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We look forward to hearing from you.   +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ This year Taylorville and Christian County are celebrating 175 years.  The celebration will be October 4th and 5th.  This is a series of articles on the history of Christian County and its townships.  Most of the information came from the quarterlies and library of the Christian County Genealogical Society.  Our library is housed in the Pence Building at the Christian County Historical Society.  For more information, give us a call at 824-6922 or visit our facebook page.   King Township   King Township is in the extreme south-western part of Christian County.  It is twelve miles long by three miles wide.  King originally formed a part of Bear Creek Precinct.  The land was originally surveyed about 1819, but even after the organization of the county, it was relatively unsettled.  It was remote from any market, and was so low that much of it was submerged and thought useless until modern drainage systems.  Soon it became sparsely settled.     In 1866 when the townships were organized, it was named King for the family who were early residents.  At the election, Wm. A. Potts was the first supervisor with Thos. F. Potts and Jesse J. King the first justices of the peace.    The land in the north half of the township is thickly settled with various owners.  A lake or large swamp lies in the south-east part of the township, in parts of Sections 35 and 36.  In the bottom tier of sections there is very little natural drainage.  Malaria was common until good drainage occurred after the 1900’s.  Ditches were dug to the south and tile laid to drain into them.  This has now helped this precinct become a great agricultural producing area.    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.    As King is the most recent settled township there are few old settlers living in it.  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.  Some of the leading farmers of the region were J. H. Adams, M. F. Cheney, W. A. Potts and Hatten Gaskins.    The population in 1870 was 413.  The 2010 census says the township has 36.66 square miles and a population of 244.    North King Township   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.  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.  The route is now a county road known as the Virden-Taylorville Road.    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.  They centered activities around the country stores and local schools.   The first religious meetings were held in the country schools and as the size grew a church was built.   White Oak   This was located in the southwest corner of Section 5 and later the NE corner of Bois D’ Arc Township in Montgomery County and was the general store, blacksmith shop and mail service.   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’Arc Township and Maple Grove and Brookside, Palmer and Clarksdale in Bear Creek Township and Providence in Johnson Township.     Shiloh   The Shiloh community served the local residents for many years.  The Shiloh Methodist Church was built in 1875 on the northeast corner of Section 10 in King Township.  It also provided a variety of social activities in this rural area.  It closed in the early 1950’s due to declining enrollment.  The Shiloh School was located on the half-mile line on the north side of Section 11.  It closed due to consolidation of the schools and the building was moved west and made into a home.   Zenobia   Zenobia was started in 1872. It was first located in the NE corner of Section 33 of Pawnee Township in Sangamon County.  Later a new building was built about ¾ of a mile south and was called the Weber Store, owned by William Weber.  It served the community with items and a doctor.  The blacksmith, barber and tile yard were located across the road in South Fork Township.  Several homes were built also.  The store became Zenobia in 1899 when the post office was established and the name changed.  As the town grew up, some of the buildings and residences were in Christian and some in Sangamon.  In the 1960’s the store was closed and shortly after torn down.  Of the original village, the barber shop still stands, abandoned and a reminder of the community.    The Zenobia Baptist Church stood on the northeast corner of Section 9 of Bois D’Arc Township in Montgomery County across from King Township on the County Line.    It began as a small mission of the Bois D’Arc Church which was located years ago, 6 miles west, on the intersection of the Virden-Taylorville Road and Interstate 55.  That church was established in 1875.  In later years the building was moved to Springfield and is part of a Baptist church.  Some members first met at the Zenobia Hall, above the store, and was organized in 1897 with 37 members.  Plans were made to erect a church building and it was dedicated in 1899 as Zenobia Baptist Church.  It served the community until 1994 when it was burned and members chose not to rebuild.   The schools in North King were Shiloh, King and Evergreen.  King was located in the NE quarter of Section 35, west of the corner on the quarter mile line.  It was closed due to consolidation.  Evergreen was located on the half-mile line on the south side of Section 14.  When the schools consolidated in the 1940’s this school remained a few more years, serving as a first, second and third grade classroom.  When the school finally closed, the building was moved to the Morrisonville School grounds and used for a band room.   South King Township   The Morrisonville Cemetery lies in this township.  It is 11 acres of land located two miles west of the town.  It was deeded to the village of Morrisonville in 1879 by Mrs. Ann Shephard, however is not in Ricks Township as Morrisonville is.   Harvel Only a small portion of Harvel lies in Christian County.  It is the only partial town within King Township.  It is located in Section 34.  It is believed that in 1855 the Tulpin family moved to the area south of the present site.  