La Salle County IL


Transcribed by Nancy Piper

Most of Rutland lies within the boundaries of LaSalle County, but a small fraction of the village lies within Marshall County limits . This is compromised of Burns additon layed out on section 12 and 13, town 29, range 1 east.

In March, 1855, a company was formed in Rutland, Vermont, that was called the  "Vermont Emigration Association."    It was organized "for the purpose of settling a section of country in the west, where social, religious and civil privileges may be enjoyed".  A committee was appointed  "to proceed to the west, to select a site for a village in the midst of government land, where each member may obtain a quarter section or more of land at the minimum price."  Dr. H.D. Allen was elected president of the association; William W. Ingraham, vice president; Dr. O. Cook, secretary; B. Kirkaldie, treasurer.  They also elected a board of 13 directors.

In May of 1855, a locating commitee went out to Iowa and other parts of the west to try to find land suitable for their purposes.  They finally determined that the land which was at that time on the line of the Illinois Central Railroad was suitable for their needs.   The proposed village sight was located on a somewhat level prairie in the midst of exceedingly productive farmland.  

The association agreed to the location and twenty-two thousand acres of land lying in Marshall, LaSalle and Livingston counties were purchased from the railroad company and speculators, who had recently purchased it from the government.  Each member of the association was entitled to a building lot on the central part of the tract and 160 acres of farm land.

The village was laid out in November, 1855, and was named by the settlers "New Rutland", after their old home.   The first house was built by John Wadleigh, November 1, 1855. He hauled the lumber from Wenona Station.   That winter, another house was built and a large boarding was built the summer of 1856.   During 1856 and 1857, many of the members of the association arrived in New Rutland and started building the village.  A school house was built in 1857.  A Congregation church was founded February 15, 1858 with 26 members and a Baptist church was organized on January 15, 1859. By 1860, half of the organization (approximately 60 familes) had arrived and settled.

During its early years "New Rutland" achieved a reputation of being one of the best shipping point along the Illinois Central Railroad.  Vast quantities of corn, cattle and hogs were raised for shipment in the surrounding area. Extensive warehouses were built at New Rutland to accomidate the trade.  In the year ending December 1, 1879 there was shipped from this point,  61 car loads of cattle and hogs and 464 car loads of grain. Since a railroad car held 400 bushels of grain to a car, this would make 181,600 bushels shipped.

The "New" was dropped from Rutland's name before 1900 and the postoffice and village have gone by the name of Rutland ever since.   Rutland's population grew at its peak to about 600 people.  At one time there were four churches, the Christian of Cambellite Adventists, Methodist, Congregational and Catholic.  Each of these churches had a church and residence for a pastor.  There were also stores, shops, a grist mill, and an elevator.

There is a story about the first saloon built in Rutland.  A building was put up for a saloon and had a successful business.  Apparently the people of the village didn't want "unsavory" elements in their village  and one night they turned out and demolished the establishment.   The owner pressed charges against them and several persons who were identified as being among the mob were fined.

Rutland's population has remained about the same at approximately 500 people.  The small businesses have been replaced by super stores in the larger communities.  Rutland still has two churches, Christian and Catholic, a grain elevator and tavern.

Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties by John Spencer Burt and W.E. Hawthorne Chicago, The Pioneer Publishing Co, Published 1907

New Rutland

Transcribed by Nancy Piper

Is a small village in the extreme southwestern part of the county, in Groveland township, part of the town is in Marshal county. It was surveyed in November, 1855, by D.F. Hitt, County Surveyor, the owner being Mr. Wm. B. Burns. The town contains two or three good stores, as many shops and excellent school and religious privileges. It is the shipping point for this portion of both counties, large amounts of grain being sold from this town. Corn is the chief product. As high as three hundred thousand bushels being occasionally shipped in one year. The township was settled as early as 1833, directly at the close of the Sac war. It is filled with an enterprising class of New England farmers, who take great pride in the education of their children and in the advancement of their township. At one time, in the history of the two townships of Groveland and Osage, it was desired to add them to some other county, owing to their isolated situation. Then the land was considered comparatively worthless and no county wanted them. Now Groveland, especially, is considered the finest stock-growing township in LaSalle County, save Grand Rapids, and any county would be pleased to attach either to her bordrs. LaSalle, however, desires to retain both.

