Illinois Genealogy Trails

Tyrone Township

Franklin County Illinois

"A Walk Through Time"

Tyrone Township lies south of Goode and joins Perry County on the west.
The name Tyrone was selected as the name of the township when it was first organized. The name was taken from the name of an old steamboat that plied on the waters of the Mississippi River.
Charles Tinsley was captain of this steamboat for many years and being an early settler and a man of influence, the name of the steamboat was voted as the name of the township.

John Kirkpatrick seems to have been the first settler in the township, settling on what is now the Reid farm on Little Muddy Creek, in 1818. Barzilla Silkwood and the Tinsleys came soon afterwards, so likewise did the Mulkeys.

Old Mulkeytown sprung into existence in the very early day; the trading point took its name from the Mulkey family. John Mulkey put up the first store in 1835. The Mulkeys have been very prominent in the the history of the county.

Judge Mulkey, who became very prominent as a jurist, sprang from this family of Mulkeys in the county.

Mulkeys and John Kirkpatrick were related. They held religous meetings at the home of John Kirkpatrick soon after his coming to Franklin County in 1818.

As a result of the meetings, a church was organized in about 1823, which became known as the "Christian Church", being the first organized in the state of Illinois. For nearly a century the
Mulkeys and Kirkpatricks have been identified with this old church. From this church's influence more than eleven Christian Churches have been organized.

Later the
Harrisons, Bayless, Prices, Plumlees, Rogers, Means, Davis, Swishers, Greenwoods, Arteberrys, Dees, Tefferkellers, McClellands, Snyders, Capelands, Reids, Keonigs, Hills, Browns, Faggs, Eubanks, Ethertons, Moyers, and Cook families came into the township and Tyrone township began to develop rapidly.

What is known now as the I. C. R. R. was built through the county in 1879-80.
Isham Harrison had part of his farm laid outinto town lots, soon new Mulkeytown became a thriving village. Mulkeytown has not been a mushroom town, but has had a steady growth, the citizenship of the staid old town has been of a high character, standing for good schools and good moral citizenship. The people of the vicinity of Mulkeytown have ever been characterized as church-going people.

In the eastern part of
Tyrone and in Browning Township, settles a family of people destine to play an important part in the history of the county. This was the Harrison family. They seem to have been related to the Virginia stock of Harrisons , and of close kin to William Henry Harrison of "Tippecanoe fame" who became president.

The founder of the
Harrison Clan in this county was Isham Harrison who, coming into the county about 1814, settled southeast of what is now the city of Christopher. Isham Harrison was shutup in the Fort Jordan during the indian trouble of 1812. He, like John Browning, selected a site on the west of Big Muddy for his place of settlement.
Along with him two grown sons came and settled near by. When Illinois almost reached statehood and
Franklin County had been organized, Harrison was sent to Kaskaskia, then the capitol, to help frame the first Constitution of Illinois.

The greatest question in the convention was the slavery question.
Harrison, though a slave owner, stood against a slavery clause in our constitution. On Aug. 26, the convention had finished its work. The Constitution of Illinois was never ratified by the people.

Lemuel Harrison, a son of Isham Harrison, was the first surveyor and county commissioner of the county. He surveyed out the first town on Frankfort Hill. His two sons, Isham and Christopher, were the founders of the two largest towns in Tyrone-Christopher and Mulkeytown.

Christopher Harrison, a son of Lemuel R. Harrison, was one of the 49 dying of cholera and was buried at Independence, Mo. His cousin was with him and went on to California, but returned in a short time and married the widow of his cousin. Christopher Harrison owned land where the city of Christopher is now located.

His two sons,
F.O. and Sydney, had the town named Christopher in honor of their father.

The town did not grown fast at first.
Bolliver Farris put up the first store then later sold to Walker Bros., who continued the store. Then came Horace Shepherd, who became apartner of Farris. Mr. Shepherd was an original boomer of Christopher has been with the city during all its growth, he having died a short time ago.

In the early days of
Christopher the postmaster would carry the mail to the train and most of the citizens of the town would accompany him to see the "cars come in." Many jokes were made on Christopher in those early days but ere long the staid old town took on a new life. Coal was located and mines developed. An energetic bunch of real estate men began to push Christopher and soon it was a fast growing town.

The building of the C. B. & Q. Railroad and the great coal development has transformed the little village of
Christopher into one of the best cities in the county. Christopher has four large coal mines lying near, with an output that is enormous. The population of Christopher is about 8,000.

Tyrone has the following schools: Robtown, Cane Creek, Blue Grass, Long Beach, Mulkeytown, Arkansas, Christopher, North City, Valier.The churches of the town ship are: Baptist - Christopher and Valier; Methodist - Greenwood, Valier and Christopher; Christian-Mulkeytown and Christopher; Catholic - Christpher; Free Baptist -Christopher. Politically, Tyrone is Democratic but often times Republicans carry the township. The present supervisor is
Joe Bacon.

The town of
Valier on the C.B.& Q. R.R. is a lively place. There are two large mines near and indications point to it as a very important city of the country.

[(1918) Franklin County History Centennial Edition by H.M. AIKEN]

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Nanette Riley © Illinois Genealogy Trails History Group