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SHEAHAN, JAMES G.: Farmer: Lynn
Township; born June 8. 1863. in Copley Town-
ship; educated in Galesburg and Galva, Illinois,
and Davenport. Iowa; his parents were .lohn
and Margaret (Goodman) Sheahan; they were
born in Ireland. Mr. Sheahan was


married in Galva, Illinois, October 20,
1886, to Mary Sullivan, who was born
October 25, 1865; she was the daugh-
ter of Cornelius and Julia (Handley) Sullivan.
Their children are; Julia M., born January Hi,
1888; Mary, born November 6, 1890; John C,
born May 6, 1892: Leo, born September 10,
1893; Cornelius A., born April 12, 1896. Mr.
Sheahan is a School Director. In politics, he is
a democrat. He is a Catholic.

SWAN, TAYLOR C: Farmer; Lynn Town-
ship, where he was born, February 20, 1865. His
grandfathers were Taylor C. Swan and David
Johnson; his parents were George M. and Eliz-
abeth M. (Johnson) Swan of Indiana, born
February 25, 1835, and October 16, 1840, respect-
ively. He was educated in the common schools.
Mr. Swan was married in Galesburg August 28,
1894, to Sadie A., daughter of Daniel Stivers of
Roseville, Warren County, Illinois. She was
born March 15, 1872. Their children are, Glenn
J., born February 28, 1895, and Stella A., born
May 20, 1897. In religion Mr. Swan is a Meth-
odist. In politics, he is a republican.


By J. W. Temple.

The surface of Victoria Township is some-
what broken, in some parts running down into
timber land toward the south. It is well wa-
tered and drained by branches of Walnut Creek
and tributaries of Spoon River. Some of its
prairie land, however, is equal to the best in
the county, and this comprises about two-thirds
of its entire area. The larger portion of its
timbered land is underlaid with a fine vein of
coal. Stock farming has also been extensively
and successfully conducted.

The early settlers chose to locate farms in or
near the timoer in preference to the prairie,
because of the shelter, fuel and .building ma-
terial afforded.

The pioneers in Victoria Township began to
arrive in 183=). Among them were John Essex,
Brown, Moody and Moses Robinson,
Aldredge and one or two others, who
located farms in the "timber." Others followed
the next year, among them being Deacon
George H. Reynolds, who built the first house
on the prairie. He was also the first post-
master in Victoria and the first tavern keeper,
if we except a small hostlery kept for a few
years at the old site of Victoria village. The first
child born in this township was Sarah, daugh-
ter of Moody Robinson, who first opened her
eyes on November 16, 1836. The first marriage
was that of Peter Sornborger and Phebe Wil-
bur, in 1836, on Section 39. The first sermons
preached were by Revs. Z. Hall and Charles
Bostwick. Passons Aldredge was the first Jus-

tice of the Peace and Henry Shurtleff the first
Constable. Both were elected in 1837. Mr.
Shurtleff was also the first school teacher in
the township teaching, in 1838, in a log school
house in a grove of timber on Section 21. Most
of the school houses in this early day were
built of roughly hewn logs. There are now
nine substantial frame school buildings in the
township. One of the schools is graded, and
the enrollment is two hundred and eighty-
eight. These houses cost nearly six thousand

Many of the first settlers of Victoria were
from the South; the Robinsons coming from
Tennessee, which State they left because of
their conscientious objection to slavery. This
family appears to have been of exceptional
longevity, one member having reached the age
of one hundred and four; another, a lively old
lady, still a resident of the village, is past
ninety-nine and seems likely to live for several
years more. Another, familiarly called -old
Uncle Moses Robinson," lived till past ninety-
four. This town is rather noted for the num-
ber of extremely old persons in its limits, not a
few having lived past the age of ninety years.

The population of Victoria is peaceful, law-
abiding and industrious. They have two
churches; and in addition to the religious train-
ing given in these, services are held in many of
its school houses. Among its citizens is a large
percentage of Swedish birth or descent, who
here, as everywhere, prove to be a valuable
addition to the population; and by their thrift
and industry many of them have become
wealthy and solid citizens. The first pioneer
among these was Rev. Jonas J. Hedstrom, who
settled in the town ait an early day, and suc-
ceeded in drawing after him a numerous
immigration from Sweden.

In the early settlement, many of the farmers
were compelled tc haul their wheat to Chicago,
a distance of over one hundred and sixty miles.
Wheat was then worth but thirty cents for
choice fall varieties. On the return trips
they brought home lumber, salt and dry goods.
The population of the township has remained
nearly stationary for forty years, being, by the
census of 1890, eleven hundred and seventy-
nine; in 1860, it was eleven hundred and
twenty: in 1870, the returns showed eleven hun-
dred and ninety; and in 1880, twelve hundred
and fifty-two.

The first town officers elected (in April, 1853)
were J. L. Jarnigan, Supervisor; J. F. Hubbell.

K N O X C; U N T Y

Clerk; B. Youngs, Assessor; C. A. Shurtleft,
Collector; Alex Sornborger, Overseer of the
Poor; A. B. Codding, Peter Van Buren and J.
W. Mosher, Highway Commissioners; Peter
Van Buren and Moses Robinson, Justices of the
Peace; C. A. ShurtleCf and Seneca Mosher, Con-


Online LibraryNewton BatemanHistorical encyclopedia of Illinois → online text (page 175 of 207)