Warren Twp.

Jo Daviess County IL

History of Jo Daviess County 1878 H.R. Kett & Co.
Transcribed by Christine Walters July 2006 Genealogy Trails

To Captain Alexander Burnett is due the honor of first entering upon the lands of Warren for permanent residence. In the Spring of 1843 he emigrated from Ohio; made his claim and built a cabin, where now stands Mr. B. Servis’ brick building at the corner of Water and Main Streets, upon section 24, of this Township. Mr. Burnett continued to be the only settler in this immediate vicinity until the Fall of 1845, when Freeman A. Tisdel, of Michigan, came in and bought one half of Mr. Burnett’s claim—about 120 acres.

At that time the surveyor had not defined the section lines, and the small branch running south through the town was made the line of division between the two farms—Mr. Burnett’s being on the east, and Mr. Tisdel’s on the west side. At this time, Mr. Kingsley Olds and family, living about a mile south, Mr. Cowen, a mile west, and Mr. Newville, a mile east, constituted their only civilized neighbors.

The land upon which these people had settled still belonged to the govern­ment and did not come into the market until 1847, when they became legal owners by purchase, at the Land Office in Dixon. Mr. Burnett being located upon the old “Sucker trail,” kept a public house for many years, and by the crossing of two roads near his house, the place received the title of ‘ Burnett’s Corners.” In the Fall of 1845, Mr. Burnett gave Mr. Tisdel possession of the log house, and built for himself a frame dwelling on the site of the present Burnett House. He still resides at Warren. The post-office was first established at Mr. Tisdel’s house, in 1847.

In the Fall of this year, Mr. E. T. Sandoe made his debut at “The Corners,” and started a blacksmith shop. William, a son of Mr. Sandoe was the first white male child known to have been born in the settlement; although the date of his birth has not been left on record. A Mr. Baldwin opened a little store in a frame building opposite the log hotel soon after the arrival of Mr. Sandoe.

In 1851, Mr. Tisdel completed a large stone building known as the “War­ren House,” to which he removed, making room in the log house for a store which was opened by J. W. Parker, who was soon after joined by Manly Rogers, under the firm title of “Parker & Rogers.” The settlers now had a habitation, but no name. A meeting was called to decide upon a title for the settlement, and, after much discussion, Courtland” was selected as the name which should supersede the common-place “Corners.”

In the Spring of the same year, Mr. John D. Platt opened a store in a wing of the Warren House, to which firm Mr. A. L. Brink was soon made partner. Soon after (1853), the firms of “ S. H. Clark & Co.” and “Jackson & Son,” were established. Until the advent of these stores, the wants of the settlers were supplied chiefly by peddlers. At the time of Mr. Rogers’ arrival, among the prominent citizens not yet mentioned, were Charles Cole (who removed to and died at Salem, Nebraska), G. A. Smith, and Dr. Thomas E. Champion, (afterwards Colonel of the 96th Illinois Volunteers. He died at Knoxville, Tenn). Judge Platt continued his store until 1858, since which time he has engaged in general business pursuits, always being a prominent, public-spirited citizen.

A daughter of Mr. Platt, Eva, now Mrs. W. C. Thompson, was the only “baby” known in the neighborhood, except the son of Mr. Tisdel, for many years, although she was born in McHenry County, soon before removing to Jo Daviess. By this time the farming lands were generally occupied, and Courtland began to assume the appearance of a village. Among others, George W. Pepoon and John Tear had settled in the neighborhood, both of whom are still residing on their original farms having, with the lapse of years, accumulated valuable properties.

The chief mines of the vicinity are the “Babel” and “Pepoon” diggings, the latter of which received the name of its owner. They were, at one time valuable mines, but at present not much mineral is being raised. April 30, 1852, Mr. Tisdel had a portion of his land, located on the south­east and southwest quarters of the northeast quarter of section 24, township 29, surveyed by J. C. Gardner, and subdivided into town lots, he and Mr. Burnett conceiving the idea of making a town in what seemed the middle of the prairies. The streets then established were: Washington, Main and Catlin, running south, 63 deg. east; Long, Centre and Warren, running south, 27 deg. east, and Railroad Street-running south, 57 deg. east. It is evident from the last named street that the Illinois Central Railroad had already established its route and that the building of the road stimulated the formation of a village at that place.

