Letters & Columns | Taylorville Daily News http://www.taylorvilledailynews.com/pages/index.cfm?id=121 Letters & Columns 2014-10-24T04:20:30Z Letters & Columns Letters Policy taylorvilledailynews.com welcomes letters to the editor, as a way we can let our readers and listeners sound off on the issues most important to them. If you wish to submit a letter, please note the following guidelines: All letters should be no more than 500 words in length, and should include the writer's name, address and phone number. We will not publish street address, e-mail address or phone number; rather, we reserve the right to contact writers to determine their validity. Letters must be submitted electronically in Word doc or text format; no hand-written letters are accepted. If the editor comments about a letter, the reader may respond with at least as many words as were used by the editor. We would like to stimulate a sincere dialogue. All letters become property of Miller Communications, Inc., and are subject to editing for length, content, grammar, punctuation at the editor's discretion. Material that may libel or slander an individual or group will neither be accepted nor posted. All letters must be e-mail'ed to letters@randyradio.com to ensure your message is received, please include "Letter to the Editor" in the subject line. We look forward to hearing from you. &nbsp; +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ LETTER TO THE EDITOR Posted October 14, 2014 Dear Editor:&nbsp; With the recent discussions about the Fire Department Ambulance and the fact that my name has been brought up in news articles, I feel compelled to give my version of the story. As most of you know, TFD is a first response agency, meaning that when you call 911 for a medical emergency, TFD will respond, as always. In my early years we had 3 ambulance companies that operated on a part time basis with on call personnel. This means that TFD personnel would arrive on scene long before an ambulance. We would have to treat the patient and then wait, sometimes 30-45 minutes. A trauma situation or cardiac arrest call would put our personnel at great risk, not to mention the patient who needed transported immediately. When Sutton&rsquo;s and Dunn&rsquo;s Ambulance went full time, it was like a godsend to TFD personnel. No longer would we have to wait extended times as the ambulance was normally right there with us immediately. As time went by, and as these ambulances became busier and busier, there were times when we were back to waiting again due to no ambulance being available. We either waited for one to become available or had to wait for an out of town ambulance to respond. These 2 private ambulance companies cover the whole county, not just the city of Taylorville, and it is really difficult and not cost effective for them to hire extra personnel in the event they &ldquo;may&rdquo; have extra calls. When I was appointed Fire Chief, I believed that my job was to provide our personnel with the training and the equipment to do their job safely and be able to go home to their families. At the same time, I had to be fiscally responsible to the citizens of Taylorville. This can become difficult at times. After much discussion about the ambulances not being available at all times it was decided that we would explore our options. We could leave it status quo, leaving our personnel and the patient in a dangerous situation or we could do something about it. That is when the &ldquo;back up ambulance&rdquo; idea came about. Anyone who truly knows me would know that the last thing I ever wanted is to be in the ambulance business, but since we send personnel to every medical call anyway, it made sense to have an ambulance at our disposal in the event that there were none available. But how do we pay for it? Since TFD already responds to medical calls, personnel would not be an issue. Since volunteers and off duty personnel respond to help on scene or cover the fire station, overtime would not be an issue. So that left the vehicle and equipment. The Taylorville Fire Protection District board of Trustees graciously offered to purchase a used ambulance and some equipment for us. Other equipment was purchased through federal and state grants or donations. There was very little cost to the citizens of Taylorville to do this. As far as maintaining the vehicle and equipment, we projected that with the income from the estimated 20-30 calls per year that the ambulance would be needed, it would cover any costs. We believed that this was the most economical way to solve the problem without taking anything away from the private ambulance services. If they couldn&rsquo;t respond in the first place, how is TFD taking business away from them? I believe that it just makes good sense that if TFD personnel are going to be there anyway, why not have the benefit of being able to transport the patient immediately when necessary. When we need assistance for a fire or rescue call we always call on neighboring departments for mutual aid. I look at this as the same thing. We are providing mutual aid to the ambulances when they are overwhelmed. When this was brought to the city council for approval, there was discussion that it would hurt the private businesses. I made it clear that we had no intention of hurting them, thus the &ldquo;back up&rdquo; idea. When I asked the question at an emergency services committee meeting if TFD personnel can utilize the TFD ambulance when injured at a call, I was told no. They would still have to use a private ambulance. I don&rsquo;t believe this makes good financial sense. Forcing TFD personnel to use a private ambulance when hurt on the job would generate a bill for the city. Why pay for something when it could be done using city equipment and personnel? I believe that was when the discussion started about the &ldquo;right to choose&rdquo;. That was almost 3 years ago. Fast forward to today. I believe the issue on the table is whether or not a citizen of Taylorville has the right to choose their ambulance service. It has nothing to do with the 911 ambulance rotation. There have been statements that if an individual has the right to choose their ambulance that it will put the private ambulances out of business. I don&rsquo;t believe that is true. These ambulance companies have been in business for many years and have a regular following. They would still have all of the private calls, hospital transfers, and nursing home calls. The only thing that would change is that the few people who would prefer to use TFD as their medical provider would be able to do so. As Fire Chief, the last thing I wanted was to hurt the private ambulances. I believe TFD needs them, just as they need TFD. The arguments being made that the having the right to choose ambulances will cause more expense for the city does not hold water. As I have said before, the overtime incurred may or may not be there anyway, as TFD will respond to the call anyway, ambulance or not. The statement that it will create more pension debt does not hold water, as the pension debt is set by number of personnel. TFD will not need more personnel to handle the few calls that this would bring. The statement that this will increase taxes does not hold water. First of all, taxes in Christian County are