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Randolph County Illinois
Genealogy and History


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Township Histories
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All transcribed by Genealogy Trails host ©Jeana Gallagher prior to April 2000.

[The original source transcribed from is unknown]


Township 4 Range 5

In this Township the Grand Cote and Flat Prairies were located. In 1820 David Cathcart and John Dickey first settled the prairies. In 1822, James Coulter, John and Alexander McKelvey, James Dickey, Samuel Boyd and James Strehan were added to the neighborhood.

The largest town in this township is Coulterville, which is presently located on Rt 13 on the county border with Perry Co. It was originally named Grand Cote for the prairie, but In 1859 James Coulter settled there and the name was changed to Coulterville. In 1852 there were two churches established there and Henry Taylor opened the first store. The Post Office was opened in the store in 1854.

Tilden is a small town located on Rt 13 on the county border with Washington Co. The town was originally named Sadowa and the Post Office was established in 1870.



Township 4 Range 6

This township contained Hill Prairie named for Nathaniel Hill. Early settlers were Hugh Leslie from Abbeville, SC in 1812, he was accompanied by his family and sons: Samuel and Matthew. Alexander McKelvey (also in T4 R5), Mark Wilson and John McMillin were among the first settlers. Sarah Clark's family came from GA.

Houston (Huston) today is a tiny hamlet located in Sec 29 just off Rt 154 west of Sparta. The town was established about 1874 when the Cairo-St. Louis RR made the place a stop. The Post Office was established in 1874 and closed in 1956. In 1874 W C McKee opened a store were the PO was located, he also owned a grain elevator. R C Temple was the blacksmith. Dr. Hugh C Galt was the towns doctor and druggist. Ellen McCandles opened a millinery shop and Perry Wilson had a creamery. There was a school and a Presbyterian Church in the town. Today all but a few house are gone.

Jordan's Grove was located in Sec 7, and to some accounts it was named for a man named Jordan who froze to death during the winter in a grove of trees. In 1828 the Presbyterian Church was built of logs and in 1861 of brick. There was a cemetery next to the church. There was a school in town and the Grove's family opened a store in 1850, closing in 1887. The Post Office was opened in 1854 to 1883. Louis Patterson was the blacksmith until 1867,. In 1969 the church was sold to the Peabody Coal Co. The area of Jordan's Grove was completely strip mined, the only thing that remains is the cemetery which has a monument to the 141 year old church that once stood next to it. This cemetery can be reached by using the mines roads in the area.



Township 4 Range 7

In this township Heacock (north) and Horse (SW) Prairies are located. The Kaskaskia (Okaw) River runs through the township. Settlers came early, Absalom Cox came from Abbeville, SC and claim #1044, his sons were John M and William Cox. Other early settlers were William McBride, Robert McDonald and James Thompson.Archibald Thompson settled on Heacock Prairie about 1822. George Wilson's also settled on Heacock in 1827. George and James Wilson settled just south of present day Baldwin. George died there in 1856. John Adams came to Sec 20 in 1822, where he died in 1831. By 1822 other families where on Heacock Prairie: James Bean, Thomas McBride, James Redpath.

Baldwin was established 1873 by the Cairo and St. Louis RR as a stop or station. It was formerly named Cobb. There was a Post Office established there in 1857 long before the RR.

Grigg is located in Sec 7 & 8, on Rt 154. When the St. Louis-Cairo RR made the area a stop, SE Grigg of Sparta opened a store and a grain elevator there. The Post Office was established. 1904-1906. After this the RR made the small town a flag stop. Today there are a few houses there.

Ralls Ridge was founded in 1804 by James or Rawligen Ralls. It seems this was more the Ralls family homestead than a town. It is now a part of the wildlife refuge.

Lafayette on located on the Kaskaskia River in Sec 8 and established in 1836. At one point it was a shipping point for the area. It had 2 stores and a owned by James Ralls sawmill, when the RR came through it took the shipping over and Lafayette disappeared. The site is now part of the wildlife refuge.

Cox Ferry was located in the "s" of the Kaskaskia River just south of Griggs. There was a ferry there for the river, it was probably run by one of Absalom Cox's sons.



Township 4 Range 8

This Township contains Horse Prairie and Horse Creek. The early settlers here where William McBride in the SW sections and Jarrot Brickey, the father of Preston B. Robert McMahon settled near Rall's Ridge. William Nelson was born in Ireland, after spending some time in Abbeville, SC he moved to Randolph County where he opened a distillery and became JP. Mr. Nelson died in 1844. Chesley Allen came to the county in 1809 or there abouts from VA. He settled near Rall's Ridge. His son Edward settled near Robert McMahon. In 1819 Edmond Faherty settled in Sec 21 with his sons James and Edmond. In 1825 Shelton Evans and Levi Simmons moved to the area.

