Nachusa Township
Organized in 1871
Nachusa was set off from the Town of China, by resolution of the Board of Supervisors of Lee County February 7, 1871, being made up of the west half of the latter town. Dixon Township remained intact as first formed until the February meeting of the Board of Supervisors in 1872, when all lying east of the following line was detached and added to Nachusa: Commencing at the river and following the half section lines south to center of Section 34, thence east to center of Section 35, thence south to center of Section 2, thence west 80 rods, thence south to the north line of South Dixon. After two petitions had been rejected, a third was unanimously granted, without opposition, at the July meeting, 1877. restoring to Dixon the east half of Sections 10, 15, 22. 27 and the northeast quarter of Section 34. The construction of the bridge across the river at Grand Detour, in 1902, with its south terminus resting in the town of Nachusa, necessitated the repair of the approaching roads and rendered desirable the opening of a new and more direct highway to the bridge. Nachusa having failed indeed, practically refused to take the needed action, and having manifested such indifference on the subject as to arouse the indignation of the people most interested in the bridge, two petitions were placed before the Board of Supervisors, asking that the territory embracing the roads calling for repair and the projected new road be added to Dixon. Both of these petitions were defeated, but a third petition offered at the September meeting, in 1903. resulted in detaching from Nachusa all the territory embraced in Towns 21 and 22. Range 9. and adding it to the Town of Dixon. Thus Nachusa has been brought back to its original boundaries. (For further information as to bridge history, see "Lee County.")

The proximity of Grand Detour to the northern boundary of the township drew an unusual number of early settlers to this locality. Among this class was Cyrus Chamberlain, who located on Section 18. Mr. Hollingshead, coming a little later, settled on Section 19. In 1835 Joseph Crawford arrived, and after living one year with Mr. Hollingshead, then settled in Dixon Township. Solomon Shelhamer joined the settlement a year or two afterwards. In 1836 John Chamberlain bought the Hollingshead farm and, in this same year. a Mr. Fisk came from the Eest with a stock of goods. with which he opened a 8tore in the Hollingshead house.

A number of dwellings. including Cyrus Chamberlain's, in time, grouped about the point on the southwest Quarter of Section 18. Town 22, Range 9. where a road leads off to the upper Grand Detour ferry, in such manner as at the present day to suggest a village. This settlement has been known for many years as "The Kingdom." Old settlers trace this name to different sources, but all agree that it became attached to the place about 1844-6. One says that Sabbath breaking, profanity, horse racing and other irregularities caused the law abiding, Sabbath observing people of Grand Detour to assaciate locality with the devil's affairs. Another (Harvey Herrick, now living in Dixon) relates how, when a boy of twelve or fourteen years of age. he and an older brother quarreled with the boys of the only other family then in the place (Chamberlain's). and how their respective fathers took sides with the sons until finally one of the former charged that Satan had reigned ever since the other family had come into the neighborhood: that this was taken up by others in jest, and was circulated until it became firmly fixed to the place. The accompanying circumstances are told with such particularity that the latter seems to be the more probable of the two accounts. In time the satanic part of the name was dropped.

In 1844 Harvey Herrick, Sr. (father of the Harvey Herrick above mentioned) settled here, having brought a house from over the county line, which was the second, Cyrus Chamberlain's being the first.

The first school house in the township was built of stone by Cyrus Chamberlain on his land, and its use was given to the pioneers. It was built on the southwest quarter of Section 18. Town 22. Range 10. and is still standing on the Weatherbee farm at "the Kingdom." Chester Herrington was the first teacher. Prior to the building of the school house, school was taught in private houses by a man named Sheldon, who is supposed to have been the first teacher in this section. The second school house was also built of stone and stood on the south half of the southwest quarter of Section 26, Town 22, Range 10.

Mr. Chamberlain was the first Justice of the Peace in this part of the town, and was also County Commissioner when Ogle and Lee Counties constituted one county. He is also credited with building the first saw mill in that section. It was located east of the road on the southwest quarter of Section iS. on the north side of Franklin Creek. from which the power was obtained through a mill race which tapped the creek about a mile further upstream. Harvey Herrick, Sr., took advantage of this power for blast purposes, to start a foundry here undoubtedly the first in the county which he had been operating by horse power at Grand Detour.

