Chebanse Township is one of the original townships of Iroquois County. It was established in 1855. The name is of Indian origin and is believed to have come from a tribe in the eastern part of the United States. The first settlement of Chebanse Township was made at the junction of Langham Creek and the Iroquois River, in 1843, by the Brady brothers from Indiana. Agriculture and its related businesses are the chief industry of the township.
|1818||Illinois admitted to Union|
|1821||Gordon Hubbard established trading post on Iroquois River|
|1834||Iroquois County surveyed|
|1836||Indians sent west by government|
|1836-37||Land speculation in Iroquois County-railroad begun and abandoned|
|1843||Brady Brothers, first white settlers, located on Langham Creek|
|1848||Ostrander built Sugar Island saw mill|
|1850||Government authorized building of Illinois Central Railroad|
|1851||98 miles of railroad laid with strap iron absorbed by Illinois Central|
|1854||Chebanse laid out in 60 acres owned by government and railroad|
|1855||17 died of cholera - first funeral - first preacher|
|1856||most land sold in Chebanse vicinity - Chebanse Township organized - malaria epidemic - first 4th of July celebration at Milk's Grove|
|1857||First child born - shoemaking shop opened - first club organized (no female participation) - Carter Hotel built|
|1859||Chebanse Evergreen Cemetery formed|
|1860||First grain warehouse - first organized school district - first meat market - King Edward VII, England visits Chebanse on hunting expedition|
|1861||Civil War quota for Chebanse doubled in error, not rectified|
|1863||January snow storm destroyed cattle - August frost kill crops - first lumberyard - first hay business|
|1866||Baptist Church built - first agricultural implement store - wild hay warehouse burned|
|1867||Catholic Church built - National Hotel built|
|1868||Chebanse Herald established - Congregational Church built - Chebanse incorporated - Wakeman Nursery established|
|1870||Flax mill built - croquet introduced as outdoor sport|
|1872||First telegraph -First bank|
|1873||Chebanse major shipping point from Chicago to Cairo|
|1874||First water tower built|
|1878||Old Settlers reunion|
|1880||First Fire Department|
|1882||First Telephone -washing machines manufactured here, also telephones|
|1884||Milk's barbeque, 15,000 attendance - General Logan campaigning for vice-presidency of United States - 1000 Payne Horse Farm acreage active|
|1885||Roads shoveled by hand after big snowstorm|
|1886||Hail storm and tornado caused total destruction in 4 mile wide path through Chebanse Township|
|1887||First cement sidewalk built - Chebanse Academy opened in Masonic Hall|
|1895||Lutheran Church built|
|1898||Special excursion trains from Chicago to Chebanse discontinued as Payne Horse Farm went bankrupt|
|1901||Harold Gray, creator of "Little Orphan Annie" lived in Chebanse to 1906|
|1903||Dr. Ennis gained public favor as doctor of cancer - tornado damage|
|1904||Congregational and Methodist Churches built - National Hotel burned|
|1908||New Catholic Church built - first car purchased, a two cyclinder Lambert|
|1909||First Chebanse Homecoming|
|1910||Brick schoolhouse built|
|1911||Chemical fire tanks purchased and call issued for volunteer firemen.|
|1912||Speed limit, 10 miles or $10 - merchants request hitching posts|
|1914||10 P.M. curfew for pool and bowling alleys - World War I - 3 died in service|
|1917||Request to operate movies on Sunday denied|
|1918||Gas lights on streets junked|
|1923||Cement highway built through Chebanse|
|1929||Fire destroys business section - bank fails|
|1933||Community Credit Union organized for loans|
|1940||Dr. Walker honored by Illinois Medical Society|
|1941||World War II|
|1945||Fire in business section|
|1949||New water tower built costing $99,000|
|1953||Mayor Wilking, Ella Lane, Virgil Anderson, Louise Timm and Leah Witt select 9 people to plan Chebanse Century Celebration|
|1954||Chebanse celebrates 100th birthday July 3, 4, and 5 publish "Memories of Chebanse" booklet, historian Alyce Wakeman Nordmeyer|
|1956||Chebanse Community Building established|
|1957||Elementary school built|
|1963||Junior High school built|
|1971||Old High School became Civic Center housing Village Board room, Police Dept., Library, Senior Citizen's room, Boy and Girl Scouts room, a Historical Society room and an gym for youth recreational programs|
|1977||New bank built|
|1984||Residents donate treasures for display in Historical Society Room of Civic Center|
|1985||Town Board: Mayor Merrit Hansen; Clerk Bonnie Potts; Treas., Geo. Witt; Trustees Dennis Clark, Orbert Hilgendorf, Don Cahan, Russell Kuntz, Paul Beherens, Sandra Henson|
|1985||History contributed by Alyce Wakeman Nordmeyer|
In 1861 William A. Viets sets aside a piece of ground in the northeast part of the village for a cemetery. At his own expense he planted trees and shrubbery, laid out the cemetery, and maintained it for years.
In the early days bodies were carried to the cemetery, or transported on stone-boats, or wagons. They were enclosed in rough board boxes.
