southampton to 
Princeville and to the AVest and Northwest. The 
stage, which carried the mail as well as passengers, 
came at first once a week, then twice, and later three 
times a week, slopping at the Bliss-IMcMillen Hotel. 

The public square, now covered with growing trees 
and familiarly called the Park, was given to the vil- 
lage by its founder, Mr. Stevens. In 1874 an attempt 
was made by the officials to mar the square by locating 
on it the village hall and, as was reputed, a calaboose. 
Injunction proceedings were started by Peter Auten, 
in company with ]\Ir. Stevens and other citizens, to 
block the intended purpose, and, on the testimony of 
the donor that he had given the square to be an open 
space, park or square, '^for light and air, and to be for 
the beauty of the village and the health of its inhabi- 
tants," a perpetual injunction was granted. 

Mr. Stevens was also generous with his land for 
church and school sites. He gave the lot for the stone 
school house so long as used for a school site, and the 
right of reversion he gave up on condition that the 
new brick school house, then building, should have a 
front on the north, architecturally equal to the front 
as planned for the south of the building. He wanted 
the front on the north side, but the directors insisted 
on the south front. Main Street, he said, would have 
no front, and the other and only front would look out 
on ''Mosquito Swale" and ''Carrion Hollow;" his ref- 
erence was to a swampy place suitable for breeding 
mosquitoes, and a hollow where the dead horses of the 
neighborhood had formerly been deposited — each of 
which was south of auclnot far distant from the new 
school site. 

iJ x^-^ix 


Princeville's markets in the early day had been 
Peoria, Laeon and Chillieothe. The price of hogs in 
the Peoria market varied a great deal; sometimes the 
buyers would say, *' Seventy-five cents for a hog, big 
or little — tumble them off." Ox teams sometimes drove 
to Chicago with wheat, bringing back lumber, salt and 
clothing. The windows, doors and casings for Dr. 
Charles Cutter's house were thus carted from Chicago, 
and also the shingles for the first Presbyterian Church. 
Other lumber was obtained at saw-mills, on Spoon 
River and Kickapoo Creek. Grist-mills familiar to all 
old settlers, were Cox's Mill and the Rochester Mill 
on Spoon River, the Spring Valley Mill, Evans' Mill 
in Radnor Tow^nship and IMiles's ]\Iill at Southport, 
Elmwood Township. 

Mills closer to Princeville were *'Jimmie" Jack- 
son's *Svhip-saw" mill, Erastus and Thompson Peet's 
saw-mill, James Harrison's saw and grist-mill, and 
Hawn's Mill, all in Akron Township, and Hawn's mill 
within the village limits. Hitchcock, Voorhees & Seed 
erected a large grist-mill in 1867 or '68, in the north- 
west corner of Section 19, Akron Township, which 
was operated later by Hitchcock & Voorhees, and by 
Daniel Hitchcock alone. It burned about 1884. John 
Bowman operated a saw-mill for several years in the 
triangular piece of ground east of the railroad, north 
of Block One. 

The first railroad assured Princeville Township 
was the Peoria & Rock Island, now called the Rock 
Island & Peoria. It was built between 1868 and 1870, 
the township giving it $50,000 in bonds. The Buda 
Branch of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, 
projected a little later, was, however, completed first, 
and it received no bonus from the township. The 


Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Kailroad crossed the 
township from east to west in 1887, making a junc- 
tion with the Rock Island & Peoria at Princeville, and 
with the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy at Monica. 

Monica was platted first under the name of Corn- 
well, in honor of Solomon S. Cornwell. The name was 
soon afterward changed to Monica. It is located on 
Section 21, on the divide between Spoon River and 
Kickapoo Creek, giving it a good drainage. The "Q" 
Road had been built two years before this station was 
given. One theory is that the company were angry 
because no bonds had been voted them, and they gave 
the township no depot until the competition of the 
Peoria & Rock Island forced them to it. The post- 
masters in succession have been W. W. Hurd, L. L. 
Campbell, P. R. Ford, Etta Lincoln, Jane Ford and 
Gr. R. Campbell, the present incumbent. The first 
general store was built and started by Andrew D. 
Rogers, on the southwest corner of Block 9. This 
building was burned in 1890, and the same corner 
burned again in 1896. The third building is the present 
large store of Mrs. Wilts. In 1897 one of the three 
grain elevators burned. But one strange thing in the 
history of Monica is that no dwelling detached from 
stores, has ever been burned. The boarding house at 
the oil factory was moved to IMonica and used as a 
hotel, and still stands, remodeled, on the northeast 
corner of Block 14, the residence of Lemuel Auten. 
The next hotel w^as P. R. Ford's, which burned in 
1884. The next was R. M. Todd's, built in 1888, now 
managed by G. A. Keith as ''The Empire.'* W. P. 
Hawver moved from "West Princeville w^hen Monica 
was only surveyed in the oats field, and has been a 
merchant there ever since. 


The Mt. Zion ]\Ietlioclist Episcopal Church building 
was moved from West Princeville in 1877, and en- 
larged and repaired at a cost of about $1,300. The 
church was a part of the Princeville M. E. charge 
prior to 1894. In September, 1894, it was organized 
and, with Laura (of Millbrook Township), became the 
Monica charge. Rev. Thos. J. Wood was the first pas- 
tor, followed in succession by Revs. P. S. Garretson, 
1895; O. M. Dunlevy, 1896; H. C. Birch, 1898; II. C. 
Gibson, 1900; James G. Blair, 1901. The Monica Blue 
Ribbon Club, in the '70 's, was a very large and enthusi- 
astic Temperance Society. Monica's population now 
is about 225, wath the following persons in business, be- 
sides those already mentioned: W. W. Day, grain 
and lumber; J. D. Rathbun and J. F. Kidder, general 
merchandise; Alice Wilts, general merchandise and 
hardware; Auten & Auten, bankers (Lemuel Auten in 
charge); William Saunders, restaurant; D. W. Gross 
and W. P. Jones, physicians; George Conover, black- 
smith; Walter Byrnes, barber; Wm. George, harness; 
R. M. Todd, livery; J. DufTy, agent Chicago, Burling- 
ton & Quincy Railroad ; James Curren, agent Santa Fe 
R. R. ; A. J. Hayes and Miss Jennie Burns, principal 
and assistant, Monica schools. 

** White's Grove," to the west and north of Monica 
(named from Hugh White), may be said to have set- 
tled rapidly after the coming of Esq. Joseph Arm- 
strong in 1856. The White's Grove Baptist Church 
was organized December 9, 1871, with fourteen mem- 
bers. The pastors have been in succession: A. D. 
Bump, 1872; J. M. Stickney, 1873; E. M. Armstrong, 
1876; J. M. Bruce, 1882; E. M. Armstrong, 1883-85; 
A. R. Morgan, 1886-90; T. Phillips, 1891; S. Gray, 
1894-98; E. Quick, 1901. Jackson Leaverton has been 


Superintendent of the Sunday-school. The church now 
numbers 22 members. 

The early Princeville community seems to have 
been more orderly and law-abiding than the average 
frontier town. The ''Atlas Map of Peoria County" 
says of Princeville Township: *'It is settled mostly 
by high-toned, moral and religious people, who came 
from the Eastern and Southern States. Of the nine- 
teen townships in Peoria County, its people rank first 
in education, religion and public spirit." It is not 
known now who may have been the author of this 
sketch, but his remarks were not far out of the way, 
even including Peoria Tow^nship among the nineteen. 

Taking the Civil War as a dividing line between 
early and present Princeville history, no question of 
greater import — even to Princeville 's welfare to-day — 
could be raised, than the personal character for godli- 
ness, integrity and learning of the quiet, determined 
teachers. They, from time to time, settled and taught, 
labored and made homes, and left their impress on the 
young in this now thriving town. Among these 
teachers there are still remembered the names of An- 
drews, Aldrich, Allen, Auten, Breese (the first Pres- 
byterian pastor), Burnham, Carlisle, Clussman, Cooper, 
Cunningham (pastor and teacher). Cutter, Cutler, 
Egbert, Foster, Farwell, Goodale, Hinman, Kimball, 
Means, INIunson, Noj^es, Page, Julia Rogers, Ann Rog- 
ers, Stanley, Stone, White, Wright, and others, no 
doubt as significant but not now recurring to memory. 
Private schools were conducted at different times by 
Mrs. Hannah Breese, first in a little building on lot 6 
or 7, Block 9 — conceded to be the first frame building 
in Princeville, and near the west end of the large Hitch- 
cock building — and later^ in her home, now the resi- 


dence propert}^ owned by 'Mrs. Willard Bemiett, on the 
Princeville-Akron township line about 80 rods north 
of Canton Street; bj^ i\Irs. Lydia Auten at her home; 
by Miss Julia Rogers in the little house occupied by 
Guy Bouton on North Street, north of lot 3, Block 1 ; 
by Mrs. Ann Kogers at tlie home of her brother-in-law, 
Peter Auten; by Miss Lizzie Farwell, at the home of 
Wm. C. Stevens; and perhaps by others. Mr. Wm. C. 
Stevens, already mentioned as the founder of Prince- 
ville Village, was a gentleman of education, culture 
and public spirit, and was prominent in all educa- 
tional and public matters. 

It was in the fall of 1856 that the demand for 
higher education encouraged I\Ir. ]\rilton S. Kimball 
to start a school in the Presbyterian church, which. 
later developed into the first Princeville Academy. A 
two-story frame building was erected on the south side 
of Main Street on lots 3 and 4, Block 14, just east of 
the present public school square. Pev. Jared M. Stone 
and Rev. William Cunningham were other successful 
principals. The academy flourished with a large at- 
tendance, drawn from wide territory. The war, how- 
ever, virtually killed the school. The building was 
sold and moved to Canton Street for store purposes, it 
being the building long occupied by E. C. Fuller, now 
by J. L. Searl's grocery, located on the west side of 
lot 7, Block 12. 

A number of the pupils of this old academy, with 
other citizens, some of whom had gone East to college, 
in later life desired a similar academy for their chil- 
dren. As a result, another Princeville Academy was 
started in 1887, being conducted until 1000 by chang- 
ing Boards of Management, who bore the responsibility 
and constant expense of the school. Sessions were held 


the first year in the old Seventh Day Adventist church ; 
the next two years in the new chaise! rooms of the Pres- 
byterian church, and from 1890 on, in the Second M. E. 
church building, purchased by Edward Auten for the 
purpose. A still greater number of young people from 
the later academy w^ere fitted for college study. The 
principals of the later academy were, in succession: 
James Stevens, 1887; C. F. Brusie, '88; B. M. South- 
gate, '90; Edwin B. Gushing, '91; H. W. Eckley, '93; 
T. H. Rhodes, '94; Ernest W. Gushing, '9G; Royal B. 
Gushing, '97 ; J. E. Armstrong, '99-1900. 

The Princeville public schools have grown and im- 
proved. A high school course is offered, including 
Latin and twelfth grade work, under the x^rincipalship 
of William M. Beale. The four large assembly rooms 
of the brick building are taxed by the ten upper grades, 
and the primary grades occupy Edward Auten 's acad- 
emy building, inider the able instruction of IMiss M. E. 
Edwards. IMiss Mina Edwards, Miss Etta Powell and 
Mr. Harry O'Brien are the teachers of the intermediate 
and grammar grades. The Board of Directors is as 
follows; H. J. Gheesman, President; E. D. Minkler, 
Secretary, and David Kinnah. 

The Presbyterian Ghurch, organized August 16, 
1834, as Prince's Grove church, was the first to have 
a house of worship. The log school house became too 
small for the meetings, and a frame structure was 
built in 1844 in the southeast corner of block 12. This 
was built at a great sacrifice on the part of Mr. Stevens, 
Thomas Morrow, Dr. Gutter, Erastus Poet and others. 
Thomas Morrow, Erastus Peet and William Glussman 
each hauled a load of lumber from Ghicago. It was a 
great day when the chinch building was ''raised." 
The entire community assembled, the men and boys 

-nil fv; 

A -1 


to aid in the raising, and the women and girls to pro- 
vide the refreshments. This house was used by the 
church society until September 6, 1866, when the main 
part of the present church was dedicated. The chapel 
rooms were added in 1888 and $1,000, bequeathed by 
Miss Mary C. Clussman, was expended for installing 
new seats, furnaces and other repairs in 1899. The 
ministers in succession Iiave been: Calvin W. Bab- 
bitt, 1835-38; George G. Sill, 1838; Ilobert F. Breese 
(first pastor) 1843-51; Robert Cameron, 1851-57; Geo. 
Cairns, 1857-58; Jared M. Stone, 1858-64; Wm. Cun- 
ningham, 1864-71; Arthur Rose, 1871-77; Samuel R. 
Belville, 1877-86; Charles M. Taylor, 1887-95; D. A. K. 
Preston, 1896-97; Charles T. Phillips, 1897—. The Sun- 
day-school Superintendent at present is C. J. Chees- 

Rt. Rev. Philander Chase, Episcopal Bishop of Illi- 
nois, preached occasionally in the stone school house. 
A Congregational organization existed for a short time 
with the Rev. B. F. Worrell as pastor, sometime in 
the '50 's. 

.The Christian Church society flourished in the 
*50's, with a building on Canton Street (lots 5 and 6, 
block 14, just east of the present public school square), 
the building later being removed and used as the old 
village hall. The membership of this church was large- 
ly merged, early in the '60 's, into the Seventh Day Ad- 
ventist Church, Vviiich was starting new. The latter 
society purchased the first M. E. church building in 
1866 and used it until about 1888. Since then the soci- 
ety has most of the time met at the home of Elder 
L. D. Santee. Familiar names in this church were the 
Blanchards, Blisses, Vaucils, Merritts and others. 

The Methodist Episcopal Church has had services 
in Princeville almost 'from the beginning of the settle- 


ment. The "circuit riders" preached first in Aunt 
Jane Morrow's fine log cabin (a palace among log 
houses), on the northwest quarter of Section 30, Akron 
Township ; then in the old log school house, and later in 
the stone school house. They came once a month and 
later twice a month, as their circuits were shortened. 
The first JM. E. church building was begun in 1853 and 
finished in 1854, on lots 1 and 2, block 16, the building 
later being sold to the Seventh Day Adventist Church, 
and now a barn on the south side of South Street, 
south of lot 5, block 24, The next church was built 
about 1867, on lots 7 and 8, block 24 (Edward Auten's 
Academy building), and was used until the erection 
of the present edifice, corner of South and Clark 
Streets, in 1889. The early preachers up to 1856, 
some of them circuit riders, were. Revs. Pitner, AYhit- 
man, Cummins, Hill, Beggs, Chandler, Luccock, Koyal 
(Sr.), Royal (Jr.), Stogdell, Jesse Craig, Gregg, Grun- 
dy, Gaddis, Reack, Morse, Appleby, Dodge, Giddings, 
Rhodes and Mills. The list from 1856 on, is as follows, 
the date after each man's name being that of his 
coming: Revs. J. S. Millsap, '56; E. Keller, '59; W. J. 
Beck, '60; G. W. Brown, '62; S. B. Smith, '64; S. 
Cavet, '66; G. W. Havermale, '68; M. Spurlock, '69; 
E. Wasmuth, '70; J, Collins, '73; W. B. Carithers, '74; 
W. D. H. Young, '77; S. Brink, '78; J. S. Millsap, '81; 
M. V. B. White, '82; H. M. Laney, '83; P. W. Merrell, 
*85; Alex Smith, '88; R. B. Seaman, '93; J. D. Smith, 
'96; J. E. Conner, '97; John Rogers, '99; R. L. Vivian, 

Catholicity came to Princeville wdth the early Irish 
and German settlers, At that time there was no 
Catholic church nearer than Kickapoo or Peoria, to 
which places they w^ere^ accustomed to drive. While 


the present Peoria Diocese was part of the Archdiocese 
of Chicago, the Catholic people of Princeville Township 
were ministered to by priests irom Peoria City. On Sep- 
tember 7, 1867, the Rev. J. Murphy was appointed 
first Eector of the Princeville Parish, and his succes- 
sors have been in turn. Father Albrecht, Rev. Chas. 
Wenserski, Rev. Father iMoore, Very Rev. J. Canon 
Moynihan, Rev. H. Schreiber (1881), Rev. P. A. Mc- 
Gair (1884), Rev. C. A. Hausser (1891), Rev. C. P. 
O'Neill (1901) to the present time. It was in Father 
Murphy's time that the old Presbyterian church was 
purchased and made into a Catholic house of worship. 
Father Albrecht built the present rectory, and, during 
Father McGair's time, was erected the present beauti- 
ful brick church for *'St. Mary's of the Woods." 

The first paper published in Princeville was the 
'^ Princeville Weekly Citizen," by G. T. Gillman, 
which started in the summer of 1868 and lasted six 
months. The next was the "Princeville Times," by 
C, A. Pratt, established in July, 1874, and run four 
months. The next was the ''Princeville Independent," 
the beginning of the present "Princeville Telephone." 
Editors in succession have been J. E. Kjiapp, Llarch 
10, 1877; J. G. Corbet, September 29, 1877; J. G. Cor- 
bet and H. E. Charles, October 13, 1877 ; J. G. Corbet 
and P. C. Hull, October 18, 1878; J. E. Charles and 
P.. C. ITiill (P. C. Hull, Editor), October 3, 1879; J. S. 
Barnum, B. J. Beardsley, Beardsley Bros. (B. J. and 
G. L.), and the present owners, Addison Dart, Harry D. 
Fast and Keith C. Andrews. The "Princeville Re- 
publican" was started February 2, 1898, by George I. 
McGinnis, and has continued a prosperous weekly 
under his direction to the present time. The "Prince- 
ville Academy Sol", ran as a school monthly ironi 1893 
to 1900. 


After the platting of original Princeville in 1837, 
additions were made and subdivisions surveyed ad- 
joining, as occasioii required. The original village 
is five blocks square, with the park in the center. 
W. C. Stevens' subdivision on tlie south and west was 
platted in 1864 (plat filed in 1869) ; lot 27 of this sub- 
division was re-subdivided into several smaller lots 
in 1877, and some of them, in turn, were included in 
1887 in McGinnis & Russell's addition. Lots 15 and 
16 of the first subdivision were platted in 1897 into 
Hoag & Ward's addition. On the east of the village, 
in Akron, Day & Hitchcock's addition was laid off in 
1869. This was at the time of building the Peoria & 
Rock Island Railroad, and the lots were disposed of at 
a great auction. People thought that Princeville, hav- 
ing a railroad, was destined to be a city, and paid 
prices far in advance of values thirty-three years 
later, in 1902. The promoters of the addition re- 
served some of the best lots that they might themselves 
*'get the benefit of the rise," but they missed it in not 
selling all out at first. W. C. Stevens's addition on the 
west (including the school house square) was platted 
in 1871, and part of it vacated in 1877. 

/'Timber Subdivisions" of two and one-half and 
five-acre lots, were made by Stephen French on the 
northwest quarter of Section 13 in 1854 and 1857; by 
heirs of Thomas Morrow on the southeast quarter of 
Section 12 in 1869; and by William Morrow on Sec- 
tion 19, Akron Township, in 1876. The lots in all of 
these subdivisions were disposed of at public auctions. 
Farmers found it more necessary then to have timber 
to use than they do now in the days of lumber yards 
and wire fences. 

The first burying ground in Prince's Grove was on 


Section 25, near its north line, and about sixty-four 
to seventy-one rods west of the northeast corner of 
the section, where a few sunken graves may still be 
distinguished. The number of people buried here is 
variously estimated at from ten to twenty-five. In 
the White's Grove district a burying ground was 
■located on the northwest quarter of Section 8, about 
fourteen rods from the north line (twelve rods from 
the road) and thirty-five rods west of the east line of 
said quarter section. Thirteen graves may now be 
distinguished. The present cemetery in the northwest 
part of the incorporated village was first used in 1844, 
the first burial being that of a daughter of George I. 
McGinnis, named Temperance, who died September 
14th of that year. For many years graves were placed 
at random, when, in 1864, the survey into lots, paths 
and driveways was mad.). The original cemetery has 
been enlarged by three or four successive additions. 
The Catholic cemetery on Section 7, Akron, was laid 
out in 1875. 

Early stone quarries were those of B. F. and J. Z. 
Slane, on the southeast quarter of Section 24; of Austin 
and T. P. Bouton, on Section 25, and the smaller one 
of Thomas Morrow on Section 12. The Slane brothers 
quarried both sandstone and limestone, burning the 
latter into lime. This was a grey lime, suitable for 
everything but a white finish. Limestone was also 
used in Princeville from the quarry of James Byrnes 
in White Oak, Jubilee Township. 

During the first few years of the settling of the 
township, coal was not known to be here, and when it 
was first dug up or seen lying on top of the ground, its 
utility was not known. Mr. Archibald Smith remem- 
bers very distinctly the first load hauled to the school 

,,T^ i-i;1f M; 

[\ V) 


house on Section 8 — he thinks in the year 1847 — hauled 
by Sam "White from the James Morrow farm on Section 
18. It was then called "stone-coal.*' Charles Plum- 
mer later operated a bank on the same farm and Wm. 
Hughes had a famous bank on Section 7. At some of 
the coal banks the settlers would go and dig for their 
own use as they pleased. In the later years coal has 
been mined in various parts of the township, shafts 
being the thickest north of Princeville Village. The 
banks now operating (1902) are those of Jackson 
Leaverton, on Section 18 ; of Graves Bros., on Section 
10; of W. C. Richer and of Eobert Taylor (on the 
Alford farm) on Section 11 ; and of Higbee & Cutler, 
on Section 24 — the last mentioned being within the 
corporate limits of Princeville, and employing the 
largest number of men. 

