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was called Maquon Sepol. ot- Spoon River.

This township was one of the chief Indian
settlements in the State, and here were congre-
gated families of the Sacs and Foxes and Potta-
watomies. Their principal village was located
on the present site of Maquon Village as here
the Indian trails centered from all directions in
pioneer days. A vast number of Indian relics
have been, and are still being unearthed in the
vicinity, and there are a great many mounds
scattered about the neighborhood, the most
prominent being the Barbero mound, which is
supposed to have been built by the aborigines
and to contain human remains. Maquon is well
drained by Spoon River and the many small
tributaries that flow into it, fine timberland
abounds throughout the township, and about
one-half of the surface is underlaid with an ex-
cellent quality of bituminous coal. The town-
ship organization was completed in 1853 by the
election of James M. Foster as Supervisor;
Nathan Barbero, Assessor; and James L. Lo-
man. Collector.

The first school house in the township was
built of logs in 1834 on Section 23, or, to locate
it more accurately, about ninety rods west of
where James Young's dwelling now stands. The
first teacher in that building was Benjamin
Brock, the only living pupils of whom are Mrs.
Hughs Thurman, of Yates City, and Thomas
Milam. The next house to be devoted to edu-
cational purposes was erected in 1836 or 1837,
and was situated about fifty rods south of Ben-
nington. The first school north of Spoon River
was conducted by Miss Mary Fink in a shed
adjoining the residence of Peter Jones, fatner
of John Jones, the present postmaster. The
only reading book at that time was the New
Testament. It is claimed by some of Miss
Fink's pupils that she "could read and write,
but could not cipher." However, notwithstand-
ing this defect in her education, it was

said that her labors were most commendable
and satisfactory.

The township at first contained the three vil-
lages of Maquon, Bennington and Rapatee.
Bennington was originally laid out in the cen-
ter of the precinct in 1836 by Elisha Thurman,
but it failed to develop sufficient importance
to be called a village, although it was the town-
ship's polling place until 1858, when the name
was changed to Maquon.

Rapatee "Village can date its inception from
the time of the building of the Iowa Central
Railroad in 1883. It was laid out by Benja-
min Adams in the southeast quarter of Section
33, and its first resident merchant was A. B.
Stewart. The village contains at present a
Union Church, three stores, a blacksmith shop,
a wagon shop, two elevators, and about eighty
inhabitants, and is located in the midst of a
wealthy and prosperous community.

The village of Maquon is situated on or near
the site of the old Indian village at the north
line of the township on the northeast quarter
of Section 4, overlooking, towara the south,
the valley of Spoon River. The survey, com-
prising about sixty acres, was completed Octo-
ber 24, 1836, by Parnach Owen, who also laid
out the village, assisted by John G. Sanburn,
William M. McGowan, R. L. Hannaman, Mr.
Richmond and Mr. Beers. For several years
Maquon had neither religious nor educational
institutions, but was, on the contrary, the site
of a distillery and a race track. The latter,
however, have been supplanted by a church
and school, which are well supported. The vil-
lage was incorporated March 14, 1857, and its
population, as shown by the United States cen-
sus, has been as follows: 1880, five hundred
and forty-eight; 1890, five hundred and one;
1899, six hundred (estimated). Previous to 1880
the census returns do not give tne population
separate from the township. The first build-
ing in the village was Cox's Tavern, which was
built by Benjamin Cox and was located where
Joshua Burnett's residence now stands: it
was known as The Barracks. For twenty years
it was used as barracks, kept by Nathan Bar-
bero. The first store was conducted by John
Hippie in a building erected by Matthew Mad-
dox in 1839. Maquon has not supported a sa-
loon since 1880. and the steady, industrious ris-


