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History of Allin, Illinois

Allin Township was formerly called Mosquito Grove. It lies on the western side of McLean County, and is the second township from the south side of the county. It includes a full Congressional town, and no more. It is designated Town 23 north, Range 1 west of the Third Principal Meridian. It is bounded on three sides by other townships of the county, viz., on the north by Danvers, on the east by Dale and on the south by Mount Hope; Tazewell County lies on the west. The Third Principal Meridian forms the eastern boundary, being the line which separates it from Dale Township. Allin was first named from a small grove in the northwestern corner of the township, on the branch of Sugar Creek which takes its rise in Danvers and flows through Stout’s Grove. The stream is a small one, and so is Mosquito Grove. When the name was changed it was called Allin, in honor of Mr. Allin, of Bloomington, whose history is so closely identified with that of the city. There are three considerable groves in the township. The one of most importance, perhaps, or, at least, the first settled, is Brooks’ Grove, on the south. It is situated on Brooks’ Branch of Sugar Creek. Farther up on the same stream, and in the eastern part of Allin, is Brown’s Grove. Then there is Mosquito Grove, already mentioned. There are three streams, all of which flow in a southwesterly direction. They are all branches of Sugar Creek. The one farthest to the northwest cuts off only a small portion of the northwest corner. The next...

Education History of Allin Illinois

The first school in the township was taught on the north side of Brown’s Grove, at the residence of one Mr. Stout. This man had gone up into the northern part of the State. About Elgin, somewhere, he married, and his wife proved to be an Eastern lady, with more education than the average pioneer woman. Accordingly, when she cause to Brown’s Grove, it was thought best that she utilize her superabundance of knowledge, and teach school. She taught in her own house. Later, a schoolhouse was built, and the youth taught in the usual way. Mr. Warlow remarks the difference between then and now. Then, three months were all that the year afforded. Now, eight and nine months are the number usually taught. Then, private houses and log cabins were the seats of learning. Now, neat frame schoolhouses appear for the accommodation of all. The people seem to take pride in their schools, and keep them up to the times. At present, the status of the schools is indicated by the following : Number of children under twenty-one years, 621 ; number of children between six and twenty-one, “4; number of scholars enrolled, 287 ; number of schoolhouses, 7 ; amount paid teachers, $3,225; total expenditures, $4,142.16; estimated value of school property $6,000 ; highest wages paid per month,...

Church History of Allin Illinois

We have no records of early religious gatherings. As Mr. Hill, of Twin Grove, would put it, ” Of course, we have a few funerals,” but we find no church in the township at present whose history dates back to the first settlement of the township. Those of the early inhabitants who had any religious preferences seem to have united with churches in other localities. There were plenty of organizations in the various groves, and it was customary to travel what now seem enormous distances in order to reach a place of worship. The only church in the township, outside of the village of Stanford, is the edifice erected by the Cumberland Presbyterians in 1863. It is a fine country church, standing a short distance northeast of the village of Stanford. It is in the open prairie, but has company in the tall, white tombstones that stand so lonely and still in the graveyard adjoining. The building is 40×60 feet, and cost about $4,000. The members of this society belonged to the church organized at Stout’s Grove, before the organization here. The Rev. J. A. Chase began preaching in the schoolhouse, which stood one-half mile north of the site of the present church. Here a considerable interest was awakened in the cause, and a number of additions made to the society. As a result, the members of this denomination, living in convenient distances, met and formed a society, and built a church immediately. John Armstrong, Thomas Neal, Kane Cooper and others were prominent men in the organization of the society and the building of the church. J. A. Chase...

Railroad And Highways of Allin Illinois

The Jacksonville Division of the Chicago, Alton & St. Louis Railroad passes through the township, extending in a nearly east and west direction. Before the building of the Jacksonville Division of the Chicago, Alton & St. Louis Railroad, the farmers in the west and south part of the township had to haul their produce long distances to market. Accordingly, when a proposition was made to secure the railroad through the township by taking $25,000 worth of stock, the scheme was strongly supported. The men of the eastern side were not so anxious to take a $25,000 debt, but their interests were not so vitally affected. On election day, the bonds were carried through triumphantly. The township is still owing about half of the amount, but it got the railroad, and the farmers are benefited materially thereby. The road was built in 1867. The first trains began running the same fall. The public highways of Allin comprise several good roads. The section lines extending east and west are nearly all laid out roads. The only exceptions to this are found in the southwest corner and the east side. The north and south section lines are not generally authorized highways, though several of them are. As is generally the case, the groves are bordered by roads which pay no attention to section lines. Brook’s Grove is thus completely surrounded. There is also another road which reminds us of early settlements in the eastern side. It extends north and south through the sections, not even following the half-section line. There are a number of wooden bridges across the streams, but we found...

Early Settlements of Allin Illinois

The first log cabin in Brooks’ Grove, was put up by Miles Brooks. He moved into it on the 14th day of March, 1830. He was a native of Virginia, but, early, moved to Kentucky. From Kentucky, he came to Indiana, and from there to Illinois, in 1829. He first stopped at Cleary’s Grove, in Menard County. When he settled at the grove which has ever since borne his name, he found very few people in that part of McLean County. There was a cluster of families north, at Stout’s Grove, and others northeast, at Twin and Dry Groves, but his neighbors were not inconveniently near nor extremely numerous. Miles Brooks opened up a farm there, and continued to reside at the grove. His son, Presley T. Brooks, still owns the farm, and has resided upon it until recently. He has been a noted man in the township from its earliest history. His children reside in the township, two sons doing business at Stanford. Mr. Brooks married a Larison. The Larisons are well known in the early history of McLean County. The first settlement made at Brown’s Grove, was by William Brown. He was from Tennessee. He came to the grove at an early date-some say, about the time that Ephraim Stout came to Stout’s Grove, in Danvers Township. If this be true, he was the first inhabitant of what is now Allin Township. William Brown did not remain at the grove which bears his name, but sold out and moved to Mackinaw Creek, where he lived until his death. He had several children, who lived in Allin with...

Allin, Illinois, Political and War Record

Unlike the greater portion of McLean County, Allin is Democratic. In all State and national questions, it turns out strongly for the old party which it has honored with its suffrage for so many years. In township elections, the dominant party is generally remembered, although the returns do not always show strict party tendencies. Further than a general scare, we hear of no harm from the Indian war of 1832. If there were persons who enlisted in the companies sent out from this county, we were not fortunate enough to learn their names. They rest in their unknown graves, with hone to cherish their deeds of valor. Allen Palmer and Joseph Bozarth were in the Mexican war. These were all, we suppose, that were among the few whom the Government accepted to fight its battles ; for it will be remembered that of the 8,370 men who offered themselves from the State of Illinois, only 3,720 could be accepted. During the war of the rebellion, Allin furnished its share of men for the defense of the Union. We learned the names of the following who gave their lives to the cause : Austin Bond died from the effects of the measles ; James Gourley, John Brooks and Josiah Bozarth died while in the United States service ; William Ryan volunteered and was captured and paroled, when he returned home. Afterward he went again as a teamster, and was kicked to death by a rebellious mule. If any fell in battle we know them not. To meet an enemy on the field of battle, and there to be shot down...

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