Brick yards were operated by Erastus Peet and 
George I. ]\IcGinnis in the early days on Sections 30 
and 7, respectively, both in Akron. James B>Tnes of 
Jubilee Township, James Rice and W. H. Gray fur- 
nished brick for some of the stores now standing. 
Gray's brick yard was in the northwest corner of the 
callage, northwest of the cemetery, where an excava- 
tion in the hillside may still be seen. It was brick 
made by Gray that went into the present school build- 
ing. E. Keeling started a brick yard in the south- 
east corner of Section 12 in 1887. He sold out in 
1892 to Edward Hill, who has ever since manufactured 
and sold a large quantity of brick. 

Princeville Village was incorporated first as "The 
Town of Princeville," under a special charter, April 
15, 1869, and again as "The Village of Princeville," 
under the general law, March 24, 1874. The incor- 
poration was started by.tlie temperance people to en- 


able the villnf?e to control its own liquor traffic, and as 
they hoped, to eradicate the saloons. The anti-license 
party carried the first election, but failed from 1870 
to 1878, when they again came into power, this time 
for a term of two years. The license party ruled 
from 1880 to 1883, the anti-license from 1883 to 1885, 
and then it was a constant struggle, with varying 
results, until 1895. Beginning with ]\Iay 1st of that 
year the anti-license party lias been in control con- 
tinuously to the present time. R. P. Ilsnry, F. B. 
Blanchard, J. B. Ferguson, Edward Auten, John F. 
Bliss and Milton Hammer, in the President's chair, 
and others, have been ''war horses" in the fight 
against saloons. In the later j^ears there have been 
different citizens' leagues, furnishing money and 
moral support for prosecutions. The temperance 
people, from the beginning of their efforts to prohibit 
the sale of liquors, up to the present time, have always 
found in Frank C. Hitchcock, entrenched in the castle 
which his father built and denominated ''Almost a 
new Jerusalem," a foeman worthy of their steel. Af- 
fable, gentlemanly, and self-contained, he has com- 
batted the advance of temperance reform both at the 
elections and as a salesman at his place of business. 
Often, when the temperance people felt sure of suc- 
cess as to an election, or as to the result of a prosecu- 
tion brought against him for selling, have they found 
his success complete. But notwithstanding his ability 
and prowess, he has a number of times met defeat. 
If he has sold in the last few years it has been with- 
out legal sanction and to a very limited patronage of 
men believed to have been long ago confirmed in their 
habits. It is believed that not manj^ drunkards are 
now being made from clean young men in the village. 


For a time some of the highly respected business men 
not only voted against the anti-license party, but ran 
on the other ticket, and served as license councilmen. 
Later many changed, and even of the few highly re- 
spected ones still voting for license, very rarely is 
one found to allow his name on that ticket. 

The anti-license administrations since 1894 and 
1895 have carried on the policy of making permanent 
improvements in the shape of brick sidewalks and 
graveled roads. The community has felt satisfied 
with this method of government, and has given the 
anti-license party a steadily increasing majority, until 
in 1901 there was not even any license ticket nomi- 
nated. The present village officers (May, 1902), are 
P. H. Cutler, President; S. A. Andrews, F. M. Beal, 
Geo. Corbet, A. C. I\roffit, Peter Auten, Jr., and Wil- 
liam Berry, Trustees; F. W. Cutler, Clerk; R. J. Ben- 
jamin, Magistrate; and the following appointive of- 
iicers: J. H. Kussell, Treasurer; James Walkington, 
Marshal; James Cornish, Street Commissioner. The 
first towm hall was the old Christian church, previ- 
ously mentioned in this article, purchased by the vil- 
lage in 1873. The present brick hall, consisting of 
'Council room, fire engine, calaboose and upper hall, 
was erected in 1891, at a cost of about $5,000. The 
$4,400 of bonds issued for this hall are now paid off, 
-and the village has an outstanding bonded indebted- 
ness at the present time of $3,300, incurred for part of 
"the cost of brick sidewalks. The old plank walks 
-are being replaced as they wear out by brick, until 
now there are about 50 blocks of brick walk and an 
■equal amount of plank walk, kept in a fair state of 
repair. An effort has been made each year to gravel 
some of the roads leading out of town. In 1901 the 



last of them were completed, in that year about $600 
being appropriated by the Villaj:,'e Council, and an 
equal amount being donated by the business men and 
the farmers who were benefited. A local telephone 
exchange was installed in 1901 by W. M. Keck. It 
is likely that the building of permanent sidewalks will 
cc])tinue and that electric lights and waterworks will 
only be questions of time. 

Just as this article is prepared for the press it is 
announced that temperance parties have procured a 
8ix years' lease of the Hitchcock ** castle" and made 
other arrangements which, it is believed, will end a 
part of the liquor selling in town. Another item of 
latest news is that parties are now asking for an elec- 
tric light franchise and contract from the village 

The village has issued two editions of revised ordi- 
nances, one in the winter of 1877-78, when J. B. Fer- 
guson was President, J. G. Corbet, E. C. Fuller, J. F. 
Carman and V. Weber, Trustees, and H. E. Burgess, 
Clerk; the other, in 1899-1900, when Milton Hammer 
was President, N. E. Adams, C. J. Cheesman, Peter 
Auten, Jr., A, C. Sutherland, Thos. Blakewell and 
W. S. "Weaver, Trustees, and F. D. Goodman and P. W. 
Cutler, Clerks (Goodman resigning and Cutler suc- 
ceeding). The first fire company was organized in 
tlie winter of 1875-76, and continued until 1899. 
Its first members were John G. Corbet, C. F. 
Beach, A. D. Edwards, Robert PfeifTer, William 
Russell, J. B. Ferguson, Charles Blanchard, C. N. 
Pratt, H. E. Burgess, William McDowell, H. A. Simp- 
son, n. E. Charles. It had in its charge, first, a chem- 
ical extinguisher; and later, a chemical and hand rail 
force pump, which is still in use by the new fire com- 


paiiy organized in 1900, The large fires that are re- 
membered now are: The Rowley & Hitchcock hotel, 
about 1854, located on tlie site of the Krebsbach prop- 
erty, lot 8, block 2, recently purchased by Mrs. R. E. 
Dickinson ; of the Alter store bnilding, probably in 
the fall of 1874, on the pi-esent site of J. B. Ferguson's 
store, and that of June, 1875, which burned Thomas 
Allwood's store buildings, Hammer & May's double 
building and V. Weber's shoe store on, and south of 
the present site of German & Friedman's large store; 
the burning of Daniel Hitchcock's steam mill in 1884; 
of A. C. Sutherland's grain elevator in 1893; and of 
the Rock Island & Peoria depot on March 11, 1902. 

The first store in Princeville was kept by Elisha 
Morrow on block 9, probably lot 8, in a little red 
frame building. This was the first frame in the vil- 
lage, and was covered with siding cut from native 
logs with a cross-cut saw. William C. Stevens and 
his brother Amos, were in a hurry to have the store 
started, and spent three weeks making the siding. 
Elisha Morrow w^as no relation to the other well 
known ]\Iorrows, but was a brother of Amos Stevens's 
wife. The next store-keeper "was William Coburn, in 
a small building on lot 7, block 2. He sold out his 
goods to one Ellsworth, wiio in turn sold to W. C. 
Stevens. Mr. Stevens — to ''hold the village together," 
as he said — kept store in the front room of his resi- 
dence. He would take orders for handkerchiefs and 
various articles, and then drive to Peoria, getting the 
goods that were ordered and only a few others. Other 
very early merchants in the Coburn store building 
were Greenleaf Woodbury, Myron Prince, Rowley & 
Hitchcock, and J. W. Cue. Mr. Que died May 21, 
1852, from Asiatic cholera, the only death ever known 


to have occurred from that disease in this neighbor- 
hood. His wife, Jerusha T. Gue, continued his busi- 
ness in the east one of the store rooms on lot 1, block 
18, now occupied by Blanchard & Sons. 

About 1851 a man by the name of Gray commenced 
a grocery and notion trade, but soon abandoned it. 
In the summer of the same year Eldridge & Parker 
built an up-and-down board store building on lot 1, 
block 17, where the Park Hotel now stands. Among 
the business men during the decades of 1850, 1860 and 
1870, were Thomas Allwood, John T. Lindsay, A. G. 
Henry, D. W. Ilerron and George W. Emery, drugs; 
Iliel Bronson and John 11. Russell, groceries; Bolirer 
& Ferguson and Charles and Joseph German, hard- 
ware; Hammer & May, furniture; Isaac Bohrer, grow- 
er of Osage Orange hedge plants; John Alter, A. G. 
Persons, G. W. Hitchcock, Day & Hitchcock, A. D. 
Sloan, Cecil Moss, Wm. Simpson and Solomon God- 
frey, general stores; William DeBolt, shoemaker; 
Henry Clussman, Weber & Bachtold, shoes; John E. 
Hensler and J. L. Blanchard, lumber. 

The hotel business started in Princeville witli Seth 
Pulton's tavern, a log building on block 9, probably 
lot 3, built in the '30 's. He kept the first tavern in 
Peoria, and came from there to Princeville. His 
Princeville tavern, ''The Traveler's Home," was a 
*' two-roomed log house — one of the rooms above the 
other," with a lean-to, also of Jogs. William Coburn, 
in 1840, built a part of the "Rowley & Hitchcock" 
hotel on block 2, and called it the "Rising Sun."" 
Myron Prince, Thomas Myers, G. Woodbury, Cyrus 
Beach, a man na)ned Blue, John ]\Ioore, Rowley & 
Hitchcock and Ashford Nixon all kept tavern here — 
Rowley & Hitchcock erecting a large addition, with 


hall above, the building having burned when occu- 
pied by Ashford Nixon. A few years later Sanford 
M. Whittington erected the present building, a much 
smaller one, on the same site, for hotel purposes but, 
so far as learned, it has never been used for a hotel. 
The site of tlie present Arlington House, lot 5, block 
11, has been used for hotel purposes ever since 1848. 
Captain John Williams kept tavern in the E. Russell 
house from that year to 1855. In the latter year Wil- 
liam Owens bought the entire south half of the block 
and replaced the dwelling by a larger hotel building. 
After conducting the hotel for eight years he sold to 
John Baldwin in 1863. James Kice became landlord 
in 1865, and continued until 1889, except such times 
as he leased to John G. Corbet, Thomas Painter, Lucius 
Wilkington and James Rice, Jr. Mr. Rice sold out in 
1889 to Mr. and Mrs. A. C. AVashburn. On the corner 
to the south, the present site of Conklin's store, was 
a hotel run at different times by Solomon Bliss and G. 
W. McMillen. R. P. Cooper built, for a hotel, the 
house now owned by Mrs. Elizabeth Bigg, which was 
then on lot 3, block 17, the site of David Kinnah's 
present residence. W. G. Selby, about 1869, built the 
two-story part to the building on lot 1, setting the 
Eldridge & Parker store to the south of its old loca- 
tion for an *'L." He first conducted an implement 
store and later, with Mrs. Selby, operated the Eureka 
Hotel. After Mr. Selby 's death, ]\Irs. Selby conducted 
the business, recently as the ''Park House," until the 
spring of 1902, when she leased the building for the 
same purpose to ]\liss Katie Schneider. 

One industry that flourished in Princeville before 
the days of steam factories and cheap machinery else- 
where was wagon-making. AVhen Daniel Prince came 


back from Missouri in 1842, to collect some old debts, 
he took home Avith him a wagon made by John Lewis 
and ironed by Ebenezer Russell. Later wagon-makers 
and wood-workers were Beach & Benton (possibly 
before Lewis), McMillen & Persons, J. T. & J. H. Rus- 
sell, Williamson Vancil, Wayne Dixon, Joseph German 
and Aaron Moffit. The Russells and J. L. Blanchard 
(part of the time in partnership), occupied a large 
tliree-story factory built by jMcMillen & Persons, on 
the site of the present village hall, with blacksmith 
or iron shop to the east, and large warehouse to the 
north. Later, J. A. & 0. S. Pratt conducted the black- 
smithing part, and Moffit & Dixon made the wood- 
work of wagons. 

Blacksmiths, worthy of mention as old settlers, 
are Ebenezer Russell, Wm. Owens, Allen & Griffin, 
Davis Bristol and Nathaniel Mitchell. Ebenezer Rus- 
sell was the first blacksmith and secured a free lot 
from Mr. Stevens as the ''first artisan" of his trade 
to come to the town. William Owens spent his life 
in this village from 1844 to 1902, in his prime playing 
an important part in the material advancement of the 
village, and, in his venerable age, wielding the sledge 
vigorously and industriously — always highly re- 
spected. Nathaniel Mitchell was a fine workman of 
iron and steel, and had a passion for gunsmithing — so 
much so that he "would make horse-shoeing wait any 
time to repair a gun." Other early mechanics were 

Jonathan Nixon, cabinet and coffin maker, 

Armstrong, Jehiel Bouton and John Dale, carpenters, 
John Taylor, mason, and James McDowell, pji inter. 

Princeville's first doctors were Mott, iMorrow and 
Waters. The first two would hardly be called prac- 
ticing physicians, but would go and attend a neighbor. 

princeviIvLe; township 35 

Waters was a ' 'water and herb doctor — chiefly 

water." Dr. Moss was the first regular phj^si- 

cian, and Dr. Charles Cutter the next. Dr. Cutter's 
son writes: ''His practice sometimes extended from 
Lawn Ridge, in one direction, to French Grove in the 
other; and his meager remuneration, when there was 
pay at all, sometimes taking the bulky form of corn 
in the ear, and even of labor in his own fields, as 
return for successfully ushering into the world infant 
Princevillians, and for other professional services." 
The next to come, in order, were Israel G. Harlan, 
Robert F. Henry, L. M. Andrews, George W. Emery, 
Watkins Warren, T. E. Alyea, M. S. Marcy, C. H. 
Wilcox and W. J. Price. 

The Postmasters from the earliest time to the pres- 
ent have been as follows, very nearly in the order 
given, and perhaps w4th some omitted; Stephen 
French, William Coburn, W. C. Stevens (at various 
times), George W. Hitchcock, L. B. Dslj, John W. 
Auten, Mrs. Mattie Snediker, M. M. Blanchard, L. A. 
Blanchard, J. M. Sabin, H. E. Burgess, A. D. Edwards, 
J. S. Barnum, A. Cowan, Frank Boutou, Marie Henry, 
H. J. Cheesman. 

Peter Auten and George W. Alter established a 
bank in 1872, under the firm name of Auten & Alter. 
Mr. Alter dying the same year, Edward Auten became 
a partner, and the firm has remained Auten & Auten, 
with no change of partners to the present time. Peter 
Auten was aged ninety years and seven months on the 
first day of May, 1902, and is yet clear in mind, though 
feeble in body. He is the oldest resident of the village, 
and it is believed of the township. 

The People's Bank was conducted by R. C. Henry 
and W. B. Kaiser from 1892 to 1893 or '94. 

; aeba..o 


The grain and live stock bnsinesses are those which 
have been an index to the material prosperity of the 
farmers of Princeville and Akron Townships, and 
consequently of the business men of Princeville. As 
is the case with many prairie towns, Princeville 's 
commercial life depends on the farmers' corn, oats, 
hogs and cattle, and Princeville is in the midst of 
splendid territory. Shipments from Princeville in 
the year 1901 were 34-1 cars of grain and 107 cars of 
live stock, and the Village of ^Monica, four miles dis- 
tant, near the center of the township, probably about 
the same amount of produce. This, too, is with other 
shipping towns as close as Wady Petra and Stark, 4 
and 5 miles respectively, Duncan 5V2 miles, Edel- 
stein 7 miles, and Dunlap 8 miles. The poultry 
and egg business in Princeville in one year amounts to 
$15,000 to $20,000. Besides the farmers' produce, 
which many towns rely on for their prosperity, Prince- 
ville has a set of enterprising merchants. The general 
stores agreed in 1896, perhaps forced to do so by the 
stringent times, to sell for cash only. The resulting 
low prices, combined with the healthy rivalry and 
hearty spirit of co-operation, have built up a trade for 
Princeville that draws from the former territorj' of 
Toulon, Wyoming, Elmwood, Peoria and Chillicothe. 

The brief article on Princeville Township in His-, 
tory of Peoria County (Johnson & Co., 1880) gives a 
partial list of Princeville business men in 1880 as fol- 
lows: F. B, Blanchard, Wm. Simpson and Otto Dav- 
ison, dry goods; J. H. Russell, Garrison & Fuller and 
Emmet lUingworth, groceries; Peter Auten and son 
in banking; Solomon Bliss and D. W. Herron in drugs; 
C. W. Russell in hardware; Valentin "Weber in boots 
and shoes; James B. Ferguson in jewelry; J. G. Cor- 


bet, hotel and livery; Mrs. W. G. Selby, hotel; John 
D. Hammer, meat market; James Campbell and Ham- 
mer & May, cabinet shops; John Ayling, bakery and 
restaurant; Hitchcock & Voorhees, millers; 0. F. Her- 
rick and Geo. Reinhart, harness; B. P. Duffy, attorney; 
Misses Bouton & Bohrer and Misses Edwards & God- 
frey millinery; H. E. Burgess, postmaster. 

The business men of 1902 are as follows: M. V. 
Conklin, Blanchard & Sons, Cheesman Bros., and J. L. 
Searl, general merchandise; Mrs. Julia F. Middle- 
brook — ''The Golden Ivule Store" — dry goods, shoes 
and notions; G. B. Robinson, clothing; Richard Cox, 
and Best & Wakefield, grain and lumber; xVuten & 
Auten, bankers; F. B. Blanchard, creamery; D. Kin- 
nah, meat market and live stock; A. C. Sutherland 
estate, meat market ; German & Friedman and Minkler 
& Harrison, hardware and implements; F. E. Prouty 
and M. Hannuer, furniture and undertaking (Prouty, 
pianos also); J. B. Ferguson, jewelry and bicycles; 
"Will H. Lamb, jeweler and optician; J. C. Whelpley, 
harness; N. E. Adams, harness and bicycles; Dr. T. E| 
Alyea, and Dr. H. C. Young (Miss Jessie Porter in 
charge), registered pharmacists and book stores; Val- 
entin Weber, shoes; Mrs. Lydia A. Washburn, Arling- 
ton House; Miss Katie Schneider, Park House; Rich- 
ard Heberling, and Joseph 0. Husbands, restaurants; 
0. S. Kopp, bakery; Frank Hietter, livery; Dr. W. S. 
Hicks, dentist; Drs. R. F. Henry, C. H. AA^ilcox, T. E. 
Alyea and W. J. Price, practicing physicians; Dr. 0. 
M. Goodale, veterinarian; Wm. Harrington, carpet 
factory; Goodman & Harrington, A. M. Marlatt and 
H. C. Miller, barbers; Higbee & Cutler, coal shaft; W. 
S. Weaver, wholesale poultry; Aaron C. Moffit, wagon 
shop; J. A. Pratt and 0.- S. Pratt, C. M. Gillen, R. J. 


Nichols, and Thos. IMcDowell, blacksmiths; Mrs. M. 
Scott and Mrs. N. Gill, milliners ; M. L. Sniff, insurance 
and real estate; Milton Wilson, insurance and Notary 
Public; J. n. Ho])lvins, attorney; F. W. Cutler, insur- 
ance and Justice of the Peace; H. S. Yates, life insur- 
ance; A. A. Dart, IT. D. Fast and K. C. Andrews, pub- 
lishers of ''Telephone;" George I. McGinnis, publisher 
"Republican;" John "W. Miller, transfer and dray; W. 
M. Keek, local telephone exchange; W. W. Wright, 
mason and contractor; J. Y. Mendenhall, F. H. Cutler 
and W. II. Simmons, carpenter contractors; R. J. Ben- 
jamin, carpenter shop ; W. M. Keck, leader and mana- 
ger of Band and Orchestra; A. L. Parker, agent A. T. 
& S. F. Ry. Co. ; J. W. ]\IcEwen, agent R. I. & P. Ry. 
Co. ; H. J. Cheesman, Postmaster. 

Fraternal lodges in the village, with their officers, 
are as follows : 

Grand Army of the Republic: J. F. French Post, 
No. 153; A. C. Moffit, Commander; E. Keller, S. V. C; 
John Wilson, J. Y. C; S. A. Andrews, Q. M. ; J. A. 
Pratt, Adjt.; 0. S. Pratt, 0. D.; J. M. Yates, Chaplain; 
James Bane, 0. G. ; Wm. Wisenburg, Surgeon; John 
Geitner, Q. M. S.; Hugh Roney, S. M.; M. H. Buck, 
Delegate ; Frank Rotterman, Alternate. 

Thief Detective and Mutual Aid Association: S. 
S. Slane, Capt.; John W. Miller, 1st Lieut.; A. B. 
Debord, 2d Lieut.; Chas. Taylor, 3d Lieut.; M. V. 
Conkliu, 4th Lieut.; T. E. Alyea, Sec; Joseph Fried- 
man, Banker. 

Princeville Fire Company: F. H. Cutler, Foreman ; 
R. Cox, 1st Ass't-Foreman; C. N. Pratt, 2d Ass't-Fore- 
man; Geo. Coburn, Sec; Hanford Harrison, Treas. 

INIodern Woodmen of America, Princeville Camp, 
No. 1304: F. IL Cntler, V. C; A. J. Best, W. A.; J. 


L. Searl, E. B.; C. F. Harrington, Clerk; F. L. Bobier, 
Escort; F. E. Cobnrn, Watchman; Gale Nixon, Sentry. 

A. F. & A. M., Princeville Lodge No. 360: J. C. 
Whelpley, W. M.; J. V. Christian, S. W.; S. T. Henry, 
J. W. ; D. Kinnah, Treas. ; J. F. Carman, Sec. ; F. J. 
Wilson, S. D. ; W. J. Price, J. D. ; W. S. Weaver, S. S. ; 
M. L. Sniff, J. S.; Bnrt Brown, Tyler. 

