pub Chas. C. Chapman & Co..

History of Tazewell county, Illinois ; together with sketches of its cities, villages and townships, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history; portraits of prominent persons and biographies of representative citizens. History of Illinois ... Digest of state laws online

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Online Librarypub Chas. C. Chapman & Co.History of Tazewell county, Illinois ; together with sketches of its cities, villages and townships, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history; portraits of prominent persons and biographies of representative citizens. History of Illinois ... Digest of state laws → online text (page 66 of 79)
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David Roberts 1854-58 James E. Phillips 1867

H R Brown 1859 David Roberts 1868-69

Robert Wvnet, Jr 1860 W. Hayward 1870-71

James E. Phillips 1861 J. C. Wynd 1872-73

C. G. Rowland 1863 A. J. Davis 1874

John Ingalls 1864 W. Hayward 1875

Stei^hen Stout 1865 James Pons 1876-77

L. M. Hobart 1866 W. Hayward 1878


John Stiles 1854 Samuel G. Russell 1866

A. Stockwell 1855 E. L. Case 1867

John Stiles 1856-59 Simeon Norman 1868-69

David Eaton 1860-61 Stephen Stout 1870

Stephen Stout 1863 C. M. Broyhill 1871

Edward L. Case 1864 C. W. Clark 1872

AlfredLowell 1865 Justin S. Armstrong 1873-78


Richard Oliver 1854 R.Oliver 1867

J W.Howard 1855 W.B.Armstrong 1868

Richar.l Oliver 1856-59 R. L. Rvant 1869-70

Emerv Warner. I860 S. H. Quinn 1871-72

Stephen Stout 1861 W. W. Stiles 1873-,4

Gilson Hok'omb 1863 Richard Oliver 18/o-/b

James Pettijohn 1864 Wm. H. Harris 1877-78

Justin Armstrong 1865-66



The first settler in Washington township was William Holland,
Sen., a native of North Carolina, and who emigrated from that State,
and settled in Edwardsville, Madison county. 111., in 1815. He
remained there for three years, when he removed to Sangamon Co.,
and after two years residence there moved to Peoria, then Fort
Clark, in the spring of 1820. He crossed the river to the flats,
now Fond du Lac township, and occupied an old shanty. Here he
raised a crop during the summer of the same year. He cut logs,
which he hauled across the river and erected a double log cabin.
This was the second dwelling built in Peoria. Prior to his settling
in Peoria, and during his residence in Sangamon, he was employed
by a man named Cramer, who had contracts with the Government
to do blacksmithing for the Indians. But completing the erection
of his abode, he, himself, formed negotiations with the Government,
and commenced at his trade, blacksmithing. In the spring of 1825,
he came to this township, and built a log house on section 23, and
on the present site of A. G. Danforth's residence. Here the family
were surrounded by a dense wilderness, and were the only white
occupants of this township until 1826. Holland commenced im-
proving a farm on sec. 24, town 26, range 3, just east of the town
of Washington, and embracing a part of the Holland, Dorsey, Wal-
than and Robinson addition to the town. His nearest neighbors
were located on Farm creek, three miles east of Peoria, where the
first settlement was made in this section. Amono' them were Wm.
Blanchard, Elza Bethard, Jack Phillips, and his son William, Aus-
tin and Horace Crocker, and Thomas Camlin, whose cabin was
located nearest Holland's Gove. There are others, the exact data of
whose coming seems quite impossible to determine. In 1824 Jacob
Wilson, Sr., Joshua Walker, Thomas Banks, and Elisha Green, all
settled on Farm creek. Cyrus J. Gibson followed in 1830, and
Thomas Trimble, whose sons are now prominent among the residents
of Washington City, settled there in 1834. William Thompson, a
native of Indiana, came in 1826, and settled on the farm now occu-
pied by John Johnson and made some improvements. The same
year William Weeks came from Indiana, and settled on the present
estate of Peter Portman, where he erected a rude habitation, which
has since given place to the fine residence of its owner. In the fall
of the same year, John Redman, also from Indiana, settled near the
farm of 'Squire Baker.

