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Otter Creek Township

Source[History of Greene and Jersey Counties, Illinois, 1885 - Compiled by The Continental Historical Company, Springfield, Illinois, December 1885 - Pages 274 - ]

This sub-division of Jersey County is bounded on the north by English, on the east by Mississippi, on the south by Quarry, and on the west by Rosedale. The township is well wooded, the principal prairie land being found in the eastern part and in the south row of sections. Otter Creek, with its two forks, North and South Otter, run through this township. North Otter Creek comes in from English about the center of the east line of section 12, and South Otter Creet comes in from Quarry about the center of th south line of section 36. The two effect a junction on section 8, and thence forward pass onward as one stream, the main Otter Creek, flowing out of the township, and passing into Rosedale, at the line between sections 6 and 7. These streams, with their numerous little tributaries, serve to furnish an abundant supply of water for stock and agricultural purposes, and giving ample drainage facilities. Considerable attention is given to stock-raising in this township, a number of the farmers taking an interest in the improvement of their livestock. The eastern part of the township has the best farm land, and generally the best improved, though there are a number of good places in the west and south parts.

The Village of Otterville lies on Section 11, and affords a number of business enterprises for the accommodation of the citizens of the township. There is no railroad running through it, though all parts are within easy access of railroad points. There is some hilly country in the township, but very little indeed that would resist efforts at cultivation.

Early Settlers
The first permanent settler within the bounds of what now constitutes the township of Otter Creek was Joseph White, a native of South Carolina, but who came to this county from Kentucky, in 1821 or 1822. His two grand-sons, Daniel P. and John L., are both residents of the townships.

Daniel P. White is a son of Joab and Maria (Randal) White, and was born in what is now Jerey County in 1834. He was here reared, and in 1855, was married to Mary M. Terry, a native of this county, who died in 1872. In 1874, he was married to Sarah V. Moss, who was also born in Jersey County. She died in 1876, and in 1882, Mr. White was married to Mrs. Mary J. (Turner) White, widow of Louis White, of Mississippi Township. Mr. White has always been a resident of this county, and always followed farming. He is the owner of a valuable and well improved farm, comprising of 80 acres. He is a republican in politics and an enterprising and worthy citizen.

John L. White, was born in Jersey (then Greene) County, Aug. 2, 1823. His father was Joab White, was born in South Carolina, and his mother, Jane (Lofton) White, in Kentucky. John L. white is the oldest man, with one exception, born, raised and now residing in the territory comprising Greene and Jersey Counties. He was reared here, and in 1843, was married to Martha L. Sansom, a native of Ohio. Three sons were born to them - James J., born in 1845, now living in Kansas; Lewis A., who died in 1880, and Charles Henry, now living in Mississippi Township. Mrs. White died Feb. 14, 1851. Mr. White was again married, Oct. 4, 1851 to Rosa J. White, a native of Jersey County. By this union, there were four daughters, three of whom are living, Susan, wife of John T. Wagoner, of Otter Creek Township; Mary Jane, wife of James P. Achford, of this township, and Fannie Evelyn, living with her parents. Josephine died in 1857.

Thomas White, in 1824, located east of Otterville, where he lived for many years.

Samuel Lofton, the same year, made a settlement in this township, on Section 14, where he resided for a long time. He came from Madison County to this township, where he subsequently died.

James Dabbs, settled on Section 9, in this township, in the spring of 1826. He was a native of south Carolina, and was married in that state in 1802. Several years after that event they emigrated to Barren County, Ky., where they resided until 1819, when they removed to the vicinity of Wood River, Madison County, Ill., from which place they came here, as above stated. Jesse Dabbs, a son, was a resident of the county until 1875, when he died. James Dabbs and his wife, Mary, were worthy members of the pioneer band. He died a resident of the county, Dec. 19, 1841, his wife living until Sept. 8, 1852.

Samuel Dabbs, a native of South Carolina, made a settlement on Section 8, in this township, about the year 1826. His son, W. W. Dabbs, is a resident of the township still, living near the old homestead.

W. W. Dabbs is a son of Samuel and Mary (Link) Dabbs, who were pioneers of Jersey County. Samuel Dabbs was a native of Kentucky, and his wife of Tennessee. They came to Illinois in 1805, and to what is now Jersey County, in 1826, settling upon Sec. 8, Otter Creek Township, which was the birth place of the subject of this sketch. He was born on the 8th day of June, 1836. He obtained his education in the common schools of that township, and there grew to manhood. Nov. 5, 1855, he was married to Cathering Worthy, a native of Tennessee. Nine children were born to them - John M., George F., Lindley, Hattie E., Margaret E., Emma E., Nellie Jane, Oscar and Mary E. Mr. Dabbs owns a large farm, comprising 534 acres, and follows farming. He was engaged in a meat market 13 years. Politically Mr. Dabbs is a republican, having voted with that party since its organization. He has held the office of school director and is a member of the A. F. & A. M. Samuel Dabbs died Dec. 12, 1853, and his widow, Mrs. Mary Dabbs, Sept 12, 1855. Both are buried in the old cemetery at Otterville.

The first settlement on what is called Otter Creet Prairie was made in 1827 by Josiah White. He also built the first house on the prairie, on the farm now owned by John Sisson. He died in this township. He was a son of Joseph White, one of the early settlers of Lofton's Prairie.

Jesse White, deceased, was born in Madison County, Ill., in 1807. His father, Joseph White, was a native of South Carollina and his mother Elizabeth (Self) White, of Georgia. They came to this state in 1805 and settled in Madison County, near Edwardsville, in 1818. They moved to Jersey County and lived there four years, then removed to Greene County, and settled near where the town of Kane now stands. In 1838, they removed to Otter Creek Township, where Joseph White built a grist mill on Otter Creek, south of the present town of Otterville. He operated the mill and continued to reside here until his death, which occurred in 1840. He has six sons - Joab,who settled in Mississippi Township; Josiah, who settled in Otter Creek; Jesse, subject of this sketch, who settled two miles west of Kane, in Greene County; Joseph, who settled near Kane; Stephen, who settled near the same place, and Jehu, who settled in Greene County. Jesse White was married in 1827 to Tabitha Carrico, a native of Mason County, Ky. They has six children born to them, two of whom died in infancy. Those who lived to maturity were - Nancy, deceased, wife of J. G. Harper, of Greene County; Lewis, now living in Otterville; Baalam, of Greene County, and Ira, also Greene County. Mr. White died in 1873 in Otterville. He was a consistent member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. His wife is a member also. She is now living with her son, Lewis, in Otterville.

