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of McLean County. There was a cluster of families north, at Stout's Grove, and others northeast, at Twin and Dry Groves, but his neighbors were not inconveniently near nor extremely numerous. Miles Brooks opened up a farm there, and continued to reside at the grove. His son, Presley T. Brooks, still owns the farm, and has resided upon it until recently. He has been a noted man in the township from its earliest history. His children reside in the township, two sons doing business at Stanford. Mr. Brooks married a Larison. The Larisons are well koown in the early history of McLean County.
The first settlement made at Brown's Grove, was by William Brown. He was from Tennessee. He came to the grove at an early date—some say, about the time that Ephraim Stout came to Stout's Grove, in Danvers Township. If this be true, he was the first inhabitant of what is now Allin Township. William Brown did not remain at the grove which bears his name, but sold out and moved to Mackinaw Creek, where he lived until his death. He had several children, who lived in Allin with their father. They all went with him to the Mackinaw, up above Lexington, where some of them still remain. A son-in-law of Mr. Brown, by the name of Poor, is particularly remembered. He, too, followed the sire to other parts. There were a number of the Stouts, who moved to Brown's Grove at an early date. They were some of the same company that first inhabited Danvers Township. These were given to hunting and sporting. They spent most of their time in that way. They did very little at farming, and when the country began to fill up with ihe tides of emigration from Eastern States, they found a more congenial element in other lands.
Robert Means came early to this same grove. He afterward died of the bilious fever. Mr. Warlow says that he had a young brother, twelve years old, who died about the same time, of the same disease. When a person now has simply bilious fever, he is not considered dangerously ill. But then it was otherwise. He thinks that the doctors killed them. Bleeding was the process for all diseases. The doctors came out from Bloomington and found their patients suffering from an extremely high fever. They then performed the bleeding operation. When the patient's blood was Dearly all
gone, the fever would abate. When the physician again made his appearance, if the patient was a little better, he would bleed him again. It is true that some survived the treatment; but others died, when, it is thought, the better knowledge of to-day would have relieved the suffering and preserved the life.
Benjamin Warlow entered land on the north side of Brown's Grove in the fall of 1836. Here he built a cabin and reared his family. The Warlows were from New York. They moved to Ohio, and then to Illinois. They spent the first two years at Dry Grove. Richard A. Warlow still resides near the site of the old log cabin, first built on the north of the grove. He is the oldest inhabitant of this part of the township. He has been a proninent person in the history of the township, having held about all the offices within the gift of the people.
The settlement at Brooks' Grove grew slowly, the Brooks family being the only settlers of note for some time.
Mosquito Grove was settled by the Reddons. This grove, as remarked previously, was a small patch of woods on the branch of Sugar Creek that flows through Stout's Grove. The grove is in the prairie, some miles from any other timber. It, very Daturally, was selected by a number of brigands and desperadoes as the seat of their depredations. As early as 1836, these men began to collect at Mosquito Grove. They were led by Grant Reddon, who was assisted by his two sons, Jack and Harrison. Although these men were not quite as notorious as the terrible Benders, of Cherry Vale, Kan., whose notorious infamy aroused the whole State, yet their deeds were carried on much after the same fashion. The grove became the rendezvous for thieves, counterfeiters and criminals generally. This gang infested the grove for nearly ten years,
and yet the people were aware of the den's location all the time. They were afraid of the Reddons, who were known to be desperate characters. Jack Reddon is said to have assisted in the murder of Col. Davenport, at Rock Island. Crimes of various kinds were committed, horses were stolen, and even murder was supposed to have been perpetrated. A peddler, who came from Peoria, was traced as far as Mosquito Grove, but was never heard of afterward. The Reddons were seen with clothes that the peddler was known to have; so that the evidence of abduction seemed almost conclusive. The brother of the peddler traced the matter so far, but none of the murderers were ever brought to trial. At last, the situation became desperate. The people began to realize that it was a great detriment to the country, as well as a dangerous thing to permit in their midst. An armed band was formed, and the Reddons compelled to leave the country. This put an end to their work in this country. Where they started again in their nefarious business is not known; but it seems unfortunate that the leaders were not brought to trial. But, perhaps, the evidence was not sufficient to convict, although suspicion amounted to a conviction and almost to a certainty..
