Peoria County Ilgenweb



















The County has four cities (Peoria, West Peoria, Chillicothe and Elmwood), eleven villages (Bartonville, Bellevue, Brimfield, Dunlap, Glasford, Hanna City, Kingston Mines, Mapleton, Norwood, Princeville and Peoria Heights) and twenty townships: Akron, Brimfield, Chillicothe, Elmwood, Hallock, Hollis, Jubilee, Kickapoo, Limestone, Logan, Medina, Millbrook, Princeville, Radnor, Richwoods, Rosefield, Timber, Trivoli, West Peoria and Peoria.

The Native Americans:

Archaeologists can trace early man in Peoria as far back as 10,000 B.C.E. Artifacts and burial mounds yield evidence of a Native American civilization that was highly organized, ritualistic, and in harmony with nature. By 1650, the Illini Indians, a part of the Algonquin Nation, populated the area. The major tribes of the Illinois Confederacy were the Peoria, Kaskaskia, Michigamea, Cahokia, and Tamaroa.

The Peoria (through French Peouarea, from Peoria Piwarea, 'he comes carrying a pack on his back': a personal name) were one of the principal tribes of the Illinois confederacy. Franquelin, in his map of 1688, locates them and the Tapouaro on a river west of the Mississippi above the mouth of Wisconsin River, probably the upper Iowa River. Early references to the Illinois, which place them on the Mississippi, although some of the tribes were on the Rock and Illinois rivers, must relate to the Peoria and locate them near the mouth of the Wisconsin River. When Marquette and Joliet descended the Mississippi in 1673, they found them and the Moingwena on the west side of the Mississippi, near the mouth of a river supposed to be the Des Moines, though it may have been one farther north. When Marquette returned from the south, he found that the Peoria had removed and were near the lower end of the expansion of the Illinois River, near presentday Peoria. At the close of the war carried on by the Sauk and Foxes and other northern tribes against the Illinois, about 1768, the Kickapoo took possession of this village and made it their principal settlement.

About the same time, a large part of the Peoria crossed over into Missouri, where they remained, building their village on Blackwater fork, until they removed to Kansas. One band, the Utagami, living near the Illinois River, was practically exterminated, probably by the northern tribes, during the Revolutionary War. Utagami, according to Dr. William Jones, may mean the Foxes, who were known to the northern Algonquians as Utugamig, "people of the other shore." The Foxes claim to have annihilated the Peoria for the help they gave the French and other tribes in the wars against them (the Foxes). The main body of the Peoria remained on the east bank of the Illinois River until 1832, when, along with the other tribes of the old Illinois Confederacy, they sold to the United States their claims in Illinois and Missouri; the consolidated tribes, under the names of Peoria and Kaskaskia, were assigned a reservation on the Osage River in Kansas. In 1854, the Wea and Piankashaw united with them, and in 1868, the entire body removed to Indian Territory in Oklahoma, where they remained.

The French:

1673 Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet explored the shores of Peoria. 1680 Robert Cavalier Sieur de LaSalle and Henri de Tonti constructed Fort Crevecoeur on the east bank of the Illinois River. 1691 Old Peorias Fort and Village

Tonti and Francois Daupin de LaForest built Fort St. Louis II (frequently called Fort Pimiteoui), believed to have been located at the foot of Mary and Adams streets. The Immaculate Conception Mission was established here by Jesuit missionaries. A village grew up around the fort. This first European settlement in Illinois had trading posts, a blacksmith shop, a chapel, a winepress, and a windmill.
During the 1760s Jean Baptiste Maillet, a French-Canadian, assumed a leadership role in the village. In 1773 Maillet sold his property to Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable[2], Peoria's most notable black settler, who later founded Chicago.

With British victory in the French & Indian War in 1763, France relinquished the Illinois Territory to Great Britain. However, the British did not effectively take immediate control and the French villagers remained. In 1778 George Rogers Clark captured the Illinois Country for Virginia, and in 1784 Virginia ceded the Territory to the United States.

1778 The New Village:

General Clark appointed Maillet military commander in 1778. Maillet moved 1.5 miles south of the old village and built a fortified house. This settlement later became known as "LaVille de Maillet." It is now the site of downtown Peoria. The New Village had log houses and barns surrounded by gardens, orchards, and roaming farm animals. Carpenter, blacksmith, cobbler, carriage, and trading shops lined the narrow streets. The French villagers had also constructed a large windmill, winepress, an underground wine vault, and a gilt-lettered wilderness chapel.

The War of 1812:

American forces thought the French villagers were supporting Indian skirmishes with the westward-bound pioneers. In October 1812, they massacred the inhabitants of Chief Black Partridge's village. A few weeks later, the Americans burned French Peoria to the ground, took the inhabitants captive, and transported them downriver to Alton. These acts were later condemned and the French villagers were compensated for their losses by an act of the United States Congress. The Native Americans, who for centuries had enjoyed the bounty of the Pimiteoui valley, were forced to abandon it and migrate west.

The Americans:

The Civil War Era:

The citizens of Peoria were sharply divided on the issue of slavery. Many abolition rallies were met with resistance from Southern sympathizers. The Jefferson Street home of Moses Pettengill, a wealthy local merchant, was a station on the Underground Railroad.


Townships and Towns

Akron Township (Princeville, Akron, West Hallock)

Brimfield Township (Brimfield)>

Chillicothe Township (Chillicothe, North Chillicothe, Rome)

Elmwood Township (Elmwood, South Port)

Hallock Township (Edelstein, West Hallock, North Hampton, Hallock, Lawn Ridge)

Hollis Township (Mapleton, Orchard Mines, Tuscarora, Hollis, LaMarsh)

Jubilee Township (Jubilee)

Kickapoo Township (Pottstown, Kickapoo, Edwards, Orange Prairie, Radnor, Hale's Mill)

Limestone Township (Bartonville, Bellevue)


Limestone Township (Bartonville, Bellevue)

Logan Township (Hanna City, Eden, Smithville)

Medina Township (Mossville, Alta)

Millbrook Township (Laura, Elmore/Rochester)

Princeville Township (Princeville, Monica)

Radnor Township (Dunlap)

Richwoods Township (Peoria Heights)

Rosefield Township (Oak Hill, Kramm, Olin)

Timber Township (Glasford, Kingston Mines-formerly Palmyra, Lancaster)

Trivoli Township (Trivoli, Cramer)

Significant Dates in Early Peoria History

By Odillion B. Slane, Reminiscences of Early Peoria,
Peoria, IL, 1933, Privately Printed; pg 50

First school taught 1821
First Ferry 1821
First Factory (chair) John Hamlin 1823
First Hotel 1824
First frame house John Hamlin 1824
First Grand Jury 1825
First Traverse (Petit) Jury 1825
First Post Office 1825
First Schoolhouse built 1825
Election in Peoria County 1825
County organized by Legislature January 1825
First steamboat (The Mechanic ) arrives 1827
Incorporated Town of Peoria, July 1835
First Newspaper published 1834
First County Jail built
Fire Company organized 1844
First Telegraph Message sent 1848
First Bridge across Peoria Lake 1849
First Railroad into Peoria 1854
First Bank 1851
First Public School 1855
First Street Car line 1870
First Telephone line 1879

AKRON TOWNSHIP- Peoria County, Illinois

Back To Top

Is one of the northern tier of townships bordering on Marshall county, was originally all prairie; is one of the prettiest and most fertile tracts of land, and contains some of the finest farm improvements in Peoria county. There is no incorporated town in the township. The village of Princeville lies on its western border and the hamlet and post office of West Hallock
on the eastern line, and Akron post office is near the center of the township. The soil is admirably adapted to grain-growing and grazing, especially to the production of Indian corn. Its inhabitants are intelligent and prosperous.

Settlers and First Events
The first settler of Akron township was Hugh Montgomery, who located on section 7 in 1831.
The same year D. Prince and James Morrow settled on section 31, and Thomas Morrow on section 18.
The first marriage took place in 1833, when William Morrow was united with Miss Martha White.
The first birth was Jane, daughter of Daniel and Elizabeth Prince, in February, 1832.
The first death in the township was that of Samuel Morrow, infant son of William Morrow, in 1835.
First sermon preached was by the Rev. Mr. Hill, a Methodist preacher, at the residence of James Morrow, in 1832.
The first school house was built on section 19, in 1836. The school was taught by Miss Hester Stoddard in that year.
The first church edifice was built by the Seventh-day Baptists in 1871, and was dedicated by the Rev. Nathan Wardner.
The first justice of the peace was Benjamin Slane, who was also the first supervisor.
The Rock Island and Peoria Railroad runs through the southwest corner.

West Halleck Cheese Factory was organized February, 1876.
The company composed of G. W. Butts, William Spicer, and E. W. Burdeck.
Make cheese five days in the week, and make about 11,000 pounds per month.
One day of the week (Saturday) make butter, and average 300 pounds per day.
The cost of their present factory is about $3,500.

Source: The History of Peoria County, Illinois, Johnson & Company, Chicago, 1880.


BRIMFIELD TOWNSHIP - Peoria County, Illinois

Back To Top

The town of Charleston, now Brimfield, Peoria County, Illinois, was surveyed and laid out in the year 1835, on the N. W. quarter of section 24, in township 10, north of range 5, E. 4th, p. m.
The proprietors were Jacob Showalter and Almon Clark.
Previous to the laying out of the town a number of pioneers had located in the vicinity.
Among them Philip Atkinson, supposed to have been the first settler in the township.
On section 10 N. of range 6, were Asahel and Roswell Walker, James Adams, and Daniel and A. W. Harkness.

The first house in Charleston was built of logs, on the northwest corner of Knoxville and Galena Avenues,
by A. Woniger, in 1836, who opened a grocery store in the room below, and made his residence in the room above. The same year Jacob Vanhouton, who was the first postmaster, built a log house on the northwest
corner of Knoxville Avenue and Washington Street, better known as the old Wolcott house.
In the township and vicinity many new settlers arrived in that year, among them were John F. and N. H. Wiley, Levi Jennings, L. L. Booth, John Tucker, Isaac Cutter, T. N. Wells, Daniel Simmons, Isaac Harrison, and
L. L. Guyor, who succeeded Jacob Vanhouton as postmaster, and in the following year built a log house on
lot 7 in block 17, in which he opened a general store for supplying the inhabitants of the surrounding country with dry goods, groceries, etc., keeping bachelor's hall in the upper room, which was freely thrown open for preaching the gospel to any pioneer minister who might travel on the circuit.
Those who settled in the west half of township 10, north of range 6, east (now Jubilee) in 1836, were the Powells, the Sniders, Shanes, James Berrian, the Martins, the Johnsons, and William Camphor, who was subsequently elected to represent Peoria county in the legislature, Daniel Stansburry, now living in Brimfield, at the age of 88 years; also Jacob Wells, who started the first blacksmith shop and opened the first coal bank in the vicinity, being on the northwest quarter of section 18.
The first settlers had to obtain their mail from Peoria. The first mail to Charleston was carried on horseback.
The first line of mail coaches was started from Peoria to Oquawka, early in the year of 1838.
The first election in the precinct was held at the house of Isaac Cutter, when Clark D. Powell was elected justice
of the peace, and Samuel Johnson, constable.
The first preaching in the township was at the house of Isaac Cutter, by Rev. Zaccheus Hall, a Methodist minister. Rev. Geo. G. Sill, was the first Presbyterian minister, and preached occasionally at L. L. Guyer's store, in 1838. The late Bishop Chase, of Jubilee College, also preached there a few times.