Lewis White, son of Jesse and Tabitha White, was born in Greene County, near Kane, in Oct. 1831. He remained in that county, on a farm, until 1873, when he mved to a place two miles east of Carrollton, where he lived five years. At the expiration of that time he removed to Jersey County, locating three miles east of the city of Jerseyville. He then moved to Missouri. One year later he came back to this county, and settled where he now llives, in Otterville. Mr. White was married in Oct. 1856, to Lucinda A. Cook, a native of Tennessee. Seven children were born to them, three of whom are living - John H., Charles M., and Justus V. Four children died in infancy. Mrs. White died Feb. 1, 1861, in Missouri. Mr. White is a member of the A. F. & A. M., a skilled workman at his trade, and an esteemed citizen.

Gregg McDanel and his wife settled in Otter Creek Township in the fall of 1828, on Sec. 7, where he lived for many years. He constructed a dam and mill for sawing lumber on Otter Creek in 1828, and two years later a mill for grinding corn. Mr. McDanel came here from Madison County, and died in Sept. 1859, leaving a large landed estate. His wife, Rachel (cooper) McDanel, died May, 1861. Gregg McDanel built a large flouring mill at Upper Grafton, in 1857, through the persuasion of Henry Shaff, a young miller, which provided a disastrous failure. His son, Charles McDanel, resides on the old homestead.

Charles McDanel is a son of Gregg and Rachel (Cooper) McDanel, show settled in Madison County in 1820. They removed to Jersey County in 1838, locating on Sec. 7, Otter Creek Township, where Charles now resides. Gregg McDanel died in Sept. 1859, and his wife in May 1861. Both are buried in the Noble Cemetery. Charles McDanel was born in Madison County, Ill, in 1827, and was one years old when his parents setteld in this county. He was reared to the occupation of farming, also worked in a saw mill and grist mill. He received a good education, attending the district school and afterwards Shurtleff College, at Upper Alton. In Nvember 1865, he was married to Amanda Dabbs, who was born in Otter Creek Township. Mr. and Mrs. McDanel are the parents of eight children - Sarah Leonora, Rachel A., Charles G., Georgiana, Ada Maria, Mark L., William R., and Grace Adella. Mr. McDanel is one ot the most extensive land owners in Jersey County, having 1,400 acres and carries on general farming. He is a member of the A. F. & A. M. Mr. McDanel has spent almost his entire life in this township, and has witnessed its development. He has contributed his full share toward effeting the trainsformation from a scene of natural wildness to a country of comfortable homes and a land teeming with wealth and material prosperity. These solid comforts of life have been secured by the industry and sacrifice of those early settlers, and among them Mr. McDanel is now in the enjoyment of an abundant competency and can spend his remaining years in peace and happiness.

Jasper M. Terry was a settler of the year of 1828, on section 24.

Henry Clay Terry, son of Jasper M. and Mary A. (Wagoner) Terry, was born in Otter Creek Township, Sept. 25, 1845. He was brought up on a farm in this township and attended the district schools of the neighborhood. In 1864, he enlisted in the 124th Inf., and served in that Regiment until July, 1865. He was then transferred to Co. C., of the 33rd Ill. Regt., and served until Nov. of the same year. He took part in the battles of Benton, Yazoo, and Spanish Fort, returning home Dec. 7, that winter, he attended school in Otterville, and the following year, became a student at Shurtleff College, where he continued One year, then went, in the winter of 1867-8 to the Commercial College, at Poughkeepsie, N. Y. In the spring of 1870, he returned to Otterville, and engaged in the milling business, in company with H. E. Dougherty; this partnership lasted until July, 1873. Mr. Terry then went to Christian county, and bought a farm near Rosamond, on which he lived till Jan., 1875, at which date he sold it and removed to Jerseyville, where he lived one year. He removed from Jerseyville to his present residence, on section 24, Otter Creek township, formerly the farm of his father. It comprises 160 acres, and is in a high state of cultivation, and well improved. His business is general farming. Mr. Terry was married Sept. 28, 1870, to Mary Cadwalader of Otterville, Jersey County, Ill. They have three children - Addle May, born Aug. 18, 1871; Charles H., born Oct. 28, 1873, and Lora F., born Oct. 23, 1876. Mr. Terry belongs to the A. F. & A. M., and also to the G. A. R. He is one of the directors of the board of agriculture, of Jersey County. He is the only one of his father's family now living in Jersey County.

On the 18th of March, 1829, Tarlton F. Brock settled on the northeast quarter of section 25, in this township. He was born July 16, 1802, in Franklin county, Va. His ancestors, who were originally from England, had resided there for several generations. He emigrated with his father's family to the Missouri territory in the fall of 1818, and settled in Franklin County, about 60 miles west of St. Louis, from whence he removed to the present limits of Greene County, Ill., in 1825. March 20, 1829, he located on Otter Creek Prairie, on Sec. 25, T. 7, R. 12, where he remained until his death, Nov. 6, 1876. He was a life-long Methodist in his church relations, being a member of the quarterly conference for nearly, or quite, 50 years. The writer, his son, well remembers the pioneer Methodist preachers who where always welcome at his father's house - John T. Johnson, Hadley, John Dew, Deneen, Phelps, Cartwright, Akers, Barger, Bobbins, Heath, Wollard, Peters, Anderson, the Corringtons, Norman Allyn, the gifted C. W. Lewis, and many others. T. F. Brock was the first postmaster at Otter Creek, being the second postoffice in the county. He was a strong advocate of education, temperance and Sunday schools.

