The following data is extracted from Belleflower Township, McLean County, Illinois.
Belleflower is the extreme southeastern township of the county, and was one of the latest to come into general settlement. It is like the others in the southern tier, six miles by eight, being described Town 22, Range 6 east, and the northern twelve sections of Town 21, Range 6 cast of Third Principal Meridian. In topographical appearance, it is gently undulating, the highest ridge of land being that which forms the "divide" between the Sangamon and Salt Creek, running through from north to south about two miles east of the western boundary line of the town. Salt Creek runs along near the western boundary from Sections 18 to 31, when it crosses into West. The Sangamon River barely touches the northeastern corner, and makes off toward the east, thence southwest again. The land from northeast corner to southeast corner is pretty level. There is very little wet land in Belleflower; nearly all is capable of cultivation, and all of good drainage. In the northern portion of the township, the land is diversified by numerous round hillocks, which give an interesting appearance to the surface. It was originally entirely destitute of timber, except one poor lone tree which stood on Section 19, near the ford of Salt Creek, and for years seemed to stand as sentinel to that important crossing. Several non-residents got hold of considerable of the land, but most of it has now been brought into cultivation.
The Springfield Division of the Illinois Central Railroad runs directly through Town 22, Range 6, touching at the northeast corner of Section 1, running thence almost a due southwest course, hardly bending, and leaving the township a little south of the corner
of Section 31. The Chicago & Paducah Railroad runs across the southeastern corner of the township, and the Havanna, Rantoul & Eastern Narrow Guage runs very nearly east and west across it.
Considerable drainage has been done by open ditches, and tile draining is now being practiced. J. W. Snyder is making tile in the southeastern part of the town, and the township owns one of the Pontiac Graders, which stands out night and day, like the Lone Tree, as a kind of sentinel or watch dog. It has done pretty good service for the town, however.
The town was named by Jesse Richards, the first Justice of the Peace. It was first called Prairie, but Esquire Richards had a great admiration for the Belleflower apple, and proposed the name, which was readily accepted.
All the earlier settlements were made along the northern tier of sections, and along the County Road, so called. This road, for reasons that do not seem to be fully understood by the present generation, was run on the half-section line half a mile west of the section line, which is in the middle of the townships, entirely across the county, except that it makes a set-off at Rankin's Grove, in the northern part of Cheney's Grove Township, and has on it the post office at Potosi, the two post offices, Garda and Dart, in Anchor, the iron bridge over the Mackinaw in that township, Saybrook, and Belleflower station in this town. The first schoolhouse was built in 1857, and the first school was taught by Miss Green. There are now ten districts and eleven schoolhouses in the town, the Belleflower District having two schoolhouses, which are both occupied in the fall and winter terms, the schools being consolidated during the summer term.
Source: Belleflower Township, McLean County, Illinois