They built a house and small store and called it Colfax City.  When the railroad was laid out there was already an Illinois town named that so the name was changed.  After the completion of the railroad the house and store were moved to the location that is now Harvel.  It was named for John Harvel, the first man to build at the present site.    The schools of South King were Prosperity and D’Arcy. Prosperity was first in the SW corner of Section 23.  In 1914 a new building was built across the corner on the NW corner of Section 25.  The original building was pulled to Harvel by a steam engine and placed on Geiselman’s property and used for a machine shop and garage until it burned down.  The new building was used until consolidation and the building was destroyed by lightning.  The D’Arcy school was located on the east side of Section 11, south of the Morrisonville-Farmersville Road.  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.  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.  The celebration will be October 4th and 5th.  This is the fourth of a series of articles on the history of Christian County and its townships.  Most of the information came from the quarterlies and library of the Christian County Genealogical Society.  Our library is housed in the Pence Building at the Christian County Historical Society.  For more information, give us a call at 824-6922 or visit our facebook page.    Greenwood Township   For many years this area was sparsely settled.  The early settlers put up their cabins on the skirts of the timber, while thousands of acres of wild prairie lay untouched.  The prairie grass could grow up to ten feet tall.  It covered huge sections of the land in mounds and when blooming looked blue.   These beautiful broad acres finally began to attract the eye of immigrants and land that once couldn’t be sold for $1.25 an acre soon went to $20.00 an acre.   The whole section of this country was first attached to the Taylorville Precinct.  This was a major inconvenience and in 1852 the people made a move to have a new precinct voting area.  By March 1852 the new Nevada Precinct was passed.  This was the ninth precinct formed in the county.  The first place of voting was the Nevada School House but by 1855 was changed to the Sassafras School House.    James Pierce, James Linn and Henry Riggs were the first election judges and Robert S. Welch the justice of the peace.  Soon Henry C. Dickson was the other justice of the peace and Madison Busby and William Linn elected as constables.   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.   In 1866 the precinct of Nevada came to an end and was succeeded by Greenwood Township.  Part of it was then absorbed by Johnson Township.  The name Greenwood was because of its beautiful groves of timber.    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.   The first land transaction was Feb, 1836 by William Virdin for 80, 40 and 160 acres, all in section 36.  This was followed in April by Charles Sprague entering 160 acres in section 21.   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.  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.  He deeded the land in 1868 for a church and burial ground.  He died and was buried there in May of 1869.        This township has never had an incorporated town.  History has said there were two stores but they were gone by 1920.  One was in section 16 run by Mose Davis and Mr. Shafer had one in section 30.      Five country schools were scattered across the township.  The first voting of Nevada township was in the Nevada Schoolhouse.  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.  The 2010 census says the population is 208 with 36.68 square miles.   Vanderville   This was once a thriving community.  Many founding families of this area still remain on the land in this area in Section 3.    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.  The Vanderville store was built about 1896 by his son, William.  The lumber for the store was hauled to the site after being purchased at the lumber yard in Pana.  It was the first load of lumber sold there.   It was a large, two-story building with a store and dwelling area on the bottom level and large open area upstairs.  This became a dance hall, boxing ring or meeting place.  There was also latera post office in the store and the mail was brought out from Taylorville and then delivered to the residents.  By 1900 the post office was closed and the mail service became rural Morrisonville.  The store burned in 1923 and a new larger one was built north of the location of the old one.  The new store closed in the 1950’s.    Also in the area was a black smith, harness shop, a doctor and a barber shop.    Johnson Township   For many years this area remained sparsely settled and unoccupied.  A large portion of the territory is prairie.  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.   For many years after the organization of the county, this area was in the South Precinct.  The voting place was at the John Z. Durbin residence in Township 24.    The northern two-thirds was attached to the Taylorville Precinct and the south was attached to the Nevada Precinct.  In 1866 the reorganization of the townships it was first named Douglas, after the Illinois statesman who debated Lincoln, but then changed to Johnson.   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.  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.   The first election of officers in 1866 were then Tavner Anderson as Supervisor and Samuel Shivers and Richard Culley as Justices of the Peace.  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.  The total population around this time was 640.   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.   The Mound is a community situated in the southern part of the Township in Section 27.  It gets its name from the large earthen glacier hill situated in that area.    Many of the early settlers migrated here from Ohio and settled near each other.  