capped. Secondly, the personnel are already there, the equipment is already there, and the vehicle is already there. The fuel used by the ambulance would be used anyway by the medical response vehicle that will be there anyway. I believe quoting a former Fire Chief from minutes of meeting that happened years ago in the newspaper and social blogs is a misrepresentation of the facts. Things change as time goes by and although I could have predicted this I don&rsquo;t have a crystal ball. Some of the Aldermen that are against this keep bringing up that it will hurt private business. I ask you, does using the police department to unlock vehicles in a non-emergency not hurt a local private business? Does collecting trash at the Street Department not hurt some of the local trash carriers? Does the city doing street repairs not hurt the local road repair companies? Doesn&rsquo;t having the right to choose between the two private ambulances hurt one or the other? I believe that the city council should listen to their constituents. If the majority of the citizens believe they should have the right to choose or not, then that&rsquo;s the way the Aldermen should vote. Personal agendas should be set aside. I for one would like to have the right to choose. This is my opinion. I welcome yours. &nbsp;Thank you, Jeff Hackney TFD Fire Chief, Retired &nbsp; STATION EDITORIAL Posted October 6, 2014 10:44pm This is a station editorial, I'm Randal J. Miller, station president. In a one hour and 20 minute special session following their regular City Council meeting Monday night, Taylorville aldermen voted 6 to 2, to direct City Attorney Rocci Romano to draft an amendment to the city's code allowing city residents to choose the Taylorville Fire Department ambulance when calling 911. The city is currently served by 2 for-profit ambulance services, Dunn's and Sutton's Ambulance Services. All but 2 of the aldermen were in favor of changing the Taylorville Fire Department ambulance an option for 911 callers, but Mayor Greg Brotherton was against the proposal citing increased employee and pension costs as more personnel are needed for the Fire Department to make ambulance runs. The whole issue of changing present city policy on when the Fire Department ambulance runs, all started at the September 4th meeting of the Council's Emergency Services Committee meeting, when Fire Chief Mike Crews reported to the committee that one of the for-profit ambulance services took over 20 minutes to reach their call. Crews, in the minutes from that meeting, stated that the issue would be on the agenda for the next Emergency Services Committee Meeting, and that both for-profit ambulance services would be invited. But, in the October 2nd Emergency Services Committee meeting, there was no discussion about whether the 20-minute ambulance call Crews reported on in September, was investigated, and instead, the proposal to make the Taylorville Fire Department ambulance an option for 911 callers, was discussed. As one of those who provided comments to the Taylorville Council Monday night, I expressed to the aldermen that in my over 30 years in station ownership, I've owned and operated radio stations in over a dozen communities. In most cases, there was no for-profit ambulance service, and communities have to figure out how to provide ambulance service to their town either thru their fire and rescue department, or on a volunteer basis. But, in Taylorville, we are blessed to have 2 for-profit ambulance services, and for the city to even consider putting the fire department ambulance as an option for 911 calls, will hurt the 2 for-profit ambualance companies who have put thousands of dollars into buildings, equipment, and people in this community. The dirty little secret here, is that if this proposal is actually passed, you and I as Taylorville taxpayers will be paying more in taxes because 2 things will happen: Fire Department ambulance calls will take revenue from the 2 for-profits; and secondly, you and I's taxes will go up when it will just be the Fire Department ending up left providing ambulance service to over eleven-thousand people. I hope you as Taylorville taxpayers, will express your DISMAY about this proposal, to your aldermen and Mayor Brotherton, because in the long run, 2 businesses will be put out of business and you and I will pay higher taxes when the City will be the only ambulance option left. That's our opinion...we welcome yours. Our e-mail address is editorial-at-randyradio-dot-com. &nbsp; STATION EDITORIAL Posted September 30, 2014 This is a station editorial, I'm Randal J. Miller, station president. I understand the Taylorville City Council Emergency Services Committee is considering a proposal to include the Taylorville Fire Department, in the rotation for 911 ambulance calls. There are 2 for-profit ambulance companies in the community, Dunn's Ambulance Service and Sutton's Ambulance Service. These 2 companies provide the Taylorville community with 24 hour ambulance service, and have invested heavily in people, equipment, and facilities. I've personally wondered for the last several years since the Taylorville Fire Department established an ambulance, why the Fire Department was in the ambulance business since there are already 2 for-profit companies providing ambulance service to the Taylorville community. For the city to put the Fire Department ambulance service, into the rotation, is in my view an attempt to take business from the 2 for-profit ambulance companies in the community, and that's wrong. The City of Taylorville has no business competing with 2 local ambulance companies, let alone potentially jeopardizing the jobs of those who work for those 2 companies. We hope the City Council's Emergency Services Committee tables this proposal, so that our 2 locally-owned ambulance companies can continue to not only provide service to the Taylorville community, but to keep the jobs they have provided. That's our opinion....we welcome yours. My e-mail address is editorial@randyradio.com. &nbsp; LETTER TO THE EDITOR Posted September 4, 2014 Dear Editor:On behalf of Alderman Larry Budd and I; I would like to thank Mr. Hady, Mr. Olive, corporate executives, and the engineers of Ahlstrom for their hard work and effort in solving the noise problem there. They have kept in contact with myself, Alderman Budd and the city council as a whole through this process. The noise level is better than when the original equipment was there. We know that no industrial facility will ever be totally quite, but because of their hard work they have made it as quite as it can be. Thanks again. Sincerely,Alderman Ray KoonceAlderman Larry Budd &nbsp; LETTER TO THE EDITOR Posted August 4, 2014 &nbsp; Dear Editor: &nbsp; From April 15th thru July 31st, 2014, law enforcement officers did a great job reducing illegal drugs in Christian County.&nbsp; WTIM, WICS, WAND, and the Breeze-Courier did a good job keeping our honest citizens informed on drug corruption. If the Chicago Tribune, Herald-Review and the State Journal-Register would have done investigative reporting on illegal drugs in the private and public sectors in the early 1980's, then the 21st century may have been safer.&nbsp; In Bogota, the cartel shot editors and reporters. Over the last 45 years most Illinois governors got the 2nd place trophy in the drug war.