Red Bud was formerly named Prairieville. The Post Office was established in 1837. It is presently located on Rt 154 and Rt3. The first house in town was built by Richmond D Durfee and he owned the store. Sam Crozier and William Simmons sold town lots in 1847. John and William Brickey opened a flour mill in 1858. The same year John H Meyer opened a brewery. The town was renamed Red Bud for the timber in the area. Jacob Miller was the first mayor in 1875.

The present hamlet of Prairie is located off Rt 154 south on county rd 1500E in Sec 23 and 24. Prairie was once a thriving place first known as Washington and then Horse Prairie Town. The first settlers were Samuel and Winder Kinney, Chance Ratcliff, Jarrot Brickey, Henry Levens, Robert McMahon, and the Gibson family. Originally located about where New Design is in Monroe County, the settlers moved due to Indian attacks. In 1795 Robert McMahon's wife wife and 4 children were killed by Indians. He and 2 daughters were taken prisoners. He escaped and did finally get his children returned. He remarried and lived in Sec 12. About 1795 Johnson J Whiteside laid out the town on the west bank of the Okaw River, calling it Washington. William Going was an early resident of the town who made bells. John Pullvan settled in 1799 before moving on to St. Clair Co. The Trinity Lutheran Church was founded in 1838. It celebrated it's 125th anniversary in 1973. The Post Office was established in 1892 and closed in 1903. In the mid 1800's Henry Nagle was the town blacksmith and owned a wagon shop.



Township 5 Range 5

This township was first settled by Samuel Nisbit from SC. He settled about 1 mile established of Eden in 1817. Also in 1817 James Huggins came to the township. James Baird came in 1819 about 3 miles south of Sparta. He was from South Carolina via KY. In 1820 Alexander Alexander of Chester, SC came to the area. John McMillen settled on Flat Prairie in 1820. 1821 brought Ebenezer Alexander from Chester, SC and James Anderson from Pittsburg, PA.

Sparta was first called Shannon's store. (See below) In 1826 John Armour from PA bought the land that is now Sparta and opened a mill there. Samuel Hill bought the first town lot for $4 in 1829. In 1829 James McClurken moved to town and Lawson Murphy opened a brick yard. 1830 the town added Alexander Campbell (carpenter), Cornhill Ballard (blacksmith), Dr. Pyles (teacher) and Dr. Joseph Farnan. William H McDill built a hotel in 1832. In 1834, John A Wilson, John Little, John Gray, Thomas Gaston and John W Slade made the new town their home. In 1837, the area was incorporated as the town of Columbus. James McClurken opened a steam grist mill, a saw mill and a cotton gin. He later added a caster oil mill. The Columbus Herald was established by James Morrow in 1839. Later that same year he sold the paper to John E Detrich who changed the name to Sparta. The town was Sparta was chartered in 1858, John A Wilson was the first Mayor.

Eden is a small hamlet just west of Sparta on Rt 153. It was established in 1822 by the Rev Samuel Wylie, along with Adam Wylie and James Ford. A church was established there in 1833 before Rev Wylie used homes for his church. In 1837 town lots were sold. 1839 W R Brown opened a wagon shop here.

Shannon's Store was the beginnings of Sparta. A store was opened by Robert G Shannon in 1823, one mile south of present day Sparta. In 1827 he opened a Post Office in the store. As the town of Sparta grew the PO moved there. Mr. Shannon moved his store to Sparta in 1840.

Higgin's Fort was located on Rt 4 south of Sparta, about way to Rt 150. This was probably a blockhouse.

Roseborough was located on the Cairo-St. Louis RR. It was possibly a flag stop or a station, but the location is unknown. It was thought to be about half way between Sparta and Percy. There was a William Roseborough that settled in the area as early as 1836.



Township 5 Range 6

Located in this Township is Lively Prairie. The first settler of this area was John Lively in 1805, he settled in Sec 4. John died in 1826. His sons: Reuben, James, Turner, William and Hugh P remained on the prairie. In 1816 Andrew Borders moved to the area from GA and Samuel Crawford came from TN. Crawford became the JP of the prairie. James Hugh and sons: William, Stacy and John arrived soon after. In 1817, William Morris settled on Opossumden Prairie. Arthur Parks made the trip to Randolph County in 1819 from KY, he died in 1844. He had eight sons. In 1820 Thomas, William and John McDill settled near Sparta.

