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Marion County Township Histories

Submitted by Deanna Heneghan

Carrigan Township was named after the pioneer founder of the Carrigan family. The first man to locate in the township was a man named Jones. In 1819 he squatted in Sec. 21, but sold his cabin to Frederick Phelps in 1820. Samuel Davidson came to Carrigan with Phelps. Samuel Davidson's daughter, Sallie married Robert Carrigan and another daughter, Nancy married James M Carrigan. Samuel Carrigan was among the largest land owners at the time. Wiley Burton and Joe Davis were the first blacksmiths in Carrigan. The first preaching done in the town was at Samuel Davidson's cabin. It was made a stopping place for travelers. The first school-house was built in 1833 and R. M. Carrigan, was the first teacher.
Carrigan Township is mainly a rural community. The farms are large and productive

The land that is now Iuka was previously part of the Northwest Territory in 1787. By 1818, Illinois was admitted as a state and the land was sold or granted to certain people. John B Middleton was given 3 sections, 17-19, 2 of which he deeded to his sons. In 1856 they plotted lots for the village which was named Middleton.
In 1867, the town became incorporated and was renamed Iuka. Soldiers who fought in the battle of Iuka and Corinth, Mississippi, asked that it be named Iuka. Iuka is part of the longer version Ish-ta-(ki-yu-ka-)tubbe. This name was listed as an endorser for the treaty of Pontitock Creek, Oct. 1832.
The first settlers were Patrick Conor, Leonard P Pyles, Thomas L Middleton and Mr. Jamison. More were to follow shortly after.
The first school was about 1841 taught by Cinthia Cooper.
The first Justice of Peace was Solomon Smith and the first doctor was Dr. Joseph Irwin.
As the town grew many more doctors and lawyers came to practice.
The Lutherans organized and built a church in 1870.
In 1881, a resort (Rose Lake) became known for its medicinal waters. John A Phillips built a hotel which drew in many visitors to Tinkler Springs.
By the early 1900's Iuka would have 5 general stores, 2 hat shops, 3 restaurants, a drug store, bakery, bank, a lumber yard, a butcher shop, a creamery, 2 implemental stores, 2 hotels, and 4 churches.

Foster Township is named after Hardy Foster. He was originally from Georgia, born in 1797. He was the first settler in Foster in 1823. He built a log cabin and barn which became a stagecoach resting stop.
In 1833 a post office was added and Hardy Foster became the first postmaster until he died in 1863. He was the most prominent of the settlers. He was also a member of the legislature and a county Judge. Fosterburg thrived until the Railroads came through.
Because of that, more people started to move to Kinmundy and Vernan to start their businesses. Lester ended up being the only location with a store, postoffice, school house, and a church after the Civil War.
Fosterburg was also known for many years as the place where Volunteers for the 111th IL Inf. was organized with Capt. John Foster, son of Hardy.
The first teacher was Thomas Moore and by 1920, Foster had 8 one-room schools. They were as follows: Chance, Zion, Doolen, Arnold Chapel, Jones, Greenridge, Sandy Branch and Northfork.

There are 8 cemeteries in Foster and 1 small family plot. Sandy Branch being the most prominent, having many pioneers and war veterans buried there

Haines Township was named after the settler Edmond Haines. After Mr Haines, there were quite a few settlers to arrive shortly after, by the surnames: McDaniel, Fulton, Wilkins, Chance, Easley, Stonecipher to name a few.
The first Wheel wright was David Fulton. The first Blacksmith Shop was owned by Green Fields. The first Post office was named Ensenada and started in June 1854. The first post master to be recorded at the time was William C. Avis.
Foxville was the first thriving village in Haines, founded in 1867 by Thomas Haines. A post office was built in September 1872.
The first school started in 1827 with Thomas Cahorn as teacher and in 1835, a "private school" was started near Harvey's Point and taught by William B Hadden. He was also known as "Uncle Billie" The charge was $2 per quarter, paid in pelts, canned honey, or whatever they could pay.