These families are Chesterman, Dappert, Brookens, Resler, Large and others.  There is a Mound Chapel and cemetery and Mound School.   There were several schools scattered across this township.  The Mound School was in Section 26 on the Chesterman Farm.  In 1866 the school district changed and the building was moved about a mile to Section 35.  Another early school was Bloody Gympsun in Section 22.   As the township became populated, this school was moved to make the distance to travel shorter.  It was then located to Section 16, being near the center of the district and became known as Center School.  In the southeast corner of Section 2 was the Dawson School.  It was near the site of Dollville.  The Duval School was in Section 3, to the west off the Taylorville-Nokomis Road.  Located in Section 7 was Hazel Green.   This school was demolished in a storm in 1927.  It was rebuilt and used until consolidation in the 1960’s.  Oak Ridge School was in Section 14.  The Douglas school was in Section 29.   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.   Dollville   This small settlement was located in the southeast corner of Section 2 of Johnson Township.  The Great Western Stage passed through three times a week from Taylorville to Pana and Vandalia.  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.  When leaving Dollville the stage crossed Section 12 to the southeast and crossed the stream at Greasy Neck and on to Owaneco.  There was a store, blacksmith shop, a post office and a school.  With the passing of the stage and time the town ceased to exist.    Half Acre   Edward Bradley purchased a one-half acre in the northwest corner of Section 8 in Johnson Township.  This was on the north side of the stream in 1855.  He named it “Half Acre.”  He opened a store and a saloon.  There were several cabins, a saw mill, a blacksmith shop and possibly a post office for the few families who located there.  It became a half-way town for those too tired to finish the journey from Bear Creek to Taylorville.  It was a flourishing settlement until a criminal element gained control.  It then became known as “Hell’s Half Acre” due to the roughness of the place.  This settlement was destroyed in the storm of 1880 which swept through much of the county.  In the midst of the raging storm the saloon was struck by lightning and burned.    Lake Taylorville   Lake Taylorville was dedicated on June 30, 1962.  It covers 1300 acres with water, laying mostly in what was Johnson Township.  This area, with 44 miles of shoreline, was annexed to the city of Taylorville. We are in the final planning stages.  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.  The celebration will be October 4th and 5th.  This is the third of a series of articles on the history of Christian County and its townships.  Most of the information came from the quarterlies and library of the Christian County Genealogical Society.  Our library is housed in the Pence Building at the Christian County Historical Society.  For more information, give us a call at 824-6922 or visit our facebook page.   Bear Creek Township   Bear Creek Township was named from the tradition that an immense bear was killed on the creek that now carries the same name.  Prior to the organization of Christian County, the township was part of Montgomery until 1839.  Many of the early justices of the peace and constables were elected while it was part of Montgomery and Joseph P. Durbin and Richard Simpson were for many years the magistrates of the region.   The earliest white settlers, arriving in 1829 was Joseph P. Durbin, James M. Logsdon, Nathan Painter and John Durbin.  They came from Maryland in covered wagons.  The story goes that a wagon wheel broke down while going through Bear Creek and they pitched a tent and later homesteaded in a crude log cabin on the west side of Bear Creek.  They hunted bears, deer and other game.  Wild grapes and plums grew everywhere.  Bees formed hives and furnished honey.   In 1830 Sylvester, Nathan and Philip Durbin, all of the same family came to the area, followed by Old William and Thomas Durbin.  They settled on the prairie on the east side of the creek.  Together they formed a settlement.  The winter of 1830-1831 is known as the winter of the deep snow.  Thomas Durbin told of cutting down elm trees for the stock to eat.  Later, the stumps that were visible for years afterward were 6 to 7 feet high.  The first years were rugged with bitter cold winters and inadequate shelters.   The first settlers located near the creeks, not realizing the value of the prairieland.    Once it was learned how rich the prairie land was, more settlers arrived.  Other early settlers were Walter Clark, John Baker, Col. Thomas Bond, Garbriel Jernigan, and Alfred Currie.  There was also the McCollum, Ricks, Meads, Glass and Elliott families from 1831 to1836.  Hiram Glass was the first carpenter and helped to build one-room cabins.  They had dirt floors, no windows and one door.  Each had a fireplace that was used for heating and cooking.   In July, 1832, Jesse Agee entered the first land in the township, it being 40 acres on Section 9.  The summer saw raging prairie fires, nearly wiping out the settlement.  There were no stores, churches or schools.  In March 1837, Thomas Anderson settled on section 15.  A log church was erected on his farm and the old graveyard was settled on this tract.  In the ravine below the church was the first distillery in the township.  A wooden mortar for crushing corn was used until Joseph P. Durbin started a mill by using two stones he found on the prairie.   Patrons had to furnish their own power by hitching up teams.  Soon a saw mill was built on the banks of Bear Creek, in 1838 by R. O. and W. C. Warriner using the water to furnish the power.  Because of this mill, a large amount of lumber was sawed and hauled to Springfield.  The first distillery was established by John Baker in 1835.  According to the 2010 census, the township has a total area of 85.83 square miles.   