Dr. Silas Hamilton came to Otter Creek township in the spring of 1830. He was born in Tinmouth, Vt. His father, Captain Nathaniel Hamilton, commanded a company of Green Mountain boys, in the Revolutionary war. The family afterwards made a settlement in Ohio, and finally he removed to Monroe County, Ill. Dr. Hamilton was an accomplished physician, and before coming to this country, had been practicing in Mississippi, back of Natchez. He bore a high reputation while he lived in this county, and if his life had been longer spared, he would undoubtedly have risen to a high place here. Dr. Hamilton was the owner of a considerable number of slaves, whom, in his lifetime, he liberated. After his death, a fine monument of Italian marble, which still stands, was erected to his memory at Otterville. This monument bears the following inscription: "To the memory of Dr. Silas Hamilton, his former master, born at Tinmouth, Vt., May 19, 1775; died at Otterville, Nov. 19, 1834; having in his lifetime given freedom to 28 slaves, and at his death bequeathed $4,000 for the erection and endowment of the Hamilton Primary School." There is also an inscription stating that the monument was "erected by George Washington, born in Virginia, a slave, died at Otterville, Ill., April 18, 1864, a christian freeman." The school building erected by the doctor, and spoken of in the first inscription, is a stone structure, and is even yet a handsome appearing edifice.

William Hamilton, a brother of Dr. Silas Hamilton, made a settlement on section 13, of this township, in 1830. He was from the state of Vermont, and losing his wife in 1828, he with his three sons immigrated to this state in 1830, and located upon the northeast quarter of the section, where he lived the remainder of his life. He was an active, energetic man, and highly esteemed by all. He died at the residence of Jephtha Dixon, in Calhoun county, July 22, 1849.

William McDow came to Otter Creek township, in the fall of 1830, and settled where he now resides. William McDow, son of John and Margaret (Gilham) McDow,was born in Madison County, Ill., Feb. 2, 1808. His parents were natives of North Carolina. In 1809, his father moved his family to a farm, near St. Luois, where they lived till 1815. In that year they moved to Boone county, Mo., where they lived nine years, and then returned to Illinois, locating in Jersey county, near Newbern. William resided here with his parents until the fall of 1830, when he removed to Otter Creek township, and bought 160 acres of government land, for which he paid $1.25 per acre. He built a log house the same year, in which he lived about 30 years. He now has a well improved place, with a good frame house and barn. He was married April 11, 1830, to Delilah Wagoner, daughter of David Wagoner. She was born in Virginia, in 1808. They have had eight cliildren, seven of whom are now living - Marion, living in Otterville; Ellen, wife of Charles Shelton Roads, of Macoupin county; Margaret, living with her parents; Mary, wife of Ziba Noble, Quarry township; William H., of Alton: Josephine, wife of Lawrence Green, of Kansas City, Mo., and Allie, living at home with her parents. Mr. McDow's farm contains 278 acres, which he rents, but still resides upon the place.

Marion McDow has resided in the township over half a century, having been born here in 1830. He is a son of William McDow.

James Derrick settled where Samuel Dougherty now lives in 1830. That location was on Sec. 14. That same year all the family had the bilious fever, and Mrs. Derrick took an overdose of laudanum and died. Derrick knocked around about a year, married a widow named Hurd, and moved to Missouri. He was driven out of there by bushwhackers during the war. He returned to Missouri after the rebellion was over.

Solomon Dixon came in the spring of 1830, and located on the place where William Dougherty now resides. He died in 1831, and his widow soMthe improvement to Thomas Hamilton. The widow and her family then removed to Macoupin county. Dixon was a native of Tennessee.

Among the other settlers of this year, 1830, were the following: Maurice Armstrong; on Sec. 13; Elijah Brown, Sec. 12, and James Hinson. Maurice Armstrong soon sold out, removing to the neighborhood of Fieldon, from whence he removed to Montgomery county.

Thomas H. Hamilton came in the spring of 1831, and bought the improvement made by Solomon Dixon, buying from the latter's widow. He came to Illinois, from Ohio, in 1818, and located in Monroe, county. On the 9th of May, 1831, he came to Jersey county. He was a carpenter by trade. He died in the fall of 1844, leaving three sons - Nathaniel, Dr. J. O., and Rev. B. B.

With him came Daniel H. Hamilton, who also entered land on section 14. These were both brothers of Dr. Silas Hamilton.

Jay M. Hurd, whose sketch occurs elsewliere, was a settler of 1831. He came here the year previous, with his uncle, Dr. Hamilton, but, being taken sick, returned to his eastern home, but the following spring came back. With him came his parents, Ezra and Polly H. Hurd, but they died soon after.

James F. Terry and Ezekiel Chance were also settlers of the year 1831, the former locating upon section 24.

William Dougharty, Sr., came in September, 1832, and located on the farm now owned by his eldest son - John G.

John G. Dougherty has been a resident of Otter Creek township since 1832, having come here with his parents in September, of that year. He was born in Adams county. Miss., in 1820, and is a son of William and Janet (Fowler) Dougherty, the former a native South Carolina, and the latter of New York. The subject of this sketch has always followed farming. He now owns a fine farm comprising 656 acres, with splendid improvements. He was married, in 1845, to Susan Millross, a native of Scotland. They are the parents of eight children, six of whom are living - Louisa, wife of J. C. Cadwalader, of this township; George H., living at liome; William, living in this townsliip; Irene, wife of C. A. L. Reed, M. D., of Hamilton, O.; Leonora, wife of Milton Noble, of this township; and John, living at home with his parents. Julius died in 1849, and Anna in 1881. Mr. Dougherty's father, William, died in 1833, and his mother, in 1862.

