The township of Western Mound, is situated on the west side of the county, and occupies town 10 North, Range 9 West.
The first Settlements
The first white man who settled in Western Mound township, was Samuel Judy, in about the year 1826. He first settled in the south-east corner of section 32, and afterward settled on the place now owned by James W. Lumpkin, in the spring of 1829, which improvments he sold the following summer, for a bushel of corn and a well bucket. He then settled the place where Thomas Bilbey now resides. The bushel of corn he took to Finley's mill, in Greene County, to be ground, and after it had passed from the hopper, it was discovered that there was no meal, and upon raising the cap surrounding the mill-stone, the meal was found adhering to the stone, the corn having been damp when ground.
In 1827, Bennet Tilley and family, natives of North Carolina, William Smith and family, Andrew Hughes, Henry Etter, a Mr. Robinson and their families were next to settle. And the following year came Huriah Smith, with his father Richard Smith and family, and settled September 7th, 1828, on section 31, on Hodges Creek. Norris Hayes and family, and J. Coddle and family, settled on section 31, in the spring of 1829. Daniel Deadrick, from Greene County, Illinois, and James McFarland and family, from Tenn., settled on section 34, in 1829. Jeptha Beeder, from Tenn., with a family of five daughters and one son- Paschall Reeder, settled here in 1831.
There were quite a number of settlements made in the year 1832, among whom are- John Norris, an Englishman, with family, on section 34; William Chism and family, and Jacob Kelly and family, from Kentucky; James Carr and family, who settled on the farm now owned by Wm. T. Crossland; Joel Hubbard and family, from Tennessee, and others.
Rev. Charles Holliday, a Methodist minister, settled in the township about the year 1834; and in the same year, John Dews entered 80 acres of land in section 28, where he located in 1837, and has continued to reside there ever since. Samuel Hullett, a native of England, came here from Morgan County, Illinois, in 1835. Griffith Edwards and family were also early settlers.
The early setters suffered great privation and many hardships. For many years they were compelled to do their milling and trading at Edwardsville, a distance of forty miles, or at St. Louis, a distance of over fifty miles.
The first child born in the township was a son of Samuel Judy and wife, in the year 1828. The next birth was Polly Ann Smith, the daughter of Huriah Smith and wife, born February 17th, 1830.
Mrs. Nellie Smith, the wife of William Smith, was the first death, which occured September 1st, 1828. Her daughter, Nellie, died on the 7th of September, one week after her mother.
The first marriage in Western Mound, was Huriah Smith and Sally Tilly, the daughter of John Tilly of North Carolina, which was also the first in the county. They were twice married; the first time on the 5th day of May, 1829, by William Kincaid, a justice of the peace, of Greene County, Illinois, and the second time, on July 6th, 1829, by A. Brownlee, a justice of the peace of this county.
The first license was issued to Tristram P. Hoxsey, county clerk, May 4th 1829, at which time he was holding the office by appointment. There being a doubt as to the county clerk, at that time, having the authority to issue a license, on account of some irregularity, Mr. Smith obtained a second license and was remarried July 6th 1829, as above stated, during which time the county clerk had been elected and regulary sworn into office.
Early Churches: The first sermon was delivered by Rev. John McCray, a Baptist preacher, in the fall of 1829. The first church was organized in 1831, by Rev. John McCray, at the residence of Daniel Deadrick, in section 23. The meetings were held in the summer in groves, and in the winter at Mr. Deadricks house. The Rev. McCray walked from Waverly, a distance of wenty miles, to conduct his meetings. "Bethel Church" which was the first erected, and the only church in the township, was built on section 3, in the year 1848, by the United Baptist denomination.
Schools: The first school teacher was William Hamilton, who taught at the house of Mr. Hubbard. James Bates taught in a house built on section 8, in the year 1836.
Mills: The first mill was built on Bear Creek, in section 24, by Richard Smith, in the year 1834 or 35. It was a horse mill, and was the only one in the township for many years. Paschall Reeder subsequently built a tread or ox mill, but at present there is no mill in operation. A blacksmith shop ws erected by Lee Overstreet, in 1844, which was the first in the town.
Gopher Jayne, a physician, located on the south-west corner of Western Mound, in 1837, he was the first local practioner.
The first land entries
were Thomas Judy(now living in Macoupin Co) May 31st 1827, he entered eighty acres in section 32; Nathan Collins,
April 22nd, 1831, eighty acres in section 31; Hy. Wikerson, May 21st, 1831, eighty acres in section 2.