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Logan County, Illinois
Genealogy and History

Communities and Towns


BEASON

Beason a village of about one hundred inhabitants, is situated nearly ten miles east of Lincoln, on the Indianapolis, Bloomington & Western Railroad. It was laid out in July, 1872, by Silas Beason, (from whom it received its name), George Gelsthorp, and others. Additions to the original town were made by Joseph Wilson, Elias Hamilton and Lewis C. Turk. The first store was built by Berryman Pendleton, and by him used as a grocery. It is now owned by H. A. Pruitt. The second store was erected by M. R. Hall, and occupied by Joseph Barwick with a general stock of goods. After Mr. Pendleton sold the first store, he erected a third, which is now unoccupied. John A. Evans built the first dwelling in town; almost cotemporary with him were William Verg and Berryman Pendleton. This latter is one of the oldest families in the Kickapoo settlement. He was the first postmaster here. Rudolph and Evans built the first shop in Beason. The former is yet in business; the latter is in Midland City.

Pruitt & Gelsthorp erected an elevator in 1873. It is now used by Berryman Pendleton, and from it large amounts of grain are shipped, chiefly to Indianapolis and Chicago. The town is a good point in the grain trade, and is also a very good stock depot.

School is yet taught under the district plan, though steps are being taken to erect a school-house in town, and provide for a graded school.

The oldest denomination here is the Methodists. They were organized about a mile east of town, nearly twelve years ago. Here they built a house of worship and held their meetings until 1877, when they moved the church to town.

A church was built about three miles east of town, which, in the fall of 1876, was moved to town, where the congregation yet meet.

The Christians erected their house of worship in 1873-74, and are now in a prosperous condition.

The earliest settlers in this part of the County located about the year 1850. Prior to that time they would be found in and along the timber. By this year, however, the value of prairie soil was well known, and as draining was also known to be profitable, the level country about Beason was all entered and is now thickly settled.

[History of Logan County, Illinois, 1878; transcribed by cddd]


BROADWELL

A village of about two hundred inhabitants, some six miles southwest of Lincoln, was laid out in 1856 by Thomas C. Meyer, of New York, a Mr. Spencer, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a Mr. Blatchford, of New York, and the Morgan brothers, of Dwight, Illinois. The survey was made by Conroy Pierce, County Surveyor. The earliest settlers in this township were Samuel C. Foster, D. F. Wright, C. Wright, James Braucher, Samuel McGarvey, the Rankins, and others. The first settler in the village was Thomas Debety, who built the first house therein, and lived here a few years. The house is now the residence of Mrs. Harriet King. Wm. Sample built a stone store after the town was platted. The building is now occupied by Abram Eisiminger, for the same purpose. Albert McCollister was the first post master in town, using for his office a small building now unoccupied. As soon as the town began to fill with residents, Charles D. McCauley erected a second store, and George Barry, a blacksmith shop, the first in town.

The depot building was erected in 1856, and Thomas Debety appointed agent. The next year a small frame school-house, now occupied as a residence by the family of Joseph O'Brien, was constructed. It was used for educational purposes until the commencement of the late war, when, becoming inadequate to the increased wants of the school population, it was sold, and the present two-story house built. It contains two rooms, and will accommodate about one hundred pupils. The first teacher in the little frame school house was a Mr. Wilburt, who was probably the first teacher in town.

The Christians erected the first church in Broadwell. They yet occupy the house. Among their earliest ministers were Revs. Charles Berry and Allen Rice. They were followed by the Methodist Episcopal Church, who built a frame church near the school-house, which they now occupy. Among their early ministers was Rev. Simmons, who labored in various localities in the interest of his denomination.

The town enjoys a very good trade in grain and stock, nearly all being shipped to Eastern markets. There are at present two stores, three shops, two churches, and one school.

[History of Logan County, Illinois, 1878; transcribed by cddd]


CHESNUT

Chestnut is on the Gilman, Clinton & Springfield Railroad, about seven miles East of Mt. Pulaski. Two attempts to found a town were made here before it was accomplished. The third attempt succeeded. Chesnut was laid out by David W. Clark, on the land of his brother, Isaac Clark, in April, 1872. It was named in honor of Mr. Chesnut, one of the directors of the railroad.

Lakin & Britton moved a store from Yankeetown, or Hurricane Point, where they had been in business some time. Dement & Clark erected a second store soon after, which in the spring of 1877, was burned. One or two others have been added to these. William H. Daniels, a blacksmith in Yankeetown, came here in 1872 and is still in business. Isaiah J. Michener erected an elevator in 1873 or '74, and deals largely in grain, the station being a good shipping place.

