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been preserved, were conducted by Rev. John
Crawford, a Cumberland Presbyterian clergy-
man, who has been already named as one of
the earliest settlers. They were held at the
house of John Howard. In 1848 the first church
organization (and the oinly one ever formed out-
side of Abingdon and St. Augustine) was effect-
ed, under the guidance of Rev. Mr. William?,
of the Methodist Protestant denomination, at
the "Valley School House". The body disband-
ed in 1858. Subsequently the Methodist Epis-


copal church organized a "class," but it did not
long continue in existence. A Roman Catholic
mission was established at the present site of
St. Augustine at a comparatively early date.
It was visited by Father St. Cyrid in 1837. A
building was erected, and dedicated by Rt. Rev.
Bishop Kendrick, of St. Louis, in 1843. Twenty
years later a new structure was built. The
present value of the church's holdings of real
estate is ten thousand dollars, the property be-
ing free of debt.

The first school was opened in the Winter of
1837-8, its teacher being Dennis Clark, who, to-
gether with Jonathan Latimer, broke the first
ground on the prairie in Section 6, in 1835. Mr.
Clark was afterwards elevated to the bench,
and is still living in the township. At that
time the school district embraced all of Indian
Point, together with a part of Warren County,
and the original school house was constructed,
after a solid fashion, of logs, and located in
Section 16. The first winter's roll contained
the names of thirty pupils.

Township organization was effected on April
5, 1853, at a meeting at which Samuel H.
Ritchey was Moderator and Thomas A. Bald-
win Clerk. The first officers elected were:
Daniel Meek, Supervisor; Dennis Clark, Clerk;
S. H. Ritchey, Assessor; Jefferson M. Dawley,
Collector; and Henry Ground and Charles Wil-
liams, Justices of the Peace.

At present (1899) the township Is crossed by
two railroads, — the Chicago, Burlington and
Quincy and the Central Iowa, affording easy
access for crops and stocks to all the great
markets of the Northwest and Southwest. In
earlier days, Copperas Creek and Peoria, op
the Illinois, Oquawka, on the Mississippi, ana
Chicago divided the trade. An illustration of
commercial methods before the advent of rail-
ways may be of interest. William Stewart and
Daniel Meek hauled the first load of wheat to
Chicago. They sold it for twenty-five cents a
bushel; bought salt with the proceeds; carted
the salt back to Indian Point, and disposed ol
It at a profit which they considered amply sat-

The first two villages to spring up (and the
principal ones today) were and are Abingdon,
on the northern line, and St. Augustine, in the
south. A description of the latter — somewhat
in detail— is given in a succeeding paragraph.

Of the old time settlers of the township, but
one Is left — Judge Dennis Clark, of South Ab-
ingdon. The most venerable inhabitant, how-

ever, is Marsham Lucas, who has attained the
extraordinary age of ninety-six years, and
whose remarkable strength gives promise of his
rounding out a century.

The population of the township, as shown by
the United States census returns, Increased from
two hundred and eighteen, in 1840, to nineteen
hundred and forty-six, in 1890. The figures
given during the intermediate decades were:
1860, eleven hundred and ninety-five; in 1870,
eighteen hundred and fifty-four; in 1880, seven-
teen hundred and twenty-five. At present (1899)
it is estimated at eleven hundred, exclusive of
Abingdon and St. Augustine.

Outside of these towns there are six school
houses (five frame and one of brick), valued
at seven, thousand dollars, in each of which
the school terms extend over eight months.