Harper’s Ferry Harper’s Ferry was established as a post office, store and wayside station for the stage couch on the Old Edwardsville Road.  It was on the east side of Bear Creek, near Jernigan’s Bridge.  It was a general store with dry goods and groceries and flourished until new towns sprung up along the railroad and it was abandoned.    Jernigan’s Bridge This bridge was located crossing the stream in Section 22.  Gabriel Jernigan settled in 1835 and the bridge was built north of his land and named in his honor.  This bridge served in locating other sites.  He was elected Treasurer of the county.   Bond’s Point Bond’s Point was the site of the first post office.  Col. Thomas Bond arrived, improved the land and erected buildings.  It was was established on a point of timber on Section 23 in 1835.  It was a noted place of generous hospitality and lodged many weary travelers in his cabins.   Clarksdale Clarksdale was named in honor of Y. B. Clark and at one time had a population of 150.  The town was platted in 1871 and laid out by Clark.  The post office was established in 1870.  A flouring mill was also erected which burned in 1876.  The school house, erected in 1871 was directed by Clark, E. K. Brock and S. W. Hawkins.   There was a general store, grain business, elevator, wagon repair ship, hotel and blacksmith ships.      Wallaceville This was small village west of Clarksdale before the railroad was located.  It was on land owned by Mr. Wallace.  There was a blacksmith shop, store, post office, school and church.  It was also a stage route that finally gave way to the building of Clarksdale.   Palmer The village of Palmer was laid out in early 1869 by J. H. Boyd and J. M. Simpson. It was given the name for John M. Palmer, the governor of Illinois at the time.  There was a store, hotel, post office and other places of business.  Because of the fertile soil and its location on the Wabash railroad it continued to grow.  Its bank and grain elevator were quite large and widely used.    Buckhart Township   Some of the earliest settlements in the county were made in this township.  It was not surveyed by the government until 1821 and for several years the emigrants exercised “squatters” rights.  It is quite large, having 57 sections instead of the normal 36 per township.  Some of the present precinct was originally part of West and South Fork precincts, however when the county population increased and due to the inconvenience of trying to cross the rivers, a new precinct boundary was formed and named Buckhart in 1855.    The first settler was Titus Gragg who came in 1820, erected a cabin and improvements on the edge of the timber near the site of Campbellsburg.  From the South Fork history, it is said that he was a blacksmith.  All the family, save one grandson, died very suddenly and mysteriously.  They were all buried on the same farm, with no stone.  Evidently some kind friend carved their names into a tree and that marked the spot for many years.  When Samuel Williams travelled to Sangamon County in 1821, this was the only cabin he came across and slept in after leaving Terre Haute, Indiana.    Wm. McCallister was a pioneer settler as early as 1824.  He settled a mile north-west of Edinburg.  The family, save one son, all died on the forty acre farm and were buried there.    John and Joseph Brown settled in 1825.  They stayed until 1829, entered the land and sold it in 1832.  Abner and Joseph McLean also came in 1825 and settled Blue Point farm.  Wm. Bragg settled below Campbell’s Point in 1825.  William and John George settled in 1827.  The second entry of land in the county was entered by Jacob Cagle in Section 10 in March of 1827.  In 1829 David Stokes came from Kentucky and settled below Campbell’s Point, erected his cabin and improved a farm.  Of his large family, his son, Iverson was one of the proprietors of Campbellsburg.  The original Stokes cabin was used for many years by the Baptists for their meetings and officiated by Elder Stafford and Aaron Vandeveer.     We also have John L. Cagle, David Cagle, Wm. Harvey, Alfred Bishop and Henry Blount as qualifying as snow birds, being here before the deep snow. Moses Martin improved the old Jesse Hanon farm, two miles south-west of Edinburg.  He was an old settler, a blacksmith by trade and a widower with nine children.  He stayed until 1840.  William Bennefield settled near Campbell’s Point and owned a distillery.  He moved to Blue Point farm, raised a crop, build a flatboat, loaded it with 300 barrels of flour and went down the Sangamon to the Mississippi and to New Orleans where he sold the flour and came back with a fair profit.         Campbell’s Point There was no store or settlement here, but other points were located from here.  Shadrach Campbell came to the county in 1829 and settled at the head of the timber.   Robinson’s Point or Bethany This settlement was at one time a hamlet at the head of the timber and was the first in the county.  It was six miles north of Taylorville, and two miles east of Sharpsburg.  It also bore the name of Bethany as did the post office.  The postmaster was David Robinson, where the place took its original name.  It was a way station for the stage line from Shelbyville to Springfield.  Mr. Robinson also had the first store in Christian County from 1835 to 1837.  There was a general store and blacksmith shop.   Sharpsburg The village of Sharpsburg was surveyed and laid off by R. M. Powel in 1870 for William Hargis, the original proprietor.  The first house was erected by A. D. Ebert in 1870.  The first blacksmith was Joseph Hanon in 1870.  The post office was established in 1871 and G. R. Sharp was the first post master, as he and E. A. Hanon kept the first store.  In 1875 the first church was erected by the Methodists.   Campbellsburg This was a station on the O & M railroad, located in Section 10.  The lots were surveyed and laid out in 1870 for John Rodham, Iverson Stokes and Joseph Throwls.  It adjoins the Campbell farm and was named for the pioneer family.  