These four families were the only white inhabitants in this town-
ship until 1827, when Ira Crosby, of New York, located on the
place now occupied by James R. Crane. George Burrow, of Ten-
nessee, came in the same year, and settled on the Peter P. Scott farm,
and James Holland, a brother of William Holland, Sen., from
North Carolina, made a temporary location, but removed to Macou-
pin Co. In 1828, James Harvey, father of Wesley B. Harvey, came


.s^^^^ ■



and purchased the Benjamin Kindig farm, where he lived until
1834, when he removed to Groveland, where he died in 1859. In
1829, George Burrow and Peter P. Scott added their number to the
little community. In the spring of 1880, William Heath located
in AVrenn's Grove, also a man named Pearl, made a temporary lo-
cation in this vicinity. The same year James McClure settled on
the present farm of Orin Castle, where he lived until his death, in
1858. His son, Hamilton, is still a resident of this townshij).
William and Walter Berket, of Lancashire, Eng., and John Low-
man, from Indiana, came in 1831, and located west of the city,
where they are still living. Their heads are silvered by the frosted
tooth of Time. These worthy pilgrims are numbered among the
few living pioneers. The same year Reuben Bandy, a Kentuckian,
came and located on the claim made by Ira Crosby ; Abarham Van
Meter, from the same State, settled on the farm now occupied by
Adam M. Switzer, and where he lived until his death, in 1868. In
the fall of the same year. Rev. Nathan Curtis, a Methodist minister,
located on the present farm of W. T. Higgins. Several of his chil-
dren are still residents of the township. Col. Ben. Mitchell, a Vir-
ginian, settled in Wrenn's Grove, and opened the present farm of
Wade T. Wrenn. He was elected to the Legislature in 1834, and
to the State Senate in 1836, and was succeeded in this position by
Major R. N. CuUom. He died at his home in 1840. In 1832, the
settlements became numerous. Among the arrivals of that year,
were Elias Slaughter and Philip Varble, from Kentucky, Thomas
and Jonathan Reed, from Indiana, and John Mincli. The last two
named located on their present estates.

With the coming of the spring and summer months of 1833,
there came a general rush of immigrants, and ere the first snows of
winter fell, the whole of the timbered sections of the township were
nterspersed with cal)ins and settlers. A large ])ortion of the lands
bearing timber, and the smaller groves, were claimed, if not occu-
pied, while the prairie, for most part, was left untouched and un-
sought. The })rairie land was regarded as Avorthless for purposes of
agriculture, and considered a useless waste. There were hundreds
of men w^ho believed it would never be occupied. If any of the
settlers at that time had located on the prairie he would have been
regarded as extremely visionary, if not absolutely crazy. Of those
whose names appear among the early pilgrims, many removed from
the township ere many years had flown ; others followed from year
to year, in other localities; others have passed to the Shining Shore
of the Beautiful River, while many others still remain in the en-
joyment of the homes of their industry, endurance, and enterprise ;
fashioned and founded in the beautiful lands of Washington. The
surroundings of piom^er life arc well calculated to test the true in-
wardness of the human heart, and the trials, sufferings, and endur-
ance, incident to the founding and building of homes, unite them in
the strongest and deepest feelings of friendship, that grows and


strengthens with their years. Raven locks may bk'ach and whiten ;
full round cheeks wither and waste away ; the fires of intelligence
vanish from the organs of vision ; the brow become wrinkled with
care and age, and the erect form bowed with accumulating years,
but the true friends of long ago will be remembered as long as life
and reason endure.