Henry Noble, a native of Maryland, but a long time resident of the state of Mississippi, came to Jersey county in 1833, landing at Grafton on the 3d of April. He immediately purchased some 400 acres of land on section 10 and 15, in this township, and settled down to the hard life of a pioneer. Mr. Noble was married in the state of Mississippi to Mary Swayze, a native of New Jersey, He was the father of quite a family of children, some of whom have risen to considerable distinction - Reuben, having been until lately the judge of the 5th judicial district of Iowa; Caleb, associate justice of this county, and others. Mr. Noble was noted throughout this county as a man of the strictest integrity and sterling worth. He died in July, 1852, at his place near Otterville.

Caleb Noble came with his parents in 1833. He was born in Adams county, Miss., in 1817. He was married in 1840 to Electa Gillham, a native of Illinois. She died in 1852.

William Noble came to Otter Creek township in 1833, he being then six years old. He was born in Adams county, Mississippi, in 1827. His parents, Henry and Nancy Anns (Curry) Noble, resided in this township from from 1833 until their death, his father dying in 1852 and his mother in 1850. William H. was brought up on a farm and has always followed agricultural pursuits. He was married, on the 4th of March, 1849, to Thirza Chappell, a native of England. They are the parents of six children - Israel C, of Otter Creek township, Emma M., wife of Theodore Dodson of Jerseyville, Ill.; William H., of this township; Milton B., of this township; James R. and Jesse C, living with their parents. Mr. Noble owns 218 acres of land on sections 14 and 15, 200 on section 10, and 40 on section 9, of Otter Creek township. His residence is one of the oldest frame houses in Jersey county. He carries on general farming. Mr. Noble and all of his family are members of the Presbyterian church.

Samuel J. M. Dougherty settled where he now lives in Otter Creek township, in 1845, since which this has been his home. He was born in the state of Mississippi, in 1810. His parents, James and Arkada (Varnada) Dougherty, were natives of South Carolina, who came to Jersey county in 1834, and settled where Samuel now lives, in this township. Here James Dougherty died in 1843. The subject of this sketch was married in 1846 to Elizabeth Cook, who was born in Mississippi, and came with her parents to this state in 1835. Mr. Dougherty owns a fine farm, comprising 275 acres of land, all improved, and is engaged in general farming. Mr. and Mrs. Dougherty are the parents of four children, two of whom are living - Joseph C, of this township, and Mary A., James H. died while in the service of his country, during the war of the Rebellion. He was a member of Co. C, of the 61st Ill. Inft. Alexander F. died at the age of four years. Mr. Dougherty and his family are members of the M. E. Church. He is a republican politically, and was formerly a whig. Although advanced in years he is still vigorous and hearty, and a well informed, intelligent gentleman.

Jeremiah O. Stillwell, was born in Haywood county, N. C, July 28, 1814. He came to Illinois in 1834, and located in what is now Jersey county, on the northeast quarter of Sec. 27, T. 7, R. 12, about two miles southwest of the place where the village of Otterville is now located. He was married Dec. 14, 1837, to Ann Eliza White, who was born Oct. 1, 1821, in Chatham county, N. C, and who came to Illinois with her parents about the same time Mr. Stillwell did. There were born to Mr. and Mrs. Stillwell 13 children, of whom only six are now living - five sons, Virgil, Leander, Reuben, Logan, Ernest, and a daughter, Louisa. Mr. Stillwell resided on the old homestead until 1881, when he sold out and moved to Anderson county, Kan., where he now resides, engaged in farming and stock-raising. Politically, Mr. Stillwell was an old-line whig, but on the dissolution of that party, he allied himself, in 1854, with the republican party, with which he has ever since voted and acted.

Leander Stillwell, son of Jeremiah O. and Ann Eliza (White) Stillwell, was born in Otter Creek precinct, Jersey county, Ill., Sept. 16, 1843. He received a limited common school education, at the old Stone school house, in Otterville. On Jan. 7, 1862, he enlisted as a private in Co. D, 61st Ill. Inf., and in Feb., 1864, re-enlisted as a veteran volunteer in the same company and regiment, and served to the end of the war, being mustered out as 1st lieutenant, and having served continuously nearly four years. At the close of the war, he studied law at the Albany law school, and was admitted to the bar in Dec, 1867. He immigrated to Kansas, in May, 1868, locating at Erie, Neosho county, where he engaged in the practice of law. He was married in 1872 to Miss Anna L. Stauber. He was elected to the lower house of the Kansas legislature in 1876, and in 1883, was elected judge of the seventh judicial district, consisting of the counties of Allen, Neosho, Wilson and Woodson, which position he now holds. Politically, he is a republican.

Ephraim Fredenburg settled in Otter Creek township in 1837. He was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1817, his parents being Aaron and Mary (Routledge) Fredenburg. His early life was spent in his native country, where, in his youth, he learned the carpenter trade. In 1837, he came to Jersey county,Ill., and settled in Otter Creek township, where he continued to reside until his death, which occurred in January, 1880. He owned a farm of 40 acres. He was married in 1844 to Mary A. Lofton, who was born in this county. Six children were born to them - Charles H., now living in Grafton; Catharine, wife of Charles Blish, of Jerseyville; Elizabeth J., wife of R. R. Nugent, of Grafton; Caroline C, wife of Thomas J. Cannada, of Otterville; Delevan, living at home; and Celinda, wife of Frank Calhoun, of Otterville. Their son, Charles H., served one year in the army, during the war of the Rebellion. Mrs. Fredenburg is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.

Other Prominent Citizens
Reuben T. Worthey, son of George and Lucy (Ivins) Worthey, was born in East Tennessee, in 1828. In Aug. 1846, he came to Jersey county,Ill., settled in Otter Creek township, and engaged in farming. He has been a resident here since that time and now owns a fine farm of 120 acres. He was married in June, 1860, to Mary E. Miner, a native of this county. They are the parents of 11 children, 10 of whom are living - Toney Newton, Josephine, Daniel Benton, Aaron, Louis, Nathaniel, Louisa, Jennette, Christopher, Harry A., and Lucy. Alice is deceased. Mr. Worthey carries on general farming. He is at present school director of this district.

