The History of Wilburn, Marshall County Illinois

Written by Nancy Piper for Genealogy Trails

Wilburn is a tiny village in Richland Township, Marshall County Illinois.  It is located a few miles north of Washburn  (between Washburn and Lacon off the Lacon-Washburn blacktop), Illinois.  Down at the bottom of a valley, surrounded by woods and farms, it is not seen from the main county roads that run through Marshall County. It has never been incorporated, but did at one time have a post office during the early 1900's.

Wilburn was first created as a shipping point for farmers to the Sante Fe Railroad.

"Through the southern part of the township runs the Santa Fe railroad and at a station a little town called Wilburn has been built. It consists of one or two stores, a postoffice, a blacksmith shop and repair shop and a few houses, but is much used by the farmers as a shipping point for grain and stock."  --Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam County, Illinois, 1907, Page 51

1907 Post Card of Wilburn Illinois
Donated by Sharon Kopina
This is a view looking down into the village of Wilburn.  Behind the photographer are hills and cliffs with the creek running in front of the hills.  You can see the oil pumping station in the distance. Beyond the station is the creek  and the Santa Fe Railroad. -- Nancy Piper

Standard Oil Pumping Station

During the early 1900's an oil pumping station was built in Wilburn which was used until at least until the 1930's.  

"Not far from the track of the railroad the Standard Oil Company has laid a pipe line the past year, to carry oil from the Kansas oil fields to their refineries in Whiting, Indiana.  They have also established a pumping station in the township and are erecting buildings and installing machinery to the amount of forty or fifty thousand dollars so that the taxes assessed against it will materially lesson the taxation of the farmers".  --Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam County, Illinois, 1907, Page 51-52

Wilburn still exists today, but has no businesses or post office - just a few houses. By the time I was a teenager in the early 70's, the pumping station had long been closed, but the small dam and small water tower still existed at the creek. The dam made the water deep enough to create a small swimming hole for the locals.  I spent many a day swimming  in the creek in Wilburn as a teenager and young adult.  

 1930 Federal Census for Wilburn, Richland Township, Marshall County Illinois
Transcribed by Nancy Piper for Genealogy Trails

Enumeration District No. 62-14  Supervisor's District No. 14
April 22, 1930, Mrs. Alma Sorenson, Ennumerator
Page 235a, 235b
 Sheet 1a, 1b  Lines 1-67




