History of Northville Township, LaSalle County, Illinois

Taken From the History of LaSalle County, Illinois Volume II
Chicago: Inter-State Publishing Co.  1886

Courtesy Jan Karkow

Jan writes " Nancy,  Here is some stuff you may be able to use. It all pertains to Northville in one way or another.   I have included all the info I have on each excerpt, include the date published. FYI - All Culmers, Hamans (actually Haymond) and Carrs listed in the various pieces are in my family."


Chapter XXIII - Northville Township

Topography. - Somonauk Creek. - Bridges. - Timber. - Early Settlers. - Indian Sepulcher. - Organizations. - List of Officers from 1850 to 1886 Inclusive. - Railroads. - Trading Points. - Schools. - Churches. - Northville Postoffice. - Town Hall. - Mills. - Asberry Village. - Political. - Official Vote from 1852 to 1884. - Population. - Biographical.

Northville embraces all of the congressional township 46 north, and range 5 east, except that portion which lies south of the Fox River. It is situated in the northeast corner of LaSalle County. De Kalb County bounds it on the north and Kendall County on the east. Fox River forms the southern boundary and Serena and Adams townships the western. Somonauk Creek flows from the north to the south across the township, and is the only stream of any size in it. This creek is bridged in five places. Four of the bridges are iron and one wooden; all rest on stone abutments. This stream is skirted by timber and it is for this reason that early settlements were first made near it.

EARLY SETTLERS.

INDIAN SEPULCHERS.

In an early day Northville was frequented by many Indians, who also inhabited Mission, which was their proper headquarters. The customs and peculiarities of these strange people are always interesting. Below is a sketch of a sepulcher of an Indian murderer. In 1834 Samuel D. Barber, while looking for land, found on the north side of Fox River, in what is now Northville Township, an Indian grave. It was covered with clapboards one end of which was resting on the ground and the other ends meeting forming a sort of roof. Over this was erected a scaffold about as high as a man's head. Upon the top of this scaffold was a wooden trough covered with bark. Near this structure, firmly planted in the ground, was a pole some twenty feet in height, on the top of which was a white flag. Mr. Barber approached this curios structure and lifting the bark from the trough found that it contained the decaying skull of an Indian. The body to which the head belongs was placed in the rude grave beneath. He afterward learned that this was the sepulcher of an Indian murderer and that the white flag was a sign denoting that beneath it lay the body of a murderer whose head had been severed from his body as a punishment for the wicked deed.

OFFICIALS.

Northville Township was organized April 2, 1850. The officers that have served from that time to the present are as follows:

1850-Supervisor, W. L. F. Jones; Clerk, William Sly; Assessor, Levi Wright; Collector, J. Poor; Commissioners of Highways, James Dickson, H. H. Hendrick and L. Suppes; Justices, M. H. West and R. Smith; Constables, Fl Warner and D. J. Hunt.

1851- Supervisor, Levi Wright; Clerk, J. A. Dickson; Assessor, H. Dickson, B. S. Carr and H. Sweetland; Justices, W. Slye and J. Baker; Constables, F. Warner and William Barns.

1852- Supervisor, Levi Wright: Clerk, J. A. Dickson; Assessor, O. Patten; Collector, W. Barns; Commissioners of Highways, H. Sweetland, J. Whitemore and F. Warner.

1853- Supervisor, Levi Wright; Clerk, J. A. Dickson; Assessor, W. B. Walker; Collector, Nelson Dean; Commissioners of Highways, James Walker, F. Warner and H. W. Sweetland; Constable, Nelson Dean.

1854- Supervisor, Levi Wright; Clerk, J. A. Dickson; Assessor, M. Cook; Collector, H. W. Sweetland; Commissioners of Highways, R. Smith, J. M. Fox and N. Seaman; Justices, W. Slye and M. H. West; Constables, H. W. Sweetland and L. G. Culmer.

1855 - Supervisor, Levi Wright; Clear, C. Merwin; Assessor, Moses Cook; Collector, L. G. Culmer; Commissioners of Highways, W. Walker, N. Seaman and H. Sweetland.

1856-Supervisor, Levi Wright; Clerk, C. Merwin; Assessor W. L. F. Jones; Collector, H. D. Williams; Commissioners of Highways, H. Williams, H. W. Sweetland and J. A. Dickson; Constable, H. D. Williams.

1857-Supervisor, James Walker; Clerk, C. Merwin; Assessor, W. L. F. Jones; Collector, H. D. Williams; Commissioners of Highways, H. Williams, H. W. Sweetland and J. A. Dickson; Constable, H. D. Williams.