John W. Sisson, one of the leading farmers of Otter Creek township, is a native of Virginia, born March 7, 1813. He is a son of Abner and Susanna (Hardy) Sisson, both natives of Virginia. In the fall of 1820 they removed from Virginia to Jefferson county, Ky. John W. came to the state of Illinois in May, 1837, and settled in Macoupin county, where he lived until 1850, then moved to Jersey county and located where he now resides, on Sec. 13, Otter Creek township. He owns a well improved farm, comprising 295 acres. His residence is a handsome structure, erected at a cost of $8,000. His barn and other farm buildings are of a corresponding description. Mr. Sisson was married in Feb., 1843, to Martha J. Eaton, a native of Kentucky. They are the parents of eight children - Susan S., wife of Charles Stephenson, of Nebraska; Henry Hardy, now in Nebraska; John Franklin, living in Logan county,Ill.; Louisa Maria, wife of Shepherd Bell, of Nebraska; Emma Cordelia, wife of Israel Noble, of Jersey county; Jessie May, living with her parents; Cyrus Ausbury and Olive Augusta, also living at home. He is engaged in general farming. He came here in very limited circumstances, and his present highly prosperous condition is due entirely to hia own industry and wise management.

Thomas Edsall, son of Coe and Lidice H. (Perry) Edsall, was born in Jersey county, in 1841. Coe Edsall was a native of New York, and his wife of Tennessee. The subject of this sketch grew to manhood in this county. During the war of the Rebellion he served ten months as a member of Co. E, of the 9th Ill. Cav. He has always followed the occupation of farming and now owns a good farm of 120 acres in Otter Creek township. He was married in 1884 to Eliza A. Myers, a native of Reynolds county. Mo. She is a daughter of Lorenzo D. and Angeline (Legate) Myers. Mrs. Angeline Myers was born in 1820 and died in the year 1881. She was an old settler of Jersey county, was well known and highly respected. Mr. Edsall has served two terms as road commissioner, and is a highly respected citizen of this township.

Charles R. Kirchner, a farmer of Otter Creek township, is a son of George C. and Elizabeth (Thurston) Kirchner, natives of Prussia, who came to America in 1825. Charles R. was born in Jersey county in 1850. He here grew to manhood, receiving his education in the district schools of English township and the graded schools of Jerseyville. In 1870 he was married to Charlotte Hinson, a native of this county. They have three children - Lula Bell, Harry Wesley, and Delia Leo. Mr. Kirchner owns a farm of 120 acres, located on Sec. 15. Mr. and Mrs. Kirchner are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. George C. Kirchner improved one of the first farms in English township, located on Sees. 31 and 32. George Kirchner died Dec. 11, 1881, and his wife, Elizabeth, in the fall of 1865. Both are buried in the Jerseyville cemetery.

Samuel C. Ellis was born in East Tennessee in 1824. His parents were Elijah and Amanda (Cox) Ellis, the former a native of Tennessee, and the latter of Pennsylvania. When Samuel was quite young his parents moved to Pennsylvania, thence to Ohio, where his mother died August 6, 1826, and his father in 1835. After his father's death he went back to Pennsylvania, where he remained until 1841. He then returned to Ohio, and, in the spring of 1846, enlisted in the Mexican War, joining Co.G, 2d Ohio Regt. He was in the service two years, after which he came to this state, and settled in Quarry township, Jersey county. He followed farming there until 1872, then removed to Otterville, and, has lived in this neighborhood ever since. In 1850 he was married to Mary M. Edsall, who was born in Pennsylvania. They have had two children - Linda Maria, who died June 14, 1860, aged nine years, and Ida Jane, wife of J. N. Noble, of Quarry township. Mr. Ellis owns a farm of 80 acres. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity and an Odd Fellow. Mrs. Ellis is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.

John T. Swan, a farmer of this county, was born in 1823, in St. Clair county,Ill. He is a son of Francis and Elizabeth (Chambers) Swan, the former a native of Kentucky, and the latter of Virginia. He came to this country in 1826 with his parents, and settled two miles west of Carrollton, Greene county. He there lived until he was about ten years old, when they moved to Mississippi township, this county, and lived there 15 years. They then moved to Sec. 25, Otter Creek township, which has since been his home, and where he now owns 80 acres of good land. He was married in 1856 to Melissa Fell, a native of this state. They have two children - Laura, wife of O. S. Davidson, of Virden, Ill., and Mary, wife of Silas Spangle, of this township. Mr. Swan is a member of the M. E. Church. He takes a considerable interest in public affairs, and has been town trustee. His mother died in 1844, and his father in 1846, and both were buried in Salem church cemetery.

Henry S. Rogers, a prominent farmer of Otter Creek township, is a native of Scioto county, Ohio, born in the year 1821. His father, Elias P. Rogers, was born on Long Island, N. Y., and his mother, Susanna (Spangle) Rogers, in Pennsylvania. Henry S. Rogers came to Illinois in 1840, locating in St. Clair county. Eight months later he removed to Jersey county and settled in Jerseyville township, where he lived four years. He moved to a farm on the Illinois river bottom, upon which he lived two years and kept the farm, then went to Monroe county, Ill., and remained one year, then returned to Jersey county, lived here four years, and removed to Johnson county, Ind., where for two years he was proprietor of a paper called the Franklin Jeffersonian. At the expiration of that time, he came back to Jersey county and staid five years engaged in blacksmithing, then went to Montgomery county, Ill., and there followed farming eighteen months, after which he purchased the farm in this county, upon which he now resides. It is located in Otter Creek township, and comprises 340 acres. Mr. Rogers was married in 1844, to Rachel Vanausdall, a native of Ohio. Eight children were born to them - Austin J., born in 1847, and died in 1879; Desdemona, born in 1849, and died in 1865; Margaret H., born in 1860, and died in 1865; Cornelius W., born in 1854, now living at home; Mary E., born in 1851, now the wife of T. A. Davis, of Winchester, Ill.; John v., born in 1857, living at home; Teresa C, born in 1863, now the wife of Seth Fisk, of this county, and Rowena Maud, born in 1865, living at home. Mrs. Rogers died in 1879, and was buried in the Noble cemetery, near Otterville. Mr. Rogers is a member of the I. 0. O. F., and has for the past forty years, held connection with the Baptist church. He is at present serving as township trustee.

