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November, 1852. For a time he sent occa-
sional shipments of grain to Chicago, but in
1862, he engaged permanently in the grain
trade. For many years he conducted a lumber
yard, which he now rents to other parties. In
1878, he opened a general grocery store in part-
nership with J. B. Boynton. which business he
still conducts. In 1881, he opened the bank
which bears h?s name. Mr. Swigart is a mem-
ber of the I. O. O. F. in Maquon, and is also
a Mason, holding membership in the Maquon
lodge, in Eureka chapter, No. 98, of Yates
City, in Knoxville Council, No. 1, and also in the
Peoria Consistory of Ancient and Accepted
Scottish Rites. He owns three farms in Haw
Creek Township and fourteen others scattered
in various townships and counties. In all he
possesses two thousand six hundred acres of
improved land. October 21, 1847, Mr. Swigart
was married to Eliza J. McHenry, in Wyan-
dotte County, Ohio; she died in 1861, leaving
four children: John; Jane, now the wife of O.
D. Cooke, of Hinsdale, Illinois; Daniel, now
living in Chicago; and Alonzo, deceased. His
second wife was Susan Stewart, who was born
in Indiana, and died in 1875. She was the
mother of six children, of whom the survivors
are: Elizabeth, wife of Charles Hartsook, of
Haw Creek; Sarah, wife of F. C. Bearmore,
Maquon; and Lincoln, of Knoxville. Mr.
Swigart was married May 16. 1876. to his pres-
ent wife, Elizabeth Bull, who is a native of
Fairfield County, Ohio. Mr. Swigart has held
numerous local offices and has been Township
Treasurer since 1863. He supports the worship
of the Methodist Episcopal and the United
Brethren denominations. In politics, he is a
republican.

WALTER, THOMAS ULYSSES; Farmer;
Maquon Township, where he was born March
30, 1869; educated in the common schools of
Maquon Township. He was married, near Gil-
son. July 15. 1891. to Bessie Leona Baird. daugh-
ter of Anthony W. and Melissa (Pickrel)
Baird. of Haw Creek Township. They have
one child, Harold Baird, born January 8, 1894.
Mr. Walter was reared on the home farm, and
received his training under the instruction of
one of the best farmers in Knox County. He
settled on a farm of one hundred and sixty
acres, to which he later added eighty acres.



He is successful and highly respected. Mr.
Walter is a republican.

YOUNG, WILLIAM; Farmer; Maquon; son of
John and Margaret (Boyce) Young, who were
natives of Derry County, Ireland. He comes of
a Protestant family of probable Scotch extrac-
tion, who can trace their descent through
many centuries. By trade, the father was a
weaver, and for seven years William colored
the cloth which his father wove. The parents
died at an advanced age in Philadelphia. Will-
iam Young was married in Philadelphia,
October 12, 1847, to Elizabeth (Gilmore), daugh-
ter of Douglas and Mary (Hunter) Gilmore,
who were natives of Derry County, Ireland.
Mr. and Mrs. Young had eight children: Mary,
deceased; John; Margaret; Mrs. Martha Pay-
ton; James; Mrs. Elizabeth Swan; Mrs. Anna
Clark; and William, who died in infancy. Mr.
Young came west to Wheeling. Virginia, and
worked for three years in a foundry. In 1854,
he came to Fulton County and then to Peoria
County, Illinois. In 1856, he came to Knox
County and farmed ten years in Salem Town-
ship. After the war he bought land in Maquon
Township and is now the owner of five hun-
dred and forty acres of good land.

SALEM TOWNSHIP.

By L. A. Lawrence.

Salem lies in the southeast corner of Knox
County, and is bounded on the east by Peoria
County and on the south by Fulton County.
The Galesburg and Peoria division of the Chi-
cago, Burlington, and Quincy Railway crosses
it from east to west, entering in Section 12
and leaving it from Section 6; while the Buda
and Rushville branch of the same road crosses
it on a line running almost due south from
Yates City, leaving the township from Section
35. These two branches afford Salem, perhaps,
more miles of railroad than any other township
in the county with the exception of Galesburg.

There are only a few townships that have as
fine physical features or as marked beauty of
outline as this. Commencing at a point known
as Kent's Mound, on Section 12, which rises
forty or fifty feet above the common level, a
somewhat irregular ridge, sometimes called
"divide," runs through the entire township,
from east to west, taking the name of Pease
Hill in its center and terminating at Union-
town, on Section 19, at its extreme western
edge.