&nbsp; During this time, our governors did not address affluent drug users and affluent money launderers.&nbsp; So far, current candidates for governor have been mute on the issue. Therefore, from April thru July of 2014, law enforcement officers and WTIM, WICS, WAND, and the Breeze-Courier stood ground for the honest citizen. In closing, some politicians blame labor unions and the N-R-A for America's economic and social issues, but never China and the drug cartel.&nbsp; Wonder why? Respectfully, Thomas P. StrawnTaylorville, IL &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; This year Taylorville and Christian County are celebrating 175 years.&nbsp; The celebration will be October 4th and 5th.&nbsp; This is a series of articles on the history of Christian County and its townships.&nbsp; Most of the information came from the quarterlies and library of the Christian County Genealogical Society.&nbsp; Our library is housed in the Pence Building at the Christian County Historical Society.&nbsp; For more information, give us a call at 824-6922 or visit our facebook page. Locust Township &nbsp; Locust Township derives its name from a stream, which runs through a portion of this territory.&nbsp; Most of the early settlers stayed close to the timber along Locust Creek and its tributaries.&nbsp; Among the pioneer settlers were Wesley Westbrook in 1835, G. Wash Cheek and Mr. Harlick in 1838, Josiah Anderson in 1839, Thomas D. Chastain, Matthew Durbin, James Bradley and Thomas Bradley came in 1846 and Joseph P. Durbin in 1850.&nbsp; Other early settlers of this area were Martin Overholt, Elisha Logsdon, James Durbin, Elisha Durbin, W. H. Madison, James M. Painter, B. C. Cochran, John McCune, Edward Lawton, John White, William Hunter, Achilles Morris and William Lawton. &nbsp; The lands for this township were originally surveyed in 1819 but the first land entries were not until 1836.&nbsp; W. S. Russel entered 160 acres in NE quarter Section 18, 82/100 acres in NW quarter, and 138 acres in SW quarter and 160 acres in SE quarter.&nbsp; Hiram B. Roundtree entered 39 acres that year in Section 5 and Zadoc C. Roundtree 52/100 acres in Section 6.&nbsp; &nbsp; There were a few families living here when the county was organized, however most came after 1850.&nbsp; In September 1858 the county formed Locust Precinct with Joseph P. Durbin, James Bradley and Seth W. Benepe the first judges of election.&nbsp; The place of voting was at Benepe&rsquo;s school house, located in Section 16.&nbsp; The first constables were G. Wash Cheek and John W. Hunter.&nbsp; Then a number of emigrants from Ohio and other areas settled here and the wild prairie was soon dotted over.&nbsp; In the early years the farmers grew corn and used it for feed for their stock.&nbsp; They would drive their hogs to market in St. Louis, one hundred miles away.&nbsp;&nbsp; Soon the railroads were built in the county and hogs could be shipped by rail.&nbsp; In the winter of 1855-56 the first lot of hogs was shipped by Dr. U. C. McCoy, Joshua Pepper and John White.&nbsp; They had six carloads from Pana and were the first on the completed Terre Haute, Alton and St. Louis Rail.&nbsp; In 1855 William Hunter brought the first threshing-machine to Christian County and it was used all over the county. &nbsp; In 1866 when the township organized the first supervisor was B. C. Cochran and John W. Hunter and Philip Baker the justices of the peace. &nbsp; The O &amp; M Railroad ran diagonally through the township.&nbsp; It enters in Section 6 and leaves in Section 36.&nbsp; There are two stations on the line, Owaneco and Millersville. &nbsp; The population according to the 1870 census was 825.&nbsp; In 2010 the population was 1,825 with 36.1 square miles.&nbsp; &nbsp; Old Owaneco &nbsp; This was a small settlement about 2 miles south of the present village of Owaneco.&nbsp; There were only a few houses in the area.&nbsp; The old grocery store and saloon was a popular place on a public road from Taylorville to Pana.&nbsp; It was located at an early date, on the north-west corner of Section 27 and was a lively place with races and shooting matches.&nbsp; As the population increased the demand for postal service did also.&nbsp; There was only then a tri-weekly stage carrying passengers and mail from Taylorville through Dollville to Pana.&nbsp; In 1857 the post office was established and was the first in the township.&nbsp; Judge Vandeveer suggested the name Owaneco.&nbsp; J. M Weaver was the first postmaster in a little frame building on the border of Locust Creek timber near the residence of Joseph P. Durbin.&nbsp; In the office were kept a few dry goods, groceries and an abundant supply of cheap whiskey.&nbsp; The house was sold once for failure to pay IRS whiskey tax.&nbsp; The post office changed hands several times.&nbsp; This settlement ceased to be in existence when the railroad passed in 1869 and Owaneco was established on the railroad. &nbsp; Owaneco &nbsp; The present town of Owaneco is located on the SW quarter of the SW quarter of Section 15 and part of the SE quarter of Section 16.&nbsp; It was laid out in 1869 and derived its name from the nearby post office. &nbsp; In 1880 there was a physician and druggist, a flour mill, a saddle and harness shop, a grocer, a postmaster sold dry goods and groceries, a grain dealer and blacksmith and wagon maker.&nbsp; &nbsp; By 1891, on the north side of the railroad there were two churches, hotel, harness shop, grain office, carpenter shop, mill and a depot.&nbsp; There were also 28 houses.&nbsp; The Owaneco depot was moved there from Campbellsburg in Buckhart Township.&nbsp; This depot in 1986 was saved and moved to the Christian County Historical Society grounds. &nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; On the south side of the railroad was a schoolhouse, shoe store, wagon shop, blacksmith shop, meat market and butcher, six stores, the post office, grain offices, an elevator and crib, opera house and the doctor&rsquo;s office.&nbsp; There were also 19 houses.&nbsp; Farther to the east of town was a tile factory. &nbsp; Owaneco was incorporated in 1902.&nbsp; There has been a hardware store, men&rsquo;s clothing store, grain, hay and lumber dealers, ladies hat and dress shop, harness shop, drug store, bank as well as the post office, depot, blacksmith ship and general store.&nbsp; They also had a newspaper with a wide circulation.&nbsp; Today it is but a small shadow of what it once was in the early years. &nbsp; Millersville &nbsp; Millersville also is only a small part of what it once was.&nbsp; The town is located in Section 26 and was a shipping point halfway between Pana and Owaneco.&nbsp; It was laid out in 1873 and was built on the land owned by Thomas Miller.&nbsp; The town contained four blocks.&nbsp; Ballard and Miller each operated an elevator, Kirkpatrick operated a general store, Price and Wilkersons were the grain dealers.&nbsp; There was a school, church, blacksmith shop, several stores, a paint shop, stock yards, scales and coal yard, a depot and engine house and the post office.&nbsp; They also build an Anti-Horse Thief Lodge.&nbsp; By 1906 there were four passenger trains traveling through daily and a barber shop. &nbsp; Buckeye Prairie &nbsp; The O &amp; M Railroad, formerly SE RR runs diagonally through the township, entering on Section 6 and leaving on Section 36.