On the county map of 1863 appears the name "Galena & Chicago Union Railroad" across the south half of Section 18 and the southwest quarter of Section 17. When the road (now the Chicago & Northwestern) was being constructed, timber was cut from these lands for ties and fuel.

In 1842 a settlement was started on the Dixon and Franklin Grove road, where Ludlum Ayres, Levi Green, Thomas Hopkins, William Parker, William Richardson, James Goddard and Don Cooper took up claims and built their huts. Most of these disposed of their claims in a few years and moved further west. In 1845 quite a number selected land near where the village of Nachusa stands. At the west end of the Franklin Grove timber and within the present town of Nachusa, Joseph Emmert bought a claim of Don Cooper where he erected, in 1845-6, a two story dwelling and a large barn. In 1850 he put up quite a large fiouring mill on the creek at heavy expense. He was a minister of the German Baptist, or Dunkard, faith, and about 1850 erected the first church of that deiiomination, where the present one stands, on the Dixon and Franklin road, on the southeast quarter of the southeast quarter of Section 5. In 1847, A. P. Dysart purchased the claim of Thomas Hopkins, which included the northwest quarter of the southeast quarter of Section 6, where Col. Dysart continued to reside up to the date of his death, and where he erected an attractive and expensive dwelling. This building Mrs. Mary E. B. Shippert has recently given to the Northern Illinois Lutheran Synod, to be turned over to the proper committee or trustees of the Northern, Central and Southern Illinois Synods, the Synods of Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas, and the two German bodies for an orphanage. The property, embracing forty six acres, is valued at $6,000. The gift in such hands will prove a great blessing to the parentless through long years yet to come.

John M. Crawford and Samuel Crawford, brothers, came in 1846, the first establishing a permanent home on the east half of the southwest quarter of Section 5, and the other the west half of Section 9. Jonathan Depuy reached the county in 1842, and before long settled down in this township. About 1844 or '45 William Fiscel bought in Section 32. John P. Brubaker located on Sections 5 and 6, about the year 1850, and it was in this year that Benjamin Kesler also settled on Section 6. In 1852 Henry Wingert settled on Section 4, and John W. Wingert also came to the town. Joshua Wingert arrived in 1846. Jacob Wertman arrived still earlier, reaching the township in 1838. William Brandon reached Dixon in 1837, and in a few years moved to Nachusa Township, where he resided many years. Marshall McNeel came to the county with his parents in 1847, and Jacob Hittle reached the county as early as 1841, both of them spending the remainder of their days in this township. Chester Harrington arrived in 1837 and soon secured the land in Section 13, Town 22, Range 9, on which he now resides with his son. William Garrison landed in the county in 1845 and eventually, some ten years later, settled in Nachusa.

Prior to the building of the Dunkard church, above mentioned, by Joseph Emmert, and prior to his coming, the society was in existence over the river in Ogle County. Mr. Emmert first preached to its members there; but this was so inconvenient to him and the members in this county, that a society was formed in his neighborhood composed of himself and family, Christopher Lahman and wife, Jacob and Samuel Riddlesbarger and their wives, Oliver Edmunds and wife, Isaac Seits and wife, Andrew Dierdorf and wife, Benjamin Kesler and wife, with a few others. Adjacent to the church is the cemetery, in which the first burial was that of Debbie Beever.

At an early date a Methodist minister by the name of Benjamin preached to the settlers in their homes; but the first church building to be erected in the north part of the township was the Mt Union church, dedicated November 9, 1890, for the use of the denominations desiring to hold service there. It stands on the northwest corner of the northeast quarter of Section 26, a prominent point, giving the white building a conspicuous place in the landscape. Separated from the church yard only by a fence is the Mooers Cemetery, which was given by one of the pioneers, Josiah Mooers, whose remains were the first to be interred within its precincts. It dates prior to 1860. In 1887 the Lutheran Church erected a neat meeting house in the village of Nachusa, which is now occupied by the society. In May, 1900, Trinity Evangelical church dedicated a new building erected by its members at "the Kingdom."