John Blurton purchased the land from the Illinois Central Railroad in March 1857. He then sold it to William Sprouse, this being the start of Township Kinmundy. Sprouse had plotted the town and the first purchaser of lots was Jerry Bissonett.
April 10, 1867 the Kinmundy City Council was organized and by 1868, there were over 1200 people living here.
The first bank, W. T. Haymond & Co., was organized in 1870.
On Dec. 2, 1903, Kinmundy had a terrible fire which destroyed most of the downtown area. But by 1908, it was up and running again with a population of 1500.
Kinmundy has the Ingram's Log Cabin Village. It is made up of 17 authentic log cabins dating from 1818-1860. 13 of them are authentically furnished. A craft fair is held there on a yearly basis.
Kinmundy also has several old homes, one of which is the Civil War Mansion built in 1857. It was used as an Underground Railway for escaped slaves from the south headed for Canada.

Meacham is beautiful prairie land. The first settler was Cornelius Dunham. He came from New York with his family in 1823 only to leave his family behind in 1836. Shortly after, they left. The prairie was then occupied by Mr. Ingram, around 1824, located near a place now called Ingram Point.
John Chesser built a farm in what was known as Chesser's Prairie, which is now called Schrutchfield's Prairie. Chesser sold his land after only living there a year to Terry Schrutchfield.

Felix G. Cockrell came here in 1837 with his wife. He lived here until he died around the age of 90.
A post office was established in 1840, but when one was built in Kinmundy, this one was rarely used.
Felix Cockrell built a horse mill in 1844 and Andrew Shields built a blacksmith shop around 1835.
The Elder graveyard was the first burial place. The Methodists built the first church in 1840, and the first school, Farris, was taught by Hiram K. Farris.

Odin Township originally had Odin and Sandoval as one town, but was divided in 1896.
As a result of advertising and word of mouth, by the Illinois Central Railroad, some of the first Scandinavian settlers came to Illinois and founded the City of Odin. It's name came from a Scandinavian mythology god.
Thomas Deadmond was the first settler arriving around 1827. After living there a few years, he entered 80 acres in Sec. 28 in January 1837. Silas Barr arrived some time in 1829 and Samuel McClelland came in 1830 moving near Mr. Barr. Some time after 1865 more families arrived and the village grew.
Around 1885 Odin celebrated in honor of striking coal. Its operators were N. Morrison, H. Woodward and F. Secor. C. L. Miller established the first Bank around 1890.
Odin is very proud of its history. More so of its citizens. Some of them leaving greater impressions than others with such careers as: professional Baseball Players, Doctors, Lawyers, Teachers, Army nurses and a Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court.
In 1856, Odin was first served by the railroad and at that time, it was also the longest railroad in the world... 705 miles long!

Omega is an agricultural town and because of that, there are very few citizens.

Some of its earlier settlers were by the surnames: Galloway, Lovell,Kyle, Howard,Pyles, England, Smith, and Craig.
The first schools were supported by subscription and taught by Alexander Kyle around 1839.
William Hadden taught in the Lovell school in 1838.

In 1842, Marcum C. Lovell leased land for about 20 yrs to the school district rent free.

The Phillips family arrived and settled here as well. They deeded ½ acre to the township to be used as a public cemetery, what is known today as the Phillips Cemetery. The Millican's deeded property as well to which it is known as the Millican Cemetery.

Patoka was laid out by James Clark and Brigham in July 4,1854.
The first building was a depot. It was built before the railroad to house the men that were to build it.
Cyrus Walker built the first business around 1856, a general mercantile. Dr. E. M. Beach, was the first doctor. Richardson and Gray built the 2nd business in 1855, and the 3rd, a produce store, was built by Williams and Kessner.
In 1857, the first Blacksmith shop was built by Snyder and Harrison. Snyder was also a gunsmith.
By the late 1800's Patoka was a very busy city with 7 doctors, 3 general stores, a hardware and drugstore, furniture and lumber store... hotels,several churches , a school (2 story brick) and the Irvin Lumber Company.

