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Town No. 20. All of Township 25 north, of Range 4 east of the Third Principal Meridian, and named Lexington.
Town No. 21. All of Township 26 north, of Range 4 east of the Third Principal Meridian, and pamed Chenoa.
Town No. 22. Sections from 1 to 12 inclusive, in Township 21, and all of Township 22 north, of Range 5 east of the Third Principal Meridian, and named West.
Town No. 23. All of Township 23 north, of Range 5 east of the Third Principal Meridian, and named Arrowsmith.
Town No. 24. All of Township 24 north, of Range 5 east of the Third Principal Meridian, and named Martin.
Town No. 25. All of Township 25 north, of Range 5 east of the Third Principal Meridian, and named Lawndale.
Towo No. 26. All of Township 26 north, of Range 5 east of the Third Principal Meridian, and named Yates.
Town No. 27. Sections from 1 to 12 inclusive of Township 21, together with all of Township 22 north, of Range 6 east of the Third Principal Meridian, and named Belleflower.
Town No. 28. All of Township 23 north, of Range 6 east of the Third Principal Meridian, and named Cheney's Grove.
Town No. 29. All of Township 24 north, of Range 6 east of the Third Principal Meridian, and named Anchor.
Town No. 30. All that portion of Township 25 north, of Range 6 east of the Third Principal Meridian, belonging to McLean County, and named Cropsey.
In accordance with an act of the Legislature of Illinois, of April 1, 1851, and with the vote of the citizens of the county, on the previous November, the Supervisors' Court of McLean County met at the Court House in Bloomington, on May 17, 1858, and, after organizing, assumed the transaction of the county business.
On May 20, it was resolved by the Court that the surplus, if there should be any, arising out of the proceeds of the sales of the swamp-lands granted to the county, after the appropriation, previously made by the County Court, of $70,000 toward the buildof the State Normal University, should have been paid, together with all incidental expenses, be equally divided, geographically, among all the townships and fractional townships, for the purpose of maintaining common schools, to be controlle:d in the same manner as moneys arising from the sixteenth section, appropriated to each township by the General Government. It may not be improper to remark that as the sales of the said swamp-lands amounted to about $130,000, there was, eventually, quite a handsome sum distributed to the townships for said purposes.
In the mean time, as may well be supposed, the county was gradually filling up with active and industrious immigrants. New farms were opened on all the prairies, and the face of the country was generally assuming a cheerful and cultivated appearance. People were no longer afraid to sail out into the grassy sea before them, and cast anchor on a forty, an eighty, or a quarter-section of the finest lands in any country. Occasionally, a town would be born at some railroad station, or be christened, at least; and, quite frequently, the christening occurred before the birth, and sometimes the birth
In 1854, the town of Towanda was laid out on the Chicago, Alton & St. Louis Railroad, about ten miles northeast of Bloomington; and the hard times of 1857 laid it out again. It still lies out on the prairie, a town of vast possibilities. In 1855, Heyworth took a name, and assumed to have a “ local habitation" as well, on the line of the Central Railroad, not far from the southern line of the county, about thirteen miles from Bloomington. It has been a prosperous experiment from the start, growing in its growth and strengthening in its strength, gradually and securely, until it has become a nice town, with good prospects, as it has some excellent citizens and is surrounded by a magnificent country.
In the same year, the town of McLean was laid out, on the line of the Chicago & Alton Railroad, where it still stood, at the latest reports, about twelve miles southwest of Bloomington, well toward the southwest corner of the county. It'has prospered moderately, and is quite a business place. The only insuperable difficulty in its way to becoming a large town is its proximity to Shirley, on the same road and in the same direction. Though the surrounding country is very fine, it is not of sufficient breadth to sustain two large towns so near each other. In 1856, the town of Saybrook, at Cheney's Grove, sprang into existence, and, by 1870, it had become so large a town that the La Fayette, Bloomington & Mississippi Railroad was constructed to connect New York and Bloomington with it. It is a good point, and has many very worthy citizens. Several other prospective towns are now in their cradles, on the routes of the different railroads in the county. Holder, Ellsworth and Arrowsmith, on the La Fayette & Bloomington Railroad, are good grain-stations, and Downs Station, on the Indianapolis, Bloomington & Western Railroad, eight miles east of Bloomington, and Stanford, twelve miles west, on the Jacksonville Branch of the Chicago & Alton road, are doing well. Other towns will receive due attention in the appropriate places in this work.
During these years, new roads were laid out, old ones changed and improved, and bridges and culverts of a permanent character, too numerous to notice individually, were constructed over the creeks and sloughs in all parts of the county. Settlements were made very rapidly in the eastern part of the county, where the splendid soil, the low prices and the constantly-increasing facilities afforded by incoming railroads held out special inducements.
At the May term of the Supervisors' Court, the Committee on Public Buildings visited the new County Jail, and reported that they “ found it to be one of the best and most substantial buildings of the kind they ever saw, and fully believed said Jail would answer the purposes for which it was designed.” The Jail and dwelling for the Sheriffbad been recently built, under contract with the County Court, at an expense of $12,000. They are still in use for the purposes of their construction. The county revenue for 1857 was $30,453.15.
At the March term of the Court, A. J. Merriman, Agent of the County Court, reported that the sales of the swamp-lands, to date, amounted to $55,224.90. The amount of the bills presented to the Court for keeping the poor during the current year was, in round numbers, $1,100.