James Stokes built the first house in 1870 and a blacksmith shop.  A store house was built and opened by Allen Stokes.  There was also a depot and freight house from 1870 to 1877.  A school was built.  Once the station house was discontinued by the railroad due to the merging of Blueville and Blue Point, the town’s growth declined and the site was abandoned.  The Campbellsburg depot was moved to Owaneco.  It is now on the grounds of the CC Historical Society since 1986.   Blue Point This was another of the stage line stations.   Its original land entry was Abner and Joseph McLean in 1829.  As it was 20 miles from Springfield, a public inn was established as early as 1830.  The first store was built by Dr. S. Jerald.  In 1838 Robert Allen of Springfield built a Travelers Inn.  This inn was for years one of the landmarks of the county.  When Robert Allen had financial difficulties, Judge Vandeveer appointed Abraham Lincoln as the administrator to settle the 200 acres.  There were several houses, blacksmith shop and general store.  The post office was established in 1839 but with the end of the stage line, this hamlet ended also.   Blueville A post office was established here in 1855.  When the county lines changed, the post office was listed in Sangamon County.  In 1864 the lines changed again and Blueville was again in Christian County.  This town was about a half mile north of the Blue Point stage stand.  Several houses were erected and it was surveyed in 1870 for Wm. Halford.  It was laid out near the center of Section 14.  It had a store and a drug store in 1868.  There was a blacksmith shop and plow manufactory.  The first doctor was H. T. Moore.  It was a quiet prosperous town and had the Methodist church built here.  The name was changed from Blueville to Edinburgh in 1870 and the spelling changed to Edinburg in 1893.   Edinburg The leading city of Buckhart township is really a consolidation of Blueville and Blue Point.  The tract of land was surveyed in 1870 on the old Blue Point site for Daniel DeCamp.  A small stream, Lick Creek passes through the center.  Blueville was the older place and a half mile away.  In 1874 the two towns voted to consolidate and change the name.  Daniel DeCamp also built the first house, a hotel and blacksmith shop.  The first store was kept by Mumford Pool.  The post office was established in 1870 and Daniel DeCamp was the postmaster.   Edinburg has suffered through several fires and many business have been destroyed because of them. This year Taylorville and Christian County are celebrating 175 years.  The celebration will be October 4th and 5th.  This is the second of a series of articles on the history of Christian County and its townships.  Most of the information came from the quarterlies and library of the Christian County Genealogical Society.  Our library is housed in the Pence Building at the Christian County Historical Society.  For more information, give us a call at 824-6922 or visit our facebook page.   Assumption Township The Town of Tacusah and Assumption   The area now known as Assumption Township was a swamp, with the land thick in vegetation.  The grass was so tall, men on horseback could scarcely see and there were no roads to follow.  In 1852 the Illinois Central Railroad Co. laid out the central part of the town of Assumption, under the name of Tacusah.    Shortly after that, Col. E. E. Malhiot of Louisiana purchased most of the land in the railroad owned vicinity.  By October 1854 the tracks were laid to Tacusah.   Mr. Williams and John Hillabrant erected a store in Tacusah in 1854.  This store house was designated as the election place in 1856.  The county formed a new precinct of Tacusah, from part of the territory taken from Shelby County.   They later sold it to Marcus Barrett.  Hillabrant afterwards operated a blacksmith, wagon and upholstery shop near where the Community Building was later.  The first postmaster was George Hillabrant, who was appointed in November 1855.  Several land entries were made in the township, Elias Ceneviss in 1848, John Dodge in 1852 and O. P. Heaton in 1854.  Other early settlers were William Cohenour in 1856, S. M. Coonrod from Greene County and the Dudley Watson family from Kentucky.  Others include the Shafer, Kemerer, Travis, Milligan, Rasbach, Bridge, and Ridge families. The first child born in Tacusah was Minnie Hillabrant on July 23, 1858.  Marcus Barrett operated a boarding house for the men working on the railroad.  After he purchased the store, he erected a whole block of buildings.   One of the railroad bosses built the first dwelling house and ran a saloon.  By 1858 there was a lumber yard and the next year a coal shaft was sunk north and west of the village.    The first election judges were Joseph Bugg, William Williams and John Gaghagan.  The first Justices of the Peace were William Williams and Jacob Overholt.  The constables were John Gaghagan and William Peck.    Marcus Barrett was a devoted Presbyterian and in May 1857 gathered 24 people from miles around to hold a service in his residence and discuss building a church.   In 1857 Col. Malhiot sold land to a colony of about one hundred and fifty men, women and children from Canada.  They built a log cabin south of the city to serve as a church, donated it and some land for a square and a cemetery.  This was adjacent to Tacusah. .  They named it Assumption, after his Parish in Louisiana.   Few of these people spoke English.  Soon twenty five or more houses were built.  There were over thirty operational farms, complete with farm houses.  These families used oxen and plows and plowed a furrow in the low lands to keep it dry and allow farming.  Besides Malhiot, several other names from Canada were the Pigeon, Young, Bergeron, Cesar, and LaFlamme families.  They organized the Catholic Church.    By 1866 the township was organized and the Tacusah Precinct changed to 6 X 7 miles square and the Precinct name was changed to Assumption.  The first Supervisor elected was Jacob Overholt with Israel Pierce and Samuel Moore the first Justices of the Peace.  