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Bureau County Illinois  
Greenville Township History

1885 History of Greenville Township
[History of Bureau County Illinois, H. C. Bradsby, Editor, Chicago Publishing Company 1885, Page 428-429]

Like its immediate neighbors, Greenville has had a large amount of swamp lands. No less than 3,000 acres were subject to overflow. Walnut Creek runs from the northeast corner of the township to the southwest corner. Near the center of the town it simply spreads out into wide lagoons, lakes, and marshy lands, and the same is true of Green River, one branch of which rises nearly in the town's center and runs northwest to the north line of Section 6. There was no such thing as a flowing stream to these waters, except at New Bedford, where the high land on each side of the stream came closely together and created a perceptible flow in the waters passing out. Many years ago, Jacob Galer built a mill where New Bedford now stands, but the dam caused an overflow of nearly all the lands about it.

October 1836, Henry Thomas entered the land on which New Bedford stands. This was the first land entered in the west part of county, except at French and Coal Groves. In 1837 a State road was opened from Hennepin to Prophetstown on Rock River. This crossed the river at New Bedford and then Henry Thomas opened a ferry here.

Cyrus Watson built a cabin her about this time and was surprised to find he was south of the Indian line and on land already entered. He then moved to Section 20, which was afterward owned by E. G. Jester. Mr. Watson was the first white man that ever settled on Green River.

In 1839 William Hill; Daniel, James and Peter McDonald settled on Sections 20 and 29. In 1840 Joseph Heath, Joseph Caswell, Justus Hall and Thomas Hill settled in this vicinity. In 1841 Milton Cain made a farm south of the river and Norman Hall, Joseph N. Kise and William Britt located on the north side. Three Frenchmen, Green, Battist and Charley Shane lived for some time in Brush Grove. They were merely hunters and trappers. Caleb Rice afterward had their place. A. H. Janes, J. Eastlick, Richard Meek, S. Upson, J. M. Draper, J. S. Montgomery and P. Lanphier were the early settlers.

1906 History of Greenville Township
 The township of Greenville has 11 large acreage that is subject to overflow in times or high water. About three thousand acres are more or less af-fected. Green river has always been an uncertain quantity, as it drains a large area of country, and whenever there is an excessive fall of water the bottomlands suffer. A few years ago the river was deepened and the channel straightened at a cost of $86,000. It was thought then that the problem bad been successfully solved and that thenceforth there would be no trouble about surplus water, but experience has shown the land owners that something more must be done before they can be sure of safety. At the present time a new drainage scheme is under way which promises to be more effective than the former one. While this may be quite a burden to some, yet in the end, no doubt, it will prove to be of great benefit to all.

In 1836 Henry Thomas entered the land where New Bedford now stands; this was the first land entered in the western part of the county, with the exception of French and Coal Groves. The state road from Hennepin to Prophetstown was opened in 1837 and crossed Green river at New Bedford, where Henry Thomas owned a ferry. About this time Cyrus Watson built a cabin here, but, finding the land had already been entered, he moved to section 20, which was afterward owned by E. G. Gester. Mr. Watson is said to have been the first white man who settled on Green river.

In 1839 William Hill, Daniel, James and Peter McDonald settled on sections 20 and 29. The next year Joseph Heath, Joseph Caswell, Justus Hall, and '.Thomas Hill came, and in 1841 Milton Cain settled south of the river and Norman Hall, Joseph N. Kise, and William Britt made farms on the north side. P. Lanphier, J. S. Montgom-ery, J. M. Draper, S. Upson, Richard Meek, J. Eastlick, and A. H. Jaynes were among the first settlers. New Bedford is located on the old channel of Green river on section 29, and enjoys a fine trade for a small inland town that has no railroad. The Northwestern railroad that runs from Rock river to Peoria passes through the township from north to south, entering on section one, and passes out on section 35. On section 11 there is a station called Normandy. This is simply a shipping point for gram and stock. When the drainage is per-fected Green will be one of the most productive townships m the county. The population by the census of 1900 was 1,123. The following named men have served as supervisors:


Nehemiah Hill, 1851-52.

Jacob Eastlick, 1853.

Lewis McKune, 1854-55.

Jacob Eastlick, 1856

A. A. Smith, 1857.

Simeon Odell, 1858-59.

(Page 115) Jacob Sells, 1860.

Simeon Odell, 1861.

Jacob Sells, 1862.

J. Gearnahan, 1863.

Jacob Sells, 1864-65.

A. S. Eastlick, 1866-67.

J. Vaughn, Jr., 1868-72.

Horace Hill, 1873.

C. L. Clink, 1874-76.

L. W. Hay, 1877

T. Y. Sells, 1878-80.

L. W. Hay, 1881-82.

Benjamin Monson, 1883.

J. W. Spratt, 1884-85.

J. L. Martin, 1886.

(J. W. Cole, 1887-91

L. H Oberschelp. 1892-96.

-- Taken From the Past and Present of Bureau County, Illinois. Chicago: Pioneer Publishing, 1906, Page 114 - 115 - Greenville Township


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