School is held in the district school-house about one mile below town.

The Methodist Church started in Yankeetown in the early days of the settlement, being organized in the house of Henry Dement, as a class. They met in private houses, generally at Mr. Dement's, until they built a brick church, about 1849 or '50. Here they met until Chesnut was platted, when they erected a neat frame house of worship there, and moved their place of preaching thereto. They now have a good congregation and a large Sunday-school.

[History of Logan County, Illinois, 1878; transcribed by cddd]


CORNLAND

Cornland is on the Gilman, Clinton & Springfield Railroad, in the southern part of Elkhart Township. It was platted by Joshua Day, in August, 1871. He and Dr. Phinney opened the first store in the village, which, in 1873, they sold to the Capps Brothers, who are yet in trade. Thomas Bell erected a grocery in 1871, but discontinued business in 1873. R. W. Jess, of Sangamon County, opened a general store in 1871, but returned to Sangamon County, three years after. Andrew Wilkinson was the first mechanic here, and is yet in business. In 1876, an elevator was built, and a good grain trade started. Before this a small warehouse was operated by Mr. Daney, of Elkhart. The town is also a good stock point.

A good two-story school house was built in 1877. The school is, however, under the district control.

The Methodists built a house of worship in 1875, and continue a good congregation.

The Christians moved their church-edifice in February, 1877, from a point about three miles north of town, where they had been organized several years.

[History of Logan County, Illinois, 1878; transcribed by cddd]


ELKHART

This village derives its name from the beautiful grove near which it is situated, and which was the scene of the first settlement of the county.

As soon as the railroad had been completed to this point, an old horse-mill in Springfield, owned by Seneca Woods, was brought up by William Mozee, and placed here for a warehouse. This was in the spring of 1853. In 1855 the village was laid out by John Shockey, of Franklin County, Pennsylvania, who at once built a large frame hotel, on what is now known as the Elwood corner. The building is still standing, and is occupied by various stores. J. R. Saunders built about the same time a brick building for a store, in which he opened the first stock of goods in Elkhart. A few goods were for sale in the old warehouse prior to this, but no regular stock kept. Quite a number of houses were built this same summer, and until 1862, the town grew very rapidly. Captain Saunders was the first Postmaster and railroad agent in town, although his clerk, William Rankin, performed the necessary labor.

The town was for many years one of the largest shipping points on this railroad. Mr. John D. Gillett, an extensive farmer and stock raiser, resides near it, and is now engaged in shipping cattle to England. During the year 1856, nearly three hundred thousand bushels of corn were sold at this station.

Since 1862, the growth of the town has been slow. The trade is, however, good, and supports a number of excellent stores. Elkhart was incorporated Feb. 22, 1861.

A good union school is well sustained. The first school was held in a small district school-house, about 1853. In 1855 or 1856, it was brought into town. By 1865, the town demanded a better building. It was needed before this date, but not till that year was a new house built. It is still used.

There are three churches here. The Methodists had a class in this vicinity in the early days of the county. In 1863, they built a church in town, and still maintain a regular ministry.

The Christian Church was founded in Elkhart about 1865. The congregation erected a house of worship in 1867. They are yet occupying it. The Catholics were formed into a congregation in 1870, and have now the largest membership in town.

[History of Logan County, Illinois, 1878; transcribed by cddd]


EMDEN

Emden a village of about two hundred inhabitants, is situated in the north part of the county, in Orvil township.

The village is the result of the Pekin, Lincoln & Decatur Railroad passing through this township. It was completed in 1871, and on June 15 the town was surveyed, by Thomas G. Gardner, county surveyor, for John M. Gill, of Pekin, Illinois, the original proprietor. The land before comprised part of the farm of Mr. A. J. Snyder, and, at the date of the survey, two houses were standing on the plat. The first store was built by B. F. Burnett, the first postmaster and depot agent. It is now owned and occupied by P. J. Alberts & Co. During the summer of 1873, the first elevator in town was built by A. W. Ray. It is still occupied, and ships annually large amounts of grain. The second elevator was built, in 1875, by Smith, Kippen & Co., and is now controlled by Henry Weinburg, and from December, 1876, to May, 1877, he shipped one hundred and fifty thousand bushels of corn. This is the staple article here, and forms almost the entire business of town. Emden is now the best grain depot on this railroad in Logan County, the shipments of corn alone aggregating fully a half million bushels annually. Stock is not shipped in as large quantities as from other places, the farmers preferring to sell the corn.