[The Past and present of La Salle County, Illinois : containing a history of the county, its cities, towns, &c., a biographical directory of its citizens, war record of its volunteers in the late rebellion, portraits of early settlers and prominent men, general and local statistics, map of La Salle County, history of Illinois, Constitution of the United States, miscellaneous matters, etc, etc.. Chicago: H.F. Kett & Co., Ottaway & Colbert, printers), 1877. Page 355 - Transcribed by N. Piper]


The village of Rutland was surveyed in November, 1855, by D. F. Hitt, County Surveyor. The land was owned by William B. Burns. J. and D. F. Wadleigh built the first house. It was a frame structure 20 x 70 feet and a story and one-half high and stood in the southeast part of the village. A few lots west of it W. B. Burns about the same time erected another house. The next house was built by Samuel Scott on Cooley Creek. The first business house was built by W. B. Burns in 1856. A hotel was kept in the upper part and a store in the basement by Amos F. Way. John Wadleigh purchased Way's stock of goods and remained in the basement of the hotel until 1859, when he erected the first store building in the village. The house is now occupied by Shaw's drug store. Rutland was incorporated as a village in 1867. It took its name from Rutland, Vt., and was called New Rutland until about 1873, when the name was changed to Rutland by the village authorities. About the same time the village was incorporated under the last act of 1872.

The village has now (1886) a population of about 600 with the following business directory: Dry-goods, H. S. Whipple; general stores, S. S. Austin & Son, John Wadleigh and Bonar & Skelton; drug stores, C. ,V. Blandin, J. W. Shaw and John Hartter ; hardware, Thomas Dawes; milliners, Mrs. C. B. Dubois and Mrs. R. M. Nickelson; jeweler, John McKey; boots and shoes, J. R. Casey; barber, C. E. Rohrer; wagon shops, Ed. Morris and William Frink; blacksmiths, John Dales and William Dales; carpenters, H. Sutton & Sons and M. McCauley : hotel, Mrs. H. S. Whipple; feed stable, H. S. Whipple; saloons, Ed. Jordan and John Hartter; grain dealers, G. A. Sauer & Bros., L. W. Kelley and J. H. Brevoort; stock dealers, M. C. Rowe and J. P. Mathis; lumber yard, Asa Dunham ; tile factory, E. Hicks, who is also engaged in brick-making and coal-mining; physicians, W. O. Ensign and G. G. Oase; dentist, G. W. Gray.


Twenty-five residents of Rutland formed a stock company in 1865, shares of $100 being- issued on which one or two assessments were levied , .l1 three-foot vein of coal was found in 1866, at a depth of 275 feet, and the company re-organized, the stockholders consisting of Dr. Allen, John Brevoort, C. P. Thompson, W. B. Burns, Charles Weeks, J. Coffman and J. J. Roe. The enterprise was not pushed, however, and the shaft filled with water. In 1870 the concern .was sold on a curiously worded contract to F. W. Burns and -- Church, of Princeton, Ill. This firm did a goodly business at the shaft for a few years, though it finally failed and the shaft reverted to the' mortgagees. John Brevoort, a large stockholder, then worked it on a nominal lease until 1878, when the property was sold to Wm , Mahar, who ill turn sold it in 1883 to Milton Roe and Emerson Hakes. Mr. Hakes bought Mr. Roe out in 1885, and is HOW lifting a grade of coal found to be most excellent for manufacturing- purposes.


Rutland business men raised $1,600 by subscription in 1865, and the mill at Panola, Ill., was taken down and rebuilt at Rutland by A. W. Beery, who soon after sold it to W. B. Burns. He turned it over a few years later to his sons, the firm of F. W. Burns & Bro. doing a large business in grinding and shipping corn-meal, making heavy contracts with dealers in Nova Scotia and the West Indies. A large cooper shop, employing a score of men, was established for the benefit of the mill, and a brisk, though in the end not a profitable business was carried on several years when the mill and shop shut down , the former being partially dismanteled. In 1875 the property was purchased and thoroughly refitted by Emerson Hakes, who carried on a thriving business up to the destruction of the mill, stables, stock yards, etc., by fire in August, 1883. The total loss was $10,000, and the mill has not been rebuilt.