The oldest living settler of this township is Lawson Holland,
eldest son of William Holland, Sr., who was born in Lincoln Co.,
N. C, in 1812, and came to this county with his parents. From
him we gather many incidents connected with the early settlement
of the township. He was married in Oct., 1833, to Miss Elizabeth
Bandy, daughter of Reuben Bandy, who came from Kentucky in
1831, and bought out the claim of Ira Crosby. They were married
by Rev. Nathan Curtis, a Methodist minister. This was the fourth
marriage in the township. The first in the neighborhood was in
1828, between James Hendricks and Miss Sallie Redman, daughter
of John Redman, They were united by Daniel Meek, Justice of
the Peace and resident of Waterloo. The same day Terrill Hall
was married to Miss Jane Redman, second daughter of John Red-
man. The first funeral was that of a child of Plenson Thomas.
It was buried in the graveyard on the 'Squire Baker farm. The
first death of an adult was a Mr. Pembrock, a stranger, who had
stopped at the residence of William Heath, where he died. He Avas
also laid away in the same grounds. The first physician was Dr.
Goodwin, who came from Vermont in 1832, where he was a student
with the late Dr. G. P. Wood, and with whom he associated a busi-
ness relation in 1835, in this city. They were the originators of
Goodwin & Wood's addition to Washington. He is now a resident
of Kendall Co., 111. James Huggins, of North Carolina, came in
1833. Jle learned wagon-making in the same shop in which Hol-
land worked at blacksmithing. He engaged in the practice of med-
icine until 1859, Avhen he removed to Peoria, where he died in 1870.
In 1834, Joseph Kelso and George D. Gibson came in, and are all
of the living relics of that date. In 1835, Anthony Field, deceased,
came in and located on sec. 34, where he resided until his death, in
1878. His widow still occupies the homestead. Thos. Cress came
in the fall of the same year, and has secured an impregnable j)osi-
tion in the public history of this township, having beeuelected Col-
lector twenty-four consecutive years.

The first school-house was built near Wm. Holland's hut in the
winter of 1827-28. It was built of logs and was 16 by 18 feet.
The writing desks and seats were made of split logs, and it was
lighted by sawing an aperture out of each end of one log, over
which was pasted greased paper. This ancient and somewhat unique
style of windows served to keep out the wind and admitted some
light. The school was a subscription school and Avas taught by
George H. Shaw, now a resident of Shaw's Grove, who was travel-
ing through the country, and stopped over night with Wm. Hoi-


land, Sr. He was satisfied to receive, as oonipcnsation, his board,
washing and horse feed. The second school was taught by Eli Red-
man, in the house built by William Weeks as a residence, on the
Portman place in the winter of 1828-29. In the spring and sum-
mer of 1829 or 1830 school was taught by Miss Elizabe'rh Wathon,
a native of Kentucky. It was taught in a building which at that
time was erected near the site of the old Methodist Church. It has
since gone to decay. Chas. S. Dorscy, who came from Kentucky in
1831, erected the third building in the townshi]) and the first on the
present site of Washington city, in 1834. It was built of logs, and
near the present site of Kingsbury & Snyder's store. It was occu-
pied by Dorsey, who had the honor of exhibiting the first stock of
goods for sale in the city. The first frame building was erected by
Jehu Lindley, on the present site of Long's wagon manufactory,
where he also opened a store, and was, for some years, a pioneer
merchant. The following year he built the premises noAv occupied
by Thomas Handsacker, as the office of the Washington Herald.
It was used by Lindsey as a store-house. The caqienter work was
done by L. J. Smith, a native of Virginia, who settled in Washing-
ton in 1834, and performed the first carpenter wark in this cit!y,
where he died in 1844. His son, Robert, came with his father aiid
is a resident of the city. Other authorities say the first frame build-
ing erected in the town is still standing opposite the present resi-
dence of Mr. Buckley, and is called the Gorin House. Be this as
it may, we have positive information that this building retains the
first i)lastcring done in the city. It was originally owned by Ben
Sickler. It has been rebuilt, and at the present writing presents a
good appearance. The Buckley mansion, on Walnut street, nearly
opposite, shelters its happy occupants from spring and autumn rains,,
and the cold blasts of winter fail to pierce its Avalnut sides..