Turning to the southern portions of the township, it is found that the first settler was a Mr. Jones, who located on Section 20, Town 21. In 1839 Dr. Charles Gardner settled on the northwest quarter and north half of the southwest quarter of Section 20, where he resided until his death at a good old age. Most of the pioneers emigrated from the East by means of horse or ox teams, or by way of canals and lakes, but Dr. Gardner entered the new country by an altogether different route. He reached New Orleans by sloop from Newport, R. I., and thence by steamboat up the Mississippi and Illinois to Peru, where wagons and teams were purchased with which the remainder of the journey was accomplished. His wife followed the track across the States a few months later. Dr. Gardner belonged to the Thomsonian school of medicine, and was the first physician in that section. He brought with him a large supply of seeds, cuttings, grafts and slips, with which to start the much desired fruit and ornamental tree culture. These were freely distributed and, besides his own planting, laid the foundation for taste and interest in trees which have characterized the locality. In 1873 he built a large hay barn, the heavy timber for which was cut from the grove which he himself had planted. This southern part of the township had the advantage of the Chicago road, which was the artery of travel from Chicago to Dixon's Ferry, and, naturally, the first settlements were thickest along its course. About six months later than the coming of Mrs. Gardner, her aunt and Mrs. Hannah DeWoIf arrived and purchased a home about a mile west on the northwest quarter of Section 19. Here Mrs. Gardner and Mrs. DeWolf started the first Sunday School in that vicinity, and here, in Mrs. DeWoIf's house, the first public school in the township was taught. The first teacher was Miss Betsey DeWolf. On the northeast corner of Mrs. DeWolf's farm she donated a plat for a cemetery. which is still in use. This was about the year 1840, and the first person to be buried there was "Old Michael." a man who worked for her. Adjacent to this site, the first school house wa.s built in 1841 Or '42. when Miss DeWoIf again taught, also a Miss Hunter. The house was afterwards moved to the southwest corner of Dr. Gardner's farm, where it was known for many years as "Locust Street School House." Later it was moved to the crossroads, where it took the name of "Hollister."

In 1841 John Leake settled in the township at Temperance Hill, having emigrated from England in 1840. His wife and three sans, William, John C., Thomas, and a daughter, Mary Ann, together with Mrs. Lake's two sisters, Mrs. Edward Willars and Mrs. Daniel Leake and their husbands, all came over in a party in 1841. Isaac Means and William Moody accompanied Mr. Leake. John Leake (2d) with his wife and two children, Clarissa, and William, made the passage from England in 1843 and settled on the highest ground at Temperance Hill. that part of the southwest quarter of the southwest quarter of Section 27, lying south of the road. The two Johns became distinguishable in the neighborhood by names coined for the purpose; John. the first comer, being called "Butcher John; from his early occupation in the old country, and the other, "Miller John," or "John on the 'illtop," from the elevation of his land. Miller John and Daniel were brothers, and cousins of Butcher John. Alva Hale was one of the early settlers, entering a claim on Section 33.

Nachusa Village.- The station was called Taylor when the railroad was in process of construction, but when the plat was made in the fall of 1853 by Col. Dysart and George Baugh, it was given its present name the one by which Father Dixon was known among the Indians. The first business enterprise in the place was launched by its founder, Col. A. P. Dysart, who built a warehouse, bought grain and dealt in coal and lumber. In 1855 or '56 he opened a general store in partnership with a Mr. Cunningham. They were succeeded in 1860 by the firm of (John) Dysart & Riley, who built the present elevator. The business finally passed into the hands of William C. Dysart, and now is owned and conducted by Mr. C. B. Crawford.

The first postmaster was Col. Dysart, and the office has always remained in the store where he opened it. the successive proprietors of which have held the commission, except during the first four years of President Cleveland's administration, when C. D. Hart held the office.

The first school house to be erected in the village was the one now in use. It was built in 1868 and J. A. D. Barnes was the first teacher to hold forth in it. The first blacksmith shop was started in 1855 or 1856, by Mr. Farwell. According to the census the township had a population in 1890 of 913 and in 1900 of 886.

