Princeville Township

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.