William Holland, Sr., laid out the original town of Washington
in 1834, being part of the town lying east of main street. The first
building was erected on the original town plat by Joseph Kelso,
Sr., in 1834. Kelso and a Mr. AV'agoner had purchased of Holland
three lots for ^150 each, ujmn one years credit. Much valuable
timber grew in front of these lots, and in the street, which, by
agreement, the first to build should be entitled to use. The ques-
tion was settled by lot, which fell to Kelso, wdio was also the first of
the pioneers to open a farm wholly on the prairie. The first hotel
was opened by Charles Dorsey iii a two-storv frame house, which
stood on the lot now occupied' by Lewis Tobias tt Sons' hardware
store. Jesse and James Oatman came in 1835, and engaged in the
mercantile business. The same year Whipple and Blair opened a
general stock of goods, and a man named Kilebrem, also opened a
small store. Lands & Hawks were another firm added to the busi-
ness list. Burton <fe Gant came in soon after, and erected a store-house
on the corner of Peoria and Main sts., and on the lot now occupied
by the Zinser Brothers. Here they carried on an extensive business


for some years. Gant and Jacob Wilson were the only Constables
between this precinct and the boundaries of Tremont and Peoria,
including Hushaw's Mills, some miles to the North. Grant is now
a resident of Missouri and Burton has passed through the shadow
and valley to that brighter and better land. Old man Pearl, as he
was usually called, was another merchant, who remained a few years.
His whereabouts is at present unknown to any person living in this
township. Prior to 1885 William Holland Sr,, carried on the only
blacksmith shop in town, at which time Brazilla Allee built a large
two-story frame building on Main street, now occupied by his
widow, Sarah Allee. Allee and William Spencer used this building
as a blacksmith shop and wagon manufactory, it being the first place
in town in which wagons were manufactured. These were primi-
tive times, and the sight of a wagon was hailed with much joy and
pleasure, and its possessor envied by all. Travelling was princi-
pally done on horseback, and hauling on sleds. Peter P. Scott
opened a blacksmith shop soon after his arrival. He carried on his
trade here for several years. Tinware was sold by the merchants
until 1848, when Charles S. N. Anthony became engaged in that

William Holland, Sr., built the first grist-mill west of his dwell-
ing, in 1827. It was called a band-mill, and was run by horse-
power, a simple arrangement consisting of one large wheel, the
nave of which was a log of wood eight or ten feet long, hewed
eight square, set in a perpendicular position, and supplied with
spokes or arms. The lower end was secured by a pivot, on which
it turned to another timber fastened in the ground, the upper end
being secured in like manner. The flour produced resembled bran
or Graham flour.

Lawson Holland, Esq., has the honor of manufiicturing the first
flour made in Washington. It was produced by breaking the wheat
with a pestle in a mortar, and sifting through a hand seive. The
mortar was made by hollowing out one end of a log, the other end
of which rested firmly on the ground. The pestle was a heavy
piece of timber, the lower end of which was shaped to fit the exca-
vation in the mortar, the upper end being fastened to a spring pole,
which aided in raising the weight of the pestle. Near the lower end
of this pestle were four cj-oss pins or handles, for the use of the
operators. The hand seive was not of the modern manufacture, but
was made by drawing a fawn skin tightly across a wooden hoop,
and perforating it with a red hot iron of the size desired. Through
these holes the fine particles of grain escaped during the shaking
process. What remained in the seive was returned to the mortar
and repounded and sifted again, until all the flour was separated
from the bran. The hand-mill of William Holland, Sr., was the
only kind of mill in this section of country until 1836, when Wm.
Kern erected a flouring-mill on the premises formerly occupied by
Jaquin as a brewery. It was run by Jehu Lindly, and proved a


financial failure. A. Danforth & Co. built the next mill, in 1845.
It was the first brick builing erected in AVashington. The bricks
used in its structure were made by Danfijrth. The mill is now
being operated by the Andrews Brothers, who settled in AVashinccton
in 1843.