The site of St. Augustine, Fulton County,
known as old St. Augustine, was first occupied
by Osten Mattingly and Samuel Smith, in 1835.
They named the settlement after St. Augustine,
the apostle of Africa. Mr. Smith returned to
Kentucky in 1837, and Henry Mattingly ar-
rived about the same time. The latter was
born in Maryland, in 1797, and Osten one year
later. They came to Illinois from Kentucky,
where their parents had settled. The brothers
formed a partnership and opened a store, and
it was not long before a thriving settlement
sprang up. When the Chicago, Burlington and
Quincy Railroad was built, the company found
a side track could not be built nearer the vil-
lage than the site of the present aepot. Conse-
quently, business soon drifted away from the
old town. In 1854, the original village of what,
not improperly, may be called new St. Augus-
tine was laid out, and a survey made by E. T.
Byram in 1856. Mattingly's first addition was
made in 1S5T. The site is one-half mile north
of the old village, in Section 32, of Indian Point.

The place contains four general stores, con-
ducted by enterprising business men, and two
churches. Catholic and Christian.

April 29, 1897, a disastrous fire destroyed
about two-thirds of the business portion of the
village. But the inhabitants are industrious
and progressive, and probably the loss will
soon be repaired. The present population is
about three hundred. In 1880 it was two hun-
dred and eighty-nine; in 1890, two hundred and




The St. Augustine Camp of Modern Wood-
men was organized September 24. 1S9G, with
sixteen members. The first officers were:
James Tamney. V. C; M. J. Babbitt, W. A.;
H. V. Harrod, E. B.; J. W. Declver. Clerlv. The
present membership is twenty-eight, and the
officers are: James Tamney, V. C; M. J. Bab-
bitt, W. A.; G. H. Babbitt, E. B.; H. V. Harrod,


John Brown, son of George and Martha (Hop
ivins) Brown, was born in Clermont County,
Ohio, Feb'ruary 26, 1S25. His paternal ancestry
is Welsh, his great-grandfather, Joseph Brown
having come from Wales when a young man
in time to carry a musket with the Continental
Army in the War for Independence. The mus
ket is now a cherished lieirloom of his descend
ants. After the war. Joseph Brown settled in
Kentucky, and was one of the pioneers engaged
in constructing the Fort Laramie military road
through that State into Ohio. In 1880, his son.
whose name was Joseph, moved his family
across the Ohio River on a raft, and took a
farm in Clermont County, adjoining the old
I-"ort Denison tract, an important military cen-
ter during the Civil War. His wife was Mary
(Parks) Brown, also of Kentucky. There were
thirteen children, of whom two still survive.
George Brown, the father of John Brown, was
born in 1800. just before the removal of tlie
family to Ohio. His wife was Martha (Hop-
kins) Brown. They had nine children.

John Brown was born on the old homestead,
and received his education in the common
schools. For seven years he served in the
State militia, a member of the Newberry Com-
pany, First Ohio Regiment. May 1, 1849, Mr.
Brown was married to Eliza Ann Cox, daugh-
ter of James and Anna (South) Cox, residents
of Ohio. Four years later, in 1853, Mr. and
Mrs. Brown came to Illinois and settled in In-
dian Point Township, where Mr. Brown en-
gaged in farming. He afterwards bought land
on Section 15, where he now resides. He grad-
ually added to his farm until eventually he was
the owner of six hundred and forty acres, the
greater portion of which he divided among
his children. Mr. Brown is a prominent farmer
and stockman. He belongs to the denomina-
tion called Christian. In politics he is a demo-
crat. He never had a lawsuit, nor was he ever
summoned as a witness on a case. Mr. and
Mrs. Brown celebrated their golden wedding
May 1, 1899.

There are five children: John W.; George;
Thomas S.; James William; and Ann, wife of
J. Warren Dowdy. Three of the sons are farm-
ers in Indian Point Township.

BROWN, GEORGE M.: Farmer; Indian
Point Township; born in Clinton County, Ohio,
September 28, 1855; educated in the common
schools. His father, William Brown, was born

in Ohio; his mother, Mary (Smith) was born
in Virginia. His maternal grandfather, John
S. Smith, was born in Virginia, and his paternal
grandfather, George Brown, in Kentucky. June
5, 1879, in Abingdon, Mr. Brown was married
to Phoebe Swegle. Three of their children are
living, Alta, Roland, and Mary; one son, Her-
bert, died in infancy. Mrs. Brown is the daugh-
ter of Lafayette Swegle, a farmer who came
from New Jersey at an early day. In 1S6G, Mr.
Brown came from Ohio with his father. He
was a farmer and died in 1888, leaving four
sons: John, Harvey, Robert, and George M.
George M. left the old homestead in 1895, and
bought the farm where his wife was born. In
religion. Mr. Brown is a Christian. In politics,
he is a democrat.