Order of the Eastern Star, Union Grove Chapter, 
No. 229: Mrs. Mary Cheesman, W. M.; Burtwell 
Brown, W. P.; Mrs. Dora Carman, A. M. ; Mrs. Anna 
Minkler, Conductress; Mrs. Hattie Blanchard, A. C. ; 
Mrs. Lena Blanchard, Sec. ; ]\lrs. Lena Harrison, Treas. ; 
Mrs. Cliloe Cox, Adah; Miss Jessie Porter, Rnth; ]\Irs. 
Clara Kinnah, Esther; Mrs. Lizzie Christian, Martha; 
Mrs. Nellie Searl, Electa; Mrs. Sarah B. Andrews, 
Chaplain; Mrs. Mamie Morrow, Organist; Miss Nettie 
Stisser, Asst. Organist. 

I. O. 0. F., Diligence Lodge, No. 129 : P. S. Dusten, 
N. G.; F. D. Goodman, V. G.; F. H. Cutler, Sec; N. E. 
Adams, Treas.; A. H. Sloan, John Kinnah, M. Ham- 
mer, 0. S. Pratt, T. E. Andrus, Trustees. 

Daughters of Rebekah, Princeville Lodge, No. 351 : 
Elsie Gillen, N. G.; Fannie Cutler, V. G. ; Sarah E. 
Parker, Sec. ; Alice Eyre, Treas. ; Hattie Debord, Pin. 
Sec. ; N. E. Adams, Deputy ; May Dusten, Warden ; 
Sadie Smith, Conductor; Nettie Rowe, R. S. N. G. ; 
Edith Fast, L. S. N. G.; Ella McDougal, I. G.; John 
Kinnah, 0. G. 

Fraternal Army of America, Princeville Post, No. 
96: Geo. Coburn, Capt. ; Mrs. L. A. Washburn, Chap- 
lain ; Katie Pratt, Lieut. ; W. J. Price, Post Surgeon ; 
Wm. Wright, Corporal; Wm. Wright, Otis Goodale, 

Princeville Village we have given thus fully be- 


cause it is the center of township life. The township 
has grown in popnhilion from 1,335 in 1870, 1,682 in 
1880, and 1,663 in 1890, to 1,717 in 1900. The total 
voting population is nearly 500, and, the required num- 
ber of 450 having been passed prior to 1896, in that 
year the township was divided into two precincts. No. 
1 embracing a strip two miles in width off the east 
side of the township, with polling place at Princeville, 
No. 2 the west four miles of the tov;nship, ^vith polling 
place at Monica. Princeville was raised to be a third 
class postoffice in 1900, and from it tAvo rural free 
delivery routes are covered daily, with prospect of 
more routes in the future. 

There are several miles of graveled road, with 
more gravel being placed each year, largely by dona- 
tion of hauling, and partly by county and township 
appropriations. A few steel bridges have been put 
in each j^ear, as the timber ones have worn out, until 
now a large proportion of the bridges are permanent 
ones. In the earlier day the population is said to 
have been nearly all Democratic. The Republican 
party started in 1856, when Fremont was candidate 
for President, but the Democrats were overpoweringly 
strong then. The recollection now is that the Republi- 
cans carried the township by 15 majority in 1860, 
again in 1864 and at one of the U. S. Grant elections. 
They also carried it by three majority wiien IMcKinley 
was elected for his first term. The Republicans might 
carry the township now if they would all vote to- 
gether, but they are split up, and the result is that 
the Democrats hold their old time supremacy. The 
political complexion of the officials, however, has 
made very little difference with the conduct of town 
affairs. There have heen no disturbing elements in 

princeville; township 41 

local elections, and the officials, as well as the remaind- 
er of the citizens, have bent their energies to looking 
after the material interests of the township. 

The township officers after the spring election of 
1902 are as follows: M. V. Conklin, Supervisor; J. 
A. Pratt, Clerk; Henry Debord, Assessor; J. Y. :\Ien- 
deuhall, Collector; Archibald >Smith, Frank Harrison 
and Ezra B. Calhoun, Road Commissioners; George 
Coon and James Waikington, Constables; F. W. Cut- 
ler, Justice of the Peace; Sherman T. Henry, R. M. 
Todd, and A. B. Debord, School Trustees; Edward 
Auten, School Treasurer. 

The township is busy at its farms, its trades, and 
its shops. It is attending to business, although not 
following the pace for gold. It cares not for the tur- 
moil, knows nothing of the poverty and thinks little 
of the sorrow of the city. Here the open-hearted, 
frank American citizen, the bulwark of our nation, is 
at home. He may be clad in modest clothes, but he 
is educated, and has a mind of his own. He appreciates 
the gentleman in his visitors, and, to such, his hos- 
pitality is open ; to affectation and insincerity he says, 
**You are in the wrong place." 

With her religion and education, her industry and 
honesty, her energy and judgment, and her thrift, 
coupled with her fertile soil, her blue sky, her springs 
and streams, her gentle rains and protecting forests, 
with all the beauties of trees and flowers, the singing 
birds and contented beasts, Princeville is a fair speci- 
men, six miles square, of ''The great, the free, the 
open, rolling West." 


By Henry C. Houston 

Geographically, Akron Township occupies the mid- 
dle ground in the north tier of townships in Peoria 
County. Its surface ranges from high rolling land to 
the level, flat, corn-producing soil. Originally it was 
covered with prairie grass, excepting a narrow strip 
of timber along the western border. Two small 
streams, one in the eastern, the other in the western 
part of the township, constitute the principal water- 

At present no town, village or city stands wholly 
within Akron. On the west side of the township the 
corporate limits of Princeville include a strip one- 
fourth mile wide, and one mile long. Within this ter- 
ritory are found two grain elevators, two lumber 
yards, the Rock Island & Peoria Railway Company 
stock-yards, and a number of good residences. The 
public highway on our east line serves as the principal 
street through the village of West Hallock. On the 
Akron side stand the church (Seventh Day Baptist), 
parsonage, village store kept by E. Wheeler, and Post 
Oflice, the cheese factory and a number of residences. 
The original settlers of West Hallock were largely 
from the state of New York and were remarkable for 
their industry, intelligence, sobriety and thrift. Their 
descendants are maintaining the reputation of the 
fathers. The new station named *' Akron," on the 
Chicago & Northwestern Railroad, will be wholly 
within the township, unless its growth greatly ex- 
ceeds the expectations of its founders. 



Historical and Political 

The first permanent settlement made was on Sec- 
tion 7, in the year 1831, by Ilngh IMontgomery. Dur- 
ing the same year Daniel Prince and James Morrow 
settled on Section 31, and Thomas Morrow built a 
cabin on Section 18. For some years follo^ving, the 
growth in population 'was not rapid. The new homes 
were confined to the w^estern part of the township, 
near the belt of timber. Grandually the pioneers 
ventured on to the open prairie and opened up farms, 
where clearing off forests was not the first step in 
farming. Others seeing the advantage of fields with- 
out stumps, and that the prairie farmer survived the 
winters, there was a more rapid advance in settlement, 
but it was not until well tow^ard 1860 that all the land 
was occupied and improved. In fact the census of 
1860 gave a larger population than has ever been 
reported since. The war of 1861-65 called many of 
our young men from their homes, and when 
their term of service closed they went west 
to make homes for themselves. The activity in 
railroad extension westward at the close of the 
war opened up thousands of acres of rich farming 
lands, and many of our farmers who had settled on 
forty or eighty-acre farms, saw a splendid chance for 
selling their small farms to their prosperous neigh- 
bors, and going on to cheaper land west of the Missis- 
sippi. This disposition to sell the small farm at a high 
price and move on to western land that could be 
bought at much less per acre, is responsible for the 
gradual decrease in our population from that time to 
the present. 


During the earlier years of our history, but little 
interest was taken, or activity manifested, in political 
matters. Up to the time of the adoption of Township 
Organization, the doings of this people were a part of 
the county records and are not available for this 
article. The first town meeting under Township Or- 
ganization w^as held at the house of Ebenezer Russell 
on April 2, 1850. Simon P. Chase served as the first 
I^Ioderator, and Richard Kidd as Clerk. At this elec- 
tion 16 votes were cast, and all but three of the voters 
were elected to fill some township office. Benjamin 
Slane was elected Supervisor, and to him belongs the 
honor of being Akron's first representative on the 
Board of Supervisors. The following year there were 
two tickets in the field, both having the name of Ben- 
jamin Slane for Supervisor, the remainder of the 
tickets being political. In the town meeting of April, 
1854, a move was made for building a town house of 
the following dimensions: ''26x18, 11 ft. high, said 
building to be located near the center of the town- 
ship." The same year the house was built, and, until 
1866, served the double purpose of school house for 
District No. 5, and for town meetings. In 1865 the 
voters of the town, feeling the need of a larger house, 
voted to join with District No. 5 in the erection of a 
two-story building, the lower part to be used for 
school purposes, and the hall above for public gather- 
ings. This arrangement continued until June, 1900, 
when the town bought the interest of School District 
No. 5, and moved the building on to another part of 
the lot. 

In politics, Akron has been nearly evenly divided 
between the two parties, the tenant population ever 
holding the balance of .power. The annual changes in 


this class of inliabitaiits account for the victory and 
defeat of first one and then the other party, as shown 
by the election returns. Akron is one of the townships 
where political forecasts are uncertain. Durin^,^ these 
forty-five years of political history, the general elec- 
tions have always been quiet affairs, but many of the 
town meetings have been veritable political battle- 
grounds. In the early part of the year 1868, unusual 
interest was taken in elections, when, between Jan- 
uary 25 and April 5, seven elections were held to vote 
upon many different propositions to aid in building 
certain proposed lines of railroad. The first six met 
with a negative vote, but, on the latter date, the result 
stood: For subscription, ]24 votes; Against, 122 votes. 
As soon as the vote was announced a company of the 
property holders organized to contest the election. 
This action threw the case into the courts, and, from 
the latter part of 1868 to February, 1873, this case, in 
some form, was to be found in the Circuit or Supreme 
Court. During this time the ** Akron Railroad Case" 
M'as entered on the docket of the Circuit Courts of 
Peoria, McLean, "Woodford and Schuyler Counties, 
and in the Supreme Court at Ottawa. After more than 
four years of waiting, the Supreme Court handed 
down a decision that the election was illegal, and that 
the Supervisor could not be compelled to issue the 
$30,000 in bonds voted at that election. In the prog- 
ress of this trial many distinguished men appeared as 
counsel. Among these were Judge John Burns and 
George C. Barnes, of Lacon, Judge Ilezekiah M. Wead, 
Henry B. Hopkins and Robert G. lugersoU, of Peoria^ 
and Hon Adlai E. Stevenson, of Bloomington. While 
this case was pending, political lines were Avholly dis- 
regarded. The issue wa§ "Bond" and ''Anti-Bond," 


— ^^tlic latter being ahvays victorious by large and in- 
creasing majorities at each town meeting. In a short 
lime after this decision was rendered, peace was re- 
stored, and party ticl^ets and practices were resnraed. 
The present officials of the township (1902-03) ai-c 
as follows: H. C. Stewart, Supervisor; Charles A. 
.Tiramons, Town Clerk; Alex. Gra}', Assessor; James 
P. Byrnes, Collector; "William PuUen, Frank Kraus 
and George W. Gruner, Road Commissioners; George 
Rowcliff and Charles A. Timmons, Justices of the 
Peace; Peter Currey, Constable; George Rowcliff, M. 
D. Potter and G. L. Runner, School Trustees; Henry 
C. Houston, School Treasurer. 

Educational and Religious 

At an early period in our township history the 
sturdy pioneers set about to provide such educational 
facilities as their means and situation would permit. 
The first building for this purpose was built a short 
distance southeast of the Rock Island & Peoria depot 
at Princeville. This was used on Sunday as a place of 
worship, and the remainder of the week as a school 
room, A few years later this building was burned, 
and the next school house to be built was near where 
the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Raihvay crosses the 
public road, one mile east of the west line of the town- 

Soon after, the township was divided into three 
school districts. District No. 1 commenced on the 
west side, two miles from the north line, thence east in 
a zig-zag line to the southeast corner of the township. 
The school house referred, to above was in this dis- 

ijf l'('ir 


trict. District No. 2 and District No. 3 were six miles 
long and from one to three miles wide. In some of 
these districts school was lvei)t, for a few montlis of 
each year, in some farmer's home. As soon as the 
township was fairly settled, it was redistricted into 
nine districts, each two miles square, in which condi- 
tion they remain at x:)resent, excepting where a small 
amount of territory adjacent to some village has been 
taken to form a Union District. We now have nine 
frame school houses, in good condition, with seating 
accommodations for at least thirty scholars each. 
Two of these buildings have been erected within the 
past three years. The bonded indebtedness of these 
districts amounts to $1,020. AVages of teachers in- 
creased steadily from $10 to $12 a month, with board 
among the. patrons in early days, to $65 per month in 
1876. Since then the wages have declined to the pres- 
ent time, when the highest montlilj^ wages reported 
are $45. The largest enrollment and attendance was 
between 1870 and 1880, when there w^ere 345 pupils 
enrolled out of 409 persons of school age, or 87 per 
cent of the total. In the report of 1901, 344 pupils are 
returned between the ages of six and twenty-one, and 
a total enrollment of 216, or 60 per cent. This falling 
off is largely due to the superior advantages offered 
by schools in the city or large towns. 

Only two church buildings stand upon Akron soil. 
One, the property of the Seventh Day Baptists, is 
located on the east line of Section 24. The other is 
owned by the Apostolic Christian Church (commonly 
known as **Amish") and is situated on the southwest 
corner of Section 3. The Seventh Day Baptist Society 
was organized September 3, 1852, through the efforts 
of the late Anthony Hakes and a few others of like 

i] •>.■ i 


faith and zeal. In 1870, under the leadership of Rev. 
Wardner, the Society, having become strong in mem- 
bership and means, decided to build a suitable house 
of worship. The move met with universal favoi-, and 
ere tlie close of the year they had completed and paid 
for their present church building, which cost between 
$5,000 and $G,000. Kev. E. B. Tolbert is at present 
serving this church as pastor. This society has a 
Christian Endeavor Society and a Sabbath School in 
connection with its church work. 

The Amish church was organized about 1870, and, 
for a number of years, their services were held at the 
homes of the members in geographical rotation. In 
1880 they erected the building now used as their place 
of worship. This house is provided with vestibule, 
audience room and a large and commodious kitchen 
fully equipped with range, dishes, tables and chairs 
Two services are held each Sabbath and between these 
a simple meal is served in the kitchen. One th'm^ 
worthy of mention and imitation is the splendid pro- 
vision made for the comfort of teams driven to church. 
They have more expensive and a greater number of 
horse-sheds than are to be found around any other 
public building in the county. Christian Streitmatter 
served as pastor from the organization to 1895. Since 
then the pulpit has been filled by Ludwig Ilerbold and 
Frank "Wortz, the latter filling that office at present. 

The scarcity of church buildings in the township 
is not a true index of the religious character of our 
people. ]\rany of our citizens are regular attendants 
and suj^porters of churches near the border line in 
adjoining townships. With two churches at Lawn 
Ridge, two at Edelstein, three at Dunlap, three at 
Princeville and one at Stark, our people are well su])- 

> ! t U 

•.ft ; i 

'I iK-'^M 'jl 


plied with church privileges, and as large a percentage 
of our inhabitants are church-going as those of any 
other country township. 

Improvements and Industries 

The last half century has witnessed a wonderful 
transformation in public and private improvements. 
The sod house and log cabin of the pioneer have given 
place to comfortable and commodious residences. 
Around these are to be found large, well-built and 
well-kept buildings for the protection of farm animals 
and storage of products. All of the ponds and swamp 
land that formerly produced nothing but biill-frogs 
and ague, now annually yield large crops of grain. 
The mud-road and log-bridges have been, in a great 
measure, replaced with gravel roads and steel bridges 
or culverts. At present all the principal Avater 
courses are spanned with iron bridges or supplied with 
steel or cement culverts. We now have fifteen miles 
of gravel road and the mileage is annually increasing. 
Our township expends about $2,000 annually for road 
repair and improvement. 

Our mail facilities have kept pace in the march of 
improvement. Up to 1859 our people were dependent 
upon Princeville and Southampton for post office ac- 
commodations. These offices were first supplied v/ith 
a weekly mail, then with a tri-weekly. About 18G0 a 
post ofhce, named *' Akron" was established four miles 
east of Princeville, and T. P. Burdick was the Post- 
master. Three years later the office was moved one- 
fourth mile farther w^est, and William Saunders was 
appointed Postmaster, which office he held until 18G6, 



when the office was discontinued. In 1870 tliis office 
was re-established near the center of the Towns!) ip, 
with ]\Irs. Deming serving as Postmistress. About one 
year L'lter she resigned and William Houston was ap- 
pointed- her successor. This position he held until llie 
office was discontinued. i\rail for the Akron office 
came by stage, w^hich made three trips a week between 
Peoria and Toulon. After re-establishment the mail 
was carried daily over the Princeville and Southamp- 
ton star-route. We now have a rural delivery route 
from Princeville, covering eighteen miles of road and 
supplying a large number of our people with daily 
mail at their doors. 

In 1871 the first railroad, the Peoria and Pock 
Island, entered the township. Since then the Atchi- 
son, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway has been built 
through the township from east to west near the 
center. Last year the Chicago & Northwestern Rail- 
road ran a line across our town a half mile west of the 
eastern border. This road has located a station 
named Akron near the southeast corner of the town- 
ship. There are now seventeen miles of railroad in 
the town, and all but one school district has the bene- 
fit of railroad property to help pay school expenses. 

Nearly all our inhabitants are engaged in agricul- 
tural pursuits, many of them owning the land which 
they till. These people are industrious, intelligent and 
enterprising. Very few, indeed, are the persons who 
call upon the county for aid. Although our voters 
are loyal to party, they are in no way office-seekers, 
for, during the past thirty years, not one of our citi- 
iiens has held any County, State or Federal office. In 
rich, fertile soil and tillable acreage, in substantial 
and convenient farm buildings, in intelligent, Indus- 

■r :u, 

'. H 'j./iJi«> 

\ ,' 




trious and peaceable people, in good roads and 
bridges, in railroad mileage, in Sabbath observance 
and church attendance, in freedom from litigation 
and paupers, Akron Township stands second to none in 
the county. 




\By William H. Adams 

Millbrook Township is located in the northwest 
corner of Peoria County. The sonih two-thirds is a 
rich prairie soil, raising abundant crops of small 
grain; the north part, along Spoon River, being an 
argillaceous loam, produces also the finest of blue 
grass. Owing to the presence of quantities of lime 
and iron in the soil, the pastures impart a strength, 
elasticity and firmness to the horses, rivaling the 
celebrated stock of Kentucky. 

Underneath the surface is a porous subsoil varying 
in depth from one to two feet, which is succeeded by 
the glacial drift, and this by the coal measures. Vein 
No. 6, usually about four feet in thickness, occupies 
an area equal to twelve sections; while No. 3 probably 
underlies the whole township. The first is reached by 
drift along Plum Hollow, the latter by a shaft on 
Section 6, on Walnut Creek.^ Fine beds of gravel suit- 
able for making roads are found along Spoon River, 
and shale, suitable forthe manufacture of: fire-brick, 
is found in several localities. 

The Township is rich in evidence of the dwellings 
of a prehistoric race. At" the confluence of Walnut 
Creek and Spoon River there appears to have been a 
large village, which is shown by ^ the fbiding of a num- 
ber of stone and flint implements, the presence of 
funeral mounds, and other: usual accompanying e\d-- 
dences of the presence of a. large population. On a 
high bluff between the two- streams are traces of an 
old fort, octagonal in form, the outlines of which are 

. 52. 

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nearly obliterated by the lapse of time. In the nortli- 
west angle is an oblong elevation, sixty-four by forty- 
seven feet, and six feet in height. An exploration 
has disclosed the presence of small pieces of galena, 
copper beads and awls, leaf-shaped flint implements, 
red oclirc, charcoal and faint traces of human bones, 
all of great antiquity. Twenty rods west of this is 
a low mound sixty-two by nineteen feet. On Section 
4 is an important group of mounds, the first of which 
is a small round one from the center of which to the 
center of the second is a distance of thirty-nine feet ; 
thence to the center of the third, thirty feet; thence 
to the south end of the fourth is fifty feet. The fourth 
measures eighty feet from south to north, with a 
cross at the center, thirty-three by twelve feet and 
two feet high. From the west end of this one to the 
center of the fifth is one hundred and twenty-three 
feet. This is a common round mound forty feet in 
diameter and three feet high; thence to number six 
is fifty-eight feet. This one is ninety-eight by eigh- 
teen feet and two feet high. Thence in a northwest- 
erly direction it is seventy-five feet to still another 
one hundred and four feet by eighteen feet and two 
and a half feet high, from the north end of which it 
is one hundred feet to another one hundred and forty 
by twenty feet and three feet high. On the top of 
this grows an oak tree three feet in diameter. An 
immense number of flint or hornstone chips are found 
scattered through the materials of which the mound 
is constructed, the nearest known out-cropping of 
which is at Burlington, Iowa. This group commences 
in the valley just above high water mark and extends 
northwesterly, terminating on a bluif sixty feet 
above high water. 

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First Settlers. — "William Metcalf was the first 
white settler. In the spring of 1833 he, with his wnfe, 
two children and a boy named Amos McRill, came by 
wagon from Richland County, Ohio, camping out at 
night and arriving at French's Grove. That fall he 
madef some improvements on the east half of the 
southeast quarter of Section 9, 11 N., 5 E., by erect- 
ing a cabin and fencing a small field, and in the 
spring of 1834 moved on to the land. John Suther- 
land, a native of Pittsburg, Pa., came to Peoria in 
the 3'ear 1834 and bought the lots on which the Na- 
tional Hotel now stands and was one of the original 
members of the Presbyterian Church, known as the 
Lowry Church. In August, 1835, he located on Sec- 
tion 32, 11 N., 5 E. He was a man of high moral 
principles, of unquestioned probity and business in- 
tegrity, and inflexible in his determination to do right. 
It is said that, after leaving Peoria, he frequently 
wajlked from his home in Millbrook to Peo- 
ria to attend church. He, of course, sided with Lowry 
in his controversy Avith the adverse party. He died 
September 30, 1845, leaving numerous descendants, 
who still reside in that part of the county. 