Transcribed by Rays Place
From: Encyclopedia of Illinois and the History of Lee County
Edited by: Mr. A. C. Bardwell. Munsell Publishing Company Chicago 1904.

Nachusa and China were together for so long a period as China Township that to treat Nachusa alone involves considerable repetition necessarily. But Nachusa history is worth repeating many times. Her pioneers indeed were the salt of the earth and rendered to Lee county services which never grow old with the telling, no matter how crudely told. Nachusa township was organized in the year 1871 and it was named after the Indian name for Father Dixon.

On Nov. 10, 1870. Col. Alexander P. Dysart presented to the board of supervisors a petition praying that a new township be erected. This petition evoked powerful opposition and a strong remonstrance wsa presented to the board by Robert L. Irwin of China Twp. (Franklin Grove) against the innovation. Both petition and remonstrance were laid upon the table until the next session of the board, leaving an interim in which to plan the battle royal. On Tuesday Feb. 7, 1871 on motion of Supervisor Viele, the petition was taken from the table and the board having heard and considered carefully both sides of the question, ordered that the prayer of the petition be granted, and the township of Nachusa was created. Alex. P. Dysart, who presented the petition was a hard man to defeat and he proved his generalship in this undertaking by winning handsomely.

The early and easy settlement of Nachusa may be attributed to the circumstance of its proximity to Inlet, imperious Inlet, on the south and Rock river on the north. Messrs. Bennett and Brown from New England were the first settlers of this township, laying claims in section 14, which now belongs to Dixon township by a recent flat of the supervisors. This was in 1835.

Joseph Crawford, so long and honorably known to the people of Lee County, came here in 1835 and for a year he lived iwth Mr. Hollingshead. From the day Mr. Crawford struck Lee County, he kept a diary of his life and its transactions and it is preserved today by his son J.W. Crawford. It is filled with interesting stories which go to make up the real history of Lee county. After the year spent with Mr. Hollingshead, Mr. Crawford removed to Dixon, and ever afterwards lived in Dixon, becoming its mayor, a member of the Legislature and otherwise one of its leading citizens. Solomon Shelhamer located in Dixon Twp. but after remaining a short while he removed to Nachusa twp.

In 1836 John Chamberlain bought the Hollingshead claim, later the Stiles farm. In the same year a Mr. Fisk came out from PA bringing with him a stock of goods with which he began a business in the house formerly occupied by Mr. Hollingshead. Barclay Smith came in 1836 and bought the lower ferry farm, now in Dixon Twp. on section 14. Messrs. Crandall, Jerry Murphy and Josiah Moores came a little later.

Down in the southern end of the twp. contiguous to the old Chicago stage road, a Mr. Jones came first and located on section 20. In 1838, Dr. Charles Gardner selected a claim in section 20. He returned to his eastern home in R.I. and in Feb. 1839 he returned iwth his households goods traveling practically the route pursued by Gov. Charters. From Newport, R.I. , he shipped his goods by sloop to New Orleans. From there they were taken up the M ississippi river by keel boat to the mouth of the Illinois river; thence up that stream to Peru, where they were unloaded an taken by team over to Inlet and the home farm.

Rev. Erastus DeWolf from R.I. related by marriage to Mrs. Charles Gardner, came about the same time as Dr. Gardner, and bought Mr. Jones' claim. He was an Episcopal minister and he had much to do. I am told, with the erection of the Episcopal church in Lee Center. Alvah Hale came a little later and settled in section 33. In 1840 John Leake came; two years later his brother, Daniel, came, bringing both families from England, the parental home. During the years 1839 & 1840 malarial fever and bilious fever prevailed to an alarming extent throughout these new settlements. While it was not necessarily fatal, deaths did occur and it swept nearly everybody into a bed of sickness of varying length. It was the fever and ague with which old books teem.