&nbsp; The part of the township lying south of Locust Creek forms an area known as Buckeye Prairie.&nbsp; It derived its name from the emigrants from Ohio, the Buckeye State, who settled in this prairie.&nbsp; Its first settler on Cottonwood Forks was Martin &nbsp; Overholt, in the fall of 1851.&nbsp; He built the first house, and moved into it unfinished for the winter.&nbsp; It was situated on the west half of SW quarter of Section 29.&nbsp; It was near where the Buckeye schoolhouse later stood. Lumber for building was not easily obtained.&nbsp; It was 4 miles to the nearest sawmill.&nbsp; In 1852 and 1853 several other families came from Ohio.&nbsp; Among them were John McCune, B. C. Cochran and William Hunter.&nbsp; They built houses near Martin Overholt&rsquo;s.&nbsp; There was nothing here.&nbsp; It was quite a difference from the land they came from.&nbsp; They eventually had a little colony of 22 people.&nbsp; Soon the Buckeye School house was built in 1856 in Section 31 near the head waters of Cottonwood Creek.&nbsp; By 1855 church services were being held at the cabins of Hunter, Witlow and Cowgill. &nbsp;&nbsp;Soon the Methodists held worship service at the Buckeye school and the Christian Society alternated their worship there after using B. C. Cochran&rsquo;s residence.&nbsp; &nbsp; Joshua Pepper, besides shipping hogs, in 1856 built the first dry kiln on the prairie.&nbsp; He succeeded with the difficulties of the clay cracking during drying and built the first brick house very near the center of the prairie, just over the line in Rosamond Township. &nbsp; &nbsp; The Buckeye Church was built in 1867.&nbsp; One acre of ground was donated by James Maguire for the church site.&nbsp; As was the custom then, the men and boys used one door and the women and girls used the other end and sat on opposite sides of the church.&nbsp; This tradition was eliminated in 1920 after the church remodeling.&nbsp;&nbsp; This little white church, sitting on the SE corner of Section 31 in the center of Buckeye Prairie continues today. &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; Velma &nbsp; This was a small village located on the railroad in the SW quarter of section 5 on land owned by Hiram Shumway.&nbsp; He built a store and kept the post office in the later 1890&rsquo;s.&nbsp; The store changed hands several times.&nbsp; There was also a machine shop, elevator and the railroad station.&nbsp; Shumway named the town Velma in honor of his daughter.&nbsp; In 1930 the elevator burned.&nbsp; When Route 29 was laid to follow the railroad into Taylorville in the late 1960&rsquo;s most of the town property was bought by the state for the right of way and the buildings were razed. &nbsp; The Churches of Locust Township played a large part in the lives of the people.&nbsp; There was the Millersville Methodist Episcopal, Owaneco Methodist Episcopal, Buckeye Methodist and the Free-Methodist of Owaneco.&nbsp; &nbsp; There are five known cemeteries in Locust.&nbsp; One Unknown in Section 20 and Durbin Cemetery, in Section 27, donated by Mrs. Logsdon, whose maiden name was Durbin, in 1853 and used until 1914.&nbsp; The Owaneco Cemetery and the Buckeye Cemetery are both still in use today.&nbsp; The Donner Cemetery is one of the oldest of the pioneer cemeteries in the county.&nbsp; It was set aside in 1837.&nbsp; It is located 2 miles west of Owaneco and contains the grave of a Revolutionary soldier, Jonathon Hincklin.&nbsp; It is still in use today. &nbsp; The schools of Locust Township were many.&nbsp; The Johnson School in Section 18 was located about two miles west of Owaneco, on the Owaneco Blacktop Road.&nbsp; The Owaneco School was built in 1868 and soon an upper floor was built, paid for and used by the Masonic Lodge.&nbsp; It was also for the voting place, town meetings and church services before the Methodist church was built.&nbsp; In 1906 a new brick school was erected on the northwest corner of town.&nbsp; It was used as a grade and high school and closed due to consolidation.&nbsp; The old building was demolished in a tornado in 1974. &nbsp; Resler School, also known as Tater Eye, was located two miles east of Owaneco.&nbsp; In Millersville the first school building burned and was replaced by a larger one.&nbsp; After consolidation of the Christian County schools, it became a part of the Pana schools.&nbsp; The building was sold and moved away.&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; Benepe, thought to be the first in the township, was a crude log structure.&nbsp; It was the place of the first voting in the township when the judges were Joseph P. Durbin, James Bradley and Seth W. Vermillion.&nbsp; &nbsp; Madison School was formed in 1862 under the direction of three men.&nbsp; It was about 1 &frac12; miles south of Velma.&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; Pleasant Valley School was another early school.&nbsp; It was erected by John Ward.&nbsp; The school was destroyed by fire in 1909, rebuilt and later closed.&nbsp; &nbsp; Lawton School was located 1 &frac12; miles north of Owaneco.&nbsp; It was known as Pumpkin Ridge also.&nbsp; It, like many others, was the gathering place for the activities of the early days.&nbsp; &nbsp; Meyers School was located about &frac14; mile south of Velma in the northeast corner of Section 8.&nbsp; Durbin College School, which had only one pupil when it closed in 1935 was another.&nbsp; &nbsp; Buckeye School was built in 1856 on the northeast corner of Section 31.&nbsp; During the winter of 1855-56, three men, Overholt, McCune and Cochran met at the house of Joshua Pepper and arranged the Buckeye district in order to have a school built.&nbsp; They voted a tax for the building of the school house and it was built in the summer of 1856.&nbsp; It served as the center of the community and also for the place of worship until the Buckeye Church was built ten years later.&nbsp; The school operated until 1947-48.&nbsp; It was then purchased and moved to the George Wilhour farm across the road.&nbsp; For more than 30 years this old school building was used as a farm storage shed.&nbsp; &nbsp; In 1981 the Christian County Historical Society purchased the building.&nbsp; It was moved, restored and is now on the Society grounds in Taylorville.&nbsp; The one room school house is preserved for all the future generations. &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; May Township &nbsp; At first this territory was attached to Taylorville and Stonington precincts but in 1866 when townships were organized it was a separate township and named Smith Township.&nbsp;&nbsp; It was intended to honor Thomas Smith, who was at that time a resident of the township in Section 15.&nbsp; It was then changed to Howard, but as there was already a township by that name, it had to be changed again.&nbsp; It was named May in honor of Colonel May who served bravely in the artillery in the Mexican War. &nbsp; The area was originally heavily timbered with several kinds of wood and forest trees.&nbsp; This timber was the supply necessary for fuel, building and fencing purposes for many years.&nbsp; It is well supplied with streams.