Camp Grove, partly in this township and in Marshall county, is one of the ancient settlements of the Spoon river district. There is the old Catholic church and cemetery with which the names of almost all the Catholic settlers of this section have been identified. The business circle of Camp Grove comprises, G. A. Blanver, blacksmith, James Chambers and Amanda Hibbard, agents; Wm. Evans, meat-market; J. Townshend, general merchant; R. McBocock, W. J. Townsend and Charles Wingate, live stock; R. G. Fargo, iron and metals; S. H. Nichols, carpenter and W. R. Owens, justice, with W. J. Townsend, postmaster.
In the days when the Bocock store was a great institution at Camp Grove, a man named Crook called on Cyrus Bocock with a view of obtaining ten cents worth of nails on credit. The storekeeper could not see how Crook would ever redeem even this small debt and so refused to supply him. The caller left without ceremony, prospected around the barn and returning to the store said: "Cy, don't you want some eggs? I've a dozen here." He responded, "Yes." The eggs were taken in exchange for the nails, but as Crook was leaving, Mr. Bocock called out; "Say, Crook, are these eggs good?" Crook responded: "I don't know how good they may be, as they are your own raising," saying which he disappeared. Crook and his wife after many wanderings settled in Kansas, where both died very poor.
[Documents and biography pertaining to the settlement and progress of Stark County, Illinois : containing an authentic summary of records, documents, historical works and newspapers relating to Indian history, original settlement, organization and politics, courts and bar, citizen soldiers, military societies, marriages, churches, schools, secret, benevolent and literary societies, etc. : together with biography of representative men of the past and present. Chicago: M.A. Leeson & Co., 1887. - Transcribed by Nancy Piper]
In 1902 the North-western Railroad built a branch from their main line to Peoria, running a little east of the west line of the township and upon it located two stations in Saratoga. One was established in the northwest corner of the township and named Broadmore. It is only a station as yet, although considerable grain and live stock are shipped from there. There are two stores, an elevator and a blacksmith shop.
The other in the southwest corner takes the old name of Camp Grove. The Catholics of the neighborhood have built a new church of considerable pretentions to size and elegance and have abandoned the old one. There are several stores, a fine school house, two banks and two or three hundred inhabitants. A newspaper was established about two years ago called the Camp Grove News, edited by George Moulton, but the patrongage was not sufficient for its support and though quite a newsy little paper the publisher, after running it a year, felt obliged to discontinue it.
[Burt, John Spencer,. Past and present of Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois. Chicago: Pioneer Pub. Co., 1907 - Transcribed by Nancy Piper]
Strickly speaking Camp Grove is no longer in Stark County. It was established at an early date on the lines between Stark and Marshall counties, near the southeast corner of Penn Township. Among the early business men here were: J. Townsend and Cyus Bocock, general merchants; R. G. Fargo, dealer in iron and metals; William Evans, butcher; S. H. Nichols, contractor and builder and W. J. Townsend, postmaster. When the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad from Peoria to Nelson was built in 1902, it passed about half a mile east of Camp Grove and most of the business concerns "pulled up stakes" and removed to the railroad. About all that is left of the old village in the Catholic Church and cemetery.
[Stark County, Illinois and its people : a record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement. Chicago: Pioneer Pub. Co., 1916.]
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