On section 22, now in Dixon twp. the first cemetery was established on the farm of John Hetler. It was abandoned, however, soon after and the later one was established by Josiah Moores on the southeast quarter of section 23, now in Dixon Twp. Sadly coincident with this location, Mr. Moores was the first to be buried in the new cemetery. Joseph Brierton came here in 1836. Inasmuch as his claim is now included in Dixon twp. it would be better to defer remarks about him for Dixon, although by every association he should be regarded a Nachusa man along with his other neighbors of the kingdom. Mrs. M.D. Gilman in speaking of the kingdom once bearing the prefix smelling of the brimstone which the proprietor's name is apt to carry, mentions a fact that a brother of Emma Abbott built a sawmill in the neighborhood, in which lumber was sawed and shingles were made. This was in the spring of 1838. It was located on Atwood creek. The same man afterwards built a chair factory on the banks of the creek south of the bridge. Subsequently he sold out his holdings to Atwood.

Along the Chicago road there settled Ludlam Ayres, Levi Green, Thomas Hopkins, William Parker, William Richardson, James Goodard and Don cooper, most of them in the forties. Some of them however, from recent changes of boundary, would have to be classed old settlers of Dixon. The boundaries of Nachus have been changed more frequently than those of any other township and one is led a merry chase to keep track of the western and northwestern boundary for any length of time. Don Cooper sold his claim to Joseph Emmert, a man of means and tremendous energy. The next year he built the best improvements on the place to be found in Lee County. The residence was a fine two-story affair and the barn was a very large one, its sills and timbers all being hewed from hardwood trees. It was the first large barn in the county. In the year 1850 Mr. Emmert built a large flour-mill on Franklin Creek. It was the first on build in the township and it was almost the first one to be built int he county.

In 1847 Alexander P. Dysart, later Colonel of the 34th Reg. IL Vol., purchased the claim of Thomas Hopkins and entered other lands from the Government. In 1846 John M. Crawford and Samuel Crawford came to Nachusa twp. and located on lands which they held until their deaths. These two families, the Crawford and the Dysarts, were large families, and to this day their children and grandchildren are numerous. I do not know the famimly that ever resided in Lee county better qualified to receive honor from the historian or biographer than the Crawfords and Dysars. They were prominent in all the useful walks of life. They were people of strong character, fearless, upright, generous and enterprising and hav ebeen powerful factors in the upbuilding of the county. The last of the old guard has gone to his reward, but long after the names of Crawford and Dysart shall go down before the Reaper, the names of the old pioneer members will live in the memory of Lee County people.

The village of Nachusa was platted by Joseph Crawford, county surveyor, March 1, 1851 and Alexander Dysart and George Baugh were proprietors of the townsite. At first it was named Taylor, but with time the names of the township and the village were made identical. After the platting, A.P. Dysart and a mand named Cunningham erected a store and entered the mercantile busienss. About 1860 John Dysart and Mr. Riley succeeded to the busienss and in conjunction they erected a grain elevator. The first postmaster was Alex. P. Dysart and almost continuously ever since some member of the Dysart family has been the postmaster. The first school in the twp., built of stone, was erected by Cyrus Chamberlain and presented to the school district. It was located on section 19. Mr. Chester Harrington was the first teacher. Prior to its erection, schools were taught in private houses by a man named Sheldon, who was the first teacher in the township. Cyrus Chamberlain was the first justice of the peace and he was the first master in chancery as well. He also built the first sawmill in this part of the county.a

The second schoolhouse was built of stone, on section 26, and the same later was used as a church by the Unied Brethren. When Lee and Ogle counties were united as one under the name Ogle, Cyrus Chamberlain was one of the county commissioners. During all his life he was an active, whole-souled, generous man of affairs, always ready and willing to contribute liberally of his time and means to push the interests of his county or his neighborhood. After reading the delightful relation by Mrs. E.C. Smith (Sephie Gardner) of the trials of her parents, Dr. and Mrs. Charles Gardner, the history of Nachusa in a general way looms up big and forceful. The family lived on the Chicago road, six miles from Dixon, six miles from Inlet Grove, six miles from Palestine Grove and six miles from Franklin Grove. Emigrants by the hundreds passed their home. The reputation of kind Mrs. Gardner had gone back east and almost every emigrant knew Mrs. Gardner and her deeds of kindness long before entering the Inlet country. Many times indeed I am afraid the dear lady was taken advantage of by impecunious, though anguish emigrants. Her aunt, Mrs. Erastus DeWolf, came west and bought a place about a miles from the Gardners and in Aunt Hannah's parlor the first Sunday school ever held in the township was held. The very first school, too, ever taught in the township, Mrs. Smith insists was taught in Aunt Hannah's house. Prior to that time the children had been sent to Mrs. Edson's in South Dixon. The first teacher in Mrs. DeWolf's house was Betsey DeWolf, who married John Barnes, a brother of Uzal and Nelson Barnes.

