This is a complete online rendition of the manuscript, The History of McLean County, Illinois: portraits of early settlers and prominent men by William Le Baron and published in 1879, early in McLean county history. The manuscript depicts the history of the county as well as portraits and biographies of the early settlers and prominent men.
In May, 1857, before the township had been officially organized, the people, feeling the necessity for schools, elected the first. Township School Board. G. IV. Hanks, J. C. Hanks and E. D. Westervelt were chosen Trustees. They elected F. P. Beach Treasurer, an office which he continued to hold until 1865. In 1860, the township
Previous to the year 1856, there were few settlements in the township. There being no timber, it was not subject to early settlement. About this date, there came the general rush into the prairie country, but there being no station in this township. general settlement was delayed a few years. The first settlement seems to
Yates Township, known officially as Town 3.5, Range 5, was, until 1862 a part of Chenoa; at that date it was separately organized, and by resolution of its citizens, took the then popular name of ” Union,” at their first town meeting in 1863. This is easily accounted for, for at that time fully two-thirds
White Oak Township was organized in the spring of 1858, the first election having been held April 6, 1858. The name of the town was a fortunate selection, as thereby this fraction of a township, the smallest in the county, has obtained a name that entitles it to the historical record of the whole grove.
It appears that settlements were not made along the Mackinaw at as early a day as they were made in the southern part of McLean County. We find Blooming, Randolph’s and Funk’s Groves had each several families as early as 1833, while it was five or six years before any are reported as being in
The township of White Oak is one of the most interesting in McLean County; it is the smallest in area-containing a little over seventeen sections of land-being a trifle less than half a Congressional township. Its population, in 1870, was 532, 9 less than shown by the census of 1860. At the present time, its
Two and a half miles northeast of the village of Towanda„but within the limits of Money Creek Township, there was found, one morning in October, 1876, the body of a man, in the field of James Donohue, about forty rods from the railroad. The body was first discovered by Mrs. Strode. She thought it was
In the early history of this settlement, Indian trails were the only roads. There was a very prominent trail passing through the settlement, which connected the Wabash with the Illinois. Indian paths, of course, followed the most direct and convenient course. The first road made by white men did the same. Many of these became
The first school was taught in a house erected for school purposes, about forty-five or forty-six years ago. This house was built of logs. For windows, it bad openings-where a log had been cut away. These were covered with greased paper. During the long winter-days, these semi-transparent, slits furnished all the light from without. Whenever