The year 1838 marked quite an era to the new town in respects to improvements and increase of population.
James Wollcott and family, comprising eight in number, came from the East purchased and occupied the Vanhouten House. Daniel Belcher built the two story frame house for a tavern, on the northwest corner of Knoxville Ave. and Washington Street; A. S. W. Goodwin and Daniel Caldwell, who built a log-house on lot 8 in block 16. Wm. Tobey, who was subsequently the manufacturer of the cele­brated Tobey & Anderson plow, at Peoria; also came Dr. Prouty, John Towell, John Shores and E. Haywood, making an additional population for that year, of thirty-three persons in the town. Those who settled in the vicinity were Alpheus Willard, David Sanborn, James M. Wiley, Bradford Hall, George H. and Samuel W. Pulsifer, Luther and Gilbert Hathaway, Washington Cockle, Noah Alden, Sr., Noah Alden, Jr., and Hiram Alden; Noah Alden, Sr., died a few years since at the advanced age of ninety-eight.

The first fourth of July celebration in the new town was in the same year, and participated in by most of the inhabitants of the town neighborhood. The Declaration of Independence was read by A. S. W. Goodwin, and an ode composed by Miss Lucretia Wolcott for the Sixty-Second Anniversary of American Independence, and was sung by herself and others.

Polluted never be thy shrine,
May love's bright halo round thee shine,
And unity and peace divine,
Forever dwell with thee.

In 1839, the Hon. Wm. Thompson with his wife and two daughters removed from Northampton, Mass.,
to Peoria county. He was born in Brimfield, Mass., on the 23d day of February, 1786. Through a long life Mr. Thompson enjoyed the esteem and confidence of all classes of the community. For four years he was a member
of the Senate of Illinois, also a member of the convention to alter the constitution of the State in 1847.
He died at Brimfield on the 24th day of February, 1850, aged 64. He married Miss Eliza S. White of Chesterfield, Mass., who survived her husband twenty-seven years.

The first school-house was built in 1839. The first teacher was Miss Ellen Bartlett, of Peoria. Among the arrivals this year was Chas. H. Freeman and Capt. Fisher.
The first marriage in town was Mr. L. L. Guyer and Miss Elvira M. Wiley, and Rev. George Wilkison performed the ceremony.

 In 1842, Wm. W. Thompson was elected to the Legislature of Illinois for the session of 1842-3, and succeeded in getting the name of Charleston changed to that of Brimfield, a change had become necessary on account of two other towns in the State having the same name, one being the county seat of Coles county, which claimed precedence. There was some dissatisfaction with the change, some wanted it called Wolcottsville and others Guyersburg; but the town was to be known as Brimfield, not such a bad or disagreeable name after all for a town with a territory so famous for its fertility of soil and salubrity [sic] of climate, the brimfulness [sic] of its barns and corn cribs with each retiring year, gathered from its extensive and teaming fields.

In the year 1849, township organization was adopted by Peoria county, so that each congressional township had jurisdiction only within its own boundary lines, and the west half of 10, north range 6 east (now Jubilee) ceased to be a part of Brimfield election precincts, and this township was named Brimfield after the chief town. From the year 1850 to 1860 the town and neighborhood had a very considerable accession to its inhabitants.

A branch of the C., B. & Q. railroad passes through the east side of Brimfield township and the town of Brimfield. It is a place of about eight hundred inhabitants, and contains a number of prosperous business houses in different lines of trade, prominent among which are: C. B. & E. K. Hayes - in dry goods, 
Wesley Stain and W. Cowls
, - groceries, J. P. & B. B. Bowman - hardware, Win. Robinson - drugs,
F. P. Wiley- in jewelry, wall-paper, etc., F. H. Camp - in furniture.
Daniel Belcher is proprietor of the Brimfield House, one of the best managed and popular country hotels in the county.

Brimfield School-
The present school building was erected in the Summer of 1877. The plans and specifications were drawn in Peoria by a man named Quial, and was contracted and built by Bryson & Silloway. It is a brick structure, two stories high, six apartments, five occupied. The cost of building and furnishing was $11,000.. The present directors are Milton Duncan, Dr. Lowe and James Farnum. The principal is R. Stone Hill; assistants: Frank E. Pummer, Ella Hall, Ellen G. Slattery and Ada Hall. The school is divided into five departments and about fifty in a department, making an attendance of 250, with good and efficient teachers. It is in a prosperous condition.

Source: The History of Peoria County, Illinois, Johnson & Company, Chicago, 1880.

CHILLICOTHE TOWNSHIP - Peoria County, Illinois

Back To Top

This township is triangular in shape, situated in the northeast corner of Peoria County, and is composed of the fractional towns 11 north, 9 east, and 10 north, 9 east. It contains thirteen whole sections, and seven or eight fractional parts of sections, Marshall county bounds it on the north, the Illinois river on the east and south, and Medina and Hallock townships on the west. The south end of the township, comprising a part of LaSalle prairie, is but slightly undulating, lies beautifully, has a soil composed of sand and vegetable loam, and is well adapted to the growth of the cereals. The north part, which was originally timbered land, is considerably broken in some portions by the Senachwine creek and its branches, though there are fine agricultural lands interspersed.
The first white settler in the township was Mahlon Lupton, who located on section nine, in the Fall of 1829. June 10, 1830 ,John Hammett and family, came and settled in the same section, were the next, followed soon after by others. This township contains the towns of Chillicothe and Rome.

The City of Chillicothe

Beautifully situated on the west bank of the Illinois river, eighteen miles above Peoria, and on the line of the Bureau branch of Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific railroad. It was settled in quite an early day, and was laid out as a town in July, 1836, by Harrison H. Jameson and Joseph L. Hart, on the southwest quarter of section twenty-one, and the southeast quarter of section twenty. The original plat included thirty-eight blocks of ten lots each, sixty-six feet wide by one hundred and sixty-five feet deep.

The first cabin erected on the present town site was by Jef  Hickson, a blacksmith, some time before the town was laid out, and stood on the bank of the river, where he also built a shop and pursued his trade. The second cabin was built and occupied by Esq. E. Jones, now of Marshall County, immediately after the town plat was surveyed. He put a small stock of goods in one room of his double log cabin, and was the pioneer merchant of the place. Mr. Jones was also elected the first justice of the peace. He conducted the store for seven or eight years.

About 1838, Mr. Lehart came to Chillicothe and erected a small frame house of one room, which his family occupied; and he kept a store in a cabin on Water Street, for several years, then removed to Indiana.
In 1835, James M. Brown, then a young single man, came from Ross county, Ohio, and soon after built a story and a half frame house on First Street, containing four rooms on each floor, and opened a tavern, to which he gave the euphonious title of "American House." A part of the old building still stands on the site. It was first kept by William Dunlap, afterwards Mr. Brown's father-in-law, for about five years, during which time his house was a stopping point on the Peoria and Chicago stage line.

The second tavern building was erected by John Hayes, and stood opposite to Messrs. Mathews & Holman's store. It was a frame structure containing ten to fifteen rooms, and known as the "Chillicothe House."
Mr. Hayes kept it for a number of years. It was destroyed by fire in April, 1873.

The first religious exercises were held by the Baptist people in 1837, who, a year later, organized the first church in the village. The first school taught in the village was in the Winter of 1838-9, and occupied a vacant cabin. In 1845, a frame house of one room was built on the public square, which sufficed for school purposes until the first part of the present brick structure was erected in 1856.

The prosperity of Chillicothe has been somewhat impeded by several disastrous fires, which have at various times destroyed some of the most valuable property of the place. In the Fall of 1864, the grain elevator at the depot burned; in 1869, Wood & Hosmer's large steam mill and two large warehouses on the river bank were burned ; and in 1873, a large store and several dwellings on the corner of Elm and Second Streets, went up in thin air.

From an early period in its history Chillicothe has been prominent as a grain market. John Alonzo Moffitt, built the first grain warehouse, in 1847. The old frame still stands on the river banks. Henry Truitt erected a grain warehouse, at about 1853 at a cost of some $5,000; and forming a partnership with S. C. Jack, conducted the first legitimate grain trade of the place. Some years later John W. Fuller succeeded Mr. Jack in the firm, and about 1867, machinery and dumps were put into the building. In the Winter of 1873-4, Mr. Fuller bought Mr. Truitt's interest, and the style of the firm has since been J. W. Fuller & Co. In 1876, Mr. Fuller re-built and
fitted up the warehouse with the most modern elevator improvements. It has a storage capacity of 75,000 bushels, and he has additional storage room for as much more. This firm handles half a million bushels of grain per year, about half of which finds a market in Peoria, and half in Chicago.

Soon after the completion of the Bureau Valley railroad now the branch of the C., R. I. & P.- the railroad company built an elevator near the depot, which was destroyed by fire in August, 1864; but was re-built and filled with grain that season. The present building has a storage capacity of 75,000 bushels with all modern improvements. Since the Spring of 1866, C. W. Carroll & Co. have controlled the grain traffic over the road from that point, and handle from 300,000 to 400,000 bushels and 350 cars of live stock, per annum.
Besides the elevator room the firm have crib storage room for 50,000 bushels of ear corn.

The Farmers' Mill erected by Adam Petry and A. C. Thomas, in 1868, at a cost of $5,000, containing three run of burrs, and a capacity for manufacturing fifty barrels of flour per day, consumes a considerable quantity of the grain grown in the vicinity.
In 1873 Chillicothe adopted a city form of government, previous to which its municipal affairs had been controlled by a board of five trustees. In April of that year the first Mayor and Board of Alderman were elected, consisting of the following gentlemen: Mayor, Henry Hosmer; aldermen, William McLean, Levi Booth, Joseph Bailey, William H. Barbour and Richard Hughes. Wm. H. Barbour was elected mayor in 1875, Henry Truitt in 1877, and in 1879 Mr. Barbour was re-elected and now holds the office. It is now a place of about 1,200 inhabitants, and in size and commercial importance is the third town in the county.

It contains a bank, two dry goods houses, seven groceries, two fine drug stores, one farm machinery house, two hardware and stove stores, two furniture stores, two large grain elevators, a lumber yard, a fine flouring mill, a saw and planning mill, two jewelry stores, a millinery store, a confectionery and bakery, a real estate office, two barber and two butcher shops, three carriage and wagon shops, three blacksmith shops, one tailor shop, a livery stable, a bowling alley, two hotels, the Woods Hotel, C. Marble, con­taining about thirty rooms and well conducted, and the Will House about twenty rooms.

Doctors A. Wilmot, J. O. Tomlinson, J. F. Thomas, C. C. Allen, Mrs. E. Moffitt and O. F. Thomas are active in the medical profession. Societies of the place are A. F. & A. M., I. O. O. F., and Temperance Reform Clubs. The bank does a heavy business, and the dry goods house of Mathews & Holman is the most extensive in the county outside of Peoria; some of the grocery houses would be a credit to a city of 5,000.

The public square, occupying a block near the center of the city, has recently been nicely improved, planted to deciduous and evergreen trees, and will in a few years be an attractive ornament to the place.

Fire Department
In 1876 the first organization for the protection against fire was effected. The company consisting of ten members was formed and named the Champion, with G. P. Lester as Fire Marshall. It only existed a few months and there was no further effort made until the Fall of 1878, when another company called the Rocket, was organized. With James Kenlock as Capt., G. B. Temple, Lieut., Wm. Story, Foreman and twenty members. G. P. Lester being appointed Fire Marshall by the City. During the existence of the Champion company a large, two-cylinder chemical engine was purchased at a cost of $2,000.; but finding it too heavy and unwieldy, it was exchanged for two single cylinder engines of 100 gallons and 70 gallon capacity. the Rocket Company is still in flourishing condition. In September, 1879, it competed at the State tournament, in Peoria, and won the first prize; but from a hitch in the distribution of the premiums, the company failed to receive its award.