&nbsp; This Township was more favored that some of the other sections of the county at a very early time due to having milling facilities.&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; When the township was organized the Justice of the Peace was B. M. Burdick and the first supervisor was John S. Fraley.&nbsp; The pioneer settlers were John Shanock, John Estes, Benjamin Williams, William B. Hall, David Hall, O. Banning, Daniel C. Goode, Hiram Walker, Thomas Dawson, William Rolls, Gabriel McKenzie and their families.&nbsp; Some of the above were here before the organization of the county.&nbsp; &nbsp; The first land records entered was March, 1833, Peter R. Ketcham, NW NE Section 3 for 40.45 acres,&nbsp; in February, 1834 was Daniel C. Goode the W &frac12; NW Section 19 of 69.19 acres and W &frac12; SW Section 18 for 74.88 acres and Joseph N. Bennefield in October 1834 the NW NW Section 17 for 40 acres. &nbsp; Many of the residents of May Township are also old settlers of the county.&nbsp; Among them are William B. Hall who settled in this county in 1835 and his wife Eloisa Moore Hall who came here in 1838.&nbsp;&nbsp; Nancy Willey came to this county of 1844, while her husband Stephen Willey settled here in 1837.&nbsp; Robert A. Hazlett became a resident in 1827 and his wife Elizabeth Steel Hazlett came to Christian County in 1829. &nbsp; Other old settlers were Silas Harris, David Rutledge, James S. Grant, James M. Galloway, Joseph Bugg, Thomas Smith, Thomas Bugg, John S. Fraley, J. D. Allsman, John Tedlie, Joseph Fund and William Tedlie. &nbsp; The first mill was erected in the southwest part of the township, in 1836 about four miles east of Taylorville by Isaac Harris.&nbsp; This old mill house stood on Spring Branch for many years serving as an old landmark of the past.&nbsp; The Chatham saw mill also sawed native lumber of oak and walnut.&nbsp; George and John Harris owned a saw mill which was located in Section 20.&nbsp; B. F. Aiken&rsquo;s grist mill was located in Section 12 and was run with old fashioned heavy mills stones that were bought in France.&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; The highest point in May Township is 630 feet above sea level and is located &frac14; mile east of the Stonington road in Section 15.&nbsp; This is where many settlers obtained sand to make mortar to plaster their houses, to chink log cabins and to build chimneys.&nbsp; This sand has a slight amount of clay mixture in it from the second Illinois glacier and does not make a lasting plaster.&nbsp; &nbsp; Abraham Morgret operated a cider press, molasses mill, saw mill, ice house and blacksmith ship, all of which were located on the west side of the Stonington Road just across Flat Branch.&nbsp; &nbsp; In May of 1870 this township had a population of 681.&nbsp; The 2010 census lists the township with a total of 36.41 square miles and the population is 1581.&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; Waddell Settlement &nbsp; The area along the Assumption-Stonington Road in Sections 22 and 27 was known as the Waddell Settlement because of the number of families of that name who settled in the vicinity.&nbsp; One of the descendants states that at one time there were 12 families of Waddells living in May Township.&nbsp; The Waddell families and Closkey families purchased between two and three sections of what was then Smith Township in Sections 8, 22, 23, 26, 27, 28 and 34.&nbsp; The Illinois Central Railroad was built in 1851 and John Waddell was appointed the real estate agent.&nbsp; He settled a good many families in old Smith Township.&nbsp; Several of these families would be the Longs, Stephens, Wallaces, Coonrods and Atkinsons and others. &nbsp; &nbsp; Clawson&rsquo;s Point &nbsp; There was a settlement at the head waters of Spring Creek that ran northward through the east sections in Township 25 on the Taylorville to Assumption Road.&nbsp; Many travelers from Shelbyville to Springfield found lodging for the night there.&nbsp; It soon became a resting point in the travels across the prairie.&nbsp; There was no known post office, store or blacksmith shop.&nbsp; There were only a few houses in the vicinity and this place served as sort of an inn. &nbsp; Sandersville &nbsp; Nicholas Sanders came to Illinois in 1837 and settled in Section 1 of May Township.&nbsp; About 1851 he opened a store and it became considerably important and the center of a large trade.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; For a number of years he was the post master and served as a justice of the peace.&nbsp; When the railroads came through and were built business was drawn to other locals and the place soon diminished. &nbsp; Long&rsquo;s Store &nbsp; This was located on the east boundary of May Township, &frac12; mile north of the Assumption Road.&nbsp; These little country stores served the community with material items and as meeting places to learn the news of the day. &nbsp; Willeys &nbsp; This was formerly called Willey Station after Israel Willey who gave the land for the town.&nbsp; He came here in 1844 entered the tract of land and lived there until his death.&nbsp; This town in located in Section 6 on the old Toledo, Wabash and Western Railroad.&nbsp; Stephen Willey laid out the town and built and owned the station house.&nbsp; There were several stores, an elevator, a depot, post office, school and several residences.&nbsp; After Israel Willey&rsquo;s death the store was bought by F. F. Weiser and used as a mercantile business, as it was the only store then.&nbsp; Mr. Weiser also served as post master, was a grain dealer and was the agent for the Wabash, St. Louis and Pacific Railroad. &nbsp; There were many schools in this township as it was an important part of the settlers&rsquo; lives.&nbsp; &nbsp; The Washington School was located in Section 3 on the SE corner of a T road.&nbsp; The school house was moved to Stonington and made into a home.&nbsp; The only thing left was an old concrete storm cellar surrounded by a clump of brush.&nbsp;&nbsp; The Willeys School was located in the village.&nbsp; A teacher at the school, Miss Velma Waddle, taught 34 of her 42 years at that school.&nbsp; When the school was consolidated, the students were bussed into Stonington, Brushy Branch and Taylorville.&nbsp; The white frame building was used as a meeting place for several years afterwards.&nbsp; &nbsp; The Pleasant Hill School was first called the Tedlie School and was located in Section 16 across from the Town Hall.&nbsp; The school was closed in the 1940&rsquo;s and the site was used to stockpile road rock in later years.&nbsp; The Willowdale Schools was located in the NW corner of Section 14.&nbsp; Spring Creek School was located in the NW corner of Section 34.&nbsp; It was separated from the Tedlie School when the new Pleasant Hill school was built.&nbsp; &nbsp; The Fraley School was on the west side of old Route 29 in Section 31.&nbsp; It was named for the John Fraley family.&nbsp; It was later used as a home. &nbsp; The Brushy Branch School was built on an acre of ground in Section 25, south of the Co. Hwy. 6.&nbsp;&nbsp; It is believed the first school was a log house about a mile to the northeast.&nbsp; The first frame building was built in 1864 close to the stream that bears the same name.&nbsp; In 1900 a new building was competed.