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Bird Township

Bird Township occupies the congressional Town 10N., Range 8 W., and is bounded on the north by South Palmyra, on the east by Carlinville, and on the South by Polk, and on the west by Western Mound Township. It is drained in the North-West by Otter Creek, through the centre by Lick Creek and Bear Creek, and the south-east by Silver Creek.

Near the creek there is some timber, and the land is undulating; but the greater part of the township is a beautiful prairie, now under a high state of cultivation. The farm buildings are good, and the farmer's intelligent and enterprising. It is classed among the best townships of Macoupin  County.

Of the first settlers within the limits of what is now Bird Township, we may mention, Samuel Love, now a resident of Section 7, who was born in Macoupin County in 1824, and without doubt is the oldest living native born citizen of the county; a portrait of the venerable pioneer is shown elsewhere in this work; G.M. McGinnis, a farmer on Section 18, he was a native of Missouri, and became a resident of the county in 1829.
 

About the first settlers in the Township were Green Lane on section 6, and a Mr. Boatman on the same section in the year 1830.

About the same time, a man by the name of Mayberry, "squatted" on the south side of Otter Creek on section 6, were Boatman first settled. Boatman entered the land, and set Mayberry adrift. This caused much bad feeling between the two families and settlers in the neighborhood, and more than one knock down sprang out of it. In reference to this matter, Lane and a man by the name of Odel had a misunderstanding, which led to a fight, in which Lane lost his upper lip, and Odel his eye. Odel was a squatter, and settled south of Bear Creek, on section 22, about the year 1832. He left soon after the above occurrence. Peter Brown settled in the neighborhood of Charity. Isaac Moore, Mace Moore, Jerry Odel and John Smith came about 1834. Mr. Horatio Adams settled on section 4, about 1832; the Adams living in the township at the present day are descendants of his. In the spring of 1834, James Husky settled on section 5, near the present residence of Thomas Joiner. He improved a large farm, and accumulated considerable property. He built the first brick house in this part of the county in the spring of 1835. He made the brick on his farm. The house stood on the road opposite the residence of Thomas Joiner. Mr. Husky lived the remainder of his life on the farm he improved. One year before a man whose name is now forgotten, settled on Bear Creek, near where the late George Denby lived. He was a "squatter" and did not remain long in the township.

About this time a man who came from Ohio was going to Mr.Love's. He met an old bear and cubs near Love's place. He sprang to a tree to escape from bruin. Mr.Love's girls heard someone halloo. Love went to his rescue, and drove off the bear.
The man was very happy to find himself released from his dangerous situation. After he recovered, sufficiently from his fright, he and Love succeeded in catching two of the cubs, and tied their legs together, and threw them across the back of a horse to carry home. The next morning they killed the old bear. The friends were called into Mr. Love's  to eat bear meat, and have a good old fashioned time. The first settler in the south-east part of the township was Mr. Gates, about the year 1834.

James Husky and Lewis Edwards settled on the north side of the township about 1832. Wm. A. Brown on section 3 came to the county in 1832. He was a Virginian.

John Wheeler, who lives on section 7, is a native of Kentucky, and became a resident of the township in 1834. The same year William Wheeler, who lives on section 8, became a resident of the county; he was from Indiana. Thomas Leach, a native of Yorkshire, England, and a resident of section 29, came to the county in 1835. In 1834, Wm. J. Bates, a native of Tennessee, became a resident of the county, and now lives on section 22.

Rev. James Solomon, now a resident of this township, and one of the pioneers of this county, is a native of North Carolina, and came with his father, Judge Lewis Solomon Sr., and family, to this county in the year 1827, and first settled in North Palmyra township.

George W. Arnett, who lives on section 9, is a native of Tennessee, and came to the county in 1834. Wm. Morfoot on section 35, is a native of this county, and was born in the year 1833.

R.H. Barrick lives in section 22, and is a native of Kentucky, became a resident here in 1836. Thomas Joiner, a Kentuckian by birth, came to the county in 1842. He has a fine, improved farm on section 3. Among those of Yorkshire, England, we find the name of Robert Whiteley, who came to the county in 1844. He has one of the best farms in the township.

Among the sons of old Kentucky, we find the name of John Kissinger. He is one of the largest farmers in the township, and came here in 1846. John H. Brown, is a native of Knox County, Tenneessee; became a resident of Macoupin County in 1838. While Germany has given up so many of her noble sons to the United States, Macoupin Co.,  very fortunately has received a few; and of the well-to-do farmers of Bird township, F. Reineke, who came in 1849, and now lives on section 31, well deserves mention.

Joseph Bird, the gentleman from whom the township derives its name, is a native of Pennsylvania, came here in 1851. He is not only one of the leading farmers and stock-raisers of the township, but also of the county.

The first church building was erected by the Methodists, about 1836, on the old Husky Place. The congregation at one time was very large.

The first preacher was Dr. Vance, who preached there as well as in other parts of the county for a number of years. The first school was taught in the school building.

The first marriage was Robert McGregory to Lucinda Edwards in the year 1833.

The first Physician was Dr. Lightfoot, who remained for some time. He left for the West years ago.

The only manufactory of any kind in the township was a blacksmith, wagon and general repair shop built in 1859 by C.E. Masters, who is still carrying on the business.


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