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Gov. John McNulta has a good section of land in the northern part of the township, which is mostly in pasture.

No resident of the township has more largely filled the requirements which are due from the citizen to his day and generation than Robert E. Guthrie, who now, though still by no means beyond his usefulness, cultivates his quiet farm on Sections 10 and 11. Though not strictly belonging to the history of Belleflower, a short and imperfect sketch of his life and labors must find place here, as a tribute to the pioneer, the faithful son, the Christian preacher, the father, and the citizen, and not more a tribute to a well-spent life, than an example to those who shall read these pages.

Mr. Guthrie came to McLean County with his father in 1826, to move Mrs. Cox to Blooming Grove, whose husband had died after purchasing the Dawson claim, being then seven years old. His father was so straitened in circumstances, that during nearly all his boyhood, he required his work on the farms that he severally worked in different parts of the county. He received only about ten months school in his lifein the schoolhouse—though his life has been largely devoted to study, and he is a man of large information.

He worked for and with his father at the north side of Funk's Grove, where the C. & A. R. R. enters it, then at the Henry Moots' place, one mile west of Towanda, then to the Benjamin Ogden place, afterward near Bloomington, where he opened a farm for James Allin, near the present engine house, between Maine and Mason streets, which they farmed for two years, after which, with his father, he engaged in the carpenter and mason trades in Bloomington.

At the age of twenty-two, he believed he should give his life to the preaching of the Gospel. And those who talk nowadays about taking up the Cross, and leaving everything for the service of God, might possibly change their notions in regard to the sacrifices they make, by comparison with the early itinerants. His duties were such that po man, raised under the system of the present day, could stand it. Going from house to house, and from timber point to timber point, preaching daily and nightly, through storm and darkness, through rain and snow, with no time to study except when on horseback, supported by the strong love for souls, by a constant intercourse with God through prayer and meditation, with so little worldly support that, at the end of six years, he was actually obliged to discontinue preaching and go to work on a farm to raise money to pay his debts, resuming service again as soon as he could see his way out. At the beginning, bis “salary” was about $80. Beecher has been severely criticised for saying that a laboring-man ought to get along well and live on $1 per day-if he could not get more. The same men who growled at Beecher, would probably acquiesce if he had said that a clergyman ought to dress well, wax fat until his eyes fairly stick out, and preach eloquently on “two bits” per day. When he was admitted to travel for two years on trial, in 1841, he was examined by the quarterly conference, and recommended to the annual conference, which admitted without the present examination, for in those days conference did not question the spiritual grace of those who sought service in the vineyard at $80 per year and pay their own expenses. Bishop Morris assigned him the first year to the Wauponsett Mission, a three weeks circuit, embracing Indian Grove, Weeds (four miles up the Vermilion River from Pontiac, Dear the present station of McDowell), Rutterfords (Pontiac), Welman's (Cornell), Long Point, John Argolright, Barrack man's (Reading), Phillips (Newtown), Dice's (below Streator), Vermilionville, Wheatland's farm, Widon Armstrong's, South Ottawa, Lewis (twelve miles above Ottawa), Wauponsett (at John Kellogg's), and on the Mazon, three miles above Sulphur Springs, and other places in Livingston and La Salle Counties as Providence seemed to direct.

After this first year, his field of labor was in the southern part of the State. He served such churches as those at Jacksonville, Springfield, as Presiding Elder of the Quincy District, the church at Decatur, and, in 1858, got back to his old home, among the people with whom he had grown up. He was Presiding Elder of the Bloomington District. In 1862, in response to an almost unanimous call from the men of the Ninety. fourth Regiment, many of whom were members of the churches over which he presided, he accepted the commission and consequent responsibility of Chaplain of that regiment. He carried with him into the service the same earnest and intense desire for the salvation of the impenitent, with a firm faith in the “Sword of the Lord and of Gideon.”