Fine views of the surrounding country may
be obtained from almost any point in this
ridge. It creates an almost continuous water-
shed across the township, providing the best
possible natural drainage; and, as if to com-
plete the system, French Creek and Swab Run,



KNOX C U U N T Y



953



united, flow along almost the entire northern
border from east to west; while Littler s and
Kickapoo creeKs course through its southern
sections, the former to the west, and the latter
to the east, and both having their source at
about the township's center. Along these
streams were, in early times, belts of good
timber, but the requirements of civilization
long ago necessitated the felling and consump-
tion of most of it. What now remains is but
the refuse trees and a second growth, that is
fast falling before the farmer's axe. All the
first settlements were made along the borders of
those streams and belts of timber.

Salem was organized under the general law
relating to townships on April 5, 1853, by an
election held in a log school house near
Michael Egan's home, on Section 29. S. S. Buf-
fum was chosen Supervisor; AVilliam Gray,
Clerk; J. E. Knable, Assessor; D. Waldo, Col-
lector; T. A. Croy, G. W. Euke and J. Jordan,
Justices; M. B. Mason, A. Kent and J. E. Duel,
Highway Commissioners; J. Taylor and D.
Waldo, Constables, and G. Christman, Overseer
of the Poor.

John Sloan has been the supervisor most fre-
quently re-elected, having served eight terms
of one year each, at different periods, and others
of from one to three years.

The first settlement was made by Alexander
Taylor, on the northeast quarter of Section 6, in
October, 1834. He was soon followed by B'elix
and John Thurman, Henry and Avery Dalton,
Solomon Sherwood, Benoni Hawkins, William
Kent, John Darnell, John Haskins and Sala
Blakesbee, most of whom brought their fam-
ilies with them.

The first birth recorded was that of little
Laura, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Haskins,
in 1835; and the first to be joined in wedlock
were Avery and Delilah Dalton, cousins, who
were married in 1855, by 'Squire Mark Thur-
man. Mr. and Mrs. Dalton are yet living. The
same year occurred the first death, that of An-
drew Corbin

The early .-ettlers brought their religious
faith and practice v/ith them and held prayer
meeting from time to time at convenient
places. Their pious devotion attracted the at-
tention of Rev. Henry Somers, who visited the
settlement in ♦lovember. 1835, or '36, and
preached the first sermon, at the home of
William Kent, on Section 13.

The first saw mill was built by James Mason
on Kickapoo Creek, in Section 13, in 1835 or



'36; another, a little later, by Andeison Corbin,
on the same Siream, on Section 14.

The people of Salem have shown an enlight-
ened public spirit in the matter of good high-
ways, and have provided a system of good, sub-
stantial, iron bridges, set upon firm stone abut-
ments, over all the principal streams, with
stone culverts over most of the smaller ones.
Thfe question of constructing, grading and re-
pairing the highways, was many years ago, by
vote, left solely to the discretion of the high-
way commissioners. The result has been a
uniform system of grading, which, with thor-
ough underdraining, affords the best roads ob-
tainable on prairie soil without resort to the
Macadam process.

Salem has an abundant supply of bitumin-
ous coal, which has been mined for local use
from an early date along the banks of the
streams skirting the north and south sides of
the township. The most productive mines are
found along the Kickapoo and Littler's creeks.
The first mining of which any record has been
preserved was successfully undertaken by Pitt-
man and Barlow, blacksmiths, of Farmington,
Fulton County, who, in 1832, took out coal from
the soil of Section 25 for use in their own
forges. Mr. Avery Dnlton was the first to mine
to any appreciable extent for commercial pur-
poses. He began operations on the same sec-
tion three years later. Several drillings at Yates
City have developed extensive and valuable
veins, at depths varying from one hundred and
twenty-five feet upward.

Not the least important among the industries
which have helped to elevate Salem Township
to its present position among the foremost in
the county is that of stock-growing. Many of
the most progressive farmers make the breed-
ing of improved varieties a special feature of
their farm work. Among the prominent stock-
raisers may be named N. G. Daughmer and Son,
D. Corey and Son. J. M. Corey, H. A. and James
Sloan. E. H. Ware. Frank Runyon, A. D. Moore
and R. J. McKeighan. The efforts of these
men and others who might be mentioned have
resulted in elevating the standard established
for fine stock to as high a point in Salem as
will be found in the best farming sections of
the State.

Perhaps the thrift, enterprise and financial
condition of an agricultural ' community — as
well as the quality of its land — can be best
gauged by its comparative tax assessment. As
contrasted with those of other townships, that



KNOX COUNTY.



of Salem, for 1898, was as given below. Gales-
burg, Ontario and Cedar townships have been
selected for purposes of comparison.

Average value of land: Galesburg Township,
per acre. $14.95; Ontario, $14.08; Salem, $12.61.
Total assessment: Cedar Township. $554,482;
Ontario, $451,196; Salem. $442,033. The assessed
value per acre for the other townships in the
county ranges downward from the highest price
named above to $6.81 for Persifer, and the
lowest total valuation down to $229,898 for the
same township. These figures tend to demon-
strate that Salem is the third township in
Knox, as regards both value per acre and total
valuation, the city of Galesburg, being, of
course, excluded.