Mr. Sutherland and his famil}'- formed the nucleus 
at French's Grove, around which gathered a commu- 
nity noted for its high moral and religious character. 
Among others who, by precex)t and example, added 
much to the reputation of the settlement for enter- 
prise and thrift, were Daniel and John A. McCoy, John 
Smith, Sr., John Smith, Jr., and Therrygood Smith, 
from Richland County, Ohio, settled where Rochester 
now stands, in October, 1835, a young man named John 
White cutting down the first tree where the village 
afterward grew up. The first settlers were mostly 

'(.0 tl 

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11 ':•..; I I'i 

'i r. ..VI 


from Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York, Scot- 
land and Ireland, and, as a rule, were industrious, en- 
terprising and ambitious to earn homes for them- 
selves and their families. Their influence in the com- 
munity has given it a character which wuU distinguish 
it for generations yel to come. 

Rochester. — The site of Rochester was chosen for 
its excellent water power furnished by Spoon River. 
It ^vas surveyed on the 13th of July, 1836, by George 
C. McFadden, deputy under Thomas Phillips, County 
Surveyor. On the 29th of the same month the plat 
was acknowledged by John Smith, Jr., before James 
P. Harkness and recorded in the Recorder's office. 

About this time Clark W. Stanton, a carpenter 
from Rochester, New York, arrived and bought from 
Smith a half interest in the town site and mill-seat, 
and in the following spring, bought Smith's entire 
interest for the sum of $3,200. The first store to be 
opened was that of Thomas J. Hurd, of Peoria, who, 
in the summer of 1836, brought a small stock of goods 
to the place and opened out in a small log buildijig 
on the river bank. He was succeeded in a few months 
by Stacey & Holmes. In the winter of 1836-37 John 
Smith, Jr., opened a stock of goods, but the ensuing 
spring sold out to Hon. David IMarkley of Canton, 
in Fulton County, then a prominent politician of the 

Mills — As might have been expected, the utilizing 
of the w^ater power of Spoon River was one of the 
enterprises first to attract the attention of early set- 
tlers. In those early daj^s the owner of a mill, if a 
good one, had a real bonanza. Flour and lumber 
were two of the essentials of life; and peo])le would 
travel many miles and await their turn in patience 

' . i : . i I.J 



to ^et a supply o^! either. It was in the fall of 1836, 
after the enterprising Clark W. Stanton }iad pur- 
chased one-half of the interest of John Smith, Jr., in 
the mill-seat, that they, in company, erected the first 
saw-mill; and so great was the demand for lumber 
that the mill was kept running night and day. i^fter 
Stanton had purchased Smith's remaining interest he 
erected a grist mill, which began to grind some time 
in the summer of 1837. People came to it from 
Prince's Grove, Slackwater, Massilou, Scotland Prai- 
rie, Newburg, French's Creek, French's Grove and 
Lafayette. By adding improvements from time to 
time, it became one of the most complete and best 
equipped flouring mills in Central Illinois. Benjamin 
Tluber, who had an interest in it, says that, late i.M the 
fifties, the mill would grind two hundred and fifty 
to three hundred bushels of wheat per day and one 
hundred bushels of chop feed or corn, and that it 
was crowded with business. But the march of im- 
provements, with the coming of railroads to other 
points, sapped it of its business, and it is now going 
to ruin, part of it having already tumbled into the 

About 1839 or 1840, Gilbert Arnold built a saw- 
mill ou Section G on the bank of Walnut Creek; but 
this, too, has long since gone out of sight. 

In 1856 John Carter, a wealthy farmer, residing 
in the eastern part of the township, undertook the 
erection of a grist-mill on Spoon River on Section 3, 
but being unskilled in mechanical engineering, he was 
at the merc3^ of any charlatan that came along calling 
himself a millwright. Through floods, law suits and 
ignorance, he was ruined financially. The mill, how- 
ever, was finally finished and did a fair business but, 
for the past few years, if has been abandoned. 



Education. — Tlie first school house in the town- 
ship was in Rochester, and built by Dr. John L. Fifield, 
Clark W. Stanton, Russell Stanton and Jonah Lewis, 
without the assistance of public funds. It remained 
until 1867, when it was replaced by a large and com- 
modious brick structure, which still remains. The 
first school in the township was taught in the w^inter 
of 1836-37 by Caleb North in a log house on the south- 
west corner of the northwest quarter of Section 20, 
for Avhich he received $10 per month. Elisha J. Suth- 
erland is probably the only pupil of that school now 
living. The township is now divided into eight full 
and two fractional union districts, in all of which 
public schools are regularly taught. The zealous in- 
terest taken by the people in the cause of popular 
education, is manifested by the flourishing condition 
of these schools and the liberal taxes, voluntarily im- 
posed upon themselves by the tax-paj^ers, for their 
support. The school houses are, as a rule, of the most 
improved pattern and furnished with all modern ap- 
pliances to secure the comfort, health and advance- 
ment in study of the pnpil, the cost varying from 
$600 to $4,500. They compare very favorably vrith 
those of any other tow^nship in the county. Some of 
the districts, notably No. 2, have fine school libraries. 

In the year 1845 Rev. Robert Breese and his accom- 
plished wife, who was a graduate of the celebrated 
Holyoke Seminary, established a school of high grade 
in Rochester called the ''JBreese Seminary." ]\Irs. 
Breese was the real principal, her husband devoting 
his time principally to ministerial work. 

Religion. — Constituted as the early communities 
were, it could not be supposed otherwise than that 
the promotion of religion would be their first and 

Hi - ■ / in "V.nrii ' ' i-^ry H 

i t>>i J 

An) H'Uifi'^m 


chief concern. Accordingly we find that in the sum- 
mer of 1836 Rev. George G. Sill, a missionary, 
preached the first Presbyterian sermon in the house 
of John Sutherland. A church of that denomination 
was organized at Rochester in the summer of 1838, 
with sixteen members, Joseph Warne, ruling elder, 
which was taken under the care of Presbytery in Oc- 
tober of the same year, Kev. Robert B. Dobbin suc- 
ceeded Rev. Sill, but how long he preached does not 
appear. In 1845 Rev. Robert F. Breese was installed 
pastor of the churches of Rochester and French's 
Grove, which he continued to serve imtil his death, 
September 2, 1851. The Rochester church was dis- 
solved by Presbytery sitting at Brimfield September 
20, 1854, in consequence of the division between the 
old and New Schools, the New School members having 
withdrawn and formed another church in Stark 

The French Grove Presbyterian Church was organ- 
ized October 20, 1851, by Rev. Addison Colffey, Rev. 
William McCandlish and Ruling Elder John Reynolds, 
a committee previously appointed by Presbyter3\ 
There were fifteen members and William Reed and 
George S. Purselle were ordained and installed the first 
Ruling Elders; Rev. John C. Hanna, a licentiate, was 
appointed to supply the church one-half of his time 
and the church at Rochester as often as consistent 
with his other engagements. Rev. Charles ^IcLuer is 
now pastor of this church, which is in a prosperous 
condition, having a good Sunday-school, of which 
Mr. W. H. Todd is Superintendent. 

The i\Iethodist Episcopal Church of Rochester, or- 
ganized in the year 1836, was the first church orgaii- 
ization in the township.^ Rev. William Cummings 


preached the first sermon in the house of John Smith. 
The ori<?inal members were John Smith and wife, 
Therrygood Smith and wife, AVilliam Metealf and an 
unmarried daughter of John Smith, and John Smith, 
Sr., was chosen first class-leader. A house of worship 
was commenced in 1838, which was blown to frag- 
ments by a cyclone on IMay 8tli of that year. Through 
removals and death, the church at one time became 
almost extinct, but there are now^ houses of Avorship 
at Rochester and Laura, the former being the legiti- 
mate successor of the first church, and worshipping 
in a building formerly belonging to the Congrega- 

The IMethodist Church of Laura was built in the 
summer of 1889 at a cost of $1,300 and furnished at 
a further cost of $200. The first pastor was Rev. D. D. 
McComen. The church is connected with the ^Monica 
charge, its members numbering about sixty. 

The Christian Church at Rochester was organized 
December 18, 1844, by John W. Underwood, with four 
members, the first meeting of seven persons having 
been held in the old school house in November and 
conducted bj^ IMilton King. They began building a 
house of worship in 1858, but it was blown down by 
the cyclone of May 8th of that year. In the summer 
of 1864 they erected another, which cost between 
$3,000 and $4,000. In the course of time, in conse- 
quence of deaths and removals, the membership be- 
came too feeble to maintain an organization and, a 
few 3^ears since, Jonathan Pratz, the only remaining 
Trustee, deeded the church building to the Directors 
of Glendale Cemetery Association, by whom it was 
repaired, repainted and placed in good condition. It 
is now used for moral and religious entertainments, 


and is free to all approved ministers of tlie Gospel. 
P^rom here, after the last sad rites have been per- 
formed, the dead are carried forth for interment in 
the beautiful Glendale Cemetery. A flourishing Sun- 
day-school, under the superintendence of Mrs. M. 
Stevenson, meets here weekly. The present directors 
of the Association are William H. Adams, President; 
W. Winchester, Secretary; S. H. Winchester, Treas- 
urer, and Elder Aley, W. H. AVilcox and Henry Sweat. 

The Congregational Church, Rochester, was organ- 
ized June 30, 1841, at the house of Elias Wycoff, in 
Stark County, with nine members, the ministers pres- 
ent being Kev. S. S. ]\Iiles and Kev. S. G. Wright. 
After entering into covenant, Messrs. William Web- 
ster and N. Wycoff were duly elected and installed 
Ruling Elders, and Rev. S. G. Wright designated as 
Moderator of the Session. In 1854 the meetings were 
held at Rochester, at which time Rev. Charles B. Don- 
aldson was acting as pastor, and at a meeting held 
April 14th of that year, the name was changed from 
Spoon River Congregational Church to Elmore Con- 
gregational Church of Rochester. During the sum- 
mer and fall of 1866 was erected a house of worship 
costing $2,300, which was dedicated January 22, 1867. 
The dedication sermon was preached by Rev. W. G. 
Pierce of Elmwood, who was assisted in the services 
by Rev. James Wycoff and Rev. B. F. Ilaskins, the 
last named continuing to be the pastor for twelve 
years. From a varietj^ of causes the society ceased to 
maintain its organization, and the church edifice is 
now owned and used as a place of worship by the 
Methodist Episcopal Church of Elmore. 

The Church of the New Jerusalem (Swedenbor- 
gian) once had an organization in Rochester, the first 



meeting haviiif!: been held at tlic house of John Smith 
Jr., on Section 18. At this meeting Rev. John K. Hil)- 
bard, an eminent divine of Chicago, made an address. 
The society consisted of Jolm Smith and wife, Gilbert 
Arnold, Caleb North, G. P. Wyeoff and the Adams and 
Pulsipher faiuilies of Southport. The numbers having 
been depleted by deaths and removals, meetings are 
no longer held. 

The First Sunday-school was organized in the 
spring of 1844, Mrs. Breese, wife of Rev. Robert 
Breese, being the first Superintendent. She was a 
woman of fine attainments and great force of char- 
acter, and made the school a success in every respect. 
Of those who attended this school the following sur- 
vive: E. J. Sutherland, James Sutherland, Miss Co- 
lumbia Duim, of Galesburg; Sarah Smith, nee Bodine, 
Kansas ; M. A. Dooley, nee Bodine, Missouri ; ]\Iahala 
Hurd, nee Bodine, West Jersey, Stark County; Ac- 
enath Neal, nee ]\Iatthews, Peoria, and Irene Abby, 
nee Stanton. 

Commerce. — From 1835 to 1856 Peoria was the 
market for Millbrook Township. The wheat, corn, 
oats and dressed pork were hauled there in wagons. 
Some of the cattle were driven to Chicago. After 1856 
Elmwood and Oak Hill, on the Peoria & Oquawka 
Railroad, "became its principal shipping points. After 
the building of the Buda branch of the Chicago, Bur- 
lington & Quincy Railroad, the village of I^Jonica be- 
came a market for the eastern part, and Brimfield for 
a part of the south side of the township. In the year 
1887 the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad was 
located across the township and, in the following year, 
an elevator was erected at the village of Laura on the 
line of that road. There are now two large and well 



equipped elevators at that place, besides cribs of 15,- 
000 bushels capacity. 

The Village of Laura is located on the southwest 
quarter of Section 22. It was laid out in 1888 hy 
James i\I. Kellar, Avho was the first postmaster. Johu 
Shaw brought the first stock of goods to the village. 
There are now three dry goods .stores, one hardware 
an-d implement store, a blacksmith shop, a chop-mill, 
a millinery bazaar, a Methodist Episcopal church, two 
elevators, a lumber yard, two hotels, the postoffice and 
a very fine and commodious and well-equipped public 
school building. The inhabitants are a religious and 
church-going people. The population numbers about 

The elevators are operated by C. C. Davis & Co., 
who shipped from this point in the year 1898, 51,800 
bushels of oats; 101,600 bushels of corn; 790 bushels 
of wheat and 500 bushels of rye. During the same 
year there were shipped from this station five cars of 
horses, thirty-five of cattle, thirty-nine of hogs and five 
of sheep. This statement does not represent all the 
corn and oats grown in the township, as some from 
the west side went to Elmwood. 

Chase Station is located on the line of the same 
railway on Section 19, in the midst of a fine agricul- 
tural section, inhabited by an intelligent, enterprising 
and thrifty community of farmers and raisers of stock. 
There is here a general store, a postoffice and other 
evidences of an incipient village. 

Biographical. — The first child born in the town- 
ship was a son to Clark W. Stanton, July G, 1836. It 
lived only twelve days. This was the first interment 
in what is now Gleudale Cemetery, and the first in 
the township. The first marriage in the township 


took place at the liouse of Clark W. Stanton, December 
15, 1837, the contracting parties being Mr. T. Gree- 
ley, a native of Salisbury, New Hampshire, and ]\Iiss 
Chloe A, Barnes, a native of New York. The first 
physician was John L. Fifield, a native of Salisbury, 
Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, who came to 
Peoria March 10, 1838, and soon after located at 
Rochester. Here he remained practicing his profes- 
sion until 1845, when he removed to Victoria, He was 
an eminent and able physician and a gentleman of the 
courtly manners of the olden times. 

The first blacksmith in the township was Jacob 
Roland, who came in 1836. The first postoffice was 
located at Rochester in 1845, but was named Elmore, 
Therrygood Smith being first postmaster. 

On account of its desirability as a site for mills, 
Rochester, at an early day, attracted the attention of 
immigrants, and soon gave promise of becoming an 
important point for business. Before the daj^s of rail- 
roads, its grist and saw^-mills, its wagon-maker and 
blacksmith shops, its packing house and hotels made 
it one of the liveliest business places in Central Illi- 
nois. Its great misfortune was to have been so located 
that the railroads did not find it, and being remote 
from the county seat, it became, in a measure, isolated 
from the rest of the world, and its business has grad- 
ually died out. 

■aojl : 


By Cecil C. Moss 

This township is described on the surveyor's plat 
as Ten North, Six East, is about fifteen miles in a 
northwest direction from the county-seat and near 
the northwest corner of the county. The first settlers 
to locate and acquire permanent homes came in 1835, 
about fifteen years before the adoption of township 
organization, settling on or near what is now the 
west part of the township and at neighboring distance 
from the little hamlet of Charleston, now the village 
of Brimfield. A few others scattered themselves on 
the east side in anticipation of a college being founded 
by Bishop Chase. The first settlers at that date 
(1835-40) appeared to be of three classes: First, those 
who possessed a little money and wished to begin life 
and establish homes where property would appreciate 
in value with time and improvement; and others who, 
having failed in business, or at their first start in life 
for themselves in the older parts of the country, came 
to a new country to begin life and fortune again. A 
few of a third class were hunters and frontiersmen 
who keep in advance of civilization, and who, when 
game becomes scarce and neighbors too near their 
door, sell out and move further on. 

Jubilee Township has as great variety of land and 
as many natural resources as any other part of Peoria 
County. There are a few sections of prairie land in- 
terspersed with what is rather a rough and broken 
township. Several tributaries of the Kickapoo Creek 
have their source in or pass through the township, also 


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lir^ •: ^HV.i) il/iv/ Hi 

JuBiTvEE Township 65 

the east brancli crosses the southeast corner and joins 
the main stream near the south line. A few white oak, 
black oak, hiirr oak and red oak trees, also several va- 
rieties of hickory, Avere scattered over the bluffs and 
points at that time called bj' the settlers ''Oak Open- 
ings," skirting the streams, and on the bottom lands 
were a large variety of forest trees, including the oaks 
(black and white), walnut, sycamore, cottonwood, 
maples (both hard and soft), and different varieties 
of willow. As the timber on the upland was scattered 
or in small groves, and that on the bottoms and along 
the streams much below the general level, the view of 
the country was nearly unobstructed and presented 
to the observer a pleasing aspect. 

Shrubs and small fruits were found on the open ; 
also some varieties of berries, surpassing in sweetness 
and flavor those of the cultivated kind, grew in the 
thickets of timber. Many varieties of grasses covered 
the ground, furnishing food for the sustenance of 
numerous varieties of wild game that roved at will 
over the country, and which, in turn, furnished a 
large proportion of the provisions for the settlers and 
their families. 

Some of the cabins or homes of the pioneers were 
of the most primitive kind and rude in construction, 
built in the usual style of the pioneer log cabin. Some 
of the frontiersmen, being skilled in woodcraft, or 
handy with an ax, built houses of a better class. They 
hewed the timber to a square, dove-tailed the ends at 
the corners, laid a stone foundation in lime mortar, 
erected upon it the walls composed of logs fitted to- 
gether in dove-tail fashion at the corners of the build- 
ing, and carrying Avails, perpendicular and true, as 
a wall of brick, to the height desired, usually one 




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story and a fourth, or one and a half. The rafters, 
hewn smooth, were set at a good slant, with ribs fas- 
tened on crosswise, to which sliingles, split and shaved 
by hand, were nailed. Fireplace and chimney were 
built of stone or brick filled with mortar, as w^ere also 
the joints of the timber Avails. The floors were often 
laid with boards taken from the boxes in which tlie 
people brought their goods, w-ith a wade board for a 
door, one window of sash and glass for each room — 
and what more could human nature want? 

The few vehicles, tools and agricultural imple- 
ments were of the simplest design and construction, 
and were often made by those who used them. Teams 
of oxen w^ere more generally used than horses or mides, 
being cheaper and easy to keep at that time. The first 
breaking of the prairie sod was done with four yoke 
of cattle, a large plow held in the proper position by 
axle-lever and wheels, cutting and turning over a sod 
of twenty inches in width. This work w^as usually 
performed in the months of June and July because 
the tough sod rotted sooner w^hen broken up at that 
time, besides growing a crop of sod corn and pumpkins 
the same season. Cradles w^ere used to harvest the 
small grain, while the hay and wild grasses were cut 
with a scythe and all stacked by hand. Small grain 
was threshed and corn shelled with flails or trodden 
out with horses, until the advent of the little thresher, 
a cylinder and concave set in a small frame and run 
by a four-horse sweep power, the straw being raked 
off by hand. The grain was afterward cleaned up 
with a fanning mill. Possibly the hardest and most 
difficult labor which the early settlers had to perform 
was the construction and maintenance of their fences, 
the kind in general use being built with rails, the split- 

( I Township 67 

ting of wliich would occupy the entire winter to make 
enoiig:h to fence a few acres for cultivation. Fenced 
pasture at tliat time v/as unknown, all stock running 
at large or in common. 

The spinning wheel and hand loom were found in 
many of these cabin homes, where the women folks 
made the homespun cloth for clothing their families 
and a carpet for the floor. These primitive outfits 
and homes did not require much money, as that was 
scarce and hard to obtain. With the few things that 
were brought to the country, and such as human in- 
genuity could contrive, the pioneer had the necessa- 
ries and a few of the comforts of existence. Such was 
life in the log-cabin days. 

Prominent among the pioneers of the township 
was the Rev. Philander Chase, Bishop of Illinois, who 
came to the then West to found what became known 
as Jubilee College. He settled permanently in 1836 on 
a part of Section thirty-six in the southeast corner 
of the township. Erecting a log cabin for himself and 
family, as did the other settlers, he set about the col- 
lege work. Securing some funds, partly from friends 
in England and some from others in the Eastern 
States, and at times contributing from his ow^n re- 
sources, a tract of land was secured, embracing about 
three thousand acres, more than two thousand of 
which was in Jubilee Township, and here was located 
the home chosen for himself. Procuring stones and 
timber }iear the site chosen for the buildings on Section 
twenty-six, the corner-stone of the chapel and school 
house was laid on the 3d day of April, 1839. The 
ceremonies on this occasion are thus described by 
Bishop Chase in his reminiscences or autobiography: 


**0n Tuesday evening came our dear Samuel, and 
the Rev. Mv. Douglass; Avitli the latter, a Mr. Jones, 
from Tremont. On Wednesday, at nine, came the 
Charleston people; at ten the congregation began to 
gather; at eleven, came the Peoria folks. Robin's 
Nest more than full. Divine service at half-past 
eleven. The Rev. Mr. Douglass read prayers, and Mr. 
Chase preached. Music, the best in the world for us. 
Notice given that the Rev. Mr. Chase would preach 
at Lower Kickapoo next Sunday, and myself hold a 
confirmation at Pekin. 