Methodist Church. — The first religious society was organized in
1828, by Jesse Walker, a Methodist preacher. The meeting was
held at William Holland's cabin. His family and that of James
Harvey, oonstituted most of the society at that time. In 1840, they
built the old church, near the corner of Jefferson and Main streets,
which is now fast passing into decay. This denomination erected
their present place of worship, on the corner of Walnut and Pine
streets, in 1866. A complete history of which we were unable to
secure on account of lost records.

Christian Church. — In 1832, the Christian Church was organized
by Richard B. McCorkle, in the school-house on the 'Squire Ba-
ker farm. Of its members we find R. B. Isabelle and Eliza Mc-
Corkle, James and Mary McClure, John and Martha Johnson, Wni.
Holland, Sr., Peter and Catharine Scott, Dr. and Mrs. Goodwin,
Rufus and Catharine North, Levi and Mrs. Moulton, Josiah and
Mrs. Yager. The first church building was built of brick and was
erected in 1851. The congregation became too large for it, and it
w^as sold to the Germans, and Nov. 28, 1869, the second edifice was
dedicated. This was burned Feb. 17, 1870; fire caused by a defect-
ive flue. Another and the third building was erected, which was
dedicated Aug. 28, 1870, and Oct. 29, 1876, was burned, being set
on fire by lightning. The congregation, not disheartened, erected
another, which was dedicated July 29, 1877. The congregation has
expended, on the several houses, about $32,000. The jiresent mem-
bership is about 150. The officers are, Elders : John Johnson, Geo.
Bonurant, H. A. Pallister; Deacons: John Bassett, Henry Jewett,
W. P. Thompson, and A. J. Cress. The present jiastor is Elder J.
W. Spriggs. Those who have preached regularly here are : R. B.
McCorkle, Wm. Davenport, H. D. Palmer, Josiah Yager, S. P.
Gorin, J. J. Harvey, John Lindsey, O. A. Burgess, A. G. Ewing,
J. B. McCorkle, B. W. Johnson, R. H. Johnson, J. A. AValters, J.
M. Allen, J. F. Berry, D. R. Howe, J. W. Allen, H. W. Everest,
James Kirk, G. W. Mapes, A. P. Cobb, and J. AY. Spriggs, present

Presbyterian. The Presbyterian Church' was organized on the
16th day of Nov., 1834, by Rev. Father Bascom and Leonard Fos-
ter, a committee of the Presbytery of Sangamon, appointed fi)r
the purpose, and upon the petition of certain persons residing at
Holland's Grove. The meeting for the organization was held in the
store of Charles Dorsey. The following named persons united in
the organization : .Henry Kice, Mary Kice, John T. Tool, Elizabeth


Tool, Horace Blair, Rebecca L. Blair, Elizabeth Reid, Charlotte
Berghet, David Gibson and Mary Gibson. Of these David Gibson
and Horace Blair were elected Ruling Elders. The congregation
commenced the erection of a church building in 1837. The frame-
work was erected, but on account of the financial crisis which came
upon the county in that year, was not enclosed until 1842. It was
then occupied, but never finished. In 1850 the old building was
sold and a new one, more suitable to the wants of the congregation,
was erected. In 1871 this building was removed, and the present
tasteful edifice erected at a cost of $5,000.