ing generation speaks well for the cause of
temperance. The present business interests
are represented by two banks, six grocery
stores, two dry goods stores, one drug store,
one newspaper, one harness shop, one butcher
shop, one wagon shop, two barber shops, three
hardware stores, three restaurants, two milli-
nery stores, four dressmaking establishments,
four blacksmith shops, one rolling mill, one ele-
vator, one undertaking establisnment, two liv-
ery and feed stables, two physicians and two
ministers. The private bank of William Swi-
gart was organized by that gentleman in 1881,
with a capital stock of $100,000, the officers be-
ing: William Swigart, President; and F. C.
Bearmore, Cashier. The deposits are about
$40,000. A. C. Housh incorporated his private
bank in 1882, with a capital stock of $50,000.
The deposits are about $30,000. The officers
consist of A. C. Housh, President; and E. L.
Housh, Cashier. The Maquon Chronicle was
established in May, 1899, and is owned and
edited by Charles Benfield. The Breeze, an in-
dependent weekly paper, was started about the
middle of March, 1896, by Gorge H. C. Palmer,
and was discontinued in 1898. The business
portion of Maquon has experienced six disas-
trous fires, all of them of doubtful origin, one
of the greatest sufferers from this cause being
J. W. Briggs. The oldest merchant in the vil-
lage is A. M. Maple, who, in 1848, opened a
grocery store, which he conducted until May,
1896, when he retired, leaving the business in
the hands of his son, C. F. Maple. It is but a
matter of justice to mention that, during his
entire residence in Maquon, Mr. A. M. Maple
has set an example of morality, integrity and
honesty that the youths of the village would
do well to follow.

Maquon schools, prior to 1848, were held in
rooms furnished by Nathan and Calista Bar-
bero. The first school house erected was a
substantial brick structure, thirty by forty feet,
built by William Purcell in 1848. It is still
standing and is now used as an implement
house. The principal teachers in that building
were: Levi McGirr, Dr. A. H. Potter, Profes-
sors Fishback, Agnen, Helderman, Brecken-
ridge, Olmstead, Cram, Miller, Bickford,
Griggs, Grove, and McCullough. The present
school building was erected in 1866 by J. L.
Wallick, of Knoxville, at a cost of $7,000. It is
a two-story frame edifice, with four commo-
dious rooms, and gives employment to four
teachers. The first principal, Robert Proseus,

was one of the most successful educators the
town has ever had, and was engaged at a salary
of fifty dollars per month. The successors to Mr.
Proseus were; Henry F. King, William Beeson,
Robert Hill, John French, Mr. Palmer, Mr.
Axeline, D. G. Hopkins, A. W. Ryan, Robert
Hill, James Rischell and C. F. Hurburg, the
last named being the present incumbent and
who, at this writing, has held the position for
three years. The initial attendance in the new
school house numbered one hundred and sev-
enty-five pupils, and at the close of the term,
. which expired in September, there were one
hundred and thirty pupils enrolled, the average
age of these being ten years. The whole num-
ber of days taught was 7,406, the average daily
attendance was 92 46-80, and the actual cost of
tuition per day was 6 1-2 cents a pupil. In 1899
the enrollment was one hundred and fifty-eight
pupils. There are three grades and the school
is considered one of the best in the county.
The school houses in the townsnip are eight
in number, their value being estimated at
$9,800; each has a library, with an aggregate
value of seven hundred dollars, and out of the
five hundred and thirteen persons under twenty-
one years of age three hundred and forty-five
are pupils.

Maquon Village was forty years old before
Christian influence was sufficient to establish
a church, although during that time many
fruitless efforts were made by different faiths
in that direction, the most prominent worker
in the movement being Elder Scott, of Farm-
ington, who was a member of the Campbell, or
Christian Church. In 1841 the Presbyterians
made an effort to establish themselves, and in
1842 the Methodists made a similar attempt,
but neither met with any degree of success. In
1850 Spiritualism was introduced and affected
the community to an alarming extent, the ad-
herents of that faith holding full sway for ten
or twelve years. In 1802 a United Brethren
minister, the Rev. Wimsette. held a series of
revival meetings in the old brick school house,
which gave Spiritualism a serious blow, and as
a result the church revived and prospered.
About 1892 Christian Science obtained a firm
hold on the community and a large number of
the most devout Christians embraced that
faith, and again the orthodox church was crip-
pled. There are now two religious institutions
in the township, namely: Maquon Church and
Rapatee Union Church. The former was built
In 1876 and dedicated September 11, 1877, by

