History of Rutland Township, LaSalle County, Illinois

Rutland Township

The town of Rutland embraces the east part of Townships 33 and 34, of Range 4, and is bounded on the south by the Illinois river, west and north by the Fox, and east by the east line of Range 4. Its location is an enviable one, having the Grand

Rapids of the Illinois on the south, Marseilles in its southeast corner, Ottawa at its southwest. The Illinois and Michigan Canal, and Rock Island & Pacific R. R. pass through its southern border, while its western and northern line is washed by the Fox, with its rapids and heavy water power- a combination of natural resources that must insure a future of which we can form no conception. It is useless to speculate as to the time. This region of country is only just in its infancy, and the womb of time is pregnant with startling events to be developed in the distant future. When the Lowells and Birminghams of the East shall be duplicated along the banks of the Illinois and the Fox, the towns of Rutland, Manlius, Fall River, Dayton and Ottawa, will constitute one grand metropolitan city of busy industry and commerce.

It is true, the sanguine anticipations of the early settlers have not been realized in this direction; but the development of such resources requires time and capital. The almost unlimited amount of power now running to waste, the cheap and inexhaustible amount of fuel close at hand, the exhaustless supply of rich ores, which the world elsewhere cannot rival, ready to be floated over the bosom of the lakes, and through our ship canal, without transhipment, with the mountains of ores in Missouri, all in regions destitute of fuel, and which must seek the locality where that element exists-are facts that no sophistry can belittle, or argument gainsay, but that stand in bold relief, as inexorable as fate. Add to this the capacity of the richest agricultural region in the world, for the production of cheap and abundant food, and the picture needs no further embellishment.

But the farmers of Rutland have no cause to repine at their lot as tillers of the soil. Their soil has no superior among their sister towns. The town is well supplied with timber, and they have a market close at hand; and the old denizens who have spent fifty years in improving and embellishing their homes, would doubtless hesitate to exchange their fruit orchards, waving fields of grain, and sleek herds and flocks, for the smoke of the furnace and the clack of the mill.

Rutland was one of the earliest settled towns in the county.

[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, Page 273-277 - Transcribed by Nancy Piper]