The Press
Like Most country towns, Chillicothe has had  a newspaper experience neither flattering nor profitable to the town nor the journalistic aspirants. Several papers have been started in the place and continued for a longer or shorter period and died from lack of sustenance.

The Review, it's present representative in the newspaper world, was started in the Fall of 1879, by George Holton, a practical printer and still lives. It is issued weekly, and have of the paper printed in the home office is entirely devoted to local matters.

Village of Rome
The village of Rome was laid out by Jefferson Taliaferro and the plat filed for record December 24, 1832.
The original plat contained 24 blocks of 8 lots, 5x8 perches in size, situated on section 5 town 10 north, 9 east.
The town site is a beautiful one on the right bank of the Illinois River, fifteen miles above Peoria and for several years it held quite a rapid growth. In 1835 it contained a tavern of 8 or 10rooms kept by N. Sirlott and several stores and groceries some of them carrying large stocks of goods. Wm. A. Ogle, Hiram Cleveland, Mr. Bingham, J. B. Adams and Joseph Blish were among the first merchants. Hezekiah Rose was an early settler in the place. In 1835 steamboats landed regularly, the town contained about 300 inhabitants and was the most important point on the river for many miles.
The first school was taught by a one-armed soldier, named James Pierce, who died some years ago in this County. The upper story of a store was used for school purposes until the present neat frame structure was erected in 1858 at a cost of $1,000.. The district, which is an independent one, maintains school nine months in the year, with about fifty scholars in attendance.
Rome has had a post office since 1835, save the decade from 1843 to 1854. Mr. L Adams is now postmaster. There is no church building in the place but the Methodists have a class, hold services in the school house. The only mercantile establishment in the village is a small grocery kept by Thomas P. Nicholson.
In 1837, Isaac Underhill, of Peoria purchased 2,200 acres of land, including the town site and planted 500 acres to orchard in the immediate vicinity, some of which trees still stand. the financial crash of 1837 proved a fatal blow to Rome, from which time it steadily declined. It is a way station on the Bureau branch of the C. R. I. & P. railroad, and ships considerable fruit and produce. Mr. H.S. Rose, who carries on blacksmithing, is the oldest resident living in the village and has resided there over forty-four years.

Source: The History of Peoria County, Illinois, Johnson & Company, Chicago, 1880.


ELMWOOD TOWNSHIP- Peoria County, Illinois

Back To Top

Elmwood is in town nine north, range five east, and is one of the western tier of townships in Peoria county. It was originally about one half prairie and one half timber, and possesses a superior soil. The surface is gently undulating and well adapted to agriculture. Some parts are slightly broken by the branches of Kickapoo creek, along which are some of the finest coal mines in the county. The township is crossed by two branches of the C. B. & Q. railroad, which form a junction at Elmwood city. The Peoria branch connects it with that city, twenty-five miles distant. Elmwood city is located on sections seven and eight, was laid out in 1854, and is a flourishing place of 2,000 population; is next to Peoria city the largest and most important commercial manufacturing town in Peoria county. During the year ending June 1,1879, 681 cars of produce, and 1010 of coal were shipped from Elmwood.
First Settlers- John Ewalt was the first settler in Elmwood township. He came from Sangamon County, IL.,
on May 1, 1831, located on section twenty-nine, and broke the first soil. Isaac Doyle was the next, settling on Section thirty, May 1, 1832.
In the Fall of 1834, W. J. Phelps settled on section eighteen, where he now resides. During the Winter of the same year Fountain Watkins settled and made improvements on section twenty-nine. Avery Dalton settled on section nineteen in 1837, coming from Fulton County. The early pioneers went thirty-five miles to mill. One barrel of Kanawha salt cost them $20.58. Isaac Doyle was the first justice of the peace, elected in 1833.
The first marriage was that of Abner Smith to Eliza Ann Doyle, in March, 1834.
The first child born in the township was Rebecca Ewalt, February, 1834.
Daniel Fast was the first school teacher.
The post office was established in the township in 1847, at the residence of Hon. Wm. J. Phelps, which was first called Elmwood, before the name was given to the township. Mr. Phelps was the first postmaster.

Some time after Mr. and Mrs. Phelps settled in their new home the township including it was not laid out, nor was there at first any post office nearer than Peoria or Canton, though a little later one was established at Farmington, Fulton County. They felt it necessary that their place should be known by some more specific designation than that which described it as a "place in Peoria county," and accordingly decided to call it "Elmwood," from the beautiful grove of elms near their dwelling. And in this way Elmwood became noted as the home of Mr. Phelps long before the township or the village had been so called. Mr. Phelps succeeded in getting the mail route extended from Farmington to his place. Subsequently when the township was laid out it took the same name as did the village and railroad station, all taking their names from Elmwood, Mr. Phelps' home. Little did he think when he gave that appropriate name to his rural home that in a few years a town taking the same name would spring up within a mile of him, containing many first-class stores, a bank, fine church buildings, and manufacturing interests, and would be a center of enterprise and refined society, such as Elmwood is today. Mr. Phelps has always been a public spirited man and has been intimately identified with the progress and development of Elmwood. He owned the land where Elmwood is located and laid out the town in 1854. And being desirous that it should be the home of intelligent and moral people, he used his best efforts to induce only that class to come and settle here. With this view he decided not to sell a town lot to a saloon-keeper, or for any other purpose incompatible with the moral interests of the community. Thus the young town got well started, and was the legitimate offspring of a high and noble purpose.
Who can tell how much Elmwood is indebted today to its good beginning?

Graded school organized in the Autumn of 1863. Began operations January, 1864, under charge of Prof. Tompkins. Present school-house was erected in 1866 and has five school rooms, one recitation room and one library room. The building cost about $20,000. Eight teachers are employed. A building in the east end of town is used for a primary school. Number enrolled per term for the past five years, from 350 to 400. Mr. Crow, present principal, has had for two years $1,200. School year embraces eight months, of twenty-two days to the month. Assistant to principal, Miss Magee, has had for two years $55 per month. Grammar teacher, $50; all the others have had $44. The cost of running the school has for two years, been about $5,000, which includes repairs, additions to library apparatus, insurance etc. The present Board of Directors are P. H. Hopkins, president; J. J. Lobaugh, clerk, and William Forbes. At the first graduation, in 1872, eleven graduated- ten ladies and one gentleman; in 1879 eight- five ladies and three gentleman.
The trustees of the State University at Champaign have an arrangement by which high schools of proper standing may, upon examination by the president, send their graduates to the University without preliminary examination.
In accordance with this arrangement Dr. Gregory visited the Elmwood school in May of 1879, and examined the classes in the high school. He accepted the school as being the proper standing, and students can now enter the University upon graduating there.

Source: The History of Peoria County, Illinois, Johnson & Company, Chicago, 1880.

HALLOCK TOWNSHIP- Peoria County, Illinois

Back To Top

The geographical designation of this township is "township 11, N. range,8E," and is one of the tier of townships bordering upon Marshall county. It forms a part of the northern half of LaSalle prairie.

The township contains a great extent of bluff and timber lands, a belt of which runs through its center from north to south, varying in width from nearly four miles in the north, to a little over one mile at its southern boundary. The twelve western sections are almost free of timber, and contain a most excellent body of land. The southeast corner is also clear and splendid farming land.

Early Settler-
The first settler in this township was without doubt Lewis Hallock, 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 Hallock's Hollow, near Union. He was a native of Long Island, N. Y., had left home when a young man, wandered westward, and had for many years previous to his appearance in Peoria county, lived among the Indians in Wisconsin and elsewhere, gaining a livelihood 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, who was the government interpreter to the Pottawattomie Indians, and had married into the tribe.
In the Winter of 1829, he married a Mrs. Wright, a daughter of Hiram Cleveland, and brought her to his cabin in the hollow. By her he had one child, a girl called Clarissa, who afterwards 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 honest 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 Moses and Samuel Clifton, Francis Thomas, Joseph Meredith, Cornelius Doty, Resolve and Hiram Cleveland, Gerchom Silliman and family, and William Wright. In 1830, Joel Hicks and family, 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, Joseph Meredith settled on Sec. 12, and kept a small tavern, for the accommodation of the stage-drivers and travelers on the main road between Galena and Springfield.

In the last days of June, 1836, Roswell Nurs with his son Isaiah Nurs, and Ebenezer S to well, came to the township on a prospecting tour. They started from Chenango County, N. Y., walking to Buffalo and coming from thence to Toledo by water, again took the road and traveled to Hallock township on foot, with rifle on shoulder and all their impedimenta in one knapsack. Taking due note of the fine land yet lying unclaimed in the township, they pursued a zigzag course toward Quincy, still prospecting, but found no lands 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 (1836) Erastus Root moved to his present location on Sec. 3.

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 McMillian, 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 after caught in a terrible northeast snow storm which filled up the track, and caused them to lose their way. Night overtook them when out on the prairie 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 - McMillian - 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, quails, etc., were almost entirely destroyed.

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, and their services ware accepted. Simon Reed was detailed to act as teamster, and served until the close of the war. The others named were at the front for thirty days, and afterwards served as rangers on the frontier between Peoria and Rock river, until they received their discharge at the close of the war. Previous to this outbreak the Indians were quite numerous and very friendly. The Pottawattomies had three towns in or near the township - one on the land now occupied by Emory Silliman in Medina township, one at Smith's Springs, and one on the Senachwine creek, not far from the bridge.

First Mills-
The first mill built in the township that the settlers in the northern part of it could easily reach, was that built on Senachwine by William Moffatt, one and a half miles east of Northampton, about the year 1834.
The first saw 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, in the N. E. of sec. 13.

LaSalle Precinct-
This settlement (first saw mill) formed part of LaSalle precinct. Simon Reed was the first justice of the peace, and was appointed 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 sec. three of Medina Township.

Township Organization -
In 1850 the township organization was adopted, and the township received its name, out of compliment to its oldest settler, Lewis Hallock, by a vote of the citizens. The first supervisor of the township was Walter S. Evans.
The present officers of Hallock Township (1879) are, supervisor, S. P. Perkins; town clerk, C. C. Lock Well;
assessor, Alonzo Root; collector, R. J. Nurse; road commissioners, John Spicer, Hiram Rankin, and Justice Stewart;
justices of the peace, W. E. Smith and Samuel Merril.

The only village situated entirely within the township is that of Northampton, on Sec. 13, which was laid off by Reuben Hamlin and Mr. Freeman in July, 1886.

The first house therein was also the first erected in the township as a tavern.
It was built in the Winter of 1835-6 by Reuben Hamlin, and was kept as a public house by him for many years.
He came from near Northampton, Mass., and he named the village, of which he was the founder, after it. Aaron Reed was the first settler near the site of the village, and his old log cabin was replaced by the house which stands beside the bridge, near the south end of the village.
Nathaniel Chapin, a native of Massachusetts, was quite a prominent 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 100, and it contains one good general store, kept by Mr. C. O. Phillips, who is also postmaster.

Lawn Ridge-
The village of Lawn Ridge stands upon the boundary line dividing Peoria and Marshall Counties, and has a population of about 500. It has been partially platted for some years by individual enterprise, but has never been formally laid out. Nathaniel Smith, now a resident of New York State, was one of the earliest settlers in it.
It has two churches - a Methodist Episcopal, and a Congregational - whose congregations are drawn about equally from the two counties.

