From the "History of Hancock County, Illinois:
Together with an outline history of the state, and a digest of state laws"
Chicago: C.C. Chapman & Co.., 1880
Transcribed by K. Torp
The old is continually passing away. Among the old land-marks and old things that have passed and are passing away may be mentioned the following:
Head of the Rapids.—This cannot be said to be passing away; but the term as a designation of a settlement is now seldom used, though once very common as a name for that early settlement in the county now occupied by Nauvoo.
Foot of the Rapids—Embraced all that country opposite " The Point," from Fort Edwards to Chaney creek, or the Montebello House.
Fort Johnson—The remains of an old stockade fort, on the high bluff south of Albers' mill, in Warsaw.
Fort Edwards—A fort that was still standing and occupied by settlers as late as 1845. For history of these forts see chapter VII.
Venus—"Was a postoffice only, and the first established in the county. It was at the head of the rapids, in the midst of the oldest settlement in the county, excepting Fort Edwards. Who was its first postmaster we have not learned.
Montebello.—This was the name of the oldest town in the county. It was laid out in 1832, by Luther Whitney and William Vance. It for many years was the business center for the settlers along the rapids, and a place where many goods have been sold. As a town or place of business, it is now unknown, and its name has been transferred to the township in which it lies.
Green Plains—Was once quite a famous locality in the county, now unknown. It embraced parts of what are now Wythe, Walker, Wilcox and Rocky Run townships, the postoffice for which was at Col. Levi Williams'.
Golden's Point—Was a point of timber projecting into the prairie on the borders of Lary's creek, in Sonora township, named from Abram Golden, a settler there at an early day.
Spillman's Landing—The point on the river in the north part of the county, near the residence of Mr. Hezekiah Spillman, and where he kept a ferry, and a woodyard for steamboats. He was a settler of 1825.
Round Prairie—A designation by which a rich prairie settlement was known in the early days, lying partly in Hancock and partly in Schuyler and McDonough counties. It was bounded north, east, and west by the waters of Crooked creek and branches, and south by Williams' creek, and had Plymouth for its business center.
Oliver's Settlement—Was that early settlement in the southeast of the county around Pulaski, and had its name from Alexander Oliver, its earliest settler.
Franklin—Was the name of the postoffice and settlement about La Harpe until 1836, when William Smith and Marvin Tryon laid out the town, and gave it the name of the French adventurer.
Joe Duncan—Was a town laid out in the years of town mania by Roobert Miller, David W. Mathews and Isaac N. Morris. It was near the southeast corner of Fountain Green township. It soon died a natural death. Ex-Gov. Duncan was at that time a speculator in town lots, and it is stated that it received its name, Joe Duncan, because he refused to take stock in it. Mathews and Miller sold goods there for a short period.
Cutler's Grave—At Commerce, the place where George Y. Cutler, one of the first county Commissioners, was buried, enclosed by a stone wall, still standing.
Half-way House—A little frame building erected about 1834, and occupied by one Chapman, at the place now owned and occupied by Mrs. Samuel Comer, just west of Elvaston, and on the Warsaw and Carthage road.
Prentis' Shanty—A shanty built near the line of the Warsaw & Peoria Railroad, soon after the State entered upon its magnificent scheme of internal improvements. Mr. Daniel Prentis, now of Fountain Green, had a contract for grading, and to accommodate his hands erected a shanty there. The shanty remained there many years, and was a point well known to travellers.
Rock Island Trail—An old road that led from Quincy and beyond to Rock Island and Galena lead mines, from point to point in the prairie. In this county it ran from Green Plains to Golden's Point, thence to other points north. It crossed the W. & P. Railroad at Prentis' shanty, two or three miles east of Hamilton.
Commerce—A town at the head of the rapids, laid out in 1834 by Joseph B. Teas and Alexander White. It, with its successor,
Commerce City— Laid out in 1836, and designed to be the town of the West, was finally swallowed by the Mormon city of Nauvoo.
Des Moines City—Laid out in 1837, by Dr. Adolphus Allen, on the Mississippi, about two miles above Montebello. It died a natural death in its infancy.
Hartford—Was laid out in 1837, by James M. Campbell, on section 5, 7 n., 7 w., in the north part of the county. It also died in infancy.
Mechanicsville—As its name indicates, was designed for a manufacturing village, and for a time bid fair to realize the expectations of its proprietor. It was laid out in 1842 by Alanson Lyon, near the northwest corner of Augusta township. The manufacture of wagons, carriages, and agricultural implements was entered into and carried on for a time; but for some cause the enterprise failed, and the town exists only in name.
Ramus—Was a Mormon town, laid out in 1840 by Wm.. Wightman, and settled largely by the Mormons, having at one time 400 or 500 inhabitants. It was sometimes called Macedonia. It is now Webster.
Yelrome—Was the name given by its proprietor, Isaac Morley (as attorney for Joseph Smith), to the Mormon town, in the township of Walker, laid out in 1844. It generally was known by the name of Morley-Town. It was principally burnt out during the trouble in 1845. It is now Tioga.
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