DAWDY, WARREN; Farmer; Indian Point
Township, where he was born September 29,
1847; educated in the common schools. His
parents, John and Tabitha (Boydstun) Dawdy,
were natives of Kentucky. His paternal grand-
father was James Dawdy. John Dawdy came
to Illinois and settled in Wood County in 1826.
Later, in 1836, he came to Knox County, and
died in Indian Point Township in 1875. Febru-
ary 1, 1872, Warren Dawdy. was married to
Anna Brown in Indian Point Township. They
have had two children: Clara, now Mrs. Robin-
son; and Minnie. The same year, Mr. Dawdy
settled on the farm where he now lives. He is
one of the prominent farmers of the county.
In politics, he is a democrat.

GRAHAM, BENJAMIN F.; Farmer; Indian
Point Township; born in 1865, in Clinton
County, Ohio; educated in Bartlett's Commer-
cial College, Cincinnati, Ohio. His parents,
Samuel and Margaret (Hunter) Graham, were
natives of Ohio; his paternal grandfather, Jon-
athan Graham, was born in Maryland. His
maternal grandfather and great-grandfather
were named Benjamin; the latter came from
Ireland. October 23, 1894, Mr. Graham was
married in Indian Point Township to Bell
Myres. Mrs. Graham is a daughter of Stephen
Myres, one of the early settlers of Indian Point,
who died May 7. 1895, leaving one son, Harry,
and four daughters: Bell, Emma, Lena and
Nellie. Mr. Graham came to Indian Point
Township in 1889, and began clerking in a
store in Hermon. Later he clerked for Mosser
and Son in Abingdon, but in 1895, settled on
the Myres homestead, where he is a farmer and
stockman. In politics, Mr. Graham is a repub-

dian Point Township; born July 12, 1829, in
Clermont County, Ohio, where he was educated.
His parents, John and Mary (Dole) Hardin,
and his paternal grandparents, Peter and Eliza-
beth (Rowan I Hardin, were born in New Jer-
sey, as were his maternal grandparents, Jo-
seph and Rebecca Dole. Mr. Hardin was mar-
ried in Fulton County, Illinois. January 28,
1864. to Ada C. Parker, daughter of Payton
and Laney (McArthur), of Virginia, and Ohio,


respectively. Their children are: Hattie, wife
of Eddy Cable of Kewanee, Illinois; and King
Milton. They are graduates of Hedding Col-
lege, Abingdon. Mrs. Cable has two children:
Mildred and Merwin H. In ISol, at the age
of twenty-two, Mr. Hardin came to Illinois and
in 1S54 settled in Warren County. He clerked
in a store in Abingdon for his brother, B. S.
Hardin, for a year, and then engaged in the
grain, lumber, and live stock business until
1864, when he bought a farm of one hundred
and sixty acres near Abingdon, to which he
has added until he now owns two hundred and
sixty acres of land. He is a prosperous and
successful farmer. Mr. Hardin is a member
of the I. 0. O. F. and has filled all the offices
of that lodge. In politics, he is a republican,
and has been School Director, Assessor, and
Supervisor from 1881 to 1884.

