Organization of Township
The following data is extracted from Yates, McLean County, Illinois.
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 was divided into five districts, and the trustees caused the north half of the school section to be divided into eighties and sold. The next year, however, they took back one eighty acre tract. In 1865, the Trustees elected J. C. Hanks Treasurer, and, in 1868, sold eighty acres of the school land for $42.75 per acre. In 1869, David Vance, the present Treasurer, was elected. In 1871, the township was divided into nine districts, of four sections each, except that the south half of Sections 9 and 10 arc attached to District., which makes that district five sections and District 3 only three. In 1876, eighty acres of land were sold for $25.30 per acre ; 240 acres still remaining unsold. From the first, the affairs of the school fund seem to have been very judiciously managed, and the men who have bad charge of it seem to have been worthy of the confidence reposed in them. The township now has a fund of $11,151, nearly all placed on real estate, and about $6,000 worth of land left unsold. This fund is the largest, save one, in the county, and will, eventually, be the largest. In some of the districts, no tag is necessary. In No. 3, only $75 has been levied in three years; and the aggregate of debt for schoolhouses in the township is only $1,700.
The following figures are taken from the report of 1S76 : Number of districts, 9 ; number of teachers employed, 15 ; number of children under twenty-one years, 608; num. her between six and twenty-one, 374 ; number of scholars enrolled, 252; amount paid teachers, $3,016; amount paid for incidentals, $246.25; total paid, $4,432.22.
At the September (1862) term of the Board of Supervisors, this township was set off from Chenoa, to which it had been previously attached, and at the first town-meeting, in April, 1863, F. D. Beach was elected Moderator, and John D. Banta, Clerk.
On motion of George W. Hanks, the new township was named Union. A year later, it was changed to Yates, in honor of the then war-Governor. The township was divided into four road districts. Eighteen votes were cast. The officers elected at this and successive elections are as follows:
|Date ||Votes Cast ||Supervisor ||Clerk ||Assessor ||Collector |
|1863 ||18 ||J.O. Irwin ||J.D. Banta ||F.B. Beach ||F.P. Beach |
|1864 ||28 ||J.O. Irwin ||J.D. Banta ||Alman Muzzy ||J.L. Westervelt |
|1865 ||30 ||J.D. Banta ||A. Muzzy ||J.C. Hanks ||Oscar Westervelt |
|1866 ||37 ||J.D. Banta ||A. Muzzy ||J.C. Hanks ||Oscar Westervelt |
|1867 ||61 ||H.C. Langstaff ||A. Muzzy ||T.T. Smith ||T.C. Sutton |
|1867 ||62 ||E.B. Powell ||T.B. Hayslip ||J.C. Hanks ||H.B. Wikoff |
|1869 ||80 ||D. Vance ||T.B. Hayslip ||J.C. Hanks ||H.B. Wikoff |
|1870 ||143 ||J.E. Wikoff ||Wm. R. White ||George Wolf ||William L. Pancake |
|1871 ||61 ||J.E. Wikoff ||Wm. R. White ||G.S. Johnston ||William L. Pancake |
|1872 ||187 ||J.E. Wikoff ||Wm. R. White ||G.S. Johnston ||A.S. Lang |
|1873 ||112 ||C.C. Wright ||Wm. R. White ||J.H. Amsler ||J.H. Wilson |
|1874 ||170 ||C.C. Wright ||G.W. Conarroe ||John Rupp ||J.R. Maxwell |
|1875 ||135 ||C.C. Wright ||G.W. Conarroe ||P.J. Peister ||J.R. Maxwell |
|1876 ||130 ||C.C. Wright ||J.R. Maxwell ||P.J. Peister ||D.R. Grady |
|1877 ||162 ||C.C. Wright ||L.V. Smith ||W.W. Shedd ||D.R. Grady |
|1878 ||130 ||C.C. Wright ||L.V. Smith ||W.W. Shedd ||D.R. Grady |
The names of those who have been elected Commissioners of Highways arc G. W. Hanks, J. C. Hanks, J. R. Jones, J. W. , J. L. Westervelt, J. M. Pettigrew, H. B. Wikoff, J. R. Gorham, J. D. Banta, Apollos Powell, D. V. Davis, Abram Stevens, J. Castle, Simon Beckler, G. Arnold, J. T. Green, P. Coons. Those who have served as Justices of the Peace are T. C. Powell, John Pool, Erastus Thayer, G. A. Wolfe, G. M. Allison, Justus Castle.
The principal interest of the citizens of Yates is, of course, farming, their principal crops being corn, oats, rye, and hogs. Very few have attempted cattle-feeding, and have escaped the financial disasters which have overtaken so many in the older and richer portions of the county. The richness of the soil, and its suitableness for cultivation in any kind of season, has given a healthy success to the farming community, while the absence of great wealth on the part of any has kept out a tendency to extravagant living and inordinate display, which, sooner or later, must affect the entire community. There are many good f run -no large ones-in Yates. Some of the best it may not he amiss to name, even at the risk of leaving out some quite as worthy of notice.
C. C. Wright, who, for several years, bas ably represented this town on the Board of Supervisors, has a firm of 240 acres, in the northwestern portion of the township, which is well managed and in excellent condition. Abram Stevens has 320 acres, extending back front the village of Weston, a portion of it being in Livingston County, which, though rather flat, is well drained and very productive. He has a fine residence near Weston, and everything about him looks neat and comfortable. John Rupp owns a half section in Section 22, which is regarded one of the best in Yates. 0. T. Phillips bas a fine farm of 330 acres, three miles west of Weston, which is a very good farm and well cultivated. Simon Beckler farms 250 acres on Section 1'.", which is excellent land and well cared for. John T. Green has a fine farm of 450 acres, just west of the village, which is one of the largest and best in the township.
Source: Yates, McLean County, Illinois