We have no records of early religious gatherings. As Mr. Hill, of Twin Grove, would put it, “Of course, we have a few funerals,” but we find no church in the township at present whose history dates back to the first settlement of the township. Those of the early inhabitants who had any religious preferences seem to have united with churches in other localities. There were plenty of organizations in the various groves, and it was customary to travel what now seem enormous distances in order to reach a place of worship
The only church in the township, outside of the village of Stanford, is the edifice erected by the Cumberland Presbyterians in 1863. It is a fine country church, standing a short distance northeast of the village of Stanford. It is in the open prairie, but has company in the tall, white tombstones that stand so lonely and still in the graveyard adjoining. The building is 40x60 feet, and cost about $4,000. The members of this society belonged to the church organized at Stout's Grove, before the organization here. The Rev. J. A. Chase began preaching in the schoolbouse, which stood one-half mile north of the site of the present church. Here a considerable interest was awakened in the cause,
and a number of additions made to the society. As a result, the members of this denomination, living in convenient distances, met and formed a society, and built a church immediately. John Armstrong, Thomas Neal, Kane Cooper and others were prominent men in the organization of the society and the building of the church. J. A. Chase continued his efforts until two years ago. After him, came J. G. White, of Jacksonville, Ill. He is the present Pastor. The society has been a pretty strong one, there having been over five hundred members since the first organization. The present number of communicants is something over two hundred. The church may be
considered a child of the Stout's Grove Society, though the offspring is of more lusty growth than the parent.
EDUCATIONAL. The first school in the township was taught on the north side of Brown's Grove, at the residence of one Mr. Stout. This man had gone up into the northern part of the State. About Elgin, somewhere, he married, and his wife proved to be an Eastern lady, with more education than the average pioneer woman. Accordingly, when she came to Brown's Grove, it was thought best that she utilize her superabundance of knowledge, and teach school. She taught in her own house. Later, a schoolhouse was built, and the youth taught in the usual way. Mr. Warlow remarks the difference between then and now. Then, three months were all that the year afforded. Now, eight and nine months are the number usually taught. Then, private houses and log cabins were the seats of learning. Now, neat frame schoolhouses appear for the accommodation of all. The people seem to take pride in their schools, and keep them up to the times.
At present, the status of the schools is indicated by the following: Number of children under twenty-one years, 621 ; number of children between six and twenty-one, 334; number of scholars enrolled, 287 ; number of schoolhouses, 7 ; amount paid teachers, 83,225; total expenditures, $4,142.16; estimated value of school property $6,000; highest wages paid per month, $60.
POLITICAL AND WAR RECORD.
Unlike the greater portion of McLean County, Allin is Democratic. In all State and national questions, it turns out strongly for the old party which it has honored with its suffrage for so many years. In township elections, the dominant party is generally remembered, although the returns do not always show strict party tendencies.
Further than a general scare, we hear of no harm from the Indian war of 1832. If there were persons wbo enlisted in the companies sent out from this county, we were not fortunate enough to learn their names. They rest in their unknown graves, with none to cherish their deeds of valor.
Allen Palmer and Joseph Bozarth were in the Mexican war. These were all, we suppose, that were among the few whom the Government accepted to fight its battles ; for it will be remembered that of the 8,370 men who offered themselves from the State of Illinois, only 3,720 could be accepted.
During the war of the rebellion, Allin furnished its share of men for the defense of the Union. We learned the names of the following who gave their lives to the
Austin Bond died from the effects of the measles; James Gourley, John Brooks and Josiah Bozarth died while in the United States service; William Ryan volunteered and was captured and paroled, when he returned home. Afterward he went again as a teamster, and was kicked to death by a rebellious mule. If any fell in battle we know them not. To meet an enemy on the field of battle, and there to be shot down like a beast, is hard, regardless of all the glory that is attached to heroic deeds ; but to languish on beds of disease, in foreign lands, and there to sicken and die, where no sympathetic hand of mother or sister or brother or wife can press the aching brow, is far worse.
ORGANIZATION OF ALLIN TOWNSHIP. The Commissioners who first laid off the county into townships for political purposes, reported Town 23 north, Range 1 west as constituting such a division, and named it Mosquito Grove Township. The name was afterward changed to Allin, in honor of Mr. Allin, whose efforts in behalf of Bloomington are very well known to all the early inhabitants.
The first election held, April 6, 1858, for the election of township officers, resulted as follows: Presley T. Brooks, Supervisor ; John M. Jones, Town Clerk; Green B. Larison, Assessor ; John Armstrong, Collector; John W. Godfrey, Overseer of the Poor ; Thomas Neal, Leonard McReynolds, Jarvis Mack, Commissioners of Highways; Richard A. Warlow, John Cavett, Justices of the Peace; Henry M. Kerbaugh, Kane E. Cooper, Constables.
This list, besides introducing many new names, takes us back to the early settlement of the township. It includes at least two of the oldest settlers now in it—Presley T. Brooks and Richard A. Warlow.