Alma - The Village of Alma was mapped out by John S Martin in 1854. Additional lands were added shortly afterward by J S Martin,M French, and Samuel L Tilden. It originally had the name Rantoul in honor of an officer of the railroad. There was another town in Illinois with the same name so it was changed to Grand Mound City. The name was changed from Pleasant on April 20, 1874 to Alma.
The first house and store was built in 1853. The first post office was established in 1854, with Dr. T. O. Hatton as the first postmaster. Dr. Hatton was also the first Physician in town.
Mr Hugh Moore was the first teacher and the first Justice of Peace was John S Martin.
Alma was known for its produce and daffodils. The surrounding area was full of flowers,orchards and melon patches. Alma had grown in size. On Dec. 28, 1908, there was a fire and the entire business district was lost. Those who rebuilt, did so in brick. Unfortunately, Alma wasn't as big after that.

Romine Township - The first land entries were made in 1833. The township got its name from one of the earlier settlers in the
territory, Abram Romine. The first settler was a man named Adams.
Romine was made up of 36 sections. William Brewer came with his family in 1827 and settled in Sec. 29.
William F. Byars settled here in 1827 also and had a settlement named in honor of him. Donahoe Prairie.

There were many families to follow: Sept. 9,1833, Samuel Welter
1834, Ephraim Meador
1835, John Harvey
1836, William Brewer
1837, Spencer Blankenship

Joseph Stonecipher came from Tennessee in 1840 and settled in Sec. 31. Soon after he settled in Donahoe Prairie. He gave a tract of land to be used for a cemetery. In 1843, his infant son was the first person buried there and it was called the Stonecipher Cemetery, later to be changed to Donahoe Cemetery.

In 1820, the first burial ground was located about 1/2 mile south of the Donahoe Cemetery, referred to as the Old Donahoe Cemetery.

The first school was at Benjamin Litteral's and taught by Henry Darnell. In 1830, Thomas Cohorn taught in a log hut in Sec. 31. This was the first Donahoe Prairie School. Mr Cohorn taught for $10 a month.

The first store was known as the Exchange and owned by Will Tyler.

The telephone lines were owned by the farmers who wanted them. And saw mills were becoming pretty busy around the 1900's.

Salem Township - The city of Salem was founded in 1823. James Roberts owned a great deal of some land he donated. He donated 30 acres for the town site to the county.
The town was surveyed and platted by Arber Andrews in July 1823. Salem was incorporated by the General Assembly on Feb. 18, 1837. According to the Act of the Illinois legislature, it was again voted to be incorporated on Aug. 10, 1855 , after which a board of trustees was appointed . The members were: B.F. Marshall, Thomas Day, Samuel Hall, F.O. Leffingwell, S.W. Cunningham with Samuel Hall as President.
In 1865 a city charter was obtained on Feb. 16, 1865. The first house built in the city of Salem was a log house built by James Roberts in 1820 and was placed on the Southside of Vincennes Rd, now Main street.
A stage house was built by Mark Tully around 1821.
The first business house was built by Martin Hill around 1820.
Thomas Higgins was the first merchant and the first church was built by the Presbyterians in 1846.
The first school was built about 1840.

According to an article written in 1879, in the Salem Advocator, there were 5 families living within the city of Salem in 1829 as listed:
Rufus Ricker, Mark Tully, James Chance, James Pyles, and Martin Hill.
Mr Ricker was Clerk of both Courts , Postmaster and Probate Judge. Mark Tully was Sheriff, James Chance was the Blacksmith, Martin Hill a merchant, and James Pyles was a farmer.

Sandoval Township - Very little is known how Sandoval came about, but legends tell of trails crossing her and a trading post located in the South Eastern section, was owned by a man named Sandoval.

The trail called the Vincennes-St Louis, was originally an Indian Trail. It was used by early settlers and wagon trains heading West.
It became the stagecoach route into St. Louis.

