The History of Lowell, LaSalle County, IL

Transcribed by Nancy Piper


Lowell

As has already been mentioned, the village of Lowell was laid out by William Seeley, at a very early date. It was named after Lowell, Mass., and it was the intention of the founder to build up a city that would vie with the city in the East. Lots were laid out and taxes paid on such a division for a number of years, but the hopes of its founders will never be realized. The village had been at its zenith and is now on the decay. At present it has two stores, kept by William Lathrop and A.S. Ward; blacksmith Joseph Warner; wagon shop, Jacob Ott; pottery, Mr. Andrews; mill, John Nickolson. There is one church and one school-house. The postoffice is kept by W. Lathrop.

The Congregational Church was organized as early as 1838, with George Elliot as pastor. In 1851 a church was built at a cost of about $1,500. Services are now held by both Methodists and Congregationalists. Rev. Baker is the Methodist and Rev. D. W. Wise is the Congregational minister. The Baptists organized a society in any early day, with Thomas Powell as pastor. It is now defunct.

D. Richey has a tile and brick factory just east of the village, and employs some ten or twelve men.

[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 713]


William Seeley, Founder of Lowell

William Seeley, a native of Seneca County, N.Y. came to Madison County, Ill., in 1818 and brought his family in 1820. He came to Bailey’s Grove, La Salle County, in the fall of 1828, and brought his family in the spring of 1830; he settled on section 19, just east of Bailey’s; he subsequently laid out the town of Lowell, on the Vermillion and in company with Charles Elliott built the stone mill now standing; he held the office of Justice of the Peace several years; was County Commisssioner and prominent among the early settlers; he died in March 1857.

[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 703-704]


Benjamin Lundy's Paper at Lowell

Having friends in Putnam county, this state, and almost destitute of mean, he came to Illinois to be the successor of Lovejoy. In 1838, his paper was issued, dated at Hennepin, but really printed in Lowell. The sanguinary proprietors of that town (Lowell) had commenced the improvement of the water power of the Vermillion and hoped, as the name indicated, to make a large town there. They wanted a printing press to aid them in that great work and so encouraged Lundy to cast in his lot with them by the gift of sundry village lots and signing notes with him for the purchase of worn out printing presses and type at Ottawa. In the fall of 1838, the paper was issued from Lowell, a small printing office having been erected by standing plank up endwise for a frame. The next spring he was joined by a young printer and journalist for Massachusetts, mr. Z. Eastman. Mr. Lundy died very suddenly on the 22d of August, 1839, leaving his paper in the hands of Mr. Eastman, whom he had requested to succeed him.

In 1840 the paper was resumed by Mr. Eastman, under the title of “Genius of Liberty.”

This paper by request of a committee in Chicago was removed to that city in 1842 and was continued by Mr. Eastman, till 1855, as the “Western Citizen,” when it was purchased by Mr. Medill, and became the weekly circulation of the “Chicago Tribune.”

[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 289-290]


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