Schuline is now a tiny hamlet. It is located in Sec 16 & 17 (Rt 4 south of Sparta on county road 1900N) It began as a depot for the MO & Illinois Railroad. J M Wier owned the first house in town. The Warmacs opened a store in 1890 as did Melvel Garner. Andrew Dier was the town blacksmith. In 1894, the #3 mine was sunk and a Post Office was established in 1896. A bit later there were stores owned by George Meyers, Levi Sheets and Mr. Hagin. Donna Beckman had the telephone exchange in her living room. Harvey Grefe, owned a garage and Mr. Dier the grain elevator. In the early 1900's Andrew Dier sold his blacksmith shop to Herman Gerlich who passed it on to his son Edmond. In 1903 the mine closed and the town began to lose residents.



Township 5 Range 7

Irish Settlement was the focal point of this township. It was located on the east bank of the Okaw River at the mouth of the Plum Creek. It was founded in 1802 by James Patterson along with his sons: John, Samuel, Reuben and James. James Sr. was a JP and Ranger in 1812. John Fulton of TN also settled in 1802. In 1803 Robert Huggins settled on Opossumden Prairie, his son James moved to Flat Prairie in 1817. 1804 brought John McClinton, David Anderson (Sec 5), James Anderson and Adam Hill. John McClinton's wife died in Dec. 1804 not long after arriving in Randolph County. John died the next year, leaving sons, John, Samuel and William on the farm. Adam Hill arrived with sons, John, William, Adam, Robert and Samuel, the Hill family finally settled NE of Evansville.. 1804 also brought Absalom Cox to the township. He was a Captain in the Militia, he later moved to T4R7 Sec 28. His sons John M and William owned a Ferry in the area. Not long after James Thompson and William McBride settled. William McBride died in 1818 leaving sons, Thomas, John and William on the homestead. 1805 saw Josiah and John Lively, George Wilson and Samuel Crozier enter the area. Robert Foster of SC opened a distillery and mill in 1806. 1807 brought John Campbell to Nine Mile Creek and John Taggart to settle in the Harmon area. In 1808 William Barnett made the journey from KY, he died in 1818. In 1814 William and John Allen arrived from Ohio, originally being from GA. Wm. died at North's Ferry about 1840 and John died in 1845. Robert M Mann left his native state of SC for KY in 1807, in 1817 he left for Randolph County settling in Sec 14.

Preston is located in Sec 10 and was first settled by James Patterson in 1804. In 1816 Washington Sterrit bought the farm from Patterson. Later in 1820 he sold it to John Rankin and in 1823 James Pollock opened a tan yard on the spot. Samuel B Strankey opened a store. Pollock began selling town lots in 1836. It was originally named Press Town. James Thompson was the surveyor, he was hired to lay out a village, now known as Chicago, on Lake Michigan in 1837. Dr. J W Simple was the town MD. W J Hill had a store. The Post Office was established in 1838. The towns name was changed to Preston in 1853. The Post Office closed in 1957. The Association Reform Church was founded in 1810. United Presbyterian Church was organized in 1840's, it dissolved in 1929. When the towns people did not want the RR running through town it was located south, they town began to decline. Preston has also been called Pollock and Springfield.

Walsh is a small village located on county road 1900N. It was once a RR station. It was founded in 1899.
Additional information: "Walsh IL was formally known as Murerville after the John Murer family. When the railroad was put in the community it was found that there was another town in IL by the name of Murerville and this had to be changed. The foreman who worked on the railroad was Mr. Walsh and because he was liked by everyone, they changed the town's name to Walsh." [contributed by Kathy Schulein, who cites the source as the "Schulein Family history". Mr. Murer was an uncle to John Schulein's wife Anna Gross. John Schulein was responsible for putting the railroad through the town of Schuline]

Pautler was located between Evansville and Walsh on the RR, it was probably a depot or flag stop. It is completely gone now.

Wilson's Fort was located in Sec 5, 7 & 8. It was established in 1806 by George Wilson as a defense against the Indians. A new blockhouse was built in 1812. This fort is long gone but was in the Schaffner Lake area.