At the township organization, February i~, 1853, fractional township 29 north, range 5, east of the fourth principal meridian, was called “Courtland.” November 24, of this year, Sylvester and Alexander Burnett laid out the first addition to the town, under the name of Burnett’s Addition.” In the Summer of 1853, the Illinois Central Railroad was completed to this place, when the name of the village was changed to Warren, the Township, how­ever, retaining its former name until March 2, 1865, when it, also, was changed to Warren.

March 15, 1855, fractional section 18, sections 19, 30 and 31 and the north half of section 31, township 29, north range, 5 east, were taken from the Township of Nora and added to Courtland, on account of the village of Warren being located on this territory; and December 14, 1864, fractional sections 17 and 18, sections 19, 20, 29, 30, 31 and 32, of Courtland were detached therefrom and added to Apple River, throwing the Village of Apple River in its proper township.

In 1853—’4 work was begun on the Mineral Point Railroad, which was laid out from Warren to Mineral Point, Wisconsin, but it was not completed until 1858. This road has always been well supported, furnishing, as it does, an out­let for the products of lower Wisconsin. The year 1854 was the saddest one in the history of Warren. At this time its people suffered a visitation of the cholera, and more than fifty of these pioneer settlers succumbed to its attacks. Among them were George A. Smith, Asa Saxton, John Whitmore, Rollins Ballard, Mrs. Charles Cole, Lewis C. Gann, Allen Gates and a Mr. Hutchinson, whose first name has been forgotten.

On the evening of February 11, 1857, a meeting was held to consider the propriety of incorporating Warren as a village, at which thirty-four votes were cast for, and nine against, incorporation. At this meeting John D. Platt pre­sided, and Thomas E. Champion acted in the capacity of secretary.

The rapid growth of Warren dates from 1853—the year when the Central Railroad terminated there, for a season. Soon a number of additions was made to the village, which have been recorded in the following order: Sylvester Bur­nett’s 2d and 3d addition, Tisdel’s addition and Sherk’s addition, all June 15, 1854; Burnett’s addition, June 5, 1855 Linkfield’s addition, May 21, 1855; besides these, there are additions by Thomas York, D. A. Tisdel, J. D. Platt, D. Sinclair, F. A. Tisdel, Sr., F. and D. A. Tisdel, M. D. Rising, O. Jackson, M. M Yeakle, M. Y. Johnson, Wm. Cain, A. L. Brink, Jas. Bayne, A. M. Jones and

J. Wright. Being situated within a mile of the state line of Wisconsin, Warren is a great resort of criminals, who wish to get out of that state, and of eloping couples, who wish to take advantage of forbidding parents and the marriage laws of Wisconsin.


Religious interest was manifested in Warren at a very early stage of its history. Meetings were held among its first settlers by a traveling minister named George W. Ford, in the various private houses.

The Methodist organization was first effected in the village in 1854, though a class had existed two miles south for several years. The first church was erected (24 by 40 feet in size), in the same year by Rev. J. Sherk. Rev. Joseph Hartman acted as their pastor for two years. Among the leading members at the organization were, J. F. H. Dobler and wife, L. F. Farnharn and wife, Thomas Hicks and wife, Joseph Sherk and wife, Samuel Phelps and wife, Joseph Graves, George Jamison, Mrs. Eunice Cobb, Mrs. Whitmore and a few others. A Sabbath school was organized soon after the church, Joseph Graves act­ing as superintendent. In i86o the prosperity of the society demanded an enlargement of the building, and an addition of 20 by 24 feet was made,

The erection of the present fine brick building was comnienced in 1864, (on the site of the old one), under the pastorate of Rev. George Richardson, and completed under the charge of Rev. Joseph Odgers. The following pastors have officiated at Warren successively: Revs. J. Hartman, J. Wallace, Wm. Keegan, Wm. Cone, C. F. Wright, T. L. Olmsted, Wm. Keegan, Geo. Richardson, Joseph Odgers, C. French, Geo. Richardson, G. L. S. Stuff, J. Linebarger, Win. Burns, H. J. Huston, C. Brookins and Joseph Crummer, who is the present minister. John Bird is now superintendent of the Sunday school. The church and Sabbath school have each a present mem­bership of about two hundred and fifty.

The Free Will Baptist Church was organized a little later in the same year, at a meeting held at the Burnett House. Their church was built in ~ Professor Dunn, now of Hilisdale College, Michigan, took the active manage­ment of organization and dedication, although Rev. Horace G. Woodworth was the first regular pastor. A Sabbath school was organized in connection with the church; Charles Cole being the first superintendent. Rev. R. W. Bryant is the present pastor, and Mr. A. M. Jones, superintendent of the Sabbath school.