The name of Tacusah for the town was abandoned.  The town is situated upon the line of the IC Railroad, in Section 2, Town 23 North, Range 2 East of the 3rd Principal Meridian.    Assumption grew by leaps and bounds.  By 1877 there were 300 people living there.  These settlers wanted homes, churches and schools.  Families were large and were closely knit.  The churches were used as a meeting place.    The first town was without trees.  A brick yard was opened and the wooden structures were replaced by brick buildings.  Doctors and newspaper men and bankers joined the other business of the town.  By sheer determination and difficulties the pioneer conditions were replaced by more advanced civilization. The Town of Dunkel   The town of Dunkel was established in 1876.  A store was opened by J. N. Dunkel.  The IC railroad placed a station south of Tacusah at Dunkel.  There was a depot and freight house and the post was delivered here.  An elevator was built.  The post office was closed in 1902. Some of the residents of the area were Jacob Michael, Jack Eisman, Gottlieb Berner, Emanuel Metzger, E. J. Walker, Charles Brunot, Forbus Umpleby and Harve Tripp.   Children were taught at the one room school house.  Many portions of this little village was destroyed in the tornado of 1917.   The Town of Vaughn   There was a store located in the southwest corner of the southwest quarter of Section 18, Twp 13 N, Range 1 East in Assumption Township and across the road in May Township.  There was a blacksmith ship and a general store and post office, located on the J. R. Vaughn farm.   There were also several area one room schools in Assumption Township.  There was Kirby, Union, New Hope, Pleasant Valley, Hazel Ridge, Carter, and Dunkel.   A few of these schools were later moved to other locations and used again.   There are many things being planned for the 175th celebration.  We will pass along things when we get everything finalized.  There is something for everyone.  We hope to make this a wonderful, once-in-a-lifetime event  +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++   This year Taylorville and Christian County are celebrating 175 years. The celebration will be October 4th and 5th. This is the first of a series of articles on the history of Christian County and it’s townships. Most of the information came from the quarterlies and library of the Christian County Genealogical Society. The Society meets once a month.  The library is housed in the Pence Building at the Christian County Historical Society.  For more information, give call at 824-6922 or visit Genealogical Society's facebook page.   How Christian County and Taylorville Was Founded   The area that is now Christian County at one time was part of the hunting grounds of the Kickapoo, Potawatomi, Sac and Fox tribes.   It was originally part of the Sangamon, Montgomery and Shelby counties.  In 1839 the legislature named the county Dane after establishing its boundaries.  It was named for a member of Congress, Nathan Dane.  Three commissioners were appointed to locate a county seat.  They were Benjamin Mitchell of Tazewell, John Henry of Morgan and Newton Walker of Fulton County.  They filed the location.  Some citizens agreed, but some were not in agreement.  An article from the “Springfield Journal” of 1839 stated “the county seat was not located in accordance with the implied wish of nine-tenths of the citizens.”  The citizens then held a meeting and wanted to have Allenton or Edinburg selected.  The commissioners disregarded the citizen’s wishes.  (Note Edinburg is not the town we now know.  It was located near the outskirts of what is now Taylorville and Allenton, which was 1 ½ miles north east of Taylorville no longer exists today.)   The old settlers responded by having a large dinner.  After much food and a large supply of spirits a toast was made to one of the guests, the Hon. John Taylor of Sangamon County.  A toast to “Taylorville” was made and the town was named.  The site where the present courthouse sits was purchased from Marvelous Eastham for $3,000 cash.   John Taylor, Dr Richard Barrett, Marvelous Eastham and Robert Allen then had it surveyed and platted.   In the next year, the political climate changed and Nathan Dane was no longer is high regard.  The citizens of the county held a mass meeting, in the open, on the courthouse site.  Thomas P Bond addressed the people and suggested the name “Christian” as such a large number of the county were from Christian County, Kentucky.   This met with approval.  On February 1, 1840 the legislature changed the name from Dane to Christian county.   The courthouse was completed in September 1840.  In August the County Treasurer asked all proprietors of Taylorville for $1,000 to be used for the building of the courthouse.  The final cost was $2,350 but Eastham, Taylor, Barrett and Allen failed to pay as agreed in the original contract.  The County then sued them.   The committee agreed to accept real estate in payment.  They then deeded the county 78 lots, which included the public square.  All the lots but the square were sold and the money then paid into the county treasury.  This court house can be seen at the Christian County Historical Society.     The first election for county officers was held April 1839.  At that time the county was divided into three precincts.  The northern precinct had its voting place at Buckhart Grove; the central precinct was at Allentown, while the south precinct was at the house of John Z Durbin.  Each precinct had three judges and two clerks.    The Buckhart precinct had judges James Fletcher, George D Pearson and John George and the clerks were Samuel Virden and Gustave Kilbourn.    The Allentown precinct had John Ester, Joshua Brents and Isaac Harris as judges and the clerks were Thomas Leachman and Jesse Murphy.   In the Durbin precinct, Richard Simpson, Isaac Logsdon and Thomas Durbin were judges with the clerks being William Durbin and Christ K. Durbin.    