In 1867, he found himself so broken down in health that he was obliged to ask Conference for relief from ministerial labors, and with his children went to work on his farm in Belleflower. A year later, he was elected Clerk of the Circuit Court, a position which was given him by the citizens of McLean as a slight tribute to a life spent in the service of religion without other reward than an approving conscience, and with a rugged constitution, undimmed by the exacting demands of the cause and the care and anxiety of the responsibility of a large family growing up with no other inheritance than that of love and peace.

Since the spring of 1873, he has lived on his farm, surrounded by and with the aid of his children, making home pleasant with the blessings which Aow from well-requited toil and the happiness which springs from religious attention to every duty.

C. W. Atkinson, the present County Clerk, is a son-in-law of Elder Guthrie, and was living in Cheney's Grove when elected to that office.


When the Gilman, Clinton & Springfield Railroad was built, in 1871, the township of Belleflower voted $30,000 in twenty-year ten per cent bonds, and the road established the station of Belleflower near the center of the township, where the rail. road crosses the county road which runs through the county on the half section-line before spoken of, on Section 21, forty miles from Gilman, and seventy-one from Springfield. George N. Black bought the south 100 acres of the southeast quarter of that section, and laid out forty acres in blocks and lots, and the remainder into out-lots of from one to five acres each. He then transferred it to the Railroad Company, and title comes from the Trustees of that corporation. When the road was mortgaged, this and other) town plats do not seem to have been mortgaged, for, in the transfer to the Illinois Cen. tral, the town was not included, and title still comes from the said Trustees.

R. E. Moreland was the first to engage in any business here. He commenced to buy grain in August, 1871, and has continued to this day. A. & A. J. Henry, of Chicago, commenced the winter following. That fall, John Nichols began the grocery trade, and put up the first dwelling-house. He also kept a boarding house near where the post office is, and A. Libairn commenced the trade in general merchandise, which he still continues. In the spring of 1872, T. B. Groves, from Logan County, built and occupied a hardware store, which has since been continually occupied by him in his large hardware and implement trade.

J. W. Eyestone built a grocery store and occupied it awhile, and sold it to R. Rome, who still continues in the same line of trade. Then E. L. Rush built the building near the post office for a drug store, which he stocked and continued to run for two years. Hiram Rush built a store next to Rome's, and ran it for a year, and then went to Kansas.

Soon after these, G. W. Stokes built and occupied a drug store. He afterward added groceries to his stock, and has since carried on a very successful trade, with full stock of goods in these lines.

About the same time, the building now used by the post office, was built and occupied by the Cline Brothers, dealers in groceries, for a time. The first Postmaster was A. H. Marquis, then J. W. Eyestone; E. L. Rush and L. B. Grant followed.

The present business men are: Dry goods, A. Libairn; groceries and provisions, R. Rome; groceries and drugs, G. W. Stokes; hardware and implements, T. B. Groves; grain, R. E. Moreland, H. F. Plummer, J. H. Pumpelly, the latter also dealing in lumber, lime, etc.; wagon-maker, E. H. Fuller; blacksmiths, A. C. Brandon, George H. Mittan; boarding, W. T. Ward. The population is about two hundred and fifty.

Belleflower has always done a large grain trade, averaging 350,000 bushels one year with another. The grain from this station has usually been shipped East to Providence and Boston, especially the oats; but now, dealers find it to their interest to sell on track. A large amount of it has been sold to the Halliday Brothers, who have shipped to Cairo or to Chicago. Osman Station, on Section 1 (21-6), is on the Chicago & Paducah Railroad, which runs across the southeastern part of the township. It was laid out and named by Moses Osman, long an officer of that road, and one of its builders. Mr. Sherrard is engaged in the grain trade, and Mr. Dillon is selling goods there.

The Havana, Rantoul & Eastern Narrow Guage Railroad, built in 1878, runs from West to east, angling across three sections of the west half, and on the half section line of the remaining three sections, leaving the town line at the center of Section 36. Lorette is the name of a station recently established on that road, east of its crossing of the Illinois Central. Business has not begun to tower up at Lorette yet, but the narrowgaugers propose to buy some corn there in the future.