^ /(^ ^ ^r-o•


Bishop Jesse F. Peck, its first pastor being the
Rev. Swartz, who served two years. H. S.
Humes was the next to occupy the pulpit and
he remained one year, his successor being L.
B. Dennis, who stayed two years and then re-
tired, having exerted in that time a strong
Christian influence throughout the commun-
ity. He was followed in the order named
by E. H. Williams, William Merriam, A. P.
Beal, R. B. Seaman, the latter of whom was
a most worthy Christian and gentleman,
through whose earnest efforts the present par-
sonage w-as built; Rev. Joseph Bell, whom Ma-
quon people have every reason to long cherish
in their memories; Rev. R. D. Russell, Rev,
N. G. Clark, Rev. A. M. Bowlin, Rev. J. P. Mc-
Cormick, Rev. R. G. Hazzard, Dr. Evans, Rev.
Winters, and Rev. W. H. Young, the last named
being the present pastor.

Rapatee Universalist Church was organized
May 27, 1S94, by the Rev. J. L. Everton and
Rev. E. E. Hammond, with the following offi-
cers: A. B. Stewart, Moderator; Miss Nora
Rapatee, Clerk; Mrs. F. P. Hurd, Treasurer.
Meetings are held on alternate Sundays in the
church building owned jointly by the Metho-
dists and Universalists.

Rapatee Union Church was built in 1S91 and
was dedicated by Dr. J. G. Evans.

Maquon has been well represented by the
medical fraternity, as will be seen by the fol-
lowing list of physicians who have practiced
here since its organization: Doctors Emery,
Hand, Allen, Williamson, Walters, Dunn, Al-
len, Dunlap, Cunningham, Stratton, Fidler,
Tallman, Potter, Thomas, Townsend, Miller,
Shaw, Niles, Hess, Southard, Morse, Knowles,
Dickerson, Truitt and Long.

The township is justly proud of its unbound-
ed patriotism some of its residents having
taken part in three of the nation's most Im-
portant wars. Among the early pioneers of
the township were Philip Rhodes, John W.
Walters and John M. Combs, who were soldiers
in the War of 1812. Avery Dalton, residing
near Elmwood, Illinois, who, at the ripe age
of eighty-six years, is hale and hearty and who
has furnished much information of the early
history of Maquon township, and Madison Fos-
ter, deceased, were members of the Fulton
County Rangers in the Black Hawk War. The
rifle carried by Mr. Foster while in service is
now owned by his son. Albert, and is in a good
state of preservation, the old flint lock having
been replaced by one of more modern manu-

facture. A full quota of two hundred and fifty
soldiers wao furnished during the Civil War,
many of whom died on the field of battle
fighting for the Union, while others still sur-
vive and occasionally live over again one of
the most exciting epochs in the history of the

The fraternal societies are well represented
in the township and a brief resume of the local
branches is herewith presented.

Maquon Lodge, No, 256, L O. 0. F., was In-
stituted April 29, 1858, and received its charter
October 15, in the same year. The first offi-
cers were: L. W. Pennworth, N. G.; Allen
Hanwrick, V. G. ; William Davis, Warden;
James L. Burkhalter, C. During the month
of August, 1858, the lodge room was destroyed
by fire and the lodge became disorganized until
after the Civil War, when, on January 4, 1868,
it was re-instituted with the following officers:
Captain James L. Burkhalter, N. G.; R. D.
Thompson, V. G.; J. M. Groves, Secretary;
William Swigart, Treasurer. The present offi-
cers are: Orsin Swan, N. G.; George Tasker,
V. G.; W. W. Harler, Treasurer. At present
the local body has sixty-four members and the
lodge hall is owned in conjunction with the

Maquon Lodge, No. 530, A. F. and A. M., was
organized October 1, 1867, and worked under
dispensation for nine months before receiving
its charter. The first officers were: Robert
Proseus, W. M.; William Swigart, S. W.; L. J.
Dawdy, J. W. The present officers are: C. F.
Herburg, W. M.; C. F. Maple, S. W.; G. G.
Shearer, J. W. The membership numbers about
fifty devoted brethren.