Sandoval and Odin were originally one township. It had Thomas Deadmond as one of the first settlers in 1827. He was followed by Silas Barr in 1829, Isaac Barr in 1836, Isaac McClelland in 1830, and Alexander and Henry McClelland in 1840.

The first school was taught in 1834.

In 1850, President Millard Filmore signed a bill making the first grant of public lands to help construct the railroads. In 1851 a law granted the Illinois Central Railroad all unsold sections along a proposed route to connect the Great Lakes with the Gulf of Mexico. This would later create a very important junction for freight and passenger service. With the railroads came more people and of course, more businesses and the population increased rapidly.

On Dec. 22, 1854, the first post office was established with Mr Nettleton as the first postmaster. It is presumed that the name Sandoval is of Mexican or Spanish origin and legend says it's the name of the man that owned the trading post years before.
The town of Sandoval was incorporated by an Act of the General Assembly of the State of Illinois and approved on February 18, 1859.

During the Civil War many troops passed through Sandoval, which was also a point for enlistment. The 40th Illinois Infantry was accepted May 25, 1861 and went into camp here August 5. With 700 strong, orders were given to proceed to Illinois Town (East St. Louis), then across the river to Jefferson Barracks. Joined with other troops they went on to Savannah, Tennessee and a permanent camp at Pittsburg Landing. More than ½ the regiment was killed or wounded. This regiment, after other engagements, was with Sherman on his march to the Sea and took part in the Grand Review at Washington D.C.. General Ambrose E. Burnside and his troops were also camped here while on their way to aid General Grant.

In 1896 the township was divided into 2 towns-- Sandoval and Odin.

In 1908, the village board granted the Odin Telephone Company a franchise to supply service for Sandoval.

When traces of oil were found in the Glenridge Coal mine in 1908, a number of wells were drilled around Sandoval and only a showing of it was found. But in 1909, a good well was drilled on the Louis Stein Farm and many Oil Company Reps. started to arrive here.

Stevenson Township - This town received its name from Samuel E Stevenson who came to this area in 1846.

Many of the early settlers came to Stevenson to stay. Some of them are: The Brubaker's from Ohio, Samuel Gaston form N.C., Richard Holtslaw from Indiana and William Hix Huff came in 1839 and married Mary Crain.
William Middleton came from Virginia as well as others.
Joel Middleton was the first Blacksmith. The first doctors were Middleton and Hall.
There wasn't a school here until 1833. Othy Davenport opened a 3 month School in a log house on the Vincennes Road.

Tonti Township - Name changed from Fredonia on April 20, 1874
When Tonti was established, there were 4-5 families living here.
The first settler in Tonti was William Pursley. He also became the first road supervisor. The first road laid out by the County commissioners was the Vandalia & Golconda Rd. He was also a member of the first Grand Jury that Convened on April 29, 1823. His wife was the former Lydia Little, who was the heroine of the rescue of a Thomas Higgins in an encounter with Indians in the War of 1812. She was the first white woman to live in Tonti and she remained in Marion County for several years after her husband's death and then moved to Texas, where she died.

In 1823 William Marshall came to settle here. He was well educated and became the first school teacher. He
was also the Justice of the Peace for many years as well as the Fiddler of the neighborhood. William Marshall
was the first county treasurer, the first tax assessor and he also served as a representative for Marion County
in the General Assembly from 1830-1834. He lived in Tonti until about 1838.

There were only about 7 families living in Tonti in 1828.

In 1829, Butlor Smith came to Tonti, and was one of the drivers on the Vincennes to St. Louis Stage Coach Line.

The famous Borden family, of the Borden Condensed Milk fortune, bought close to 1000 acres in Tonti and built one of the most impressive mansions in Marion County. It was built in 1888 and it had 22 rooms.
With the house was a productive farm. It had its own water tower, ice house and more than 40 buildings. The
Bordens were known for being very generous to their help. In 1921 the mansion caught fire and was completely destroyed. It was sold several times after Mr. Henry Lee Borden died and very little evidence of the mansion or the farm is left today.


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