Millbrook TownshipIn 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.