At the September term, 1859, the Court, upon the report and recommendation of a Special Committee on Poor-farm, resolved to purchase the farm of John G. Myers,
lying about four miles south of Bloomington, and consisting of 220 acres, at $25 per acre, amounting to $5,500; and appropriated $1,000 for the erection of additional buildings, appointing a committee to superintend the same. These arrangements have since been carried out, the whole purchase and buildings paid for, and the Poor-farm, one of the best of its kind in the country, has since been running harmoniously and efficiently accomplishing its intended purpose. The expense of keeping the poor for the current year, 1859, is reported at $4,784.45.
At the February term, 1860, Mr. David Simmons filed with the Court an approved bond, and took charge of the County Poor-farm.
At a called session of the Court on April 17, 1861, on the report and recommendation of a special committee, the Court appropriated, for the benefit of volunteers who had already gone, or who might thereafter go, into the United States service, the sum of $10,000, and appointed Messrs. Isaac Funk, Allen Withers aud John E. McClun a committee to superintend the distribution of the same.
On May 30, the above committee reported as follows: " They entered upon the discharge of the duties assigned them immediately on being notified of their appointment, and found the whole county in a state of most intense excitement. The proclamation of the President of the United States calling for volunteers had aroused our whole population. Party differences were forgotten, and one sentiment alone seemed to pervade the minds of the people; and that was, that our Government should be sustained, and that McLean County, if need be, would pour out her blood freely to attain that object." The subsequent action of the people of the county, on many trying occasions, proved the above statement to be literally true. The committee reported that they had already expended for the specified object in' their appointment $4,076.72.
At the September term, same year, the Court adopted a resolution that, as Peter Folsome, Esq., acting for the county, procured from the General Government the amount of money to which the county is entitled on account of swamp-lands sold by the Government, he be authorized to settle with the Government as may seem fit, so the amount paid to the School Treasurers of the different towns does not fall below the sum of $11.040. The arrangement was made and the money distributed.
At the July term, 1862, the Court passed a resolution that, for the purpose of aiding in the enlistment of volunteers for the service of the United States in McLean County, there be assessed upon said county a tax of $22,500, and that the sum of $50 be paid out of said sum to each volunteer who may have enlisted in said service in said county, under the late call of the President of the United States, or who may enlist in the same prior to the first day of September next. On motion, Messrs. Reeder, Thomas and Funk were appointed a committee to negotiate the loan and disburse the fund provided for in said report.
At the next session, August 15, the Court passed another similar resolution, to raise $37,500 more, under like restrictions, and for the same purpose as the one above stated, to encourage volunteers to enlist in the service under another call by the President, and its distribution was intrusted to the same committee, making $70,000 in the three appropriations of the Court for similar purposes.
In the resolution was a provision for raising the funds on better terms, by resolving that the $60,000 be charged upon the tax-lists of said county for the years 1862, 1863 and 1864. At the succeeding September term, the committee on distribution reported that they had negotiated loans to the amount of $55,775, and had paid the said bounty of $50 each to 939 volunteers, amounting to $16,950, and, after paying some necessary expenses, there remained in their hands $8,756.40.
At the February term, 1863, the committee to pay bounty to volunteers reported satisfactorily, giving the amount received from the special war tax as $11,318.41, and the amount by them paid on county bonds as $11,105.23.
At the December term of the Court, 1863, the following gentlemen were appointed a committee to take into consideration the propriety of paying a bounty to volunteers in the army, to meet the new call for 300,000 more men, Messrs. Stringfield, Funk, Thomas, Bishop, Kellogg, McMahan, Cúman, Phillips and Johnston. On the next day, the 23d, the committee reported; and their report, after being amended, was adopted by the Court, and reads as follows:
SECTION 1. That we have examined said matter, and believe it expedient to pay such bounty, and, therefore, recommend the adoption of the following resolutions :
Sec. 2. Resolved, that this county will pay a bounty of one hundred and fifty dollars to each volunteer from this county who may regularly enlist in the army of the United States for the term of three years, or during the war, up to the fifth day of January next, and the sum of fifty dollars to each volunteer from this county who has so enlisted in said army since the first day of September, A. D. 1862, up to this date.
(Section 3 omitted.)
Sec. 4. Resolved, That William Thomas, Isaac Funk and Samuel J. Reeder be and they are hereby appointed a War Fund Committee, to raise the sum of money required to pay such bounty, and that they be authorized and instructed to pay the same to all such persons as may be entitled to receive as above, as soon as they shall be satisfied that said volunteers have been regularly mustered into the service of the United States. That, in case any such volunteer has died since such enlistment, said bounty be paid to his widow or children, if any, and if not, then to his father or mother, if living; and that said Committee be authorized to charge only for their necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.
Sec. 5. That said Committee, in order to raise money to pay said bounty to volunteers as aforesaid, be and they are hereby authorized and empowered to borrow such sum or sums of money, from time to time, as may be necessary to meet the object of this appropriation, and that the Clerk of the County Court of this county issue and deliver to said Committee county orders or warrants in such sums and at such times as said Committee may direct and require for guid purpose, not to exceed in all the sum of forty-five thousand dollars, all payable out of the revenue of the year A. D. 1865, and each bearing ten per cent interest, payable annually, from its date. That said order be countersigned by said committee, and sealed with the seal of said County Court, and express on their face that they are payable out of the revenue of the
(Section 6 omitted.)
Sec. 7. Resolved, That, in order to raise money to pay said orders or warrants, there shall be levied on the Collector's books or roll for the year 1865, on all the taxable property of this county, as a special war fund tax, a sufficient amount of tax to pay all the said orders or warrants issued in accordance with these resolutions, with the interest thereon. That said tax, when collected, be paid by the collectors thereof to the Committee named and appointed in this report, or their successors, and shall then be by said Committee paid on the said orders or warrants as herein directed.