By the census of 1860 the population was
given as 1,311. In 1870 it was 1,906; in 1880, it
had fallen to 1.794, and in 1890 it did not exceed
1,677. It consists chiefly of native-born Amer-
icans. There is also an admixture of foreign
parentage, notably of Swedish, German, Scotch-
Irish and Irish descent. Yet all are thoroughly,
stanchly patriotic, intelligent and industrious.

Since 1860. on all questions of national policy
Salem has been republican in its political vote
by a strong majority; but in matters of local in-
terest the yoke of party fealty sits but lightly
on the necks of either republicans or demo-
crats.

There are ten school districts in Salem, num-
bered in order to the ninth, the tenth being
called Center. The last named is located on
School Section 16. Of the ten school buildings,
two, in Districts 3 and 4, are of brick, the others
are frame. The first school house was located
on Section 13. in 1838. in what is now District
No. 1, and the first school was taught by Abiel
Drew. The second school was erected in either
the same or the succeeding year, on the south-
west quarter of Section 6. It was of logs, and
had been originally put up by James Hogue for
a dwelling. Section 6 now forms a part of Dis-
trict No. 2. Of the ten schools, only the one in
Yates City is graded. From the County Super-
intendent's report for 1898 the following figures
are taken:

Number males under twenty-one years in
the township 331

Number females under twenty-one years in
the township 319

Total 650

Males between six and twenty-one in the
township " 232

Females between six and twenty-one in the
township 233

Total 465

Tax levy for support of schools in 1898. .$6,300.00
Value of school property in the town-
ship 11.600.00

Estimated value of school libraries 2,200.00

Amount paid all teachers in the town-
ship 4.601.70



Every school in Salem has the benefit of a
library of greater or less size and value, which
owe their origin to Professor W. L. Steele, now
the superintendent of city schools in Galesburg,
and the history of their establishment may be
told in a few words. In September, 1878, Pro-
fessor Steele, then Principal of a graded school
in Yates City, proposed to the School Board,
composed of Dr. J. D. Hoit, J. M. Taylor and
L. A. Lawrence, the organization of a school
and public library, to be under the control of
the board and open at all times to pupils of the
schools, and to the public upon payment of a
membership fee. Tne scheme also contem-
plated the solicitation of donations of books
and money. The plan was adopted. A consti-
tution and by-laws were framed, and a public
entertainment held in behalf of the pro-
ject on 1 hanksgiving Day of that year, which
netted nearly one hundred dollars. The mov?-
ment commanded public support from the first;
the plan has been regularly and systematically
carried on; and the library has steadily grown
until now it numbers about nineteen hundred
volumes, of all classes, beside many worn-out
books, annually discarded. Young men and
women educated here have so thoroughly ap-
preciated its bensflcent infiuence. that, after
going out to teach in neighboring districts in
this and adjoining townships, they have carried
the spirit and plan with them, and planted
school libraries wherever they have taught.

Of the four thousand one hundred and sixty-
three men who enlisted from Knox County in
the Union Army during the Civil War, one hun-
dred and eighty-two were from this township,
distributed as follows:

One hundred and fifty-one served in various
regiments of infantry, numbered from the Sev-
enth to the One Hundred and Thirty-second.
Forty-five were attached to the Eighty-third,
and twenty-eight in the Seventy-seventh.
Twenty-nine are credited as having served in
the Seventh, Eleventh, Twelfth and Fourteenth
Cavalry, and two in the Second Illinois Artil-
lery. In addition, several are known to have
enlisted in regiments from other States, not-
ably in the Eighth Missouri Infantry, viz.:
William S. Kleckner, Frank Murphy, Frank and
Fred Hamilton, Henry Ledgerman, James
Dundas, Chester Vickery, George Frost, Will-
iam Hull, William Taylor and William Reed,
besides, probably, others, many of whom have
never been credited, either to Knox County, or
to Salem Township. James H. Walton was
probably the first enlisted man from Salem,
having joined the Seventh Infantry from
Yates City, which was the first regiment or-
ganized in 1861. A draft was ordered to com-
plete Salem's quota under the last call for men
in 1864, and four names were drawn.

Salem's record in the war with Spain, 1898,
is an extraordinary one, the township having
furnished fourteen men out of a possible one
hundred and fifty for the whole county, the
most of whom served in Company C, of the
Sixth Infantry. The Mexican War of 1846 has
one living representative here, in the person of




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Online LibraryNewton BatemanHistorical encyclopedia of Illinois → online text (page 204 of 207)