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.