The Presbyterian church was organized August 8, 1864, in the Baptist Church, where meetings were held for some time by Rev. John W. Cunningham, who preached their first sermon. Their church was built in the same year, being superintended by their first regular pastor, Rev. E. H. Avery. After six years Mr. Avery was superseded by Rev. H. P. Thayer; then Rev. G. H. Coit, then Rev. E. B. Miner, who was followed by the present pastor, Rev. S. S. Cryer. In 1877, an addition was made to the church, giving it a commodious auditorium. It is entirely free from debt. The first Board of Elders consisted of D. C. Allen, Manley Rogers and Thomas J. Graham. At present, the session is composed of Manley Rogers, E. H. Morris, J. N. Parker. G. W. Pepoon, L. E. Morris and W. R. Colburn. Junius Rogers first acted as Sabbath-school superintendent, which office is now filled by Manley Rogers. The school has a membership of about i6o, while the number of church members is estimated at 135.

In 1859, by the personal endeavors of Mr. M. M. Yeakle, a large stone building was erected for a Lutheran Church, but as Mr. Yeakle failed before its completion, it was never dedicated to the use of that branch of the Christian church.


Among the important duties of any people is to provide for the instruction of their children. Several years before the railroad was completed to the Village of Warren, the scattered pioneers had provided a means of education for their little ones. About 1848 a school-house was built one half mile west of the site of War­ren, in which Charles Cole first gave instruction. For some years after the settlement began to assume the character of a village, a school was maintained in a small cabin. About 1864, a brick school building was erected at a cost of $3,500. This was superseded by the present one in 1872, which is also of brick, fifty feet square with a wing, thirty by forty feet, and of two stories. It cost nearly $3,500.

The schools are taught by D. E. Garber, Principal; E. E. Grigsby, Assist­ant; Miss Josie McHugh, Grammar School; Miss Cora Harrower, Intermediate Miss Maud Goodfellow, Secondary; Mrs. Rosa Parker, Primary. In 1870 a small brick school-house was built on the east side of the railroad, which is under the charge of Miss L. A. Field. Three thousand dollars ‘S appropriated annually for the teachers’ salaries. The present directors are, H. V. Brown, Dr. A. F. Bucknam, W. C. DeLong. Such is the past and present of Warren’s schools. Its people appreciate the power of education, and have provided an ample fountain in their midst from which all the youth may freely drink.


A. F. & A. M.—In 1858 the Jo Daviess Lodge No. 278, A. F. & A. M., was orgaflized. Its charter members were: S. H. Clark, Thos. E. Champion, N. B. Hull, E. Huntington, T. D. Rose, C. S. Hussey, J. C. Barnard and Chas. Francisco. First officers: S. H. Clark, W. M.; T. E. Champion, S. W.; N. B. Hull, J. W. Present officers: S. A. Clark, W. M.; W. S. Benson, S. W.; W. L. Gale, J. W.; John Tear, Treasurer; W. M. Capron, Secretary. Their meetings are held the first and third Saturdays of each month.. Membership ioo.

Olive Chapter No. 167, R. A. M., was organized October 28, 1875. Charter Members.—J. D. Platt, A. C. Schadle, M. H. Luke, W. S. Benson, John Tear, J. C. Woodworth, W. L. Gale, C. A. Robey, F. W. Byers. S. A. Clark, A. Holcomb, L. E. Kessler. First Officers J.D. Platt, H. P.; A. C. Schadle, K.; M. H. Luke, S. Present Officers.—A. C. Schadle, H. P.; W. S. Benson, K.; B. F. Crum­me T, S. Regular convocations the first and third Mondays of each month. Membership, forty-one.

The societies own their society hall—a large and well-furnished building— which alone is sufficient evidence of their prosperity. -

I. 0. 0. F.—The Odd Fellows’ organization was effected in 1858, under the name of Ridgley Lodge, No. 259. Their first N. G. was Daniel Ransom. Present Officers.—George Binns, N. G.; B. F. Crummer, V. G.; James Bayne, Secretary; J. A. Platt, Treasurer. Membership, 53.

North Star Encampment No. 83. was organized on Oct. 13, 1868. First Officers.—H. H. Peckham, C. P.; J. L. Code, S. W.; Thomas M. Blake, H. P.; J. S. Morrell, J. W. Present Offlcers.---H. S. Francisco, C. P.; T. D. Thornton, S. W.; Thos. M. Blake, H. P.; George Binns, J. W.; J. A. Platt, Scribe; John S. Morrell, Treasurer. Membership, 40.

