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Fountain Creek

These are memories mainly through the Thirties. Then came World War II, and the action shifted outside our township. Many left for the Armed Services or to take defense jobs. Those remaining waited and prayed, wrote letters, baked and mailed cookies, and endured shortages.

A dozen women in southern Fountain Creek township have a Happy Birthday Club which meets monthly. In the same area, the East Lynn North prayer group had been meeting since the later 1960's. The group is comprised of Mary Lou Alt, Ethel Strom, Barbara Knoll, Dorothy Berg and Rhoda Leigh and past-members, Eileen Leemon and Janet Westfall, Waunita Allen has led many Bible studies at her Goodwine home and in surrounding towns.

Some Goodwine couples have a Euchre Club, and the ladies have a bowling team in the Cissna league. Goodwine youngsters had a go-cart track for a time. Last winter many followed the national trend to play Trivial Pursuit, and following a national trend for fitness, there are numerous walkers and bikers. The 4-H club and Claytonville Civic Club are other organization still active.


Claytonville, unincorporated, originated in 1882 when William Clayton made land available for a town. The original survey, dated January 2, 1882, had 96 lots in eight blocks, all north of the present railroad tracks. Claytonville is located in southeastern Iroquois County, Fountain Creek Township.

The first post office was opened in 1882 by Ed R. Beebe in his store. In 1893, August F. Ziegenhorn was appointed postmaster and held this position over 49 years. Later, his son, Maurice, became postmaster. After the death of Maurice, his sister, Vera, was postmistress until 1971. Because of poor health, Vera retired, and Nettie Obergfel became postmistress. Vera's sister, Edith Ziegenhorn, operated a beauty parlor in her home for many years.

There have been many businesses in town including stock yards, a tile and brick plant, and ice plant, blacksmiths, furniture store, and undertaker, banks, barbers, lumber companies, grain elevators, a harness and shoe shop, a popcorn plant, tavern, garage, well drillers and general stores. The one most remembered today is "Ziegenhorn's Store" in business for 82 years. The Claytonville school was a two-story frame building located one-half mile north of town. It was built around 1890 and closed with the school's consolidation in 1949.

There were two churches. The Bethel Methodist church was moved to town from southeast of Claytonville and closed in early 1900's. The present United Brethren in Christ Church was built in 1912 by the congregation of the Fountain Creek Chapel that was located in the northeast corner of Section 10. The first Daily Vacation Bible School in the community was held under the direction of Rev. O.L. Barker. In1982, an evangelistic crusade was held with Dr. Ralph Dell of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association as speaker.

The community has had many fires. The fire of 1912 destroyed a block of businesses on North Manning Street, and a fire in 1920 destroyed the George Hofer grocery store and depot. In 1931, the Beebe Grain Elevator burned, falling across the tracks to the north and burning the Farmers' Elevator and coal sheds which were full of grain and coal at the time.

Present businesses are Loren Blanck Garage, Claytonville Farmer' Grain Company, Claytonville Co-Operative Oil Company, Alan Drilling Garage, Claytonville Post Office, Elmer Bauer Corn Shelling, McCray Electric, Jean Feller's Village Curler, Joan McConnell's Beauty Shop, and Ted's Sales and service.

All home have their own artesian wells for their water supply. In 1983, the Claytonville Civic Club purchased and installed street signs which are all names of William Clayton's family, and residents and businesses put up their own house numbers.

The Town of Goodwine

In the 1880's a railroad was laid west from the main lie connecting Milford, Wellington, and Hoopeston to Chicago and points south, providing rail service to Goodwine, Claytonville, and Cissna Park, which were just being established. In 1903-1904 a track branching off at Woodland from the same mainline, known as the Chicago and Eastern Illinois Railroad, intersected the other branch line at Goodwine giving rail service from Chicago to St. Louis. Tracks had to be maintained, and Goodwine became somewhat of a railroad town with a section crew working out of it, and several of the section men living here as well as the station agent. Dan Harline was the first agent.

The depot was located in town near the crossing for several years but later moved to the intersection of the railroads west of the town. Then, on Easter morning, March 25, 1951, the depot burned to the ground and was never replaced. Railroads were becoming more mechanized, and stations were being eliminated along the line. Radio and telephones were replacing telegraphy.

A small business section was established north of the east-west railroad. An elevator was organized in 1889, chartered as a cooperative, and is still operating. It is the oldest cooperative elevator still in business in Illinois. a couple of general merchandise and grocery stores are competed with each other, and there was a post office. Later a bank, known as the Farmer's State Bank of Goodwine, occupied the same building as the elevator. There was a blacksmith shop for many years and from time to time a barber shop. In the very early years there was even a milliner's shop run by Jessie Schworm. She came to Goodwine from Ohio because her sister Carrie, was a seamstress here. Later she married Lou Carman. From 1959-1979 Ruth Ferdinand operated a beauty shop in her home.

There was a small stock yard built south of the east-west track on the east side of the highway. Farmers has livestock shipped in by rail cars, unloading them into the pens, and then herding them down the road to their farms. This was done as late as 1940. This was also a cooperative, and earlier farmers would ship livestock to Chicago from he stock pen here. Frank Carman was one of the operators.

The town sire was given by William Goodwine, and the town was named for him. He came to this area from West Lebanon, Indiana, where he was born, and he returned to West Lebanon where he is buried. Later, there was an addition given by Frank Carmen in the southeast part, where the Ed Moser, Ed Allen, and Clayton Alexander residences are now. The town was plotted to have a north-south street east of the main street on the south side of town. It was never utilized for the town was not destined to grow to where it was needed.

A Methodist church building and land were also given by William Goodwine and it is still in existence. a one-room grade school was erected about a quarter of a mile north of town. It was the last one-room school closed in Iroquois County. It consolidated in 1961 with Bryce and became known as the Bryce-Ash Grove School.

Only the elevator remains as a business still in operation in Goodwine. There is a fertilizer plant north of town, and a recreational facility, Timbered Meadows, for camping on Mud Creek, and the post office still remain. Goodwine is mainly a settlement of older people. The population is less than forty people, whereas, it was once over a hundred. It is a victim of the trends of the times.

(all of the above is from the History of Iroquois County page 125 transcribed by Carrol Mick)

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