There are three or four stores, whose trade is with the surrounding farmers, while one or two good shops complete the list of industries.

A year or two ago, the school-house about a mile southeast of town was moved in, and the town school, still conducted as a district school, is held therein.

The Methodists have completed a comfortable parsonage, and are taking steps to erect a church edifice. The congregation is mostly German, and was organized about a year ago.

The town received its name from Emden, on the River Ems, in Germany, from whence many of the Germans in this locality emigrated.

[History of Logan County, Illinois, 1878; transcribed by cddd]


HARTSBURG

Hartsburg in Orvil township, about eight miles north of Lincoln, on the P. L. & D. R.R., was laid out by Thos. G. Gardner, county surveyor, June 22, 1871. Mr. D. H. Harts was the owner of the plat, and for him the survey was made, and from him the town took its name. The first merchant in town was E. R. Woland, who conducted the business for Henry Ruhack, of Pekin, proprietor. J. E. Miller opened the second store, in the building he yet occupies. The next was started by J. D. Hoyne, and the fourth by L. Nail. In 1874, A. W. Ray erected the present elevator, on the site of a small one he used a year or two previously. A good trade in grain is now maintained.

Mr. P. P. Brady erected the first dwelling in town, and J. A. Musick, whose parents were the first settlers in this part of the county, built the second.

Until 1876, school was conducted only in the district school-house, a short distance from town. This year, the need of one in their midst became apparent, and the present school-house was erected. It is so constructed that a second story can be added when necessary. The schools are yet under the township district control.

In March, 1875, the Christian congregation, then worshiping about two miles south of Hartsburg, moved their house of worship to town, and have since met there. The congregation was organized about seven years ago, and is now in a good condition. The number of members is over forty, while the Sunday-school has an attendance of one hundred. The present pastor is Rev. Isaac Stout. Hartsburg now contains two hundred inhabitants, is growing well, and is becoming a good trading and shipping point on this railroad.

[History of Logan County, Illinois, 1878; transcribed by cddd]


LATHAM

Latham is situated in the southeast corner of the county, on the Pekin, Lincoln & Decatur Railroad. It was named in honor of Col. Latham, and was laid out on the lands of Edwin A. Joynt and L. Parrish, in November, 1871. The first store in town was built by William Dardin, who has since gone, and the building is now unoccupied.

The second was erected by Frederick Joynt; the third by Dr. Leathers, now the grocery of Joseph Rue; and the fourth by Henry Metchner. The postmaster was Thomas Hayes. In 1872, an elevator was erected by G. M. Stines & Co. It was burned on the night of October 8, 1875. The next Spring the present elevator was built in its place. The shipments of grain from this point are large; the greater portion of it going to Toledo. In 1875, a two-story school-house was erected, which is now occupied. The school is ungraded and under the township control.

The Methodist Church was erected here in the Spring of 1872. The congregation had been organized in a school-house about a mile west of town. The Baptists were organized in "Two Mile Grove" in the school-house, and in the fall of 1872, removed their place of worship to Latham, where they erected a church. The oldest settlers in this locality came about 1849. These were Samuel Parrish, who came from Jersey County, and is still living here; Fred, and E. A. Joynt, the first-named settling in 1849, the second in 1852. Andrew Simpson and Henry Hall were also early settlers. The country about town is quite level, and very productive.

[History of Logan County, Illinois, 1878; transcribed by cddd]


LAWNDALE

Lawndale is about seven miles northeast of Lincoln, on the Chicago & Alton Railroad. It was laid out by Thomas Eston, who built the first store on the town plat. His son, in the same building, still carries on the business. The first dwelling in the village was built by R. K. Webster; the second by Mr. Eston, who was the first postmaster here. He came to this place as agent for a colony from Massachusetts, and built a saw-mill on the banks of the creek, which mill was, for several years, a great convenience to the people living in this vicinity. It is now unused. The village is an excellent grain point, shipping mostly to Chicago. It contains two stores, a shop or two, one church, and one school. The church was organized, about six years ago, by the Cumberland Presbyterians, who soon after built their present house of worship. They have now a flourishing church and Sunday-school. The common school is yet under the district control.

Mr. C. C. Ewing is one of the earliest residents in this vicinity; he, his father, and uncle, Judge Reuben B. Ewing, locating in 1830. The country was then a wilderness, and inhabited by the Indians, who, however, were peaceable, and generally made this locality a hunting-ground.