Lawn Ridge Lodge, No. 415, A. F. & A. M., - was organized under dispensation May 18, 1864, and was chartered by Grand Lodge of Illinois October 5, 1864, with ten original members.
Its first officers were W. M., Henry A. Raney ; S. W., Amos F. Leigh ; J. W., John B. Phillips ; Secretary, W. H. Wilmot; Treasurer, E. Sickles. Those now in office are, W. M., John B. Phillips; S. W., Elijah Stowell; J. W., N. P. Green; Secretary, John Morris; Treasurer, Stephen Cornell.
The lodge has about thirty members, and the regular meetings are held on the Wednesday nights on or before full moon, in a nicely furnished and well appointed little hall, devoted to its sole use.
The village contains two good general stores, two hotels, a post office attended to by Mr. Stephen Cornell, and a good public hall, built by a stock company, capable of seating 500 people, and situated above the public school.

West Hallock-
The hamlet of West Hallock is almost entirely in Akron township, opposite section 19 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 post office, under the care of Mr. Potter.

Schools -
The first school ever taught within the present bounds of the township was located on the present site of Harrison Reed's house, and was taught during the Winters of 1829 and 1830, by Lucia Root, daughter of Jeriah Root. The first school-house built in the district, stood near Joel Hick's place on sec. 32. It was erected in the Fall of 1836, and was removed about eight years afterwards to the Hallock farm. In the northern part of the township a little school was taught during the Summers of 1839 and 1810, in a log cabin where the house of Isaiah Nurs now stands. Fiducia Bliss was the teacher. In 1841 the first school-house in what is now School District No. 1, was erected it was 18 ft. square and was built of brick. Sarah Fosdick was among the earliest of the teachers. The present school-house in that district was built in 1856, and stands near the S. E. cor. of the S. W. 1/4 of sec. 3. It is well fitted up and can accommodate sixty children. In School District No. 5, the first school was taught in an old log cabin which stood a little south and east from where O. M. Miller's dwelling now stands, and was used for that purpose about the year 1851. Joseph Gallup was then its teacher. In 1856 the present school-house was built. School District No. 6, was originally composed of portions of Peoria, Stark, and Marshall Counties, and was reconstructed in its present limits in 1860. It was the last school district to be organized in the township. The first public school was built about 1857 at a cost of $800, and in 1866 to accommodate the growing wants of the district; the present school was erected at a cost of about $1,400.
In the West Hallock district the structure now occupied as a public school was erected in the Fall of 1856 as an academy, and was occupied' as such for about five years, when it fell into the hands of the school trustees, and has since been conducted as a public school.  The school in District No. 4 was erected about ten years ago and stands on sec. 32. It was the first school in that section.

Source: The History of Peoria County, Illinois, Johnson & Company, Chicago, 1880.

HOLLIS TOWNSHIP-Peoria County, Illinois

Back To Top

Hollis Township is bounded on the north by Limestone, west by Timber, and the south and east by the Illinois River, directly opposite the city of Pekin. and about six miles southwest from the city of Peoria. The lands on the Illinois River are unimproved bottom lands, but along the bluff, on the line of the Toledo, Peoria & Warsaw R. R., are some of the most valuable coal mines in the State. In the northwestern portion of the township, and along the crest of the bluffs, are some extensive and very fertile farms. Among the early settlers that came to the township was Wm. Martin, a native of Washington County, New York, where he married Margaret Scott, and came in 1837. Mr. Martin was the first justice of the peace in the township. S. D. Buck, a native of Cayuga, New York, came in 1837. E. W. Roman came from Kentucky in 1835. In 1832, Peter Muchler, a native of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, came to the township. S. C. Wheeler came from Hamilton County, Ohio, in 1844. The township was organized in 1850, and derived its name from a man by the name of Denzel Hollis, who came among the early settlers, and was a native of England.


Is situated on the T. P. & W. R. R., six miles southwest of Peoria. It was laid out September 8, 1868, by E. J. and M. A. Jones, and is a mining village. The Hollis mines are owned by Hamilton & Carter. There is also one run by a corporation. The Orchard mines are owned and operated by the Newsam Brothers, who also have the only store, where they carry a general stock of about $2,000.


Mapleton village is located on the T., P. & W. R. R., twelve miles southwest of Peoria. It was laid out in 1868, by William Maples, now of Missouri, and has about 100 inhabitants. There are three coal mines, one owned and operated by Linsley & Walker, who employ forty men. The Mapleton mine is owned by Mansfield, Gilfoy & J. T. Linsley, and employs twenty-five men. The mine is half a mile east of Mapleton, and was formerly owned by Neil, McGrew & Co., but is at present operated by Frank Newsman, who works twenty-three mines.
There are two general stores, one owned and run by Thomas Linsley, who carries a stock of $3,000, and has an annual business of f 15,000 ; the other by Frank Newsam, who commenced business in 1874, and in 1876 erected a large, commodious store building, where he keeps a stock of from $3,500 to $1,000, and does an annual trade of from $15,000 to $20,000.


Hollis township contains six school districts, each of which is furnished with a comfortable, substantial frame house. Careful attention is paid by the local school officers to the selection of competent teachers, for which fair salaries are paid, and the schools are all creditable and prosperous.

Source: The History of Peoria County, Illinois, Johnson & Company, Chicago, 1880.

JUBILEE TOWNSHIP-Peoria County, Illinois

Back To Top

The first settlements in Jubilee township were made in 1835, by Clark D. Powell, Roswell Walker, Samuel Johnson, A. W. Harkness, Jacob Snyder, Samuel Snider, Daniel Stansbury, David Shane, and Mrs. Lambert, of whom only two are now living, viz. : Samuel Snider and A. W. Harkness.

Rev. Philander Chase, Bishop of Illinois, secured funds from the friends of the Protestant Episcopal Church in America and England, in 1836, with it he founded the Jubilee College, selecting lands in section 25, and came with his family into the township. He called the place " Robins' Nest," because, as he says, his first dwelling was " built of mud and sticks and filled with young ones," and the place is called by that name to this day. It is the only postoffice in the township. Although the village was known at this early date, there is perhaps now not over a score of houses within its limits. Bishop Chase was the first postmaster, and was appointed in 1837. On the 3d day of April, 1839, Bishop Chase laid the corner-stone of the chapel of the Jubilee College, from which the township was afterwards named. Noah Alden and Hiram Shane were the first justices of the peace ; they were appointed in 1843.

Prominent among the citizens of this township is the name of Gilbert Hathaway, who settled here in 1838, and has always taken an active part in the affairs of the town. He held the office of assessor five years, collector four years, and supervisor two years ; and held the office of township treasurer for twenty-seven years continuously, from 1861 to 1878. Mr. Hathaway has dealt considerably in real estate in his town, and has done much to improve and build up the township. Hon. William Rowcliffe, residing on section 11, has also taken an active part in the township, as well as the county matters ; has held nearly all the offices of the town, and has honorably acquitted himself as a member of the General Assembly. His prospects are perhaps as favorable as any man in the township for further promotion; in fact, his influence throughout the county is probably greater than any other man in the township. J. B. Slocum, one of the early settlers of Jubilee, although not taking so active a part in the public affairs of the town and county, has held many of the offices from time to time, and been counted as one of the leading men of the place. He has dealt largely in real estate, and improved a number of farms in the township, but has resided for some thirty years on section 29, and now owns a farm of over two hundred acres on sections 20 and 29.

Jubilee was first divided into four school districts, viz.: number one, or the Rowcliffe district; number two, OP the Shane district, which built its first school-house in 1847 ; number three, or the brick school-house district, which was built in 1848 ; number four, or the Bramble district, which built its house in 1850. Nathaniel F. Shaw was the first teacher of a public school in the township. The first marriage was that of Samuel Snider to Mary Jane Stansbury, in 1839. Samuel, son of Daniel Stansbury, was the first child born. Mr. Squires, who lived on the southern line of the township, was the first person who died in the township after its settlement. Rev. L. N. Hall preached the first sermon, in the house of Jacob Snyder. There has never been a house of worship erected in the township, except the chapel referred to in connection with the college, but arrangements are now being made to build a Lutheran church on section 28, and also a Methodist church on section 33. A part of the plat of land set apart for the Lutheran church is to be used as a cemetery. The first person buried here was the wife  of Philip Killstadt, who died April 15, A. D. 1880.

The school-house known as the Town House, is built on section 15, where all township meetings and elections are held. The increase of population in this township has so augmented the demand for educational facilities that the number of school districts is now not less than nine, with very good school-houses in each. The principal market for this township is at Brimfield, one mile from the western line of the township. The post office at Robins' Nest is now kept by Benjamin Tucker, an old resident of the place. The present officers are as follows : Supervisor, Peter Cahill; collector, George Rowcliffe ; assessor, Cecil Moss ; town clerk, Frank Coulson ; township treasurer and justice of the peace, Thomas Pacy ; justice of the peace, Wm. Rowcliffe ; constables, Phil. Lully and George Rowcliffe.
This township is well watered by numerous branches of the Kickapoo and their tributaries. There is plenty of timber throughout the whole area, and stone and coal of good quality abound. Jubilee, although not as rich as some of the neighboring towns, is perhaps as favorable a locality as can be found in this section of the county. It is surrounded by railroads on all sides, at distances varying from a few rods to three or four miles, and yet it has never voted any tax or bonds for either road, and hence it is as free from debt as any town in the county; and its taxes lighter, perhaps, than any of the surrounding towns.

Source: The History of Peoria County, Illinois, Johnson & Company, Chicago, 1880.


KICKAPOO TOWNSHIP-Peoria County, Illinois

Back To Top

Town 9 north, range 8 east, took its name from the creek which flows through it. Kickapoo is an Indian term and signifies red bud. The stream was so named from the abundance of that shrub that grew along its banks. The township dates its settlement from 1834. John L. Wakefield, now of Radnor, claims to have been the first settler, in that year. Francis Pond. George O. Kingsley, came to the township in the Fall of 1834, and kept bach, and shook with the ague in a cabin on the farm where Mrs. Mary Kingsley now lives. John Coyle and Israel Pinckney came the same Fall. The former settled on the farm now owned by Joseph Voorhees, and was afterwards one of the proprietors of Kickapoo village.  Mr. Pinckney built his cabin on S. E. of Sec. 12. He came from New York city. The Kingsleys were natives of Vermont. They both married and reared families, and died in the township, George in 1869, and Francis in 1873. Others soon followed these first pioneers. Samuel Dinnon came from Connecticut in 1838 and located on Sec. 10, where he still resides. Gideon Thomas, father of John A., came to the township in 1844 and settled where J. A. Thomas now lives.

Sale's Mill. -
In 1834 William Hale, then sheriff of Oswego county, N. Y., being-West on official duty, visited the Kickapoo valley and selected a mill site at what is now the upper end of Pottstown. He returned home, resigned his office, and in the Spring of 1835 came back accompanied with George Greenwood, John Easton, and Waldo Holmes, and erected a saw mill on the site that year. The following Winter material was prepared, and in the Spring of 183b' a flouring mill was raised. He brought the necessary machinery and his family by wagon from Albany, N. Y., that Summer, and the mill was completed and set to running in the Spring of 1837. It was visited by settlers for a radius of thirty miles, and was crowded with business. The water supply giving out in 1848, steam was substituted, and Mr. Hale controlled the property until his death, in 1859. The mill was converted into a distillery, which was destroyed by fire in 1867.
Mr. Hale donated a tract of land for burial, religious, and school purposes, and erected a small house thereon. A Rev. Mr. Beggs was one of the first preachers to visit the Hale's Mill settlement. He held services there and organized a Methodist society, which flourished a number of years, and at one time contained one hundred and fifty members, but is now extinct.