JOHN, ELISHA; Farmer; Indian Point
Township; born November 24, 1832, in Clinton
County, Ohio; educated in the common schools.
His father, also Elisha John, was a native of
Tennessee; his mother, Elizabeth (Brown), was
born in Virginia. His paternal grandfather,
Ebenezer John, was a native of Wales; his ma-
ternal grandfather, Christopher Brown, came
from Germany. In 1853, in Ohio, he married
Rachel Lewis; they had four children: Manda-
ville, Mary E., Edwin, and Samuel. Mrs. John
was a daughter of George W. Lewis, who came
to Illinois about 1829 and first settled near Dan-
ville; in 1858, he came to Knox County, and
later moved to Missouri, where he died. Mr.
John came from Ohio to Indian Point Township
in 1856, and bought a small farm. In 1862. he
enlisted in Company K, Seventh Illinois Cav-
alry, and served until 1865. He was in many
hard battles, and was wounded February 22,
1863. He has been a very successful farmer
and stockman, and owns five hundred and forty
acres of land. He has given each of his sons a
good farm. Mr. John is a republican in poli-
tics, and always takes a keen interest in public
affairs. In religion, he is a Christian.

JOHNSON, OLOF G.; Farmer; Indian Point
Township; born September 21, 1842, in Sweden,
where he received his education and learned
the shoemaker's trade. His father, Gilbert
Johnson, was born in Sweden in 1801. In 1865,
Olof G. Johnson came from Sweden and began
to work by the month in Abingdon; he later
worked at his trade for five years. In 1873, he
began farming, and in 1888, bought his present
farm, to which he has added until he now owns
two hundred acres of fine land. He is one of
the successful farmers of his section of the
county. February 5, 1872, Mr. Johnson was
married in Knoxville to Ingrid Swanson; they
have three children: Grant 0., Kirk M. and
Victor L. In religion, Mr. Johnson is a Pro-
testant. He is a republican.

McELREA, WILLIAM C; Farmer, and for-
mer merchant; Indian Point Township; born
February 10, 1839; educated in the common
schools. His father was born in Ireland and

his mother in Pennsylvania. In 1846, Mr. Mc-
Elrea came to Indian Point Township with his
father, and, after farming some years, engaged
in the mercantile business at St. Augustine for
nineteen years. He then conducted a store in
Hermon, and in 1887, went to London Mills,
where ho was a merchant tor eleven years. In
1898, he returned to the homestead where he is
now a farmer. Mr. McElrea has been married
three times; his present wife was Lottie
(Pierce), whom he married in 1891. By a for-
mer marriage he has one daughter, Emma,
who is now Mrs. Frank Shover. In religion,
Mr. McElrea is a Methodist. In politics, he is a

ROE, TRUMAN H.; born in Norwich, Che-
nango County, New York, May 19, 1839; edu-
cated in the common schools; Farmer; Indian
Point Township. In 1842, Mr. Roe came to
Knox County with his father, Silas Roe, and
settled in Indian Point on Section 21, where his
father died in 1865, leaving four sons: Silas,
Daniel, Eli and Truman H. Truman H. Roe en-
listed in 1861 in Company B, First Illinois,
and served until 1862, then returned and in 1864
settled on Section 20. He was married Sep-
tember 22, 1864, in Galesburg, to Lucinda Ste-
phens. Mr. and Mrs. Roe have three sons and
two daughters: Oliver, Charles M., Perry, Eva,
and Delia. Mr. Roe is a republican, and was
for several years a member of the Central
Committee. For many years he was School
Director, and has oeen Road Commissioner. In
religion, he is a Christian.

SHUMAKER, JAMES; Farmer; Indian Point
Township; born in Jackson County, Ohio, De-
cember 30, 1821; educated in the common
schools. He came to Indian Point with his
father, John Shumaker, in 1837, and the fam
ily has been one of the most prominent and
successful of that locality. In 1848, Mr. Shu-
maker married Mary A. Lowrey; they have
three children: Charles, who married Elinor,
daughter of Samuel Davis; William, who mar-
ried Hattie, daughter of Dr. Reece; and Leon-
ard, who married Clara Moss. Charles has one
son, James H. Leonard has one son, Clar-
ence C.