&nbsp; In May 1927 a few days after dismissal of school for the summer, a tornado wrecked the building beyond repair.&nbsp; A new building was erected.&nbsp; It was one of the few rural schools left open during consolidation.&nbsp; Spring Creek was 2 miles away and Maple Grove school only 3 miles north east in Prairieton Township.&nbsp; They were moved in and attached to make the one room school a three room schoolhouse when the other two schools were closed.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; It too finally closed for consolidation. &nbsp; One of the oldest churches is Old Stonington Baptist Church.&nbsp; In 1831, a North Stonington, Connecticut church sent three of their members to find a suitable location for them to expand to.&nbsp; By 1837 they had established their homes and organized the church at Stonington, Sangamon County, IL.&nbsp; There have been 4 church buildings on the site.&nbsp; The first three burned.&nbsp; The last church was built in 1925.&nbsp; It is still serving the community today. &nbsp; &nbsp; The Willowdale Methodist Church was located in the NE corner of Section 12.&nbsp; It was built in 1887 and was disbanded in 1921 when it was moved to Millersville where it was used for the church that was destroyed by fire there.&nbsp; That church then closed in 1969 and the building was sold. &nbsp; Spring Creek United Presbyterian Church was situated about 6 miles west of Taylorville in Section 22.&nbsp; It was on the SE corner of the intersection of Assumption Blacktop and the Owaneco-Stonington Road.&nbsp; The first sermon was preached in 1852 at the home of John Waddell and the church was erected in 1857.&nbsp; The church had occasional services until 1917.&nbsp; &nbsp; Free Methodist Church was in Section 30 at the west end of the Assumption Blacktop Road at the T intersection with the old Route 29 road. &nbsp; The Bethany United Brethren Church was organized in 1884 and located in Section 32 of May Township, south of the Assumption Road on old Route 29.&nbsp; A &frac12; acre square was deeded for the purpose of a house of worship by Emily Schumway. We are in the final planning stages.&nbsp; We hope everyone will participate in the parade, beard contest, apron contest, send entries for the time capsule, buy a license plate, come to the courthouse and/or visit the civil war reenactment at the historical society. Please visit www.celebrate175.com for more info. This year Taylorville and Christian County are celebrating 175 years.&nbsp; The celebration will be October 4th and 5th.&nbsp; This is&nbsp;a series of articles on the history of Christian County and its townships.&nbsp; Most of the information came from the quarterlies and library of the Christian County Genealogical Society.&nbsp; Our library is housed in the Pence Building at the Christian County Historical Society.&nbsp; For more information, give us a call at 824-6922 or visit our facebook page. &nbsp; King Township &nbsp; King Township is in the extreme south-western part of Christian County.&nbsp; It is twelve miles long by three miles wide.&nbsp; King originally formed a part of Bear Creek Precinct.&nbsp; The land was originally surveyed about 1819, but even after the organization of the county, it was relatively unsettled.&nbsp; It was remote from any market, and was so low that much of it was submerged and thought useless until modern drainage systems.&nbsp; Soon it became sparsely settled. &nbsp; &nbsp; In 1866 when the townships were organized, it was named King for the family who were early residents.&nbsp; At the election, Wm. A. Potts was the first supervisor with Thos. F. Potts and Jesse J. King the first justices of the peace.&nbsp; &nbsp; The land in the north half of the township is thickly settled with various owners.&nbsp; A lake or large swamp lies in the south-east part of the township, in parts of Sections 35 and 36.&nbsp; In the bottom tier of sections there is very little natural drainage.&nbsp; Malaria was common until good drainage occurred after the 1900&rsquo;s.&nbsp; Ditches were dug to the south and tile laid to drain into them.&nbsp; This has now helped this precinct become a great agricultural producing area.&nbsp; &nbsp; The first land entered in the township was 1851 by James McKinney of 40 acres in SE half of NW quarter in Section 35, Arthur Bradshaw of 40 and 70/100 acres in W. Half, Lot 2, NW quarter in Section 3, Henry Parrish of 80 acres in lot 1 of NW quarter and E half of lot 2 in NW quarter of 40 and 37/100 in Section 3 and Wm. Clower of 160 acres in SW quarter and SE quarter of 160 acres in Section 3. &nbsp; &nbsp;As King is the most recent settled township there are few old settlers living in it.&nbsp; Capt. Jesse Hanon, son of Martin Hanon, the first settler of Christian County, is one of the oldest native born citizens of the county, but only lived in King Township for a few years.&nbsp; Some of the leading farmers of the region were J. H. Adams, M. F. Cheney, W. A. Potts and Hatten Gaskins.&nbsp; &nbsp; The population in 1870 was 413.&nbsp; The 2010 census says the township has 36.66 square miles and a population of 244.&nbsp; &nbsp; North King Township &nbsp; Many of the families in the north end centered their trading and traveling more in Pawnee and Virden, as it was only 15 miles to the west in Macoupin County.&nbsp; Virden, being on the route from St. Louis to Alton to Springfield was important to north King Township as many of the early settlers came on that route to Virden and then to the Christian County prairie and swamp lands.&nbsp; The route is now a county road known as the Virden-Taylorville Road. &nbsp; &nbsp;Other residents living in the north part of King were more than ten miles from a town and so grew dependent on the country stores.&nbsp; They centered activities around the country stores and local schools. &nbsp;&nbsp;The first religious meetings were held in the country schools and as the size grew a church was built. &nbsp; White Oak &nbsp; This was located in the southwest corner of Section 5 and later the NE corner of Bois D&rsquo; Arc Township in Montgomery County and was the general store, blacksmith shop and mail service.&nbsp; &nbsp;The White Oak Circuit held church classes at various times at Shiloh and King Schools in King Township and White Oak, Star and Lone Elm Schools in Bois D&rsquo;Arc Township and Maple Grove and Brookside, Palmer and Clarksdale in Bear Creek Township and Providence in Johnson Township. &nbsp; &nbsp; Shiloh &nbsp; The Shiloh community served the local residents for many years.&nbsp; The Shiloh Methodist Church was built in 1875 on the northeast corner of Section 10 in King Township.&nbsp; It also provided a variety of social activities in this rural area.&nbsp; It closed in the early 1950&rsquo;s due to declining enrollment.&nbsp; The Shiloh School was located on the half-mile line on the north side of Section 11.&nbsp; It closed due to consolidation of the schools and the building was moved west and made into a home. &nbsp; Zenobia &nbsp; Zenobia was started in 1872. It was first located in the NE corner of Section 33 of Pawnee Township in Sangamon County.&nbsp; Later a new building was built about &frac34; of a mile south and was called the Weber Store, owned by William Weber.&nbsp; It served the community with items and a doctor.