Genealogy Trails
Jackson County, Illinois


Degognia Township was designated and organized in 1872.  The name came from Degognia Creek which was named for a Frenchman of that name.  He was one of the early settlers in the Township.  The township lies in the northwestern part of the county and is almost triangular in shape.  Mr. Degognia was supposedly the first settler and died in the township. In 1804, a Mr. Reed settled on the banks of the creek and built a cabin.  His only neighbor, a Mr. Jones, murdered him.   No positive motive was ever established but it has been said that it was to gain the money and few traps that Mr. Reed had.  Jones was arrested and taken to Kaskaskia, given a trial, found guilty and sentenced to death.   It was the first murder and the first hanging in the county.   

Among other early settlers were James ISOM, John LUNEY, William B. PIKE, Jr. Pierson and William DUNCAN and Enoch LIVELY.  

 The first school house was built in 1839 on the ISOM property. It was called the "Hopewell School".  The first teacher was Mr. GATEWOOD and the second was Mr. HOLTWORTH.  In 1848 Dr. HODGE taught there. 

The first physician was Dr. Hezekiah C. HODGE who settled in 1847. The first sermon was supposedly preached by Rev. Robert P. GENTRY a member of Missionary Baptist. The sermon was preached at the Hopewell School. The first actual church was the Buchanan Church. The first mill was built by Mr. Henry ALBRIDGE in 1848.  It was a saw mill. Henry BEAUVAIS kept the first store and it was on the bank of the Mississippi.

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