The late election, for 1879–80, resulted in the choice of the following township officers: John L. Kaufman, Supervisor; Abel Brooks, Town Clerk; Leonard McReynolds, Peter D. Springer, Justices of the Peace; Amos Harrison, John Armstrong, Andrew Springer, Road Commissioners ; Sigh Hennershotz, Constable; Scott Wier, Assessor ; Michael Garst, Collector.
RAILROAD AND HIGHWAYS.
Before the building of the Jacksonville Division of the Chicago, Alton & St. Louis Railroad, the farmers in the west and south part of the township had to haul their produce long distances to market. Accordingly, when a proposition was made to secure the railroad through the township by taking $25,000 worth of stock, the scheme was strongly supported. The men of the eastern side were not so anxious to take a $25,000 debt, but their interests were not so vitally affected. On election day, the bonds were carried through triumphantly. The township is still owing about half of the amount, but it got the railroad, and the farmers are benefited materially thereby. The road was built in 1867. The first trains began running the same fall.
The public highways of Allin comprise several good roads. The section lines extending east and west are nearly all laid out roads. The only exceptions to this are found in the southwest corner and the east side. The north and south section lines are not generally authorized highways, though several of them are. As is generally the case, the groves are bordered by roads which pay no attention to section lines. Brook's Grove is thus completely surrounded. There is also another road which reminds us of early settlements in the eastern side. It extends north and south through the sections, not even following the half-section line. There are a number of wooden bridges across the streams, but we found none composed of iron. The roads are generally drained or thrown up. This is rendered quite necessary by the lay of the country in many portions. But, notwithstanding a few natural difficulties, the highways are in as good condition as they are generally found throughout the county.
The original survey of Stanford included the southwest fourth of the northwest quarter of Section 21, together with forty acres off of the north side of the southwest
quarter of Section 21. George P. Ela was the County Surveyor at that time, and he laid off the town. His certificate of survey is dated October 7, 1867. The village was surveyed for John Armstrong. It was then called Allin. Since the first, there has been an addition. This includes five acres from the northwest corner of the southeast quarter of Section 21, and is called Maurer's Addition.
Stanford is located in the prairie, two miles north of Brooks' Grove. It is on the Jacksonville Division of the Chicago, Alton & St. Louis Railroad, twelve miles from Bloomington. This railroad was the cause of its birth. It was begun with the railroad, and does considerable business. The village is surrounded by a comparatively level prairie, which renders the approach in rainy weather somewhat difficult. The distance from Bloomington is sufficiently great to give the place a very fair local trade. The large elevators attest the amount of grain annually shipped. There are a number of farmers, situated to the south and west of Stanford, that have no other convenient market for their corn, oats, etc., and the days when men haul produce long distances to market are passed.
John Armstrong, the man for whom the town was surveyed in 1867, is still a resident, and one of the most prominent men of the village. John Rockhold, who is still engaged in the business, was the first to start a store. He runs a large grocery trade. The first station agent was Henry Daniels. There have been a number since his time. The agent that remained longest, and was best known, was A. M. Berkholder. The present obliging agent is Jasper Morgan. The first Postmaster was Dr. Lackey, and the present official is William Rufwiler. The first school was taught before the erection of any building for educational purposes. This was taught in a dwelling-house, by a Mr. Loomis. For some time, schools were taught in various dwelling-houses. In 1869, a brick schoolhouse was erected, which has served the purposes for which it was built until the present. It is two-story, with the usual arrangements. Although it is somewhat worse for ten years' wear, it will probably answer the purposes until the growth of the village demands a larger house. Two teachers are employed; generally a gentleman above and a lady below.
There are two churches in the village—a Methodist and a Christian. The Christian Church was organized by James Robinson, in 1870. The first meetings of the men of this persuasion were held in Bozarth's Hall. Presley T. Brooks, Dr. Lackey, G. M. Wright and others, were among the prominent men of the first organization. The church is 30x46 feet. The cost of building was $3,200. This church is, perhaps, the strongest society in the village, but is not equal to the Cumberland Presbyterian Society, whose church building stands just northeast of town a short distance. The present membership of the Christian Church is about sixty. Their Pastor is the Rev. W. B. Berry.
The efforts of the Rev. Mr. Pilcher secured the erection of a Methodist Church in 1875. Prominent among the members whose purses secured the church edifice, may be mentioned Messrs. George Bunney and John Barnett. The building is 30 by 46 feet. Rev. Mr. Shinn is the present pastor. The building was not paid for at first, and for some time the society were troubled with the debt. As a result the present membership is not large.
As a business directory, we note the following: S. B. Wright & Co., dealers in drugs and medicines ; L. A. McReynolds and B. F. Bowling, contractors and builders ;