The population at this time was 1400 people.  The commissioners divided the county into seventeen townships.  They were Assumption, Bear Creek, Buckhart, Adams, Douglas, King, Locust, Mosquito, Mt. Auburn, Pana, Nevada, Ricks, Rosamond, Stonington, South Fork, Smith and Taylorville.   Pana, Assumption and Prairieton had been taken from Shelby County and added earlier to Dane County.  In April 1866, the name of Adams Township was changed to Prairieton, Smith to May, Douglas to Johnson, and Nevada to Greenwood.     The first white resident of Christian County is believed to be Martin Hanon.  He was a native of Tennessee, born April 1799 near Nashville.  He came to the territory of Illinois in 1812 with his father, Michael Hanon.  They settled in Gallatin County until 1817 when his father died.   The next year, young Martin and mother, with his brothers and sisters emigrated and settled in Christian County, late in the fall of 1818.  He first settled and improved what later was known as Squire Council’s farm.  This was in Section 29, Township 14 north, 3 west in South Fork Township.  A few days later, his brother-in-law John Sinnett, Claiborn Matthews and family, Jacob Gragg, Eli Alexander and Mr. Kinchew came and settled here.  The nearest neighbors two years later were still many miles away on the North Fork.  Martin decided to take a wife.  Having no near neighbors, he traveled to Eqypt (Old Shawneetown) and wooed Miss Sally Miller.  He courted her with the tale of his farm bearing thousands of apple trees.  They married the 10th of October 1823.  When they returned to his farm, she realized he had 10 acres of crab apple trees.  They lived there until 1826 when they moved to a place south of Taylorville and built a cabin near a great spring.   The life of the early settlers were exceeding primitive and hard.  Game was abundant, prairie fires were frequent and wolves were troublesome.    Many of the towns of the county started as stage coach stops.  There was usually a room for overnight travelers and riders.  A general store and other businesses soon followed.  A blacksmith was also needed.  The first schools were held in homes.  After a school building was built, many times it was the place of gatherings and church services.  The towns grew and eventually changed again with the coming of the railroad.  Some towns who didn’t have rail service almost ceased to exist, like Grove City.  The mines brought employment and helped build towns, like Kincaid and Humphrey Station (Tovey).  The post office changed the way mail was delivered and many towns’ name changed.    There are many things being planned for the 175th celebration.  We will pass along things when we get everything finalized.  There is something for everyone.  We hope to make this a wonderful, once-in-a-lifetime success.      ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ FROM THE SHERIFF’S DESK VOL 4, NR. 6 (June 2014)By Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp SUMMER SAFETY TIPS TO KEEP OUR CHILDREN SAFE Memorial Day is actually an unofficial start of summer... that means it’s time for playground fun, camping, swimming and other outdoor activities. Of course, when kids are outdoors, their sense of adventure and curiosity soars. Sometimes their excitement can lead to a higher risk of injuries.  The Safe Kids Worldwide organization says that each year, 1 in 4 children, age 14 and younger, will sustain an injury that requires medical attention.  The good news is many of these injuries are preventable by following a few simple tips and learning how to avoid accidents and injuries. Here are their suggestions: DRIVE WITH CARE: There is a very good reason for this being number one on the list. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that motor vehicle injuries are the leading cause of death and acquired disability of children and teens.  Teach your children to buckle up every time they get into a car, regardless of the length of the car ride. Wearing a seat belt dramatically reduces the risk of serious and often fatal injuries. Always check around your parked car for children before you pull away. Teach youngsters to be aware of moving vehicles and to wait in safe areas where drivers can see them. Accompany young children when they get in and out of a vehicle. Hold their hands when walking near moving vehicles and in driveways and parking lots. LAWN MOWING SAFETY MATTERS: While we think of it as a common household tool, the fact remains that thousands of children are injured in lawn mower accidents each year. Some of these are severe injuries, so be sure to teach children to never play on, or around, a lawn mower, even when it’s not being used. Never permit them to walk alongside, in front of, or behind a moving mower. It’s a good idea to keep children under age 6 inside the home while mowing is going on. FIRE SAFETY SIMPLIFIED: Safe Kids Worldwide tells us that every hour about 16 children are injured from fires or burns. Here are important suggestions that will help insure that your children won’t fall victim.  It probably sounds unnecessary since it’s been urged by family adults for decades, but these ideas can help you teach your young ones to be safe around fireworks, grills and other heat sources. Teach them to never play with matches, gasoline, lighter fluid or lighters.  Don’t leave them unattended near grills, campfires, fire pits or bonfires. Always have a bucket of water, or a fire extinguisher, nearby when burning fires. If your child is injured by a fire or fireworks, immediately take him or her to a doctor or a hospital. PLAYGROUND 101: Data from the Centers for Disease Control indicates that emergency departments treat more than 200,000 children, age 14 and younger, for playground related injuries every year. Before they play at the park or school playground, be sure they keep the following precautions in mind. Make sure they have appropriate and properly fitting safety equipment when participating in any sport. These include such things as helmets and goggles which can greatly reduce the risk of head and eye injuries.  