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Bureau County Illinois  
Bureau Township History

Bureau Township
History of Bureau County Illinois, H. C. Bradsby, Editor, Chicago Publishing Company 1885, Page 430-431

This is among the oldest settled parts of the county. Henry Thomas, as related elsewhere came here in 1828. It is all excellent land, rich prairie and originally very fine timber. C. C. Corss and George Hinsdale built one of the first saw mills on Section 33. The section on which Thomas settled was eventually occupied by Elias Carter.

In 1830 Ezekiel Thomas and Abram Stratton settled near Henry Thomas. This year John Sherley made a claim on Section 13. This place afterward was occupied by Harrison Epperson; John M. Gay lived here in 1834. Sylvester Brigham and Peter Cutwright were early settlers. George Hinsdale improved his farm in 1832. In 1833 Eli Frankerberger bought the Sherley claim and he sold to Rees Heaton. In 1834 C. C. Corss came.

The same year George Bennett improved his place in Section 13. He was mistaken in his location, and when informed of his mistake moved his improvements to his own land, west of the grove, where Alva Stiles afterward resided. In 1837 Nicholas Smith made a settlement. The same year Samuel Fay, then William M. Matson, Isaac Heaton, Sylvester S. Newton, Thomas Tilson, Jesse Ballard, G. A. Mowry, James Morrison and J. N. Hill were the early settlers.

The first post office in the county, 1830, was the house of Henry Thomas, called Bureau. At that time, it is said, there was no other post office within a range of fifty miles.

Truxton post office was laid off for a town in 1851. It never proceeded any further than a paper city.

 Bureau township can boast of having the senior settler in this county. Here on the virgin soil and beside the primeval grove Henry Thomas made the first stroke of civilization in all this great area of territory in 1828. He it was who made these prairies and leafy woods echo and re-echo to the rack of his rifle and the sound of the sturdy stroke of his well aimed blows with the ax.

In 1830 Ezekiel Thomas and Abram Stratton settled near him, and John Sherly also made a claim this year on section 13. In 1834 John Gay, C. C. Corss, George Hinsdale and George Bennet came into the settlement. C.C. Corss and George Hinsdale built one of the first sawmills in the county. This proved to be a great blessing to the people, as Bureau timber was noted for its fine quality for building purposes and with the aid of this mill the settlers provided homes for their families much more satisfactorily than they otherwise could.

In 1837 Nicholas Smith and Samuel Fay arrived at the settlement. Among the early home makers may be named William Matson, Isaac Heaton, Sylvester S. Newton, Thomas Tilson, Jess Ballard, G. A. Mowry, James Morrison and J. N. Hall.

This township is not touched by any railroad, consequently it has no village or place of trade within its borders. The people in the northern part have a good market town in Walnut and the southern part in Wyanet.

One of the old landmarks of this township was what was known as the Steeple church of West Bureau. This was organized as a Methodist Episcopal church in 1832. It was reorganized in 1855. This church for many years was in a flourishing condition and had a large and intelligent audience but time is a great leveler of human experiences. Today we live and, as we think, lift our hand of influence and raise our voice of power, but, alas, tomorrow comes, the hand is withered, the voice is still, the world heeds it not but moves one and the wave of forgetfulness, passes over the scene, and only the never-dying influences of our lives live on. So with this old church, its bell has ceased its sounding, its steeple has fallen to the ground, its doors no longer turn upon their hinges and the church itself is no longer a place of worship, but has become a garner and a shelter for the beasts of burden. So all that is life is the ever living flow of good or evil that has emanated from the moral and religious teachings received within her walls. This church was located on the top of the hill just east of the big spring which attracted much attention in early times.  The writer well remembers the delight he experienced the first time he was permitted to drink of its wholesome beverage, having recently come from New England, a land that abounds in bubbling springs.  We were constantly looking and longing for the sight of one here, so when this burst upon our vision, we cried like one of old, Eureka!

The population of this township in 1900 was 761. The names of those who have served as supervisors are as follows:

C. C. Corss. 1851-53
William M. Martin 1854-55
C. C. Corss 1856
Harrison Epperson, 1857
C. Langworthy, 1858
J. E. Terwilliger, 1859
U. J. Trimble, 1860
C. Langworthy, 1861
J. Heaton, 1862
C. A. Heaton, 1863
Levi Blanchard, 1864-65
C. C. Corrs, 1866-67
R. Jenkinson, 1868-70
Levi Blanchard, 1871-73
U. J. Trimble, 1878-81
John Heckner, 1882-83
U. J. Trimble, 1884
N. A. Harrington, 1885-87
J. Hechtner, 1888-91
S. R. Spratt, 1892-93
Thomas Vaughn, 1894-97
C. Harrington, 1898-99
Fred Schultz, 1900-06

-- Taken From the Past and Present of Bureau County, Illinois. Chicago: Pioneer Publishing, 1906, Page 116 -117 - Bureau Township


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