Joseph and Edward Hall opened the first brick-yard, on the farm of Emerson Hakes, in 1881. The concern was bought by Mr. Hakes in 1883. The product of the yard in 1885 was 200,000 brick. In 1883 Mr. Hakes began the manufacture of tile in a small way at the brick-yard, and such was the success of the enterprise that by gradual branching out he now has a building 4:0 x 60 feet with drying shed 16 x 192 feet, three completely equipped kilns, and is manufacturing tile by the .thousands of feet per day. An extra fine quality of brick and tile clay are found on the premises. Twenty men are constantly employed.


One of the now defunct industries of Rutland was the business of drying corn, carried on in 1866 and 1867, by W. B. Burns. four fair-sized buildings were erected, and as high as 2,000 bushels per day produced from them during the busy season. Three of the drying houses burned and the fourth was torn down, the demand for the corn having decreased to a great extent.


The "Rutland Cornet Band" of former years was one of the finest in the county, but the removal to Kansas of the Webber family in 1884 reduced its numbers and proficiency to a great extent, though the organization is preserved and very creditable performances given under the lead of James Monis


The first school taught in the village was by Miss Arnold at her home in 1856. In 1857 a school-house was built and E.A.Gove, who is now Superintendent of the Denver city schools, taught the first school in it. This school-house was used until 1865, when the present school building- was erected at a cost of nearly $7,000. It contains three school-rooms. The Directors at the time of building were John F. Gove, W. Proctor and H. D. Allen. About 150 pupils attend under the instruction of Margaret R. Maloney, Carrie B. Good and Amanda Pickerell. The average cost of the school is about $2,000 per year. The school property is valued at $5,000. The present board includes Elmer Ward, G. W. Gray and N. Cooper. Elmer Ward is President and N. Cooper is Secretary. Rutland has always taken a great deal of pride in its schools and has endeavored to give its children a good education.


Rutland has five churches, viz.: The Congregational, Methodist, Christian, Catholic and the Advent. The first church built in the village was the Congregational in 1866. About the same time the Methodist and Baptist societies erected churches. The latter's church cost $3,700 and was dedicated by the Rev. A. Kenyon, who was the first and only pastor. The church was used by the Baptists until 1869 or 18'70 when it was sold to the Christian organization for $1,900, and it has been used by that sect ever since. The present minister is J. S. Clemens. The membership is about 100. A. Dunham and Abram Mullin are the elders. The Catholics have a neat little church and a fair attendance. The Advent denomination has but few followers in Rutland.


Rutland Lodge, No. 477, A. F. & A .M., was chartered Oct. 3, 1866, with the following members: John Moore, John Brevoort, S. S. Chapman, John E. Gray, E. L. Marquis, S. Hopkinson, C. Snyder, H. A. Almy, E. A. Gove, John Wallace. R. Evarts, D. J. Ames, Jacob Peach and G. A. Boyd. The first officers were: John Moore, W. M. ; John Brevoort, S. W.; S. S. Chapman, J. W.; E. L. Marquis, Treas.; H. A. Almy, Sec.; E. A. Gove, S. D.; John Wallace, J. D.; S. Hopkinson, Tyler. The present officers are: W. S. Wayman, W.M. ; James Bane, S. W. ; Maurice Record, J. W.; A. Marford, Treas.; E. D. Whipple, Sec.; George Ingram, S. D.; W. O. Ensign, J. D.; J. Wilson, Tyler. Present membership is twenty.

Rutland Chapter, .No. 112, R. A. M., instituted Oct. 4, 1867, with the following charter members: C. W. Maben, B. Fowler, Jr., Wilson Ong, W. R. Phillips, W. E. Parrott, T. Loyd, F. Nodine, E. L. Marquist, S. S. Chapman, John Wallace, John Brevoort, S. Hopkinson, R. Everts, W. D. Wardlaw, E. A. Gove, F. A. McPherson, A. O. Daman, J. W. Evans. The first officers were: E. A. Gave, H. P.; William Ong, E. K.; John Brevoort, E. S.; C. W. Maben, C. H.; B. Fowler, Jr., P. S.; S. S. Chapman, R. A. C. ; John Wallace, S. M. 3d V.; W. D. Wardlaw; S. M. 2d V.; S. Hopkinson, S. M. 1st V.; Thomas Loyd, Treas.; E. L. Marquis, Sec.; F. A. McPherson, Tyler. The chapter numbers sixty-five members.