The Degree of Rebecca was organized April
8, 1883, with thirty-nine members, and meet-
ings are held in the L O. 0. F. Hall. The first
officers of this order were: Salome Wilkin.
N. G.; Hannah Holoway, V. G. The present in-
cumbents are: Roxy Donason, N. G.; Lydia
Holoway, V. G.

Hancock Post, No. 552, G. A. R.. was organ-
ized January 26, 1886, with twenty-three mem-
bers. The present officers are: Albert Smith,
Commander; John Jones, Adjutant.

Maquon Lodge, No. 171. K. of P., was or-
ganized by George Jones, deceased, and was
instituted September 29, 1887. The first offi-
cers were D. G. Hopkins. C. C; C. E. Golliday.
V. C; S. W. Love. Prelate; E. L. Housh, K. of
R. and S.; C. S. Burnsides, M. of E.; E. D.
Rambo, M. of F.; J. W. Davis, M. at A.; F.



p. Hurd, Representative. The present officers
are: A. A. Gifford, C. C; John Simpkins,
V. C; C. F. McKenny, Prelate; E. L. Housh,
M. of F. and K. of R. S.; Wilson Holoway, M.
of E.; Samuel aicWilliams. M. at A.; N. Dona-
son, M. of W. ; J. L. Libolt, Representative.
The Knights of Pythias Lodge has always been
in a prosperous condition, both financially and
socially. There are twenty-two charter mem-
bers, the total membership being thirty-eight.

The O. E. S. was organized May 9, 1891, by
Mr. and Mrs. Hoover, of Washington, Illinois,
with fourteen charter members, the total num-
ber of members today being thirty. Meetings
are held in Masonic Hall. The first officers of
this order were: Mrs. Emma Hurd, W. M.;
G. G. Shearer, W. P.; C. F. Maple, Secretary.
The present officers are: Miss Abbie Dixon,
W. M.; G. G. Shearer, W. P.; Miss Mattie Hob-
kii-k, Secretary.

Bertie Lenore Temple, No. 10, Rathbone Sis-
ters, was organized December 28, 1893, by Grand
Chief Mrs. Jennie Haws, of Decatur, Illinois,
assisted by Mrs. Belle Quinlan, G. M.. with fif-
teen charter members and thirteen Knights.
There are now forty-one members. The first
officers were: Leona Housh, M. E. C; Minnie
Woods, E. S.; Lizzie Briggs, E. J.; Emma Hurd,
M. of T. The present officers are: Belle Libolt,
M. E. C; Alice Wasson, E. S.; Maggie Housh,
E. J. Minnie Woods, M.; Florence Thurman,
P. C. This temple was named in honor of Ber-
tie Lenore Thurman, deceased. Meetings are
held semi-monthly in the K. of P. Hall.

The first birth and the first death to occur
in the township was that of Rebecca, a daugh-
ter of Mr. and Mrs. Thurman, in 1831. The first
marriage took place in 1835, the contracting
parties being Elisha Thurman and Anna Hall.
Mrs. Thurman is still living, at an advanced
age. The first Justice of the Peace was Mark
Thurman, and the first Postmaster was William
McGown, who held that position in 1837. The
first bridge across Spoon River was built in
1839 by Jacob Conser, but it subsequently col-
lapsed by its own weight and was re-built by
Mr. Conser the following year. It was located
almost directly south of the village of Ma-
quon. The second bridge was erected by Be-
noni Simpkins in 1851, a few rods below the
site of the present structure, which was built
in 1873. The stone work was done by J. L.
Burkhalter and John Hall, the wood work by
Andy Johnson, and the iron work by Mr.
Blakesly, of Ohio. The first distillery in Knox

County was situated in Maquon and It fur-
nished the cargo for the first shipment from
Galesburg over the Chicago, Burlington and
Quincy Railroad.