Noah T. Rogers settled where he now resides, on section 11, Otter Creek township, in 1846. He is a son of Elias P. and Susanna (Spangle) Rogers, and was born in Scioto county, Ohio, in 1824. He was married in 1849 to Sarah McDaniel, a native of Illinois. By this union there were seven children, six of whom are living - Sarah A., William C, Viola v., Maria L., Dora J., and Ada. He owns 198 ½ acres of land. Mrs. Rogers also owns 180 acres in this county, and 240 acres in Madison county. Mr. Rogers is a justice of the peace and a township supervisor, having held both offices for a number of years. He is a member of the I. 0. O. F., also of the A. F. and A. M.

Hiram White a farmer of Otter Creek township, was burn in Clinton county, Ill., Dec.16, 1843. He is a son of Thomas and Rebecca White, who came to Jersey county in 1845, and settled on section 26, Otter Creek township, where Hiram White now lives. Thos. White died in 1850 and his wife, Rebecca in 1884. Hiram White was married in 1868, to Julia Hill, a native of Georgia. They have three cliildren - Nettie Delight, Iva Nellie and Elda May. Mr. White served five months in the army during the war of the Rebellion, enlisting in the 27th Ill. Inf. He was discharged for disability and returned home He owns 80 acres of valuable land and is engaged in general farming. He is a member of the I. 0. O. F.

Andrew Spangle, of Otter Creek township, was born in Ohio in 1818, and is a son of Jacob and Sarah (Johnson) Spangle, natives of the same state. In the year 1832 he came to Jersey county, and settled on the place where he now resides. He has 200 acres of well improved land, and is engaged in general farming. In 1846 he was united in marriage with Susan Hughes, who was born in Ohio. They reared a family of eight children - Ellen, who was married to Linus Humiston, and died in 1879; Silas, living in this township; Louis, at home, George, living in Mississippi township; Julia, at home; Albert, living in this township; Emma, wife of James Botkin, and Jasper, of English township. Mr. and Mrs. Spangle are members of the Baptist church.

Isaac Kennedy was born in Hendricks county, Ind., April 10, 1838, his parents being Levi and Elizabeth (Smith) Kennedy, both natives of Kentucky. Isaac came to this county in 1854, and settled in Quarry township remaining there two years. He then moved to Christian county, but after a few months, returned to Jersey county and located in Otter Creek township, where he has since resided. He was married on the 27th day of Mlay, 1850, to Elizabeth Davis, a native of Indiana. They are the parents of two children - Isaac Newton, of Otterville, and Jesse, living at home. Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy are members of the Baptist Church.

Louis Albrecht was born in Germany in 1834, and is a son of Ignatius and Victoria (Tischler) Albrecht, both natives of Germany. He came to the United States in 1867, and located first at Memphis, Tenn., where he remained six months, then went to Iowa, thence, soon after, to Missouri. Three months later he came to Illinois, and stopped three months in Brighton, after which he came to Jersey county, locating at Grafton, where he resided one year. At the expiration of that time he moved to a farm near Grafton, where he spent four years, taking care of a vineyard. In 1872 he rented a farm in Otter Creek townsliip, and in 1876 moved to the farm where he now lives. He rented the same for a period of five years, but at the end of two years purchased the place. It is located on Sec. 34, and comprises 119 acres of valuable and well improved land. He was married in 1865, to Elizabeth Willmann, a native of Germany. Three children have been born to them - John Michael, Joseph Louis, and Maggie Elizabeth, all attending the district school. Mr. Albrecht, before coming to this country, served nine years in the German army. He was also a conductor on a railroad in that country, and kept a store there two years. He is at present serving as school director.

James F. Moss, a farmer of Otter Creek township, was born in Jefferson county, Ill., in 1823, being a son of Ransom and Anna (Johnson) Moss, both of wliom were native Virginians, and came to this state in 1818, settling in the county where James was born, near Mt. Vernon. His father there died in 1835, and his mother still lives in that county. The subject of this sketch came to this county in 1849, locating first in Grafton, and there remained one winter. He tlien came to this township, and located on Sec. 25, and rented a farm, which subsequently he purchased and where he now lives. He was married in 1846 to Martlia Brock, a native of this county. By that union were nine children, only two of whom - Samantha J. and James C. - are now living. His first wife died Jan. 2, 1864, and July 27 of the following year he was married to Lucinda C. Slaten, a native of this county. By this marriage were six children - Neenah, Nettie D., Fannie R., Ruth, Harmon W., and Carrie. Mr. Moss takes a commendable interest in public affairs, and has been school director and trustee. He has always made farming a business and now owns 200 acres of land.

James C. Moss, son of James F. and Martha (Brock) Moss, was born in Jersey county in the year 1858. His early life was spent here and his education obtained in the district schools of this neighborhood. In 1877 he was united in marriage with Alma C. Hinman, who was born in Jefferson count, Ill. They are the parents of one child - Freddie, aged two years. Mr. and Mrs. Moss are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, in which they take an active interest. Mr. Moss is superintendent of the Sunday school and in that capacity is well liked and highly useful.

Daniel Newberry came to Jersey county in 1856, locating then in Otter Creek township. He was born in New Jersey, in 1806, his parents being Daniel and Elizabeth (Smallwood) Newberry, both natives of New Jersey. Daniel Newberry was married in 1827, to Elizabeth Jones, a native of Clermont county, Ohio. Nine children were born to them, two of whom are now living - Louisa, wife of J. W. Lane, of this township; and Hamilton D., now living in Montgomery county, HI.. Mr. Newberry has a farm of 80 acres, and has always been a farmer. Both he and his wife are consistent members of the M. E. church.