Cropsey Township embraces the south half of Town 25, Range 6 east of the Third Principal Meridian, is three miles by six, and is territorially the smallest in the county, being only one-third the size of Gridley, which is the largest. During most of its political history, it has been attached to the present town of Anchor (24, 6), and in school affairs is attached to, and forms a school township with Belle Prairie, in Livingston County.

The township is entirely prairie, and, as a consequence, had no carly settlements. Probably the first to settle here was Col. A. J. Cropsey, from whom and by whom the town was named, in 1858. Col. Cropsey came here from Will County, II., where his parents had long resided in Plainfield, and commenced farming operations in 1851, He had entered two sections of land, and built a house in or near the center of Section 22. He was a man of enlarged views, having enjoyed the excellent advantages which the son of an intelligent and prosperous farmer in Will County would even at that duy receive. He was at once looked up to as a leader among men. He was ardently attached to the M. E. Church, of which he was member, and a local preacher of co siderable note. He did not remain here long, however. He became interested in the building of the new village of Fairbury, the nearest railroad point to his farm, ten miles north, and, in 1860, was elected the first Representative in the Legislature from Living ston County, i. e., the first resident of that county who was ever elected to the Assembly. He was chosen Major of the One Hundred and Twenty-ninth (a Livingston Coun:y regiment), and was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, serving till the close of the war. He became interested in a large tract of land where Lincoln, Neb., now stands, and went there soon after the close of the war, and was largely instrumental in securing the removal of the capital to that place; was elected State Senator, and was a prominent candidate for the nonination for Governor. He recently went to Texas to make his home. Such is a short and imperfect sketch of one who will ever be held in kind remembrance by all who knew him when he commenced his active, useful life here.

The general topographical description of the township is, that the high ridge of land which runs through Lawndale at the west, runs across Cropsey from northwest to southeast, but is wider, spreading into an undulating highland, shedding off toward Indian Creek at the north, and at the southern side of the town toward the Mackinaw, which is only one mile from its southern boundary. The land is excellent and is easily drained. The farmers present a gratifying appearance of thrift, and distance to market seems to be about the only drawback to the comfort and convenience of the inhabitants. Fairbury, which is ten miles away from the township, is the nearest railroad point.

G. W. Freshcorn, who is now one of the oldest residents of Cropsey, came here from Chester County, Penn., in 1856. There were then living in what is now Cropsey, so far as his recollection serves (which he admits is at this age somewhat treacherous ), A. J. Cropsey on Section 22; Alonzo and Levi Straight and father on Section 13; Stephen and Nathaniel Stoddard, and Edward Ward, still living here; James Darr, James Harkness on Section 23, and Henderson Crabb on Section 20. Mr. Freshcorn bought land on Section 20, and still lives on the same farm. The largest farm, and, in some respects one of the very best, is the one owned by Moses Meeker, of Tazewell County, and worked by his sons, E. B. and D. B. Meeker. The farm consists of 840 acres in Sections 22 and 27. The buildings are large and good, suitable for so large a stock-farm, well stocked and well managed. The Meekers feed about two car-loads of cattle at a time, and keep a large stock of cattle and hogs. John Straisser has a good farm of 480 acres in Sections 24 and 25. He raises grain and feeds some cattle. J. Hinshaw works a fine farm of 240 acres lying in Sections 28 and 33. Esbon Merrill has a large farm in Section 29, keeping about half in pasture, and the remainder in meadow and under plow. He also feeds some fat cattle, though none of these farmers carry this branch to the extent they did a few years ago.

Edward Ward, one of the first settlers, has a fine farm and excellent buildings. He is recognized as one of the best and most successful farmers. J. C. Arnold has 120 acres in Section 34, which is well and nicely managed. The farmers here seem to have paid better attention to their hedges than in many other places, and

one sees here some of the finest hedges in the county, unfortunately in too many localities entirely neglected. In the division of the township which took place in 1877, all that portion of the old town lying in Town 24, Range 6, was set off into a separate political organization with the pame of Anchor. The official record before 1877 covers the two towns until that time, but for the years 1877, 1878, it is only for the present town. The township was organized in April, 1858, at a meeting held at the house of Levi Straight. A. A. Straight was chosen Moderator, and A. J. Cropsey, Clerk. The town was divided into two road districts on the half-section line running through the town north and south, which now has the iron bridge on it. Below is given, in table, the officers who have been elected to the principal offices during the official life of the town.