The village plat was laid off in July, 1836. The plat was entered for record in the name of John Coyle. The town site is in the southwest quarter of Sec. 6. About one-half of this quarter section was laid off in town lots with a public square in the center. The first house on the village site was erected by Mr. Jenkins on the site now occupied by Valentine Schlenk's hotel property, long known as the Kickapoo House. The original building is included in the hotel building. It was designed for a storeroom, and was used for that purpose for a short time by Mr. Jenkins, when additions were made for hotel purposes.
The honor of opening the first store is generally accredited to Richard F. Seabury, now of Peoria.
At one time, until the railroads surrounded it, there was a good trade at this ancient village.


This is a mining and railway station on the Peoria and Galesburg division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, and is located on section nineteen. By rail it is fourteen miles, and by wagon road, ten miles, west from Peoria. It is not a regularly laid out town, but more of a mining hamlet. The houses are built with but little regard to the points of the compass. The first man to settle here was Isaac Jones, who built a cabin on the side of the hill, very nearly where Wilkinson & Wantling's coal shaft is operated. He died in 1840.
The next house on the ground covered by the Station was built by Conrad Beck, in 1851.
The school-house was built in 1865.
E. D. Edwards opened the first store, in 1851. He died in 1857. In 1876, Wilkinson & Edwards opened a general store which still continues.
In 1853, two years after he commenced business at the Station, E. D. Edwards built a steam flouring mill here, which was successfully conducted until 1866 or '67, when it' was destroyed by fire. It has never been rebuilt.

Coal Mining.-
In 1860, Dr. Wilkinson commenced buying coal bearing lands in the vicinity of the Station. He bought from time to time, as such lands were offered, until he now owns nearly 1,000 acres of coal bearing land adjacent to the Station.
In December, 1876, Dr. Wilkinson had completed arrangements for a thorough development of his mining interests, and associated Isaac Wantling, an experienced miner, with him in their management. Active operations were commenced in January, 1877, and successfully prosecuted; they possess a capacity for supplying twenty car-loads of coal per day, which can be indefinitely increased. There are two drift veins of four and five feet in thickness that are easily accessible, on the Wilkinson lands, the extent of which is unknown. Each one of these drifts, as far as worked, will yield 1,000 bushels of coal to each square rod, or 40,000 tons to the acre.

Temperance Reform Club.-The Red Ribbon Reform movement was inaugurated in February, 1879, and at the close of the year the membership numbered about one hundred.
The population of the place is about one hundred and fifty. School is maintained from six to nine months each year. S. S. Edwards, postmaster; A. W. Thayer, railroad and express agent.

In 1851, Miss Sarah Smith taught the first school at Hale's Mill, occupying a cooper shop as the school-house. Previous to that what pupils there were went to the Kingsley school-house some distance west. A few locust trees are now the only relic. to mark the location of the old school-house.
In 1840, Mr. Samuel Dimon, who came to the county and neighborhood in 1838, hauled the logs for the first school-house erected in what is now district No. 1. Miss Harriet Hitchcock is believed to have been the first teacher in that first school-house.
Mr. Dimon subsequently wielded the birch and ferrule as teacher for two or three quarters in the same building. A fine brick structure now takes in its place.
Besides this school-house, the school-houses at Kickapoo, Edwards Station and Potts-town, which are elsewhere mentioned, there are four other districts, making a total of eight districts in the township.
The first school-house in district No. 5, was located on the northwest quarter of Sec. 9, a frame structure, was erected in the Spring of 1851, at a total cost $260. The first school in this building commenced in the Fall of 1851, H. Gregory teacher.  This school-house served the purposes of the district until 1877, when the present frame structure was erected on the same ground at a cost of $510.
The school-house in district No. 6 is situated on the southeast quarter of Sec. 16. It is a frame building and was erected about August, 1860, at a cost of $300. The first school commenced in the Fall of 1860 - a man named Pehamer, teacher.
The school-house in district No. 7, is located on the northeast quarter of Sec. 33. It is a frame building, was erected in the Summer of 1867, and cost $500. Miss H. Pritchard taught the first school that Winter.
The school-house in district No. 8, is a frame building and located on the northwest quarter of Sec. 13. It was erected in the Summer of 18H7, at a cost of $528. The first school was taught in the Winter of 1867-8, by Miss Hattie C. Hamison.

Coal Mines and Mining. -
At the site of the old mill there is now quite a village, whose inhabitants derive their subsistance from mining the coal that abounds in such measureless profusion beneath the hills of the Kickapoo.
The first coal mining done at that point was by Jacob Darst about 1849 or '50. In miner's parlance, he began "stripping" about that date and continued it about five years. Frederick Ruprecht and John Woolenscraft purchased from him some bluff land and commenced "drifting" the same year. In 1851, Ruprecht bought his partner's interest and operated the mine two years, when he sold out to Anderson Grimes and Judge Bryant; they in turn sold out to Samuel Potts, who has been the heaviest operator since that time. By reason of his large mining interests, the place has become generally known as Pottstown. Henry Vicary operates a mine which was opened about 1850, and known as the Vicary lower vein. Mr. Potts and Mr. Vicary, who represent the leading coal banks, are both Englishmen and had mining experience in their native country. Until within the past two years the product of these mines was exclusively sold at the Peoria market, and hauled by wagons; but having constructed a tramway to his mine, Mr. Potts ships by rail to various points abroad. The supply is thought to be inexhaustible. Parker & Clifford operate a mine, employing eight men to whom they pay $5,184 per annum.

has been chiefly quilt up by Mr. Potts for the use of his operatives and their families, since 1869. In 1875 Mr. Potts began the manufacture of brick, which has since been quite an important business in the hamlet. William H. McLaughlin opened the first store in the place in March, 1872. Having changed hands several times, the business is now conducted by Joseph Middleton.

The Red Ribbon Club. -
The temperance reform movement reached Pottstown in August, 1878. It met with a hearty encouragement by nearly all the most influential citizens; a club was organized and is in a healthy condition.

The Patrons of Husbandry-
have two quite flourishing lodges in Kickapoo. No. 446 was chartered May 16, 1873, and was organized with thirty members. In the Fall of 1S79 the membership was thirty-five and the lodge in active working order. It holds stock in the Peoria grange store.

Orange Grange, No. 848.-
this grange was organized, with about forty members, January 10, 1874. It now numbers over fifty. The lodge owns a hall in school district No. 1. Meetings are held weekly - Saturday - in the Summer, and semi-monthly in Winter.

The Big Hollow Butter and Cheese Factory Company -
was organized in 1878, with a capital stock of $15,000, and erected a building 30 by 60 feet. It began operations in May, 1878, and has a capacity of 10,000 pounds of milk, or 1,000 pounds of cheese per day.

Source: The History of Peoria County, Illinois, Johnson & Company, Chicago, 1880.


LIMESTONE TOWNSHIP-Peoria County, Illinois  

Back To Top

The first settlers in this township were Abner Eads, who first settled at Fort Clark, in April, 1819, and the Moffatts: Joseph Moffatt and three sons, Alva, Aquila and Benjamin F.
The Moffatts came in June, 1822. Alva Moffatt settled on Sec. 13, and still occupies a home on that section.
In 1824, Aquila Moffatt made a claim on the northeast quarter of Sec. 13, and enclosed and broke five acres of ground, which, with the exception of about six years, he has continued to occupy.
Benjamin Moffatt now lives near Hollis. The rest of the family removed to Jo Daviess County.
The settlement of this township was not rapid. The Harker family came to the county in 1829. Daniel Harker, now a resident of this township, was then a boy of fifteen.
Henry W. Jones came very early, and built the first hewed log-house in the township.
James Crow and family came about the same time as Jones, but the Black Hawk Indian scare of 1832, frightened them back to Ohio, where they remained until after the close of the troubles. They returned in 1834.
James Heaton and Joshua Aikin came in 1834. Aikin settled on the Kickapoo creek and built a grist-mill. Pleasant Hughes came in 1837, and settled on Sec. 29, where his widow still resides. In 1837, Daniel Harker, who was married on the 10th of July of that year, occupied a house he had previously built on the southeast quarter of Sec. 31, and still lives on the same place. In 1838, his father moved over from Logan township, and settled on the southwest quarter of the same section, where he died June 16, 1849, at the age of seventy-five years.

There is a large German element in this township. The earliest settler of this nationality was Conrad Bontz, who came in 1844. Christian Straesser and the Hallers in 1847. The Beatly Johnson family in 1848; George Ojeman in 1849, and the Roelfs in 1851. The Straessers and Hallers were natives of Wurtemberg. The remainder were nearly all from the Kingdom of Hanover. Many of these people are largely engaged in grape culture, and some of them in the manufacture of wine. Ed. Roelfs, deceased in 1872, is believed to have planted the first vineyard, and to have also made the first wine. Before his vineyard matured he made wine from the wild grape.With the rarest exceptions, these people are among the very best people in the community. They are industrious, energetic and honest, and rank high as successful farmers. When the township organization system was adopted by the people of Peoria County in 1850, the township was named Limestone, because of the almost inexhaustible quarries of that stone that exist in the north part of the township.

Coal Mines-
Nearly the whole township is underlaid with coal, and the mines now worked extend four miles along the eastern tier of sections, and there are several hundred miners employed in the different mines.
Peoria is largely supplied with coal from the Limestone mines.
The first coal mining in the township was done by a man named Warner. He opened a bank at a point on the south-east corner of section 24.
The Moffatts mined coal at the same place soon after, and shipped it to St. Louis by keel boats.

At Secord's limekilns and stone quarry, on the south-east quarter of section, some rare petrified curiosities have been found. These curiosities consist of petrified timber, shells, etc., and are found all through the quarry, at a depth of from three to seventeen feet. Among those most worthy of note was an elk's head, with the horns attached, which was in a perfect state of preservation. It was found at a depth of seven feet from the surface, while quarrying rock for the County Infirmary. Every part of it was thoroughly petrified, and as solid as the stone from which it was taken.
A petrified turtle, with its form preserved intact, was found in the quarry from which stone is taken for lime, or what Mr. Secord calls the "North Quarry." Mr. S. and others who saw it say it looked as ''natural as life." It was found in a crevice between the layers of rock.

Schools. -
Mr. Barton remembers that about 1836 he attended a school which was taught in a log house that stood on the ground just in the rear of his house. It was a subscription school, and the teacher was Simeon Ward. This was the first in the township. Limestone Township is divided into ten school districts, nine of which have either a neat and comfortable frame or brick house, supplied with furniture and apparatus well adapted for modern school use. Schools are kept up from six to nine months during each year, and the best material obtainable is employed as teachers. The schools compare favorably with the public schools of the country.

Source: The History of Peoria County, Illinois, Johnson & Company, Chicago, 1880.