A. 0. U. W. Warren Lodge No. 27 was formed November 30, 1876. These are thirty-three charter members. Their officers are: A. C. Schadle, P. M. W.; G. H. Wilcox, M. W.; J. M. Hussey, G. F.; Charles Morten, 0.; John Fraser, Recorder; W. L. Gale, F.; M. Rogers, R. Regular meetings on the second and fourth Mondays of each month. Membership, 40.

The Union Agricultural Society is one of the old established associations of Warren. It was first located on lands belonging to the Rising estate, about one quarter of a mile northwest of the village, in 186o. In 1872 it was removed to the present grounds, one half mile east of the village.

The grounds include twenty acres of land; are beautifully laid out and nicely ornamented. Its officers are: President, Robert Hawley; Vice President, David Young; Secretary, Joseph Hicks; Treasurer. Wm. L. Gale; Directors, M. Lynch, G. W. Pepoon and Wm. Young. It includes in the Association the Counties of Jo Daviess, Stephenson and Lafayette (Wis.)


The Press.—Among the prominent features of every community are its newspapers. Very early in the history of Warren, the type and press were introduced to share the privations and fortunes of its people. In 1855, Charles Blaisdell published the Warren Republican. After a trial of one year it was discontinued, and, September 23, 1857, the first number of the Warren Independent was issued, which has continued, with one change of name, to the present time. It was published by Freeman A. Tisdel, Sr., and Thomas E. Champion, and edited by George A. Randall. April 2, 1858, Lewis and Baugher, who had. come there to practice law, purchased the paper and con­tinued its publication until Jan. 30, 186o, when M. P. Rindlaub (now editor of the Platteville, Wis., Witness), bought Lewis out, and in July of the same year, he purchased the remainder of the office. Mr. Nesbitt Baugher then became connected with the Galena Gazette until the outbreak of the war, at which time he enlisted in and was made a Lieutenant in Company B, 45th, or Lead Mine Regiment, and was mortally wounded at the battle of Pittsburg Landing. In December, 186o, D. J. Benner became a partner of Mr. Rindlaub. In May, 1861, Mr. Benner enlisted in the army, and was made First Lieutenant of Company E, 15th Illinois Volunteers. Mr. Herst C. Gann came to Warren with his parents at the age of ten years, in 1854, from Pennsylvania. His father became a victim of the cholera about three weeks after his arrival.

In 1857 Mr. Gann commenced learning the “art preservative,” in the Indeftendeni office, and has had almost continuous connection with the paper since that time. March 10, 1864, he purchased the office, and has been its editor to the present time, except during an enlistment in the army of ten months, when it was managed by Steve. R. Smith, who decreased its circulation nearly one half; From 1866 to 1868, Mr. J. W. Leveretr held an active interest in the paper, and, on account of the bad repute into which Smith had thrown it, Messrs. Leverett and Gann changed the name, in July, 1866, to its present title, the Warren Sentinel. Such is Warren’s history, in brief, of that watchful, public guardian—the Press.

Banking Interests.—Something was done in the banking business by J. D. Platt in 1858, but his intentions of forming a permanent bank were interrupted by ill health and he returned to the East for a time. In October, 1864, Manley and Junius Rogers estab1ished the first regular Bank of Warren. In March, 1865, the Farmers National Bank was organized with Manley Rogers, President; N. B. Richardson, Vice President, and Junius Rogers, Cashier. S. A. Clark became Cashier in January, 1873, and in May 1875, the bank surrendered its charter. The business is now continued by Rogers, Richardson & Co., S. A. Clark being a member of the firm.


In 1859, M. M. Yeakle built a large, stone, steam grist-mill and grain elevator in the northern part of the town, at a cost of about $20,000. Nir. Yeakle, who has already been referred to as failing in the midst of his public spirited endeavors, disposed of the mill to Messrs. Bird, Bridge & Co., who employ five men, and are doing a good, steady business.

A Planing Mill was established in Warren by N. Boothby & Co., in i8~8. This business was carried on until 1871, when they began the manufacture of parquet flooring or wood carpet. They employ twelve men. Their sales are made principally by agents; large orders coming from Chicago, San Francisco, and other cities.

A Flax Tow-Mill was built in the eastern part of the town in 1870, by Col. John Dement, of Dixon, Ill., at a cost of $10,000. It employs twenty men, and works up about two thousand tons of straw annually. The tows shipped to Dixon, where it is manufactured into bagging. It is superintended by Jacob Spielman.

