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strictly the case, as John Goodhue had kept a few groceries and notions prior to the opening of these stores. Mr. Goodhue was also the first Postmaster; afterward, Mr. Kellogg was appointed Postmaster, and kept the office in his store. Kellogg & King soon dissolved partnership, and the latter went to Wilmington to take charge of the Stewart Hotel of that place.
A. H. Dillon, in company with Mark Marion, erected a small warehouse and commenced buying grain. J. S. and G. P. Barber soon after built a warehouse and bought grain.
In 1866, Thornton B. Colton erected an elevator, which was the first of the kind here ; three or four years later, the building was burned. In 1867, M. G. Haughey's elevator was built. This building has a handling capacity of about six thousand bushels.
The Mount Hope mills and elevator were built in 1868; the mill by Stone, Aldrich & Co., and the elevator by C. C. Aldrich. The cost of both establishments was over $25,000. The mill has four runs of buhrs, and the elevator has a storing capacity of 20,000 bushels. These are said to be the most complete of their kind in Central Illinois. Every convenience and modern improvement that money would buy have been put in. An institution of this kind is a credit to the town and its founders.
We had almost forgotten that another attempt at milling was made here prior to the establishment of Mount Hope Mills. In 1865, G. L. Wheelock purchased a four-mill at Waynesville and removed it to this place. It was fitted up and run for awhile, and then sold to Cyrus H. McCormick, who subsequently removed it to Greenview.
The first blacksmith-shop was put up in 1857, by F. A. Wheelock. Mr. Wheelock was not a blacksmith, but built the shop more for the purpose of starting the business than for any other. He soon sold the building to George A. Glotfelter, a practical work
In 1859, Glotfelter and H. W. Wood added their wagon and carriage factory, which is still operated by Messrs. Wood & Stones. Like almost every other branch of industry, the wagon and carriage business is being monopolized by the large corporations, and Messrs. Wood & Stones, though they still do considerable in that line, do but little compared to their former business.
EDUCATIONAL. The first school-building was the one mentioned on another page as having been removed from Mount Hope. The building is familiar to the earlier residents of the village, but to the new-comers it may not be known that the old Congregational Church and schoolhouse is still in use in the village, but since 1868 as a carpenter-shop. This historic building was donated by the Mount Hope people, in 1857, to the School District of McLean and removed to this place the same year. The house, with some refitting, was the schoolhouse and church for those who chose to occupy it, until 1868, when the new and substantial building now used for school purposes was erected. This is one of the most convenient of its kind to be found in towns of like size in the country. It is a solid frame building 40x60 feet, two stories high; it contains four large sitting-rooms, besides halls, recitation-rooms, etc. The cost of the building was $10,000. The school sustained here is a graded one of four departments. A. M. Scott is Principal.
RELIGIOUS. McLean is well supplied with church facilities, there being in the village three good church-buildings, occupied by as many organized religious societies.
The Congregational Church organization dates back to the formation of the Mount Hope Colony; and though at times the society had a precarious existence, the original books, with entries regularly made, indicating its removal to this place, and other facts, showing a complete chain of evidence, are still in existence.
The Atlanta Congregational Church drew largely from the original organization; but the root of organization still remained alive at Mount Hope, and, putting forth a small shoot in later years and being properly cultivated, has grown and thrived of late years in a very satisfactory manner.
The society recently erected a very handsome church-building, 31x12 feet in size, costing, including the lot, $2,000. The present membership of the Church is about thirty. Rev. J. H. Shay, of Bloomington, is Pastor. In connection with the Church is a prosperous Sunday school of about sixty scholars, of which F. H. Doane is Superintendent.
It is claimed for this society that it was one of the first in this part of the State to espouse the cause of the colored people, then in bondage, and also one of the first to take advanced grounds against the liquor traffic. When both of these questions were unpopular, this organization heralded to the world that it would affiliate with no man or set of men, religiously, who could not adopt their views.
The Methodist Episcopal Church of McLean was organized in 1857. Capt. I. C. Trott and John Kellogg and a few female members constituted the first class, with Capt. Trott as Class-Leader. This has been a most prosperous s ciety. From the small beginning indicated, the Church has grown to number about one hundred and seventyfive. The Pastor is Rev. Thomas D. Weems. The Sunday school connected with this Church was started in 1857, by John Kellogg, with just three scholars. Mr. Kellogg was Superintendent, teacher and all for a time. The school now numbers, in regular attendance, eighty members. A. R. Dillman is Superintendent.
In 1866, this society built their present neat and commodious building, at an outlay of $3,725. It is 35x55 feet in size, and will accommodate about three hundred sittings.