Maquon township has been remarkably free
from criminality and has always possessed a
high standard of morality, only two crimes of
any importance having occurred in its history,
of which a brief mention is here given. On
March 17, 1SS3, Loren Thurman became en-
gaged in a dispute with Jack Washabaugh and
struck the latter with an ax, inflicting a mortal
wound. Thurman was not punished. During
the night of November 4, 1894, two masked
burglars entered the house of Thomas Walter,
located about two miles southwest of Maquon,
and, with drawn revolvers, demanded hi&
money. A desperate battle ensued, Mr. Wal-
ter using stove wood and chairs as weapons
of defense. One of the burglars emptied his
revolver during the struggle, one bullet strik-
ing Mr. Walter in the breast, but with the
assistance of the latter's wife and daughter
the men were finally driven from the house.
One of the thieves was afterwards caught and
sentenced to ten years in the penitentiary.

The following record of the township popu-
lation has been made by the United States
Census Bureau: 1860, one thousand, nine hun-
dred and twenty; 1870, one thousand, four hun-
dred and twenty-six; 1880, one thousand, four
hundred and forty-eight; 1890, one thousand,
three hundred and thirty.


Thomas J. Foster was born in Indiana, April
3, 1822, and was educated in the schools of
Madison County, Ohio. His parents. Joshua
and Sarah (Silver) Foster, were natives of

Mr. Foster was married in Knox County, Illi-
nois. July 13, 1851, to Sarah Harriet Blakeslee,
daughter of Sala and Lydia B. (Pierce) Blakes-
lee. Mr. Blakeslee came from Connecticut, and
Mrs. Blakeslee from New Hampshire. Eleven
children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Foster:
Mary (deceased), Lydia, Rebecca Ann. James
D. (deceased), Elizabeth, Lucy L. (deceased).
Martha, Benjamin F., Joshua C. Ollie and
Sala B.

After residing three and a half years in Ful-
ton County, Illinois, Mr. and Mrs. Foster re-
moved to Knox County, and bought one hun-
dred and sixty acres of land in Maquon Town-
ship, where Mr. Foster died May 28, 1882, and
where Mrs. Foster still resides. Politically. Mr.
Foster was a democrat. He was an attendant
of the Methodist Episcopal Church, he was also
a master Mason, and member of the Masonic
lodge at Maquon, Illinois.

^^c:^^^;^^'^^^..^^ ^-^^^^


Mrs. Foster came with lier parents to Illinois
in 1S35, when she was one year of age. They
came by way of the Mississippi River, landing
at Oquawka in Henderson County, ;vnd settled
on a farm half a mile from Uniontown.


Andrew Clinton Housh, son of David and
Elizabeth (Thornbrough) Housh, was born
October 16, 1834, near Greencastle, Putnam
County, Indiana. The progenitor of the Housh
family settled in Virginia, where grandfather
Adam Housh resided till he removed to Ken-
tucky and located near Louisville. Farming
was his vocation, and politically, he was a dem-
ocrat. There were born to him and his wife
seven sons and four daughters; The sons were
John, Andrew, Adam, George, Jacob. Thomas
and David. Both Adam Housh and his wife
lived to be very aged; she died in Kentucky.

David Housh, father of Andrew C, was born
in Kentucky and removed to Putnam County,
Indiana. He married Elizabeth, daughter of
Joseph and Rebecca (Gibson) Thornbrough of
the same State. The father of Joseph Thorn-
brough was a Quaker; Rebecca Gibson was of
Welsh descent. David Housh came to Haw
Creek Township, passing through the place
where Maquon now stands, July 3, 1S36, He
was a prosperous farmer, and one of the lead-
ing men of his township. In politics he was a
democrat, and held various township offices.
He died at the old homestead in May, 1S79, at
the age of eighty years. He owned at the time
of his death about two thousand six hundred
acres of land. In religious belief he was a Uni-
versalist. He served in the War of 1812, though
only twelve years of age, doing guard duty in
one of the frontier forts in Indiana. Later he
participated in many Indian skirmishes in his
vicinity. He came to Illinois when Knox
County was mostly a wilderness. Mrs. David
Housh yet lives at the age of eighty-nine years,
having been born near Greencastle, Indiana,
March 1, 1810. David and Elizabeth Housh had
thirteen children, seven of whom are now liv-
ing: Mary, Rebecca, James 0., Andrew Clin-
ton, Elizabeth, Daniel M. and Eveline; all of
them have been devoted to agricultural pur-