LOGAN TOWNSHIP - Peoria County, Illinois

Back To Top

Logan Township was settled in the year 1830. The first settler was an old Indian trader by the name of  Triall, who located in the lower end of the township in that year. In 1831 Peter Mayward came and settled near him. In 1832 James Harker, J. G. S. Bohanan and Mr. Buck arrived. In 1833 J. I. Runkle, Thos. Phillips and H. J. Heaton came. In 1835 T. P. Smith, John Vanarsdall, Richard Bourne, George Sturgess and Seth Sturgess came. In 1836 and '37 M. A. Gardner, Wm. Forbes and Wm. Stratton settled in the township.
The first child born was Henry Smith, son of Thos. P. Smith, in the year 1834.
The first marriage was that of James Harker Jr. to Miss Susan Van Patten in the year 1834.
The first church service was held at the house of Thos. Lane.
The first church was organized in Timber Township in the year 1840, and was removed to Smithville in the year 1853.
The first school was taught by Dr. Clark, in the Winter of 1836, in a log school-house on section 36.
The schools of Logan Township are second to none in the county outside of the city of Peoria. Their buildings are in good repair, and first-class teachers are employed.
The northern and center portion of the township is fine farming land. The southern portion, though broken, is interspersed with some fine farms.

is situated on section 22, near the center of the township. Was laid out and platted by Thomas P. Smith. It is a village of about two hundred inhabitants.
There are two general stores. J. B. Miller & Son have the leading business, and carry a stock of $3,500.
J. H. Lucas deals in drugs, patent medicines, paints and oils, hardware, queens-ware and general merchandise. He established the house in 1871, and handles a stock of $3,000. There are two churches, two blacksmith shops, and a good, comfortable school building in the place.

Source: The History of Peoria County, Illinois, Johnson & Company, Chicago, 1880.

MEDINA TOWNSHIP-Peoria County, Illinois

Back To Top

The first settler within the limits now comprised in this township was undoubtedly George Love, who came with his family from Park Co., Indiana, and settled November 10, 1824, near the spot now occupied by the village of Mossville. He had at that time no nearer neighbor than Fort Clark in one direction, and the Fox river in the other. In course of the succeeding year some five or six families settled near them. John Ridge-way was the first to follow and he helped the Loves to build their house. Edmund Weed Briarley, Abner Cooper, Henry Thomas and Samuel Clifton came next. The latter on coming bought out Weed's claim. Several other families whose names can not now be learned settled within a mile or so of Love's cabin, but staying only a short time sold their claims and moved on towards the setting sun. This was at that time the most thickly settled portion of the northern half of Peoria county. No saw or grist mill was erected in the township till about the year 1859, except some circle saw-mills which were put up about 1853. The Indians at that time were very numerous. The Pottawattomies were native to the county, and numerous other roving bands of Sacs, Foxes and Wiimebagoes with a few Chippeways and Delawares were encamped and hunted all over it.

In 1825 a small colony sprung up near the northern boundary of the township, and among those forming it were the Averys, Stephen French, Stephen Carl, and Resolve Cleveland with their families and they occupied at first the abandoned bark houses of an Indian town on Sec. 4. In the Spring of 1881, Mr. Linas Scovill with his family came from Vermillion county, Ind., and settled on a claim which he had previously bought from one of the Love family. The claim then entered upon is still owned by Mr. Scovill's son, who bears his father's name. The settlement at Mossville was directly in the track of the emigration going on between the years 1828 to 1835, to Galena, and the numbers passing through afforded a ready market for all surplus grain, garden products, etc. Much was also disposed of to voyagers upon the river. Between 1831 and 1840 the district was settled up rapidly, and good claims advanced greatly in price. Among those coming between these years may be mentioned, Gershom Silliman and family who set-on Sec. 2 in 1831. John E. Bristol and Nicholas Sturm in 1832, Thos. Mooney and his sons James and William in 1835, J. H. and I. W. Case in 1836, William Robinson in 1837, and John P. Neal and Jonathan W. Rice in 1838. Simon Reed and Hiram M. Gurry were the first justices of the peace, and held office in 1829. The first marriage was that of Abner Cooper to Sally Sheldon in February, 1826, near Mossville. They were married by Rev. Mr. Cormack, a Baptist preacher. Rev. John Thomas also a Baptist, preached the first sermon.

In April, 1850, the township in common with the others forming Peoria county, was constituted and its present name adopted. The origin of the name is very uncertain. The committee on names wrestled with the problem for some weeks before they fixed upon Medina, which is certainly unobjectionable, both as regards its euphony and its singularity. The township consists of twenty-nine perfect sections and several fractional sections. It forms the southern part of LaSalle prairie and contains some excellent land. Running north and south through the middle is a belt of bluff land, two miles in width, covered with timber, but on each side and especially to the eastward a level prairie stretches out, dotted with as fine and productive farms as can be found anywhere.

Two railroads  traverse the township - the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific, and the Peoria and Rock Island.
The former having a depot at Mossville, and the latter at Alta.
The township contains two villages, Mossville on Sec. 27 and Alta on Sec. 31. The former has a population of about two hundred, and is situated near the first land taken up in the township. It is on the line of the Bureau branch of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad, which was opened in 1854, and the village was laid off about the same time. It was named after Wm. S. Moss, who owned, in company with Isaac Underbill, the quarter section on which the village stands at the time the railroad was laid through it. Few villages of its population possess better church or school edifices. Mr. A. Marberry, the postmaster, is proprietor of the only store in it, and the Mossville House, conducted for many years by Mr. John Crawl, offers excellent accommodation for the weary stranger.
Alta is a railway station and post office on the Peoria and Rock Island Railroad, and was laid off for Imri Case, Thos. Hanson and Loren Wilder in March, 1873, and gained its name from its elevated position, being the highest point between Peoria and Rock Island. On account of the increased postal facilities gained from the establishment of a depot there, the village has been a great convenience to the inhabitants of that portion of the township. It contains a general store kept by Clarence Case, who is also postmaster, a grocery kept by Alden Hawley, the Potter Brothers1 cheese factory, capable of handling several thousand pounds of milk per day, and a blacksmith and wagon shop. A prominent feature of the place is the public school. The building is one of the best in the township.
A lodge of the A. F. & A. M., and a temperance reform club are prosperously conducted in the village.

Source: The History of Peoria County, Illinois, Johnson & Company, Chicago, 1880.


MILLBROOK TOWNSHIP- -Peoria County, Illinois

Back To Top

In the Spring of 1883 William Metcalf, then a young man, with a wife and two children, left Richland county, Ohio, to seek a home in the then far West. They came by wagon, camping out on the way, and arriving at French Grove, Brimfield Township, ended their journey. Mr. Metcalf erected a house on Sec. 9, of Millbrook, and removed his family into it in the Spring of 1834, and was the first settler in the township. John Sutherland, n native of Pittsburgh, Pa., came to Peoria in 1834, bought the land where the Ingersoll hotel now stands. He removed to Millbrook in 1835, and located on Sec. 32. Mr. S. was one of the organizers of the First Presbyterian Church of Peoria. Pie died September 30, 1845.


Is situated in the northwest portion of the county, in Millbrook township, on Sec. 7, 36 miles from Peoria, and 24 miles from Galesburg. It contains three dry good stores, two churches, two blacksmiths, one wagon shop and undertaker, two milliners, one drug store, one butcher shop, and post office. There is a population of about 200. Was and is the only town laid out and platted and recorded in Millbrook township, which was done July 2, 1836, by John Smith, Jr. The only houses at the time were those occupied by John Smith, Jr., and Clark Stanton. Some time 1836 a man by the name of Hurd, of Peoria, brought the first stock of goods to the town and opened out in a small log cabin on the bank of the river. He was soon after succeeded by Stacy &  Holmes, who sold goods for about two years. John Smith Jr., opened out a stock of goods some time during the Winter of 1836-7, and remained in business until the Summer of 1857, when he sold out to the Hon. David Markley, of Canton, Fulton county, Illinois, then a prominent merchant and politician. This stock of goods was finally moved away.The first school-house in the village was built by Dr. Fifield, C. W. Stanton, Russell Stanton, and Jonah Lewis, without the assistance of the public funds.  The frame of this house is a part of E. Marldey's dwelling. This was replaced by a large commodious brick, now in use, in 1867.
The first church was built by the Campbellites in 1858, a frame structure, costing about $1,000, which was blown down by cyclone on the 8th day of May, of the same year. In 1865 they erected their present church. The mill at this place has added very materially to the prosperity of the town since Mr. Holtz, of Elm wood, has had charge. It was built in the year 1837. People at that time came from Kewanee to get their milling done. The post office was first established in 1846, Mr. Therrygood Smith acting as postmaster, and as the first justice of the peace. The first death that occurred in Millbrook township was an infant son of C. W. Stanton, on the 1st day of August, 1836. The first marriage in Millbrook took place at the residence of C. W. Stanton, December 15, 1837, the ceremony being performed by Therrygood Smith, Esq. The parties married were Mr. T. Greeley, a native of Salisbury, N. H., who came to Millbrook in 1836, Miss Chloe A. Barnes, a native of New York, who came to Millbrook the same year of her husband. The first white child born was the infant son of 0. W. Stanton, which died, as previously mentioned. The first physician was John Fifield, who was a native of Salsbury, Hillsborough county, N. H. He came to Peoria, March 10, 1838, and soon after to Rochester, where he practiced until about 1845.

The first school in Millbrook was taught by Caleb North, in a log house 12x14 feet, in the Winter of 1836-7, for which he received $10 per month. Millbrook is divided into eight full school districts and two fractional union districts. The citizens of the township manifest a zealous interest in their schools, as shown by their flourishing condition and the liberal tax imposed to sustain them. The school buildings are of a superior order, varying in cost from $600 to $4,500. Perhaps no township in Peoria County can exhibit a finer class of school-houses, or show a more liberal taxation, in proportion to its wealth, for the support of their schools. The trustees of the school fund for 1879 were: John Doyle, president; E. L. Witlett and John Mason ; S. H. Winchester, clerk and treas.

Source: The History of Peoria County, Illinois, Johnson & Company, Chicago, 1880.


PRINCEVILLE TOWNSHIP- Peoria County, Illinois

Back To Top

Daniel Prince came to Princeville in 1822, and settled on section 24, built a log cabin 14x14, being the pioneer of civilization in this part of the county. He was a native of the northern part of Vermont. The first settler who moved his family into the township was Stephen French, a native of Connecticut, who emigrated to Sangamon county, ILL., some time previous to 1828. He came to Peoria County and settled

near Peoria that year, and soon afterwards became a resident of Princeville, and was the first justice of the peace and first postmaster in the place. Mr. French has a son, Demmeck French, living in the township, who was the first white child born in the county. The first school was taught in a log house near where Hitchcock & Voores' mill now stands, by Miss Esther Stoddard. The first male teacher was Theodore F. Hurd, now a successful merchant and farmer of Galva, ILL. The first sermon was preached by Rev. Robt. Stewart, a Presbyterian minister. The first death was that of the father-in-law of Isaac Essex (name unknown). The first birth was a child in Mr. S. French's family.

Is situated in the northern portion of the county, on section 13 of Princeville township, on the Peoria and Rock Island railroad, twenty-two miles from Peoria, and is a flourishing town of about 900 inhabitants. It was laid out and named by Win. C. Stevens, on the 20th day of June, 1837, in the midst of a rich and fertile prairie.
The first store in Princeville was kept by Elisha Morrow, on block No. 9, (owned by Thos. Morrow,) in a log building, where he remained about two years. Afterwards, Mr. Win. C. Stevens put in a small stock of goods-as he says-to hold the village together. After the closing out of Morrow, Hitchcock & Rowley embarked in business in the same building. They were afterwards succeeded by J. W. Gue, in 1851, where he remained a short time and then built the brick store now occupied by F. B. Blanchard, it being the first brick store in the town.
About 1851, a man by the name of Gray commenced the grocery and notion trade, but soon abandoned it. In the Summer of the same year, Eldridge & Parker built a store room where the Eureka House now stands, and put in a stock of goods.
Among the present business men are F. B. Blanchard, William Simpson and Otto Davidson, dry goods ; J. H. Russell,, Garrison & Fuller and Emmet Illingsworth, in groceries ; Peter Auten & Son, in banking ; Solomon Bliss and D. W. Herron, in drugs ; 0. W. Russell, in hardware ; Valentine Weber, in boots and shoes ; James B. Ferguson, in jewelry. There are two hotels in the place. The proprietors are J. G. Corbett, who also has a livery, and Mrs. W. G. Selby. There is one meat market, by John D. Hammer ; two cabinet shops, one by James Campbell, and the other, Hammer & May; one bakery and restaurant, by John Ayling; one steam flouring mill, by Hitchcock & Voor-hess ; two harness makers, O. F. Herrick and George Reimhart; one attorney at law, B. P. Duffy ; two millinery shops, Misses Bonton & Bohrer, and Misses Edwards & Godfrey ; E. II. Burgass is postmaster.