[History of Logan County, Illinois, 1878; transcribed by cddd]


MlDDLETOWN

Middletown is the oldest town in Logan County. Indeed, it was formed before the county existed. It was laid out by Hiram S. Allen, October 13, 1832, and consisted of sixty-four lots, each sixty by one hundred and twenty feet in size. Not long after the town was laid out, Smith & King opened a small store, probably the first enterprise of the kind in the limits of this county. Their stock of goods was small, and comprised only articles actually needed by the few residents of the country. This firm only continued in business a few years. King died, and, in 1836, Smith left. He was at once succeeded by Colby Knapp, now a resident of Lincoln. Mr. Knapp had been a clerk in Baltimore, and, being anxious to better his financial condition and provide a home for old age, determined to come west. This he did soon after his marriage, the journey being performed by a stage, over the mountains to Pittsburgh, thence down the Ohio, up the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers to Pekin, where he alighted, and went soon after to Middletown. Here he succeeded Smith & King in the mercantile business, shipping some goods from Baltimore, and procuring some in St. Louis. His first store was a frame building. He, in 1840, built a brick house, probably the first brick structure in the county. This was used as a dwelling as well as a store, and was at one time the largest store in, this part of the state.

The town at first comprised only sixteen acres. In 1836, Colby Knapp and William Glenn, Jr., platted the remainder of the eighty acres, and placed the lots on the market. Mr. Knapp was appointed postmaster here, in 1837. Martin Van Buren was President, and Amos Kendall, Postmaster General. Prior to this time a post-office had been maintained in Irish Grove, in what is now Menard County. There was also a Presbyterian church built about 1833 or '34, and here the people in Middletown and surrounding country attended services. Mr. Knapp remained here till 1860. The brick store is yet used for the same purposes. One or two others have since been built. The town, being off the railroad route, never partook of the rapid advancement attained by others more fortunately situated. It now contains about two hundred inhabitants, and supports a good school and one church. The latter, the Methodist Episcopal, is a comfortable structure, and the congregation in a good condition. The school-house was built as early as 1844 or '45. It was afterward enlarged and repaired, and at present contains two rooms.

In the early days of Middletown, the merchants brought their goods from St. Louis to Pekin by water, unless the river was too low for boats to run, when they were compelled to haul from the city across the country. As the town was on the route from that city to Chicago, two mails were left here, and often when the rivers were high, over a wagon-load of mail matter would accumulate.

The advent of the railroad in 1853, put a stop to all hope for a large town here, and since that time it has about held its own.

[History of Logan County, Illinois, 1878; transcribed by cddd]


NEW HOLLAND

New Holland a thriving village on the I. B. & W. R.R., in Sheridan Township, was laid out by Oliver Holland, in April, 1875. The first building erected in town was a dwelling by William Toberman, who soon after built a store. He had been preceded a short time by Randolph & Co., who were the: first to open a stock of goods here. There are now four stores in town, and two or three shops. An elevator was built in 1875, by M. La Farge who is still in business. The shipments of grain from town are enormous. It is in the midst of an excellent farming community, and the handling of cattle and grain, especially the latter, forms the chief business of town.

A very comfortable school-house was erected in 1876. The school is, however, under the township control.

No church has been built in the village. About two miles out, in Richmond Grove, the people go for divine service, the church there being used by the Methodists and Cumberland Presbyterians.

[History of Logan County, Illinois, 1878; transcribed by cddd]


SAN JOSE

Only a portion of this village lies in Logan County. It is mainly in Macon County, on the Jacksonville division of the Chicago & Alton Railroad, and contains a population of about five hundred.

That portion in this county was surveyed in 1858. This same year Brown's addition was made by Bentley Buxton, Sr., surveyor, and ten years later another by Crab & Linbarger.

The town is an excellent point for grain. Stevens & Barker have shipped from Logan County alone, from February 1 to November 1, 10,000 bushels of oats, 5,000 bushels of rye, and 80,000 bushels of corn. C. B. Van Horn has shipped during the same time 10,000 bushels of corn from this county. I. G. Cunningham has shipped about 40,000 bushels of corn, and 4,000 bushels of oats, making a total of nearly 150,000 bushels, aside from what is purchased in Macon County.

[History of Logan County, Illinois, 1878; transcribed by cddd]


Skelton, Burton View & Chesterville (Stations)

Skelton, Burton View and Chesterville are stations on the different railroads in the county, but at none of them is any town built.

[History of Logan County, Illinois, 1878; transcribed by cddd]


Towns Laid Out, Since Vacated

Several towns have been laid out in Logan County that have since been vacated, and are now used as farm lands.

[History of Logan County, Illinois, 1878; transcribed by cddd]

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