STEGALL, MILTON; Farmer; Indian Point
Township; born in Cedar Township, Knox
County, Illinois, May 21, 1851; educated in the
common schools. His parents were Frederick
and Lovina (Marks) Stegall; the former came
to Knox County in 1836 and settled in Cedar
Township about 1840, and died there in Octo-
ber, 1896. There were four children: Milton,
Elery, Sarah A. and Emma J. His paternal
grandfather was also Frederick Stegall. No-
vember 27, 1879, Mr. Stegall was married to
Amanda Fernow in Knoxville. They have two
children: Asa and Emery. After his marriage
Mr. Stegall began farming in Cedar Township,
and in 1887, he bought a farm in Indian Point
Township, where he now lives. In politics, Mr.
Stegall is a democrat.




By H. M. Reece.

The surface of Chestnut is much broken, and
it is frequently described as being one of the
"rough" townships of the county. The fact is
probably attributable to the number of small
streams which flow through it, watering it well.
The chief of these are the Spoon River, Haw
and Brush creeks, and a large creek — not named
—a little south of Hermon. The soil is fertile
and the land (very nearly one-half of which
was originally covered with timber) is generally
well cleared.

The township lies in the southern part ot
Knox, on the boundary line of Fulton County.
It is crossed by two railroads; the Fulton
County narrow gauge line passes through it
on a very nearly central north and south line,
while the Iowa Central crosses its southwestern

The earliest settler was Anson Dolph, who
came from Kentucky in 1S33. He raised a crop
of wheat that year on Section 17, and in 1834
came as a permanent settler. In the year last
named came also John Terry, from Virginia,
who settled on Section 16 and became the first
Justice of the Peace. He enjoyed the distinc-
tion ot having performed the first marriage
ceremony in the township, the contracting par-
ties being a Mr. Gay and a Miss Cope, whose
wish for a legal union was sufficiently strong
to induce them to ride a long distance on a
single horse. Those early marriages often pre-
sented romantic features wholly wanting in
the fashionable weddings of these days of purer
refinement and higher civilization. To illus-
trate: One of the marriages solemnized by
'Squire Terry was that of a couple who stood
on one bank of the Spoon River, while he pro-
nounced the fateful words on the other, the
stream being too swollen to permit either party
to cross to the opposite bank. Mr. Terry after-
ward engaged in trade, and amassed what, in
those timis, was regarded as an independent

In 1836, Robert Leigh and Archibald Long
came from Ohio and settled on Section 33,
where Mr. Leigh remained until his death.
Soon after his arrival he commenced raising
hemp. aBd. there being no market for the raw
product, he constructed a factory of a rude de-
scription, where he manufactured his own and
his neighbors' hemp crops into rope. For a
time the industry proved very profitable; and
he, too, amassed a comfortable fortune. Mr.

Long, soon after settling on Section 33, re-
moved to Section 19, where, in 1842, he platted
the village of Hermon.

He was a local Methodist preacher, and soon
after his arrival at his new home he organized
a Methodist class, which met regularly at his
house for many years. Ot this devoted band
only one is yet living — Mrs. Sally Shafer. The
history of the growth of the Methodist Church
in Chestnut — as well as that of other denomi-
nations — may be found on one ot the succeed-
ing pages.

Among the early settlers should be also men-
tioned O. P. Barton. He was famous in those
times as a pedestrian, and gave repeated evi-
dence ot his prowess and power of endurance
in this description of exercise. Once, starting
on foot at the same time with several horse-
men for the land office at Quincy, one hundred
miles distant, he outstripped them all, securing
the prize offered to the winner ot the race,
which consisted of forty acres of government
land in Section 17. Another pioneer was Har-
mon Way, who was famous as a marksman and

The first house was built of logs by Mr.
Dolph on Section 17, in 1833. The first brick
house was that of Robert Leigh, erected about
1845. The first road was the old State road,
from Peoria to Oquawka, which ran diagonally
through the township from southeast to north-
west. Its course, however, has been since
changed, so that it now follows section lines.
The first bridge was built about 184G, at the
point where the old road crosses Spoon River.
It was a very cumbersome, wooden affair, which
was carried away and demolished by a flood in

The first birth was a daughter to Mr. and
Mrs. Shaver, in 1S35. The first death was that
of Jacob Harford, in 1836.