*'At one o'clock the procession formed at the bot- 
tom of the hill. The Rev. Messrs. Chase and Doug- 
lass in front ; then the foot train ; then the Bishop and 
his son. Philander, in his carriage ; then a sequence of 
carriages and wagons too long to be even conjectured 
by you. The course of the procesison was directly 
through the fine lowlands, on dry and very pleasant 
grounds parallel w4th the stream, about midway be- 
tween the bluff and the bank, pointing and aiming at 
the new bridge, w^hich you know I built in the coldest 
weather last w^inter, now finished in the best order. 
When the procession turned to the right to cross the 
bridge, I could have a view of the vast extent of the 
train, and seldom have I been more elated at the good- 
ness of God in giving us favor in the sight of all His 
people to gather such a multitude (for indeed, in this 
solitarj^ country, a few hundred may be justly termed 
a multitude) together to praise His holy name, at the 
laying of the corner-stone of Jubilee Chapel. As we 
passed over the bridge, now (on the night before) fin- 
ished in the neatest order, and looked up and down 
that beautiful stream, and then went along in solemn 
pomp over the level and exceedingly fertile and dry 

'.A 7f 

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.''.I'' O' 

JuBir^EjE Township 69 

bottom land, in full view of the rising grounds, cov- 
ered with budding trees, under which we could see 
the vast pile of stone for the chapel, and people there 
waiting for our arrival, you may well fancy my feel- 
ings. The flush of joy, the throbbing of the grateful 
heart, ready at every vivid reflection of my painful 
life, now about to terminate in the accomplishment of 
this great design, to burst the very bands of its tene- 
ment. Oh, that you could have been with me at this 
moment! you, who have shared my woes, to share 
also in my joys. The day fine, the sky serene, and 
just enough to remind us of the breath of God in the 
gentle influence of His Holy Spirit, refreshing beyond 
the power of language to describe. 

"We mounted the rising ground slowly, and at 
every step looked back on the cavalcade behind. What 
a sight for a lonely backwoodsman ! What an effect it 
had on me, when I reflected on the purpose for which 
we were now gathering on the ground together. Plii- 
lander drove my carriage round to a pile of stones, to 
give room for all to dismount in order. The whole of 
the foundation, I found, had been already laid, but 
the corner, to the level of the first floor of the build- 
ing. This enabled the eye to realize the plan, which 
you have seen, of the groundwork of this interesting 
building. We gathered round the southeast corner, 
where all w^as prepared for the present important 
Bolemnity. Before commencing I looked around me, 
and never was a sight more heart-cheering. The 
crowed were on the heaps of stones, and the friends 
and musicians were near me. Oh, how sweetly did 
they smile through tears of joy, as they saw my aged 
self among them. And when, after the address, we 
raised our souls in prayer and praise, may we not hope 


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and believe that unworthy as we were, the God of Mercy 
and Love looked down upon ns through Jesus Christ, 
and gave us His blessing? It is this which crowns all, 
and makes the remembrance of yesterday's service 
and solemnities sweet unto my taste. It has, indeed, 
left a relish on my moral enjoyments, more exhiler- 
ating to my soul than any thing in the course of my 
v/hole life. The self-same thing was said by Samuel as 
we came home ; nothing could exceed the expression of 
his joy." 

The erection of the college, vritli the other neces- 
sary- buildings soon followed; residences for the teach- 
ers, boarding houses for the scholars and workmen, 
so that in a few years' time, not later than 1859, nearly 
all of the various industries of the times w^ere repre- 
sented in the little village of Jubilee and the near 
surroundings. A saw^-mill was constructed on the 
Kickapoo Creek, two miles south from the college, to 
which was soon added a flouring mill, with both 
steam and \vater power. A store building near at 
hand was filled with such goods as were used by the 
early settlers. A blacksmith shop and a shoemaker's 
shop ^vere added for the convenience of all near by. 
A small hand printing press was operated in the col- 
lege building, on which was printed, at short inter- 
vals, a small sheet entitled ''The Motto." Farming 
and stock-raising were carried on extensively by the 
college, which introduced and operated the first agri- 
cultural machinerj'- seen in the vicinity; such as Mc- 
Cormick's reaper, Allen's mower, Emory's tread 
power and thresher. Students soon filled the build- 
ings and the college flourished for a number of years. 

The first graduating exercises held at the college 
occurred on the 7th day of July, 1847, at whicli five 


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Jubilee: Township 71 

persons received tjieir degrees in the arts and sciences. 
A large booth wns erected for the occasion, constructed 
of poles set in tlie ground and covered with branches 
from the trees. A band from Peoria City furnished tlie 
outdoor music. The exercises were attended by sev- 
eral hundred people, and it was indeed a happy and 
proud event to the founder of the college. A little 
knowledge of the work and the difficulties encoun- 
tered in the building of such an institution, in those 
early days, may be obtained, when we realize that the 
stone was first dug from the quarry and shaped, the 
brick was burned wdthin a few rods of where it was 
used, and nearly all the timbers w^ere cut and hewed 
from the native forests by hand. On one occasion (in 
the year 1842) the father of the \vriter of this sketch 
made the journey to Chicago in the winter with a 
team, bringing from that place a barrel of salt for use 
at the college and a load of lumber with -which to 
make sash for the buildings. A few of the settlers 
procured some of the materials for their first homes 
in the same way. 

Township organization w^as adopted, April, 1850, 
and the usual to\\Tiship officers -were elected. The 
formation of school and road districts was completed 
in a few years afterwards, the number of each at the 
present date being eight — the schools in each district 
continuing from six to eight months of each year. 

Religious services and Sunday-schools were held at 
various times in several of the school houses, until the 
building of various edifices for public worship, of 
which Jubilee has three — the Episcopal, at the College, 
German Methodist and Lutheran. Five cemeteries 
situated in different parts of the township give the 


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: ' ' n V 


■unwritten history that many have finished their labors 
and gone to the other shore. But few of those are now 
living w^ho purchased their land directly from the 
Government, and, at this writing, but one is living on 
the land which w^as purchased in this way. 

For a time elections w^ere held at private houses, 
or at the residence of the Town Clerk. Elections and 
town meetings are now held at the Town Hall in the 
center of the township. The number of legal voters 
in Jubilee at present is two hundred and twenty-five. 
Some changes of town officers have been made at 
every annual meeting, and but few have served the 
tow^Dship many years in succession. Three members 
of the Illinois General Assembly have been chosen 
from the township, viz. : "William Rowclifi:, II. K. 
Chase, and Peter Cahill. As township officers, Wil- 
liam Church, H. I. Chase, Gilbert Hathaway, James 
II. Forney, J. B. Slocum, John Moss, "William Row- 
cliff, H. R. Chase, Richard Pacey, Peter Cahill and 
Cecil C. Moss, have served as Supervisors. Those hav- 
ing acted as Town Clerk are: David Sanborn, Wil- 
liam M. Jenkins, George Radley, Noah Alden, George 
Paul, William H. Paul, S. S. Stewart, Chas. Hayes, 
F. E. Coulson, R. II. "Van Renslar, George Stewart, 
F. T. Keefer, L. Ilasselbacher, L. S. Barrett, S. P. Bow- 
er. Gilbert Hathaway held the office of Treasurer of 
School funds twenty-seven years, Thomas Pacey and 
Charles Hayes about twenty years, and L. Hasselba- 
cher is the present incumbent of a few months. 

Jubilee Township 73 

Jubilee — The Little Place in the Woods 

By Raymond Riordon 

Manj^ parents realize this fact — that, at a certain 
sta^e of a child's life, he can be better trained and 
managed at school than at home, if the school is 
of the right kind. Are you looking for such a school? 
Then listen to rhe story-book tale of Jubilee, the Little 
Place in the Woods, an ancient landmark, as ancient- 
ness goes in our raw young country. 

Away back in 1837, Bishop Chase, having got his 
hand in at founding colleges (Kenyon, in Ohio, and 
another, farther east), came to Illinois, took up three 
thousand acres of land near Peoria, then but little 
more than an Indian trading post, and, full of the 
traditions of his English alma mater, full of zeal for 
the Church and education, built a little stone chapel 
and school; and, flushed with the success of his darling 
project, worked for hard and long, named it Jubilee. 

An infant of the Church, it grew to man's age, 
with varying fortunes like those of many a man, 
waxed old and hoary, and fell into senile decay. For 
the last decade or two it was a romantic ruin, where 
people came to picnic and to carve their names in the 
soft sandstone walls. 

Then, on a summer's day in 1905, came Bishop 
Fawcett and his helpers, and the result of that visit 
was a rejuvenated Jubilee. They found owls and bats 
as tenants, rubbish without end, and desolation every- 

But soon the old house awoke from its Rip Van 
Winkle slumbers to find saws and axes at its vitals. 
Steam pipes, gas pipes and pipes for city VN'ater gave it 
a circulatory system, and ventilating grates, and fnn- 

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nels in tlie roof formed the respiratory organs it liad 
always lacked. 

*'City water" of course means country water. 
Several old wells, that imist be as deep as Spencerian 
philosoph}^ for the house stands on a hill, show how 
the early dwellers got their supply; but now a little 
red-roofed pump-house nestles down in the valley 
among the trees, and the engine in it makes the water 
from a chain of allied springs run up hill, in direct de- 
fiance of the old adage which says it can't. 

A coat of paint on the wooden trimmings was all 
that the outside of the building needed, for vines em- 
bower it, clinging lovingly to their old friends, the 
sandstone walls. 

"Within, there w^as carpentering and joining, and 
painting and glazing, and paper-hanging and i">]umb- 
ing, until every thing that could be done was done, 
and the Bishop said to the children, ''Come!" 

They came, to the capacity of the building, and 
more would have come had there been room. Like a 
Rooseveltian family in a small city flat we were 
stowed at the beginning of this, our first year, and 
every available inch was utilized. But a cottage dor- 
mitory, begun late in November, sprang up as by a 
rub of Aladdin's wonderful lamp, to house a certain 
number of the pupils, and amply relieve the pressure 
within the old stone walls. This cottage, standing at 
the top of a gentle slope to the south, commands a 
view of miles o'er hill and dale, field and forest and 
running stream, and every window frames a picture 
to delight a landscape artist's heart. The furniture 
of the cottage was made bj^ Jubilee boys, in Jubilee 
shop, the large w^alnut folding doors used in the early 
days of the college providing a good share of the ma- 

JuBiLER Township 75 

Any repairs needed in the carpentering, plumbing 
or painting line are also done by these youthful work- 
men-on-the-spot, for boys love to ^vork, and if al- 
lowed to work wnll not be likely to hatch up mischief. 

Only four hundred acres of the original three 
thousand remain, but \ve find that enough for the 
children to 'Hum loose" in; where girls may run and 
gather roses, of the American Beauty kind that blooms 
onl}^ out of doors, and increase their lung — and food ! 
— capacity. "Where boys ma}^ dig caves, build rafts, 
and huts, and chief staff of a boy's life, whoop and 
hurrah as much as they like, with no signs of "Keep 
Off the Grass," and no one to say ''Don't." In short, 
w^here boys and girls alike may have all kinds of fun. 

And they have it, except when engaged in busi- 
ness. Their business is school w^ork, and their office 
hours are six hours a day five days in the w^eek. This 
time is spent in recitation and in stud}^ under the eye 
of a teacher. There is no evening study, to tax the 
eyes and overheat the brain, and night work is lim- 
ited to shop employments, orchestra or singing re- 
hearsals, and mechanical or freehand drawing. 

The school room is not the stiff and penal place 
the name suggests, but a pretty library with soft green 
walls, adorned with pictures, separated from the 
next class room by curtains only, and supplied with 
chairs and tables instead of nailed down desks. The 
maps and black boards appear when wanted, from a 
contrivance which at a magic hey, presto ! swallows 
them up again; and the class rooms, when thrown to- 
gether, make a charming social hall, with hard wood 
floor that tempts the light fantastic toe. 

Twice a week we spruce up and have "small and 
early" affairs; and the^lads and lassies in their best 
bibs and tuckers are an attractive looking lot. 

■• I'.fi;- . 


One evening a week is given to lively games, proper 
ones only, with teachers supervising or joining in; but 
some games are permitted on any evening, and good 
reading is provided without stint. 

The dramatic instinct is strong in children, and 
manifests itself at an early age, as when the little girl 
pretends she is IMrs. This or That, and walks, and 
talks and acts like some one else; and the little boy 
as doctor comes to cure the ailments of the dolls. 

It is the purpose of Jubilee to utilize this instinct, 
to make it profitable as Avell as pleasant, by visualizing 
incidents in historj^ sometimes enacted, impromptu, 
in class, and sometimes given more ambitiously as a 
stage performance. Dramatic and operatic pieces 
are given as often as they can be properly prepared, 
the rehearsing and simple stage setting being regarded 
as recreation and done in recreation hours. 

Excellence in scholarship is a large factor to be 
considered in making up the cast. 

At the three meal times the family comes together, 
sitting six at a table, an older person being one of the 
six, and conversation and laughter help to make good 
digestion wait on appetite, and health on both. 

Little need be said of book work. This is funda- 
mental, and may go without sajdng: Whatever can 
be done is done, by the best instructors — not to pom- 
knowledge, willy nilly, into the child, but to arouse 
his mental powers, awaken his interest and set him 
to getting for himself that which unless he does get 
it for himself, will never be of value to him. 

We take him from the intermediate grade on up to 
the entrance to University, and good work must be 
done; no shirking or evasion is allowed. 

But the one basic principle of the school, book 



JuBii^KK Township 77 

work being an adjunct to tbe means employed, is 
character-building. By every possible means we en- 
deavor to exalt character, to instill the spirit of honor, 
courage, truth. Not only head work, but hand work, 
is a means to this end. Play is another and most im- 
portant one. Rome of the best lessons a child can get 
are learned, unconsciously, in play. He is benefited 
physically, mentally, and morally by entering heartily 
into games that call for strength or agility, alertness 
of mind, quick judgment, and co-operation v/ith others. 

Now do you see what kind of a school we have, in 
this historic spot so full of associations of the past 
and buoyant hope for the future ? 

It is a school based on the home idea, where, in 
fresh air and healthful surroundings, with regular 
hours and simple food, with work and play in just 
proportions, with all that devoted instructors can do 
to bring about such a result, boys and girls may be 
gently, but firmly and surely, led to knowledge, to re- 
finement, and to high ideals. 

A school for the development of character, for 
the preservation of individuality, for the formation 
of good habits and gentle manners, for the cultivation 
of hand and heart as well as head. 

Was it not Froebel who said, "Come, let us live 
with our children?" We live with ours, work with 
them, play with them, with eye single to their well be- 
ing and improvement. 

The course is made to fit the child, not the child 
to fit the course; and the school is conducted for the 
benefit of the child, not of the teacher. The indi- 
vidual temperament of each child is carefully con- 
sidered, and the personality best fitted to influence 

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hiiTi is chosen from tlie faculty to give him particular 

In school work, not what percentage can he make, 
but what use he makes of his powers, is the basis of 
reports. If he does his best, ''S," or ''Satisfactory,** 
is liis mark. If ho has not done his best, even though 
his percentage may rank higher, he gets ** Unsatis- 
factory," or ''U.*' 

Our aim is, not to turn out rows of children, like 
pins in a paper, all with the same size heads and 
sharpened to the same point, but to bring each one 
to his ow^n highest and best. 

We hope to send these children from us better in 
every w^ay. Not a sudden transformation, like that 
of the skinflints and curmudgeons and hard-hearted 
fathers in the old-fashioned Christmas tales, but a 
gradual growth like that which Nature gives, we 
working as a loving gardener works, pruning and cut- 
ting back if need be, gently twining here and there, 
and shedding the sunshine of affection and praise, un- 
til the buds of promise show. 

No new thing, this. We of this day prate much 
of Education, with a capital E, and fancy w^e are its 
sole inventors and patentees. But Plato said, in some 
Athenian Jubilee of long ago: "If you follow Nature, 
the education you give will succeed without caus- 
ing you trouble or perplexity, especially if you do not 
insist upon acquirements precocious or overextensive." 

It is this Platonian theory, to follow Nature, or to 
run with and not against her, that we try to put in 
practice in this little community set by itself, far from 
the madding crowd, making its own society, and living 
all for each and each for all, a miniature Democracy. 


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Material Furnished by Daniki. Hakes and John G. Spicer 

The pfeograpliical designation of this township is 
''Township 11 N., Range 8 E. of the Fourth Principal 
Meridian." It contains a large extent of hlnff and 
timber lands, a belt of which runs through its center 
from north to south, varying in width from nearly 
four miles on the north, to a little over one mile at 
its southern boundary. The twelve western sections, 
are almost entirely free of timber, and are of a most 
excellent quality of land. The southeast corner, situ- 
ated on LaSalle Prairie, is also almost entirely clear 
of timber, and is splendid farming land. 

The first settler in this township, without doubt, 
was Lewis Ilallock, who came to it about the year 
1820, and, after some months roving about among the 
Indians, took up some land and built a cabin in what 
is now called Hillock's Hollow. He was a native of 
Long Island, had left home when a yoimg man, wan- 
dered westward and, for many years previous to his 
appearance in Peoria County, lived among the In- 
dians in Wisconsin and elsewhere, gaining a liveli- 
hood by hunting and trapping. At the time of his 
settlement he was a single man, and about 1825, lived 
for some time with a Frenchman called Osier (known 
in Peoria by the name of Ogee), who was the Govern- 
ment interpreter to the Pottawattomie Indians, and 
had married into the tribe. In the winter of 1820, he 
married a Mrs. Wright, a daughter of Hiram Cleve- 
land, and brought her to his cabin in the hollow. By 



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hej" he had one child, a girl called Clarissa, who after- 
wards married Henry Robinson. Hallock died, April 
1, 1857, on his old farm, at the age of sixty-one years. 
He was a man of sterling character, upright and hon- 
est in all his dealings. 

About 1825, settlers from the East began to drop 
into the district. Simon and Aaron Reed came from 
Jackson County, Ohio, in November of that year, and 
they were closely followed by IMoses and Sanmel Clif- 
ton, Francis Thomas, Joseph i\reredith, Cornelius Doty, 
Resolved and Hiram Cleveland, Gcrsham Silliman and 
family and William Wright. In 1830, Joel Hicks and 
familj' and Jeriel Root, with his sons Erastus C. and 
Lucas Root, came. The greater part of these settled 
near the north end of LaSalle Prairie. In 1830, Jo- 
seph Meredith settled on Section 12, and kept a small 
tavern for the accommodation of the stage-drivers 
and travelers on the main road betw^een Galena and 

In the last days of June, 1836, Roswell Nurse, w^ith 
his son, Isaiah Nurse, and Ebenezer Stowell, came to the 
township on a prospecting tour. ■ They started from 
Chenango County, New York, walking to Buffalo and 
coming thence to Toledo by water, where they again 
took the road and traveled to Hallock Township on 
foot, with rifle on shoulder and all their equipments in 
one knapsack. Taking due note of the fine land lying 
yet unclaimed in the township, they pursued a zigzag 
course toward Quincy, still prospecting, but found 
no land more inviting, and, on arriving, forthwith 
entered their land in the Government Land Office at 
Quincy, and returned to take possession. They found 
at this time no one living north of Northampton, but, 
in the fall of the same year (1830), Erastus Root took 

to 'rv.nj ft xr.'.v 

biio'T 'i:,r;'i( *,..'[] no rv 

HaIvI^ock Township 81 

up his residence on Section 3, now occupied by his son, 
Lorenzo Root. 

The winter of 1831 was an exceptionally severe 
one all over the West. During the winter two men, 
strangers to the settlers, named Dr. Franklin and ]\Ic- 
]\Iillan, with six yoke of oxen and two sleds, loaded 
with goods and bound for Prairie du Chien, stopped 
at Simon Reed's and, after a stay of about a week, 
during which they built another sled and hired a man 
by name of Cooper to go with them, started some 
time in the month of January, and were soon caught 
in a terrible northeast sno"\v storm, which filled up 
their track and caused them to lose their way. Night 
overtook them when out on the i)rairie near Boyd's 
Grove, and they turned the oxen loose and tried to 
reach Boyd's on foot. Two of them perished, and the 
third — McMillan — got there next morning badly 
frozen. Eleven of the oxen were frozen to death, and 
one came to Meredith's, 

The deepest snow ever known in the township fell 
during this winter. It was three feet deep on the 
level, and the drifts were in some places fifteen to 
twenty feet deep. The cold was steady and intense. 
The deer and wild hogs died in great numbers, and the 
prairie chickens and quails were almost entirely de- 

The Black Hawk War in 1832, found the settlers 
in this district not only prepared for self-defense, but 
to take the field against their treacherous foe. In 
April, of that year, Thomas Reed, Edwin S. Jones, 
Lucas Root, James Doty, Elias Love and Simon Reed, 
volunteered in Abner Ead's Company, and their 
services were accepted. Simon Reed was detailed to 
act as teamster, and served until the close of the war. 


tr .' 


James Doty Avas killed in the battle of Sycamore Creek 
or Stillman's defeat, ■May 14. The others named were 
at the front for thirty days, and afterwards served as 
*' rangers" on the frontier between Peoria and Kock 
River, nntil thej^ received their discharge at the close 
of the vrar. Previous to this outbrcal; tlie Indians were 
quite nnmerons and very friendly. The Pottawatto- 
mies had three towns in or near the townsliip — one on 
the land now occupied by Emory Stillman, in Medina 
Township, one at Smith's Springs between Pome and 
Chillicothe, and one on the Senachewine creek, not 
far from the bridge. 

The first mill built near the township which tlie 
settlers in the northern part could easily reach, was 
that built on Senachewine by "William ]\roffatt, on the 
northeast quarter of Section 18, Township 11 North, 
Range 9 East, one and a half miles east of Northamp- 
ton, about the year 1834. The first mill built in the 
township, and the only one that ever did any amount 
of work, was erected in the year 1838 by Thomas 
Ford, on the northeast quarter of Section 13. 

Prior to the adoption of township organization, 
this settlement formed part of LaSalle precinct. Simon 
Reed was the first Justice of the Peace, and was ap- 
pointed to the office prior to 1828, and Cornelius Doty 
was elected Justice in the fall of 1831. This election 
took place at the only polling place in LaSalle precinct, 
covering nearly one-half of the northern part of Peoria 
County, on Section three of Medina Township. 

