The following data is extracted from Cropsey Township, McLean County, Illinois.
G. W. Freshcorn, who is now one of the oldest residents of Cropsey, came here from Chester County, Penn., in 1856. There were then living in what is now Cropsey, so far as his recollection serves (which he admits is at this age somewhat treacherous), A. J. Cropsey on Section 22 ; Alonzo and Levi Straight and father on Section 13 ; Stephen and Nathaniel Stoddard, and Edward Ward, still living here; James Darr, James Harkness on Section 23, and Henderson Crabb on Section 20. Mr. Freshcorn bought land on Section 20, and still lives on the same farm. The largest farm, and, in some respects one of the very best, is the one owned by Moses Meeker, of Tazewell County, and worked by his sons, E. B. and D. B. Meeker. The farm consists of 840 acres in Sections 22 and 27. The buildings are large and good, suitable for so large a stock-farm, well stocked and well managed. The Meckers feed about two car-loads of cattle at a time, and keep a large stock of cattle and bogs. John Straisser has a good firm of 480 acres in Sections 24 and 25. He raises grain and feeds some cattle. J. Hinshaw works a fine farm of 244) acres lying in Sections 28 and 33. Esbon Merrill has a large firm in Section 29, keeping about half in pasture, and the remainder in meadow and under plow. He also feeds some fat cattle, though none of these farmers carry this branch to the extent they did a few years ago. Edward Ward, one of the first settlers, has a fine farm and excellent buildings. He is recognized as one of the best and most successful farmers. J. C. Arnold has 120 acres in Section 34, which is well and nicely managed. The farmers here seem to have paid better attention to their hedges than in many other places, and one sees here some of the finest hedges in the county, unfortunately in too many localities entirely neglected.. In the division of the township which took place in 1877, all that portion of the old town lying in Town 24, Range 6, was set off into a separate political organization with the name of Anchor. The official record before 1877 covers the two towns until that time, but for the years 1877, 1878, it is only for the present town.
Source: Cropsey Township, McLean County, Illinois