On March 18, 1869, a meeting was held at the office of Dr. Silas Earle for the purpose of forming a cemetery association under the General Incorporation Act. Officers elected were William A. Viets, President; Dr. Silas Earle, Secretary-treasurer; and Directors William A. Viets, Dr. Earle, and Alfred Van Wyck.
On May 10, 1869, the Association bought from Mr. Viets, five acres of ground for $700.00, to be paid from the sale of lots.
In July, 1902, John O'Neill and A.J. Libert raised funds to procure a site for a Catholic burying grounds in Clifton. On January 3, 1903, approximately, one-third of the eastern part of the ground was sold to St. Peter's Catholic Church of Clifton.
In 1903, Wm. A. Viets donated a lot in the cemetery to the G.A.R. Post of Chebanse. A wooden monument was erected which was dedicated to the unknown dead and to be used in Decoration Day Services
In 1904 a cement walk to the cemetery was completed, a great improvement over the old path and rolling boardwalk.
In 1913 Martin Johnson collected money from the citizens of the town for a well.
On January 3, 1913, the president of the Sorosis Club appointed a committee to oversee the work at the Clifton Cemetery, which was in a neglected condition. a man was hired to clean up the grounds.
On July 7, 1919, a meeting was held in the Clifton Opera House for the purpose of reorganizing the Clifton Cemetery Association. Officers elected were J.H. Schrader, President; Mrs. C.B. Sill, Secretary; J.C. Gleason, Treasurer; and Trustees were Chris Jensen, Frank Sanderson, and Mrs. Mary A. Cummings.
Perpetual care was put into effect during 1920. The Clifton Cemetery Association was made responsible for the perpetual care, whether it be in the Protestant of Catholic Grounds. All lots sold from then on included perpetual care. The Association was put under the jurisdiction of the County Judge. Financial reports are made to him and any officers elected must be approved by the Judge.
In 1929 more land west of the cemetery was purchased for burial purposes. By this time gravel had been placed on the streets of the cemetery.
In May, 1949, the Association was registered and licensed in Springfield. An annual financial repost must be submitted to the state auditor. The same year Mrs. Sill left $1,000.00 to the Association, and a bequest was received from John C. Gleason.
In September, 1955, trees along the north and west side of the cemetery were cut and burned. The Catholic section was cleared of debris and leveled. New roads were put in and graveled.
Some of the monuments in the cemetery are of uncommon architectural beauty and many bear the imprint of John S. Trimble as sculptor.
Upon the death of Soren Jensen, the Association and St. Peter's Church purchased five acres just north of the cemetery.
The Clifton Cemetery Association is a non-profit, receiving no tax money of any kind. All board members through out the years have served without pay, for the love of the town. The current President of the Association is Earl E. Vilven.
(from Iroquois County History 1985 page 57-58)
In 1854 William Farmer, who had settled along the Langham Creek about 1846, sold his land to Adolph Poncelot, then the Belgian Consul in Chicago. Mr.
Poncelot put Mr. Harbaville on the land and set about bringing his
own countrymen to settle here. Some had means of their own and some were poor and worked for others.
In the spring of 1857, while enroute from Chicago to oversee his possessions, Mr. Poncelot was drowned. Dr. Fortuna Henrotin succeeded him as Belgian Consul. On December 15, 1866, a tract of land containing about 1500 acres was deeded to a group of about twelve men from Belgium. This group was known as the Belgian Syndicate and was headed by Dr Henrotin.
Descendants of some of these early settlers are the Dacrosses, Ducats, Mathys, Cnuddes, Lemenagers, Hougardys, Wauthiers, Bergers, and others.
In the 1940
s there was a growing demand for a local commercial livestock feed store. A small Purina feed store was opened
by Arthur Fruendt and Charles
Genshaw in the building presently
used as the doctors
office in Chebanse. In 1949 the business was sold to Virgil Imhauser, who himself lived on a livestock farm west of Chebanse and fed a large number of hogs and
cattle, with the help of his father, Fred Imhauser.
The Imhauser Feed 7 Supply business expanded and in 1951 was moved to the cement block building on the northeast corner of Walnut and Chebanse Avenue. The building is presently owned and used by Ken s Truck Repair.
In 1959 Virgil bought the vacant Geo. W. Lane lumber yard, east of the railroad tracks, for his feed store and he also erected a grain storage bin to the north of the building. He purchased a portable feed grinding mill to service the local livestock feeders directly on their farms. Clyde Carley was the feed salesman. In 1969 the business was sold to James Pauley who continues to operate the Purina feed business as J&K Farm Supply.
A major catastrophe was narrowly averted in the early 1960 s when a train derailment occurred alongside the main building. A number of coal cars derailed and narrowly missed damaging the building. A huge crane was brought in from Lehigh Stone Co. to upright the overturned cars and their contents.
(from Iroquois County History-1985 pages 57, 59 and 60-transcribed by Carrol Mick email@example.com)
©2005 Carrol Mick and Illinois Genealogy Trails