Sex Age Married


Mother's Occupation
1 /1 Dennis, Robert A. Head 1500 M 72 M 42 Ohio Ohio Ohio none
  Dennis, Annie M. Wife - H F 55 M 27 Neb. Ohio Ohio Laundress at home
Dennis, William A. Son M 16 S IL Ohio Neb. Laborer - Odd jobs
2/2 Winkler, Jerry J. Head 1000 M 27 M 24 IL IL IL Laborer - pipe line
Winkler, Agnes J. Wife -H F 20 M 18 IL KY KY none
Winkler, Jerry W. Son M 2 & 4/12 S IL IL IL none
3/3 Calvin, Alfred Head 500 M 56 M 31 IL IN PA Laborer - oil station
Calvin, Nora F. Wife - H F 47 M 26 IL IL IL none
Calvin, Freddie U. Son M 21 S IL IL IL Mailman - RFD
Calvin, Raymond Son M 16 S IL IL IL Laborer - farm
Calvin, Williard Son M 13 S IL IL IL none
Calvin, Kenneth Son M 11 S IL IL IL none
Calvin, Delbert Son M 9 S IL IL IL none
4/4 Sheppard, John S. Head 1000 M 51 M 30 IL IL ARK. Fireman - stationary
Sheppard, Edna M. Wife - H F 50 M 29 IL IL OH none
Sheppard, Ruth M. Daughter F 19 S IL IL IL Saleman - general merchandise
5/5 Sherman, Harrison Head .15 M 42 M 40 IL OH OH Fireman - stationary
Sherman, Helen E. Wife - H F 29 M 27 IL MO MO none
6/6 Attig, Ralph L. Head 3000 M 34 M 34 IL IL IL Merchant - general store
Attig, Lydia B. Wife - H F 37 M 27 IL IL IL none
Attig, Vernon G. Son M 8 S IL IL IL none
Attig, Ruth E. Daughter F 6 S IL IL IL none
Attig, Joan E. Daughter F 4 & 5/12 S IL IL IL none
7/7 McDou, Alfred B. Head 2700 M 37 M 21 MO MO MO Agent - Santa Fe RR
McDou, Jessie E. Wife-H F 46 M 27 MO MO MO none
8/8 Carmichael, Simon Head 1890 M 64 M 34 IL IN IN Engineer - Stationary
Carmichael, Emma E. Wife - H F 54 M 24 IL IN NC none
Carmichael, Audrey B. Son M 22 S IL IL IL Laborer - pipe line
Carmichael, Helen M. Daughter F 20 S IL IL IL none
9/9 Tribbey, John B. Head M 68 M 25 IN IN IN Farmer - general farm
Tribbey, Cora E. Wife-H F 61 M 18 IL IN IN none
10/10 Schneider, Fred Head M 56 M 32 IL France IL Farmer - general farm
Schneider, Myrtle Wife -H F 45 M 22 IL OH OH none
Schneider, Barney C. Son M 19 S IL IL IL Farm laborer - farm
Schneider, Walter B. Son M 15 S IL IL IL Farm laborer - farm
Schneider, Helen M. Daughter F 11 S IL IL IL none
Schneider, Dorothy O. Daughter F 9 S IL IL IL none
Schneider, Wayne E. Son M 3 & 8/12 S IL IL IL None
11/11 Orven, Nathan Head M 56 M 26 IL IL IL Contractor - building
Orven, Anna B. Wife - H F 54 M 23 IL IL OH none
Orven, Leslie F. Son M 28 S IL IL IL Farmer - stock farm
12/12 Tribbey, Emery Head 10 M 37 M 28 IL IN IL Engineer - stationary
Tribbey, Ethel N. Wife-H F 29 M 20 IL IL IL none
Tribbey, Emery G. Son M 5 S IL IL IL none
13/13 Sewart, Richard Head 6 M 44 M 21 IL IL IL Telegraph Operator - pipe line
Sewart, Fairie E. Wife - H F 44 M 21 IL IL OH none
Sewart, Lester L. Son M 21 S IL IL IL Laborer - pipe line
Sewart, Fay E. Daughter F 12 S IL IL IL none
14/14 Tonkin, Ralph Head 6 M 42 M 24 Wash. England Wales Telegraph Operator - pipe line
Tonkin, Pearl Wife F 40 M 23 IL Tenn. IL none
Tonkin, Katherine Daughter F 17 S IL Wash. IL none
Tonkin, Maxine Daughter F 15 S IL Wash. IL none
Tonkin, Vivian Daughter F 13 S IL Wash. IL none
Tonkin, Ella Mae Daughter F 11 S IL Wash. IL none
Tonkin, Doris Daughter F 7 S IL Wash. IL none
15/15 Herrington, Thede Head 7 M 29 M 25 MO MO MO Fireman
Herrington, Ruth E. Wife - H F 24 M 19 IL OH MO none
Herrington, Thede D. Son M 3 & 4/12 S IL MO IL none
Herrington, John E. Son M 1 & 9/12 S IL MO IL none
16/16 Hook, John W. Head M 66 M 21 OH OH OH Engineer - stationary
Hook, Nora B. Wife - H F 57 M 20 MO MO PA none
Hook, Georgia L. Daughter F 16 S IL OH MO none
17/17 Tribbey, Ira W. Head M 39 M 30 IL IL IL Enginner - stationary
Tribbey, Eliza F. Wife - H F 38 M 29 MO MO MO Teacher - grade school
17/18 Congdon, Donald B. Head M 37 M 32 MO NY MO Fireman
Congdon, Reah M. Wife - H F 34 M 29 IL IL IL none
Congdon, William D. Son M 4 & 11/12 S IL MO IL none

More Wilburn History

Contributed by Roy Giannotti

My family lived in Wilburn from 1948 to 1958 having purchased the Grocery store and Post Office. I filled in one summer for the Mail carrier and I remember his name as Fred Calvert. We delivered the mail from the Post office to the train,which they called the Doodle Bug and waited for it at the tracks and picked up the incoming mail. This Doodle Bug went on into Chicago. I think the Post office closed in 1950 or 1951 as my family remained there and I went into the Navy in 1951. Returned in 1955 went to work at Caterpillar till 1958 and then went to work for Caterpillar later in 1958. in Aurora IL.

I don't know if I helped fill in some holes in history but who knows.  There were names in the 1930 census that I knew but the spelling was different like this Calvert and his brothers was spelled Calvin.

Roy Giannotti

If anyone can add to the history of Wilburn, donations are greatly appreciated!!

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