Bureau County Illinois  
History and Genealogy


 County History and Information






Bureau County History

Illinois State Gazetteer and Business Directory for 1858 and 1859 - Bureau County
by George W. Hawes, Scripps, Bross & Spears, Printers, Daily Press Book and Job Office, Chicago IL

The History of Bureau County (Taken From the Earliest Historical Facts of Marshall-Putnam Counties, Also Bureau and Stark Counties,Compiled and Published by Mr. Henry A. Ford, 1860)
Chapter II:  The History of Illinois 1690-1825 and Chapter V:  The Black Hawk War
Chapter I: European Discovery in the West

Hampshire Colony Congregational Church Book  Its First Hundred Years, 1831-1931 (A RECORD ASSEMBLED BY THE HISTORICAL COMMITTEE: PUBLISHED MARCH, 1931, PRINCETON, ILLINOIS )  - Transcribed by Alice Horner  

Short Biographies Of Selected Members Of  The Hampshire Colony Congregational Church - Written by Alice Horner

Alice Horner s note:  Ella Warren Harrison s 1931 book, The Hampshire Colony Congregational Church Its First Hundred Years, 1831-1931, has a chapter listing its members and the years they joined.  Genealogical information is available for many of these people, either online or in books which I ve collected.  I have selected these people either because they were on my family tree, they were people who were significant in the history of Bureau County, or just because their names sounded interesting.  In many cases I ve been unable to confirm whether the information I found is correct.  Please submit all corrections to Alice Horner.  I encourage everyone to write bios of other people on the book s membership list, to be added to this section.  Submit your bios to Nancy Piper.

Past and Present of Bureau County, Illinois by George B. Past, Chicago: Pioneer Publishing, 1906.

  • Chapter III:  Early Settlement of the County
    • Pages 20 and 21 (First settlers, Pierre de Beuro and  Bulbona; First permanent white settlers; John Dixon and Charles Boyd's cattle trip from Springfield to Galena; short biography on John Dixon, Charles Boyd and Boyd's Grove - his early experiences in the county)
    • Page 22  and 23 (More on Charles Boyd and family; John and Justin Ament, Abram Stratton, Sylvester Brigham, James Coddington, John Leeper )
    • Page 24 and 25 (More of John Leeper, Cyrus Langworthy, Warren Sherley, Eli and Elijah Smith, Robert Hinman, William Mercer and Family.  Special section - Providence Colony)

Reminiscences of Bureau County : in two parts. (Matson, N.. Princeton, Ill.. Republican Book and Job Office. 1872. )

Old Putnam In Ye Olden Time (An article written about the a meeting in February 1868 of the settlers of Old Putnam county which included Putnam, Bureau, Marshall and La Salle counties.  Lists the names of those present at the meeting and when/where they settled.
  • Old Settlers Meeting (The second meeting of the settlers of Old Putnam county (November 24, 1868))

 Sketches of Bureau County by N. Matson (Short sketches of Bureau County printed in the Marshall County Republican in 1867 and 1868)

Bureau County Settlement Names

1877 Bureau County Voters and Taxpapers - Partial Listing

1874 Marshall, Putnam and Bureau County Township Election Results

1924 Events of Bureau County, Illinois (Printed in the Henry Republican, Henry, IL)

Bureau County  Military

  • Our Bold Soldier Boys:  (Taken From the Henry News Republican  - Lists the Name, Residence, Date of Enlistment, Wounds, Discharge, Death or Mustering Out of Officers and Soldiers who enlisted in the US Service  during the Civil War from Marshall and Putnam counties and its vicinity - Bureau (Lone Tree, Milo, Wheatland, Arispie), Peoria (Chillicothe) and Stark (Bradford, Osceola) Counties. Carefully complied from the Adjutant s General Report 1861 to 1866.)
  • 1883 Pensioner's List - Contributed by Kim Torp  
  • WWI Honor Roll Bureau County, Illinois 1917-1919 (published 1920) - transcribed by Liz Dellinger

Bureau County Schools

Do you have memories of growing up and attending "country schools" in Bureau County?   If so, I'd like to hear from you.  Email me at n.piper@mchsi.com

 Kenneth Phillips writes "I started school in Sheffield in 1941 but moved to NW of Wyanet where I started school at Pleasant Valley, a one room country school. I had to walk to and from school every day which was four miles round trip. I graduated from eighth grade in spring of 1949 and then started high school in Wyanet graduating in 1953. Some of my teachers that I remember at Pleasant Valley were Ethyl Serie, Mrs George Springer, Edith Swanson, and Berniece West who was a substitute teacher. If there were any others I don't recall them. Hope this information is useful."

Growing up in Bureau County - Contributed by Kathy Alshouse Kvalheim

I started first grade in 1953 in LaMoille and the building is now historic and still being used. For the first couple of years there was no lunchroom but soon after an area in the lower level was converted to a lunchroom. After lunch we would be sent outside to play. There was a girl in my class that went home every day for lunch and her father ran the drug store. We would all send our pennies with her to bring back button candy for us.

On Halloween we all dressed up and at the end of the day there would be a parade with prizes for the best costumes. My mother always came to watch and would then go over to the bus that I rode to and from school to ask the bus driver if I behaved on the bus. Even though I knew I behaved I was always a little frightened that he would say I didn't behave.

During fire drills we always rushed outside to watch the older kids come down the enclosed slide that came down from the upper level. I couldn't wait until I was old enough to be on the upper level and come down the slide. When I was in the fourth grade, my family moved to Wisconsin so I never had the opportunity to try out that slide.

Teachers that I remember were Mrs. Hill and Mrs. Ryan. Best friends were Renee Piper, Nancy Barger and Ann Ulch.

--Kathy Alshouse Kvalheim


The Cherry Coal Mine Disaster:  

  • News Articles From the Daily Review, Decatur, Illinois - Photos donated by Tracey Ristau-MacLeod
    Just north of the town of Cherry , Bureau County, Illinois are remnants of the Cherry Coal Mine, where 259 miners lost their lives in one of the worst mine disasters in United States history.  On Saturday, November 13, 1909, the mine caught fire. A load of hay, intended for the mule stables at the bottom of the mine, was apparently ignited by burning oil dripping from a kerosene torch.   Read and see how this terrible tragedy was relayed to the people around the state from the newspaper articles and photos taken.

(Railroad, Highway, and other transportation history)



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