In 1850 township organization was adopted, and 
the township received its name, out of compliment to 
its oldest settler, Lewis ITallock, by vote of the citi- 
zens. The first town meeting was held at the house 
of Reuben Hamlin in Northampton, on Tuesday, Ai)ril 

'lo ' 


PIaIvT^ock Township 83 

2, 1850. William Easton was chosen chairrnan pro 
tern, and Charles Barker, Clerk, after Avhich Charles 
Barker was elected by ballot i\Ioderator of the meet- 
ing, and Kobert Will, Jr., Clerk for the day. After 
the polls closed the following officers were declared 
elected: Walter S. Evans, Supervisor; Erastiis C. 
Root, Assessor; Lyman Robinson, Collector; Isaiah 
Nnrse, Joel Hicks, Simon Reed, Commissioners; Jesse 
Jenkins, Overseer of Poor; Munson llinman, Town 
Clerk; William Easton and Nathaniel Chapin, Justices; 
Augustus Barton and Eliphalet Russell, Constables. 

The present Town Officers are: Alfred Tallett, 
Supervisor; J. W. Gullett, Town Cierk; M. B. Yars, 
Assessor; William E. Wideman, Collector; Loren N. 
Gallup and M. M. Burdick, Justices; Thomas Burns, 
A. T. Bristol and W. J. Burns, Commissioners; J. R. 
Kidd and I. A. Barton, Constables; William Wideman. 
Thomas Keach and William A. Hervey, School Trus- 
tees, and Thomas Vars, School Treasurer. i\Ir. Vars 
has been Township Treasurer in charge of the school 
fund since October, 1875. He is a retired farmer and 
lives in Edelstein. 


The Village of Northampton was laid off on Sec- 
tion 13, by Reuben Hamlin and Mr. Ereeman in July% 
1836. The first house therein Avas also the first erected 
in the township as a tavern. It was built in the winter 
of 1835-36 by Reuben Hamlin, and was kept as a 
public house by him for many years. He came from 
Northampton, IMassachusetts, and he named the vil- 
lage, of which he was^ the founder, after it. Aaron 


n ■ 

i. /-irnf/Zt 


Reed was the first settler near the site of the village, 
and his old log cabin was replaced by a house which 
stands beside the bridge, near the sonth end of the 

Nathaniel Chapin, a native of Massachusetts, v/as 
quite a i)rominent resident of the village about 1840. 
He held the office of Justice of the Peace. 

The population of the village is, at present, but 
little over 60, and it contains one good general store, 
kept by Mr. P. E. Phillips, who is also Postmaster. It 
has also a harness shop and a brickyard owned by 
Thomas Goodwin. It has also one Methodist Episco- 
pal Church. 

The Village of Lawn Ridge stands upon the bound- 
ary line dividing Peoria and Marshall Counties, and 
has a population of about 200. Nathaniel Smith 
(later a resident of New York State, but now de- 
ceased) was one of the earliest settlers in it. It has 
two churches — a Methodist Episcopal and a Congrega- 
tional — whose congregations are drawn about equally 
from the two counties. 

Located on the Peoria side of the line, William 
Even runs quite an extensive agricultural implement, 
carriage and stove business; Fred Green operates a 
meat market; William Nickerson is postmaster and 
sells patent medicines; Newton Brag succeeds his 
father in the blacksmith and repair shop, and Ed. 
Kruse is the popular proprietor of the hotel. 

Edelstein, a flourishing village, situated on the 
northwest quarter of Section 18, has sprung up since 
the location of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Pe Rail- 
road through the township. It was founded in the 
year 1887. It was at first intended to locate it on the 
south side of the railroad, but it was later determined 



^»a; no 

Hai^lock Township 85 

to locate it on tlie north side on land owned by Samuel 
Burns. In tlic year 1887, Mr. A. J. Ranjsey erected 
the first store building south of the railroad, but after- 
wards removed it to the north side. During the same 
year Robert A. Green, of Lawn Ridge, erected a grain 
elevator and did a thriving business in grain and 
stock for about three years, when he sold out to E. 
E. Kendall and A. R. Cline, w^ho were succeeded in 
March, 1894, by the present proprietor, A. J. Speers, 
whose business in grain, coal, tile, seeds and stock 
during the past year has amounted to over $130,000, 
and his shipments of grain have been 36G cars. In 
1894, ]\ressrs. Kendall and Cline built another elevator 
northwest of the depot, near the site of one that had 
been burned, which they operated successfully until 
1898, when they were succeeded for one year, by J. 
"W. Cole, who sold out to A. I. Hawley and J. A. Speers. 
During the construction of the Chicago & Northwest- 
ern Railroad in 1901, from Nelson to Peoria, this ele-* 
vator was removed to Akron, a station on that road 
three and one-half miles southwest of Edelstein. 

In 1888 Mr. E. W. Houghton established a success- 
ful trade in lumber, lime, stone, brick and cement 
under the management of Mr. Rollin L. Houghton 
who, in connection therewith, established the Exchange 
Bank of Edelstein, and continued to manage both 
branches of business until his death in May, 1900. 
There is no bank at the present time. 

In 1889, j\rr. J. A. Potter, of West Hallock, built 
the store now occupied by J. H. Johnson, w^hich was 
managed by his son Anthony Potter for about one 
year, after w^hich it passed in rapid succession through 
the hands of several owners until, in the year 1896, it 
came into the possession, of the present proprietor, Mr. 

/■ f-AA 


Jolmson, who does a flonrishing business amounting to 
$20,000 per year. 

One of the leading business men of Edelstein was 
C. Y. Brajion, a nephew of N. B. Curtiss, banker of 
Peoria, who began business in the fall of 188S by 
building and opening a general store, which he con- 
tinued to operate with an extensive stock of goods 
until his death, which occurred in March, 1900. Since 
that time the business has been carried on b}^ his 
widow and son under the name of Mrs. C. Y. Brayton. 

In 1888, Mr. F. W. Rotterman established the busi- 
ness of dealing in hardware and carriages in connection 
with the trade of a tinner. This he continued until 
1898, when he was succeeded by F. A. Sager, whose 
business was so prosperous that, in 1899, he added a 
stock of farm machinery and harness. His business in 
1900 amounted to $22,000. 

M. J. McDonna operates a blacksmith, wagon and 
general repair and paint shop. 

In 1891, Mr. W. R. Peck became owner and pro- 
prietor of the drug business in the callage, and in 1893 
he was appointed Postmaster, since which time, not- 
withstanding the political changes in the administra- 
tion, he has served the public in both capacities to their 
entire satisfaction. ' 

J. G. Spicer & Son have, for many years, been oper- 
ating a creamery about one mile southeast of the vil- 
lage. Of the quality of the butter produced by them 
it is only necessary to say that, at the Columbian Ex- 
position of 1893, they secured the highest score on 
their four months' exhibit, in token of which they have 
a valuable medal and a beautiful diploma — the high- 
est award made to any exhibitor in this line. They 
have also carried ofl: many first prizes at State Fairs 

;;■-■ ^ .''1 

hira i(;:!;'i;v/ ,[f ji£i!;-i7{0i;[J 

mofll V 


and otlier exhibitions of like products. In 1900 they 
handled over 800,000 pounds of milk, for which they 
paid over $8,000. Their butter is largely used on the 
tables of manj^ of the leading families of Peoria. In 
connection Avith the creamery they also have an artifi- 
cial iceplant intended principally for their own use 
but from which they also supply the village and sur- 
rounding country with ice. 

Edelstein has one liotel which, since 1896, has been 
carried on by ]\Irs. L. Y. Weber, who is doing a suc- 
cessful business. 

The Knights of Pythias have a Lodge, organized in 
1892, which has now a membership of 32, and ovv'n 
the two story building known as the Knights of 
Pythias Hall. 

The I\rodern Woodmen of America have a Camp 
organized in December, 1892, which is in a flourishing 
condition with a membership of about 55. 

West Hallock. — The hamlet of West Hallock is 
about one-half in Akron Township, opposite Section 10 
of Hallock Township. It contains a cheese factory, 
which has been in operation for some years, mentioned 
in the history of the township in which it is located. 
It also has a good general store and postoffice, and 
feed mill, blacksmith and machine shop under the 
ownership and care of Mr. N. S. Burdick. On an ad- 
joining lot Alfred Tallett operates a woodworking, 
general wagon and repair shop, with a planing mill at- 
tached, deals in wind-mills, pumps, etc., and does a 
general gas and steam-fitting business. 



The CoBgreofational Church at Lawn Ridge 
was organized by Kev. Owen Lovejoy, who was then a 
settled minister in Princeton, IlliDois, in Marcli, 1845. 
The original members were six in number, viz. : Eben- 
ezer Stowell and wife, Nathaniel Smith and wife, and 
Dr. A. Wilmot and wife. The organization took place 
in a small brick school house in Ilallock, which had 
been built about seven years before. A preacher was 
shortly afterwards hired and, with help from the 
Home Mission, regular services were maintained until 
about 1848, when, owing to the rapid settling up of 
the prairie around Lawn Ridge, the place of meeting 
was transferred there. At first they met in the small 
school house, and some years later built a small cuhrch 
which they continued to occupy till about 1876, when 
the present fine building was erected, at a cost of 
about $6,000. Rev. J. H. Runnells, is the present 

Lawn Ridge Methodist Episcopal Church — The 
church which is known as the Lawn Ridge Methodist 
Episcopal Church, was built during the summer of 
1856, on the land of David Shane, Sr., about three 
miles south of Lawn Ridge, and it was dedicated by 
Rev. H. Summers, under the name of Mount Iledding 
Methodist Episcopal Church. The leading movers in 
its erection were David Shane, Sr., Isaac Weidman, 
and John Ferguson. About fourteen years later, it 
was decided to move it to Lawn Ridge, which was done 
in the spring of 1871, and the church was rededicated 
July 22, of that year, under its present name. It is a 
plain, substantial, but well-finished building, with a 

HALI.OCK Township 89 

seating capacity for over 200 people. The present 
pastor is D. C. Martin. 

Seventh Day Baptist Church. — The only church 
in the village of West Hallock is that of the Seventh 
Day Baptists. In the year 1845, Elder Anthony Hakes, 
of Berlin, New Yoi'k, came to the Township, and was 
followed, some three years later, by his brother, Daniel 
Hakes, and John Simi)Son. In due time accessions 
were made to their number, and meetings were held 
from house to house until the erection of the Academy 
building, when it was made their place of worship. 
On the 3d day of September, 1852, at the house of 
Elder Anthony Hakes, the church was organized hy 
Elder Stillman Coon, with fourteen constituent mem- 
bers. Elder Coon being the first pastor. The society 
grew yearly in numbers, and, in 1871, it was found 
expedient to erect a larger and more comfortable 
building for their sole use. The present house was 
accordingl.y put up in the summer of that year, at a 
cost of $5,500, the whole of which was pledged by 
the adherents and friends of the church before any- 
thing was done towards its construction. The build- 
ing is a neat and substantial one, and can comfortably 
seat 250 people. Elder A. Hakes was the founder of 
the church, and for many years preached to the Bap- 
tists at Union and in the surrounding country. His 
ministration at funerals of all sects and classes was 
especially popular. He was ordained to the gospel 
ministry in 185G and had charge of the congregation 
for some years. Kev. R. B. Tolbert is the present 
pastor, who has been with them since November, ]899. 
A live Sabbath School and an enthusiastic Young Peo- 
ple's Society of Christian Endeavor are well main- 
tained each Sabbath. 

xHv; t[t:iVf<' h.i 


Hallock Methodist Episcopal Church. — The first 
Methodist sermon preached in this district was by 
Rev. Milton Smith, a local preacher, about the year 
1839, in a log cabin which stood on the site afterwards 
occupied by the house of Isaiah Nurse, on Section 3. 
In 1841 a two days' meeting was appointed to be 
held in the brick school house then in process of erec- 
tion at Ilallock. From this time forward regular 
preaching was held every two weeks till 1849, when 
a successful joint movement was made by the IMeth- 
odists and Congregationalists in the vicinity for the 
erection of a church, in the summer of that year. Hob- 
ert "Will donated the land now^ occupied by the church, 
school and graveyard. The church was used on alter- 
nate Sundays by the Methodists and Congregation- 
alists, until the meeting place of the latter body was 
changed to Lawn Ridge, and it is now and alw^ays has 
been, a free church, used for the meetings of all de- 
nominations. The first cost was about $800, and when 
it was finished and completely seated, some seven or 
eight years later, near $1,200. It had a seating capa- 
city of 200. This church having become unsafe, it 
was decided by the qua«"terly conference, held in Oc- 
tober, 1897, to erect a new one. A mass meeting of the 
citizens was called ; N. L. Robinson, A. M. Root, S. R. 
Stowell, J. L. Root, J. S. Gallup, Frank Harlan and 
H. II. Nurse were appointed a building committee, 
funds were raised and, by the next spring, the building 
was commenced under the direction of R. B. Beebe, 
the contractor. It has a seating capacity of 250, cost 
$2,500, and was dedicated September 4, 1898, by Rev. 
F. W. Merrill, Presiding Elder of the Peoria district. 
It is one of the neatest churches in this part of the 
county. Rev. D. C. ^lartin is the present pastor. 

Hai^i^ock TowNvShip 91 

The Union Baptist Churcli is located at Union, on 
Section 26, and its congregation was formerly con- 
nected with the Chillicothe Baptist Church. It was 
organized, June 19, 1858, with thirteen members, as 
follows: Thomas B. Keed, Sanford Reed, Amy Silli- 
man, Simon Reed, Walter S. Evans, Sarah Kirkpatrick, 
Mary Baggs, Francis Reed, Nancy Sprague, Levi 
Sprague, C. Reed and Amy Reed. In July of the same 
year, Elder Anthony Hakes was chosen pastor, and 
preached once in two weeks. The church was erected 
immediately after the organization bj^ the Methodists 
and Baptists of the neighborhood in common, and was, 
in consequence, called the Union Church. It was 
occupied by these societies in common until 1873, when 
the Methodist interest was bought out by the Baptists 
and the building assumed its present name, but no 
regular services have been held here for some time. 

The first religious services in the village of Ed el- 
stein were held on October 21, 1891. Through tlie 
efforts of P. M. Nelson, President of the Peoria County 
Sunday School Association, and Rev. John Bliss, of 
Princeville, with a few families in and around the 
village, a Sunday School was organized with a full 
corps of officers, Rollin S. Houghton, now deceased, 
being Superintendent. The Sunday School continued 
regularly with occasional preaching by Rev. Stephen 
Biu'dick, of the West Ilallock Seventh Day Baptist 
Church, and Rev. Charles E. ]\rarsh, of the Lawn Ridge 
Congregational Church, until the spring of 1S93, when 
Rev. Marsh commenced regular preaching services in 
connection with the Sunday School until such time as 
a church might be built, the services being conducted 
in the public hall. In March, 1894, a series of re- 
vival meetings were conducted by Rev. 11. L. Wanna- 


.a -;Mi..ilT 

J :''! 1.: 'V ' CMlM ,J ^«;1 J {; »j : ■ ,1 

:>!■ :!\;;/i;i 


maker, of the Congregational Church Missionary So- 
ciety of Peoria, which resulted in the formation of a 
Congregational Church composed of twenty-seven 
members coming from several denominations. Steps 
Avere at once taken to secure money to build a new 
church. The corner-stone was laid August 4, 1894, and 
tlie church dedicated December 30th of the same year, 
by Rev. James Tompkins, of Chicago, Rev. Stephen 
Burdick, of West Ilallock, and Rev. Charles E. Marsh, 
of Lawn Ridge. The church cost $2,800, substantially 
all paid before dedication. Rev. Charles Marsh was 
the first pastor. He continued to fill that position until 
July, 1900, when he resigned, since which time sev- 
eral ministers have supplied the pulpit, the present 
one being Rev. R. B. Tolbert, of West Hallock. A 
good Sunday School and a Christian Endeavor Society 
as auxiliaries to the church work, are regularly main- 
tained, both having a good attendance. 

The St. ]\Iatthew's Catholic Church w^as commenced 
in the year 1900 under the supervision of Rev. C. A. 
Hauser, pastor. With the liberal donation left by the 
late Matthew^ McDonald, the church building was 
erected at a cost of $2,350. There are at present about 
thirteen families in connection with the church, the 
membership being about fifty. Rev. C. A. Hauser was 
succeeded by Rev. C. P. O'Neill, the present pastor. 
The building committee who superintended the erection 
of the church were John McDonnell, ]\lichael ]\IcDonna 
and Thomas Burns. 


The first school ever taught within the present 
bounds of the township was located on Lewis Hallock 's 
farm, and was taught .during the winters of 1829 and 


HALI.OCK Township 93 

1830, by Lucia Root, dau^diter of Jeriel Root. The 
first school house built in the district, stood near Joel 
Ilick's pkice on Section 32. It was erected in the fall 
of 183G, and was removed about eight j^ears afterwards 
to tlie Ilallock farm. In the northern part of the town- 
ship a little school was taught during the summcis of 
1839 and 1840, in a log cabin where the house of 
Isaiah Nurse was afterwards erected. Fiducia Bliss 
w^as the teacher. In 1841 the first school house, in what 
is now School District No. 1, was erected. It was 18 
feet square and w^as built of brick. Sarah Fosdick 
was among the earliest of the teachers. The present 
school house in that district was built in 1850, and 
stands near the southeast corner of tlie southv.'cst 
quarter of Section 3. It is well fitted up and can ac- 
commodate sixty children. In School District No. 5, 
the first school was taught in an old log cabin, v/hi'^ih 
stood a little south and east from where 0. ^L ^filler's 
dwelling was afterwards erected, and was U5:<;d for 
that purpose about the year 1851. Joseph Gallup was 
then its teacher. In 1856 the present school hoij>:'i was 
built. School District No. 6 was originally cornponed 
of portions of Peoria, Stark and Marshall Counti^r-i, and 
was reconstructed with its present limits in 18f^-0. It 
was the last school district to be organized in the 
township. The first public school was built about 1857, 
at a cost of about $800, and, in 186G, to accornr/.o-date 
the growing wants of the district, the present «:.'::- ool 
house was erected at a cost of about $1,400. 

In West Ilallock District, the structure now <j^:':u- 
pied as a public school was erected in the fall ^J j'.^O 
as an academy, and w\as occupied as such for ^V/*jt 
five years, when the district was formed by a ^:^^^:i^'^ 
act of the Legislature. It -then fell into the h!i,r.':>. of 


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the School Trustees, and has since been conducted as 
a public school. 

The school house in District No. 4 was erected 
about 1S70, and stands on Section 32. It was the first 
school ill that section. 

The citizens of Edelstein, feeling the necessity of 
better scliool privileges in the village than they -would 
have under existing conditions, the friends of educa- 
tion, after several unsuccessful attempts, succeeded in 
1894 in having establishel the Edelstein School District 
No. 7, and, in the same year, erected a school house 
at the cost of $1,000. The Board of Directors then 
consisted of J. G. Spicer (President), E. E. Kendall 
and Thomas Burns. Since then James Shane and Mr. 
A. J. Speers have succeeded Mr. Kendall. At the time 
of the organization of the district there were only 
twenty-three children of school age; there are now 
89 of whom 53 are in daily attendance at the school. 


Bv Napoleon Ddn'lap 

Loold}!;^ over the past for a period of sixty years 
we are filled with amazement at the changes that liave 
taken place. Then the deer and wolves were plenty 
and prairie chickens were common game. Steam 
power was in its infancy, the telegraph- and the tele- 
phone were unknown, electricity as a mechanical pow- 
er had not been dreamed of, and weeks, or even months 
were consumed in traveling a distance now accom- 
plished in a few hours or days at the farthest. Of this 
the early settlers of Radnor, who came mostly from 
New York, Massachusetts, Ohio, and other Eastern 
States, had a rich experience, many of them coming 
overland by emigrant wagons, consuming weeks in 
making the journey. 

One of the earliest, if not the first settler in the 
township, was Erastus Peet, who came in 1834. Ilis 
little daughter of four years, having become lost, and 
a fire having swept over the prairie in the night time, 
she perished in the flames and her body was discovered 
the next day. Robert Cline came in 1835, from Oswego 
County, New York, and, after remaining two years at 
Hale's Mill, settled on Section 35, and two years later 
on Section 13. He was killed by lightning on April 
21, 1349. William Gifford, who came from Barnstable, 
Massachusetts, in 1836, erected the first frame house, 
on the south half of Section 28. I\Ioses Harlan settled 
on Section 22 in the same year. He was County Com- 
missioner in 1838, and two years in the Legislature, 
1838-40. His son, George B. Harlan, settled on Sec- 


:(, . : \v ,\i •//■•("i u 

< 'Ai 


tion 2 in 1836. He was a Justice of the Peace for some 
years and a member of the Board of Supervisors for 
one or two years, besides holding: other local offices. 
AVilliam Knott settled on Section 26 in the same year; 
also John L. Wakefield, who came from Butler County, 
Ohio, to Peoria County in 1834, but settled on Section 
18 in Radnor in 1836. Aaron G. Wilkinson and his 
brother, Abner Russell, Calvin Blake, Charles, Richard 
and George Wilkins, Anson Bushnell and his brothers, 

Horace and Alvin, Thomas Shaw, James and 

his brother-in-law, Griffith Dickinson, all came about 
the year 1837. 

About the same time Alva Dunlap came on a pros- 
pecting tour from Sandy Creek, Oneida County, New 
York, and, having become satisfied ^vith. the place, 
returned the next season (1838) with his family. 
Leaving his home on the 11th day of August, w^ith his 
father and mother, five children and a sister, he, with 
his brother, the writer, embarked at Sackett's Harbor 
on a little schooner of about one hundred tons for 
Chicago. Leaving his mother and sister, with a daugh- 
ter residing at Chicago, for another trip, the rest of 
the party proceeded in w^agons, which had been pre- 
viously engaged, arriving at their destination on the 
northwest quarter of Section 14 on the 11th day of 
October, and took up quarters in a frame house, 16x24 
feet, which Alva had erected the preceding summer 
from lumber hauled from Hale's Mill, then recently 
erected. Their nearest neighbor was an Englishman 
named John Jackson, a bachelor of about 30 
years, with a lad of about 14 years named George 
Scholes, ** keeping batch" on the northeast quar- 
ter of Section 15. Jackson had arrived in 1837 
and had broken part ^of his land, on which he 




raised a crop in 1838. Ira Smitli, a native of Hamp- 
den, Maine, who had been a sea captain, had also come 
in 1837, and had paid Chloe Case $50 for a chiim on 
tlie northeast quarter of Section 3, which he entered 
and afterw^ards, in 1849, sold to Adam Yates for $3,000. 
He was a very worthy mnn, an old-line Abolitionist, 
and believed in tlie Golden Enle. He removed to ' 
Peoria and went into the lumber trade. 