&nbsp; The blacksmith, barber and tile yard were located across the road in South Fork Township.&nbsp; Several homes were built also.&nbsp; The store became Zenobia in 1899 when the post office was established and the name changed.&nbsp; As the town grew up, some of the buildings and residences were in Christian and some in Sangamon. &nbsp;In the 1960&rsquo;s the store was closed and shortly after torn down.&nbsp; Of the original village, the barber shop still stands, abandoned and a reminder of the community.&nbsp; &nbsp; The Zenobia Baptist Church stood on the northeast corner of Section 9 of Bois D&rsquo;Arc Township in Montgomery County across from King Township on the County Line.&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;It began as a small mission of the Bois D&rsquo;Arc Church which was located years ago, 6 miles west, on the intersection of the Virden-Taylorville Road and Interstate 55.&nbsp; That church was established in 1875.&nbsp; In later years the building was moved to Springfield and is part of a Baptist church.&nbsp; Some members first met at the Zenobia Hall, above the store, and was organized in 1897 with 37 members.&nbsp; Plans were made to erect a church building and it was dedicated in 1899 as Zenobia Baptist Church.&nbsp; It served the community until 1994 when it was burned and members chose not to rebuild. &nbsp; The schools in North King were Shiloh, King and Evergreen.&nbsp; King was located in the NE quarter of Section 35, west of the corner on the quarter mile line.&nbsp; It was closed due to consolidation.&nbsp; Evergreen was located on the half-mile line on the south side of Section 14.&nbsp; When the schools consolidated in the 1940&rsquo;s this school remained a few more years, serving as a first, second and third grade classroom.&nbsp; When the school finally closed, the building was moved to the Morrisonville School grounds and used for a band room. &nbsp; South King Township &nbsp; The Morrisonville Cemetery lies in this township.&nbsp; It is 11 acres of land located two miles west of the town.&nbsp; It was deeded to the village of Morrisonville in 1879 by Mrs. Ann Shephard, however is not in Ricks Township as Morrisonville is. &nbsp; Harvel Only a small portion of Harvel lies in Christian County.&nbsp; It is the only partial town within King Township.&nbsp; It is located in Section 34.&nbsp; It is believed that in 1855 the Tulpin family moved to the area south of the present site.&nbsp; They built a house and small store and called it Colfax City.&nbsp; When the railroad was laid out there was already an Illinois town named that so the name was changed.&nbsp; After the completion of the railroad the house and store were moved to the location that is now Harvel.&nbsp; It was named for John Harvel, the first man to build at the present site.&nbsp; &nbsp; The schools of South King were Prosperity and D&rsquo;Arcy. Prosperity was first in the SW corner of Section 23.&nbsp; In 1914 a new building was built across the corner on the NW corner of Section 25.&nbsp; The original building was pulled to Harvel by a steam engine and placed on Geiselman&rsquo;s property and used for a machine shop and garage until it burned down.&nbsp; The new building was used until consolidation and the building was destroyed by lightning.&nbsp; The D&rsquo;Arcy school was located on the east side of Section 11, south of the Morrisonville-Farmersville Road.&nbsp; It was used until consolidation of the school district and was the building was then made into a home. We are in the final planning stages.&nbsp; We hope everyone will participate in the parade, beard contest, apron contest, send entries for the time capsule, buy a license plate, come to the courthouse and/or visit the civil war reenactment at the historical society. Please visit www.celebrate175.com for more info. &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; This year Taylorville and Christian County are celebrating 175 years.&nbsp; The celebration will be October 4th and 5th.&nbsp; This is the fourth of a series of articles on the history of Christian County and its townships.&nbsp; Most of the information came from the quarterlies and library of the Christian County Genealogical Society.&nbsp; Our library is housed in the Pence Building at the Christian County Historical Society.&nbsp; For more information, give us a call at 824-6922 or visit our facebook page. &nbsp; &nbsp;Greenwood Township &nbsp; For many years this area was sparsely settled.&nbsp; The early settlers put up their cabins on the skirts of the timber, while thousands of acres of wild prairie lay untouched.&nbsp; The prairie grass could grow up to ten feet tall.&nbsp; It covered huge sections of the land in mounds and when blooming looked blue.&nbsp;&nbsp; These beautiful broad acres finally began to attract the eye of immigrants and land that once couldn&rsquo;t be sold for $1.25 an acre soon went to $20.00 an acre. &nbsp; The whole section of this country was first attached to the Taylorville Precinct.&nbsp; This was a major inconvenience and in 1852 the people made a move to have a new precinct voting area.&nbsp; By March 1852 the new Nevada Precinct was passed.&nbsp; This was the ninth precinct formed in the county.&nbsp; The first place of voting was the Nevada School House but by 1855 was changed to the Sassafras School House.&nbsp; &nbsp; James Pierce, James Linn and Henry Riggs were the first election judges and Robert S. Welch the justice of the peace.&nbsp; Soon Henry C. Dickson was the other justice of the peace and Madison Busby and William Linn elected as constables. &nbsp; Among the oldest settlers were Mylo and Duane Skinner, William Virden, John McClurg, Chris K. Durbin, George Wilcox, Daniel E. Walker, Bradley Skinner, Josephus and Leonard Durbin, Madison and John Busby, Old Nathan Durbin, Francis J. White, Domenick Simpson, H. C. Dickson, Peter Klinefelter, Daniel Micenhammer, John and John W. and Andrew S. Miller, Edgar M. Thompson, John Carman, Dr. D. C. Goodan, Jerry Welch, George Compton, Peter Oller, H. J. Shaffer, T. L. Bacon, Henry Riggs, William Linn and Willam Sheham. &nbsp; In 1866 the precinct of Nevada came to an end and was succeeded by Greenwood Township.&nbsp; Part of it was then absorbed by Johnson Township.&nbsp; The name Greenwood was because of its beautiful groves of timber.&nbsp; &nbsp; A new election of officers was held and George W. Taylor was elected supervisor with James Miller and Madison Busby the first justices of the peace. &nbsp; The first land transaction was Feb, 1836 by William Virdin for 80, 40 and 160 acres, all in section 36.&nbsp; This was followed in April by Charles Sprague entering 160 acres in section 21. &nbsp; This township is one of the best wheat and corn producing in the county with lots of grazing and feeding of stock on the many farms.&nbsp; It is believed the first church was the Fairview United Methodist church in section 13, on land donated by Andrew Miller, a teacher and farmer.&nbsp; He deeded the land in 1868 for a church and burial ground.&nbsp; He died and was buried there in May of 1869.&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; This township has never had an incorporated town.&nbsp; History has said there were two stores but they were gone by 1920.