Princeville Press. - The first paper published in Princeville was the Princeville Weekly Citizen, by G. T. Gillman, started in the Summer of 1868, and lasted six months. The next venture was the Princeville Times, by C. A. Pratt, established in July, 1874,
and run four months. The next was the Princeville Independent, by J. E. Knapp, first issued March 10, 1877. Changed hands September 29, 1877, J. G. Corbett becoming-editor. Changed again October 13, 1877, to the firm of J. G. Corbett & H. E. Charles, as editors. October 18, 1878, the firm was changed to J. G. Corbett & P. C. Hull, editors, October 3, 1879, it was bought by the present proprietors, J. E. Charles and P. C. Hull ; P. C. Hull, editor. It is now a permanent institution, with a rapidly increasing circulation.

I. 0. 0. F., Diligence Lodge, No. 129, was organized at Princeville, on the 23d day of August, 1853, with seven charter members viz : R. F. Henry, T. J. Russell Josiah Fash. The first officers were: H. M. Barney, N. G.; R. F. Henry, V. G.; Milton Wilson, Rec. Sec. The lodge meets over D. W. Herroti's drug store. It has a membership of fifty. The present officers are; S. S. Coburn, N. G. ; Frank Stater, V. G. ; D. D. McDougall, Rec. Sec. ; A. J. Pratt, Treas.; C. W. Russell, Warden ; Joseph Lyman, Conductor.

Is a flourishing little village in Princeville Township, situated on the Buda branch of the C, B. & Q. R. R., twenty-five or twenty-six miles northwest of Peoria. It was laid out and platted on the 26th day of June, 1873, by S. S. Cornwell, a native of Duchess county, New York, who emigrated to this county in 1888, and located on section 28, where he still resides. The town was first named Cornwell, which was afterwards changed to Monica. The Hon. Wm. J. Phelpsgave it its name, after a Grecian princess. The first store was built by Andrew D. Rogers, for hardware purposes. Then followed H. P. Hanover, who erected a store building and opened out a stock of groceries and boots and shoes.

The Monica Blue Ribbon Club -was organized by the people of Monica and vicinity on the 17th December, 1878, and has been the means of doing a great deal of good. The first officers were, L. B. Martin, M. D., president; W. E. Elliott, 1st vice-president; D. D. Clark, 2d vice-president; L. L. Campbell, secretary ; S. S. Cornwell, treasurer. The membership is about one hundred and fifty good workers. The present officers are, Joseph Motes, president; C. R. Coker, 1st vice-president; Mrs. M. Curtis, 2d vice-president ; R. L. V. Deal, secretary; S. S. Cornwell, treasurer.

Schools. - The present school building in Monica is a handsome frame structure, 22x44, two stories high, and was erected in the Fall of 1878. The cost of structure was $2,100. The first teacher was T. C. Young. Average attendance of scholars is seventy.
The present business men are: L. L. Campbell, dry goods ; Herrington, Herger & Co., general merchandise ; B. B. Bowman & Co., hardware ; George Campbell, groceries ; W. W. Hurd, dealer in grain and live stock, who has an elevator of 48,000 bushels capacity in the village; A. D. Hutchinson, also grain ; M. A. Stowell, lumber; P. R. Ford, proprietor Monica House ; F. Fairfield, harness ; Joseph Gotz, boots and shoes ; Dr. D. F. Duke, physician.

Source: The History of Peoria County, Illinois, Johnson & Company, Chicago, 1880.

RADNOR TOWNSHIP-Peoria County, Illinois

Back To Top

In early times the territory included in this township was attached to Kickapoo precinct for election and other purposes. Under the law providing for township organization, the name Radnor was proposed for this municipality by Evan Evans, the first supervisor, after Radnor, Pennsylvania, and Radnorshire, Wales, the home of his ancestors, and the name was adopted.
To a man named Miller is ascribed the honor of building and occupying the first cabin in this township. The Miller cabin was probably built about the latter part of 1832, or early part of 1833 ; and until 1835, if he remained here that long, he was " monarch of all he surveyed." In 1835, a number of persons came and founded homes. Erastus Peat, Griffith Dickison, and some other members of the Dickison family, were the next settlers after Miller, but the date of their settlement is not easily accessible. They probably came about 1834-5. John L. Wakefield moved over from Kickapoo township about 1835-6, and located on section 18, his present home. George D. Harlan, the Dunlaps, Calvin Blake, Griffith Dickison, Daniel Corbert, Elihu Pratt, Daniel Robinson, Robert Cline, Jedediah Hitchcock, Moses Harlan, William Gifford, and Harvy Still-man, came in 1837.
The first precinct election was held at the house of Alva Dunlap, on the northwest quarter of section 14. Richard Scholes is reported as the first justice of the peace. The first couple married was George McMillan and Miss Phoebe Hill. The first birth was in the family of Henry Martin, on the southeast quarter of section 35, in 1836. The first death was that of Henry Martin the same year. The first post office was known as Orange Prairie, and was located at the residence of Enoch Huggins, who was the postmaster, on section 36. That post office was discontinued some years since, and was succeeded by the post office at Dunlap, Miss Frances Dunlap, postmistress. This is the only post office in the township.

The first schools were taught in the Summer of 1837, and were subscription schools. These schools commenced almost simultaneously. One of them was taught by Miss Mary Twitchell, in a log building on the Gifford place. The other school was taught by Miss Phoebe Oline, in a small building on the Wakefield place, on section 18. From the time of these primitive schools to the present, the educational interests have not been allowed to languish. Schools were carefully and steadily maintained in every neighborhood-in every part of the township where there were children enough to make a school. Sometimes they were taught in rooms belonging to private houses, and sometimes in houses that had been vacated for better ones. At last the township was districted, and public school-houses were built, until now there are nine as handsome school-houses in Radnor township as in any other political division in the county. Each district is composed of four sections, and the school-houses are located, as nearly as may be, at the adjoining corners of these sections. They are ail supplied with modern furniture, and made as comfortable every way as possible. School is maintained about nine months in each of them.
The earliest preaching was about 1837, by the Rev. Mr. Cunningham, of the M. E. church. He visited here occasionally, and preached in the houses of the settlers. The first church edifice was erected on the land of Mr. A. Yates, in 1850. There are now four church buildings, and as many congregations. Of these the Methodist people have two, the Presbyterians one, and the Catholics one.

Industries.-Agriculture and stock-growing are the leading industries of the township. In these respects, and especially the former, it is more than an average with the other townships of the county. The farms are all in good condition, and remuneratively productive.

Coal Mining. - Although the entire township is underlaid with a rich deposit of coal, only two banks, have been opened. Both of these openings are in the southwest part of the township and are the principal sources of fuel supply. What is known as Evans' mill, on the east fork of Kickapoo creek, was built about 1842-3 by a man named Pierce. It is located on Sec. 29, and is the only mill in the county driven by water power.

This village is located on the Peoria and Rock Island Railroad, fifteen miles northwest from Peoria, and is an outgrowth of that railroad enterprise. The situation is a commanding one, and is in the center of an agricultural district that is unsurpassed in any part of the county. The village site embraces forty acres of Alva Dunlap's home place, and was laid off by that gentleman in 1871. The honor of building the first house in the village, belongs to Dr. John Gillett. He commenced building in June, 1871, and completed and occupied the building with a stock of drugs and groceries in October of the same year.
In the Fall of 1871 George W. Blake built a business house at the corner of B and Railroad Streets, and occupied it with a stock of groceries. H. I. Smith built a residence in the Fall of 1871, and commenced the business of a blacksmith. Hugh Yates built a store and residence combined on First Street in 1872. Miss Frances M. Dunlap commenced the dry goods and notions trade in the post-office building at the corner of First and A Streets in the Spring of 1876, where she still continues. The post office of Dunlap was established in September, 1871, with Miss Dunlap as postmistress, a position she still holds. J. Kreaner commenced the tin and hardware business on First Street in 187 T. A. Huber, the village shoemaker, added a stock of boots and shoes in the Fall of 1878. Ben. C. Vaughan, blacksmith and wagonmaker, commenced business in 1872. The Mathews' elevator was erected in 1877. David Smith's warehouse was re-constructed and fitted up with elevator appliances the same year.

Schools and Churches. - The first school, after Dunlap was surveyed, was taught by Miss Susan Rathburn in a small building just over the south line of the village plat, and commenced in September, 1871. The school-house was built in 1877, and cost about $900. The first prayer meeting was held at the residence of George W. Pyle, corner of Third and B Streets, July 2, 1875

Source: The History of Peoria County, Illinois, Johnson & Company, Chicago, 1880.

RICHWOODS TOWNSHIP- Peoria County, Illinois  

Back To Top

Settlers and First Events

Mr. William German was the first settler of the township. He came in 1832 and located on section 29.
Later that year (1832) came Thomas Essex, a native of Virginia and settled on section 29.
In 1833 Benjamin Slane, Marginus Belford and William Nixon. They settled on section 27.
Mr. Slane remained but a short , then he removed to Princeville township. He was the first supervisor from the township.
Later that year (1833) Stephen Carroll, Levi McCormick and a man by the name of Barton settled in the township.
In 1833 William O. Stringer settled on Section 8 and was among the earliest settlers of the township.
In 1834 Josiah Fulton and family removed from Peoria.
First marriage was Charles Ballance, of Peoria to Miss Julia Snebly in 1835
First death was Mr. Stephen Carroll's father.
First minister was Rev. Issac Keller, in a log school - house on section 27 in 1835.
In 1860 Mr. Frye was killed by a pistol shot at the stock yards in Peoria, by a man named Carroll.

 Other Settlers
1834 Benjamin Lusk, from Duchess County, N.Y., he had two living sons.
1834 Smith Frye from Washington County, Penn. He was active and influential man.
He was elected sheriff of the county in the early days.
1834 John Heines born in Frederick County, Va.
1836 Nathan Giles, native of Oneida County, N.Y.
1836 John Berket of Lancashire, Penn.

 Early Schools
1851 the Snebly and Chauncey wood school-house was built, 18 X 24 feet, being the first frame building used for school purposes in the township. The cost was $400.00 (previous to that log cabins were used) The next, in 1853, was the Sringer school-house in the northern part of the town. The next was the brick house on section 28, known as the Fulton school-house which was torn down and a fine building erected in 1858 on section 33. It was known as the Jackson or Yates school-house at a cost of $1,000.. In 1853 the Spears school- house was erected, a brick building, 18 X 24
and cost $400. . It was afterwards abandoned and the district bring divided up, there has been two houses erected one known as the Louks and the other Sipp. They are frame buildings costing about $600. each. In the Northeast corner of the Township a frame building was erected, known as the Snebly and Johnson school-house, costing about $500.. In the year of 1865 or '66, there was a frame building erected on section 15 on the Illinois bottoms, known as the Littleton school-house and cost about $400.. The Hines school-house was built in 1872 on section 28 and cost $500.. The schools are in flourishing condition, always pay very good prices for teachers and having sessions of six to nine months a year.