J. J. Hitchcock, with his aged parents, had also 
settled on the northwest quarter of Section 3 In ]837. 
In the winter of 1838 he went Avith Alva Dunlap to | 

Chicago, and assisted him in bringing the remainder 
of the goods, together with his mother and sister, to the 
new^ house. I 

The country, at that time, was an unbroken prairie, ' 

and what houses there ^vere were scattered along the 
streams and in the edges of the timber. On the larger 
prairies one could travel a w^hole day without seeing a | 
house. The scarcity of timber for fuel, fencing and 
building purposes was a serious matter w^itli the early | 
settlers, and, if one could get hold of a piece of timber 
land, he w^as considered fortunate; and woe to him 
who having secured one would go off without leaving 
some one to guard it, for on his return he would likely I 
find it all stumps. No one thought lumber could be 
shipped here in sufficient quantities to supply the ] 
needs of these vast prairies. Coal had not yet been 
developed to any considerable extent. Saw^ mills were 
erected along the streams, w^iere there was timber and 
water with sufficient fall to obtain power. But the 
lumber secured in that way was very unsatisfactory 
for building purposes. When the Osage Orange was 
introduced for hedges, it w^as thought to be a great 
advance in the matter of fencing; but now, since the 

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inlroductioii of barbed wire, the Osage Orange is uo 
loijger planted and farmers would be glad to be rid of 
what they have. Jonathan Brassfield took two loads 
of wheat to Chicago and brought back finishing lum- 
ber. Several others tried the same experiment, but 
no one went the second time. When the canal was 
opened in 1848 it brought great relief to those living 
within reach of the river. Timber is much more plejiti- 
ful now than it was sixty years ago. Then it was short 
and scrubby on account of the fires ; after that was 
cut off and the fires kept away from the new growth 
it became thrifty. Coal became the principal fuel and 
the inhabitants ceased, in a great measure, the use 
of w^ood for either fuel or fencing. But for the last 
few years many prefer to have the land for farmii. 
purposes, and are cutting off the timber, selling th 
wood so cheaply that the people are again using i 
for fuel. 

As the population increased the deer disappeared_ 
but the wolves remained and are not yet entirely ex- 
tinct, an occasional one venturing out from its hiding 
place. As corn fields increased the prairie chickens 
also increased, for a time into large flocks, and became 
very destructive to the corn, Avliich, according to the 
custom of the country, was left in the field over winter ; 
but w^ien the prairies had become settled up and their 
nesting places invaded, thej^ began to decrease in 
numbers until now tliey are nearly extinct. The rattle- 
snake was a common pest in breaking up the native 
sod, and was often encountered by the plowman. They 
were not considered dangerous, as they made their 
presence known by their rattle and were easily dis- 
posed of. Cattle instinctively avoided them, but were 
sometimes bitten by them, which caused severe swell- 

to I-,-'^ f^Mlh-3 -I*:. 


ings, but seldom, if ever, death. They disappeared 
when the land became cultivated. 

After the opening of the canal, pine Ininber in quan- 
tities began to make its appearance, the coal banks 
began to supply fuel and the people began to lose their 
fear of settling upon the broad prairies. The big 
prairie team, with four or five yoke of oxen and the 
huge breaking plow, rapidly turned over the native 
sod; houses rapidly sprang up in all directions and a 
wave of prosperity seemed to have struck the country. 
The light steel plow introduced by Tobey 8z Anderson, 
of Peoria, took the place of the wooden moldboard and 
heavy cast-iron plow brought from the East. The 
reaper took the place of back-breaking cradle; the 
Brown corn-planter did away with planting by hand; 
the thresher, with its simple cylinder throwing straw, 
ctaff and grain out together, displaced the flail and 
the tramping-floor, only to be displaced in its turn by 
the separator, which also took the place of the Nurse 
or Proctor fanning-mill formerly in use; the single 
shovel-plow, doing duty with one horse traveling first 
upon one side of the row and back on the other, was 
superseded by the two-horse riding or walking culti- 
vators. The complete outfit for husking corn was one 
team, two men and a boy taking five rows, the team, 
and wagon treading down the middle one, which w^as 
the boy's share to pick up. 

The first reaping machine known in Jvadnor — and 
perhai)s in the county — was owned by Alva Dunlap, 
and was built by George Greenwood of Peoria. It was 
so constructed as to throw the cut grain directly back 
the width of swath, which had to be bound up before 
the next swath could be cut. It did clean work and 
he used it for several yeavs in cutting his own and his 




neighbor's grain. It was built about the year 1846, 
only seven years after Cj^'us II. McCormick gave the 
first exhibition of his reaper on the farm of Joseph 
Smith, in Augusta County, Virginia. The next was a 
McCoriJiie.k — the grain being raked off on one side. 
This was followed, in a few years, by the self-ralcev, 
and in about tAventy years by the self-binder. 
Through these improvements the hard labor of eight 
men was done awaj^ with, and the women of the house- 
hold were relieved of the labor of boarding a large 
number of men during the heat of the harvest time. 
Before that time harvest hands would begin in the 
South, where the season was earlier, and work their 
way northward as the grain ripened. These traveling 
men were thrown out of employment by the self-bind- 
ing reaper. 

About the year 1839 experiments were made by 
Aaron Bushnell, J, J. Hitchcock and Alva Dunlap in 
making sod fences, consisting of a ditch two and a 
half feet w^ide by the same in depth, and an embank- 
ment on the side protected by the sods cut from the 
ditch. But the theory would not hold good in practice, 
for the cattle, getting into the ditch, would have a fine 
frolic in tossing the sods out of the place with their 
horns and so destrojdng the fence. 

One of the serious problems with the farmers was 
to get their products to market. In the spring of 
1841 John Jackson built two flat-boats and loaded 
them wdth ear-corn and bacon, for the purpose of 
coasting along the Mississippi and selling to the 
planters and negroes. As was customary, they were 
floated with the current. They had long sweeps or oars 
to guide them and keep them off the snags. To build 
them two large trees would be found (generally hack- 



berry), which were hewn flat for the sides, and planks 
spiked on the bottom, the ends sloped like a scow. The 
roof, or deck, was made of boards sawed thin enough 
to bend across the boat, and thus make an arched 
roof. The crews of these famous boats w^ere John 
Jackson, Elisha Barker, John Peet, Warren Hale, Wil- 
liam Harlan and Napoleon Dunlap. The two latter 
went as far as Natchez, but, concluding they had had 
enough of the life of boatmen, they begged oif and re- 
turned by steamer, w^orking their way by helping to 
take on wood at the wood-yards along the way. 

The first election in Radnor w^as held at the house 
of Alva Dunlap in 1842. It was then Benton Precinct, 
composed of Radnor and Kickapoo Townships. An elec- 
tion had previously been held in the woods in Kicka- 
poo, north of wiiere the village now is. At this elec- 
tion in Radnor, Smith Dunlap, father of the writer, 
w^as elected Justice of the Peace, and continued to 
serve in that capacity until the adoption of township 
organization. The first annual town meeting of the 
Town of Benton (afterward named Radnor) w^as held 
at the residence of Jonathan Brassfield. Alva Dunlap 
w^as chosen JModerator and Nathaniel T. A. Shaw, 
Clerk; Jonathan Brassfield w^as elected Supervisor; 
Nathaniel T. A. Shaw, Town Clerk; Lewis Harlan, As- 
sessor; Jonathan Brassfield, Griffith Dickinson and 
William Wilkinson, Commissioners of Highways; Phin- 
eas R. Wilkinson, Collector ; Dorennes Shaw, Overseer 
of the Poor; George B. Harlan and Smith Dunlap, 
Justices of the Peace; John M. Hendricks and Phineas 
R. Wilkinson, Constables. Fifteen dollars were ap- 
propriated for contingent exi^enses and fifty dollars 
for road purposes. 

1«^ 'v^hv.i.-T. 


The only Post Office in the toAvnship before the 
building of the l\ock Island and Peoria Railroad, was 
kept by Enoch Huggins on Section 35. The mail was 
carried from Peoria three times a week. This office did 
not continue long. There was a mail-route from Peoria 
by way of LaFayette, through ]\Iedina and Akron, 
but most of the people received their mail at Peoria 
until the building of the railroad. In the first settle- 
ment of the country the wagon-road took a straight 
course from Mt. Ilawley to Princeville; but, as the 
prairie became settled, every one would turn the tra- 
vel around his own land, but was anxious to have it 
go straight through his neighbor's. An attempt was 
once made to open up a State Road from Peoria to 
Rock Island, but the opposition to its going diagonally 
through the farms was so great it had to be given up. 

Mavy J. Peet, who was burned to death on the 
prairie, was the first person to die in the township, and 
Henry IMartin the next, on November 10, 1836. John 
Harlan was the first child born, October, 1836, and died 
February 1, 1847. 

The first school was taught in the summer 
of 1840, by Miss E. R. Dunlap, in a little frame house 
built on the northwest quarter of Section 13 in 1837 
by a man who committed suicide, and it w^as never oc- 
cupied except for schools or other public purposes. 
Horace Bushnell taught a singing school in it the same 
summer. The next summer ]\Iiss Duiilap taught in 
another vacant log house on the northwest quarter 
of Section 13. The first attempt to organize the 
school system was in December, 1841. Charles Ket- 
telle. School Commissioner, then surveyed and laid 
off the School Section (16) into fortj^-'acre lots, and 
had them appraised alid offered for sale. Cyrus W. 


hI) .u; ;'r.r.;, ol homifd .'iFi/; o.Mv/ ,roo-i A. 'OJuVl 

,- j ■• 

I *mI\ y. i'- 


Pratt bid off three of these lots for $170. He made 
no payments, but gave a mortgage for the price with 
interest at tw^elve per cent. After making two or 
three payments of interest he failed to make any more 
and the land reverted. About the same time trustees 
were appointed nnd Peter Auten was made the first 
School Treasurer. At their first meeting, April 4, 
1842, the}' laid off the town into six districts and re- 
solved that, inasmuch as the money in the treasury 
was depreciated paper of the State bank, and believ- 
ing that it would recover its former value, the Treas- 
urer should loan the same at par wdth interest at 
twelve per cent — conditioned that money of the same 
bank might be received in paj^ment of the loans. 

The same winter, or in the early spring, a log 
school house w^as built on Section 15, in which Anna 
McKnight and Sarah D. Sanford taught, and AViUiam 
Gifford in the Avinter of 1843. The school house was 
then moved to Section 22, on the wood-lot now owned 
by George B. Taylor. This w^as as near the center of 
the town as the condition of the ground w^ould per- 
mit. Within a radius of two miles there were ten or 
twelve large families. They were in the woods or 
near the edgie of the timber. Their cultivated fields 
were along the Kickapoo bottoms or near the edge 
of the prairies — the object at that time being to get 
wdiere they Avould be sure of having timber. There 
was much strife in locating the school houses, and they 
were frequently moved to get them to the most central 
point. In 1842 there w^re three school houses built ; 
the one just mentioned, a small frame on Section 2, 
and a log one on the northeast quarter of Section 1. 
The first teacher in the last named was Catharine J. 
Jamison, who began on ^lay 10, 1842, her school con- 


sisting of seven Blakesleys, five Wakcfields, four Clia- 
piiis, three -Van Camps, two Gordons, two Rogerses, 
one each of Hall, GiJkinson, Hatfield and Slaughter. 
The Directors who signed her cei'tificate were Parley 
E. Blakesley and Joseph Chapin. The next term was 
taugljl by Deborah Ij. Woodbury, the same year. In 
1843. a man by the name of Elisha Barker taught in a 
log school house on Section 22, built in 1842. In the 
winter of 1843-44 "William Gifford taught in the same 

Early in the spring of 1842 a small frame school 
house was built on the southeast quarter of Section 
2 by voluntarj^ labor, of lumber sawed at the mill of 
Robert Bette's and William Bruzee on the creek in 
Section 23, a dry place now for a saw^-mill. Miss Mar- 
garet Artman taught there in 1842, her patrons being 
Ira Smith, J. J. Hitchcock, Anson Bushnell and his 
sons Alvan and Horace, Samuel and William Secly, 

William Moore, 0. L. Nelson, Ira Hitchcock and 


At the January (1843) meeting of the Board of 
Trustees, schedules of the following teachers were 
approved and the Treasurer ordered to pay them 
their respective shares of the interest arising from 
the School, College and Seminary Fund, viz.: District 
No. 1, i\Iargaret Artman; District No. 2, Catharine J. 
Jamison and Deborah L. Woodbury; No. 3, Anna Mc- 
Kniglit, Sarah D. Sanford and William Gifford, Jr. 
William Gifford received for three months, $40; Deb- 
orah L. Woodbury, for two months, $10.50 ; Catharine 
J. Jamison, for two months, $10; E. B. Dunlap, for 
three months, $24. The custom was to "board 

•jc? .t ,!•, ; )''■> 7 ",,:, 


.'f<)(n>l V 


The office of Trustee having now become elective, 
Griffith Dickinson, Horace Bushuoll, Joseph Chapin, 
Jonathan Brassfield and Nelson Bristol were the first 
to be elected, Trustees before then having been ap- 

A new valuation of the lands was made in 1845, 
when all the lots except four were valued at $1.25 
per acre, two of the others at $1.50, and one each at 
$1.75 and $2.00. Between that time and IMay 22, 
1847, they were sold at various prices, realizing, in 
the aggregate, $1,471.10. 

No sooner was the free-school law in operation than 
the Trustees began to act under it. On April 2G, 
1855, they ordered the Treasurer to levj^ a tax of ten 
cents on the hundred dollars for general school pur- 
poses, and five cents for paying teachers and extending 
terms of school. The valuation of real estate for 1854 
was $141,430, and of personal property $54,592 ; total, 
$196,022. This was the first attempt to sustain free 
schools by taxation. 

The Village of Dunlap was laid out on June 12, 
1871, on Section 11, by Alva Dunlap. Dr. John Gil- 
lette erected the first building in 1871. It stands op- 
posite the railroad depot, and is noAV owned by B. C. 
Dunlap. It is a thriving village of three hundred in- 
habitants and is situated on the Rock Island & Peoria 
Railroad. It has six stores, tAvo grain elevators, three 
churches and an Odd Fellows' Hall, and a graded pub- 
lic school building, erected in 1899 at a cost of $4,000. 
District No. 4, in which it is situated, has one hundred 
children of school age, of whom over eighty were in 
attendance in 1899. 

The history of Prospect Presbyterian Church, now 
located at Dunlap, furnished one of the marked fea- 

?-./=•. v^ 

'r»'!T .Mi U'^IJ,'. 


tiires, not only of Kaclnor Township, hnt of Peoria 
County. In the year 1848 and 1849, a number of fami- 
lies from the Pan-Handle section of what is now the 
State of West Virginia, settled in the townships of 
Akron and Radnor, and at first connected themselves 
with the church at Princeville; but, owing to the dis- 
tance of four to nine miles, and the fact that others 
were following them from their old home in the East, 
they decided to ask the Presbytery for a separate or- 
ganization, which request was granted. Rev. Addison 
Coffee of Peoria, Rev. Robert Breese of Princeville, 
and Elder Henry Schneble}^ of Peoria, as a committee 
of Presbytery, met the congregation on June 8, 1850, 
in the school house, where they had been accustomed 
to worship, when the new church was organized with 
fifteen members, namely: From the Princeville 
Church, Joseph Yates, Sr., and JMary his wife, John 
Yates, Sr., and Eleanor his wife, Samuel Keadj^ and 
Eleanor his wife, Thomas Yates and ]\Iary his wnfe, 
John Hervey and Sarah his wife, and Mrs. Margaretta 
Yates ; from the Church of West Alexandria, Pennsyl- 
vania, David G. Hervey and Jane his wife ; and from 
the Church of West Liberty, Virginia, Adam Yates 
and Sarah his wife. Their first house of worship 
was a frame building, 36x48 feet, costing $1,400, 
erected on a lot containing about seven acres donated 
by Adam Yates, was dedicated in June, 1854. When 
the Rock Island & Peoria Railroad was built, and the 
village of Dunlap w^as laid out one mile south of the 
location of the church, the meeting place was removed 
to the village and a new church edifice erected at a 
cost of $5,100. The lots on w^hich the church stands 
are 150 feet square. The old church was torn down 
and the land on which it stood added to the church 




cemetery and the same is now known as Prospect Cem- 
etery. In 1S67 a parsonage was purchased at a cost 
of $3,000; but in 1878 it was sold and a new parson- 
age erected at a cost of $1,700 on lots 100x150 feet 
adjacent to the village, donated by David G. Ilervey. 
The following are the names and dates of pastorates 
of those who have served the congregation: Rev. 
David Hervey (stated suppl}^? 1850-51; Rev. John 
Turbitt, 1853-55; Rev. Thomas F. Smith (stated sup- 
ply), 1856-57; Rev. George Cairns, 1858-G3; Rev. J. A. 
E. Simpson (stated supply), 1864-GG; Rev. A. S. Gard- 
ner, 1866-71; Rev. John Winn, 1872-77; Rev. Silas 
Cooke, 1877-90; Rev. H. Y. D. Nevius, D, D. (supply), 
1891-92; Rev. Harry Smith, 1893-96; Rev. R. C. Town- 
send,. 1896 to the present time (1902). 

Besides these the congregation was served for 
short periods by Rev. Robt. R. Breese and Rev. James 
K. Large. Two died in the service: Rev. James K. 
Large, March 18, 1858, and Rev. George Cairns, June 
25, 1863. Their remains repose side by side in Pros- 
pect Cemetery ; and near by is the grave of Mrs. j\Iary 
Winn, wife of Rev. John Winn, the pastor, and daugh- 
ter of ]\Irs. Phoebe Hinsdale Brown, the author of 
that exquisite hymn, 

**I love to steal awhile away,'' etc. 

Mrs.- Brown died at Henry, Illinois, October 10, 

The spiritual power wiiieh this church has exerted 
cannot be better shown than in the number of its 
members who have gone into the ministry, including 
the following: Rev. George Dunlap, 1875; Rev. Thom- 
as C. Winn, Missionary to Japan ; Rev. William Jones, 
California; William Y. Jones, the son of the latter, 

[ '> 

'JM i :ij 

L f. 

....... IK I, 

.J. -.^T 



Missionary to Japan; William Ayling, Kansas; Min- 
ister of the United Brethren denomination; Franklin 
Brown, Idaho — six in all. 

From Jnne 8th, to 10th, 1900, this chnrch cele- 
brated its semi-centennial anniversary in a series of 
exercises of the most interesting character, a full ac- 
count of which has been published in a small pamphlet 
of seventy-four pages. This x)^iblication, abounding as 
it does in rich historical facts and sprightly remin- 
iscences, is worthy of a permanent place in the his- 
torical relics of the county. 

The IMethodists held services in this township as 
early as 1840. Before there were any school houses 
the circuit riders held meetings at private houses. 
Their first church was built in the year 1860, about one 
mile w^est of where the village of Alta now is. It was 
called Glcndale Church. Its principal members were 
Wesley Smalley and Geo. Divilbiss. In its pastoral rela- 
tions it was connected with Kickapoo and ]\Iount Iled- 
ding, in Hallock. After the village of Alta was laid 
out, the church was moved to that place, which is sit- 
uated in Medina Township, the pastor making his 
home in Kickapoo. 

In 1885 the church was built in Dunlap under the 
direction of the Rev. Webber, and the pastoral resi- 
dence was changed to Dunlap. The church at Dun- 
lap still remains in connection Avith the church at 
Alta. It has a membership of about one hundred. 

In the year 1865 the Methodists built a church 
called the ''Salem Church," on the northwest quarter 
of Section 16, near the school house. The leading 
members of this church organization were AVesley 
Strain, A. J. Gordon and John Jackson. After ten or 
fifteen years it was abandoned for want of support on 

- -J I'-j J . .' V ;• ■••:;■■•■■ I, i."' '.^:U ^•»- >- 

, : •' 'f/o'' 

■ yi :-. 7'.. :i •;)!/. V: M^.:Miv 

' [ ^ j;7/ j^JiA lo o>ii5ui7 :-f{t i^/ilA be f hill iri , 

» « r Fi- 

ll ■■•.;":,; 1 ! I I ; : • .■ i i M 


account of removals and deatJis. The house was soM 
and another built on Section 18, near the line of Ju- 
bilee Township, called Zion Church, which is now con- 
nected with Kickapoo in its pastoral relations. The 
leaders in starting this church were William Rowcliffe 
and Daniel Oorbett. The membership is small. 

The Catholics have a strong church in Radnor, 
called the St. Rose Catholic Church. Their church 
edifice w\as erected in the fall of 1879 by John Horine. 
The congregation contains many of the leading citi- 
zens of the place. 


' 'Ii'A{ 'j: 


Mr. Isaac B. Essex, in whose honor this division of 
Stark County was named, settled here in 1829, re?nov- 
ing in that year from Ft. Clark, now the City of Peoria, 
where he had taught school the preceding winter. The 
whole of what is now Stark County was then a wil- 
derness, and the forest presented its huge trees with- 
out underbrush, with Indian trails stretching out in 
every direction. The Indians left Spoon River and 
Indian Creek soon after this and moved some miles 
v/estward, returning later for a few years. 