Township 5 Range 8

This township was first settled by Col. Levens in Sec 1 and 2 of the Horse Creek area. In 1802 Paul Harrelston came to the mouth of Camp Creek. 1806 brought Samuel Crozler to settled about 3 miles south of Evansville and 1808 the Henderson family came in from SC. The O'Harra's family was originally from MD but came to IL from KY in 1817. The senior member was Henry who bought land at Walnut Ridge about 1 mile north of Ruma. This family was Catholic. About the same time the Mudd, Simpson and Donahue families settled the same area. A church was established and later the College of the Sacred Heart. Amos Paxton moved south of Ruma. In 1818 Joseph and Thomas Orr made the trip from VA. Joseph was a Major in the militia and died in Sparta c 1850. Thomas Orr moved on to Pike co. in 1829. 1818 also saw John Brewer of KY and the Hull brother also of KY (Norton, Samuel, Lewis and Thomas) . John Brewer's sons were: Thomas, Felix, Vincent, George, Pius and John.

Ruma was located on the old Belleville and Kaskaskia road. The Post Office was established in 1849. It is located on Rt 3 south of Red bud.

Evansville was first settled by Andrew White in 1811, he sold to Adam Henderson, who sold to Levi Worth. Mr. Worth had the ferry there, at this time the town was called North Ferry. He sold the land to Eli Chappell who in turn sold it to Caldwell Evans. Mr. Evans had the town laid out in 1834. Edmond Eccles moved to the new town in 1836. By 1837 there was a mill, Evans' put up a hotel and Paul Craddock owned a cooper shop in town. In 1840 William McKee O'Melvany opened a store and 1847 a Mr. Wehrhein had a store as well. A Post Office was established in 1849 By 1857 Jonathon Chestnutwood of OH had a brewery in Evansville.

Marigold formerly called Dogwood is a tiny hamlet located on county Rd 1200E south of Ruma. The Post Office was established there in 1856.

Clark was at one time located south of Evansville

Blenheim was located north of Evansville where the creek goes into the Kaskaskia River.

O'Harra was located halfway between Evansville and Ruma on Rt 3. A Post Office was established in 1830 and closed in 1835. The area was first settled by Henry O'Harra. Nothing remains today.



Township 5 Range 9

This Township was first settled by the French (see history of Randolph County) in 1722. A common field was granted in 1730 and a church was built in 1734. The owners of this area changed hands several times until it came to the Americans. One of the first American settlers was Thomas Mudd who came from KY in 1818. John N Louvier (b in 1802) settled in the Prairie du Rocher area. The Catholic Church of St. Joseph was established in the township. Frank Brickey established a flour mill in 1858.

Prairie du Rocher was founded in 1722 by the French.

Modoc is a small hamlet once called Breverville. A Post Office was established here in 1868. It was located in the very SE corner of the Township.



Township 5 Range 10

Fort Charters (also spelled Chartres) Landing was just south of the original fort, it is believed to have been the supply landing for the area. Nothing remains today.

Fort Charters (also spelled Chartres) Village, there is a debate about where this actually was. But when the old fort was abandoned the Michigana Indians built a village near the old original fort. Under a Jesuit Priest the Michigana Indians moved their village to the new fort. When the English took over the Indians left and there were about 40 French families in the village. The village was also know as New Charters. But in 1967 a site about 1 mile from the fort is believed to have been the site of this village.

Fort Charters (the original one) (also spelled Chartres) was built in 1720 by Boisbriant. It was 17 miles NW of Kaskaskia and about 4 miles from Prairie du Rocher. In 1724 the river washed away part of the land around the fort. A second fort was built in 1732. A third fort was built in 1756. In 1766 the Fort passed to the British. In 1772 the old fort completely flooded and the British moved to the bluffs. The fort was also called Fort Cavendish. It is actually located in T5 R10.



Township 6 Range 5

John Steele came to Randolph County in 1807 from TN settling near what was then Georgetown area. His sons were George, Archibald, James, John and Thomas. Archibald's son Anthony became sheriff. In 1808 Jacob Bowerman along with sons: Jonathon, Jesse, Michael and William came to the Township. Richard Robbison left SC in 1808 for KS but stopped and settled in Randolph County. 1808 also brought James White to settle west of present day Steeleville. In 1815 Alexander Gaston moved to the area. His son Alex drowned in the Mary's River not long after. In 1816 John Layne came from TN as did Emanuel Canaday. Cornelius Adkins settled in Shorts Prairie. 1817 brought Col. Gabriel Jones from TN, he fought in the Black Hawk War. After the War of 1812 in which he served Eli Short arrived from KY in 1819 along with sons: Abraham, Denard, John and Jefferson. 1819 also saw Adonijah Ball and son Franklin move to the Rock Castle Creek area. Alex Campbell came from TN with sons Edward and John.

