History of Ava Township
The name of Ava Township was selected form Webster's
Unabridged Dictionary. It was organized in 1876. The
early settlers of this portion of the County have been noticed in
the accounts given of the settlements in the several Townships out
of which this was formed and hence need no notice here.
The chief occupation of the people is agriculture,
and some finely cultivated farms are found here. The southern
and western portions are broken, and in the hills is found fine
varieties of limestone and sand stone. The eastern and
northern parts are quite level. the greater portion of the
surface of the Township is susceptible of cultivation.
The entire surface was heavily timbered in an early
day, and the primeval forests in some places yet remain. The
people of Ava Township are thrifty, enterprising and moral.
The school districts of the Township are commodious and
comfortable. A good quality of coal is mined on the farm of
Mr. Henry CHEATAM, who supplies the town of Ava with that article.
The DEANS, CHEATAMS, CALLAHANS, WRIGHTS and STEPHENS are
prominent citizens. Ava is bounded on the west by Bradley and
Degognia Townships, on the north by Bradley and Ora, on the east by
Ora and Levan, on the south by Kinkaid and Levan.
It contains within its limits the thriving village
of Ava, which possesses a population of about 350.
For a great many years there had been at this point,
a hamlet called "Headquarters", but it was not until the building of
the Narrow Gauge Railroad, on which Ava is situated, at a point 16
miles north-west of Murphysboro, that attention began to be directed
to it. Its distance from any considerable town is so great as
to give it a wide circle of trade. It has, since the
completion of the railroad, "sprung into newness of life" and there
can scarcely be a question, but that it is destined to be, in the
near future, one of the really important towns in the County.
Its citizens seem to be aware of its advantages, and to
possess great confidence in its growth and coming prosperity.
It will eventually be for the north-western part of the County
what Murphysboro is for the central district, and what Carbondale is
for the eastern, the centre of trade.
The public school building is neat and comfortable,
and the number of children in attendant makes it possible to grade
them into two divisions, thus facilitating the important work of
education. There are two hotels in the place, where the
traveler may, in the language of old Jack FALSTAFF, rest and
"take mine ease at mine inn". Mr. BOWERS is the proprietor of
one, Mr. BURKE of another. DISHON & Co. have a good
flouring mill, while DEAN Bro's have a custom mill. There is
also a saw mill at this point. WAGGONER Bros sell drugs and
notions and Jesse JOHNSON, drugs only; GORDON & BIGELOW deals in
dry goods and general merchandise, as also do HUSBAND & RUSSEL;
the firms of A. E. DAVIS and CLENDENEN & Co., deal in dry goods
Mr. Samuel DESBERGER, the great merchant of
Murphysboro, recognizing the fact of the growing importance of Ava,
has lately established a branch store here. There is a good
cooper shop and three blacksmith shops.
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