1858-Supervisro, W. L. F. Jones; Clerk, Charles Merwin; Assessor, M. Cook; Collector, John M. Fox; Commissioners of Highways, H. Williams, H. W. Sweetland and J. A. Dickson; Justices, M. H. West and H. W. Sweetland; Constables, B. S. Carr and Horace Cook.

1859-Supervisor, W. L. F. Jones; Clerk, Charles Merwin; Assessor, Levi Wright; Collector, B. S. Carr; Commissioners of Highways, M. Cook, H. Williams and A. Pease; Constable A. O. Haskins.

1860-Suerpvisro W. L. F. Jones; Clerk, C. Merwin; Assessor, B. S. Carr; Collector, a. O. Haskins; Commissioners of Highways, H. Williams, A. Pease and N. Newton.

1861-Superviosr, W. L. F. Jones; Clerk, Charles Merwin; Assessor, b. S. Carr; Collector, a. O. Haskins; Commissioners of Highways, H. Williams, A. Pease and N. Newton.

1862-Supervisor, Horace Williams; Clerk, H. C. Jones; Assessor, L. Culmer; Collector, A. C. Haskins; Commissioner of Highways, N. Newton; Justices, William Slye and C. Merwin; Constables, Jacob Humm and George Slye.

1863-Superviosr, H. W. Sweetland; Clerk, H. C. Jones, Assessor, L. Culmer; Collector, Jacob Humm; Commissioner of Highways, A. Pease,

1864-Supervisor, H. W. Sweetland; Clerk, H. C. Jones; Assessor, W. L. F. Jones; Collector, Jacob Humm; Commissioner of Highways, John Tyrrell; Justice, W. H. Powell.

1865-Not Recorded.

1866-Superviosr, Joseph Baker; Clerk, G. W. Dean; Assessor, S. Graff; Collector, S. W. Smith; Commissioner of Highways, F. M. Fox; Justice, W. H. Powell and William Slye; Constables, W. C. White and J. A. Powell.

1867-Supervisor, Joseph Baker; Clerk, F. M. Fox; Assessor, H. Lewis; Collector, A. Powell; Commissioner of Highways, J. S. Tyrrell.

1868-Superviosr, Joseph Baker; Clerk, Williams Slye; Assessor, W. H. Powell; Collector, Charles Banzett; Commissioner of Highways, N. Dean and J. Sweet; Constable, B. Elwood.

1869-Superviosr, Joseph Baker;' Clerk, William Slye; Assessor, W. Powell; Collector, B. Elwood; Commissioner of Highways, Nelson Dean.

1870-Supervisor, Joseph Baker; Clerk, William Slye; Assessor, C. Banzett; Collector, H. Wallsmith; Commissioner of Highways, L. Rocher; Justices, W. H. Powell and Wm. Slye; Constable, P. Wangler and A. Shafer.

1871-Supervisor, Even Lewis; Clerk, William Slye; Assessor, J. Montgomery; Collector, A. Shafer; Commissioner of Highways, C. Banzett; Constable, Peter Wangler.

1872-Supervisor, Even Lewis; Clerk, William Slye; Assessor, C. Banzett; Collector, D. J. Hunt; Commissioner of Highways, Nelson Dean.

1873-Supervisor, Even Lewis; Clerk, John Culmer; Assessor, Charles Banzett; Collector, S. P. Wangler, Commissioner of Highways, L. Rohrer; Justice, C. Banzett.

1974-Supervisor, Even Lewis; Clerk, W. Slye; Assessor, C. Banzett, Collector, Levi Hess; Commissioner of Highways, John Tyrrell; Justices, W. H. Powell and Williams Slye; Constables, S. P. Wangler and A. Shafer.

1875-Supervisor, William Slye; Clerk, John Culmer; Assessor, C. Banzett, Collector, G. P. Shipman; Commissioner of Highways, N. Dean; Constable, Levi Hess.

1876-Supervisor, Evan Lewis; Clerk, John Culmer; Assessor, Charles Banzett; Collector, Isaac Scoggins; Commissioner of Highways, D. Bernard; Constable, John Graff.

1877-Superviosr, J. M. Fox; Clerk, Otis Lemere; Assessor, C. Banzett; Collector, L. Smith; Commissioner of Highways, D. Hunt; Justices, Isaac Scoggins and T. Boos; Constables, John Graff and C. H. Sweetland.

1878-Supervisor, J. M. Fox; Clerk, O. K. Lemer; Assessor, Charles Banzett; Collector, C. F. Sweetland; Commissioner of Highways, L. Rohrer; Constable, L. W. Smith.

1879-Supervisor, J. M. Fox; Clerk, Albert Grandsen; Assessor, C. Banzett; Collector, Levi Hess; Commissioner of Highways, H. W. Sweetland.

