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Clarion Township History


 Clarion Township
History of Bureau County Illinois, H. C. Bradsby, Editor, Chicago Publishing Company 1885, Page 429

This is the northeast corner of the county. It is well watered and a fine piece of land. Big Bureau and Pike Creek drain it. Perkins Grove post office was established here in 1842 but was discontinued years ago.

As fully related elsewhere, Timothy Perkins settled at the grove in 1833. John Hetzler occupied for years the first house built in the township. Solomon Perkins and Elijah Bevans were here soon after Timothy Perkins came. The place owned by A. G. Porter was originally improved by Perkins. A large part of the first roof was deer skins. It was in this cabin the first wedding occurred, of which we have given a full account elsewhere.

Stephen Perkins made his claim in 1835; Joseph Search in 1834. In 1835 Mr. Hart settled on the west side of the grove. In 1836 J. and A. R. Kendall made a farm on Section 4, on the old Stanard place. Joseph and Elizha Fassett settled on Sections 7 and 18. In 1837 John Clapp and Martin Hopp settled in this part of the county. In 1838 Hiram Johnson, Joseph Allen, Franklin Walker, Moses Dix, Winslow and W. R. Bruce, Harvey Childs, C. L. Dayton and Solomon Williams settled here.

Theodore Babson, David Wells, A. G. Porter, L. H. and Moses Bowen were the early settlers.

Mrs. Black of Arlington informs us that James Sampson, now of Amboy, passed through the northeast part of this county, which would probably be on the Picayune Grove trail, through Clarion, as long ago as 1821. He was boldly exploring the country, and making his way toward the lead mines probably. He returned by the same route, and stopped a short time at Picayune Grove in 1829. Mr. S. was certainly the first white man ever in that portion of the county. He is a native of Westmoreland County, Penn., born September 6, 1801.

Mrs. Hiram Gheer resides in Picayune Grove. It was at this grove the skeleton of the supposed murdered tailor was found many years ago. There was nothing to identify the man except that near the bleaching bones were found a tailor's thimble, thread, etc. A silver picayune (6 ¼ cents) was also found near the skeleton and from this fact the grove took its name.

Clarion, the northeast corner township of Bureau county, is like La Moille, a fine agricultural township. The farms are well improved and show evidence of thrift on every hand. The population is largely of German extrication and they are noted for industry, frugality and economy.

The first settlers were Timothy Perkins, who came in 1833; Solomon Perkins and Elijah Bevans. The first house built in the township was long occupied by John Hetzler. The A. G. Porter place was first improved by Timothy Perkins. The roof, or at least quite a large part of it, was covered with deer skins, and the doors (Page 112) and windows were also filled with the same material. The township is drained by Bureau and Pike creeks.

Joseph Search came in 1834, and Stephen Perkins in 1835. A Mr. Hart also settled on the west side of the grove in 1835. In 1836, J. R. Kendall improved land on section 4, afterwards knows as the Stanard place. 1837 found John Clapp and Martin Hopp amount the arrivals. In 1838, a number of families settled in this township, among them were Joseph Allen, Hiram Johnson, Franklin Walker, Moses Dix, C. L. Dayton, Harvey Childs, Soloman Williams and others. A. G. Porter, David Wells and Theodore Babson were amount the very early settlers, also Joseph and Elisha Fassett.

It is said, by parties claiming to know, that Mr. James Sampson, who afterwards lived in Amboy, passed through Clarion as early as 1821, on an exploring expedition, his real destination being the Galena lead mines. Several years later he came back on the same route and stopped a short time at what was known as Picayune Grove; this grove received its name from the finding of a skeleton there many years ago, and near it was found a thimble and some thread, also a silver picayune (6 ¾ cents). There was nothing to identify the body, but from the fact that these things were found near the remains it was thought that he might have been a tramp tailor, who was either murdered or fell by the wayside.

Clarion is noted for having the smallest pauper bill, and also for having the smallest amount of delinquent taxes of any township in the county. The population by census of 1900 was 705. The following men have served as supervisors:

A. G. Porter, 1851-52; David Lloyd, 1853; David Wells, 1854, Milroy McKer, 1855-57; A. G. Porter, 1858-59; W. K. Bruce, 1860; David Lloyd, 1861; B. Benton, 1862-63; J. Clapp, 1864; W. K. Bruce, 1865; C. L. Dayton, 1866; B. Benton, 1867; T. Walker, 1868-70; A. G. Porter, 1871; Franklin Walker, 1872-79; N. F. Moulton, 1880-81; Sereno Bride, 1882, C. L. Dayton, 1883-89; J. L. Jacoby, 1890-92; C. Stamberger, 1893-96; Wm. Marriott, 1897-98; I. W. Hopps, 1899-1900; Wm Marriott, 1901-02; George D. Bauer, 1903-06.

-- Taken From the Past and Present of Bureau County, Illinois. Chicago: Pioneer Publishing, 1906, Page 111 and 112 - Clarion Township


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