Transcribed by Nancy Piper
The early settlers who located at and near the present site of Harding Village were: E. Z. Allen, who came in 1834; Rev. Wesley Batcheller, from Cortland County, N. Y., in 1836. L. Beebe built the first house in 1838 or 1839. It was a small frame building and is now owned by Rev. Wesley Batcheller.
The first store was built in 1845 by Manly Batcheller who kept a small stock of goods in it. In after years it was destroyed by fire.
The post-office was established in 1840, and was probably kept by a man by the name of Stevens.
The first school was kept in Holden's residence by E. P. Williams. The first school-house was built in 1839, and Rev. W. Batcheller was employed to teach the school.
The first church was built by the Baptists in 1843 on land donated by a man by the name of Henderson. The first pastor was Rev. Charles Harding, hence the name of the village. The old church still remains but is unused. The Methodist Episcopal church was built about thirty years ago on what was known as the school lots, at a cost of $2,500. The first Presiding Elder was John St. Clair. Rev. 13atcheller was Elder for a number of years. Rev. W. Suddith was the first stated pastor and Rev. G. B. Miller is now supplying the pulpit. The congregation numbers about forty. Services are held every Sabbath, also Sunday-school.
Harding Village has at present (1886) one general store kept by S. U. Lawry, who is also Postmaster; and blacksmith shop by James Walters; a shoe and harness shop by James Bye; one school, taught by Mr. Whitney, and a hotel, managed by H. Pell.
The first marriage was performed by Rev. Batcheller at his residence in 1838. The contracting parties were James Goble and Christina Harding.
[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 262-263]
The first store in the Village of Harding was established in 1845, and a postoffice had been here established in 1840. The town was named in honor of Rev. Charles Harding, the first pastor of the Baptist Church that was here founded in 1843.
[History of La Salle County, Illinois. Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co., 1924.]
Back to Lasalle County Illinois History and Genealogy