The Baptists of McLean and vicinity organized a society of that denomination in 1858. This event was brought about by Rev. John Merriman. A couple of years later, the mutterings of war began to be heard throughout the land, and all kinds of enterprises, including churches, were at a standstill, and the infant society named was not an exception. But little was done in the way of church work for six or seven years, during part of which time no meetings were held. In 1867, through the advice and assistance of Rev. E. J. Thomas, now of Atlanta, the McLean Baptist Church was re-organized, and a house of worship erected the next year. The church-building is a neat frame 24x40 feet in size, and cost the society $1,400. There is no preaching service held here at present, though prayer-meetings and Sunday school are kept up. The Sunday school numbers about forty members in regular attendance, of which Mrs. Henrietta Clark is, and has been for the last five years, Superintendent. The Sunday school has the reputation of being conducted on the most approved plan.
Besides the above, two other churches of the Methodist denomination are to be found in the township outside of the village. The Mount Hope Church, near the ancient village, was started nearly forty years ago. Some of its original members were James Murphy, Jacob Moore, Ezra Kenyon and John Longworth. Dr. Daniel Proctor
and John Stubblefield were among its first preachers. The society built a house of worship about ten years since. It is a plain frame building about 28x40 feet in size. About twenty-five members belong to the society. Rev. Thomas D. Weems is present Pastor. Sunday school is sustained during the summer, but owing to the distance from the church at which many of the members live, it is suspended during the winter.
Ebenezer Church is located near the center of Town 22, being on Section 17. The society was formed about ten years ago and the house of worship erected at the same time. About fifty persons belong to this organization. Rev. Mr. Shinn is Pastor.
A., F. & A. M. McLean Lodge, No. 469, was chartered in October, 1866, with B. E. Pumpelly as W. M.; H. W. Wood, S. W.; Charles H. Hitchcock, J. W.; E. G. Clark, Secretary; T. D. Cotton, Treasurer, and James Gibbs, Tiler. Samuel B. Kinsey, Thomas McGary and M. H. Reed were also charter members.
The present membership is twenty-nine. They have lost by death four, and by dimission fully fifty.
The present officers are: C. C. Aldrich, W. M.; Clark Snedeker, S. W.; John Yates, J. W.; Samuel I. Leach, Treasurer; H. W. Wood, Secretary; D. J. Palmer, S. D.; A. W. Bascom, J. D., and George Youngman, Tiler.
ORGANIZATION OF MCLEAN.
“The legal voters of the village were notified to meet at John Kellogg's office on Saturday, May 19, 1866, to vote for or against organization. The first record of the village, still extant, reads as above. On the day appointed, a meeting was held in conformity to the notice and resulted in a vote of twenty-nine in favor of, and four against, incorporation. The meeting at which this action was taken, was called to order by E. G. Clark. On motion of Charles S. Beath, E. B. Johnson was elected President of the meeting and E. G. Clark, Clerk. The oath of office was administered by James S. Barber, who was then a Notary Public. At this meeting, it was also agreed to hold the election for officers at the same place on the 26th, being one week later. At that election, E. B. Johnson, Daniel Tenney, Edward Bonifield, John E. Rawlins and H. W. Wood were elected Trustees, the first-named being President. E. G. Clark was appointed Clerk and Collector; Thornton D. Cotton, Treasurer, and Edward Bonifield, Assessor. The vote polled at this first election was forty-one. This organization, which was under the general law of the State, continued until 1873, when, in the mean time a new general law having been passed, the new act of incorporation was adopted by a vote of thirty-two to seventeen.
The present officers of the village are: John Kellogg, President; W. O. Jeffrey, C. C. Aldrich, Charles M. Noble, Lewis Fay and A. C. Stonaker, Trustees, and H. W. Wood, Clerk
TOWANDA TOWNSHIP. Towanda Township is situated in the geographical center of McLean County. It includes one Congressional town, and is known as Town 24 north, Range 3 east of the Third Principal Meridian. It is bounded on the north by Money Creek Township ; on the east by Blue Mound; on the south by Old Town, and on the west by Normal.
The surface of the country is varied and interesting. Towanda Township is not so level as many parts of Illinois prairie. The surface has sufficient slope to drain itself without the assistance of tiling, unless it be in a few exceptional instances. The greater portion of the township is prairie, but there were, originally, two important groves. Most of the timber has been cleared away, with the advance of civilization and the conversion of the wild prairie lands into fruitful farms.
The grove lying farthest south, near the center of the township, on the west side of Money Creek, is known as Smith's Grove. It was so named from David Smith, who settled there in 1830. The other woodland is known as Money Creek Timber,' although Smith's Grove is properly Money Creek Timber. But when the name Money Creek Timber is used, reference is always made to that portion lying in the north part of the township. It is the beginning of a large body of timber which extends down Money Creek, through the township of the same name, to the Mackinaw. The southwestern part of Towanda lies on the divide,” between the waters which flow into the Mackinaw and those which flow into Sugar Creek. This is the prairie which the early settlers considered worthless, but which now is among the most enviable portions of this thriving township.