The first graveyard was on Section 33, and
was established by Robert Leigh, soon after
he settled on the section. It is not now used
as a burial spot, although the few graves there
are well cared for by his son Benjamin, who is
a prominent citizen of the township. Two
other cemeteries have been laid out. as fol-
lows: One on Section 19, near the Methodibt
Church, by Archibald Long, which has been
several times enlarged; the other, in 1863, by
the trustees of the Christian Church, near their
house of worship on Section 18.

The first school house, after the fashion of
those early days, was built of logs, and was



exceedingly rude, as regarded both its exterior
and interior. It was put up in 1836, and some
years afterward was replaced by a frame build-
ing, which, after undergoing many alterations,
is still used as the school house of District
No. 3. Two years later (1838) the second school
house, likewise of logs, was built on Section
28. It disappeared long ago, and the site is
now occupied by the church of the United
Brethren. The first school teacher to exercise
his vocation was Mr. Haskins, who taught in
what is now District No. 3. At present the
township has eight schools, none of them
graded, occupying buildings valued at six
thousand, five hundred dollars. The aggregate
attendance is two hundred and forty-three, out
of a total population of three hundred and
eighty-six minors.

The first mill was built by Mr. Howard on
Haw Creek, about 1845. It was designed both
for sawing lumber and grinding corn, but was
only used a few years and has long since
been only a memory. There was also a saw
mill on Litler's Creek, on Section 25, about the
same time, which has shared the same fate.
Early in the forties, Mr. Parker manufac-
tured brick on Section 23, for several years.

The first store was kept by John Terry on
Section 16, and its stock was very limited. A
Mr. Moor early established another on Section
15, but it proved unsuccessful, and he soon
abandoned the enterprise.

One of the earliest taverns was kept by Jon-
athan Potts, on Section 22, on the old State
road. The first physician was Dr. Porter, who
came in 1838 and remained but a short time.
He was succeeded by Dr. Morris, and he, in
turn, by Dr. Wilson. At present the health of
the town is looked after by Drs. McMaster and

The first settlers of the township were com-
pelled to depend on Troy, in Fulton County,
and on Knoxville, then the county seat, for
postal facilities; but in 1848 a postoflSce was
established at Hermon, the mail being brought
from Knoxville once a week. The first post-
master was a Mr. Massie.

The township was organized at a meeting
held in 1857, by the choice of the following offi-
cers: Samuel Collins, Supervisor; John Terry
and David Massie, Justices of the Peace; Mr.
McCoy, Clerk; William Graves and Freeman
West, Constables: Robert Benson, Collector;
and Owen Betterton, Assessor.
For a complete list of supervisors since the

organization of the township, the reader is re-
ferred to the article on "County Government,"
in Part I.

Justices of the Peace since the first elected
have been Owen Betterton, Hiram Culver, Wal-
ter Bond, Samuel Jamison, Henry Bond, George
Haver, Marion Dyer, T. J. Routh, Clayton
Trumbeel, J. W. Ogden, and John E. Davis and
Lee Lucas, the present dispensers of justice for
the township.

There is but one village in Chestnut, original-
ly called Harrisonville, but now known as Her-
mon; a somewhat detailed description of which
is given in a succeeding paragraph. A village
was laid out in Section 23, in 1852, by Andrew
J. Parker. It was situated on the right bank
of the Spoon, near where the present bridge
crosses that stream. It never grew, and the
plat was vacated by the legislature in 1869.

Four denominations have churches in the
township, — the Methodist Episcopal, Christian,

Online LibraryNewton BatemanHistorical encyclopedia of Illinois → online text (page 200 of 207)