Take your children to playgrounds with shock absorbing surfaces. Choose parks and playgrounds that are appropriate for their age. Check for hazardous broken equipment and continuously supervise your children while they are at play. Teach children to use playground and sports equipment properly.  Remind them that pushing, shoving and crowding on the playground can result in accidents and injuries. MAKE A SAFE SPLASH: There are more than 10 million residential pools across America. It’s wonderful to have such opportunities for water recreation at home or away, but that also means there are many opportunities for water-related mishaps.  In fact, the CDC says drowning is the 5th leading cause of unintentional injury death in the United States. Children are particularly at risk…1 in 5 drowning victims are age 14 or younger.  Dedicating appropriate attention to your family’s pool maintenance, and making sure you have created an environment of safety, will let you enjoy swimming and splashing with greater peace of mind.  POOL MAINTENANCE ESSENIALS: The CDC cites “lack of swimming ability, lack of barriers to prevent unsupervised water access, and lack of close supervision while swimming” are some of the leading risks associated with drowning. Preventative efforts, such as properly learning to swim, teaching swimming skills, and having at least one person with CPR training present when the pool is in use, substantially reduces the risks of injury.  Designate a “lifeguard.” Always pick at least one responsible adult to monitor children at all times. Invest in the proper tools to keep your water crystal clear. WATCH FOR PART 2 OF THIS NEWSLETTER NEXT WEEK FOR MORE ESSENTIAL TOOLS TO MAKE SUMMER FUN AND SAFE! Department Activity for the last 5 months:                                   Jan. Feb. Mar. April   May Warrants                       15     8     20    12   5 Citations                       43    65    126   91   83 Crashes                        37    49    45    23   33 DUI’S                            3      0      3     2     5 Civil Process                 105  70    110  150  128 Criminal Arrests               6     9       9      3    17 Domestic Calls               13   11     12     9     12 Calls For Service             502 479   445  496  552 Correctional Center Prisoners Processed        68   69     82     91    72 Average Daily Population 54   48     53     47    51 Fingerprints                     7    18    14     14    19 Transports                       8    7      9      16    20 Transport Mileage           729 526 1690 1321 1633 Transport Hours               32  33    48     57    89   LETTER TO THE EDITOR Posted June 4, 2014 Dear Editor: As many have seen in a recent news piece,there is a company wanting to put a Medical Marijuana facility in the greenhouse off Rt. 104. They have asked the City of Taylorville for an endorsement so they can go to the state to get a variance to the distance requirement from a residential neighborhood. In the news piece it stated that city officials are in support of this. Some are, I am NOT. Researching and talking to various agenciesincluding law enforcement and medical professionals, I firmly believe this is not good for the city. Already in other places in states that this is legal,problems have surfaced. {This bill allows six plants per patient that canproduce 13,000 marijuana joints annually. Who could use 30 joints a day? This places the dosage of a drug in the hands of the users and increases thelikelihood that marijuana will be passed on to patients' friends andfamilies,or sold on the street. This bill allows six plantsper patient that can produce 13,000 marijuana joints annually. This is from an excerpt from linkbelow.Does Taylorville need jobs? YES, definitely. Itis claimed that about fifty jobs would be created. I suspect it will be quite fewer. Jobs were created when the last two businesses occupied that facility as well, and where are they now? Like many other jobs in the state they closed. Weneed change in this state that creates a positive job creating environment.This would merely be putting a band aid on a gushing wound.If all we'refocused on is jobs, let's just open up some strip clubs in Taylorville too. Where do you draw the line at? How many jobs are worth sacrificing your morals and putting a message into the next generation that these things are ok? Ithink if we're serious about jobs, we can find a more legitimate businessto gointo that green house. Here is a web link to some information I have lookedinto: http://cannabisnews.com/news/25/thread25710.shtml Please do your own research. Jobs are important, but so is doing what's right. -Alderman Ray E. Koonce Taylorville,IL.     FROM THE SHERIFF’S DESK, VOL 4, NR. 5 (May 2014) By Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp       CRYSTAL METH, THE DRUG THAT THREATENS AMERICA AND CHRISTIANCOUNTY   Reports from all around the country indicate that crystal meth has now become one of the widest found illegal drugs in the country.  Crystal meth is becoming very popular in Christian County with a price tag of $100.00 per ¼ gram.   HOW WIDESPREAD IS IT?  The US Government reported in 2008 that approximately 13 million people over the age of 12 had used methamphetamine at that time.  And 529,000 of those had become regular users.  Since then, its growth has increased.  CRYSTAL METH HAS NOW ARRIVED IN CHRISTIAN COUNTY. 136 grams of crystal meth was just taken off the street of Christian County just a few weeks ago by law enforcement.  It is not a new drug.  It was first made in 1887 in Germany.  But In the 1990s, Mexican drug trafficking set up large laboratories in California.  While such an operation could generate 50 pounds of  meth in a single weekend, smaller private labs quickly sprang up in kitchens and apartments, earning the drug its name, “stove top.” & Taylorville Daily News 2014-07-30T11:07:28Z http://www.taylorvilledailynews.com/pages/index.cfm?id=121