Marion McDow was born in Jersey county in the year 1830, and is a son of William and Delilah (Waggoner) McDow. The subject of this sketch has spent most of his life in Otter Creek township, where he now lives. He was married in 1862, to Melissa Rogers, a native of Otter Creek township. In 1853 he went to California, remaining thereuntil 1861, engaged in blacksmithing. He then returned to Jersey county. He owns 120 acres of land and town property, consisting of a residence and five lots. He has served as township assessor, two terms.

Henry T. Miller was born in the kingdom of Hanover, Germany, in the year 1838, and is the son of Henry and Charlotte (Hincey) Miller, natives of that country. The subject of this sketch came to America in the year 1848, and settled in St. Louis, Mo., where he learned the trade of turner, with the firm of Woodburn & Scott, where he worked fifteen years. He then went to Calhoun county, Ill., and was a resident of that county five years, after which he moved to Clark county. Mo. One year later he came to Jersey county and settled in T. 7, R. 12, Sec. 36, where he still lives. He owns a farm of 80 acres and carries on general farming. In 1862, Mr. Miller was married to Melvina M. Miller, a native of Ohio. Four children have blessed their union - Scena, wife of Phillip Maxwell, of Rurden, Kan.; Fannie Bell, wife of Samuel S. Leppler, of Burden, Kan.; Susie, wife of Edward W. Maxwell, of this township; and Thomas Henry, at home. Mr. Miller has been school director of his district four years. His father, Henry Miller, died in St. Louis, in 1874, and his mother now lives in Calhoun county.

James Shortal is a native of Kilkenny, Ireland, born June 15, 1815. He is a son of Robert and Bridget (Griffin) Shortal. In 1847, James Shortal emigrated to America, landing in New York city, where he resided 12 years. In March, 1865, he moved to Jersey county,Ill., settling in Otter Creek township, where he now owns a valuable and well improved farm, containing 277 ½ acres of land. He has a commodious and comfortable residence, erected at a cost of $2,500. He began life without financial capital, and has accumulated his property unaided. He carries on general farming. He was married, in 1849, to Mary Sangford, also a native of Kilkenny, Ireland. Six children were born to them, only one of whom is now living - Samuel, who resides upon the farm with his father. Bridget was married to James O'Neal, who died in 1877. She died Feb. 2, 1879, in Colorado. Robert died Sept. 29, 1882, in this county Margaret died in 1858. Mary died in 1859, and Ellen in 1861. The three last named are buried in Bordentown, New Jersey. Mr. Shortal and his family are members of the Catholic church. He has five grandchildren living with him, all of whom attend the district school.

Edward D. Howard, a farmer of Otter Creek township, is a son of Beal and Ann R. Howard, both natives of Farifax County, Va. They emigrated to Illinois in 1829, and settled at Alton, where Edward was born in 1843. When he was eight years old he removed with his parents, to a farm four miles north of Alton, upon which they lived until the fall of 1868. He then went to Montgomery county, and remained until 1875. In that year he came to Otter Creek township, where he has since resided. In Oct. 18S2, he went to New Mexico, with the intention of making tliat his home, but not being pleased with the country, returned after a few months. He was married April 9, 1868, to Emma M. Terry, of this township, and by this union had five children - Jasper E., Thomas Henry, Anna, Eva, and Cartncy Leroy. Mr. Howard owns a good farm containing 150 acres, all under cultivation and well improved. He carries on general farming. His father, Beal Howard, died in 1874, and his mother in 1861.

Jesse K. Cadwalader is a son of John and Mary (Branson) Cadwalader, and was born in 1846, in Fulton county,Ill. He remained with his parents, on a farm, in that county till April, 1858, then came to Jersey county and settled in Otter Creek township. After coming here he attended one year (1866) at Shurtleff College, at Upper Alton, then returned to the farm, on Sec. 12, where he now resides. In March, 1864, he enlisted in the 124th 1Ill. Inf., and served unitil June 13, 1865. He participated in the siege of Mobile, Ala. In Sept., 1871, was married to Louisa M. Dougherty, daughter of John S. Dougherty, of Otter Creek township. They are the parents of one child - Mamie D. Mr. Cadwalader owns 270 acres of land, all of which is improved except 30 acres of timber; also, a residence in Jerseyville. He makes a business of stock-raising, paying particular attention to short-horn cattle. Mr. Cadwalader and his family are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and has held the office of township supervisor two years. John Cadwalader was born in Harrison county, Ohio, Feb. 29, 1812, and died Nov. 24, 1880. His wife, Mary (Branson) Cadwalader, was born in 1818, and is now living in Jerseyville.

Adrastus Calhoun came to Jersey county in 1833, accompanying his parents, Solomon and Rhoda (Walker) Calhoun. They settled near the site of the present city of Jerseyville. Solomon Calhoun was a native of New Hampshire, and his wife of Massachusetts. They remained residents of Jersey county until their death. Solomon Calhoun died near Jerseyville in 1869. His widow survived until Jan., 1882. Both are buried in the Jerseyville cemetery. The subject of this sketch was born in Vermont in 1828, and was five years of age when he came to this county, which has ever since been his home. He was educated in the public schools of this county, and in 1859, married to Emeline Moore, who was born in this county. Mr. Calhoun has a fine farm of 260 acres, with a handsome and commodious residence. He is engaged in general farming. He is the present assessor of Otter Creek township, and a member of the Masonic fraternity. Mr. and Mrs. Calhoun have six children - Frank, living near Otterville; Charles, in Belleville, Ill.; Caleb, James, Joseph and Frederick, living with their parents. Mr. Calhoun has in his possession a gun which was carried through the Revolutionary war by his grandfather, who was a soldier in the British army, but who deserted to join the colonists.