Steeleville has had several names Alma, Georgetown and Steele's Mill before obtaining it's present name. The area near Steeleville was first settled by John Steele in 1807. In 1810 George Steele settled in what came to be known as Georgetown. In 1812 a fort was built for protection against the Indians. In 1825 Steele's Mill was erected. Col. Gabriel Jones had a store. In 1827 the Post Office opened under the name Steele's Mill. It wasn't until 1832 that lots where sold in the town by Capt. Rogers, Col. Jones, Dr. Jones, Robert Jones and Tanner Briggs. The Baptist church was organized in 1838 by Rev J B Alcott.

Percy is located on Rt 150 just East of Steeleville. The Post Office was established in 1873 but closed in 1874. Today it is a hamlet.

Kampensville was established in sec 12 and a Post Office was there in 1873. This town was located just north of Percy on Rt 150 on the WC & W RR. It was begun as a flag station for the RR but the old Barmaid Mine was sunk in 1873 causing a boom for the little town. Over time Kampensville was overtaken and became a part of Percy.



Township 6 Range 6

Robert Tindall settled this township in Sec 32 in 1802 coming from SC. In 1804 John Lacy also came from SC. Michael Harmon came from TN with 7 sons to form a Harman Settlement. John Taggart was a Ranger who settled in 1807 along with brother Daniel (their father was Amos). SC also sent William Fowler in 1816. He was a Revolutionary War soldier, who died in 1846. 1817 brought James McFarland to the area. In 1825 David Hathorn with sons: Samuel, James, Thomas, David and William came to call Randolph County their home.

Randolph was laid out in 1842 by Capman. John Wood had the first store there. In 1856 Isaac Lehnherr opened a second store. In 1840 the Germans of the area established the Lutheran church and another one was organized in 1849. When the Post Office was established in 1856 the town changed it's name to New Bremen.

Blair is located at the crossroads of Sec 2, 3, 34 and 35. Here Thomas A Blair built a house in 1857. In 1860 he opened a store and established the post office, it closed in 1908. The stage coach stopped here. Thomas Blair was also the Justice of the Peace. Thomas and nephew James J Blair, laid off the lots for the town. In 1880 Robert Blair was PM. The Reform Presbyterian Church was organized by Rev A W Wright. Rev L Duckworth established an ME Church in 1873. Dr. J F White was the doctor followed by J L Matthews. Fred Hartley was the blacksmith and brother James was the wagon maker. W E Brown operated a grist mill and sawmill. There were two schools in town. George Stanway opened a coal mine near the village. In 1880 there were 200 people in Blair. Today there are a few homes but the old Blair house still stands as does the ME Church but the church is in bad repair.

Welge, formerly Bremen, is located in Sec 36. The RR built tracks near the village and a depot was built. Henry Welge opened a store. There was a creamery, blacksmith, Stock pens and a Lutheran Church. Earnest Sickmeyer was the Wagon maker. The post office opened in 1881 and in the 1970's it was still opened, Samuel Welge was the PM. The Church closed in 1914. AS people died, the business dried up. The old burial ground is still there and many of the stones are in German. In the early 1980's there was a sawmill in the tiny town.



Township 6 Range 7
This township was the site for the ruins of Fort Gage and Riley's Mill.

Ellis Grove was founded about 1780 by John Montgomery, Joseph Anderson, John Dodge, John Doyle, David Pagon, M Augustus, James Curray and Levi Teel. Curry and Teel were attacked by Indian, Teel was killed. Later Curry and Joseph Anderson went hunting and never returned. In 1795 James Pillars along with sons John and Richard settled near Ellis Grove in Sec 17. Mrs. Pillars was the widow of Thomas Hughs. When the Hughs family set out for ILL from IN, Thomas Hughs was killed by Indians. The Pillars family came to IL in 1783.John Pillars died in 1851 and his brother Richard died in 1844 near Little Mill.

New Palestine (Florence) was located in Sec 19 and 24. A post office was established in 1888 and closed in 1904. The ME Church was organized in 1835. Walter Smith opened a store and Theodore Nordburg ran the Stage stop. There was also a blacksmith shop, school and another church. Today there many be a few houses that remain.

Diamond Cross was located in Sec 26 just SW of New Palestine. The post office was established in 1870 and closed in 1888. Not much is known of this village or exactly were it was located. It was known to have a store, tavern, blacksmith shop and several houses.