The only stream worthy of notice is Money Creek. The headwaters of this little creek take their rise in Padua and Arrowsmith Townships. After passing through the southwestern part of Blue Mound it enters Towanda near the northeastern corner of Section 25. It passes in a northwesterly direction through the township, leaving it near the line between Sections 4 and 5. The remainder of its course lies in Money Creek and Hudson Townships, where it enters Mackinaw near the line between Hudson and Gridley Townships.
The Chicago, Alton & St. Louis Railroad crosses the northwestern corner of Towanda, extending directly northeast and southwest. This road was built in 1853, and soon began to do a large shipping business to Chicago and the Northeast from this part of the country.
The soil in this township is not surpassed in fertility by any in the county, and the amount of corn and oats annually produced is immense. This is, also, a good grass country, and a considerable number of cattle are raised. Hogs abound. At one time, there was a fair proportion of wheat raised, but it is not now extensively sown,
several failures having deterred the farmers from further efforts in this direction.
As is well known, all old settlers were found along the creeks and near the grores. As a consequence, this township presented two points for early settlement-Smith's Grove and Money Creek Timber. The former was settled first, so far as Towanda is concerned. But, by the best authority now attainable, it appears that there was a settlement on Money Creek almost as early as that made by John Hendrix at Blooming Grove. Louis Soward and Jacob Harness must have settled in Money Creek Township as early as 1824 or 1825, near the line between that and Towanda.
The first settlers within the present limits of Towanda Township were John Trimmer and family. John Trimmer came from Hunterdon County, N. J. He came across from the Wabash country by an Indian trail, and camped at what was afterward called Smith's Grove. This was in August, 1826. Few white men were to be seen in
these parts at that time. It is said that the Trimmer family saw do white man after they left the Wabash until they came in here. Indians were plenty, and the only playfellows the Trimmer children liad were young Indians. Soon after reaching their early home, and while they were still in camp, the father died, leaving the widowed mother with eight children to provide and care for. She moved from the Grove to the head of Money Creek Timber soon after the burial of her husband, and there remained. Of the eight children some are dead, and others have moved away, so that none are left on Money Creek but Jesse Trimmer, who was but a lad when the family came West.
After the Trimmers moved away, Frederick Rook came to Smith's Grove. He was a German, and remained little more than a year, when he left for Livingston County, and settled on a creek which afterward bore his name.
David Smith and family came next. Smith was of German descent, and came originally from North Carolina, although he had lived in Kentucky and Indiana. The family reached the Grove, which has ever since borne the name, in the spring of 1830. John Smith entered the land where the Jones family now lives. Later, a large tract of land in that vicinity passed into the hands of the Joneses. The earliest of the Jones family was N. M. Jones, who still lives, and is quite an extensive farmer and dealer in fine stock.
Soon after the Trimmers moved to Money Creek Timber, or, at least, about that time, Elbert Dickason moved to the head of the Timber. He was from Ohio. The early settlers called him “Major ” Dickason. He was one of the most prominent men in the township in that early day.
In the spring of 1831, Jesse Walden came to the same neighborhood. He was originally from Kentucky. He came to Sangamon County in this State in the fall of 1828. Mr. Walden rented a farm of Jacob Spawr. He lived three years here. Afterward, he moved around, living in several places, until he finally settled down near Smith's Grove.
Between these two settlements might soon have been found Richard Fling. Mr. Williams, carpenter and builder, who now resides in Bloomington, married Mr. Fling's daughter.
The growth in population, from this time on, was steady, and, though it was not 80 rapid as in late years, it is impossible to trace the individual settlers as they came in and filled
the few vacant nooks that remained around the borders of the timber. It is worthy of note that the first settlement out on the prairie, at any considerable distance from the timber, was not made before 1819 or 1850. The man who first dared to brave public opinion and prairie wolves was William Halterman. He was born in West Virginia, and moved first to Ohio and then to Illinois. He settled in the western part of the township, near a sulphur spring. Doubtless, the spring had more to do in securing his location at that point than did the fertility of the soil. Those early settlers who came from the mountains, where bubbling springs gush forth from every hillside and glittering cataracts dance wildly over huge ledges of rocks, while down the valley rushes the mighty stream, are not to be mocked for wishing to dwell again beside the gurgling waters; but that a sulphur spring should have peculiar charms, may seem strange. Had the prairies been able to furnish the old mountain-spring, they would have been settled long before they were, no doubt.