Isaac T. Patton was born in Tennessee in the year 1828, and is a son of Josiah and Julia (Coile) Patton, the former a native of Tennessee, and the latter of South Carolina. In 1831, the faniily removed to Illinois, and settled in Bond County, where Isaac remained until 1814. In that year he came to Jersey county, locating there on the place where he now resides, on section 34, Otter Creek township. He owns 71 acres of valuable land, and is engaged in farming. In 1850 he was married to Jane Wilkinson, a native of Kentucky, and by this union, has seven children - Sylvester, living in this township; John, in Jerseyville; Alice, now married, and living in this township; Nancy, wife of John Lethler, also of this township; Rhoda, Freddie and Lula, living with their parents.Mr. Patton and wife are members of the Baptist church, in which he is a deacon. He has held the office of school director, and is a highly respected citizen.

Thomas W. Anderson, son of Thomas and Isabel (Barton) Anderson, was born in Warren county, Ohio, Feb. 15, 1830. His parents were natives of the state of Pennsylvania. Thomas W. Anderson came to this county in 1852, coming all the way from Ohio on horseback. He arrived in Jerseyville on the evening of the day that Franklin Pierce was elected president of the United States. He settled then in this township, where he has since resided. He owns 80 acres of well improved land, and in addition to farming, buys produce which he ships to St. Louis. Mr. Anderson was married July 25, 1861, to Mary Ann Austin, a native of Wayne county, Ill. Seven children have been born to them, five of whom are living - Rebecca Isabel, born in 1866; William Watson, born in 1868; Jasper Newton, born in 1870; Lydia Ann, and John T. Two sons, Robert Benjamin, died July 19, 1863, and Charles, died in 1865. Mr. Anderson is a member of the A. F. and A. M. His father, Thomas Anderson, died in 1866, and his mother, Mrs. Isabel Anderson, in 1864.

Henry L. Slaten is a son of George W. and Clementine Slaten, the former, a native of Georgia, and the latter, of North Carolina. Henry L. was born in Jersey county, in 1842, where he was reared upon a farm. In 1868 he was married to Jane Kulison, also a native Jersey county. They have three children living - Elmira P., Rollie R. and Zettie May. Mr. Shiten owns a well cultivated farm comprising 120 acres. His improvements are of the best class. He is a member of the A. F. & A. M. April 20, 1861, Mr. Slaten enlisted in the 14th Ill. Inf., and served two months, then returned home and remained until the fall of the same year, when he again enlisted in the 61st Ill. Reg., and served until Dec. 25, 1865. He participated in the battles of Shiloh, Corinth, Vicksburg, Little Rock and others.

John T.Waggoner was born in Greene county, Ill., in 1850, being a son of John D. and Phoebe Waggoner. His father was born in Kentucky, and his mother in this county. He received his education in the district schools of Jersey and Greene counties. He began farming at an early age, and is still engaged in that business. He was married in the month of March, in the year 1878, to Susie R. White, daughter of John L. White. She was born in Greene county. They have but one child - Lacy Earl. At the last school election he was elected to fill the office of director, in that district.

The Otterville Cemetery is located on the northwest quarter of Sec. 14, on land lying within the corporation limits. It was formerly called the Noble Cemetery, being on land belonging to William Noble. The first interment made there was that ot the mortal remains of Daniel White, oldest child of Josiah White, who died in the fall of 1829. This was also the first burial in the township. The plot of Otterville cemetery was filed for record May 28, 1877.

Antioch Baptist Church is located on the northeast corner of the southeast quarter of Sec. 36. It is the only church in the township outside of Otterville.

The first school taught within the limits of what now constitutes Otter Creek Township, was presided over by Mrs. Caroline Ripson. It was opened in the summer of 1832, in the cabin built for Ezza Hurd, who had died the fall before. The district is now in good shape, most of the schoolhouses being commodious and neat structures, and well kept up. An excellent standard of tutors is held and the teachers are quite up to the mark, in all respects.

The first school house in the Pleasant Grove District was erected in 1870, and was 16x20 feet in size. The first Teacher was Mary Jane Slaten. The present building was put up in 1875. It is 16x24 feet in size, and cost $300. The first teacher was Alice Hughes. Mrs. Kate B. Owens is the present teacher.

Grant school house in district No. 2, was erected in 1883. It cost $450. Kate McKinstry taught the first term on school in this building.

The school building in district No. 3, known as Buckeye school house, was erected in 1880, by John C. Lewis, contractor. The building is 20x36 feet in size, and cost $500. The enrollment in this school is 35. The teacher in Ned Yerkes.

Liberty school house, in district No. 4, was built in 1885, at a cost of $500. In size it is 20x36 feet. The enrollment is 20.

Shiloh school house was built in 1872. It is a frame building 22x32 feet in size, and cost $1,200. There is an enrollment of 75 in this school, with an average attendance of 40. S. T. Cannedy is the present teacher.

First Items
The first death was Daniel, son of Josiah White, born in 1828

The first marriage was that of William McDow and Delilah Waggoner, in the spring of 1830. The ceremony was performed by Rev. Joseph Basey, a Methodist Minister, on the farm now owned by Edward Howard.

Josiah White's oldest child, Daniel died in the fall of 1829, and was buried in what was known as the Noble Cemetery, now the Otter Creek Cemetery. This was the first death in the township, and the body was the first interred in that cemetery.

The first grist mill in the county run by water power, was erected by Gregg McDaniel in 1828, and was located in Otter Creek Township, on Section 7, on the south bank of Otter Creek. It was built in 1830. A saw mill had been built by the same party, in 1828, on the opposite side of the creek. The dam was afterwards washed away, and both mills went down.

The first Justice of the Peace was Gilbert Douglas, Sr., elected in 1824. His son is a resident of Des Moines, Iowa.

The first Constable was Jay Montgonery Hurd, elected in 1833.

The first resident physician was Dr. Silas Hamilton, who located here in 1830.

The first school was taught by Mrs. Caroline Ripson, in the summer of 1832.

The first store in the township was opened at the forks in Otter Creek, in 1832, by Woodberry Massey, who met with such a tragic fate, three years afterwards, at the Dubuque lead mines.

Source[History of Greene and Jersey Counties, Illinois, 1885 - Compiled by The Continental Historical Company, Springfield, Illinois, December 1885 - Pages 274 - ]