Riley's Lake or Mill ( Paget's Mill) was located in Sec 34, it is also located on the old French Survey #859 just north of Fort Kaskaskia. A post office was established in 1905. Riley's Mill stated out as Paget's Mill before 1709. Paget was killed by Indians in the mill, his head was thrown in the grain hopper. In 1795 General Edgar bought the mill using it until 1812 when it began to fall to ruin. Selling it in 1832 to a Mr. Feaman and then he sold to Daniel Riley in 1842. Mr. Riley remodeled the mill making it steam and began using it again. The town grew around the mill. There were stockyards, a ferry, a wool and coal yard. John Fink owned a store as did Vernon W Campher. A wagon factory was also located here. A G Leavell operated a grain elevator it finally closed in 1938. When the RR came in it built a embarkment in town so as to be above the flood waters. After this the town began to decline. Today it is completely gone except the old Riley Inn, in the 1970's Jewel Menard owned the land.

Kaskaskia -- this is the original settlement and fort which are no longer there. For settlement info on Kaskaskia (which is on the island see T7 R7)

Fort Gage wasn't actually a fort.. In 1771 General Gage abandoned Fort Chartres and built the first Fort Gage in the old abandoned Jesuit mission at Kaskaskia (this being the first). This fort was washed away by a flood. There was a fort on top of the bluff which the French had burnt in 1766 to prevent the British from taking. Under the bluff the town of Fort Gage was located, on the old French survey #859. It is in Sec 32. There was a Catholic church, post office, two stores, two taverns a blacksmith, wagon maker, wheelwright and about 40 houses. This is were Pierre Menard built his mansion. By the 1840's and 50's the German's moved into the town and replaced the Catholic church with a Lutheran one. One of the citizens from Fort Gage was Louis William Rodenburg, a blind poet.



Township 6 Range 8

William Roberts first settled this township in 1802, just east of the Okaw River. His son Thomas was the JP. In 1805 Alexander Barber moved to the area as did Andrew McCormack in 1808. Dr. George Fisher first came to Kaskaskia in 1798 before settling in this township in 1806. He was also a sheriff. Dr. Fisher's farm was at the foot of the bluff. Henry Connor came to IL in 1807 before settling here in 1813. Other early settlers were William Hamilton and George Glenn 1817 brought Henry Will.

Flinton is located west of Roots, nothing is known about this tiny hamlet.

Roots was named for John Roots who opened a store there. It is located west of the Kaskaskia River in the old French survey s-356 and c-2115. John Lewis owned the grain elevator and Leonard Van Pelt was the town blacksmith. John Dungy ran a stone quarry. The post office was open from 1902 to 1906 and again from 1915 to 1923 when it closed.

Collins was located east of the Kaskaskia River and NE of Ellis Grove. Nothing further is known about this town.



Township 6 Range 9

Turkey Island is a island in the Mississippi River in the SW corner of this township. It is unknown as to whether it was ever inhabited.

Kellogg is located on the RR at the Mississippi River. It is now a loading dock. A depot was located here that was for freight. In 1898 H P Roberts opened a store and established a post office under the name of Forman. The named was changed to Missouri Junction in 1902, but on current maps it is Kellogg, most likely because the Kellogg Coal Company uses it as a loading dock.

Mudds Landing was located a few miles west of Kellogg, It was apparently the original loading dock on the river, Nothing remains today.



Township 7 Range 5
Will Hill (Lakeville) was settled by German's in 1849. Located in Sec 5 on a hill. Here William Sake opened a store in 1850, The blacksmith was named Steines. In the 1860's a winery was established. In 1859 the St. Paul's Lutheran Church was established. In 1861 St. Peter's was opened. The post office was established in 1867 under the name of Lakeville, the name was changed to Wine Hill in 1895. The post office closed in 1900. The winery was closed and the grape vines destroyed. St. Peter's Church is all that is left of the town.

Shiloh Hill (Steuben) is located in Sec 14. In 1836 a group meet at John B Burke's home to found a school. Benjamin Cully began teaching there with 28 students. A petition was sent to established the Shiloh College, this was the first college in IL. The Charter was signed by Gov. William T D Ewing 08 Jan 1840. John A Logan attended the college. A brick building was built in 1881, the log school stood until 1933. The college closed and still stands but the charter still exists. In 1856 a town was laid out around the campus. North to South streets are North, Walnut, Cherry, Hazel and Hickory. East to west are numbers 1 to 7. The post office was in service from 1859 to 1906. The blacksmith shop was open in the 1940's.

Leanderville was a store and post office in Sec 17. Jesse Beer opened both in 1892. Beer was single and he lived with Leander Johnson and named the town for him.. Jesse married not long after 1892. The post office closed in 1906, the store was opened until the 1950's. Today there is but one dwelling there.

Little Chicago was a squatter's camp built during the 1930's. A family who had once lived in Randolph County came back from Chicago during the depression. The settled in Sec 4 in the valley of Degoinia Creek. The farmer who owned the land let them stay, so they wrote to relatives in Chicago and others came. By 1936 all these related families moved to Rockwood or Chester. Nothing remains of the squatter village.

