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Village of Kampsville

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Source: - "History of Calhoun County and its people up to the year 1910" by: Carpenter, George Wilbur

Village of Kampsville

wo of the earliest settlers in Crater Precinct, in which Kampsville is located, were Jacob Crader and Salmon Bushnell. We find Mr. Crader moving from the west side of the county to a place several miles south of the present site of Kampsville, in the year 1830. Two years later he moved from the bluff to the river, at a place now called "Crater Landing". Mr. Bushnell settled at the present site of Kampsville, and operated a ferry. The place was known as "Bush- nell's Ferry". Other settlers in the Kampsville neighborhood in the pre-civil war period were George Beehdolt, who settled in 1839, David Nevius. in the 40's, James Poiles in 1855, Allen Johns in 1858, and Michael Worth in 1856.

In 1840 there was but one house at the present site of Kampsville and that was the home of Stephen Farrow. Columbiana, on the oppo- site side of the river was then a hustling little town, and the main shipping point for miles around. After a few more families settled about the home of Farrow, the place was called "Farrowtown". On March 16, 1847, Stephen Farrow was given a license to run a ferry across the river and the County Commissioners referred to the place as Farrowtown.

Silver Creek seemed to have been the rival of Farrowtown in the early days. A post-office was established at Silver Creek in 1863, and Capt. M. A. Kamp was the leading merchant. He kept a grocery and dry-goods store and served as the postmaster. He moved to Farrow- town in 1873, and the citizens of the town soon petitioned that the name of the town be changed to Kampsville in honor of Capt. Kamp The name was changed as requested.

On November 22, 1887, the first election, under the village organization, was held. The following men were elected as Trustees: M. A. Kamp, J. H. Churchman, C. B. Farrow, Joseph Hayn, G. Alex- ander, and P. Ammatt. M. A. Kamp was chosen president of the board, and James Edwards was appointed village marshall.

In the 1880's the federal and state governments started to build a series of dams in the Illinois River. The fifth and largest of the series was constructed at Kampsville in 1888. The dam was l,00O feet long and 8 feet in height, being made of solid masonry. The lock, located on the Kampsville side of the river, was constructed 350 feet in length and 75 feet wide. The cost of the dam and the locks was estimated at $350,000.

Some of the business houses that existed before 1900 were: Mrs. B. Sutter, Joseph Hayn, Mrs. J. W. Oberjohn, J. A. Kamp, Jacob Brenn, Felix Mosler, Phillip Ammott, and Fred Reamensnider.

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