1880-Supervisor, J. M. Fox; Clerk, O. K. Lemere; Assessor B. Jones; Collector, A. Grandsen; Commissioner of Highways, George Schreiner.

1881-Supervisor, J. M. Fox; Clerk, John Culmer; Assessor, C. Banzett; Collector, August Banzett; Commissioner of Highways, E. Graff; Justices, I. T. Scoggins and W. H. Powell; Constable, A. Shafer and J. Tyrrell.

1882-Supervisor, Louis Rohrer; Clerk, John Culmer; Assessor, C. Banzett; Collector, James Tyrrell; Commissioner of Highways, J. C. Calahan.

1883-Supervisor, Louis Rohrer; Clerk, John Culmer, Assessor, Charles Banzett; Collector, August Banzett; Commissioner of Highways, George Schreiner.

1884-Supervisor, Albert Grandsen; Clerk, John Culmer; Assessor, I. T. Scoggins; Collector, C. Banzett; Commissioner of Highways, Eli Graff; Constable (to fill vacancy), W. Powell.

1885-Supervisor, Albert Grandsen; Clerk, O.K. Lemere; Assessor, B. Jones; Collector, John Culmer; Commissioner of Highways, H. C. Jones; Justices, I. T. Scoggins and J. N. Antoine; Constables, D. Sherman and August Shafer.

MISCELLANEOUS.

Northville Township lies between the main line and the Fox River branch of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, the main line just touching the northwest corner. For this reason Northville has no trading or shipping points of its own and it neighbors get the benefit of its wealth. Sandwich is its principal market. The township is now thickly settled and has nine good school-houses and two churches, viz.: Evangelical and the Methodist. The former was built before the war by the Lutherans, but afterward it passed into the possession of the Evangelical Association and is now controlled by it. It is a brick structure situated in the southern part of section 32. On section 30 in 1873 the Methodists erected a large, handsome church and still occupy it. At present the society numbers about twenty, under the pastorate of Rev. Dix. The Sunday-school is large for a rural district and is under the superintendency of B. Brayton. Just south of the church is a store and blacksmith shop, also the Northville postoffice, which was established in an early day. The town hall which is located near the center of section 22, was built some ten years ago.

About 1845 Fred and Henry Elerding erected a mill on section 32, and one still stands near the old site, owned by a nephew, Ferdinand Elerding, and the heirs of Fred Elerding. It was first only a saw-mill, the flouring mill having been added subsequently. The saw mill was swept away in the high water of February, 1857, and the flouring mill badly injured. A new flouring mill was completed the same year. It is two and a half stories high, 32 x 40 feet in size. There are three run of burrs. In the summer of 1885 Ferdinand Elerding had a miraculous escape from a stroke of lightning. He was in the basement of his mill when the lightning struck it. The discharge came down through the mill without any great damage and all or a portion of it struck Mr. Elerding, entering his clothing on the left hip and proceeding down his legs to his feet where it burst through his shoes, tearing the soles from the upper parts. His lower limbs were for the time completely paralyzed but he was not unconscious. He dragged himself to the bottom of the stairway and called for help, which soon came. He was taken to his home and is slowly recovering; as yet he can wear nothing upon his fee and on his hip is a running sore.

The mill on section 32 was built some years after Elerding's mill, by Joseph Brignan and is still used. Both mills are propelled by water power.

ASBERRY

In an early day, on section 13, there was an embryo village called Asberry, It had a store, blacksmith shop and postoffice; the latter was kept by W. L. F. Jones, the blacksmith, until the Fox River branch of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad was built when it was removed. Nothing now remains of the village.


Northville Township

Northville embraces the most of Township 36, R. 5. The F"ox river forms its southern boundary, and running southwestwardly cuts off from that township about as much territory as it takes from the town south of it.

The town lies between the main line and branch of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, and has several railroad stations and market towns near its borders, but none within its limits, consequently its market places, social institutions and churches are mostly in the adjoining towns, giving them the benefit of the wealth and population created in part by the business from Northville. The town occupies the northeast corner of the-county.

It is watered, in addition to the Fox river, by Somonauk creek, which runs southerly a little west of the centre through the entire length of the town: the timber along its banks relieved the monotony of the otherwise unbroken prairie and prompted the settlement which commenced in 1834, most of the early settlers coming in the next three or four years.

Letsome, Dubois, and Armstrong, were frontier men who came in at an early day and settled near the Fox, where they made claims and sold to Messrs. Carr, Heath and Lewis.

[Source: History of LaSalle County, Illinois by Elmer Baldwin, Chicago, Rand, McNally & Co., Printers, 1877, SKETCH OF THE PIONEER SETTLERS OF EACH TOWN IN THE COUNTY, Northville, Page 421-422 - Transcribed by Nancy Piper]


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