&nbsp; One was in section 16 run by Mose Davis and Mr. Shafer had one in section 30.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; Five country schools were scattered across the township.&nbsp; The first voting of Nevada township was in the Nevada Schoolhouse.&nbsp; There was also Sassafras, Noble, Skinner, Compton and Gopher Hill, which was the last of the schools to close when it was consolidated with Nokomis units in 1956.&nbsp; The 2010 census says the population is 208 with 36.68 square miles. &nbsp; Vanderville &nbsp; This was once a thriving community.&nbsp; Many founding families of this area still remain on the land in this area in Section 3.&nbsp; &nbsp; The Vandever family were residents at that time with large land holdings and the community was named after them. The land was first settled by Richard Fines, an immigrant from Ireland.&nbsp; The Vanderville store was built about 1896 by his son, William.&nbsp; The lumber for the store was hauled to the site after being purchased at the lumber yard in Pana.&nbsp; It was the first load of lumber sold there. &nbsp; It was a large, two-story building with a store and dwelling area on the bottom level and large open area upstairs.&nbsp; This became a dance hall, boxing ring or meeting place.&nbsp; There was also latera post office in the store and the mail was brought out from Taylorville and then delivered to the residents.&nbsp; By 1900 the post office was closed and the mail service became rural Morrisonville.&nbsp; The store burned in 1923 and a new larger one was built north of the location of the old one.&nbsp; The new store closed in the 1950&rsquo;s.&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;Also in the area was a black smith, harness shop, a doctor and a barber shop.&nbsp; &nbsp; Johnson Township &nbsp; For many years this area remained sparsely settled and unoccupied.&nbsp; A large portion of the territory is prairie.&nbsp; A few settlers built log cabins near the timber in the early days and made some improvements, but the majority was acres of blue stem and other prairie grasses. &nbsp; For many years after the organization of the county, this area was in the South Precinct.&nbsp; The voting place was at the John Z. Durbin residence in Township 24.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The northern two-thirds was attached to the Taylorville Precinct and the south was attached to the Nevada Precinct.&nbsp; In 1866 the reorganization of the townships it was first named Douglas, after the Illinois statesman who debated Lincoln, but then changed to Johnson. &nbsp; The names of some of the early settlers in this area are John Z. Durbin in Section 24 and Jesse Hinkle on Section 28 in 1837.&nbsp; John Vinson, Abram Lantz, Wm. Durbin, Benj. Harris, Lemuel Raney, John Clark, Dr. J. H. Clark, Jeremiah Welch, Benj. Vinson, Samuel McKenzie, W. S. Berry, Noel Rape, Samuel Angel, John Keller, J. W. Morgan, Henry Baker, Jacob Funderburk, Joseph Dawson, John Bowman, Alex. Johnson, Henry Rape, Richard Johnson, Dr. U. C. McCoy, A. J. Willey, Thomas E. Voss, Peter Brown, Samuel Large and J. H. Calloway. &nbsp; The first election of officers in 1866 were then Tavner Anderson as Supervisor and Samuel Shivers and Richard Culley as Justices of the Peace.&nbsp; The voting place then was fixed at the residence of Shivers in Section 16 as this was the most convenient since it was central to all.&nbsp; The total population around this time was 640. &nbsp; The first land entries were in 1836 of Thomas Young, Sr. 80 acres in Section 5, Jesse Murphy with 86 acres in Section 6 and Hiram Roundtree with 78 acres in Section 1. &nbsp; The Mound is a community situated in the southern part of the Township in Section 27.&nbsp; It gets its name from the large earthen glacier hill situated in that area.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Many of the early settlers migrated here from Ohio and settled near each other.&nbsp; These families are Chesterman, Dappert, Brookens, Resler, Large and others.&nbsp; There is a Mound Chapel and cemetery and Mound School. &nbsp; There were several schools scattered across this township.&nbsp; The Mound School was in Section 26 on the Chesterman Farm.&nbsp; In 1866 the school district changed and the building was moved about a mile to Section 35.&nbsp; Another early school was Bloody Gympsun in Section 22.&nbsp;&nbsp; As the township became populated, this school was moved to make the distance to travel shorter.&nbsp; It was then located to Section 16, being near the center of the district and became known as Center School.&nbsp; In the southeast corner of Section 2 was the Dawson School.&nbsp; It was near the site of Dollville.&nbsp; The Duval School was in Section 3, to the west off the Taylorville-Nokomis Road.&nbsp; Located in Section 7 was Hazel Green.&nbsp; &nbsp;This school was demolished in a storm in 1927.&nbsp; It was rebuilt and used until consolidation in the 1960&rsquo;s.&nbsp; Oak Ridge School was in Section 14.&nbsp; The Douglas school was in Section 29. &nbsp; According to the 2010 census, the population of the township was 673 with a total area of 37.26 square miles of which 1.63 miles is water. &nbsp; Dollville &nbsp; This small settlement was located in the southeast corner of Section 2 of Johnson Township.&nbsp; The Great Western Stage passed through three times a week from Taylorville to Pana and Vandalia.&nbsp; As the stage came out of Taylorville, it traveled south and came into Dollville from the west to avoid the quick sands in the bottom lands.&nbsp; When leaving Dollville the stage crossed Section 12 to the southeast and crossed the stream at Greasy Neck and on to Owaneco.&nbsp; There was a store, blacksmith shop, a post office and a school.&nbsp; With the passing of the stage and time the town ceased to exist.&nbsp; &nbsp; Half Acre &nbsp; Edward Bradley purchased a one-half acre in the northwest corner of Section 8 in Johnson Township.&nbsp; This was on the north side of the stream in 1855.&nbsp; He named it &ldquo;Half Acre.&rdquo;&nbsp; He opened a store and a saloon.&nbsp; There were several cabins, a saw mill, a blacksmith shop and possibly a post office for the few families who located there.&nbsp; It became a half-way town for those too tired to finish the journey from Bear Creek to Taylorville.&nbsp; It was a flourishing settlement until a criminal element gained control.&nbsp; It then became known as &ldquo;Hell&rsquo;s Half Acre&rdquo; due to the roughness of the place.&nbsp; This settlement was destroyed in the storm of 1880 which swept through much of the county.&nbsp; In the midst of the raging storm the saloon was struck by lightning and burned.&nbsp; &nbsp; Lake Taylorville &nbsp; Lake Taylorville was dedicated on June 30, 1962.&nbsp; It covers 1300 acres with water, laying mostly in what was Johnson Township.&nbsp; This area, with 44 miles of shoreline, was annexed to the city of Taylorville. We are in the final planning stages.&nbsp; We hope everyone will participate in the parade, beard contest, apron contest, send entries for the time capsule, buy a license plate, come to the courthouse and/or visit the civil war reenactment at the historical society. Please visit www.celebrate175.com< Taylorville Daily News 2014-10-24T21:20:30Z http://www.taylorvilledailynews.com/pages/index.cfm?id=121