Mr. A. C. Housh was educated in the common
schools of Knox County, and was brought up on
the farm. In the year 1858. with his father and
three brothers. James O., Jacob C. and Daniel
M., he entered upon a mercantile career in
Maquon. They also engaged in the stock busi-
ness and farming on a large scale. They had a
general store, the largest in Maquon. A few
years later he bought out his partners and con-
ducted the mercantile business alone for sev-
eral years, selling out in 1896. He opened a
bank in 1884 called the "A. C. Housh Bank of
Maquon," which he has conducted to the present
time. He also owns and manages about fifteen
hundred acres of farming land in Knox County,
and also owns two farms containing three hun-
dred and twenty acres in Nebraska. In poli-
tics he is a democrat. He has been Township

Clerk. Commissioner of Highways, School Di-
rector and member of the Town Council. He is
a member of the Masonic Fraternity, A. F. and
A. M., Lodge No. 530, in Maquon. He is liberal
minded in all things, and is worthy the esteem
and confidence of his fellow citizens,

Mr. Housh was married at Knoxville, Novem-
ber 11, 1857, to Adeline, daughter of Peter F.
and Elizabeth (Fink) Ouderkirk. Mr. and Mrs.
Housh have two children: Emma F. and E. La


Dr. .Gilbert L. Knowles, son of William and
Lucinda (Robinson) Knowles, was born August
13, 1846, in Macomb, McDonough County, Illi-
nois. The genealogy of the family has its ori-
gin in England, and has included among Its
members many who were prominent in the
world of art and letters. David Knowles, the
grandfather of Gilbert L., was born and edu-
cated in Maryland, and moved to Washington,
D. C, where he was a contractor and builder.
He was married to Jane Roby. Four children
were born to them; William, Robert, Mary,
and Hamilton. Mr. Knowles was a whig. He
died in Washington at the age of sixty-five. The
sons of this family were all mechanics. Wil-
liam, the oldest, moved with his family to Ma-
comb, Illinois, in 1839, where he worked at his
trade of contractor and builder. He built the
first substantial dwelling in McDonough County.
He died in 1873, aged seventy-three years; his
wife died in 1877, at the age of sixty-seven.
They had six children; Charles, James, Robin-
son, Jane, Gilbert L., and Mary. James was
drowned in the Sheridan River, Missouri, in

Gilbert L. Knowles was educated in the
schools of Macomb, and at Hedding College,
Abingdon, which institution he entered at the
age of twenty-four, and from which he grad-
uated with the degree of B. S. While at Abing-
don he read medicine with Dr. Reece. who was
one of the most prominent physicians in the
Military Tract. Mr. Knowles entered Rush
Medical College of Chicago, in 1878, and grad-
uated in 1881. In the Spring of 1881, he located
in Knoxville, and moved to Maquon in the Fall
of the same year.

Dr. Knowles is indebted to his own untiring
efforts for his success in life, having earned,
unaided, the expenses for his literary and pro-
fessional education. He has an extensive and
lucrative practice, and enjoys the confidence
and esteem of his fellow townspeople.

Dr. Knowles is a republican, and held the
ofiice of Coroner in Knox County for six years,
his term of service ending in the Fall of 1892.


Philemon B. Selby, son of George and Ruth
(Allen) Selby, was born in Lancaster, Ohio, in
1809. His father was born in Virginia, and,
being in the employ of the Government, re-

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