Jone's Creek is actually a creek where Emsley Jones settled in 1804. In 1805 he got into a fight with a man named Reed which he killed. Jones was arrested, convicted and hung in Kaskaskia for the murder. Although he was died the creek kept his name.



Township 7 Range 6

This township is made up mainly of Poles, Germans, and Scots. 4 miles west of Mary's River Benjamin Crane settled in Sec 24 in 1802. This sons were: Benjamin, Squire, William, James, Joel, Lewis and John. John lived at Crane's Island in the Mississippi River until he died in 1850. Isaac Rust came from Maine in 1819. He was a seaman and a wagon maker. 1820 saw Martin Smith and his son John S settle in the area. 1820 also saw John and Samuel Cochran in the area but Samuel moved on to Hancock Co. in 1830. Today there are no towns or villages in this township.

Campton was once located on Rt 150 NE of Chester, nothing further is known/

Poland Station was located south of Welge on Mary's River. It was a RR stop.

Clores Station was located south of Poland Station. It was also a RR stop.

Ford was located south of the mouth of Mary's River. The exact location is not known but it was mostly likely where Turkey Bluffs Wildlife Refuge is presently located.

Drakesville was located in Sec 25. In 1892 Henry G F Draves opened a store here. A post office was established in 1892 and closed in 1906. When Mr. Draves died in 1910 the store closed. This small town disappeared not long after.



Township 7 Range 7

This township was first settled by the French. Samuel Cochran bought the old Haskin farm, he died in 1824. Joseph Heard arrived in 1801 and had a farm on Gravel Creek about 2 and a half miles north of Chester. S. Hugh bought the old Head farm 2 miles further north. John Clendinen arrived from Green Co, KY in 1808. Curtis Conn was born in Boston, MA he arrived in 1817 buying a farm in 1818. He later became a judge. Amara Aldrich also came from MA in 1818. George Stallion came in 1819, Buena Vista is where his farm once was located.

Menard was formerly known as Portland. The post office was established in 1884. In about 1819 the company of Major William Oliver, David Brown, W Barta and Daniel D Smith set up a town called Portland. Nothing much ever became of the town.

Chester has also been named Buena Vista and originally Smith's Landing. The post office was established in 1832. Mr. Smith was the first to come to the area. Benjamin A Porter built a house and opened a mill. So not long after John McFerren bought the land. In 1829 Samuel Smith, James Lamb and Thomas Mather bought the land from Jacob Meyer. Samuel Smith built the first house in what was then known as Smith's Landing. In 1830 a slaughter house was built and in 1831 city lots were laid out. Mrs. Jane Smith named the town for Chester, England, where she was from. Others who moved to the settlement early were SB Opdyhe, Elias Heeder, Samuel Perry and RB Servant. In 1830 Servant opened a Castor Oil mill, Silas Leland was the blacksmith. In 1835 Amize Andrews built the first brick home, which was hit by in steam boat in 1844. The first doctor was Dr. Barbee in 1833. The Messrs. Cole opened the first grist mill in 1837. A steam ferry was operating in 1849. Chester became the county seat in 1848.

Kaskaskia has lead a very long life in Randolph County, originally a settlement by the same name was on the main land and there was a fort there but there is some disagreement on this. The church in Kaskaskia was established in 1714 and made of stone which lasted until 1774 when the church was rebuilt in 1801 and again in 1838. The only thing left is the bell which was cast in 1741. Kaskaskia was established by the French (see history of Randolph County) John Doyle and Clark made an expedition in 1778. There were French, a few English and Indians living here. A Mr. Hoff and family left PA for Kaskaskia. Near Grand Tower part of the family was killed by Indians including his wife and a stepson (surname) Moredock, it is also possible that Mr. Hoff was also killed at this time. Another stepson John Moredock became an Indian fighter. Ichabod and George Crane came to the area in 1782 and settled in the Camp's Creek area ( am unable to find where this was located). The Doge family came in the late 1780's from the WI area. In 1790 William Morrison came from Philadelphia with his Uncle Grey Bryant. They opened a store and trading post. William Morrison died in Apr 1837 and is buried in the old graveyard at Kaskaskia. In 1798 his brothers, Robert (d 1842) and James Morrison came to Randolph County. Robert's wife was born in Baltimore. John Rice Jones a Welshman came to the county in 1790 from Philadelphia. He was a lawyer. In 1809 his son Rice Jones, who was a lawyer and MD, was murdered by a man named Dunlap. In 1790 Pierre, Hypolite and Francis Menard (all born in Quebec, Canada) came to Randolph County. Pierre died in 1844 at the age of 77. Shadrach Bond (first Gov of IL) came first to Monroe Co in 1794 an later to Randolph County in 1814. He died in 1830. George Fisher was the first doctor in the area arriving from VA in 1798. In 1806 he moved to Prairie du Rocher where he died in 1820 on his farm. William J Reynolds MD came from Bracken Co, KY in 1809. Thurman Tuttle MD with the US Army came in 1802. James Rose MD from KY came to the area in 1805 before moving on the Belleville. Lawyer Nathaniel Pope came west in 1804 to St. Genevieve, MO and on to Randolph County in 1808. In 1850 he died in Alton, IL. He was the father of General John Pope.