Hotels.—Though it was of the pioneer character, Alexander Burnett kept the first public house of Warren. The house was the historical old “log cabin, which was built in 1843, though it was followed many years later by a hotel on the site of the present Burnett House, which is now kept by Charles Phillips. Five years ago, at an expense of $20,OOO, the Barton House was erected by Major Barton, who came to Warren in 1853, when the railroad terminated there for the season, and followed the livery business until within three years. The Barton House is a large, three-story brick building, .with basement, and containing the Public Hall. It is an ornament to the village, which is appre­ciated by the citizens, ~rho may well regard’ Mr. Barton as a public benefactor.

The Jo Daviess Co-operative Association was organized in 1877, for the purpose of furnishing to its members, household and other supplies without the intervention of a “middle-man” between producer and consumer. It has a capital stock of $2,500. P. E. Enery, Agent. Directors: E. Farnham, B. F. Watson, G. W. Curtiss, R. Russell, G. S. Wing, L. F. Farnham and Charles Boone.

The following is a list of the principal business houses of Warren, at present, giving the business and date of establishment:

General Stock—H. M. Canton, 1863; Wilcox Bros., 1872; A. B. Conyne, 1877. Hardware—W. C. DeLong, 1864; Carlton Bros. & Woodworth, 1872. Drugs—J. J. Knapp, 1867; L. E. Kessler, 1867; E. S. Baldwin. Groceries— Wm. Hoefer, i86i; L. T. Ziegle, 1862; Seth Bedell, 1871. Books and Jewelry—Geo. Richardson, 1873. Dry Goods—Wm. Thompson, 1875. Lum­ber—C. F. Taylor & Co., 1877. Produce Shipper—H. S. Van Derwort, 1865. Agricultural Implements—Foss & Bucknam, 1877; Furniture—Albert Totten, 1876. Machine Shop—Platt & Phillips, 1876. Cariiage Maker—Charles Mur­ray, 1877. Physicians—B. G. Pierce, 1854; A. F. Bucknam, 1870; B. F. Crurnmer, 1876; A. C. Tuttle, 1875. Dentist—-Dr. A. C. Schadle.

The Township Officers are:
Supervisor—C. M. Gregory.
Township Clerk—Wm. L. Gale.
Assessor—Geo. W. Pepoon.
Collector—H. W. Godding.
Constables—John Stanton and M. S. Murphy.
Justices of Peace—--James Bayne and C. L. Giles.

The Village Officers are:
Board of Trustees—Wm. S. Hicks—President——George Richardson, Walter C. Wells, C. M. Gregory, Martin L. Canfield, Ralph Dawson.
Clerk—John Bird; Treasurer—James Payne; Postmaster—Arthur Fanin.

In 1877 the Township of Warren had 8,284.86 acres of improved land and 3,388.80 acres of unimproved land, the assessed value of the former being $151,150, and of the latter. $20,980 besides these there are 1,704 lots, valued at $180,545. The assessed valuation of personal property for the same year was $263, 024. As it is customary to assess at about one third the true value, the total wealth of the township may be placed at a much larger figure.

The first settler in the Township of Warren was unquestionably Alexander Burnett. He built himself a log house very near the center of what is now the village of Warren. After him came Freeman Tisdel, Kingsley Old and family and a Mr. Newville. Mr. Burnett kept the first hotel in the village, and as near his house what was known as the "Sucker Trail" and another road crossed each other, his place was known for years as "Burnett's Corners." The first post office was established at the house of Mr. Tisdel in 1847. Owing to the fertility of the soil and the development of the mines not far from the "Corners," Warren began to develop very rapidly and many enterprising men, such as A. L., Brink, John D. Platt, E. T. Sandoe, Manly Rogers, C. A. Smith, Thomas E. Champion, John Tear, George W. Pepoon and others settled within her borders. On February 24, 1859, the village of Warren was incorporated, and from that time until now it has had a steady, healthy growth, so that at present it ranks as one of the most enterprising villages in Northern Illinois. It has never had what, in western parlance, could be called a "boom," but whatever advance it has made it has retained. Its citizens are enterprising, wide awake and constantly on the lookout for that which would improve their village. It owns its own waterworks, is well lighted, and has secured manufacturing plants which have been profitable from the start. It has an academy and one of the best high schools in the State, and altogether is a delightful village in which to dwell.

(Excerpt from the book "History of Jo Daviess County 1904 and transcribed by Dori Leekley)