St. MarFs English Lutheran. This congregation is a departure
or division from the German Lutheran Church of this city, from
which the prominent members came. It was the custom in the early
history of the German Lutheran Church, to have both the English
and German language preached each Sabbath. But the German
element being in the majority, that congregation voted to exclude
the English language from the pulpit. A meeting of the English
brethren was held April 18, 1875, and a committee appointed to
draw up a constitution for its new congregation. This organization
was eft'ccted at a subsequent meeting held at the house of Josiah
Snyder, April 26, 1875. First officers, elected May 2d, were, Josiah
Snyder, Elder ; Henry Mahle and T. L. Benford, Deacons ; Henry
Denhart, Eli Heiple and Elias Benford, Trustees, and Rev. S. W.
Harkey, Pastor. Their meetings, for the first year, were held at the
Baptist Church. A festival, held June 12, 1876, gave them net
proceeds of $277, with which the ladies of the congregation pur-
chased the lot upon which their beautiful church now stands. It
was contracted to be built for |3,700. It was dedicated Aug.
26, 1877. The entire cost of the building, including the lot, was
$6,500. Of this sum, $2,600 remained unpaid, which was provided
on the morning of dedication. The members that united in its
organization were T. L. Benford, H. Mahle, L. R. Harkey, Edgar
Benford, Sarah Snyder, Elias Benford, Sabella Mahle, Minnie Ben-
ford, Mary E. Benford, Sojihia Benford, Emma Jones, Mary Heiple,
Amanda Mahle, Clara Denhart, Frank Snyder, Isadore Burton,
Anna Burton, John Bradle, Mary Bradle, Sarah J. Harlan, Mary
F. Kingsbury and Caroline R. Kingsbury.

Baptist. — The Baptist organization was not effected until 1835,
meetings being held prior to that time at Tremout. Abraham Van
Meter and wife and their son, "William C, Matthew and Martha
Crane, and Mr. Shermqn and wife, were of its first members. The
minister officiating at its organization was the Rev. Thos. Brown,
and of there members, Mrs. Martha Crane only appears on its
church roll.

Catholic. — The Catholic church was erected in 1877 at a cost of
$250, the money being raised by subscription by Walter T. Berket.

Ornish Church, sec. 20. This people, who have organized under
the above name, are a division from the Mennonites, and are so


called by its leader, Jacob Armour. This Church was organized in
1866 with 30 or 40 members, and the house contracted to be built
for ^1,500. Its size is 30 by 40, and is 68 feet high, the whole cost
being over |2,000. Joseph Stuckey, from McLean Co., was the
original mover in its organization, and Peter E. Stuckey and Peter
Gingrey were elected, in 1868, by the people to preach. Mr. Stuckey
was also elected Bishop in 1875, and has filled the pulpit to the
present time. The Church has a membership of 150 and is in a
prosperous condition.

It is quite impossible to secure records of church organizations,
together with a history of their growth, without the assistance of
those who may have been active or taken some part in the church
work, and the absence of those not embraced in this work is, in a
measure, due to the indiiference of those to whom the writer ap-
pealed for information. These remarks will apply as well to other
places in the county as they do to Washington.


The first physician that located in Washington was Dr. D. T.
Goodwin, who came from Vermont in 1832, where he was a student
with the late Dr. G. P. Wood, with whom he shared a partnership
for some years. He is still living at Dundee, 111. Dr. Wood came
from the same State in 1835, and resided in this city until his death
in 1871, at which time he was a ])artncr of the late Dr. 11. J]. M.
Wilson, Dr. Burton, from Kentucky, came in 1838, and opened
the first drug store in Washington. He also followed his profession.
He died in this city in 1859, leaving a large family, many of whom
are still residents of Washington.

The first lawyer to secure a footing in this community was
Thornton Walker, a Virginian. The first constable elected was
Jonathan Hodge, of Stout's Grove. James Harvey was the first
member of the County Commissioner's Court from this township.
He was succeeded by Benjamin Mitchell. The first land sales for
this district was held at Springfield, in 1830 or 1831. Prior to that
date no title could be acquired to any land in the district. The set-
tlers, however, recognized the justice of securing to each of their
number the benefit of his labor, and a])pointed Col. Benjamin
Mitchell Registrar of Claims. By this arrangement, and the paying

Online Librarypub Chas. C. Chapman & Co.History of Tazewell county, Illinois ; together with sketches of its cities, villages and townships, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history; portraits of prominent persons and biographies of representative citizens. History of Illinois ... Digest of state laws → online text (page 66 of 79)