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1858 A. A. Straight......... B. A. Wiggins...... J. Harkness.. J. Darr. 1859 J. H. Van Eman...... E. W. Mahoney. E. Merrill

N. M. Stoddard. 1860 J. H. Van Eman...... E. W. Mahoney. E. Merrill

II. Crabb. 1861 N. M. Stoddard ...... E. W. Mahoney G. W. Freshcorn. S. P. Alford. 1862 19 D. E. Straight......... Charles Crabb.......... G. W. Freshcorn...... H. Crabb. 1863 17 Henderson Crabb.... Charles Crabb.... A. B. Carr........ N. M. Stoddard. 1861 14 N. M. Stoddard....... Charles Crabb.. B. M. Stoddard.. Robert Rand. 1865 14 J. Ward

Charles Crabb... H. Crabb........... J. W. McCullough. 1866 19 Henderson Crabb..... Charles Crabb...... J. P. W. Eson..... J. W. McCullough. 1867 39 H. L. Terpenning.... Charles Crabb...... J. P. W. Eson...... J. W. McCullough. 1868 36 M. H. Knight......... Charles Crabb...... , J. I. Robinson.... J. W. McCullough 1869 64 H. L. Terpenning.... J. C. Swatsley. J. McCullough... Anson Dart. 1870 105 H. L. Terpenning.... J. C. Swatsley..... H. Crabb........ A. W. Green. 1871 76 H. L. Terpenning.... J. C. Swatsley... Z. C. Worley.. J. C. Swatsley. 1872 76 H. L. Terpenning.... J. C. Swatsley.. Z. C. Worley.. J. C. Swatsley 1873 101 H. L. Terpenning.... J. C. Swatsley. ... Z. C. Worley... E. H. Worley. 1874 136 H. L. Terpenning.... J. C. Swatsley. C. B. Ward.... 0. D. Rutter. 1875 78 G. R. Buck. J. C. Swatsley. J. C. Swatsley C. D. Morris. 1876 85 G. R. Buck

J. C. Swatsley. D. B. Spencer... J. T. Tanner. 1877 56 H. L. Terpenning.... H. A. Thomas.. J. W. McCullough... A. W. Green. 1878 32 H. L. Terpenning.... H. A. Thomas... J. W. McCullough... A. W. Green.

Those who have served as Justices of the Peace are, L. F. Straight, G. W. Freshcorn, J. H. Van Eman, Ellis Elmer, H. L. Terpenning, J. T. Tanner, A. Beale, A. R. Jones, I. C. Lefler, J. P. Worley, J. E. Whiting and J. Hinshaw.

The Commissioners of Highways have been, A. A. Straight, G. W. Freshcorn, N. M. Stoddard, S. A. Stoddard, D. Thompson, N. Brigham, Joseph Elmer, E. H. Ward, J. W. McCullough, G. Haller, M. H. Knight, John Sharpless, J. B. T. Mann, Z. C. Worley, A. S. Dart, J. C. Arnold, P. J. Decker and E. B. Meeker.

The township, in 1868, adopted at its town meeting a long cattle “ordinance." It contained eleven sections, and was carefully drawn, providing that cattle should not run at large, and providing for empounding and fixing penalties; providing how they should be released, and giving the proper officers power to act in all cases. This was a new way of dealing with a very troublesome subject, and it proved a very effective way. The Legislature had passed a law allowing townships to vote for or against permitting cattle to run at large. One of the provisions of this law was that in case a majority of the legal voters of any township should vote against letting cattle run at large, the law should then be in effect in that township, whether the voters in an adjoining township adopted or not. This complicated matters very much, and there were constant depredations upon the part of those who did not choose to live up to the law. Custom had grown into a

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