Source: The History of Peoria County, Illinois, Johnson & Company, Chicago, 1880.

ROSEFIELD TOWNSHIP- Peoria County, Illinois

Back To Top

The township is generally broken, except in the southwest corner, where some beautiful farms and good substantial farmers are to be found.

Early Settlers and First Events
1833 Amos Stevens came and located at the Kickapoo Forks. He built the first log cabin and broke the first prairie.
Shortly after him came Winney Rynearson and a brother of A. Stevens.
1835 John and David Combs, Lewis Cooledge and Wm. Nixon came.
1836 Benjamin Miller and Joseph Bohrer
First Church was a Methodist organized in 1837.
The first school-house was built on section 8, in 1838.
Rosewell Smith was the first teacher in the school-house,
but the first school was held in a private house; taught by Martha Miller, daughter of Benjamin Miller in 1837.

Oak Hill
The village of Oak Hill is situated on the C. B. & Q. R. R about twenty miles from Peoria, in Rosefield township. It was laid out and platted by Joseph Bohrer and Wm. M. Dodge in 1855. Mr. Bohrer was born in Frederick County, VA., on the 9th of May 1805. He was married February 1829 to Harriet Dawson and lived in Morgan County, VA., until 1836 when he came to Rosefield Township. There is  at present three general stores. One owned and occupied by A.Y. Forney who commenced business in 1865, who was also has been postmaster about the same length of time. Mr. Jacob Dawson has been in business since the C. B. & Q. passed through; most of the time dealing in stock and grain; but at present in the mercantile business. W.W. Miller owns and occupies one of the stores. He came to the township among the earliest settlers. There is one church (Methodist); a good school building; two blacksmith shops and one warehouse.

In 1865 the camp ground of the M.E. Church was bought by the Peoria district, where thousands of people congregate yearly to worship. It is situated a short distance northwest of town, in a beautiful grove and has a fine spring of water n the ground.

Oak Hill Church - In 1837 or 38 the first M.E. Church was organized on section 14 and known as the Combs meeting-house.
Since that time the church has gone to decay. the church at Oak Hill was organized in 1845 and held their meetings in a school-house until 1858, when they erected a church edifice under the supervision of Rev. G. R. Palmer and at that time had a membership of about sixty.
After the new church was built the board of officers were:
Cutten Dawson , Daniel Brown , Austin Nixon,  Jacob Gunth, Issac Wethrell , W.W. Miller, A. Dawson.  
The building committee officers were: Austin Nixon, W.W.  Miller, J. Dawson
The Class leader was: A. Nixon
The cost of the building was 1,200.. Rev. C.W. Green has charge of the church and is doing a good work.
Has a school building 28x36, 16 feet C., and the attendance id forty. School is conducted by Miss Ida Burt.

The Methodist Church at Texas - This church was organized in Rosefield township, in 1854 and is known as the Wrigley Church. The original members were ten in number. the first class leader was Joseph Dunn. trustees were Robert Wrigley and Henry Robins. The first pastor was J. M. Snyder. For the first few years the society worship in a brick school-house. Their present church was built some time after 1860, a frame building 26X34 feet and will accommodate between 200 and 250. It cost 1,600..

Rosefield M. E. Church - The first Methodist class within the vicinity of the present church edifice was formed in 1844 or perhaps a year or two earlier with twelve original members. the first church edifice was built in 1854 and in 1874 was abandoned and a new church erected across the road, costing 1,650., and was dedicated by Rev. R. N. Morse. Although the building is not large it is however neat and attractive. The church is free from debt. The house is supplied with a good organ. At the present time the membership id twenty- four. Nelson Shepard is class leader and Sunday school superintendent; John Yinger, steward and these with John VanAnsdall, trustees. the pastors have been the same as at Pleasant Grove with few exception, prior to 1850.

Source: The History of Peoria County, Illinois, Johnson & Company, Chicago, 1880.

TIMBER TOWNSHIP- Peoria County, Illinois

Back To Top

Timber township forms the extreme southern point of the county, and was originally chiefly covered with timber. The north part is rolling; the southern part is bottom lands. The Toledo, Peoria & Warsaw railroad, passes across the lower portion, and opens to market some valuable lands. Timber township is settled by an industrious and energetic class of citizens, who have made some of the best farm improvements in Peoria county. It is well watered and rolling, and is well adapted to stock and grain raising. One of the old settlers asserts that they have not had a failure in crops for forty-five years.

It is claimed that a man by the name of Daniel Hinkle was the first settler in the township.
Spring of 1832, Benjamin Duffield immigrated to Timber township from Nicholas County, VA., where he died the following year. He married Miss Elizabeth Shock, of Shenandoah County, VA., by whom he had seven children, five boys and two girls. Mrs. G. has been in the township over forty-seven years. She married Samuel A. Glassford, a native of Ohio, who came to the county in 1842.

Mr. G. laid out the town of Glassford, December 9, 1868. The first name given to it was Glascoe, but it was afterwards changed for the reason that there was another town by that name in the State. The town contains two general stores, one Baptist church, a good school-house, two blacksmith shops, one flouring and saw mill, two shoemaker shops, a warehouse and one wagon maker shop. The first school-house, says Mrs. G., was a small log building near Dry Run, 16x18, with greased paper for windows. The benches were made of slabs turned flat side up with pins for legs. Here some of the best people in the township got their education.
The first church erected was at Lancaster, by the M. E. Society, which has since been moved to Copperas creek, and is now used by the Christian Union. The first meeting was held at Wm. Eyman's, one mile above Kingston. John Congeton came to the county in 1835. In the Spring of 1836, there was an election at the house of Wm. Duffield; he was appointed as one of the judges of election, and the whole number of votes cast was seven. Daniel Hinkle was not only the first settler in Timber, but the first justice of the peace. Col. A. L. Fahnenstock came to the county in 1837, from Adams County, PA., and located at Lancaster. In 1856, he embarked in the mercantile business in Lancaster; afterwards removed to Glassford, where he handles a large stock of general merchandise. He has held several local offices; was county treasurer two years. He entered the army as captain and was commissioned as colonel, but not mustered. Charles Fahnenstock, son of the colonel, is also engaged in the same business. Wm. H. Davis, has one of the finest flouring mills, outside of Peoria, in the county, equipped with the latest improvements. Erected in 1872, and cost $17,000. There is also a saw mill worked by the same power, which cost about $3,000.
Lancaster is situated on section 17, and was laid out by Samuel F. Bollinger. Since the railroad passed through the township the business has gone chiefly to Glassford.

Kingston, formerly Palmyra, is situated on the Illinois river, and was laid out by James Monroe. The chief business is coal mining.

Source: The History of Peoria County, Illinois, Johnson & Company, Chicago, 1880.


TRIVOLI TOWNSHIP- Peoria County, Illinois

Back To Top

Is situated in the south part of the county, and is among the best townships in the county, taking into consideration the quality of the land, the improvements, its citizens, and the material advantages it possesses as to proportion of timber, prairie, water, etc.. Its farmers are generally old settlers who have by years of toil, not only improved its lands, but have erected fine dwellings.

The first settler in the township was Isaac Harkness, who came in 1830 and located in the north part of the township. In 1831 came Levi Harkness, Gardner Gilbert and wife.
About the same time Samuel Emery, Sr., Robert McConnell, Methiah Bourne came.
In 1832 Samuel Clark and wife, and Benjamin W. Crane and wife came.
In 1834 came John Hiatt, Eli Wilson, son and wife, settled in the township.
In 1835 several other families followed, among them we find Curtis Cady and wife, Page Hiatt and wife, David R. Gregory and wife, and Samuel M. Mack.
The first physician was Lewis A. Hunneford, who followed his profession for a number of years.
The first preacher was Peter Bourne. The first school-house was built on section 4, near the residence of Isaac Harkness. The first teacher was Miss Sarah Waters, and was paid by subscription.
The first church organization was at the Harkness school-house, and the first preacher there was Rev. Samuel Emery, a Methodist. The first post­master was Robert McConnell, and the first store building was erected by David A. Gove, and run by Milo Smith. Blacksmith shop was built in 1834 in the southwest part of town by Henry A. Green. The first hotel was kept by M. Bourne.

The Village of Trivoli

Situated in the township of Trivoli, eighteen miles due west of the city of Peoria, and has about two hundred inhabitants. The town was laid out about 1840 or '41.
The business men at the present writing are as follows:
Blacksmiths: J. F. Bourne, John Fletcher and John Greenhalgh
Boot and Shoemaker: Sharron Schilling; carpenter, James Callahan
Harness and Collars: Jacob Linck
Justices of the Peace: James Johnson and James Tyler
Grist Mill: Geo. Briber
Physicians: A. J. Graham and W. C. Bonvard
One Newspaper: Trivoli S., James Johnson, editor
Two General Stores, One M. E. Church and One school building.
It does a considerable local trade, and to make it a place of prominence it only needs railroad facilities, which are now contemplated and undoubtedly a year or two will bring.


Brunswick Presbyterian Church, of Trivoli Township -
About the year 1833, there came from Virginia a few families of Presbyterian parentage and training by the name of Ramsay, and located in the southwest part of Trivoli township, in the timber skirting the beautiful but then neglected and despised prairie land. These were after a short time followed by other friends from their native State.
These people had plain homes, plain food, plain clothing and plain preaching. By 1840 other families having moved into the community, a missionary, then in the employ of the Old School Presbyterian Church, came into the community duly pursuing his calling, and was encouraged to gather these people into one organization, which was effected on September 19, 1840, by the missionary, Rev. Geo. G. Sill and Rev. Abraham D. Wilson, of the Protestant Dutch Church, and the church was known as the Protestant Dutch Church of Copperas.
The place of organization was the house of Robert Ramsey, and ten persons composed the church as organized. Thomas Ramsey and George Walls were chosen to the eldership and duly installed. In the two following years several more members were added. The services were mostly held in a school-house on the farm now owned by John Yerion. The erection of the present and only church building was begun by laying the corner stone on November 23, 1844, by Rev. George G. Sill, and it appears that it was ready for occupancy the same year, the basement being stone, the second story frame, and valued at $2,000 with grounds.
In 1844 a post office was established and named Brunswick and the name of the church was changed accordingly. This church has for many years joined with the Salem Presbyterian Church in the support of the same minister. The present membership is eighty. A Sabbath school has been sustained here since 1842.
A prayer meeting and Woman's Foreign Mission Society are in existence. Their present pastor is Wm. King, who has labored with them for some years.

Evangelical Lutheran St. John's Church -
The constitution was adopted and signed October 27, 1849, with seventeen original members. Jacob Scherer, pastor. On the 27th day of May, 1855, the name of the church was changed to Zion Evangelical Church of Trivoli.
The first officers of the church were as follows: Henry Frank, elder, and Patrick Gilbrath, as deacon, who were inaugurated October 28, 1849. On the 26th of June, 1850, the following brothers were elected:
Henry Erford, as elder, and Christian Shirk, as deacon, and was inaugurated June 30, 1850.
They have a comfortable frame building, 30x44 feet, and cost about $ 1,500.

Source: The History of Peoria County, Illinois, Johnson & Company, Chicago, 1880.