Rutland Council No. 52, R. & S. M. was chartered Oct. 5, 1871, with the following charter members: ,V. O. Ensign, D. B. Little. M. L. Newell, S. S. Chapman, John Brevoort, N. O. Damon, N. Dugan, J. W. Evans, O. Ole well, R. L. Hamilton, E. L. Marquis, G. A~ Boyd, E. A. McCaleb, T. W. Bane, C. W. Maben, S. D. Carson, E. L. Stratton, W. H. Dent and G. Bird. The first officers were: W. O. Ensign, T. 1. M.; S. S. Chapman, D. T. I. M.; D. B. Little, B. C. W.; R. L. Hamilton, C. G.; M. L. Newell, C.; John Brevoort, Treas.; E. L. Marquis, Sec.; N. Dugan, Stl. The present officers are: W. O. Ensign, T. I. M.; S. L. Bailey, D. T. 1. M.; W. S. Wayman, P. C. W.; T. W. Bane, C. G.; James Bane, C.; John Brevoort, Treas.; S. Dorsey, Rec.; R. L. Hamilton, Std.; O. Marford, Stl. The council numbers twenty eight members.

Rutland Post, No. 292, G. A. E., was organized in 1883 with twenty-two members. The first officers were: H. E. S. Dresser, Com.; J. Wadleigh, Sr. V. C.; Samuel Dorsey. Jr. V. C. The present officers are: W. O. Ensign, Com.; J. Wadleigh, Sr. V. C.; Thomas Evarts, Jr. V. C. The post numbers twenty-nine strong and meets on the first and third Monday evenings of each month in G. A. R. hall.

The Odd Fellows and Good Templars formerly had lodges at Rutland., but both are now inactive.

[Source: History of La Salle County, Illinois : together with sketches of its cities, villages and towns, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history, portraits of prominent persons, and biographies of representative citizens : also a condensed History of Illinois, embodying accounts of prehistoric races, aborigines, Winnebago and Black Hawk wars, and a brief review of its civil and political history.. Chicago: Inter-State Pub. Co., 1886.Page 301-305]


From the settlement at Rutland a few settlers settled in the easter part of Bennington and a few adventurous ones struck out into the western part about the same time.

It was soon found that the land was not only susceptible of cultivation, but that it was extremely fertile, and the crops raised were much better than those in the timbered land, and it was but a very short time before the land was all taken up and farm houses sprung up in every direction.  But a serous problem arose, and that was how to fence the farms.  In the timber was plenty of stuff for rails, but the hauling of them eight or ten miles was too much to be undertaken, and to fence with lumber too expensive for the condition of their finances.

About this time the legislature passed an act giving the township the privilege of deciding by a vote whether cattle and hogs should be permitted to run at large.  At the next spring election Bennington submitted the question to the people and the vote was nearly an unanimous "No" and that township was the first in this section of country to try to raise crops without fences, the cattle being either herded or shut up.

We have said that Bennington was the youngest of the townships, for at the time that township organization was adopted by the other townships, in 1850, Bennington did not have a settler in it, and Saratoga, a similar township, was not much better off.  It filled up sooner, however, than Bennington, and was granted a town organization in September, 1855 and Bennington did not become a town until December 1856.  

Not much more can be said about the early settling of Bennington.  After it began to settle, in an incredibly short time the land was all taken up, and as the land could be brought under cultivation simply by plowing, no fences being needed, no timber to clear off nor stumps to pull, it was very rapidly brought under cultivation, the water soon disappeared from the depressions, the connecting sloughs dried up and the system of drainage which has been adopted make it the best farming land in the county.  At least it is not excelled by any.

Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties
by John Spencer Burt and W.E. Hawthorne
Chicago, The Pioneer Publishing Co, Published 1907


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