The first death in the township was of "Old Michael" a man who worked for MRs. DeWolf. This was about the year 1840 and at the time Mrs. DeWolf gave the little burying ground which Michael's grave dedicated, to be used for cemetery purposes. It was in the northwest part of the farm and is called the DeWolf cemetery to this day. In 1842 - or 41 perhaps, the first school house in the south end was built and Betsey DeWolf taught there; also a Miss Hunter. The school afterwards was moved to the southwest corner of the Gardner place, where it was known as the Locust Street place, from the numbers of locust trees growing there, planted by Dr. Gardner. In 1840 Thomas Brown brought his bride to live in the little cabin just opposite the Gardners. They had been old friends back at Newport R.I. Among the good old names associated with the name and life ofMrs. Gardner are Mrs. William W. Heaton, MRs. O.F. Ayres (who lived at Inlet for awhile), Mrs. Seaman and Mrs. Silas Noble, all of Dixon; Mrs. Charles F. Ingalls, Mrs. Hannum, Mrs. Abram Brown adn Mrs. Sarah Trobridge, names to endure as long as grateful memories are permitted and as long as the Lee County chronicler will take the trouble to write accurately.

I might add also the names of Mrs. Wm. Y. Johnson, MRs. Ozias Wheeler, Mrs. J.T. Little, Aunt Sally Herrick, Mrs. Alonzo Mead, Aunt Polly Hale. Never has story been told better of the cares of the country doctor than by Mrs. Smith when writing of her father's experience. "My father came west with the intention of becoming a farmer and giving up the medical work, which had been so severe a tax upon him and mother in Newport, but it was simply inhuman to refuse to give what aid he could to the sick and suffering in the new country. He was far too warm-hearted to consider personal comfort when weighed against such odds. So it came about that in less than a year he was riding all about the county, over the trackless prairies, fording streams, or getting "sloughed" In practice far more extended and difficult than that of the city had been. Sometimes in a sickly season he got scarcely any rest, except in his buggy, and his faithful horse learned to go from place to place with the reins lying loose on his back or to find his way home in storms with unerring fidelity, when, as father said, he could not 'see his own hands, or tell which way they were going. He often had to be not only physician, but nurse, cook, surgeon, dentist, lawyer or even hosuemaid when he found families all sick and needing these varied services. The enduring regard of the friends of those days proves beyond question that he filled all the offices acceptable, though his rewards were often of a very unsubstantial character. Mother often supllemented his work, going with him or taking his place in milder cases or on alternate days, but sometimes she had to sacrifice personal comfort or even more that he might minister to those in greater need. He went northward as far as Buffalo Grove and to the east into DeKalb county; going, coming, nights and days, without meals and almost always without pay. SUch a man was Dr. Charles Gardner, the old pioneer physician of Nachusa Twp. The old homestead has changed hands but I doubt if the solitary thoughtful person ever passes the old homestead but he says to himself, "There is the old Dr. Gardner place" Children are taught to reverence it and I verily believe that so long as memories of the glories of the old Chicago road shall endure so long shall memories of Dr. and Mrs. Charles Gardner endure.