Isaac Essex built a cabin on the south eighty of the 
northeast quarter of Section 15. In due course of time 
other settlers came and located farther up Spoon 
River, as the streams and timber were then considered 
the most desirable portion of the countr3^ A little 
to the east of him were Greeley Smith and his father, 
who came from Ohio in 1830. Next w^as J. C. Owens, 
the first justice of the peace in the county, living on 
what is now the Edgar Miller farm (1906). Benja- 
min Smith and Major Silliman were also close by. 
Farther up the river in turn were Thomas Essex, 
David Cooper and Coonrad Leak. Still farther on 
was old man Leak who built a saw and grist mill 
on Si)Oon River soutliwest of Wyoming, "where you 
could get your clapboards sawed, corn cracked and 
wheat mashed." A freshet in 1836 washed the mill 
away, but traces of it could be seen within a few j^ears. 
Still up the river were Sylvanus Moore, on the place 
long known as the General Thomas homestead; also 


t). ,o:,.<- bun 'f'.iA.i •i'<rtr n ^-^ >l-)C^-: ^ 

'>•;".. ,7 'Uiii b) .' 


Jesse Heath who kept a little store near by, and John 
Dodge. Up and west of here, near the Methodist camp 
grounds, lived AVesley and Peter Miner, and a little 
northwest of Wyoming, Samuel Seeley. 

Starting west of here on Indian Creek and following 
the course of that stream towai-d the south wore Sam- 
uel Merrill, Major McClennehnn, Stephen Worley and 
Benjamin Essex. Henry White lived on what is known 
as the Peter Sheets or A. J. Simmerman farm, and 
John ]\Iarrow on the James Ballentine farm (now 
owned by A. J. Scott). Charles Pierce and Thomas 
Winn were others, the latter building a cabin in 1834 
in the old Spoon River fort on Section 16. Jarville 
Chaffee came here from Michigan in May, 1834. 
Thinking to get up something extra he split the logs, 
whitewashed the inside and had an upstairs, reached 
by a ladder. This was the entire settlement on Spoon 
River and Indian Creek from 1829 to i\ray, 1834. L)r. 
Ellsworth came from Ohio in the fall of 1834, and 
was the first practicing physician in the county. Henry 
Colwell came from Ohio in 1837, and w^as the first stock 
auctioneer in the county. 

Mr. Essex, as soon as there were a few neighbors, 
had been appointed postmaster, and the first within 
the present limits of Stark County, the office being 
called Essex. In 1834-5 there was a weekly mail 
route established from Springfield via Peoria to Ga- 
lena. This route ran along the bluffs of the Illinois 
Piver above Peoria up to Hennepin, to Dixon and on to 
Galena. Upon this the early settlers were entirely 
dependent for their mail matter. There was some sort 
of an office, or ''hole in the bluftV' 3^^^^ below the 
present town of Northampton- in Peoria County, and 
a man by the name of Hicks was postmaster. From 


iA,^ . 


this office under the bluff the mail was carried on the 
volunteer sj'stem, the settlers taking turns at carry- 
ing it once a week. It was usually carried in a meal 
bag and could have been in the crown of a man's hat. 
** Galena Miner" (as Mr. Harris Miner was often 
called), generally carried it on foot. The Essex of- 
fice at this time was an old boot box, set up on pins 
driven into the wall, high and dry, and above the 
reach of children in the cabin of Mr. Essex. In 1833 
oiilj'^ two newspapers were taken in the county, one 
by Mr. Essex and the other by Benjamin Smith. At 
this date two weeks were required to get a paper from 
Springfield, and a proportionately longer time to get 
intelligence from "Washington. This office was trans- 
ferred to Wyoming in 1839, where William Godley was 
appointed postmaster. A number of Pennsjdvania 
families had settled there, and while they did not care 
especially for the county seat, they did want the post- 
office. The coming of the railroad (now the C, B. & 
Q.) brought with it the village of Duncan and with the 
village returned the postoffice. In addition to Dun- 
can and part of Wyoming, Slackwater and Stringtown 
had up to this time formed the leading settlements 
of the township. Moulton on its northern border and 
Massilon on its western border long since passed away 
and their sites were plowed over by the modern hus- 

In 1832-3 the question of establishing a school in 
the Essex settlement was brought before the legislature 
and on March 1, 1833, an act was approved creating 
Isaac Essex commissioner of the school fund and au- 
thorizing him to sell Section 16. On February 4, 1834, 
this section was sold for $968.70. The day prior to this 
sale, the voters assembled at the Essex cabin and 

f :!::".} 

v/ i 


elected Sylvaiins IMoore, Greenleaf Smith and Benja- 
min Smith, trustees. I\Ioscs Boardman was elected 
in 1835. Madison "Winn in his paper of 1886, says: 
*'0n the fourtli day of July, 1834, the people came to- 
gether for the purpose of building a school house. 
The site chosen was near the northeast corner of the 
northeast quarter of Section 15, in Essex Township. 
The building was i)]anned to be twenty feet square, 
and all went to work with a will, some cutting, some 
hauling, some making clapboards, and others build- 
ing. By noon it was built up w^aist high; and there 
coming a showier, we arranged the clapboards over the 
wall and underneath ate our Fourth of July dinner. 
The first day the walls were built up to the roof, which 
was soon covered, and from Leak's mill slabs were 
brought for seats. A post w^as driven into the ground 
and a slab laid on it for a teacher's desk, while mother 
earth was the floor. Adam Perry commenced school 
about July 15th, with about thirty scholars. (This 
Perry received $55.50 for teaching the winter school 
of 1834-5 for three months. Sabrina Chatfield, later 
Mrs. Ililliard, received $13.00 for a three months' sum- 
mer school in 1835, and Mary Lake $6.34 1-4 for six 
weeks' teaching during the fall term.) In the fall the 
house was finished — a floor put in above and below, 
three windows sawed out, the east one having a light 
of glass in it, the other two covered with cloth, cracks 
plastered up with yellow clay, holes bored in the walls 
in which pins were inserted and slabs laid on for desks, 
and a sod chimney built. Sabrina Chatfield, better 
known as Grandmother Ililliard, of Lafayette, now 
taught, and was the first female teacher conducting 
a school in the county. Next were Jesse W. Heath, 
Mary Lake, Joseph R. Newton, "William Samis and 


James Dalrj^mple. At the close of IMr. Dalryinple's 
school in March, 1839, he gave a school exhibition, 
the first in the collnt3^ The first Sabbath school was 
organized in this building by one Seigle, in 1837. The 
Methodists held meetings here for some years, com- 
ing from Lafayette and Prince ville, bringing their 
dinners and staying all day. 

On June 30, 1840, twenty-three votes were cast in 
favor of organization for school purposes. In De- 
cember, 1856, Cox's school house, Essex Township, 
was completed on ground donated by Joseph Cox. In 
1872 the districts were readjusted and increased to 
ten in number, thus settling the district boundary 
lines, which had been a troublesome question previously 
and which have remained thus settled with practic- 
ally no change to the present time. They have recently 
been renumbered, how^ever, by the county sj^stem. 

The earliest church in the township was the Meth- 
odist, its establishment being contemporary with the 
settlement of the Essex family in 1829, although a class 
was not regularly organized until 1835. In these days 
the school house was, of course, used as a place of 
meeting. Rev. AVm. C. Cummings writes: ^'In 1835 
I was appointed by Bishop Eoberts from the Illinois 
conference of the IMethodist church to (what was then) 
Peoria Mission. It extended over a large territory — 
nearly embraced now in Peoria and Kewanee districts, 
being parts of the following named counties, viz. : Peoria 
Fulton, Knox, Stark and Marshall. I preached at Father 
Fraker's, whose name is of precious memory in the 
churches, and rode from there over the ground where 
Toulon and Lafayette now stand, though they prob- 
ably had not then been thought of. Not far from the pres- 
ent site of Toulon lived' Adam Perry, whom I appointed 

M nl 

A ... .t. ■ '' > i 'i -I 

//Oil , 


class leader of a small society in the Essex settlemeut, 
and where we held a quarterly meeting in 1835, at 
which W. B. Mack and Stephen U. Beggs were pres- 
ent. The circuit preachers who attended here from 
1830 to 1839 are named as follows: S. R. Beggs, 1830; 
Rev. Wm. CriRsay, 1831; Zadoc Hall, 1832; Joel Ar- 
lington, 1833; Leander S. Walker, 1834; J. W. Dun- 
ahay, 1836; W. C. Cummings, 1835-7; A. E. Phelps, 
1837; S. R. Beggs, 1839. After Mr. Beggs' last term 
the history of Methodism drifted to Toulon and Wy- 
omiug, until the M. E. church of Duncan was organized 
in 1888. Rev. F. "W. Merrill came from Princeville for 
the purpose and Mr. Ezra Adams superintended the 
building of the church. 

The Methodists were soon follow^ed b}'- the Latter 
Day Saints, who made some converts here, and, it is 
said, led some members of the Essex family and others 
equally prominent, away from their allegiance to 

United Brethren Church of Essex Township, or 
Pleasant Valley church, was regularlj^ organized in 

1867, and the present house of w^orship erected that 
year. The Pastors have been: 1867, B. C. Dennis; 

1868, J. L. Condon; 1869, F. J. Dunn; 1871, John Wag- 
ner; 1872, P. B. Lee; 1874, Geo. H. Yarce; 1875, A. 
Norman; 1877, J. K. Bradford; 1879, A. A. Wolf; 1881, 
A. W. Callaghan and J. S. Smith; 1883, J. Lessig; 1885, 
E. 0. Norvill; 1886-9. W. E. Rose, and later in succes- 
sion. Reverends John Weigle, Kosch, Schomp, Valen- 
tine, Bruso, Lindsy, 0. Marshall, Kemp and Spurlock; 
until recently there have been no services at this 
church, although Sunday school is still held. 

The Methodist Protestant church, adjoining the 
Sheets cemetery, is of more recent organization, hav- 


.'i i .'- > ;j ! li 


ing been in existence only some ten years at this writ- 

Pleasant Valley churcli lot and cemetery were plat- 
ted by Edwin Butler in August, 1873, on two acres 
in the northeast corner of Section 32, given by Coon- 
rad Smith. The Sheets cemetery, the oldest in the 
township, had been in existence long before this. There 
is also the Schiebel cemetery near the school house, 
on what was formerly the Sewell Smith farm. 

The town of Duncan was survej^ed by Edwin But- 
ler for Alfred II. Castle in June, 1870. Monroe, Adams 
and Jefferson streets running north and south; Main, 
Washington and Galena streets running east and west ; 
but block one forming the extreme northwestern part 
of the village and all Galena street with northern ex- 
tensions of Monroe and Adams, have been vacated. 

The Essex Horse Company was organized in April, 
1858, on cavalry plan, but not for military purposes. 
It was to compete with the other townships for the 
agricultural society's premium for the best twenty- 
six horses. H. Shivvers presided, with J. W. Drum- 
mond, secretary. 

In 1834-5 the Indians cultivated their cornfields 
along Camping Creek and near its mouth; but their 
old village on the borders of the Josiah I\Ioffitt farm 
was then deserted, and their council-house in ruins. 
Even the mimic fortress built at the close of 
1832, to commemorate the war, was then going to de- 
cay. A new era was introducing itself, which, within 
fifty years, and much more within seventy-five years, 
effected a total change in the customs and manners of 
the people, as well as in the country wliich the pio- 
neers foiuid a wilderness. Througliout this state there 
cannot be found a more beautifully located township 

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than tliis of Essex. Witliin its limits many of the early 
settlers made their homes; there also, that natural lo- 
cater, the Indian, built his wigwam, and squatted, so 
to speak, in the midst of plenty. The streams of the 
township offered the lazy red men their wealth of 
fish, the forest its game, and the soil its wild fruits, 
herbs, and in some cases corn. 


This township was given its name by the commis- 
sioners in lSij3. The prairie character of the soil and 
its- location at tlie foot of- the highest divide in the 
state, as that from Lawn Ridge to TVyanet is said to 
be, snggested the name ** Valley. " The streams of the 
township are small and have comparatively few" trees 
along them. This perhaps accounts for the fact that 
the early settlers, ayIio were always seeking the timber, 
did not settle this township as early as the neiglibor- 
mg one of Essex by some fifteen or twenty years. 
Mud Run courses through the south side of the town- 
ship and Camp or Camping Run is farther north. Camp 
Run received its name because it started in the grove 
of trees now Camp Grove, which used to be the ** camp- 
ing grove" of the Indians. These streams form at once 
a good water supply and drainage system. Deep wells 
afford a never failing supply of excellent water and 
this in connection with a most fertile soil, tend to ren- 
der Valley one of the finest agricultural townships in 

The township was organized for school purposes in 
1847, and on July 17th, five voters assembled at David 
Rouse's house and elected David Rouse, William Cum- 
mings and Z. G. Bliss, trustees. At this time there 
were only nine families, comprising forty-one children, 
in the township. In 1851, twenty-three of the twenty- 
seven voters then in the township, petitioned for the 
sale of the school section, whicli was granted. On 
January 21, 1856, the trustees organized by appoint- 


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ing Cliarles S. Payne, president; "W. D. ]\rcDonald, 
treasurer ; J. S. Hopkins, secretary, and "Wesley King. 
In March, 1856, the large districts were subdivided into 
six school districts, each two by three miles. In April, 
1864, R. S. Kilgore and Peter W. Van Patten petitioned 
for the formation of two new districts; and a ninth 
district has since been added. The southeast corner 
of the townshi]) also furnishes part of the land for a 
union district with Marshall county. 

In pioneer days this district was a part of Spoon 
River precinct. The first toAvn meeting, under the law 
of 1851, was held on the 4th day of April, 1853, at 
the brick schoolhouse in what now is school district 
No. 7. Z. G. Bliss was chosen chairman and James II. 
Hathaway clerk of said meeting. Charles C. "Wilson 
(later Judge Wilson of Henry County) w^as chosen su- 
pervisor, George Marlatt, town clerk; J. S. Hopkins, 
assessor; Harry Hull, collector; Paul Rouse, Jr., over- 
seer of the poor; E. C. Stowell, Joseph Eby, James ]\L 
Rogers, commissioners of highways; David Rouse, over- 
seer of roads; P. Chase, Z. G. Bliss and D. Whiffin a 
committee to divide the town into three road districts. 

About 1869 $30,000.00 aid was voted to the Peoria 
and Rock Island Railroad. Here began a controversy 
that has continued to the present time, the rivalry be- 
tween Wady Petra and Stark villages. The story is 
told differently by different parties, and the writer 
cannot undertake to decide all the points between them. 
Some say that the depot was to be located ''as near the 
center of the township as practicable;" others that it 
was to be in the south part of the township, any^vhere 
provided it were not nearer than one-half mile to the 
county line. The east and west road at the first mile 
north of the county line had not been extended through, 


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because it would have to cross Mud Run several times. 
It had instead been run one-half mile north (through 
what is now Stark), and the topography of Camp Run 
had thrown the next road one and one-half miles north 
of that. 

Some claimed that the logical point for the depot 
was at the last named crossing, just north of Camp 
Run, exactly in the center of the township from north 
to south. The residents there at that time, however, 
were largely renters who had no particular interests 
to make them get out and hustle, while the land owners 
at the Stark crossing claimed theirs to be the logical 
point, and thought the depot coming to them. Mr. 
Philander Chase did more hustling than any of them, 
however, and got the depot located on his farm, mid- 
way between the south one of the two crossings and 
the county line. 

The east and west road through Wady Petra was 
petitioned for a number of times, but always refused 
by the road commissioners, who lived in and sided with 
the northern part of the township. The road was 
opened by Mr. Chase and adjoining land owners vol- 
untaril)^, however, and in the course of time accepted 
by the township as a public highway. 

Be these matters of history as they may, the first 
depot was at Wady Petra and the farmers north of 
that were not contented. In the course of a few years 
the railroad, being financially weak, fell into the hands 
of a receiver, Mr. J. R. Hilliard. He was favorable to 
the Stark project, and proceeded to build a switch and 
depot as soon as he could, and to assist the new town 
as much as possible. C. T. Newell and John Dawson 
were the chief local promoters. A company elevator 
was built and run by tloseph Anderson. Adam Seed 

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came from Princeville and put up the first dwelling, 
that now owned by Richard Gorman. John Berg 
built the second house and Joe Anderson the third, now 
the Ella Hull property. John Brumbaugh moved some 
smaller buildings from Wadj^ Petra about this time, 
then Thomas IMcConn built a house, the one known as 
the Sam Schiebel place recently destroyed by fire, and 
Erastus IMorrow built the post ofiice dwelling. The 
first depot at Stark burned; a new one was completed 
in October, 1886, and that having since burned, the 
present one is No. 3. The first elevator also burned, 
soon ufter it was built, and Mr. lYnderson built an- 

Stark village w^as never platted, but Wady Petra 
was platted and surveyed by Edwin Butler, for IMrs. 
Anna K. Chase (widow of Philander Chase) in 1875. 
At this time an osage orange hedge formed the north- 
ern and southern boundaries. Tw^enty acres were in- 
cluded in the plat, with Chase and Front streets run- 
ning north and south, and Main and Hamilton stretch- 
ing east from the depot grounds. 

Mr. Heber Chase's father, Philander Chase, was 
for many years a missionary preacher in Peoria and 
Stark counties, and in November, 1852, he settled with 
his family in Valley Township w^here, with one or two 
intervals of absence elsewhere, he raised his large 
family and resided until his death. He was the young- 
est son of Bishop Chase, the first Episcopalian bishop of 
Illinois, who had founded Jubilee College in Peoria 

All of the building stone in this region was pro- 
cured at this time from what is now Fred 
Streitmatter's ''Chase eighty," a half mile south 
in Akron Township. Philander Chase needed 

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considerable stone, and not wishing to take from 
this quarry without knowing to whom the land 
belonged, hunted up the owners and bought the 
eighty-acre tract in question. Having thus assured 
himself of a supply of building material, wliich Avas 
scarce in tlioso days, he built Ids residence, tliat now 
owned by John Nickolls, of this material. In 1854 he 
gave forty acres of land to the Episcopalian church, and 
with money donated in different localities and the East, 
started to build the stone church which stands yet, 
near the southeast corner of Section 31. This build- 
ing was never finished because of lack of encourage- 
ment, and partly because IMr. Chase realizing the need 
of good schools for his children, moved about that 
time to Wyoming. 

The Congregational Church of Stark originated in 
a series of meetings, which from 1880 to 1885 were 
held in various places in the vicinity. The first effort 
to organize a meeting was made by holding services 
in the warehouse of Simpson & Smith, but subse- 
quently held in an unused cheese factory. Here a 
Sundaj^ school was started in 1883, which, in connec- 
tion with regular services, continued until it was pro- 
posed to build a church. The enterprise was to be 
known as the Union Church, and on the evening of Feb- 
ruary 19, 1885, many citizens of Stark and vicinity 
met to complete arrangements. 

M. S. Smith presided, with W. F. Speers, secretary. 
A comTuittec of five, consisting of M. S. Smith, II. Blood, 
W. F. Speers, Charles Ilampson and L. Dixon, were 
elected as a financial committee. By February 2Gth, 
$620.00 was subscribed, and April 19th a meeting was 
called to consider the question of organization. A 
committee to call a council to organize a Congrega- tj;«:.ilj; i..'>V(Mi! ,,' 

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tional Church, comprising H. F. Blood, M. S. Smith 
and L. E. Brown was appointed April 28th, and a Con- 
gregational Church was organized. On May 31st, 
Rev. J. Mitchell of Wyoming was called as pastor to 
preach once each Sunday for the consideration of 
$300.00 por annum, and IT. F. Blood, "William Peter- 
son and William Simpson appointed a committee to so- 
licit subscriptions. On September 20, 1885, the church, 
which in the meantime had been erected and finished 
at a cost of about $2,000.00 was dedicated, the sermon 
being preached by Rev J. K. Tompkins of Chicago. On 
the day of dedication, $334.78 was collected to liquidate 
all the indebtedness of the church, and from its founda- 
tion the church has continued to grow. 

In Yalley Cemetery, known also as the Fox Ceme- 
tery (the only one in the township, as the Lawn Ridge 
Cemetery is in Marshall county,) are interred the fol- 
lowing old settlers: W. Down, died in 1878; James 
Jackson, 1871 ; Jane Hodges, 1859 ; Margaret Jackson, 
1882; Lovina Ann Eby, 1870; Harry Hull, 1878; Sally 
Hull, 1862; Carlton A. Fox, 1872; Wm. Marlatt, 1886, 
At Camp Grove, Lawn Ridge, Wyoming and other rest- 
ing places for the dead in the vicinity, many old set- 
tlers are at home, while throughout the West others 
have found the end of life's journey. 

The neighboring settlement of Lawn Ridge in Mar- 
shall county, dates its settlement back to 1845, when 
Charles Stone made his home there. He was followed 
by ''Deacon" Smith and Joshua Powell, the deacon 
being the first blacksmith. Alden Hull settled in the 
township about 1845, and shortly after the United Prps- 
byterian Church w^as organized there. In 1846 the Con- 
gregational Church of Blue Ridge was founded, and in 
1850 the Methodists organized at the Center. On Octo- 


ber 5, 18G4, Lawn Ridge Lodge No. 415, A. F. & A. M., 
was chartered. 

In the Slimmer of 1901 the Peoria branch of the 
Chicago & Northwestern Railroad crossed Valley 
Township from north to south, locating its station on 
the Captriin John Speers farm. The now town named 
Speer, has developed a thrifty growth, furnishing an 
outlet for the corn and corn-fed hogs and cattle of the 
productive towjiships of Valley and La Prairie. Land 
values have gone up in Valley as in other parts of the 
corn belt, and many farm owners realize that it woidd 
not be safe to price their land at $150.00 to $200.00 
per acre. 



Princeville Township 3 

Akron Township 42 

Millbrook Township 52 

Jubilee Township 64 

Jubilee — The Little Place in the Woods 73 

Hallock Township 79 

Radnor Township 95 

Essex Township 110 

Valley Township 118 


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