Cole's Mill was located just outside of Chester. With the growth of Chester Cole's Mill became incorporated in to Chester

Pugol is located on the island and was where Dozaville now stands. It was named for Louis Phillip Pujo;. The post office was established in 1886 to 1902.

Hickoryville is located on the island just south of Kaskaskia.

Degoigne City was located in Sec 23. The Menard Prison now sits on the site.



Township 7 Range 8

This township is actually the west side of Kaskaskia Island.

Dozaville was laid out for William Doza in 1872 on claim 168, 170 and 141. The trading post there was formerly known as Goshen, Kaskaskia Point and New Kaskaskia. Leon E Delassus ran a general store and sawmill. It had a landing for boats. The village was damaged in 1899 by a flood. The entire village was destroyed in the flood of 1973. A few houses remain, the Church of the Immaculate Conception, founded in 1675 still stands. The alter and bell were given to the church by King Louis XV of France.



Township 8 Range 5

John Hickman arrived here in 1805. His house was located a bit south of where Rockwood is now, the land is now under the Mississippi River. In 1809 John Mansker moved to the Island in the river. Samuel Mansker built the first house in Rockwood. James McCormick opened a store. Emsley Jones arrived in 1809. He killed a man named Reed and was hung at Kaskaskia. Alexander Barber had lived in Kaskaskia from 1805 to 1825 when he moved to this township. James Clendinen arrived in 1808 from KY with son John H. James moved to Chester in 1837. William Bilderback settled the area in 1814.

Rockwood was formerly known as Jones Creek and Liberty. It seems that the underground railroad may have gone through Rockwood. Many runaway blacks came to Jones Creek and called it Liberty. The Post Office was established under the name Jone's Creek in 1830, in 1865 citizens wanted to change the name to Liberty but there was a town by that name so they called it Rockwood in 1865. John Steans bought the land in 1832 and the town was laid out. In 1836 Capt W B Charles, James Dean, Dr. Manning, Harvey Clendinen, Samuel Barber, Thomas Frazier and EG Hall bought lots in town. Mansker, Clendinen and Barber were in the grain shipping business. There was also a good wool market here. Silas Tuthill came to the village in 1842 to make chairs. In 1856 a flour mill was opened and the town was shipping more flour and goods than any other in the county.. The first post office was established in 1836 under the name of Jones Creek, the name was changed to Rockwood about 1863 or so. The copper mine was lost to fire in 1863 but rebuilt - it burnt again in 1920, but was not rebuilt. The first school was in 1835, it burnt in 1913 and a new one was built in its place and used until 1956. The United Presbyterian Church was organized in Rockwood.

Liberty Island was once a stopover place for runaway slaves from MO. Due to flooding, no one lives on the island and since the river has changed course, it is no longer an island.



Township 8 Range 6

This township only holds an island in the Mississippi River called Crane's Island. John Crane was the first to live on this island, he died there in 1850. Samuel Mansker's father, John, moved to the island in 1812, settling in Sec 10. The Mansker family had come to Randolph County in 1804 from TN.


Unknown Places

These are places known to have been in Randolph County but their locations have long been forgotten ...

Dowingville was layed out on 20 Mar 1837 for Edward Menard, William Bruster, Miles Gilbert and Hiram Miles.

Laurel Hill first had a post office est under the name of Texas in 1850 but it was changed to Laurel Hill in 1857 but closed in 1859. One possible location is Sec 22 of T5 R5 where a L Hill lived.

Saint Xavier was the summer village of Roenze, Chief of the Kaskaskia Indians. There also may have been a church there. Located somewhere near the mouth of the Kaskaskia River.

Sidney Grove--post office 1812-1837

Hobb's Ridge--post office 1846-1849 Post Master Thomas Hobb

Rosborough--post office 1888-1897

St Mark--post office 1868-1870





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