Among the children who attended Sunday school at the home of Mrs. DeWolf were the Leake children and we are told that Sunday school drew children from many miles of circuit. The handsome brick house on the Chicago road which to this day is the admiration of the countryside, was built by Daniel Leake. The other members of the Leake family already named but not nicknamed were Butcher John Leake, Miller John Leake, and John Leake Jr; There there was Daniel and his children. I have just learned that Miss Nancy Teal was one of the very early teachers of the stone school built by Mr. Cyrus Chamberlain. She was 16 years old at the time. She was fortuante in her salary, receiving one dollar and fifty cents a week instead of the current stipend, one dollar and twenty-five cents. Mr. Chamberlain gave her a tin horn and requested her to blow it whenever she required assistance. One day the horn was blown adn Mr. Chamberlain responded promptly. An unruly pupil was sent home. His irate father returned to school at once prepared and resolved to thrash the teacher. But a few well timed remarks from Mr. Chamberlain sent him back home and not very long afterwards the pupil apologized. Mr. Chamberlain was always doing services for others; many of them of great value and if not too late I should like to add that over in Grand Detour he built in 1852, a Methodist church costint $2,500 and donated it to the society. About 1850 the "Red" schoolhouse was built substantially on the county line. Elias Teal came to this neighborhood in 1836. He was a government surveyor. He built a log house and lived on the place the rest of his long life. His place is known today as Teal's corner.

On the northeast quarter of section 19 and over into the south half of section 18, the old trading house of LaSallier and the big Indian burying grounds were located and there in 1822 as will be found in another chapter, a large business was done with the Indians in furs. Only a little distance from there was the big Indian village in which Andrew Mack dwelt in the very early days and there too was built the fur press used in pressing furs for the Indians and the traders indiscriminately. So far as is known Nachusa Twp. contained the first settlements or at least the first white settlers that ever set foot in Lee county. Traces of the LaSallier cabin, the fur press and of the Indian village are to be found easily at the present day. The LaSallier place was on the farm of Eugene Harrington, whose father was another of the very oldest of the pioneer settlers of Nachusa. In Nachusa too is located the Kingdom, known far and wide almost from the beginning of things. Just now the first part of the name has been forgotten by the present generation. But it is a fact that because that section of the river country was so naughty in the early day, it was called "The Devil's Kingdom" All is changed now. Within its confines will be found the very best we have of citizenship. Beautiful home, substantial outbuildings, macadam roads, automobiles; verily a land flowing with milk and honey. The German Baptist (or Dunkard) church on section 5 was organized by Rev.Jacob Emmert and the church was built about the year 1850. This structure was superseded by the later one, 34 x 54, with basement and kitchen and sleeping room above the audience room. The society organized with about 20 members, among who were Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Lahman; Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Riddlesbarger; Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Riddlesbarger; Oliver Edmonds and wife; Benjamin Kesler and family with other. The name of the first preacher who can be recalled was Benjamin. He preached around at the different houses. Another minister named Reed, an Englishman, preached to the early settlers at the stone schoolhouse near Joseph Brierton's.

James A. Heaton, came to this township in 1844; Jonathan Depuy arrived June 2,1842; William W. Darker in 1845; Samuel Crawford, 1848; William H. Fiscel, 1848; John P. Brubaker, 1849; the Keslers in 1850; Col. A.P. Dysart in 1845 - permanently in 1847; John Leakel landed at Dixon's Ferry with Isaac Means and Wm. Moody; Daniel Leake and Thomas, sons of John Leake brought the rest of the Leake family in 1841 and John C. Leake came with the last named in 1841. Daniel Leake in 1841; Calvin Burkett 1849; John M. Crawford 1849; John R. Merrill 1839; Wm. Garrison 1845; the Hausen family 1840; George Palmer 1846; Jacob Wertman 1838; Benjamin F. Brandon 1837; Jacob Emmert 1841; Marshall Mcneel 1847; Jacob Hittle 1841; Chester Harrington (or Herrington) in 1837. He married Miss Zerina, daughter of Cyrus Chamberlain. It is on his farm that the old LaSallier trading station was located. John Garrison came in 1845; Alexander Deupy in 1846.

This closes the chapter of Nachusa, the first settled township of the county according to its present boundaries. Of course for some time it was in Dixon precinct. But most of the time it was a part of China Twp. and while the Harrington farm during that period was in China Twp. China then might claim the right to be styled the oldest won in the county. We are dealing with the year 1914 however. Nachusa in this year, contains the Harrington farm; consequently in dealing with things as they are today, Nachusa is the oldest twp. in point of settlement by a white man in Lee County.

From the History of Lee County 1914 - S.J. Clarke Publishing / Frank Everett Stevens

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